At Random with Martin Laing – 31.12.20

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?

 

Subscribe Now
What a year

By the time any of you read this, Christmas will be behind us with Hogmanay hovering enticingly just over the horizon.

Now, I’m no different from anyone else and this hiatus between celebratory high points is usually a time when many of us reflect on the year in its last throes and ponder what the future may deliver.

Suffice it to say, it has been a year unlike any I can recall – and it looks as I write as if this dreadful pandemic has a considerable course to run. For me, it has been a year of astonishing change, and some of it – surprisingly, perhaps, given the circumstances – very much for the better.

I won’t challenge your span of attention with a long list, but I will offer that I have ended a full-time career in newspapers which spanned 40 years. Other opportunities beckon now, though I hope to maintain my close relationship with The Oban Times and will continue to engage with you, dear readers, by way of this column.

As I have said before, I remain in awe of the Oban community and the people who make it what it is, and never has that spirit been more evident than this year and, indeed, this festive season.

The Oban Times in recent weeks has been replete with tales of ordinary – and extraordinary – people who have above and beyond to benefit others. Last week’s edition was no different, with numerous smiling faces doing their best.

Personally, I would like to thank all those who have helped me in a wide variety of ways, including the simple fact of friendship and good times shared in good company. There have also, of course, been those doing vital jobs whose efforts and commitment contribute to make life the joy that it is. You know who you are.

There are undoubtedly more difficult days ahead as the coronavirus blights all our lives, but I am ever the optimist and trust that better times await.

Hopefully, 2021 will turn out to be memorable for much more positive reasons than its predecessor.

What do you think?

Send your comments to editor@obantimes.co.uk