This Week in Podcasts

podcast

Back in June, I decided that I was going to start a semi-regular series about my recent podcast discoveries. Semi-regular became not-at-all-regular, as that one post and this one are the only two in the series so far. But I’m on a new blogging kick, so I thought it was time to resurrect it and try and make it something I write a little more often. So, on with the recommendations.

Bag Man is a seven-part series from MSNBC, presented by Rachel Maddow. It tells the story of Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon’s first vice-president, who found himself under criminal investigation, and as a result, became the first vice-president to resign office. It’s a story that I was tangentially familiar with, as I think many people may be, as it’s inextricably linked with Watergate. But I was not at all familiar with the details, and this is a well-researched and well-presented podcast that is a must-listen for anyone who is interested in American politics.

Mark Kermode’s new (ish) podcast, Kermode on Film, is everything you would expect from someone as intelligent and knowledgeable about film as the nation’s favourite film critic. The best thing about the podcast is that each episode offers something different. Once a month, an episode is dedicated to the show that Kermode does at the BFI Southbank (which I attend as often as I can – I even make a fleeting appearance in episode 2!), featuring guests and general film chat. Other episodes finds him out on location, at famous film spots, including the alley from Peeping Tom, and the streets of Belfast from Good Vibrations. All in all, the perfect podcast for film fans.

I’ve been listening to The Daily from The New York Times, though I find it hard to commit to listening to it each day – the episodes are piling up! I definitely recommend it though; I recently listened to one about what happens when you enable location services through apps on your phone, and how that information is sold. It’s scary stuff!

Finally, I’ve been dipping into Dan Snow’s History Hit. Although my usual method of listening to podcasts is to go right back to the start and listen from the first episode, but with this I have just been cherry-picking episodes that I think will be most interesting to me. I recently listened to an interview with Charles Spencer about his biography of Charles II; and another one about genetics and history with Adam Rutherford.

Links

Bag Man
iTunes | Acast

Kermode on Film
iTunes | Acast

The Daily
iTunes | Acast

Dan Snow’s History Hit
iTunes | Acast

Just Jane 002

A semi-regular series in which I share a fact or three about myself.

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Me, circa 1984

I’m one of six children; chronologically I come fifth, though intellectually, I’m obviously at the top. (Just kidding, any siblings who might be reading this.) We’re three boys and three girls, and that many siblings mean that I’m an aunt many times over (five nieces, five nephews, a great-niece, two step-nephews, a step-niece, and a step-great-niece). I love being part of a big family, and I can’t imagine it any other way.

I once made the statement: “I never wear lipstick.” (It was swiftly followed by “Sometimes I wear lipstick,” which has gone on to become one of those things that my friends repeat with much hilarity due to how overwhelmingly ridiculous it is.) Pretty much since that day, I’ve found that wearing lipstick is a really good way to lift my confidence. This is not news; it’s been the way of the world for many years, but it took me a while to cotton on. Now, you can usually find at least two lipsticks in any bag I own, and I’ve bought the same MUA colour about sixteen times (without using any up first).

I really like my name. I never, ever find it on personalised things like bookmarks or pencil cases, but I’m mostly OK with that. I like that it’s a bit of an old lady name because it means that I rarely meet people of my own age with the same name. I like that it’s one syllable because it can’t be shortened but it can be lengthened. I’ve been known as Janey and Janus in the past, though mostly now I am just Jane.

A love letter to… 2015

EST. 2015

Dear 2015,

Well, what a funny old year it has been. I dropped a line to your predecessor this time last year, and I thought it would be a nice tradition to continue.

You’ve not been a great year for blogging. I’ve always had an up and down relationship with this strange hobby, but this is the first year it has taken a real back seat to real life. This is mainly due to the fact that I just haven’t had the time, but also because for a while, I fell out of love with blogging a bit. We’ll see how things develop, but I finally feel excited again about things at Is That You Darling.

Personally, you were something of a milestone year, as I officially moved out of home. I went to university as a mature student, and when that was over I wasn’t in a position to move out, but finally, at the grand old age of 32, I managed it! I now live with my friend Hannah in a tiny little flat near Colchester, and aside from the fact that it’s almost unbearably cold in the winter, I love it, and I’m happy to have finally ticked off a major box in the adult column.

I’ve had a lot of fun with you, 2015. As with last year, though I might have spent too much money on clothes, I’ve been trying to concentrate on making memories, and I have some special ones to cherish. I saw Ward Thomas (again), and visited a town called Ugley. I went to Scotland for the first time, visiting Edinburgh to see Radio 2 broadcast live (a dream come true). I went on yet another caravan holiday with my best friends, and had the usual amazing time. I went to my first book launch, and was in the same esteemed company as Stanley Tucci for a couple of hours. I went to see The Proclaimers (!), I went back to Hyde Park for Radio 2’s Festival in a Day and saw, amongst other people, Bryan Adams, The Corrs and, yes, of course, Ward Thomas and The Shires once more.

I’ve gained a couple of new members of the family too, in the form of a new niece and nephew. I’ve seen my family much less than I used to when I lived at home, which has taken some getting used to, but I guess it just makes the times I do see them all the more special. It would help if I could drive, as my new home isn’t *that* far away from most of them, but I can’t. Hopefully that will change in the coming year, however!

And, even though this letter is already too long, I can’t finish it without a mention of my continuing interest in the work of Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode. You were the first year in many that saw a live broadcast of Wittertainment, but as I was working, I was spared the disappointment of applying for tickets and inevitably failing to get them! I did, however, see Simon Mayo during my aforementioned Edinburgh trip, and I finally managed to see a Dodge Brothers gig, in Camden, with my Wittertainment friend Chloe. And miraculously, you were a year in which the good doctors released a book, which I was lucky enough to review, and when I headed along to the accompanying tour date in London, Mark and Simon were very kind to know who I was based on my review. When I headed along to the second London date, I ended up on stage, which was amazing and surreal, and resulted in my receiving a t-shirt that says ‘I’ve been seen by the Movie Doctors.’ All in all, quite an amazing turn of events!

All in all, 2015, I’d say you’ve been an up-and-down kind of a year. Some very exciting things have happened alongside some real contemplative moments, and while I know I’m lucky in many ways, I won’t look back on you as the best year of my life. So thanks for the memories, and I hope 2016 is even better!

Love Jane

A Love Letter to… is an ongoing series (that admittedly could do with a few more entries!)

The Week That Was

Spreading the blog love

♥ A slightly older link, but the best news evs for Louisa at Duck in a Dress. Congratulations!

♥ Terri-Jane is telling ‘should’ to do one, and I’m on board.

♥ Elise took a tour of Glasgow Central Station, and it’s left me wanting to do something similar.

♥ Elizabeth from Margot and Barbara is one of my favourite bloggers, and her post about her allotment supper is one of the reasons why.

The rest of the web

♥ I love this mash-up – the music of Inception over the trailer for Inside Out, creating Incept Out.

Five summer looks in films.

♥ $129 for a mystery flight in 1950.

Tweets I’ve liked this week

Three worders

Monday ~Excited for Imelda

Tuesday ~ Lunchtime squats – ouch!

Wednesday ~ Anticipating a downpour

Thursday ~Foraging course booked