Three day quote challenge, day two

My kitchen; part studio, part laboratory, part drop-in centre. My favourite part of the house and my happy place. Image: Su Leslie, 2018. Aged shot of modern kitchen with chrome appliances and red mixing bowl in foreground.

My kitchen; part studio, part laboratory, part drop-in centre. My favourite part of the house and my all-time happy place. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

“Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat.” — Guy Fieri

I love food.

I love eating certainly, but even more, I love thinking about, planning and making food. To cook for you is to say “I care; you matter to me.”

Close-up shot of chocolate cookies, baked to deliver to the City Mission at Christmas. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Chocolate cookies baked with the boy-child, for delivery to the City Mission. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

It seems particularly appropriate to share quotes about food for this challenge as I was invited to take part by Ju-Lyn at Sunrise, Sunset, who says of herself:

It is no surprise that I find myself obsessed with food – after all, I am a Singaporean. We are a people who hold animated conversations about food while we are eating, who would comb the island far & wide chasing the promise of great food!

Thank you Ju-Lyn.

In the few days since I wrote a post for the DP Photo Challenge about My Place in the World is has occurred to me that, no matter where I am, the kitchen is my place. I love my own kitchen — the part of our house renovation I am most proud of — and I happily commandeer friends’ and family members’ kitchens when I visit. Even on holiday, I crave the chance to cook at least one meal — using whatever is to hand.

So I guess there is need for a second quote today:

“The kitchen is a sacred space.” — Marc Forgione

The Three Day Quote Challenge works like this:

1) Thank the person who nominated you
2) Post a quote for 3 consecutive days ( 1 post each day )
3) Nominate 3 bloggers each day

If you haven’t already been invited to join this,  and would like to — please do.

I for one am happy to read all the extra words of wisdom (or fun) that are sent my way.

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Lest we forget: ANZAC Day 2018

The Big T’s great uncles:

— Pte Eric Andrew Gray, died in the Somme Valley, France, March 1918

— Lt Harry Marshall Wright, died at Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli, August 1915.

Commemorated alongside other servicemen and women from the Canterbury region at the Field of Remembrance, Cranmer Square, Christchurch.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.— Laurence Binyon, “For the Fallen”

Seven Day Black & White Challenge, day 7

Close up black & white shot of cat sitting. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Both Elsie at Ramblings of a Writer, and Lucile at Sights and Insights invited me to join this challenge. The rules are simple:

“Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.”

I’ve enjoyed doing this, and invite anyone who would like to take part to post your own seven days of black and white.

On birthdays, bugs and being grateful

Close-up shot of orange lily stamen coated in pollen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Lily stamen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Shot with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens

Well the election gods haven’t (so far — hung parliament) come through with the new government I wanted for my birthday, AND I’ve managed to spend the last 36 hours feeling utterly miserable from a gastro-bug-thingy , BUT …

… the Big T floored me with a particularly thoughtful and wonderful birthday gift.

I’ve been dithering for ages about buying a macro lens, and now I am the ecstatic owner of a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens. I’m a bit hopeless with technical terminology, but even from my first experiments, I can tell this lens is seriously cool.

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in ponga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I have no idea what these are, but I found them growing out of punga (silver tree fern) logs in the Waitakere Ranges. The tallest stem was about 5cm. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Otherworldly. Unknown micro-plant found growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

As my interest in photography has grown, I’m turning my lens more and more on nature, and particularly on the tiny details. In a world that I find increasingly — well, scary — I am comforted and sustained by the beauty and resilience of the smallest life forms.

And by the love of the good people like the Big T. And not just for the awesome gift — I’m even more grateful for his thoughtful compassion and nursing skills — especially at 3am when I’m sick and grumpy and, frankly, stink.

The most beautiful moment

"The flower is the moment we live. The perfect moment." Close-up image of white apple blossom against blurred background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

“The flower is the moment that we live … The most beautiful moment.” Image: Su Leslie, 2017

A plant has a circle. The seed becomes a plant which has a flower … it transforms into a fruit and the fruit drops. There’s another seed and the seed grows again. This is a circle. The flower is the moment that we live. The most beautiful moment of the circle. The most beautiful moment.Alex Atala, chef.

The road-bumps my family’s been experiencing lately show no signs of disappearing, and it looks as though travelling a new, more difficult road might be the new normal — at least for a while.

If I sound cryptic, then my apologies. Some stories are not really mine to share, even though I’m a character in them.

It is amazing though, how having to raise my head to new horizons also allows me to appreciate much more the simple beauty around me.

I heard the quote above on Chef’s Table last night and was moved almost to tears.

Here it is in context: