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Author: Dom Hodgson

Oh Look, It’s Little Warden!

Oh Look, It’s Little Warden!

tldr; I’m launching a new website today called to help website owners, agencies and domain portfolios keep an eye on the domains they are responsible for, but may not control.

A few months ago I got the itch to start coding with some new technologies and techniques that were not applicable to my daily role Kerboo.

So I took a look at the big book of semi finished hackday projects and ideas and found one that I liked.

The project had to meet 4 criteria;

  • It had to be low maintenance It had to be small, easy to use with little development and support overhead
  • It had to be fun to work on No explanation needed
  • It had to be something which Kerboo wouldn’t do The point of this was to do something separate away from the day job, so it had to be something that was nothing to do with Links! (or an area that Kerboo would do)
  • It had to have commercial viability (You’ve got a baby now Dom, you’ve gotta do more stuff which makes money and less stuff for shits and giggles)

After a few days of reviewing and throwing out ideas, there was one left…. Warden


The idea behind Little Warden came from a few posts on some of the online groups I’m in;

  • “Last week our client moved servers without telling us”
  • “Our staging environment got indexed in Google because someone removed the robots.txt!”
  • “We forgot to renew our domain and now a broker has it”

Posts like this appear every month or so and that got me thinking that classic entrepreneurs thought

There has to be a better way!

So after a few months on evenings and weekends (and a boat ship across the Atlantic) I had a pretty good build of Little Warden ready to go and get some test users up and running.


4 Months and still waiting for an answer from @Virgin_TrainsEC

4 Months and still waiting for an answer from @Virgin_TrainsEC

As usual with my blog posts, they are a bit long, wordy and full of grammatical errors, if you’d like to skip that just read TLDR; Virgin Trains have redone the first class  toilets in Leeds and only put baby changing in the ladies toilet, I asked them why as there is plenty of space in the gents in November and almost 90 days later, still no response.

On the 30th of November, We have a family trip to London and with an 8 month old and a  Weekend First Class upgrade we were in for some excitement. As usual Heather makes sure we get to the train station mega early so we ended up in the newly refurbished First Class Lounge at Leeds Station.

During the delay it became clear that someone needed a change and it was Dad’s turn, so I grabbed the baby and changing bag and headed to the bathroom, there was plenty of space in the gents for one so this annoyed me a bit, I tweeted Virgin Trains


And after a bit of confusion I received


After a week or so I tweeted that I hadn’t received a followup or anything and was told they don’t do responses, to get a response I’d have to email

So I did

Hello Virgin (East Coast) Team!

I tweeted your team the other day about an Issue I have with the toilets ( and was told that the issue would be ‘passed on to management’ 

However when I asked for a response, I was told that, it wasn’t available unless I emailed.. 

So I’m emailing, I was really disappointed to see this, I travel with my daughter alone a lot and yet again this is an example of dads being treated as 2nd class parents. 

If I wanted to change my daughter I’d either have to leave the room or awkwardly use the women toilets with a sense of shame and embarrassment, no father should field embarrassed to change his child. 

There looks to be plenty of space in the Blokes for a changing table, so I have to ask why wasn’t one added?

Thanks for your time so far.

A few days later I got an autoresponder

Dear Dom,

Thank you for your correspondence received on 06 December 2016.

Your correspondence has been received and assigned the reference number above. We review all our feedback, praise and complaints and if your case requires a response then we aim to send you a full reply within the next 28 working days. If you have any additional information in relation to this matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by replying directly to this email.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Yours Sincerely

Customer Solutions Team

Virgin Trains East Coast

28 working days.. wow that puts us to about the middle of January with the Christmas period, that came and went and I gave them a few extra days and tried to call the phone number in the email…. it didn’t work..

and finally JW jumps in with an excuse

Someone ELSE operates the station,  we are just happy to take the credit about our new refurb and fancy seats and facilitates when it’s good stuff


Thankfully JW was on the case after a bit of pushing.

That was the 24th of Jan.. Here we are over a month later.. and even after a small poke


No response.

I realise in the grand scheme of things it’s a small thing, but it matters that when my daughter needs changing, I shouldn’t feel remotely embarrassed about any facilities available or having to ask permission to use another bathroom.

The Virgin Brand has always pretty good at customer relations and I use the train service most months without issue but this issue and the lack of accountability has really disappointed me.


What do I want?

  • I’d like a baby changing table in the gents for a start 😉 or at least to know why it wasn’t added originally
  • I’d like to know why my question has been ignored for almost 4 months even after someone taking ‘personal charge’
  • I’d like more services to run on the August Bank Holiday Weekend (this may be unrelated to the above post)




Virgin have said that it will hopefully be done by April, I’ve asked why it’s taken 4 months to tell me that 🙂

1 Second Every Day

1 Second Every Day

I’ve had a lot of fun over the last year putting together a 1 second every day video of Scarlett’s First year.

I highly recommend it to any new parents, it’s a small glimpse into a year which flies by.

Trapped in my own house?

Trapped in my own house?

I’m writing this here because I’m hopeful that someone will see it and be able to give some advice.


Last night the house next door was set on fire for the third time in three weeks. My family and I were out at the time, but we received a phone call from both the police and our neighbours, informing us that my door had been breached by the fire brigade as they thought someone was in the house.
This is the culmination of over two years of issues with the house next door and each government department I’ve spoken to has passed it on to other departments effectively saying ‘there is nothing we can do’.

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Virgin Holidays False Advertising?

Virgin Holidays False Advertising?

overview-disney-magic-00-fullWe did it, We booked our first family holiday! In May 2017 we will be travelling on the Disney Magic from Florida back to Europe in a two week adventure, we had to wait until Scarlett was 1 year old before we can do a transatlantic cruise but we are counting down the days.

Rather than book individually we decided to go onto the Virgin Holidays shop and get everything as a package, not have to worry about anything, especially with a 1 year old of unknown ability.

But so far there have been two instances where I’ve been let down (or misinformed) and I’m not getting anywhere with internal complaints so let this be a bit of a warning to you.

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Yesterday I went shopping for some baby stuff..

Yesterday I went shopping for some baby stuff..

I fucking love TK Maxx sometimes

A photo posted by Dom Hodgson (@domthehodge) on

Better get Scarlett’s new teddy home safe

A photo posted by Dom Hodgson (@domthehodge) on

Scarlett and her Guard Chicken…

A photo posted by Dom Hodgson (@domthehodge) on

I also bought some Baby Clothes but I figured I’d photographed those enough.

Leaving @LeedsHack

Leaving @LeedsHack


I’ve had a few emails this week asking me when the next LeedsHack is and now is about the time when I usually start organising this years event, The truth is, I honestly don’t know when / if LeedsHack is happening.

After more than 5 years, I decided last year (after saying it for a few years) that LeedsHack 2015 was going to be my last one. 

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Back to Blogging.. for now

Back to Blogging.. for now

2016-01-16 13.49.52

Lets be honest, I’m not sure how this little blogging stint will last, I tend to go in cycles of blogging where I build up a small audience, get bored and delete everything and start again.

I’d stared writing down things with the “Dad Stuff’ category in my notepad as a basis of things about having a kid to write a set on that wasn’t just “THEY SHIT EVERYWHERE” but I realised I was writing a lot so I thought might as well put it to good use.

In addition to that Divshot just shutdown and took my 1 page site with them.

I wanted to write a few of the posts about our experience at the Hospital because the staff at the Hospital were genuinely upset by some of the negative reports they see online and if my blog has ANY authority left.. I might be able to help at least a little with that

I’m not intending on writing all about Scarlett and the family, there are some tech things that wouldn’t be appropriate for the company blog, and some of my Arduino projects I’d like to show off but whilst I’m enjoying writing, I’ll keep going.