We’ve been living TV free for a while now. It’s great. I watch movies on my laptop when I’m in the mood… the great thing about it is that it’s ended evenings spent channel surfing and when I do watch something it’s always intentional. I love intentional entertainment. When I moved to Indonesia I knew I would have no television/movies/theatre/shows on demand. I’m the kind of person that likes to be constantly challenged… so my beautiful friend Angela (who just had her second little babe – Congratulations A+B!) put me onto her favourite podcasts, sending me away with a hard drive full of previous episodes of her favourite shows for me to listen to in my beach shack when I was feeling in need of a healthy dose of english and solo entertainment.

These days podcasts are still more or less a daily installment in my life. I listen to a show when I get ready for work in the morning, or on the long drive to the city, or sometimes at work when it’s deathly quiet in the office… I’ve got some old faves that have been there since the beginning (thanks Ang) and some new faves that have me laughing, crying and connecting to beautiful stories from all around the world.

My current rotation includes:

1. Savage Lovecast: Sex, sexuality and relationships – it’s talkback radio at it’s best. Dan Savage is a champion and talks sexual politics, inclusion and relationships with a no-bullshit, lefty, crass approach that makes me laugh and challenges me every single week. I’ve been listening to him for five years now, every week, and I’m always entertained.

2. TEDtalks: TED and TEDx talks hand picked from all around the world right to your ears… inspiring people inspiring the world. It’s so right, how could you possibly go wrong?

3. Radiolab: Stories and science… pushes me in directions I never even knew I wanted to go. Asks me questions I didn’t even know needed to be asked. Challenges me. Teaches me. Rocks my audio-world.

4. The Heart (formerly known as Radio Smut): Sex, sexuality and human loving (and living) – this creative, arty show is beautifully inclusive of the entire range of human sex, gender and relationships. Some smutty goodness but also lots of real, heart filled stories of the human experiences, the joy and the heatache modern love and life.

5. This American Life: Memoirs, personal essays, stories, history and radio-journalism full of interesting interviews, stories and histories that can’t help but draw you in. Humorous, ironic, melancholic and thoughtful… it’s got a little bit of everything.

6. Wits: It’s funny. Really funny. That’s really all you need to know. Get on it.

And last but certainly not least:

7. Triple J Hack: I can’t always be near a radio during Hack time, and current, youth focused local politics is always interesting to me especially in our current (disastrous) political climate.

Are you a podcast listener? Do you have a favourite you can recommend? 

  • April 20, 2015 - 5:36 am

    Erica @that wild road - I’m a major podcast junkie, so excited to dig into your suggestions. Here are a few I love: death, sex, and money – super profound explorations of life and living; Strangers: beautiful stories of strangers; the moth- true stories told love without notes. (Okay so maaaaybe I love stories / memoirs?) anyway, these are all amazing. I highly recommend them. Looking forward to adding a few of your suggestions to my list!ReplyCancel

  • April 20, 2015 - 7:00 am

    Jen - Seriously, Sash- you’ll love these!!!

    - Strangers
    - Death Sex and Money
    - RISK!
    - The Dinner Party Download
    - The Moth
    - 99% Invisible
    - Planet Money
    - Slate’s Culture Gabfest
    - Snap Judgment
    - Sex Nerd Sandra
    - Radio Diaries
    - Call Your Girlfriend
    - Criminal
    - InvisibiliaReplyCancel

There is something very satisfying about the humble chocolate cookie… but I don’t always have the ingredients in my cupboards to make the wheat-y, eggy, sugary ones that I’m trying not to eat too often… But the one thing I aways, ALWAYS have, are cans of organic chickpeas… whilst we eat a little bit of just about everything in moderation, I’ve got some really wonderful friends who have some pretty strict diet restrictions. I’ve never been good at creating gluten free alternatives in my baking, so with a never ending supply of chickpeas this very simple, quick recipe is my  go to for my gluten free, refined sugar-free, vegan friends….

Most importantly, people love them. Chewy, chocolatey, nutty a little bit earthy and not overly sweet… we can almost get away with calling them a health food… but we wouldn’t want to go ruining their charm now, would we?

