Category Archives: british film

5 reasons for my blog fail.

writing, script, film, football, green street, hooliganThis may or may not have escaped your attention, but I haven’t written a blog for some considerable time. There are numerous reasons behind this dismal failure some of which I’ve tweeted about (@dougiebrimson if you didn’t know), others which I haven’t. However, after being nagged about my absence quite a lot recently it seems only right and proper that I take a bit of time out to come clean on a few of the more time consuming and relevant excuses.

1. Top Dog. As you are hopefully aware, the film adaptation of my novel begins filming in November and I’m sure you can appreciate how much work is involved in getting a script to the point where everyone is happy. Except you can’t.

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I’ve rewritten the screenplay for this and unless you’ve actually done it yourself, you cannot imagine the angst of having to repeatedly change a story which is itself based on a novel which you yourself wrote.

Tough doesn’t come close to describing it but thanks to the brilliant vision and guidance of Martin Kemp who will direct, it’s now pretty damn awesome.

2. We Still Kill The Old Way. A movie I’ve written with my old mate Gary Lawrence, this project came straight out of left-field via Jonathan Sothcott of Richwater Films (the man behind Top Dog) and dumped a desperate timescale into my lap.

It’s an urban thriller best described as Harry Brown on crack and is certainly going to surprise a few people but with filming slated to commence in the spring, you can imagine the pressure we faced to deliver a decent script straight out of the box. However, after a good few long days and nights, we cracked it and the second draft is now with the production company. 

3. A new book. Yep, that’s right, I’ve been working hard on a new book. I can’t say too much about it at this stage but suffice to say, it’s a thriller and will be released in the spring.

4. Wings of a Sparrow. With the ebook having been out for a while now, the release of the paperback version is imminent (21st October) which has involved a fair amount of work on my part. On top of that, I’ve written a script based on the story and that’s involved a fair amount of tweaking as notes have come back to me from various people.

All being well, I will have some news on that score fairly soon.

5. Another movie. This is a project I’ve been developing with Leo Gregory for a while now and we’re extremely excited about it. I can’t say much at the moment other than it has nothing to do with football, is a thriller and we have a really strong script ready to go.

There’s more, much more actually, but you get the gist. I’m a busy bee. However, I’m certainly not complaining as these kind of opportunities have been a long time coming so I intend to make the most of them!

Happy days!

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If you’d like any more information on anything I’m doing or indeed, have done, please visit my website at www.dougiebrimson.com which is packed full of stuff!

5 reasons for my blog fail.

writing, script, film, football, green street, hooliganThis may or may not have escaped your attention, but I haven’t written a blog for some considerable time. There are numerous reasons behind this dismal failure some of which I’ve tweeted about (@dougiebrimson if you didn’t know), others which I haven’t. However, after being nagged about my absence quite a lot recently it seems only right and proper that I take a bit of time out to come clean on a few of the more time consuming and relevant excuses.

1. Top Dog. As you are hopefully aware, the film adaptation of my novel begins filming in November and I’m sure you can appreciate how much work is involved in getting a script to the point where everyone is happy. Except you can’t.

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I’ve rewritten the screenplay for this and unless you’ve actually done it yourself, you cannot imagine the angst of having to repeatedly change a story which is itself based on a novel which you yourself wrote.

Tough doesn’t come close to describing it but thanks to the brilliant vision and guidance of Martin Kemp who will direct, it’s now pretty damn awesome.

2. We Still Kill The Old Way. A movie I’ve written with my old mate Gary Lawrence, this project came straight out of left-field via Jonathan Sothcott of Richwater Films (the man behind Top Dog) and dumped a desperate timescale into my lap.

It’s an urban thriller best described as Harry Brown on crack and is certainly going to surprise a few people but with filming slated to commence in the spring, you can imagine the pressure we faced to deliver a decent script straight out of the box. However, after a good few long days and nights, we cracked it and the second draft is now with the production company. 

3. A new book. Yep, that’s right, I’ve been working hard on a new book. I can’t say too much about it at this stage but suffice to say, it’s a thriller and will be released in the spring.

4. Wings of a Sparrow. With the ebook having been out for a while now, the release of the paperback version is imminent (21st October) which has involved a fair amount of work on my part. On top of that, I’ve written a script based on the story and that’s involved a fair amount of tweaking as notes have come back to me from various people.

All being well, I will have some news on that score fairly soon.

5. Another movie. This is a project I’ve been developing with Leo Gregory for a while now and we’re extremely excited about it. I can’t say much at the moment other than it has nothing to do with football, is a thriller and we have a really strong script ready to go.

There’s more, much more actually, but you get the gist. I’m a busy bee. However, I’m certainly not complaining as these kind of opportunities have been a long time coming so I intend to make the most of them!

Happy days!

.

If you’d like any more information on anything I’m doing or indeed, have done, please visit my website at www.dougiebrimson.com which is packed full of stuff!

Boycott Russia? F**k that.

homophobia, russia, football, sex, epublishing, self-publishing, protest, gay

I am off to Russia next month. This is a statement of fact.

I’ve been invited by the organising committee of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival to talk at the inaugural programme of football films and will at the same time be doing some PR for the launch of the Russian language edition of Wings of a Sparrow. If you didn’t know, I sell more books in that great nation than I do in any other country bar the UK.

This will actually be my third visit and as someone who spent many of their formative years serving in a military which was totally focussed on the threat posed by the former Soviet Union, as a country it has a special and obvious significance. But it is I have to say, an amazing place primarily because of the wonderful Russian people.

However, back in my home country news of my impending visit has attracted some flak. Now the receipt of grief is not an unusual occurrence for me and usually, as someone who sits firmly in the ‘if they’re slagging you, at least they’re aware of you’ camp, negative comments are generally warmly welcomed but this time it’s different. This time it’s irritated me.

The reason for this most recent bout is because, according to some, I should have refused my invitation as a protest against the recently introduced laws banning the promotion of homosexuality in Russia. The fact that I didn’t apparently makes me a traitor to the industry I have somehow found myself working in and has even attracted inferences that I am homophobic.

I have no intention of defending myself against that accusation because I don’t have to. But what really grips me is the hypocrisy of some of those people throwing this bullshit in my direction. The bulk of whom are only throwing it because they know they’d never receive such an invitation in the first place and if they did, no doubt they’d bite off the hand which offered it and wouldn’t hesitate to do so.

And let’s take that a bit further. For if these people are so anti-Russia, can we expect them to protest outside the Bolshoi Ballet when it visits London or the Moscow State Circus when it next tours the UK? Similarly, will any of those struggling to make a living in the acting profession turn down a role in a movie which would involve filming in Russia or for that matter, a part in a movie written by the traitor Brimson? Would they bollocks.

And since they are so apparently keen on homosexual rights, why are they not encamped outside the Saudi embassy? Or for that matter, any of the many which represent nations which all but encourage the very worst kind of homophobia?

The fact they’re not kind of proves my point. If you want to talk the talk, walk the fucking walk.

I certainly have my opinions about what the Russian government have done and if I’m asked during my stay there, I will respond accordingly. But the bottom line for me is that it’s their country, not mine just as it is someone else’s fight, not mine.

And I’m certainly not going to miss out on a trip to a country I have come to love simply to appease people who in some cases have simply jumped on the back of Stephen Fry’s latest trendy cause.

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readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysA couple of snippets to pass on: Aside from the aforementioned publication of Wings of a Sparrow in Russia, I’m thrilled to tell you that thanks to publishers Caffeine Nights, October will also see it published in print here in the UK. They will also be re-releasing The Crew and early next year, a very special movie-tie in edition of Top Dog.

I will release more details on that closer the time but you can pre-order Wings of a Sparrow here.

I’m also quite excited to let you know that within the next couple of weeks, details should be released regarding a new movie project I’ve been working on. This one is literally going to be old school and is going to take things in an entirely different direction. Filming is scheduled for Feb 2014 and if we can secure anywhere near our proposed cast, it’s going to be a genuine British epic!

As Top Dog rolls ever closer toward filming, could I please remind everyone that details regarding casting will be announced on both Facebook and Twitter when the time is right so please don’t mail me or anyone else involved with the project as we simply have nothing to tell you at the moment.

In addition, and without wishing to cause offence, with so many things on the go that my meagre brain is struggling to cope, I for one have no time to record details of anyone wanting to be considered and I’m certainly not going to remember you. Please… just keep your eye out!

Boycott Russia? F**k that.

homophobia, russia, football, sex, epublishing, self-publishing, protest, gay

I am off to Russia next month. This is a statement of fact.

I’ve been invited by the organising committee of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival to talk at the inaugural programme of football films and will at the same time be doing some PR for the launch of the Russian language edition of Wings of a Sparrow. If you didn’t know, I sell more books in that great nation than I do in any other country bar the UK.

This will actually be my third visit and as someone who spent many of their formative years serving in a military which was totally focussed on the threat posed by the former Soviet Union, as a country it has a special and obvious significance. But it is I have to say, an amazing place primarily because of the wonderful Russian people.

However, back in my home country news of my impending visit has attracted some flak. Now the receipt of grief is not an unusual occurrence for me and usually, as someone who sits firmly in the ‘if they’re slagging you, at least they’re aware of you’ camp, negative comments are generally warmly welcomed but this time it’s different. This time it’s irritated me.

The reason for this most recent bout is because, according to some, I should have refused my invitation as a protest against the recently introduced laws banning the promotion of homosexuality in Russia. The fact that I didn’t apparently makes me a traitor to the industry I have somehow found myself working in and has even attracted inferences that I am homophobic.

I have no intention of defending myself against that accusation because I don’t have to. But what really grips me is the hypocrisy of some of those people throwing this bullshit in my direction. The bulk of whom are only throwing it because they know they’d never receive such an invitation in the first place and if they did, no doubt they’d bite off the hand which offered it and wouldn’t hesitate to do so.

And let’s take that a bit further. For if these people are so anti-Russia, can we expect them to protest outside the Bolshoi Ballet when it visits London or the Moscow State Circus when it next tours the UK? Similarly, will any of those struggling to make a living in the acting profession turn down a role in a movie which would involve filming in Russia or for that matter, a part in a movie written by the traitor Brimson? Would they bollocks.

And since they are so apparently keen on homosexual rights, why are they not encamped outside the Saudi embassy? Or for that matter, any of the many which represent nations which all but encourage the very worst kind of homophobia?

The fact they’re not kind of proves my point. If you want to talk the talk, walk the fucking walk.

I certainly have my opinions about what the Russian government have done and if I’m asked during my stay there, I will respond accordingly. But the bottom line for me is that it’s their country, not mine just as it is someone else’s fight, not mine.

And I’m certainly not going to miss out on a trip to a country I have come to love simply to appease people who in some cases have simply jumped on the back of Stephen Fry’s latest trendy cause.

.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysA couple of snippets to pass on: Aside from the aforementioned publication of Wings of a Sparrow in Russia, I’m thrilled to tell you that thanks to publishers Caffeine Nights, October will also see it published in print here in the UK. They will also be re-releasing The Crew and early next year, a very special movie-tie in edition of Top Dog.

I will release more details on that closer the time but you can pre-order Wings of a Sparrow here.

I’m also quite excited to let you know that within the next couple of weeks, details should be released regarding a new movie project I’ve been working on. This one is literally going to be old school and is going to take things in an entirely different direction. Filming is scheduled for Feb 2014 and if we can secure anywhere near our proposed cast, it’s going to be a genuine British epic!

As Top Dog rolls ever closer toward filming, could I please remind everyone that details regarding casting will be announced on both Facebook and Twitter when the time is right so please don’t mail me or anyone else involved with the project as we simply have nothing to tell you at the moment.

In addition, and without wishing to cause offence, with so many things on the go that my meagre brain is struggling to cope, I for one have no time to record details of anyone wanting to be considered and I’m certainly not going to remember you. Please… just keep your eye out!

5 ways football could be made even better.

green street, top dog, football, ebooks, flares, pyro, soccer, NFL, EPL, screenwriting, authorIn a matter of days, English football will wake from it’s enforced slumber and return to it’s rightful position of being the most important topic of conversation in the land. Forget royal babies, Big Brother, the Tour De France, the economy, Syria or any of the numerous trivialities we’ve been forced to think about over the last few months, the worlds greatest game is what it’s really all about.

