Dennis's e-mails

From: Guy Wooles
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Penguin Project
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 27th, 1999

Dear Dave,

My name is Guy Wooles and I am currently in my 3rd year at the University of Western England (Bristol) studying Fine Art in Context. My latest project involves conservation and wildlife protection issues. For the past three weeks I have been creating penguins out of newspaper in preparation for a residency and to develop my own style of practice. One of my creations recently asked if he could have a holiday. Being a kind and considerate person I agreed to see what I could do. His name is Dennis (as in hopper(!!)), and he stands approximately 12-16 inches tall. I am writing, and hoping, that you might be willing to take Dennis for a few days and take some photographs of him with his cousins and the surrounding areas, plus anything else you think he would like to see. He would, of course, bring his own camera and return ticket. Joking aside, I would like to give Dennis his own history and background besides the ones that have been crumpled up to create him. This might all sound a bit crazy but I believe it could be an interesting experience for him(!) and for myself and perhaps help put across some serious issues regarding waste and conservation amongst others. I do hope you can help me in this project and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

My e-mail address is Guy@**********.co.uk

All the best

Guy


From: Dave Houston
To: Guy@**********.co.uk
Subject: Dennis
Date: Friday, October 29, 1999 11:54 AM

If Dennis wanted to come over for a look around, I would be pleased to introduce him to some of his feathered relatives.

Cheers,

Dave Houston

Department of Conservation
P.O.Box 388,
Oamaru,
New Zealand

Thought for the day:
Consciousness (n): that annoying time between naps.


From: Guy Wooles
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Dennis
Date: Saturday, Oct 30th, 1999

Dave,

Thanks very much for offering to take Dennis for a few, he's over moon. As soon as he's packed he'll be 'winging' his way over to you. Just to give you some idea of what to expect I'll tell you his history so far.
Dennis is the first penguin I made for this project and was created using only photographs in books as a guideline. So he might look like a cross between a number of penguins! I realise that he should be at least two and a half feet tall but he is only a few weeks old.
Dennis is made entirely out of paper and plain old sellotape but he is quite solid. I haven't painted him because I quite like him the way he is. I didn't want to hide the fact that he's made of waste material.
Please don't worry if you damage him, just stick him back together if you can. I expect him to come back a little 'travel weary' anyway.
Was my e-mail dated 18/6/99? My computer is playing up and puts weird dates on everything. If not ignore the last question!
So, anyway, thanks again for the prompt reply and Dennis wants to know whether he can call you 'Uncle Dave'?
Good luck in the Rugby. I'm rooting for New Zealand (I think) 'cos I'm Welsh and so is Dennis. Oh, and thanks for Graham Henry!

Iechyd Da ('cheers' in Welsh)
Guy


From: Dave Houston
To: Guy Wooles
Subject: Re: Dennis
Date: Saturday, October 30, 1999 9:36 PM

I look forward to Dennis' arrival. He might get a yacht trip to Stewart Island to survey Yellow-eyed penguins if he behaves. Will see some blue penguins and might even see some Fiordland-crested's.

Yes, you computer still thinks it's June.

Kia Ora,

Uncle Dave
Thought for the day:
Logic (n): the art of being wrong with confidence.



From: Guy Wooles
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Incoming Dennis
Date: Thursday, November 04, 1999 10:07 PM

Dave,
I have just waved Dennis off at the Post Office.They tell me he'll take about a week to get to you so he should be with you around next Friday. You wouldn't believe the problems I had trying to get him packed. He's not too heavy, but if I'd put him in a box he would of been too big to send Air Mail due to his odd dimensions. Are your penguins as much trouble?
So he's snugly packed in a heavy duty bag wearing cardboard helmet and boots! You'll laugh when you see him. I hope he's not too pissed off with me when he arrives. He's got his camera with him so I hope it survives the journey.
If you keep his packing and his bag then you can send him back the same way, if he does't complain too much. He weighs approx. 1.57kg, so when he arrives if you could let me know how much it's going to cost to send him back in New Zealand money I can send you a cheque or transfer the money to you. The little man at the Post Orifice said that this would be the easiest way otherwise I'd be sending you hundreds of International Reply Coupons.
I am hoping that he has no problems getting through customs, it would ruin his holiday if he had to endure an internal body cavity search-oooohh owww!
I was wondering, if you had a spare film, could you take some back-up photos just in case his photos don't come out due to airport x-ray machines or something? Then if they didn't come out you'd have a spare set. I'd pay for the film, of course. If this is going to be a pain in the butt, don't worry, I'm sure the camera will be fine.
If you could let me know when he arrives, that would be great.
Thanks very much,
Guy
PS Sorry to hear about the All Blacks. Bloody French! What with British Beef and now this, eh!
Cheers


