Tuning into Podcasts Again

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Week I don't know what of working from home and I've not watched a single movie, any TV or any series on Netflix. I seem to have found no time to lug a rusty and broken washing machine downstairs and to the metal scrap guy down the road.

What used to take around 90 minutes to commute to work now takes a minute to walk to my dining table where I've set up my Mac. Another minute to fire it up and access emails, then straight into the work day.

My standard commute involved a bus and train ride and I'd use the journey time to read a news app, then switch to Netflix and continue to watch a series or documentary.

That's gone now and my Netflix viewing time has taken a hit. But, weirdly, I've recently become a fan of podcasts again.

In the early 2010's, for a while I was working for a legal client covering multiple practices including mergers & acquisitions, anti-money laundering, technology, energy, property and some others too.

One law partner asked if I could find a media opportunity talking about agriculture and farm land in Asia. This was a mission impossible ask because the topic was narrow but I took it on. It so happened at the time I was listening to a BBC podcast about UK farming.

Over a two year period of commuting, I must have listened to dozens of farming episodes. I learnt about the strife dairy farmers had, the horsemeat scandal, cages for chickens, organic farming, EU subsidies, country fairs, sheep, cows, crops, and more. Name anything agriculture related, and I've probably listened to an episode on it.

This coincided with an interest I'd had for several years about 'farm to fork' sometimes termed as 'plough to plate' or 'farm gate to plate'. I was already gobbling up everything there was about where food came from, the practices used by manufacturers used to spearhead change (rightly or wrongly). How fast food changed/'converted' a whole generation, and shady marketing practices used to switch people onto unhealthy foods and drinks. This was supplemented by watching numerous on topic documentaries.

Back to my challenge. I approached the BBC farming podcast producer to see if they would be interested in talking about agriculture and Asia. They found it quite amusing that I listened to them 'sloshing about in muddy fields' every week out in Hong Kong.

Ultimately, I had to admit defeat on this mission. BBC declined the agri Asia angle but did ask if we were able to talk about, of all things, eggs from China. This was outside the speciality realm of the client and I had to decline.

That was pretty much the end point too for farming podcasts. My friend gave me his old Kindle, and I switched to reading ebooks for a couple of years. Then it was Netflix and no more Kindle. Now I read ebooks on a brand new Kindle, watch Netflix and have begun to listen to podcasts again.