Not here today: #1


Mt Taranaki, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2019

As Auckland is back in Covid 19 lock-down and we’re not allowed outside the city boundaries, I thought I’d flip through my photo archive each day, and enjoy the memories of places I’ve been and hopefully will return to again.

Taranaki is a favourite destination of mine; not least because it hosts an annual garden festival. The 2020 programme arrived in the mail recently and I’d been making tentative plans to go. Probably just as well I haven’t booked accommodation!

How to travel with a hydrangea

I visited my dad and stepmother today. Seeing how lovely their garden is looking, I confessed to a little hydrangea envy. My stepmother promptly produced a shovel and insisted I dig out a small bush to take home. She then took a cutting from a second hydrangea to give me as well.

I’m spending tonight and tomorrow night in (different) hotels, and I’ve never transported hydrangeas before. They’re spending tonight in a bucket of water in the bathroom, but have a fairly long (and bumpy) car ride tomorrow before I can get them back into the bucket.

Umberto Eco once wrote an essay called ‘How to Travel with a Salmon.’ I’m hoping the hydrangea proves a more rewarding — and less expensive — travelling companion.

The Changing Seasons: February 2019

Still life with gym shoes, water bottle, towel, keys and muscle rub. Image: Su Leslie 2019 Still-life with gym shoes. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Ok, let’s just get it out of the way. I’ve joined a gym.

It wasn’t entirely by choice, but I finally sought help to manage my arthritic knee, and this is part of the programme.

I don’t like gyms. Even when I wasn’t middle-aged and overweight, I was still uncoordinated.

And philosophically …. people getting in their cars to drive to a brightly-lit, air-conditioned building full of expensive equipment designed to simulate the exercise humans evolved to get doing that thing called living? I know that’s simplistic; I am genuinely concerned about the environmental costs.

But it seems to be working. After just a few weeks, I have significantly better flexibility and strength.

So having more or less captured my month in one image, here are a few shots that haven’t made it into other posts.

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 amazing bloggers for their accounts of the month just gone:

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind — this is divided between two posts; so make sure you see both Part 1 and Part 2.

Marilyn and Garry at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Judy at lifelessons

Jude at Life at the Edge

Little Pieces of Me

Sarah at Art Expedition

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Gavin at Firehorseworld

Ju Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Vast reservoir

Sandy Bay, Northland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2019.

The sea is the vast reservoir of Nature. The globe began with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not end with it?” –  Jules Verne

Beyond the headland, the Pacific Ocean.

A summer day, when the sea is calm and the water clear, bodysurfers catch gentle waves and kids play in the shallows. On such a day it is easy to imagine that the vastness of the world’s largest ocean can absorb all the plastic and garbage and toxic marine-life-killing pollution we humans feed it, and that all our shit will somehow be absorbed and disappear.

Easy — and potentially fatal.

Posted to the weekly quotation-based challenge hosted by Debbie at Travel with Intent.

Postcards from Sydney #1

I’m indulging my love of art — sculpture in particular — with a visit to Sydney to see Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi.

This involved a five am start to catch my flight, which was surprisingly not full and I had a whole row of seats to stretch out in.

I’m staying in a new hotel, in a part of town I’ve never been to before. So far, so awesome.

One of the cool things about The Collectionist is that all the rooms are designed by local artists — and they are all different. The other cool thing is that you get to choose your room. I had a choice of three and picked The Santa Rosa Suite. I’ll give you a peep inside tomorrow.

I’m not sure if it’s a legacy of my recent cold, or a sign that I’m getting old, but the last time I came to Sculpture by the Sea three years ago, I headed straight from checking in to Bondi Beach and walked the sculpture trail to the end at Tamarama Beach (and then walked back).

Today, I felt too tired to face the 12km bus trip to Bondi, let alone a 3km (return) walk around the exhibition, so I’m saving my energy for tomorrow.

Instead I’ve been exploring the neighbourhood and back towards the CBD, where I found dinner at Fishbowl.

A note to all The Changing Seasons contributors.

I will update the blogroll with links to your posts whenever I am able to, but I may be a little slower than usual.

A farewell favourite


Rātana Church, Raetihi, North Island, NZ. Seen from the road en-route to Whanganui and worth the slight detour. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

My dad is ill and I’m off to Whanganui to visit him tomorrow.

My journey will take me past this beautiful church in Raetihi. It’s a journey I make regularly, but I’ve only once managed to stop and photograph it.

Its slightly unusual design is characteristic of churches built for worshipers of the Rātana faith. The Rātana church was founded in 1925 by Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana, a Maori spiritual leader who also campaigned for social justice and racial equality.

The church, and the movement it forged, continue to play important political, social role and religious roles in New Zealand life. Annual celebrations of Rātana’s birth attract thousands of people (including the country’s politicians) to his home marae at Rātana Pā, just outside Whanganui.

I posted this photo originally to the Daily Post Photo Challenge |On the Way, on 31 May 2015. It seems fitting to post it again for this final challenge | favourites.

Wordless Wednesday: today’s the day

Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

The Big T, the boy-child and I are off on holiday for three weeks, and my ability to blog will be dependent on time, and internet connectivity in the various places we’re visiting.

I guess this means that if you don’t hear from me, we’re having too much fun — or there’s no broadband!

Thank you all for visiting, liking, commenting on and following ZimmerBitch. Your online fellowship is a huge part of why I blog.

See you in a few weeks.

Nga mihi nui (my best wishes)


Things to see and places to be

The Big T wants to visit the BMW museum while we're in Munich. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

The Big T wants to visit the BMW museum while we’re in Munich. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

With less than a week until we go on holiday, the boys are busy making lists of things to do and visit. The Big T is keen on the BMW museum in Munich, while the boy-child is looking forward to skating in Bordeaux.

I had such fun photographing our little toy BMW Isetta the other day (DP Photo Challenge – not quite to scale), that I decided to take a few more shots, and then of course I needed a skateboard.


Checking out the skate scene in Bordeaux is high on the boy-child’s list of things to do on holiday. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Not sure how I can represent my wish-list for our holiday. As long as I can find coffee, book shops and art galleries, I’ll be happy.

This post was written for Sally’s Phoneography and non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally. You can find out more here.