Did I mention they were easy? (SO EASY)

CHOC-CHICKPEA COOKIES

Ingredients
(makes about 12 cookies)

1 can organic chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 tsp gf baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 Tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter (sugar free)
1/4 cup organic brown rice syrup (plus more to taste)
12 dark chocolate melts (use a dairy free version here if necessary)

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C

In a high powered blender or food processor blend all ingredients until you have a sticky, smooth dough. Taste the mixture, it should be earthy and delicious. If it’s not sweet enough add another Tbsp of rice syrup and combine well. The mixure will be extraordinarily wet and sticky but should still hold it’s shape.

Either use wet hands to roll into balls (and press down with a wet fork), or use two wet spoons to quenelle the mixture and drop onto a baking tray. They cookies will rise and get bigger so make sure you leave some space between them. Gently push into the cookie a chocolate drop.

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until the cookies are golden and rising until they start cracking on the surface.

Cool on a wire rack and eat when still warm.

Enjoy x

 

  • April 16, 2015 - 12:33 pm

    supernashwan - Looks awesome! Any suggestions for an alternative for the organic brown rice syrup ? I avoid brown rice given its high arsenic content to other rice. Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • April 19, 2015 - 6:03 pm

      Sash - You could use honey or maple syrup would work well. I often use honey (when not cooking for my vegan friends) xReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2015 - 12:56 pm

    becky McIntosh - These look divine! And yay for canned chickpeas -I’m really not the prepare in advance soaking kinda girl I’d like to be ;) ReplyCancel

We live in a world where everything seems to not only be getting faster and more frantic… but louder.

Perhaps we make so much noise because we are so desperate to be heard. Like a toddler we ask things over and over again, desperate for someone to give us the answer we want… or an answer we can merely understand. We get louder and louder in a desperate attempt of being noticed. We are loud in person and online. We are loud when there is no reason to be loud at all – we seem desperate for attention, desperate to not be lost in the wave of voices that wash over us every single day. We all stand up, wave our arms in the air and shout into the crowd… ‘I am here. Can you see me? Please, see me.”

I’ve taken quite wholeheartedly to buddhism in the past 18 months… and within those teachings comes a call for silence and stillness.

So I’ve been working hard on being silent. And still. And present. Not in a meditative inward stillness that mindfulness meditation calls for, but an outward, present, witnessing stillness that comes from truly hearing what others say.

The best gift we can give a friend is the gift of our presence. To allow them to talk and to allow them to be truly heard. To quieten our minds so that we aren’t thinking of our own relevant story to chime into their conversation, to quieten our minds so that we aren’t forming the words we will say next. To quieten our minds so that we can merely listen. To give our friends (and our children) the gift of being heard, so that they don’t have to scream… So that we say to them, in silence, ‘you are here. I can see you.’

It’s one of the most difficult things to do in modern conversations. With a thousand noises and beeps and words and people and hands and coffees and designer fucking designs shouting at us… in a sea of noise where people seem to be either selling us something or drowning us in a sea of perpetual discontent… it’s hard to just stop.

It can be hard to witness someone else in their vulnerability. It’s something that we have been trained not to do. I’m excellent at it in my professional life, but in my personal life I find it more difficult. Vulnerability isn’t something I do well. I do honesty. I do strength. I do support. I do hardcore activism and I’m an excellent advocate for inclusion and social equality. But even when I am at my most vulnerable, and I have been lately, I find it hard to admit it… even to myself. So I’m practicing. Practising listening and hearing and letting people know that I can witness them in their most vulnerable state. Practising letting them know that they are safe with me. Practising letting my daughter know that I will hold her in her weakness and I will let her tell me her fears.

I have the tendency to be the loudest when I’m feeling at my most vulnerable – I tend to overcompensate for the lack of what I’m feeling in the back of my own mind. So I’m practicing not being the loudest in the room. I’m practising witnessing others and staying open even when I want to crawl inside my own skin and disappear.

Being louder doesn’t make it easier for us to be heard. Being the loudest won’t make our words the most relevant. Being the loudest won’t make us seen. But seeing others, gives us purpose… with purpose comes meaning and what more could we want than a little meaning in our lives?

Don’t be afraid to witness yourself… Don’t be afraid to witness each other.

The more time we spend hiding ourselves, our vulnerability, our fears and our flaws… the more we encourage that societal belief that we as women, that we as parents, that we was humans – are flawed and flawed alone.

That somehow we are not good enough.

Witness with open hearts and remember… what have we got if we haven’t got each other?