Well that was a long and interesting day.
Morning mist spilling over the hill from Wainuiomata was a good beginning and hinted at a clear calm day ahead.
So it proved for most of the day. I took myself out to Pauatahanui in the hope of seeing a kingfisher which my friend Toya seems to be seeing in large numbers. Just one bird in the distance that flew away. I looked up and by way of consolation, a fantail performed a near perfect spread. Pity about the intervening branches.
In the evening, Mary and I went to Pukeahu park. For old Wellingtonians who don’t know where that is, it is a newly formed large open park which embodies a war memorial in front of the carillon near the former Dominion Museum. The road from the basin Reserve now passes through the Arras Tunnel beneath the park and re-emerges on Taranaki Street and carries on to the motorway entrance at Willis Street. From now until ANZAC day (April 25th) there is a repeating sound and light show projected onto the carillon and onto the old museum. This is to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.
There were several hundred images cycling onto both structures and some of them were very moving indeed. A sequence that I liked began with a name and a poppy scrolling down the building, then more names and poppies in increasing intensity until there was just a cascade of poppies, one for each fatality.
Inside the former museum, Sir Peter Jackson has set up a series of spaces, one for each year of the war. Inside each space are artefacts, models and representations appropriate to the progress of the war. A village in Belgium is the opening scene for 1914.
As the war progresses through the spaces, the representations become more bleak and takes us closer to the front. These figures and related props are life-sized. I am not 100% sure of my identification, but I think the Belgian aircraft is a Caudron of one sort or another.
Some of the scenes represented are quite hard to look at, but the craftsmanship and the respect with which everything is presented are superb. A recurring feature in each of the years is a representation of Sir Peter’s own grandfather who survived the war, but lost an arm in 1918. The closing scene is of a very young Peter Jackson standing with his grandfather against a background of poppies and wounded heroes. The whole thing is magnificently done, and will be on display (with free entry) until 2018.
That’s all for now.