Welcome to the Power issue of Ayrshire Magazine. If ever we needed power, it is now! But, by sticking together in these strange and very difficult times we grow stronger, and harness power.

Like everyone, the team at AM are all suffering from not being able to meet up with family and friends. How precious have hugs and handshakes become now that we can no longer give them? How great would it be just to put our arm around someone’s shoulder and say, it’s okay, we’ll get through this?

But, we are sticking together and, while delivering a daily blog, ‘Life As It Happens’, on our Facebook page, we have also been busy preparing the next issue, which we hope you will enjoy!

It’s true, you can’t get away from Covid-19, and in this issue Yvonne Howie offers some help with coping, caring and connecting during these very trying times. With no events to go to, courtesy of coronavirus, Laura has come up with the idea of offering ideas for ‘Things To Do’ – don’t miss it. We have also managed to get a couple of exclusive interviews with Saltcoats born and bred author Janice Galloway, who has a new book out, Jellyfish, and former Cumnock resident Lorraine McIntosh, who was hoping to be touring with Deacon Blue this year. That, of course, has been cancelled, and when Lorraine mentions the band will be playing to Glastonbury this year, sadly they won’t. The interview was made before it was cancelled. The band did, however, release a new album, City of Love, to critical acclaim in March.

Meanwhile, Gill Sherry takes us on a (virtual) tour of Culzean Gas House, as well as speaking to local hero Liz Smillie. Gill will also be talking about knowledge as power.

Vanetha is keeping us informed about travel bookings and how the coronavirus has impacted these and, while wearing her hat as our resident food guru, has once again conjured up some recipes to tantalise our taste buds.

Oh…and before I forget…we talk to five inspirational young ladies who want to consign sectarianism to history.

Don’t forget to check out the blog.

Above all, be sensible, follow the guidelines, look after each other and stay safe.

– Phyllis McLeish

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