Touring: The Lodge

Once a year the Australiana fund runs tours of the two Canberra homes of our nominal leaders - the Prime Minister (the Lodge) and the Governor General (Government House)

I travel past the Lodge on the way to work every day so the opportunity to take a peek past the normally high walls and guarded gates was too great a temptation to resist.

Like most special events in the Can', there was a big old line of people waiting to get in and after a little to'ing and fro'ing with the PC (I had an assignment to work on), we decided to stick around. After an hour in line (most of which was spent in the grounds, so there was still gardens and whatnot to look at), we made it in.

Unfortunately there was a ban on photos inside but I was still able to snap off some shots around the place. A few highlights for me were:

the oddly shaped cushiony looking hedges outside,

the very ugly and militaristic looking sculpture that John and Janette chose for the garden

the 1960s municipal park looking water bubbler outside the tennis court

the slightly incongruous basketball/netball hoop bolted to a gum tree

and my personal favourite, the sign outside the door banning, among other things - child stollers. Is this a reference to the stollen generation perhaps? Maybe the Howard government is actually opposed to the practice of child stolling after all?

Here's the full slide show of the outside part.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

As for the inside, it very much had the look of a 1920's kind of house - high ceilings, wood all over the place - I read somewhere that it's done in American Colonial style (which seems sadly appropriate). There were a lot of Australian historical knicknacks from the last 100 years or so and some nice antiques.

The upstairs part was blocked off and guarded - which was disappointing as who doesn't want to see what John and Janette get up to rumpy-pumpy - so it was pretty much just the entrance hall, dining room and a couple of lounge rooms.

Interestingly, there were photos of John Howard and (actual) world leaders all over the shop - which had a slight sad/desperate air of "look at me" about them. He looked particularly excited in an older one with Margaret Thatcher. (His idol and fellow hater of society). I think I saw the missus tucked away in maybe two out of a couple of dozen and there may have been one or two of the Howard spawn as well. But there really were a LOT of pix of Johnny and world leaders. Makes you wonder what kind of pix are up in the "official" residence at Kirribilli.

If you're in town when this rolls around next year, it's worth a look.