What's got my attention this week
Things to read, watch and listen to this weekend
Artist Tracey Emin at her new exhibition in Rome
The Shift is moving home! From 1st June you'll find us over on Substack. If you're an existing member I'll do the moving for you, if not...
• Last time Tracey Emin went to Rome she was "dying but I didn't know it", now she's back with 15 artworks completed since she was given the all-clear from bladder cancer, called You Should Have Saved Me (Opens in a new window).
• “Now I’m almost 86. I certainly don’t want to get married again. I can get much more done when I’m on my own.” God I love Jane Fonda. (Opens in a new window)
• This American study tells us what we already knew: menopausal women bear a heavy cost at work. (Opens in a new window)
• Robert de Niro has become a dad for the seventh time at 79. (Opens in a new window) This triggered A LOT of feelings!
• Love this piece by Jane Ratcliffe about how walking her friend's dog (Opens in a new window) helped her recover from a head injury.
• Is yoga (Opens in a new window) heading for its #MeToo moment? £
• Is our addiction to success (Opens in a new window) making us sick? £
• Moving back in with your parents (Opens in a new window) (in conservative Alabama) at 49...
• Our obsession with sleep (Opens in a new window) is doing us more harm than good.
• "The year I stopped apologising (Opens in a new window)."
• This is a fascinating long read with Elizabeth (I mean Liz) Holmes (Opens in a new window), founder of Theranos. She's got a new life. And a new voice! But is she the same old person?
• Women speak out about sex after menopause (Opens in a new window).
• Is it OK to listen to/watch/enjoy the art of an evil (wo)man (Opens in a new window)? (This is an extract from the brilliant book, Monsters by Claire Dederer (Opens in a new window).)
• Living with a beautiful mum (Opens in a new window).
• In praise of the siesta (aka Spain's lost afternoons (Opens in a new window)). £
(A note about the links: some links are behind a paywall, but almost all can be accessed free by registering your email address. Those that can't are marked £.)
This is a public service announcement. This book is extraordinary. And I'm willing to bet you've never read anything like it. A couple of years ago, psychiatrist turned bestselling novelist Joanna Cannon had an idea: wouldn't it be something if mental health stories were told from inside looking out, not outside looking in, in the words of the patients not the doctors who treat them? What if she could pair up successful writers with mental health patients to help them tell their stories in their own words? And what if the subjects and the writers were all paid the same? She mused about this idea on Twitter and, before she knew it, she was swamped with writers volunteering. She set about finding willing subjects and, with the help of her publishers, here is the product of that dream: Will You Read This Please? (Opens in a new window) A slim but mighty book containing the stories of 12 people who have suffered mental illness in the UK, by 12 acclaimed writers. Some of the stories may sound familiar, some may shock you. All are totally eye-opening.
Eurovision. Of course.
What can I say, other than the glitter-fest that is Eurovision has come to Liverpool (in lieu of last year's winners Ukraine being unable to stage it, for obvious reasons). There will be glitter, there will be glamour, there will be camp, there will doubtless be death metal, there will be no restraint or understatement. And frankly I can't think of anything I need more right now. BBC1 Saturday from 8pm.
• You might also be interested in catching up with Mad Women (Opens in a new window), a documentary about the female creatives who shook up the British advertising scene in the 80s and beyond, on C4.
• To Traffic by Ben Smith (Opens in a new window), the audiobook about the rise and fall of digital media legends, Gawker and Buzzfeed. (I'm a bit of a nerd.)
• The Conversation podcast (Opens in a new window), hosted by Amanda de Cadenet. I loved this conversation with the insightful Julianna Margulies about learning you can't fix anyone but yourself and why she's desperate to see a TV series about navigating life after 50. (Me too!)
Meanwhile, this week on The Shift podcast...
... it's only Ruby Wax!!! I've always wanted Ruby to come on The Shift so I was thrilled when she agreed. We had the best time discussing everything from her unexpected six week stay in a mental clinic last year to why she hates the word trauma ("so Oprah!") to her built-in instinct to flee to why she can't be arsed with dressing up. (Me neither, Ruby, as the pic above proves.) We also talked about being gaslit by her parents (and how), building an emotional toolkit for the second half of your life and why we need to stop saying ageing and start saying evolving. And that's just off the top of my head!
By the way, Ruby's new book, I'm Not As Well As I Thought I Was (Opens in a new window) is quite something. Really candid and personal. She also reads the audiobook, so that must be quite the ride! (P.S. no money changed hands in the writing of this book plug.)