Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mum's the word

Jeesh, you wouldn't believe the week I've had readers.

Firstly, I want to say a big "THANK YOU" to Mr Coleman. He advised me against taking up Wu Travel's offer to sponsor this blog. I sent Alyssa an email indicating that I would be interested in finding out more, and as sure as eggs is eggs, she requested my bank details. I didn't respond, I just deleted the email and put that one down to experience.

Without Mr C's words of wisdom I would almost certainly have handed my bank details over. It seemed so convincing and such a brilliant offer. Apparently, this is a form of fraud known as phishing - like fishing - Internet fraudsters ask for the bank details of a lot of people, it only takes one or two people to bite and hand over the deets and then bingo, Bob's your uncle, they empty the bank accounts and that's that. Game over.

I haven't exactly got much cash anyway, so in a way I didn't have much to lose, but it's the principle.

Secondly, I want to apologize. I've been up in Lincoln all week looking after Mum and so have not been able to post. As regular readers will know, I love my Mum. She's always been there for me, we're more like friends than mother and son. She's like the big sister I never had.

Anyway, turns out she's ill. It's nothing serious though, so don't worry. She just turned up on my doorstep last Sunday, having driven down, with a note pad and pen. Apparently, she'd been trying to get hold of me on the phone, but every time she called I just put the phone down. She's lost her voice! Amazing really, I thought I was being targeted by those Indian call centres that have automatic ringing machines. OYG they're so flippin annoying aren't they?!

Mum scribbled down that she was pretty much incapacitated with muteness and could I go up to Lincoln and help her out? Naturally, I pointed out that I'd have to miss work, but she said she could cover my wages, so that was OK.

It wasn't too bad, I just needed to help out in the shop during the day. In a way it was quite nice, there weren't many customers and I'd take my sandwiches up to the cathedral at lunchtime. It's a beautiful part of the world readers, the pace of life is so much slower than London, you can really take a step back and appreciate life.

Mind you, it brought back some painful memories. I used to come up and sit in the cathedral grounds to get away from Mum and Dad's constant bickering when I was a nipper. I haven't really told you about Dad have I? Maybe one day I will.

It's a bit dull though, Lincoln. On Tuesday night I gave my old friend Steve a ring. He's settled down now with a wife (Linda), and daughter (Siobhan), with another on the way (sex unknown). He seems really happy with his life up there, with his semi-detached and company car. But that's not for me, I tried to tell him about my new life as a Citizen Journalist, but he was only really interested in his Sky Digital and telling me about kids, and schools and all that.

In the end I was glad to get out of there and really glad to get back down here. Back where the action is. I had fried chicken for dinner and then caught the bus back and I didn't hear a single English voice. I think the bloke in front of me might have been English, but he was listening to his Walkman so I didn't hear him speak. There was a French couple, who seemed to be having a pretty serious conversation (I think he was dans le maison du chien), then there were some Somali looking chaps who were in turns arguing and laughing raucously, a Chinese couple, or possibly Japanese, it's difficult to tell isn't it? And a drunk Irishman who stank of wee. You just don't get that rich cultural diversity in Lincoln.

Mum's voice still hasn't really come back properly, she's having a scan up at the hospital tomorrow, but I needed to get back really, I can't fob Richard at Blockbuster off indefinitely and I wanted to catch up with Amber, she had an audition for some production. I've already missed out on a couple of dates from the online dating service and I need to get some love action back in my life. I told Gill that I needed to come back down and she agreed to go up to Lincoln and help Mum out.

Don't worry though, I can probably rearrange the dates, so I haven't missed out or anything.

Big Love. BN x

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oh Mr Wu, what should I do?

Last Monday I announced that Brand Newsdesk had been approached by a potential sponsor. None other than

I seem to be getting absolutely nowhere with my idea of free porn for London's commuters, The Oyster, and none of the pieces that I have submitted to The Metro have made it into print. While the money that I make at Blockbusters bearly makes ends meet to be honest and so if I want to keep producing lively copy that is enjoyed, for FREE (hint, hint!), by my army of readers, then sadly I think I'm going to have to start taking advertising.

I wrote back to Alyssa at Wu Travel asking for more information. She wrote back, here's what she had to say:


Here are our company current marketing packages.

1) For sites PR >= 4, and Alexa in top 100,000, and site is travel topic related, we are willing to buy ads space from SGD 100 /month, and invite them to join our affiliate program

2) For other sites, we can only offer them to join our affiliate program.

You have one good site, but your site traffic is really low. Here is our offer, we are willing to invite you join our affiliate program, and send you USD 50.00 as signup reward.

Here are main features of our affiliate program.

1) Earn 70% of recurring commission, averagely every hotel partner's ads click you will earn USD 0.30 - 0.50

2) Earn passive commission FOREVER. Every visitors, you brought to our site, generate any revenue in the future, you will ALWAYS earn 70% of them.

3) 2 Level Referral Program. Affiliates are encouraged to invite other sites to join our affiliat program, and affiliates will get 10% commission generated by other affiliates.

4) Payment sent out every month through PayPal, with minimun USD 100.

Let's say that you refer 2 visitors to our site a day, and both of them click once on our hotel partners ads. Within 1 year, you will make USD 292 (one click USD 0.40, 0.40 * 2 * 365 = 292).

But wait. For those visitors from your site, they come to our site and generate revenue in the future (1 year, 5 years, 10 years ...), you will still earn commission, even though your site maybe not exist any more. :)

If you can redirect more visitors to our site, you can calculate how much $$$ you will earn!!!!!

