Monday, 3 August 2015

My delusional thoughts from Byron Bay

Every town has a theme song. 

Travelling through the rugged Kimberley reminded me of Gangajang "this is Australia". The Pilbara had the undertones of a bit of midnight oil "beds are burning"...  anyway you get the picture....

Well remember that song from the 1990's that goes "I want to be a hippy and I want to get stoned on mara-mara-jana"

I picked that as the theme song for Byron Bay. 

We pulled into the main street to have a look around and nearly hit a hippy as she freely crossed the road, wherever she felt like it. There were men and women walking the streets with brightly coloured tie dyed clothing. A few ladies had ponchos on over their long dresses. Hair a mess or in thick dreadlocks down their backs. People played bongo drums on the street corners and the shops sold freshly squeezed juices and gluten free, nut free, flour free breads.

We drove into town with no real idea of where to stay. We drove past a nice little caravan park and stopped so I could go into reception to book in. "Two adults and three children ple...." I was interrupted by the office lady "I'm sorry. We don't take kids". 

Take them?

The fuck? you think I am giving them to you? No lady we just want to camp for the night. 

Turns out this joint is an adults only park. I immediately think they are a bunch of swingers. 

Why else. I mean kid free? Who in their right mind would want to stay in a lovely well kept park without screaming children to bother you? (The thought crossed my mind to book myself in for the night and then say to the rest of my family 'oopsies you guys have to go somewhere else'.  Not that I was into the swingers idea, but a quiet kid free night sleep would suffice.) 

But, being the good mother I am, I dragged myself away from this haven of peace and tranquility and headed back to the car. Head down, feeling very much like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when they tell her she can't shop in their store.  

I tell Craig "they don't take kids". He laughed a very long laugh before saying 'lets take the kids into reception and let them jump on the chairs and pull out all the brochures before we leave". Yeah good thinking Craig.

So here we are with three kids and our grotty old camper, shit hanging off the roof rack. Abigail's spu clothes tied to the front toolbox. Driving the main streets of Byron Bay.

And this is when I notice. There was another side of Byron. Scattered amongst the hippy crochet shops was posh little coffee houses with immaculate decor and overpriced capuchinos. 

Its ruining my hippy theme song. 

I wanted to shout to this town MAKE UP YOUR BLOODY MIND you are either a laid back flowers in your hair town or you are a child free latte drinking yuppy venue. You can't be both. 

We ended up at a caravan park, a few minutes out of town, camped by a group of European backpackers who made themselves a makeshift tight rope between two trees and spent the afternoon taking it in turns to practice their balancing act, much to the amusement of my kids. 

I had to do a load of washing that arvo (because I am a grown up not some carefree fucking backpacker balancing in a tree) and when I went to hang my washing I found a tiny G string amongst my load. One of those beautiful European backpacker girls had used the machine before me and accidentally left a pair of knickers. I hung them to dry, next to my big black bonds undies as a reminder that I do not need a half a block of hazelnut chocolate with my cuppa at night.  

We headed out that evening and had a wander of the streets before grabbing some fish and chips and sitting on the beach. Then Ice-cream. Because clearly I forgot I was on the 'you fat bitch' diet. 

Fish and chips with the devils who stopped me from going to the kid free park.

More beautiful backpackers walked the streets.

Craig said that night that he loved Byron Bay. Of course you bloody do you old perv. Why don't you just live here in the kid free caravan park then and we will go back to Perth without you.  Me and all my kids and my big bonds undies will be just fine thankyouverymuch. 


As I went to have my evening shower I saw another two backpacker girls in the shower block. They were straightening their hair and drinking vodka UDL's by the basins, putting on makeup and getting ready to go out for their Friday night. As they chatted to themselves the blonde said to her friend "do you think I should sleep with him tonight?" her friend said "if you like him, you do whatever feels right". At that moment I wanted to march out and tell her. You listen to me young lady, you do not need to be sleeping with anyone. Put some clothes on and get to bed its 8.30pm. 

I was over this town and its beautiful people. 

But I kept quiet. 

I got a glance at myself in the full length mirror as I walked out past the girls. I was a sight to see, in my bright yellow sponge bob square pants jumper (a regretful purchase from sea world when I was freezing and had no jumper). My pj pants with polkadots, my double plug thongs. 

I wanted to laugh but I didn't have the energy. Instead I walked back to the camper, realising how Byron Bay made me feel. 

Old. And fat. And unhippy (if thats a word). 

Then I put the kettle on for a cuppa and searched the food tubs for the other half of my hazelnut chocolate. Fuck it. 


  1. Dont go to nimbin if you didnt like byron bay shantelle.
    i got asked three times in 15 minutes in the middle of the day if i wanted to buy drugs.......all within eyesight of the police station.
    couldnt leave quick enough
    ps love your style shantelle i always raise a smile at some stage during reading your blog
    keepin it real lol
    cheers baz

  2. Where's the selfie in the Sponge Bob jumper. I'm loving this. You crack me up!

  3. ^ thats me.. Cherie haha