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!