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In My Own Time

Ken Cunningham, General secretary, School Leaders Scotland

Ken Cunningham, General secretary, School Leaders Scotland


The Kindle has added a strange, new dimension to reading, allowing me to finish books in all kinds of places and have at least half-a-dozen on the go. I fear "eclectic" was defined around my tastes! On the Kindle are What the Dog Saw and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell; Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational; The Spirit Level by Richard Wilcox (an absolute must-read); The Master and His Emissary by Iain McGilchrist; and Bounce by Matthew Syed. They're interspersed with Lee Child's new The Affair, the latest John Grisham, Michael Connelly and Jo Nesbo, and Howard Jacobsen's The Finkler Question. I love books - so much that I discovered I'd purchased the paperback and the e-book version of David Nicholls's One Day without realising it! The BlackBerry and iPod, too, allow me to delve into books; I loved Melvyn Bragg's appreciation of the impact of the King James Bible - great programme and lecture.

Film and TV

Age starts to blur these, and I struggle to remember what I saw in the cinema. I had to ask Marion, my wife, the last films we'd seen - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Harry Potter; Toy Story 4. I remember going to see Slumdog Millionaire because of visits to India, and loved it. Like Bruce Robertson the other week, I loved Spooks, have been thankfully reunited with the latest The Mentalist and am sorry to see Downton Abbey depart. All great, relaxing stuff.


The iPod is loaded with thousands of tracks covering sublime to ridiculous; Sixties to Nineties; classical to rock and pop; the spiritual and sacred to Queen! Personal favourites spark memories of time past - The Beach Boys, Elvis and The Beatles; Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings"; "American Pie" by Don McLean; Amici Forever and G4; Acker Bilk's "Stranger on the Shore"; and Celtic Woman's "Amazing Grace".

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