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Byron Shire
April 18, 2021

Chrissie comes but once a year – thank gawd for that!

Latest News

Head-on crash car traveling in wrong direction

Police say that two men are in hospital after an accident on the M1 overnight, when emergency services responded to reports of a crash involving two cars near Clothiers Creek

Other News

HuskeeSwap launches in Lennox

An exciting initiative to keep coffee cups out of landfill launched in Lennox Head yesterday. Ballina Shire Council is backing the HuskeeSwap program with free coffees at different cafes in Lennox this week, for coffeeholics keen to try a new solution to a growing problem.

Suffolk Park Pump Track

We the ‘Engaged Neighbours’, on behalf of the Suffolk Park pump track’s affected neighbours and 300–400 petitioners and letter writers, request Council NOT to continue to bulldoze the large fenced in section of Linda Vidler Parkland adjacent to Baz and Shaz’s shop, close to the houses on three sides.

The return of the prodigal son

Gallery DownTown, the annexe of Tweed Regional Gallery, is presenting a new exhibition by regional artists.

Professor Graham Samuel says dementia care is personal

In a moving address to the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, Dementia Australia Chair Professor Graham Samuel AC shared his personal experience of dementia – the anguish, bewilderment, frustration and torment experienced by his mother as she descended into the abyss of the disease.

Help from Red Cross for flood-affected communities in NSW

With disasters coming thick and fast as the climate emergency worsens, Australian Red Cross this morning launched financial help for flood-affected communities in NSW.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 14 April, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 14 April, 2021

Image John Campbell
Image John Campbell

John Campbell

Another Christmas.

To say how quickly it has come around is surely the mother of all clichés – but it has, hasn’t it? Or, as the years pass, does time become compressed?

One thing is for certain –there’s no stopping it.

Meaning that December 25, arriving as it does with the screaming subtlety of a Scud missile, now only serves to give me the heebie-jeebies while I wonder dolorously how many I have left in the bank.

As further portent of the final curtain that awaits me, this summer’s festive season is getting underway with seminal figures from politics, sport and the arts having given up the ghost. Legends departed, they coloured my youth, they informed my understanding of the world, and they will be forever synonymous with a whole slab of personal history. Boot Hill, everybody’s ultimate destination, has in 2014 found a place of repose for the good and the great E G Whitlam (Gough’s 1972 win was my first election), for the magic dragon, Reg Gasnier (he opened my eyes to the art of footy) and for the undecided Jim Keays (if only I could have got my hair to go like his).

The trio’s passing has forced me to enter that unforgiving room of mirrors. I might still kid myself into posing as a hipster in my swashbuckling prime, but my attitudes and everything I do suggest otherwise, dude.

For a start, I’ve taken up golf with a few other old farts and look forward for days ahead to my weekly afternoon of happy hacking and convivial ales at the nineteenth; the lists of songs and performers’ names on the current pop charts (I know they’re not called that any more, but bear with me) might as well be Linear B inscriptions from Knossos for all the sense they make to me (and for all I care); tablets and iThingies hold not the slightest appeal (what exactly is it that all of those zombies walking around staring at their palms are communicating?); and as for tatts – well, they are now about as iconoclastic as wallpaper, and why so many young people disfigure themselves like that is beyond me.

So if my opting out of all things ‘now’ seems perverse and typically reactionary, I can assure you that there is guile in my grumpiness.

It harks back to a character that I came upon in a forgotten novel … I think it was by Graham Greene. This bloke had found himself in what we might now refer to as his ‘bucket list’ years and, like most of us of a similar vintage, he was not looking forward to the end of his allotted days with any degree of wild enthusiasm. So he hit upon what suddenly appears to me a brainwave that, if not foolproof, is at least worth considering.

He reasoned that time flies at warp speed when you are enjoying yourself or totally immersed in stimulating activity. To counter this, he decided to commit himself to only pursuing boring pastimes – the ultimate was doing nothing whatsoever – in order to lengthen the hours. The Catch 22, of course, is that, by its very nature, boredom is … well … boring (and as Yossarian dryly observed, ‘that’s some catch’).

The saving grace of Christmas week is that it is invariably boring in itself, so there is some payback for the undue haste with which it lobs. As well as the mawkish hypocrisy of religious observances, there is way too much eating of other people’s weird food (whoever came up with the idea of the ‘bring a plate’ party should be condemned to a lifetime of store-bought hummus); sweaty relatives with revolting children pull into the driveway only to confirm your reasoning for putting five-hundred miles between you and them in the first place; you can’t get a park even in Mullum; and there’s not a damned thing on TV! (Not that there ever is, I suppose.)

As the Everest of ennui, nothing is more mind-numbingly awful than Carols by Candlelight, so, by rights, I should plonk myself down in front of the box when it’s on, with a cask of De Bortoli as painkiller. But not even I am that masochistic.

I’ll probably opt for an old favourite, Spartacus or Jaws, maybe, to see me through all the joy.

Have a good one.


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Another Christmas cometh as Santa knows in a drought the rain dear is never here. It gets drier and the temp gets higher and higher for there is global warming, so have another cold beer.

    The weirs are never topped as the water disappears so fill the glass half full up and have some Christmas cheer. Here’s to yea and the four ex’s as well, for all the tanks are emptying it’s time to get the farm and sell it, sell, sell, sell. And the car as well.

  2. So much negativity as the first story on Christmas Eve !!! So sad.
    Shouldn’t the press be trying to instil some positivity, strength to make the world a kinder place and hope for an end to terrorism in all its forms.
    Happy New Year !!!!!

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