Friday flowers

img_7436Tritonia gladiolaris (lined flame freesia)? Growing wild at Long Bay Beach, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie 2018
img_7438 Image: Su Leslie 2018

Small change


Image: Su Leslie 2018

The Big T and I are not extravagant people, but it is still alarming how quickly money disappears. I don’t just mean on the big things (like insurance premiums — gasp), but all the small stuff that plastic cards and years of living in relative financial comfort have rendered invisible.

So, while T is away on business for ten days, I’ve put away my bank and credit cards, banned all internet shopping and am going cash-only. I’ve picked $100 as my budget for the period, since it’s a nice easy number to deal with.

Let me emphasize: this is NOT an attempt to “experience” poverty or real hardship. All the big bills will still be paid by direct debit, I have access to money for emergencies, and I’m starting from a position of comfort and abundance. I have gas in my car, food in the pantry, a well-equipped kitchen and an (insulated) roof over my head.

I’m hoping that by only having cash, I will be more aware of how much things costs, more mindful of my actual needs, less wasteful, and perhaps more innovative in finding alternatives to throwing money at a problem.

The first couple of days proved to be easy. I had a list of projects that needed my attention and I just didn’t go out. There were plenty of ingredients for meals in the fridge and pantry and I’ve eaten well.


Using up the odds and ends in a salad. Image: Su Leslie 2018

Today is rubbish collection day and we were out of rubbish bags. We don’t actually produce much waste for the Council collection, but what’s there stank a bit, so I went shopping.


Rubbish bags, milk, broccoli, garlic and potato/kumara to try different starters for rewena paraoa — Maori bread. Image: Su Leslie 2018

The garlic was essential; we’d run out. The broccoli and milk probably constitute luxuries — the former will make a nice change from home-grown silverbeet and kale, while the latter enables my daily flat-white fix (unless I run out of cash AND coffee beans before T gets home). The potato and kumara are proof that I’m not immune to impulse buying though — I’ve wanted to try making rewena paraoa for a while, but I don’t HAVE to do it this week.

On one hand, this project/experiment/challenge is a bit disingenuous — I have a safety net that’s not available to people who are genuinely trying to survive on very low incomes.

But on the other hand, if I can make do with less — less money, less stuff, less waste — then that is a good thing.

Small change for big changes perhaps.

Posted to Lens-Artists | changing

Regular Random: five minutes with a paraglider at Muriwai

While the Big T and I were picnicking at Muriwai a couple of weekends ago, this para-glider launched and landed a couple of times; looking like he was testing out new gear, or perhaps is still a newbie.

Eventually he managed a couple of sustained periods in the air; sailing over our picnic a little too close for comfort. But at least — unlike the seagulls — he wasn’t after our fish and chips.

Regular Random is a photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. Please pop over and take a look;  and if you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to not interfere with the subject, instead see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • have fun!
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post.

The ring bearer

You know how you’re just walking along sometimes, and you see something that’s a bit incongruous, so you keep thinking about it — trying to construct a story that makes sense of what you’ve seen

In Sydney a few years ago, I saw someone striding along, in heels, carrying a tyre slung over their back. What isn’t clear from the photo is that they were wearing only a swimsuit under the coat.

I have imagined a few different scenarios. What do you think?

Ragtag Daily Prompt | ring