Kay McDonald: Around Oban

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Where to start with everything that’s going on this weekend?

Lorn Drama Festival is as good a place as any, eight one-act plays from all over Argyll in the Corran Halls tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow, catching the crème de la crème of Argyll’s acting talent.

On Saturday (March 30) things get positively manic with so much on. We welcome the cruise ship Astoria first thing in the morning, bringing more than 500 people into Oban where hopefully they will see lots of locals taking part in the Keep Oban Beautiful spring clean. Think how impressed they’ll be, going home and telling everyone how much Oban cares about its environment.

It’s not too late to sign up to help, have a look on Facebook or at the posters around town to find out how or just turn up on the day and take part, it’s a wonderful, sociable and enjoyable thing to do.

Saturday morning also sees the Masterbuilders-Lego Creative Construction Club on in Rockfield for all the Lego fans – older fans can always borrow a child to take along. The Toy Cupboard is also holding a Table Top Sale in Glencruitten Church Hall, if you fancy a wee rummage. I never manage to go home empty handed but it’s also a good chance to try and declutter in time for spring cleaning.

If you have a smidgen of energy left then on Saturday night Oban Pride Rainbow Fundraiser is in the Argyllshire Gathering Halls and promises to be another fantastic event hosted by Crystal.

All the ladies organising and attending all the events this weekend can look forward to a long lie in on Sunday for Mother’s Day, well a bit of a long lie, as it’s also time for our clocks to spring forward by an hour, but on a busy weekend like this one, every little helps. So Happy Mother’s Day to all you fabulous ladies out there who do so much for everyone, today let others spoil you for a change.

The photograph last week was of the railing above West Coast Motors, it’s beautiful isn’t it? Does anyone recognise this lovely person doing their bit to Keep Oban Beautiful in this week’s photograph?

MV Astoria visits Oban for first time

Astoria is the latest name for this fine ship which was launched in Sweden in 1946 as the Stockholm.

During her seven decades of service she has passed through several owners and sailed under the names Völkerfreundschaft, Volker, Fridtjof Nansen, Italia I, Italia Prima, Valtur Prima, Caribe, Athena, and Azores before beginning service as Astoria in March 2016.

In her varied career she has been involved in a collision, foiled attempts at boarding by pirates by using water cannons and used as barracks for asylum seekers.

In 2015 she entered service with Cruise and Maritime Voyages as a cruise ship and is registered in Madeira, Portugal.

She will visit Oban for the first time on Saturday March 30, with her 556 passengers and hope that they enjoy their time in the town.