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the Wire life on the banks of the allan water

Jan/Feb 2017 issue 71

circulation 4200 households

Carpet Master of Stirling Floor Covering Scotland since 1993

36 Weaver Row, St Ninians, Stirling, FK7 9AS 01786 451 376 www.carpet-master.co.uk

Hello and welcome to the New Year edition of theWire! Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely time celebrating Christmas with family and friends, navigated your way through the office parties, secret santas, and the mountain of food.... We now look forward to 2017 and what it may bring. Given that we may have over-indulged (just a little!), we have a selection of articles dedicated to your health and fitness as the New Year tradition of resolutions, diets and life changes grip us! There are some alternative ways to keep fit, guidance on how to tackle the issue of resolutions, health issues we should be aware of and an invitation to take part in Dry January. We have a new competition for you to WIN lunch for 2 at the recently opened Auchterarder 70 at Gleneagles. Its a relaxed place to meet with family & friends in lovely snug surroundings, so make sure you take the time to enter!



It’s comforting to know that our next issue will be the Spring edition (March - April) with the deadline of 3rd February. Send your details for Community News & What’s On as soon as you can and don’t forget to include events for both months. theWire is an independent publication for Dunblane and surrounding areas. We remain commercially viable through advertising revenue from the business community who receive my heartfelt thanks for their support. We invest significantly in content and print quality & distribute so it reaches all homes & businesses in the area. So, whether you’re a new business that would like to raise it’s profile, an established business that wants to direct new arrivals to their services or simply a business that wants to support the community magazine, we are for you. If you like what you see, get in touch to discuss your requirements, and enjoy affordable rates. Ask how to get your business noticed with our creative design service too. Thank you to our readers for great feedback. Now take some time out, make a cuppa, find a comfy chair, sit and enjoy…!

enjoy the magazine! Fiona (e: fiona@thewireweb.co.uk) www.thewireweb.co.uk

Features & Editorials Year of the Rooster! So here we are, another New Year... New Year Resolutions Health Checks Resolutions... Again! Hygge Step in to nia Pilates can prevent colds Win lunch for 2 at Gleneagles To Floss, or not to floss? danceSing your way to wellness Should I detox? 4 Steps to a healthy relationship Dry January What to buy her for Valentines Recipes Fairtrade Fortnight Moneysaving Expert Inheritance Tax DDT A Family Affair Fling Insider A Good Read

It’s all Child’s Play

World Braille Day Dunblane Centre Newsletter School Jotters Celebrate Burn Night Playtime Cinema Releases Winter Warmers -Biographies De-Cluttering Plant of The Month The Big Garden Bird Watch Sexy Rexy or Buxom Beauty Community News What’s On Guide Useful Numbers A-Z of Advertisers


P. 6 P. 8 P. 9 P. 10 P. 12 P. 13 P. 15 P. 16 P. 17 P. 18 P. 19 P. 20 P. 22 P. 24 P. 28 P. 30, 32 + 34 P. 33 P. 36 P. 38 P. 40 + 91 P. 42 P. 43 P. 44 P. 46 P. 48 P. 50 P. 54 P. 59 P. 63 P. 64 P. 67 P. 70 P. 74 P. 78 P. 80 P. 84 P. 86-89 P. 92-95 P. 96 P. 98 p. 8


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p. 6 p. 17 p. 20


p. 80

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Chinese New Year - Year of the Rooster Chinese New Year falls on Saturday 28th January. In China many people will take a whole week off from work to mark the celebration. It is known as the Spring Festival.

loud cracking sound, lighting candles in the houses and wearing red clothes.

Many New Year activities have links with Chinese legends.

Another monster called Sui was said to terrify children whilst they slept. Parents would stay up all night watching and lighting candles to try and keep their children safe. One official’s family gave their child eight gold coins to play with. The child wrapped the coins in red paper and then played at unwrapping them and wrapping them back up until he got so tired he fell asleep. The parents put the coins under the child’s pillow and legend has it that when Sui came and tried to touch the child, the eight coins omitted such a strong light that it scared the demon away. This is the basis for why elders and those who are married give children and young unmarried people red envelopes with coins in them at New Year. The red envelope is called Yasui Qian which means suppressing Sui money and the purpose is to scare away the monster and bring good luck.

New Year is called Guo Nian which means ‘celebrate a New Year’ or ‘overcome Nian’. Nian was an ancient sea living monster who came onto land on New Year’s Eve to eat people and livestock. One year, an old man with white hair and a ruddy complexion managed to scare away the monster by pasting red papers on to doors, burning bamboo which made a

According to Chinese astrology, each year is associated with an animal symbol. There is a 12 year cycle and 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. The China Highlights website says that those born in the Year of the Rooster are observant, hardworking, confident and courageous. They are best matched with those born in the Year of the Ox or Snake.

On New Year’s Eve, Reunion Dinner is eaten. Many Chinese believe this is the most important meal of the year. It is usually shared by several generations and consists of fish, dumplings, spring rolls, glutinous rice cakes and sweet rice balls. To mark New Year, red lanterns are hung in the street, red couplets are pasted on doors and images of prosperity displayed. Fireworks are lit and it’s believed that the person who launches the first firework of the New Year will have good luck. Lion and Dragon Dances take place and these are intended to scare away evil, and attract health, wealth and wisdom.


To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

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So here we are, at the beginning of another New Year... We are all wondering why we needed to finish the Quality Street (even the toffees which we don’t really like!), polish off the last mince pies and generally over-indulge in all things nice! We could take a very philosophical view that it’s once a year and we enjoyed ourselves etc etc. Which is great and positive until we try and squeeze ourselves back into our jeans, which have either shrunk or our middles are a few mince pie sizes bigger! Ok, not that we’re going to panic. In keeping with tradition we are going to diet, join a gym and make ourselves thoroughly miserable for the next few weeks ;). Clearly though it will only be a few weeks of torture, as we quickly fall off the wagon, and comfort eat our way through the cold, dark nights! The solution? well lets take a breath, keep calm and try and plan a way to introduce some moderation back into our lives. The next few pages are full of suggestions on how to look after ourselves, alternatives to the gym and ways to address the resolutions we want to put in place. Be kind to yourselves, life changes are a marathon not a sprint, so take time to think and plan and I hope 2017 brings all that you want.

Fiona x


To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep All too often New Year’s resolutions seem to focus on doing more of what we don’t enjoy, and less of what we do enjoy. So this issue, we thought we’d give you our suggestions for resolutions you’ll actually want to keep. Learn something new Whether you want to get a qualification so you can get a better job, or you just fancy trying a new hobby, make 2017 the year you try something new. www.futurelearn.com is a good place to start. It offers hundreds of free, short online courses. Many are delivered by leading UK universities. You could try writing fiction, exploring digital technologies, or learning about forensic science. If you prefer face-toface tuition, check out the courses offered by your local college. You could improve your computer skills, take up a new craft, or find out how to delve into your family history. Enjoy time outdoors Nature is good for you. It’s been proven to help with depression, anxiety, stress and a whole lot of other issues. It may even help you to live longer. We know the great British weather doesn’t always make it the most tempting prospect. But if the sun breaks through the clouds, wrap up warm, pull your wellies on and head for your nearest green space. You’ll likely find you feel calmer and happier as a result.

Take time to cook Home cooked meals are usually much better for you than ready meals. They’re higher in vitamins and minerals, and lower in salt and sugar. So, try resolving to cook for yourself a few days a week. If you struggle to find the time, you could try a box scheme. Simply Cook, for example, post you the herbs, seasonings and recipes to make simple (but delicious) meals in around 20 minutes. You just add four to six items of fresh food and follow the instructions. Hello Fresh go even further. They send you everything you need to make a meal, including simple-to-follow recipes. Appreciate the little things We’re often so busy; we don’t get time to really appreciate the little things in life. A soak in the bath, your favourite radio programme, a chat with an old friend… Taking a moment to be thankful can make us happier and calmer, and improve our relationships. You could try listing three things that you’re grateful for before you go to sleep each night, or keeping a daily gratitude journal. Or just try to give thanks to the people you love a bit more often. Whatever your New Year’s resolution, we wish you all the luck in keeping it.

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A routine blood test last year picked up the fact that I had very high cholesterol. I am 48, healthy, have a low body mass index, eat very little meat, no dairy, and I exercise several times per week, so it had never occurred to me to have my cholesterol levels checked. It turns out I have hypercholesterolaemia – my body makes too much cholesterol, and now I have to take medication to control it so I reduce my risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease in later life. This got me thinking, and reading. What sort of medical checks should we be considering in our 40s and beyond? Midlife MOT The NHS Health Check Programme is a free screening open to anyone aged 40 to 74. It targets the top seven causes of preventable death: high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, cholesterol, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption – all the things that are more likely to cause us to become ill as we age and / or die prematurely. You’ll be asked about your lifestyle and family medical history, and have some blood tests. It was this blood test which showed up my own high cholesterol levels. Cervical smear Cervical cancer is most common in women between the ages of 30-35 but a fifth of cervical cancer cases 10

occurred in women over the age of 65 so it is vital to have regular smear tests. You should have one every three years between 25-49, and every five years after that. A smear involves taking a small sample from the neck of the womb, called the cervix, to check for any abnormal cells that might lead to cervical cancer. Almost all cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus, which is initially contracted by sexual activity. It may lay dormant for years before it starts to cause cancerous cells on your cervix. If you have bleeding between periods or after sex you should see your GP. Mammogram Breast awareness is very important at any age, because breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and affects one in eight women. A mammogram is an x-ray of both breasts to look for any changes that might suggest cancer. In Scotland, you will be called for your first mammogram between when you reach 50. Regular self-checking is incredibly important too. Familiarise yourself with your family history if you can. If you notice any changes to your own breast tissue, such as irregular lumps, bumps, or skin dimpling, book an appointment to discuss it with your GP.

To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

Health checks all women should know about... Eye examination

Bone density check

Most healthy people should have an eye examination bi-annually. But if one of your parents has or had glaucoma, or macular degeneration, or you have certain underlying medical conditions such as thyroid dysfunction or diabetes, or you are aged 70+ attending annually is more sensible.

The menopause can seriously affect bone health. Once we’re over 50 we are at risk of osteoporosis because a drop in oestrogen for a prolonged period can cause a loss in bone mass.

An eye examination can pick up early signs of eye disease, as well as discover whether you need spectacles. Glaucoma and wet macular degeneration in particular have a much better prognosis if picked up in the earliest stages. Bowel checks Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK yet accounts for the second highest number of deaths, so it’s essential to have regular tests. A test involves submitting a specimen of your stool for analysis through a postal self test kit. The test can detect tiny amounts of blood in the stool which may indicate cancer or precancerous polyps. Polyps can be removed before they go on to cause any harm.

If you have a family history of osteoporosis, are a heavy drinker or smoker, have rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s Disease then it is important to have your bone density assessed. Low radiation X-rays are used to take pictures of your spine and hips while you are lying down. You can also request a ‘bone turnover’ test. This is a urine test which detects whether you’re losing bone mass. If you are you may need calcium or vitamin D supplements. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Most test results will simply give you peace of mind but if a problem is picked up, treatment is more effective the earlier an issue is identified. Take charge of your health in 2017.

Everyone aged 60 to 74 is sent a free home test kit every two years from the NHS, but you can take the test if you are younger than this and it’s a good idea if you have a family history of bowel cancer. You can buy a testing kit from good pharmacies.

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New Year’s Resolutions … again! So, that’s it, Christmas is wrapped up for another year and the decorations have been put away till December rolls around again. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you still enjoyed a good break from all your norma routines and had the opportunity to recharge your batteries. I can hardly believe that we are embarking on another year. My family tell me I say this every year but it really seems like five minutes since January 2016 and here we are……January 2017 with all the promise and excitement of a bright and shiny new start.

We decide in our droves that January might be a good time to make all these major changes despite the fact that it’s dark and cold and we have just gone back to work and our old routines.

Last year was so eventful, for one reason or another and many people I met around November and December told me they would be glad when we finally exited 2016. There was even a post on Facebook, which showed a countdown to 2017 featuring weeks, hours, minutes and seconds. This suggested to me that people really thought that the January-December period itself had some special power for good or ill.

Make a good start to 2017 and see the positive changes you want to make as healthy, sustainable, new habits that will lead to increased motivation which will keep you going through the winter and beyond to the rest of the year.

Believe it or not, this is exactly the same kind of thought process which encourages people in their millions to declare that this is going to be the year when; • • •


They stub out their cigarettes for good. That gym membership will finally be used. It is time to quit that job which hasn’t fitted or suited for years.

It’s no surprise then that, by the third week in January, many of us will have abandoned those resolutions and slumped back into discontent. Why not make this the year when real change happens?

To find out how Hypnotherapy and Coaching can help you to create new, positive habits contact Francine. Don’t agonise ...Orrganise! Kindly provided by Francine at Orrganise Practising at Neroli, Dunblane & Woodside Pharmacy, Doune

To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

What the Heck is Hygge?

Lorna Clarke BSc Pod, MChS, HCPC Registered

Chiropodist & Podiatrist Home Visits

Tel: 07976 666 003 lornaclarke69@gmail.com www.dunblanechiropodist.com You’d have had to be pretty well snuggled under a mountain of blankets not to have heard about hygge this winter. Pronounced ‘hue-gah’, it’s all about creating a sense of cosiness, of coming together with friends and family, of revelling in simple pleasures. Think warm, fluffy towels, roaring fires and flickering candles. Think good, honest, home-cooked food, shared with friends.

Make 2017 the year you achieve those resolutions

Hypnotherapy & NLP Helping you achieve your goals


For more information contact Francine on 07772 401 634 or email francine@orrganise.co.uk

Don’t Agonise....Orrganise!

Hygge isn’t about buying ‘stuff ’, whatever the retailers want us to think. You don’t need to spend money to create a sense of hygge. Wrapping up in a snuggly jumper and going for a walk can be hygge, as can catching up with a friend over coffee. It’s about a feeling, not possessions. It’s about being kind to yourself, and to others. You could… • • • • • • • • •

Curl up in PJs and a snuggly blanket, drink hot chocolate and read a book. Light that scented candle you’ve been saving. Stop trying to multi-task; turn off your phone and focus on the moment. Bake some gooey chocolate chip cookies. Invite a neighbour over for a cuppa. Send a loved one a letter. Soak in a bath with a few drops of aromatherapy oils. Explore the great outdoors with your family. Turn off your phone.

While fashions come and go, hygge is one trend that’s very much worth indulging in. Enjoy.

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To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

Over 50? 60? Difficult to find a likable class? Susan, class teacher for nia Dunblane explains why nia offers a solution... “Particularly if you are over 50, 60, 70 or 80 you may be desperately looking for a fitness class that isn’t about weight lifting, fashion statements or complex street dance?” I understand - really I do! Have you perhaps tried “over 50s fitness” and find cardigans and crimpoline, tired boring music and box steps? Yes I’ve done that! Then I was lucky, I stumbled on a nia class at age 53. Worldwide for 35 years (but not highly promoted), for me, nia, is the class I always wanted. It’s great if you are uncoordinated, has glorious music and is absorbing and friendly and really enjoyable. Also, nia is more than just a fitness class, it has a health and wellness practice behind it - The nia Technique and it is here for the long haul, not just a quick fad. In my classes I have all ages from 20 to 80+, and will support different levels so that we may enjoy the vibrancy of all ages and abilities moving together, at their own level in ‘their body’s way’. Its ideal if you have a few aches and pains and want to get moving; get more agile and more supple and work on your coordination, but it also works if you want to lose weight and get your heart rate up.

You can think of nia as an exercise for those who never exercise, as the dance-workout you always wanted (because other dance-workouts were too complex or with unpleasant music), as a path to recovery after illness or injury, for weight-loss and for keeping active and healthy at any stage in life, 20s, 50s or 70s! nia is all those things to all those people. If you have had a hip replacement do come, if you are recovering from a stroke, please try. If you have young children you can do nia while they are at the Pre-school ‘Sparklalifive’ class at the Dunblane Centre and you will have a form of exercise that will last you for life. My daytime class at the Dunblane Centre has been running for a year and now there is an evening class too, held at the Braeport Centre.

nia is definitely not ‘just’ for over 50s, many younger people appreciate it as sustainable, pleasurable, effective fitness, but I want to give a big ‘shout out’ to those over 50 as, in my opinion, there is very little on offer, of high quality, and appealing for those of us who no longer want to be “gym bunnies”.

And the music -- ah the music -- it is from haunting flute, through to jazz, tribal beats through to soulful vocals and is from all over the world. Typically we like to do nia barefoot so we develop better balance and coordination, but soft shoes, socks or trainers are fine too. Over the weeks you pick up the nia ‘52 Moves’ which will make your movement even easier, more pleasurable and more effective towards fitness in class. One of the reasons you may not have heard about nia is that it is so hard to describe. In nia we move in a way that feels very different - you have to try it to see. Also nia Teachers bring different emphasis to class; so you will see lots of very different nia classes and descriptions online. I emphasise simpleto-master moves, great music and learning to move with more ease and in a less harmful way everyday.

Step into nia with Susan Simple moves Glorious music A beautiful class for health, wellness, fitness and friendship

Classes in Dunblane

Tuesdays 8pm Braeport Centre Thursdays 1pm Dunblane Centre www.stepinwithsusan.wix.com/nia-class

07881 652 814 susanirees@hotmail.com

Facebook: Step In With Susan

Mindful fitness to glorious music

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How Pilates can prevent you catching a cold. Legend has it that Joseph Pilates invented some of his reformer machines when he was interned on the Isle of Man during the first world war. Health conditions were bad and yet – according to Pilates legend – none of the prisoners fell sick during the infamous 1918 flu epidemic. Experts now believe that Pilates classes can help boost your immunity and protect against colds and flu. Famous for improving posture, joint mobility and core stability, Pilates exercises can also help to make your lymphatic and respiratory systems more efficient, both are crucial to your immune system. Our lymphatic system is our body’s waste disposal system. Toxins are filtered out by lymph nodes situated all around the body (mostly by our joints). The lymph is then carried by vessels back to the thoracic ducts (just by the collarbones), where the cleaned lymph is returned to the bloodstream. Lymph is moved by breathing, walking, intestinal activity, and muscle action. The rhythmic movements of a Pilates session stimulate blood and lymph flow. Throughout your Pilates class, as your muscles contract and release, lymph vessels are squeezed and lymph is pushed along and filtered through lymph nodes on its way back to the veins and the heart.’ Pilates breathing is a key factor boosting the immune system. One of the first things you learn in a Pilates class is how to breathe better, as most of us breathe far too shallowly. Try this simple breathing technique to boost your lymphatic system and maximise lung capacity. Whilst standing tall or seated, place your hands on your upper abdomen with your index fingers sitting just below your bottom ribs and middle fingers touching. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Inhale through your nose deep into both lungs until your expanded rib cage pushes your middle fingers apart. Exhale fully out of your mouth. Repeat 5 times. Could taking a Pilates class improve immunity and help you avoid catching a cold? Why not come along and try a class? We have new classes starting at Bridge of Allan Sports Club. To find out more contact Jacquie at Beaumont Body Shaping (07711 336 075)

PILATES CLASSES Our mat Pilates classes are suitable for all fitness levels so if you want to feel stronger, fitter and healthier - come and see what pilates can do for you!

Classes at Bridge of Allan Sports Club Tuesday 10am - Beginner/Improvers Pilates Tuesday 7.15pm - Mixed Ability Pilates (New) Wednesday 7.15pm - Men’s Pilates (New) Saturday 10pm - Mixed Ability Pilates (New) We also offer one to one sessions in our Stirling studio. For further information contact Jacquie Robertson on 07711 336 075 jacquie@beaumontbodys.co.uk www.beaumontbodys.co.uk

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To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

WIN LUNCH FOR TWO AT AUCHTERARDER 70 So another New Year is upon us, and we have promised ourselves a better work balance (again!) but this time we are determined to stick to it and what better way than to enjoy some family time at Gleneagles? We all know the heritage of this impressive hotel; championship golf courses, fine dining and luxury accommodation but they have another side which is less well known.... Although you will be warmly welcomed anywhere in the hotel, (there is a startling lack of stuffiness for such a prestigious venue) there is a new place to go. Auchterarder 70 is a newly opened informal restaurant and bar. It’s a great space, no prebooking required and offers the perfect combination of traditional elegance with modern comfort, but that’s not the best part. It’s dominated by windows which open up onto a view that is hard to drag your eyes from. Stunning in the sunshine but even in the more common ‘dreich’ weather, it is an ever changing, dramatic landscape that is truly compelling. Looking out over the King’s course, whatever the weather, from a warm comfy seat is hard to beat. But beat it they can, added into the mix is a selection of craft beer and a wonderful sharing menu. This means that you can take the family and after everyone picks their favourite, enjoy sharing a selection of dishes - sticky pork ribs and sliders, fish goujons or prawns, mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes (my personal favourite) and chocolate brownies and rice pudding pots, there’s lots of choices to tempt you! Their selection of craft beers are all brewed locally and include ‘Auchterarder 70’ a light lager brewed exclusively for them by Harviestoun.

get some professional guidance. They offer lessons to all abilities so they can help complete novices to those wanting to hone their already impressive skills with technical analysis with GASP software systems and more. Ultimately though, it’s all about enjoyment and remember junior lessons and family lessons are also available – just contact the Academy on 01764 694 343 or at gleneagles. golf.academy@gleneagles.com You may not know that there are many activities available at Gleneagles so if family golf isn’t your thing, then maybe horse-riding, archery, falconry or segways are?? Or simply a walk in the stunning grounds, so that you deserve the cake and other goodies that you enjoy afterwards! We are incredibly lucky to have these facilities on our doorstep, yet we often forget that they are available for our local community to use. There is no need to be a resident or member, everybody is welcomed.

WIN LUNCH FOR TWO AT AUCHTERARDER 70 For a chance to win, all you have to do is: email fiona@thewireweb.co.uk (with Auchterarder 70 as the subject) your contact details (name, address, contact number) or by post to Fiona: 75 Old Doune Rd, Dunblane, FK15 9FH.

Now if you really want to work on that life balance and add in some exercise, you might have noticed that this is the home of golf. No membership Closing date: midnight on the 1st February required, you can book your tee time and off you 2017. We will pick the winner at random on go. If you’re not quite as confident with a golf club, the 2nd February but all entrants will be Gleneagles is the home of Scotland’s PGA National notified of Auchterarder 70 news Golf Academy where you can book a lesson and Please mention thewire when responding to adverts 17

To floss, or not to floss… That is the question. Well it certainly has been the most popular question at the practice recently. At the tail end of last year a number of national newspapers ran articles questioning the benefit of flossing. As a result many people have been tempted to stay clear of this method of (or indeed any) interdental cleaning. What is interdental cleaning? Interdental cleaning is the removal of plaque and food from between the teeth, which your normal toothbrush cannot reach. It is easy to forget that your teeth have five surfaces. Your toothbrush is only able to clean the front, back and biting surfaces of the teeth but it can’t clean between the teeth. To clean effectively in here you will need to use either an interdental brush or dental floss. Why is interdental cleaning important? Leaving plaque and food between your teeth contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. Not to mention bad breath. In recent years, gum disease has been linked with serious health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, poor pregnancy outcomes and even dementia. So, which method is best?

Studies show that interdental brushes are more effective at removing plaque than floss where there is space for them to pass through. The brushes come in a number of different sizes so you can usually find one to fit. In very tight areas where you cannot pass any brushes through then floss is the method of choice. This means floss still has a place in oral health. So, in summary. We should all be cleaning interdentally once per day, using interdental brushes where they fit and floss where they do not. Kindly provided by Jamie @ Bridge of Allan Dental Care. 18

We can help with: • • • • • • •

family dental care white fillings metal free crowns teeth whitening implants anxious patients convenient appointments.

Phone or email NOW for an appointment on

01786 832 331

or info@bridgeofallandental.com 1 Union Street, Bridge of Allan www.bridgeofallandental.com

To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

“Natalie makes it such fun, I don’t even realise that I am working out. The classes are full of joy and laughter.” Katie danceSing is a new class combining dancing, singing and friendship. It has been created by professionally trained ballet dancer and fitness guru Natalie Garry. Natalie is passionate about helping people find balance and wellbeing in their lives through singing, dancing, fun and friendship in a relaxed and exclusive environment. So what happens at a danceSing class? Well, your first class is a FREE TASTER! There is always a friendly welcome and everyone is encouraged to work at a level that is appropriate to themselves and without pressure. First you sing with a professionally trained music leader. There is no audition and you don’t need to be able to read music. You just need to want to sing and enjoy yourself. Our songs are drawn from a variety of genres and are performed by a musician in the class. “I was told that I couldn’t sing at school. I realise that I can sing and it brings me such joy” Jane Recent research points to the many benefits of singing in a group. They include: a reduction in the symptoms of stress and depression | an improvement in feelings of wellbeing | an increase in life expectancy | an improvement in the symptoms of Parkinsons and lung disease | a more regulated heart beat | better posture The second part of the class is all about dancing. Natalie guides you through different genres of dance. The class is cleverly structured to work the whole body and includes cardio fitness elements, work on balance, strength and flexibility. The steps are broken down into achievable parts and build up over each term. danceSingers are very sociable and frequently go for coffee after daytime classes. We are becoming a family of friends with members attending more than one class and enjoying lunches, coffee and social activities. Natalie would like to invite you and your friends to a free taster and is looking forward to dancing and singing with you soon.

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Should I Detox?

No sooner have the half price Christmas puddings been cleared from the shelf, then we are faced with a variety of detox products- everything from fasting books to supplements. This invariably leads to clients asking me ‘Should I be doing a detox?’ I don’t think so, and here is why. Our body detoxifies itself every second of every day. Our lungs, kidneys, colon, liver and skin work tirelessly: the lungs exhale excess carbon dioxide; our kidneys filter our blood; the skin sweats; the colon excretes waste products and the liver metabolises toxins and produces bile to aid digestion. After the excesses of the festive season many of us feel sluggish, out of shape and possibly a few pounds heavier. All those rich, sugary, fatty foods and excess alcohol take their toll on our body. The trick then to feel better is to get back to a balanced diet made up of plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, protein (fish, lean meats, beans, and legumes), nuts and seeds. Replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats from plant oils. Minimise or exclude alcohol and caffeine, although I firmly believe ‘everything in moderation; including moderation’. The problem over the festive period is that we have shown absolutely no moderation and then wonder why we feel lousy! So where does this desire to detox come from? Is it to purge, to punish? The start of a new year is all about fresh starts, doing things differently and there is a great focus on improving health at this time of year. But we can do this in a way that is less gruelling to the body. Winter months are too early to start moving to salads: our bodies need nourished and warmed so hearty homemade soups, stews and porridge would be far better than raw foods and supplements at this time of year. A word of caution also for faddy diets that invariably appear. The current trend is for ‘clean’ eating. On 20

the face of it, anything that encourages us to eat more fruit and vegetables should be encouraged. However leafing through the recipe books, the ‘sugar free’ claims don’t hold: honey, dates and coconut sugar are technically ‘sugars’ too and coconut sugar is metabolised in the same way as granulated sugar-it just carries a heftier price tag. Basic good nutrition wins over any fads. In addition, these books often suggest cutting out food groups with no valid explanation. Carbohydrates have replaced fats as the new ‘no-go’ food but unless you have an allergy or intolerance, removing food groups could undermine your attempts at eating healthily by removing vital nutrients. We need to stop seeing food as the enemy and start seeing it as a way to fuel and nourish our amazing bodies. As a herbalist I use a variety of herbs which can help support optimal body function: milk thistle to repair liver tissue, bitter herbs to support digestion and a number of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants herbs which can be taken as teas or tinctures. I take a holistic approach advising on diet and lifestyle as well as tailoring herbs to meet individual needs. However, it all comes down to eating a balanced, healthy diet, and exercising regularly. And as for the excesses over Christmas? Forget about it, thankfully it only comes around once a year. We have a full year to prepare our bodies for the next onslaught….. Please consult with your herbalist or health practitioner before using any herbs medicinally if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on medication or have underlying health issues. Nikki Biddiss BSc (Hons), MNIMH, is a Medical Herbalist, Aromatherapy Massage Therapist and Cognitive Coach. She has a clinic in Napier’s, Glasgow and has her own practice in Bridge of Allan. www.botanicalhealing.co.uk or contact Nikki on 07528 341 206.

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every face tells a story Every story unique. Every story constantly changing. You may not understand what it’s saying, but we do.

We are skin therapists. We read skin. Start the year with great looking skin with our fantastic offer! Buy ONE dermalogica skin treatment and get a SECOND for just £1 To qualify, simply bring in or quote this advert.

Offer applies to: AGE smart® • UltraCalming™ • MediBac Clearing® • PowerBright TRx™ • microZone®

Neroli Beauty Salon 01786 821 818

9 Stirling Rd, Dunblane | ww.nerolibeautysalon.co.uk21 Please mention thewire when responding to adverts

4 Steps to A Healthy Relationship Keeping a relationship healthy and alive only takes little work, if both partners are on the same page and there are some very simple ways to do so. It is, however, also so easy to get swept away by life, work, our routines and just ‘things’ that we sometimes forget about not taking each other for granted. It is important to remind ourselves of this from time to time. Talk about what you think doesn’t matter Talk about all the little nothings and insignificant details of your life. Over time and because of normal day to day living and work pressures, we can grow in different ways, and forget to talk about the little things that we think don’t matter. Yet these often become the important things that tear us apart. So many people spend a lifetime together but don’t actually know each other anymore. They might know what sort of jam they like, how they take their tea in the morning, the way they scratch their nose and some of their habits, but they no longer know the person, what they stand for, or what matters to them. Do things apart One of the issues that gets brought to my attention is that a lot of couples feel they should do everything together when it comes to spare time. It may not be so obvious, but often one of the partners actually resents that and wishes they could have a bit more time for themselves, doing something they would enjoy more. We are not talking about routine activities here, or watching TV, but maybe opening themselves up to new horizons or hobbies. It is important to miss each other too, so you can look forward to sharing new ideas and having different things to talk about that aren’t what you already have in common. You are both still individuals, and doing things separately will actually deepen the bond. 22

Do things together At the other end of the scale, another issue I regularly come across is that whilst many couples do things together, such as going shopping or on holiday, they don’t spend any fun or quality time with each other on a daily basis. Unfortunately, routine kills so many relationships in so many ways! It takes very little effort from both sides to carry on creating nice happy memories instead of becoming strangers living in the same house, watching two different TVs in two different rooms, and getting stuck in a rut. Of course, there is a time for individual relaxation and winding down, but if there are any existing issues, the danger is that the rift will only deepen. Couples with young kids are a prime example of where it can go very wrong, as they do not create enough quality time together (if any). Time pressures are obviously high, but making sure you spend 30 minutes a day with your spouse could prevent so many problems down the line. Surprise each other Again, it sounds so obvious but so few people do it. That’s probably one of the reasons why women often think men have done something wrong when they bring them flowers… It just needs to be simple things, like the bath being run for when they get in from work, or breakfast in bed. Little attentions and feeling taken care of make anyone feel wanted - it shows that you are thinking about the other person and don’t take them for granted. Besides, who doesn’t like a nice gesture and a bit of consideration? After all, it brightens our lives and makes us want to do more for the other person. By Sophie Personne - www.successful-dating.com Sophie Personne is a Relationships Expert and Author.

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Helen McLean Podiatry BSc Hons, MChS, HCPC Registered A home visit service within Dunblane & the surrounding areas, specialising in general foot care and biomechanics.

Dunblane 01786 609 706 07795 836 400


Make 2017 the year that you fight back against pain and stiffness You can tackle muscular aches, tight shoulders, headaches, insomnia, and much more with effective massage therapy. Why not see if I can help you?

www.rosiebrownmassage.co.uk or email rosie@rosiebrownmassage.co.uk

Rosie Brown DSM Therapeutic Massage 07812 049 590 Dunblane

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SIGN UP AT WWW.DRYJANUARY.ORG.UK For more information contact Alcohol Concern at dryjanuary@alcoholconcern.org.uk

Alcohol Concern Registered Charity No. 291705 24

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DRY JANUARY is Alcohol Concern’s flagship behaviour change campaign. We have been changing the conversation about alcohol over the past 5 years. In 2013, with no budget for any marketing or advertising, Alcohol Concern spends £20,000 building a website where people can sign up to receive email help during the month. We promote the first year of the campaign with a partnership with the Daily Telegraph where AC Ambassador Alastair Campbell talks about his past drinking and columnist Peter Oborne tries out the month off booze. A debate about the usefulness of giving up alcohol for a month kicks off. Just what Alcohol Concern wanted. Lots of people are asking whether it will really make any long term difference though? So Alcohol Concern works with alcohol behaviour change expert Dr Richard de Visser from the University of Sussex. He volunteers for free to survey the people taking part in Dry January to see what effect taking part in the campaign has on them. He finds that six months after the campaign has finished, seven out of ten people have continued to drink less than before. Almost a quarter of the people who were drinking at “harmful” levels before the campaign, are now in the low risk category. The survey also shows that taking a month off drinking but still going out and doing things, people feel more confident turning down a drink when they don’t really want one. From a small thing done by a couple of people on their own, now Dry January is the new normal. A YouGov survey in early February 2016 reveals that a massive 16% of the adult population attempted to go Dry in January. Major pub chains announce they are stocking non-alcoholic beer in response to the demand from customers during January. New research from Royal Free Hospital backs up just how good a month off the booze is for the body; improvements in concentration and sleep patterns, as well as positive impact on blood sugar levels, blood pressure and the liver. Taking part in our campaign is a chance to ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline, and save some serious £££ by giving up alcohol for 31 days. Please mention thewire when responding to adverts



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VETERANS HEARING FUND The Royal British Legion has introduced a new Veterans Medical Funds programme providing support for veterans with hearing loss.

Feel better, move better and have more energy with SkyRocket Wellness. Personal training or wellness coaching from the convenience of your own home. For further details contact Louise Ramsay: Dunblane 07887 612912 louise@skyrocketwellness.com www.skyrocketwellness.com

The Veterans Hearing Fund (VHF) provides support to veterans who acquired hearing loss during Service where there is a wellbeing need that can not be met through statutory services (eg the NHS). VHF may fund hearing aids, peripherals or therapies (e.g. lip reading). Part of the application process will be completed and submitted by an audiologist who will agree what equipment or treatments would help improve your quality of life. For support & guidance with your application for VHF, contact David Willis at HASS Or you can call the British Legion’s Contact Centre on 0808 802 8080 (free) or email medicalfunds@britishlegion.org.uk

For a complete hearing assessment offering a bespoke service contact HASS Hearing & Audiology Services Scotland


David Willis M.B.S.H.A.A. Consultant Audiologist & Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser tel: 07940 811 264 or email: dwillishass@gmail.com

Cycling Services & Bike Repairs Dunblane-based family business

Martin Murray 07799 417 582 info@rootscycles.co.uk www.rootscycles.co.uk

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What NOT to buy HER for Valentine’s Day In the film What Women Want, Mel Gibson plays a man with the incredible ability to read women’s minds and is able to say, do and give them exactly what they want. If only it were that simple... On Valentine’s Day, a woman does NOT want to be treated like your mother, brother, cook or cleaner. So coming home with a pair of bed socks because she complained once of cold feet, is not night wear she’ll warm to. Presenting her with tickets for the match will not score you points (unless she’s a diehard footie fan, in which case do your worst), nor will the latest gadget to speed up house work. No woman wants new baking tins for Valentine’s Day either. Diamond ring – Yes! Flan ring – No! Free slimming club membership might seem like a good idea, especially if she moans constantly about her weight, but anything that hints she is looking fat or old will go down like a lead balloon. You might be safe with flowers, chocolates or perfume, but NOT if they are cheap! She can tell the difference between a £3.99 bunch of chrysanthemums and a £30 bouquet of roses even if you can’t. And a ring from Claire’s Accessories that turns green by Easter is definitely a no go area! Good luck as you aim for the impossible – to discover what women really want!


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Treasure Island by Alan P. Frayn

Shiver Me Timbers, it’s St. Blane’s Panto Time Again! Be prepared to laugh, boo & hiss on an adventure to “Treasure Island”


Place the numbers so each row, column and box contain the numbers 1-9. Good Luck!

St. Blane’s Church Hall Wednesday 25th – Saturday 28th January Evenings at 7.30pm plus Saturday Matinee 2pm Tickets: £6 (conc & children £4) Family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) £16 Available from 01786 824 075, at SmallPrint or at the door (Children of all ages encouraged to come along dressed as pirates!)

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Haddock Fish Cakes with Herbs and a Lemon Dressing Fish cakes are always popular and this combination of fresh and smoked haddock makes a flavoursome version. Alternatively try it with fresh and hot smoked salmon.

by Wendy Gudgeon Ingredients (serves 4) • For the Fishcakes • 225g undyed smoked haddock fillets 225g fresh haddock fillets • 500ml court bouillon or fish stock 450g cooked potatoes, mashed • juice and zest of 1 lemon 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped • 15ml each freshly chopped parsley, dill and chives • 1 egg, beaten seasoned flour • salt and freshly milled black pepper dried breadcrumbs • beaten egg olive oil and butter, to fry • •

For the Fresh Lemon Dressing 2 lemons, finely grated rind and juice

15ml icing sugar

200ml olive oil

Method • Poach the fish in the court bouillon for about 8 minutes. Drain and carefully flake the flesh. • Gently stir the fish into the potatoes with the eggs, herbs, zest and lemon juice. Season to taste. • Divide into 8 equal portions and shape neatly. • Pass through the seasoned flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly. Leave to chill for at least 1 hour until firm. • Heat the oil and butter in a pan and shallow fry the fish cakes until golden and crisp all over. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm. • Dressing: Place the lemon juice and icing sugar in a processor, or use a stick blender. • Gradually add the olive oil with the motor running until thick and creamy. Season to taste. • Serve the fish cakes on warm plates with the dressing poured round. Accompany with a lightly tossed green salad and lemon wedges.

Wendy Gudgeon Tel: 01786 824 487 wendygudgeon@yahoo.co.uk www.wendygudgeon.co.uk

Nominated Catering Finalists at The Scottish Wedding Awards 2016 30

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Scottish Oven Cleaning Ovens, Cookers, Agas, Hobs, Extractors, Appliances

Celebrate Burns Night with Bennetts... Order your haggis now! Recognised for quality for over 100 years Freshly cut prime meats Cooked meats and pies made on the premises Locally sourced products Experienced, qualified team


82 High Street, Dunblane. 01786 823 212


The Spice of Life – Cloves These dark, knobbly little spices are the dried flower buds of an evergreen tree which is native to eastern Indonesia. Cloves offer a uniquely aromatic taste to sweet and savoury dishes which evokes the tropical climates in which they are grown. Indeed, dating back to 200BC, Chinese courtiers would keep cloves in their mouths in order to freshen their breath when addressing the emperor. Then in the middle ages cloves were used to mask the taste of poorly preserved foods. Nowadays cloves are used for many dishes to enhance the flavours, rather than disguise them. Both whole cloves and powdered are available although whole cloves tend to be better for longer shelf life, lasting up to a year as opposed to 6 months with the ground variety. Also used for: In Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and also for dental pain in the West. Clove oil in toothpaste. In Pomanders

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Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

Roasting the cauliflower imparts a lovely sweetness to the dish and the mustard means you need less cheese so it’s better for that post-Christmas waistline!

Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the sauce 20g/¾oz unsalted butter 20g/¾oz plain flour Grated nutmeg to taste 250ml/9fl oz skimmed milk 40g/1½oz mature cheddar, finely grated 2 tsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard 15g/½oz parmesan, or similar hard cheese, finely grated

Method: • • •


Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas 6. Place the cauliflower florets into an ovenproof dish and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and starting to brown. Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan, then adding the flour and cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until a light golden colour. Gradually add the milk until smooth, and then cook over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly until thickened. Add the grated nutmeg. Reduce the heat then add the mustard and cheddar cheese. Put the roasted cauliflower into the sauce and mix so that all the florets are coated. Pour the cheese and cauliflower mixture back into the roasting dish, sprinkle over the parmesan and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown and the sauce is bubbling. Serve as a supper dish with a green salad.

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Fairtrade Fortnight: Monday 27th February - Sunday 12th March 2017

Playing Fair... The food on our tables, the tea and coffee in our mugs, all from farmers who toil, sweat and slog. However hard they work to provide the things we depend on, millions of farmers in developing countries aren’t paid what they deserve. It’s not a new problem. We need to amplify the voices of marginalised producers as much as ever in 2017. When we come together we can change the way people think about trade and the products on our shelves - the Fairtrade movement is made up of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their communities for Fairtrade. Your actions help shoppers to make choices that change the lives of farmers and workers. Join thousands of others across the UK this Fairtrade Fortnight to help our friends, neighbours, colleagues and communities to put Fairtrade in their break and take exploitation out. What is Fairtrade Fortnight and why do we need it? Fairtrade fortnight takes place this year at the end of February/beginning of March and aims to continue to raise awareness and change behaviour around this important topic. Research shows that whilst 78% of the UK population recognise the Fairtrade Mark, over 50% still do not actively choose Fairtrade products. The Fairtrade mark means that the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been produced by small scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet social, environmental and economic Fairtrade standards. These standards help to protect workers’ rights and environment. They also ensure payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price for the commodity, and an additional Fairtrade Premium which is invested into the business or community projects. It is now possible to buy around over 4,500 products officially branded Fairtrade including: Tea, Coffee, Bananas, Chocolate, Gold, Flowers, Cotton and Sugar. Sadly however, only 1.2% of cocoa and 10% of tea globally are traded on Fairtrade terms. Did you check the packaging for the Fairtrade logo when you last bought some tea?

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Beef and Vegetable Stew A traditional beef stew with thick, rich gravy - an ideal recipe for budget cuts of meat as slow-cooking guarantees a tender dish. A classic winter warmer dish.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

1 onion, chopped 2 large carrots, sliced 5 bay leaves A couple of thyme sprigs 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1 tbsp. butter 2 tbsp. plain flour 2 tbsp. tomato purée 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled 850g stewing beef, cut into large chunks 600ml hot boiled water

Method: • •


Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the kettle on. Put the onion, carrots, bay and thyme sprigs in a casserole dish with 1 tbsp. vegetable oil and the butter. Soften for approximately 10 mins, then stir in the flour, followed by the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock cubes. Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then add the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the dish and cook in the pre-heated oven for 2hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for between 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened. Serve with your choice of green vegetables and enjoy! To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

HISTORY, MYSTERY AND HALL CLOSURE of the Old School in Kinbuck in 1998, did not deter local residents from making use of the Victorian building. Built in the 1900’s, and used as a school from 1907, the school served the locals well. When it closed, sadly there were only 24 pupils attending. It is reported the school children would probably have sung ‘The Banks of the River Allan Water’. A song by M. G. Lewis based on a tragedy along the Allan river bank. Three textile mills were situated between Dunblane and Kinbuck. Miller’s daughter, Anny, married a soldier, the relationship turned sour, and she tragically died along the river. History aside, a community group was formed to maintain the school building as a venue for events such as Jazz BBQ, beer festival, Scottish Dancing, Crook Making, Hogmanay and Burns night, to name a few. The building has a large hall, excellent for sizeable gatherings, a smaller hall suitable for meetings/ smaller groups. With a modern, equipped kitchen, parking, and a pleasant outlook over fields and the River Allan makes this an ideal venue for YOUR event.

Across 7 9 10 11 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 Down 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 13 15 17 18 19 20

Type of poison (7) Mushrooms and toadstools (5) Female deer (3) Scene, vista (9) African river (5) Dumbfound, flabbergast (7) Art of paper-folding (7) Young armed services trainee (5) Eclair or Choux bun (9) Express an opinion publicly (3) Grieve (5) Incurred cost (7) Lively Spanish dance (8) Small island (4) Fisherman (6) Place out of line (6) Not considered important (8) Unpleasant, odious (4) Infect, pollute (11) Cunning, deceitful (8) Discouraged (8) Type of nut (6) Scary, macabre (6) Temporary outdoor shelter (4) Skin condition which causes spots (4)

Contact Secretary, Carole O’Connor on 01786 609 440 for details/costs.

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MoneySavingExpert.com Feature by Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert

Money Sins Are you a sinner? Financially that is. There are a host of everyday money misdemeanours that millions of people do, costing them thousands, without being aware of it. These aren’t horrors like grabbing a payday loan, but the result of simple misunderstandings, bad habits or inaction. So having recently toured around the UK doing roadshows for the sixth series of my ITV show, I’ve collated five of the most common. 1. Saving while you’ve expensive debts Savings rates are depressingly low – the top easyaccess rate is 1%. Credit card and other interest rates are depressingly high. So, £1,000 credit card debt at 18% costs it costs you £180 a year, the same amount saved in top paying savings account at 1% interest only earns you £10. If you had both, pay the debt off with your savings and you’d be £170 a year better off. Many of you will be thinking, “but I want to keep my savings, what if the boiler packs up or the roof falls in?” However, that’s a sentimental strategy, not a logical one. Let’s carry on the £1,000 debt and £1,000 savings scenario to show you why. •

If you don’t pay the debt off with the savings and an emergency happens that cost you £1,000 to fix, you’d use all your savings and still £1,000 of credit card debt. • If you do pay off the debt with the savings, and a £1,000 emergency happens, you’d need to pay for it on your credit card, meaning you still have no savings and £1,000 of credit card debt. The end result of them both is the same, yet by paying off the debt with the savings, you save in the meantime. The only exception is if the debt is at 0%. Then the financially savvy and disciplined can do what’s called stoozing, where you deliberately build up 0% debt only to save it and earn interest. Though with current saving rates so low, it’s not as easy as it used to be. Full help on that at www.mse.me/stoozing 2. Not at least asking your energy firm - are you on its cheapest deal? Most people in the UK are on their energy firm’s standard tariff, which typically means they’re 36

overpaying by £300 a year. I’ve talked about switching until I’m blue in the face, and, of course, the best plan is take five minutes to do a full market comparison via my www.CheapEnergyClub.com or any www.Ofgem.gov.uk approved comparison site. Yet for some that doesn’t hit home. So, let me be plain. Even if you won’t do that, just pick up the phone and ask your current provider “Am I on your cheapest tariff?” and, if not, switch to that as there’s no change but the price! For example, as I write (it can change daily), on EDF’s standard tariff someone with typical usage pays £1,070/year. It also has a 12-month fix at £880/year - £190/year less. British Gas’s standard tariff with typical use is £1,044/year, but it also runs Sainsbury Energy (i.e., it’s the same company but a different name), and its cheapest fix is £804/year – saving £240/year. This don’t ask don’t get saving works at all the big firms, so if you won’t do a comparison, at least do this. 3. Only making the minimum repayments on credit cards. Credit card minimum payments are based mostly on a percentage of the balance, which only just covers the interest. So, you hardly clear any off. A 30-year-old with £3,000 debt on a credit card at 17.9% interest, who made only typical minimum repayments, would take 27 years to clear it. By then, they’d be 57 and have paid a total cost £4,000 in interest (see my minimum repayment calc at www. mse.me/minrepay to work out how long it’ll take you). Now you may be thinking ‘easy to say, but I can’t afford more than the minimum.’ Well, I have a solution. On £3,000 debt, the current minimum is around £70 a month. If instead of opting to pay the minimum, fix your repayment at £70. The debt will clear in five years at a total cost of £1,500 in interest, saving £2,400. Though if you’ve debt on more than one credit card, focus all spare cash on repaying the most expensive, making only the minimums on the others. That way you get rid of the most expensive debts first.

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4. Don’t cover your home’s value on buildings insurance Your house price is the wrong figure; you only need to insure the usually much lower rebuild cost – literally how much it would cost to rebuild your home should it get knocked down. This is often far less than the market value. There’s information and a calculator on this at http://abi.bcis.co.uk. 5. Saving or borrowing to pay your children’s tuition fees I’m often freaked out by parents telling me they’re saved up so their child won’t have to pay tuition fees at uni. Worse, some even extend their mortgage. My problem isn’t just that it’s actually students’, not parents’ responsibility to repay this… All new English full-time students can get a tuition fee loan and a living loan to help pay for uni costs. You’re eligible to start repaying in the April after leaving, but only if you earn over £21,000, and you repay 9% above that. Repayments stop after 30 years. In many ways, it acts far more like a tax than a loan, and how many would save “in case my child earns enough to be a higher rate taxpayer”? An extreme example provides clarity. Imagine your child goes to uni and becomes a brilliant poet, who never earns above the £21,000 threshold. They would never repay a penny. So, if you paid the fees for them, you’d throw £27,000 away. Most of course will earn over the threshold. However only high earners will earn enough to repay in real terms what they borrowed within the 30 years. If not, again it means pay their tuition fees and you’re paying more than they’d need to repay. For most parents if you want to help them, a better thing to prioritise is building up a mortgage deposit. For far more on this see my mse.me/dontpayupfront guide. Martin Lewis is the Founder & Editor in Chief of Money Saving Expert. To join the 10 million people who get his Martin’s Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip

Cathedral Accounting Services

www.cathedralaccountingservices.com We are a local accounting practice who specialise in assisting small / medium companies and sole traders report on the past and plan for the future. We can provide a full range of accountancy, payroll, VAT and taxation services to your business.

Phone Andrew Hemming on 01786 821 895 or 07971 769 851

Robertson Jones Wealth Management Ltd We care and have the patience to explain and explain again without jargon. Guy Jones BSc (Mech. Eng), APFS

Chartered Financial Planner We help you with: • Local, bespoke, confi dential service. • Estate and Inheritance Tax Planning. • Retirement Planning. • Tax relief and tax effi ciency. • Long-term Care Planning • Investment growth and diversifi cation. • Protection.

To find out more, contact Guy on 01786 822 291

guy.jones@sjpp.co.uk www.rjwm.co.uk

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Inheritance Tax Receipts Continue to Rise Latest figures from HMRC reveal a 22% increase in inheritance tax (IHT) receipts in the 2015/16 tax year. This is a significant uplift from the average 12% annual increases that have been experienced since 2010. There are several factors which have contributed to the latest increase including rising property prices and the static IHT nil rate band. The nil rate band has remained at £325,000 since April 2009 and is set to remain frozen at this amount until April 2021. Clearly, the data reveals the importance of IHT planning to mitigate the impact of the tax on death. If the assets on death include residential property which has, at some point, been a residence of the deceased, a new relief may help to remove or reduce an IHT tax liability. The new relief – the ‘additional main residence nil rate band’ – is being introduced for deaths on or after 6 April 2017. The amount of relief is being phased in over four years starting at £100,000 in the first year and rising to £175,000 for 2020/21. For many married couples and civil partners the relief is effectively doubled as each individual has a main nil rate band and each will potentially benefit from the additional band. The HMRC data reveals that, for those with estates in the range £300,000 to £400,000, a significant part of the estate consists of a main residence and thus the relief will prove effective to remove an IHT liability. For larger estates, the HMRC data shows an increasing proportion of the estate consists of 38

shares and securities. Traditional planning to mitigate IHT for these assets, and widely used by individuals, include: • Claiming the exemption on the transfer of assets to a spouse or civil partner. This is the most common exemption to be used. • Gifting assets to charity. A charitable gift removes the gift from the value of the estate and also may reduce the rate of IHT on the remaining chargeable parts of the estate from 40% to 36% if, broadly, at least 10% of the net estate is given to charities. • Business Property Relief. Assets qualifying for this relief will bear no IHT. Business property includes shares in unquoted companies and therefore many shares listed on the Alternative Investment Market potentially qualify for this relief. It is also relevant to note in respect of larger estates that if the net value of the estate is above £2 million, the additional nil rate band is tapered away by £1 for every £2 that the net value exceeds that amount. For many individuals, the additional nil rate band will be important but you need to ensure that the relief will be available. If wills have been written some time ago, they may result in the tax advantages not being fully utilised. Please do contact us if you want advice on this matter. Kindly provided by A9 Partnership Ltd

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McIntyre FUNERAL DIRECTOR Established over 40 years

A Family Business providing a complete and caring 24 hour service. Floral Tributes & Monumental Masonry can be arranged.

Contact Joan directly on 07971 167 130 or 01786 825 050 7 Beech Road, Dunblane www.mcintyrefuneraldirectors.co.uk Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Braeport Centre News At the Braeport Centre we are always looking at improvements we can make. We are trying to make the Centre more energy efficient and comfortable for our users so are hoping to get funding for insulation, upgraded windows, etc. We are also looking at expanding what we can offer at the Centre. One of the things we are looking at is offering flexible workspace. Are you self employed? Work from home but need access to office space or meeting rooms? Looking for flexible serviced space in Dunblane? Dunblane Development Trust is doing some market research into demand for what to include future development of the Braeport Centre. Options might include • hot desking in a shared office, small offices with one or two desks, • small meeting /consulting rooms • pay-as-you-go booking by the hour, block booking of half day/ day per week If you have thoughts on this please email funding@dunblanedevelopmenttrust.com or complete our online survey by visiting our website.

Dunblane Development Trust: Community in Action

A company limited by guarantee | Registered in Scotland No.250969 | Charity No.SC034511 Registered Office: Braeport Centre, Braeport, Dunblane, FK15 0AT | Phone: 07748 219 937 40

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Thinking of selling or letting your home? Please contact us for a free, pre-sale or lease valuation of your property. We will provide an up to date appraisal that accurately reflects current market conditions and offer advice on how to achieve the best possible sale price or rent for your property. Our fee structure is very fair and competitive. Come and speak to us in our office in Dunblane or phone us for a no-obligation chat on 01786 821 012 6 Beech Road, Dunblane • 01786 821 012 • cathedral.ce@btconnect.com

Family Wealth Preservation | Wealth Management | Protection Planning | Retirement Planning | Lifetime & Residential Mortgages 01786 845 599 www.claritywealthservices.co.uk darren@claritywealthservices.co.uk Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority no. 623878

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Bob Robertson’s family have been providing funeral care to this community for the last 20 years and pleased that they are still expanding and improving the business. Their son Struan has now joined the business and is fully committed to maintaining the high standard of service they are known for.

The premises had been in need of upgrading and in light of the new legislation surrounding mortuary facilities, they have recently finished renovating the property to comply with all the new regulations coming in later this year, and to make the their offices as welcoming and comfortable as possible. Their new facade and signage, along with Robert Paul’s offices too, complement the building as a whole and now add to the charm of this corner of the High Street. Not only have they invested in improving the building, they have also purchased new vehicles. Top of the range and modern, they are already proving popular with families. “The feedback we are getting is that the cars are smart, comfortable, and something special without being over the top”, says Bob. “The Binz hearse has a glass roof which really transforms how the coffin looks with flowers on top, as they let in so much light”. This satisfaction not only makes the substantial investment worthwhile, but also adds to the special service they offer. Aware that the people in need of their services are at their most vulnerable, Bob’s gentle presence and his attention to detail is what sets their service apart. They believe that it is important to offer families freedom of choice whether it be a simple plain coffin or a regal casket, or as more people are looking for, the environmentally friendly option, a bio-degradable coffin. Choice of flowers, type of service, music and readings are also part of our service. We can also assist with catering arrangements whether it be at home or in one of the many local hotels, most of which now have ramps, level entry and disabled facilities. They are also pleased to offer Golden Charter plans to allow you to fully cover all funeral costs and tailor the plan to express individual wishes. Once the plan is paid for, either by lump sum or flexible instalments, it offers real reassurance for your family at a difficult time. If you want to know more about planning ahead like this, or about any of the services they can offer, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01786 822 844. 42

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ROBERTSON Funeral Director Ltd

Bob & Struan Robertson caring for your family in your time of need Funeral parlour with viewing facilities Golden Charter pre-payment plans

01786 822 844 07971 156 394

enquiries@funeraldirectordunblane.co.uk 100 High Street, Dunblane

Happy New Year from The Fling Committee! The Fling weekend in 2017 will be from Thursday 25 May to Sunday 28 May. But we’re also talking to a couple of organisations about linking with a couple of events on Sunday 28 – nothing set in stone yet, but watch this space…..and, in the meantime, get the dates in your diary. We started our planning meetings for the 2017 Fling in October, so we already have a few things organised. Some things will stay true to form, like the Jazz Night on Thursday 25 May at The Westlands, but as usual, we are trying to ring a few changes in the other events, in particular Fling by the River, on the afternoon of Saturday 27 May. This year, we think there will be a few ‘Games on The Green’ to add to the tug of war which has proved to be popular in the last couple of years. Any suggestions as to which games you might like to participate in? And not just for individuals, but pub teams, work teams, neighbours – we’d like to include them all. Let us know in the usual way, through our Facebook page. We’d also welcome any suggestions about acts for Fling by the River, or anything else you think would add to the fun on the day. And if one of your New Year resolutions was to get more involved in the community, but you’re not sure how, come and join us on The Fling Committee. We’re a friendly bunch, meeting about once a month (apart from the immediate lead up to Fling weekend, when there might be a few more). We would love to have you join us. Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


A Good Read

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion There have been several novels published in recent years which feature an autistic character; The Rosie Project is one of them. Don is a scientist working at a university in Australia. In his late 30s he is single and largely contented. His day is meticulously mapped out, and routine is a part of everything he does. He is never early (a waste of precious time) or late (rude and puts everything out of time), and can’t abide small talk. He also has lobster every Tuesday. As the novel opens he is lecturing on Aspergers at a conference but it is not a lecture from a personal perspective. Don is undiagnosed yet many friends and parents of those on the spectrum will identify his traits. A chance conversation with the conference organiser leads him to consider if he can apply scientific methodology to the search for a suitable partner, and The Wife Project is born. Readers will warm to Don, and his naïve approach to relationships and life in general, and anyone who is currently negotiating the dating minefield might wonder if it would all be easier with the aid of his questionnaire?

North Child by Edith Pattou This Young Adult novel is published by Usborne Books. Based on the Norwegian fairy tale ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’ this sweeping fantasy story is set in the snow-covered lands of Scandinavia. Legend has it that children born facing north are destined to travel far from home and die, crushed under ice and snow. When Eugenia’s eighth and youngest child is born her belief in superstition leads her to fear for her daughter’s future. She lies about the circumstances of Rose’s birth but it would seem that fate cannot be deceived by a lie. As Rose grows up she feels out of place in the family and longs to travel, with a desire for adventure. Her unease, combined with a wanderlust means that when a white bear appears and offers her family a way out of poverty and ill-health if she will come away with him to a land far away in the north, she readily accepts. Here she meets a mysterious stranger in a castle hidden in a mountain. Who is he and why does he only appear at night? Faced with challenges she discovers her purpose in life in a tale of love, betrayal, and adventure. This rich story will appeal to readers from the age of 10 upwards and is a great introduction to epic fantasy.


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Available on short or long term leases, located in Dunblane. Units from 90 to 1070 sq. ft Shared car parking & kitchen areas Available Now For further information contact Andrew Mitchell on 01786 824 506 andrew@amcounting.co.uk

• LED, LCD & Plasma screen wall mounting. • All types of aerial and satellite work.

Call James on 07979 354 440 or email


Word Search List Adams Arthur Buchanan Bush Carter Clinton Coolidge Eisenhower Ford Garfield Grant Harding Harrison Hoover Jackson Johnson Kennedy Lincoln Madison Monroe Nixon Obama Pierce Polk Please mention thewire when responding to adverts

Reagan Roosevelt Taft Taylor Truman Trump Tyler Washington Wilson Missing presidents Cleveland Fillmore Hayes Jefferson Mckinley Vanburen Names which should appear twice Adams Bush Cleveland Harrison Johnson


Full S.T.E.A.M ahead for STEM If you have children of primary and secondary age, then you’ve probably been hearing a lot about STEM. It’s the latest buzz approach to getting children (and, dare I say it, adults) excited about the world of science. What’s really refreshing is the move away from geeky science silos and integration with other core subjects that transform everyday life in the modern world. Standing for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, STEM recognises that science has, and always will have, a vital role to play in shaping our world. An initiative started to pique interest in the sciences as the number of children selecting science options plummeted in the UK and the dearth of girls in particular, was recognised, STEM has recently undergone its own mutation as Arts has been added. The newly extended STEAM recognises the need to engage and retain children’s interest although arguably, well-chosen facts, projects and experiments (be it the ubiquitous bicarbonate of soda volcano or equally enthralling fizzy paint) should certainly pique interest! At the heart of STEM is the notion that science, engineering, technology and maths are infused in the everyday lives that we enjoy, as well as the not so every day events of space missions. Far from being the preserve of a few, science is for everyone; a message beautifully reinforced by the discovery in 2012 of a new molecule – Tetranitratoxycarbon. In case you’re interested, not created in a lab by a white cloaked scientist, but rather the accidental creation of a ten-year-old! Growing up, as I did, with visits to the Royal London Homeopathic hospital a part of my childhood and potions like arsenic (the seemingly counterintuitive solution to back pain) I’m fascinated that a whole new scientific method called ‘toxineering’ has recently been discovered, which is the art or should I say 46

science of turning venoms into toxins. As a mother of a teenage daughter myself, I was thrilled when she chose to take triple science. Who knows where this might lead her, be it finding a cure for cancer, advancing genetics or criminology, or saving the planet from the effects of our actions, one thing is sure, with a solid foundation in science she can help change the world for the better. A love of science can start from a myriad of tiny seeds of thought planted in the home, like gardening, sprouting seeds or baking, all science-rich activities. Cooking is certainly one area where S.T.E.A.M comes to the fore… Science covers the way the ingredients interact with each other to produce an awesome cake or bread. It’s fascinating to watch the effect baking soda, self-raising flour and vinegar have on a cake or how sifting or whisking add air and change the finished product. Then there are opportunities for exploring solids and liquids and change with cream, chocolate and eggs. Technology has transformed how we cook something and whether to steam, fry, boil or microwave? Take the humble potato and you can explore what and how all these different methods work to give us the perfect jacket or fry. Technology also helps us find the perfect recipe, with the internet so accessible to budding chefs I wonder if people still buying cook books are a dying breed. Engineering the perfect recipe takes practice and skill, and often a fair amount of muscle power too! Art can take many forms, from Culinary Art to colour mixing, from using different toppings on a pizza to form a smiley face, to the presentation of a meal. Maths is essential to creating the perfect dish or bake. First of all, the ingredients need to be correctly

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Cantab Piano Tuition weighed and measured, then the sequence needs to be followed in the right order and the right size tin or size spoonful of mixture need to be used. Recipe for enjoyment There is nothing better on a cold winters evening than enjoying together a comforting meal, cooked en-famille. Cooking helps to develop children’s independence, makes them feel useful and responsible, expands their repertoire of culinary competence and helps them experiment with their taste buds. Try family favourites like toad in the hole, scrambled eggs or scotch pancakes or maybe something a little more adventurous like lasagne. The skills and knowledge gained from following a simple recipe does wonders for a child’s self-confidence, especially when seeing the family enjoying their food at meal time. And for younger children, getting them to help prepare a yummy pudding, like a crumble, where they have to get their fingers into the mix has the added benefit of providing a wealth of sensory fun.

It’s all Child’s Play

Feature by Sue Gascoyne of Play-Z Ltd

Beginner and Refresher Courses Young People and Adults Experienced Qualified Tutor

For more information contact Clive on 01786 359 937 or email: clivewright1954@hotmail.com

Arnhall Nursery is a private day nursery that provides high quality childcare from birth up to 5 years. We have pre-school grant funded places available & have been graded Excellent & Very Good by the Care Inspectorate in our recent report; the nursery is set in the beautiful rural surroundings of the Keir Estate on the outskirts of Dunblane with ample car parking. Open all year round from 7.30am to 6.30pm All meals included, home cooked by our in-house chef Fully qualified and trained staff For further details or to arrange a visit please contact the Nursery direct on 01786 822 391 Keir Estate, Dunblane, FK15 9NU www.arnhallnursery.co.uk

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World Braille Day World Braille day is celebrated on 4th January each year. It marks the birthday of the inventor of the tactile code, Louis Braille. The day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of issues facing the blind and partially sighted, and to encourage the continued production of materials in Braille. Louis created Braille at the age of 15 in 1824. He had been blinded in an accident at the age of 3. Braille is a series of bumps and indentations on a page which represent letters and numbers. It is used for reading and writing by the blind and visually impaired. The code is arranged in small rectangular blocks known as cells with raised dots in a 3x2 pattern. Louis was inspired to create Braille after a visit to his school by the army captain Charles Barbier who demonstrated a military code known as night writing. Night writing was a series of dots and dashes which soldiers used to send and receive messages at night without speaking. It wasn’t until 2 years after Louis’s death that Braille was adopted as the official communication system for blind people in France. It is now used on a global scale and was officially recommended in the UK from 1870 by an organisation which became the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Royal National Institute of Blind (RNIB) Scotland works on behalf of 180,000 people in Scotland with sight loss. They deliver services their members need and campaign for their civil and welfare rights. Supporting children, young people and adults with sight loss to live full and independent lives, and to work with others to help minimise preventable sight loss. The RNIB have a helpline, contact them on 0303 123 9999 from Monday to Friday 8.45am to 5.30pm or email: helpline@rnib.org.uk or call their Edinburgh offices on 0131 652 3140.


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Quality Childcare and Education, from Birth - 11 years Open Monday-Friday, 8am - 6pm

Outdoor Education | Child Centred Approach Speech & Language Therapy | Sibling Discount & NHS Staff Discount Part-time/Full-time and Flexible Sessions

Call us to arrange your unique viewing!

Tel: 01786 821 950 (select option 2) Email: enquiries@bertramuk.com

www.dunblanenaturekindergarten.co.uk part of the Award Winning Bertram Nursery Group Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Dunblane Centre NEwsletter Message from Gemma, Centre Manager Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you have all over indulged with festive food and had a great time with family and friends. We had some time to reflect on 2016 and what a year it was. We had a really successful 2016 thanks to our fabulous customers and supporters so thank you. In case you missed it, some photos of our fabulous panto casts!


Photos ourt.panto: Whitee.and the Magnificent Seven (dwarves) To advertise in thefrom wire 07720Snow 429 613 fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

Looking ahead to 2017 and we have a great year planned. Our senior citizens programme is growing this year to include lots new activities; there’s a great calendar of events with all your favourites and some new ones too; our garden project is nearing completion and we look forward to the launch in the spring and coming soon. Put some dates in your diary:

Youth Burns Supper Saturday 21st January 2017

Join us for our annual Burns Supper where our young people will lead you in an evening of fabulous Burns poems and songs with Ted Christopher entertaining us with the Immortal Memory. A feast of haggis, neeps and tatties will be on offer. Get your tickets from the Centre, cost is £10 for an adult and £6 children.

Table Top Sale Sunday 29th January 2017

£10 per table If you’re clearing out after Christmas then take a place at our table top sale. Come along and have a browse – you never know what you might pick up. We’ll have bacon rolls in our café to help the selling and shopping as well as soft play out to entertain the little ones.

Cocktails and Cabaret Friday 24th February 2017

£10 per ticket A new favourite on our events list, join us for another rendition of Cocktails and Cabaret; a night of fantastic musical entertainment by our talented adult performers and hosted by the fabulous Bee Fiarse Beaujambes. Tickets for this sold incredibly quickly last year so get yours early to avoid disappointment. Full bar will be available including some yummy cocktails. Over 18s only.

Show registration

Registration for our Show in a Week and Show in a Week Senior will take place on Sunday 5th February at 12 noon. Registration forms are available from the Centre or drop us an email performingarts@dunblanecentre.co.uk and we can send this across

Show in a Week (P1 – S6) Presents: Cats Rehearsal week Monday 7th August – Friday 11th August. Shows Friday 11th and Saturday 12th August

Show in a Week Senior (S1 – S6) Presents: Les Miserables Rehearsal week Monday 9th October – 15th October Shows: Thursday 18th October – Saturday 21st October

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COCKTAILS AND CABARET Friday 24th February 7.30pm, Dunblane Centre

A new favourite on our events list, join us for another rendition of Cocktails and Cabaret; a night of fantastic musical entertainment by our talented adult performers and hosted by the fabulous Bee Fiarse Beaujambes!

Tickets £10 • Full Bar • Book early to avoid disappointment Full Bar • Over 18s only Call the Centre on 01786 824 224 e: contactus@dunblanecentre.co.uk www.dunblanecentre.co.uk 52

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Dunblane Centre NEwsletter Fitness

Work off those mince pies, chocolates and turkey dinners with our fabulous fitness classes. We’ve got some new additions to the timetable and to the instructor team so pick up a copy of our most recent timetable today from the Centre!

JANUARY DEAL Introduce a friend or someone new to Pilates and you both get the class half price!! (Applicable to Tuesday and Thursday morning Pilates only)

S Dunblane Centre YOUTH NEW Youth Worker

Andrew has now moved on and we wish him all the very best in his new role! It has left a gap in our wee staff team and we’re now advertising. We’re looking for a dynamic Youth Worker, with a proven track record to lead and develop a broad programme of youth activities and recruit/manage a pool of volunteers. You should be flexible, imaginative, with excellent people skills and experience working in a community setting. If this sounds like you or someone you know then pick up an application pack today from the Centre or email gemma@dunblanecentre.co.uk Closing date for applications is Friday 27th January 2017 5pm

All youth activities including Youth Club and Friday Night Project

will start back week beginning 9th January and will run until February school holidays. For specific activity times and prices, pick up our youth programme from the Centre. We’re looking forward to welcoming you all back

As always, you can keep up to date with everything we’re doing on our social media pages: facebook.com/Dunblanecentre or @DunblaneCentre

Contact us: 01786 824 224 e: contactus@dunblanecentre.co.uk www.dunblanecentre.co.uk Dunblane Youth and Sports Centre Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity SC027397 Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Beaconhurst transistion goes to dynamic earth! Transition Science visited “Our Dynamic Earth” in November as part of their learning experience. The pupils enjoyed a range of different activities which included a ‘hands on’ workshop looking at meteorites and volcanoes. Pupils were also made aware of the fragility of Earth’s ecosystems. As part of Eco-week some of the pupils had constructed a ‘core sample’ of the Earth’s Crust to highlight the layer of slowly degrading plastics and other man-made materials that humans are adding to the planet. This was presented to Dynamic Earth at the end of the school visit.

School Jotters

I enjoyed the show dome because it told you about the small and big details. I learnt that meteorites can carry water which could be used to fuel a space station or satellite. You can’t go to Mars and back being a human because they cannot carry enough fuel. The idea is to create a fuel station in space and use meteorites to provide fuel from water and oxygen too. Struan Craig We went on an elevator through time….or just an elevator but it made it look like a time machine. Then we ended up on a space ship and we watched the big bang. It was really cool. Miles Johnston

St. Mary’s Takes Over Smith Museum! St Mary’s EPS has had a very special history topic called Shaping Our Nation. We worked on this in partnership with the Smith Museum and our topic was launched by having a night at the museum sleepover for P4-6. Throughout October and November all the classes in St Mary’s EPS were preparing different parts of the project for when they took over the Smith Museum once again – to share their learning. P7 started their World War 2 topic. They used an app called ‘Morfo’ to make key figures in WW2 come to life. Primary 5/6 were doing, People Who Shaped Our Nation, for example William Wallace and Sir Alexander Fleming. They chose four important people throughout history and gave persuasive speeches to try to prove who they thought was the most important and influential, our parents had to vote based on how persuasive we were. Primary 3/4 were learning all about Romans and used their knowledge to create, from scratch, and perform, an opera called ‘The Pottery Promise’. They did all the composition, instruments, script, acting and props themselves! Primary 1/2 were learning about jobs in the olden days and how these people used jobs to help other people. They made a blacksmiths, a castle kitchen and a school and set these up in the museum. On Tuesday the 29th of November the day came for sharing our learning and everyone was very excited but also nervous. The museum, as normal, was open to the public but family members were given a special invitation to visit the museum. Everything was set and ready to go. There were 2 sessions, the first session was a great success and a quote from a parent was “It’s amazing how you have managed to do all this so well!” Some children had a packed tea at the museum which went down very well with the pupils, before more guest came to hear about our learning in the evening. The day was a great success with the whole school coming together as a big team. Some quotes from the pupils of St Marys were “I think it was a brilliant learning experience for me from the aspect of our WW2 topic.”(Lukas P7) “I learned more about being a team and about William Wallace.”(Chiara P6) It is safe to say that history was really brought life through this way of learning and sharing. By Archie, Vienna and Madeline 54

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Ambitious. Caring. Resilient.

Discover the Beaconhurst Way Open Afternoon Thursday 9th February, 2.30 - 4.30pm Please come along and see what we have to offer, meet the staff & pupils and have a tour of the campus.

Beaconhurst School www.beaconhurst.com | 01786 832 146

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School Jotters

P7 Transition and Responsibilities by Ryan and Holly P7 has been a fun year so far, we get to buddy, monitor, go to the high school for transition days and go to Dalguise. In P7 we get the opportunity to buddy, this is where we get to look after P1 and become a buddy to them. It is a good opportunity as we are helping the P1s have fun and make friends. On the first day of school we showed them around the school so they didn’t get lost. It was really fun to go outside and play with the P1s. During monitoring it is our job to be inside and make sure no one is messing around, we do not shout at the younger children that come inside if they are hanging about, we ask them to go outside politely. We have really enjoyed all the extra responsibilities. On the first ever high school transition day the NSPCC came to the high school to teach us about children’s rights and we also learned about internet safety. We did a music lesson with one of the music teachers and another teacher taught us a bit of science, it was really interesting! During the next transition day we did some outdoor learning, we did 3 different activities in P.E with the Sports Captains and PE teacher, we also did some orienteering. For our residential trip we went to Dalguise. We stayed for 3 days and 2 nights, in that time we did giant swing, zip line, canoeing, obstacle course, blind folded obstacle course and burn walk, it sounds like a lot but we did even more than we’ve written and it was all really fun! We got to mix with children from Newton Primary and St Marys who might be in our classes at High School. The accommodation and food was good and it was all really fun!

Dunblane Primary School P1R Toys by Lara and Orla S P1R have been learning about toys. A letter came from Santa to ask us to learn about toys from the past and we were so excited! We learned about ball games, board games, dolls, construction and push and pull toys. We made our own ball games called a cup and ball game. We did lots of activities and got to play with different games. We had a teddy bear’s picnic and we brought in our teddies. We described them using words like furry and soft.

P4H The Kitchen by Eden A P4H have been visiting the kitchen this term to learn cooking skills like learning to read recipes, weighing and cutting food with sharp knives. We have all learned how to make scones, crumbles, soup and cookies. I think soup was the easiest because there wasn’t too many ingredients but some people found cutting a bit tricky. Cookies were the most difficult because we had lots of ingredients and everyone was rushing around trying to add them all. We all enjoy cooking in the kitchen and we can use our skills from class in the kitchen.

Skills for Life, Learning and Work As part of our curriculum this year we are looking at Developing our Young Workforce. We are looking to build up a bank of people from the local community who are comfortable with coming to the school and talking to the children about their jobs, the skills they use within them and the journey it took to get there. These sessions will involve a short talk followed by a question and answer session, if there are any practical activities that you think would be beneficial, these can be incorporated in. Class Teachers will then take responsibility for contacting parents if and when they are needed. If you would be interested in helping us with this please contact the school via email (dunbps@glow.sch.uk) or phone (01786 822351). 56

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It’s fun... Learn one of the world’s oldest musical instruments! There are spaces available in January in a music group for children aged 8 and upwards who’d like to learn to read music and perform in a group, using handbells as the instrument. They are fun to play and the instruments are provided for you so there’s nothing you need to bring with you. You quickly learn both how to read music and to learn the playing techniques in a team so you’re having fun learning together with others. And you’ll be rewarded with a badge and certificate within just a few months! You can just turn up on Sunday 8th, 15th, 22nd or 29th January at 5.30pm at Dunblane Cathedral Hall - the first session is free! Get in touch if you have any questions, by telephone 01786 825 387 or email handbells@dunblanecathedral.org.uk

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School Sport Success! Earlier this term we were delighted to be awarded our GOLD School Sport Award from SportScotland. The School Sport Award is a national, Lottery funded initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education (PE) and school sport opportunities. We are one of two primary schools to have been recognised with the GOLD award within Stirling Council. Our Principal Teacher, Mrs Brown, worked really hard with our Active Schools Co-Coordinator and the P.7 Build Up group to complete the application and collect all the information needed to show all we do for sport at Newton. We are looking forward to hosting a celebration of sport event where Steven Coulter, from SportScotland, will be coming along to present our award to the whole school. As part of our event we will be recognising and celebrating our many parent volunteers, staff, pupils and Active Schools partnerships who support us to offer so many different experiences to our children. The P.7 Build Up group will be working with Mrs Brown and our P.E Specialist Teacher, Mrs McLachlan, to deliver a range of sporting activities throughout the day.

School Jotters

Newton Primary School

‘Christmas Counts’ at Newton Primary 1 & 2 pupils were excited to perform their Nativity show, ‘Christmas Counts’. All pupils worked hard - singing, performing and perfecting their lines for the shows! Counting was at the heart of the performance with the storyline following a group of census-takers around Bethlehem on Christmas night, carrying out Caesar’s orders that everyone in his empire should be counted. Pupils and teachers would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the parent and carer volunteers who helped them with costumes, scenery and props in the run up to the shows! We are very proud of all the children. 58

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Celebrate Burns Night The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life: a night to celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns, the national Bard. Suppers can range from an informal gathering of friends to a huge, formal dinner full of pomp and circumstance. Robert Burns came from humble origins and in his short life (he died at 37) wrote a great number of poems, and collected and preserved many traditional Scottish songs. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire on 25 January, 1759 to poor tenant farmers, and was the oldest of seven. He wrote his first love poems at the age of 15, largely to impress girls, and his interest both in poetic expression and women never left him. In fact, in his short life he fathered 12 children, nine of them with his wife, Jean Armour. He was immensely proud of his Scottishness and of his working-class roots – both of which are keystones of his poetry. When he was 25, his father died, and he and his brother took over the running of the farm, without much success. He was about to move abroad to seek his fortune, but changed his mind after his first volume of poetry was published, gaining him a degree of financial success and an influential fan base in Edinburgh. After the money from the book ran out, he got a job as a customs officer, and, inspired by the thinking behind the French Revolution, began to explore more deeply the concepts of social inequality. Many of his new poems explored the disparity between rich and poor. A good example of this is A Man’s A Man for a’ That. It wasn’t just Burns’ opinions about the divide between rich and poor

that gave his poetry a powerful appeal around the world: he explored everything that resonates with the human condition. Love (see A Red, Red Rose), desire, human foibles and hypocrisy (see Holy Willy’s Prayer) and the natural world (see Composed in Spring) were all subjects that he absorbed and interpreted, and that is why he is still deeply admired across the planet. The first Burns Supper was organised by Robert Burns’s friends and was held on the anniversary of his death, July 21, five years after his death. However in the 1800s, the first Burns clubs were established to mark the poet’s birth date on January 25, 1759. The date has been embedded in our national consciousness ever since. The centrepiece of any good Burns’ Supper menu is the iconic haggis, or as the bard himself described it, the ‘great chieftain o’ the puddin’race’. All washed down with the finest of Scottish whisky! Though all that whisky might lead you to expect a rather chaotic affair, Burns Suppers are traditionally very structured. The haggis is brought in to bagpipe music, and toasts – from the traditional toast to the haggis to a humorous address “to the lassies”. Burns’s life and work is remembered, and the evening ends with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne!

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“I don’t believe it!” This well-known catchphrase muttered by Victor Meldrew, many times during the episodes of One Foot in the Grave, may well have been used by thousands of people on both sides of the Atlantic in the past year. Firstly, by a large percentage of UK citizens after the result of the Referendum on opting out of Europe; and secondly, just a few weeks ago by millions of US citizens after the Presidential election decided Donald Trump will be the next US President. From a more local perspective, the same phrase was possibly uttered by either, or both, Jamie and Andy Murray on attaining the No. 1 World Ranking in their respective tennis disciplines. Similarly, most of the public still believes that a Rotary Club has a membership which is mainly made up of old retired business, and professional, MEN!! Nothing could be further from the truth. A nearby club, just outside Glasgow, has an average age of less than 30!! There are also many Clubs with nearly equal numbers of female members as their male colleagues. Unfortunately, our Club’s average age is not quite so low, but is still well below the national average; and our ratio of female to male members is above 14%. Our objective in the coming year is to lower further the average age, and to improve our female to male ratio. It is appreciated that many younger people work extremely long hours, or have extensive family commitments, or indeed both; but being a member of a Rotary Club does not involve a huge amount of time. Our weekly meetings rarely last for more than two hours, most of which is centred on enjoying a convivial meal with fellow members. Our high profile events are infrequent, and usually only last for the few hours of a members’ time which is most convenient for them. In addition, there are a number of social and sporting events to enjoy. Why not visit the Club’s website to find out more. Better still, make it a New Year’s Resolution to come to one of our Thursday evening meetings at the Westlands Hotel and see for yourself. You will be most welcome. President Nick Rawlings, the Council and members join together to wish all readers a very happy and successful New Year. 60

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Beaconhurst’s senior swim team are celebrating after taking first place at the Central Schools Swimming Championships. The pupils won Gold for the first time since the school began taking part in the annual competition eight years ago. Meanwhile, the junior swim team took second place following the competition at the Peak in Stirling. Overall, Team Beaconhurst was awarded 13 golds, eight silvers and one bronze at the Gala with 11 pupils narrowly missing medals in 4th place. The swimmers’ impressive results mean a number of pupils will go forward to compete at the Scottish Schools Swimming Championships. Beaconhurst’s Director of Sport Judith Graham was delighted with the pupils’ performances at the Gala. She said: “These are our best results ever and, after coming a close second for the past two years, it was great to finally take first place in the senior competition. “It was the parents of two of our swimmers, Jamie Eason and Jack Towers, who initially got Beaconhurst involved in the contest and since then we’ve built up the swimming club to become an essential part of the school’s sports programme.

Dickson who both won gold medals in each of their two individual events. They were also part of the junior boys `A’ relay team – alongside Struan Craig and Sebastiano Pacitti who took first place and knocked 10 seconds off their Personal Best team time in the process. The senior school’s two mixed relay teams took second and third place in their races which had a big impact on gaining the points which led to their overall win. Other notable performances saw Logan Eason win one gold and two silver medals - scoring 16 points for his team – for his individual events and he also won silver as part of the second placed mixed relay `A’ team. Triathlon scholars Daniel Hesp and Sophia Green both won golds in each of their two individual events while Daniel was part of the relay `B’ team who came third and Sophia was in the `A’ team which won a silver medal. Mrs Graham said: “Both the senior and the junior teams had been practising hard with their coach Helen Tobin in the run up to the competition.

“We also had some work experience students from Stirling University and our two Sports Prefects, Jodie Currie and Liam Nelson, helping out with coaching. “Jodie and Liam are both swimmers and they were “It was a great achievement for the senior team to passing on their own experiences and tips to the come first and they all showed excellent team spirit.” younger pupils which was a big help and it’s great Standout results from the Gala included junior to have such good role models in the school.” school pupils Cameron MacMillan and Murray “We now have a Swim Scholar Logan Eason, who is Jamie’s brother, and lots more pupils taking part in competition and achieving good results.

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School Jotters

Beaconhurst Swimmers Make A Splash At Championships


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Play Time

Music & Movement Classes for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers Wednesdays at the Braeport Centre, Dunblane Colourstrings is a world-renowned approach to music education with singing and live music at the heart of every class. Songs, rhymes, action games, percussion instruments, dancing and movement are used to create an active and stimulating music experience. Children are taken on an adventure through Musicland where they develop their sense of pitch, pulse and rhythm in a fun, motivated and structured way.

Anyone who has watched a young child open presents will notice that she is often more interested in the packaging than the contents. Whenever you receive a delivery, leave the empty boxes around to see what children make of them. Imagination alone is often enough and a child will pretend that the box is a cave, house or vehicle. Or the child may ask for help. Resist the temptation to take over. Ask what the child thinks could be used for wheels (paper plates?) or headlights (shiny foil?), although you could leave lots of suitable items around as a prompt, along with sticky tape, string, glue, paint etc. If the child is unable to make something stick with glue, ask what else could be used instead. She will feel a great sense of achievement if she finds her own solutions. Likewise, with the use of scissors; explain the dangers, show what to do, say “I know you can do it!” Kindly supplied by Wee Acorns Nursery

Please contact us or pop in to find out more Perth Road, Dunblane 01786 826982 wee.acorns@hotmail.co.uk www.weeacorns.co.uk

”Colourstrings is a family-centred and a child-centred educational philosophy, programme and technique which, with the help of music, desires to strengthen a happy childhood.” Dr. Géza Szilvay, founder of Colourstrings Colourstrings was developed in Finland in the 1970s by Dr Géza Szilvay, a Hungarian-born violinist. Colourstrings Music Education is based on the principles of Zoltán Kodály, a Hungarian composer, educator and ethnomusicologist who developed a systematic approach to music learning through singing and folksong. Kodály believed that children should learn the fundamental elements of music through singing games and rhymes, before learning an instrument. What makes Colourstrings different? • Colourstrings is not a franchise but an approach to music education which is internationally acclaimed by music professionals and educators. • Colourstrings teachers are music graduates who have undertaken the Colourstrings training qualification (a process which takes at least a year) and who are highly trained in early years pedagogy. • Live music is at the heart of Colourstrings, with singing and instruments in every class. • Colourstrings strives to make every child a creative, confident music-maker. Children who follow a Colourstrings programme will become musically literate before learning an instrument. Colourstrings Dunblane classes are delivered by Yvonne Wyroslawska, a music educator and early years specialist.

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CINEMA Latest Film Releases La La Land

The story of Mia, an aspiring actress (Emma Stone), and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician (Ryan Gosling), struggling to make ends meet while pursuing their dreams in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. With modern day Los Angeles as the backdrop, this musical about everyday life explores what is more important: a once-in-a-lifetime love or the spotlight.


Jackie is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.

The Lego Batman Movie

A spin-off film featuring Batman from the 2014 film The Lego Movie. There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker’s hostile takeover, he may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Taking place shortly before the events of the original 1977 classic Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Rogue One charts the desperate resistance mission to seize plans for the terrifying Death Star. It's the first in a thrilling new series of stand-alone spin-off films. Under the visually stunning direction of Godzilla and Monsters filmmaker Gareth Edwards, a terrific international cast prepares to launch into a whole-new galaxy of excitement. 64

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Live By Night

Feature adaptation of the crime novel “Live By Night” written by Dennis Lehane. It’s the Roaring `20s and Prohibition hasn’t stopped the flow of booze in an underground network of gangster-run speakeasies. The opportunity to gain power and money is there for any man with enough ambition and nerve, and Joe Coughlin, the son of the Boston Police superintendent, long ago turned his back on his strict upbringing for the spoils of being an outlaw. But even among criminals there are rules, and Joe breaks a big one: crossing a powerful mob boss by stealing his money and his moll.


Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Buster Moon a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal-some might even say delusional-optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

A Monster Calls

Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is dealing with far more than other boys his age. His beloved and devoted mother (Felicity Jones) is ill. He has little in common with his imperious grandmother. His father has resettled thousands of miles away. But Conor finds a most unlikely ally when the Monster (Liam Neeson) appears at his bedroom window one night. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth that powerfully fuses imagination and reality.

Eagle Huntress

Aishol-pan, a 13-year-old girl, trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently reject the idea of any female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan’s father, Nurgaiv, believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she’s determined

Collateral Beauty

When a successful New York advertising executive (Will Smith) suffers a great tragedy, he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. When his notes bring unexpected personal responses, he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Happy New Year from everyone at Struthers & Scott

Our practice has dedicated vets & nurses who are experienced working with all types of small animals and exotics, so you can be sure that, we at Struthers & Scott, will give your pets the very best care. A wide range of services and diagnostic equipment including digital x-ray machine, state of the art scanner, endoscope, in-house laboratory blood analysers, and full surgical suite for routine and emergency procedures. We offer Pet Health Plans which allow you to spread the cost of your routine and preventative treatments over the year.

All breeds catered for in a quiet, friendly environment. Clipping, Bathing & Shampooing, Nails clipped Contact Linda on 01786 822 421 or 07592 908 043 Glencairn, Doune Rd, Dunblane linda_aitchinson@hotmail.co.uk www.dog-grooming-dunblane.co.uk

We are lead stockists of Hill’s life stage and prescription diets and are proud to retail at very competitive prices. We also stock a range of flea, tick and worm treatment and prevention products. Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling Service Nurse Clinics Pain Clinic Feline Only Clinic (Wednesday 6-7pm) Ample free parking

For more information or to book in, please contact the Practice on

01786 841 304 www.struthers-scott.co.uk e: info@struthers-scott.co.uk 70, Main Street, Doune 66

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Winter Warmers for Safer Pet Ownership

With the New Year behind us we are truly in the depths of the winter months. We have already been dealing with the shorter day lengths and by using reflective collars, halters and leads we are ensuring visibility to motorists and the like. But what else can we do to improve our pets lot during this cold season?

toes and become quite uncomfortable to walk on. If walking on gritted surfaces be aware that the chemicals and salt added can irritate pads grazed by the grit; and be sure to wash off from underbellies as well as paws when you get home otherwise poisoning can become a reality when your pooch cleans himself after walkies.

It may not be obvious that slim dogs with short hair can, and do, feel the cold. Without the dense undercoat that many breeds have, for example huskies, they can be susceptible to hypothermia. Maybe you have a very young cat or dog? Maybe they are older? Like children and older people, pets will feel the cold, doubly so if they suffer from arthritis. Indeed, the cold will aggravate conditions like these. Rather than curtail their walks consider getting them a coat; fleecy lined for warmth with a wax outer to help keep them dry. Most dogs will be fine running around exercising but do consider those who just like to mooch around; they can chill easily.

It is all too easy as we know to pile on the pounds during the winter months... And this goes for our cats and dogs too! Without a doubt the shorter day lengths, colder and wetter weather mean we do not get out as often or for as long or as regularly as we do in the finer summer months. It is a good idea to monitor your pets weight and food intake and adjust accordingly.

With the arthritic cat or dog consider providing a padded bed with a heat pad, hottie or hot water bottle for them to snuggle into; they will thank you for it in the long run! All cats love a warm spot, we have one that used to sleep on a ledge up our chimney (remnants of an oven from days gone by) so do be careful of open fireplaces, wood stoves and radiators as burns are a reality. Worth checking puss’s paws if you suspect she has been too close for comfort! The further north you live, the more likely your winters will involve hard frosts and snow. Did you know it is not unusual to see ears, noses and paws with frostbite? Consider the paws of dogs and be aware that snow and ice can ball up between the

Antifreeze poisoning, the dreaded ethylene glycol, is a real and serious threat to our pets (and children) and not uncommonly treated in the winter months. Puddles under cars from over filled radiators or drips left to run down bottles in garages are accessed by both cats and dogs. Sweet tasting and palatable even small amounts cause serious kidney failure and can be fatal. If you suspect ethylene glycol is the cause of your pet’s lethargy do contact your vet, as with all poisoning, the quicker the treatment is started the better the outcome. Finally, please ensure rabbits and guinea pigs hutches are well insulated and out of prevailing winds; ensure they have sufficient bedding to snuggle down into. As with all animals check water supplies are topped up and not frozen. Time to stretch those legs and get out on that walk...happy hiking folks.

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Ocean Reef Bathrooms Renovations, Design Service, Tiling & Decoration Plumbing & Installation by own qualified fitters

Call John for more information or come & visit our showroom

01259 928 283 or 07967 647 433 18 Bridge Street, Dollar www.oceanreefbathrooms.co.uk


All types of joinery work undertaken, internal and external. Fitted kitchens, DIY furniture etc. All types of plumbing work undertaken. Installation of bathrooms, showers and ceramic tiling, storage tanks & pipes unblocked Cleaning of gutters and downpipes, drains unblocked. Special reduction for OAPs Scaffold can be supplied and erected for maintenance to soffits, fascias, gutters, chimneys etc.

Contact us on 01786 824 478 or 07749 023 484

no job too small ... we do it all! 68

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up to

50% off WInter Specials

Call for a home appointment or visit our showroom NOW!

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Auto-biographies by Tim Barnes-Clay Motoring Writer at www.carwriteups.co.uk

All New Kia Niro Hybrid vehicles are in vogue these days – or so it appears. Will this technology take over the conventional power plants we know one day? I don’t have the psychic wherewithal to tell you. But a lot of automakers seem to be following this trend – and now it’s Kia’s turn. The all-new Kia Niro hybrid is propelled by an orthodox 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine, paired up with a 32kW electric motor. There’s also a lithium-ion polymer battery where energy is saved. This layout is like with the one in Toyota’s Prius, and manages an official combined mpg of up to 74.3mpg, alongside CO2 emissions starting from 88g/km. The Niro is larger than its relative, the Cee’d, yet more pocket-sized than its other relation – the attractive and admired Sportage. The all-new Kia Niro is the South Korean car company’s first attempt at a hybrid crossover type of vehicle, but you wouldn’t know. Sure, there are copied elements, such as white plastic adornments inside the cabin, especially around the inner door handles. These are, undoubtedly, inspired by Toyota, but you can let Kia off because every car manufacturer ‘makes use of’ ideas. It’s a fashion thing and, by its very nature, fashion is all about making certain you’re ‘down with the kids’ on the hottest style. The new Kia Niro’s body is rectangular, but it’s not at all disagreeable. The Niro has a simple, fetching form, that has hints of Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) about it. At the front, the Sportage’s genetic material comes through – most markedly around the headlights. What’s more, the rump of the all-new Niro is easyon-the-eye, with a conventional tailgate decorated with touches of silver trim. The all-new Kia Niro will seat four-adults comfortably, or five at a squeeze. The load area is a decent size – certainly large enough for a regular sized family’s needs. The steering wheel is pleasingly thick to grasp and the switchgear and dials are intuitive and clear to use. The only difference between the Niro and a conventionally powered car is an energy flow meter replacing the rev counter. There’s also a drivetrain pictorial showing the energy stream between the Kia Niro’s engine, battery and wheels. 70

On start-up, the all-new Kia Niro sounds like it’s not turned on. That’s because, as with all hybrids, the engine under the bonnet doesn’t cut in instantly. Instead of any tick-over sounds, you hear a chime, signifying that the Niro is running. It’s not long before the 105PS petrol powered unit makes its presence known, though. On the road, the Niro delivers even-tempered performance, thanks to a six-cog automatic gearbox. And, while the Kia Niro is no out and out performer, the additional power the petrol engine receives from the electric motor is appreciable. The all-new Kia Niro also feels planted and deals with the straights contentedly. It’s only on more blemished B-road surfaces that the Niro’s firm suspension results in a bit of jitteriness. The Kia Niro has to have a stiff set-up, though, to cope with the extra heft of the hybrid assembly. Luckily, there’s a silver lining to every cloud and this firmness means that body lean is hardly noticeable in corners. The all-new Kia Niro hybrid comes in four levels of trim, categorised ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’. All are well-appointed with driver assistance, comfort, and connectivity features. Every Kia Niro has a lane-keep assist system, hill-start assist control, cruise control and a speed limiter. The new car also comes factoryfitted with support smartphone connectivity, music streaming and a DAB radio. Pros ‘n’ Cons • Efficiency √ • Handling √ • Practicality √ • Kit √ • Unhurried Pace X Fast Facts (Kia Niro ‘First Edition’ tested) • Max speed: 101 mph • 0-62 mph: 11.1 secs • Combined mpg: 64.2 • Engine layout: 1580cc 4-cylinder petrol + 32kW electric motor • Max. power (PS): 141 (combined engine + electric) • CO2: 101 g/km • Price: £26,995

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A Dunblane based business offering a wide range of services Specialists in: • Internal/ external painting and decorating • Plastering and tiling • Pointing and render repair • Gutter cleaning and repair • Removal of moss from roofs • General DIY • Seasoned hardwood logs for sale

Call for a FREE quote on 01786 826 992 or 07882 040 613 or email homeworx@hotmail.co.uk www.homeworx.org.uk


82 10 10

4 & 7 seater taxis available


Dunblane School of Motoring Grade 6 Instructor Over 30 yrs Experience Block Booking Discount Free Motorway Lesson 01786 82 52 82 07767 355 411


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Find the 3 hidden phrases


PAUL c h a r te re d a rc h i te c t s 01786 825 575

info@ paul-architects.co.uk www.paul-architects.co.uk 102 High Street, Dunblane

W. Wilson & Sons

YOUR LOCAL GAS SPECIALIST Install and Service of Boilers, Cookers and Gas Fires including LPG Gas and Oil Boilers Gas Safety Checks & Legionella Risk Assessments (Tailored Landlord Packages) Domestic & Commercial Gas Repairs Aga & Range Cooker Specialists

t: 01786 842 225 e: info@wilsonsgas.co.uk

3 Murchison Park, Stirling Rd, Doune


b u i l d i n g y our d r e a m s

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Decluttering – the KonMari Way Marie Kondo is a Japanese ‘organising consultant’ whose method for decluttering is taking the globe by storm. Called KonMari, the method is actually pretty straightforward. If something you own doesn’t ‘spark joy’, get rid of it. Simple right? KonMari isn’t for everyone, and Kondo certainly has a few somewhat bizarre suggestions. (Seriously, who has the time to unpack every item from their handbag, every evening?) But most of her advice is practical, easy to follow and actually makes a lot of sense. She also dips into the psychology of why we hold on to things, and why we should let them go. Kondo recommends collecting every item in a particular category and going through them in one go. So, for instance, you’d lay every item of clothing you own on the bed or floor, pick up each one and if it doesn’t ‘spark joy’ add it the charity pile. With this approach, you get the shock of realising just how much stuff you actually own, and are more likely to discard items than if you just flick through them when they’re in a drawer. She does, of course, make some concessions for items you really need but that don’t particularly spark joy. The main idea is that you should stop hoarding stuff that you might use one day, clothes


that you only ever wear when the washing pile is teetering over, and items you feel guilty about getting rid of. Kondo also has some good advice when it comes to what to do with the things you keep. She advises against buying expensive storage solutions, and using shoe boxes to keep things tidy instead. She also recommends storing things vertically, e.g. folding clothes so that they can be stacked on end, meaning you can see them, rather than having them buried under other items. I’ve found this useful, to an extent. It does mean I can find a black t-shirt easily, but that I might have to unfold several black t-shirts to find the one that has the motif I want. Kondo lives alone, and it does feel sometimes that her method is mainly aimed at other single adults. She recommends leading by example, the idea being that if you get rid of clutter, your family will follow you. That has not yet happened in my house I have to say. Nevertheless, I have got rid of several bin bags and boxes full of ‘stuff ’ since reading her book and have felt surprisingly relieved about doing it. If you fancy trying the KonMari method for yourself, her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, can be ordered from most libraries and book stores.

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Curtains By Elaine Curtains, Roman Blinds, Pelmets, Cushions & Throws Free advice at your convenience for design, manufacture and fit. Supply a wide range of fabrics & matching wallpapers, curtain poles/tracks and tie backs. We refurbish homes, room by room at your pace. Contact Elaine for advice 01786 823340 or 07867 754702 curtainsbyelaine@hotmail.co.uk Wedderburn Road, Dunblane

• Grass cutting • Shrub pruning • Planting • Hedge trimming • Tree work • Weeding • Lawn renovation and treatment programmes • Low maintenance gardens

For more information, contact Ian on 07909 796 658 or email:

forthdimensiongardens@gmail.com www.forthdimensiongardens.webs.com

Mackie Electrical Services Electrical Contractor & Minor Plumbing Work (not gas) Mobile 07770 516 463 or Phone: 01786 841 852 Approved Electrical Installer All work guaranteed, tested & certified • • • • • • • •

Member No: 13023

All types of electrical work carried out Domestic & Commercial New build & extensions Rewires & alterations Fault finding and repair Condition reports for landlords and home reports Bathroom updates & Shower installation Electrical & plumbing work on new kitchen installations

Visit www.mackie-electrical.com for more information

Tam Mackie email: tam@mackie-electrical.com 8 Leny Road, Deanston, Doune

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kitchens • bespoke furniture • bathrooms • project management

Front Street • Braco by Dunblane • FK15 9PX • 01786 880 489

www.bracodesigns.co.uk 76

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“Celebrating the end of 2016 and looking forward to helping you in 2017. Happy New Year!” from John, Willie and Craig (and their better halves of course!)

John McLaren Approved Electrical Installer Established 1965

We’re here for all your electrical needs Create a safer home with Modern Circuit Breakers

Willie and Craig are on their way to install the “all singing, all dancing” new consumer unit with the built in safety that goes with it and the certification that will please your insurance company.

RONITE Heaters

Made to replace storage heaters but will actually enhance any cold spot in the house, very efficiently.

L.E.D. Lighting is proving a great success and costs are greatly reduced. We also carry out annual PAT testing, landlord safety checks and can help you meet the requirements in commercial premises too. As a member of our governing body SELECT, all our work is guaranteed, tested and certified.

Call us for more information t: 01786 823 533 Willie: 07899 877 822 or Craig: 07436 815 247 e: john_mclaren@btconnect.com Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Stirling’s Garage Door Specialists Up & Over and Sectional Manual & Automated Garage Doors


Garden Maintenance & Landscaping Snow Clearing & Gritting Services Tree & Hedge Cutting Hard and Soft Wood Logs available Moss Removal (Roofs, Paths & Walls) Fencing & Decking Slabs Laid Pressure Washing Gutter & PVC Cleaning

Up & Over or Sectional Garage Doors Matching Side Doors Roller garage Doors Operators Sales, Servicing & Repairs

Looking after ALL your outdoor space

t: 01786 474 709

For an affordable quote contact Blyth on Dunblane 07926 963 081 brgardening@btinternet.com Argyle Grove, Dunblane

info@kaygaragedoors.co.uk www.kaygaragedoors.co.uk

Key Garage Doors, Unit 1 Pheonix In Estate Springbank Road, Stirling, FK7 7SG

Plant of the Month: Winter Jasmine A welcome sight in the depths of winter and early spring, the bright green stems display masses of cheerful star-shaped golden-yellow flowers, they can also be white or pink. As an evergreen climber or loose shrub, this jasmine will happily grow by twining stems against a wall or fence in sun or partial shade, and it makes a wonderful addition to a winter flowerbed, leaves are small but the bright flowers can be up to 2.5cm in width. Easy to grow in well-drained, fertile soil with minimal maintenance. Needs some form of support. Will grow up to a height of 1.5-2-5 metres within 5-10 years.


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Landscaping, Design & Construction

Kare Gardens Complete, professional garden care service from a local company * planning * designing * creating * landscape supplies

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Paving & Landscaping Specialist All types of Paving, Slabbing & Monoblocking Driveways, Patios, Paths & Surfacing Work Garden Walls, Fencing and Property Maintenance. Garden Clearances Powerwashing service for driveways patios etc. Gutter cleaning. Contact Bryce for more information

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The Big Garden Bird Watch

In the depth of winter garden birds bring us so much pleasure. Squabbling on feeders, their colours and songs brighten gloomy days. Birds play a vital role in our gardens’ ecosystems. They are feathered pest controllers, eating everything from snails to aphids to wind-fall fruits. If you’d like to attract more birds to your garden there are several things to consider. Lots of people hang up a bag of peanuts when the weather turns grim then become disheartened as it hangs there unused. So here are my handy tips. Food - When I was a child my dad told me to only feed birds in the winter, but now the experts advise putting out food all year round. There is a dizzying array of bird food available but a good starter mix includes sunflower seeds, canary seed, hemp and husk-free oats. Use a good tube-style feeder and clean it regularly as a build up of bacteria and old food can kill birds. If squirrels are a problem you can by rodent-proof feeders. I also have one tube-feeder which is set within a sort of cage which keeps larger birds out, letting the smaller ones access the food unimpeded. Protect birds from prowling cats by planting something prickly and ground-hugging around the bird table or feeder – Berberis darwinii is a good one, but you can also confound cats with a collar, which fits around the bird table stand and prevents them from jumping up.

for drinking and bathing. A sloping bath is best to accommodate different bird species, and add a flat stone or two to aid with getting in and out! Keep it topped up and check daily to see that it hasn’t frozen. If it has, melt the ice with warm water. Your feathered friends will thank you. Plants - Birds like cover so plant shrubs, trees and climbers. If you can manage it a mixed hedge of hawthorn, holly, dog rose, and rowan offers cover and food, and is also very pretty. Train honeysuckle and ivy over arches and pergolas. Pyracantha ’Soleil d’Or’, Cotoneaster frigidus ‘Cornubia’ and rambling roses that will produce lots of rosehips are great for house walls and fences. If you have room for a tree try the bird cherry (Prunus padus) or a crab apple such as Malus ‘John Downie’. Nesting - Dozens of bird species make use of nest boxes. Put up new boxes now because birds use the winter to scope out good breeding spots. If you already have boxes, take them down, remove any old nests and rinse the boxes with boiling water to sterilise them. Come the spring put out some extra nesting material for them to grab: sheep wool, pet hair, wool scraps can all be pushed inside a wire cage or a terracotta pot. Hopefully this has given you some ideas. And don’t forget to take part in The Big Garden Bird watch on January 28th and 29th

Water - A supply of clean water is very important 80

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Turfi ng & Grass Seed • Garden Features • Domestic & Commercial Paving • Drainage • Patios & Decking Driveways • Brick & Stone Work • Concreting Terracing Hard & Soft Landscaping • Fencing Please see our website for more details on how TRACKS can help with all your garden projects

www.tracksme.co.uk 01786 822 900 / 07773 367 617 tom@tracksme.co.uk 82

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Your local Hardware Shop We carry a wide range of products from basic decorating items to building products. Delivery - Any timber can be delivered for a small charge Our Prices are competitive and quotes are available on request. We carry a wide range of Fencing, Decking, Mouldings, Finishing’s and Sheet Materials. All of our timber and sheet materials can be cut to your own required measurements. We are now selling bin stores for a very reasonable price, which can also made to your own required size! You are very welcome to come and visit our premises and have a look around. One of our friendly members of staff will help and advise you on your DIY projects! Easy to find, parking on site. Why not try here first?

Doune Woodyard Ltd, Lochill Industrial Estate, Doune, FK16 6AD 01786 841 204 sales@dounewoodyard.co.uk

Lochil Ind. Estate & Doune Woodyard To Thornhill

Petrol Station


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Sexy Rexy or Buxom Beauty? The snowdrops maybe in full bloom right now, but as February marks the month of love, there is another flower which cannot go unmentioned. This is of course the Rose. Roses have been the symbol of love for hundreds of years, and where would our florists be without them? Come to think of it, where would men be without them? We’d have to make a decision as to which single flower to purchase, to show our affection to our intended. Roses had a great ‘boom’ period in the 60’s where homeowners and councils alike, removed geometric shapes from their lawns, creating island beds filled with roses. Equally spaced and pruned accurately, these hardy, woody shrubs lived on for years and examples of these schemes can still be witnessed. Associated with bare soil, manure, flat caps and the dreaded ‘P’ word (pruning), these woody and often stumpy plants, with their short lived blooms in vile colours, would eventually be seen off with a white talcum powder like coating of powdery mildew by late summer... I really don’t understand why they ever went out of fashion!!! Well thankfully those days are gone, and I reckon it’s about time our roses made a 21st century comeback. Just as Dahlias did a few years ago, I think roses deserve a second chance. Some of the modern roses with great pest and disease resistance and an instinct for repeat flowering, have been bred with the old fashioned 84

sweet smelling types to make wonderful garden plants. In addition, there are roses for every situation, from pergolas and pots, to hedges and even partially shaded walls. They look great planted in a mixed border, especially when underplanted with a free-flowering hardy Geranium. It’s not too late to buy your bare root roses, but act quickly, as ideally they need to be in the ground before the end of the month. Soak the roots in a bucket of water for around 30 minutes, while you dig a very generous hole about 40cm deep and 30cm wide. Incorporate well rotted manure or compost into the planting hole and plant slightly deeper than you would normally, so the graft (knuckle) is under the ground. Back fill with soil and firm well. Don’t prune until next month. And as for the variety you choose, be it Rosa ‘Sexy Rexy’, ‘Buxom Beauty’, or one of the more sophisticated named cultivars, be sure to go for a repeat flowerer with great scent. Other jobs to do this month include: • Pruning deciduous shrubs such as • Berberis • Prune Clematis (type 3 / late flowering • types only) • Prune Wisteria • Order seed potatoes and onion sets Until next time, happy Valentine’s Day!

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SRC Landscapes Ltd Dunblane based company, est. 1997

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Stay up to date on our facebook page & look out for new seasonal ranges & gift selections

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On Saturday 10 December Choices Deli in Dunblane was the scene of great merriment – and a few tears – as customers gathered to say Thank You and Goodbye to Nico and Patricia who were retiring after 27 years in the business. Gifts of flowers and champagne had been arriving for days, testament to the high regard and affection in which this much loved couple are held. We welcome the delightful new owners, Scott and Kim, who seem very much at home already and we raise a toast to Nico and Pat, wishing them a richly deserved happy and fulfilling retirement.

Library News : Storytime dates 19th January and 2nd and 16th February at 10.30am Bookbug dates 12th and 26th January and 9th and 23rd February at 10.30am German Bookbug Saturday 14th January and 4th February at 10am Dunblane Library runs a book group which meets every 4 weeks, we will meet at 2pm on the 20th January and at 2pm on the 17th February, new members are always most welcome.

Dunblane Library 01786 823125 | dunblanelibrary@stirling.gov.uk


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Dunblane in Bloom would like to thank all of our supporters and sponsors and wish them a happy and prosperous New Year.

Stirling Wine Society Stirling Wine Society is a friendly group of people who enjoy tasting wines from all around the world. We meet once a month on the last Tuesday of the month during the winter at 7.30pm in the Smith Art Gallery and Museum. We invite local wine merchants to bring along a selection of wines on a theme and to tell us a little about the wines, where they come from and any interesting details of how they are made. This year we have had presentations from Woodwinters bringing wines from South Africa, Rhubarb Lime delicatessan from Kippen with a selection of Italian wines, Waitrose championing New Zealand wines and Majestic with a selection of French wines. We also hold an annual dinner at a local restaurant where members select a wine to accompany each course. We then vote on which wine best matched the food and award our coveted Gold Cup to the winner. It’s a fun evening with good food and lovely wines. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 31st January which will be a short AGM. We will then have a tasting with each member bringing a wine that they wish to share with the group. We would love to welcome along new friends to join us, either for an occasional visit or to join our club. Members pay £10 a night to taste eight wines, non-members pay £12. Our annual membership fee is £15. If you would like more information about the club, please contact Margaret on 01786 824833 or magsainsworth@yahoo.co.uk. To advertise in the wirethe t. 07720 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk Please mention wire 429 when responding to adverts


Central Scotland’s Open Studios and Art Event Forth Valley Art Beat formally Forth Valley Open Studios is now in its eighth year and aims to create an inspiring event encouraging participation from artists, designers, makers, art clubs, galleries and organisations delivering a mixture of visual art, from open studios, installations, temporary public artworks, pop-shows, film, performance, exhibitions in galleries and community spaces. Artists wishing to participate in the 2017 event can register now via the link below. Artists from all over Scotland are welcome to take part all you need is a venue within the Forth Valley area, whether you are an individual artist opening your studio at home or a collective of makers hiring a venue for the purpose if the event. Take time consider how you could be involved, we welcome new ideas so please do not hesitate to get in touch! Some artists will be hosting additional events during the nine days, such us workshops, demonstrations, poetry reading, live music and performance. Details of which can be found on our additional events page nearer the time.


FVAB 2017 booking form is now live! Artists & organisations wishing to participate please click on the image to access the booking form. Deadline: 20th January 2017

Reminder !

Doune Tourist Information has moved to beside the The Woodside Hotel in Doune

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Volunteer handyperson project reports busiest ever year A volunteer-led project set up to help older people in Stirling and Clackmannanshire with DIY jobs in their homes has recorded its busiest year since it was set up over a decade ago. The RSVP Handyperson Service has seen a 30% increase in the number of requests for help this year, with volunteers completing more than 400 jobs in 2016. The volunteers assist older people with everyday tasks such as rewiring plugs, fitting batteries in smoke alarms, assembling flat pack furniture and putting up shelves. The free service, which is funded through the Big Lottery, helps older people to live independently in their own homes. To request assistance, older people simply call the RSVP office on 01259 928 088 and leave their name, address, contact details and a description of the job they need help with. Irene (76), a regular customer from Stirling, said: “It’s good to hear that so many people are making use of the service. The volunteers are great and I get a wee blether with them. It’s an ideal service because I haven’t got any relations to help me with these small jobs. Just recently they helped me change curtains and got my Christmas tree out from the garage. I can’t climb a ladder at my age.” Patrick Ging (42), a volunteer on the project, said: “It’s great to see the service being able to help so many older people in our communities, folk who otherwise might struggle to do these tasks on their own. For example, we get asked to help older people who are unable to climb a ladder to change a bulb and are therefore going to the toilet in the dark.” RSVP is part of the national charity, Volunteering Matters. Each year, more than 30,000 people volunteer with the organisation across the UK. The handyperson service accepts small donations from clients which go towards its running costs and volunteer expenses.

Deadline for What’s On info: 3rd February

for the March-April issue

Don’t forget to promote your club meetings and fundraisers or to share your community news email: fiona@thewireweb.co.uk or send to 75 Old Doune Road, Dunblane, Fk15 9FH Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Dunblane Allotment Group 11th Annual Potato Day Following comments from some of our customers that they would prefer to have their seed potatoes sooner, we have decided to bring our next sale forward into February.

SATURDAY 18th February 2017 1.00PM – 3.00PM, Braeport Centre, Dunblane The beauty of potato day is that you can buy as many or few as you wish, so you can experiment with different varieties.

Around 40 varieties of seed potatoes available, 20p per tuber, nets £3.20 each (approx. 24-30 tubers). Small quantities available. Veg seeds, onions, garlic, garden equipment on sale from Mo-Lawn. John Marshall, the “Tattie expert” will be on hand to give advice Admission £1.00 Refreshments provided by: Tilly Tearooms Come and enjoy the atmosphere, good company, superb food and get your potato requirements all at the same time!


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Dunblane Development Trust Visit our new website www.dunblanedevelopmenttrust.com The Trust has launched a dedicated website which contains all the information you need to know about what DDT does, who the people behind the scenes are and how to get in touch. The News section and photo gallery will be current and informative to enable you to keep abreast of what’s happening in and around the Trust and the working groups. We would like to thank our Consultant Kirsty Thomson for setting up the website. It wouldn’t have been possible without her hard work and dedication. All costs were met from the Strengthening Communities grant we received from the Scottish Government, an invaluable asset that has funded several inhouse initiatives. Please take a look at the website and feedback your views via the email link within the Contact Us section.

Dunblane Development Trust: Community in Action A company limited by guarantee | Registered in Scotland No.250969 | Charity No.SC034511 www.dunblanedevelopmenttrust.com | Email: info@dunblanedevelopmenttrust.com TheBraeport DDT webCentre, page can be viewed at www.dunblane.info/ddt Registered Office: Braeport, Dunblane, FK15 0AT | Phone: 07748 219 937 Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Whats On: during the week MONDAY: • • • • • • • •

DPPA CHILDMINDER GROUP. 9.30am – 11.30am at the Braeport Centre. 07920 249 631 for further information. 2284 Dunblane Air Cadets for boys & girls ages 13 to 18. Meet Mon & Wed 7pm to 9.30pm. For more information contact Ft.Lt. Peter Mulkerrins on email oc.2284@aircadets.org or 01786 825355 Bridge lessons will be restarting in September in Doune, days and venue still to be decided. Anyone interested in learning the game or updating their skills should contact Susan on 01786 842684/07778 506 406 or e-mail susan.wilson37@tesco.net. ST MARY’S BABY AND TODDLER GROUP every Monday (including holidays) 10-11.30am at St Mary’s Church Hall. All parents and children aged 0-5 years are welcome, £2.50 a session. Dunblane Library, free beginners computer classes from a Forth Valley College lecturer every Monday from 9am until 12, offering a variety of flexible learning courses. Dunblane Fencing Club meets at D. High School & is for ages 8-18. Mon 5-6pm Beginners. 6-8pm Intermediate - Advanced. Contact Charity McArdle at dunblanefencingclub45@gmail.com or on 07881 025 664. Jazz Night from 8pm at the Westlands Hotel. Everyone welcome, admission free Dunblane Runners group run – 5 or 6 miles – meet at 7pm at Hydro gym

TUESDAY: • • • •

• • • • •

Doune & Dunblane Bridge Club meets at the Catholic Church Hall, 2-4.30pm. No partners required. Call 01786 824080 for further information. Beginner/Mixed Ability Run 6pm@Run4It, Bridge of Allan. Supervised by qualified Jog Scotland leaders and catering to those that want to start jogging for the first time through to intermediate runners. Free of charge Hills and Drills 7pm@Run4It, Bridge of Allan . Not for the faint hearted, it improves strength and endurance & lasts around an hour. Free of charge. St Blane’s Drama Group meets every Tuesday evening Sept to May in St Blane’s Church Hall at 7:30pm. We are a friendly mixed age group, members of the Scottish Community Drama Association and our membership is free and is open to all residents of the Dunblane and Stirling District. Enquiries to Tudor Rees 823716 Stirling Speaking Society warmly welcomes anybody who would like to build up confidence in speaking in public, whether to groups or individuals, through a supportive process of advice on techniques, practice, and friendly feedback. We meet in Dunblane Cathedral Halls on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7.30 for 8 o’clock. To find out more, please email stirlingspeakingsociety@gmail.com, or go to our website at stirlingspeakingsociety.wordpress.com, or phone 01786 24 841. Argyll and Highlanders Army Cadet Force, 7pm till 9pm at the Queen Victoria School. Anyone aged 12-18 years old can just come along. Contact Vikki Paul by email: v_i_p_r_f_c@hotmail.co.uk for more information. Nordic walks, Tuesday evenings 6.45pm – 8pm. Contact Tricia on 07557 439111 for details on training with Nordic poles and the meeting points for the walks. Poles will be supplied. Dunblane Fencing Club meets at D. High School & is for ages 8-18. Tues 6-7pm Beginners and Juniors. 7-9pm Intermediate to Advanced. Contact Charity McArdle at dunblanefencingclub45@gmail.com or on 07881 025 664. Dunblane Community Preschool (DPPA) Rising 3s. 9.30am – 11.30am at the Braeport Centre. Open to children ages 2 - 3. A fantastic stepping stone between toddler groups and preschool, led by an early childhood educator with parent assistance. Please telephone 07920 249 631 for further information. The Stirling and Bridge of Allan Round Table (incorporating Dunblane and other surrounding areas) Meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, 7.30pm at The Westerton Arms, Bridge of Allan, or for further details search their facebook page. Contact; Graeme Mair, Chairman, 07500 115 895.



Tea n Toast - drop-in for parents with or without tots at St Mary’s Church Hall, 9 to 11am DPPA TODDLER GROUP. 10am – 11.30am at the Braeport Centre. (Term Time Only) Open to children from 6 months to 2 years. Drop in for a cup of coffee & a chance to meet other local parents. Children’s snack is provided. Please telephone 07920249631 for further information. To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

Whats On: during the week (continued) • • • • • • • •

25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade Anchor Boys (boys aged 5 up to P3), 6.05-7.10pm in the Cathedral Hall. Contact Rosemary McLellan on 825039 or anchors@dunblanebb.org.uk 2284 Dunblane Air Cadets for boys & girls ages 13-18. Meet Mon & Wed 7-9.30pm. Contact Ft.Lt. Peter Mulkerrins on 01786 825355 or e: oc.2284@aircadets.org Doune Bridge Club meets at 7.15pm in the Red Lion Hotel, Doune (back room). Small friendly club and welcome all standards, with or without a partner. Contact Derek on 01786 842224 Local walking group meet at Dunblane Cathedral at 10.30am for a 30-45min walk on good surfaced paths. Walks are free, no need to register in advance. Contact Tricia on 07557 439 111 or enquire at the health centre for more details. Dunblane Cathedral Society of Change Ringers. The tower bell ringers practice from 7:30-9:00pm in the Cathedral. For further information contact Judith Frye on 824779 or e-mail dunblane@sacr.org. Dunblane Free Church. ‘Open Door’ session between 10 and 12 noon where we invite members of the local community to pop in and meet us. Robertsons of Kinbuck, Auctions every Wednesday at 11am, alternating between a general household sale & an antiques and collectables sale. Viewing is on Tues & Weds. Website address for pictures & catalogue is www.kinbuckauctions.co.uk. Dunblane Fencing Club meets at D. High School & is for ages 8-18. Wed 6-8pm Intermediate to Advanced. Contact Charity McArdle at dunblanefencingclub45@gmail.com or on 07881 025 664.


• • • • • • • •

DPPA PARENT & BABY GROUP. 10.30am – 12.30am at the Braeport Centre. (Term Time Only) Open to babies from birth to 12 months. Drop in for a cup of coffee & a chance to meet other local parents. Please telephone 07920249631 for further information Dunblane Whist Club meets every Thursday Lesser Hall, Victoria Hall 1.30 - 3.30pm. Come along to find out if this group is suitable for you. Ten players joined us last term forming new friendships. Ladies & gentlemen all welcome. Friendly tuition given if required. Information from Dolly Gemmell 01786 822 387. Starts back on the 12th January Bridge of Allan & Dunblane Rotary Club, at the Westlands Hotel at 6.00 for 6.30, visiting Rotarians or interested visitors should contact our Secretary Iain Fraser on 01786 822751.or email: secretary@ dunblanerotary.org.uk Going Forward Stroke Group provides activities and entertainment for stroke survivors. 2-4pm in the Chalmers Hall, Bridge of Allan. New members are always welcome. Tel 01786 - 831608 or 832228 for information. Open Doors@Dunblane Christian Fellowship. The doors open 2-4pm for anyone who is looking for a bit of company. There will be various activities on offer, tea and cake. More inforation from Helen pn 01786 825 974. Dunblane Cathedral: Midweek service 11 – 11.30am Mixed Ability Run 6pm@Run4It, Bridge of Allan. Offering alternatives from 3.5 miles to 7 miles. This run accommodates all levels with certified Jog Scotland leaders accompanying each group. Meet at Run4It. Free of charge Dunblane Bowling Club Bingo, Eyes Down 7.30pm. All Welcome Oor Woollie, 7-9pm, Dunblane Cathedral Halls. Nutty on knitting or hooked on crochet or want to learn? Bring along your needles and yarn. Tea, coffee & biscuits are available. Contact Kate: 07904 440 491 or Lesley 01786 821 427. Dunblane Runners training session – 7pm – locations vary each week. See our Facebook page for info.

FRIDAY: • • •

Tea Dance at the Victoria Halls, 2-4pm. Admission £4, all welcome. Held on the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th January & 10th, 17th and 24th February. DPPA TODDLER GROUP. 10am – 11.30am at the Braeport Centre. (Term Time Only) Open to children from 6 months to 2 years. Drop in for a cup of coffee & a chance to meet other local parents. Children’s snack is provided. 07920 249 631 for further information. 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade Junior Section (P4-P6) 6.15 - 7.45pm in the Cathedral Hall. Contact Fraser Boyd on 821387 or info@dunblanebb.org.uk Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Whats On: during the week (continued) •

25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade Company Section (P7-S3) and Seniors (S4-S6) Fridays 7.4510pm in the Cathedral Hall. Contact Paul Christmas on 823192 or e-mail captain@dunblanebb.org.uk

FRIDAY: • Dunblane Woodies (Woodcraft Folk). Braeport Centre (term times) 4pm - 5.30pm. Woodchips 3 - 5 yrs and Elfins 6 - 8 yrs. We’re also welcoming Pioneers aged 9-12 and Venturers 12-16. So come along and share your knowledge of the great outdoors or just have some good green fun. Contact Lucia, dunblane. wcf@gmail.com 07796 268 695. • 1st Dunblane Girls Brigade Company: Explorer Section (P1-P3) 6-7pm. Junior Section (P4-P7) 7-8.30pm & Brigadier Section (S1-S6) 7-8.30pm. All meeting in St. Blane’s Church Hall. Contact Jacqueline Cassidy (Captain) on 07759 046 474. e-mail: cmailto:cassidyjacqueline@yahoo.co.uk


Dunblane Runners social run – meet 8.30am at Cathedral car park Training Run 9am @ Run4It, Bridge of Allan - a longer training run. typically be at least 9 miles in length and are ideal for the aspiring half marathoner (and beyond!) - Meet at Run4It. Free of charge Dunblane Men’s Prayer Breakfast meets on the 3rd Saturday of each month at 8am in Choices Coffee Shop. More info? Call 07886 216 593

SUNDAY: • • • •

St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Dunblane, 8.30am Said Communion; 10.30am Sung Eucharist with provision for children. See www.stmarysdunblane.org for more detail. Dunblane Cathedral Morning worship: 10.30am every Sunday Family service: 9am on the last Sunday of each month (in addition to the 10.30 service) Sunday school: 10.15am every Sunday morning (except the last Sunday of each month). All departments: 3 year old – P7. Crèche available for under 3s Religious Society of Friends [Quakers] Dunblane Meeting. Meeting for Worship, Sunday 10.30 am at The Braeport Centre. Children welcome. See www.quakerscotland.org/dunblane for more detail. Dunblane Cathedral Handbell Ringers, Cathedral Halls. Beginner adults from 6.30-7.30pm. Those of High School age, 5.30-6.30pm. Children in Primary 5-7 from 6.30-7.30pm. The adult group for experienced musicians rehearses from 7.30-9.15pm. For more info, contact Malcolm Wilson (t. 825387) or e-mail handbells@dunblanecathedral.org.uk Dunblane Folk Club meet at the Braeport Centre, 8pm. BYO bottle, everyone welcome.

Whats On: during the month • • • •

• •


Dunblane Rambling Club, once a fortnight on Sundays. For more information about walks this month see the website www.dunblaneramblingclub.org.uk or call Ray Kent on 01786 832 158 or Eric Howman on 01259 742 889 Monday 9th January, Dunblane Cathedral Guild, 7.30pm Cathedral Halls. Join us for a A Night at the Movies” All welcome. Monday 9th January, Dunblane Civic Society’s first meeting of 2017 is at 7:30pm in the Braeport Centre. Susan Ross, Travel Guide will talk on “Sublime Scotland - as others see us”. A warm invitation is extended to all who would like to join us. Visitors admission is £2. Sunday 15th January, Forth Valley Friends of Scottish Opera: Derek Clark on The Trial. Kafka’s The Trial is well known but not so many people know that Philip Glass produced an operatic version, premiered in 2014, and even fewer will have heard it. We are fortunate to have Derek Clark, Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, to tell us about it in advance of the opera coming to Scotland. All very welcome. 2.30 pm, Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling. Entrance £5, free to students, including tea/coffee & biscuits. Monday 16th January, Dunblane Arthritis Care 1.30-3.30pm Victoria halls meet for a Scot’s Afternoon Tea. Information from Pat Anderson 822505. Tuesday 17th January, Dunblane Local History Society at 7.30pm, Cathedral Halls Dunblane. ‘ Bishop Wishart - Warrior and Kingmaker’ - Kati Waitzman, Offender Learning Lecturer,HMP Barlinnie. Just over 700 years ago. a stormy Scottish night in 1286 was the catalyst that shaped the course of Scottish Politics, changing the lives of many millions in the process. Kati will tell the story of Robert Wishart , Bishop of To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. fiona@thewireweb.co.uk

Whats On: during the month (Continued)

• • • • • • •

• • • •

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Glasgow who became one of the leading statesmen for Alexander 111 and then fought with William Wallace and Robert Bruce in the war of independence and whose defaced tomb lies in the crypt of Glasgow Cathedral. Visitors are very welcome at our meetings. Admission charge £1.50 which includes tea or coffee and biscuits. Sunday 22nd January, The Arts Guild invites you to enjoy Dick Lee’s Swingtet, 3pm in the Cathedral. Tickets can be bought at the door or in advance from Smallprint: £9 Adult(£2 Student/Child/Unemployed) Monday 23rd January, Dunblane Cathedral Guild, 2pm, Cathedral Halls. We have a discussion on “what does joy mean to you?” Our theme this year is “Go in Joy!” All welcome to come along and share your joyful moments. Wednesday 25th January, Scottish Women’s Institute, meet for a ‘4 Corners’ craft afternoon.7.30pm in the Victoria Hall. Everyone Welcome, £3.50 for visitor entry. Monday 30th January, Dunblane Cathedral Guild, our drop in afternoons. Why not join us at 2pm in the Ritchie Room, Cathedral Halls for scrabble, jigsaws, knitting, tea and chat. All welcome. Wednesday 1st February, Dunblane and District Gardening Club. 2.00pm, Leighton Room, Cathedral Halls. Arthur Jones will be our speaker and his talk is on his recent trip to China as a tourist and plant hunter. Visitors are charged £1.50 and will be made most welcome. Monday 6th February, Dunblane Cathedral Guild, 7.30pm. We all meet in St Blanes church hall for a joint meeting. All welcome. Sunday 12th February, Forth Valley Friends of Scottish Opera: Derek Watson on Pelléas and Mélisande. A likely highlight of Scottish Opera’s current season is a new production of Pelléas and Mélisande, Debussy’s only completed opera, with David McVicar directing an outstanding cast. Derek Watson, wellknown as a writer and speaker on music, returns to Stirling to talk about it. All very welcome. 2.30 pm, Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling. Entrance £5, free to students, including tea/coffee & biscuits. Monday 13th February, Dunblane Arthritis Care 1.30-3.30pm Victoria halls meet for musical entertainment. Information from Pat Anderson 822505. Monday 13th February, Dunblane Cathedral Guild, our drop in afternoons. Why not join us at 2pm in the Ritchie Room, Cathedral Halls for scrabble, jigsaws, knitting, tea and chat. All welcome. Monday, 13th February Dunblane Civic Society meets at 7:30pm in the Braeport Centre. Muriel Alexander will talk on “Genealogy and Family History - Ordinary People and Interesting Lives” A warm welcome is assured. Visitors’ admission is £2. Saturday 18th February, Dunblane Cathedral Guild, Cathedral Halls at 10 a.m. We hold our Table Top Sale for anyone who wishes to take a stall for £12 and sell their crafts, books, Bric a brac. The guild members will serve you teas and coffees whilst you browse the stalls so please come along. Anyone interested in taking a stall phone Dorothy Millar 01786 824170, but don’t delay we only have 20! Sunday 19th February, The Arts Guild invites you to enjoy Maxwell Quartet, String quartets: Mozart, Prokofiev, Brahms. 3pm in the Cathedral. Tickets can be bought at the door or in advance from Smallprint: £9 Adult(£2 Student/Child/Unemployed) Monday 20th February, Dunblane Cathedral Guild. Join us at the cathedral Halls, 7.30pm for a lively talk by Bill McMurray about the work of the Salvation Army in Stirling. Anyone interested in hearing this talk are welcome. Tuesday 21st February, Dunblane Local Hitory Society at 7.30pm, Cathedral Halls Dunblane. ’Putting Dunblane on the Map’ - Paula Williams, Curator, Maps, Mountaineering & Polar Collections’. National Library of Scotland. Drawing on the wide variety of resources held by the National Library of Scotland, Paula will give an illustrated talk on 400 years of mapping of our local Dunblane and Stirling areas. Visitors are very welcome at our meetings. Admission charge £1.50 which includes tea or coffee and biscuits. Wednesday 22nd February Scottish Women’s Institute, meet for a talk on St Kilda by S, McDonald. 7.30pm in the Victoria Hall. Everyone Welcome, £3.50 for visitor entry. Monday 27th February, Dunblane Cathedral Guild, our drop in afternoons. Why not join us at 2pm in the Ritchie Room, Cathedral Halls for scrabble, jigsaws, knitting, tea and chat. All welcome.

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Useful Numbers Dunblane Police Station 101 Dunblane Health Centre 821777 Forth Valley Hospital, Larbert 01324 566000 Stirling Community Hospital 434000 Bannermans, High Street 823266 Bannermans, Anderson St. 822030 Dunblane Library 823125 Dunblane Post Office 825317 Stirling Council Local Offices 823300 Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages 823300 Scottish Gas Emergency 0800 111999 Hydro Electric Emergency 0800 300999 Scottish Water Emergency 0845 6008855 Floodline 0845 9881188 Scottish SPCA 03000 999999 Dunblane Primary School 822351 Newton Primary School 237920 St Mary’s Primary School 822740 Dunblane High School 823823 Dunblane Centre 824224 Kinbuck Centre 07934 501754 Ashfield Village Hall 825419 Victoria Hall 822176

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