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And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

Archive for November 2008

Guns ‘N’ Roses are back!

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How-lee shee-it boys and girls the Gunners are reloaded and firing both barrels again!

The last time I heard from them I was barely 18, long hair, black t-shirts and I was thinking of forming a band. I was at college learning about computers, which I barely understood. The height of technology was the CD-ROM and the Internet was still a good two years away.

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We thought The Spaghetti Incident was ok, and we waited patiently for the next brilliant album. And we waited….

Things began to loose momentum. Gilby Clarke left, then Duff, then Slash! That was the end of the road we thought.

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But those that left were replaced with a new crew, and a few old faces are even talking of coming back! Finally in 2008 Chinese Democracy was released.

AND. IT. ROCKED!!!!

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So for your enjoyment, ladies and gentlemen are a few classic G’N’R hits from the nineties.

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 30, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Posted in music

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Die Hard 5: Showdown in Mumbai

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The gunfight of downtown Mumbai is now over, and all there is left to do it bag up the bodies and count the cost.

To briefly bring you up to speed if you have been off-planet for the last week: On Thursday the city centre of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) was attacked by ten gunmen armed with AK-47s, pistols and grenades. They walked into restaurants and hotels and began shooting at foreign nationals, particularly targeting British and Americans

battle-of-mumbai

Several hostages were taken in the Jewish quarter of the city. Other sieges included the five-star Taj Mahal palace, where gunmen holed themselves up. Fire was later seen spewing from the windows.

Within minutes Indian N.S.G. Commandos were on the scene and taking control of the situation.
They assaulted the Jewish day centre, killing the militants within. They sadly found the five Jewish hostages dead.

Indian N.S.G. commandos assaulted the Taj Mahal Palace

Indian N.S.G. commandos assaulted the Taj Mahal Palace

Their sweep-and-clear operation in and around the Taj Mahal Palace took several hours, as they were hampered by fire and fleeing guests. Only one militant have been reported captured alive.

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The these killers managed to infiltrate the city is a cause of some controversy. They seem to have arrived in dingys from a fishing boat discovered yesterday by Indian marines who are still on high alert. On board they found the captain, bound with his throat cut, and also a Global Positioning System in one of the holds. This device may indicate where the militants arrived from.

A lot of people are quick to implicate Pakistani intelligence in the plot. It is not the first time they have been accused of colluding with Al-Quaeda to carry out actions in the Indian State. As a result the head of Pakistani intelligence has flown to Mumbai to co-operate with the investigation.

The Militants are said to be Al-Quaeda inspired fanatics. But their tactics seem to have been pulled straight from an action movie. Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Posted in crime and law

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What credit crunch?

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How come my parties are never like this? Well if I had $35 Million at my fingertips then maybe I could splash out on more than a tube of Pringles and a case of Skol.

But the Emirates can afford to do a lot better with their multi-squillions, and they have decided to invest all their working capital in the tourist industry. Which takes rock-solid balls in the one of the most unstable areas in the world, when you consider that their main clients will come from Europe and the Americas.

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interior

But the hotel Atlantis is truely the icing on the cake. It boasts 2000 rooms, world renowned restaurants by Mitchelin-starred chefs, the most amazing bars I have ever seen (I am a bit of a bar geek, being a long time barman), with Whiskys sourced from Scotland, Japan, Kentucky, and Ireland.

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Their opening party guest list read like the who’s-who of anybody that matters. Robert De Nero to promote his restaurant, Kylie Minogue came and sang, Sir Richard Branson, Charlize Theron, Denzil Washington among others. Oprah Winfrey did arrive but had to dash back to the USA as her house was very near a forest fire. Now there is a dilemma, I think I would stay for the party and worry about the house after.

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Not only that but it has the most lavish spa in the world, ideal to keep the wife/girlfriend/fiancee happy for hours on end.

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Try the Dubai glamour ritual, girls. I don’t know what it does but I am sure it will be worth the money.

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But my personal favourite has to be the Lost Chambers suite. Straight out of a James Bond movie, it has one wall that is totally glass looking out to the Ambassador Lagoon.

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So what can I do but recommend the place? That’s if the credit crunch hasn’t hit you and you have a spare £2000 a night. It makes you feel better about stealing that bathrobe…

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 29, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Posted in travel and holidays

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The Shannon Matthews Trial

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As a Yorkshireman this case has been of some interest to me, even more so as I suspect there is still so much that could still come to light.

The facts to date are as follows:

shannon-matthews

Shannon Matthews (9) disappeared from her home in Dewsbury on 19 February this year. A massive police operation was mobilized costing an estimated £3.2 Million

On 14 March she was found alive, hiding in the space under a bed in her uncle’s house. Her uncle, Michael Donovan, was arrested at the scene.

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The trial of her mother and uncle is underway at Leeds Crown Court (where I dropped off many an affidavit in my previous job life), and it has had many revelations.

As the facts emerge the complicated relationships between the Matthews family goes under the microscope. A prevailing atmosphere of fear and denial hangs over the proceedings.

karen-matthews

As I stated in a previous post, the story has a long way to go, and a lot of questions need addressing.

Why was Shannon drugged with sleeping pills?

What was happening to her while she was out of it?

What part did her uncle (who has already been charged for possession of child porn) play in all this?

What was the mysterious noose-like strap hanging out of his loft?

The fact is there is a lot of lying going on, and nobody is really sure what the collective motive was, possibly rewards money. The motives of some individuals are far more sinister, and it seems Shannon may have, in fact, had a lucky escape.

For further information follow this link to the BBC website

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/7727384.stm

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 29, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Posted in crime and law

The Murder of Inga Maria Hauser

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inga-maria

In early April 1988 the Larne ferry arrived from Scotland. On board was an 18 year old girl from Munich called Inga Maria Hauser and shortly after arriving in Larne she was brutally attacked.

Her neck was broken and she was found in a shallow grave. Her body, next to her rucksack and diary were found by a forestry worker in Ballypatrick Forest, near Ballycastle.

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Since the DNA revolution tests have been conducted on these items but no suspects have ever been found. Now in a new investigation, headed by Detective Superintendant Pat Steele 1500 people have been called to take DNA swabs in the latest attempt to find the killer. These include the passengers and crew of the Galloway Princess, dock workers, soldiers, local taxi drivers and other members of the general public.

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In April 2002 Ballycastle police station received a phone call anonymously. The caller confirmed the suspicions of the identity of Inga’s killer. Unfortunately the caller could not speak to detectives directly and they are desperate to re-establish contact.

The reason why all this is of interest to me is that two members of my family were on the same boat and they too have provided DNA swabs. No suspicion has ever been pointed towards them I would like to add.

In an unrelated story, another family member, a retired CID detective, has been assigned to the Madelaine McCann case. Let’s just hope they come up with something.

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 25, 2008 at 10:42 am

Posted in crime and law

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Chicken Allasio

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A wholesome tasty meal

A wholesome tasty meal

You need:

Two chicken breasts

One beef steak tomato

One mixed meat tapas packet containing choritzo and parma ham

One ball of fresh Mozzarella

Olive oil

Oregano

This one is a bit fiddly but it is worth it. Take each chicken breast and cut a pocket in them with a sharp knife. Roll up the choritzo and insert into the pocket of the breast. Then wrap the parma ham around the breast. Take an oven proof dish and add a table spoon of olive oil to the bottom. Add the chicken and ham carefully. Then using a fresh knife chop the tomato into small diced pieces and place carefully on top of the chicken. Then take the mozzarella ball and chop it into slices. Take equal amounts of Mozzarella and place on top of the tomatoes. This isn’t as easy as it looks. Finally add a teaspoon of Oregano to the top of each.

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Place the dish with the chicken in it into a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees and cook for 30 minutes or until you are certain it is cooked. Check the middle with a knife if you are not sure.

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Allasio is a small town in northern Italy where I first tried a dish similar to this. I recommend a visit some day.

Buono appetito!

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 24, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Food and Drink

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Lemon and Garlic Chicken

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abingdon-031

You need:

One chicken, suitable for roasting.

Two lemons

Four cloves of Garlic

Olive oil

Tarragon, salt and pepper.

Roasting potatoes and root veg if you like

Switch oven on at 160 degrees. Place the chicken on a baking tray with a tablespoon of oil in the bottom. Grate a lemon and keep the zest on a small plate then cut it into wedges. Next remove the string or elastic binding the chicken and stick the lemon right up it’s bum! Take your cloves of garlic, peel them to the bare flesh and shove them up it’s bum too. You may alternate between lemon and garlic to ensure an even flavour.

Next rub a little oil into your fingers and massage it into the chicken breast and legs. Then sprinkle the zest over the chicken.

Follow this up with a tablespoon of freshly chopped tarragon and season with salt and pepper.

Chop several potatoes and place around the chicken, season with salt, pepper and tarragon.

Place in the oven and cook for approximately 40 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through to the middle.

As it cooks the flavour of the lemon and garlic will seep out into the chicken flesh and into the potatoes in the baking tray.

And there you have a delicious healthy chicken dinner.

Enjoy!

Going in

Going in

Written by Nick Gilmartin

November 24, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Food and Drink

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