The Listening Post
On the days when I am working from home, I’m generally alone and even if my boyfriend is in the building, he’s also working and he tends to ignore me. I know that sounds brutal, but I speak the truth. In fact, we often work in separate rooms, because our work lives are so different. I need my camera, natural light and instagramable things around me. He needs peace and quiet so that he can speak on the phone and bury his head in spreadsheets. Without wanting to sound all ‘Woe is me’, blogging can get a little lonely and at times boring (raising invoices, doing SEO and wading your way through hundreds of emails is not the #bloggerlife Instagram pretends it is). In the past, I used to watch TV whilst I worked, but I often found my eyes drifting away from my computer screen and towards the Netflix Screen. I’m ashamed to admit, I lost most of January to the back catalog of Pretty Little Liars and it was at this point, I knew something had to change. I’ve learnt my lesson, between the hours of 9-5, I keep my blogging time TV-free and keep my audio diet to a healthy mix of podcasts and music. Ladies and gents, this is my current listening edit, get ready to hit the subscribe button!
Image details: VQ Radio (it works as a digital radio and also connects to my phone via bluetooth so I cam play music and podcasts out of it) / Glasses by Dolce & Gabbana at David Clulow / Blanket by Boden / Mug from New Look / Diary from Paperchase.
I recommended Serial last year as part of this post, but I just wanted to recommend it again as if you are new to podcasts, this is a great one to start with and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on it because they didn’t catch my previous post. Podcast veterans will be rolling their eyes at this one as it’s one of the most listened to podcasts ever, but there is a reason for it, it’s brilliant! I spent hours immersed in this twisting tale and I loved every moment, it’s so interesting and wonderfully narrated by Sarah Koenig. It follows the true story of Adnan Syed who was arrested and convicted of the murder of his high school sweetheart and ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in Baltimore in 1999.
From the makers of Serial and This American Life, comes S-Town, it was literally released last week and I binged listened to it one episode after the other, I started in the morning and finished later that night. I pretty much stopped for meals and only because it would have been rude to sit with my boyfriend having dinner with headphones in. It’s the story of a clock maker in the southern states of America, he contacted This American Life to share a story of a murder which was covered up to protect the son of a wealthy local family. But you soon realised, there was no murder, but the story twists and turns and takes the most unexpected course with so many interesting characters along the way. FYI, I have actuated listened to this podcast in it’s entirety twice over now, once alone and once with my boyfriend on a long car journey. Loved it just as much the second time round as I did the first.
Podcast: Reply All
I was recommended Reply All via Twitter a few weeks ago. It’s described as ‘a show about the internet’ which doesn’t really describe how good it is. Each episode zooms in on an online moment and share the stories from the people involved, it’s about man and machine and all the weird and wonderful things which happen thanks to the internet. It’s interesting and also a lot of fun. There are episodes about everything from micro-dosing acid, Jennicam, a prison blogger and the conspiracy theories thought up by the fandom of 1D to hide the forbidden love of ‘Larry’. I hate to admit it, but over the past few weeks, I have been binge listening to all 80 episodes. Yep.
Podcast: Missing Richard Simmons
This is a mini series all about the fitness guru, Richard Simmons. Throughout his life he has inspired millions, built an empire and done it all whilst dressed in sequins! Then, a few years ago, he went missing; no explanation, no warning, he just stopped his contact with everyone and seemingly stayed at home, protected by the huge walls and security gates of his Hollywood mansion. This podcast shares snippets of his life, stories about Richard and asks the questions of where his is and why he seemingly dissapeared. I listened to it week-by-week, but I since the episodes are only 20-30minutes long each, it probably would have been better to listen to it all in one go, which is exactly what you can do as all the episodes are out now.
Podcast: Someone Knows Something: Series 2
I really enjoyed the first series of Someone Knows Something, but I have to admit, it is a slower-paced podcast. There’s lot of descriptions of landscapes and the story could have been told in less than an hour if they had wanted to rush it. However, I really liked S1, enough to listen to S2 when it was released and I have to admit, S2 is better. It’s the story of a man who has seemingly gotten away with the murder of his girlfriend, just 2 days after he proposed to her live on TV. It’s a meatier story than S1 and it’s well worth listening to, if S1 isn’t your thing, then skip it and go straight to series 2. Not to be missed!
Podcast: Hashtag Authentic
Let’s step away from the murders and mysteries for a moment shall we? Hashtag Authentic is the podcast from Sara Tasker of blogger / photographer / Instagram mentor @meandorla. This podcast is perfect for anyone who is a looking to up their instagram game, it gives tips on taking photos, beating the algorithm, avoiding the comparison trap and so much more. Sara is a friend of mine, she’s warm, kind, helpful and informative. This podcast is a must for any brand or blogger who uses the platform, especially with the algorithm crippling our reach! #YouKnowItsTrue
Podcast: The Mystery Show
Stumbling upon The Mystery Show was bitter sweet; every episode is wonderful but only one series was ever made. I did a little research of my own and the show was prematurely axed, so sad, but hopefully one day there might be a season two, but even if there’s not (sad face emoji), I urge you to listen to series 1 regardless. Imagine the girl from Matilda (or Miracle on 34th Street if you prefer) as an adult investigating what can only be described as tiny mysteries which have big meanings. It’s whimsical (without being annoying) and I was truly moved by the belt buckle episode. Oh and Emmy The Great did the closing music, which tells you a lot. I think this is how dads feel about Faulty Towers; short lived but magical.
Podcast: They Walk Among Us
…. and back to murders! You know I couldn’t keep away from a good killer for long! Most of the true crime podcasts I listen to are American based, but They Walk Among Us is British based and features all British cases. The narrator sounds a little Mike Skinner and features stories like the canoe man who faked his own death and the parents who killed their own children by starting a house fire. I feel like I’m not selling this one very well, but it is good, not S-Town good, but good!
Rookie podcast is brought to you by the amazing Tavi Gevinson, need I say any more?! Not really, but I’m gonna anyway. Thus far, there’s only been two episodes, but both are amazing and so insightful for women (and men) of any age. The first episode features a sit down with Lorde and the two talk about writing, creating art, their processes and writing from their own perspectives. PS. I actually published this post 12 hours ago without this podcast included, but after listening to the first two episodes today, I knew I had to edit the post to add Rookie in. It’s THAT GOOD!
Music: Elton John
Ok, enough of the podcasts, now it’s time to chat banging tunes! I know it’s much cooler to claim to be a fan of The Rolling Stones or The Clash, but I’m not about that life. Me, I love Elton. I love his show tunes, attitude, style, as far as I’m concerned, he’s got the full package and I’m a big fan! When I’m taking photos, I often listen to Elton John’s greatest hits because they tend to be colourful, upbeat and keep my energy levels high!
Music: Lana Del Rey
Most of my favourite music is considered ‘old’ now, I still love the bands of my youth; Suede, pulp, hole, etc. I’m completely deluded, but I like to think I still relevant by liking ‘new’ artists too… Lana Del Rey falls into this category. I bloody love her. I also find it hard to believe it’s been 5 years since she released ‘Born To Die’, it’s possible I’m as young, hip and culturally relevant as I thought. However, she is about to release new music and that makes me very happy!
A few years ago, I went on a magical adventure with my buddy, we embarked on the Weezer Cruise. What can I say… it was epic! We spent 4 days on a cruise ship playing bingo, dancing, sunning ourselves and generally enjoying boat life with bands playing every night. I bloody love Weezer, if you don’t know them, listen to Pinkerton, or just the top ten songs on Spotify. Tweet me if you love Weezer too!
My love for Yuck will never fade; the more upbeat songs are perfect for when I’m taking photos and the slower tracks are good for when I’m zoning out and writing posts. I sometimes used to see Yuck walking round East London (in fact, I think they were friends of friends) but I loved them so much I would do the grown-up-fangirl-thing of avoiding eye contact with them, whilst also staring at them like a weirdo. Cool.
Music: George Michael
My mum has always been a huge fan of Georgie Michael. I can vaguely remember her referring to him as ‘Georgie’ and I can deffo remember trying to get her on the guestlist for his concerts (I have a friend who works in music, it’s pretty handy!). I never really thought of myself as being a fan, but actually, when he died, I realised how much I had grown to love him too and how much he had been part of my childhood. I’ve been listening to a lot of his live performances on YouTube lately, he really is amazing.
Lorde is coming back with a new album and I’m very excited about this. I have been listening to her back catalog in excitement. That’s all we need to say about this.
So, there we have it, everything I have been listening to lately; no holes barred, I probably should have thrown in a few new hipster bands for good measure, but you guys would see right through me!