There is a common perception that during the Summer Public Service shutdown, Canberra becomes a ghost town.

Working in radio someone must stay on over the Christmas break to make sure everything is running. This year it was me. But if you’re like the tens of thousands of Canberrans who took time off it’s like you would’ve indulged in one of these annual rituals.

Put the Out of Office On

After being a former government adviser, there is nothing more exhilarating than when you know it’s your final day before holidays and it’s time to put the out of office on.

“Oh, but what should I write Betty?” You say wittingly.

“I know exactly what I’ll put.”

Sadly, our attempts at humour could be lost on those poor sorry souls that worked through the shutdown.

Annual Trip to the Coast

As a kid this used to be one of my favourite aspects of Summer. Every year we would make a day trip to the coast as a family, usually to Bateman’s Bay, but fond memories involve staying at a caravan park in Batehaven and staying up late watching the Australian Open (Lleyton Hewitt’s heroics over Marcos Baghdatis anyone?).

As I got older my coast adventures involved trips with friends and girlfriends to Narooma, Jervis Bay, Jamberoo (I controlled the action) and Mollymook.

Of course, no trip to the coast or Bateman’s Bay to be particular is complete without a stop at the Trappers Bakery in Braidwood. During peak periods the bakery can churn out 4,000 pies a day!

Netflix (and Possibly Chilled)

Okay I know the Birdbox phenomenon has passed, but how wild was it? Watching the movie thinking it was going to be a Christmas one (thanks friends) it completely blew me away, so many questions left unanswered and to be honest I closed all my blinds for a week.

Then there was Bandersnitch the first interactive movie on Netflix, if you haven’t watched either where have you been?

We also, binge watched our favourites in Riverdale, The Good Place and You.

You Explored the Best Canberra’s Nature has to Offer

For those that didn’t leave Canberra, it’s likely you tried to escape the heat, so you visited one of Canberra’s pools. Maybe you were feeling adventurous and took a dip at Kambah Pools (extra points for any nudies out there) or Casuarina Sands.

Maybe you camped at The Cotter or up in the Brindabellas, perhaps you even took your #fitspo to a new level and took on one of the big walks in Tidbinbilla.

You Got Frustrated Because your Fave Food Place Wasn’t Open

I’m looking at you Fox and Bow and Soul Cartel. But seriously if you’re like me, did you struggle with the number of places taking a well-earned break?

Thank Lord Cheesus that I was still able to get my burger fix at Grease Monkeys and Brodburger. A take home tub of Messina didn’t go astray either!

You made a silly New Year’s Resolution because you saw it on Social Media

“I’ve never drunk coffee in my life but I’m a cold brew person now.”

“I don’t know what else is in this smoothie, but I know it’s main ingredient is Guatemalan Spider Monkey Tears, so I’ll be more agile.”

We all do something silly, but don’t be that guy.

Of course, I’m sure there was plenty of things I missed, feel free to let me know in the comments section, and while some of you might be bummed that the shutdown period is over, just think there is still half of Summer to go!