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Clyde Life February/March 2017 Issue 34


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The year ahead at the Beacon p16

Déjà vu all over again p22 Win a Peter’s Railway Book Set p10 Skelmorlie ■ Wemyss Bay ■ Inverkip ■ Gourock ■ Greenock ■ Port Glasgow ■ Langbank Kilmacolm ■ Quarrier’s ■ Bridge of Weir ■ Brookfield ■ Houston ■ Bishopton

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Peter’s Railway Competition The Style Files Be my Valentine! Teen Files The year ahead at the Beacon Arts Centre What’s On -Local classes


and Clubs Déjà vu all over again – Ronnie Cowan MP What you going to do if the money runs out? Gardening Column


Valentine’s Day Recipe Tandoori Chicken

Contributors this issue: Ronnie Cowan, Kieran Gallagher, Robert MacDonald, Joanne Simms, Marilyn Thompson, Holly Thompson.

February/March Issue 34 2017 Publisher: Life Magazines & Publications Ltd Editor Charles Briggs

10 12 13 16 20 22 24 28 30

Front Cover ‘Glen Etive Falls’ by Aaron Fullarton S6 student, Clydeview Academy

Features Editor: Joanne Simms Advertising Sales: Lisa Sanderson

Contact Info: Editorial: 07788-923054 Advertising: 01505-871962 Email: Web: Web Design: Graphic Design: Simon Jones - Skep Design

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors, or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Life Magazines and Publications Ltd does not officially endorse any advertising material included in this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Clyde Life Magazine | 5

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Set in the majestic surroundings of Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, House for an Art Lover has become one of Scotland’s truly unique, artist-designed, wedding venues in Scotland. Designed by artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1901 as an elegant country retreat for a person of taste and culture, it was built in 1996 and combines: an event venue, art gallery and exhibition space, café, multi-purpose studios, making it a magnificent visitor attraction.

Voted one of the 50 best wedding venues in the UK by the Independent newspaper, couples planning their wedding can choose one of the spectacular venues within the house - whether it’s the minimalist wonder of The Music Room – designed to Mackintosh’s specifications from everything down to the lighting. Its palette of white, rose pink, violet and green with metallic silver and gold, with a white-panelled scheme and furniture enhance the space and light in the room. A wall of French windows leads out to the balcony which overlooks the picturesque park. The Oval Room, originally the room where Edwardian Clyde Life Magazine

ladies were expected to withdraw after dining, is oval shaped – Mackintosh’s customary feminine symbol. This shape continues throughout the room, incorporating the windows, fireplace, wall cupboards and stained glass ceiling light. The light fittings, fireplace and window seats were created using photographs from the interior of Mackintosh’s Hous’hill. The Lower Gallery features details taken from another Mackintosh masterpiece, Windyhill. Lanterns light the space and two tall windows overlook a small entrance forecourt with window recesses, similar to The Hill House and the Glasgow School of Art, forming semiprivate spaces for two people. Perfect for photographs of newly-married couples. Surrounding the house is an award-winning ARTPARK featuring an art pavilion and Heritage Centre. The Victorian walled garden and the Sculpture garden, featuring work from prominent Scottish artists, are particularly good for photographs. Couples planning to invite children to their wedding can keep them occupied all day with full use of the play park, situated at the rear of the house. Our team of Chefs at the house can prepare anything from an intimate meal for 2 to a banquet for 110. Wedding co-ordinator, Rachel Fyfe, is assigned to each couple to ensure that their wedding is tailored to their every need with no request too large or small. To find out more about weddings at House for an Art Lover contact: Rachel Fyfe, Wedding Co-ordinator on 0141 353 4773 or email: | 7

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Clyde Life Magazine | 9

Books for Children who love Trains and Engineering

Eight years on from his first book Chris Vine has five hardbacks, 12 paperbacks and an activity book to his name, along with fans of all ages enthralled with his tales of Peter’s Railway.

was designing powered go-karts from the age of 9. From there an engineering apprenticeship at Rolls Royce was an obvious progression, ending his career at the firm’s aviation plant at East Kilbride.

Children who have out-grown Thomas the Tank Engine are lapping up the authenticity of Chris’ books. The former Rolls Royce engineer is on a mission to share his passion for railways.

Key to the books’ success has been the large amount of fact woven into the fiction. Each contains separate pages on how it all works, packed full of Chris’ enthusiasm. These do not read like a schoolbook and never, ever talk down to readers.

What kid isn’t going to love a book titled A Big Smellie Bogie, or read about exploring the site of a 50-year-old train crash (where no one was hurt; Chris admits the realism should only go so far). Or the true tale of two girls who stole a steam train. From his home near Bridge of Weir Chris, aged 55, and Staffordshirebased illustrator John Wardle have woven tales of Peter and his grandfather building and running a miniature, ride-on railway on a farm. In work breaks grandpa tells Peter stories about the history of trains and railways. Peter is Chris’ alter ego, as a boy he helped build such a railway; right from primary school he had a workshop in his bedroom and

‘I didn’t want to break off during the story to explain,’ said Chris who believes strongly that his young readers want to know the how and why behind the stories. Last year the Peter’s Railway Young Engineer’s Centre was officially opened at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Pickering, by Professor Richard Folkson, president of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. This year Peter’s Railway will be linking up with a mainline rail company to go into schools and tell young pupils about trains and engineering. Also expect to see further adventures of Peter and Grandpa!

10 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017


the first Peter’s Railway Book and the 2 latest Paperback books!

Clyde Life has teamed up with Peter’s Railway author Chris Vine to offer our readers a chance to win a great prize of three Peter’s Railway books! Peter’s Railway Book 1 and the two latest story books, Rain, Steam and Speed and Little Peter’s Railway Grandpa Goes Bananas. To enter just visit our website and click on competitions and answer the question! In addition to this, Clyde Life Readers can use a special discount code, CLYDELIFE17 to receive a 10% discount when you buy books or gifts from @clydelifemag


YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CHANCE TO GET IT RIGHT Which is why you should trust your child’s schooling to St Columba’s. Nestled in the idyllic village of Kilmacolm, we offer a safe environment with lots of outdoor fun, nurturing your child’s love of learning. Financial assistance available. Call 01505 872768 now to arrange a visit. Clyde Life Magazine | 11

theStyle files

by Marilyn Thompson

Be My Valentine? It’s Valentines Day. What to do? For the lucky few who will be wined and dined in fabulous style, perhaps finishing with a wonderfully romantic proposal or an exciting luxury night away from reality it will be a special day and night to remember forever. Maybe an amazing bouquet of the most beautiful, velvety red roses will be delivered to you from a secret admirer making you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.

Now, to burst the bubble - more likely, your partner will bring home a last minute purchase of a limp bunch of garage forecourt flowers - smile - it’s the thought that counts. Right? Whatever your thoughts are on Valentines Day, whether you believe it to be a totally unnecessary, commercialised and altogether forced display of emotion or, on the other hand, you are most definitely Team Valentine and believe it to be simply the most romantic day of the whole year, a day and night when you get the chance to indulge freely in unrestrained romance. Either way, one thing is for sure, it certainly is an excuse to dress up and get a little glamorous.

Valentines Va Va Voom Dramatic, sensual reds and ultra feminine pinks are, of course the undisputed colours for Valentines Day.

If you have a date night planned, why not go all out with a sexy, curve hugging red lace dress for a guaranteed Valentines reaction.

12 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017


For a more subtle approach, why not try an elegant sorbet pink dress like this one from M&S or keep it restrained, with just a nod to romance with a classic stiletto heel in the softest, baby pink suede, like these beauties from Dune.

The teen STYLE Files Pretty in


Spring 2017 sees a return to prettiness and elegance, with only a few designer collections NOT including a pop of pink. Simple, well cut clothes in dusty pastel shades are an absolute must.


Flat iron waves, more subtle, less glam are one of the biggest hair trends. Create a bend in your hair by pushing it upward, then seal the shape with a few clamps of your iron. Release and repeat. Looks best on healthy - not fried hair so be sure to use a heat protectant beforehand.

Fashion & beauty notes...

Valentine Treats Biscuiteers are the company behind these adorable Valentines biscuits. Breaking away from the traditional chocolates they make for a special and unique gift. Get them personalised with your own romantic messages then sent out to your loved one. Valentines Beauty wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t feature a classic red lip and this lipstick from New Look is a perfect combination of colour, texture and price.

Can’t get your hands on Kylie’s Lip Kit - you should try this to create the same matte, plumped lip look for a fraction of the price!

GadgetS Hot iron holster. £19.99 - Lakeland.

Celebrity do’s & don’ts

Pink Jeans • Do keep them long length. • Do wear with complimenting colours. • Do choose a shade to suit your skin tone. • Don’t wear them too tight. • Don’t cut off at the calf. • Don’t shorten your body proportions.

Your Fashion Questions Answered?

Do - Cameron Diaz Don’t - Anna Kendrick

Hopefully, this Valentines Day you’ll get the chance to dress up, and have a wonderful time, but if you don’t, pour yourself a class of wine and eat your own biscuits! Show some love and affection every day - there’s no need to save it for February 14th.

Clyde Life Magazine

Q - Hey Holly, I really want to be a Fashion Designer. Can you recommend anywhere or anything that will help me? Lauren A - Hi - Yes I can! The Fashion Class is the perfect place to learn all about fashion design, illustration, customising, making your own clothes, photo shoots and so much more. It’s in your area, so get in touch for all the info. You’ll love it! Holly x Get in touch - To learn more about The FASHION Class for teens & children, the courses, camps and Birthday parties, or to tell me what you think and ask any questions, contact: or

| 13


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We now have a wide range of shoes, boots, trainers and slippers, and for children a selection of wellingtons. Our focus is comfort but fashion plays a huge part! Laura our HCPC registered and insured Podiatrist graduated with a 1st class honours degree in 2010 then continued her education and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Podiatric Medicine. Laura offers a very high standard of routine foot care treatments, diabetic foot care and monitoring where she will liaise any changes with your GP and also biomechanical assessments for foot pain and poor function. Sole Solution stock a wide range of foot care products & insoles.

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Clyde Life Magazine | 15

Beacon 2017 You have got to have a very talented team behind the scenes to fill a venue like the Beacon Arts Centre with such a diverse array of talent and offer something that everyone can enjoy.

The programme for the start of 2017 is a taste of wonderful things to come throughout the year at Greenock. Jackie Shearer, chief executive, and her team have skilfully blended a mixture of local, national and international; innovation and old favourites; professional and amateur; famous faces and exciting newcomers. They will have you laughing, crying, reminiscing, looking to the future, singing and dancing along or confronting some of the major issues of today. Four years on from its launch The Beacon is fulfilling its promise as the area’s flagship arts venue to give Inverclyde the widest choice of life-enriching, creative, social and affordable arts and cultural activities for everyone.

nation’s musicians. And remember: one of the most magnificent things you’ll see at The Beacon is the Clyde itself. The stunning riverside views

change moment by moment and the Bar+Kitchen is the place to enjoy coffee, cake, lunch and a pre-theatre meal (check if they are available for your chosen show).

Local Talent at the Beacon

Monday 27th Feb Sunday 12th March

Go along to The Beacon and help nurture young local talent, The Clydeview Academy or sit and enjoy some of the Student Photography best of the Edinburgh Fringe, Exhibition will open your eyes household names and the to all kinds of things. 16 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017

Inverclyde Musical Youth Theatre returns with The Wizard of Oz from Thursday 9th March until Saturday 11th March. @clydelifemag

A taste of wonderful things to come

Friday 21st April Eddi Reader was the first soldout performance of the year. Roddy Woomble who fronts the Scottish rock band Idlewild, is a celebrated solo songwriter and performer and his trip to The Beacon promises to be another highpoint.

Sunday 2nd April When it comes to outrageous check out The Dolls Abroad; Louise McCarthy and Gayle Telfer Stevens of Only an Excuse and River City play Scotland’s favourite pair of scrubbers off on holiday.

Thursday 27th April Schools’ Burns competition is 30 this year makes its welcome appearance at the Beacon. Children from Primary 4 upwards will perform Burns poetry and music on Tuesday 14th March.

Friday 24th March Saturday 18th March Top entertainer Dean Park will be celebrating his 40-year career as a singer and comedian with a night at The Beacon. Music at the Beacon features nostalgia with tributes to the 50s and 60s; Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers and the Four Seasons with Big Girls Don’t Cry. Or listen to stunning contemporary voices like Horse McDonald and traditional star Siobhan Miller as well as the SongWriters Uncovered series. Go from the sophistication of Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, Dido and Aeneas from Scottish Opera to A Night of Broadway or the hilarious Menopause the Musical.

Giants of Scottish acting Alex Norton and David Hayman both visit the Beacon; Alex with a biographical evening, There’s Been a Life and David Hayman reprises the role of Bob Cunningham in the thoughtprovoking The Cause of Thunder. After two sell-out tours, Liam Dolan and Johnny Mac have more of Francie and Josie’s classic routines in their show celebrating the unique comic duo.

Sunday 23rd April If your little ones loved the Singing Kettle take them along to the Funbox Under Water Adventure. Not everything takes place on stage – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s photographic exhibition Shipbuilding features the Kvaerner yards in Govan.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Celtic FC’s European Cup with On Our Way To Lisbon. Be your own star with the Beacon dance or youth theatre workshops. The annual Inverclyde Primary

Runs until Sun 19th Feb

Go on line to for full programme details and join with the Life Magazine staffClyde and performers in making Beacon Arts Centre one of the top venues in Scotland. | 17

18 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017


Clyde Life Magazine | 19

CLASSES | GROUPS | AND LOCAL CLUBS Clyde Life publishes details of classes, groups and clubs located within the magazine distribution area. If you are looking for new members or want to publicise an event please let us know.

To be included in the magazine and on the website please send details to

Health and Wellbeing Classes

6pm Gourock, 8pm Largs Fri 6.30pm Meditation Skelmorlie Sat 8.45am Largs

YogaBellies Children’s Yoga Classes for 3-12 yrs. Contact Enterprise Training on: 01475 745552/744404

Yoga for all levels Instructor: Jacqueline Gibson 07851 735357 E: Tues 9.30-10.30am Fri 9.30-10.30am All in Kilmacolm

Yoga & Meditation for all levels Teacher: Jacci Stoyle YS (reg) 07790262124 Wed 7:00-8.30pm Boglestone Community Centre, Dubbs Rd, Port Glasgow Yoga for all levels Teacher: Aileen Hughes, YS(reg.) 01475 801613 Mon 2-3.30pm & Tue 2-3.30pm Westburn Church, Nelson Street, Greenock. Hatha Yoga for all levels Teacher: Flora MacKenzie Wed 7-8pm Lyle Kirk, Union Street, Greenock. Yoga and Meditation Teacher: Joanna Ritchie, Birsay Holistics 07518 373 073 Email Mon 9.30am & 8pm Skelmorlie Tues 10am, 6pm & 7.45pm Gourock Wed 6pm Wemyss Bay Thurs 10am Largs,

Yoga for all levels Instructor: Patricia A. Ralston SYTA (Reg) 01475 785685 Tues 7.45 - 9.15pm Finnart St Pauls Church Hall, Bentinck Street, Greenock. Beginners Yoga Instructor: Sara Marijuan-Tuck 07962 347950 Tues & Thurs 10:00 to 11:30 Freeland Church, Bridge of Weir Thurs 7:00p-8:30pm Scout Hall, Horsewood Road, Bridge of Weir Pilates (all levels) Instructor - Jenn Forbes 07713 643693 | hello@ | forbespilates Small Group Classes at The Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock. Wednesdays: Beginners & Improvers 6pm | New Beginners 7pm |Mixed Intermediate 8pm Mats & Equipment provided. Classes are £9 drop-in or guaranteed space in the 6-week block £48.

20 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017

Katie Black Pilates and Physiotherapy) Instructor - Katie Black Killellan Halls, Houston (behind the Houston and Killellan kirk). Monday night 6.15-7.15 & 7.30-8.30

Other Classes Ballet – Elite Academy of Dance Inverclyde’s only Royal Academy Ballet School Classes every day | all ages for both Male and Female The Studio, 15a Watt Street, Greenock Silver Swans Ballet Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet for the over 50s Tuesday & Thursdays. 11am – 12pm The Studio, 15a Watt Street, Greenock The Fashion Class Fashion Courses for children & teens, age 8-15. Call Marilyn Thompson on 07793 591524 or visit for more information. Scottish Country Dancing Classes Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Scottish Country Dancing Classes are run at the Elim Pentecostal Church Hall, Kelly Street, Greenock on Monday evenings at 8pm. Contact Jennifer Murrin - 01475 633096 for more information @clydelifemag

Local Churches Messy Church held at Greenock Westburn Church Meet every 2nd Saturday in the month 11th February, 11th March, 8th April, 13th May From 4pm-6pm in the church hall where we have crafts, stories, games and singing and includes tea, juice and biscuits. We finish off by sitting down together and having a light dinner all at no cost.

Local Clubs & Groups MS Activities Group Meet Thursday 11am-1pm Your Voice 12 Clyde Square, Greenock, PA15 1NB Everybody welcome, MS sufferers, & their carers for a cuppa and a chat For more information, contact Stuart Anderson, 01475 630553 Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Games Society (RIGS) A friendly group of board and card game enthusiasts who meet every fortnight on Thursday evenings at the upstairs café bar of Amaretto in Bridge of Weir. The games played offer a wide variety of themes and styles. For the date of the next meeting and contact information please visit or contact Keith on 07789 501605 Digital Camera Club Langbank Church Hall Meets 2nd & 4th Mondays of the month at 7:30pm. Cost: £1 entry fee (FREE for Trial visits) All new members welcome. For more Info please visit or contact Derrick McPherson at Greenock Camera Club Every Thursday at 7:30pm at Greenock Cricket Club, Brisbane Street, Greenock Anyone with an interest in photography, no matter your experience level or whether you are using a mobile phone or the latest photographic equipment is invited to join. You will get a warm welcome Clyde Life Magazine

from club members. Contact Heather Sinclair,| 07903 164227 Kilmacolm Camera Club Every Tuesday at 7.30pm Kilmacolm New Community Centre, Room 1.01 Contact David Walker 01505 873883 for more information Inverclyde Camera Club Every Friday at 7.30pm Cardwell Bay Sailing Club, Cove Road, Gourock. Ann-Marie Westwood on 07971607453 Fort Matilda Bridge Club Meets Monday, Tuesday & Friday 7pm Visitors always welcome Tarbet Street, Gourock (turn right at Bluebird cafe on the main road. The club is on the right hand side opposite ‘Duncan’s Ices’) Ann MacLeod (Secretary): 01475 522181 Greenock Speakers Club Ardgowan Square, Greenock Helps people improve their public speaking skills in a friendly environment. The Club meets fortnightly on alternative Thursdays from October to April within the Ardgowan Club, 7:30-10:00pm Tony Cowden on 01475 783228 or by email at Greenock Writers Club Ardgowan Square, Greenock The club meets most Wednesdays from the middle of September from 7.30pm to 9.30pm with a break for tea and coffee. They are a small group affiliated to the Scottish Association of Writers’, who enjoy the chat and fun activities as much as the writing. Mark Jones on 01475 713413. Inverclyde Skywatchers There is a programme of weekly talks which are given by invited guest speakers. Anyone with an interest in

