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Sunday, February 26, 2023


This last week embodied the commencement of another year in Canberra with the first full week of school, the arrival of university students returning to old digs or settling into new, the stirring of activity in commercial kitchens across the Territory preparing for the many functions, conference and work related meetings ahead, and the first of many orchestral music productions. Though instead of gearing up and being amongst the frenzy, I've sidestepped and watched on, recovering from a small surgery last Friday resulting in a now missing lymph node from my left-hand side shoulder. From the sidelines I've come to realise that the lymph node joined a list of things that have gone missing.

Missing dining tables
In conversation over dinner with friends one evening this week the mention of a new interior design trend of removing the dining table and instead using an extension off the kitchen bench for eating was revealed. My dinner companion detailed how two separate friends had independently renovated their apartments recently and installed a no dining table concept. Curious about it becoming a fad, I picked up a copy of a well revered Australian interior design magazine; I couldn’t help notice the advertisement of a dining table on page two and prominent throughout. Personally, I couldn’t bear living without a dining table: it’s the perfect spot for a cup of tea or, my favourite, to spread out papers of a project.

Missing sheep
In The Australian newspaper on Friday (17.02.23) it was reported that 700 merino sheep worth $129,000 - 197 merino ewes with purple ear tags and 493 white Suffolk merino cross lambs with red ear tags - had been stolen from a farm in north west Victoria. It is believed that the heist required at least two four-decker trucks, portable fencing and working dogs - a far cry from a jolly swagman grabbing and storing a jumbuck with glee. While visiting New Zealand in 2019 I was bemused by a similar story where 300 sheep, worth then $65,000, having been reported as stolen and also believed to have required the use of trucks and working dogs. The New Zealand sheep were located a week later and had in fact not been stolen, but rather was the fault of an administrative error in stock numbers. Anyone with information regarding the current heist are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Missing signs
Closer to home, a group of teenagers in broad daylight walked off with one of the prominent cafe signs that lives on the main road. As the theft occurred a witness called the cafe to detail that she had seen ‘three teenagers walking off with the cafe sign and attempted to get on the bus with it, but they were unsuccessful and had then headed in the direction of A–.’ This was closely followed by a voicemail from another witness: “I’m trying to reach you to let you know three rough looking teens have taken your sign and are walking towards A–. Though since I am unable to speak with anyone I’ll just leave this message” - sounding slightly annoyed that he wasn't about to reached anyone. While heading off to retrieve the looted item, another person had approached the cafe and informed the waiters of the incident - causing a frenzy of messages from the waitstaff on duty to report the incident. Retrieved and returned to its rightful place, there was another voicemail left on returning to the office: “Hello, this is M- from ACT Police, as I can’t speak with you directly - this is not to make a booking - someone just rang up to say that they saw three youths take your sign from the front of your cafe across to A–. So if you are missing a sign you might like to have a look at A–. Unfortunately I’ve got no other information to locate the offenders, but that's where your sign may be…”