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.

Where:

The Banter home and garden.

Cost:

Free.

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.

Concepts:

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

Verbs:

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

Idioms:

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

Related articles:

Banter Speech & Language Banter Speech & Language
Banter Speech & Language is an independent firm of speech pathologists for adults and children. We help clients in our local area, including Concord, Rhodes, Strathfield and all other suburbs of Sydney’s Inner West.

Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.

David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).

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