I was asked a few questions last week by a group of leaders from Lancaster Royal Grammar School.
What am I listening to?
– John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness. His first original album since 2005 – am going to see him with my Country sidekick Robin in Phoenix later this month.
– Bob Dylan’s latest bootleg of one of my favourite Dylan albums – More Blood, More Tracks – his 14thpublished bootleg. A genius. (How did ‘Up to Me’ not make the original Blood on the Tracks album?)
What am I reading?
– Roger McGough’s biography ‘Said And Done’ – author of one of Britain’s top hundred favourite poems (Let Me Die A Youngman’s Death) – leader of the Liverpool poets, author of 1967’s The Mersey Sounds (I’ve still got my first edition paperback), member of The Scaffold and the working-class man’s Poet Laureate.
– The greatest Espionage story of the Cold War “The Spy and the Traitor” by Ben Macintyre. A true story about a KGB double agent.
What am I watching?
– The Romanoffs on Amazon Prime. Mad Men’s Producer Matthew Weiner’s seven unconnected stories about people who are descendants of the Russian Royal Family. Am two episodes in – great production values, delicate pacing and low key, intriguing storytelling.
– Series Two of Goliath (also Amazon Prime) with John Prine’s buddy Billy Bob Thornton killing it as washed up LA lawyer Billy McBride.
– The Little Drummer Girl (iTunes) – the BBC mini-series of John Le Carre’s great book. Complex, not easy to follow – but worth it.
Where have I been recently?
– Back to the Middle East (Tunis, Kuwait, Oman, Dubai, Cairo and Beirut) and to one of my Lovemarks, Porto. Off to Surfers Paradise this week with a couple of grandkids (Tilly Plum and Winnie), then LA and Christmas in the desert in Arizona.
What am I studying?
– Hayden Wilson, a young teacher, leader and friend from Melbourne sent me a folder of all Jeff Bezo’s annual letters since his first in 1997. Fascinating. There goes my next Sunday.
Living Life Slow.