Episode 26: An assault on the eyeballs AND something to think about afterwards

It’s not only the 26th Episode of Hello, You Podcast … it’s also our 2nd international episode! Louise dials in from Portugal and we have a glorious hour of chat.

Listen to episode 26 and peruse the shownotes below.

There’s been a lot of life happening for both Louise & Neil since the last episode. Louise got married, which was the most glorious day (obvs Neil was invited). Neil’s beautiful cat Shiro died and he has been exploring, even welcoming, grief as a teacher. (For some pictures proving Shiro cat’s beauty and rapier sharp wit, see her Twitter account.) Grief manifests in unexpected ways and Neil generously and vulnerably shares his reflections on grief, including finding himself shouting at a vacuum cleaner and what insights that opened up for him. (Thank you Neil, it’s an honour to witness your explorations – Louise.)

From here, Neil steers us into a swirling pot of creativity and we jump, feet first into the world of … Barbie. Neil was, at first, somewhat unsettled by Louise’s excitement about the upcoming Barbie film (due for release July 2023 in the UK). However, with Greta Gerwig as director, it’s become clear there’s no way this film will be an extension of the Barbie merch machine. With the film’s trailer paying homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, we both agree we’re now both very excited about seeing it and answering an important question: how will Barbie open jars with her inflexible hands?

Next we swirl into an article from Behavioural Scientist (we do love it so!) on creativity in borrowing and combining ideas you’ve encountered before, rather than landing on an entirely new idea. Neil poses the question ‘How valuable do you find the idea of combination and recombination as being part of the creative process?’ and we range over a lot of ground, including Louise’s poetry practice (shout out to her poetry mentor Arji) and also how identity and shame can get tangled up in creativity. Neil shares an incredible line from ‘Identity’ a poem by Elizabeth Jennings.

And we have a last flourish on ChatGPT, with this article on the embodied nature of language and how large language models completely lack the embodied context we humans have (unsurprisingly, as they don’t have bodies). Coffee and doughnuts feature heavily and Louise also talks about her insightful and wonderful experience of attending a Leadership Embodiment workshop, run by Paul King, who gives an entirely ‘before you can think’ connection with how we lead and how we show up (see his website here).

If any of this has piqued your curiosity, please stroll on into the salon and by all means fix a cup of coffee for yourself as you do. Episode 26 is ready and waiting for you to listen to it – if you enjoy it, do share it with others and let us know what you loved about it.

Link to listen to episode 26 via Spotify here, or grab it from whatever platform you prefer to use for podcasts.


Episode 20: Momentous moments and regal ritual

The Salon is open!

Something momentous has happened, we have reached the 20th episode of HYP in this series! So Neil & Louise reflect on what’s happened since we last recorded … which contains a few other momentous things, as it happens.

Listen to Episode 20 here!

Louise has started a coaching qualification, with the aim of becoming an ICF accredited coach and is interested in working with people so they can express who they really are and what they really value.

Neil has become a property owner, moved from the South East to the West Country AND has already nearly unpacked all his boxes (“what dark art is this?” wonders Louise). Also survived COVID, and we chat about the feels associated with getting COVID and the complete lack of guidance from the UK government.

As if that wasn’t enough: Neil had his last trip out of Brighton, an important personal ritual, interrupted by the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II had died and overtaken by national ritual on a grand scale. We meander around what that means for us as individuals and for UK as a whole, finding that we can’t easily pin it down. We get interested in separating the Queen (and the Royal Family in general) as a person/people from the office they hold and its symbolism.

As a bit of light relief, Louise recommends reading The Queen and I by Sue Townsend (author of the Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 11&3/4).

After talking about the uneasy balance of humanity and royal symbolism we segue into the persistence of outrage (or as Louise puts it, “a roiling, frothing sea of anger”), which is a theme that we’ve touched on many times through the last 20 episodes. This article by Rachel Cunliffe explores the career of a “young, right wing sensationalist” and the ways in which journalism in the UK is … if not broken then at least limping a little. https://twitter.com/RMCunliffe/status/1562551184577425414?s=20&t=VvOzwutVimxb2qfm4coTYA

And this leads Neil neatly to this piece by Anya-Milana Sulavar, published in LiisBeth. We love her work (Peeps!) and this piece looks at the ways in which big business is hurting journalism: https://liisbeth.com/big-business-is-killing-the-fourth-estate/ We (as ever) get interested in what this means for local media and what we’re losing (have lost already?) in UK journalism.

While we’re talking about outrage, Neil picked up this Twitter thread on how to spot fake tweets: https://twitter.com/Shayan86/status/1567541626251231233?s=20&t=3dGwYk24XtLyIqlYs1tUHQ

We end on positive news about food (another topic that crops up frequently in HYP) with this article Neil shared on the positive relationship between fruit intake and mental health. Nomnomnom! https://www.psypost.org/2022/09/eating-more-fruit-and-fewer-savory-snacks-predicts-better-mental-health-study-finds-63904

Which reminds Louise of research that shows the order in which you eat veg, carbs and protein can attenuate blood sugar spikes, courtesy of the Zoe Health Study podcast: https://joinzoe.com/learn/podcast-how-to-control-blood-sugar-spikes. AND for the record, Louise DOES use the word attenuate correctly.

In closing Neil, who is on fire this episode, makes a connection to biophilia. This is a topic we both love and Neil hypothesises that the mental health benefit could be about being close to the naturey, planty goodness of fruit & raw veg as much as its consumption.

We hope you enjoy it as much we did – grab your chair, get cosy and join the Salon. Find us on Anchor here or search ‘Hello You Podcast’ wherever you get your pods!

Episode 18: [To Pigeon] Are you in the Holly tree? Random animals abound …

Hello you! If you’re cool to slide into the chat via the picturesque venue of Lewes-twinned-with-Mordor (it will make sense during the first 5 minutes of listening) – WELCOME!

Come on in – the Salon is open and we’d love you to join us. Follow this link to listen in The shownotes are below to give you a bit of the shape of the episode …

We start off innocently enough talking about allotment planting and Canadian wonder beans, which produce the instantly recognisable red kidney beans.

Peaceful gardening exploits somehow lead us to Game of Thrones & the eye of Sauron. It all has something to do with Louise’s new attic office and the view of the Lewes telephone mast. We even found a website that gives you a map of the mast’s range and signal strength.

This brings us to the second ever HYP playlist – our random animal playlist! Listeners, we want your random animal tunes. Neil has started us off with last week’s Eurovision hit “Give that Wolf a Banana” and new this week “What does the fox say?” Could there even be a dialogue between animal songs with “Hungry like the wolf” naturally leading us to wolves and bananas?

Neil has been listening to some podcasts about music and listening habits. In particular he pulls the relationship between lo-fi/chill and developers in this episode of the Philosopher’s Zone which is part of a wider discussion about who and which class of people music is marketed at.

Also, other links to podcasts touching on music and other social issues:

This launches us on a long, beautiful arc about music, going to gigs, mental health, dancing and the experience of being taken out of the everyday. Immersion comes to mind for Louise which also reminds her of this Movember story about wild swimming.

After quite a lot of hedging, Louise shares her freshest thinking about her purpose and where she’s taking her business:

heart-led communication for everyone, everywhere

What does this evoke for you? Others that she’s drawn inspiration from include Helena Clayton’s radical work on love at work. Who else can Louise take inspiration from and is there anyone among our listeners who likes the direction of it? Let us know!

And this leads Neil into an enquiry around ‘what do we mean when we say we need to think differently?’ It’s cropping up in a lot of business (and other) blogging, but what IS it? He was inspired by this from Gillian Tett: An invitation to reexamine your familiar world (TedX Talks Daily).

Neil also remembers a film he loves and urges Louise (and anyone else!) to watch it: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

AND FINALLY: To reiterate, your listener mission from this podcast is to

Share your random animal songs by adding them to the latest HYP playlist!
HYP18 Random Animals Playlist

Some things we love

Episode 17: Disrupting wolves with bananas

Well hello! Pull up a comfy chair for Episode 17 of Hello You Podcast …

This month we talk a lot about disruption in one form or another. Disrupting the dominant narrative, disrupting how we experience the world by (re)naming, disrupting our own ideas of what inclusion means and what it implies. And, of course, something about wolves and bananas … (hint, it’s Eurovision related).

