A year ago today I wrote my first blog entry. You can find it here. It’s a test one really, not about much; though in saying that I do Bobbin and Tess a disservice.

A year ago I was full of crazy excitement. Blogging was a new adventure. I hadn’t got a clue what I would write. I felt that bit by bit, writing at least a post a day, I would find my feet and discover why I was doing this.

A year on I’ve slowed down a bit. No post every day, but I try for a couple a week. And I’ve expanded. We’ve got the Trev and Simon blog on the go, and I’ve started 20th Century Mummified Fox– a blog where I can indulge in my love of films.

I still don’t know why I’m doing this. I haven’t found my feet. Of course it’s an indulgence; no doubt I am showing off, but showing off what? It’s not a comedy blog. It’s not some kind of confessional. I’m no film critic. Nor a photographer. But this blog is made up of bits of all of these. And lots of animals.

And it keeps me busy when times are tough. I enjoy it. And so, sometimes, do some of you. All of the people who come here and read or look, thank you. I know there’s lots of blogs out there, blah blah blah airline appreciation speech.

And thank you all for your comments. I enjoy reading them and I enjoy the interaction. And, to my pleasant surprise, the comments over the year have been thoughtful and considered, even when being critical. I haven’t, as yet, had to delete any for taking the chance to hurl abuse at me. Still, there’s time. My blog is just a baby.

Since the whole blogging thing is one enormous indulgence, for Mummified Fox’s first birthday I am going to pick some of my blog favourites from my 234 posts. One from each month.

November 2008- This and That’s Entertainment. Every year I go to Great Yarmouth to play pool. But which is best, Great Yarmouth or Las Vegas?

December 2008- Tommie Smith and John Carlos. I drag my family to see the Tommie Smith and John Carlos statue in San Jose.

January 2009- Murderer. Me, Trev and Cyndi Lauper have a close shave with Coronation Street murderer Tony Gordon.

February 2009- Deal or No Deal on the Dole. Ok, a bit of a weird one. this is a story about Deal or No Deal, Noel Edmonds, a luckless contestant, and Cosmic ordering.

March 2009- The Nazis. I drew them at school and only got a B+.

April 2009- A Nightingale sang in the 100 Club. A sort of review of the Nightingales and Ted Chippington.

May 2009- “Yes, I spent money on furniture”. Shadow Education Secretary Michael Gove and the elephant lamps we bought him. Including comments from the man himself (or so it seems).

June 2009- Pigs, a goose and a sheep. Just as it says.

July 2009- I’m going to cheat here and mention two posts. I’m not quite sure why it’s cheating; there’s no rules, it’s my blog. But at the top of this post I did say I’d pick one from each month, so yes, I am cheating. First Like the circles that you find– a guide to reglazing windows. And also RIP Rob. Rob sold the Big Issue outside Hither Green station. He died in July.

August 2009- Little and Large. My mum and dad used to go to The Talk of the North in the 70’s and see all the top acts. Years later I get to meet one of them.

September 2009- The Rogers Brothers and the Cox twins. The real life inspiration for two of our characters.

October 2009- Bigmouth strikes again. Possibly my most personal and indulgent post and also my most commented on.

So there’s some of my favourites for the year. If you click on any of them I hope you enjoy them. And if you do, please look at some of the remaining 221 posts.

I was going to use the blog’s first birthday to say why it’s called Mummified Fox. but I’m going to save that for next year.

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Happy 1st Birthday Mummified Fox

Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

December 24, 2008

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Today I dragged my mum, sister, niece and nephew along to San Jose University to see Rigo 23’s statue of two former students. The statue portrays Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ human rights protest at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. What did these two men do? Oh, apart from win Gold and Bronze medals in the 200m? They removed their shoes and raised black-gloved fists, heads bowed, in a dignified and silent protest on behalf of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. That’s all. For this, they were expelled from the games.

The man behind their expulsion was Avery Brundage, the IOC president; a man who in 1936, as President of the United States Olympic Committee, saw nothing wrong in the Nazi salutes on display at the Berlin Olympics. Oh, he also thought the Olympics was no place for women. As far as every great and inspirational story has obstacles and, bluntly, baddies, they don’t come much badder than Avery.

Tigerlily Films made a documentary for BBC4 called Black Power Salute. The director, Geoff Small, talks about it here. Please read it. You’ll like it. It’ll take you a couple of minutes; roughly 6 times the time it took Tommie and John to change the world.

tommie-smith-john-carlosThe silver medal was won by Peter Norman; a white Australian. As an opponent of Australian policies specifically designed to restrict non-white immigration (and as a decent human being), Peter wanted to do his bit at the medal ceremony to show support for OPHR’s stand against racial segregation and racism in general. Maybe to the surprise of Tommie and John, he borrowed an OPHR badge from Paul Hoffman, a (white) member of the US rowing team. He wore a badge, that’s all. And for this he too was punished.

“While he didn’t raise a fist, he did lend a hand.” Tommie Smith.

Peter Norman is missing from the sculpture. Some, it seems, have been offended by this. They shouldn’t be. Peter attended the unveiling, and when he died in 2006 both Tommie and John were pallbearers at his funeral. John Carlos said, “Peter was a piece of my life… I was his brother. He was my brother. That’s all you have to know.”

And the sculpture acknowledges Peter’s contribution in the most moving of ways. In his place is the inscription; “Fellow athlete Australian Peter Norman stood here in solidarity. Take a stand.”

We can all be Peter Normans. Stand amongst giants. Lend a hand. Take a stand.

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