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Gala Life

WIN Tea for Two See page 5

February 2018

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Message Contents from the Team Welcome to the February Edi:on of Gala Life. As I write this there is about 5 inches of snow outside and clear blue skies. It looks really picturesque and I’m sure the kids are loving extra me off school. In this month’s edion we take a look at the phenomenon that is Bitcoin, we have your horoscopes for February and Sheila Drummond looks at pruning. Well looking might be all we can do. At this me of year fitness campaigns should be starng to pay off, but if like many you struggle with back pain take a look at Alan Clinches fitness column. Some useful ps for exercise to alleviate it. Gala Rugby have been doing rather well since we last reported … 4 wins. Keep it up guys. We also take a look at the Gala Squash Club. Keeping the fitness theme going here! Gala Opera are on the countdown to their producon of Summer Holiday – so get your ckets prompt! For Spring, Border Vets take a look at healthy rabbits. Lastly, if the fitness thing is too much just pop down to Ochiltree’s for lunch – can’t beat fish and chips. Don’t forget to enter our great compeon to win A<ernoon Tea for two. Happy Valenne’s Day !

Features Win! Apollo Blinds Snowdrop Fesval Bitcoin

5 20 26 52

Regulars Fitness Garden Horoscopes GRFC Vet Compung

18 30 44 46 48 50

Community Diary Get Out Community News

4 6 32

Useful Numbers Index

54 54

Adver:sing Debbie - 07545299491

Art & Eds Willie - 07906375953

Deadline for March - 13th February Gala Life is delivered to every home and business in the Galashiels, Tweedbank, Darnick, Dingleton, Melrose, Newstead and Ga@onside areas. Copies are also le< at various ‘pick-up’ points around the area allowing visitors the opportunity to join us. If you have any queries, suggesons or feedback, please do not hesitate to make contact and don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook. Please Re-Cycle ....eventually!

Gala Life Ltd 57 Glen Crescent Peebles EH45 9BS Office - 01721 720129 Sales - Debbie: 07545 299491 Artwork - Willie: 07906375953

Community Events & What’s On In Galashiels Full details in the Get Out pages 31st January 1st February

2.00pm 7.30pm

Borders College Open Day - Nether Road Galashiels Studio Art Club Appraisal Night

2nd February


John Lamont MP Surgery - Volunteer Hall

2nd February


Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall

3rd February


Eildon Ramblers

5th February


The Filling Staon - Corn Exchange, Melrose

8th February


Galashiels & District Probus Club

8th February


ScoHsh Wildlife Trust - Langlee Centre

10th February


Galashiels Trinity Church Guild Coffee Morning

16th February


Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall

17th February


Gala Opera Coffee Morning - Volunteer Hall

17th February 19th February 22nd February

10.00am 2.00pm 10.00am

Eildon Ramblers The Three Brethren U3A - Galashiels Rugby Club Galashiels & District Probus Club

23rd February


Melrose Music Society Concert - Melrose Parish Church

25th February 27th February

2.30pm 7.30pm

Borders Family History Society - St. Peter’s Church Hall Selkirk Musical Theatre Company

1st March


Galashiels Studio Club - Illustrated Talk

3rd March


Longridge Towers School Junior Taster Morning

3rd March


Eildon Ramblers

4th - 10th March


Gala Amateur Operatic Society - Summer Holiday - Volunteer Hall



Gala Town Band Junior Secon, Band Hall, 6A Roxburgh St



Langlee Community Choir at Langlee Community Centre



Gala Youth & Town Band, Band Hall, 6A Roxburgh St.



Mini Mags Toddler Group, St Margaret’s Primary School



Gentle exercise for older people in Langlee Community Centre



Gala Ex Serv Pipe Band - Royal Brish Legion Club



One Acchord Ladies Acappella Chorus



Eildon Singers, Ormiston Instute, Melrose



Lindean Carpet Bowling Club



Borders Group of Advanced Motorcyclists

Remember to keep us informed of all your events, there is no charge for diary entries for non profit and charity organisations. Call 01721 720129 with details, or e-mail to 4 Gala Life

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Wednesday 31st January - Borders College Open Day - Nether Road, Galashiels - 2.00pm to 7.00pm. Thursday 1st February - Galashiels Studio Art Club Appraisal Night - 7.30pm. Gala Studio Club invites you to bring your artwork for appraisal by the professional arst Sheila Anderson Hardy. Everyone welcome. 2nd February - John Lamont MP Surgery - Volunteer Hall - 10.00am. Everyone welcome. Friday 2nd February - Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall, Darnick – 7.30pm. Christmas party for singers, musicians and audience.BYOB. All ages welcome. Collecon and raffle. Phone 07986 644661 for more informaon. Saturday 3rd February - Eildon Ramblers – 10.00am. Circular walk: E@rickbridge - Alemoor Loch – E@rickshaw. Grade B+ 9.5miles 430m ascent OS73. Meet 10.00 E@rickbridge Church, NT390243, WT 5hrs. Visitors/new members welcome. Sorry no dogs. Contact walk leader Derek 07925 254116 or email Monday 5th February - The Filling Sta:on - Corn Exchange, Melrose - 7.30pm. See Page 40. Thursday 8th February - Galashiels & District Probus Club - Waverley Castle Hotel, Melrose 10.00am. Our speaker will be Tom Co@er with 'Telling Tales' All welcome. Thursday 8th February – ScoAsh Wildlife Trust - Langlee Centre, Marigold Drive, Galashiels – 7.30pm. Mike Fraser will talk on ’Birds and Bees in the (herbaceous) Borders’. Non-members are welcome. Saturday 10th February - Galashiels Trinity Church Guild Coffee Morning - 10.00am to 12noon. With scones and home baking stall. Everyone welcome. Tuesday 13th February - It’s get those cards and flowers organised for tomorrow day guys. Friday 16th February - Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall, Darnick – 7.30pm. Paul Downes, is a superb player of acousc guitar, though he sees himself as a singer of songs with guitar accompaniment. He is a man of many styles and genres and plays regularly across the UK and USA both solo and in various line-ups, having appeared at all the fesval venues you could think of. Over the years he has played with Phil Beer, The Arizona Smoke Revue, Pete Seeger and, currently, The Joyce Gang. A great performance guaranteed! £6/£5 concessions. Under 18s and Young Scot card -free. BYOB. All ages welcome. Phone 07986 644661 for more informaon. Saturday 17th February - Gala Opera Coffee Morning - Volunteer Hall - 10.00am. Tickets for our upcoming show ‘Summer Holiday’ will be on sale to the public. There will also be a preview of some of the songs from the show (all very well known to any Cliff Richard fans from the 60s out there!) while enjoying a cup of coffee, parcipang in our grand raffle and browsing the stalls. Saturday 17th February - Eildon Ramblers – 10.00am. Circular walk: Vogrie-Edghead-Pathhead, Grade B 8miles 270m ascent OS 345. Meet 10.00 Vogrie Country Park Car Park, NT375631, WT 5hrs. Visitors/new members welcome. Sorry no dogs. Contact walk leader Sally 07743 190164 or email Monday 19th February- The Three Brethren U3A - Galashiels Rugby Club, Nether Road, Galashiels - 2.00pm. Iain McDonald will give a talk entled 'The Bairns o' Falkirk. Members of The Three Brethren and anyone interested in joining the U3A are welcome. continued on page 10

