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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Saturday, November 14, 2009


Bloody Hell, yesterday was a strange day. I made a semi-lighthearted reference to Friday 13th on the blog, but I never realised quite how disrupted it was going to be.

I woke up bright and early, determined to spend the day working diligently and catching up on some of the backlog of work that has built up over the last week due to things way beyond our control.

However, I had only been in the office for half an hour when I received a call about our old friend (and oldest CFZ member) Noela Mackenzie. She had fallen and hurt her hip and would Graham and I come and see her.

Pausing only to grab my wallet and walking stick, we drove into Bideford. She was in bed and in a fairly bad way, and we agreed with the paramedics that she should go to Barnstaple (the North Devon District Hospital) for an X-Ray.

She asked whether I would accompany her in the ambulance, and (as always) I try to be a parfait gentile knight albeit one clothed in the guise of a fat hippy dressed in very shoddy black, and wearing a leather jacket (I was wearing old and extremely crappy clothes as I had been planning a day of office work and fish-tank mucking about, and so I must have looked a terrible sight to the young nurses who watched me stagger out of the ambulance).

My legs were particularly unco-operative yesterday and I staggered about the place like a ruptured duck. However, I (in my guise of unofficial next of kin) signed her in at reception whilst Graham parked the car (he had followed us from Bideford, taking pictures as we went), and Noela was wheeled off into the intersteces of the hospital.
Then we sat down and waited for three hours. I amused myself by looking at the NHS information posters and imagining double entendres for each one. There was one particular poster of a sultry-looking young woman lying in bed (it can be found here by the way, captioned 'Imagine this was your wife', which I thought was particularly unfortunately laid-out.

Three hours later we were called to her bedside. I expected the worst but Noela looked surprisingly chipper and it turned out that she had not broken her hip after all.

So we bundled her into the car and took her home. Getting her in and out of a small Japanese 4x4 in the middle of what was shaping up to be a particularly nasty gale was an experience, but I slipped my leather jacket around her shoulders and we managed well enough.

There was a brief spurt of excitement when we thought that she had left her emergency alarm pendant at the hoispital but we found it neatly curled up by her bed, and so (after stopping at Morrisons for doughnuts) we went home to find that the telephone system had gone down, something very nasty had happened to Corinna's blog and the window frame in the office was leaking, and there was water all over the desk.

We sorted it all, but I finally ate that morning's breakfast at 10:30pm, and slid (shattered) into bed a few minutes later.

Friday 13th, huh?


Dave said...

You had a late breakfast, but you are good and kind people.


Syd said...

If the professional social workers did just a 10,000th of the worth while stuff you guys do, this world would be worth living in.
Well done Jon and the gang.

anna lee said...

It was good of you to help this lady!
Also good of the Sasquatch in picture 3.
Now with respect and not a little presumtion, will the carer now care for himself!

Syd said...

anna lee said..."good of the Sasquatch in picture 3."
Jon only runs the CFZ to try and find his roots.