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Never Mind

Our camera stopped working yesterday, a terrible thing to happen to a family of bloggers. This image is one of the last shots we took of our pile before it flipped out.

This morning we biked to a service centre from where we are hoping to hear good news. The technician we spoke to said she would do her best, though she was hesitant to say she could fix it, because it is six years old.

“Why spend money fixing an old camera when you can spend less getting a brand new model?” She asked. A valid question. If you are talking about the cost of things in dollars.

“Because we subscribe to the Repair Manifesto,” we told her.

“I’m glad there are people like you,” she smiled. “Otherwise I’d be out of a job.”

As we left the service centre and pedalled towards the beach, we all agreed that that Repair should be added to the Reduce. Reuse. Recycle trinity. We can definitely see the merit of the first two actions, but the third? It’s no wonder it features so far down the waste hierarchy:

When people choose to buy bottled water instead of soft drinks, the individual health benefits may be high, but the energy spent and pollution created to drink (or eat) anything from disposables has a great societal toll, regardless of what the vessel holds.

Every day as we bend to pick up forlorn plastic bottles on whichever beautiful beach we are on, we marvel at the complete lack of care exhibited by those who litter. But today on the beach, as we collected we talked about people, ourselves included, who buy packaged drink or food and then put the waste in a recycling or regular bin, thinking we’ve done the right thing.

Lest we feel too hopeful that we can properly process the waste we have collected over the last 12 days, here’s Donovan Hohn to set us straight:

Never mind that only 5 percent of plastics actually end up getting recycled. Never mind that the plastics industry stamps those little triangles of chasing arrows into plastics for which no viable recycling method exists. Never mind that plastics consume about 400 million tons of oil and gas every year and that oil and gas may very well run out in the not too distant future. Never mind that so-called green plastics made of biochemicals require fossil fuels to produce and release greenhouse gases when they break down…


  1. farmdoc says:

    Dear AaF. Intentionally or not, you have left your readers in suspense. Is the camera fixed? Or fixable? And if you don't know now, when will you know? I wish it a rapid return to full health. For its sake. And yours. And mine. xxx

  2. Meg says:

    We are hoping to hear back before we leave Newcastle whether or not the camera is fixable. Fingers crossed! xx

  3. Oh No, I understand your woe!
    My camera died this year.
    I still have it in its pouch, its also six years old,
    the first comment people made was, 'Oh now you can replace it with a nice new one!'
    But until it died there was nothing wrong with it
    I had no status anxiety about its age or ability.
    I love that camera, it was given to me by my sister.
    Its not fancy but it changed my practice.
    I am sure It can be fixed by someone,
    I just have to find that someone!
    ….In the meantime I use my very old hand me down mobile phone and take quick snap shot like, daggy pictures with it…
    but you know what, it has also changed my practice, some how freeing me up.
    ( Although I do marvel at the images other people with really fancy iphones send me I don't feel like I miss out, as I still get to share their images.)
    .. I also find people are generous creatures and always offer to lend out their camera etc if I need it!

    I like the challenge and adversity of broken things or older models, after I have calmed down by the shock of the initial disappointment of the instrument breaking.

    I also like my 'recycled sari' water bottle carrier bag, perfect for carrying a glass water bottle..

    -and what ever happens, your project is being documented beautifully.

  4. MrO says:

    i loved that little red camera!!

    well loved that you love it..

    rain continues in Daylesford & this morning I watched some freckled ducks crossing the road…

    waddle as family….

  5. Meg says:

    Waddle as Family. I love it!

    And I loved your musings about your practice and your camera too, Eddy.

    Being camera-less makes me experience the world differently, and maybe even for the better, but I must say that really don't like being without one.

    Our god news is that the camera is fixable. Hoorah! Now I just hope it's ready in time for us to take home.

  6. Thanks for sharing your journey. This last post has really cemented a growing yearning I've had to walk this kind of Repair Manifesto talk. Somehow, reading it in Manifesto form has clarified my yearnings and turned them into a resolve. That next thing that breaks better watch out for the woman with a screwdriver.

  7. Meg says:

    Hey there lovely woman with a screwdriver, have you seen this site?

    Maybe you could send them a pic of one of your repaired creations??

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