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Thursday 22nd February - Galashiels & District Probus Club - Waverley Castle Hotel, Melrose 10.00am. Our speaker will be Mary Craig with 'A Tangled Web'. Friday 23rd February - Melrose Music Society Concert - Melrose Parish Church - 7.30pm. The Atea Wind Quintet will play music by Debussy, Bozza, Bach, Mozart, Manookian and Mortensen. Tickets are on sale at the door. All welcome. £14 for non-members, accompanied children free. Sunday 25th February - Borders Family History Society - St. Peter’s Church Hall – 2.30pm. Talk A Family History’: an exploraon of science, stories and cerficates by Mary Craig, archivist at the Stow Parish Archive. All welcome. Tuesday 27th February to 3rd March - Selkirk Musical Theatre Company - Barry Manilow’s Copacabana - Victoria Halls, ScoFs Place, Selkirk - 7.30pm. The tale of Lola and Tony, their love and romance has capvated millions, and is now presented to you as a Broadway-style musical fantasy. The original songs created by Barry Manilow, fabulous costumes, sensaonal sets and fast moving choreography all add up to an evening of entertainment that will leave you breathless. Thursday 1st March - Galashiels Studio Club - Illustrated Talk - 7.30pm. Borders arst Rich Johnson will talk on ‘Pen & Paint.’ Rich works in a variety of mediums and styles, ranging from near abstract and impressionist oil landscapes to detailed pen and ink and pencil illustraons. Everyone welcome. Saturday 3rd March - Longridge Towers School Junior Taster Morning - Longridge Towers School, Berwick-upon-Tweed - 9.15am. See page 19 for more informaon. Saturday 3rd March - Eildon Ramblers – 10.00am. Circular walk: Denholm-Dene-CaversHornshole & River Teviot. Grade B 8miles 190m ascent OS331. Meet 10.00, Denholm Village Green Bus Stop, NT567195, WT 5hrs. Visitors/new members welcome. Sorry no dogs. Contact walk leaders Brian & Lynn 07400 061770. 4th - 10th March - Gala Amateur Opera:c Society - Summer Holiday - Volunteer Hall - 7.30pm. Sunday preview manee 2.30pm. For more details and ckets see page 2, 43 and Langlee Community Choir - Mondays at 7.00pm in Langlee Community Centre, Galashiels. The choir always welcomes new singers of any age or ability. If you are a shy singer, the choir will bring out your confidence. No pressure, no audions, just good fun. Keep watching out in Gala Life or listen to local radio for upcoming performances. To book the choir or for any other informaon, please visit One Acchord Ladies Acappella Chorus - invites you to join us most Wednesdays 7.30pm 9.30pm, plus one Saturday pm per month at Newtown St Boswells Community Hall TD6 0QX. Try free for 4 weeks. For more info call 01896 668594 or 07989461012. The Eildon Singers - Meet every Wednesday in the Ormiston Instute, The Square, Melrose, from 7.30pm ll 9.30pm. Mixed voice choir. New members very welcome. Contact Margery Inglis, Secretary, 01750 21085. Pheonix Singers - Mixed choir meets on Mondays starng 25th September 7:30pm - 9:30pm. No audions. Try 1 or 2 sessions with no commitment. For more info contact - continued on page 14

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Galashiels Squash & Racketball Club When I talk to people around the Borders about the squash club in Gala, the normal reacon is for them to say “but I didn’t even know there were courts in Galashiels”. Which is funny because there have been squash facilies in Gala for almost 90 years, located on land just opposite the fire staon. Galashiels Squash and Racketball Club expanded in the 1970s and membership peaked at over 250 members. Many people who have lived their lives in and around Galashiels know someone who has been a member of the squash club in the past, but the club went through leaner mes in recent years and for a while it looked as though the club would fold. But the club is now back on a stable foong, membership is picking up again and the outlook is looking very posive. The club sll has fantasc facilies. Members can choose from two hard-walled courts, both with heaters, whilst spectators can cheer on their favourites from the viewing gallery above. There are kitchen facilies and the club also has a table tennis table and mini-pool table. But the best things about the club is its members. Enthusiasc and sociable, you are assured of a welcoming face at Monday’s “club night” where members play each other in friendly games. The club has players of a wide variety of standards, from relave beginners to very experienced players and all of them are always happy to help completely new members. The club now runs a range of compeons throughout the year, has an internal league system and, for the last few years, has entered a team in the East of Scotland Squash League. Club Chairman, John Barrow, said “Gala squash club is superb asset for the Borders. There are not too many facilies like this around where adults, kids, men & women can all come and join in. The arrival of racketball has helped to a@ract a wider audience to the club and, because it is a li@le slower than squash, 12 Gala Life

racketball keeps people, like me, acve into their senior years. And at this me of year it is also good for shi<ing those extra seasonal pounds”.

In case you are not familiar with racketball, it is a sport that is similar to squash, is played on a squash court, but has shorter rackets and bigger, bouncier balls that are a similar size to tennis balls. Because they bounce more, you don’t have to be as quick around the court or hit the ball as hard, so it is easier when you start playing. If you’ve never seen racketball you can look it up on youtube – although what you see there at professional level is more physical than you see in Gala! Racketball is a great introducon to racket sports, although many people progress on to squash eventually, and is also good for kids. The club treasurer, Del Sharra@, points out that “we have already done various acvies in local schools and racket sports are very popular. The club offers family memberships so squash or racketball are great acvies for parents to do with their children.” The club has a website, more details can be obtained. Derek Sharra

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Just Singing - We meet on the third Sunday of the month at 4.00pm - 6.00pm in Newstead Village Hall, to sing songs of peace and jusce. We welcome new singers and those who think they can’t sing. There is no need to read music, all songs are taught by ear. Contact Kath 01896 820034. Pipe Band: The Galashiels Ex-Service Pipe Band, Wednesday nights, 7pm at The Royal Brish Legion Club, Park Street, Galashiels. Experienced players and beginners most welcome to join. Please contact the secretary, Lynn Ker on 01896 755814. The Galashiels Town Band - Mondays - Gala Junior Band, 5.00pm - 6.00pm, Tuesdays, 6.30pm Gala Youth Band and 7.45pm Gala Town Band. Band Hall, 6A Roxburgh Street, Gala. Open to experienced and inexperienced players of all ages. Instruments can be supplied, so go give it a try! ScoAsh Country Dancing - Tuesdays, 7.00pm - 9.00pm in Old and St Paul's Church Hall. All welcome. Further info 01896822354 or 01578730591. Eildon Ramblers - If you enjoy walking you’ll enjoy walking with the Eildon Ramblers. We meet alternate Saturdays at 10.00am at various locaons in the Borders. For general informaon please email or phone 01896 823831 or 07590 219301. Our mo@o is friendship, fitness, fun and fresh air. Lindean Carpet Bowling Club - Lindean Village Hall, 7.30pm, and each following Wednesday during the season. New members welcome, tuion given to beginners, adults £1 per night, children 50p. Our friendly Club caters for all ages so why not give carpet bowls a try! Gala Rotary Club - Meets every Tuesday at 6.00 for 6.30pm in Kingsknowes Hotel for a meal and fellowship. The Club is involved with many projects locally and internaonally. Find out more at or on Facebook. Borders Philatelic Society - Meets Monday fortnightly from 7.30 pm to 9 pm at Old & St. Paul's Church, Sco@ Crescent, Galashiels. New faces always welcome, as is any level of interest in stamps & postcards. Contact Michael Dolan, 07801 423089, for further informaon. Galashiels Studio Club is for people who enjoy all forms of art. We meet from October to March every year, in Old Gala House, at 7.30 pm unl approx. 9.30 pm. Members can a@end workshops, talks, and visits. Find out more by vising our Facebook page! Tel 01896 820023 or email: ScoAsh Borders Prostate Cancer Support Group. The group meets on the first Wednesday of the month, except January, February and August at the `Tryst`, Chaplaincy Centre, B.G.H. At 7.00pm when all men with this disease will be made most welcome. Mini Mags Toddler Group. Every Wednesday during term me from 1.30 to 3pm at St Margaret’s Primary School, Livingstone Place, Galashiels. Its open to all preschool children and their parents/ carers. So come along with your wee one, they can have a play while you enjoy a nice cuppa and a chat with others parents/carers. £1 per adult and 20p per child.

An entry in our Community secon is free to non-profit groups. If you would like to be included, just e-mail Willie at Or phone 01721 720129 The deadline is 11th of the preceding month 14 Gala Life

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3rd February

Altitude Duo

10th February

Bobby Hunter

17th February


24th February


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Back Pain and Exercise Back pain is generally considered to be any ache, pain, tension, or disorder that affects the muscles or bones from the base of the neck to the hips. It can be caused by damage to the muscles, ligaments or the bones of the spine or to the discs between the vertebrae. In the UK, a significant number of people have back pain every day of the year, with the result that over 20% of UK healthcare expenditure is used to manage the situaon. It’s worth poinng out some of the key risk factors associated with back pain (these are general rather than work related): Increasing age, low muscle strength/endurance, low physical acvity levels, prolonged siHng and prolonged standing (see last month’s arcle), gender, children, time of day, being overweight, smoking, pregnancy….. In approximately 95% of cases, acute low back pain is non-specific. Recent research has suggested that the longer an individual is disabled by back pain, the less chance he or she has of returning to work and the more health care cost he or she will require. For example, if an individual has been off sick with back pain for 6 months, there is a 50% chance of them sll being off work one year later. In general terms, low back pain is esmated to affect at least 60% to 80% of the populaon at some me in their lives, though fortunately most are able to resolve the problem using simple pain relief, manipulaon and exercise advice. This month I’m going to look at recent research done relating to exercise. Last year the American College of Physicians released new guidelines on exercise related treatments for back pain:

for chronic (long term) low back pain the recommendation is exercise based rehabilitation, with suggesons including pilates, tai chi, yoga, strength training and cardio type exercise. It is important to stress at this point that any such intervenons should be those recommended by a medical or exercise professional. Other research carried out in Australia found that the only treatment approach with consistent results in terms of prevenng recurrence of back pain was exercise, which can strengthen the body (and therefore the back), as well as encourage effecve posture and correct li<ing techniques. That doesn’t just relate to the gym: consider picking up a small child: the average three year old weighs between 12 and 13kg. A group in Boston looked at using three different methods: educaon, yoga, and physio based exercise. After three months, the exercise based strategies resulted in far lower recurrence of pain than those who were simply given informaon. As a final point, it should be stressed that there is no magic bullet that works for everyone. Currently exercise is the subject of much research and interest as it is low cost, involves limited medical intervenon, and generally results in improved quality of life. So, once again, it looks like simply being more acve may be the way forward, using something which you enjoy and are likely to sck with. Here are a few resources which may help, but if you are suffering from pain, either chronic or acute, you should always consult a professional prior in the first instance. 18 Gala Life

This Month’s Easy Sudoko 4








6 6

4 3










1 9



1 3




8 8





7 4

5 6

How to play............

Fill the grid so that every row, column and every 3 x 3 box contains the numbers 1 through to 9 with no repetition. That’s all there is to it! Use reasoning and logic to solve the puzzle - there’s no maths or adding up. Look carefully for what numbers can go where and with a little practice it will get easier!

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Stylish, prac:cal blinds that are great value for money Having the right range of products con:nues to set Alan Snowball’s Apollo Blinds business apart when it comes to providing window blinds and shuFers to homes right across the ScoAsh Borders.

look stunning in any home but will also allow you to control light and shade effortlessly,” said Alan. What’s new for 2018 Alan is expecng to see an increase in enquiries for Due@e and Twilight blinds in 2018, as they are a stylish new alternave to tradional pleated and roller blinds.

More so than ever before, customers want blinds that are great value for money and are also both stylish blinds and funconal said Alan, who has The effortlessly smart precision pleats diffuse seen a big rise in the amount of conservatory blind daylight to create so< lighng whilst protecng and shu@er installaons over the last 12 months. floorings and furnishings from sun damage. But “Conservatory blinds epitomise what my customers it’s the proven energy-saving properes that are want because they have to look fantasc but they grabbing all the headlines because the makers of also have a very important job in shielding a Due@e say that the blinds can prevent 79% of conservatory from UV rays and bright sunshine in solar heat entering the home and can also reduce the summer months to keep it a cool and usable heat loss by up to 46%. In the winter, this could living area,” said Alan. reduce heang bills by up to 12%.

“Similarly, blinds play their part in keeping at bay In the case of Twilight, the blinds have to be seen the excesses of cold in winter periods and retaining to be believed, as they have a duo roller fabric as much heat as possible. system with both solid and sheer fabric panels. The connuous loop of fabric is adjusted around a “Our collecon of stunning pleated blinds includes bo@om bar to provide varying degrees of light or both blackout and solar-reflecve fabrics that are shade, according to the matching or contrasng ideal for conservatories and parcularly roofs, as fabric panels. that’s where they have to work the hardest.” For more informaon, go to Alan’s website Apollo Blinds’ collecons of wooden shu@ers will or call him on also connue to be popular because they are ideal 01573 229036 or 01875 401066. for controlling light and retaining heat within a room, as well as helping to improve the security of a home. “The Apollo shu)er collecon has been designed to offer a stylish and praccal alternave to tradional blinds and curtains and will not only

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A buyer’s guide to blinds Here are five quesons to ask if you’re thinking of buying new window blinds. 1. What do you want the blinds to do? The beauty of blinds is that they can o<en fulfil more than one requirement. They can block out light, keep heat in or simply look stunning. 2. Where do you want them? Matching the right blind to the right condion is vital because, for example, even good-quality wooden blinds will warp over me if they are in rooms with lots of moisture.

Do you want them operated by a cord, a wand or even a remote control? These are just some of the quesons around the operaon of blinds. 4. How do you want the blinds installed? Typically, blinds are either fi@ed to the frame of a window or a door or directly to the wall. If, for example, you have UPVC windows or a conservatory, there are now blinds available that can be fi@ed without the need to drill holes into frames. 5. What else should I ask? You should always ask whether the blinds are child safe and how long the guarantees are on the blinds.

3. How do you want to operate them?

For more informaon, go to Alan’s website or call him on Do you want blinds that will move from side to side? Do you want blinds that move up and down? 01573 229036 or 07912 141541. Gala Life 21

John Lamont MP - Conservave I was happy to be able to pay a visit to Galahill House Care Home recently a<er an invitaon from the acvity coordinator there to speak to the residents about Brexit and other topical ma@ers such as farming and employment in the Borders. As I’ve only recently started represenng Galashiels, it was my first visit to the Galahill so I was delighted to meet with residents and staff there. Galahill House is a beauful building in a lovely locaon, overlooking Gala and the Eildon Hills. The Borders is facing an aging populaon which is set to put greater pressure on our health and social care services. Coming up with a sustainable soluon is going to be a major challenge for society in the coming decades. However, what we can be sure about is we are very lucky to have so many good care and nursing homes and some very dedicated staff here in the Borders. Priori:es for 2018 While I was an MSP, we spent countless hours debang the merits of ScoHsh independence and far too li@le me on issues which the ScoHsh Government actually has responsibility for, like improving schools, hospitals and other local services. These are the issues which are the priories for most ordinary Borderers. It’s me to move on from the constuonal debate, work together within the UK to get the best Brexit deal possible and for the ScoHsh Government to focus on the issues which ma@er to Scots. Surgeries My regular advice surgeries have begun again a<er the Christmas break. I was in Galashiels at the Focus Centre last month and had several people come along to ask me about an issue they were having a problem with. I’ll hope to hold another one as soon as possible and further dates and all the details can be found on my website

Andy Anderson Councillor - Galashiels & District SNP No doubt some of us will have found our New Year Resoluons holding firm, or perhaps completely abandoned. By now we will have realized that some resoluons might be unrealisc, but at least we tried. I believe this is true for life in general, where our aspiraons should be high and if we fall short at least we tried or connue to try. Somemes it is a case of managing our own expectaons. As a new(ish) councillor I have found that somemes it is not possible to change some things or achieve a be@er outcome. People’s expectaons are o<en high and they may be disappointed when things happen more slowly than they would wish, especially when their issues turn out to be more complex than they first appeared and involve several departments or agencies. A quick fix is great to have, but unfortunately not the norm regardless of how helpful SBC Officers have tried to be. I think that the watch phrase this year should be ‘personal responsibility’. The perennial problems of dog fouling and li@er are good example. They are the result of ansocial and lazy behaviour by a minority, but their lack of responsibility affects everyone by spoiling environmental amenity and financially in the costs of clearing up a<er them. It is not the fault of the council, who have to find resources to tackle the problem, it is the people who cause the problem that are the issue. Unl there is a change of mind-set the problem will not go away. The same applies to the mindless vandalism and arson a@acks we have seen recently. This mind-set is also seen on our roads, where despite it being dangerous, and illegal, we see drivers careering around roads and continued on page 32

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Chicken and Spinach Balti Thursday night is curry night in our house. The kids love it. Somemes though it needs to be quick and easy. So, if you are needing a quick curry hit with li@le preparaon, this curry in a hurry recipe will always hit the mark. Ingredients       

15 g bu@er 2 tbsp sunflower oil 2 large onions, roughly chopped 3 garlic cloves, sliced 25 g fresh root ginger, roughly chopped 3 tbsp medium curry paste, or bal curry paste 1 tbsp tomato purée

     

