Happy new year from my REAL wall!

It's the last day of 2009 and even though the new house is still upside down, I finally found some time to go back to the old place at Goldhawk Road to find 10 postal bits from you!

Clearing a space on the wall next to the door, I decided to end 2009 on a high note with my first official REAL wall from the new place, which features a pimped photo from Wackystuff, xmas photo greetings from Pola in Germany (formerly of Poland) and some cards from a museum in Iceland from Susanna.

In addition some of my REAL life friends have sent post Olga from Portugal, where she's been on assignment and Lou sends her xmas wishes.

Sorry it's taken so long to arrive and if you think your postcard has failed to make it onto the wall, chances are it has been buried under my underwear and bits in the move, but over the next month I'll be trying to dig out some bits from the boxes so do keep watching

And happy new year from Andy and Elena here at my REAL wall HQ!

New address coming soon...


Grand Central Station in Martinganca. (Distance from postcard send: 5433ish km)

Well, the train station in the village where my parents live does not
quite have the same grandeur as New York's Grand Central however,
consider this:

Population NY: 8,363,000
Population Martinganca: 1,000

Therefore, you could say that Martinganca's train station should be
8,363 times worse than Grand Central since it serves a much smaller
amount of people (and that's not even taking into consideration the
millions of people who travel in and out of NY each day for a whole
bunch of porposes). It may not have a huge flag hanging from the
roof, nor a green ceiling, nor hundreds of shops and restaurants, but
is does still have a platform, ticket office and waiting room. On
that basis I'd say things are looking good.

The trains passing through are my favourite feature, though: just one
carriage and completely covered in (very good quality) graffiti. Off
it plods, into the distance, this little piece of the ghetto, through
the backyards of antique Portuguese village houses. What a picture.

Now, I must admit my eyes aren't what they used to be and I'm
struggling to read who actually sent this postcard. Andy – is it
"Aunt *someone*"?



From Aveiro to Sitio (distance from postcard send = 100ish km)

Just a short distance south from Aveiro from where Catia sent this
wonderfully colourful postcard, I visited the main square of Sitio
which sits on a cliff, above Nazare.

It's a funny location, you wouldn't think that behind me are a mass of
shops selling tourist tat. In summer, the place is heaving with
oldies carried around on coaches, taking obligatory photos of
fishwives going about their daily business (i.e. flogging stuff to
these same tourists).



The REAL wall is in Nazare, where there was sunshine just before Christmas! (distance from postcard send = 15,015ish km)

Nazare is probably the largest resort in my vicinity, a traditional
fishing port where the local women still wear fantastic "fish wife"
costume. Andy – there's a postcard on the way to you now explaining
exactly what this looks like so keep your eyes peeled!!

The best thing about this place: despite it becoming pretty commercial
as a tourist resort, the locals are as sweet and good natured as ever.
It is simply impossible to buy something in a shop, at the market or
on the street without them insisting you take a bunch of stuff for

Heather's postcard of Hilary's Boat Harbour in Australia complements
the beach. She writes: "friends of ours got married there; they cut
the cake in front of a giant photo of a shark lunging out of the water
– so romantic huh". What a fantastic gesture, I shall be suggesting
this to my friends getting married next year (will they still have me
as bridesmaid I wonder).


What do libraries and forests have in common? (Distance from postcard send: ?)

…they both contain a load of paper. Not even sure why I wrote this,
it's not a joke or anything, but very true.

And this particular library had the perfect tree outside, topped by a
very hazy moon. Instantly, I remembered the postcard with the
"moonrise drive" and pulled it from my bag to get this shot. Again,
this is from an unidentified sender (Andy- help!).

Loving being on assignment at moments like that,

PS - excuse the multiple blog sends tonight, but come on, it's
Christmas! You must have all been v good this year :)


The REAL wall in Riverside, CA and Burinhosa, Alcobaca (distance from postcard send: 9,153ish km)

Yesterday morning, just after a rain-shower, I was keen on capturing
the bright light through the medium of the local cemeterio. So, here
we are, complete with a photo of a cemetery in Riverside, CA from a
currently unidentified sender, no names appear on the back of the
photo (Andy – perhaps you know who this was sent by?)

