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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


Book Five dedication

Book Five dedication

The Northern Star is a newspaper based in Lismore – about 45 minutes inland from the better known Byron Bay.

I got my first full-time journalism job at a radio station in the same building as The Star, but I always wanted to move downstairs to work on the paper… it seemed to be where the cool kids hung.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.”
Read More

Australian Poetry Slam

Slam update

‘Real men don’t hit women… unless…’

So, those were my first words at this year’s NSW finals of the Australian Poetry Slam.Read More

Home truths

I don’t know where home is.Read More

Australian Poetry Slam

Poetry slam NSW finals – take two

This will be my last blog for a fortnight or so as I knuckle down to write a new poem.

I travelled four hours south to Kempsey last week for the local heat of the Australian Poetry Slam. I couldn’t go in the heat at Byron Bay because I was the feature act after winning last year… and I wasn’t entirely sure I was up for making the effort to head to the mid north coast… but now I’m glad I did.Read More

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

Too Busy Sleeping

Zanni Louise’s Too Busy Sleeping

Way back when (2013), I was randomly Googling ‘green smoothies’ (it was when they were the ‘new thing’, not the yawn-worthy highly Instagrammed beverage they are now).

In some sort of cyber-round-about way, I ended up reading a blog post about a smoothie shop in my home town of Byron Bay called Naked Treaties.

That post was written by northern New South Wales blogger Zanni Louise.Read More

Penny Pollard's Diary

Books that lit up my world as a kid

Happy Children’s Book Week!

The theme for this year’s event is Books Light Up Our World… which got me thinking, what were the books that lit up my world as a kid?

In no particular order, here are the books that I loved as a child and will cherish forever:Read More