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in to bite-sized chunks ½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp caster sugar 4 fresh ripe tomatoes, quartered 200 g baby spinach leaves Plus Rice or naan to accompany

Melt the bu@er with 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-sck frying pan. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, then cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes unl very so<, srring occasionally. Remove the lid and turn up the heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, srring constantly unl well coloured. Add the curry paste, turn down the heat slightly and cook with the onions for 3 minutes more, srring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and sr in the tomato purée. Blitz the spiced onions with a stick blender or a food processor and blend until as smooth as possible. Tip the onion mixture into a bowl and set aside. Place the same pan over a medium heat and add the remaining oil and the chicken pieces. Fry for 3 minutes, turning o<en, unl lightly coloured all over. Add all the spiced onion mixture, 175ml just-boiled water, salt, sugar and tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes. Add the spinach in a few handfuls, allowing each to so<en a li@le before adding the next. Cook for a further minute, srring regularly, or unl the chicken is cooked through, the tomatoes are so<ened and the spinach has wilted. Serve with Basma Rice or naan to finish. Debbie 24 Gala Life

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Dawyck Botanic Garden, one of the ScoAsh Borders’ leading visitor aFrac:ons, is taking part in the ScoAsh Snowdrop Fes:val 2018 which runs from 27th January to 11th March. Visitors will be delighted by the sight of swathes of snowdrops carpeng the banks of Scrape Burn which runs through the centre of the Garden. Around this me of year, snowdrops pop up in gardens, parks and woodlands all over the country, heralding the long-awaited signs of spring and, with these dainty li@le flowers, comes the ScoHsh Snowdrop Fesval, a six week-long c elebration in honour of this plucky little perennial. For a small cket price, a donaon or for free, participating gardens provide fabulous spectacles of white flower carpets, and collections of unusual, rare and specialist snowdrop species, alongside a variety of events and acvies celebrang this popular flower. enjoy wild garden and woodland walks among Amongst parcipang gardens in the Borders are the snowdrops. Dawyck, Kailzie Gardens and Cringlee House. At Cringlee House twinkling lights guide visitors Set amidst a picturesque glen in the Borders, along a waterfall path and through a snowdrop Dawyck provides a magnificent backdrop for a carpeted woodland. If this walk works up an stunning display of snowdrops, popping up their appete, why not try one of Cringlee’s famous heads in their thousands. Every Sunday during snowdrop scones with a choice of afternoon teas. the Fesval in February and March at 2.15pm, experienced garden guides take Dawyck’s visitors With over 50 venues taking part across Scotland, including private and public gardens, for a walk to see the swathes of snowdrops nurseries and garden related businesses keen to carpeng the banks of Scrape Burn. To book show off their collecons, visitors are sure to your place, call 01721 760254. experience brilliant moments full of winter At Kailzie, which is celebrating 50 years of opening wonder and beauty. for charity with Scotland’s Gardens, visitors can The event is organised by Discover ScoHsh Gardens, Scotland’s naonal tourism group for Gardens, and aims to encourage locals and tourists alike to enjoy the wonders of Scotland’s gardens during the snowdrop flowering period and to highlight the diversity of our snowdrop collecons. For more info, visit VisitScotland is supporting the Festival and you can see their fantasc blog and all the parcipang garden event lisngs at blog/scotland/snowdrop-fes:val

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The Gala Garden February 2018 At some point this month, no maFer what the weather is like, you will see that the trees have started to faFen up. The sap is rising again, stems are thickening and buds are swelling with promise. Go out into the garden or the park and you will see this close at hand. Deciduous trees and shrubs are starng to respond to longer days.

The buds on deciduous trees and shrubs are generally either arranged in pairs, opposite one another, or singly on alternate sides of the branches. Terminal buds are usually single although some are arranged in small clusters. The arrangement of buds is significant when it comes to pruning. If you cut back to just above a pair of buds the plant will produce two new shoots. If you do this at the end of branches by chipping around the outside of a shrub it results in bare old wood in the centre and a loss of the natural shape at the outside. Many shrubs that have buds in pairs are fast-growing like 30 Gala Life

elder, or late-flowering, like buddleja. These can be cut back quite hard now; that is nearly to the base and they will produce good lengths of new growth in the next season. Dogwoods are another example of this type of growth. When you prune back to a bud that is arranged alternately along a stem, the plant will produce one new shoot. For example, most of the large family of roseaceae and that includes apples and crabapples, sorbus or any other tree or shrub with a fivepetalled flower. Bearing in mind that it is the natural shape of woody plants that makes the contribution to the structure of the garden, please don’t reduce everything to li@le balls. Instead, remove about a third of the oldest wood right back to the ground. That will be the thickest stems at the centre of the plant.

A<er that, if you must remove a branch, take it right back to a main stem. Make the fewest cuts possible and aim to make your handiwork invisible. If

you do this every three years the shrub will flourish. Remember: remove the dead, the diseased and the damaged, then the crowded and crossing; then have a nice cup of tea. Take a good close look at buds – they are all so different. New lime buds have a protecve shell like a li@le pinkie nail, polished and carmine in the late a<ernoon sun. Others have no protecon but each one holds a new leaf, pleated and folded to fit into this ny space like a miniature origami masterpiece. In a ma@er of weeks each leaf will emerge perfect, undamaged by weather, insects or disease and spring will have sprung. While you are waing, on wet days, there are seed and plant catalogues to look through or you can always spend an hour dying up the shed. If the sun shines try to finish renovang mature deciduous shrubs, get the climbers and ramblers sorted out and cut back your late-flowering clemas. Sheila Drummond Portland Garden Design 07905 397185

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roundabouts with a mobile phone clamped to their ears. We hear of people who drink and drive, and/or speed then complain because they were caught by the police: no-one forced them to do either, it was their own choice. Are we all ready for a change of mind-set in the Borders in 2018? I remain hopeful… and will be managing my own expectaons.

Euan Jardine Councillor - Galashiels & District Conservave The past few months, I have tried to keep my column light and free of polical talk. As I wanted to introduce myself to readers of this fantasc magazine, before I dived head first into the world of polics. I appreciate you taking the me to read my column and also the me you allowed me to introduce myself to you. As I type this I am quite alert to the fact that this me last year, I had started to knock on the doors of residents in Galashiels and District. I spent four months introducing myself on the doorstep and can’t think of a more enjoyable period of my life. Since I have been elected it has somemes felt like a never ending escalator but a very excing and rewarding time. I am blessed to serve such a beautiful area with rich traditions and strong heritage. I am very optimistic about the future of the area, as I stated on the door steps I believe that vision, passion, patience and positivity are the keys to making an area thrive. Also the number one lesson I have learned the past few months is that you cannot set the world alight in one day. It takes me and constant persistence to make things happen and I promise I will connue to persist on behalf of the people of Galashiels and District throughout the next few years. This evening I am just back from a civic recepon to honour the regions disability sport athletes. What an honour it was to stand on stage and introduce a borders athlete who is a World champion and World record Holder in the form of Samantha Kinghorn. Samantha is someone that embodies the exact words I menoned earlier vision, passion, paence and posivity. Once again thank you for reading my column and if you would like to get in touch with feedback or you have an issue you would like resolved. Please feel free to contact me using the details below. You can contact me on 0300 100 0220 or by email at

St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Galashiels Church Diary February Thurs 1st 10.00am

Communion Service

Sun 4th 9.30am

Sunday Squad


Sung Eucharist,

Thurs 8th 10.00am

Communion Service


Sat 10 12.30pm

Soup ‘n’ Pud lunch

Sun 11th 10.30am

Sung Eucharist


Healing Service, Rev Andrew Cooper

Tues 13th 6.00pm th

Wed 14 7.00pm

Shrove Tuesday pancakes @ St Peter’s Ash Wednesday service continued on page 34

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Thurs 15th 10am th

Communion Service

Sun 18 9.45am



Family Service, Joanna Smith


Thurs 22 10.00am

Communion Service

Fri 23rd 5.00pm

Choir pracce

Sun 25th 10.00am

Sung Eucharist, Rev Sarah Kilbey

Tues 27th 5.30pm

Messy Church

Thurs 1st Mar 10.00am Communion Service Contact Informa:on Caretaker Phil Todd 07787 729639, Hall Bookings Elizabeth Watret 01750 23207 / 07780 009355 e-mail

Caddonfoot Parish Church The year 2017 is now history and we have moved into 2018, and so far we have not had to clear the drive of snow although we had to spread salt on one weekend. The year ended with a service of Nine Lessons and Carols on December 31 led by the congregation. Thanks to all who a@ended and took part in the service. There is sll me to purchase the Church and Community Calendar, illustrated with magnificent photographs, and containing a wealth of informaon on local clubs and organisaons. CY (Caddonfoot Youth) has resumed a<er the fesve break, and we are already looking forward to Easter, with Easter Sunday on April 1. We will again be publishing our Easter newsle@er, which incorporates Clovenfords village news. Please send copy for inclusion to Services connue at 9.45 am each Sunday and are conducted by the Rev Elsepth Harley with members of the congregaon taking part in the Bible Readings. Music is played by Andy and Catriona Bird, Anne Grieve and Margaret Blyth with special contribuons from Georgie Bird and Hannah Birch.

