Friends of Spinneyhead

If you’re going to the Auvergne this year- Gite La Jonchere

My sister- who seems to have inherited all the hard work and organisation genes- moved to France with her husband last week. They’ve bought a farmhouse in the Auvergne with a gite attached. I may not be able to make it until next January, but if you’re looking for somewhere to go this year, consider Gite La Jonchere.

Charidee- Team Ike’s Bogle plans and send Sue to Zambia

This year’s Bogle Stroll is March 6th-7th. Alex and I are entering, probably as Team Ike with baby Bogle Ikes fastened to our bikes. (That sentence will probably only make sense to ten people.) If the weather’s favourable and I can get the training in I’m aiming for four loops of the roll route, about 104 miles, because I’ve managed three loops each of the times I’ve tried previously. The bike is better this year, but sadly the body isn’t. I haven’t found a way to take donations online yet, but if you want to sponsor either of us please email or comment and tell me how much.

If you do want to make a donation online, go to Sue’s page and help her go to Zambia this Summer. If she can raise enough they’ll send her back to us rather than making her hitch home.

One in, one out

Spinneyhead, or one of the team, anyway, became an uncle again on Saturday. Congratulations to Damian’s sister Millie and her husband on the birth of their baby boy.

The good news was tempered somewhat by the fact that we were trying to accept the death of a friend at the time we received it.

Andy McCruden died on Friday night. He was found by his flatmate and a friend when they returned from a night out. The news reached Casa Spinneyhead at noon, where Ian was just waking up to a massive hangover. As it sank in we got follow up messages telling us where his friends were meeting up.

The rest of the day was spent drinking, remembering Andy anecdotes, taking the occasional quiet moments and making off colour jokes to help cope. A wake seemed the most appropriate thing to have.

Loud, opinionated, occasionally obnoxious and always inventively abusive, Andy was rarely dull. He was one of those people who seemed a bit more alive than the rest of us. Most of us remember seeing him at some time or another cycling at ridiculous speed, head down and determined, daring the drivers to mess with him. We all remember him at Jilly’s and elsewhere, charged up on JD and Coke and Irn Bru, telling the world why it was wrong and he was right and how he could sort it all out with a bit of fire and/or Semtex.

Intermission in the style of Andy….. “FELCH!”

He introduced us all to the concept of the trebuchet as an instrument of social justice – the idea of using it to launch scallies and other ne’er do wells or people who had annoyed him slightly into orbit was fairly typical of him.

He had also threatened to use the following as a screensaver at work –

[deepbreath]count integer do until 10[/deepbreath]

else [smite]

Andy was also an active member of Rag and will be especially missed during the Bogle Stroll, where his role in the control room and on the radios often kept the rest of us sane and the event going smoothly.

His is not a role that can be stepped into, and no-one wants to. We’ll just have to learn to accept the Andy shaped hole at events and evenings out.

We will all remember the guy that cared more about his friends than himself and enriched our lives for the better and taught us that the only thing hippies are good for is firewood!

A final word from Andy, the last text many of us received from him and one of many such which brightened days in the office:

Andy’s guide to blatant violations of the Trades Description Act No. 93: “lava lamps” do not, in fact, contain red hot molten rock.

We’re all really going to miss that bloody minded, megalomaniac, pyromaniac and- by his own admission- sociopathic Scottish bastard.

Ian P, Ian J, Damian, Donna, Harry, Tim and Clare

Les Jeux Videos
The French government is proposing tax breaks for video game developers on a par with other cultural industries. Grand Theft Auto: Gay Paree anyone?
Women find men more attractive if they see other women admiring them. So, female friends of Spinneyhead, you must smile at me when we’re out so I look like more of a hunk.
Rick Stein’s dog, Chalky, has died.
More about the government setting standards for carbon offsetting schemes.

Awwwww, sweet.

You may remember Accordion guy’s girl trouble from last year. Well, now he’s met someone far better suited (no, it’s not one of the Olsen twins, scroll down). The lady herself seems happy enough about the relationship being conducted in (the blogosphere version of) public.

Similar “Ain’t it sweet.” style comments were made about a particular Friend of Spinneyhead earlier today. No names named, but I’m sure you know who you are. And if you don’t you’re probably staring at the screen going “Ian has friends?”

Apparently, Ashley is my preffered Olsen twin. (She’s only seventeen. Must not have those thoughts!)

Which one’s yours?

Heaven is a place on Earth

I was going to write about what I did on Monday night, but then I didn’t get home until some time after four and was a touch hungover yesterday (I was drinking only water until midnight, but then Stu and Chris turned up and started buying me beer.) And I forgot my camera and only had the phonecam.

Luckily, lots of other people were there with digital cameras and there are a lot of pictures. I’m in this one (in the background, but my ego won’t let it slip by and the picture is of Dave and Manda, official (I just anointed them) Friends of Spinneyhead), this one (how many chins?), this one (damn, the secret’s out), this one, the one above and this one where someone mis-labelled me as Al. You can call me Al, but I’ll sulk.

Observation- It’s really hard to mosh to ‘Ace of Spades’ whilst wearing bloody great plastic angel wings.

Quote of the night- “One day you’re Prince of Darkness will come.”