Astronomy is welcome. The group meet in the Greenock Southwest Library (Barrs Cottage) every Monday from 3pm till 5pm. Marion on 01475 634976 o| Inverclyde Ramblers Inverclyde Ramblers’ Association is a group of people who enjoy walking in the countryside. Everyone is welcome, whatever age or level of fitness. Most of the walks are within driving distance of Greenock. Walks are arranged for most weekends There is also a Wednesday walk which meets at Lunderston Bay on Wednesdays at 12:15 Dave Souza on 01475 631654 |

Local Sports Clubs Fort Matilda Bowling Club Newark Street, Greenock We welcome anyone interested in trying bowling. Drop in for mixed bowling, Saturday 2pm | Gents Monday 7pm | Ladies Wednesday 2pm Try for free - April till September. Flat shoes without heels required. Bowls supplied E:- www.fortmatildabowlingclub.weebly. com Club Mobile - 07549 994 669 Fort Matilda Tennis Club Newark Street, Greenock The Club has four artificial grass courts The Ardgowan Club Ardgowan Square, Greenock The club has 2 bowling greens and 4 all-weather surface tennis courts | Gilbert McCracken or Dougie Warnock 01475 723418 Kilmacolm Bowling Club The club is open for bowling from April to October. It is open to all ages. Coaching and bowls available for those who have not played before. Contact Jim Russell 01505 874239 | 21

Déjà vu all over again Ronnie Cowan MP

Back in the eighties Margaret Thatcher was of the opinion that monetarism was the solution to all our ills and so she sold off British Gas, British Coal, British Telecom, British Steel, British Leyland and British Petroleum and encouraged everyone to become investors. The suburban hedgerows of little Britain buzzed with excitement as working and middle class people were sold a dream fuelled by financial aspiration. Money wasn’t just what we used to purchase goods, money supply was a way of controlling the economy. A generation that had been born too late for rationing and had been spared the pain of post war Britain struggling to rebuild from the ruins decided that the factory floor was not good enough, not modern enough, too dirty, too hard, too demanding and we were told that greed was good and the acquisition of wealth was the primary aim of any respectable upwardly mobile individual. We didn’t need a trade, we needed to be traders. We were told to aspire to owning faster cars and bigger houses, we were encouraged not to notice that the public transport system was crumbling and social housing was being sold off and not replaced. We were informed by Margaret Thatcher that “there is no such thing as society”. It was all about self.

Stockbrokers, traders and money men became the role models and manufacturing was shipped offshore and labelled as an unworthy industry. The UK would be the financial powerhouse of the globe. Everyone, well everyone worth their salt, would be a millionaire. This was the ideology of Thatcher’s Britain. This proposed capitalist utopia turned into the banking crash of 2009 and Joe Public who surprise surprise hadn’t found great wealth in his shares which he so optimistically bought in the eighties, was once again used to bail out the rich. We saved the banking elite amidst promises of reform that never came. Multinational companies avoided paying tax while austerity was wielded like a giant hammer to bludgeon the poorest and keep the rest in their place while placating them with a ready supply of cheap alcohol and a national lottery to pin their hopes on. And here we are now. 37 years after Thatcher and 8 years after the banking crash and unbelievably we are being sold the same eighties dream again. Phillip Hammond has decided that the United Kingdom will become a tax haven. We all know he means London and not even all of London, just the important parts. The parts the

fat cats inhabit. Only this time we need the dream, not because of the trade unions, not because of the premature proclamation of the death of heavy industry, this time it’s the European Union’s fault. It’s Brussels fault, it’s all these foreigners coming here propping up our hotel trade and health service and building sites, doing the jobs we either can’t or are unwilling to do because we all wanted to be stockbrokers. So we are leaving them behind and with them the European Union and the single market that the European Union gives us membership of. Mr Hammond declares that he is prepared to have a tax and trade war with Europe. He threatens to impose tariffs on European imports. He declares that a wounded Britain will come back competitively engaged. He doesn’t explain how. This is the rhetoric of a man hanging on to a dream which is rapidly becoming a nightmare. Theresa May and her entourage of sycophants, charlatans and mercenaries are concocting, in a fog of uncertainty, travel plans for the United Kingdom that will take us who knows where. Unless we have a compass, a moral compass, we will make the same mistakes again and the only thing we do know, is that way madness lies.

