All posts by Ashleigh Gibbs

Fashion show raises thousands for charity


A charity fashion show has raised nearly £3,000 for children’s charity CHAS.

Thursday night saw the opening of Edinburgh’s glamourous fashion event which showcases the work of both student and established designers.

The event, organised by students at Edinburgh University, will run a special VIP event tonight (Friday, the 30th) and finish with a general admission performance on Saturday evening.

 For more information or to buy tickets for Saturday go to:

Guinea pig sets new world record

New record: Truffles makes a daring leap Video: YouTube/ The Courier

A Scots guinea pig has joined the ranks of many animal stars from across the world to break a record in the Guiness Book of World Records 2013.

Truffles, from Rosyth, Fife, jumped 30cm (12in) smashing the previous record held by London rodent Diesel who cleared a gap of 20.5cm (8.07in) in 2009. He has had his feat confirmed by the record breaking institution and will take part in a publicity for the launch of the latest edition of the book.

Thirteen year old Chloe Macari trained her pet to leap the distance after being inspired by Disney film, G-Force, in which  a group of  guinea pigs become special agents of the FBI.

“I had two shoe boxes and these cushions between them for safety,” the youngster explained. “We kept moving the shoe boxes further and further apart. We started at around 15cm and he was quite good. He got to 20cm and then 25cm very quickly, within a few weeks.”

The giant leap was filmed to ensure the record could be approved.

Young mother died in paracetamol overdose, enquiry hears.

The dangers of an over-the-counter painkiller overdose Image: pepedelaolla de la olla

A 20 year old woman died after taking too many paracetamol tablets, a coroner has told an enquiry today.

Desiree Philips upped her dose of the over-the-counter drug after a routine breast surgery and was found unconscious next to a packet of tablets at a home where she lived with her 11 -month – old son.

The inquest heard how Desiree died of liver failure on August 26 last year after being transferred to another hospital for a transplant operation.

Carmarthenshire Coroner Mark Leyton said: “Desiree was using paracetamol for pain relief and may have been exceeding the normal dose. But it remains unclear whether it was a built up or whether she took a large single dose.”

The case is the latest to present the danger of the drug when taken in an incorrect dose.

A Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency Spokesman said: “Paracetamol is a safe and effective painkiller when used correctly and when dosage recommendations are followed. Every pack has a warning about overdose and instructions not to take more than eight tablets in any 24-hour period.”

Forth Road Bridge to close lane this weekend

 Motorists are being reminded to adjust their travel plans as urgent repairs to the Forth Road Bridge will see traffic restricted to a single lane this weekend.

Image: Ian Britton @

The work was scheduled at short notice after damage was discovered to nuts on the bolts on the bridge’s main suspension cables and will close from 3am to 12pm on both Saturday and Sunday.  

 Drivers are advised to delay their journey, seek an alternative route or use public transport. Barry Colford, Chief Engineer and Bridgemaster, said: “We are sorry for the inconvenience this causes and would like to thank the travelling public in advance for their patience and understanding. Traffic restrictions are necessary for safety while we lift an access cradle and other equipment into place.”

 It is warned that similar restrictions may be enforced on subsequent weekends if there are any delays in the work due to weather. This morning saw the bridge closed to double deck buses due to high winds.

    Follow bridge updates on Twitter: @forthroadbridge

Edinburgh Napier’s Christmas gift guide

Vintage box sets £10 each

The Christmas season is upon us and the inevitable Christmas shop is sure to bamboozle even the most organised shopper. Enter Napier News‘ essential Christmas gift guide: a selection of unique gift ideas all available locally with personal recommendations and top tips from those in the know.

For the health conscious…

Head to Napiers herbalists on Bristo Place where you will find pampering treats with their excellent range of his and her skin care products. Made using only the finest natural ingredients, we’re recommending the facial box sets that include a facial wash, toner and moisturising cream, guaranteed to give you that winter glow. Coming in at £45 each, these beautifully packaged sets are sure to be a hit on Christmas morning.

Also available are Napier’s vintage gift sets based on traditional remedies that include a hot toddy and ginger cordial mix perfect for warming up even the coldest winter evening.  After the decadence of the festive season, refresh and replenish with the Weekend Off detox box, a herbel supplement that helps to balance the body and keep you healthy.

10% student discount available. |  Find out more at:

Pocket hot water bottles only £5 each!

For the perfect stocking filler…

Available at Halibut and Herring, keep your hands cosy on those long winter walks with a range of pocket hot water bottles in a wide range of designs. At only £5 each, these wooly winter warmers are a steal!

Or how about a handmade selection of Christmas charms from Rosie Brown? From snowflakes to Christmas puddings, these individually crafted charms are perfect for updating bracelets and necklaces. An engraving service is also available to add the personal touch. Give that special someone the perfect Christmas gift with a love letter charm. These delicate silver discs can be engraved with a personal message as the ultimate token of love.

Pop in store:  Both Rosie Brown and Halibut and Herring are located on Bruntsfield Place  |    15% off available at Rosie Brown’s Christmas evening with mulled wine and mine pies on 30th November. 6-9pm. |  Find out more at: and

Pig out with this festive feast at £10.99

For the chocolate lover…

The Harvest Garden is a chocaholic’s haven of indulgent and original edible treats. Play a game of chocolate draughts after Christmas dinner or for an alternative take out, feast upon gourmet chocolate pizza made from Belgian milk chocolate, creamy vanilla fudge pieces, chunky pieces of chocolate brownie biscuit and topped with white chocolate curls.

Pop in store: 58- 60 Morningside Road |  Find out more at: |

Singer backs Sky Arts futures fund

Belle and Sebastian singer, Stuart Murdoch, will front a seminar at Creative Scotland tomorrow. The event is in support of a £30,000 arts fund, available for three lucky artists.

The fund is from Sky Arts in association with non-profit organisation, IdeasTap. In addition to the substantial bursary, the winners will also receive mentoring to aid in the development of  their practice and career over a year. The project’s aim is to support young people in the arts today, by bridging the gap between formal education and working as an independent facing financial restrictions and lacking creative support.

Applications are welcomed from artists aged 18-30, based in the UK and Ireland, who have an idea for a creative project. Forms of submissions can range from dance to theatre and music to art. Each applicant will propose how the Sky Arts fund can help to take their work to a next level.

The seminar will feature a live Q&A session with Murdoch, who will talk about his career and establishing himself in the industry. Murdoch will also offer advice about working in the arts. This will be followed by a panel of the fund’s staff members, who will answer questions about applying for the fund.

Opera director Daisy Evans, 24, was one of the winners of the first round of applications. Her submission was a ‘Silent Opera’ production, in which she uses live vocals and pre-recorded music heard through mobile headphones. “When they told me I had won I felt like my heart had dropped out,” she said. “This is a huge opportunity and if people are considering applying then they really need to believe that they have something worth speaking about and that people want to hear. The doors are there to be opened – just open them.”

The 24 year old Opera lover also had some advice for potential applicants: “My advice for people applying in this round is to be really passionate about your own idea.”

Applications for round two are now open.

Bookings for the seminar are still available at: and is free.

Concern as empty units increase at Kirkcaldy Shopping Centre

by Ashleigh Gibbs

Shutters Down: A familiar sight at the Kirkcaldy shopping centre

The potential closure of a small arts and craft store has struck a further blow to a local shopping centre in Kirkcaldy. Burns and Harris, one of the centre’s longest standing occupants, has been forced to reduce opening hours and create redundancies adding further speculation about the future of the ailing Postings Shopping Centre. With high rates forcing existing business to move to the High Street and failing to attract new business alike, the centre has seen a devastating increase in empty units with a direct impact on spend, leaving few remaining stall owners and shops struggling.

“It’s getting worse and worse…” an employee of Capability Scotland, one of several charity shops, said. “We would have had about eighty or ninety people through the doors a day, now it’s more like twenty five.”  One stall owner told of how a fellow goods seller had taken no money at all on a Saturday and there is greater concern yet that development plans for a new supermarket at the town’s Inverteil site may have a detrimental effect to its vitally important Tesco.  The initiative continues to be discussed.