Meat and Vegetable Hotpot with Dumplings

Meat and vegetable hotpot in a casserole dish


Haven’t had this for a while, when I lived at home, my mother always used to make this every now and then. I loved it. You get nice soggy dumplings with a crispy top. The dish is filled up with plenty of meat and vegetable mixture for you to enjoy.

It’s a big recipe and easily feeds 4-6 people. Or 1 person for 4-6 meals if you live alone. I haven’t tried using Frozen mix veg, I’ve always used tinned. Should taste the same though

The Hotpot tastes nicer the next day because the Beef Stock thickens up. You can reheat it from cold (about 5 mins in the Microwave with a cover). I can’t remember if you can eat it from frozen too but I’m sure I’ve tried before. If you do this let me know if it works.



  • 2 tins of mixed vegetables (49p each – £0.98)
  • 4-5 large potatoes (£1)
  • 2 onions (£1)
  • 1 tin of corned beef (£1.49)
  • 1 tin of stewed steak (£2)
  • 3 Oxo Cubes (£2)
  • 1 box of Atora BEEF Suet (haven’t tried with veg suet) + 400g of S.R Flour (£2)

Prices of items approximately in brackets.

Total Cost approx £10.50 – £1.75 per portion. The oxo cubes are priced for a box of 20/40 so actually this is cheaper. I’m just assuming someone is buying all from scratch


  • Slice up potatoes and dice veg
  • Add all to a 4.5 Litre casserole dish or tin
  • Bottom of dish add layer of sliced potatoes
  • On top of this, add 1 diced onion
  • Then 1 tin of mixed veg
  • Then 1 tin of stewed steak
  • Add a new layer of sliced potatoes
  • Add another diced onion
  • Add another tin of mixed veg
  • Add the tin of corned beef
  • Cover in sliced potatoes
  • Boil up 1 litre of water, add 3-4 oxo cubes and pour over mixture
  • The water should be just under the top layer of sliced potatoes


  • Place the casserole dish in the oven (Temp 180’c – Fan oven) with the lid on
  • After 60 mins, remove the lid, cook for 30 more mins
  • Whilst cooking mix up dumplings – make them about the size of golf balls. The dumpling mixture shouldn’t be “tacky”, it should have the resemblance of a cold/wet playdough that doesn’t stick to anything. If it’s like this, just dry it up with some flour, if it’s crumbly, add a bit of water at a time
  • After 30 mins, remove the casserole dish, add the dumplings
  • Cook for 30 mins more then enjoy


Optional Extra:

  • Add Tomato Sauce to wind people up
Home made Hotpot filled with Goodness

Hotpot topping

Home made Hotpot on a plate

Hotpot served up

Home made hotpot with Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce annoys a lot of people


If you would like to try out this recipe, I’ve attached a PDF version – Hotpot Recipe PDF


Samsung Galaxy S7 dead battery rebooting

For the last month or so I’ve had an issue with my Android Phone.

My old faithful Samsung Galaxy S7 was at the point where it had become unusable

Everytime I tried to switch on the phone it would boot loop. Normally stuck at the Samsung loading screen, or it would reboot during this point. At the times when I could get the phone to work it had become frustrating. I would randomly use the phone, and suddenly it would just freeze and then reboot itself trying to recover.

The only thing I noticed in a pattern was that the phone would get hotter and hotter, even when nothing was running and that eventually the reboots would get worse the hotter the phone got

The phone sometimes wouldn’t even charge, I would just got a battery cable plugged in icon, but no charging indicator. Eventually I had gotten sick of it, I managed to load up the phone temporarily and decided to backup all of my data from the phone should the worst come to the worst.

I carried out a wipe of the cache partition on the phone. Tried booting again, this fixed the issue temporarily and it would start again. I was then with no option, but a factory restore. I checked the error logs on the phone, and saw a lot of warnings (when I could get in), as sometimes I couldn’t get into this bit either. There was a lot of warnings about battery voltage, battery temp, and about 15 other pages of warnings. So thought it may have been the battery. I had decided to go through with the restore, as it would involve taking the phone apart which I was reluctant to do unless it was worst case scenario.

I carried out the restore AND….. it would crash during booting. Pretty much nothing else I could try. The phone got left aside. I rechecked the phone again about a week later when it was loading, and had a think. The only other thing I could think of was possibly the battery was faulty and would need replacement

I thought to myself, whatever. The phone is broke anyway, may aswell try it. As the phone itself is about 4 years old now. I ordered the replacement battery from eBay, took about 10 days to arrive. I think this is more down to shipping batteries via post as Royal Mail generally ban them now

I went through the process of removing the rear glass from the phone after shutting it down. A relatively simplistic process, albeit nerve-wracking. The potential for cracking tempered glass makes me uneasy on a £200 phone, but it was either try fixing it or live with a broken phone

Luckily I had a spare S7 phone with a cracked rear glass, so I thought I may aswell test it on this first. After using a heat gun, and my iSesamo pry tool. I eventually got into the phone and removed the rear glass on the S7 with broken glass.

I had a look at the insides and at how everything was laid out. So felt confident about doing it on my current phone. About 15 nerve-wracking minutes later, I managed to remove the glass from my current phone without breaking it

I switched my battery from my current phone, to my old broken one and managed to get the phone to boot up. HOWEVER, the same problems occured on my “old” S7 which had broken rear glass. This was both annoying, but great news at the same time, because it confirmed my theory that the battery was faulty.

Whilst waiting for my battery to arrive. I decided to modify the rear glass of my Galaxy S7. I removed all the plastic backing from the glass bezel so it was see through, and cleaned it up. This look doesn’t appeal to some, but personally I love it.

About a week later my battery arrived. I refitted it, with a new replacement adhensive cover. Once fitted, powered up the phone, charged and tested.

Low and behold, it’s now working. Dead battery all along

Once I replaced the battery, the phone charged up, and has become completely usable again. I’ve been using the phone constantly for best part of 4 days now, it’s been hot when I’ve been gaming, but other than that nothing. It’s never rebooted once.

So, if you’ve ever come across your phone with the following symptoms

  • Phone Rebooting
  • Random Crashes
  • Phone Heating Up and rebooting as it gets hotter
  • Phone won’t charge, or doesn’t hold charge
  • Battery cable connected, but shows a grey icon with no “fill indicator”

Then you should consider buying an OEM Replacement Battery and repair your phone


Auto-Electronic test leads

I recently had to make up some Auto Electronic test leads for my multi-meter. I’m busy troubleshooting a car’s electronics for a family friend.

It’s a Ford Mondeo MK4, and is coming up with errors relating to the Front Wheel Speed Sensor.

The Front Wheel Speed sensor has already been replaced, but it’s still coming up with a fault. Which means most likely there’s a wire broken somewhere. This means I will need to test for both Power and Ground since it’s a 2-wire system

The problem is, I’ve had a look at the schematic for the ABS system, it looks like the wires run from the wheel to the engine bay connector for the ABS controller. In order to do the testing, I need a multi-meter with long leads or something like a Power Probe.

I don’t have one of these, so low-tech solution it was

I wasn’t particular stuck for ideas when making this. Basically just needed something that would allow me to probe one end of the wheel speed sensor wire into the ABS controller loom in the engine bay, whilst touching the other end to the sensor. This would allow me to check for power / ground

Ideally the cable needed to be around 10 feet long to get a good reach

I had an old Electric Cable lying around (8 Amps). It was about 4 Metres long. It will do

In order to make it, I chopped off the end of Multimeter jack connector as I had some spare, and joined the cable together with some solder/heatshrink and tape. The other end of the cable, I put through the eye of a sewing need as it was a fine point for probing and long enough to reach in. I then twisted the wires and soldered / heatshrink / taped it up

After this I hooked it up for my multimeter to run a continuity test, the maximum resistance was 0.002 Ohm in continuity (usually 0.5 Ohm is the maximum allowed), so this cable was perfectly fine for testing with

Something to consider adding to your own Auto Electrical or Vehicle tool kit for diagnosis. I now have a cable long enough to allow me to test from front to the rear of the car with mu multimeter

Fingers crossed it’s just a broken wire somewhere close to the main sensor, but it’s better to have this as it forms a useful kit for any vehicle I’m working on

My auto electronic test leads for my multi meter. Used for long distance continuity test

Auto electronic test leads home made

Home made Multimeter test leads to be used for auto electronic diagnosis

Length of my DIY Auto Electronic leads for my car testing kit

Jobs in North East England

Whilst I’m doing my own approach for Job Searches, I’ve been finding a lot of jobs listed with private companies that hire directly. I feel these Jobs in my area of North East England are unknown to people. As the sector suffers from unemployment like any other. I’d like to help others find these jobs. The North East region has always suffered. Time to make it a strong area again

I’ve created a page on my website for this very thing. You can use the following link to access it – or the menu at the top of the page and find jobs dedicated to our areas


I may eventually create a jobs board style page where I only plan on listing ACTUAL jobs, not fake ones. I have ideas on how to make Recruitment Businesses better, but I feel they’re never going to change, so I’d probably just implement it myself 

This primarily focuses on the North East UK jobs, showing listings for places like Consett, Newcastle, Sunderland, Peterlee, Hartlepool, Durham, etc. If you’re from this area, you know the places we live in. 

Website Migration and Reviews

Just a quick update. Stability issues with my Website should now be resolved.

My previous host I was with for 2-3 years ( / was good. However my most recent experience I’ve had about 10 instances of non stop outages, and eventually it just got worse.

Initially it started with some file-corruption. I spotted this by chance as I was working on my Website and every page had bullet points on. Then a couple of days later, nothing worked. Reason was a failed drive, then after that it was over heating servers. Pretty much every day when the server was rebooted, I had a new problem. Getting to the point where I decided to go elsewhere, because I’m sorry to say I’m no longer receiving the service I expected.

