With the Covid restrictions allegedly pulling ever tighter (Am I the only one that thinks I can’t do any more than I’m doing which is just using plain, common sense? Back off Boris, you’re abusing my trust now; I shop locally, I haven’t been into central London, I rarely go out – I haven’t been to the cinema, the theatre, a sporting event – only the pub twice and an ice cream parlour. It’s not exactly living the high life, so pease put your threats of fines and the army away and just get track n trace and testing sorted. Pretty please. You’ve had 6 months. If you were an employee you’d have been sacked by now. So instead of hot air can I actually see the basics covered? You keep trying to fly when you can’t even walk. I’d prefer, at this point in time just to see a few, stable, confident steps, preferably ahead of the curve – but I know, with all your data that’s meant to give you such blinding insights, that’s asking a lot – because the thing with data, unless you’re prepared to follow what you don’t want to see, it actually has no use and is just a time suck away from what’s really important; I suspect you’re using it as a crutch – it helped you win Brexit, it helped you win the election – both things with a deadline. This is different. I wish you could see that. What’s needed now is clear and consistent. A bit like how a mother is with a toddler. Except I shouldn’t be feeling that you are the toddler as I watch you pick up things like toys – defence, the justice system, the civil service, the House of Lords, pull bits off them before discarding them again. What I am saying is you are destroying this country from the inside, the most valuable thing a society has is trust – what do you think makes money worth anything? What makes people stop at traffic lights, drive on the right side of the road, pay for goods and services, adhere to rules that are invisible? And yet because it is silent and can’t be seen, you don’t seem to be able to see it’s value. Shame on you. Please grow up. Quickly.) Rant over, deep breath, back to the start: With the Covid restrictions allegedly pulling ever tighter, here are some more of my favourite auditory escapes: This first one should be intravenously injected into number 10 – How to Fail by the gorgeous Elizabeth Day. Elizabeth has created a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right, because learning (shall I underline that word??) from your mistakes is ultimately what makes us stronger. A bit like Desert Island Discs, this is a treasure trove, dive in and discover interviews from people such as Gloria Steinem to Phoebe Waller Bridge to Alain de Bottom to Lean Sissay. Delicious.
The Stubborn Light of Things from Melissa Harrison is a calming, grounding reassuring presence, bringing the awe of nature to life. An antidote to anything toxic in your world. One to listen to at night, with the lights and sound turned low. A guaranteed good nights sleep.
Unlocking Us by Brene Brown is a multi-faceted joy. Brought to prominence by her famous Ted talk, Brene is an expert on shame and vulnerability. She covers the messiness and contradictions of what it is to be human. Listen for pearls of wisdom, listen for that Texas twang, listen to learn what it is to be brilliant and humble. Love her.
Enjoy and I’ll see you on the other side.
Laters, Kate x
Podcasts are probably the weeds of the media world, growing in the gaps where we thought there were no spaces, except these gaps had rich, fertile soil which has now established these new comers as cornerstones to the garden. I know I resisted for a long time, I didn’t need yet another time sap. But there’s an invisible zeitgeist, an energy a new industry brings, a freedom of new voices being heard away from big business, corporate mouthpieces and I am hooked. Now, when there are jobs to be done, in my own time, at my own pace, I’ll be catching up with the latest offerings – in no particular order, these are a few of my favourites: The High Low – a weekly conversation between writers Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, that covers highbrow and lowbrow culture. A friendship, an intellectual exploration, an authenticity, a zeal.
Have You Heard George’s Podcast? – George the poet is a London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage whose innovative creativity sends you down the rabbit hole with fireworks and funk.
How Did We Get Here? – Claudia Winkleman and Professor Tanya Byron identify struggles faced by real-life parents and family members by inviting them in and hearing them in a one-time unscripted session. This is like unpaid for therapy, wrapped in love.
I was going to post more. But I think to do so would dilute the magnificence of the above….so I’ll continue with the rest in a post next week.
Laters, Kate x