Donald MacInnes

Donald MacInnes writes Tales from the Water Cooler, which can be found every Saturday on page 2 of i. And, although a financial near-imbecile, he writes a weekly column in The Independent’s Money section, also on Saturdays. He writes regularly on a broad range of subjects in i’s Freeview section and occasionally fills in on Simon Kelner’s daily column when emotionally up to it. @DonaldAMacInnes

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Conor Grimes ended up providing the voice of Gerry Adams (centre) for six years

Donald MacInnes: Ireland does it her own way when the local undertaker passes on

Having just flown in from the island of the emeralds, my celtic batteries are sitting nicely at 100 per cent. Although we spent most of the weekend in Donegal, we bookended our trip by staying with friends in east Belfast which, those of you familiar with the demographic kaleidoscope of the city will be aware, could not be further, religiously or politically, from the island's picturesque north-west.

Donald MacInnes: Our ideal home on a hill is the first kill in house-hunting safari

So now the story can be told; now the cat, unlike Erwin Schrödinger's theoretical subject, can exit the bag.

Tales from the Watercooler: Can you bear to be boring?

Often, a news story’s worth can be dictated by our mood at the time of reading it. If your Saturday glee is pronounced, you may not be too fussed about another banker salary revelation which, on a wet Tuesday morning, may have you grinding your teeth to a fine powder.

Donald MacInnes: How I'm still showing dogged determination in my quest for a pet

What do you call this? I disappear for two weeks and the place goes to pot. Look at the mess in here! Empty packets of Wotsits, half-eaten Ginsters and a mysterious pile of popped bubble wrap. Would you carry on like that in your own home? Didn't think so. We run a tight ship here. No room for mucky pups.

Nawaz Sharif sacked his guards over a peacock incident

Tales from the Watercooler: Are your peacocks at risk?

Those of you with a loyalty card to this little section will recall that it’s a place where I select a couple of stories from the week’s news and combine them into one delicious starter with which to begin your i meal; an entertaining, literate vol-au-vent, if you like.

Donald MacInnes: So what would you prefer - £108m or some fish and chips?

It is with a heavy heart that I take up my pen for the latest instalment in my quest to be treated as something other than a pretend financial journalist. My brow is thus currently corrugated due to the fact that the Euromillions jackpot was won last Friday by one Neil Trotter, 41, who is (was) a car mechanic from Coulsdon, south London.

Donald MacInnes: If someone like me could become financially respectable, anyone can

It is said that the only people nervous when encountering the police are the innocent. Law-abiding punters (who have not just butchered their extended family with a rolled-up copy of Kerrang!) are usually a jellified disaster area because they hardly ever have any doings with Her Majesty's rozzers.

Day In a Page

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice