In My Own Time

20th May 2011 at 01:00
David Cameron, Educational consultant who has reviewed devolved school management in Scotland


I may be the wrong person for this; some favourites endure, but there's always change. My top album will always be Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, a unique collision of jazz, blues and goodness knows what else. It's as fresh as when I heard it through a haze of whatever that haze was in 1968. I can't imagine life without The Saw Doctors, Prince, Groove Armada, Miles Davis or an endless succession of sounds that make everything better two bars in.


How to choose between The Godfather Part II and Love and Death? The latter will always bring back a night somewhere in California crippled with laughter and suffused with absolute joy. The former has the elegance and majesty of a true epic and a story that goes far beyond narrative to offer metaphors, insights and some of the great killer lines - sometimes literally.


TV seems more transient, a mixture of the genuinely great and guilty pleasures. I lapse into Guardian stereotype and adore The Wire, but I watch Glee and True Blood, The Inbetweeners and Misfits. And where do I put classic Plays for Today or Father Ted?


There's that scene in The Way We Were with Robert Redford punting in the sun, deciding on "best evers". I envy his certainties. I want to read the parts in Jeanette Winterson's The Passion where she described love so intently I wanted to cry, but there must be room for Under the Volcano, A Scots Quair and Catch 22. I owe so much to so many artists who made me see the world differently. I don't want to rank them; I want to read, hear and see them all again.

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