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Pick Me Up!

For Local Living

It’s Mother’s Day


Reduce your tax bill p20 Reduce your heating bills

Eggstra read all about it!

(see centre pages)


And loads more

Easter Eggstra

Read all our articles and more

YOUR special guide to family fun activ ities throughout Inverclyd e and beyond!

Easter 2014

Clyde Life Magazine

Skelmorlie Wemyss Bay Inverkip Gourock Greenock Port Glasgow Langbank Kilmacolm Quarrier’s Bridge of Weir Brookfield Houston Bishopton Erskine ■

March/April 17 2014

| 33

DONATE YOUR FURNITURE AND ELECTRICALS and we’ll pick up your items for FREE Your unwanted furniture and electricals can help us fight back against heart disease. We collect all sorts of items: • • • • •

Sofas, beds, tables, chairs TVs, Hi-Fi’s Washing machines, fridges Small electrical items Games consoles, docking stations

Call 01475 291 122 or book online at Please don’t be disappointed if we are unable to accept items for reasons of safety or quality

©British Heart Foundation 2013, registered charity in England and Wales (225971) and in Scotland (SC039426).

2 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014




12 13


18 24

Easter 43 Eggstra YOUR special guide to family fun activities throughout Inverclyde and beyond!

Easter 2014 Clyde Life Magazine

6 Happy rabbits, happy owners 7 Options for straighter teeth 10 Clyde Life Diary 12 Golf tips 13 Teen style files 14 Landlord advice 18 Creating new furniture from old pallets

20 How to reduce your tax bill, legally

22 Spring’s new fashion directions 24 Tips for a stress free wedding 28 It’s Mother’s Day 30 Children’s books 33 Easter Special Supplement

Issue 17, 2014 Publisher: Life Magazines & Publications Clever Bunny: Ellen Arnison

Chief Bunny: Charles Briggs

Advertising Honey Bunny: Nicky Murphy

Contributors: Ellen Arnison, Mariessa Devlin, Douglas Harvey Robert MacDonald, Marilyn Thompson Holly Thompson, Stuart Davidson, Stewart Phillips Thomas Angel | 33

43 The chubby cyclist 49 Beacon Arts Centre 52 Westcoast cinema and live events

59 How green is your home 61 Self-esteem in young children 62 Spring is on its way Contact Info: Editorial: 07788-923054 Advertising: 01505-871962 Email: Web: Graphic Design: Phil Cunningham Advert 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 Limited 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.

Breathe new life into your carpets & upholstery…

Could your oven do with a deep clean?

Also, Tile & Grout Cleaning & Sealing

Tel: 01475 793193 / 07758 163902

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. • • • •

Residential Elderly Long Stay Short Stay Convalescent Respite

To request a brochure or to arrange a visit please contact the manager

Fiona Summers ~ 01505 613370 4 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


Clyde Life Magazine | 5

Happy rabbits, happy owners… How important is rabbit companionship?

With bunny’s being the in thing this time of the year, we thought we would highlight the things that make them happiest – after all, they are not just for Easter you know!

PDSA’s Care Advice

Rabbits are highly social animals and so companionship is very important to them. The best rabbit company combination is usually a neutered male with a neutered female. Rabbits should not be kept with guinea pigs because rabbits can bully and injure guinea pigs, and they both need company from their own species. Adequate care and provision should be provided for pet rabbits when the owner goes on holiday.

My rabbit lives alone – should I get another rabbit?

Yes, but you need to get advice on how to introduce a second rabbit safely. Rabbits living on their own get lonely and bored, but keeping the wrong pairings together can lead to unwanted kits (baby rabbits) and fighting. You can make sure this does not happen by getting your rabbits neutered (a neutered male and neutered female is best) and introducing your second rabbit carefully and gradually. Ask a vet, vet nurse or other qualified pet care specialist for advice on how to do this and rabbit companionship.

Very! Rabbits are very social animals and need the company of other rabbits. Rabbits kept on their own become stressed, and their behaviour may change as a result of this. Think about wild rabbits that you see in fields; they are almost never on their own. Rabbits get lonely.

What’s the best combination of rabbits to keep?

The best combination is usually a neutered male with a neutered female. Un-neutered males and females shouldn’t be kept together, as they will breed and it can be difficult to find homes for the young.

Is a person a suitable companion for a rabbit?

Company from people that a rabbit trusts is better than the rabbit living alone. But a person isn’t really a good substitute for living with another rabbit, as people and rabbits have separate needs and different methods of communicating. A rabbit living with just people is like a person living with just rabbits. Would you be happy living with just rabbits? If a rabbit is kept alone they should have the opportunity to interact with trusted people for several hours each day.

Who should care for my rabbits if I go on holiday?

If you go away, you should leave your rabbits in the care of a trusted friend or neighbour.

Top Tip: If you are thinking of getting a companion for your rabbit, make sure you find out how to introduce them safely to prevent fighting, and ensure they are neutered in order to prevent unwanted babies.

Premier Home Boarding at Largs Pet Minders

Your dog will enjoy a holiday in the home of a dedicated Home Boarder providing all the care and attention normally given by you! T:01475 686193 M: 07929342987 E:

I write for Clyde Life, but I can write for you too For • website copy • newsletters • press releases • blog posts • articles • or just some advice Contact Ellen Arnison on 01505 610272 or visit

6 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


Pampered Pets Dog Grooming Excellence...

Making Scotland beautiful, one dog at a time Pampered Pets staff are award winning, caring and passionate about working with dogs. We are professional, highly skilled and qualified dog groomers having Advanced City & Guilds dog grooming diplomas with distinctions. Everything we do is designed to make your dog’s experience as enjoyable as it can be. We are UK Pet Industry award winners

If dogs could choose......

Our full groom includes: Bathing with selected shampoos safe for dog’s skin and coat type, no tears formula for the face. Thorough comb/brush then Clipped/Scissor Styled/Hand stripped to your requirements. Choice of fragrance from our designer dog fragrance range. Ears, Nails etc are included in the price Our staff love dogs and are always friendly and helpful!

Call Liz, Keri or Janette for an appointment

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in Bridge of Weir on 01505 615300

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71 Canal Street, PAISLEY PA1 2HP Tel: 0141 887 4111 54 Murdieston Street, GREENOCK PA15 4HU Tel: 01475 721155 Clyde Life Magazine

AbbeyVetGroup | 7

Explore Your Options for Straighter Teeth @ Ivy Cottage Dental Practice Are you one of the millions of adults in need of adult braces who are unhappy, self-conscious or even embarrassed of your smile? Many adults spend their entire lives covering their mouths when they laugh, smile or talk.  They feel stuck because they do not want to wear adult metal braces for years or they are concerned that other corrective teeth straightening procedures could be too invasive or too expensive.  Now, there is an effective, safe and affordable cosmetic braces solution that fits your lifestyle.

Short Term Orthodontics

A combination of proven orthodontic techniques, modern materials, and clear orthodontic brackets gently straighten and align teeth in an average time of just six months. Short term orthodontics is useful when correcting cosmetic issues but sometimes a more comprehensive approach is required.

Conventional Braces

The term, ‘conventional braces’, simply describes the type of braces that we are all generally familiar with. Your treatment can last anywhere between 1 and 3 years, depending upon the amount of movement necessary. Once your treatment is completed you will need to wear a clear night-time retainer for at least a year which holds the teeth in their new position until they settle permanently into their new position. Conventional braces are almost always used when treating kids and teenagers as this is an ideal time to correct malocclusions and get a comfortable bite and nice appearance. Sometimes teeth are removed to make space to do this.


The aligners are a transparent type of device which is similar in appearance to a brace. They are worn for two to four weeks before being replaced with another aligner. They gently move the teeth into the desired position over a period of time.

Duration of orthodontic treatment.

The length of time you wear an orthodontic device depends upon the extent of the problem and available treatment. Plus your dentist/orthodontist will recommend suitable forms of treatment such as a particular type of brace. Most braces are worn for a period of 1 to 3 years apart from the faster acting braces which are effective in a matter of months. This is then followed by wearing a retainer which helps to keep your newly positioned teeth in place. A retainer is usually worn for at least a year following the wearing of a brace but there are cases where it has to be worn on a permanent basis. Retainers can be clear gum shields that are worn over night or a fixed wire placed behind your teeth.

8 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014



Q. Will the wires rub on my tongue and gums? Occasionally some patients experienced slight discomfort. We advise all patients to let the practice team know if there is any discomfort as usually a small adjustment or trimming of the wire will help. Q. How will it feel when I have my brace fitted? You will feel the brace in your mouth and it may feel a little strange to begin with. Don’t worry, most of our patients feel like this. After a short period you will become accustomed to the sensation of having a brace in your mouth and it will feel quite normal to you. Q. I am worried about how it will look and that I will feel embarrassed to smile. What do other patients say? You needn’t worry about how your brace will look to your friends and family. They will all be interested to see your new brace just like you did. But like you they will soon get used to it and it will become part of your familiar features quickly.

Ivy Cottage is situated on the Main St in Inverkip, 2 minutes form Inverkip Station and right next to the Bus Stop. We provide short term and conventional orthodontics for kids and adults. It is currently registering new NHS patients, one of our friendly team would be delighted to arrange registration and an initial consultation. Phone 01475 521248. Visit for more details.

• Modern Relaxing Environment • Implants • Sedation • Cosmetic Treatment • Six Month Smiles • Tooth Whitening Main Street, Inverkip, PA16 0AU Website: Phone: 01475 521248 Clyde Life Magazine | 9

Clyde Life Diary Election posters: Important notices or distracting clutter? The side effect of elections is often towns and villages being “decorated” by eye-catching posters. You can tell it’s nearly time to vote by the colourful fungus of gaudy slogans and logos that grows up lamp posts and fences. The response among the electorate ranges from shrugs, through mild irritation, to loud tutting. And, of course, there are those who say “Oh yes, that’s how I knew it was election day.” Not any longer in Inverclyde though. The council has agreed to ban political parties from putting up election posters on its property. This means lighting columns, verges and street furniture must remain pristine! Provost Robert Moran said: “We have all seen the proliferation of party posters in the run up to elections and there is no doubt they can be hugely distracting for motorists and pedestrians alike.” He went on to explain that those who put them up are often somewhat tardy about taking them down so the job falls to council staff, creating a health and safety issue. You can sort of see their point. However, Inverclyde isn’t alone in this stance and back in 2012 more than 20 of Scotland’s authorities banned political posters. That’s the year of one of the lowestever turn outs at the polls. Many observers reckon the two might somehow be linked. What do you think? Do they just create a mess to clear up or do they encourage people to vote.

10 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

When movie stars drive white vans

And elsewhere on a screen, scenes of the local area can be found. The long-awaited sci-fi thriller Under The Skin finally opens in cinemas across the UK. It stars Hollywood leading lady Scarlett Johansson as an alien seductress who travels across Scotland in a van picking up men. Apparently, aiming for authenticity, she actually drove around in a van and picked up men. Some of these encounters were captured by her hidden cameras and ended up in the film. So if you’ve ever wondered what expression someone wears while they’re thinking “crikey that looks like that Scarlett Johansson, but it can’t be because she’s driving around Port Glasgow in a white van,” then now’s your chance to find out.

Water way to get to the Commonwealth Games So your application for the tickets you wanted came up blank. Well all isn’t lost – you can make your way to the heart of the Glasgow 2014 action up the Clyde. And you don’t even need a boat, as the RYA – who is organising a flotilla event – want to hear from people keen to join as crew. Up to 250 boats will muster at James Watt Dock Marina in Greenock the night before the Games for a reception and party. Then the next day they’ll make their way up the river towards Pacific Quay where they will berth for the opening weekend. The BBC is running a live venue, BBC at the Quay, with entertainment and broadcasts all day and into the night. Visit for more details

Some folk have all the luck

Council meetings – coming to a screen near you!

Have you ever wondered what happens at the high-level powwows where local authorities arrive at the decisions they do? The meetings are public, but most of us lack the time, energy or bus fare to make it to the town hall (or wherever). Fear not, the cut and thrust of council debate has come to a screen near you. Renfrewshire Council has started filming their meetings and broadcasting them live onto their website. And if you’ve missed the excitement as it happened, you can catch up at leisure – visit

SCOTS rocker Kyle Falconer from The View is reported to have had a dollop of good fortune while he was in Gourock for two sell-out shows. The singer – who had been playing a couple of solo gigs at Café Continental – bought a scratch card on Friday morning. The lucky lad won £12,000 on the card, bought randomly at a local newsagent. Apparently the first thing the party-loving singer did with his windfall was get a taxi home to Dundee. Now it seems he’s keen to come back to the area and bring his band with him next time. Perhaps he’s keen to try his luck on the scratch cards again as Inverclyde obviously yields good things for him.



r ou ENU y Tr M


Monday to Thursday at…


Buy 1 Main Course & get a 2nd half price in March & April 2014* with this exclusive Spring Clyde Life Offer! Just fill in your details below, reserve your table on 01475 520919 and give your Voucher to a member of staff on arrival. Additional vouchers available at *Vouchers valid Monday to Thursday Lunch & Dinner during March & April 2014 - excludes 21 April. Each voucher valid for up to four 50% meal discounts. Discount applies to lower priced main course. Must present voucher. Not available with any other offer. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Voucher valid only with details completed. Email will only be used to inform you of special offers & events at The Chartroom.

Buy a full price main course and get a second main course


Buy a full price main course and get a second main course

Half Price – Monday to Thursday

Half Price – Monday to Thursday

March 2014 with this Voucher

April 2014 with this Voucher

Just fill in your details below and reserve your table on 01475 520919

Just fill in your details below and reserve your table on 01475 520919

Name .................................................................................................. Email ....................................................................................................

Name .................................................................................................. Email ....................................................................................................

*Vouchers valid Monday to Thursday Lunch & Dinner during March 2014. Each voucher valid for up to four 50% meal discounts. Discount applies to lower priced main course. Must present voucher. Not available with any other offer. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Voucher valid only with details completed. Email will only be used to inform you of special offers & events at The Chartroom.

*Vouchers valid Monday to Thursday Lunch & Dinner during April 2014 - excludes 21 April. Each voucher valid for up to four 50% meal discounts. Discount applies to lower priced main course. Must present voucher. Not available with any other offer. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Voucher valid only with details completed. Email will only be used to inform you of special offers & events at The Chartroom.



Tel: 01475 520919

Tel: 01475 520919

The Chartroom, Kip Marina, Inverkip, PA16 0AS

The Chartroom, Kip Marina, Inverkip, PA16 0AS Clyde Life_voucher ad_2014.indd 1

Spring 28/02/2014 Friday, 28 February 15:29

Get a Grip Old fashioned As I enter my 8th season as Head Professional at Gourock Golf Club, I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge to help your golf this year.

The golf season is fast approaching, we are almost out of the depths of winter and now is the time to look at what you need for the forthcoming season. As your local Foremost golf professional I can offer everything. • Do your grips need replaced ? • Has your bag seen better days ? • Have you had your trolley serviced ? • Custom fitted irons? This season I will be stocking Callaway, Cleveland, Ping, Footjoy, Glenmuir, Taylor Made/Adidas, Srixon, Motocaddy and more – in fact, whatever you are looking for, just ask. As one of only 4 Cleveland/Srixon player advisory staff in Scotland I will be using Cleveland clubs this year with the new Srixon AD333 tour ball. This new ball which will be available Mid-March will let all levels of golfers use a tour designed golf ball at the fraction of the price. We are continuing with the custom fit cart offered by Cleveland and we will have two very special offers this season Buy a new set of irons and receive a guaranteed £100 for your old set The wedge deal continues this year where you can get £25 off the price of a new Cleveland 588. Please contact me at the shop for further details. My shop is OPEN to the public. We are located next to the 1st tee and easily accessed from the car park at Gourock GC. If you would like to contact me please call either of the following numbers: 01475 636 834 / 07947 036 171 or email:

Derek Watters

PGA AA Professional.

Derek Watters - PGA Golf Professional Email:

Gourock Golf Club, Cowal View, Gourock PA19 1HD

Tel: 01475 636834

12 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

cleaning tips that really work With clever new techonolgoy doing so much for us these days, it’s easy to start thinking that it’s the only way to get things done. However, when it comes to keeping things spic and span often the old way is the best. In fact, take a leaf out of your granny’s book for cheap, environmentally friendly and effective cleaning tips. Covering nasty niffs. If you want to get rid of strong cooking smells then boil a cup of distilled white vinegar in a pan with a few cloves. Pop go the stains. Pans with burnt on dirt come clean if you fill them with cola and boil on the stove. The mess should come away when you pour out the hot cola. Oven door drama. If the glass door of your oven is covered in burnt-on grime, mix a paste of bicarbonate of soda with water. Rub the door with the paste and leave for about 15 minutes. Wipe off the paste and the dirt will come off too. DIY spray surface cleaner. Simply mix a third white vinegar with two thirds water and a good dash of lemon juice. Use in an empty spray bottle and it’ll cut through most surface grime and crease. Keep your fridge fresh and cool. The next time you use a lemon, fill the empty skin with salt and keep it in the back of the fridge. It’s an effective natural deodoriser. Sort your smell sink. If there’s an unpleasant pong coming up the plug hole, pour half a cup of bicarbonate of soda down the plughole, followed by one or two cups of white wine vinegar. After two minutes rinse through with boiling water. Make your lav lovely. The own-brand cola comes into its own here too. Pour a litre into the toilet bowl and leave for an hour or so. Scrub and flush. Rub out smudges. Use a pencil eraser to rub away fingerprints and other dirty marks on light switches. A rubber will remove marks from things such as TV remotes too.


The teenSTYLE Files Now that the we are well into spring, Holly from The FASHION Class is back with all the latest news on fashion, beauty and all the must have gadgets.


Does Running Late Look Count As Cardio? of the Month In order to motivate those with fitness resolutions this year, shops are stocking more gym apparel. You can find a really cute range from Primark for whatever sporting activity you are planning!

Never be caught out when running in the rain again! Invest in a great waterproof mascara. A great buy is BAD Gal waterproof mascara your face by Benefit Keep your hair out of ag hair with these fab non-sn ion ect sel t bes ties. Find the om a.c alar ohl w.o ww m fro Gadget of the


flash drive 2GB USB



Holly ♥s This Golf & More -

Do’s & Dont’s – Cool Running


t don’

➤D  o have neon accents ➤ Do keep it cool ➤D  o try to have fun ➤ Don’t be frumpy ➤D  on’t wear monotones

Your fashion questions answered ?????? Unit 3003, Mile End Mill Abbey Mill Business Centre, Paisley, PA1 1JS Tel: 0141 889 9519

@stumcmillansnp Clyde Life Magazine

Q – What is the best brand of trainers? Ava 13

A – Hi Ava, if you are looking for fashion trainers try New Balance. Otherwise I would recommend Nike, they are great quality and have many cool styles too. 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

Private landlords – common errors to avoid For any wannabe landlord there is a lot of information available, in part due to the focus on the private rented sector by The Scottish Government over the last few years. With new regulation, comes new challenges for landlords, however there remains basic principles that every landlord should adhere to in order to ensure the smooth running of a tenancy. There should be a blueprint for every tenancy and then the discipline to follow it through. By doing so, landlords will avoid horror tenancies and falling foul of the authorities. Here are some good examples:


Know your legislation and make sure your property is compliant. It is very easy to find out about landlord registration, Gas regulations, the tenancy information pack, energy performance certificates, carbon monoxide detectors, the repairing standard and tenancy deposit scheme. Build this into your plan.


iProperly vet your tenants. Don’t let ithem in without provision of a credit

Harvey &Co.

check, employment reference and proof of address. In certain circumstances it may be necessary for the applicant to get a guarantor.


iPrepare a detailed inventory and iget the tenants to sign it off. This fits hand in hand with the requirement to lodge the deposit with a Government approved tenancy deposit scheme (a must!).


Inspect the property on a regular basis – this is possibly missed the most. You are not imposing on a tenant’s human rights by inspecting the

property if proper notice is given.


iIf you are in any doubt about how to imanage a tenancy, use a reputable letting agent, one that is a member of the Property Ombudsman, ARLA or other industry body. This shows a willingness to sign up to a code of practice and demonstrate good practice. There is a number of other simple, common sense, matters which result in a successful let. If it is not the private landlord’s principal form of employment, the key is for them to approach it in a professional manner as if it were. It is all about attitude!

Specialist Letting Agents serving Inverclyde and Renfrewshire

LANDLORDS – Quality Properties Required To Meet Demand Contact Douglas Harvey for Details First Floor, St George’s Buildings, 5 St Vincent Place, Glasgow G1 2DH T: 0141 204 1100 E:

14 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


Laserlight Clinic: A year old and looking terrific

The Laserlight Clinic in Bridge of Weir has just celebrated its first birthday and owner Lorraine wants to mark the occasion with an offer that will help you look your best. She said: “I’m delighted by how things have been going and I want to thank all my clients for making it such a busy year.” At the clinic, Lorraine offers high-quality aesthetic laser treatments that use the latest technology.

These include state-of-the art e-light advances to provide effective, pain-free treatments including hair and tattoo removal, fine lines and wrinkles, thread veins and acne. She has recently added needling and microdermabrasion to the list of ways she can help your skin to look wonderful. Using sophisticated equipment the rejuvenating treatment is virtually painless. And you can try it out with her current deal – two microdermabrasion sessions and a six-week course of needling for only £225 which is a huge saving on the normal price of £280. Lorraine added: “Compared to plastic surgery and other invasive treatments, needling and microdermabrasion are safe, effective, affordable alternatives that can take years off your appearance. And, our skin needling is quick, safe, and painless with no down time. “The equipment I use means that both treatments are comfortable particularly when you compare them to some of the larger city-centre clinics were things are still done the older – more painful – way, by hand.” Pop in to the clinic to see what Laserlight can do for you whether you have a long-standing issue you want some help with or simply want to give yourself a treat. Treatments start at £25. Lorraine also offers gift vouchers for treatments at the clinic which are always well received at any time, but are particularly welcome on Mother’s Day.


= = = = = = =


hair removal skin treatments carbon laser toning tattoo removal microneedling microdermabrasion with ultrasonic therapy radio frequency treatments and much more...

01505 228095 and ask for Lorraine

E: Clyde Life Magazine

W: | 15

Clyde Coast Garden & Fencing Services Grass Cutting Garden Tidy Up Turfing Pet friendly weed spraying

Gutter Cleaning Downpipe & Roof Check from

Domestic/ Agricultural/ ÂŁ40 Equestrian Fencing built or repaired Gates hung Cuprinol Spraying

Wall Pointing Patios Slabbing Mono Block Hedge Cutting Tree Pruning

Contact Malcolm on 07836 736339 or 01505 690443 (from 15th March)

Professional and Reliable Construction and Property Services The local solution for all your construction needs

Residential New Build Home Improvements & Extensions Whatever project you are planning we would welcome the opportunity to talk to you The Old Mill, Houston Road, HOUSTON PA6 7AW

Telephone: 01505 691 746 16 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

Home Offices & Garden Rooms Disability Adaptations Commercial Construction & Fit Out Concept Designs & Advice Cost Plans & Detailed Specifications Planning & Building Warrant Applications @clydelifemag

Full Bathroom for ÂŁ4495

inc VAT

Clyde Life Magazine

A LOCAL, FAMILY-RUN B USINESS THAT YOU CA N TRUST serving the good people of In verclyde and beyond for over 10 year s! | 17

Raw and Rare - A new future in furniture Artist Bonnie Lowson has returned to her creative roots with a new venture of creating beautiful pieces of furniture from things that were destined to be scrapped. She is inspired to craft her unique items by a desire to give a new lease of life to packing materials, crates and pallets. She said: “I went to Art School in Dundee and achieved a BA Honours degree in printed textiles. “I decided to focus on the industry that I am in until I saw an opportunity to return to my artistic roots.

Raw& Rare Made for you

Stunning, up-cycled furniture designed by Bonnie Lowson. From one-off centrepieces to transform your lounge, to rustic, unique garden furniture to enjoy (showing off) with friends and family.

I hated seeing large skips full of scrap wood and decided to make full use of it.” Among her first pieces are striking coffee tables, picnic sets and even dog beds. Owners of her furniture have individual room centrepieces that are practical as well as attractive. Finished coffee tables, for example, may have started life as rough packing pallets, but, by the time Bonnie has finished with them, they are elegant – yet functional – pieces set to become the heirlooms of the future. Not only are owners getting a fabulous item of furniture, that will be a talking point for years to come, they are also tapping into the environmentally important trend of recycling and reusing. This is upcycling at its best. She creates items to order taking into account the taste of the client and what they have in mind for the bespoke piece. “I want to make a one-off that people will love rather than something bland and mass-produced,” said Bonnie. “Whatever people have in mind, I can work on.” If you are interested in one of Bonnie’s creations visit her website or phone 0795 4544481.

Coffee Tables • Garden Tables and Seating Garden Benches • Planters • Kindling Boxes For further information and to discuss your own piece of furniture created by Bonnie visit our website.

Tel: 0795 4544481 18 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014



Visit our newly opened family run showroom at

2a Quarry Street, Johnstone, PA5 8DZ Open 6 days Monday to Friday (10am-5pm) Saturday (10am-3pm)

Tel: 01505 324486 We offer fully fitted with interiors, or doors only (DIY) and all trade welcome

Superior Systems at smart prices designed for you! Clyde Life Magazine | 19

Money matters – so make the most of yours

How can you reduce your tax bill? With the tax year end approaching, now is the time to start thinking about how to reduce your tax bill. Of course, this matters all year round, but as the deadline looms, it is particularly important, certified financial planner Robert McDonald looks at the issue.

Recently, data was published that revealed that of the 14 million investors in the UK, only 20 per cent invested in a stocks and shares ISA (Individual Savings Accounts) last year, a statistic that is quite astonishing. Most people know about ISAs and the fact that they offer tax-free returns, however, they may not know that there are lots of other ways to invest that not only offer the prospect of growth but also some fantastic tax benefits. ISAs are the arrangements that most people are aware of and, in simple terms, they allow you to invest up to £11,520 in a tax advantaged environment, and can be either in a stocks and shares vehicle, cash, or a mix of both. If cash is used, the maximum for the 2013/14 fiscal year is £5,760. Any interest and/or growth within the plan suffers no income tax or capital gains tax although in the stocks and shares vehicle any tax paid on the underlying funds cannot be recovered. For those savers who have no access to an occupational pension, utilising the personal pension vehicle is a very tax-efficient mechanism. Depending on your tax band you could be receiving tax relief of 20 per cent, 40 per cent and at its highest level 45 per cent of relief from the Revenue. It is often said that pensions are the primary mechanism in which “real working people” can maximise long-term tax-efficient saving arrangements for their retirement. For higher earning individuals

20 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

there are many other tax efficient arrangements that include Venture Capital Trusts (VCT), Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and investing in Alternative Investment Markets (AIM) although these arrangements can be complicated and it is imperative that appropriate advice is sought. It’s not only adults who can enjoy tax-efficient savings and investments; children are eligible for a Junior ISA from birth. Funding can come from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, relatives or friends and the savings are locked away until the child is 18 whereupon the money becomes theirs absolutely. It is important that you to ensure that all tax advantaged arrangements available to you are explored. As always, at this time of year rumours abound in relation to tax-relieved savings and investments that could be a target for the Chancellor’s axe. The suite of tax-efficient savings and investments available should therefore be considered as it could be a “use it or lose it opportunity”. @clydelifemag

Robert MacDonald Robert is among the most highly qualified Financial Advisors in Scotland being a Certified and Chartered Financial Planner and has been in the business for more than 20 years. 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.

MacDonald & Co An advanced level of advice...

On Financial Planning T: 01475 638100 | | E:

281/283 Eldon Street, Greenock, PA16 7QL

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Clyde Life Magazine | 21

s e l i F E L Y T S The Spring’s New Fashion Directions

Marks and Spencer

Style expert Marilyn Thompson, who runs The Fashion Class, shares some tips for looking amazing this spring. As a welcome Springtime approaches, the really fashion conscious amongst us will have studied the runway shows and will know exactly which clothes to purchase and from where. For the rest of us it’s more about just taking inspiration from the main trends and making them work for us. So, in my opinion, here are the best bits from the many Spring trends around - the most wearable and most the most easily adaptable. Tea Skirts are probably one of Spring/ Summers biggest trends. Elegant and romantic these longer length skirts which end at mid calf are extremely wearable and come in lots of different styles and fabrics ranging from heavy cottons to lighter materials with on trend transparent sections. There really is something for everyone and they look so good when worn with delicate ladylike heels, a white collared shirt and a cropped statement Sweater (with or without a fashionable slogan) If thoughts of having tea and cakes at The Ritz comes into your mind whilst wearing one then you are definitely on the right track. You can find excellent examples at Next and M&S. Once again, Pastels make a big appearance on the catwalks with some stand out styles especially from Burberry and Dior.

22 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

Nothing groundbreaking, I agree but you will find an amazing assortment of delicious shades in the shops from buttercup yellow and lovely lilac to candy pinks and baby blues, all of which are easy to wear and will work well through the next few months, not only with the new trends but also with your Marks and Spencer existing wardrobe which is good news. Big on the catwalks - the Bomber Jacket looks set to become a Spring fashion must-have, with so many styles, from the original lightweight 80’s inspired versions to a more glamorous and sophisticated evening look. You can pair them with just about everything, from jeans to partywear and they come in all kinds of fabrics, from shiny silks and satins to matt jacquards. Very versatile and I’m giving you fair warning - you may find yourself severely tempted and if you do, you should wield to the temptation and just go ahead and buy one ! Not at all what you would wear to the Gym, but Sports Luxe is a popular trend which encompasses clothes with a luxury take on the sporty athletic vibe, fabrics are key here and you will find futuristic mesh and neoprene materials teamed with leather and go faster stripes. Depending on what you are wearing you can team your outfit with trainers or stilettos. The choice (as the saying goes) is yours!


Spring Beauty News


Tory Burch

Elizabeth Arden

Harsh weather combined with centrally heated homes have an unforgiving effect on our skin, resulting in dry, tight and parched looking complexions obviously not ideal! To get your skin ready for Spring and help counteract these unfortunate problems try Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream. This cult cream was created in 1930 and is a skincare classic. Best used at night as it is of a thick and sticky consistency. A new make-up range by American designer Tory Burch is now available nationwide. It is a capsule collection which consists of bronzer, a rosy lip and cheek duo and a classic neutral lipstick. Quick and easy to use and beautifully presented in vintage inspired orange and gold packaging. Perfect for a youthful Springtime glow.

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Carmichael Place | 8 Lochwinnoch Road Kilmacolm | PA13 4DT Clyde Life Magazine | 23

Tips for a stress-free

Wedding Decide together what kind of wedding you want. It’s important to discuss what your expectations of your big day are BEFORE anyone else gets involved. Make the main choices – type of ceremony, kind of venue, size of celebration. It’s not fixed, but gives you a starting point. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Of course it’s wonderful to have everything exactly as you want it, down to the buttons on the bridesmaids’ dresses and the petals on the flowers, however, in the greater scheme of things they don’t matter too much. Know that perfection is impossible. OK, get as close as you can, but everything going without a hitch is simply not going to happen, so don’t get too upset if some small detail goes off track. Remember whose wedding it is. Keep in mind that it’s your big day and that you can’t please everyone else. If your family or friends think you

24 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

should be doing things differently, listen politely and remind yourself whose big day it is. Ask for help. If you feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your mother, future mother-in-law, best friends and even the groom will be flattered to be asked. You don’t have to do it on your own. Don’t moan… or at least limit it. It might be tempting to have a rant about what someone on his side has said or done, but just pause to think about the effect of what you’re about to say. By all means let off steam, just be careful who’s listening. Family rifts can be caused by the silliest things and can take years to heal. Keep in contact with your fiancé. It might seem a bit silly when, theoretically, this is the closest you’ve ever been. However as plans pick up speed and there’s so much to do, the most important relationship of them all

could get overlooked. Take the time to be together and not just talk about weddings. Look after yourself. While there’s much to look forward to it’s also a stressful time. That’s why it’s doubly important that you take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and take time to relax – you’ll reap the benefit. Understand it’s OK to be nervous. Weddings are huge (even small ones). It’s understandable that you’ll feel a bit jittery. It would be unusual if you didn’t feel that way. It’ll help to keep talking to your fiancé and your close friends about how you feel. Enjoy the special times. Make a point of catching up with the people you haven’t seen for a while. Use the wedding as an excuse for socialising with friends and family. The people you love are far more important than another dress fitting – and the good times are what you’ll remember. @clydelifemag

Brown Bin Collections are Back Inverclyde’s fortnightly garden waste collections are resuming for the spring and summer months. Councillor Michael McCormick, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee knows people look forward to the brown bin collections restarting. He said: “Green fingered residents who have been tidying up their gardens will be keen to get recycling all those weeds, leaves, twigs and hedge trimmings.” Householders are requested to place their brown bins beside their blue bins by 7.00 am on their regular recycling collection day during the week commencing 24 March or week commencing 31 March. Councillor McCormick is hoping for some good weather to help the gardens bloom and added: “Who knows, if we get some dry days we may be able to get two loads of garden waste recycled in time for the Easter break.”

