Sunday, May 17, 2020

Holed up in the mountains

In a time of pandemic, if you can't be on a small island off another island, then being holed up in the mountains might just be the next best thing. While there are some daily things I miss - coffee sitting down in cafes, a quite drink or meal out - in many ways life in lockdown is not all that different to how I lived before. Perhaps I need to take a closer look at what I really miss.

When Australia’s capital was established it was deliberately tucked away in the mountains, far from the coast and any likely threats, such as a Russian invasion – or possibly undue control from the two warring states of the time, Melbourne and Sydney. A recent walk one morning round the foothills of Mt Majura, on the edge of Canberra, underlined that Canberra is indeed sited amongst the mountains, with views of the looming Brindabella Ranges in the chilly distance.

Brindabella Ranges, looking South from National Arboretum.

Now that we are under siege from a new threat – this time an invisible virus – this location seems somehow apt. If we didn’t have flights of politicians regularly materialising here we’d be insulated from most of the worst aspects of what passes for daily life in the rest of the nation, while still able to remember when we travelled elsewhere and what we liked most.