Certain Millbrook residents will probably remember Anal as "Spinner" from the notorious murder mystery party we held a few years back in which Chrissie accused herself of murder despite the 'real' killer's identity having been revealed to them some time before, and Lynny failed to understand much of what was going on at all. Anyone who doesn't know him: he's the slightly porky one in the photo chatting to Mrs The Millbrooker. Alan was well into his forties before he realised (to his own great delight and amusement) that his name is an anagram of anal.
Anal is married to the ever-loving and lovely Sandybum who worked like a Trojan to make sure that there was enough food to overstuff a small army of Ghurkas and most of their families.
On the left is Sandybum on one of her seemingly endless trips to the freezer in the shed to fetch more supplies.
Yours truly had been working stupid-o-clock shifts so I snatched a couple of hours kip before the party got going whilst Anal, Sandybum, their friends Richard & Sue along with Mrs The Millbrooker did lots of slicing, chopping and mixing.
We'd not met Richard and Sue before. They're an open and friendly pair and we were very pleased to make their acquaintance - let's do it again. They come from Reading. Someone has to, I suppose. Just so's they don't feel left out - here's one of them nattering in the garden after most of the hard work had been done.
Needless to say we had a cracking time, ate far too much, drank ridiculous quantities of ale (Anal had obtained a 36 pint barrel) and swapped silly (and occasionally obscene) stories for much of the night with Dorothy. Sadly Dot's old man, Bruce couldn't be there due to being on tour with his band (The SubHumans) in San Francisco. Anyone who fancies a slight aural assault can see what Bruce is up to by following the link to youtube here http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7rwXfuIkgE0. Bruce is the one in the fetching red bandanna playing the guitar. The song they're performing is called "Religious Wars".
Anal, Bruce and I were once three quarters of little known prog-rock outfit "Family Fruitbowl" and it would have been fun (for us anyway) to have got the guitars out and tried to remember a couple of the old tunes, but given the option of earning a decent crust by blasting the ears of Californians and slurping ale in Westbury for no financial reward at all I suspect Bruce made the right decision. I'm planning to put a couple of Family Fruitbowl tracks onto myspace at some undecided date in the future: watch this space.
Finally, I believe that Spinner/Anal, whatever you might want to call him, has a message for Millbrook that could be translated into the Irish as pogue mahone:
Here's to the next get-together of former Family Fruitbowlers and a big thank you to our hosts.