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What We Do In The Winter

Arts & Culture Podcasts

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

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


United Kingdom


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




65 Anne MacGregor, Iain Campbell, Jean MacLean and Mabel Canning

This episode features a conversation between Anne MacGregor, Iain Campbell, Jean MacLean and Mabel Canning, who all grew up near Salen. We talk about so many subjects – where people’s families came from, social activities of the past, village halls gone by, Mabel’s mum – Doctor Flora, the songs of Archie MacLean - also known as Wobbles, the brief presence of a very dark soul, the serial killer, Manuel on the island, superstitions, ghost stories, working lives and so, so much more. For links...


64 Gremlin Napier

This episode is a chat with Gremlin Napier of Fanmore, in the North West of Mull. Gremlin came to Mull in the late 70’s and has been here since then, with interludes for adventures in Africa. Our conversation covers a lot of ground. We talk about the origin of his name, the incredible work of his parents, his school days, life in the 60’s and 70’s and the people who he met in the area when he moved to the island. There’s a couple of trigger warnings for you with this episode. Our...


63 Lachlan (Lachie) MacLean WWDitA

This episode is a little bit different from previous episodes. It’s a lecture given by Lachlan (Lachie) MacLean, Lachie Knock, to the Mull Historical Society in the 1980's. The lecture has the loose title of Tales From the Glen. Lachie talks about the origins of the clan MacLean, the struggle to keep the Gaelic language and culture alive, Glen Forsa and Glen Cannel, place names, local story tellers of his youth in Loch Buie and so, so much more. This recording comes from the archive of...


62 Giuliana Mercorio Ashford

In this episode I talk with Giuliana Mercorio Ashford of Tobermory. Giuliana’s life started off in the town of Maddaloni, near Naples in Italy, where she grew up during the second world war. After the war her family moved to South Africa. She then moved to Washington DC, London and then to the Isle of Mull. Thank you for listening! For more info, please visit: https://whatwedointhewinter.com/ What We Do in the Archive - epsiode 1:...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


55 Iain MacKinnon

In this episode I talk with Iain MacKinnon of Tobermory. If you’re listening to this on its day of release, a very happy Christmas to you! Iain talks about his family roots here on the island, and connections to Tiree. We talk about characters from the past, with Iain bringing their memory to life by telling stories that they told him. There are tales of the First World War, Ireland in the 20’s and more passed on from the mouths of MacGochan and others. We talked together one evening with...


54 Hannah Fisher

In this episode I talk with Hannah Fisher of Kintra in the Ross of Mull. Originally from Dunkeld, Hannah is a musician who has toured the world with bands including Idlewild and King Creosote, whilst also having a fantastic solo career as one of the most interesting fiddle players and composers around at this moment in time. I’m delighted to say that Hannah has let us have two pieces of music to play in this episode! Thank you Hannah! Our conversation takes us back through her childhood, the...


53 Shirley Pinder

This episode is a chat with textile artist Shirley Pinder. Shirley grew up in Tobermory where her Mother and Father ran Strongarbh House and the Gallery on the Main Street, where they sold various things including materials woven by her father and herself. Shirley brings her childhood and family clearly to life while also giving us a very fine picture of how her own career developed along with bringing up her family. Shirley’s given me lots of photos and other bits and bobs for the website...


52 Judy Gibson

I’m absolutely delighted to say that this episode is a chat with Judy Gibson of the Isle of Erraid. Erraid is a tidal island off of the Ross of Mull, with a remarkable and long history. Judy and I chatted at the start of lockdown over the internet on a fairly poor line, which cut out several times. Our conversation covers a lot of ground. We talk about how her family first came to holiday on Iona and then onto Erraid, where her mother chose to settle. We talk about Judy’s life and adventures...


WWDitW American Years cross over episode - The Cuban Missile Crisis

COMING SOON: *WWDitW Live@Home* - Friday 31st July 19.30 on Zoom - follow our social media for a link to the event! This is a short bonus episode of What We Do in the Winter which features an episode of the American Years Revisited podcast. At the height of the Cuban missile crisis the USS Proteus left the Holy Loch outside of Dunoon in a great hurry, where it was at the heart of the US nuclear defence system. The seas were so rough that she had to seek refuge in Tobermory Bay. In this...


51 WWDitW Live Event March 2020

Episode 51 - WWDitW Live @Dervaig Village Hall on the 6th of March 2020. This episode is a recording of a live event that we had at Dervaig Village Hall on Saturday the 7th of March 2020. The topics covered in this episode include: Dervaig Village Hall in the Past; a live performance of a play featuring lots of local people at Calgary Bay in 1993, Movies Made on Mull and Delivery vans. At the start I go over the rationale for the project, which if you’ve listened to the end of episode 50...


Islands in Film Trailer

This is a brief advert for Islands in Film, which premieres tomorrow evening at 8pm, Friday the 26th of June 2020. For more info please follow this link https://whatwedointhewinter.com/2020/06/18/islands-in-film-premiering-fri-26th-june-8pm-on-youtube/ Filmed by 75 people and edited by Alasdair & Georgia Satchel, it features music by Hannah Fisher and Sorren Maclean. The aim of the film is to make connections and bring us all together a bit. Another aim is to raise funds for Mull and Iona...


50 Richard Kellett

This episode features a chat with Richard Kellett of Aros Mains. Originally from the Borders Richard is a paramedic here on Mull. He’s lead a remarkable life, having been in the army seeing service in Iraq during the 2nd Iraq war. Many people here on the islands will know him from his work with the ambulance service, his time as manager at Am Birlinn and many other incarnations. It was a real honour to spend this time with Richard and I thought it important to make his episode the 50th as he...


49 Sheena Walker

This episode is a conversation with Sheena Walker. Brought up in Dervaig, Sheena talks about the lives of her Mother and Father, her various jobs on the island, the social scene of her youth and so much more. Due to the current lockdown situation we recorded our chat over the internet. These days, whilst working in Edinburgh at the Royal Scottish Academy on the mound, where she’s in charge of private views, visits to artist’s studios and runs the RSA friends, Sheena keeps her home in...


48 Anja and Mark Jardine

This episode is a conversation with Anja and Mark Jardine of Iona. Due to the current lockdown situation we recorded our chat over the internet. Originally from Germany Anja comes from a town near Leipzig, and grew up during the cold war, when the Berlin Wall divided the country into East and West Germany. Anja was in the East living under communism. We talk about the experience of growing up in this environment, and the moment when it all changed with the fall of the wall. Mark was brought...