If I'm going to lose out to anyone, it might as well be a call girl. I'd like to be able to say it's not the first time I've been shafted by a prostitute, but to do so would just be crass.
The Guardian's Best British Blogs for 2003 have been announced this morning and Beyond Northern Iraq is highly commended in the Best Written category.
Chairman of the judges, Simon Waldman says: "Stuart Hughes is the BBC reporter who lost his leg to a landmine in Iraq. Since February he has been keeping a brilliant blog called Beyond Northern Iraq (not endorsed by the BBC). It is an excellent daily take on happenings in the Gulf written by someone with personal experience, providing a really good read with smart links."
Stop it now, I'm blushing.
The winner was Belle Du Jour, the diary of a London call girl. I lost out to a worthy winner. A one-legged, slightly out of shape hack versus a mysterious femme de nuit -- it's really no contest.
Having said that, I guess I should use the Guardian commendation and the massive spike in traffic it has generated to welcome new readers. Please wipe your feet, put a pin in the guest map, tell your friends and drop by regularly.
If you want to get up to speed on what happened post-Iraq, the best place to start is here.
BBC News reports on the accident can be found here, here and here, while the weekly diary I wrote through the summer for BBC News Online is archived here.
My most recent blogging experiments have been with videoblogging, starting with my recent trip to Cambodia. You can find a list of "vlogs" here with an accompanying audioblog here.
Aside from that, the best thing to do is simply to graze freely on the varied pastures of this blog -- and feel free to e-mail if there's anything you'd like to ask.