Alison McQueen


Daytime TV

I’m not writing at the moment. My brain is completely empty and has demanded some serious downtime, which is fine by me, and a perfect excuse to catch up with reading books and watching films. 

This morning started with Doris Lessing’s interview following her Nobel prize in 2007. If you haven’t read The Grass Is Singing, I recommend it highly. The story is set in Rhodesia round about the time my grandfather was a white farmer out there, and captures the tensions of the time and landscape in a beautiful yet claustrophobic narrative that leaves you almost unable to breathe. Doris is filmed sitting in her kitchen amid the mess, which I found rather comforting. (So it’s not just me then.)

There are a load more films on the Nobel website, including a few filmed acceptance speeches by winners of the peace prize. Click here to go straight to the list. Moving stuff.

Talking of which, this talk, given by brain researcher, Jill Bolte, moves me to tears whenever I watch it. Jill Bolte’s Ted Talk describes the moment she realised she was in the grip of stroke. My eldest brother suffered a cataclysmic stroke almost two years ago at the age of 49. This is one of the most affecting things I have ever watched.