Canberra Confidential: Milk man turns green

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IT’S not queasy being green… well, that’s what Raiders tragic and Canberra Milk boss Garry Sykes must feel, photographed alongside Janeanne Gray at the Meninga Medal knees up at the Lakeside Hotel in a lary, lime-green suit.

Garry had the ensemble specially made in Thailand in three flavours – pink for breast cancer fundraisers and white for Melbourne Cup.

“It’s just part of being old and senile, I suppose,” he laughs. “It’s something different to wearing the same old black suit and tie that everyone wears.”

Sharp blade and Deputy Chief Minister about town, Andrew Barr, tweeted: “Apparently the Sykes Suit is so 2011… #FashionDisaster”, to which Sykes had no comment, except to tell “CC” that he had never had so many people ask to have their photo taken with him. Given the impending election, it might behove all pollies to take the fashion hint.

Hair and gone

“I’m hairy high and low,
don’t ask me why, don’t know.”

So goes the lyric for the title song in the ‘60s stage musical classic “Hair”, which Stephen Pike is staging at Queanbeyan’s innovative Q theatre from September 19. Arts editor Helen Musa says the director has been getting resistance from his cast to disrobe for the notorious nude scene at the end of act one.

“CC” can but muse that today’s modest “Hairy” guys and gals are not as hirsute “high and low” as the original lyrics might suggest. Merkins, anyone?

Damn those ‘pies

IT’S spring, and out come the stern municipal warnings to residents and visitors of swooping magpies. It’s nesting season and until month’s end, male maggies will be defending their territory against the perceived menace of passing cyclists or meandering pets.

In a gem of straight-faced advice to reduce the possibility of being swooped, the Queanbeyan City urges ratepayers to, ahem, avoid the area. Simple, really.

Lifeline gets looks

LIFELINE Canberra, masters of the mighty book fair and, more recently, frothy coffee, have now entered the crowded rag trade with a vintage clothing and book store in Lonsdale Street, Braddon called Hipsley Lane.
Under the tutelage of Karen Bustamante, former owner of vintage shop Cowboys & Angels for 13 years and, these days, Lifeline’s head of commercial adventures, the store is planned to open on Tuesday, September 18.

Bustamante says the store – the precursor to an online presence – will be filled with vintage clothing sourced from across the globe, and will have an in-house seamstress.

“We hope to be unique in our offering to customers, but also unique in the fact that all proceeds go directly to our 131114 telephone crisis support service,” she says.

America calling

“CANBERRA, Australia – America loves you!” Alas, not the united affection of 311,591,917 North Americans, but the show-closing sentiment of Gerry Beckley, who with Dewey Bunnell, is a 42-year veteran of the soft-rock band America. And of course he loves us, we were giving the band a thunderous thank you at the end of a pretty slick 90-minute set by the five-man ensemble at the Canberra Theatre, ostensibly celebrating the 40th anniversary of the signature single “A Horse with No Name”.

“CC” was there for nostalgia, having first seen the Anglo-American band in Birmingham, UK, in 1975 when they were a trio at their peak. Age hasn’t wearied the band’s wonderful sense of melody but, oh, those cringing lyrics…

Coffee talk

HERE’S something to get the Pixie home espresso machine frothing… The Apple Store of coffee is coming to the Canberra Centre next month when Nespresso opens one of its sharp, smart, brown shops.

Blowdrying bliss

CRIMPERS at Fringe Hairdressing salon in Braddon are throwing everything at their unpaid, five-hour Blowdry Day on October 22. Last year the hairdryers blew up $1500 for breast cancer research. This year they’re shooting for $5000 with more than just hot air. They’re going to be doing hand massages and selling raffle tickets (first prize $1000 worth of hairdressing from Fringe). Tarsha O’Brien is holding her breath for bookings at 0405 143456.

Downie turns away

LEGENDARY “Canberra Times” reporter Graham Downie, steadfast scribbler of the religious, consumer affairs and transport rounds, has volunteered for the Fairfax staff cull and will, after 40 years with the paper, call it a day on October 5.
“CC’s” CT leaker says Downie’s been promised a big send off and that, after four decades, feels it’s like winning the lottery!

Here comes Texas

THE “southern barbecue” flavours of Texas are heading for, of all places, Bailey’s Corner. The latest venture of world-class chef Grant Kells, pictured, and business partner Ash Fanning, Smoque will open next month. 

“We’ve imported a Texas barbecue smoker”, says Fanning, explaining the name. Though “CC” couldn’t help but wonder if it was a tad tongue-in-cheek given Kells’ previous NewActon restaurant, Flint, burnt down last year after a fire started in a pizza oven.

“It’s slow food, fast,” she says, adding that dishes will start from $15.

Sauces and smoked meats will be sold online and “everything” is made onsite including the sauces and breads.

Doodles to dollars

2B Advertising creative director Tim Böhm has managed to turn doodles into dollars for Carers ACT. His inaugural Doodle Day, on August 10, raised more than $1000 from the scribblings of competitors asked to submit a doodle incorporating the day’s theme of “caring for others”.
All pictures were uploaded to as well as being on display in the Baileys Corner Arcade. Tim’s so chuffed by the response, he’s planning to keep it going as an annual charity fund-raising event. 

Croweaters rejoice

IN revitalising the Swinger Hill supermarket into an IGA X-Press, owner, Alex Northey has, among other product innovations, pandered to expat South Australians by stocking the exotic likes of Golden North icecream, Amgoorie tea, Menz biscuits, Woodroofe’s soft drinks, Arnott’s YoYos, Balfour’s pies and, of course, wines. But if you really want to make a croweater homesick, Alex, you need Haig’s chocolates in the line-up.

MEANWHILE, in faraway Spence there is doubtless dancing in the streets at the impending re-opening, after six months, of the local shopping centre’s supermarket. Salvation has come in the form of the community minded owners of the Chifley supermarket, who have refurbished the place and will roll up the shutters from September 29.

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