The Changing Seasons, April 2021

“The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing.” — Kenneth Grahame. Image: Su Leslie 2021

It’s a strange contradiction that while April has been my most sociable and outward-looking month in a long time, I’m remembering these thirty days mainly as a time of introspection.

The month began with a trip to the theatre. Dreading the CBD’s nightmare roadworks, T and I caught the ferry from Devonport, had a meal, strolled around the waterfront and sat down to one of the most interesting productions we’ve seen in a long time.

The Haka Party Incident was visually stunning verbatim theatre (1) that tells of a few moments in history which changed race relations in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In 1979, after enduring several decades of Auckland University Engineering students staging a highly offensive mock “haka” as a capping stunt, a group of young Maori activists confronted the engineers during a rehearsal. Punches were thrown, arrests were made, and institutional racism was laid bare.

But the engineers never again performed their “haka”.

T and I are both graduates of Auckland University (T of its Engineering School) and though the haka party incident was before our time, it is part of our collective history. To see events that we understood from the perspective of Pakeha teenagers, re-told 40-odd years later was a sobering and quite empowering experience.

An evening in the city. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Carved entrance to Te Wero Island, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Really, April has been all about a road-trip to visit my father and attend a workshop on eco-printing/dye on fabric. I love solo travel, and having seven days to visit people and places I love — and learn a new skill — was absolute bliss.

I’ll write a separate post on what I learned in the workshop, but here a few shots of my efforts on the day

Laying out the plant material to be “printed”. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Bundled, “cooked” and then unrolled to reveal what’s been imprinted. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Hanging the results out to dry. Image; Su Leslie 2021

Looking back on the photos I shot while away pretty much confirms my obsession with desolate landscapes, lowering skies, quirky buildings and food.

Celeriac soup at The Kirk, Hamilton, NZ. Delicious! Image: Su Leslie 2021

Homemade preserves for sale at The Creel Lodge Cafe, Turangi, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Carrot cake and a flat white. The Black Stump Cafe, Pahiatua, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2021

You know you’re in the country when … Reading material at The Black Stump Cafe, Pahiatua. Image: Su Leslie 2021

“By far the greatest and most admirable form of wisdom is that needed to plan and beautify cities and human communities.” — Socrates. Seen in Whanganui, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Love the name! Probably just as well they were closed. Whanganui, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2021

A great Arts’ Centre, and ‘Ghost of the Huia’, sculpture by Paul Dibble. The Square, Palmerston North, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2021

What were they thinking? Brutalism in The Square, Palmerston North, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Tui Brewery, Pahiatua, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Pohuturoa; volcanic rhyolite plug. Waikato, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Because … why not? Replica Dutch windmill in Foxton, NZ. Opened in 2003. Image: Su Leslie 2021

It didn’t seem as run down when I stayed here in 1980. Gretna Hotel, Taihape, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2021


(1) Verbatim theatre “uses pre-existing documentary material as source material for stories about real events and people, frequently without altering the text in performance.”


About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly project where bloggers around the world share their thoughts and feelings about the month just gone. We all approach this slightly differently — though generally with an emphasis on the photos we’ve taken during the month.

For many of us, looking back over these photos provides the structure and narrative of our post, so each month is different.

Others focus on documenting the changes in a particular project — such as a garden, an art or craft project, or a photographic diary of a familiar landscape.

But in the end, it is your changing season, and you should approach it however works for you.

There are no fixed rules around post length or photo number — just a request that you respect your readers’ time and engagement.

Tags and ping-backs

Tag your photos with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

Create a ping-back to this post, so that I can update it with links to all of yours.

Update

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Tish from Writer on the Edge

Marilyn at Serendipity, Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Natalie from Little Pieces of Me

Mick at Mick’s Cogs

Suzanne from Life at No. 22

Ju-Lyn at Touring my Backyard

Brian from Bushboy’s World

Out of the Cave joins us this month

58 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, April 2021

  1. I don’t give a fig for your introspection, Su: your images are always wonderful. You have the eye of the genuine photographer, seeking about to find exactly the right thing on which to focus.
    I particularly like the quote from Socrates, together with that image.

    Like

    • That is so true. The actual incident was hardly more than a scuffle — but the police reaction was huge, and the activists all faced trial (though none of the engineers) and it really stripped back our veneer of great race relations.
      The repercussions on student life and politics were felt for a long time afterwards too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We share a love of dramatic skies, and as usual, your photos are stunning.