Now as I do each and every year, I have avoided the constant stream of bullshit which has surrounded the close-season transfer market so that when I walk into Vicarage Road next saturday to watch the first home pre-season friendly -traditionally the start of my season- it will be as if it’s all fresh and new. Although given everything that’s been going on at Watford lately, in this instance it actually will be!

However, I have kept my beady eyes on everything else and not for the first time, have noticed that there has been little news of any change which might impact on the role of possibly the games greatest asset, the fans.

This is far from a shock of course because I’ve been around long enough to know that whilst the game is totally reliant on us for pretty much everything and TV is busy selling the game on the back of the atmosphere that we create, the reality is that it doesn’t really give a shit about us.

But then again it doesn’t have to because we’re obsessed. The game knows full well that we’ll turn up week in, week out and pour money into the tills no matter how good or bad the product. Just as importantly, even when things go horribly wrong we have to put up with them because we are totally impotent in terms of either power or influence. We have no legitimate voice, football doesn’t want us to have a voice! Perish the thought that the game which is wholly reliant on us would actually listen to us let alone care about what we think! Football is after all, the only industry not driven by its consumers.

If it wasn’t, do you think for one second games that would be moved around on the whim of a copper or a TV scheduler with no thought for how fans are going to get home? And that’s just the start.

The list of things we can legally do inside grounds grows ever shorter whilst the restrictions placed upon us in and around grounds get more draconian by the season. As a consequence the passion, humour and even the shear excitement of being at football is diminishing year on year yet no one with the power to change things seems to care because no one with the power to change things has to care.

Can you honestly say that going to watch English football these days is the occasion it once was? Do you not look at fans in Italy, Spain, Russia, Germany, Turkey even countries like Greece and wish that our stadia were like that on match days? I bloody do. Every single week.

The irony is that it wouldn’t take much to get our game up to a par, if not beyond what we see in the rest of Europe. After all, there is nothing like an English football ground when it’s fired up. The question is, how?

Well how about this for starters:

  1. Start treating fans like adults instead of sheep. We don’t want much from football, but we do want to be treated with respect. Hooliganism inside grounds is a thing of the past and much of that is down to the actual fans themselves so how about the game not only recognising it but rewarding it? Stop hiding behind the fear of it.
  2. Bring back standing. It’s proven to work in Germany and there is absolutely no reason why it wouldn’t and shouldn’t work here. But the most important reason is that we want it. Period.
  3. Scrap designated seating. It’s a good idea in principle but in practice it’s the single biggest factor in the destruction of atmosphere inside our grounds. That is a cast iron fact.
  4. Allow flares inside grounds. They look astonishing and contribute to the sense of  occasion. When used correctly they are perfectly safe as we see right across the continent  every single week. Again, you can’t continue to hide behind the past and in truth you don’t need to.
  5. Allow drinking on the terraces. Yes, keep the rules regarding being hammered and enforce them accordingly but we’re adults for fucks sake.

Sadly, none of the above will happen because the game cannot see what is happening in front of its face and more importantly, the police are wary of giving up any degree of control however small.

But it’s nice to dream and maybe one day, when the football party come to power, some of it will actually turn to reality.

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football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green streetCouple of bits of news; As you may or may not have seen,Martin Kemp has been announced as the director of Top Dog which is brilliant news for all concerned not least because he’s a bloody good director!

We’ve been battering the script into shape and I’m happy to say that it’s now pretty much locked and ready for filming in November. I can’t wait!

In addition, my latest novel Wings of a Sparrow continues to attract great reviews and is selling so well that we’ll be bringing it out in paperback later this year. It’s also coming out in Russia in August and I’ll be visiting St. Petersburg and possibly Moscow in September to do some PR.

Wings, together with The Crew and Top Dog will also be making their way across the Atlantic later this year but more of that closer the time.

On top of that, I’m about to start work on another movie and am currently writing a new book. It’s going to be something very special and as far as I know, has never actually been done before so we’re all very excited about it but that’s all you’re getting for now.

Watch this space!

 

top dog, green street, the crew. hooligans, violence, sex, racism, self-publishing, author, screenwriting, writing, writer

 

The rise of Udinese B – part 2

udinese, watford, zola, pozzo, football, soccer, Serie A, hooligans, A few months ago I wrote a couple of blogs about the loan situation at Watford and the fact that it was causing so much angst to so many.

Now, as the new season approaches with what feels like snail speed, I feel compelled to revisit the issue. Not to explain or justify what’s going on because the reality is, no rules have been broken and no one at my beloved club really gives a shit what anyone else thinks anyway, but to explore the other issue thrown up here.

Within the last 24 hours I’ve seen people accuse Watford of being everything from simple cheats to the manifestation of all that’s wrong with English football (try telling that to Coventry fans) yet every single comment I’ve read is underpinned with the same thing. The same thing in fact, which came to the fore when Abramovich took over at Chelsea, the Arabs took over at City and even when Jack Walker brought the championship for Blackburn. It’s called envy.

If the owners of Juventus, Barcelona or Real Madrid came in and made it clear that they wanted to buy into an English championship club do you honestly think there isn’t a fan in the land who wouldn’t bite their hands off? Of course there isn’t. Because they know that any such investment would only make their club better. And that’s what all football fans want.

The irony is of course that what’s happening at Watford is actually the perfect model for football because thanks to the Pozzo family, we have no debt and access to a fabulous pool of players. That’s certainly good for us as it brings stability and has to be good for the English game as it can only improve the quality of players coming through. And yes, we are still bringing players through, bloody good ones as well.

Sadly, not that many outside of Watford see it like that and to be honest, the reaction from certain sections of the game reinforces my long held belief that this whole ‘family of football’ thing is total bollocks.

After all, if you’re going to support clubs who are in the shit then surely you have to applaud clubs who drag themselves up and improve.

Yet I see no real evidence of the game as a whole doing that, quite the opposite in fact, and that’s envy. Pure and simple.

Come on you Horns!

 

self publishing, watford, zola, football, soccer, top dog, green streetCouple of bits of news; As you may or may not have seen, Martin Kemp has been announced as the director of Top Dog which is brilliant news for all concerned not least because he’s a bloody good director!

We’ve been battering the script into shape and I’m happy to say that it’s now pretty much locked and ready for filming in November. I can’t wait!

In addition, my latest novel Wings of a Sparrow continues to attract great reviews and is selling so well that we’ll be bringing it out in paperback later this year. It’s also coming out in Russia in August and I’ll be visiting St. Petersburg and possibly Moscow in September to do some promotion!

On top of that, I’m working on a new book. It’s something very exciting which I don’t actually think has been done before but that’s all you’re getting for now.

Watch this space! 😉

Martin Kemp to direct Top Dog!

British film, gangster, ebook, self publishing, top dog, green street, screenwriting, the crew, leo gregory, Martin KempJust a very brief post to inform all those who keep asking that Martin Kemp, best known for being pretty much everything from Spandau Ballet legend to star of The Krays will direct the forthcoming big screen adaptation of Top Dog.

I won’t go into the details as they can be found via the link below but suffice to say, I’ve been working with Martin for a while now and it’s been both a real pleasure and a great learning experience.

More details of the project will be released as and when they can but in the meantime you can read pretty much everything here at  The Hollywood Reporter

Happy days!

PS: This is not what I was referring to in my previous blog! That’s something else entirely! 😉

Mark Duggan – Not A Victim, Just Simple Vermin.

Duggan = Scum

I have heard a lot of things over the last few days which have left me not simply angry, but seething. These range from some young ‘woman’ claiming she was rioting because she was taking her taxes back (sic) to Ken Livingstone trying (and failing) to gain political points of the back of what’s been going on.

However, there was one thing that surpassed all of these. It was a simple sentence which somehow became lost in the madness that engulfed the country yesterday and was uttered by the brother of Michael Duggan. The individual whose shooting was the catalyst for all this kicking off. In the wake of the initial Independent Police Complaints Commission confirming that Duggan did not fire a shot at police officers before they killed him, his brother released a statement which included the following: ‘this is an outrage, someone must be held to account’.

Let’s get one thing crystal clear here. The fact he did not shoot at police is irrelevant because the only thing that counts is that he was knowingly in possession of a loaded weapon which is illegal in the UK. Now this isn’t an offence of the ‘I’m sorry I didn’t know how fast I was going officer’ this is one of the most serious offences anyone can commit under UK law because guns are designed for one purpose and one purpose only, to kill. And if you knowingly carry a gun then there can only be one reason, that at some point you expect to use it. A simple truth which does kind of taint any suggestion that you are a ‘decent’ man or a pillar of the community because the simple act of picking up a weapon and putting it in your pocket actually makes you a major and dangerous armed criminal.

Inevitably, there will be utterances that he was carrying it for ‘self-defence’ but that isn’t a reason, it’s actually a further admission of guilt. Because it provides further evidence of the type of life he was leading and the type of circles he moved in. Circles in which guns get shot and people die. And let’s not forget, it is Duggan and his gun carrying ilk who continue to hold large areas of London and beyond ransom on account of their mere presence on our streets. Indeed, if this sorry episode has one potential silver lining it’s that the good law-abiding people of this country might finally show the resolve to stand up and reclaim the streets from these vermin.

Yet there is another equally important issue here. This wasn’t a teenager, it was a 29-year-old man who had already served a period on remand and so the family must have known what he was like and exactly what kind of life he was living.

Yes, I’m sure he might well have been a decent bloke who loved his wife, kids and mum but he was also a criminal. A gun carrying criminal. So should we feel sorry for him, no. Should we feel sorry for the family, possibly.

But I’d have a lot more sympathy for them if they came out and admitted what every like-minded individual thinks; that the one and only person responsible for the death of Mark Duggan is Mark Duggan.

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Since this blog was first posted two and a half years ago it has caused all kinds of reaction, some negative but the bulk supportive. That has continued in the wake of the verdict yesterday which ruled the killing lawful.  The death of an individual in any instance is regrettable but the fact remains, had Duggan not knowingly and seemingly willingly allied himself to a culture of crime and violence, he would be alive today and his children would still have their father.

That is a fact and it is one those screaming for ‘justice’ would do well to remember before they start trying to apportion blame.

Dougie Brimson is an author and screenwriter who served 18 years as a member of the RAF. Details of his life and work can be found at www.dougiebrimson.com

Do It Yourself…. go on, you know you can.

As a writer of a certain age and someone who is well known for telling things as I see them, it should not come as an surprise to learn that I am often in trouble of some kind of another.

I have for example, been banned for life from the TV show ‘Soccer AM’ for remarks I made in my book ‘The Geezers Guide to Football’ about host Helen Chamberlain and even once had a contract for a proposed book torn up for the sole reason that my very female editor took great exception to something I had written about the impact of the menstrual cycle on we poor males.

To be honest, I am quite happy with this position. In fact, truth be told I actually revel in the infamy some of my remarks attract because having a reputation as someone who is willing to speak their mind and tackle issues others dare not has proven to be quite lucrative. Yes, I am indeed one of those loons who crop up on the news every so often talking about anything from football hooligans to my distrust of anyone involved with the Labour party.   

Yet when I’m speaking or writing, every single word I utter is considered and whilst it might occasionally attract criticism, I never say anything I do not genuinely believe and cannot or will not back up. Which is ironic given the fact that as anyone who knows me personally will confirm, when I’m not talking in the media or writing for publication, I do have a habit of unwittingly engaging mouth before brain and saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time. This is never more true than when I am talking to women when with alarming frequency, I drop myself in the mire.

I once for example, crushed one of my best mates by informing her that whilst she looked frighteningly healthy, her face looked somewhat rounder than normal (only to be informed, somewhat tearfully, that she’d spent the previous month dieting and exercising like a fanatic) and on another occasion, mentioned to another of my closest friends that having just signed her first book deal, it might be a good idea to lay off the Cadbury’s because she was going to have to have her photo taken at some point and the camera adds ten pounds.

