My essentials: Raymond Forder-Stent’s cultural picks

No 39 | Raymond Forder-Stent, Artist

1. Book

My favourite author is Patrick Gale for his ability to get under the skin of each character he creates with subtle details and sharp observations of human behaviour. My favourite, if I had to chose one is Gentleman’s Relish, a series of short stories, fast paced, witty and often bordering on the surreal. Always a good read which I have visited many a time.

2. Film 

Rarely watch movies, but I have watched the series and the movie of Downton Abbey in the past. The combination of the stately home, the period drama and costumes surrounded with beautiful sets, interesting characters and their interaction with one another encapsulate a bygone era full of nostalgia and delightful escapism.

3. Internet/TV

Often return to watch wildlife programmes or anything by the BBC and David Attenborough. Planet Earth, Life on Earth, Blue Planet to name a few. Museum TV is one of my favourites to watch as it covers art and artist, museums, history of art and culture.

4. Music

George Michael has been a constant favourite over the years like visiting an old friend. The older album shows a more mature artist with jazz influences and personal heartfelt lyrics which is penned on tracks like Jesus To A child and You Have Been Loved. Anyone can relate and identify on a personal level, with the storytelling on each track.

5. Place

Bordeaux is one of the favourite places I visited and would be happy to return to. It is set close to the Garrone River, with magnificent 18th century architecture, a region famed for the wine, French cuisine and small cafés set in delightful squares, reminiscent of Paris. There is an air of comfortable living within the city and equally a relaxed atmosphere in the open gardens by the river with lots of young people, families and friends gather to socialise, share food and a glass of wine.