From: Dave Houston
To: Guy Wooles
Subject: Re: Incoming Dennis
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999 6:00 AM

G'day,
Dennis arrived a couple of days ago, but hasn't seen much because I've been out of town. He wasn't subjected to any embarrasing internal body cavity searches.
I've decided not to take Dennis to Stewart Island next week, instead he is spending the time with Denis, the manager of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. I'll install him on Friday night and introduce him to a few of his small feathered relatives.
I'll drop you a note when I get back to let you know how he's getting on.

Cheers,
Dave Houston


Thought for the day:
Flashlight (n): A case for holding dead batteries


From: Guy Wooles
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Dennis' Holiday
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999 9:19 PM

Hi, Dave,
Glad to hear the old bird is okay and that he hasn't suffered any embarassing experiences. Thought I'd better tell you that Dennis does like his beer and he has my permission to go down the pub if he wishes (he is Welsh after all !). If he gets too frisky mention the dark night in Cardiff and the one legged pigeon- that usually sobers him up pretty sharpish!
A weird thing happened the other weekend I thought I'd tell you about. I was talking to my partners mother about this project and she mentioned that she went to a penguin colony in Oamaru last year. She said that she had spoken to a man who was looking after the penguins along with a younger man and she said his name was Dave something. Was that you???
Talk about small world if it was, eh!?
Anyway, say thanks to Denis for looking after Dennis while you are away.

Have a good trip,
Guy
P.S. Feel free to take whatever photos you think would be good (or funny). Cheers.


From: Dave Houston
To: Guy wooles
Subject: Re: Dennis' Holiday
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999 11:34 PM

It most likely was me!


From: Guy Wooles
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Penguin on holiday
Date: Sunday, December 05, 1999 3:22 PM

Hiya Dave
How are things on the other side of the world? They're pretty lousy on this side. How was your trip to Stewart Island? Did you get to see any Fiordland-cresteds? How many species do you actually look after and how many penguins in total does that make? I hope that, at this time of year, you're up to your knees in Blue and Yellow-eyed penguin chicks, not to mention all the others in New Zealand. Has it been a good year in terms of successfully raised chicks?
Yesterday, my girlfriend and I went to Bristol Zoo to see their new Seal and Penguin Coast. What a fantastic exhibit! I don't know whether you've heard about it, but it's definitely one of the best enclosures I've seen. They have Gentoo, Magellanic and two King penguins all sited down in, what looks like, a natural sea cove that has a wave machine sending the water crashing on the rocks. There is a kind of cliff walk that extends above and around the back of the enclosure for the penguins, giving them views across the rest of the zoo. They've also created a tunnel that goes beneath the water, giving you a crabs-eye view of the swimming penguins. I didn't realise how beautiful and graceful they are underwater- like fat rugby balls with eyes! All in all they've done a fine job of trying to create as natural an environment for the penguins as they can in the middle of smelly old Bristol. Do you have any contacts at the zoo? Because next year I was hoping to send one of Dennis' brothers or sisters to them for a working residency- I know they are heavily involved in conservation and education. My girlfriend is a Biologist and runs an environment and conservation club at the school where she works. She invited Stephen Woollard from Bristol Zoo to a careers conference she organised one year. Do you know him? Is this the man I should be contacting? One word answers are acceptable!
Anyway, now I've bored the pants off you about Bristol Zoo, how's the old bird? Is he behaving himself? If he is, then it's a first. What's he been up to, the lucky b*****d? I hope it hasn't been an incovenience to you 'cos you must be extremely busy this time of year. If you get a chance to drop me a quick note to let me know how he is that would be great, if not don't worry. I'm sure he's in good hands. Just don't let him lead you astray. Dennis doesn't know the meaning of the words "just a quick beer" or "don't "! You know that picture of you on your website, is that really an Albatross or is it actually an overweight Husky?
This short note to find out how you're doing has turned into a short novel, hasn't it? The sun has probably risen and set whilst you were reading this and you've missed your tea. If so, I appologise, I just reckon you've got one of the best jobs I can think of.
I'll leave you to save the environment now.

