DP Photo Challenge #3: 

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Image: Su Leslie, 2016

“Garden as though you will live forever.” — William Kent

Gardening is both an act of faith in the future, and an investment in it. At a personal and a global level, we need plants to sustain life.

My little garden is flourishing right now and giving me enormous pleasure, as well as putting food on our table.

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Image: Su Leslie, 2016

As the Big T and I plan our escape from the city, there is quite a lot of uncertainty about where we will g, but top of my wish list (along with high-speed Internet and a good local cafe) is space for gardens and maybe a little orchard.

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Image: Su Leslie, 2016

It’s taken me a long time to grow a real connection with the food I eat, and the environment I inhabit. That is something I want to carry into my future.

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. The theme is future.

DP Photo Challenge #2: seeing the future in the past

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“From little things, big things grow.” Image: Su Leslie, 2012

The boy-child started looking at the world through a camera lens when he was quite young. He made his first videos at primary school, gained a A* grade in Photography A Level, and now earns his living as a photographer.

This photo was taken on a trip to Wellington in his first year of studying photography at school. The camera is my old Pentax 35mm and the assignment included developing the film he shot — quite a challenge for a digital native!

This image represents for me the point at which his love of photography started to really shape my son’s life — his future.

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. The theme is future.

 

DP Photo Challenge #1: … gotta wear shades

Close-up shot of sunglasses on a rack with people reflected in the lenses. Image: Su Leslie, 2014

“The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” Timbuk 3, “The Future’s So Bright.” Image: Su Leslie, 2014.

The Future’s so Bright was the only Top 20 single for American band Timbuk 3. The song was in the charts in 1986, around the time I met the Big T.

I had no idea then he would still be part of my future 30 years later.

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. The theme is future.

DP Photo Challenge: “the vantage point of distance”

Autumn at Lake Waikere, Te Kauwhata, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Lake Waikare, Te Kauwhata, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

My little escape to the Waikato is over and I’m back at my desk. Although the sun is still shining today, I’m already missing the big skies and expansive views that both dwarfed and nestled me while I was away.

State Highway 1, and the Waikato, from the Beaver Road motorway overbridge, Pokeno. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

“The end of Auckland.” State Highway 1, and south to the Waikato from the Nikau Road over-bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

It is sometimes said that “real” New Zealand begins south of the Bombay Hills, which mark the place where southern Auckland becomes northern Waikato. I spent some of the happiest of my early years in a small South Waikato town, and still get a rush of longing  when I feel I’ve left Auckland behind.

SH 26 with Mt Te Aroha in the background. Waikato, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Where is everyone? Mt Te Aroha, seen from State Highway 26, at Morrinsville, Waikato, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

Traffic congestion is one of the things I find most stressful in my current life. I hate the environmental impact of thousands of semi-stationery cars and I hate the waste of my time and emotional energy; trapped in my car, or planning alternative routes and workarounds. New Zealand isn’t a huge country, but there are so many places where traffic isn’t a problem — what are we doing wrong?

Waikato River flowing through Cambridge, South Waikato. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Waikato River flowing through Cambridge, South Waikato. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I am happiest near water, and while I’ve been a long way from the coast for the last couple of days (relatively speaking — this is New Zealand), I spent time by the Waikato River, and finally “found” Lake Waikare — which I’ve glimpsed hundreds of times from the car. Apparently it’s less than two metres deep — and sadly, quite polluted. It did look lovely from my vantage point though (1).

The Waikato River, late afternoon, with the Mercer Ferry bridge in the background. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Late afternoon. The Waikato River at Mercer. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

 Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance. — Charles Lindbergh

Despite the brevity of my time away, I think I have achieved some of the clarity that Lindbergh talked about. I don’t know what the future is going to look like, but I do know that it’s easier to plan when I’m not in the middle of everything that isn’t working any more.

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. The theme is landscape.

(1) Waikato Regional Council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On reflection: road-trips and garden walks

 

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Hamilton Gardens, Waikato, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Almost three weeks of a persistent low-grade snuffle and sore throat has left me weary and foggy of brain. Not at all helpful when there is so much to do and so many decisions to be made about the new life the Big T and I want. So I’ve snuck off for a change of scenery and mini road-trip. I do my best thinking in the car and out walking so with a bit of luck, I’ll get home with renewed energy and a less foggy head.

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Hamilton Gardens, Waikato, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

A walk around Hamilton Gardens today has helped. The sun was shining and everything seems lush and verdant. In a tiny corner of the tropical garden the marriage of earth, sky and water reminded me how simple our needs really are.

A thought that could guide my decisions in the weeks ahead.

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.