I have discovered that I have thing about stories. Not fiction, although I love books, but true stories told by the people that they happened to.
It started after I listened to Serial, which I enjoyed but it didn’t sit quite right with me. I think that it was because these were people’s stories told by someone else. It did get me hooked on podcasts though so over the past few months I have been discovering new interesting ones to listen to. Podcasts are perfect for when I am out walking. My favourite ones by far are collections of stories. People from all walks of life, different countries, ages, race and religions.
I started with This American Life. Hosted by Ira Glass it is a weekly podcast that is based around a theme and has a number of ‘acts’. One of my favourite stories I listened to was one called ‘Do you hear what I hear?‘ about a man obsessed by some hold music. We listened to this in the car on the way home from holiday and later that week I was on hold and heard the same music. I was so excited!
This started my love of true life stories and so I went looking for more. My absolute favourite is The Moth. A weekly podcast of usually three stories, told live in front of an audience at various events. There are so many stories that I have loved on this podcast. This week I loved It matters a great deal (in fact the whole of this week’s episode about Parties, Plans and Police was wonderful) and one of the most interesting stories I have listened to is The Dunnes Stores Strikers.
The final one I would like to recommend is True Stories – a night of true stories told to friends. These are single stories per episode. A couple of the ones that have stuck with me I actually listened to both on the same walk. Nightmare at Ten Sleep tells a story of intuition and crime on a climbing trip – it had me gripped. Then Homely for the Holidays which made me laugh so loud I scared the rabbits in the field.
As with everything some stories don’t thrill me or interest me as much as others but most of the time these stories have filled my mind, made me laugh (out loud, making me look like a complete loon to anyone else about), cry and above all think about how wonderful life really is. I am sure that everyone has a story to tell and I love how these websites and podcasts are a record of everything life has to offer.
I have heard tales of love and loss. Of determination, of strength. I have learned new and wonderful things. I have been so caught up in stories that I have stood and listened to the end even though I have reached my destination. I have been filled with wonder. I have heard people stand up to bullies, how others gained new perspectives and understanding. I have listened to how people deal with death and life and everything it throws at them. Human beings and the lives we live really are amazing.
Do you listen to podcasts? I would love your recommendations. I have many more miles to walk.