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What's got my attention this week

Things to read, watch and listen to this weekend

martha stewart in sports illustrated swimsuit issue alongside Helen Mirren at Cannes film festival with blue hair

Martha Stewart, 81, in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue, Helen Mirren, 77, at Cannes Film Festival. Only one of these women looks comfortable in her skin

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...

• What if we stopped doing things to achieve, and just did them for the sake of doing them (Opens in a new window)?
• How to make – and keep – friends when you're an introvert (Opens in a new window). And when it's worth rekindling old friendships (Opens in a new window).
• Why are the sexual needs of the bereaved (Opens in a new window) still taboo? (This piece is brilliant.)
• It's not too late to sign up to No Mow May. (Opens in a new window) £
• Emma Forrest is candid about why she regrets her encounter with an "ethnic rhinoplasty specialist". (Opens in a new window)
• There's no big secret to the way wealthy people dress (Opens in a new window).
Abortion bans (Opens in a new window) are gifts to abusers.
• Embracing the crone years (Opens in a new window).
• The reality of motherhood over 40 (Opens in a new window).
Should you respect your parent's wishes (Opens in a new window) when cognitive decline changes them? (The latest in a series of painfully unanswerable questions.)
• Negotiation in the age of the dual career couple (Opens in a new window)... £
• Does micro-dosing (Opens in a new window) help (or hinder) your mental health?
• Welcome to the age when you stop feeling young (Opens in a new window). Apparently. £
• Visiting a women-only ADHD retreat (Opens in a new window).
• Love this about growing up in New York's Chelsea Hotel (Opens in a new window).
• Also love this by Cheryl Strayed (Opens in a new window) on the futility of giving our younger selves advice.
• Definitely headline of the week! Courtney Love: "I went through 280 macarons last week." (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 £.)


I've been pondering the "can you separate the art from the artist" dilemma ever since Woody Allen fell from grace. My once-much-loved Manhattan and Annie Hall DVDs are collecting dust in the coffee-table-come-storage-chest alongside Edward Scissorhands and Who's Eating Gilbert Grape? What about the work of Roman Polanski? Hemingway? Picasso? Michael Jackson? David Bowie? There are many more, both male and female (Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing... I could go on, but I won't depress you). In Monsters, A Fan's Dilemma (Opens in a new window), American critic Claire Dederer (who also wrote the brilliant and strangely overlooked memoir Love & Trouble, Memoirs of a Former Wild Girl (Opens in a new window)) tackles this problem with such humour, energy and honesty that she turns what could be a dry and turgid work of criticism into a page-turning exploration of herself, her attitudes and ours.


Annika, BBC1, Saturday night and BBCiplayer
Anything starring Nicola Walker gets my vote. From Spooks to River to The Unforgotten to Marriage to The Spit, she routinely steals the show. Based on the radio drama series of the same name, Annika follows Norwegian detective Annika Stranded as she arrives in Scotland with her teenage daughter in tow to take charge of the marine homicide unit. Cue lots of bodies washing up on the banks of the river Clyde.
• Also, I keep meaning to say that if you missed the BBC's documentary about Karl Lagerfeld, The Mysterious Mr Lagerfeld (Opens in a new window), a couple of weeks ago, it's really worth catching up with. That man had a book-buying habit that puts mine to shame!

• I saw Mr Investigative Podcast himself, Jon Ronson, recommending I Am Not A Monster series two: The Shamima Begum story (Opens in a new window) on twitter and thought I'd check it out. However I accidentally started listening to season one instead, which investigates how an American mother and her children ended up in the heart of the Isis caliphate. I'm glad I did, because it makes for fascinating listening. (If you haven't heard them, Ronson's podcasts The Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect are both on audible (Opens in a new window), and you can hear Things Fell Apart (Opens in a new window) wherever you get your pods.)

Meanwhile, this week on The Shift podcast...
... we marked Mental Health Awareness week with psychiatrist turned bestselling novelist Joanna Cannon. Jo told me about her long family history of mental illness, training as a doctor in midlife and the grim reality of working in the NHS, why you don't have to have loads of friends to live a meaningful life and how red lipstick changed hers. (I hold her fully responsible for my trip to the Mac counter yesterday!). She also told me what inspired her fascinating new book, Will You Read This Please (Opens in a new window), a unique collection, telling the stories of 12 mental health patients in their own words.

Topic Friday round up