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.


Episode 15: From big views to navigating news

Welcome to Episode 15 Hello You Podcast!

This is our first international episode – Louise is discovering new, big views, in Portugal where the weather isn’t behaving as expected. The coffee is cheap, and it transpires that Neil may be a coffee snob. Which he is.

Pull up a chair – the Salon is open. Follow this link to listen in – or skim the shownotes below first to see exactly what you’ll be getting yourself in for!

We indulge our love of big spaces, and dip into recent research out of China which demonstrates a correlation between childhood exposure to green space and adult mental health. While a 50 year longitudinal study would be interesting, we also ponder on the ethical approval of such a study – “No green space for you, control group!”… (It also reminds us of a season 1 episode when we check out the idea of biophilia)

We jump on a segue (say it) to get to a rather interesting study on the social effects of reality TV and pervasive rags-to-riches stories on actual reality and culture.

Which leads us onto mutual love for The Philosopher’s Zone podcast and a series on time before Louise recommends 4,000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. We also take a sojourn into a LinkedIn conversation about efficiency. Because we can.

We talk about the war in Ukraine. We absolutely appreciate that some listeners may not wish to engage in this part of the conversation. We love you, and we respect that.

The discussion about the war being waged against Ukraine and its people starts at 22minutes. The invasion forms the backbone for the rest of our discussion, although we don’t always refer to it directly.

We have included the main threads below, with appropriate links. We hope that these are useful and helpful, even if you decide not to listen to this second half of the episode.

Please remember to look after yourselves. If you are struggling with the enormity of everything that is going on right now, you are part of a global community wondering how to process just what the heck is happening in so many spheres.

Please reach out to talk to someone – a friend, relative or counselling organisation. You are not alone and you are loved.

In this segment, we cover a lot of ground including some ridiculous comments from the Prime Minister of England.

We speak about the importance of identifying mis- and dis information, which leads us into an exploration of the news agenda – who owns the platform? What’s their agenda? Where is the money behind it all? Also, we talk about how we filter our own media consumption and ponder the differences between how media reaches us / the effect that those channels have.

Louise recommends some reading from Carole Cadwalladr on Twitter (for example this thread and this one).

Something else that troubles us is the decision by Meta to allow hate speech on the platform, in a temporary change to its policies.

This leads us to think more deeply about social media, its power to change the control over narratives, for good or ill. One of those good things is a Tumblr blog Louise used to run – View from the Coffee Table.

Within our explorations, Louise revives fond memories of A View From The Coffee Table, in which critters get up to all sorts of cheeky things. There are critters, a coffee table, wine glasses and disco balls. Oh, and a train journey. It’s on Tumblr so it must be true.

Finally in this podcast (55:30), we return to Ukraine to speak about moments of beauty courtesy of a Twitter feed – WarCoffee.

Things we find interesting

New Citizenship – Louise discovered them at Meaning Conference. When we think of ourselves in different modes (consumer, subject, citizen), our behaviour changes accordingly.

The tipping point for ideas is when 10% of a population have an unshakeable belief in it

Some things we love

We love the Catalyst Club, a true Brighton institution.

We love Peeps Magazine, an inspiring publisher based in Canada who are doing some truly brilliant world building content.

Episode 14: In which we discover Nyctous

Welcome to Episode 14 of the joyously unfurling experiment that is Hello You Podcast!

We record on a delightfully palindromic date; exploring the ebbs, flows, echoes and traces of the English language; diving into the most wonderful poem by Katha Pollitt; and talking about one of our most oft-explored topics: diversity, inclusion and the richness other people’s experiences brings to our own existence.

Pull up a chair – the Salon is open. Follow this link to listen in!

Language ebbs and flows:
– Things at risk of being lost from the English language
– Putting words into the English language
– Do you know where “Gone for a lob in a bucket” comes from? (If you’ve got any weird and wonderful family words or sayings, let us know!)
– We talk about language suppression – this link wasn’t to hand at the time but it illustrates our conversation
– We mention Tolkien and in true fact-checking style we can confirm he did create his own language. In fact he created several, read an interesting essay on Tolkien’s languages and their relationship with his storytelling here.

– Katha Pollitt’s amazing poem – Silent Letter. (What does this bring up for you?)
An interesting study that uses poetry to uncover experiences of belonging in Higher Education
– Louise shares some exciting ideas for exploring poetry with others (which reminds us about a previous episode where we talked about mental simulations quite a lot)

Equality, Equity and Inclusion
– Louise recommends this amazing Ted video from Stella Young: “I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much
– We talk about checking our privilege and how single terms might describe a clinical condition but not the variety of experiences which make every human unique
– We also talk about how language changes and moves on when talking about disabilities – for example how the charity Scope was previously known as something else (and a word that we no longer use)

– Did you know that Back To The Future was originally meant to have a time travelling fridge?
– AI invented its own language. And then got shut down.

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

Christmas 2021: Eavesdropping into the lacunae

Hello, You!

Louise is in deeley boppers, Shiro Cat is thoroughly spoilt and it’s episode 12 of Hello You Podcast! It’s both Christmas themed and rich in links this month.

We give a shout out to lovely listener Rachel Rumble, explore bravery in charity communications and muse over Joseph Conrad’s ability to include the reader deeply in his writing. We also narrowly avoid panic-buying cinnamon in a bid to increase our creativity, even though cinnamon is a quintessential Christmas spice.

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

TopicTime code (approx)Link
Shiro Cat has many, many beds 00:00

Here she is on Twitter. Isn’t she cute?
We talk about the wearing nature of this end of the year, and promise to share some good mental health support links in the shownotes
NOTE – these are all UK based
NHS Mental Health Charity Directory
NHS Urgent mental health support
Where do we get inspiration from? Louise shares an amazing piece of analysis of Joseph Conrad’s work.

Also, if anyone can explain Rothko, Neil would love to know!


The migratory fictions of Joseph Conrad

Will McInnes’ LinkedIn post looking for inspirational sources
A poetry recollection: Identity by Elizabeth Jennings16:37Read the text of the poem here
Louise’s love for the RNLI and it’s bold response to criticism from tabloids and Nigel Farrage.

As an aside, Wikipedia tells us that “The RNLI’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 140,000 lives since 1824”
22:08Tweet from @travellingcoral

RNLI on going bold with their comms

We mentioned the fabulous Julie Rainey, here she is on LinkedIn
Also a shout out for Hampshire and Isle of Wight air ambulance for being brave enough to talk back27:27Tweet: “Can you explain why you decided to fly at 1750ft from St Mary’s to Southampton General hospital at 4am over residental properties… “
Ratty and Mole talk marketing strategy (or something …)31:40Tweet from @rattyandmolebot
We talk about an article on the role of cinnamon in creativity and Neil gets excited about biohacking35:40Science says smelling cinnamon can make you much more creative and innovative (but not for the reason you might think)
– article from Inc.
Musings on the distinction between perfection and excellence38:38Striving for perfection, rather than excellence, can kill creativity
– article from the BPS
Perfection is for the gods … roman mosaics and making mistakes on purpose.

Which reminds Neil of watching a film based on a book by the Marquis de Sade
46:35Details of how to visit the places Neil mentions if you feel so inclined:
Fishbourne Roman Palace
Bignor Roman Villa

Salo – entry on the film in Wikipedia
Neil & Louise ruminate on TV advertising – is a nation’s advertising a view into it’s collective blind spots? Or is it simply that we’re outside the target demographic?
51:40The perfect antidote to TV advertising: Copyranter 2.0 on substack

Neil’s LinkedIn post about the Guinness advert
A final festive themed story of a package finding it’s intended recipients in Canada with the help of Twitter1:01:01Twitter I need your help!
It’s the Holidays & a package meant for “Yasmin & Perry” has been misaddressed & delivered to me …

December 2021: Recognising the human input

Hello, You!

The unfurling HYP experiment continues, welcoming proper double digits (11. Racy in Bingo language, apparently) with a dive into design, a recollection of the numb tongues of episode 8 and rather a lot of love shared for our favourite designer…

As always, we’re super grateful to our lovely LinkedIn gang for curating fascinating topics and sharing thoughts, ideas or opinions – have a listen to the episode and then please follow the links in the shownotes.

And, towards the end, we throw the floor open to you, fabulous listeners – the future of marketing may depend on you!

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

TopicTime code (approx)Link
Starting with a lift… 00:00

We recap on the awesome ‘These Are The Hands’ project Louise was involved in – and discover a heap of new awesomeness that’s about to happen with it!1:00These Are The Hands on Poetry Pharmacy

Link to OFFICIAL LAUNCH EVENT! (9 Dec 2021. Caps intentional!)

Link to the live 2020 event, run by Louise!

Louis Theroux’s Grounded Podcast

Miriam & Alan: Lost in Scotland (Channel 4)

The Bigger Picture Collaboration

Did you know that Guinness is vegan? Louise didn’t (but is delighted to discover that it’s indeed true).
Other drinks are available. And any Guinness / marmite health claims are entirely unsubstantiated (yet delicious).

We also reminisce – fondly? maybe – about our 70s clove based cocktail experience.


Proof that Guinness is vegan

August ’21 episode
Grounded / Groundedness Marketing – yes it’s a Thing. We dive into what sort of a Thing it is, and share the love for our LinkedIn friends who contributed to a most marvellous discussion.

We also explore abstract loss, the price/value of connectedness and what happens when you name a Thing (especially in Marketing)
The fabulous LinkedIn discussion – why not join in and share your thoughts?

Pepperidge Farm Remembers advert

Harnessing Nostalgia
by Nedra Kline Weinreich

Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

Rachel Clark Art
We do love a good bit of design – so we delve into the world of Local Government Logos.

We chat about ‘radical simplicity’, share a lot of love for Scott Winterberg over at Spitfire Design and Rolls Royce hubcaps.
Tim Ridgway’s superb curation on LinkedIn that kicked this discussion off

Spitfire Creative

Adur & Worthing Councils’ gorgeous brand guidelines

Rolls Royce hub caps – and how they stay upright.

BBC Cuffs – Filmed at Adur Civic Centre

An explanation of ‘anchor institutions’.

Sussex University’s branding

McDonald’s playing with their logo

Bravery in branding & design is all very well and good, but it is effective?49:00‘Creative effectiveness is collapsing’
It seems harder than ever to find good, new and interesting blogs about marketing.

Louise poses a radical suggestion and we ask:

“Listeners – who is out there on the edge of marketing thinking?”
Answers on a postcard – or in the comments – please! The future of marketing may depend on you!

Orlando Wood on LinkedIn


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

October 2021: An arc of dachshunds

Well, Hello You!

Louise is living up to the promises and challenges she’s set for herself – performing one of her poems at an open mic in Lewes.

There are rounds of applause, quite a lot of laughing, Louise reads a poem and Neil reveals that mental simulations are nagging at him quite a lot.

We also cover the arc of dachshunds, performative dressing standards and more before ending on a wardrobe bombshell – so come on in, the Salon is open!

TopicTime code (approx)Link
Louise is preparing to read one of her poems at an open mic night. If you’re not able to be there, check the link opposite! 00:00In case you didn’t make the event, here’s a version of Pomegranates In Luton we shared before
If you’re interested in different poetic forms, check out The Making of a Poem, which introduces an amazing poem by Donald Justice which we dig deeply into.
3:45The Making of a Poem

Pantoum of the Great Depression
Neil doesn’t know a lot about narrative analysis, but the little he knows, he likes14:15

Narrative Analysis

We share a love for a recent All in the Mind podcast focused on neuromarketing15:30Neuromarketing – how brands target your brain
…and get into mental simulations (which, for some reason, are bothering Neil)17:45
Louise has another book recommendation, building on our discussion about mental simulations. Could there be a better illustration?20:30The Last Tudor
Dachshunds are suddenly everywhere. Where do they come from? And what is the tail time on a culture cycle?22:30
Rescue dogs are awesome.

We don’t dig into this. They just are.
We return to thinking about culture cycles, framed around a pondering on where have all of the hipsters gone…

The question leads us into a fascinating discussion about performative dress, power and privilege.
31:15Jayne Harrison’s fab post on LinkedIn
Do we limit our potential by fitting in with others? We explore adaptations, and connecting (or not) to our cores and the systems we swim within39:00
The future doesn’t actually exist – and what you’re denying yourself if you try to live there42:00
Who gets to decide what makes it, or doesn’t, into an image/idea of culture?
43:20Government sparks uproar over plans to force broadcasters to make ‘distinctively British’ TV shows

September 2021: A Life Scientist walks into a tearoom…

Well, Hello You!

