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Clyde Life August/September 2016 Issue 31

Summer in the City p8

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10 Inverclyde Homecoming

6

Style Files

8

Two Greenockians of Note

10

What’s On!

12

Pack it in!

14

Scotland’s Boat Show 2016

18

Time to Pinch, Feed & Weed!

22

What about an Evening Class

24

Money Matters

28

Recipe from Nick Nairn

30

28

8

18

Contributors this issue: Ronnie Cowan, Kieran Gallagher, Robert MacDonald, Jodie Molyneux, Joy Monteith, Joanne Simms, Marilyn Thompson.

August/September Issue 31, 2016 Publisher: Life Magazines & Publications Ltd Editor Charles Briggs

Features Editor: Joanne Simms joanne@clydelife.co.uk Advertising Sales: Lisa Sanderson lisa@clydelife.co.uk

Cover Image: Steve Elliott, Art24 Photography

Contact Info: Editorial: 07788-923054 Advertising: 01505-871962 Email: editor@clydelife.co.uk Web: www.clydelife.co.uk Web Design: tspwebdesign.com Graphic Design: Simon Jones - Skep Design simon.jones@skepdesign.co.uk

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.

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Inverclyde Homecoming The last few weeks of parliament before recess are extremely busy. All business must be concluded before recess or it falls. Debates get rescheduled, urgent questions become even more urgent and the days get even longer to squeeze in all the work. And there is a flat in London to get in order before leaving it for the summer. Bedding needs washed and dried, the kitchen needs cleaned and emptied and, if I am very organised, I will get all my ironing up to date. So by the time we stagger into recess MP’s are rapidly approaching exhaustion. The bad news for me is that recess is not holidays. The six weeks that coincide with the English school holidays are time spent working in my constituency. The Scottish MPs often ask if recess can be adjusted to accommodate the Scottish school holidays as many MPs have school aged children but that is not going to

happen. During the time I spent at Westminster I am very fortunate to have a great team working in Inverclyde. My challenge during recess is to slip seamlessly into that team and help them continue in their good work. MPs with constituencies that cover large geographic areas often take the opportunity to go on a tour around the highways and byways, visiting the small villages and hamlets that may not have been visited during the rest of the year. Fortunately for me Inverclyde is compact and I do not need to go on the road. Instead I get the opportunity to sleep in my own bed for more than three nights in a row. I use recess to visit as many local businesses and organisations as I can. It’s an opportunity to catch up with folk and hear their issues. Working with my team, day in day out, allows us to take on projects with more continuity than the rest of the year affords. This year we are focusing on regeneration

Ronnie Cowan MP

and as I write this, in the week before recess, there are multiple meetings in my diary on that topic. So business continues, too often it drags me away from home but when I am there I attempt to utilise every conceivable moment in as constructive a fashion as possible. Inverclyde deserves nothing less. But it’s not all work and I look forward to being able to visit my favourite eateries more frequently, catch a few more Morton games and enjoy my constituency. We all know the old adage ‘absence makes the hear grow fonder’ and I cherish the sunsets and sunrises, the wind, the rain and the rolling clouds that epitomises Inverclyde. I shall take the opportunity to nip over to Millport and relive my childhood summer holidays and if I have time I may even make it up to Portmahomack where I have not been since 1966. This time I will not be watching England winning the World Cup.

Ronnie Cowan MP, Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, 20 Crawfurd Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1LJ ronnie.cowan.mp@parliament.uk Telephone: 01475 721 877

6 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

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theStyle files

by Marilyn Thompson

Summer in the City City breaks in summertime are the perfect alternative to the more traditional beach or lounging round the pool holiday. Pick a city then explore its unique and individual charm. If you’re really lucky you may be able to fit in a couple of trips to different cities over the holidays packed full of different cultures, languages, traditions, architecture, food and beauty. All of which will give you so many wonderful memories. Packing for a city break doesn’t need to be stressful, like all packing, preparation is the key and choosing clothes that work well together is of primary importance. It’s a hardworking short break wardrobe that you’re aiming for. It’s got to travel well, and see you from morning to night, doing all sorts of things. Sightseeing (obviously) but then there’s lunch and dinner, shopping, exploring, perhaps cycling, certainly lots of walking and then the nightlife - a lot for one little case to cope with! As you’ll only have a carry on case (please don’t be tempted to do hold luggage) you will be forced into savvy packing, so here are some tips:

8 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

Wear a lot travelling This means layer up! - make sure you wear your cover up cardigan or lightweight linen casual jacket over a shirt and t-shirt. Wear your jeans and your heaviest comfiest, stylish yet practical all round walking shoes and pack your lightweight sandals or flip flops.

Travel Essentials Your City break travel essentials should be loose, laid back, stylish clothes in quality fabrics and comfort should be high on your list allowing you to cope with a packed agenda. Style doesn’t go amiss either as you’ll be up against the super stylish European locals for whom dressing seems to come easy.

Brilliant Multitaskers The best multitasking clothes are going to have to cope with whatever you do from early morning till late at night so aim to pack a shirt (also good as a cover up) shorts, lightweight dress (suitable for day and night) jeans or casual trousers and a couple of interchangeable stylish tops. @clydelifemag


Monochrome palette Stick to a monochrome range of mix and match clothes when packing, so everything works well together. Be strict with yourself and don’t be tempted to throw in random things that can only be worn as a standalone outfit.

Bearing in mind your little case, try sleeping in a t shirt rather than taking pj’s roll up your underwear and keep your toiletries and cosmetics to the bare minimum -This is undoubtedly really hard but do remember that rather than having it confiscated at security for being too much or too heavy - just buy your shower gel, shampoo etc whenever you get there. Of course, you will also want to leave some room in your case for some city mementos. Wherever you’re going and whatever you do this Summer - do it in style!

Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 9


Two Greenockians of Note

By Joy Monteith

London where he made his mark immediately. Within two years he had written the work for which he is best remembered – the concert overture Land of the Mountain and the Flood, followed by wide range of orchestral and vocal works including an opera Jeannie Deans.

In the 1860’s Greenock was renowned for its extensive shipping business, and wide range of industries including ship building, sugar refining, textiles and potteries. At the same time the town’s rapid industrial growth had led to some appalling social conditions such as poor housing, overcrowding, poverty and ill-health. However the same decade also saw the birth of two Greenockians, William Wallace (b1860) and Hamish MacCunn (b1868) both of whom went on to achieve considerable national success as composers in late Victorian Britain.

Dr James Wallace Courtesy of McLean Museum & Art Gallery, Inverclyde Council

The two men had quite different personalities and personal lives, but it’s tempting to consider that the experience of their family lives and early background in Greenock helped shape their future development and careers. Both men were brought up in families which were financially very comfortable, and with parents who enjoyed considerable social standing in the town. Wallace’s

Hamish MacCunn Courtesy of Greenock Burns Club

father, Dr James Wallace, was Greenock’s first Medical Officer of Health who campaigned vigorously for the removal of the town’s notorious slums and bad sanitation. Sadly, he did not support his son’s wish for a musical career, and as a result William first studied medicine at Glasgow University, qualifying as an eye specialist in 1888. Shortly after that he abandoned the medical profession to pursue a career in music in London, resulting in a number of vocal and orchestral works, including several symphonic poems and the mighty Creation Symphony. Hamish MacCunn’s parents both had connections to local industries; his mother Barbara was the daughter of John Neill a local sugar refiner, whilst his father James was a ship-owner and merchant. In addition, both were highly talented musicians, who encouraged all their children in a range of cultural and musical opportunities at the family home in Ardgowan Street. At the age of fifteen Hamish won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in

From a similar environment in Greenock William Wallace and Hamish MacCunn progressed in distinct ways to national and international renown in the early part of the 20th century. But like many composers of that period, their music has become somewhat neglected and is rarely performed nowadays in concert halls. However a few selections of both composers music, played by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, are available on CD and are worth seeking out for serious listening. *Hamish MacCunn died a hundred years ago on 2nd August 1916.

Bonny Kilmenny, Courtesy of Archie and Eileen Shearer

(A fuller version of this article is published in a pamphlet, available free from the McLean Museum Greenock)

10 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

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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 charles@clydelife.co.uk

Health and Wellbeing Classes YogaBellies Children’s Yoga Classes for 3-12 years. Contact Enterprise Training on: 01475 745552/744404 admin@enteprisetraining.scot www.yogabellies.co.uk/children Yoga & Meditation for all levels Teacher: Jacci Stoyle YS (reg) jacci@stoylehome.freeserve.co.uk 07790262124 Wed 7:00-8.30pm Boglestone Community Centre, Dubbs Rd, Port Glasgow Yoga for all levels Teacher: Aileen Hughes, YS (reg.) 01475 801613 aileenhughes@btinternet.com Mon 2-3.30pm & Tue 2-3.30pm Westburn Church, Nelson Street, Greenock. Hatha Yoga for all levels Teacher: Flora MacKenzie fmackenzie_uk@yahoo.co.uk Wed 7-8pm Lyle Kirk, Union Street, Greenock. Yoga and Meditation Teacher: Joanna Ritchie, Birsay Holistics 07518 373 073 Email birsayholistics@gmail.com Mon 9.30am and 8pm Skelmorlie Tues 10am, 6pm & 7.45pm Gourock Wed 6pm Wemyss Bay Thurs 10am Largs, 6pm Gourock, 8pm Largs Fri 6.30pm Meditation Skelmorlie

Sat 8.45am Largs Yoga for all levels Instructor: Jacqueline Gibson 07851 735357 | Email jacqueline_a_g@hotmail.com Tues 9.30-10.30am Fri 9.30-10.30am All in Kilmacolm 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 Yoga and Meditation Teacher: Janis Binnie 07813 924922 janis@santosa.co.uk Langbank Village Hall Tues 8.00-9.30pm Kilmacolm Community Centre Wed 6.30-8.00pm Pilates (all levels) Instructor - Jenn Forbes 07713 643693 hello@forbespilates.com Facebook forbespilates Wednesday 5pm & 6pm The Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay Wednesday 8pm

12 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

Dazzles, 1 George Square, Greenock Classes are £8 drop-in or guaranteed space in the 6-week block £48. Katie Black Pilates and Physiotherapy Instructor - Katie Black katiescotts@hotmail.com Killellan Halls, Houston (behind the Houston & Killellan kirk). Monday night 6.15-7.15 and 7.30-8.30

Other Classes Ballet - Elite Academy of Dance Inverclyde’s only Royal Academy Ballet School www.theeliteacademyofdance.co.uk RAD Teacher- Julie Gunn Tel- 07753 246035 Email- eliteballetschool@gmail.com All ages for both Male and Female Classes every day The Studio, 15a Watt Street, Greenock Silver Swans Ballet Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet for the over 50s www.silverswansballet.co.uk RAD Teacher- Julie Gunn Tel- 07753 246035 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 www.thefashionclass.co.uk for more information. @clydelifemag


Scottish Country Dancing Classes 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

Training Courses MindMosaic Counselling Training 2016/17 COSCA’s (Counselling & Psychotherapy Scotland) Counselling Skills Certificate MindMosaic are delivering our latest COSCA Certificate in Counselling starting autumn 2016. The COSCA accredited Certificate in Counselling provides a general introduction to the skills of counselling. For more information, contact Mind Mosaic on 01475 892208 or email info@mindmosaic.co.uk

Local Clubs 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 rigs.scot or contact Keith on 07789 501605 Greenock Camera Club Every Thursday at 7:30pm St Bartholomews Church, Barrhill Road, Gourock www.greenockcameraclub.com 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 07971607453 Clyde Life Magazine

inverclydecameraclub@live.com Fort Matilda Bridge Club Meets Mon, Tue & Fri 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 annmacleod@btinternet.com Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club Esplanade, Greenock, PA16 7SE The Club also has an active social calendar with a monthly Folk night, sporting event functions and seasonal themed events. Club website: www.rwsabc.co.uk Contact 01475 723260 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 Contact Tony Cowden on 01475 783228 or by email at tony.cowden@ntlworld.com. 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. Contact: Mark Jones 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. For further information telephone Marion on 01475 634976 or email inverclydeskywatchers@aol.co.uk

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. To find out more call Dave Souza on 01475 631654 or visit www.inverclyderamblers.org.uk

