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When I was twelve years old and living in Hastings, New Zealand, I had a milk run, where I would deliver milk five days a week in the mornings from 5.30am until around 7am, before I went to school. I had a trolley that could take five milk crates which I pushed around the blocks of Parkvale, Mahora and Mayfair.

There weren’t too many people around at that hour. It was peaceful and I had time to make observations. Because the run was the same every day I started to notice how people would look after and embellish their homes: just little things like a new plant here or there, a new ornament on the front lawn, the carport painted, a new letterbox, or new curtains.

For me, I think that was the start of observing things. I was making a conscious decision to actually look at things and try to understand what was going on. I’m pretty sure it played a large part in my becoming a photographer.

Now I have returned to those streets in the Hastings area where I grew up in the 1970s and have started to photograph those homes in this series Milk Run. These are modest homes that people are proud of and have made their own, where their lives are played out every day.

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