To my surprise, in my summer years, I find language and words filling my life. On any day, I spend hours dealing with language. This weekend, for example, the last day of 2011 and the first day of 2012, I have helped an eight-year-old learn to read; I have read chapters and chapters, on a recommendation, of Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage (it’s my third go at this book); translated part of a 19th-century French novel into English; written six postcards telling foreigners of the wonders of Australia; written a calligraphic quotation for a German penfriend; listened to my neighbours, government housing tenants, swearing twenty to the dozen as it pleases them on this New Year’s Day.
I recently (last month) graduated with a Master of Translation Studies, and now I’m in search of things to translate. There’s the interesting 19th-century novel, the one I worked on today, and there’s a French book on teaching three-year-olds to read which I use when I’m tutoring and which would be just as valuable to others, if they could read it. And there’s my older thesis about French villagers who sheltered refugees in the 1940s, the one I wrote in French and would like, before my winter years, to translate into English.
Meanwhile, I’ve found this blogging way to share my father’s photos, and later his poetry, as a background for my interests, though the connections will at first appear vague to a reader.