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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...


Poetry preview whets appetites for StAnza festival

February 16 2011

A taste of what is to come at Scotland's international poetry festival was offered in Dundee on Tuesday. Festival director Eleanor Livingstone hosted a preview at Dundee Rep, which featured readings from Stewart Conn and Dundee lecturer Dawn Wood. The 14th annual StAnza will welcome contributors from around the world, alongside British talent. Headline acts including Selima Hill, Marilyn Hacker, Paul Farley and Fiona Sampson will make their debuts at the festival. Bob Holman will demonstrate "slam" poetry, New York style, there will be "polypoetry" from Ghent and a children's programme will be headed by Julia Donaldson. The festival also has its first Gaelic poet in residence, Maoilios Caimbeul, and a concert will be given by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, featuring poetry by Sorley MacLean. StAnza takes place in St Andrews from March 16 to 20.

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.


Poets gather for StAnza 2011

March 12 2011

Poets from across the world are preparing themselves for Scotland's annual international poetry festival, StAnza. The festival begins with a launch night in St Andrews' Byre Theatre on Wednesday. More than 90 poets, plus writers, artists, film-makers and performers, will be entertaining at 80 events over five days among them Ciaran Carson, Selima Hill, Paul Farley, Julia Donaldson, Philip Gross, Marilyn Hacker, Bob Holman and Douglas Dunn. International names on the bill include Chinese poet Yang Lian, Germany's Durs Grunbein and poets from the US, Italy, Belgium, Georgia, Iraq and Australia. The launch night will see a concert of poetry-inspired music with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and mezzo soprano Karen Cargill. The SCO and the Music Centre at St Andrews are also involved in a concert on Sunday, March 20, that will premiere three new musical settings to poems by the Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean, to celebrate his centenary year. More information at www.stanzapoetry.org


StAnza poetry festival begins

March 17 2011

Visitors across the world have gathered in St Andrews for Scotland's international poetry festival. StAnza began at the Byre Theatre on Wednesday night, and more than 90 writers, artists, film-makers and performers will entertain at 80 events over the five days of the extravaganza. Among those taking part are Douglas Dunn, Ciaran Carson, Selima Hill, Paul Farley, Julia Donaldson, Philip Gross, Marilyn Hacker and Bob Holman. International names on the bill include Yang Lian of China, Germany's Durs Grunbein, and poets from Italy, Georgia and Iraq, among other countries. Last night saw a concert of poetry-inspired music with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill.

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.


Sponsored: What will you renovate in your home?

April 27 2018

At this time of year, home improvement plans are not far from our minds – especially as April is Home Improvement Month. Perhaps you are in the middle of renovations, or have some big plans for your outdoor and indoor living spaces in the months ahead? If you are about to take on a refurbishment project, don’t do it on your own, take advantage of these seven local tradesmen and builders’ expertise as they can bring a range of skills into your home…. @rchitects Scotland has all your innovative architectural design solutions @rchitects Scotland Ltd. is an award-winning RIAS Chartered Architects practice based in Angus and working throughout Scotland. Our experienced workforce has been responsible for a wide range of high quality and innovative architectural design solutions for a diverse range of project, types and sizes including: Domestic, Commercial and Community Projects Regeneration, Rural and Urban Design Sustainable Architecture & Low Energy Design Historic Buildings, Listed Buildings, Conservation Site Appraisal and Feasibility Studies Scheme Designs, Planning, Building Warrant & Contract Administration We pride ourselves on the quality of work we produce and our passion and commitment in providing a quality service without compromising the design and philosophy of the projects. The varied services we provide are tailored to each individual client and to meet the criteria for design, timescale and budget. Call us on 01307 466480 to discuss your project further or visit our website to view some of our previous projects, by clicking here.   Creative Landscapes offer quality services at affordable prices Creative Landscapes and Building Services is a professional and reliable company which is run by James Davies. We have 20 years’ experience in landscaping with a HNC in Horticulture and we are proud to serve Dundee and the surrounding areas. We take pride in our work, leaving our customers fully satisfied with our services which include a wide range of garden maintenance to complete garden renovation projects. We also offer a building service with all trades available and look forward to your custom. Creative Landscapes and Building Services aim to offer high quality reliable landscaping and gardening services at an affordable price all our customers. Here are just some of the services we can offer: Mono Block Specialist Artificial Grass Building Services Decking Fencing Garden Clearance General Maintenance Paving Turf Laying Our customers continue to be delighted with our work. One, Jane Zaccarini Mcginlay, reviewed us on Facebook and rated us 5 stars out of 5 (November 28, 2017). She said: “Brilliant job done by Jimmy and the guys, was dreading the mess but it all went great and the guys cleaned up behind them all the time. The front of my house and drive look amazing, thanks guys, definitely recommend you.” To contact James and the team at Creative Landscapes, phone 07712 729997, or visit their Facebook page by clicking here.   Lindsay Clark will make a ‘blind bit of difference’ to your home Lindsay Clark is a sole proprietor based in Dundee who specialises in all types of window blinds in the city and surrounding areas. He has over 15 years’ experience in the industry, both supplying and installing a wide range of blinds, as well as expertise in repairing and maintenance. What can you expect from Lindsay Clark: Offer a competitive quotation Ensure accurate measurements Fast service Fit your new blinds Ensure 100% customer satisfaction Repair and maintenance service Doreen Stewart reviewed Lindsay Clark Blinds on Facebook, giving him and the business a rating of 5 stars out of 5, here’s what she said: “Fantastic customer service from Lindsay, it's a pleasure having him come into your home. The work he carried out for us, from quote and measuring to installation was second to none, absolutely love our new blinds. Looking for inspiration and advice then look no further, definitely recommend Lindsay.”                                 Reliable joinery services from Allan Brown Allan Brown Joiner & Building Services Ltd is based in Dundee. We have wide knowledge and experience in the construction industry and are looking to bring a great and reliable service to the area. We can project manage workscopes for the client’s needs such as new-build houses and extensions, renovations, conversions and all other aspects of joinery and building work. Also, we can provide smaller workscopes such as window and door replacement, kitchen fitting, hardwood and laminate flooring and handrail/spindle refurbishment. No matter how big or small the project is we have the expertise to make sure your project runs smoothly and always make sure the clients are kept fully updated as the project progresses until it is completed. One of our customers, Daryl Stewart Barr, reviewed us on Facebook and awarded us 5 stars (November 20, 2017).Here’s what he said: “Allan has recently completed some internal alterations to my home. Great service with a high quality finish! Highly recommend!” If you have any up and coming projects planned that might be of interest to our company it would be great to hear from you. We will get in contact with you swiftly, bringing a friendly and professional service. Call us on 07877 629736 or get in touch via our Facebook page here.   Marilyn’s offers a fast and friendly furniture service Marilyn’s has been established for over 15 years and have earned a reputation for providing a fast and friendly service. We will be pleased to purchase quality furniture, electrical and all household goods - top prices paid cash waiting! If you are looking to bag yourself a bargain, our varied and ever-changing selection of products is well worth a browse so come and visit our warehouse at 36 Arklay Street. In stock now we have a new selection of rugs, beds and bedroom furniture. If you have any home improvement dilemma, Marilyn’s is your local friendly retailer who is here to help. For more information visit Marilyn’s Facebook page here.   No job too big or small for Tomasz and his team at TP Joinery TP Joinery Services is a local company offering services such as kitchens, bathrooms, doors, windows, wardrobes, fencing, decking and much more – for both domestic and commercial markets. Here is what TP Joinery promises: We tailor each job to our client’s individual needs. We try our best turn client’s expectations into reality. We work in cooperation with the plumbers and electricians. All our jobs are fully insured. Our after care service is a big priority to us – no matter how big or small the job is. Customer Sylvia Strachan reviewed TP Joinery Services on Facebook and awarded it 5 stars out of 5, saying: “I highly recommend Tomasz and his team. They were very fast workers and everything clean and tidy after the completed job. My wardrobes are lovely, like them very much. I will be asking for more work to be done around my house.” (December 20, 2017) Jo Slater, director of JoJo’s Nursery in Dundee, benefited from the “professional, efficient and innovative” TP Joinery Services and also awarded them 5/5: “I cannot recommend Tomasz and his team highly enough. They were instrumental in the renovation of my large nursery building. I continue to use TP joinery services for ongoing repairs.” (September 8, 2017) TP Joinery Services also recently renovated Coffee and Co, “Dundee’s best independent coffee shop” and is looking to take on similar jobs. *If you require improvement services at your home or business, call TP Joinery Services on 07936 700935 for free quotation or click here to visit their Facebook page.   Double-glazed windows, doors and conservatories in Dundee   Anglian Home Improvements invites you to visit our Dundee showroom to see the range of Anglian products on display or find out how we can make your home improvement dreams a reality by calling our team. We will talk about your plans and can arrange for a designer to visit you at home when it’s going to be convenient for you. The designer will advise on the best products to achieve the look you want for your home and also provide you with a free, accurate quote. There are a number of offers currently running including: Anglian Home is currently offering up to £3000∆to scrap your old windows and doors, and up to 40% off* towards your new ones, including our A-rated double-glazed windows You will be offered up to £500 off when you get a quote today What’s more is, Anglian will give you a further discount of £150 off* your windows if you place your order after making an online enquiry Why not pop into Anglian’s showroom at Dobbies Garden Centre at Ethiebeaton Park, Monifieth DD5 4HB or give them a call to discuss your next home improvement project on 01382 204111? You can also take advantage of an online discount – of up to £500 – when you get a quote today, by clicking on to Anglian Home Improvement’s website here. *∆ Subject to terms and conditions    

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.