Sunday, January 25, 2009


My first career move after arriving in New Zealand was to set up, run & make profitable an American franchise called "Pakmail".
It was a scary move, an untried concept, within an industry I had no experience of.

I was hired by my boss Mike because of my background managing retail outlets in the UK, he did not care that I knew nothing about freight, I knew about marketing & how to dress a shop window..the fact that the majority of them were American franchises, where nothing can be done without consulting the ubiquitous three ring binder also stood me in good stead.

The store was located in Takapuna on Aucklands North shore, at that time we were living in Titirangi, a daunting ( for Aucklanders) forty minute trip away. When asked by Kiwi friends why I did this commute everyday I would cheerfully remind them that I used to spend the same time in my car in Leeds to travel HALF the distance. But with only graffiti & derelict houses to look at.

The commute was very easy as everyone on the shore was heading in the opposite direction to me. I would set off everyday at seven & after dropping Caits at daycare head for the shore. The best part of the drive was entering State Highway One at St Mary's bay for the climb across the harbour bridge.

There cannot be anything better than crossing this structure on a warm summer morning with clear blue skies, looking down at Auckland city & across to Rangitoto in the gulf. Most people thinking of Auckland will bring to mind the Sky Tower, but for me the predominant images of Auckland are the Harbour bridge & Rangitoto. I know I am there when I can see them.

It could be just as beautiful on the return journey , especially on clear evenings around September. When if you looked up after completing the bridge crossing, you could see a majestic image of a full moon as it crossed the Auckland skyline.

I did this journey Monday to Saturday for 3 years & never once did I tire of it. I would mentally relax as the cityscape of Auckland CBD gave way to greens & sounds of the bush as I approached my home in Titirangi, when I knew the working day was finally over.

The harbour bridge is not as iconic as the Sydney Harbour, Golden gate, Brooklyn or Tower bridge in London, but for me it remains a dominating feature of the city I live in. lets not forget, I also lived in Bradford, weigh it up, Auckland? Bradford? naaaagh no contest.

Listening to:

Little Village
Bic Runga
Page & Plant
Greg Johnson


Katherine said...

I like to visit Auckland. Beautiful weather helps any city to shine and gleam. But give me the water under the bridge any day.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Yorkshire is the best place on Earth. You're right... there is no contest between Bradford and Auckland because Bradford would win every time simply because it is in Yorkshire. By the way, what crime did you commit to be exiled to New Zealand? Must have been pretty serious.