Saturday, March 18, 2006

Borneo Blog coming up...!

My husband - that's him there without the feathers - has just accepted a 6 month contract to be a Visiting Professor at the University of Malaysia Sabah (UMS), at the Institute of Tropical Biology & Conservation.

What, you may ask, is an ex Deputy Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna doing messing around with conservation in North Borneo? Well, he's a man of many parts...

He's particularly interested in beetles, moths, gingers and fungus. And teaching. And field biology, expeditions...you name it.

What does this mean for us? Well, in between visiting my daughter in the US, and doing some environmental work for the Malaysian Nature Society here in Kuala Lumpur on the mainland, I will also be living part-time in Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo. And oh, yes, there's a little thing of writing another 100,000 words of my latest book before the end of July. And going through the copy-edit and proofing of the one I just completed as well, sometime in this period.

And Malaysians retire at 56. Are they insane?

My husband is looking forward to being back in Academia, occupying that office with his name on the door, and I know that what my mother said to me when I told her I was marrying this guy is absolutely true: "You'll never be bored."

She was obviously psychic.

12 comments:

Bernita said...

Borneo - was it called "The Land Below the Wind?"

Glenda Larke said...

That's eight - because it does not suffer much from the monsoon. It is "below" the monsoon belt. This local name was popularised by Agnes Keith, an American writer who married a British colonial forester and wrote a book of that name, about living in Sandakan in the late 1930s. It is still a fine read and still in print. She spent the war years in a Japanese POW camp with her young son.

Bernita said...

I have that book!
As you say - a fine read.
Wondered if the name - so beautifully evocative - was current or simply folkish.

Lady M said...

Excellent Glenda - glad to hear you're having fun...

And I'm also glad the hubby isn't the one with the feathers. *grin*

Lady M

Anonymous said...

Woot! Huge congrats to Ramly. That's excellent news.

As for you ... hmmm ... I'll send good thoughts for stamina ... *g*

Karen

smathi said...

Congratulations to Ramly and you for opening another chapter to your lives. So the name on the door was for real. Good to have met up with you both at Raptor Watch.

Smathi

Glenda Larke said...

Hope you are enjoying your family holiday, Smathi - where ever you are at the moment...

And Lady M, I suspect now that hubby is thinning on top, he could use some feathers!

Anonymous said...

Who retires at 56 ? only those that can afford to I guess.

Glenda Larke said...

It's idiotic, isn't it? At 56, most people still have a lot to offer the nation; many have kids still getting an education and are in need of lots of money. They get forcibly rtired - at least in govt service - and forced into business or other fields they have no experience in, and will often fail at.

The system has its roots in British colonialism - because the poor fellows were worn out by the climate. And we still follow it? Huh?

Anonymous said...

Well actually it depends, many high-ranking civil servants are paid a lot, so when they retire they've got quite a bit. Then they start a business and naturally want to hire their ex-employees. That's one way to continue working.

PS. Did you know that 25 years ago, a Chief Justice was entitled to 10K a month, a butler (yes, a butler,) land, a house and a car ? hansards can be a fun read :)

Glenda Larke said...

We were obviously in the wrong business... a butler???

Anonymous said...

A butler. I wonder what they make now. But I only had one day in the library.