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 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.