If you want skyscrapers go to New York. If you want art go to Paris. If you want drugs go to Amsterdam. But if you want a city that’s clean, a city that has pride in its appearance, a city that coolly and phlegmatically accepts its own destiny as a major player on the world scene and hands down its contribution to history like a smartly dressed waiter serving up a delicious omelette; if you want a city that represents parliamentary democracy in all its well-organised, incrementally progressive glory; if you want a city that has an amazing amount of pornography and quite a lot of sheep not very far away; then you’ll head down to the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, pop a party popper, and say, Happy Birthday, you grand old dame. Here’s to the next hundred years, and let’s hope no enormous storms or volcanoes wipe out the entire population any time soon.
Here’s to you, Canberra, the birthday cake on the paper tablecloth of Australia.