By a quirky, unexpected turn of circumstances, serendipitous meetings, straight out opportunism, leaps of faith and perhaps pure, blind luck (always easy to see, in retrospect), I seem to have landed pretty much where I want to be: in a new job in a beautiful building with friendly, supportive managers and colleagues, and I’m just about to move into a lovely light-filled house close to shops, a cosy café or two, lovely restaurants, a purveyor of fine wines and a fabulous bookshop and library.
The only catch? It’s not in my hometown of Melbourne but rather, Canberra – Australia’s capital – and famed for well, just that fact. Cultural goings-on are minimal, and certainly not of the eccentric, underground sort which Melbourne and London is known for. Canberra is also famed for the grand ole business of government, of course. But, as I’ve said plenty of times, life certainly takes you where you least expect and sometimes, you need to grasp opportunities when they present themselves, even if all the boxes aren’t ticked. And given the upcoming federal election, it’s quite the place to be.
The one fly in the ointment? There is no Ikea. A revelation which seriously made me reconsider my move. Because no matter what those design snobs say, there is nowhere like Ikea for a well-designed, nice-looking, inexpensive household bits n’bobs. Especially for people new in town. Quite a glaring omission for the Swedish company, I think, given Canberra’s highly-skilled, cashed-up, transient population. Apparently ‘Ikea runs’ (2-3 hours’ drive to the nearest store in Homebush, Sydney) is quite the thing in this town.
But one thumbs up for Canberra? No Starbucks. Apparently the last one fled town a couple of years ago. And amen to that.
A tasty exotic mushroom pizza with a perfect crust. At one of Canberra’s culinary surprises.