Top Tip Tuesday: NHS Waiting times, Train Delays and Saving Electric

HOSPITAL patients. Arrive for your appointment two hours after the assigned arrival time. That way, you will only have to wait an hour for your doctor to see you.

SAVE ELECTRICITY by shortening the cables to all your household electric appliances.

MAKE DELAYED train journeys fly for everyone by tutting and sighing as much as you can down the closest person’s earhole.

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Top Tip Tuesday: Long lasting shoes, City Link and Sainsburys

SHOES LAST twice as long if only worn every other day.

CITY LINK Couriers. maintain good relations with your customers by assuring them that their next urgent package sent from Leeds to York doesn’t end up in France.

SAINSBURY’S directors. Attract more people into your stores by not getting Jamie Oliver to do your adverts, and using the money to make your beans and stuff a bit cheaper.

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Guest Post: Kayak Fishing Advice Top 5 – Cornish Shore & Kayak Fisherman

Kayak Fishing in Cornwall

Kayak fishing is a fantastic and exiting sport that is rapidly growing in popularity.  The facility to be able to get out to sea not only improves your catch rate but also adds another dimension to your fishing.  Viewing our beautiful Cornish coastline from sea to land is a pleasure.

For those of you just taking up this fantastic sport I have compiled my top five pieces of advice based on my own experiences and I hope you find them useful for your own kayak fishing.


Safety is paramount and I could not possibly have it anywhere else but number one.  The sea is a big powerful beast that must be treated with respect.  Before any trip always, check and double-check the weather forecast.  Use more than one source and I can recommend the following:

Magic Seaweed – Gives wind and swell forecasts
Met Office – Inshore Waters Forecast
XC Weather – Average Wind Speeds and Gusts
Big Salty – Wind and Wave Forecast

You can never be 100% sure of the state of the sea until you arrive at launch site and there is no substitute for experience knowing the right conditions for the areas you fish.

Always fish in conditions that you are comfortable with (your comfort zone) and if you start to feel uncomfortable come in there is always another day.  Fishing from a kayak is different to playing on a kayak.

If you intend to fish on your own, make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return.

Have some sort of communication with you ideally a Handheld VHF radio or at worst a mobile phone in a dry bag.  It is important to have some way of contacting the emergency services in a distress situation.  If you do not have a VHF radio, a mobile phone can be registered with the 112 emergency services, which will get you through quicker than 999 (see video).  Another very good alternative is a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), which when activated in a distress situation, transmits your ID and GPS coordinates to the rescue services making it easier for them to find you.

In general, take safety seriously and have as much safety equipment on board as possible.  My video Kayak Fishing Set Up has a section on safety equipment.


The right clothing can be linked with safety for example wearing a PFD (personal floatation device).  A PFD provides a great deal of buoyancy should you find yourself in the water.  However, apart from safety the right clothing can make the difference between a miserable trip and a comfortable trip.  Staying as dry as possible is so important.  Getting wet and cold can rapidly shorten a trip.

If you can afford it, purchase a dry suit.  Dry suits can be worn all year round it just a matter of what you wear underneath.  In the colder months, the layering system comes into effect.  In the warmer months (if we ever get them), reduce what you wear under the suit.  If you cannot afford a dry suit maybe dry pants and a cag is an alternative.  The main thing is to stay dry and have some protection against the cold should you end up in the water.


Anchor Trolley and Anchor
Now I have done the boring bit I can talk about things that will aid your fishing.

Rather than always drift fishing an anchor system enables you to vary the types of fishing you do.  Both drift fishing and fishing at anchor are productive ways of fishing however, sometimes it is great to be able to drop anchor and spend a relaxing day sitting back, with bait on the bottom waiting for a bite.

The following videos explain a bit more about anchor trolleys and anchoring a kayak at sea:
Kayak Fishing Set Up
Anchoring a Kayak at Sea
Kayak Fishing at Anchor – How to Deal with Wind over Tide


Drift Chute
For drift fishing, I cannot recommend highly enough purchasing a drift chute.  Apart from the fact a drift chute will slow down the drift, it will enable you to position the kayak keeping the bow or the stern into the wind using the anchor trolley.  Without a drift chute, the kayak can drift too quickly and as soon as you stop paddling and start drifting, the kayak will turn sideways to the wind and swell, which can make it uncomfortable to fish.

The following show how to use a drift chute when drift fishing:
Using a Drift Chute when Drift Fishing from a Kayak
Drift Fishing with Bait


Fish Finder and GPS
A fish finder and a GPS with marine charts will greatly enhance your fishing experience.  Although you do not need a fish finder to catch fish, it is great to be able to know the depth of the water, the structure of the seabed, whether it is sandy, muddy, weedy, rocky etc.  Apart from that, fish finders do show fish that are suspended off the bottom and when lure fishing, you can drop your lure right in amongst the fish as a good fish finder will show the lure going down and working amongst fish.

A GPS with marine charts will enable the creation of waypoints to your fishing marks making it much easier to return to those marks with accuracy rather than playing a guessing game.  Rough ground marks, wrecks, pools, gullies, and any mark that may attract fish can be logged as waypoints.  New marks you stumble across on the fish finder whilst paddling can also be logged for future fishing.

Apart from fishing, a GPS is a great safety device to have onboard.  Should the Cornish fog role in quickly and unexpectedly, you can navigate back to your launch site with ease.  In addition, if you do need to call the emergency services, you can give them your GPS coordinates.  A fish finder and a GPS is thoroughly recommended and a lot of fun.

Those are my top five pieces of advice and I hope you find then useful.  Stay safe and have fun but please do not catch all of the fish, leave some for me!


Cornish Shore and Kayak Fisherman

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Estuary Fishing for Bass in Cornwall

Cornwall sea bass caught in Camel Estuary

No dedicated bass fisher will tell you exactly where he goes for his best fishing. If he did (he is insane), and next time he had a spare few hours to throw out some line, he would find the place full of other fisherman.

To be honest, it’s possible to catch Bass pretty much anywhere in Cornwall at certain times of year, you can practically scoop them up in your hands (maybe a slight exaggeration), but them certain special spots that produce all year round, try and keep them to yourself!

The estuaries fish best in hot summer weather. Blazing sunshine is good, the warm sand over which the water floods will raise the water temperature significantly, and the school Bass seem to revel in this warm water. Look for the main channels into which bass will run on the flood, and start fishing at low tide as soon as the water begins to run in. As the flood tide gathers speed, it becomes more like river fishing, across and downstream, which of course on the flooding tide is actually up the estuary, with the current keeping a tight line. Bass will congregate around any features, such as beds of weed or patches of rock, and along the steeper ledges of significant sand bars. Beware of the fast-rising water, and keep retreating steadily all the time, taking particular note of channels filling behind you.

The fish will be heading up the estuary at a fair pace, and depending on the local geography it may pay to move well up as the tide fills. The narrow channels of low tide are replaced by huge areas of shallow water over which the feeding fish spread rapidly, and it is quite common, (also very frustrating!), to ‘lose’ the fish as the water continues to rise. Other fish which may also take a small lure include Flounder, small Whiting, and possibly Mackerel or Pollack. Be particularly aware of catching a very small, silvery, big-mouthed fish with a prominent black spike on the dorsal fin. This is a Weever fish, our paths have crossed many time before and a sting is agonising.

I often spend a lot of time walking and scoping out potential new swims (with a few new spots in mind for this summer). A few of my favourite Estuarine Bass spots around Cornwall include the mouth of the Gannel Estuary in Newquay, the Camel Estuary (out of Rock) and the Fal Estuary. That’s as precise as I’m going to be on the location for now, happy angling!

View Larger Map

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Top Tip Tuesday: Stained Teeth, Old Underpants and Space Cats

WORRIED that your teeth will be stained after a heavy night drinking red wine? Simply drink a bottle of white wine before going to bed to remove the stains.

DON’T THROW away old underpants. With the leg holes sewn up and filled with earth, they make smashing hanging baskets for trailing plants.

SMARTIES tubes pushed over cats’ legs make for a futuristic ‘space cat’. For a really space age look, cover the tubes in tin foil as well as your pet’s tail. This also works with small dogs and the middles out of kitchen rolls.

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Review: Fatyak Kaafu sit-on kayak, for Fun, Fitness and Fishing

Fatyak Kaafu kayak with paddle and seat

Fatyak Kayaks very kindly sent me one of their 1 seater Kaafu kayaks to feature on the blog, and so this is the beginning of an amazing new hobby for me. As a keen explorer and fisherman with access to hundreds of miles of Cornish coastline, I intend on kitting the kayak up for both fishing and fun in Cornwall over the coming weeks.

Top Quality Build and Design
The Kaafu is Fatyak’s 1 seater sit-on kayak. Manufactured in the UK to a very high standard of production, you can see the quality of the 1 piece moulded structure as soon as you take it out of the bag. There are no seams or joints, meaning that there is much lower risk of leakage, even when the kayak is being put through it’s paces.

The cockpit area is well designed, with loads of leg room and staggered foot braces to suit kayakers both large and small. The recommended maximum load is 130kg, and so there is ample capacity for myself and all of my fishing gear!

The hull has 6 x scuppers, with sharp chines and a raised middle spine that helps with the tracking of the kayak. The scupper holes are sizeable enough to use to use one for installing a fish finder transducer (very handy). The bow has an upwards curve which helps riding waves which will be a huge benefit for me when launching off of surf beaches.

One of my biggest concerns (before seeing the Kaafu) was transportation. But the Kaafu has 4 x moulded handles (front, back, and on each side). It only weighs 20kg too, and the side handles are really well positioned for perfect balance when carrying the kayak on your own. Lifting it onto a car roof rack by myself is going to be no problem either.

Main Features and Spec
Size – Length = 3020mm, Width = 770mm, Height = 300mm
Weight = 20kgs, Capacity = 130kgs
2 x Dry Storage Hatches
2 x Paddle Parks
1 x Drain Plug
Deck Loop Fittings
Staggered Foot Braces
Moulded in Carry Handles
Rear Storage Area

Onboard Storage
The standard model of the Kaafu comes with 2 x dry storage hatches (with rubber covers) – perfect for keeping your mobile phone and car keys. The dry hatch directly in front of the seat could also be useful for keeping bait or lures when I am fishing. There is also a large open storage area behind the seat with bungee cord straps for holding cargo, perfect to hold my fishing equipment, an anchor, and also a fold-up crab pot.

Fatyak Kayak storage hatch with waterproof rubber lid

Kayak rear storage area with bungee cord fastening

Fatyak Kaafu kitted out for fishing
Fatyak actually sell fishing kayaks that are already kitted out with rod holders, anchor trolley systems and a mounting block for fish finders and GPS (picture below). I fully intend on using my Fatyak Kaafu kayak for sea fishing as soon as possible, and this project is likely going to evolve in a complete fishing re-fit throughout the coming weeks. Additional accessories are available from the Fatyak website.

Fatyak fishing kayak - kitted out for sea fishing

As an optional extra, I decided to have the flush mounted rod holders (factory fitted) to my standard model Kafuu. There are two flush mount rod holders (positioned on each side behind the seat) which have a rubber cap to stop any water leaking in when not in use. They point upwards and toward the rear of the kayak, so will be ideal for rod storage when paddling, and also for trolling or drift fishing for Sea Bass.

I will likely have one of the Ram rod holders fitted on the centre console, which is very handy as it sits just in front of the seat and would be perfect for a baited rod fished on the bottom. I will also be fishing lures on a second rod which will stay in my hand.

Kayak inset rod holder

kayak centre console with an area to mount fish finder and another fishing rod holder

I will definitely be installing a fish finder to the kayak. You don’t necessarily need a fish finder to catch fish, but it’s such a useful tool for surveying the bottom, and the water depth / temperature. The Kaafu has a small area in front of the centre console that is perfect for fixing a mounting bracket. This will be a DIY job, so I will make sure that I use stainless steel bolts, and I will seal my drilled holes with a good quality marine silicone. (I will be writing more in-depth about DIY modifications to my kayak very soon).

I haven’t stopped grinning since I took delivery of this kayak. Overall, the quality and design are top notch and you will find it very hard to find something just as well designed in this price range from anybody else. I would like to thank Fatyak for sending the kayak for review, and I will be writing more in-depth articles on using the Kaafu for sea fishing very soon – I can’t wait to get going!

