At Random with Martin Laing – 3.6.21

Martin Laing

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Glorious outlook

Wasn’t it absolutely splendid to see Oban and the surrounding areas bouncing with happy, money-spending visitors at the weekend?
After the brutal year or more we have all been subjected to, it was marvellous to see the town so very busy again – and the glorious weather certainly helped.

For me personally, it was an even extra-special weekend. To explain: I had arranged to meet Oban Saints (and former Oban Times) legend Davie Buchanan for a pint in the Lorne on Sunday while my partner Dot and her sister Ellie were browsing the many and varied retail outlets in the town.

Davie and I engaged with several local worthies (as you do), before Dot and Ellie arrived to elevate the level of conversation from somewhere down near the gutter. Also there, to our great general benefit, was new-ish Oban Times reporter Ellis Butcher, whose story behind his arrival in this area is worth a column here of its own.

But the extra-special bit came when wee Dot and Ellie joined Davie and me at the Lorne. My delightful missus said she thought she had just spotted a great friend of mine from down in the beautiful southwest corner of the country, where I once ploughed a furrow as editor of The Galloway Gazette, based in the bonny wee toon of Newton Stewart.

Long story short, it was my old friend Kevan and his delightful partner Jacqui, a paramedic in Newton Stewart and one of my favourite people anywhere. What a great and pleasant surprise to find them here in town.

So we had a hugely enjoyable hour or so sipping beer and wine, while catching up on times past and possibly to come. And, incidentally, agreeing fully that it was still vital to follow the cautionary practices that appear to have Covid on the run.

So let’s all continue to be very careful while we so enthusiastically embrace the return to a new form of reality, and boost the local economy into the bargain.

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