This was a hard decision for me, because whenever I migrate Web Hosting, it’s always been a hassle for me to reupload and reconfigure files again. So I try not to migrate unless needed. I’m not going to bash them, Jamie as an owner is good. I would say personally the problems started after the merger. When it was looked after by Jamie the tech-support was always resolved and the servers were spot on. To me however, it just wasn’t worth the hassle I was getting for the money I was paying.

So – I looked for a new host. I went through a couple of hosts. Trying to find the right one. – I opted for these first, because I came across an eCommerce based Website that was hosted by them, and it was blisteringly fast (which is always good), they’re also my Domain Registrar, so it would have made it easy when it came to hosting records. However, I opted away from these after speaking to their Live Chat. I made an enquiry about hosting my Website on their shared hosting (mentioning it contained a blog/ecommerce platform). I was responded that I would need one of their dedicated packages. When I enquired about the platforms, regardless in their size, I received the same answer. OK, scratch those then (Just as a note my Blog/Magento are really low users), hence why I asked about size. The fact I was given the same response meant I just wasn’t going to waste my time

Just as a note, if you’re from reading this from – if you offer platforms like WordPress/Magento as part of your “1-click apps” on all of your packages on shared hosting. Then expect people to use them. What’s the point in offering them if people have to pay for dedicated hosting? – Stupid no? – I was going to go with these. I’ve actually been with them before. The last time I was with them however, I left because they had their own custom cPanel. They’ve now replaced it with the genuine version. The reason I decided not to go with them however this time was because their site migration process is an absolute pain in the arse.

I couldn’t find any option which allowed me to update my DNS/Nameserver records. The only ones I found related to site migration host–>host and for me to update my domain records with fasthosts. Sorry I don’t want to transfer ownership of my account. Maybe I misunderstood this, but I was already frustrated enough dealing with my site outages, I just got sick of the pain when it came to dealing with migrating my Website too. I just want a simple cPanel interface where I could upload a backup and restore it, or amend my name server details. When I try to login to cPanel for these it kept trying to provision the domain. So I got irritated and said sod it. This host has good reviews however and from my previous experience with them, I would recommend them, however their introduction method needs to be as painfree as possible. For me personally it wasn’t. Most people leave their existing hosts because of price, or service. – This is my NEW host. Came across a post on WebHostingTalk and just clicked on the signature and read the website. I spent a lot of time talking to the support (who was actually the owner) prior to purchasing it. Chris understood my needs relating to the service, and understood that after I gave him my domain name, I just needed to update my records so told me the option to use when purchasing.

I’ve now fully migrated my Website after uploading a backup, Chris restored it for me. He offered to migrate it for me, but I’m comfortable with cPanel navigation and site had downtime anyway. Took about 2 hours to get everything over again. Everything back in place with the full backup (Emails / Databases). I was expecting to have to reconfigure WordPress again, but it looks like restoring using the Backups does this for you too. I’m happy with the servers, their equipment is modern. Caters for my needs, and sites load even quicker than before. I’m unable to comment on the host since they’re new to me but long-term if it stays like this current service I’ll be happy. If my site grows to the point where I need more powerful servers, the option is there to grow as needed.

Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation

Social Media important. We now live in the 21st Century. Time and Technology has evolved, which means so do Businesses.

A lot of people now have access to the Internet, when it comes to making your Business known in the world of SEO, you need to optimise your Website. This means making it Social.

If you don’t exist online, how are people expected to find you. There’s a lot more competition now than there was 300 years ago when it comes to Business. Any Business needs to be willing to change and advance with the times in order to stay competitive. If they don’t stay competitive, ultimately they will fail

This is why any Business needs to focus on Social Media Networking and Search Engine Optimisation. This works for a few reasons.

When a Business has something people can refer back to, it makes finding them easier. When you’re on Social Networking sites, this is great for SEO, because people can create backlinks to your Business. Which helps drive traffic. Google also links this, because it indexes pages, and any page which is frequently indexed and referenced to gets a high score. Google likes High Quality content when it comes to SEO scores. The higher the content, the better the result.

So, whenever you’re focussing on making your Business in the 21st Century, you should always focus on Social Media alongside your SEO Marketing strategy

For me, I would propose in the UK you focus on the following for Social Media Networking. This helps to create Brand awareness of your Business, and because these sites are all indexed by Google’s search queries too, it means you get more results pointed towards your Business. This helps build Brand Authority, people love interacting, when you interact with your Customers they become more engaged.

This interaction promotes discussed and feedback, which not only helps improve the service from your Business, but helps drive traffic to yours and create backlinks by your customers talking about you (Good AND Bad). One post when it comes to Social Media can make your Business thrive, or end you. The best thing about the sites below is that you don’t need to post often. Just a quick simple picture, with a link to your Business, and keywords related to the content you’re writing and what our business is about. People can find it by searching, and when they’re interacting you’ve got 1 more potential customer

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

So, if you’re thinking about getting your Business online. Make sure you focus on doing Search Engine Optimisation, and also Social Media, as this is great for marketing, and helps promote your Business due to Google indexing more content. If you integrate this with dynamic content that changes regularly (such as a simple blog post) and tag it with the keywords to help find it. Google will love this, because it then crawls your site like one giant cooker monsters, wanting more.

Remember in the terms of SEO/Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing

More content = More links = More Business

New Driver Road Tips

I was just having a think tonight, and thought I’d pass on some tips to the newer/younger drivers who may have just passed their tests, or still learning to drive or get used to their vehicles. These aren’t driver education tips on how to be a better driver. Just some tips to help keep you better prepared for driving on the road. I’ve been driving for over 15 years now, so I’ve come across most problems you encounter as a driver, and wanted to help pass on some knowledge to the young drivers to help make you better.

I’ll add to this as I think of them – I’ll try and add videos as I go along.

If you come across this article, and there’s anything you’d like to see as a suggestion. Please comment and I’ll write it if I have an opinion or thought on what I could suggest to help you.


If you’re ever silly (or daft enough) to drain your battery flat in your car and people offer to “bump” start your car. Here’s the procedure to do it. Please note, this is not the samp as “jump” starting your car. This procedure also only works on manual vehicles.

  • Put the vehicle in 2nd gear, turn your ignition to “Live” (The click where all your dash lights come on)
  • Dip your foot on the clutch and hold it
  • Get the person to push you
  • Once you get to sufficient speed (maybe 2 or 3 mph), you need to “dump” the clutch
  • “Dumping” the clutch is immediately lifting your foot off the clutch (not slowly, IMMEDIATELY, think hot lava)
  • If you have enough momentum your car should start and be running. “Bump Starting” using the inertia of the vehicle to start the compression cycle of the engine. By dumping the clutch you force the engine to turn over
  • If it has started, then immediately push back down on the clutch again (to prevent stalling)
  • Put your car into neutral and let the car idle for a few mins to charge the battery.
    • Ideally it’s better taking the car for a 10-15 min drive to fully charge the battery


Here’s the order to correctly hook up Jump start cables if you are either helping some one jump start their vehicle. Or someone is jump starting yours. In the real world, this order isn’t generally followed exactly (some do, some don’t). Most people just generally hook up the cables and jump. This is the correct procedure however, and you SHOULD follow it, because it prevents explosions / sparking and it gives you an understanding of the correct procedure and why it’s safer.

    • Both cars should have Ignition switched off
    • Both cars should be in Neutral
    • Both cars should have Handbrakes applied
    • Both cars should have no additional load running to maximise starting energy (Headlights, Wipers, etc)
  • Here is the correct order for connecting Jump Start cables, as a note, you may see little sparks when connecting the cables. This isn’t bad, it’s a sign there’s an electrical connection, which is a good indicator that your getting a good connection the first time around which saves you rechecking everything if it fails and getting a good first start
  • RED JUMPER on DEAD “Vehicle” Battery Terminal (Positive)
  • RED JUMPER on DONOR “Vehicle” Battery Terminal (Positive)
  • BLACK JUMPER on DONOR “Vehicle” Battery Terminal (Negative)
  • BLACK JUMP on DEAD (EARTH) “Vehicle” – (Earth Point) – This needs to be somewhere metal on the car, the easiest point would be the engine mount, part of the chassis, or a bracket on the engine. Some cars have dedicated terminals near the battery specifically for jump starting (I think some manufacturers refer to them as Jump Assist Points). It is best to find an unpainted metal surface, these are normally good earths.
    • Why not connect the Negative Terminal to the Battery?
      • The reason why you do not connect it to the battery terminal is because Batteries release Hydrogen gas. If there is Gas vapour, and a spark is generated. Hydrogen Gas + Spark = BOOM (potentially).
      • Additionally, if you connect up to the Battery, there is potential to cause an Electrical short, which can cause damage to your vehicle / donor vehicle and their ECU due to electrics being more complicated on modern vehicles
  • Now that you understand the connection method. Here is the starting procedure….
    • First turn both ignitions to live
    • Start the engine on the Donor vehicle
      • This isn’t the exact step, but it’s what I do. I normally rev my engine and hold the revs at in the region of 2000-3000 rpm. The reason I do this is because jump starting, generally pulls more current from your vehicle. This really varies on the engine size of the vehicle. Diesel vehicles use more current, the same as bigger engines. You don’t have to do this, but it can help during the starting procedure
    • Try and start the engine on the dead vehicle
  • If the vehicle starts, great you’re done. You need to disconnect leads in the following order…
    • BLACK from DEAD (Earth)
    • BLACK from DONOR (Negative Terminal)
    • RED from DONOR (Positive Terminal)
    • RED from DEAD (Positive Terminal)
      • Leave the engine running for 10-15 mins, switch it off again and try to start again. If the vehicle starts, then drive your car for about 10-15 mins to charge the battery. If the vehicle doesn’t start after this bit, then jump the car again. Next time it starts however, you will need to take the car for a drive. If the car is flat again when you have driven the vehicle, and the car won’t start. Then you have potential problems:
        • Faulty battery (most likely)
        • Faulty alternator
        • Faulty earth strap
  • If the vehicle doesn’t start. First switch off both vehicles, and recheck electrical connections
  • After you check them, let the donor vehicle run for approximately 5-10 mins to give the car time to charge the battery. After this, attempt to start again
  • If the car still doesn’t start then you either have a bad earth (most likely on DEAD vehicle) and you should recheck the connections, or bad cables, battery. There’s also a possibility that the donor vehicle can’t supply enough current for this or is just too weak to boost your vehicle (It’s easier to jump start a car if the Donor is a Diesel car).
  • Recheck all again, if it’s still unsuccessful, you need recovering / towing home


