At Random – 6.5.21

Martin Laing

Want to read more?

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
Simply wonderful

What a weekend!

Oban reopened and, to my unprofessional economic eye, with spectacular success.

Wasn’t it just wonderful to see the town absolutely bouncing with visitors all enjoying the myriad pleasures of Oban?

The town centre was chock-a-block over the weekend, with tourists flocking to the coast for the May Bank Holiday weekend,

Kenspeckle Gordon MacGillivray, from the Railway Pier seafood stall, was totally ebullient when I saw him on Saturday, and the town’s pubs and cafes with outside seating were roaring with customers.

My wife Dorothy and I talked to Debbie from the Lorne Whisky Bar and Kitchen on Saturday and she was buzzing with the amount of trade over the May bank holiday weekend. After literally months of brutal hardship from inability to trade, the hospitality sector businesses had what I hope fervently was a cash-rich return to trading.

The Baxter family from Stonehouse in Lanarkshire loved their weekend in Oban.

But it wasn’t just the traders who were celebrating. So were the visitors, and among those I encountered were the Baxter family from Stonehouse in Lanarkshire, who were visiting for a couple of days. The six of them were staying in a town centre apartment on George Street and they were full of praise for Oban as a first-class destination.

Patriarch David Baxter introduced me to wife Lynn, sons Douglas and Aidan, daughter Fiona and partners Clare and Pattie. They were simply bowled over by Oban and the hospitality extended by the town and its residents.

The weather, of course, was wonderful and helped enormously to make the weekend much more pleasurable for tourists, but  I suspect the Baxters and others would still have thoroughly enjoyed their stays had it been otherwise.

To repeat: what a weekend!

Biggest losers

Lockdown has been strange indeed. Sad to say, I have put on no less than two stones over the past year but have to tip my tile to those who have done the opposite.

Among them is weel-kent Oban couple Allan and Mary McKie, whom I bumped into on Saturday. Allan has shed no less than five stone, while Mary has also lost weight. They both look fantastic. Well done both of you!

What do you think?

Send your comments to