The Changing Seasons, August 2021

Timely. This beautiful and very welcome card from my friend Sarah arrived the day of my surgery. Image: Su Leslie

Where to begin!

When I left you last month I was preparing for surgery for suspected ovarian cancer.

I join you this month a few body parts short of a game of Operation, a pleasing number of kilograms lighter, and with a long, but largely healed scar running the length of my abdomen.

The surgeons are confident they removed the visible tumours, but as the cancer had spread beyond my ovaries, I’ve been referred to an oncologist to discuss chemotherapy.

That should be enough for me to process and deal with.

But.

Four days after I got home from hospital, New Zealand went into a nation-wide Level 4 Covid-lockdown. The initial cases were pretty close to home, and for the first time since the pandemic began, I felt afraid. The possibility of illness — particularly a coughing illness — was terrifying while I was held together with staples and medical tape.

We’re now on Day 19, and my initial fears of becoming sick have been largely replaced by a weariness brought on by all the extra hassles of daily life (particularly one involving frequent medical appointments).

I’m incredibly fortunate to be locked down in a comfortable home, with plenty to eat and the wonderful Big T looking after me. I just wish I could DO more.

I’m not quite healed enough to work in the garden or finish restoring the armchair I had begun, and, as you’ll see, I’ve had a fairly limited choice of subjects for photography this month too.

Flowers began arriving not long after my return home. Image: Su Leslie

Double exposure. Image: Su Leslie

Still beautiful in decay. Image: Su Leslie

Throw in a little editing. Image: Su Leslie

Care package from my sister in law — kindness, goodness and supporting local business. Image: Su Leslie

Not missing these. Bye bye daily injections of anti-coagulant. Image: Su Leslie

The Changing Seasons — this month hosted by Ju-Lyn at Touring my Backyard

Friday flowers

Image: Su Leslie

April in Jude’s Life in Colour project is all about purple, and what’s not to love about a purple hydrangea?

As is becoming my habit, I’m taking inspiration from Tracy (at Reflections of an Untidy Mind), and bringing you some music too.

This is an intensely personal song written and performed by a beautiful young friend; a woman I’ve watched grow from infancy.

#fridayflowers

#nzmusicmonth

Friday flowers

Clematis montana. Image: Su Leslie

Being efficient today, I’m bringing you two-for-one. Jude’s monthly Life in Colour project is all about pink this month. A perfect excuse for a pink-themed Friday Flowers post.

Hydrangea. Image: Su Leslie

Moth plant, Araujia sericifera. Image: Su Leslie

Hibiscus. Image: Su Leslie

Once again, I’m taking inspiration from Tracy (at Reflections of an Untidy Mind), and bringing you some music as well.

I love this lock-down version of Don’t Dream it’s Over with the new Crowded House line-up — and not just for bassist Nick Seymour in his pyjamas.

The Changing Seasons, March 2021

Image: Su Leslie 2021

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

Douglas Adams

Well, that pretty well sums up my month.

Ok, so that’s not quite true. It’s more that my days seem to contain fewer moments I want to photograph. That’s partly about the rhythm of my life, and partly that I’m increasingly focused on photography as an expression of creativity, rather than a place-holder for memory.

In other words, I still want to record the fact that my scarlet runner beans are growing, but damn it, I want the shot to look pretty!

New shoots; scarlet runner beans. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

So perhaps my month has been less a Douglas Adam’s quote than a Robert Louis Stevenson one.

Almost literally.

With the temperatures dropping a little and a bit more moisture in the air, I’ve been spending more time in the garden, and it seems to be springing back to life (ironic, given that it’s autumn here).

Flower buds are appearing; beans are offering us a second crop; figs and feijoas are ripening — and we have so many chillies I’m in serious need of some new recipes (or more freezer space).

Poblano chilli. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Scarlet runner beans. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Feijoas. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Feijoas. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Fig. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Just picked. Image; Su Leslie 2021

Chrysanthemum buds. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Hibiscus. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Cosmos bud. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Chrysanthemum buds. Image: Su Leslie 2021

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly project where bloggers around the world share their thoughts and feelings about the month just gone. We all approach this slightly differently — though generally with an emphasis on the photos we’ve taken during the month.

For many of us, looking back over these photos provides the structure and narrative of our post, so each month is different.

Others focus on documenting the changes in a particular project — such as a garden, an art or craft project, or a photographic diary of a familiar landscape.

But in the end, it is your changing season, and you should approach it however works for you.

There are no fixed rules around post length or photo number — just a request that you respect your readers’ time and engagement. (1)

Tags and ping-backs

Tag your photos with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

Create a ping-back to this post, so that I can update it with links to all of yours.

Update

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Ju-Lyn from Touring my Backyard

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Tish from Writer on the Edge

Margaret at Pyrenees to Pennines

Marilyn from Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Natalie at Little Pieces of Me

Ladyleemanila

Brian at Bushboy’s World

Joanne at Following a Bold Plan

Suzanne from Life at No. 22

Friday flowers

Image: Su Leslie

Today I’m taking inspiration again from Tracy (at Reflections of an Untidy Mind), and am bringing you some music with my regular Friday Flowers.

This cover of the Cranberries Dreams was recorded last year “to raise funds and awareness for Safe Ireland, an organisation that provides support for women and children who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse.”

Linger in the sun

Image: Su Leslie

Today I’m taking inspiration from Tracy (at Reflections of an Untidy Mind), and am bringing you some music with my regular Friday Flowers.

Gaelyn Lea is an incredibly talented American musician and advocate for disability rights. Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun is beautiful and haunting. Her words feel absolutely right for this time.

Don’t tell me we’ve got time

The subtle thief of life

It slips away when we pay no mind

— Gaelyn Lea, Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun