Posts Tagged ‘Byron Bay’

Byron Bay with sharks.

September 12, 2017


untitledGustav Aschenabch

Gustav Ascenbach

The week to Byron Bay was too short, but all good things come to an end which is never truer (incorrect spelling, it is either true or not true) when it involves a break from routine. It’s a good sign when time passes quickly. Mind you, the devouring of almost two thousand kilometres there and back in the confined space of a metal object on wheels  can be tedious.

A funny anecdote towards the end of our trip was rewarding. Out of the blue, a hissing sound emerged within the car while driving to my brother’s place at Toronto, not far from Newcastle on the way back to Sydney-Bowral. We looked at each other and I asked Helvi if she could tell me the possible direction of this hissing sound. The car has so many electronic readings on a screen it is frightening. However, the screen kept on with supplying us navigational directions back home. I stopped the car convinced I had a leaking tyre. But all were rock-hard. I remembered vaguely reading in the car’s manual that a leaking tyre would be indicated on the screen but nothing appeared on the screen.

It turned out that I had accidentally turned on the radio which was off-tune. I never listen to car radio, and thankfully Helvi doesn’t like any musical sounds inside a confined space either. We are in total harmony and well attuned to avoiding noises; musical or otherwise. The accidental turning on of the radio was because a tiny miniscule button on the steering-wheel had accidentally been activated. How do people know all those things? Do they really have the stamina to read the 200 page car-manual? Anyway, my brother and us thought it very funny and laughter was a welcome relief.

The four night stay in Byron Bay was wonderfully informative as well as entertaining. As expected, the numerous spates of shark-attacks had left its mark. There were a lot less people in the water but this was more than compensated for by many more going around on hired push-bikes.  The people that were in the water were just near the edge of the sand and kept looking out for sharks. In the town I noticed a few people walking around with missing limbs. Of course, I did not go around and ask if it was a shark that caused the shortage of their foot or arm.

The hiring-out of surf boards was at a stand-still but the canny entrepreneur soon swapped over to hiring-out bicycles. One shop even supplied electric bicycles. Byron-Bay is now an international tourist destination and it is not difficult to understand why that is so. It does have a good vibe. One reason might well be that the Haight-Ashbury like hipness and aging hippies nearby Mullumbimby caused many to move to Byron-Bay. In the sixties, Mullumbimby drew many young people with a penchant for ditching bras and smoking pot. Even today it has the largest population of people refusing vaccinations together with fluoridated water.

Some complain that this busy hive of Byron-Bay  used to be a simple fishing place, and now swamped with tourists. There are still many simple fishing villages along the way, and they will remain very sleepy and simple. Tourism doesn’t really go much for sleepiness.

The Byron-Bay Beach Hotel is still the pivotal attraction where most tourists sooner or later end up. For us it was the magic of musical bands each evening playing their stuff. The hotel itself is magical. More like a huge shed on the edge of the beach opening up to the sea. Lots of seating and with a choice of good food.

PS. On the way home we stayed a night at a motel and the news on the TV had yet another shark attack near Byron Bay. Lucky for the surfer this shark attacked the surfboard which it broke in half. He had a piece of his wetsuit bitten out and  received a gash in his side. Of course, anyone in the water rushed out, and no doubt fewer people will venture into the water. It is a dilemma? The sea is the sharks territory. It doesn’t help killing sharks. The sharks don’t care and don’t differentiate between another fish or a surfer!

Perhaps, cycling is a safer option!

A week in Byron Bay.

September 1, 2017




If this blog seems a bit quiet, it is because we are not home. The blogging on the move isn’t the strongest part of my writing oeuvre. Not that the words disappear or fade, but the technical aspect of using a computer away from the familiarity of our upstairs little office is challenging. Although, I admit freely that anything away from home is now becoming a challenge. This is why we decided to wrench ourselves to the outside, and take a break up North at Byron Bay. You know how it is; sun and surf still appeals.

Did you know that two days ago my Apple iPhone became locked for no reason? The internet provided by TPG had dropped out. Both my computer and Helvi’s just did not walk. Nothing, rien, nichts or niks would make it work. It’s funny how a break in our IT world can be so unsettling. And I thought we were pretty aloof on the possibility of being hooked on computers.