Galashiels Bap:st Church We are a friendly welcoming church situated in Victoria Street Galashiels. Sundays we meet at 10.30am for morning worship, we enjoy both contemporary and tradional songs/hymns. Crèche facilies are available, Sunday Club for primary age and Youth Bible study for teenagers. Tea and coffee are served a<er the service with a fellowship lunch on the 2nd Sunday of every month. In the evening, 6.00-8.00pm there is a Youth Club for P7 upwards when they enjoy a variety of games. E.g. snooker, table tennis and board games. Tuesdays at 12.30pm there is a Lunch Club for the elderly. Enjoy a 3 course lunch followed by tea/coffee. Cost is £5. There are occasional oungs throughout the year. Tuesdays and Thursdays a Parent and Toddler group meets from 10 – 11.15am. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and for children to enjoy play with others. Tuesday Prayer meeng 7.00 - 8.15pm. continued on page 36

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Wednesdays at 2pm a cra< group meets in the small lounge. Enjoy a cup of tea and a chat whilst you do your kniHng, sewing, crocheng, or painng. Friday Club - 6.00 - 7.30pm. For primary aged children Games, stories, craft. No club on February 9th Sunday Youth Club – 6.00 - 8.00pm. No club on 11th February. Alpha Course connues through February on a Thursday morning 10.30am for 11.00am start. It is held in Clovenfords. This is an opportunity to explore the Chrisan faith. For further informaon please call 01896 850562 or email For further info of all church events – e-mail

Trinity Church Galashiels On Sunday 4th of February we celebrate the first sacrament of Holy Communion of 2018. This service is at the usual me of 11.15am. The guild has also resumed their meengs with the first one of the year on Tuesday 9th January when John Gray an ex president of and Co Author of a book about the history of the Braw Lads Gathering was the speaker. There was a good turn out to hear this very interesng talk and the commi@ee would like to encourage more people to come along and join them on alternate Tuesday a<ernoons in the church hall at 2.15pm. The organisaon is now known as the Church of Scotland Guild and not the Women’s Guild and men can join as well as women. There are 2 meengs scheduled for February and these are: Tuesday 6th - speaker David Bethune – subject “Care of the Environment” Tuesday 20th - subject “A visit to Iona” There is also a coffee morning on Saturday 10th in the church hall between 10am and 12 noon. The choir have also resumed their Thursday evening rehearsals under the direcon of Dorothy Howden our church musician. They meet between 7pm and 8.30 and would welcome anyone interested in singing to join them. There is a joint Kirk Session and Congregaonal Board Meeng on Tuesday 13th February at 7pm in the hall and the clerk to the board, Mrs Karen Brockie has appealed for new members to join the Board to help in the smooth running of the church. Tea and coffee are served every Sunday before and a<er the service by a team of ladies who up until The end of the year were organised by Mrs Violet Howden. Violet has given up the stewardship of the “tea ladies” a<er more than 20 years and she was presented with flowers from the congregaon with their grateful thanks.

Hope Church We are a lively and inclusive contemporary Chrisan Church recently established and thriving in the ScoHsh Borders. We gather every Sunday to worship together and celebrate the presence of God in our lives. Our meengs are lively and informal, family friendly, with a blend of tradional and contemporary worship led by a great band. Everyone is welcome, whether you have a church background or are just seeking answers to the big quesons in life. continued on page 38

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So please join with us any Sunday at 4.00 pm at Tweedbank Community Centre, Essenside Drive. Check out details of Hope Church on our web site

Holy Trinity Church, Melrose Taizé worship is held at Holy Trinity Church, High Cross Avenue, Melrose, on the last Wednesday of every month. See 'What's On' for dates and mes. Taizé is a form of non-denominaonal Chrisan worship involving sung and chanted prayers, meditaon, a period of silence, and liturgical readings, with no preaching. The experience has been quoted as being "poec and contemplave." The style of prayer pracced is sung in an almost Buddhist style of meditave channg. All are welcome to join in the service, which is based on the worship style of a monasc community located in Taizé, northern France. Members of the community make a life commitment to live in joy, simplicity and mercy as a "parable of community," a sign of the Gospel's call to reconciliaon at the heart of the world. For further informaon visit our website at, telephone 01896 822626, or you can e-mail us at

Old Parish & St Paul’s Church Sco@ Crescent, Galashiels TD1 3JU

St John’s Church Hawthorn Road, Langlee TD1 2JZ We are two linked churches who want to be God glorifying and Christ exalng in our worship. The Word of God is faithfully preached and therefore we would like to invite everyone to come and listen to God speaking to us through His Word. Sunday Services in February: 9.45am St John’s 11.30am St Paul’s 6.30pm St Paul’s There are children’s and youth groups during the morning services. Prayer Mee:ngs in February: 6th, 13th, 20th at 7.30pm in St John’s 27th at 7pm in St Paul’s Other groups and ac:vi:es St John’s Bible Study – House group on Wednesday evenings Girls Brigade – Mondays from 6pm. Messy Church – Saturday a<ernoons – look out for dates Galashiels Food Bank – team involved in distribuon St Paul’s Bible Studies – House groups on Monday & Tuesday mornings continued on page 40

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Boys Brigade – Fridays from 6.30pm Guild – Wednesdays 2.15pm Lunch Club – Thursdays 12.30pm. Phone 01578 730591 for informaon on cost etc. Music Makers – Thursdays 7.30pm Badminton – Wednesdays 10am For further informa:on Minister: Rev Dr Leon Keller e-mail: phone: 01896 753029 websites: St John’s website is currently being re-designed.

Our Lady and St Andrews Catholic Church Ministers to a weekly congregaon of around 200 at 11.00am Mass. There is a lively choir and me to chat at tea and coffee, a<er. We are fortunate in having a flourishing Polish community. Mass mes are Saturday Vigil - 6.00pm, Sunday Mass - 11.00am. All visitors are welcome.

Bowden & Melrose Church of Scotland We have two places of worship with services in both each Sunday – 9.30a.m. at Bowden Kirk and 11.00a.m. at Melrose Parish Church. At 10.00 a.m. on the first Sunday of each month we hold a Family Service in Melrose Parish Church Hall. It lasts half an hour and is a less formal style of worship. Everyone is welcome to a@end these services.

Bethel Rock Church A new Pentecostal Chrisan Church invites you to come along and see how friendly and lively we are, with contemporary and tradional worship music; bible study; healing and prayer for those in need. Find out what's really going on with the world. Worship with us to welcome the Holy Spirit into your lives, come “make it well with your soul” and a<erwards join us for fellowship in our adjoining cafe with tea and cake this Sunday at 11am, the Focus Centre, Livingstone Street, Galashiels. Armchairs available for the elderly. There is a car share available for local residents. Enquiries: Douglas on 07815682027.

The Filling Sta:on The Filling Staon meets for regular Monday evening ‘celebraon’ meengs held in the Corn Exchange Melrose, every month on the first Monday star:ng at 7.30pm and we have seen Chrisan’s from communies across the ScoHsh Borders grow in depth, numbers and fellowship. The Filling Staon offers high quality speakers and teachers, contemporary sung worship continued on page 42

40 Gala Life

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and powerful, accessible prayer ministry. Our meengs are designed to be overtly spiritual but presented in a manner that those outside the church would feel comfortable. Our meengs aim to be short, sharp and focused in character. We find many people meet God through these meengs and faith is built up. We welcome Chrisans from all backgrounds, denominaons and non, Chrisan leaders, those seeking to understand what the Chrisan faith is all about, and those just inquisive. After a seasonal break we meet on Monday February 5th at 7.30pm in the Corn Exchange Melrose when our speaker will be Jess Polson who is the Ministry Assistant at St Paul's & St George's church, Edinburgh. Along with a regular me for worship led in February by our own in-house worship team, we look forward to welcoming you to the filling staon, and if you haven’t been before then why not check us out and enjoy a me of fellowship and ministry – Remember the Corn Exchange Melrose at 7.30pm Monday February 5th.

