Bin a While

It’s been a while since my last blog, and this one has the potential to be really dull: it’s about the bins.

We get a “householders guide” through from the council every November and it contains various bits of information regarding council services. It also contains two calendars: one to show when to put out the green or black bins, and one to show when to put out the glass & battery recycling.

Now this part of the country is pretty good for recycling, with paper, card, glass, cans, plastic bottles, and batteries all being collected free of charge, with garden waste an extra cost option. It makes other parts of the country seem very much behind the times with their token nod towards reducing landfill.

One thing which we have noticed in this year’s guide, though, tucked quietly away in the new booklet is a section which hasn’t been announced to any great fanfare: the recycling of food waste. Apparently, certain areas of the Eastleigh Borough Council area have been trialling a new system where you get yet another container (on top of your black and green wheelie bins; your black box for glass; and your green bag for garden waste) in which to put food waste.

Apparently you’ll get a 25 litre container for outside, with an extra 5 litre container for in your kitchen. The council claim that 30% of a domestic bin contains food waste. The idea is that any food waste goes into this new container (along with any shredded paper), and it is collected weekly to be taken away for composting.

Now I don’t yet know for certain what a food bin will be like in the summer with week-old raw chicken in it, but it can’t be a good smell. Hopefully this isn’t a step too far in the whole recycling thing.

Official: Fortune Cookies Can’t Be Trusted

Pah! So much for the Chinese and their ancient wisdom. Last time we went to the Panda Chinese takeaway I got a fortune cookie which said "Wednesday will be your lucky night". Well O ancient oriental god of dry tasteless snacks: those six numbers didn’t come up last week and I’m still here with a mortgage and CRT telly.

I’m guessing the one I got tonight isn’t going to be true either, although I’m suspecting it’s going to be a little harder to prove it. The vast quantities of salt and MSG present won’t exactly be putting my kidneys in the best of moods, however.

Chinese food will give you good health

First Feeding

Lucy has been getting particularly hungry recently and the blissful 11-hours-a-night sleep pattern has once again given way to waking up crying for a bottle at 4am. She’s now reached a point where we can’t keep her fed enough on milk alone, so that’s a pretty good cue to begin the messy process of weaning from milk onto solids.

We went out on Friday and bought a high chair, got home and eagerly began to assemble it. Luckily I’m the sort of dullard who reads the instructions completely before assembly and discovered at an early stage we were two bolts short. It was too late to pop back to the shop, so first thing Saturday morning I went and picked-up a replacement. That went together much better and Lucy’s first lunchtime of solids commenced.

She took the food surprisingly well – the independent little thing wanted to feed herself with the spoon, which I guess is a good thing. She seemed to enjoy it, but pulled some really funny faces. We began with the standard first food of pureed potato. Not too much, and nothing complicated, but it’s a recommended place to start. Obviously there was food everywhere, but when you’re expecting that it’s not really a problem.

All seemed OK, so we did the same for tea that evening. Unfortunately by bedtime she had developed a rash, which by midnight has manifested itself into swelling around the face. After a couple of calls to NHS Direct and the emergency doctor, we decided to stay awake and keep an eye on her for a while. By morning things weren’t any worse, but they weren’t any better either, so we went to the Southampton walk-in centre for some advice.

We saw a very nice GP whose best suggestion at the cause of the problem was what we’d already had a fairly good inclination of: Lucy is allergic to cow’s milk. When pureeing the potato, we added a small amount of milk to smooth things out and this appears to have triggered something. We haven’t had this officially confirmed yet, but it’s a fairly likely culprit.

Lucy, however, has been an absolute angel. She doesn’t seem to have noticed any of the problems or extra fuss over her recently and has been going about her usual business as a baby quite happily. Her demeanour hasn’t changed at all and appears to be oblivious to what’s going on around her.