A good friend suggested I take my locked Apple iPhone to a Telstra shop. Our account is with Telstra which are the biggest telephony company in Australia. The service provider of the internet however is TPG, a much smaller company. They seem to have a permanent advertisement on the TV which drives me mad but not enough to change providers.

Telstra shops are always busy and you can tell that it are the lost and the forlorn oldies that have the most trouble with  modern electronic communication gadgetry. They are doomed to forever catch up with the increasingly more intricate cell-phone world. It is all so baffling, but you can tell by their worried puckered up faces they are all at their wits end. I too joined them which gives comfort. And after I gave my name, which a man wearing a Telsra name tag tapped into a tablet, was asked to take a seat and wait for my turn.  The shop was now full of Mobile/Cell-Phone traumatized elderly people holding up their gadgets like a S.O.S.

When my name was called a young girl approached and asked about my problem with the locked iPhone. She suggested it could well be due because of the age of the phone (rather than my age). ‘Why not update and buy a new one,’ she suggested?  New iPhone made by Apple costs hundreds. I baulked at spending so much on a telephone, especially when they appear to get ‘locked’, and apparently at their own volution! I noticed a new Telstra phone for $99.- with all the colourful buttons and apps much the same as an Apple iPhone. After I bought it she tapped in all my details and as I kept the same number I was pleased to have this problem of my old locked phone solved at minimum costs.

When I came back and tried my new phone it wasn’t easy to get used to the change. The buttons were all different and the sheer number of choices that one had to make to install the workability of it all was dauntingly depressing. Just to install the phone numbers of family and friend’s in the new phone had me close to calling the ambulance, while Helvi threatened to call the police. This new phone wanted me to accept ‘good morning’ reminders of, ‘time to go to work’, all sorts of memories and reminders and birthdays. It was just so endless and pointless.  Who is the sadist thinking this all up?

It all made me wish to go back to try and unlock my old trusted iPhone.  The message of contacting Apple was still on the old Apple screen and even had a phone number which I rang. Much to my relief, but after going though another round of pressing this number and that number on my landline-phone, I got to talk to a real person. Not only real, but with an Aussie accent. To ascertain my identity I was asked secret questions for which answers were apparently given some years ago when I set up the iPhone. Fortunately, two of the secret bits of information I gave were correct. He guided me to set-up a new password, and bingo, my Apple iPhone did a Lazarus and came back to life. Of course, even though the iPhone went back to life, the phone account had been switched over to the new phone.

The upshot of it all is that I use the new Telstra phone as a normal phone ( if there is still such a thing as a ‘Normal’ phone) and the old iPhone for internet and downloading e-mails.

It’s not easy, and that’s why we are going to Byron Bay to soak up some warm sun and drink cold beer.

Moments filled with nothingness and Homeless Man.

December 11, 2014
Homeless man at Byron Bay

Homeless man at Byron Bay

There are moments or even lots of moments that no matter how pensively I might stare out at the rain, I am devoid of being all there. A blankness in watching the patter of rain hitting the Manchurian pear tree just outside my window is hypnotic. It does beat watching the petrol bowser tick over at the local service station with the 4c discount being mentally calculated in the exact $50.-payment. A triumph of which I wrote already previously. You can now see how far I have sunk.

Even yesterday I stared at a blue spikey flowering plants that at the moment seems to be featured on nature’s top hit parade. I thought and thought, sweat under my armpits. What on earth is the name of this plant? I still knew it last Monday. Yet today, nothing but a hollow response echoing on and on. Is Mrs Alzheimer knocking on my door? If so; ‘be gone loose women and never darken my doorstep again.’ Here let me put a banana skin on my doorstep so you break your neck in a spectacular back flipping fashion. And then; a miracle, a miracle, it came! It is called the Agapanthus. Two handed hand clapping and the rain took a break in respect.