Local Sports Clubs Greenock Cricket Club Brisbane St, Greenock The club fosters and develops cricket and squash throughout Inverclyde. Membership is open to all age groups. Anyone interested in joining should email brian. papworth@talktalk.net Inverclyde Cricket Club If you are interested in giving cricket a go, whether you have played before or not, please don’t hesitate to contact the Club Captain via www.inverclydecricket.co.uk Fort Matilda Tennis Club Newark Street, Greenock The Club has four artificial grass courts, in very good condition and has recently added floodlights to three courts. www.fortmatildatennis.org The Ardgowan Club Ardgowan Square, Greenock The club has 2 bowling greens and 4 all-weather surface tennis courts, set in beautiful garden surroundings. www.ardgowanclub.co.uk Contacts : 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 kilmacolmbowlingclub@gmail.com for further information. www.clydelife.co.uk | 13


By Jodie Molyneux

the essentials & non-essentials for your big move So you got a place on the university course of your dreams? Congratulations! You did it! But now, here comes the really hard bit...packing up a lifetime of belongings, dragging them up/down the motorway and shoehorning them into a cinderblocked cell....that’s right, it’s time to make the big move to halls! Forget the dorm-style set-ups you’ve seen in American films with wide beds and plush cushions (google ‘sorority bedroom’ and get ready to weep), the British reality is somewhat different; you are more likely to be able to touch both walls with your arms outstretched and walk a grand total of 3 steps before bumping into the sink inexplicably placed in the corner of your room. Seemingly styled on old jail layouts, halls are not the prettiest of places but no one can deny that they aren’t fun! Let’s get packing! but rather than list what you should take. let’s start with what not to take because it is far more likely that you will overpack and over-prepare in your wide-eyed naivety. The key is to pack as light as possible; moving to halls is only the first step in your academic career, and if your experience turns out to be anything like mine, you will end up moving to at least three different flats before graduation arrives. First of all: an iron,

14 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

because who are you kidding? even if you do have a formal occasion to attend in first year (McDonalds job interview?), hanging clothes in a steamy bathroom should help the worst of the wrinkles to fall out. Secondly, a printer. You will need to print a lot of things, sure, but any university library worth their salt will have plenty of high-quality printers with never-ending ink for a tiny price. In the same vein, too many books will quite literally weigh you down and can be bought on campus bookshops or loaned from the library, if you get there in time. Thirdly, easy on the kitchen accessories! In all likelihood, your student flat will end up with 3 George Foreman grills, 2 rice cookers and 7 toasters, and anyway, Domino’s is always a phone call away! Finally, a non-exhaustive list of things that are seriously essential: • fancy dress (including school uniform, 80’s leg warmers, golf jumpers) • blankets that smell like home (for the Sunday hangover blues) • a laptop (4OD is your friend) • dry shampoo (2 words: shared showers) • Lemsip (Fresher’s flu is real) • a pen or two but most importantly... a welcoming smile and an open mind! @clydelifemag


Have you got a star in the making? We can help fulfil their potential‌

Training and Performance in Classical Ballet and Dance from Alba Ballet and Elite Academy in Greenock. The only Classical Ballet Studio offering Royal Academy (RAD) Classical Ballet lessons and training in the Greenock/Inverclyde area. Elite Academy of Dance - Providing Classical Ballet classes from age three upwards. Classical Ballet classes are held every evening Monday - Friday. Alba Ballet - Students can progress from the Elite Academy of Dance to Alba Ballet which provides additional expertise and training to young dancers from the age of eight. Two year course with classes being held on Sundays and School Holidays. As well as receiving expert training, students in their second year will also work towards a full-scale performance that will take place towards the end of their course.

For details contact: Elite Academy of Dance, 15a Watt Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA16 8JN

Tel 0775 324 6035 Email: balletinverclyde@gmail.com www.theeliteacademyofdance.co.uk Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 15


Coming soon to

Beacon Arts Centre Quayside Live Bringing fantastic folk & jazz music “doon the watter” to Greenock.

Blazin’ Fiddles

Phil & Aly

Brian Kellock & Tommy Smith

RURA

Fri 19 August | 7:30pm | £15 / £12 Blazin’ Fiddles are one of the world’s most prolific fiddle groups. Instruments come alight atop guitar and piano, delivering a musically intoxicating evening for all.

Fri 9 September | 7:30pm | £10 / £8 Two of Scotland’s greatest jazz artists, saxophonist Tommy Smith and pianist Brian Kellock team up to bring you a beautiful and imaginative performance. The critically acclaimed duo will be performing tracks from their vast repertoire –for lovers of jazz and the great American songbook.

