Wasteage and Recycling

I’ve just watched the first episode of Craig Reucassel’s “War on Waste”, and it’s got me thinking… about how complacent I’ve become with not.

When I first arrived in Melbourne, in halls of residence, I was shocked at not having a separate bin for food-scraps. Quite a few of us were, actually. “Why can’t we compost it? There’s a garden – why not?”

An OH&S issue, apparently, but that was three and a half months ago and somehow, over those three and a half months, I’ve become okay with the idea of putting food-scraps in the same bin as all the non-recyclables. I don’t have to think about it anymore. In the first few weeks, I had to pause every time in front of the bins and work out where to put things. Now it’s just automatic.

At home, most of the food scraps were fed to the chooks; and anything that wasn’t was composted. Here, they just go to non-recyclable landfill where, according to Craig, they produce more methane than cows (or some similar statistic).

Two weeks after arriving, I had a slight meltdown on FaceBook about plastic bags. That’s definitely a state thing, because in South Australia, we haven’t had plastic bags since 2009. Yes, you can still pay 10c and get a biodegradable plastic bag, but we’ve been using cloth “green bags” since I was 13. My entire adult grocery-shopping life as involved green bags, brought along with you and filled to the brim by the checkout chick.

Then I arrived in Melbourne, and not only were the bags plastic, but only one or two things was put in each bag. My brain boggled. My brain couldn’t handle it. My quieter, less hurried South Australian mouth couldn’t speak fast enough or loud enough to ask the cashiers to do something different.

Bolstered by the assurances and suggestions of my new friends in Melbourne, I started taking me green bags along with me and asking the checkout chicks to fill those instead. I still have to repack them myself, because they still don’t know how, but at least I’m not getting any more plastic bags. I only got them for two weeks, and I’m still working through the pile of them as bin liners.

Two weeks’ worth of plastic bags. Three months later.

There are other things. I’m throwing out paper. I never did that at home. It all went on the fire, in one form or another, to keep us warm.

I have a box full of plastic containers and glass jars under my bed, because my brain can’t compute throwing them out.

Watching “War on Waste” has knocked some sense back into me. I don’t know how long it will last, because nothing’s going to change here, and my new environment will no doubt desensitise me again soon enough.

But watching the show has reminded me about just how shocked I was by all the waste when I first arrived her. It’s given me back, once again, just a little bit of the shock I had three months ago at the food-scraps going to landfill and the plastic bags carrying the shopping…

… and all the perfectly-shaped, perfectly ripe fruit and veg that means I don’t get the choice I’m used to having about the size of the fresh produce I buy because, at Foodland, all that “special” food that Coles and Woollies won’t sell is just in with all the rest of it.



Caneuon Agoriadol (yn y Gymraeg)

No, I don’t actually speak Welsh. I do have a passing interest, though. You know which theme I’m going to start with.

Bob y Bildar

Y Brodyr Coala

Traed Moch

This translation’s clever. Individually, those two words mean “pigs’ feet”. Colloquially, however, the phrase means “a shambles”.

Postmon Pat

Sam Tân (Claymation)

Here’s an interesting fact – this is actually the original. That’s right – Fireman Sam was made first in Welsh and then dubbed into English. It was also dubbed into Gaelic fairly early on – both “Sam Tân” and “Sam Smàlaidh” sound better than “Fireman Sam”, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Sam Tân (Amimation)


Òrain Fàdseallachda (anns a’ Ghàidhlig)

Calum Clachair

What else is there to start off with, after all?

Na Braithrean Cuideachail

In English, this one says “call the Koala Brothers; help is on its way”. In Gaelic, the translators have gone with “call the Helpful Brothers; friends on the ‘plane”. It’s interesting how translations happen like that. (Oddly, though, the Welsh translation – more of that in another post – has stuck with “Y Brodyr Coalas”. I’m not sure why Gaelic couldn’t have been “Na Braithrean Coalaich”).


Pàdraig Post (no picture)

Cò eile? Ò, seadh… Yes, I did it. Yes, thoroughly unhappy with the look of the word “telebhisean” (why is the T pronounced like a broad T if it’s slender?), and unable to find anything even resembling the word “taidhsearachd” (preferred by Comunn Gàidhlig Astràilia) anywhere, I’ve invented my own word for “television”. It’s “fàd” (as in “distance”) and “seallach” (as in “seeing” or “viewing”), put together and turned into a noun – and therefore a direct translation of both the Latino-Greek “television” and the German “Fernseher”. What sort of authority do I have to go around inventing Gaelic words? Absolutely none. But it’s better than “telebhisean”, so deal with it.

Thought of the Day #8

A British parish-based sitcom wherein everyone followed the diocesan Professional Standards Handbook would be completely devoid of any and all drama other than the occasional technological malfunction during eucharist.

See Point 4.15 to see what the minister is doing wrong in this picture. I’ve only seen about ten minutes at the end of an episode of Call the Midwife, but in it, one of the sisters was in love with a dying aged man, and the minister got engaged to one of the nurses.

Our Professional Standards/ Safer Communities training included a clip from Heart and Soul.

The technological problems seem to be a weekly event at my church, though.

The First Day – An Evening in Israel (Tel Aviv)

So, what’s the best part about being in Israel (with all the wisdom of having been here a few minutes more than twelve hours)?

Well, this evening, for dessert at dinner, I ate a strawberry cheesecake topped with cream and mousse… and not a single thought about whether I’d feel dreadfully ill shortly after.

And even better, I got to listen to several other people around me marvelling about how it tasted like food, even though it didn’t have milk in it.

So, dinner was great. Yuval has explained that dinner is usually meaty while breakfast is usually milky (mostly cheese-based, apparently). For those who don’t know, kosher requirements include not eating pork, shellfish, or blood, and not allowed meat and milk anywhere near each other. So dinner was entirely dairy-free, including the dairy-looking desserts.

I’m a little concerned about breakfast, but I’ll deal with that when it happens. Besides, Yuval said the dairy bits should be obvious and easily-avoidable.

This evening, with some time still left to kill after a walk to the beach and taking lots of pictures of the hotel room and blogging them, I watched Bob the Builder. As I’m sure my parents will attest, it’s an old standby for watching in foreign languages and countries, even if it’s the murdered new version and not real Bob.

01 - Bob B

I wasn’t quite quick enough to get the Bob logo, but that’s an episode title.

01 - Bob A

I’ve learnt a new phrase (if “learnt” is the right word here): “Oi lo!” It means “Oh, no!” Yeah, I couldn’t understand much. I’m not convinced modern Hebrew is as different as they say to Biblical Hebrew, since I did understand most of the words I knew. It’s helped tune my ear a bit more too the language, anyway.

A funny thing, though – okay, so in English, the phrase is “yes, we can”. In German, it’s “ja, wir schaffen” [“yes, we can”]. In Hebrew, it’s “ken, ken, ken” [“yes, yes, yes”]. What gives?

Well, we’re all flagging a lot, so it’s off to bed now we’ve persevered to 8pm without sleeping. Here’s a quick panorama out the hotel room window to finish up for the first day in Israel:

02 - Window Panorama


Anns a’ chlàs a-raoir, dh’innis mo thìdsear dhuinn,

“‘N uair a chì sibh air accent, feum sibh quadruple the length. Èistibh: Nà-à-àbaidh, everybody needs good nà-à-à-à-àbaidh…”

Uill, seo dhà rudan a smaoineach mise:

A h-Aon: tha fuaim “nàbaidh” coltach ri “nappy”, agus ‘s e drathais leanaibh a th’ ann “nappy” anns a’ Bheurla Astràilianach.

A Dhà: Cha do sheall mi air caibideal “Nàbaidh” idir. Chan eil eòlach agam ri duine sam bith a’ sealltainn air “Nàbaidh”. Tha mi a’ smaoineachadh gum bheil nas motha daoine anns a’ RA a’ sealltainn air “Nàbaidh” na daoine anns Astràilia.

Air an adhbhar sin, seo sgrùdadh beag mu dheidhinn “Nàbaidh”.

In class last night, my teacher told us,

“When you see an accent, you need to quadruple the length. Listen: Nà-à-àbaidh, everybody needs good nà-à-à-à-àbaidh…”

Well, here are two things I thought when that happened:

Thing One: “nàbaidh” (Gaelic for “neighbours”) sounds like “nappy”, which is (Australian) English for a baby’s underwear.

Thing Two: I’ve never seen an episode of “Neighbours”. I don’t know anyone who watches “Neighbours”. I think more people in the UK watch “Neighbours” than people in Australia.

Therefore, here’s a short survey about “Neighbours”.