12 épisodes

A travel podcast about falling in love with a new city in strange times. (There's so much more to London than the well-trodden paths.)

London by Lockdown Craig Garrett

    • Culture et société

A travel podcast about falling in love with a new city in strange times. (There's so much more to London than the well-trodden paths.)

    Episode 11: Poly Styrene: (in)disposable punk

    Episode 11: Poly Styrene: (in)disposable punk

    When a 1979 BBC documentary titled "Who is Poly Styrene?" introduces us to the punk singer’s work, we become utterly fascinated.

    With help from Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell, musician Rhoda Dakar and archival audio from Poly herself, this episode explores why her work looks, feels and sounds so relevant today.


    **************************
    I know your antiseptic, your deodorant smells nice
    I’d like to get to know you, you’re deep frozen like the ice
    He’s a germ free adolescent, cleanliness is her obsession
    Cleans her teeth ten times a day
    Scrub away, scrub away, scrub away the S.R. Way
    — X-Ray Spex “Germ Free Adolescents”, 1978


    Marianne Elliott, better known as Poly Styrene, formed the punk band X-Ray Spex as a twenty-year-old in 1977. (Polystyrene is an inexpensive, clear, hard and brittle synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer that can be solid or foamed.) With songs like “Germ-Free Adolescents”, “Plastic Bag” and “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” the music of X-Ray Spex brings together the many worlds of Marianne Elliott and Poly Styrene: the woman and the artist; the mother and the daughter; the punk and the hippie — all united by a willingness to laugh at and expose the limitations of the throwaway culture of the time (and of today).

    Arena’s gritty 1979 documentary flies to us straight out of the past, clear as day and with prophetic lucidity. Directed by Ted Clisby, it is gritty (there’s no better description), but it’s also personal and warm, with its aesthetic beautifully anchored in a storytelling past that also endures. Just like Poly Styrene’s lyrics, and precisely because it is a type of storytelling we don’t use so much anymore, the documentary and the music are out of time, and somewhat comfortingly both feel fresh, even if the sound and the colours are a bit muted after the passing of forty years and the digital changes to design and recording in that time. As an exhibit of deliberate and ‘slow storytelling’, this documentary is a rare portrait of a strong and loud woman singing her way through a world, an industry and an era dominated by white men.

    Poly Styrene’s images, lyrics, art, clothes and music reflect as much on life during the synthetic Seventies as they do on the post-pandemic world ahead.

    Hear and read more of my work at http://www.craiggarrett.online/

    Thanks to:
    Unregistered Master Builder: master-builder.squarespace.com/#intro
    Speaking Volumes: https://speaking-volumes.org.uk
    Lucy Hannah: https://lhannah.com/your-local-arena
    Celeste: https://celeste-bell.com
    Rhoda (Pork Pie and Mash Up): https://totallywiredradio.com/rhoda-dakar

    If Lockdown is Getting You Down:
    How to Access Mental Health Services (NHS site): https://bit.ly/NHSMentalHealthUK
    Mental Health Australia: https://mhaustralia.org/need-help
    Only Human Radio Show: https://soundcloud.com/onlyhuman4zzz
    Pink Therapy: https://pinktherapy.com

    Websites & Articles:
    X-Ray Spex: https://www.x-rayspex.com/
    Stand up and Spit: https://standupandspit.wordpress.com
    Decolonise Fest: https://decolonise.org.uk
    The London Sound Survey: https://www.soundsurvey.org.uk
    City and Memory Global Sound: https://citiesandmemory.com
    Diwali: https://www.diwaliinlondon.com

    Your Local Arena Partners & Collaborators:
    Manchester Literature Festival: https://www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk/
    Ilkley Literature Festival: https://www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk/
    George Padmore Institute: https://www.georgepadmoreinstitute.org/
    198 Contemporary Arts and Learning: https://198.org.uk
    Cuirt International Festival: https://www.cuirt.ie/
    Durham Book Festival: https://durhambookfestival.com/
    Writing on the Wall Festival: https://www.writingonthewall.org.uk/
    Small Wonder Short Story Festival: https://www.charleston.org.uk/small-wonder/
    Bradford Literary Festival: https://www.bradfordlitfest.co.uk/

    Contact us:
    Facebook: @CraigsA

    • 25 min
    Episode 10: What About Work?

