A podcast about life, and how we choose to live it. The Family of Things is an independent podcast production by Athena Media and hosted by Helen Shaw. In these conversations Helen talks with guests about their life journey, what formed them, informs them and inspires them. 'It's an ode to life and how we find our own path', she says. Season 2 launched April 2 2021 with Ruth Smith and episodes are released fortnightly. If you like the podcast please support what we do, share it, and join our Patreon community https://www.patreon.com/tfot
website : www.thefamilyofthings.com
S2 E1 : Ruth Smith (April 2021)
The Family of Things : Season 2 E1 : Ruth Smith Released April 2 2021
The Family of Things is a podcast about life, and how we chose to live it, hosted by Helen Shaw and created by the award winning independent podcast producers Athena Media. All conversations in Season 2 have been recorded remotely due to the pandemic.
Website: www.thefamilyofthings.com #TheFamilyOfThings
Ruth Smith is well known to radio listeners for her weekly RTÉ Radio 1 show Simply Folk but Ruth is a woman of many hats and talents. She is also part of the female singing trio ‘The Evertides’ with her singing sisters Ruth McGill and Alma Kelliher and her creative work includes writing poetry and fiction. She was born, as Ruth says, a middle child in a family running a busy and bustling Portumna pub in Co. Galway, she grew up performing, doing turns in the pub playing fiddle and became an accomplished pianist.
She went to Trinity College Dublin to study drama and theatre, she still has an occasional life on stage as an actor, and today she lives in East Clare, with her husband, fellow musician Fergal Scahill (of We Banjo 3), and their rescue cat and two dogs. In this episode of The Family of Things Ruth shares an often deeply personal journey of self-discovery and how a turbulence time in her late twenties, and early thirties, when her first marriage ended, and she felt lost, helped her find confidence in her own voice, and the power to use it for a positive purpose.
Psychologist Tony Bates wrote of this episode : 'Powerful. Searingly honest and healing'.
You can find out more about Ruth follow her on twitter twitter.com/theruthsmith, so you can see her haikus and you can hear The Evertides music on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/3KORys5YygyWKuTocK1mbB?autoplay=true In the episode Ruth uses the Irish word 'altramas' - which means to foster, to take care of someone, to nurse, so an altramaí is a foster person, foster parent, in the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. The music you hear in this episode includes:
The Evertides - Silence Falling, in the opening & Mayfly in the closing
Billy Joel - Goodnight My Angel Sung by Ruth
Mary Keane/ Mary MacGabhann - Whispering Hope (Ruth's Aunt)
Julie Feeney - Life's Nudge
You can hear, and buy, the songs Ruth's Aunt Mary recorded to raise fund for St Francis Hospice here: marymacgabhann.bandcamp.com/releases You can hear Julie's performance of the song performed live with Cormac de Barra for the Pantisocracy show 2017 here: https://audioboom.com/posts/6166686-pantisocracy-performance-season-2-e-4-julie-feeney-life-s-nudge
Ruth reads The Philip Larkin poem ' This Be The Verse' and you find the text here : https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48419/this-be-the-verseThe Family of Things is an Athena Media independent podcast production.
The host, and producer, is Helen Shaw. The digital editor is John Howard. The theme music is 'The Old Haunt' by Ana Gog - composed by Michael Gallen. The Family of Things is an independent podcast without other sources of funding. If you like what we do and want to support the creation of Season 2 consider becoming a member of our Patreon community for just a euro a month.
Help make things happen. www.patreon.com/tfot
Episode Transcript: https://www.happyscribe.com/transcriptions/ba128f78e0c94c06ab33fd5760b5ca97/edit_v2
The title 'The Family of Things' comes from a poem by Mary Oliver 'Wilde Geese' https://www.vanderbilt.edu/olli/class-materials/2017Summer.MindfulnessWk1.pdf
S1 E15 - Frank Berry (2018)
Helen Shaw's guest in this episode of The Family of Things is film-maker Frank Berry whose work tells stories of social realism in often tough suburbs from the documentary film 'Ballymun Lullaby' at the time of the tearing down of the Ballymun Towers to dramas like 'I Used to Live Here', touching on youth mental health and suicide to the more recent and acclaimed 'Michael Inside' about a teenage boy caught up in the quicksand of the Irish prison system. Frank loves working with young people and his twin passions are teaching and film-making, looking for the moments when he can turn a switch on in someone's mind.