Heart and Soul The weekly Heart and Soul class, which celebrated its fi<h birthday at the end of last year, connues in the Borders General Hospital’s Chaplaincy Centre each Thursday from 5 to 6 pm for paents who have been through the heart rehabilitaon programme. The annual general meeng in December again agreed to make a donaon to the Chaplaincy Centre. Alasdair Mcvie was re-elected chairman for 2017-2018. The weekly class combines an hour’s light exercise and general chit-chat.

Local Dog Lovers Help Change and Enrich Lives Local dog si@ers, Barking Mad, ScoHsh Borders are asking fellow dog lovers to join them in helping to change lives. The dog holiday specialists have officially partnered with Dogs for Good, a life transforming charity which creates partnerships between people living with disability and specially trained assistance dogs. Donna of ScoHsh borders enthused: "We are so proud to announce that Dogs for Good is Barking Mad's chosen charity for 2018! Dogs for Good train assistance dogs to support adults and children with a wide range of disabilies and also children with ausm, in order to enrich and improve lives. This is parcularly relevant to the work which we undertake with our own dog siHng Host Community. We offer the opportunity to care for someone else's dog whilst its owners are away and through this iniave, we witness the amazing difference that canine companions can make in terms of improving social interacon and fitness every day.” Cathryn Simpson, Corporate Partnerships Manager for Dogs for Good said ‘We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Barking Mad in 2018, there’s obvious synergy between the two organisaons in respect of the dogs but more importantly the ethos of both organisaons is closely matched and this is important to ensure a successful partnership. Thank you to everyone for geHng involved!" How can you get involved? Barking Mad ScoHsh Border’s ulmate wish would be to raise enough money to fund the training of a Dogs for Good puppy and would really appreciate your help! Throughout 2018 they plan to hold fundraising events and would love to hear from you if you would like to get involved Donna continued on page 43

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can be contacted on 01896 242096 or email and you can also visit to find out more.

Gala Opera As February gets underway, rehearsals are in full swing for our March producon 'Summer Holiday', with our opening night just over 4 weeks away! It goes without saying, this is a very busy month for the Society. Booking opens for Patrons of the Society on Tuesday 14th February at 9.00am in the Volunteer Hall, followed by Members booking that evening. Our annual coffee morning then takes place on Saturday 17th February also in the Volunteer Hall when tickets for the show will be on sale to the general public for the first time. The coffee morning also provides the opportunity to be entertained with a preview of some of the songs from the show (all very well known to any Cliff Richard fans from the 60s out there!) while enjoying a cup of coffee, parcipang in our grand raffle and browsing the stalls. The box office then opens in the Volunteer Hall for the purchase of ckets from Monday 26th February 10am - 12pm. All this while we connue to rehearse several mes a week to try to ensure the best show possible. For further details of booking and cket prices, look out for our posters about town - just look for the one with the big red bus!! This is a funny, lively, light hearted show guaranteed to make you smile - make sure you come along. March 4th -10th. Final details in the March issue.

Move More Borders If you’re living with cancer and beyond in the Borders, Macmillan’s free Move More programme is here to help you get and stay acve. Our professionals really understand cancer and can create a physical acvity programme tailored just for you, as well as give you ongoing support. We’ll ask you a few quesons, listen to what you have to say and then support you in making physical acvity a part of your life. And it doesn’t ma@er if you’ve never been a parcularly acve person. We run classes for all abilies and even acvies such as gardening or walking could be part of your programme. Taking part in physical acvity during and a<er cancer treatment can play a huge part in enabling you to take back control. It can help you prevent and manage some of the effects of treatment, such as fague, depression and risks to your heart health. And lots of people tell us that it helps them to feel more like their old self. What’s more, Move More Borders classes are open to everyone, whether you’re going through treatment or have long finished. You can even bring along a friend, relave or carer. And they’re a great place to meet others with similar experiences and to share your support, as well as to help one another stay posive and keep acve. To start geHng more acve today, call our Move More Development Officer for a chat on 01896 661166 ext 311, email or visit for more informaon Our entries in the Get Out, Diary and Community sec:ons are free to non-profit organisa:ons. If you would like to be included, send details to Willie at by 12th of the previous month Gala Life 43

YOUR HOROSCOPE For February 2018 By Astrologer Christine Chalklin February is the perfect month for love and passion; Venus, the love planet, obligingly moves into starry-eyed Pisces on the 11th, just in me for a super romanc Valenne’s Day on the 14th! Communicaon planet Mercury stays in Aquarius unl the 17th, offering great opportunies for individualisc thought and freedom of speech. The Chinese New Year arrives on the 16th as 2018 welcomes in the year of the Dog. Dog energy is all about loyalty and honesty, coupled with a strong desire for jusce and fair play. This could be just what is needed in the year ahead. Mars remains in adventure seeking Sagi@arius all month, ensuring that the quest for freedom and exploraon is strong. The new moon in Aquarius on the 15th is a wakeup call for us all be more authenc and to purposefully follow our truth. ARIES MARCH 21 - APRIL 20 Friends and social encounters are at the top of your agenda during February, parcularly around the Aquarian new moon on the 15th. Movaonal Mars is travelling through adventure seeking Sagi@arius inspiring you to broaden your horizons and to learn new things TAURUS APRIL 21 - MAY 21 Venus, your ruling planet is in innovave Aquarius unl the 11th bringing your goals and ambions into the spotlight. Restless thoughts may fill your mind as a professional review is now on the cards. The new moon on the 15th could lead to an excing romanc adventure. GEMINI MAY 22 - JUNE 21 Restless Gemini is eager to be on the go again. The Sun, Mercury and Venus are all in Aquarius ensuring that your mind is busier than usual. It’s certainly the right me for expansion on all levels and this month is definitely favourable for learning something new and excing. CANCER JUNE 22 - JULY 22 Your financial affairs arrive in the spotlight during this month; currently your primary concern is improving your income and finding innovave ways to do so. Forceful Jupiter in Scorpio brings creative and intuitive ideas to the forefront and the new moon on the 15th opens up opportunities. LEO JULY 23 - AUGUST 23 The warrior planet Mars is journeying through open minded Sagi@arius in the most creave and playful area of your chart. Pioneering new ways of increasing income are important and as Venus moves into Pisces on the 11th a lucky breakthrough looks increasingly possible. VIRGO AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 22 The Sun, Mercury and Venus are all in individualisc Aquarius, highlighng the need for a rethink in the health and wellbeing sector of your chart. Try not to overemphasise your problems; a<er the 15th you should have more confidence to present yourself in a posive new light.

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LIBRA SEPTEMBER 23 - OCTOBER 23 The Sun, Mercury and Venus are lighng up the love and romance area of your chart, making this a very posive month on all levels. Abundant Jupiter in Scorpio offers new opportunies for financial success, possibly in faraway places. Breakthroughs arrive a<er the 15th. SCORPIO OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22 Your home and family are in the spotlight during February as planetary energy puts the emphasis on spending me and a@enon on personal relaonships. Your ruler, transformaonal Pluto, assists with strategies and communicaon, emphasising hard work and determinaon. SAGITTARIUS NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 21. Three planets light up the communicaon area of your chart, allowing your confidence to soar and earning you the respect of colleagues and friends. Innovave new ways of geHng your message across are important themes for this month. The Aquarian new moon on the 15th brings posive advancement. CAPRICORN DECEMBER 22 - JANUARY 20 Transformaonal Pluto in your sign connects with expansive Jupiter in Scorpio; new friends arrive to help plan your year ahead and make some sweeping changes. With the Sun and Venus in your money sector, a financial review is certainly part of this new direcon. AQUARIUS JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 18 It’s your birthday month; make sure you enjoy it as the love planet Venus stays in your sign unl the 10th. A<er the new moon on the 15th your thoughts turn towards an excing new vision for 2018. Life should be flowing smoothly helping you redefine yourself, both personally and professionally. PISCES FEBRUARY 19 - MARCH 20 This month allows your imaginaon to run wild as three planets in quirky Aquarius occupy the most introspecve part of your chart. Make me to connect with the cosmos and enjoy the journey. The pace picks up as Venus enters your sign on the 11th, leading to new insights and some romanc adventures.

