The Hut Near The Bog podcast was conceived in March 2020 when Dr James Hoctor, a philosopher, found himself at the beginning of the ‘lockdown period’ on the family farm in Tipperary. His mum, Sheila, a life coach, had been talking for a while about blogging and needed some assistance in setting it up. However, after a chat about the competitiveness of the blogging world, they decided to collaborate on a podcast series instead.
They came up with the idea of producing a podcast that would appeal to the Irish people and diaspora by discussing philosophy and life coaching topics through the lens of Irish history, culture, and traditions and the name was inspired by the remnants of an old hut on the family farm.
In the Christmas episode, James and Sheila are joined by 7 guests, the first of whom was born in 1936 and the last in 2015. We learn about each guest’s Christmas memories and what makes it a special experience in Ireland. We also learn about Christmas day pastimes, for example, Packie, the eldest guest, regales hurling with his peers for 4 hours straight on Christmas day and then playing pitch and toss in the evenings. We also hear about hunting the wren, the mummers, the Christmas candle, and many other Christmas traditions.
We hear some funny stories too, like Samantha, who found that Santa had left a bag of coal in her doll house because she had been misbehaving in the lead up to Christmas day! And the youngest guest, Ellie, tells us about the meaning of Christmas and sings a Christmas song!