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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

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...

Perth & Kinross

Colourful displays at the Perth and Kinross Federation of the SWI spring show

March 22 2017

The Perth and Kinross Federation of the SWI held its annual spring show at the Bankfoot Church Centre. The event had displays and competitions on various themes including handcrafts, bulbs and floral art. Federation chairman, Ursula Stewart, said: “We are celebrating the centenary of the SWI and this show in particular has a record number of entries and we have the grand tea party being held in July at Perth Racecourse still to look forward to." Trophy winners - Margaret Anderson Trophy,  Best entry in Housewives Section, 1  Alison Harrison, Glenfarg. Chariman’s choice from the whole Show, Caithness Glass Bowl donated by Kathleen Scott – 1 Christine Wood  (Drimmieburn and Meikleour) Napkin from Community. Imlay Quacih for most points in the Floral Art Section – 1 Linda Retson, Rattray. Margaret Mackay Trophy, Education Competition – 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo. Heather Hallum Trophy, runner-up in Margaret Mackay Education Competition - Susan McGhie, Institute  Kinglands. Charlotte MacLean Trophy, best embroidered article overall – 1 Christine McConnell, Institute  Strathallan. Margaret McLean Salver, best knitted article in handcraft section – 1 Edith Lennon, Institute   Kinglands. Margaret Nisbet Trophy, most points in bulb section Nos. 1-7 – 1 Sandra Batty      , Institute   Dull and District. Greta Scott Shield - winning institute in the community competition – 1 Blackford,  points 64 Isobel Robertson Salver, most points overall – 1 Sandra Batty, Institute ,  Dull and District. Margaret Folan Novice Quaich, novice classes – 1 Hayley Cassells, Institute Cleish. The Retson Junior Trophy, ages 10 – 14 class – 1 Ella Balanowski, Institute  Scone. Results - Handcrafts, Clock Cushion (any craft)  - 1 Margot Moran, Glenfarg; 2 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 3 P. Stewart, Dunning. Alice Band – 1 Elspeth Campbell, Kinloch; 2 Margot Moran, Glenfarg; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. Needle Felted Doormouse - 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 3 Sarah Urie, Burrelton and Woodside. Crocheted Coasters – 1 Edith Christie, Drimmieburn and Meikleour; 2 Margo Murray, Rattray and District; 3 Dorothy Morris, Cleish. Article in Stumpwork – 1 Maureen Jones, Kinglands; 2 Marie Abott, Butterstone; 3 Sheila Brugees, Butterstone. Knitted Cakes – 1 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 2 Linda Thomson, Kinglands; 3 Dorothy Morris, Cleish. Sewn Waistcoat 1 Hazel Ward, Birnam and Dunkeld; 2 Julia Robertson, Burrelton and Woodside; 3 Alice Nairn, Dunning. Painting- Alice’s Garden, any medium – 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo; 2 Alison Harrison, Glenfarg; Muriel Bell, Glenfarg Knitted tweedled muff- Centenary Competition- to be donated – 1 C. Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Edith Lennon, Kinglands. Housewives, Chocolate Brownies – 1 Irene McWilliam, Midatholl and Southtayside; 2 Christine Strathie, Collace and Kinrossie; 3 Geraldine Miller, Muthill. Chelsea Buns – 1 Lynda Stuart, Glenfarg; 2 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 3 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. Sausage Rolls  - 1 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 2 Christine Strathie, Collace and Kinrossie; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. Cake Incorporating a vegetable – 1 Susan McGhie, Kinglands; 2 Lesley Buchan; 3 Anne Mailler, Scone. Potato Scones  - 1 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Janet Shanks, Strathallan. Small jar of jam, marmalade and chutney – 1 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder; 2 Elspeth Campbell, Kinloch; 3 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. Viennese Fingers – 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 3 Frances Drysdale, Carnbo. Spray of Flowers in sugar craft – 1 Alison Harrison, Glenfarg; 2 Mary Webster, Clunie; 3 Ursula Stewart, Glenfarg. Children’s Section, Up to age 5 – 1 Iris Balanowski, Scone      ; 2 Hannah Cullen, Scone; 3 Alesha Murison, Glenfarg. Age 6-9 – 1 Lucy Moran, Glenfarg; 2 Adam Balanowski, Scone; 3 Charlie Mailer, Scone. Age 10-14 – 1 Ella Balanowski, Scone; 2 Rebecca Hogg, Butterstone; 3 Michela Hogg, Butterstone. Education Competition, Margaret MacKay Trophy  - 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo; 2 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. One Bowl of 3 Hyacinths – 1 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands; Lesley Buchan, Strathallan; 3 Margot Moran, Glenfarg. Single Hyacinth-  1 Susan McGhie, Kinglands; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Lelsey Buchan, Strathallan. One Bowl daffodils-  1 Margaret Cummings, Kinglands; 2 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. One Bowl Tulips – 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Lesley Buchan, Strathallan; 3 H W Reid, Stanley. One Bowl Crocus-  1 Kim Stretch, Amulree; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Margot Moran, Glenfarg. One Amaryllis Bulb – 1 Margaret Cummings, Kinglands; 2 Dorothy Morris, Cleish; 3 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands. Flowering Pot Plant – 1 C, Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 3 Lilias Ferguson, Kinglands. Floral Art, Exhibit incorporating pocket watch-  1 Linda Retson, Rattray and District; 2 Margaret Folan, Bridge of Earn; 3 Beth Pringle, Cleish. Exhibit “Alice in Wonderland” – 1 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 2 Margaret Folan, Bridge of Earn; 3 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder. Arrangement in a teacup and saucer – 1 C. Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Lesley Buchan, Strathallan. Arrangement on a mirror – 1 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder. Novice, Decorated Gingerbread People – 1 Hayley Cassells, Cleish; 2 Margaret McArthur,Auchterarder. Crocheted Bag – 1 Muriel Anderson, Longforgan; 2 Margaret McArthur, Aucterarder; 3 Hayley Cassells, Cleish. Photograph with caption-  1 Hayley Cassells, Cleish; 2 Kim Stretch, Amulree; 3 Margaret McArthur, Auchterarder. Community Section – 1 Blackford, Points 64; 2 Madderty, Points 63.5; 3 Glenfarg, Points 62.5.