You can view our affiliate program details from

Please reply me If you are willing to accept our offer, then I will open an affiliate account for you right now, after you put on our banner on your site, I will deposit the money for you.:)


I'm not sure about this one readers. For starters, Alyssa didn't even bother to address the message 'Hi Barry' and then she just signed off with 'Regards,'

Also, Alyssa suggests (and I quote) that: "your (my) site traffic is really low." Well ,that's clearly nonesense, you'd only have to read through the last few posts to see that I smashed the 1000 hit mark only four months after launching the site!!!

Something makes me think that this might be one of those Internet scams that you sometimes read about in The Metro. You read about old ladies sending all their savings to Nigerian Princes under the false promise of a share in their fortunes or people being sent an email from their bank asking for all their sign-on information, only to find out a couple of days later that someone has emptied their bank accounts.

The fact is, though, the people who fall for such blatant rip-offs are kind of asking for it. They're being motivated by GREED! There's no such thing as a free lunch. When a deal looks to good to be true, it usually isn't true, that's what my Mum used to tell me as we walked around Lincoln market at the weekends. Still, I've read and re-read Alyssa's message and I can't see where the catch is. By this time next year I could be a millionnaire.

What should I do? Mess? Mr Coleman?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

St George the obscure

The French have got Bastille Day, the Americans Independence Day, the Irish St Patrick’s Day, the Scotch have got Burns’ Night and the Canadians have got Canada Day. Even the New Zealanders and Australians get the Queen’s Birthday off as a national holiday.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the English do not have a special day to call their own. But they do, it’s called St George’s Day, and that day, readers, is TODAY!

Happy St George’s Day everyone!

Today I went to the pub and had a pint of warm beer and some fish ‘n’ chips for lunch with my good friend Dave, the roofer. We played darts and then did some Morris Dancing..! ;-) lol

Dave had been to the barbers first thing and was sporting a number one all over, he was also wearing his favourite St George’s Flag t-shirt, and poking just out beneath the sleeve were visible the words of his inky blue/green tattoo “No Surrender”.

It would be fair to say that Dave is a patriot and he was making a special point of wishing everyone in the pub a very vocal happy St George’s day. I think it would also be fair to say that most people didn’t know what he was talking about and not just because he was pissed out of his brain.

London is one of, if not the, most multicultural cities in the world. Yet, it wasn’t because the pub was full of foreigners that no one understood what Dave was talking about, because it wasn’t, it was full of lonely old Englishmen with nothing better to do than sit around in a grimy boozer all day moaning about how you can’t smoke indoors anymore and the fact that beer and fags have just gone up in price to pay for the recent influx of immigrants.

Most people didn’t know it was St George’s Day, because most of the people in England have never known that April 23rd is St George’s Day. Unless you were in the boy scouts as a boy, it was never an issue. I was in the cubs for a while, but I didn’t agree with the militaristic lifestyle. Even as a young boy in Lincoln I was a pacifist.

I have a theory as to why the English do not have a ‘special’ day. The people of England feel that they do not need a special day. Special days, such as those named above, are usually set up by peoples of nations that feel they have something to prove or that they are somehow undervalued.

This reminds me of a time that I told my dear Mum that I thought it was unfair that there was a Mothering Sunday and not a Sonday Sunday and she told me that every day was a Barry day. In a way, every day is an English day. Well, it used to be at least, when we had an empire. These days the country is on its knees, which could be part of the reason that we’re seeing a surge in patriotism and a desire to make St George’s Day a national holiday.

St George is also the national saint of Catalonia.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fight the power

There’s been a lot of stuff in the news recently about the G20 protests and police brutality. The surveillance worm has turned, it seems, and now the jackboot is on the other foot. Because we’ve all got mobile phones these days, and because the phones all have cameras on, we’re all carrying cameras round with us all the time, without even realising it. For example, did you know that Nokia is actually the world’s largest manufacturer of digital cameras, purely because it sells so many phones with cameras in. Mental!

Anyway, people are using their camera-equipped phones, or camera-phones, to film the police brutalising hippies. It’s a bit like hardcore game for a laugh, watching us watching you watching us. It’s all good stuff, I reckon. The police get away with far too much brutality, in my opinion, although I haven’t actually seen a policeman hit somebody since a cricket match between Hampshire and Surrey in 1980. And to be fair, the guy deserved it. And he apologised to the policeman afterwards. I don’t know if that’s cricket supporters in general, or just how things were back in the day. Anyway, I’ve seen the stuff in Metro, so I know what goes on.

I didn’t actually go to the recent G20 riots but I did go on an anti-gulf war march in ’91. Unfortunately, by the time we got to Trafalgar Square, I was starving so I nipped into Maccy D’s for a quick QP with cheese and missed Tony Benn’s speech. Gutted. I also marched in the more recent anti-war protest a few years ago, at least as far as parliament, then I quit the march, because I was going to Oxford Street to get a new suit. But I don’t see why you can’t march for part of the way if it’s especially convenient.

The right to march and protest is one of our great freedoms in this country and part of our democratic heritage. But I’m not sure it should always be allowed. Recently I was waiting for a bus and one wasn’t coming. Not only was one not coming, there was no traffic coming down my side of the road at all. Then, in the distance, I heard some singing, and the sound of a band.

Very slowly, coming up the hill was a transit flat-bed with some smiley teenage musicians on board and they were all singing songs to Jesus. Behind the van were about 40 marchers, young families mostly, with glassy-eyed stares and they were all shouting:

Who is the rock on which our church is built?


Who came to earth to die for us?


Who is love?


These idiots were holding up all the traffic, because they were only travelling at five miles an hour. They had two policemen on bicycles in front of them and – get this – one of the policemen kept trying to do wheelies! WTF? Do we pay our taxes so some idiot copper can try and perfect a wheelie in front of a bunch of half-wit Christian loons? I tell you what, I wish I’d filmed it and sent it to the Metro.

If those people had been crusties, all shouting “There is no God, and we don’t like the war” or something, the coppers probably would have had big sticks and riot shields, not mountain bikes. And they’d probably have been trying to perfect the surreptitious head-whack, and not the wheelie.

Needless to say, I was late for my appointment and when I made it clear that this would happen to the wheelie-ing policeman, he said I was miserable and it was just a bit of fun. Ordinarily, I’d have called him a twat. But you can’t do that to the Man, can you. Because you’ll get biffed up.

We live in an unfair world, people, so keep your cameraphones at the ready and let’s take a stand.

ND out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

How to get ahead in advertising

Both my Mum, whom I love dearly despite her recent behaviour, and Gill told me that Citizen Journalism would amount to nothing more than a waste of time.


Not only have I made some very intereting discoveries and not only have I made some excellent acquaintanses (my good friend Mess tracked me down on Facebook!! SO he joins Jennifer Shannon Walker as a Facebook and blogspot friend - Mess is also following me on Twitter, which makes him, quite possibly, my number one fan...!).

Still, both Mum and Gill might well point to these benefits as merely ornamental. Like the people who invented Twitter, I have yet to find a way of 'monetising' Barry Newsdesk. Monetise is an ugly word readers, but it's just the sort of word that Web 2.0 gurus bandy about in board rooms up and down the country. It means, to make money from.

But that was then, and this is now. Barry Newsdesk is now so popular that it has attracted the attention of a potential advertiser. That's right, someone wants to place their brand name on my site in return for hard cash.

It's a time honoured business model. ITV has been doing it for years.

I received this email just three days ago: to me show details Apr 17 (3 days ago) Hi, We are interested to place our ads on your site. If interested, please email me. We,, are a start up travel site in Singapore. Best Regards, Alyssa

This presents me with a dilemma readers. Part of my conscience says I should remain pure to my Citizen Journalism, like the BBC, and refuse to take sponsorship. While another part of my conscience, the part that pays the utilitiy bills and the part that wants to be able to afford a BMW and take Amber on exotic holidays, says I should bite the bullet and accept and sell out!!!

I figured I'd better ask Alyssa for more information regarding the potential sponsorship deal....

Here's what I said:

Dear Alyssa

Thank you for your email showing an interest in the Barry Newsdesk brand. I would love to find out more about the sort of sponsorship deal you had in mind.
How much are you willing to give me, and what would you expect in return.

Yours fairthfully

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Back in the saddle

As Ronan Keating of Boyzone fame so famously opined, life is a roller-coaster. I think my life would be the Corkscrew from Alton Towers. There aren't just ups and downs, there are loop-di-loops too.

I met up with my old friend Dave, the roofer, yesterday to watch his beloved Chelsea beat Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final. I know my excellent follower Mess is also a fan of the Blues and it was partly down to his Tweets of advice that I came to reasses my freidnship with Dave - I've said a few negative things about Chelsea recently, but I'm a slave to my emotions. Thankfully, both Dave and Mess understand me, probably a little bit better than I understand myself.

Mind you, Dave said a few more things about Gill that I'd rather have not heard. But that's all water all the bridge as far as I'm concerned. I definitely didn't want to see the pictures of her on his phone, but we're all adults here and besides it was important to bond again with Dave, man to man, as it were.

For a man of limited formal education, Dave certainly knows a thing or two about life and the fairer sex. Dave suggested that the best thing for me to do now was get back out there. "There's noffin like it Bawrry. When you fall off yer bike, you back on dontcha?!" he said.

Indeed, Dave's views on life are also shared by the excellent blogger Cowboy Bob who says, if you fall off your horse, you need to get right back in the saddle.

Dave reckons Amber needs to see that I'm desirable to other women before she'd consider my advances further, "if they can smell desperation, they'll run a mile," Dave told me. And there's an element of truth in that statement. I think I was too keen with Amber, I laid my cards on the table, and that's not what women want. Sure they want to be pursued, showered with gifts, such as flower and chocolates, and sports cars and diamond rings, but they're complicated creatures. There's more to cracking a woman's heart than material possessions.

I know it's not very PC to say so readers, but it's simple biology. It's all about the survival of the fittest. If a woman thinks she's the fittest, she feels 'special'. And how does she feel fittest? Simple, she collars another woman's man.

With that in mind, I've decided to sign up to get some Internet Love. There are plenty of sites out there. A little bit of something for everyone. I carried out an extensive Internet search. Do you know, if I wanted to, I could order a wife from Russia or Thailand today. It really is as easy as that, but you can't be sure that what you see in the pictures is what you'll end up with in the flesh. And, anyway, they're only after getting their hands on a British passport.

I sent my details into a popular broadsheet's online dating service. Obviously, I've been a little bit creative with the details. But essentially what I've said is true. Here's my online dating persona:

Name: Barry
Occupation: Home entertainment executive/Writer
Twitter: @barrynewsdesk
Description: Tall, witty, handsome, charming, romeo with own flat in South London.
Likes: Politics, music, poetry, cookery, travelling, long walks in the country and even longer nights in front of the fire!
Dislikes: Whinging and nagging.
Looking for: Friendship and possibly more ;-)
Would like to meet: Athletic, bohemian, creative, lady, under 30 pref, send picture.

I think it's only fair to request a picture, I know what I'll get is likely to be a be a fairly complimentary number, but it should at least let me filter out the howlers.

It goes witout saying readers, if you know any single chicks looking for a bright guy who knows how to show a girl a good time point them in my direction.

Newsdesk out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Karma down, karma down

Life is all about learning lessons. Unless you’re a teacher, of course, in which case it’s about giving lessons. But even when you’re giving a lesson, you can be learning. Unless you’re my old games teacher Mr 'Wilkins',who certainly didn’t learn his lesson and was eventually reported to the police for indecent exposure.

I think it is fair to say that I got a little bit over-refreshed yesterday. Well, actually, I got as over-refreshed as a newt. It’s all part of the healing process though. I was tired and emotional and I said I few things I’ve come to regret.

But the only things we truly regret are the things we never did, right? It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

When Liverpool scored their second goal last night, I sent Dave, the roofer, a few choice words via the medium of SMS. Then, as though Buddha himself was looking down on me with his karmic telescope up popped Didier Drogba to score and then that Brazilian bloke Alex scored a belter of a freekick, then Frank ‘lamps’ Lampard put the blues 3-2 up.

Even if you hate Chelsea, you’ve got to take your hat off to big Frank Lampard, whose goal celebration, which is no way a complete rip off of Kaka, of pointing up to the heavens, where presumably he believes his dear old Mum Pat, what went to every game, is looking down with pride, brings a tear to the heart every time.

It was a turning point in the game and it was a turning point in my life. I was distraught at first, that Liverpool should snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but then I thought to myself ‘no Barry, this is a sign, it was meant to be.’ I texted Dave again to say that I was sorry, that maybe we could let bygones be bygones, it takes a big man to realise he was wrong and even bigger man to do something about it.

Then, unbelievably, Liverpool scored not once, but twice more!!! I have to admit that even though I’d said that I was sorry to Dave, I still wanted Liverpool to knock Chelsea out, and I said as much to Dave in another text.

But then Big Frank Lampard curled in another to seal the tie. Karmic justice was done.

I shouldn’t have hated Dave for sleeping with Gill. All is fair in love and war. Hate is such a strong word and I was duly punished.

Karma is a strange thing readers, Glen Hoddle lost his job as England manager because he said he thought people with disabilities in this life were being punished for misdemeanours in a past life. It’s the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy today, in which 96 Liverpool fans tragically lost their lives. Maybe Glen Hoddle thought that was karmic justice in action for the 39 Italian lives that were lost when Liverpool fans ran amok at the European Cup final in 1984.

Dave texted me back after the game and called me a 'silly c*nt'. Maybe he’s right.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Come on Liverpool

I've had a few cans of Cobra today readers I got up late and with a handover and that, but I've had a dfew more and a few chooce words on the phone with gill and I I'll tell you what I dont reaaly care what you think right now, I'm not taking it

as regular readers will know I'vem a Notts forest fam , bnit tonight I'm going to be supporting a dfiffering tesm that plat sin red!!

Not News desk united,. I'm going to eb suportuing LIVERPOOOL - COME ON YOU REDS!!!

Note becasue I admire the club's rich European heritage and not becasue I admire their never say die attitude and not becasue the fans anthem You'll Never Walk Aline never fails to bring a lump to my throat,

I'm supportiung Liverpool tonight bcasue I fucking hate Chelsea. I hate their money and their fakery and Didier Drogba diving all over the place, but miost of all I hat their fans

especaily their fans called Dave. And especially the Daves that earn their livung by fleecing old ladies out of their life savings by scaring them half to death that their rooves need re-tiling, and off those roofing Daves, the ones I hate are the ones that sleep with their friend's ex-girlfriends' called Gill

So, for all your Chelsea-loving Judas scumbag Daves out there, COME ON YOU REDS!!! COME ON YOU REDS!!! COME ON YOU REDS!!!!

now then, I think it's time for another Cobra before the game kicks off

Monday, April 13, 2009


I'm really sorry to disappoint you all. Today was suppposed to be the day of the Big 1K Party. My proudest moment in blogging. As I type these words though salty tears are dripping upon the keyboard, I haven't had a wink of sleep all night.

It's doubly disasterous, as today I have a new follower too, Mandy. She's my 13th. Unlucky for some eh. Sorry, Mandy, I'll give you a proper welcome when I'm feeling more cheerful.

I was feeling jubilent when I went to meet Dave yesterday, then he gave me the news.

"Awlright Bawwry," he said, "you never guess who I bumped into the ovver day?"

I said "who?". He didn't tell me straight away, Dave always makes you spend a few minutes trying to guess, it's always futile, although I did guess it right once, when he's met Ashley Cole in Crazy Larry's.

After a few minutes of guessing, he put put me out my misery. Although, ironically he put me deeper into misery than ever before, "Gill," he said, "Gill? What my Gill?"
"Only she's not your Gill is she Barwrry?" he said with a wink.

Dave, my so called friend, then went on to tell me in tawdry detail of his night with Gill. I was agog.

How could he does this to me? My friend, Dave the roofer!!?

I had to make my excuses and leave, I was feeling sick. I would have punched him too, but I'm a pacifist.

I left the pub and picked up eight cans of Cobra and some Monster Munch for the party today, but I can't go through with it readers, so particular appologies to Mess and Mr Coleman and I know you guys were looking forward to it, but I'm sure you understand?

I texted Amber when I got back, but she didn't respond.

Think I might see if Mum wants to come down from Lincoln later.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Last Supper

Happy Easter EVERYBODY!!!! And that goes not only to the Christians, but also the Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Astrologists and Witch Doctors out there.

As regular readers out there will know, not only am I a practising buddhist, I'm also deeply spiritual in a number of other ways. This all stems back to a time when I ask myself and the blogosphere in general, whether there really is a God.

So I'll say it again, Happy Easter EVERYONE.

Easter hasn't always been about seeing how many chocolate eggs you can stuff down in a day, it's commemorating the day that Jesus Christ was reincarnated, much to the dismay of the Romans. This is almost certainly the root cause of all that Catholic Guilt.

Today is also a great day in the history of Barry Newsdesk. Because, thanks to the additional of my excellent new French friend Mess, I now have a whopping 12 followers. Much like Jesus did.

