Fried weblog, on toast, and in the bin:
Well, here I am on a new server. F2S corrupted the Greymatter files again, after I had fixed them on Sunday. So – the F2S space is history, and will auto-redirect until deleted on 28th Feb 2002. Good riddance. Please update your bookmarks and links, many thanks.

West Midlands costume kink round-up:
Many bloggers say that if they put some sexy item in their blog, the blog’s hit-rate suddenly goes up. So, here goes…

Is there something about the West Midlands that attracts kinky costume fans? Because, all of a sudden, we seem to have a whole lot of fashion frolics about to land on the doorstep. And we’re not talking about the prim & proper Clothes Show. Or the restrained elegance of The Light House‘s Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed Xmas party and cinema screening. The Third Annual Fetish Fashion Show goes off at the The Nightingale Club, Birmingham on Sunday 20th January, only two days after Rapture, Birmingham’s big kink underground fetish costume night. Over 18s only, no camera s, of course. And the Birmingham Pride Ball will be on Friday 22nd February 2002 at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham – tickets are a hefty ?40, ?42.50, & ?45. Add to that a tailoring bill large enough to make your table guests scream “My god, how much did you pay for your outfit?!”.

If you think the Midlands lesbigay/trans/kink crowd go in for some over-the-top outfits, wait till you catch an eyeful of the science-fiction fans. Star Trek fans are the most notorious. but on the weekend of March 30th – 31st, the UK’s annual Doctor Who Convention hits an unsuspecting Coventry; along with the obligatory daleks come willowy nerds in silvery cybermen body-suits, John Pertwee dandies and Bonnie Langford lookalikes. From May 11th – 12th the NEC hosts (gawd help ’em) the annual Dudley Bug Ball 2002; a residential science-fiction, fantasy & historical dress-up & role-play extravaganza. Having been on the organising committee of Birmingham’s annual Novacon convention several times in my teen years, I can tell you that timid SF & fantasy fans in costumes, in a hotel, shed most inhibitions and will drain the bar of a large hotel dry in a matter of hours, then hold bottle-fuelled room parties till dawn. 😉 But if you don’t fancy SF fans, two other costume-fests are coming up. Hundreds of pale goths posing in black costumes will be haunting the 10th Feb Nosferatu – Final UK Tour gig in Digbeth, Birmingham. And Birmingham’s Sundissential dance club’s January grand re-opening party, is sure to attract the costume-crowd as the huge club jettisons Digbeth to move up to even bigger Club DNA space in Birmingham city centre.

All of the above persued purely in terms of art and the study of contemporary fashion, of course. Don’t forget your camera ! 😉 Hey, and it really does count as Creative Industries research & development; the DTI – in partnership with the Midlands Government Office and Advantage West Midlands – are holding a regional roadshow for Midlands fashion designers and the rag-trade, Textile & Clothing Funding Unzipped, “in Jan – Mar 2002” – more info from kirsty@betatechnology.co.uk.