Homeward Bound

Mt Ruapehu, North Island, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2021

I’ve visited family, learned new art techniques, walked on unfamiliar beaches and scoured small-town thrift shops (I’ll show you my best find when I can extract it from the back seat of the car).

Now it’s time to go home.

Virtual Afternoon Tea, April 2021

Image: Su Leslie 2021

Wherever you are, and whatever is happening in your world, Kia ora koutou katoa  (Greetings. Hello to you all)

I’m on the road this month; a visit with my Dad, an eco dye-making workshop, and a chance to catch up with a few friends.

It’s a trip that’s taking me through some favourite landscapes …

Mt. Ruapehu, from the Desert Road. Image: Su Leslie 2021

… and to a much-loved cafe.

Almond croissant and a flat white, Creel Lodge Cafe, Turangi. Image: Su Leslie 2021

I first stayed at the Creel Lodge in Turangi almost a decade ago, and return when I can. The lodge backs onto the Tongariro River and offers fishing gear and instruction — which I’ve yet to take them up on.

Delicious. Image: Su Leslie 2021

I do visit the on-site cafe though — even (especially) when I’m not staying in the Lodge. The coffee is consistently excellent, and the almond croissants are flaky, almond-y perfection.

Whanganui River at Aramoho, Whanganui. Image: Su Leslie 2021

It’s now late afternoon in Whanganui. Despite Met Service forecasts of heavy rain, it’s been a glorious autumnal day.

Not quite warm enough for a dip in my hosts’ pool, but perfect weather for a glass of wine, a few figs and some of my favourite Kikorangi blue cheese.

Image: Su Leslie 2021

Care to join me?

About Virtual Afternoon Tea

In these Covid-crazy times, we’re missing not only the big things, but a also the small joys and rituals of sharing a cuppa with friends. Virtual Afternoon Tea will never replace that, but it is a chance for bloggers around the world to connect over the simple sharing of food.

I post some images of my afternoon tea, along with musings on whatever’s on my mind.

You can tell me about your afternoon tea in the comments, or add a post of your own. Take a shot of your cuppa, tell us about your favourite tea-time snack — maybe even share a recipe.

Tag your post Virtual Afternoon Tea and link it to this one so others can find it.

I’ll update my post with a ping-back to everyone else’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.

#virtualteaparty2021 for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)


Aggie at Nomad is moving house, and probably really needs a few cups of tea to keep her going.

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind is enjoying her cuppa with toast and homemade fig marmalade. Pop over to enjoy the gorgeous colours of a Canberra autumn.

If you love cheese, pop over to visit Irene at My Slice of Mexico for a delicious-looking recipe for baked cheese with oregano.

Join Deb at The Widow Badass for banana oatmeal muffins and some hilarious chat on her snazzy balcony.

Ladylee Manila is enjoying a cuppa and some fresh fruit while she’s working on a jigsaw puzzle.

Once again Ju-Lyn has baked something delicious and shared the recipe. Pop over to Touring my Backyard to check out her cinnamon streusel cake.

A tea party road trip?

Image: Su Leslie 2021

I’m heading out of town next week, so this month’s virtual afternoon tea will be brought to you by wherever I’ve found the best cuppa (and cake?).

I’ll post as usual on Thursday 15th April; at around at 3pm-ish NZ time (GMT +12), but at this stage I’ve no idea where I’ll be or what will be on the menu.

I hope you can join me.

Travel photo no. 1

Brian at Bushboy’s World invited me to join him and other bloggers posting a travel photo a day for ten days. No explanation or back-story required, just an image.

The deal is I also invite someone else to join in too. I know how busy many of your blog schedules are, so I am always a bit loathe to nominate people.

But … many of you have travelled much more than me and have wonderful archives to dip in to …and I do really enjoy seeing the world through your eyes.

So Janet (This, That and the Other Thing), if you feel like it and have time, I’m inviting you today.

Not here today #2

‘Angel of the North’, Antony Gormley, 1998. Low Eighton, Gateshead, England. Image: Su Leslie 2013

My mum and I celebrate our birthdays three days apart, and in 2013 we gifted ourselves a wee road trip to the England’s north east.

Antony Gormley’s Angel had been on my must-see list since it was first installed, and close up it is so impressive.

I’m not sure when (if) my mum and I will have another road trip, so this is a memory to cherish.

Sometimes the journey is the best part

Ruapehu dawn. Road-trip with the boy-child. Shot of young man photographing morning mist shrouding Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand. Su Leslie, 2017

Ruapehu dawn. Road-trip with the boy-child. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

“The journey not the arrival matters”
– T.S. Eliot

Eliot’s words are particularly true when the journey is made in good company. This shot was taken last year when the boy-child and I were on a road-trip to visit family in Whanganui. A-typically for a teenager (but typical of the photographer that he is), he insisted on an extremely early start so that we could experience sunrise on the Desert Road.

Posted to Debbie’s weekly quotation-inspired challenge, at Travel with Intent.

DP Photo Challenge: I’d rather be …

Early morning under lowering skies with low cloud around Mt Tongariro, SH1 south of Turangi, North Island, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

SH1 south of Turangi, North Island, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

… on the road. Especially the Desert Road which traverses the North Island’s volcanic central plateau. Although the road is often busy, the landscape itself is barren and desolate.

The road to Whakapapa village and ski-field, and the Chateau Tongariro, central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The road to Whakapapa village and ski-field, and the Chateau Tongariro, central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

… or perhaps the road to the Whakapapa ski-field and a few nights of luxury at the Chateau Tongariro.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a coastal dweller, but I always find peace and a sense of well-being in the mountains.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | I’d rather be …


Normal service has resumed

Back to reality. Coffee, lists and bill-paying. Close-up shot of morning activity. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Back to reality. Coffee, lists and bill-paying. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The boy-child and I have been on a little road trip to visit my father.

I had intended to keep up with the blogging world while away. But truly, we were having too much fun exploring.

The boy and the mountain. Mist-shrouded Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, with boy-child taking photograph. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The boy and the mountain. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

So apologies for my slowness in engaging with your posts and responding to comments. It’s gone on my “to-do” list.