Wheelie bins

WHEELIE BINS
mrblo

In my area, the city council empties the rubbish bins once a week. We wheel them out to the road; the City of Monash empties them; we wheel them back to our houses and spend the rest of the week filling them up with hotdog packets. Then we repeat the cycle.

My neighbors paint their apartment numbers on their bins. That way they can make sure that each week they wheel out the same bin that they wheeled out the previous week. They have a history with their rubbish bin. Continue reading

Domain Tunnel

DOMAIN TUNNEL
mrblo

When the Domain Tunnel opened in 2000, the state government set a temporary sixty kilometre an hour speed limit. Their caution seems prudent. Who knows how much the construction firm might’ve abridged basic safety to cut costs. But the explanation they proffered insulted all of us. They explained that Victorian motorists needed time to get used to driving through a tunnel. As if they thought that, finding no sky above our heads, we might flip out and slam on the brakes in traffic.

For weeks, they had run an advertising campaign instructing us just to drive like normal in the tunnel. Don’t get out of your car or try to turn around. Continue reading

Grendel’s Mum

BEOWULFbeo

J. R. R. and Christopher Tolkien

Mariner Books, August 2015

 

A thousand years on, the sharpness of Beowulf‘s images still strikes us. Longships cruise amid icy spray. A king stares with fear amid the riches of his hall. Then comes the fiend Grendel stalking across the moors. Tolkien’s translation weds to these visions the rhythm and grandeur of language that rumbles even as it exults, which rolls like the swells of the sea. Continue reading

Concession card

PUBLIC TRANSPORTpublictrans

White, Peter R. (Routledge, October 2008, ISBN 9780415445306)

When I started secondary school in the eighties Victorian schoolboys and schoolgirls could apply for a concession card that let them buy cheaper tickets on buses, trams and trains. To apply, you filled out a form with your details and glued a photograph of yourself over a rectangle they provided on the form. The railway clerk separated the section with your photograph along an official perforated line, stamped it, laminated it and gave it back to you as your concession card.

When I applied for mine, I glued the photograph on sideways (leaving a lot of space on either side of my head so it filled the rectangle). The railway clerk would have to decide if he faced a smart aleck schoolboy on a lark or an earnest imbecile who’d glued his picture on sideways through mental incapacity. Continue reading

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