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Anything mentionable is manageable 
Greetings from my shed…
Hello, I’m Christian Payne. Generalist, wonderer and glad you could make it.
The week started off outdoors with a wet motorbike ride. Hand guards and a waterproof wireless Quadlock charger on the bars (video to come). Plus a service and a fix of a recall issue which I didn’t experience, but could apparently be dangerous at speed.
Jamie at Pure Triumph Wellingborough is just one member of a whole team of awesome staff. But every time he tends to my bike, it feels faster and better than when it went in. The rest of the week was spent on foot.
“Is that an electronic tag?” The lady with the frisky terrier asked pointing at my leg.
“No.” I replied. “It’s a scintillation detector. It enables me to identify isotopes as I walk the dog.”
“Why?” She asked.
I had to think. “As my dog sniffs to check peemail, I’m sniffing to see what kind of invisible matter is around me.”
She wasn’t impressed till I showed her I has been mapping the village. That i’d found a hotspot on the high street and one particular house was showing traces of Americium-241, Bismuth-214, Caesium-137, Radium-226, Samarium-153, Technetium-99m, Thorium-232, and Uranium-235.
“Ooo. I know who lives there.” She said. “Is he going to die?”
I was at EMF camp when I first saw the rings of Saturn through a telescope. It was seven years ago and had a lasting impression on me.
I feel I can really empathise with these people looking at a new view of the moon.
Fossil Characters is a film made by my friend Adrian Storey.
"Poste Restante" is called different things around the world. ‘Counter Delivery’ in some places ‘General Delivery’ in others, but most main post offices around the world will still know Poste Restante as a service that allows individuals to receive mail at a specific post office location rather than having it delivered to their home address or hotel. The term "Poste Restante" is French for "remaining post" or "post to be held."
Back in the 90’s with cyber cafes very thin on the ground, or non existent in some cases, this was how I received most of my mail. I have a stack of them from that time, and it still amazes me how they ever got to me. I wonder how many didn’t and are still sat in a dusty draw awaiting collection.
At the end of my outgoing letters I’d leave a list of cities I was likely to pass though in the coming months, as well as what month I was likely to be there. The general post office was always my first and last stop off when passing through these places.
Imagine the anticipation. Far from home, family and familiar faces. There was always a sense of hope as you walked into these buildings. Stone-built and busy, or wooden and sparse. You’d make your way to the designated collection area and show your ID. Sometimes none was needed and a large wooden tray with edges worn smooth would be filled with letters fat and thin. Their impossible journeys printed on the outside.
Some places would clean out the letters every couple of months. In India, one postmaster showed me with pride a letter he’d held onto for 15 years.
“It’s important” he said. “So I keep it.”
I didn’t ask how he knew the contents.
And then you spot your name and there’s a rush of excitement as you leave to find somewhere quiet where you can read it.
Sometimes there was pages of handwritten text with photos, hidden money or pressed flowers. Other times a worried friend or fellow traveller would send a single line. Like in the image at the top of this email. The same line they posted to ten cities in the hope they would find you. And they do. And a week later you are both drinking cheap whisky from a bucket of ice.
In today’s always on hyper-connectedness, I miss this sense of space between missives and the patience needed in the act of waiting. But most of all I miss the allure and significance of these precious artefacts and those hand written words hidden within.
It looks like South Korea will soon be banning dog meat for consumption.
When it comes to favourite clothing there is little to beat a cherished pair of jeans. Especially if that pair has taken the shape of your body. Good denim is designed to last and becomes a living archive of adventures had. A wearable memoir. Each crease and fade another part of the story. And the longer that story goes on the better. But nothing lasts forever. The more the wearer wears, the more the worn gets worn.
After over 10 years together, across countries, up mountains, in trees. On beaches and motorbikes, jungles and wars zones, my Hiut Denim, unsurprisingly were starting to wear. Worn in the saddle with rips on the knees, I’d taken to wearing them in the garden. A splash of wood stain will attest to that.
But nothing is as comfy, even with my knees hanging out and a draught in my nether regions. So it was time to salvage the selvedge. And Hiut don’t just claim free repairs for life. They honour it.
Three weeks after posting, I have them back. I’ve no idea what kind of magic Grandmaster Paul ‘the weaver of the thread’ wields. But it’s amazing what can be fixed, rebuilt and restored.
Enter a new chapter. And perhaps another ten years of adventures.
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A random film that dropped into the backchannel we have on Wire.com. (If you are a supporting subscriber let me know if you want in.) This video is all over the place and all the better for it.
The Documentally community map is waiting for someone in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand or Vietnam to subscribe and pop up on the map.
Interesting long read on the mission to “liberate, expel, [and] settle” Gaza.
Big up for Vernon and the millions he has raised.
Some of my other places include Letterboxd, GoodReads, FarceBook, Flickr, Strava, Untappd, Diaspora, Vivino, LinkedIn, YouTube, Mastodon, a ham radio newsletter or search ‘Documentally’ on Wire, Birdsite or Bluesky.
Electric bikes are cutting the demand for oil more than electric cars.
Thanks for reading, Tomorrow night I’ll be in London at a birthday party. And next week I’ll be photographing Evelyn Glennie who was mentioned above. I hope you have a great weekend.
“The downside is life is short and has to end. The upside is it comes with bread, wine and books.” ~ Trent Dalton
See you out there.