- Like many of my colleagues, I spend a significant amount of time with my head buried in educational nomenclature. When I was asked to reflect on my recipe for respite, I was surprised that my penchant is not for escapist fare but rather a liking for the dark and gritty. Musically, my significant other has always been the Italian film composer, Ennio Morricone (pictured). I've travelled to Italy, Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic to see him perform in person. In his eighties, he still manages to provide melodies that resonate strongly with my weakness for the romantic lament. Beyond Morricone, and I suppose in stark contrast, I still find time to listen to the likes of Daft Punk and Justice, although this may be an attempt at fighting against the reality of being a forty- something.
- Although I don't read as much as I would like, a novelist that I greatly admire is Dennis Lehane. His evocative descriptions of Boston and his ability to weave character and thrills have provided me with vivid images of place and time. The Given Day, his story set in Boston at the end of the First World War, is a truly great historical epic.
- Cinematically, I pride myself on not being a celluloid snob. I can easily find myself switching from the films of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Biutiful was one of my recent favourites) to the popcorn delights of yet another sequel - I can't wait for Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, Prometheus, out later this year. I would recommend a French-Canadian film, Incendies, which was nominated for the 2010 best foreign language film at the Oscars. It left an indelible impression on my mind, as to how the past reaches out to us in the present.