Canberra CityNews December 13
WHO can resist our Christmas rap? We ask believers what they want from Santa, while disbeliever ROBERT MACKLIN says, tell the kids the truth. SONYA FLADUN rehearses a lighter-stocking strategy and there’s a heart-to-heart with one of those people addicted to adorning their houses with coloured lights. Festive reading at its best.
DECEMBER 13, 2012 Season ’s gree tin gs and be st wish es to all our reader s PARTY TIME! ROBERT MACKLIN 5 BIG Tell kids the truth! pages of social photos NICK JENSEN Celebrate the freedom to offend All I SONYA FLADUN Lighten the stockings with ‘strategic deprivation’ want for Christmas... CEDRIC BRYANT It’s time for trees Front teeth don’t loom large among Santa’s believers Light up your Christmas safely Putting up Christmas lights this festive season? Take a few minutes to do a quick safety check. Visit actewagl.com.au/safety to find out more. ActewAGL Distribution ABN 76 670 568 688. 2 CityNews December 13-19 christmas news Light work is labour of love, but why? WHAT makes someone spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours each year decorating their home with Christmas lights? LIBBY HILL meets one such someone... AT this time of year, hundreds of cars cruise Canberra’s suburban streets to look at the spectacular (and less spectacular) displays of festive decorations, but who are the people with the time, money and motivation to pull it all together? One house in Pearce is decked out with 15 Christmas trees, more than 100,000 lights and 1.5 km of electrical wiring. For the owner, 30-year-old public servant Chris Burritt, it’s the greatest source of joy. “Lots of people think I’m a nut or a crazy, but I have a passion for Christmas lights,” he says. For the past five years he’s been doing it, starting out with 15,000 lights and gradually building up each year. As a child, Chris travelled a lot, thanks to his father’s work, and spent Christmases in England and the US, where Christmas lights were big. “I attended seven different primary schools by the time I reached year 7,” he says, explaining that his travels have inspired him to recreate the Christmas scenes from his childhood. In his yard this year, there’s a full- length sleigh with nine reindeer, an igloo with Santa’s helpers in there and a nativity scene – and he’s built it all himself: “It’s my artistic side coming out. It allows me to be creative,” he says. For Chris, it’s like having a second job at this time of the year. After weeks of preparation, the lights go up from November 25 and he takes them down the day after Boxing Day. And after years of Christmases spent abroad, he’s very much committed to staying at home now. “It’s an unfortunate fact for the family that everything now revolves around the Christmas lights,” Chris laughs. In the week before Christmas, he dresses up as Santa and hands out candy canes to visitors. He says there are between 200 and 300 cars drive past each night in December. What must the neighbours think? “The neighbours enjoy it,” he insists, saying they often gather outside Chris’ house discussing ideas for the next year’s display. index / contacts Arts&Entertainment 16-17 Canberra Confidential 12 Cinema 16 Dining 17 Home 20 Garden 18-19 Letters 10 News 3-10 Puzzles 27 Social Scene 21-26 Sport 8 Cover: Jasmine James isn’t hanging out for front teeth this Christmas. Story Page 13. Photo by Silas Brown. Chris Burritt in his front garden in Pearce... “Lots of people think I’m a nut or a crazy, but I have a passion for Christmas lights.” Photo by Silas Brown “Last year I received a letter in the mail from a stranger, thanking me for putting the joy into Christmas,” he says. “There’s nothing better than sitting inside on the couch hearing people say: ‘Wow’. “I want to try to make it special, so you get an experience when you come.” See Chris Burritt’s efforts at 32 Blackburn Street, Pearce. This year the display is raising money for Make a Wish. Donate at everydayhero.com.au/ pearcelights2012 Since 1993: Volume 18, Number 47 Editor: Ian Meikle, email@example.com Journalists: Laura Edwards, firstname.lastname@example.org Libby Hill, email@example.com Kathryn Vukovljak, firstname.lastname@example.org Arts editor: Helen Musa, 0400 043764 Chief executive officer: Greg Jones email@example.com 0419 418196, firstname.lastname@example.org Design and photography: Senior advertising executive: Silas Brown, 0412 718086 Ernie Nichols, 0421 077999 Graphic designer: Leonie Fox Advertising sales executives: Contributing photographer: Andrew Finch Rebecca Darman 0411 225169 Sara Poguet, 0415 706758 Accounts manager: Bethany Freeman-Chandler Advertising sales co-ordinator: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Distribution and circulation: Sydney advertising sales: Richard Watson, email@example.com Ad Sales Connect, 02 9420 1777 Phone 6262 9100 Fax 6262 9111 GPO Box 2448, Canberra City 2601 www.citynews.com.au twitter.com/city_news facebook.com/canberracitynews Responsibility for election comment is taken by Ian Meikle, Level 1, 143 London Circuit, Canberra. CityNews December 13-19 3 news Parishioners open windows of opportunity By Laura Edwards GENEROUS parishioners have raised more than $30,000 in just over two weeks to restore collapsing windows at the heritage-listed St Paul’s Anglican church, Manuka. The Rev Brian Douglas says he is “overwhelmed” at the response from the community, after the eight amber glass and lead windows, made in 1939 when the first stage of the church was built, began to collapse about two weeks ago. “It’s old age, lead does not last forever, it gradually decomposes in the atmosphere and as it weakens there is the weight of the glass pushing down on it, so eventually it will fall out,” he says. “We knew we had to act quickly; there was a chance we could get heritage money, but we decided we’d launch an appeal immediately, be- Catherine Carter property Brian Douglas... “overwhelmed”. cause it was so urgent.” With support from the National Trust of Australia (ACT), the Parish Council launched an appeal for donations in November. Mr Douglas says the smallest individual donation was $5 and the largest $5000. “Parishioners are committed to the place and want to see it preserved,” he says. “Many people have celebrated important milestones of birth, relationship and death within the church.” The collapsing lead and glass windows. Photos by Silas Brown And this isn’t the first time parishioners have come together to help breathe new life into St Paul’s. Since 2009, $250,000 has been raised to restore the crumbling organ. Mr Douglas says he isn’t sure whether Christmas spurs on a little more generosity than usual. “I think that’s the way they always are, it’s an opportunity for parishioners and the wider community to become part of the future and history of St Paul’s,” he says. The windows, which sit on either side of the nave, will be restored in January. Rights and fighting the wrongs THE ACT has been a shining example, within the Australian context, when it comes to human rights and should be looking forward to a year where even more is achieved. Debates around human rights have been around for millennia. The “Cyrus the Great Cylinder” is kept today in the British Museum in London. It is the first charter of rights in the world and is written on a baked-clay cylinder in the Akkadian language using cuneiform script. On this cylinder the Persian king proclaimed freedom from slavery, equality of races and the freedom to practice religious beliefs. Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, recently put a motion before the Federal Labor caucus challenging the Prime Minister’s intention to vote against recognition of Palestine. The result reflected the ability of a thoughtful, academic approach to have significant sway over policy. There can be little doubt of the effort by the US and Israel in attempting to prevent Palestinian recognition and the pressure that must have been placed on our Prime Minister to toe the line. In the final analysis, with 138 countries supporting Palestine, the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to support recognition. This was in line with 4 CityNews December 13-19 Safe and sound despite the costs THIS is the season to be thinking of others. There is no more effective way of doing this than attempting to put ourselves in the shoes of those who are our enemies, who are worse off than we are or who would do us harm, says MICHAEL MOORE the motion that Leigh had proposed. Only nine countries opposed the vote while Australia took the compromise position of 40 other countries by abstaining. What Australia did – and what local member Andrew Leigh was pushing for – is the recognition that is necessary for the human rights of Palestinians to be respected. It is also critical that Palestinians recognise the human rights of Israelis – who since 1948 have had their own country. December 10 was the UN Day of Human Rights. This year the motto is “My voice counts” and the emphasis is on inclusion and the right to participate in public life. It is interesting and ironic that many Canberrans were so reluctant to take up this right when self-government was introduced into the ACT, while across the world many peoples were shedding blood to win the same rights. The UN states: “Everybody has the right to have their voice heard and to have a role in making the decisions that shape their communities. Each one of us should be able to choose those people who will represent us in all governance institutions, to stand for public office, and to vote on the fundamental questions that shape our individual and collective destinies”. The ACT was the first government in Australia to adopt human rights legislation. The focus has, rightly, been on the local community and in particular on the least powerful in our society who are most vulnerable to the abuse of their human rights. There is more that can be done. However, proposals to extend human rights legislation need to be looked at with great care. The danger of moving too fast is that a backlash could undermine what has already been achieved. But it is important in the next few years to look beyond what is happening in our local community and, where possible, use our influence to provide the opportunity for others to reach their potential, to exercise their rights. Michael Moore was an independent member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (1989 to 2001) and was minister for health. ACCORDING to the Australian City Liveability Index survey, 69 per cent of us feel that Canberra is “a safe place for people and their property” (the highest proportion in Australia) while 71 per cent consider we have “good educational facilities and healthcare services” (equal highest proportion with Melbourne). Despite this, Canberra still has the most expensive rental costs and household contents and services, and only 42 per cent of us feel that our city provides “quality affordable housing”. This is perhaps not surprising in a city which also has the highest land price per square metre (with the smallest average block sizes) and where rental vacancy rates are less than one per cent. The “State of Australian Cities Report 2012” notes an increasing national trend of longer commutes as workforces move away from manufacturing on the city fringes and into the “knowledge” industries in the city centres. This trend highlights the need for improved urban density policies to create more liveable and productive cities. Interestingly, Canberra appears to have led the change to higher density housing in 2011 with the highest proportion of attached dwellings in building approvals (approaching 70 per cent). However, our public transport strategies need to catch up with this move towards a denser capital; 81 per cent of Canberrans are still using their cars to get to work. On a final positive note, Canberra has the highest percentage of workforce participation (at 72 per cent). And when we’re not working, we are helping others – more than 20 per cent of us aged over 15 years volunteer with a group or organisation making us the “volunteering capital of Australia”. Not a bad wrap for the Capital. Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia news How abused Margaret found her voice Shunned by the church and her family for speaking out about her twin brother’s pedophilia, Margaret Harrod’s only regret is that she didn’t find her voice sooner. LAURA EDWARDS reports MARGARET Harrod was silent when she was sexually abused by the people in her life she trusted most. But when she saw her twin brother, a Salesian priest at the time, inappropriately touching a child, she couldn’t stay silent any longer. Her long journey to a role in advocacy had begun and last month she was nominated for a Lifeline Women with Spirit award. Growing up in Sydney, Margaret came from a “deeply religious” family. Sexually abused by her father from the age of two, Margaret joined a Salesian convent to become a nun in her early 20s, at the time thinking it was a calling from God. “But really it was an escape from my father,” she says. While there, she confided in a priest she trusted about her father’s abuse. “That same priest used that trust to sexually abuse me, over a period of three months,” she says. “There were two priests who abused me, one when I was 16 before I went to the convent, but I kept them both a secret, I shut it off.” Margaret left the convent soon after and began a long journey of healing, starting with bravely confronting her father, who admitted his guilt but argued it was a “way of expressing his love.” She moved to Canberra in 1989 with her husband Rod and their two children, where she taught in Catholic schools for more than 20 years. “Being Catholic was still very much part of my life then, but eventually I felt I had no option but to leave teaching because it was this daily conflict where I was supposed to be upholding the faith and I’ve got all this dilemma inside of me.” And in 2004, the dark past Margaret had been repressing for so many years finally surfaced in a breakdown. “That was when I finally told everyone about the abuse by the priests, and what I had suspected about my brother in the last few years, I couldn’t hide it Margaret Harrod... “I’m in a really good space where I’ve learnt the skills and strategies to nurture myself, look after myself, and feel at peace with what I’ve done.” any longer,” she says. Photo by Silas Brown Margaret approached the church authorities about her brother in 2005, but instead received threats. pertswood College, Sunbury during ever taken, and she says one priest is After widespread media attention, the 1980s. still working in churches. her brother Michael was investigated Margaret eventually approached “With all the parliamentary inquirand jailed for six months last year authorities about her own abuse by ies going on in the Catholic church now, for sex offences on students at Ru- the two priests, but no legal action was I hope victims of sexual abuse will have the courage to ask for help, because it is a sign of strength,” she says. “The more it’s talked about, the more it’s in the media, the more people are prepared to stand up and say ‘this isn’t right’.” Margaret says she now lives a “wonderful life”, working as a crisis supporter and advocate for sexual assault at Lifeline, and running her own consulting business, where she works as a life coach, specialising in “empowering” women with sexual-abuse trauma. Though no longer religious, Margaret says she is “more spiritual than ever.” “I feel the most vibrant and energetic that I’ve ever felt, I’m in a really good space where I’ve learnt the skills and strategies to nurture myself, look after myself, and feel at peace with what I’ve done,” she says. “It was a long process, I had to do so much healing myself, a lot of recovery. But now I feel that this is the reason I survived my sexual abuse, my life, to make a difference to others. “I figure if my having a voice is going to encourage and give hope to another victim, to actually speak up, that’s what I am going to do. “For too many years, I was made to keep quiet. And I’m not prepared to do that again.” CityNews December 13-19 7 Sporting Confidential with Tim Gavel The changing landscape THE sporting landscape in Canberra next year is going to be something like we have never experienced before and it could have a telling impact in years to come. It is not just the plethora of major sport as part of the Centenary celebrations, but there are significant changes afoot at the Australian Institute of Sport. And there is the anticipation of the Brumbies, the Raiders, Canberra United, the Capitals and the Cavalry all doing well. The AIS changes could have a dramatic impact with national sporting organisations taking control of their sports. This means sports such as swimming, basketball and soccer will need to decide whether they will continue with their residential programs at the AIS. Hard going in mixed seasons CANBERRA United and the Capitals have had mixed seasons so far. After going through last season undefeated, United is finding the going tough this season, the loss of goalkeeper Lydia Williams has been a telling blow. There is also the possibility that the team could be looking for a new coach after this season, with the search on for a replacement for national coach Tom Sermanni. Lauren Jackson is yet to make an appearance for the Capitals and there is the strong possibility that we may not see her on the court until next year as she battles injury. Without Jackson it has been hard going for the Capitals; with her on the court they are a totally different team. Raiders need a strong start THE Raiders don’t want to go through what they went through this year with a slow start, injuries and speculation about coach David Furner. The side scrambled into the finals, but it could have been easier if they had won a few games earlier in the season. The Raiders need Terry Campese fit and it’s obvious their start to the season needs to be far better. If I was going to make a prediction about a player, Anthony Milford is definitely one to watch, but Jack Wighton showed glimpses of what he is capable of and could be one of the stars next season. New recruit boosts Brumbies THE Brumbies have been bolstered by the recruitment of David Pocock but they need Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano on the field. When the Brumbies lost their playmakers last season it was telling. The return of Clyde Rathbone is an added attraction; he says he has never felt fitter. From what I have seen at pre-season under Dean Benton, the side will again be one of the fittest. The game against the British and Irish Lions will be an added attraction for supporters. Sport right to script ORGANISERS of the sporting events for the Centenary celebrations couldn’t have scripted next year any better. For years, I have been saying that if you want people in Canberra to come to sport you have to make it into an event, there needs to be something extra, not simply “here’s the event, buy your tickets”. The Australian Ladies Golf Open in February at Royal Canberra will be part of the LPGA circuit, which means the world’s top players have a reason to come to Australia to play in the open. The Prime Minister’s XI game 8 CityNews December 13-19 has been elevated with the selection of Ricky Ponting as skipper with Brad Haddin keen to play. The game will be the first under lights at Manuka, and then eight days later, Australia plays the West Indies at the ground. The Australian netball side will play NZ for the first time in Canberra. The Australian Rugby League team will play the Kiwis for the first time in Canberra. If the events are supported, the chances are they will be back, if they are not well attended it could be years before we see such major events in Canberra. CityNews December 13-19 9 letters I’m with Robyn, be proud ROBYN Archer’s plea to journalists was an appropriate response to the continual bagging of the nation’s capital (“Tell Robyn she’s dreamin’”, Mark Parton, CN, December 6). I agree with her that this bagging does undermine our symbol of democracy. I’m an average Canberran who thinks that by the time we turn 100 we should be adult enough to accept that Canberra is a place of which to be proud. Allowing bullies to continue to harass us is not a good game plan in recognising Canberra as a symbol of a country that was able to federate without a war. It is the job of journalists to report on what they see, or as someone once said, not write crap. I think Robyn was pleading with the journalists to write the truth about Canberra. Mark, who I love and adore, is right: Canberra is indeed cold in winter. But oh, it is glorious – the frosts and then the clear, blue skies are a sight to behold. The cyclists on the road remind me of the hardy spirits of our residents, past and present: that they would ride to work in the freezing cold of winter, and the stinking heat in summer is a testament to them. And the colours of autumn and spring – they are stunning! Yes, we do have a few hot days in summer, but it’s a great time of the year when we can all get out and enjoy the many delights that comprise our nation’s capital. This includes the national icons, but also other very accessible venues such as walking and bike tracks, wineries, cafes, amateur and professional theatre to name a few. I want all Australians to share the spirit of democracy that Canberra represents and celebrate our Centenary with us. I’m thrilled that Robyn Archer is asking journalists and others to not write crap. Oh, and I love all journalists, too. Just not those who bag my home city! 10 CityNews December 13-19 Anne Cahill Lambert AM, Lyneham For the benefit of local taxpayers FOR the benefit of taxpayers, may I remark on the letter from John Didlick (letters, CN, November 29) about so-called benefits of providing needles in jails. Prisons in Spain and Portugal are often quoted to support the drug liberalisation view. However, such data is contradicted by the European Monitoring Centre for Drug and Drug Addictions, November 2010, which reported: “The highest HIV/AIDS mortality rates among drug users are reported for Portugal, followed by Spain, Latvia and Italy; in most other countries the rates are low.” Following a comprehensive literature review in 2006, the prestigious US Institute of Medicine concluded authoritatively: “Multiple studies show that needle and syringe programs do not reduce transmission of HCV (Hepatitis C)”. If this was not enough, Geoffrey Farrell, professor of hepatic medicine has said: “Injection of contaminated blood by drug users is now virtually the only means of acquiring the virus [Hep C ]” (“Canberra Times”, February 8). Prisoners in the AMC cost Canberrans $700 a day (“Canberra Times”, July 27). Just three weeks at this rate would more than cover the cost of a naltrexone implant at Dr O’Neil’s successful Fresh Start program in Perth – already partly funded by WA Labor and Liberal governments – with NSW due to pursue its own implant program in 2013. Colliss Parrett, Barton The fat, spoilt nephew THANKS, Robert [Macklin, “Our poor relations”, CN, November 26], given Canberrans hold poll position with highest average income and contribute “What was that?” to GDP, what angle are you promoting? Is it the fat, spoilt nephew with a silver spoon? Stephen Strahan, Bruce CityNews December 13-19 11 Canberra Confidential The birch, minister? AT the unveiling of public art, the plaque is rarely the centre of attention. This time it was, though, when Arts Minister Joy Burch launched “The Other Side of Midnight” in City Walk. Unfortunately, the plaque read: “Launched on 4 December 2012 by Joy Birch, Minister for the Arts.” Needless to say, the plaque didn’t make the other side of midnight. “CC” hears distracted arts poobah David Whitney was elsewhere and this howler went unnoticed all the way to the foot of the artwork. Joy took it all in good humour. Xmas biffo, anyone? KNOCKING the office Christmas party into a cocked hat is the prospect of Australia’s “most exciting mixed martial arts event”, coming to the Convention Centre on December 21. These mistletoe munchers do biffo in a cage and the fight card includes local public servant Andrew Machin, a 5-1 underdog, facing slugger Felise Leniu for the heavyweight title. Unrestrained promoter Kya Pate said: “This show is full of explosive, in-your-face, stand-and-slug ﬁghters. Big knockouts, big slams and tight submissions are going to take us all to the brink of existence.” If big slams and tight submissions are your idea of a Friday night out, get up close to the action with a VIP, catered, cage-side table. Tell ticketek. com.au we sent you. leadership”. Yon Jeremy has a lean and hungry look perhaps? 2. A CHALKIE tells us that a Canberra high school teacher had to ‘fess up recently that her dog had eaten a student’s homework. 3. AT the end of a local kindergarten orientation interview, when the teacher asked if there was anything the parents would like her to know about their child, the mother said: “Yes, I don’t want my child drinking bottled water.” The teacher explained that children generally brought their own bottles from home and it could be filled with tap water, tank water, whatever. “Good,” said mum, “because I don’t want my child to be bisexual!” Apparently, she believes there’s a link with the plastic used in bottled water and bisexuality. We’re googling the research on that one right now. names sound the same,” he says. “There’s no turf war here... we just want to make sure people are donating to what they think they are.” And to do just that, visit snowyhydrosouthcare. com.au. Ron leaves the chair RON Cahill, long-serving former ACT Chief Magistrate and AFL tragic, has accepted the judgment of his family, who wants to see more of him, and retired after 18 years as founding chairman of the independent charity ACT Association for Advancing Disabled Sport and Recreation. Lovable lobbyist and ClubsACT CEO Jeff House has taken the chair of the group, Cahill. created by Don Allan, that grants help to people with a disability to improve their sporting and recreational skills. Noteworthy fun WHILE the ANU takes an economic chainsaw to its School of Music, the Regional School of Music in cherry heaven, Young, is much cherished. It is located in the waggishly titled Noteworthy House; noteworthy, of course, for the wonderful keyboard roof. 4. HERE’S a brave man taking his Zimmer for a chicken-run spin along the bike lane on Northbourne Avenue. A reader sent us the photo with a note saying that it highlights the need to regulate bike lanes. We say, go grandad! Don’t mention the war Curse of Centrepoint Solutions to puzzles on Page 27. E S R G P O U B I L I C A B M Y S A S F A L I L A N K A O T V R P O I S E P T R C Y C L E A E M A P S U L E K A R C R I A D O M L A R H O R E N U M B E R O R A N D A L A S A C H E A O B B C H I N E E Y H I V E S F A G E S S E R T Crossword No.390 Sudoku med No.95 12 CityNews December 13-19 Kids’ vids winners WINNERS of the CityNews “Great Kids’ Vids Giveaway” are: Kate Gunn, of Watson; Samantha Henry, Griffith; Peter Frost, Murrumbateman; Imogen Baggoley, Narrabundah and Rebecca McDonell, Harrison. AFTER just a few months, the Landmark Cafe in the near-deserted Centrepoint joined the long list of businesses that have closed in that location. “CC” isn’t sure whether it was the dark windows, odd counter design or simply the ill-fated location that saw the eatery off. Makes you go hmmm... 1. LIBERAL voters of Molongolo will feel vindicated by second-term MLA Jeremy Hanson’s latest Linked-In update, in which he bravely adds “politics” to his skills. He also adds “team SEEMS the battle for the charity dollar continues between Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter and CareFlight medical service – just don’t call it a “turf war”. SouthCare has alleged CareFlight’s telemarketers continue to solicit donations in the ACT, wrongly suggesting a donation to CareFlight, based in NSW, will also benefit the locally based Snowy Hydro Marshall. SouthCare Rescue Helicopter. SouthCare’s fund chairman David Marshall was being mighty polite when he spoke to “CC”, saying it’s all a bit of “confusion”. “We’ve spoken to Careflight about this and told them to educate their telemarketers, as most of them are external and may get confused as the Ziggy played guitar WHILE he could draw a crowd with his electric guitar, not everyone was impressed with the little kid busking in Garema Place recently. Upstairs from his spot was beauty salon Elegance and one of its beauty therapists claimed the tacker’s talents were disturbing the bliss of clients trying to enjoy a massage. As much as they cranked up their sounds of waterfalls and birds, the salon couldn’t drown out the heavy metal licks down below. So this is Christmas Trust and tell kids the truth A couple of weeks from now, Robert Macklin loving parents among our the gadfly readers will tuck their little children into bed. And just pillow slip. Then they crept away like before they turn out the light, thieves in the night. I stared into the darkness. The they’ll say: “Go to sleep now people I loved and trusted most had and sometime in the night – lied to me. Santa Claus, and my being if you’ve been good – Santa good to deserve the presents, was a lie. It was so shocking that I couldn’t will come. And when you bring myself to mention it to them. wake up in the morning he A few years later at Sunday School, will have left you presents in it was the same thing all over. When I graduated to the age of reason I your stocking.” “You mean pillow case.” “Yes, stockings only happened when I was little.” “In the olden days.” “Right. Okay, ‘night, ‘night’.” And the loving parents will gently close the door with a warm feeling of vicarious anticipation on behalf of their babes. I do hope they will find it in their hearts to resist. For that scene, or something very like it, occurred to me as a child and it came roaring out of an anguished memory bank last week in a television studio. I had been invited by the ABC to be interviewed by John Barron (best known for his “Planet America” series) on their News 24 “One Plus One” program, a series of 15-minute profiles. And his first question was: “How did you become a journalist and a writer?” Suddenly, I was back in my bed on our Brisbane sleepout as a four or five-year-old, awakened in the middle of the night by shuffling at the end of my bed. “Santa Claus!” I hardy dared breathe. But no, there were two figures; and in the moonlight through the louvers their identity was unmistakable. I didn’t move a muscle as they filled the suddenly realised that all that stuff about miracles and raising people from the dead and heavenly hosts was simply ludicrous. Adults had lied to me. Again. It was simply devastating. But along with the fierce sense of disillusion, came an overwhelming, insatiable curiosity, a desperate desire to discover the truth behind every aspect of our world and its wonders. And then to tell of my discoveries in stories people might like to read. Journalism provided the pathway, first to discovery then to the foundations of the storyteller’s art. Twenty-two books and uncountable journalistic articles later I’m still angry, still amazed by the cavalier manner in which we exert our power over little children; the way we instil nameless fears that haunt them through their lives. So, unless you want your boys and girls to grow up to be (perish the thought) journalists or even authors, please don’t play Santa this year. Respect their dependence on you and the values you impart. Give them their presents face to face, not because they’ve “been good”, but simply because you love them. And the most precious one, of course, is trust. firstname.lastname@example.org Cedric Bryant It’s tree time again “One o f the th ings wo uld be a p ool. I’d play in it an d swim in it all summe r.” Jade Talle do, Year 1 “A doll that has the so hone “An iP play I can on it.” games Tui Goerg ivskie, Ye body of an animal and the face of a doll.” Orliyah Klein, Year 2 ar 2 cover story COVER girl Jasmine James isn’t hanging out for front teeth this Christmas. She’s more interested in getting a dolls’ house from Father Christmas on December 25. All I want for Christmas... Keen to know what some of the sought-after items for 2012 are, “CityNews” elves LIBBY HILL and snapper SILAS BROWN visited “I wou ld like a dolls’ Lots o f my ot her friends have re ally tall ones a nd they’ re so fu n.” house. Jasmine Ja mes, Year a go to f you era. I n a “A cam c ou ntry y nt cou u o differe y os so f phot lots o e k e a t lac .” that p ember m e r can 1 ate, Year Felix Holg 1 Giralang Primary School and asked a handful of seven and eight-year-old believers: What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas? “A skateboard. I’m kind of good at riding them.” Muzn Abbas, Year 2 “I wan t some more S ylvania got 22 ns. I’v , but I e ’ve only got on comple e family te. I’d like to get all if I co of them uld. Som ething I’d rea lly like is the S ycamore Cottag e.” Isobel He mming, Y e ar 1 CityNews December 13-19 13 14 CityNews December 13-19 So this is Christmas Tis the season to be ‘strategically depriving’ the kids! “WHY do you do it to yourself,” a friend without children asked me the other day. He was referring to the horror I put myself through each year trying to give my children “the best Christmas ever”. Last year, there was a desperate Christmas Eve hunt through a dozen shops trying to find the latest and greatest computer game, Zhu Zhu pet hamsters, a robotic dog that swims, a particular Lego limited edition Sonya Fladun mum in the city construction kit, and a sea monster doll that came with her own resuscitation/hydration chamber. But going back to my friend’s question, the answer at least to me and probably to most parents is pretty simple: we want our children to have a Christmas they will always remember. We love to see their faces light up and hear the squeals of delight when they unwrap their presents. The challenge is to manage expectations and budgets. There is a risk of annual Christmas inflation, as the extraordinary array of presents the kids scored from Santa last year becomes the new baseline against which this Christmas is judged. We’ve certainly fallen into this trap. When sorting through my six-year-old daughter’s chaotic room (aka the black hole of Calcutta) a few weeks ago, I found a still-packaged Zhu Zhu pet from last Christmas along with assorted other gifts once or twice played with before being discarded and forgotten. My 10-year-old boy is a bit better. He tends to treasure his possessions, especially an impressive array of Lego constructions, and where he was once the worst nagger for this or that toy, he has steadily broadened his interests and is now much more engaged with sport and playing outside with his mates. Through this year we’ve also engaged in what some “experts” call “strategic deprivation” as far as toys and other new acquisitions are concerned. We’ve gently wound back on new possessions, toys and other impedimenta, and encouraged our children to engage in a lot more physical activity. With a busy weekly round of gymnastics, acrobatics, swimming, ice skating, school and homework, both are as happy as larks Celebrate the freedom to offend NICK JENSEN says freedom of expression, religion and speech are worth celebrating this Christmas THERE are times when I am glad I don’t live in the great US of A. Especially in the lead up to Christmas where, in the US, knives are sharpened, strategies planned and battlelines are drawn between the Christians and Secularists. Mostly the fights are legal stoushes over the placement of Christmas nativity scenes on public land, but they also include which carols are sung in schools, what prayers are said at which events and, of course, the fearsome lobbying over whether a department store uses “Merry Christmas” or the less offensive “Happy Holidays”. Therefore, it is nice to be in Australia where only the occasional summer Christmas bee flies into someone’s bonnet. Instead of dragging each other into court over different beliefs and expressions of those beliefs, we seem more content to allow religious imagery and messages in the public sphere, within reason of course. Christmas is one of the only national times we truly have anymore that helps us not only to focus on relationships, love and generosity, but also invites us to reflect on the big questions of meaning in our lives. In reality though, perhaps it is just too hot to really cause a fuss about people wanting to celebrate their faith and culture. There is one area where we have to be careful to avoid slipping into the adversarial US Christmas model though, and that is laws around “offence”. Every now and then a politician, journalist or lawyer seeks to test out the idea that there should be limits on freedom of speech and religion if they could be seen to “offend” an individual or group. An example of this dose of dorin and usually too tired to make new demands for this or that thing they’ve seen on TV. They also know that part of their Christmas package is holiday figure skating lessons (which is a pretty good thing for parents to watch on a hot day) and that, as a consequence, there won’t be quite as much around the Christmas tree. That isn’t to say there won’t still be a last-minute Christmas Eve rush, and that we won’t still over indulge them a bit. But hopefully this year we’ll manage to get the balance right. We’re aiming for a happy and stress-free Christmas. And that will be something to remember! Merry, but not for the waistline IT’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can be less than wonderful for the waistline. is Christmas in Belgium where they have replaced the capital Christmas tree with an art sculpture to avoid offence. Comedian Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr. Bean) points out that humour would be severely affected if we were no longer allowed to offend people’s beliefs, and goes on to say: “The freedom to criticise ideas is one of the fundamental freedoms of society”. Freedom of expression, religion and speech are the backbone to what has made Australia such an accepting place. The free exchange of ideas, however daft or hurtful they may appear to others, is critical if our society is to flourish. So this Christmas hug a pine tree, visit a church, or better yet watch Mr. Bean’s Christmas special when he plays with the nativity scene, but also remember that debate and the risk of offence can lead to truth, something well worth celebrating this Christmas. Nick Jensen is a director of the ACT Australian Christian Lobby The National Heart Foundation of Australia has put together its top five tips to help you enjoy a healthier Christmas break this year. 1. Enjoy Christmas Day – just don’t turn it into Christmas Month. We all tend to overindulge a bit on Christmas Day so don’t beat yourself up, enjoy the festivities and focus on making healthier choices on the other 364 days of the year. 2. Get into active habits while the weather is good. It’s easier to get out of bed while it’s light and a bit warmer so start your active routine now and head into 2013 having already developed a healthier habit. 3. Make the most of delicious seasonal fruit. A wonderful selection of fruit is in season during December making for delicious desserts that are also easy and quick to prepare. 4. Set yourself the goal of not gaining weight over the Christmas period. Given the amount of temptations most of us are faced with during December, this is a practical and achievable goal if you’re trying to reach a healthy weight. 5. Give or ask for healthier Christmas presents. The Heart Foundation can help you find healthier gift ideas including deliciously healthy cookbooks at www.heartfoundation.org.au/shop CityNews December 13-19 15 Christmas arts & entertainment Heide keeps a sharp eye on Canberra ON Christmas Day this year, Helen Musa photographer Heide Smith reports will mark her 75th birthday. As if that weren’t cause enough Trained as a photographer in her native Germany, she met Brian, “a for celebration, on January Sandhurst boy”, there on duty, through 18 it will be 50 years since she one of her photographic clients. Soon married her former British Army married, they moved here to “make a new start”. officer husband, Brian. And recently she brought out her photographic tribute to Canberra, “A Portrait of Canberra and of Canberrans, 1979-2012”. Though the Smiths have been living down at the coast for some years, she is still without doubt the most-loved photographer in town, as the attendance crowd for Robyn Archer’s launch of the book proved. “Motor mechanics Tony & Tony” 1987. “Canberra will be 100, but I’ve lived in Canberra for one third of that time,” she tells “CityNews”. It was with that in mind that she decided to make her contribution to the centenary through the new book. “I have a big cache of photos so I tried to imagine what would be interesting to people,” she says. Canberra is, to her, a supremely photogenic place. “Canberra is not cluttered, Canberra is close to nature, the air is not polluted, there are clear skies most of the time, it’s close to the bush... that’s what “appeals to me, coming from another country”. As well, contrary to its reputation, she has found the national capital full of fascinating and genuinely important people, “international people, politicians”. She describes herself as “really grateful for having met all the people,” but in selecting photographs, “you have to draw a line somewhere.” Her portraits may be legendary, but they involve compromise. Evocative concert of mystery music “Celestial Harmonies” SCUNA At the Presbyterian Church of St Andrew, Forrest, December 8. Reviewed by Clinton White Dr Geoffrey Lancaster, 2009... played the mad musician for his photo. “We are all vain, it’s not often that people don’t care, they all want to look good, important or whatever, and don’t forget, if you do it as a commission, the first thing you have to do is please the client,” she says. Dr Michael Gore, founder of Questacon, got dressed up as Galileo for his photo and fortepianist Dr Geoffrey Lancaster, played the mad musician for his photo. And has she ever photographed herself? Well, there’s a problem. “I’m just as vain as everyone else,” she concludes. “A Portrait of Canberra and of Canberrans, 1979-2012”, online purchase at www. heidesmith.com SCUNA’s concert, under the direction of Andrew Koll, was evocative, mysterious and ethereal. In the cavernous space of St Andrew’s, the choir’s polyphonic voices were angelic and expressive – almost trance-like. Of particular interest were the three settings of “O Magnum Mysterium”, two from the late Renaissance and one from the 20th century. The best was the latter, by Morten Lauridsen, developing a beautiful sense of introspection and reflection. The major offering was seven movements from Rachmaninoff’s “All-Night Vigil”, also known as “Vespers”. The Russian themes are unmistakable, especially those rumbling basso profundo notes, which the men delivered perfectly. The soloist, Sarahlouise Owens, sang ably in soprano and alto registers, in confident control of her quite strong soprano voice. The accompanist, Anthony Smith, played two solo pieces by Rachmaninoff – a prelude and an etude, both difficult works. His assured and expressive playing drew well-deserved enthusiastic applause. Another instrumentalist, clarinetist Hannah Freedman-Smith Owens, was featured with Smith and Owens in a song by Schubert. They gave his trademark lyricism a lovely interpretation. Opera tickets going for a song Helen Musa Christmas arts in the city WE need hardly tell readers that arty gifts are the best kind. We’ve heard of a few good ones this year: OPERA Australia, for instance, is offering $60 tickets to its 2013 season through Youth Subscription packages, with the option to choose up to six operas at the fixed price of $60 a ticket in any seating area – the standard cost is $105-$280. Among the choices are “La Boheme”, “The Masked Ball”, “Orpheus in the Underworld” and “Tosca”. You’ll need to send a photocopy, photo or scan of your ID when booking at www.opera-australia.org.au Taryn Fiebig as Musetta in “La Boheme”... Opera Australia’s youth subscription prices start at $60. Photo by Jeff Busby CANBERRA Glassworks, in Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, describes its Christmas array of goodies as “an inspiring and fun way to do your Christmas shopping”. While glass can be expensive, this year you can pick up Christmas stars for the tree EVERY year I urge readers to stock from as little as $12. If you just can’t up on original ceramic gifts by the decide, gift vouchers are available Watson Arts Centre’s professionals for products, glass experiences and and semi-professionals. Prices start classes. at below $10. The Christmas Gift Fair is at Aspinall Street, Watson until THE Folio Society has been December 24, Thursday to Sunday producing beautiful illustrated 10am – 4pm and December 24, editions of the world’s greatest 10am-2pm. books since 1947. Its choice of 16 CityNews December 13-19 beautifully designed, elegantly typeset and ultimately collectable books for Christmas can be ordered from foliosociety.com or by phone on 02 9756 5951. CONTEMPORARY designer and former Canberran, Alexandra Freeman, of Polka Luka jewellery, has emailed about her 2012-13 collection of resin jewellery, “Metropolis”, inspired by the energy and creativity of the urban environment. It’s now available to view and order at polkaluka.com.au THAT livewire of Queanbeyan culture, Ros Hales, so we hear, has negotiated a short-term deal with the owners of a space in Monaro Street, Queanbeyan, opposite Riverside Plaza next to the tattoo parlour, for an artistic hub. First up will be a show by ex-journo and painter Neil Lade, running until the end of the year. Hales will also exhibit her own unique cushions and doorstops. arts & entertainment When Ha Ha meets ho ho Wendy Johnson dining WHEN we walked into Ha Ha Bar, we thought: “Fantastic”. The lounge area looked like a cruisey place to hang out, the contemporary fitout pleasing and the outdoor deck areas, with views of Lake Ginninderra, picturesque. It was our first visit, but we had heard a lot about this buzzy Belconnen bar. We chose to sit outside on one of the two main deck areas, near the water. I’m going to put something on the table right now. There was a big Christmas party at Ha Ha Bar that Saturday afternoon. Great to see, except it became apparent that serving this boisterous crowd was numero uno priority for staff. Eventually, we received food menus, but had to ask – and wait – for a wine list. We liked the all-day brunch options, including the Moorish eggs ($15), braised beans with fried eggs in a baked tortilla shell, and the Italian sausage with lentils, garlic mash potato and red wine jus ($15). However, we were there for lunch and wondered about the daily specials. We found our waiter (again) who announced quail was the special. “How is it cooked?,” we asked. “Fried.” “Any other specials?” “Surf and turf.” And with that, our waiter, who we thought looked stressed, disappeared. My friend loves quail and so went to read the specials board herself. Yumbo – crispy Cajun fried and deboned quail served with vodka and lychee Sticky chicken wings. Proscuitto wrapped prawns. Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo ricotta and basil. Crispy skin duck. mayo and micro herb salad ($17 for entrée). I decided on the pale-ale battered fish and chips ($18). The café kindly moved us inside when it started raining and that was when the waiting game really began. After finishing our first glass of Bourke Street chardonnay (only $7 a glass) we ordered a second and became fascinated with the lonely dish sitting under the heat lamp. I’d bet it was one of ours and was right. That dish was the quail (only partially deboned), which was no longer crispy. The poor micro herbs (a garnish not a salad) had sadly passed away. It was a shame since the flavours Photos by Silas Brown. were delightfully delicate. My piping hot fish and chips came with a crisp salad, light dressing and decent chips. I shared with my friend so she wouldn’t starve. We pointed out that the dish had been sitting under the lamp for too long and were told we wouldn’t be charged for our second glasses of wine. We would have returned the quail, but we were over the experience by then. When I went to pay, I noted we were overcharged and I waited while the bill was corrected. Ha Ha’s website says it’s the “perfect sanctuary to mingle over a long lunch”. Look, I know it’s Christmas and it’s busy, but is that really the ultimate excuse? Less-than-perfect, discordant ‘Pitch’ “Pitch Perfect” (M) KAY Cannon’s screenplay lets down this on-campus chick flick in several ways, notably its treatment of university life. And director Jason Moore lets it pass unchallenged when demanding a tighter script might have enhanced the film’s impact. At Barden U, the Bellas, the women’s a cappella choral group, has failed to win the state championship. Freshman Beca (Anna Kendrick) takes little persuasion to join them. Aubrey (Anna Camp) rules the Bellas with an iron hand. None of the chicks, not even Fat Amy (bigly-built Rebel Wilson) from Tasmania has the courage to confront her. Singing and choreography sustain the film better than the rest of it deserves. But the cultural pitch of the songs the groups perform is not perfect. Without Wilson’s contribution, delivering sharp one-liners with panache, “Pitch Perfect” would struggle to find validity. Satirising the craft of her trade, Elizabeth Banks as a TV commentator delivers platitudes about competitions with agreeably annoying style. The young men singing for Barden U are jocks of the most fatuous kind. But they do sound good. Done well, a capella is a delightful musical genre, a disciplined sound that invites the listener to overlook the absence of instrumental support. Whether any creative activity deserves a competitive face is hard to justify. At the peak of their careers, the Swingle Singers delivered delectable a capella that might have delighted composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Dougal Macdonald the rest of its kind. If you must watch it, you may safely leave your brain at home. At Dendy others. When we are not hearing singing, “Pitch Perfect” doesn’t persuade us of its worth. At all cinemas “Love Story” (M) cinema GERMAN-born Florian Habicht grew up and attended film school in NZ where his personal film-making style developed. “The Man with the Iron Fists” (MA) At the recent Canberra International Film Festival, “Love Story” scored about 3½ stars out IN his multiple functions as director, co-writer of five. That’s not bad for a small film produced and lead actor in this ornate, violent actioner without a screenplay. Florian filmed ordinary New played out in a remote Chinese village late in the York folk saying how they thought his film might 19th century, Robert Diggs calls himself RZA. answer his questions. He plays a blacksmith concerned for his Florian wished to find then woo the lovely neighbours as bandit factions surround the vilRussian woman Masha Yakuvenko whom he saw lage where a chest of gold tribute awaits delivery walking down a footpath carrying a slice of cake to the emperor in the capital. This situation is on a plate. dramatically simple. What can be done to give The best word describing Florian and his film is the film complexity and bite? “idiosyncratic”. The unstructured interviews don’t The answer is Russell Crowe playing Jack Knife, always give him cogent answers but he soldiers a British soldier of fortune who, on arriving, heads on, seldom taking off his brown felt hat. Florian straight to the up-market brothel where his frequently calls his father Frank on Skype seeking friend Madame Blossom (Lucy Liu) and her girls advice about dealing with elements of his film. await the arrival of all those hairy sweaty randy His relationship with Masha develops without clients. What’s more important for those bravos? haste and when they finally make love, it is she Stealing the gold or getting their rocks off? who seems to take the initiative. The sequence in The film tries to have an each way bet through which Masha pours cereal into the concavity in full-on violence, augmented by special visual Florian’s chest, adds milk and proceeds to have effects, blood, destruction and death, uncombreakfast has a surreal quality that Dali might plicated by either intellect or morality. By the have liked. The pair have no place for ongoing time the emperor’s troops arrive, the brothel is a domesticity, but while they’re with each other, body-strewn wreck. it’s a comfortable friendship in a film with heart Death’s choreography is impressive. “The Man and humour. with the Iron Fists” is no better or worse than At Dendy CityNews December 13-19 17 Christmas garden Fir sure, it’s tree time again Cedric Bryant gardening THE traditional Christmas tree is Picea abies from Norway and is readily available from most garden centres. The use of a fir tree at Christmas has a fascinating history lost in the depths of time. The modern use of the fir tree took off in Germany in the 19th century. The custom was introduced into England by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert. Originally decorated with dates, apples and nuts it is often associated with Martin Luther and was basically originally a Protestant custom. In Scandinavia, houses and barns were decorated with conifers at the New Year to frighten away the devil. Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Fir Tree” told of the tree’s fate to be used as a Christmas tree. Our very own Aussie conifer is the famous Wollemi Pine, pictured here at the Heritage Nursery, Yarralumla, where there is a large selection from small to huge. FLOWERING houseplants are popular as decorations on the Christmas luncheon table and as presents. The most popular houseplant in the world is Euphorbia pulcherrima or Poinsettia. Not Our special Aussie Christmas tree... the Wollemi Pine. technically a flowering plant, the flowers are tiny and quite insignificant in the centre of the plant. Its popularity is due to its brilliant red bracts. There are now more than 200 varieties available, red still being the most popular – and most associated with Christmas. Why red, I wonder, maybe it enables Father Christmas to be seen easily in the snow? Poinsettia... the world’s favourite indoor plant. ON the other hand, you may prefer one of the other colours from pink to pure white and cream. Poinsettias originated in Mexico and Guatemala in semi-arid regions. They were introduced into the US in 1825 by Joel R. Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico. The Aztecs used the plant for red dye and medicinally. In Mexico, it is known as Noche Buena or Christmas Eve. From that time on it took the world by storm and is available here in every garden centre at this time. What to do with the chooks? Happy holidays... but not for the chooks? 18 CityNews December 13-19 IN planning for trips away during the holiday period, the garden is often forgotten. Beyond the usual issues of watering and mowing, what to do with the chooks? Most other pets are easy to deal with at a kennel or cattery, but there are few places that take chooks. Maybe this is not a worry as they may end up on the Christmas table! The incentive for a friend or neighbour to feed them is to collect the fresh eggs at the same time as walking around the property to ensure nothing is amiss. Chooks are great for the garden, eating the scraps, if under apple trees eating the codling moth and other pests before they get to the fruit. Plus manure for the compost heap. Meanwhile, here are a few garden reminders to give you time to get organised: • Depending on the time you will be away will the lawn be mown? If not, a dead giveaway that you are not in residence. • Who will water the pot plants? It is a good idea if practical and the pots are not too big, to group them together and preferably in a shady area. Do not feed any plants or lawns at this time. You do not want extra soft growth requiring more water or burnt off by extreme hot weather. • Where applicable the irrigation timer may need to be re-programmed. Even if fully automatic, it does need a friend or neighbour to check on it. I know of someone whose automatic system malfunctioned and was not turning off while they were away. Wow, did it flood! • Are the garden tools locked away in the shed? • Indoor plants can be stored in the bath with an old towel laid on the bottom to prevent scratching. Add a few centimetres of water. Laundry tubs can also be used. garden Landscape architect Kaiya Browning... “I love the idea that my children and grandchildren will be able to experience it.” Photos by Silas Brown Gardens grow new heart in Red Centre A NEW garden is unfolding in the Australian National Botanic Gardens which represents the heart of Australia, says landscape architect Kaiya Browning. Kaiya, who designed the project and travelled to Uluru, says a lot of research went into deciding what the Red Centre Garden would represent. “I had to consider, what’s the most iconic thing about the red centre? It’s all about the desert rivers, plains, chenopod shrublands and rocky escarpments,” she says. “I wanted to format all that in an aesthetic but accurate way. There is a strong design element, as it’s a representation, not a re-creation. The design has to be functional, and it has to work with the site we have – which initially was prone to flooding! Not ideal for an arid garden, but with years of preparation it’s now all coming together.” Kaiya says she wanted to capture the incredible sense of space and the connection to the landscape and nature. “It’s a wonderful way to give people a taste of Australia’s native flora, of what’s really out there,” she says. The Red Centre Garden will open in October as part of the Canberra Centenary celebrations, and will include Kathryn Vukovljak reports a central meeting place, a viewing platform, ochre earth and rocks, a palm gully, winding paths and a selection of plants from the region, including the desert oaks, ghost gum woodlands, spinifex grasslands and saltbush scrub. There will also be a red sandpit and a giant thorny devil for kids to play on. “For 12 months prior to construction, we studied the site and the trees, the shadows at different times of the day and the year,” says Kaiya. “We had to be sure that we would get it absolutely right, and ensure that the plantings will thrive.” Gardens staff have spent more than two years propagating plants for the garden, says Kaiya. “We have species propagated from cuttings from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and from seed, including nicotiana, grevilleas, ptilotus, allocasuarina decaisneana and many grasses,” she says. Kaiya says she sees the Red Centre Garden as a legacy for the next generation. “I probably won’t get to see it fully established, but I love the idea that my children and grandchildren will be able to come here and experience it. There’s something quite magical about that.” CityNews December 13-19 19 Christmas home Christmas at home By Kathryn Vukovljak Under the mistletoe Hanging a stocking by the chimney can be a challenge if you don’t have a fireplace, but this beautiful metal mistletoe sign will create the perfect spot. Kissing optional... Giant size sign 94cm x 23.5cm, in red painted metal. Gingerbread scents Not for eating, but this delicious Hansel and Gretel-style candle will add charm and a spicy scent to your home. Gingerbread House candle, $14.99, Dusk On the first day of Christmas Holly berries Dandi’s luxurious linen tea towels will have you singing about partridges in pear trees in no time. This modern, graphic design features screen printing, fabric appliquéd leaves and embellished embroidery. Partridge and Pear linen tea towel, $29.95. www.dandi.com.au These tasty-sounding fabric decorations, with green felt leaves and ribbon for hanging, would look gorgeous as a table centrepiece or hanging on the tree. Set of four fabric decorations (Apple Holly/Berry, Apple Olive Branch/Pistachio, Pear Holly/Berry and Pear Olive Branch/Pistachio), $5.95 each or $17.95 for four. www.dandi. com.au Decorate the table Add a festive touch to everyday tableware with brightly coloured napery and a matching Christmas ornament. Winter Bakery sugar bar decoration, $19.95, Villeroy and Boch Perfect parties Cool yule Inspired by craft, baking and memories of a traditional Christmas, these paper plates will set the scene for a casual feast for a crowd! Cross Stitch Crimbo Plates by Talking Tables, $7.95 for eight in two designs, available at www.larkstore.com.au How cool to make a frozen ice pop on the bench top in just seven minutes! The fast freezing action of the Zoku single ice pop maker means you can create layered pops, too – or try these awesome Christmassy designs. The Zoku Quick Pop Single costs $39.95 from kitchen retailers and department stores. New store gets star designer’s touch INNOVATIVE retail designer, David Hicks, has created King Furniture’s new Canberra store, which opens in 21 Quilpie Crescent, Fyshwick, on December 15. Hicks, one of Australia’s leading interior designers, says: “We wanted to reflect the design, craftsmanship and beauty of King Furniture’s collections in the creation of the new showroom in Canberra. “It was our aim to bring in the individualism and unique sensibility that King Furniture is known for, and to portray comfort, quality and excellence.” 20 CityNews December 13-19 Hicks has also designed King Furniture’s newest showrooms including Moore Park in Sydney and the first Adelaide showroom, which opened earlier this year in Keswick. The new showroom is twice the size of the original Canberra premises with access to more than 20 sofa designs, as well as sofa beds, armchairs, outdoor settings, tables, storage, lamps and accessories. “Local shoppers will have a greater opportunity to view our extensive collection and experience the many ways our sofa designs can be reconfigured and displayed, Interior designer David Hicks. thanks to the increased space and layout of the new showroom,” said general manager Renata Bayer-Volf. More information at kingfurniture. com.au Christmas scene scene B ROUG YOU BY H T TO Canberra’s only locally-owned Subaru dealer At Christmas drinks hosted by the At Snowy Hydro SouthCare Centenary, National Portrait Gallery Christmas Gala, Rond Terrace Jeremy Lasek, Leon Buchanan, Robyn Archer and Tony Mansfiled Kate Van Haalen, Bron Bitmead, Vicki Willams and Alison Tonkin Bernedette Brennan, Tabitha Fairleigh, Kim Patersen, Rochelle Clinton Hutchinson and Nicolle Keyes Kahlefeldt and David Polglase Moira and Mike Castle with David Marshall Andrea Ho and Adam Stankevicious Ian and Leanne Heddle with Rosvita and Kevin Phelan Chris Deacon and Susanne Roberts Ian and Rowena Bartholomew ROLFE SUBARU At Calvary emergency nurses Christmas party, The Rex See all the photos at citynews.com.au Sara Ross, Andrew Mackay and Caitlin Harris Pip Butt and Kate Palmer Sarah Mueck, Mick Pedan, Emma Gilbert and Virginia Bennett Haris Buza and Shannon Davis Caz Ive and Lyna Reddan Stephanie Hatte and Rachel Willson Alyce Hill and Jess Clarke Garry Wilkes, Andrew Earl and Jamil Choudhury CityNews December 13-19 21 Christmas scene scene At the AllHomes Christmas party ROLFE SUBARU AT PHILLIP & BELCONNEN At CFMEU and the Tradies Christmas cocktail celebration Danielle Neale, Jason Davenport, Andrea Blackshaw and Jenny Gowing Matt and Franca Field with Peter Katemis Janet Watkins-Kittler, Teresa Henderson, Genette Purnell, Louise Youngman and Sarah Fuller MLA Yvette Berry, Lynda Ryan and Alison Percival Host Peter Blackshaw, Hayley Symons, Sharon Dei Rocini and Anthony Trump 22 CityNews December 13-19 Tom Cox and Zack Holmes Jo Matters, Donna Desne, Col McIntyre and Lisa Konig See all the photos at citynews.com.au Lizzie Wagner, Jenny Priest, Heather Reid and Carrie Graf Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Charlotte Anneveld, Rob Barr and Tanna Winter Hunguford and Dougal Reed At the Hawaiian Christmas party for accountants, Yarralumla Joanna Hall, Ashlea Perry and Sarah Morrison Tessa O’Brien, Mateusz Jakubaszek and Dave Harvey Sarah and Jenny Morison Allie Swan and Nurchia Sim Megan Frizell, Joanne Chapman and Ranjini Pillay CityNews December 13-19 23 scene At the ACT Property Council Christmas lunch, Hotel Realm Tien Le, Monica Wojtaszak, Mia Brill and Amy Vincent Matt Kelly, Kay Waring and Jamie Masters Michael Blair and Dino Nikias 24 CityNews December 13-19 See all the photos at citynews.com.au Trevor Cronk and Victoria Coton Rory Scott, Mark Poretti and Alisa Taylor At ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards, Gandel Hall Sue Roche, Peter and Dorrie Downs and Chris Gudgeon Emily Hunter, Emma Fairchild and Sarah Smith Gerry Davis and Sejal Patel Gail Adams and Leanne Pattison Cheryl Pollard and Diana Nasr Carolyn Jeffress, Louise Douglas, Ricky Bryan and Geoff Odgers At the Music ACT Awards, Albert Hall Jane Rowe and Lara Hurley Ruben and Dylan Hekimian with Tom Gaukroger Lucy Gledhill and Peter Phal Toyah Morath and Emma Kelly Mara Stroppa and Chris Whitfield Tom Harwood, Jeremy Clarksen and Amanda Edwards scene ROLFE SUBARU AT PHILLIP & BELCONNEN At the Burley Griffin Regatta Pimm’s Garden Party Sean Wimalaratna, Stephanie Johnston, Sarah Emanuel, Emma Di Bitonto, Alice Coggan and Zac Hope Lachlan Dibden, Cathy Stock, Kate Speldewinde and Emily Dibden Judy Stone and Jacqui Ratas Peter Martin and Emma Jackman Larissa Hrstic and Maya Pratt Michael Yeo and Adam Refki Nathan Burraston and Yalin Phung Sarah Walsh, Jess Girvan, Nicole Smith and Amy O’Callaghan CityNews December 13-19 25 scene At ANU’s Annual Alumni Summer Soiree Anastasia Twee, Jessie Connell, Magda Asfaw, Zoe Cox and Karolina Kilian Alex Battye, Marion Stanton and Heidi Dreyer Alex Bell-Rowe, Nick Duncan and Daniel Payten Rina Bhati, Wayne Petschack and Roxanne Missingham Kylie Mulligan, Rachel Hendery and Sam Margerison At the International Volunteer Day twilight garden party Rikki Blacka and Romy van den Heuvel Shy Greenwood, Nathanael Semmler, Owen Watson, Richard Caesar-Thwaytes and Sarah Reid Anne Meade, Jeremy Hanson MLA, Jo Shilling and Donna Blundell Genny Newton, John Lewis and Georgina Tozer See ALL the photos at citynews.com.au MLA Mary Porter and Lynne Grayson At The Hyperdome’s 25th Birthday, Tuggeranong Bruce Sinclaire and Steven Sewell Rhiannon McClelland, Nick Georgalis and Jodie Marques George Karabatsos, Cameron Male, Mark Wilson, Rob Ell and Ross Entwistle 26 CityNews December 13-19 Wayne Moodie and Justin Mills Wayne Hudson, MP Gai Brodtmann, Chris Webster and Duke Didier puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore your week in the stars / December 17 - 23 ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20) Restless Rams – get ready to jump out of your cozy comfort zone! With Mercury, Venus and Jupiter all jumping through your travel zones, you’re even more adventurous than usual. So it’s a terrific time to take on a mighty challenge, or book an exotic escape for some time in 2013. Be inspired by Jane Fonda (born on December 21): “You don’t get real by playing it safe.” TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20) It’s time to make professional and financial connections, as Jupiter revs up your business brain. And are you stuck in a relationship rut? When it comes to love, Jupiter and Uranus give you a radical push in a bold new direction. Attached Bulls – when was the last time you surprised your partner with a spontaneous romantic gesture? Singles – love and travel are linked. GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) Don’t skim over details this week, Twins. The more closely you look at issues, the more complexity you’ll find. You’re keen to zoom ahead but remember there’s a fine line between making smart snap decisions and being recklessly rash. With Venus visiting your relationship zone, make sure you pamper your partner with plenty of TLC. Singles – it’s time to flirt up a storm! General knowledge crossword No. 390 Across Down 4 What is timber, sawn into planks, boards, etc? 7 Which S Asian republic was formerly called Ceylon (3,5)? 8 What describes someone who deliberately damages property, etc? 9 Which cetacean is closely allied to the dolphin? 11 Name an alternative term for the windpipe. 13 What is a pedal driven vehicle with two wheels? 15 Which device transmits and modifies force or motion? 17 Name the detachable part of a spacecraft. 20 What is the place where historical records are kept? 23 Which term is applicable to an indefinitely great number? 24 What designates a generous bestowal of gifts? 25 To be on dry land is to be what? CANCER (June 22 – July 22) Crabs can be incredibly self-absorbed but the more you concentrate on the needs of others, the better the week will be. The Sun gives you the energy to solve partnership problems, plus Mars and Pluto stoke the fires of love. But expect a relationship with a child, teenager or friend to be somewhat distant on Sunday, as Saturn pours cold water on displays of affection. LEO (July 23 – Aug 22) It’s the perfect week to connect with the children around you (and the child within) as you explore new sports, hobbies or recreational activities. But don’t let your fiery temper come between you and a colleague. It’s time for Cats to cool down and re-calibrate! Saturday’s Sun/Neptune trine is fabulous for creative pursuits, as you tune into the inspirational artist within. Solution Page 12 1 LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23) Singles – don’t dwell on what might have been. Venus promises love, but you have to be prepared to leave the past behind. When one door closes, another opens! Uranus helps you move onto fresh romantic pastures, as you jump back in the saddle of love again. Attached Librans – it’s time to rejuvenate your relationship with an unexpected gift or surprise dinner date. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22) You may feel torn between your personal and professional lives but, if you prioritise (and learn to say no) then you’ll get through your responsibilities without adding extra jobs to the list. You can become so obsessed with minor details that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Mercury is now in Sagittarius (until January 1) which will help you see things from a broader perspective. 1 Which Latin term means “therefore”? 2 Name a flexible disk used for storing data. 3 Which prefix means “against”, or “opposed to”? 4 Name an internationally famous tennis champion, Rod ... 5 In which European principality does the Monte Carlo casino lie? 6 To rub out, means to what? 9 Which hotel bar sells the drinks cheaper than other bars? 10 What do we call a large vessel propelled by steam-driven propellers? 12 Name another term for monasteries. 14 What is an alternative word for an Inuit? 16 What do we call a cow that has not produced a calf and is under three years of age? 18 Which term describes a bottomless gulf? 19 What is a spoon with a deep bowl? 21 Name a particular edible grain. 22 The Orient is also known as the what? 14 17 15 18 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Sudoku medium No.95 Solution Page 12 SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21) Venus visits your money zone, which is usually fortunate – as long as you don’t get too carried away with Christmas shopping, and make hasty financial decisions that you later regret. You’re keen to communicate your ideas this weekend, but don’t annoy others by being too black and white. There are many grey areas to a current situation that you haven’t yet explored. SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21) With Venus vamping through your sign (until January 9), you’re at your bold and beautiful best, as you turn the charm metre up to high. Plus Mercury/ Venus/Jupiter aspects activate your extravagant side, so you’re in the mood to overdo just about everything. By all means have fun Sagittarius but, if you go overboard, you may end up in hot water. CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19) Mighty Mars is moving through your sign (until December 26) which increases your motivation – and your impatience. Cool down Capricorn! Slow and steady wins the race as you focus on the future, and then do the hard work required to make your dreams come true. Be inspired by birthday great Benjamin Disraeli: “If you wait long enough, everything comes.” AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18) You’re restless for change, but make sure you’re a rebel with a worthy cause. Contributing to your local community brings unexpected benefits. When it comes to your social life – don’t be aloof Aquarius! The more you communicate and circulate, mix and mingle; the better your week will be. For some singles, a surprise attraction develops between you and a platonic friend. PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20) With Mercury and Venus both visiting your career zone, you’ve got brains and beauty on your side so make sure you utilise them both on the job. Saturday’s Sun/Neptune trine increases your creativity and compassion, as you launch a creative project or help someone in need. Love and work are linked, so make sure you’ve got plenty of lipstick or aftershave in your briefcase! Daily astrology updates at www.twitter.com/JoMadelineMoore Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2011 Last week’s solutions Crossword No.389 B R U M B Y A O E A C A C I A E H R I S R A E L O I L N E N L A R G E M C E N O T A D E W G L O B U L E A S D R V A N E S W N A N D O M W N F A N T A W E R I T R A N P H D I D I O I N E G R U N Sudoku hard No.94 O C E U L Y A R Y C E O M S E T S CityNews December 13-19 27 32 CityNews December 13-19