rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I saw a tweet today which pretty much summed up why I like the Radio 4 show In Our Time:


The format is the same every time: professional enthusiast Melvyn Bragg invites three experts to discuss an interesting topic, and (mostly) gently steers them through a reasonably good coverage of the subject in about 45 minutes.  The entire archive of hundreds of episodes is freely available online, and I've intermittently subscribed to the podcast ever since I got a device capable of playing them. My current podcast app is set to give me the latest 3 episodes I haven't already told it I've heard, so I am mostly keeping up with new ones, and slowly catching up back in time with the ones I missed while not subscribed for a couple of years ...

I listened to two really good episodes as distraction from a migraine earlier this week.  I had only the haziest of ideas about The Gin Craze, (it forms the background for a historical romance series which included the amazing Regency Romance Batman novel, but with which I got fed up because my Opinions on prohibiting drugs are so very much at odds with that of the characters with whom I am meant to sympathise). I was delighted to discover that much of the SCANDAL of the Gin Craze was that WOMEN were making, selling and DRINKING it. Excellent stuff.

I had not previously been at all aware of the writer Harriet Martineau, who was prolific and famous in the 1800s and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about her. I think I would have liked her very much and found her deeply frustrating: she was clearly brilliant, clever, determined, incredibly judgmental and fixed in her views, and successfully supported herself and her household by her writing. The level and style of public criticism she got at times does rather demonstrate the long history of yelling at women with opinions in public to shut up, with gratuitous insult and commentary on their physical attractiveness.  (Oh, and she was partially deaf and got ridiculed for her use of an ear trumpet.)

Something new since I was last listening regularly is additional material and a reading list on the webpage for each episode, so I may follow these up some day (in my copious free time etc).


rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I listen to podcasts a lot while walking (commuting, leafletting, just for exercise), mostly from Radio 4.  Here's some individual radio programmes I found interesting recently, all of which can be listened to online, or downloaded as a podcast subscription (at least within the UK).

Costing the Earth (environment current affairs) on the possible return of tin mining to Cornwall (which had me humming Cousin Jack for about a week).

Thinking Allowed (social sciences): Things We Forgot To Remember (history): the police strikes of 1918-19
rmc28: (happy)
I had a nice long phone conversation with my mum yesterday. Some of it was administrative: she has what sounds like a lovely dress on order for the wedding, I let her know about the impending cats (she is mildy allergic, Mick very much so), and we talked about holiday ideas for the boys and I enthused madly about Scotland after my trip there three years ago. We are both working like mad things, and as a result, we probably aren't going to be able to have any lengthy time together before the wedding. So part of the conversation was her telling me useful and intelligent things that she could think of about marriage and life and relationships. I'd wanted to go away together to talk about it and we'd talked about talking, and as we can't go away, she's thought over what I wanted to know and has answered it. I appreciated that part very much. Some of it is still sinking in and worth thinking over and talking over with Tony in the next few weeks.

My mother is wonderful.

Completely changing the subject, I've noticed a new Punt & Dennis radio 4 comedy show starts tonight in the usual 6:30pm slot: "The Party Line: Topical sitcom by Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, recorded just before transmission. Frustrated backbench MP Duncan Stonebridge believes his career is going nowhere, ever since he fell off the stage on Question Time. Duncan is a man trapped in limbo, struggling to deal on a local level with the edicts handed down from Westminster. Starring: James Fleet, Simon Greenall". So I'll be listening to that before I head to the beer festival :)

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

June 2017

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