October 2005


British politics&Pop culture13 Oct 2005 06:31 pm

After a very enjoyable evening – which was much more fun than most launch parties, I can tell you – the Urban Fox Blog is officially open for business. Hurrah!

Much as it seems a shame to lower the mood so soon, I couldn’t help but notice it is this dreadful woman’s 80th birthday:

You’ll notice the presence of Timmy Mallett, who is brandishing his large foam prop at her. (Anyone who was not a child in Britain in the mid 80s: don’t ask.)

Sadly, the plan to finish her off by using a real mallet backfired, when it was revealed that her lacquered hairdo was made of the same material as nuclear bomb shelters and could thus repel any such attack.

So British democracy had to suffer the heavy blow instead.

(Right kids? Yeah. Tch. We ‘ate Fatcher. Yeah.

This is all getting a bit Ben Elton circa 1984. I should take the sparkly jacket off really.)

Anyway, you may want to stay out of the Hyde Park area tonight. If you don’t, you run the risk of seeing the likes of the Queen, Jim Davidson, Joan Collins and Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who will be making their way to the vicious harridan’s birthday party.

Such a shame that I have a prior engagement.*

(* tidying my sock drawer, anything)

The art of blog12 Oct 2005 08:00 pm

Welcome to the blog’s first birthday party! Come in, help yourself to cake.

The blog is just about to open its birthday present.

Better put a hat on for the unwrapping ceremony…

The Urban Fox Blog’s birthday present is…

a new home of its own!

Yes, the Urban Fox is leaving Blogger and moving here:

TheUrbanFox.com

We’ll be moving in later tonight. Please drop in and have a look round the new place. It’s a bit rough and ready at the moment, but I think it’ll spruce up nicely once we’ve settled in.

However cosy it becomes, it won’t feel like home without lovely neighbours dropping in all the time. So please update your bookmarks, links and blogrolls!

In fact, let’s pop over for a look round the new place now, shall we? There seems to be a card sitting on the mantlepiece already…

The art of blog12 Oct 2005 07:55 pm

Welcome to the Urban Fox’s new den!

Fireworks

Here we are then! What do you think?

It’ll take a while to get used to it, of course. There are bound to be a few little glitches to begin with. It’s all very new and shiny. Take care not to sit on the wet paint.

If you’re one of the people who has been kind enough to read the Urban Fox blog this far, thank you very much for joining me. You are a very special guest. Please make yourself at home.

I hope you’ll keep visiting me often in my new domain. And I’m also hoping you’ll register as a user, and get your own username. Anyone can read or comment, with or without an official username. But the idea is that registered users will get access to all sorts of things not available for public consumption. I’m thinking of passworded behind-the-scenes posts, extra content, podcasts, video streaming…

(OK, maybe not all that at first. I’m trying to run before I can walk. Damn my foxy impatience.)

But the technology exists and the new site has plenty of bandwidth. And, y’know, it’s the 21st century. I’ll see if I can come up with some VIP access for you long-serving darlings to make registration worth it. Get yourself a login at any time by clicking the link towards the bottom of the sidebar.

You can also get an RSS feed and other new-fangled syndication methods now. Oh, and emoticons which pop up automatically. What larks!

I’ll be keeping my Blogger login, so expect me to rock up at your gaff with impertinent comments, as usual.

Thank you so much for coming to this 1st birthday party. Thank you again for reading, commenting and generally being extraordinarily ace. You are poppets, one and all.

Now then, onto the most important part. Let’s get stuck into some of this cake.

Yum

The art of blog12 Oct 2005 11:18 am

See you tonight at 8.

Soundtrack to this post: Song 2 – Blur (and other big dumb anthems)

The art of blog11 Oct 2005 08:19 am

Yo shorty, it’s ya birthday. We’re gon’ party like it’s ya birthday.

Well, I’m not sure if you can reasonably call a 155-post blog “shorty”, but that’s by the by.

Tomorrow is this blog’s birthday, and someone nice has given it a present. Isn’t that kind of them? Bless. Blog will be unwrapping it ceremoniously tomorrow.

Shall we say 8pm*? Come as you are.

(*Exotics, our local time is currently GMT+1.)

Soundtrack to this post: Glaringly obvious to the point of cliché.

Self&Writing06 Oct 2005 11:42 am

Aravis is a genius.

Over at Bee’s blog, our amiable host was talking about creativity and how she has lots of ideas but is not currently maximising the practical application of these ideas.

So Aravis suggested Bee participates in NaNoWriMo. Aravis did it last year too. If you haven’t heard of it, have a quick click.

NaNoWriMo is the online initiative where you agree to write a 50,000 word novel (or novella, if you want to be picky) in 1 month, with no shilly-shallying about quality or dithering over plot intricacies. You get moral support from the thousands of other people doing it at the same time. It forces you to buckle down with the actual work of writing and bans you from procrastinating due to perfectionist “I can’t do it until…” tendencies. Even if you never planned to write a novel, a coerced “volume over quality” approach is a great way to free all shackled creative urges.

“A stroke of brilliance! That’d rev up Bee’s latent prolificacy,” I thought.

And I don’t know about you, but the idea of being forced to write a huge wodge of fiction just for the sake of it appeals to me. I am a terrible one for being unable to do anything without a deadline. This is all very well if you’re being paid by the word and you need to get 1500 of the fellas in by Tuesday or else the income stream dries up forever. It’s not so good if you’re attempting more of a sustained creative effort, or if you want to try something totally new but never quite get round to it in case it turns out to be rubbish and a waste of time.

As well as this lazy streak, I’m also stricken with the infamous procrastination thing, where I put all my best ideas off until circumstances are “just right” – which, inevitably, they never are. I’m feelin’ Bee’s predicament.

Then it dawned on me. Every creatively-inclined person benefits from participating in things like NaNoWriMo. And if there’s one thing our own blog ‘hood is full of, it’s people with creative inclinations.

Some of us, like Radiohumper and Mark, already show our creative writing. Some of us, like Suburban Hen and the aforementioned Aravis, display our visual artworks. But many of us, like Swiss, express a slightly frustrated urge to create without having found time or suitable circumstances to do so. Some (I will spare your blushes) are such good writers, you should by all rights be writing yourself senseless already.

NaNoWriMo is designed to drag your art out of you, whether you are riddled with self-doubt or not. All are equal. One month and it’s done.

So I put it to you, blogsisters and blogbrothers, that we all join in.

What do you say?

Soundtrack to this post: American Way – Nas (featuring Kelis)

Middle East&The art of blog05 Oct 2005 07:15 pm

Just like the last time, I can’t see my own blog. Just an empty space.

But I suppose at least I’m not in Saudia Arabia. If I was, I wouldn’t be reading any of your blogs.

Soundtrack to this post: Fox shouting “Hello? Hello?” down a silent telephone as the other party vainly shouts “I CAN HEAR YOU” in an increasingly exasperated tone.

Religion04 Oct 2005 10:44 pm

It’s Rosh Hashanah today (well, since sunset last night). And today is the first day of Ramadan.

So: L’shanah tovah!

and Ramadan Mubarak!

and a plague of locusts on anyone who objects to the two greetings sitting side by side on here.

Soundtrack to this post: The sound of the shofar, shortly followed by the call of the muezzin announcing Iftar. Then the harmonious chime of peace in the Middle East.*

(*a fox can dream)

Random life&The art of blog02 Oct 2005 07:21 pm

Today’s the day Lord Bargain flies across the Atlantic to visit Ka.

This marks an important development for our loose collective of belles-lettristes, Bush-botherers, reality-checkers, ranters and ne’er-do-wells.

For it means the capricious bumblebee we call Blogworld has at last landed on the gaudy-hued flower that is Real Life, and cross-pollinated it.

Our meadow will never be quite the same again.

Soundtrack to this post: Like To Get To Know You Well – Howard Jones

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