No Complaints #84: Meds, Matches and Mariah

A very warm welcome to the new subscribers who have signed up in the last week! Hasn’t it been a strange one? Before we get to the good stuff below, just a reminder that you can browse back issues of the newsletter here, and if you feel like contributing towards the time it takes me or the hosting costs of the archive, you can do that here

Things to read

“Breakfast needs to be eaten everyday. A walk in the afternoon is a good idea. Green tea can help. Everyone needs water. Taking medicine has to happen as prescribed. Whatever. These things seem simple but are often monumentally hard tasks when a particularly bad spell of depression comes around. A depressed person needs help doing the little things because to us they don’t seem to matter anymore.”

Some timely tips on how to support friends experiencing depression. Email to Pocket.


“It’s important to note what the data does and does not show. It wouldn’t be fair to extrapolate from this that women and girls are more likely to be dead or missing across all books written by men; only that they’re more likely to be dead or missing in books by men with ‘girl’ in the title. ”

What happens to the girls who are on trains/gone/that fell from the sky? A fascinating piece of analysis. Email to Pocket.


“It’s always been a pattern for me that I love shows wherein small societies seem to operate upon a certain set of rules that govern their own unique universe. This is similarly the way it is in Downton, Twin Peaks, even Lost. Initially, the viewer might not necessarily understand what the laws and rules of this universe mean, but the more you watch it, the more the show teaches you itself how to watch it”

Warming up for the new episodes of Gilmore GirlsEmail to Pocket.


“It’s ridiculous. Obstetricians don’t pause, mid-breech, to check their Twitter notifications; bricklayers can’t demolish their wall-in-progress and start again. For 20 years I had a real job I was good at: fixing other people’s novels. Now, however, that I work alone, making up stories, I am locked in a battle between self-doubt and self-discipline, and the former usually wins. I have the concentration of... oh, I like your shoes.”

A witty example of the “day in the life of a writer” piece. Email to Pocket.


“I rapped for the first time on the yard for Charlie and Jamaica. It's crazy that I've performed in front of millions of people since I was 8 years old, but for some reason I was nervous as hell. Rapping has always been second nature to me, but my creativity has definitely been put to a test since being in this bitch. I absolutely refuse to rap about being in jail. It's not who I am AND it's not who I'm going to be! I hope they liked it. I think they did.”

Lil Wayne’s prison diary is excellent. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

This week’s podcast column was about the US election (and has already prompted an angry article in the National Review about guns), so I will divide my recommendations into two handy categories.

I want to know everything about the election. What do I listen to?

1. The FiveThirtyEight Elections Podcast. They’re now doing daily episodes, and they are quite calming if you’ve seen a scary poll on Twitter and need to know how bad it really is.

2. Call Your Girlfriend. Two sensible women take apart the worst excesses of the Trump clan.

3. Election Profit MakersThe most recent episode, where one of the hosts loses it and starts yelling at all listeners who haven’t started phone banking for Hillary yet, is superb.

I never want to hear the words “election” or “Trump” again. What do I listen to?

1. NocturneA beautiful, gentle storytelling podcast that investigates the things people get up to at night.

2. Not by AccidentA documentary podcast telling the story from conception to birth and beyond of a woman’s decision to become a single parent.

3. This Spotify playlist, which is mostly Renaissance lute music. 


Things to watch

Mariah Carey loves Postman Pat.

Like dominoes, but on fire.

The pioneer of the high five.

Things to attend

If you’re interested/can get to London, come along to these events I’m doing this month.

22 November – The SRSLY Gilmore Girls Quiz! Very excited about this, as it’s our first podcast live event. To celebrate the release of the new Gilmore Girls episodes on 25 November, we’re running a pop culture pub quiz. It’s already sold out, but there is a waiting list for tickets if you want to come.

30 November – Women in Journalism seminar: “How to start – and grow – a successful podcast. Other speakers: Helen Zaltzman, Fiona Symons, Helen Lewis.

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

“Um, the Bible thing was about camels and needles, not dogs and ring...”

The guest gif


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THE END. See you next time!