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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wynter

Byron Bay, will you marry me?

Warning: this entry is quite long-winded, but I think it’s fitting given it’s about one of the best weekends of my ENTIRE LIFE! But, being the thoughtful lass I am, I’ve even broken it up into chapters, so you can take it in bite-size chunks, go away for a breather and then return when you’re ready for the next course. See? I really do aim to please. Chapter One: The Birthday Party

Chopping fruit, assembling platters and icing the semi-burnt birthday cake. Oh how I love birthday party preparations (there was a little sarcastic inflection there for those of you who missed it). And the birthday cake: check it out!

Not too shabby if I don’t say so myself. And the cupcake stack came in very handy seeing as, in typical form, we forgot to bring a knife.

It all goes rather smoothly, Caleb is suitably chuffed (if not a little bemused) and all the kids have a grand time at the park. As we bundle up the troops, my brother James asks: “Where are they? I thought I had three kids.” Me: “So did I. I think I left one at a park once.”

Ah comedy. Without you I think child-rearing would have me curled in a little ball in some random corner of the world crying for a shot of Pethadine.

We get the kids settled in with our babysitters-of-choice (or more accurately, our babysitters-who-could) and hit the road for a romance and gig-fuelled weekend at my favourite place in the entire world: Byron Bay.

Chapter Two: The Child-Free Weekend Away

We are seriously overdue for this. And I cannot help but point out to Tim that without comedy (which he sometimes sees as the ‘other man’ in my life and mortal enemy) this weekend would simply not be happening. The pay’s not great for this gig, but we do get a free cabin at Byron Bay Beach Resort and considering the stress our relationship’s been under this year, that my friends, is priceless. Highlights include:

– Going shopping: Tim buys me my Mother’s Day gift of choice – a new cap – which, while neither practical nor writing-related (usually the only two things I’m comfortable spending money on) makes me feel like a million bucks. Well, at least $15,000.

– Having the yummiest immunity-building juice ever (I’m not sure if that claim is substantiated, but it certainly made me feel happier at the time, so let’s run with it.) Me: “Here, have a taste of my world.” Tim (sipping my juice): “I think that’s very symbolic.”

– Taking our time strolling on the beach and talking for hours, uninterrupted. Inconceivable.

– Heading back to the Beach Resort for the gig and realising it actually starts in half an hour!

Chapter Three: The Gig

– Chowing down on curry galore, which leaves me wondering how I’ll cope gigging on a full stomach.

– Having the sound guy approach me literally SECONDS before I go onstage to tell me he’s not sure if the CD is going to work. Aaaaagghh!

– Putting on a calm facade and taking the stage before the most amazing crowd ever. I’m starting to think it’s just not possible to have a bad gig in northern NSW. There are around three hundred people there (including, I’m told later, the Director of the Byron Bay Writers Festival, the local Chief Magistrate, Editors of both local newspapers and more) all wanting to be there and oozing happy Byron vibes. One of them tells my hubby later “We’re on a higher vibration here in Byron.” Whatever it is, I want some. Even the CD player – after a heart-stopping minute of ‘will it or won’t it?’ manages to kick its third chakra into gear. Remember what I said about realizing some audiences just aren’t your audience? Well…this one is mine. I’m home.

– Getting an actual standing ovation after “One Night” (okay, so it was only three people, but I’ll take what I can get) and having one woman grab her table’s floral arrangement and throwing it towards the stage. Three pairs of legs and a couple of daisies: I have arrived.

– Seeing Tim gush – it’s been a while since he’s come to see me perform (something which we fully intend to remedy regularly as part of our ‘let’s make our marriage an actual priority’ strategy) so to have him support me verbally as well as practically is magic.

– Having people come up afterwards and give beautiful Byron-ish compliment after compliment, especially the mummies. Some of my favourites:

“You were the highlight of the whole night!” “I miss you already!” (blowing me a kiss) “Gees you’re tall.”

– Receiving another request for the lyrics to “One Night in Labour” (the other was from a lady in Tassie) so I may well bite the bullet and put them on my website soon. If it’s good enough for Tim Minchin…

– Meeting Mandy Nolan, who’s basically the IT girl of Byron Bay comedy. We’ve spoken and e-mailed a couple of times but this is the first time she’s seen me (and what a night for her to see). She tells me she’s got a women in comedy night coming up in a month or so and asks for a card.

– Having Sandy Gandhi, who organised and hosted the entire night, give me incredibly kind praise, thanks and a promise of a return invite.

Seriously, Byron Bay, will you marry me? I don’t think it counts as bigamy if you happen to be a town.

Chapter Four: The Good Night’s Sleep

After hot chocolates at a suitably funky cafe, Tim and I hit the hay.

Tim: “Shall I set the alarm clock?”

Big pause.

Tim: “Gotchya!”

We sleep in until 10.42am.

Wait, let me type that again, I just want to check something.

We sleep in until 10.42am.

Yep, still smiling!

Tim then goes out to the car and brings in a big box.

Tim: “I think Dad put something in here for you.”

Me: “What?”

I open it up and look inside. I cannot believe it. Luckily Tim has a forklift on hand to assist with getting my jaw off the ground and reassembling it to my head.

A brand-spanking-new laptop computer.

I think I am going to die.

Thus, I sit at 11.25am in bed, typing away on my new lap-top.

Wait, let me type that again, I just want to check something.

Thus, I sit at 11.25am in bed, typing away on my new lap-top.

Yep, still smiling.

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