Tuesday, 22 December 2009

An Apology

As any lawyer or politician will tell you, an apology is an admission of guilt. So here it is; an apology. This is my admission of guilt. I'm guilty. I'm a terrible liar. A rotten scoundrel bent on pulling the dreaded, murky, sodden wool of deceit over your little eyes. It was so easy and yet I feel so bad.

I promised you I would write on here more. I didn't. I'm a fraud. I can't help it. I'm busy and have nothing worthwhile to say that you can't find out anyway. But that's no excuse, is it? It hardly removes the agonising, gnawing feeling that I have told whopping great heartless fibs to the world for all to see.

The fact of the matter is: I can't write on here more. I'm too lazy. And stubborn. But mostly lazy. So I'm afraid I can't promise anything this time. Except I'll try not to lie to you again. Unless I have to. But if I do because I have to it will be to protect you from something with my love; the suffocating love of an overcompensating parent. You are my little kittens and I'll protect you. And if the best way to protect you little kittens is to wrap you in a bin bag and throw you in the river with a brick, then so be it. I'll do whatever it takes!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

A Story (With Words)

Being faced with a keyboard is one of the most terrifying and most exciting points in my day. You look at it: its potential, its words, its indifferent jumble of letters, its arbitrary arrangement, see how your fingers fit across it, spanning in one hand half the English language. And it looks at you; cold, indifferent, a sneer. What is one to do when faced with such a belligerent challenge? Write? I daren’t.

Yet the need to tame this terrible beast is great. Words must be forged. It can be futile for all I care – an impotent and thoroughly pointless exercise. This. Stabbing at keys to string the words together just to know that I cannot be bested by a set of plastic squares emblazoned with a humourless font. Nor can its stalwart ally, the blank word document, sway me either. Both will perish beneath my nimble stubby fingers as I regurgitate words from my vocabulary in a mechanical, automatic flurry of linguistic vomit.

Then disaster strikes. Inspiration evaporates like a bead of sweat in the desert. My vocabulary dwindles to less and less words. Have I used them all already? Suddenly I’m groping for a synonym, unable to catch my breath, and any attempt at looking up alternatives in Word yields only antonyms and a bitter remorse. Words cease.

So, is it finished? Was there more? Or is that all there is? If there are no more words, there are no more words. But is that completion? That depends on one’s outlook, I suppose. Is the glass half empty or half full; half-complete or half-incomplete. Sense leaves entirely now in this void where words shouldn’t be and now are. Is this part of the former, or an addendum? Should it be a footnote? The fact that it isn’t tells us something. So, the thing could not have been complete because this commentary was required. Or is this as fundamental as the original treatise? More so? Perhaps. Perhaps it is this, with which we are now engaged, that was the real meat and drink of the exercise. The rest merely foreplay to titillate one’s grammar… I can not say at this juncture. Maybe there will be no other juncture to do so. And we shall never know. Unless we were to look back upon where we have come. To read back. As dangerous as starting in the first place. Don’t you think?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Return of the Native

It has been quite a while since I last posted on here and maybe I've been taking it all too lightly. Lately, I have been reading numerous blogs and, as we all know, it's something that if you take seriously enough reaps innumerate rewards. So here's a commitment: to write on here more.

Naturally, a lot of it will end up being pretty mundane, given that nothing much ever happens. I mean, in the grand scheme of things. Obviously, if aliens invade then fair enough but lots of more experienced bloggers will probably blog about it first. And then the world will end.

Anyway, with the return to the blog comes the return from Edinburgh. A successful month for Belt Up all told. We garnered some very nice reviews in some very important publications (Guardian, et al) and we even got a visit from Neil Gaiman. Having returned, we are now settling into our new York residence (that's a new residence in York, not a New York residence) and you can expect our involvement with the city to blossom in the coming year. I hope so, anyway.

I have started writing a new play and I'm even toying with the idea for a novel. I'm only slightly put off by how long it's been since I wrote any prose; I tried whilst in Edinburgh and found it to be bloody difficult. You have to spend so much time actually writing before anything happens. At least with a play by the time you've finished a sentence somebody has said something. Worth a shot, anyway.

No doubt I will keep you all posted on my progress.

Good night.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

To Crown My Thoughts With Acts

I gave myself a talking to the other day. I said "Dominic, you've finished your degree now."

"Yes," I said. I did alright too - got a 2.1 with minimal effort. It would have been a first if I'd been allowed to do straight english because, as it turns out, I got a first for the literature segment of my joint honours. The linguistics dragged it down.

"So," I said, "What are you going to do now?"

"Well there's Edinburgh, and then stuff after that will probably crop up."

"Yes but what else?"

'Oh shit,' I suddenly thought, 'He's absolutely right. There's still so much to get done!'

So, I made some resolutions, giving myself till next summer to have made some good progress on:

1. Learn a musical instrument (probably fiddle and get better at piano).

2. Brush up my French.

3. Get my Russian up to the standard of my French.

4. Travel somewhere cheap and interesting - the Faroe isles?

5. Secure some funding for writing, etc.

All reasonable things to aim for that better me as a human being. Can't say fairer than that really can you? To avoid procratination is the key, of course: 

"To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done."

Macbeth, Act IV sc i

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Lost Boys

Oh sweet, oh darling Peter

Your tender, youthful eyes

Are creasing beneath the orb

Where tears collect. The prize


You almost grasped but lost,

Let slip; who is to blame

For the bitter salt-sting now?

All your laurels, all your fame


They have forgot, or ignored

Or failed to see. They care

Only for youth, not monuments

Of your age. Not fair. Not fair


But true. Never Never-Never Land

Any more. Just your dusty toys

They now ignore; your lost Lost Boys.




Friday, 24 April 2009

Podcast Forthcoming

Some good news. Hopefully from Monday 27th April you will be able to listen to a sketch show podcast that Chris Stokes and I will have completed comprising Boycott Deathtrap sketches we have done.

If you're familiar with our work, I'm sure you'll be thrilled to hear that it contains some brand new material - a good sign of things to come!

I also now provide a headshot service and with results like this (left) you can't possibly be missed by potential agents and directors.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

BBEF #3 - The New Cool Tool

Gentle readers,

You will notice to the right is a new gadget I have added to make the job of the British Blogspot Expeditionary Force a wee bit easier. The images scroll from one blog to the next. Click upon them and you will be transported.

You can try it too! Find an image that sparks your interest and click away. Feel free to construct your own BBEF report on what you find. Remember to sneer.

Monday, 6 April 2009

I'm A Martyr, Get Me Crucified!

Ok, so here’s the pitch:


We take twelve celebrities with some sort of chip on their shoulder about something. Ideally, they’ll be z-list celebrities that everybody’s forgotten about who are desperate to be remembered for something more worthwhile than, for example, ‘Finders, Keepers’ and ‘Fun House’. Actually, Pat Sharpe and Neil Buchanana would be perfect contenders!


Then – it gets better! They’ll be competing against different classical civilisations to be martyred. These civilisations will be built in suitably unpopulated locations like Shetland and Guernsey, as true to history as we can. They’ll then be populated by historians and actors who have read up on the background of their particular society. The contenders will then go about, stirring up trouble in the name of their preferred raison d’etre. We can even get top celebs as special guests to play famous figures from history. So, let’s take our budding CITV presenters as a simulated example.


CONTENDER:   Pat Sharpe

MORAL STANCE:          Tepid

SOAP BOX TOPIC:        “We should give more money to endangered butterflies.”


THEIR BEEF IS:            “We fackin’ hate them fackin’ butterflies!”

THEIR PREFERRED METHOD OF EXECUTION:              Offering the victim as a sexual vessel for the sea-beasts of Dagon (one of their attested 1st millennium gods).

CURRENT RULER:        Ahiram, Phoencian King of Byblos (to be played by Richard O’Brien).



CONTENDER:   Neil Buchanana

MORAL STANCE:          Vehement

SOAP BOX TOPIC:        “We should enslave little ethnic kids.”


THEIR BEEF IS:            Zoroastrianism (their state religion) forbids slavery.

THEIR PREFERRED METHOD OF EXECUTION:             Split your nutsack open and watch you bleed to death.

CURRENT RULER:        Emperor Cyrus II The Great (to be played by Jasper Carrot)



I’ve no doubt you’re all as excited about this as I am. I suggest you get scribbling to the Beeb and Channel 4 AT ONCE and lobby them to pick up this innovative and exceptionally educational show.


Thank you.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Martin: A gaseous boy

There was a boy called Martin
Whose skills were high in fartin'
He would fart out rhymes
With limerick chimes
But they would always end up being disappointingly unlimerickesque at the end.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

This Easter

Easter is a time for many things. Mostly chocolate but, also, relaxation. This Easter in particular, I'm relaxing more than ever. The effects on my complexion, health and mental wellbeing can be readily seen.

Needless to say, I'm feeling proper tip top at the moment. My sleeping patterns have dramatically changed, somewhat to my detriment and I have this insatiable thirst that - no matter how much Tropicana I down - I simply cannot quench.

Apart from that, I'm pretty damn fine actually. I shall be spending the time away from work travelling, seeing friends and writing this damn play. Every written thing, it seems, is a joy and a burden.

I also intend to keep blogging more often.

I intend to but, of course, I won't.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Time to start burning some books

I ambled through WH Smiths today. Bear in mind there is a recession on.

In these economically critical times, we surely need to be economical. With food, with fuel and, I would say, with paper. And time. And public interest.

Therefore I cannot, under any circumstances, tolerate a biography of the Archibishop of Canterbury gracing our shelves in favour of something worthwhile. Nobody gives a cocking shit about what he's done in his boring life. I'll tell you the big twist. I shall. I shall tell you the surprise ending. The big exciting finale. You know what it is? He becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury. That's it. That's it! THAT IS IT!


The sheer hypocrisy of the Church to call for traditional values and then have their leader, their shepherd, pouting his lips on the front cover of a book that's on the same shelf as the Jade Goody Story and Look At Me: I'm That Telly Chef Who Swears All The Time And Now I Advertise Gin Because My Ratings Fell Through The Floor Because Every Cookery Program I Do Has To Rely Not Upon Whether Or Not People Want To Cook My Recipes At Home But Rather To See How Angry I Get In The Course Of Half An Hour.

This is the most vulgar and sweaty modern bastion of charlatanism.

When I thought I could not be incensed further, I noticed the categorisation. They had put Rowan's Rule in with the Bible, Koran and Torah. Also in there was an advice guide to clergy who have to talk to homosexuals. It had a list in it describing the different homosexualities you can get. According to the Anglican Church ANY VIOLENT ACT CONSTITUTES HOMOSEXUALITY. What? What the fuck? No. No that's wrong. That's offensive to homosexuals who are, on the whole in my experience, very mild people and also offensive to violent homophobes who pride themselves on their ability to avert accusations of homosexuality with their ability to hit people.

And then, oh then, the icing on the cake of contempt: I could not find a poetry/plays section in WH Smith - no - but I COULD find a "Tragic True Life Stories" section. This is all those books about kids who maybe got smacked once and then wrote the most preposterous lies about their parents feeding them bleach and putting them in kennels so they can make some money off the morons who buy this drivel. This means that according to WH Smith's standards (and the leisure pound of the average British citizen) these flimsy stories are of more worth than Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Miller, Pinter, Tennessee Williams, Milton, Marlowe, et al.

Obviously they are not. Obviously WH Smith's are wrong.

I will endeavour to prove it to them. Post-haste!