Falling Slowly

Close-up shot of Ovation guitar neck and strings, with bokeh. Image by Su Leslie 2019

“Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice, you’ll make it now.”Falling Slowly, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, 2007. Image; Su Leslie 2019

Who doesn’t like a good love song? Especially when it belongs to a film as touching and beautifully made as John Carney’s Once.

All of the film’s original music was written and performed by the lead actors Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

This song, Falling Slowly, won the pair an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2007.

My dear friend Sarah at Art Expedition is hosting 30 Days, 30 Songs for the month of June. You can see her latest post here.

Burning down the house

Portrait of young woman looking into a mirror in a room with flock wallpaper, bamboo blinds and chinese umbrella mounted on the wall. The camera is visible in the shot. Self-portrait, Su Leslie 1985.

“Hold tight, wait till the party’s over …” Self-portrait, Su Leslie, 1985.

 1985. A flat in Grey Lynn. There are six of us; all in our 20s and a mix of students and recently-minted teachers. It’s a sociable flat, into which friends, neighbours and extended family members are welcomed. We eat together most nights and hang out at the weekends; going to movies, concerts, parties, nightclubs. I’m meant to be writing a Master’s thesis, but realise part way through the year that I find the topic monumentally boring. The effort I should make trying to resolve this problem is instead diverted into listening to music and experiments in film-making.

Sometime in that year, “the flat” goes to see the movie Stop Making Sense. We’ve been listening to Talking Heads and the related band Tom Tom Club, and the film doesn’t disappoint.

I love all the songs from that album, so I guess there is no particular significance in my choice of Burning Down the House to share as part of 30 Days, 30 Songs, a challenge devised by Sarah at Art Expedition. You can see her latest song choice here.

So young then


I enjoy music, but mostly it is like a movie soundtrack — fitted around the essentially visual and verbal story of my life.

Occasionally though, I guess the genre slips, and the normally low-budget indy film I think I’m making out of life briefly becomes a musical.

Troy, by Sinead O’Connor, is the song that plays over a very specific scene where the heroine starts out quietly contemplating the complexities of her life, before making a momentous decision (which she will have reneged on by the time she gets home).

My dear friend Sarah at Art Expedition is hosting 30 Days, 30 Songs for the month of June. You can see her latest post here.

Pictures in my soul


The skim-boarding phase. Waiwera beach, Auckland. NZ. Image: Gray-Leslie family archive.

“The soul can not think without a picture. “Aristotle, Greek philosopher, 384–322 BC

If the human soul is the seat of principles, thoughts and emotions, then the prevailing picture in my soul is of two things I most want to cherish and protect; my son, and the natural world.

My boy is fortunate to have grown up with a vast natural playground all around him. Every child deserve this, and every single one of us needs to take whatever steps we can to protect, preserve and if possible restore our natural world for the good of our own souls, and for those yet to come.

Debbie, at Travel with Intent, hosts a weekly quotation challenge. Visit to see her stunning photos, and find links to other participants’.