Quick sharp post from L-platebigcheese


The REAL wall gets cultural in Alcobaca

Bom dia to all from Portugal, I'm a few days behind posting my photos
taken on assignment, but just in time for Christmas. So here goes the
first of a few…

On the first full day in Portugal, we visited the Mosteiro de
Alcobaca. This is the largest church in the whole country and very
significant: it was founded in 1153 by Dom Alfonzo Henrique to
celebrate his victory over the Moors. He was, in fact, Portugal's
first King. Without him the country could have looked very different

Anyways, after some REAL wall action, I looted (politely) a small
antique market before we got down to some even more serious culture at
a nearby Loja Chinese (Chinese store aka warehouse full of random
cheap stuff – heaven!). Key finds included:
> Unidentified article of clothing branded "Easy on Backside",
> Penholder where a bent over man's rectum serves said purpose,
> Slimming vest proclaiming "Victory is yours forever",
> Very fine-looking axes priced €3.50. You don't have to be bourgeoisie to be an axe murdered around here.

Postcards from top down are from:
Museum Nerd: reminded me of Dracula and the Mosteiro in turn reminded
me of Dracula's castle in Romania.
Lageodesign: always makes me laugh, deserves pride of place here.
Courtney: postcard reads "I have no idea where this picture was
actually taken or what's going on". This reminds me of many hungover
mornings looking at photos from the night before thinking that exact
same phrase.
Beenebag: This cunning fox's fez serves as a bit of a reference to the Moors.

Feliz natal!


Seasons greetings from Frosty and my REAL wall

After more than a week in bed with a cold and no voice, I finally managed to drag myself out to the office this week and it seems I've missed most the snow.

Luckily for me, someone built a snowman up my road and he has survived the thaw. Even luckier for me, on the way to work I just happened to have some postcards in my bag.

The Christmas card comes from Susan, via swap-bot and the postcard is from Martina in Estonia, who sends me a picture of Tartu, her hometown which looks really beautiful.

Thanks to everyone for all your post and comments, which have made moving house and having a cold so much easier to bear. I'll be putting up the new postal address soon and will resume card sending in the new year!


An introduction from L-plate big cheese (photographer on assignment)

my REAL wall in Olga's house

When Andy first asked me to go assignment for his REAL wall, I was not entirely sure where I'd go with it.  Well, it just so happens I'm off to Portugal on Saturday and you're all coming with me :)

My name is Olga, aka L-plate big cheese in the photography world, and one of the Russians Andy mentioned in the last post.  As Andy's still sweating and spluttering in bed on the other side of town, I thought I'd introduce myself, and let you know what postcards are packed into my camera bag.

You'll see more from me over the next couple of weeks, including different featured hairstyles.



My REAL wall in Zurich

my REAL wall in Zurich taken by Rost

Last Friday I was out with a group of new friends at the excellent Press Photographer of the Year exhibiton with a bag full of postcards sent to my REAL wall.

As usually happens when I'm out these days, conversation moved on to postcards (yes yes I know I must be a nightmare to go out with) and after debating photography and perspective, I decided it would be a good idea to open up the guest photographer slots to anyone who fancied a go. The Russians stepped right up and picked out a handful of their favourites to take away.

Today's REAL wall comes from Rost, who took a selection of cards to Zurich in Switzerland for the weekend. It's nice to know that even though I am stuck in bed with only a cold and my mobile phone internet for company that your postcards are still out there having a good time!

Here's what Rost has to say:


Here's a shot of your REAL posts in Zurich! And yes, it really was that grey and miserable out that day :/



My REAL house!

my new house looking all messy

It's been a long hard weekend of moving my REAL wall into my REAL house and finally I can bring you the first picture of the first card received at my new house, which is a handmade moving/christmas pop-up beauty from Stalex, who helped us move.

It was a complicated move, riddled with problems. After getting the keys on Friday we found out that the previous tenant had changed the lock and left the keys inside, so we had to call a locksmith to drill the lock out meaning we got in a day later than expected.

With a day left to clean up and move out we made a call to Stalex and Glen and Alina and bought some pizzas and beer.

The whole of Sunday was spent up to our necks in cleaning fluids and then we spent the evening moving books, clothes, postcards and my REAL wall down the road.

Already coming down with a cold and having already lost my voice this stress didn't help so today I'm holed up in bed surrounded by unpacked bags and boxes.

In case you're wondering about where to send post now, just keep sending them to my old address for the time being. We're looking at getting a PO Box at the new place and as soon as we do we'll change the address, but we can still pick up post from Goldhawk Road.


my REAL wall - December 11 2009 - The End is nigh!

You can always tell the nights that Elena isn't around as I upload more than one REAL wall. Tonight is one of those nights.

The second REAL wall of the night features all new pieces and perhaps the last pieces I get at this address in Goldhawk Road while still living here.

Because today I become a homeowner!

I can hardly believe it myself, the perenially travelling mischief, has finally decided that staying in one place isn't such a bad thing after all, and has bought a place and decided to chill out for a bit.

This week mail has come in from Greece, where I hear the terrible news from Katerina that the SKETBE offices have burned down. What should have been a happy post about a mailart exhibition were marred this week by the fire which wiped out their offices.

