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In My Own Time - Brian Cooklin

Headteacher at Stonelaw High School in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire

Headteacher at Stonelaw High School in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire

Books

When I am not devouring the latest Building the CurriculumNational 4 or 5Ucas consultation document for tea, I enjoy a catholic taste in literature. Since my only real claim to fame was an appearance on Mastermind, unsurprisingly I still enjoy my specialist topic - the novels of Thomas Hardy. His poetry, along with many others - Burns, MacCaig, Morgan and Browning - are a constant pleasure, though Shakespeare's plays and sonnets remain my favourite app. I enjoy books with a historical theme, like Simon Scarrow's trilogy on Wellington and Napoleon, but for sheer escapist fun you can't beat a Sean Dillon thriller by Jack Higgins.

Film

Any film by Brian De Palma, like The Untouchables or Blow Out, instantly grabs my attention, as does Alan Parker's Midnight Express, but I am also a sucker for James Bond, Star Wars and Indiana Jones films (great combination for a new film idea!). For an uplifting experience, it is hard to beat The Concert, with its breathtaking rendition of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35. And who can resist a Disney or Pixar film?

TVRadio

Radio 4 or Radio Scotland beckon for the morning commute, with Classic FM or Smooth for the return journey, to calm the savage breast after the stress of the working day. If I can wrest the remote control from the Law and Order aficionado who is my wife, I will watch drama or music on Sky Arts or The Mentalist (seems appropriate).

Music

Any Russian composer, through to hymns and psalms, as well as Chopin, Strauss, Duffy and Santana, with a sprinkling of jazz. As an early Rolling Stones fan, they predominate, my favourite song being "Out of Time" from 1966.

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