your REAL wall - Snow angel in Romania by AAA

Elena's best friend AAA recently popped over to see the family in Romania for the Christmas break and volunteered to bring some of your postcards with her to see the place.

Over Christmas it would appear that there was quite a bit of snow and from news reports it seems that this caused a fair bit of trouble in the country.

Luckily though, your postcards were unimpeded and enjoyed a little outing in the snow, where AAA created a snow angel for them to play in.

Most of the cards were from the archives and were handpicked by her when we last met. Mainly it was the mailartists that got to go away on holiday this time around, and a lot of the Twitter ones at that, so appearances from Hardpressed, Lee Ann P, Jennifer Zoellner, Buffalokid, Mexico30, Feltypants, and the Heebeejeebeeland as well as Motoko from Japan and Sherri Ayers from IUOMA.

All cards are now safely back home and recovering from their long trip.


my REAL wall - 24 Jan 2010 - The Road to Tavira Island

This was the very last REAL wall I took aged 29, and was taken in Tavira in the Algarve, southern Portugal on the way to Tavira Island.

Having been born in January, booking holidays for my birthday is always cheap. One other bonus of the off season is that no-one else goes on holiday, so when we got to the island of Tavira, me and Elena pretty much had the whole expanse beach to ourselves! With no-one around, we pulled out a pair of deckchairs and collected pretty shells for a whole afternoon unmolested.

Neither of us are particularly into swimming, but nothing beats lounging around on an empty beach!

Thing is, being January and in the Mediteranean, it was warm enough to fall asleep on the beach with our jumpers on, but cold enough to wake up with a cold, and that's exactly what we done. Since coming back Elena has had a cold and is only just now getting over it. Awwww.

(As you can see it's the same postcards as we thought there was going to be a lot more to do so didn't bring that many!)


my REAL wall - 24 Jan 2010 - Water fountain fun in Faro

As you all know, I love taking your post for a walk, but up til now I've never taken it for a paddle. With so little to do in Portugal last weekend and so much time, I thought I'd get my feet wet in a local water fountain and what better thing to take into the pool than your postcards..

Thanks to Richard Canard, the Museum Spree Gang and Evmorfia Ghika Rachouti for your post. Luckily for your post, it was pretty sunny so they didn't take too long to dry off...


my REAL wall - 23 Jan 2010 - The tracks by the beach

We thought we were due a holiday and, having never been to the Algarve, me and Elena decided that a birthday weekend in Portugal for £10 per person each way was too good a bargain to pass up. Return flights of THREE AND A HALF HOURS for both of us for £40! Who would say no!

WE arrived in Faro at about noon on Saturday, a time that we Brits are used to seeing high streets buzzing with shoppers and diners and the place was like a Ghost town. After getting off the bus in the centre of town we were pretty convinced we'd alighted a few stops too early as there was no life to be seen at all.

They obviously do things differently in Portugal.

After a while of looking for people we decided to make our second wall of the trip and here it is.

By the end of the trip we came home totally relaxed. If you're thinking of a trip to the south of Portugal in the off season, it's cheap but there really is very little to do, so make sure you bring some postcards to make REAL walls like what we done!

Thanks to Cross Ryu, Dumpsterdiver and the others who accompanied us there in spirit!


my REAL wall - 27 January 2010 - First arrivals in the PO Box

I moved in to my new place on December 13th of last year and I figured that, as I own this new place and that my REAL wall is a huge and very public website, that I didn't really need any unpleasant surprises, one of my priorities was to get a PO Box.

It took me a while to apply for and the Royal Mail offer the option of either collecting your post from the delivery office or going the whole hog and getting it delivered, which I went for.

2 weeks ago, Royal Mail called to confirm that my PO Box had gone live so I changed the postal address on postcrossing, swap-bot, my REAL wall, sendsomething and everywhere else that the legendary Goldhawk Road address had taken root.

Then I sat back and waited for the flood of post.

2 weeks later, I was still waiting and, despite sending out loads of paper updates I was starting to get very very worried that Royal Mail had delivered all my lovely post to some undeserving business somewhere on the other side of the country.

So I called them and it turned out that the delivery office had marked my PO Box for collection and not delivery and I had all the cards you see sitting in a box lonely and waiting!

So, to those of you looking to be the first post on my REAL wall sent to my PO Box, congratulations! Sorry I can't pick out a definitive winner but give yourself a pat on the back as these all conveniently arrived a few days after my birthday. Yay!


A birthday surprise from the team at work

Having taken the day off for my birthday to go to Portugal, I came back to my desk to find that it had been taken over by the People's Republic of China!

Everyone who has to spend any time around me at all knows that I am a HUGE Google fan. I was an early adopter of the G1, I actually like Android and I have Chrome as my default operating system.

So appropriately, my birthday surprise had lots of references to the big G in it. The computer had Chinese flags all over it and a notice saying that it had been taken over by the Chinese, so I was to cease and desist using Google products.

The only birthday card I received this year (yes imagine that! Manager of my REAL wall receives only ONE card for birthday - scandalous!), which was from the team was a Google card with the Google Sesame Street logo on it "Brought to you by the letter G and the number 30..." and there were balloons organised in the Google colours.



my REAL wall - 23 Jan 2010 - Faro Portugal

It was my 30th birthday on the 25th and me and Elena decided to take your postcards to Faro in Portugal for the weekend.

Not knowing much about the Algarve, we weren't sure what to expect so didn't take too many postcards as we wanted to travel light. As it turned out, when we got there, it was a quiet little place with not a lot going on, so we had a lot of time to put your postcards around the place.

This first REAL wall shows post from Olga's Museum Gang, Girlzootzilla, Cross-Ryu, Dumpsterdiversanonymous and Richard Canard against a backdrop of Graffiti, beach huts and palm trees.

Happy birthday to me! :-D


your REAL wall from Sunnysidey in Australia

In today's inbox - my postcard has arrived in Australia!

From: Sam Farman
Date: 2010/1/19

Hi Andy,

Your card arrived! Here's a pic of it on my wall :-)

Thank you for making such a cool card, and thanks also for helping me with the pronunciation of Bosham [it's pronounced "Bozzum" - Andy]. I could have done with your assistance a few years ago when I was in the UK and asking for directions to Hartlepool (when I discovered that it did not rhyme with Bartle-fool)!

I'll set to work on a fabric card for you very soon. Enjoy the rest of your day!


My Postcard from Bosham was made up of 2 postcards both from Bosham, of a church. I've never been there, so it was very weird that I should find 2 postcards of a church there, one drawn, one a photo, both taken from exactly the same angle. I bought the photo one on ebay last year then was so surprised when I found the drawn one in a charity shop last weekend. This halfcard was my first of the 2010. See my other halfcards on my flickr site


my REAL wall - Subversive postcard plant fails to materialise in the Sunday Times

In a recent photoshoot for the Sunday Times, me and Elena tried desperately to slip in a few postcards, which were heartlessly cropped out.

I have just done a quick bit of photoshopping before this was worthy of appearing on the site, so here is that front page header thumbnail, complete with some postcards sent to Elena.

I've edited the main article a little just putting in the locations of the cards, in case you were wondering

So we failed to get any postcards in to the national press this time. Oh well, the year is still young...


my REAL wall - January 18, 2010 - Anthony and Elena appear in the Sunday Times

Only 2 weeks into 2010 and already my REAL wall has hit the national big time press...but not for what you think!

On Friday, I got a call from my mortgage advisor telling me that the Sunday Times had been in touch with him. They wanted to interview a young couple who had recently taken out a mortgage, and so he thought of me and Elena, and gave me a call.

The paper arranged for a photographer to be around in an hour and interviewed me on the phone as to why I chose the mortgage I did and next thing you know, me and Elena were on the front page of the Sunday Times money section!

I could hardly believe my eyes on Sunday, when I picked up the paper and saw our thumbnail on the front page in the top left hand corner, the very first thing you see when you turn to the money pages, and all my friends have remarked how little sense it makes that I, who care not a jot about the stuff, should be there looking like some money guru! As Jason says " just doesn't compute"

Amusingly, the paper reported my name as Anthony Hoang, the second time that my name has been spelt wrong in the papers. And yes everyone I know has ripped the piss out me for that already, so feel free to add yours below...

For REAL wall fans, me and Elena tried our very hardest to get your mail in.

The picture on the front page, which is also featured on the online version of the story was taken with the official REAL wall as the white background. The photographer was looking for a white background and said "Could you take those postcards down and we'll take the picture over there"


Inside the paper, on page 4 me and Elena are pictured on the stairs. After clearing the place up a little, Elena slyly draped Okadascat's knitted banner across the top of a table in front of us, and I set up a postcard from Richard Canard at our feet on the staircase.

Desperately we tried to maneuvre ourselves so that the photographer would take a pic of a postcard, but to no avail. Shucks. Maybe next time.

If any of you are going to appear in the press, please write to me and tell me and I'll send you some postcards to try to sneak in under the photographers radar. REAL subversion of the press is one of this years challenges!

my REAL wall today features what I hope to be the last of the post sent to Goldhawk Road. Still nothing has come through to the PO Box address yet at the new house, so the competition for first through the door is still very much on.

As usual, you can find out more about the postcards by clicking through to the flickr page and hovering over the picture, where you will find full annotations!


my REAL wall - 14 Jan 2010

my REAL wall - 14 Jan 2010, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

The new REAL wall PO Box is now live and waiting for your post!

In the meantime, I've dug up some of my favourite old ones, from Missive Maven, Stalex and Amymc, and put them alongside some newer bits from L-plate, Pola and Nico Van Hoorn.

Getting very excited about mail in the PO Box, and in case you don't already have it, the new REAL wall address is...

my REAL wall
PO Box 63138
W14 4BR


Russians say: crocodiles and alligators of the world, unite!

So, there we were, a fantastic array of truly Russian names: Vladislav, Rostislav, Vladislav and… Olga (yes I did feel quite plain), at London’s Natural History Museum. To be honest, it was probably not the most commonsensical destination for 2nd of January – we stood in queues, shuffled around narrow corridors in the wrong direction causing minor people-jams. This is most certainly the young family’s day out of choice.

What did come of it, however, was a nice chance to reunite some crocodiles and alligators (I hear they don’t get to spend much time together) in
1) postcard form;
2) stuffed form;
3) bag form.

Long live the two very similar animals, who are apparently not all that similar at all. Incidentally, does anyone actually know the difference between crocodiles and alligators (our trip to the museum was not very educational).

Jungle Gardens from Amalie
Suomi Finland from a postcrossing sender.

Lplatebigcheese (currently out of action with UK version of jungle fever. Bof)


Local bargains and global snail mail

I'm finally getting my act together in the new house and yesterday me and Elena put up our kitchen noticeboard.

Obviously, the REAL wall kitchen noticeboard has to be a little special as it will play host to all your wonderful post as well as notices, and I picked up a really awesome memo board for the job. It's this 3m memo board stuff, that is slightly sticky, and all you need to do is push your postcard onto it and it sticks up there. No blu tac or glue or staples needed. It's almost as if it were made for the REAL wall!

Post today comes from the amazing Cross-Ryu, regular contribtor Wackystuff, Lorraine Kwan. L-plate, and Lou among others.

Also up on the wall are my latest theatre tickets. Me and Elena have decided to be a little more cultured this year and have pairs of tickets to all sorts of shows, including Aladdin at the pantomime in Hackney Empire (excellent - highly recommended but probably sold out), Eigengrau and the Whiskey taster at Bush theatre in Shepherds Bush, and Three Sisters at Hammersmith Lyric.

I want to let you in on a little local secret now. That last ticket for the Lyric was an absolute bargain. The Lyric theatre in Hammersmith has a special offer for local residents in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on the opening night of every show.

If you live in the borough and can prove you do, just go there the Saturday before the show opens at 9:30 and you can get a free pair of tickets! So there you have it. Local bargains exposed on my REAL wall. You heard it here first...


My REAL wall in Westside magazine January 2010

Regular readers know about how my REAL wall recently fell foul of local council restrictions on business waste disposal.

In what may well be the final chapter to this long running saga, local magazine Westside have covered the story for the second month with a quote from a Hammersmith and Fulham council official.

Again, the magazine have reported the story in a humour-free, irony-free way, no quotes from me and none of your protest post, which is a massive disappointment, especially as I had taken the story to them almost fully written, including scans of your postcards and I was on the phone to them giving them priceless quotes.

They called and asked for my response and I said "I look forward to seeing some post from the council on my wall soon" but nothing at all from me.

A wasted story opportunity.


Your REAL wall - mim4art studio wall 2

Mim is one of the regular contributors to my REAL wall and today she has sent a new picture of her REAL wall featuring my Rug card.

This is the same studio wall we saw way back in August of last year, and some things have changed while some things have very much stayed the same.

In her words

"your rug card is still there, as are the Monas and the Tour Eiffel, but other things have changed up"

Can you spot the differences?


Status update

I received this last month ago from Devi in response to my Send me your Status mailart call and it warms my heart.

When I started my REAL wall all that time ago it was because I was absolutely sick of facebook and it's banal status updates, what I saw as social erosion from meaningful interactions to posturing and short, shallow status updates to show off in place of REAL effort and time with your friends.

Of course this was my own opinion (and still is) but my REAL wall was a way to try and see if anyone else felt the same and of course it was a call to arms for people to take the leap and do the same.

I never thought that it would really happen, so when I received this from Devi I was delighted. it would seem that Devi posted his/her final status update on facebook on December 1st. I'm curious a month later to see if he/she has kept to it.

Looks like a status swap in the making as I've only got a REAL address to reply to. Yay!


The battle of the big trees (Distance from postcard send: 9,022ish km)

Happy new year, everybody! Hope you all had a splendid evening with
your loved ones. Look forward to experiencing your apartment soon
this year, Andy. And more happy new year wishes to Lou :)

It seems a while ago that I was actually in Portugal (my photos are
being uploaded from the UK as a steady stream now that I am back). On
one of the grey wintery days, we took a drive past an area with huge
Eucaluptus trees my mum had told me about, with one particular
postcard in mind. Eucaluptus trees are in abundance in Portgual -
they were brought over from Australia due to their fast growth rate.
It apparently takes 12 years for a eucaluptus tree to grow to
sufficient size for timber, as opposed to 60-70 years for a pine tree,
we were told by a man wielding an axe on his plot of land one day.

There was a fictional face-off between the tree in the photo and the
real tree we stood beside.

Well, there is no way we can have a contest really, for 2 reasons:
- The tree pictured in the photo is no longer around;
- The Eucaluptus tree pictures will never be as big because… it
just physically can't grow to that size.

The tree in the postcard at Yosemite toppled in the winter of 1968/9
after having a big, gaping hole cut in it in 1881. Not bad going,
could you imagine living 87 years with a big hole like that? The
postcard was sent in by Sara.

To help bring the memory of this tree to life again, we took a trip to
the biggest Eucalyptus tree we could find and you'll see my mum having
a great time assisting in relaying the sheer size of this thing. No
cars will drive through it, but it's an impressive sight nevertheless.

Retreating to bed with NY hangover,


New year reflections

For the first REAL wall of 2010 I wanted to make something metaphorical and also start showing all the regular viewers the new house. A whole set of walls that belong to me!

Todays REAL wall is pictured in the mirror with the last one of 2009 to the right. Everything in 2009 is now been and gone and still it's events are clear in our minds, while 2010 is blurry and distant but full of potential.

The mirror is the front of our IKEA wardrobe and you can see reflected in it Andy Warhols 'Marilyn Diptych' which was on the wall when we moved in. This morning Elena noticed that one of the postcards in my postcard calendar was the Marilyn Diptych so it seems our future was already sitting there on our wall in the past!

Other notable things on the wall are the small green knitted square in the centre of the mirror and Katerina Nikoltsous SKETBE mailart poster.

At the stroke of midnight, me and Elena were drinking champagne upstairs in our house and I was working on my first pieces of mailart since moving into the house. Elena was teaching herself how to knit and the green square was her first production. This will be in the post to someone very special to us very soon. I think you know who you are...

The large Red poster is from Katerina who arranged Thesolonika's recent mailart show at SKETBE. Sadly, the day that the museum should have been celebrating their exhibition launch, their offices burnt down and their future remains uncertain. Why not see if your mailart can make a difference in Greece by checking out the links and sending Katerina and the guys at SKETBE your support.  Last I heard they were petitioning for a new office so ask her about it and sign their petition today!

Have a great 2010 folks and thanks for all the cards in 2009!

Andy and Elena