One of the most welcome improvements that the internet has brought to Mull’s island life, and which I deeply appreciate, is the ability to now be able to access the BBC’s vast output of both TV and radio via catch-up services like iPlayer or, for radio, by subscribing to many podcast versions of popular programmes which are nigh-on impossible to tune in to if you’re in the wrong place on the Isle of Mull.
That said, quite a lot of places on Mull fall into that category. So I was relieved to discover that ‘On your Farm’, which interviews Mull salmon farmer Geoff Kidd from Loch Spelvie in this week’s show, was also available on the iPlayer. Sadly though, it seems to be one of the few programmes which doesn’t get the podcast treatment after broadcast, so to listen you need to be sitting at your PC. Still, at 22 minutes in length it’s hardly a hardship.
Not a regular listener to this show, I was surprised to discover that On Your Farm now seems to be quite hip. It’s presented by ex Blur band member Alex James no less. I suspect that’s because Alex now dabbles in farming himself and makes cheese on his Oxfordshire farm. So perhaps he took the opportunity to pop up to Mull’s own big cheeses. If you haven’t tasted Isle of Mull Cheese you’re missing one of the country’s best.
Beach House Self Catering, Isle of Mull
Contrary to received wisdom, it’s not always the case that the Isle of Mull is off limits in the winter months. It’s true that the weather gets a whole lot chillier as we move towards the end of the year. But, thanks to being in the path of the Gulf stream, the island is bathed in warmer waters which usually keeps the harsher cold, often endured by Scotland’s east coast, at bay.
Proving this point was an up-to-the-minute blog I discovered this morning by Nigel Cole. He’s on Mull outside of what might traditionally be considered the holiday season, yet is enjoying some excellent weather… the proverbial Indian summer no doubt.
As he explains, “Today was magic. We had a dream combination of no wind, sunshine, blue skies and low volume of tourists.” He then recounts a day spent traversing the whole of Mull; from Tobermory, all the way to Iona and the Abbey, where he says, “After completing our tour of the Abbey we strolled back to the ferry for our return trip to Mull and then embarked on a return drive, this time along the west coast of Mull which proved very pleasant in the afternoon sunshine. The single track road with poor surface provided an additional dimension to the trip which, overall, proved quite exhilarating.”
This, I think, helps to confound those who would say that Mull is best enjoyed in the summer. It’s an all year round island that can offer an all-round experience. Just think twice, perhaps, about skinny-dipping in the sea at this time of year!
Beach House, Isle of Mull Self-Catering