How to Cook and Prepare a Live Crab (including video guide)

The first thing to consider when you cook and prepared live crab is to try and get as fresh as you can, and there’s no fresher than still alive.

First of all, you want to reduce the amount of pain the crab goes through. Here are the instructions with an explainer video below.

To Cook the Crab

  1. Place the crab in a freezer for 15 to 30 minutes to numb them
  2. Bring a large pot of boiling, well salted water to the boil
  3. Using a pair of tongs, grab the crab from behind with some cooking tongs and place them straight in the water
  4. Bring the water back to the boil and then simmer for 7-8 minutes per 1 pound. About 15 minutes for an average brown crab.
  5. Once boiled, remove the crab and place it into a colander and leave them for 20 minutes

To prepare the Crab (for eating)

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Grab each claw, twist and pull from the body
  3. Turn the crab upside down and pull the top of the shell away from the body
  4. Remove the abdomen from underneath with a sharp knife
  5. Remove the ‘dead man’s fingers’ – they won’t kill you but they taste terrible – see the video below for what they look like
  6. Wash your hands
  7. Using a BBQ screwer or metal spoon hand to get inside the joint cavity to get the meat
  8. Use nutcrackers to break the claws to obtain the white meat (or use a tea towel and hammer)
  9. Enjoy with fresh bread and white wine


Amazon Kindle Kids Edition now just £69 with 2 year QUIBBLE FREE guarantee

Black Friday deals are already here and now you can get the Amazon Kindle Kids 7″ Edition now just £69 with 2 year QUIBBLE FREE guarantee, or the larger 8″ screen for just £89.

The Kindle for Kids comes feature packed, but most of all, has an industry leading 2 year quibble free guarantee. If you little one breaks it, smashes it, throws it down the stairs or chucks it in the bath in the first 2 years, Amazon will replace it free of charge.

This surely makes this the best value tablet computer for kids on the market right now.

The offer ends 27th November, so be quick and grabs yours today.

Buy the 7″ – here

Buy the 8″ – here

UK Construction Guide scam – 07539 829363 – James Cooper

If you’ve received a phonecall from a James Cooper claiming to be from the UK Construction Guide, you’re probably the victim of an attempted scam. Another day, another attempt at extorting hard earned cash from hard working people!

I received a call today from him. He claimed at I agreed at the end of August to place an advert in their September edition and that payment was due. I knew this was a lie because I know exactly what I spend my advertising budget on and where it goes; and that’s purely online advertising. I don’t advertise in magazines or trade newspapers for various reasons.

When I informed me of this he said they had a call recording of me placing the order and an order form. I asked for a copy of both, to which he replied “I’ll get a copy and come back to you”.

He never did…

Control Switches and Devices in your home using Amazon Echo

You can now control switches and devices in your home using Amazon Echo and it’s cheaper than ever.

I was recently bought the Amazon Echo 2 for a gift and within 5 minutes I was able to turn on lights, switch off slow cookers and all manner of things and it’s easier and cheaper than you might think.


Gather your equipment to Control Switches and Devices in your home using Amazon Echo

First of all, this article assumes you already have a wifi network in your home. If you haven’t, this isn’t going to work.

You’re going to need some Smart Wifi Plugs. There are a lot of options around and the price ranges from £10 to £15 each. They all do pretty much the same thing so make sure you’ve got some that are compatible with Amazon Echo/Alexa.

Next, you’re going to need an Amazon Echo. These are available for £89 from Amazon.


Program your switches to your home wifi

Next, you’ll need to program your switched to your home wifi. Each device will have a slightly different methods for this and it will usually involve downloading an app to your phone or tablet.

Once you’ve done this and you’re able to operate your switch from your phone you need to give it a unique name, something like “lounge lamp” or “bedroom lamp”.


Tell your Echo to discover new devices

You now need to tell Echo to discover the new devices on your network so that she can control them. To do this, say “Alexa, discover new devices”. It takes around 20 seconds for this to complete. Once Echo can see the new devices just say “Alexa, switch on [your device name]” and you’re away!

You can also set up groups which allows you to control more than one device at the same time. Just put them in a group and give them a name.



Be careful what you plug into each smart switch as most have a maximum power output, usually around 2000 watts. Don’t plug anything into the switch which is more than the rated power output as you risk causing a fire. You should also be careful not to plug any sensitve devices


Amazon Echo 2 is a decent update to the 1st Generation

There’s not doubt that the original Amazon Echo was a great success for the company and has bought true smart home capability to homes across the word on an affordable level, and Amazon Echo 2 is a decent update to the 1st Generation. Somehow, Alexa feels a little more intuitive than the first system (but she still has a lot to learn) and there are a range of new features.


