The Changing Seasons: November, 2017

Close up colour shot of Christmas-themed bags hanging from numbered pegs, forming part of a home-made Advent Calendar. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Detail: the Boy-Child’s Advent Calendar. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

November has been a month in which the phrase The Changing Seasons was particularly appropriate. The weather gods finally tired of delivering endless soggy grey skies, and the sun burst forth. The beach beckoned and the Big T and I managed to escape the city for a week on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Glass of white wine and glass of beer on table at Stoked cafe, Whitianga, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Time to relax. Pre-dinner drinks in Stoked cafe, Whitianga, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Even at the end of the week, under increasingly lowering skies, the smell of the sea and the feel of sand between our toes felt like blessings.

Clouds gathering over the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, seen from the beach at Waitete Bay, north of Coromandel town. Image; Su Leslie, 2017

The end of the golden weather, Waitete Bay, Coromandel. NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Sunset. Boats moored at at Jack's Point, Whangarahei Stream, Coromandel town, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Sunset, Whangarahei Stream, from the boardwalk at Jacks Point, Coromandel town, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

November saw the beginning of locally-grown, affordable strawberries. As the month has progressed, plums and cherries have begun to appear too.

At the beginning of the month, I cooked my second meal to be delivered to the City Mission as a contribution to the daily opening of its doors to Auckland’s hungry. I’m doing this through an initiative called Mum’s Mince — started by two local woman and named after the first dish they cooked (based on a mother’s recipe for minced beef). Each month they post an empty calendar page on FaceBook and invite people to sign up to offer a contribution of food — however large or small — on a particular day. They can usually fill the calendar with at least one person’s name each day.

The Mission feeds an evening meal every day to as many as 120 people; not only the homeless, but increasingly those who simply cannot make ends meet. The demand only increases at this time of year, so all contributions are welcome. It’s such a small thing for us — and both the Big T and the boy-child have embraced the project with great enthusiasm too.

The month ended, as it always does, with me making the Boy-Child’s Advent Calendar. Now that he’s outgrown the Winnie the Pooh version my cousin made him (about, um, 15 years ago), I’m trying to re-invent the format to work in his flat. Hopefully 24 little envelopes pegged to a line and hung from a couple of removable hooks will do the trick.

Close up shot of white, red and green bags, decorated for Christmas and hung from numbered pegs. Part of an Advent Calendar. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Detail: the Boy-Child’s Advent Calendar. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The Changing Seasons  is a blogging challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month.

These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

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.

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!

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35 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons: November, 2017

  1. Love your photos! I reckon you could do a 5 minute regular random with those strawberries (well maybe not THOSE strawberries as i figure they are long gone). And I am full of admiration for the meal you made for the mission. What a truly magnificent gesture to make. And one that is not just for Christmas. Well done Su.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jude.
      I think the Reg-Random strawberry idea is excellent, especially as I’ll have to eat them afterwards :-).
      The cool thing about Mum’s Mince is just how many people put up their hands to help. The calendar gets filled month after month with ordinary people who are willing to sling a bit of extra food in the supermarket trolley and make a meal. Sharing food is so fundamental a way of showing love; I think that’s why it works. A friend of mine is involved with a similar initiative called Good Bitches Baking. They bake for refuges and shelters, etc — often birthday cakes for people who have never had anyone make them a cake before and kids who’ve never had home baking. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Great overview of the last month. I know I say this often, but I am always tickled thinking about how our seasons move in opposite directions—that you are moving towards summer and long days while we are facing increasing cold and darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh! So many beautiful shots, Su! I especially am in love with the Sunset shot at the Whangarahei Stream – it so much reminds me of the works by Turner! And of course those wholemeal sourdough breads – even unbaked they look just yummy! 😀
    But I have one very serious question: how can one ever outgrow Winnie the Pooh?! 😉 I´m sure the Boy-child just says so but doesn’t really mean it 😉 And I love the idea of a special Advent calendar anyway – the ones you can buy holding those little chocolates were never my favorites and I would have loved having one like yours. Sadly my mum never felt attracted to the idea to make one for me, but she always made up for it on Christmas 😀 xxxxxxxxx

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  4. I love all of this! I’m glad you got away and are enjoying spring weather and spring’s delicious bounty. What an awesome opportunity to serve your local community by helping with meals. You are wonderful. The advent is a great idea, too. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: November 2017 | Cardinal Guzman

  6. Pingback: Wrapping It All Up | My Life Lived Full

  7. Your photos are just delightful Su and I now know some of this area from our trip to NZ! Like you and your strawberries we look forward to cherries being in season as the weather warms up and they’ve been delicious this year! All the best to you for 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much 🙂 The cherries here have been great too and now I’m counting down to the Golden Queen peaches — my all-time favourite fruit.
      Wishing you and your family much fulfillment and many adventures in 2018.

      Liked by 1 person

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