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Samantha Turnbull Writer, mother, anti-princess

Jellyfish in Byron Bay

The non-hipster-mum-on-a-budget guide to Byron Bay

I’ve lived in ‘the Bay’ for about 15 years. That means I’m nowhere close to being a local… never really will be, but my kids are born and bred (they’ll just have to cop their mum being called a ‘blow-in’ – yawn).

I love it here, but have to deal with almost daily slandering of the place from colleagues and family who live in surrounding towns.

One relo called it ‘Nimbin by the sea’ at Christmas lunch… but I wasn’t sure if he meant it as a criticism or compliment, because the dude was actually from Nimbin himself.

I get why some people loathe it – it’s expensive, it’s busy, it’s a bit of a scene… but it’s not all of those things all of the time.Read More


Jellyfish in Byron Bay

The non-hipster-mum-on-a-budget guide to Byron Bay

I’ve lived in ‘the Bay’ for about 15 years. That means I’m nowhere close to being a local… never really will be, but my kids are born and bred (they’ll just have to cop their mum being called a ‘blow-in’ – yawn).

I love it here, but have to deal with almost daily slandering of the place from colleagues and family who live in surrounding towns.

One relo called it ‘Nimbin by the sea’ at Christmas lunch… but I wasn’t sure if he meant it as a criticism or compliment, because the dude was actually from Nimbin himself.

I get why some people loathe it – it’s expensive, it’s busy, it’s a bit of a scene… but it’s not all of those things all of the time.Read More

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The science of humiliation

Mr Singh* looked at the pile of exam papers with a puzzled expression.

“Who is Samantha Turnbull?” he asked.

The science lab erupted into raucous laughter. It had that definite sting of ‘at you’ rather than ‘with you’.

I buried my face in my hands.Read More

2016

2016 wrap-up

I turned 36 this month – yikes! It’s a daunting age for me, being on the other side of 35 and all that.

And 3000 of my closest friends, all on Facebook, remembered my special day – fancy that!

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The Anti-Princess Club

It’s OK to be ‘anti’

An editor of mine once said to me: “Sam, you’re too polite.”

He was giving me advice on how I needed to change if I wanted to become an editor myself.

At the time I took great offence – yet nodded, politely, of course.

But he was right. From an early age, like many girls, I was taught that it’s inappropriate to be negative.

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Boys will be boys

Stop demonising teen girls

You know what I’m sick of hearing? Pretty much everyone in my life demonising teenage girls.

As a mother of one daughter and one son, I’m forever hearing comparative predictions of how my boy will be a handful in his younger years and my girl will be an absolute horror come puberty.Read More

Is my son destined to be aggressive?

‘Boys are just violent’

I turned my back for a moment to put down the baby.

As I swung around with a towel to dry my daughter, a boy from her swimming lesson swung too. He punched her in the cheek and she stood, stunned.Read More

Daddy and daughter

‘Silly Daddy’

Me: “I’d love it if you could give the toilet a good clean while I take the kids to the show.”

Bruce: “OK, how do you do that?”

Me: “Pour toilet cleaner in bowl. Scrub with toilet brush.”

Bruce: “What if poo gets on the toilet brush?”

Me: “Don’t put it in your mouth.”
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Anti-Princess Club

Measuring success

Let’s call him ‘Artist One.’

We were chatting a while back about what I considered the success of someone we’ll call ‘Artist Two.’

“Artist Two’s work is amazing,” I said. “Artist Two is winning loads of awards,” I said. “Artist Two has tens of thousands of followers on social media,” I said.

Artist One narrowed his eyes. “Yes, but Artist Two drives a beaten up Holden.”Read More