The Changing Seasons: July

Lemon poppy seed pound cake and a cup of tea. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Lemon poppy seed pound cake. Image (and baking): Su Leslie, 2016

July has been a month lived indoors. Although not cold, it has been very wet and very windy.

But it’s also citrus time, with all of our grapefruit, oranges and lemons ripe on the trees.

I found this recipe for lemon poppy seed pound cake.  Very nice with a cup of tea.

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. Please visit to see the Cardinal’s month, and find links to other participants.

There are two versions of the challenge:

Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

 

Turning the lights on for Matariki

Making memories. Man taking photo of woman and child posed in front of light installation at Stellar, a Matariki event, Smales Farm, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Making memories; family snapshot at Stellar, a Matariki-inspired light installation, Smales Farm, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Matariki

… is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in mid-winter – late May or early June. For many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year.

Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.

Traditionally, Matariki was a time to remember those who had died in the last year. But it was also a happy event – crops had been harvested and seafood and birds had been collected. With plenty of food in the storehouses, Matariki was a time for singing, dancing and feasting.

From Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand

The celebration of Matariki languished for much of the twentieth century, as with many elements of Maori culture. Recently however, New Zealanders have begun to embrace Matariki again, and now events of celebration take place all around the country.

Many –perhaps most –honour the cultural significance of Matariki. Others, like the collection of light installations at Stellarare more tenuous, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Mountain of Light. Pyramid of coloured light boxes designed by Angus Muir. Exhibited at Stellar, Smales Farm, Auckland, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Mountain of Light. Designed by Angus Muir. Exhibited at Stellar, Smales Farm, Auckland, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Mountain of Light. Pyramid of coloured light boxes designed by Angus Muir. Exhibited at Stellar, Smales Farm, Auckland, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Mountain of Light. Designed by Angus Muir. Exhibited at Stellar, Smales Farm, Auckland, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Bokeh, Stellar Matariki event, Smales Farm Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Bokeh, Stellar Matariki event, Smales Farm Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Bokeh, Stellar Matariki event, Smales Farm Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Bokeh, Stellar Matariki event, Smales Farm Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Children engaged with light sculpture. Stellar Matariki event, Smales Farm Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Seen at Stellar Matariki event, Smales Farm Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Hot chocolate on a cold night. Food truck worker at Stellar, Smales Farm, Auckland, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Hot chocolate on a cold night. Food truck worker at Stellar, Smales Farm, Auckland, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

"You want chips with that?" Food truck worker at Stellar, Smales Farm, Auckland, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

“You want chips with that?” Food truck worker at Stellar, Smales Farm, Auckland, 2016. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

This week is Challengers’ Choice at Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge and I guess I’m covering a few bases with a collection that includes both night and street photography, and a bit of abstraction.

Friday flip through the archive: on the joys of using public transport

Hm. If only using public transport in Auckland offered up such dilemmas. Today I’ve experienced broken signage, late buses, confusing bus stop maps, a website that can’t process forms and a really unhelpful, surly driver.

Must be time for another trip to Wellington …

Zimmerbitch

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The boy-child, blissfully unaware of the manners’ maze that awaits him.

ZimmerBitch has relocated to Wellington for a few well-deserved days of coffee and socialising and socialising over coffee.

One consequence of this is a reliance on public transport; something that’s a bit alien to my usual car-borne existence. Wellington has pretty good public transport in my experience. I know the locals complain and to be honest, the airport-Hutt Valley bus is criminally expensive, but in general whenever I’m in the capital I find I can walk a short distance to a bus-stop and before long a bus comes along that is willing to take me someplace interesting faster than I could walk.

This morning, I had to get from my hotel in funky Cuba Street to Victoria University’s Pipitea campus; a relatively short and mainly picturesque walk, but not one I wanted to do in heels.

Being relatively early…

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