    Episode 10: What About Work?

    We look at how London’s workers, including us, are affected by the pandemic.

    I’m a workaholic.

    In 2015 I forgot how to swallow.

    Every time I ate, it felt like a bit of food lodged in my throat. It was intermittent at first; then it would happen a couple if times during a meal; then it was every time I swallowed, and no matter how much water I drank or how many times I cleared my throat, it felt like the food would get stuck. It didn’t matter how much I chewed, either. It felt like everything was squeezing shut. I started cooking soft foods, taking tiny mouthfuls, chewing a lot, and drinking water to push it down. I was scared I’d never eat properly again.

    At the time I was working at the University of Queensland, and had three freelance gigs. I was also writing a grief memoir (about my mother’s death from cancer in 2013) for a Masterclass Program. I was working (paid & unpaid) seven days. I knew this was unsustainable, but I’d juggled creative and paid work before. And Shona and I devised an exit plan, and so many other writers and artists do this. But the words I was putting down in my memoir were heavy. (I didn’t know how heavy.) I was diagnosed with a hole in my heart and hypertension. In the middle of all this, two people I knew passed away, four days apart. I remember the inflection in ------’s voice on the phone when she told me ------- was gone. We’d been housemates for some years. Now, that’s a lifetime ago.

    Surrounded by death, we flew to Melbourne to say goodbye. The sadness and hurt triggered grief, anxiety and guilt about mum. After returning home I continued working myself into the ground. Then it hit me a couple of months later, during a trip to Canberra for the Masterclass. When I ate I thought I was choking. I didn’t know what was happening, so I flew home early. I was exhausted.

    I didn’t eat solid food for weeks. I lost 10kg. My short-term memory dissolved, I couldn’t sleep, my digestion stalled, I was edgy, I thought I was going to die from cancer. I took sick leave from UQ, and only just finished my freelance gigs. As for the memoir, I did submit the 10,000 words by the deadline, but I shouldn’t have. At times I’d finish a paragraph and just start sobbing.

    To get through, I went to counselling. To stay healthy I run 40km a week. To stay sane I work Monday–Friday, 9-5. Sometimes food feels like it’s not going down properly, but I’m usually tired or stressed. My memory came back, my sleep is ok, but I have to be careful with what I eat. And of course, in lockdown, there’s the temptation to work more and the guilt of not working, so I really have to stick to my 9-5 regime.

    Thanks to:
    Unregistered Master Builder: master-builder.squarespace.com/#intro
    Markus J Beuhler: https://soundcloud.com/user-275864738
    Justin Mullins: https://audiodesire.com
    BBC: bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk
    London Soundsurvey (sound & audio maps): https://www.soundsurvey.org.uk/
    Carolyn Pelling - find her brilliant poem: https://www.masksforextraordinarypeople.org/

    Mental Health Resources:
    How to Access Mental Health Services (NHS site): https://bit.ly/NHSMentalHealthUK
    Mental Health Australia: https://mhaustralia.org/need-help
    Only Human Radio Show: https://soundcloud.com/onlyhuman4zzz
    Pink Therapy: https://pinktherapy.com

    Find out more about:
    How UK sex workers set up and ran a hardship fund: https://bit.ly/SWARMHardshipFund
    The Tate workers strike: https://www.tateunited.com/
    London’s bus drivers fight for safer workplaces: https://bit.ly/BusDriverSafety
    London’s cleaners big win against outsourcing: https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/st-marys-hospital

    The ongoing campaign for justice for Belly Mujinga, including calls for a Public Inquest into the circumstances of her death and a Coronial Inquest.
    https://bit.ly/BellyMujingaWomanAndHome
    https://bit.ly/BellyMujingaCampaign

    We have more link

    • 18 min
    Bonus Episode: Canberra By Covid

    Bonus Episode: Canberra By Covid

    What’s it like to be twelve and in lockdown?

    In this short bonus episode our niece Kayla has recorded her reflections on the ways Covid-19 has impacted on her and her friends.

