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December 2017

Early days.....

You may be thinking that this issue is awfy early through your doors. It is a wee bit earlier than our usual delivery, but we need to bring the schedule forward to accommodate the Christmas shutdown at our commercial printer. Our January 2018 issue has to be printed before Christmas which means an early deadline of Friday 8th December, so please send in your news etc in plenty of time. The January issue will be delivered between Boxing Day and Hogmanay.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

I love my drive home these days. I pass the wonderful window displays at Gibb Stuart’s which are once again a joy to see. Sandy, Christine and the Gibb Stuart elves go to great efforts every year to create a visual extravaganza to brighten up the dark winter evenings. I love it when I see the children who stop to look at the windows, and it helps get me in the Christmas mood!

Santa’s Sleigh will be doing the rounds again, weather permitting! We’ve got the dates for you, and there will be updates on Facebook if the weather proves difficult. Local groups get involved in helping out on each night, and their benefit is that they get to keep the funds raised on the evening they go out. Thanks again to all the volunteers who make this happen, and thank you for the generous donations from you all. The Christmas lights are going on in all the villages, many with a very special visitor doing the honours!

Road rage.....

When oh when is the Council going to fix the bollards on the island as you leave Bridge of Weir towards Kilmacolm? The bollards have been hit so many times that there is absolutely no reflective warning. Dark nights combined with rain make it almost invisible and I’ve spoken to a number of people who have nearly come a cropper! I’ve reported it, so here’s hoping it gets fixed before someone gets hurt.

Missing you.....

Life throws up some strange co-incidences - a lovely wee dog was found in Kilmacolm last month. Two good Samaritans, Lewis Mcdonnell and Moira Crichton managed the actual ‘capture’ and brought her to me to try to find the owner. Through my facebook post, Irene Whiteside of Harvey’s Army Scotland got in touch. As Irene arrived at our house to check the dog, we saw a man walking very quickly with a dog lead but no dog. Aha! Are you looking for a dog I say, yes I am he says. Unfortunately, not the same dog, but while he’s there, Irene says give me your details and we’ll see what we can do. As they are talking, I see a post from Sheila Gillespie saying her daughter has just found a dog. Turns out this is the dog the man is looking for. So at least one wee dog got home safe and sound that night.

This was during the period around 5th November when lots of fireworks were being set off. Going by facebook it was the busiest weekend for runaway dogs and cats - the local rescue saints were run off their feet trying to re-unite these wee souls. One thing that makes life so much easier is an up to date chip - please make sure your pet has been chipped and that the details are correct. The wee dog we found was chipped but as her owner’s phone number had not been updated, it took more than 24 hours to reunite them. Funnily enough we achieved this through facebook with someone seeing my post and also the owner’s post, and put us in touch with each other.

A great result! A wee dog absolutely delighted to see her dad and away home safely. I would like to say thanks to everyone for their help in reposting and passing on information.

Happy Christmas to you all, from all of us at The Advertizer!

Dental Blog

by Sheila Macintyre, Practice Owner, Kilbarchan Dental Practice

In the lead up to Christmas we thought it might be useful to highlight some Christmas Gift Ideas as well as to provide some Tips for Looking After Your Teeth over the festive period…

  1. Electric Toothbrushes make a great gift - from stocking fillers at less than £20 to main presents (if you choose a state-of-the-art option with pressure indicator and smart phone syncing).
  2. Try to avoid too much Dried Fruit over the festive period (it is one of the main ingredients in Christmas Cake and Mince Pies) as it is high in sugar and coats the teeth in a sugary film.
  3. Try and eat Nuts or Crudités as a healthier alternative to Crisps and Sweets. Cheese is great too as it helps to neutralise acid.
  4. Drink lots of Water and if you do partake in other drinks have them with meals.
  5. Brush your Teeth an hour after eating and avoid snacking too much between meals.
  6. You may want to consider a course of Teeth Whitening in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year to look your best - this can also make a more imaginative Christmas Gift (initial consultation required).
  7. Don’t leave a Visit to the Dentist until the last minute, we get very busy at this time of year and it can be difficult to get an appointment.
  8. If you need Emergency/Out of Hours treatment contact NHS 24 on 111.

Most importantly Have A Great Christmas! 

From all at Kilbarchan Dental Practice.

If you have any queries about any areas of dental health visit us at Kilbarchan Dental Practice, call 01505 704969 or click www.kilbarchandental.co.uk where you’ll find lots more free tips and advice.

Optical Blog

by Kerry Taher, New Vision Opticians

Winter weather and your eyes

With the cold weather, most people will be thinking about scarves for the face and neck, gloves for the hands, hats for the head and warm boots for the feet. But what about the eyes?

Cold winter winds and central heating can cause havoc with the eyes, sometimes leaving them very dry, gritty, red and sore. If you’re suffering then you should keep well hydrated, take Omega-3 daily as this can help stimulate tear production, try a room humidifier and use artificial tears. It’s always best to have an eye examination to determine the exact cause of any problems.

Colds and coughs are very common in cold weather - they can be highly contagious and the germs can very easily transfer from the hands to the eyes causing various eye infections. Make sure to wash your hands (and your children’s hands) regularly to minimise the risk of infection.

Don’t put away your sunglasses yet! Summer is when we traditionally think of wearing sunglasses but they are equally important in winter, protecting our eyes from glare, harmful UV reflections from snow and ice and even acting as a barrier to block the cold air and wind. Snowy conditions reflect much more UV radiation into your eyes, so ensure you have proper UV protection especially when enjoying winter sports such as skiing/snowboarding. Polarised sunglasses are particularly good when driving towards a low sun in wet conditions.

Winter is a good time to have your eyes tested as poor light conditions mean that your eyes have to work harder, making them more likely to feel tired and strained. If you experience any difficulties eg driving in the dark (one of the most common winter complaints) then it’s a good idea to have your eyes checked. There’s almost always something that can be done to help.

For further information, please call us at the practice: 01505 614 700.

The History Spot

Lime Working down the Black Cart

As with the Gryfe, the river valley of the Black Cart was a focal point of the search for coal and lime. From the headwaters of the river in Barr Loch, lime works followed the Black Cart downstream.

At Kerse, the lime and coal works were drained by a pump powered firstly by water, then by a steam engine. South of Barr Loch, lime was worked at Netherhouses. At Limekiln Plantation, near Lochwinnoch, lime quarries survive in a series of tiers downhill. From the 1720s, lime was also worked along both sides of Castle Semple Loch and burnt in kilns by the lochside. One of the potential benefits of extending the Paisley Canal to Ardrossan was the lime quarries and mines along the proposed route in the Risk area.

The most intensive working of lime was further downstream, where a great ‘basin’ of lime dipped from Howwood to Spateston. A number of small early quarries led to a large scale combined venture in the 1770s, by Houston of Johnstone and McDowall of Castle Semple, at Meikle Corseford. The quarries were drained by a water powered engine driven by the Spateston Burn. More than 30 clamp kilns survive, surrounding the main quarry. Nearby is the draw kiln at Midtown. By the Victorian period, several large lime works were in operation, connected by tramways to the main railway line.

In the 1720s, several lime quarries preceded the development of the new town of Johnstone. Numerous other quarries and kilns dotted the road to Paisley, from Floors to Newton. Many were developed by Speirs of Elderslie. Near the bottom of the Black Cart in the Linwood area, limestone was mined at various depths in 19th century in conjunction with coal and ironstone.

© 2017 Stuart Nisbet, Renfrewshire Local History Forum

The Forum’s next archaeology lecture will take place in the Shawl Gallery in Paisley Museum at 7.30 pm on Thursday, 14th December. Our speaker is Professor James Dixon His topic is the Life and Death of the 5300 year old Iceman. Visitors are most welcome to attend.

IT Blog

with Colin Fyfe of Colcom

The new iPhone X has introduced facial recognition as the unlock function to replace the old circular home key and fingerprint reader at the bottom of the screen. New functionality based around the lack of home key, making the phones face a full screen, is quite a remove from what iPhone users may be used to; many Apple followers say it is the first big step away from the foundations of the phone, one of Steve Jobs’ masterpieces. After both Samsung and LG have released a full screen phone earlier in the year, it is unusual for the iPhone to be seen to be slower on the technology uptake than their rivals.

The removal of the home key as a finger print reader is one thing, now that the front facing camera takes care of the facial recognition and therefore, the device security function, but the host of other functions that the circle provided are now accessible through side swipes and side buttons that some may find to be less efficient than the tactile button.

The facial recognition function seems to work well and can discern a photo from a real face, or whether eyes are closed – no unlocking using the sleeping face of the owner is allowed, it also is remarkably quick to perform this highly complex task with apparent ease.

This powerful recognition technology is already being used by security agencies and police departments and will inevitably creep into our lives in some form or another, to facilitate money transactions and to unlock our computers and start our cars. The iPhone X costs £1000, for spending that money we could also consider taking a look at ourselves.

Legal Blog

by Isabella McKerrow, Affinity Family Law

The Grounds For Divorce In Scotland

Divorce in Scotland is governed by the Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976 as amended by the Family Law Scotland Act 2006. There are only two grounds of divorce.

The first ground is “a recognised gender change of either party to the marriage.” This is established by issuing an interim gender recognition certificate under the Gender Recognition Act 2004. The second and more common ground is the “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”. Irretrievable breakdown may be established if at least one of four specific situations is proved:

  1. The defender’s adultery.
  2. The defender’s unreasonable behaviour. (Such behaviour by the defender that the pursuer cannot reasonably be expected to cohabit with them.)
  3. Non cohabitation of the parties for a period of a least one year provided the defender consents to the divorce.
  4. Non cohabitation for a period of at least two years. Consent is not required.

It is up to the party raising the divorce proceedings to prove on the balance of probabilities that at least one of the four situations exist.

In terms of adultery, the proceedings must be based on the defenders adultery. It is not possible for the pursuer to raise the divorce proceedings averring their own adultery. The adultery must be since the date of marriage.

If you are separated, but not yet divorced, and start a sexual relationship with another person (one act of adultery is sufficient) your spouse would have grounds to raise divorce proceedings on the basis of your adultery.

Divorce can be raised straight away on the basis of adultery or unreasonable behaviour. With the other two grounds, you either have to wait one year from the date of separation and require the consent of your spouse or wait two years from the date of separation, whereby consent is not required.

Pet Blog

by PetVets

Festive Hazards

The Christmas season is a time to celebrate and have fun, but it’s important to remember that there can be some hidden dangers for our four legged friends at this time of year, from toxic foods to poisonous plants and potential foreign bodies.

These include:

Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs. It can cause gastrointestinal upsets, agitation, excitation, tremors, convulsions and even heart problems.
Christmas pudding and mince pies Dried products such as currants, sultanas and raisins found in puddings and mince pies are also toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of these can cause kidney failure which can be fatal.
Onions can cause vomiting and diarrhoea initially. They can also cause damage to red blood cells leading to anaemia developing several days after ingestion. Similar signs are seen with garlic, leeks, shallots and chives.
Alcohol Initially alcohol can cause dogs to be drowsy and wobbly. This can progress to low body temperature, low blood sugar and coma.
Macadamia nuts These can cause lethargy, increased temperature, tremors, lameness and generalised stiffness in dogs.
Christmas plants Many plants that we have in the house at Christmas can also be toxic to our pets. Poinsettia, holly, mistletoe and pine needles can all cause vomiting and diarrhoea. In addition poinsettia can cause irritation to the mouth and hyper salivation, and ivy may cause local skin irritations.
Foreign bodies are inedible materials that are ingested and can cause choking, damage to the gastrointestinal system or obstruction of the stomach or intestine. This can be very serious and may require urgent surgery to remove the foreign body. Things to consider a hazard include Christmas decorations made of plastic, paper or foil, wrapping paper, tissue paper, string and candles.

Have fun this Christmas, but remember to keep an eye on what your furry family members are munching on!

Sporting Blog

by Lesley Handley

Golf Fitness

Some people will argue that you don’t have to be massively fit to play golf, and you certainly don’t need to train either in or out of the gym. While this is true if you are happy with how you play, becoming fitter and stronger and targeting the key muscles required in golf always helps. Especially as you get older and general fitness and strength starts to deteriorate slightly.

I was once told that if you walk round a golf course you will generally find the fullest bin at the 9th or 10th tee, as it is a common trait that at the halfway point someone will eat their banana, or pull out the tub of sweets to keep their energy up. This is a clear sign that they are starting to lack a bit of energy and looking to get some extra fuel. Cardio fitness is the first important aspect for golf… you need to be fit enough to be able to walk round 18 holes and keep up the same level of consistency in your golf game. As soon as you start to tire your golf swing changes and isn’t as efficient.

In terms of muscular strength, the key muscle in the lower body is the gluteus maximus (your buttock). While the key upper body muscles were the pectoralis major (chest), latissimus dorsi (back), core and forearm muscles.
The gluteus maximus is responsible for hip external and internal rotation on the backswing and downswing as well as hip extension which is what gets you into a nice balanced posture during your finish. The pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi create strong shoulder adductors which allows you to bring your arms across your body and raise them up in the air. The core which I consider the glue that holds the swing together transmits force from the lower body into the upper body and helps you rotate your torso, whilst allowing you to maintain good posture and balance. Finally, the forearms transmit all the force created by the body into the club.

