5 Random Things I Love

This last week of February, the month of love, I thought I’d let you into a little part of my world, and share five, random things that I love.

Foreign TV shows on Walter presents

I’m quite obsessed with the programs on channel 4’s, Walter Presents.  Walter is in fact, Walter Luzzolino, an Italian television producer, also known for producing TV shows in the UK.

Walter Presents is a video on demand service as part of Channel 4’s, All 4 online platform, which was launched in 2016. 

It specialises in foreign language programmes, shown with English subtitles. Programs are from France, Belgium, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, (called Nordic Noir), Italy, Spain, Holland, Iceland and Africa.

I particularly love the Nodric Noir. There is something other-worldly about the landscape in which everything takes place. There is an added darkness, that doesn’t just come from the lack of winter light, but the vast spaces of emptiness, and the dark solitary forests. The folk-lore, traditions and way of life seems very different to ours, and the stories fascinate me.

The other day whilst watching a Finnish series, I suddenly realised how some of the language had a Japanese sound to it. The clipped way, in which it is spoken. The sound, not the actual words. 

I looked it up, and incredibly, it seems I’m right. It’s fascinating once you hear it. 



They are not at all ‘pc’ these days, but I love them – thanks to my dad, who also loved them.  

I’m talking old movies made from the 1940’s onwards. I never tire or them, and can watch them over and over again.

However, I’m not a fan of John Wayne.  I can’t stand his voice, or his attitude, he always appears so bombastic and arrogant.

My favourite films are ‘The Big Country ‘- Gregory Peck, ‘High Noon’- Gary cooper, and any films with Randolph Scott, who was also one of my dad’s favourites.

Of modern westerns, I love all of the Clint Eastwood films, and ‘Butch Cassidy and Sundance’. 

One of my all-time favourites, that I think very few people will have heard of is ‘Tell them Willie Boy is Here,’ also, Robert Redford. It is more than a Western. 

Based on a true story of a Pauite Indian, named Willie Boy, (Robert Blake), and his bride Lola Boniface (Katherine Ross), who become the objects of a great manhunt after he kills her father in a ‘marriage by capture’.

The manhunt is led by Sheriff Cooper (Redford), and turns into a media circus when President Taft comes to visit the area, and a mishap is misconstrued by the newspapers. 

It is a subtle story of racial persecution.

I went to see it in 1969, when I was seventeen, and even now I remember one of things that stood out to me at the time; the sheriff stops at a waterhole, bends down to take a drink, and notices how his hand fits into the mould in the sand, left by Willie Boy. At that moment, it’s as though he realises he’s chasing another man, not some ‘animal’ as many of the others in the hunt refer to Willie Boy. At the end of the film, he treats Willie Boy with respect.


Art is one of the other subjects, besides music and English I enjoyed at school.

I have several artists who I love, but I particularly love The Pre-Raphaelites, and in particular, Edward Burne-Jones.  I don’t think of myself particularly as a romantic, but their style is just that. A romanticised version of life.

I love the vibrant colours, and the way that Burne-Jones draws the women in a delicate, beautiful way.

Another piece of art I adore is Michaelangelo’s, ‘Pieta’.  The sculpture shows the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ after his crucifixion, before he was placed in the tomb.

It is a special piece of work, because in the Renaissance, multi-figured sculptures were rare.

It is said that the proportions of each of the figures are not entirely natural in relation to the other. Mary is larger than she would have been in life, but it is thought Michelangelo did this so that the Virgin could hold her son on her lap. The figures are beautiful and idealised, despite their suffering.

I am neither a Catholic nor religious, but standing in front of the sculpture, tears filled my eyes. I have always found it a tragic, realistic representation of a grieving mother. This is possibly conveyed to me, due to the fact that Mary is able to hold her only son in a last loving embrace, which in reality, she probably wouldn’t have been able to do. 


As a poet, I obviously love poetry, but for me it has to be accessible to everyone, it shouldn’t be something that appears elitist. 

There are 5 things I love about writing poetry:

  • you don’t have to stick to the same rules as for writing prose
  • it is an expression of your emotions, beliefs and imagination, which you can express in any way you like
  • you can have fun with words
  • you write in free style with nor rhyming pattern, or structured poetic forms
  • you can even make up words

 Hip Hop

Few of my friends like Hip Hop, or Rap, and I’m sure some people can’t understand how I can like it, having trained as a classical musician.  However, I love the juxtaposition of the words against the beats and sampled music.  

Like all music, including classical music, some of it is dross, but some of it is great. The one that thing that used to annoy me most when working in music education was, when I’d hear a teacher criticising what pupils listened to, saying it wasn’t music. Like all for the arts, it is subjective.

I prefer ‘old school’ to the newer rap artists, but there are still some tracks and word-smiths that catch my ear!

By ‘old school’, I mean people like; A Tribe Called Quest – ‘Can you Kick it’ – whoever would think of including a few bars of Prokofiev’s “Masques” from Romeo & Juliet?  The music just fits perfectly!  

If you listen carefully to Eminen’s lyrics, he is an amazing wordsmith. I also like a French rapper, MC Solar, who, although I don’t understand a word of what he says, I love the samples that he chooses.  UK rapper, Roots Manuva is another favourite, who has the most amazing lyrics, and also using interesting samples, rather than the usual suspects! Some rappers I just love for the ‘dirty’ beats and heavy bass.

Despite what people think, some of these guys are amazing poets – just not in the ‘classical’ sense!

Now you know  a little about my head space!