    We love everything about our nieces and nephew: their creativity, their questions, the songs they sing, the art they make... Every time we video call Tom and Sadie, Tom needs proof that if it’s day there, then it’s night here, and visa versa. Sadie has impeccable comedic timing for someone so young (she really does). And Kayla, who’s almost a teenager, loves, among other things, reading, writing and drawing. The artwork for this episode is hers. She’s a winter baby, and I met her a few hours after she was born — wrapped in a blanket and beanie. It’s hard to reconcile today’s independent 12-year-old with the tiny human who could hardly open her eyes back in 2008. I was on my way to live in Timor-Leste with Shona (she’d already left Australia to take up her new job) and didn’t know when I’d be back, so it was important to be there for those first hours, days and weeks of Kayla’s life. I’m not sure if humans do the same thing as some birds, but there’s an imprinting thing that happens where the babies imprint on a ‘suitable moving stimulus’ (ideally a parent bird). On the off chance humans do that as well, I wanted to be there. So, whether she likes it or not, Kayla’s stuck with me. Tom’s a runner and a climber, and Sadie’s into anything and everything her older brother is — she does not like to be left out, and fair call, too. The youngest is always pushing to be included. In saying that, they look after each other. We miss them all. Even in Australia, where we lived, Meanjin (Brisbane), is a long way from Tom and Sadie in Naarm (Melbourne), and from Kayla in Canberra, so we don’t always see them as much as we’d like. Being so far from home at the moment with so few options to return in the near future, it’s the video calls and photos bringing us regular updates on loose teeth, artworks, science experiments, cricket, ‘Bluey’, skiing, books, cubby houses, backgammon, trampoline-ing, lego, grazed knees, star wars, afl, and butterfly wings that keeps us going.

    Thanks
    Unregistered Master Builder: master-builder.squarespace.com/#intro
    Kesta on the Free Music Archive www.freemusicarchive.org
    https://vurbl.com/station/ANUlBBOfmHO/

    • 4 min
    Episode 9: Lost Rivers and Hidden Stories

    Episode 9: Lost Rivers and Hidden Stories

    This episode uncovers lost rivers, a smelly ogre and a magical reawakening.

    Once upon a time there was a river...
    I love rivers. The Birrarung (Yarra) in Naarm (Melbourne); the Murrumbidgee skirting Canberra; how the Maiwar (Brisbane River) psychologically and spiritually dominates the city of Meanjin (Brisbane) like no other river I’ve encountered; the powerful convergence of the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan) and Djarlgarra (Canning) rivers in Mooro, Goomap (Perth); the contradiction that is the Thames (I’ve still not spent any time with it); and the lost River Peck, a tributary that gives its name to Peckham, a neighbourhood to the south west of Telegraph Hill (which sits at the northern tip of what was once the Great North Wood).

    Once upon a time there was a river...
    The story of Australia, the driest inhabited continent, begins and ends with water. The original colony site, Kudgee (Botany Bay), didn’t have fresh water, so another site “with a run of water through a very thick wood” was found at Warrane (Sydney Cove). This was the “Tank Stream” (named after tanks cut into the sides of the bedrock to capture and store water). As the colony’s main water source, it was so fouled by the colonsiers that they soon had to cart water in from a nearby wetland. When that ran dry, they ventured further west on the promise of a “Rio Grande” or “Mississippi”, and on the back of the myth of an illusive inland sea (a tale for another time). Today the Tank Stream is lost under the streets of Cadi, Djubuguli (Sydney). I heard this growing up, but didn’t know England had a rap sheet as long as your leg. After ruining London’s streams, brooks and creeks they travelled to the other side of the globe only to repeat their mistakes.

    Once upon a time there was a river...
    The River Peck is mostly underground now; one of dozens of tributaries whose waters were redirected into the shit-carrying sewers. Here and there, though, before it hits the pipes, The Peck pops up to remind us: the brook in Peckham/Rye Common; a shallow depression running alongside East Dulwich Road; a bubbling spring in a basement, which is then pumped back into the river system; or a stream through the cellar of a pub. Where Shona grew up on the outskirts of Naarm the local oval was originally a small overflow wetland for Brushy Creek, before the creek was diverted and sent underground. Now it runs under the oval, which explains why the grass remains lush, even in the heat of summer, and why, on any given evening, birds flock there to feed. Our rivers are never completely lost.

