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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...


Artist plans a magical menagerie for Perth gallery

March 6 2013

A Dundee-born artist whose work breathes new life into everyday items has been named as the winner of a prestigious award. Debbie Lawson (46) was announced as the 2013 winner of the J D Fergusson Arts Award at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. Debbie, who now lives and works in London, graduated from Central Saint Martin’s and the Royal College of Art in 2004. Since then she has exhibited her mixed media sculptures and wooden panels internationally. Examples of her works, which take common household items like carpets, chairs and coatstands and give them new and intriguing life, are held in the collections of the House of Lords, the University of the Arts London, Dundee University, Charles Saatchi and Mario Testino. Debbie will use the award to fund a body of new work, comprising wall and floor-based sculptures depicting a diverse range of creatures. The new works will be exhibited at the Fergusson Gallery in Perth from November to March next year. The chairman of the J D Fergusson Arts Award Trust, Roger Billcliffe, said: “The trustees of the J D Fergusson Award were delighted with Debbie Lawson’s submission a proposal that aimed to create a specific exhibition rather than simply a collection of new paintings. We look forward to her transformation of the Fergusson Gallery later this year.” Debbie said: “For my show, Magic Carpet, I’m using real Persian carpets to reference scenes from 1001 Nights, particularly the stories about flora and fauna. But for my contemporary visual reading I will be using more ‘urban’ animals like foxes and rats instead of jackals and lions. I’m hoping to turn the gallery into a magical menagerie.” The Fergusson Gallery, in Tay Street, celebrates the life and work of the great pioneer of modern art, J D Fergusson (1874-1961) and his wife, dancer Margaret Morris. Fergusson is now best known as one of the celebrated Scottish Colourist painters, while Morris is recognised for her pioneering work in modern dance.


‘Extraordinary’ response to Dundee artist’s solo show

September 23 2013

A local artist has enjoyed phenomenal success at a new exhibition in Dundee, with nearly the entire collection selling by the end of the opening day. Almost 50 of the 55 works by Ron Lawson, on display at the Eduardo Alessandro Studios, Broughty Ferry, have been sold. Some were bought on Saturday at the opening day event, but many were purchased before the exhibition even started. The paintings, which start at around £350 and go up to £2,250, have been snapped up by art enthusiasts from Dundee, as well as by collectors from as far away as Australia and Hong Kong. Sandro Paladini, owner of Eduardo Alessandro Studios, said: “The response to Ron Lawson’s work has been extraordinary with internet sales coming from as far afield as Australia and Hong Kong. “We have not seen such an enthusiastic and widespread reaction to an artist’s work since the heyday of McIntosh Patrick.” Mr Lawson spent many years working in the art studio at DC Thomson, where he began developing his now famous and individual style, before leaving in 2010 to pursue painting full time. Over the last year he has enjoyed success showing in Scotland and London, and is now widely regarded as the rising star of Scottish landscape painting. Hebrides, Mr Lawson’s first major solo exhibition, runs until October 12.

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

Angus & The Mearns

Carnoustie man strangled girlfriend during assault

January 8 2016

An Angus man who strangled his girlfriend and broke her arm is facing jail. Connor McGregor from Carnoustie “viciously” attacked Danielle Lawson in Arbroath’s Wardmill Road following a row. The pair left a bar in the town and were walking when the debate turned violent. McGregor chased after Ms Lawson and repeatedly pushed her, causing her to fall. The 21-year-old then pushed Ms Lawson against metal railings on a bridge and grabbed her by the throat. Dundee Sheriff Court was told McGregor then grabbed her by the throat and strangled her until she couldn’t breathe and began to lose consciousness. She was then thrown to the ground and was later found to have a broken arm. At some point during the struggle two men walked past, with the woman shouting out: “If you don’t help me and take me to safety then I’ll be dead.” However, the pair just walked on leaving her in the hands of the violent thug. During the attack, Miss Lawson called another man who heard her screaming and shouting “he’s hitting me”. Following his conviction, the jury was told McGregor had two previous convictions for assaulting and behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards Ms Lawson. Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson told the jury: “Why did Danielle Lawson scream at those two men who passed her ‘if you don’t help me and take me to safety then I’ll be dead’? “The answer is plain and simple she had just been viciously assaulted by her partner, Connor McGregor. “Assaulted to the extent that he placed his hand over her throat and made her feel ‘woozy’. “An assault that endangered her life.” McGregor, a prisoner at Perth, denied a charge of assault to severe injury and danger of life. However, a jury found him guilty following a two-day trial. Sheriff Tom Hughes deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and McGregor was remanded in custody.

UK & World

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.


Former Scotland captain Rory Lawson retires

August 8 2013

The Scotland international scrum-half Rory Lawson has been forced to retire from rugby with immediate effect. Lawson’s club Newcastle said he was calling it a day on medical advice because of a chronic wrist injury. The 32-year-old joined Newcastle from Gloucester last summer. He won 31 Test caps, making his debut for Scotland against Australia in 2006, and he also captained his country on five occasions. “I am obviously gutted to have been forced to stop playing the game I love, but I will always look back on my career with immense pride,” Lawson said.

Scottish Cup

Formartine United 1 Forfar Athletic 0: Weir says Loons were ‘terrible’

November 20 2017

Forfar crashed out of the Scottish Cup at the hands of Highland League outfit Formartine United and could have little complaint. Bitterly disappointed manager Jim Weir said: “It was a terrible performance from the start to the end. “In cup ties, especially away from home, you have to handle the conditions, the surroundings and pressure. “We didn’t do any of that. “Credit to Formartine, they fully deserved their win. They had more passion and more hunger.” The United manager, former Motherwell midfielder Paul Lawson, said: “The conditions didn’t make for great football but we played better than them. “Our effort and work-rate was fantastic. “We knew they’d come at us in the second half but we have good footballers. There was no point in pumping long balls up into the wind. We ran over the top of them” The only goal came in the 15th minute, as a result of one of Lawson’s dangerous deliveries from the left. The ball was cleared to midfielder Liam Burnett. His thunderous shot from the edge of the box was blocked, only for right-back Johnny Crawford to force home in front of goal. Almost on the half-hour, with the wind playing havoc, Lawson’s 30-yarder hit Forfar keeper Marc McCallum on the chest and left him looking bemused at how to deal with the pace of the ball. The Highland League side were playing into the wind in the second half and Wayne Mackintosh was unlucky with a right-foot drive. There was little threat from the visitors and the nearest to a second goal was when Scott Barbour surged from deep down the left, evading two players before narrowly firing wide of McCallum’s left post.


Dundee FC beer festival pulls in the crowds

June 26 2017

Dundee FC held its first ever beer festival on Saturday in the Bobby Cox stand and in an adjoining marquee. The event allowed visitors to sample a range of craft beers, lagers, gins and cocktails. Entertainment was provided by a number of bands including Jive Candy, Paper Tiger and the Lawson Brothers.

Dundee FC

Dundee 0 Ross County 2: Smith left deflated as Dark Blues switch off

February 9 2013

Dundee boss Barry Smith was more disappointed by his team’s display than the controversial decision that gave Ross County the first of their two goals at Dens Park last night. With 81 minutes on the clock, Paul Lawson let fly with a shot that struck the Dark Blues’ bar, came down and then bounced outwards. A goal was given when it didn’t seem clear that it had crossed the line and Gary Glen added an injury-time second goal. But the disputed strike wasn’t really what irked Smith when he reflected on a 2-0 defeat that leaves them a massive 18 points behind their opponents. Rather, it was the team’s overall performance that got him down. “I haven’t seen it again so I won’t comment on the goal,” said Smith. “If it’s in, fine, it’s a goal. But I would rather not say any more until I have seen it myself. “To be honest, we never really spoke about it with the players. What we spoke about was how they got that far up the park for him to have a shot. “That’s what disappoints me. Whether the goal was in or not, we switched off. “When it comes down to it, it is me who puts the team out. I will hold my hands up and say I don’t think we performed tonight it’s as simple as that.” Smith added: “We have had good performances against Hibs and Kilmarnock then don’t do so well against Hearts. We then put in a great performance against Morton last week then tonight we didn’t perform.” So is it game over for Dundee now that the Staggies have soared clear of them and they are 14 adrift of St Mirren with a game more played than the Buddies? “I will not say it’s impossible,” Smith added. “Until it is mathematically impossible we will keep fighting and scratching. We will do everything we can to give ourselves any chance of staying up. It is, though, getting more difficult by the week.” County gaffer Derek Adams had seen the video footage of Lawson’s goal and he was confident the right decision had been made by assistant referee Graham Chambers and ref John McKendrick. “It was a fabulous strike and I have seen it on TV and it was in,” he said. “I thought by the angle of the shot and the way it hit the bar and moved that it was in at the time. Also, we managed to put it to bed by Gary Glen scoring the second.” For more from Dens, including a full match report, see Saturday’s Courier or try our new digital edition.