Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Ternimator [sic]

Firtsly, well done Chelsea. The FA Cup is nowhere as prestigious as it was when I was a youngster, but to come from behind against all odds and when it shows true character.

Character, which I'm afraid my friend Dave the roofer is clearly lacking. After yesterday's game I texted Dave to congratulate him. But, get this, he didn't even say 'thank you'. I know. It's just rude and thoughtless isn't it. Very much like getting your best friend's recently ex'd-girlfriend up the duff.

Speaking of which, I did get one text yesterday, it was the one from Gill that woke me up. I didn't get around to reading it until late last night, admitedly I'd can one or two Cobras with my Fray Bentos pie, so I wasn't in the best frame of mind.

The message said, and I quote:

"Barry. I have decided to have a ternimation [sic]. Its just not right. Please dont tell Dave."

Well, you can bet what I thought can't you?! Looking at her spelling and terrible grammar it was clear to me that Gill had been drinking, which in her state is absolutely disgusting.

By the way readers, you'll notice I used [sic] both in the headline of today's blog and in Gill's text message. [Sic] is something journalists use when they're forced into making a spelling mistakes in quotes on purpose. It serves two points. First, it helps highlight how moronic the person they're quoting is. Second, it helps to reassure the reader that the journalist in question can spell (or has a spell checker on their word processor - I know, I know, Mr Coleman frequently points out where I've slipped up. But sometimes when I'm at full blogging tilt, I just don't have time to 'proof read my copy'*)

Anyway, back to Gill, I didn't really know what to do about Gill's text. Part of me felt pretty happy that she was making the right move and part of me, the spiritual part, felt that she was actually committing murder.

Abortion is a weighty subject readers. In a situation like Gill's, where she's had a quickie with an alcoholic roofer which has ruined her chances of getting back together with a thoroughly decent upstanding member of the community like me, maybe getting rid is the right move. But, when all's said and done, she has a baby growing inside her and so terminating the pregnancy is motivated entirely by self-interest. Which is not what the human race is all about!

It's something to ponder.


*the expression 'proof read my copy' is used in journalism, it basically means run the words through a spell checker.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

U TW@!

Woke up to the sound of my phone alerting me to the fact that I'd received a text message. After yesterday's bombshell news that Gill's knocked up with another man's baby, I did what any man in my situation would have done. Well, not an Islam or a top sportsman on the eve of a big competition, or indeed a sensible taxi driver who was about to start his shift, or Roger (apparently - although I doubt that, he probably just stays off the booze so he can manipulate Mum (both emotionally and physically - GOD I NOW FEEL SICK)).

I had a can of Cobra.

Then another and another. Before not too long I'd guzzled through the mobile phone safety barrier of about six cans of Cobra. It was sitting on the table, looking up at me, taunting me. I swear readers, I was beyond help. I picked it and sent Dave a text.

"Wetting the baby's head?" I texted.
"WTF U talkin abt Baz?"
"Won't be showing people down the Imperial pictures of Gill naked now will you? More likely to be junior."
"Serious. WTF U talkin abt Baz?"
"In fact, there'll be no more Imperial for you. No more going to the Bridge. No more bunking up with barmaids. But you can bunk up with your best pal's ex-girl as much as you like."
"Been drinkin" he asked.
"I've had a few Dave. I'm celebrating not having to look after a baby."
"UR saying wot I think UR sayin?"
"Nice one DAD!"
"If UR lyin 2me, ur ded"
"In the words of Charles and Eddie, Would I lie to you?"
"Game over."
"I'm ending this, not you."
Enjoy the Cup Final."

I thought I'd leave it at that, sometimes you've got to be the bigger man. I'm not sure what the message was on my phone this morning. Wasn't from Dave though, it was from Gill. Think I'll open it later.

Yours in News

Barry - young, free and single (again!)

ps. Dave was actually calling me a twat, but I thought I'd better change it to twit in case any of my younger readers are easily influenced.

pps. even though Dave the roofer is die hard Chelsea, I really do hope they win today, because I know Mess will be watching!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The sins of the father

I have had a day of highs and lows readers, but mostly lows. There’s no easy way to explain this to you, so I’ll just come right out with it.

Gill has managed to get herself pregnant. Good, bloody Christ, she’s up the duff. I can’t believe it, readers. I just can’t believe it.

Suddenly it all clicks into place. The other day, when we met at the moon under water? She wasn’t late because she had to be somewhere else; she was “Late” with a capital ‘L’. Late as in her moontime had not been forthcoming. In the family way. Tubbed. Up the bloody stick. The text message she sent me? “Positive?” that was the test result, not some cryptic allusion to her mood.

Obviously I found out because I caved in and called her. I asked her if she had calmed down but before she could answer, I heard her retch and then be sick. So then I asked her if she’d had a big night the night before, out with some bloke or something and then she was very rude to me.

She said: “No you insufferable little twat of a man. I’m fucking pregnant!”

I guess it must be the hormones.

You can imagine my response, readers, because it was the response that any decent man of my circumstance would have come up with, I’m sure. That’s to say, I was thinking in no uncertain terms that I am in no way ready to assume the responsibilities of fatherhood. I was panicking. I mean, it’s not like we’re even in a relationship. We’ve split up, and just because we had some drunken tuppenny bloody bunk-up in the UK’s premier location for exceptional short break experiences in a forest location – I can’t even be certain she was awake for all of it, for Christ’s sake – doesn’t mean that we can skip hand in hand into the soft-focus sunset of parenthood. Shit.

So I played it cool. I said: “Wow, so how do you feel about that?”

And she said: “I feel fucking terrible you spindly, cosseted bloody cretin.”

I had visions of the church, the aisle, Mum sitting in the front row and Gill standing there, a life of sleepless nights and nappies stretching out before me. I was about to offer some trademark Newsdesk placatory words when she hit me with the sledgehammer blow.

“And before you ask, don’t worry,” she said. “I’m certain it can’t be yours.” She was sick again, and then she said. “I think it must be Dave’s”

I got this horrible feeling in my stomach, like it was looping the loop and then I started to feel sick myself. I felt sad and angry. So I had a bit of a shout.

“Dave the bloody roofer?” I said. “Jesus Christ, Dave the roofer and my sort-of girlfriend are having a baby together. I thought we were working things out. I thought after Center Parcs things were getting back together. And now you’re having a baby with Dave the bloody roofer? He can barely fucking well write. What kind of father’s he going to be, eh? He’s a borderline alcoholic, bigoted, sexist moron. He’s got every Clarkson DVD that’s been issued. Even the foreign imports, the ones from Australia. The last book he read was a novel based on the TV series Spender, and it was written by Jimmy Nail!! He’s my best friend, for crying out loud.”

And then she put the phone down.

Well, I can tell you, readers, I didn’t know where I was. I wanted to phone Mum, but I didn’t want to tell her about Gill and Dave. So I just did what Buddhists are supposed to do in these situations: I sat down and had a think. And do you know what? It didn’t seem that bad, after a while. I actually started to feel relieved.

I’m a young man in the prime of my life. I’m a creative guy. And you know what they say about the pram in the hallway being the enemy of creativity.

I started to feel sorry for them both. It’s silly in this day and age to have unprotected sex, and they should have been more responsible. Now they’re going to have to live with this problem. Certainly, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to be with Gill after this. I can’t bring up Dave’s child, I just can’t. And I think it takes strength to be that brutally honest about something like this.

Anyway, I think it’s high time I had a beer. Newsdesk out, people.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Unlucky for some

It seems as though my follower outreach has paid off. After Lolren joined the fold, I have my 13th follower. The rather excellent Comedy Plus.

It's an hilariously funny blog, dedicated to gags galore. I was going to go out into town today for an interview for a new job, but I got into reading the funnies on Comedy Plus and I totally lost track of time. I missed my interview slot completely. You've gotta laugh though, right? That's what life's all about.

At the time of writing Comedy Plus has got a majestic 193 followers, proving that I'm not alone when it comes to seeking a good giggle.

It was my 13th follower, but I didn't heed the warning. After predicting a Man Utd 3-2 Barcelona result, I went to Ladbrokes and placed a £50 bet, I was left licking my wounds after only ten minutes when Eto'o poked in Barcelona's first. Betting really is a mug's game.

Incidentally, can anyone out there tell me why Eto'o celebrated by trying to summon up a vain on his forearm in the manner of a smackhead? Was he trying to say scoring a goal is as good as mainlining heroin? Because if he was, that's not a message I condone. That said, I've never injected drugs and I've never scored a goal in the Champions League final.

Although, my Pro Evolution Soccer team Notts Forest have won the Master League and WEFA Championship a fair few times and sometimes I've even played after a little bit of the old whacky-backy. But, kids, I'm a lot slower at the game after a few smokes. They don't call it dope for nuffin'. Ya dig?!

After I got over the shock of losing £50 within ten minutes of the start of the game I just settled down into a few cans of Cobra and resigned myself to the loss. I did cheer up when Messi scored because it reminded me of my excellent Chelsea supporting French homeboy Mess.

I realised that Bill Shankly was wrong when he said football is more important than life or death. If you've got friends you can trust, football really is just a game.

I'm starting to well-up readers.

Love you all.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Following encourages following

It sounds like something the King of the Sheep would say doesn’t it? But following really does encourage following. I’d like to welcome Lolren Lollipop on board the good ship Newsdesk as my latest excellent follower.

As regular readers will know, or readers who read the last post anyway, I decided that I would use a highly disingenuous method of attracting more followers. Until now, I have grown additional followers purely organically, that’s to say I didn’t really seek out followers, they found me. However, as a lot of farmers have discovered, going organic is not necessarily that healthy for the old profit margins. It might sound nice, but in truth maybe Mother Nature really does sometimes need a helping hand. Ipso facto, so does this blog.

I’ve noticed, along with Mr Coleman, that on Twitter, I have a massively high number of followers compared with here on the blog. I also noticed that when people follow me on Twitter, I will follow them right back and as I get more followers so more join and so on and so forth, it’s a self-perpetuating upward helter-skelter of followization. Though, my Twitter Tweets are effectively just small bite size chunks of the blog posts, so you’d think the blog would be more popular, right?

So by applying the same Twitter-based growth strategy logic to this blog, I should be able to cause an upward helter-skelter of followization. I call this new social media theory – Barry’s Theory of Following, or Sheep Syndrome. I haven’t quite decided what to call it as it goes. BTF (Barry’s Theory of Followization) is a catchy abbreviation by is possibly too self-explanatory while Sheep Syndrome is not only clever piece of anthropomorphic observation but also a nice piece of alliteration. However, it suffers as an abbreviation.

Anyhoo, I followed a whole bunch of cool looking blogs and guess what?! Yep, one of those cool bloggers followed me right back pushing me back up to 12 followers!

Can I can a woop-woop?

Cool beans. Lolren’s blog, C'Est La Vie, Mon Cheri, has 15 followers (including yours truly) and is all about make-up. I can’t say I’ve ever worn the stuff, It’s funny isn’t it readers, if I put make-up on I’d probably look like some sort of freaky transvestite, but when Gill puts her face on, she actually looks more feminine than without.

Anyway, I guess I’ll sit tight and see if any of the other cool bloggers come on board. If they don’t, I guess I’ll ditch-em and follow a few others for a while. Does that make me a shallow man, transparently trying impress upon the world that I’m important virtually to make up for inadequacies in the real world or does it make me, like so many of my Twitter followers claim to be, a master of social media, able to engage with the web-based influencers, using subtle viral guerrilla marketing techniques?

It’s something to chew over for a while eh?

Champions league final tomorrow, so I doubt I’ll post.

Newsdesk prediction: Man Utd 3-2 Barcelona.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Twitter is rubbish; discuss.

It's a Bank Holiday today. At the moment though, it seems as though every day is a Bank Holiday. In more ways than one! Sounds like Heaven yeah!? (Not the gay nightclub.) But when you're looking for work the Bank Holiday just means yet one more day you can't spend looking for work. The things is, I want to work, I really do, but there are so many obstacles standing in my way.

After my disasterous date with Gill I decided that I'd be the bigger man and text her first to see what was up. I didn't get a response within the hour so I texted again, then again, in the end I practically begged her to respond. 'U all rite? Everythin OK,' I said, 'Positive' came the one word response. Guess that means she's OK and just needs a bit of space. So I've decided not to call or text her for a week or so, just to let the dust settle. Women are a slave to their hormones.

With that in mind, I guess it's time to put the focus back on me. I don't like to just talk about me all the time, I'm just not that vain, but if you don't look after yourself, who will?

I've decided that I need to go on a recruitment drive for the blog. Because if I can demonstrate that I have lots of regular readers than I really can take up some genuine sponsorship opportunitties or possibly, as Mr Coleman says, I can turn my blog into an award winning sitcom like the utterly hilarious Two Pints of Lager. However, there are some strange anomolies in Webland, as also pointed by Mr C.

"It is indeed hard to explain why such a gripping blog seems to be the exclusive pleasure of a Frenchman and a semi-retired schoolteacher. You have almost 1,600 followers on Twitter yet only 11 for your vastly more entertaining life-drama blog. I just can’t understand it – just what is wrong with people these days?"

I'm not sure Mr Coleman, really, it's a mystery to me. My blog posts are rich and enlivening, I'm bearing my sole to the world, there are nice pictures, genuinely informative and entertaining comments, a poll and links to other sites, whereas on Twitter all I really do is post a link trying to bring people to the blog and I occaissionally send a quick reply to Jim (my most recent blog follower) or Mess. Still people seem to be signing up in droves to receive adverts driving them to my website. ODDLY, the people who follow me on Twitter all seem to have mini-pitches of their own attempting to bring me to their website. I'm starting to think Twitter has been highjacked my self-promotionists and is full of nothing but spam.

The thing is, when someone comes and follows me on Twitter I usually follow them straight back again, so while nearly 1600 are following me, I too am following over 1500. It's a bit like when people follow this blog, I always follow them back. It's just that not many people have the time, talent or ability to create blogs, while creating Tweets is as easy as coughing up phlegm. Perhaps, if I'm trying to get people to follow this blog, I need to follow a few other more likeminded intellectual Blogists. Maybe when I follow them, they'll check me out and follow back! I've got nothing to lose. If they don't follow me back, I'll just ditch them like a used lover.

This sounds like a disingenuous method of upping my numbers, I know, but that's advertising for you isn't it?!

Gotta go, meeting Dave the roofer for a few pints in the Imperial.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

A faltering restart

Went to meet up with Gill last night in the Moon Under Water, it's a Weatherspoons pub, so not exactly a classy joint, but with my financials in the state they're in, I need to play it sensible. I got myself a pint of lager and settled down at a spare table. Gill was nowhere to be seen.

You've got to watch yourself in the Moon, if you're sitting alone for more than five minutes you'll almost certainly draw the attention of Seamus. He's in there all day, every day. God knows where he finds the money, but he pisses it all up the wall and won't stop talking about the 'old country'.

I was practically at the end of my pint when Gill walked in, "good timing," she said and went to the bar without even taking her coat off. Result. Actually, I really don't appreciate being kept waiting in the Moon, Gill knows this, but I managed to hide my anger.

"Sorry, I'm late," she said as she sat down with the drinks.

I told her it was OK and that luckily she'd arrived before Seamus had joined me. She laughed looking around, "just like old times eh!?"

I had to smile. It really was. I tried to make a bit of small talk, told her about my email from Kenny and a new charity thing that I've got in mind (women love charity) - I've always had a good head of hair, but over the last few years, it has been thinning a touch, so I thought I'd shave it all off and at the same time raise a bit of money for Tibet. I was thinking of booking out a pub and making a bit of party of it. I thought Gill would be all over the idea, prior to the breakup she'd been nagging me for ages to get a haircut and grow up. But she didn't even acknowledge what I'd said.

I raised the idea of renting out and moving back to Lincoln for a while (thought it might be too soon to suggest she move in...!). "Have you still not got a job?" she asked. But I'm better than Blockbusters, that was only ever a temporary measure anyway. I can't just take any old job, I need a challenge. Besides there's a global recession on, so finding work is easier said than done.

I'd rattled through my second drink fairlt sharpish and got up to go to the bar to get myself another pint, Gill had bearly touched her orange juice, "fancy a refll?" I said, "a bit of chardonney?" I didn't want to push it too much, but I figured the night wasn't exactly going as I'd planned, I'd probably need a bit of assistance from Cupid's Cup of Love. But Gill just asked for a glass of water "I'm late," she said.

I couldn't believe it, I'd kept this night totally free, had a shave, made all the conversation and now here she was turning up late and turning my drink offers down becasue she was late for something else. Two can play at this game, I thought, she clearly wasn't going to be coming back to my place for Round II, so figured I'd just see how long it was before she say anything. We sat there in stony silence for 15 minutes, I took a few sips. As predicted, she cracked's a classic piece of negotiating that I learned while I was in sales.

"Aren't you going to say anything?" she asked.
"What! I've been trying to talk to you all night," I said.

She just shooked her had, gulped back the remainder of her drink and stood up to leave, "I'm late," she said.
"Well, you'd better get yourself off to wherever it is your going," I said, and she stormed out.

WOMEN. I will never understand them.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wooly-minded Liberals

Once again I was rudely awoken at about 10:30 this morning by the sound of someone stuffing uninvited pamphlets through the letterbox. Rather than right-wing propaganda, I was met by the tell-tale yellow of the Liberal Democrats.

As you'd imagine the LDs had taken a slightly different tack from the UKIP and BNP. They'd decided to use actual party supporters on their leaflet. They've been at this game for long enough to know you cannot fool the electorate with phony ballonie nonsense.

As a Citizen Journalist, it is my responsibility to remain and report from a neutral standpoint. I have a Duty of Care to my readers Mr Coleman and Mess, not to mention the countless tens of others who sometimes drop by the blog by mistake....

....speaking of which (if I may digress?), if you look over to the left sidebar you'll see my blog counter. A blog widget supplied by Blogpatrol. It doesn't just let me see how many visitors I've had it lets me 'drill down' into the stats. I can see all sorts of relevant information about my followers. I can see how many I've had, when they visitied, the computer browser they're using, which country they come from, their IP address and even what search terms they might have used to stumble across the ole bloggeroonie.

It's this last factiod that I'd like to develop further, and it is a factiod that I hope will bring joy to my loyal French friend Mess. Last month I was approached by a firm called offering me riches beyond my wildest comprehension, at the time my other excellent follower, former school master Mr David Coleman (not the commentator) warned me against it, but Mess went one step further and did some research then sent me a Facebook email explaining that is definitely an Internet fraud scheme.

Anyway, using the Blogpatrol tool I've noticed that countless tens of people have been drawn to the Barry Newsdesk blog as a direct result of Googling questions about Clearly, these people had also been approached by and clearly they'd done a bit of digging and they came to this very blog and would have read Mess's words of wisdom warning them away from That, my friends, it Citizen Journalism in action!!!

Anyway, back to the Liberals, the flyer they sent features a good number of pictures of actual Liberals. They're NOT assamed! Take that BNP and UKIP. There's even a picture of Vince Cable, who looks like my friend Dave's Dad. I've always had a bit of a softspot for the Liberal party, ever since Paddy Ashdown (aka Pantsdown lol), then there was Charles Kennedy, he liked a drink, there's nothing wrong with that, and more recently Sir Menzies Campbell (any relation to Kenny from the Metro I wonder?) - whose name, GET THIS, is actual pronounced Ming. As in Ming the Merciless (he was bald too.....funny, you never saw them in the same room together).

The Lib Dems greatest ally is also their greatest foe. They can pretty much promise what the hell they like because they'll never get into power. It's one of the political ironies of our time.

Anyway, I'm starting to sound like a party political broadcast. I should really be out looking for a job, but it's very difficult to get motivated. If it wasn't for the fact I'm meeting up with Gill later I'd still be in my jimjams.

My own personal Credit Crunch is starting to bite. I'll have to meet up with Gill in Weathersoons I think. I was thinking about asking Gill to move in, it could well get me out of sticky patch mortgage-wise. Then again, I was also thinking that I might be able to rent out the place and go and look after Mum in Lincoln. I called her up the other night and Roger answered. I don't like it. He's getting his feet under the table. If I rent out this place, then I can stay up north for a while until I get myself a new job when the recession stops next year.

Catch you later one and all, reckon I can fit in some Pro Evolution Soccer before I need to go out.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Crooked politicians

Two days ago I mooted the possibility of becoming a politician. This idea came to be partly as a result of seeing just how much cash MPs can rake in these days and partly as a result of receiving a pamphlet promoting the BNP.

At the time I pretty much said I wasn’t going to bother with the BNP. This despite the flyer having some pretty compelling information about creating British jobs for British people and reducing taxes. Both of which policies I broadly agree upon.

There’s just something you can’t quite put your finger on though with these guys. They’re dodgy, pure and simple. And if you want proof that they really are dodgy you don’t even need to examine their expenses, look no further! The very flyer that they sent me (and no doubt countless others) is actually an almost completely fraudulent piece of DOGSHIT!

That’s right, yours truly has uncovered the truth. And, as is so often the case, the truth hurts. I’m socking it to the fascist scum. If you can’t be bothered to click in this link and see the evidence for yourself, the BNP has used stock images available on the Internet instead of using photos of their actual supporters.

It’d be like me using a picture of Kenny Campbell the editor of The Metro. It would be a BIG FAT LIE. I am not Kenny Campbell and the people used on the BNPs flyer are not BNP supporters (probably) – although if the people on the flyer are reading this and they are BNP supporters, I’ll gladly print a full correction and apologise.

FYI – the UKIP used a picture of Winston Churchill on their flyer, now if memory and Wikipedia serves me correctly Churchill was a actually a Liberal and a Conservative. He was not a member of the UK Independence Party. So their flyer is inaccurate too. Makes you wonder why they didn’t use a picture of Roberty Kilroy Silk?!

That’s the news.


Ps. I’m thinking of using Barrington as my new news name. I think it has a certain gravitas.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A minor set back

True to my word, I emailed Kenny Campbell the editor (and his deputy editor David Monk) of Britain's brightest freesheet, The Metro, pitching my story idea of one simple man's quest to stride the corridors of power.

As regular readers will know, it was The Metro that inspired me to become a Citizen Journalist. It's the people's paper! (Hey Kenny, you can use that strapline if you like!)

Anyway, cutting a long story short, Kenny responded late last night (he was clearly up proofing today's issue). Here's what he had to say:

Dear Barry,

Many thanks for your email. Sorry to hear you've lost your job - I know the fact you're one of many doesn't make it any less unpleasant.

Perhaps not surprisingly, we're not commissioning new talent at the moment, even when someone appears to have some ability (and, believe me, I see plenty of submissions which demonstrate remarkable inability with the language...).

I had a look at your website and you obviously enjoy working with words, so stick with it, even though I can't use your abilities right now.

All the best, and good luck on the work front.

Kenny Campbell (Editor)

What a top guy. I know I've sent several pieces into The Metro and got nothing back (yet) but at least I'm on the big man's radar now. So it's probably only a matter of time before they give me a regular column.
It's great that the editor himself emailed me (I thought he might get the deputy to do all the menial stuff), just goes to show that Kenny is plugged into the world. He probably sits in his office, hawk-like, observing matters as they unravel all around the world.
Dave's probably too busy 'repurposing' that night's Evening Standard!
Yours in News

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A little bit of politics

Life has just taken yet another cruel twist for yours truly. After a top weekend with Gill I returned to work re-energized. I was actually looking forward to walking into Blockbusters and being able to dismiss Amber for the common tart she really is.

BUT, when I walked in I saw not just Amber standing behind the counter but her so called boyfriend Leigh.

As regular readers (Mess and Mr Coleman) will know, I was personally responsible for Leigh's dismissal some time ago when the store's dickhead manager Richard entrusted me in the sensitive issue of funds being lifted from the till. Turns out it was Amber, not Leigh, and when I told Richard this, he dismissed the allegations with a laugh.

Anyway, I went into the backroom to get changed into my uniform (I never walk the streets dressed in the uniform, I've never been good with uniforms) and came face to face with Richard. He told me that I needn't bother getting changed tonight, because my services were not required.

