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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…

Perth & Kinross

Culinary dimension added to Perth Show

July 28 2016

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.

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

Charity ambassador Pippa Middleton visits young heart patients in hospital

December 5 2017

Pippa Middleton, sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, paid a visit to young heart patients at Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital in her role as ambassador for the British Heart Foundation. Earlier today BHF Ambassador Pippa Middleton visited young heart patients at Bristol Royal Children's Hospital to hear their stories and support our Christmas campaign to raise over half a million pounds towards research into congenital heart disease. https://t.co/W2wqhqrfOf pic.twitter.com/z4B5xtP2et— BHF (@TheBHF) December 5, 2017 Ms Middleton visited the hospital as part of the charity’s Christmas campaign to raise £650,000 for research into congenital heart disease. Pippa Middleton met 14-year-old Missy Cotteril from Cornwall (Geoff Caddick/PA) She also chatted to the family of eight-week-old patient Evelyn Hampshire (Geoff Caddick/PA) Ms Middleton meets 11-year-old Calum Morris (Geoff Caddick/PA) A hug with three-year-old Daniel Tomsett (Geoff Caddick/PA) (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Reporters'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c5b4fd46-99fd-4eed-8d2a-3faa59a11854'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Charity ambassador Pippa Middleton visits young heart patients in hospital'});

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.


Fine weather leads thousands to Cupar Highland Games

June 10 2013

Thousands descended on Duffus Park on Saturday for the Cupar Highland Games, cheering on athletes, dancers and musicians for what was the 24th running of the popular event. Cupar chieftain Robert Stewart got the events under way, with athletes taking part in a number of traditional events, including caber tossing, hammer throwing and cycling and running races. There was also a healthy entry in the dancing events. Helped by the glorious sunshine, organisers said that people came out in large numbers to support the event.Photo gallery: Cupar Highland GamesRosemary Middleton, secretary of the organising committee, said: “We’ve had quite a crowd and probably had something between 2,000-3,000 people in attendance. “It is a tough event to organise but we had a good games and it was definitely worth it.” See full results in Tuesday’s Courier.


Washout ends struggle to stage Cupar Highland Games

June 10 2011

Years of poor weather have rained on the parade of a Fife highland games and forced the show to be cancelled. Cupar Highland Games has been marred by downpours regularly over the last decade, leading to potential spectators staying at home. The lack of takings at the gate meant that this year the committee was short of cash to stage the annual event, which costs around £15,000. The decision was taken earlier this week to call off the show, which was due to be held on July 3 at Duffus Park, but it is hoped it will return bigger and better in 2012. Rosemary Middleton, games secretary, told The Courier, “It was a financial decision, we just couldn’t do it this year. We did get some money from Fife Council but it was not nearly enough. “For the past few years we have had rain on games day. Our finances come largely from people coming through the gate and they just weren’t coming. “That wasn’t anything to do with the organisation of the games or the events held, it was simply weather related.” When the committee met on Tuesday it decided to concentrate on fund-raising for 2012, with the hope it can persuade local people and businesses to dig deep and ensure that Cupar Highland Games remains on the calendar for years to come. Costs include insurance for the event and prize money for competitors who travel from near and far to take part in piping, Highland dancing, field, track and heavy events. Mrs Middleton said, “We will certainly be going down every avenue to raise the money we need.” Had the organisers pressed ahead this year, Mrs Middleton said there was so little money available there was a risk that the event would be killed off for good. She said, “We decided that if we leave it for a year and build up our bank balance we have more chance of having it again next year.” Mrs Middleton said there was disappointment among the committee members but they had conceded cancellation was the best move. She said, “We all work very hard on the committee to get the games up and running but no matter how hard you work, if it rains, what can you do?” Fife Council said it had given the Cupar games a £1000 community grant, which was similar to funding given in previous years and to other games in the area, including St Andrews and Ceres, and it was unable to increase its support. Cupar Highland Games, held in association with the Scottish Games Association, were revived in 1979.

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

UK & World

Rosemary Water ads banned over misleading health claims

January 31 2018

Ads for the premium bottled water brand No 1 Rosemary Water have been banned for suggesting the drink can free the body of illness and disease and extend life. A campaign for the water, seen in April and June last year, used various headlines based around claims that people in the Italian hamlet of Acciaroli consumed rosemary on a daily basis and lived to more than 100 years old in “unusually large numbers”. The ads went on to claim a combination of extraction techniques resulted in “all the correct amino acids and flavonoids being present”, and that “evidence strongly suggests a daily intake of rosemary can help the body stay illness-free and in turn contribute to a much longer life”. Our distinctive drink was inspired by Acciaroli, the remarkable Italian village full of centenarians… https://t.co/Nea6LYnW7Y pic.twitter.com/sRnG9nN77G— No1 Rosemary Water (@Rosemary_Water) May 3, 2017 The campaign claimed almost 350 – or more than one in 10 – of people living in Acciaroli are now healthy centenarians with “little or no Alzheimers (sic), arthritis or cataracts,” adding: “Scientists believe their daily consumption of rosemary is responsible for their incredible good health and longevity.” It also referred to widely-reported findings by Dr Mark Moss, of Northumbria University, that exposure to the smell of rosemary can help to boost children’s memory. A paid-for tweet promoting the water, which initially sold exclusively at Harvey Nichols at £3.95 for a 750 ml bottle, read: “Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and memory-boosting. It must be something in the water.” Screen grabbed image taken from the ad (ASA/PA) A video ad showed a woman with long silver hair taking a sip of the water before her appearance changed to look as if she were in her twenties. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 19 complaints that the campaign’s explicit and implied claims the water could help the body stay free of illness, improve memory and provide “good health and longevity” were unauthorised. Screen grabbed image from the advert (ASA/PA) Rosemary Water said its claim that a high proportion of Acciaroli’s residents had little or no Alzheimer’s, arthritis or cataracts did not imply that the product or any of its ingredients were responsible for those low rates of disease. They said the ads communicated facts about the very low rates of specific chronic and degenerative diseases in Acciaroli’s citizens, and indicated that their rosemary was sourced from near to the town. They said the ads did not make any link, either stated or implied, between disease prevention and the consumption of rosemary or No1 Rosemary Water. (ASA/PA) Upholding the complaints, the ASA said consumers would understand the claims to mean that the product could prevent them from developing cancer, the development of diseases, prevent the development of Alzheimer’s, arthritis and cataracts, and provide general benefits for overall good health and health related well-being. It noted none of the general health claims in the ads were accompanied by a specific health claim authorised on the EU Register, saying: “We concluded the general health claims in the ads therefore breached the code.” It ruled the ads must not appear again, adding: “We told Rosemary Water not to make claims that No1 Rosemary Water could prevent, treat or cure disease.” (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Josie Clarke, Press Association Consumer Affairs Correspondent'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'fae0608d-f5eb-4970-a8bb-68cae0b2516e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Rosemary Water ads banned over misleading health claims'});

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.