Tag Archives: books

Grovelling time!

Apologies for the lack of any blogs recently but I’ve been engrossed in writing a new screenplay as well as re-writing an existing one ahead of production.

When you are as lazy as I am and have zero time management skills, deadlines are terrible things. However, even I realise that it is far better to have them than not. Indeed, if the latter were the case I would never get anything done!

Normal service will be resumed shortly. Unless something else crops up!

Things That Annoy Me (Part Three – Me!)

From ‘The Yob Laureate’ to names that are (or should be) unprintable on any kind of media, it’s fair to say that over the years, I have been tagged with all sorts of labels.

This is however, understandable. After all, I’m known for writing about issues that are often considered unpalatable and in a style which could best be described as abrasive. As a consequence, it hardly comes as a surprise when occasionally, someone takes exception.

That’s fine by me and to be honest, is one of the reasons why I do it. After all, the primary aim of commenting on anything has to be to provoke some kind of response or better still, kick start a debate. To that end, I don’t really care what anyone thinks about me, just as long as they think something! The old adage ‘it’s better to be talked about than not’ is most certainly true.

There is of course one exception to that because there is one person whose opinion I value above all others and that’s my own. For in recent years, I have come to the conclusion that I am quite annoying. Not least because prior to any major football tournament (or post any outbreak of football related violence) I’d pop up on the news and say, in essence ‘I told you so.’

The fact that I am still asked to do this on a regular basis proves numerous things not least the simple truths that I am usually proved right, no one in authority has ever really taken any notice of what I’ve had to say and that many journalists are basically lazy bastards. However, a couple of years ago, I realised that I was as bored of saying this as the general public almost certainly were of hearing me say it and so I took the decision to simply call a halt to doing anything media related unless it was of particular interest to me.

Taking this decision proved to be a very positive step for all kinds of reasons. The main one being that I have finally begun shedding the ‘you’re that hooligan bloke’ tag which had been dogging me for years and as a result, these days I get involved with a more varied range of work.

The problem with this is that all of a sudden, I have found myself in competition with other writers and that is extremely unnerving. After all, to compete on an equal level means that I have to assume a degree of talent and since I’ve spent most of the last 15 or so years wondering how I am getting away with it, that isn’t easy.

As a result, I tend to prevaricate, often for days on end, which is extremely annoying. Indeed, with a script to finish, I’m starting to wonder why I am writing this instead of doing that.

Which does kind of prove my point!

*Note: I am well aware that I have other habits which some people find extremely annoying. These include biting my nails, falling asleep in front of the TV, being occasionally grumpy, being insensitive, not listening properly, having a terrible memory and not being very romantic. However, as far as I am concerned, those are character traits and what make me, me. J .

Multi-Tasking!

 Following a recent discussion about multi-tasking and the apparent inability of the average male to carry out more than one function at a time, I had intended to write a blog on this very subject today.

 However, with a screenplay to finish, a new book to start, three TV proposals to work on and a million other things to do and think about today, I simply haven’t got the time.

 But then again, maybe I’m not the ‘average’ male!

Safety First!

Whenever I am writing, there will inevitably come a point where an alarm bell rings. More often than not it will be heard once I’ve already written something and will involve a distant voice asking “do you really want to say that?” (OK I know a voice isn’t strictly speaking a bell, but if you want to be pedantic, I don’t actually hear it, it’s merely a thought that springs up from the recesses of what passes for my brain).

Now if life has taught me one thing, it’s to pay heed to warnings. After all, when a PC asks ‘do you really want to delete this file’ or a woman in mid-argument stops, folds her arms and poses the question ‘do you really want to go down that road?’ whatever decision is made is going to have consequences for someone. Usually dire ones. And so that decision, whatever it might be, should only be made after considering what those potential consequences might be and weighing up the pro’s and con’s of each.

Of course the default decision for all men is ‘no’ whilst for women, it’s yes. In my experience female’s tend to worry about consequences ‘post’ action as opposed to ‘pre’ but then again, they are devious enough to either hide whatever damage they have done or blame someone else for making them do it. Failing that, they can usually call on a man to sort things out for them. And before anyone says anything in response to that, I have lost count of the number of computers I have had to sort out for women who have deleted things even after being warned not to.

Anyway, to return to the case in point…as far as writing is concerned, I usually hear this voice when I commit something to paper that I know is either going to kick up a storm, cause controversy, offend someone or even attract personal criticism (or worse).

In the past this has included such things as my various attacks on the police (the self-serving Army of occupation), the government (cowards), the game (inept), the anti-racist movements (whoo whoo! Keep that gravy train running at all costs lads), the extreme political groups (please wake up to reality chaps), Helen Chamberlain (geezer bird) and gay footballers (for fucks sake, it’s 2010 not 1910!) and in the majority of cases, I’ve gone ahead because I have felt so strongly about something that not to say it would have detracted from the argument I’d been making and I’ll have been confident enough to back up what I’ll have written in the flesh if need be.

I say the majority of cases but in truth, I can only think of one instance where I wrote something and then deleted it. Ironically, it wasn’t in a non-fiction book at all, but in my novel, Billy’s Log. 

I won’t go into details about it here but suffice to say, it was very relevant at the time of writing and to be honest, is just as relevant today (as is the rest of the book I think). However, for some reason it didn’t sit well with me and so I pulled it but I’ve regretted that decision ever since because I should have had the courage to say what I wanted to say.

I mention all this now because I sat down at my computer this morning and began writing a blog when all of a sudden I heard ‘do you really want to say that?’ And as I read back over what I’d written, I realised that there was only one answer…..NO!

You see when it comes to the battle of the sexes, even I know that there are some skirmishes which are best avoided! Especially when one runs the very real risk of shooting oneself in the foot!!

Safety First!

Whenever I am writing, there will inevitably come a point where an alarm bell rings. More often than not it will be heard once I’ve already written something and will involve a distant voice asking “do you really want to say that?” (OK I know a voice isn’t strictly speaking a bell, but if you want to be pedantic, I don’t actually hear it, it’s merely a thought that springs up from the recesses of what passes for my brain).

Now if life has taught me one thing, it’s to pay heed to warnings. After all, when a PC asks ‘do you really want to delete this file’ or a woman in mid-argument stops, folds her arms and poses the question ‘do you really want to go down that road?’ whatever decision is made is going to have consequences for someone. Usually dire ones. And so that decision, whatever it might be, should only be made after considering what those potential consequences might be and weighing up the pro’s and con’s of each.

Of course the default decision for all men is ‘no’ whilst for women, it’s yes. In my experience female’s tend to worry about consequences ‘post’ action as opposed to ‘pre’ but then again, they are devious enough to either hide whatever damage they have done or blame someone else for making them do it. Failing that, they can usually call on a man to sort things out for them. And before anyone says anything in response to that, I have lost count of the number of computers I have had to sort out for women who have deleted things even after being warned not to.

Anyway, to return to the case in point…as far as writing is concerned, I usually hear this voice when I commit something to paper that I know is either going to kick up a storm, cause controversy, offend someone or even attract personal criticism (or worse).

In the past this has included such things as my various attacks on the police (the self-serving Army of occupation), the government (cowards), the game (inept), the anti-racist movements (whoo whoo! Keep that gravy train running at all costs lads), the extreme political groups (please wake up to reality chaps), Helen Chamberlain (geezer bird) and gay footballers (for fucks sake, it’s 2010 not 1910!) and in the majority of cases, I’ve gone ahead because I have felt so strongly about something that not to say it would have detracted from the argument I’d been making and I’ll have been confident enough to back up what I’ll have written in the flesh if need be.

I say the majority of cases but in truth, I can only think of one instance where I wrote something and then deleted it. Ironically, it wasn’t in a non-fiction book at all, but in my novel, Billy’s Log. 

I won’t go into details about it here but suffice to say, it was very relevant at the time of writing and to be honest, is just as relevant today (as is the rest of the book I think). However, for some reason it didn’t sit well with me and so I pulled it but I’ve regretted that decision ever since because I should have had the courage to say what I wanted to say.

I mention all this now because I sat down at my computer this morning and began writing a blog when all of a sudden I heard ‘do you really want to say that?’ And as I read back over what I’d written, I realised that there was only one answer…..NO!

You see when it comes to the battle of the sexes, even I know that there are some skirmishes which are best avoided! Especially when one runs the very real risk of shooting oneself in the foot!!

The long and the short of it…

 Someone asked me recently why I have begun blogging given that I write for a living.

The truth, dear reader, is that it is a very good creative exercise. After all, as you may have gathered I am somewhat opinionated and have lots of things to say on lots of different things. And given that blogging provides an instant outlet for those opinions, it has proven to be quite an invaluable stress release of sorts. Something we all need at one point or another!

There is also the fact -as pointed out in a previous blog- that if you are in the mood to write, then you should write. Something, anything! Blogging is a perfect format for this as it allows you to just dive in, have a rant and climb out suitably refreshed. It certainly works for me!

However, as you might have noticed, I do tend to go on a bit and it has been suggested to me that my blogs are a bit too long.

So the question, dear reader, is do I continue with the long diatribes or should I trim them down to a couple of hundred words a time?

Thoughts?

BTW, I have finally launched my new website. The plan was to keep it as simple as possible (a bit like the subject matter!) and although it still requires some work, I’m actually quite impressed with my efforts!

Please take a look and let me know what you think. www.dougiebrimson.com

A far from ordinary life!

Not so long ago, someone contacted me and suggested that I should consider writing my autobiography.

Primarily because I doubt anyone would actually be interested in what passes for my life let alone the fact that hopefully, I’m only half way through my time amongst you mere mortals, I initially dismissed this idea. However, it did get me thinking about some of the things that have happened to me over the years because it’s fair to say that I am one of those people that ‘things’ seem to happen to.

Of course ‘things’ covers a multitude of sins and whilst it is fair to say that many of my experiences over the years are by my own design (and for that read ‘fault’), others seem to be guided by exterior forces. Indeed, I’ve long believed myself to be little more than a Subbutteo man being flicked around by some other entity for their own amusement.

Now whilst this has made my life thus far extremely interesting, there is an inherent problem attached to being someone who experiences ‘things’ and that is that when I look back on them, I do occasionally struggle to believe that some of them actually happened at all. And if I struggle, how on earth could I relate the tale to anyone else and expect them to believe it?

What makes it worse is that often, these ‘things’ involve detailed and quite lengthy explanations. Many of which are themselves of such a bizarre nature that they themselves, fall into the ‘are you sure?’ category.

For example, I know exactly why and how a very famous gravestone was liberated from it’s ‘home’ and ended up crossing the channel but the whole tale is so outlandish (not to mention hilarious) that if I were to relate it in a bar full of lads, I’d be marked down as a simple bullshitter.

Others however, are similarly bizarre yet more easily explainable but the sheer quantity and variety are certainly beyond the scale any normal person would expect to endure in a normal lifetime and would, if committed to print, indicate that I am some kind of Forrest Gump figure and I’m not sure I fancy that tag!

So for now at least, the idea of an autobiography will remain firmly on the back burner. However, in the interests of fair play, what follows are a selection of facts about my life all of which have tales attached to them and which if nothing else, might go some way toward explaining why I have ended up as I have!

  • I’ve only ever been arrested once and that was for theft of my own property from my own motor vehicle (!). I have however, been arrested twice on ‘The Bill’
  •  I was almost certainly the first person in the west to know about the Chernobyl disaster (it’s an RAF thing)
  • I once ended up in court as a defence witness in a case against someone who was accused of assaulting me (think about it for a second)
  • I’ve seen not one, but three planes crash.
  • I have stood inside the remains of a building which is possibly the most evil place on earth.
  • I was booked on the ‘Spirit of Free Enterprise when it sank outside Zeebrugge but cancelled the trip at the last minute.
  • I’ve had numerous experiences of the ghostly kind over the years!
  • I once had a German policeman point a gun at my forehead and switch the safety catch to ‘off’
  • I’ve had two mates die in front of me. Both as a result of motorbikes.
  • I’m afraid of heights. And by afraid, I mean terrified.
  • I once stole a parrot.
  • I inserted 14 things into Green Street which are either ‘in-jokes’ or refer to something very personal and they all made it onto the screen. Some will forever remain a secret. I also put some into Top Dog and We Still Kill The Old Way.
  • I used to sell condoms for a living.
  • I was once trapped in my car for 24 hours during a snow storm.
  • I’ve been a guest at Buckingham Palace three times.
  • I’ve flown a Harrier jump jet. A real one, not a simulator!
  • I have never taken, sniffed or smoked any kind of illegal substance!
  • I appear in the James Bond movie, Goldeneye and once had a screen test as a potential presenter of ‘Top Gear’
  • I have only been a best man once and that was at a same sex wedding (and it was brilliant!)

Phew……! And that’s only a few of the ones I can tell you about!!!

*As you might have noticed, I have updated this from the original which was first published in 2010!*