Ronnie Cowan MP, Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, 20 Crawfurd Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1LJ @clydelifemag Telephone: 01475 721 877

22 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017

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What you going to do if the money runs out?

By Robert MacDonald

It’s the nightmare scenario for everyone in, or facing, retirement but fear not, here are some words of wisdom from one of the most highly qualified financial planners in Scotland - Robert MacDonald. It is the big question: will my pensions and savings expire before I do? A large portion of the UK population actually does not have a clue about how this may play out and that is a very dangerous position to be in right at the end of your working life when you

are hoping for a comfortable retirement. Recent research from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments found that less than five per cent of the population actually has any type of financial plan. You worked hard to accumulate a pot of money and now the time

24 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017


has come to de-cumulate and spend those hard-earned savings. What you need to do now is a thorough analysis of what your retirement might look like and robust plans to make that happen - and more importantly make sure you don’t run out of money. Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show average life expectancy varies between different parts of the country. Here in Scotland for a man and woman aged 65 the figures are 17 and 19.5 years respectively; another way to help judge life longevity is to look with your own family circle. That all might sound a touch macabre but it is a question of balance; if you live a long time you could run out of money. Or, if you look at it from an opposite viewpoint, when hard at work building up your nest egg you could be saving and making sacrifices that are potentially restricting spending on your family. The problem with retirement savings is that if they run out there is usually no way of replenishing them. Caution is the watchword but keeping funds in cash over prolonged periods is unwise because cash is unlikely to stay ahead of inflation.

What is needed is to sit down with a financial advisor, who can look at your wealth and discuss your hopes and plans for retirement and decide the best course of action for your cash. Stock market investment is likely to show better returns but has a risk attached and this is where a robust and cohesive financial plan is imperative. Your financial planner should be able to give you an expected portfolio rate of return based on your risk tolerance and risk attitude. This should bring together your spending needs, the money available from pensions, investments and state pension benefits. Most importantly it should be reviewed at least once a year to give you the best chance of a good retirement. You do not want to find out too late that you are not going to meet your objectives or do what you want to do and have no time to make up any cash shortfall. As Warren Buffet, the world’s most prolific investor puts it...‘You don’t want to discover when the tide goes out - you have been swimming naked!

Understand your expenditure, including the ‘biggies’ like holidays each year and a new car every few years. What do you want from your retirement? You need a realistic and reasonable model of investment growth, inflation and taxation, and that is where your financial advisor comes in. You might need a change of plan and delay retirement from work or taking part-time work. The government intends to make life-expectancy information available to everyone as part of its retirement guidance scheme. Financial planners can then complete the picture by advising how long a given pension pot is likely to last, assuming different levels of income, capital withdrawal and taking account of variables like inflation.

T: 01475 638100 |

“Bespoke Financial Planning for your Future” MacDonald & Co is a trading style of MacDonald & Co (Wealth Management) Ltd which is authortised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

The views in this article are personal and provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as recommendation by the publisher or investment advice by the contributor as laid down by the Financial Conduct authority.

Clyde Life Magazine | 25

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Please visit for further information and to apply. 26 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017


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Clyde Life Magazine | 27

Time to sow… As I walked my dog this morning, I noticed that the daffodils outside are beginning to poke their stems through the soil. However, they are also tinged with frost around the stems and that sums up this time of year in the garden.

If you look at your seed potato, one end will have more ‘eyes’ than the other. Sit the potato with this ‘eyed’ end up. An old egg box is perfect as a holder. The potatoes can stay like this until you are ready to plant. When planting, you can remove some of the eyes that have grown stems. Around 4-5 strong stems are all that is needed. Sticking with crops, a lot of seeds can be sown just now in preparation for later in the year. Most of these will need to be started in a heated environment, eg a glasshouse or propagator. A heated propagator will allow you to prick out seedlings 2-3 times faster than an unheated one. If you sow a lot of seeds this will save a huge amount of time and is a great investment. And they are not as expensive as you probably think.

