Visit to Canberra (by guest Qld-based blogger)

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As PopGoesCanberra is well aware (but has sworn, on his laptop’s life, not to disclose), there is a tiny part of me, somewhere behind my left ventricle, which secretly misses Canberra. Yes, scoff if you like. Lay out your arguments with the giddy confidence of a jumped-up private school mock-mooter at the national finals. Play back to me secretly recorded audio-files of my own incessant whinging sessions. Remind me of that phrase I once uttered emphatically: Canberra is to a person’s soul what Facebook is to blogs like this one. (OK, so I never uttered that particular phrase, but I’m sure I thought it in your presence, PopGoesCanberra – that makes you an accessory [editor: what on earth are you on about?]). Let’s just say, from my Uncle Travelling Matt vantage point, there is something unique and enticing about the chance to visit the ACT – a chance I recently grabbed with both hands.

My facial reaction at receiving my e-itinerary

Mindful of the rights of landlocked states to protect their borders from unauthorised immigrants (whether arriving by rickety fishing boat along the Murrumbidgee River, or being smuggled in on a short-stay visa with a troupe of Ukrainian folk dancers), I tread carefully through customs control at Canberra International Airport, having hastily discarded the thirty kilograms of citrus product I’d brought with me to ward off scurvy. (it was going cheap at the Big Orange firesale, alright?) Let’s face it, the last thing I wanted was to draw attention to myself and end up on an episode of Border Security. We’ve all shuddered at those clips of innocent holidaymakers returning from the coast being approached outside petrol stations in Queanbeyan by DIAC officials posing as coyotes. So naturally, I was alarmed when a woman approached me clutching what appeared to be an over-sized clipboard. Of course, I had heard about the ruthless tactics employed by undercover Tourism ACT representatives, these ‘honey-pots’ posing as federal officials, wielding an array of coercive questioning powers and a dazzling knowledge of cold climate wines. The clip-board gave it all away, though. ‘Here on public service business’ I mumbled, eyes cast downwards in shame at the oxymoron I’d just uttered. And she let me pass.

The ultimate ruse: casual talk of botrytis and well-drained granite soils are familiar lead-in to a short period of detention for new arrivals to Canberra, often forced to fill out a survey before being allowed to go free.

Like any modern traveller, I was keen to blend in with the locals, and obtain the most authentic experience possible. So after meeting my travelling companion at the baggage carousel, we made our way immediately towards the largest, most uninviting building we could find and sat there, motionless, for most of the day. If the rights of landlocked states to protect their sedentary organisms extend to temporary visitors, we certainly enjoyed all the indulgences Jervis Bay has to offer. This unique juridical structure, I later learned, is the model (some jurists claim) for the laws now applicable in Summer Bay. These entail, of course, the right to summons a grand jury of twelve extras to the Diner to drink milkshakes. And the right to bare arms.

Spaghetti straps, complex woven hair arrangements, and cropped tees. All permitted items of female leisurewear in the liberal enclave of Summer Bay, known in legal circles as the ‘New Amsterdam of New Holland.’

Fortunately, I had consulted my Wallpaper Guide to Canberra before leaving home, so I knew just where to go to experience the ambience and bustle of the ACT fine dining circuit. And, despite not having a reservation, my travelling companion and I were lucky enough to score a rickety stool at the Qantas Club at Canberra Airport, uncomfortably close to a woman with a Frente-sized clipboard, and flanked by a security detail of drug scenting cocker spaniels named ‘Lightning’ and ‘Dianne.’ And so, as we toasted the glorious Territory sunset, and considered moving outside to the spacious conditions of Gate Lounge Twelve, we truly agreed that if you never never know, you’ll never never go...

Scenes of casual, long sleeved elegance at Canberra’s exclusive Qantas Club, open 0515 to last departure. Located at Level 1, next to Gate 12. Reservations not required, provided you have a large clipboard, inappropriately sized laptop satchel, or festive lanyard.

Australia Day Live 2008: review

Australia Day Live is over for another year.

Let's review it in pictures!!...

"I'm not Sandra Sully, nor Gretel Killeen, nor Andrew G."

This is just nice.

"I really should be assisting Karl and Lisa in the ratings battle with Sunrise but right now I really can't be fucked"

"The cigarette and the collar only accentuate my shit-hotness"

"Wear a belt, boy" - concerned parent

"Yes, along with making amazing pop music, I do a bit of pickpocketing on the side" - random Veronica

"Hey, security dude, hook me up, I wanna feel a drumstick in my tummy" - Veronica 1 to Veronica 2

The Veronicas hard at work.

"Why am I here?....Canberra fans are such bogans..."

"I wasn't alive when Blockbusters was on the television, so I have no idea who the man on the big screen is" - guy wiping his nose
"I look like a bit like Boyd from Neighbours, except my muscles aren't as big" - guy in singlet

"I have two plastic phalli jammed between my legs"

Testosterone-fuelled, 'yoof' rampage while Indian sex guru Ben Lee sings on.

"I'm not really into Ben Lee either"

Oestrogen-fuelled 'yoof' rampage

PopGoesCanberra = lost for words

"Hello! Hello! Nice to see you!"

"Take a walk along the beach? Sure...but don't try to touch me, don't try to touch me" - Girl with pink handbag to man in jeans

"I prefer to rampage, fuelled by testosterone, and make strange signals to bloggers, rather than watch a man with curly hair and facial hair 'sing' "

Need we say more?

Pretty lights on Parliament House!!!

"My name is Ricki-Lee Coulter and I am disgusted that Channel Ten choose to censor my 'Love is all around' video by removing the loving gay kiss on Sunday mornings."

Totally not-thought out rating for Australia Day Live 2008: 5/10.

"My Family": Worst British comedy ever?

"My Family" is awful! It is even worse than "No Job For A Lady", a hideous sitcom starring Penelope Keith where she plays a lady parliamentarian.

Meanwhile, "The Complete Guide to Parenting" is very good. Very good indeed. Best line tonight was when the New Zealand Au Pair was complaining/crying about her boyfriend dumping her "this girl who works there, she's a trainee baRIsta, she tixted me and shi said 'fuck off you kiwi slag". !!!!!

Seen at Coles Manuka.... (#2)

...a guy who looks just like the actors they use in The Bill to play pedophiles. I would say he looked like a pedophile but we are not sure we've ever seen one.

"Phil! Neil! I know his psychological profile. I will get him"

Seen at Coles Manuka...

...a checkout operator who looks just like Ben McKenzie!!!!!!!!!!!

Coming to you from a hot and steamy Canberra couch....

Happy New Year all!

Due to popular appeal (from the likes of the wonderful CFBGoesPop - coming soon with a new Nikki Webster telly show - and Eurotrash) PopGoesCanberra is back, with a new camera too, so it'll be quite a multimedia affair, in theory.

Coming up, we hope to bring you reports from Darwin and Kazakhstan.

For now, a quick restaurant review wrap-up from around Canberra.

Cape Cod

Clever seafood, friendly and professional (and HOT) service, great wine.....this is a great Canberra restaurant.


A case of all style and no substance. These try-hard, bland, up-themselves-with-their-icky-hair-and-average-food-at-above-average
price restaurants are just becoming all too common around Canberra these days. Nice toilets though.


Babars new premises in the Canberra Centre are open and I wasn't tempted to go and try the food because of the truly hideous colour scheme. Cool in summer perhaps but the red, black and the white are totally unwelcoming.

I can't be bothered doing any more, because PGC hasn't been able to afford eating out much lately.

On a dining related note, what is with the throngs of people all sitting there eating at Cream, Sammys and Wagamama in the Canberra Centre. The food is sort of alright, but where do these people get the money and the impetus to sit there up there like stuffed monkeys with bogans driving around in cars all around them, on a weeknight? Seriously!

This is quite amazing

Can you ever imagine Celine Dion boogieing while Rihanna sings with a contestant on Australian Idol?

Rihanna Feat. Claudia - Don't stop the music [Live]
Uploaded by wonderful-life1989

Callum off "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?"

Note him.
Bet you he's the next Matt Corby! He's got the hair, a better personality, and he's even got the flanny!