This shouldn’t be needed, but I just thought I’d mention it whilst we’re on the subject here. As some people may have friends who are motorbikers. Or find a stranded bike rider. In order to jump start a motorbike, do the following

  • Ignitions off
  • RED on BIKE Battery
  • RED on CAR Battery
  • BLACK on CAR Battery
  • BLACK on BIKE Chassis/Frame
  • Attempt to start the Motorbike
  • DO NOT start the engine on the car. Realistically you shouldn’t need to even turn the ignition to live, since it’s a direct Battery to Battery transfer

Cars have a lot more power than motorbikes (Electrically speaking), so it’s relatively easy to jump start a motorbike because cars have more than enough power to start them. The reason why you do not start the donor car is because the batteries are 12V. When you start the car they become 14.4V – This will damage the Motorbike “Alternator”. Off-hand I can’t remember what it’s called (Energiser / Comparator perhaps). So starting a motorbike just needs a 12V source that’s it.

As for Motorbikes. You can also “Bump” start them. The procedure is the same. The bike rider holds in the clutch lever. Ignition on, you push them and they dump the clutch from 2nd gear. I won’t go too much into this procedure, because Motorbike riders are generally fairly experienced, so they will understand the procedure anyway. You never know however.


Surprisingly most modern cars now are fitted with a removable towing eye. Originally they were fitted with places you could hook your tow loop/tow bar onto. Manufacturers however decided to replace them with towing eyes. I’m guessing this was more down to aesthetics more than anything else.

Now, if you buy a car, make sure it has the towing eye with it! You DO NOT want to break down, and find out your car is missing a towing eye. Otherwise your day is going to get worse, because that “free” option where somebody was going to tow you. Has now turned into an option where you have to recover your vehicle another way. Most likely via a recovery loading truck.

So, if you buy a car. Pay attention to your vehicle and look at the towing spots. There will either be a hook under the car, or some form of removable panel on the FRONT/REAR bumps. Towing holes are usually quite low down on the car, and will either be on the left or right side of the vehicle. Once you have found it, pop the cover and inspect it. If you have the towing eye, make sure it fits. Screw it in (I’m talking from experience here, my car had one but it was the wrong one) and make sure it fits your vehicle. This will confirm that you have one in the event it’s needed. You will only have one towing hook (you’re either towing, or being the one towed)

The towing eye will normally be stored with your spare wheel / car breadown kit in the boot. It will either be in a side panel, or under the false floor in the boot. It looks like a screw with the eye from a sewing needle.


OK, towing a vehicle. If, for whatever reason your car can’t start. There’s a good chance you’re going to need to be towed. Now, here’s a few pointers when it comes to your vehicle being towed. Also, as an additional note, you are no longer allowed to use tow ropes, because the ropes can snap and provide improper tension. You either need to use a towing dolly, or a tension towing bar.

  • Your car needs to be in Neutral (you don’t touch the gears when towed)
  • Your handbrake needs to be off (some people forget this)
  • If your engine won’t start, then your car will have NO VACUUM ASSIST. What is vacuum assist you ask?
    • Vacuum Assist is where parts of the vacuum generated in the engine are sent to the brake servo on the car. This decreases braking force needed when braking the vehicle. Now. To put this in more simplier terms how does it affect you as a driver? – Without Vacuum Assist to your brakes when you’re being towed, your brakes will feel rock hard / impossible to push down. Do not panic, this is normal!
    • Try pressing the brakes with no running engine – that’s basically what it feels like
  • When you are being towed, it’s a very nervous experience. So don’t be surprised if someone asks you if you’ve ever been towed before. A lot of drivers are uncomfortable with it. If I had to tow someone I’d be asking them this question so I could run them through what was going to happen so they weren’t as shocked. The majority of vehicle braking will be done via the vehicle towing you. When you are being towed, just “aid” the driver in front by pressing the brakes when you see them braking. It will help slow the vehicles and support their vehicle with the demand
  • Also going slowly is key. The person towing you will generally go a slower speed, because their vehicle weight has doubled, so they will be required to brake earlier, be smoother on the clutch etc. Not every person who tows you is good like this however, which is why some people get nervous. When you are towed, essentially you are victim and the person in front of you is in control. Which means if they put their foot down, chances are you’re going to move quicker. So you need someone you can trust to tow you.
  • If you’re on a hill, then obviously you will need your handbrake to help support your vehicle weight to prevent it rolling backwards. Remember to take it off when the towing starts again ( SEE NOTES )

Notes regarding Hill towing. LUCKILY, I haven’t had to do this personally. It would be a good test of the towing persons ability to control the vehicles aswell. Personally speaking, even I wouldn’t want to do this, because it would be so irritating. So can only give a suggestion at this point.