Councillor Michael McCormick

Recycling Centres

Why Home Compost Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It’s easy to make and use. In our next issue we will explain how you can start home composting if you don’t already. In the meantime remember Inverclyde council has specialist food waste and garden waste household collections

Summer Opening Hours

1 April to 30 September inclusive Kirn Drive

open Mon 8am Tue 8am Wed 8am Thu 8am Fri 8am Sat 8am Sun 8am

close 8pm 8pm 8pm 8pm 8pm 7pm 7pm

Pottery Street Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

open 8am 8am 8am 8am 8am 8am 8am

close 8:30pm 8:30pm 8:30pm 8:30pm 8:30pm 7:30pm 7:30pm

Kirn Drive Recycling Centre (Cars Only)

Last entry is 10 minutes prior to closing time. Suitable for householders only - no vans or trailers, due to site licence conditions.

Pottery Street Recycling Centre (Cars and Vans)

Last entry is 10 minutes prior to closing time. Householders intending to use a van or trailer to dispose of household waste must use the Pottery Street Recycling Centre and should contact us in advance on 01475 715901 to arrange admission.

Clyde Life Magazine

Environmental reasons Do your bit to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Even for households that are already composting, new research has found that almost half of the food waste in their rubbish bins could have been composted. Did you know, composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months? People often ask “Why do I need to compost when my waste will break down in landfill anyway?” When waste is sent to landfill, air cannot get to the organic waste. Therefore as the waste breaks down it creates a harmful greenhouse gas, methane, which damages the Earth’s atmosphere. | 25

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Thinking about gifts for Mother’s Day? Or a youthful new look for you this Spring? Think no further than Healthy Outook! We have treatments, products, gift sets and vouchers to suit all both male and female!

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Clyde Life Magazine

Gift Vouchers always available | 27

It’s Mother’s Day By Ellen Arnison

So it’s that day again, the Sunday where there will be whispering and plots, tea and toast in bed. It’s Mother’s Day. Apparently it’s all about appreciating us mums. Because we’re worth it. Only quite a few of us don’t believe we are. Have you noticed? The number of mums who are quick to label themselves “bad”? Only the other day a pregnant pal - first child - called herself “bad mummy” for scoffing a huge heap of chocolates. I was shocked, she hasn’t actually given birth and she’s setting herself up for the guilt trip. You see, theories about how to “parent” are legion. Are you baby-weaning, babywearing? Is Gina the queen o’ your nursery, or is it Super Nanny? Will you be a SAHM or a WAHM, do the school run or hire a nanny? Are your kids veggies, will you tell them “no”? Make them do activities or let them slob on the sofa? Montessori, home ed, gifted or precocious? Are you a helicopter mum or a tiger mother? And whatever we opt for - or stumble into in a haze of broken nights and frustration there will be strong opposition. The other way is best. How we bring up our kids, it seems, is everyone else’s business as much as our own.

28 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

And everywhere you turn there are celeb mums looking bloody marvellous, bright eyed, coherent and slender. Remember, they are not role models, what you are seeing is a tiny stage-managed sliver of an apparently pampered and glossy existence. Pay attention to them at your peril. And before reality TV and Spanx, there was a time when “parent” was still a noun and mothers weren’t to blame for everything. Mums made things up on the spot while more or less doing the same as their mother’s did... or the exact opposite, if they’d hated it. And are we deficient in any way because of it? Nope, thought not. I expect we turned out the same as the next generation and the one before us. Why? Because none of it makes a difference worth fussing about. Ask yourself the following questions: ■ Are your children fed? ■ Are they clothed? ■ Are they protected from harm and abuse? ■ Are there books in your house? ■ Do you talk to them? ■ Do they get cuddles? ■ Do you tell them you love them? If you answered yes, then you are a good mother... good enough, and that’s the only measure you need. So please, this Mothering Sunday appreciate yourself and vow to stop this “bad mummy” nonsense - you are not a bad mother, so stop even thinking it. Instead, kick back and enjoy your breakfast in bed, and the cards, gifts and cuddles. They’re all the proof you need that you’re doing a great job. @clydelifemag

This Mother’s Day, show your mum just how much she means to you with exquisite flowers from Wild Rose. Our beautiful range of flowers and plants, from elegant floral arrangements and bouquets, to quaint vintage teacups, jam jars with posies and chic flower-filled hat boxes are the perfect way to say ‘I love you Mum’.

Every unique Wild Rose order is lovingly crafted, beautifully presented and completed by being tied with exclusive Wild Rose ribbon. Delivery is free on all orders over £35 and all deliveries within Kilmacolm. Make your Mother’s Day extra special this year with the help of Wild Rose Flowers.

Clyde Life Magazine | 29

Children’s books:

? o D s p U n w ro G e h T o D t Wha

Have you ever wondered what your children think you do all day at work? Or perhaps you’ve been bombarded by relentless questions from your son or daughter about your job. It was the realization that children are keen to learn about the world of employment that sparked author Mairi McLellan’s creative juices.

She has created a charming series of books based on the working lives of real people near her Highland home, where she lives with her three children and her husband. She said: “I started writing the books due to the constant questioning I have from my children, ‘Why are you always working, Mama?’. “I even have a friend whose daughter thought that her father drove about London on his scooter all day, as that was all she saw of him heading to work and back! “These books try to address those questions that many parents get, but do it through the eyes of children, in story form, with hopefully the right amount of pictures and humour to keep them entertained.” Her first books Joe The Fisherman and Papa The Stockfarmer have just been published and tell the stories of Joe and Papa through questions asked by children and are illustrated by photos. Later in the year they will be joined by Sean The Actor, Fiona The Doctor, Richard The Vet and Gordon The Wildlife Filmmaker.

Mairi added: “This series has been a joy to write. Yes, it educates children about jobs, but it’s more than that. During our travels, we introduce concepts such as sustainable fishing; explain how cattle dung helps increase insect life; chat about how to use a stethoscope; learn that horses’ teeth never stop growing and find out about glaciers and rock formations.” For more information visit:

Poet’s school tour Award winning poet and musician James Carter will be in Renfrewshire this March as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour.

• Write as often as you can. Get into the habit of writing poems – or just something, anything, even a diary – as often as you can. At least think about your writing every day.

James is a musician, teacher, writer-in-school and poet and his events are brilliant and usually include poetry, music, song, dance and interaction.

• Beware of lazy rhymes. This is the story of Cinderella/the girl with the lovely green umbrella – lazy rhyme. Work hard at finding a better rhyme – eg This is the story of Cinderella/the girl that met a hunky fella. Or better still, try not using rhyme for a while, and write some free verse.

He is very keen to inspire children to get creative with words and offers some top tips to young writers. • Read lots. Read lots of everything – from novels to plays to poems to porridge boxes, crisp packets, everything and anything. • Read your poems out loud. If you want to, try reading your poems out loud to friends, and hear how they sound as you say them. Get others to read them to you. Do the words fit? Do they flow? Are you saying exactly what you want to say?

30 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

• Eat lots of porridge. Try it without sugar, and alternate between raisins and sultanas. Have it hot in the winter, cold in the summer. He’s obviously taken good heed of his own advice as James is the author of ten poetry books for children, including Greetings Earthlings (Macmillan), How to Turn Your Teacher Purple (A & C Black) and Time-Travelling Underpants (Macmillan) and five critically-acclaimed creative writing books for teachers. @clydelifemag

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Clyde Life Magazine

Highland Games season begins at Gourock Sunday 11th May marks the start of Scotland’s Highland Games season. For, that’s the day Gourock Highland Games in Inverclyde takes place. The Gourock games, held in the town’s Gourock Park, is widely considered to be the first games of the Scottish season. It’s the first games after the winter, and is the first ‘run out’ for many of Scotland’s pipe bands before they set out on their Scottish, World and European championships. At this year’s Gourock Highland Games, now in their 58th year, there’ll be pipe band and drum major competitions; highland dance competitions; heavyweight events ; mini highland games; children’s entertainment; food, gift and craft stalls all set against the backdrop of the firth of Clyde and Argyll hills beyond.

EVENT DETAILS: Event: Gourock Highland Games Date: Sunday 11 May 2014 Time: Noon to 6pm Location: Gourock Park, George Road, Gourock, Inverclyde PA16 1YT  Tickets: Available on the gate. Prices are £5 (adult) £3 (concession) and £14 (family ticket 2 adults + 2 children).  Under 5s go free. Website/social media: Facebook:  Website:  Twitter: @Inverclyde ( Inverclyde) Getting here/transport/parking:  Gourock is within easy reach. Glasgow International Airport is only 25 minutes away. Nearby stations include Gourock; Fort Matilda and Branchton and there are regular bus services. Car parking is in the grounds of St Ninian’s Primary School, which is located about 500 yards from the main arena at a small charge of £2.50. Contact:  Inverclyde Council, Corporate Communications Phone 01475 712032 Email:

32 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


Easter Eggstra YOUR special guide to family fun activities throughout Inverclyde and beyond!

Easter 2014 Clyde Life Magazine | 33

Easter fun for the whole family not to be missed at Finlaystone! We have a whole host of Eggciting Events throughout April!

Spring Walk

Woodland Art

Duck Race 6th April, 1pm-3pm

Young Ranger Walk 19th April, 1pm-2pm

Pick your own duck and race down the Finlaystone burn, prizes for first place!

Aimed at 5 to 10 year olds, come and learn what our Rangers do and work towards a Finlaystone Ranger Certificate of Completion.

Woodland Art

Easter Egg Hunt/Roll 20th April, 1pm-3pm

Den Building

Snowdrops in the Green Sales

5th & 27th April, 1pm-3pm Discover bluebells, daffodils and wildflowers A gentle stroll through the woods with moderate slopes. Bring boots & coats.

8th April, 1pm-3pm Come along and make your very own Art Attack out of materials you find in our wonderful forest. 10th & 17th April, 1pm-3pm Build a Den in the woods and learn a few wilderness survival tips from the Rangers that will help you become the next Bear Grylls!

Young Ranger Walk

12th April, 1pm-3pm Aimed at 5 to 10 year olds, come and learn what our Rangers do and work towards a Finlaystone Ranger Certificate of Completion.

Pirate Day 13th April, 1pm-3pm

Dress as a Scurvy Buccaneer and practise your best Gaaaarrrr! Drama & shouting a plenty!

15th April, 1pm-3pm Come along and make your very own Art Attack out of materials you find our wonderful forest.

Join our Rangers in Easter Egg Madness lots of games and fun in our Eggtastic Events.

Bags of 25 singles - £9 Bags of 50 singles - £15 Bag of 100 singles - £25 Bags of 25 Doubles - £9.50 Bags of 50 Doubles - £16 Pre-order essential

GRAND RE-OPENING Finlaystone Tearoom

Now being run by the prestigious Three Sister’s Bake! Amazing fresh food, baking & beverages! Opens 5th April

Langbank, Renfrewshire PA14 6TJ

T: 01475 540505 | Tea Room: 07845 527804 34 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

E: |


Easter Fun facts about


hat’s not to love about chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and melted butter on hot cross buns? It’s Easter again and, apart from anything, it means that warmer weather and sunshine is surely just around the corner.

Of course, Easter is the Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life, but, it’s so much more than that. ■ After Halloween, Easter is the biggest sweetie eating

time of year.

■ 76 per cent of people eat the ears on chocolate

bunnies first, only four per cent start with the tail.

■ The first chocolate eggs were made in the early

19th century.

■ In Medieval times, a festival of egg throwing was

held in church. The priest would fling a hard-boiled egg to a choir boy who passed it on to one of his friends. When the clock struck 12, whoever was holding the egg was the winner and got to keep it.

■ Easter is also known as Pasch or Pascha. ■ Easter is also the time for a Pagan holiday

honouring Eostre the goddess of spring which symbolises rebirth.

■ Other people believe Easter comes from the

German word eostarun meaning dawn and white.

■ Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the full

moon on the Spring Equinox between March 22 and April 25.

■ Giving and receiving painted eggs started in ancient

civilizations, such as the Egyptians and Persians. The eggs were a sign of fertility and new life.

■ Rabbits and hares were also symbols of fertility,

hence the Easter bunny.

■ German folklore has the Easter Bunny as a white

hare that would leave colourful eggs for good girls and boys on Easter morning.

■ The first Easter egg hunts are said to have started

because children would wake on Easter morning and build nests out of sticks and leaves for the Easter bunny to fill with eggs.

■ Pretzels are also associated with Easter. Apparently

in 610AD an Italian monk used left-over dough to make a snack. He folded it to resemble children’s arms when they pray.

■ Guinness Book of World Records claims that the

largest Easter egg made was 25ft high and made of chocolate and marshmallow.

■ 80 million Easter eggs are sold each year in the

UK. This accounts for 10 per cent of our annual chocolate spending.

■ A typical child will receive five Easter eggs and

eat them all in a week, thereby doubling their recommended calorie intake.

■ Medieval Ester Eggs were boiled with onions

to give them a golden sheen. Edward I, in 1290, ordered 450 eggs to be covered with gold leaf and given as presents.

■ The first chocolate egg was made in 1873 by Fry’s.

Before this Easter eggs were hollow cardboard affairs, filled with gifts.

■ The distinctive crocodile

finish you find on Easter eggs came from Germany and was originally designed to cover up any imperfections in the chocolate.

■ Egg rolling still takes place

on Easter Sunday with the idea of seeing whose egg goes the furthest without breaking. The US president traditionally hosts an Easter egg roll on the White House lawn.

Inverclyde Easter Holiday Dates: Monday 7th April – Tuesday 22nd April inclusive Clyde Life Magazine | 35

EASTER AT CARDWELL Visit Cardwell this Easter for special in-store offers as well as enjoying lunch at our patio restaurant. Bring the kids to see Artie Trezise of the Singing Kettle at Cardwell this Easter, just part if our great line up! Full details are available on our website.

Call us on: 01475 521 536 Lunderston Bay, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1BB 36 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


Artie Trezise, co-founder and performer with the legendary , is coming back to Cardwell Garden Centre with his fantastic show, “Artie’s Tartan Tales”.

! back e Artie We honoured to se welcome Artie ickets to in T Ware e on plac toTh Cardwell will be performing takes he e showwhere l, at20th April, th Aprithe nday, 20 SuEaster 3 shows Sunday, Easteron m. d 3panother pm anand on, 1.30 at 12 no midday, 1:30pm show ve ha re nt Ce n de ell Gar rdwThese at Ca 3pm. events are ticket only ine agazand m fe Li e yd Cl ith w up ed am te adults accompanying children will 5 ts tobe ke tic of s ir pa 5 ay aw ve to gi admitted FREE. lucky winners! For your chance to win tickets to this great show, visit Tickets cost only £5 and can be purchased at the, click on ‘competitions’ and follow the garden centre email instructions fromor there. luck and have fun with Artie! Interactive Musical Storytelling for Kids

“Artie, (formerly of the Singing Kettle) has proved he’s still got the magic touch. With his Tartan Tales he can keep an audience of children enthralled with stories, songs and lots of laughs”. Daily Record

Artie’s Tartan Tales

Calland usenthrall on: 01475 536“These aren’t bedtime …. guaranteed to engage its young 521 audience. stories; the children are involved throughout the performance and can become story tellers themselves by the end of the show”. Artie Lunderston Bay, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1BB Clyde Life Magazine | 37

Bute: The Clyde’s treasure island Spectacular interiors include the stunning White Marble Chapel and magnificent Marble Hall complete with kaleidoscopic stained glass. A Fine Art Collection and astounding architectural detail presents both stately opulence and unrivalled imagination. With something for all the family, this Award winning Visitor Attraction offers excellent restaurant facilities, Gift Shop, way-marked walks, picnic areas, Adventure Play Area, a full events programme, Contemporary Visual Arts Exhibition and self-catering properties.   One of the world’s great houses, Mount Stuart, (pictured above) ancestral home of the Marquess of Bute, is one of the most technologically advanced houses of its age and is arguably the finest piece of domestic Victorian architecture to emerge from Britain’s Gothic Revival in the 19th Century. Set in 300 acres, the grounds are recognised as some of Europe’s finest gardens and include a collection of both exotic and native flora spanning several gardens, each set against the dramatic backdrop of the Firth of Clyde.

DISCOVER ONE OF THE WORLD’S FINEST HOMES Explore this wondrous Victorian Gothic structure and its 300 acres of gloriously maintained gardens and grounds you won’t fail to be impressed. House | Gardens | Visitor Centre | Restaurant | Gift Shop Tea Rooms | Events & Weddings |Adventure Play Area Fine Art Collection | Contemporary Visual Arts Exhibition Frequent rail and ferry services daily to the most accessible Scottish island. Open daily from Easter and throughout the Summer months. Pre booked tours welcome all year round.

MOUNT STUART 38 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


Groups are welcome all year round with reduced rates for 15 guests or more, free coach parking and complimentary meal voucher for both driver and guide. And for those looking to enjoy the beauty of Bute for longer than a day why not come and stay in one of our six fabulous self catering properties.  You need not travel far to experience holiday heaven and believe that you’re a million miles away from home. The rugged moorland of the north, the gentle rolling hills of the south and the sandy beaches peppering the west coast all provide the perfect setting for a range of pastimes, from seal watching to cycling.  6 highly individual properties, all exuding charm and character in this idyllic location off the west coast of Scotland, have been recently restored and refurbished to an exceedingly high standard, offering immaculate

and abundant living space for family holidays, corporate weekends, wedding parties and relaxing short or long breaks. All just 90 minutes from Glasgow and with excellent road/rail/ferry connections.  One of Scotland’s most dazzling gems – Mount Stuart is one of the world’s greatest houses – surrounded by some of Europe’s finest gardens!  Boasting a rich and intriguing history - with spectacular interiors and awesome detail and grandeur, this really is a place that has to be seen to be believed and warrants being on your list of ‘must see places’!  Winners of the 2014 Hudson Heritage Awards – Eating Out and Wedding Venue.    For further details on any of the above, please visit our website –


FOR A SHORT STAY OR LONG STAY HOLIDAY Stay in one of six highly individual properties, each exuding charm and character, refurbished to provide a high standard of self-catering accommodation in fabulous locations. Each house provides a perfect base to explore the Isle of Bute, offering immaculate and comfortable living space for family holidays, wedding parties and relaxing breaks – from a cosy cottage for 2 to stunning coastal farmsteads for 16. For further information, please visit our website.

Clyde Life Magazine

t: +44 (0) 1700 503877 | 39

What’s On Round-up

Easter Holidays There are loads of things to do and places to visit in and around our local area and slightly further afield. From visiting Craft Fairs at Cardwell to Snowboarding like Jenny Jones to seeing Birds of prey, there something for everyone. There are also some great holiday camps for children of all ages during the school break. So go on and try something new this Easter. Clyde Murshiel Regional Park From Saturday, 5th April 2014 summer opening hours begin at all Visitor Centres, drop in for a coffee and admire the beautiful countryside. Castle Semple 10.00–17.00 daily Muirshiel and Greenock Cut 11.00–16.00 daily During the school Easter holidays the park rangers are running a series of activities weeks for children aged 8 to 15. Activities include: Trail Biking, Team Challenge Games, Kayaking, Canoeing, Raft Building, Orienteering, Archery, Water Orienteering. Visit: for more information and to book. Kelburn Country Centre Kelburn opens on Saturday 5th April for the season. Easter egg hunts run every day from 5th to 20th April. Explore the estate as you try to find the many hidden Easter eggs. There is also Easter egg colouring, the Easter panda, a chance to feed the Easter bunnies, and of course the Duck Race! For more information visit

40 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

Riverside Museum (Museum of the Year 2013) The Riverside Museum is home to some of the world’s finest cars, bicycles, ship models, trams and locomotives. Interactive displays and the hugely popular historic Glasgow street scene bring the objects and stories to life. A great day out that keeps the children (and adults) entertained for hours. Visit for more information

Lamont City Farm Lamont City Farm is a community and animal welfare project located in Erskine. The farm opens daily, 10.30am to 4.30pm during April to September. At the farm, you can meet a wide variety of domesticated animals, including sheep, goats, horses, ducks, hens, llamas and rabbits. There is also a reptile room with some special animals for you to come and meet! Visit for more information. Admission is free, but a small donation is encouraged. Please check before visiting since damage caused by the recent storms is being repaired.  


Cardwell Garden Centre Craft Fair The next Cardwell Craft Fair will be taking place on Saturday 22nd March from 10am to 4:00pm and is free. The Craft Fair is under cover so whatever the weather you will be dry.

Sunday 6th April

Duck Race: Pick your own duck and Race down the Finlaystone burn, prizes for first place

Sunday 13th April

Pirate Day: Dress as a Scurvy Buccaneer and Practise your best Arrg ! Drama & Shouting a Plenty

Sunday 20th April

Easter Egg Hunt: Join our Rangers in Easter Egg Madness lots of games and fun in our Eggtastic Events Visit: or call 01475 540505 for more information and details of how to book. Snow Factor at Braehead School Holidays… with a twist! Snow Camps for children are the perfect place to entertain the kids during the school holidays! The camps are aimed at the Jamie Nicholls and Chemmy Alcotts of the future aged 7yrs to 15yrs and are designed to learn and improve skiing or snowboarding skills. There are four different levels form beginner to expert. For more details visit and look for “holiday camps”.

Clyde Life Magazine

“Artie’s Tartan Tales” On Easter Sunday Artie Trezise, co-founder of the Singing Kettle, is at Cardwell performing, “Artie’s Tartan Tales” – the show is alive with traditional tales, tricks, sing-along action, and kids helping on stage. There are three shows 12:00pm, 1:30pm & 3:00pm. The shows are ticket only and adults accompanying children will be admitted FREE. Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased at the garden centre.

Loch Lomond Shores One of Scotland’s most spectacular visitor destination, combining the beautiful environment with a mixture of leisure and shopping experiences overlooking the Loch Lomond at Balloch. There are loads of things for the kids to do as well as shopping and places to eat. To see the range of activities on offer visit www. lochlomondshores. com/play | 41

Inverclyde Voices

Annual Spring Concert 1st April 2014 Inverclyde Voices began on 12th September 2005 with around 60 people coming to the first rehearsal. This quickly grew to over 100 in the weeks that followed. The choir was founded by Palma Allan. The aim of Inverclyde Voices is to offer the opportunity to sing to people from all walks of life. It has grown and developed tremendously over the last nine years. They now have almost 140 members who come together every Monday evening to sing and meet at several other points in the year to socialise! They perform regularly, bringing their uplifting repertoire to audiences and raising thousands of pounds for charities such as Mary’s Meals and Cancer Research. They have recorded a joint CD “Voices from Inverclyde” as well as their own CD, “Songs from the Heart”. Inverclyde Voices is proud to have Welsh singer and broadcaster Aled Jones as its Patron. Aled has been a great supporter of the choral development programme in Inverclyde over the years. To find out more visit

Inverclyde Voices are hosting their annual Spring Concert in the Beacon Arts Centre on Tuesday 1st April at 7.30pm. It promises to be an enjoyable evening of inspiring music to lift your spirits and get your toes tapping. With 100 voices raised in song from “This Little Light of Mine” to “Tears in Heaven”, the audience will experience the strong sense of friendship and community in the choir, one of the many benefits of singing. Special guests are one of Scotland’s most interesting and entrepreneurial bands, the acclaimed Celtic folk rock band Reely Jiggered who will take folk music to new heights in an interesting and unique fusion of funk, rock, pop and jazz. To book tickets which cost £10.00 visit

42 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


The Chubby Cyclist takes the ‘Three Ferries’ route With Spring now upon us we thought it time to get back out on our bike again. For this Easter holiday issue we have chosen a route that involves ferries, islands and coasts. It not only offer wonderful views, but is a great inexpensive out for the whole family.” This is a very popular ride and on a good day you can expect to be joined by many fellow cyclists. It’s a really great outing involving; you guessed it, three ferry journeys. With a total of forty five miles to cover this may seem like a lot, but with three ferry rides to rest on for ten of your miles, the journey is broken nicely into manageable chunks of seven, nineteen and eight miles.

The other great thing about this ride is the choice of start points, Wemyss Bay, Gourock, Dunoon or Rothsay. We decided to start at the station car park in Wemyss bay. The first leg takes you to Gourock or the Western Ferries pier at McInroy’s point to be precise. This is a well-travelled route along the A78 taking the coast road to Gourock, distance of just under seven miles. An alternative could be to follow Cycle Route 753 through Kip Marina and along the Ardgowan foreshore, but that is for another day. The Western Ferries Clyde service will drop you neatly at Hunters Quay, Dunoon, in about 20 mins. The next leg of the journey takes you to the Colintraive/Rhubodach ferry which is a little over 19 miles depending on the route. On leaving the Western Ferry at Hunters Quay, turn right onto the A815, following this quiet main road past Hunters Quay Holiday Village to Sandbank and right again continuing on the A815 taking you up the left hand side of the Holy Loch. Continue until you come to a left hand turn onto the B836 where Colintraive is signposted. The going is easy at first with the road climbing gently up through the glen. The road turns into a much sharper climb Clyde Life Magazine

before reaching the top at Loch Tarsan. Following an exhilarating run down the other side, the road again climbs after Loch Striven, but both hill climbs are worth it for the fantastic views and the long downhill runs they lead to! Just remember if the hills are too much, you can always get off your bike and walk for a bit, it is not a training ride with Bradley and the boys! When the B836 joins the A886 take the left turn onto the A886 and a six-mile run towards Colintraive. After a couple of miles you can take the option of a further left turn onto the B886 to enjoy a lower level run, rejoining the A886 later – but if you still feel strong – stay on the A866 all the way. The hill climb is into Colintraive is not the worst but after 25 mile in the saddle, there is no need to be a hero! The waterside route is leafy and pleasant, with beautiful scenery and wildlife in abundance. The Colintraive Hotel is a good lunch spot. Opposite, the ferry from Colintraive to Rhubodach is waiting to take you the entire one minute crossing to the Isle of Bute. Once on Bute, head south on the A886, it’s a little over eight miles to Rothesay, along the rugged coastline road. The river views are beautiful with seal spotting is the main priority. Once in Rothesay the Calmac ferry takes us back to Wemyss bay. This is a longer trip but there is a bar on board and with our riding is over for the day, refreshment seemed logical! Point to Point: Wemyss Bay Station (Ferry terminal) loop Distance: 45 miles Time: 4-6hrs depending on ferry times and rest stops Difficulty: A couple of nasty climbs, but generally moderate depending on wind Speed and Direction! Equipment required: Any good quality bike will handle this – road bikes are most fun. Useful Links: | 43

At Erskine Garden Centre, all profits support veterans OutdOOr & IndOOr Plants | Garden suPPlIes & PrOducts GIfts fOr the hOme | café | free ParkInG | the erskIne stOry Erskine Garden centre, Erskine, Renfrewshire, PA7 5PU. Just off the M898/A898 at The Erskine Bridge. 0141 814 4626 | | Open 7 days 9am — 6pm


44Garden Clyde Life – March/April 2014 Erskine Centre is 100% owned and operated by Erskine Hospital, Scottish Charity No. SC006609


Coorie Doon is your one-stop solution for all sorts of gift ideas – Not just for Mother’s Day, birthdays and other special occasions, but also for good old you. You and your home – you and your skin. Why not treat yourself to a little luxury? Their range includes bath and body products from The Highland

Clyde Life Magazine

Soap Company and Primal Elements of California, amazing skin care from Trilogy and the fabulous Sleep range from This Works; cosy socks, luxurious throws and pillows, soothing body wraps, eye masks, silk slippers and unique, relaxing music. That’s not to forget the men with ranges from the trendy Rehab of London and Arran Aromatics plus bath accessories and lounge socks. For the kids there are, amongst other things, adorable cosy hotties and Pillow Friendz from Aroma Home, along with special gifts for babies. Coorie Doon owner, Katrina, firmly believes that everyone needs a little magic in their lives too, so she loves to bring in all sorts of different things from crystal sun-catchers to Fairy Dust and feel-good Affirmation cards. She is

constantly sourcing new products so that there will always be wee surprises. Katrina is introducing a bespoke gift service as well as launching Coorie Doon’s online shop: Katrina and husband Bob (local photographer and artist) whose gallery is also based in the shop, both hope that everyone who comes in to Coorie Doon will leave feeling more relaxed and with a Spring in their step! | 45

Great Views from

The New Waterfront

Accommodation There are many reasons why someone may require short term accommodation. Formally the James Watt Residential Student Campus Now a Refurbished Building for Short Let Scotland Residents. The New Waterfront Complex is attracting family members, European visitors, professional workers and many others. Visitors and tourists enjoy the relaxed and reasonably priced accommodation. The New Waterfront has been upgraded by Thomas Bryce to high standards. People can now book in and stay from several nights to 1 year in furnished rooms at the New Waterfront Accommodation next to the custom house in Greenock. There is everything you would require. In each room you will find a large bed, 3 drawer cabinets, lamp wardrobes and a work desk, with free Wi-Fi found

46 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

throughout. There is also a well equipped kitchen allowing tenants to cook meals and make tea, coffee or other bed time drinks. The facilities are serviced and cleaned to high standards. The shared lounges all have views over the river Clyde. Residents have free car parking facilities. In addition to the en-suite facilities in each room the amazing price of £20 per night (£84 per week) includes all service charges. With such low cost accommodation and an attractive location, stunning views and free facilities the demand for accommodation is increasing all the time. From The New Waterfront Accommodation you can easily visit and access some of Scotland’s amazing sights and attractions. The world famous Waverly paddle steamer docks into custom house quay throughout the summer months allowing day trips along the Clyde and to the highland and Islands. The accommodation is also ideally situated to allow tourists access to the highlands of Scotland including Loch Lomond which can be reached by car in 40 minutes. For incoming workers The New Waterfront Accommodation has excellent rail and bus links too many of the towns with in Inverclyde. Glasgow city centre is also easily accessible from various bus and train stations found within Greenock. We would strongly advise everyone wanting more information regarding The New Waterfront Accommodation or to make a booking, to visit email or call 01457 716437. @clydelifemag

Clyde Life Magazine | 47

Duchal Nursery: The little nursery with a huge heart

Nursery days are great fun for children and packed with small adventures as they begin to explore the wider world. And while the little ones have a wonderful time learning and playing, parents can feel very anxious about the choices they have to make for their children. But the mums and dads who decide to send their preschoolers to Duchal Nursery in Kilmacolm can relax in the knowledge they have selected the very best.

For over 40 years, Duchal has been providing excellent pre-school education and preparing youngsters for the big next step into primary school. Head teacher Jean McCarthy said: “We provide education of the highest standard in a warm, caring, secure and stimulating environment. We foster a family atmosphere, encouraging children to help one another and, in particular, the older children are encouraged to help younger ones.” The ethos of nurturing the children as individuals starts with the teacher/pupil ratio. The nursery has just 26 places for children aged from three to five and there are always four qualified members of staff on duty. Duchal has its own purpose-built home in Kilmacolm’s leafy Birkmyre Park with a secure outdoor play area, plus ample opportunity to walk and explore the nearby open spaces. Inside the nursery – where sessions are held from 8.15am to noon plus a Wednesday lunch club – learning and teaching are packaged with fun and games. Lessons include crafts and French as well as numeracy and literacy. As well as regular PE sessions at St Columba’s School gym, the nursery frequently embarks on outings further afield. These have included Edinburgh Zoo, Kelburn Country Park and the Aquarium at Loch Lomond. One parent said: “This is a fantastic nursery with wonderful new facilities. The kids all seem so happy there with excellent staff and lots going on. I’d definitely recommend it.” For more information visit:

Give your child the best start in life • Outstanding teacher/pupil ratio • Monday to Friday 9.00 - 12.00, drop off from 08.15 • Wednesday lunch club • Purpose built school and secure garden • Dedicated to nursery and pre-school education for girls and boys • Nursery and pre-school places available from 2yrs 9m - 5yrs

Birkmyre Park, Kilmacolm Renfrewshire PA13 4JA Registered Charity SCO36984

48 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014 T: 01505 874 358 E: @clydelifemag

arts centre The Beacon Arts Centre is Inverclyde’s newest home to the arts, opened in January 2013. Situated on the stunning Custom House Quay overlooking the River Clyde, it has succeeded the much loved Greenock Arts Guild Theatre which served the community and visitors for over 65 years. The Beacon Arts Centre was recently awarded four stars by Visit Scotland

get involved...

Saturdays class      

for ages/school year time

Beacon Youth Theatre  

Primary 1 & 2

10:00am – 10:45am

Beacon Youth Theatre  

Primary 3, 4 & 5

10:45am – 12:00pm

Beacon Youth Theatre  

Primary 6 & 7

12:00pm – 13:15pm

Beacon Youth Theatre  

S1 & S2

13:15pm – 2:15pm

Beacon Youth Theatre  

S3 up to 21 years

2:30pm – 3:45pm

Childrens Art    

18 months – 2 ½ Years 10:15am – 11:00am

Childrens Art     

5 – 8 Years

11:30am – 1:00pm

Childrens Art     

9 – 11 years

1:30pm – 3:00pm

First Steps

16 – 24 Months

10:00am – 11:00am

Micro Movers

2 – 4 years

11:00am – 12:00pm

Creative Movement

7 – 11 years

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Junior Jazz/Disco

5 – 7 years

5:30pm – 6:15pm

Intermediate Jazz/Disco

7 – 11 years

6:30pm – 7:30pm

Senior Jazz/Disco

11 – 14 years

7:30pm – 8:30pm

Dance Workout

Adult (16+)

6:30pm – 7:30pm

Portrait & Life Drawing

Adult (16+)

7:30pm – 9:30pm

Platinum Project

55 years and over

10:00am – 11:00am

Beginners Ballet

5 – 11 years

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Intermediate Ballet

11 – 14 years

6:30pm – 7:30pm

Senior Ballet

14 – 21 years

7:30pm – 8:30pm

Street Dance

7 – 11 years

6:30pm – 7:30pm

Street Dance

11 – 14 years

7:30pm – 8:30pm

Contemporary Dance Technique

Adult (14+)

7:30pm – 8:30pm

Platinum Project

55 years and over

10:00am – 11:00am

Beacon Youth Dance Company

4 – 21 years

5:00pm – 6:30pm


Adult (18+)

7:00pm – 8:00pm



Thursdays Looking to improve your skills or simply try something new? Our activities are a great way to develop a skill and meet new people. You don’t need any experience, so come and join us! Booking is essential for all activity sessions, please call (01475) 723 723 for more information. Clyde Life Magazine | 49

What’s On at The Beacon Spring 2014


Children’s Classic Concerts Present

Small Petitklein Present

March 22nd 2:00pm £5.00 Theatre

Within this Dust The Beacon is perfectly situated in the heart of Inverclyde with spectacular views across the River to the hills of Argyll. In addition to being home to the arts, there are a variety of perfectly formed spaces that can be tailored to your specific needs. The Beacon houses two theatres and specially designed rooms that can adapt to become whatever you need them to be; a rehearsal studio, conference suite, exhibition hall, art gallery or a beautiful wedding venue. From classes or clubs to parties or presentations, everything you need is here. The Beacon’s catering team will ensure that you are well looked after and will provide you with outstanding service for your event. The Bistro uses locally sourced produce, carefully prepared and served by highly trained staff.

March 12th 7:30pm £10.00/£8.00 Studio

Brian Shaw Concerts Present

Derek Acorah – Enlightenment Tour March 16th 7:30pm £17.50 Theatre Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker & Unicorn Present

The Secret Life of Suitcases March 19th 3:30pm £7.00/£5.00 (Children) Studio






Fair Pley Present

Butterfly Kiss March 23rd 7:30pm £12.00/£10.00 Theatre Stellar Quines Present

Dare to Care March 26th 7:30pm £10.00/£8.00 Studio

Jerry Sadowitz – Comedian, Magician, Psychopath 2014! March 27th 8:00pm £22.50 Theatre

Jerry Sadowitz is best known as an offensive comedian but he is also one of the world’s most skilled and creative card magicians.

If you are interested in holding an event in The Beacon please email: or call 01475 723723 for further information.


Bongos & Brass

Join Larry in ‘The Secret Life of Suitcases’ as his world gets turned upside down and he discovers the thrill of an adventure and the joy of coming home again.

Borderline Theatre in association with The Palace Theatre Present

A Slow Air

March 28th 7:30pm £12.00/£10.00 Theatre


Margaret Murphy Management Present

Inverclyde Voices Present

March 20th 7:30pm £12.00/£10.00 Theatre

April 1st 7:30pm £10.00 Theatre

The Busch Ensemble

Inverclyde Voices Spring Concert


BOX OFFICE OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY 10am – 8pm 50 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


Arts Centre


Jo Sarsby Management

Opera Bohemia Present

Eugene Onegin

April 3rd 7:30pm £13.00/£11.00/£5.00 (Under 18’s) Theatre Opera Bohemia returns with the world’s favourite Russian opera, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Scottish favourites Douglas Nairne and Catriona Goldfish Theatre Present


Doug Allan – In the Company of Giants

April 19th 7:30pm £16.00/£14.00 Theatre “Wildlife cameramen don’t come much more special than Doug” – Sir David Attenborough “My passion lies with the big animals”

Singin’ I’m No a Billy, He’s a Tim

Vanishing Point and National Theatre of

April 4th 7:30pm £15.00 Theatre

Scotland present

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler

Pinetree Promotions Present

Nathan Carter with Lisa Stanley

April 5th 7:30pm £18.00 Theatre When a talented young singer and musician who was born and brought up in the musical capital of Liverpool leaves there to furthur his career in avery misical minded country like Ireland the chances of success had to be very good. Storybox Theatre England Present

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

April 13th 1:00pm £6.50/£5.00 (Children) Studio Norwich Puppet Theatre & Rene Baker England

The Frog & the Princess

April 17th 1:00pm £6.50/£5.00 (Children) Studio

The Beacon Bistro offers casual dining, not just pre-theatre, but every day and evening, making it the ideal place to meet with friends or family for a drink or to enjoy a relaxing breakfast lunch or dinner. Choose from morning coffee, afternoon teas, handcrafted pastries, light lunches, all day dining and supper menus.

April 23rd 7:30pm £12.00/£10.00 Theatre A journey through the mind of a unique Scottish Icon “You are the centre of your little world and I am of mine. Now and again we meet for tea, we’re two of a kind. This is our universe, cups of tea. We have a beautiful cosmos, you and me.” Dogstar Theatre In association with

Profilteatern Umea 2014 European Capital of Culture Present

Factor 9

April 24th 7:30pm £10.00/£8.00 Studio Jongleurs Comedy Clubs Present

Jongleurs on the Road April 25th 8:00pm £12.00/£10.00 Theatre

Enjoy the view

Open 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week. For the full range of menus including Afternoon Tea, Pre-Theatre and the Wine and Drinks list... Follow us on Facebook: Beaconartscentre, Follow us on Twitter @thebeaconarts The Beacon Arts Centre Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1HJ

Clyde Life Magazine

To book a table at The Beacon Bistro call 01475 723723 | 51

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier. Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo Stars: Chris Evans, Frank Grillo, Sebastian Stan

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Rating TBC

Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of super villains against him, impacting on his life. Director: Marc Webb Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx

Muppets Most Wanted While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into a European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick. Director: James Bobin Stars: Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell

52 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014


From Friday 7th March 300: Rise of an Empire (15) Escape from Planet Earth (U)

From Friday 12th March Need for Speed (12A)

From Friday 21st March Starred Up (18) Long Way Down (15)

From Wednesday 26th March Captain America: The Winter Soldier (12A)

From Friday 28th March Muppets Most Wanted (U)

From Friday 4th April Noah (PG) Rio 2 (U)

From Friday 11th April Last Days on Mars (15)

Live Events Saturday March 22nd and Thursday March 27th.

Elton John: ‘The Million Dollar Piano’

The legendary ELTON JOHN performs his acclaimed ‘THE MILLION DOLLAR PIANO’ concert from The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. ‘THE MILLION DOLLAR PIANO’, is currently being performed at Caesar’s Palace and includes all of Elton’s greatest hits including ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Tiny Dancer’, ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’, ‘I’m Still Standing’, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, ‘Crocodile Rock’ and ‘Your Song’.

24th April

From Friday 18th April

Vikings Live from the British Museum

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (TBC)

From Friday 23rd April The Other Woman (TBC) Vampire Academy (12A)

From Friday 25th April Transcendence (12A)

Live Events 18th & 20th March War Horse Encore

22nd March

Caesars Palace Las Vegas: Elton John – The Million Dollar Piano  

24th April

Vikings Live from the British Museum

1st May

National Theatre Live: The National Theatre’s Stage Production of King Lear

22nd May

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

This special event offers an exclusive private view of the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend in the company of world experts, presented live in Greenock. A replica sailing ship will be installed in front of the Museum during the live broadcast, which will culminate in a dramatic Viking burial as night falls. With stunning close-up photography of the Viking swords and axes, coins and jewellery, hoards, amulets and a live, torch-lit burial in the grounds of the Museum, the broadcast of Vikings Live will be a reminder of how the Vikings have shaped our modern lives.

18th, 20th March

WarHorse Encore

After the sell-out first screening of War Horse we have two additional performances – book early to avoid disappointment.

12th June

NT LIVE presents A Small Family Business by Alan Ayckbourne Schedule subject to change. please call or check before coming. • Bookings: Waterfront Greenock Clyde Life Magazine

Online booking available via our websites

01475 732201 Studio Dunoon 01369 704545 | 53

Stage set for Nutcracker in Greenock

Erin O’Toole

Dancers trained in Inverclyde will be performing their first full classical ballet production later this year. Alba Ballet will be joined by professional dancers for the performances of The Nutcracker in the Beacon Arts Centre in November. Julie Gunn, who owns and runs Inverclyde’s only Royal Academy School of Classical Ballet, Elite Academy of Dance and its associate programme Alba Ballet, said: “After two years’ hard work we will finally be in a position to show Inverclyde some of the best classical ballet dancers in the West of Scotland.” To join her pupils on stage, Alba will be recruiting a couple of professional dancers and Erin O’Toole has just been announced as the first professional member of Alba Ballet. London-based Erin has been dancing professionally since 2009 and has performed in Australia, Bermuda and London with companies such as Northern Ballet, London Ballet and the Rambert Dance Company. The highlight of her career so far was dancing with former Royal Ballet star turned Strictly come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell in 2012. Erin said: “I’m looking forward to working with Julie and performing alongside the cast at Alba Ballet, and, of course, passing on my experience to all of the dancers at the same time.” Julie added: “It’s a great chance for people locally to see such a production and view the talented dancers that Alba has and a marvellous opportunity to see somebody of Erin’s standard perform in Greenock.” The Nutcracker has enchanted generations of theatre goers with its story of magical toys and Edwardian elegance. The Tchaikovsky score features the Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy and the Waltz Of The Flowers. The popular Christmas ballet unfolds with the mysterious magician Herr Drosselmeyer giving young clara a nutcracker doll. This sets off a series of events that build to the dramatic midnight battle between an army of toy soldiers and the evil Mouse King with his gang of rodents. The climax to the first act is a magnificent pas de deux with Clara and Herr Drosselmeyer’s nephew Hans-Peter in a magical snowstorm. The second act has the pair travelling to the Land of Sweets where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. In honour of the young heroine a celebration of sweets from around the world is produced… in dance, of course.

54 | Clyde Life – March/April 2014

The curtain will go up on the ballet at the Beacon Arts Centre on 13 and 14 November 2014. Tickets will be on sale nearer the time. Alba Ballet runs every second Sunday and has pupils from not only Inverclyde, but from Ayrshire, Paisley, Glasgow and as far afield as Bathgate. It was formed in 2012 and has already performed on a couple of occasions locally, most notably alongside Scottish Ballet in 2013. However, The Nutcracker will be the first full ballet. For anybody interested in classical ballet, Julie also runs classes with Elite Academy most week nights from her private studio at 15a Watt Street. She also runs the very successful Silver Swans Ballet - designed for pensioners - on a Tuesday and Thursday morning. All classes offer a chance to undertake lessons in Classical Ballet, which will promote wellbeing, improve fitness, flexibility, balance and posture while having fun in a group environment For more information about any of the Classical Ballet classes Julie runs in Inverclyde, she can be contacted directly on 0775 324 6035 or by visiting @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 on Monday, Tuesday and Fridays. 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 on auditioning contact: Elite Academy of Dance, 15a Watt Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA16 8JN

Tel 0775 324 6035 Email: Clyde Life Magazine | 55


KMP Crusader is Inverclyde’s only outlet for all your replacement ink and toner cartridges. KMP are one of the largest European manufacturers of inkjet cartridges and toner cartridges AND right on your doorstep. No need to buy online, shop around, or trek for miles to find what you are looking for. Thousands of ink cartridges in stock for the individual, home office, small office or large business – even the international businesses in Inverclyde’s business parks – we are just a phone call away.

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56 | Clyde Life

KMP CRUSADER, 6 ARTHUR STREET, GREENOCK, PA15 4RT 014752014 730099 – Tel March/April


Making a difference at One Union Hairspa

By Karen Orr of RIG Arts

You don’t need to spend very long in One Union Hairspa to know that it’s a salon that’s a bit special. Quality is in absolutely everything from the moment a client first walks through the door until they leave delighted with the service they have had. Salon owner Marc McCabe credits some of this to the work of business coach John Moore. He said: “John has been instrumental in changing the salon and is a key part of the management team.” John began working with Marc and the team at One Union Hairspa about two years ago when Marc decided he wanted to make sure that his already good salon became absolutely excellent in every regard. “When I met Marc I asked him ‘why are you doing this?’,” said John. “I wanted to find out what he wanted out of life, what his big dreams were. “One of the things we looked at was adding structure to the business and make him more accountable. With that he could get more done in a week than he had done in a month previously.” He explained that much of the success in using a coach comes from having someone who is expecting you to do certain things to help you move towards

Art beat Spring is in the air so say goodbye to those long dark winter days and get out to enjoy the arts in Inverclyde. Clyde Life Magazine

your goal. If they aren’t achieved you have someone who needs an explanation and it doesn’t take long for repeated explanations to become uncomfortable – therefore things start to happen. With his years of experience and practiced eye, John can quickly find exactly the right questions to lead his clients to making decisions that help them achieve what they want. He said: “There’s a lot of loneliness in running your own business. It can make a huge difference having someone who will give a straight answer to talk to.” But John doesn’t just deal with business owners. At One Union, he has coached all of the staff to help them achieve their personal goals at work which benefits them personally and the business as a whole. “If I had to offer a couple of pieces of advice, I’d say that you need to be sure of your long-term goals – absolutely certain. And surviving in business isn’t a long-term goal. “Also you have to plan your day. If you don’t play your day, it’s going nowhere, you’ll do a couple of bits you enjoy and not do the important things.”

There is always something creative to get up to. Check out the RIG Arts Facebook page to keep up to date on exhibitions and the drawing and painting, sculpture, life and master classes that are scheduled. See what’s on the Beacon Arts Centre’s programme of events As regular patrons know, The Seagull Gallery in Kempock Street, Gourock has an extensive and ever-changing exhibition of artworks from more than 150 artists. For those who have yet to discover it, the secret of The Seagull Gallery lies below its street level entrance where stairs lead visitors to a labyrinth of studios with exhibits including original paintings, sculptures, wood-craft, metalwork, stained and fused glass, ceramics, studio jewellery, printmaking, textiles and photography. Recent additions to The Seagull’s portfolio of artists include Sarah Ross-Thompson, Melanie O’Donnell, Suzanne Martin, Tiara Hutchison, Alexa Wilson, Moira Leonard, Stuart Gibbs, and David Carnduff. Another new exciting venture being run by Voluntary Arts Scotland is their ambassador scheme. Voluntary Arts

Scotland promotes participation in the arts and crafts through a combination of advice, support, information and representing artists and crafters needs to policy makers. The Voluntary Arts Ambassadors for Inverclyde are Karen and Jason Orr. This role aims to ensure that the arts and crafts are well represented in the area. This does not just include the visual arts but ALL creative activities and groups no matter how small. Arts and crafts play an important role in local communities. We want to make sure that they have a voice, that groups are connected and to make the groups aware of the opportunities, resources and support available from Voluntary Arts Scotland. The site uk.has lots of resources and information. So if you want to share your views, you would like to see things done differently in Inverclyde, or you have ideas on how to increase or improve opportunities for people to take part in the arts and crafts then please get in touch. Contact vaa-inverclyde@ or via the Facebook page; Voluntary Arts AmbassadorInverclyde. | 57


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How green is your home? Instead of taking the relentless rise of gas and electricity bills on the chin, have a closer look at your home to see if you can become more energy efficient. No one wants to think they’re wasting precious – and increasingly expensive – energy in their homes. But you may think that your eco light bulbs or the extra loft lagging you installed a few years ago have done the job of improving your energy efficiency, but it’s always worth double checking. The results might surprise you. This is particularly important as we face the merciless increases in the cost of gas and electricity. The only real way of cutting the bills is to use less of the stuff which has the side benefit of reducing carbon emissions. It used to be that saving the planet could be left to the environmental campaigners, but now – as it also cuts costs – we are all concerned with it. However, help is at hand in the form of Ian Gillespie from Streetwise Energy. Ian is passionate about making sure people’s homes are the most energy efficient they can be – saving householders both money and helping the environment. He said: “I’m a qualified energy assessor and Green Deal adviser. When I do an assessment I take a series of measurements and observations and, using a computer programme, calculate the potential improvements in energy efficiency.” The half-hour assessment gives sufficient information for Ian to prepare an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Introduced in 2009, all new homes or homes being sold or rented out require an EPC. EPCs look at how energy efficient your home is at the moment (in terms of cost as well as CO2 emissions) and, most usefully, how efficient it could be. The report gives details of the steps you could take and how effective they are likely to be. These could be as simple as replacing light bulbs or adding insulation or as involved as installing ways of generating renewable energy. All of which Ian is highly knowledgeable about. Clyde Life Magazine

He also comes equipped with the knowledge of various schemes to help pay for these measures. For example, as a Green Deal Assessor he can help you navigate the Government’s new scheme to improve the country’s impact on the environment. Under the scheme improvements such as energy efficient boilers, draught proofing and insulation or forms of renewable energy can become affordable. “The Green Deal can help people afford energysaving home improvements and there are other sources of funding available from organisations such as the Carbon Trust and the Energy saving Trust,” he said. “But the first step is always an assessment so we can see what the situation is and where we can make a difference.” Contact Ian on 0141 443 6792 or 075500 11820 or email to The £150 cost of the assessment can be reclaimed from the Scottish Government. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to save money, help the environment and keep your home cosy, then get in touch with Ian. | 59

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Promoting self-esteem in young children We’re often told how important healthy self esteem is, here Mariessa Devlin of Enchanted Forest Nurseries discusses how to nurture it in our youngsters Studies show that only 15 per cent of us have sufficient self-esteem to enable us to achieve our dreams… while research tells us that our futures are shaped by our early childhood experiences. So what is self-esteem? According to the dictionary, it means “belief and confidence in your own ability and value”. Self-esteem changes as a child grows based on their experiences and perceptions. As parents, family members and people who work with children, we should never underestimate the profound effect we can have on the lives of children. Children who grow up with healthy self-esteem are better equipped to face challenges; they know their strengths and weaknesses, whilst generally feeling good about themselves. Self-esteem is created within but is hugely influenced by the people children come into contact with. As adults, we can hopefully recall times when we felt safe, secure, special, worthwhile, successful, that we had achieved, or that we had made a difference. These positive experiences satisfy our basic emotional needs and therefore make us feel good about ourselves. We need to use these memories to start building self-esteem in all the young children we come into contact with, but most importantly with our own children. Ways to increase children’s self-esteem: ■ Use praise or empowering words as often as possible. Praise helps to build self-confidence. (Thanks for being honest/You did your best/I believe in you/Well done/Great answer) ■ Give children compliments frequently. We take a lot of things our children do for granted, so reinforce the behaviours you want to see ■ Notice when children do something special and acknowledge it. (This could be doing well in a test, learning to ride a bike, showing good manners, etc) ■ Recognise and point out their good choices and decisions, all too often we focus on the negative. (“I’m so pleased you tidied your room,” rather than saying: “It was about time that you had tidied that room.”) ■ Avoid making children part of a joke or putting them down – children often believe this negativity and this can seriously contribute to low selfesteem. ■ Do not compare your children, this can cause sibling resentment and one child feeling they are inadequate Clyde Life Magazine

When we communicate with children there are some things that help boost their self-esteem and the main one is to actively listen to your children. Active listening is a skill that many adults have not mastered, however these tips will help and should be encouraged for use even with the youngest of children: ■ Speak encouragingly (Tell me more/Can you describe?) ■ Ask for clarification (Help me understand) ■ Summarise key parts of the discussion (Tell me if I heard you right...) ■ Reflect (It seems you are feeling) ■ Show genuine interest by use of body language (lean forward and use eye contact) ■ Empathise by trying to understand the child’s thoughts and feelings It goes without saying that self-esteem starts to form at birth and becomes the armour that children use in later life. We must not forget that building positive self-esteem takes time and needs maintained – that goes for us adults too. And Clyde Life would like to congratulate Mariessa, Bernie and their team on the positive feedback received after the recent ministerial visit to The Enchanted Forest Nursery in Greenock… THE Enchanted Forest Nursery, located in Pottery Street, Greenock, played host to a very special guest when Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell MSP, met staff and children at the award-winning nursery on Tuesday 25 February 2014. Alongside Bernie and Mariessa Devlin, owners and co-founding directors of the Enchanted Forest Nursery chain, Jennifer Marshall, Greenock Nursery manager, conducted a tour of the facilities which cares for 138 local children each week. During the visit, the Minister was able to see firsthand the high standard of early years education delivered by the team and discuss both the Modern Apprentice scheme and the future of early years education in Scotland. | 61

Spring is on its way! By Thomas Angel

It might be hard to believe, particularly as the snow seems to be accumulating on the Scottish hills at the moment, but spring really is on its way. We are well past the shortest day now, so the ground is getting more daylight, and so are the plants. Regardless of the temperature, the simple fact of the change in the ratio of light and dark means that things start happening under the soil. You’ve probably already noticed, but spring bulbs have started appearing, and various herbaceous perennials such as Crocosmia have started emerging from previously barren looking flowerbeds. Snowdrops are the last flower of the winter, and as they ‘go over’, the next thing we can expect to see are early spring bulbs like Crocus. In some sheltered spots you may be seeing them already!

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■ There are various other jobs that we can keep on top of in the garden at the moment, here is a selection of them: ■ Divide up Snowdrops to spread around the garden or share with friends ■ Prune winter flowering shrubs after flowering ■ Renovate overgrown deciduous hedges (e.g.Beech) before birds start nesting ■ Spike any boggy patches in your lawns, and repair edges ■P  lant bare root roses and hedges (much cheaper than pot grown!) We wrote in last issue’s article about the importance of keeping the birds in your garden well fed and watered. This continues to be important, the second half of the winter can be really tough for birds – so keep your feeders well stocked and your bird baths ice free. With wildlife in mind, now is a great time to do the following jobs as well: ■ Build and erect a bird box in your garden ■ Dig a pond before other garden jobs demand your attention ■ Create a log/stone pile for beetle and insects ■ Hang a bee nesting box ■ Build a compost bin or wormery There’s loads of great advice out there, especially on the internet, for all of these tasks and more. In summary – now is a great time to get ahead of yourself in the garden, and to do all those jobs that you never seem to have time for during the growing months. And here at Thomas Angel Gardens Ltd, we just think there’s something pretty special about working outdoors on a frosty day, and then coming in to a warming cup of tea and hot shower to soothe those well-earned aches and pains! @clydelifemag




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Clyde Life March 2014 Issue 17  

A free colour B5 lifestyle magazine delivered to households in Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire