In My Own Time

2nd September 2011 at 01:00
Judith McClure, Convener of the Scotland-China Education Network and former headteacher


I was drawn to music at Middlesbrough Grammar School, singing in The Messiah and dressing as a gentleman of Japan in The Mikado. Now my tastes are usually baroque, especially Telemann and Handel. One of my great loves is going to opera, where I am a Wagner fan. Clearly, I have Brunnhilde in my mind as a role model: I would love to lead the Ride of the Valkyries.


l Roger (my husband) and I are surrounded by about 8,000 books and I am particularly drawn to sources for the early Middle Ages. Don't get me talking about The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by the Venerable Bede, as you would quickly regret it. Since my serious school days, I have regarded novels as for play time. I have to say, though, that when I do play, I love Stieg Larsson. But I am more at home with Chiang Yee, the incomparable Silent Traveller, whether he is in Edinburgh, London or the Lake District.


l Our secret delight is an hour with a DVD television series, late in the evening. I will have been writing all day, so we focus with relish on incredibly violent series like The Spiral, The Wire, Wallander and The Killing. My father was a police officer but his experiences seemed rather different. Roger has recorded Doctor Who from the earliest regenerations. We always watch News at Ten on BBC, but I follow news online throughout the day and often at night. In fact, my really serious addiction, 247 and 365 days a year, is to my beloved MacBook Pro.


I am not really a cinema person, though I have enjoyed Gandhi, Master and Commander and The King's Speech.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today