Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Who knows where the time goes?

I was appalled when I realised that I have not made a blog entry in the last six weeks.Back in the days before I had a blog of my own (I know this sounds like I am saying that it was in the dim and distant past, when it was only about eighteen months ago, but a heck of a lot has happened in the intervening year and a half),I used to sneer derisively at those folks who only managed blog entries every month or so. "Bloody idiots! Starting something that they can't be bothered to keep up!" I used to grunt to myself, sounding more and more like my irascible old Dad with every passing day.

Once again I find myself eating my words, which is something that happens more and more as I get older and wiser. Life is - as John Lennon once said - something which happens to you when you are busy "making other plans". OK, he got shot a few weeks after he released the song in which these sage lines appeared, which was probably more confirmation than he needed of what was undoubtedly a truism of the first magnitude, and although the stuff which has happened in the last few months at CFZ Mansions is a mere bagatelle compared to the events outside the Dakota Building on the 9th December 1980, enough things have transpired to prevent me from keeping up this blog as I would have wished.

I will draw a discreet veil over a plethora of family problems which boiled up to a head over what is euphemistically described as `The Festive Season`, but even without them, and I shall not bother to go into the lurgy that laid me low for the last ten days, but the CFZ has been such a hive of activity since the end of November that I have had to prioritise on what I have been able to do.

In the last six weeks we have published and dispatched 400 copies of the latest issue of Animals & Men, we have republished the last two books of our back catalogue which had not been converted into a paperback (perfect bound) format, we have finally published `Strength through Koi` (my extremely silly collection of short stories about fish, complete with one of the silliest covers that Mark North has ever produced: a spoof of the 1990 Led Zeppelin box set, with a giant fish flying over a crop circle in the shape of Adolf Hitler's face!
We have been working on a number of new books which will appear in the next few weeks.These include Ken Gerhard's book on the thunderbird, Marcus Matthews' semi-legendary book on British big cats, Neil Arnold's A-Z of Zooform Phenomena, and Karl Shukers, revised and expanded update of his seminal `Extraordinary Animals Worldwide`.

We have also pretty well finalised the Weird Weekend lineup for this summer (August 17-19). So far, confirmed are:

Ian Simmons
Adam Davies
Matt Williams
Jon McGowan
Darren NaishPaul Vella
Gregoriy Panchenko
Nick Redfern
Richard Freeman
Chris Moiser
Charles Paxton
Mike Hallowell
Ronan Coghlan

I think you will agree that this is possibly the best line-up ever to grace the stage of a UK Fortean Convention.

On top of this, I am now legally able to start major renovations to the house, and preparations for the building work on the museum, which will start next week. On top of this all, Corinna is in the process of moving in with me, and we have tentatively set a wedding date of July 21st.
And it's only the third week of the year! 2007 is also our fifteenth anniversary, and we have a hectic schedule of events planned for the next 12 months.

So, dear readers; It is my New Year's resolution to try and write this blog more regularly...........But I wouldn't bet on it.

Love, and a Happy New Year (if it ain't too late to say it)