Thursday, December 17, 2009

Endings and beginnings



Just a shot taken by a colleague on his iphone to record the last days of Belshaw in his current mode.

My immediate target over the next few weeks is just to catch up on my writing.

Time pressures have limited my writing and especially the consolidation of some of the things I have been writing on.

It's a strange mixture, my current reading and writing list.

I am waiting for a package of books on the Aboriginal languages of New England to allow me to move forward here. I have a part completed analysis of the Armidale High Leaving Certificate class of 1953 - family background, where they came from, what they did, where they are now. Just one slice of the Australian past. In train reading I have been looking at an earlier anthology of Aboriginal writing, the first (I think) published.

I have also been jotting down notes to allow me to finish the post I began with Sunday Essay - Oliver's Endless Adventure 1.

At a purely professional level, I continue to monitor the economic data on a daily basis, although other time pressures have limited my formal writing. I don't know why people were surprised at the low Australian GDP growth figure. The size of the deterioration in the Australian trade position meant that it would drag the overall GDP number down.

A long time ago, I said that the sudden and remarkable improvement in Australia's trade position provided a buffer against the global financial crisis. I also said that the balance on the current account would be the most important constraint on Australia's emergence from the crisis. Well, the country's exports are down, we are (in relative terms) sucking in imports, so the international position has become an economic drag.

Well, time to move.      


Anonymous said...

That is a perceptive comment about the GDP number. All the best for the next phase of your employment/income earning and for your academic activities with UNE next year.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, anon!

Anonymous said...

Why would you choose to analyse Armidale High School Class of 53 when you could do your own leaving class at a different school some 10 years later?

Jim Belshaw said...

Partly data availability, Anon. I cannot do my own cohort so easily.

But the class of 53 is also a very special group; pre Vietnam, post WWII. By the time I did the LC, the world was changing.

Ignoring time, I would actually like to do both, and then cousin Will's group from the seventies. His was the cusp change generation.

TAS and AHS also drew from different social groups. Only three, I think, of the AHS 53 group came from farmer/grazier backgrounds, whereas TAS lay very much in the opposite direction.

This type of comparison can yield some fascinating insights.

A few years ago I did a comparison between Aunt Kay's schooling, my own and my kids. Nuts and bolts stuff. When did the school day start, when did it finish, how did you get to school etc?

This actually covered a sixty year span. My Aunt and I had a similar experiences. My daughters were different.

Rummuser said...

Jim, you handsome devil you! Your avatar on the blog does little justice to you.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Ramana. Shucks (blush)!