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.

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Other / 28.05.2007

It became clear after attending the Wildscreen Festival in Bristol last October that in order to add to my archive I needed to buy an HD (High Definition) camera. I chose a Sony HVRV1P. It is a lot lighter than my trusty Canon XL1.

Editing my previous footage took three years. Remastering from digital tape to DVD and getting the website up and running took a further year. So I was delighted to resume filming at last, on 1st April.

My first subject was three Asian water buffaloes gracing a field next to a main road – rather exotic and picturesque. I made the mistake of immediately viewing the footage on an HD TV. The upshot was that having just forked out a tidy sum for the camera, I found myself forking out a whole lot more on an HD TV. Of course it would have been crazy to film in HD without being able to view the footage on an HD monitor.

The camera tapes run for 64 minutes. I have just started my fifth tape. I plan to add to the Archive one 60 minute DVD at… Read Complete Text

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Not The Brisbane Line / 17.05.2007

In 1976, while still living in the UK, I devised an art event based on what I termed a universal political slogan Left is Right. It took the form of an A3  poster bearing the slogan, being sent anonymously to every Member of Parliament, every member of the General Council of the Trades Union Congress and to the Director General and chairmen of the committees of the Confederation of British Industries, all told to 702 of the most politically active men and women in the country.
 
The idea of a universal political slogan expressed my disillusionment with politics. At the time I felt that the difference between Labour and Conservative government in practice was barely perceptible in everyday terms. I no longer subscribe to the view that left and right are virtually indistinguishable. However small it may be, the difference between them is crucial, particularly at the time of an election. 

The fundamental distinction between left and right politics is as true today as it ever was. Left politics tends to favour the have little over the have lots and right politics tends to favour the have lots over the have little. 

In the 2000 US… Read Complete Text

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Not The Brisbane Line / 11.05.2007

I was never convinced by the almost universally voiced conviction at the time, that the events of 9/11 changed the world. I could not see them in the same light as the end of the Soviet Union symbolised by the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the end of apartheid in South Africa symbolised by Nelson Mandela walking out of prison. Nor do I now.  For both these events ended decades of oppression affecting  hundreds of millions of people.  What 9/11 did was to unleash the war-monger in GW Bush, with terrible consequences for the world, but I am optimistic that the damage he has caused will begin to be made good at the 2008 US presidential election, particularly if a Democrat wins.

The simultaneous 9/11 attacks were the most devastating terrorist strikes ever and the first instance of the US being hit by an enemy on continental home soil since the 1812 war with Britain.

Hysteria seems to be part of the American psyche. It can be seen in the whooping and hollering of chat-show audiences and in the behaviour associated with the conduct of celebrity trials. Those of OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton… Read Complete Text

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Other / 08.05.2007

I had a half-hour live Queensland-wide interview on ABC Radio with Steve Austin, my favourite presenter, which apparently went very well. I enjoyed doing it – though, as ever, there were things I should have mentioned that I didn’t.

Since we launched the archive and website I have done a number of live radio interviews, either over the phone or in the studio. I only do them live, you know. Seriously, I have so far found them a lot of fun. I particularly recall an interview last year with another excellent presenter, Trevor Jackson on ABC Coast FM.

 

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Not The Brisbane Line / 02.04.2007

My pet archive spin-off project is the idea of a documentary series about biodiversity.

That was my reason for attending Wildscreen 2006. It was the opportunity to meet producers and senior TV executives and talk to them about my concept, which has the working title The Abundance of Life.

It was always the longest of long shots. As a last throw of the dice, I today sent the concept to the Head of Development at the BBC Natural History Unit. In my covering letter I made it clear that I wanted to entrust the concept entirely to the NHU because I feel that it is uniquely able to make the kind of series I have in mind. Moreover I have no desire to be a filmmaker or cinematographer, even though I would be happy to help develop the concept and possibly be involved in other ways.

Should anything happen you’ll hear about it. Meanwhile I am publishing the material on this site: ‘You read it HERE first’.

THE ABUNDANCE OF LIFE

CONCEPT

Planet earth is teeming with life. Only a fraction of all the species (about 1.8 million)… Read Complete Text

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Other / 15.03.2007

Five segments from the archive have been posted to YouTube.

www.youtube.com

The clips can also be accessed here. More will be added from time to time. I'll let you know when.