notes on incarceration


Room by Emma Donoghue is the story of a 5-year-old boy and his mother (thanks Ed and Barns for loaning it to me). Room is the only home and world he knows. It’s a story inspired by those women who have been abducted and kept prisoner and it’s remarkable for the way the mother both entertains and teaches her son. Book reviewers either love or hate the book. There seems to be no middle ground.

By contrast my incarceration is a fine thing. I have had many visitors (although some younger ones did have to be reminded to visit the old aunt) and my last visitor brought me about 20 dvds to watch. Amongst them so far have been Alfie (loved it again) and Emma. Seeing Michael Caine reminds me of The Trip with Steve Coogan where the two friends try to out-Caine-impersonate each other.

The second to last time I was incarcerated I became addicted to Days of our Lives (it was about 30 years ago). This time it’s MadMen, which I never saw on TV. I love it and am transfixed by it all. A similar book of the same time was Stoner by John Williams which I loved for the writing, and Good Night and Good Luck a dvd about Ed Morrow who, via CBS news, took on Joe McCarthy (Thanks Barns).

I’ve also read Hilary Mantell’s Wolf Hall and have ordered via the fabulous Unity books Bring Up the Bodies. This prompted me to reread (well reskim read)some old history books. I managed to get to the library and take out the last 2 T. C. Boyle books – Wild Child and After the Plague. Both of these are short stories so I’ll be less involved. Please write some more books Mr Boyle.

I also read Christopher Hitchen’s Mortality. The equally impressive Colm Toibin reviews it. Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies was ok. A bit too much of a pot boiler for me.

I’m sure there’s more: the Listener cryptic crossword (thanks Ingrid for the last word) and the Sunday papers.

I’m lucky to have some great friends, in particular my long time friend Heather who has been there for me in just about every incarceration (she missed the Sydney one but was there to offer accommodation when I came home). Frequent phone calls from Gwynneth in Auckland and texts from Keri-Mei have been helpful and members of the local tango community have been thoughtful.

The sun has shone everyday (honestly it has) and I sit on the deck in the evening sun.

I can now walk on crutches to the local shops and have begun attending the gym. The District Nurses have been kind.

While I am not yet ready to drive I have had several dreams about dancing and tonight I’ll attend a local residents’ meeting.

Now I have to drive, return to work, cure my obsession with MadMen and learn to let go when plants in the garden die due to this drought that has New Zealand in its thrall.

But is there time to work?


One thought on “notes on incarceration

  1. Wolf Hall was my book for Buenos Aires. I loved being able to slip in and out of Tudor England. (A book one needs plenty of time for I suspect.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s