“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

“Such A Perfect Day / I’m Glad I Spent It With You …”


Not that you’re particularly interested, but a rather fine day was had yesterday by your humble host. Saturday morning, up early, a nice bit of writing done. Marvellous. And then The Mighty Pool went and stonked Der Filthenfuhrers 4-1, at Old Tatford. Now, I know it’s important to be a good winner and all that, but seriously – 4-1? I was laughing so hard with three minutes to go, I think I lost a testicle.


  After that it was off with the family to the Lambert Puppet Theatre in Monkstown, for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and Lilyput’s first excursion to a theatre. I have no idea of what the wee girl thought she was looking at, but she was thrilled skinny by it all. A lovely, lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Incidentally, those Irish among you of a certain age may or may not be glad to know that Judge and Mr Crow are alive and well and still bantering.
  Mind you, I’m not entirely sure about the moral tone of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. It’s size-ist, for starters. And apparently it’s okay, if you’re poor enough, and so stupid you’ll sell your last cow for a handful of ‘magic’ beans, to storm some guy’s castle and half-inch his magic harp, golden egg-laying chicken, and stash of loot. And then, when he has the temerity to want it back, to kill him. It’s an anarchist’s manifesto.
  Anyhoos, after the ‘Property is theft’ lecture, it was home for a quick-change and into the Batmobile and hence to town, and The Gingerman, for your humble host’s 40th birthday celebrations, at which far too many dry sherries were consumed.

(L-to-R): The Dark Lord of All Evil, Chico ‘Chicovich’ Morientes, Random Drunk Guy
  I’m not actually 40 for another week or so, but even at this early stage it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever consume alcohol again.

(L-to-R): Random Drunk Guy, The Organiser of All Goodness
  And so to the Bat-taxi, and hence to home, and a quick check on the obligingly sleeping Lilyput, and bed, to sleep and perchance to dream. God bless us, every one!

17 comments:

maxine said...

that 4-1 score definitely lightened the mood in Petrona towers I have to say. (I speak as one born in "the other place" but I keep quiet about that so as not to spoil the general happiness!)

Uriah Robinson said...

General rejoicing in Crime Scraps HQ at the defeat of the Evil Empire. Well done Spain oh I mean Liverpool. Those of us of a Chelsea persuasion have had a rough time this season and some of us can't even remember who is our current manager.
My house mate at university in the 1960s [I am old :o( ] was a rabid Man U supporter having been born in Kingston, Jamaica.
That is about as close as the average Man U fan gets to Manchester.
Stiles and Bobby Charlton in the World Cup Final 1966 was the last time I cheered for a Man U player.

marco said...

From the outside, it's funny to see all this ManU hate from supporters of Liverpool or Chelsea, and this attempt to portray it as a battle of good vs evil
I would respect this attitude from supporters of Everton, Tottenham, but really...
Liverpool was the ManU of the 70-80s, often robbing the title on the finish line from very good but less economically powerful sympathy teams like Ipswich, Aston Villa or Nottingham Forest who passed much of the season on top but in the end couldn't sustain it because of a shorter bench while Chelsea in its current form was basically invented by a controversial Russian Mogul.
It's like those supporters of Juventus who decry Milan or Inter.

Nottingham Forest-Liverpool 2-0, European Champions Cup first round, now THAT's a moment to remember!

My house mate at university in the 1960s [I am old :o( ] was a rabid Man U supporter having been born in Kingston, Jamaica.
That is about as close as the average Man U fan gets to Manchester.


So, the average ManU fan is an immigrant from Jamaica or Bangladesh while the Gallagher brothers are an example for the typical purebred Manchesterite City supporter?

Hmmm...I can see how this makes it a difficult choice

v-word: inessent

Gerard Brennan said...

I'll bypass the footie chat and just wish you an early happy 40th. I think you should continue drinking, though. It looks like you enjoy it.

Cheers

gb

John McFetridge said...

Happy Birthday, Declan. You really got a headstart on this writing stuff - most don't have anything to say till they pass 40 and the median age to have a bestseller is 50, so you're well on your way.

And a great day with the family and 4-1.

Gerard is right, though, you may have to reconsider that no drinking thing.

bookwitch said...

Nice to see a photo of you and your beautiful wife together. That's a sign of parenthood; one of you poses with the child and the other holds the camera.

Don't understand the football stuff. Are these important teams?

Declan Burke said...

Marco - I think the point that Uriah might be making is that Utd fans tend to be bandwagon-jumping footballing illiterates. A bit like me and the Mighty Pool, say. I should be in mourning, by the way, given that the real Evil Empire (i.e., Shamrock Rovers) beat Sligo Rovers 2-1 on Friday night. But I'd rather see Liverpool win than the Rovers. Disgusting to a real football fan, but true. Although refreshingly unparochial, I'd suggest.

Liverpool were the Man U of the 70s / 80s, albeit with rather more European cups to their name. The comparison is also valid in terms of the quality of football - intelligent, attacking, elegant - and the footballing philosophies of their managers. Man U are a great club, with a great manager, great footballers, and a rare and thrilling addiction to football the way it should be played.

Which is why, when they're beaten 4-1, it's unbridled joy.

Funnily enough, I know of three famous and distinguished Irish crime fiction writers (names withheld to protect the guilty) who are Pool fans; and none who are Utd fans, or none who are prepared to admit it.

Can't say as I blame them, myself.

marco said...

You know, Liverpool fans haven't a particularly good reputation in mainland Europe either. Really, not.

rather more European cups to their name. The comparison is also valid in terms of the quality of football - intelligent, attacking, elegant

more European cups perhaps, but when their intelligent, attacking, elegant football met the unelegant and totally physical game of, say, Flamengo in the Intercontinental Cup, it didn't go very well,did it?
Still the only major European club never to have been World Champion, right?

Funnily enough, I know of three famous and distinguished Irish crime fiction writers (names withheld to protect the guilty)

I think there's not much to choose between ManU and Liverpool.
If I weren't a fan of Nottingham Forest (the aforementioned epic match at an early stage in my development, their fairytale run in Europe as a smaller club, the Robin Hood connection and the Garibaldi-inspired red shirts) I'd probably support 18-20 teams in England before the Big Four.

Still, glad you had a happy birthday celebration, and don't leave all of us inveterate drinkers alone yet.

Dana King said...

Happy 40th, Dec, and additional congrats for getting to share it with your two most important people, AND wrapping a first for Lily into the mix. Quite a day.

Five goals in a soccer game? Did they play a doubleheader and add the scores together?

Peter Rozovsky said...

Happy birthday! Go, Red Shite!
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

critical mick said...

Hey Random Drunk Guy, consider the 4-1 victory to be a 40th birthday pressie. Congrats and cheers for the Pims on Saturday night!

Mick

Anonymous said...

The only thing funnier than the 4-1 scoreline (does the last goal mean Dossena is the young Luke Skywalker destroying the first Death Star?) was Darth Ferg claiming that the better team lost. He was unconvincing as Taggart and he's even less so as a stand-up comedian.

Keith Rawson said...

Happy 40th, Dec! And no birthday celebration is complete without the random drunk guy muscling his way into the festivities.

Fiona said...

Looks like a good time was had by all, Dec. Happy birthday!

Bobby said...

Happy Birthday Declan!Photos are great and it looks like you enjoy it.I am glad that you had a great day.

adrian mckinty said...

Belated birthday greetings. The 40's suck.

I think the league is beyond us but another Champions League Final would be great. Lets not go 3 zip down again though, my nerves cant take it.

Lrakyawnoc said...

Happy birthday Dec - apologies couldn't make it in to the pub. Looks like a good night was had by all.
Karlos