Postcards – The Exhibition


Here is a link to the video. The video is a walk round and a bit of talk about what’s in front of you. When I come to a blurb on the wall you may want to pause the video to read it (or not). The video is about 25 mins long.

Once you have seen that (or not) here are the links to the sets of postcards in order that they appear in the video. You can see each individual card and can read the words on the back. The links open in a new tab:

Early Years

Country Life:

One Night In Brussels

War Story

True Crime


Queen Mary Hanmer

Friends Re-Imagined

Forbidden Stories

If you have one or more favourites I’d love to know what they are ?

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I found this…….

* * *

First, you need some water. Fuse two hydrogen with one oxygen and repeat until you have enough. While the water is heating, raise some cattle. Pay a man with grim eyes to do the slaughtering, preferably while you are away. Roast the bones, then add to the water. Go away again. Come back once in awhile to skim. When the bones begin to float, lash together into booms and tow up the coast. Reduce. Keep reducing. When you think you have reduced enough, reduce some more. Raise some barley. When the broth coats the back of a spoon and light cannot escape it, you are nearly there. Pause to mop your brow as you harvest the barley. Search in vain for a cloud in the sky. Soak the barley overnight (you will need more water here), then add to the broth. When, out of the blue, you remember the first person you truly loved, the soup is ready. Serve.

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Postcards – The Musical !

Well, not really but it is an exhibition!

You know those odd postcards I’ve been sending out for quite a few years now? Well, from┬áJan 31st to Feb 24th I have an exhibition of my postcards at The Shutter Room in Whangarei.

This from the invitation:

There are 8 themed sets of images and words combined in the form of postcards.

Imagine a short story of around 100 words coupled with an evocative image and you have some idea of the scope of this work. Themes include love, loss, abandonment, liberation, desolation, fun, pathos and humour.

There are over 43 photographs in the themed sets plus some earlier un-themed images.

Each themed postcard has travelled via the global postal system to the Shutter Room walls. Collectively they have travelled around 500,000km to be here, could you manage a few kms to see them?

I finished hanging the exhibition today (I have no free time between this week and the end of Jan so I had to get them up now) and when I stood back and looked at them I thought…..hey, they’re pretty good. There are postcards there that go back to 2006. I forget just how long I’ve been at this, although I’ve never done it with exhibiting in mind, the idea only arose late last year.

I will put up a video for those that cannot make it and I have a copy online of all the postcards which I will link to later. But in the meantime here are 2 examples from the series Forbidden Stories


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The Smoking Gun

One day Ali and I were wandering around a semi-industrial shopping area out the back of KeriKeri and we can smell smoke, wood smoke but not fire smoke. Following our noses we come to a wooden barrel oozing smoke from the lid. It was a rich smoky brown all around the lid.

On the floor down at the side was a stainless steel vertical tubular device that was  the source of the smoke. It had a small air pump that was pumping the smoke into the barrel. It was cold smoke as opposed to the smoke that you get in a hot smoker. It was around $300 but I thought it could not be that hard to make one.

So I had a quick look at it the went to Youtube then I go to the Op Shops looking for parts. I come across a cocktail shaker and one of those sugar pourers that they used to have in cafes. I get an old saucepan lid to act as a stable base for the cocktail shaker. Soon I have made something that looks like it comes from Dr Who but which doesn’t work, it just looks good.

But after some fiddling and getting a bigger air pump, finally I get this:

The Smoking Gun

I then get a paint pot that I cleaned thoroughly and removed all the paint, put some racks in there and couple it up to the smoking gun:

The green cloth was soaked in water and stopped the heat of the gun from travelling down the copper tube. The smoke goes down the pipe and in the top of the tub then comes out of a series of holes I drilled around the base. The vertical line you can see is the heads of the stainless screws I used to support the racks. I loaded up the bottom rack with cloves of garlic. The next rack was 3 chunks of mild cheese. The next rack up had one block of camembert and one block of brie. Finally the top rack had a couple of small fillets of trevally.

Here’s what it looks like with the lid pulled off quickly:

I initially put only a small amount of wood chips to start off with and noticed that a lot of brown moisture was running out of the joints. It smelled wonderful but stained like crazy. I realised that the wood chips had a lot of moisture in them so I got a good cup full of chips and microwaved them for around 30 seconds to dry them out. I then loaded the cocktail shaker right up and it smoked for 2 and a half hours!.

We ended up with some really good smoked cheese, a dishcloth that will never smell right ever again, some nice smoked fish and container of really nice smelling garlic. Total cost around $30 including the airpump which is new and was the bulk of the cost.

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The Price You Pay

I’ve had pain in my left thumb for a couple of years now and it has gradually been getting worse. I put it down to ageing which it pretty much is. Recently it has seen me having days when I can barely use my left hand and I frequently now get quite intense pain even when I am not doing anything except sitting down relaxing.

Finally I went to see the doc and had an x-ray. It is bad news in that it is never going to get better. The diagnosis is Osteoarthiritis in the thumb joint. I did some reading about it and apart from it being mainly the preserve of post-menopausal women, it wonderfully tells me: This is the price you pay for having an opposable thumb

Man, them monkeys don’t know what they are missing!

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Another year goes by and it has been a good year for Alison and myself. No-one died this year that I knew directly. My good friend Gareth had a stroke but not a seriously damaging one, but nonetheless, it reminds me how tenuous the ties that bind get when you are older.

In the new year I have my friend Kenny coming over from Germany (if he is still alive) and I guess it comes as no surprise that the major concerns now are about people.

I have another grandchild arriving in the new year too.

I have booked an exhibition of my postcards, which some of you may have got, but all up I have quite a collection now and over 8 themed series. It wasn’t until I planned the exhibition that I fully realised how many cards I had created. But more on that later.

Still so much to look forward to……bless you all, my good things come your way and fortune smile upon you and all that you hold dear.


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A Strange Sight In The Mangroves!

So, I am treading my way across the low tide beach, wary of mud holes, broken glass and any other hazards, I am wearing my crocs with those useless soft soles. I am looking for likely places to go flounder spearing. This is done at night in shallow water with a very bright light and a spear. Ideally done over sand and with calm water. I also know that flounder like crabs so I am checking out how far I can walk out in the dark and what parts of the beach are safe and which would not be so good to wander into in the dark. I am close to the mangroves but skirting around them.

As I am plodding along I see something. I stop then very carefully backtrack a few steps. My mind has kinda stopped dead as in stunned. This is what I saw

A tiny figure standing very still with green wings staring over the beach.

I bend down to get a closer look…….

Sure enough it is a mangrove angel. He hasn’t seen me yet so I very carefully turn around and get the fuck out of there!

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