This column is delivered to you from a Byron Bay beach, where I’m relaxing after attending the inaugural Boomerang Aboriginal music festival.
I point this out as a status symbol: I am hip enough to hang in Byron, cool enough to have almost met Archie Roach (I lined up for coffee with his roadie) and, in summary, have a more balanced and interesting life than you.
This is my ‘Year in Provence’ moment, where the writer chooses the best possible time and place to randomly reflect how extraordinary their life is, tempered only by hardships like lavender allergies or, in my case, long coffee lines. But did I tell you how even that almost resulted in me chilling with Archie?
In writing parlance this is a selective memoir, although medical readers are more familiar with the term ‘publication bias’. The negative findings never make it to print.
Picture a beach-going music lover whose legs are salty and whose ears are still ringing from the Boomerang festival. Aptly, I just want to come back again.
Not for me the drudgery of your patients with their sniffles, haemorrhoids and incurable—let’s face it, indefinable—fibromyalgia. That mess is so routine, so last year. (Or, technically, so the day before yesterday, because I took Friday off in order to relax even more comprehensively.)
Oops sorry; I just had to bury my toes deeper into the sand to stop them entangling with a young hippie—I could tell by the floral pattern on her bikini. Frangipani, by the look, although I’ll confirm that for you in a moment: my cocktail umbrella keeps getting in the way.
Byron Bay’s shores are full of skinny people: just like an American beach movie and just the opposite of an American beach. Everyone here is into healthy vegetables, healthy supplements and cigarettes.
Lots of smoking, not all of it tobacco. You can get a lymphatic massage, liver cleansing detox and grass-based juice (recommended by all the local cows) then top off the treatment with a grass-based cigarette. Seems you can never be too thin or too carcinogenic.
Despite my tobaccoless demeanour, I think I’m blending with the younger crowd. For all they know, I could well have a yin-yang tattoo under my sunsmart sleeves, and 45 is the new 25, or could be if I was allowed to Instagram my selfies instead of typing this all out for you.
Hey, I have just seen the other half of the flower—definitely frangipani.
I know you’ve got to get back to work, so best of luck with that while I go and suggest to Archie that what his new album lacks is a 45-year-old triangle player.