A load of old balls

Boom boom!

This feeble visual pun does actually have some relevance to today’s story. These balls, the ones above, are the ones that kids use to play handball. They’re particularly bouncy and they’re the only ones that Jambo really likes. Tennis balls get heavy when they’re wet and roll with dull predictability. Soccer balls are too big. Ping pong balls and golfballs are too small. Cricket balls are too hard. But handball balls are just right: when I throw them down the creekbed they bounce and skitter off the irregularities in the concrete and make a game of what would otherwise be a fairly boring catch-and-return routine. Until I started thinking about them I didn’t realise how many I’d brought home. This is just the tip of the iceberg, a quick emu-bob around the back yard.

Balls and drink bottles are easily the most represented litter items in the water (if we don’t count cigarette butts and bits of broken styrofoam). Though I was staggered to see a telly bobbing around in the water other day. A telly?

On those rare occasions when the litter is collected from the boom it gets dumped into a skip in the TAFE. I came across a couple of young lads liberating balls from this skip, doing the kind of thing I can imagine myself having done forty years ago during school holidays. They had stacks of them!

The recent rain brought a trolley down the creek, a leaf-encrusted model from Coles stuck firm in the beck. Here, Jambo demonstrates the stealth method of approaching a trolley. You just don’t know what might be in there.

I carried on up and towards the gasworks. There’s been a bit of work in the easement between the rail lines and the gasworks boundary, a lot of ballast has been dumped, and these rotten sleepers. They were saturated from the overnight rain and in the morning sunshine they were steaming, making an ethereal scene.

Jambo went chasing rabbits, which is his current obsession. I came across this tag: given that it’s been removed, does it mean that a person’s life may be at risk?

It’s quite rare to see the modal verb “may” being used in signage. When I consulted Pam Peters’ Cambridge Guide to Australian English Usage I was surprised to see her say that “[may] is now far commoner than [might]”. Really?

Older usage preferred might … because, as the historical past form of may, it made the sense of possibility more remote. However tense distinctions among modal verbs have fallen away. Curiously, might is now found more often than may in speech, and less often in writing.

Well blow me down.

Came across more bunnies on the way home. Well, a bunny. Perhaps a more successful Easter Bunny than the one I saw the other day, this one has his own getaway car.

Unlike Bert, who I discovered in the Hamilton North Business Centre, just behind Lifeline.

I took a photo of this sign. I don’t know why, I think it was more the Telstra junction box that caught my eye. Those junction boxes always look so frail and vulnerable, I’m surprised they aren’t vandalised more than they are. Our whole shiny new Internet world depends on little boxes like this not being smashed up or exposed to the elements. It somehow makes me a little less confident in the ability of technology to control our future.


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