Visit Fatyak
Visit Fatyak

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Giveaway: Win a Caledonia Tweed Handbag by Hoggs of Fife

Caledonia Tweed Handbag

WIN a Caledonia Tweed Handbag by Hoggs of Fife worth £39.95
Following my recent review for a Caledonia Tweed Waistcoat by Hoggs of Fife, I am delighted to be collaborating with Fife Country again to give away this Caledonia Tweed Handbag.

Hoggs of Fife Caledonia Tweed Handbag is made from the same superfine, woolrich tweed as the rest of the Caledonia range. With a soft, textured feel this handbag is perfect for any occasion, whether it is a day out in the country, out and about in town or a weekend break.

Practical, yet elegant, the Caledonia handbag features an overcheck of heather and claret, faux leather trim, a top zip for extra security, a contrasting poly cotton lining, zipped internal pocket and mobile phone pocket.  - Size approx.: H9″ x L13″ x W5″ - Enter using Rafflecopter Below!

Caledonia Tweed Handbag by Hoggs of Fife

Tweed handbag for town and country

How To Enter:

  1. Just leave a blog comment below, naming your absolute favourite item of clothing by Fife Country. (Quick Tip! – browse the Fife Country website for inspiration – CLICK HERE TO VISIT).
  2. Using the Rafflecopter App below, register your entry.
  3. Follow us + Get more bonus entries (and more chances to win)
  • Tweet about this Giveaway
  • Follow Stu N Dumplings on Twitter
  • Like Fife Country on Facebook
  • Like Stu N Dumplings on Facebook

UK Entrants Only, winner will be picked at random and contacted for delivery address after competition has ended, if winner does not respond after 7 days a new winner will be drawn. No cash alternatives.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at

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Review: Caledonia Tweed Waistcoat by Hoggs of Fife

womens tweed waistcoat by Hoggs of Fife

Tweed clothing is something of a necessity for a lover of the outdoors with an active presence in the horse riding and hunting community, and so when the opportunity came around to review this Caledonia Tweed Waistcoat from Fife Country, it was the perfect opportunity to showcase one of our favourite brands of country clothing.

The quality far exceeded my expectations. You can tell its going to be a long lasting waistcoat, my wife will be striding through the Cornish countryside wearing this waistcoat for many years to come. At £89.00 its a really good price for an adults Tweed waistcoat, and a classic piece of clothing that will never go out of style. With a good quality Tweed fabric and fleece lining it feels nice and warm and the fit is great, the studded waist adjusters allow you to fasten the sides in exactly to your liking.

Paying close attention to quality and detail, there is a good quality zip (colour co-ordinated), and also 5 x metal studded fasteners to the front (all with the word “Hoggs” engraved in them).

Tweed waistcoat with moleskin collar

Tweed waistcoat zip and button fastening

Caledonia Waistcoat – Green Multi Check – £89.00
The Hoggs of Fife Caledonia range of ladies tweeds has been created in a stunning woollen blend with an overcheck of heather and claret. In the same matching tweed as the Caledonia Jacket, the Caledonia waistcoat is tailored with a shaped, extended back and studded waist adjusters.

  • Made from superfine pure wool fibres creating a hard wearing yet soft and textured feel.
  • Coated with Durable Water Repellent for extra stain and rain resistance
  • Cosy purple fleece lining
  • Dark olive moleskin collar
  • Two side pockets and one fleece-lined pocket on the inside (left)

Tweed waistcoat pocket and side fastener

Fife Country and Hoggs of Fife
Fife Country are a Scottish-owned and family-run business based in Strathmiglo, Fife. Founded by Andrew T Hogg, they have a design and manufacturing heritage stretching back to 1888. Scotland’s finest collection of clothing and footwear for country professionals and country enthusiasts alike.

I would like to give a big thankyou to Fife Country for sending us the Tweed waistcoat. You can visit their online store at which has a vast range of fine clothing and footwear from many well known brands. I was most impressed by their own brand country wear (Fife Country and Hoggs of Fife), below are a few more items that really caught my eye.

