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May 24, 2009

No. 5406 — 1

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Tory MP’s wife ‘should quit too’ By Murray Scougall

P

RESSURE was last night increasing on the MP wife of Andrew MacKay, who announced earlier he would stand down as an MP, to follow his lead and also quit.

Julie Kirkbride, MP for Bromsgrove, and her husband came under fire for claiming second home allowances.

MacKay was forced to resign as Conservative leader David Cameron’s Parliamentary aide earlier this month after it emerged he had claimed second home expenses on a property his wife declared as her main home. The taxpayer had effectively been subsidising both of their properties. Following a telephone conversa-

■ Julie Kirkbride

tion yesterday morning with Cameron, the MP for Bracknell, Berkshire, said he would step down at the next general election.

There is a growing belief that his wife’s position is also untenable. A Tory insider at Westminster commented, “I would say it’s very difficult for her to carry on, I just don’t see how she can.” ■ Continued on Page 2.

■ Andrew MacKay faced an angry reception from constituents when he tried to explain away his expenses.


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Inside your Sunday Post 1-7 9 14 15

News Margaret Clayton Opinion Holyrood Round-Up 16 Margo MacDonald and Westminster Round-Up 18 Raw Deal 19 Lorraine Kelly 21 Farming 24 Crossword 29 Gardening with Agnes Stevenson 30 Travel with Robin McKelvie 31 Showbiz Scene with Heather Suttie 32 YourSpace 34 The Honest Truth 35 Rhythm Section 36 Readers Page 37 The Queries Man 38 Francis Gay 39 Competition Page 40 Middle Pages 42 Puzzle Page and Meeting Post 43 TV Features 44-45 TV Listings 46 Oor Wullie and The Broons 47-53 Family Matters 49 Money with Martin Lewis 60 Motoring with Alisdair Suttie 64-80 Sport 64-65 Sports Results 70 Alan Brazil England&Wales—Bright and sunny with light winds. Becoming warm in south-east. Rain in far south later. Max temp 22C. Scotland—Mainly dry and sunny. Cloudy with patchy rain across Highlands and Western Isles. Max temp 18C. N.Ireland—Mainly dry. Cloud spreading east with drizzle. Southwesterly winds. Max temp 18C. Climbing forecast (Lake District and Pennines)—Early valley mist clearing. Dry and sunny. Gentle to moderate winds. Freezing level above peaks. Max temp 15C. Outlook—Showers, some heavy and thundery. Cooler with showers on Tuesday, especially across Scotland. Tides—Greenock: High 00.44, 13.08; Low 06.09, 18.35. Oban: High 06.15, 18.26; Low 00.00, 12.26. Aberdeen: High 01.39, 13.54; Low 07.39, 20.00. River Tyne: High 02.43, 15.02; Low 08.59, 21.23.

Public want election to punish MPs

HE angry backT lash over MPs’ Former expenses grew yesterday, increasing Labour the public clamour for an early general chairman election. quits for ‘health reasons’

Making his announcement yesterday, MacKay said he did not want to be a “distraction” for the Tories going into the next election. “I understand why people are angry,” he said. “I hope my decision goes some way to showing my constituents how sorry I am. “Following a conversation with David Cameron this morning I have decided to step down as candidate for Bracknell at the next election. “I would never forgive myself if my candidature distracted voters from the key issues and particularly David's rousing call for change. “My decision is not a result of last night's meeting — at which I was grateful for the robust support of my local party and many constituents — and I urge my colleagues to continue to hold their own public meetings." A Conservative spokesman confirmed that David Cameron had not spoken to Julie Kirkbride yesterday.

It also revealed high levels of support for fringe parties and independent candidates.

As MPs felt the wrath of their voters as they returned to their constituencies for the Whitsun recess, a former Labour chairman announced he would quit at the next election.

Second home

Disillusioned

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■ Continued from Front Page

“I would be surprised if we don’t hear an announcement from her by the end of the week. “David’s being very robust and is absolutely merciless. The same principle has to be applied to everyone.” Sir Bernard Ingham said, “I don't think there’s any argument, they should both be talked to by Cameron. “I don't know why she hasn't been. Maybe David Cameron felt that by talking to Andrew MacKay, he was talking to both of them. That’s not a satisfactory explanation but maybe it is what was thought. “They should both be treated the same. It’s fatuous to suggest she didn't know what was going on. She was also making claims. “I don't know all the facts, so it’s hard to say, but she is in difficulty. She needs to explain herself and everything will depend on that.” A group of Kirkbride’s constituents took to the streets of Bromsgrove yesterday afternoon with a petition calling for her to quit.

Distraction

Polling showed an overwhelming demand among voters for the opportunity to punish MPs at the ballot box.

The scale of public anger was laid bare in an ICM poll which found 36 per cent of people wanted an election as soon as possible. Another 30 per cent wanted one before Christmas. It also found that 27 per cent of voters intended to vote for minor parties, mainly the Ian McCartney blamed UK Independence Party and “health problems” for his the Greens, in next month’s early retirement but was him- European elections. self revealed last week to have claimed thousands of pounds for furniture for his second Only 30 per cent said they home. Another Tory MP, Sir Peter would vote Conservative, 24 Viggers, broke cover to say he per cent Labour and 18 per felt “ashamed and humiliated” cent Liberal Democrat. Further evidence of disilluafter it was disclosed he had tried to claim for the cost of a sionment with the mainstream parties came in a duck house. Fellow Tory Anthony Steen, ComRes poll, which found who accused voters of 63 per cent of voters believed “jealousy” over his expenses more independent MPs would claims, was advised not be good for democracy. Some 53 per cent said they to attend a constituency meeting because it would be would “seriously consider” voting for an independent “awkward” for him. He said he had made a candidate, while 78 per cent “ridiculous and grave” error wanted non-affiliated candiof judgment, over which he dates to stand against has signalled his retirement at MPs tainted by the scandal. the next election. Gordon Brown has been

Shamed MP’s wife should go

■ McCartney—furniture claim. resisting Conservative calls for a snap election, although there are reports that some senior Labour figures believe an autumn poll is an option. Mr Brown does not have to go to the country until June next year. Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury weighed into the row to warn that the “systematic humiliation” of MPs was damaging British democracy.

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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

3

Ireland’s Parents’ plea: ‘See sense’ and assist our investigators hope and joy for super six IRELAND’S FIRST ever sextuplets remained in intensive care in hospital last night after their delivery on Friday — 14 weeks early. The six babies were born in a successful Caesarean section birth involving 30 medical staff at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital. The babies’ young mother Nuala Conway was also recovering in hospital after the birth as it emerged that she and her husband Austin had kept news of the sextuplet pregnancy secret from most of the tiny community where they live. Friends and neighbours from their rural home in the Dunamore area of Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, last night showered the couple with their best wishes. Community leaders said Nuala and Austin could expect plenty of support when they eventually bring home their instant family of four girls and two boys. The infants weighed between 1lb 7oz and 2lb 2oz and their initial condition was described as being “as good as could be expected”.

Privacy

Nuala and Austin, who were married in 2006, have appealed for their privacy to be respected. Medical staff held a press conference yesterday, but all requests for interviews with the couple or photographs of the babies have been declined. The parents, who are in their 20s, live in the Dunamore area, near Cookstown. A statement issued by the hospital last night said, “The sextuplets born at Belfast’s Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital yesterday remain in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.” As news spread yesterday the councillor for the area where the family lives, Sinn Fein’s Sean Clarke, said the community was delighted by the news. “I would say it is the only topic of conversation around here today,” he said. “Everyone would wish them all the very best at this time and for the future. “It’s a great occasion, but they are going to have to deal with a life-changing situation. “Nobody knows the experiences that lie ahead for them. This is a first really. “But they will have great family and community support.”

Paedophile urged to help McCanns

CONVICTED child A abuser should “see sense” and co-operate

with private investigators searching for Madeleine McCann, the child’s family said yesterday.

The McCanns’ investigation team wants to interview 64year-old Raymond Hewlett in the next few days in the hope he can shed some light on the little girl’s disappearance. Hewlett is alleged to have been staying near the McCanns’ holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, when she went missing in May 2007.

UK-born Hewlett, who previously lived in Blackpool and Telford, is reportedly being treated for throat cancer in hospital in the German city Aachen,

Jailed

He was jailed several times for sexually assaulting young girls and is now wanted for questioning by British detectives in connection with a separate indecent assault. The McCanns hope that once officers from West Yorkshire Police have questioned the former soldier, their investigators will speak to him, despite reports he is seriously ill in intensive care. Clarence Mitchell, Kate and Gerry McCann’s spokesman, said, “Mr Hewlett has denied any involvement in Madeleine’s abduction. “Our investigators hope he will see sense and co-operate by giving them whatever information needed so they can eliminate him from the investigation. “It’s clear the man is ill and it is clear he has information that our investigators need. It is also clear that our investigators will be speaking to him in the near future.” It is understood that before the McCanns’ team can speak to Hewlett, British officers will interview him in connection with an indecent assault in

■ Gerry and Kate McCann hope Raymond Hewlett, a convicted paedophile, can shed light on their daughter’s disappearance in May 2007. 1975. Sources close to the investigation say they think both interviews will take place in “a matter of days, not weeks”. The McCanns currently have two retired detectives who they hired to search for their daughter. They hope British police will help facilitate an interview with Hewlett. But a source with knowledge of the investigation admitted Hewlett was a “private individual” who could “in theory say no” to an interview with the McCanns’ detectives. Yesterday, a spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Police said the force could not go in to details about why British officers wanted to speak to the convicted paedophile. The spokeswoman added, “We have made contact with the German authorities. “We are just waiting for clearance so we can actually go and speak to him regarding that incident.”

A report yesterday said that questions were raised about Hewlett’s time in Portugal by a couple who met him on holiday. Alan and Cindy Thompson reportedly said the sex offender was living with his wife and six children in a converted Dodge truck travelling from campsite to campsite in the Algarve and southern Spain.

Sightings

Hewlett allegedly told the Thompsons he was approached by some “Gipsy tourists” offering to buy his daughter just before Madeleine went missing. They also recalled him mentioning a “business” trip to Morocco, where there were several alleged sightings of the little girl in the months after her disappearance. It is believed the Thompsons attempted to contact British police with their concerns about Hewlett some time ago but were not successful.

■ Raymond Hewlett. Leicestershire Police, which handled the British end of the inquiry into what happened to Madeleine, refused to comment. A spokeswoman for the force said, “The disappearance of Madeleine McCann remains a Portuguese investigation. “We would pass any relevant information we receive to the Portuguese police.”

Madeleine detective convicted of perjury

THE DISGRACED former Portuguese police chief who previously led the inquiry into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance was convicted of perjury in a separate case, the Portuguese media have reported. Goncalo Amaral was given an 18-month suspended sentence by a court in Portugal. Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann, said the couple thought the conviction “speaks for itself” and would be continuing their defamation action against

Judiciara in Portimao, Algarve, charged over an alleged attack on the mother of another missing girl. The five men were accused of “scenes of aggression” against Leonor Cipriano, whose nine-year-old daughter, Joana, vanished in September 2004.

Amaral. Mr Mitchell said last night, “While Kate and Gerry McCann will not be commenting on the court’s decision, they will be continuing their defamation action against Goncalo Amaral.

Allegation

He added, “Today’s conviction speaks for itself.” The McCanns are taking action over Amaral’s “entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory claims” in the media about the case, which included the allegation that Madeleine was dead and that her parents were

Murder

■ Madeleine McCann somehow involved in concealing her body. In the separate case, Amaral was one of five officers of the Policia

The little girl’s body was never found but Cipriano and her brother, Joao, were charged and convicted of her murder. She went missing from her home in Figueira, not far from where four-year-old

Madeleine was abducted in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007. It was claimed the attack on Cipriano happened when she was questioned over Joana’s apparent abduction. On Friday, three Policia Judiciara officers were cleared of torture. But Goncalo Amaral was convicted of falsifying documents. Another officer, Nunes Cardoso, was convicted of falsifying evidence at the court in Faro, the Correio da manha, a newspaper in Portugal, reported yesterday.


4

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Promising footballer killed in street stabbing A MAJOR police hunt was under way last night for the killer of a talented young footballer who was stabbed in the neck and left to die on a city street. Police on a routine patrol of Hackney, east London, found the teenager lying in the street early yesterday morning and he was pronounced dead soon afterwards.

Dreamed

■ Mourners at the scene in Hackney where Jahmal Mason-Blair was stabbed to death.

‘Selfish’ suicide threat man pushed off bridge A PASSER-BY annoyed by a man holding up traffic by threatening to jump off a bridge in southern China pushed him over the edge, calling the suicide attempt a “selfish activity”. The official Xinhua News Agency says Chen Fuchao fell 26 feet onto a partially-inflated emergency air cushion and suffered spine and elbow injuries. Xinhua said yesterday Mr Chen was dangling over Haizhu bridge in the southern city of Guangzhou on Thursday morning when Lai Jiansheng walked by. According to one report, Mr Lai said he pushed Mr Chen because “jumpers like Chen are very selfish”. “Their action violates a lot of public interests,” he added. “They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities’ attention to their appeals.”

The boy, named locally as 17-year-old Jahmal Mason-Blair, dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, according to friends and family who visited the scene. He had attended the Tottenham Hotspur development centre for

young players. His half-brother Shaun Mason (30) said that Jahmal’s father, Wesley Blair, collapsed when he heard of his son’s death and was taken to hospital. Mr Mason said their mother, Tetela Rafeal, lived in Florida and was making plans to fly back to the UK after her daughter Maria broke the tragic news. “He (Jahmal) was meant to be coming to stay with his cousin last night but he never made it,” said Mr Mason, who was woken by his sister and was at the scene by around 3am. “I’ve asked to go and identify him because I want to be able to do

that for him.” Family friend Connie Drew said Jahmal was “a great kid”. She said, “You never saw him without a ball.

Goal

“That’s the worst thing, he had a goal in his life and he was pursuing it and he wanted to make something of himself. “He was a lovely young boy and never even got into any arguments.” Jahmal’s friend Eddie Munnelly said, “He was a good player but always struggled with his size and only really shot up recently. “He had another trial recently at Reading.”

‘Worst bus’ service slated

By Jennifer Cosgrove

NGRY bus A passengers who travel up to

Fed-up pensioners and parents with young children are furious there is neither a toilet on-board nor enough time to leave the bus and use public facilities en route.

The X95 service, run by First Group, has lowfloor access suitable for wheelchairs and prams and is a model usually found on city centre routes. Passengers are calling for them to be replaced by alternatives with onboard toilets or for breaks to be scheduled into the timetable They have the backing of local MSP John Lamont, who last week travelled on the X95 to get an idea of the situation. Currently, the longest stop is at Galashiels Bus

TRIBUTES WERE being paid yesterday to a 13year-old boy who was found hanged in his home. Declan Hewitt was discovered on Arthur Street, Chilton, County Durham. Durham Police said they were not treating the teenager’s death as suspicious. Benjamin Hewitt, Declan’s grandfather, paid tribute to the youngster on behalf of the whole family, who were said to be “utterly devastated”. He said, “No-one can understand what has happened or why. “Declan was a lovely young lad, always ready with a smile, who had no worries or problems and lots of friends. “It has hit everyone who knew him very hard. It’s just a mystery. If we knew it was an accident we could understand it and cope with it but at the minute we just can’t believe what has happened.” Declan leaves his parents, Angie and David, his 16-year-old brother and two sisters, aged nine and six. A police spokesman said a file on his death was being prepared for the coroner.

Brit arrested

four hours without any toilet facilities have dubbed the service “Scotland’s Worst Bus”.

The route between Edinburgh and Carlisle, which takes in Hawick, Selkirk and Galashiels, is thought to be the longest in the country with no opportunity for a comfort break.

Tributes to boy hanged in his home

■ Guy Johnstone (left) from Hawick with his MSP John Lamont on the ‘worst bus’. Station for five minutes but passengers may only use the toilet there at the driver’s discretion. Mr Lamont explained, “Concerns have been raised, particularly by pensioners and people travelling with younger children.

Discretion

“It’s very much at the discretion of the bus driver whether to stop in Galashiels but if the service is running five minutes behind schedule then this probably won’t be possible. “Colleagues at the Scottish Parliament with constituencies in the Highlands and Islands say bus routes of this distance would have toilet services in these areas. “I will be having a meeting with First Bus to discuss this.” Gavin Booth, chairman

of passenger support group Bus Users UK, revealed there is no legislation governing the provision of toilet facilities on long journeys. “It’s at the discretion of the operator whether they provide coaches with toilets,” he said. “As an older person and someone with young grandchildren I have a huge amount of sympathy with the passengers. “Longer routes in the Highlands are operated on high-floor coaches with lots of luggage space and very often a toilet.” While Mr Booth believes it’s unlikely First Bus will be persuaded to use different vehicles he is hopeful Mr Lamont might be able to negotiate a proper rest break. A spokeswoman for First Group in Scotland admitted the X95 service

was one of the company’s longest journeys in Scotland without toilet facilities. “Generally, a vehicle type is allocated to a particular route and the vehicles on the X95 tend to be low-floor accessible vehicles with space for wheelchairs or buggies. “The timetable doesn’t include built-in times for toilet facilities. There is a brief lay-over period at Galashiels and if the passengers wish to get off and use the facilities at the bus station they can do so, but we do advise that they tell the driver. “We have to ensure the bus operates to its schedule and First Group is facing huge challenges to ensure services operating in and out of Edinburgh run to the timetable.”

A PERSON with joint British-Egyptian nationality is reported to be among seven people arrested for a bomb attack on a Cairo bazaar that killed a French teenager. Egyptian authorities have arrested the group for being part of an al Qaida linked group believed to be responsible for the attack, said the Interior Ministry yesterday. The ministry said the suspects were part of a group called the Palestinian Islamic Army, which is led by two Egyptian nationals, who remain at large outside the country. An Egyptian security official said members of the group would sneak into Gaza through tunnels under the Egyptian border to receive special training and instructions in the Palestinian territory.

War grenade A POLICE HQ was evacuated yesterday after a member of the public brought a suspected World War 1 hand grenade into the building. West Yorkshire Police said the device was brought into the help desk area of Javelin House, in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Members of the public were advised to avoid the area.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

5

Singing twins help musical bid to save super-hacker

The Proclaimers join chorus of support for Gary ■ Gary McKinnon

T

HE Proclaimers are to join up with Pink Floyd’s front man David Gilmour to make a CD protesting against moves to extradite a superhacker set to face trial in the US.

Charlie and Craig Reid intend to provide the vocals on a re-written version of Graham Nash’s classic song, Chicago, in the hope that it will draw international attention to the plight of UFO fanatic Gary McKinnon.

Damage

Gary (43) is accused by the US of hacking into dozens of military and NASA computers, allegedly causing more than £480,000 worth of damage. The self-confessed computer geek, who was born in Glasgow but lives in London, is awaiting a judicial review of the extradition order by the UK’s High Court of Justice, scheduled for June 9 and

By Euan Duguid 10. The hearing is his last realistic hope of avoiding extradition. He could face decades in a US jail if found guilty. He admits hacking into US government systems but maintains he never acted with malicious intent — and was only interested in uncovering evidence of UFOs. Last month we revealed how Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour was supporting Gary’s cause by helping to produce a rendition of Chicago, originally written in support of the ‘Chicago Seven’, arrested for protesting at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Gilmour obtained copyright clearance from Graham Nash, of super group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, after Gary’s mother Janis Sharp, herself a musician, re-wrote the lyrics. Now, The Proclaimers have pledged to join the chorus of protest. Following a tour of the east coast of the US, Charlie Reid confirmed last night, “We are helping by doing some vocals on Dave Gilmour’s version of Chicago. We hope and pray the decision goes in Gary’s favour.” The Proclaimers are the latest high-profile celebrities to back

Gary’s long-running campaign, joining names like Terry Waite, Sting and Boris Johnson. Last night they too launched a broadside at the one-sided nature of the extradition treaty. Craig said, “The British Government is caving in to bullying tactics from the US and there is no way that Gary McKinnon should be extradited. “We think the UK Government needs to take a serious look at its extradition treaty with the USA and we hope the CD will help highlight the failings in the system.

Injustice

“We hope those in power may hear this song and give a thought to the obvious injustice of extraditing Gary. Music can help publicise campaigns for justice like this.” Charlie added, “Battling against injustice is something that not only drives us just as musicians but as human beings.” Janis Sharp expressed her delight that The Proclaimers had agreed to contribute to the CD. She said, “We’re very worried but cautiously hopeful because so many good people are outraged about the injustice Gary is facing and about the one-sided extradition treaty.”

‘Most violent’ con helps boy By John Paul Breslin

BRITAIN’S MOST notorious convict Charles Bronson has been helping a Scots teenager regain his fitness following five months in plaster for leg injuries. Ishaaq Iftkhar (14), from Glasgow, says Bronson, who has spent most of the past 35 years in jail, phoned from prison on a weekly basis to give fitness advice and sent a letter with training tips. His father Mohammed has been a friend of Bronson since they met through a martial arts

■ Ishaaq Iftkhar instructor they both knew. During a phone chat with Bronson in November Mohammed mentioned that Ishaaq’s

spirits had been badly affected by a series of injuries to his legs. Bronson vowed to motivate the youngster and sent him a strict fitness regime to follow. He also used several of his limited number of weekly phone calls to give the youngster pep talks. Within two months Ishaaq had won two highlevel cross-country races. “Charlie told me I had to get back in training and said he’d send me some tips on how to exercise,” says Ishaaq.

“I now go running with four two-litre bottles of water in my rucksack. “I hope and pray Charlie comes home soon as a lot of friends and youngsters could benefit from his advice.” Bronson (56) was first jailed in 1974, at the age of 21, when he was sentenced to seven years for armed robbery. Incidents while he has been inside prison, including hostage-taking, assaults and rooftop protests, have seen him serve 35 years — most in solitary confinement.


6

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

As we see it

Pure magic as Scots firm sells Hogwarts fashion A KNITWEAR firm that makes Harry Potter’s school uniform has put Hogwarts fashion on sale to the public for the first time.

Care for the carers

And already orders have come in from across Europe. Lochaven International in Stewarton, Ayrshire, made the woollen school jumpers, tank tops and cardigans for the stars and other cast in the first six films — and will soon start on clothing for the seventh and final movie.

EVERAL leading charities have S called for a better deal for carers. The alliance of nine organisations wants an increase in the Carer’s Allowance from £53.10 a week to the state pension level of £95.25. The charities say carers do not receive enough money and that many are struggling to cover their outgoings. Countless people quietly devote themselves to caring for a loved one and suffer hardship as a result. These admirable individuals should be properly supported by society.

Daniel Radcliffe

Giant slayers

SMALL pizzeria has won its battle A with global fast food chain KFC over the term “Family Feast”. The Titanic Pizza Co. in Carnoustie was warned by KFC to stop using the slogan because it had trademarked the name. But the Scottish takeaway said it had been using the phrase since 1992 and refused to be bullied. David 1 – Goliath 0.

Monkey business

CIENTISTS in America doing S research on monkeys’ behaviour claim to have discovered they have the

ability to learn from their mistakes. If the same scientists want to pop over here and apply the same research to our MPs they’d be most welcome.

Fat chance

● A NEW method of losing weight by betting on your own success is gaining popularity in the UK. Bet dieters join a website and make a commitment to lose a certain amount of weight over a defined period of time. Presumably the odds are slim whichever way you look at it.

Madness

STUDY has revealed worrying A evidence that young people are ignoring warnings about skin

cancer, with more than a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds refusing to cut back on their sunbathing plans this summer. Let’s hope they see sense — the consequences don’t bear thinking about if they don’t.

Good excuse

A

CCORDING to a new poll the average father-to-be gains a stone in weight during his partner’s pregnancy. Judging by the amount of beer bellies and “moobs” in evidence these days, there must be an awful lot of women expecting.

Fiennes fettle

A

T 65, Sir Ranulph Fiennes last week became the oldest Briton to conquer Mount Everest. He used the challenging, dangerous climb to raise cash for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The superfit pensioner may be the owner of a bus pass but unfortunately the No. 17 to the summit of Everest wasn’t running that day.

Bloomer

● A GLASGOW man popped in to see his grandmother and said it was too cold in her house. “It’s okay,” she told him, “I have my terminal underwear on.” Whatever they are, they don’t sound healthy!

■ Harry Potter wearing his school uniform.

The company spends around two months making the 400 garments, individually tailored for the lead actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. Boss Keith Murray said, “A few months ago word got out on Harry Potter fan sites that the boy wizard and his pals wear Lochavenbranded school uniforms. “Since then we’ve had thousands of hits on our website and emails asking if they’re available to buy.

By Bob Smyth “In the past we’ve only made enough to fulfil the order from Warner Brothers. We’ve never actively marketed the uniforms to the public but we’ve decided to make them available and see how it goes. The company is so busy fulfilling other work we won’t be able to make that many. “But we’ve already had orders from the UK, France and Holland after the alert went out among fans that they’re now being offered on our website.” Interest in the boy wizard is set to rise with the release of the sixth film, Harry Potter and the HalfBlood Prince, in July. Keith took over the company in 2007 and didn’t know they made the uniforms worn at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which, according to the books, is in Scotland. The firm’s 22 staff make the magical gear — labelled Made in Scotland — in four different sets of colours, which each represent a

house in Hogwarts — Gryffindor (Harry’s house), Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Keith said, “I don’t know why the film company chose our clothing originally. We get an order from them every couple of years. “The current design of the uniforms has changed a little from the first couple of films. “They’re not made as ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Hogwarts’ clothing. They’re Lochaven garments that the Harry Potter cast happen to wear so there’s no problem with us selling them.

Fancy dress party

“There are Harry Potter replica uniforms on the Internet but they’re the type of thing you’d wear to a fancy dress party. “Ours are quality knitwear made by the same people who produce them for the films, which gives them an added mysticism and will probably appeal to serious collectors. The clothing is available in children’s and adult sizes, costing from £25 to £45.”

Chips are down after David’s casino success

SCOTS stag do reveller has all but had A his chips — after a bittersweet victory in a Polish casino. David Garmory (29), from Motherwell, was recently celebrating a friend’s forthcoming wedding with a weekend break in Wroclaw in the south-west of the country. Following a night of partying in the city’s watering holes the group headed for a top gambling house, the Park Plaza Hotel and Casino.

But what started as a speculative soiree turned out to be a gambling gold rush — with a real twist — for happy-golucky David.

Lady luck

The computer programmer explained, “I like the occasional flutter but lady luck rarely shines on me. In the casino, however, I landed a few early wins on the slot machines. I thought it was maybe just a fluke but the coins kept on rattling out.” Buoyed by his new-found lucky streak, David decided to swap his bounty of coins — Polish zloty — for casino chips and chance his arm on the roulette table. And he soon discovered he’d found his Midas touch. “It was incredible. I had no complicated strategy or long shot bets, like placing all my chips on a single number. “When I picked black the ball landed on black, when I picked red, the ball landed on red, and so on. “I started placing larger stacks of chips on my bets. A few of the lads noticed I was on a winning streak and a small crowd gathered round the table.” David laughed, “With my

By Euan Duguid

winnings piling up, I remember saying I felt like Daniel Craig, although one of the guys quipped I was more like Desperate Dan.” Incredibly, David amassed a stack of chips worth around 3200 zloty — approximately £640. “It was the small hours and, happy with my night’s work, I bought the lads a round of celebratory drinks, said my goodbyes and returned to our hotel as we were flying home mid-morning.” But in the heady aftermath of his party-fuelled elation David had made an elementary gambling error. “I awoke the next morning to find my trouser pockets stuffed with these gambling tokens! “I’d forgotten to cash them in. We were already cutting it quite fine to catch our flight home so I sprinted round to the casino only to find it shut. I knocked on the door for about five minutes without success.

Girlfriend

“Times are tough enough as it is but my win would have covered the cost of the weekend and left me change for a good night out with my girlfriend — instead I’ve come home skint with a pile of plastic gambling chips. “All the guys were besides themselves with laughter.” But hapless David may have the last laugh once we tipped the odds back in his favour. After we spoke to Maciej Chyz, public relations manager for Casinos Poland, the owners of the Park Plaza Hotel and Casino, he pledged that his company will do their best to exchange David’s tokens and will be in contact with him soon.

■ David couldn’t believe it when he realised he’d failed to exchange his chips for cash.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

7

Taste of success for our curry kings ONDAY was Scotland’s hottest night of M the year — and it had nothing to do with the weather!

It could only be the glittering ceremony to celebrate the culmination of the Irn Bru Scottish Curry Awards 2009, including the award for The Sunday Post Restaurant of the Year.

More than 500 guests were treated to a sumptuous Asian banquet seasoned to perfection with subtle (and some less subtle) spices mixed together with exotic dancers and a charity auction of rare sporting and movie memorabilia.

Tension

The temperature and tension rose steadily as the prizes were announced and the winners rejoiced, until the moment everyone in the room had been waiting for arrived — the naming of The Sunday Post Restaurant of the Year. It had been a tough choice between four excellent establishments that had made the shortlist from hundreds of nominations. In the end Cinnamon from Aberdeen triumphed over Bombay Joe’s from Broughty Ferry, Dundee’s Ashoka Shak and Mother India’s Cafe in Glasgow. The judges were highly impressed by the great diversity of dishes on the menu, elegant surroundings and mouth-watering curries served up by superb staff. Khalis Miah, co-owner of Cinnamon, travelled from Aberdeen to Glasgow’s Marriott Hotel to collect the award. He said, “We’re delighted to receive this prestigious prize. We’re based in the north-east of the country, slightly out of the way, so it’s nice to know our reputation has spread throughout Scotland.

By Colin Grant

“This win most definitely puts the north-east slap bang in the centre of Scotland’s curry map.” There were awards for seven other curry categories, which were — Curry Lover of the Year — Alex Salmond MP MSP, First Minister of Scotland. Best Supermarket Curry of the Year — ASDA Team of the Year — Ashoka Elderslie, Glasgow Chef of the Year — Jaffar Hussian of Kabana, Glasgow Take-Away of the Year — Kebab Mahal, Edinburgh Curry King or Queen of the Year — Balbir Singh Sumal. Lifetime Achievement Award — Ali Ahmed Aslam. There was also a tasty treat in store for Sunday Post reader Gerard McCallion. The 53-year-old former butcher from Dumbarton won a dream holiday in Dubai. He was among thousands of people across Scotland who voted for their favourite restaurant. As a thank you for taking part the organisers, Oceanic Consulting, arranged a prize draw and Gerard’s name came out first. However, it took a fair amount of persuasion to convince him he’d actually won — at first he thought he was being invited to a timeshare presentation! It took Oceanic several calls to get Gerard to go along — but now he’s delighted he did. “I can’t believe I’ve won this prize and I’m looking forward to going later this year. “I’m unemployed through disability so there was no chance I’d ever get to go to a place like Dubai, except like this. “I get The Sunday Post every

week and I cut out the nomination coupon. The Post is my favourite paper and curries are my favourite food. Thanks to them I’m going on the holiday of a lifetime.” The prize, five nights for two people in a top-class hotel and flights, comes courtesy of holiday package specialists Travel World of Allison Street, Glasgow. The firm also have an office in Dubai and their staff there will ensure Gerard and a friend will have a fantastic time. The prize draw produced two other winners. Doreen Philip, from Aberdeen, who won a meal for two once a month for a year at Cinnamon, and Jackie Bradley, from Glasgow, who won dinner for 10 cooked at home by a top chef.

Success

The auction and raffle raised more than £4000 for Scottish Spina Bifida. Faiza Amjid, senior campaign executive at Oceanic Consulting, said, “The ceremony was a great success. Congratulations to all the winners, finalists and sponsors who made this event truly special.” The night was best summed up by Alex Salmond who said in a message, “Curry is an integral part of Scotland’s rich culture. I’m grateful for my award and congratulate all those who received recognition as part of the Scottish Curry Awards 2009.” “In the year of Homecoming, celebrating Robert Burns, let us remember these words — ‘The Brotherhood of Nan’!”

Enjoy sunshine, sand, sea . . . and The Sunday Post

THE SUMMER holiday season is almost upon us again and many people are preparing to jet off to sunnier climes.

And if Spain or Portugal are your destinations, don’t forget to look out for The Sunday Post while you’re there. Because people on the Spanish Costas, Balearic Islands, the Algarve and Tenerife will be able to buy a copy of the paper. It’s available every Sunday throughout the summer so you won’t have to miss out on our special mix of top-quality news stories, sports coverage, features and the views of our

top columnists on the hot topics of the week. There’s no better way to spend a couple of hours relaxing by the pool, lounging on the beach or sipping a refreshing drink in a cafe or bar. The paper is printed in Madrid before being transported to large retailers and independent newsagents across Spain and other countries in time for people to enjoy it with their continental breakfast. For two euros and 20 cents, readers can enjoy a taste of home while lapping up the flavours of abroad. So there’s no need to make phone calls back home so friends and family can relay the news

— just pop down to your Spanish or Portuguese newsagent for your favourite Sunday paper to find out what’s

been happening for yourself. What more could you ask for? Sun, sand, sea . . . and The Sunday Post!

■ Sunday Post editor David Pollington (left) and Glasgow editorial manager Colin Grant present the award to Khalis Miah and Anis Ahmed Miah of Cinnamon.


8

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Early election would let dodgy MPs escape the net

What we need is an injection of honour

E

VERY few months, during a regular lunch with two other old fogies to put the world right, one of my friends habitually announces at some point, “By gum,” (he’s also a Yorkshireman) “I’m glad I’m not long for this world”.

Like Mona Lott on ITMA, the famous ’40s radio show, it’s being so cheerful that keeps him going. After the past week I wouldn’t think there was much to live for amid the rubble of our Parliamentary democracy were it not for one alarming consequence of Michael Martin’s historic removal from the Speaker’s chair.

The sight of every egghead, Guardianista and barrack room lawyer in the land stampeding madly to reform the constitution lock, stock and mace has quite revived me. These blithering idiots must be stopped forthwith. Can’t they see that there is nothing much wrong with our democracy that a heavy injection of honour and purpose would not cure? Martin has gone primarily because he was never up to the job. Consequently, he simply could not rise to the occasion for tough, decisive action to stop the gross abuse of taxpayer-funded MPs’ exploiting the property market, evading capital gains tax and furnishing infinitely flexible interpretations of “second homes” with whirlpool baths, lavatory seats and bathplugs, not to mention duck refuges and porn films. He was put there by a Labour mafia whose only political instinct is tribal warfare.

Bumbling

That’s why Gordon Brown, compared with David Cameron and Nick Clegg in this all-party scandal, has cut such a bumbling figure. He’s one of them and so severely limited. Just to underline their limitation, it’s now reported they are rallying to elect the shallow John Bercow as Speaker, a politically-correct Tory, for no better reason than that Conservative MPs understandably don’t like him. If this is a measure of our representatives in this Crooked Parliament — as it will come to be called — then God help us. Mind you, by all accounts I wonder who’s going to be left

By Sir Bernard Ingham standing for Speaker untainted. The latest revelations suggest the expense claims of Bercow, Sir Alan Beith, Sir George Young and Sir Alan Haselhurst should all be gone through with an anti-sleaze detector. Against this background our eggheads’ assorted calls for an end to the monarchy, a written constitution, electoral reform, an elected House of Lords, linking MPs’ pay to average earnings or raising it, killing allowances and shortening holidays look frankly pathetic. Who in his right mind wants the Queen supplanted by one of this venal crew? A written constitution is useless if enforced as incompletely, if at all, as the expenses system — and in any case it will also be subject to interpretation. May the good Lord save us from the paralysis of proportional representation, which has rendered the whole of mainland Europe spinelessly impotent in international affairs. We don’t need an elected Lords rivalling the authority of the Commons, we need a learned upper house acting as an revising chamber for a purposeful, intelligent and moral Commons. As for tinkering with the pay and expenses system, the current evidence is that, whatever you pay, a lot of them won’t see it as enough and that, regardless of

wealth, they’ll exercise their ingenuity to rake in more. Instead, it would be a useful start to insist on MPs supplementing their pay with outside jobs. That might also tell us something about their worth. So what is to be done? Well, first, we should stop running round like headless chickens. The last thing we need is an early general election. That would allow a lot of dodgy MPs to escape the dragnet and renew their “legitimacy”. It would also weaken the Commons with more Members of minority one-trackmind parties with little to offer the nation’s governance. We need a towering Speaker to bring the smack of firm but fair and impartial governance to the House. We desperately need the parties — and Cameron is our only hope — to demand a renegotiation of our membership of the EU to restore the Commons’ authority. For too long it’s been irrelevant to vast areas of legislation, especially as it properly scrutinises little of Brussels’s legislative flood. Without that, the Speaker may be master in his own House but that House will not be master in its own land.

Pointless

Chairman of scrutiny committees could help him and themselves by refusing to countenance any law, home or Brussels-made, they have not exhaustively been through. That would have the merit of rendering the deluge pointless. The Speaker should take a hammer to the spin machine and haul every minister, including the prime minister, before the Commons for a dressing down if they leak or otherwise announce major policy developments or expenditure outside the House. Everything has been leaked in advance since Tony Blair took office. Spin (and sin) has sidelined the Commons. Mr Speaker should sideline spin. In the meantime, we should get on with rooting out the rotten apples in the Commons so they can’t contaminate a new Parliament while the Committee on Standards in Public Life comes up with a definitive, tightly drawn and independently policed expenses and allowances system. And Honourable Members who, like my friend, may not have long for this world, should ask themselves where they put their honour.

■ Speaker Michael Martin making his resignation speech to the House of Commons.

Euro MPs can pocket £1 million in five years

IN BRITAIN we’ve been shocked by the dishonesty and greed of our Westminster MPs. But they are mere amateurs compared to those we’ve elected to the European Parliament.

Typical Westminster MPs will cost us around £250,000 each a year in salary, pension and of course a wide range of generous and flexible expenses. From this they can comfortably pocket at least £50,000 a year tax-free by employing family members and through skilful manipulation of the expenses system. This probably seems a tidy sum to many readers — but it’s small beer to our Members of the European Parliament. The biggest pot of money MEPs can dip into is for employing staff. This is worth up to £184,000 per MEP per year. You could employ quite a few people for this amount. However, many MEPs have one secretary and at most one or two, usually poorly-paid, researchers. Some even band together to save money by sharing researchers and secretaries. Yet most still manage to claim much of their allowance. Where this money goes is one of life’s great mysteries. The European Parliament’s auditors recently looked at how a selection of MEPs used their assistants’ allowances and found “major irregularities” in about 90 per cent of the cases reviewed. Basically most MEPs are stealing our money. But as they’ve voted to prevent us seeing this report we’ll never know. Although all MEPs have fully-furnished, rent-free offices at the Parliament they still get more than £44,000 a year to run an office in their constituencies.

By David Craig But with access to generouslysubsidised restaurants in the Parliament and political parties and around 15,000 lobbyists hosting endless champagnefuelled dinner events, most MEPs would struggle to use much of this money, making it relatively easy to pocket at least another £20,000 or more a year. Then once you add in the thousands to be made from travel expenses and the money they receive for themselves and their assistants when they complete their time at the Parliament, most MEPs can live like royalty at our expense and still walk away with around £1 million in their bank accounts after just one five-year term.

Reluctantly

After years of fighting any attempts to control their wonderful (for them) expenses system MEPs have finally and reluctantly agreed to some supposed reforms. After the next month’s EU elections, control over the use of the assistants’ allowances will theoretically be improved. Also, MEPs will only be allowed to claim for actual travel expenses. However, they will still get the £44,000 a year office expenses and the £270 a day subsistence allowance without any receipts. Moreover, as the European Parliament has never enforced any of its own rules in the past, it’s doubtful that greedier MEPs will have anything to fear Many do not even have a constituency from the new rules. office. Or if they do, the office consists of As a reward for possibly taking less of a room in their house that they rent to our money in expenses MEPs have just themselves. But whether they actually given themselves a massive salary have an office or not, they still get the increase and decided to pay special low money without having to provide any EU income taxes rather than their, receipts — £44,000 a year tax-free must usually higher, national income taxes. make a useful contribution to our lucky This will give British MEPs about a 40 MEPs’ household expenses. per cent increase in take-home pay. They can claim a subsistence As their expense claims for bathplugs, allowance of about £270 a day tax-free for manure, patio heaters, moat cleaning, every day they turn up to work. duck houses and the like are This gives them another £43,000 a year embarrassingly exposed, many of our tax-free. Again no receipts are needed. Westminster MPs must envy their MEPs call this the SOSO (sign on, sod Brussels colleagues who are able to off) allowance because all they have to do pocket vast fortunes effortlessly, without to get it is to sign in. the slightest public scrutiny and without the need for anything so boring as Given that a three-star hotel near the having to provide receipts. Parliament costs about £80 a night, including breakfast, that leaves MEPs ■ David Craig is author of The Great European Rip-Off (£8.99, Random House). about £190 a day for lunch and dinner.

Tax-free


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Shock when your teenager discovers drink

E always W remember our firsts. First kiss, first

time we sleep with someone, first job, first time we become a parent.

Margaret Clayton

cider and vodka to drink in the Neither did my son, who next dorm after the party. day lay groaning and greenish Teenage experiments with around the gills. It also ended my alcohol seem like fun but they husband’s experiments in And who can forget often end in disaster. Beaujolais, thankfully, and we experiencing that first A respectable 32-year-old go back to supermarket grinned as he told me of his first horrible hangover? Sadly it could plonk. time. One of his friends had “an seems that many 14 and One of my colleagues is a son of empty” and a group of guys went 15-year-olds already know the manse. His father always kept a round with everything from cider what that’s like. rather nice sherry in the cabinet. In to Jack Daniel’s. He sampled tumblers of Southern Comfort — Police in Dumfries and Galloway his late teens the boy decided to have a little tipple . . . then he which made him so ill he’s never are trying to crack down on discovered a bottle of ouzo there, been able to drink it again. under-age drinking after finding too. He’s never forgotten that many young teens are drunk by hangover. early afternoon. Some of the girls I work with Teenage drinking can lead to So what should a parent’s many problems — damaged health, started their nights out with response be? I think the first time pregnancy, fights, truancy, and the teenage pals by giggling over fizzy you should be understanding. list goes on. Alcoholics Anonymous Lambrusco in their bedrooms as Drinking and smoking are rites of they got ready. now have more members whose passage for teenagers, something dependency started before they One would bring the bottle “everyone else” does. were out of their teens. hidden in her bag along with her But your instincts will warn you make-up and they’d share plastic Of course, most parents won’t when it’s happening too often. tumblers of plonk while they have to deal with such serious Then you need to try talking touched up their eyeliner. problems. Still, the first time you seriously about the dangers. see a son or daughter come home Those first experiences of Sanctions and a dose of tough love drunk is a shock. I know I wasn’t might be needed. alcohol have all the thrill and prepared for it. danger of doing something No-one wants their son or grown-ups do. A girl I know who daughter to become another went to a posh boarding school depressing teenage drinking told me that for the sixth year ball statistic. But alcohol in itself isn’t My son and his pals decided a sunny afternoon was better spent in teachers ran the bar and each pupil evil. It can be one of life’s little was given three tokens for drinks. pleasures, if enjoyed moderately. the park rather than a stuffy But that lacked excitement. Until our children are old classroom. The oldest-looking So they slipped out to the enough to know how to do that, bought beer and cheap wine from they need our protection. the off-licence and away they went supermarket and bought cheap for their version of a picnic in the park. No ham sandwiches and crisps for these likely lads. Later that evening my son tried to make it upstairs to his bedroom. Unsuccessfully. There was no point ranting and raging. I knew that next day he’d never remember what I said. He fell on to his bed. Slept in his clothes. In the morning we found the flowers in the garden had been fertilised by puke. Not one of life’s finer moments. Another son experimented with his dad’s home-made red wine in the loft. He opened the Velux window and the roof tiles caught the inevitable. Unfortunately he then staggered down the loft ladder . . . the landing ■ Parents dread their children being brought home in this sort of state. carpet never recovered.

Response

Beer

Two more swine flu cases TWO MORE people were confirmed with the swine flu virus yesterday, taking the UK total to 122.

The latest cases are both adults in England. One is from London and the second is from the East of England. The Health Protection Agency said the source of infection for the two latest cases remains under investigation. Of the total UK cases,

more than half (66) are in the London area. The latest figures released for Scotland showed 10 confirmed cases, with a further three probable and three possible Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said swine flu was a “sneaky virus” which was likely to keep spreading. “This is a subtle,

sneaky virus. It does not announce its presence or arrival in a new country with a sudden explosion of patients seeking medical care or requiring hospitalisation. “We expect it to continue to spread to new countries and continue to spread within countries already affected.” A Department of Health spokesman said, “The localised cases of swine flu found in the UK

have so far been mild, and our strategy of containing the spread with anti-viral drugss appears to have been effective in reducing symptoms and preventing further spread of infection.” Worldwide, swine flu cases have now passed the 10,000 mark. The Government’s warning to not travel to Mexico unless the journey is essential is still in place.

9


12

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Millions are at risk of impoverished old age

H

OW many more pensions disasters do we need before the Government finally wakes up to the crisis?

Millions of people in Britain are at risk of an impoverished old age as they suddenly find they cannot afford to retire because their pensions are inadequate and the income from their savings has virtually disappeared.

Survey results published this week by insurance company MetLife show that more than half of those approaching retirement are disappointed with their pensions and feel they’ll probably have to keep working, while nearly one in three wishes they hadn’t bothered with pensions at all. What a damning indictment of our system.

Risks

So what’s gone wrong? Part of the problem is that our traditional generous final salary schemes are dying out in the private sector as most employers have been pulling out of pension provision. Another problem is that our state pension is too low — it’s just about the lowest in the developed world. The result is British workers are increasingly facing the risks and costs of providing pensions for themselves. They’re at the mercy of the markets but the markets have let them down.

final salary schemes it’s future taxpayers who have to cover all these costs. But, if you’re in any other kind of pension plan you’re on your own. The credit crunch has delivered a knockout punch, although holding shares has not done well even over many years. For example, someone whose contributions into a personal pension fund over the last 10 years were £24,000 and who invested this in the stock market would now have a fund worth just £21,000. This was not supposed to happen.

By Dr Ros Altmann

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Cuts in the state pension were meant to be offset by good private pensions. The idea was that pension contributions would be invested in the stock market, which would give good returns. In fact, the entire UK pension system has been based on a bet that the stock market would always do well enough to deliver good pensions. Our generous final salary schemes, as well as forecasts for good personal pensions, all relied on this gamble paying off. Policymakers never seriously entertained the idea that shares might not deliver over the long term. As a result, nobody explained to workers that they were effectively risking their future security on the stock market without insurance to protect themselves against poor returns. They also face added risks in the annuity market when converting their accumulated fund into a pension income. The Bank of England’s policy of driving interest rates down has made the costs of buying pensions far more expensive. This wasn’t so important a few years ago, when final salary pensions were more the norm and

Security

■ Pensions Secretary James Purnell. most schemes seemed to be doing well. In fact, in the ’90s our pension system was often considered a model for other countries. With final salary pension plans, employers take responsibility for providing a promised level of pension. That means, whatever happens to the markets or to interest rates and however long you live, employers will shoulder the burden of ensuring there is enough money to pay workers’ pensions. If markets do well, employers can cover the costs easily. If not, they have to find extra money to make up the shortfall. And with public sector

Can we really go on like this? The Government must get to grips with the situation and help people understand the important issues they face. The word pension actually refers to two different things but most people don’t understand the difference. On the one hand, a pension is needed for some minimum security to support you in old age and avoid poverty. On the other hand, a pension is also a long-term savings product, where you save during your working life, leave the money invested and then hope to have more to spend in retirement. Yet we have been encouraging people to gamble their future security on the markets. In other countries, the state usually provides a minimum level of security for pensioners. Workers then save what they can and hope to have a bit extra if their investments do well. But in the UK the state pension is

so low it doesn’t even provide a basic minimum, so if your pension plan doesn’t deliver you will be in trouble. And that is the reality facing millions of people right now. Is it time to re-think our whole approach? Pension provision is expensive and risky and stock market returns are not guaranteed — even over the long term. Perhaps people need to consider other forms of pension saving, including much lower risk investments such as inflation-linked Government bonds, rather than gambling on stock markets with money they cannot afford to lose. Ideally however I believe the Government needs to radically reform the state pension and pay a decent minimum to all pensioners as well as helping people consider part-time work as an option for extra income too. Maybe a good way to start would be to make sure policymakers are exposed to the same risks as everyone else. At the moment, public sector workers can retire at 60 and their final salary pensions are totally unaffected by falls in interest rates, annuity rates or the stock market. Future taxpayers have to pay their pensions whatever happens. Perhaps if the people in charge understood the risks faced by everyone else they would sort out a much better pension system for us all. ■ Dr Ros Altmann is an independent expert on pensions policy, investment banking, savings and retirement.

Vickie’s £10,000 treatment cash given to charity By Robert Wight

THOUSANDS of pounds raised to send a cancer-stricken young woman abroad for groundbreaking therapy have been handed over to charity after the 26-year-old died before treatment could begin.

The Sunday Post told of Vickie Watt’s cancer battle and her family’s race against time to raise £14,000 for treatment last October after the NHS said there was nothing more they could do. Vickie, from Kirriemuir, Angus, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called osteosarcoma after finding a lump on her left knee when aged 21. The joint was partially removed but 18 months later the cancer re-appeared in her lungs. Further surgery halted its progress but last year Vickie was diagnosed with three brain tumours. Two were removed but mum Liz Wood said NHS Tayside were reluctant to perform more surgery and ruled out further

■ Megs Wilson, of the Willow Foundation, receives the cheque for £7689 from Vickie’s parents, Duncan and Liz. chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Doctors offered two types of therapy still in the development stage. Worried by the uncertainty the family instead opted to raise cash to send Vickie for pioneering treatment in Kosovo. After the Kosovan clinic was closed Vickie made plans to travel to a new clinic in the Netherlands where she’d undergo a revolutionary therapy called cytotron. She was due to begin treatment in March but passed away on Boxing Day. Liz said, “Just over

£10,000 had been raised. After she passed away I asked if people wanted their donations back and explained that any money left would go to the Willow Foundation. “Nobody wanted their money returned but a few asked that theirs be given to other good causes and the Dundee Maggie’s Centre will get £500.” The Willow Foundation provides special days out for people with life threatening conditions and their families. Liz said, “Probably the one thing Vickie really wanted was a break. I’d like to think the money will help others in her position do just that.”


14

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

OPINION

A nation of worriers

“O WAD some Pow’r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as others see us” — Burns’s lines from To A Louse could easily stand as Scotland’s motto. Was there ever a nation so worried about its image abroad? So filled with insecurity, convinced that the rest of the world must be looking down on our poor efforts to compete on their level? So constantly in need of reassurance? Take Princes Street. Yes, there has been an element of shambles about the project to bring trams to the capital’s main thoroughfare. And there’s no denying the street is a right mess just now. So we naturally assume visitors will shun Edinburgh, tut-tutting at our Caledonian incompetence as they buy tickets for other, less roadwork-infested cities. Or be so appalled by the sight of diggers and navvies intruding on their holiday that they’ll never return and will badmouth us to all their friends. But when you actually speak to some visitors brave enough to have ventured north in May, you find that the only people concerned about Princes Street are us Scots. Wherever they come from, these nice people who have brought their money to spend in our hotels, shops and tourist attractions have seen it all before — and, frankly, they’re not that bothered. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, they point out. It’s a pain in the neck just now but imagine how much better it will be when it’s finished. You should have seen our town when they were doing it up but it didn’t last forever. And anyway, there’s more to Edinburgh than Princes Street. Let’s face it, if you went to New York and found 5th Avenue being dug up because the subway needed revamped you might be a bit disappointed but you’d understand. We need to stop beating ourselves up so much. We’ve a lot to be proud of, not least our national bard, who reminded us that, the world o’er, “A man’s a man for a’ that”.

Canny Clydesdale

THERE AREN’T many people laughing all the way to the bank these days — but customers and staff of the Clydesdale are among the select few. As mighty banking empires have tumbled all around, victims of their own arrogance and excess, the deeply unfashionable Clydesdale has sat, solid and safe. Not only has it been untouched by the crises that have humbled the likes of RBS and HBOS, but, by remaining true to the traditional values of banking — caution and common sense — it’s now beginning to grow while others wither and die. The Scottish-based Clydesdale is owned by Australians, but they’ve obviously paid attention to that ancient Chinese curse — “May you live in interesting times”. When things get interesting, that usually means someone is getting hurt. That’s why banking isn’t supposed to be interesting, or exciting, thrusting or dynamic. Sir Fred Goodwin began his career at the Clydesdale. They must be so glad he didn’t end it there.

Kirk will survive fierce row over gay ministers

T

HE big debate in the Church of Scotland about Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen choosing a gay minister has generated huge amounts of feeling on both sides.

church, my ignorance changed to sadness and then to anger. I came to know that some of the most gifted and committed clergy in the church, Protestant and Roman Catholic, are gay. Some gay friends in committed relationships showed a depth of fidelity and spirituality that put many a heterosexual couple to shame. There are, of course, evil homosexual people just as there are evil heterosexuals. Evil does not lie in orientations but in the human heart. The second factor that affected me was a changed attitude to the scriptures. Within the Bible there are soaring, awesome, inspiring, transforming stories and texts. There are also culturally time-bound prescriptions supporting slavery and advocating, for instance, the stoning of witches, the persecution of those who are different and the subjugation and silencing of women.

The conservatives have been outraged, saying that having a minister who is gay would be a disgrace.

The more liberally minded have argued equally vehemently that the way gays have been treated by the churches has been shocking and that Christian same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships, should be supported rather than condemned.

Key issue

How to understand the Bible today is the key issue. The Scott Rennie case has highlighted the matter of Biblical interpretation but last night’s decision will not make the debate go away. The Christian church has engaged in passionate debate since its very beginning. Many of St Paul’s epistles in the New Testament are about fire-fighting various problems within Christian communities. That’s because churches are made up of human beings who are both saints and sinners. Down through the centuries there have been divisions about contentious issues such as circumcision, usury, slavery, the remarriage of divorced people and the ordination of women. Both conservatives and liberals have brought insights to these debates.

By Ron Ferguson Rev. Scott Rennie, minister of Brechin Cathedral, was chosen by the members of Queen’s Cross to succeed Rev. Bob Brown because they already knew his qualities. Mr Rennie, who was brought up in Aberdeen, had been an assistant minister at Queen’s Cross. I have been a friend of Bob Brown for years. We were ministers together in Easterhouse in Glasgow. Bob is a man of good judgment and he rates Scott Rennie very highly as a preacher and pastor. Mr Rennie was also a student minister at Papay Westray in Orkney. Rev. Iain MacDonald, his supervising minister, is also a long-standing friend of mine and he too has a high opinion of Mr Rennie. If Scott Rennie is good enough for Bob Brown and Iain MacDonald, he’s good enough for me. But he’s gay. Should that make a difference? Yes, say the conservatives. No, say the liberals. The real battleground is not about homosexuality but about the authority of the Bible. The conservative evangelicals say the scriptures clearly condemn homosexuality. The liberals say there is actually relatively little in the scriptures about homosexuality and Jesus says nothing about the matter at all. Jesus, say the liberals, is much more concerned about the integrity of human relationships

■ Above — The Rev. Scott Rennie. Below right — a protester outside the General Assembly yesterday. — the conservatives counter that homosexuality is a sin. The liberals argue that when you actually study the few Bible texts they are not as clear as the conservatives make out. The evangelicals insist there is no doubt at all — homosexuality is wrong because God says so in the Bible. The liberals claim that when you look at the context of the Bible texts under review they say nothing at all about long-term, committed same-sex relationships. The conservatives counter that this is an avoidance of the plain meaning of scripture. Where do I stand on the matter? I changed my mind on the subject some years ago. I used to take the conventional Christian view that homosexuality is itself wrong. I no longer do so. Why? Largely because I met Christian gays. They turned out

Open debate

Churches deal with contentious matters in various ways. The Kirk holds open debates and this means its arguments are highlighted in the media. The Roman Catholic Church deals with such matters through its hierarchy in private. Pope John Paul II banned discussion on the ordination of women but I know from Catholic friends that the issue is very much alive.

The Kirk was divided about slavery and the ordination of women. It survived those divisions in the past it and to be ordinary people like me, will do so again with the concerned about the same issues. Scott Rennie case. I learned also about the hurts of gay and lesbian people and as I listened to their stories about rejection at the hands of the

■ Rev Ron Ferguson is former minister of St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney.


Political Round-up

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

from the Scottish Parliament

Labour are after MacAskill’s scalp By Campbell Gunn

less than a third of the way through a sentence. At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Alex Salmond was forced to defend Mr MacAskill in the face of an onslaught from Mr Gray. Mr Salmond was able to point out that the rate of absconding from prisons had been slashed under the SNP administration to a fifth of what it had been previously. However, that didn’t alter the facts of this case, that such a dangerous man was in an open prison in the first place. Of course, the Scottish Prison Service is an arms-length organisation, which is entitled to make its own decisions without the Government necessarily becoming involved in each individual case. But in the Martin case, something has obviously gone very wrong with the system, and the finger of blame is being pointed at Kenny MacAskill.

HE Opposition T parties at Holyrood smell blood.

And, for once, their target is not Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

Instead, they’re gunning for Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. He has, for a long time, been something of a hate figure within the Labour Party. He’s seen by them as an old-fashioned, Labour-loathing Nat, with absolutely no redeeming features. It has to be said that for Mr MacAskill’s part the disdain is probably reciprocated. So Opposition MSPs, and Labour ones especially, would dearly love to see him in trouble. However, Mr MacAskill’s performances in the SNP’s first two years in office have left them little room for attack.

Opportunity

But at long last they believe they’ve spotted their opportunity and appear determined to make the most of it. The first chinks in Mr MacAskill’s armour appeared two weeks ago when there was a debate on his decision to close down the Glasgow Community Justice Centre. This experimental court was based on a scheme in New York. It was set up by the previous Labour-Liberal Democrat administration, and was expected to dispense swift, effective and innovative community sentences to offenders to help repair the harm they’d caused. As well as punishing them, it was envisaged it would provide support such as access to housing, addictions, employment and mental health services, to ensure offenders moved on to a life free of crime.

No confidence ■ Kenny MacAskill launches an initiative against knife crime earlier this year — now the knives are out for him. For example, an offender might be required to undertake unpaid work on a supervised community scheme, attend a drug rehabilitation course or receive help to address debt problems. However, Mr MacAskill decided the court was not cost-effective and decided to close it. This led to a debate in the chamber, where a motion condemning the closure was passed. However, the Justice Secretary decided he would simply ignore the wishes of Parliament on the issue — something which, technically, he has every right to do. “As part of the normal constitutional arrangements, the Scottish Government is not necessarily bound by resolutions or motions passed

by the Scottish Parliament,” Mr MacAskill pointed out. That decision angered Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MSPs. But worse was to come. On Monday, Brian Martin, a prisoner once described as the most dangerous man in Britain, walked out of Castle Huntly open prison in Perthshire. Labour leader Iain Gray was furious and wanted to know why this man, only three years into a 10-year sentence for firing a gun at a house in Fife, had been put in an open prison. At the time he was convicted for that offence, he was out on licence from a 12-year sentence for assault, robbery and firearms offences. Not a man, one would have expected, to be allowed to be transferred to an open prison

There have, of course, been mutterings that Opposition parties might now bring a vote of no confidence in the Justice Secretary. Whether they have the bottle to go ahead with this threat, however, is another matter. If he lost the vote, Mr Salmond could, of course, bow to Parliament’s wish and sack Mr MacAskill. That, however, is out of the question, as to do it would effectively give Opposition MSPs a say on who should or should not be in the Cabinet. Instead, he has dared them to hold the vote of no confidence. If the Government loses it, he says he would resign, triggering an election. In the present political climate, a vote of confidence would be the Labour Party equivalent of turkeys voting for Christmas.

Labour fears as by-election beckons ONE ISSUE has dominated conversation and gossip at the Scottish Parliament over the past few days and that’s the likelihood of a Westminster by-election in Glasgow during the summer recess.

■ Michael Martin.

Speaker Michael Martin has said he’ll step down as MP for Glasgow North-East as the same time as he quits as Speaker. Under normal circumstances, this is one of the safest Labour seats, not only in Scotland but in the UK. But, of course, these are not normal circumstances.

And even without the current upheaval in Westminster politics thanks to the expenses scandals, it should be remembered that a similar by-election, in the neighbouring seat of Glasgow East last summer, saw the SNP overturn what appeared to be an unassailable Labour majority.

Short and sharp

That election was held in July, during the traditional Glasgow holidays, and local Labour activists believe this was one of the many factors which saw them lose the seat. It’s believed Labour HQ in London are anxious to get this

15

campaign over with as early as possible, and favour a short, sharp campaign, following the Speaker’s resignation on June 21, with another July election. But there’s opposition to this view from Scottish activists, who want to delay the contest until September. However, there are other factors which may come into play, with the possibility of an autumn general election being suggested, something which would cancel out the need for the by-election. But the Speaker’s decision means that, yet again, there’s likely to be no break for politicians this summer.

Birthday treat RURAL AFFAIRS Secretary Richard Lochhead celebrates his 40th birthday today. First Minister Alex Salmond often refers to him as the youngest Cabinet member, although that title actually belongs to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is still a long way short of her 40th birthday. Richard held a party in Elgin last night, but has treated himself to two big concerts — by AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen — in Glasgow later this year. THERE WAS an unusual cross-party gathering in a committee room of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday. Liberal Democrat Mike Pringle, the SNP’s Rob Gibson, Labour’s Cathy Peattie and Green Robin Harper met to record a YouTube film about Britain’s nuclear weapons. First, Mr Pringle said a few words, then the other three, with Rob and Robin on guitars, launched into a specially written, anti-Trident song. You can watch Crunch Time for Trident on YouTube. But trust me, don’t rush. IT MAY surprise readers to know that House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin doesn’t actually live in Glasgow North-East, the constituency he represents. He lives in leafy Bishopbriggs, which is in East Dunbartonshire. His MP there is Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson — one of the 23 MPs who signed the motion demanding Mr Martin quit as Speaker. The result is she’s helped put one of her own constituents out of a job. Hope she remembers his address when she comes canvassing at the General Election.


16

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

More Independents like Esther would be Margo a good thing MacDonald

E

STHER RANTZEN would make a good MP. Ditto Lynn Faulds Wood, although her style would be less flamboyant. Not having worked with Joanna Lumley, I’d hazard a guess she doesn’t share the depth of interest in politics of the two former consumer journalists. However, she took to campaigning like a duck to water and doubtless, because she’s a bright woman, she learned a great deal about the practice of the black arts during her fight for the Gurkhas. But my speculation as to Ab Fab’s Patsy’s suitability for the currently least respected profession in the country is unfortunately academic — her real-life alter ego Joanna gives the impression she couldn’t imagine anything worse, when she explains that under no circumstances would she stand for Westminster.

I don’t blame her. Going into politics and being elected without the learning, and toughening-up, acquired as a foot-soldier either in a

■ On Wednesday Esther Rantzen confirmed she was considering standing against MP Margaret Moran if she was Labour’s candidate for Luton South at the next general election.

campaigning movement such as CND or Greenpeace, or a party leaflet deliverer and canvasser, is daunting in the extreme, particularly for someone unused to the pelters doled out by the Press on the front pages and the 24/7 nature of the job. But the public mood seems to favour filling the vacated green benches with a new type of MP, who might be a celebrity name or simply a person without any party ties or previous form who, as an Independent, would be beholden only to electors and not party bosses. And although it’s difficult to imagine a democratic system of governance that would mesh with our way of deciding on political priorities and how taxes and public spending are determined, a sprinkling of Independent MPs, particularly in this reformation Parliament, might be no bad thing.

Minority

Unfortunately, I’m the only Independent in the Scottish Parliament. When there were six of us in the last parliament it became obvious to me that because Holyrood is a single-chamber parliament, and because its system of electing MSPs is controlled by the party bosses, the counter weight to this was in having some MSPs who weren’t. However, in politics as in real life, it’s an ill-wind that blows no-one any good. With the SNP as a minority government, sometimes my vote is pivotal. When that happens, either I judge it to be the right time to barter my vote for one of my own policy

priorities, like the Capital City Supplement (extra cash for Edinburgh) or I do a canvass of opinion in the region I represent. But Westminster and Holyrood would benefit from the same change in our method of electing the

members of both parliaments. A system copied from the Americans, party primaries, could put the choice of candidates to represent their parties in the elections in the hands of voters. That way, more independentlyminded candidates, perhaps reflecting the views of constituents better than MPs concerned not to fall out with the party machine, could be chosen by voters. Following the shock and disgust caused by MPs, Independents elected to the next parliament should be the people to do most to introduce a new culture into the old place. But the Press will have to shake off the bad habits built up over the past 30 years. For example, sometimes U-turns are the only fair or financial decisions open to a government when circumstances change. Because the Press characterises this as a weakness, party politicians try to smooth-talk their way round what should be a straightforward account of the reasons for change — recession, climate change, etc — and the spin-doctors are kings. Westminster must reform but its MPs mustn’t act hastily without thinking about priorities and timing. A Holyrood-style Petitions Committee might improve things as well as a few imaginative, nostrings-attached Independent MPs.

Cameron will welcome a Commons clear-out

IT’S NO exaggeration to say this has been the most extraordinary parliamentary week in living memory, writes our man at Westminster.

For the first time in more than three centuries the Speaker of the House of Commons has been forced out of office and for the first time in almost exactly as long the House of Lords has suspended two of its members for the remainder of the parliamentary session. The atmosphere is indescribable.

Michael Martin had been the target of much criticism even before the events of the past two weeks made his position untenable. Traditionally the Speaker’s job is to defend the privileges

Westminster Watch

of MPs and, in the current climate, that’s not a task to be taken too literally. His personal attacks from the chair on two reform-minded MPs were unprecedented and even his friends found them impossible to defend. Nonetheless, Mr Martin did at first seem determined to hang on to his position, at least until the end of the current Parliament. Once Nick Clegg openly called for his removal, however, his number was up. This was Mr Clegg’s second successful gambit of recent times, in the wake of his triumph for the Gurkhas. After a period of self-imposed

hibernation he and his party are showing signs of life. David Cameron, too, has recognised the treacherous atmosphere, tacking resolutely into the new and bracing winds of 2009. His policy of “zero tolerance” towards miscreants may ultimately deprive him of one or two close supporters but he calculates (probably correctly) that most of the scalps he has to sacrifice will be those of older colleagues.

‘Bed blockers’

This overt clear-out of so-called parliamentary “bed blockers” will suit his purposes very well as he rebrands his party and campaigns for “change”. There are now seven independent MPs — five of whom were elected as either Tory or Labour — and the number seems set to rise as one disgraced member after

another is stripped of his or her party’s whip. There is also a junior minister, Shahid Malik, whose front-bench career is frozen in abeyance until the allegations against him are proven or thrown out. We do live in exciting times. For all the mainstream parties it’s a dangerous omen that all these shenanigans have taken place just before European elections, which always provide an easy opportunity for protest voting. The Greens, the UK Independence Party and the BNP are all hoping for a low turnout and seats gained. There may also be some unexpected upsets in the local elections taking place on the same day. All the main parties have now been dragged into the expenses row but it’s still Labour that seems likely to be the worst damaged. As the governing party it has more MPs than all the

other parties combined, it has more “big names” and, after 12 years in power, it can hardly wash its hands of the prevailing system for expenses — even if it was originally set up when the Tories were in the majority.

Election

The polls still suggest Labour would comfortably come second in a general election but if the turnout on June 4 is as low as some people now fear the party could conceivably end up third or even fourth. The Prime Minister might manage to explain away third place but it’s hard to believe he could carry on if Labour comes fourth in a national election. Either way, he can find few, if any, grounds for optimism at the end of a truly dreadful week — for Labour, for Parliament and for public life in general.

Dual salary criticism is misleading, says Salmond By Campbell Gunn

FIRST MINISTER Alex Salmond has written to Conservative leader David Cameron to clarify the position on the salaries he draws from Westminster and Holyrood.

The move follows Mr Cameron’s criticism of Mr Salmond at last week’s Scottish Conservative conference, when he accused the First Minister of taking two salaries. Mr Salmond explained, “I pledged in both the 2005 General Election and the 2007 Scottish Parliament election that if I were successful in becoming an MSP at Holyrood then I would personally benefit from only one parliamentary salary. “The system at Holyrood is that dual members receive their Westminster salary plus one-third of the MSP salary. “I established a charitable trust in honour of my late mother shortly after the 2007 Scottish Parliament election into which I pay my Holyrood salary.” Mr Salmond added that the trust, run for the benefit of youth and community groups in north-east Scotland, is now worth more than £30,000 and has given grants to some 40 applicants. “All Scottish ministers accepted a pay freeze in respect of their parliamentary and ministerial salaries this year and therefore I pay my MP salary increase into the trust,” he said. “Given the misleading impression you created about my benefiting from two salaries, I would invite you to reconsider your remarks and act accordingly.”

‘Stop slide into soft-touch Scotland’ SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVES have set under-fire Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill seven tests they say he has to meet if he wants to reverse the slide into a soft-touch Scotland. Conservative justice spokesman Bill Aitken said Mr MacAskill’s primary duty was to protect the public and make Scotland’s streets safer. “He is failing miserably in that task,” Mr Aitken said. “Had the Scottish Government not bowed to Scottish Conservative pressure and promised 1000 extra police officers it would be difficult to take any positives from the last two years.”

Scots apprentices ‘let down’ by SNP

MORE THAN 1000 apprentices have been made redundant in Scotland in the past year, the Labour Party claim. And they say that fewer than a third have managed to find alternative employment or training. Shadow employment and skills minister John Park said he was appalled that apprentices were being let down by Alex Salmond. “The First Minister promised any apprentice who lost their job as a result of the recession would be able to complete their training with another company.” However, a spokesman for Finance Secretary John Swinney claimed the figures were out of date. “Thanks to the Scottish Government’s Budget, passed in February, we have had an apprenticeship summit, which John Park welcomed, paving the way for a new apprenticeship guarantee, which opposition parties also welcomed, as well as an additional 7800 apprenticeship places this year,” he said. “We have also brought forward £95 million in European funding, which will help support around 75,000 training places across Scotland.”


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

■ Dougie — nervous about performing his famous song live with the RSNO.

I

F Homecoming Scotland is remembered for anything, it will be that advert featuring Sir Sean Connery, Chris Hoy and many more trying to sing Caledonia.

More than 30 years since a young struggling musician wrote the track while genuinely pining for his homeland, the song has grown to the point where its words and tune are familiar to everyone.

On Saturday its writer Dougie MacLean will perform it for the first time with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at their Scottish Prom in Glasgow.

Like anything that taps into the public consciousness, Dougie could never have predicted the song would have such success or personal meaning for people around the world. “The song seems to touch something in people’s longing for home,” said Dougie from his home in rural Butterstone, near Dunkeld. “It wasn’t contrived and had no pretentiousness. The lyric might be simple but it’s honest.

Honest

“I was genuinely homesick when I wrote it. I was only 23 or 24 and I was busking around the south of France with three Irish guys. “I was young and naive when I wrote the song but it was real. “And I think when you write for genuine reasons there’s an unknown, magical ingredient. “If it was known what that ingredient was then everyone would be churning it out. “I’m very proud of Caledonia, it has its own life. “A songwriter is very lucky if they have one song that will outlive

By Murray Scougall them, and that’s what I have in Caledonia. “I have a huge body of work, over 20 albums, so I don’t need Caledonia for my live shows. I don’t always sing it, although I never tire of performing it. “Some people need that one song to keep their career going but mine’s not like that.” While contemporary mainstream Scottish acts like Paolo Nutini and Amy MacDonald have covered the song in recent years, it was another cover version that first propelled Dougie’s anthem into every living room in the country.

Permission

“I was prepared not to give permission for the song to be used in the Tennent’s Lager advert, when it was sung by Frankie Miller, but then I saw the ad and I realised it wasn’t really about lager but about Scottish identity and selfconfidence. “At that time, everyone had to leave the country to make it. They were all going to London. “I like to think my wee song has been part of that shift in attitude, where people realise they can stay in Scotland and make a go of things here.” The song’s latest incarnation as the official song for the Homecoming campaign has even led to Dougie joining an elite group of celebrities who have featured in The Broons. “That was great fun. Whatever else I do now, I can say I was in The Broons. “It’s the Scottish equivalent of being a guest star in The Simpsons! “I have it framed here in my house. When you grow up with a thing like that, as I did, you feel you know the family. “I have all The Broons

annuals, so to see myself sitting in their sitting room was almost like an out-of-body experience. And it looked to me like Daphne was giving me the eye!” Dougie’s show with the RSNO on Saturday will be in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, one of his favourite venues. Rehearsals with the orchestra will take place over the next few days, with Dougie performing a selection of his own music and interpretations of some Burns songs.

Exciting

The award-winning House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band will also take part. “I’ve been sending files of music back and forth to the arranger, Paul Bateman, exchanging ideas but we haven’t actually rehearsed yet. It’s really quite exciting although a little nerveracking. “I’ve worked with a 12-piece string section many times but this is the first time I’ve played with the RSNO and I think it will bring a new dynamic to the songs.” The Glasgow gig will certainly be less worrisome than a recent concert in Anchorage, Alaska.

Volcano

“A volcano erupted the day I arrived and the show was nearly cancelled. I could see it from my hotel window. “The show went ahead, although every time there was a noise from outside the audience shifted uneasily in their seats!” In the autumn Dougie will host the fifth annual Perthshire Amber festival, an event that has quickly grown since it started as a three-day festival in 2005. This year it will be a 10-day event and has been given official Homecoming backing. Based around Dougie playing a concert in a different venue with a different musical arrangement each night, the festival has music fans flocking to Perthshire each year.

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Dougie’s song has changed people’s views of Scotland


18

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

They couldn’t face another night in New York hotel By Hayley Cook

LAST YEAR Christine Rowley, from Tranent, booked a three-day trip to New York for herself, husband Mark and 11-year-old daughter Lauren.

She bought the £300 break from First Choice Holidays in Edinburgh’s Fort Kinnaird Shopping Centre, who were acting as a booking agent for First4Hotels. The family were staying at Manhattan’s Morningside Inn but after arriving in the early hours they discovered a different reason why the Big Apple is nicknamed “the city that never sleeps”. Opening the door of their hotel room, they were hit by a damp, musty smell. Mark noticed water dripping from a radiator on to the carpet and the sodden floor indicated it hadn’t sprung its leak recently. There was another problem — the radiator was hot but the room bitterly cold. A broken window catch was stopping it from closing and freezing New York air was blowing in. Christine went to the hotel reception and asked for their room to be changed but no others were available so the family were stuck in their ice-cold abode. The following morning she called First Choice in the UK. After explaining about the state of their room she was told to enjoy the rest of her break with the promise that alternative accommodation would be found for the remaining two nights. All day she kept her ears pricked for a call on her mobile telling her another hotel had been organised. But First Choice never rang. Unable to face another night at the Morningside, the family found a nice hotel — Broadway’s Radisson Martinique — and paid £260 for the remaining two nights.

Refund

The rest of the holiday was fantastic and on their return Christine asked First Choice to refund the money for the two nights they didn’t spend in their sub-standard hotel. She was told there was no refund because the hotel she’d booked carried one star. Christine said she wasn’t told this when booking so she wrote to First Choice. In fact, since returning from America more than a year ago she’s written four times, phoned on numerous occasions and lost count of the emails she’s sent. With her constant pleas falling on deaf ears, she contacted Raw Deal. As soon as we got in touch with First Choice things took off. A spokesperson said, “First Choice holds customer satisfaction in the highest regard and we’re sorry to hear about Mrs Rowley’s complaint. “As soon as we were contacted by Mrs Rowley on April 2 we got in touch with First4Hotels to source alternative accommodation. The supplier tried to find this within Mrs Rowley’s budget but no alternative could be found until April 3. “First Choice was solely acting as an agent for First4Hotels and although Mrs Rowley was not travelling on one of our holidays we do recognise her as a valued customer. Therefore as a gesture of goodwill we have offered £225.” A delighted Christine said, “I just want to say a huge thank you — I’ve received a letter from First Choice confirming the compensation, which I’ve accepted. I’d given up on getting anything!”

Rreaders aw Dsayeathanks l ... ■ Thanks to your assistance the caravan park have agreed to return my £100 deposit. — Mrs E. Scott, Lochgelly. ■ Jeweller is refunding my money and returning my part exchange watch. Thank you so much for your swift and successful intervention. — Mr John McHugh, Torquay. ■ A big thank you for your help. My little girl is delighted to have her pink notebook laptop back. — Angela Costello, Thurso.

Raw Deal Her streaky roof was the talk of the street Got a problem?

The page that gets things done

Write with details — including your address, postcode and a daytime phone number — to: Raw Deal, The Sunday Post, PO BOX 6816, Dundee, DD1 1WB. If you include an SAE we’ll acknowledge your letter.

rawdeal@sundaypost.com

AST August Elizabeth Spence, from L Crossmyloof, Glasgow, had a day out at the Ayr Flower Show. In between admiring the blooms she stopped at a stand for Aquaseal. The company offer roof renovations and Elizabeth was impressed with their “before and after” display.

She moved into her home when it was new in 1971 and by last year the cement-based tiles on the roof needed a makeover. After taking her name and address a representative later called at Elizabeth’s home. For £1760 Aquaseal would clean her roof and apply an undercoat. When it was dry, they’d return to apply a final coat and, bingo, the roof would look brand new. Towards the end of August the company did the first part of the job. On a Friday evening a few days later they returned to complete it but Elizabeth was wary. It was 7 pm — surely it would soon be too dark to finish the work. “No problem — my boss said I couldn’t complete three roofs in one day but I’ll prove him wrong,” she was assured by the roofer. When the job was done the sky was almost pitch black. Elizabeth was told not to worry as she wouldn’t have to hand over her cheque until she’d seen her roof in daylight and was happy with the result.

By Bill Hicks

On Saturday morning she looked skywards and was horrified. The finish on the roof was different shades — light at the ridge and darker the closer it got to the guttering. The following Monday, Aquaseal called to collect their cheque. Warily, on the promise that the streaky finish would be rectified, Elizabeth parted with her £1760. She wishes she hadn’t. Despite the promise that someone would call to sort out the issue no-one ever did.

Frost-free

In September she wrote to the firm. She received a reply stating they were sorry about her dissatisfaction and would send someone to redo her roof at no extra cost. By November, she’d made several more calls to Aquaseal. When Elizabeth finally got to speak to someone she was promised her roof would be sorted as soon as there was a frost-free day. As we had a hard winter, she gave Aquaseal the benefit of the doubt, but when a neighbour told Elizabeth her streaky roof was the talk of the street she vowed not to let the matter drop. She wrote again, heard nothing

■ Elizabeth’s looking forward to having her roof repaired. and when the sun finally shone a couple of weeks ago she called the company. Again, she was given an assurance someone would call her. They never did, so she contacted Raw Deal. As soon as we got in touch with Aquaseal, a date was set for the remedial work to be carried out. “Further to our conversation,

I would like to confirm we have organised for Mrs Spence’s roof to be repaired on June 3,” a company spokesperson said. “I have spoken to the customer and she seems satisfied with our response.” Sure enough, Elizabeth is over the moon. “I feel as if I’ve won the lottery,” she said. “You did in 12 hours what I couldn’t manage in nine months!”

Sunshine ending to Fraserburgh mum’s CSA problem SEVERAL YEARS ago Gail Davidson, from Fraserburgh, ended a relationship with the father of her daughter, Aariel.

At first the couple agreed that maintenance money to help Gail bring up Aariel (7) would be paid directly into her bank account. However, that arrangement didn’t work and Gail, who was unemployed, contacted the Child Support Agency to see if they could get a payment plan on a firmer footing. After months of phone calls and filling out forms the process seemed to be working well and Gail was thrilled her payment was arriving in full every month. In October 2007 she went back to work and received a letter stating the payment plan would now change to £21 and she would receive money every week instead of monthly. The switchover went smoothly until May last year when her payments became few and far between — but even when they did arrive, which wasn’t regularly, they were for no more than £6! She thought something was seriously amiss.

By Laurie Watson

After all a few pounds a month wasn’t much use to Aariel. So she contacted the CSA and was told that payments were still being collected from her ex-partner and there was no reason for the reduction or for payments going amiss. Assured that it would be resolved immediately, Gail was seething a few weeks later when things were still no better. Twenty calls to 20 different case workers brought the same response — Gail was told there was no explanation for what was happening, but her problem continued. Finally, after 10 months of going round in circles she thought she’d made a breakthrough in March. She was told her payments were due to restart and that she’d receive arrears of around £500, which would be in additional payments of £20 a week. Gail was delighted but a quick calculation revealed the arrears were short and she couldn’t fathom why she wouldn’t receive them in a lump

sum. After all, the money should have been spent on Aariel over the previous 10 months. Gail got on the phone again but her call brought more bad news — the CSA were now planning to pay her arrears at a rate of 91p a week! Feeling like her case was rapidly descending into farce she contacted Raw Deal. We got in touch with the CSA and they promised to investigate immediately. And they came back with good news — Gail would receive a revised lump sum of £650 and her weekly payment of £21 was restored with immediate effect. A spokeswoman for the CSA said, “The Agency has made good progress to help provide clients with the level of service they expect. “CSA staff sometimes face huge challenges in trying to secure maintenance for children. The ultimate reward for staff is seeing children receive the money they’re owed.” A relieved Gail said, “Thank you so much, Raw Deal. I feel like I’ve been going round in circles but the payments are now back on track and I’ve used the arrears to book a holiday to Salou for myself and Aariel!”


Lorraine

War hero’s fury at political pygmies

NINA MACAULAY is the kind of woman who puts the great into Great Britain. The 87-year-old and her husband Iain served in the RAF during WW2 and were awarded a plethora of medals. Iain was a Japanese POW for three and a half years and died in 2003 aged 83. Nina says her husband would have been sickened at the MPs’ expense row and she’s so incensed she’s threatening to return the medals they were awarded during their years of service.

Fought

These include Nina’s 1939-45 Star and her France and Germany Star, and Iain’s Pacific Star. Nina, who is from Argyll but now lives in Sutherland, says her husband wore his medals with honour but they no longer stand for what he fought for. She is not alone. Many people feel bewildered and utterly betrayed by the political pygmies who have let us all down. Nina is calling for the money that goes towards MPs’ moat cleaning and gardening to be ploughed back into our armed services. She is quite right. It’s appalling to think our soldiers are at risk because they have inferior equipment when MPs are claiming for widescreen TVs and second homes. I hope she shames them into doing the right thing and resigning.

Wind, wave and nuclear may be our best options

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COTLAND is definitely leading the way in one vital innovation. This week our first minister opened the largest wind farm in Europe at Whitelee in Renfrewshire and our place at the forefront of sustainable energy was assured. I happen to be completely in favour of wind farms.

I think they look amazing and could save the planet. I know many view the giant turbines as eyesores, but I actually think they’re magnificent and rather beautiful. Whitelee has 140 turbines and they can generate enough power to run 180,000 homes. Just think of the money that will be saved and the impact on cutting carbon emissions. It’s a brilliant scheme and the good news is it’s to be expanded already. Alex Salmond announced a £300m extension that will see a further 36 turbines making enough electricity for half a million homes. It’s obvious we desperately need to

find greener, cleaner ways of generating electricity and wind power is something we have plenty of in many parts of Scotland (some might say the Scottish Parliament area of Edinburgh is a perfect site for a wind farm). We’re lucky enough to have boffins in our universities who are at the cutting edge of this technology and they need the resources and support to come up with ideas to replace oil and gas, commodities that are fast running out.

Boosted

We also have to be grown-up about nuclear energy and, for all its drawbacks, face up the fact that it might be our only choice in the future, along with wind and wave power. At least this wind farm, which has created hundreds of jobs and boosted the economy by at least £300 million, is a step towards a brighter and greener future. We should respect the views of those against further wind farms along our coastlines and in areas of natural beauty but, if the alternative is sitting in the cold and dark with no computers, telephones or means of transport, then we really have no choice.

■ NOT EXACTLY a surprise that Ben the balloon got the bullet from The Apprentice. He was too young, too inexperienced and too cocky. I met him this week and actually found him rather endearing. He admitted he made a bit of a prat of himself and that he’s learned a lot from being on the show. I still think the girls have completely overshadowed the boys in this series and the final has to be between Yasmina, Debra and Kate, although you can never rule out the unpredictable Lorraine (right), who is the real dark horse of the competition. It’s been my TV highlight of the week and I won’t know what to do with my Wednesday nights when it’s gone.

Surgery isn’t a quick fix for obesity

■ HAPPY BIRTHDAY to

Dundee United! The club celebrates its official centenary today with a big cake and hopefully a place in Europe. Watching my team can sometimes be a painful experience, but football should never be easy and there have been far more highs than lows this season. I’d love to see us end with a bang, but whatever happens here’s hoping today it’s all about football and nothing else.

NHS BOSSES in Fife have refused to fund a gastric bypass operation on a morbidly obese man and I can’t say I blame them.

Davie Adams weighs 34 stone and says he’s addicted to food and can only lose weight by having an operation. He’s so big he fears he will die, but the best way for Davie to shed the pounds would be not to eat so much and to do some exercise. I don’t mean to be harsh and I know all too well how hard it is to shift

excess pounds, but there are too many overweight people who think surgery will instantly transform them into slim happy people. It won’t. This is a serious operation and not to be entered into lightly.

Willpower

You need a tremendous amount of willpower to make it work and success isn’t guaranteed. You have to monitor what you eat and you must exercise or you will be left with loose skin that looks like a Nora Batty body stocking.

I feel sorry for Davie. He hardly goes out of the house and can’t go to football games because he’s too big to get through the turnstiles. He has tried to lose weight in the past and he obviously needs help from his GP. I’m just not sure surgery is the best treatment. Many problems with food are psychological and until you solve the root cause it’s impossible to shed the pounds. Going under the knife, whether it’s for a band, a bypass or liposuction, isn’t the answer for everyone.

Kelly

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

■ Alex Salmond opens the largest wind farm in Europe.

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Brad and Angelina defy the gossips DIDN’T BRAD and Angelina look impossibly glamorous as they sashayed down the red carpet in Cannes? They really are like a different species to us mere mortals with their perfect hair, skin, teeth and immaculate dress sense. It’s hard to believe Angelina gave birth to twins less than a year ago. There have been rumours galore that the pair are to split up, and there are many commentators who would love nothing more than for their relationship to fail. This is horribly mean-spirited, but that show of lovey dovey unity should put paid to those gossips who gleefully predict the worst.


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Dinosaur man of Skye is battling to save our past

UGALD ROSS hauls back the D large sliding door on his lockup, a quarter of a mile from his remote farmhouse in Staffin in the north of Skye. By Euan Duguid At first glance it’s an ordinary builder’s shed, complete with neatly arranged piles of scaffolding poles and stacks of roofing tiles. That’s until Dugald, a roofer to trade, carefully unravels a white sheet covering a mattress — revealing what appear to be broken sections of large sandstone block. A beam of sunlight illuminates the fragmented slab — imprinted with evidence from an age that,

relatively speaking, makes Moses receiving the 10 Commandments seem as recent as the Eurovison Song Contest. In the week in which scientists unveiled the fossil of a 47 million-yearold primate, Darwinius masillae, the ‘Holy Grail’ of human evolution (representing the missing link between human and apes) we visited the north-eastern coast of Skye — and what is becoming a world Mecca for dinosaur fans. The island’s first dinosaur traces were identified in 1982, when a

large footprint of a 165 million years old dinosaur, similar to a Camptosaurus — a large herbivorous creature that walked on its hind legs — was discovered by a walker on Brothers’ Point the most easterly point of the Trotternish peninsula.. Since then a plethora of fossils and footprints have been discovered in the same stretch of coastline — by a spectrum of finders ranging from dog walkers to experts — transforming the inner Hebridean isle into a palaeontological site of world importance. But unlike the fossil of the Darwinius masillae, held in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Skye’s mind-boggling vault of dinosaur remains are on display in an anonymous 1840s converted schoolhouse, called Staffin Muesum, in Ellishadder..

Slab

Oh, and there’s also the slab, imprinted by what are possibly the world’s smallest footprints — dating back 160 million years — in Dugald’s shed. Down-to-earth Dugald, the custodian and curator of these primeval artefacts, gently traces his finger around the tiny indents, some measuring between six and 12 cm in length for the juveniles — and 25 cm for a single, larger print. He explains, “The slab would have originally been a mudflat, and as you can see, they all comprise of three toes and are thought to be from up to 10 baby dinosaurs, surrounding the larger footprint of a parent.” Dugald found the prints on the inside of a broken boulder whilst walking with local hotelier Paul Booth on the Trotternish peninsula in 2002. Experts reckon the prints are of an adult Ornithopod, a bipedal plant-eating dinosaur, walking with up to 10 smaller individuals. He added, “Initially I thought they could have

■ Dugald shows the dinosaur footprint on Staffa beach and, inset, with dinosaur leg and tail bone on display in his museum.

been a pack of smaller dinosaurs attacking a larger species, but it’s far more likely it’s a mother or father with its young. “They seem to be walking in the same direction at the side of a lagoon. “Finding a dinosaur bone is very exciting but it can only give you limited information about the dinosaur from the point of death. “Footprints on the other hand, especially several grouped together, provide a fascinating glimpse into their life and behaviour.” An intact concrete cast of the slab is on display at the nearby museum — the culmination of Dugald’s lifelong fascination with history. As a teenager cutting peat, he made his first historical find — six flint arrowheads dating back 4000 years to Neolithic times. Instead of selling them he stowed them away and put them on display when he opened his own

private “social history” museum in the 1970s. Now, amongst objects including old boots, farming implements and bottles, is the largest collection of Scots dinosaur fossils anywhere in the world. They include a cast of the first dinosaur find from 1982 to an actual vertebra of a dinosaur tailbone, which Dugald and dinosaur enthusiast pal David Morgan found protruding from the earth at nearby Kilt rock in 1996.

Amazed

There’s also the limb bone of a large herbivorous Sauropod dinosaur, a Cetiodarus, a long-necked quadrupedal animal approximately 18 metres (59 ft) long found by oilmen in 1994. “A lot of people are amazed that such an important collection is housed here and quite often ask why the items aren’t in a national museum.

“If the authorities see you are a responsibly minded person who can look after these fossils its better to leave them in the local area rather than transport them away to a big museum where they might be rather anonymous.” Skye is the only part of Scotland where conclusive dinosaur remains have been found. Dugald explained that it’s a combination of simple maths and Mother Nature. “Skye is volcanic, and the rocks are 61 million years old. “But the middle Jurassic sedimentary rocks underneath — the land that would have been here in the dinosaur age — are about 175 million years old. On the north eastern lip of the island this layer has been exposed at the surface by a combination of upheaval below and the power of the sea.” He added, “The island would have been

■ Dugald in front of the museum with a cast of the first dinosaur footprint found on the island.

completely different from today, very temperate and green, and part of a huge landmass. It would have approximately been on the same latitude as the south of France.” Perhaps the most fascinating throwback to that time is the discovery of a footprint of a fierce 33ft-tall carnivore, called a megalosaurus, which you can still see at Staffin beach. The megalosaurus was a large, meat-eating dinosaur, which lived during the middle Jurassic period 165-181 million years ago. The print in the rock at the shore-line, which is dwarfs a human hand, was discovered by local woman Cathie Booth after a ferocious storm in 2002 washed back shingle.

Breathtaking

A visit to Staffin changes your perception of what is already a breathtaking island. The towering Cullins, for example, seem no longer like mountains, but the tombstones of a lost race of leviathans. But Dugald says the very forces of nature that are uncovering these prints and fossils, ironically, threaten to destroy them. “If that fossil is not found at an early stage it does get worn down by the sea. That bolsters my resolve to keep looking for them. I spend many of my evenings, tide permitting, scouring the coastline for more dinosaur remains — before it’s too late.”


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

All hands on deck to dig out dockens

■ Once you’ve used a set of weeding harrows, you’ll never look back!

EEDS — they seem to be W everywhere just now. I’ve no idea how the country’s gardens are

looking, but keeping on top of them in the fields is a problem this year. I suspect the weather has to take a lot of the blame — holding back the crops, but being wet enough to let the weeds geminate and grow away.

We’re actually luckier than some — we’ve managed to get most of the weed control done on the farms — but just how successful it will be only time will tell. The cold dry spell earlier in the year held crops back and made them a bit fragile. In fact I’m pretty sure any attempts to control weeds earlier in the year would probably have wiped out most of the crop. Since the rains have come there doesn’t seem to have been much of a break to let us get on in the fields, although a couple of dryish days saw my brother busy with the sprayer on conventionally grown crops while I tried to harrow out the weeds on organic land.

Down on the farm

By Brian Henderson

To get both jobs right it has to be dry for a while before you carry out the operation — and then for a while afterwards as well. In the case of the sprayer, rain would simply wash the weedkiller off the plants. On the organic land the weeds which had been harrowed out would simply have been watered back in again by rain. I must admit it’s a nerve-racking task harrowing the crops to kill the weeds. Basically you want to be deep enough to uproot or bury the weeds, but not quite deep enough to have the same effect on the crop. I asked some of the more experienced organic farmers who had been doing the task for a number of years for some advice before I started doing it myself. They all said I should make sure I got the settings right in the first place but after I got going in the field the advice was simple, “Don’t look back!” Timing is critical — do it too early and you either damage the crop or encourage new weed seeds to germinate. Too late and you won’t be able to kill the weeds. It’s a case of getting the balance right so you’re doing more damage to the weeds than to the crop. Which I suppose is true for weeds controlled by sprays on non-organic land as well, for sometimes the crops can suffer a bit from the weedkiller spray, too. Modern sprays are usually at their most effective when both the weeds and the crop are growing well and quickly. These weedkillers make use of plants’ own growth patterns and defence mechanisms to effectively make the weeds self-destruct. In fact, when there’s not a lot of growth going on their effectiveness can be reduced — and by standing still for a spell the weeds sometimes grow away later. Sometimes a more personal approach is required to control certain types of weed, though. Dockens are a menace and even if you can use weedkillers they can be tricky to eradicate completely. But on organic ground there’s really only one way to get rid of the pests — dig ’em up and pull every last shred of root out. So the other day when it was too wet to get on with much else, all hands were called to pick up a fork and dig up docks in a recently sown grass field. I was sorry when I’d to leave for other duties, because — as I said at the time — it was nice to see everyone pulling together!

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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

■ Ed and Lil Brannon from Portland, Oregon were sympathetic to Edinburgh citizens who have to live through the roadworks every day.

Princes Street is the pits!

ORE than four million tourists M visit Edinburgh every year and with summer on the way the city is preparing for its busiest season. By Jennifer Cosgrove But since July last year, holidaymakers have been confronted with half dug-up roads and diversions to make way for the capital’s new £512 million tram system.

Even the usually busy Princes Street has been closed to traffic since February and frustrated pedestrians are becoming lost in a labyrinth of high fences and barriers that make it difficult to reach some tourist attractions. The trams project isn’t due to be completed until 2011 and Princes Street will remain closed until Christmas. But, in this year of Homecoming, designed to boost Scotland’s tourism figures and encourage expats to visit their old country, is this really the kind of impression we want to be giving our visitors?

Reaction

We took to the world famous shopping street to find out the reaction of tourists to its current state. Marian Harvey and her sister Heather Beaufoy-Fray were visiting from Birmingham for a few days. “I’m not sure at the

moment how it will affect our holiday as we’ve just arrived — but it does look a bit of a mess,” Marian said. Heather added, “I think it’s a mess, I’m not that impressed at all, really. “If I had friends coming to Edinburgh I’d certainly be telling them to avoid this area.” Jimmy and Sheila Lyons from Galway in Ireland were more philosophical in their views, believing that the disruption is all for the greater good. “You’ve got to have progress,” reckoned Sheila, who was visiting Edinburgh for the first time. “The same thing happened in Dublin and they were digging it up, and it was awful — but now it’s finished and everything is fine.” Husband, Jimmy, who had been to the city before, said, “It can’t be fun for people who are living through the disruption every day. But I’m sure the trams will be good when the project is done.” Ed and Lil Brannon had travelled from Portland, Oregon, to be in Edinburgh. “Our friends were married here five years ago and they had such a ■ Wen Luo, from Beijing in China, felt lost and confused due to poor signposting of diversions.

great time they decided to come back to the city to renew their vows so we decided to come too,” Lil said. “We understand that you need to do these things — so we just have to deal with it. “We used to live in Washington DC and there was always something going on there, whether it be roadworks or construction.” Ed added, “When it takes you 20 hours to get somewhere this kind of thing is a minor part of the vacation! “I could imagine things would be worse if you lived here and you were experiencing problems every day.” Stuart Mingham from Tongue in Sutherland said, “It is quite annoying. I think they should have some walkways going across Princes Street because there’s hardly anywhere to cross the road. “For example, if you’re

But thousands of tourists refuse to let it spoil their holiday on the side where the shops are and you want to cross to the Gardens to go towards the Castle you have to walk to the other end of the street, which is a bit of a pain! “You’d think that for a minor cost — compared to the multi-million pound budget — they could have made things a lot easier for people. “I also feel sorry for the shopkeepers whose livelihoods depend on access to the businesses.” Tina Kort, originally from Canada, has been a missionary in Botswana

for 20 years and was out sightseeing with her friend Stuart. She felt there was enough history and architecture to distract her from the tram works. “Coming from a small city in Africa this is all lovely to me — I’m absolutely gawking at everything!

Road works

“The road works don’t bother me — there’s more to life.” Eric Courtney from Los Angeles said, “I’ve been

here for three days and it hasn’t really bothered me. “I’ve been in the Old Town since I arrived and have been deliberately avoiding the roadworks because the area doesn’t look very welcoming. “If there was something I wanted to do in Princes Street then I’d do it. I’m sure I’ll make my way over there eventually. “There’s no way I’d go back home and tell people not to come to Edinburgh. I love this city — it’s beautiful and fantastic and I’m thrilled to be here.”

Juan Guerrero, originally from Seville, Spain, works in the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens. He hasn’t noticed a significant drop in tourists since the work began in February. “I think because of the credit crunch and the euro going up against the pound people from Europe are coming to Scotland to spend,” he explained. “I’ve also seen a lot more people from England and Wales — probably because it’s cheaper to stay in the UK. “The figures for winter were better than last year over the same period so we’ll have to see what happens during the summer. “People don’t seem to be put off by the tram works but they do comment that it’s not very nice and the city isn’t looking its best.” Pawel Swierk from


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

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Eating out I RECOMMEND Whispers coffee shop in Ayr. My husband and I called in for an early lunch while on a short break in the area. As I’m coeliac and need to stick to a gluten-free diet, I didn’t expect to find much to suit me. However, I was delighted to find their menu has its own gluten-free section and I enjoyed a delicious toasted sandwich with a small side salad. The staff were most helpful and I’ll certainly be back when I’m next in Ayr. — Mrs D. Murray, Larne, N.I. GOOD VALUE for money at The Lavender Tearooms, Etal village, on the B6354 about 12 miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, baked beans, tomatoes, toast and tea or coffee for £4.99. — Mrs C. Waite, Paxton, Berwickshire. ■ If you’ve enjoyed a meal or snack out, why not drop us a line? Write to: Eating Out, The Sunday Post, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow, G4 OHZ. Or you can email us at: eatingout@sundaypost.com Don’t forget to say what you had to eat including prices. ■ Marian Harvey and Heather Beaufoy-Fray from Birmingham thought it was a real mess and said people should avoid the area. the previous year from 228,250 to 185,600. However, due to the re-routing of buses, parallel George Street saw its weekly footfall figures leap from 47,500 to 139,000. Rob Winter of the Princes Street Traders Association said that while business was undoubtedly being affected by the tram works, the new transport system will bring benefits. “I think, collectively, there is a view that traders support the introductions of trams and the investment in the city centre,” he explained.

Impact

Krakow, Poland, said, “It’s my first day in the city centre and I’ve been told these roadworks will be going on until 2011. “I found information about the tram works on a website before I came here so I knew about it in advance. “Right now, it’s only a minor upset. Edinburgh is a great city.”

Diversions

Wen Luo from Beijing, China, said she loved Edinburgh but the diversions on Princes Street were not well signposted. “It’s the first time I’ve been here and I’m enjoying it very much but, because there are no clear signs on Princes Street, I am beginning to feel a little lost and confused.” The City of Edinburgh Council recently came to an agreement with stakeholders and retailers that the tram

track-laying will continue on Princes Street during the Festival in August. This is to allow the street to reopen in time for the busy Christmas shopping period and the Hogmanay celebrations. Further measures will also be taken to minimise noise and disruption, improve pedestrian access and produce appropriate signage. A spokeswoman for the council said, “We have consulted fully with businesses and other stakeholders regarding Princes Street and will continue to do so as we move into the Festival period. “There has been no drop in applications for people taking up street trader licences since last year in that area.” In March, the average recorded footfall per week for Princes Street dropped almost 19 per cent on the same period

“This means retailers have to deal with the short-term problem of Princes Street being closed and without a doubt that will have an impact on trade.” Mr Winter went on to say that the financial dispute that took place between project bosses and their contractors back in February caused a delay, resulting in essential work having to be done through the summer months. “The Christmas period is important to the retailers and to the city centre and therefore, while we don’t particularly want tram works in place during August, it’s essential the Christmas period is trouble-free.” A spokesman for VisitScotland said that despite the disruption caused by the construction work there will be long-term economic and environmental benefits. “Construction will undoubtedly cause some degree of disruption in the city. After all, it’s a huge project that will take time to implement correctly, but we expect this will be an inconvenience in the short term well worth the longer term benefits.”


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

It’s the £100,000 Cash Splash!

Gerald’s laughing all the way to the bank

By Rob McLaren

G

ERALD MARR can’t resist entering competitions in newspapers. The retired fireman from Dundee has had some success, too — he’s won a weekend break in Fort William and several books.

And, of course, he’s been entering The Sunday Post’s £10,000 cash competition every week.

Winner

But Gerald (58) admits he almost dropped the phone when we rang to say he was the latest winner in our Crack The Credit Crunch competition.

How To Enter

JUST COMPLETE the following sentence: ■ If you’re on top form, you feel like a million A. dollars B. euros C. pounds. Then call our competition line on 09010 125 050 or text SUNPOST followed by a space then your answer, name and address to 63333. Calls cost no more than 50p and it only takes around 30 seconds to leave your details. Calls from mobiles may cost a lot more. Texts cost 50p plus your standard operator rate. You can’t enter by post or email. Employees of D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd may not enter. A winner will be selected at random from all entries received by 9 am on Thursday, May 28. Winners must agree to have their photograph taken for publicity purposes. “The family laugh at me for entering competitions all the time,” he said. “But when they heard about this win they were laughing on the other side of their faces! “I was walking home from the gym when my mobile rang. I was astonished. I’ve never won something as big before.”

Gerald plans to take his wife Rosalind, a nurse, to Canada next year. “We went there four years ago just after I retired and we absolutely loved it,” he said. “The Rockies are so beautiful, just like a big version of Scotland. “We were talking about whether we should go back next

■ Gerald and his wife Rosalind celebrate their £10,000 win. year. Winning the £10,000 has settled that debate.” He is also planning to treat his children — Claire, who works in a call centre in Dundee, and Matthew, a trainee teacher in Glasgow. Gerald and Matthew are Celtic season ticket

Styles from Whitley Bay, Anne McCulloch from Stirling, Lynne Forrest from Aberdeen, Christine Gilmour from Kilwinning and Euan Goudie from Kinross in scooping £10,000. This week is your last chance of winning £10,000 — although if

holders and now he can afford to celebrate in style if the Hoops win the league today. “Winning the league on top of winning this prize would make for a very good Sunday.” Gerald joins previous winners Liz Arthur from Bathgate, Carole

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Your £100 prize crossword ACROSS 1. Flying Scotsman, for example (5,10). 9. Mean (7). 10. The making of knotted lace (7). 11. Mythical winged horse (7). 12. Rower (7). 13. Unequal sporting contest (3,5). 15. Equine animals (6). 17. Small songbird (6). 18. Capital city of Chile (8). 20. Compare in detail (7). 23. Water bird (7). 25. Sets alight (7). 26. Inactivity (7). 27. English county (15).

DOWN 1. Philately (5,10). 2. Tree bearing leaves all year (9). 3. Dinner, tea, etc (5). 4. Superintend (7). 5. Surpass, excel (5). 6. Furthest from the centre (9). 7. Form of expression (5). 8. Children’s sports-day event (3, 3, 5, 4). 14. Rigid, not adaptable (9). 16. Type of pasta (9). 19. Resembling an upper limb (7). 21. Dialect, jargon (5). 22. Relaxes (5). 24. Unlocks (5).

LAST WEEK’S SOLUTION Across — 1 Reckless. 5 Priest. 10 Rampant. 11 Install. 12 Inn. 13 Treason. 14 Gremlin. 15 Pinnacle. 17 Tease. 20 Eagle. 22 Lustrous. 25 Adapter. 27 Emanate. 28 Air. 29 England. 30 Rethink. 31 Trysts. 32 Prudence. Down — 1 Rarity. 2 Competing. 3 Liaison. 4 Satan. 6 Respect. 7 Email. 8 Talented. 9 Ringlets. 16 Colorado. 18 Adulation. 19 Decadent. 21 Entrant. 23 Roasted. 24 Heckle. 26 Angry. 27 Error.

£100 for the first correct entry pulled out of the bag on Thursday. Last week’s winner was R. Carbery, Glen Vine, Isle of Man.

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you enter next Sunday, the final week of our £100,000 cash splash, you could scoop the £20,000 prize. If you fancy your luck at joining the growing band of happy winners just follow the instructions in the How To Enter box.

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From Harry Scholes, Pontefract.

Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Address

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Send your completed entry to: £100 Crossword, The Sunday Post, PO Box 62, Dundee, DD1 9LD. ■ To submit a puzzle for publication, write to: Crossword Editor, The Sunday Post, Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 9QJ.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Camping coaches could be perfect for the credit crunch!

P

LENTY of people will be travelling by train to head off on holiday this summer.

But how about actually spending the week on a train . . . without moving anywhere?

To be more accurate we’re talking about a train carriage. Daniel Brittain has just refurbished one as a holiday home in the stunning surroundings of Loch Awe. But it’s not a new idea. Camping coaches were popular 50 years ago and with the credit crunch forcing folk to holiday in the UK again Daniel reckoned the time was right for a comeback. He explained, “I’ve reached an age, 55, where I get nostalgic for the simpler, happy-golucky holidays of my youth. I thought that if I’m nostalgic then others are bound to be too.

Discovered

“I stayed on a camping coach when I was small. When I discovered this one at Loch Awe I was amazed no-one had done anything with it sooner.” The coach had been in position between Loch Awe and the local station since the mid-1980s. Latterly it had been used as a cafe. Daniel was holidaying in the area three years ago and looking for a cup of tea when he came across the carriage. “I knew it as the tea train but when I went along I found it closed up and clearly it had been that way for some time. ■ The carriage is overlooked by the stunning Loch Awe hotel.

By James Millar

“I’d wanted to do up a camping coach for ages and so I spent a fair bit of the remainder of my holiday tracking down the owners who, it turned out, were happy to sell.” Daniel found experts who could make sure the refurbishment was authentic and work began in February last year. The coach was officially opened by House Of Cards author Michael Dobbs last week who described it in the visitor’s book as “The gateway to heaven”. Daniel is in charge of BBC Parliament in London, the digital TV channel dedicated to broadcasting coverage of the Commons, Lords and national assemblies. “Because I’m based in London it took twice as long to get the coach finished. I’d be up there during holidays and weekends.” Though he now lives in London Daniel lived in Clackmannanshire for 26 years and worked for STV. He added, “I love the Highland scenery and I love railway buildings. The camping coach combines the two. “Loch Awe is one of the most beautiful locations not just in Scotland but in the world. The view from the coach is truly stunning. “I much prefer the emptiness of the Scottish

scenery to the simple, pretty English countryside.” The Loch Awe camping coach has two bedrooms and sleeps up to five people. The trains on the nearby line aren’t a nuisance, only three a day amble by. Prices start at £350 per week — compared to around £3 for the original camping coaches. But with a shower and TV it’s considerably more upmarket than the coaches of yesteryear. First opened in the 1930s they provided basic accommodation with no electricity and water was dropped off by passing trains.

Holiday lets

But they were hugely popular as cheap and cheerful holiday lets. At their height there were 30 across Scotland and three times as many south of the border in the 1950s and ’60s. Sadly, all had gone by the 1970s. The coach is not the first railway-related project Daniel’s taken on. He refurbished Scotscalder station in Caithness as a home and set up Dunrobin Castle Station Museum. “I love railway buildings, I can’t see a derelict one without wanting to take it under my wing and renovate it.” But he stressed with a laugh, “I have a slightly depressing interest in railway stuff — but I’ve never stood on a platform taking down train numbers!”

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■ The carriage is situated between Loch Awe and the rail line at the local station.

■ The refurbished interior of Daniel’s rail carriage holiday home.


26

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Incredible life of charismatic Scot who was the original Mad Man

David was master of the soft sell

H

E was the original Mad Man — a debonair, innovative Scot who took the New York advertising world by storm in the 1950s and revolutionised the entire industry. David Ogilvy is known as “the father of advertising” and was undisputed king of the ad agency world that’s currently being featured in the hugely successful TV show Mad Men.

The son of a Gaelicspeaking Highlander and educated at Fettes, the colourful and charismatic Ogilvy had an incredible life.

In fact, he packed in enough for four or five lives. He was a chef in Paris, a door-to-door salesman, a pioneer pollster with Gallup, an officer with British Intelligence during World War 2, a tobacco farmer and, finally, an advertising guru on New York’s Madison Avenue. Ogilvy’s father, a classics

By Craig Robertson scholar and financial broker, and his Irish mother had high hopes for their bright son but times were hard. David’s father’s business was hit by the Depression and the family had little money. However in 1924, aged 13, David won a scholarship to Fettes College in Edinburgh. He repeated the trick by gaining another scholarship, this time for a place at Christ Church College, Oxford. His studies there didn’t go well though and Ogilvy left without graduating. Instead, he headed for Paris in 1931 where he became an apprentice chef at the Majestic Hotel. David admitted he learned discipline and management as a chef, but knew it was time to go. “If I’d stayed at The Majestic,”

■ David Ogilvy in his 1950s heyday as the father of advertising in New York. ■ Below — in the 1980s as head of a worldwide ad agency.

he later said, “I’d have faced years of slave wages, fiendish pressure and perpetual exhaustion.” Instead, he returned to Scotland where he became a door-to-door salesman for Aga, selling cookers. This is when Ogilvy really came in to his own. He was so successful at selling that his boss got him to write an instruction manual for the other When the war began, Ogilvy was salesmen. Thirty years later, it was still being read by Fortune magazine recruited into British Intelligence as an officer at the Embassy in Washington. editors who hailed it the best The techniques he had learned at instruction manual ever written. Gallup, particularly in the area of predicting human behaviour, proved invaluable as he analysed and made Ogilvy’s brother Francis was recommendations on matters of diplomacy and security. working for London-based ad agency Mather & Crowley and President Eisenhower’s board on showed the manual to his bosses. psychological warfare picked up They promptly hired David as an Ogilvy’s report and successfully put account executive. his suggestions to work in Europe during the last year of the war. Just one year later, in 1938, he headed for America where he landed a job with George Gallup whose opinion poll business was After the war Ogilvy bought a farm still in its infancy. David credited in Pennslyvania where he and his this time as a major influence in his first wife Melinda — he later married thinking and education. twice more — lived among the Amish community, who shun modern conveniences like cars or electricity and wear traditional home-made clothes, for a number of years. He said he revelled in the “atmosphere of serenity, abundance and contentment” but ultimately had to admit he just wasn’t very good at being a farmer. Incredibly, Ogilvy was 38 before he moved to New York in 1948 to open his own advertising business. He almost single-handedly won assignments from Lever Brothers, General Foods and American Express. Shell gave him their entire account in North America. Sears hired him for their first national advertising campaign. He created Marlboro Man and made Dove — the phrase “one quarter moisturising cream” was his invention — a powerhouse brand. Within three years, Ogilvy, the master of the soft sell, was the most famous copywriter in the world. His slogan for the world’s most luxurious car — “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock” — is regarded as the most famous headline in advertising history. Many of his sayings – Ogilvyisms as they became known in the industry – are still quoted today. ● “Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.” ● “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. Don’t insult her intelligence.” ● “What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.” ● “Our problem is to make the public believe the true things we say. It’s no use telling the truth if people don’t believe you.” In 1965, David created an international company by taking over his old London bosses at Mather &

Influence

Contentment

Crowley. It went from strength to strength and he stayed chairman until he moved to France to live in 1973. Even then, however, he was still heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business. In the 1980s — in his 70s — he became chairman of Ogilvy Mather in India and later the same decade he commuted every day from France to Frankfurt to head the German operation. He’d started with $6000 to his name, no clients, and a staff of two. He built the company into a worldwide enterprise — one of the eight largest agency networks, and one of the most respected with 359 offices in 100 countries. David Ogilvy CBE died at his home in Poitou in France in 1999, the first and last of the great Mad Men. Shelly Lazarus, present chairman of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, began her career with the company while the great man was still there.

Kilt

“He’d gather all the new employees once a month and tell them everything he knew about the business. David was quite a character, once met he was never forgotten. He was a very proud Scot and would wear his kilt on formal occasions. “We still stand by his basic tenets today. All great advertising must have a big idea, that you must have great respect for consumer and client. He was also a believer in consumer insight and one of the first to see that it’s not just about creativity but understanding what the consumer wants. “He had a very strong belief in building a brand. Everyone talks about that today but it was David who did it first. He revolutionised the industry. “His beliefs still shape the company he created, probably more than ever. “If you go into any of our offices around the world then you will see Ogilvyisms framed and hanging on walls or conference rooms. He’s still very much with us.”


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Cumbernauld’s multi-millionaire still likes to sell stuff over the Internet

27

Duncan tops up his fortune on

IS business successes mean Scots H multi-millionaire Duncan Bannatyne no longer needs to worry about the last penny. But, ever the canny Scot, he doesn’t like to waste money. Even so, it’s surprising to hear him admit to being a big fan of auction website eBay.

“My biggest eBay success was when I bought a hotel in Hastings with a huge conservatory on it,” the Clydebank-born entrepreneur recalls. “It had to go but my project manager told me it would cost £10,000 to have it taken away.

“I told him not to be silly. We put it on eBay, it went for five grand and the buyer dismantled it and took it away. I was £15,000 better off! “I’ve sold old machinery on eBay which we couldn’t get rid of any other way. People pay you fifty quid and take it away! “I’ve even sold an old piano but I haven’t bought anything other than a few books.”

Sensible

As one of the stars of Dragons’ Den, Duncan is usually seen dispensing advice to would-be tycoons so it seems a little strange to see him offering basic financial guidance to the rest of us in his new book, How to Be Smart With Money. “I think people will find it quite sensible. I have the time to think about it and I’ve met lots of people, including family members, who work for a living and don’t have a great deal of money.” Clearly a man who lives life on his own terms, I wonder if a younger Duncan would have taken the advice he gives others in the book. “I would have done — I was penniless at the age of 29!” he laughs.

Good life

“I didn’t really care about money, I didn’t have a bank account, I was having a good life in the Channel Islands. “I was working as a deckchair attendant, one of the best jobs in the world if you’re single! “I played snooker and chased girls but everything changed at 29 when I met a girl, decided to have a family and get married. I started to think about money.” In those days the only way to get mortgage was through a building society and only if you’d had an account with them for some time. “We wanted to buy a house because everyone else had one so we opened a building

By Gavin Sherriff

society account and started putting the money in from my wages. After nine months we got a mortgage.” Duncan made regular trips to auctions where he’d buy and sell cars and it was on one of those occasions that he made the spur-of-the-moment decision to buy an ice cream van. Within a week he had found an ice cream supplier in the Yellow Pages and his business was up and running.

Common sense

Not everyone may want to start their own business, but Duncan’s book suggests ways in which we can all make the most of our money by keeping a close eye on our income and outgoings. “It’s all common sense,” admits Duncan, “but hopefully the book will challenge people’s views on how they can do it and get them to start doing it.” Though it’s been a while since he needed to check his bank balance before buying something, Duncan clearly understands those who do. “Someone might come home and say they’ve bought something for half-price. But if you’re paying fees on your credit card or for an unauthorised overdraft on your current account, you can actually be paying double the price so it’s not a bargain at all.

■ Duncan on holiday with second wife Joanne. The couple have two children together — Tom and Emily. Older girls Eve and Jenny, from Duncan’s first marriage, are also in this rare family photo taken at their villa in the south of France.

with about one per cent more from a man who can’t afford subscribe to the view that one, with the letters changed people join health clubs in members than last year.’’ so it’s called a Dunki! to doubt his own judgment, January and never use them. he’ll only admit to having let When I suggest that people The book includes It’s totally untrue! 93 per cent one nugget slip through his give up their gym suggestions on how to plan for Saving money is one thing of my members use a club grasp. retirement, though he but Duncan is happy to spend memberships when times are once a week.” hard he swiftly puts me right. confesses he won’t be “The one I always sizeable sums on things that remember is Rob Law with his planning his own. “You’re not a member of a are important to him. Trunki, the little suitcase with health club, are you?” he “I’m an entrepreneur and “The most valuable thing wheels that kids can ride on. like most entrepreneurs I Despite the continuing I’ve bought is my house in the guesses correctly. “You’re the 23rd person who has told me want to keep on going until success of his businesses it’s south of France. It costs me “Every time I go to the people start cancelling health the day I die.” about £80,000 a year to his appearances on TV’s airport there’s someone with maintain, pay the staff, pay for club membership and none of Dragons’ Den that have made one looking at me so superior. ■ How to Be Smart With gas and electricity but we you have been members of a Duncan a household name. I first mentioned it in an Money by Duncan Bannatyne. spend a lot of time there. club, interview 18 months ago. Rob (Orion Books £12.99 ISBN 978 Amid all the successes and “My second biggest “You probably also failure and, as you’d expect read the story and sent me 1 4091 1286 0). indulgence is probably my Maserati Quattroporte. I bought it with cash, I’d never recommend buying something like that on credit. If I had to pay on HP or whatever I’d buy an Escort or a Mini.” Duncan hopes his book will help others weather the DUNCAN ONCE borrowed £30,000 on you spent that cash. When it ran out on “If we still had that cash and undercurrent financial storms but credit cards so it’s ironic to hear him Thursday night you knew you couldn’t stood it, the credit crunch wouldn’t have says his own businesses are identify plastic money as one of the go out again because you had no been as vicious as it was.” doing fine. roots of the credit crunch. If it seems hard to imagine a world money.” “We’re not expanding at the “We’ve started to abuse money. Forty without credit cards, Duncan agrees. “Now we spend so much on credit moment because when the years ago when I started working I’d get “I’m not saying we should go back to credit crunch hit we battened paid in a little brown envelope with a pay cards we don’t care how much we spend. cash. But maybe once a month we down the hatches and kept The bill will come in, some time. slip that told you how much you’d been should sit down and look at our finances, going. paid, how much tax there was. “Abuse of money is what helped cause look at bank statements, think about “The Bannatyne health club “You had hard cash in your hands and the credit crunch. money.” business is doing very well

Happy

Success

Plastic abuse caused credit crunch, says the man who once had £30,000 on cards


28

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Create a haven for wildlife in your garden with bee-friendly plants

Big worry over vanishing bees

OLONY Collapse Disorder or, C as it is more commonly known, vanishing bee syndrome has caused mass losses in bee populations across the US and Europe over the past two years. In 2007, Scottish beekeepers experienced a 30 per cent decrease after a summer of terrible weather. The same was true last year.

In Germany and Slovenia, losses were as high as 60 per cent and a third of all honeybees in the EU and the US have mysteriously died. There are harrowing reports of bees seen crawling out of their hives to die or simply disappearing without trace.

By Struan Stevenson Bees do more than just make honey. They are responsible for pollinating plants that provide most of our food. In fact, 70 per cent of all global food crops require pollination. Various medicinal plants and even cotton needs insect pollinators. Basically our survival relies on the survival of bees. Certain regions of China, such as southern Sichuan, are already feeling the effects. The

■ Bees pollinate the plants that provide most of our food. famous pear trees are now pollinated by hand after the uncontrolled use of pesticides is reported to have killed off the bee population during the 1980s. Pollination by hand is a laborious and costly

process where hundreds of villagers dip feathered sticks into pots of pollen and dab each individual flower on each individual tree. Scientists are not certain that pesticides are to blame for the mass losses in Europe and this theory has also been challenged by beekeepers. Beekeepers in areas that don’t use pesticides have also seen a reduction in numbers. And there are reports of bee deaths in the days before pesticides were ever used. One of the main causes of deaths worldwide however, seems to be mono-cultural farming.

The former rich, green pastures full of nectar-producing plants have, in some parts of the UK, become cereal deserts. Crops like barley and wheat are pollinated by the wind so bees don’t feed on them. They’re forced to look elsewhere for food.

Attacks

Without readily available food, the whole bee colony becomes stressed and disease-prone. An unhealthy, stressed bee is more susceptible to the parasitic mite varroa, which attacks honeybees and has also been found on bumblebees.

■ Struan Stevenson. Treatment for varroa is expensive and has been known to force beekeepers out of business. Farmers in Canada have overcome this problem by planting beneficial crops in set-aside land in order to provide the valuable nectar the bees need. Even planting bee-friendly plants in your garden, such as Clarkia Elegans Pretty Polly seed mix or the exotic flower phacelia, together with borage, charlock, wild white clover and other nectar-rich plants could create a haven not only for bees but for birds

and other animals and insects. Planting these relatively cheap seeds would benefit not just bees but our whole ecosystem. We can all do something to help the UK’s dwindling bee population. By sowing bee-friendly seeds you can help our honeybees, bumblebees and other pollinating insects to survive. ■ Struan Stevenson is a Conservative Euro MP for Scotland. He is president of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Intergroup in the European Parliament.

Free seeds for every reader

DOBBIES GARDEN CENTRE has teamed up with The Sunday Post to help save the UK’s bees by offering every reader a free pack of clarkia seeds, a nectar-rich beefriendly plant. Our bee population needs nectar and pollen to survive and needs the right kinds of flowers throughout the year. With wildflowers often scarce in the countryside these days, gardens can provide a real haven.

Clarkia is easy to grow, nectar-rich, hardy and annual. The showy flowers are perfect for borders and the wonderful display of colours look great in hanging baskets. June is the ideal time to plant seeds. To get started on your very own bee sanctuary take the voucher in to any Dobbies store in Scotland or visit www.dobbies.com using promo code TSP09 (upon checkout enter this into the coupon code field). The coupon is valid until May 31.

Free Pack of Clarkia Seeds Name Address

Email

Postcode

Terms & Conditions Voucher valid in all Scottish Dobbies stores or online at www.dobbies.com (if redeeming online please enter promo code TSP09). No purchase necessary. The voucher must be presented at the time of redemption and will not be given retrospectively. The offer is valid from 24-31 May 2009 only, whilst stock lasts and is not to be used in conjunction with any other discount, offer or promotion. Only one voucher per customer and therefore per transaction. Not redeemable for cash or against any other product. No photocopied, damaged or defaced vouchers will be accepted. If you do not wish to receive any further mailings from Dobbies please tick the box


Gardening

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

29

with Agnes Stevenson

Chrysanths in strong shades are so glamorous

T

HIS is the second year for the new borders in my garden and they’re beginning to mature nicely.

During the winter and early spring they looked bare but almost overnight the evergreens, including lavenders and oriental poppies, have put on a growth spurt and the herbaceous perennials have filled out, covering most of the soil.

Tweaked

This autumn I’m going to add lots of small bulbs, such as snowdrops, crocus and miniature daffodils that will add interest in early spring but which will fade without leaving too much unsightly foliage.

Like all new plantings, I can now see what needs to be tweaked to improve the scheme but on the whole I’m happy with the results. Gardens don’t stand still of course

handsome specimens I’d envisaged, however, a combination of wet soil and a lack of sunshine reduced them to invalids. There’s nothing for it but to replace them with something more suited to the conditions and I’m hoping to find alternatives at Gardening Scotland 2009 next weekend. I know I’ll find many plants to tempt me in the Dobbies Floral Hall. I’ve already been through the catalogue and marked up the exhibitors I’m definitely going to visit, including Jacques Amand for bulbs and Bowden Hostas.

■ Chrysanthemums regal mist red, misty golden and Allouise orange will give me autumn colour. and I can also see where, in a few years from now, I’m going to have to wade in with my secateurs and spade to control some of the more vigorous plants. I’ve already been busy controlling the osteospermums that grow in the long border under the window. I inherited a small patch of these South African natives when I moved here eight years ago and cutting them back severely has become an annual ritual. They are definitely worth the trouble, however, as they produce flowers from spring to autumn, they

You need courage to prune a Ville de Lyon WE HAVE a five-year-old Ville de Lyon clematis. In summer it flowers beautifully and looks very healthy but has become top-heavy. We are frightened to over-prune it. It grows on a south-facing wall. — Carol Goudie, Aviemore.

exception of very hard winters, they will survive outdoors if planted in a sunny spot. Arums produce most of their flowers in early summer although Ville de Lyon (above) is one of the you might have a few blooms well into better deep-red-flowered clematis and autumn. Once they have flowered it’s often recommended to be grown keep them well watered and fed to through another shrub. Clematis love build up their reserves for next year. companions and always seem to As winter approaches you should perform better like this. Growing it in cover them with fleece but leave the this way also protects the leaves from foliage on the plants and let it die down bleaching in the sun. You need so the goodness can travel back to the courage to prune this climber as it rhizome, which should be planted just belongs to group 3, which means it below soil level. You can uncover the needs to be cut back to good, strong plant in March, removing the old buds just 10 inches above soil level in leaves at this stage, and feed and mid-February. It may seem drastic, water well to start it into growth. but your clematis will recover. SEND YOUR gardening triumphs I DON’T know how to care for my and troubles to Gardening, The Arum lily. Should I cut the stems Sunday Post, 2 Albert Square, to ground level once all the Dundee, DD1 9QJ. Or send us flowers have withered? an email at gardening@ sundaypost.com — Eleanor Greenen, by email. Please do not send an SAE as Arum lilies, or zantedeschias, used Agnes cannot send personal to be thought of as tender plants but replies. now it’s recognised that, with the

can withstand wet summers and periods of drought and they can even make it through a harsh winter. They soon recover from even the most drastic pruning and are quickly sprawling all over the path again. By contrast the acanthus, which I dotted at regular intervals down the length of this border, were so slow to establish themselves that I frequently thought I’d lost all of them. For every new leaf they produced an old one died off.

This continued for several years until one summer they finally got into their stride and matured into strong, handsome plants producing bold spikes of purple, white and green flowers. Some more recent additions to the garden have not fared so well, however. A couple of years ago I added to my burgeoning euphorbia collection, planting two of the biggest, the showy E. charachias wulfenii, in pride of place either side of the path in the back garden. Instead of turning into the

Gorgeous

I’m tempted to replace my ailing euphorbias with some of the azaleas I wrote about recently, and the best place to buy them is Glendoick Gardens, Perthshire — one of the world’s leading growers of azaleas and rhododendrons. I’m also planning to visit a new exhibitor, Chrysanthemums Direct, where I hope to find some gorgeous chrysanths in strong shades that I can grow in pots for autumn colour. They offer some glamorous show-offs, such as Allouise orange and regal mist red that are exactly what I’m looking for.

Come and meet the Broons at Gardening Scotland GARDENING SCOTLAND is the annual celebration of gardening and outdoor living and this year’s show marks the 10th anniversary of the event. More than 60 schools and clubs will take part in the Pallet Garden Challenge to design the best mini-plot and visitors on Friday will be able to vote for their favourite floral exhibit in the new Sunday Post People’s Choice Award.

Fantastic

As well as sponsoring the People’s Choice Award we’ll be hosting a fantastic exhibition stand on Sunday. Buy a Sunday Post at the stand and we’ll give you a free Oor Wullie book, worth £6.50! You’ll also be able to get your hands on the best-selling Maw Broon’s Cookbook and Maw Broon’s But an’ Ben Cookbook. You’ll be in with a chance of winning one of Maw’s aprons and we’ll be giving away loads of Maw’s cookbook badges. As if that wasn’t enough we’ll also be selling superb Oor Wullie and Broons figurines and copies of The Broons Burns Night book. And don’t forget to bring along your camera and have your photo taken with Scotland’s most famous family! Tickets to the show cost £14 on Friday and £12 on Saturday and Sunday, with children under 16 going free. Sunday Post readers can save £2 on each entry price of up to two tickets by cutting out this coupon (right) and taking it along on the day.

in association with

Present this voucher at the gate and receive £2 OFF the entry price. Valid for up to two people. First Name (s) ............................................ ...................................................................... Surname ....................................................... ...................................................................... Address ........................................................ Gardening Scotland 2009 takes place from Friday, May 29, to Sunday, May 31, at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston. Opening times are 10 am to 6 pm Friday and Saturday and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. A free shuttle bus will operate every 15 minutes from Haymarket railway station to the showground. For more info tel. 0131 333 0965 or visit www.gardeningscotland.com

...................................................................... ...................................................................... Postcode ...................................................... Email address ............................................... ...................................................................... If you would like to receive updates from Gardening Scotland please tick this box.


30

Travel

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

with Robin McKelvie

Brilliant Belize, despite jaguars and barracuda www.robinmckelvie.com

WO questions I’m often asked are “Where can I go to T really get away from it all?” and “Where should I go for a genuine eco-friendly holiday?” On a recent trip to Belize I discovered an answer to both these tricky questions in the country’s Toledo district.

Belize, in central America, sharing a border with Mexico, is a fairly remote destination for British travellers as well as being an unspoilt country. It was to the deep south I ventured, to Toledo district — a land that felt right on the edge of the world, lying on the Gulf of Honduras with Guatemala on the horizon. My base was at the recently revamped Machaca Hill (www.machacahill.com) and it was soon clear I’d chosen wisely. Real attempts have been made to blend the retreat into the natural jungle habitat and their excellent guides know how to get the best out of their environment — but without damaging it. They don’t skimp on luxury, with a chef imported from Zimbabwe and a dynamic husband-and-wife management team who cut their teeth with luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent in Africa. As well as the restaurant and impressive new spa I loved that my room was open to the jungle on one side so I could peer out in search of snakes, exotic birds and the mighty jaguars that roam wild in Toledo. My first excursion took me downriver — the Rio Grande runs right past Machaca — and out into the balmy Port of Honduras Nature Reserve. With no other boats around this protected oasis we were free to ease through the thick mangroves looking for the elusive manatees. We were lucky to spot one surfacing for air before it eased back into its watery habitat. Then it was out further towards the world’s second largest barrier reef, which runs right up the coastline of Belize.

Snake

We snorkelled from a tiny inhabited islet called Snake Caye, so named for the riot of boa constrictors that call it home. A ranger showed us a snake before we dived into the Bounty advert-style blue waters for a snorkel. We came across myriad sealife in the crystal clear waters, including a giant barracuda I wasn’t too keen on! Sealife thrives here with fishing strictly controlled. Back on land the guides and I plotted more adventures with a cycle around some dirt tracks near the resort, where stumbling across a jaguar was a distinct possibility, through to a hike that took me deep into jungle it wouldn’t be wise to explore on your own. This virgin land is no zoo and the wildlife here earn the name. I also explored the work of environmental organisations active in Toledo like TIDE (Toledo Institute for Development and Environment) and the Toledo Eco Tourism Association.

Factfile

The Lonely Planet and Rough Guides guides to Belize have strong sections on Toledo.

■ The picture-perfect beach at Snake Caye.

■ Robin snorkels — keeping an eye out for barracuda. These organisations are working hard to make sure Belize doesn’t go the way of some other Central American countries and over-exploit the land and waters to such an extent that it threatens to kill off the tourism that has the potential to benefit the local economy. Toledo is not just a corner of the world that’s strong on preserving its flora and fauna. The rich human heritage is also being protected and I ventured out to two atmospheric Mayan sites deep in the jungle at Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit. The Mayan civilisation, at its peak before the Spanish conquistadors invaded in the 15th Century, were given a bit of bad press recently in Mel Gibson’s savage Apocalypto movie, but I learned another side to them — one of culture, tradition and scientific progress way beyond anything in Europe at the time.

■ A tour guide at one of the Mayan civilisation ruins in the Belize jungle.

Intriguing

Toledo is nothing if not eclectic and I also pushed on to the very edge of the Guatemalan border and the tiny Caribbean Sea village of Barranco. It’s home to an active community of Garinagu, an intriguing people who originate from Africa. Their ■ Life has its own pace in Punta Gorda in Toledo district. ■ Robin’s room’s view of the jungle at Machaca Hill. culture was dying just decades ago, but now there are tours and cultural shows as part of an attempt to protect and celebrate their unique culture. TRAVELLERS IN the north east not keen on hiking BADRUTT’S PALACE HOTEL in Switzerland is quite Not many tourists make it down to down to the central belt for flights to the Spanish simply one of the best hotels in Europe and a favourite Belize’s Toledo district and that’s all part island of Ibiza can fly direct with Flyglobespan from haunt of the international jet set. Badrutt’s lies amidst of the charm. Aberdeen. This Balearic island has a wild reputation six acres of grounds between Lake St Moritz and the for partying but the most uproarious action is main resort of St Moritz, giving it stunning views of the This is a stop beyond the middle of confined to San Antonio. Ibiza Town is a much crystal-clear waters of the lake and the surrounding nowhere but it’s a captivatingly beautiful classier affair but still has some great clubs. Alpine mountains. The hotel boasts its own private ice corner of the world that’s showing the For those looking for a more leisurely holiday there rink as well as an indoor and an outdoor swimming rest of the planet how tourism and taking are much quieter beaches and villages up north. pool. Doubles from £195. Via Serlas 27, 7500 St Moritz. care of the environment doesn’t have to Returns from £169.98. www.flyglobespan.com Tel. +41 (0)81 837 1000. www.badruttspalace.com be mutually exclusive.

Hotel of the week

Flight of the week


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

I

31

10 hours of nostalgia at Braehead Arena Heat eather herSut Sutt t ie On the showbiz scene

F you’re a fan of the ’80s then you’ll be heading to Back To The ’80s on Saturday, June 13, at Braehead Arena and Waterfront in Glasgow.

Last year it was a huge success and this year the promoters are promising more big name stars, more attractions and much more fun as they get ready for 10 hours of ’80s nostagia!

Bananarama will headline the event, with Alexander O’Neal, the brilliant ABC, Go West and Nathan Moore of Brother Beyond also gracing the stage. Joining them will be Curiosity Killed The Cat, Kym Mazelle and Fourgoodmen — now if that doesn’t tick all your nostalgia boxes, I don’t know what will! There’s also a karaoke tent,

hosted by The Curryoke Club. The club is the ultimate party venue for good old-fashioned party animals who like nothing better than great curry, karaoke and dancing till they drop! And you can get your skates on at the Reflex Roller Disco, where you’ll hear everything from Madonna to Madness, with the soundtrack set to be disco-tastic! If you fancy it, you’ll find more info at www.braehead-arena.co.uk

■ If, like me, you were a fan of The A-Team — or maybe still are as Mr T is still about and, of course, the show can be see on some digitial TV channels — there’s a big screen version in production with Bruce Willis and Woody Harrelson rumoured to have been signed. Plus Spandau Ballet have visited The Cannes Film Festival to finalise plans for a documentary about the band. Apparently it will cover their whole career and I’m sure Gold and True will be featured. They are also touring the UK later ■ Spandau’s Tony Hadley. this year.

I’VE HAD a tranquil few days as next week I have lots on. I headed up to Pitlochry last Sunday and stayed till Wednesday in a beautiful four-star self catering cottage with my friend Irene. We pottered around the charity shops, I bought lots of clothes and we had lovely home-cooked healthy meals and long walks daundering round the delights of the town. We went to the fish ladder in gorgeous sunshine but unfortunately didn’t see any salmon leap. We did however see some lovely birds and flowers — country living could well be for me!

Speaking of charity shops, the next Say No To Plastic Vintage Charity Sale takes place on Sunday, June 7. It’s the same day as the Race for Life, which some of my friends are taking part in — so if you’re training for that, I wish you well! If you fancy treating yourself after the race then why not head to Glasgow’s Oran Mor where the fifth sale takes place from noon till 4 pm. There’s free entry for everyone, mini fashion shows, a luxury lucky dip and 30 stalls selling bric-a-brac, accessories, vintage clothing, second-hand books, DVDs and loads more! The event also supports

Action for Children and The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice and the Hospice will have their own stall selling some fab clothes as Ann the manager of the Maryhill Road shop in Glasgow has a great eye for unique vintage numbers! ■ Next week I’m hosting a charity event for Marie Curie Cancer Care, working with The Scottish Refugee Council, hosting the CIS Excellence Awards and doing a special prize draw with Gala Bingo, so today I’m heading to St Andrews to scour the second-hand and charity shops to see if I can find some groovy outfits for these events!


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

So why did Joe Jonas dress up as a hot dog? T

■ Mount Everest.

By Darryl Smith

HE Jonas Brothers may have taken a while to visit the UK but now they’re here you can see them really close up.

The musical trio are a phenomenon in the United States, the latest act to be given the awesome backing of the Disney Channel.

Now they’re following in the footsteps of High School Musical and Miley Cyrus and converting that success to this country. Next month they’ll be headlining the first European concert of their world tour with a gig at Wembley Arena before returning for four more dates around the country later in the year. But if you can’t wait until then to see what all the fuss is about then fear not. All you have to do is pop along to your local cinema, put on a pair of 3D glasses and enjoy Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. The boys were filmed during their

■ Joe (inset) and, above on the right, during the concert, performing with his brothers and bandmates Nick (left) and Kevin (centre).

sell-out concert tour of America last year and the 3D experience almost makes you feel like you’re on stage with them. “The cameras are definitely a lot closer than you would like them to be,” says middle brother Joe. “They get right up in your face but you get used to them after a while — although when they’re on stage you have to adjust the way you perform a little bit.

Joker

“But we were happy with the end product and it’s really exciting for us.” The three brothers, Kevin (21), Joe (19) and 16-year-old Nick, were in London to promote their new film and concert tour. YOURSPACE got the chance to speak to Joe, who is lead vocal on most of their numbers and also comes across as the joker in the pack. “On tour a lot of the fans bring

costumes to wear — I think hoping they’ll get our attention,” he says, trying to explain away some of his japes that appear in the film. “And so occasionally I’ll ask them to hand it over and I’ll put it on and run around on stage — it’s good to have fun with the audience.

Night At The Museum 2: The Video Game Wii £29.99 Majesco A SPIN-OFF of the movie, this action adventure stars Larry Daley — the bumbling guard at the Museum of Natural History where the exhibits come alive at night.

Some of the feisty exhibits are being shipped off to the world’s largest museum — the Smithsonian Institution in Washington — and Daley rushes to the rescue when he hears that Egyptian ruler Ahkmenrah and three of history’s most monstrous bad guys (Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon and Al Capone) are plotting to take over the museum . . . and the world. On his quest to restore order before dawn, Daley (voiced by Ben Stiller) hooks up Jedediah the miniature cowboy, Teddy Roosevelt and Octavius, as well as new face Amelia Earhart.

Ranulph Fiennes

games gear & goodies

by Lucy Trevelyan

Over 14 levels, Daley and his chums must roam around The Smithsonian, trying to get their hands on the Magic Tablet of Ahkmenrah and its magic ingots. The tablet fills Daley’s trusty key chain and flashlight with a range of powers — pretty soon you’ll be bending beasties to your will to help you solve puzzles, summoning lightning from the sky and

magically opening up paintings so you can leg it into them. Intermingling with the platform sections and puzzle solving elements, there are trivia questions to ponder as well as a sprinkling of mildly diverting mini-games and heaps of object-collecting to be done, all of which unearths bonus content. There are all sorts of

Monster Mob We want this to be YOUR page — so if you want to sound off or get involved in any way, let us know. We’d love to see your pics and hear about what’s important to you. So email us at yourspace@sundaypost.com or write to YOURSPACE The Sunday Post, PO Box 122, Dundee, DD1 9UE.

vehicles at your disposal, including the Lunar Lander and a Pitcairn Autogyro. You can even hop on the back of a T-Rex skeleton! Looks-wise it could have been better but the controls are intuitive and gameplay is varied and imaginative — all in all this is a really fun gaming experience.

giveaway

WE’VE FIVE copies of Night At The Museum 2: The Video Game to give away, thanks to Majesco. Just send your name and address into Night At The Museum Comp at the usual YOURSPACE address, to arrive by Friday, May 29.

“On one of the last concerts of the tour someone brought an inflatable sumo wrestler’s costume. So I put that on and performed half of the set in it. “I also dressed up as a hot dog and sang a slow song and Kevin was laughing so hard. Trying to be serious and sing a slow song while dressed as a hot dog, well, it just wasn’t going to happen!” One thing the film demonstrates apart from the boys’ ability to have fun on stage is just how big Jonas Brothers are in America. While hundreds of British fans may have gathered in Leicester Square for the premiere of the film earlier this month, an estimated crowd of 25,000 converged on Times Square when the boys launched their new album last August.

Heroes

Some waited 72 hours in the New York rain for a glimpse of their heroes, who turned up at a Virgin Megastore at midnight to be the first to buy their new CD. Having supported Avril Lavigne on her concert tour of the UK last year, however, Joe believes the band’s British fans are a match for their transatlantic sisters in hysteria — even if they don’t match them in numbers just yet. “British girls are very nice,” he smiles sheepishly. “They are very similar to American girls, they have the same reactions and are very sweet with the gifts they bring for us. “It’s always nice to travel somewhere different and get a taste of other countries — Marmite, for example, which is definitely an acquired taste.” The clean-living threesome, the sons of an Evangelical pastor, have made it their vow to resist all the usual vices associated with rock ’n’ roll, going so far as to wear purity rings on their left-hand ring fingers. They also won’t even tell you if a girl has caught their eye, as Joe explains. “We’ve stopped telling the Press who we have crushes on because then we end up meeting the person, and it’s kind of awkward!”

Weird word of the week

Homichlophobia

by John Pickering — An abnormal fear of fog.

Who is he? Sir Ranulph TwisletonWykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet, (right) is a British adventurer and holder of several endurance records. What’s he famous for? According to Guinness World Records he is the greatest living adventurer. What’s he been up to? At 65 he is now the oldest British person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. How high is the mountain? Everest — also called Sagarmatha and Chomolungma — stands at 8850 metres (29,035 ft). The mountain, part of the Himalaya range in High Asia, is on the border between Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, and Tibet, China. How many people have climbed it? More than 4000 attempts have been made and at least 210 people have died trying to make it to the top. The oldest summiteer is a 76-year-old Nepalese man, Min Bahadur Sherchan. The first ascent was on May 29, 1953, by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Was it his first attempt? No — Sir Ranulph had a heart attack near the summit on his first attempt on the peak in 2005. Then exhaustion forced him to turn back when he tried to climb it again last year. He has also suffered severe frostbite on most of his limbs. What other records has he broken? He was the first man to visit both the north and south poles by travelling overland and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot. He ran seven marathons (26 miles each) on seven continents in seven days in 2003, just months after recovering from his first heart attack.

✔ The Apprentice — Sir Alan Sugar is to put a group of 10 teenagers through their paces in a youth version of the show. Junior Apprentice will feature five girls and five boys aged 16 and 17, who will be set a variety of business tasks to test their skills. A prize worth up to £25,000 will be up for grabs and the five-part series will be shown on BBC1 next year. ✔ Awards — Duffy, Coldplay and The Ting Tings were among the winners at the 54th Ivor Novello awards. Lots of artists think these are important as they recognise songwriting and composing instead of recording.

✘ American Idol — This year’s finale drew its lowest ratings in the US since 2004. An estimated 28.8 million viewers watched the two-hour show on Wednesday which saw 23-year-old student Kris Allen crowned the winner. The number of people watching is down from the 32 million who saw it last year, but it’s still the most watched TV show in America.


Feisty Scot who tackled the Royals head-on

W

HAT do Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Al Capone and Catherine Masters have in common?

Well they were all born in 1899 and while the first three achieved worldwide fame by the 1930s it took Catherine until 2009 to hit the headlines.

A couple of weeks ago it emerged that Catherine, a feisty lady who was born in Dundee, had not only complained to Buckingham Palace that the Queen wore the same dress on all her cards to centenarians but had also entertained Prince William to tea. To find out more about her brush with royalty, I headed off to the Grange Care Centre in the tranquil Oxfordshire village of Stanford-in-the-Vale. Entering her first floor room I found Catherine — or Katie as she is known to staff — opening a fan letter from someone in Canada who had also sent her a postcard of the Queen Mother. Wendy Mead, senior nurse manager at the care centre, said, “Katie’s had letters from all over the world, even some from long-lost relatives.”

Handshake

After proferring a strong handshake Katie fondly glanced towards a turquoise footstool and said reverentially, “That’s where he sat.’ ‘He’ is now in a silver frame on top of the TV and when I had the temerity to lift him down there was a sharp ‘no’ and I hastily put the William and Katie photo back in pride of place. Prince William had arrived unannounced with local MP Ed Vaizey who had arranged the surprise after Katie told him she’d never met a member of the Royal family. “One minute he was outside the door, the next he was here by me. It was a dream. He’s a very handsome young man,” Katie told me. HRHs can look pretty similar when you’re 109 and Katie asked him, “Are you Harry or William?” to which William jokingly

By Ian Lloyd replied, “I’m the older, balding one.” One of the reasons Katie liked William was “because he’s not big and fat, but looks after himself.” Even so he apparently demolished a chocolate eclair and a scone with his tea. Knowing I’d written about the Queen Mother in the past, Katie asked me “how old was she when she died,” to which I replied, “just short of 102.” This was greeted with delight, “I knew I was right. William told me she was 104 and I said that wasn’t right.” Katie, it seems, is not afraid to tackle royalty

■ The birthday card Catherine received five years on the trot.

head-on, and, after her last card from the Queen, rang Buckingham Palace with a complaint. The switchboard put her through to a lady-inwaiting, who trilled, “I don’t think we’ve ever had someone your age ring to thank us.” She was soon wrong-footed. “I’m not ringing to thank you,” explained Katie, “but to complain that the Queen is wearing the same yellow dress on each card.” Unfazed by the explanation that the Queen only changes the card design every five years, Katie suggested, “If you like I’ll buy her a new dress.” To be fair I could see her point. On the table next to me was a sizeable pile of cards congratulating Katie on her 105th, 106th, 107th, 108th, 109th birthdays, all showing the sender in the same canary yellow frock. I was curious to know who she got her feisty streak from. She herself thinks it was from her journalist father James. She showed me a photo of him in a crisp white shirt and told me, “That’s on a Sunday morning when he read the papers and enjoyed a smoke,” adding, “I never in my life saw him without a tie.” Catherine was born at 3 Cardean Street, Dundee

now a four-story tenement near the city centre. Her mother, also called Catherine, had three other children and, according to Katie, “Never did anything. Not a thing. She never even washed a duster.” When I dared to suggest that bringing up four children must have been a challenge in itself, I received a withering, “Do you think so?” Like many other middle class homes of the times the Crombs had a maid, “And we also had a young boy who came to clean the silver on Sunday.” They even had a billiard room so they weren’t doing too badly for the time. Katie was given what we now call ‘tough love,’ but was then just a way of life. “We were smacked of course, though it did us no harm, and you could never just leave the table without asking.” Sundays were not for the faint-hearted. “We could never play or talk loudly or even whistle. I think that’s why I became so good at playing cards. It was all there was to do. We played for money but no-one ever knew.” After church on a Sunday there were long walks to the Tay Bridge with her father. The family moved to London in 1908, travelling “by those filthy steam trains, blowing dirt in your face.”

Scottish

She would return to Dundee time and again to visit relatives and remains in her own words “fiercely Scottish.” She still misses “the beautiful scenery and the friendliness of the people.” She was delighted I could trace a Scottish lilt in her accent. In London her father made a living as a sports writer and mixed with the great and good of the sports world. He became a literary agent and was friends with Australian cricketing legend, Don Bradman, who he taught to play golf, and who in return gave him signed bats. He knew the boxer Joe Louis and the family were given a pair of his boxing

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

gloves as well as some snooker cues from the legendary Joe Davis. Had eBay been around before the war the Crombs would have been quids-in! The family has another claim to fame since Katie’s mother was the granddaughter of Robert Millar, the first person to transcribe pipe music and compile it into a Highland

Manuscript now in the National Library of Scotland. Today Katie, born in the year Queen Victoria turned 80, is planning what to wear when she meets the QueenEmpress’s great-greatgranddaughter at a Buckingham Palace garden party in July.

33

■ Catherine has tea with Prince William at the Grange Care Centre. “I bet you’re looking forward to that aren’t you,” I asked cautiously. “Yes I am,” said Katie, adding combatively, “I just hope she isn’t wearing yellow.” I don’t think the Queen would dare.


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

DeBeers’ Angela knows the secrets of a girl’s best friend

HETHER they are a girl’s W best friend is open to debate but diamonds certainly

are for ever. Perhaps as old as the earth itself the precious gems continue to hold a sparkly spell over us, whether as a symbol of love in an engagement ring or a symbol of lucre in a footballer’s earring. They are celebrated in song, draped over Hollywood’s darlings and coveted by criminals disinclined to pay the sky-high prices they command. Recently a rare blue diamond set a new record, selling for more than £6 million at auction and proving that even in a global recession some people will still find the money to own these sparkly stones. DeBeers is the name most closely associated with diamonds, mining them in Southern Africa and selling them across the globe. Angela O’Brien works as a valuer in their London Diamond Information Centre. She’s handled and valued diamonds of all shapes, sizes and even colours. Angela told James Millar The Honest Truth about diamonds.

Why a diamond is the token of a promise to marry

The Honest Truth

WHAT ARE diamonds?

Crystallised carbon grown in the heart of the earth between one and four billion years ago. They form about 200 kilometres down at temperatures between 900 and1400C and are brought nearer to the surface by volcanic eruptions. The bonds linking the atoms are equidistant and form a regular pattern — the unique property that makes diamonds the hardest substance known to man.

WHY ARE they so valuable? They are rare and extremely hard to find

diamonds are older than some of the stars in the sky.

WHAT’S THE worldwide trade worth?

Global diamond jewellery sales are $65-70 billion a year. The US accounts for 48 per cent of that, Europe 12 per cent.

and when you do find them the mining operation is intensive and expensive. They’re also beautiful, there’s an emotion attached to them. Women all over the world cherish the gift of a diamond.

WHY ARE they used in engagement rings?

WHERE DO we find them?

A diamond represents the unique commitment between two people because it has existed for so long and is so hard. A diamond really is for ever. DeBeers first used the slogan “a diamond is forever” in their adverts in the 1940s. Archduke Maximilian of Austria was the first to give a diamond engagement ring in 1477. It was placed on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was believed to have a bloodline straight to the heart.

They’re mostly mined in southern Africa and Botswana is the biggest producer of diamonds. There are also major mines in Canada, Australia and Russia.

FIRST DIAMOND?

The very first discoveries were sometime around 2500-1700BC. Later significant discoveries were made in India in the late 15th Century. For DeBeers and modern diamond mining the story begins in 1866 when a boy playing marbles on the family farm in South Africa found a particularly bright shiny pebble. A neighbouring farmer, Schalk Van Niekirk, noticed it and offered to buy it from the boy’s parents but they refused any payment because they thought it was just a stone. In fact it was a 21-carat rough diamond that would be cut and polished into the Eureka diamond. The second diamond find in the area was a year later by a shepherd boy. Schalk Van Niekirk came across him too and gave the shepherd all his livestock and land in return for the stone. This one turned out to be an 83-carat piece of rough that was cut into the Star of Africa stone.

WHAT ARE the four Cs?

Cut, carat, colour, clarity. You need to consider all four aspects when valuing a diamond. Cut is the shape of the finished diamond. Round brilliant is probably the most well known but you can also have pears, hearts, ovals, marquise, square and princess cuts. The shape of the rough determines what shape you polish the stone into. Carat is the size of the diamond in weight. The word carat comes from carob because in 15th century India merchants used carob seeds as a measure. For colour, though most people are familiar with white diamonds they can also be yellow, brown, pink, blue, green or red. Clarity is measured by looking

■ Angela O’Brien. into the stone, the fewer inclusions ��� cracks and spots — the more fire and brilliance and higher the clarity.

WHAT’S THE difference between a blue and white one?

It’s down to small differences in the crystal structure. White diamonds contain less than 0.1 per cent nitrogen, the more nitrogen they contain the more yellow they are. Blue diamonds contain a small trace of boron. Reds and pinks are caused by what’s called plastic deformation — being put under stress when they are formed. Green diamonds have been exposed to water and attendant radiation over a very long period. Reds are the rarest, then natural greens. I’d never seen a natural red until just a few weeks ago. It would be impossible to put a price on it but it would run into millions of pounds.

WHAT WOULD surprise us about diamonds?

The word diamond comes from the Greek root adamas, meaning invincible. It’s the same root as the word adamant. In France in the 13th Century women were banned from wearing diamonds because they were seen as symbols of power. Also, they sparkle like stars but actually

BIGGEST DIAMOND in the world?

The Cullinan, discovered in South Africa in 1905. It was 3106 carats as a rough. The story goes that when the polisher first tried to split it he couldn’t. He tried again successfully then promptly fainted from the stress. The Cullinan was cut into nine major stones. All are now part of the UK’s Crown Jewels including the biggest, the 530 carat Great Star of Africa.

MOST EXPENSIVE?

The 35.52 carat Wittelsbach Diamond sold in London in 2008 for $23.4million. The 7.03 carat Petra blue diamond, sold last week for 10.5 million Swiss francs (£6.05 million), broke the record for most expensive price per carat.

OTHER FAMOUS diamonds?

The Taylor-Burton 69 carat pear shape was the first recorded $1 million diamond sold at auction to Cartier who, as the story goes, sold it the next day to Richard Burton. The Millennium Star was a 203 carat stone that was displayed at the Millennium Dome. It became the target for thieves who were thought to want to deliver it to the Russian mafia. They crashed into the Dome in a stolen digger but police were waiting for them and the diamond had apparently been replaced with a replica anyway just in case they were successful.

WHAT ARE blood diamonds?

Also known as conflict diamonds they are used by rebel groups, mainly in Africa, to raise funds to support their wars. They became an issue in the late 1990s so the industry and governments got together and came up with the Kimberley Process whereby every diamond is issued with a certificate creating an audit trail that can be followed right back to where it was first discovered. We think 99.8 per cent of all rough diamonds are now certified and 100 per cent of DeBeers diamonds are conflict-free.

INDUSTRIAL USES?

Because they’re so hard they’re used in drills and abrasives. They are used, for instance, to polish replacement hip joints to be as smooth as possible. They’re also semi-conductors and are used in space shuttles to conduct heat away.

CAN YOU really make diamonds out of human ashes?

You can artificially synthesise crystallised carbon from organic matter. The process has been around since the 1950s. But I think you’d need a lot of it.

WHAT’S THE history of DeBeers?

It’s the biggest diamond mining firm in the world. Founded in 1888 by Cecil John Rhodes and named after the plot of land where diamonds were first discovered which belonged to the DeBeer brothers. London diamond merchant Ernest Oppenheimer joined the company and worked his way up to become chairman and since then the firm has remained in the hands of the Oppenheimer family.

WHAT’S YOUR background?

I wanted to be an air stewardess when I left school but was too young. So I took a job diamond sorting while waiting to reach the age threshold. But I saw a completely different world and stayed on. In 28 years I’ve worked on many different aspects of the company and now work as a valuer. I still love diamonds though — nothing lights up someone’s face like the sparkle of a diamond.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Rob Scott’s Book

35

Topten After 30 years together through ups and downs

BORN IN New Jersey, journalist Irma Kurtz has spent the past 40 years in Britain. In the 1970s she became famous as the agony aunt on ground-breaking women’s magazine Cosmopolitan. In a thought-provoking book she’s collected the experiences of a number of older folk, About Time — Growing Old Disgracefully is a fascinating and inspiring read. It’s published by John Murray, £16.99, ISBN 978-1-84854-023-1.

Classical

THE RSNO SCOTTISH PROM has for over 50 years been one of the biggest nights in Scotland’s classical music calendar. This year’s event, in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday at 7.30 pm, commemorates Homecoming Scotland and features guest appearances from Dougie MacLean, who will be performing Burns songs and Caledonia, and the House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band. ☎ 0141 353 8000 for more info.

Simple Minds are back on form again

Musical

MUSICAL QUADROPHENIA scooters you back to the 1960s where mods and rockers fight on the beaches of Brighton. Music is by The Who’s Pete Townshend. Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Tues to Thurs, 7.30 pm, Fri 5.30 pm and 8.30 pm, Sat 4 pm and 7.30 pm. ☎ 0131 529 6000 or www.festivaltheatre.org.uk

CD

CUBAN PIANIST Roberto Fonseca first came to prominence as a member of Buena Vista Social Club and his second album, Akokan, is released by Montuno/Enja records tomorrow.

Cirque

LE GRAND CIRQUE FANTAZIE has been described as one of the most exciting shows ever seen. It comes to the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, for six days, starting on Tuesday. It features an international cast of acrobats, high-wire performers and world-class artists in a thrill-a-minute production. Nightly at 7.30 pm, except Friday at 5 pm and 8 pm. ☎ 0871 297 5454 for further details.

Puppets

BANK OF SCOTLAND’S Imaginate Festival in Edinburgh, from tomorrow till June 1, features Pero (The Mysteries Of The Night) at the Brunton Theatre, which uses actors and puppets to tell the story of a bashful baker too shy to declare his love for the girl next door (age six and up), Tues to Thurs, various times. The Museum Of Dreams, also the Brunton, employs puppets in a tale about a lonely museum attendant. (ages 6-8). Thurs to Mon, various times. ☎ 0131 665 2240 or www.bruntontheatre.co.uk — more info on Imaginate at 0131 225 8050 or www.imaginate.org.uk

DVD

IF YOU’RE old enough to remember Oh No, It’s Selwyn Froggitt! you’ll doubtless want to enjoy again the good-natured 1970s Yorkshire TV comedy about a big-hearted-but-clumsy council labourer which made Bill Maynard a household name in the title role. The complete first series is being released tomorrow by Network for £12.99.

Elvis

THE ELVIS YEARS will be showing at the Music Hall in Aberdeen on May 30 at 7.30 pm. An outstanding concert tour production of the West End Show Jailhouse Rock with original star Mario Kombou and Ivor Novello award winning musical director David Mackay leading the incredible band. ☎ 01224 641122.

Ceilidh

TODAY IS the final day of the Knockengorroch World Ceilidh Music Festival in Kirkcudbrightshire. ☎01644 460662 or go to www.knockengorroch.org.uk

Play

THE LATEST production in Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s summer season to start its run is Liz Lochhead’s warm-hearted comedy Good Things, on Thursday at 8 pm. ☎ 01796 484626 or go to www.pitlochry.org.uk/page2.php

T

HERE’S no getting round the fact that Simple Minds are one of Scotland’s most important musical exports. After 30 years together they’re as passionate about their music as ever and certainly not content to rest on their impressive laurels. Their new album, Graffiti Soul, is released tomorrow, which sees them in fine fettle and bringing back the feel of their glory days.

There’s a palpable air of excitement about the band now and frontman Jim Kerr is full of enthusiasm and keen to see the band back at the top. “It feels good now but it hasn’t always been this way. Six years ago it was like getting blood out of a stone,” he revealed to me. “We had no energy and had lost our way. But everything feels completely different now — we have the bit between our teeth again and feel like we have momentum once more.” Despite it being their 15th studio

album the sound and energy of the record harks back to their earlier years. Perhaps the reason is that some of the tracks were created in their native Glasgow, with some taped in the Rockfield Studios in Wales — where they made some of their earliest recordings. “It’s strange because actually we’ve now probably spent most of our adult lives NOT being in Glasgow, but when we were putting this together we were there again and the location can definitely influence you directly. If you feel good in a place, the energy you get can certainly make an impact,” Jim said.

Heavy metal

“There are some rehearsal rooms we use in the city centre where there are just 14 rooms and they’re all packed with kids making music — everything from an accordion band to a heavy metal act, punk band or an R&B act. “Everyone works in shifts and there’s a great sense that anything can happen and what they’re doing could change not only their lives but other people’s lives, too. “We didn’t set out to go back to our roots. We actually used Rockfield because it’s one of the few quality residential studios, but it’s hard to

■ Simple Minds — from left, Charlie Burchill, Eddie Duffy, Jim Kerr and Mel Gaynor — play Edinburgh Castle in July. escape a sense of deja vu about the whole thing this time.” Simple Minds have had huge success over the years — topping charts around the world, but it’s been some time since their music matched the commercial success of top bands such as Coldplay. But Jim says he’s not content to reflect on past achievements and would like to see the band battling for the top spot again. “Some people might ask ‘Why is it important what chart position you get?’ but for me the challenge is to get us back on the radar — I want the record to sell as many copies as possible. “A lot of contemporary music harks back to that ’80s sound — like The Killers and MGMT.” If Jim has high ambitions for the band’s new music he doesn’t feel too bad about the fact they lost their way a little after achieving global success. And he doesn’t think any of their less successful albums were unfairly treated. However, he’s glad the band stayed together. “The thought of splitting up did pass

WIN The Best Of Kiki Dee CD

KIKI DEE has had a string of huge-selling hits in her long career but is often overlooked when it comes to naming Britain’s top female vocalists.

However, anyone listening to the great new compilation The Best Of Kiki Dee, released tomorrow, will be impressed with the range and quality of her work. Of course her biggest hit was the world-conquering 1976 duet with Sir Elton John on Don’t Go Breaking My Heart which sold more than a million copies in the US alone and which naturally graces this collection. There are other classics here, too. The superb Amoureuse is one of the great love ballads, while on

the rocking I’ve Got The Music In Me she puts in a sensational vocal turn. Other hits in her long career you’ll also find on it include How Glad I Am, Star, Loving And Free and First Thing In The Morning. She and Elton have been best friends for many years and they teamed up for another duet in 1993 on a cover of the Cole Porter classic True Love which got to No. 2 in the charts. Whether it be heartfelt ballads or up-tempo grooves, Kiki was equally happy with both and all music fans should be happy to add this to their collection. The good news is you can get a copy free as I

have 10 to give away in this week’s competition. To have a chance of being one of the lucky winners, send in the answer to this question — ■ As well as the duet with Kiki, Elton John also recorded another hit version of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with which other artist?

a) RuPaul b) Tina Turner c) Lulu? Write your answer on a postcard or back of a sealed envelope only, along with your name, address and daytime phone number, and post it to Kiki Dee Competition, The Sunday Post, 144 Port Dundas Rd, Glasgow, G4 0HZ. Or email your answer and contact details to rhythm@sundaypost.com, marking the subject as “Kiki Dee Comp”. First 10 correct entries drawn on Friday, May 29, win a copy each. Employees of D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd, and their close relatives, may not enter. The Editor’s decision is final. This is a joint promotion between The Sunday Post and EMI.

Rhythm

section

by Kevin Bridges

through my mind but I’m glad we didn’t do it. There is a sense of ‘what do you do if there’s no juice left in the tank?’ There’s no book or manual about it. “Being a musician isn’t a job or a career, it’s your life and life doesn’t always make sense. You can get bored and alienated with yourself at times, but what then? Do you get desperate? Do you get bitter? “I don’t think the world owes us anything — we’re just humbled to still be doing this.” Jim and the lads have always refused to go down the route of being a nostalgia act — simply touring their greatest hits — preferring to release new material wherever possible and they plan to continue that way, despite being one of the few bands who can do justice to a big stadium. Jim explained why. “There are some people who say ‘Does anyone actually need another Simple Minds album?’ but I think the answer is yes. This is a new story and a new chapter.”

Retro

The band are playing a sold-out special gig at Edinburgh Castle on July 18 but have also announced a UK tour which includes a gig at Glasgow’s SECC on December 11. Jim has recruited fellow ’80s pop act OMD to be support their winter dates. “Some people said we shouldn’t do that as it’s too retro but for us it’s about us investing in the night. “Having an act that doesn’t mean anything to anyone would be a sad, forlorn thing. This makes sure that when people think of a Simple Minds gig they think of having a great time.” In the meantime there’s always Edinburgh to look forward to and Jim isn’t too concerned about the weather. “It’s fantastic that we get to play such amazing venues. We’re also playing St Mark’s Square in Venice. I don’t want to tempt fate but we don’t have a bad track record for bringing the sun with us when we play,” he laughed. Rain or shine, there’s something of a new glow about Simple Minds right now.


36

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Jinxed

AFTER READING about Mary Kelly in your paper, I purchased her book Jinxed. I couldn’t put down and read it in one day. I smiled, laughed and cried while reading it. Joan Parker, Helensburgh.

Great players

IN HIS column last week Alan Brazil was asking what could be done to ensure Scotland produces quality footballers. As an example of “great” players Alan mentioned the likes of Denis Law and Kenny Dalglish, but I’d like to add to that list a very talented Scottish player who played for top English clubs, scored more than 100 goals in his career and played 13 times for his country before a back injury forced him to retire. His name? Alan Brazil. A. Kelman, Fetcham, Surrey.

Follow the lead

JUSTICE MINISTER Shahid Malik has stepped down from his ministerial job pending further inquiries into his Parliamentary expenses. No appointment is apparently to be made in the meantime. Does this imply he leaves a vacancy it’s unnecessary to fill? Perhaps our prime minister might follow the lead already given by the Irish prime minister who simply chopped one in four of the junior ministers in his government because of Ireland’s perilous economic state. Jim Craigen, Edinburgh.

Poor bunny

WE’VE TAKEN in a stray cat that had been visiting our garden for months. The other morning I was watching him from the conservatory window darting about like a mad thing. He went under a bush and when he came out he was chasing a baby rabbit. I hurried out to the rescue, but it was too late — he’d caught and killed it and was proudly carrying it by the scruff of the neck. The poor wee bunny! A. Urquhart, Dundee.

Hats

I WAS interested in the letter about how few ladies wear hats these days. I visited a respected physician who told me never to go out in cold weather with my head uncovered as we lose the warmth of our bodies through our heads. Yet, in winter especially, I see many people of all ages, muffled up to chin level, but no hats. I wonder why people have dispensed with headwear — except for some young men who wear rather frightening hoods. M. Faulkner, Sheffield.

Waste

IT’S NOT always fair to blame hospitals for elderly patients not eating. I stayed in hospital recently and encountered two patients who were quite capable of feeding themselves but just didn’t want to eat. I’m a cook in a rest home and you wouldn’t believe the amount of good food some of the elderly won’t even touch, simply because they can’t be bothered or prefer to munch on biscuits rather than eat a well-balanced meal. Clifford Chambers, Blackpool.

Readers Page

Snippets

Perhaps it’s time you paid me a visit again

Y friend volunteered M as a guide at her church when it was holding an open day.

The hall was bustling, it was nice to see the place full of smiling, happy faces and we were enjoying the chit-chat when a couple walked in who instantly caught her eye. She felt she knew the husband from

somewhere, but couldn’t quite place him. His face seemed so familiar, she told me, but his name and occupation eluded her. She had a look in the visitors’ book the couple had signed, but we couldn’t read the signature. Eventually, she decided the man was probably a retired minister who’d once preached at her church. She just had to find out for sure, though, so in a last desperate attempt to

settle her mind, as the couple were leaving she dashed after them and asked the husband, “Please put me out of my misery. Don’t I know you from somewhere?” “Indeed you do,” he replied, with a broad grin on his face. “I’ve been your optician for the last 30 years! “I think it’s about time you came to see me again — don’t you?” Malcolm Selkirk, Crieff.

Gravy

Oil revenues

AS WELL as hitting the high notes with its Eurovision Song Contest win, Norway is thriving in the midst of the recession. Last year the Norwegian economy grew by just under three per cent and the government enjoys a budget surplus of 11 per cent, in stark contrast to the dire fortunes of the UK. As a major oil exporter Norway, like Scotland, is an energy-rich nation but Norwegian oil revenues were pumped into its sovereign wealth fund, now totalling more than 300 billion dollars, to make investments around the world. While this money was squandered in the UK to prop up the failing economy, in Norway it has been used to invest in both this and future generations. Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

■ At long last I was able to take up my Sunday Post competition prize of a Virgin balloon flight. My companion and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, taking off from Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire. The wait was well worth it and conditions on the day were perfect. James Mitchell, Aberdeen.

A Piece of My Mind TELEVISION ADVERTS and glamorous celebrities in films and glossy magazines must be behind ordinary folk being so dissatisfied with their appearance they consider having cosmetic surgery. We can’t all look like Greek gods and goddesses even though adverts assure us their products will work miracles — especially on wrinkles! What’s wrong with growing old gracefully, anyway — especially if you keep your mind young? The latest victim of the quest for eternal youth craze is delightful Susan Boyle who entranced us with her magnificent voice on Britain’s Got Talent. Why was it such a surprise to so many that a mature lady should have such a talent? The media has accused Susan of having unruly, unkempt hair, a dowdy dress sense and thick, unattractive eyebrows, when to me she looked natural. After her makeover she looked like a thousand others — with a black leather jacket, trousers and ugly footwear. Even her smile looked strained. I hope she’s strong enough when the hoo-ha has subsided to be her own woman again. Her so-called expert advisers ought to keep their makeovers for those who really need them — people of lesser talent, perhaps. Mrs Rachel Thompson, Tadley, Hants.

NATO

I’VE SUPPORTED the SNP for many years, but their defence policies worry me. In a world of uncertainty it would be wrong for us to scale down our defences, abandon our nuclear deterrent and pull out of NATO. If we did and then were attacked would we still expect neighbouring nations to come to our aid? T. Brown, Bankfoot.

Moffat

I VISITED Scotland for a few days, but was unwell during my stay. On a day trip to Moffat I popped into a chemist to ask the pharmacist for advice. She suggested I see the doctor and immediately telephoned the surgery explaining I was a visitor. The doctor issued a prescription and I returned to the same chemist where I was given a glass of water to take a tablet. I’m so grateful to both the pharmacist and the staff at the surgery. Well done, Moffat. Anthea Easton, Widnes, Cheshire.

READING IN your As We See It column about young girls applying tanning lotion to their legs with sponges, brought back memories of when I was in my teens in the late 1940s. My friend and I were going to a dance, nylons were a rarity and we couldn’t afford proper leg tan so we made up some Bisto gravy and painted our legs with that. We stopped off on our way out to look in a shop window where I felt something tickling my ankle. When I looked down there was a small dog licking at my gravy legs. We had a really good laugh and, needless to say, never used gravy again! Mrs D. Wilkinson, Chester-le-Street.

Priceless

ON OUR way home after a caravan holiday we decided to pull off the road to have our dinner. My mother opened the top part of the caravan door while she prepared the meal. A motorbike pulled in behind us, the rider got off, made his way to the side of the caravan, popped his head in and asked for a cup of tea and two rounds of toast. Mum duly provided him with his order. When he finished his snack and he asked how much he owed my mother told him we were on holiday and not a cafe. The look on his face was priceless. Stan Sommerville, Stockport.

Democracy

THE ROW over MPs’ expenses may see democracy strengthened, not weakened. If ever there was a time to carry out a root-and-branch pruning, it’s now. First of all suspensions and/or sackings should be immediately implemented by all party leaders on politicians apparently guilty of breaking the rules. Legal proceedings, where considered appropriate, should be commenced immediately and any politician found guilty should pay the penalty. Then, and only then, will true democracy be restored. Harry Stephenson, Kircubbin, Co. Down. ■ OF COURSE MPs with far to travel need a London base, so why can’t the Government provide a stock of flats to be rented out to MPs at a modest charge? This would also make security easier. Helen Gibb, Penicuik.

Experiments

Tea bag

ON YOUR Doc Replies page someone asked for help to cure mouth ulcers. The best remedy is to use a cold tea bag on them. It may sound silly, but when I told my dentist it really works, he said. “Yes, when I was training my professor told me the same thing”. I recommended this to a friend who only gave it a try because he was desperate, but was delighted it worked so fast. Green tea works just as well. Cynthia Chadwick, Holyhead.

● How I loved reading your article about Aleksandr Meerkat. Of all the animal adverts on telly this is the best. He’s so elegant in his smoking jacket and cravat. M. Jephson, Paisley. ● Everyone has a cross to bear — but some need more wood than others. Mrs M. Armstrong, Carlisle. ● We had to have our dog put to sleep as he was in so much pain. That was bad enough, but then the bill came in — for a staggering £160! It was the weekend and we couldn’t leave him suffering till Monday when it would have been cheaper. Clive Shutler, Southampton. ● Yet another dangerous prisoner has absconded from an open prison. Such establishments are a joke and should either be upgraded to proper prisons or closed down altogether. Mrs F. Grant, Glasgow. ● We took our five-yearold son for his first trip on the Glasgow subway. So what did he enjoy most about it? Waving his arms around making distorted reflections in the widows above the opposite seats! D. Reilly, Cumbernauld. ● Re the lady who telephoned the health clinic about the swine flu outbreak, but all she got was crackling on the line. I think she’s telling porkies! H. Dinsdale, Darlington.

“Oh! That’s not good!”

THE EU Parliament recently voted to amend the law relating to animal experiments and it’s hoped this will bring improvements in animal welfare, especially for primates because their similarity to mankind raises special concern. More experiments are carried out on monkeys in Scotland than in any other country in the EU and several thousand of these unfortunate creatures are used each year. This country has one of the worst health records in the EU, so the suffering of monkeys doesn’t seem to have done much to improve the health of the nation. J. Cooper, Dunfermline.

● Write to: Readers Page, The Sunday Post, Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 9QJ. email readerspage@sundaypost.com


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

The Queries Man

■ Laila and Gary. I HEARD that Big Mo, from EastEnders, is the sister of Gary Oldman. Is that right?—A. Yes, Maureen “Mo” Harris in the soap opera is played by Laila Morse, whose real name is Maureen Oldman. She’s the older sister by 13 years of Hollywood star Oldman, who was born and lived in London until moving to the US in the early 1990s. Laila Morse is an anagram of the Italian phrase “Mia Sorella”, meaning “my sister”, a name she got from Gary’s former girlfriend, Isabella Rossellini, the daughter of Ingrid Bergman. A FRIEND says that in the 1960s Glasgow had three evening newspapers. Is that correct?—J. Yes. The Evening Citizen began in 1889 and ceased publication in 1974. The Bulletin, ran from 1915 to 1960 and was under the same ownership as the Glasgow Herald. The Evening Times was established in 1876 and is still published today.

trading post

I’VE HEARD of a haberdashery outlet dealing with stock from companies that have ceased trading, so prices are greatly reduced.—G. Ron Johnson, Chaise & Recycle, 298 Glebelands Road, Sale M33 5QT (0161 973 4812) enclosing a stamped addressed envelope. LOOKING FOR a gold silk tie for a wedding.—N. Tie Rack, Unit 21B St Enoch Centre, 55 St Enoch Square, Glasgow G1 4BW (0141 204 4186). TRYING TO find an old-fashioned wooden clothes horse.—K. James Gray & Son Ltd., 89 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 3EZ (0131 225 7381). SEARCHED EVERYWHERE for a small weaving set to make a scarf.—F. Twist Fibre Craft Studio, 88 High Street, Newburgh, Cupar, Fife KY14 6AQ (01337 842843). MY DAUGHTER loves the Harveys The Furniture Store advert which is on before Coronation Street and I wonder if there’s any merchandise available for sale.—P. Because of the popularity of the advert, customers have asked time and again to buy the characters that come to life in the advert. They are limited editions of the King and Queen salt and pepper pots, the set of three flying wall ducks and Buddha, in Coronation Street branded packaging. All three are priced at £20 each and available from some Harveys The Furniture Store outlets or from www.Harveysfurniture.co.uk IF YOU’D like to track something down, or ask other readers a favour, write to us at Trading Post, The Sunday Post, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HZ. ● Please enclose SAE, or you can email us at tradingpost@sundaypost.com

They snigger about his wife’s underwear I

ORDERED some sexy underwear as a birthday present for my wife but it was delivered to our neighbour who opened it “by accident”. I’m furious it went to the wrong address. We now get sniggering comments over the garden fence. We are church-going people who like to keep our personal lives private.

Can I take this up with Royal Mail?—S.

You can, but it’s too late now to stop your neighbours sniggering. I doubt if Royal Mail will do anything other than offer an apology. Are you sure you gave your correct address to the mail order company? But try looking at this another way. Don’t you think your neighbours’ attitude is a little childish? It sounds like they are envious more than anything else. Don’t let this spoil your fun and the next time your neighbours snigger, just smile.

WHY ARE cabin lights dimmed when an aircraft is landing in darkness?—L. This is a safety consideration. In the event it becomes necessary to evacuate the aeroplane, your eyes are already adjusted. Otherwise, it takes at least several seconds to go from bright light to being able to see in the dark. THE HOMECOMING 2009 website describes the Scottish Cup as the world’s oldest national trophy. I thought the FA Cup was the oldest.—V. The Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup has been contested since 1873. The FA Cup began two years earlier in 1871. The Scottish claim as the oldest trophy applies to the cup itself, which was minted in 1885. The original FA Cup was stolen from a Birmingham shoe shop where it was on display after being won by Aston Villa in 1895. Almost 60 years later a man admitted he had stolen the cup to melt down and make counterfeit half-crowns. I PUT my engagement ring into a jeweller for repair but he lost it. It belonged to my husband’s late mother and has been in his family for more than 100 years. The jeweller offered only £150 compensation but it’s worth far, far more to us than just the price of the stone and gold. How do I go about seeking justice? Should I contact the police?—B. It’s not a matter for the police as no crime has been committed. This is a civil matter between you and the jeweller and you need to press for proper compensation. Your difficulty, however, will be proving that the ring was worth more than the £150 offered. I HAVE an ashet stamped “Govancroft” on the bottom. Can you tell me anything about this company?—D. Govancroft Potteries Ltd started in Tollcross in 1911 and produced containers for ginger beer, jam, ink and stout. After World War 2 a new tunnel kiln was installed which led to production being concentrated on jugs for the whisky industry. The company was dissolved in 2001. The Potteries housing complex on London Road at Potter Street, built for Tollcross Housing Association in the 1990s, now stands on the former Govancroft site.

can you do me a

favour?

TRIED IN vain to find We’ll See The Cuckoo by Jean Brown and The Small Woman by John Burgess, which are now out of print.—M. Stewart, 33 Cairns Crescent, Perth PH1 2PQ. I HAVE a Splendid MD Olympia electronic typewriter but the instruction manual is missing.—Mrs A. Cassin, 12 Wistaston Avenue, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 8QR. TRYING TO trace an audio book entitled Appointment With Fear read by Valentine Dyall. —K. R. Scott, 7 Woodville Court, Broxburn, West Lothian EH52 5LU. CAN ANY readers help me find a CD of the Commodores singing Three Times A Lady. —Lillian McCormick, 26 Hawthorn Lane, Newhey, Nr Rochdale OL16 4JX SEARCHING FOR a knitting pattern for a ladies cowl neck jumper.—Mrs M. Millar, 3 Glenconner Road, Ayr KA7 3HE.

■ The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. YOU SAID many more words are typed with the left hand than the right on a normal computer keyboard. So why hasn’t someone invented a system that uses both hands equally or even the right hand more as most people are right-handed?—A. It’s been tried many times but always failed because people didn’t want to re-learn how to type. A concerted attempt to replace the Qwerty style was made in 1936 with the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. It was designed to more often use alternate hands for keystrokes, with the most commonly used keys on the middle, or home, row and tried to make most words stroke towards the middle of the keyboard because, as when you drum your fingers on a table, it’s easier to do it from little finger to forefinger. But while many people agreed what a good design the system, invented by a professor of education at the University of Washington in Seattle, was it never caught on. The Guinness Book Of World Records said the fastest typist, Mrs Barbara Blackburn of Oregon, achieved her peak of 212 words per minute on a Dvorak keyboard.

Please do not send an SAE as we do not give personal replies AFTER 26 years, my wife decided our marriage was over. She went to a lawyer and we legally separated although we still share a council house of which I’m the tenant — I was living in the house for eight years prior to our marriage. My wife wants me to leave and start again on my own. Is there any way she can force me out and sign the tenancy over to her?—J. Your lawyer will guide you through this and, in particular, will tell you under what circumstances your wife could seek to evict you from the marital home. OVER SEVERAL months I dialled 001, the satellite code number, to connect to a number in the US. But it’s stopped working. What should I dial now?—R. The correct number for the US is still 001. Contact your phone provider to make sure there are no problems with your line.

COULD YOU tell me how the actor who does the BT broadband adverts is WOULD IT have been possible for me getting on? He was knocked down in to have taken a holiday charter flight Bristol and sustained serious head from Manston Aerodrome in Kent to injuries.—W. Ostend in 1961?—P. Kris Marshall, probably best known Yes. After the departure of the USAF as Nick in My Family, was in an in 1960 Manston became a joint accident with a car in the early hours of civilian/RAF airstrip and holiday charter April 28 last year while on a night out flights flew from there. These days it’s with friends. A scan revealed head known as Kent International Airport. injuries but he made a full recovery and was on stage three weeks later. HOW LONG is the A9?—S. It runs from Polmont in central Scotland to Scrabster in the far north and is 273 miles, making it the fifth-longest A-class road in the UK and the longest one entirely within Scotland. It’s 100 miles longer than its nearest rivals, the A82 and A90. Historically it was the main road between Edinburgh and John O’ Groats. The longest A-road in the UK is the A1 which is 409 miles from London to Edinburgh.

37

AT SCHOOL our motto was the Latin “nil sin labore” which our teacher used to say meant “no sign of work”! Can you tell me what it really translates as?—J. It means “nothing without work”. IF YOU have a question, write to The Queries Man, The Sunday Post, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HZ. You can email query@sundaypost.com

SETTLE AN old argument. Did the Germans know that the raid on Dieppe was coming?—M. They had no inkling from intelligence sources but an exchange of fire between a part of the raiding force and a small German convoy very early on in the operation, on August 19, 1942, meant much of the element of surprise was lost to the Allied side. MY SON was given £250 as a gift when he was 14. If he was to get the same value today, how much would it be? He’s now 41.—J. About £640.

HAD NO luck searching for any Bette Davis videos or DVDs, in particular Now Voyager.—Linda Jobson, 18 Trafalgar Close, Kingsmead, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 8WQ. I’VE BEEN given a Hotpoint Aquarius 900 washing machine but the instruction booklet is missing.—Mrs Anna Hunter, 5 Chapel Terrace, Highvalleyfield, Fife KY12 8SL. DO ANY readers have an unwanted copy of Dunfermline: The Post-War Years by Bert McEwan.—Aileen Davidson, 113 Bitterne Drive, Woking, Surrey GU21 3JX. LOOKING FOR old song sheets from the 1950s to the ’70s which were once sold in the mill shop in Coatbridge. —Mrs Ann Clark, 350 Muiryhall Street East, Coatbridge ML5 3RZ. ■ John Harris, Shrewsbury; A. Young, Pollok; Kay Smith, Montrose and Doreen Maynard, Gosforth, thank readers for their help.

story behind the song

FOR MANY years the melancholy but beautiful Crowded House song Don’t Dream It’s Over has been a great favourite of mine. Please tell its story.—T. Despite Crowded House’s reputation as great lyricists and songwriters this is the only single of theirs that made it to No. 1 in any country in the world. Don’t Dream It’s Over topped the Canadian charts, was No.2 in the US, but only No. 27 in the UK and even on the band’s home ground (they were a mix of New Zealanders and Australians) it was only No. 8 in Australia. Crowded House have, however, had several No. 1 albums. The song was released in December 1986 and is said to have first been inspired by a terrible fight Crowded House’s main songwriter Neil Finn had ■ Neil Finn. with his wife Sharon. However, others have speculated that it’s also about the divisions created by the likes of the Berlin Wall and apartheid that Finn saw in the 1980s, to which he gives the refrain “Never let them win”. It was the last song the band played at their free gig on the steps of Sydney Opera House in the summer of 1996 in what was one of Australia’s biggestever live performances, attracting a crowd estimated at between 120,000 and 200,000. When they were playing Don’t Dream It’s Over as, or so they thought at the time, their last song together drummer Paul Hester cried so much there were pools of tears on his drums. The live album of that concert, titled Farewell To The World, was eventually released to mark the 10-year anniversary in 2006. Crowded House reformed in 2007 but not with drummer Hester, who took his own life in 2005 after a long battle with depression.


38

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Monday DARREN HAS suffered from depression for years, although on the surface he has no reason to. His family life and work are going fine but still he agonises over every decision and his mistakes haunt him. He’s talked to family, friends and counsellors and they’ve come up with various theories as to why he’s like that. It makes no difference. But he told me the other day it enables him to talk to other folk suffering from depression as an equal, as someone who has been there. In fact, he’s become a bit of an expert on the subject and helped a few people through some dark times. “Maybe that’s what it’s all about,” he said, thoughtfully. “And maybe . . . maybe it’s worth it.” I was lost in admiration for this brave man who helps others deal with a subject that causes him so much pain. It takes a pretty impressive “cloud” to find its own silver lining!

Tuesday MANDY CALLED her mum for some advice. Her husband was a great guy but he regularly did what Mandy thought were pretty thoughtless things. She would then have to try to rise above it and it was getting a bit tiring. Did Mum have any words of wisdom? Mum listened sympathetically then assured her it was extremely unlikely you’d ever get a relationship where both members were on the same level at everything, so a certain amount of give and take was inevitable. The question Mandy had to ask was — did she want to be the person graciously making the allowances or would she rather be the one who needed allowances made for them? Mandy has no idea how her mum came to be so wise. But when she put it like that, “rising above” didn’t seem such a bad option after all.

My Week by Francis Gay

So Paul achieved greatness after all

HEN he was growing up, Paul was W convinced he was headed for greatness. He was going to change the world!

He had a variety of big plans throughout his youth, ranging from the possible to the far-fetched. At one point he resolved to go into politics and rise through the ranks to a position of power — then he’d use his role to make the world a better place. Another dream was to write

Sunday award-winning novels and become a man of fame and influence. They were all admirable ambitions but, as usually happens, life got in the way. He got a job, met a girl . . . you know how it goes. He was as happy as Larry — with one big exception. Paul and Angela had been married nearly 15 years when they

finally accepted they were never going to have children of their own. So, they adopted. Not once, but four times. The official adoption of their youngest, Holly, came through last week. Each of the four children came from high-risk backgrounds. Paul told me he shudders to think what the lives of these four innocents might have been like if he and Angela hadn’t taken them in and given them love and hope. Paul always wanted to change the world. Well, I think he and Angela changed four worlds for the better. And if that’s not greatness, I don’t know what is.

RON AND Sarah were heading into town when they saw a group of people behaving strangely. Men and woman in a small park next to an office block were picking up rubbish. They didn’t look like council employees so Sarah wondered if they might be doing community service. The couple’s pace slowed slightly as they approached, then one of the women said hello. It turned out they were all staff from the offices. It was their lunch break and they’d decided to get together to make the park area a bit nicer by tidying it up. Ron says it was an impressive sight to stumble across. And Sarah wondered why, when seeing people doing a public good deed we assume they’re either being paid or being forced?

Friday Some people do not eat much food Because they’re on a diet And others long for something good But can’t afford to buy it. If you have enough to eat And maybe some to spare, Then offer some poor soul a treat And show them that you care.

Saturday

Wednesday ROB USED to be one of the untidiest guys I’d ever come across, so when I visited and he asked me to hold on while he put a couple of things away upstairs I had to wonder. In the meantime I chatted to Marjorie, his wife. She’s been confined to the downstairs rooms since a stroke a few months ago. She spends most of her time in the bed at the back of the living room or in a comfy chair watching TV. When I commented on Rob’s new-found tidiness, Marjorie explained. She hasn’t seen their bedroom since the stroke but she always took great pride in keeping it tidy and she’s warned Rob to do the same. If she gets up there one day and it’s a mess he’s in big trouble! Rob arrived back in time to hear the end of the conversation. “I just know Marjorie will get up those stairs again,” he said. And I know he won’t disappoint her with a midden! ■ Any correspondence for Francis Gay should be sent to The Sunday Post, 2 Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 9QJ or email francisgay@sundaypost.com

Thursday

■ Paul is a great adoptive dad. See Sunday.

THE WOMAN was having real difficulty getting her bulging carrier bags through the shop door. Then an unlikely “knight in shining armour” came to her aid. An aluminium pole with a rubber stopper on the end slid past her and pushed the door wide open. It was Dougie. After a near-fatal car crash some years ago he needs crutches to walk. But he wasn’t going to let that stop him from helping others. “I can switch lights on while I’m still four feet away from them,” he often laughs. People like Dougie are proof positive that a physical problem doesn’t need to be a disability. His legs might not be the best but his kindness and joi de vivre are in perfect working order!


Win a super Sony Bravia LCD TV

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

39

Free magnolia for every reader THIS BEAUTIFUL magnolia Stellata is a fully hardy, compact shrub with silky buds that open up to reveal pure white, star-shaped, lightly scented flowers that will eventually cover the shrub for several weeks from February. To claim, complete the coupon below and send with just £4.95 to cover p&p. A

A) Cotinus Smokebush: Vibrant purple foliage with wispy plumes that turn grey. £8.95 incl. p&p. B) Mimosa (acacia dealbata): Fragrant fluffy yellow flowers on this fast-growing evergreen shrub with fern-like leaves. £8.95 incl. p&p.

C

B D) Camellia Japonica Debbie: Glossy oval evergreen leaves and glorious pink flowers from February to May. Excellent in a container. £8.95 incl. p&p. D

C) Wisteria Sinensis (Chinese Wisteria): It has foot-long, scented lilac blue flower heads from May to June. It can be grown against a wall, or try scrambling it through a tree. £8.95 incl. p&p.

How to claim & order

Y

OU could win a fantastic widescreen LCD TV in this week’s competition.

Better still, we’ll have it delivered to your home by the end of this week — just in time for football fans to watch Saturday’s Homecoming Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Falkirk.

Enjoyment

Of course, even if you’re not a fan of the beautiful game, you’ll want to win this fantastic 37” Sony Bravia television. It has superb picture quality that’s certain to enhance your viewing enjoyment

no matter what you’re watching. What’s more, it’s fitted with an integrated digital TV receiver for picking up Freeview channels. All in all, it’s a cracking piece of equipment, ideal for watching everything from the latest movies to any of the great sporting events coming up over the summer — Wimbledon, The Open at Turnberry, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and, of course, the Scottish Cup Final. To be in with a chance of winning, please see details in the How To Enter box on the right. And remember — if you win, we’ll do our best to have the telly delivered to you by Friday so you can watch the Bairns take on the Gers at Hampden. Please note you can only enter by phone. Competition closes at 10 am on Thursday, May 28.

HOW TO ENTER

Answer the following question — Where is Wimbledon? a) Liverpool b) Luton c) London. Then call our competition line on 09010 125 000 or text SUNPOST followed by a space then your answer, name and address to 83070.

Calls cost no more than 50p and it only takes around 30 seconds to leave your details. Calls from mobiles may cost a lot more. Texts cost 50p plus your standard operator rate. You cannot enter by post or email. Employees of DC Thomson Ltd may not enter. A winner will be selected at random from all entries received by 10 am on Thursday, May 28.

At the same time, why not take advantage of our other unusual shrub offers, at really exceptional prices? All plants are despatched in 9 cm pots with full instructions.

As well as pulling pints, team members Ryan Smith, Stef Baillie and Hannah MacGregor were no slouches when it came to proving their knowledge in The Charity Challenge quiz. They popped some extra corks after scoring a perfect 20 out of 20 to win £100 for the Scottish SPCA cat and dog home in Cardonald. 1 — People often pandiculate in the morning. What is pandiculation? (1) 2 — Guests on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs are asked to choose how many pieces of music? (1) 5 — Which English port 3 — What do smolts grow contains the name of a into? (1) famous cartoon cat? (1) 4 — In snooker who is 6 — What is a sous chef? known as “The Nugget”? (1) (1)

Charity

challenge quiz

7 — If Alex Kapranos is singing lead which Scottish rock band is performing? (1) 8 — Is Barack Obama left-handed? (1) 9 — The following clues are for answers containing the word “tiger” — a) Survivor rock anthem, b) John and Hayley Mills movie, c) daughter of Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence, d) Eldrick, US golfer. (1) 10 — Which member of the Royal Family passed away in 1953? (1) 11 — Approximately what fraction of an iceberg can be seen above water? (1) 12 — Which comedian used to appear on TV with Fanny The Wonderdog? (1)

All applications must be received by Friday, July 3, 2009. Please allow 28 days for delivery. Only one free magnolia per household. Offer open to UK readers only, subject to availability.

Credit Card Orders: 01608 663366, Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm. (Minimum order £8.95)

The Sunday Post Magnolia order form I only wish to claim the free Magnolia Stellata and enclose £4.95 to cover postage. Please send me: Item Quantity Price Total Magnolia Stellata 1 FREE £4.95* A: Cotinus £8.95 B: Mimosa £8.95 C: Wisteria £8.95 D: Camellia £8.95 *P&P. Only one free per household.

Total

£.........

Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......................... ...................... Postcode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .

I enclose a cheque made payable to LMS for the sum of £……….. (Please write your name & address clearly on the back of your cheque). Or please debit my Visa/Mastercard/Maestro: Card no………………………………………………………………….. Valid from……….…Expiry date……….. Issue No…….(Maestro only) Card Security Code……………(last 3 numbers on the signature strip on the back of your card) Signature……………………………………. (Credit card orders - minimum £8.95)

You probably pandiculate first thing in the morning

THIS WEEK’S brainboxes were bar staff from The Black Sparrow pub and restaurant in Glasgow’s Charing Cross.

COMPLETE THE coupon and send with your cheque or postal order to: Sunday Post Magnolia Offer, PO Box 3333, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, CV36 4ZA.

Answers

13 — Is it more or less than 40 years since we adopted decimal currency? (1) 14 — Which green vegetable is mixed with mashed potatoes to produce colcannon? (1) 15 — With his feast day on April 4, St Isidore of Seville is the patron saint of which modern invention? (1) 16 — If something is reniform, is it star-shaped, cross-shaped, feather-like or kidney-shaped? (1)

17 — The Cobby Tweedside Meadow famously looks towards which Scottish Border town? (1) 18 — How would a professional tasseographist tell your fortune? (1) 19 — A symbol of which animal represents the World Wide Fund for Nature? (1) 20 — What colour is the star on the Lone Star Flag of Texas? (1)

1 — Yawning and stretching. 2 — Eight. 3 — Salmon. 4 — Steve Davis. 5 — FELIXstowe. 6 — The chef second in charge of a kitchen, under the head chef. Sous is French for under. 7 — Franz Ferdinand. 8 — Yes. 9 — a) Eye Of The Tiger, b) Tiger Bay, c) Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, d) Tiger Woods.

10 — Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother. 11 — About an eighth. 12 — Julian Clary. 13 — Less, it was 1971. 14 — Kale or cabbage. 15 — The Internet. 16 — Kidney-shaped. 17 — Kelso. 18 — By reading your tea-leaves. 19 — The giant panda. 20 — White.

■ Our Charity Challenge Quiz is open to teams of four from all walks of life and is a fun and easy way to raise cash for a charity that’s close to your heart. We’ll donate £5 for every question you answer correctly to a good cause of your choice. So what are you waiting for? Write today, to: The Sunday Post Quiz, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow, G4 0HZ. Check out our online quiz archive at: www.sundaypost.com


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Þ /…i œV ß? Ðâĉċē ēßâê× ßċ '??ê ēî ?èõßċâċ? ēßē âēĆċ ê?ę?ĉ ēîî åē? ēî ċēîõ ċèîäâê×ú ēĆċ ēß? èâê 0ėċ?6 ėċėååĜ âê îę?ĉáÕğċ ĚßîĆę? ċèîä?8 Ðîĉ Ėğ Ĝ?ĉċ îĉ èîĉ?ú îî èêĜ îÐ ēß?è ēßâêä ēß?ĉ?Ćċ êî õîâêē ×âęâê× ėõ îê0? ēß?Ĝ ßę? ú ėē âē ċßîėå8 ċēîõ ēß? 8âċ?ċ? Ěîĉċ?êâê×6 ê8 Ěâåå âèõĉîę? ēß?âĉ ×?ê?ĉå ß?åēßú ßâċ âċ õĉē îÐ õėåèîêĉĜ ĉ?ß'âåâēēâîê6  ĉ?åēâę?åĜ ê?Ě ēĉ?ēè?êē 0îè'âêâê× õßĜċâ0å ēĉâêâê×6 ?8ė0ēâîê6 8â?ē ê8 õċĜ0ßîåî×Ĝú  ċâěáēîáñĖáĚ??ä 0îėĉċ? âèċ ēî ß?åõ õēâ?êēċ åîċ? Ě?â×ßē ÷Ěßâ0ß ß?åõċ 'ĉ?ēßå?ċċê?ċċ ê8 ×?ê?ĉå Ě?ååá'?âê×ø6 0îõ? Ěâēß ēß?âĉ Ð?ĉċ ê8 ×?ē Ðâēē?ĉú êĜ Ðâê8 'Ĝ ēß? ?ê8 ēß?Ĝ 0ê Ěåä Ðĉēß?ĉ ēßê ēß?Ĝ 0îėå8 ē ēß? ċēĉēú

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ē 8?õ?ê8ċ Ěßē Ĝîė 8î Ěâēß Ĝîėĉ ē?å?ęâċâîêú Ð Ĝîė 8îêĆē Ěē0ß âē ę?ĉĜ èė0ß6 èĜ'? îêåĜ ēî 0ē0ß ėõ îê ēß? ê?Ěċ6 Ĝîė ßę? ēî ċä Ěßē Ěîėå8 '? ēß? 8ęêē×? îÐ ßęâê×  0îåîėĉ ċ?ē ê8 õĜâê× ēßĉ?? ēâè?ċ èîĉ? Ðîĉ   åâ0?ê0?ÿ

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Þ ÛˆiÜ

Þ œ…˜ /Ài˜œÕ̅ vœÀ“iÀ Ãi˜ˆœÀ VÕÀ>̜À œv ÌiiۈȜ˜ >Ì Ì…i >̈œ˜> i`ˆ> ÕÃiՓ âê0ĉ?ċâê×åĜ ÐÐîĉ8'å?6 âê8??8 âê ĉ?å ē?ĉèċ ēß?Ĝ ĉ? 0ß?õ?ĉ ēßê ēß? ?ĉåâ?ċē 'å0ä ê8 Ěßâē? ċ?ēċ Ě?ĉ?ú ê ēß? ñìÒğċ6 âÐ Ĝîė ß8  ñÕáâê0ß ċ?ē Ĝîė Ě?ĉ? ēß? '??Ćċ äê??ċ Ë ēßē Ěċ  'â× ċ?ēÎ îėĆ8 ċâē '0ä Ðĉîè âē ê86 8?ċõâē? âēċ ċèåå ċâĞ?6 èĉę?å ē âēú ?0ėċ? ēß? õâ0ēėĉ? 8?Ðâêâēâîê Ěċ èė0ß åîĚ?ĉ ēßê ēî8Ĝ ēß? âè×? åîîä?8 '?ēē?ĉ Ðĉîè  8âċēê0?ú

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® iV ŜÜà œvv …ˆÃ ȏŽÞ ΈÃ ̜ ċ ēß? Ěßâċēå? Ě?êē îê ēß? Ðâĉċē ×è? îÐ ēß? ċ?ċîê ß? ß8  ēßîė×ßē Ë õ?ĉßõċ ß? 0îėå8 0ĉîċċ ēß? Ěßâē? åâê? ċ  ĉ?Ð?ĉ??ÿ ē å?ċē ß?Ć8 ċēâåå '? îê ēß? õĉä6 âÐ êîē 0ēėååĜ õåĜâê×ú å?0 ēîîä ßâċ '8×?ċ ê8 Ěċ ċîîê


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42

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

WORDWHEEL

KAKURO

SUDOKU

USING ONLY the letters in the wordwheel, you have 10 minutes to find as many words as possible, none of which may be plurals, foreign words or proper nouns. Each word must be of three or more letters, all must contain the central letter and letters can only be used once in every word. There are 36 words and at least one nine-letter word.

WORD LADDER CHANGE ONE letter at a time (but not the position of any letter) to make a new word — and move from the word at the top of the box to the word at the bottom using the exact number of rungs provided.

ALL YOU have to do is fill in the squares in the grid so that every row, every column and each of the nine 3x3 squares contains the numbers 1 to 9.

Solutions to May 17 puzzles

WORD LADDER

One possible solution is: GNAT, goat, boat, boas, bias, bits, BITE.

WORDWHEEL

The nine-letter word is: TRUNCHEON.

For more puzzles visit:

www.puzzler.co.uk

file: O:\GRAPHICS\KWY\POSTHIGH\FU

SUDOKU

KRISS KROSS


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

He has a scar collection to prove it

Chris has had many an encounter with animals

VER the years Springwatch O (BBC2, tomorrow-Thursday) has become one of the best-loved programmes in the schedule.

The wonders of British nature are brought into our living rooms with amazing hidden cameras catching everything from hatching birds to feeding badgers. One of the highlights — as well as the fascinating insights into animal life — has been the on-screen chemistry between presenters Kate Humble and Bill Oddie. However, this year there’s a change — wildlife expert Chris Packham has taken Bill’s place on the sofa.

Excited

Chris had no hesitation about taking on the task. “It’s a programme that ticks all my boxes. It promotes accessibility to animals in our communities, with great viewer involvement. It’s aimed at a new as well as a committed audience — it’s big, but not too clever and is really down-to-earth. I’m excited to be on board,” he says. Chris isn’t too worried about having to take over Bill

Television

highlights By Kevin Bridges Oddie’s mantle and is looking forward to a bit of banter with Kate. “I’m not nervous — not because I’m arrogant or big-headed — I’m just confident my lifelong passion for the subject comes from the heart just like Bill’s. “Of course it won’t be the same and I’m not going to pull any punches either, so viewers can expect the same edginess but of a different flavour. Kate is totally professional, which is a big relief as I’m a bit cavalier, and we share a sense of humour — it will be a lot of fun. “I can’t wait to start teasing her something rotten and I’m sure I’ll get it two times back which should be entertaining.” Springwatch has an avid following, but despite his years of experience, Chris admits he’s just as likely to be thrilled and surprised by what he sees as the viewer at home.

■ Enjoying the great outdoors in comfort are Kate Humble, Simon King and Chris Packham. “I’m looking forward to seeing stuff that makes me go ‘wow’ — things I’ve never seen before, the little secrets our cameras will expose. The audience loves Springwatch because it’s totally for them. “It brings us real life and real time dramas from familiar stars in the shape of animals we know and maybe even share our spaces with. I’m hoping for lots of drama, some great biology and some sunshine. It’s the animals that

dictate the action so there are bound to be lots of surprises. “Hedgehogs and domestic cats are surefire candidates to cause a nervous breakdown. They won’t do anything you want them to do, when you want them to do it. I think my worst job would be a cat photographer!” he laughs. Mind you, Chris is never afraid when it comes to animals. “I’ve been attacked many times. It never seems to hurt that much though I do

have a tidy little scar collection.” Chris hopes Springwatch will inspire as many people as possible to get into the nature that’s all around them. “There’s always something new and exciting to learn and you don’t have to travel far to experience it. UK wildlife is something we can see and enjoy and we’re best placed to protect it. We should truly value it. Give me a fox over a tiger any day.”

It’s far better to stay put,

reckons George

NOW IN its second series, The Home Show (Channel 4, Thursday) is definitely a programme for the times.

While previous shows such as Location, Location, Location and Property Ladder were all about selling up, the current financial climate means we’re now settling for what we have. But you can still change your home without actually moving house, as host George Clarke explains. “The recession is terrible but if there’s one good thing to come out of it it’s that people are re-thinking about purchasing houses,” he says. “For a long time there’s been a culture of people buying a property, living in it for a couple of years, selling it for more money, moving up the ladder and trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Special thing

“If you move a lot, property can start to feel like a commodity. It becomes like buying a car and I think that’s quite an unfortunate way of looking at a property. “It needs to be more like a home — a very special thing in your life.” Which is where The Home Show comes in. Each week architect George shows couples how they can improve their homes by spending the extra money they may have used to move house on their existing property. “If you do manage to sell a house at the moment you’re unlikely to get as much as you want,” he reasons. “And when you sell, you’ve to pay the

By Darryl Smith

estate agent fees, stamp duty on your new property, legal fees, then you have to pay the removal men to come and take everything away. “Then when you move in you probably want to do some work to make it personal and unique to you. That’s a massively expensive exercise. “I don’t want to move again. My family and I will stay where we are. We’ll spend our money on making it into a beautiful home, a place where our kids feel really settled,” says George. In this week’s episode George revisits Mandy and Andy from series one. He transformed their cluttered 1950s cottage in Surrey to a contemporary, open-plan abode. The couple were initially shocked by the new look but George returns to see what they think now. While it may make good TV for them to react otherwise, down-to-earth George says he much prefers it when his guests are pleased with the results. “We had one family who, when I sketched out what I was planning to do, turned round and said, ‘George, we don’t like it’. That had never happened before. “In fact, he really liked it but she didn’t at all. So we had to go through the whole thing, redesigning it in about two hours because we had the builders starting that day. “Goodness knows what they’re going to think on reveal day.” It’s not all couples appearing in this series, with

■ Don’t move — improve, is George Clarke’s advice. But you don’t always have to go as far as knocking down walls to give your home a new look. George given the task of redesigning the house of a 28-year-old bachelor. The young man would like to have been part of a couple — but clearly needed George’s intervention for that to happen! “He’d taken on an old person’s property about two years ago and hadn’t really done anything with it. It was a mess. “He was also colour-blind, so he didn’t realise his bedroom was pink. He thought it was off-white. I told him he’d never pull with a house like that and he said, ‘I know, George, that’s why you’re here!’ ”

43

HEARTBEAT — I usually love it, but all the to-ing and fro-ing between Australia and England made it difficult to follow the storyline. Joe McFadden’s a great actor, though. I expect we’ll see him in many more TV dramas once he moves on from the Yorkshire dales. — Mrs L. Docherty, Edinburgh. ■ A bit far-fetched and didn’t create a good impression of the Australians. — John McDonald, Kirkcaldy. ■ I do wish they wouldn’t spoil the ending by trailing the following week’s programme. We’d prefer to watch the next episode afresh. — Monica Blood, Long Eaton, Notts. ■ Last week’s episode was so disappointing. It bore no resemblance to the cosy family show we’ve become accustomed to. Also, when cash is so tight, why spend money filming in Australia? — Mary Morris, Ormskirk. MOVING ON — Well done, BBC! How refreshing to watch original, thoughtprovoking drama instead of yet another repeat of an American show. Sheila Hancock gave a great performance as Liz the widowed grandmother. It addressed a number of sensitive issues very well. — Peter Isherwood, Leeds. ■ Jimmy McGovern’s excellent drama series deserved to be aired at a later time to benefit a wider audience. It’s clear he’s the McGoverner! — Mary Cook, Alford, Lincs.

In

your view

ASHES TO ASHES — Not as good as the first series. The soundtrack isn’t very memorable or emotive, yet there’s a tremendous amount of excellent pop music from 1984 they might have used. And I went right off Gene Hunt when he shot dead the poor Rottweiler guarding a criminal’s home. — Miss Elspeth McVie, Perth. THE APPRENTICE — Who on earth will be the winner in this series? It’s anybody’s guess as there are no outstanding candidates. — M. Duncan, Lewes. ■ Highly entertaining and funny. The way the candidates turn on each other in the boardroom is hilarious. — Jean Dennis, Carmunnock. THE UNLOVED — This drama was the finest piece of TV I’ve seen in many a year. Like the classic Cathy Come Home, it educated and entertained us. — Colin Moffat, Peebles. CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW — Where have all the flowers gone? It was just a bunch of toffs in designer gear, drinking champagne and congratulating themselves, with hardly a bloom in sight! I’ll stick to The Beechgrove Garden. — Mrs S. Connolly, by email. ● Send your comments to: In Your View, The Sunday Post, 2 Albert Square, Dundee, DD1 9QJ. Or email us at: tvpost@sundaypost.com We’ll pay for all comments used.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

E1

An easy guide to your Sunday

SKY1

6.0 am — Hour of Power 57279 7.0 — Celebrity Are You Smarter Than a 10 Year Old? 40076 8.0 — American Gladiators 41705 9.0 — Guinness World Records Smashed! 74434 10.0 — Ballroom High 15182 11.0 — WWE: Experience 19778 12.0 pm — Oops TV 72273 12.30 — Oops TV 22873 1.0 — UK Border Force 27328 2.0 — The Real A&E 73618 3.0 — Cold Case 54908 4.0 — Malcolm in the Middle 9724 4.30 — Malcolm in the Middle 5908 5.0 — Futurama 6908 5.30 — Futurama 9960 6.0 — The Simpsons 6873 6.30 — The Simpsons 1973 7.0 — Don’t Forget the Lyrics 79705 8.0 — Guinness World Records Smashed! 88453 9.0 — Fringe 4244163 10.10 — Fringe 771163 11.10 — Lie to Me 254366 12.10 am — Road Wars 1046903 1.10 — Road Wars 3630090 2.05 — Street Wars 6391632 3.0 — The Villa 5294380 3.55 — Road Wars 47839380 4.20 — Bite Size Brainiac 59746090 4.35 — Weeds 5403941 5.10 — Brainiac: Science Abuse 4603835

SKY SPORTS 1

6.0 am — Aerobics Oz Style. 16434 6.30 — The Lions 1974 — Invincibles. A look back at the British & Irish Lions 1974 tour of South Africa. 35453 7.30 — European Cup Final. Leicester Tigers v. Leinster. 28250 9.0 — League Two Play-Off Final. Gillingham v. Shrewsbury Town. 49873 10.30 — The Sunday Supplement. 51989 12.0 pm — Super Sunday — The Final Countdown. 9679892 12.50 — Live League One Play-Off Final. Millwall v. Scunthorpe United (Kick-off 1 pm). 88982076 3.0 — Live Super Sunday. A match from the final day of the Premier League season (Kick-off 4 pm). 5966705 7.0 — League One Play-Off Final. Millwall v. Scunthorpe United. 1214892 8.25 — Football First. A Premier League match in full. 58108366 10.15 — Football First. A choice of matches on the final day of the Premier League season. 620434 11.45 — Football First. A choice of matches on the final day of the Premier League season. 625989 1.15 am — Football First. 649854 2.45 — Football First. 639477 4.15 — Football First. 922699 5.45 — Sky Sports Classics. AC Milan v. Liverpool. 3752729

SKY SPORTS 2

6.0 am — Watersports World. 9290811 7.0 — Spanish Football. 6337453 8.30 — Super League. Celtic Crusaders v. Catalans Dragons. 7903569 10.30 — Live International Cricket. England v. West Indies. 5452219 6.30 pm — Live Golf Night. The Senior PGA Championship. 9291540 8.0 — Golf Night. 7850434 10.0 — International Cricket. England v. West Indies. 7871705 12.0 am — League One Play-Off Final. Millwall v. Scunthorpe United. 4846019 1.30 — Spanish Football. 4482835 3.30 — League One Play-Off Final. Millwall v. Scunthorpe United. 4908019 5.0 — Champions League Weekly. A look ahead to the final between Manchester United and Barcelona. 4490854 5.30 — Wild Spirits. Fast and furious extreme sports action. 4417309

SKY SPORTS 3

6.0 am — Pool. 75240057 7.0 — Seamaster Sailing. The latest Grand Prix news. 38178958 7.30 — WWE: Afterburn. 39211989 8.30 — WWE Vintage Collection. 10160386 9.30 — European Cup Final. Leicester Tigers v. Leinster. 24264279 11.0 — Seamaster Sailing. 52337434 11.30 — Racing News. Preview of today’s race meetings. 52338163 12.0 pm — Super League. Celtic Crusaders v. Catalans Dragons. 53096095 2.0 — WWE Vintage Collection. 53077960 3.0 — WWE: Experience. 52349279 3.55 — Live Super Sunday. A match on the concluding day of the Premier League season (Kick-off 4 pm). 56475502 6.0 — Live Indy Car Series. The Indianapolis 500. 40397908 9.30 — Rallyzone. 55193328 10.0 — Seamaster Sailing. 49166637 10.30 — Live NASCAR. 45761927 3.30 am — Ocean Adventures. 66765835 4.0 — Seamaster Sailing. The latest Grand Prix news. 66673800 4.30 — Pool. 39297309 5.30 — Rallyzone. The latest news from around the world. 50058038

BBC1

6.00 BREAKFAST. News, sport and entertainment reports. 919163 9.00 THE ANDREW MARR SHOW. The week’s talking points. 30076 10.00 THE BIG QUESTIONS. Nicky Campbell presents from Ashton Park School in Bristol. 57144 11.00 THE POLITICS SHOW. With Jon Sopel. 7831366 12.10 pm FORMULA 1: THE MONACO GRAND PRIX. Jake Humphrey introduces live coverage of the sixth round of the season at the Circuit de Monaco in Monte Carlo, arguably the most famous race on the calendar. 56352434 3.00 EASTENDERS. Omnibus. Billy resorts to stealing money as Nick piles on the pressure, while Dot continues to be fooled by her devious son. 70777637 4.55 POINTS OF VIEW. Jeremy Vine champions viewers’ opinions on BBC programmes. 7509705 5.10 SONGS OF PRAISE. Actor Claire Sweeney visits her home city of Liverpool and, in the run-up to the FA Cup final, the London Community Gospel Choir performs Abide With Me. 4612637 5.45 FINAL SCORE. Ray Stubbs presents reports and updates on the last day of the Premier League season. 706521 6.30 LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE. After suffering a brush with Stella, Hobbo resolves to find her a man, and with the help of Clegg and Truly he decides to set her up with Norris Fairburn. 163 7.00 BBC NEWS; REGIONAL NEWS; WEATHER. 2786 7.30 COUNTRYFILE. Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury visit Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. Including Weather for the Week Ahead. 20182

EUROSPORT

SKY MOVIES ACTION/THRILLER

6.40 am — FILM: Plunkett & Macleane ★★ (1999) 61712057 8.25 — FILM: The Italian Job ★★★★★ (1969) 94232873 10.10 — FILM: Rush Hour 3 ★★ (2007) 45072637 11.50 — FILM: Patriot Games ★★★ (1992) 63331163 1.50 pm — FILM: Hitman ★★ (2007) 77719960 3.35 — FILM: The Italian Job ★★★★★ (1969) 6773160 5.20 — FILM: Rush Hour 3 ★★ (2007) 86552144 7.0 — FILM: Patriot Games ★★★ (1992) 6041057 9.0 — FILM: Hitman ★★ (2007) 92097453 10.40 — FILM: 8 Million Ways to Die ★★★ (1986) 50660231 12.40 am — FILM: The Usual Suspects ★★★★★ (1995) 3629632 2.30 — FILM: Nighthawks ★★★★ (1981) 5042831 4.15 — FILM: The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines ★★ (2006) 4355816

SKY MOVIES COMEDY

6.45 am — FILM: As Good as It Gets ★★★★★ (1997) 49646960 9.5 — FILM: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause ★★★ (2006) 28821366 10.40 — FILM: Leatherheads ★★ (2008) 37101796 12.40 pm — FILM: Knocked Up ★★★★ (2007) 12797705 2.50 — FILM: Semi-Pro ★★ (2008) 93196892 4.25 — FILM: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause ★★★ (2006) 12489521 6.0 — FILM: Leatherheads ★★ (2008) 3237705 8.0 — FILM: Knocked Up ★★★★ (2007) 43111434 10.10 — FILM: Semi-Pro ★★ (2008) 7008960 11.45 — FILM: As Good as It Gets ★★★★★ (1997) 15201873 2.5 am — FILM: I Want Candy ★★★ (2007) 1700583 3.40 — FILM: Bad Manners ★★ (1997) 3376496 5.15 — FILM: Special Delivery ★★ (2008) 43960670

SKY MOVIES DRAMA

6.45 am — FILM: The Neighbor ★★★ (2008) 61731182 8.30 — FILM: Onegin ★★ (1999) 7333569 10.30 — FILM: Idlewild ★★★ (2006) 66737182 12.40 pm — FILM: The Thin Red Line ★★★★★ (1998) 17955927 3.30 — The Top 10 Show 1455786 3.50 — FILM: The American President ★★★★ (1995) 1453786 5.50 — FILM: Becoming Jane ★★★ (2006) 65368250 8.0 — FILM: Meet Joe Black ★★ (1998) 7343231 11.0 — FILM: We Own the Night ★★★ (2007) 7212453 1.0 am — FILM: No Reservations ★★★ (2007) 4250903 2.50 — FILM: Gridlock’d ★★★ (1997) 6623309 4.30 — FILM: The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn ★★★★ (1999) 55752274

G.O.L.D

6.0 am — Solo 5727328 6.40 — The Two Ronnies 6540415 7.30 — Bread 1955298 8.10 — Solo 1568250 8.50 — The Green Green Grass 3619219 9.30 — The Green Green Grass 5412786 10.10 — Only Fools and Horses Top 40 Moments 57126182 12.10 pm — Morecambe and Wise — The Greatest Moment 3390960 1.45 — The Green Green Grass 7251095 2.25 — The Green Green Grass 2038434 3.5 — The Green Green Grass 5794873 3.45 — Only Fools and Horses Top 40 Moments 6441908 5.45 — Morecambe and Wise — The Greatest Moment 13201618 7.20 — FILM: Stuart Little 2 ★★★ (2002) 65562811 9.0 — Jonathan Creek 3662095 11.0 — Jonathan Creek 26499298 1.35 am — The Two Ronnies 7657941 2.20 — Bread 8908903 3.0 — Close

10.00 SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND. 30163 11.30 GREAT BRITISH MENU. 2144 12.00 pm ANIMAL PARK. 81502 1.00 THE SUPER LEAGUE SHOW. Highlights of the latest matches, including Warrington Wolves v. Wigan Warriors, St Helens v. Harlequins and Salford City Reds v. Bradford Bulls. 90250 2.00 FRED DIBNAH’S MADE IN BRITAIN. 2540 2.30 LIVE GOLF: PGA CHAMPIONSHIP. Hazel Irvine introduces coverage from Wentworth. 2980231 6.30 RAY MEARS GOES WALKABOUT. The survival expert meets a kindred spirit in the form of Les Hiddins. 83453 7.30 THE REAL ITALIAN JOB: JAMES MARTIN’S MILLE MIGLIA. Cameras follow TV chef and car fanatic James Martin in the Mille Miglia, an annual 1000-mile race through Italy featuring more than 300 classic cars. 28724

8.30 SOUTH PACIFIC. An exploration of the marine wildlife of the region, including the epic journeys of sperm whales from one side of the ocean to the other in search of food and a mate. 12637

Cable & Satellite 7.30 am — World Rally Championship. 3049960 8.5 — Cycling. 6038298 8.40 — Planet Armstrong. 2486705 8.45 — Live Porsche Super Cup. 8891434 9.30 — F1: The Factory. Behind the scenes with the Williams F1 team. 89705 10.0 — Live French Open Tennis. 3620637 7.30 pm — Game, Set and Mats. 338453 7.55 — Cycling. The 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia. 324182 8.55 — Planet Armstrong. 179618 9.0 — euroCRASH! 242163 9.15 — Motorsports Weekend. 247618 9.30 — World Series by Renault. 70057 10.0 — World Rally Championship. The third and final day of the Rally d’Italia Sardegna. 62540 10.30 — French Open Tennis. 88960 11.30 — Game, Set and Mats. 21279 12.0 am — World Rally Championship. 3678274 12.45 — Close

BBC2

6.00 CBeebies: Tikkabilla. 52298 6.30 Teletubbies. 54569 7.00 CBBC: ChuckleVision. 2001569 7.15 ChuckleVision. 2879250 7.30 Dinosapien. Eno feels homesick. Followed by Diddy Dick & Dom. 59502 8.00 The Legend of Dick & Dom. 87298 8.30 MI High. An inventor creates a device to bring about world peace. Followed by The Owl. 86569 9.00 Escape from Scorpion Island. 38618

■ Lee Ingleby and Martin Shaw. 8.30 INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY. Bacchus and Gently investigate the possible suicide of a mill manager who was found hanged, but the clues soon point to blackmail, jealousy and murder. Last in the series. 77732 10.00 NEWS; WEATHER. 734989 10.20 MATCH OF THE DAY. Gary Lineker presents highlights of the final day of the Premier League season. 5265502 11.50 FILM: The Greatest Game Ever Played ★★ (2005). A working-class golfer overcomes prejudice and cynicism to compete in the 1913 US Open. Starring Shia LaBeouf and Stephen Dillane. 402892 1.45 am TERRY PRATCHETT: LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER’S. Conclusion. The author explores the effects of the disease. 846545 2.45 HOLBY CITY. 860125

film

3.45 BBC NEWS: The Record Europe. Political issues across the continent. 39816922 4.00 BBC News. Regular bulletin. 58106 4.30 HARDtalk. With Stephen Sackur. 58019 5.00 The World Today. International reports. 25293 5.30 World Business Report. Informed analysis. 58922

Pick

of the day

Britain’s Got Talent ITV, 8.30 pm

THIS WEEK sees the first of the five live semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent. With eight acts performing on each show the viewers will be asked to vote for their favourite, and the one with the most votes will go through to the final. The judges then have a chance to choose one other act from those coming second and third in the viewer vote to compete the final. Naturally all eyes will be on Scotland’s now world-famous Susan Boyle, but there are many other promising acts who could put a spanner in the works. Now the no-hopers have gone the focus is finally on those with real talent.

9.30 THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN JOURNEY. Alice Roberts examines how mankind’s ancestors survived harsh ice age conditions following their arrival in Europe. 49618 10.30 FIGHTING PASSIONS. Documentary challenging common perceptions of war. 98786 11.30 THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW UNCUT. 293415

film

12.15 am FILM: The Enforcer ★★ (1995). An undercover cop infiltrates a ruthless crime syndicate. Martial arts thriller, starring Jet Li and Anita Mui. Dubbed in English. 532212

1.55 BBC NEWS: Reporters. Global issues. 8245090 2.00 BBC News. Regular bulletin. 65496 2.30 Dateline London. 7930816 3.45 THE SUPER LEAGUE SHOW. 857651 4.45 CLOSE. Scottish Changes 12.0 pm River City. 1.0 Escape to the Country. 7.30 Only Yesterday: The Carpenters’ Story. 10.30 General Assembly 2009. 11.0 Fighting Passions. 12.0 am The Graham Norton Show Uncut. 12.45 FILM: The Enforcer ★★ (1995). 2.25 BBC News.

● THE NUMBERS after each programme are for VIDEOPlus+ programming. Just enter the VIDEOPlus+ number(s) for the relevant programme(s) into your video recorder for easy taping. For more details visit the website at www.videoplus.co.uk Gemstar Development Ltd., 186 Regent Street, London, WIB 5TN. VIDEOPlus+® is a registered trademark of Gemstar Development Corporation. © 2004.

ITV Regions

44

stv

6.0 — GMTV. 7.25 — Toonattik. 9.25 — wknd@stv. 10.5 — The Crocodile Hunter Diaries. 11.10 — Coronation Street. 1.25 — ITV News and Weather. 1.29 — Local Weather. 1.30 — Best Ever Worst Dance Moments. 2.30 — Britain’s Got Talent. 4.0 — FILM: Police Academy III: Back in Training ★★ (1986). 5.45 — STV News and Weather. 5.45 — News Review for the Hard of Hearing. 6.0 — ITV News and Weather. 6.15 — Beat the Star. 7.30 — As Tyne Tees. 11.15 — Crossing Jordan. 12.15 — It’s My Life. 1.5 — The Cosby Mysteries. 2.0 — Quincy ME. 2.50 — MPs Under Fire: Tonight. 3.15 — ITV Nightscreen.

Border

6.0 — GMTV. 7.25 — Toonattik. 9.25 — Coronation Street. 11.40 — FILM: Holiday On the Buses ★ (1973). 1.25 — ITV News and Weather. 1.29 — Border Weather. 1.30 — Best Ever Worst Dance Moments. 2.30 — Britain’s Got Talent. 4.0 — FILM: Police Academy III: Back in Training ★★ (1986). 5.45 — Tyne Tees and Border News. 5.45 — Weather. 6.0 — ITV News and Weather. 6.15 — Beat the Star. 7.30 — As Tyne Tees. 11.15 — Crossing Jordan. 12.15 — It’s My Life. 1.5 — The Cosby Mysteries. 1.5 — ITV News Headlines. 2.0 — Quincy ME. 2.50 — MPs Under Fire: Tonight. 3.15 — ITV Nightscreen.


E1

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

television & radio programmes Tyne Tees

6.00 GMTV: The Fluffy Club. 4855637 7.25 Toonattik. Animated fun. 10116540

9.25 CORONATION STREET. Omnibus. 21903328 11.40 FILM: Holiday On The Buses. ★ (1973). Two bus drivers find work at a holiday resort, but fall foul of an old adversary. 70831291 1.25 pm NEWS; WEATHER. 33198908 1.30 BEST EVER WORST DANCE MOMENTS. Comical moments involving dance. 75618 2.30 BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT. The auditionees take their last chance to impress judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan before the 40 acts who have made it through to the semi-finals are announced. 46816

film

4.00 FILM: Police Academy III: Back in Training ★★ (1986). The police training school faces closure. 48726231 5.45 LOCAL NEWS; WEATHER. 715347 6.00 NEWS; WEATHER. 819298 6.15 BEAT THE STAR. GMTV presenter and former professional tennis player Andrew Castle takes ■ Lisa Kay, on student 7.30 pm. mentor Lee Hawkins. 7862415 7.30 HEARTBEAT. Mason and Dawson continue the search for Rosie, and after ruling out Mick as a suspect, turn their attention to a local roadhouse.15250 8.30 BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT. See Pick Of The Day 91960 10.00 NEWS; WEATHER. 398142 10.15 PETER KOSMINSKY: THE SOUTH BANK SHOW. Melvyn Bragg talks to the Bafta-winning director of The Government Inspector about his career. With contributions by Mark Rylance, Matthew Macfadyen and Brooke Kinsella. 138618 11.15 CROSSING JORDAN. A man asks for help in finally bringing his father’s killer to justice 127502 12.15 am IT’S MY LIFE. Jennie McAlpine from Coronation Street joins a debate on fame. 9573516 1.05 THE COSBY MYSTERIES. 6475090 2.00 QUINCY ME. 8645903 2.50 MPS UNDER FIRE: TONIGHT. 1736380 3.15 ITV NIGHTSCREEN. 66938583

film

Yorkshire

6.0 — GMTV. 7.25 — Toonattik. 9.25 — Coronation Street. 11.40 — FILM: Holiday On the Buses ★ (1973). 1.25 — ITV News and Weather. 1.29 — Local Weather. 1.30 — Best Ever Worst Dance Moments. 2.30 — Britain’s Got Talent. 4.0 — FILM: Police Academy III: Back in Training ★ ★ (1986). 5.45 — Calendar News and Weather. 6.0 — ITV News and Weather. 6.15 — Beat the Star. 7.30 — As Tyne Tees. 11.15 — Crossing Jordan. 12.15 — It’s My Life. 1.5 — The Cosby Mysteries. 1.5 — ITV News Headlines. 2.0 — Quincy ME. 2.50 — MPs Under Fire: Tonight. 3.15 — ITV Nightscreen.

Central

Ch 4

6.15 THE HOOBS. 4544502 6.40 Planet Cook. 6591927 7.00 GT4 European Cup. 65163 7.30 FIA GT Championship. 84298 8.00 Ocean Race. 1177540 8.55 Friends. 8716960 9.30 Night at the Museum 2: T4 Movie Special. 93347 10.00 Hollyoaks. 340724

12.30 pm FRIENDS. 97163 1.00 BEING. New series. Behind-the-scenes access to girl band The Saturdays and a chance to catch up backstage with Alesha Dixon. 3011908 1.35 THE BIG BANG THEORY. 29075076 2.05 THE BIG BANG THEORY. 5538521 2.40 SMALLVILLE. 6572960 3.40 THE SIMPSONS. 7758809 4.15 THE SIMPSONS. 277811 4.45 DEAL OR NO DEAL. Noel Edmonds hosts the game show. 6131366 5.30 CHANNEL 4 NEWS. Including sport and weather. 444347 5.50 THE SIMPSONS. 651540 6.15 NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM INTRO. Ben Stiller introduces the film. 694076

Five

6.00 SUNRISE. Breakfast news. 5273873 7.00 MILKSHAKE!: Angels of Jarm. 5882786 7.05 Ebb and Flo. 5881057 7.10 Franklin. 2158927 7.35 Hana’s Helpline. 1191705 7.50 Olivia 8588415 8.00 The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill and His Best Friend Corky. 3762892 8.20 Animal Families. 6107637 8.35 Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs. 2081182 8.50 Mist: Sheepdog Tales. 2864193 9.05 Roary the Racing Car. 2173892 9.20 Rupert Bear. 3096960 9.35 The Milkshake! Show. 5168095

10.00 MICHAELA’S WILD CHALLENGE. 6433618 10.30 EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS. 9166095 11.00 HELICOPTER WARFARE. 5583453 12.00 pm BUILD A NEW LIFE IN THE COUNTRY. 4726182

film

1.00 FILM: Strangers on a Train ★★★★★ (1951). Hitchcock’s thriller, with Robert Walker and Farley Granger. 6447811

3.00 FILM: Lawrence of Arabia ★★★★★ (1962). Oscar-winning epic drama, with Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif. 75352250 7.05 FIVE NEWS. Headlines from around the world. 5080989 7.15 CRICKET ON FIVE. England v. West Indies. The second match of the three-game series 4478786

film

45

★ RADIO 1

5.0 am — Ras Kwame. 7.0 — Nick Grimshaw. 10.0 — Sara Cox. 1.0 pm — Greg James. 4.0 — Radio 1’s Chart Show With Fearne And Reggie. 7.0 — Switch With Annie Mac And Nick Grimshaw. 10.0 — The Surgery On Radio 1. 12.0 am — Rob Da Bank. 2.0 — Rob Da Bank And Friends. 4.0 — Most Hip-Hop.

★ RADIO 2

7.0 am — Aled Jones. 9.0 — Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs. 11.0 — Michael Ball’s Sunday Brunch. 1.0 pm — Elaine Paige On Sunday. 3.0 — Johnnie Walker’s Sounds Of The 70s. 5.0 — Paul O’Grady. 7.0 — Alan Titchmarsh. 8.30 — Sunday Half Hour. 9.0 — Russell Davies. 10.0 — Malcolm Laycock. 11.0 — The David Jacobs Collection. 12.0 am — Janice Long. 3.30 — Alex Lester.

★ RADIO 3

7.0 am — Breakfast. 10.0 — Sunday Morning With Suzy Klein. 12.0 noon — Private Passions. 12.0 noon — News. 1.0 — The Early Music Show. 2.0 — Radio 3 Requests. 4.0 — Choral Evensong. 5.0 — Discovering Music. 6.30 — The Choir. 8.0 — Drama On 3. 9.30 — Sunday Feature. 10.15 — Words And Music. 11.30 — Jazz Line-Up. 1.0 am — Through The Night.

★ RADIO 4

5.30 am — News Briefing. 5.43 — Bells On Sunday. 5.45 — Letters To Mary. 6.0 — News Headlines. 6.05 — Something Understood. 6.35 — Living World. 6.57 — Weather. 7.0 — News. 7.07 — Sunday Papers. 7.10 — Sunday. 7.55 — Radio 4 Appeal. 7.58 — Weather. 8.0 — News. 8.07 — Sunday Papers. 8.10 — Sunday Worship. 8.50 — A Point Of View. 9.0 — Broadcasting House. 10.0 — (LW) Desert Island Discs. 10.0 — (FM) The Archers. 10.45 — (LW) One-Day International Cricket. 11.15 — (FM) Desert Island Discs. With entertainer Barry Humphries. 12.0 noon — (FM) News. 12.01 — (LW) Shipping Forecast. 12.04 — (LW) One-Day International Cricket. 12.04 — (FM) The Museum Of Curiosity. 12.30 — (FM) The Food Programme. 12.57 — (FM) Weather. 1.0 — (FM) The World This Weekend. 1.30 — (FM) Britain In Their Sites. 2.0 — (FM) Gardeners’ Question Time. 2.45 — (FM) Lights, Camera, Landmark. 3.0 — (FM) Classic Serial: Mugsborough 1917. 4.0 — (FM) Open Book. 4.30 — (FM) Poetry Please. 5.0 — (FM) World Heritage: Curse Or Blessing? 5.40 — (FM) From Fact To Fiction. 5.54 — Shipping Forecast. 5.57 — (LW) One-Day International Cricket. 5.57 — (FM) Weather. 6.0 — (FM) Six O’Clock News. 6.15 — (FM) Pick Of The Week. 6.30 — (LW) Pick Of The Week. 7.0 — The Archers. 7.15 — Go4it. 7.45 — Stories With Latitude. 8.0 — More Or Less. 8.30 — Last Word. 9.0 — Money Box. 9.26 — Radio 4 Appeal. 9.30 — In Business. 9.59 — Weather. 10.0 — The Westminster Hour. 11.0 — The Film Programme. 11.30 — Something Understood. 12.0 am — News And Weather. 12.15 — Thinking Allowed. 12.45 — Bells On Sunday. 12.48 — Shipping Forecast. 1.0 — World Service. 5.20 — Shipping Forecast.

★ RADIO 5

5.0 am — Morning Reports. 6.0 — Weekend Breakfast. 9.0 — SportsWeek. 10.0 — Gabby Logan. 12.0 noon — 5 Live Sport. 1.0 — 5 Live Formula One. 3.0 — 5 Live Sport. 7.0 — 6-0-6. 8.0 — The Weekend News. 10.0 — Stephen Nolan. 1.0 am — Up All Night.

★ CLASSIC FM

7.0 am — Myleene Klass Weekend Breakfast. 9.0 — Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s Sunday Spa. 11.0 — The A-Z Of Classic FM Music. 1.0 pm — If You Liked That, You’ll Like This. 3.0 — The Guest List. 5.0 — At The Movies. 6.0 — Smooth Classics At Six. 9.0 — Simon Bates In Conversation With Faryl Smith. 10.0 — Natalie Wheen’s Full Works. 12.0 am — Midnight Classics. 2.0 — Nicola Bonn.

Radio

★ RADIO SCOTLAND

6.0 am — Challenging Parenting. 6.30 — New Every Morning. 7.0 — News, Sport And Weather. 7.0 — Outdoor Conditions. 7.05 — The Greetings Programme. 8.0 — News, Sport And Weather. 8.05 — Assembly 2009. 9.0 — Shereen. 10.0 — The Business. 10.30 — The Road Taken. 11.0 — News, Sport And Weather. 11.05 — Out Of Doors. 12.0 noon — News, Sport And Weather. 12.05 — (FM) The Beechgrove Potting Shed. 12.05 — (MW) Sportsound. 1.0 — (FM) News, Sport And Weather. 1.05 — (FM) The Reel Blend. 3.0 — (FM) The Book Cafe. 3.45 — (FM) The Movie Cafe. 4.0 — (MW) The Movie Cafe. 4.30 — Stark Talk. 5.0 — News, Sport And Weather. 5.05 — The Jazz House. 7.0 — News, Sport And Weather. 7.0 — Outdoor Conditions. 7.05 — Pipeline. 8.0 — News, Sport And Weather. 8.05 — Classics Unwrapped. 10.0 — News, Sport And Weather. 10.05 — Mary Ann Kennedy’s Global Gathering. 12.0 am — As Radio 5 Live.

■ Ben Stiller.

film

6.20 FILM: Night at the Museum ★★★ (2006). Premiere. Museum exhibits come to life and run riot once night falls. 53747873

8.30 COME DINE WITH ME. Four amateur cooks from Croydon take up the culinary challenge. 85205 9.30 THE SECRET MILLIONAIRE. Haulage industry tycoon Hilary Devey goes undercover on the Falinge housing estate in Rochdale. 34786 10.30 RICKY GERVAIS LIVE: ANIMALS. Feature-length film shot during the comedian’s first stand-up tour, including excerpts from his performance at the Bloomsbury Theatre. 79076 12.00 am FILM: Once Upon a Time in America. ★★★★ (1984). A Jewish mobster is haunted by his memories. 4740632 4.00 SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE. The teams construct a fire-fighting ship. 9639854 4.55 COUNTDOWN. 6977380 5.40 CUBEEZ. 5904106

film

6.0 — GMTV. 7.25 — Toonattik. 9.25 — Coronation Street. 11.40 — FILM: Holiday On the Buses ★ (1973). 1.25 — ITV News and Weather. 1.29 — Local Weather. 1.30 — Best Ever Worst Dance Moments. 2.30 — Britain’s Got Talent. 4.0 — FILM: Police Academy III: Back in Training ★★ (1986). 5.45 — Central News and Weather. 6.0 — ITV News and Weather. 6.15 — Beat the Star. 7.30 — As Tyne Tees. 11.15 — Crossing Jordan. 12.15 — It’s My Life. 1.5 — The Cosby Mysteries. 1.5 — ITV News Headlines. 2.0 — Quincy ME. 2.50 — MPs Under Fire: Tonight. 3.15 — ITV Nightscreen.

Granada

6.0 — GMTV. 7.25 — Toonattik. 9.25 — Coronation Street. 11.40 — FILM: Holiday On the Buses ★ (1973). 1.25 — ITV News and Weather. 1.29 — Granada Weather. 1.30 — Best Ever Worst Dance Moments. 2.30 — Britain’s Got Talent. 4.0 — FILM: Police Academy III: Back in Training ★★ (1986). 5.45 — Granada News and Weather. 6.0 — ITV News and Weather. 6.15 — Beat the Star. 7.30 — As Tyne Tees. 11.15 — Crossing Jordan. 12.15 — It’s My Life. 1.5 — The Cosby Mysteries. 1.5 — ITV News Headlines. 2.0 — Quincy ME. 2.50 — MPs Under Fire: Tonight. 3.15 — ITV Nightscreen.

★ REAL RADIO

6.0 am — Joe And Lynne. 10.0 — Paul Harper. 2.0 pm — Ross Macfadyen. 6.0 — Robin Galloway. 8.0 — Micky Gavin. 12.0 am — Mark Martin.

■ Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton.

film

8.00 FILM: Where Eagles Dare ★★★ (1969). An elite commando group sets out to rescue an American general. 17373637

11.05 FILM: The Wild Bunch ★★★★★ (1969). Ageing outlaws find themselves at odds with early 20th Century society. 82347366 1.50 am WINTER X GAMES. 29793187 2.10 BOXING CLASSIC. 82053293 2.40 BOXING USA. 12959835 3.45 MOTORSPORT MUNDIAL. 20303651 4.10 FIM MOTOCROSS. 5093380 5.00 HANA’S HELPLINE. 21608748 5.15 THE MILKSHAKE! SHOW. 44648583 5.40 THOMAS & FRIENDS. 79765835 5.50 ROARY THE RACING CAR. 79756187

film

London

6.0 — GMTV. 7.25 — Toonattik. 9.25 — Coronation Street. 11.40 — FILM: Holiday On the Buses ★ (1973). 1.25 — ITV News and Weather. 1.29 — London Weather. 1.30 — Best Ever Worst Dance Moments. 2.30 — Britain’s Got Talent. 4.0 — FILM: Police Academy III: Back in Training ★★ (1986). 5.45 — London Tonight. 5.45 — Weather. 6.0 — ITV News and Weather. 6.15 — Beat the Star. 7.30 — As Tyne Tees. 11.15 — Crossing Jordan. 12.15 — It’s My Life. 1.5 — The Cosby Mysteries. 1.5 — ITV News Headlines. 2.0 — Quincy ME. 2.50 — MPs Under Fire: Tonight. 3.15 — ITV Nightscreen.

Ulster

6.0 — GMTV. 7.25 — Toonattik. 9.25 — Coronation Street. 11.40 — FILM: Holiday On the Buses ★ (1973). 1.25 — ITV News and Weather. 1.29 — UTV Farming Weather. 1.30 — Best Ever Worst Dance Moments. 2.30 — Britain’s Got Talent. 4.0 — FILM: Police Academy III: Back in Training ★★ (1986). 5.45 — UTV News and Sport. 5.45 — Weather. 5.59 — UTV Holiday Weather. 6.0 — ITV News and Weather. 6.15 — Beat the Star. 7.30 — As Tyne Tees. 11.15 — Crossing Jordan. 12.15 — It’s My Life. 1.5 — The Cosby Mysteries. 1.5 — ITV News Headlines. 2.0 — Quincy ME. 2.50 — MPs Under Fire: Tonight. 3.15 — ITV Nightscreen.

★ CLYDE 1

6.0 am — Colin Kelly. 10.0 — Ross King. 12.0 noon — Des McLean. 1.0 — Romeo. 4.0 — Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Billy Sloan. 10.0 — Gina McKie. 1.0 am — Adrian Coll.

★ CLYDE 2

6.0 am — Alan Edwards. 10.0 — Dean Park. 2.0 pm — Ross King. 4.0 — Tiger Tim Stevens. 7.0 — John Irons. 10.0 — Jim Symon. 1.0 am — Non-stop Music.

★ FORTH ONE

6.0 am — Euan Notman. 10.0 — Ross King. 12.0 noon — Lunchtime Show. 4.0 — Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Krystle Weaver. 10.0 — Gina McKie. 1.0 am — Through The Night.

★ FORTH 2

6.0 am — View From Earth. 7.0 — Dave Stewart. 10.0 — Tonya Macari. 2.0 pm — Paula Whitelock. 6.0 — Ken Haynes. 8.0 — Dick Barrie. 10.0 — Kenny Hutchison. 1.0 am — Through The Night.

★ TAY FM

6.0 am — Dave Connor. 10.0 — Waggy. 1.0 pm — Mike Richardson. 4.0 — The Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Karen B. 9.0 — The Weekenders. 10.0 — Gina McKie. 1.0 am — Through The Night.

★ TAY AM

6.0 am — Ian Lees. 8.0 — The Rev Bob. 8.30 — Dave Price. 11.0 — Talk-In Sunday. 12.0 noon — Bill Torrance. 2.0 — Keith Thompson. 5.0 — Jenny Farish. 7.0 — Ward McGaughrin. 10.0 — Terry Cumming. 1.0 am — Through The Night.

★ NORTHSOUND

6.0 am — Craig Milne. 10.0 — John Milne. 1.0 pm — Craig McDonald. 4.0 — The Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Michael Gordon. 10.0 — Gina McKie. 1.0 am — The Night Shift.

★ NORTHSOUND TWO

6.0 am — Damien McLeod. 9.0 — Ritchie Grant. 11.0 — Frank Gilfeather. 12.0 noon — Bill Torrance. 2.0 — Rick Cowie. 4.0 — Damien McLeod. 7.0 — John McRuvie. 9.0 — Stained Glass Radio. 10.0 — Dave MacDermid. 1.0 am — Craig Milne.

★ MORAY FIRTH

6.0 am — Davey D. 10.0 — Tich McCooey. 1.0 pm — Knoxy. 4.0 — The Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — (AM) Celtic Cafe. 7.0 — (FM) Greatest Hits. 8.0 — (FM) Marion Scott. 9.0 — (AM) Crossfire. 10.0 — Gina McKie. 1.0 am — Adrian Coll.

★ WESTSOUND AYRSHIRE

6.0 am — David Black. 10.0 — Peter Lockhart. 2.0 pm — Tommy Truesdale. 5.0 — Joe Campbell. 7.0 — Sunday At Seven. 10.0 — Fiona Shields. 1.0 am — Through The Night.

★ WESTSOUND DUMFRIES

6.0 am — Colin McArdle. 10.0 — Alison Wallace. 2.0 pm — Kenny Campbell. 4.0 — The Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Sunday At Seven. 10.0 — Gina McKee. 1.0 am — Kevin Cameron.

★ WEST FM

6.0 am — Colin McArdle. 10.0 — Jen McGinlay. 2.0 pm — Kenny Campbell. 4.0 — The Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Innes Young. 10.0 — Gina McKie. 1.0 am — Susan Hay.

★ RADIO BORDERS

6.0 am — Stuart Cameron. 10.0 — Hugh Brown. 1.0 pm — Lynsey Paterson. 4.0 — The Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Wired. 8.0 — The Sunday Getherin’. 10.0 — Gina McKie. 1.0 am — Adrian Coll.

★ TFM RADIO

6.0 am — Judie McCourt. 10.0 — Wayne Allen. 1.0 pm — Stu Smith. 4.0 — Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Becky Saif. 10.0 — Late Night Zoo. 1.0 am — Non-stop Music.

★ METRO FM

6.0 am — Scott Makin. 10.0 — Anna Foster. 1.0 pm — Marc Henry. 4.0 — Hit 40 UK. 7.0 — Stu Smith. 10.0 — Alan Robson. 2.0 am — Matt Mackay.

★ DOWNTOWN RADIO

6.0 am — Dawn Reflections. 9.0 — Gospel Hour. 10.0 — Candy Devine. 2.0 pm — Downtown Gold. 6.0 — All Time Country Hits. 7.0 — Keep It Country. 10.0 — Country Ceili. 11.0 — Ramblin’ Man. 11.30 — The Sunday Night Cap. 1.0 am — Allnight Downtown.


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Family Matters

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

47

coping with life

● money ● health ● life ● food ● fashion ● horoscope ●

Working hard to make families’lives better AST LOTHIAN is a diverse area — its E population of 96,100 is spread over six main towns, huge rural areas and seaside resorts.

In the last nine years more than 257 families living in the area have been helped to a better quality of life thanks to Home-Start.

The East Lothian scheme was the 25th to open in Scotland, in 2000. There are now 32 north of the Border helping people struggling with parenthood. Senior co-ordinator Linden Ross has been involved with East Lothian Home-Start from the beginning. Aided by co-ordinator Angela Clyde and two admin workers, they’re based in an Early Years Centre within a brand-new primary school in Tranent. Their core funding mainly comes through the local authority but over the past two years The National Lottery Good Causes has awarded more than £1.1 million to Home-Start schemes in Scotland, with the East Lothian scheme receiving £303,600 over five years.

Families

Linden reckons this means they’ll be able to help 35 more families every year. “We’re open to families from any background and most of our referrals come through health visitors,” explains Linden. “Families can also self-refer. We’re seeing more of this since the credit crunch started. “Some of our referrals are grandparents who are, for whatever reason, bringing up young children. “One of the criteria is there has to be at least one child under the age of five in the family. “Home-Start is completely parent-led — it’s all about what they need to make family life better.” So if a parent needs someone to play with the children for a couple of hours, that’s what is arranged. Or if a chat over a cuppa would be of more benefit, that’s fine too.

By Jill Scott “The matching-up process of volunteer and family is crucial,” continues Linden. “We don’t usually match a volunteer with someone who lives in the same area. Confidentiality is an absolute must. “We currently have 26 volunteers, two of whom are male and they all undergo a 10-week training course “One has been with us since we started nine years ago. The oldest we’ve had is 73, the youngest 18.

Volunteers

“It’s desirable volunteers have been parents themselves but it isn’t compulsory. “Our volunteers join for a variety of reasons and are all wonderful.” Margaret Prentice (70) has been a volunteer with Home-Start East Lothian for five years. Her involvement came about through a difficult period in her own life. She’d not long been divorced when she read about Home-Start in a magazine. “I love children and had been heavily involved in bringing up my own grandchildren,” says Margaret. “I’d been a nurse in A&E and knew I needed something else in my life. “I was matched with my first family in August 2004 — a couple with four children

■ Volunteer Margaret (centre) with Linden Ross (left) and Angela Clyde.

Home-Start offers practical and emotional help all over the UK under three, the youngest being twins. “The mum was very capable but she really needed practical help. “Normally a volunteer would maybe do three hours, one day a week, but I helped with this family for two hours a day mostly at home, doing

“HOME-START”, says Suzi, “was a lifeline when I needed it.”

When her son Robert was two, Suzi, a single parent, began to suspect he was deaf. He went through a series of tests and Suzi was told he could be autistic but when this was confirmed it was still a major shock. “Even though you’re half-expecting it, when the words come it’s like being hit with a brick,” explains Suzi (45). Robert had behavioural problems. Hand-dryers in toilets, for example, seemed to terrify him, as did travelling on public transport.

practical things like hanging out the washing or playing with the children. “I was with them for three years and when the couple married Linden and I went to their wedding which was a really lovely occasion. I still see them. “I’m now on my fourth family.

“It’s sad when you leave a family but it’s our aim to make them more independent and if you’ve achieved that it’s a job well done. “I really enjoy what I do. You share in the family’s laughter — and their tears. “Everything I put into it, I get out of it.

THE FIRST-EVER National Family Week starts tomorrow. With major sponsors like the National Lottery Good Causes, and the backing of schools, community organisations, celebrities, etc., it has one simple aim — to bring families together. Parenthood is never easy but extra hurdles like relationship break-ups, separation from extended family, illness, disability, unemployment, bereavement, alcohol or drugs abuse, can all test a family’s strength. Recognising many families need extra support at times, Leicester woman Margaret Harrison founded the charity Home-Start in 1973. The idea was to match a family needing help with a trained volunteer who would provide practical and emotional support in order to help build up the family’s confidence and increase their ability to cope. Home-Start is now the biggest family support charity in the UK with 15,000 trained volunteers involved in 300 schemes. “I’ve made so many friends among the volunteers as we have monthly support meetings together and parties. “My niece has just had twins and I’ve recommended Home-Start to her.” ● For more information about Home-Start call 0800 068 6368 or log on to www.homestart.org.uk

Lifeline for mum with autistic son

He had a fear of people, which made going anywhere a stressful experience. “The speech therapist used to come to the house and it was she who recommended us to Home-Start,” recalls Suzi. “Linden came to see me and we went into every detail about what was involved, right down to me being matched with someone I thought best. “I was matched with a woman who had a child the same age as Robert so we’d something in common right from the start.

“Having her helped keep me sane. “She’d come once a week for the whole afternoon and help with whatever I wanted whether it be doing some ironing or keeping Robert occupied so I could just spend some time on my own. “We went on some of the day trips arranged by Home-Start. It was great to have support in looking after him.” Now five, Robert has moved on to a mainstream school where there’s specialist provision to help with the challenges he faces.

But for Suzi, the benefits Home-Start brings have gone further than just help with Robert. “I’ve always wanted to be a photographer,” reveals Suzi. “Home-Start encouraged me to take this forward and gave me the confidence to do so. “I’ve just completed the first year of a photography course which I could never have considered doing a few years ago.” ● The names of mum and son have been changed to protect their identity.


48

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Family Matters

other people’s money

‘‘Boring’’bank bounced back after efficiency drive NE of the most notable victims O of the credit crunch has been Scotland’s reputation for banking

The Clydesdale seems to be applying a back-tobasics approach across its business. Barry explains why, when other banks are accused of withholding credit, the Clydesdale has increased mortgage lending by £1.9 billion over the last six months. “It’s a good time to lend because customers need money and house prices are at a more realistic level. We’re keeping an eye on affordability, only lending to people who can afford to pay the loan back.

prudence and responsibility.

There used to be four major clearing banks — TSB and Bank of Scotland now belong to Lloyds while RBS has become a byword for everything bad about the boom years.

But quietly picking their way through the wreckage and gaining strength as they go is the Clydesdale Bank. Long characterised as being laughably cautious and lacking in ambition the Clydesdale has actually been increasing mortgage lending in the last six months and taking in more cash as deposits. While rivals have all but gone bust and racked up record corporate losses the Clydesdale made a profit of £70 million in the six months to March. “There’s no pleasure

By James Millar here about the fate of the other banks,” insists Barry Gardner, head of external affairs at the bank. “The problems in the banking sector are not good for Scotland or the wider economy but there is a pride that we are in a good position. “We’ve been labelled dull, conservative, boring in the past. But customers are voting with their feet — we’ve added 43,000 in the last six months.”

Unremarkable

The Clydesdale was founded in May 1838 by James Lumsden and a group of fellow Glasgow merchants as somewhere to lend to small businesses and take their deposits. It’s had a fairly unremarkable history since. In 1919 it was bought by the Midland Bank and sold again in 1987 to the National

● The bank’s founder, James Lumsden. Australia Bank Group. In 2001 it merged with subsidiary Yorkshire Bank. Then, five years ago the bank had an overhaul. “We had to make some tough decisions,” explains Barry. “We realised we couldn’t be all things to all people. “The bank was transformed, it was almost rebuilt. Since then there’s been investment in back office functions, efficiency has been improved and there’s been a focus on customer service.” More than 1500 jobs were lost in the process and some would claim it’s hard to improve customer service while employing fewer people. However the Clydesdale’s call centre operation provides some vindication — it was recently named best call centre in the world. Previously, operators were given time targets encouraging them to get rid of callers as quickly as possible, leaving customers annoyed. By

Multi-national

● The bank’s call centre in Clydebank was voted best in the world.

Clydesdale shows way forward for Scotland’s ailing financial system giving operators responsibility for dealing with the customer’s request, no matter how long it took to resolve, morale, staff retention rates and, most importantly, customer satisfaction have all gone up.

IN TOUGH economic times, number-crunchers rule both in the public and private sectors as they aim to make what Chancellor Alistair Darling calls “efficiency savings”. This means a wide range of organisations and companies is coming to see the cost benefits of outsourcing to companies like the £4.3 billion Capita, the leader in its field in the UK. It provides basic office administration and front office customer services and has produced consistently impressive growth in profits and revenue. Prospects for the next few years are also good. Around half of Capita’s business comes from the public sector and as the drive for efficiency continues to quicken, further opportunities are coming the company’s way, not least in healthcare which accounts for a relatively modest part of its current overall business. In the private sector there has also been a boost in demand for Capita’s services, for example in administering life insurance and

“For our contact centre in Clydebank to be up there against the best from India and America and win was brilliant,” beams Barry. “The changes we made weren’t rocket science but they made a big difference.”

Share watch

pension policies. Among recent contracts is one worth £500 million with AXA SunLife. It’s reckoned Capita holds close to 60 per cent of that market. Chief executive Paul Pinder explains, “If a life company is under pressure and we say we can reduce its costs by 30 per cent, it’s difficult to resist.” The group’s strong cash flow is also impressive and continues to be used to fund further acquisitions and deals that help to ensure Capita’s growth will continue. Indeed the expectation is that in 2009 pre-tax profits will rise from £227 million to around £330 million with the dividend set to rise from 14.4p to around 19p a share. So it isn’t surprising Capita’s shares are highly rated at around

“£1.9 billion is a lot in anyone’s language, the sort of numbers you’d expect of a big multi-national bank so we’re punching above our weight. But we think it’s a good time to lend and we’re doing it with our eyes wide open.” The Clydesdale could claim it’s avoided the worst of the credit crunch due to excellent foresight but Barry admits that while recent reforms were undertaken on the understanding the boom wouldn’t last for ever the bank didn’t predict the scale of the economic turbulence currently engulfing the world. In a way it’s been lucky it had to face up to its problems a few years ago, while market conditions were still calm. The bank certainly had a lucky escape with one of its former employees.

720p to yield a prospective 2.5 per cent. With demand for outsourcing set to continue, and with a fine track record, the shares still offer good value.

I’VE LONG been interested in renewable power generators and particularly the part that wind farms can play in meeting future power needs, writes Miss L. W. of Kirkcaldy. Can you recommend any shares? One that could be of interest is Novera Energy, which is building up a promising portfolio of wind farms and has a good record of getting sites through the UK’s difficult planning system. It has one producing wind farm in Wales and production has started at the Lisset Airfield site in Yorkshire. Planning consents have been received for several others, including two so far in Scotland, at A’Chruach in Ayrshire and Glenkerie in the Borders, with financing arranged.

Sir Fred Goodwin was chief executive at the Clydesdale in the mid-1990s. It was there he earned his nickname Fred the Shred. He left to join RBS, which he consequently brought to its knees pursuing outrageous profits via incomprehensible financial schemes.

Racier

Barry’s keen to point out the differences between that approach and the Clydesdale’s. “We’ve never been at the racier end of the market, we do the things the man in the street expects a bank to do,” he stresses proudly. And despite being Australian-owned the Clydesdale is keen to parade its Scottish credentials, sponsoring the Premier League and the Scottish Commonwealth Games team. It is also committed to backing the Commonwealth Games when they come to Glasgow. Unlike many banks at the moment the Clydesdale seems in good enough shape to believe it will be around to honour that commitment in 2014. “We’re trying to build a very strong bank through strong liquidity, sensible lending and bringing in deposits,” explains Barry. “That strategy is working for us in what are very tough conditions.”

The company raised £15 million from investors last year and has the option of further finance from selling some of its existing renewable power production assets including landfill gas sites and hydro-electric power operations. There has been takeover speculation with a couple of companies building up significant share stakes. Novera Energy shares have shown sharp fluctuations during the past year, moving between 96p and 27p. Now at 46p they could prove to be a profitable medium-term buy.

In the City

THE FOOTSIE soared on Monday but almost all the gains were wiped out after more economic uncertainty and closed the week at 4365.3. Retailers suffered a dire week with Marks & Spencer reporting a 40 per cent plunge in profits. The group’s shares plummeted 13 per cent to 284.25p and supermarkets were also caught in the sell-off, with Sainsbury’s down 8 per cent at 313p.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Family Matters

home insurance

49

Buy the right policy and you could be quids in I

T’S possible to be paid to take out home insurance cover. No, this isn’t some dodgy promotion, but a way of playing the system so you receive more cash back than your policy actually costs. These days, with recession worries meaning people are weighing up the cost of an insurance policy against the worry of being burgled, it’s a welcome relief.

I’m not guaranteeing everyone will be paid, but at the very least I hope most will cut costs by a fortune. The record result I’ve had from this system so far is a PROFIT of £67 — a huge amount considering you also get a decent insurance policy on the back of it.

Step 1 — What cover do you need?

It’s always important to lower your risks — window locks, burglar alarm, being part of neighbourhood watch all help. Yet don’t assume you need the same cover as before, the recession has changed things.

Buildings cover.

This is only needed by those who own freehold property. If you rent or are a leaseholder, generally the freeholder or landlord will be responsible for the buildings cover. Many people mistakenly over-cover themselves by insuring the market value of their home. In fact you’re supposed to cover the rebuild value — the amount it would cost to rebuild your house if it were knocked down and you had to start again from scratch. The lower cost of building projects and raw materials may also mean that even those who were correctly covered in the past might find their rebuild cost has dropped. The

Association of British Insurers has a calculator to help you work out what you should be covering at http://abi.bcis.co.uk/

There’s a comparison service to find which cashback service will pay you the most at www.moneysavingexpert .com/maxcashback

Contents cover.

This applies to far more people and, as it says on the tin, strictly covers the contents of your property. The best way of thinking about where buildings insurance stops and contents starts is by imagining you could pick your house up and turn it upside down. Everything that fell out would be contents. However, there are always some grey areas which is why, if you need both, it’s generally better to get buildings and contents insurance from one insurer, even if it’s slightly more expensive. That way you won’t file a claim that falls between two companies’ cover.

Step 2 — Search hundreds of insurers in minutes

There’s no one cheapest insurer, so to find the best deal you need to get quotes from as many as possible. Luckily comparison websites make that easy. Just key in your details and they whizz the info out. Trouble is, they often list companies they have commercial relationships with, meaning they don’t all search the same sites. Therefore to easily boost the range of your search use them in combination. My top three for home insurance are www.confused.com, www.comparethemarket. com and www.moneysupermarket .com which in total look at 43 different brokers and 37 insurers.

● CALL HOME from mobiles at UK call costs when in Europe or Australia. From June until August a Vodafone promotion means it will only charge members of its free passport scheme standard UK call costs or use inclusive minutes, when holidaying in most European and Australasian countries. Existing Vodafone contract customers can join the

Step 4 — Remember next year

It can pay you to shop around for the best home insurance deals

You can of course go further and check those firms which don’t allow access by price comparison sites, such as Norwich Union (www.norwichunion.com) and Direct Line (www.directline.com). There’s a full listing and ranking of comparison sites at www.moneysavingexpert .com/homeinsurance Once you’ve found the cheapest quote via a comparison site, always check it directly with the insurer’s own website to check that no incorrect assumptions were made, that the excesses are correct and the policy is suitable for you. A quick reminder —

free scheme by texting “Passport” to 97888, or 2345 on Pay-As-You-Go. If you’re not with Vodafone, get a FREE Vodafone PAYG sim (£10 gets you 100 minutes & 300 texts), put it in your phone to join the free passport scheme, then use it instead of your normal sim while you’re away. You’ll need an unlocked handset.

there’s no such thing as monthly home insurance. In fact, if you sign up for monthly payments what happens is the insurer lends you the money and charges you interest for it. It’s usually cheaper to pay it all in one go.

Step 3 — Grab cashback

There are special sites which carry paid links from retailers and financial services providers. If you’re registered with them and you click through to the product they get paid. Importantly they then give you some of the

● TESCO HAS just improved its Clubcard Credit Card, giving new customers 12 months’ 0 per cent interest on spending (then 16.9 per cent APR), just pipping M&S’s 10 months’ 0 per cent (then 15.9 per cent APR). If you need to make a big purchase, and have budgeted for it, this lets you spread the cost over a year, and

money back, so you buy the same product but you also receive a cut of the affiliate revenue. Not all insurers are included, and you should never choose an insurer just for the cashback, but if your cheapest pick does pay out then you could be quids in. Sometimes you can receive £75 to £100 cashback on home insurance policies, so if you have quite a cheap policy, you could be in profit after your first year. For example, if your quote is £80 a year, and the cashback is £120 then you’re £40 up. Sites to look at include www.quidco.com and www.topcashback.co.uk

pay NO interest. If you can’t fully repay the debt in a year, shift it to a cheap balance transfer card. If you’re shifting existing debts, the top balance transfer cards are Virgin’s 0 per cent for 16 months with a 2.98 per cent fee (then 18.6 per cent APR), or Barclaycard Platinum’s 6.3 per cent for three years.

However you get your cover, always remember you tend to pay more as an existing customer than as a new one. Insurers often send their renewal policies as late as they can to encourage you to simply allow it to continue. Put a reminder in your diary six weeks before your

cover is due to end to ensure you get the best deal next year.

Not on the Internet?

If you’re not on the Internet, it’s worth grabbing a friend or family member who is, to help you get insurance. Policies are valid however you get them, but it’s so much quicker and cheaper to get them via the Internet, so it’s worth the effort. Otherwise it’s a question of phoning as many brokers and insurers as you can to get quotes, and that can be very time-consuming.


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Family Matters

Jan de Vries

We must respect the laws of nature

ALTHOUGH HOME remedies are often dismissed by the scientific world, they’ve proven their worth over many generations and at one time they were invaluable. Before modern roads and communications, people living in remote areas often found it impossible to contact a doctor in times of illness. In such cases natural healing methods, passed down by word of mouth, would then be used to treat fevers, influenza and even broken bones.

Remarkable

These home treatments were very effective as they were based on a sound principle of healing that looked at illness as a whole and remarkable recoveries took place. The drug-less programme of healing flourished until industrialisation caused many natural skills to be lost and attitudes changed as the desire for speedier results gained momentum. But nowadays doctors are so busy many people are trying to cure minor problems at home and the wheel is turning back to natural treatment. An estimated 13 million prescriptions for strong painkillers are written out each year in Britain and a quarter of all the money spent on over-the-counter remedies is on pain-relieving drugs. These are effective for many people,

but for others they’re only marginally useful or completely ineffective and may result in vomiting, diarrhoea or internal bleeding. We always have to be aware of possible side effects. Herbal remedies and home treatments may occasionally produce adverse reactions but the risk is infinitely smaller than with drug treatments. Medical research involves huge amounts of money and if only a fraction of it were spent on researching some of the traditional forms of natural treatment I’m sure we’d all benefit greatly. Dr John Hughes Bennett (1812-1875) saw the therapeutic value of cod liver oil and in 1845 he published papers on a case of leuchaemia, which he treated successfully with cod liver oil. Widely used in fishing villages, cod liver oil

became established as one of the finest remedies. There are many other natural resources we could be using in the same way if only we understood them better. The value of natural treatments depends largely on our understanding of what’s happening in our bodies. Each practitioner must decide on a specific course of action when the cause of the problem is discovered and treatments need to be individually tailored, which can be time-consuming. But the benefits would be worth it. Every time I travel through the beautiful village of Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire, I’m reminded of how this little village survived a smallpox epidemic using home remedies. A positive approach is essential and we should be aware of the nourishment our bodies require. A well-balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains is vital, as are exercise, rest and oxygen. We must respect nature’s laws if we want to be healed by her.

Years ago it was accepted that we were part of nature and that by attacking it instead of supporting it our health would suffer. There seems to be an attitude these days that we’re above the laws of nature and this is where the danger lies. Like all living things we need a healthy environment to survive and nature is meant to provide us with what we need.

Gentler

So much is created in nature for us to take advantage of, we must care for it and use it. Home remedies tickle our curiosity and are sometimes referred to as old wives’ tales. We tend to believe they’re for uncivilised people but while modern drugs may remove symptoms, they often don’t cure the cause of illness. Herbal remedies tend to act in a gentler manner and are of more value in the long run.

the doc replies

Is a long flight to see her son too risky?

’M planning to visit my son in Australia and I’m Ihigh worried about DVT. I have circulatory problems, blood pressure and walk with a stick. I know you should exercise while travelling, but is this enough with my problems? Being immobile increases the risk of thrombosis but no-one really knows whether the plane itself aggravates this. There’s no evidence flight socks make a difference but there are some things that may help. Depending on your other medications you may wish to take an aspirin before you travel and every 12 hours or so throughout the journey. This will thin the blood a little and may help prevent thrombosis. You should drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. Get out of your seat every two hours while awake and have a walk around and exercise your legs in between times. Your other problems don’t put you at any particular risk. THERE’S A cold feeling in my right leg like an ice pack is strapped to it. It never goes away and even feels cold to touch. Differences in temperature usually signify some sort of nerve problem. There are many causes of nerve damage, such as trauma, drugs, infections and diabetes. If you can use your leg as normal then it’s unlikely anything serious is going on.

DO YOU have a problem you would like The Doc to answer? Send brief details to The Doc Replies, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow, G4 0HZ. Please do not include an SAE as the Doc cannot send personal replies. FOR THE second time in three years I’ve developed an ulcer on my foot. I’m on my feet for long hours in my job and I wear support stockings all the time. My doc says I need four layers of bandaging until the ulcer heals. Venous ulcers are due to varicose veins and associated skin damage. The blood supply to this area is poor and therefore ulcers are slow to heal. The best treatment is tight support bandaging, elevation and keeping off your feet. It usually happens later in life and you mention that you’re still working, so it’s possible you’re getting this problem earlier than normal. WHEN I go on holiday my feet and ankles swell up. Two days after I get home they’re back to normal. Sitting and not moving for periods of time disrupts the normal flow of fluid around the body and this causes swelling in our feet and ankles. Heat and altitude may aggravate this.

I HAVE chronic sinusitis. I haven’t had any taste or smell for 15 months and I’m deaf in one ear. I need my sinuses drained and I’m terrified. Surgery drains the fluid in the sinuses through a length of tubing or sometimes they actually operate on the tissues lining the sinuses to prevent a recurrence. Drainage can be done without an anaesthetic but surgery on the lining would require an anaesthetic. It’s an unpleasant procedure but it could make all the difference.

I’M ON warfarin and diltiazin. Is it safe for me to take vitamin D over the winter? It’s possible for any medicine, food or alcohol to affect the warfarin requirements in the body. If you’re going to take anything it’s best to check with your doc or chemist. If you’re eating a normal diet and getting outdoors for fresh air and sunshine then you shouldn’t need a vitamin D supplement.

MY DOC says I have a fungal infection. The itch is severe and I’ve terrible sweating all over my body. I’m on a 12-week course of terbinafine. Terbinafine is a strong anti-fungal medicine used only in extreme circumstances. It’s highly effective but can be toxic to the liver in some patients and so isn’t used often. It isn’t usually used for skin infections, which respond to topical creams. If you’re sure you were prescribed this for a skin infection go back and speak to your doc about it.

I HAVE a problem with sweating. My doc did blood tests, tested my thyroid and did a chest X-ray — all of which came back clear. He now says he can’t help me. It’s possible that this level of sweating is normal for you but it doesn’t necessarily mean nothing can be done about it. If your sweating is primarily under the arms you can get a deodorant on prescription that can be very effective. If the sweating is on your hands there are treatments, such as iontophoresis, which may be available through your local skin clinic. This gives electrical stimulation to the nerves and reduces the production of sweat.

I FELL and broke my wrist last December. Since then I’ve been told I have complex regional pain syndrome in my hand. I’ve been given painkillers, which don’t help. It may be you’ve had some nerve damage during surgery or it may still be healing since the break was quite recent. But if your orthopaedic surgeon says the fracture has healed then what you’re left with is pain with no definite cause. There are many treatments including drugs, not only painkillers, and your doc can advise you.

I THINK I’m starting to get migraines. Are the pills you get for them effective? The first thing is to get a definite diagnosis. The symptoms are usually visual disturbance or tingling in a part of the body followed by headache with nausea or vomiting. In females it’s often related to hormones so can be worse during periods and the menopause. If they’re infrequent the best treatment is a modern migraine tablet that treats the source, which is blood vessel dilatation. If they’re more regular, preventative treatments can help.

In 1918 a pandemic, commonly known as Spanish flu, spread to nearly every part of the world. From 20 to 100 million people were killed and this is when Charlie Abbott decided to make Sure Cure and saved hundreds of lives. Today Sure Cure is still recommended for common colds, flu, coughs and chest complaints. ■ My book Traditional Home and Herbal Remedies (ISBN; 978-1851580125, £5.99) includes a collection of genuine home remedies. ● Jan will try to answer all your health queries personally. Just send your letters with an SAE to Jan de Vries, The Sunday Post, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 9QJ. You can phone Jan’s helpline on 01292 318846 from 9 am 4.30 pm Mon - Fri or email him at info@jandevrieshealth.co.uk

health checks ● ITCHY, WATERY eyes, dry throat, sneezing, runny nose, congestion — sound familiar? Million of us are affected by hay fever every year in Britain. Symptoms can start as early as March and for others it’s mainly a summer problem. Hayfever is caused by an over-reaction of the body’s immune system to tree and grass pollens and its symptoms can make summer a misery. Now there’s a natural hay fever range that helps the whole family to enjoy the outdoors. Allerclear Eye Drops give instant relief to irritated eyes and the Nasal Spray (both £4.88 each) eases congestion and dryness of the nose. Allerclear Hayfever Aid Tablets (£6.84 for 84 tablets) are a non-drowsy traditional herbal remedy with garlic and its garlic oil to reduce mucus in the respiratory system and echinacea, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps stimulate the body’s immune system to protect against infection. Available from Boots, Tesco, Morrisons, Co-op or from www.herbal-direct.com ● EVER FIND yourself feeling tired and lethargic during the day and in desperate need of a pick-me-up? If you’re at your desk feeling far from motivated with a whole afternoon of work to get through — don’t worry, you can be rejuvenated in just 10 minutes. Any one or more of the strategies below are perfect for a healthy midday boost. A cup of green tea is nature’s best energy and health-restoring beverage. The antioxidant protects you from heart disease, cancer and diabetes while the small amount of caffeine will give you an immediate boost as other ingredients help burn fat! A quick walk will get the blood pumping to your heart and brain. You will produce natural endorphins and if you’re outdoors vitamin D will be activated in your body giving you a mood and energy boost. A protein-rich snack such as whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, a handful of nuts with some fresh fruit, yoghurt with granola or hummus and olives. A glass of water is also great for reviving flagging spirits. Most importantly don’t reach for sugar! Sugar is empty calories that will give a temporary high followed by a low and this roller coaster of blood sugar levels will leave you more exhausted than before.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Family Matters

slice of life

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Wii console makes residents feel young again HINK of computer games and T most of us will associate them with younger players.

However, 10 care homes in Scotland are pioneering the use of the Nintendo Wii to help residents recapture the sporting achievements of their youth.

Senga Abraham is care service manager for Scotland for Four Seasons Health Care which has introduced the consoles. “Our staff are always on the lookout for new initiatives and research to improve the lives of the people we support,” she explains. “The Wii has been a huge success and I can only see the project being expanded to more homes. “The residents play daily and the once quiet lounge areas, which were rarely used, are now a hive of sporting activity.”

Exercise

Senga points out all care homes have a duty to provide some physical exercise for their residents. “It can be very hard to meet this obligation when some residents are chair-bound or frail,” she admits. “However, the Wii offers a range of games which offer something for everyone. “There’s been a noticeable improvement in the outlook of many residents. Whether they’re standing or sitting when using the Wii it gives them a gentle work-out using the wireless controllers.” During a visit to the Gowrie House Care Home in Kirkcaldy, I saw first-hand the fun residents were having and how keen they were to play their preferred sport. “The change has been amazing,” enthuses manager, Anne Smith. “Residents who were once happy to spend much of their time in their rooms are now out in the lounge area where the console is.

By Alisdair Suttie

“They’re mixing more and interacting with each other. Some get quite impatient for their turn. “It’s helped a great deal with many of the people who, I think, miss their former ability to take part in sports. “With the Wii, they’re able to recapture some of that ability and it’s also brought back plenty of the old competitive spirit.” And 94-year-old Maria Dorward is the proof of the pudding. She was a keen tennis player in her younger days and is now just as good at hitting the balls with the Wii. “We may not be able to get to the tennis court, bowls club or golf course but we’re still young at heart,” smiles Maria. “This is a way to keep up with the sport I enjoyed in my youth.” This isn’t the only link with the young that Maria has enjoyed since the Wii was installed at Gowrie House in October. Children from the local school, Cubs, Girl Guides and Boys’ Brigade have all visited the home to show the residents some cunning moves.

Amazed

“The children have been great and they’re so familiar with the Wii that it’s easy for them to show the residents how to get the best from it,” smiles Anne. “The console has helped bridge the gap between the generations. One boy was amazed. At first he thought it was going to be really boring and that care homes were scary places. “After he came with his school and used the Wii he said it was just like visiting his granny and couldn’t wait for his next visit. “That’s been a real eye-opener for us and is vital for bringing the community together.” As well as helping the

● Mima Grant (76) just loves a game of bowling. Here she shows off her skills to care assistant, Megan Johnston.

It’s fun, it’s sporty — and it’s a huge hit in care homes across Scotland communities around the 10 Scottish care homes integrate more with the residents, the introduction of the Wii also has medical benefits. Research by the Alzheimer’s Society has shown the use of computer games can help slow the progress of dementia. And there are other studies of non-Alzheimer patients that show computer-based stimulation not only slows but can reverse the decline in cognitive impairment. Gowrie House’s personal activities leader Cheryl Brown backs up these findings. “We’ve seen many residents really come out of their shells since the Wii arrived,” she reveals. “They love playing the different games and it’s

also helped as they have to organise among themselves who is going to play and when.” Cheryl reckons the Nintendo Wii is much easier than other games consoles for residents to understand. “It’s much more visual and the others can watch what the player is up to.

Racquet

“Unlike some consoles where the buttons are small and fiddly, the Wii uses different attachments, such as a ‘racquet’ for tennis and a ‘club’ for golf. “It makes it easy for the residents to understand how to play as it takes them back to when they played the sport when they were younger.” Cheryl also reckons

the Wii has worked because it involves all the residents, whether they’re playing a game or just watching others enjoy themselves. “Instead of playing a board game from the cupboard,” says Cheryl, “everyone wants to know how the game is going on the Wii.” Senga adds, “It’s a challenge finding ways to stimulate residents and occupy their time in ways they really enjoy.” “The Wii has a been smash hit. So much so, we expect to introduce the consoles in all our homes.” But the final word goes to Maria who reminds me, “The body may be old, but inside I’m still young. This allows me to be young again.”


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

gardening ● horoscope

Pot luck I F you only have a tiny garden or patio, or indeed just a balcony, windowsills or doorstep, there’s still lots you can do with pots to add colour and interest all year round. Two experts explain how . . . By Caroline Lindsay AS A trusted expert on Gardeners’ Question Time, garden designer and writer John Cushnie has been creating and renovating small gardens for almost 40 years. “The best ways to add colour and interest are with bedding plants, spring bulbs like snowdrops, crocus and tulips, gladioli in summer, then dwarf daisies in autumn. Clipped box looks stunning in winter — it’s lovely with frost or snow on. “A lot of people make the mistake of using a feed that has too much

Polyanthus.

nitrogen for the plants. Liquid tomato food is cheap, simple and effective.” John loves herbs, too. “There’s nothing nicer than a row of chives edging roses — it’s neat, tidy and you can eat the flowers.

Thyme

“I also have a lot of time for thyme — put it in cracks in paving, or in walls and it’ll bring in the butterflies with its lovely scent. Grow mint in a bucket or it will take over the garden. Try to make room for a small patch of camomile lawn — it only has to be a metre square, but it smells wonderful.” Children can grow Pacino sunflowers, which grow to 12-18 in, carrots, alpine strawberries — or they could have a wildflower patch with poppies and cornflowers,

Pictures — Marshalls Seeds

Hardy cyclamens.

Winter pansies.

which grow easily and quickly. And your garden space can still look good in winter, too. “Plant winter pansies, polyanthus, hardy cyclamens, and I can’t be without a saracococca, even if it’s only one pot,” says John. When it comes to garden ornaments, he recommends birdbaths as they’re great for watching birds’ antics, and is a fan of anything that moves like windmills and mobiles, especially ones that reflect the light. And growing veg is perfectly possible in a tiny garden — in fact, it even has its own advantages. “You’ll never beat slugs and snails at ground level so grow multi-coloured lettuces, with spring onions or carrots through them, in hanging baskets. Why not sow potatoes — plant three or so at the end of next February and you’ll get enough potatoes to last for three or four days,” he suggests. Cranberries and blueberries are great for containers, too. “The secret is that they need

acid soil so fill pots with ericaceous compost, and block up the drainage holes because in the USA these are swamp plants. In a couple of years you should have good bushy shrubs.” John’s latest book Gardening For Small Spaces £16.99, Kyle Cathie (ISBN 9781856268271) is out now.

GARDEN WRITER Martyn Cox has a tiny garden himself so he knows how to make the most of limited space.

“My favourite plants for adding interest and colour are bulbs. For four months of colour try ‘lasagne’ planting with three types of bulb in layers — tulips, dwarf daffodils and miniature irises. The irises will flower in February, followed by the daffodils in early spring. After these die back the tulips will take their place in May,” says Martyn. The best and most economical plants for colour from late spring to the first frosts are bedding plants, like violas, pansies, petunias, busy lizzies and pelargoniums. Either grow single plants in small pots or go for a big splash by

cramming several varieties into a large hanging basket. Martyn loves growing herbs in a terracotta strawberry planter, planting up each pocket with a different herb. “Avoid really large herbs, such as rosemary. Chives, Vietnamese

coriander, coriander, Russian tarragon, thyme, and flat-leaved parsley are all ideal,” he says. Choose compact, dwarf or shallow-rooted vegetables for pots, but the bigger the pots you use, the bigger the crops you can grow. Among the best veg for containers are potatoes, chilli peppers, tomatoes, sweet peppers, aubergines, Swiss chard, courgettes, beetroot, radish, salad leaves and round rooted carrots. “Make the most of your vertical space,”


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Family Matters 1

JANE RIDDER-PATRICK is principal of the Scottish School of Astrology, and is also a pharmacist, naturopath and author. Every Sunday she brings you the week’s best guide to what the stars have in store for you.

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Tasty tomato sauce

IF ALL you have is a room with a view, then tomato plants are the ideal crop. Even three plants will give you more tomatoes than you can eat. Making a basic sauce is a good way of using up a glut, and forms a base for many dishes, including lasagne, Bolognese, chilli, salsa, chutney, pizza and Indian cookery. Best of all, it can be frozen. (Recipe courtesy of Lakeland.) Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 400 g (14 oz) tomatoes, chopped Black pepper Method Heat olive oil, then fry onion over a low heat until golden and soft. Add garlic, mix well and fry for a further minute. Pour in tomatoes and pepper, stir well. Cook over a low heat until thickened. Allow to cool and blend until smooth. If necessary, freeze until required.

Chilli peppers. advises Martyn. “Hanging baskets or pots can be attached to walls and fences, and then planted up with strawberries, nasturtiums (which have edible flowers with a lovely peppery taste — perfect for perking up a salad) or trailing varieties of tomato. “Courgettes are great in containers, but have a spreading habit. If you’re really strapped for space, try a new variety called ‘Black Forest’, which can be trained vertically up a cane.” And he has plenty

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Space savers 1. Wall-mounted bowl planter (set of 2) £14.69; Argos. 2. Upside down tomato planter £14.91 Lakeland. Tel. 01539 488100 or www.lakeland.co.uk 3. Three vegetable planters (ideal for small spaces) £14.94; Lakeland. 4. 3-tier flower fountain £29.96; Lakeland. 5. Tesco hardwood planter £20; www.tesco.com or tel. 0800 505555. 6. Recycled plant pot holders (made from old vegetable sacks), £7.50; www.ecoutlet.co.uk or tel. 0207 272 7233. 7. Herb stand £30; Bodie and Fou. www.bodieandfou.com or tel. 0208 450 5600. 8. These little Grow It! kits let you grow bonsai trees, chilli plants or herbs in the coconut husk pots included, £12.95; www.prezzybox.com or tel. 0844 2495 007.

then plant it up with thyme, parsley, chives, sage and lavender. Cover the surface with grit and add a saucer of water. It should be visited by ladybirds, hoverflies, bees, butterflies and other insects.

Ornaments Marshalls Seeds

Iris.

Elm House Nurseries

Dwarf narcissi.

Aubergines. of ideas for children, too. “Let them grow vegetables they enjoy eating, and choose plants that are quick to grow or look good. Radish, spring onions, tumbling tomatoes, carrots and salad leaves, grown in containers, are perfect.” Make a mini nature reserve in a container, which can be placed on a deep sill or even attached to a wall. Simply fill a window box with gritty compost and

Martyn recommends using ornaments sparingly in a small garden. “I’ve a line of tin ants marching up my fence, which are fun, and I like mirrors. Put them on a fence or wall and they’ll increase the amount of light, tricking the eye into thinking the garden is larger than it actually is. “My own garden is tiny, 30 ft by 15 ft, but is home to about 300 different plants squeezed into every nook and cranny. I grow lots of seasonal veg and around 20 types of fruit, including kiwi fruit, peach, and apricot against a fence, blackcurrant, redcurrant and figs in pots. “As a keen wildlife gardener it’s fairly ‘green’ with a pond, shed topped with a green roof, lots of bird feeders, a water butt and wormery.

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“I’ve also squeezed in a greenhouse, and I even have a deck and patio.” Martyn’s latest books — Gardeners’ World: 101 Ideas For Small Gardens, £4.99, BBC Books (ISBN 9781846077319) and RHS Wildlife Garden £9.99, DK (ISBN 9781405334358) — are available now.

ARIES It’s time to clear the decks of any paperwork you’ve been neglecting and get in touch with old and new friends. You’ll feel better and enjoy the results. Flashes of inspiration on Wednesday and Friday should leave you with the enthusiasm and energy to tackle just about anything that needs your attention. TAURUS Today’s New Moon in your financial sector means this is the perfect time to look at how you bring in and handle money — and what money represents for you. Keep your eye on the ball and your mind open to prompts from your intuition about what your next step should be to increase your prosperity. GEMINI The New Moon in your sign offers you plenty of choices and a chance to ditch aspects of the past and start afresh. If you’re making decisions about a dream holiday take time to read the small print so you’re clear what’s really on offer. Meetings with friends stir you to action from midweek. CANCER Take care to get plenty of quiet time and rest over the next few weeks to recharge your batteries. From Thursday you’ll be focusing on the future and checking that you’re going in the right direction. The time is right for taking some decisive action about your goals and financial situation. LEO Friendship is centre stage this week, with opportunities for new friends to come into your life and to reconnect with old ones. It’s not always easy to let go of old issues, but Friday is a day for drawing a line under a relationship matter that’s not worth bothering about and moving on. VIRGO Excellent opportunities abound this week for setting in motion plans that will enhance your career success or status. Deciding what you’d like to achieve over the coming year will help you recognise openings when they arrive. Avoid taking on extra work unless you’re sure you’ll benefit from it. LIBRA Visiting new places or taking up a fresh interest will expand your mind and give you a break from any routines you’re stuck in. An idea you’ve had about someone close could either be confirmed or disproved towards the weekend. There’s fun to be had trying to solve a mystery, real or fictional. SCORPIO Money is on your mind this week — borrowing, sharing, safeguarding or investing. Think through any joint financial arrangements carefully as they could influence your spending for the rest of the year. Remembering good advice handed down through your family could help your plans move forward from Friday.

The sky this week

ON WEDNESDAY expansive Jupiter meets idealistic Neptune on the first of three occasions between now and the end of the year. This only happens every 12 and a half years. Jupiter rules hope and confidence but also exaggeration and excess, while Neptune rules ideals, wishes, illusions — and liquids. High hopes could be pinned on some leader or grand scheme, but watch out for any solutions that seem too good to be true, because they probably are. There is also the possibility of collective mourning for the loss of some popular figure in the coming year. ● Visit Jane’s website at www.janeridderpatrick.com

SAGITTARIUS Your choices and actions over the next few weeks could have far-reaching consequences as today’s New Moon closes a chapter and opens a fresh one for important relationships, either business or personal. Promises made in the heat of the moment could land you in trouble. Think before you speak! CAPRICORN Everyday tasks and routine matters will be hard to avoid this week. Find new ways of dealing with them properly and you’ll free yourself up for enjoying the increased opportunities you’ll have at the weekend for getting out and about and enhancing your social standing. A financial matter may not be what it seems. AQUARIUS This week you’ll know what you want and won’t be inclined to make allowances until you get it. However, remember the saying “beware of what you wish for, because you might just get it”. Over the next few months, starting from Wednesday, you’ll be doing a major review of what’s really important to you. PISCES As your two ruling planets come together in your house of dreams, let your imagination soar and inspire you with ideas for improving your life and that of others. But don’t get carried away by fantasy or escapism. A great deal is possible now but action is necessary to make it happen.

Ask Jane I’VE HAD a very stressful time in my personal life and at work. Can you see any improvements for me? K., Sagittarius (date and time of birth supplied). Life has been forcing you to make some big adjustments over the last year or so and to ask difficult questions about whether you are in the right home, relationship and career. Your chart shows a tendency to put your partner’s needs before your own, but this won’t work any more. It’s time to decide what you want and take action to create the life that is right for you — and this will be right for the people in it, too. You need a job that allows you plenty of change, freedom of movement and opportunities to communicate and give advice. Around September is an important turning point with choices or events that will point you in the direction you need to go. There may be restrictions or heavy responsibilities involved but the outcome will be exactly right for you. ● If you’d like to ask Jane a question about your star sign, write to Ask Jane, The Sunday Post, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HZ or email jane-rp@sundaypost.com Jane can only respond to the queries which she answers on the page and cannot give personal replies.


60

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

with Alisdair Suttie

A tough decision but someone has to make it ■ Switch on the Z4’s Sport+ setting to drive it at its best.

■ Nissan’s 370Z coupe is the best seller in its range.

Y

OU may think it strange to compare BMW’s new Z4 roadster with Nissan’s brand spanking 370Z coupe.

Look a little closer at the BMW, though, and the comparison makes perfect sense as the manufacturer has given its latest roadster a folding metal roof that now offers sunshine thrills without the winter chills.

The roof scissors out of sight into the boot in around 20 seconds and goes up just as quickly if it clouds over. We’ll have to wait till later this year before Nissan can offer a convertible version of the 370Z but the coupe has always been the big seller of this range in the UK. Neither the Nissan nor the BMW is what you could call pretty. Handsome, yes, and both have definite presence. The BMW is helped by its squatter appearance compared to the previous Z4, while the Nissan’s looks are more of an evolution over its forebear.

BMW Z4 roadster or Nissan 370Z coupe — one of these superb cars just edges it for me In the cabins, the 370Z offers more space than the BMW, though the German’s interior is the classier spot to be seen in. This is especially true when the Z4’s roof is folded away, even if it means giving up a large chunk of the boot’s luggage capacity. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more practical sports car, the Nissan’s large rear hatch and small but useful boot fits the bill.

Oomph

Out of sight, both cars have been completely revised so the Nissan now sports a 321 bhp 3.7-litre V6 engine. This is enough oomph to power the 370Z from 0-62 mph in just 5.3 seconds and on to 155 mph. To match this performance you need to look to the Z4 sDrive35i

Fantastic Ferrari

model that cracks 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds and has an identical 155 mph top whack thanks to its twin turbocharged 3.0-litre engine’s 306 bhp. Both cars can be ordered with Formula One-style sequential gearboxes with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. BMW provides six speeds while the Nissan’s paddle gearbox offers seven, or you can stick with the six-speed manual gearboxes that are standard with either car.

Choosing the sequential ’box in the Nissan costs £1400 and £1810 for the BMW but both offer rapid, smooth gear changes. The quick-shifting gearboxes, in manual or sequential forms, are ideally suited to exploiting these cars on twisting roads. Both cars serve up plenty of lowdown power but their engines give their best when howled to the top of their rev band. Press hard and the BMW’s engine has the more cultured growl, but the Nissan still rewards with a sporting bellow from its exhausts. It’s also possible to give the engines an easier time and use their mid-rev power to flow along country roads. Driven like this, you’ll find both cars have superbly balanced handling, steering and brakes and a firm but not crashy ride on bumpy roads. The BMW has the slight edge in every department, though keen drivers will have to switch the Z4’s

Super-fast estate from Vauxhall

VAUXHALL IS gearing up for a sporting summer with the arrival of its fastest-ever estate car.

The Insignia VXR Sports Tourer sprints from 0-60 mph in six seconds flat and has a top speed of 155 mph. Power is provided by a turbocharged 2.8-litre V6 engine that pushes out 321 bhp and powers all four wheels.

A 50-YEAR-OLD Ferrari has become the most expensive car ever sold at auction.

The hammer came down on the 1957 250 Testa Rossa racer (above) at an incredible £7,940,000 during a sale at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy. Known as a “pontoon fender” model because of its sculpted front wings, the 250 is one of only 22 Testa Rossa models ever built. This particular car was raced extensively when new, including the gruelling 1000 km Buenos Aires race in Argentina in 1958. Now completely restored, the world’s priciest Ferrari has a new owner who wishes to remain anonymous but says the car will still be used.

variable traction control into its most enticing Sport+ setting to get the best from the car. No such concerns exist in the Nissan, which is ready for action the moment you fire it up. In day-to-day driving the 370Z returns a combined average economy of 26.9 mpg, while the BMW betters this at 30.1 mpg. The Z4 also produces lower carbon dioxide emissions, creating 219g/km to the 370Z’s 249g/km. So, an easy victory for the BMW? Not quite. The BMW costs £37,065 in sDrive35i form while the 370Z in top-spec GT Ultimate trim comes in at £31,900 — more than £5000 less. Even if you must have a convertible, the drop top 370Z is set to cost only £1500 more than the coupe so the Nissan is still the much cheaper option. Call me strange but I’ll take the Nissan.

■ New suspension design helps the Insignia VXR Sports Tourer get the most out of its engine.

High performance

Vauxhall has come up with a clever front suspension design. Called HiPerStrut, it was developed on the tough Nurburgring test track to make sure every last drop of the engine’s power is used to its limit. To cope with the high performance, the VXR estate sits 10mm lower to the ground than a standard Insignia motor and it comes with 19-inch alloy wheels.

There are also upgraded brakes from Brembo, a company more often associated with racing car brakes. Spotting an Insignia VXR Sports Tourer should be easy thanks to its deeper front and rear bumpers, twin exhausts and the wire mesh used for the lower front air intake. Inside, it continues its sporting run

with Recaro seats in the front, while the massive boot remains a fixture with up to 1530 litres of load space on offer. Vauxhall will announce prices later in the summer but expect the Insignia VXR Sports Tourer to cost around £31,500 when it reaches showrooms in September.


64

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

SPORT STARTS HERE

GOALPOST

Clydesdale Bank Premier League Home Away Goals P W D L W D L F A Pt

Rangers ............37 15 Celtic.................37 14 Hearts ...............37 11 Dundee Utd ......37 7 Aberdeen ..........37 8 Hibernian ..........37 6 Motherwell ........38 7 Kilmarnock ........38 7 Hamilton ...........38 7 Falkirk ...............38 6 St Mirren ...........38 3 Inverness CT ....38 4

2 2 10 3 1 10 5 3 5 8 3 6 5 5 5 7 6 5 6 6 6 3 9 5 2 10 5 4 9 3 8 8 6 5 10 6

6 6 5 6 6 7 3 5 3 7 2 2

2 3 8 7 8 6 10 9 11 9 11 11

74 80 40 47 39 41 46 38 30 37 33 37

28 33 37 47 39 44 51 48 53 52 52 58

83 81 58 53 50 47 48 44 41 38 37 37

HALF-TIME Premier League Current Form

INVERNESS CT .........(0) 0 FALKIRK ....................(0) 1 Higdon (68) Crowd: 6,489. Inverness are relegated. MOTHERWELL ..........(0) 1 KILMARNOCK ...........(1) 2 McLean (80) Invincibile (27) Taouil (90) Crowd: 4,186. ST MIRREN ................(0) 0 HAMILTON .................(1) 1 Mensing (28) Crowd: 6,747.

Top Scorers Kris Boyd Scott McDonald Georgios Samaras

(Rangers) (Celtic) (Celtic)

26 16 15

HOW THE PREMIER LEAGUE WOULD LOOK IF MATCHES HAD FINISHED AT HALF-TIME

Home Away Goals P W D L W D L F A Pt

Celtic.................37 14 3 Rangers ............37 9 9 Hearts ...............37 8 11 Motherwell ........38 8 7 Hibernian ..........37 6 10 Aberdeen ..........37 4 12 Inverness CT ....38 5 9 Dundee Utd ......37 5 6 Hamilton A ........38 6 7 Kilmarnock ........38 4 10 Falkirk ...............38 6 9 St Mirren ...........38 1 11

1 1 0 4 3 2 5 7 6 5 4 7

3 5 3 4 3 3 5 4 4 4 2 6

14 2 33 11 68 11 2 34 14 62 6 9 22 21 50 9 7 22 22 49 11 4 23 21 48 12 4 17 17 45 5 9 17 24 44 9 6 19 25 42 5 10 17 25 42 7 8 19 26 41 8 9 14 22 41 7 6 11 21 39

IRN-BRU Scottish Leagues FIrst Division Home Away Goals P W D L W D L F A Pt

St Johnstone.....36 10 Partick Th .........36 9 Dunfermline ......36 5 Dundee .............36 8 QOS..................36 6 Morton ..............36 8 Livingston .........36 8 Ross County .....36 6 Airdrie Utd.........36 7 Clyde ................36 6

5 3 5 5 6 7 3 6 5 5

3 6 8 5 6 3 7 6 6 7

7 7 9 5 6 4 5 7 3 4

9 2 55 35 65 4 7 39 38 55 4 5 52 44 51 6 7 33 32 50 5 7 57 50 47 4 10 40 40 47 5 8 56 58 47 2 9 42 46 47 7 8 29 43 42 4 10 41 58 39

Second Division Home Away Goals P W D L W D L F A Pt

Raith Rovers .....36 11 Ayr Utd..............36 11 Brechin C ..........36 12 Peterhead .........36 9 Stirling Alb ........36 7 East Fife ...........36 6 Arbroath ............36 6 Alloa Ath ...........36 8 Queens Park.....36 4 Stranraer...........36 1

6 1 11 7 0 11 2 4 6 5 4 6 5 6 7 2 10 7 3 9 5 4 6 3 6 8 3 4 13 2

4 3 60 27 1 6 71 38 6 6 51 45 6 6 54 39 6 5 59 49 3 8 39 44 5 8 44 46 4 11 47 59 6 9 35 54 3 13 31 90

76 74 62 56 53 44 41 41 33 16

Third Division Home Away Goals P W D L W D L F A Pt

Dumbarton ........36 11 Cowdenbeath ...36 11 E Stirling ...........36 10 Stenhsemuir .....36 8 Montrose...........36 8 Forfar Ath..........36 6 Annan Athletic ..36 8 Albion R ............36 6 Berwick R .........36 6 Elgin C ..............36 5

5 2 5 2 1 7 5 5 3 7 5 7 4 6 2 10 4 8 2 11

8 7 9 8 8 8 6 5 4 2

5 5 65 4 7 48 3 6 57 3 7 55 3 7 47 4 6 53 4 8 56 4 9 39 3 11 46 3 13 31

36 34 50 46 48 51 45 47 61 79

67 63 61 56 54 51 50 39 37 26

Barclays Premier League Home Away Goals P W D L W D L F A Pt

Man Utd ............37 Liverpool ...........37 Chelsea ............37 Arsenal .............37 Everton .............37 Aston Villa.........37 Fulham..............37 Tottenham ........37 West Ham .........37 Man City ...........37 Stoke City .........37 Wigan Ath .........37 Bolton W ...........37 Portsmouth .......37 Blackburn..........37 Sunderland .......37 Hull City ............37 Newcastle .........37 Middlesbro ........37 West Brom ........37

16 11 11 10 8 6 11 10 8 12 10 7 7 8 6 6 3 5 5 7

2 1 7 0 6 2 5 3 6 5 9 3 3 4 5 4 2 8 0 6 5 4 5 6 5 7 3 8 6 6 3 9 5 10 7 7 9 5 3 9

11 13 13 9 8 10 3 4 5 2 2 4 4 2 4 3 5 2 2 1

4 4 2 7 6 2 8 4 7 5 4 4 3 8 4 6 6 6 2 4

3 2 3 3 4 7 8 10 7 12 12 11 11 8 11 10 8 10 14 13

67 74 65 64 53 53 39 44 40 57 37 33 41 38 40 32 39 40 27 36

24 26 22 36 37 48 32 42 44 50 51 45 52 56 60 51 63 58 55 67

87 83 80 69 60 59 53 51 48 47 45 42 41 41 40 36 35 34 32 31

Player Discipline Lee Cattermole Wilson Palacios Marouane Fellaini Kevin Nolan Ricardo Fuller Kieran Richardson Gavin McCann Glen Johnson John Terry Ian Ashbee Phillip Bardsley Mark Noble Wayne Rooney Gareth Barry Andy Wilkinson Ashley Young Nicky Butt Paul Robinson Nemanja Vidic Alvaro Arbeloa Andre Ooijer Danny Murphy Liam Lawrence Lucas Neill Scott Parker Stephen Ireland Stephen Warnock Titus Bramble Vincent Kompany Cristiano Ronaldo Samuel Ricketts

Y (Wigan) 11 (Tottenham) 12 (Everton) 12 (Newcastle) 10 (Stoke) 10 (Sunderland) 11 (Bolton) 9 (Portsmouth) 9 (Chelsea) 7 (Hull) 10 (Sunderland) 10 (West Ham) 8 (Man Utd) 8 (Aston Villa) 9 (Stoke) 7 (Aston Villa) 7 (Newcastle) 7 (West Brom) 7 (Man Utd) 5 (Liverpool) 8 (Blackburn) 8 (Fulham) 8 (Stoke) 8 (West Ham) 8 (West Ham) 8 (Man City) 8 (Blackburn) 8 (Wigan) 8 (Man City) 8 (Man Utd) 6 (Hull) 6

R 2 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

P

W

D

L

F

Rangers 6 Celtic 6 Kilmarnock 6 Falkirk 6 Dundee Utd 6 Hamilton 6 Motherwell 6 Hearts 6 St Mirren 6 Hibernian 6 Inverness CT 6 Aberdeen 6

5 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1

1 2 2 2 2 2 1 3 0 3 3 2

0 1 1 1 2 2 3 2 4 2 2 3

12 8 7 5 5 5 10 4 7 6 6 4

Top Scorers

FIrst Division Play-Offs Final Second Leg STENHOUSEMUIR ....................(0) 0 COWDENBEATH..................(0) 0 Crowd: 1,530. AET: Score after 90 mins 0-0. Agg: 0-0 Stenhousemuir win 5-4 on penalties Stenhousemuir (3-5-2): Bennett, Lyle, Ovenstone, Thom, Smith, Reid, Love (Thomson 64), Molloy, Dalziel (Brand 112), Diack, Motion (Brazil 64). Subs not used: Renton, Stirling. Booked: Diack, Lyle, Molloy. Cowdenbeath (4-4-2): Hay, Baxter, Mbu, Robertson, Armstrong, Shields (Fleming 119), Ramsay, McQuade (Tomana 93), Gemmell, Dempster (Ferguson 95), Stein. Subs not used: Jackson, Linton. Booked: Armstrong, Robertson.

5 4 5 4 7 7 9 4 8 7 7 8

16 11 11 11 8 8 7 6 6 6 6 5

■ Michael Higdon

Player Discipline

Stephen Dobbie Leigh Griffiths Andy Kirk Mickael Antoine-Curier Steven Milne Patrick Clarke Sean Higgins Simon Lynch Steven Craig Brian Wake Gary Harkins Peter Weatherson

(Queen of South) (Livingston) (Dunfermline) (Dundee) (St Johnstone) (Clyde) (Ross County) (Airdrie Utd) (Ross County) (Morton) (Partick) (Morton)

(Ayr) (Alloa) (Brechin) (Peterhead) (Arbroath) (Arbroath) (Peterhead) (Peterhead) (Queens Park) (Stirling) (Stirling)

24 18 15 14 14 11 10 10 10 9 9 9

Top Scorers

Scott Wilson Martin Hardie Craig Barr Chris Higgins Paul McHale Ruari MacLennan Steven Tosh Gregory Tade Graham Bayne Stuart McCaffrey Scott Boyd

(Dunfermline) (St Johnstone) (Queen of South) (Clyde) (Dundee) (Clyde) (Queen of South) (Clyde) (Dunfermline) (St Johnstone) (Ross County)

Y 10 10 8 9 7 7 7 5 8 8 6

R 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 1

Y 13 9 9 7 9 9 8 8 8 8 8

R 0 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Y 10 11 11 9 9 7 8 8 9 9

R 1 0 0 1 1 2 1 1 0 0

Player Discipline

Kevin Smith Bryan Prunty David McKenna Paul McManus Martin Grehan Ryan Stevenson David Gormley Graeme Sharp Graham Weir Martin Bavidge Gary Wales Paul Cairney

(Raith) (Ayr) (Stirling) (East Fife) (Stirling) (Ayr) (Ayr) (Peterhead) (Raith) (Peterhead) (Raith) (Queens Park)

18 15 13 12 11 11 9 9 9 9 8 8

Alex Williams Andrew Scott Kevin Byers Stuart Anderson Barry Sellars Bryan Scott Callum MacDonald David Ross Ian Watt John O’Neil Michael Mullen 3 for Stranraer

(Annan Athletic) (Stenhousemuir) (East Stirling) (East Stirling) (Berwick) (Dumbarton) (Forfar) (Cowdenbeath) (Stenhousemuir) (Dumbarton) (Albion)

15 15 14 14 14 14 13 12 12 11 11

Paul McQuade (Cowdenbeath) 10 Colin Cramb (East Stirling) 9 Rod Hunter (Montrose) 9 Fraser McLaren (Berwick) 8 Ian Harty (Albion) 8 3 for Stirling Johnny Russell (Forfar) 8 Darren Shallicker (Elgin) 7 Graham Bell (Annan Athletic) 7 Denis McLaughlin (Dumbarton) 6 *IRN-BRU League Stats do not include Play-off games

7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Top Scorers

John Grant Shaun Fagan Kevin Nicoll Barry Sellars Dean Keenan Paul Lunan Chris Townsley Dougie Hill Iain Campbell Richard Sinclair Robbie Raeside

(Alloa) (East Fife) (Stranraer) (Arbroath) (Ayr) (Arbroath) (Alloa) (Alloa) (Alloa) (Queens Park) (Arbroath)

Player Discipline

Mike Jack Scott Dalziel Andrew Rodgers Brian Graham Darren Gribben Ross Clark Ross Campbell John Gemmell Kevin Motion Derek Carcary Robert Barr

Top Scorers Cristiano Ronaldo Nicolas Anelka Steven Gerrard Robinho Fernando Torres Darren Bent Dirk Kuyt Frank Lampard Gabriel Agbonlahor Kevin Davies Wayne Rooney John Carew Peter Crouch Amr Zaki Benedict McCarthy Djibril Cisse Emmanuel Adebayor Jermain Defoe 7 for Portsmouth

(Man Utd) (Chelsea) (Liverpool) (Man City) (Liverpool) (Tottenham) (Liverpool) (Chelsea) (Aston Villa) (Bolton) (Man Utd) (Aston Villa) (Portsmouth) (Wigan) (Blackburn) (Sunderland) (Arsenal) (Tottenham)

Current Form Liverpool Man Utd Chelsea Fulham Tottenham Arsenal Stoke Everton Man City West Brom Aston Villa Portsmouth Blackburn Newcastle Middlesbro Bolton West Ham Sunderland Hull Wigan

A Pts

P

W

D

L

F

6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 3 2 1 2 2 1 1 0 1 1 0 0

1 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 0 1 4 1 0 2 2 4 1 1 1 1

0 0 0 1 1 1 2 1 3 3 1 3 4 3 3 2 4 4 5 5

19 13 14 9 7 14 6 9 11 10 8 4 5 4 5 5 3 3 4 3

HALF-TIME — The dividend forecast is TBA. FULL-TIME — The dividend forecast is TBA. Pools payout will announced today.

Club Pools

Celtic Pools scoreline. Yesterday’s results. 01—1-0; 02—1-2; 03—1-0; 04—4-1; 05—1-2; 07—2-0; 08—1-1; 09—1-1; 10—2-2; 11—1-0; 13—0-1; 14—2-1; 15—2-5; 16—1-0; 17—1-3; 19—1-5; 20—0-0; 21—0-2; 22—0-0; 23—1-1; 25—2-5; 26—1-2; 27—4-1; 28—1-2; 29—2-1; 31—2-5; 32—1-2; 33—1-1; 34—0-2; 35—1-1; 37—2-2; 38—0-1; 39—1-1; 40—1-2; 41—1-1; 43—1-1; 44—0-1; 45—0-1; 46—5-1; 47—4-0; 49—1-0. Scores randomly generated. Rule 12 applies.

Coca-Cola League Two Play-Off Final GILLINGHAM .............(0) 1 SHREWSBURY ..........(0) 0 Jackson (90) Crowd: 53,706. Gillingham (4-3-3): Royce, Fuller, Richards, King, Nutter, Lewis, Weston, Wright, Oli, Jackson, Barcham. Subs not used: Julian, Bentley, Miller, McCammon, Jarrett. Booked: Weston. Shrewsbury (4-4-2): Daniels, Moss, Langmead, Coughlan, Ashton, Humphrey (Ashikodi 90), Davies, Murray (Worrall 74), McIntyre, Holt, Chadwick (Riza 79). Subs not used: Garner, Cansdell-Sherriff. Booked: Coughlan, Holt, Murray.

06—1-1; 12—2-1; 18—1-0; 24—0-0; 30—0-2; 36—0-1; 42—1-2; 48—1-0;

CLYDE — 6, 12, 17, 25. No jackpot winner. Next week’s jackpot — £4500.

A Pts 16 16 16 13 13 11 10 9 9 7 7 7 6 5 5 4 4 4 1 1

(Berwick) (Forfar) (Elgin) (East Stirling) (East Stirling) (Cowdenbeath) (Albion) (Berwick) (Forfar) (East Stirling)

Pools Payout

18 18 16 14 13 12 12 12 12 12 12 11 11 10 10 10 10 10

5 3 5 5 6 9 4 6 11 10 9 8 10 7 9 7 9 10 11 13

Jamie Ewart Craig Winter Mark Nicolson Derek Ure Eddie Forrest Jay Shields Alan Benton Stuart Callaghan Derek Lilley Michael Bolochoweckyj

DUMBARTON — 5, 6, 22, 30. No jackpot winner. Next week’s jackpot — £6500. ■ Falkirk players Michael Higton and Steve Lovell congratulate each other after avoiding the drop yesterday.

EAST FIFE — 7, 9, 10, 15. No jackpot winner. Next week’s jackpot — £11,250.

This week's sporting highlights on TV TODAY — Football — Millwall v Scunthorpe Utd, League One Play-Off Final (Sky Sports 1, 1pm), Celtic v Hearts, Premier League (Setanta Sports 2, 1pm), Dundee United v Rangers (Setanta Sports 1, 1pm), Airdrie Utd v Ayr Utd, Division One Play-Off Final, Second Leg (BBC ALBA, 3.15pm), Aston Villa v Newcastle Utd, Premier League (Sky Sports 1, 4pm), Hull City v Manchester Utd, Premier League (Sky Sports 3, 4pm), Sunderland v Chelsea, Premier League (Sky Sports Interactive, 4pm), West Ham v Middlesbrough, Premier League (Setanta Sports 1, 4pm). Formula One — Monaco Grand Prix (BBC1, 1pm). Cricket — England v West Indies, Second One Day International, Morning Session (Sky Sports 2, 10.30am). Tennis — French Open, Day One (Eurosport/BBC Interactive, 10am). MONDAY — Football — Burnley v Sheffield Utd, Championship Play-Off

Final (Sky Sports 1, 3pm). Tennis — French Open, Day Two (Eurosport/BBC Interactive, 10am). Darts — Premier League Final, Wembley (Sky Sports 1, 6pm). TUESDAY — Football — Liverpool v Arsenal, FA Youth Cup Final Second Leg (Setanta Sports 1, 7.45pm). Cricket — England v West Indies, Third One Day International, Morning Session (Sky Sports 1, 10.30am). Tennis — French Open, Day Three (Eurosport/BBC Interactive, 10am). WEDNESDAY — Football — Barcelona v Manchester Utd, Champions League Final (ITV1/Sky Sports1, 7.45pm). Tennis — French Open, Day Four (Eurosport/BBC Interactive, 10am). THURSDAY — Tennis — French Open, Day Five (Eurosport/BBC Interactive, 10am). Golf — European Open Day One, Session One (Sky Sports 1, 10am), Session Two (Sky Sports 2, 3pm).

FRIDAY — Football — Wales v Estonia, International (Sky Sports 2, 7.30pm), Republic of Ireland v Nigeria, International (Setanta Sports 1, 8pm). Tennis — French Open, Day Six (Eurosport/BBC Interactive, 10am). Golf — European Open Day Two, Session Two (Sky Sports 2, 3pm). SATURDAY — Football — Chelsea v Everton, FA Cup Final (ITV1/Setanta Sports 1, 3pm), Rangers v Falkirk, Scottish Cup Final (BBC1 Scotland/Sky Sports 2, 3pm). Tennis — French Open, Day Seven (Eurosport/BBC Interactive, 10am). Golf — European Open Day Three (Sky Sports 3, 2pm). FIXTURES TODAY — Clydesdale Bank Premier League — Aberdeen v Hibs, Celtic v Hearts, Dundee Utd v Rangers (all 1pm). Irn-Bru First Division PlayOff — Final, Second Leg — Airdrie Utd v Ayr Utd (3.15pm).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

HT FT

L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L 2 L L L L L L L L L L L L L L 1 2 1 3 2 1 1 1 1

L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L 2 L L L L L L L L L L L L L L 3 3 1 3 1 1 1 1 1


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

YOUR TOP GUIDE TO ALL YESTERDAY’S FOOTBALL RESULTS Pools Guide

★ INDICATES BEST TREBLE CHANCE BET

★ X★ 1 1 ★ X★ 2

VICTORIA DIVISION TWO Ballarat v Altona City Kellor v Geelong R N Geelong v Thomastown Werribee C v E Altona Williamstown v Brunswick C

★ X★ X 2 2

VICTORIA DIVISION THREE Dandenong v Knox City Eastern L v Pt Melbourne Heatherton v S Springvale Morwell v Casey C

★ X★ 1 2 1 1 1

VICTORIA DIVISION FOUR Cairnlea v Lalor Geelong v La Trobe Hume v Banyule Maribyrnong v Melbourne U Moreland v Yarraville Westvale v N Sunshine

1 2 X X 2

VICTORIA DIVISION FIVE Boroondara v Southern S Brandon Park v Peninsula Sandringham v Noble Park Springvale C v Berwick C Waverley v Croydon CA

2 2 2 ★ X★ 1 X

VICTORIA DIVISION SIX Essandon v Lalor Utd Melbourne C v S Yarra N Falcons v Whittlesea U Strathmore v Laverton Pk Sunbury v Elwood C W Eagles v Corio

2 ★ X★ 2 1 ★ X★

VICTORIA DIVISION SEVEN Endeavour v Monbulk Fitzroy v Doveton Mornington v Melburnians Scotch OB v Mooroolbark Warragul v Monash U

SOUTH AUSTRALIA SUPER LEAGUE 2 Blue Eagles v Metro Stars X Galaxy v Ad Hills X Western S v Adelaide R ★ X★ 1 1 ★ X★

SOUTH AUSTRALIA PREMIER LEAGUE Ad Cobras v Pirates Cornets v Panthers Croydon v Cumberland Salisbury v SASI

1 1 1 ★ X★

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN STATE LEAGUE Northern D v Port Pirie NAB v Gawler Playford v Seaford W Adelaide v Noarlunga

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TASMANIA NORTH PREMIER Burnie v Ulverstone Devonport v Nth Rangers Launceston U v Prospect Riverside v Launceston C

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TASMANIA SOUTH PREMIER New Town v Tilford S Hobart v Hobart O University T v Kingborough

GA ENGINEERING CUP — Final — Blairgowrie 2, Sunnybank 2 (after 90 minutes. Sunnybank won 4-3 on penalties). FIFE & LOTHIANS CUP — Semi-final — Linlithgow Rose 5, St Andrews 3. ST MICHAEL’S CUP — Second Round — Bo’ness Utd 1, Bonnyrigg Rose 1 (after 90 minutes. Bonnyrigg won 16-15 on penalties). EAST OF SCOTLAND LEAGUE — Premier Division — Dalbeattie Star 0, Spartans 3; Selkirk 2, Whitehill Welfare 1. First Division — Ormiston 0, Gretna 2008 4; Tynecastle 2, Eyemouth Utd 1. SUPER BUKTA TEAMWEAR.COM LEAGUE — Bathgate 3, Hill o’ Beath 1; Glenrothes 3, Forfar West End 1; Lochee Utd 2, Whitburn 1. PREMIER BUKTA TEAMWEAR.COM LEAGUE — Arniston 0, Newtongrange 3; Carnoustie 5, Dundonald 0; Fauldhouse 3, Ballingry 1; Musselburgh 5, Dundee North End 0. NORTH BUKTA TEAMWEAR.COM LEAGUE — Montrose Roselea 0, Dundee East Craigie 1.

CENTRAL BUKTA TEAMWEAR.COM LEAGUE — Bankfoot 1, Rosyth Recreational 3; Steelend 3, Kirkcaldy 4. SOUTH BUKTA TEAMWEAR.COM LEAGUE — Blackburn 2, Dunbar 0; Dalkeith 2, Broxburn 0; Haddington 6, Pumpherston 0; Livingston 1, Tranent 2; Sauchie 2, Harthill 0; Stoneyburn 2, West Calder 7. NEW COIN AUTOMATICS CUP — Final — Beith 2, Auchinleck Talbot 1. CENTRAL LEAGUE CUP — Semi-final — Blantyre Victoria 2, Kilsyth Rangers 0. STAGECOACH SUPER LEAGUE — First Division — Clydebank 1, Annbank Utd 0; Girvan 1, Shotts Bon Accord 3; Kilbirnie Ladeside 2, Lanark Utd 0; Port Glasgow 0, Maybole 2. STAGECOACH CENTRAL LEAGUE — First Division — Maryhill 1, Ashfield 3. Second Division — Dunipace 3, Royal Albert 2.

Sunday Post Sweepstake

WOLFSBURG CLINCHED their first Bundesliga crown after thrashing Werder Bremen 5-1 yesterday. The game was effectively settled after 26 minutes when Sebastian Prodl’s own goal put the hosts 3-0 up after early strikes from Zvejezdan Misimovic and the prolific Grafite. Diego pulled one back for a Bremen side which looked weary from their extra-time defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the final of the UEFA Cup on Wednesday night, but Grafite and the highly-rated Edin Dzeko capped a wonderful afternoon for Wolfsburg. Winning the “salad bowl” is a fitting send off for coach Felix Magath, who was overseeing his final game in charge before joining Schalke next season. Bayern Munich made certain of the runners-up spot — and a place in the Champions League group stage next season — after beating Stuttgart, who could have overtaken the deposed champions with a win. An own goal from Khalid Boulahrouz gave Bayern the lead and Mark van Bommel made it 2-0. Mario Gomez pulled one back. At the other end of the table Arminia Bielefeld and Karlsruhe were relegated, with Energie Cottbus’ 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen meaning they will now face a two-legged play-off against the team which finishes third in the 2.Bundesliga for the right to play in the top flight next season.

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Angling THERE HAVE been some stunning brown trout coming off Loch Leven, one of the venues for the forthcoming World Fly Fishing Championships, writes Our Angling Correspondent. Rae Smith had a 6lb specimen, while Bill Neilson caught a fish that weighed 6lb 2oz. Middleton AC from Largs had 10 weighing 22lb and a further 10 the following day, all of which were returned. The best flies have been Sparklers, small/medium Vivas and the usual black/green or black/silver lures. ■ THE BIGGEST fish last week at Swanswater near Stirling was an over-wintered brown trout weighing 8lb 4oz, taken on a size 14 dry fly by Jim Donnelly from Tullibody. It contributed to a cracking basket of five fish for 19lb. A wide range of flies were successful from lures through nymphs and wets to a few dry flies. ■ RED RABBIT is a New Zealand pattern that works well on Scottish rainbow waters. The hook is a longshank 1014 and the tail a bunch of red cock hackle fibres. The body is red chenille ribbed with oval gold tinsel and the wing a strip of natural rabbit fur, tied in Matuka style. The pattern is finished with a couple of turns of blue dun cock hackle.

65

Sunday Racing by Reg Moore

Benhego is one to go for

THE GARY MOORE yard rarely leave Fontwell with their pockets empty and in the first at the Sussex track this afternoon Benhego should ensure a comfortable, financial day at the races.

The four-year-old is already a course and distance winner, having been specially prepared for an Intermediate Hurdle three weeks ago, where he got the better of Balzaccio by half a length. Given the Alan King-trained runner-up is rated 122, it was an excellent first effort by the son of Act One and you’d expect he’ll come on from that debut. He won at the first time of asking when well supported into 4-5 favourite, despite making a succession of jumping errors down the back straight. Rest assured that will have been worked on. Already a flat winner at Lingfield and Kempton on the all-weather this year, Benhego enjoyed the good ground that day and this afternoon’s even faster surface should be no inconvenience. Red Lancer has been difficult to place on the flat, but he won a maiden hurdle at Exeter this month and his 109 mark suggests the selection have his measure. In the claiming hurdle the admirable 10-year-old Heir To Be has a clear edge on the ratings, but there has to be doubt whether the step back to two-and-ahalf miles on fast ground will suit. Although he has a bit to find, perhaps Santera, a winner over this trip on quick ground at Fakenham three weeks ago, can benefit from the drop in grade. There are similarities between the two tracks, so the venue should be fine and the mare has been in consistent form this year with two placings ahead of the Fakenham handicap win. The staying handicap hurdle has question marks about all the runners with winning form, including recent Aintree scorer Last Flight, who would surely prefer some cut in the ground. There may be some value in siding with the fouryear-old Home, who was a close fifth in a maiden hurdle behind Newsday at this track 11 days ago when weakening late over a longer trip. SELECTIONS NAP — Benhego (Fontwell 2.00). DOUBLE — Santera (Fontwell 2.30). TREBLE — Home (Fontwell 3.35). ONE TO WATCH ■ DAVID BARRON has made a terrific start to the season and Ingleby Lady, a winner when overcoming traffic problems at Pontefract in April, may be better than a rating of 80. SELECTION — Ingleby Lady (Newmarket 5.15).

All Yesterday’s Racing Winners

LOOK BUSY gave Alan Berry the biggest winner of his career with a gutsy performance in the betfred.com Temple Stakes at Haydock yesterday.

The Group Two contest may have lost lustre with the absence of Overdose and Amour Propre, but the four-year-old filly still had to overcome Group One winner Borderlescott. Despite being slowly away and switched towards the stands side, she found an extra gear to lead close home and hold last year’s Nunthorpe hero by a neck. Wi Dud was just a head away in third. Berry, whose father Jack won this prestigious sprint four times in his training days, said: “She’s so game and tough. I wish I had a few more like her. Apart from when I ran her on the wrong ground at Nottingham, she’s been consistent all her life and a credit to the yard. “It was nice for Slade as he rides her a lot at home. She’s not the most straightforward so it was great to have continuity and he was entitled to ride her. Hopefully he’ll ride his claim out soon. “It’s nice to get a good winner at Haydock. The plan was to come here because it’s local and then go back to Ireland for a race she won last year (Flying Five at the Curragh). “I’d love to go for the Nunthorpe at York. I know I’m tilting at stars, but it would be great.” O’Hara, who was unable to claim his 5lb allowance because of the race conditions, added: “I just let her take her time and she

prefers to run that way so I didn���t see the need to change tactics. “I did think they might get away on that ground, but she’s quickened well and kept going. I thought I was going to get collared on the line.” Of Borderlescott, trainer Robin Bastiman said: “He ran his race, but maybe the heavy, dead ground did for him. I’m pleased for Alan though. “He’ll have his day again somewhere. He’ll go to Royal Ascot and we’ll see after that.”

BEVERLEY 2.15: — 1 Paraguay (E Creighton), 4-1; 2 Phluke, 8-1; 3 Daaweitza, 7-1. (10 ran). non-runner — Climaxtackledotcom. 12, 34. Tote — £5.70. CF — £36.28. 2.45: — 1 Mon Brav (D Nolan), 8-1; 2 Pinnacle Lad, 9-2; 3 Orpen Arms, 13-8 (fav). (10 ran). nonrunners — My One Weakness, Star Ablaze. 34, 1. Tote — £10.80. CF — £42.32. 3.20: — 1 Excusez Moi (D Fentiman), 10-1; 2 Fullandby, 6-1; 3 Advanced, 3-1 (jtfav). (11 ran). non-runner — Judge 'n Jury. 12, nk. Tote — £13.60. CF — £69.61. 3.50: — 1 Archers Road (E Creighton), 9-4 (fav); 2 Hearts Of Fire, 7-2; 3 Janeiro, 12-1. (9 ran). 1, 34. Tote — £2.90. CF — £10.56. 4.25: — 1 Salerosa (J Quinn), 5-1 (jtfav); 2 Networker, 14-1; 3 Shadowtime, 7-1. (14 ran). nonrunners — Hunt The Bottle, Kingsholm. shd, 112. Tote — £6.00. CF — £79.36. 5.00: — 1 Herrera (J Moriarty), 6-1; 2 Pagan Starprincess, 11-4 (fav); 3 Jackday, 14-1. (10 ran). hd, 12. Tote — £7.30. CF — £23.13. 5.30: — 1 General Tufto (Miss E J Jones), 12-1; 2 Kirstys Lad, 25-1; 3 Coronado's Gold, 22-1. (12 ran). shd, 12. Tote — £15.20. CF — £296.10. Placepot — £71.00.

CATTERICK 2.30: — 1 Nawamees (R Evans), 10-3; 2 Edas, 7-4 (fav); 3 Terminate, 11-2. (11 ran). non-runners — Just Observing, Sagunt. 34, 7. Tote — £4.40. CF — £8.69. 3.00: — 1 Future Gem (D Tudhope), 25-1; 2 Cavitie, 14-1; 3 Diamond Blade, 4-5 (fav). (8 ran). non-runners — Badtanman, Manana Manana. 112, 12. Tote — £44.80. CF — £308.42. 3.35: — 1 Celtic Sultan (M Fenton), 9-1; 2 Fathsta, 3-1; 3 Horatio Carter, 5-2 (fav). (11 ran). 112, nk. Tote — £14.90. CF — £34.38. 4.10: — 1 Johannes (D Allan), 4-1; 2 Wyatt Earp, 7-1; 3 Kashimin, 7-1. (9 ran). 34, 2. Tote — £4.00. CF — £32.62. 4.45: — 1 Winged Harriet (L Jones), 4-9 (fav); 2 Sleepy Valley, 25-1; 3 Josphiel, 14-1. (7 ran). nonrunners — Dillenda, Little Bones. 12, 3. Tote — £1.30. CF — £17.69. 5.15: — 1 Splash The Cash (A Ryan), 6-1; 2 Desert Dreamer, 8-1; 3 Kargan, 10-1. (11 ran). nonrunner — Bravely. 2 1 2 , 3. Tote — £5.90. CF — £54.52. Placepot — £39.90.

HAYDOCK 2.05: — 1 Exceptional Art (A Munro), 12-1; 2 Leahurst, 8-1; 3 Quanah Parker, 40-1. (12 ran). nonrunner — Cheviot. 1 34, 1. Tote — £10.40. CF — £104.11. 2.35: — 1 Festoso (S Drowne), 16-1; 2 Pusey Street Lady, 7-1; 3 Never Lose, 12-1. (11 ran). nonrunners — Carcinetto, Lesson In Humility. 114, 314. Tote — £25.40. CF — £128.19. 3.10: — 1 Look Busy (S O'Hara), 15-2; 2 Borderlescott, 2-1 (fav); 3 Wi Dud, 33-1. (9 ran). non-runners — Tax Free, Amour Propre, Rievaulx World. nk, hd. Tote — £8.90. CF — £22.60. 3.40: — 1 Desert Creek (L-P Beuzelin), 5-4 (fav); 2 Set The Trend, 8-1; 3 Derbaas, 22-1. (15 ran). nonrunners — Sri Putra, Tudor Key. 1 14, 2. Tote — £2.00. CF — £10.21. 4.15: — 1 Moheebb (M Dwyer), 13-2; 2 Tiger

Dream, 10-1; 3 Brasingaman Hifive, 8-1. (12 ran). non-runners — Bookiebasher Babe, Celtic Lynn, French Art, Mount Hadley, Tenjack King. 6, 12. Tote — £7.40. CF — £69.31. 4.50: — 1 Opinion Poll (P Robinson), 7-1; 2 Distant Memories, 11-2; 3 Stormy Weather, 20-1. (10 ran). non-runner — Alanbrooke. 112, 212. Tote — £8.50. CF — £46.59. 5.25: — 1 Eton Rifles (P Mulrennan), 5-2 (fav); 2 Ingleby Arch, 9-1; 3 Atlantic Beach, 16-1; 4 Street Power, 9-1. (17 ran). 12, 314, 34. Tote — £3.50. CF — £25.91. Jackpot — Not won, pool of £6,431.79 carried forward. Placepot — £5,349.60.

NEWMARKET 2.20: — 1 Palavicini (E Ahern), 7-4; 2 Father Time, 13-8 (fav); 3 Big Bound, 7-1. (5 ran). nonrunner — Rendezvous. nk, 314. Tote — £2.80. CF — £5.03. 2.50: — 1 Alyarf (M Hills), 2-1; 2 Nasri, 11-2; 3 Courageous, 18-1. (7 ran). 134, 234. Tote — £2.90. CF — £13.60. 3.25: — 1 Bouvardia (T Queally), 4-1; 2 Akhenaten, 25-1; 3 Parisian Pyramid, 11-1. (13 ran). non-runner — Raggle Taggle. 12, 34. Tote — £4.80. CF — £111.08. 4.00: — 1 Step In Time (G Fairley), 11-10 (fav); 2 Fantastic Prince, 20-1; 3 Tiradito, 10-1. (6 ran). nk, 34. Tote — £1.90. CF — £23.41. 4.35: — 1 Suruor (S Donohoe), 4-1; 2 Russian George, 11-2; 3 Something Perfect, 14-1. (7 ran). 134, 12. Tote — £5.70. CF — £25.59. 5.10: — 1 Loch Linnhe (J Fortune), 10-3; 2 Seaway, 11-8 (fav); 3 Flame Of Hestia, 13-2. (7 ran). 8, 12. Tote — £4.00. CF — £8.48. 5.45: — 1 Hendersyde (A Kirby), 10-3; 2 Step This Way, 14-1; 3 Buddhist Monk, 7-1. (8 ran). 2, 1. Tote — £4.30. CF — £48.49. Placepot — £125.00.


66

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Wimbledon warning for Andy Murray ■ American Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe thinks Andy Murray must be more aggressive.

NDY MURRAY must A throw caution to the wind to become a clay-court force.

American Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe believes the world number three should look to defending Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal’s example to emerge as a threat in the French Open, which starts today. The Third Round is the furthest the Scot — who faces dangerous Argentinean Juan Ignacio Chela in his opening match — has gone in his two previous attempts at the second Grand Slam of the season. McEnroe insists the 22-year-old must up his aggressiveness on the surface, and argues that, without changing his ways, his Wimbledon title hopes will suffer too. “When Rafa started out, he was known as a tremendous defensive specialist before he added the offensive side to his game,” Patrick explains.

By Scott Fyfe “Doing that is how he turned himself into the best player in the world. “Right now, balancing that is the missing piece of the puzzle for me as far as Murray’s game is concerned. “He needs to be more willing to take chances and be physically aggressive to take charge of matches.

Opportunity

“Andy’s got to recognise when there’s an opportunity to beat opponents down instead of just answering what they do. “On other surfaces, his sliced backhand allows him to nip and dink his way to winning points. “I’d like to see him really go after the ball when he plays on clay. He needs to commit more with his feet and his whole body. “Even his chances of winning Wimbledon will be less if he remains just a counterpuncher. On grass, you have to gamble too, and Andy can be just too passive at times.”

While Murray has expressed satisfaction with reaching a semi-final and a quarter-final in his build-up to Roland Garros, Patrick reckons those showings in Monte Carlo and Madrid won’t strike any fear into scheduled semi-final opponent Nadal — if he makes it that far. “Andy is going to struggle to justify his status as third seed in the tournament,” says the New Yorker, who will be commentating on the tournament for US network ESPN. “He should make the second week but Roger Federer would definitely have preferred to have been in Murray’s half of the draw rather than getting Novak Djokovic, who for me has been the second best player on clay this year.” Federer boosted his prospects of winning the only Major that has eluded him by beating Nadal for only the second time on clay at last weekend’s Madrid Masters Series event to end a 19-month ATP Tour title drought. With the pair having shared all but one of the last 16 Grand Slams between them, McEnroe regards Nadal’s 6-4, 6-4 loss as being unlikely to prevent him from winning a fifth straight French title a fortnight today. “I said to people beforehand that if Roger

Lawrie’s ifs and putts

PAUL LAWRIE produced a blast from the past at The 3 Irish Open when he opened with two 66s, writes DOUG PROCTOR. His subsequent rounds of 77-76 on a wet and wild weekend in the Emerald Isle were more akin to how he has been playing in recent years. But the Aberdonian refuses to accept that his Open win at Carnoustie in 1999 will always be the high-water mark of his career. “I still want to get back into the top 50,” Lawrie insists, “and the four Majors and the WGC events are the tournaments you want to play in. “I want to be the best player I can be, and the fact that I am not in those tournaments means I’m not the player I want to be right now. “I’ve never had a problem with length off the tee, because I hit it not only long enough, but longer than average. So that aspect certainly does not come into the equation. “I put most of it down to my putting. I just don’t putt as well as I used to. “I now average 31 putts per round where I used to average 28 or 29 when I was winning. “Two-and-a-half shots a day is something you just can’t give away. It’s just impossible.”

“I think every golfer tries all sorts of things when they are struggling, and I’ve messed about with one in the house,” he reveals. “But I took the belly putter to Wales last year, putted great with it in the Pro-am — then it was a disaster in the tournament proper! “I haven’t won since 2002, and the reason is there for all to see in my putting stats. However, I’m not too frustrated.

Ability ■ Paul Lawrie’s putting has suffered. The Spanish Open at the start of the month highlighted his problem. “I usually have one bad round, but in Seville I not only putted poorly, but everything was just a wee bit off,” Lawrie continues. “On these courses, that makes it a real struggle, further magnified with putting problems. It becomes a fair chance you’ll have a horror show, as my third round 80 proved.” With 32 and 34 putts over last weekend in Ireland, it’s no wonder Paul eyes the belly putter as a possible lifeline.

“I don’t get up in the middle of the night over it. I work as hard as I can to the best of my ability, and just get on with it. “Of course, I want to win again, but if I don’t win again, it won’t be a problem for me. “That’s just golf, isn’t it? If you had four good rounds every week, you would be winning every week.” Despite turning 40 on New Year’s Day, Lawrie pours scorn on the theory that the older players are no longer able to compete with the young guns. “I don’t feel 40,” he retorts. “I’m working harder than ever, and I want to be a top player again more than ever. “Being 40 is not going to change that.”

couldn’t win last Sunday, he shouldn’t bother to show up at the French Open,” says Patrick, the US Davis Cup skipper for the past nine years since replacing his brother John in the role. “Everything was in his favour. We played Spain in the Davis Cup last year in Madrid and Nadal was unsettled by playing at altitude.

Uncomfortable

“He was clearly uncomfortable again and it obviously didn’t help that he’d had the four-hour match with Djokovic the previous day. “With that said, I liked how Roger took risks such as playing drop-shots to take Rafa out of his rhythm. The only way to beat Nadal is by keeping him on edge through wondering what is coming next. “It goes against Federer’s nature to play like that, and it’s an approach that leaves him with very little margin of error when they face each other over five sets. “Rather than being significant for what happens in Paris, I see Federer’s win as more likely to have increased his belief that he can regain his Wimbledon title from Nadal.”

SUNDAY POST PUTTER COMPETITION SATURDAY, MAY 30 sees the launch of the 2009 Sunday Post Putter competition. It has been running now for over half-a-century and, in that time, thousands of golfers have earned our memento for scoring a hole-in-one. This year’s prize will again be produced by Auchterlonies of St Andrews, whose worldfamous shop lies just a pitch and putt away from the 18th green at the Old Course. It is based on the original putter which helped make Auchterlonies famous the world over. Perfected on the undulating greens of the Old Course, it features a traditional mahoganystained maple head, with a ram’s horn leading edge and lead weighting. The spliced hickory shaft is finished with a sheepskin grip. If you win one, you’ll be the envy of the clubhouse. But first your golf club has to be registered with us to allow any of their members to claim a prize.

Check with your secretary to ensure your club is on our list. If it isn’t, or if the club wishes to change its nominated hole, fill out the form below and get it to us as soon as possible. Our rules dictate that only holes-in-one scored from Saturday, May 30 will be eligible for our prize. It must be achieved in a recognised club competition (stroke or medal play) from the medal tees at a hole registered with us for our competition. If you do the needful, we invite you to send in an official entry form, available from your club secretary, plus your card, which must be dated and endorsed by the secretary. Your home address must also be given. A hole-in-one in match-play will also be eligible, provided it is achieved in a recognised club competition played off medal tees. In this case, your claim must be verified by your opponent as well as your club secretary. If your hole-in-one occurs

on a course other than your own, your card must be endorsed by the secretary there and it must be at that club’s nominated hole. We’d also like you to tell us the length of the hole, the club used, and any unusual circumstances about your shot of a lifetime. We regret no claim can be accepted for an ace in a friendly game, and no golfer can win the Putter more than once in a season. Clubs which have already registered a nominated hole need not do so again. Only written confirmation of a change of hole will be accepted. Every club registered in the competition should have one of our SP Putter posters and clubs are requested to display them. If you don’t have any posters or claim forms, contact us and we’ll be happy to send them out. All correspondence should be sent to — PUTTER COMPETITION, The Sunday Post, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HZ.

GOLF CLUB ................................................................................... NOMINATED HOLE .................................... LENGTH ................... SECRETARY .................................................................................. ✃


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

67

In a Champions League of Fergie and Busby their own are history boys S

IR ALEX FERGUSON has his sights set on creating another piece of history on Wednesday night. The Manchester United manager aims to be the first man to retain the Champions League title by guiding Manchester United to victory over Barcelona in Rome.

It would also be a fitting way to mark the centenary of Sir Matt Busby’s birth, which falls on the eve of the Final. The man who went from the Lanarkshire mining village of Orbiston to become an Old Trafford legend is Fergie’s most famous predecessor, having guided United to their first European Cup triumph in 1968. Paddy Crerand is one of the very few to have worked with both men. Busby signed him for United from Celtic in 1963 and, although now 70, Crerand still appears on MUTV regularly and sees Fergie almost every day. He sees striking similarities in the two Scots.

SHEFFIELD UNITED’S players will be on a handsome bonus to beat Burnley tomorrow in what’s know as the richest game in football, writes BRIAN FOWLIE. The winners of the Championship Play-Off Final are likely to earn £60-million for their club by securing promotion to the Premier League.

■ Billy Hodgson

By Ron Scott “The game has changed out of all recognition since I signed for United but Sir Alex gains his success the same way as Sir Matt did,” reveals Crerand. “The secret is man-management. It’s all about getting the best out of players when not everyone responds to the same treatment. “Sir Matt didn’t treat everybody the same, and nor does Sir Alex. “Sir Matt never blew his top. He was always calm and collected — even when George Best drove him nuts!

Blast

“Instead, he would shoot you down with a well-chosen phrase that would hurt more than a blast.” Although Fergie is more volatile and renowned for his ‘hair-dryer’ treatment of players, Crerand claims he also knows when to back off. “Through my job on MUTV, I mix with United’s players all the time and nobody has a bad word to say about their manager,” he reveals. “Most have felt the wrath of his tongue but they know it’s for their own good as he never bears grudges. “Look at how long the vast majority of players remain at Old Trafford.” Crerand arrived there just five years after the Munich Air Disaster ripped the heart out of United. He recalls, “Sir Matt did an incredible job rebuilding the club, and I’m proud to have been part of his team that defeated Benfica at Wembley to capture the European Cup. “Yet Sir Matt was every bit as pleased when United won the title for the first time under Sir Alex.

Back in 1961, the Blades’ bid for promotion was beginning to run out of steam until they made a crucial signing. Glasgow-born winger Billy Hodgson was one of a few players who’d taken his turn on the right flank during the season. But he moved to the left for the run-in when Welsh international Len Allchurch arrived from Swansea on transfer deadline day. “That was the turning point for us,” recalls Billy. “Len came into the team, scored on his debut against Leeds United and went on to score six in the last eight games. “We had been struggling for goals at the time and were a bit stretched because we reached the FA Cup semi-final, only losing to Leicester after a second replay. “I always remember the day we clinched promotion by finishing second to Ipswich — I was in bed with flu, missed the match and the celebration! “There was Asian Flu sweeping the country and I got a bad dose. “At the end of the season, the team left for a tour of Holland.

“The English Media had continually sniped at Fergie, until it got to the stage where Sir Matt advised him to stop reading papers. “Incredibly, Fergie still gets criticised to this day, despite everything he’s achieved. “He has created something extraordinary and deserves to be treated like God Almighty by the fans. “In my eyes, both have been outstanding managers but perhaps Fergie has achieved his success under more trying circumstances. “When my team was winning trophies, the first-team squad numbered between 14 and 16 players. It’s easier to keep a squad that size happy than the current one.” Much as Crerand wants United to triumph in Rome, he knows how difficult it will be to retain their European crown against a team as talented as Barcelona. “Apart from Arsenal and Chelsea fans, it’s the Final everyone wanted. Both teams have fantastic players,” he says. “Yet, at this level, teams often end up cancelling each other out. “I was at both ties between the pair last season in the semi-final when Paul Scholes scored the only goal of the entire 180 minutes. “I’m really looking forward to this season’s Final. If it’s like last year’s games, you won’t hear me complaining — as long as the result is the same!”

“I had to get out of bed and make my own way there when I was fit enough. “There was no massive bonus for making it to England’s top division back then. “I played 28 League games that season and got £56 for my part in getting us up. “The following season we did well in the First Division and finished fifth.” Billy played on both wings and also in midfield. He was also regularly used as a man-marker. “I really made my name doing that in a cup game when we beat Tottenham 3-0 in 1958,” he says.

Ploy

“The manager, Joe Mercer, told me to stick close to Danny Blanchflower for the whole game. “It was a ploy that worked because I could run about all day.” It was life in the Army that led to Billy arriving in England. “I’d been playing for St Johnstone for two years when I was called up for National Service,” he says. “I became a Physical Training Instructor in Portsmouth and got a

game with Guilford City on a Saturday “Sheffield United came to see an inside-forward on their books and spotted me. “Had I not been posted to England, I’d probably have stayed with my trade as a cooper and played football for enjoyment on a Saturday.” Billy spent seven years in Sheffield before joining Leicester City in 1963. “Nearly every second player at Filbert Street was a Scot when I got there,” he says. “We won the League Cup in my first season by beating Stoke City. I played nearly every tie but missed out on the Final. “I played in the next year’s Final against Chelsea when we lost. It was after that I was sold to Derby County.”

■ Sir Alex Ferguson after last year’s triumph and (left) the class of ’68, Paddy Crerand, Sir Matt Busby and George Best.

Billy was 32 and one of the senior players when Brian Clough arrived to take over at the Baseball Ground. “I played under him for a while but he was obviously wanting to bring in his own men and I understood that,” says Billy. He went on to play at York City for three years before having a spell as coach back at Sheffield United.

Handful

He came back to Scotland at the start of the Seventies and played a handful of games at Hamilton Accies whilst working as a coach under Bobby Shearer. He returned to his trade as a cooper but undertook coaching jobs in Iceland, Kuwait, Kenya and Finland, as well as managing Scottish Junior clubs. Now 73, he lives in retirement in Ayrshire — but still plays 5-a-side football!

JAMES LE BLOND from Bellshill wins this week’s bottle of The Antiquary 12-year-old Scotch Whisky in our weekly Golden Years competition. He correctly answered that Eddie Turnbull was manager of Aberdeen before becoming Hibs boss. ■ FOR A chance of winning this week, tell us which future Manchester United boss was in charge at Rotherham for a year from November 1967? Send your answer on a postcard to — ANTIQUARY COMPETITION, The Sunday Post Sports Desk, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HZ. You must be over 18. The closing date is Friday, May 29, the Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


68

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON TO THE

Weir finally gets his way at Hampden

A

FTER 17 years in football, Davie Weir will finally achieve a lifetime’s ambition when he leads Rangers out at Hampden for the Homecoming Scottish Cup Final on Saturday. Yet, in typically modest fashion, the 39-year-old insists, “I’d rather Barry Ferguson was still captain. “I just wish things had not happened as they did after Scotland’s game against Holland in March. But you can’t turn back the clock.

“At least Barry led Rangers to numerous title triumphs and trophies earlier in his career.”

Humble

■ Davie Weir was celebrating Scottish Cup success last year and hopes to be lifting the trophy as Gers skipper on Saturday.

THE FIRST thing Davie Weir will want to know at full-time on Saturday is how Everton fared in the FA Cup Final against Chelsea at Wembley, writes RON SCOTT. Weir spent eight years at Goodison, and there are no prizes for guessing who he wants to win. It’s fellow Scot Davie Moyes’ first chance of silverware since taking over from Walter Smith as Toffees boss seven years ago. Weir actually played in his first game in charge in March, 2002, when Duncan Ferguson scored the winner against Fulham. Scot Gemmill also played that day, and Alex Cleland was on the bench. Although Everton have no Scots in their current squad, Weir

For someone in his 40th year and with 63 Scotland caps to his credit, Weir remains incredibly humble. “I’m just delighted there have been no problems between Barry and myself after he lost the captaincy to me. “In fact he’s been great about things since I became skipper. “It’s a massive honour for me to lead out the team I’ve supported all my life in the Cup Final, and I’m really enjoying being captain.” Although Rangers are odds-on favourites to lift the Cup for the 33rd time against Falkirk, Weir is too long in the tooth to take anything for granted. Look no further than last season’s Final against First Division Queen of the South. “When Queens got back to 2-2,

By Ron

Scott

we were running on empty,” Weir admits. “There was nothing left in the tank after the number of games we’d been through in such a short space of time leading up to that Final. “I was really worried, and it was a real test of character for us. Queens were on a high after coming back from 2-0 down. “Fortunately we got through in the end but, looking back, it could have been the biggest upset of all time.” Having been born and bred in Falkirk, to say nothing of starting his career with the Bairns, Weir knows his first senior side will pose a serious threat. “My parents and sister still live in Falkirk, and I usually manage to visit them a couple of times a week,” he says. “So I know how high emotions run in Falkirk. “John Hughes was a team-mate when I started off at Brockville all these years ago. I know only too well he’ll have them properly prepared and fired up for the occasion. “ T h e perception of big ‘Yogi’ being off the wall isn’t accurate. He’s able to turn that off and on, but he takes his football very seriously. “He was

certainly a leader as a player. If things were not going well, John would try to sort things out before manager Jim Jefferies could get to us. “Although Falkirk have struggled in the League this season, I still think John has done a sensational job as manager.” The last time Falkirk reached the Cup Final, Weir was a Hearts player, yet he still attended the 1997 showpiece against Kilmarnock at Ibrox, travelling on a Falkirk supporters’ bus.

Davie’s other Cup Final is still backing Moyes to collect his first trophy as manager. “I’m absolutely delighted that Davie has taken Everton to Wembley,” says Weir. “It’s a fantastic achievement. “He’s made progress every year. So it would be fantastic if they could win the Cup this season.

Top-class

“Davie has developed into a top-class manager. He is undoubtedly one of the best in England, and that’s saying something.” Weir wants to follow Moyes’ footsteps and remain in the game when he finally stops playing. Despite celebrating his 39th

birthday earlier this month, he has no intention of hanging up his boots just yet. “I still want to play next season. I know I can still do a job,” he says. “At the moment, I don’t know where that will be as my contract with Rangers expires shortly, and I have not spoken to manager Walter Smith about the future. “I’m quite happy to still make myself available for Rangers. At present, though, I don’t know if I’ll get the chance. “If there is to be nothing more for me here, at least I can look back on my two-and-a-half-years at Ibrox with tremendous satisfaction. “I’ve always been a massive

Rangers fan, so I’ve loved my time here.” Weir is presently studying for his coaching badges, but is more than aware that even being fully qualified doesn’t guarantee a job.

Opportunity

“So many people want jobs in football you can’t plan your route,” he says. “That rarely, if ever, works out and it’s all dependent on who gives you an opportunity.” As Weir’s 17th season draws to a close, it’s incredible to think Moyes is one of only four managers he’s played under since turning senior. Jim Jefferies, John Lambie and Walter Smith are the others.

Almighty scare

“The following season, I played in the Hearts team that beat Rangers to win the Cup, but not before Falkirk gave us an almighty scare in the semi-final,” Weir continues. “There was no way they deserved to lose that afternoon. “I will never forget the reception we received back in Edinburgh after the Final 11 years ago. The next day was even more incredible when we took to the open-top bus. “The streets of Edinburgh were thronged. It had been so long since Hearts last won the Cup, the place went crazy. “It’s a shame Old Firm players aren’t allowed to show off the Cup the same way. Sadly, that’s just a fact of life.”

■ Davie Moyes and Davie Weir in conversation ahead of Moyes’ first game in charge of Everton back in 2002.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

69

HOMECOMING SCOTTISH CUP FINAL By Danny

Stewart

ANI MALLO is D convinced he has the winning mentality to shut out Rangers in Saturday’s Homecoming Scottish Cup Final.

The Falkirk ’keeper is probably still best known as the man whose blunder gifted Kris Boyd a goal when the clubs met in the Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final back in January. Since his ill-fated debut at Hampden, though, the Spaniard has consolidated his place in the Bairns team and impressed with his shot-stopping ability.

And, when he returns to Scotland’s National Stadium this week Mallo will, he insists, present a formidable obstacle for the holders to get past. “People think the mistake is all I will remember from the semi-final but it came at a time when the game was already decided,” says the 30year old Galician.

No concerns

“I enjoyed the day, the atmosphere — everything. So I’ve no concerns about playing Rangers there again. “For 12 years I was with my hometown team Deportivo La Coruna and I worked with fantastic players like Mauro Silva, Roy Makaay and Diego Tristan. “They are all experienced internationalists and when you are surrounded by these kind of winners, you become a winner, too, because you pick up the correct mentality. “All of them believed they could come out on top, no matter what the situation. “In 2002 they played Real Madrid in the Final of the Copa del Rey in front of 80,000 at the Bernabeu. “Real had Zidane, Raul, Morientes and the rest of their superstars and no one in Spain believed they could lose. “We knew better and we beat them 2-1! That is that mindset I will take into the Scottish Cup Final.” Mallo was in the stands that day in Madrid, the presence of Spanish legend Jose Molina and the Cameroonian Jacques Songo’o at the club restricting his first-team opportunities. He can, however, lay claim to a feat not many ’keepers have achieved — a Champions League clean sheet against Manchester United.

SATURDAY WILL be Rangers’ 50th Scottish Cup Final appearance.

The Light Blues s have emerged victorious 32 time since 1894 when they defeated Celtic 3-1 in front of just 17,000 fans in the first of 14 Old Firm Finals. The bonus Walter Smith’s men will receive for beating Falkirk has not been made public but it’s fair to assume it will be more than the three Guineas (£3.15) each man received 115 years ago! The Bairns will be looking to join an elite band that have l. beaten Rangers in the Cup Fina s), time en (sev ic Celt ains cont It Aberdeen (twice), Vale of Leven (twice), Dundee United, Hearts, Kilmarnock, Morton, Partick Thistle and Third Lanark.

■ Having been at Deportivo La Coruna when they won a Spanish Cup, Falkirk ’keeper Dani Mallo is keen to pick up the Scottish version.

Dan’s the man for a major shock

“It was an experience I will never forget,” he says with a smile that suggests no exaggeration is being employed. “We played against United in the Riazor and we beat them 2-0. That is magic for any football player but for someone who comes from the area and supported Deportivo as a boy, it was just unbelievable. “True, by that stage of the competition both teams had already qualified for the latter stages. But in the Champions League, no one wants to lose any game. “They had a strong team out — Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Darren ■ Falkirk’s Carl Finnigan.

Fletcher, Laurent Blanc, Wes Brown — and they played well. But we were stronger and deserved our victory.” Now an older man playing in another country, Mallo wants to achieve success not as a stand-in but as a first-team regular.

Play

“I came here because I was looking for a club to play from January to the end of the season,” he says. “David Fernandez, my friend from the early days at Deportivo, told me there was an opportunity with Falkirk.

HAVING BEEN the nearly man for so long at Newcastle United, Carl Finnigan is desperate to make his mark on Saturday’s encounter, writes DANNY STEWART.

Despite averaging over a goal every other game in a century of appearances for the Magpies’ reserves, the 23-year-old was never given run-out in the first team. That is a situation he has rectified with his switch to Falkirk, with his matchwinner against Inverness Caley Thistle in the Highlands a key moment on the club’s march to Hampden.

“He made a call for me and I came here. I’m glad I did because Scotland has been good to me. “The football is a little faster than I was used to, and the lifestyle a little different, too. But everyone has worked hard to help me adapt and I’m very happy. “What will happen next season? I don’t know because the club have not spoken to me about it yet. “Of course, I would like to know what the future holds but for now it is okay to wait because there are other things to focus on.” For now, there is a Scottish Cup to win.

SATURDAY WILL be the 15th time Rangers and Falkirk have met in the Scottish Cup.

You have to go back 82 years to find the last time the Bairns emerged victorious. On March 9, 1927 they won 1-0 in a midweek quarter-final replay at Ibrox in front of 80,000 fans. Their only other Cup success against the Light Blues came 14 years earlier in a third-round meeting when they won 3-1, again at Ibrox. That year, 1913, Falkirk went on to lift the silverware for the first time, beating Raith Rovers 2-0 in the Final at Celtic Park.

No more Mr Nearly

“It was difficult to leave St James’ Park without having made a top-team appearance in four years,” Finnigan admits. “I had always been a fan and had some brilliant times working with greats like Alan Shearer and Peter Beardsley.

Chance

“But I recognised Falkirk as a great opportunity to finally get a chance to play, and that is why I came here. “Now I have a Cup Final to look forward to and I am ecstatic and very excited about that. “I am still a young player

and I haven’t tasted anything like this before.” Indeed, the striker’s experience of cup finals so far has been confined to following the Magpies down to the old Wembley for the 1998 FA Cup Final. “I was only 11 years old then and I went down on the train with my dad, his best mate and his son, who was an Arsenal fan,” Carl continues. “It was great fun, with only the result letting us down. The crowd was split 50/50 and the atmosphere was just amazing.” This time Finnigan finds

himself part of the attraction. Mother Sandra, father Aidan and brothers Dominic (18) and Bede (13) all never miss a game and will be cheering the Bairns on.

Squad

“They will be at Hampden and I think in total I will have a squad of about 30 travelling up,” he says. “About 15 of them will be my old schoolteachers who also took a bus to the semifinal. “I always got on well with my teachers at school and, clearly, it has paid off!”


70

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Barry must seek southern comfort

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But there’s maybe still time for him to achieve where he previously failed — and make his mark in England.

And what a sad end to Barry Ferguson’s Rangers career.

A calf injury not long after his Loch Lomond hangover had subsided meant that Barry was sidelined for eight games before his return as a substitute against Aberdeen.

HAT a fantastic finish to the Scottish Premier League season.

Today’s trip to Tannadice — if he is involved — and Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final at Hampden — if Walter Smith picks him — is the sort of finale to a campaign any Rangers captain would crave.

The difference is, in the wake of Boozegate, Barry is no longer Rangers skipper and the next two fixtures look like being the last of his second spell at Ibrox. So if the Light Blues emerge victorious today — and complete the double on Saturday — it will have something of a hollow ring to it for the 31-year-old.

Sympathy

The following day it was reported that he was at The Hawthorns for a guided tour before watching West Brom take on Liverpool. It has also been suggested that Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish is keen to be re-united with the man who wore the armband during his time as Rangers manager. The pair parted in 2003 when the lure of playing in England proved too much for Barry and he ditched playing for Rangers in the Champions League to sign for Blackburn Rovers. The move was a monumental failure.

Does he deserve any sympathy over his predicament? Not one bit. He let himself, his country and his club down with his immature antics both at Cameron House and at Hampden four days later. Walter Smith, furious at his skipper’s behaviour, was for kicking Ferguson out of Rangers there and then. He’s since relented but Barry has been stripped of the captaincy and the writing remains on the wall for the midfielder. So instead of leading club and country from the front, Barry’s career is off the rails right now. How he rebuilds it won’t get him back into the Scotland fold. It won’t change the fact that he has also probably boozed his way out of Rangers’ pantheon of legends.

Premiership Injury didn’t help him, but you have to say Ferguson did not leave an indelible mark on Ewood Park or the Premiership and within two years he was back at Ibrox. We all thought that was for good, but recent events have changed everything. Barry may well have other options, but if he’s stuck between a choice of West Brom or Birmingham City, he should choose the latter. Alex McLeish’s side are in the Premier League next season but there’s no guarantee that Tony Mowbray will get West Brom up at the first time of asking. And right now, Barry Ferguson needs all the guarantees that he can get.

■ Barry Ferguson may be back in action for Rangers but it is without the captain’s armband.

Red Devils can rule in Rome

■ Cristiano Ronaldo.

SIR ALEX FERGUSON should be allowed to field his tea-lady against Hull City this afternoon and get away with it. All week there’s been a furore over what sort of team the Manchester United boss will field at Boothferry Park. The Premier League’s already been won for the third year on the trot and he’s about to defend the club’s Champions League crown against Barcelona in Rome. Yet the debate has not been about another glittering chapter in Ferguson’s career. It has concentrated more on whether or not he’ll do Sunderland, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough a favour in the relegation dog-fight by fielding something like a first-choice side this afternoon.

Fergie won’t be giving two hoots about that. He’ll pick a team he thinks is good enough to get a result at Hull, but his focus will be very much more on the challenge in Rome’s Olympic Stadium 72 hours later. He’s quite right about that.

Slaughtered Fergie knows that if he went the other way, and named Vidic, Ronaldo and Rooney in his side today and one of them got injured, he’d get slaughtered by his own supporters. Those fighting for league survival that think otherwise should focus more on the problems in their own backyard. I have to confess I had a wee flutter on Barca to win the Champions

League a few months ago, but I’ll happily wave cheerio to my cash if it means Fergie has collected another prize in his fantastic career. He knows it won’t be easy. Barca are a fantastic side and their recent demolition of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu was one of the best displays I’ve ever seen. Some regard Lionel Messi as the greatest player on the planet right now. But you can be sure Fergie will be telling his players they have the world’s best in Cristiano Ronaldo — with Wayne Rooney at number two! So everything’s set for the Champions League Final that everyone wanted to see. I hope it lives up to the billing — and United nick it.

EVERY SUNDAY we’re giving away a PURE talkSPORT DAB Digital Radio, worth £49.99, for the best point put to Alan Brazil. IF YOU want his views on any football topic, or disagree with Alan’s opinions, send an e-mail to brazil@sundaypost.com YOU CAN also write to him at — Brazil, The Sunday Post Sports Desk, 144 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HZ. FOR MORE details on this fantastic prize, log onto www.pure.com

DAVIE BOOTH from Glasgow asks, “Following Kyle Lafferty’s disgraceful antics at Ibrox last Saturday, do you not think Rangers should be docked points for his play acting? “It would send out a stronger message than any fine or ban on the player ever could?” ■ ALAN REPLIES — No way. Walter Smith didn’t send the Irishman out against Aberdeen with the instructions to act like a coward and a cheat the first time that he got the chance. The Rangers manager was as appalled as everyone else by the play acting from Lafferty that got Charlie Mulgrew sent off. That was underlined by his after-match quotes and subsequent decision to fine the player even before the SFA decided to bring Lafferty to book. So to think about taking points off Rangers is way over the top, and I can only guess you’re a Celtic fan, Davie. Lafferty knows he brought shame upon himself and his club. That will never leave him and will hurt him more than the ban he’s sure to receive from the SFA in due course. JIM HAYES from Warrington asks, “Can Everton upset the odds and win Saturday’s FA Cup Final?” ■ ALAN REPLIES — I’d like to think so, Jim, as my fellow Scot Davie Moyes deserves some silverware for the job he’s done at Goodison. I fear, however, that Chelsea have just too much class for the Merseysiders. Moyes has a decent squad, he’s tactically astute and he’ll have Everton as prepared for Wembley as they can be. But look at the players man by man, and you have to say Chelsea are better in just about every position. The game’s not played on paper, however, so Guus Hiddink’s finale as Blues boss is not a foregone conclusion. MICHAEL SMITH from Durham asks, “Sunderland, Hull City, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough go into the final Sunday of the season looking to avoid relegation. “In your opinion, who’s going down?” ■ ALAN REPLIES — What an afternoon it promises to be, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the league positions at around ten-to-six tonight were the same as they were at 4pm. That will be good news for Ricky Sbragia and Phil Brown and disaster for Alan Shearer and Gareth Southgate. I’m a great believer, however, in the argument that says you finish a league season where you deserve to finish, be that at the top of the table or the bottom. Sbragia helped steady the ship after Roy Keane’s departure and Brown’s side had a fantastic start to the season before tailing off. The Magpies and the Boro, however, have disappointed right through the campaign and I think they’re going down.

e-mail brazil@ sundaypost.com


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Cricket scoreboard CHRIS GAYLE believes he has spotted England’s weakness — and is hoping his West Indies team can exploit it in the NatWest Series. The Windies captain admits his tourists have a point to prove after losing a one-sided Test series 2-0 and shooting themselves in the foot when they went down just 3-2 in the one-day series which preceded it on their home ground. Poor sums rather than faulty cricketing skills cost Gayle and Co in the Caribbean where the West Indies got the wrong end of the stick with Duckworth-Lewis and donated a match to England when they themselves should have won. There was even more rain at Headingley earlier this week, reducing this three-match series to just two — starting at Bristol today and concluding at Edgbaston on Tuesday. The stakes are therefore high from the outset and Gayle is optimistic, sensing England are more vulnerable in limited-overs cricket than the longer form of the game. “On any given day, when England turn up, they can demolish any team,” he concedes. “But at times, they can have a bit of a downfall in ODI cricket. It’s not their strength.” Gayle knew before that washedout first match that England would be without their most obvious matchwinner Kevin Pietersen, because of an Achilles injury. He would rather Pietersen were fit but is confident the mercurial batsman will be back to his best soon, in England’s huge summer of cricket. “I always love playing against great cricketers like Kevin Pietersen,” Gayle claims. “He’s injured now, which is disappointing, but I’m sure he’ll be back with a bang, maybe in the Ashes or the Twenty20.” ■ JAMES ANDERSON believes the best is yet to come after starting the Ashes summer in supreme form. Lancashire paceman Anderson has been talked up as England’s potential match-winner against Australia by numerous cricketing dignitaries, including former coach Duncan Fletcher. The 26-year-old has claimed 22 first-class wickets already this season in just three outings, including nine in a man-of-thematch display in the second npower Test last week. Although attention now switches to one-day action — the second match of the NatWest Series against the West Indies takes place at Bristol today — focus on the summer’s main event is inevitable. “I don’t think anyone has seen the best of Jimmy Anderson yet,” says Anderson. “I think I’ve still got improving to do — and I hope I can do that, whether it’s through the Ashes series or beyond that. “I hope I’ll be in similar form. It’s not that long away, and if I can have a good series here and the Twenty20 World Cup, then it’s time to start thinking about the Ashes.” FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY QUARTER-FINAL The Rose Bowl — HAMPSHIRE 310-4 Innings Complete (M J Lumb 100, J H K Adams 76, L A Dawson 51 no) v MIDDLESEX 266 (N J Dexter 79). Hampshire beat Middlesex by 44 runs. Taunton — SOMERSET 285-8 Innings Complete (C Kieswetter 106, Z de Bruyn 96) v SUSSEX 288-4 (M W Goodwin 93, E C Joyce 74, M H Yardy 57 no). Sussex beat Somerset by 6 wkts.

71

Button takes F1 pole in Monaco

Hamilton crashes out O

N a day when Jenson Button produced one of the best laps of his Formula One career, Lewis Hamilton delivered his most disastrous.

Button gave a remarkable display in qualifying for today’s Monaco Grand Prix with a pole lap to savour that even had Brawn GP teammate Rubens Barrichello gasping with astonishment.

The current championship leader’s performance was such that he was quicker in the topten showdown in Q3 than in the middle session of Q2, almost unheard of these days. It ultimately gave Button his fourth pole in six grands prix this year, the seventh of his career, and with every likelihood he will now extend his 14-point cushion over Barrichello in the drivers’ standings.

Scintillating

Explaining his scintillating lap, Button said, “It was pretty much on the edge — I thought I was going to be in the harbour at one point! “I really did get everything out of the car. I couldn’t have got anything else out of it. “It was the best lap I’ve done this weekend — one of the best laps I’ve ever done. “This might be a negative attitude but I honestly didn’t think I was going to out-qualify Rubens, but I

Grand Prix preview have, so I’m very happy to be on pole here.” Contrast Button’s feelings with those of Hamilton, who potentially had a genuine shot at repeating his spectacular victory of a year ago given the pace he had shown in practice. But in Q1 the world champion slid into a tyre wall on entry into the Mirabeau, damaging his left rear wheel and wrecking his shot at a rare moment of glory in a troubled season. It resulted in Hamilton failing to make Q2 for the first time in his career, and although his only hot lap gave him 16th, he will now start at the back of the grid following a gearbox change.

Mistake

“I don’t know what I was thinking, I made a mistake and braked too late,” was Hamilton’s honest assessment of the incident. “It’s a shame because the weekend had been going so well, and I had the possibility of being on the front row. But going for a race win now is over. “I want to apologise to the team for wasting their time. I will just have to try and make up for it in the race. “I’ll drive my heart out tomorrow and see what happens.” In the build-up to the weekend Button had talked about changing his driving style to accommodate Monaco now that he finally has a winning car beneath him. No longer behind the wheel of his horrendous Honda, Button has a chance to add himself to the list of

■ Jenson Button was jubilant at securing his fourth pole position of the season. British winners around the famous good balance. We just have to make street circuit. sure we look after the tyres in the “I tried changing my driving style race because I am damaging the in the first practice session and it rears a little. didn’t really work,” added Button. “But I enjoy driving around here, “I scraped quite a few barriers and when you have a good car with the rear of the car. At one and you get the set-up right, stage I only tapped one and broke there’s such a buzz, such an the trackrod. But the lap time just adrenaline rush. wasn’t there. “So I’ll go to bed happy, but also “I’ve since found a reasonably thinking about Sunday.”

Quarter-final hope for Scots

■ Roddy Grant and Scott Forrest tackle Fiji’s Nasoni Rokobiau.

SCOTLAND produced the first upset of the Emirates Airline London Sevens by beating Hong Kong champs Fiji 12-7 to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Cup quarter-finals. Scott Forrest opened the scoring but Emosi Vucago’s converted score edged Fiji ahead before Greig Laidlaw’s decisive try. Earlier, Kenya captain Humphrey Kayange broke Scottish hearts, scoring the winning try after the Africans came back from a 12-0 half-time deficit. Michael Adamson and Colin Gregor each crossed in the first half but Kenya were a different proposition after the break, Kayange scoring tries either side of his brother Collins Injera, the leading tryscorer in the Series this year. And the Kenyans took that fine form into their match against the USA, Sidney Ashioya and Collins Injera each scoring a brace in a 33-0 win. England were made to

work hard for their opening 20-14 victory against France in Pool B but then powered to a 61-0 win against Georgia. Kevin Barrett and Ollie Phillips both scored for the hosts early on against the French but Thomas Combezou’s try cut the lead to three points. Chris Cracknell and Ben Gollings both scored in the second half to stretch out to a 20-7 lead and Paul Albaladejo crossed for a late try.

Nine-try win

Against Georgia Tom Biggs, Micky Young and the powerful Uche Oduoza all grabbed braces in a nine-try win, Ben Gollings, James Rodwell and Rob Vickerman also crossing for scores. South Africa could add the IRB Sevens World Series trophy to the cabinet for the very first time as in Pool A they started with two impressive wins, 29-5 against Wales and then 70-0 against Germany. Renfred Dazel set them on their way against the Welsh

and they led 12-5 at the break when Craig Hill cancelled out Ryno Benjamin’s try. Captain Mzwandile Stick scored a brace as they accelerated away in the second half, Gio Aplon also touching down. Against the Germans Zangqa scored a hat-trick, Ryno Benjamin a brace and Dazel, Aplon, Chase Minnaar, Robert Ebersohn and Kyle Brown one each. New-look Australia also kicked their Twickenham campaign off with two wins, outclassing Germany 50-0 and then coming from behind to beat Wales 31-21. In Pool D, New Zealand kicked off with a superb sixtry victory against Canada. Solomon King set them on their way and Lote Raikabula and captain DJ Forbes also scored in the first half, and Tim Nanai-Williams, Julian Savea and Save Tokula added tries after the break in a 40-0 win. Argentina and Portugal started with a lungbusting 21-all draw before the Pumas recovered to beat Canada 24-12.


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

SERBIA CLINCHED its first World Team Tennis Championship by beating hosts Germany in Dusseldorf yesterday. Viktor Troicki gave his side the edge by defeating Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in the opening singles clash. Team-mate Janko Tipsarevic sealed victory in his nation’s debut in the eight-team tournament when he inflicted Philipp Kohlschreiber’s first defeat of the week 6-2, 6-4. ■ CLAY-COURT SPECIALIST Guillermo Garcia Lopez secured his maiden ATP Tour title with victory in yesterday’s Final of the Austrian Open in Kitzbuhel. The Spaniard beat Frenchman Julien Benneteau 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 to warm up in style for his French Open first-round clash with Italy’s Andreas Seppi. ■ KATIE O’BRIEN yesterday became

SportsBriefs the third British woman to reach the main draw for the French Open after she was given a spot as a lucky loser. The Yorkshire 23-year-old, who lost in the final round of qualifying on Friday, replaces sixth seed Vera Zvonareva, who has pulled out with an ankle injury. O’Brien will play Belarusian Olga Govortsova in the first round tomorrow. ■ ROMANIAN QUALIFIER Alexandre Dulgheru rounded off a spectacular week at the Warsaw Open by winning the title at the expense of eighth seed Alona Bondarenko yesterday. Dulgheru pulled off a hard-fought 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-0 win over the

Ukrainian to collect her maiden WTA Tour title the first time she had reached the main draw of an event. ■ FRENCH RIGHT-HANDER Aravane Rezai clinched her first WTA Tour crown by seeing off Czech Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 in Strasbourg. ■ FINNISH DRIVER Jari-Matti Latvala saw his Italian Rally lead slashed by 30 seconds as he failed to match the pace of charging BP Ford team-mate Mikko Hirvonen. His overnight 40-second advantage was reduced to just under 10 seconds ahead of today’s final leg. Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb, bidding for his sixth win in a row, is in fourth place. ■ AUSTRALIAN RIDER Simon Gerrans produced a fantastic final climb to win yesterday’s 14th stage of cycling’s Giro d’Italia. The Cervelo TestTeam pedlar denied British rider Chris Froome a

Monty woe at Wentworth

surprise win by holding him off at the finish. Russian Denis Menchov retained the leader’s pink jersey, staying just ahead of home favourite and former race winner Danilo Di Luca by a 34second margin. ■ BASKETBALL SUPERSTAR LeBron James dramatically gave the Cleveland Cavaliers a 96-95 home victory over Orlando Magic to level the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals at 1-1. The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player sealed the victory with a three-pointer at the buzzer to complete a 35-point haul. ■ PATRICK SHARP scored 112 seconds into overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the ice hockey’s Stanley Cup champions, Detroit Red Wings. The win cut their Western Conference Finals deficit to 2-1

ahead of today’s fourth game of the best-of-seven series. ■ BRADFORD BOXER Junior Witter will fight American holder Devon Alexander on July 11 for the WBC light-welterweight title he lost to Timothy Bradley after Hennessy Promotions reached agreement with Don King. ■ FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT world champion Oliver McCall made a successful return to the ring with a quick stoppage win over John Hopoate in Las Vegas. The 44-year-old American, who held the WBC version of the crown, ended a 19-month lay-off by dropping his Australian opponent twice in the second round before referee Joe Cortez stepped in to halt the bout. On the undercard, McCall’s 21year-old son, Elijah, took a round less to stop Chad Davis.

Faces qualifying for US Open

S

COTLAND’S Colin Montgomerie will likely have to try to qualify tomorrow for next month’s US Open after a disappointing third round at the BMW PGA Championship.

Victory at Wentworth today would earn the Scotsman an automatic place in the second Major of the year.

Steam

But after the European Ryder Cup captain made a flying start yesterday to move to within two shots of leader Paul Casey, he ran out of steam. Four birdies in the opening six holes put Montgomerie in a promising position, but three bogeys in four holes on the back nine gave him a threeunder 69. That left him at only five-under overall, way off the pace. “I am too far back,” he admitted afterwards. “I am very

PGA Championship disappointed. I didn’t play well on the back nine. I drove the ball badly and missed too many fairways. “I got off to a great start birdieing the second, the fourth, the sixth and the seventh and with another at the 15th I got to five under for the day. “To then really throw it away was really disappointing.” A win would lift Montgomerie into the top 10 on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai money list and secure him a place at Bethpage. But it is more likely he will have to go to Walton Heath tomorrow to join 81 other hopefuls in the 36hole international qualifying tournament chasing the 12 places up for grabs. Paul Casey continues to lead the event after taking a three-shot cushion into the final day of the European Tour’s flagship event. A win will take the Surrey player up to third in the World Rankings and he did his chances the power of good with a thirdround 67. His five-under par effort took him to 13-under to leave Dane Soren Kjeldsen as his closest

challenger. Kjeldsen reached 10under with a 68. Irish ace Rory McIlroy is a further shot back after a best of the week 65. However, it was Ulsterman Graeme McDowell who made the biggest early move just 48 hours after undergoing hospital tests for an injury that he feared could rule him out of several big money tournaments, including the US Open, in the next six weeks.

MRI

The 29-year-old has torn a muscle just above his right ankle however when he had an MRI scan after his first round 75 he had been worried that he had suffered a stress fracture. Now McDowell has been told that providing he rests between rounds he can keep on playing. After his third-round 68 he said, “Although I am in a lot of pain when I walk, particularly going down hill, it does not affect my swing when I am standing over the ball.” Two bogeys at the start of the second half of his third round threatened to undo McDowell’s outward half of 33. But he finished off with a hattrick of birdies to reach two-under par.

■ Colin Montgomerie ran out of steam at his home course.

Stroll in the ’wood for Scot Ross

■ Scot Drummond was the unlikely leader in Ohio.

SCOTTISH VETERAN Ross Drummond was the shock leader at the 36-hole mark of the Senior PGA Championship in Beachwood, Ohio. The 52-year-old fired a secondround 66 for four-under 136 and a two-shot advantage over the field in the opening Major of the Champions Tour season. Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Americans Scott Hoch, Jeff Sluman, Larry Mize and Tom Purtzer are the Scot’s closest pursuers at the Canterbury Country Club. Victory would see Drummond, whose biggest career wins were his four Scottish Professional titles,

become the first European victor of the event since Jock Hutchinson in 1947. Among the notable players to miss the cut at seven-over, were Nick Price and Fuzzy Zoeller. ■ SOUTH AFRICA’S Rory Sabbatini shares the halfway lead with John Mallinger at the Byron Nelson Championship in Texas. Sabbatini signed for seven birdies in a 64 that put him on eight-under 132 while the American carded a 65. Englishman Brian Davis is one off the pace in a share of third with a group that contains PGA Tour rookie James Nitties, Briny Baird, Dustin Johnson

and last week’s Texas Open runner-up James Driscoll. Ken Duke, who shared the first day lead with Australian Nitties, shot a 69 and sits two back alongside Robert Allenby (67) and DA Points (66). Defending champion Adam Scott’s miserable season continued as he missed his sixth successive cut. ■ PAULA MARTI will attempt to win her first LET title for eight years after taking a one-stroke advantage into today’s final round of the HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open. ■ FRENCH GOLFER Karine Icher’s second-round 66 put her in the lead of the final staging

of the LPGA’s Corning Classic in Corning, New York. Her closest challenger is South Korea’s Hee Young Park, two shots back on 12-under 128 Park’s compatriots Seon Hwa Lee, Soo-Yun Kang and Na Yeon Choi lie third on 10-under alongside Sweden’s Mikaela Parmlid, Germany’s Sandra Gal and Australian Sarah Kemp. ■ EDOARDO MOLINARI fired a last-round 70 to wrap up a wire-to-wire win in the Challenge Tour’s Piemonte Open in his native Italy. An eagle at the last gave Englishman Gary Boyd a 69 to finish runner-up four shots behind on 14-under.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Sunderland focused on beating the odds Sunderland v Chelsea preview

UNDERLAND S striker Kenwyne Jones is targeting a shock victory over Chelsea to secure the club’s Premier League status.

That would mean neither North East rivals Newcastle nor Hull could catch them and end their latest stay in the Premier League after just two seasons.

Scenario

That is a scenario Jones and his team-mates simply do not want to countenance, and for that reason, they will set their sights on a first win against one of the big four since their return to the big time. The Wearsiders lost home and away to Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool last season, and while they have drawn twice with the Gunners this time around, they are still waiting for their first win. If that were to come this weekend in the wake of a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Portsmouth on Monday evening, their timing could hardly be better. Jones says, “At home against the top four, we have done pretty well. I don’t think they have

■ Kenwyne Jones is hoping to be celebrating Premier League survival. come and battered us or just run A season which began with Jones scored his first goal over us. such high hopes as Roy Keane in five games at Fratton Park “We have been pretty good this attempted to take the club to the to take his tally for the season season against them, so next level has ebbed away to the to 11, level with loan signing hopefully we can take that on on point where, although their fate Djibril Cisse, although the pair remains in their own hands, have been split in recent weeks Sunday and get a result. events elsewhere could yet play a as manager Ricky Sbragia “No one has given us a chance, major role in deciding their fate. has asked the former so we are already the underdogs. However, Jones insists none of Southampton man to play up All we can do is go out and put in that will be on his mind when he front on his own. a big effort. runs out for arguably the most The 24-year-old Trinidad and “We were obviously important 90 minutes in the Tobago international says, “The disappointed after Monday night, club’s recent history. chances I had on Monday night, I but we are all just looking don’t think I have had that many forward to the game on Sunday. at any time in the season. “We still have a chance to “It was nice for me to get quite He says, “You can’t think of all cement our place in the League the different scenarios just a few chances. really and truly not depending on before you are going to play “Almost every time I have anyone else.” because you won’t be focused on scored this season, it was just off The Black Cats lost 5-0 at the game, and would put too the one chance and that was it. Stamford Bridge on November 1 much pressure on yourself. “Then there was a period when a Nicolas Anelka hat-trick “The most we can do is just go where I wasn’t getting any contributed to their downfall. and play the game and then what chances whatsoever, so I was But with the stakes considerably is to happen afterwards will happy to be able to be in the mix higher this weekend, they cannot happen. Hopefully, it will be in — and hopefully I will be in the mix again on Sunday.” afford a repeat. our favour.”

Focused

Shrews tamed by last-gasp Gillingham

■ Goal hero Simeon Jackson holds aloft the League Two trophy.

No spending spree for Sam BLACKBURN MANAGER Sam Allardyce has ruled out a sweeping overhaul of his squad next season. Instead he is looking to add about “four or five players” to the group in the hope of improving the team’s prospects. Tugay, Andre Ooijer and Carlos Villanueva are all departing at the end of the campaign and one or two others are likely to follow. Allardyce is looking forward to wheeling and dealing in the transfer market in the summer. He says, “Perhaps four or five players would be sufficient provided they are of the right quality. “It is about getting a bigger and better squad for next season. “It is nice to start planning, knowing where we are going to be now our safety has been secured.”

Time

A win against Guus Hiddink’s FA Cup finalists at the Stadium of Light today would finally bring a successful conclusion to the Black Cats’ attempts to retain their place in the top flight after a run of one win in 12 games.

Defeat would give both hope, although the Magpies would have to win at Aston Villa and the Tigers beat Manchester United at the KC Stadium to relegate Sunderland.

73

GILLINGHAM 1, SHREWSBURY 0. Gillingham — Jackson (90). HT 0-1. SIMEON JACKSON headed home a dramatic late winner as Gillingham beat Shrewsbury to win promotion back to League One. Jackson, the Gills’ top scorer, got free at the back post to head home a Josh Wright corner for his 21st goal of the season, though replays showed that the corner should not have been given. Shrews’ best chance fell to Kevin McIntyre but he headed wide, while Shrewsbury goalkeeper Luke Daniels had kept his side in it at the break with fine saves from John Nutter and Wright. The first 20 minutes passed with little more than mild panic at either end, but slowly it was Gillingham who got a grip on the encounter even if their attacking threat was nullified by the Shrews defence. Shrewsbury captain Graham

Coughlan diverted a Nutter freekick just past his own post, and from the corner Wright fired over. Gillingham were almost in again when some smart play ended with Barry Fuller’s cross being flicked on by Dennis Oli and Neil Moss tidied up well at the back post. The Gills worked the next corner well as Andy Barcham left the ball for Nutter, whose powerful shot was diverted over the top by a combination of Grant Holt and goalkeeper Daniels.

Effort

Shrewsbury’s first real effort came 10 minutes before the interval when Garry Richards fouled Nick Chadwick and Ben Davies — from fully 30 yards — sent the free-kick just wide. The second half started in a similar fashion as Barcham wriggled free and cut inside before unleashing a right-foot shot which was bound for the top corner, but Daniels pushed it away.

Gills ’keeper Simon Royce made his first save of note not long after when a long Graham Coughlan free-kick was headed on by Kelvin Langmead for Davies to strike goalwards, but Royce clung on. Shrewsbury were notably better after the break, and the game benefited for that, becoming a much more open contest. But after weathering the storm and as stoppage time approached, the Gills took the lead from a Wright corner, which Jackson headed home despite the efforts of Ashton on the line. Crowd — 53,706. Gillingham — Royce; Fuller, Richards, King, Nutter, Lewis, Weston, Wright, Oli, Jackson, Barcham. Unused subs — Julian (Gk), Bentley, Miller, McCammon, Jarrett. Shrewsbury — Daniels; Darren Moss, Langmead, Coughlan, Ashton, Humphrey (Ashikodi 90), Davies, Murray (Worrall 74), McIntyre, Holt, Chadwick (Riza 79). Unused subs — Garner (Gk), Cansdell-Sherriff. Referee — C. Oliver, Northumberland.

At 38, Tugay is expected to call time on his career and Ooijer is returning to PSV Eindhoven. On-loan winger Villanueva will continue his career in Dubai. Turkish playmaker Tugay will start — and maybe captain the side — on Sunday when he plays his farewell game at home against relegated West Brom. It will bring the curtain down on his career at the club, spanning eight seasons, after he arrived from Rangers for £1.3 million. The match will be a celebration of his special skills and Allardyce is backing a testimonial for the fans’ favourite. Supporters have been snapping up Tugay Tshirts and face masks as a token of their appreciation. Skipper Ryan Nelsen has been ruled out of the match because a torn calf muscle, on-loan full-back Gael Givet is expected to recover from a calf strain, as is Ooijer with a hamstring problem.

Hughes has a City wish-list

MARK HUGHES has already started planning for next season. The Manchester City chief completes his first year in charge of the Eastlands outfit against Bolton today knowing there must be no repeat of this season’s inconsistencies next term. Already Hughes is hard at work compiling a wish-list of new recruits he hopes to bring in quickly, while being realistic enough to acknowledge it may take him most of the summer. But the main point is plans are beginning to take shape, leaving Hughes convinced City will soon be punching their weight as a top-six club. “We are looking ahead now,” he says. “At times it has been quite difficult and quite hard but we are really looking forward to the new season.

Transition

“It has been a year of transition. We have all had to grow and learn from the experience. We will all feel the benefit of that experience next year. “We fully anticipate, with more good players coming in, we will be a much stronger side than we were at the beginning of this year when we weren’t strong enough to match the expectations that were placed upon us.” If Hughes could get the majority of his squad fit on a regular basis it would be a major advantage. Shaun Wright-Phillips has been ruled out of today’s encounter after failing to recover from a knee injury sustained early last month, while Craig Bellamy also had his campaign ended by a similar problem. And City are likely to be spending as much time trying to offload players from a squad that is already too big in certain areas without another influx of new faces. Daniel Sturridge will be one of the players leaving, with Hughes admitting he is not surprised no agreement has been reached with the 19-year-old, who was demanding £60,000 a week to stay.


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THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

Taylor leads Magpies’ call to arms D

EFENDER STEVEN TAYLOR has called on his Newcastle United team-mates to prove their doubters wrong by staging a miraculous final-day escape. The 23-year-old, who was born in Greenwich but raised on Tyneside, knows better than most just how important Barclays Premier League status is to the Magpies, their fans and the whole city. When he runs out against Aston Villa today, the club’s 16-year stay in the top flight will be in severe jeopardy, and they know they need to return from Villa Park with at least a point if they are to stand a chance of overhauling Hull City and escaping the drop. However, while many observers are forecasting the worst, Taylor remains defiantly optimistic about the future of his side. He says, “There is no reason why we can’t do it.

Possible

“Some people think it’s not possible — they can think whatever they want. “We are the ones who can make the difference, and no matter who plays, they will give it everything in the tank. “We have beaten them already this season, so with the

Premier League preview rig ht team belief, like we showed against Middlesbrough, we will be okay.” An Obafemi Martins double saw Villa lose 2-0 at St James’ Park on November 3, and a repeat this weekend is vital to Alan Shearer’s men. However, even that would not be enough if Hull managed to beat Manchester United at the KC Stadium and north east rivals Sunderland get the better of Chelsea at the Stadium of Light.

Nature

Much of the talk over the last week or so has surrounded the nature of the side Sir Alex Ferguson will send out against Phil Brown’s men with the Champions League Final looming. Ferguson has confirmed he will rest most of his big-name stars, while h i s C h e l s e a c o u n t e r p a r t Guus Hiddink could do the same with the Blues preparing for next weekend’s FA Cup Final. But Geordie legend Shearer is confident whatever team United field, they will be looking for nothing less than victory, and Taylor agrees. He says, “No matter what teams Chelsea and Man United play, they will want to win. “They want to finish the season in style. “Like all footballers, they will want to win. “No matter if you are just coming through the ranks or an experienced pro, you win for pride.” For Newcastle, there will be much more than pride at stake, and that

■ Magpies defender Steven Taylor. will be reflected by the passion of the travelling supporters, who have followed their club all season despite being given little to cheer. The Magpies have won only seven of the 37 League games, just two of them — at Portsmouth and West Brom — on the road.

fans away from Villa Park happy. We want them to go away for the summer and have a Premier League team to come back to. “They have been brilliant all season.

A third could prove priceless this weekend as they attempt to avoid a fate which would have been unthinkable j u s t a few s h o r t seasons ago. Taylor says, “We want to send the

“They mean so much to us and we want to give them something back.” If they are to remain a top-flight club, Newcastle will have to do it without several of their key players with injuries and suspensions once

Give

again biting resources.

hard

into

their

Defender Sebastien Bassong and midfielder Joey Barton are banned, while right-back Habib Beye has already been ruled out of the vital clash with a hamstring injury. Skipper Michael Owen is losing his fight to recover from a groin problem in time for what would be the former Liverpool and Real M a d r i d s t r i k e r ’ s last game in a black and white shirt, unless he signs a new contract.

Final spot Evans sent

■ Manchester United defender Jonny Evans.

JONNY EVANS watched from the stands with his dad at last year’s Champions League Final, writes JAMES HART. Not included in the firstteam party, he was just one of the throng of fans cheering them on to a third European Cup. Twelve months on, he could be ready to take his place for Wednesday’s final against Barcelona, if there are any complications with Rio Ferdinand’s calf. A run-out is planned for the England man at Hull City today, and Evans would be forgiven for looking out for a few signs of rust. So many great players, and just 11 places. With an almost fully fit squad, Sir Alex Ferguson is in dreamland as regards team selection. While his Spanish rivals are short of several key players — Dani Alves, Eric Abidal, Thierry Henry and possibly Andres Iniesta — the Manchester United boss

has a plethora of talent and knows some will be left disappointed. It was apparent from an hour in Ferguson’s company on Wednesday that Edwin van Der Sar, John O’Shea, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Anderson, Ji-Sung Park, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney will start the match and are likely to be rested against Hull. The final two places are less clear. Dimitar Berbatov or Carlos Tevez up front is still a 50-50 call based on Fergie’s last-minute instincts. Ferdinand or Evans at centre-back will come down to Rio’s final training session on Tuesday evening. There has been some good banter between the two. During Evans’s pre-match talk at the training ground, Rio sauntered by and pretended to snore. As he left, Jonny laughed and pointed, “He’s limping!” “Looking at Rio, I think

he’s going to be OK,” he added when Rio had gone, without a hint of envy. “He’ll play if he’s fit, and it will be a big boost for the team to have him back. “For the whole season it’s been a case of stay ready, just in case. If Rio or Vidic has been injured I’ve been ready to step in. More than physically, I’ve had to be mentally prepared.

Dreams

“I’ve made 30 starts and even 15 would have been beyond my dreams when I was sitting with the fans in Moscow last season.” The Northern Ireland defender’s form has kept the defence on their toes this season, and he figured highly in their record-breaking run of clean sheets in the winter. Evans could be joined in the United squad with his younger brother, Corry, at Hull today. “There’s plenty of lads in our squad, and I’m sure we will put

out a side good enough to win the game,” he insists. Hull boss Phil Brown claims speculation over the make-up of Manchester United’s team has hindered rather than helped his preparations. Brown’s side face the champions at the KC Stadium needing to win to guarantee their place in the Barclays Premier League for a second season. He says, “We have more or less second-guessed managers on a number of occasions. To know who the team is has been a strong point. “So to not know who the team is could be a massive advantage for Manchester United. That’s the most difficult part of training of late. “But whatever team comes out of that changing room will be sufficient to play at this level. “Whoever does come out will play in the same manner as Manchester United teams do. It doesn’t matter who is playing, they have that kind of standard.”


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

75

Sami set to say his farewells

■ Liverpool will say farewell to Sami Hyypia (right).

LIVERPOOL WILL wave goodbye to a legend today when veteran defender Sami Hyypia takes his final bow at Anfield. The 35-year-old Finnish international will bring the curtain down on 10 years with the club, insisting Liverpool are on the brink of winning the title and promising to be back one day as a coach. Hyypia has turned his back on lucrative contracts offered at Anfield as a player as well as a job on the coaching staff, now his season-long deal has come to a end. But Hyypia is determined to play on regularly at the highest level possible, and has signed a two-year deal to join German club Bayer Leverkusen. Hyypia may well get a last start in the Liverpool side

against Spurs today, maybe even as captain, but will figure in the proceedings. He says, “I would like to come back to Liverpool one day as a coach, and it was great to hear the manager would like me to return. “Coaching has always been in my mind, but I have to take my badges first. I have not done that yet because I want to keep playing, and I thought at this stage it would be a burden. “But at the end of my playing career I will look to take the badges and then see what happens. I have so many memories of Liverpool, and really would love to return one day. “I think it will only be after I have finally left that I will be able to sit back and realise what we have done in my 10 years. It

is hard to take in now. It is nice to be remembered here.” Hyypia maintains Liverpool are closing on the title after this season’s close effort. He adds, “The only thing that bothers me is that I will leave Liverpool without a Premier League medal, that disappoints me as much for the fans. But the club will do it soon. “This season has shown that we can push any team right to the end. Everything looks very bright for next season, and hopefully the team can move their confidence up another level. “We have been playing some really good stuff and scored plenty of goals. If they take this form into next season, the title can be won.” Meanwhile, ’keeper Heurelho Gomes has earned the Brazil

recall he targeted this season and wants to cap off the campaign by helping Tottenham earn European qualification. Gomes’ future at Spurs looked bleak when he was guilty of a series of high-profile blunders but boss Harry Redknapp kept faith in the 28-year-old. “We can win at Liverpool,” Gomes says. “We have confidence for this game and we will give everything we have for one last time this season. “Teams like Liverpool will always play well, but they do give you space to play, so we can definitely score. “We will look to improve on our away form next season, because if we picked up more points on the road, we would be fighting even higher up the table.”

Wealth or health is Praise for boss Coyle no choice for Bates BURNLEY STRIKER Steven Thompson has hailed Owen Coyle’s special relationship with his players as the secret to the club’s success. The Clarets face Sheffield United in the Coca-Cola Championship Play-Off Final today as they aim to return to the top flight for the first time in 33 years. Coyle has earned admiration throughout the country after his side bundled Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal out of the Carling Cup and came agonisingly close to overcoming Tottenham in an epic semi-final encounter. Yet the former Bolton striker’s most ardent supporters can be found within Turf Moor. “It’s very rare that you get a manager that every single player at the club likes,” says Thompson, a free transfer signing from Cardiff last September. “But I think that’s the case here. He’s friends with all of us and we all get on very well with him. I think that’s been the key to our success this season. “The manager is an infectious person to be around, very bubbly, and he also knows a thing or two about football.”

A T T H E W M BATES would willingly swap his

clean bill of health for Middlesbrough’s continued presence in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old utility man has enjoyed a run of 12 starts in 13 games for the club with which he won the FA Youth Cup back in 2004 before an injury nightmare took its toll. Bates has endured twoand-a-half years of misery and three cruciate ligament operations, and his sheer delight at simply being fit and back in harness is entirely understandable.

Marathon

And he would gladly trade it all for a win at West Ham today and an unlikely sequence of results elsewhere which would keep Boro up. He says, “On a personal level, I have enjoyed being back playing after the last two years of injuries.

Surviving

“It’s difficult to put into words really. On a personal level, I am happy to be back playing and playing for Middlesbrough Football Club — but I would swap all that for surviving in the Premier League. “Hopefully next year, I will carry on progressing personally. Wherever the club will be, they will fight either way, and if they go in into The Championship, I am sure we will bounce right back up.” Boro find themselves in dire straits as they prepare for their final game of the season knowing a point for Hull at home to Manchester United would make their result irrelevant. Three points for them and defeat for both the Tigers and Newcastle could bring safety.

■ Boro’s Matthew Bates closes down Chelsea’s Michael Ballack. Bates says, “Mathematically, Davies, he’s one of the greatest “It has been a lot of hard work we are still in there, but the odds in the Premier League at holding away from the field as well as on it.” are stacked against us. It’s a up the ball. I watch Zlatan Barring the unexpected, Boro, difficult situation to get your Ibrahimovic, too. who need to win and affect a head around. swing in goal “They are similar to me, big five-goal “You have got to stay positive players who cause defenders a difference, will slide into The as much as possible — it’s not lot of problems. Championship. That does not over until the fat lady sings, as concern Cole. the saying goes.” “They wouldn’t think about Meanwhile, Carlton Cole has us,” he says. “That’s how football “I talk to Didier a lot and he is. been giving the rewind button on his DVD player a serious feels I can progress even further. “We almost got relegated a I talk to Carew, too, because he workout these past two months. is a striker who has scored a lot couple of seasons ago which was The 25-year-old West Ham of goals everywhere. a really daunting time. I’ve been striker has used the time it has in that position. “I’ve scored a few more goals taken to recover from a serious “I feel sorry for them that they groin injury to do his homework than in previous seasons. are in that position but we just on some of the world’s top strikers. “I’ve worked on my game by have to get on as professionals Cole says, “I watch Didier looking at those DVDs, at how and get the job done. We want to Drogba and Bolton’s Kevin other players play. win this game.”

Progress

Coyle exudes positivity and that has clearly rubbed off on his players throughout their marathon campaign. The winner-takes-all clash at Wembley will be Burnley’s 61st game of the season. There is trust and there is undeniable progress at all levels of Turf Moor. Coyle arrived at Burnley in November 2007 from St Johnstone with ambition coursing through his veins. He has fashioned a talented young side and Chris Eagles and Martin Paterson have proved astute acquisitions. So has Thompson, who offers the Clarets a physical presence up front after being shown the door by Cardiff. Coyle’s men have prepared for the game with a three-day training break on the Algarve.

Calm

Thompson says, “Everybody is very focused and the manager is very good at keeping the players calm. “We don’t have any prima donnas or so-called big-timers.” Meanwhile, Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell reckons his men have hit top form at just the right time, but still places Burnley as favourites. He says, “Burnley are a good side. You don’t go so far as they did in the cup competitions and you don’t get to the play-off final unless you are a very good side. “We know it’s going to be tough. The two League wins they had over us will make them favourites because they’ve beaten us home and away.”


76

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

ALL THE ACTION FROM THE LAST-DAY

Super-sub holes Caley on Submarine Saturday Match of the Day

RON SCOTT

at Caledonian Stadium

I

CT discovered the hard way what a cruel game football can be. But at the end of the day they only have themselves to blame. Terry Butcher’s men lost a game they should have won and paid the ultimate penalty — relegation. It was capital punishment for the team from the Highland capital.

Jubilation

Even if Falkirk win the Cup on Saturday their celebrations at Hampden won’t match the scenes of jubilation here at avoiding the drop. After almost vanishing among their fans at the end, Falkirk eventually came back out again to salute their following as if they had won a trophy already. That’s how much remaining in the SPL means. Yet it could have all been so different if Inverness had taken advantage of their whirlwind start. Falkirk just couldn’t get out of their box never mind their own half.

Worth the pay rise?

● REFEREE — EDDIE SMITH, Hamilton (7). He will never be made welcome in Inverness. However, the whistler doesn’t make the rules, he only carries them out.

Inverness CT I nv e r n e s s Ca C. led onian Thistle F.

Falkirk

Scorer: Higdon (68) Half-time: 0-0

0 1

Crowd: 6489

BEHIND THE SCORELINE Goal attempts

on target off target

Corners won Caught offside

ICT 4 5 3 0

CRIME COUNT

Fouls Cautions Orderings off Points

8 2 1 19

Bairns 2 3 4 3 12 1 0 15

However, the game swung Falkirk’s way after two incredible incidents. Firstly Inverness should have scored after only 12 minutes after Filipe Morais broke clear on the left and cut the ball back perfectly to Richie Foran. The striker was only eight yards out but tried to place the ball instead of blasting it allowing Falkirk ’keeper Dani Mallo to make a good save low to his left.

■ Michael Higdon celebrates the goal that continued Premier football for the Bairns yesterday.

Straight red

Then, in virtually Falkirk’s first attack just seven minutes before the break, Ross Tokely was shown a straight red card by referee Eddie Smith for impeding Falkirk striker Steve Lovell. Lovell had anticipated a flick-on from Scott Arfield better than Tokely and when the defender put his hand on Lovell’s shoulder, the striker immediately went to ground. It was an extremely harsh

penalty but by the letter of the law a correct one. Even after this Falkirk manager John Hughes couldn’t wait to let rip at his team at half-time. They had been second to every ball during the opening 45 minutes of one-way traffic. Big Yogi spent the entire first half going ballistic at his team. The visitors had set out in a

4-1-4-1 formation. It looked defensive but afterwards Hughes claimed it was meant to be a passing system to use the full width of the park. In fairness to Falkirk they improved 100 per cent after the break. Let’s face it, they couldn’t have played any worse. Yet in keeping with the cruel luck Inverness suffered, the goal which put them down and kept Falkirk up was a fluke. The build-up was perfect as Carl Finniegan picked out the overlapping Jackie McNamara with a clever ball inside Lionel Djebi-Zadi.

Inviting

■ Michael Higdon slides the ball past Michael Fraser in the Inverness goal to retain Falkirk’s SPL status.

McNamara fired over an inviting cross but substitute Michael Higdon, only on for three minutes, didn’t know much about it as it went in off his hip. After that killer blow Inverness tried everything possible to grab the equaliser that would have kept them up. Despite being down to 10 men they ended up with four forwards but unfortunately couldn’t get the ball to any of them. Their best chance fell to substitute Russell Duncan just before the end. Fellow sub Eric Odhiambo crossed accurately from the right but Duncan’s shot was too near the ’keeper. So in the end it will be no consolation to Inverness to be relegated with the highest points total ever.

Much of the damage was done before this game. This was their 10th successive League game without a clean sheet and they have only managed to score 18 goals at home all season. Yet had Foran scored earlier Falkirk were definitely there for the taking.

Inspirational

Their players did not seem to understand the formation Hughes set out. It was only after his inspirational half-time talk that they got to grips with this occasion. Apart from Tokely’s red card there were also bookings for Ian Black, Patrick Cregg and Grant Munro. With so much at stake the referee did well to keep things down to this. MAN OF THE MATCH — DANI MALLO’S save from Richie Foran was almost as big a turning point as Ross Tokely’s sending off.

How they performed . . . ICT (4-4-2) — Fraser 6; Mihadjuks 6, Tokely 5, Munro 7, Djebi-Zadi 6; Imrie 5, Kerr 5, Black 6 (Barrowman 84, 5), McBain 6 (Duncan 42, 5); Foran 5, Morais 6 (Odhiambo 75, 6). Unused subs — Esson (Gk), Rooney, Byrne, Vigurs. Falkirk (4-1-4-1) — Mallo 8; McNamara 6, Barr 6, Aafjes 5, Scobbie 5; Riera 5 (Stewart 53, 6); Cregg 5, Arfield 7, O’Brien 5, Finnigan 6; Lovell 5 (Higdon 65, 5). Unused subs — Olejnik (Gk), McCann, Bullon, Holden, Mitchell.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

77

FIXTURES IN THE PREMIER DROP ZONE

TH

E RW E L L

F .C

.

MO

Everyone left smiling

ES

T. 18 8 6

Motherwell

Scorer: McLean (80)

Kilmarnock Scorers: Invincibile (27), Taouil (90)

1 2

Half-time: 0-1 Crowd: 4186

AS THE only SPL fixture this weekend with absolutely nothing at stake not a lot was expected. ■ Hamilton’s Simon Mensing rose above Jack Ross to grab the only goal yesterday.

A-Game Accies end on a high DANNY STEWART

St Mirren

reports from

New St Mirren Park

S

AFE, if far from secure. Losers here, St Mirren retained their SPL status for next season by virtue of goal difference alone.

And when the new campaign begins they will go into it still searching for their first League victory at New St Mirren Park. Since moving to their spanking new stadium at the start of 2009, they have managed only four draws and four defeats from their home fixtures.

It is an oddity of an unusually dramatic domestic season that, despite that poor record, they could also start the new season as one of Scotland’s representatives in Europe. Sitting at the top of the Fair Play league along with

Worth the pay rise? ● REFEREE — CALLUM MURRAY, Livingston (7) Kept a pretty good grip of a game that understandably got heated.

Hamilton Scorer: Mensing (28)

0 1

Half-time: 0-1 Crowd: 6747 Motherwell, they will learn on Tuesday which of the teams will go forward into the Europa League. Fair play again, in terms of how much effort Hamilton would put into this game, had, of course, been the subject of debate all week. With Accies already safe, some pondered just how committed they would be. They needn’t have bothered.

Jaunts

To borrow a phrase from American sport, Hamilton brought their ‘A-Game’ into this their last fixture before the summer jaunts to Tenerife and beyond. Clearly up for it from start to finish, the visitors treated this match as if their own survival was at stake and not that of their Paisley rivals. With Swansea manager Roberto Martinez watching on in the stand, young stars James McCarthy, James McArthur and Brian Easton all showed just why they are so highly rated. Beside them veteran Alex Neil flung himself into

though, he hit his shots either high or wide. Accies were similar in that Goal attempts Buddies Accies their finishing failed to do on target 4 2 justice to their build-up play. off target 6 2 McArthur, in particular, Corners won 5 2 made good use of the extra Caught offside 1 1 space he found in midfield. CRIME COUNT McCarthy was slightly Fouls 9 15 quieter though he did have to Cautions 1 2 play for a chunk of the game Orderings off 0 0 carrying a knock after taking Points 12 21 a kick from Thomson. His participation yesterday challenge after challenge to the risk of his own meant the midfielder had been involved in all 38 of wellbeing. Hamilton’s games in the SPL. For after Simon Mensing had headed home Easton’s corner from the right to give As he joined his teamHamilton the lead, Saints got mates in throwing his jersey jumpy. to the away fans at the final That wasn’t surprising. whistle, the suspicion Two more goals for Accies remained that come next would after all leave them in season he will be playing for serious danger of relegation. a different club. Hugh Murray was yellowOn the basis of Accies’ carded for a late lunge on display in this game he Neil and Steven Thomson should be able to just about was lucky to escape without get along without him. caution for a challenge that MAN OF THE MATCH — left Derek Lyle flat out on the JAMES McARTHUR was at the ground. heart of so much of As disappointing as Saints Hamilton’s play. were — and they were poor in comparison to their How they performed . . . display against Falkirk seven St Mirren (4-4-2) — Howard 7; days previously — they did Ross 7, Haining 6, Cuthbert 6, have their moments. Barron 6; Thomson 6, Murray 7, It took a fine save from Mason 5, Brady 6 (O’Donnell 83, Sean Murdoch to keep out 5); Dorman 5, Mehmet 6. Unused Billy Mehmet’s fierce volley subs — Mathers (Gk), Potter, at the end of a neat move Wyness, McAusland, McGinn, involving Andy Dorman and Camara. Hamilton (4-4-2) — Murdoch 7; Jack Ross. Garry Brady got a fair bit Mensing 6, Canning 6, McLaughlin 7, Easton 7; McArthur 8, McCarthy of joy from his tussle with 7 (Gibson 83, 6), Neil 7, Lyle 6; Mensing. Offiong 5 (Corcoran 72, 6), Thomas Whenever he found himself 5. Unused subs — Potter (Gk), with a shooting opportunity, Swailes, McGowan, Taylor, Evans.

BEHIND THE SCORELINE

Suspicion

However, the final outcome left both sets of fans celebrating as if their respective sides had actually won something. Kilmarnock, freed from the relegation threat last week, were relaxed and sufficiently committed to record their third win of the season over ’Well thanks to a glorious last-minute winning goal from Mehdi Taouil. Motherwell, guaranteed to finish top of the bottom six, had only one target of securing a Europa League slot via the Fair Play position. And with only a solitary booking it would appear that Mark McGhee’s men have achieved their goal for the second year in succession. Kilmarnock, who started with seven changes in their line-up, were forced into three substitutions through injury, the first two within the opening 20 minutes. A nasty clash of heads between Grant Murray and Manuel Pascali resulted it head wounds which saw them replaced by Gavin Skelton and Jamie Fowler. Just short of the half-hour Danny Invincibile was completely unmarked when he collected a through-ball from Taouil, calmly taking a touch before rifling the ball past debutante ’Well ’keeper Artur Krysiak. At the other end Cammy Bell, also making his debut, had a quiet first half with not a single effort to bother him. The only threat to his goal came after 33 minutes when Stevie Hammell’s in-swinging corner was back headed across goal by David Clarkson but there were no takers.

Worth the pay rise? ● REFEREE — STEVEN NICHOLLS, Motherwell (6). His debut in the SPL was a confident one.

BEHIND THE SCORELINE

Goal attempts on target off target

Corners won Caught offside

Well Killie 3 3 7 4 7 2 0 2

CRIME COUNT

Fouls Cautions Orderings off Points

9 1 0 12

10 1 0 13

The home side showed more of a competitive edge in the second half and finally exerted some pressure on the Killie goal. A minute after the restart Maros Klimpl, in attempting a first shot on goal, injured himself, ending his participation and probably his term with Motherwell. His replacement Bob Malcolm, also making a final appearance, didn’t make it to the final whistle. Motherwell finally hit the target in the 55th minute when Jim O’Brien’s corner was nodded on by Brian McLean only to rebound from the face of the crossbar. On the hour mark David Lilley fell heavily on his wrist and had to be replaced by Ryan O’Leary. Almost immediately the central defender was under threat when Cillian Sheridan rose unchallenged to nod another O’Brien corner down and wide of target. Ten minutes from time ’Well grabbed the equaliser when Tim Clancy tripped over the ball allowing Clarkson to cut it back for McLean to finish from six yards. That would’ve probably been an acceptable finish for both sets of fans until the final minute when Killie conjured up a superb goal. Surrounded by three Motherwell defenders on the goal-line, David Fernandez produced an audacious back-heeler when sent Taouil along the line and after a couple of step-overs the Moroccan squeezed the ball between Krysiak and his left-hand post. MAN OF THE MATCH — MEHDI TAOUIL. Full of delightful tricks and touches, he topped it all off with a wonderful winner.

How they performed . . . Motherwell (4-3-3) — Krysiak 6; Quinn 5, Craigan 5, McLean 6, Hammell 6; O’Brien 6, Hughes 6, Klimpl 4 (Malcolm 46, 3) (McGarry 83, 1); Clarkson 5, Sutton 4 (Murphy 61, 3), Sheridan 5. Unused subs — G. Smith (Gk), D. Smith, Meechan, Hutchinson. Kilmarnock (4-4-2) — Bell 6; Clancy 5, Lilley 5 (O’Leary 60, 2), Ford 6, Murray 2 (Skelton 10, 5); Hamill 5, Flannigan 6, Pascali 3 (Fowler 21, 4); Taouil 7, Invincibile 6, Fernandez 5. Unused subs — Combe (Gk), Gibson, Sammon, Nolan.

■ Danny Invincibile stroked home to open the scoring for the visitors at Fir Park yesterday.


78

THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

HELICOPTER DAY SUNDAY

OLD FIRM SET FOR DAY OF DRAMA

California dreamin’ of party M

AURICE EDU plans to be the catalyst for a crack-ofdawn celebration today.

The Rangers midfielder’s family and friends are based in California and face getting up in the wee small hours to watch the action from Tannadice on satellite television.

It is, the American claims, a sacrifice they are only too happy to make.

“They will do it because they know this is a massive game and they appreciate what it means to me,” he says. “I came to Scotland because I had the dream of winning championships and of competing in Europe.

Reality

“Now, if we beat Dundee United, that dream will become reality. “Everyone knows what is at stake. We have done so well to get here and have shown so much character to get the results needed. “Now it is a case of just having to execute one more time. “I believe we will succeed because of the people we have in the dressing-room. “Davie Weir is a great leader and, from a personal point of view, the likes of Steve Davis and Pedro Mendes have been a great help to me.

By Danny Stewart “They are excellent footballers and they are good guys, too. “Hopefully after this game we can all celebrate the Championship together.” Edu joined Rangers in a £2.6million move from Toronto last summer but has only really established himself in the last couple of months, taking advantage of Barry Ferguson’s absence due to injury and suspension.

Played

“It has been a learning experience for me,” he admits. “I think it is inevitable whenever you move from one country to another that there will be differences in the way the football is played. “Here the game is a little bit quicker and a little bit more physical than I was used to back in North America. “That is okay because I think that suits my style, and I am getting more comfortable with the game here all the time. “People ask if I have made more progress than I would have expected but my answer is not really. “Although Rangers are a massive club, I have always had confidence in my ability to make a contribution here.” The 23-year-old, though, admits he did fear he would miss out on the season finale as a result of Glenn Loovens’ off-the-ball tackle on him in the Old Firm game. “It was a sore one and, even a

■ Scott McDonald has the title in his sights.

■ Maurice Edu will be cheered on by family and friends watching back home in California. couple of days after the game, I was still getting quite a bit of pain,” Edu reveals. “To be honest, I think adrenaline probably carried me through what

was left of the Celtic game, and it was only afterwards that I suffered. “I had heard so much about the Old Firm match and it did not

disappoint me. The atmosphere was terrific. “That has whetted my appetite for how it will be if we can go on and win the title at Tannadice.”

Hoops need title wrecker

SCOTT McDONALD is desperate to share his role in football folklore as the wrecker of title celebrations, writes BRIAN FOWLIE. Four years ago, the Celtic striker entered the history books as the man whose goals saw the last day of the season become known as ‘Helicopter Sunday’. His two late goals for Motherwell against the Hoops at Fir Park allowed Rangers to snatch the SPL Championship at Easter Road in the most dramatic of circumstances. Today the roles are reversed, with the Clydesdale Bank SPL trophy sitting firmly in Rangers’ hands. Celtic, two points behind, need to beat Hearts at home and hope Dundee United can take at least a point from Walter Smith’s side. And while McDonald will be focused on hitting the goals to ensure his side’s season ends with a home win, Tannadice won’t be far from his thoughts. “I suppose I know what can

happen elsewhere on the last day,” he says. “What’s happened in the past is in the past, but it might be someone else putting their name in history for other reasons. We’ll see. “First of all, we have to get in front and it’s not going to be easy playing Hearts. It’s not a foregone conclusion that we’re going to win. “We have to go out, make sure we do all the right things, play the way the gaffer wants, pass the ball and try and score a couple of goals early on. “Hopefully that will put the pressure on elsewhere. Who knows?” McDonald, looking back at 2005, argues that fans can have a big influence on the events of the afternoon. “Only in the last ten to 15 minutes could you sense nervousness at Fir Park that day,” he recalls. “You could sense the crowd more than anything. They’re

worse than the players because they’re not in control of it, and they’re panicking every time the ball goes up the park. “We saw it against Dundee United at home with us ten days ago. We were 2-0 ahead but as soon as Dundee United got a goal it was panic stations. “The crowd started to panic and that set upon the players as well.

Volume

“So I’d settle for a nice, relaxed mood at Celtic Park with a lot of support and a lot of volume. “But people have emotions and it’s hard to hide them.” He says the pressure is all on Rangers today. “We’re going in as underdogs,” he states. “There’s pressure on us to win the game against Hearts but I think there’s less pressure than if I was going to the game knowing it’s in my hands. “Everyone expects us to win — that will be the thought in

Rangers’ minds. They’ll think they have to win because ultimately Celtic will.” If things go against Celtic it could be a long, painful summer for McDonald. “Of course, you’re going to be disappointed if you don’t win the League and you’re going to say you could have done better,” he goes on. “If you win you’re ecstatic and have a brilliant holiday. If we don’t, we’ll be more committed to getting it back next year. We’ll be more hungry.” And what is he planning for the close season? “Too much,” he snaps. “Too many games. Australia have three games until the middle of June — which I’m not happy about.” Travelling to those games will be a lot easier to bear if a League-winner’s medal is in McDonald’s luggage.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

79

PREVIEW OF SATURDAY’S FA CUP FINAL

Toffees earn Lamps’ respect

■ Frank Lampard is looking for Final glory.

A

CHELSEA MAY be massive favourites to win the FA Cup against Everton but midfielder Frank Lampard is taking nothing for granted, writes EDDY NEWMAN. Though The Blues travel to Sunderland today for their final League fixture of the campaign, already thoughts are turning to Wembley. After the bitter disappointment of the Champions League semifinal defeat to Barcelona, they’re desperate to get their hands on some silverware. Looking ahead to the clash, Lampard says, “It’s not going to be easy, far from it. I’ve got huge respect for Everton as a club. “Everyone knows that David Moyes is a very good manager. I don’t think he’s underrated anymore because people have seen what a good job he’s done now for a number of years. “The FA Cup is still very special to me. When I was

growing-up, it was always the focal point of the season and even now it would be the icing on the cake if we could win it.” Meanwhile, Guus Hiddink has made it clear that Chelsea will be in no mood to do Sunderland any special favours this afternoon. The Black Cats could hardly have picked more difficult opponents for the game that will decide their Premier League fate. Chelsea might have the FA Cup Final to look forward to next week but that doesn’t mean they’ll be easing off at all today. Hiddink wants to finish the League season on a high before turning their attention to Everton. However, the Dutchman has no particular desire to see Ricky Sbragia’s men go down. “You can’t expect me to say that I want to see any club get relegated,” says Hiddink. “That’s not for me to say. “I don’t know Sunderland well

Cup Final a welcome distraction

N Everton win today at Fulham would secure a fifth-placed finish for the second season in a row but manager Davie Moyes admits Saturday’s FA Cup Final against Chelsea is a major distraction.

The Scot will tell his squad to keep their mind on the job at hand, namely ending a 43-year wait for a win at Craven Cottage thanks to a debut goal from Alan Ball but knows it won’t be easy.

Focused

“I am asking the players to remain focused and see the job through — they have done really well up to now — and I want them to do the same on this one,” he says. “I think the best preparation going into the final would be for the players to play and be ready — but who knows, the line-up

Wembley preview might change before kick-off time. “I think there will be one or two thinking they need to put in a good performance against Fulham to make sure they get the jersey for the Final. “It shows the game means something so we know we are going to have a hard game but we have been playing quite well and have standards to set. “However, if you said to me, ‘Would you take sixth and a win in the FA Cup Final?’, of course I would. “But you can’t guarantee any of that so the first thing you have to do is win the next game and the next game is against Fulham. “If we get a result and stay in fifth I will be delighted but I would still be smiling if we finished sixth because I would consider that a good season considering the injury problems we have had.” Motivation won’t be an issue for Fulham, as a point should guarantee a place in next season’s revamped Europa League. Moyes, personally, has lost all seven of his encounters at Fulham in all competitions

but there is a Dutchman working on the commercial side there and I did say to him a few weeks ago that I hoped they would be out of trouble by the time we met. “Of course, they are still in there fighting and they will give us problems if we’re not fully concentrated on the game. When I was at PSV Eindhoven in Holland you would usually get an easy game against the bottom clubs but that’s not the case in England.”

Fighting

Hiddink has made it look easy since he took over from Luiz Felipe Scolari in February. But, despite that, he fully accepts it was never going to be quite so simple for Sbragia after he took over from Roy Keane at Sunderland. “It’s more difficult when you go into a club that’s fighting relegation,” says Hiddink. Hiddink has again firmly ruled

out continuing to combine the Chelsea and Russia jobs next season. Hiddink is set to quit his interim position with the Blues after the FA Cup final on May 30 with Carlo Ancelotti favourite to succeed him. The Dutch coach has maintained the dual roles since February but Hiddink insists he has no intention of carrying on in a similar fashion once the season is over. “We have done it the past four months because there were only two games in March in the international calendar,” says Hiddink. “In September, October and November there is a very busy international schedule and when you are in a very big club like Chelsea it is irresponsible to do both jobs. “It cannot be done. You have to be in charge, day in and day out.”

since taking over at Everton in 2002 but feels it is time for a change. “Our record there has not been the cleverest,” he adds. “I think a couple of occasions we have played quite well and not won. We need to do better and get a result somehow. “You can’t say how it happens. Sometimes these things are in football. I’m sure there are teams we beat regularly.

Bogey team

“I think in my playing days every team I played against was my bogey team. “But we give everyone the same respect and understand every game is difficult.” Goalkeeper Tim Howard, who has set a new club record for clean sheets this season, is confident the current crop of players can end their drought at Craven Cottage. “It’s a place where we seem to have a lot of difficulty going for some reason,” he says. “But this is a different group of guys, in terms of our mentality. “We are strong on the road and we look forward to going away and into hostile environments.”

■ Davie Moyes has one eye on Saturday’s Cup Final.


THE SUNDAY POST/ May 24, 2009

INSIDE —

INSIDE —

Page 66

Page 67

Why it’s time for Andy Murray to throw caution to the wind

Fergie stands on the threshold of another bit of football history

DAY OF DESTINY

The Old Trafford manager takes his side to KC Stadium, knowing the result could have a huge bearing on the North-East trio’s fight against relegation. WALTER SMITH and Gordon Strachan have told their players to be brave today. Two points clear of current champions Celtic, Rangers travel to face Dundee United, while the Hoops entertain Hearts. Smith’s first title success was in 1991 when an injuryravaged side overcame Aberdeen on the last day of the campaign. “That was a huge ask of the team to go and win that day,” said Smith.

A B C D

Relegation showdown With the Champions League Final against Barcelona in Rome on Wednesday looming large, Fergie will field a shadow team. But he won’t side with those who believe Alan Shearer, Ricky Sbragia, Gareth Southgate and Phil Brown have only themselves to blame for being in this situation. “It is unfair to say that these clubs have had 37 opportunities to stay in the League,” said Sir Alex. “One game can decide everyone’s fate. It is a fact. “Of course, it means something. Quite often you hear a manager

say a bad decision from a referee could cost them promotion or relegate them. “We have won the League four times on the last day of the season, so you cannot say that the final match didn’t mean anything to us.”

Force

Ferguson believes it is time the Premier League scrapped the rule which is supposed to force managers to play their best team in every game. “It has never been practical for years now,” said the Scot. “Richard Scudamore has more or less said that and he is Chief Executive of the Premier League, so he is speaking from a position of authority.

“The modern-day game is about a squad. Everyone uses it, even teams fighting down at the bottom. “The days when Liverpool won the league only using 14 players are no longer possible. Nobody even thinks about that now.” Ferguson also recognises results alter people’s perception. No one criticised the United chief when he included Ben Foster and Federico Macheda in the team that won at Middlesbrough, yet there was plenty of comment passed when he lost the FA Cup semi-final to Everton with a weakened side. “If we had lost that game at Middlesbrough there would have been a huge hue and cry,” said Ferguson. “But I believe it is a good thing you are able to use your squad.”

What Ferguson cannot agree with is the belief that he will be fielding a weakened team today. True, Wayne Rooney will not be there, nor Edwin van der Sar, Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes. But in their place will be eager stars of the future, who have already proved their talent just being part of the United squad.

Old Firm bosses ask for bravery

“We had suspensions, injuries and we had players who had to be given injections to take part. “And while we were in poor condition, Aberdeen were on a run of 20-odd games without defeat. “We have not got anything like that this season and we have to be pleased to be in the situation we are in.”

Strachan, meanwhile, knows his players have to get the job done against Hearts at hope the Tannadice result goes their way.

Characters

He said, “I was with the Aberdeen lads I played with a few weeks ago, and while I realised it at the time, it struck me again that they were real characters, real men.

“Alex Ferguson trusts good defenders, midfielders with vision, and forwards that can play. “But within that they’ve all got self-motivation and that’s the big thing. “More than any tactics or anything else. “Regardless of two up front, three up front, one up front — the group of players

Strong team

“It will definitely not be a weak team,” said Ferguson. “We will play a strong team. It will be a good team. “In parts, it will be a team with fantastic potential. In a lot of cases the team will also have experience.”

determines what you’re going to do. “It looks like the two sets of players at Rangers and Celtic are neck and neck in the determination stakes, with Rangers just being ahead. “It’ll be an exciting day and I think everyone’s looking forward to that excitement. “I hope it’s a day to remember for heroes rather than villains.”

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And the Manchester United boss has railed against those who have criticised Newcastle United, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull City in the buildup to today’s date with destiny.

Fergie feels for drop-zone four

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ALEX FERGUSON is well aware of his responsibilities this afternoon.

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