Gala Life March 2024

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March 2024


25,53 Sudoku

6 Your Community

All the news from our MPs, Councillors, Clubs, Groups and Churches.

16 Fitness With Alan Clinch

Alan looks at all the benefits of eating more fibre in your diet.

18 Willie's Wonky Computer

Willie looks at different ways of sharing music on your phone, with your AirPods.

25 Sudoku

Our Sudoku is also online this month, play every day and keep your brain active!

34 The Gala Garden

Sheila looks at what needs done in the garden this month, depending on the weather.


History of Guinness

Advertising Debbie - 07545299491 Photography & Design Lynsey - 07305577953


Editor Willie - 07906375953

Volunteering Gala Life 17 The Green, Cardrona EH45 9LR 4 Gala Life


Storm Names Deadline for April

36 Recipe

This month we have a little nostalga with a butterscotch pudding.


40 Volunteering

We take a look at all the benefits of being a volunteer within your community.

50 Why do Storms Have Names?

We look at the reasoning behind naming storms, and who gets to do that. Could be you!

54 The History of Guinness

Love it or hate it, Guinness has been around for a long time and has an interesting history. Welcome to the March edition of Gala Life. The clocks are about to change again and I am so happy to see the days getting longer and the buds appearing already! I love Spring and in this issue we have so much to share with you. Easter is at the end of March and that brightens up our calendars enormously. We have LIVE music and Gala Opera’s Me and My Girl, then there’s the Snowdrop Festival over at Dawyck! So, make sure you read through this months edition and plan your events. All our local clubs and societies are also busy this month with talks, outings and competitions. It’s going to be tough to fit it all in!



This month Alan looks at fibre in your diet in the fitness column, Willie shares his music with AirPods and our recipe is a take on Angel Delight. Our editorial feature is all about the benefits of Volunteering and St Patricks Day inspired us to take a look at the history of Guinness. If you have a few minutes spare why not try the old favourite sudoku? Give it a go - you may be surprised! With so many events you will be spoiled for choice. There is so much to see and do this month! Have a great Easter - see you next time.


The Gala Garden is the 12th March

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Our Gala Life Community Please check with individual groups for the latest information.

Bereavement Support Group (BSG) - Meet every Monday 10am – 12 noon at Quins Restaurant. Get mutual support from people in the same situation. Friendly, understanding and very confidential group. Borders Recovery Group - Meet Fridays at the Focus Centre. Peer support group 3-5pm, Recovery Cafe 5-7pm. For more info contact or 07536455898. Forget Me Not Café - at Wilkie Gardens, White Rose Place. Galashiels TD1 2FF. This is a Dementia Café for people who have a diagnosis or who has concerns for their memory and their family / carers. It is a friendly, supportive group offering a cuppa, conversation, activities and friendship. This group is a partnership between Cyrenians Opal Borders and Alzheimer Scotland and Eildon Housing. For more information contact Julie 01750491090, or Gayle at Al-Anon Family Groups - Every Wednesday at 7.30pm, Chaplaincy Centre at the Border General Hospital. Access is through the main entrance to the hospital and follow the pink zone on the ground floor until you see the sign for the Chaplaincy Centre. Many people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close to them. Find understanding, help and support in Al-Anon Family Groups. For further information call 07709948205 or visit for meetings in Selkirk and Hawick. Scottish Borders Versus Arthritis Support Group - meets online first Saturday of each month from 11am until 12.30pm. With a variety of interesting speakers and coffee and catch-up sessions, anyone who is living with arthritis or has an interest is very welcome. For more information, please, email Parkinson's Support Group - held on the last Monday of every month at the Chaplaincy Centre at the B.G.H. from 2pm to 4pm. The aim of the group is to offer support and company to anybody including families and carers who are affected by Parkinsons. We take part in outings quizzes and other activities suggested by the participants, and a cuppa and biscuits provided. If you require any more information or just want a chat please call Anne on 07922093197 ‘Heart for Art’ - Trinity Church Hall, High St, Galashiels every Wednesday afternoon, 1.30pm to 3.30pm. This is a Church of Scotland project which seeks to bring creativity and connection to those living with dementia in Scotland. Come along to our free art classes (with a carer if you wish) where staff of experienced professional artists and volunteers have enhanced dementia training. For more information look on facebook @CrossReachHeartForArt or email: Borders Online Bipolar Support Group: Open to anyone living with bipolar, including friends/ family/carers. Join us on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7pm. To get the meeting link, please email us at or submit a short form on our website: Healing Support - First Saturday of the month 1-4 pm at the Chaplaincy Centre BGH. Offers individual healing treatments, no appointments necessary, free of charge, however any donations are gratefully received. For further information call 07724 771081 or visit www. Gala Waterways Group - The Group usually meets at 10.00am until noon on the first Saturday of each month and typically prunes trees, clears undergrowth and removes rubbish along the Gala Continued on page 10 6 Gala Life

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Water and Mill Lade in Galashiels. For more information contact or 07763 850087. Gala Policies Group - Always looking for new volunteers to join us in our litter picking efforts in the Policies. Monthly litter pick is held on last Saturday of each month (Feb to Nov) - meeting 10am at the small car park by the swimming pool. Bags and pickers provided - own gloves are recommended. We're on Facebook so join us, please, as we're determined to make sure this lovely woodland is preserved as a great 'green' town asset. Gala Squash and Racketball Club - Monday night 7pm - late: Club Night at Gala Squash Club, turn up and have a hit. £2 for members and £4 for Non-Members. Every Thursday 7pm-8.30pm is Ladies Night at Gala Squash Club - Turn up and have a hit about and a laugh, all ladies welcome. Gala Windbags - We are a charitable group affiliated to chest heart and stroke Scotland with meetings every Thursday 1.30 to 3.30pm in Lucy Sanderson Hall Galashiels. Contact details are Hazel Crombie phone 01896 753788. Gentle Exercise Class for Older Adults - Langlee Community Centre - £3 per class. 10.30-11.15am every Wednesday - contact 07713357450 to book. Yoga - Weekly chair yoga classes are held in the Chaplaincy Centre of the Borders General Hospital on Fridays at 3 - 4pm. These will suit those with less mobility. Most of the session will be seated on chairs with breath awareness and gentle stretching, a little standing and a seated relaxation. Details from Langlee Badminton Club - Thursdays, 5.15pm-7pm in the main hall at Langlee Community Centre, Marigold Drive, Galashiels, £2 per session. Under-16s must be accompanied by parent/guardian. We're a friendly group who get together once a week to play badminton, all year round. Beginners welcome, racquets and shuttles provided. Call Kevin Janiak on 07825 269667 for more information. Eildon Ramblers - If you enjoy walking you’ll enjoy walking with the Eildon Ramblers. We meet weekly on either a Saturday or a Sunday at 10.00am at various locations in the Borders. To see details of upcoming walks visit or for general information please email or phone 07877 159126. Our motto is friendship, fitness, fun and fresh air. Scottish Borders Hill Walking Club - We enjoy walks of between 10 and 15 miles in the hills throughout the Borders. The club meets on alternate Sundays throughout the year starting at 10.00 am. For further information please visit or phone 01896 823172. Lindean Carpet Bowling Club - We meet every Wednesday, 7.30pm, in Lindean Village Hall. New members of all ages welcome at our friendly club, we supply the bowls so you just need to bring yourselves. Tuition given to those who haven’t played before, so come along and give it a go! For full details, phone Neil on 01896755316. Reiver Petanque - meets at the playing area near The Waterwheel Tea Room, Philiphaugh, Selkirk, TD7 5LU for regular Club days on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons 1pm-4pm (2pm start in summer months). At other times the area is open to anyone to play with their own equipment unless notices on Facebook or on the noticeboard at the piste state otherwise. There will be occasional league and other matches between other clubs throughout the year. Please contact Peter on 07895 275669 or Ron on 07986 644661 for more information and come along, learn about the sport from established players and have fun. The area is accessible for wheelchair users and the sport is suitable for all ages. One Acchord Ladies A Cappella Chorus - Ladies if you love to sing come and join us at Bowden Village Hall, Main Street Bowden TD6 0SS. Learn to sing in four part harmony, no auditions Continued on page 12

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needed. We welcome everyone who wants to join us. Rehearsal times: Wednesdays 7:30-9:30 and 1 Saturday a month 12.30pm-4pm. Contact us on 07710699619 or visit our website The Eildon Singers - The Eildon Singers are a mixed voice choir of some 45 members from all over the central Borders. We sing mainly classical works, with some lighter pieces. Our rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings in the Corn Exchange, Market Square, Melrose, from 7.15 to 9.00pm. preparing music for our concert on Sunday 19th May. New members are very welcome (no auditions) and if you would like more information please contact our secretary Carol Bowman on 07753 192374 or visit our website Gala Water Singers - 7pm - 9pm in The Station House, Stow. All are welcome - no rehearsal just come along and join in. The Galashiels Town Band - Mondays - Gala Beginners Band 5.00 - 5.45pm, Tuesdays - Gala Youth Band 6.00 - 7.00pm, Gala Senior Town Band 7.00 - 8.45pm. These take place at the Galashiels Town Band Hall, 6a Roxburgh Street, Galashiels. Open to experienced, inexperienced and beginners of all ages. Instruments can be supplied, so go give it a try. For more information please contact or by calling Nichola Broatch on 07856266230. Syrinx Flutes - Meet one Monday evening (7pm to 9pm) a month from September to May in the Corn Exchange at Melrose with leader Tracy Short (07891902239) Email: tshortmusic@yahoo. Or try in the first instance. All abilities and ages from approx Grade 3. Why not dust off your underused flute and join our friendly group? It’s such fun playing with others. Galashiels Clef Club - Our next meeting is Saturday 16 March at 7.30pm in Lucy Sanderson Hall in Tweed Terrace. We offer a friendly welcome to everyone who can play an instrument or sing to any standard and they are free to choose any piece of music to entertain their fellow members. The range of music is wide and includes all styles of classical music, along with folksongs and songs from the shows, excursions into jazz, and members' own compositions. Please contact our secretary John about visiting or joining. Our website is https://clefclub. for more information. Galashiels Clef Club are delighted to announce that Trinity Laban group led by Andy Sherwood are happy to return and perform for us on Sunday 31 March at 3pm. These are students from the very prestigious music school at Greenwich who will be supported by their tutor at the Lucy Sanderson Hall, Tweed Road, Galashiels. Their performances have been outstanding in the past. Entry is by donation and refreshments will be provided. Please book your place with our secretary, or phone 01835 822143. Melrose Music Society - On Friday, 8th March at 7:30pm, Melrose Music Society presents a recital in Melrose Parish Church Hall, by the award-winning Kleio Quartet, who will be playing Mendelssohn, Bartok and Mozart. Adults £16, Students £5, under 16s free. Tickets available at Rolling Hills Folk Club - 15th March 2024 in Darnick Village Hall, TD6 9AH. Cohen BraithwaiteKilcoyne in concert in his first visit to Scotland. Widely recognised as being one of the most talented players of the concertina and melodeon in the UK and a highly regarded teacher of both, Cohen is also a powerful and commanding singer and a brilliant all-round performer. Doors open 7.30 for 8 pm start. BYOB. All ages welcome. No floor singers as this is a concert format. £10 entry. Phone 07986 644661 for more information and to request advance tickets to guarantee entry. Find us on Facebook and at our website Continued on page 14

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Galashiels Studio Club - The Club is for artists and people who enjoy art. We meet weekly over the winter in Old Gala House, on Thursdays at 7.30pm for about 2 hours and have a varied programme of talks or demonstrations by professional artists and workshops some led by club members. For more information see our Facebook site or phone 07958 241798. The Club is open to all levels of artists and new members and visitors are welcome. Dance Class - Circle Dancing is suitable for just about everyone. We use simple steps dancing to music from around the world. A mix of gentle, flowing, fun, upbeat. No previous experience necessary. A great way to exercise and meet new friends in a relaxed friendly group. Every Tuesday 2-4pm at The Focus Centre, Livingstone Place, Galashiels TD1 1DQ. £5. Contact Kate for further information 07523 466657. Gala Chess Club - meeting every Tuesday evening at the Focus Centre, Galashiels between 7.00pm and 9.00pm. All levels welcome. Facebook - gala chess club. Borders Family History Society - Our Research Room at 52 Overhaugh St, Galashiels will be reopening on Tuesday 5th March 2024. We will also be open on Thursdays. Pop in to see us or request an appointment by using the Contacts page on our website, BFHSContacts.asp select the Archive Appointment Request option on the contact form with your preferred date and time. Alternatively, contact us on our Facebook page or on our X (twitter) account @BordersFHS; by letter to our research room; or by email to General enquiries can be emailed to Although we have been working away in the background over the winter it is so much nicer to meet you in person. Our volunteers are waiting to meet you. The Trimontium Museum, Melrose - Make your own Roman mosaic on 23rd March at the Trimontium Museum in Melrose. And on 30th March join us for a very special Easter Treasure Hunt, with crafts, activities, costumed characters, and Roman dance. On 14th March learn about Roman Imperial Helmets with Dr. Robert Burandt in this month’s Trimontium Talk, online and in person. Check out our website for our full program of talks, workshops and special events. The Melrose Historical & Archaeological Association - Next meeting will be on Tuesday 12th March 2024 , at 7:30pm in Marmions @ the Wynd, off Buccleuch Street, Melrose - when our guest speaker, Will Napier, will present an illustrated lecture - 'Decorative Plaster in Scotland, Past, Present and Future'. All welcome. Free to Members, £4 to visitors. Galashiels & District Probus Club - We provide regular meetings for retired and semi-retired professional and business men and women to enjoy the company of like-minded people who appreciate the camaraderie of being part of the Club. We meet fortnightly from September to May on Thursday mornings at the Waverley Castle Hotel, Melrose and after tea or coffee we enjoy a wide variety of interesting talks by guest speakers. We are always open to welcome new members and if you are interested in joining please ask any member, check or phone 01896 850411 for more information. Galashiels Inner Wheel Club -The Gala Inner Wheel meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from Sept to June in Cafe Recharge, Island St, Gala, with social occasions year round. Our March meeting is a business meeting, but in March we also have a Beetle Drive open to all at the Focus Centre in Livingstone Place on Saturday 23rd March at 7pm. New members are always welcome and can contact Helen on 07780925076 for further information. Galashiels Camera Club - We meet almost every Wednesday at The Red Room, Langlee Community centre, Galashiels. If you are interested in photography visit our website Professionals, Enthusiast and beginners are all welcome. Continued on page 20

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FITNESS with Alan Clinch

Why Eat Fibre? In the January article, I said I’d write a little more about some of the suggestions over the next few months, so here we go: this month I’ll focus on why it’s helpful to include fibre in the diet. Most of us need to eat more fibre and have fewer added sugars in our diet. Eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and bowel cancer. Another benefit of choosing foods with fibre is that they make us feel more full, and therefore less likely to pick at snacks. The first thing to note is that there are two main types – soluble and insoluble. The benefits from these are different, so it’s important to include both. This is best done by eating a wide variety, rather than trying to focus on one type or food.

reducing risk of diabetes. It’s found in grains like oats, barley and rye, fruit, beans, pulses, and vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. Another related food is resistant starch. It is found in foods such as bananas, potatoes, grains and beans. It ferments in the large intestine, which again helps keep the gut healthy. The current Government guidelines suggest that adult dietary fibre intake should be around 30g a day, but research suggests that most of us are only eating about 20g day. The numbers are slightly lower for children - 2 to 5 year-olds need about 15g, 5 to 11 year-olds need about 20g, and 11 to 16 year-olds need about 25g Here are a few suggestions to help increase your fibre intake:

Insoluble fibre helps maintain a healthy digestive • Choose a high fibre breakfast cereal system by passing through the body without • Choose wholemeal or granary bread, and being broken down. Sounds odd? Well, it helps wholewheat pasta or brown rice. other foods move more easily through the system which reduces overall digestion time. • Eat potatoes with their skins on – for example High-fibre breakfast cereals such as porridge or baked potatoes or boiled new potatoes. muesli (without added sugar and salt), shredded • Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to wheat or bran flakes are good. Wholegrains – stews, curries and salads. that’s grains with all three parts intact (a fibre• Include plenty of vegetables with meals, rich outer layer – the bran, the nutrient filled either as a side dish or added the main meal inner part – the germ, and the central starchy • Have some fresh or dried fruit, or fruit in part – the endosperm): in some refined foods natural juice for dessert. Bear in mind that such as white bread, the bran and germ are dried fruit may contain high levels of sugar, removed. Wholegrains also contain B vitamins, so it's better eaten as part of a meal folic acid, omega-3 fats, protein, antioxidants like vitamin E, and micronutrients such as copper and • For snacks, try fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, magnesium. Additionally, insoluble fibre can be rye crackers, oatcakes and unsalted nuts/ found in vegetables, potatoes with skins, nuts seeds. and seeds are the kinds of foods that will provide Want to know more? If you’re worried about us with insoluble fibre. your diet, your Doctor can help, but there is Soluble fibre works differently, as it dissolves also a wealth of helpful information on the NHS in water and forms a gel in the gut. It helps website. More detailed advice can be given by to prevent constipation, and should help to an HCPC registered Dietician. lower cholesterol levels. It helps your body improve blood glucose control, which can aid in 16 Gala Life

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Willie’s Wonky Computer Factory I have a lot of music on my phone. It’s great to have when out with the dog or travelling on public transport, or flying on one of those low budget airlines that have no entertainment in the back of the seat.

the name of your friends AirPods that you’ve been sharing with.

My AirPods provide perfect sound for all occasions, but sometimes, don’t you wish you could share what you’re listening to, whether it be music, a podcast, some TV or a Youtube with a friend? Well you can - if your mate also has a pair of AirPods. It is actually quite easy to connect two pairs of AirPods to one iPhone, or iPad and share your listening. This also works on an iPhone with Beats wireless headphones 1.

First of all, connect your own AirPods to your iPhone or iPad.


Then, bring the second pair that you’d like to connect close to your phone, with their case open.


In the box that pops up on your phone tap Temporarily Share Audio.


Then press and hold the little button on the back of the AirPods case to connect to your friend’s pair.


You will see a notification that their AirPods are connecting and a notification asking If you find yourself, say travelling on one of you to confirm you want to connect a those budget airlines, a bus or train with a mate device that is under someone else’s Apple who doesn’t have AirPods, you can still share ID. Click on the OK to confirm and Done your sound, albeit in mono. This is a feature when the pairing is complete. on iPhones that makes sure you don't miss Once the second pair is connected to your anything when using one ear instead of two. phone, both sets will receive the same audio 1. Pair your AirPods. simultaneously, so open your music app or whatever you want to listen to and you are both 2. Open the Settings app. good to go.


Now tap on Accessibility.

When ready to disconnect the second pair, simply have your friend put theirs back in their case and you will get a prompt asking if you would like to stop sharing. Tap Disconnect and job done.


Then tap Audio/Visual.


Toggle Mono Audio to on.

If for some reason you don’t get the Disconnect prompt, open the Settings app on your phone, tap Bluetooth then tap the small X icon next to 18 Gala Life

Now hand over one of you AirPods to your friend and you can both listen in. To switch mono back off again, just follow the above steps and toggle Mono Audio to off. Willie

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The Three Brethren u3a, Galashiels - Learn, Laugh, Live with u3a in 2024. The Three Brethren u3a next meets on Monday, 18 March, 2pm at the Galashiels Rugby Club, Netherdale. It will be the usual sociable afternoon with a speaker, Gordon McKay, who will take us through the entrancing subject of astronomy in his talk - Star Gazing in Galashiels. Do come and join us. For details of membership and future meetings, see Borders Philatelic Society - We welcome new members who have an interest in Postal History, Stamps or Postcards at any level from all across the Borders. We are a small friendly club meeting fortnightly on Monday nights, 7.30 until 9pm in the Church Hall, Old Parish & St. Pauls in Scott Crescent Galashiels TD1 3JU. Please contact John Brown on 01721 723759 or Email him at for further information, or just turn up to meet like minded souls! This seasons dates are:- March 4 & 18, April 1.

John Lamont MP - Conservative There should be no greater priorities for Scotland's politicians than supporting our NHS and investing in a brighter future for the next generation. No matter how tight budgets are, funding for healthcare and education must be protected. But in the Borders, over the last week, we have learned that this is not happening anymore. Funding choices in the current SNP Government budget are leaving our NHS and our education system without the resources they need to maintain, never mind improve, the services they provide. Last Friday, NHS Borders Chief Executive Ralph Roberts said its financial position is "clearly unsustainable". He said the cuts required "will have an impact on the services we provide" and "we recognise that our services will feel different for our staff, patients and communities." Recently, the Borders College Principal and Chief Executive, Pete Smith, also said the current Scottish Government budget "will have a significant negative impact on learners, businesses and the Government’s own ambitions to grow the Scottish economy and achieve a just transition." These statements are extremely concerning. They should be a wake-up call to SNP ministers that the Borders is in desperate need of more funding. The NHS is already in crisis. People cannot get GP or dentist appointments quickly. They are waiting months, even years, for treatment. Referrals for conditions like cancer are often slow. Our health service needs additional investment, not severe cuts. The Borders College is also incredibly important for Gala and the Borders. It provides opportunities for young people to advance their careers. It helps businesses to grow. If the SNP allow student places to fall, that would be incredibly short-sighted. Budgets are tight everywhere in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. But there's still no excuse for the SNP Government allowing essential local services to be reduced. This year, Humza Yousaf's government received the biggest ever block grant from the UK Government. For several years, the SNP have also forced higher taxes onto Scots earning over £28,850 compared to workers in the rest of the UK. So they should have the funding - either from the UK Government or the pockets of taxpayers - to protect public services. Our NHS and our education system cannot afford these cuts. They must be stopped before Borders residents suffer worse services while paying higher tax bills. Continued on page 22

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Christine Grahame SMP - SNP Recently I have had the opportunity put down Parliamentary motions on Borders College and separately to honour the memory of local man PC Sean Wright. For Borders College it was to recognise the positive findings of Education Scotland following its annual visit where the inspectors identified numerous strengths in the college's operations, including industrial placements with local employers and highlighted several excellent areas of activity and innovation during the visit. Turning to PC Sean Wright who died in April 2023. Who made a significant contribution to policing in the region; particularly through his support of TD1 Youth Hub attending at its evening drop-ins for young people. Since his death, and in his memory, TD1 has helped organise three community walks - led and planned by Dougie Johnston from the Hike & Bike Hub in Galashiels - attracting 30 to 40 participants. And I believe, TD1 and Hike and Bike Hub plan to build on this and to create options for the young people at TD1 to learn skills that will allow them to explore and appreciate the surrounding countryside of Galashiels, and beyond; with a possible link with the annual Galashiels Walking Festival. This would be a fitting tribute to PC Wright’s legacy. Finally, as you may know, there are plans for a headstone at Robert Coltart’s grave in Eastlands cemetery raising funds through a Crowdfunder, famous for his Coulters Candy and the jingle Bally Bee. This is the first step towards commemorating his life and Gala in those days in hopefully a permanent exhibition. It’s early days and we hope the first step to a headstone will get the ball rolling. The Crowdfunder for this has just opened and I hope you can contribute as this is for the community to celebrate one of its own, Here is the link

Euan Jardine Councillor - Gala & District, Conservative As I write this, there are a few days until the Superbowl, and once again, the team I support, the Kansas City Chiefs, have made it to the final dance. Many said they wouldn't, but they are proving all the doubters wrong. Now, just one last push and hopefully another ring on the fingers of Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs. Which will also mean I will be dancing on the streets of Galashiels on Monday morning! I said last time I would try and set a New Year's resolution and decided that I wanted to go to the cinema at least once a week, but I realised it's not possible, so I'm settling for at least twice a month. I haven't attended as often as I would like over the past 18 months, and after a couple of times so far, I can confirm that there is no feeling quite like escaping the world for a few hours and then walking out of the cinema and mind buzzing after a film. I did miss the cinematic experience, and thankfully, living in Galashiels, that experience is accessible with the Pavilion Cinema. Did you know that if you have a smartphone, computer, or tablet, you can access a lot of newspapers and magazines for free with Press Reader, which is available with a Live Borders Library subscription? It's a real money saver and it even includes the Border Telegraph! My next advice surgery will be Wednesday, March 6th 2024, at Quins Restaurant between 5 and 6 pm. Don't hesitate to contact me at the details below if you need assistance. Email - Telephone - 07811977720 Facebook - @VoteEuanJardine Twitter - @VoteJardine Continued on page 24

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Abbotsford is open! This year marks a monumental 200 years since the completion of Abbotsford. Step into a world where history and heritage come alive; all waiting to be discovered by you. Join us in celebrating this significant milestone and become a part of Abbotsford’s enduring legacy. You can visit our free Exhibition in the Visitor Centre, take a leisurely stroll down our picturesque woodland and riverside paths and explore the Historic House, Chapel and Regency-era Walled Gardens. To top off your day, visit Ochiltree’s Café for a warm drink and a delightful treat. Don’t forget to take advantage of our pay once visit all year offer! Nowcan open More details befrom found10am-4pm on our website: Dates & times are subject to change. Find out more:


Abbotsford Melrose TD6 9BQ 01896 752043 The Abbotsford Trust is a registered Scottish Charity SC037425

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Fay Sinclair Councillor - Gala & District, SNP With a general election looming no doubt others will be turning to national issues and pushing party agendas, and while I’ve enjoyed getting out speaking to people on doorsteps across the Borders with our SNP candidate, David Wilson, as a Galashiels and District councillor my focus is closer to home. In March, I’ll be acting as returning officer for Galashiels Community Council’s elections and will chair their AGM. I’ll also be on the recruitment panel for a new head teacher for Stow Primary. The build for the new Galashiels Academy is moving at pace, with much of the steelwork now in place. I’ve been in a couple of meetings with the contractors recently and have stressed the importance of ensuring good quality, accessible green space around the new building once construction is complete. While the landscape of Scott Park has been changed, there’s an opportunity for better connections into the Policies and up to Gala Hill, not to mention brand new play equipment. I’m really excited to be working on a project to install a memorial headstone at the grave of Gala’s world-famous Robert Coltart. The lyrics “Ally Bally, Ally Bally Bee” are cherished around the world, yet Coltart’s final resting place is an unmarked grave in Eastlands Cemetery. I’ve teamed up with Christine Grahame MSP, local amateur historian Graeme McIver and funeral director Awdri Doyle to set that right. A Crowdfunder has piqued interest both home and abroad and at the time of writing we look set to achieve our target of raising enough for the memorial stone and hopefully then move on to more ambitious aims of an exhibition or museum. You can donate at

Citizens Advice Bureau Stressed about debt? Research by Citizens Advice Scotland suggests around 85% of people experiencing debt in Scotland have seen their mental health and wellbeing effected by this over the last year or so. The ‘Stressed About Debt?’ campaign aims to re-assure people that debt is nothing to be ashamed of, and that free, expert help is available to them from the CAB if they reach out for it. Debt has always been one of the main issues that we see here, but the current cost of living crisis is really hitting people hard, particularly with the high cost of energy bills lately. So many people are living with growing costs and falling incomes. That’s just not sustainable, so going into debt is inevitable. That’s why we’re so keen to tell people that support is available. Here at the CAB we help solve peoples’ debt problems every day. We can try to find new income streams for you, or negotiate with your creditors to re-structure your debt into repayments you can afford. Sometimes we even get some of your debt written off. Central Borders Citizens Advice Bureau is here for you with free, impartial and confidential advice. Please do get in touch if you would like to find out more about how we can help. Central Borders Citizens Advice Bureau 111 High Street, Galashiels RD1 1RZ. Call 01896 753889 e-mail: website: Monday – Thursday 10am – 4pm. Continued on page 26

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This Month’s Tricky Sudoko 3 9




4 9 4




4 6




7 5


1 2

2 8

How to play............




Fill the grid so that every row, column and every 3 x 3 box contains the numbers 1 through to 9 with no repetition. That’s all there is to it! Use reasoning and logic to solve the puzzle - there’s no maths or adding up. Look carefully for what numbers can go where and with a little practice it will get easier!

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Mac Arts - March Friday 1st Music: Melys Doors 7pm / 7:30pm start. Tickets £12 adv /£14 otd Friday 15th Music: The National Anthems: Britpop Takeover Doors 7:30pm / 8pm start. Tickets £12/£10 Saturday 16th Music: Moving Pictures - A Tribute To Rush Doors 7:30pm / 8pm start. Tickets £15 Sunday 1th Record Fair & Vintage Clothing Sale 10am - 4pm. Tickets £1 Thursday 21st March Music: The Eric Bell Trio (Ex-Thin Lizzy) Doors 7pm / 8pm start. Tickets £18.50 adv £22 otd / 01896 756852

Borders Writers Forum Workshop - 23rd March Research for your writing is vital whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction. It is all too easy to waste time or get sidetracked by research so Peter Zentler-Munro will be demonstrating tips and strategies to research effectively. People who can access the internet on tablets, laptops or phones, should bring them, to try out these processes and so get the most out of the workshop. A handout will be available after the meeting. Saturday 23rd March, Abbey Row Community Centre, Kelso (free on-site parking) 10.30am-1pm. Presented by Peter Zentler-Munro who has been writing a family and local history column in the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News for over 13 years.

GAOS Musical Theatre Spring is on its way and so is the Borders ‘opera’ season. Musical theatre companies throughout the Borders have been rehearsing for the last 6 months and will all be taking to the stage over the next few weeks. As usual, our GAOS production (Me and My Girl) hits the stage for the first week in March and we are raring to go. Lines, music, choreography have been the focus of our hard working production team and the final touches are now being added to ensure our audience experience a great evening of entertainment. Set, lighting, sound, costumes, make up, props, orchestra and the multitude of other things necessary for any successful production are all in place. We even have a brand new stage to perform on in the Volunteer Hall - we can’t wait! All that we require now is you - our audience! All of the above comes at a cost. Hundreds of man hours have been invested by production team, cast, crew, and the many unseen volunteers behind the scenes who are vital to our success. Many thousands of pounds (you would be surprised how many!) have been spent to ensure as professional a performance as we can provide for our local Continued on page 28

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audiences. What makes all the time, effort and money worthwhile? YOU our audience supporting us, buying tickets, and ensuring that we have full audiences to perform to. We are very lucky to have a loyal following in Gala and we don’t take it for granted. It is vital to our success both financially but also in terms of making all our hard work worthwhile. ‘Me and my Girl’ has not been performed in the Borders for some years. Don’t miss your chance to revisit this funny lighthearted musical theatre classic and support your local theatre at the same time. 4th -9th March, Volunteer Hall, Galashiels. Come and support us!

Coffee Morning - St Peter’s Primary School, Galashiels Saturday 23rd March, 10am - 12noon St Peter’s Primary School Parent Council invite you to join us for a family-friendly coffee morning in our school hall. Entrance: adults £3 which includes tea/coffee and a biscuit, children £1 and under 5’s free. Cake stall, raffle with great prizes, kids’ craft table and more. All funds raised go to supporting activities and learning within the school. We look forward to seeing you there.

Borders Chamber Choir - St John Passion by Bach Saturday 30th March (Easter weekend) at 2pm With the Borders Chamber Orchestra (Leader: Cath Cormie) Evangelist: Tom Raskin. Conductor: Robert Marshall Come and hear this extraordinary work performed in the awe inspiring surroundings of Melrose Parish Church on the Saturday of Easter weekend. As music reaches people in a way that words alone cannot, join the professional line up of five soloists, Scotland’s newest chamber choir and conductor Robert Marshall, and experience the beauty of this monumental, reflective as well dynamic work by JS Bach. Tickets at the door, from the choir or email

Gala Cricket Club Preparations for the 2024 season are well underway and, at the Club’s AGM last month, appointments for the season were made at a well-attended meeting. One of the most significant things to note from the appointments is the diversity that is now apparent at Gala Cricket Club. The new Captain of the 1st XI is Dinesh Tharanga who is Sri Lankan, although he and his young family have been in the area for over a decade; and the Vice Captain is Siddhanth Ponneri who is originally from India. The leaders of the 2nd XI are also breaking new ground in that dual Captains have been voted in; joining Liam Skeldon who held this position last season is Charis Scott who has played at international level with Scotland’s Women’s teams. The appointment of a female co-captain is thought to be a first for a Border (if not a Scottish) Club. The Sunday team will be captained by James Boyle. Although no activity has taken place outdoors, indoor training is in hand at both senior and junior levels and, again, diversity is noteworthy with players from no less than 8 countries taking part. Continued on page 30

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In addition to the “home” nations participants from Afghanistan, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka have attended training. Once the East League have finalised the fixtures, memberships cards will be issued and the club are hoping for great support in their quest for continued success for all its teams.

Bowden & Melrose Parish Church Minister Rev. Rosemary Frew. 01896 822217 email Office: 01896 823339 email Sunday Worship We meet for worship at 9.30am in Bowden Kirk and at 11.00am in Melrose Church. The Melrose service is livestreamed, and you can join us on our church website or Facebook page or watch the recording thereafter A worship podcast is posted in Facebook, Instagram and our website on Saturday evenings. You can listen on 01896 808551. Friday 1 March, 2.30pm - World Day of Prayer Service in Melrose Parish Church. Saturday 2 March, 10.00am-12noon - Church Coffee Morning in Bowden Village Hall. Proceeds to our Special Projects Fund. Saturday 23 March, 2.30pm – Concert by Octavoce in Bowden Kirk Monday 25-Friday 29 March - Holy Week Services. Details to be confirmed. Saturday 30 March, 2.00pm - Performance of Bach's St John Passion in Melrose Parish Church by Borders Chamber Choir and Orchestra. Sunday 31 March, 7.30am - Early morning worship for Easter Sunday on the saddle of the Eildons. Messy Church Messy Church meets from 3.00-5.00pm on the second Sunday of the month. Our next meeting is on Sunday 10 March 2024. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All welcome. Open Door Come along to our weekly Open Door every Thursday, 10.00am-12noon, when Melrose Church Hall is be open for tea, coffee, company and chat. All welcome. Bowden Community Café This continues to meet on the third Wednesday of each month in Bowden Village Hall at 11am the next is on Wednesday 20 March 2024. All are very welcome.

Galashiels Church of Scotland Old Parish & St Paul’s building – Scott Crescent TD1 3JU St John’s building – Hawthorn Road, Langlee TD1 2JZ Trinity building – High St TD1 1SE We are a united congregation who want to glorify God and exalt Christ in our worship. The Word of God is faithfully preached and therefore we would like to invite everyone to come and listen to God speaking to us through His Word. 30 Gala Life

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The Gala Garden March March is tricky: it’s either shirt sleeves or snow shovels and I can’t tell which right now. The weather ought to improve as the month progresses but that sometimes isn’t how it happens. There are a lot of things to do and I’m going to sort them out according to conditions, rather than weeks. It may be that the ground is covered in snow and that, although the days are longer, it’s still as cold as winter. In that case, about the only thing you can get on with is any pruning left over from January and February. If you have fruit trees you can prune apples, pears and crab apples but leave the plums and cherries to mid-summer to avoid fungal disease.

while you are there so that the spring gales won’t pull them down. Please use soft green string and not wire or cable ties. If the ground is clear and thawed out, get on with planting any bare-root deciduous trees or hedges and any new bare root roses. Try to get this done before bud break in early April. Stake new trees and fasten the stakes to the trees with wide black rubber ties. Usually I stake to windward which is westerly but nowadays, especially in any exposed position, I double stake to east and west. Supposing conditions have really improved, give the vegetable beds a dig over and then clean up the herbaceous borders, cutting back old top growth and putting that on the compost heap. Weed as you go along but don’t put perennial weeds like buttercup onto the heap, burn them instead.

Apples and pears fruit on one-year-old wood so don’t snip off all around the tree: first look for any wood that is dead, diseased or damaged and remove that, making a clean cut back to a main stem. Then remove any branches which are If it stays dry there are two hard jobs left to do: dig crowded or crossing, especially the ones which are new beds if you need them and start working on rubbing against another stem. That will do until the lawn. mid-summer. Digging new beds by hand is very hard work so If you haven’t finished the roses you can do that maybe just do a couple of hours and then do some now: reduce floribundas overall by about a third raking on the lawn. Try to get out all the thatch and hybrid teas by about two-thirds, but always and winter-killed grass as well as any moss. If it remove any dead, brown wood to encourage new looks like spring has sprung apply a spring weed growth. Always cut back to just above a new bud and feed, otherwise it can wait till early April. on a slant with the bud at the top of the cut. Look after your back and hands and, if it rains, Ramblers that flower once at the end of their go get some seed catalogues to look at but leave branches should be cut back hard to the main sowing until next month. structure. Climbers need the old flowered shoots Sheila Drummond removed as well as any old wood. Check their ties 34 Gala Life

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buitterscotch pudding Ingredients 2 ½ tbsp cornflour 3 egg yolks (keep the whites for a meringue, they freeze)) 500ml whole milk 300ml double cream 50g butter 125g light muscovado sugar grated dark chocolate, to serve (optional)

Method I'm of a generation that grew up on Angel Delight, particularly the butterscotch one, so couldn't resist this


1. Whisk the cornflour and egg yolks together in a bowl. 2. Mix the milk with 150mls of the cream and set aside. 3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat with the sugar until it has melted. Then turn up the heat to medium and simmer for 1-2 mins to bring out the caramel flavours, being careful not to burn the sugar. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cream mixture. 4. Bring to a simmer, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat and spoon 4 tbsp into the egg yolk and cornflour mixture to loosen slightly, then tip it all into the pan and whisk everything together. Return to a medium heat, whisking until the mixture comes to a simmer and begins to thicken into a custard. Remove from the heat and pour into four or six serving glasses or ramekins, then chill for 4 hrs or overnight until set. 5. Just before serving, whisk the remaining 150ml cream to soft peaks using an electric whisk, and pipe or spoon this over the puddings. Grate over some chocolate to serve, if you like... and pass the spoon.

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VOLUNTEERING The benefits might surprise you!

WHY VOLUNTEER? Your first reaction might be, “when do I have time to do that?”, or, “why would I work for free when I really need more money/job?”, when you hear the word volunteering. But I think you’d be surprised, if that is your reaction, that there is more to it than your initial thoughts. With huge benefits, the right volunteering role can help you to find friends, connect with the community, improve your health, learn new skills, advance your career or even land you that dream job!

THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING: Every volunteer will get something different from

their experience, but taking on a volunteering role can provide you with many opportunities and benefits such as:

1. Combatting loneliness - meeting 5. Help protect/heal your mental new / like minded people / people health - combats depression, from all walks of life. counteracts effect of stress, anger and anxiety. 2. Finding a new sense of purpose, particularly if you’ve retired / lost 6. Physical health - keeps you a spouse. active and moving, gets you out and about! 3. Feeling a sense of value and being part of a team. 7. It can be fun and fulfilling exploring your interests and passions, it also provides you with 4. Boosting your self esteem / renewed creativity, motivation and confidence building / personal vision that can carry over into your development - overcoming personal challenges; working with personal and professional life. people you don’t know, getting out of your comfort zone, coping with 8. Learning new skills and gaining new situations, exercise critical valuable work experience thinking & learn problem solving. improving job prospects especially

I HAVE LIMITED MOBILITY—CAN I STILL VOLUNTEER? YES!! Whether due to a disability, a lack of transportation, or time constraints, many people choose to volunteer their time via phone or computer. In today’s digital age, many organisations need help with writing, graphic design, email, and other web-based tasks. Some organisations may require you to attend an initial training session or periodical meetings while others can be conducted completely remotely. In any volunteer situation, make sure that you are getting enough social contact, and that the organisation is available to support you should you have a question.

if school / college / higher education isn’t for you.

9. Advance your career, leading to that job promotion!

10. Travel the world - yep, you can travel the world helping support displaced refugees, help providing aid, offer medical support to impoverished communities… the list goes on.

11. Making changes - changing the way things work for the better in your local community.

DIFFERENT VOLUNTEERING ROLES: There are lots of roles to choose from, the more you look the more you find, here are just some suggestions to consider:

Charity shop

Helping the Elderly.


Advocacy - Homelessness, disadvantaged/marginalised people

Citizens Advice offer lots of varying roles.

NHS / First Aid

Crisis Response Guide Dogs Conservation Local Events Driving - Community Buses / Charity runs / food supply / community groups.

Art Gallery, Museum, Library

Mountain Rescue / RNLI

Work with animals - animal shelters, rescue, wildlife centres. National Trust Community organisations; gardening, litter picking, local councils

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: There are many volunteer opportunities

that fit a variety of interests. Here are some tips for finding a volunteer opportunity: START WITH THE BASICS: Some of the most

common volunteer opportunities are helping at an animal shelter, planting flowers, trees or shrubs at your local garden, public beach or park cleanups, talking or reading to the elderly and political campaigning.


interests and have fun doing so.

WORK FOR VOLUNTEER ORGANISATIONS YOU BELIEVE IN: Supporting a cause you’re passionate

about can be a meaningful and energising disruption from your everyday routine.

CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING GOALS: Is there anything special you’d like to achieve as a volunteer? Such as, trying something new, meet new people with different outlooks and experiences, doing something for the community, seeing new places or experience a different way of living, try a new type of work you might want to pursue a job in, gain new skills, or simply expand your interests and hobbies. VOLUNTEER WITH FRIENDS: Ask your friends where

they like to volunteer or what causes they care about. You can spend time together while giving back to your community and encourage each other.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF VOLUNTEERING: You’re donating your valuable time, so it’s important that you enjoy and benefit from your volunteering. To make sure that your volunteer position is a good fit: ASK QUESTIONS: You want to make sure that the

experience is right for your skills, your goals, and the time you want to spend. Sample questions for your volunteer coordinator might address your time commitment, if there’s any training involved, who you will be working with, and what to do if you have questions during your experience.


should be comfortable with the organisation and understand the time commitment. Consider starting small so that you don’t over commit yourself at first. Give yourself some flexibility to change your focus if needed.


yourself into a bad fit or feel compelled to stick with a volunteer role you dislike. Talk to the organisation

about changing your focus or look for a different organisation that’s a better fit. IF VOLUNTEERING OVERSEAS, CHOOSE CAREFULLY: Some volunteer programs abroad can

cause more harm than good if they take muchneeded paying jobs away from local workers. Look for volunteer opportunities with reputable organisations.

ENJOY YOURSELF: The best volunteer experiences

benefit both the volunteer and the organisation. If you’re not enjoying yourself, ask yourself why. Is it the tasks you’re performing? The people you’re working with? Or are you uncomfortable simply because the situation is new and unfamiliar? Pinpointing what’s bothering you can help you decide how to proceed. Gala Life 41



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Sunday services are in these church buildings. 3rd March - 11am Morning Service (Trinity Church, High Street) 6.30pm Evening Service (St John’s Church, Langlee) 10th March - 11am Morning Service (Trinity Church, High Street) 6.30pm Evening Service (St John’s Church, Langlee) 17th March - 11am Morning Service (Trinity Church, High Street) 6.30pm Evening Service (St John’s Church, Langlee) 24th March Palm Sunday - 11am Morning Service (Trinity Church, High Street) 6.30pm Evening Service (St. John’s Church, Langlee) 28th March Maundy Thursday - 7pm Communion Service (Trinity Church, High Street) 31st March Easter Sunday - 11am Morning Service (Trinity Church High Street) 6.30pm Evening Service (St John’s Church, Langlee) Girls' Brigade 1st Galashiels Girls' Brigade – Monday evenings. St John's Church halls, Langlee. Explorers P1-P3 6-7pm, Juniors P4-P7 6-7pm, Brigaders S1-S6 7- 8.30pm. Please contact Susan Henderson for more information about joining us: Bible Study - House Group meets on Tuesday Morning. Guild - meets fortnightly on Tuesday afternoons 2.15pm in Old Parish& St Paul’s. 5th March - Getting to know you with Ali Collins. 19th March - Annual Business Meeting followed by afternoon tea. All welcome. Coffee Stop - Wednesday mornings 10am – 12noon. St John’s small hall. Drop in to meet friends. Prayer Meeting - Wednesdays at 7pm in St John’s small hall. Badminton - Wednesdays 10am-12md Old Parish &St Paul’s large hall. Choir rehearsals - Thursdays at 7pm. Meet in Trinity small hall. Anyone who enjoys singing will be made very welcome. There is no necessity to be able to read music! For further information Minister: Rev Graeme Glover, e-mail: phone: 01896 209455 website:

St Peter’s Scottish Episcopal Church Saint Peter’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Galashiels. ‘He is not here, he has risen!’ these are the words that changed the world and continue to change it now. You would be very welcome to join us as we revisit the Easter story of Jesus’ arrest, death and resurrection and think about the hope that this event brings to us in our broken world today. Usual Services Sunday Service 10.30am weekly when we sing, hear a short talk, and celebrate Holy Communion. Healing service 6pm Sunday 10th March – a quiet service of prayer, all welcome.

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01896 753730

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Messy Church 5.30pm Tues 26th March - families with primary age children. Food, activities, and fun. Holy Week And Easter Palm Sunday 10.30am Sunday 24th March. Morning service with communion Maundy Thursday 7pm Thurs 28th March. A short service of worship and communion Good Friday 12 midday Friday 29th March. A short reflective service will be followed by space for quiet reflection and the church will remain open until 3pm Easter Sunday Family Service. 10.30 am Sunday 31st March. All are welcome to celebrate Easter with songs, drama, and an Easter egg hunt. Contact Details Priest: Revd Dr Lesley Penny Telephone: 0330 113 1379 Vestry Secretary: John Marsden Telephone: 0753 809 4986 Email:

Roman Catholic Parish of Our Lady & St Andrew Galashiels - Our Lady & St Andrew’s, Stirling Street, TD1 1BY Holy Mass : Sunday 11am, Wednesday 6pm, Friday and Saturday 10am. Melrose - St Cuthbert’s, High Cross Avenue, TD6 9SQ Holy Mass: Sunday 9.15am, Thursday 10am,. Selkirk – Our Lady & St Joseph’s, High Street, TD7 4JX Holy Mass : Saturday (Vigil) 6pm, Monday 10am. Stations of the Cross for the Season of Lent: Selkirk - Mondays at 9.30am, Melrose - Thursdays at 9.30am, Galashiels - Fridays at 5.30pm. Wednesdays in Lent February 28 - Remember that you are dust (Gen 1:26; 2:7) March 6 - Fasting that pleases God at Lent (Isa 58:3-14) March 13 - The importance of prayer in the Christian Life (Luke 11:1) March 20 - Giving like God at Lent (John 3-16) Parish Administrator : Father Benedict Iwatt. Email : Telephone : 01896 752 328 Facebook : @borderscatholic Check our website at for our weekly newsletter and for up-to-date information about services and events.

Galashiels Baptist Church Galashiels Baptist Church is a community of Christians committed to loving God, each other and our local community. We are open to all ages and you are welcome to join us in our building or online. If you have never been to church before or are looking to explore Christianity further, we would love to get to know you and journey with you. These are the activities we have going on each week: Continued on page 48

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Sundays - 10:30 am (weekly) – Sunday Service A mix of worship music, prayer, and teaching with creche and Sunday Club for children during term time. Tuesdays - 10:00-11:15 am (weekly) – Parents, Carers & Toddlers Group A group for those looking after children aged 0-3 years with toys and refreshments served. 2:00-4:00 pm (weekly) – Tuesday Tea Club An afternoon tea including home-made cakes as well as fellowship and conversation. 7:30-8:30 pm (weekly) – Evening Prayer Meeting A time to pray together on Zoom. Wednesdays - 11:00 am (fortnightly) Ladies’ Prayer Meeting A time of informal fellowship and prayer in the church lounge. 2:00-4:00 pm (weekly) Arts & Crafts Group Bring along your painting, knitting, card making etc. and enjoy an afternoon of fellowship and creativity with refreshments. Thursdays - 10:00-11:15 am (weekly) – Parents, Carers & Toddlers Group A group for those looking after children aged 0-3 years with toys and refreshments served. All of these activities take place at our building on Victoria Street. For the most up to date information please visit our website: We’d love to welcome you at any of these activities and get to know you.

Caddonfoot Parish Church Worshippers are now well into a new year at Caddonfoot Parish Church where services continue to be led by our Locum, the Rev June Johnston, each Sunday at 9.30 a.m. Ministers do need and deserve a break, and on the first Sunday of February, members welcomed the Rev Robert R. Simpson, from the Gorebridge area, when the Sacrament of Holy Communion was celebrated. Members of the congregation share the reading of the Bible while music is played by Andy Bird (organ and keyboard) and Mrs Anne Grieve and Mrs Catriona Bird (both flute). In tradition, the bell is rung each week, and after the service, refreshments are served. Parcels for the food bank can be left in the vestry while we collect used stamps for the Eden Valley Hospice.Members are asked to attend a joint meeting with the Stow St Mary of Wedale and Heriot churches in Stow on March 2, when they will share their vision for the future. A Lent Study group was set up, starting with a pre-meeting on Ash Wednesday, February 14. Visitors and church-goers are reminded to exercise care when walking through the Memorial Garden. Please leave any bags for the Food Bank in the vestry and we leave used stamps for the Eden Valley Hospice at Brampton. Tell us about your event and we will tell everyone else! Send your entry for our Community pages to Or call Willie on 07906375953 by 12th of the month. Entries for non profit groups are free. 48 Gala Life

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Why do Storms have Names? As I write this, we have just been battered by storm Henk - lots of snow, storm Isha - bringing 90mph winds, serious flooding, fallen trees and damage to buildings; then Jocelyn blew in and caused more damage. Apparently these will then be followed by... storm Kathleen. So why the names? The Met Office first started giving their weather warnings storm names 9 years ago. The idea was that it would provide “a consistent message and aids the communication of approaching severe weather through media partners and other government agencies”. The hope was that the public and businesses would become more aware, be able to prepare for extreme weather and keep safe. It has worked out pretty well, as most of us are now well aware when a storm in on its way. Storms are usually be named on the basis of the impacts from strong wind, but other weather types will also be considered including rain, thunderstorms, snow, lightning, ice, extreme heat and fog. There are three levels – yellow, amber and red – which indicate the severity of the potential impact in terms of likely damage to property, travel delays and cancellations, loss of water supplies, power cuts and possible danger to life. Red is the most severe. So who names them?

The list of names is released in September to coincide with the start of Autumn, when the likelihood of low-pressure systems and the potential for storms increases. Some names are chosen to reflect the diversity of the country that suggested the name, others to commemorate worthy citizens and sometimes as humour - Minnie, named after Minnie The Minx from the The Beano! The majority, however, are suggested by members of the public. The storm list for 2023 - 2024 is - Agnes, Babet, Ciarán, Debi, Elin, Fergus, Gerrit, Henk, Isha, Jocelyn, Kathleen, Lilian, Minnie, Nicholas, Olga, Piet, Regina, Stuart, Tamiko, Vincent and Walid.

Storms are named by the region from where they originate. The UK’s Met Office compiles storm names jointly with Met Éireann (Ireland’s weather service) and KNMI (The Dutch national weather forecasting service). This is the western storm naming group.

In line with the US National Hurricane Centre naming conventions, storm names do not include those which begin with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. This maintains consistency in official storm naming in the North Atlantic.

Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Luxembourg together make up the southwestern storm naming group, and Norway, Sweden and Denmark are the Northern storm naming group (the recent storm Pia originated in Denmark and the Northern storm naming group named this particular storm).

Why not, as the public are invited to suggest names for future consideration, You can do this either by email to nameourstorms@metoffice. and include your reasoning, or through this link

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Would you like to name a storm?

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This Month’s Easy Sudoku 6







8 6


5 9

2 7

9 2 1





9 1

3 1

5 3


8 4 6

How to play............ Fill the grid so that every row, column and every 3 x 3 box contains the numbers 1 through to 9 with no repetition. That’s all there is to it! Use reasoning and logic to solve the puzzle - there’s no maths or adding up. Look carefully for what numbers can go where and with a little practice it will get easier!

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The History Of Arthur Guinness was born in County Kildare, Ireland stout called ‘West India Porter’ which he exported. This beer is still brewed today under the name in 1725, the first of five children to Richard and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and it makes up 45% Elizabeth. At that time his father was employed of all global Guinness sales. by the Rev Arthur Price (to be Archbishop Price) on his Oakley Park estate, where part of his duties Arthur Guinness passed in 1803. He was considered included assisting their own in-house brewery. a philanthropist, a pragmatist, an innovator, a family man and a fighter. He was also an excellent Arthur’s mother died in 1744 and later that year he joined his father at Oakley Park, from where he employer, held in highest esteem by his workforce developed his love of brewing. He also worked for and provided them with realistic wages, housing, health care, schools, bank loans (when others Price as a Registrar, a position that required him wouldn’t) and a basic pension scheme. He was to be literate, good at arithmetic and capable of also active in politics and was responsible for writing, all skills that were rare to non-nobles and the relaxation of beer tax, which, for porter, was vital to his later business success. originally five times that of ale imported into In 1752, on the death of Price, Arthur was England. bequeathed £100 which he later used to buy his first brewery. At this time his father had remarried Since his death, Guinness was passed down and Arthur moved with him to his stepmother’s the Guinness family until 1986. In 1997 public house and continued to master the art of Guinness merged with another company, Grand brewing. Metropolitan, to form a company called Diageo PLC in a £24 billion merger. Diageo PLC retains the In 1755 Arthur bought his first brewery in Leixlip. A three storey building that backed onto the River rights to all Guinness products and trademarks, so the beloved Guinness beer can remain the same. Leffey, which provided water and power. The Guinness Trademark, a harp, was claimed by At that time he brewed ale, but there was a new Guinness in 1860. At that time Guinness stout beer arriving from England called Porter (stout), was available all over the world and the Guinness it was different from ale as it was brewed from family were in search of a symbol that would firmly roasted barley, giving up a rich dark colour and identify Guinness as an Irish product. The harp aroma. It was invented by brewer Ralph Harwood was recognised as the symbol of all that was great in London in 1722. about Irish culture and heritage. In 1922, when the Arthur recognised its potential and in 1759 he left Irish Free State was formed they also adopted the the brewery at Leixlip in the care of his younger harp as their national emblem, but had to turn it brother Richard and negotiated a deal on a much facing the other way due to trademark registration. larger disused brewery - James Gate Brewery in So, is Guinness good for you? Well, it does contain Dublin. The deal was signed for a rent of £45 per lots of health properties, however Diageo state "We year, for… 9,000 years! never make any medical claims for our drinks” but As he brewed ales at the new premises he also continued to develop his ‘bold porter’ and in 1769 if putting a smile on your face isn’t good for you, then what is? stopped producing ales to concentrate on it. He Happy St Patrick's Day. brewed the beer in different categories including single stout, double or extra stout, and foreign


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Fleas and the Importance of Preventative Treatment You might not be thinking about fleas during the colder months, but they can continue to cause irritation year-round. Different species prefer different hosts, but when it comes down to it they’re not that fussy, and adult fleas will hitch a ride on any potential meal. This means we can easily transport fleas into our homes, where given half a chance they’ll set up camp. The flea life cycle involves 4 stages: Adult → egg → larva → pupae. A female adult can lay 20-50 eggs per day, which fall off in the environment. When the larvae hatch, they seek out dark cosy spaces, like carpet fibres or crevices in your couch or car seats. Here they can hide away for several months, but in a warm or humid environment they will develop into pupae within a couple of weeks. The new adult fleas will hatch if they sense food is near, for example, the vibrations your pet makes when running down the hall. Preventing a flea population boom is much easier than dealing with the aftermath! A flea infestation can take several months to bring under control, and the time and expense involved is something you can never get back. There are the repeated flea treatments, deep cleaning your home/car/ anywhere your pets lay down, as well as treatment of any secondary issues that may occur. Some pets are allergic to flea saliva, reacting to even a single bite, and a large flea burden can cause enough blood loss for some pets to become anaemic. Fleas can also transfer other infections such as tapeworm or blood parasites!

It is important to treat all pets otherwise the flea life cycle can continue with those left untreated. We recommend treatments which continue to work over several weeks-months. Flea baths and powders are only effective for the short time they are in contact with your pet’s skin and will not target new fleas they encounter. Unfortunately, there has been no proven efficacy with herbal treatments so we cannot recommend these. Your veterinary team can help find the best product for your pets, such as a ‘spot-on’, tablet, spray or collar. If you would like the benefit of prescription level parasite treatments for your pets, speak to us about joining the Pet Health Plan where you can receive generous discounts on these products. Save yourself time, money, and stress with yearround flea treatment. Jessica Payne BVSc MRCVS Galashiels Veterinary Surgery Gala Terrace, Galashiels TD1 3JT 01896 752156 56 Gala Life

Office: Monday - Friday 8.00am - 6.00pm. Saturday 8.30am - 1pm. Consultations by appointment

Our Pet Health Plan is the simple and convenient way to look after your pet's health. Our easy and convenient monthly direct debits save you money too. Dogs, Cats and Rabbits

Small (up to 10kg) £16.50

Medium (10.1kg-25kg) £18.50

Large (25.1kg-40kg) £20.50

X Large (40.1 and over) £28.50

Cats (All) £16.50

Rabbits (All) £11.99

Your Pet Health Plan includes: Essential annual vaccination with a full health check Flea treatments* (sufficient for a year) dispensed quarterly Worm treatments (sufficient for a year) dispensed quarterly 6 monthly health check with your vet




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Monthly prices shown, vaccinations included: Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis. Cats: Flu, Enteritis, Leukeamia. Rabbits: Myxomatosis, VHD1, VHD2. *Tailord to your pet's needs


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For March 2024 March gets off to a thought-provoking start with four planets in the intuitive and spiritually minded sign of Pisces; this suggests a completely new cosmic energy is emerging, bringing hope and optimism for a positive way forward. With so much turbulence going on around the world we certainly need some positive input from the heavens. Communication planet Mercury arrives in fiery Aries on the 10th, suggesting that harsh words and aggressive communication will still be prevalent. The love planet Venus arrives in gentle Pisces on the 12th, offering us all the opportunity to continue to be kind and compassionate to ourselves and to everyone around us. The Pisces new moon on the 10th offers excellent opportunities for beautiful new beginnings; engage in creative or spiritual pursuits and benefit from the great imaginative quality of the sign of Pisces. The Sun enters Aries at the spring equinox on the 20th, at last we can celebrate that the days are getting longer and warmer, and the spark of spring is emerging. The Libra full moon on the 25th encourages us all to take a closer look at partnerships and find the balance between our own needs and those of our loved ones.

ARIES MARCH 21 - APRIL 20 March will begin as a rather introspective month for normally bold and dynamic Aries. The powerful combination of Saturn, the Sun, Mercury and Neptune in the deeply intuitive sign on Pisces will probably cause you to reassess many things in your life. The energy changes as communication planet Mercury arrives in your sign 10th and a change of perception is imminent. TAURUS APRIL 21 - MAY 21 March offers the opportunity for intense growth and challenges that ultimately contribute to your personal and professional empowerment. Saturn and the Sun both challenge you to find alternative ways of doing things by concentrating on meaningful pursuits that satisfy your soul purpose. You make realisations about what needs to alter around the Libra full moon on the 25th. GEMINI MAY 22 - JUNE 21 Mercury, your ruling planet, arrives in fiery Aries on the 10th, you can breathe a sigh of relief as your vitality receives a boost. Achievements and goals are in the spotlight this month, you need to keep yourself focussed as you have the power to be very persuasive in any negotiations. The Full moon in Libra on the 25th illuminates a creative project that should turn out to be profitable CANCER JUNE 22 - JULY 22 Planetary alignments suggests that higher education and travel plans will be top of your priority list this month. The Pisces new moon on the 10th indicates that your intuition is at its peak and your sense of optimism and courage is strong. Your renewed confidence enables you to push ideas forward. The Libra full moon on the 25th is a marvellous energy boost, possibilities are endless! LEO JULY 23 - AUGUST 23 Three planets in your opposite sign of Aquarius makes this a month of challenge and change. Cosmic influence will sharpen your intuition and judgement, making you more receptive to inspirational new ideas. Remember that if you rely on facts rather than feelings you should be able to turn personal or professional situations around to your advantage. The new moon on the 10th highlights a financial issue.

VIRGO AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 22 The new moon in your opposite sign on the 10th suggest that you have the urge to break free from limitations and routines. Both Mars and Venus are active in your work area and transformational Pluto, newly arrived in Aquarius, most certainly suggest that some new and exciting ideas are up for grabs. Don’t dismiss anything at this stage, it will all become clear very soon. LIBRA SEPTEMBER 23 - OCTOBER 23 Four planets light up the health and fitness area of your chart this month. The Pisces new moon arrives on the 10th encouraging you to start making some radical changes. Love planet Venus and action planet Mars, both in Aquarius, light up the love and romance sector of your chart. You’re receiving a cosmic boost and you could be thinking about opening your heart and your mind to some totally new experiences. SCORPIO OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22 March is a very important month as Pluto, Mars and Venus are highlighting your domestic sector, all three planets indicate that deep insight is needed as big changes in the pace of your life are the theme of the month. Saturn, the Sun, Mercury and Neptune all in mystical Pisces suggest a renewed interest in an imaginative and creative idea, particularly where your family is concerned. SAGITTARIUS NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 21 Mars and Venus are both active in the communication sector of your chart, indicating that this is an exceptionally dynamic time and you can make the most of a powerful surge of determination and selfconfidence, particularly in work related matters. After the spring equinox on the 20th unexpected contacts bring some good news your way, and you can expect romantic contacts to intensify. CAPRICORN DECEMBER 22 - JANUARY 20 An abundance of planetary activity in your communication area suggests that this is the time to back your hunches and take chances in life. Strong Pisces energy will give you the ability to use your powers of intuition to draw in the desired outcomes. Prepare to be well organised ahead of new opportunities that will soon arise. Lucky Jupiter in Taurus could bring a surprise encounter your way. AQUARIUS JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 18 Financial support and new opportunities may derive from unexpected sources and your own generosity may now be repaid. Venus is in your sign until the 12th, try to ensure that your optimism allows you to forge ahead with your personal ambition. The full moon in Libra on the 25th challenges a new idea, opens your mind and pulls you towards a totally different kind of adventure. PISCES FEBRUARY 19 - MARCH 20 March is your birthday month and although stern Saturn is in your sign making you feel sensible and responsible, there is a lighter side with the Sun, Mercury and Neptune sending their mystical light. This month can bring realisations and revelations as regards your closest relationships, possibly leading to changes, including a sudden clarity about what you truly need to feel loved and valued. NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH these challenging times, discover your unique birth map and take a refreshing new look at your year ahead. Find out when the patterns in the Cosmos align with your patterns here on earth. Find out when positive and productive planetary cycles are working in your favour. Aim to reach your fullest potential in 2024 by booking an astrological reading now - Consultations are available on Zoom, WhatsApp or by telephone.

Christine Chalklin, Inspirational Astrologer and Life Coach Email:

Website: Mobile: 07813 483549



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