Yesterday

Image: Su Leslie 2021

Yesterday.

The sun was shining and my kitchen was full of lovely, yellow corn cobs. Thoughts turned to inviting friends round for a barbecue.

Today.

The rain has arrived. And Auckland has gone back into (so far a very temporary) Covid lock-down.

I’m happy about the rain; the garden looks greener already.

The lock-down; not so much. But I appreciate our government taking such a proactive stand.

And I still have lots of lovely yellow sweetcorn to enjoy.

Not to mention a post for Jude’s Life In Colour project.

Last photo of January 2020

IMG_4972 The last image on my camera taken in Jan 2020; no editing. Su Leslie 2020


Brian at Bushboys World asks ‘what was the last photo you took in January 2020?’

I love these impromptu challenges (which I hope will become regular), as I seldom look at the date on my photos and almost never leave them totally unedited.

So Brian’s challenge rules:

1. Post the last photo on your SD card or last photo on your phone for the 31st January.
2. No editing – who cares if it is out of focus, not framed as you would like or the subject matter didn’t cooperate.
3. You don’t have to have any explanations, just the photo will do
4. Create a Pingback to this post or link in the comments
5. Tag “The Last Photo”

A virtual tea party

An invitation to tea. Image Su Leslie 2019Image: Su Leslie 2020

Those of you who pop round often will know how much I love food, and afternoon tea is no exception.

A couple of weeks ago when I posted An Agreeable Hour, my Comments section filled up with offers to join me in this rather civilised institution. One conversation with Del at Curls and Skirls really got me thinking, and led to the idea of hosting a virtual tea party once a month.

Naturally you’re all invited.

I’m not quite sure if how it’s going to work, but I’ll start, and we’ll see where it goes.

My afternoon tea

My tea palate isn’t particularly refined, so that’s a pot of English Breakfast Extra Strength you’re looking at. It’s loose tea, blended by local company Tea Total. They have a lovely shop near us where we can taste and smell the huge number of teas and tissanes they offer.

The cake is a gingery plum cake, from the BBC GoodFood website. It’s the first time I’ve made it and I actually managed to follow the recipe much closer than is usual for me (except to use fresh grated ginger in place of dried, and grated nutmeg because I didn’t have any mixed spice).

It’s incredibly easy to make; but does have lots of butter, sugar, eggs, milk and wheat flour. Not great for my vegan and gluten or refined-sugar free friends, but easy to give away the excess (it makes a BIG cake) to my neighbours who aren’t particularly amenable to my “hippy” offerings.

What kind of tea (or other beverage) would you have with this cake? Or would you prefer something a little less traditional in the sweet treat department?

Some “back in the day” musing

My first post-school “proper job” was at the local council. Working conditions there were, by today’s standards, exceptionally good. I mention this because our work day included fifteen minute breaks for morning and afternoon tea with biscuits provided (chocolate ones, if Leonie from Rates was allowed to shop for them).

Compared to the hastily grabbed mouthfuls of food my son and his girlfriend are forced to take in their break-free working days, morning and afternoon tea may seem unnecessary and indulgent. But in truth, it probably made us more productive. Not only for the well-being that social contact fostered, but because it was in the tea-room that we learned what was happening in the organisation, and that knowledge meant we could do our jobs better.

I’m not part of an organisation any more, and I doubt many modern companies have tea-breaks, but I still find that stopping mid-afternoon to step away from what I’m doing, make a cuppa and regroup helps focus my mind on the rest of the day?

Who else takes tea-breaks? Coffee? Is mid-afternoon a favoured time to meet friends for a cuppa?

The invitation

If you’d like to contribute a post of your own — a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it; a recipe, a few words about what you’re doing/reading/making. What’s making you happy or pissing you off — that would be great. I’ll update each of my posts with a ping-back to everyone’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.

#virtualteaparty for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)

I’d love to be part of a global rolling tea party. Hopefully a few of you would too.

Brian at Bushboys World has joined the party; bringing some delicious treats and music.

Del at Curls and Skirls, my co-conspirator in this tea party project, has a biscuit to dunk in her cuppa.

Morning coffee and the thought of scones from Lois at On Pets and Prisoners

Aggie at Nomad is sharing her cuppa from her new home in London

Amanda at A Home by the Sea has brought a delicious honey spice cake — using a recipe from Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful. What a great, connected community we’re building.

Ju-Lyn joins uswith thoughts on her family’s tea-drinking preferences.

I can almost taste the Duba tea Manja describes in her lovely post about tastes and memories ‘Virtual cook, eat, repeat party.’

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Seeing double

photographer hosier lane

“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” – Ansel Adams.  Image: Su Leslie 2019

Some things feel like they should always come in twos — like biscuits, and scoops of ice-cream. Though with (regular) hindsight, maybe having two eyes but only one stomach is a problem.

two macaronplumes dessert

Apparently, one of the earliest versions of  the saying “two’s company, three’s a crowd” dates back to 1678. John Ray wrote in his collection English Proverbs “One’s too few, three too many.”

One becomes two: shadows and reflections.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | seeing double