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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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Sunday, September 27, 2020

HOPPING WEEKEND HENS



As many of you may be aware, I am currently putting the final touches to a book about my life in Hong Kong during the 1960s. As part of this, I describe the events that took place during various holiday trips away from what was then a British crown colony. And one of these was to the Channel Islands, during which we visited Gerald Durrell’s zoo on the neighbouring island of Jersey.
I have often suspected that the official narrative concerning the early years of the zoo was that the original superintendent Ken Smith had cocked it all up massively, forcing Gerry to sack him. But I have had great difficulty in finding any evidence to the contrary. Then, just before my dear wife died, I got hold of a biography of Smith by someone called Russell Tofts, and yesterday I finally got around to reading it.
I already knew from Douglas Botting’s biography of Durrell that he was a prodigious drinker, and an out of control alcoholic for much of his life, and that he could also be a bit of a dick. It appears from what Russell writes that there were faults on both sides. Gerald Durrell was indeed a bit of a dick to Ken, but – then again – they were totally different people with different mindsets and different views of what a zoo should be. To Gerry, Ken was dull and money oriented. To Ken, Gerry was an annoying hedonist with very little grasp of the realities of day to day existence.
But it also looks as if Ken left voluntarily rather than being pushed. And then that – for the rest of his life – Gerry tried to expunge him from his personal history.
But that is not the weirdest thing. It turns out that in the years leading up to the Second World War, Ken Smith worked as an insurance agent for the very same company that both my grandfathers worked for, and in the same area of the Cotswolds. They must’ve known each other. And then, even more peculiarly, I found myself quoted in the pages of the book, in the very same passage that I have been hoping to expand. The universe truly is a very strange place.
If you wish to remember Corinna in a formal sense, Donations to North Devon Hospice, please. They were absolutely wonderful to us all, and I cannot praise them highly enough; they deserve everything we can give them. I will certainly be doing something from the CFZ for them soon.
Many thanks to all of you who have written to me offering condolences and kindness. I am totally overwhelmed by your love and friendship. I will write back to you all, but my emotions are too raw at the moment.
But we do have a new episode of OTT
And a new edition of A&M for you
Like Marge Simpson, I never really knew what it meant, but keep on trucking!
The Gonzo Books site is now pretty well done, and there is also a new CFZ Publcations website at https://baboon.wixsite.com/website then tell me what a clever fellow I am. It even has a haiku to explain why some links are not finished:
"These links do not work,
now but they will do so soon,
we apologise"
ALL TODAY'S GONZO NEWS WOT'S FIT TO SQUINT
NEW ALBUM FOR BARBARA DICKSON
GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Tibetan Morning Chant
THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem
STRANGE FUIT PLAYLIST: 05-07-2020 – SHOW 365 – Mid...
Gonzo Weekly #409/10THE COVID CONVERSATIONS ISSUEw...
AND OTHER STUFF FEATURING VARIOUS GONZO CONTRIBUTORS:
Our webTV show:
And if you fancy supporting it on Patreon:
And by the way chaps and chappesses, a trip to the Jon Downes megastore may seem to be in order:
Meanwhile I continue to pretend that I am a popstar, because now I have sold eleven whole copies of my new album Coldharbour. If I continue at this rate I will get a silver disc sometime at the beginning of the next millenium. Coldharbour, by the way, can be found here: https://jondownes1.bandcamp.com/releases
I think it is really rather good, but then again I would say that wouldn't I?
AND THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE GONZO MAGAZINE:
Gonzo Weekly #409/10
THE COVID CONVERSATIONS ISSUE
This magazine continues to go off on strange tangents that I never expect, but I am very happy to see it do so. What is in this week? Ooooh lots of things. Such as The Flaming Lips, COVID Conversations, Fiona Apple and Auburn’s Liz Lenten, David Essex, Yusuf/Cat Stevens and oodles more, animal rescue with PAART, Reminiscences from Tony Klinger, and other stuff of interest.
And there are radio shows from Mack Maloney and Friday Night Progressive, AND Merrell Fankhauser, and the Real Music Club, AND Strange Fruit, and Mr Biffo, there is a column from Kev Rowland, and one from Tony Klinger, and C.J Stone, but Mr Biffo, and Neil Nixon, are on hiatus. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and dibblers who have got the blues (OK, nothing to do with tiny marsupials who are listening to the new Bob Dylan album, but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT's ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
..And the last few issues are:
Issue 407-8 (Jimi Hendrix)
Issue 405-6 (Corinna)
Issue 403-4 (Covid Conspiracies)
Issue 401-2 (The Westway)
Issue 399-40 (Kosmik Ken)
Issue 397-8 (Liz Lenten)
Issue 395-6 (Diane Warren/Sharon Farber)
Issue 393-4 (Daria Kulesh)
Issue 391-2 (Little Richard)
Issue 389-90 (Ian Anderson)
Issue 387-8 (A Guy called Gerald)
Issue 385-6 (Tony Henderson)
Issue 383-4 (London Remixed)
">Issue 381-2 (Greta)
Issue 379-80 (Andrew Weatherall)
Issue 377-8 (The Future)
Issue 375-6 (Big Sean)
Issue 373-4 (End of the World)
Issue 371-2 (New Year)
Issue 369-70 (Christmas)
Issue 367-8 (Register to Vote)
Issue 365-6 (Rick Wakeman)
Issue 363-4 (Focus)
Issue 361-2 (Martin Springett)
Issue 359-60 (Robert Hunter)
All issues from #70 can be downloaded at www.gonzoweekly.com if you prefer. If you have problems downloading, just email me and I will add you to the Gonzo Weekly dropbox. The first 69 issues are archived there as well. Information is power chaps, we have to share it!
You can download the magazine in pdf form HERE:
SPECIAL NOTICE: If you, too, want to unleash the power of your inner rock journalist, and want to join a rapidly growing band of likewise minded weirdos please email me at jon@eclipse.co.uk The more the merrier really.
* The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...
* The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.co.uk
* We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!
* Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is a recently widowed old hippy of 61 who - together with a Jack Russell called Archie, an infantile orange cat named after a song by Frank Zappa, three other cats, one totally coincidentally named after one of the Manson Family, purely because she squeaks, puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish. He is ably assisted by a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention Archie and the Cats?

Gonzo Weekly #409/10

Gonzo Weekly #409/10

THE COVID CONVERSATIONS ISSUE
This magazine continues to go off on strange tangents that I never expect, but I am very happy to see it do so. What is in this week? Ooooh lots of things. Such as The Flaming Lips, COVID Conversations, Fiona Apple and Auburn’s Liz Lenten, David Essex, Yusuf/Cat Stevens and oodles more, animal rescue with PAART, Reminiscences from Tony Klinger, and other stuff of interest.
And there are radio shows from Mack Maloney and Friday Night Progressive, AND Merrell Fankhauser, and the Real Music Club, AND Strange Fruit, and Mr Biffo, there is a column from Kev Rowland, and one from Tony Klinger, and C.J Stone, but Mr Biffo, and Neil Nixon, are on hiatus. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and dibblers who have got the blues (OK, nothing to do with tiny marsupials who are listening to the new Bob Dylan album, but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT's ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
..And the last few issues are:
Issue 407-8 (Jimi Hendrix)
Issue 405-6 (Corinna)
Issue 403-4 (Covid Conspiracies)
Issue 401-2 (The Westway)
Issue 399-40 (Kosmik Ken)
Issue 397-8 (Liz Lenten)
Issue 395-6 (Diane Warren/Sharon Farber)
Issue 393-4 (Daria Kulesh)
Issue 391-2 (Little Richard)
Issue 389-90 (Ian Anderson)
Issue 387-8 (A Guy called Gerald)
Issue 385-6 (Tony Henderson)
Issue 383-4 (London Remixed)
">Issue 381-2 (Greta)
Issue 379-80 (Andrew Weatherall)
Issue 377-8 (The Future)
Issue 375-6 (Big Sean)
Issue 373-4 (End of the World)
Issue 371-2 (New Year)
Issue 369-70 (Christmas)
Issue 367-8 (Register to Vote)
Issue 365-6 (Rick Wakeman)
Issue 363-4 (Focus)
Issue 361-2 (Martin Springett)
Issue 359-60 (Robert Hunter)
All issues from #70 can be downloaded at www.gonzoweekly.com if you prefer. If you have problems downloading, just email me and I will add you to the Gonzo Weekly dropbox. The first 69 issues are archived there as well. Information is power chaps, we have to share it!
You can download the magazine in pdf form HERE:
SPECIAL NOTICE: If you, too, want to unleash the power of your inner rock journalist, and want to join a rapidly growing band of likewise minded weirdos please email me at jon@eclipse.co.uk The more the merrier really.