Tag Archives: Pandemic

Did radio help us through the pandemic?

7 May

More than any other media, radio helped us through the pandemic. That’s the view of journalist Miranda Sawyer, audio critic for the Observer newspaper.

Unusually for a Swindon Festival of Literature guest, Miranda doesn’t have a book to promote.

Sure, her book on middle age, Out of Time, is available – but that was published in 2015.

And there’s a new book in the works about long-term relationships, but that – she admits – is overdue. She hopes to finish it by the end of the summer.

Meanwhile, she’s been invited to talk to the Literature Festival – which is as much a festival of ideas as it is a festival of books – about radio.

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Will the handshake survive the pandemic?

5 May

Hi, I’m Pete. It’s nice to meet you.

Okay, close your eyes. Imagine we’ve just met and I’m saying that to you. In your mind’s eye what am I doing? Chances are I’m offering you my right hand.

It’s an interesting thing, right, the handshake? The story of our most familiar physical greetings ritual – not as intimate as a kiss, nor as subservient as a bow – would’ve made an interesting read at any time.

But during a pandemic, The Handshake – A Gripping History by Ella Al-Shamahi becomes even more relevant. And poignant.

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