It's an election year in the ACT, but it certainly doesn't feel like one.
In the midst of Canberra's summer of extraordinary events - of bushfires, hailstorms and suffocating smoke - politics has been relegated, quite appropriately, to the sidelines.
January came and went without mention of October 17, the day Canberrans will head to the polls to choose the next territory government. You won't have seen candidates milling outside shopping centres or on street corners over the holiday period, spruiking their party's policies or their own credentials.
For residents in Canberra's far south, the door knocks have come not from politicians, but emergency services telling them to prepare their bushfire survival plan.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has made almost daily public appearances in the past six weeks, but they have been to warn of the physical threats of bushfires and smoke, not the supposed threat of a Canberra Liberals government.
Opposition leader Alistair Coe has been almost silent, and his social media feeds have - until very recently - been a stream of updates and alerts about the fires, and messages of admiration for emergency services, including commissioner Georgeina Whelan.
Liberal backbencher Mark Parton even tweeted his thanks to "Andrew", the Labor chief minister and his usual political rival.
These are unusual times indeed.
But while the Orroral Valley fire continues to burn on Canberra's southern doorstep, some normality will return to ACT politics next week when the Legislative Assembly sits for the first time this year.
I think everyone has been touched by the enormity of the devastationOpposition leader Alistair Coe
Similar to what was seen this week in federal parliament, the first sitting day will be almost entirely dedicated to reflection on the summer like none other.
Although no lives or homes have been lost, more than a third of the ACT has been blackened by bushfire. All Canberrans - including those at the centre of ACT politics - have been touched in some way by a crisis that has encompassed most of south-east Australia.
On New Year's Eve, Liberal Jeremy Hanson was in Batemans Bay as fire roared towards the coastal town. Greens leader Shane Rattenbury was a few kilometres further north, preparing to defend his property in South Durras.
It is impossible to predict how the summer's events will shape the forthcoming year in ACT politics, and dictate the fortunes of its protagonists.
When negotiated with compassion and competence, a crisis can elevate a leader in the eyes of the public. Gladys Berejiklian and Andrew Constance are two examples. When handled clumsily, or worse, it can have the opposite affect. Prime Minister Scott Morrison's ill-fated picture opportunity in fire-ravaged Cobargo is testament to that.
Barr has come across as calm and assured as the various threats to the ACT escalated and receded, although he hasn't, thankfully, had to confront nearly the same horrors - of loss of life and communities - as his NSW counterparts.
The Emergency Service Agency's public messaging has, for the most part, been clear and timely, and the response from fire crews to the Beard and Orroral Valley blazes swift and effective.
The Canberra Liberals made a conscious decision to lay low and keep any criticisms to themselves. It's largely a mark of respect for the seriousness of the situation, but also recognition that there were no political points to be won at the height of a real or looming natural disaster.
But there will come a time, perhaps not until the bushfire season is declared over, when criticisms - theirs and others - start to be aired publicly. Why has the ESA website crashed on two of the most severe bushfire days? Why haven't rural fire service crews received the training they need to be able to drive with lights and sirens on?
More immediately, once the tributes have been paid to the firefighters in the Legislative Assembly, attention will turn to the government's mid-year budget review, which Barr will hand down on Thursday afternoon.
Any election-year budget, even the smaller, mid-year variety, is as much a political document as it is a financial one. This will be no exception.
The government has already announced one sweetener, a $60 million dollar boost for Canberra Health Services to help cope with rising patient demand.
Transport Minister Chris Steel has also promised more school and weekend buses, along with extended light rail services.
The timing and the substance of the three announcements are not surprising. They are deliberate attempts to nullify opposition attacks on the government's two weakest areas - health and transport.
But no matter how many more "tweaks" are made to the transformed bus network, or money promised for the poor-performing public hospital system, the opposition will continue to throw punches. It knows they are landing, and it knows they are hurting.
Whether the Liberals can land the ultimate blow and defeat Labor on October 17 will depend, in large part, on Coe's performance in the next eight months. Coe came through a brief period of leadership instability last year confident that his hold on the job had been strengthened, not weakened.
But his biggest challenges lie ahead. His public profile needs raising, and quickly. He knows it. But now isn't the time.
Coe said the summer's events - which he said had simultaneously shown the "worst of mother nature and the best of humanity" - would force politicians and the general public to take heed of their priorities.
"I think everyone has been touched by the enormity of the devastation," he told The Canberra Times.
"Whether you're talking about the heroic actions of the firefighters, the loss of life, the carnage on properties and the devastating impact on the environment, including wildlife. It forces people to re-calibrate, it forces people to reconsider what really matters.
"It's easy to get caught up in little tidbits in politics, but when it's a case of confronting life and death, it brings home the importance of getting things right."
The most important thing that any politician or government can "get right" is improving the lives of their community, Coe said.
The opposition leader believes his party is the only one capable of doing that. Once the politicking finally begins, that message will be front and centre for the Canberra Liberals.
"I just think for so many Canberra families, life is becoming difficult and a lot of people don't feel like they are getting ahead. They are working harder, and longer ... but they just feel like they are getting squeezed. I don't think that's fair."
Barr, meanwhile, has a simple priority for political year ahead.
"I have always taken the view that if you govern well, the politics will take care of itself," he told The Canberra Times.
"So the number one priority for me is to govern well. We will take a positive plan to the next election, but the real time for political campaigning is in September and October".
Barr said he'd never experienced a summer quite like this one. Community anxiety and apprehension was elevated to a level not seen since 2003.
"All through the month of January has seemingly been one thing after another, and you add a freak hailstorm into the mix," he said.
"It has genuinely impacted hundreds of thousands of Canberrans in a very significant way. It is by no means business as usual."
Even when the blazes are extinguished and the weather cools, Barr expects issue surrounding fires and emergency management to remain at the forefront of the political and public debate. How, after all of this, could they not?
"People are switched on to the big picture climate change issues [and] right down to the minutiae of how government's respond to a series of pretty significant natural disasters," he said.
The climate crisis is always front of mind for Greens leader Shane Rattenbury.
Rattenbury said the horror summer had been a "catalyst for change". He said more than ever the public was scrutinising the climate policies of the major parties, while asking; "Is this what the future is going to be like?"
"Here in Canberra, people have intellectually understood the need for action," he told The Canberra Times.
"That has now been brought right to their doorstep, and the reality of not dealing with climate change has been absolutely underlined for our community."
The devastating New Year Eve's fires inexplicably spared the coastal hamlet of South Durras, and Rattenbury's holiday home.
But the Greens leader couldn't escape the chaos, terror and confusion which swept through the South Coast that fateful night.
"Those people went through quite pretty traumatic events, even if they weren't directly impacted they were caught up not being able to get out, not being able to get fuel or food.
"For a modern Australian summer, it was beyond people's compression.
"The terror, the ferocity. People have talked about summer becoming the enemy.
"Culturally, that is such a significant statement to make."