Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...
One of Scotland's most iconic dishes has been celebrated around the world, with staff at the Birnam Institute among those picking up a spurtle. The venue staged a special Porridge Day breakfast in support of the international event, which also raises funds for Mary's Meals, a charity that provides a daily meal for more than 500,000 of the worlds poorest and malnourished children at schools in Malawi. Now in its third year, World Porridge Day began when the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships, held annually in the Scottish Highland village of Carrbridge, teamed up with the charity to create the international day. A Gaelic singer from Edinburgh, John Boa, fought off competition from as far afield as California to convince the judging panel his mix was the best. Former overall winner Neal Robertson of Auchtermuchty won the speciality section with his spiced porridge with a blueberry compote. World Porridge Day events have taken place in the United States, Sweden, France, Malawi, Bosnia, and all over the UK.
A former winner of the World Porridge Making Championships is taking another tilt at the title with a new recipe he cooked up this week using ingredients from Fife. Neal Robertson, who runs Tannochbrae Tearoom in Auchtermuchty, will compete at the 20th annual competition in Carrbridge on Saturday. He had planned to enter an innovative “porridge crepe” but scrapped the idea after deciding it is too difficult to recreate on the day. “Up against the clock, he opted to use the best local ingredients from Fife and perfected his new recipe on Tuesday. Neal said: “I changed my mind completely on Monday, so I’m a bit nervous. I was going to do a porridge crepe but it will be too complicated to make on Saturday. “So I’ll be ringing the changes this year, using a great new medium oatmeal grown in Fife for the Your Piece baking company. “I’ll also be using the fabulous Anster cheddar in my speciality, Great Glen Game wild venison chorizo, along with shallots, garlic and mushrooms from my own garden. “I tried it for the first time last night and I’m very pleased with the result, despite having only cooked it once. It’s very tasty, with great ingredients.” There are several categories open to competitors on Saturday. The coveted Golden Spurtle will be awarded to the entrant who makes the best traditional porridge with untreated oatmeal, water and salt. Awards will also be handed out for the best speciality porridge, which can have other ingredients added, and the People’s Choice. Neal won the Golden Spurtle in 2010 and followed up his victory by winning the speciality category in 2011. He later had his titles tattooed on his arm. He credits his success to a specially designed “spon” he carved from beechwood. A derivation of the spoon, the double-backed utensil is said to provide twice the power to mixing and beating. Neal said: “When it comes to stirring your soup or stew or cake mix or porridge, the spon eliminates all that clogging.” Last year’s World Porridge Making Championships saw Englishman Benedict Horsbrugh beat the Scots at their own game by stirring his way to victory. The speciality category was won by Californian Laurie Figone with her Italian Pinhead Torta. This year’s judging panel is headed up by George McIvor from Master Chefs of Great Britain, who will be joined by Neil Mugg, head pastry chef at Gleneagles Hotel, and guest judge, BAFTA-winning TV presenter and journalist Cameron McNeish. A spokesman for the competition said: “The championships are closely followed by connoisseurs of our national dish across the globe. “Interest in this year’s competition is expected to be heightened, after the Golden Spurtle competition recently featured on BBC One show Britain’s Favourite Supermarket Foods.”
Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km
Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.
A double world porridge-making champion is selling his Fife cafe after achieving success with a special spoon he created for the competition. Neal Robertson took over Tannochbrae Tearoom in Auchtermuchty almost 20 years ago and has put the popular eatery on the market with a £125,000 price tag. The Fifer took home the top prize at the World Porridge Making Championship in 2010 and followed up his victory by winning the speciality category in 2011. He credits his success to a specially designed ‘Spon’ carved from beech wood. A derivation of the spoon, the double-backed utensil is said to provide twice the power to mixing and beating. Neal said: “When it comes to stirring your soup, or stew, or cake mix, or porridge, the Spon eliminates all that clogging.” Neal began selling the Spon at £5 for a set of two and is now struggling to meet demand. He said: “I’ve been at the tearoom for 19 years now and it will be sad to leave, but the Spon business is really taking up more of my time now and I feel it’s right to move on before the tearoom suffers. “I’ll never forget opening the tearoom on Sunday May 22 1994, all the friends who helped me get started and all the local support I got. “Maybe the success I’ve enjoyed at the tearoom gave me the confidence to start the Spon Co.” Porridge makers from all over the world travel to the Highland village of Carrbridge in October to compete for the coveted Golden Spurtle. The winner is deemed to have made the best traditional porridge using untreated oatmeal, salt and water. Each competitor is required to produce at least one pint of porridge, which is divided into three portions for the judges to taste.