I gussed that he must have had a change of heart over Leigh. Given the guy a second chance, and that since I'd been away he must have changed the rota. I said as mush to Richard. He just laughed and told me not to go home and not bother coming back, not to work and not even as a customer.

Suffice to say, I asked him what he was talking about. "I'm sacking you Barry," he said "for sexual discrimination."

At first I thought it was a joke, I even said "are you having a laugh?" But he wasn't smiling. "Do I look like I'm joking?" he asked, looking so self-satisfied I would have punched him, and I would have done too, except I'm pacifist.

SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION. I couldn't believe it.

After all that stuff with Sky when I first entered the world of Citizen Journalism, I know a thing about sexual discrimination. And Richard was going to have a fight on his hands for unfair dismissal. I'd already practically started spending the damages fee in my head, I'd get myself a car and maybe even take Gill away again. When it comes to sexual discrimination cases, you need actual proof before you can make those sorts of allegations. I'm no mug!

How could Richard possibly have proof that I'm a sexual deviant? For starters, I'm not and even if I was, I'd be smart enough to cover my tracks!

I told him I'd see him in court, but before I could leave, Richard went outside and then came back with Amber and Leigh. "Show him," said Richard. Amber took out her mobile phone.....

Flippin heck, she had all those messages that I'd sent her after my disasterous Internet date. I didn't bother arguing readers, even though I'm defintiely not a pervert, in black & white in a mobile phone inbox, it really did look like I'd been pestering Amber.

As I walked out of the room, Leigh barged me with his shoulder, "sleep wiv one eye open bruv," he said, just like what's her name did on Eastenders the other night. I'm not scared of bullies like him. But I didn't want GBH charges levelled against me as well, so I just walked out.

So, there you have it, I'm back on the old rock 'n' roll. Not that I've signed on yet, I've never been a benefit scrounger. Like my Mum says, there's plenty of work out there for those that want it. Only trouble it, I'm not sure what work I should get into.

When I walked in through the front door I noticed a couple of pamphlets lying on the floor, one for the BNP and the other for the UK Independence Party. It got me thinking, what with all that stuff in the papers recently about how much politicians can make by fidlling their expenses, it actually sounds like you can make a fair bit of money.

I've always been interested in politics, but never really considered becoming a professional MP. Maybe I should. I don't think I'll bother with BNP or UKIP (even though my Mum really loves Robert Kilroy Silk).

Having read both pamphlets I tend to agree with everything they've written, but I feel I have to say that I fundamentally disagree with all they stand for. Still, it's a free country and far be it from me to compare them both to the Nazi party. They're not racist they say, but then Hitler said that too and once he was elected into power he changed his tune pretty sharpish. I can well imagine Kilrory Silk and the game fencing off Golders Green and getting the locals to paint little stars of David on their front doors.

I'm not sure which political party to go for really. I might have to do a bit of research. Could well make for an interesting article for The Metro. I'll write them an email and see if they're interested in my 'pitch'. I need the cash after all, this f*cking mortgage won't pay for itself and what with all the migrant workers taking all the jobs, I could be looking for work for quite some time.

Your the honourable member for Newsdesk.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Going Dutch

People often say that we Brits have quite a lot in common with the Dutch. We’re both big footballing nations, both with a background of problems with violent and nationalistic football supporters. We both have a history of embarrassing colonialism, we both still have royal families, although they’re pointless (at least ours draws the tourists, though), and we’re both inherently conservative politically. The mistake is often made of viewing the Dutch as liberal hippies because they have a policy of tolerance to soft drugs and prostitution in Amsterdam, but actually that’s wrong.

The other thing we have in common with the Dutch is Center Parcs. You may not know it but Centre Parcs was actually invented in Holland, in the 1960s. It was a successful operation there for twenty years until it opened in Sherwood Forest in 1987. Today, according to the company literature, Center Parcs “has become synonymous with the provision of an exceptional short break experience in a forest location.” They’re nothing if not specific.

Anyway, let me tell you what I think Center Parcs is synonymous with, having now been there. Center Parcs is synonymous with one Barry Newsdesk getting BACK IN THE SADDLE. And I’m not talking about one of those cheap mountain bikes you see the smiley people riding in those adverts (the adverts lie about lots of stuff, by the way, readers), I’m talking about what my anagrammatic friend Mr Coleman might describe as “Hip enema? Ok. Ow!”

If you’re interested in the kind of leisure activities we got up to, then check out the center parcs website. It’s all on there. But if you’re interested in the kind of pleasure activities we got up to, well…

What can I tell you readers, after dinner on the final night me and Gill wondered back to our cabin. We’d got on really well during the meal, although she insisted on talking about what a great guy Roger is. But I was the bigger person and I didn’t let it bother me. Instead I did what you’re supposed to do when women are talking; I listened. I listened attentively and I asked pertinent questions at sympathetic intervals. These questions served two purposes. First, they allowed me to subtly prove that I was listening and second they enabled me to encourage her to further open up to me. In more ways than one.

It was brilliant. We shared a bottle of wine, and got them to give us another one to take back to the cabin. I didn’t try and hold hands with her on the way back to the cabin, but we were very close together. And the mood wasn’t spoiled by the big argument that was going on in the cabin opposite ours as we went in the door.

Back inside, I whipped out the new portable speakers that I’d bought for my iPod and enlisted the help of my trusty trio: Mr M. Gaye, and the brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo. Boy, do those three know how to get a girl in the mood!

At this point, readers, I will employ something that us writers like to call ‘Authorial Distance’. This is something that we use to pull back from a situation, as if a camera were panning away. It gives the subjects of the story their privacy, while leaving readers in no doubt as to what is happening. It was used by Jane Austen quite a lot, when she wasn’t wibbling on about men having “an fine countenance, some twenty thousand a year and an estate at Blitherington.” Amazing what you can remember when you’re in full romantic flight.

Anyway, this much I’ll tell you. When all was said and done (half way through What’s Goin’ On? But it’s been a while) and I politely enquired as to her enjoyment, she sighed and said “it was just like it always was.”

Check me out! I’ve still got the moves. I must have tired her out because she fell asleep straight away. So I put out the light. I even took her shoes off for her.

