My Weekend: I'm bringing my podcast to Cork

Tara Flynn hosts her podcast ‘Taranoia Live’ at Crawford Art Gallery on Sunday, October 13, at 6pm, as part of the inaugural Cork Podcast Festival. Here she talks about her love for her hometown Kinsale, dreams of New York and why she’ll never have a weekend lie- in thanks to some four-legged friends.
My Weekend: I'm bringing my podcast to Cork
Tara Flynn, of the Taranoia podcast, who is in Cork this weekend at the Cork Podcast Festival. Picture: Ruth Connolly

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m originally from just outside Kinsale. So I’ve always been a culchie, even at the convent school in town. I’m proud of my culchie roots. I have one sister (Sara Flynn) who’s a ceramicist, living in Belfast. I’m in awe of her work-ethic and talent. I think our imaginations formed pretty strongly growing up away from where our school friends lived - there was only one bus past our house a week at the time. After we left home, mum and dad moved into Kinsale town, and mum still lives there. It’s always great to get back. That’s why when Cork podcast festival suggested doing Taranoia Live in the city, I jumped at the chance. I can mix business with family visits, and that’s a treat.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Work can often mean being onstage, glammed up, talking to people, being out late. So my dream Friday night is PJs on, makeup off, at home, talking only to my husband, the dog and the cat. Heaven. The trashier the telly I can find, the better.

Lie-ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

I’m up with the lark. I’ve never been a great sleeper - I feel like I’m missing out on something. The sleep FOMO is real! And now we live in a flat with two pets who wake at dawn, so lying in isn’t an option anyway. We take turns running down to the street or the park with the dog. And once you’re up, you’re up.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Yes. I can be working as an MC at the weekend, or filming sometimes happens on Saturdays. Even when I’m not booked to do a paid job, it’s hard to switch off writers’ brain if you’re on a roll...or on a deadline. If that coincides with a Sunday, there’s no choice but to strike while the iron is hot. Freelancers have to work whenever we get it and are damn grateful to. Also grateful when an idea finally arrives and demands to be written up. There can be long stretches without either work or ideas. So, phew.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I would bring Carl, my husband, anywhere he’d come. He’s the most craic. He’s American, so it’d be lovely to get to New York for a weekend. It’d get him home for a minute and honestly, NYC would be no chore for me! He loves living in Ireland, but his hometown (LA) is so far away. It’d be great to give him a few more USA fixes, to keep him topped up.

Tara Flynn, of the Taranoia podcast. picture by Ruth Connolly
Tara Flynn, of the Taranoia podcast. picture by Ruth Connolly

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

You simply can’t beat Kinsale. I know I’m biased, but it’s true. It’s fun, there’s a bit of nightlife if you want it, beaches, the lot. Garrettstown beach over Christmas/New Year is essential to blow all the cobwebs away and think about fresh starts.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

I love family and friends, but I definitely need quiet time, too, where I’m hardly talking at all. I’m no fun to be around then. I try, where possible, to keep weekends quiet. As I’ve already mentioned, though, work often comes in on a Saturday or Sunday so a quiet weekend can be a rare luxury.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I love exercising. I go a bit crazy without it. I sprained my ankle a couple of months ago, so just ask poor Carl! When I’m fully fit and on my feet, walking the dog is one of my favourite things to do. It clears my head, tires the dog out, and it’s terrible, but I probably wouldn’t take the time to just go to a park and just be there without him.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

I’m not a great cook, so entertaining is stressful. But I love it! I’ll make a big soup and lots of snacky things - hard for me to mess up, people can eat as much as they like and get on with the business of chatting. So I guess my signature dish is a big old pot of soup. Not very exciting, but I’ll make sure and put some chilli in next time. Now, if anyone suggests meeting for lunch anywhere, I’m there like a shot.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

I’m probably way behind on Cork city spots - it’s so long since I’ve had time off in town. Market Lane is great for veggies like me and non veggies alike, and not far from the bus station, for Kinsale access. I took Carl to the Liberty Grill for his birthday lunch last year and it was fab. For a family get together, we love the White House, Bruno’s or Jimmy Edwards in Kinsale, and - more home businesses - coffee from the Lemon Leaf or Gourmet Pantry.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

For the winter, we’ll probably be watching the Strictly results show. I become an armchair dance expert. “That toe was way off!” It’s a great way to pretend the world isn’t grim - to watch people doing their best to acquire a skill and put on a show while doing it. I’m here for that.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

It goes off at cat-demands-feeding and dog-needs-a-wee o’clock on Monday morning, as every morning.

UPCOMING EVENT

Tara O’Flynn hosts her podcast Taranoia Live at Crawford Art Gallery on Sunday, October 13, at 6pm, as part of the inaugural Cork Podcast Festival. Her special guest on the evening is Dr Amanullah De Sondy, a Scottish Pakistani academic in Contemporary Islam who’s been a senior lecturer at UCC since 2015. He’s a media commentator, often kilted, and self-describes as a “pluralist freak who asks too many annoying questions”.

He connects the study of Islam to gender, ethnicity, race, and Celtic countries. He’s also mad about tennis. Tara can’t wait to chat with him and find out: what makes him Taranoid.

For full details on Cork Podcast festival, visit www.corkpodcastfestival.com

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