Tag Archives: Chelsea FC

On This Day…25 September

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Good morning, good day, good evening, and welcome to Saturday’s installment of On This Day. I hope you’re well and that you enjoy your weekend. To set you off on the right path, here’s your daily trip down memory lane. Way down memory lane. So way down in fact, we’re starting with what happened on this day in…

303 – On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona is beheaded in Amiens, France. A bit of a wasted journey if you ask me. The French are not for turning.

1066 – The Battle of Stamford Bridge marks the end of the Viking invasions of England. Chelsea FC play their home games there now. I thought John Terry looked like a Norse, all right.

1690 – Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, is published for the first and only time. No one bought obviously.

The Bill of Rights

1789 – The U.S. Congress passes twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten that are known as the Bill of Rights.

1906 – In the presence of the king and before a great crowd, Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrates the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1944 – World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, thus ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden. It was A Bridge Too Far.

1983 – Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijack a prison meals lorry and smash their way out of the Maze prison. It is the largest prison escape since WWII and in British history.

1996 – The last of the Magdalene Asylums closes in Ireland; just one of the many scandals Ireland has endured under the institution of the Catholic Church.

Celebrity birthdays today include:

Mr & Mrs Zeta-Jones Douglas (Image: babble.com)

Catherine Zeta Jones and her husband, Michael Douglas, share their birthdays today. She is 41, he is 66. We wish Michael well as he recovers from throat cancer.

Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, is 59 and still strong with the Force.

Maria Doyle Kennedy, Irish singer, actress and star of The Commitments, is 46.

Hollywood actor Will Smith is 42.

After The Dark Tower Come These…

I reckon I’ll be busy with The Dark Tower series until the end of September. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about what I’m going to read next. For my birthday last week I got a present from my girlfriend of a book voucher for Chapters Bookstore on Dublin’s Parnell Street. So armed, I headed in last weekend and this is what I came out with.

Lock Down by Sean Black

I’m a big fan of action and adventure. At the very start of my “mature” reading I picked up Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity. It was the start of a literary love affair that was to continue until his death. I think I’ve read all of Ludlum’s novels. Nowadays, his successors have tried to duplicate his formula, with Christopher Reich being the best of the lot, in my opinion. I like them short and to the point, though, and I’ve heard good things about Sean Black’s debut, Lock Down. It’s the first in a series featuring ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock. If this scenario rings familiar bells, it’s because it sounds similar to:

61 Hours: a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child.

Jack Reacher is the original and the best. Lee Child’s creation is the man I most want to be. A laconic ex-Military Police, former Major Reacher is a man without a home. With nothing in his pocket but a toothbrush and an ATM card, he travels the US, putting wrongs to right, sending the bad guy(s) on a one-way trip to Hell, and nabbing the girl whenever he has a chance. The action scenes in Child’s novels are a masterclass in succinct, tension-filled writing. When I grow up, I want to be an amalgamation of both Reacher and Child. Sigh.

In The Dark by Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham is perhaps better known as the creator of Detective Inspector Tom Thorne of London’s Metropolitan Murder Squad. This book, In The Dark, is his first stand-alone thriller. I’m expecting it to equal Thorne’s best cases, such as Scaredy Cat and Lazy Bones. Billingham also has a career as a stand-up comedian, so his dialogue is lightly spiced with one-liners, as well as wry political observation. I enjoy his writing and I look forward to seeing how Sky TV get on with adapting his characters later this year.

Karin Slaughter is a crime writer I can’t praise enough. From Blindsighted right through to her most recent novel, Broken, Ms. Slaughter (that’s her real name, by the way) tells of events in Grant County, GA. Her recurring characters, Sara Linton, her husband, Jeffrey and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Will Trent are well written individuals: damaged, flawed, but instilled with a sense of honour and justice, despite the horrors that face them in each novel. With the purchase of Genesis and Broken, I am now up to date with the lady’s work.

Genesis by Karin Slaughter

Broken by Karin Slaughter

And for my own lady, because of her generosity and love, I return the favour. She is a supporter of Chelsea Football Club, the reigning Premier League champions. This one I bought for her:

The "Special One": Jose Mourinho

The less said about Chelsea, the better…I’m a Manchester United fan. Enjoy your moment, my friends, we’ll be taking it back off you this coming season.