Amazon Echo 2 looks smarter

Alexa looks noticeably better this time around. Slightly smaller (a tiny bit wider) but with an attractive fabric coating (hard coating of plastic still available). Fabric options are Charcoal Fabric, Heather Grey Fabric and Sandstone Finish. Plastic finished are Oak and Walnut.

There are still volume and microphone buttons on the top.


Alexa provides better sound this time around

Echo 2 has a noticeably improved sound quality which is much more room filling than than Echo 1 with an improved bass response.

There’s an aux out plug next to the power supply plug meaning that you can plug Echo into your own sound system for improved sound.


7 microphone system

The new version of Amazon Echo boasts a 7-microphone system meaning that Alexa can be triggered from almost anywhere within earshot including in another room.


Echo 2 can play games

Bored? Then just ask Alexa to play a game. She’s go loads built in and you can add more Skills from the Alexa App on your mobile device.

Vodafone Secure Net – what is it and do you need to pay for it?

Vodafone Secure Net is marketed by the telecoms company as “a simple way to protect all of your devices on our mobile network” and sneaked onto my bill when I recently renewed my contract.  Vodafone claim that it protects their customers from viruses, malware and phishing sites as well as offering some other options including parental controls.

Annoying thing is, they never asked me if I wanted it – they just added it to my bill. It only costs £1, but that’s not really the point, is it? With a claimed 19.5 million customers in the UK, that’s a potential £19.5million a month for a bit of software which you could argue should have been supplied for free to protect their customers. Easy money which fosters mistrust from customers as it’s kept very quiet at contract renewal/purchased.


How to disabled Vodafone Secure Net

  • Open the built-in web browser on your phone while connected to the Vodafone mobile network (you should disable Wi-Fi temporarily)
  • Tap the Secure Net shield icon which should be displayed at the top of your browser to open the Vodafone Secure Net portal
  • Choose the ‘Profile’ icon in the top right of the portal page to edit your account settings
  • Choose ‘Deactivate Secure Net’ from the menu and tap the deactivate button to confirm

Alternatively, you can call 191 from your mobile and speak to a Vodafone representative.


Free alternatives to Vodafone Secure Net

The alternatives to Vodafone Secure Net depend on your device, so here are a couple to get you started:

Android devices: Avast Mobile Security

iPhone: (do you really need it?)


Looking for more reliable Vodafone signal?

If you’re looking for more reliable Vodafone signal at your home of office, check out my blog on how to get a free Vodafone Suresignal.

How to Watch Discovery Channel without a Sky Subscription

When I wrote about getting rid of Sky TV for money saving alternatives, I didn’t realise just how much I was going to miss the Discovery Channel. This led me to look for alternative (legal) ways of picking up the channel without the need for an expensive subscription.

Thankfully, there is now a way of watching all your favourite Discovery UK programs in glorious HD without the need of getting tied in to a contract. Finally all your favourite TV programs including Goldrush, Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch and Nakes and Afraid in glorious HD.


How to Watch Discovery Channel without a Sky Subscription

You’re going need a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime (or a regular subscription) and some method of watching Prime such as an Amazon Firestick. Once you’re all connected up to the Amazon service it’s time to upgrade your existing subscription with the Discovery UK add on package.

And that’s it! You can now start to enjoy all the very best and latest Discovery UK programs within the need to subscribe to Sky TV. What’s more, you’ll also benefit from tons of box sets and movie and you can use the Firestick to browse Youtube and play a selection of games. You can also add Netflix for an additional fee.


Don’t use Kodi or Kickbox TV

If you’re thinking of using Kodi and Kickbox TV, stop right there. We’re not going to lecture you on the many reasons that piracy is bad (not forgetting that your subscription helps pay to produce the quality programs in the first place). But we are going to warn you that Hollywood and other production companies are after the people who illegally pirate their programs and they’re coming for you next.

So, now you’re all set to do it like they do on the Discovery Channel 😉

Trying a new treatment for psoriasis

Having previously written about my ongoing problems with psoriasis, I decided it was time I visited the GP and sought some more help. The problem was obviously getting worse and my wife was becomming irritated by my apparently reluctance to seek further help and advice.

