In My Own Time

3rd June 2011 at 01:00
Bryan Johnstone, Principal teacher of art, St Kentigern's Academy, West Lothian


Music is a big passion - I'm a bit of an anorak, really, and looking for a good pub quiz team! Recent delights have included the Fleet Foxes' latest album Helplessness Blues - they have managed the impossible and equalled their debut. I'm a sucker for harmonies, which they have in abundance, and this album has a little Paul Simon and Astral Weeks-era Van Morrison thrown in. There's also Panda Bear's Tomboy, which takes great Beach Boys- style vocals and applies them to layers of electronic wonder. I used to obsess over what was regarded as "classic", but over recent times have discovered that if you dig deep there is a lot of great stuff around. "I was so much older then ." as Zimmerman once said.


Having a three- and a five-year-old dictates that trips to the cinema are focused on Pixar's or Disney's latest. As an art teacher this is great, but I do like a good movie - only now it tends to be in the comfort of my own home. The Coen brothers' A Serious Man was really great. On a colleague's advice I watched I Love You Phillip Morris - great fun, with Jim Carrey really going for it in a brilliant recreation of an unbelievable but true story.


When not learning about the world of minibeasts or getting to grips with the linguistics of Dr Seuss, I pick my way through a novel or biography. Keith Richards' Life was a great tale of a very colourful career. If myths are to be believed, he recollects events very well considering his lifestyle choices! Cormac McCarthy's The Road was my first experience of this author, and it is one of those reads where I really looked forward to bedding down before nodding off.

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