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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...


Dundee HSFP 48 Edinburgh Accies 20: High respond to the challenge

September 26 2011

If ''winning ugly'' is the positive buzzphrase in rugby at present then ''unacceptable'' is its negative relation. Dundee HSFP spent most of the first month of the rugby season winning ugly until they lost to Stirling County last week, in a performance that proved predictably ''unacceptable'' to their coaching team. Both terms are largely meaningless, however. There's surely no such thing as an ugly win to the coach, player or supporter, and describing any loss as ''unacceptable'' means nothing unless there is a reaction like Dundee's 48-20 crushing of Edinburgh Accies on Saturday. It wasn't perfect, and not entirely without discomfort especially when Accies' fleet-footed open side James Taggart was running free in the second half but it was such a decisive bounce-back in attitude and application from Bridgehaugh that no one who saw both games could possibly be dissatisfied. ''We asked for workrate, we asked for commitment and for them to fight for each other,'' said director of coaching Ian Rankin. ''Last week was unacceptable, but all the talk meant nothing unless they responded.'' They did so with six tries, five from backs, with it particularly noticeable that new men Cameron Wyper and Robbie Lavery have really started to settle into their new environment. Wyper scored a brilliant solo try based on elusiveness, balance and pace while Lavery was a revelation in attack and defence. The Australian is not imposing physically, but he forcefully manhandled veteran Accies lock Greg Campbell in one collision, and one hit in midfield sprung the ball for Jamie Urquhart to sprint away untouched for his second try. Rankin added: ''Robbie's defence was exceptional and that try from Cam is what we've been waiting for from him.'' Jack Steel, a late call-up for Harry Duthie, scored a try and succeeded with all but one of nine attempts at goal to fulfil the other rugby coaching cliche of the moment of ''keeping the scoreboard ticking over''. Dundee move clear in second place in RBS Premier One but the next two weeks may define their season, with third-place Gala at Netherdale next week and unbeaten leaders Melrose at Mayfield the following week. An added interest next week is that Gala's win over Boroughmuir won them the Bill McLaren Shield, which as holders they must defend when Dundee come calling on Saturday.

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

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.


Robbie is keeping Scotland’s storytelling tradition alive

September 23 2017

When Robbie Fotheringham left school back in the 70s she had no idea what she wanted to do. “Someone from the careers advisory service found me a position on a job creation scheme in Falkirk Library - I had to go through the entire library stock and find out the ISBN number for every book. I loved it,” Robbie recalls. The new-found bibliophile soon found herself involved in children’s Storytime, sharing books with the under-fives. Before she knew it, a new chapter in her life had opened. “But when I moved to Dundee from Falkirk in 2002, I felt a bit isolated from the world of books and storytelling," says Robbie. "So I attended some workshops at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh to learn the craft and importance of the oral tradition. A member of the Storytellers of Scotland Directory since 2007, Robbie is passionate about her hobby and any spare time she gets away from her day job – working for her husband’s business – you’ll find her surrounded by wide-eyed adults and children, spellbound by her stories. Oral storytelling  – when a story is told without the aid of a book – has a long history in Scotland. “The stories may have originated from a book but the beauty of the oral tradition is that the story is told – as the travellers’ proverb has it – eye to eye, mind to mind and heart to heart,” says Robbie. “That means there’s a special connection between the teller and the listener. Stories have been told since the dawn of time and were the social media of the day – storytellers would travel from village to village and town to town passing on news, handing down their traditional way of life through their stories.” With a thriving storytelling community throughout Scotland, Dundee’s own storytelling group, Blether Tay-Gither – Robbie is a member – celebrated its 10th birthday in March this year. While Robbie’s favourite age group is nursery children, she also loves sharing the tradition with primary school pupils, adult groups, day centres and people with special needs. “I tell all kinds of stories but I do like ones with humour,” she smiles. “I don’t really go for anything too dark. I also tell some traditional fairy tales and ‘pourquoi’ stories which explain why or how things are as they are, like how the bear lost its tail or why the sea is salty,” she continues. “They come from all over the world and each country will have a slightly different version.” Robbie believes that storytelling is a vital way of how we communicate and bond with each other. “Telling a story can be very organic. I will have the body of the story in my head but often will add pieces in from the audience. Storytelling is nurturing in its purest form and in this digital age it is important not to forget that. People cannot exist if they’re isolated from each other.” Robbie will be taking part in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh on Oct 21. On October 24 Blether Tay-Gither will be hosting a Thai storyteller from Thailand on HMS Frigate Unicorn, 7pm-9.30pm. Email robbiefotheringham@yahoo.com for tickets priced £5. Blether Tay-Gither meets the last Tuesday evening of every month (except October when it will be the 24th), 7pm-9pm, in Madigans Folk Cafe in Castle Street, Dundee. From November the venue will be the Butterfly Cafe in Commercial Street. www.tracscotland.org/scottish-storytelling-centre  


