Pictures in my soul

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The skim-boarding phase. Waiwera beach, Auckland. NZ. Image: Gray-Leslie family archive.

“The soul can not think without a picture. “Aristotle, Greek philosopher, 384–322 BC

If the human soul is the seat of principles, thoughts and emotions, then the prevailing picture in my soul is of two things I most want to cherish and protect; my son, and the natural world.

My boy is fortunate to have grown up with a vast natural playground all around him. Every child deserve this, and every single one of us needs to take whatever steps we can to protect, preserve and if possible restore our natural world for the good of our own souls, and for those yet to come.

Debbie, at Travel with Intent, hosts a weekly quotation challenge. Visit to see her stunning photos, and find links to other participants’.

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Three day quote challenge, day three

“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” — Ralph Hattersley. Image of child's plastic tricycle parked in long grass. Su Leslie, 2017

“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” — Ralph Hattersley. Image: Su Leslie 2017

Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.George Bernard Shaw

When I was young, I remember the notion of “finding yourself” being talked about — in popular culture at least — as a thing that people (young, middle class, white people) could do.

At 12 or 13 it seemed terribly glamorous and infinitely desirable.

I also remember my father — a no-nonsense, working-class member of  The Silent Generation (1)– scoffing. His mantra was more or less “if you can’t find yourself in the mirror, then running of to join a commune isn’t going to help.”

Perhaps that’s why this quote appeals to me so much. It balances my desire to reach for something beyond an unexamined humdrum existence, with a sneaking feeling that my dad’s pragmatism resonates more with me that I would have ever have wanted to admit.

More importantly, it acknowledges that we are all work in progress.

The Three Day Quote Challenge works like this:

1) Thank the person who nominated you
2) Post a quote for 3 consecutive days ( 1 post each day )
3) Nominate 3 bloggers each day

I’m grateful to Ju-Lyn at Sunrise, Sunset for inviting me to join this challenge and giving me reason to reflect on quotes and ideas that are meaningful to me.

If you haven’t already been invited to join this,  and would like to — please do.

I for one am happy to read all the extra words of wisdom (or fun) that are sent my way.


  1. The Silent Generation is the term given to those born between 1924 and 1945.

Three day quote challenge, day two

My kitchen; part studio, part laboratory, part drop-in centre. My favourite part of the house and my happy place. Image: Su Leslie, 2018. Aged shot of modern kitchen with chrome appliances and red mixing bowl in foreground.

My kitchen; part studio, part laboratory, part drop-in centre. My favourite part of the house and my all-time happy place. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

“Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat.” — Guy Fieri

I love food.

I love eating certainly, but even more, I love thinking about, planning and making food. To cook for you is to say “I care; you matter to me.”

Close-up shot of chocolate cookies, baked to deliver to the City Mission at Christmas. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Chocolate cookies baked with the boy-child, for delivery to the City Mission. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

It seems particularly appropriate to share quotes about food for this challenge as I was invited to take part by Ju-Lyn at Sunrise, Sunset, who says of herself:

It is no surprise that I find myself obsessed with food – after all, I am a Singaporean. We are a people who hold animated conversations about food while we are eating, who would comb the island far & wide chasing the promise of great food!

Thank you Ju-Lyn.

In the few days since I wrote a post for the DP Photo Challenge about My Place in the World is has occurred to me that, no matter where I am, the kitchen is my place. I love my own kitchen — the part of our house renovation I am most proud of — and I happily commandeer friends’ and family members’ kitchens when I visit. Even on holiday, I crave the chance to cook at least one meal — using whatever is to hand.

So I guess there is need for a second quote today:

“The kitchen is a sacred space.” — Marc Forgione

The Three Day Quote Challenge works like this:

1) Thank the person who nominated you
2) Post a quote for 3 consecutive days ( 1 post each day )
3) Nominate 3 bloggers each day

If you haven’t already been invited to join this,  and would like to — please do.

I for one am happy to read all the extra words of wisdom (or fun) that are sent my way.

10 Things Tuesday: words of wisdom

photo credit: Caucas' via photopin cc

photo credit: Caucas’ via photopin cc

Time is the real currency of life. While money can be earned, spent and earned again, time cannot. It will eventually run out.  Life will end.
unknown source

kirkcaldy war memorial mod

© Su Leslie, 2013

War does not determine who is right; only who is left.
Bertrand Russell

National Archives, Kew. Su Leslie, 2013

National Archives, Kew. © Su Leslie, 2013

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
Soren Kierkegaard

Su Leslie, 2002.

© Su Leslie, 2002.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
Oscar Wilde

It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.
Dr. Seuss

Those who shun the whimsy of things will experience rigor mortis before death.
― Tom Robbins

Bad decisions make good stories.
unknown source

Calvin: Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

from Bill Watterson’s brilliant Calvin and Hobbes comic strips.

Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Life’s too short to drink bad coffee.
unknown

And finally …

Su Leslie, 2013

© Su Leslie, 2013

Good mothers let you lick the beater when they’re baking; great mothers turn the mixer off first.
greeting card