The Changing Seasons, January 2017

Sunglasses on picnic blanket, Rangitoto Island in background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Deceptive! Mostly this month it’s been too cold and windy to spend much time outside. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

2017 began for the Big T and me at Waitangi, in Northland, NZ. We were there to help old friends celebrate their marriage. The “proper” wedding had taken place earlier in England, so the celebration — on New Year’s Eve — at Waitangi was billed as a ratification of their marriage treaty. And where better to celebrate that than the site where our country’s founding document was signed in 1840.

As the groom is Samoan and the bride English, there was plenty of cross-cultural ceremony and tradition, including welcoming the English family into the Samoan, a powhiri by the marae kapa haka group to welcome us all onto the marae at Waitangi, and lots of energetic Samoan dancing.

And with the formalities over … let’s just say we partied hard and it was a great way to welcome in a new year.

First dawn of 2017, Waitaingi, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

January 1, 2017, Waitaingi, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The weather has kind of gone downhill during the month, but T and I managed to take advantage of a few sunny days to enjoy some beach time at Raglan where we watched some young surfers and the Big T got an impromptu salt water shower; at Muriwai where the gannets and their chicks continue to enthrall; and on North Head where our picnic attracted the attention of the local bird-life.

And as for the rest of the month? Some time spent playing in a friend’s art studio, lots of photography and a few glasses of wine.

After all, I have to begin the year the way I intend to carry on.

Wine glass on outdoor table, with trees reflected in the wine. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Image: Su Leslie, 2017

This post is my contribution to The Changing Seasons, a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. Please visit to see the Cardinalโ€™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.
Donโ€™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.
Donโ€™t use archive stuff. Only new material!

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40 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, January 2017

    • Thanks Linda. It was a wedding like no other I had been to. Such a clever idea to sign their own treaty on the spot where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed, and very special for all of us to be welcomed onto that particular marae.

      Liked by 2 people

    • They basically threw away the rule book and started from scratch. It probably helped that the couple have been together for over 20 years; engaged for 18 and that most of us have known each other for about 30 years. It was a wedding for friends as much as family, so less pressure to conform maybe.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “Maybe wearing shoes”, hehe.
        Here cold means: normal socks, thick socks, big winter boots, underwear, long underwear, pants – preferably some baggy kind of pants, so that you get air between the long underwear and the pants (thight pants are cold), t-shirt (tucked in between the underwear and long underwear), a thin sweater, a thick sweater, a long warm jacket/coat (it should be long enoung to cover the ass/thighs), hat, scarf, gloves and sometimes even a skimask or something to cover your face.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Ohmygod! I’d never leave the house. It would take me so long to get dressed it would be bedtime. And actually that’s kind of why we moved back to NZ from England with our kid when he was little. I’d spend ages getting him dressed to go out in the cold and he’d decide he needed a pooh, and I’d have to undress him again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m feeling kind of lucky to have lived most of my life in places where owning a coat is seen as kind of decadent and a bit woosie — and footwear is frequently optional.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: January 2017 | Cardinal Guzman

  2. Hi Su, the story of the wedding and your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. New Zealand is on my travel bucket list and during the USA presidential election I started filling out the immigration application for NZ. My wife reminded me we have two kids in college in the next two years so …

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Khurt. I think NZ is on lot’s of people’s bucket list. I usually remind folks that our nation is far from perfect — far from the “clean, green” place we market ourselves as. But if I were in the US right now, I’d be doing exactly the same thing as you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The wedding pictures are just so stunningly beautiful!!! Iยดm sure you gave them to the happy and lovely couple and that they were equally stunned by them! ๐Ÿ™‚ I just love how they mix up their cultures and families and throw away the rules ๐Ÿ˜‰ Exactly what I would do ๐Ÿ˜€
    Ah, and the beautiful gannets…love, love, love ๐Ÿ™‚ xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a way to begin the year. The wedding looks like it was a whole lot of fun, and then you were in Raglan, the only place I know in NZ as it is where my son’s partner’s mom lives and where I spent 10 happy days in 2014. I could easily live in that little surfing town. Love your gannets – they are very pretty and then you finish with agapanthus, sweet peas and wine. A lovely SB I hope ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like

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