Is it still January? What a long month. Even though we’re not quite at the end yet, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been listening to, reading and watching this month.
These are my January highlights.
Podcast: The High Low
The High Low offers intelligent, punchy insight from journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton. It takes on both the trivial and political news from that week – hence ‘The High Low’ – covering everything from feminism to fashion and culture. If you like your podcasts fast and informative, without rambling or repetition, I recommend it. I loved this particular episode for the author interview with Leila Slimani on her shocking bestseller Lullaby – can’t wait to read this.
Marketing story: Ikea’s ad-come-pregnancy test
Peeing on this ad may change your life: Advertising enters a new kind of interactive dimension with Ikea’s magazine ad for cribs doubling up as a pregnancy test. It’s experiential marketing at its finest: all you have to do is wee on its ad, which has chemicals in it similar to those in home pregnancy tests, and if it’s a ‘yes’ it will a special discount code on cribs.
Design story: Leeds United’s new logo
Leeds United’s new logo was revealed to a mixed reaction. The new badge aims to reflect the idea of ‘strength in unity’ but has been criticised for not being distinct enough and looking more like a design for Gaviscon indigestion remedy. It was developed in consultation with 10,000 club staff and fans – which may be where it all went wrong.
Book: Tulip Fever, Deborah Moggach
I’ve only just started re-reading fiction again, and it’s great to return to that feeling of complete escapism. It took me a while to acclimatise to the slightly slow pace of Tulip Fever – but that could be just getting used to books again – but once things get going, it oozes with intrigue, passion and drama. Plus you get a good history of life in Holland in the early 1600s.
Short story: Cat Person, The New Yorker
I heard about Cat Person on the High Low and absolutely loved it. It’s a bad date story that went viral just before Christmas and I can see why – it sums up those awkward encounters that never really get written about because they’re so common, and yet so profound. It’s sparked all sorts of conversations around modern relationships, particularly in light of the #MeToo moment.
TV: Hard Sun, BBC iPlayer
I started watching this to see what ex-supermodel Agyness Deyn is like as an actor, and was completely drawn in. It’s an apocalyptic police drama by the same person as Luther. The premise of Hard Sun is that the world is to end in five years and we’re all going to die. It’s moody, gory and slightly ridiculous at times, but very absorbing. I enjoyed it despite not being keen on actor Jim Sturgess (I’m not sure what it is, but it’s something to do with his voice).
Video story: BBC Winter Olympics trailer, Y&R London
And finally, feast your eyes on this super stylish animation to promote the upcoming games.
Photo by Tracy Thomas