Following on from yesterday's post about the formation of Newsdesk United. I thought, in honour of it being Easter, I would asign my followers Apostlistical names. I had a pretty good idea who would be Judas Iscariot, but then I thought better of it. It would be what religious people call blasphemous. Which is basically just another way of saying I'd be taking the piss.

Yesterday, I posted a picture of Brian Clough whom many Notts Forest fans believed to be God, and today I've got a picture of Brian Cohen played by Graham Chapman in the classic 1979 film, The Life of Brian. In which he is mistaken for the messiah.

When the film was released it caused uproar among the religious community, who deemed its content blasphemous. There it is again. They were basically saying that John Cleese, Michael Palin and the gang were taking the piss out of religious bigotry and Christian hypocrisy.

And, in many ways, there were. But because those chaps all went to Cambridge University, they were able to argue that actually it was satire.

Satire is what Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen calls his interpretation of that Kazakhstanian character Borat. But really, he's just taking the piss

You see readers, it's a minfield out there.

Anyway, I'm off down the pub to meet Dave, he reckons he's got some news for me!

See you all at tomorrow's paaaaaaaaaaaaarty!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't forget, tell a friend and bring a bottle!
peace out.bazz :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Newsdesk United

I've been up all night celebrating as though I'd won the European Cup itself. I was celebrating because I've gained another follower: Tiffany Amber. How cool is that?

Don't get too excited though readers, she's not the same Amber I work with at Blockbusters. Tiffany Amber is a mother of four and writes a delightful blog called Living in the Stream. It's all about life, love and everything that's good in the world, I urge you to check it out. She's got four followers (including yours truly now!!!).

Welcome aboard Tiffany Amber, I hope you'll be coming to the Big 1K Party on Monday? Feel free to bring the kids. I'll back sure there's no foul language.

The best part about TA's arrival is that it brings the number of Barry Newsdesk followers to 11, this has enabled me to create Newsdesk United.

I'll be the manager, natch, and I have modeled my style on the iconic Notts Forest gaffer, Brian 'ol big 'ead' Clough. I speak my mind and don't suffer fools gladly. Clough is currently the subject of a film called The Damned Utd. It's a tissue of lies his family says and paints a picture of a dark autocrat with a penchant for the booze. Suffice to say, I will not be going to see it. Not least because it's got that bloke in it that plays loads of famous people but always sounds like he's doing Tony Blair doing an impression of other people.

So doubtless you'll all be wanting to know where you're going to play. The good news, in a way, is that the squad of Newsdesk Utd lacks strength in depth. So everyone gets a game.

In goal I will put Steve. It's often said thatyou've got to be a bit mad to play keep the nets, and you've only got to spend a few minutes reading Steve's excellent blog to realise that he's a crazy cat.

I'll put my second latest follower, The Finisher, at left back. Some people might argue that he should be left back in the changing room. But not me, that's all water under the bridge. Besides, one of the greats of the game, Stuart 'psycho' Pearce made that position his own with Notts Forest and if the Finisher's tackling is as fearce as his pedantry we'll have nothing to worry about.

On the other flank I reckon I'll put Karen Snyder, being American and a lady I've put her in arguably the easiest position on the pitch. It's not patronising, it just maks sense in footballing sense, as it were.

At the heart of defence will be my excellent Irishpolishman Merek Lenarcik, he looks a Larry Lloyd type. It's probably all the Guinness and perogies. Alongside Merek will be his compatriot Mark Stanley. You need that kind of understanding between your centre halves. They could even talk to each other in Irish to confuse the opposting centre forward. Unless the opposing centre forward is Irish. Or speaks Irish.

In the centre of the park, holding things together, is team captain Mr Coleman. Having read his regular words of wisdom in the comments sections of this blog he's the obvious choice for captain marvel. A real Roy Keane I reckon. I'll pair Mr Coleman up with the creative playmaker Donnac1968. Her equisite knitting skills are indicative of a great imagination.

On the left wing will be Cathy, she works in PR so is bound to be a slippery customer. I'll pop Jennifer Shannon Walker, my excellent Californian follower on the right wing so that she can form a strong overlapping partnership with right back (and also American) Karen Snyder.

The front line will be made up of Molly and Tiffany Amber, both girls are great at going forward, in and around the box...;-))

I've edited together a team on Pro Evo and I'm looking forward to a few games later.


Thursday, April 9, 2009


Last week I was literally on Cloud Nine after receiving my ninth follower Cathy. At the time my excellent follower Mr Colman suggested in the comments section that I was getting so popular that I should start thinking about throwing a party when I reached the 1000 hits watershed.

Well, I responded that as I was on 811 hits, it wouldn't take a maths (or math, as my American readers no doubt call it) genius to work out that was only 189 away from the Big 1K.

I did a bit of back of the fag packet maths and calulated that at my hit rate per day ratio I'd hit the Big 1K on April 26th!

Well, what a week I've had. First up I got myself into a right mess in (yet another) case of mistaken identity. I thought Cathy's friend was Will Young. He wasn't Will Young though, he was (well, I suppose he still is!) Sam Tring. Naturally, I thought he must be Cathy's boyfriend. Then I was wrong again readers. He revealed that he's actually gay. I felt like a right plonker. Then some other guy calling himself The Finisher started following me. And, he's entitled to his opinions, just like I'm entitled to mine. Let's just say we didn't really hit it off straight away. But, thanks to the calming influence of Mr Coleman, we managed to patch things up. It's water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned.

While all this was kicking off, I discovered that Amber from Blockbuster (happy now?) is actually seeing someone and so I've got a bit of competition for her affections. She knocked me back, but I'm not out of the game!! When something's worth fighting for, I'll not be detered. And, as per Mr Coleman's suggestion I reckon I'll throw a party on the blog and invite Amber!