Generally speaking, when you’re being towed people go the easiest / flattest route (which is normally by Motorways, etc). This would be best to communicate before towing as communication is key. If you do have to go up a hill for whatever reason. I would recommend the following….

  • Talking to the driver on the phone when you’re releasing handbrake etc
  • Visual communication (ie Thumbs up in rear mirror)

The reason you would need to do this, is because without enough Clutch control both vehicles would roll backwards. You have to remember Clutch Control only holds their vehicle weight. When towing there’s another 1300+kg they have to hold on the clutch as well. The person towing you would have to get their slip their clutch and add more revs onto their vehicle (probably 2500-3500). They would then need to give you a thumbs up to disengage your handbrake. They would then disengage theirs and add in revs to pull you both away.


It’s unlikely new drivers would have a 4×4 Vehicle, but if driving a 4X4 and the vehicle needs towing by a dolly or similar. All 4 wheels must be off the ground, or the driveshaft must be disconnected from the rear diff. A lot of recovery firms such as the RAC/AA have towing dollies, which lift up the Front Wheels only. This works for 2WD vehicles, but on 4WD all 4 wheels are driven at the same time. So either the entire vehicle needs recovering, or the driveshaft needs disconnecting so the rear wheels are free-rolling. If you don’t do this, it will destroy the transmission on the vehicle


Just an obvious one if here, but if your vehicle has an actual tyre. Make sure it’s the correct size to be fitted to your vehicle. One of my vehicles came with a tyre, but it turned on the day I had a puncture, it was a random one someone chucked in from a scrapyard….. annoying

Now, it is for this reason. I’d recommend carrying some form of puncture repair kit as a backup. If you’ve got the ability to repair a puncture at the road side, it will make it a redundancy measure if you have the wrong size spare

Your car, if it has a tyre, will most likely come with a “Space Saver”, these are normally limited to 50mph. The important factor is the size of the tyres.

EXAMPLE : A car tyre 205/55/R16 91 V is the following

  • The tyre is 205mm wide
  • Tyre tyre sidewall (the bit between the edge of wheel, the edge of the tyre is 55% of the width), so approx 110mm
  • The tyre SIZE is 16″
  • The tyre load rating is 91
  • The tyre speed rating is V

The important thing to confirm with your tyre, is the SIZE of it. The other factors are not important (usually). The tyre size is however. The reason why this is important, is because a different size tyre will affect the rolling radius, and most likely damage the transmission of the vehicle. The tyres need to be matched up. As long as you have the correct size spare this is fine. Your spare may read something like 135/90/R16 102M – This is fine, because R16 matches the size of your factory tyre. If your spare tyre doesn’t match your factory tyre. DO NOT USE IT

That’s all for now, I will add more as I go

UK Taxes and Government Spending

There was once a question posted towards the government about ringfencing taxes and dedicating them to specific sectors like care/NHS. Typically, the government dodged this, because they don’t have the back bone to say yes to taxing people, and because most people know fine well the Government wouldn’t give the money to the NHS, they’d use it for their own purposes. So they left it with Council’s to tax people instead

I’m discussing this, because quite frankly, something needs doing with it. The NHS is an amazing service, but without increasing Taxes and making more money, eventually the service will fail. Services are already under pressure now, which is why we have long waiting times. This is due to lack of staff. A budget that is the correct amount would provide the cover for this. Eventually the UK government WILL increase the taxes, but they will allocate the budgets where they see fit. I’m just posting this so people can get a general idea of how the money would be produce, and what it would be equivalent to. If you don’t like the idea of raising Taxes, consider this, the UK could eventually have a privatised NHS service like America when they have no more money and need to raise it via other methods

Personally I think the government needs to be more exact with where they are dividing the money. The treasury need to start coughing up. Boris is wanting to make the British a Scientific Superpower. We are barely doing well now because of the allocation of budgets. So to add something else into the mix is stupid. Make us stronger medically first, we already have the structures in place, just cough up the funds to allow them to develop more.

Now, here’s some numbers

In the UK there are “approximately” – 1.5M NHS Staff, and 1.5M Care Workers
In the UK there are “approximately” – 48M Working age (1.5M Unemployed)
In the UK there are “approximately” – 2000 Hospitals, 22000 Care Homes and 7500 GP Surgeries

Just for reference…
If the government implemented the suggestion £0.01 to NHS for every £1 earned. That’s equivalent to about £10p/m

Assuming the Government said “Yes” they’re willing to tax people X amount which will go directly to the NHS, you would get the following. I broke it down in a table. Click the link below to open it up in a new Window as it’s quite detailed


As you can see, regardless on even the most miniscule amount even if it was just £1 per month out of everyone’s pocket. There would still be a nice payrise, or increase in budget for whatever place/person is receiving it, and it’s hardly going to affect someone that much for them to notice the difference. In the table I’ve written various breakdowns, these included the following

  • 100% of the money being given to the NHS / Care Workers,
  • 100% of the money being given to the Facilties such as Hospitals, GP Surgeries, Care Homes
  • 50% of the money being split up between the NHS workers and the Facilities
  • 50% of the money being split up between NHS workers and the Facilities dividing it further
    • The last part would be a Split of 70% / 15% / 15%. It’s pointless saying a care home needs more money than a Hospital. End of the day, what’s bigger, what needs the bigger budget? It’s just common sense. You would have to prioritise more of the money towards the larger Facility. They need the money more.

