Centenary banners signal the start of Canberra's year of partying. Photo: via Twitter / Jeremy Lasek
You know that feeling you get when you walk into the mall, and see tinsel and hear carols being piped through the speakers like fairy dust, and you suddenly realise that Christmas is here and another year is over? Or how about when the hot cross buns and Easter eggs start appearing in supermarkets?
Never mind that these days, the tinsel gets dusted off in October, and the Easter eggs rolled out in January. That dreary sense of time’s relentless onward march, and your inevitable trajectory towards an unfulfilled old age is psychosomatic, isn’t it? You’d get the same reaction even if the carols were playing in July.
Publicity types know this. They know the effect that malls can have on people. How else to explain that tingling sensation I keep getting every time I see that big white wall with “Zara” written on it?
As a woman of the world, I know that Zara, as a concept, is really just an empty promise – or, at least, a promise that only occasionally delivers. What lies behind that vast white wall will be – let’s face it – just another opportunity to squander my minute disposable income on guilt-inducing – but reasonably priced! - garments. Only from now on, whenever someone asks me, enviously, where I purchased said garment, I will no longer be able to set my features into that expression of smug sympathy when I reply “Zara”, because it will no longer imply a recent trip overseas, or even over the border into NSW. It will just mean I went to Civic.
Anyway, this is a roundabout way of explaining the strange effect that the Centenary banner in the Canberra Centre had on me when it first went up a couple of weeks ago – and should be having on you. The year of the Centenary is upon us! Finally!
Sure, it’s taking a little while to fire up, but that’s the Canberra Way when it comes to the summer season. Parliament winds up Question Time, kids are off school, public servants get their longed-for shut-down period, most of the restaurants and small businesses shut for at least some of the holidays, and half the population heads to the beach. Ok? Did you expect anything else? It has always been thus. I say, deal with it.
The question is, are all those Centenary banners on hundreds of flagpoles across town going to hang around for the whole year, and how long before we get sick of them?
No matter – let’s enjoy the shininess while we can. It’s Canberra’s year! And the summer is hot! It’s not raining and cool like it was last year! Yay for the Canberra Centre! Yay for the Centenary! Yay!