No Complaints #58: Bay, Bundles and Bernadette

A listener wrote into my podcast this week, and said that despite the fact that he didn’t share our enthusiasm for One Direction or Channing Tatum, “I won't let that spoil it for me”. I think those might be words to live (on the internet) by.

Things to read

“I'm sure some people have stories of handwritten notes they've received from admirers and loved ones, but most of the meaningful relationships in my life take place online. Some of the most romantic things others have ever said to me were delivered over FB chat, or in blog posts written for me. Maybe you think this is pathetic, and OK, maybe it is, but You've Got Mail understood that one day, we'd all feel the rush you can only get from receiving an intimate online message. ”

Romance, these days, lives not in a precious bundle of letters tied with a ribbon, but in carefully-preserved pixels. The Ephron sisters got this, and a lot of other things, right about the future in their seminal film You’ve Got Mail. Email to Pocket.


“Yes, the old white guy is the radical, and I’m thrilled that his ideas are getting national attention, support, and legitimacy. He’s talking about the issues of us all. The important stuff. The necessary stuff. I am grateful to him and inspired by him. But there’s no denying that had Bernie been Bernadette you’d have to get tied to a stake to feel the Bern. ”

If Bernie had been Bernadette. Email to Pocket.



“Rockmore was such a pioneering theremist, the name given to performers who played it, that she influenced the design of consecutive iterations of the theremin. In the late 1920s she helped her friend Louis Theremin add extra features to the design, including ‘aerial fingering’ to change notes. ”

Remembering Clara Rockmore, theremin virtuoso and electronic music genius. Email to Pocket.



“He won’t tell me how much it costs to send three ex-Marine divers down to the bottom of the Thames to find — in the great scheme of things — needles in haystacks, 16pt lead letters in mud.

He says it’s not as much as I probably think it is.”

A story of a typeface that ended up in the Thames, and the man trying to resurrect it. Email to Pocket.



“Maybe you’ve had this experience: You throw a bay leaf into a broth, and it doesn’t do anything. Then you throw the rest of the bay leaves you bought into the broth, too, because you only bought them for this, and you’ll be damned if you don’t taste a bay leaf, and they don’t do anything, either. What could be the cause of this? I’ll tell you. Bay leaves are bullshit. ”

What an opening paragraph. Related: I once had to chop down a bay tree in my mum’s garden because every single leaf had curled up and become the home for a grub-type insect. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

This week has been all about ARRVLSa podcast that feels rather topical at the moment. It’s all about migration and the movement of people, mostly told through personal stories. I particularly liked this episode about Russian Refuseniks, this one about how two very different women ended up working in the same place at the same time, and this one about what’s like to lose all your loved ones at once.


Things to watch

Shakespeare lipsync.

Blue Monday”, like you’ve never heard it before.

Iron my shirt!”


Compulsory medieval thingamabob


The guest gif

Everyone fancies the fox, right?

THE END. See you next time*!
*Next time will probably be next Friday. If you want to suggest things I should include in the next one of these, please do reply and send me links.