My school run day is Wednesday; I work from home and so I do both school runs with the girls, sometimes with Pip too but often leaving him at home to have one day a week when he’s not spending a large chunk of it in the car. It’s 35 minutes each way, and as there’s only so much breakfast radio you can take I’ve found myself getting back into listening to lots and lots of podcasts again. Years ago I used to listen and knit on the morning commute but then the 4G signal got a bit better along the train line and I spent more time blogging and playing on Instagram instead, and I’ve been rapidly remembering what I’ve been missing.
So here are my (and the girls’) current favourite five:
I’m certain I’ve told you all about the Blogtacular podcast back when it first started and it’s gone from strength to strength. Kat has interviewed some amazing creative people, and as well as having career envy multiple times over, I love that it shows how there are as many approaches to a creative work and life as there are people wanting to do it. If nothing else it’s inspiration to never give up. It’s also my girls’ favourite of my choice of podcasts; so far in the last few weeks of term Kitty has decided that she wants to be a potter/t-shirt designer/maker of pretty things and she wants to come to Blogtacular (maybe when she’s older!). We listen to half on the way to school and half on the way back and by the time we’re home, both girls have usually come up with a crafty masterplan for the afternoon off the back of it.
Sara, of both Me and Orla and Me and Mark Hamill fame started her podcast at the end of January planning to do one episode a month. Well we’re at episode 10 now and I’ll happily admit that of all my current podcasts, this is the one I go to first for a new episode. They are a mixture of interviews with creative people and thoughts about photography and social media from the queen of Instagram. If you have ever suffered from imposter syndrome and self doubt (which is every single one of us), her most recent interview with Sas Petherick is a must listen.
This is a one of those podcasts where I have absolutly no idea how I found it. Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait are both Australian writers and every week they get together through the internet to host a podcast. They talk about what they’re working on, pick out some interesting things that have been going on in the world of writing or that apply to writers and discuss their word of the week. Their interviews are with people that to be honest I’ve not usually heard of, but actually that makes it all the more interesting because I don’t have any preconceptions about what they write about, or how successful they are, and I usually end up trying to track down a fair few on Amazon so at the very least it’s introducing me to some new to me authors. They’re at episode 164 right now which is a wealth of tips and information to dip into. I haven’t listened to no 164 yet, but as it’s headed “write an award winning screen play on your commute”, it really need to be next on the list, and it ties in quite nicely to my next choice.
OK, bear with me for a second. It’s true that I reprised a stoic role as ‘non speaking townsperson’ in every single nativity of my junior school career, and I loved being in the plays I did in senior school, but my drive and ambition is not directed at breaking into acting. So why I am I listening to an acting podcast? Each episode is a replay of Ross Grant’s Monday and Wednesday periscopes and are all part of the Act on This network, and while some of the podcasts focus on things that are very acting-focussed, most are applicable to anyone with a dream and the passion to follow it, and they are all about not giving up, stopping procrastinating and getting going.
Monday’s periscope was about the five excuses you make for giving up, disected and discarded over the course of an hour. It left me feeling a little bit as though someone had taken my shell off, but in a good way.
John likes this one too, but as a storm warning it’s definitely not one for when the kids are in the car too, both for language and the style of delivery. They’re also on YouTube, which is where I came across them; I’ve no idea what I watched to make YouTube recommend it, but I’m glad it did.
And last but by no means least, this is one for the kids, as recommended by all three of my children. Every week the Sparkle Stories podcast reads a story from their vast catalogue of tales for the under 10s (available by subscription to the main site). If you’re British then they are read in an American accent, but it’s a very gentle accent adn the stories themselves are simple without being boring and very peaceful to listen to. We have them in the car after a hard day or if one of the girls is really struggling to get to sleep we’ll dig through the list for a Sparkle Sleepytime to see if that helps.
So there are my five current favourite podcasts; what are yours?