At Random, with Martin Laing -12.5.22

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Brilliant response

Oban and its neighbouring communities continue to respond magnificently to the ongoing brutality and war in Ukraine.

I wrote back in March that the crisis is personal for me (as it is for many others in our area) as I have Ukrainian relatives – Anzhela Romanchenko and her daughter Valeriia, who are, thankfully, quartered safe out here in Scotland.

The girls put aside their trauma at the weekend just past for a memorable couple of days up in our neck of the woods.

Suzanne and Ian Lindsay, who live at Croabh Haven, took Anzhela and Valeriia on their splendid yacht and sailed them up to Oban from Ardfern. Tied up at the new pontoons at north pier, the girls had a fabulous time in town and were blown away by the whole experience.

Valeriia told me: ‘The trip was wonderful. Mum and I had a great time. It was very good of Suzanne and Ian to take us.’
Indeed. To Suzanne and Ian – as well as the countless others striving to help these desperate victims of Putin’s vicious lunacy – I tip my tile in genuine respect.

And let us hope, fervently, that the appalling Russian aggression is resisted by Ukraine’s heroic fighters.

Oh deer!

You really couldn’t make it up. It turns out that the dead deer at the centre of an attempt to raise money for a memorial to it was not even the animal fundraisers thought it was.

It was not, after all, ‘the beloved Stanley’, the ‘cheeky stag’ who ate everyone’s carefully nurtured garden plants. Who among gardening enthusiasts could possibly have beloved a wild animal wreaking havoc in their plots?

To my great disbelief, they fundraisers actually garnered a few donations. They should donate any cash raised to charity.

What do you think?

Send your comments to editor@obantimes.co.uk