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...
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.
Labour grandee Tam Dalyell has said those in the party warming to Scottish independence on the back of the Brexit vote are “living in fairyland”. Former First Minister Henry McLeish and David Martin, who is Labour’s longest-serving MEP, are among the senior Labour figures who have said they could be converted to the independence cause. Official Scottish Labour policy is to oppose a second referendum on secession until at least 2021, but leader Kezia Dugdale has been accused by some quarters of softening her pro-Union stance. Delivering his assessment of those in the party shifting towards independence, Sir Tam told The Courier: “They are living in fairyland. I think they are wrong. “McLeish and others had better realise that there is no chance of an independent Scotland being admitted into the European Union. “No prime minister of Spain would allow it and nor would the Germans.” Mr McLeish, who led a Scottish Labour government in 2000/01, said earlier this year the party must abandon its strategy of “just saying no to independence” and advocated a “new alternative of real home rule”. Mr Martin, who is on Ms Sturgeon’s Standing Council on Europe, has said independence is “worth considering” if Scotland cannot retain access to the single market. Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley revealed last month that he would not oppose a second independence referendum, saying the Brexit vote had shifted the debate. His boss Ms Dugdale reprimanded on live radio yesterday saying it was “wrong” for Mr Rowley to take that stance against party policy. Sir Tam, who was an MP in Scotland for 43 years and a fervent Unionist, called on MPs from all parties to block Brexit. “I believe it is up to every member of Parliament to do the right thing and to vote against the triggering of Article 50,” he said. “I would hope the House of Commons blocks Brexit and I have very strong views on this.” He said the referendum result does not have to be enacted because “people were lied to and misled by (Boris) Johnson and others”. “You look at what Brexit would mean for places like Dundee, and the damage it could do to universities like Dundee, and I am very angry about it,” he added. Article 50 is the legal mechanism through which member states leave the EU. Political and constitutional experts disagree on whether Parliament has to vote on whether it is triggered.
A thug who glassed a 78-year-old man following a bizarre bar-room brawl - leaving the OAP scarred - has avoided jail. Kenneth Thomson attacked Henry Heenan at the Dolphin Bar in Dundee’s Fintry area just before Christmas last year. Thomson had asked the OAP to borrow cash - then later went back for more, causing an argument to break out. Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC placed Thomson on an electronic tag restricting him to his home from 7pm to 7am for four months. He was also ordered to pay a £650 fine and £1000 in compensation to Mr Heenan.
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. email@example.com
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.
Food may be more trendy than ever, but Diana Henry believes we'd all be happier in the kitchen if we remembered cooking's a life skill - not a hobby. She tells Ella Walker about the inspiration behind her 10th cookbook We tuck ourselves into a nook in an overcrowded cafe, the coffee machine belching wildly, and compare states of bedraggledness - Diana Henry's had a late night; my hair has frizzed in the rain. But despite this - and the fact we're wedged in this fogged up cafe because the original venue, Diana's kitchen, is being hurriedly redecorated thanks to a leak just days before the launch party of her new book, Simple - she's on great form. "It's nonsense that people can't cook, complete nonsense," the award-winning food writer practically shouts. "If you like eating stuff and you know a few things, like how long it takes to roast a chicken, or how to put a tray of red peppers in the oven, you could make really good stuff." Her 10th recipe collection, Simple, makes that process even easier. Building on her fourth book, Cook Simple (which was "never as big as I wanted it to be"), it's divided into clear sections, including chicken, fish and eggs (the building blocks of mealtimes, as Henry sees them), and provides a slew of straightforward ways to cook and eat them. "I'm a food writer and I still think, 'What can I do with chops? What can I do with that salmon fillet? What can I do with pasta?' And I think most people think about their weekday meals like that," says Diana, explaining her approach. "When I worked in telly, I used to come home on the Tube and keep a notebook which had lists in it: 'Chicken thighs - what you can do with them; Salmon fillets - what you can do with them', and I just kept adding to that." While the Northern Ireland-born journalist started out in TV, making music and arts programmes and human interest documentaries, as well as TV Dinners with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Diana, 52, switched to food writing when she had her first child. "I was a massively keen cook, had him, and I was just knackered! He cried all the time so I always had to carry him around," she remembers. For some time, her first book was even going to be called Cooking From The Hip, as it was about cooking with one hand "because you had a baby in the other". That baby just turned 18, but Diana still has "as much trouble as anyone else getting a meal on the table on a Wednesday night", so Simple is a way of solving that problem. In all her writing, she recognises that many find food - and wrangling it into an edible state - a chore, often stressful, or see cooking as a realm reserved purely for obsessed foodies. "People see cooking as a hobby. It's not a hobby - it's a non-negotiable life skill," she says matter-of-factly, noting that between poor cookery classes at school and an ongoing national obesity crisis, we're struggling with a mindset that needs rattling. "I want people to love food and care about it, but at the same time, I want them to not think about it at all - just let it go. We've become really over-anxious about it," she muses. "Food's about wonderfulness and poetry and memory and joyfulness - but it's very easy to lose that." She's much