East Fife 2 Berwick 1 (AET, agg. 3-2): Fifers boss confident after battling display

May 13 2013

East Fife boss Billy Brown said his side’s survival remains completely in their own hands. The Fifers progressed through to a two-leg Second Division play-off final with Peterhead after seeing off brave Berwick. Liam Gormley secured the win with a goal in the last minute of extra-time after a Darren Lavery penalty and a Kevin McDonald own goal had left the score level after the 90. East Fife’s leveller came in bizarre circumstances after McDonald turned the ball into his own net while trying to clear following a saved penalty from Scott McBride. Bayview boss Brown said it was the sort of fortune that hasn’t been seen too often around Methil this term. He said: “Berwick are a decent team and have decent players and will be sick at losing it so late. But there you are, it’s not gone East Fife’s way very often but it did today so I’ll take that. “We showed a wee bit today because we had nothing to lose so just went for it. Now we’ve go to be ready for two very hard games and if we play like we can then we‘ll win.” After a 1-1 draw Berwick during the week, Ian Little brought his side to Bayview looking to dump East Fife into the Third Division. But it was the Fifers who dominated the early proceedings as they started at a fine tempo. Bobby Barr found Scott McBride early on but his header was held by Marc McCallum. Clear-cut chances were at something of a premium during a match in which there was so much at stake. Calum Antell had to look lively to save from the feet of Lavery but the Berwick man wasn’t to be denied. Steven Campbell looked to have been harshly penalised when he fouled inside his own box. Lavery showed no mercy, though, as he slammed past Antell. East Fife, though, were never going to lie down and they forced referee Brian Colvin to award them a spot kick of their own. David Muir was tumbled over by McCallum and the ref pointed to the spot. McBride saw his penalty saved only to watch on as McDonald turned past his own keeper. That saw the end of the 90 minutes as both sets of fans had to endure a nervy 30 extra time period. Again there was little created with only really a Gareth Wardlaw half chance of note. That was until Gormley sent the home fans into raptures when he tapped in from close range. Goals from Darren Cox (2) and Rory McAllister gave Jim McInally’s Peterhead a 3-1 victory over Queen’s Park in the other semi. The Blue Toon won 4-1 on aggregate.

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

Restaurant Reviews

Avery & Co, Dundee (38/50)

March 11 2017

Dundee is a city full of hard working people, many of whom may not have the luxury of leaving their workplace at lunchtime; but for those who do, there is a vast amount of choice for just grabbing a bit to eat.  Having options is wonderful, but when thrown into making a decision quickly about where to grab a swift lunch with a friend, I wanted quality and convenience - so to Avery & Co we went. Eating for me has never been just about staving off hunger, even if was making lunch for myself, I would put thought and care into what I was about to guzzle and get excited about it.  I had assumed that none of this would change once the offspring came along. Oh how wrong I was. Grabbing a bowl of cereal at 3pm because I haven't eaten a morsel up until then and am beginning to feel light headed is now not uncommon. So when a friend suggested a quick, relaxed lunch, I nearly bit her hand off. Parking has become an important factor in my life as there is a lot of stuff to carry  that goes with a baby and the fact that I was able to get a spot right outside made Avery & Co already a winner in my eyes. The lunch crowd was a mixture of business meetings, groups brainstorming over bunches of papers, and tables like ours of friends just chewing the cud. I found the atmosphere a bit bland. There is nothing wrong with it and there are quirky features such as brightly coloured chairs, stickers on the walls and some exposed brick but it just didn't feel particularly warm or welcoming even when entering from a dreich city pavement. In complete contrast to the decor however were the staff - their smiles alone made us sure we had chosen the right place. This eatery focuses on fresh, nutritious and local which seems to be the mantra of the day. Their website claims to use minimal amounts of butter cream and oil and there are a lot of vegan, gluten free and dairy free options available. Knowing all of this and perusing the menu, what did my friend choose? The burger. There really aren't many ways to make a beef burger vegan friendly and so they have embraced a simple, honest, hefty homemade patty. Served in a fresh brioche bun with the traditional salad and mayo compliments it looked good, as did the incredibly chunky chips that came with it. I wanted something filling that I wouldn't feel too guilty about so I chose the Asian prawn salad.  It was a tangy blend of hot king prawns with salad leaves, crunchy raw peppers and spring onions, sliced chillies and fine rice noodles all doused in a sweet yet earthy dressing. Although I understand that prawns are expensive, noodles are not and I was disappointed with the portion size for a salad costing over £9. The taste was great and I enjoyed it, but for the price tag I would have liked to have enjoyed a lot more of it. For a cafe lunch menu, this one had some cracking options on it. The two soups of the day were not the typical combinations but carrot and cauliflower or kale and chilli, both very tempting. Also enticing were the halloumi cigars and sweet potato quesadillas and if I had been in the mood for comfort then jacket potatoes were also on offer. The lovely sugar-free icing on the cake for me was that they also served a really good cup of decaff. Avery & Co has it all for a city lunch - convenience, interesting choices, speedy service and lovely, lovely staff. I found some of the prices a tad on the steep side but there was also plenty on offer at the lower end of the cost scale. Open seven days a week, Avery also offers food in the evenings (except Sundays) and is licensed so it is now on my radar for popping in for a cocktail and a cigar...of the halloumi variety of course.   Info Price: Lunch - £3.95 - £9.25 Value: 7/10 Menu:  8/10 Atmosphere: 7/10 Service: 9/10 Food: 7/10 Total: 38/50 Info: Avery & Co Address: 34 South Tay Street, Dundee, DD1 1PD Tel: 01382 201533 Web: www.averyandco.co.uk


Burst colostomy bag no defence for drink-driver

February 15 2014

A bowel cancer sufferer got behind the wheel while almost three times the limit after his colostomy bag burst while in the pub. Thomas Foster was on a night out with friends in Dundee when the bag ruptured. Panicked Foster tried and failed to get a taxi and “in his anxiety” got behind the wheel. Police pulled him over on the Kingsway, and a blood sample revealed he had 229 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood almost three times the drink-driving limit. Foster, 29, of Helmsdale Avenue, Dundee, pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge. Jim Laverty, defending, said: “This is an unusual case. He had gone out without the intention of driving and was to leave his car where he was socialising. “He suffers from bowel cancer and his colostomy bag burst and he panicked. “He tried to get home in a taxi but failed and in his anxiety and concern he took the decision to drive, which he completely and utterly regrets. “He’s still receiving treatment for cancer now and another tumour has been discovered. There will be more invasive surgery in the coming months. “The loss of his licence will have a dramatic effect on his family.” Sheriff Tom Hughes banned Foster from driving for two years and fined him £400. He said: “The reading in this case was high.”


Dundee HSFP v Gala: High preparing for biggest game until the next one

March 30 2012

The biggest and most important game in Dundee HSFP's recent history seems to be renewed with every passing week at the moment, and this weekend's RBS Cup semi-final clash with Gala continues the sequence. It may be surpassed as early as next week when High have a potentially title-winning clash with Stirling County, and beyond that, of course, by a cup final date if they can defeat the Maroons for the second time in a month. That game was a tense, low-scoring affair won 15-12 by Dundee by virtue of a late try from Andy McLean, but High's director of coaching Ian Rankin suggests things will be different on Saturday. ''Both clubs have been scoring pretty freely in the last couple of weeks and this game promises to be an absolute cracker,'' he said. ''There were 278 points scored in last week's Prem One games, no doubt down to the great spell of weather but also to positive refereeing which is helping in no small way to bring back spectators in growing numbers.'' Rankin and Gala's George Graham, the former Scotland international and forwards coach, have a long-standing mutual respect. The Mayfield coach is impressed with what Graham has done with his young squad this season, piloting them to a British and Irish Cup place in their first year back in Premier One as well as a cup semi-final at Melrose's expense. Although High are regarded as having a cup reputation having reached Murrayfield three years in succession, it is as long as seven years since they were in a semi-final and the club were still in Premier Two when they defeated Aberdeen Grammar to reach their second cup final. There are three survivors in Saturday's starting team from the 25-18 win in club skipper Neil Dymock, fellow prop Alan Brown although he was still a force from the back row in those days and lock Richie Hawkins. Back-rower Chris Cumming came off the bench for that semi and starts on Saturday, while Ross Lemon started and scored the crucial try against Grammar in 2005 but is on the bench this week. The centre/wing is the only change from the team that played sublimely for an hour against Currie last week, to make way for the return of Aussie centre Robbie Lavery, who has been out with a wrist injury since the team's last defeat, at Ayr in February still the club's only defeat in 2012 so far. Jack Steele, the club's top scorer this season, moves from centre to wing with Lemon going to the bench instead of the unlucky Alan Clark. One sad note to the week has been the passing of John McAffer one of the club's long-time stalwarts last weekend at the age of 78. Dundee team Cam Wyper; Andy McLean, Harry Duthie, Robbie Lavery, Jack Steele; Cam Brown, Andy Dymock; Neil Dymock (captain), Simon Forrest, Alan Brown; Andy Linton, Richie Hawkins; Chris Cumming, Richie McIver, Danny Levison. Replacements: Darrel Russell, Gavin Robertson, Andy Redmayne, Jamie Morrison, Ross Lemon.