Tuesday, June 05, 2012


Down into glorious North Wales today, in beautiful weather that contrasted sharply with that which shrouded - but never obliterated - yesterday's magnificent flotilla on the river Thames. Wales was where I spent most of my childhood holidays and it was good to see again all those place names with a 5:1 ratio of consonants to vowels. Llanrydd is just one good example, especially as you have to remember that the first L of a double L is pronounced as a C. More or less. A true Celtic tongue. Though, of course, it has to deal with modernisms as best it can, without duplicating the English. So gêr is Welsh for gear, for example.

Watching Kylie Minogue perform at the Buckingham Palace concert tonight, I commented to my mother that she was 35. “They say she's dying?” she asked. Which was one of the better quizzical responses of the day.

Returning to the lounge from my bedroom, I found Elton John was on the TV and my mother emptying the rubbish bin in the kitchen. When I asked why she hadn't left that to me, she answered: “I didn't want to stay while he was on.” Not sure what she's got against him but didn't ask.

Still on my mother . . .I asked her this morning where I could throw an empty orange juice carton. “No. Leave it next to the microwave,” she said. “I have to rinse it out”. “Why?” I asked. “Because it says you have to on the side.” “No, it doesn't. It just says it's recyclable.” “Well, I like to rinse them out”. . . . . Is she the only person in the world who does this? Not to mention the jam jars and the sauce bottles.

More importantly, what on earth is a 'skinny latte' and would I want to drink in a place which gives such fancy names to its drinks?

8 comments:

kraal said...

Yes, the weather turned out to be glorious in North Wales yesterday. Like your mother I also wash bottles/cans before they go out as slugs etc. are still attracted to them. I have containers for glass/plastic/tins/paper & card/general waste/garden waste/and what I call the pig bin which is for food scraps. Do you have this level of recycling in Spain Colin?

Colin said...

Hi, kraal. Well . . . We (like ever other street in Spain) a number of large bins (contenadores), somewhere in the street. These are emptied either nightly or less frequently. We have:
A green one: For standard household stuff.
A yellow one: For plastic and cartons.
A blue one: For paper.
A second green one: For glass of any colour.

My impression is that some of my neighbours regard these 'rules' as flexible

Anthea said...

We also rinse jars and containers before putting them in the recycling. It's only polite. Why should binmen have to deal with smelly and sticky?

And our Spanihs neighbours also have a flexible ttitude to what is recycled where. Mind you many of our neighbours, boith English ans Spanish, seem to find the idea of recycling rather hard to understand.

Anthea said...

Oh, and a skinny latte is a milky coffee made with skimmed milk. Have it decaffeinated and there's not much point. No caffeine, no proper milk and it probably has no flavour either. I am so glad to be in the land of decent coffee again.

Colin said...

I´m not convince human hands touch anything that goes in the bins. I'm with those Spaniards who believe it's all tipped into the same hole in the ground . . . .

Colin said...

Ta, Anthea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Colin,

My mother -85 years young- always rinses any cartons, jars, and cans before throwing them in the recycling bin. Perhaps our mothers graduated from the same "Academy of St. Hygiene." One thing for sure, garbage never smelled bad in her house.

Regards,
Jorge
SF Bay Area

Colin said...

At the risk of upsetting my good friends, Anthea and Phil, I'm wondering (aloud) whether this isn't a generational thing . . .

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