The Changing Seasons: July 2020


“By all means use sometimes to be alone. Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear.” — George Herbert. Early morning, Waikato River at Mercer, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2020

I consider it a success in life that I can accept (if not entirely understand) the ebb and flow of my emotional state. I’ve learned to recognise when I’m struggling, and not to make the bad times worse by beating myself up about having a bad time.

I’ve also learned that eventually (so far) I will find something — however small — that triggers joy and that a little turn of the screw in the right direction can re-set the machine and get the cogs moving again.

July, it has to be said, has been a month largely lacking in cog action.

A short road-trip (in lieu of visiting my dad) provided an opportunity to read, think and relax away from all the usual chores and responsibilities. I didn’t venture too far from home, and despite the rain and school holidays, enjoyed re-visiting Hamilton and the small towns of the Hauraki Plains. It struck me though, that even as we’re being told the country is open for business, Covid 19 has taken a huge toll on many small communities, especially in the tourist-dependent hospitality sector. Those cafes that were open at all were operating shortened hours — which led to some “interesting” ad hoc meals.

Even the wonderful Hamilton Gardens seemed straggly and bare, with several of the themed gardens closed. I know that is partly a consequence of the time of year, but suspect the vastly reduced number of visitors has provided an opportunity for low-impact maintenance and repair.

Since my return, I’ve pottered about and made a little progress on a few projects, but generally got to the end of each day and wondered where the time had gone.

As the month-end approaches, I’m feeling a sense of being able to draw a line under July and move into August with some enthusiasm. I’ve got two weeks to prepare for the first “posh” dinner I’ve hosted in years, and I suspect I’ll be testing a few practice dishes on The Big T (like he’s going to complain).

I’ve also set myself the challenge of doing one creative, just-for-fun thing every day in August (is Arty August too cheesy a title). I have a few biggish projects that can only be done in stages, but think I need to also set little goals — like a daily doodle or something similar. In announcing my intention, I’ve made myself accountable; if only to my end-of-August Changing Seasons self.


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 visit these bloggers to find out how July played out for them:

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Little Pieces of Me

Pauline at Living in Paradise


Tish at Writer on the Edge

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Sarah at Art Expedition

Suzanne from Life at No 22

Darren at The Arty Plantsman

A Wonderful Sheep

Brian at Bushboy’s World

Gill at Talking Thailand

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful



If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau. Image: Su Leslie

I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be. — Douglas Adams

Ok, lots of words. But I’m still posting this to Debbie’s One Word Sunday | where — because when I started thinking about it, this is where I ended up.

When the packaging’s part of the present

Finished! Toy sack that doubles as gift-wrapping for the mokopuna‘s* Christmas gift.

I am trying to reduce the amount of packaging waste I generate, and while I can’t do anything about the plastic and cardboard encasing the little one’s train set, I figured I could at least deliver it in something useful.

‘Cos seriously, what boy doesn’t collect stuff?

*mokopuna (often shortened to moko) is the Maori word for a young grandchild, niece, nephew — or in our case, first cousin twice removed.

Isn’t moko so much nicer.

In love with the lustre

obi-sash cushion lustre

Another up-cycled kimono sash cushion cover. Image: Su Leslie 2018

(Still) feeling too lethargic and woolly-headed from my cold to get out and do much, I am amusing myself with simple projects — like up-cycling kimono sashes (obi).

The latest cushion was made entirely from the silk in the sash itself and required very little sewing.

I love these fabrics; the beautiful colours and designs, and the wonderful lustre of the silk fibres.

Posted to Ragtag Daily Prompt | lustre.