Wow   ….Winter Solstice   …..shortest day of the year  and it has been brisk   down here in Byron  Bay   …. Last night tonight  looking after the very lovable Shiloh  .Will be sad  to part  He’s  very sweet . Highlights after so much  rain heaven threw us a bone and hurled down a couple of truely  gorgeous sparkly sunny days  so Shiloh and I hit Belongil Beach  and had fun  mixing and mingling with locals and visitors  . Played on the beach  chatted to folks while Shilo  sniffed butts  and wagged tails  with his doggie chums  and  aft er having a fun time  headed for breakfast at The Treehouse


Shiloh  and  his doggie  friends   with me  at Belongil Beach Byron  Bay


I was staying close  to the Arts Industry Estate  Wow just loved wandering around this  treasure trove of  hidden gems  art galleries,cafes,wellness hubs,op shops,artists cooperatives,fashion design loved the  creative and entrepreneurial  vibe  It felt like everyone was into something  .  Its a shame  the Arts Industry estate is not  as well known  as the main Byron Town Centre .Thinking of a way they could funnel  some of those  tourist holiday dollars  from the Centre of town  to the Arts Industry Estate   I suggested  to the Solar Train people  (which is also under utilized)  they could promote the train as a shuttle service  especially to the Arts Industry Estate (which they havent done much of)   as their only stop is only 5 minutes away  from the Estate  and  both the train trip and a visit to the Estate both constitute experiences unique to Byron  Bay which  many tourists I’m sure would  find a worthwhile  day trip to enhance their Byron experience (  if they knew about it) and which would increase business and  boost the coffers for both the solar train  and the artists and entrepreneurs  at the Arts Industry Estate. The promotions and marketing manager who I actually met whilst travelling on the  Solar Train  was really  receptive to my suggestions and I think I might  have planted a seed there


At one of the  hubs called Habitat  I even had a  coffee that was a work of Art . Wish I’d taken a pic It was a chai latte with a sprinkling  of cinnamon  but then interspersed  with the cinnamon were dried lavender and rose petals and dried green stuff  It looked so pretty a shame to drink it .It made me smile  to myself “Only in Byron Bay”

I saw enough of the beautiful beaches  this time around to understand why people rave about the Byron Beaches .When the weather is right they really are glorious and unsurpassed  in  beauty

I found the people  pretty chilled and friendly  for the most part  . I do wonder though  about what the future holds for  Byron  given the price of real estate there.Clearly many people  who grew up there or even work there cannot afford to live there  but come in from the more affordable locales like Mullumbimby and Lismore  ….. and there are clearly plenty of folks in Byron not living the high life but just holding it together to make ends meet   .  Its a paradox  to me  the cost of housing there which doesn’t seem sustainable for the wider Byron Bay community especially since the vibe is  apparently all about peace love and inclusivity  and I’ll be interested to see how it unfolds in the future  .


I did spot a couple of quasi celebs  I have watched his reality show on Netflix called ‘The Byron Baes’  about  these  new agey young things who are artists and entrepreneurs  and fashion designers and INFLUENCERS  20-30 something year olds Very image driven floating around  in their  finest linen couteure  in white and earthy tones   always hugging one another and going to yoga and having green goddess smoothies for breakfast  and mouthing new aged platitudes.Some of them are actually  really talented  and have come to Byron to  further their careers  but my God  when they get to  gossipping and politicking amongst themselves  it makes you think of  The Housewives of New Jersey ‘on steroids’ especially the gay blokes .Its a pretty  ruthless scene .Nevermind  they’ll work it out with their  crystal bowl gatherings  and their shamans and  therapists  and  kiss and make up  til the next time  someone suggests one of the gay influencers got his millions of turkish followers via some sort of AI bot. Anyway I spotted two of these  guys  who  looked really familiar cruising  down the street in their fine linen threads  looking slightly larger than life .Later I saw them again  coming out of  The Byron Bay Cookie shop  Go figure it wasn’t Aldis  .


I managed to get another picture finished for my book  When Katie Was Born while I was here in Byron (  testament  to the creative vibe perhaps) and I am feeling very proud that despite so much disruption  and change and focusing on politics  and  the bigger Cosmic picture of what is going on on our planet   I would be perhaps 2/3rds of the way through  the illustrations for my second book  When Katie WasBorn   I set the goal at the beginning of the year to have it  published by Christmas 2022 but then put it aside   without realizing   I was in fact quietly plugging away at it  and have in fact done another five pics  this year so far so  not so far off course of my original trajectory  afterall   Here are my latest couple of pics



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