No Complaints #109: Carrie, Caffeine and Clerks

Oh, what a night. I very nearly skipped a newsletter this week, as I'm still very tired and confused after staying up for about 30 hours straight to work on the UK election results. But I have been reading and listening and watching other things to distract me from it all, so perhaps some of these will do the same for you.

Things to read

“At Fountain Court Chambers in central London, the senior clerk is called Alex Taylor. A trim, bald 54-year-old who favors Italian suiting, Taylor isn’t actually named Alex. Traditionally in English law, should a newly hired clerk have the same Christian name as an existing member of the staff, he’s given a new one, allegedly to avoid confusion on the telephone. During his career, Taylor has been through no fewer than three names. His birth certificate reads 'Mark'. When he first got to Fountain Court in 1979, the presence of another Mark saw him renamed John. Taylor remained a John through moves to two other chambers. Upon returning to Fountain Court, in 2008, he became Alex. At home his wife still calls him Mark.”

It's not all about wigs, you know, although it is a bit about wigs. Great piece on the strange world of the barristers' clerk. Email to Pocket.


“So why is the show so often portrayed as a set of empty, static cartoons, an embarrassment to womankind? It’s a classic misunderstanding, I think, stemming from an unexamined hierarchy: the assumption that anything stylised (or formulaic, or pleasurable, or funny, or feminine, or explicit about sex rather than about violence, or made collaboratively) must be inferior.”

Emily Nussbaum is outstanding on Sex and the City. Email to Pocket.


“The delicate word there is informed. Many people seem engaged in a daily arms race between wakefulness and unconsciousness, using various products to mask and manage poor sleep habits, and ultimately just needing more products. Spray-on caffeine followed by spray-on melatonin. Or alcohol, which only further messes with our physiological rhythms.”

Seemed appropriate: an Atlantic longread entitled "how to sleep". Email to Pocket.


“ As far as I could tell, all wedding dresses pretty much looked the same, and brides looked happy because they were in love. I had never seen a wedding dress that I remembered for more than 10 minutes after I left the reception. But maybe I was missing something. Maybe now that this was happening to me, some grand and electric secret would be revealed.”

What is it about the big fancy white wedding dress? I'm still not sure I know after reading this. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

I've been really enjoying the On She Goes podcast, hosted by Aminatou Sow of Call Your Girlfriend fame, which is all about women, race and travel.

Things to watch

A great 12-minute gangster film.

Shopping list goals.

Things to attend

This is where I put details of upcoming IRL things I’m doing:

9 July, London – The next SRSLY pop culture quiz is all about Game of Thrones, and is already sold out. HOWEVER, there is a waiting list you can join here and if there's enough demand we'll add another date.

5 August, London – Anna and I are doing our first ever live SRSLY episode at the ShoutOut Festival - an event dedicated to the celebration and discovery of diverse podcasts. Buy a ticket for the whole day, and see us as well as lots of other great shows like Another Round and Mostly Lit.

17 September, London – We're also part of the line-up for the 2017 London Podcast Festival at King's Place. Tickets for our show are already on sale.


Compulsory medieval thingamabob

The British electorate right now.


The guest gif

See ya.


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THE END. See you next time!