art hole *may contain expenses*

Hello All,

On my journey through the week I noticed that Dave in accounts was not the only angry Mancunian in the land (I know there are maybe millions of angry Mancunians at any one time but please bear with me)… Johnny Marr the very talented guitarist with The Smiths has banned David ‘down with the married with two kids’ Cameron from listening to his old band. He claimed that David (Cameron not Dave in accounts) is ‘not one of us’… fair enough Johnny but my friend nor are you dear boy.

To my mind once an artist has put their art out into the world it is not the role of the artist to say who can and can’t listen/read/watch/look-at/sniff their art… unless their art is terrible and the only people who listen/read/watch/look-at/sniff their art are friends awkwardly trying to find the right words (terrible and awful being the only words they can think of) when shown the artists work in the artist’s studio (dining room). Once you have set it free it is no longer your right to censor who gets to enjoy the fruits of your creative labour. Does Johnny Marr think that he built his homes all around the world on money from vegetarian students who swapped his music by cassette and lied to prospective girlfriends claiming to have gone to one of his concerts at some provincial student union… No Johnny is very fortunate, his music crossed social strata and more importantly decades… his wealth is based on universal appeal, outsider music that found a home in the hearts and minds of millions across the world… so unfortunately that means you are not going to ideologically agree with all of your fans… Morrissey on the other hand has problems of his own at exactly the opposite end of the spectrum… I was talking to a friend about The Smiths recently (the life I lead) and my friend said he had seen Morrisey in rather fine form, playing the hits, making his little wildesque quips generally being the genial front man. He was coming towards the end of his performance and shaking hands with literally every member of the front row of the ageing mosh pit… he went down the whole of the front row but the only person who’s hand he did not shake was a miniature Morrissey… a small but perfectly formed version of the man himself in his 80’s pomp… he just looked at him… pulled a face of mild disgust and moved on to the badly dressed sweaty middle management balding bloke on a once in a blue month night out. Awkward.

In the ideal world I am sure Barak Obama coming out as a Smiths fan would please Mr Marr more but you can’t cry about the fact that you are popular across class and generations… especially when your new solo single is so very terrible…

I was going to write a tribute to Robert Sutton the engine house of the print department but it turns out he is not dead but has been keeping a low profile after an incident with Peter Garrett which has left two members of the 2nd floor teams (Corey+1) hunting him down like the dog that he is… I would like to say more but as I am making this up… I can’t.


Expenses are ready to collect from my desk from now until later (5.30) the Bank of Dominic will be open again next week should you not be around today or like Robert Sutton spending the day hiding in a cupboard







beat the meat *may contain expenses*

Hello all



On holiday to France as a boy, I made a great noise about the fact I was going to eat horse. It was nice. “Tastes a bit like beef,” I thought. But now it transpires that horse and cow are interchangeable in the hallowed aisles of Iceland and Tesco, and we are all so shocked and appalled.


The thing I am upset about with this scandal is it is actually perfect for the government. I am not being partisan, but governments should never have ‘easy’ scandals, that would be no fun at all. Firstly, it mainly affects people who will never vote Tory – the poor, the unemployed, Kerry Katona and people from the northeast. Secondly, it is an opportunity to attack the French. But then the plot thickens and we can now attack people in Eastern Europe, people who are proud of their gypsy heritage. It is like a UKIP-planned disaster to rock the Daily Mail reader into turning on our poor and on our neighbours. Why was no fuss made when people started putting tins of turkeyham on our supermarket shelves?


I understand that people should know what they are eating, but when you look at the ingredients for, say, hot dogs and find out that they are made from 56% mechanically reclaimed chicken it is fair to say we have not being paying too much attention for quite some time.


The thing that is really shocking about this whole scandal is the effect of traffic laws on market forces. In Romania, the change in the law that stopped the horse and cart on the highways has lead to a drop in horsemeat prices that has acted as a catalyst for this whole scandal. Imagine if we decided to protect teenage girls from serious head injuries and embarrassing tight beige trousers and banned gymkhana, would our local butchers start selling horsemeat as a cheap, locally produced, quality alternative to beef? Probably not. One thing I am sure of is that if they had found fox in the food chain people would not be that bothered at all.