Come on in – the Salon is open and we’d love you to join us. Follow this link to listen inshownotes are below to give you a flavour of what you’ll be dipping into …

Louise can’t help but jump in and talk about Visit Iceland’s outhorse your email campaign, which Neil had shared with her the week before. From there it’s a seamless (if giggly) skip to Eurovision. Louise confesses she always misses it – find out next month if Neil will ever forgive her.

Clearly Ukraine’s winning entry deserves a mention, however it’s Norway’s Give that Wolf a Banana by SubWoolfer that we most want to share. “Do watch it and I defy you not to be singing it a week later at some inappropriate moment”

Louise admits to still struggling with Derrida – she is currently still working her way through Peter Salmon’s biography An Event, Perhaps and she’s finally getting somewhere with it … she thinks: does it matter if an apple tree is called an apple tree or not? We also reference a short essay by Nietzsche on truth & lies in a non moral sense (try starting line 98 for the chunk we talk about).

This sparks a thought from Neil about linguistic colonialism, which was covered excellently in a recent episode of What the Duck podcast. And that spirals Louise into recommending David Abrams’ The Spell of the Sensuous.

– the Deep Dive podcast.

“Inclusion is opening the door to a space that already exists.” Neil ponders one of his blind-spots, which prompts Louise to do the same, prompted by listening to the always fabulous The Deep Dive podcast – do listen to The Black Experience in Design, it’s thoughtful and thought provoking as ever. We talk through our recognition of some of the problems with the concept of inclusion, which we find illuminates the threads around honouring messiness and the harm of reducing “pluriversality” to a unified narrative. Because we all know whose voices and experience get cut or glossed over … always those with less power!

And finally, we jump into an article on the concept of mental immunity. Where better than to go from messiness & pluriversality than to fake news and misinformation? We both find the article flawed in some important ways, and Louise poses a question for listeners:

“What might a better analogy be than immunity when thinking about how we process fake news & misinformation?”

“Or, if you think the analogy of mental immunity works fine, let us know why – what have we missed?”

Some things we love

Episode 16: The unbearable heaviness of being perfect

Welcome to Episode 16 of Hello You Podcast!

Come in, sit down and get comfy … all in the name of exploring discomfort. It turns out that reflecting on things that make us uncomfortable is the emergent theme for this month’s episode and, as ever, Neil & Louise dive in.

Come on in – the Salon is open and we’d love you to join us. Follow this link to listen inshownotes are below to give you a flavour of what you’ll be dipping into …

Unexpectedly (and that’s for us, not just the listeners) we start with a discussion about wild garlic, because it’s that time of year and when Neil mentions sunshine, Louise remembered she’s recently been out picking ransoms. Here’s the wild garlic pesto recipe she’s tried; also here’s a vegan recipe.

We shimmy our way into a conversation about pitching and the discomfort of looking for external validation: is the pitch (or even the pitcher) only any good if they win the work? From there we forage our way into a discussion about what ‘good enough’ means and why we struggle with it. That’s both we, as in Neil & Louise and the ‘bigger we’ of UK society.

Collaboration crops up (a bit of a perennial topic on this podcast!) and what part fear plays in stopping us from doing the vulnerable sharing that’s essential for good collaboration. We also dip into flow states, find an article on getting into flow as a team here.

Of course, vulnerability is often a little uncomfortable which brings us to a recent experience of Louise’s, where she felt intimidated and uncomfortable with the thought of reading Chen Chen’s poetry, written in English and Mandarin. Here’s the Twitter thread that sent tendrils out in Louise’s direction and please do consider how powerful it is for the author to share THEIR linguistic world. A huge thank you to Tulika for sharing this with Louise 🙂 This reply to the original tweet also features in the podcast discussion. More about Chen Chen can be found on their website.

Language crops up (as it so often does) – Louise & Neil pop into the idea of learning a new language and what this might reveal about the world around us. Here’s a question, lovely listeners: if you could start learning any language today, what would it be and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Our final and fertile discussion point is Neil’s take on ‘They’ by radical queer writer Kay Dick. Louise admits to feeling uncomfortable and wanting to run away, but also wanting to read it. Neil talks about They evoking things that are uncomfortably like things he’s experienced.

Some things we love

They, written by Kay Dick and originally published in 1977 is enjoying a revival of interest and has us both spellbound with it’s dystopian discomfort style social commentary on art, artists and groupthink.

