The Shift with Sam Baker

11/22/2022

Milly Johnson on grafting, greetings cards and life in the "sandwich" zone

Season 10, Ep. 106
My guest today is the dose of salts that is Milly Johnson. Milly started writing books in her late 30s when the birth of her first son showed her the direction she’d been struggling to find. Now on her 20th novel, Together, Again, self-described northern bird Milly has sold over 2 and a half million books and won the Romantic Novelists association Outstanding achievement award. But you’d never know it, because Milly - along with hundreds of other highly successful women - writes books that are considered fluff, lesser, not serious and consequently the literary establishment turns its nose up at her. And her readers.Well, as you will hear, “the queen of feelgood fiction” is not putting up with any of that nonsense. Or anything else for that matter!Milly joined me from her home in Barnsley, where she’s lived her whole life, to talk about being a single mum, life as a sandwich woman and the benefits(ish) of having been ‘kicked around the ring a few times!” We also discussed grafting, how writing greetings cards shaped her approach to fiction, the importance of making readers feel seen and why a comfort zone is just a cosy prison.* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Together, Again and The Woman In The Middle by Milly Johnson and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please consider joining The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
11/15/2022

Caryn Franklin on how being a carer in her thirties changed her attitude to ageing

Season 10, Ep. 105
Today’s guest is my personal hero, Caryn Franklin. Caryn started her career in the 80s as a fashion editor before moving into TV where she presented, amongst other things, BBC’s The Clothes Show. Always outspoken, Caryn has spent four decades being a thorn in the fashion industry’s side. Championing diversity of all forms LONG before it became the cool thing to do. She cofounded All Walks Beyond The Catwalk to promote body equality in fashion, chaired Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, is an ambassador for the Eating Disorders Association and was awarded an MBE for her services to fashion. Now she’s written Skewed, with Professor Keon West, to examine how media bias distorts our views of others.To bring it back down to my usual level, She is also the owner of my fantasy hair!Caryn joined me by popular demand (she’s one of the most frequently requested guests) to talk 40 years of fighting for diversity, Why the fashion industry is still so bloody bad at catering for older women and why clothes should be a superpower. She also shared her experiencing of being a carer to her first daughter’s father in her 30s and how that changed the way she felt about ageing, how going grey nearly cost her her job and how HRT gave her her life back. * You can buy Skewed by Caryn Franklin and Professor Keon West from audible. All the books mentioned in this podcast are available at Bookshop.org, including the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please consider joining The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
11/8/2022

Marina Hyde on gaining confidence and growing older riskily

Season 10, Ep. 104
My guest today has been lauded as “the most lethal, screamingly funny truth-teller of our time”. Guardian columnist Marina Hyde has made her name as the master of the takedown. Through the political shit-storm of recent years (or should that be weeks?!) she has taken a scalpel laced with laughing gas to the establishment and made us weep (in a good way, usually) in the face of the coming apocalypse and earned two Political Commentator Of The Year Awards. Now those columns have been turned into a book, What Just Happened? A rampage through the heroes, villains, chancers, tossers and shysters that have made the last decade what it is. Like all of Hyde’s writing it’s howlingly funny and terrifyingly true.But how do you get to be a “lethal truth teller”? Marina joined me to talk about lucking into journalism (like me, she learnt to type and started as a temp), thriving not surviving in male-dominated environments and why the pram in the hall turned out to be her superpower. She also told me why she wishes she’d taken more risks, why white wine is her nemesis and why she’ll be forever grateful to the menopause movement.[this episode was recorded before the UK political scene got even more chaotic than normal!]* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including What Just Happened?! by Marina Hyde and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please consider joining The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
11/1/2022

Dawn O'Porter on cats, kaftans and kicking the need to be liked

Season 10, Ep. 103
My guest today has packed a helluva lot into her 43 years. Dawn O’Porter started her career in TV production, before finding her way in front of the camera to host a series of attention-grabbing documentaries on everything from polygamy to Dirty Dancing. By the time she hit her 30s, like many women, Dawn was moving faster and faster to stand still. By the time she was married (to the actor Chris O’Dowd) with the first of her two sons, running a vintage fashion label and the refugee charity now known as Choose Love - AND writing books - she realised something had to give!In this case, that was Dawn herself. She is now a full-time author of eight books including the Richard and Judy pick So Lucky and her latest, Cat Lady - a funny and frank look at the boxes we squeeze ourselves into to try to fit other people’s expectations.Dawn joined me from her home in LA to discuss the cats-in-the-bedroom conundrum, what she learnt from launching and losing a business, why the need to be liked is exhausting and how ageing helped her recognise her own value. We also talked Botox, whether perimenopause makes you smell strange and why she’ll never stop advocating for kaftans! Hankering after a Cat Lady jumper like Dawn's? Visit Joanieclothing.com.* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Cat Lady by Dawn O'Porter and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please consider joining The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
10/25/2022

Sharon Blackie on embracing your inner hag & the magic of menopause!

Season 10, Ep. 102
How do I want to age? What does the rest of my life look like? Those are questions I know many of you have given A LOT of thought. Well, my guest today has some answers.Dr Sharon Blackie is a psychologist and folklorist who is passionate about reimagining the ageing process for the better. Her last book If Women Rose Rooted was an ecofeminist sleeper hit about finding your place in the world that was passed from woman to woman with the words “you MUST read this”. Her new book, Hagitude: reimagining the second half of life, does JUST that. What, she asks, would ageing as a woman in the west be like if we embraced it. If we saw it as an adventure, not something to be dreaded, dodged, denied. At its heart is the radical idea: what if older women knew how to use the power and influence many of us don't know we have. What if we recognised our value? What if we wrote our own narratives?Sharon joined me to talk about the power of myth, embracing your inner hag and why she’d rather be the old woman in the wood than a boring old fairytale princess any day. She also told me what she learnt from THREE midlife crises, her decade of hot flushes and the joy of no longer having skin in the mating game.I found this conversation so motivating and inspiring. I hope you do too.* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Hagitude and If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
10/18/2022

Susannah Constantine on alcoholism, 'mental' menopause & finding herself in her 50s

Season 10, Ep. 101
You might think you know all there is to know about today’s guest. Posh girl who once dated Princess Margaret’s son. Half of the early noughties style duo Trinny and Susannah. Plus a short-lived and strangely identifiable turn on Strictly as the slightly embarrassing older woman who can’t really dance. (Hands up who over-identified!) Because that’s what the media has told us. But look at it another way, Susannah Constantine is a novelist, writer and broadcaster with over 25 years experience. She’s a hit podcaster (My Wardrobe Malfunction is a hoot - check out the episode with Kristin Scott Thomas!) and, on the cusp of 60, she’s just written a game changing memoir that will make you think more than twice about what it really means to be a girl brought up in privilege; a girl brought up to be Ready For Absolutely Nothing.Susannah joined me from her swanky kitchen to talk extremely candidly about hitting rock bottom before she could confront her alcoholism, her complicated relationship with her mother, rediscovering her identity after it was ripped away and how she experienced a mental menopause. PLUS surviving Strictly humiliation, Dolph Lundgren and having tea with the queen.* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Ready For Absolutely Nothing by Susannah Constantine and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
10/11/2022

Raynor Winn on walking, nature and the power of hope

Season 10, Ep. 100
One hundred episodes... how did that happen?! The little podcast that started on a whim and a prayer (and no, that's not a typo!) is still here and soaring. So I could not think of a more fitting guest for such a landmark episode than a woman whose life is a tribute to the power of hope...Where do you turn when everything feels hopeless? My guest today knows the answer to better than most. Nine years ago, in the space of one week, Raynor Winn lost her home, and her husband, Moth, was diagnosed with a degenerative disease. In the face of such loss, there was only one thing to do: they packed what little of their life they could carry into their backpacks, and walked.That walk - 630 miles along the South West Coast path - became the bestseller The Salt Path. It sold a million copies, spent more than 90 weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller lists and changed thousands of lives - not least Raynor and Moth’s.Despite defying the medical odds, two years ago Moth’s health began to decline again. Clutching at hope, they set out for one last walk: this time 1000 miles, from Cape Wrath in the far North West of Scotland back home to Cornwall. But in walking back home, could they really walk Moth back to health a second time?Raynor joined me to talk about the book of that epic journey, Landlines, and how walking The Salt Path wiped her clean. We also discuss the power of walking, why nature has always been her safe place, putting yourself in the way of hope and how a shy girl hiding behind the sofa became a public person at 60. * You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Landlines by Raynor Winn and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* Want to take advantage of the offer of 30-day free membership of The Shift newsletter and community? Go to https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/ Offer ends 17 October 2022.• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
10/4/2022

Deborah Frances-White on feminism, guilt-exfoliation and being diagnosed with ADHD in her 40s

Season 10, Ep. 99
Hello and welcome to this special bonus episode of The Shift with Sam Baker. Consider it a taster for season 10, which starts next Tuesday.If you’re in your 40s or 50s (or even 30s or 60s) and feeling a bit what-next, my guest today is just the motivation you need. Seven years ago Deborah Frances-White was sitting in a bar with a comedian friend, when they came up with a crazy idea for a podcast. You might have heard of it. It’s called The Guilty Feminist! Now about to celebrate 100 million downloads, its catch phrase, I’m a feminist but… has become part of internet lingua franca and the standup comedian, podcaster, activist and screenwriter has never been busier. She’s written a bestselling book of the same name and launched a whole host of spin off podcasts under The Guilty Feminist banner. And there’s another book on the way.Deborah joined me to talk about feminism, being diagnosed with ADHD in her 40s, the way we change our behaviour in male-dominated spaces and being true to your own brilliant self (!). We also discussed that old chestnut likability, infertility and the conundrum of wanting a child but wanting the life you would have had without one too, exfoliating your guilt and the doctor who told her that post-menopause women’s skin ages in dog years! Cheers much.*Listen to The Guilty Feminist here. * You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including The Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-White and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* Want to take advantage of the offer of 30-day free membership of The Shift newsletter and community? Go to https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/ Offer ends 17 October 2022.• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
9/27/2022

Dr Jen Gunter has things she wants you to know about the menopause - THE SHIFT REVISITED

Season 9, Ep. 98
One of my favourite things about making The Shift podcast is all the fascinating women I get to interview - and learn a little bit from. So I’m revisiting a few of my favourite episodes while I finish putting together the new season. I had long been an admirer of Dr Jen Gunter's no-bull approach to women's health before I met her eighteen months ago. She didn't disappoint!Here are the original show notes:The best way I can think of to describe this week’s guest is that she’s a women’s health vigilante. (A vagina vigilante if you will!) Dubbed twitter’s resident gynaecologist, and the nemesis of snake oil salesmen everywhere, Dr Jen Gunter is the living embodiment of “information is power”. She has made it her life’s mission to give you the information you need to make life better for you - and for your vagina. Best known for her book The Vagina Bible, and publicly taking Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website Goop to task for, amongst other things, flogging jade eggs. “Dear Ms Paltrow,” she wrote back in 2017, “It is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming.” Now Jen is bringing that same, erm, direct approach to the menopause with her new book, The Menopause Manifesto. A banger of a book that tells you everything you could possibly need to know and plenty of stuff you don’t but will be glad you do.Jen is characteristically no-bull as she talks menopause, mental health, why we all need to know WTF is going on and why women need more menopausal role models. And whatever you do, don’t get her started on manufacturers who think shoving “meno” in front of a product name is a licence to print money…! Join me and Jen as we cross the crimson bridge and throw ourselves a meno partiy! Welcome to the order of menopause!• You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by Sam Baker and The Menopause Manifesto by Dr Jen Gunter.* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.