Review 2007: Home

Andrew Boyd on Canberra

I grew up in Canberra, capital city of Australia. In recent years I've not thought of myself as a Canberran - too many tourists with those distinctive blue and white ACT plates behaving badly to give us anything other than a bad name. Canberra drivers are aggressive (whereas I am assertive), they are small-minded and petty (whereas I have a keen eye for detail and expect fellow motorists to be courteous and respectful of the road rules). You get the picture.

I think that the time has come for me to embrace my Canberran-ness. I did spend nearly 15 years in government service, so I can't really see the shame in being part of a government town. I've lived in this town for at least 35 of my 42 years - and while I've tried living elsewhere, I always seem to come back here.

I helped to raise my children here and near here. I fell in love here for the first time as a young man, and have recently fallen in love again here. I've bought houses here, rented here. I have family here.

Coming back to Canberra is coming home (despite the best efforts of QANTAS to make air travel to or from here unbearable).

I love the vibrancy of Spring here and the many colours of Autumn here. The seasons are really in-your-face - when it is hot in Summer, it is really hot, and when it is cold in Winter, the breath catches in your chest - it is really cold.

The popular conception of Canberra outside the nation's capital is a bit negative - the rest of Australia is often slinging mud at us because federal parliament is here and the newsfolk invariably start bad political news with "...and in Canberra today...". The trick is, guys, that whoever you vote for, a politician gets in - and for the 11 years of the previous regime I was able to keep saying "whoever it is, we probably didn't vote for them" (because Canberra has been a fairly safe Labour seat for around 35 years).

I am Canberran.

Andrew Boyd writes On Blogging Australia.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks Stu,

it is good to read my words within your theme/template - and thank you for the invitation to contribute.

Best regards, Andrew