John and Janette Howard looked down at me from their portrait hung in the oak paneled lobby of Old Parliament House. John with his fluffy eyebrows, uncomfortably clutching his wife, with the beauty of Kirribilli house gardens behind them. John was never much of a fan of Canberra which is why he was happy to spend so much time of his Prime Ministership in Sydney. It was strange for me then to see him here.
“When a man as outstandingly colourless as John Howard turns his nose up at a place, you know it must be worth a look,” American Author Bill Bryson once wrote on Canberra.