    Information & contacts

    Thanks
    Unregistered Master Builder: master-builder.squarespace.com/#intro
    Free Music Archive https://www.freemusicarchive.org
    BBC SFX Archive https://www.bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk/

    If Lockdown’s Getting You Down
    How to Access Mental Health Services (NHS site): http://bit.ly/NHSMentalHealthUK
    Mental Health Australia: https://mhaustralia.org/need-help
    Only Human Radio Show: https://soundcloud.com/onlyhuman4zzz
    Pink Therapy: https://pinktherapy.com

    Websites & Articles
    London’s Lost Rivers by Paul Talling: www.londonslostrivers.com
    London is a Forest by Paul Wood: https://thestreettree.com/
    Great North Wood: www.wildlondon.org.uk
    Hollie McNish: https://holliepoetry.com/; Instagram & Twitter: @holliepoetry
    Ben Okri: https://benokri.co.uk/
    Brendan Kennelly: https://poetryarchive.org/poet/brendan-kennelly/
    Forest Schools Association: http://bit.ly/ForestSchoolLink
    BugLife https://www.buglife.org.uk/our-work/b-lines/
    Tales of the Thames (Guardian): http://bit.ly/GuardianMudlarkersArticle
    Peckham/Rye Common: http://bit.ly/SouthwarkCouncilPeckRye
    Pump Shutdown Stops London Cholera Outbreak, 1854 (Wired): https://www.wired.com/2009/09/0908london-cholera-pump/

    Contact
    Facebook: @CraigsAudioWorks
    Twitter & Instagram: @LDNbylockdown

    Available
    linktr.ee/Lon

    • 18 min
    Episode 8: Lockdown to Lockdown — from my home to yours

    Episode 8: Lockdown to Lockdown — from my home to yours

    In this episode author, travel podcaster and poet Maame Blue drops by to chat about London, Naarm (Melbourne), travel and... oh yeah, her debut novel "Bad Love" (Jacaranda Books).

    "I’m not a romantic. I don’t know how to tell those kinds of stories, the ones filled with magic and laughter and a purple hue. Romance has never connected with me in that way. But love — hard, bad, rough love — well, I could speak on that all day." — Maame Blue "Bad Love", 2020

    From the start, nothing about Maame Blue’s first novel "Bad Love" is what it seems. Even Dapo Adeola’s cover design hints at an underlying chaos that’s at odds with the cover’s gentle beauty. "Bad Love" is a detailed search for belonging; a love letter to a London that’s far from perfect; and an exploration of faded and unconscious decisions, half-thoughts and shard-words — all those things never said. It follows Ekuah, a young Ghanian-Londoner in her 20s as she navigates and dissects all of love’s permutations: hard, bad, rough, straight, queer — and everything in between. Lyrical where it needs to be, playful when it wants to be, and truth telling when it has to be, "Bad Love" is a complete rendering. I found myself fretting, cheering, and caring about every character: Dee and Jay, Ekuah’s loves; Amelia, Vio; Ekuah’s parents. There is heartbreak here, it’s not all hugs and puppies, but the power of this novel comes from Maame’s agile writing consistently defying expectation. So the power isn’t immediately obvious. Drawn from personal notes on relationships, experienced and observed, Maame’s quality as a storyteller lies in her caring and tender descriptions of every aspect of so-called everyday life. There’s something extraordinary in all our everydays, isn’t there? In this way "Bad Love" is not about, as the potentially misleading title suggests, a particular type of Love, a specific Relationship, or even one explicit incident of "Bad Love" — as I said at the start, nothing about the novel is what it seems. Without giving away any spoilers, "Bad Love" is a celebration of all the constituent talus and scree (both the good and the bad) that make up love; and it’s about how love’s riffles and glides (again, both good and bad) make their way inside us over the years, and, if we’re open to it, teach us how to love deeply.

    Information & contacts:
    Maame Blue: www.maamebluewrites.com
    Jacaranda Books: https://jacarandsbooksartmusic.co.uk
    Headscarves and Carry-Ons: @Headscarves-and-Carry-ons
    Dapo Adeola (illustrator & designer) @dapsdraws
    Jacaranda Books August 3 Instagram Live Event: #twentyin2020

    A huge thanks to:
    Unregistered Master Builder: master-builder.squarespace.com/#intro
    Markus J Beuhler: https://soundcloud.com/user-275864738

    Mental Health Resources if Lockdown is Getting You Down:
    How to Access Mental Health Services (NHS site): https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/how-to-access-mental-health-services/
    Mental Health Australia: https://mhaustralia.org/need-help
    Only Human Radio Show: https://soundcloud.com/onlyhuman4zzz
    Pink Therapy: https://pinktherapy.com

