Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A Naturopath in the bottlo and hula dancers in the yurt

While Joanne hulaed in
 the yurt, I trimmed the Wistaria.
When my client Joanne asked me to be at her place by ten a.m. as she was going to Hula in the yurt, I was again reminded why I love this town.
Nothing as mundane as "I'm going to the shops" or "I'm going away for the weekend", no, in Byron shire it's "I'm going down to the yurt to hula".
Hula dancing is great meditative exercise (apparently, I've not donned the grass skirt yet), somewhat like doing Tai-Chi to music.
Joanne lives at Possum Creek (and isn't that the quintessential Australian place name?) which is referred by most as the 'roof of Byron'.
As you can see in the picture, there are not many better 'offices' than this.
The other part of the title, the naturopath, refers to my friend Mick.
He runs the main bottle shop in town and is a very handy guy.
We have worked on a deck project at his place together and when I want any advice about glue, screws, paint or hammer he is one I turn to.
I naturally met him in my drinking days and when we could get a shaved second edgewise into our conflicting busy schedules, we would have a lunch together.
We were in a local having a counter lunch when Mick floored me by saying he had studied naturopathy for two years.
For mind the image of a bottle shop worker is a beer-gutted, red-faced tippler, but Mick, and indeed most of his staff, are among the healthiest people in town.
Gabby who works there is a surfer, Keith is in his sixties and he regularly rides his bike up to Bangalow. The critical part of the ride is a one-in-ten climb that would make Tour de France riders think twice, but Keith manages it, if not effortlessly, at least smoothly. (or so he tells me)
I haven't been in my local since New Year but even then the health paradox that is Byron goes on.
One of the barstaff, Carrie, was studying nutrition and she gave me lots of good diet advice when I realised I needed to lose weight.
Travis, another bar worker, is so fit that the Hotelier Association regularly tests him for performance enhancing drugs. When not behind the bar he does the Tough Mudder three or four times a year.
The Tough Mudder is a gruelling 20k slog through trenches, up ropes, over walls and down men's trouser legs.
It is based on military training and even completing it is worthy of great accolade, doing the sorts of times Travis does means fast-tracked recruitment to the SAS.
Once I'd bought my drink from Carrie, Trav would stop by my table and give me exercise advice.
All greatly received and helped me drop for 101 to 87kg. (30 pounds in the old money).
Actually, when I see the promos for that weight loss show on commercial tv, the title of which accurately describes anyone who watches it, I want to contact the show and say "all your contestants would be better off heading down to my local in Byron Bay, you'll get better advice there".
Mind you, I don't think that excuse would float with your boss, "sorry I'm late, but I was down the pub getting fitness advice for the last three hours".
Pharmacist Fleur-one of the few legal drug
sellers in Byron Bay.

Just down the plaza from the bottlo is our local pharmacy.
I get my anti-depressants there and also good advice on my various soccer, work and surf injuries.
Following the theme of this post our local pharmacist Fleur surprised me by revealing she has an honours degree in Visual Art, I texted her back like the smartarse I am to ask "is there any non-visual art?"
Apparently there is, her text reply reads as follows, "Certainly some that have no visual interaction".
Eh?
Do you go into a dark room and wander about with your arms out till you find some art?
Scott, who manages the accommodation centre where I write this each week is near finished a degree in Enviro Science.
Even I fit the dual-life category, most people that see me hanging on the end of a whipper-snipper or lapping the back yard with the mower are generally surprised to find that I have a science degree and work one day a week at Australian Seabird Rescue as a marine biologist.
A marine biologist?! Looks more like I stole my
 clothes from one of the Leyland brothers 

Also, for the record, I am trying to put less photos of me on this blog. The problem I am having is that most of those mentioned in this post didn't want to be photographed.
Mick the naturopath-bottlo manager for a start.
I only got that fuzzy Fleur pic by creeping up behind her and clicking my phone camera before she had time to say 'no'.
I know the photo you all want is Joanne's Hula class weaving their way across the floor of the yurt, but I didn't even ask for that one.
Mind you I will check if they have a class publicity shot of some kind and get that to you next week.
Time to go, I've got to get round the gym and get some advice on drinking.






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