The two weeks I had in Piha were outstanding overall but my last weekend was picture perfect and couldn’t have been any better. One of the reasons was Emmy turning eight last Saturday and the great birthday party going on at the house, a rainbow loom party to be precise and I was impressed by all the effort and creativity put into the party preparations by all the family members. No question that the birthday girl was really excited on the birthday morning and was up really (!) early. And what a surprise that the whole family was dressed up in onesies (and the eager readers will already know what piece of clothing that is). Most impressive was Dad’s pink unicorn costume and especially the pride and attitude he wore it with. For reasons of unicorn-privacy I’ll just show the unicorn-body as he was climbing up the porch to have a look at the waves from the roof: What a cool Dad! Or can you imagine your Dad wearing a pink unicorn onesie? Even the people not so …
When the surf’s not up and the kids are out of the house there are amazing bush walks around the little Piha community. Above pictures are from the magnificent White’s Trek (1), Piha Beach seen from Anawhata Road (2) and the great views down onto Anawhata Beach with its Keddle House (pictures 3 & 4).
Do you know that awkward moment when you see a set of really, I mean really, big waves coming towards you? The sudden prayers you put out there, asking to survive and surface after what’s coming towards you? And then you just take a deep breath and dive into that monster. You come up, grasp, dive in again. Come up, grasp, dive in again…. Whether it’s in the surf or in real life – that big set might scare you, turn your world upside down for a while, keep you under the water for a bit – but as always in life: it does pass and you will eventually pop up again. Today I was very lucky to make it through some big sets of waves and wish I looked like the guy in the picture, peacefully sitting on top of the wave. And I remembered: although I can’t stop the waves I can learn to surf them (Thanks, Jon Kabat-Zinn for that wisdom). Picture by Figure20.
Right now I’m not dreaming about riding mountains or slopes but rather waves. Since I got here the surf has been absolutely stunning. I had left both board and wetsuit here so I luckily ready to hit the waves from day one. Every single day I’m getting out there – and even though I am not great at it every single time out in the ocean feels great anyway. Above are a couple of pictures I took from Tasman Lookout at the South End of Piha Beach when I had a little surf break. And for my surf friends who want to see more: The local Surf Club has done a little video:
One of the great things about Piha is the abundance of time I get for myself out here. The kids usually leave the house at eight o’clock and don’t return until four in the afternoon. That gives me eight hours of quality alone-time that I can spend in great alone-time-ways: When the waves are good I head down to the beach for a surf, when they’re not I go bush walking and when the weather gets really bad (like this week) I snuggle up with my hot water bottle under a blanket and immerse myself into a great book. Not that I don’t like the people of Piha or the girls – every single one of them is lovely but don’t you also appreciate that bit of alone-time every now and then? Since a couple of magic books have “found me” some years ago I am a firm believer that the right book comes to you at the right time. And if you’re not ready the book will patiently wait on your shelf up to that moment where …
My first day in Piha couldn’t have been any better. A sunny drive down Piha road (and if you know that drive you know how magic it can be), my first surf in ages, an after surf drink by the beach and then this stunning sunset with great company. And after a perfect day came a perfect evening with the family and the girls I had been missing badly over the last couple of months. I sneaked into the house and was lucky enough to be just in time for some stunning singing performances by the girls, followed by delicious dinner and an evening that couldn’t have been any better for my first day back in Piha. Ah, so grateful for all those magic experiences out here….
Regular readers of this blog might remember that I spent some time nannying three awesome girls in Piha last year. This year, on my way down to the ski fields, I’m back in Piha for a brief visit – unfortunately only two weeks though. Nevertheless, it will be great, no doubt about that – given the greatness of those girls and their parents. All pictures are from last year’s jumping off the eel bridge which was good fun. Getting really excited about traveling back to Piha now!