Thursday, February 11, 2010


Wellington Harbour

So a little while ago I decided I'd organise an exchange through my university and study in Wellington, New Zealand for a year. This seemed like a nice idea and for a long time, everything was all fine and dandy. Throughout the second half of 2009, when I saw people I hadn't seen for a long time, and they asked me what my news was, I could tell them in a very blase manner "oh, I'm living in Wellington next year". I could dream of being (kind of like) Katherine Mansfield (no dying at 33, thanks) and imagine a year spent writing in Wellington's groovy cafes, a long black on the table in front of me.

Looking down to the city from Mt Victoria

Then, suddenly, 2010 came around and I actually had to move. For me, this involved a fair it of stress and attempting to fit as much sporting equipment as possible into an over-sized ski bag.

Down by the harbour

Anyway, I've been in Wellington now for nearly two weeks and it's been lovely. This notoriously stormy city, it seems, tends to make the most out of its summer by throwing a large number of festivals. There's the New Zealand International Arts Festival, Wellington Writer's Week, a French Film festival, the Sevens International Rugby Tournament (which was basically just a city-wide dress-up party), a Fringe Festival, summer evening free film screenings and night markets happening nearly every day of the week.

From Mt Victoria, looking to Hataitai and Miramar

So Wellington is pretty swell. As part of my introduction to Wellington, here is Angus and Julia Stone's song, "Private Lawns". It talks about a "windy city". I'm not sure if they mean Wellington, but it is windy here, and there are lots of lovely (green!) gardens and lawns all over the place too.

xx Esther

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