So, when it comes to golf, it isn’t always just about technique… fitness plays an important role too!

Lesley

For more information on any aspect of health or fitness contact me on 0773 627 4925, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit my website at www.fitsmartfitness.co.uk

November 2017

The Big Issue - Planning

Renfrewshire Council reports that 13 new or amended potential development sites have been submitted for consideration in preparation of the next Renfrewshire Local Development Plan. Consultation on the site assessments runs until Monday 20 November 2017(by 5pm).

More details can be found on page 50 of this issue and in some of the Community Council reports. This latest influx of applications may have been triggered after the Government announced the need for 20,000 new houses per year. Developers have seen the opportunity to get planning approved and are targeting pockets of greenbelt. Greenbelt was designated to protect the village boundaries, thus preserving the village as just that and preventing it developing into a small town. Local amenities struggle as numbers increase, and the actual beauty of a small village disappears as the green surroundings are engulfed with housing.

If you are concerned about what’s happening in your village, contact your local Councillors, attend your Community Council meetings, contact the Planning Department directly; make your voice heard!!! Even if you have objected before to any of these developments, please do so again as not all previous objections are carried forward to the new applications.

Remember, the deadline is just three weeks away, 20 November.

Santa Sleigh

The annual Santa Sleigh will be visiting the following areas in December.

Houston from Friday 1st to Thursday 7th Dec (excl. Sunday 3rd).

Kilmacolm (North) on Friday 8th, (South) Saturday 9th Dec.

Quarriers on Sunday 10th Dec.

Brookfield on Monday 11th Dec.

Bridge of Weir from Tuesday 12th to Saturday 16th Dec.

Please support this wonderful event as all the money raised goes to the groups involved on the evening - a host of volunteers giving up their time to raise funds.

Bonfires & Fireworks, Ghosts & Ghouls

Paisley hosts a Halloween Festival on 27th/28th October with a spooky parade through the town centre. And it’s all going off on Saturday 4th November as we celebrate Bonfire Night with Kilmacolm Knapps Bonfire & Fireworks, Paisley Fireworks Display, Bishopton Scout Group Fireworks and Battery Park, Greenock. A display is planned for Glasgow Green on Sunday 5th November.

Festive Lights

There are lots of festive light switch-ons - Paisley is on Saturday 18th November, Glasgow and Loch Lomond Shores each on Sunday 19th November, Erskine on Friday 24th November, Renfrew on Saturday 25th November, Houston on Friday 1st December, Johnstone Xmas Lights on Saturday 2nd December, Brookfield and Bishopton on Sunday 3rd December and Bridge of Weir on Monday 4th December.

Rounding off

We had a couple of Gryffe High School pupils with us during October as part of their work experience. Not something we’ve done in the past – I’ve always thought it would take too much time to manage – but I now think it is something all local businesses should consider. The youngsters don’t need a big project, just being in a work environment and getting to do a few tasks is all they are looking for to give them an insight into the big outside world.

Sporting Blog

by Lesley Handley

What your body type can say about your health.

According to Doctors, there are 3 main body types; apple, pear and hour glass (they can also be known as Ectomorph, Endomorph and Mesomorph). Which one you have can say a lot about your health, and can sometimes explain why losing weight can be a bit tougher.

“Apple” body types tend to carry excess weight around their waist. This is where a dangerous amount of fat often accumulates. The type of fat that accumulates here is known as visceral fat and it penetrates deep under the skin. It builds up around the organs and can harm them over time. The result of this is a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The ‘upside’ for ‘apple’ shape body types is that visceral fat is the easiest type to get rid of through diet and exercise, meaning this body type can often lose weight faster than other body shapes.

“Pear” body types tend to store most excess fat in the lower half of their body. This type of fat is often referred to as ‘passive fat’ and can be a bit harder to lose. While it is not deemed as dangerous as visceral fat it does place a lot of extra stress on the legs and can increase the risk of varicose veins or knee and leg joint issues. The ‘upside’ for ‘pears’ is that they are at a lower risk of the diseases that ‘apples’ can often face.

Finally, there are the ‘hourglass’ shapes or also referred to as ‘rectangle’ for men. These body shapes tend to carry excess weight all over. This includes visceral fat around the trunk area meaning they are also at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

So, which body shape are you?

Lesley

For more information on personal training or to get a health check on the Tanita Scales at Birkmyre Park Fitness Gym contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit my website at www.fitsmartfitness.co.uk

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