Sir Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway
The many people who’ve commented that Project 60/60 is just a glorified canon of New Year resolutions are absolutely spot-on. (Where does the term spot-on come from?) Except that it is ‘glorified’, it starts in two days’ time rather than on January 1 and is intended to be a more life-affirming experience than giving up chocolate or ironing shirts more conscientiously.
Having said that, I do want to try and give up taking sugar in tea and coffee - and to train myself not to loathe any product with Diet or Good For You printed on its packaging quite so much.
I guess the only real difference is that the items on the 60/60 list are ‘grander’ and, with any luck, should make a difference to the way I see and understand Life, the Universe and Everything, as it were.
Anyway, I’m sooooo glad that so many truckshunters and regular nightshifters seem to be ‘in tune’ with Project 60/60; to know why I want to do it and why the items on the list were put there in the first place. Maureen’s certainly plugged into it with...
CATHEDRALS AND THEIR CITIES
A truly magnificent aim, Maureen - to visit every cathedral city in England and Scotland; why not Wales, though? St David’s is a real gem; it takes some getting to but it’s worth it when you finally arrive; a glorious cathedral in what is no more than a tiny village.
For what they’re worth, here are some of my thoughts recalled from my cathedral-bashing days. I’d be very interested to know how they compare to your impressions as you make your way round the country....
Southwell Minster is the cathedral of Nottinghamshire and Southwell is England’s smallest cathedral city. Again, it’s a bit off the beaten track but a real surprise when you get there. Worth every mile.
Another far-flung and (in my opinion) far too neglected masterpiece is Wells in Somerset - cathedral and city. It’s almost breathtakingly sedate, has one of the oldest residential streets of houses in Europe and a priceless ‘chain library’ - a rare mediaeval relic.
I found many celebrated cathedrals a little disappointing. Gloucester, Worcester and Norwich fall into this category, though it’s never easy to say exactly why this should be so. Maybe we’re just too used to the splendour of Durham! None of them seem to ‘dominate’ their cities in a way we would recognise!
Others, though, are genuine surprises. Nothing on earth can prepare you for the ‘shock and awe’ of Ely cathedral, for the ‘oddness’ of Exeter, for the inspired grace of Salisbury, the ‘cosiness’ of Chester, the brashness of Liverpool or the sheer inappropriateness of Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle cathedrals.
Enjoy them all. They are a very powerful legacy of our spiritual history and all of them, each in its own way, are works of art you can walk around in. As you go, tell us what you think of them, too.
Meanwhile, here are some of the next few items from the Project 60/60 list.
Begin to build up a DVD collection of ‘Ealing comedies...’
I’m a sucker for them - ALL of them. St Trinian's, Laughter in Paradise, Passport to Pimlico, The Ladykillers, The Titfield Thunderbolt, Lavender Hill Mob, Carlton-Browne of the FO....
Music: transfer LPs to CD
When you get to my age you’re almost bound to possess whole shelves full of LPs which you never listen to any more. I know it’s possible to transfer them to CD format; I’m just not sure about the best way to do it. But do it I must. Any advice or experience?
Join 'Silver Screen'
This is the discount movie club on offer to over-60s at our local civic cinema, the Tyneside. I’ll be there when the doors open on December 4 with my birth certificate in my hand....
Go swimming at least once a fortnight....
Simple, really. Thus...
1) I've always loved swimming - ever since my Nana taught me to swim at Seaton Carew baths.
2) I got out of the habit of swimming many, many years ago.
3) I need a lot more exercise.
4) Newcastle has quite a few good swimming pools.
Post comments on this blog or contact me in any one (or more) of these ways....
text 07786 200954 (while the programme is on-air)
call (between about 0545 and 0630 Monday to Friday) 0191 232 6565
Ian Robinson, The Nightshift, BBC Radio Newcastle, Spital Tongues, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE99 1RN
Please bear in mind that the views expressed in this blog are my own and NOT the views of the BBC.