Rosie Barton is a contributing London-based writer.


Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog, Emily Dean

It is days like yesterday when I’d like to reinstate town cryers to their lofty pedestal, so one might scamper through the streets of London to hail the dawning of National Dog Day, yonder hill and dale. You heard it right, yesterday, 26th August, was indeed the day for all dogs nationwide to celebrate. So pop your pug in front of one of their all time favourite films – I recommend the 1989 All Dogs Go To Heaven as an optimistic watch, Lady and the Tramp for the romantics out there, or perhaps the more thrilling 101 Dalmatians, whilst you get stuck into this week’s, book by Emily Deans, so macabrely named Everybody died, So I Got a Dog. (As thematically on point as ever).  

Brilliantly funny and devastatingly sad, read this book on the tube at your own peril and only if you want to make a spectacle of yourself as you intersect between hysterical laughter and uncontrollable sobbing into your sleeve. Dean recalls a desperate desire for a dog in her childhood years but her bohemian upbringing didn’t lend well to fish fingers on the table at 5pm let alone a dog, which in her eyes was the pillar of a normal family, grounded in routine. Her life as a child was a far cry from the world of her dog-owning friends – from Harrods canapés for breakfast to Shakespeare quotes written out on post-it notes and displayed around Emily’s childhood room as a form of parental discipline, Dean sets the scene of a chaotic bubble, which like all bubbles do, pops. A tale of terrible loss ensues as within three years every member of Dean’s family dies (no spoilers: the title already hints at there being some sort of tragic demise). And finally, a dog appears to provide some semblance of normality in a life stricken by unimaginable grief. I told you it was a weepy one. 

Dean’s auto-biographical novel is ultimately one of hope despite the despair and reminds those of us who have lost that life goes on, and if you're struggling, a dog is always the answer. Read this one, and if it spurs you on to purchase a fluffy friend, remember, dogs are for life – not just for Christmas. (Which, I believe, is their unofficial motto). 

Click here to tuck into Everybody died, So I Got a Dog.

The Adam Buxton Podcast, Episode 29 Louis Theroux

Flicking through the Metro whilst whiling away the wee hours at Edinburgh Waverley train station, I spotted an article that tickled my fancy: "David Cameron ejects daughter’s pals over antics at holiday home". A title which, when googled, appears in increasing degrees of drama as it's splashed across Britain’s more noteworthy papers: the Daily Mail exclaiming “Cameron turfs rowdy teens out of holiday home” begging a few questions, or my personal favourite from the Sun declaring that David “wrecked another party” and was “forced to evict teens from £2M Cornwall holiday home”, sounding suspiciously like he was playing Davina McColl in his very own Big Brother House, booting out Jade Goodie for talking about nominations.

Anyway, this jaunt into our former PM’s method of disciplining his teenage daughter reminded me that, obviously, it is Silly Season – a time when all sorts of drivel enters the news. As a reminder to those who aren't familiar with these news features that fill the month of August, some historic highlights include the reports of German bovine, Yvonne, who went on the run in 2011 and ignited British hearts along the way, or last year's outrage over the 7ft gorilla statue featured on a crazy golf course that invaded residences privacy as it (yes, the gorilla) looked into their homes – oh, and let's not forget the regular topless photo of Putin to brighten everyone’s day.

And so, as the sun sets on this season of silliness for another year, I recommend the ultimate dose of tomfoolery in the form of The Adam Buxton Podcast featuring Louis Theroux, no less. Dubbed the King of the Podcast (the Queen no doubt would be Fi Glover and/or Jane Garvey – and we will get to them another week), Adam Buxton has been ‘podding’ for over a decade and is now famed for his “ramble chats” with every Tom, Dick and Harry, exploring the sometimes silly or the sometimes serious and is always accompanied by his dog and my most famous namesake, Rosie (that’s right National Dog Day, I haven’t forgotten about you). 

If you haven’t heard of the podcast gold that is Adam Buxton, then you are clearly not a confirmed podcat and so had better devote the next week consuming his work. In this particular episode from way back in the archive, circa 2016, Louis Theroux – Adam’s old friend – joins the conversation with an extra helping of meta pie and comedy custard. The two descend into hijinks and riotous wordplay, with their shenanigans culminating in a sashay into karaoke from Louis, who delicately wharbles “Oh yes sir, I can boogie” in the falsetto. Enough said. 

Click here to tune into Episode 29 of The Adam Buxton Podcast.

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