In both instances, like always, I started out with the best intentions but knew even as the words were coming out of my mouth that they were going to be taken in the wrong way. By then of course, it was too late and the consequences for me were severe and well deserved ranging from a lengthy stony silence to my own gut wrenching guilt. Either way, they added up to trouble.

I could of course, put up some kind of defence for my insensitivity by arguing that it is typically male and to a certain extent, it is. However, I would also argue that where women are concerned, the fact that we males tend to be insensitive, unromantic or even simply stupid is mostly the fault of the female of the species. We are relatively simple beings you see whereas the other lot are phenomenally confusing.

On an almost daily basis they do things which bemuse and bewilder us then ridicule us because we don’t understand them! Equally, they spend large portions of their lives demanding honesty from us but continually ask us questions which are specifically designed to make us lie!

I mean for goodness sake, all women must know that ‘how do I look?’ is only going to attract one answer so why do you feel the need to dump him in that minefield by asking such an obviously provocative question in the first place?

Be clear, crystal clear, other than love, the greatest emotion any male in a relationship will experience is self preservation. It’s the reason why we take our partners shopping when we almost all hate it with a passion, why we stay in when we would rather go out and why you rarely hear any man say anything along the lines of ‘why aren’t you as good looking as your friend/sister/mother?’ or ‘that dress makes you look like a seal wrapped up in gaffer tape.’

It’s also why no male with a brain in his head will ever speak those seven little words that are guaranteed to earn him a period in a Siberian wasteland; ‘I’m not doing that, that’s woman’s work’.

Which is, in many ways, something of a liberty given that there is one area of domesticity where many women remain more than happy to play the ‘I’m not doing that, it’s man’s work’ card. However, when this particular boot is on the other foot, it is applied sure on the knowledge that there will be little or no complaint because it is still both accepted and expected that as men, this is actually our domain. I speak of course, of DIY.

Quite why it has remained thus is a mystery to me. This is after all, 2010, not 1910 and the majority of women are more than capable of doing anything a male can do. For the most part DIY isn’t exactly rocket science and ‘check penis is in place’ isn’t stage one of wallpapering the living room or assembling an Ikea bookshelf.

Yet the idea of a woman doing DIY by choice as opposed to actually having to do it as a result of the lack of a capable/willing man remains not only unusual, but something of a source of humour and if nothing else, that’s incredibly patronising.

Personally, I not only relish the idea of any woman taking up the rollers and power tools, I am happy to celebrate it. Not because the ability to wield a paint brush is some kind of sexual turn-on (well, not to me it isn’t) or because the capacity to use a Black & Decker is some kind of confirmation of female empowerment. It’s simply because if my partner is capable of doing it, it means that I don’t have to. Indeed, as I have often informed my own son, in terms of opposite-sex attractiveness it is vital to remember when sizing up a prospective long-term partner that anything which potentially lightens the load on him as a male should certainly be up there with ‘own car’ and ‘decent sized breasts.’

You see, like most males, I am inherently lazy and in my spare time, I enjoy doing one of two things: enjoying myself or nothing. DIY fits into neither of those categories because it is a loathsome chore.

Don’t get me wrong, 18 years as an engineer in the RAF and a couple of decades racing cars and motorbikes have certainly equipped me with the ability to carry out pretty much anything and I’m still at my happiest rolling around under a car or tweaking an engine. But these activities fall into the ‘enjoying myself’ category whereas DIY is more often than not ‘necessary.’ And don’t give me the ‘satisfaction of a job well done’ argument. I prefer ‘thank god that’s finished.’

That isn’t to say I’m not happy to change a bulb, fit the odd plug or even help out around the house. Nor does it mean that if my beloved wanted something doing which I know would make her happy, I wouldn’t do it for her. But what irritates me is the continuing inference that as a man, DIY is my job. It isn’t, not any more. Those days are long gone in exactly the same way as washing up or ironing is solely the responsibility of the female. In these enlightened times it’s a brave man or a fool who remarks that the vacuum could do with a trip out or, perish the perish the thought, that there’s a nappy that needs changing!

So why is it still acceptable for women to use that same argument when a shelf needs putting up?

That’s right… it isn’t. It’s actually quite sexist. 🙂

A version of this blog was previously posted on www.moanaboutmen.com