245. Merry Christmas! (+ Other News) + Video!

This is just a chance to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to give you a bit of news. There is a video for this episode, featuring 15 minutes of extra footage which I filmed before recording the audio episode. You can watch it below. [Download audio]

Small Donate ButtonVideo – I started recording this 15 minutes before starting the podcast, so you’ll see me preparing myself to start recording, and I show you what it’s like to record a podcast in the slightly cramped (and badly lit) conditions of the ‘spacepod’ or ‘sky pod’! Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera ran out after about 30 minutes! Never mind – the audio podcast is my main focus anyway. :)

Contents of this episode
1. MEEEERY CHRISTMAS (if you celebrate it)
Click these links for previous episodes about Christmas:
160. The A to Z of Christmas
78. Christmas – It’s all about Family

2. Macmillan Competition

3. Nicknames – LEPPERS, LEPSTERS, LEPPISH, PLEPs, LEP Ninjas, LEP FC, The Cult of LEP, LEP United, LEPPARDS, LEPPANS, LEPIANS, LEPANESE, LEPLANDERS, LEPaholics… what do you think? Which nickname do you prefer? Do you need just one nickname or can we use lots of different aliases? I might do a proper survey on this to let you choose your nickname by committee.

4. Emails – I don’t get many opportunities to properly reply to your emails, and I get loads of them. I’ve tried lots of things – putting them in other folders, forwarding to other inboxes etc. The problem is, I just can’t get around to it. The reason is because I can’t really reply to you all individually. I have to just talk to you as one large group. Sorry if you have sent me an email and I haven’t replied. Really – I am very sorry and it hurts a little bit because you’ve gone out of your way. I love to receive emails but I can’t always reply. I haven’t published my email address on the website and I don’t mention it in the podcast (I used to) because I’d rather the correspondence came via teacherluke.co.uk and was public. That way I’m more likely to reply. Correspondence between me and you privately is very rare. So, if you have comments, do leave them on the website. I genuinely love reading your comments and I’m frequently impressed by what a lovely community of people I have listening to this podcast. It’s quite amazing really, so keep doing that – I’m sure I have a large silent majority out there. Most people don’t correspond with me directly. That’s fine. I never send emails to my favourite podcasters (except a text I sent to the Adam & Joe show once, which they read out!) So I understand that most of you have never commented or anything. I would like to hear from you so do get in touch. You could be a long term listener but first time commenter, or whatever. Anyway, I can’t always reply to specific requests which I get sent by email, and I do get a lot. For example, I often get emails with specific requests like giving you help for the IELTS test, asking for advice on visiting France or The UK or whatever. I would honestly love to reply fully to those mails but I can’t justify sitting down to write a full email when that time must be spent on other things.

What I would like to do is publicly read out some emails. I think this is a great way to give you a voice. If you would like to send me emails that I can reply to live on the podcast, please send your emails to podcastreply@gmail.com, that’s podcastreply@gmail.com. I will assume that if you send any email there that you’re happy for me to read it out on the podcast and reply to it orally. I can’t guarantee that all your emails there will be broadcast, but let’s try it. Send emails you’d like me to read out and respond to on LEP to podcastreply@gmail.com.

I realise there’s a forum section for questions you’ve asked me, and in fact several times I’ve attempted to record episodes in response to those forum questions and for one reason or another I had to abandon recording due to technical errors, and time issues. I’m trying to find a system for giving you a voice on the podcast at the moment. Let’s try a few ways until we get the right one. Perhaps the email inbox idea will give me just a little more discretion regarding which emails I reply to.

I am a little wary of giving you the impression that you can make requests for the podcast. One of the ways I can make this podcast work with my time schedule is to have total control over what I put out. It allows me to be flexible, determine my own schedule, motivate me by allowing me to have creative freedom and also it probably gives the podcast a distinctive and original quality. I do get requests that I’m sure would please a lot of people, but they would require a heck of a lot of preparation. Sometimes I do put a lot of time into episodes, but those are the ones I just seem to be particularly driven to produce, out of some urgent sense of creativity. Essentially, the urge to do episodes has to come from me, or they won’t really get done. So, at the end of the day I decide all of the output of the podcast, but it would be nice to feature your input too. Perhaps podcastreply@gmail.com is a good way of doing that. Send your correspondence there and I will aim to stick it into episodes of the podcast, and comment on your questions that way.

5. Lost podcasts. I’ve recorded a few episodes over the years that were not published or got lost due to a hard drive accident. You will probably never hear them and will never know what they were about…

Thank you for listening and Merry Christmas everyone!


  • Helen

    hi Luke!
    I just want to thank you for your podcasts and also I want notice that you have incredable voice (it’s music to my ears!)!

  • Soo Min

    Hi Luke,

    East asian counturies celebrate the winter solstice. Here in Korea, it’s called Dongji. We have a tradition of eating sweet red-bean porridge on the day, mostly between the 21st and 22nd of December. It’s believed that the red colour of the porridge chases away all the bad lucks that might come to people in the following year by having it and/or scattering it outside their houses.

    I guess China, Japan, and Taiwan also have similar traditions and somehow celebrate it as we do but in a bit different ways. It seems like the red colour is welcomed and considered to be warm, safe and sound in many countries.

    Just for your reference, here’s a link for the tradition mentioned above: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongzhi_(solar_term)

    Then Merry Christmas!

    Best wishes,
    Soo Min

  • ptholome

    The problem with the votes is that the vote for the best podcastsite doesn´t exist. So people, because it looks like a blog, tastes like a blog, but even if it isn’t a blog, they vote for yours.

    However, because en France they have until the 31th January for their new year wishes, I wish you a good and successful new year 2015.

    • Thank you!

      I know – it’s a bit of a tricky issue, the whole ‘blog/podcast’ thing. Still, if that’s the category they’ve put me in, I’m very happy for it!

      Happy New Year to you too. I see the Christmas decorations are still up all over Paris. I expect they’ll be taken down at the end of the month then.

  • Nikolay

    Have just return from the UK – where I was for Christmas holidays – I wish you a very happy 2015

    Thanks a lot and greetings from Russia

  • Marla

    Hi Luke!! I love your Podcast!! I recommended your Poscast to my aunt who was looking for a way to improve her english for her job. A day ago she told me that she really likes you podcast and listens to it while she’s on her way to work. Thank you!!!

  • English GURU Luke,

    Video was authentically presented by teacher Luke , and it was quite great !!!!!!
    You could do this AWARD WINNING PODCAST either way indeed.


  • Happy new year ;)