Sat 17 September | 7:30pm | £16 Together Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham have established themselves as the epitome of excellence in the world of traditional music. This evening’s performance sees them celebrate 30 years together.

Fri 30 September | 7:30pm | £13 / £10 The winners of the Live Act of the Year - 2015 Scots Trad Music Awards, RURA’s exquisitely rugged, yet refined, blend of fiddle, Highland pipes, whistle, flute, bodhran, guitar and voice has proven a resounding hit across the board, and a highlight of many of the world’s leading folk festivals.

Scotland’s number one comedy promoter bring their award-winning club to Beacon Arts Centre. In August they bring the best of the Edinburgh Fringe to Inverclyde. Then there will be monthly clubs on 16th September, 15th October and 11th November. Acts will be announced via the venue’s website

16 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

@clydelifemag


Also coming up...

Buddy Holly & The Cricketers

The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular

Sun 18 September | 7:30pm | £17 / £15 Featuring a cast of West End performers, this breathtaking show has rock ’n’ rolled audiences across the globe from Cardiff to California, Barking to Bangkok and Swindon to Sweden.

Sun 2 October | 8pm | £22 Purveyors of Cool Swing into town with - “The Greatest Music Of The 20th Century”. Wonderful memories of classic Las Vegas, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis.

The show is guaranteed to have everyone singing along to Buddy’s well known tunes and dancing in the aisles.

The totally live performance includes Come Fly With Me, Volare, That’s Amore, Under My Skin, Mr Bojangles, Sway, Mack The Knife and many more of your favourites.

Why not make a night of it! Book a table in the Beacon’s Bistro!

2 course pre-theatre meal is just £12.95 The Bistro is also open throughout the day for breakfast, lunch or light snacks - reserve your table

01475 723 723

Booking and Information To book tickets or for more information on Beacon Arts Centre, visit www.beaconartscentre.co.uk or call 01475 723 723. Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1HJ

Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 17


SCOTLAND’S BOAT SHOW 2016

By Jo Simms

The action isn’t just on the water; luxury names of the motoring world, Porsche, Tesla, Lamborghini and Morgan will have cars on show.

Get ready for the nation’s greatest show afloat as Kip Marina hosts Scotland’s Boat Show.

Pavilions line the marina at Inverkip. Since 1989 the show has developed into a celebration not just of boats but of lifestyles which appreciate the best on offer.

Over the weekend of 14-16 October Gavin McDonagh, managing director of Kip Marina, and his team will welcome thousands of people to see the best names in the boat world plus a host of onshore activities for all to enjoy.

But that doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands to enjoy the finer things in life. Try a box of chocolates made with loving skill by a leading Scottish chocolatier; a snack from one of the many artisan foodie trucks, or a fine malt whisky as well as the marina’s own Chartroom Restaurant.

The yachting world comes to buy boats and equipment; those exhibiting are a who’s-who of the marine services industries at what has now become the third biggest boat show in the UK after London and Southampton. It is the largest brokerage show in the UK. Brokers and manufacturers are showing powerboats, yachts, dinghies and other craft on display from prestigious manufacturers. Scotland’s Boat Show has also built a rock-solid reputation as the destination of choice for those seeking an unrivalled range of high quality pre-owned boats. ‘The price range is from about £500 to over £1million; the total value of boats for sale is approximately £15million,’ Gavin McDonagh said. Plus there are a wide range of companies showing and selling the latest trends in clothing and equipment.

18 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

The Clyde Lifestyle Pavilion showcases Scottish craftsmen and women where you can find clothing, textiles, furniture, paintings and prints you’ll never see on the high street. The Scottish Food and Drink Pavilion, sponsored by West College Scotland and its students and staff, show cases the finest local foods available and this year the hospitality students will be helping renowned chef Nick Nairn, who will be presenting daily cookery demonstrations. So just wander round and soak up the atmosphere, and watch the demonstrations, the helicopter flights and on-water activities. After all, more than 16,000 visitors last year can’t be wrong!

@clydelifemag


Nick’s heading to Scotland’s Boat Show

then take the recipe home to cook for friends and family. It’s a great day out, on your own, with a friend, or even as a group.’

