One of my chief Dad duties was accomplished today. No, not the boiler service. No, not catching that spider you think you saw. The Recycling.
We have bags at home for paper, card, glass and plastic. To recycle three of those four items you have to go to the main waste sorting centre in the Longman. It's a wonderful if slightly whiffy place, although not as bad now the neighbouring fish factory has closed.
The guys who work there are as cheery as Dick Van Dyke on a London rooftop and it's pleasing to see latest recycling rates are almost 80 per cent. I'm sure this could be improved if recycling was made easier - and I'm told in the not too distant future we'll have two wheelie bins for collection on alternate weeks. One for recyclables and the other for normal evil rubbish.
One of the greatest excitements of The Toddler Who Must Be Obeyed is on a Monday when The Bin Lolly comes. Starring? The Bin Lolly Men. Their massive yellow monster truck scoops up the green bins and the men give Toddler WMBO a wave and a smile. Her awe is awesome. What is it with binmen and bin lorries? It seems to be a toddler thing.
Anyway, while down the Longman I had to put my glass into an overflow bin. One of the Dick Van Dyke characters told me all the bottle banks had been emptied on Saturday but were now completely full. What's going on? Are Invernessians purging their drinks cabinets of crusty containers of Tia Maria in preparation for some forthcoming mighty feast?
Meanwhile I'm sorry to see the Real Food project by Inverness High School is downsizing. I used to pick up veg from the wee shop they had in the Victorian Market and later the stall in the Eastgate. They stocked Cromarty loaves - possibly the best bread in the world. Still, the school garden remains. Indeed, there are other signs the idea of homegrown produce is gathering momentum. The Nairn Allotment Society has quite a waiting list and is close to starting work on a new patch round the corner from me. Maybe I'll dust off my spade and fork and see if Green Dad has green fingers.
Anyway, back to the Longman and I'm pleased to say most of the glass I recycle turns out to be jars of pasta and curry sauces and not Babycham. But there may be gin and vermouth containers in the next run. I hope to persuade Wife Features to join me in playing The Thin Man Drinking Game on Christmas Eve. Tell me - you don't need to get up early or be sober on Dec 25 when you've got a kid, do you?