  1. Caledonia Tweed Jacket (Green Multi Check) – £129.00
  2. Islay Tweed Waiscoat (Sage Check) – £79.00
  3. Islay Tweed Trousers (Sage Check) – £79.00
  4. Hoggs Bush Shirt (Sand) – £25.00
  5. Field-Dry Hiker (Brown) – £59.95
  6. Alba Shirt (Cream / Berry Check) – £29.95)
  7. Caledonia Tweed Breeks (Green Multi Check) – £55.00
  8. Caledonia Tweed Reversible Hat (Green Multi Check) – £24.95
  9. Caledonia Tweed Handbag (Green Multi Check) – £39.95

Fife Country Moodboard

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Giveaway: WIN Genuine Harris Tweed Cap – Harvie & Hudson, London

Haris Tweed cap by Harvie & Hudson

Blue/Grey Landlord Tweed Cap – £74.50 by Harvie & Hudson

Following my recent review for a tailored shirt by Harvie & Hudson, I am delighted to be collaborating with Harvie & Hudson to give away this Landlord Tweed Cap, a true classic for both town and country. Harris Tweed is a classic cloth that has been handwoven by islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.

The Landlord cap is woven in a Blue/Grey Tweed, and is one of my favourite items from Harvey & Hudson who are also reknowned for their stylish tailored menswear (including suits, jackets, and shirts). Enter the giveaway below to win this brand new Landlord Tweed Cap (size L)!

Genuine Harris Tweed weave

Harris Tweed Certification

How To Enter:

  1. Just leave a blog comment below, naming your absolute favourite item of clothing by Harvie & Hudson. (Quick Tip! – browse the Harvie & Hudson website for inspiration – CLICK HERE TO VISIT).
  2. Using the Rafflecopter App below, register your entry.
  3. Follow us + Get more bonus entries (and more chances to win)
  • Tweet about this Giveaway
  • Follow Harvie & Hudson on Twitter
  • Follow Stu N Dumplings on Twitter
  • Like Harvie & Hudson on Facebook
  • Like Stu N Dumplings on Facebook

UK Entrants Only, winner will be picked at random and contacted for delivery address after competition has ended, if winner does not respond after 7 days a new winner will be drawn. No cash alternatives.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at

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Review: Fine Tailored Shirts by Harvie & Hudson – London

Navy Bengal Stripe Slim Fit Shirt

Navy Bengal Stripe Slim Fit Shirt – £69.50 (Harvie & Hudson)
Slim Fit
Kent Collar (Semi Cutaway Collar)
Double Cuff (For Cufflinks)
Removable Collar Stays
Mother of Pearl Buttons

I was delighted to receive this incredibly sharp looking Navy Bengal Striped shirt, which was sent to me by Harvie & Hudson to feature on my blog. I spotted their Jermyn Street store while I was in London a few weeks ago, and made a mental note to look online for their website.

Harvie & Hudson have a fantastic range of ready-to-wear and also made-to-order tailored shirts. They also have a much wider range of menswear and tailored clothing, all Hand-crafted in London. There are clear advantages to visiting one of their stores to be measured by a professional, but you can order online (as I did). The experience of selecting a shirt and specifying my measurements online was incredibly easy.


The Navy Bengal shirt appealed to me because of the fresh Navy striped pattern – and I often go for a slim-fit shirt for a more flattering fit. (if you’ve got, flaunt it).

Made from luxury 100% cotton, this is a two fold shirt, and has a very fine quality lining. It has a beautifully crisp collar (which can be held in place with collar straighteners that came with my shirt). The stitching is immaculate and the mother of pearl buttons give it an elegant finish. With a double cuff, I can also wear the shirt with my favourite Cornish cuff links (photo below).



I thoroughly recommend checking out their other collections including tailored suits, jackets, shirts ties and other accessories. Below is a mood board with a few of my favourite pieces.

  1. Dark Grey Herringbone Cambridge Suit – £199.50
  2. Blue and Pink Bold Bengal Stripe Slim Fit Shirt – £69.50
  3. Navy and Blue Diagonal Stripe Silk Tie – £39.50
  4. Cherry Red Felt Waistcoat – £75.00
  5. Blue/Grey Landlord Tweed Cap – £74.50
  6. Imitation Ivory Edwardian Shaving Set – £139.00
  7. Grey Pic ‘N’ Pic Slim Fit Winchester Suit – £199.50
  8. Blue and Red Oxford Bold Window Pane Double Cuff Check Shirt – £69.50
  9. Spitfire RAF Roundel Chain Cufflink – £49.50
  10. Silver Button with Blue thread T-Bar Cufflink – £35.00

clothes and accessories by Harvie and Hudson

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