WP Photo Challenge: symbol

Kowhai: the unofficial national flower of New Zealand, and symbol of Women's Refuge NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Kowhai: the unofficial national flower of New Zealand, and symbol of Women’s Refuge NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

The native New Zealand Kowhai tree is known and loved for its healing properties and beauty. Our logo features its delicate, vibrant flower in the universal symbol of women — the perfect portrayal of Women’s Refuge and our values. Women’s Refuge NZ

Symbol: noun. something used for or regarded as representing something else; a material object representing something, often something immaterial; emblem, token, or sign. Source: Dictionary.com

Logos are a particular subset of symbols; a visual representation of a brand, rather than a concept. In the case of Women’s Refuge, it’s a social, not a commercial brand; a symbol of hope and healing for the thousands of (mainly) women and children in this country who are affected by domestic violence.

I have a strong connection with Women’s Refuge through my involvement with NZ Sculpture OnShore which raises funds for, and awareness of, the work Refuge does.

It is in part because of these fundraising efforts that Women’s Refuge has been able to develop a source of sustainable income.  Yellow Belle (a very apt description of the kowhai flower), is a chain of upmarket recycled women’s clothing boutiques. The stores accept donations of designer clothing and on-sell it — generating valuable income and helping to increase awareness of domestic violence and Refuge’s work. A second brand, Kowhai Tree, is currently being developed to focus on sourcing, warehousing and distributing household goods and clothing to women and children leaving Refuge — many of whom arrive with no more than the clothes they are wearing.

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Single Kowhai flower. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

So for me, seeing Kowhai trees in bloom — as they are at the moment —  is especially meaningful.

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Kowhai buds. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

This post was written for the Daily Post weekly Photo Challenge. The theme this week is “symbol.

PS: this is the actual Women’s Refuge logo.

Logo of Women's Refuge New Zealand.

Logo of Women’s Refuge New Zealand.

“My age is as a lusty winter, frosty but kindly”

Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

Botanically ignorant. I don’t know what this plant is; just that the flowers looked beautiful with a dusting of melting frost. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

New Zealand is having one of the coldest winters on record. Down south, overnight temperatures are regularly falling to below zero, and even up here in the warm, soft north, we have had some seriously nippy nights and startlingly beautiful cold days.

Last weekend I struggled mightily with the idea of getting out of my warm bed to go for a walk. But good-health virtue overcame stay-cozy sloth, and these photographs are the result (along with some satisfyingly large step numbers on my fitness tracker).

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My money trees are in flower. Does that mean greater wealth will come my way? Hope so; the washing machine just died and we had to buy a new one. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

Budding. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Budding. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

The title of this post is a quote from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The words are spoken by Adam, the elderly and devoted servant of the hero Orlando.

 

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. This week’s theme is Macro.

 

Like a child

A beautiful post from Inese, at inesemjphotography. It’s message is simple and powerful.

“You don’t necessarily have to have your own children, it doesn’t make much difference (go back to the first quote). About 25% of world population are children. You may be their relative or neighbor; you may be physician, senator, president, baby food manufacturer, movie maker, writer, teacher, farmer… Just don’t do anything that can harm them.”

3 Days, 3 Quotes: wise beyond his (comic strip) years

Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes.

Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes.

Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

— Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.

Mich, at Mishunderstood invited me to take part in the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge and it seemed like a good opportunity to share my love of Bill Watterson’s wonderful comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.

Here are the links to Day One and Day Two.

Part of the challenge is to invite other bloggers to take part. I’m not going to ask anyone specifically, but please feel free to join in if you’d like to.

Word-ish Wednesday: “verbing weirds language”

 Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes, January 25, 1993.

Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes, January 25, 1993.

Remember when Google was the name of a search engine? Before it became the go-to verb that basically means “to search the internet.” Or maybe not even the internet. My son is still chuckling over hearing a friend say he was going to “google the dictionary.”

I know English is a living, fast-changing language. That’s cool. I like the way words change their meaning and new words are constantly brought into being. Only a couple of days ago we coined the word Chanelf: n. house-elf with a penchant for designer socks. I’m not expecting to see it in the Revised Oxford anytime soon, but it perfectly describes my boy-child, who has been particularly industrious around the house lately and whose knitted foot covering of choice comes from Polo by Ralph Lauren.

But quite a lot of verbing bothers me. When someone says “let’s dialogue this” instead of “let’s talk about it”, it feels as though language is being used as a barrier — or worse — a weapon, instead of a tool to communicate.

Particularly disturbing is re-verbing words that already have a verb form. A few years ago I heard a woman on television describe her neighbour (who, it turned out, had killed a couple of people and buried them under his house) as “difficult to conversate with.” She obviously knew the word “conversation” and worked backward from that. I’ve since heard conversate used again, along with “signatured” (as in he signatured the document) and believe it or not, “motivationalised.”

But perhaps the case of verbing which bothered me the most is “versing”. Throughout the (many) years my son played soccer, I had to endure players, parents and coaches talk about the team they were versing. That poor, innocent preposition “versus” was mangled into a verb that no amount of patient (and not so patient) explanation from me could ever dissuade people from using.

East Coast Bays VERSUS Takapuna. Photo: Su Leslie, 2011

East Coast Bays VERSUS Takapuna. Photo: Su Leslie, 2011

This post was written as part of the 3 Days, 3 Quotes challenge that Mish at Mishunderstood invited me to take part in. My three quotes all come from the much-loved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson. You can see Day One here.

Part of the challenge is to invite other bloggers to take part. Rather than invite anyone specifically — I know we’re all pretty busy — if anyone does want to contribute to the challenge, please feel free.

 

On finding time to do nothing

Flooded quarry, Warkworth, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Flooded quarry and old cement works, Warkworth, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”

— Calvin. Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes is my all-time favourite comic strip. Bill Watterson’s stories of a small boy and his stuffed tiger resonated with many people, and the wisdom and sheer laugh-out-loud craziness of Calvin and Hobbes is much quoted. When Mich at Mishunderstood invited me to take part in 3 Days, 3 Quotes, I knew I wanted to draw all my quotes from Bill Watterson’s genius.

Sunrise, Wenderholm Regional Park, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunrise, Wenderholm Regional Park, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”

I almost never do nothing. Indeed I don’t usually even manage to do not-very-much-at-all. But I’m trying. Trying to make time to stop and enjoy stillness, emptiness, quiet.

A couple of weeks ago the boy-child and I got up extra early and drove north to the regional park at Wenderholm to photograph the sunrise. We were a bit late for the sunrise, and the tide was out, but we enjoyed the walk and the chance to have a whole beautiful beach to ourselves.

Sunrise, Wenderholm Regional Park, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Early morning, Wenderholm Regional Park, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Afterwards, we drove on to Warkworth for breakfast, a walk along the river and a visit to the old quarry pictured above, which is now flooded and has become the local swimming spot in summer.

I don’t know if taking photos can still be counted as “doing nothing”, but on the basis that it was empowering to claim a few hours of peace and contemplation, and to share them with my son, I’m going to say they are in the spirit of Calvin’s wise words.

I’m offering this post as both as response to the 3 Days, 3 Quotes challenge, and to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally, where this week the theme is nature.

Part of the 3 Days, 3 Quotes process is to nominate three bloggers to carry the challenge forward. Knowing that most of us have very full lives, I’m going to ask instead that anyone who would like to take part do so — maybe by working a favourite quote into a post you’re planning anyway.

Travel theme: tiny

Seldom seen in my garden, a tiny ladybird on a lemon tree. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Seldom seen in my garden, a tiny ladybird on a lemon tree. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is “tiny.” Here are a few shot of little things that have caught my eye.

A small car anyway, these toy BMW Isetta's are truly tiny. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

A small car anyway, these toy BMW Isetta’s are truly tiny. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

A tiny, inverted world reflected in a randrop. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

A tiny, inverted world reflected in a randrop. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Seen on a Munich street, a tiny garden on the back of a small truck. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Seen on a Munich street, a tiny garden on the back of a small truck. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Small insect, small flowers. A tiny part of the food chain. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Small insect, small flowers. A tiny part of the food chain. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Cicada shell and shadow. Photo, Su Leslie

Cicada moult; tiny anyway, and even smaller against its shadow. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015