At Random with Martin Laing – January 20

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Time will tell for Colonsay

Confession time: I have never been to Colonsay, so cannot tell you what it is like to visit or to live there.

However, I was much interested in the report of understandable ire among residents over what many thought was a ‘patronising’ and ‘superficial’ video log (vlog) about a trip to the island by a Mr Noel Philips from Derbyshire.

Mr Philips apparently made factual errors in his vlog as well as talking down some of the aspects of life on Colonsay. He also, it must be said, praised the islanders for ‘just how nice they have been’.

Now, there is an old saw which holds that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Ergo, even a bad report online will have spin-off benefits. From some of the comments on the vlog, that is certainly the case here. The images of Colonsay have been received very positively, with some viewers saying they now want to visit.

We are still living in these very strange times so it will be interesting to see how this year shapes up for Colonsay. Will it be a boom summer for the island as a result?

We’ll just have to wait and see but Mr Philips may have done Colonsay a favour, however inadvertently.

Protect livestock

Spring is, hopefully, just around the corner and that means the lambing season is imminent.

You’ve heard this before but I make no apology for repeating the annual appeal to dog owners to take extra care when out with their pets near livestock (see page 20).

We report every year incidents of animals – especially sheep – being mauled and killed by dogs running off their leads. It is principally heart-breaking for the farmers but it is also costly. Worst, of course, is the suffering inflicted on the animals under attack.

So please, when you are out with your pups near livestock, keep them on their leads and under control.

What do you think?

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