It is Helvi’s birthday today and coffee with pre-ordered Fruit tart from Gum-nut shop were ready at 8.30am. Both of us in pyjamas and the rain pelting it out again festively. The Gum-nut shop wins blue ribbons at the Sydney Royal Show each year on a variety of their products. The custard tart and vegetarian pie are our favourites when we go there with our JRT ‘Milo’. He usually gets the crusts from both and has no hesitation to also scrounge from other customers trying to enjoy their early coffee with pies or tarts unhindered by begging dogs. Milo’s charm usually breaks down their résistance and he get rewarded well above his owners. I have often thought of sitting outside Woolworth near the bags of potting mix with Milo. I could have sign ‘please give generously’ and look a bit hungry. In my case looking hungry comes naturally. Perhaps a box with some coins in the hope some might be touched and willing to give generously in exchange of Milo accepting a few pats. He is that popular.

This brings me back to our visit to Byron Bay a couple of weeks ago. One late afternoon and right in the middle of a busy throng of people I noticed a man sitting on the ground with a large sign blaming our PM Tony Abbott for being homeless. I gave generously but asked if I could take his photo. He accepted and here is the shot. I noticed someone had given him a wrap sandwich and some bananas.

It is all there and so much more. Be gone Tony Abbott, don’t darken my doorstep. You are not even a loose woman.

A week away and Kalinka.

November 18, 2014

Helvi and I are taking a week or so away from domesticity including blogging. We are visiting family in Brisbane and on the way will visit Byron Bay again. See you dear friends, keep well.

Our favourites. The Finnish group Leningrad Cowboys with Red Army choir.

Byron Bay 3

May 12, 2014

images16V8MKAUbrewing coffeeWith Byron Bay slowly fading. Here a snippet of an experience at a local RSL club. The experience is not unique and gets repeated a thousand fold every day of the year.

On the way over to Byron we could not stay as planned in Port Macquarie because of an iron man competition having taken any slack in accommodation.( I wonder how many ‘iron’ men ever thought of frying a salmon cutlet on an upturned motel iron like I did) Not a bed in sight anywhere. We had nightmare visions of staying ramrod straight-up in our car all night parked on the highway or lonely bush-track. So, we drove on till Macksville.

After booking in a friendly motel we stayed at before, we decided to eat. We were starving. I could eat a horse. Macksville is one of those rare villages that seemed to have avoided the plethora of yawning car yards or acres of ugly signage. We strolled to the local RSL. We had eaten there before. After ordering we waited and soon our plates arrived. Two rump steaks for son and I, one roast lamb for the lovely H, calm as ever and smiling her Mona Lisa.

As we ate, some couples entered and joined the queue to order their meals. RSL’s clubs give great value. But, where does this value stem from? While some ate, others just sat down in the lounge. The men watched that rough game on the large screen, with an oblong ball rolling around and violent tackles. I noticed the wives sauntering off to a special room.

Those rooms are the same all over at clubs. A garish light and a tinkling noise usually associated with a darkness and nervous tension. They contain gambling poker machines and are loved by thousands. I tried it once when you had to pull a lever. It was in our early marital years, perhaps 1967.

We won some money but in the excitement put it all back and some more. We have never played those machines again. It was clear that they take more than they give. On top of all, it was ultimately a boring past-time. Not much talk, just a mean concentration on a machine that rattles on and on.

I asked H how her meal was, noting a slow eating in process. ” I think this meal smells of sheep”, she answered. “Well, you are eating sheep” I replied with some logic.(but not too much) “Yes, but it also tastes a bit like old sheep”. “Oh, that’s no good”, ” last time you had a lovely Caesar chicken salad.” ” Yes, I know, but this meal is old sheep that are wet and has sheep shearing shed tinges as well”. Her answers just about made me roll of the chair. Still, life is like that sometimes. I loved my rump and so did my son.

Back in the Public Lounge, the ladies had left the gambling room and the men were still watching the rugby.

Ps: I had a lousy, very punishing and smelly rack of beef yesterday and it was mother’s day. Milo had it. I wrapped it up in tons of paper napkins and it still stank out the car. God knows how old the cow was.

Byron Bay 2.

May 10, 2014

The readers

The readers


The timing of trip was perfect. An opportunity to get away from the politics of Abbott and cohorts with his threat to pensioners and the disabled having to lift the country above its fiscal disaster and imminent collapse. The nightmare of us being forced to work in salt-mines or hacking at rocks for road-base was upsetting H and I even though we are still fairly fit and hale.

Have we reached a phase were our passivity is now permanent? A country so beset by materialism that the formal structures of social and political life offer no hope? If there is anything positive to be found, one must turn elsewhere? The thought often passes of pitching a tent somewhere. ( perhaps behind the big banana). A recluse or hermit have often been given respite to torments not of their choosing. Some individuals, have managed to survive the horrors of past governments without succumbing to the sterility of the present, but how?

Our trip to Byron Bay has given us a shot in the arm. Time to renew the fight. I have again re-joined the Labor Party which I left a few years after the demise of the Whitlam Government. The ‘remain the rage curry’ had finally collapsed and gone sour at Michael Hourihan’s abode. He left to live in Italy after learning 400 Italian words which he reckoned would get him through. We don’t know what happened to the tormented soul of Michael. Pray he found his pane di casa in Umbria. I am going to the first meeting this coming Monday at the YWA hall here in Moss Vale.

At Byron Bay we sat many hours at the front of the Beach Hotel sipping beer and eating insanely delicious salt and pepper calamari on copious beds of fragrant rice. The time gave us ample musings, to read, ponder and talk. It seems that with age, orifices get plugged more and more. I am not only wear hearing aids but am also now getting used to wearing …’euphemistically… called’, ‘partials’. Partial of what?

It never stops…what next?

Byron Bay .

May 9, 2014


As we drove up so we drove down. Again, past the Macadamia castle at KnockRow. It heralds ” The most visited tourist side for over 35 years.” As if the name of the town isn’t enough warning already!

How a mock English castle got built in NSW with a ‘real’ knight with a ‘real’ sword at the entrance, and why, remains hidden to this writer. Never mind, the kiddies want to see it and they are the ones that are then lured inside and make mum and dad spend the money. It is the money spending that the castle is all about. The area where the castle is situated is a macadamia nut growing area but the connection of nuts to the castle is obscure. I believe you can buy all sorts of nuts and their combinations once inside the castle, together with souvenirs including tea spoons and shiny knights in armour.

Of course, nothing would be complete without driving past, stopping and taking pictures in front of the ‘big banana’. Not only that, you can even walk through it. Who has ever walked through a banana? It really is mindboggling how anyone would think up walking through a banana. What next, walk through a real forest or climb a mountain?

Big Banana

Big Banana

We drove through an area called the sapphire coast followed logically by an emerald beach. There were signs pointing to a coastal porpoise petting opportunity and Fredo meat Pies delights.

More to come!

Planning for Byron Bay.

April 30, 2014


We are going by hook or by crook. Most likely by crook. After a particularly boring rainy and overcast day we decided to do ‘something’. You can’t just forever dwell on our Guvernment to try and reign in the deficit by pinching the pockets of derelict pensioners laying about knee deep in ice and loo-lolling around on meth and crystals. Leave the rich alone! They are really struggling, battling on bravely and oh so frugally.

So, if it gets a bit quiet around here it doesn’t mean we have carked it or indeed are at yet another funeral. We will be in Byron Bay. Accommodation has been booked including for Milo the Jack Russell. Into the local kennel with his favourite cushion and millions of other dogs to keep him company. Let’s hope he will contain himself and not rub up someone’s leg, dog or men. He’s been having some strange hormonal twinges lately, despite or because of castration.

It is odd, getting old! I had some surprising IT spams lately including an invitation to visit ‘Lola’s den’. I always thought Lola was a name for a man’s best friend, man,cat or mice. If you get it in your inbox; don’t be tempted! It turned out to be an intimate insight, including close up photos of genitalia. It is mind boggling how the internet infiltrates even those with a long standing and upright marriage. It is done through something called tracing ‘cookies’. Where does the cookie come from?

Yet, what was it that drove us all, not that long ago, into each others arms if not between legs as well? Is that what has driven me all those years? Looking at it in the declining years, all so purple, swollen and engorged. Surely, there is so much more to sex than labia and testicles. (like walnuts in a sock according to some)
I had a friend over who is an expert in computers. We created a back-up on a hard-drive and expunged all the Lola Dens and more. No more purple cookies.

Suitcases are packed for leaving this Sat. C U L8r.