PopGoesCanberra's famous mega chart rubbish wrap-up

1 BEAUTIFUL GIRLS Sean Kingston Bogan Rubbish
2 IN THIS LIFE Delta Goodrem Absolute wonderfulness
3 THE WAY I ARE Timbaland Feat. Keri Hilson This is actually quite good
4 STRONGER Kanye West Boring rubbish
5 HOOK ME UP The Veronicas Disappointingness
6 BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY Fergie Cringeworthy baby missing blanket rubbish
7 HEY THERE DELILAH Plain White T's No idea, probably rubbish
8 SHUT UP AND DRIVE Rihanna Really quite good
9 CAN'T TOUCH IT Ricki-Lee Really quite amazing
10 HOW FAR WE'VE COME Matchbox Twenty Probably rubbish
11 THNKS FR TH MMRS Fall Out Boy Sounds good on a footy advert
12 THE PRETENDER Foo Fighters Rubbish
13 LOVE TODAY Mika Scissor Sisters wannabe rubbish
14 DANCE FLOOR ANTHEM Good Charlotte Rubbish
15 WHEN YOU'RE GONE Avril Lavigne Rubbish
16 AYO TECHNOLOGY 50 Cent Feat. Justin Timberlake Rubbish
18 LOUD Shannon Noll Disappointingness
19 DESTINATION CALABRIA Alex Gaudino Feat. Crystal Waters This came out four years ago, it was good but did nothing, they add some annoying horns, and Australia loves it
20 I GOT IT FROM MY MAMA Will.I.Am Rubbish
21 TEENAGERS My Chemical Romance Rubbish
22 WAKE UP CALL Maroon 5 Rubbish
23 1973 James Blunt Total rubbish
24 OVE ME LIKE THE WORLD IS ENDING Ben Lee Tibetan rubbish
25 UMBRELLA Rihanna Feat. Jay-Z Still brilliant
26 KISS YOUR MAMA! Vanessa Amorosi Again, more disappointingness
27 BLEED IT OUT Linkin Park Rubbish
28 DEAR MR. PRESIDENT P!nk Sentimental rubbish
29 JUST A SONG ABOUT PING PONG Operator Please Assuming it's rubbish
30 WALL TO WALL Chris Brown Rubbish
31 CLOTHES OFF!!! Gym Class Heroes Possibly rubbish
32 SOUND OF FREEDOM Bob Sinclar & Cutee-B Feat. Dollarman & Gary Pine Probably rubbish
33 OPINIONS WON'T KEEP YOU WARM AT NIGHT Kisschasy No doubt rubbish
34 LOVESTONED Justin Timberlake Dido's song was better
35 WHAT TIME IS IT? High School Musical Cast Christian Fundamentalist rubbish
36 NO LONGER THERE The Cat Empire Trendy left-wing Adelaide rubbish from Melbourne
37 GIRLFRIEND Avril Lavigne Annoying rubbish

38 UFO Sneaky Sound System Brilliance
39 F.R.E.S.H. Scribe Kiwi Rubbish
40 DON'T MATTER Akon Rubbish
41 ONE MINUTE Kelly Clarkson Probably rubbish
42 SONG FOR MUTYA Groove Armada Alright.
43 INCONSOLABLE Backstreet Boys Alright.
44 BUY U A DRANK (SHAWTY SNAPPIN') T-Pain Feat. Yung Joc Definitely rubbish
45 GIVE IT TO ME Timbaland Feat. Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake Rubbish
46 BETTER THAN The John Butler Trio Truly awful rubbish at its worst
47 GLAMOROUS Fergie Feat. Ludacris Rubbish
48 GRACE KELLY Mika God-awful rubbish.
49 CANDYMAN Christina Aguilera Annoying rubbish.
50 NEVER AGAIN Kelly Clarkson She was good on Australian Idol this week wasn't she!

Great stuff: Fireman Sam

Possibly the best kids show currently screening on ABC TV? Not that I see many. And it's not in the calibre of Astroboy, Belle and Sebastian, Superted, etc...but it's darn entertaining and has a great theme tune.

And do you realise, it has a character called Bella Lasagne? It's true! She's Italian! Isn't that wonderful.