To find out more about the series go to www.thefamilyofthings.com
The Family of Things is an independent podcast by Athena Media, hosted by Helen Shaw and the digital editor is John Howard. If you like what we do please consider supporting us on our Patreon https://www.patreon.com/tfot
The theme music is 'The Old Haunt' by Ana Gog, composed by Michael Gallen.
S1 E14 - Tony Bates (2018)
In this episode of The Family of Things Helen Shaw’s guest is the psychologist and author Dr Tony Bates. Tony founded Headstrong, (now Jigsaw), the National Agency for Youth Mental Health, after a long career in clinical psychology. He was the co-editor of Vision for Change, the mental health strategic review in 2006 and that work motivated him to create an NGO with a mission to provide mental health resources for young people. Jigsaw now has 13 centres across Ireland and has become a critical part of support services for young people in Ireland. Tony is also credited as one of the people who brought the practice of mindfulness to public attention in Ireland following his own experience at the Buddhist retreat centre in Plum Village, France with the spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh. He is the author of ‘Coming Through Depression, a Mindful Approach to Recovery’. In this episode he shares his own experienced of overcoming trauma, and how his brother's death when he was a child marked him. In an open and frank conversation he charts how his own troubled times in his teens prepared him for his life's work, and for a practice earthed in empathy. Tony now lives at the coast in Co Sligo and is working on a memoir.
S1 E13 - Peter Gallagher (2016)
Helen Shaw’s guest in this edition of the The Family of Things podcast is Irish scientist and astro physicist Professor Peter Gallagher. The Family of Things is a podcast by Athena Media.
Peter Gallagher leads solar physics and space weather research at Trinity College Dublin. Gallagher researches the Sun, in particular solar storms and their impact on Earth. He is Director of the Rosse Solar Terrestrial Observatory at Birr Castle and leads the Irish LOFAR radio telescope project. Gallagher says he was always fascinated by how things work when he was a small boy, even taking the television apart to see what made it work but was a lack lustre student at school.
He took physics and mathematics at UCD before his PhD in solar physics at Queen’s University Belfast. At UCD he met and married fellow scientist Emma Teeling who now heads the bat lab at UCD and is an internationally acclaimed geneticist. Gallagher spent six years in the US including working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
S1 E12 - Vivienne DeCourcy
Vivienne DeCourcy, the writer and director of the new feature film ‘Dare to be Wild’ is Helen Shaw’s guest in episode 12 of The Family of Things.
‘Dare to be Wild’, is based on the true story of Irish wild garden designer Mary Reynolds who won the Chelsea Garden Show in 2002. The film is Vivienne’s directorial debut and in this podcast Vivienne talks about her connection to the film’s message, the importance of the environment, nature conservation on our planet and the connection between man and the environment. Vivienne, a former lawyer, began writing scripts after surviving cancer and she talks about her instinctive relationship with the outdoors and nature from her childhood.
Her parents, her father was in the Irish Army, and her mother was an English teacher, encouraged her to become a doctor or a lawyer, but as a lover of art and history, she feels she was given a special gift – to take inspirational and enlightening stories and share them with an audience.
S1 E11 - Rory O’Neill aka Panti Bliss (2016)
Helen Shaw’s guest is performer and accidental activist Rory O’Neill aka the Queen of Ireland, Panti Bliss. Rory talks about his memoir ‘Woman in the Making’ (Hachette 2014) and his personal journey from growing up in rural Ireland to become a ‘national treasure’ as the drag queen Panti who he says has become a sort of ‘avatar for change’. Rory shares the highs and lows of the last two years since his celebrated speech on the stage of the Abbey Theatre which mobilised support for the Marriage Equality Referendum that was passed by the Irish public in May 2015. He reads from his memoir and talks about the influences on his Panti persona including Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett with her frosted eyeshadow and blonde mane and his exotic Aunty Qy who visited from the US with gifts of ‘jumpers with hoods’ for him and his cousins. Highlights of this funny and insightful podcast include Rory’s description of sharing a stage with Bono in U2’s recent Dublin gig and the story behind the making of the Queen of Ireland documentary film.
For more from Panti Bliss check out the podcast series that she went on to make with Helen and Athena Media called 'Pantisocracy' - the cabaret of conversations. www.pantisocracy.ie