Gosh, I never intended to continue writing this many posts about Te Maika – but the memories just keep coming! Rather like “the more you know the more you realise you don’t know”…. the more I write and reminisce the more I remember …
Last night I re-visited a Te Maika Facebook page which includes some photos from the time of my childhood (and before!). Interesting what else that stimulates in the memory… there are a couple of photos included which show Mrs Gibbons’ house (Jamie McNeish’s “Aunt Jean”, if you have listened to any of his “Touchstones” readings mentioned earlier) and also the little baches she had built way back last century. Well, ours is the only one of those baches still standing which must make it one of the oldest on the peninsula. Some of the photos also show men dressed in suits and with ties arriving at Te Maika. I certainly don’t remember my father ever doing that… in fact, I only remember him in his oldest clothes – paint-stained and rather tatty! Funny, though, I do remember wearing my latest matching shorts and top (recent Christmas present ?) on the launch trips. But these clothes were probably safely tucked away until the trip home again once we had settled into our bach.
Close to the baches we rented was a big sandhill, now largely covered in grasses. My brothers and I spent many hours climbing this sandhill and sliding or running or tumbling down. Yes, today, I will still run down what is left of it but I will come to the summit after a walk around the hill tops – no energy now to climb up the ever-slippery sand! When we bought our own bach the closest sandhill was quarter the height so we took to hill slopes instead. Food and supplies were taken to Te Maika in cardboard cartons which were eagerly awaited after unpacking so we could use them to slide down the slopes. It was a race to see who was the most daring when it came to how far up the slope we would begin our rides and which bumps we would negotiate on the way down! Thistles were squashed and sheep and cow manure smoothed out first time down… scratches on bodies and dirty, smelly clothes were not a problem to our mother!
High tides and stormy days were the same as they are today… something to look forward to so long as it’s just for one day! After playing board games for a few hours it would be on with the wet-weather gear and over the hills to watch the sea at high tide smashing against the rocks. There is a blow-hole that is quite impressive if it’s not filled with sand so this was always something to check out too.
There was never a boring moment at Te Maika!