Luckily no-one was hurt and the mailart was all on display in the tower at the time, but it's a huge blow for all involved. Greek readers can read the events on the SKETBE blog and IUOMA members can see the story on Katerina's blog.

What has been heartwarming is to see how the IUOMA community have rallied around in support. Why not send some mailart to Katerina for possible auction to raise some funds for the new office. I know I will be sending some when this move is over.

Postmuse never fails to please, and this week I got a lovely thank you card showing her in full mailartist mode. Below Postmuse's piece is a brilliant REAL mail from Lidia via postcrossing. I love it when mailartists come to my REAL wall unexpectedly through postcrossing, cos it's not a place you expect to get mailart from.

The really cool drawing was sent by Farrah from Texas. She found the drawing on the floor in Houston, Texas and thought it would look good on my REAL wall and I have to agree it does! I've been trying to track down the artist, assuming that it is Kevin Ames as it's signed. Don't suppose anyone knows him out there? I'd love to tell him his piece is on my REAL wall in London!


my REAL wall features Rejin Leys

I became aware of the work of New York based mixed-media artist Rejin Leys through the July Twitter #mailart project.

Her present series, entitled "Evolution + Connections" was inspired by the food shortages that confronted the US last year and in them we see recurring motifs of chickens, rice, eggs, entrails, bugs and stars.

If you check out her sketchbook at, you'll see that as the year has gone on, she's really distilled her art to a very distinct style, and the resulting pieces are delightful. You would think that given a small number of symbols and colours that Rejin would be kinda limited in her ability to express herself, but the disciplined approach has really paid off.

Take for example the protest post, featuring 2 chickens. Up until now I had expected the pieces to be purely symbolic representations of shape and form, but when I received this and realised that they could talk I confess I was surprised! I guess that I hadn't expected that the pieces could go beyond the limits that I had constructed for them and that's the beauty of this whole series.

I wouldn't say I'm any artist but looking at Rejin's series I love the way that she uses symbols and motifs which become familiar over time, leading you to a sense of security and safety. Then suddenly wham! The chickens start talking or she throws a human torso in the mix. It's kinda freaky.

Do keep an eye out for her on the art scene if you're lucky enough to be in New York, cos it looks like she's gonna be doing some talks near you!


my REAL wall pays a visit to Hammersmith Town Hall

A windy Sunday in London and I finally had a chance to get your protest post together and take a walk down to the Town Hall in King Street, Hammersmith.

This was the address on the letter from the council, where I was told to "furnish my documents", following their demand that my REAL wall pay business rates foro rubbish disposal, so I thought I would come down to the town hall and "furnish" it as they asked.

I must confess that I thought that if the conditions had been a little better this could have been a better shot. It was so windy and I went down there on my own and the cards kept blowing off, so I had to keep chasing them down the street in case anyone working weekends in the council offices saw me and accused me of littering.

If anything, I was only sad that this little gem from Lorraine Kwan never arrived, but all of this protest post will be sent to the council in a fancy envelope this week, so watch this space!


my REAL wall - The 100

my REAL wall - The 100, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

A while back I was told by Gareth about a project called The 100. Following up this lead, I emailed the organiser, Sean and said I'd be up for it. Obviously I had no idea what it was at the time...

The email back from Sean described the project

"The 100 is basically a photographic project which aims to showcase inquisitive people who are willing to reply to a cryptic ad and join something they know very little about. I send my joinees a card with their individual number on it and ask them to take a photo of themselves doing something that defines their character. Then I'll have a huge piece with 100 photos on it!"

I love the idea of my REAL wall being part of other art projects, like the recent involvement with the Plains Art Museum in Fargo. It makes sense for my installation/bedroom art gallery to showcase other art projects so here's my contribution to the 100 project with my number - 44.

my REAL wall today features mainly new stuff from Swap-bot, as I've been involved in a few swaps lately.

LATE UPDATE : Having looked at The 100 Deviantart page I see that this REAL wall may not be eligible as it doesn't have the official card on it. Watch this space...


Westside Magazine December 2009

This months press coverage is in a local magazine called Westside

The write-up is on page 10, under a headline about the local library running out of books.

I have to confess I don't particularly like this write-up. I wrote a full write-up of the incident and they've pretty much left out the facts and written up a pretty poor, humourless article. There's no mention of my REAL wall, the headline screams that the council have actually levied the fine, which they haven't and the picture is a generic pic not one that I sent. I'm most miffed that your protest mail hasn't made it into print anywhere too, which is a real shame.

Oh well, any publicity is better than nothing I guess, and I've finally got some time to get your protest post to the council this weekend, so watch this space.


my REAL wall - Christmas Cards

This is the second of the official run by our guest photographers Stalex, who are my best pals. Guest photographers take a bunch of postcards sent to me and display them in whatever place they see fit.

Looks like the Yuletide season is upon us and where most people think of Christmas as a time of peace, love and turkey, here at my REAL wall towers we know that Christmas means only one thing...more post!

For the past year I've lived in a shared house with 4 other people, a common situation for us cramped Londoners and Stalex are in the enviable position of having their own place. Last week we were treated to their REAL wall featuring gecko and here's their living room with Christmas Tree, featuring postcards from Okami, Funshine Felisha, and Dumpsterdiversanonymous and more.

As Stew says "The tree looks better in the flesh so you'll see it when you come round for christmas dinner..." Hurray!


my REAL wall - Is it postcard oblivion?

I've had this idea knocking around in my head for a while - postcard oblivion...or is it...?

It's been a while since I stopped to really play with my digital SLR and so I thought that tonight I'd take my baby out of her bag and put some postcards in the sink.

For those of you who don't know how I done this, I'll try not to give too much away, but don't worry, no postcards were harmed in the making of this REAL wall. And for those of you who do know how this was done, I'm proud to say it only took me one take! Happy days!

In order of appearance from top left, is a Spiderman first black suit appearance (soon to become Venom and spawn Carnage in case you care) from Mimi in Texas via Swap-bot. I absolutely love Spiderman as I'm a big comics fan, so this is an entirely awesome card and is gonna get a swap-bot star.

Top right corner is a surprise postcard from Munich from Stalex. This came in today and was a huge surprise given that me and Elena were actually on holiday with them in Munich this weekend - Nice one guys!

The one in the bottom is from Anne in Arizona as part of Swap-bot


my REAL wall - 1 December 2009 - Postcard cover up!

It's December and I'm moving out of Goldhawk Road into my new place in 2 weekends time. Contracts for the new house finalise on the 11th of December and I aim to start moving my stuff in that weekend.

I decided to make things easy for my landlady and so over the last week I've been advertising this room. Of course, if I got somebody in to replace me I would more easily get my deposit back too...

Last night the first interested person came over and, with half an hour to go before they arrived I looked at my empty REAL wall and realised it was a disaster - the blu-tac I use to stick your postcards to the wall had left stains all over the wall!

So this one, including only 3 new postcards was put up in a hurry to cover the blu-tac marks, which explains why it's so densely packed.

And for your information, he took the place! Which means I get my deposit back straight away and can move out worry-free! Yay!


Your REAL wall from Bryndís Þórhallsdóttir from Iceland

Hi Andy. Here is my tribute to My Real Wall. And there is a drawing in the
picture. I just didnt want to take it down.

From: Bryndís Þórhallsdóttir
Date: 2009/11/29

[my Postcard is the Black and White Beatles one there - Remember that if you have a postcard from me, stick it up on your wall and send me an email of it and I'll put it up right here in the your REAL wall section of the site! Andy]


my REAL wall - 27 November 2009

It's Friday and we're back on my REAL wall in my bedroom in Goldhawk Road. Tomorrow my REAL wall is off to Munich for the weekend, and most of the cards on the wall now will be coming with us.

Only 2 more weeks of this view, as me and Elena are aiming to move into our new place by the 11th of December. I believe the new place has better lighting, so that's something to look forward to.

I'll be sending out the new address on a postcard (obviously) to everyone who has ever sent me mail soon.

Obviously this may take some time, and I never like to discourage people from sending post of course but for now, if you could all hold back until we get to our new place then flood us with new post for the new wall that would be great!


my REAL wall - A gecko in the gaff

In a move to widen participation and variety on my REAL wall, today we bring you our first ever guest photographer REAL wall from my best mates Stalex.

Guest photographers get a pile of postcards that have been sent to me and can put them up wherever they choose. I'm really keen to see other people's interpretations of my REAL wall and as you can see from the notes (click the image and go through to the flickr site to see these) I am rather enjoying playing the "Guess that card" game myself here!

This first wall is in Stalex's gaff (house for those of you not from London), showing their gecko along with appearances from a host of established mailartists that won't be surprised to find themselves up on the REAL wall again.

In order of appearance (from the top left going anticlockwise) are mhmedia, Boo Cartledge, Stalex, a postcrossing, Dumpsterdiversanonymous, Felisha, Another postcrossing from Singapore, Tim McCool, Rebecca (Y)our Sky, Goodnight Little Spoon, TicTac and in the centre, Rachel.


my REAL wall - World Toilet Day 2009

It's November 19, 2009 and we all know what that means don't you?

Today is WORLD TOILET DAY! World Toilet day is organised by the World Toilet Organisiation, which is is a global non- profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.

Apparently poor sanitation kills 1.8 million people a year, so the organisation aims to raise awareness of the importance of this sort of thing, so why not go through to their site and then consider yourself aware.

That was one free plug, and I'll try and keep free plugs to charities on my REAL wall. As you all know this is a non-profit organisation!

Another plug I want to put in today is for The Plains Art Museum in North Dakota, who sent me and Elena a pair of free tickets and a load of postcards in thanks for the REAL inspiration that my REAL wall has given them for a mailart gallery. Personally I can't wait to see what the dudes at the museum come up with, and I love the idea that people may have a public gallery for their mailart, so I'm dead proud of myself. Hopefully I'll get to use these tickets one day (just as soon as a big airline picks up on my REAL wall and decide to nick it as well...)

Oh by the way if you look really closely, you'll see a piece by a great new mailartist I discovered on IUOMA the other day from Korea called Cross Ryu. I believe she uses Indian Ink to create the most fantastic colours in her art and visiting her Pics on IUOMA sent shivers up my spine. Here's onoe to watch in future I would say!


my REAL wall - 16 November 2009 - Your postcards take a shower in Goldhawk Road

It's been a while since I took a shot in the bathroom, so today's REAL wall was put up in our shower.

As many of you may already know, my REAL wall is moving house very soon as I managed to buy a house! I have to say, I won't miss the skanky black mould on the shower walls and I leave behind a legacy of blu-tac all over the bedroom walls too.

Today's best postal surprise came from Okadascat, my REAL wall's resident knitting correspondent, who sent a knitted flower through to Elena, which made her squeal with delight. Elena says thanks a lot and continues to squeal with joy.

Note to Okadascat - Elena has put this little trinket in her personal top 1, joint first place with this piece from the mighty Ubon, which is a hell of a statement! Nice one!


my REAL wall - 16 Nov 2009

my REAL wall - 16 Nov 2009, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

Elena scores the points for this one, having changed the calendar at about 11:55 on November 15th, while I was uploading the REAL wall from Vienna, then sneaking into bed and pretending to be asleep while I threw a tantrum.

Apparently changing the calendar date before midnight is ok if she does it I'm told, but NOT ok if I do it. I'm not really sure I understand the rules but if Elena says so then it must be true.

Today's REAL wall features contributions from Courtney S, Pizzacat, Beenebag and AmyMC, the prolific swap-botter!


my REAL wall on the Austrian Parliament in Vienna

It was so refreshing to be in a city so rich in culture and so friendly.

As an example, when we were at the Parliament building, we just strolled around and posted up your postcards on the wall without any hassle whasoever.

Oh H&F council would have hated that.


my REAL wall - Above the seedy underbelly of Vienna

Elena and I had just arrived in Vienna and made our way to our hotel, just to the north of Westbahnhoff, the Western main train station.

As we tend to do when arriving in a new country, we looked around innocently for a nice place to put your postcards, all the while looking for our hotel and wondering why there were so many martial arts shops and sex shops in the area.

When we reached Burggasse Stadthalle station, we noticed a long flight of stairs leading upwards to a point above the city and we mounted these, knowing that a good shot awaited us, but not really knowing quite where to point the camera.

So we set this one up and shot it quite innocently, not realising that the magnificent artistic capital of Austria that the world knows was behind us in the opposite direction. What we actually shot as the backdrop was Austria's red light district.



my REAL wall - The End of the Hammersmith and City Line

I find it strange that tube stations can be completely empty in zone 2, but Goldhawk Road station, which is just next to my house is often a ghost town. I think most days it has one person working on the ticket office, who goes home at about 6pm, leaving the station empty and operated by robots.

So when you roll up to Goldhawk Road, your announcement is done by a recording, which tells you to mind the gap and all sorts. I can't help but feel when a pre-recorded announces that your train is late that they sort of expected it, and can never quite shake off this idea that in some way the pre-recording of an announcement that your train is going to be late is somehow responsible for it being late.

Because the station was so automated and inhuman, I felt a need to inject a bit of human contact into the surroundings and that's how this wall was born.


my REAL wall - Lunch break in the park

Over lunchbreak I decided to get in a REAL wall showing the grounds of where I work. I think that the university has really excellent grounds, and one of the reasons I chose to work here is that I came here myself to do my degree and fell in love with the grounds. It's easy to see why.

