All posts tagged: Piha

Piha says Haere rā with rainbow colours & golden sunset

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 …

On top of some big waves

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.

Waves of Happiness instead of Mountains of Happiness

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:

Had a conversation with God at a primo reading spot in Piha

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 …

Back in Piha paradise. Back to surfing. Back to magic sunsets.

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….

The three amazing girls from Piha…. and I am back there soon!

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!

The ingredients for my personal Piha happiness

My time in Piha is soon coming to an end and when I look back on it I discover that it has probably been the peak of my happiness journey so far. Much of it is comes from the beautiful landscape, the beach in front of me, the sand between my toes, the bird concert just outside my bedroom window in the morning, the joy I get from taking care of the three sunshine girls, …. I could go on for ages. Mostly things that you can only understand when you’ve seen, felt and lived them. Pretty boring for you, eh? But there’s another part of my happiness that is probably easier to understand: The happiness I found within from mixing up some ingredients I found only out here: Piha is a place of No worries and complete Shamelessness – or have you ever walked on the beach in your pyjamas? I got heaps of Rest after this long and crazy winter – just listening to my body and sleeping when and where I wanted to. …

If you’re not bare foot then you’re overdressed

Ever since I’ve immersed myself in New Zealand culture I wondered how the Kiwis do it – running around bare feet all the time (I’ve even seen bare feet kids in Wanaka winter). They seem to have invisible hard skin under their feet and a very different perception of cold. Since being out here in Piha I’ve been training my feet hard to fit into this lifestyle: first thing in the morning after I wake up is a run down to the beach, over grass with prickles, rocks, asphalt and finally black sand down to the sea to dip my feet in. And while I still wear a beanie against the cold wind I’ve discovered that once your feet go numb from the cold you’re perfectly fine running around bare feet. This week I even had company during my beach walks – Ruby stayed with me for a couple of days and the daily early-morning routine became even better (especially when she cuddled up at my feet and let me tuck my feet into her …

Real good friends are the ones who jump into a freezing waterhole with you

It’s always nice to have surprise visitors but it’s even better when it’s one of those people close to your heart. Rob is one of them and I was delighted to hear he’d be in Auckland over the weekend and come out to Piha for a visit before I leave. We only spent twenty-four hours together and these were as usual a treat for the soul – completely being yourself and relaxing in each others company. Rob and me have a long history of bush walking together so of course we had to head out on another adventure…. Our destination wasn’t a proper bush walk but rather  just following up a stream in Piha and fighting our way through enormous plants to find a waterhole called the coffin (because of its shape). When I suggested jumping in I knew that Rob was thinking exactly the same thing and wouldn’t say no to a refreshing waterfall dip. It was cold – yes, but so worth it. Another moment to add to our history of amazing adventures and …

Life as an Au Pair in a beach paradise west of Auckland

It’s been a while since I last posted but honestly – would you be bothered spending your time in front of a computer blogging if you lived at a beach like that? Life out here on the beach is so relaxed and chilled that I sometimes forget there’s a world out there that keeps spinning and friends who keep asking themselves where the heck I am. I am in Piha, a small beach town approximately one hour outside of Auckland and since three weeks I live and work here as an Au Pair. While I was traveling through the country, sending many applications and not getting any (serious) replies I was ready to give up, change my flight dates and return home earlier to get healthy and fit for the winter season. And just then – when I expected it least – the opportunity to work and live with a Kiwi family showed up. In brief that means I take care of three lovely girls, get them to school and kindergarten in the morning, go on …