A mild spell will encourage the growth of daffodils, snowdrops and other early flowering bulbs, as well as promote a little growth in shrubs. However, it is highly likely that we will have a lot more frost, and perhaps snow, before spring really arrives.

When planning vegetable crops, think about harvesting them and how much you want to have ready at one time. For instance, if you are growing fruit you may want them to crop all at once, allowing sufficient numbers for making jam etc.

Some of the gardening at this time of year can be done without leaving the house. Time spent planning what you want to achieve in the early part of the year can save time and mistakes later in the year. For instance, if you grow vegetables think about what you have grown where and the effect on that piece of ground. Is it barren of the nutrients required for this year’s crop?

If you are growing salad crops it is unlikely that you will want all your crops to be harvested at the same time. Most of you probably wouldn’t want 30 heads of lettuce for your dinner! To avoid this, stagger your seed sowing by 1-4 weeks. This means that instead of having one bumper harvest, you can enjoy the crop over a few weeks or months.

Talking of crops, early season seed potaotes are in Cardwell now and can be chitted at this stage prior to planting out. Chitting is simply placing the seed potatoes in a cool, but frost free environment, with good light, but not direct sunlight, and allowing them to start to grow before you plant them.

By the time I write the column for the next edition of Clyde Life the clocks will have gone forward and the nights will be lighter. Temperatures will have warmed up and the garden will be ready for another season full of potential. By Kieran Gallacher

Patios, Driveways, Decking Fencing, Stump Grinding Grass & Hedge Cutting Water Features & more..

28 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017







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Lunderston Bay, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1BB 01475 521 536 Clyde Life Magazine | 29

Coming up to Valentine’s Day colour and spice up your meal with a sophisticated yet simple recipe for you and your partner!

Tandoori Chicken Breast With an Infused Rice & an Asian Salad with mint & yoghurt Ingredients For the Chicken x2 Chicken Breasts Yoghurt - 500ml Tandoori Masala - 3 tbsp Dash of Lemon Juice

For the Rice 500g Rice Turmeric Salt

For the Salad Finely sliced onion (half) Finely green/red chillies Squeeze of lime juice Finely sliced cucumber (half) Finely sliced tomato (three) Grated Carrot (1) 2 whole spring onions (sliced lengthways) fresh coriander - finely chopped

Mix the yoghurt, tandoori and lemon juice together.

mixing bowl add all the ingredients of the salad and mix it well.

Add the chicken breast and put it into a sealed container 24hrs before the day of cooking to marinate.

After this stage all the components will be finished and just ready to be plated.

Place the chicken into the oven at 200 degrees for 25 mins or cooked to a minimum of 75 degrees uncovered Whilst the chicken is cooking, put on a pot of boiling water and put all the ingredients for the rice and simmer as per the instructions on the packet. Once cooked drain the rice into a coriander and leave for 10 minutes to drain. After the rice is cooked - in a

Place the rice in the middle, salad to the side as pictured and the chicken on top, chop some fresh coriander and place on top. Now for the dressing - you could either cheat by buying some at your local supermarket and it is not expensive or alternatively place some yoghurt and fresh mint and coriander into a processor and blend. Serve with a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

The Chefs Eye is a new small and intimate brasserie style restaurant based in Nelson Street, Largs. With an explosion of flavours and spices the cuisine ranges from your traditional Scottish Fayre to the Far East. The menus change regularly keeping things fresh, seasonal and exciting. The fully licensed restaurant is open Thursday to Sunday and is also available for private dining.

Visit to sign up for the online newsletter or call 01475 673215 or email: to book a table. 30 | Clyde Life – February/March 2017



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Clyde Life February/March 2017  

A free lifestyle magazine for Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire

Clyde Life February/March 2017  

A free lifestyle magazine for Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire