Well, it’s the end of my first week here in New Zealand, and boy was it a week! Even though during the days it felt as though being thrown out of my routine had really destroyed my productivity, looking back I actually achieved a lot. (Phew).
I arrived in Auckland on the 10th (well, technically very early on the 11th) so that I could attend the Remembrance/Armistice Day service at Auckland Domain for the 100th anniversary of Armistice. The centenary commemorations have been pretty central to my thesis, and actually having the opportunity to be ‘on the group’ for the Kiwi service was something I had really wanted to do from the beginning. I won’t go into detail here, but it was definitely an interesting experience, and despite the rain there was a strong turnout. Following the service, I decided to mosey through the Domain and head down into the CBD.
Monday was firmly unexciting. The time difference between Adelaide and Auckland threw me a bit, and I ended up leaving my accommodation at 11am Auckland time – not the best start. I spent the entire day in the University of Auckland’s General Library. Not the most exciting, but the views made it bearable. It’s a bit of a weird feeling travelling to a new place and just sliding back into your day-to-day routine, but as I’m not actually in New Zealand for a holiday, that’s just how things go.
On Tuesday I set off back to the Domain to check out the World War I exhibits in the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It lovely lady at the ticket desk let me in for free (a privilege typically reserved for Auckland residents), and I had a wonderful day exploring the exhibits and taking notes for my research. I also ventured into the Wintergardens in the Domain, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The rest of the week was pretty dull, if I’m honest. I mostly just sat up on level 6 of the university library taking advantage of their much more expansive NZ history section and getting on with my work. I also popped off to the Auckland City Library for a bit of archival research. This isn’t as exciting as it sounds; it mainly consisted of me flipping through old Anzac Day programs (hint: the programs are pretty much the same from 1930-1990).
So that was my first week in Auckland. Not the most thrilling, but hey, sometimes that’s the reality of researcher life (and the reason I stopped blogging for so long). The weekend, however, is a different story…