Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vielen Dank, Herr Coniam

If you recently noticed a stratospherical jump in the quality of writing on this blog, then this is down entirely to one man:

Matthew Coniam

A while back as part of a Year End review I had asked whether anyone out there may be interested in writing for Hammer and Beyond and Matthew came to the fore. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that my little call to arms would result in such sterling contributions.

Anytime you see a really in-depth analysis of one aspect of British Horror Cinema, chances are that it was written by him. Over the months, nay: years, I often got compliments for pieces that weren't mine and had to set the record straight one reader at a time but I fear that all too often it isn't too apparent who wrote what. One really needs to be eagle-eyed and scroll down to the bottom of a blog post to notice the ID of the respective writer of the posts.

Up till recently the regularity of his and my writing was as it should be: I, as the nominal owner of this blog, wrote a handful of pieces; Matthew then had his say in a new post. I was always excited to be notified of a post by him as it put me into the position of a reader as well.

Then life came in the way and I haven't been able to post in yonks. In actual fact if it wasn't for Matthew nothing would have been published in the last couple of months. He singlehandedly is responsible for keeping this blog alive in the year so far. Every single post of 2012 until now has been his.

And for this I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart. This blog would have been moribund right now if it wasn't for you, mate.

See (now channeling my Dick Klemensen), amongst other nightmares that I won't go into here, 3.5 years ago I had to face being laid off from a well-paid job of 13 years. Not interested in getting back into the Kosmokokkick Korporate World I ended up becoming self employed and – as they say these days - “re-invented myself”.

First I set myself up as a private German Tutor and seasonal Tour Guide. Then I got myself a Massage Therapist degree and also offered mobile massages.

All of this went reasonably well but also left me enough time for all my other interests.

Downside was that every year in the winter months I had to dip into my savings, something that couldn't go on so I decided to take a temp job back in the Corporate World again to cover me over that lean period. And guess what:

I am still in that job full time.

And teach.

And provide the massages.

All in all resulting in crazy 60-70 hour weeks that I know can't go on indefinitely.

Looks like it is all either feast or famine with me these days and I need to come up with a reasonable middle way. Giving up on my projects is a definite No No but unfortunately regular part time jobs are practically impossible to come by. So I am working on my.... what is it now: Plan E?

Long story short: I am crazy busy and Matthew has valiantly picked up the gauntlet for me.

As my multi-million Euro/Pound/Dollar budget for this blog was slashed to nothing in the recession, I can't offer him riches or trips to sunny climes. But what I can offer is make you aware of the incredible talent that is Mr Coniam by listing all the posts he has written for us so far and pointing to all his other blogs with the urgent request to check them all out. I seriously don't know how he manages to write so much while still apparently living the regular life of a recently married family man. My hat's off to you!

Without further ado, here is a quick reference guide to all of Matthew's blog posts so far:

Rediscovering Mike Raven (part one)

Mock the Raven Nevermore!

Smart new Woman In Black poster...

Lee and Cushing after hours

Matthew's Watching Hammer Top Ten

How to say “De curse of de hound is on you!” in Italian

The ten Hammer films I’m most ashamed never to have seen (not including “Straight On Till Morning”)

RIP, Jimmy Sangster: The man who invented Hammer Horror

RIP Michael Gough, 1917-2011

Hammer what ifs and if onlys

“What Horror Means To Me” by Christopher Lee

The Stranger Came Home to Bray

Herman Cohen: An American Weirdo in London

If you want to read more of his, please also check out his own blogs. (Again: Just how does he do it?)

So thanks again, Matthew, I really am eternally grateful for all your help and hope that everyone who visits this blog will also start exploring all your other projects.

Oh, and should anyone be interested to follow in his footsteps and write something for Hammer and Beyond (either a standalone piece or something more regular), please do let me know. This blog is meant to be a voice for anyone interested in Classic Hammer and British Horror.


Mark said...

He's a talented bugger! ;)

Given that a lot of my ramblings on my blog seem Hammer related I may take you up on that offer. How would one go about it?

Matthew Coniam said...

No trips to sunny climes?
Now you tell me.

Holger Haase said...

Would love to have you on board, Mark. Been following your blog for the last couple of weeks. Getting yourself set up is easy: If you have a single blog post, you can just mail it to me and I'll post it with some introductory comments. If you're interested in writing a bit more regularly here, then let me know and I'll set you up so that you can post yourself whenever you feel like it, just like Matthew does.

Mark said...

Cheers, I'll see what I can come up with, when inspiration strikes

Holger Haase said...

Looking forward to it if and when it comes.