Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Miracles of Life

The reading list for my MA is colossal (as I mentioned in a previous post), but I am diligently working my way through it. So far the books have all been well written, but some, which shall remain nameless, have been a boring and failed to grip my imagination.
For the last two days, however, I have been engrossed in J.G Ballard’s autobiography, Miracles of Life. It deals with his childhood in Shanghai, his experience of a Japanese POW camp, his life as a student, marriage, and becoming a single father after his wife’s death. It is a fascinating insight into the experiences that shaped his novels and short stories and his development as a writer and a human being.
It is stunning and very moving. I’ve just finished reading it and had to have a good cry.


Blossom said...

Hi Sue.
I remember, shortly after his death, a radio interview with him was on BBC iPlayer. Ballard, during the interview, read an excerpt from that book, when he attended the birth of his child. It was extremely honest and touching. If the whole book is in a similar vein, I can understand why you have enjoyed it so much.

Thanks for your suggestion, by the way, re bursaries/ scholarships. I shall have to investigate. I was due to see FW today after class but there was a problem regarding Nathan this morning - he had a panic attack and had to come home from school. My intention was to take him to lectures, (it would have been a good distraction from the cause of the panic attack) but I had no one to collect Ni from school so it wasn't to be.

I certainly need to put something in place for next year, to give peace of mind so I can just then concentrate on
getting through this year.

Sue's Blog said...

I hope you can get some help to stay in higher education. I think that it is morally wrong that higher education is now based on ability to pay not merit. Another option might be to do an OU MA degree in tandem with a part-time job.
I hope Nathan will be all right – can he see someone for advice on how to manage panic attacks as they are horrible things, but eminently treatable with the right support and breathing techniques.

Blossom said...

Thanks Sue.

I took Nathan to the GP last night and he gave Nathan some information on breathing exercises to do, so that when he feels an attack coming on, he can slow down his breathing and curtail the attack. He had a practice of these before bed time, to help him relax to sleep and they seemed to work for that. This morning, though, he woke up very anxious and stressed- he said he felt all knotted up inside. I took him into school in the car so that I could have a chat with his pastoral manager again, but he just broke down before we got there. The school are being wonderfully caring and supportive of him in this situation, which is a great help for him, and he's due to see his counsellor again on Tuesday. I'm hoping that after his dad has been to the house today, to collect Niles, he'll feel calmer, knowing that his dad won't be coming around again until Saturday. He doesn't want any contact with his dad at the moment, as he feels he just can't handle it.

Sue's Blog said...

Poor Nathan - I hope he feels better soon.

Blossom said...

Thank you, Sue.