February 2022: That’s not a strategy … that’s barely … even … a … TACTIC!

HELLO, YOU! Ready for an explosive welcome? Neil delivers …

Starting with a poem that plays with surreal, yet specific, imagery we launch into the show. Taking time for some (justified) outrage on the habit of trying to inject delight in marketing where it just doesn’t belong and why, why, why are marketing strategy & tactics so easily confused?

We also talk about pronouns and Neil shares his experience and findings about how opening up the dialogue around pronouns can create positive experiences.

Welcome – the Salon is open and there’s a chair waiting for you … Follow this link to listen in!

TopicTime code (approx)Link
Louise shares and reads a poem she’s fallen in love with ‘I want to write about an Orange’2:55

Read it, published by The Madrigal, here

PS do peruse The Madrigal, their themes are awesome!
Listener shout-out – thank you for following us on LI! PLEASE share what inspires you & what you’re reading / listening to / otherwise enjoying on our LinkedIn page 10:00Hello You Podcast on LinkedIn – do say hi and comment on our page / posts … whatever!
We dip our toes into the phenomenon of social media outrage, inspired by a superbly written and referenced article … 15:15Social media and moral outrage
With thanks to Lauren Pope for sharing this

– has the pandemic ruined delight in marketing? (Spoiler, we think it’s been broken a while)

it makes Louise wonder if she’s just a bitter, cynical marketer (answers on a postcard …)


Delight is dead …

Lauren Pope’s fab newsletter Ten Things

We also mention Curio a AWESOME conference from Lauren Pope & Louise Whitfield

And this reminds Neil of a thing he wrote on surprise & delight a while ago
Debate around adding pronouns to your LI profile name. Neil gets his research geek on … 33:20 The poll on LinkedIn that Neil mentions
A marvel of journalistic writing found in a local newspaper, found by Neil – it contains magic!Tweet from Marcy Massura

November 2021: The curious case of the inaccessible colloquia

Hello, You!

It’s our 10th episode! Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

Neil & Louise reflect on what they’ve learned over the last 9 episodes about being in flow while we chat, including the episode with the unintended bread theme.

We talk about staying in the moment and segue into a newly published book on consciousness that Louise is desperate to read.

From there, it’s a small hop to talking about anti-social grannies dancing in public spaces in China. Despite the fact that not everyone’s enjoying it, it’s a joyful view on community bonding in another culture.

Welcome in, the Salon is open and there’s a chair waiting for you …

TopicTime code (approx)Link
Louise & Neil agree they’ve both learned about staying in flow with the podcast chat

Pure first-hand observation! You heard it here first 😉
How do you hold the moment when performing or writing?
5:35No link, but we LOVE the idea of performing, moment by moment “as if no other moment matters”
Louise’s book wish-list
‘Being you’ by Anil Seth

(via a tangent about reading a biography of Jacques Derrida – Louise thinks this may be the most accessible biography of the notoriously incomprehensible philosopher)


Anil Seth’s website for Being You

A review of An Event, Perhaps by Peter Salmon
Neil & Louise marvel at this story about anti-social dancing grannies in China13:50Guardian article

How language works to exclude some – the case of the colloquia21:05Neil & Louise’s twitter conversation on this
While we’re talking about codes in language, Neil mentions Polari31:20Thinking Allowed: Hidden gay lives
“Oh we don’t need to do that, our members are degree educated!” – we talk about how much it matters to be clear in public messaging for ANY audience33:32Neil’s top tip – use the
Hemingway App
Book recommendation from Neil: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel FaberReview in the Guardian

July 2021: Like Citizen Smith charging down the ticket office …

Well, Hello You! Since the last time and since we last recorded Neil has been offering customer service consultancy for free to a well known rail company, in other words attempting to resolve a troubling ticket issue and being led a merry dance.

After putting customer service failures under the spotlight we move on to applying behavioural insights, the end of certain types of discrimination around who can give blood and photography standards in the 70s.

Please come on in – the salon is open! Listen here.

Here are links to some of the things we mentioned during this episode:

TopicTime code (approx)Link
Hello You! Neil has a confession to make and launches right into it … 00:00
Birthday breakfast plans for Louise, with a little help from lovely friends.

Dishoom restaurants
Vegan Sausage Naan Roll Kit
Neil’s been on a customer service dance with a rail company who shall (probably) not be named.

Which leads us on to the principle of requesting good customer service – it’s not always about the money!

CogLode – Louise invested in some training on applying behavioural insights and she loved it! She & Neil et excited about the box of behavioural insights nuggets you get with the training. 23:35CogLode website
Neil can now give blood, thanks to recent changes in the law. We talk about how it has taken this long to change the laws relating to sexual orientation and giving blood.27:46

We dip back into 70s recipe cards and end up talking about decent photography & social anthropology through recipe cards & postcards.

While compiling the shownotes, Louise found a project inspired by Martin Parr, with a soviet twist that. If you’re anything like her, you may enjoy it 🙂
 33:15Before there was instagram, there were recipe cards …

Martin Parr’s Bliss [book review]

Martin Parr’s Boring Postcards [interview]

Boring Postcards, USSR

April 2021: Exactly where you need to be

It being 30 seconds-slash-a month ago that we last recorded, here we are again. So hello you!

Louise did her homework, so we plunge into aliefs as a type of embodied experience that can contradict with consciously held beliefs and Neil finds a link to Somatic Marker Hypothesis.

Writing worms its way into the conversation: Louise talks about rejections and giving herself permission to explore the creative process of writing. Neil drops an absolute gem

“You are exactly where you need to be in your life’s journey.”

and gracefully shifts the salon into a more contemplative register.

SHINY THING ALERT! Towards the end of the cast Louise is excited to talk about and share her latest poetry collaboration ‘Pomegranates in Luton’ – link to the video below.

We invite you into our salon: Listen here.

Here are links to some of the things we mentioned during this episode:

TopicTime code (approx)Link
Reflections on the timing of conversations. When & how to have good conversations?
01:05Neil found this wonderful piece, which echoes the salon vibe so we had to share …
How to have constructive conversations | Julia Dhar
What is an alief? Louise explores a way in which we can hold beliefs and act contrary to them. Based on the linked paper.6:40Alief and Belief, Oct 2007, Tamar Szabó Gendler
Somatic marker hypothesis – Neil highlights the role of emotions in learning

17:50and Louise found this article written by Antonio Damasio, whose other work she loves …
Sea Sharp – Louise highly recommends their poetry, both on the page and in performance.29:00Poem – The Tallgrass Shuffles

Collection – The Swagger of Dorothy Gale and Other Filthy Ways to Strut
The Last Poets
‘the forefathers of Hip Hop’
29:25Video – Take Your Time

About The Last Poets

Louise’s new collab – poetry, voice & dance (video)

What does it evoke for you?

Pomegranates in Luton

March 2021: The pitter-patter of soft little squirrel feet.

It’s that time again – so hello, you!

Positively effervescent and garrulously giggly, Louise & Neil embrace the mild hysteria of a Thursday evening. We fall into a reverie about squirrels, an exploration of the value and values of the salon and we embrace the messiness of genuine debate and listening outside our opinion bubbles.

We also talk about just how crap picture libraries are at inclusive representation and the state of the UK press, on a sliding scale from ‘getting very cross’ to ‘I have a lot of rage’ and from there to the most beautiful idea of change as ‘ripples of mycelium networks’.

We invite you into our salon: Listen here.

Here are links to some of the things we mentioned during this episode:

TopicTime code (approx)Link
Random dude with a beard or Lawrence Ferlinghetti?  3:10A Coney Island of the Mind
The idea of the salon: exploring the big questions. 7:00Podcast: Civilisation and the Salon
Louise’s musings on right society vs fair society, inspired by Ian Dunt’s ‘How to be a Liberal’. 12:20Where to buy: How to Be a Liberal by Ian Dunt
You had me at ‘ripples of mycelium networks’ …37:00Twitter thread by Dr Elizabeth Sawin, as shared by Cassie Robinson.
“Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?”38:15Lyrics: Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
Louise found the article about aliefs and beliefs – it wasn’t a figment of her imagination!

(Sadly the full text of the academic article is only available to subscribers.)
 40:05‘Alief and Belief’ – written by Tamar Szabó Gendler, published in 2008.

The Guardian’s This Column Will Change Your Life: From Alief to Belief.