High­land hol­i­day – an Oban ap­pre­ci­a­tion

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

AF­TER a few busy months at work and cool tem­per­a­tures dur­ing most of the sum­mer and au­tumn, a short break was in or­der, writes reader Alas­tair MacDon­ald.

Alis­tair, from Ul­lapool, took a short break to the town with his choir and wrote to The Oban Times to share his ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mr MacDon­ald said: ‘This short break from Wed­nes­day till Satur­day was an eye opener.

‘Oban was the birth­place of the Mod and this was my first ex­pe­ri­ence of both Mod and Oban as a hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

‘Dur­ing our jour­ney by car we were fran­ti­cally pol­ish­ing our choir parts, but also ab­sorb­ing the sheer beauty of hills and lochs. As the road wound through the lit­tle vil­lages and shel­tered bays, we could ap­pre­ci­ate how spe­cially priv­i­leged we are.

‘Oban re­minded me of Fun­chal, only much nicer and more ac­ces­si­ble, while the unseasonably good weather caused peo­ple to have ap­pre­cia­tive smiles as they strolled around in sum­mer dresses and sleeve­less shirts in mid- Oc­to­ber. Our ac­com­mo­da­tion was five star and the town of­fered a wide va­ri­ety of food at af­ford­able prices. En­ter­tain­ment was in abun­dance, with the very best of Scot­tish tal­ent from street per­form­ers to ho­tels and pubs host­ing Fergie Macdon­ald, Skip­in­nish, Sk­er­ryvore, Face the West, The Vater­say Boys and a host of oth­ers, mostly for free.

‘ I was de­lighted to find that the Mòd is many faceted; the com­pe­ti­tions, the nightlife, the town, the food, the friend­ships made and re­newed en­sured it was a busy few days. I was also im­pressed that the Mòd was in­clu­sive; peo­ple were friendly and wel­com­ing, ap­pre­cia­tive, sup­port­ive and en­cour­ag­ing. In an age when com­mu­nity is frag­ment­ing, peo­ple be­com­ing af­flu­ent and in­de­pen­dent, it was heart warm­ing to be part of an ex­tended fam­ily, the Mòd fam­ily.

‘We com­peted in the choir com­pe­ti­tions and saw per­for­mances which were both in­spi­ra­tional and ed­u­ca­tional, yet with­out ego, each wish­ing the other com­peti­tors well and will­ing them on to best per­for­mance.

‘The North West of Scot­land choir, Ul­lapool was placed the high­est ever in its his­tory. It was also the small­est choir, but was ad­ju­di­cated to have good po­ten­tial.

‘I hope this wee re­port helps to whet your ap­petite for the Mòd in Stornoway 2016.’

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