I’ve very much been enjoying the ice-skating rink in the middle of Garema Place. I haven’t slid around on it, but its mere presence is enough to make me smile as I stroll by with my feet adopting appropriate friction on the gravel. I saw someone slip over and it made me laugh out loud, and I thought to myself ‘if that ice rink hadn’t been there, I might have gone the whole day without laughing at someone else’s misfortune’. Bless that rink.
The embarrassment of others isn’t the only reason I like it. I like it because there’s a lot of space in Canberra, and very little of it is used with the hope of people enjoying themselves on it. True, there’s an abundance of park land which provides the opportunity to engage in recreational activities such as Frisbee and games involving balls and such, but that relies on the average person being motivated enough to first come up with the idea and then follow through with it. The ice-rink is great because it tells you how to have fun. It takes care of the imagination part for you!
It seems that the older you get, the less fun you’re expected to have. When’s the last time you jumped around on a playground and discovered that your arse is too big for both the swings and the slide? When’s the last time you used a big cardboard box for a spaceship or a cubby? It could be the ‘real world’ destroying your playful imagination or it could just be that there are no adult sized playgrounds.
The ice-rink is a good start, but far from enough. I’d like to see public land put to better use. Putt Putt mini-golf on the lawns of Parliament House, an adult-arse sized slippery-dip from the top of Black Mountain Tower, tyre swings from every tree in Glebe Park, mandatory Nerf guns in all offices, and for god’s sake, resize the Garema chess pit to its former glory.
What other things can we do to make Canberra more fun?