For inspiration during self-isolation, each week we asked well-known Australian artists and entertainers to tell us what they are doing at home.
Kitty Flanagan, Comedian
What I’m watching: I started watching Sunderland ‘Til I Die, a documentary series about an English football club. Because I lived in England for a long time I was very aware of the Premier League, especially in the north and how much football means to them. It’s about a Northern English football club that got relegated from Premier League down into First Division, which is just devastating. I don’t even really like soccer, but I was sitting on the edge of my seat watching games going “Come on!”, barracking for this team. And I just finished watching the second series of After Life from Ricky Gervais. The first series is about a man grieving the death of his wife and the second series is pretty much the same, but sadder. What a master he is at making you cry a little bit, then a lot, then – big finish at the end – cry your stupid, dumb eyes out.
What I’m listening to: The audiobook of Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers. It’s about how we misread people and how it’s been happening through the history of time. I like listening to his audiobooks because I really like his voice. I have trouble sleeping and I always used to put on one of his audiobooks or podcasts because I would drift off to sleep as his voice is really soothing. But I don’t need to do that any more because I discovered this podcast called Sleep With Me, which I listen to every night. It’s this guy called Scooter who just talks at you about something really random and goes off on all these tangents about absolutely nothing. It’s really funny, but also completely sleep-inducing at the same time. I recommend it to any middle-aged lady who wakes up in the night and can’t get back to sleep.
What I’m reading: A lot of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, in particular one called Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor, who runs a website called Cookie and Kate. I watched The Game Changers; it was a really interesting documentary about the myth of protein having to come from meat and the advantages of not eating meat. And I thought there’s no better time to try vegetarian or vegan food – mince was a bit short on the shelves for a while. Pretty much every recipe [from Taylor] is a winner. She hasn’t given me a dud yet.
The hobby I’ve taken up: I’ve gotten back into a hobby that I’ve haven’t done for about a year because I haven’t had time: my crocheting. At the moment I’m making myself a lovely tablecloth. I think by the time I’ve finished my entire house is going to look like a nanna-y old house covered in crocheted granny square blankets. I remember my mum went through a phase in the ’70s where she made a crocheted bedspread for every one of us. I don’t know if you’ve ever slept under a 14-ply crocheted bedspread, but my god, they’re heavy. I only seriously took it up about six or seven years ago and I couldn’t believe how many people are into it, there are so many things online and tutorials and blogs. I love going into wool shops, that’s what I miss, having to order my wool online.
What I’m looking forward to as lockdown eases: I’m in Melbourne now and my sister is in Sydney. My sister and I work together a lot, so we used to tour together all the time. I really miss my sister. I’m looking forward to when I can see her again, but I don’t know when that’s going to be. So I talk to my sister quite a bit on the phone. We both refuse to do FaceTime or Zoom. The best thing about the phone is that you don’t have to see someone, I can look like I look. What’s the point of isolation if you can see what I’m wearing?
Kitty Flanagan appears on Have You Been Paying Attention? this Monday on Channel 10. Tickets are also on sale to see Kitty Flanagan and Glenn Robbins in Conversation about 488 Rules for Life at Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, from December 4-20.