After the #COVID19 outbreak is over, the Government will be remembered for the slimeballs they were, and the #NHS and #CareWorkers and all the other staff will be remembered for the sacrifices they had to endure. So if the option ever comes up about increasing Taxes to ringfence for NHS, the opinion to me should be yes, providing it’s guaranteed for the NHS. This helps medicine and cures be developed when more money is pumped into Science. So the more budget they have, they more they can hire and train. Which increases the overall effectiveness

This is currently how the government breaks down their annual taxes based on budgets. As you can see, there’s virtually no headroom. My annual tax last year is example below. Interesting enough, I’ve actually just added up the below and it comes to 99.8%, so where the hell is the other 0.2%. I’ve included sources below, but 2019 appeared to be around £810B for the entire Government budget which would make the National Debt Interest around £41.31B last year. So 0.2% is the equivalent of £16.2B – damn, I’d love to know where those pennies have gone?

  • Welfare (23.5%) £1,171
  • Health (20.2%) £1,006
  • State Pensions (12.8%) £638
  • Education (11.8%) £588
  • Defence (5.3%) £264
  • National debt interest (5.1%) £254
  • Transport (4.3%) £214
  • Public order and safety (4.3%) £214
  • Business and industry (3.6%) £179
  • Government administration (2.1%) £105
  • Housing and utilities, like street lighting (1.6%) £80
  • Environment (1.5%) £75
  • Culture, like sports, libraries and museums (1.5%) £75
  • Overseas aid (1.2%) £60
  • UK contribution to the EU budget (1%) £50
  • Total£4,981

One of the excuses they made with the ring fencing was that they had to prioritise other areas like Transport/Defence.

I would say Yes to Transport, the idea of Defence personally is just rubbish to me, but that’s what happens, they have to either sacrifice something, or find more money somewhere. This is done via taxation

The UK as a whole contribute towards a National Debt. Apparently every single citizen has about £15,000 of value in National Debt. That 5.1% above in National Debt Interest is somewhere in the region of £47 Billion. Imagine what the government could do with that much more money at their disposal if we weren’t servicing Debt. That’s a different issue however.

So, as you can see. Eventually we’re all going to be taxed more, it’s just a case of WHEN not IF

You can read more about the UK Government 2020 Budget via this link
You can also read more about the UK Government Debt here
You can read about the Government budget forecast at this source

Weather Headaches

This may sound like some weird rant, but for those people who are like me and sufferers like me. They will understand what I’m talking about and how much it messes you up. I thought I’d write this post to discuss it with others

What are Weather Headaches?

As much as I’d to class it as a “Spidey Sense” relating to the Weather it’s not, it’s a nightmare. Quite simply they’re headaches you experience when the Weather changes. It affects people in various ways, some people get it when the Weather is going from Hot to Cold, Cold to Hot, Barometric Pressure Changes, Humidity changes, if there’s a storm front coming on. Sounds rubbish right?

I can assure you it’s not. It’s something you learn to live with but hate at the same time. Did you ever have a grandparent who always used to complain about the Weather and they can feel it in their bones? Same situation, everyone who suffers Weather Headaches all get it in varying degrees.

For me personally, it seems to be more related to the barometric pressure. The slightest change can set me off. It’s why I’m making my own Weather Station, I haven’t been able pinpoint what’s causing it which is why I want to build a weather station so I can log it.

When the UK went into Lockdown with #COVID19 we had a period where it was red hot (about 30’c) for about 2 weeks. Well before that I had crippling headaches, and after that (before it started raining about a day later), I got crippling headaches again. How does it affect me you ask?

The way it affects me would probably depend on a pain scale based 1-10

Pain Level of 1 – I wake up, slight headache that irritates me I can work but feel grumpy until weather changes.
Pain Level of 5 – My head hurts, I take painkillers. I’m irritable, it makes me nauseous, and irritates my bowels
Pain Level of 10 – I can’t function. Unable to move, wanting to vomit, head feels like it’s going to explode.

This may sound all made up, but for people who have worked with me. Those who know me know it’s true. I rarely get anything I can’t manage, I just plod on because I’m so used to it. Normally I try to self medicate, sometimes having a red hot bath helps me when I’ve got a headache. I try to catch it before it happens, drinking more water and taking painkillers. It helps me cope with it. It sucks. The longest it has ever lasted has been about 11 hours for me. I was woken up in the morning with an enormous head pain (think huge hangover) probably 8/9 in pain. It contined until about 15:00 that afternoon.