It’s been a minute since Louise & Neil last got behind the microphone (apparently). Louise has been on holiday and there’s a super sense of discombobulation as she picks up the threads again.

From birdsong to happiness, we explore awe and dive into what positive stroke ratios are (and why they matter).

We also throw out some listener questions (we would LOVE your feedback – see below) and discover something that sounds like the start of an academic joke at the University of Sussex:

A Life Scientist walks into a tea room…

It’s all happening – so listen in here!

TopicTime code (approx)Link
We catch up on Louise’s holiday news – and get into why finding sources of awe matter (inside and outside of work) 00:00Why you need to protect your sense of wonder – especially now (Harvard Business Review)
Louise introduces us to the Yellowhammer’s unique song and the magical experience of looking for one

A little bit of bread & no cheese – the Yellowhammer song
Happiness – three completely different sources collide and suddenly appear to be food related

The meaning of happiness, according to a baker in ancient Pompei (Big Think)

Can pizza lead to sustainable quality improvement in the NHS? (NHS Providers)

Forget shops – how one UK town ripped up the rule book to revive the high street [Stockton] (The Guardian)

Dr David Bramwell’s quote about cities

Motivating teams through happiness – and how we could (should?) be focusing on Wellbeing over GDP as a mark of progress19:00Wellbeing Economies Group Expands (Scot.gov)
Tearooms as hotbeds of interdisciplinary chat23:00
Positive to negative stroke ratios are predictors of relationship success, how this relates to the power of conspiracy theories and whether it remains true in the workplace25:20The magic relationship ratio, according to science (Gottman Institute)

Conspiracy Theories Are More “Entertaining” Than The Truth — And This Helps Explain Why People Believe Them (BPS)

The Role of Positivity and Connectivity in the Performance of Business Teams: A Nonlinear Dynamics Model (Losada & Heaphy, 2004)

Smart Algorithm Bursts Social Networks’ “Filter Bubbles” (IEEE Spectrum)
We perform better when we experience more positivity 36:30“The Happy Secret to Better Work” – Shawn Achor at Ted

Happy Workers are 13% more productive (University of Oxford)
How can we increase the stickiness of positive news? Moving beyond the post-rationalist approach and thinking about how we can share sources of joy38:00

What brings happiness?
How do you feel about expressing your happiness?
And what are the barriers to expressing happiness?
Let us know!
Email us
Louise Twitter / LinkedIn
Neil Twitter / LinkedIn

Use #HappyHYP and let’s get a conversation started!
We dig into Louise’s poetry practice, opening up to inspiration and observing periods of consolidation39:00Shout outs to:

Sea Sharp
Outsider Sisters
(The poem to music Louise references is ‘Sick & Tired’ by Josephine Hall & others)
Arji’s Poetry Pickle Jar
Roshni Beeharry
These Are The Hands
Louise Kenward

August 2021: Swimming through cloves

Well, Hello You!

We’re delighted to bring you the first ever Hello You Podcast listener drink along challenge! In case you missed the recipe, why not make a glass of Japanese Punch and join in with the drink along fun?!

In other topics of conversation, Neil & Louise both feel into where we are with the COVID-19 unlocking, explore the merits (and demerits) of caffeine and ponder on spotlight v lantern creativity.

It’s all happening in the Salon – listen in here!

TopicTime code (approx)Link
In our first ever listener drink along, we head back to 1975 for a glass of Japanese Punch. It’s an experience which threads throughout the conversation… 00:00
COVID-19 looms large for both of us. Very large in fact.
We talk about owning anger, checking our biases & privilege, what ‘freedom’ means and writing to politicians. Plus an Anastasia quote – because Anastasia.

Sick & Tired (Anastasia)

John Drury on Twitter
Invisible addiction – we dive into a fabulous article Louise found about caffeine. There’s a dose of social history, some fascinating thoughts about creativity and we chat about sleep too.

Is it time to give up caffeine?

Information from the NHS about lack of sleep