I’m a country bloke, give me mud, cow pats, sheep, the smell of sileage even…anything but the putrid smell of car exhausts and people crammed into confined spaces! But, we’re currently living in Auckland, it’s our rite of passage to the South Island. It was the deal… 6 months in Auckland to orientate myself in the job before we move. That may change, but that was the original plan.

So far Auckland has been a city of surprises, many surprises. In fact, the part of Auckland in which we live, The North Shore, feels more like a series of villages linked together, with most villages along the coast based around each bay. There are lots of reserves containing bush land, or open grassland, and it doesn’t really feel like a city at all!

Auckland CBD is across the harbour, so one can either drive across the bridge into the city or catch the ferry from Devonport to the CBD (see here) Last night we caught the ferry, and it was a fantastic trip. Dare I say it, being the country-phile that I am,  the view was beautiful (see below).








The reason we were going to the CBD, was not to party on Queen St, like the youth… but to go and see Auckland University Symphony Orchestra Gala Competiton where three students were competing for prizes. These ladies were awesome, particularly for their age. I’m no musician (other than Grade 5 trombone, eons ago…), but I was enthralled, captivated even, by their performances. It was a great event, surprise number one – it was free! Suprise number two – it was a family event and most of the people present were young. There were little kiddies with their families, and lots of teenagers, and students of course! It was great to see such support for the girls performing, but also to see so many young people listening to classical music. It was heart warming. Mrs. E loved it too – possibly more than I, being the passionate musician she is, and also because she went through similar performances herself as a music degree student, way back when (a short while ago…).

The photo below was at the start of the evening, I was so enthralled I failed to take anymore, but hopefully it will give you some sense of the occasion.








There were no more surprises as such that evening. Mrs. E and I had a lovely time, we really did.

Auckland, thank you, muchly.

The Englishes