Thing is, all the furore with Will Young/Sam Tring and The Finisher, my hit rate per day ratio shot through the roof!!!!

It's April 9th and I'm on 938 hits. I'm only 62 off the Big 1K and I haven't done a thing to get things ready for the party....

I'm going to need some help readers. That's where you come in.

I need you guys to spread the word that there's a party going down! Tell everyone, tell your friends, if they're a friend of yours, they're a friend of mine.

Bring a few cans of Cobra and we'll have a party right here on the blog. If you've got a wireless router, you might want to take your iBook into the kitchen, that's where people tend to congregate. Or perhaps if you're a smoker and you've got an iPhone or some other fancy gadget, you migth want to hang out in the garden with the other smokers. Everyone knows the smokers are always the coolest people at a party.

That's not to say I condone smoking, I don't, they're coffin nails. But maybe you've got some weed. Hey, chill out, you're among friends.

Don't bring any dickhead dust though, unless you're Barry McGuigan, I'm not going to argue with the Clones Cylone!!!

Pop some music on your stereo, that's the glory of this party, you can listen to whatever you want as quietly or loudly as you like. Although, if you're listening to Cliff Richard don't let me find out, I'll have you thrown out as a gatecrasher. Will Young look-a-like Sam Tring has offered to do a turn, and having seen his Bush, I'm not going to say no.

This blog post will have to serve as the invitation, so make sure you RSVP. I reckon, at the current growth rate, I'll break the 1000 barrier by Easter Monday. Handily enough, UK readers should have the day off so will be able get this party started, let's get this party started, let's get this party started!!!!

When Amber sees how many cool friends I've got, she's bound to see sense and choose a bit of Newsdesk in her life.

I'm pumped readers, I can hardly wait for Monday. Thank God for Jesus eh, without him getting nailed up we'd all be at work ;-)


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Im-perfect 10

Well readers, I’m usually overjoyed when I gain new followers. But my latest addition, some guy calling himself The Finisher, seems like a total jerk-off.

He’s made a couple of comments already. He comes across like a right know-it-all. He seems to be friends with my excellent follower Cathy and her (purely platonic) friend Sam (nice video btw Sam - you sound just like Kate Bush!! - if you've not seen it readers, check it out here. It's BRILLIANT)

So, I don’t want to be too rude about my new follower, he might be Sam’s boyfriend. After all Sam did post that he loves cock and this Finisher bloke seems like a bit of cock.

He’s questioning my journalistic integrity. But I’ve had a look at his blogs Bad PR and Dart Club and they’re absolutely rubbish.

He reckons he’s a writer, but he can’t write for toffee. Actually, I’ve gone beyond caring whether or not I hurt his (or Sam’s or Cathy’s) feelings. He reminds of my boss Richard at Blockbusters.

The Bad PR blog is just a catalogue of whinging and moaning, and the Dart Club blog seems to be about him and his mates playing darts. WHO CARES???????

Get a life the Finisher. You might be following me, but that doesn’t mean we have to be friends, KK??! Wise up.

Unwanted followers are just stalkers!

Sorry for the rant readers, I don’t mean to waste my emotions on people like the Finisher. Sometimes I can’t help it though, I’m an emotional man. I get that from Mum probably. She raised me to care about stuff.

I guess I’m especially sensitive today because I asked Amber out yesterday at Blockbusters, I’ve been avoiding doing it, because we work together. I even asked Richard if I could get a transfer to another branch. But he said no, the wanker. Anyway, cutting a long story short, she said she was kind of seeing someone right now, so it was a bit difficult :-(

I can't believe it. I really thought we had something going. I really thought we'd bonded. We're astrologically perfect for each other. I told her this, and she said she wasn't really into the 'older man thing'.

I called Gill to see if she fancied meeting for a chat. But it went straight to voice mail.

I’m not losing hope with Amber just yet, as long as we’re working together there’s always a chance that she’ll come around the old ND charm.

Speaking of which, I’ve got a shift on now, so I’d better be off *sigh*

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Confirmed Bachelors

Sometimes you just can’t do anything right. You know those kinds of days, readers? Not only did I mistake an entirely ordinary person – Sam Tring – for pop superstar Will Young, I then assumed Sam to be the boyfriend of Cathy, my most recent follower. Assumptions, assumptions. It turns out that Sam is just a good friend of Cathy’s.

I think, judging from his comments, that even if Cathy were the last woman on earth, she still wouldn’t do for Sam. He commented, you see, that he “loves cock”. And I know enough about the world to know that probably means he’s gay. Or at least bi-curious.

When I was younger, a teenager, I tried to think gay thoughts to see if I might be gay. It didn’t work. Try as I might, I couldn’t get excited about the prospect. I will admit to a brief period of time during which I found Billie Jean King attractive, but that’s as close as I got. Still, I did experiment with my thoughts, which proves that I’m not prejudiced. And it also proves I’m not in the closet, like Sir Cliff Richard was for all those years.

Apparently something like six per cent of all adults are gay. You probably work or have worked with someone who’s gay. Perhaps you didn’t realise it; after all it’s not always easy to tell. Here’s a tip from the BBC, though, which helps you spot when blokes being written about in their stories are gay:

The BBC always makes reference to whether or not the men are married or have kids. So, if someone is a ‘confirmed bachelor’ that means the BBC is tipping you the wink that they’re gay. Likewise if the BBC says, “Such and such is not married, and has no children”. It’s the same deal.

Here's a classic example.Here's another one involving a member of the Royal Family, and here's one more involving a former Prime Minister

And if you don’t believe all of this, then just look at this set of Cliff Richard lyrics, in which he writes of how his father forbade him a life of heterosexuality.

When I was young my father said
Son I have something to say

And what he told me Ill never forget

Until my dyin' day.

He said son you are a bachelor boy

And thats the way to stay.

Son, you be a bachelor boy until your dyin' day.

Jesus Christ, Freud would have a field day with that, wouldn’t he? Perhaps you are moved to feel sympathy for Cliff, over the fact that his father dictated such a personal element of his life, and that he lived for so many years with that waxy, fixed smile on his face while inside he was screaming out the truth.

But you shouldn’t feel sorry for Cliff Richard, because he’s a complete fucking wanker.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Will Young and a massive CORRECTION

I think I owe the blogosphere a massive apology.

At the end of February I gained a new follower called David Coleman. I thought it was the same Daivid Colman made famous for his balls. But it wasn't, it was Mr D Coleman, retired school master and (as it turns out) an excellent follower - I wouldn't swap Mr Coleman for the famous one, with or without his balls.

I was wrong. I jumped to the wrong conclusion. It was a case of mistaken identity. I corrected my mistake as soon as Mr Coleman pointed it out in the comments section of the blog (as indeed, I promise to do in the blog disclaimer at the bottom of the blog).

Anyway, yesterday I posted that my latest follower Cathy must be friends with popstar Will Young because he's in her blog's photo.

I popped the news up on Twitter and it didn't take long for it to spread like wild fire. A Will Young fan forum was soon on the case, only it wasn't good news - here's what was posted:

Originally Posted by angelique
bit confused by this!lol

just got a twitter thingy....

Will Young the popstar reads my blog, - HOW COOL IS THAT???

so of course went and had a peek....

is barry saying the guy in the pic with the girl doing the 'v's up is will?! cause if he is saying that..then he's wrong! lol...thats no will young

Well, quite a few people came through from the forum for a look, and the overwhelming opinion suggested that I was wrong...

Then Mess dropped by and commented that he too thought I might be wrong....jeesh, Rodney you plonker!! ;-)

Then....get this, the one person who was bound to know whether or not it was Will Young Twittered about it......well, not the one person actually, because Will Young would probably know, no, the person who Twittered about it was @samtring - the man in the photo...(pictured above).

Here's what he Tweeted:

samtringAccording to @barrynewsdesk - I look like Will young, apparently - http://barrynewsdesk.blogsp... [sorry to shatter the illusion]

Then I Tweeted:

@samtring Gosh - Sorry Samtring - I will have to post an apology. Unless you really are Will and this is a cunning ruse...

And he Tweeted back:

samtring@barrynewsdesk I wish I was - sadly i lack the talent and the money! no apology needed it's flattering more than anything.

Well, I think that's pretty conclusive readers. The man in the photo on Cathy's blog isn't Will Young. He's Sam Tring. He's a top bloke I reckon, Cathy's clearly a lucky girl to have found such a nice boyfriend.

Blimey readers, the power of the Internet. I never would have imagined when I started out on my quest to become a Citizen Journalist that I would have met such a great bunch. Just a few months ago I'd never even heard of Twitter and now look at me!!! I'm like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix.

Maybe I should get one of the Nokia phones with a slide out mouthpiece. I reckon that'd be pretty cool.

night, night Newsdesk out.x

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Where there's a Will...

Met up with Gill earlier today. I said I'd stand her a PizzaExpress, I thought things might get nasty, especially after reading her comments on the blog. I'm not a coward by the way Gill, I know you're a big fan of the Sloppy Giuseppe. Who isn't? Although, sometimes an American Hot can be quite tasty.

We didn't go in the end, she just wanted to meet up to give me back my Coldplay album and pick up the kettle that her mum gave us. Well, her, but she already has one. So we just met up at East Croydon train station. She'd had her hair done, and it might have been my imagination but I could swear she'd shed a few pounds. Not that she needed to, curves are always nice.

She barely spoke to me, even knocked back my offer of a Costa Coffee. Said she was meeting a 'friend' later for lunch. I ask who but she told me it was none of my business, that she could meet whoever she damn well liked. Then she did that smile, where only half her face goes up, I think it's supposed to say 'so there!' but actually is says 'I resemble a bell's palsy suffering spiteful bitch'.

Anyway, I won't lie to you readers, I was hurt. I'd told her all about Amber, I think if we're going to be grown up about the split, she could at least tell me who she's meeting for lunch!!

Earlier in the day I had planned to pen my invitation to a virtual web party, as suggested (on the comments section of the last post) by my excellent follower Mr Coleman the retired teacher. But I was in right funk. Well, I was until I logged on and had a closer look at the photo of my latest follower Cathy's blog (shown below), Booze, Shoes and Tattoos.

OMG readers!! Actually, no not OMG. I mean OYG - Oh YOUR God - because i'm being more inclusive as a result of all my religious studies.

Anyway, OYG readers!!!

I've only just noticed that Cathy, my new follower, fraternises with the rich and famous. Because, if I'm not very much mistaken, that fellow in the photo with her (see below) is international pop superstar Will Young!!

I'm not one of those people who thinks that Will Young is a talentless idiot with an unremarkable voice and a penchant for slaughtering perfectly good Doors songs. I think he's brilliant, and he seems like a nice bloke.

Anyway, check me out, readers. I have a follower who's friends with a pop star. Just imagine if Will started following my blog too. That would be awesome!!

I hope you enjoyed the sunshine today everybodypeeps!!

ND out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine…

Not just a feature of the worst Beatles song ever (the White Album? Come on Paul, Ringo George and John, you could have done better than that. After all, you wrote Love Me Do) but now the number of my newest follower. Welcome Cathy!

