2007 February

The Matrix

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Jac’s never been one for skipping lightly over decisions. Yesterday, he was offered a new job, one which offered yet more options for him to ponder over. After debating them to himself over MSN with me, he came up with a solution: “I might do a spreadsheet listing the positives and the negatives, with a Spearman’s rank coefficient weighting matrix“.
Will someone please become his girlfriend before he implodes?

All Spliced Up

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There are big stages in life that you always look back on. ringading.jpg
Your first day at school; your first kiss; your first job; your first house. Hell, even my first deep-fried Mars bar, down on the Portsmouth seafront, is a moment deeply-imprinted on my brain. As was the queasy feeling the next morning…
Well, on Saturday Michelle and I added another much more important snapshot to our pile of memories. In the depths of Bath, in our favourite hotel, Michelle followed a fun paper-based trail I’d made around the hotel room, eventually reaching one with a very important question. And now, after nearly 6 years – and after Michelle had checked to see if I was joking – we’re engaged!
ENGAGED, for goodness sake.
For Michelle, it was the end of a long wait, bless her. And she has waited very well indeed. She’s currently at work, looking for someone to notice the ring.
For me – well, those that know me will testify to my commitment-phobia and lack of urgency and this was, frankly, a pretty large step.
For us, it’s the next stage in a fun fun life – even if the first thing most people have said is “about bloody time”… 😉

Old Alumni Part 1 – Ghosts and Fortune Drive

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It’s got to the stage in mine and my friends’ lives where we look back and wonder what old schoolmates are up to now. There are a few I still see, of course, but what happened to the rest? Did they meet untimely ends? Did they become major stars? Did they make millions? Did they break into the bigtime?
Well, two groups of them are just emerging as the “music bands of 2007”, amazingly. “Fortune Drive” (myspace) have a growing fanbase for their indie-rock music, and while it’s not totally my bag of chips, they are still good. In fact, this bunch were always destined for greatness – lead singer Bobby’s mum is Carleen Anderson (myspace), and he was one of the nicest guys at school. Alan Akehurst, the guitarist, was always the girls favourite – which is uncanny, because his amazing sister was always the guys’ favourite…
And then there’s “Ghosts” (myspace). They are currently playing on every radio station going, and appeared last Friday night on “The Friday Night Project“. It’s stunned me for two reasons – firstly, I *really* like their songs, and secondly, the band members are so… unlikely! The lead singer and songwriter, Simon Pettigrew, was a very intelligent guy who was better known for getting good homework grades than for musical prowess. The guitarist Robbie Smith was known for being a nice guy and very sporty, and Mark Treasure… well, Mark and I competed for top grades when we were 7, and were at school together until we were 16. He was also another clever guy, almost nerdy, and played a lot of classical piano stuff.
Ghosts are definitely heading for big things, with Fortune Drive close behind. And if they can, can’t we all?!
The final word, as usual, should go to Jac, who is getting more and more involved in the marketing side of the music. “Ghosts – lots of money behind them and the tunes to make a good first album, it’ll be interesting to see if they make a second one as good. Fortune Drive – great singer fronting powerful band, watch out for them.” So there we have it.
But wait! As I peer closely and the online videos, I can see … Mark has become almost bald! There is a god…