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

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.

News

Angry spat over future of Fife base RAF Leuchars

April 11 2011

A furious war of words has broken out in North East Fife, after Liberal Democrat candidate Iain Smith was accused of "blatant double standards." His SNP rival Rod Campbell hit out as the emotive issue of RAF Leuchars' future began to dominate the local campaign trail. Mr Campbell insisted the Lib Dem candidate had been "less than straight" with voters in a new campaign leaflet. "The latest Lib Dem leaflet tries to take credit for changes in taxation by reminding voters that the UK Government is a Tory/Lib Dem coalition," Mr Campbell said. "The changes in question were introduced by George Osborne in his recent Budget and Iain Smith seems happy in this case to be associated with the Conservatives in London. "However, right next to the article on taxation is one about the threat to RAF Leuchars. It posts Mr Smith as champion of the campaign to save the airbase. "Nowhere does this article recognise that it is the Lib Dem/Tory coalition that threatens Scottish defence facilities, not least RAF Leuchars. "When Iain Smith likes the actions of the London coalition, he claims credit for his party. "When it comes to RAF Leuchars, he pretends that he has nothing to do with Nick Clegg and the actions of the London government. However, Mr Smith was happy to laugh off the SNP missive. "This is typically laughable bluster from the SNP," he said. "Yes, thanks to the Liberal Democrats thousands of Fifers will pay no tax from this month and around 180,000 will have a tax cut and, yes, Sir Menzies Campbell MP and Ialong with members of the local community and the RAF Leuchars task forceare campaigning vigorously to save the base. "I am a campaigner for my community and RAF Leuchars is vital to our social fabric, local economy and defence of the UK. "The MoD have repeatedly said that no decisions have been made on the future of RAF bases, but that does not stop us from making the case for its retention. "Sadly, the SNP candidate has yet again undermined the efforts of those fighting hard to save the base."

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

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. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

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

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Angus & The Mearns

Angus gamekeeper Robert Christie admonished for trapping tawny owl

April 4 2012

A highly experienced gamekeeper on a top Tayside sporting estate has been admonished by a sheriff over the accidental trapping of a tawny owl. The bird was so weak after being unable to free itself from the cage trap on the 2,500-acre Angus estate it was unable to stand on. But it quickly made a full recovery after being found by a walker and Sheriff Kevin Veal at Forfar decided not to impose a penalty on gamekeeper Robert Christie after hearing the ''immediate and draconian consequences'' connected with breaching a trapping licence could render the 57-year-old unemployable for the rest of his working life. In a case stretching back to August 2008, Christie, of Lays of Lindertis, Airlie, near Kirriemuir, admitted two charges under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in relation to a cage trap at Craigtonbank. He admitted failing to inspect the item at intervals of no more than 24 hours and recklessly taking a tawny owl in a cage trap which did not display a unique tag or sign. Depute fiscal Shona McJannett told the court Christie was a first offender of 24 years' gamekeeping experience, 18 of those on the Lindertis Estate, owned by Lord Coylton. She said a cage trap of the type in the offence is used to catch crows. Operation of such traps is authorised only by Scottish General Licences and Ms McJannett highlighted a number of special conditions attached to their use, including regular inspection and the requirement of a special tag or sign with the number of the local police station or wildlife crime officer.'This was a most unfortunate accident'She added: ''A further condition of the general licence considers the circumstances when a cage is not in use and it must be immobilised and rendered incapable of use.'' The licence demands that trap doors should be removed from the cage, or secured by a padlock. The owl was taken to a vets and was severely malnourished but after being cared for by the SSPCA the bird was released into wild less than a week later. Christie's solicitor, David McKee said Christie had jarred the door of the trap open with a large log in what he believed to be compliance with the licence. ''What he failed to do was remove the door. This was a most unfortunate accident ,'' said Mr McKee. The agent continued: ''There are implications under the general licence if the court imposes anything more than an admonition the licence is automatically withdrawn for five years.'' Admonishing him, Sheriff Veal added: ''Should there be any further contraventions by Mr Christie of this legislation, then I cannot envisage any set of circumstances when similar leniency will be afforded by the court.'' Photo used under Creative Commons licence courtesy of Flickr user hans s.

Parliamentarians plan appeal as they seek European court ruling on Brexit

February 9 2018

A group of parliamentarians plans to lodge a legal appeal in an attempt to secure a European court ruling on Brexit.The politicians believe the UK Parliament could unilaterally stop the UK leaving the EU if the final Brexit deal is deemed unacceptable by the Commons.They want a definitive ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on whether the withdrawal process triggered under Article 50 can be halted by the UK on its own, without prior consent of the other 27 EU member states.The group took its fight to the Court of Session in Edinburgh but on Tuesday Judge Lord Doherty turned down a bid to have a full hearing on whether to refer the question to the Luxembourg Court, ruling the issue is  “hypothetical and academic”, and that he is “not satisfied the application has a real prospect of success”.Now campaigners have announced plans to appeal against his ruling to the Inner House of the Court of Session.Two of the original group of seven have withdrawn – the SNP’s Joanna Cherry QC and Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine – while director of the Good Law Project, Jo Maugham QC, which has backed the crowdfunded legal action, has been added.The remaining five members are Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, SNP MEP Alyn Smith and Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler.In a statement, Mr Maugham said they believe the judge’s decision was “flawed”.He added: “Establishing that, alongside the political route to revocability there is a legal route, is vital in the national interest.“If Parliament chooses not to withdraw the Article 50 notice then no harm is done by asking now the question whether it has that right.“But if Parliament does come to want to withdraw the notice, knowing it has the right to do so serves the national interest.“It improves the bargaining position of the UK, it ensures we retain the opt-outs and rebates that we presently enjoy, and it places the decision entirely in the hands of the UK’s Parliament and – if it chooses – its people.”Aidan O’Neill QC, representing the politicians, previously asked for the case to proceed through the Scottish court, arguing there was a genuine dispute between the two sides as to the proper interpretation of Article 50 which the court required to resolve.David Johnston QC, for the UK Government, insisted the application has no real prospect of success and that there was “no live issue” for the court to address.The policy of the UK Government is that the notification under Article 50 will not be withdrawn, he said.Finding in favour of the Government, Lord Doherty said: “Given that neither Parliament nor the Government has any wish to withdraw the notification, the central issue which the petitioners ask the court to decide – whether the UK could unilaterally withdraw the Article 50(2) notification – is hypothetical and academic.“In those circumstances it is not a matter which this court, or the CJEU, require to adjudicate upon.”

Motoring news

Audi showcases raft of new cars

June 29 2016

Audi threw everything it had at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, with no fewer than nine upcoming models making their UK debuts. One of the most interesting – and affordable – was the new Q2. Audi’s smallest crossover yet, it’ll sit underneath the Q3, Q5 and big ole Q7. It will be available as a front wheel drive or with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system. Under the skin there’s a choice of three TFSI petrol and three TDI diesels, with Audi’s 1.0 litre three-cylinder petrol offering 114bhp, the 1.4 litre four-cylinder sitting below the 187bhp 2,.0 litre TFSI. Diesel options are the 1.6 litre TDI with 114bhp and a pair of 2.0 litre TDIs with 148bhp or 187bhp. It goes on sale later this summer with a starting price expected to be in the region of £20,000. At the other end of the price scale is the R8 V10 Spyder. The 553bhp supercar comes a year after the second generation coupe R8 was released. Audi reckons the new Spyder is 50 per cent stiffer than the last Spyder, and its canvas roof stows beneath a massive rear deck, able to open or close at speeds up to 31mph in 20 seconds. Fuel economy “improves” to just over 24mpg thanks to a new coasting function that idles the engine when it’s not needed. Expect it to cost around £130,000. In between those two extremes are a plethora of other upcoming Audis, including the new S5 Coupe, and the Audi TT RS which first revealed a year ago is hardly new but apparently it had never been seen in the UK before. A couple of Q7s were also at Goodwood, including the Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid, which returns a claimed 156mpg, and the SQ7 – a diesel with 429bhp. There was also the refreshed A3 range. Audi’s upmarket Golf rival has been given a styling refresh along with a few new engine options. Following a trend for downsizing, there’s a 1.0 litre three -cylinder petrol unit, while a powerful 2.0 petrol engine also joins the range.

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