Horses for main courses


On beast and fish we all must dine

Enjoy and share these foods so fine

Sourced from freezers deep and wide

But what was sent down that abattoir slide?


Those beasts more noble than most others

We cannot dine on our equine brothers

Are standards primed and armed to double

At the first chance of French-based trouble?


We turn our attention to the pork chop

Safe by sight no clippity-clop clippity-clop

We should invade France and take hostages

But just don’t tell them what we put in our sausages



Please drop your expenses to me by the close of play





romance is not dead *may contain expenses*

Hello all


Next week is everyone’s favourite religious occasion… Valentine’s Day… I mean St Valentine’s Day… I am only aware of it because of the adverts and emailed special offers I am seeing and receiving. Pizza Express sent me a voucher to that on this most romantic and loving occasion I will get my lover pizza for just £2.50 if I pay full price for mine… I could turn a profit if I was truly romantic and went Dutch. Also I have seen and advert for offering 2 dozen roses and a personalised card for just £35… if I played my cards right I could get through this for less than £100…


Ok I confess I am not a massive fan of this occasion and it’s over crowded restaurants and over priced set menus, not because I am not romantic… in fact the opposite, I believe that the romance should be the default and not saved for a special day… also the restaurant thing really bugs me, I feel barred from going out for dinner! I was once with my uncle, a catholic priest as he tried to book a table for 6 visiting priests at his local and very regular local restaurant on the following Tuesday. This just happened to be Valentine’s day and the mutual lack of understanding between priest and restaurateur was a joy to behold… the poor host trying to explain why six chubby Irish priests in his intimate restaurant might not create the mood he was hoping for on the evening. The whole thing does not make sense to me, we have anniversaries to celebrate the love we share with our significant others, we have birthdays to celebrate ourselves and we have Christmas to over eat and buy stuff… this seems like a waste of a holiday to me. If your relationship is needing propping up by £35 roses then you might as well open the night and make sweet love to the night for all the good it will do. That said it is better than ordering from


You should fill your lives together with little moments of nice, little flourishes of romance, a nice meal for two at an intimate restaurant on a Tuesday (hopefully not jam packed with catholic priests mind), send little suggestive suggestions* by email of text, turn off the telly and jump your partners bones instead of getting mad at Eastenders, go for a walk on a cold day and find a pub with an open fire, write bad poetry… actually you can borrow this poem ( you might have to alter it a little subject to appendage)…


I am not really allergic to girls
I am not intimidated by unfathomable curls
I am not really allergic to girls
I am not afraid and awkward as an evening unfurls
I am not really allergic to girls
I am partial to affection and romantic twirls
I am allergic to cats, dogs and feathers
I am excited by  girls all done up in leathers
I am allergic to cat’s dogs and feathers
I am bound by girls free of tethers
I am allergic to cat’s dogs and feathers
I am intrigued by girls and their hidden treasures


So go home and love the one you love and ignore adverts and the badly priced set menus… BUT before you do come down and collect your expenses before 5.30 as I am off for dinner with the girl from six boats down before going to a pop concert. Have a loving weekend






*brilliant name for a band **

** terrible name for a band

*three’s a crowd *expenses may be contained within*

Hello all,


I rarely watch telly these days, no telly on the boat, I watch the odd thing six boats down but mainly catch up on BBC4 music documentaries to help with hangovers and insomnia. I have however got hooked on ‘Three Good Things’… I say hooked I have watched it three of four times. For those of you who have not seen it Hugh Furniture Wittington (first rare breed organic mayor of London) cobbles together a lovely ‘supper’ out of three key ingredients (well three ingredients plus loads of expensive ingredients and a load of talent) and then has a cook off with one of his employees and a girl… it is good the food looks edible and I love a little bit of middle class smugness when I am tucking into my dinner (normally made of a couple of bad things smothered in one good thing to cover up the cracks). But it got me to thinking what else could we use this ‘Three Things’ model for…


A few years ago the pub marketing people tried to tap into this numerical simplification with signs outside of pubs with alluring simple instructions such as DINE-DRINK-DANCE or WINE-BEER-CHAT or other meaningless nonsense. I was always unsure what to do in these venues before the signs appeared back in 1999… I always thought a more honest approach would be appropriate for some establishments such as FLAT BEER-FIGHT-STD or OVERPRICED WINE-DISAPONTING FOOD-LEAVE ALONE AGAIN but maybe there was some decent business arguments for this not happening. I was thinking that it could be used for trivial things such as life itself… you could have boring combinations such as a mix of health, fun and hard work or love, peace and happiness. Using another numerical pattern famous for threes (this one is for people from Liverpool) you could have bad luck, no luck and rotten luck… or if you are a simple soul… DINE-DRINK-DANCE.


Anyways if you can get your expense forms to me by the close of play today unless you grab a dodgy story from my past from Cara and use it to blackmail me then you can have till Monday… or if you are David Ritsema and you flipped me the bird on your run into work today the deadline is yesterday.




A complete history of the Moustache *may contain expenses* 30/11/2012

Hello all,

This week I have undertaken a scholarly look at the history of the moustache and its place in the social fabric of this great nation and beyond. In the distant past the moustache was comic device much like the Fez or novelty tie. Hitler in an early attempt to be popular tried the fez and the novelty tie but settled on the moustache when things got heavy, as no man can invade a country wearing a ‘I love beer’ Homer Simpson tie.

With the exception of the late period Beatles and an artist with a fondness for melting clocks the moustache remained dormant in much of the civilised world. Outside the civilised world in places such as the north of England the moustache was still considered the key to the door of manhood… well getting served warm flat beer and impressing the girls down at the local pub or working man’s club. These pitiful patchy attempts at facial hair remained a largely unrecorded anachronism until David Beckham’s attempts at beard growing gave the movement a figurehead and role model.

In the 80’s everything changed when men in tiny shorts from Liverpool conquered Europe wearing what looked like the sweepings from a Brazilian beauty parlour’s floor on their top lips. Also in Europe political change was stirring and in a helpful and simple visual device (moustache east- no moustache west) the moustache was thrown on to our TV news like never before. The exotic and macho imagery inspired a new generation of Brits to wear moustaches… the fad was short lived and superseded by lemon chinos and deck shoes (see Ben Varley).

In the 90’s the simple moustache was paired with its brother the ‘chin beard’ and the goatee was born adding that ‘certain something’ to grunge music fans and thirty something executives. Eventually the moustache went back into hibernation. Then in a warehouse in hackney an art student wearing a top shop Ramones T-Shirt and riding a unicycle invented the ‘Hoxton’. This moustache was a return to the comic moustache and brought much joy to the hard working people of East London.

Today the moustache is seasonal and used for raising money for good causes, much like the royal family and Simon Hutley. Some people dread November as their uniqueness as all year round moustache wearers is ruined. Instead of feeling isolated from society and cool they become part of the pack… they find themselves invited for after work drinks and worse still find themselves being patted on the back in the gym changing rooms for no reason.

So in short come and get your expenses before 5.30 or you will have to wait for Monday… I am not going to give an excuse to why I am leaving on time as non of you are my mother, priest or rabbi.




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STRICTLY NO TRAINERS *may contain expenses and a sinking feeling* 09/11/2012

Hello all,


Tonight I am going out with the girl from six boats down, we are going to her friends 30th, nice people, pretty cool people and in theory I should be looking forward to tonight… BUT! I have been sent a link to the club we are meant to be going to tonight and it contains a phrase that sends a chill through my entire being… STRICT DRESS CODE click for details … the ‘details’ start off with instructions to be both stylish and sexy… certain kinds of jeans are allowed certain kinds are not… I have had to abandon that because I am unfamiliar with most of the terms they use… worse still was to come ‘Strictly No Trainers’ I own 24 pairs of ‘non specific sports related’ trainers… I own one pair of shoes… I guess this makes that decision easier… perhaps I should be grateful! Why does this bug me so much? Well the answer is Three fold… firstly it means the place is going to be expensive and the music is going to be rubbish (I have looked at pictures, it looks like the inside of Jordan’s handbag*) Secondly putting a dress code guarantees ‘smart’ people in the same way putting the word honourable in front of an member of parliament’s name guarantees that they will be *STOPS, SO AS NOT TO BITE THE HAND THAT FEED US*… Thirdly it reminds me of home and all small towns… it is so bloody provincial not bloody Soho!


I have fallen victim to dress codes before, once on a night out in Watford (don’t ask it involved a girl… probably) I was denied entry to a Wetherspoons because I was wearing trainers… A BLOODY WETHERSPOONS! I was pretty annoyed and entertained the bouncers with a brilliant sheep impression/ interpretive dance**  when they explained that it was because everyone else in Watford did it. I was very nearly turned away from the ESPN executive box at Ewood Park (the home of Blackburn Rovers) for wearing jeans even though the 4 tickets I had in my hand were worth a LOT of money, my trousers made the value of the tickets invalid in the eyes of the frustrated middle aged man with a non ironic or charitable moustache … In general when in London you are fine to go anywhere dressed how the hell you like so longs as your credit card has some juice on it, I have been to some very fine places looking like a badly dressed teenager with a hobo beard. Anyway I have borrowed some trousers from a neighbour dug out my good (only) shoes and will now await the inevitable humiliation of being turned away for failing to meet the first rule they stipulated… my cobbled together look is more ‘down on his luck geography teacher’ than ‘stylish and sexy’. I might try and hide behind the girl from six boats down…



Drop your expense forms to me by the close of play please so I can process them and get them paid next Friday so you can all go to the pub or give all your money to Simon Hutley!






*This is a toned down version of my thoughts


** This failed to impress them but did impress the girl.. probably

Exercise is futile *may contain expenses* 26/10/2013

Hello all,


I am back from my holiday, initially fully refreshed and now back feeling the grind, but I am now a man on a mission. One of the few pictures from my trip depicts a man cooking a delicious Italian dish with his shirt off and his little pink belly hanging over his shorts… I look like a pregnant half shaved bear! I have taken this as a wakeup call! An opportunity! A sign! It is time for me to get fit!


Problem is I don’t want to eat or drink less and have serious concerns about most kinds of exercise… Firstly I have a problem with jogging, well not jogging but joggers, obviously not the joggers here as I am sure you are all good people but the people who jog by my boat are strange, aggressive and rude… I have seen them swear at old people and kids for not getting out of their way… They have jumped on the side of my boat to get past a group of tourists, they have put super glue in the gate locks so we can’t close the mooring at night AND worst of all, they flick sweat at you as they run past and you are sat having a nice glass of wine in the sunshine AND subject me and my lovely children to some truly horrific lycra related crimes… basically I can’t be a Tow Path jogger! Yoga has been suggested but to me Yoga is little more than barely synchronised farting in terrible clothes on camping mats. Cycling in London is not for me as I take enough risks with my health


This leaves swimming and the gym… at first all looks well, there is a good deal with market sports and I really really enjoy swimming, I also actually quite like the cross trainer as it is just a faster form of the dancing I used to do at dub parties as a younger man. The problem is a recentish one and a problem born out of living on a boat. The boat has a loo that needs emptying, I have to empty the loo so basically end up dealing with stuff twice… So you work around ways of filling your loo too quickly… One very common way is a cheeky pee in the shower, a victimless crime and much better than the ill fated magic bucket plan. My problem is that this may have become an automatic reaction like the way my eyes light up at the sound of wine being uncorked or the way my eyes moisten at the sound of the theme tune to ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and I am not sure how well this would play with the other gym and pool users… I may have to go off peak and try my luck but for now I will stick to careful beard management and well fitting polo shirts and leave the exercise to Peter Garret and David Ritsema.


Anyway please can you drop your expenses off with me by the close of play to collect next week if I am not at my desk please leave them in an untidy pile on my untidy pile increasing the chances of me loosing it