What are the podcasts and audiobooks that have helped you get through a year of lockdowns and silly little walks?
Tony Chow @TonyhkchowPodcast producers: "Feel free to sit closer to the mic" Podcast guests: https://t.co/uBfuRYjahl
I found that watching TV wasn’t really doing it for me, and there was nothing in me that wanted to keep up with what everyone else was watching, Tiger King and all that. I felt out of step with the newsletters and think pieces I was reading, about the shock and grief and fear of the suddenly changed, unpredictable situation we found ourselves in.
I found that I was back home, not my childhood home, but the home of my late teens and early 20s, when I was grieving the loss of both of my parents. My life had changed and changed again and in three years had shrunk from four to three to two people in my family, and the loss of unconditional love and security and any sense of safety in the world isolated me from my 19-and 20-year-old friends. I developed anxiety, understandably so, because the lesson that life is full of awful unpredictable surprises had been shoved down my throat again and again. As the pandemic hit the UK, I knew what to do with this moment. I felt sorry for people who were experiencing all this for the first time, but I couldn’t feel what they were feeling this time around.
I didn’t want to read or watch anymore, I didn’t want to sit in the flat, moving my laptop from surface to surface, my back finding new places to ache every morning. I wanted to be on the move - to be surprise by how much time had passed when I finally came to a stop - and for that I needed something to listen to. I regressed to childhood: I wanted to be told a story, or I wanted to overhear other people’s conversations, the way I would strain to as a child after my bedtime, when I would creep to the top of the stairs and listen out for sounds of the TV and talking as my parents tried to keep the remainder of the evening for themselves.
I had been making my own podcast, but I realised that I was finished with it over lockdown. There’ll be other audio projects, but not this one, anymore.
Rory Maclean @rory_macleanI've just realised I can't visualise anything, as I didn't know other people could?! Also can't recreate sounds or sensations in my mind. A stone cold 5, interested to see what other people are so I can praise my fellow 5's. Which one is it for you when visualising an apple? https://t.co/j9OS8g4Ffr
I wanted words to be said for me, to slip into my ears and create a film with all the clarity and detail of the No. 1 apple (click into the tweet above) in my imagination, the way that the stories I was told at bedtime and in the car and, later, over glasses of wine and dinners out. I didn’t want a screen or a page between me and the story.
In short, I wanted company, didn’t I? And there was nothing like audio for making me feel as though I had. 5,000 steps could fly past in a breeze with a good podcast or audiobook. That’s nothing on the 20,000 that would seem to happen out of nowhere on the occasional walks I had with socially-distanced company, but it was absolutely better than nothing.
I’ll get started on another audio project when I’m ready. There’s nothing wrong with ending a creative project that’s run its course. Thank you, Freelance Pod. You showed me that I could make a podcast on my own, and now I’m done proving that to myself. You also helped me come up with a cute line to use on interview subjects who sit too far from the equipment: “Imagine the microphone is the ear of someone you love.” And now that you’re done, I can finally close the back cover on you, and move on to something new.
I don’t think I’ll be on here much longer. Figuring out other ways to do this.
Any advice gratefully received.
“Thirty years gone and my mother is always with me. Thirty years gone and I still ache for her every day. Thirty years gone and my sorrow has sweetened into gratitude. How lucky I am to have been her daughter. To still be. To feel her shimmering in my bones with every step.”
“What we love exposes the gap between who we would like to be, and who we actually are.”
“This entire industry (most industries tbh, but we’ll save that for another day) is predicated on everyone keeping their mouths shut and taking what we’re given just to have a chance to sit at the table, and having a stronger Workplace Confessional culture overall is, I think, going to help keep our employers more accountable, if for nothing else than the fear of bad PR.”
“The lack of HR structures or a comedy industry union means most don’t know where to turn.”
Kindle Notes & Highlights on Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams
“London Writers’ Salon and Gotham Writers Workshop charge $100 to more than $400 for some of their classes, but they also run free hourlong writing sessions.” As I teach one of those London Writers’ Salon classes, I’m taking this as a mention in the NYT!
The next class has just gone on sale, and it’s on Weds 5th May…
And three minutes of this:
Thank you so much for reading!
I’m a freelance journalist, podcaster and comedian based in London, England.
You can find me over on Twitter and Instagram and YouTube and - yeah, that’s plenty.
If you enjoy my work & fancy buying me a virtual coffee, I’d be delighted (and will hopefully experience a virtual caffeine rush):