more interested in what home cooks do than what chefs are doing, and you can find lots of recipes she's borrowed from friends in Simple. "When you swap recipes, you have a connection. Food is about connecting, and I do like the process of cooking; I like dealing with olive oil and fish and cutting lemons," Henry explains. "That's another reason why I think we should cook every day, there's a real, small, sensual pleasure in it - it's those small things that make a better life." Ten books in, Diana is still planning another four ahead in her mind ("I'm a workaholic"), with no sign of slowing. "I'm 52 now - someone suggested that it was about time I hung up my spurs. I thought, 'You've got to be kidding!' "I started doing this at 35, it was my second career, and I've hardly begun!" she says with a grin. "I'm not nearly finished." Want to cook Simple too? Try these three recipes from Diana Henry... :: CUMIN-CORIANDER ROASTED CARROTS WITH POMEGRANATE AND AVOCADO (Serves 6 as a starter, or 8 as a side dish) For the salad: 30 young carrots, ideally slim 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2tsp cumin seeds 1tsp coriander seeds, crushed 1tsp chilli flakes Salt and pepper 3 ripe avocados 25g walnut pieces, toasted 100g watercress, coarse stalks removed Leaves from a small bunch of coriander 250g Greek yogurt 1 garlic clove, crushed Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate For the dressing: 3tsp pomegranate molasses 1 garlic clove, crushed 1/4tsp Dijon mustard 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1/4tsp honey Squeeze of lemon juice Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Trim the carrots at the tops but leave a bit of green tuft on. If you can't find slim carrots, halve or quarter large ones. Don't peel them, just wash well. Put in a roasting tin in which they can lie in a single layer. Add the olive oil, spices and seasoning. Turn the carrots over in this to ensure they are all well coated. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes; they will become tender and shrink slightly. Be careful not to overcook them. To make the dressing, just whisk everything together with a fork. Halve and pit the avocados, cut into slices, then carefully peel each slice. Put everything except the yogurt, garlic and pomegranates into a broad shallow bowl (or onto a platter) and gently toss in three-quarters of the dressing. Mix the yogurt with the garlic and dot spoonfuls of this among the vegetables, then scatter with the pomegranate seeds. Spoon on the rest of the dressing and serve. :: PORK LOIN WITH PUMPKIN PUREE AND PECORINO (Serves 8) For the pork: 2kg boneless pork loin, skin off 6 garlic cloves, sliced 3tsp fennel seeds 1tsp chilli flakes 4tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper For the puree: 1.2kg butternut squash or well-flavoured pumpkin Olive oil Freshly grated nutmeg 100g mascarpone Pecorino cheese, shaved, to serve Salt and pepper Lay the pork on a board, flesh side up, and make incisions all over it with a sharp knife. Push slivers of garlic into the incisions. Crush the fennel and chilli in a mortar and pestle, add the olive oil, season and rub this all over the flesh, pushing bits down inside the slits. Put in a dish, cover and put in the fridge overnight, then return it to room temperature before cooking. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Roll the loin and tie at intervals with kitchen string (not too tight; it should hold its shape, not look like a sausage). Cook for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and cook for one hour, basting now and then. Cut the squash into wedges and remove the seeds. Put the wedges into a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil, season and bake alongside the pork until completely tender, about 40 minutes. Check the pork for doneness; the juices should run clear with no trace of pink when pierced. Cover with foil, insulate (I use tea towels) and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Discard the skin from the squash. Puree with plenty of seasoning, nutmeg and the mascarpone. Gently heat, then scrape into a warm dish and top with pecorino shavings. Serve with the pork. :: LEMON AND LAVENDER CAKE (Serves 8) Unsalted butter, for the tin 300g granulated sugar 3/4tbsp dried lavender 175g plain flour 1/2tsp baking powder 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda 1/4tsp salt 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 250g Greek yogurt 125ml mild-flavoured olive oil Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice Icing sugar, to dust Sprigs of fresh lavender, to serve For the icing: 150g icing sugar, 2tbsp lemon juice, sifted Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice until smooth. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Butter a 20cm diameter, 6cm deep cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Put the granulated sugar and lavender into a food processor and whizz until the lavender has broken down. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together into a bowl. Stir in the lavender sugar. In a jug, mix the eggs with the yogurt and oil. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and gradually stir in the wet ingredients. Add the lemon zest and juice, but don't over-mix. Scrape into the prepared tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is coming away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn it out, peel off the paper and set on a wire rack until cold. Dust with icing sugar just before serving and decorate with sprigs of fresh lavender. :: Simple by Diana Henry is published in hardback by Mitchell Beazley, priced £25. Photography by Chris Terry. Available now THREE OF THE BEST... Greek yogurts :: Sainsbury's Greek Style Natural Yogurt 500g, £1 (Sainsbury's) Not too rich or sweet, this pot contains around four servings and is particularly tasty when topped with fresh berries and granola. :: Yeo Valley Greek Style Natural Yogurt 450G, £1.70 (Waitrose) For a more decadent breakfast option, this is thick, creamy and needs nothing more than a spoon and a drizzle of honey. Also good as a dip for flatbread if you fancy something cool and savoury. :: Tesco Greek Style Honey Yogurt 450G, £1.10 (Tesco) No need to grab the honey from the cupboard, this pot already comes with it. Quite sweet and dessert-like, add chopped nuts and stewed fruit to up the ante.