NAVIGATE YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS – with in-depth knowledge and cosmic awareness. How can you turn 2018 into your best year ever? By booking a personal astrology consultaon you can start to work posively by maximizing your unique potenal and gaining insights into the auspicious cycles during the year ahead. Consultaons are available in person, by telephone or Skype. Book now for a revealing personal astrology consultaon. Please contact me for more informaon.

Chris:ne Chalklin Inspira:onal Astrologer and Life Coach, Telephone: 07813 483549

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Back To Winning Ways Since our last arcle, and going to print, Gala have managed to win three of the four compeve games that have taken place. The only defeat was at the hands of Melrose on Boxing Day which meant the men from the Greenyards regained the Waverley Cup. Although soundly beaten by 43-18 it was one of Gala’s be@er performances against the current leaders of Premier 1. Five days before that, Gala, a<er a shaky start managed to see off Peebles in their last Border League game of the season by 31 points to 12. Into the New Year Gala were back in Naonal League business and the first two weeks saw a home victory against Falkirk by 38-12, followed by an away win at Cartha Queens Park 16-6. These two results kept the Maroons in 4th posion in the league just 2 points behind Selkirk in 3rd place. On reading this arcle Gala will have played Selkirk at Philliphaugh followed by another border clash when Gala will have hosted Kelso here at Netherdale. Into February, sees the start of the 6 Naons and hopefully re-arranged fixtures for the Maroons against Dundee and Aberdeen. This will be followed by a hard away fixture against league leaders Edinburgh Accies. Gala have not had their injury problems to seek over the last few weeks, however the team is slowly starng to resemble once more along the lines of the team which started of our league campaign so well back in September. Gregor Hunter is sll well out in the lead as top points scorer with 142 coming from 1 try, 34 conversions and 21 penales. Club Captain Graham Speirs now tops the try scoring list with a total of 14. Gala YM have had some mixed results over the last few weeks. At the half way stage of the season they find themselves 6th in the table, in a league which consists of 14 teams. Gala Wanderers are once again having another good season and are currently siHng joint top of the Borders Semi Junior League with Hawick PSA. Netherdale is sll very much available for social funcons where we will do our upmost to meet individual needs. For more informaon have a look at the club website or contact the club office on 01896 755145. The clubs own social calendar is also fairly busy with two functions coming up in February. Namely the Burns Lunch on Sunday 11th February 2018 which coincides with the Scotland France game which will be shown on the big screen. This is followed by the Sportsman’s Dinner on Friday 23rd February at Galashiels Academy. Details of all these events are available on the website. Come On The Maroons

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February Fixtures 3rd 1st: Dundee (away) 10th 1st: Aberdeen Grammar (home) 17th 1st: Edinburgh Accies (away)


07482 303986 Gala Life 47





Healthy Rabbits Club Last month we introduced our new Pet Health Club and talked about some of the benefits for cats and dogs. This month let’s not forget the bunnies as they have their own special offers. We think the Pet Health Club for rabbits is a great way for kids and parents to spread the cost of veterinary care for their precious pet and encourages best pracce when it comes to looking a<er rabbits. Our Pet Health Club for rabbits costs £7.00 per month. You can register in the surgery at any me and pay the first £7.00, then set up a direct debit for the remaining 11 payments. Included in our rabbit plan are: *Annual vaccinaon against Myxomatosis and RHV1. The Vet will give your pet rabbit a full health check paying parcular a@enon to their teeth. *A second consultaon with a Vet during regular hours. This can be a 6-month health check or a consultaon if your pet has been unwell. *Up to 4 checks with a Vet Nurse for example for nail clipping or to check teeth or weight. Then there are discounted products and services. *Rabbits on the plan can benefit from a £10 microchip. This could help reunite your pet if they are good at digging! *They can have 10% off all food. We stock Burgess Excel hay and pellets but we can order a variety of other brands at a compeve price with next day delivery. Remember we recommend the Rabbit Food Triangle as a guide to feeding your rabbit. The bo@om of the triangle is hay or grass. A good esmate is a pile of hay the size of your rabbit. The middle of the triangle is fresh veg.

You should aim for a mixture of 6 different types. Only the p of the triangle is pellets. An average sized rabbit might only need two tablespoons of pellets in the winter and one in the summer. Next is parasite control. *Our Health Club bunnies can have one preventave treatment for fly strike (maggots) to collect in June. *They can also have 10% off wormer paste. Rabbits are at risk of a parasite called E.Cunicli that they can catch from other rabbits (typically their mum), or from grass or contaminated hay. It causes loss of balance and can be quite distressing. Many rabbits are infected but only show signs after years of carrying the infecon and at mes of stress. Regular preventave treatment can help keep it away. *We offer 10% off roune neutering. Neutered rabbits tend to get on be@er and allow you to house your rabbits in social groups without the fear of mulplying or fighng. Female rabbits are prone to cancer of the womb so this is also prevented. And lastly many rabbits suffer from dental disease such as overgrown teeth due to not eang enough hay or grass. If they need regular trips to the vet to help correct this the cost can add up so we offer 10% off dental procedures. We have built the plan around the problems we encounter most to help you keep your pet rabbit as healthy as possible. Please pop in to pick up a leaflet or check out our website for more informaon. Carla & Mel Galashiels Veterinary Surgery Office: 8.30 - 6pm Mon - Wed, 8.30-7pm Thurs & Fri Sat Gala Terrace, Galashiels. TD1 3JT

01896 752 156 48 Gala Life

open 8.30 - 1.30pm. Consulta:ons by appointment

Gala Life 49

Willie’s Wonky Computer Factory The best way to keep your computer running safe and smooth is to allow Windows to manage the updates. With automac updates, you don’t have to search for updates online or possibly miss crical fixes or device drivers for your PC. Windows Update automatically installs important updates as they become available. In Windows 10 automac updates are turned on by default. If you want to see the various options, or to check that they are in fact turned on, go to Start > SeAngs > Update & Security > Windows Update. There you can manually check for updates. Under Advanced see Choose how updates are installed and make sure Automa:c is selected. In Windows 8 point your mouse to the lower right corner of the screen and move the pointer up, then select SeAngs > Change PC seAngs > Update and recovery > Windows Update. In Windows 7 select the Start bu@on and in the search box enter Update, then select Windows Update. In Windows XP go to and select New Computer. Most updates come on Patch Tuesday, the 2nd Tuesday of the month. You will probably think of it as Patch Wednesday as the updates will prompt you to install on the Wednesday morning (somemes referred to as Crash Wednesday :o) Big big updates, like the latest Windows 10 Fall Creators update will download in the background, then when ready to install it will ask you for the best me to complete the installaon. This one might take an hour or two, so best done when going out, or to bed, not when you first get up and switch the computer on, if you want to avoid a long wait. Other relavely insignificant updates can take a long me and occasionally it will look like the computer has frozen half way through the process. That is pre@y rare these days, so you want to make sure the updates are truly stuck before moving on. Trying to fix a problem that doesn't really exist might just create a problem. 50 Gala Life

Microso< advise that you can tell if Windows updates are stuck if nothing happens on screen for 3 hours or more. If there's any wonder a<er that long, take a look at your hard drive acvity light. You'll see either no acvity at all (stuck) or very regular but very short flashes of light (not stuck). If nothing else, computers teach the gentle art of paence. Go and do the Sudoko…... Chances are that the updates are hung before the 3-hour mark, but this is a reasonable amount of me to wait and longer than I've ever seen a Windows update take to successfully install. There are several reasons why the installaon or finalizaon of one or more Windows updates can hang. Most o<en it’s due to a so<ware conflict or a pre-existing issue that you just didn’t know about unl the Windows updates started installing. Much more rarely they are caused by a mistake on Microso<'s part regarding the update itself. If you are sll running Windows Vista, there’s a recognised problem with updates freezing, this has been fixed by Microso< and simply involves installing Windows Vista SP1 or later to solve the problem. If you are unlucky and an update is genuinely stuck, the computer is completely locked up and you have waited the 3 hours (!) you have no choice but to reboot the computer – regardless of the on screen message telling you not to. Hold the power bu@on down for a few seconds unl it switches off, then switch back on again and hopefully Windows will start normally again and finish installing the updates. If you're using Windows 10 or Windows 8, and you're taken to the sign-in screen a<er the restart, try tapping or clicking the power icon on the bo@om right and choosing Update and Restart, if that opon is available. If all that fails, you will have to research Start in Safe Mode and System Restore, I will look at those next me. Willie

