Accommodation, Canberra Style, or, how to Understand Gaddafi

Since I wasn’t allowed to sleep in my office while in Canberra as research fellow at the ANU, I decided to sleep in my tent. The thing is, it’s still a bit crisp in Canberra, with temperatures below zero at night. Winter sleeping bag, thermals, beanie – great way to sleep. So I zip up early in my winter gear and wake at first light.


I must admit the view is a bit better than waking up on the floor of my office:

One morning I realised that I am probably in a much better position to understand our great Libyan leader, Gaddafi, who likes to stay in a tent when travelling on world business. OK, his tent is a bit more salubrious than mine, but we do have this close bond now. Think I’ll send him a postcard, point out the affinities between his bedouin roots and my own feral roots (I might mention my background too), and maybe invite him to Canberra to share the spot next to mine. Here’s his tent in France:

I also managed to scrounge an old bicycle, a seriously old bicycle, with a three-gear internal hub and sprung seat. It is worth about three hours of repair and one new tyre. Accommodation and wheels, tent and bicycle – what more could one want?

I even have a muddy track on which to ride to town. Makes me wonder if Gaddafi would like me to fix him a bike when he comes to Canberra.

You know, people pay top dollar for this sort of experience and I’m doing it for next to nothing.

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