New year, new decade

Well, we’re here already and it’s hard to believe.

New year, new decade.

A quick look back to 2019 and quickly looking ahead to 2020.

Listen to today’s podcast above. Don’t forget to subscribe (Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RSS for wherever you get your podcasts).

Happy New Year, С новым годом, Frohes neues Jahr, Feliz año nuevo!

I’ll share some of my podcast picks for January tomorrow.

A different kind of Christmas message

Every Christmas, here in the UK, after stuffing your face with chicken/turkey/beef, brussel sprouts, veg, Yorkshire puddings to the point you want to explode. At 3pm, Her Majesty the Queen gives an annual Christmas message.

A tradition that dates back to the radio Christmas message given by King George in the 1930s to the UK and the then British Empire via the BBC Empire Service.

It’s a staple Christmas appointment in my family. Granted it’s not for everyone and not everyone is a fan of the British monarchy but it wouldn’t really be a British Christmas without it.

That in mind, I thought about doing something like that for this blog and podcast. Where the actual Christmas message is a fully produced short story. My one would be the bulletpoint pamphlet of how to be more positive.

In fact I did something like this for my SunnyG show on Monday [returning on 6th of January between 1800 and 2000 on, ok shameless and unsubtle plug done], so let’s do that now.

Let’s take a couple of minutes to spare a thought or two for those less fortunate.

Spare a thought for those who don’t have a home.

Spare a thought for those who don’t have loved ones or no longer have loved ones.

Spare a thought for the emergency services keeping us safe and well this Christmas.

Spare a thought for those who are elderly and vulnerable.

Spare a thought for those volunteering their time to look out for those most vulnerable.

Spare a thought for those having to work during Christmas.

Feeling like Christmas is not as good? Think of three things you have that you like and are grateful for. You got it good if you have 3 or more.

Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, С Рождеством!

Offline Sundays

One Sunday in August I decided to spend the day offline. No smartphone, no tablet, no laptop. Only a Nokia feature phone for company.

It was a hot, sunny Sunday in Glasgow with clear skies. Probably the only time you’ll hear “hot”, “sunny”, “clear skies” and “Glasgow” in the same sentence until next year.

I went to Glasgow Green, surrounding by trees, sat in the shade under a tree with the sound of happy people chattering along with the River Clyde’s rippling waves nearby.

Being offline here was liberating, like shutting the heavy soundproof door on the busy, noisy, fast connected world I’m used to.

Here it didn’t matter about what was on my task list or where I had to be next. Here I can enjoy the moment – something admittedly I try to do more regularly – and enjoy the rare summer weather.

An hour and a half later it was back to the flat to sit in my silent bedroom. Magic.

I enjoyed being offline so much that I decided to make this a fortnightly feat.

In an era of being permanently connected we should be aware of its consequences. We try to drink alcohol or eat chocolate in moderation (with varying degrees of success).

Maybe it’s time to view being connected in the same way.

Podcast Picks (December 2019)

Time for a new monthly feature on my blog – podcast picks.

Each month I will pick three podcasts I am listening to which I recommend you to listen, as a podcaster and listener.

Below are the bare essentials – listen to the podcast at the top of this post for fuller details.

Before I start – a shameless plug must be done.

Subscribe to the Hansen’s Podcast via Pocket Cast, Apple Podcasts and other platforms by going here.

My podcast picks for December 2019

History of the 90s

A Canadian podcast produced by Curiouscast and presented by journalist Kathy Kenzora. Looking out at events that shaped the 1990s and society as a whole going forward.

Covering events from The Lion King to the OJ Simpson trial.

Nicely produced, clear, factual, journalistic presenting style with good production values. Kathy also helps much younger listeners to understand the world before social media and mobile phones.

You can find out more about the podcast here.

Beyond the Grid

An official Formula 1 interview podcast talking to the key figures within F1 both past and present – from Lewis Hamilton to Tony Brookes.

I’m a huge motorsport fan especially Formula One, "the pinnacle of motorsport" and (I guess a motorsport geek too). Even I’m learning new things all the time.

Presented by journalist and former BBC pitlane reporter Tom Clarkson. His laid back, approachable interviewing style is perfect for this podcast.

You can find out more about Beyond The Grid here.

The Chillout Lounge Mix

  • Music podcast that’s about lounge ambient music.
  • Just the music and no chat.
  • Good, especially if you need a de-stresser.

You can find out more about The Chillout Lounge Mix here

To recap, this month’s three podcast picks are:

  • History of the 90s
  • Beyond The Grid
  • The Chillout Lounge Mix