'Booze, shoes and tattoos' sounds like the blog of a hell’s angel with a foot fetish. But it isn’t, readers, it’s the blog of ‘Cathy’ my latest follower. Six foot three and 16 stone, bald, with bushy whiskers and a huge beer belly, that’s what your average Hell’s Angel looks like. Cathy, on the other hand, well it’s difficult to tell exactly what she looks like. But she’s flicking the V at the camera in her profile picture so we can assume that she’s a bit feisty.

We can also assume that she has tattoos and shoes and that she likes booze. The final assumption is more than borne out by her blog. She appears to drink a lot. Stella, in particular. Now you know me, readers, I’m pretty up to the minute with my views about things like womens’ lib. Like on the tube, I never give up my seat to a woman, because it’s condescending. If they ask, then that’s fine. They can have it. Especially if they’re pregnant, for example. Or crying.

Speaking of which, the other day I saw an advert on the tube for something called a Mooncup. This, it turns out, is an alternative to tampons or sanitary towels. At school these were called ‘mice’ and ‘crash-mats’ by the girls. Anyway, the mooncup is a flexible rubber cone that the woman pops up her unmentionable when she’s a maiden of the moon. It works on the same principle as when you have a leak in the roof and you put a bucket underneath it.

Anyway apparently it’s more ecological than the alternatives because it’s re-usable and I understand that it’s more comfortable too. As with the bucket, though, you just have to remember to empty it.

Sticking on the tube for a minute, I saw a woman with a badge on the tube the other day. The badge said “I’m pregnant, not fat”. I don’t know about you, readers, but I thought this woman was being harsh to people who are overweight. That’s prejudice all on its own. Who does she think she is? Some fat people might need a seat. It might be their glands, for example. Like my cat, Matthew. So I didn’t give her my seat. She could have dropped her kid right in front of me for all I cared, and I wouldn’t have moved. You SHOULDN’T be fat-ist. I felt like saying to her: “You’re ugly, too.” She had a hell of a hooter on her, I’ll tell you that much.

Anyway, like I was saying, I’m right up there with womens’ lib but I do believe in traditional things here and there. Like girls drinking pints of Stella? Do you have to? Couldn’t you just have a bottle, or a half? Or a glass of medium white wine? It’s just more ladylike, that’s all. I’m not saying you can’t play football, or be one of the police that’s allowed to carry a gun, or even be prime minister if you really want to. But do you really have to drink pints?

Anyway, I was supposed to be welcoming Cathy, who works in PR. That’s Press Relations. I have my first professional press relations lady following my citizen journalism blog. Tiny steps, readers, tiny steps.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A new leaf

What a beautiful day it’s been today, readers. Not a cloud in the sky, the sun shining brightly. You can see with such clarity on a day like today. Such perspective. The first leaves are on the trees on my road. God, spring is such an energetic time, don’t you think? All that life bursting through. And that’s kind of how I’m feeling today.

I’ve got so much life in me, I feel energised. I feel like shouting: "I AM ALIVE!!!"

Obviously I feel quite sad about the end of things with Gill. After all, we were together for quite a few years. And there was a time when we talked about marriage and kids and stuff. But these things happen. You can’t just settle for things in this life, because you only get one chance. Unless you’re a Hindu, I suppose, and you believe in reincarnation. Reincarnation is part of Buddhism as well but, to be honest, I don’t really buy it. I’m more into just the whole, you know, calmness of the whole thing.

Anyway, so this chapter of my life is drawing to a close and I suppose I do feel a certain, sweet pang of tristesse for the whole affair. Gill said some stuff when we spoke about how she waited all this time for me to grow up and that she doesn’t even know if she’s going to be able to have kids now, because she doesn’t feel she can get into another relationship in the next couple of years. Then she called me pathetic and made some comments about one of the branch managers at her estate agents who asked her out at the Christmas party a few years back and she should have gone because he was kind and he had a BMW.

I let her have her anger (thanks Buddha!). But then I told her she was being unduly negative. First off, sure she’s 38 but I read the other day about a woman in India who had her first child at 70-years old. So technically Gill could have another 32 years to meet Mr Right and start popping them out.

Second, who’s to say she’s not going to get into another relationship soon. What would be so wrong with that? There’s no set amount of time you’re supposed to wait in these situations. You’ve got to follow your heart. She’s not bad looking for her age, especially when she wears that purple dress – I told her all this and I’m pretty sure she found it helpful. I also told her that Dave, my roofer mate, has always had a bit of a thing for her and suggested – gently of course – that I could ask that he calls her.

She said Dave was a chauvinist. I got a bit cross with her about that. He does have some strong views and they’re not to everybody’s tastes. But it’s part of his background. And he’s always been a good friend to me.

We were on the phone for ages, almost 20 minutes, and I thought at this point that it would be a good idea to disengage. I mean she can’t keep relying on me as her sounding board any more. She has to move on, to learn to be independent. I told her this and she started laughing. She said I didn’t understand anything about her or about life. She was really laughing quite hard. So I told her it was alright to cry, she shouldn’t feel like she has to pretend.

She said she didn’t feel like crying, she felt like punching me in the face because I’m such a ridiculous little child. Then she said she was stupid herself for trying to base a relationship on pity and maternal instinct, that she shouldn’t have allowed herself to be forced into the role of surrogate mother.

I told her to lay off my Mum, going on about that stuff. She said my Mum was going round there later for dinner.

My Mum’s so kind to people, that’s what makes her special. But I felt a bit funny that she was going round to Gill’s. But I decided to enjoy my first new night of freedom by going to the pub to see if Amber might be there. I felt like a chat about my feelings, having listened to all of Gill’s and been there for her.

Amber wasn’t there, though, and her phone was going to voicemail. Hey ho, there’s always tomorrow; the SECOND day of the rest of my life!!!