My happy place: Mike Edward

By Bronwyn Sell

Mike Edward, Shortland Street actor and Childfund ambassador.

Karekare beach is a peaceful place to regroup and unwind. Photo / The Aucklander
Karekare beach is a peaceful place to regroup and unwind. Photo / The Aucklander

My happy place is Karekare beach. It has been since I was teenager and we used to go there after school. That's a big effort when you first get cars. We'd just hang out there late at night. And I had my 21st on the beach. I've just always loved it.

These days it's always the place I go to either just to have a really good time, or to regroup my long-lost spirituality (I'm always lost. I should get out there more).

In fact, I moved there after a separation last year. It was really good, it was beautiful. But then after about three months - after I stopped shedding tears and looking at the sunset - I realised I lived miles away from anywhere and should move back in.

I had a whole summer out there so I had every Saturday just playing with my kids. It was all about scaling sand dunes, jumping down them, playing in the estuary ... We've got a game called Rocks Off a Bridge, where we collect a bunch of rocks in a towel and sit on the bridge and just throw them in the water.

That's actually more fun for my son Ali, being 2, than it is for Ella, being 12. Ella will often go exploring on her own, climbing the rocks and stuff, which is really cool.

It's a pretty peaceful drive out there. Half way your phone goes out of service - no one can call you, no one can text you - and you start unwinding immediately. It's like when you jump on an aeroplane. You get a sense of relaxation just travelling there.

The cool thing is that there's probably a kilometre walk over dunes before you get to the beach. You know you're at the beach when you have to get your shoes off and walk across the stream. With a 2 1/2-year-old boy, the walk can take an hour in itself. Inevitably on the way back he's on my shoulders because he's knackered.

We get so busy in this world we live in, with our phones and our jobs and our day-to-day stuff, that any time any of us is put in the situation where we can see nature, and feel a sense of awe and the relativity of our own problems in the scope of the universe, it just gives us perspective.

I think Karekare for me is what that's all about. It's no different from gazing at the stars. You realise that all those little things that have been niggling at you maybe aren't so bad.

* Mike Edward is an ambassador for ChildFund, which is encouraging Kiwis to gift a pair of shoes and socks to a child in a developing country. Donations are $23. Check out the Facebook page here.

- Herald on Sunday

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