It’s a blustery winter day and I’m huddled inside with my cat curled up like a big wooly scarf on my chest. My mind wanders to places that are sunshiny and warm and I think of my last trip away to the haven of Byron Bay located up near the border of Queensland. I’ve always loved this place. It’s natural beauty tugs at the heart. The days are greeted with spectacular sunrises shimmering over the pristine waters of the Pacific and illuminating the powdery white sands along the shoreline before casting a shadow as it sets over the rolling green hills of the hinterland. Byron Bay for me has always represented a place of freedom. Ironically, even though I grew up near Byron, it was never a place I was ‘free’ to visit. My papa, a rather authoritative and over protective Italian man saw Byron as a place of trouble. The abattoir was the main place of employment in town, it was a paradise for surfers from all over the world who my father saw as ‘dope heads’, and the fringe dwellers who remained after the Nimbin Aquarius festival all started to hang out there. Papa called it ‘hippie central’ and saw it as being full of free spirited people, misfits, rebels and dreamers that he believed were no hopers and represented trouble, and certainly not the sort of people that you would want your teenager daughter to be in the company of. It was this diversity of people and the influx of backpackers from all over the world that brought so much vibrancy to the town and what made it so appealing to me. After moving away to Sydney to go to university and later having children of my own it was always a place I wanted to come back to. I often dreamed of one day retiring to Byron and opening up a bookshop with a small cafe tucked inside selling chai lattes and soy cappuccinos. However, on my most recent visit I felt like many of the things I’d come to love about Byron had changed. Byron had lost its soul, whilst parts of the township felt tattered and untidy, many of the free spirited shops had given way to expensive boutiques, tie dyed sarongs had been replaced by crushed linen, the sense of belonging to a community had started to evaporate as Airbnb’s were popping up in abundance, and newcomers with massive wealth had started to move in and replace the creatives and the people from the counter cultures that gave Byron its former vibrancy. Will the arrival of Hollywood royalty such as Chris Hemsworth, the relocation of many city folk during the pandemic, and the rush from investors to make money as real estate prices sky rocket, be the beginning of the demise of this once beautiful, chilled and vibrant coastal town we had all come to love? Whilst the physical beauty of Byron hasn’t changed, the fabric of the community certainly appears to be different.
Sunrise, Byron Bay, NSW
With lockdown entering its fourth week in Sydney I binged a lot of TV with my significant other. A little bit of comedic relief in the form of an American/Swedish sitcom Welcome to Sweden, which tells the story of Bruce, (comedian and creator Greg Poehler), an American accountant to the stars who experiences culture shock when he moves to Sweden to be with his independently minded Swedish girlfriend Emma. Definitely a few good laughs as easy going and down to earth Bruce is your typical ‘fish out of water’ character trying to navigate the culture of this new country.
Each evening we capped off the day watching the incredibly funny sitcom Frasier. The cast is perfect, the writing clever and superb. Full of hilarious quotes and a mixture of both physical and verbal comedy which is perfectly timed and executed between the lovable characters. It’s hard not to fall in love with the Crane family and their hilarious antics, uppity remarks, romances and amazingly funny friends and coworkers.
Food is our greatest source of pleasure, nourishment and energy. It’s so important that we nourish our body with both of these right now. Why not allow yourself to be creative and try out a new recipe when there is nowhere else to be. On @goodfoodau I found this versatile and budget friendly Taco Fried Rice recipe which everyone must try. You won’t regret it, it’s delicious. I had it for dinner and then heated up the leftovers and topped it with a fried egg and fermented Chili for breakfast. The recipe can be found here.
Taco fried rice 📷 @goodfoodau
Until next time may your days be both serendipitous and enjoyable.