Where I Am At Home

On her blog this week, Tsh Oxenreiter is celebrating the release of her new book, At Home in the World. I picked up (totally cover lust) Notes from a Blue Bike a while ago and liked it.

On her blog, Tsh is inviting people to write about three things:

  1. Share about a place where you feel at home in the world.
  2. Write about a city (of any size) you love. (there’s prompts for this submission)
  3. Tell me whyyou’ve chosen to stay wherever it is you call home…

 I’m picking number one. And for me, number one is Te Henga or Bethells Beach, Auckland.


It’s a wild, windy West Coast beach with all that the geographical location implies. There’s no swimming here (except in the lagoon that is formed by Waitakere River) and the surf patrol is only during the high season. The coffee cart is in the clearing next to the main carpark – and often the eftpos is down, so make sure you take some cash & don’t expect to be able to use cell phone data or WiFi – and the public toilets are paved with the black sand from where people have showered or simply rinse their feet off before going home.

Walking down the sheltered entry you could be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing much going on here. The carpark may be full but it’s rare that you’ll encounter someone else, except when the tide is out and all the kids want to explore the cave. Dogs run freely down the south end of the beach, wheeling around like the gulls they chase, bouncing into the surf after tennis balls and driftwood. If you want to explore, head left at the heads and climb over towards Ihumoana Island (now fenced off due to rockfalls) and further north, past Kauwahia Island and surf at O’Neill Bay.

Head right, and stretch your legs down towards the old wharf and the caves. You can keep going, moving down the Hillary Trail for hours or days. Your head will clear of anything and you’ll come away reinvigorated. It’s a great place to walk & talk to God, to your significant other, to your kids.

Resources: http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/cnlser/pbr/plans/pdf/tehenga/rmptehenga_pg9to20.pdf


Why, helloooo out there!

I’ve been too quiet here – a lot is on my mind. THREE days until RC leaves work & I formally take on her role. I am now thinking that I was very stupid indeed! Never mind, I’ll get thru it. At least the other side of my role is steadily decreasing; July delivery errors were down another 18% YOY. This is good. This is bonus material. This is potentially (if I win the argument) a family trip to Hawaii.

IMG_20160808_070629Anyways, the “new me” plan took a few steps forward, a step back, step forward again. I was massively annoyed two weeks ago to find I’d put on 500g, then last week I’d lost 1.2kg; I worked my a$$ off last week (walking over 45km!) and lost 400g. Huh. I had expected that I would climb over the 5kg mark, but I’m still 300g shy. Next week!

I am posting morning pictures for Rochelle (@stitchynerd) on IG as my morning swim accountability plan. So if you see a lot of semi-sunrise, that’s why. This is thru the car window, looking north from the base to the North Shore area.

On Saturday I took advantage of Bran’s assignment at Cornwall Park and had some alone time walking around One Tree Hill. I used to run this when I was at high school.

TOP: I love the architecture of the trees; I’m always wanting a cupola; the view from half-way up (where the buses have to stop).

MID: Looking south in a gap at the archery club; the replacements for the “one tree” & noting that usually you’d see the city & harbour beyond that; Sir John Logan Campbell’s memorial with the Maori warrior.

BASE: a map of the park (I walked the orange roads then the climb to the summit); the tulips, daffs & crocuses were out; the rain had died down by the time I got to the bottom again!IMG_20160806_102613.jpg

Sunday I took Mase and Zac to Cascades Kauri, the regional park near Bethells Beach – Z’s choice. Next Sunday it’s hopefully KiteKite Falls.


I don’t ever remember seeing the water level this high; normally you can see the base of the measure. 3M is huge for this stream! And isn’t Z cute, climbing & exploring? He doesn’t like photos right now, so this is something awesome.

Lastly, I saw a post on Kerry’s Love Those Hands at Home that made me laugh. Click here to go read! You will smile (unless you support the Wigged Wonder. If you do, just remember I can’t vote in this election & this is purely my opinion – but he’s a nasty small minded bigot. Nuff said).

Enjoy your week – and thanks for reading so far!

EDIT: Si just sent me this. NZAAC is the unit he was part of. Aww.


You Can Quote Me Part I – NaBloPoMo six

This week’s mini-topic seems to be (by default, I haven’t entirely planned this) Pressure. I said on Tuesday that one of the tools I use to alleviate pressure is inspiration. I use Pintrest to group these in a folder I call “printables” – which also includes stuff for my personal planner.


Bethells Tower at Sunset

Bethells Tower at Sunset

To me, a lot of the inspiration also brings back awesome memories as well as getting my thought process back on track. My current favourite is a poem by Victoria Erickson I’ve mentioned before in the blog. Mentally I always combine this with Bethells.

If you ever find yourself empty

from something you cannot know or name,

find a stretch of ocean,

a field, or mountainside,

or even clouds or trees

Because there are a thousand simple ways

to fill your tired soul

so you can remember

how to be,

how to see,

and most importantly,

how to breathe.


Photo image isn’t mine; I’m not sharing that until it’s complete as I am planning it to be a gift for S. I intend to over-write a photo of Bethells Beach that I took a couple of years ago and then print this out as a wall paper panel or canvas for the house this summer. This one is also used earlier in the blog; credit goes to Summit Walter Rao. Contact details are on his blog.


Where do you go when it all gets too much? What’s your re-inspire place? What poem brings you peace or inspires you to more?

journalling, day 4

Bethells Tower at Sunset

Bethells Tower at Sunset

Prompt 4
Let’s be real – no dreaming (well, not much!) What would be your perfect day?


If I had written this on Saturday, I would have said that it was close to my ideal day. Clear weather, kids sport & giggles, time with friends, tea in bed, reading, stitching…

I think I was only really missing the walk at Bethells Beach.

But Sunday was tense and a lot of it was not fun. Not enough sleep for Bran, which makes him loud and grumpy, and flows down thru the family (concussion related). I am angry about a range of things, the house is untidy with laundry piles and I feel that half the household isn’t pulling their weight, which leaves me even angrier. Headphones on & let’s download some books for the reader…

I have a little prompt in my journal which reminds me to Focus On Good Things, a little like Piglet might tell Eeyore. Shame I feel like Rabbit instead. Have another carrot, bitch…

Image taken from http://www.sumantwalter.com/2012/05/bethells-beach-auckland-new-zealand.html of the Surf Livesaving station at Bethells.