Pier, Marine Parade, Napier, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2018
It’s been a busy month, and not always in a good way. I feel that I’ve
wasted spent far too much time on household admin stuff. As the month closes, I’m still waiting on others’ to provide information I need to make decisions and cross these things off my “to-do” list.
One the plus side, there’s only so much book-keeping and financial planning a person can do before they lose the will to live (for me that’s not very much), so there has been plenty of need for distraction. This has mostly taken the form of still-life photography (much of which you’ve seen), trying to improve my embarrassingly basic PhotoShop skills, and spending quality time with my journal and some watercolour paints.
The Big T and I have only managed to escape the city once — for a long weekend in the Waikato. The weather was mostly great and the scenery awesome in that green hills and big blue skies kind of way — especially on the day we went to explore Kawhia, on the west coast.
Although it’s only about 60km from the nearest town, Kawhia feels quite remote. The land is mainly farmed or forestry and there is only one other settlement on the way there — Oparau, with its “sells everything you could ever need — at a price” general store and the bike fence.
I don’t know if it’s a Kiwi thing — do people in other countries adorn fences with collections of found objects? We have the bra fence in Cardrona, Central Otago; several jandal (think flip-flop) fences (Foxton, Kaeo and the Bay of Plenty); a hubcap fence in West Auckland; and apparently more than one bike fence.
I didn’t count the number of bikes cable-tied to the fence in Oparau, but the installation stretched for at least 100 metres.
Kawhia is a tiny settlement nestled inside a large, flat harbour. The tide was out during our visit, so I’ll spare you shots of the muddy estuary — except this one of the Kawhia Museum, because the building is so pretty.
The ocean beach, a little beyond town, was beautiful and almost deserted. It is a hot water beach, which means you can dig a hole at low tide and soak in the naturally hot spring water that seeps through the sand.
This sounds like a great idea, and unlike the more famous Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel, there weren’t thousands of other people trying to do the same thing. But it IS still winter, and it’s impossible to dig a particularly deep hole, so the prospect of having a warm bums and legs while the rest of us froze just wasn’t that appealing.
Our trip home involved a detour to Te Aroha for coffee, and Ngatea for a fairly disappointing lunch. Luckily the local St John’s charity shop was open and turned out to be a treasure trove. The Big T and I both left with goodies — and we now have a loyalty card. I’m not sure quite what that says about us.
About The Changing Seasons
The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.
If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:
The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):
- Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
- Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
- Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them
The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):
- Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
- Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
- Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.
If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.
Please check out these bloggers and see how August played out for them
Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful
Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind
Klara’s Brussels in August
Pauline at Living in Paradise
Jude at Under a Cornish Sky
Marilyn at Seeking intelligent life on Earth
Tish at Writer on the Edge
Joanne at My Life Lived Full
Max at Cardinal Guzman
“Once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”
– Pat Conroy
Life is full of journeys. Twenty one years ago, the Big T and I had just set out on the longest and most significant voyage of our lives — nurturing the embryo that would become our son. It’s a journey filled with memories that refresh and strengthen as we share new moments together.
The Arapuni Suspension Bridge was built in the late 1920s so that workers building the Arapuni Hydro Dam could get from the construction site to their accommodation in the village.
These days it’s part of the Waikato River Trails walk and cycle way.
Visiting a marae (Maori meeting ground) begins with a highly symbolic welcome ceremony. As part of that, a young man of the iwi (tribal group) to which the marae belongs will issue a challenge (wero) to the visiting party.
The challenge involves a symbolic demonstration of the iwi’s fighting prowess in the form of the young man and his weapon. It is asking the visitors “do you come here with peaceful intentions?”
A representative of the visiting group (usually a man) accepts the challenge by picking up the taki — a symbolic object which in many cases is a branch (think olive branch in terms of symbolism).
After that the group is welcomed onto the marae.
You can find out more about this powhiri (welcome process) here.
“The journey not the arrival matters”
– T.S. Eliot
Eliot’s words are particularly true when the journey is made in good company. This shot was taken last year when the boy-child and I were on a road-trip to visit family in Whanganui. A-typically for a teenager (but typical of the photographer that he is), he insisted on an extremely early start so that we could experience sunrise on the Desert Road.