Image

Six Word Saturday: could I have read the signs

27 Jun

Some times things just don’t work out the way you plan. pity there aren’t road signs to life. photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Image

Wordless Wednesday: fallen flowers

24 Jun
Camellia grove; Auckland Botanic Gardens. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

In a camellia grove; Auckland Botanic Gardens. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Image

ROY G. BIV: all the colours of the rainbow

23 Jun

 

It seems hard to believe that an entirely natural “optical and meteorological phenomenon caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky” (thank you Wikipedia) could carry with it such enduring and significant cultural significance.

To quote Wikipedia again:

In Norse mythology, the rainbow bridge Bifröst connects the world of men (Midgard) and the realm of the gods (Asgard). The Irish leprechaun’s secret hiding place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow. … Rainbow flags have been used as a symbol of hope or social change for centuries, featuring as a symbol of the Cooperative movement in the German Peasants’ War in the 16th century, as a symbol of peace in Italy, and as a symbol of gay pride and LGBT social movements since the 1970s. In 1994, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Nelson Mandela described newly democratic post-apartheid South Africa as the rainbow nation.

Right now, it feels as though the world desperately needs rainbows.

My news feed is full of stories about misery and hatred; about racial, gender and religious intolerance, ignorance, selfishness and greed (1), (2), (3). As the impoverished and displaced of the world take ever more desperate measures to find a better life, the governments of countries grown rich on exploitation find ever-more brutal ways to keep them out. While we can celebrate the recent Irish referendum that made it the 19th country to legalise same-sex marriage (4), LGBTI persecution continues unabated in many other parts of the world.

Even in my little South Pacific paradise (a place we used to call “Godzone”), there is little reason to rejoice. Too many children go to school hungry each day (5) and die of preventable diseases in cold, damp houses (6). New Zealand is not a poor country; but we are in danger of becoming an emotionally and socially impoverished one. A country where the function of government becomes to help the rich get richer and to hell with the poor. Where compassion and social awareness are replaced by consumerism and escapist entertainment.

But sometimes there are rainbows. When same-sex marriage legislation was being debated in the New Zealand in 2013, one of the MPs from our ruling, neo-liberal National Party made a speech in support of the legislation. Funny and passionate, Maurice Williamson’s “Big Gay Rainbow” speech became briefly famous  in New Zealand and around the world. A small rebuttal of prejudice and a plea for tolerance; a little rainbow.

This post was written for the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.

___

(1) Charleston shootings: NRA blames victims as reactions echo Newtown: The Guardian, June 19, 2015)

(2) Did Australia pay people-smugglers to turn back asylum seekers?: The Guardian, June 17, 2015

(3) Hungary closes border with Serbia and starts building fence to bar migrants: The Guardian, June 17, 2015.

(4) Ireland becomes first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote, The Guardian, May 23, 2015

(5) Child hunger still a thorny political problem, Stuff, May 24, 2015.

(6) Government must act on unhealthy houses, Stuff, June 17, 2015.

 

Image

An old-fashioned day out

21 Jun
Old and new Auckland. Visitors to the 175th Anniversary Day celebrations

Contemporary Aucklanders contemplate some old-fashioned modes of transport as part of the city’s 175th anniversary celebrations. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

It’s 175 years since the city of Auckland was established, and so our Anniversary Day celebration back in January was pretty special. One of the things I really enjoyed was a display of  large-scale photos from the Council archive showing how the city used to look. I have posted a couple of these images before, but I thought they were so appropriate for this week’s travel theme,  Old Fashioned, at Where’s my Backpack that I’ve re-edited and re-used them.

photo 2

A vintage car adds to the old-fashioned ambience of Auckland’s Anniversary Day celebrations. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

Old-fashioned oratory. A giant photo of Sir John Logan Campbell, one of the city's founding fathers. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Old-fashioned oratory. A giant photo of Sir John Logan Campbell, one of the city’s founding fathers.  I wonder what he would have made of the casual dress code of modern New Zealanders? Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Cars have changed a lot in the last 80 or so years, but the Auckland Town Hall looks pretty much the same. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Cars have changed a lot in the last 80 or so years, but the Auckland Town Hall looks pretty much the same. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Image

Six word Saturday: mourning the loss of my fur-baby

20 Jun
What I hoped was just a snuffle turned out to be much more serious and the vet couldn't offer any hope of improvement. After almost 15 years with us, Sirus's life ended peacefully in my arms. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

What I hoped was just a snuffle turned out to be much more serious and the vet couldn’t offer any hope of improvement.  After almost 15 years with us, Sirus’s life ended peacefully in my arms. He is missed. Photo: Su Leslie.

Travel theme: pathways of light

17 Jun

Su Leslie:

I’d forgotten all about this post, until Hannah at Zebra’s Child (http://zebraschild.com/) commented on it. It was written only two years ago, but placed alongside the recent ‘On the way’ post (https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/on-the-way-daily-post-weekly-photography-challenge/) says something about how far I’ve come in the last couple of years in terms of learning to live more in the moment.

Originally posted on Zimmerbitch: age is just a (biggish) number:

Pathways is Ailsa’s theme this week at Where’s my Backpack.

Lighting the way; an installation at the New Plymouth Festival of Lights

I’m one of those people who focuses on the destination, not the journey; the goal rather than the process. I understand this about myself and accept it. I know it means I miss stuff but I’m ok with that. I figure I’m happy enough with who I am not to feel the need to change that particular part of my psyche.

So focusing on pathways is an interesting concept for me. Afterall, pathways exist to go somewhere and I have probably always been too busy thinking about that somewhere to capture the road I’m on. Then I found the photo above of an installation at the New Plymouth Festival of Lights. You could say that it’s connection with pathways is a bit tangential, and maybe that’s true, but it got me thinking about how light itself is a…

View original 247 more words

Image

Wordless Wednesday: take two — cloud shot with colour

17 Jun
As it was shot; rainbow and storm clouds over the Waitemata, seen from Campbells Bay beach. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

As it was shot; rainbow and storm clouds over the Waitemata, seen from Campbells Bay beach, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 746 other followers

%d bloggers like this: