I am annoyed at the car in front of me, driving erratically, when there is no need. For goodness’ sake, it only takes 15-20 minutes for most people to drive to work and it’s still so early!
Anyway, I forget it quickly, as I drive through the magnificent local landscapes, glistening in the morning light. So beautiful – I reflect on the fact that such a country vista can even exist, smack-bang in a metropolitan city.
I’m meeting some colleagues for breakfast before work at 7.15am and, on such a beautiful day, I am in good spirits. It took us a while to decide on which café we’d meet in because there are so many good places in the city that serve superb coffee. It’s hard to choose.
I park easily because it’s early and an added bonus is that I don’t have to pay until 9am and I have free parking at work, just ten minutes away from the city. No sweat. A short stroll later, I enter the café and find the group already ordering.
- a short black with some hot water on the side
- a decaf, soy flat white, but make it very hot
- a double shot cappuccino with no chocolate on top made with skim milk, not too hot
- a latté made with soy and weak
- a chai tea with milk and hot water on the side
- a dirty chai – go easy on the “dirty”
I smile to myself as I listen to them ordering, envisioning the waiter telling the barista “four coffees and two chai teas”, and then I join in.
We have a very pleasant time at the café as we discuss what we are doing on the weekend (it is Friday after all), and there are so many choices. There is a festival (isn’t there always?), several theatre events, two great literary events, some amazing amateur shows, concerts, a car exhibition, and several sporting events, not to mention garage sales, school fetes, as well as a number of quirky markets and a fun run. Some are going walking on a bridge-to-bridge route (very popular in the warmer months) and then others are arranging to try out the latest of many new restaurants, followed by movies. One guy is going to the coast, another is heading to the mountain lakes, fishing and camping, whilst another is going on a tour of the local wineries.
After a very pleasant time, I arrive at work to find there is a morning tea on (a regular event we have whenever there’s a birthday), and start regretting that large breakfast I had earlier. There goes the diet again. Ah well …
I leave work early, which I often do on a Friday, as I am going to one of the local pubs where they will be playing jazz and then meeting friends for drinks later. As I drive to drop my car off at home, I have to cross the bridge and as always, marvel at the beauty of the landscape, the lake, national buildings, parks and gardens along with funky art. What a joy!
The jazz is amazing – a local new artist with such talent; it seems that Canberra has so many talented artists of every variety. We have a plethora of musicians, artists, singers, writers, performers – you name it, we’ve got it. I often say we are the cultural capital; when I owned the bookshop in Manuka we had become aware that we have more book buyers per capita than any other city in Australia. And of course, then there is the scientific community, brimming with talent.
We end up going for dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant (which is always superb by the way) in one of our many upmarket eating districts. The night finishes with a short Uber ride home; a cheap way to go out and not have to worry about drink-driving. Anyway, it’s a short ride, as I live in an apartment near the city. Buying it was best decision I have ever made. In fact, I am thinking of buying another one for an investment.
As I end my day listening to music and drifting off to sleep, it occurs to me that I am so lucky to live here. We have everything in Canberra. Everything!