Day 8: Podcasts

Back in the early 2000s a new audio format emerged that at first baffled me, then intrigued me and then became part of my life.

Back in the early 2000s a new audio format emerged that at first baffled me, then intrigued me and then became part of my life.

Radio has been an important part of my life since the late 80s when I would listen to music, live sport and even film reviews on Radio 2 (many years later I would be doing just that job).

As technology improved over the decades and allowed users to have a powerful computer in their pocket (MP3 players and then smartphones), audio wasn’t just restricted to radios, CDs and tapes.

When the BBC conducted a trial to put radio shows online as podcasts (like Radio 4’s In Our Time and Five Live’s Mark Kermode’s film reviews) it felt like an audio revolution was brewing.

Today you can listen to all kinds of content: comedians in their garage interviewing the US President (Marc Maron), Private Eye in audio form (Page 94), and outstanding long form radio documentaries (Radio 4’s Germany: Memories of a Nation).

Whilst it is true that a lot of podcasts still rely on repurposed content from ‘old media’, a lot have launched independently and the costs of entry are lower than starting a radio station.

Having cancer is incredibly isolating and when I go out for my daily walks, it is good to have a podcast to keep me company.

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Playlist

  • Real Time with Bill Maher, Episode 379 (HBO Podcasts)
  • Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000), AMC/Freeview on BT

Day 7: The Night Owl

Ever since an early age I have been a night owl.

Ever since an early age I have been a night owl.

Whilst there are many pleasures to be had in the daytime, I simply function better at night.

Maybe it is genetic, maybe I dislike the 9-5 working pattern but for whatever reason the night-time suits me.

When I went out on my daily walk around 8pm it felt like my brain was just getting into gear.

The music coming through my headphones felt more alive, the stars above me were breathtaking and, although it was cold, the oxygen going into my lungs was intoxicating.

It reminded me of many night-time habits I’ve had:

  • Sitting at the top of the stairs late on a Sunday night as a 7-year-old, just to listen to the sound of the opening credits to The South Bank Show.
  • Doing homework in my teens so late into the night, that I heard milk floats whirring outside my bedroom window.
  • Listening to night time radio shows – and later working on them!
  • Staying up to watch late night movies on TV (a habit I retain).

I remember feeling odd or strange for a few years until I came across a book called ‘Acquainted With The Night‘ by Canadian author Christopher Dewdney.

A fascinating read, it explores the ‘dark half of the day’, and the lives of many famous night owls, including Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and James Joyce.

When people are young, they are often afraid of the dark but if you do have night-time tendencies, it might be worth exploring them instead of being alarmed by them.

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Playlist

  • Music: “Gone” by M83 from Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
    (Gooom, 2003)
  • Reading: Knowledge is Beautiful by David McCandless (William Collins, 2014)

 

 

Day 6: Mother’s Day

Today was Mother’s Day and a nice reminder of how important mine has been down the years.

Today was Mother’s Day and a nice reminder of how important mine has been down the years.

  • In 1977 I was born with a hole in my heart. That was obviously pretty stressful for her at the time (but I don’t really remember as I was a few seconds old)
  • In 1982 she took me to the local cinema to see Steven Spielberg’s E.T. and various other films throughout the 1980s (often on my birthday!)
  • In 1985 she got the family a VHS recorder, an amazing device for the time (also handy for me as I was the only one who could set the timer!)
  • In 1986 she rented out Commando on video and let me and a friend watch it! (take that BBFC!)
  • In 1988 she bought me a VHS copy of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)
  • In the 1980s and 1990s she did so much to help and support me navigate life, that there are too many stories to mention in a single blog post.
  • But this one from early 1995, when I worked at a local hardware store (Saturday job during my A-levels), is illustrative. A co-worker once said to me: “Oh! Is your mum that lovely Irish nurse I sometimes see in the village?”. “Yes, it was” I replied. So if you are ever in my neck of the woods, be prepared to meet a feisty but kindly Irish nurse who enjoys laughing and a nice cup of tea.

Remember, these posts are all about raising funds and awareness for Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Campaign this year.

To find out more just visit: www.mariecurie.org.uk/get-involved/daffodil-appeal

You can donate to my campaign at: justgiving.com/ambrose-heron


Playlist/Checklist

  • House of Cards, Chapters 47-52 (Netflix)
  • Oscar Poker, Episode 125: Oscars Post-mortem (Apple Podcasts)
  • Exercise: Walk, 2.25 miles

Day 5: Recap

Given the events of yesterday, I had to rest up a little and thought it was a good time to have a recap about things.

Given the events of yesterday, I had to rest up a little and thought it was a good time to have a recap about things.

Ready? Here we go:

  • These series of 39 posts are about my experiences as a cancer patient this month.
  • Part of the reason I’m blogging about all this, is to give some insight into the world of cancer and the day-to-day experience of living with it.
  • I’m doing them in aid of Marie Curie UK, a cancer charity that really makes a difference in patient’s lives.
  • It is part of their Great Daffodil Appeal this month, where all kinds of people raise money to help people suffering with a dreadful illness.
  • The money raised during this month will pay for Marie Curie nurses, who provide invaluable support to cancer patients and their families.
  • Although I suffer from brain cancer and usually raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity  (I’ll be back doing things for them soon), it is important to branch out and help others.

You can donate via my Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/Ambrose-Heron

Or click the following badge:

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Things Done:

Day 4: Endoscopy

The fourth day of my Marie Curie campaign saw me in my local hospital, but it wasn’t anything to do with a brain tumour.

The fourth day of my Marie Curie campaign saw me in my local hospital, but it wasn’t anything to do with a brain tumour.

I won’t go into any great detail but I went to the Endoscopy unit and had a procedure known as a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. Let’s just say it was challenging.

Shall we move on?

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Picks: