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APR/MAY 2020 ISSUE 53

COMMUNITY

WORKING TOGETHER

STAY HOME

WHILE EATING AROUND THE WORLD

HOP OFF

IS IT EASTER BUNNY OR HARE?


CARDWELL GARDEN CENTRE IS CLOSED Due to the COVID 19 Virus Cardwell Garden Centre is closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The safety of our employees, our customers and their respective families is paramount and closing Cardwell is the only responsible course of action. Cardwell Garden Centre will re-open when it is safe to do so. Updates will be posted on our website and social media channels. Please follow the advice given by the authorities and ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones and our community. With love, Stef, Drew, Kieran and everyone at Cardwell.

Lunderston Bay, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1BB 01475 521 536 www.cardwellgardencentre.co.uk


CONTENTS STYLE FILES RONNIE COWAN MP WRITES INVERCLYDE CARES

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DOS AND DON’TS RIGHT NOW EASTER HARES SPRING GARDENS

THINK LOCAL!

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t is amazing how quickly life has turned around – one day we were planning this edition to be packed full of Easter and May holiday weekend activities with great things to go to and the poignant events planned to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Then suddenly we were all adding new phrases to our vocabulary: selfisolation, social-distancing, lock-down. There has never been a more important time to think and act locally – small businesses are the lifeblood of a community, from employment to the actual street scene. Please let’s all work – and spend – together to keep it that way. We should all support them to make sure that they are as strong as possible and help keep our communities ticking over until Coronavirus has passed.

Published by: Wyvex Media On the cover: Easter bunny with a basket of eggs

CONTACT INFO

Still valid 75 years later: ‘We shall all face the future with stern resolve and prove that our reserves of willpower and vitality are inexhaustible.’ HRH George VI speaking on the original VE Day; this portrait was issued to the press to mark the occasion.

Photo credit: Miramiska / Shutterstock

Sales Director: Nicky Murphy nmurphy@wyvexmedia.co.uk 07786 861266 Features Editor: Joanne Simms jsimms@wyvexmedia.co.uk

/ClydeLifeMagazine @clydelifemag Website Design: plbwebdesign.co.uk Graphic Design: Grant Dickie – Scottish Field gdickie@scottishfield.co.uk

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors, or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Wyvex Media does not officially endorse any advertising material included in this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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CoronaVirus / COVID-19 Our showroom is now closed for the next 3 weeks We are combining working from home and in isolation here in the office and are still available via email and phone should you want to get a quote, discuss an upcoming installation or have any general enquiries. Like everyone else we don’t know when this will be over, but we wish all our loyal customers, potential customers and everyone else a safe and healthy next few months. Be assured, we will definitely be here to assist you with your requirements both in the short and long term and we look forward to everything getting back to normal in the near future. Tom McDonald Managing Director

Lockdown boredom?

Looking for something fun to do? Why not design your own kitchen using our free kitchen design software on our website? Bring your own designs to life then send it on to us, we will review, fine tune and then come back to you with the perfect kitchen. We can’t wait to see what you create. WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

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FULLY BESPOKE, MADE TO MEASURE STORAGE SOLUTIONS We are currently closed but look forward to serving our customers again as soon as possible. Stay safe and healthy.

We are really happy with our new wardrobes. People are continually commenting on how great they look and asking where we got them from. Catrina Frame

Really happy with my finished wardrobes. Just what we were looking for. Brilliant value for money! Mrs Travers

Absolutely terrific! We are more than delighted with our sliding wardrobes. We have shown them to all our family and friends and everybody absolutely loves them. David Wilkes

SUPERIOR BESPOKE STORAGE SYSTEMS AT SMART PRICES... Alvic Sliding Wardrobes Ltd is a small friendly, family run business established in 2012. At their impressive showroom in Crosslee, Houston you can see their full range of stunning doors and furniture on display. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, the team at Alvic can turn any empty and unused spaces to good use. There’s no need to put up with wonky wardrobes which don’t suit your needs any longer, Alvic can fully design and install perfectly fitted wardrobes and furniture that is truly bespoke to your requirements. Whether it’s hinged, angled or sliding doors, you’re after, a built in quest bed or a fully fitted walk-in wardrobe or library, the team are always on hand to offer their advice and expertise.

01505 614419 • www.alvicslidingwardrobes.co.uk WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK 6 Visit our showroom: Suite 1, The Old Mill, Houston Road, Crosslee, Houston PA6 7AW


Alcoholics Anonymous goes onlineÂ

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

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he success over the last 70 plus years for alcoholics finding sobriety, and long term contented sobriety, in Alcoholics Anonymous has been due to the caring sense of fellowship, mutual aid and peer support people find there. AA meetings, often in church halls and so on, sometimes sat in a circle like you see in TV dramas, face to face honest sharing of experiences, has been the back bone of recovery for many. The current need for self isolation and social distancing has a potentially disastrous impact for alcoholics, particularly newcomers, as the government recommends cancelling any gatherings of people, and meetings in groups. As a result many AA meetings in the UK , as indeed around the world, have had to be cancelled.

These decisions for meeting closures, or suspensions as we could say more optimistically, come for the first time ever in the history of AA in the U.K. All is not lost, thanks to the technology of online meeting software, that business have been using for years. Individual AA groups have grasped the opportunity to keep their fellowship groups going, but online. Online AA meetings are being set up every day, details are kept up to date on the national AA Web Site as more get set up and are added. Meetings listed online are open to anyone with a desire to stop drinking, or to find out more about AA, just as an open physical AA meeting would be. Members can choose to join a meeting showing voice only or with video.

www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/AA-Meetings/Find-a-Meeting/Online

WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

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Safe. Secure. McClure.

Still to make your Power of Attorney?

Only £199 Everyone over 50 should have a Power of Attorney Visit: www.mcclure-solicitors.co.uk/power-of-attorney Without a Power of Attorney, if you lose capacity, someone will need to apply to the Court for Guardianship. This is expensive, time consuming and a hassle for all involved. A Power of Attorney avoids that. Multi-award winning McClure Solicitors will prepare your Power of Attorney for just £199 and we will donate £30 to charity.

Book your appointment today! Freephone: 0800 852 1999 contactus@mcclure-solicitors.co.uk 8 www.mcclure-solicitors.co.uk

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YOUR WILL

WILL HELP MORE THAN YOUR FAMILY McClure Solicitors raise the most cash for Will Aid in any one campaign

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cClure Solicitors has been named as one of the top fundraisers in the UK after taking part in a charity will-writing campaign. The firm raised £26,284 - the most ever in one campaign - for Will Aid in its 30th anniversary year, writing more than 300 wills in exchange for voluntary donations. McClure was the highest fundraising firm for 2018 in the month-long fundraiser which takes place every November. Andrew Robertson, from the law firm, said: ‘McClure Solicitors is extremely proud to support the work of Will Aid. It gives us the opportunity to encourage people to get their Will written - the majority of adults do not have a Will. ‘As this is a time-limited campaign it gives people a sense of urgency to get their Will instructed before the campaign is over. ‘In addition to the peace of mind that they are getting their affairs in order, clients also have the bonus of knowing that charities are benefiting.’ Will Aid is a charity will-writing scheme that raises money for: ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save The Children, Sightsavers, Age UK, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland). Joanne Dallas from Christian Aid paid the firm a visit to present a certificate to thank them for their achievement. Will Aid has been running since 1988 and has encouraged more than 300,000 people to write their Will with a qualified, regulated and insured solicitor. In so doing it has raised more than £20 million in donations and millions more in pledged legacies. WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

The suggested donation is £100 for a single will and £180 for a pair of mirror wills. To put those donations into perspective: £95 buys three water hand-pumps in South Sudan and £150 a mobile clinic in Kenya for mother and baby care and childhood inoculations. Not only does your family benefit at a time of bereavement by having your affairs in order but also families you will never meet are helped in lifechanging ways.

‘My heartfelt thanks to McClure Solicitors for their incredible efforts. Many people both in the UK and abroad will receive life-changing support and local people who used the scheme have the peace of mind that having a professionally drawn-up will brings.’ – Peter de Vena Franks, campaign director ‘The team at McClure Solicitors have really embraced the Will Aid scheme and all their time and hard work will translate into transformed lives for those living in poverty across the world.’ – Joanne Dallas from Christian Aid

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PEOPLE ARE THE BEATING HEART OF OUR COMMUNITY D

uring the Corona virus (COVID-19) crisis I have been overwhelmed by the number of local people who have stepped up to ask what they can do to help. I find it heart warming to meet so many people that are grounded and understand the value of kindness and giving. Conversely, our celebrity culture encourages the adulation of fairly talentless but hugely successful people. Often, we put them on a pedestal as icons, fixating over their homes, clothes and lifestyle but while we are there for them, they contribute nothing to us. When push comes to shove the folk, we rely on are our nearest family and friends and in times of crisis, often complete strangers. The people that make our community tick are not famous. You won’t see them

on celebrity baking, dancing, skating, ski-jumping or any of the other self-serving platforms the media feed us. Our true heroes are the unseen people in our own community. The people that work in the food bank, supported living, recovery, education, health and a host of other public service jobs. The people that keep the wheels from coming off the wagon and don’t ask for thanks are not the people hoarding toilet paper but the people donating it to food banks. Not the people whining endlessly on social media about themselves but the people that pick up the phone and call an elderly relative. Not the people that constantly knock others but those that knock the door of a neighbour to see that they are alright.

Ronnie Cowan MP

Silent heroes everyone and Inverclyde is full of them. Over the last five years, in my capacity as the Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, it has been my privilege to meet so many people, employed and volunteers, that before, during and after COVID-19 are dedicated to supporting those less fortunate and those that are vulnerable in our community. Maybe what COVID-19 has done is given us a better understanding of that because we have all felt that little bit more vulnerable. These are not normal times and as the COVID-19 situation evolves we will learn a lot about ourselves. I hope we learn that community matters and family matters and what ever else we take from it, despite the scars, it leaves us stronger and more committed to building a better more inclusive Inverclyde.

Ronnie Cowan MP, Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, 20 Crawfurd Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1LJ ronnie.cowan.mp@parliament.uk Telephone: 01475 721 877

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WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK


Do you suffer from Lymphoedema? Specialist massage therapy is available here in Inverclyde by Elizabeth Jennings. Contact Elizabeth to arrange your treatment session in her therapy room in Bishopton, or in your own home if you are immobile. Elizabeth is a fully qualified MLD UK therapist and a DLT member and is therefore fully trained in Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy to treat people with lymphoedema.

07455 196520 • emjlymphatics@btinternet.com

Although we are currently closed to patients, we hope to be up and running again very soon and wish everybody all the best.


THE

STYLE FILES

by Marilyn Thompson

Top fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2020

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rom the main trends to the little design details - keep reading for all that’s in style this coming season. Hot pants and bra top anyone? Let’s begin with the most wearable of the Spring/Summer trends and work from there! Tailored shorts suits are pretty much everywhere. Now, this is good news as the fitted jacket, with its wide shoulders and high-waisted Bermuda shorts combo make for a really flattering silhouette. The pieces can, of course, be worn separately and this only increases the wearability and longevity of your initial investment. Think relaxed power dressing in feminine strong colours. Waistcoats, or as Americans call them - vests, haven’t really been on fashion’s radar since the 70s – and with good reason, you may be thinking. They are definitely making something of a comeback and once you get over your initial knee-jerk dislike, you will find them surprisingly versatile. These waistcoats can be worn as part of a three-piece ensemble with the tailored suit and are practically perfect with denims or a floaty skirt. They look great worn loose with a feminine, floaty blouse or buttoned up on top of a fitted tee-shirt and, if you are feeling particularly sassy, you can even wear them with nothing underneath! With so many good ways to wear a waistcoat, you may come to wonder how you managed so long without one.

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Another throwback to the 70s is crafty, folksy crochet and love or loathe it, there’s going to be no getting away from it. Lots of designers showed it in their collections in one way or another, and not just as a design feature. Oh no - this time around it’s the main event. Look out for dresses and other items of clothing made entirely of crochet. There will even be crochet bra tops as these little lingerie inspired tops are a major trend this summer. These bra tops are designed to be worn on their own and there’s no denying that they did look lovely on the catwalk models, peeking out from an impeccably tailored jacket. However, the thought of a bra top, big enough for me, peeking out from anything, is quite frankly a sight that no one is ready for! A trend probably best left to the young and gorgeous. White Summer dresses are just lovely and unlike the scary bra top, there’s a flattering style for everyone. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look fresh and more youthful in a crisp white dress; perhaps you may even get one with polka dots on it, as the classic polka dot print is massive this season. You’ll be seeing dots everywhere. Time for some final pointers: unusual, I know for summer but there’s lots of leather around - it’s a thing! Then there’s drawstring details, lightweight trench coats, statement disco collars, voluminous balloon sleeves, neon highlighter colours, ankle chains attached to shoes and . . . drum roll please, hot pants. Yikes! WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK


TEEN STYLE FILES

THE

Below: dorothyperkins.com Opposite top: riverisland.com Opposite bottom: joebrowns.co.uk Right top: missselfridge.com

by Holly Thompson

BEAUTIFUL BOHO

Pretty, girly dresses and tops, with elasticated bodices and balloon or puff sleeves, are the perfect addition to your laid back Spring/Summer wardrobe. Ditsy little flower prints add to the overall romantic vibe.

P NOTES MAKE UP To compliment the relaxed look of your outfit - keep your skin natural and fresh looking with this fab highlighting kit from Sleek Make up £9.99

HAIR NOTES

All you need for your hair are these cute velour scrunches in sweet dusky pink tones. Primark £2

SHOES The ideal footwear to capture the Bohemian look are Espadrilles and this ankle-tie style is just perfect. New Look £23.99

BAGS Finish off the boho look in style with this straw tote bag. This one is big enough for all your necessities and has a drawstring closure, keeping all your things safe. Accessorize £39 WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

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INVERCLYDE’S COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITY

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ompassionate Inverclyde and Belville Community Garden are liaising to make sure that - as far as possible - no one goes without during the current Coronavirus crisis. Both organisations have a great reputation for helping out; Compassionate Inverclyde’s back home boxes are legendary – a box of practical kindness given to people who will be home alone on being released from hospital. They are liaising with Your Voice, Creative Inverclyde, CVS and Stephen Henry. These provide enough supplies to help someone get home, have hot drinks and a light meal for a few days; perfect for making sure they have what they need if they don’t feel up to tackling the shops right away or don’t have family or a neighbour who can help. The boxes also contain a small blanket and a card from local school children to cheer them up. Belville Community Garden doesn’t just grow fresh vegetables but also helps distribute surplus supermarket food through community fridges. Belville’s first isolation boxes were delivered as the crisis began to bite and people were asked to selfisolate, especially the elderly. The message is, if you would like to request a box or you know of someone who needs help because they are self-isolating and who can’t order food online or through relatives and friends, just let them know and they will pop a box outside the door. ‘Not everyone has a credit card or access to the internet or some people or family who can help and they are truly stuck,’ said Laura Riley at Belville. Compassionate Inverclyde has grown out the belief that palliative care should reach beyond the hospice. ‘Ordinary people helping ordinary people,’ says Alison Bunce at Compassionate Inverclyde. ‘This is not another service, this is a local movement.’ Behind the back home boxes is an army of helpers and volunteers plus the generous folk of Inverclyde who regularly provide long life milk, sugar, teabags, coffee soups biscuits tinned meat fish and crackers at the numerous drop off points around the area. WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

From top: Compassionate Inverclyde has an army of volunteers; Team Belville on the case making fresh soup to freeze and add to the self-isolation boxes.

‘Pull together and keep in touch’ Keep in touch with frail, vulnerable people in Inverclyde through telephone calls during this crisis. If you know someone who would like a phone call to keep in touch with someone or you would value a call yourself. Please get in touch with Compassionate Inverclyde. Call Belville Community Garden on 01475726034 or Compassionate Inverclyde on 07540766381 or 01475 524189

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Here at Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation as it continues to develop and we aim to support local businesses at this uncertain time. We have been working with Scottish Chambers of Commerce and taking advice from the UK and Scottish Government and other key partners to inform our members on what is happening as best we can. Businesses and citizens should follow all current guidance to minimise the spread of the virus and visit the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Hub on our website which will be updated regularly as and when new information is made available to ensure our members have access to the latest advice and guidance. In this unprecedented and uncertain time, we want all Inverclyde businesses to know that we are here for them, regardless of Chamber membership, and we are available to talk over any concerns you may have. In an additional effort to support local businesses and promote those who are still operating at this time, we have also created an Inverclyde Business Covid-19 Noticeboard on our website. This noticeboard will act as a place for local businesses to post updates, offers and information on how they are adapting in wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We would like to hear from you if you are operating in any way, whether it be take-away food, delivery services, volunteering in the community, offering gift vouchers for future use or selling online.

If you would like to be included on the noticeboard please contact us at:

seo@inverclydechamber.co.uk | 07547614245 16

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WELL, I NEVER!

WELL PERHAPS YOU SHOULD... We have never been in a situation like this before so all the more reason to do things you have never done before - here’s a few dos and one big don’t for surviving the next few months

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lot of us are paying dearly for this time in terms of income lost and future job security so make sure you use this time wisely.

D0

DON’T

Establish a routine: especially for children, it reassures them. No lying in your pit and slobbing round the house in PJs. Google: Make your bed, by US Navy SEAL Admiral William H McRaven.

Don’t be misled

Home-school: use the BBC webpage to back up the work your children have been given by their schools. BBC bitesize is superb and make sure you read the BBC teach pages.

You can also find a lot of disinformation and half-grasped ideas. At a time like this the majority genuinely want to help each other and will send you links or post things on community pages they believe to be helpful.

Learn: something new – the web is packed with short courses from the world’s top universities. Go back to work smarter. Knit: the internet is full of free knitting patterns. Tell the guys that it is engineering with wool and if they can knit an amigurumi – miniature toy animal everyone will think them awesome. Download a basic pattern for quilt squares and get everyone in the family to knit a few to create a family heirloom – a Covida-quilt. Sew them all together once its over.

All the ‘to do’ items here on this list have one thing in common – you can find advice and help on line.

Always check and rely on good sources - use government, council and NHS websites, BBC and STV and the established national and local press like ourselves. We are owned by companies which all work within the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) guidelines.

Cook: food is essential for morale and kids can join in – you will eat a lot of chocolate crispy cakes before this is over. Come out of Covid time having mastered an all-in-one sponge, scones, flapjack, and fork biscuits and you will never go back to shop-bought. Perfect your egg-fried rice and wok technique and save cash on takeaways. Mend: all those missing buttons, burst seams unravelled hems, broken mug handles, loose screws, that huge garden tidy-up you have been promising to do. WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

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Be fair to the hare! W

hy should the Easter bunny get all the credit – the hare is at the heart of spring’s symbolism found across the world. The modern Easter bunny with his basket of eggs is just a commercialised take on ancient spring and fertility myths and mysteries. And you can have the thrill of finding hares here in Inverclyde. Once the Coronavirus is over make plans to get up early one morning and head for Greenock Cut to see them for yourself. Mike Holcome, of the Clyde Muirshiel Ranger Service based at the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre said: ‘You usually see them first thing in the morning with the sunrise.’ Hares are larger than rabbits; longer in the body with larger ears, powerful hind legs and are shy creatures. ‘And they have got amazing eyes,’ said Mike; their jewel-like eyes have fascinated and inspired artists and stories across the centuries. It is the hare which is associated with the northern Europe’s ancient goddess Eostre or Ostara from whose name comes the word Easter. Celtic mythology is awash with shape shifters who turn into hares. The hare is nocturnal, making it mysterious; many say it is a hare or rabbit on the moon, not a man, and the moon-gazing hare is an image found across most cultures. The symbol of three hares running in a circle is

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found across the world; each hare looks to have a pair of ears, but only three ears are drawn in the design, creating a triangle in the middle. This can be found all across Europe, including the UK, across the Middle East and on into China and Japan. It can be found in Ancient Egypt and Rome in early Churches and other religious buildings. One theory is that it is an early international business logo, as it is found all along the ancient silk route linking China to Europe, showing that travelling traders and their supplies can be assured of security, a welcome and fair dealing. In the UK one theory was that it was an emblem for the tin mines, but it appears in so many places and in so many contexts that this has been ruled out. The tin mines attracted trade from all across the known world so the business emblem seems more likely.

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PROTECT AND SURVIVE

During the Cold War nuclear threat the government issued a booklet, Protect and Survive. For the viral threat this is our equivalent for you work-from-home warriors

PROTECT YOUR KIT

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f you do not have a home office then think about creating one – fast! If you cannot convert a spare room or make your home office into a more professional space, create a safe space. This is not for you but your files, documents and kit. Think of a no-fly zone but in your case it is a no-sticky and no-spill one. Rampaging toddlers, hyper-active kids and grumpy, texting, teenagers can - and will - inflict untold damage. Do you really want to be the one who has to tell IT there is an eggy-bread soldier wedged into your keyboard? Suddenly there are not enough power sockets - you might need to invest in extension sockets make sure they are surge protected. Ruthlessly guard all stationery. This is the one legitimate time in life to hide things from your family.

Your boss may be at the end of the phone or app but your TRUE boss is right there with you. Your cat knows it is the ruler of the known universe; you are not going to persuade it otherwise. Resistance is futile. Likewise tell the dog that it cannot guilt-trip you into an extra walk, so stop the big, pleading, eyes routine

WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

PROTECT YOUR IMAGE

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et up a Skype space. You know that all around you is domestic chaos but when video conferencing make sure the background is bookshelves carefully arranged with some impressive looking books. You have spent the last six years creating the image of that formidable person in accounts and Peppa Pig plus a clothes-horse full of underpants is not going to cut it. You may be wearing your trackies and flip-flops but make sure you have a casual-smart top on and can throw a work jacket on to let the boss know you haven’t gone feral.

PROTECT YOURSELF

T

he kitchen is 10 paces away so stick to break times and resist the lure of the biscuit tin; you want your work clothes to still fit when you return to the office. Try and bring your office chair home. Sounds crazy but it will help keep you grounded to the notion of the work routine and help your spine. Remember that working in bed is a no-no – your back will hate you. If you are home alone and find the silence unnerving try www.asoftmurmur. Create a soundscape and work from a coffee shop, beach or field full of crickets.

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ROCK CHOIR DON’T LET THE FROST

FOOL YOU!

Let the garden dry out and recover from its winter soaking, get cracking with the compost and keep an eye out for Jack Frost says our expert Kieran Gallagher from Cardwell Garden Centre

A

lthough the majority of this past winter has been more wet and windy than anything else it would be foolish to think that the threat of frost is now over. It is common to have cold or frosty nights well into April and even May in the west of Scotland, so continue with your precautions for a while yet. February was especially wet and in places the soil is literally at saturation point. There is little point in trying to do much digging in borders when it is this wet, I would recommend allowing it time to dry. Having said that, one job you can do in borders is feeding trees and shrubs, using either a granular fertiliser or by top dressing the area

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with fresh compost or manure. Weeds are probably showing through the soil by now and removing these at the earliest opportunity will make things easier later on. Do this manually with a hoe or similar as chemical treatments will often not be effective in cooler temperatures. Lawns are a similar story and I would advise against walking on a soaked lawn if at all avoidable. Your grass has likely shown signs of life by now and the urge to cut it will be strong. Allowing it to grow a little at this time of year will help build up strength in the lawn. When you are ready to trim it, I would suggest raising the height of the blade or wheels on your lawnmower and only remove a quarter to a third of the length. Once the season is under way and temperatures have risen you can return to your usual regime. Lawn fertilisers and treatments should generally not be used until at

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least April, due to low temperatures. A question often asked at Cardwell is what to do with spring flowering bulbs once they have flowered. The answer varies according to the variety of bulbs, but the most common spring bulbs are straight forward and include the humble Narcissus or Daffodil. The bulb expends a huge amount of energy in producing its vibrant flowers and we must allow this energy to be restored. Even after the last flowers have withered you should leave the foliage alone for four to six weeks. The foliage will collect and store nutrients that will go towards producing next year’s flowers and this foliage should only be cut once it has died back to ground level. If you have houseplants in your home then you should be watering them more frequently now. A little food may also be used. Some councils are now starting to charge for ‘brown bin’ garden reuse collections. To me, it is a reasonable cost for the service provided but I know a lot of people disagree with that and, perhaps, see it as a ‘hidden tax’. So what are the alternatives? You can bag up your garden debris yourself and take it to the local council nominated depot for free, although you have the cost of your time, fuel etc and not everyone can drive or has access to a vehicle. Composting your own garden trimmings is the most environmentally-friendly option. Compost bins come in all shapes and sizes and are most often made from plastic or wood. I have WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

seen old pallets used to create larger spaces for composting and this may be of use if you have a lot of waste. There are some common rules for composting. Green waste, ie the trimmings from your lawn or plants, should all be of a similar size. Ideally, layers should be formed using different types of waste. Torn up newspapers and kitchen waste can also be used here, but I advise against using cooked food or leftovers. They do not break down as well and can often attract vermin or flies. Weeds and diseased plants should never be composted as seeds or disease can spread through the compost. Additives for making compost can be helpful in speeding up the process, the most common brand being Garotta. Garotta is available at Cardwell, if you have trouble sourcing it. Another way to speed up an otherwise slow procedure is to turn the compost every few weeks. Depending on the composter you are using this can be easy or difficult. If it is proving difficult then poking holes into the pile with a bamboo cane will have a similar, if slightly reduced, effect. Finally, if that all seems like too much hassle, then I suggest looking up ‘trench composting’. This method dates back hundreds of years and, once the initial digging has been done, is completely maintenance free. And remember to make time to enjoy the amazing display that nature will surely bring to our gardens over the coming months.

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ROYAL GOUROCK YACHT CLUB Due to Corona Virus RGYC is closed until further notice but on reopening

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oyal Gourock Yacht Club will welcome new members of all ages, to try sailing and coastal rowing. Introductory sessions to try on-the-water activities are free. The Club runs an adult and Cadet learn-to-sail Social Sailing programme in our six own safe Piper keelboats. Coastal Rowing is one of the fastest growing water-based activities in the world. With the support of LEADER grant the Club will launch two this summer. This is an exciting addition to the Club’s activities for of all ages and fitness levels for senior, mid, young and mixed crews. Visit: staylesskiff.net Yacht racing is run during the week and at weekends with crewing opportunities, Social Sailing operates on Friday evenings and our Cruising section plans weekend musters. Members enjoy the bar and catering and watch the yachts compete in the Club’s busy races and Regattas from our waterside deck. We run a busy Social calendar of dinners, social evenings, quizzes, BBQs and entertainment throughout the year. Have a dinner, wedding, birthday, anniversary coming up then see what the Club can offer you.

Find out more about sailing rowing or house memberships, register your interest at www.rgyc.org.uk Email: royalgourockyachtclub@hotmail.co.uk rgyccoastalrowing@gmail.com Facebook: royal gourock yacht club Royal Gourock Yacht Club, Ashton Gourock PA19 1DA. Tel Office: 01475 632983

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WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK


A Tree of Tranquillity for Inverclyde

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nverclyde is to have its own Tree of Tranquillity to help families heal the heartbreak of losing a baby. This life-sized copper sculpture, where each leaf honours a baby who has died, will be in Gourock Park and have a bespoke bench to encourage visitors to spend time there. It is not only for the newly-bereaved but also for those who lost their baby at a time when there was little or no recognition of their baby’s existence. Individually-engraved leaves are added, each in memory of a baby. The Trees of Tranquillity are handmade sculptures installed by the charity SiMBA which supports anyone affected by the loss of a baby. They also donate memory boxes, refurbish and equip family rooms in hospitals, deliver free bereavement study days, run monthly support groups, provide on-line support via closed Facebook pages, hold annual family-friendly awareness events and Wave of Light services. Karyn Jenkins is the driving force behind the Inverclyde project. She lost her daughter, Sophie Louise Jenkins, during the 22nd week of her pregnancy. ‘My sister lost a baby, I lost Sophie Louise and my best friend lost a wee boy. I just thought that there are so many people that I know who have lost a baby, how many must there be in Inverclyde? ‘It’s a horrible, horrible thing that so many people have suffered. There’s a Tree of Tranquillity in Glasgow but I felt it would be good to have something local, somewhere here for people to go and remember. www.clydelife.co.uk

‘The support we got from SiMBA was really important to us.’ ‘The site in Gourock Park offers the perfect location for a SiMBA Tree of Tranquillity,’ said Sara Fitzsimmons MBE, RM, the charity’s chief executive. ‘When I founded SiMBA in 2005 I had no idea of the reach that our charity would have. This is the eighth Tree of Tranquillity that we have installed in Scotland and we are very proud to unveil it later this year and to hold our first butterfly release at its site.’

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EAT YOUR WAY AROUND THE WORLD THIS EASTER Stay home but let your taste-buds travel!

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ou might not be able to get out, but the world can come to you this Eastertide. First off all check your neighbourhood – which eateries are offering take-away – many of our ‘eat-ins’ are now doing ‘to-go’. So please support them by having one of your Easter meals over the holiday from them. And then, think that if you cannot get out in the world then the world can come to you. The good news is that these are traditional, older, recipes and as such all use basic simple ingredients – chances are that in this cosmopolitan age you will have all the herbs and spices in your store cupboard already. Here is just a small sample of traditional foods from across the globe and though they vary wildly they all have an underlying theme. The ingredients include dairy, sugar, fruit and yeast – all rich-tasting things which were lacking from the Lenten diet – the period from the close of Shrove Tuesday through to Good Friday when fasting took place. Fish for Good Friday and lamb for Easter Sunday are meals that go around the world. Traditionally Christians fasted and did not eat meat on Fridays. Salt fish and potatoes feature in a lot of recipes – don’t forget our own tattie and herring suppers of old! And in each country the recipes vary from region to region and from family to family as recipes are handed down through the generations. So go on line and find a version that appeals to you – the internet is full of them – and let your taste-buds travel, even if you can’t!

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POLAND MAZUREK Mazurek pastry is a traditional Polish Easter cake made of short crust pastry, chocolate, cream, candied fruit, nuts and almonds. What it contains and how you decorate it is your final choice but remember it is always flat – never more than an inch high. Mazurka also is the word for a Polish folk dance, a country sparrow and someone from Mazur in North Central Poland. It is a bit like our hot cross bun – so popular that it is turning up all year round now.

ECUADOR FANESCA This is the traditional Easter week soup from Ecuador. It features dried salt cod, squash, fava (broad) beans, corn peas, rice, peanuts and milk, cream, with onions rice garlic and cumin. But where it comes into its own is in what is added on top – think of it as a South American bowl of ramen. Hard-boiled egg, slices of avocado, peppers, onions in lime juice, cheese slices and hot sauce plus tiny little pastries to name a few. Once again it varies from region to region and family to family. WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK


ITALY BACCALA This stew of salt cod and potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce with olives and capers turns up along the Mediterranean coast; Spain also has a popular version. In Italy it is eaten at Christmas and Easter.

LAMB Everyone’s Easter Sunday feast involves lamb; the herbs and spices vary from country to country but garlic and rosemary feature strongly throughout.

KULICH A traditional Orthodox Easter bread which is something like a cross between French brioche and Jewish challah, this bread is a lightly sweetened, egg-glazed cylinder, often baked in a coffee can to make a tall loaf, and served with paskha.

RUSSIA & UKRAINE PASKHA A cream/cottage cheese dish stuffed full of dried fruit, sugar, almonds and everyone’s family has their own recipe. A traditional mould for the dish looks like a pyramid with the top snapped off, to represent the tomb and many have the three-bar cross or the Cyrillic letters X and B to symbolise the traditional Easter message of Christ is Risen. Improvise and use a flowerpot lined with butter muslin. Avoid the recipes which include raw egg yolk in these times of compromised immune systems.

WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

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FREE SCHOOL MEALS CONTINUE DURING CLOSURE There’s no need to go hungry at lunchtime

COMMUNITY HUBS Kilmacolm Community Centre Cargill Centre, Lochwinnoch Road, Kilmacolm I-Youth Zone Port Glasgow, 2-4 Dubbs Road, Port Glasgow port Glasgow town Hall Shore Street, Port Glasgow Gibshill Community Centre, 2 Smillie Street, Greenock Auchmountain RC, 32 Burnhead Street, Greenock Broomhill Centre, 46 Mearns Street, Greenock Grieve Road Community Hall, 162 Grieve Road, Greenock Gamble Halls, 44 Shore Street, Gourock St andrew’s Church Hall, auchmead Road, Greenock Branchton Community Centre, 78 Branchton Road, Greenock Inverkip Community Hub, kip park, Main Street, Inverkip Crawfurdsburn Community Centre, 1E Crawford Street, Greenock

WWW.CLYDELIFE.CO.UK

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hile schools are closed for the virus outbreak all Inverclyde pupils entitled to a free school meal and clothing grant will continue to have food at lunchtime. ‘We are making 2,994 packed lunches available for every pupil in Inverclyde entitled to a free school meal,’ said a council spokesperson. ‘Even though school is closed, there’s no need to go hungry at lunchtime. If you are entitled to a free school meal in Inverclyde and are able to come along, make sure you pick up your free packed lunch.’ Before schools closed on March 20 parents were told which of the 12 community hubs to use for their child’s packed lunch. The council is also delivering direct to pupils with additional support needs who are unable to travel to these locations. LEARNING SUPPORT A basic education service is being provided in Inverclyde for the children of key workers even though all schools and nurseries closed on Friday March 20. ‘We need their support and they need ours. Anyone who thinks they fall into the category of key worker should fill in the online survey as soon as possible,’ said Councillor Jim Clocherty, convener of the education and communities committee. The list includes health and care workers, emergency services, prison service, those teachers running the schools and child care, power and utility employees and others whose work is deemed essential. The child care will not be up and running immediately but parents and carers will be contacted as soon as possible if the council is able to offer provision for their child. Inverclyde Council has created a short online survey for key workers to help plan what resources are needed. The survey can be accessed at www. surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DQ6DZT6 and through the council’s website at www.inverclyde.gov.uk/ coronavirus

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Clyde Life #53 Apr/May 2020  

Clyde Life #53 Apr/May 2020  

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