Canberra Confidential / When the llama snogged the snapper

Me and the llama… Andrew Finch’s kiss-and-tell selfie with Zumba.

Me and the llama… Andrew Finch’s kiss-and-tell selfie with Zumba.

HERE’S the ultimate selfie… snogging a male llama!

Our llama-sized snapper Andrew Finch found himself eye-to-eye with brunette Zumba’s big, coy eyelashes during an assignment in Bywong for this week’s open garden page.

Reporter Kathryn Vukovljak says Zumba nudged seven or so other curious llamas and alpacas out of the way and started sniffing the usually unflappable photographer.

“The kiss was a spontaneous gesture,” she worryingly reports, without saying who made the first move.

“Zumba kept on going in for a smooch and so Andrew took the selfie, not expecting it to turn out that well!”

Story goes off the rails

IN praising last week’s article by local historian Nichole Overall about how the collapse in 1922 of the Molonglo Rail Bridge scuppered the ambitions of getting the railway from Kingston and into Civic, reader Ron Boardman suggested a follow-up.

He’d heard that when the bridge was washed away a railway engine was trapped on the rail line on the north side of Canberra for a year or so before it was rescued by road.

No so, Ron.

“It appears it is one of those things I love so much, an urban myth!” says Nichole.

She writes that in 1964 former secretary of the Federal Capital Commission C.S. Daley wrote an article in “The Canberra Times” of a story passed around about an engine that had been inadvertently left behind – not straight after the flood, but during the piecemeal removal of the rails – “preventing it being run back to the main Queanbeyan line”.

“This is not true,” writes Daley, “but the story is probably related to a light 2ft. gauge constructional railway that we brought over from the abandoned Henderson Naval Base in WA and laid to connect the railway station with Parliament House, the brickworks and Civic Centre.

“There were three light engines for this service, and these had to be lifted, for transport elsewhere, on to railway trucks of the standard 4ft. 8in. gauge.” Another urban myth nailed.

Nuts are the duck’s?

Ducks Nuts logoTHE cheeky logo for the new Dickson bar and grill Ducks Nuts is grabbing some attention. CC, of course, is less troubled by the illustration than the missing possessive apostrophe that would ascribe ownership of the nuts to the duck.


Omar in the Big Apple

Omar Musa in New York.

Omar Musa in New York.

THAT’S local novelist Omar Musa at a bookshop in Brooklyn with the US edition of his acclaimed “Here Come the Dogs” novel. New York is the first stop of the US tour through New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle to promote the book.

Initially published by Penguin, the novel has been picked up by US publisher The New Press, whose graphic designers have changed the cover image of a bushfire to one suggesting hip-hop graffiti.

A review is due to come out in “The New Yorker” on March 14 and the day after, there’ll be a formal launch. But what, CC wonders, will American readers make of a novel about three young men hanging out in Canberra and Queanbeyan?

Don’s making history

MR “American Pie”, the veteran American singer Don McLean, has suddenly cancelled his Australian tour this month, including a night at Canberra Theatre slated for March 19.

The no-doubt disappointed promoters dolefully issued the statement from Don’s management that thanked them for freeing him up “in order to allow Don McLean and his family time to work at reuniting”.

Then this curious flourish: “This is an unprecedented moment in the family history.”

Don promises to resume the postponed tour at “exactly the same time” next year.

Michael’s Euro vision

HOW does hosting “the ultimate Eurovision viewing party” on Sunday, May 15, at the Arc Cinema, fit with the National Film and Sound Archive’s mission, we mused.

Stretching the bow a little, CEO Michael Loebenstein had the answer: ‘’The NFSA is the place where Australia’s television heritage lives on. Given that Eurovision is one of our nation’s most beloved television events, we’re proud to partner with SBS and the Embassy of Sweden to present this year’s Superfan Party.”

Anyway, it’s free and participants are urged to dress ABBA and be there for a night of trivia, prizes and music. Bookings can be made online.

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