At random with Martin Laing week 49

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Feeling festive

I am usually tempted to join the bah humbug brigade when it comes to mentioning Christmas before December.

Yet I find myself feeling curiously festive, even though we are barely into the month.

This is, I suspect, because the wonderful Oban Winter Festival lifts everyone’s spirits and is rapidly followed by a number of festive events across the Oban area.

Among them, as we report this week, is the splendid St Conan’s Christmas tree festival at Lochawe, which the organisers think is now the largest of its kind in Scotland. Mind you, I was a bit disappointed that The Oban Times entry wasn’t among the prize-winners despite all the effort put in by our Kathie and Louises. Better luck next year.

The feelgood factor was also enhanced by a number of Christmas fairs and markets over the weekend, which were well supported and much enjoyed. Well done to everyone involved in putting on these events. You’ve made one old grump feel better.

Go to the ball

Tonight, tomorrow and Saturday sees performances of Cinderella by Benderloch and North Connel Drama Club in Oban’s Corran Halls.

I am reliably informed it is cracking entertainment, which also features dancers from Oban Dance Academy.

It is, as the drama club said itself, a real team effort. The performers on stage will hog the limelight, naturally, but there is a substantial number of people working behind the scenes without whom there would be no show. They deserve just as much credit.

I would urge anyone who can get along to the panto to support it. Tickets are only £10 and £8 and will be great value. As the old saying has it: ‘Use it or lose it.’ It is only public backing that will ensure its continuation in future.

What do you think?

Write to me at or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.