Lockdown Lowdown

Hello. I hope you’re staying well and safe.

I hope things where you are are starting to ease, and that when they do, people don’t go mad licking other people and touching their own eyeballs and getting us all kicked back inside again. I want to get out soon, so I’m not licking anything for now. Seems best.

But it’s boring not licking anything. It’s boring and it’s scary, not knowing when or how work will start again. And there are only so many times you can head into the bathroom for a cry without your husband saying “Hey, I need to go.” So we watch old sitcoms and inspirational sports documentaries, going to bed swearing that tomorrow, we’ll be a bit more Michael Jordan. Training at dawn! Working til we can’t work any more and then working a bit more to be sure we’ve got it! Having clear goals and achieving, no, surpassing them! Then the day dawns and we feel a bit tiny and overwhelmed so we roll over and have a few more dreams about weird things, like catching a bus.

If you’ve run out of old sitcoms or documentaries and the bus dreams are freaking you out, here are a few things I’ve made or been involved in that I hope might offer a bit of distraction or at least the feeling that you’re not in this alone. We all miss licking stuff. We’re born stuff-lickers.

I’ve been writing short stories during lockdown and reading them on Instagram TV. Little bursts of joy or madness for craic and distraction. Craicstraction. In hope of giving people a break for ten minutes. They’re all here.

My podcast, Taranoia, is no longer being made. But all the episodes are still available here. Silly solo observations or chats with brilliant people who aren’t plugging things, just great craic and great at what they do. There’s one with an ASMR poem about Marty Whelan, so something for everyone there. Many of the eps are just 30 minutes, perfect for fitting in to a bathroom-cry. (I have no idea why the font is smaller in this block. Maybe WP knows the podcast is done.)

One of the last gigs I did before lockdown and gigs went the same way as licking stuff, was Eve Darcy’s lovely Humans Discuss Being live podcast recorded at Smock Alley Theatre as part of Scene & Heard. We dug down deep into grief and how 2020 was going to be My Year! Yeah! Listen back to our hope and innocence here.

I’m a massive, massive fan of Julie Jay’s comedy so I nervously said ‘yes’ when she asked me to join her for her Crimeland podcast, discussing the tragic death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Clearly, there aren’t a ton of laughs in this one, and I’m cagey AF in it, but I hope it shows that Sophie hasn’t been forgotten. You can listen back here.

If you’re not already listening to the Echo Chamber Podcast, you really should. Vital voices and nuanced discussions that just don’t seem to happen the same way on De Radio. I was honoured to join them live on Zoom for their 300th episode. It’s was great fun and you can listen back here. If current affairs aren’t your jam, their Tortoise Shack network has a ton of great pods on all kinds of topics. Loads to listen back to. Lucky you!

Which reminds me: please support your favourite podcast on Patreon, or however they do it, if you can spare a few quid. Especially now, when other gigs are gone. And if you can’t support financially, why not give them a review, rate or share with a friend. It’s not a small thing – your spreading the word makes all the difference. Independent podcasts can’t survive without you.

Anyway, stay safe, have fun, don’t lick anything I wouldn’t lick, which is everything. For now…

Instagram @taraflynnirl