Many thanks,
Guy
P.S. Do you know Simon King, the wildlife photographer from the BBC? I'm trying to get hold of him because one of Dennis' brothers wants to go and work with him on one of his trips!
Anyway, I've overstayed my welcome, bye.


From: Dave Houston
To: Guy Wooles
Subject: Re: Penguin on holiday
Date: Tuesday, December 07, 1999 5:44 AM

Guy,
Stewart Island was great, but I'm glad I didn't take Dennis along for the ride, because I fear the drenching he would have got would have been fatal.

The yacht that we stayed on for the first week got a bit of a pounding on the way down and was wet inside and out. The fact that it rained for the next few days didn't improve things much either. It did however clear up for the second week and we were able to bask in the sun.

Got to see lots of Fiordland crested penguins and their chicks, but were disappointed about the low number of yellow-eyed nests we found. Also saw lots of blue penguins, but also saw a good number that had been munched by cats.

It's too early to say how good the penguin season is, or rather, how bad. We are having having another la nina year and they are not good for penguins. We expect poor breeding success and low juvenile survival, but won't really see what happens till February or later.

I had some email correspondence with someone at Bristol zoo re a link to their web site, but that was my only contact. Must look at the web page again to see how the exhibit has progressed. Dennis has been working at the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony while I've been away. He's helped out with some nest monitoring and showed our Prime Minister around the colony one evening (well ex prime minister now, we just had an election last week). I'll introduce him to the Mayor next week if I get a chance. We'll get out and check some yellow-eyed penguin nests next week and after that I'll get him to give me a hand up at Macraes Flat with some predator monitoring work and fencing in a rare lizard reserve. I forgot to ask, has he any fencing, welding or tractor driving experience?

I'm at Macraes at the moment, doing the above tasks, but supposed to be doing lizard survey work, but the weather isn't co-operating. Just hear the generator stop - better go and get dinner on for the troops.

Cheers,
Dave Houston

Thought for the day: Originality (n): The art of concealing your sources.


From: Guy Wooles
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Dennis' DIY skills
Date: Tuesday, December 07, 1999 2:07 AM

Hi,Dave
Just a quick note to let you know that Dennis is well trained in most martial arts. So he should be of some use to you in combatting those predators. He recently became a black belt in Origami. As to welding and fencing, for some reason he has a slight phobia about fire- and if you mention 'fencing' to him he'll think that you'll want him to get rid of some 'dodgy' gear! He is capable of driving most vehicles but, unfortunately, has had his licence taken from him due being drunk in charge of his tricyle (I told him not to go out with the penguins from down the road- so it's his own fault!).

Has he run out of film for his camera yet? I can't wait to see them. Did he get his picture taken with the ex-PM and did you vote for him.

At the moment I'm trying to get some sponsorship from McVities Penguin biscuits so that I can set up a website around this adventure. They'll probably think I'm mad- maybe I am! This whole project has ballooned and everyone keeps asking me how Dennis is. I've been encouraged by my tutors to expand, I'm now trying to get one of Dennis' brothers into the Whitehouse. I'll have to tell them he doesn't like cigars! I also want to send one of the family to the North Pole, I understand it'll be the first penguin to the North Pole!? If this fails I'm still holding out for Tom 'the voice' Jones!

Do you have any suggestions for Dennis' brothers and sisters that might help your cause because I'd love to help- especially through my website?

Anyway, I'll keep you posted. Oh, and make sure you don't burn the toast!

Keep smiling,
Guy


From: Guy Wooles
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Xmas
Date: Monday, 20th December.

Dave,
Just writing to wish you and Dennis a very Happy Christmas and hope you have an exceptional Millennium. Dennis is very fond of mince pies (if you haven't found out already) and loves sherry, but keep an eye on him or else he'll drain the bottle when you're not looking! In fact I'd put him on early penguin duties so that he doesn't over do it. Mind you that's probably like putting the fox in charge of the chickens- you'll end up with thousands of penguins doing the conga around Oamaru!
Anyway, here's wishing you the finest of the festive season.
Nadolig Llawen (Merry Christmas),
Guy
P.S. I'll be away from the 22/12/99 to the 4th of the next century (I hope it's a good one for you and your team).


From: Guy
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Back Online
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000. 15:49:02

Dear Dave,
I have managed to get my computer back online at my old address. Hopefully it will stay like this for a while and not break as it is liable to do. Anyway you can contact me here for the forseeable future - God willing! How's Dennis - can't wait for an update.

Are you up to your ears in penguin chicks? I hope you are and that you've had a good year. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Cheers
Guy


From: Dave Houston
To: Guy
Subject: Re: Back Online
Date: Monday, March 06, 2000 9:35 AM

Dear Guy,
Sorry about the protracted Antipodean silence. I've been rather busy on the skink work at Macraes Flat and haven't had a lot of time at home or do penguin work. As a consequence, I'm afraid poor Dennis has been a bit neglected, so much so that he's taken to sulking when I do manage to spend time with him - see the attached pic.

We did go to Queenstown for a Doobie Brothers concert, but it poured with rain so we stayed at home in front of the fire instead. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we're off to Macraes again to work on a predator-proof fence. Dennis has offered to be bait and try to entice some predators to break into the exclosure.

The penguin year has not been a good one. Only about half the yellow-eyed penguin chicks survived this year and the blues had a short breeding season. Dennis and I are still working on the final figures and they'll appear on the web site as soon as he's finished typing in the data.

Regards,
Dave

Thought for the day: Flashlight (n): A case for holding dead batteries


From: Guy
To: Dave Houston
Subject: Dennis 2000
Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2000 11:12 PM

Dave,
It's good to hear from you. We were getting worried over here - I had a line of penguins pacing up and down in front of the computer waiting for word. We were about to put together a rescue team and storm Macraes Flats in search of the Skink Eaters lair where we thought you were both being held - ready to be boiled alive and eaten. But I think we'd all drunk to much and the garlic bread was starting to repeat!

Anyway, less of all that drivel, how are you both? It's good to hear that you've got Dennis earning his krill. Be careful that his body odour doesn't repel the predators as opposed to attracting them. I've told him many times to wear underwing deodorant but he says he prefers to be 'au naturel'.

Have you managed to get him to type with both wings or is he still being lazy and using just the one?

I was sorry to hear about the penguin breeding season. Was it expected - do you tend to get a bad season every now and then or are there outside elements responsible?

It was great to get the photo of Dennis. Was that a Yellow-eyed penguin with him? I can't wait to see more. If you want to send me copies, I'll pay for the postage. But it is nice to get them attached to the e-mails - it's like receiving photos from family you haven't seen for years.

I'll let you get back to putting bacon behind Dennis' ears.

Speak to you soon,
Guy.


From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: How's Life?
Date: Monday, April 03, 2000 10:44 PM

Dear Dave,
How's life treating you? Things are pretty miserable here at the moment. We're having snow and it's the beginning of April (Spring!!).
How is the Skink work going at the moment? Has the new fence worked?
Things are going pretty mad here. I think I told you that one of Dennis' brothers went off to a school in Hong Kong. Now I've got one out in Edmonton, Canada, at some kind of eco company. I'll find out soon what sort of company it is when they contact me. I've also sent one off to New York to, hopefully, be taken around the Museum of Modern Art. There is a risk that this one (Betty) might not make it home. The person taking her mentioned that she might get 'torched' on the Empire State Building!!
I am also sorting out the travel arrangements for 'Adele', she, hopefully, will be going over to the Falkland Islands. Do you know anyone over there who has the right sense of humour to want to help in this project? I have a contact in the tourist board over there who is coming to Cardiff over Easter and I think she's willing to accompany Adele back over to the islands.
Anyway, I suppose I'd better ask how the old bird is doing. Did he get munched by any predators? I shouldn't think he tastes very good.
I'll leave you now to patch up the teeth marks on Dennis, he'll look the part with a few scars!
I've attached a couple of pics of the new Bristol Zoo penguin 'coast' if you're interested.
Speak to you soon. Take care
Guy


From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Long Time No Hear
Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2000 11:19 PM

Dear Dave,
Just a quick note to find out how you both are. I hope you're okay. Haven't heard from you for a while, I hope it's not a bad omen. Hopefully you're just busy.
I was contacted by Falklands Conservation last week so hopefully I'll be sending Dennis' sister, Adele, over there in the not-too-distant future. They seemed quite interested in you and Dennis. Soon everyone will be wanting their very own 'Dennis'. You'd better keep hold of the 'one and only' - he'll soon be a collectors item!!
Anyway, take care and I'll leave you with an Easter joke:-
Jesus (on the cross) to Peter:
"Peter, Peter, save me an egg I'll be back on Sunday"
Cheers,
Guy


From: "Dave Houston"
To: "Guy"
Subject: Re: Long Time No Hear
Date: Thursday, April 13, 2000 7:54 AM

Sorry about the silence, I'm doing 2 jobs at the moment and am a tad busy. Dennis is well and has been busy climbing mountains - full details will be released as soon as the sherpas carry the photos out.
Cheers,
Dave


From: "Dennis P. Gwynn"
To: Guy Wooles
Subject: Dennis calling
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Dear Guy,
Dave has proved to be a hopeless letter writer, so I've put the flippers to the keyboard myself to let you know what I'm up to. I've also scanned a few pics of my exploits for you to add to the one of that snobby yellow-eyed penguin and me on your great new website.

A wee while ago, Dave dragged me along on a trip to the Awakino skifield to cut down some wilding pine trees. Personally, I found I wasn't cut out to be a woodpecker, so I gathered together a small team of sherpas and went mountaineering.

The first attempt on Mt Kohurau (2015m) failed because of lack of light and we had to retreat back to the ski lodge for a few beers. It was suggested that the fact that we set off only 30 min before sunset may have been a contributing factor in our failure, however I blame the poor snow conditions.

[Mt Cook - highpoint on day 1. Mt Cook, the highest peak in NZ is the blob on the left of the skyline]

On day two we set off from base camp early - just after lunch. In what has become a legendary climb for penguins world-wide, I managed to struggle to the summit mid afternoon [Kohurau - at the summit]. The NZ Alpine club have, however, refused to acknowledge this momentous event, claiming that because I was driven by 4WD to within 200m of the summit and then carried by an international team of 19 sherpas, it invalidates my claim. I intend to lodge an appeal.

[Sherpas - sherpas and I at the summit. Kiwis, Irish, Canadians, Dutch and a Welsh penguin.]

Since the Kohurau affair, I've been spending a bit of time helping out on the lizard project at Macraes Flat. Dave's had me riding the 4-wheeler about doing the trapping rounds for him [4wheeler] and testing the experimental predator-proof fences he's built. [electric - testing to see if the electrics are on]

One of the tasks I've been assigned to is seeing if the fences are predator-proof. I sat on top of a rock in one of the exclosures for weeks [rock] and nothing happened. Then Dave passed on your excellent suggestion of putting a rasher of bacon under each wing. Having decided that it was worth a go, I then had to procure a bit of bacon. Borrowing Dave's 4-wheel drive and rifle, I popped out the back of the farm and got myself a wild pig [bacon]. I hope to get back out in the field and complete the experiment as soon as the bacon cures.

Will let you know how the experiment goes.

Kindest regards,
Dennis


From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Fab Fotos
Date: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

Dear Dave and Dennis,
Great to hear from you both and what a surprise to see all those photos. They're fab! How are you both? Are you still very busy, or are things winding down a bit? A ranger's work is never done, eh?
I never knew how jealous of a paper penguin I could get until I saw those photos. You certainly have a big team over there. Are there any vacancies for a paper penguin sculptor over there (can double up as tea-boy)?!!
Anyway, I'm approaching crunch time with regards to my course. My final assessment is next Tuesday (June 6th) and I'm busy writing my Evaluation Report. We have a degree show, then, starting on the 23rd and that goes on until the 27th. So, Dave, if you are in Bristol during those dates don't hesitate to contact me and you can be my guest of honour!
All the information and pictures for all my penguins will be on display so hopefully I'll get alot of interest. As you can imagine the pictures you sent will be excellent for my presentation.
God willing, this time next month I'll be Guy Wooles BA(hons), AKA 'The Penguin Man'!
Did I tell you that they call me that already at Bristol Zoo!? You should be called that, not me.
Anyway, I'll let you go and finish off eating that pig that Dennis shot. Apparently the trotters are the best bit! Get Dennis to show you his trick with the tail - just make sure you've finished eating first.
Take Care
Guy

PS. What do the NZ Alpine Club know anyway, eh? We'd both be millionaires by now if he'd managed it unaided!!


From: "Dave Houston"
To: "Guy"
Subject: Re: Fab Fotos
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2000

Guy,
Glad you liked the pics. We're both pretty busy. I'm trying to finish a paper I'm writing for the International Penguin Conference in Chile and Dennis keeps on wanting to party. Now that the bacon has cured, we're back to Macraes next week for a week of predator tracking followed by a week of predator trapping. Winter is approaching here, but Dennis is looking forward to the snow and the ski season.

