At Random, with Martin Laing -5.5.22

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Familiar feelings

Back in 2020, I was furloughed – as were many other people – as the Covid pandemic took hold. On my return to this privileged position as an Oban Times columnist, I wrote: ‘We can’t return to the former normality but we can adapt to our altered reality.’

I doubted seriously whether we would ever again experience ‘normal’ life as we had known it. Last week’s issue of the newspaper, however, obliged me to reconsider that negativity.

There were reports about, as you would expect, this week’s council elections, the return of Mull Music Festival, the imminent Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival in Oban, the arrival in the bay of the first cruise ship of the season, and Oban and Lorn Strathspey and Reel Society’s concert in St John’s Cathedral.

There were a number of other similar stories chronicling the life and events of our community that forced me to contemplate the consumption of humble pie, given my 2020 ramblings, and I can assure you it is not a dish appealing to the palate.

However, the bitter taste is sweetened significantly by the fact that our community has come through this crisis and is once more celebrating some of the highlights of our calendar that make this such an inspiring place to dwell.

I have to admit that I was off the mark, and am very glad that I was.

Enviable position

Regular readers will be well aware of the extremely high regard – almost awe, in fact – I have for the RNLI and the team of people who so readily risk their lives to save others.

So I was naturally drawn to the appeal from Oban lifeboat station for a volunteer press officer to help publicise the work of the local crew and support team. In my dealings with Oban RNLI over the years, I have always found them to be such good people.

Whoever is lucky enough to land the position should have a great time working with the lifeboat team.

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