Nick Nairn opened his Cook School beside the beautiful Lake of Menteith, just an hour’s drive from Glasgow, back in 2000. Since then he has welcomed thousands of cooks through the doors; everyone from nervous first-timers to confident home cooks. Nick says, ‘People get a real kick out of a day at the Cook School, whether they’re a toast burner or a soufflé king. We help all cooks learn more, practise their skills and, most importantly, cook a delicious meal to eat over a civilised glass of wine with their fellow classmates,

The Cook School always offers a warm welcome. You use the superb facilities and cook with exceptional Scottish ingredients in the large teaching kitchen, before eating in the dining room overlooking the Cook School garden. All classes are hands-on, whether it’s a 3-hour session or full day. The type of food is up to you, simply head to the website and choose something you like the sound of, from curry, to Scottish specialities, Thai street food, Italian... There’s plenty of choice. Choose, too, between learning from one of the excellent chef tutors or a course with Nick himself. Nick’s heading to Scotland’s Boat Show at Kip Marina on 1416 October this year to show off his fine cooking skills doing demonstrations for visitors. ‘I’m thrilled to be at the boat show. I absolutely love boats,’ he says.

‘I even started my career in the Merchant Navy, and did my first TV series Wild Harvest sailing around the Scottish coast. I’ve had to cook many a meal at sea, though I think I’ll be on terra firma for these dems! I hope to see lots of you there; it should be a fun weekend.’ The Cook School team will also be at the show selling Gift Cards for the Cook School, as well as cooking kit and cook books. To book a class at either of the Nick Nairn Cook Schools (Port of Menteith, or Aberdeen), visit www.nicknairn.com or call 01877 389900. Classes from £49.

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Clyde Life Magazine

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Pinch, Feed & Weed It’s time to

By Kieran Gallagher

We have had a mixture of weather through late spring and early summer, with a hot spell followed by what is best described as ‘changeable’ ever since! One key difference between this year and last year, so far, is that air and soil temperatures have remained around the average for the time of year. Soil temperature makes an enormous difference to plants, with temperatures in double digits promoting healthy and vigorous growth.

mainly occurs in bedding plants as they have a short, but very vigorous lifespan. It does occur in shrubs and trees as well where, unless you are working in containers, the only solution is considerate pruning. It is caused by either short and irregular periods of sunshine, when the plant grows slightly more on the side the sun hits, or if your garden faces east or west and only gets sunshine in the morning or late afternoon. Obviously, if you are working in containers then simply turn the container occasionally toward the sun. Where you have plants in the ground, pruning is the only real solution. You should now be feeding your bedding plants with something that is high in potash or sulphate of potash. Potash will promote flowering over foliage growth and keep your bedding flowering for longer. If in doubt, tomato food on bedding plants once a week is fine.

Last year at Cardwell Garden Centre we were inundated with customer questions about why were their bedding plants or tomatoes not growing as well as they usually do? The two simple answers to this were a lack of sunshine for developing flowers and ripening fruit and, just as importantly, there was not enough heat in the air or the soil to encourage the rapid growth needed. This year a little more sunshine would help fruits achieve ripeness earlier and this would mean more crops from fruit bearing plants. The intermittent sunshine can cause bedding plants to either become ‘leggy’ (too tall and uneven growth) or one sided. In most cases this can be overcome by pinching out the top growth on each stem. This will create a natural horizontal growth on the plant, in effect causing it to become bushier. One sided growth

22 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

One species of plant that has enjoyed the mild and damp weather is weeds! Weedkillers can be used just now, but beware of treating on a showery day. Almost all weedkillers must have time to dry on the plant to be effective, otherwise the rain will deplete the strength of the treatment. Keep all pets away from treated areas until the treatment is completely dry, at which point it will not

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harm animals. This is true of most modern chemicals, but not all, so check the label of your chemicals or ask your garden centre assistant for advice. And make sure you are using the right treatment for the right job as some treatments are not suitable for fruit, vegetables or herbs.

(and eye protection and a mask if you can); don’t spray on windy days. Don’t eat, drink or smoke when using the chemicals and wash your hands carefully immediately after use. As with pets, keep kids away from chemicals and store them safely away from little hands and paws in a frost free and dark area. By following simple safety guidelines you can garden safely and healthily and get rid of those pesky weeds.

The recent motion in the European Parliament to have Glyphosate banned from domestic use due to fears of it being carcinogenic have been put on hold until next year. Conflicting reports of its effects are difficult to read and do not give a conclusive answer. Here is my simple advice on the matter – all garden chemicals are dangerous if misused. They always have been, even though the treatments available to buy today are far less potent than their forbearers. Read the label on your treatments; do any opening or mixing in a well ventilated area or outside; wear gloves

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What about an evening class? An investment in knowledge pays the best interest – Benjamin Franklin by Jo Simms Wow! Where did the summer go? Anyone see where it went...could have sworn it was here a couple of minutes ago. All too suddenly we’re reaching for the light-switch because it is getting to be evening time a little bit sooner than before and the shops are full of back-to-school stationery and clothing. And don’t even mention the Christmas card catalogue from a well-known charity that just landed on the doorstep.

You can get practical – car maintenance, basic woodworking, decorating, DIY garden landscape and design or you could go creative, with painting, pottery drawing, sketching. How about polishing up or adding to existing skills in cookery or computing? How about adding a wow-factor to your culinary arts with cake decoration, sugarcraft or learning some incredible international dishes?

While you might breathe just a teeniest sigh of relief that your precious angels are going back to school after the long summer break here’s a thought: why not join them? Come on, admit it, when was the last time you learned anything new? When did you do something that really provoked your interest, your desire to know more? Because the upside of the downside of the end of summer is that evening classes begin.

Does the idea of taking a basic conversational language course sound like a good idea for next year’s holiday? It would certainly beat miming and speaking slowly and loudly in English like you did this summer.

Now these can range from fullblown qualifications at college to help you in your career, to a lighthearted get together in the public library for a series of talks or a book club.

An evening class doesn’t just have to be cerebral; even if you don’t feel like taxing your brain, how about giving the body a workout? Check out the sports centres for keep-fit, Pilates, yoga, tai chi or

24 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

swimming lessons for adults or improvers’ classes. Bowling clubs swap their outdoor activities for carpet bowling, which is a great introduction to the sport and a sure fire way to make new friends. And you might not be the only species in your house which might benefit from an evening class . . . Instead of sitting on the sofa with the dog gently snoozing away, its head in your lap, why don’t you pair of couch potatoes enrol in a dogtraining or agility class. Just think: you could take your dog for a walk instead of the other way round. Even if work patterns or the time constraints of busy family life mean you cannot commit to a full-blown course, make a point of checking the local notice boards or what’son section of the local paper and vow that you will go along to one-off talks or demonstrations throughout this autumn and winter. It will be surprising what you learn and who you’ll meet when you are there. After all, what is the point of sitting watching a reality show on television when you can add something real to your own life? @clydelifemag


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The days are getting longer... We are delighted to announce that from August 2016 Duchal Nursery School will be adding to the core morning sessions with the introduction of optional extended days offering daily care from 8.15am until 3.30pm. This will give parents increased flexibility on hours and will be an exciting addition for the children, complementing their core morning nursery session. Duchal Nursery, in it’s 50th year of providing nursery education, remains a dedicated pre-school specialist for children aged between 2 years 9 months and 5 years, giving them the best start in life.

the additional experiences on offer. If you would like more information about this or would like to arrange a visit please email info@duchal.com.

For further details on Duchal Nursery please visit our website www.duchal.com and our Facebook page.

With highly experienced and qualified staff, unique park location and purpose built facilities Duchal Nursery offers a stimulating environment for children to flourish in their pre school learning and development. We are delighted to offer the extended Duchal hours and know that the children will thrive on

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Surprise!

uncertainty is the new reality The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy! Robert Burns knew only too well about life’s upheavals. The magnitude of the decision to leave the EU will not be known for some time but there is no need to be acting like a sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie with a panic in thy breastie where your finances are concerned. Yes, it looks like we are in for a scary period; uncertainty is the new reality and the reality is that there is much we don’t know and it is impossible to say when we will know what the far-reaching impact will be. Regardless of which way you voted we all agree on our main priority remains the same: how will this affect us and our loved ones. We cannot predict the future but we can continue to focus on the importance of reviewing and planning our own personal finances. Those with mortgages and loans

still need to repay them; those with families still need to protect them. People who aspire to retire with a certain standard of living will need to save and those with substantial asset bases still need to plan how to pass that wealth on to their heirs. You might think the markets and the world are going crazy right now, but remember: the framework in which the economy operates may well change over time but the principles by which we plan our future do not. Whatever the cause, political or otherwise, of movement in the markets we all follow the same broad life-plan with three main financial phases: Protect while we set up home, start a family, start a business or career. Accumulate more when family or debts become less costly and earning potential is higher.

