Ironsides Blog

My blog is very eclectic and blog articles include angling, what's been on the television and basically anything else that comes to mind

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I live on the south-west coast of England in a small town called Brixham.  I been confined to a wheelchair 1986 after breaking my neck in a swimming pool accident.  Computers are my saviour and I spend most days doing one thing or another on my PC.  Other interests I have include angling and amateur radio.  I also run a website and forum dedicated to looking after and caring for the Oscar fish cichlid

Posted by on in Angling
If you like using boilies for bait then there's one little piece of equipment I would highly recommend. It's called theC and as the name suggests it's used to mince our baits with just a few twists of your wrist. If boilies are a favoured bait then you will probably be used to chucking out loads of boilies around your hook bait. A Boilie in its finished form has a fairly tough outer layer. However, once you break through the outer layer you are then releasing all those enticing smells that the carp love. Using the to literally break apart the boilies will ensure that all those lovely flavours seep into the water. I think it's worth mentioning that the Korda crusher will mint stop just about anything you want to use for bait, meats, pellets, you name it.
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Posted by on in Angling
If like me you don't make your own rigs then you can't go wrong with these ready-made rigs. Whoever makes them can't be making much out of them, by the time you for the hooks, the braid and the spikes and then put however long it takes into making them, there must be a few pence left over for your profit. And then they provide them with free postage, you really can't get anything cheaper anywhere else in my opinion.
You can buy on eBay for a really reasonable price, have done before and I really love using them. The bait spike is simplicity in itself and it means that you can use it with large or small boilies, you don't have to worry about how long the hair is.


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Posted by on in For Sale
For Sale - Quickie GPV Manual Wheelchair
I'm selling this wheelchair because my existing cushion is too big for it. I've had the wheelchair for about four years now, however I've used it for about two days in all that time. So I can guarantee that the wheelchair looks as good as new with no scratches or signs of wear.
This is a manual wheelchair that has a solid footplate and solid tyres. This means that you will never get a puncture. It has plastic clothes guards so your trousers won't get dirty or wet when you are pushing outside.
Don't be under the misapprehension that this is a sports lightweight wheelchair. Burrows is definitely not as heavy as your old NHS wheelchairs, it's not really made for sport. However, it's a nice wheelchair that will suit every day needs.
The wheelchair has brakes and also push handles say that if you need to be pushed anywhere somebody can use the handles at the back.
The dimensions of the seating are as follows: 
Width: 43 cm 
Depth: 47 cm 
Backrest height: 44 cm 
Height of chair (floor to push handles): 94 cm
I am asking for £600, I may consider sensible offers
Please ring (01803) 882769 and ask for Penn
I would advise looking at the wheelchair before buying it. However, I can send the wheelchair without being viewed first, but I would have to add extra on for shipping fees
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Posted by on in Angling
Hemp seed is an absolutely brilliant loose feed bait for carp, they absolutely love it. I always imagine carp looking upon hemp as small snails that they love crunching up. I've been using the for many years now. It comes in tins or larger plastic containers. Hemp works great straight out of the tin, however by adding a few little extra ingredients you can make it work even better. You can buy a which carp absolutely love. Alternatively if you don't want all the hassle of mixing it yourself, you can buy already prepared in packets. Whichever you use, I promise you that the carp will be mooching around in your swim not long after you put some in.
If you're fishing at distance then the only reliable way of getting hemp out to where your hook bait is is to use a spod, I wouldn't bother trying to use a catapult with hemp, it will just spray everywhere and you're just waste it. You could use a PVA bag, just make sure you choose one that doesn't dissolve too quickly, also you probably won't be able to use a very wet mixture if you're using a PVA system.
You can also mix lots of other goodies with hemp. I particularly like a mixture of hemp sweetcorn and various sized pellets. Remember you want to keep the carp in your swim so give them a reason to stay.
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Posted by on in Angling
Maggots are fabulous as a bait for fish. I started off using maggots nearly 40 years ago, but back then I was catching small roach and perch. However, even though maggots are quite small, they are still a very good carp bait.
If you are a match angler then you will be used to hooking one single maggot onto a very small hook. However when you are fishing for slightly bigger carp then we tend to use more than one maggot on the hook. I prefer the no-nonsense approach of hooking maggots, take a size 12 or 10 hook and cram as many maggots onto it as you possibly can. In the more techy age of carp fishing people are now using hair rigs more and more when using maggots as a hook bait. One may ask how the hell you put maggots on a hair rig? People started off by using a small piece of wire that they threaded the maggots onto and then added that to the hair. Korda have actually come up with a purpose made that you incorporate into our rig. Then it's just a case of threading the maggots onto the clip and you have your maggots perfectly mounted on a hair rig. I've seen people use dead maggots as hook bait, what they do is they thread them onto the hook, in a similar way you would a worm.
I don't tend to use maggots as hook bait much myself, I prefer to use them as loose feed. The problem with lots of commercial waters is they contain lots and lots of small silver fish which also love maggots. The only slight problem I found of using live maggots is they wiggle. You know what happens if you put some maggots on the ground, that gone in no time at all. The same thing happens if you chuck maggots into the water, if there's any silt or pebbles then the maggots will just crawl into the little crevices, or under the salt. If I using maggots as a loose feed that I want the fish to be able to find them properly. So the easiest way to assure this happens is to use dead maggots.
Killing maggots isn't quite as complicated or gruesome as one may imagine. The easiest way to kill them is to actually deprive them of oxygen. Get yourself one of those freezer bags, the ones that are a sealable. Put your maggots in to the bag and then squeeze all the air out and seal the bag firmly. Eventually the maggots will stop wriggling. There is a chance maggots will come back to life once you take them out of the bag. Some people freeze the maggots which will kill them outright.
Now when you sprinkle maggots into your swim they will stay there for the fish to find, instead of disappearing. A lot of people like to use red maggots as the colour red seems to attract fish. If you can't buy red maggots then the easiest thing to do is use a and colour the maggots yourself. Another way in which you can add attractant to your maggots which makes them even more appealing to the carp is to add chopped worm. Any garden worm is good, but if you can get hold of big juicy lob worm than that's what I would probably go for. You can use a knife to chop the worms up, alternatively some fishing manufacturers make special that have several blades incorporated that make it easy to chop the worms up into segments.
Maggots are particularly good in the colder months of the year. A lot of people stop fishing in the colder months so the carp are not getting their normal fill of pellets, boilies, bread etc. The carp then resort to looking for natural foods which they will root around in the soil. I believe that maggots are probably the next best thing to larvae and other little critters that they may come across.
Catapulting maggots is quite difficult, as you though they will probably only go so far. There are several products on the market that enable you to basically buying the maggots and make them stick together. One such product is called and is basically a white 
powder that you sprinkle onto dry maggots. After a few minutes you will find that you can gently squeeze the maggots into a ball which can then be thrown a fair distance.
If you have your own method of using maggots for carp then please leave a comment below
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Posted by on in YouTube Videos

