I’ve missed Swimming

For the past few months I’ve been going swimming before work between 2 and 3 times a week for 2 main reasons: 1. I love it, its so relaxing and yet enegizing and 2. It wakes me up before going into work. It also has the nice side effect of helping me get a little fitter too. I don’t do a lot – Only about 10 to 20 minutes worth but its regular most of the time.

Over the past 6 weeks though, I’ve missed out most weeks due to sore eyes, a chest infection and tummy issues. Things best not to be in a pool with. With a chest infection breathing becomes an issue and anything with eyes its best not to share water with others.

I’ve been for “the appointment” now for an endoscopy down my throat and pretty much since then my life and health are getting a lot better and I’m back to swimming.

When I went for the first appointment as I’ve spoken before, I was quite nervous and once I got there I had to wait (as normal) but to find it wasn’t happening there and then but I had to stop medication for 2 weeks beforehand. I’d had appointment from 3 weeks before so could have been told this.

When I spoke with the doctor they insisted it has to have been 2 weeks. I was told 3 days, and when I said this to him I was told “well, I am the specialist” – my reaction was someone should have notified me the proper information and the reaction was around “well thats not my job” – I argued that if he was the only one knowing the rules, how did he expect others to know if he doesn’t tell them. He kind of shrugged it off.

Most people would have just accepted without discussing any further what a doctor had said but I work with them most days of the week, they are just people doing another part of the job and yes they have specific knowledge for health and can help but also they often require help for example from me in IT – The basis of Treat one another as you want to be treated can go a long way.

The second time I went to get the treatment I was not notified by post to stop any medications, and actually stated in the letter to bring any medications I was on with me but I stopped them all the same.

I was told not to eat or drink from 7am and appointment at noon. Noon came and went, I was seen soon after 4pm – many hours after food or drink and overall it seemed OK – glad I took the choice of sedation. It does’t put you to sleep and you do remember but instead of the 15 minutes that is apparently took, I can only recall about 2 minutes. Those 2 minutes were not nice so could have done without them too.

I was not worried when I had to actually go for the treatment. I felt a peace that nothing drastic was going to be found. I’d stopped the meds over 2 weeks and my tummy was generally fine, I’d not felt like that for years. Now i’ve been told I’ve new medications but the prescription suggestion hasn’t quite made it to my doctors yet so I’m not on it… and if it was urgent I’d have got one there and then. So I’m getting better and getting back into enjoyment of life again.

Spicy BBQ Shreaded Pork

When I’ve been out I’ve always enjoyed shreaded pork from takeaway places and wondered how to make it myself. I thought it was difficult and expensive but turns out I was wrong. I read up online on several sites how to make some and made my own version using the same baseline of how its put together using ingredients I enjoy for seasoning.

It turned out a lot better than I expected it too, and it was great for a saturday. The weather is getting nicer, spring seems to have arrived and to have something that I didn’t really need to do much with and make great sandwidges with, all I can say is its turned out well and now I can make something more.

The cost for the whole receipe came to around £7.50


* Pork Shoulder / Pork Roast
* 2 onions, sliced and deviced
* 1 onion, chopped (Optional)
* Juice of 2 limes
* 1 green bell pepper
* 1 Jar BBQ Sauce
* 1 tablespoon of olive oil (Optional)

Seasoning Mix Ingredients (cost around £1)

Season Mix blitzed
Seasoning Mix Blitzed

* 3 chillis de-seeded & finely chopped
* Around a 2cm cubed piece of ginger finely chopped
* 3 cloves of garlic
* A few Black Pepper corns
* A little Salt

Create the seasoning:

Method 1:

Chop ingredients and mix in a bowl

Method 2:

Place in food processor and let that blitz the ingredients together. This is the way I did it.

How to make the dish

I have used a slow cooker to create this dish, but its also possible to use an oven and slow cook using a low heat however I found a slow cooker was more economic and simple enough to use. My instructions are for what I use, you may need to look elsewhere for heat settings for an oven.

1. Prepare the seasoning mix
2. Place 1 sliced onion at bottom of pot
3. Place pork on top of onions
4. Cover pork with seasoning mix
5. Top with remaining onion, and add chopped peppers
6. Drizzle with lime juice
7. Cover with pan lid
8. Cook on a high heat for 6 hours
9. Remove meat & veg
10. Discard juices
11. Shread pork using two forks to pull it apart
12. Return pork to the pan
13. Pour and mix in BBQ sauce
14. Cover with lid and heat on low for 1 hour or more
15. Fry chopped onions in a little oil to how you like them (Optional)
16. Serve

Works well in bread buns.

The shreading of the pork, pulling it apart took quite a while to do but it did pull away so easily. The meat turned out to just work so well in this dish, and was almost falling apart when I took it out of the pan in stage 9… but overall it worked well. Not sure when I’ll manage to eat it all but glad others are coming over to join in. Hope they enjoy it as much as I am.

An Added Heat Twist…?

I’ve thought that if I was to add to the seasoning mix a naga jolokia chilli blitz into this, it would make for a Hot shot version but thats not for people in general. The heat of those things are an aquired taste. Most people do not taste anything more after the heat has hit them and we don’t want to waste the lovely flavours. I didn’t add much heat to this one and it is delicious and one to share in a party I’d think.

The end look of it:

Shreaded Pork in a BBQ Sauce: The End Result
Shreaded Pork in a BBQ Sauce: The End Result

Enjoy, I have and will again!

Naga Jolokia Chilli Popcorn

I wanted a snack, something spicey, cheap and tasty so I thought… Popcorn is easy to make and in general quite healthy for you unless you add loads of sugar (which I like) – Add some chilli I thought and it came out delicious so I share it with you all.


  • Vegitable oil
  • Popcorn
  • Naga Bin Jolokia Chillies paste (Available here, and here)
  • Optional: Sugar


  1. Vegitable oil to coat bottom of pan
  2. Add about half to a teaspoon of Naga Jolokia Chilli paste
  3. Heat up and stir to mix the chilli into the oil
  4. Add popcorn to cover about 3/4 of the bottom of the pan
  5. *Optional* Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to cover popcorn for sweetness
  6. Cover Pan and heat on a medium to high heat
  7. Wait for popping
  8. Wait for popping to slow to almost stopped
  9. Remove from heat, stir and serve


It was a nice change, quick and cheap to make and will most likely suprise people when they try it. It starts as a tingle heat and seems to get hotter the more you have.

I once made regular chilli popcorn for a church event. I told people I was bringing chilli popcorn, they didn’t seem to grasp the chilli part. Almost every person tried some and liked the first taste, but after a few then people went for Water of all things… we told them milk but they didn’t listen.

Some of the group loved it and ate the rest. People tended to listen more after I said things after that. Strange coincidence, or just looking after themselves?

Looking at a Law Degree

I’ve been through university and found it a hard time work wise, I learned loads in the “social” side of things although wasn’t out even half as much as many of my friends. I ended university with a HNC in IT and its done me well over the years but I’ve been looking into completing/upgrading my university education to something more.

I’ve always liked the idea of standing up for those around me when it comes to rights, and although I sometimes get it wrong, people generally do come to me and ask me for advise. I would like to know things for sure – to be taught what is acceptable (law wise) and at the end of it do something different in life. I’ve grown up with polotics around me (in my family) and seen when it works (and doesn’t) and want to help.

I’m looking at working with a Law degree of sorts part time while I continue work – no real chance of doing one full time and paying the bills eg. mortgage etc and in reality I think I’d like to keep working while learning.

I found there was a lot of time in university that I could have been studying but didn’t feel encouraged to do so. With working at the same time, it would reduce the “entertainment” time and make me focus on the education to get anywhere – encouragement by annoyance.

I want to do a course that involves me going to a class to interact and listen in lectures, and tutorials and is not just distance learning. I’ve tried distance learning and although I slowly get through the material, I feel I could get a lot more done with people to bounce ideas to and from, and interact better.

I am much more confident in talking to people than I was when I was at university – there I seemed to be quiet all the time in class, even when I had answers and was asked I was afraid to answer. Now I look back and wonder why. Now on many occasions I am talking to groups of people or one to one, and even though I get nervous, I get through it and feel that could help me education wise.

I am aware that I will need to do a LOT of reading, and study work again. Something I never thought I’d do again (how gullible I was then – life is always a learning thing) and I’m looking forward to it.

Over the past few months or so since my migraines are generally gone (due to lack of chocolate), I’ve had a lot more time available to me to do things, and my mind seems more active. Reading has become a great experience again and words don’t seem to be moving as they used too and things make a lot more sense. I’ve wanted to challenge myself again, I’ve been getting through a lot of my ideas that I’ve thought about but never got further until recently and things are happening. I want my education to be one aswell.

I’ve found that Teesside University do a Part Time Law Degree from one full day a week for around £1500 a year for 3 or 4 years. So I’m researching an intro course first to see if its for me. But the degree starts in september so got a little time to research. I’m also looking at transferring my points from my IT HNC to the degree to help top it up.

Should be interesting. I think there will be a lot of boring parts aswell but at the end I should be equiped to help people a lot better and go into industries that I can’t even think of at the moment.