2809 days ago
Are you coming along tomorrow says the Goddess by text. Cripes thought I: to what? Not wishing to offend I said “of course”….”but won’t’ I lower the tone?” I think it is a safe bet that I will.
As an aside just remind me of the details? The Savoy at 10 AM.
Hell’s teeth I appear to have wangled myself in invitation to a City breakfast. I would rather have wangled myself into the Millwall Supporters Club Christmas Party, the deodorant free summer meeting of the local Green Party or a long weekend in Homs.
But I do not wish to offend the Goddess.
Another text: “Wear an Ironed Shirt!”
I somehow do not think she is referring to an ironed Viva Steyn T-Shirt which I had laid out for tomorrow’s trip to London, I think she means shirt short with a collar. The last time I wore won of those was, from memory, in early 2012. I shall see what I can do.
3078 days ago
Just a public note to Darren Atwater and Martha Gall who tonight are celebrating their first wedding anniversary. Given that Darren works out of RMPC three days a week they are not celebrating with us in Clerkenwell. Darren was the second (of six) RSH employee to leave and come to work with me (Steve Moore won the gold medal) and a good friend in good times and bad. He mucks in at RMPC donning a waiter's outfit when needed. But he is really the brains behind www.shareprophets.com. Apparently Martha's parents are delightfully right wing and their opinion of the son-in-law soared when they started reading this blog and realised who he worked with. To two of London's three finest Canadians ( the Goddess is the third), The deluded lefty and I wish you a very relaxing and romantic evening.
3130 days ago
Within a minute of me having a pop at Amara Mining (AMA) for its joke PFS published today the Goddess is onto me by email. You do not hear from this bird for weeks and then suddenly "Do I get credit for calling it right?" Okay, Ms Goddess you may not (yet) be an East End Girl but your intellect matches your beauty and so to put the record straight: "you are very clever."
3144 days ago
Nope, the BB morons have no reason to celebrate. I was not assisting the Old Bill with their enquiries. Nor was I being questioned for revealing who was shagging who in the Downing Street Affair. Instead…. Well it is a long story but it started mid-afternoon. I am starting to worry that I am not a complete bastard after all and can actually be a good guy on occasion. I may have to seek counselling from someone really bad and immoral. Where’s Colourful James when you need him most?
Mid-afternoon two ladies from Informa popped in to Real Man Pizza Company seeking prizes from local businesses for a charity raffle. Since I only support one charity (Woodlarks) my standard answer to such requests is No! But I found myself offering a prize of a meal for four. I clearly was on a slippery slope towards virtue.
And so after an evening of being exceptionally nice to everyone, sending staff home early so I could tend to the last few customers (two of whom hung around forever) I sat down fully intending to spend the whole night writing. But at midnight I heard the sound of banging on the shutters. I peered out and there was an Indian bird in obvious distress. So I opened the door and through the shutter she said she needed to find a church to pray at, a priest to speak to and that the Catholic Church would put her up for the night as she was homeless but needed directions. Hmmm “We are a catholic restaurant hang on while I get an A-Z”
Before I knew it she was sitting inside Real Man and had made me turn off my music (AC DC by Joan Jett was playing at the time) and from my laptop she was playing her favourite hymn. She then explained
3148 days ago
I truly dithered about this one but already I find myself looking forward to a new season at Upton Park. I guess it is like dating. You break up with your bird (not that I have, as far as I know) after 8 months of pain and anguish. You were not having fun for a lot of the time and frankly sometimes she was just taking the piss with the sheer misery she inflicted on you. And she was pretty expensive too. Having a season ticket at West Ham can be like being forced to spend most Saturday afternoons heading round a shopping centre being forced to buy new clothes for the bird or worse still for you and then afterwards having to go to some overpriced vegetarian, alcohol free restaurant. The sheer misery of it all is interrupted only briefly when you find a new Ramones T-shirt to buy to add to the collection. But it is a rare moment of joy.
I stress that my partner inflicts none of this on me but I know that some birds regard that sort of thing as fun. And watching West Ham, knowing that you have forked out £650 for a season ticket can be like that. Jeepers. Losing at home to Wigan in the Carling Mickey Mouse Cup. That was torture. The game at Reading on 29th December will long stay in my mind as a masterclass in making a ninth rate team look like Brazil. But: You are my West Ham, my only West Ham you make me happy when skies are grey you’ll never know how much I love you until you take my West Ham away.
And so after you split up with one bird and enjoy a short break of freedom, of being allowed to wear clothes with holes in them and of being able to wash up dishes before you eat rather than afterwards, what do you do?
3161 days ago
It was a year ago today that the first article appeared on this blog. Most blogs fold after a period of months but I am still here. And to celebrate a glass of bubbly for breakfast! The toast “to you dear readers for continuing to read this site”
A year ago my life looked unimaginably bleak. At a personal and health level it was a mess and I was days away from leaving Rivington Street and t1ps the company I founded. To the victors the spoils and so it was repeatedly asserted that all t1ps’ problems were of my making and that new management was turning it around. Yes I have read the interim results released at 6PM on Friday. Hmmmm. You might say that but I could not possibly comment.
That however was a former life for me. My line in the sand was drawn in September. By then I knew who my friends were. To folks such as Richard Poulden, Abbe Aronson, Darren Atwater, Steve Moore, Clem Chambers, Monisha Varadan, Chris Potts, Amanda Van Dyke, Lucian Miers, Chris Booker and Zak Mir I am forever in your debt. To you I say “cheers” – another toast.
I chatted yesterday to most of the above and life has changed pretty dramatically. At the Real Man restaurant we were losing £5,000 a month when I took it on officially in September. There is now just one of the staff at that time still working here and I have hired and fired aggressively and made a stack of other changes. Having just enjoyed our busiest Saturday in memory we are now happily making a profit, our customers like us and we serve far better food. That was achievement one. I guess that “new management line” is true sometimes. Miaow.
Achievement two was getting the UK Investor Show organised in just a few months and it went well. Now with my friends at ADVFN we are well on track to deliver an even better show on April 5 next year. And I now rather suspect we will be the only show featuring master investors happening next spring. Miaow.
But perhaps the biggest win has been in writing. It is what I do best (although I can knock out a fantastic Risotto con salsicce e funghi these days as well). The launch of the www.shareprophets.com site has exceeded expectations. After 50 days it has half as many registered users as we managed to attract in one year at UK-Analyst. More join every day. And gratifyingly more and more writers seem to want to join the team and write for us. Another two will debut this week. Meanwhile other websites…no that is enough miaows.
But www.Tomwinnifrith.com is my real love. It started as therapy but being able to write exactly what I thought without some corporate hissy fit ensuing soon became an addictive drug. The fact that I use the odd naughty word or talk about birds does not appeal to everyone – notably Google and PR prude Kay Larsen of College Group – as you may remember here and here.
But it is me. I do use naughty words. I do find myself drifting into the vernacular of my favourite TV show (The Sweeney) now and again. And I do have strong views on Israel, welfare scroungers, the EU, global warming and civil liberties. Why hold back? I had been gagged for so long that the release was joyful and still is.
But there was also a release in that I ceased to by a City insider and became an outsider. As such there was no need to kiss arse – anyone and everyone was fair game. The past year has shown me that not only is it fun to constantly expose and poke fun and to say what you want but that I can earn a reasonable living doing that and looking after Real Man Pizza. There is no need to hold back. While I might have been tentaitive at first I am now in 5th gear and will not be slowing down or getting softer in my approach.
And so looking back I reflect on those who have brought inspiration and pleasure to me:
1. The visit to Butrint (photo article)
2. Damian Conboy of Alecto hooking up with the Playboy PR girl
3. Kay Larsen PR prude at College Hill
4. Sefton Resources & Jim Ellerton – thanks Jim you have made my year ( see you in court Bitchez)
5. Taking a contrary view on the Olympics
6. Vroula – the fascist Greek athlete and defending her right to free speech
7. The visit to the Berlin Jewish Museum
8. Standing by St Paul’s for Lady Thatcher’s funeral
9. The start of the AIM Cesspit campaign
10.Going on stage with Nigel Wray and Nick Leslau at UKInvestor show – feeling I was with friends.
11. Being complimented by the Goddess
12. The Guardian and deluded lefties everywhere
13. The Baker of Zitsa
14. Albania - National Leave your Gun at home day
15. Financial PR firms & the AIM Cesspit - another fight picked
I am sure that I have missed out a few highlights.
At a personal level, many of you met my partner at UK Investor Show. She may be an utterly deluded lefty. No okay she is an utterly deluded lefty but she has been a rock at all times. She even now knows who Joe Cole is and that Mark Noble’s veins are claret and blue. What more could a man ask for?
Thank you all for reading this website over the past year. Year two starts on Monday. What will it bring?
3333 days ago
I admit that one reason for light blogging is that I was led astray by Lucian, the Goddess and a few others at the Real Man Christmas drinks. I feel a bit fragile today. I am too old for all of this. But there is another reason for light blogging – Oakley (my cat) is back on the Vet’s operating table as we speak.
Greedy vet one clearly feels a bit guilty about the fact that he has stiffed me with an £846 bill and the operation has failed. Oakley’s leg was so weakened by the tumour that the skin cannot heal. And as such Oakley is off to a charity vet today. I shall leave without £140. Oakley will leave without one of his legs.
I know that he is just a cat. And I am all too aware that there are humans in much worse shape. But it is still not a day that I expected to come. It has all happened rather quickly.
I was trying to think of some convoluted and clever sentence involving the flag of where Oakley was born (the Isle of Man) – the triskelion , three legs. But I am a bit too hungover and worried to string words together. I am told that the Old Boy can have a good quality of life with three legs but somehow that seems a little hard to believe. To misquote animal farm “three legs good, four legs better.” It will all be over soon and then back home for a restful Christmas. Extra duck for Oakley.
3343 days ago
There is good news. Since West Ham almost never win when I go to Upton Park you will be glad to hear that I am not attending today’s game (Kick Off 12.45). My tickets (Trevor Brooking lower) are with the Bard of the Boleyn, my disreputable pal Lucian Miers and an even more disreputable friend of his dragged from a gutter somewhere plus the (ultra posh) Goddess who makes the second visit of her life East of Canary Wharf. She seems to think that she might support Chelski (not knowing anything about football) but perhaps her second visit to The Academy might dissuade her. I do hope she does not scream an inappropriate comment at an inappropriate time.
The bad news is that despite my absence anything other than a Chelski win is very unlikely. Yes the team with no history