Byron Bay is an idyllic escape along the east coast of Australia. The sign as you enter the town says “Cheer up, slow down and chill out” and that is my intent. I got lucky with my choice of accommodation – the Byron Cove is an oasis of calm in an oasis of calm.
There is an old world charm to the town where cars stop for you to stroll across the road and strangers smile and strike up conversation.
This little trip is a bonding session with my daughter who lives in Berlin. She’s escaping -4C for a month. I’m escaping routine. We have a plan. Intended activity: sit on the beach and wait for Chris Hemsworth to jog by. Actual activity: seek refuge in a cafe with aircon as the temperature sets to hit 40C.
I have told myself that I am here to write. There are several short story anthologies with submission deadlines for the end of February, and I’ve found a wonderful editor and have to deliver my manuscript by the beginning of March. But as the cool cafe breeze wafts over my almond latte I gaze out at the turquoise sky and sea, at the white-washed, drift-wooded architecture. Surrounded by a plethora of Bali-esque boutiques without the intense sales pitch and haggling my pen lies untouched. The insidious temptation to invest in tie-dyed and crystals beckons.
I’m saved by the empty whisper of my wallet. Time to whip up a short story or two and (hopefully) recoup six cents a word. So, for now, I wish you au revoir.