All too often, in my experience, the arrival of a Monday morning can be accompanied by something of a sombre mood. It is almost as if the high of the weekend is somehow dampened by the prospect of another week at the coalface (elsewhere for those not involved in the mining industry). But here at team Courier and more specifically Coming Up corner we share none of that rather bleak outlook. Far from it. We are feeling distinctly upbeat. So much so that if there were a hoop, we’d be happily a-cocking all over it. The reason for this joy is associated entirely with the sheer quality of Monday’s rip-snorter of a Courier. Among the treats on offer is all the (eagerly-anticipated) news from the world porridge championships. Just who did scoop the prestigious golden spurtle? And could a dish laced with wild mushrooms really take a top gong? (Spoiler alert yes). If porridge doesn’t get you going on a Monday morning, how about lots and lots and indeed lots of ladies on bicycles? About 600 to be precise. Said ladies were taking part in the Cycletta event at Scone Palace. It was a huge success. Judge for yourself on perusing your copy of The Courier (though preferably not while cycling). And I am still not back-pedalling on my promise to bring joy into your working-week starting heart. That’s because if you don’t like porridge OR bikes (as unlikely as that may seem) we also have details of the Dunhill. Loads of people have been chasing around Courier Country hitting tiny balls with big sticks. The aim appears to have been to get them (the balls) to fall into little holes dotted around the place. It’s all been terrific fun and you would perhaps be left feeling a little foolish (I put in no more strongly than that) if you missed your opportunity to read all about it. If you are still not convinced, I will merely add that Monday’s Courier includes the kind of boffinry that will make even the hardest of cynics sit up and take notice. That’s right we tell you how to ensure your children eat their greens. Remarkable, not to mention extraordinary, stuff. Put a smile on your Monday face. Pick up a Courier. It really is that simple. If, for whatever reason, buying a physical paper really isn’t that simple, why not try our digital edition? It really IS that simple.
The Fife man who last year claimed the title of world porridge champion has something special up his sleeve as he prepares to defend his crown. Neal Robertson, from Auchtermuchty, beat off stiff competition from the States to claim the golden spurtle. And as he gears up to defend his title, the owner of Tannochbrae Tearoom has had a reminder of his victory inked on to his arm. Mr Robertson said he hopes a tattoo will ''intimidate'' competitors when he launches his defence next month. The Fifer's success has brought notoriety in porridge-making circles as he used a 'spon' a double-backed spoon he invented rather than the traditional spurtle. He will defend his title at Carrbridge on October 9. Mr Robertson said: ''I am very proud of my achievement and decided to have it tattooed on my arm. ''I also thought it would intimidate the other competitors they will no doubt notice there is room for more dates to be added!'' Competitors from around the globe descend on Scotland for the porridge-making championships. The title had gone to American Matthew Cox in 2009, so Mr Robertson was delighted to bring it back to this side of the Atlantic. He said the last year has been a whirlwind, adding: ''I have become a bit of a local celebrity in Fife and was even recognised at Heathrow Airport.'' Mr Robertson knows that the pressure will be on with more ''traditional'' porridge makers gunning for him and his unconventional spon. He said: ''Expectations are running high for this year's event but over the last year I have been conjuring up some great ideas using my spon. ''Together with my new tattoo, I know I am ready to defend my title.'' The title is awarded to the competitor producing the best traditional porridge from pinhead oatmeal, salt and water. In addition to his spon, Mr Robertson said water from the hills above Auchtermuchty gives him the edge.
Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tayside Police have joined their Grampian counterparts and wildlife experts in probing the death of a golden eagle on an Aberdeenshire estate. Grampian and Tayside officers and the Scottish Government rural payments and inspections directorate carried out a probe at Glenbuchat Estate, Strathdon, over the alleged use of illegal pesticides. The inquiry began after a dead satellite-tagged golden eagle was found on that estate on March 29, and it tested positive for banned pesticide Carbofuran. The operation also involved the National Wildlife Crime Unit, RSPB and SSPCA. Wildlife crime officer Constable Dave MacKinnon said, "We are always very concerned when illegal pesticides are used in our countryside for the poisoning of birds of prey but I am particularly disappointed that this incident has resulted in the death of a young golden eagle. "Our efforts in Scotland and Grampian to eradicate this type of crime over a number of years have been challenging and clearly, with this most recent incident, we still have some way to go." He added, "Articles have been removed from the estate and are being sent for analysis. "Nobody has been charged in connection with this incident or other offences but inquiries are continuing." Bob Elliot, head of investigations at RSPB Scotland, said, "This highly toxic chemical, which it is illegal to possess, was found to have poisoned this golden eagle. "Poisoned baits lying out in the countryside are indiscriminate, and threaten both pets, domestic livestock and even humans." He added, "That such potentially lethal activity continues in this day and age is an outrage, and threatens the international reputation of Scotland as a haven for wildlife and iconic species. "Despite all agencies and partners working together to eradicate these crimes, we do not seem to be witnessing any reduction in this type of offence being committed against our world-renowned wildlife and natural heritage."