In My Own Time
- My middle daughter is just about to start her International Baccalaureate diploma at St Leonards and I am looking forward to wading with her through her preliminary English reading list over the holiday. It's a mix including a number of classics - East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Milton's Paradise Lost, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell - and some new to me: Ways of Seeing by John Berger and The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. I've also enjoyed revisiting Sir Walter Scott and finding out what all the fuss was about. Waverley is a great page turner. I've always enjoyed social history and can recommend David Kynaston's series on post-war UK. I've almost finished the second book, Family Britain. The past really is another country - even the relatively recent past.
- I am a sports junkie, particularly rugby, and enjoyed watching Scotland's stunning victory against Australia last month - a real boost. Also, the coverage of the European football championships has been fantastic and the final showed what a marvellous and sportsmanlike team Spain are. I've got a soft spot for Brian Clough and one of my recent favourite films was The Damned United, looking at his disastrous time as manager of Leeds United in the mid-1970s. Michael Sheen, who played Clough, is a truly remarkable actor who has taken on characters as diverse as Clough, Tony Blair, Kenneth Williams and Hamlet. Really extraordinary.
- Nothing for me can beat Allegri's Miserere and I could quite happily listen to Thomas Tallis all day. It's a worrying sign when you like to listen to the same music as your children, and Mumford and Sons fit that category, though I will always have a soft spot for Free and their classic All Right Now.