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...
Strathallan School were on balance the better team but the Scottish Schools Under-16s Cup final ended with the trophy shared between the Perthshire school and George Watson’s College after a try apiece. Strath played most of the entertaining rugby at pace on the big pitch at BT Murrayfield, but were unable to bring the school their first major rugby trophy. Centre Will Godard, one of several outstanding backs in the Strath team, was named man of the match. Replacement Finlay Laird scored Strath’s try early in the second half after they trailed at the break to Joseph Cantle’s try for Watson’s. However although all the best chances fell to Strath in the second half they were unable to force another score to win the cup outright, and by the rules of the competition the trophy was shared between the teams. Strathallan began brightly with skipper and playmaker Calum McKeown prompting things behind the scrum and they should have forced an opening try with several drives right at the Watson’s line. However referee Alex Obreja couldn’t see a grounding and a lost lineout allowed the Edinburgh team to eventually clear their lines. That scenario was repeated at the other end as Watson’s piled pressure on the Strath line, but stalwart defence managed to force a knock-on and a clearance kick. But Strath knocked on themselves trying to run from their own 22, and this time Watson’s repeated charges to the try-line brought an unconverted score for flanker Joseph Cantle, right on the 20 minute mark. Strath’s tenacity at the breakdown was bringing them plenty of ball and one clever kick from McKeown had Watson’s struggling in defence and conceding a penalty in their own half. There was another infringement at the resulting lineout and this time McKeown went for the posts with half-time looming, only to badly mis-hit his penalty attempt. But eight minutes into the second half Strathallan struck after some great hands kept a move alive deep in the Watson’s 22 and won a penalty. This time scrum-half Aedan Brennan went with the tap, and replacement prop Finlay Laird took Hamish White’s pass to stretch over for the equalising score in the corner. That probably convinced White to try another quick tap when Strath forced a penalty deep in the Watson’s 22, but this time they were stalled and the defenders won a penalty to clear. Still Strath looked the team more likely to win, with breaks from first Godard and then White almost providing the breakthrough but for loose passes. Late in the game Watson’s put together a series of drives in the Strathallan 22, but a fumble brought relief and the final whistle George Watson’s College: T Urquhart; B Grant, C Hoffie, J Milligan, J Cheung; L Miller, J Forrester; J Wilson, J Holligan, S Wright; B Marshall, A Stevenson; J Cantle, M Think (capt), S Gibson. Strathallan School: H Brown; S Aitken, T Clark, W Goddard, E Nicol; C McKeown (capt), A Brennan; M Walker, H Stewart, D Stirrat; M Reid, O Gleave; L Webster, C Henderson, H White. Reps F Laird, E Sutherland, J O’Brien, L Beveridge Ref: A Obreja.
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.
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.
It’s a red letter day for Fife black pudding experts. For butchers Watsons of Leven have been crowned this year’s Scottish black pudding champions after winning the final judged under the leadership of Wendy Barrie of the Scottish Food Guide. As East of Scotland champions, Watson’s black pudding was mystery shopped and tested against the other regional champs from Hawick, Dingwall, Largs and Wemyss Bay. Head judge Wendy said: “Five black puddings, they were delicious puddings and it wasn’t easy to decide. “We revisited some of them, we cooked some more samples and we take it very very seriously, our black puddings. “We did get a clear winner in the end.” The deciding factor was a combination, balance with texture and taste with no one thing overwhelming anything else. “It is a culmination of factors and it has to look good so that it appeals to the consumer,” she added. Wendy said the five finalists were all very different, but all had something which was “rather appealing”. “The Watsons black pudding was a delicious exemplar of its kind and I think will sit very well on a British and world plate.”
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
For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.
High School of Dundee 17 George Watson’s College 34: Brave High School go down to reigning champions in Schools Cup semi
The High School of Dundee showed tremendous heart and no little skill but couldn’t quite unseat three-times champions George Watson’s College to reach the Scottish Rugby Schools Cup Final at Mayfield yesterday. Three tries in ten minutes just after half-time meant that the Edinburgh school won 34-17 and stayed on track for a fourth successive Cup ititle n the BT Murrayfield final next month but High, in their first year under new Head of Rugby Phil Godman, could hold their heads high after a supreme effort against the tournament favourites. High actually led 10-8 at half-time and had a man advantage for the early minutes of the second half but that was exactly when Ally Donaldson’s side tightened the noose. The three-try blitz that took Watson’s in front again might have floored the less-experienced home side but they rallied for a second try from flanker Angus Fraser and had chances to close the gap even more before a late score from Watson’s impressive full back Callum Martin finally broke their resistance. Godman, the former Scotland international stand-off, said he was proud of the effort of his young team. “We haven’t been together for a long time and if you’d suggested at the start of the term we’d be going toe-to-toe with George Watson’s in a Scottish Schools Cup semi-final I don’t think many would have believed it,” he said. “They’re the strongest team in the country and winning the cup three years in a row and doing well at Under-16s in that time shows what experience they have. “I think they maybe brought that to bear in that spell after half-time was really the winning of the game, but the application and fight our guys showed before half-time was fantastic. “The last ten minutes was what we’re all about, playing at pace, and with a lot of Form 5 boys in the team we can build from this.” Early exchanges were pretty level in front of a noisy crowd before Watson’s moved out to an 8-0 lead with impressive scrum-half Fraser Peters directing his big pack and midfield. However a long defensive stand by High on their own line followed a try from stand-off Euan Fox just before the break after a sweeping move from their own half seemed to have turned the game. Full back Rory Johnston kicked a penalty after a high tackle brought a yellow card for one of the Watson’s forwards and High had the lead at the changearound. But fired up by Donaldson’s half-time talk the champions swept in for three tries, both half-backs scoring and Peters kicking two conversions to add to his earlier penalty. Back came High however with renewed determination and after their impressive forwards No 8 Sean Gauld and captain and hooker Rehan Baig had made inroads, Fraser squeezed over for their second try, Johnston converting to make it 27-17 going into the final minutes. High had one more chance to edge closer but Watson’s defence held, and the powerfully built and pacy Martin smashed through tackles for the final score late on.
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.