I wasn’t great at English at high school. I just didn’t connect with it, and none of my teachers really set my heart on fire with passion for this odd, largely-stolen language of ours.
That was until I went to university in 1989 and had to learn another language: biblical Hebrew. In order to learn that I needed to brush up on my understanding of language, grammar and syntax.
Thanks to Dr Jim Martin, Dr Robin Salters and Mr Peter Coxon for the first time in my life I began to feel excited about language. I studied Hebrew (3 years) and Greek (1 year) and after I’d graduated I had a rather failed attempt at trying to learn Scottish Gaelic and I began to read more about English, its grammar and history.
I rather enjoyed this three minute video by Tom Scott about the English alphabet. I have often wished that we still had a few of these characters in our alphabet, not least because then my name might have been spelled Garð.
I love this inspirational Spanish advert from Ikea, which I spotted on the Creative Bloq website.
It ends with the Spanish phrase ‘Empieza algo nuevo’: start something new.
New song and video from Queen’s Roger Taylor, from his forthcoming album ‘Fun on Earth’.
It’s growing on me.
When I was a boy, growing up in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders (about 40 miles from the sea), I was given a Hang Ten t-shirt from my American cousin Charlotte in California. She grew up in Hawai’i and told me the significance of the name:
Hanging Ten is a surfing maneuver and is considered one of the most impressive and iconic stunts one can perform with a surfboard. Hanging ten is when the surfer positions the surfboard in such a way that the back of it is covered by the wave and the wave rider is free to walk to the front of the board and hang all ten toes over the nose of the board.
Perhaps in an ideal world I would then say that wearing my green and white striped Hang Ten t-shirt, as an eight year old, inspired me to learn to surf and I became one of Scotland’s finest surfers ever.
But it’s not. And I didn’t.
But isn’t that video just incredible, and beautiful and terrifying.
I always loved LEGO® as a kid. I’ve often said that the LEGO Star Wars games pretty much sum up a large portion of my childhood: LEGO, Star Wars and computers.
I love the various LEGO games we have: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, LEGO Star Wars: The Clone Wars, LEGO The Lord of the Rings, and LEGO Batman 2. I love the handful of other LEGO movies we have (mostly Star Wars)… so this looks great.
I can’t wait. Neither can the children. Erm… that’s what I meant, obviously, Reuben and Joshua are so looking forward to this film. And me too. A bit.
This is a marvellous version of Mastodon‘s “Leviathan” on piano. As the video says on YouTube: “One amazing album, one uninterrupted take, one white whale.”
That’s the kind of performance that makes me wish that I’d stuck with piano lessons.
A lovely, genuinely humble interview with Bradley Wiggins following his gold medal win in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Wiggins is the kind of person that I would like my children to be inspired by. I wholeheartedly agree with what he had to say about ‘celebrities’. Most so-called celebrities, in my view, offer very little to celebrate. On the other hand, the British cyclists this summer, whether in the Tour de France or in the Olympic Games have much that we can celebrate.
I have found Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and David Miller, in particular, incredibly inspiring this summer. And at 05:30 every second morning when my alarm goes off to tell me that it’s time to go out on my bike it is these people that I think of and all that they have done, and the training that they do day-in and day-out which encourages me to get out there and cycle. Truly inspiring.