By Robert MacDonald

‘De-cumulate’ while you enjoy retirement. Panic and knee-jerk decisions are not encouraged during uncertain times like these. Taking advice from an appropriately qualified individual or firm is almost always a positive thing to do. A piece of in-depth research* was under taken during the last financial crisis, aptly called the Credit Crunch; it was an uncomfortable time for many, for some it was devastating. The research showed that 94 per cent of those who had engaged, and were working with, a financial planner were found to be ‘confident for the future’. Now that is a huge number of ‘normal people’ who took comfort in the fact that their financial life plan was in good shape. You should be one of them. Uncertainty is scary but it can also

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.

28 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

@clydelifemag


provide significant opportunity, when you have the correct advice.

*FPA® and Ameriprise® Value of Financial Planning study conducted by Harris Interactive, August 2008.

I have spoken about Carl Richards, in this column before; I admire his graphic and simple way of dealing with complex matters. Once again Carl has come up with a sketch to illustrate the behaviour gap or how NOT to behave in scary markets. We should not ‘misbehave’ during this particularly scary period. Yet the scariest thing is that many people fail to take the time in their busy day-to-day lives to make changes or seek advice until it is too late. The current Brexit turmoil could be an ideal opportunity to take control and plan for your future and your family’s future - the benefits are even more relevant during scary markets. Markets are like life - changeable but review principles remain the same: • Establish financial objectives and goals, • Create a plan to meet those goals, • Utilise appropriate investments to fit the plan, • Monitor, • Review, • Repeat. So don’t be a wee mousie...and don’t misbehave!

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Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 29


recipe overcooked) but take care not to burn the pan. When the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it onto a warm plate to rest.

Sautéed Venison Medallions with Apples & Green Peppercorns Serves 4 Ingredients 4 x 140g loins of venison sunflower oil 20g unsalted butter freshly ground black pepper Maldon salt 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cut into 10 wedges each 15g green peppercorns 30g unsalted butter 50g golden caster sugar 80ml dry white wine 100ml chicken and beef jus (or a reduced mix of chicken and beef stock) 2-3 drops red wine vinegar

Method Lightly season the venison then heat a frying pan over a medium flame and add a little sunflower oil. Sunflower oil can reach a higher heat than olive oil, so works best for pan-frying red meat. Sauté the meat in the oil until brown all over. Reduce the heat slightly and add the 20g of butter and roll the meat in the butter and oil mixture. Let the meat cook for just a few minutes to medium rare (the venison will be dry and tough if

Tip the fat from the pan into a dish, then return the pan to a medium heat and add the 30g of butter closely followed by the apples. Toss the apples in the pan until they colour slightly then add the sugar. Cook the sugar to a golden caramel then add the wine. Boil the pan vigorously to form a sauce, stirring in the chicken and beef jus and peppercorns as the wine has almost evaporated. Finish with two or three drops of red wine vinegar and set aside. The danger here is making jam in the pan and having the sauce set on the plate as your guests try to eat the dish, so have a little extra jus or stock handy to thin it while cooking and make sure it doesn’t get too thick. To serve, add any juices that have run from the resting meat to the sauce then put the venison into a hot oven for three minutes to warm through. Don’t overheat the meat or all the good work done in resting it will be undone. Slice the meat into thick slices and serve with the glazed apples alongside the meat and the sauce around. This goes well with a well-seasoned mash.

30 | Clyde Life – August/September 2016

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The Scottish Food Market at Kip Marina Sunday 14th August 11am– 4pm & Sunday 11th September 11am– 4pm Treat your taste buds and visit our new Scottish Food Market • Free Admission! Whether it’s a sweet tooth you want to satisfy, get into a pickle or take home some great Scottish meat, join us on our opening day Sunday 12th June & then 2nd Sunday of each month.

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Clyde Life Magazine Issue 31 Aug/Sep 2016  

A colour lifestyle magazine for Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire, established for 5 years delivered to over 15,000 homes.

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