The vice-president of a historic society has moved to distance it from one member's opinion that it has allowed Pictish history to be ''Disney-ised.'' A comment from former Pictish Arts Society newsletter editor David Henry made some claims as to the society's complicity in allowing Angus Council to simplify its promotional material for Pictavia in Brechin. In Tuesday's Courier Mr Henry was quoted as saying: ''Young minds are being contaminated by ill-conceived fantasies'' and ''the characters seem to have stepped out of a Disney-type animation'' (link). However, the society's vice-president Stewart Mowatt was at great pains to state that, while he respected Mr Henry's viewpoint, he was of the opinion that a more appealing, less academic focus on Pictish history is more important in attracting children. Mr Mowatt also said he was happy with the society's links with the council and wanted to express the views of the society as a whole. He said: ''Our last newsletter carried a criticism of the recent Pictavia material, but it is only his (Mr Henry's) personal opinion. ''Almost all of the committee are happy with the factual elements at Pictavia, but we are quite happy to have the whole Pictish diaspora reach out to a wider audience. ''It's not quite Disney-ised but I understand where he is coming from. If it takes a lighter touch to get the kids involved, we are fine with that.'' Of Mr Henry's comments, he said: ''I run a motorcycle newsletter myself and my editorial is often run off without anyone else reading it. That's the nature of these things.'' Mr Henry's business workload as a publisher caused him to step down as newsletter editor and take a back seat in the society. On the fortunes of the Pictavia centre which has seen incomes labour against operating costs since it opened in 1999 Mr Henry said he did not intend his article to declaim the centre's efforts. ''It is a political hot potato but the piece was not intended as editorial, rather as a means of getting my point across,'' he said.
An award-winning Tayside song writer who immortalised the 50th anniversary of the Tay Road Bridge in music last year has released an EP which pays tribute to the newly opened Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, 65, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called ‘Sketches o' the QC’ which includes songs dedicated to the “isolated” workers who were employed during construction and contrasts the old Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing with its wind shields designed to keep traffic flowing during storms. Eddie, who delayed the release of the album due to family illness and bereavement, said: “It's just another quirky album like I did for the Tay Road Bridge. https://youtu.be/Z6BblA_Zev4 “As you can probably imagine, how do you write six songs about a bridge? “I usually end up using a process of creative journalism. I get a few facts or even just a single fact and then I let my imagination take over. “With each album early on in the writing process I draw a blank and think there's nothing here I can write about but there's always something to write about. “You just have to hang around long enough and it comes eventually. https://youtu.be/a9NyQAFjDsY “I just took threads from here and there. I was going to call the album The Queensferry Crossing but thought that was a bit boring so I went for Sketches o' the Q.C. “It introduces a bit of ambiguity. If you Google the name you get lots of drawings of court scenes!” Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. https://youtu.be/y_y1y8oV7vo Eddie said: “It was the name that got me and that gave me the first line of the song "He is a bridge builder wi a missionary zeal" Has to be with a name like Columba!” Fishnet bridge was set in a meditative light, describing the bridge as a “thing of beauty that looks like a big fish net glistening high above the Forth but it is a symbolic fishnet with the song taking the form of an imaginary conversation with the bridge.” https://youtu.be/dJgsl2WQ5G0 “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. https://youtu.be/Dme-bfCXHRI “If you forget your piece you've had it and you starve for there's no nipping round to the corner shop for a pie. The article also said that a local pizza delivery firm regularly delivered a pallet load of warm pizzas to the bridge so that was "midday salvation"! Meanwhile, The boys frae the cheese is a play on words. https://youtu.be/phtQ2-Xx1I0 He added: “I read an article that said The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) could have acted sooner and avoided the costly closure of the bridge at the end of 2015.” Eddie is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. In 2015 he featured in The Courier for his efforts to put the complete works of Robert Burns to music. With a piano style influenced by Albert Ammons, Champion Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim, and a song-writing style influenced by Matt McGinn, Michael Marra and Randy Newman, the former Perth High School pupil, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has organised a number of projects over the years including the McGonagall Centenary Festival for Dundee City Council in 2002. Last year’s Tay Road Bridge album included a tribute to 19th century poet William Topas McGonagall and also honoured Hugh Pincott – the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51tixl9GEs Thanks to The Courier, he also became one of the first to cross the Queensferry Crossing when it opened to the public in the early hours of August 30.