Gill was really quiet on the drive home, but I guess, like me, she had a lot of thinking to do. I’m sure I speak for us both when I say it kind of took us by surprise. Still, I feel really good, people.

Peace and love BN

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Centre Parcs

You'll be lierally amazed when you read what I'm about to write.

This weeked I'm going to Centre Parcs!

I know what you're thinking, why is a cool, urbanite, influencer like Barry Newsdesk going to Centre Parcs.

Centre Parcs is basically Butlins for the middle class family man. Jeesh, I'm upper working class for starters and ain't in the family way yet! ;-) - well, not that I know about kk!

Thing is, Gill and I booked a trip to Centre Parcs just before Xmas. It was her idea to be honest, and in all fairness, she's paying for it. But the holiday is booked all the same, and it'd be a shame to waste it.

She said as much to me just last night. We went to the pub and had a very frank chat. We're definitely not 'dating', but well, I've not had much luck with the Internet dating schemes and I think we can safely say I'm totoally OVER Amber. It was infatuation, nothing more, there was no emotion. It was pure sex. Well, not actual sex, but certainly desire, or lust if you will.

Gill reckons we can go to Centre Parcs together, it's a twin room after all and there are plenty of activities for us to be getting on with, so we don't need to spend every waking moment together.

I tell you what though, it's been a while, if you know what I mean, and if we're louging by the pool and she's got that bikini on that goes see-thru when it gets wet, well, I'm only human aren't I?!

We'll have chicken & chips and a few glasses of chardonney, and those twin beds can soon be pushed together ;-)) nudge, nudge.

It doesn't mean we'll be back together, but maybe we can have an 'open' relationship? A lot of water has passed under the bridge when all's said and done.

I'm not telling Mum, she'll only get excited, and at her age she probably doesn't need her blood pressure rising. Besides, she's probably got something planned with Roger anyway. Smooth talking crook that he is will be swindling her out of my inheritance!

Anyway, gotta go and pack my snorkel - think I'll pack my lucky pants while I'm at it.

Who would have thought I'd be so excited about a trip to bloody Centre I'll be buying a Ford Mondeo.

Peace out, l8ers

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inspiration for da nation

I've just read an excellent blog post. It was written by none other than my favourite French follower Mess. On his new blog, Tangled Up. Mess is tangling with that age old dilemma, love. He's got a soft spot for Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole.

To be honest though Mess, you shouldn't spend too much time waiting for the 'perfect' girl to turn up. I'm not sure that she'll be leaving Ashley any time soon and if she did, I dare say she'd probably be knocking on Christiano Ronaldo's door.

I've posted much about the subject of love. But, what can I say? If love wasn't so damn confusing, it wouldn't be so much fun! ;-)

Take me and Gill. Jeesh, first it's off then, well, I think it might on again readers. When I cast our relationship adrift, I thought Amber and I had a future. How wrong I was. OYG, how wrong I was. I should have seen the signs. Turns out she was dating Leigh all along and playing me for the fool.

She used me readers. I feel violated. I actually got Leigh sacked from Blockbusters, because I wanted to get sacked with Amber...jeesh, the irony. All along she was taking from the til and letting Leigh take the rap. Well, when I told Richard at Blockbusters that I thought it was Amber and not Leigh who was stealing, he told me shut and stop worrying about a few quid here and there - she's got him wrapped around her little finger, the weak willed cretin. There a word for girls like Amber.

Meanwhile, Gill's been up in Lincoln all this time looking after Mum. But Mum sent her home because Roger "can take care of things". ROGER!!! I saw Gill last night, she finally took me up on that Pizza Express offer. She told me about Dave, the roofer, it was a one-off she said. She started going on about how he made her feel "wanted". I felt a bit sick in the pit of my stomach. what a fool I've been.

Seeing Gill and just having a nice time made me think about my friend Steve's humdrum family life in Lincoln, maybe settling down isn't so bad after all.

I know, check me out, I'm having a life affirming moment.

I think I probably have this blog and trusty followers like Mess and Mr Coleman to thank for their support during the dark times.

I feel so proud that Mess suggests on his own blog that it was yours truly that inspired him to start blogging. Proud but at the same time I sense a tell-tale tingle of jealousy. I've got to admit, Mess's blog is excellent, a little too good! ;0)

It's a bit like the moment that a father realises his son can beat him in a fight. Maybe that's why Dad left us. Becasue he was jealous of me and Mum and scared that one day I'd be the one throwing my weight about.

Who's laughing now?

Newsdesk Out

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Straight to bookshelf

Jobs are funny aren’t they? I mean we’ve all got to have one, but so many people don’t like theirs, it makes you wonder why they bother. I absolutely love my job at Blockbusters, but like it says in the song, love don’t pay the rent. I’m on the breadline and I really should start thinking a bit more about how I can bring in a few more spondulicks.

When I was a nipper up in Lincoln I used to dream of being a policeman, but back in those days you needed to be at least 5’11” in order to qualify. I looked long and hard at my Mum and Dad, 5’8” and 5’2” respectively and realised I’d be hard pushed to make the Force. My Mum being little didn’t matter so much, but it would be my Dad’s lack of stature that would let me down. It wouldn’t be the first time he let me down or the last either readers, but that’s a different story, for another time.

Pretty soon though I was glad that I wouldn’t be a copper. My friend Steve’s Dad was a copper and pretty much no one trusted him. Steve got pretty badly bullied for a while, then it stopped abruptly when the Dad of one of the bullies was pulled over for speeding and some cannabis was ‘discovered’ during a rectal investigation back at the local station.

No one bullied Steve anymore, but no one talked to him either. Apart from me, I wasn’t scared. Mind, I did suggest to Steve’s Dad more than once that I thought my Dad was a secret weed smoker and he was never pulled over, apart from the time he ran a red light, then the copper just let him off with a warning.

Pretty soon I decided that I wanted to be a footballer and play for Notts Forest. Although, to be honest, sports weren’t really my strong point, well, not until I took up judo, which I only took up when the bullies’ attention moved from Steve to me. I’m a black belt now readers, I’d love to run into those bastards again in a dark alley. Even though I’m a pacifist, I think I’d probably put my resolve to one side this time and give them a well-overdue pasting.

