At random with Martin Laing 16.01.20

Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop unveils events set to make a huge splash in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, with local Scottish Surfers, using hashtag : YCW2020. L-R: Surfers Sally Harris, Owen McQueenie, Brian Allen, Sam Christopherson, Tamzin McQueenie and Martin McQueenie
Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop unveils events set to make a huge splash in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

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Floats my boat

This is, as many of you will know, the Scotland-wide themed Year of Coasts and Waters.

And what better place to celebrate our coasts and waters than Argyll and the Isles?

Our fantastic region will feature significantly in the themed year’s activities … and no wonder.

We are, after all, a magnet for visitors who want to explore our maritime communities and islands.

Personally, I think the Year of Coasts and Waters is a brilliant idea which should draw even more tourists to Argyll and the Isles, thereby boosting the region’s economy and keeping people in gainful employment.

One area of marine activity that seems to be booming in popularity is the trend for open-water swimming – with or without wetsuits.

One of my colleagues at The Oban Times is a real enthusiast and takes a lunchtime dip in the sea on most days, wearing only a swimsuit and in all weathers.

Now, I appreciate that it has many health benefits but I can assure you that, while I am in awe of open-water swimmers, I am not about to join them.

I will, however, be watching with interest to see the YCW2020 calendar and many scheduled events.

Driven to distraction

There have been temporary traffic lights closing one lane at the top of Glen Ogle, just north of Lochearnhead on the A85 route to Oban, for months now.

Not once, however, despite being a frequent user of the road, have I seen any workers undertaking any kind of remedial action to fix what might be wrong.

Now, I must admit that motorists are not delayed for long when the lights are red but, as an impatient driver, I am becoming thoroughly frustrated that this hold-up is still going on after all these countless weeks.

Does anyone know why the temporary lights are there or, better still, when they might be removed?

What do you think?

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