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.


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.


My Travels / 31.10.2007

On the first of November I returned from a three-week trip to China, which provided one highlight after another – scenery, flora and fauna, some memorable human encounters and one or two outstanding meals. Read about the highlights.



I traveled with a friend from the Mountain. My main purpose in visiting China was to see Tiger Leaping Gorge. My friend’s main purpose was to see the terracotta warriors in Xian.

Though only about 30km long, the gorge, at 3700m, is reputedly the deepest chasm on the planet. We joined a small group of 15 people for a seven-day tour of Yunnan, flying into its capital Kunming, considered a bit on the small side with a population of 3,000,000, at an altitude of 1800m and predictably beset by pollution.

Our first day schedule did not allow us to breakfast at our hotel. We had to take an early flight to Dali, roughly the same altitude as Kunming. The cloud cover descended to 3,000 or so metres, concealing the mountaintops. At Dali we first glimpsed a… Read Complete Text


Other / 27.09.2007

I intend to add to the Archive with a series of hour-long DVD supplements. I have spent most of September shot-listing the nine 64 minute HD tapes filmed so far, and I have been doing shot selection on the first eight.

While engaged on this work I have done a small amount of filming – mainly of moths – as the beginning of Spring has resulted in warmer weather and a reinvigorated insect life.

I have also updated filming of an immensely spreading fig tree, which loses its leaves for all of two weeks. I only get to pass the tree one day a week on my way to the coast. My film diary shows a 15 day gap between filming the tree without leaves and then with new leaves.


Other / 06.09.2007

After the Recovering Rainforest Forum, I emailed the two professors at Griffith University (see entry for 25-27 June) and set out my ideas about video archiving biodiversity projects in the field. I subsequently followed this up by letter but have not received replies. I find the professors’ silence disappointing, but would still welcome the opportunity to engage with scientists to see if video archiving research projects is viable. With this in mind I have been in contact with the director of business development at Earthwatch in Melbourne. He had earlier sent me an email praising this website and we spoke on the phone. Maybe the idea can be pursued after all.



Other / 21.08.2007

Brisbane Extra is a Monday to Friday TV magazine programme which preceeds Channel 9’s main evening news. I was the subject of a segment which included footage from the Archive. As with Totally Wild earlier in the year, it was gratifying to see my material shown on TV.



Not The Brisbane Line / 11.07.2007

I received an email from Sandrine Meats, the Sorbonne student who interviewed me last year about my nefarious past. This was for her dissertation on performance art in the UK in the 60s and 70s. It was a roaring success and she has been awarded a scholarship to undertake a PhD.  Also she been asked by the leading contemporary art magazine in France to write a lengthy article about WHSHT (the loose grouping of artists to which I belonged and whose multi-media and street theatre events I produced).

Now is a good time to respond to Clive’s request for a blog piece about my early career!


It seems surreal to contemplate that while I was having a ball in the avant-garde art scene of late swinging 60s London, the Neocons were starting to put together an agenda that would capture American politics more than thirty years later.

The ball started for me a few years earlier during my time as a student at Hornsey College of Art in north London. I was part of the Light/Sound Workshop which created… Read Complete Text


Other / 27.06.2007

The forum was held at Griffith University in Brisbane from June 25 – 27. I was particularly interested in presentations about biodiversity projects in South East Queensland by two professors from the university.

I had been in contact with one and the other was known to me by name and reputation. I was able to briefly meet both of them.

There were many interesting talks about rainforest in North Queensland as well as in the local area. A talk about fungal conservation in a remnant gallery rainforest was right up my street, given my love of filming fungi.

Hearing the scientists and naturalists talk at the forum, and some of them touch on wanting to find ways to inform the public about their work, confirmed a feeling which I had started to formulate about the potential value of video archiving biodiversity research projects. I mentioned this to both the professors. One found the presence of a documentary crew filming his project (involving scientists from many parts of the world) intrusive. I said it need not be intrusive. I suggested to the other that he should consider video archiving his project using… Read Complete Text