That Summer starred a 21-year-old Ray Winstone and was released in 1979. The film follows Steve Brodie, a teenager just out of youth hostel. Disillusioned with his life in London he decides to head to Torquay to try and win a swimming race.
The majority of the film was made on location in and around Torquay Devon. Film locations include Torquay seafront, the old arcades, the Pickwick pub, the Imperial hotel and various outside locations which locals will definitely recognise whilst watching the film.
Locals to Torbay should spot various continuity errors including Angie supposedly running to work at the Imperial hotel, but actually running towards Paignton instead. One of my favourite continuity errors is when Steve is getting ready to go down to the beach for a swim. He's getting dressed in the morning whilst looking out the window at a lovely view of Torquay Harbour. What most people didn't know is you couldn't see Torquay Harbour from the Pickwick.
Even if you don't really care for the film itself the soundtrack is absolutely fabulous.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the film as much as I have over the last 26 years since I first saw it in 1987.
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It was announced on the news today that Polish surgeons think they may have successfully found a cure for paralysis, otherwise known as spinal cord injury. In 2014 they reversed a paralysed man's paralysis using cells from his nose. The cells were then used to repair his severed spinal cord injury which had been completely severed with a knife. The Polish man can now ride a tricycle, although his paralysis is by no means completely cured, he has regained feeling, movement and has even got back some sexual function.
The same doctors are now looking for two people who have suffered the same complete spinal cord injury. I believe the reasoning behind them looking for somebody whose spinal cord is completely severed is that anyone who has a partial break of the spinal cord can sometimes regain back movement. Even somebody with an incomplete break can gain movement back years after the accident. I for one have never quite trusted claims that paralysed people who have been confined to a wheelchair for years have suddenly started walking again after treatment. Call me sceptical, but it's black and white for me, if the spinal cord is completely severed then I'm afraid it would take a proper miracle in order for you to walk properly again. So it's a great idea that they are looking for two people whose spinal cord is completely severed. If these people do see an improvement in their condition and it will certainly get my attention because you will be able to put it down to the treatment alone.
By all accounts it's going to take about a year before they find two suitable candidates. They are looking for people between the ages of 16 and 65. The two candidates will have to commit themselves to a three-year stay at the clinic in Poland. They will also have to undertake hours of physiotherapy every single day, before and after the treatment. 
If I was 20 years younger than I think I would probably put my name forward. However the thought of moving away to another country for three years is very scary. I have got so much going on in my own life I don't think I would want to leave all that behind for that long. Anybody who does seriously think about putting their name forward should take a few things into account.
If you have carers looking after you what is going to happen to them? 
Will social services in the UK pay their wages whilst they are looking after you in Poland? 
Can they take three years out of their lives to move to Poland with you? 
If not, who's going to look after you? 
Also remember that you may be putting people out of work. That said, I don't think anyone would resent you if it meant a possible cure for your spinal cord injury.
Then you will have to consider what will happen to your home in the UK. If you live in rented accommodation, I doubt very much whether housing would still cover the rental costs. If you live in your own house then who is going to look after it and pay all the bills? 
For the people who they do choose, it will be a very exciting but probably very scary time. I can only imagine what it would be like waiting for that movement of the finger to start, suddenly feeling like you want to go to the toilet, getting that first sign of feeling back in your legs.
Whoever is chosen to take part in this treatment should think themselves very lucky. I really hope that the treatment works and the person comes back after three years with a lot more movement and feeling than they left with.


