Wordless Wednesday

Afternoon cuppa, with lemon-thyme flavoured shortbread. Image: Su Leslie 2018

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It’s raining again

rain splash

Rain on the outside table. Image: Su Leslie 2018

It rains all year round in Auckland. You know it’s winter when it’s worth wearing a raincoat because it’s a bit too cold to let your soaked clothes just dry on your body.

But even by Auckland standards, the last few weeks have been really wet. Yesterday morning, we had 872 lightening strikes in a two hour period, and about 24mm of rain — that’s around twice the monthly average.

rain splash on table

Too wet to eat outside — too wet to even get a proper shot of the table. Image: Su Leslie 2018

The Met Service is forecasting a respite over the next few days — showers instead rain.

Not a rolling stone then

moss agate

Moss agate; from the boy-child’s old rock collection. Image: Su Leslie 2018

“A rolling stone gathers no moss”

I had forgotten the boy-child’s long-ago interest in rocks, until I recently found the shoebox in which his collection has languished. The “moss” is not organic, but formed by the action of different minerals in the composition.

According to Crystals Online, it also:

… has a lovely positive energy, it is said to increase hope and optimism and to improve confidence and self-esteem.

It is strongly connected to nature and is said to assist you in feeling the beauty that is nature. Moss Agate is said to bring abundance and prosperity into your life. It is believed to be a stone of new beginnings helping to release you from deep-seated fears and blockages that might be holding you back.

In physical healing Moss Agate is believed to speed up convalescence after illness or injury and to boost the immune system. It is thought to be anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and lowering temperatures.

Perhaps I should strap it to my arthritic knee, which is giving me serious grief today.

Posted to Macro Monday

The loveliest distance

child drawing

“A curved line is the loveliest distance between two points.” — unknown. Children’s art class. Image: Su Leslie 2018

Art begins with the line; sketches, paintings, even three dimensional works.

It seems to me that the urge to mark lines on a surface is quite fundamentally human. From paleolithic cave art to toddlers “redecorating” walls with Mum’s lipstick (true story — but it was my brother, honest); in all times and at all ages we seek to explore, document and indeed change our world with lines and all that flows from them.

Or as art historian Sir Kenneth Clark put it:

The difference between what we see and a sheet of white paper with a few thin lines on it is very great. Yet this abstraction is one which we seem to have adopted almost instinctively at an early stage in our development, not only in Neolithic graffiti but in early Egyptian drawings. And in spite of its abstract character, the outline is responsive to the least tremor of sensibility. 

At a cultural level, line-making helps to define humanity.

At a personal level it makes us happy — and sometimes deeply unhappy.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” — Pablo Picasso

The joy children experience in making art can so quickly be extinguished by external — and internal — critics. “That’s no good” becomes “you’re hopeless at art”, which becomes “I’m not creative.” I actually heard a woman at an art workshop say that while introducing herself to the group.

I started writing this post for Debbie’s One Word Sunday, where this week the word is lines. Then I realised that when I talk about art, and about making art, I am also talking about happiness. So I’m adding the post also to the Lens-Artists challenge | happiness is.

Regular Random: five minutes with a pomegranate

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Image: Su Leslie 2018

Pomegranates don’t grow well in New Zealand. They require more growing days than our climate generally provides, so aren’t really a commercially viable fruit.

This means that the pomegranates we can buy come from the US, and are available for a very short season.

Now.

My general shopping rule is to buy local, and boy do pomegranates challenge this. The juicy little arils add colour and crunch and a wonderful little pop of sourness to so many dishes.

In our house, pomegranate tends to be paired with duck, salty cheeses, oranges and mint for a dessert salad — or just eaten by the handful.

About Regular Random

Regular Random is a photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. Please pop over and take a look;  and if you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to not interfere with the subject, instead see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • have fun!
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post.