It’s the end of the week, and I did things.

It’s Archives Week and we went to Archives New Zealand on George Street in Dunedin to see the displays the local archives had put out there.  The theme was on Scandal.  The Settlers Museum put on a display about the Vauxhall Gardens, which was family fun to visit during daylight hours and a meeting place for those of negotiable virtue after dark.  Yvonne prepared a display on the Scandal of Neglect for the Presbyterian Archives, what happens to records left forgotten to vermin, in ceilings under the heat of iron-clad roofs, and wrapped in moisture-holding plastic in damp vaults.  National Archives prepared two displays, one about Amy Bock, who scandalised conservative nineteenth-century society for disguising herself as a man, even marrying another woman; and about Superintendent Macandrew, the provincial governor of old Otago, who when sentenced to gaol for debt, managed to have his own house declared his prison for a while, the first case of home detention.

I was told on Wednesday that the Department of Anatomy had organised a memorial for Grace that afternoon.  She did not want a funeral.  Most of the people there were from her workplace and were not familiar to me.  I drank a cup of excellent coffee and listened as others spoke to her memory.  I don’t mingle willingly and left after half an hour when the speeches ended.  It was an unfulfilling occasion.  I am determined not to do the same to those who remember me after my death.

Currently reading Streetlife by Leif Jerram.  It’s a social history of European cities written from the perspective that great men do not begin events, it is in the movement and motives of people on the street that history happens.  What an exciting book!  It is bursting with ideas.  I’m loving reading it!  I was inspired to get out of the library because I had seen it in the University Book Shop window and I wondered what it could tell me about the life of cities.  Now that I have started reading it I am considering buying my own copy.  I think it is an important book.