64 episodes

A podcast about the lives of the people of the isles of Mull, Iona, Ulva and Gometra.

What We Do In The Winter Alasdair Satchel

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 50 Ratings

A podcast about the lives of the people of the isles of Mull, Iona, Ulva and Gometra.

    61 John Macfarlane

    61 John Macfarlane

    In this special Christmas episode I talk with Brigadier John Macfarlane who grew up in Tobermory during WW2, where his family ran Macfarlane’s the shop on the main street.
    We talk about life in Tobermoryin World War 2, the roots of his family and how they came to live on Mull, the founding of Tobermory Distillery, the characters of his youth, we hear a remarkable tale about life on the Isle of Lunga, and discuss the nature of Gaelic in the Tobermory of his youth.

    A very merry christmas to you if you're listening as the episode goes out!

    Episode links and more can be found at whatwedointhewinter.com

    If you've enjoyed this episode and were able to and wanted to support the podcast, this month could we ask you to consider a donation towards our local foodbank, Mull and Iona Pantry, which can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/mullandionapantry Any support is much appreciated, thank you.

    Thanks so much for listening!
    Nollaig Chridheil dhut!

    • 1 hr 19 min
    60 Harry Hickford

    60 Harry Hickford

    This episode is a conversation with Harry Hickford of Tobermory.

    Harry comes originally from the Scottish borders where he worked on the land, particularly as a horsieman. He came to Mull to run Erray Farm for Colonel Anderson.
    We talk about his time growing up in the borders, a little about borders identity, then his move to Mull, who the characters were when he first came here, how he found life on the island, the changes in agricultural practice that he’s seen over the course of his life and much more besides. We also hear a ghost story...

    This is a conversation that I’ve wanted to have for a very long time, so it was just brilliant to get to spend time with Harry.

    What We Do in the Winter is sponsored by Island Bakery, and, in particular, their delicious Lemon Melts.

    For links and more episodes please feel free to visit our website on whatwedointhewinter.com

    Thanks for listening!

    • 1 hr 8 min
    59 Charlotte Mellis

    59 Charlotte Mellis

    In this episode I talk with Charlotte Mellis of Larach Mhòr, near Treshnish. 

    Charlotte’s family have had a home on Mull since the 1950’s. Her father was in the Navy when she was wee so she grew up between Mull, Malta and Greece.


Charlotte is a noted potter who owns the Tin Shed gallery, where you can see both her work and exhibitions by herself and others throughout the course of the year. 

She hails from a family of renowned artists including her aunties Margaret Mellis and Ann Stokes.

    Our conversation goes straight in at the deep end with discussions about the nature of privilege and trying to find a niche in life. We then talk about her family, how she developed her skills as a potter, her rock and roll past and how she met Athol, to whom she’s been married for 30 years and then we talk about why she loves life here on Mull.

    For links and more please visit whatwedointhewinter.com

    Thanks for listening!

    • 1 hr 1 min
    58 Carla Lamont

    58 Carla Lamont

    This episode is a conversation with Carla Lamont of Fionnphort.
    Carla originally hails from Canada and chose to come and work in Scotland, starting off on Iona, before coming across to Fionnphort where she and her husband John run the remarkable 9th Wave restaurant.

As well as running a very successful restaurant, you may know Carla from her recent appearances on Master Chef – the Professionals. 

Our conversation takes in her youth in different parts of Canada and then we go on to talk about her love of playing pool – and that’s how she met John in the Keel Row in Fionnphort, we then talk about how they established the restaurant, what’s special about the 9th Wave, her performance poetry career, her work in radio, her appearances on Master Chef and lots more beside. 

As this episode was recorded over Zoom there are odd crackles and pops here and there, for which I apologise.

    Photo of Carla by Sam Jones.

    This episode is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Iain MacKinnon

    Thank you for listening.

    Episode links and more on:

    • 52 min
    57 Dawn Reade

    57 Dawn Reade

    In this episode I talk with Dawn Reade of Tobermory.

    Dawn comes originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland.
    We talk about growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, her family, her choice to come and study in Edinburgh, the relative attractiveness of people in rural as opposed to urban settings, the development of the Island Bakery business, how international market trends affect a rural business such as theirs and so much more.

    Dawn and I were able to record this at my house when the covid restrictions were lifted back in September 2020.

    Towards the end of the episode Dawn goes into more detail on some of the darker parts of life in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, just a wee heads up so as not to cause any distress.

    It was so great to catch up with Dawn, I miss not getting to see my pals in person.

    For links and more please visit whatwedointhewinter.com

    Thanks for listening, I hope you're well and happy wherever you are.

    Nice to see the sun coming back now that the spring is on the way.
    I'm not sure if anyone ever reads this far in these bits.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    56 Duncan Brown

    56 Duncan Brown

    In this episode I talk with Duncan Brown, formerly of Tobermory.

    Duncan talks about growing up in Tobermory in the 70’s and 80’s and the role that sports, scouting and more played in his youth.
    We talk about football, Bogie racing, The Rally and lots more.
    Duncan gives a great account of what it’s like to be in a Rally car, the sensations and smells – he paints such a clear picture, it’s a delight to hear.

    We then go on to talk about Duncan’s working life in Engineering, his training and travels.

    At certain points in the episode you can hear my family running around in the background getting up to stuff, sorry about that, I hope it’s not too distracting.

    Duncan and I were able to record this at my house when the covid restrictions were lifted.
    It was so nice to be sat together chatting, I long to get back to those days.

    If you’re listening to this as it goes out on Thursday the 21st of January 2021, we’ve got a WWDitW live event online on Zoom tomorrow at 20.00 with the focus on sport. If you want to join us you can get tickets for free on this link. More details can be found on social media.

    Interestingly, I think this is the first 2nd generation episode of the podcast, as I’ve previously spoken to Duncan’s Mum, Olive Brown, back in episode 13!

    Thanks for listening!

    • 1 hr 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Fraz Mac ,

Fraz Mac

Me being from mull, but not living there now and work aboard a lot it’s tremendous hearing Alasdair and the true locals and natives of the island and all there story’s👌 first class

strubag83 ,

Love them!

One of my favourite podcasts- love hearing about days gone by and also peoples lives and how they’ve come to where they are now. Keep them coming 🥰

jennyhunterarts ,

Insightful and interesting

Unique podcast by Alasdair Satchel. Some friendly banter and interesting stories.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

BBC Radio 4
Serial Productions & The New York Times
Elizabeth Day
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4

You Might Also Like

BBC Radio 4
Somethin' Else
BBC Radio 4
The Guardian
BBC Radio Scotland
BBC Radio 4