I was pretty much in bed for the entire day. Tried talking to people on the phone, but I was just grumpy as fuck. I wasn’t really interested, and when I’m grumpy I’m very irritable. I have no tolerance or patience with people. It’s basically just a case of give me the answer, or get to the point then get lost. I’m trying not to be rude with people, it’s just that’s how bad it affects me.

The weather itself isn’t fixed, I remember another day quite vividly, I woke up about 7:30 in the morning with a splitting headache (maybe about 7 or 8 on pain). I felt like I wanted to puke all the time, my head was banging and I was constantly going to the toilet didn’t know whether I wanted to puke or shit myself. Eventually about 11am, my head felt perfectly fine. At that exact moment it literally started pissing down with rain, and it felt like a balloon was being deflated inside my skull at the exact time this was happening. (This coincidentally is also why I think mines related to Barometric pressure).

I know there’s various theories about what causes these headaches. Even as far as the cycles of the moon, this is because the gravity pulls the water in our body which can cause headaches/joints.

Weirdly enough whenever it happens, my sinuses always get bunged. Like I get ridiculously snotty and when I’m suffering from the headaches my entire nose and sinuses become blocked.

I’ve tried self help, I’d be interested what works for others. My main routine with Weather related sickness is primarily Water, Painkillers, and a hot bath. I’ve considered taking allergy tablets incase it’s related to this, and also losing weight. Maybe a high BMI causes suffering more. I’ve yet to find a decent Android App which tracks it. I know the USA has an app called Storm Headache Tracker or something which is used to alert people when there’s a weather change about to happen. So they can take painkillers in advance. None for the UK however.

Either way, it’s a bummer, but you learn to live with it. I have good days and bad days. I’d be interested in hearing from people who suffer it too and what works for them.

Why use a dishwasher?

I’m lazy! There I said it, here’s my life hack for the method I use that should make you think why use a dishwasher?

I prefer this method, simply because I live alone, this is the approach that I use. It works for me. I live alone, but I have a habit of grabbiing a new piece of kitchenware rather than wash the last. I then just tend to wash everything all together, the end result being I ended up developing my own pattern for doing things which gives me free time.

I do actually wash dishes individually from time to time. I just get distracted a lot, and prefer to grab a new one from the cupboard than to clean an old one to reuse it. Don’t ask me why, just seems a pointless idea. If I only owned 1 dish, 1 cup etc then I’d be forced to wash them all the time. Maybe adopting a minimalist lifestyle would work for me, but this is the approach I use and I’m fine with it.

If I can find a way of doing something quicker, I will. Lazy people find the most efficient way of doing things, it’s a fact. We will figure out a fast way of doing something so we can spend more time being lazy.

Here’s my Life Hack. Which is the reason I rarely use a dishwasher, firstly it takes forever, secondly, it’s more expensive. Lastly, it never used to get into every nook and cranny no matter how I cleaned it. So it was a waste of time anyway. Dishwashers rely on you getting rid of the the dirty stuff on a plate so it can clean off the lighter stuff. What’s the point in that. If you’re going to clean something and replace the manual labour of it, then you should do a better job. Dishes, everyone hates them and doing them. If you love them, I think you’re a Psychopath… you weirdo you! Joking, whatever makes you happy, but I can think of other things.

My time is precious to me. As a person I’m lazy, I know I am. I didn’t really develop the right mindset and mentality to clean as I go, so I’ve had to make up my own. Either that, or I just can’t be arsed doing things and just prefer doing things my own way. Which sounds more like me.

Anyway, I normally do my dishes when there’s a full load. I hate doing them one at a time, that’s just the way I am. Seems a waste of effort. I used to use Dishwasher, but it’s expensive.

A quick google search suggests a Dishwasher uses about 1.5KWh of Electricity per cycle (about 20p of Electric), you then have to factor in the tablets for materials, you’re probably looking at around 50p for every cycle. Not good.

My method that I use which makes dishwasher inefficient, and is a faster, cheaper and easier way to wash dishes.


  • Run the tap until boiling hot, plug the sink and give it a squirt of good ol’ Fairy liquid for some bubble magic
  • Chuck in a full sink of your washing inside it and leave it to sit for about an hour or so.
  • When the water is cooler, take out the items one at a time and scrub them down/clean them, empty sink
  • Fill the kettle with water to the max and boil it. When the kettle is boiled, put them all back in the sink
  • Pour boiling water over it all, and dry them off / put away

That’s it, simple!

PERKS and reasons why you should consider doing this

  • Less work, all you have to do is quickly scrub them and dry them
  • It’s faster to dry , because the boiling water is 100’c, essentially instantly dries so there’s very little to clean
  • It frees up your time, it gives you time tocus on other chores around the home, or just reading a book
  • It’s cheaper (a full kettle costs 2.5p to boil) and Fairy liquid about £3 and lasts forever.

As you can see, this is the reason I clean this way. When you’re pressed for time, a Dishwasher might help. However it costs you more. The method I use works for me, it’s cheaper than a dishwasher, and makes me more efficient at house work

if you don’t use this method, that’s your choice, just a life hack to help others out

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