Right; this is a bit roundabout, so pay attention.
The other day I read Anabel’s (The Glasgow Gallivanter) post Hidden Histories (1) — about the ways in which women and our achievements are publicly commemorated — and it occurred to me that I could only think of a couple of public monuments to women in my city — Auckland.
One of them — the Practically-Compulsory-in-Former-British-Colonies statue of Queen Victoria — is in Albert Park, in the CBD. (Fun fact: we also have a Victoria Park, but it doesn’t contain a statue of Prince Albert.)
It’s Auckland’s Anniversary Weekend right now, and the city is busier than usual. That’s why I found myself in Albert Park yesterday morning at 8am. I duly photographed Queen Vic (post about monuments to women to follow). But since I’d paid for parking, I decided to hang around and take photos of the flower beds, which were bursting with these lovelies.
I think they are Cosmos, but I totally defer to all the gardeners who’ll probably tell me otherwise.
It would be a nice neat narrative if, at this point, I unveiled a connection between the flowers and Queen Victoria.
But I don’t have one. So here’s a monument to a powerful woman; the only one I’ve found who never set foot in New Zealand and who got her job by outliving her relatives.
Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.
If you’d like to join in:
(1) Actually a guest post for Donna at Retirement Reflections — but the sentence was already getting waaaay too long and complicated.
Muriwai Beach is a place to which I return again and again. It is the closest west coast (and therefore surf) beach to home, but the attraction lies more in its illusion of endlessness, and the spectacular sunsets so often seen there.
Last night was no exception.
Editing the shot, I accidentally found a new feature in Snapseed which re-lit it as a scene more closely resembling early morning.
Other variations on the edit suggest (to me) not only different times of day, but perhaps different seasons. What do you think?
As an aside, I found this quote by the great American photographer Dorothea Lange. I’m not sure I agree, but it is certainly food for thought.
“Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion… the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.” — Dorothea Lange
Sometimes silence is not the absence of sound, but the inner quiet of peace and contemplation.
I don’t do resolutions— new year or otherwise. But in the opening days and weeks of 2018, a bunch of factors have combined to make me feel that if I were to have a resolution — or a word for the year — it would be creativity.
Or at least productivity.
This month, Auckland has languished dishcloth-like in intense humidity; broken only by storms and heavy rain. Others have fled to the beach for escape, while the Big T and I have been machines.
The house has been sprung-clean (yes, I know that’s not the actual term), the garage tidied, lawns mowed, repairs made and roof lichen attacked. Rooms have been emptied and refilled to accommodate the temporary return of the boy-child (or at least, his stuff).
Bread has been baked, jams made, recipes invented and taste-tested, and the $5 chair is undergoing an extreme makeover.
Best of all, I’ve been commissioned to take photos for an artist friend’s project; a project that will mean spending time in an art studio, hanging out with creative people, making art myself. Damn!
Like any machine, eventually the wheels fall off. The last few days have been filled with setbacks and annoyances; not least that humidity has caused the painstakingly applied varnish on the $5 chair to crack and look— frankly — shit.
It was so close to finished and looking beautiful. I’d psyched myself up cut out all the upholstery materials — and had actually upholstered the seat.
Luckily, T’s emotional attachment to the project is less than mine (or he’s just better at being an adult). Even as I write, I can hear the electric sander as he undoes the damage and works his magic.
So the $5 chair won’t be the star of the first Su-hosted Changing Seasons post. Instead I’ve offered you a pot pourri of projects from the opening days of my self-proclaimed “Year of Living Creatively” (and learning Te Reo Maori — the Maori language).
I’m really grateful to Max, at Cardinal Guzman for birthing The Changing Seasons, and nurturing the project to the point where it could be handed on.
I’m looking forward to seeing January 2018 through the eyes and lenses of everyone else who takes part in the project. If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.
Ka kite anō | see you soon
Here are other bloggers’ Changing Seasons’ posts for January. Please visit and enjoy the month though their eyes. I’ll keep updating this as I see them:
Joanne at My Life Lived Full
The Widow Badass Blog — this is Deb’s first Changing Seasons post, so please pop over to visit.
Tish Farrell at Writer on the Edge
Lee at Ladyleemanila
Marilyn and Garry Armstrong at Serendipity
Mick, at Mick’s Cogs
Ju-Lyn at Sunrise,Sunset — Matters of Perspective. This is Ju-Lyn’s first Changing Seasons post, so please take a look at her photos from Singapore and Bangkok.
Sarah at Art Expedition. Sarah has also just joined the challenge and has shared some beautiful images. Please pop over and take a look.
Pauline at Living in Paradise has also joined this month. Please visit to see images of her wonderful garden on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Ruth at RuthsArc. Another new member of the project; this time from Tasmania. You’ll love the photos of her January.
Max at Cardinal Guzman. The Changing Seasons owes its existence to Max and it’s great to see his snowy January.
Jude at Under a Cornish Sky. Jude is planning to create a photographic journal of the natural world in her very beautiful corner of the globe. Please pop for a look.
Yvette at Priorhouse. This is Yvette’s first Changing Seasons, and it’s such a fun post. Please visit and take a look.
And in case you’re unsure of the challenge guidelines:
The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):
The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):
Image: Su Leslie, 2017
You tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
I brought you silence
(for I know silence)
you would say
This is not silence
this is another poem
and you would hand it back to me”
― Leonard Cohen, The Spice-Box of Earth (1961)