March rolled into NZ with Ann and I huddling down in a beach “bach” with some friends as we waited out a massive weather bomb! Incredibly strong winds and driving rain meant that we had a chance to explore a couple of backroads in the Port Waikato area. It is a beautiful region with rolling hills and a windswept coastal shoreline that is so typical of New Zealand’s west coast. We were in town for the last event in the Hyundai Longboard Tour, and the ocean decided to give us a send off that we won’t soon forget! It was a raw ocean that greeted us with a 3 meter swell and strong onshores making for challenging conditions and a LOT of snapped boards.
The upshot of the whole event was that my brother and I made it to the finals where we placed 3rd and 4th respectively. It was a great experience and we met some awesome people over the two months that we travelled around doing the circuit. Travelling for surf competitions is a strange journey as you head into an area that always offers so much more than the beach, but your focus is always away from scenery and towards the water that is directly in front of you. It is a myopic view of the world that is a strange way to travel!
Summer has eased right into fall, with shortening days and ripening fruit! Ann has been making juice, jams and chutney… These little bombs of goodness are going to be great in the depths of winter where they will be a great way to start the day. We have loved the ability to grow or pick many of the things that we are eating; and we planted a few trees and plants around the property that will be adding to the larder down the line: limes, pomegranates, kale, Brussels sprouts, leeks, cabbage, guavas, and plenty of herbs!
Our move back to the bosom of my whanau (extended family) has also inspired many of the designs that I am now producing. I am creating designs that are a bit of a departure from the ideas that I was exploring in the past. These new designs are inspired by the sights and sounds of my local area, as well as reconnecting with my hapu and iwi (culture and tribal area). My creative processes and ideas are now heavily influenced by the hills that surround our farm, the tidal flats at the end of the road, the local flora and fauna, and the history of my people. My new designs flowing from this inspiration are on the last pages of their respective sections of the website. I have also been using a lot of the cured beef bone, which has really amazing color from the natural aging process.