In My Own Time

Ann Ballinger, General secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association

Tes Editorial


I apologise in advance for what is a very odd selection, dictated by idiosyncrasy. I love to read. I will read almost anything that is well written, apart from mushy books. Recent gifts included the fictional series on the Plantagenet women by Philippa Gregory. Since reading them I've loaded my lovely Kindle with factual books on the Plantagenets and worked my way through them. Current Kindle reading is a factual book on the Borgias; the current real book is Nine Lives: Making the Impossible Possible by Peter Braaksma, which is both inspiring and horrifying.


I love to listen to the radio and have it on most of the time. Among my favourites is Radio Scotland's Get It On, hosted by Bryan Burnett, where listeners choose the music. I love that classical, rock, punk and country can follow one another, and all within 20 minutes. I wouldn't choose to listen to punk or country, so I learn something new while I listen.


TV tends to be either the news, BBC Four documentaries or Newsnight. I have a strong dislike of reality TV and avoid it at all costs, which cuts out most of the current TV schedules. I prefer my escapism to be a good murder story or a drama, and I do have a soft spot for Poirot (only when played by David Suchet), Foyle's War or Lewis. Most evenings my viewing is either Yes Minister or The West Wing, both of which I love.


I'm still a bit of a rock chick and love the Stones, Bon Jovi, Aimee Mann and Springsteen (above). Newer favourites include The Civil Wars, The Low Anthem, Martha Wainwright and Amy Macdonald. My iPod also has a fair selection of Welsh rugby anthems and Bach. I suppose I could claim a fairly wide musical taste.

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