Melanie Reid – The World I Fell Out Of

Melanie Reid’s ‘Spinal Column’ in The Times is about her life with spinal cord injury. It varies hugely in its tone and emotional tenor. By turns Reid can be darkly humorous or sorry for herself, but she regularly brings a graphic aspect of life with disability into the world of the weekend reader. Her column has covered many aspects. She may be discussing attitudes to wheelchair users (6 December 2014), or describing how her spasticity feels and changes (28 January 2017), or describing with all the gory details the problems of bowel management (27 September 2014).

Now she has completed … Read more...

Bella Bathurst – Sound: A Story of Hearing Lost and Found

John Hull spoke to us as one who had lost the power of sight. Bella Bathurst writes authentically as one who had lost the power of hearing. It becomes clear from both of these bulletins that sight and hearing are not simple recipients of data about the world: they give us powers, among others, to change the dimensions of our world, to survive perilous places, and to communicate with our fellows. They determine how we use our brains, and who we are.

Sound excavates the emotional pit experienced by Bella Bathurst during her years of increasing deafness between the ages … Read more...

John Hull – Touching The Rock

Touching the Rock is a perfect example of a narrative of experience and recovery, an exploration of one person’s experience, and yet it has no narrative structure in the usual sense. John Hull recorded his impressions of living with blindness over the years 1983-1986, from the point where he entered a world of complete darkness. They appear to be random musings, sparked by his daily experiences or by dreams, but there are recurring themes. It is left to us to create a structure of integrating into a different way of existing.

John Hull was 45 at the time of the … Read more...