Cheers,
Dave


From: "Dave Houston" Organization: www.penguin.net.nz
To: "Guy"
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 10:35:31

Guy,
Please accept both Dennis' and my apologies in that we are both unable to attend your degree show.
Have a great day,
Dave and Dennis


From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Big Wide World
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 10:41:07

Dear Dave,
How are things going over there? I haven't written for a while because I've been heavily involved in Degree Show mayhem. Everything went fine and everyone seemed to love the penguin idea.
I've even been getting e-mails from people asking if they can take a penguin around their home towns (Americans mainly).
The Degree is now over and I now have to try and make some money - hopefully involving my penguins. I'm trying to get funding and sponsorship so that I can continue my work and take it even further. I have approached the local paper to see if they would be interested in sending me and one of my penguins over to South Africa to assist in the clean-up campaign! It' worth a try if nothing else.
I desperately want to raise awareness about conservation and waste using the penguins but I'm having difficulty in getting the right people involved. I have a contact in the Natural History Unit of the BBC who's willing to help me contact the right people. At the moment I'm trying to get together some info that she can send to David Attenborough. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to have accesss to the internet or at least doesn't have an e-mail address.
My girlfriend is going travelling for a year in October and I'm thinking that if nothing has happened by Xmas that I might borrow some money and catch her up - with a penguin, of course.
She plans to go to New Zealand and do some teaching, God knows what I'll do!! So you never know we might meet up in person soon. What a frightening thought for you!
Anyway, how's Dennis P Gwynne? Has he been behaving himself?
Elvis turned up at my degree show complete with gown and mortar board with a real penguin feather on it. He is going back to Bristol Zoo but he's spending a few weeks with me at home beforehand.
How does Dennis manage with the big rifle? Do you have to hold it for him? Or have you got him a small one to carry round? And how many shots did he take to bag that pig?
When he was with me he used to love taking his spud gun wherever we went much to the annoyance of the people who copped a shot in the kneecap!
Many a time I had to confiscate it from him before somebody shredded him.
Hope you are all well and not too stressed
Speak to you soon
Guy
XX


From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Post Degree
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 16:34:57

Dear Dave and Dennis,
Please excuse me for not writing sooner but I have been busy trying to drum up sponsorship and funding to no avail so far. Also I have been asked to take part in an exhibition for the South West Regional Development Agency in Exeter that starts on the 4th September (I think!). The exhibition involves recent graduates and has an ecological theme to it and they asked me to take some of Dennis' brothers and sisters down to liven up the proceedings a bit! My only hope is that there isn't a bar there or else they'll get a bad reputation for themselves as I'm not going to be around to keep an eye on them - and when you get a group of penguins together you know what can happen.
Anyway, how are you keeping over there? Isn't it winter there? It's still probably warmer than it is here at the moment. Did you manage to get the paper for the International Penguin Conference finished? When is the conference - is it the same as the one held next year in Australia (Phillip Island?)?
I only hope that you didn't allow Dennis to edit it. As you probably know he's got a wicked sense of humour, especially when he thinks nobody's looking!
Have you done much skiing lately? I realised that I didn't pack any snow shoes or skis for him. Do they make skis in his size or have you had to fashion a pair out of lollipop sticks for him.
Let me know if you need me to send out some penguin lolly skis or a scarf and bobble hat. I'm sure there must be a market for penguin skis, scarves and bobble hats. I know that woolly jumpers have become quite fashionable with the trendy penguins in South Africa - or is that Australia (I must try to keep up with these fashions, they change so quickly).
How are the lizards up at Macraes Flats? Did Dennis manage to scare them off? Just in case you wondered now that my degree is over, I intend to continue my work with the paper penguins. The response has all been very favourable and I still enjoy it - although the pay is awful. I seem to be spending a lot of time writing letters asking for sponsorship and funding and not concentrating on the most important parts which are the penguins and their hosts. I haven't been able to update the website for a few weeks now because of all this hassle. But once the penguins are settled in Exeter I can concentrate more on trying to get a network of penguins around the world and start to really push the conservation and wildlife issues. I'm still trying to get one to the North Pole and am having a bit of trouble finding hosts in Australia and South Africa - they probably don't realise that under the humour I'm deadly serious. South Africa are probably rather busy at the moment.
Do you have anymore photos that I can put on the site? Or anything else that you think might be of interest - fun or serious? If not don't worry. Anyway, your eyes are probably going square by now so I'll sign off. By the way who dreams up all the games on your website - do either of you do any work or do you play games all day?
Did you hear about that Cod they caught in Cairns with the human head in it's stomach - lovely!! I won't be able to look at 'Fish Fingers' in the same way again!
Right, I'm definitely off now
Take care, both of you
Speak to you soon,
Guy
P.S. Any chance of a link on your page? Pleeeze!
I'm Gone...


From:"Dave Houston"
To: "Guy"
Subject: Re: Post Degree
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 17:04:27 GMT

Guy,
I did get around to finishing my paper and am now in Chile ready to present it next week. Unfortunately, Dennis had to stay home to look after my flat and run the office in my absence. He rekoned it would be OK, but Im not so sure it was a good idea. Ill probably find that hes sacked me in my absence.
I stopped at Easter Island for a few days on my way here and was sure I spotted Dennis (or one of his brothers) lurking among the Moai (statues). I took a photo and will analyse it and interrogate Dennis when I get back.
I hope to update my web pages, including some photos of Dennis and a link to his page, when I get back, but Im off to the Snares Islands (below Stewart Island) a week after I get back, so it may be a while before I can get it up. if Dennis plays his cards right, he may get to go to the Snares, but Ill have to ask the Navy it its OK to have him on the frigate - he may be a defence risk.
Adios,
Dave


From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Post graduation
Date: Monday, October 30, 2000 5:11 PM

Dear Dave and Dennis,
How are you both? It's been a while since we've written so I thought I'd write and let you know what's going on over here, besides the lousy weather! I graduated last Tuesday and had to go through the gown and mortar board debacle - it really isn't me, all that stuff'n'nonsense. In the end I actually found myself quite enjoying it. Unfortunately neither my parents nor my girlfriend were there due them all off travelling the world (lousy timing by the university I'm afraid). I did, though, have Rachel's mother and sister there along with my brother and his fiance. So it wasn't so bad.
I took along Dennis' sister, Betty, to the ceremony. We got her kitted out with her own gown etc. so there should be some images of her getting her BA (Hons) on the website soon.
At the moment I'm trying to make some money but with little success. I'm starting to concentrate, again, on more penguin adventures and have one planned for Alaska and, hopefully, the north pole. The north polar adventure will, I hope, be with a chap called James Morison, who works for the American government. He seemed pretty keen, initially, but I haven't heard anything from him since - hopefully he's just very busy. I've also been trying to get a penguin to the south pole to coincide with the penguin at the north. All requests that I've made, though, seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Did I tell you before that I'm redesigning the website? It was looking very studentish and I thought that it had to look a lot more professional if I'm going to make it more than a final year project. I also want to make the site available for the penguin hosts, like yourself, to raise issues that are important in the work they are doing. Thereby making the site more educational and environmental. What do you reckon, mate? Think I can pull it off? Any suggestions would be extremely welcome and if you need any advice on how to look after penguins or skinks please don't hesitate to ask!
Anyway how are you all doing and how did the conference in Chile go? You must let me know all the gossip. Isn't it now summer over there? This is when it all gets hectic over there, isn't it? Do you have a forecast for the coming season or is it all played by ear?
I do hope Dennis is pulling his weight - it's probably increased over the past few months what with all the beer and that. I hope he hasn't started smoking again. He knows very well it's bad for his health and makes his breath smell (not that it didn't smell before).
Have you got any more photos. You must have some of Dennis in his Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses. In fact they don't have to have him in at all - anything that looks like it might go well on the website will do.
I must go now and cook my tea.
I'll speak to you soon.
Take care
Guy


From: "Dave Houston"
To: "Guy"
Subject: Re: Post graduation
Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 7:05 AM

G'day Guy,
After my excellent trip to Tahiti, Easter Island and Chile, I then went down to count Snares crested penguins on the Snares Islands for a few weeks. I only got back last week, so haven't yet caught up with my correspondence.
I'll send a few photos and a bit of a yarn next week.
Cheers

Dave Houston
Department of Conservation
P.O.Box 388,
Oamaru,
New Zealand
houston@penguin.net.nz or dhouston@doc.govt.nz Penguins in New Zealand - http://www.penguin.net.nz
Thought for the day:
Cannot find REALITY.SYS: Universe halted


From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Update
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2000 11:20 PM

Dave,
How are you? How was Snares Island?
Just thought I'd send you and Dennis an update. Dennis' new brother, Ferdinand, is currently at the University of Washington, Seattle, waiting to become the first penguin to the North Pole. This should happen some time in March. The other brother, Tawaki (from New Zealand legend, I believe) is off surfing to Hawaii - tomorrow, in fact.
There are still a few feathers flying here as to who will be jetting of to Alaska soon.
As you can see the penguin adventures still continue but, unfortunately, the funding and sponsorship still remains elusive. Never mind, it's not about the money anyway but it would make life a little easier.
I'll speak to you soon.
Keep smiling and give Dennis a kick up the arse for me (an affectionate one, of course).
Take care
Guy



From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Hello
Date: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 9:43 PM Dear Dave and Dennis,
How are you? I haven't heard from either of you in a while so I hope you are both O.K. Hopefully you're just too busy and not dangling from some cliff edge from your fingertips (wingtips).
I have decided to take the penguin project on tour. I am going to be visiting Australia, New Zealand and Rarotonga. Whilst at these places I want to visit some conservation or environment groups and document the work that they are doing. I will also make a paper penguin out of the local newspapers and send it back to myself in the U.K. thereby creating an international paper penguin exhibition! What do you think? Am I being crazy or what? I don't know!
Anyway, do you have any names or addresses of any groups in these countries that wouldn't mind me visiting (maybe even Bali)? Would you mind me visiting you? All this kicks off mid-March and continues for approximately 8 months - 3 months travelling round Oz, 3 months travelling round NZ, a few weeks in Rarotonga and a few weeks in LA.
Obviously I'll have someone to manage the website if I'm unable to do it whilst travelling.
Well that's my groundbreaking news, what's yours?
How is the summer going? Are penguin numbers up this year and are they breeding successfully? Was the skink fence a success? Has Dennis got over the Xmas excesses (probably hasn't finished yet!)?
I hope you had a good Xmas and New Year. I understand the skiing is good in New Zealand. I have never skied before so I thought I might give it a try while I'm over there. I'm trying to get a work permit for the time I'm there just in case I start to run short of cash but I'm not sure whether I'm too old or not. Any ideas?
Well I'd better let you get back to work. If you get a chance drop us a note to let me know you're both alright and, if you've got time, any other gossip you might have, you know the stuff - which penguin's seeing which and who's having whose chick - juicy stuff that any self-respecting member of the penguin community should know!
Take care and stay warm
All the best
Guy


From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Howdy
Date: Tuesday, February 06, 2001 6:00 PM

Dear Dave and Dennis,
How are things in New Zealand? Hopefully things are not too bad and that you're finding time to enjoy the summer over there. Could you remind Dennis not to forget to put plenty of sun-block on, especially around his beak.
I am going to be visiting Australia, New Zealand and Rarotonga from April onwards, instead of March, due to my brothers wedding.
I am still trying to get in contact with conservation or environment groups in theses areas but have had no success so far. I've tried asking the local WWF, FOE and Greenpeace offices for ideas but they don't seem to even want to reply. Do you think the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust would be interested?
I've had a number of schools around the world asking me about my penguins and the one's I've sent them to have virtually altered the curriculum to accommodate. This project seems to be turning into quite an educational one. I can't remember whether I told you but I have one in a school in Alaska and am about to send one off to a school in Massachusetts. Another has been sent to Hawaii and there is one waiting, in Seattle, to hop on a ship to the North Pole.
If you have any suggestions regarding the project then I'd love to hear from you.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Keep smiling
Guy



From: "Guy"
To: "Dave Houston"
Subject: Hello?
Date: Friday, March 16, 2001 12:00 AM Hi Dave and Dennis,
Are you still talking to me?
Luv
Guy
XX


From: "Dave Houston"
To: "Guy"
Subject: Re: Howdy
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2001 1:21 AM

Hi Guy,
Sorry about the lack of electrons being transmitted in your direction, I seem to have been bogged down with a few things lately.
Dennis is fine and sends his regards. He's looking forward to seeing you when you come over.
Photos of Dennis at Easter Island and admiring a sculpture in the Atacama desert in Chile are attached.
The YEPT may be interested in your project (yept@clear.net.nz), interestingly, the WWF forwarded your email to them to me!
Regards,
Dave and Dennis

Dave Houston
Penguins in New Zealand
http://www.penguin.net.nz

Thought for the day:
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out