Big Prawn worth a tale
BALLINA'S Big Prawn was part of the inspiration for Lennox Head author Lisa Walker's latest book, which was four years in the making.
Entitled Arkie's Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing, Lisa's third book is a story of Arkie, a middle-aged woman, who has reached a crisis point in her life.
Her marriage has broken down, and with it she lost "her mojo" and her successful business advising companies of the next big thing in trends.
She can't afford an overseas pilgrimage to "rediscover what she's lost", so she opts for a tour of "big things" on the Northern Rivers and through South-East Queensland.
Lisa said the book was inspired by her own tour of big things as a child, and a later visit as an adult.
She's been to the Big Prawn, the Big Avocado, the Big Pie, the Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, the Big Pelican and the Big Shell.
Lisa has lived in Lennox since 1999 and has seen the prawn go from a popular rest stop for tourists to near demolition, to its current revitalised state at the Bunnings site, complete with a new tail.
"I'm really fond of the prawn," Lisa said.
"If you took the Big Prawn away, you would leave a big gap in the Ballina skyline.
"They're kind of weird but big things are symbolic of the town and people seem to become quite passionate about them.
"Like Australians, the big things are larrikins. They call to us to lighten up, to see the joke."
She said she has fond childhood memories of visiting big things on holiday road trips in the 1970s.
"They're not the same anymore," she said.
"They didn't seem as big, they weren't as busy and they looked tired."
But Arkie, the character in her book, hopes that big things are the next "big thing".
Lisa's book will be launched at 6pm on January 30 at the Northern Rivers Writers' Centre, 28 Jonson St, Byron Bay.
The book will be released on February 1.