Mainly on show today are mailart pieces, they just happened to be at the top of my pile, so appearances are made by StudioN, Jennifer Zoellner, HeebeeJeebee, Eduardo Cardoso, David Berube, Barbara Cowlin, and Dummpsterdiversannonymous among others.


my REAL wall - 11 November 2009 - Retro Edition

Another popular social networking site on the internet is often criticised for changing it's layout and not offering it's users any option to do anything about it. Not here on my REAL wall folks!

For those of you who haven't liked the snazzy new upgrades (and what's not to like about Okadascat's awesome knitted banner!), today's wall will be a breath of old stale air and you'll love it!

Today sees us return to the original slanted wall above the radiator, complete with my socks and underpants for those weirdos amongst you who enjoyed watching my weekly ritual of running out of clean undergarments.

To accompany the return to the retro feel of the wall, I decided to dig out some old favourites and take you for a trip down memory lane.

Who could possibly forget the "Is it a Banksy?" saga, or the very odd wrestler piece from Hugo Porcaro

Also in the fray are pieces from Mim, celci, Blair, as well as new pieces from Sam, Neil, Risa, AmyMC and Sheila

Hope all the older viewers enjoyed the trip down memory lane, and for those of you who haven't seen the archives of my REAL wall yet, go take a look at them RIGHT NOW, then pick up a pen and paper and write to someone!

The status update refers to a lovely email I received last night.

In recent weeks, I have been told by a few art specialists that I am an "installation artist", which I graciously accept. I guess I never really viewed myself as an artist, but I suppose that my REAL wall can be considered a form of art in itself.

As such it seems that my REAL wall has caught the attention of the people who work at the Plains Art Museum in North Dakota and someone from there emailed me last night to say that they were going to look into working on their own REAL wall there, based on my REAL wall!

From being a chap who just wanted to get back in touch with REALity, to the giddy heights of artistic recognition by REAL artists and all in under a year, and it's all thanks to you out there who keep sending me stuff! Thanks to everyone and keep watching your mailboxes!


my REAL wall 11 November 2009 (Just after midnight)


Elena's sleeping and I've just crept out of bed to change the calendar. She is going to kill me for this!

Tonight's midnight guilty pleasure features, from right to left, some older pieces from Rachel Freeman, which is made in some very interesting glassy material which I can't quite place. A real treat for the senses I wish I could get the texture of this piece across in photo.

The bambi with spooky faces piece was an earlier post by Jennifer Zoellner, whose mailart output is prolific and was one of the earliest mailartists to send me stuff.

The elephant is the latest one from Elefantus, whose obsession with elephants really knows no bounds, and finally Dreaming of Tokyo is a pimped photo by the great Dumpsterdiversanonymous

Phew, I've managed to type all of that and not wake her up yet. Now I'm going to try and sneak back into bed without her noticing the date change...


my REAL wall - November 10, 2009 - YES! I remembered!

As I said yesterday, I have a terrible memory, and always forget to change the calendar date. Last night Elena wasn't around but I still woke up worrying that she would beat me to the calendar, or that I would forget it.

But I know that Elena will be checking my REAL wall today and this is what she'll see.


Today's post is a Twitter-friend fest, with protest post from @neilgoodall and @feltypants and some old Twitter #mailart from @museumnerd (The Eyes have it 2) and @hardpressed (Altered States)


my REAL wall - 9 November 2009

Since buying this calendar from Tate modern last week, me and Elena have slowly become more and more competitive and sneaky about being the one to change the date.

Most days, she can rely on my terrible memory and usually just gets up before me and changes it before I even remember what day it is.

Tonight she's working so I get the chance to change the date at midnight myself, if I remember to, else she'll be around later to change it and laugh at my stupidness.

Today the calendar features 2 pieces from Rejin Leys, whose work I became aware of during the first Twitter #Mailart swap in June. From Rejin's own site...

"The postcards are produced, using a variety of media and evincing varied sensibilities. Each piece is a relief print with colored pencils, is approximately 4x6,” and they are part of my ongoing “Theories of Evolution and Connections” series."

The repeating icons and colours used, chickens, rice, internal organs, cockroaches and stars arranged in varying sizes and textures thrill me, and I love seeing how the characters interact with each other.

The one-off talking chicken council protest is superb, and although it will be a shame to have to send it away to the council, I am sure it will make an impression.

The two other pieces are from Marion Bockelmann and Postmuse. Marion's Poe piece is a dark, dank collage, with eerie eyeballs staring out from the depths.

Postmuse is probably the owner of the world's most amazing stationary collection and if there is one thing better than amazing stationary, it's amazing stationary with a personal message on it, which is exactly what this is. Postmuse never fails to bring a smile to my face.


my REAL wall - 7 November 2009

With the Royal Mail strikes now off until Christmas, I think that the postmen are starting to get back into the swing of things, and the REAL wall mailbox has been bursting at the seams with awesome post.

My REAL wall today hosts works from as far afield as Australia, Sweden, Greece and The Netherlands, as well as old favourites from the US.

I'd like to welcome some new mailartists on to the wall too. Sherri Ayers, from IUOMA sent a breathtaking Intuitive Watercolour envelope with photos inside, which form Sherri's photo album on the left side.

Marion Bockelmann sent an Edgar Allan Poe collage, which really brings a smile to my face as I love that era of writing, being a huge HP Lovecraft fan myself.

Jennifer Zoellner is an artist whose work I greatly admire. She has put together a massive body of mailart and most of it exceptional. Her piece, The Swinging child, harks back to more innocent times, when we all would sit on swings without a care in the world.

Protest post is all over the wall today, and again I send out my humblest thanks to all of you for sending in the support.


my REAL wall - Protest Tree

my REAL wall - Protest Tree, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

I got a bit of a shock call today from the editor at Westside magazine, who called to say that she was writing the article that is due for the December edition today!

It seems that my REAL wall vs Hammersmith council will indeed make the December paper and online editions, but the edit date was much sooner than I thought.

As a result, I decided to quickly try and get in the protest post from you that I have already received. Over my lunch break I ran outside to the rock garden and found an appropriate Bonsai sized tree and set about sticking all your protest mail to it.

This is the REAL wall I sent in, a protest tree with protest mail from RejinL, Mark B, Ruud Jansen, TicTac, Dumpsterdiversanonymous, and Okadascat.

Not sure what exactly what pictures the paper are going to run with, but I'm just happy I brought all your mail to work today. All these pieces and all the pieces I have seen online, like this awesome one from Lorraine Kwan and this piece of social commentary from Feltypants as well as the hilarious footballing one emailed from Neil G, are now in the editors hands in digital form, so let's see what the magazine do in December!

But don't stop sending in, as I'm going to push for even more press coverage, following the revelation that local councils are using actually anti-terrorist legislation to snoop on their residents! This may have some way left to go yet...


Accessible stylesheet edition

I've recently been thinking about accessibility standards on the web and realised that my REAL wall is perhaps not as accessible to the partially sighted as it could be.

Luckily, Jelmer has sent me a REALLY huge postcard, which came in a REALLY huge and REALLY cool envelope so I have gone and made today's REAL wall in an accessible and readable way.

Whether this is completely W3 compliant is still open to debate but it's definitely a nod in the right direction


my REAL wall - The protest papers

The first protest letters are in from mailartists on behalf of my REAL wall vs Hammersmith and Fulham bullies council and are so awesome that they have made the front page of The Yomiura Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper I found in my recycle bin.

These gems come from RejinL, with a perfectly executed chicken and rice piece about council fines, which is stylistically in keeping with her contributions for the first ever Twitter #mailart project, in which we met.

The beautiful butterfly piece came from the excellent Dumpsterdiversanonymous, yesterdays featured artist. The piece is called Malachite Butterfly on suburban sprawl and has a message on the back from Carroll of support for the battle with the council.


my REAL wall - my REAL desktop

Digital Schmigital - I decided to turn off everything electronic on my REAL desktop and get down to reading all your lovely post.

In the foreground is all the mail that came in last night, 9 pieces with 4 of them being protest mail for the my recent Pester my Council mailart call. The pieces are from some great mailartists, IUOMA founder Ruud Jansen (his post is pictured on top of the pile), Dumpsterdiversanonymous (yesterday's featured artist), Ptrzia Tictac, who has supported my REAL wall from the start and the ever brilliant @RejinL. I'll be putting all the protest post on a wall later, so for now just know that they are there!

In the background, REAL post comes from Jennlui, whose envelope took me about 2 days to open as it was so zealously sellotaped and so georgeous I didn't dare open it!

Replacing the iPod in my Pig dock is a piece of REAL bark sent to me by SHMUEL, a new artist who I know nothing about. If you squint you can see that the bark shows a shroud that represents Rose Lee, a famous stripper! If you wish to come to my house and pay your respects this piece will obviously never be thrown away, so do feel free to make a pilgrimage.

The full size piece on my monitor is a bit of a mystery. I know it's a lmited edition 23/26, but there's not a great deal more information than that. It's signed M.A. Blair from Canada, but other than that and an address there's not a lot more info and no contact from the artist. Anyone have any ideas?

Just for trivia, this is my 100th upload to the flickr my REAL wall folder, which features all the shots of my REAL wall since I started to get it right!


my REAL wall - Elena invades the fridge

Before me and Elena met, some of my friends were very sceptical about the concept of my REAL wall. My brother even said "But what about if you meet a girl who uses facebook and she insists on you being on facebook? No girls will ever go out with you if you keep this silliness up!"

Me and Elena celebrated 7 months together last week and with every passing day I find she gets more enchanting.

As if to prove the doubters and my brother wrong, she is one of the few in the world who doesn't have a facebook or twitter account. When she found out about my REAL wall, far from being repelled, she went and opened a postcrossing account and got hooked, and now she's taken up Origami and quilling, which is an art that involves curling paper strips. Her very first quilled card is featured in the middle of this REAL wall.

This REAL wall is an Elena invasion and features only postcards sent to her on postcrossing, but on my fridge. The cheek of it! She loves it when she gets stuff addressed to her that comes in my postbox so do feel free to send her stuff via me, and she will gleefully laugh in my face about it.

Very soon, some of you who have sent me post may well be receiving some quilled cards or some origami, so keep your eyes on your postbox!


my REAL wall - The departure lounge

I have perhaps the most patient girlfriend in the whole world. While I run around the airport departure lounge squealing how I'm bored like a child, she patiently lets me decorate her with postcards. She's great and I love her to bits!


your REAL wall on tour - Turku

The final instalment in Stalex's your REAL wall on tour - Sweden and Finland series, this one shows all the postcards I sent them over the last year stuck to a tree outside Turku's castle in Finland


my REAL wall - November 03 2009 - Total rubbish

When I first had the idea for my REAL wall I had a dream that one day it would become an international art gallery showcasing some of the world's best photographers and artists REAL work, and now I finally have enough pieces of mailart from some of you to make this happen.

Today's featured REAL artist is one of my favourite mailartists on the scene today - Dumpsterdiversanonymous works only with rubbish and recycled materials, but creates some of the most breathtaking and original artworks. I drop by her flickr page almost daily as she has a prolific output rate but never lets this compromise quality.

The pieces are displayed in reverse order of when they were received by my REAL wall.

From right to left, we have "Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" - a fabulous surreal piece, combining a photography magazine and a flower. I absolutely love the sentiment of this piece.

In the middle is this is a paper status update callde "Noh bugs" updating me on the California.

The first piece that I received, to the right was the classic "Lunar jumping contest", showing a flea taking on a frog on the moon.

Dumpsterdivers sense of humour and skill with her material arrangement is second to none and she is deservedly my first featured artist!

NB - (I've just realised I forgot to add "Dreaming of Tokyo" - a Pimp my photo project that Carroll done for me)


your REAL wall on tour - on the ferry to Finland

2nd REAL pic taken of my postcards on tour with my best mates Stalex on their recent tour to Sweden and Finland. This one was taken from the porthole of their ferry to Finland


my VERY BIG REAL wall - courtesy of Nokia

As regular follwers of my REAL wall already know, we had a little trouble from the council recently, who are convinced that this bit of international postcard fun is a business.

I thought I'd send them a little message courtesy of the people at Nokia, who filmed me yesterday at Tower Bridge for their next viral advertising campaign, and I thought I would use the opportunity to make a small announcement to the council and to thank all my super fans from around the world who have sent post for my REAL wall.

Here's what me and Elena saw when we turned up at Tower Bridge for the filming of the Nokia advert yesterday at about 4pm.

A 50ft screen shaped like an arrow was hanging from a crane advertising Nokia maps.

I was scheduled to have the message

"Thanks to all the people who have sent post to my REAL wall. The council will never get us!"

The filming started later than expected and the light was not great by the time the shooting started, and the message had been edited so that by the time it went out it lost a lot, so consider this an insider gag to fans of my REAL wall.

The final message read

"To all the postcard senders" and Nokia Viral

"From around the world" (We missed that one - the message wasn't up very long and I was busy being filmed)

"You are all fantastic!" and Nokia Viral

"The council will never stop us!" and Nokia Viral

"by Andy Hoang" and Nokia Viral

I was a little miffed that the words "my REAL wall" were unceremoniously dropped (it was too late to do much about it at the time) and the filming took place so late with such poor light I don't hold much hope of it being screened, but I will be sending the pics to some local papers to make sure that the pen-pushing jobsworth who sent me the demand letter gets the message...


your REAL wall - shadows and Stockholm

your REAL wall - shadows, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

Stalex are 2 of my best mates who are also avid fans of my REAL wall.

This is part 1 of a series made by them showing the postcards I sent to them on tour with them in October 2009, as they travelled to Sweden and Finland.

your REAL wall on tour - Stockholm

This was the first shot of my postcards in Sweden, taken when Stalex arrived in the country and featuring local protest leaflets in Swedish about pensions.