    Websites & Articles:
    Australia After the Bushfires (Guardian article): https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2020/jul/29/australia-after-the-bushfires-aoe
    The goats of the Great Orme have an important coronavirus message (Wired article): https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coronavirus-climate-crisis
    Book Brunch (an interview with Maame Blue): www.bookbrunch.co.uk

    Contact us:
    Facebook: @CraigsAudioWorks 
    Twitter & Instagram: @LDNbylockdown

    Available:
    linktr.ee/LondonbyLockdown

    • 32 min
    Episode 7: It's My Birthday

    Episode 7: It's My Birthday

    How much Iso birthday fun can two people have?

    I arrived four weeks early: induced, tiny, underfed. My ‘origin story’, according to my parents: when the doctors heard my heartbeat weakening, they induced; once born, they used tissue-sized nappies. Details are thin on the ground, but I’m the eldest, so I imagine my parents were really stressed and probably didn’t have all the information themselves. From what I can gather, the placenta wasn’t working so well (when this happens growth slows to maintain essential organs: brain, heart, kidneys). The placenta transfers nutrients and oxygen from mum to bub. Our friend Sally, a midwife, explained it to me this way: ‘Placenta is like an oxygen tank, and if it stops working it’s very hard to survive.’ If doctors see a placenta malfunctioning it’s often better to deal with the challenges of prematurity (immature organs that might not work perfectly) than a fully defective placenta. Sally again: ‘You’d rather be in a leaky boat than underwater with a faulty tank’. Having said that, being premature, even today, holds risks, but here I am 47 years on. And since I’ve been old enough to wag school I’ve taken my birthday off. I try to enjoy exactly where I am, but that’s not always easy. We lost mum the year I turned 40. My family crammed into a hospital room with crappy blue curtains and catchpenny furniture, and sat around my tiny disappearing mum. What I remember, though, is when she ate half a piece of my birthday cake, the only solid food she’d eaten in weeks, and smiled. She did that for us. I found it difficult to find light in my birthday afterwards, although recently Shona and I created a tradition of going to Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) each year. So maybe losing and then finding that light on that beautiful island helped us to reconfigure 2020’s birthday — not that any of us have a choice. It wasn’t without its problems, but we had a good day. We all know the pandemic sucks, and I’m sure you have similar touch-and-go birth stories, but if you add up our childhood accidents, the stupid chances we take in our teens and 20s, and the random-ness that can strike any time, stopping one day a year to look about, even now — maybe especially now — feels right.

    Huge thanks:
    Unregistered Master Builder: master-builder.squarespace.com/#intro
    Markus J Beuhler: https://soundcloud.com/user-275864738

    Information & contacts:
    The History of Mary Prince: https://bit.ly/MaryPrinceHistory
    The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano: https://bit.ly/OlaudahEquianoHistory
    Olaudah Equiano: https://equiano.uk/
    Narrative of the Enslavement of Ottobah Cugoano: https://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/cugoano/cugoano.html

    Mental Health Resources:
    How to Access Mental Health Services (NHS site): https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/how-to-access-mental-health-services/
    Mental Health Australia: https://mhaustralia.org/need-help
    Only Human Radio Show: https://soundcloud.com/onlyhuman4zzz

    Websites & Articles:
    Isolation Song Contest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJCGbIwuSvI
    After being randomly assigned a country, each comedy act had one week to compose an entry. The contest has so far raised almost £30,000 for The Trussell Trust, Crisis and Refuge.
    Resurrection Myths by Marcus Westbury www.griffithreview.com/articles/ressurectionmyths
    The City of London’s Wild Heart: https://bit.ly/WildHeartGuardianArticle
    How Rebel Botanists are Using Graffiti to Name Forgotten Flora: https://bit.ly/RebelBotanistsGuardianArticle
    Country Diary: preening avocets attract attention: https://bit.ly/CountryDiaryGuardianArticle
    Shona played me this Ben Okri poem on my birthday [video]: https://www.thecoronettheatre.com/whats-on/coronet-inside-out/ben-okri/

    Contact us:
    Facebook: @CraigsAudioWorks 
    Twitter & Instagram: @LDNbylockdown

    • 11 min

Classement des podcasts dans Culture et société