In My Own Time

20th July 2012 at 01:00
Alex McEwan, Retiring physics teacher, Vale of Leven Academy, and SSTA district secretary

Music

Music has always been with me. My father was in brass bands and semi- professional Dixieland jazz. There was often live music in the house, sometimes a jazz trio jamming away. I guess I disappointed my dad, being more interested in folk, mostly Celtic and the Woody GuthriePete Seeger genre of powerful social(ist) comment. This prompted me to try the banjo and guitar (I'm not much good but I enjoy it). Celtic Connections is eagerly awaited annually in our house, especially Bruce Molsky and the mellifluous guitar of Russ Barenberg. Hielan' Laddie at volume on the pipes lifted me to what felt like six four-minute miles from Pollok House in the Glasgow marathon of 1983. Oh yes, there's that Dylan chap too.

Books

Science fiction with a message such as Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (one of the few books I have read more than twice), Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and the brilliantly satirical Hitchhiker series have all had a deep effect; as for Nineteen Eighty-Four - wow! I seem to know several clones of Zaphod Beeblebrox and Big Brother - you know who you are. I seem to have read every word of history of the RAF since 1918.

TV

I claim not to watch telly, so why do I love the quality drama that's on currently? Christopher Eccleston in Blackout was brilliant. The human condition is beautifully summarised by Father Ted and The Simpsons. No one would let an incompetent like Homer run a reactor: Chernobyl didn't happen, so that's all right then. Bart in detention and "I must not steal teacher's Prozac" is a classic.

Film

The Coen Brothers - end of.

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