Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.



A cherished dream, my book   One small place on earth …  discovering biodiversity where you are,   self-published in August 2019, has been long in the making. Jan Watson created its design template nine years ago. The idea of doing a book seems to have occurred during my stay with Clive Tempest, the website’s first architect, when I was visiting the UK in 2006. By the time Steve Guttormsen and I began sustained work on the book in 2017, much of which I had already written, the imperative was to create a hard copy version of a project whose content is otherwise entirely digital.


People may wonder why there is little mention of climate change – global warming on my website. There are two related reasons. Firstly, if former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2007 remark that climate change is the “great moral, environmental and economic challenge of our age” is true, we have not acted accordingly before or since. Rudd’s statement is only true if we collectively live as if it is true, Rudd included. Instead, our politics has wasted decades favouring business as usual, and a global economy excessively dependent on fossil fuels – in the wilful absence of a politics intent on achieving a low carbon economy. Secondly, although it is open to individuals to strive to live the truth of Rudd’s remarks, the vast majority of people, myself included, do not. I salute those who do. The precautionary principle alone makes me regard climate change as a current planetary crisis, but because I have only marginally changed the way I live, and still wish to fly, I am not inclined to pontificate on the subject.


The ‘Film Diary’ entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I am filming. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map. 


Film Diary / 08.11.2008

From time to time Jenny Peat, secretary of the Progress Association, phones to tell me about something film-worthy in her garden. This time I had the opportunity to film the quite rare Fletcher’s frog, which she is encouraging to breed. Although I was running out of tape I managed to get some good footage of a female.



The Brisbane Line / 03.11.2008

Received an email from the editor, Martin Leet, with the link to my article.


I opposed the war in Iraq because I was lied to about the reasons for waging it. Bush, Blair and Howard peddled the tale that Saddam Hussein was a danger to the people of their respective countries. This was palpable nonsense. On the contrary, I consider the war-mongering Bush to be a far greater danger to the world than the late Saddam, whose scope to extend his murderous actions beyond Iraq’s borders had been severely curtailed by the no-fly zone maintained by the US and Britain since the 1990-91 Gulf War.

Having opposed the war, I had to accept the fact that I was willing to consign the people of Iraq to their fate at the hands of the planet’s most monstrous tyrant and that did not sit well with me.

Early in the 21st century and after many decades of growth of mature liberal democracy, the world has no mechanism for getting rid of tyrants, other than relying on their victims to rise up and overthrow them. This is… Read Complete Text


Other / 27.10.2008

Stans (Constance) van der Veen emailed me pictures of the giant Arum lily, which was supposed to have flowered on the night of my visit in August. Except that they were a day out in their calculations. In any case because I had to get back to Amsterdam I could not have stayed for the duration of what wasn’t the flowering. These plants are famed for their size and the rarity of their flowering and are notorious for the foul odour they emit when in bloom. Stans’ backpack retained the odour a month after the event.


Film Diary / 20.09.2008

After a break of three months I resumed filming and the first subject which caught my eye was a white flower. On my daily walk I noticed more and more white flowers and so for more than a month I mainly filmed plants with white flowers. Some flowers had entirely white petals, some started off with white petals which later turned blue or pink and some had bits of colour at the base of their petals. As I viewed the tapes towards the end of my white flower spree, I tallied the different plants and came up with more than 50, though I went on to film a few more afterwards. The filming occurred from late September to early November



My Travels / 16.07.2008

As with my 2006 trip, my visit to the UK and Europe had two purposes – to further Sandrine Meats’ Whsht research as well as progressing archive spin-offs (namely video installations based on the archive) and to catch up with family and friends and tour familiar and unfamiliar places.

My trip had two purposes  . . .


Purpose One

I met with Sandrine on a number of occasions, twice with artists who took part in Whsht events, and twice with Sandrine on her own. She is doing a marvellous job of documenting and making sense of what we did. One of the meetings was at Carlyle Reedy’s flat. Carlyle is a very fine poet and artist. I had not seen her in 40 years. She looked as I remembered her, but with a beauty that I had not appreciated then. It was lovely seeing her again.

Before setting off on my travels I had emailed a number of people whom I had hoped to meet, though several had not bothered to reply. However I was determined to give my Beauty DVD to the Art &… Read Complete Text


Other / 02.07.2008

The two parcels I sent via courier, containing the DVCAM master tapes of the published archive, a set of the DVDs, the original revised script and copies of the signed interview releases, have arrived at the National Film & Sound Archive.

It’s taken a long time to reach this point, given that I thought the future of the entire archive was secure in the hands of the State Library of Queensland – even before publication at the end of 2005. A letter dated April 11 from Graham Shirley, Senior Curator, Moving Image, at the NFSA broke the logjam. I await the paperwork to formally conclude the handover of my donation.