The Changing Seasons, September 2012

Auckland’s CBD from Westhaven boardwalk. Late afternoon walk while waiting for a takeaway from our favourite restaurant. Image: Su Leslie

I’m not feeling wordy this month, so I’ll keep it short.

I had my first chemo session earlier in the week and am feeling reasonably well. Five more, at three weekly intervals are to follow; then I guess it’s all down to what the scans and blood tests say.

Auckland’s “pink path” cycle and walkway. Covid-quiet on a Sunday afternoon. Image: Su Leslie

Auckland is still in Covid lock-down. It’s been 45 days now, and although restrictions have eased a little (hooray for expanded bubbles, takeaways and click-and-collect DIY materials), it’s hard not to feel totally stir-crazy.

Takeaway coffee — because we can. Image: Su Leslie

I turned 60 last week, and instead of a party and an extended trip around the South Island, I found myself deliriously happy to be able to see my son and share a meal with him — albeit a takeaway and a homemade cake.

Orange cake with dark chocolate ganache, passionfruit and orange buttercream filling, and freeze-dried mandarin shards. A birthday cake that gave much pleasure in the planning, making — and eating. Image: Su Leslie

My garden is a source of both frustration and pleasure. New growth is abundant, but I’ve neither the energy or the materials to do much of the work that’s required. So I content myself watching the native birds enjoying themselves (always when I’m camera-less), and taking the odd flower photo.

While the city is quiet, the Big T and I have enjoyed walking parts of the CBD we don’t often visit.

Early evening in the city. The Sky Tower from St Kevin’s Arcade, Karangahape Road. Image: Su Leslie

Early evening in the city. Image: Su Leslie

Westhaven Marina, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie

Sometimes I despair of humanity. I’d just seen the owner of these rods put several fish in their car. Image: Su Leslie

67 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, September 2012

  1. I love the photos. The sunset city images have a touch of the Moulin Rouge about them. And I envy your delicate flower photos. I am a real fan of the Arum lily. They seem like the definition of grace somehow. I guess (from the program you described) that you are on the FEC-D chemo program which I just had the last dose of yesterday. It’s not an easy journey but there are definitely more up days than down days. I really hope it works for you. <3<3

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  2. Love this array of photos and glad you can get out a bit. I was bonkers after almost a month but mainly from not seeing my bestie. I live in isolation anyway so no biggie for me and I have lots of room to roam about.
    Happy birthday and that cake looked scrumptious ๐ŸŽ‚โค

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  3. Thanks for the update Su, I was so pleased to hear from you. A belated Happy Birthday, they say 60 is now the new 50!!! that cake looks so yummy. I just love your flower photos you have captured their delicacy. Auckland in the early evening light looks quite charming. Best wishes for the rest of your treatment, Iโ€™ll be thinking of you๐Ÿ’•

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  4. You answered my question of “how are you doing.” I guess that could be called “as well as possible under the circumstances.” Sometimes, i think that’s the definition of our lives. They found my cancer when i was 62. It was a rough year, but I survived. Isn’t it better to be sick and in lockdown than feeling GREAT and being in lockdown? I never took sick days when I was sick. Sick days were to important to waste on actually being sick.

    Your pictures are as beautiful as ever.

    This hasn’t been a very photographic month. I’m hoping it improves as the season thinks about changing to red and gold.

    Meanwhile, I’m cheering for you. Can you hear me?

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    • Loud and clear!

      Weirdly, I am feeling really good and if I were allowed to, I’d be out and about a lot more. A combination of surgery, hospital food and generally paying more attention to my diet has meant that I’m about 8kgs lighter than I was a few months ago, and consequently a lot fitter. I’m walking more often, and with much less puffing. I’ve obviously lived here too long because I’m sooooo bored walking around my neighbourhood.

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  5. Hello, Su. It’s so good to hear from you. I think about you a lot and about how the lockdown must be adding to your challenges. There is a poignancy to your Auckland photos. Auckland seems frozen in time. The flower photos are also having a little cry. I guess that’s Auckland for you. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy birthday. The cake looks yummy. It looks like it has something gooey in the middle of it?
    Su, I would like to send you that little purple mosaic I made last year – the one with the bright yellow flowers. You can pop it in the garden somewhere it can peep out at you. Would you be able to send me your address via my contact page?

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  6. I never think of you as a city girl, somehow, but the wonderful part is that you can still get out and walk and take in those sunsets, and admire your lovely garden, Su. You have good reason to be careful because you’re vulnerable. As Marilyn pointed out, lockdown must be so frustrating if you’re hail and hearty. I can’t believe how long this has gone on! Enjoy those precious things like a hug from your son. Fab cake!

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    • Thank you Jo. I feel as though we’ve been in the same place so long the city has grown around us.
      I am frustrated by how many fellow Aucklanders are happy to flout lock-down and can’t seem to see the connection between their behaviour and prolonged restrictions.
      No boy-child hugs now that we’re in Level 3 and he’s back at work, but I appreciate how careful he is being.

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  7. I’ve been thinking of you, and hoping things were going reasonably well. In awe of your ability to take cracking photos and make apparently marvellous cakes at such an energy-sapping time in your life. Here’s to the next 60 years!

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  8. Glad to hear you are reasonably well. Stunning photos as ever, love that opener especially with the clouds and reflections. And the cake looks amazing! Happy 60th – I actually felt more comfortable with that one than with any other Big Zero birthday (at least since 10). I felt rewarded because I got my bus pass!

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  9. He was a lot of illegal fishing around our area during lockdown think as a way for the people to justify going outside (for food) even though it was wrong.
    Happy birthday – glad you were able to celebrate it in some way. I didn’t know about you were unwell. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
    Gorgeoys captures here. Particularly, I liked the first two.

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  10. Love the moody atmospheric photos of Auckland. Those clouds! That reflection! Glad you had a happy birthday – that cake looks so yummy! 60 is the new 40 I think! Well that’s what I have been telling myself for the last eight years. Which brings me to almost the same age as my eldest son ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I often think of you, and keeping my fingers crossed that the treatment goes well. (Makes using the keyboard a little awkward) Take joy from every single day Su and I’m sure the Big T is looking after you well. Hugs from me ((( ))) ๐Ÿค—

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    • ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much Jude.
      I actually feel really well, and am now fitter than I’ve been in years. A combination of hospital food, surgery, not drinking and long walks (what else is there to do in lock-down) means that I’m 8kgs lighter and finding exercise easier. I’m grateful for Auckland’s expanded network of walkways which means we can enjoy the city. T is doing a fantastic job of looking after me, and I’m able to see the boy-child (at an appropriate social distance), but I am longing for one of his hugs.

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      • Mmm… not drinking and being ill can help in losing weight, but it is a bit drastic! I wonder when / if NZ will follow Australia’s example, or do you think you are going to continue to keep to zero infection rates?

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        • I think there is no chance of eliminating Covid here now, and we will have to join the world in learning g to live with it. Not something Iโ€™m crazy about with my immune system being regularly buttered, but weโ€™ll have our second jabs next week, so fingers crossed.

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  11. Hi, Su! I was away for a few days; I am so glad to hear you are feeling well, especially after your first chemo. I enjoyed all your beautiful photos, and that cake just sounds and looks sooo good. Happy belated birthday, sending hugs and best wishes your way!

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  12. OMG! Your Orange cake looks fabulous! Almost too pretty to eat. Good thing I wasn’t around or you might have wondered where it had gone. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling reasonably well after your first chemo and will keep my fingers crossed that this will continue to be the case.
    No worries about not feeling wordy, you know what they say about pictures being worth a thousand words, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love those tiny beautiful flowers – spring seems to be on its way down under – jealous! ๐Ÿ˜‚
    I remember only too well how it felt like in lockdown last winter and hope yours won’t be as long as that. With summer coming along it should get better. In the meantime I can only join with Lani and say: Eat more cake! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ’ž

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    • Thank you my dear friend. I think NZ has lost its way a little in trying to manage Covid; we seem to be lurching from bad to worse. I am so grateful for a comfortable home and the Big Tโ€™s care.

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  13. We’ll be counting down the chemo days with you–promise. Thankful your first session left you feeling ok. I hope that continues! And the cake–well, up to your usual standard:). Beautiful and the pic made my mouth water. Happy Birthday! Glad your son helped make it nice for you.

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  14. Su, not sure how I missed this post though pleased I read it. Big birthday hug and so happy for you both that you got to share it with your son.
    We’re both wishing you well. It’s a wonder we haven’t seen you at the hospital with the amount of time we spend there! Beautiful images xx

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  15. I love looking at your pictures. I am unlikely to ever make my way around the world to see Auckland, but I can catch glimpses of it whenever I visit your site. And I’m always surprised that the seasons are reversed. That you are capturing pictures of Spring flowers while I am watching the leaves fall and the prospect of Winter about to descend.

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