At Random with Martin Laing – 31.12.20

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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?

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