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This is an extremely useful website that will give you up-to-date on current petrol and diesel prices. All you need to do is put in your town or postcode and it will list the nearest petrol stations to your home and tell you the lowest and highest price for diesel and petrol.
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PGW Engineering Torbay - Custom Motorcycle Exhaust
I have recently created a website for local businessman Peter Weller who runs PGW Engineering in Paignton. PGW Engineering specialise in custom and classic motorcycle exhaust systems. They can also carry out repairs as well as fabrications which includes bespoke exhaust systems for various classic bikes and cafe racers. They also make custom seats side panels and mudguards.
Why not drop in on their website and see what they have to offer.
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Posted by on in YouTube Videos
Other than amateur radio my other passion is angling. I love nothing more than spending a nice warm summer's day on the lakeside catching carp. More than often there are other anglers fishing on the lake as well. Occasionally you may inadvertently cast over somebody, or hook up their gear without realising it. Anglers are very polite and I have never once received any verbal abuse from another angler whilst out fishing.
I have been a ham radio operator for 21 years now so I would consider myself to be fairly experienced. However, even experienced people make mistakes occasionally, we are not all perfect. Those of you who know me well have no doubt seem many of my YouTube videos that I make of me operating on amateur radio. 99.9% of people who have commented on my videos have been respectful and courteous. But then you have that very small minority of people who think it's perfectly okay to basically leave abusive messages. The Internet is a great place, but it has its dark side unfortunately it's given some of these people and easy way attack other people for no reason whatsoever. If you ever take the time to look through posts that are made by these people then nine times out of 10 you will notice that they are not doing so using their real name, they almost always hide behind a username. Also you will often find that the ones doing it on YouTube have never made and posted videos to YouTube themselves. People who leave abusive messages on other people's webpages, Facebook, YouTube have gained the name "Troll". Don't get me wrong, I've often got into heated arguments with people in the past online, however it gets to the point where I'm going to tell somebody to FCUK OFF then I will do so with the knowledge that I am not trying to hide behind an obscure username hoping that nobody will ever find out who I am.
So that brings me onto Mr Larry Keene, a.k.a. W5LW K. He goes by LarryK1978 on YouTube and yesterday decided that he would leave me an unpleasant comment on one of my videos. So exactly who is W5WK? Well according to his QRZ page, whose first licensed in 2007 and currently holds a technician license. Probably doesn't mean an awful lot to most people, well I can tell you that's the equivalent of somebody holding a provisional driving licence. Whereas I am able to operate on the full amateur radio spectrum using our country's maximum power limit, this individual is very much limited to small sections of the band and is basically prohibited from going anywhere near the HF frequencies. 
Tell you what Larry, when you've had a little bit more experience on the amateur radio bands then maybe I'll take you seriously. Just remember that it's not clever or tough to be rude to people whilst you hide behind a username thinking that nobody will ever know who you are, it took me all of a minute to find out what your callsign is.
Tagged in: G0VQY
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I simply cannot believe how crazy some of these motorcyclists are. I'm not saying they all deserves to have a serious accident, but there way these lunatics drive their bikes, surely they are not surprised when it all goes pear-shaped? Thank God I live in the UK where the majority of drivers take care on the roads. You can see by the videos I have been posting people in foreign coutries don't seem to take much care when driving on the roads.


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These videos should make you think twice about looking properly at junctions to make sure motorcycles aren't coming

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Posted by on in YouTube Videos

This is one good reason why I don't think I would ever want to drive a car in Russia. And if this is the same bloke filming each accident then I'm surprised he wants to keep getting behind the wheel of a car. I certainly wouldn't get in a car with him.


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Posted by on in General Discussion
At 2 PM on January 1, 2016 my beloved father Robert John Wooding passed away peacefully at the Rowcroft Hospice in Torquay. Both myself, my mum and sister were at his bedside when he took his last breath and slipped away. Dad had been having problems for a few months and it was only just before Christmas when they finally diagnosed pancreatic cancer which was unfortunately far too advanced to be treated.
My dad was born on September 10, 1939 in Birmingham. After attending Camphill Grammar School for boys he left and had various jobs including working in the office at the local Noss boatyard near Dartmouth. He was an accomplished saxophonist and started working on the Queen Mary crossing over to New York and back. He was then called up for national service in the late 1950s. After finishing his national service he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. After leaving the Royal Air Force in the late 1960s we all lived in Germany for a while and he works with his brother exporting car parts.
He met my mother in 1965 and after eight weeks they got married on Christmas Eve 
After moving to Luton in Bedfordshire around 1972/3 he was the manager of a couple of petrol stations. In the mid-1970s he gained a Masters degree at Cranfield University. After obtaining various other qualifications he started teaching management to adults at Putteridge Bury management school.
We moved down to Devon in 1981 but he continued to commute back and forth to Bedfordshire until 1986, this is when I had my accident which resulted in me having to use a wheelchair permanently. He continued to consult privately until the late 1990s, he then took retirement.
My dad wasn't the sort of person that had a lot to say for himself. Unless he had something to say he wouldn't normally initiate a conversation if you were in the same room as him, he would just sit in his chair quietly reading or doing a crossword. I think people were a little scared of my dad, there were really only a handful of close friends who knew him for who he really was.
My dad was very intelligent and if you wanted something doing then the chances are he would get it done. I really don't know how my sister and I would have coped without him over the last few years. It's not until someone has gone that you then realise just how much this person has done for you.. My dad would often moan and groan if I asked them to do something, but he would always do it for me. He would often annoy me by sitting too close to the door making it difficult for me to get in, I would get angry at him asking why he has to sit so close to the door. But now I would give anything to have him back making it difficult for me to get into the living room. I still say "good morning old-timer" every time I go into the living room after getting up, that will be something I shall continue.
My Mum and Dad celebrated their 50th golden wedding anniversary on December 24, 2015. Even though dad didn't have very long left, he was absolutely determined he was going to reach that milestone, he even managed to drink some champagne and eat some chocolates to celebrate the anniversary.
My old dad could be a cantankerous old fart at times, but that was just his way and I really wouldn't want to change anything about him whatsoever. I'm lucky, I got to spend a lot of time with my dad because we all lived together. We didn't live on top of each other but at least I saw him every day which I now realise is something very special.
I love you old dude, if you are reading this from wherever you are now then all I can say is thank you for being there for me over the years, you made my life so much easier with all the support and help you have given me. Me mum and Gabrielle will never forget you and will think about you every day. One day we will meet up again, that is for sure.
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Posted by on in YouTube Videos

I came across this interesting YouTube video yesterday and thought some of you all Brixham folk would like to say it. I'm not exactly sure when it was filmed, I would probably hazard a guess at the summer of 1985, or possibly spring or summer 1986. If it was the summer of 1985 then I would have been at college in Falmouth, if it was summer of 1986 I would been a patient at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre so unfortunately I couldn't spot myself.
But I'm willing to bet that a lot of you guys and gals in Brixham will be able to spot yourselves, of course if you can remember what you looked like 30 years ago :-)
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I suppose this is going to get all the UFO geeks all excited. I'd love to believe that UFOs have been visiting Earth for decades. However, I just don't buy into it. I believe that this video shows nothing more than some kind of missile or vessel (man-made) that is either exiting our atmosphere, or exploding at very high altitude.

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Posted by on in Computer Talk
For the past few years I've used Host Gator to host all my websites. However in the last year or two I have become extremely disillusioned with HG. Even though I've been paying £65 a month for a virtual private server I found them to be very slow. The amount of times my website has been disrupted is crazy as well. I've also found that their support has really become less than acceptable. I don't expect to wait 36 hours when putting in a support ticket, not when you're paying £65 every month for your hosting. Also, to get told that they no longer help you removing malware was really the final straw. So I'm really pleased to say that I have moved all my websites across to Site Ground.
I'm now using the Go Geek package which works out to be around £140 a year. My websites are flying now, they are not sluggish like they were when I was using the VPS with host Gator.
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I thought last year's John Lewis advert was outstanding, this year's Christmas advert is truly amazing and thought-provoking
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Sometimes the biggest disasters are generated from almost nothing. The same could be said about my Oscar fish advice website which is located at Now I've had my fair share of heart stopping moments where the website has suddenly been hacked or gone down. It happened last week, the website was off-line for over 24-hour is because some slack-jawed faggot planted some software into my website directory which basically indicated that Oscarfishlover was a phishing website. No, I'm not spelt that incorrectly, a phishing website basically means it's there to con people into handing over personal information for the purposes of extorting money from them.
What happened this time was nothing to do with some scumbag trying to bring the site down, it was all down to a simple upgrade that when went wrong. I tried to upgrade the website from Joomla! 2.5 .28, up to 3.4.4. Now I've done this on various other websites in the last few months and had absolutely no problems whatsoever. As soon as I try and do it on the most important website I own, everything goes belly up. Now I always make a backup of the website before undertaking any important tasks like upgrading or migrating to a different platform. However, it seems that the backup of the database I made work properly. So where are we now? Luckily I do have various other backups, but the only problem is they are slightly out of date. I managed to find a complete backup I made at the end of August this year. I am in the process of installing that is that I write this message, that Saturday 24 October at approximately 12 o'clock noon.
So I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it goes to plan. If it doesn't, then I've got a few other ideas up my sleeve. Whatever happens, the website will finally appear on the Internet and we will get back to what we do best, helping people with their Oscars and other tropical fish.
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Posted by on in YouTube Videos

This is by far my most favourite Harry Enfield character

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