    What struck me the most however, was the 2nd paragraph … the month started with a trip to the theatre … and a meal. Sigh. Those simple pleasures feel like they were a possibility so very long ago. Our theatres have been closed for over a year, and our restaurants have been closed, even for outdoor dining, since the end of November. The city of Toronto has been in full lockdown for over 100 days.
    I much prefer your version of April 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Lovely post, Su. Looking forward to seeing more about what you learned at your workshop!

    The university I attended for my undergrad (78-82) had an engineering school and they were (in)famous for their misogynistic attempts at humour in their freely distributed newsletter, and parading around campus with a huge dick…I mean…prop wrench they called the Mighty Tool. Very puerile. I felt sorry for the very few (at that time) women who were also engineering students. I sincerely hope this attitude and these behaviours have been squashed out of existence by now, but somehow I doubt it.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deb.
      I suspect that sort of “engineers’” behaviour was quite typical and related perhaps to the fact that there were so few women engineering students in those days. Here anyway, the proportion of women studying engineering has risen dramatically, and combined with the fact that degrees have become so expensive, students don’t seem to engage in the same wild behaviour. T gives a couple of lectures a year at Auckland Uni, and says there is a completely different culture now.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lowering skies is a very apt description, Su. They are a perfect accompaniment to soup and cake. I quite fancy that firsr brutalist building you photographed. Very nice. I do have a thing for concrete.
    I enjoyed your creative month. The fabrics look beautiful and so photogenic.
    I hope your dad is okay and that you enjoyed your time together.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your images are more stunning than ever. Those skies! I can’t imagine going to the theatre. We have some concert tickets for later in the year but I think I’ll still be nervous – if they happen, of course. Theatres and concert halls haven’t opened up after any of the lockdowns so far. However, cafes etc opened this week and tomorrow we are going out for brunch! This seems amazingly exciting. First time in a cafe since early December.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Su, this is just a marvelous and inspiring post all around so kudos for that. The theater show sounds really good in many ways and as you say, just getting out and about is wonderful. I had a road trip to southern California and that was great as well. Planning my next trip, a much longer one, now. 🙂 Your photos show dramatic skies, but where’s the sun??? I do so hope we get to NZ some day so we can sit down in person with some tea/coffee and treats and chat in person.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You’ve got some amazing skies but I have to admit, the windmill is a real grabber! I actually put my pictures in order by date because the weather kept changing from day to day. An interesting month. We must have been out a lot because we have a lot of outdoor pictures. I don’t remember them all. these months are getting blurry.

    Like

  10. Well I didn’t expect to see a windmill in your monthly round-up! Love the photos, the glowering skies, the yummy food and the quirky architecture. Actually looking at the brutalist building and comparing it with the art deco arts building, there is a lot of similarity. Glad you managed a road trip and enjoyed getting out and about, hope your family are keeping well, both home and abroad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nor did I (expect a windmill)!! And it’s really new — that’s what seemed a bit odd to me.

      It was wonderful to get away, and especially to see Dad and my step-mum. They’re doing really well, and the UK folks are managing, though my mum is really over staying home all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, not going anywhere is awful, but then you worry about going out too so I don’t know what is worse. We have been to a few (quiet) gardens, but not bothered with eating out yet, been too cold anyway. I have booked us a week away at the end of the month and hope that we can manage to explore a few places, though having to book everything will take the spontaneity out of it.

        Liked by 1 person

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  12. What an interesting and creative month you have had Su. The photos are, as usual, magnificent with those “lowering” skies. Have you had much rain then? I just love workshops of the creative kind and the one you went to produced some amazing results. How is your Father? I also compare our lifestyles with other places around the world and feel so thankful that we can get out and about. Here’s my monthly activities. https://retiredfromgypsylife.wordpress.com/2021/05/02/changing-seasons-april-2021/

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does feel like it was a creative month. Now to keep the momentum as the days get cooler 🙂
      My dad is doing well. His biggest issue is limited mobility, which means he’s a bit trapped at home and bored.

      Liked by 1 person

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  16. Oh my goodness, Mr T might know my brother Mark Butler as he was an Engineering student in the late seventies. The Devonport ferry is always a treat when I lived in Auckland many moons ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aren’t ferries the best! There is one from Hobsonville Point now, which is about a 40 minute trip into town. Really convenient location for us, but terribly limited timetable.

      T started uni in 1983, so maybe not much overlap with your brother. I’ll ask him though.

      Liked by 1 person

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