Listen while you work

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I need to get shit done at work, I listen to podcasts. I never understood the whole rage with podcasts; I used to think they were like audible books which I’ve tried once and just couldn’t concentrate so decided not to do it again. Plus, nothing beats the satisfaction of reading the words and holding an actual book… or e-book.

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My last manager listened to podcasts whenever she worked and I thought it was very fascinating. One day I decided to give it a go and surprisingly, I found it quite enjoyable. I know what you’re thinking; how the hell do you concentrate on your work if you’re listening to someone talk in your ear? To be honest, I have no idea! But it works! It’s less distracting than listening to music as well because with music, I always find myself tapping my feet and humming along and creating music video scenarios in my head (I know you do it too!). And if I don’t listen to anything I get sucked into the hustle and bustle of everyday conversations going on around me and I’d rather not listen in on other people’s convos. It makes me really uncomfortable. I’ve never been good at multitasking but surprisingly, I’m really good at listening to the podcast AND doing work.

I thought I’d share with you my top five favourite podcasts. So if you’re a podcast-listener-worker like me and are looking for some new recommendations, or if you’re a podcast virgin looking to pop that cherry, you’ve come to the right place.

On your marks, set, GO…

Casefile 

This is my absolute favourite podcast. I listen to it while cooking, cleaning, commuting and well, working. Each week, the podcast covers well-known murders and what I like the most about it is the fact that they go into great detail; from the background of the murderers, to their crimes right through to their death or sentencing. I’m a fan of murder mysteries and crime and like watching documentaries and tv shows on murders (my Netflix recommendations list is looking pretty damn gory) so that’s why I enjoy this podcast. It may not be the podcast for everyone, just because it can be quite grisly, but if you enjoy a good history lesson on well-known murders, I highly recommend it.

Success Insider 

This was one of the first podcasts I listened to and I actually quite enjoy it. It’s part of SUCCESS magazine and is hosted by Shelby Skrhak and Josh Ellis. Each week, they discuss the latest trends in personal empowerment and career development and give you lots of tips and tricks on how to be more productive and move up that career ladder. I think what I like most about this podcast is the conversations the two hosts have. Usually I find podcasts like these to be kind of stale with lots of really pretentious music but for a ‘self-help’ podcast, I’ve really enjoyed this one. Plus, each episode is nice and short too.

The Inquiry

If you’ve got an interest in current affairs without wanting to spend too much time on it, I highly recommend this podcast by the BBC World Service. They cover topical issues and ask the hard-hitting questions, and best of all, they do it in half an hour or less. When it comes to world issues or politics, I’m not going to lie I like getting the facts and I don’t like listening to long, overly drawn commentary and opinion. I just want an intro to the issue and if I’m really interested, I would go and do some research. This one is great for getting the who, what, when, where and how.

TEDTalks

I have a funny feeling that everyone who listens to podcasts will have TEDTalks on their subscribed list. TEDTalks have made such a name of themselves and what I love about listening to it is it’s inspiring (and short!) and covers a range of topics from business, technology, world issues to emotions, relationships, mental health and creativity. So if you feel like listening to something motivating, check it out because I guarantee you’ll find a topic of interest and learn and thing or two.

BTW, the hyperlink will take you to their website where you can also access videos. I listen to podcasts on the Apple Podcast app.  

Myths and Legends

I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to fairy tales, legends, folklores and myths. There’s so many out there and I can’t keep up with them. What I love about this podcast is that I get to be transported to a different era with host Jason Weiser covering what the legend/myth/folklore is about and its origins. It’s so fascinating and is a great one to listen to when you’re stuck in the office doing mundane things and just want to be transported to a different world.

Yes I’m a fantasist and can easily transport myself to a different world but sometimes, you need a little help and that’s where this podcast comes in. Also, if you’re a history buff like me, you get a bit of a history lesson too which makes it extra awesome!

So here’s my top five list. Some other recommendations I’d love to share are:

Have you got a favourite podcast that you think I should check out? Please comment below and share because I’m always on the hunt for new podcasts to listen to!

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A tale as old as time…

At 7.00pm on Wednesday 29 March 2017, I went to the cinema and watched the advanced screening of Beauty and the Beast. Where do I begin?

Let’s begin from the beginning. Like a typical 90s kid, Beauty and the Beast is hands down my favourite Disney cartoon. The music, the moral of the story, the longing to be just like Belle and my god, that library. I watch the Disney cartoon at least once a year and it just never gets old. It’s beautiful, it’s terrifying and it just takes me back to my carefree childhood.

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Photo credit: ohmy.disney on Pinterest

When I heard they were making a movie, I’m not going to lie: I was terrified and very, very skeptical. Even though I’m a fan of Emma Watson, when you’re recreating a classic Disney cartoon, it can either be incredible, average or well, ridiculous. I didn’t want my childhood to be ruined because the director had a vision that was way off from mine.

For those of you who don’t know what Beauty and the Beast is about (god forbid!), quick summary: Arrogant prince is transformed into a Beast by a disguised enchantress. Everyone in his household is transformed into inanimate objects. To break the spell, the Beast must learn to love another and earn their love. Belle, a small town bibliophile, takes the place of her father as the Beast’s prisoner because he picked a rose from his garden. During her stay, she grows closer to the Beast and they fall for one another. Oh and he gifts her an incredible library. Her father is mocked by the villagers for asking for their help to save Belle and narcissistic Gaston sends him to a madhouse. Belle, witnessing this through an enchanted mirror, is freed by the Beast to save her father. She shows the villagers the Beast through the mirror to prove that he’s real and her father isn’t mad. Everyone freaks and they go to the castle to kill the Beast. They’re attacked by the inanimate objects. Gaston tries to kill Beast. Beast gets shot and Gaston falls to his death. Beast is dying and the last petal on the enchanted rose falls before Belle tells Beast she loves him. Belle somehow manages to break the spell anyways and then everyone turns back to human and they live happily ever after. The end*.

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Photo credit: lolalambchops on Pinterest

Fast-forward to Wednesday and well, I had to refrain myself from singing out loud to all the known tunes and weeping tears of joy. When it came to the scene of Beast vs Gaston, I lost all self control. I was in tears. I couldn’t stop crying and you know when you go to the movies and it’s a sad scene so a few drops of tears dribble down and then you wipe them away and it’s okay again?

Well this wasn’t that situation. I cried and cried and cried. I felt like I was crying of a broken heart andthen Belle breaks the spell and everyone becomes human, I cried tears of complete and utter joy. So much joy. I can’t even begin. Even more joyous was realizing whom the different actors were that acted as the ‘live’ inanimate objects like Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Pots. Freaking lost my mind when they turned into human. I left the cinema with panda eyes and mascara on the side of my face.

So how do I think Bill Condon did in recreating a childhood classic? He did a pretty good job. There were some added scenes that didn’t quite follow the original but they worked pretty well. You can also really sense the studio-created backdrops for some of the scenes but it’s not tragic that you’d hate it. Well, I didn’t anyways.

Condon also did pretty well with the casting. All the actors fitted their characters very well and it was great seeing the on-screen veterans like Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor and the ravishing Emma Thompson.

Would I watch it again? Yes, yes I would. My birthday is in 4 days. I think I might just go to the movies and watch it again.

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*It’s not the best synopsis but if you want to read more, I’m sure my uncle Google will give you a more detailed plot outline. Also, there’s always the option to watch the movie… wink wink