When I took up judo, the only professional judo exponent was Brian Jacks. Man, he really was the king of the dippers. Not surprisingly, I never really harboured ambitions to be a professional judo fighter.

Pretty soon I discovered girls and music. I bought a bass guitar and joined a band. Well, I formed one anyway, with Steve. We were called Cut ‘n’ Run, and played electro-funk goth fusion. We did a gig at the church hall, it went down well, but in all honesty, it was highly unlikely that I’d carve myself a career in the business. When I saw that character in the League of Gentlemen, the bassist in Crème Brulee, it reminded me a lot of Cut ‘n’ Run! You’ve got to laugh sometimes haven’t you? If you didn’t you’d cry. :-(

Anyway, I don’t want to go into too much detail about my search for a job from childhood to adulthood. Suffice to say I went to college and got a Desmond (as in Desmond Tu-Tu) in Mineral Processing and Material Reclamation. I qualified just in time for the UK mining industry to collapse. NICE ONE MAGGIE!!!

I ended up in media sales, more by accident than design, and that’s where I stayed for the next 15 years until I was made redundant and started out on my quest to become a Citizen Journalist – that was under five months and over 70 posts ago, and here we are. I’ve had over 1100 hits and 11 great followers (welcome aboard Jimmy!! - you can read my latest follower Jim's blog at this link here. It's well worth a trip.)

I have to admit, I’ve not really seen much financial reward in journalism. Not a single one of my submissions to The Metro has resulted in payment and my freesheet adult entertainment magazine, The Oyster, has proven the old adage that ‘sex sells’ to be inaccurate. All this recent talk of sponsorship opportunities looked promising, but amounted to nothing.

I was starting to think that maybe writing is not that great a career after all. There aren’t that many superstar journalists are there? Apart from Paxman, natch.

Then I thought, ‘but journalists are writers Barry, there are loads of famous writers and quite a few rich ones too’. Look at JK Rowling. I LOVE Harry Potter. They’re great, they’re so addictive, they’re meant for kids I know, but I’ve got the ones with the ‘adult’ sleeves (they’re not covered in pictures of boobs ;-) they’re just plain and serious, so when you’re reading them in public, it looks like you’re reading a proper grown-up’s book).

Writing books is not as hard as you’d imagine readers, the trick is coming up with something no one else has ever thought of that taps into a market hungry for something they didn’t realise they were hungry for. I mean to say, who would ever had thought a book series about a wizard would have been successful?! And Rowling’s books have all been turned into films, so now she’s a multi-millionnairess ten times over. Thanks books. She had a secret up her sleeve all right, or should that be wizard’s sleeve??! lol ;-))

I started thinking about what I could write about that no one has realised they want yet. I went into the local library to do some research. I basically took a pad and pen and then wrote down all the types of books they stock. It took flippin ages!!! I thought I’d write down everything and then whatever was left would be a market as yet untapped.

I stumbled across a whole section full of books that are based on films. But not the actual films, different stories featuring the same characters as in the films like Star Wars and Star Trek. There are loads of famous films that were actually books first. Most people reckon the books are better than the films, but obviously they take a lot more time to consume so people opt for the film version.

Anyway, I thought to myself ‘rather than write a book that I hope gets turned into a film, like JK Rowling, and rather than writing a new story with the same characters that were in successful films. I would write a book version of a successful film’. The beauty of this is all I have to do is sit and watch a film and write down exactly what I see.

It’s targeted at people who think that books are better than films, but they’ve read all the books that have been turned into films and they don’t want to waste their time reading books that feature the same characters that are in films, but doing different stuff.

I just need to find a popular film that hasn’t been turned into a book! It’s harder than you’d think readers. Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What a Mess!

I've only gone and lost two more followers....that's three in as many days. WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID??
I know you all know how painful I find losing followers, but I'm not going to dwell on the negatives today (besides one of the followers I lost was The Finisher, and he was a bit of cock - so it's not all bad). So I thought I'd focus on the good that blogging can do. I thought I'd dedicate today's blog post to my good friend and excellent follower Mess.

A while back I was contacted by and asked you guys in readerland whether I should take up their kind offer of sponsorship. Mr Coleman advised against it in a comment post which was very helpful and sound advice (as always), but Mess went one step further sending me a very useful email note on Facebook.

It's so useful, and I don't want anyone else falling into the WuClan's Plan that I thought I'd post it here.

Hiya Barry !

I just didn't want to post my thoughts on your page coz I maybe wrong!

I didn't know what to think about the mail you received, the fact that 'Alyssa' or whatever she is didn't sign made me think that it was a pre-made mail which is sent to everyone who's writing back to the offer.

Especially this part:"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.:)"

They seem really in a rush, and one little detail bothered me, where did this smiley came from ?

It makes me think of all the junk mail I receive saying I won some stuff. And based on what you said, which is absolutely true, about the fact that ppl are asking for it and are motivated by greed, I found this kinda suspicious:

"If you can redirect more visitors to our site, you can calculate how much $$$ you will earn!!!!!" too much $ sign and exclamation points to me!

I did some research on Google. A guy or girl, whatever, on April 16 2009 posted on a forum that a girl name Alexis, working for WuTravel, offered this blogger to have ban ads on the blog.

He was asking something like 'Can I trust them' ? no answer was sent.

The research continues and then, on Yahoo! Q&A, the same person posted the same message. And another person replied that she had the same mail, not long after opening the blog.

This last link I wanna share with you I found particularly interesting:

The girl is posting the mail she received, and surprise, someone told her 'You have one good site, but your site traffic is really low'. When you read the message, it is EXACTLY the same one you received!

I don't think this company isn't legit but I would consider this as spam. You earn circa 10-20 visitors a day and for a blogger it's kinda great!

I had circa 80 visitors after opening on March 28. And I just completely agree with that: "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."

I wouldn't do it, at least not with them, I'm sure there are another ways to let ppl know how brill your page is!Have a nice evening my friend !Mess
I received an email from, and they interested to place their ads on my blog site.? - Ya
So, once again, thanks to the Mess Man. Excellent research and excellent feedback. I only hope someone else out there find it as helpful as I did.

Much love.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Swings and roundabouts

Hey guyz. Bit of a funny one today, some mixed emotions defo going. I'm back down to 12 followers. My excellent half Polish/half Irish follower Mereck has done the off and removed his colours from the Newsdesk mast.

It's always bad when I lose a follower, but I'm particualrly distraught about losing him (no offence to the rest of you) becasue he is a proper journalist and so his follower status gave me real kudos.

Lots of people think that blogging is just vanity publishing for writers who are simply not good enough to get paid for their copy. Mind you, most of the people who say that, are journalists running scared that the mystique of journalism is being removed, the barriers to entry lowered and the new paradigm of news will do them out of a job.

When Mereck joined the ND gang, heloped me stick it to the big commercial publishing houses. Here I was forging out a lone trail. Now he's gone, it's almost as though he's aggreeing. That bloggers are just a bunch of lonely diarists spouting ill-informed, half-baked views into the ether.

As regular readers know, I never get angry when people leave me. Just disappointed.

And, besides, Mereck and all the other doubters out there can suck it and see, because I just received this email:

Hi, Barry Newsdesk

We are contacting you because we have seen references about your work online.

We would like to include you in our directory of interviews with professionals in the field of communication.

We invite you to take part in this interview. It is free.You will also be able to include any web links to samples of your work on the internet.

To start the interview just go to this web address and start responding to questions:

You can also respond to questions in any another category that seems appropriate for you. Here, you can find some examples from other professionals:


Elsa Wide

Whohub is a directory of interviews with professionals in the fields of communication, arts, technology, and marketing.

Amazing eh!?
I went along to the website and completed the online interview. I really do think it's only a matter of time before I get spotted and presented with the wider credit that my Citizen Journalism deserves.
You can find my answers to WhoHub's questions here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mixed messages

Hello readers. I’ll cut to the chase straight away, I’m not feeling very happy today.

Lots of things seem to have come together at the same time to make this the case. Mum’s got her voice back, which is great, but the first thing she used it for was to tell me about what a lovely time she’d had with Gill while she was up there.

Mum and Gill always got along really well but now I feel like it’s them against me. I mean, I know Gill’s mum’s dead, and that’s part of the reason why her and my Mum get along so well, but she is my Mum and I need her more than Gill does, really.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for Gill about her mum. But jeez, readers, accidents happen, right? And everyone knows that, statistically speaking, hang gliding is one of the most dangerous pastimes there is. And if you’re going to go hang gliding – and I’ve never been – but if you’re going to go, you want to avoid pylons, right? It’s not bloody rocket science.

But Mum said they went out for a night together and they ended up in bloody nightclub. My Mum, in a nightclub! She’s my Mum, she’s not some pikey old granny, the kind that Wayne Rooney has a thing for. Is it just me, or does anyone one else think that Wayne Rooney has the look of a simpleton about him? Like he’s always got his tongue out and he looks like he dribbles a lot. Next door to my gran there was a couple who had a simpleton boy and he lived with them until he was into his fifties. He loved listening to music on his headphones, and he loved the snooker.

Anyway, Mum told me that all the blokes in the club were trying it on with Gill and that they both had a really good time. Also, my Mum met a ‘gentleman’ earlier in the evening, while they were having dinner, called Roger, who offered to drive her out into the country for lunch one day next week. And she’s going to go!!!

Now I love my Mum, but if there’s one thing that worries me about her it’s that she’s a bit of an easy touch. It’s like people take advantage of her and I just can’t abide that. I’m sure ‘Roger’ came across nice as pie, I can well imagine it. But I bet he’s just after the money; shit I hope she didn’t tell him how much she’s got. She mustn’t tell people that. And the thing about Mum is that when she’s had a couple of sherries, well, she gets a bit suggestible.

That’s all. So I think I’m going to have to go up there and meet Roger for myself, because I don’t think he can be trusted. And then I was feeling funny about Gill getting all the attention that Mum was talking about. I have to say, she is looking great at the moment, the last time I saw her I did feel a few of the old stirrings that I used to get. She’s obviously been out and got a load of new clothese and stuff. Because when I saw her, she said: “Jesus, Barry, you’re not still wearing that bloody Ned’s Atomic Dustbin T-shirt are you?”

Also, I went on a date, you know I’m doing that online dating thing, right? Well I went on a date and, not to put too fine a point on it, it was an absolute bloody disaster. I had a bit of stubble on the go, because I think the ladies like that, and I did some press ups before I went out, although not many. And I put my black trousers on, although I think they’ve shrunk a bit in the wash.

Anyway we arranged to meet at a pub I know in town, which is great and it’s a Sam Smiths pub, which means you can get a pint for not much more than two quid. Gill and I used to meet there. So when this girl – Susie – turned up I thought, “easy Bazza old son, she’s a bit of a cracker”. But she didn’t like the pub. Wtf? She wanted to go for cocktails, so we went to this place and the doorman looked me up and down and glared at me but chatted to Susie. Apparently she’d been here before. She told me what she wanted and it was TEN QUID! For ONE DRINK!

I only had £40 with me, figuring that we probably wouldn’t have more than ten drinks each in the pub on a first date but now a quarter of it was done for. So I had a water. Then she spent 15 minutes chatting to the doorman, while I sat at the bar with my water. She came back and asked for another drink, which I got, and then she said she didn’t think we had much in common, so let’s just chalk it up to experience. So I asked her for the money to cover the drinks and she just laughed at me. So I asked her again, and then the doorman came over and grabbed me and threw me out. And everyone in there was laughing.

It was an awful place, the kind of place that Gill and I would never go into when we were together, because we thought it was up its own arse. Which it was. I thought I’d call Gill for old times sake, but when she answered it sounded like she was at a party and she said she couldn’t talk. So I went back to the pub and got a drink, and, well, that’s about all I remember. Woke up at home with all my clothes on.

Checked my phone and I had a text message from Amber. It said: “Please stop texting me.”

So I looked at my sent messages and I’d sent her seven texts saying about how I thought we’d be great together, and I really like her and she’s hot and all this nonsense.

I’d also sent Gill 15 text messages, all saying the same thing: “Baby, what went wrong. Still think about you all the time.”

She hadn’t replied at all.

Shit, things are a bit messed up.