On explaining to my doctor how things were worsening and then showing him how back my skin was, he immediately suggested a change of treatments:

  • a course of antibiotics – Lymecycline 480mg once a day (a tetracycline antibiotic)
  • Dovobet gel – a mix of calcipotriol and betamethasone (a vitamin D and steroid medication) only to be used on the scalp but not on the face
  • Dovobet ointment – again, only to be used on the arms and legs but not on the face


You shouldn’t use Dovobet on the face

My doctor was very insistent that I understood not to use Dovobet on the face. The reason being that steroid treatments think the skin, and can result in blotching.

He also said that he believe my face issue was actually eczema, but the rest of my body was suffering from psoriasis. This is why he believed the olive oil and chamomile gel that I’d been using on my face had been so successful – it is having the effect of a natural emollient.


Referral to a dermatologist

As a result of all this, my GP referred me to see a dermatologist, with the likely outcome being that I’ll have UV treatment or perhaps even an oral treatment.

I’ll post more information once I have it.

In the meantime, if you have any experiences of this type of treatment, why not leave a comment or suggestion below?

Beware of Maize Starch in Medicine

Maize starch in medicine, if you’re allergic you’d have to ask why? Well, it seems the pharmaceutical industry uses it as a binder. This means that anyone who suffers from a corn allergy needs to be extremely careful when taking any medicine and ensure that they read the leaflet contained within the packet.

This all came to light recently when my wife had a really nasty cold. The pressure caused by the mucus was causing her to have severe headaches, so she turned to Sudafed tablets as a decongestant. After a couple of days she was feeling even worse and on closer inspection of the leaflet inside the pack it turned out that there was maize starch in them.

In fact, most decongestants have maize in them, which makes them a no-go for corn allergy sufferers.

I did manage to find one product which didn’t contain maize – Nurofen Sinus & Blocked Nose tablets. They contain Ibuprofen and Phenylephrine Hydrochloride (that’s the drug which acts as a decongestant).

It’s a real pain that some manufacturers put maize starch in medicine, and it means that corn allergy sufferers have to be very careful what they buy.

Vettel Must Learn to Control his Temper if he’s to Win Another Title

Sebastian Vettel was pretty close to a race ban when he allowed his temper to get the better of him and deliberately drove into the side of Lewis Hamilton at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

But that dangerous start at Singapore was completely unprofessional, aggressive and unnecessary. It wasn’t that long ago that Roman Grosjean received a race ban for being a complete idiot on the track at the start of the Spa GP, and after receiving support for his snappy temper, the Frenchman is now a much cooler customer behind the wheel. It leaves many fans of the sport wondering why Vettel has been allowed to get away with causing collisions.

So how did he manage to get away without a race ban? Jos Verstappen thinks it was all down to politics and you’d have to agree.

Simply, Vettel escaped a ban because a ban would have made sure Hamilton begame the 2017 World Champion, and that would make the rest of the season pretty boring. Neither the rights holders, the FiA or the fans want that.

Vettel escaped a ban because a ban would have made sure Hamilton begame the 2017 World Champion”

Like most great sportspeople, Vettel hates to lose he’s not very good at it. Most F1 fans know from experience that he’ll do the dirty on a teammate for the sake of winning. Remember Multi-21 when he was supposed to yield to former teammate Mark Webber? It’s no surprise that he took out Kimi Räikkönen in Singapore, apparently without a thought for him or the team; and at the same time probably deleted all hope of Ferrari and Vettel winning the 2017 drivers or constructors championship.

Vettel is a great ambassador for Formula One off the track, but his temper often gets the better of him when he’s in the car. Anyone who follows the sport will have noticed the increased incidents of shouting, swearing and generally aggressive behavior. He’s not taking the pressure very well at all, and it may be pressure that he’s applied to himself as he tries to emulated his hero Michael Schumacher. Schumacher was arguably worse, but Vettel is in danger of receiving a similar label from the non-German fans. It seems that as soon as something happens which he is unable to control, his temper gets the better of him. The ‘red mist’ descends and he does something silly (or dangerous). He loses it.

There’s no doubt that Sebastian Vettel is one of the greatest drivers of modern F1 history but he must learn to control his temper or his risks receiving a race ban and being unable to achieve World Champion status in 2018. Ferrari need to reign their driver in or they risk losing all the progress they have made over the past few years. He may need to see a sports psychologist; or perhaps he needs a financial penalty from the team.

Whatever the answer, something needs to happen quickly at Ferrari to appease fans of the team and the shareholders. Even Vettel isn’t bigger than the team.