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or Gala Life 51

BANKING ON BITCOIN? You’ve probably heard a lot about Bitcoin on the news and in the press the last few weeks, so what is it? Well, without geHng overly complicated, it is money, but then again it’s really just a string of numbers on a computer, originally created in 2009 by an unknown computer whizz using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. His true identy is sll unknown, however he was genius. It is the first example of a growing category of money known as cryptocurrency. It is a virtual currency, in the form of a digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like pounds or dollars - they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers, that are networked, all around the world, using software that solves mathemacal problems to create the computer code known as Bitcoin. This is called ‘Mining’. Mining is the process of solving complex math problems (also called “hashing”) using computers running Bitcoin so<ware. This requires more compung power than regular PCs have, so people buy specialized Bitcoin machines or form groups that chain mulple computers together to mine. There are now companies that fill warehouses with compung power and rent run-me to allow individuals to mine their own. The problem now is that Nakamoto foresaw the exponenal increase in computer ability and wrote the so<ware to regularly create a more difficult maths problems. It is esmated that current producon and trade of one bitcoin uses so much energy that the electricity used could power a home for almost a whole month! On 21st May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz a developer and enthusiasc Bitcoin miner posted an offer of 10,000BTC (roughly £30) to the Bitcoin community for a couple of pizzas. It wasn’t long 52 Gala Life

before his offer was accepted and the date is widely regarded as the day on which the very first Bitcoin transacon took place. This will be a historic moment. Each Bitcoin has a public address and a private key, which are long strings of numbers and le@ers that give each a specific identy. The public address idenfies the existence of the Bitcoin, whilst the private key allows the owner to buy/sell or trade with it. Being digital means that Bitcoin is not only a token of value, but also a method for electronically transferring that value. In addition to having a unique digital fingerprint, Bitcoins are also characterized by their posion in a public ledger of all Bitcoin transacons, known as the blockchain. Buying a Bitcoin can be thought of as buying a spot in the blockchain, which then records your purchase publicly and permanently. The blockchain is maintained by a distributed network of computers around the world. This decentralizaon means no one enty, such as a government or bank, controls it. Transacons happen digitally from person to person, without middlemen such as banks or clearinghouses. The public Bitcoin network is the official record for all of these transactions. This direct approach significantly reduces the fees involved with transferring tradional money and makes it much easier and faster to send and receive money across the globe. It’s like comparing e-mail to posng a le@er. Before buying Bitcoin you need somewhere to keep it and the Bitcoin equivalent of a bank account is called a ‘Wallet’. Again, these don’t actually physically exist, but are once again long chains of numbers and le@er that provide their ‘address’. These wallets allow you to receive bitcoins, store them, and then send them to others. There are two main types of wallet. A

soQware wallet is one that you install on your own computer or mobile device. You are in complete control over the security of your coins, but they can somemes be tricky to install and maintain, so are not recommended for beginners. A web wallet or hosted wallet is one that is hosted by a third party. They are o<en much easier to use, but you have to trust the provider to maintain high levels of security to protect your coins. The be@er known wallets are Coinbase, and Electrum, to name a few. Buying Bitcoin is easy, or so they say. However cryptocurrencies acquired a bad name a few years ago when it was realised by money launderers and drug cartels that the anonymity made it easy to transfer large sums of money undetected. The FBI got involved and a lot of websites were closed down with huge sums of money (and Bitcoins) confiscated. Legimate companies cleaned up their act and hiked their security, so to buy almost any cryptocurrency legally, you have to jump through hoops to verify not only your name, your address and your bank account, but also, if you intend buying large amounts, some even ask for you to prove where the money originates from. There are generally two ways of buying Bitcoin, the first is through a broker who specialises in it. They work on a commission basis which at roughly 4% can be quite expensive. A trade through a broker, although regarded as very secure, usually involves internaonal bank transfers, currency exchanges and about 4 days to complete. This means you will rarely get the rate you expected. The second method commonly used is through an online ‘Peer-toPeer’ website, where individuals trade with each other. Most of these sites will hold the sellers coins in ‘Escrow’ which is a financial arrangement where a third party holds and regulates payment of the funds required for two pares involved in the transacon. It helps make transacons more secure by keeping the payment in a secure escrow account which is only released when all of the terms of an agreement are met as overseen by the escrow company. It is the seller who pays the fees,

although the asking price usually reflects this. However the transacon is usually completed with about 10 minutes, so the asking price is usually what you actually pay. The buying, or selling process is quite similar. Once payment has been verified the Bitcoin is transferred into the buyers wallet. You don’t have to trade in whole units of Bitcoin, it can be broken down to as small as 0.00000001BTC – that’s a hundredth of a millionth, known as a Satoshi. There are thousands of companies worldwide that now accept Bitcoin in payment. These include some big brand names like Microso<, Virgin, Expedia and even Subway. It is partly due to their involvement that cryptocurrency in general has seen an increase in interest and of course value. Remember, as in all current cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin has no reserve. That means that unlike our normal currency there is no giant pot of gold backing it up. Bitcoin is valued by its demand, whether people buy it to spend, or buy to invest, the fact that it is in demand causes its increase in value. Nakamoto’s algorithm means there can be 21 million Bitcoin mined, no more. We are up to nearly 17 million, so although the end of production looks in sight, it won’t happen unl around 2140. Should I buy it? Well, I’m not qualified to give financial advice, so I won’t. However if you had asked 8 or nine years ago I would have said that it was a real geeky nerd idea that would never ever catch on. It was just something that computer guys played with and took great pride in actually being able to create, then buy something online from some other geeky guy for absolutely next to no value. Unfortunately for me, a £100 investment in 2010 would be worth £110 million today (and Laszlo’s pizza about £30 million). I can’t come any less qualified than that. If you do fancy buying some, go and do your own research. Check out who and where you are buying from, parcularly their reputaon, company investment, security, insurance and assurance that they are the best. And good luck. Willie Gala Life 53

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS A & A Doyle Ltd Funeral Dir




Mike TV


Ace Carpet Cleaning


Gala Garden


MT Maintenance



Gala Opera


NSA 24 Accountancy


Apollo Blinds Bitcoin


Gala Rugby Club


Ochiltree's Dining


Border Brides


Gala Squash Club


Oven Wizard


Border Garage Doors






Border Vets


Hutchisons Carpets


Provender Restaurant


Bowen Health


James Graham Roofing


Rate Card


Brish Legion


Jean Muir Student Village






John Lamont MP


SB Cares


Castle Warehouse


Jonnie Jones Plumber


School Bell Tuion




K 2 Roofing


Simon Porteous Bikes


Councillor Andy Anderson


Keith Penny Décor




Councillor Euan Jardine




Stobo Vacancies


Creme De La Creme


Kip McGrath






Li le Dog Grooming




Cullen Kilshaw


Longridge Towers School


Willie's Wonky Computer




Mackenzie Plumbing




DW Noble


Major Tree Soluons


Zest Blinds




Man with a Van


Fit Lates


Maxwell Roofing


Helpful Numbers to Hand Gala Police Station Scottish Power Gas Emergency BGH Social Work Emergency

01896 752222 08452727999 0800 111999 01896 826000 01896 752111

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0300 100 1800 01896 753889 0800 0274466 111 01896 751212

Whilst every care is taken in preparing this magazine to ensure accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for loss, damage or omission caused by an error in an advert. Artwork is accepted on the condition that it is legal and copyright free and that the advert is fair and accurate. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers or the views expressed by contributors, nor do the publishers necessarily share such views. We reserve the right to refuse articles and advertisements. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

54 Gala Life

Gala Life February 2018  
Gala Life February 2018  

A local magazine with directory of trades and businesses - 11,000 copies delivered FREE to every home and business in Galashiels, Tweedbank...