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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Day 44

As the current lockdown restrictions in the ACT stand, we are allowed to gather outdoors in groups of up to five people for a period of two hours; with the days starting to feel a lot like spring (although the evenings are still dropping down to ~1°C) this has seen a surprising number of people take to the lake for a picnic. A glance across Lake Burley Griffin during my walk today was spotted with people on every available green space: Regatta Point, Acton Peninsula, Lennox Gardens, Aspen Island, National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden, Rond Terrace and throughout Commonwealth Park. Even a stroll through Glebe Park en route to the city had a number of groups sitting on rugs, enjoying food and beverage. At one point walking around the lake I jokingly asked: ‘Is there a firework display on tonight or a building about to be imploded?’ Besides these two events, I’ve never seen people take to the lawns around the lake in such great numbers. Which is a shame. It’s a shame that we don’t utilise our urban landscape for recreation enough, like Europeans. Over the years I’ve enjoyed many a sunny afternoon laying around in a European park - enjoying a beer while in Berlin, a vino in Paris or a Pimms in the UK - with the simple company of others alongside a swarm of people in groups, picnicking, kicking a ball or simply enjoying a beverage. Of course, we are privileged in Australia to have an abundance of space which has led to a plethora of backyards and extremely low density of living in comparison to Europe. Welcome the great Aussie BBQ. Though, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t quite have the same vibe as a picnic surrounded by others enjoying the same experience. If there is one thing I hope we take away from these lockdowns it is the continuation of connecting with and utilising our green urban spaces.