Defrazzling: Family Project Time: The Local Council Pick-Up

Twice a year, our local council does something wonderful with our rates: it picks up all our broken, faded, tarnished, outmoded, and ‘last season’ possessions so we can go out into the world and buy even more things we don’t need.

But there’s a catch: we have to find, clear, sort and lay out our cast-offs neatly on the verge by Monday morning.

And that’s exactly what we did on the weekend. Though tiresome and back-breaking, Council Clean-up Day preparations provided us with an excellent all-day language work out.


The Banter home and garden.



What the kids and adults chatted about:

Needs vs. wants. Happiness from things versus experiences. Stoicism in the face of more than 5 minutes work. Putting good things aside for charity (including the Salvation Army and it’s amazing motto: “Blood and Fire”), hoarding, minimalism, incense sticks, 80s scarves and costume jewelry, rust, different metals and oxidisation, organisation, laser discs, cluttering.

Fan blades: fast, faster, fastest! Trashed Tonka Trucks and Headless Hungry Hippos (and awesome alliteration). The Drum Media and 90s band reviews. Mosquito-breeding grounds in pools of water. Weeds vs. plants – who decides? The dangers of heroic cricket catches on a lawn infested by bindies. Slow moving utes. The pros and cons of installing a pool, including the vexed question of who would clean it through winter. Debutante balls and ancient Eisteddfod trophies.

Neighbourhood sharing. Why we need bags to store bags in. How to use a dual tape deck. Mosquito coils and citronella. How many times can we buy the same thing at Bunnings. Items disappearing from the verge. How much can a toy wagon bear when used as a furniture removal vehicle. What are collectors and why do some of them cut cables off broken lamps. Paper money. Tapestries.


before and after; first, next, and last; more and less; many and few; in; under; on; because; not.


abut, jam, divide, stash, discard, stack, arrange, teeter, label, splay, scrawl, sneeze, taint, bind, flounder, hem and haw.


“Cat amongst the pigeons”, “Needle in a Haystack”, “Strike While the Iron is Hot”.

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Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.

Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language

Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.

David Kinnane
Speech-Language Pathologist. Lawyer. Father. Reader. Writer. Speaker.

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