Daisy Dunn

How to live off the land for a year

Could you live off the land for a year without buying a single thing to eat? This was the challenge a retired journalist set himself on Radio 4 this week. Max Cotton lives on a five-acre smallholding near Glastonbury in Somerset with his wife Maxine, two pigs, two dozen hens and a Jersey-Friesian cross named

Easter special: how forgiveness was forgotten

36 min listen

This week: how forgiveness was forgotten, why the secular tide might be turning, and looking for romance at the British museum.  Up first: The case of Frank Hester points to something deep going on in our culture, writes Douglas Murray in the magazine this week. ‘We have never had to deal with anything like this

Why are there so few decent poetry podcasts?

The late John Berryman described A.E. Housman as ‘a detestable and miserable man. Arrogant, unspeakably lonely, cruel, and so on, but an absolutely marvellous minor poet… and a great scholar’. The Times obituarist went further, declaring Housman to have been, on occasion, ‘so unapproachable as to diffuse a frost’. That such a man could be

Ought we not have some shrine to the pips?

Next week marks the centenary of the pips. On Monday at 9 p.m. a documentary will be broadcast on Radio 4 debating whether the six little tones which ring in each hour ought to be axed as obsolete or preserved for tradition’s sake. Some contributors will speak of them as annoyances – ‘the cockroaches of

Can Italy reverse its falling birth rate? 

Anne McElvoy is on the road again, exploring the state of modern Europe. Following her Radio 4 programme, The Reinvention of Germany in April, the Politico journalist has travelled to Padua, in northern Italy, where reactions to the rise of the right-wing populist Giorgia Meloni appear to vary. Is the 46-year-old PM a breath of

A Radio 3 doc that contains some of the best insults I’ve ever heard

A recent Sunday Feature on Radio 3 contained some of the best insults I have ever heard. Contributors to the programme on the early music revolution were discussing the backlash they experienced in the 1970s while reviving period-style instruments and techniques. Soprano Dame Emma Kirkby remembered one critic complaining that listening to her performance was

The rise of vampirism in Silicon Valley

The Immortals, which begins on Radio 4 this week, is not for the faint-hearted. While it professes to be about the human quest for longevity and the elusive ‘cure’ for getting older, it focuses largely upon the transferral of blood plasma from healthy young people to reluctantly ageing people, or, as anyone with good sense

Prayer for the Day is the best thing to wake up to

As the owner of a radio alarm clock, I could theoretically start listening to the Today programme before I’m even awake, but I rarely do. I tell myself it’s too much for first thing; that it’s bound to put me in a bad mood with some interview or other; that Today can wait until tomorrow

Crossing Continents is the best of the BBC

Ask a member of Generation Z where in the world they would most like to live, and chances are they will say South Korea. K-pop and kimchi have made it indisputably fashionable, and if the Instagram account of one of my Korean friends is anything to go by, life there is really quite idyllic, provided

A short introduction to the philosophy of Moomin

One of the lesser-known schools of modern philosophy is the Philosophy of Moomin. Like Cynicism or Epicureanism, it is difficult to pin down precisely, but subscribers speak of the importance of the individual, of liberalism and acceptance, and of the life-affirming joy of feeling. In the words of Moominpappa: ‘Just think, never to be glad

Max Jeffery, Emily Rhodes and Daisy Dunn

19 min listen

This week: Max Jeffery reads his letter from Abu Dhabi where he visited the International Defence Exhibition (00:56), Emily Rhodes discusses the tyranny of World Book Day (05:59), and Daisy Dunn tells us about the mysterious world of the Minoans (10:22).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson.