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In My Own Time

John Stodter, General secretary of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland

John Stodter, General secretary of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland

Music

l Although I love playing rock and blues, I'm drawn to female vocalists for reflective listening. Joni Mitchell's Case of You, in its stripped- down version, is a lesson in simplicity. If you love the female voice, try KD Lang's version with a piano accompaniment - and a glass of red. Though I'm not a folk fan, Kate Rusby singing Who Knows Where the Time Goes has an ethereal quality, and I hope someone's clever enough to play Kate Bush's This Woman's Work at my funeral.

Books

l Done Larsson; finished Nesbo; getting through Indridason (more my style): if I read another book with a split timeline, I'll scream! I like Sebastian Faulks and Ian McEwan, but keep going back to William Boyd's great yarns. Just re-read The New Confessions, which stands the test of time. If you've never read Michel Faber, who has strong Scottish connections (you'll never forget Under the Skin), or John Burnside (The Dumb House) - live a little and review the experience.

Film

l Apocalypse Now: an epic about the Vietnam War, perfectly contextualised in the changing values of the 1960s. Great soundtrack, too. When I was 17 and working alone in Zurich (my homesick mate went home after two weeks), I saw Cabaret, which is etched in my brain, probably reflecting my own feelings about being in a strange country.

TV

l The only programme I try to catch is Coronation Street (pictured) - positively Shakespearian in its characterisation and plotting. Seriously, I know about these things - I used to teach English! I like Doctor Who - compulsory for observers of modern culture - and Mad Men, but I'm not a great TV watcher.

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