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Clyde Life Christmas 2016 Issue 33


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Inverclyde to merge with Largs p10

Nick Nairn Gift Cards p6

Christmas Gift Guide p16-17 Skelmorlie ■ Wemyss Bay ■ Inverkip ■ Gourock ■ Greenock ■ Port Glasgow ■ Langbank Kilmacolm ■ Quarrier’s ■ Bridge of Weir ■ Brookfield ■ Houston ■ Bishopton

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That’s not all - Sole Solution now have a Physiotherapist, Sports massage therapist, Complementary Therapist & Hypnotherapist!

Octavia Buildings, Bridge of Weir Road, Kilmacolm PA134AE T: 01505 873888

Exclusive Gift Shop, Bridge of Weir Christmas is in full swing at the Lion’s Paw. We have a huge selection of interesting and unusual gifts for your family and friends as well as decorations for your home. We are opposite Gibb Stuart and open 7 days a week up until Christmas, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm. Come in and see us.

1 Morrison Place, Main Street, Bridge of Weir PA11 3NU T: 01505 614 699 | E: |

4 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016




Nick Nairn Competition New restaurant opens in Largs Alvic Wardrobes move to Houston Inverclyde boundary changes New Seafood Deli in Gourock The Style Files Teen Files Christmas Gift Guide What’s On Money Matters Christmas Presents on a budget Inverclyde Podiatrist on the move Choosing a Christmas Tree Nick Nairn’s Christmas Recipe Carnival competition


6 8 8 10 11 14 15 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30



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

Christmas Issue 33 2016 Publisher: Life Magazines & Publications Ltd Editor Charles Briggs

Features Editor: Joanne Simms Advertising Sales: Lisa Sanderson

Cover Image: Beacon Arts Centre

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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2 Gift Cards worth £298 for a Nick Nairn Cook School day class! Nick Nairn Cook School classes offer a great day out. Whatever level of cook you are, you’ll be well looked after either at the Cook School in Aberdeen city centre, or in the beautiful Trossachs countryside beside the Lake of Menteith. On a day class, Nick’s Chef Tutors demonstrate how to cook 3 dishes – a starter, main and dessert, and you’ll gradually prepare your lunch, served with wine. The chefs are on hand to help, and each cooking session is full of fun, great tips, and good company. Class types range from a new Scottish cookery menu, to Indian, Thai, Italian and French menus, among others. There are also 2-hour and 3-hour classes, plus classes with Nick himself at the helm. Got a foodie friend? Why not buy them a Gift Card this Christmas, from £59. Available online at or call the Cook School on 01877 389900.

To enter, visit and 6 |click Clyde on Life competitions. – Christmas 2016


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Broken Or Damaged Windows? Faulty Locks, Handles, Hinges? Clyde Life Magazine | 7

A World of

Wardrobes Alvic Sliding Wardrobes Ltd is a small, friendly, family run business with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of sliding and hinged-door wardrobes, drawer units and other bespoke items of furniture. There’s no pushy sales tactics or bonanza sales, just good honest prices the whole year through. Their newly opened showroom based at Crosslee, Houston (opposite the River Inn) is home to a stunning selection of doors and with eight different ranges on display - two of which are brand new collections introduced this winter. To compliment these, there are thirty different colours of glass and over 50 different colours of wood to choose won’t be disappointed! Fitted wardrobes are a beautiful addition to any room. They offer

not only a practical solution to maximise the use of your space but can be tailored to your own colour scheme or layout, giving you a truly bespoke finish. The experienced team at Alvic can offer storage solutions for even the most awkward of spaces, nothing is a hassle. As registered members with Renfrewshire Council Trusted Trader scheme and, you can read their reviews and buy with confidence from Alvic.

Here’s what a customer had to say on 10 November 2016 “Extremely pleased with our new wardrobes. From start to finish, whether it be customer service; quoting for work; the level of workmanship or the quality of the finished article, all at Alvic have the customer at the centre of what they do. Would not hesitate to recommend.”

New Restaurant in Largs Set to be a Success

Chris Day B tmas oo now b kings ein taken g !

AMIDST the Christmas rush treat yourself to an oasis of calm with wonderful cooking by one of Inverclyde’s favourite chefs. Faisal Rahman’s unique blend of east-meets-Scots has given him a huge following of fans beginning with his catering at Gourock Golf Club. Now, with an explosion of flavours

and spices, he has opened a small and intimate fusion brasserie restaurant, The Chef’s Eye in Nelson Street, Largs. He said: ‘We have set course table d’hote menus and theme nights.

‘You can book the whole restaurant for a private occasion; with a licensed bar, a chef in the kitchen and a waitress on hand it is the perfect place to host a dinner party.’ Faisal’s influences range from traditional Scottish to Far Eastern elements. ‘As a child I always used to wander into my aunt’s home kitchen where you never left without eating. There was always a delightful variety of spices and herbs in that kitchen - fresh food was always on the table,’ Faisal said. His brasserie captures that warmth, intimacy and love of good food well prepared.

Visit to sign up for the online newsletter or call 01475 673215 or email: to book a table. @clydelifemag 8 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016


Suite 1 The Old Mill Houston PA6 7AW

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Open 6 days Monday to Friday (10am-5pm), Saturday (10am – 3pm) We offer fully fitted with interiors, or doors only (DIY) & all trade welcome

Superior Systems at smart prices designed for you | Clyde Life Magazine 9

How are the boundary changes going to affect Inverclyde?

Ronnie Cowan MP

When I was elected as the Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, I was only the 3rd person to have that title, as the current border definition was only created prior to the 2005 general election. Prior to that we had Greenock and Inverclyde which had been created prior to the 1997 general election and excluded Port Glasgow and Kilmacolm. Prior to that we had Greenock and Port Glasgow which was created prior to the 1974 general election and before that it was just called Greenock.

Therefore, given its history of shape shifting it should come as no surprise to anyone that the proposal is to, once again, redraw the constituency boundaries. This time some bright spark has created, Inverclyde and Largs. This latest creation encompasses the existing constituency of Inverclyde, that consists of Kilmacolm, Port Glasgow, Greenock, Gourock, Inverkip and Wemyss Bay and continues south as far West Kilbride. It also includes the Isle of Cumbrae. This is, of course, all part of the process to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. Scotland will lose 6 seats and some, amongst the remaining 53, will be

made bigger. There are a number of political issues here but putting politics aside, the logistics of covering an area that has doubled in size presents a number of problems. Currently my office is in Greenock. Geographically it is at the heart of the constituency. It is also in the biggest town and it is close to transport links. Is it fair and reasonable that people from North Ayrshire should have to travel to Greenock to meet their MP? If I am to cover an area then the larger that area the more time I spend traveling and the less time there is to spend with constituents. I shall admit that up until now, compared to some, I have been spoiled. Inverclyde is a good size and can be covered easily. I only have to work with one council and that makes life easier too. Many of my fellow MPs are not so lucky. Dr Paul Monaghan represents Caithness, Sutherland and Eastern Ross. His constituency is currently the same size as Belgium! And the plan is to increase it. An inner city Glasgow seat can be twenty one square kilometres, Dr Monaghan’s will be over twelve thousand square kilometres. Brendan O’Hara represents Argyll and Bute which includes 23 islands and that is also going to get bigger. The role of an MP is to represent their constituents. We should be making that easier not more difficult. I rotate my surgeries to cover the six towns. If I have to cover down to West Kilbride then I have to add at least three more surgeries to the rota but more importantly my team of four will be expected to manage the expectations of an extra 20,000 people from one central office. In summary, it doesn’t suit anyone and doesn’t improve representation for anyone. At a time when people are demanding better representation and the citizens of Scotland are more engaged than ever with the parliamentary process, we should not be taking actions that potentially weaken their voices.

Ronnie Cowan MP, Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, 20 Crawfurd Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1LJ @clydelifemag Telephone: 01475 721 877 10 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016

Gourock’s Seafood Deli opens to rave reviews! ‘Fabulous little fish shop, loved your langoustines!’ ‘The scallops were to die for.’ ‘Great addition to Kempock Street, delicious salmon fillet,’ say customers. Seafood from the Hebrides is famous across Europe but in this crazy world where supermarkets sell lobsters from Newfoundland and Norwegian salmon it is good to know that the Seafood Deli in Gourock is here on your doorstep to sell you the best that Scotland can catch. The new shop, at 53 Kempock Street, Gourock, specialising in Hebridean seafood is the brain child of husband and wife team Archie and Theresa Nicholson.Archie is originally from North Uist and his father and family were all lobster fishermen. Archie with his wife Theresa have always dreamed of doing ‘something’ with the seafood they so love. Their ‘light bulb’ moment came when saw how much Hebridean produce goes abroad and they decided to bring the best to Inverclyde.

Inside 53 Kempock Street you will find fresh from the Outer Hebrides: lobsters, king scallops, langoustines, brown crab claws, crab meat, cocktail crab claws and 100% Scottish hot smoked salmon. They also stock smoked haddock, salmon (whole side or cut to order), succulent mussels, plus squid, and lemon sole. The shop also stocks Original Stornoway black pudding from Charles MacLeod, from the Isle of Lewis; oatcakes from Benbecula, tablet from Barra, flavoured salts, pasta, Helensburgh homemade shortbread and much much more. Seafood Deli is the answer for Christmas gifts and easy catering just place your orders for seafood hampers and platters that can go straight on the table.


Scallops • Langoustines • Crab Claws Cocktail Crab Claws • Tubs of Crab Meat • Lobster delivered weekly from North Uist Selected Fresh Fish • Mussels • Oysters



T: 01475 635666 M: 07833 618347 E: • E:

Clyde Life Magazine | 11

Robert C Kelly by arrangement with The Dolls Presents The Robert C Kelly and Óskar Eiriksson Production of

Gayle Telfer Stevens

Louise McCarthy

(River City)

(Only an Excuse?)

Don’t miss the hysterically funny and uplifting Menopause the Musical as it heads out on another UK-wide tour, packed full of sharp one-liners about memory loss and hot flushes and backed by an instantly recognisable soundtrack of comic parodies of pop classics.

Saturday 29th April 8pm

Scotland’s filthiest cleaners are in need of a holiday, so fasten your seatbelts as they take you on the gutter budget trip of a lifetime, with all the fun that fans have come to expect from Scotland’s favourite Scrubbers.

Join us on Facebook


Robert C Kelly Presents

Thursday 27th April 7.30pm

Saturday 18th February 5pm and 8pm Menopause The Musical UK Tour

This all-singing, all-dancing comedy is set in a department store where four women with apparently nothing in common meet, by chance, at a lingerie sale.

Robert C Kelly Presents

Saturday 18th March 7.30pm

*Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock Box Office: 01475 723723

12 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016


Clyde Life Magazine | 13

theStyle files

by Marilyn Thompson

It’s Party Time! The festive season is once again almost upon us, the shops are crammed full of such pretty things to tempt us and our to do lists just keep getting longer and longer. In the run up to Christmas and New Year and the slight madness that it all brings, remember to treat yourself to a glamorous festive outfit (or two) ensuring you are the super stylish hostess, the perfectly elegant guest or the belle of the ball.

ensuring that everyone is well looked after - concentrating on being the perfect hostess whilst not having to worry about being uncomfortable in what you’re wearing.

Entertaining at home You’ll want to be in control of all things including the way you look and feel - so the way to go should be comfortable but certainly stylish. Look out for easy to wear, nonrestrictive clothes and add some fabulous accessories. This should allow you to entertain with confidence

14 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016


The teen STYLE Files Jingle Bell


The trusty LBD will always be a quick fix for a festive evening outfit but this party season it’s time to sparkle! Swap to a sequinned showstopper which along with disco metallics, luscious velvets and faux furs (all being key trends for Xmas 2016) will make sure you are ready to rock around the Christmas tree at your Christmas party hop!


Finish off your festive look by tying a simple but cute ribbon in a bow around a low pony tail or around your head like an Alice band - you’ll be as pretty as a present!

Fashion & beauty notes... Parties, Work events & Dining out As a guest, you get the chance to be a lot more glamorous as you only really have to think about yourself - so take the chance to release your inner sparkle, dressing to highlight your best features. Shine in luxurious fabrics, sparkles, sequins, lace and fur finished off with pretty hair and make up to match.

Dinner Dances, Balls & Cocktail Parties Now’s your chance to really go to town and dress to impress with beautiful dresses and outfits to suit each and every taste. Of course, everything is available, from supremely elegant classic evening wear to much more outrageous and over the top ensembles. Ultimately, your personality will determine the style you choose but this is the absolutely perfect opportunity to add that extra sprinkle of feminine charm. The choice is, of course yours alone but whatever you decide upon - wear it with lots of confidence and a festive smile.

Tis the season to be jolly Seasons Greetings & Happy Holidays! Clyde Life Magazine

Stuck for gift ideas? Well, a set of new make-up brushes shouldn’t go amiss, especially when they are functional and super cute like these MAC 2016 limited edition “Nutcracker Sweet” ones!


Light up monogram bauble £5

Celebrity do’s & don’ts - Velvet • Do choose rich jewel shades • Do keep it simple • Do keep it modern • Don’t over accessorise • Don’t wear it if it’s ill-fitting

Your Fashion Questions Answered?

Do - Stella Maxwell Don’t - Rita Ora

Q - Hi Holly, coming up to Christmas what is a comfy but stylish style of party shoe to wear during the season? Abby 12 A - Hi Abby, try a classic Mary Jane style shoe with just a little block heel. These are on trend, really cute and super glittery silver versions that would go with most outfits can be found at H&M and Topshop right now! 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

| 15

Clyde Life


‘He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.’ Geraldos

Geraldo’s in Largs has a wide range of luxury handmade chocolates, gift confectionery & premium spirits. Formerly Sugar & Spice, the shop is packed full of delicious festive treats. Visit us or buy online at or call 01475 675200



Dahlia Tote – Handmade in Britain by VVA, our versatile leather tote is interchangeable so you have two handbags in one! or call us free on 0800 970 9880

‘Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright.’ Fabulous Black


Fabulous – and not just in Black. Luxury, satin-lined, feather wraps & boleros add the ‘Fabulous’ effect to outfits for any special occasion. Fabulous Black ostrich feather wrap, £49.99 available in black, silver, navy & ivory. Buy online at

Cherry Blossom

Diamante Specialising in designer Bow children’s clothing, Cherry Boot Blossom Boutique in Kilmacolm has a fabulous range of leather shoes & boots handmade in Spain. Shop our pre-walkers to juniors collection now at

‘O hush the noise, ye men of strife, And hear the angels sing.’ Petshop Postie



Dogrobes are practical dog drying coats that are perfect to use after outdoor adventures, swimming, training, bathing & working or just relaxing!

J Climie Butchers You can trust Charles Donaldson to source the finest local meat & Kelly Bronze turkeys plus all the trimmings - chipolatas, bacon, sausage, pies & cooked meats. Tel 01294 823112. 78 Main St, West Kilbride KA23 9AP

I ‘ will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.’ 16 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016


stmas Gift Guide ‘Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born King!’ £24.99

West Coast Colours

New Year, New You!. So many clothes & nothing to wear? Wrong make-up? I can find the colours to make you shine. Open Day Sun 4 Dec, 11am- 4pm. All welcome Call 01294 835174


Elf for Christmas - available at Etoile, Market Place, Kilmacolm . Pop in & see our collection of gorgeous gifts & cards for Christmas and all occasions. Opening Sundays from 27th November till Christmas 12-4pm, Tel 01505 874487

‘Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree for me’ CHOOSE YOUR PERFECT FRESH

CHRISTMAS TREE! Free entry to the estate if you buy a tree. Bring the family to cut your own tree from our field or choose from our pre-cut selection. You can also tag your own tree now and cut it later.



6 foot tree 9 foot tree Larger trees available & delivery can be arranged If you have a business why not get a big tree for your entrance. Special prices and delivery available Call Norah on 01475 540505 for further details.

Just off M8 between Langbank & Port Glasgow Clyde Life Magazine

T: 01475 540505 E: | 17

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

8pm Largs Fri 6.30pm Meditation Skelmorlie Sat 8.45am Largs

YogaBellies Children’s Yoga Classes for 3-12 years. 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, 6pm Gourock,

18 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016

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 Facebook 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.

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

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 and 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


Local Churches Messy Church held at Greenock Westburn Church Meet every 2nd Saturday in the month 12th November, 10th December 2016 & 14th January 2017. 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, and their carers for a cuppa & 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 & styles. For the date of the next meeting and contact information please visit or contact Keith on 07789 501605 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 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

Clyde Life Magazine

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 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: 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 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 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 Tennis Club Newark Street, Greenock The Club has four artificial grass courts Club Website: 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 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: Contact 01475 723260 | 19

How to AVOID a New Year Debt

HANGOVER In this Issue our resident columnist Robert MacDonald looks at simple, commonsense strategies on how to deal with Christmas spending as this can easily be a challenging time. Often medium to long-term New Year financial plans can be thwarted simply because of the fall out of excessive Christmas spending causing our focus to be diminished. Christmas has a strange ability to stretch us to our limits - our sanity, our time and especially our money. The best way to make sure you don’t start out the New Year with a mountain of debt is to start planning.

What should come as no surprise are your spending totals–meaning don’t get so caught up with shopping fever that you spend without thinking and end up wondering where all the money went. Just as you make a budget for your monthly expenses, you should also make a spending plan for your holiday expenses. The reason for a special budget is simple. It’s easy for your spending to get away from you when you have so many shops waving signs in front of your face that say “30% off” or “Christmas sale.” The temptation to make an impulse purchase can get to you. Your budget will keep you focused so you know when

By Robert MacDonald

the spending needs to stop. If it doesn’t, you’ll pay for this Christmas until next Halloween. Plus, if you use credit cards and have no budget, your spend can quickly get out of control. Add in the interest when the bill doesn’t get paid on time, and Christmas could end up very expensive indeed. No sale is worth busting your budget over, so before each shopping trip, determine who you are going out to buy for and take only cash to get the gifts. Once you’re done, return home. It will help to keep the joy in your holidays and the stress out.

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.

20 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016


Our Christmas Budget Tips Before You Start

Gift Giving

1. Stay Calm: Don’t get too caught up in the buying frenzy or fall for marketing tactics retailers use to get you to spend more. Avoid advertisements and try not to compare your holiday spending habits with others’. Just stay focused on your own budget.

6. Set Up a Secret Santa: For big groups, such as family or colleagues, a Secret Santa gift exchange can be a great way to make sure everyone gets a gift, without breaking the bank.

2. Start Early: You can save on gift-giving by starting now. This will give you plenty of time to wait for the right deal, make sure items will be shipped and received on time. Getting an early start will cut down on stress, too! 3. Avoid Paying on Credit: It might be a good strategy to charge Christmas gifts to your credit card to earn points, but make sure you don’t spend more than you can pay off right away. Getting hit with credit card interest could make your purchases 15-20% higher.

7. Send an E-card: Paying for Christmas cards, a family photo and the postage can really add up. Skip the snail mail and opt for an electronic greeting. Lastly, avoid compromising your long term savings and investing strategy as getting back into the habit post Christmas can be difficult and cost you dear.

Smart Shopping 4. Shop With a List: Whether you’re shopping for food or gifts for the family, go with a list in hand to avoid buying unnecessary items and going over budget. 5. Bundle Online Orders: This will save on shipping, and ordering all at once could help you reach the larger spending limits that often come with larger savings (such as £10 off £100, for example).

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Clyde Life Magazine | 21

It’s a wrap:

Christmas Presents Right off the bat, there is something I should confess: I could take or leave Christmas. I would sacrifice the black ice, near-permanent darkness and hordes of shoppers for a year-long summer of picnics in the park, late night drinks on open terraces and freckles but alas...that’s how how weather works and so for this article, I will take inspiration from the latest throwaway lifestyle trend: hygge. This Danish concept can be loosely translated to ‘cosiness’ and subscribes to the idea that we should take pleasure in the simple things; making rituals of making tea, lighting candles and ‘creating intimacy’ within the home. With this in mind, I will try to embrace the cheesy festive season; the music (more pennies in Slade’s pocket), the food (let’s be honest, that one isn’t hard!) but most of all, the presents! 2016 has been a slap-in-theface of a year and most of us are approaching Christmas with odd socks, back-to-front trousers and glasses askew; needless to

22 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016

By Jodie Molyneux

on a budget say, we’re unprepared. Christmas is a great opportunity to show family and friends how important they are to you and how much you appreciate everything they have done in the past year but what do you do when your mum deserves an all-expenses paid trip to the Bahamas but all you can afford is a wilted bunch of anaemic roses from a petrol station?

warm and made me laugh. Many of the items in care packages can be bought at pound shops, or could even be homemade, and so can be rustled up for maximum smugness at minimum cost. Here are some ideas:

For the solution, I suggest we look to the American tradition of ‘care packages’. Often sent to new students away at college, the packages typically include numerous gifts of little financial value but when combined together, create a tailored and thoughtful selection of presents. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful family who, for the six years I have lived away from home, have sent me many packages that have cheered me up, kept me

• For a book addict: cosy blanket, selection of magazines, good book, quality bar of chocolate.

• For someone who loves to be cosy: hot chocolate sachets, marshmallows, cosy socks, cuddly toy.

• For a beauty fanatic: a couple of nail polishes, a face mask sachet, hand cream, bath bomb. • For a foodie: write up a selection of favourite recipes, homemade infused olive oil, new apron.

Go forth and be merry!


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Feet on the move in Inverclyde Chiropodist Yvonne Calvert and her talented team move in to new premises at

3 Newton Street, Greenock, on 5th December Yvonne Calvert has been keeping Greenock light on its feet for 10 years and now, she and her associate podiatrists are taking a new step forward from 5th December. After many years of diagnosing and treating foot problems in Union Street, the new premises will be at 3 Newton Street, Greenock. In this new clinical setting Yvonne and her

Yvonne Calvert Chiropodist Podiatrist NEW PREMISES 13 Newton Street Greenock PA16 8UH For all your foot problems. Appointments Tel:

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24 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016

team of podiatrists are offering the same full range of podiatry services with the same friendly professionalism that has earned them such a loyal following. With additional clinic appointments on Saturday mornings and the introduction of a house visiting service in the Greenock and surrounding areas. The very popular drop-in clinic for toenail cutting is continuing on Tuesday afternoons between 2pm and 4pm where no appointment is required. Yvonne Calvert, Amanda MacDonald and Ryan Kerr are all HCPC registered podiatrists and members of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. They also have clinics in Johnstone and Largs. The telephone reception service, provided by Real Time Receptionists, is open from 8am to 7pm, the new number is

01475 727373.

‘Taking good care of our feet is so essential for our well-being, but so many people tend to neglect their feet, we are here to help with treatment and advice. I would like to welcome all our regular and new clients to our new premises’ said Yvonne.




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AbbeyVetGroup | 25

Choosing a Christmas Tree Make sure you ask the

right questions before you buy your tree!

If the tree has had to travel or be stored before you purchase it, it may not last well in a heated house. For instance, at Cardwell Garden Centre the vast majority of our trees come from our grower in Dumfries. We have used the same supplier for several years now, simply because they are the best quality and shape that we can find. They are trimmed as they grow, so the shape is very close to the ideal cone shape. The grower also trims some of them thin, so if you do not have a lot of space or just prefer a slimmer tree, you can get that as well. Please do not buy a tree in its netting. There is no way of telling what it will look like when you unwrap it. A good retailer will let you see it unwrapped and then wrap it for you again,

to make transport easier. When you view it in the garden centre remember that the branches may drop slighty further as the tree settles. Unwrapping the tree a couple of days before you decorate it make it easier. Ask your retailer what species of tree is best for you. There are 3-4 common varietes that vary in appearance and durability. Potted trees are also available, but be aware that potted trees may not be the same as a rooted tree in a pot. Only the rooted tree will last past Christmas and be suitable for planting in a container or the garden. Again, ask the assistant in the shop.

1 The base of the tree should have a clean cut. If the tree has been harvested for a while, the base of the tree will seal up. This needs to be removed, so there is fresh wood exposed on the base. 2 Make sure your tree stand will hold water and, once your tree is in the stand, put some sugar and water in the stand. The tree will absorb the liquid, so check the level frequently and top up if necessary. 3 Do not site it tree near radiators or draughty doors/windows.

Poinsettias are in shops now and add great colour to any room for winter. Make sure the one you buy is not displayed too near to a door or heater as Poinsettias are very sensitive to cold and sudden temperature changes. Where they are grown is also relevant as long journies in cold unheated lorries can damage the plant, although this is more true of chain stores than independent stores. Examine the plant for damage before your purchase. The Poinsettia should be wrapped before you leave the garden centre or shop, to protect it from the cold on the way home. By Kieran Gallagher

I do hope that you all have a great Christmas and a very happy New Year, from myself and everyone at Cardwell Centre! 26 | Clyde Life Garden – Christmas 2016

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


WE’VE GOT CHRISTMAS ALL WRAPPED UP • Indoor children’s Carnival & Santa’s Grotto • Selection of decorations, lights, trees & more! • Quality Scottish grown Xmas trees in stock! • The Elf on the Shelf available to adopt in-store • Award winning craft and hobby centre FREE • Licensed 300 seater restaurant ENTR Y • Festive food menu available • Kitchenware, foodhall, clothes & more! • Special offers and promotions in-store

For more information on our festive events please visit our website

2 FOR 1 BREAKFAST IS BACK AT CARDWELL THIS JANUARY Cardwell is closed on 25th & 26th December and 1st & 2nd January

Lunderston Bay, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1BB

Life Magazine | 27 01475Clyde 521 536

Nick Nairn’s

Christmas Recipe

Helston Pudding This makes an ideal lighter alternative to Christmas pud. And the definitive Cook School custard is the essential accompaniment – it’s one of our most popular recipes in classes. Make it from scratch with real vanilla and you’ll come away converted. For the Pudding 50g self-raising flour 50g ground rice 50g fresh breadcrumbs 50g raisins or sultanas 50g currants 50g dried apricots, chopped 50g soft brown sugar 75g shredded suet 1 tsp grated nutmeg ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda 3 tsp stem ginger, cut into thin strips 6 tsp golden syrup 30ml Grand Marnier milk, to mix soft butter, to grease the moulds

Serves 4-6

For the Cook School custard

The mixture should begin to thicken within about 2 minutes. Undercook at this point and the custard will be thin. If, however, the milk becomes too hot then the egg will curdle. You’re looking for a temperature of 82C; the easiest way to gauge this is with a Thermapen digital thermometer (see If you don’t have one, watch for little puffs of steam escaping from the side of the pan. These are a warning that the custard is getting too hot, so take the pan off the heat and continue stirring. When it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spatula, take off the heat and strain immediately through a fine sieve to remove any small lumps.

150ml full fat milk 150ml double cream 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out & reserved 3 egg yolks 30g caster sugar

Serve immediately or store in a Thermos flask that’s been rinsed with boiling water, for up to 3 hours. Or to cool, pour into a clean bowl, cover with cling film that’s touching the surface to prevent a skin forming and chill in an ice bath. Keep in the fridge and use within 3 days.

To serve

For the puddings, take 4 individual quarter-pint pudding basins, preferably with lids, and grease them with the soft butter. Place a teaspoon of golden syrup and half a teaspoon of stem ginger into the bottom of each basin.

clotted cream

Method First make the custard. Place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds into a thick-bottomed pan and place over a high heat until boiling. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium sized bowl using a balloon whisk until thick, fluffy and pale. Slowly pour half the hot milk and cream onto the egg and sugar mixture, whisking continually. Take the pan off the heat then use a heatproof spatula to scrape all the egg mixture from the bowl into the pan with the remaining milk and cream. Place the pan back on a medium heat and stir with a heatproof spatula until it starts to thicken. Make sure you cover the whole pan by stirring from side to side rather than round and round.

28 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016

Sieve the flour into a large bowl, then mix in all the rest of the dry ingredients, fruit, breadcrumbs and suet. Add a little milk, golden syrup and Grand Marnier to the dry mix, to form a soft dropping consistency – but not too wet – then divide between the buttered pudding basins. Cover securely and cling film the basins in case the lids pop off. Steam for an hour. If you’re making one large one, steam for at least 2 hours. The puddings can be made in advance and warmed through still in their basins in hot water when needed then unmoulded onto serving plates. Serve with plenty of custard and a spoonful of clotted cream on top. @clydelifemag


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Help is at Hand as your Life changes Woodside Care Home is a 19 bedroom Residential Home situated in the beautiful conservation village of Quarriers, just outside Bridge of Weir. Visitors are always made welcome. The Home is registered with The Care Inspectorate for the regulation of care. • • • •

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Fiona Summers ~ 01505 613370 Cue the lights & screams…

The IRN-BRU Carnival is back! It’s that time of year again, from Wednesday 21 December 2016 until Sunday 15 January 2017* the ultimate adrenaline lovers’ playground, the IRN-BRU Carnival, is set to take over the SECC, Glasgow once again. To celebrate its return, we’ve teamed up with IRN-BRU Carnival to offer readers the chance to win one of ten pairs of tickets to the ultimate festive day out.

To enter, visit and click on competitions.

Celebrating 96 years of family fun, the IRN-BRU Carnival is Europe’s largest indoor funfair with over 65 rides and attractions. Making its big return this year is the gravity-defying ‘Sticky wall’, along with thrill rides ‘King Loops’ and ‘Superbowl’, and the ‘Ice Mirror Maze’ for kids. Other thrill rides include the Speed Buzz, Sea Storm and Drop Zone. There are family favourites such as the dodgems, carousel, ghost train and waltzers. Also back by popular demand for a second year is the Inflatable Play Area, where kids can bounce until their hearts are content. As a family ‘must do’, make sure to book now to enjoy easy entry in to the hall. Entry price is £13 with visitors receiving ten vouchers which can be used on all rides, Inflatable Play and most stalls (Each ride is one voucher, most stalls are two vouchers and Inflatable Play is three vouchers).** For full information please visit *Closed Christmas Day **Some stalls are cash taking

Terms & Conditions. This competition is open to all adults over the age of 18. All entries must include the name and contact details of the entrant. Entries will not be considered if they do not have all information specified. Winners will be chosen at random, this decision is final. Prize is one pair of tickets to the IRN-BRU Carnival. Prize is only valid for one day. This prize has no cash alternative, is non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Travel is not included. The IRN-BRU Carnival reserves the right to refuse entry without explanation.

30 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2016


Your Christmas Home

Now ready for Santa, mistletoe and friends This year enjoy a perfect Christmas in your Ardgowan Rise, Inverkip. perfect Christmas home. A collection of 7 apartment family You’ll love the spacious living room with French doors onto your garden. The master bedroom with walk-in wardrobes and stylish en-suite with Porcelanosa tiles. And clever touches like great storage. Choose one of our 7 apartment homes and you’ll know this isn’t just a place to live, it’s a place you’ll truly love.

homes From £284,950 Showhome Open Thursday to Monday, 10.30am to 5.30pm.


*Images shown reflect the varying styles and sizes of typical Stewart Milne homes and are intended to illustrate typical styles and finishes only. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE OR ANY DEBT SECURED ON IT. Terms and conditions apply. Prices correct at time of going to press.

Clyde Life Magazine | 31


The Chartroom!



Our famous Party Nights are the perfect way to get you into the festive mood! Arrive at 7.30pm for a sumptuous 4 course Christmas Dinner, then it’s on with the party until 1.00am with our resident DJ Radio Clyde’s Bill Smith.


MID-WINTER BALL Wednesday 28th December

A glass of fizz on arrival, candlelit dinner & amazing live entertainment with top

Michael Bublé tribute Gary Bennet till the wee hours.

Black tie for the Gents and Glamorous for the Ladies. Tickets £35.


Top black tie New Year and best Hogmanay in Inverclyde! Cocktails & canapés, sumptuous 4 course dinner, live music from Jimallywhy, dancing till 2am with Radio Clyde’s Bill Smith & a piper at the bells! Tickets £55 per person. Early reservations strongly advised.

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2 Courses £14.95 • Child menu £5.95

Advance bookings only

01475 520919 • 32 | Marina, Clyde Life – Christmas 2016PA16 0BF Kip Inverkip,

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Clyde Life Magazine Christmas 2016  

Clyde Life Magazine Christmas 2016