On taking a cooling dip into the past

Specimen shell, Auckland Museum. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Specimen shell, Auckland Museum. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

A few days ago Auckland’s heat and humidity got the better of me. Once upon a time, I would have gone to the beach to cool off; after all, the city is surrounded by water. But it’s still school holidays, and I couldn’t face the prospect of driving on congested roads to a busy beach, to then drive round and round looking for a parking space before trying to claim a little patch of sand and sea.

Instead I sought respite from the weather at the Auckland Museum; a wonderfully cool (in every sense of the word) neo-classical building with high ceilings and large airy galleries. The Museum has been a place of refuge for as long as I can remember. Although several refurbishments and re-organisations have led to collections being moved around, there are few – if any – new exhibits. And that is part of the pleasure. I know where everything is and take enormous pleasure in seeking out artifacts like old friends.

Specimen shells, Auckland Museum. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Specimen shells, Auckland Museum. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

When the boy-child was small, museum outings were fairly frequent. While he loved playing in the two dedicated child-friendly galleries, he was also totally fascinated with the Marine Collection and could spend ages looking at the shell collections, mounted on wire and preserved behind glass. As these were well above the height of a two year old, this particular part of each expedition tended to involve holding him up to the cases until my arms ached. Visiting again, without my boy-child in tow, I was able to appreciate the beauty of the shells — and the irony of viewing them so far from the beach on a summer’s day.

Specimen shell, Auckland Museum. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Specimen shell, Auckland Museum. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

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.

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14 thoughts on “On taking a cooling dip into the past

    • Thank you; I love the Auckland Museum way more than Te Papa — and that’s not a parochial Aucklander talking! I think it’s a much more beautiful building and has better collections. Hope you’re enjoying your visit to Aotearoa. πŸ™‚

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  1. Beautiful photos. I used to have to go on trips to the museum a lot when I was at school but haven’t been since. I would imagine the beaches would be rather congested as well with the hot weather. It has cooled down a bit for us here in Hastings – thank goodness – last week in the 30’s. πŸ˜€

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    • Thanks Raewyn. I remember school trips to the museum too. It’s changed so much in the the last few years – both physically with the extension, and in terms of curatorial policies and layout. I probably shouldn’t complain about Auckland heat; it’s cooler than you’ve been experiencing Hawkes Bay, but soooo humid!

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