Anyone For A Milk-Shake?

I expressed my concerns earlier this week about the mystery of our missing milkman and the suspicions that our new milkman is arousing in my mind. I appreciate all the comments from other bloggers – no small matter on my mind this has been! You are all so lovely to have given me feedback with my dubious dairy dilemma.

Well…after receiving yet another overdue payment letter this week, I rang the milk company again on Friday, as last week we used her my landlady’s credit card to make a payment, which we thought had cleared the account.

I ended up speaking to a very chatty adviser and learnt the following:

  • the account is clear so we can ignore the overdue payment letter
  • she has no idea what happened to our old milk-man
  • we currently do not have a regular milk-man
  • milk-man “temps” are standing in and there may be several different milk-men covering the round
  • the adviser had never heard of a milk-caddy with a dial!
  • not all milk-men understand the milk caddy system – they may not realize they should look at the dial to see how many pints of milk the house-hold needs
  • they prefer for customers to ring in the milk company with their requests rather than having direct communication with the milk-man
  • they prefer customers to set up a direct debit for payments (I explained that is not what my landlady prefers)
  • she was shocked when I told her our old milk-man used to deliver the milk around 10 or 11am. She told me milk should be delivered before 7am!
  • a milk-man somewhere in the country did actually die quite suddenly this year only she has no idea where in the country that was, but it was due to illness and nothing suspicious
  • milk-man work horrible hours
  • they are looking to recruit new milk-men
  • it’s a really hard job being a milk-man
  • it’s even harder if you are a milk-man temp and you are having to deliver milk to customers on a round that you are not familiar with

I made her cry telling her how fond everyone was of our old milk-man and how lovely it was to see his cheery face and have a chat with him. We both agreed that it is lovely to see a local milk-man who is friendly and a part of the community.

We both spoke rather nostalgically of the “olden days” when neighbours chatted over the fence and everyone knew the milk-man and the post-man and the coal-man (hold on a minute I am much too young to remember the coal-man – but she remembered him).

I admitted to her that I am afraid that it could have been our lovely milk-man that may have died due to illness. I explained that would rather explain his mysterious disappearance. She said that all she knows is that it was very sudden and unexpected, but she has no idea where his milk-round was.

mysteryPerhaps I have been a bit over-imaginative in my detective work. I am starting to conclude that my theory about a new milk-man with “issues”, who was at war with my landlady over her complaints, is highly improbable – because it turns out we might be having a different milk-man every week! And of course my far-fetched fears about the disappearance of the old milk-man being due to some nefarious act on behalf of the new milk-man is also seeming even more absurd.

I am still faced with at least one of the milk-man “temps” being slightly dodgy, but I think I have to recognize that my suspicions were inordinately large. All I can accuse him of at the moment is not understanding how a milk-caddy works (which apparently is not unusual!), having an unkempt appearance, nearly running me over in his milk-float when he came around the corner too quickly, and lurking down cobble stoned alleys with shady looking photos.

However, I think we can all rest in peace that whatever his misdemeanours may be, they are not on the scale I presumptuously concluded they were.

We can all return to enjoying milk again (well some of us can enjoy the dairy-free alternatives). Is anyone for a milk-shake?

The Mystery Of The Missing Milk-man

When I was growing up, everyone seemed to have their milk delivered in glass bottles, with foil tops, by the milk-man who drove a funny little milk float around.

The milk-man would normally leave your required number of bottles in a milk caddy outside your front door. It was then up to you to bring the milk in before the birds started pecking at the top to see if they could reach the cream.

I remember with great pride that one day the milk-man knocked on our front door and asked if he could borrow me. His milk-float had broken down and he wanted me to sit in the milk-float to make sure nobody tampered with it, while he walked down to the nearest telephone box. I was so excited sitting in the front of the milk-float while all the other children were jealously looking on.

I know what you are thinking – Caramel is old! Well, I am not that old. I was born in the eighties, and back then hardly anyone had a landline telephone in our street, nevermind a mobile device. If you wanted to use the telephone, you would walk down to the nearest little parade of shops with your bag of ten pence coins. The world has just started to move at a super-fast pace. All the developments in technology make me look old, when I start to talk about they way things were when I was a lass.

Many of us have fond memories of the milk-man. However, in the area I grew up in, the milk-float disappeared from our streets at one stage, which I think was around the time that new 24-hour supermarkets and budget supermarkets were appearing. People now had their own car and would go down to the supermarket and spend over £100 on the family shopping and stock up on large plastic containers of milk. I have never had to do a big family shop, but I have seen people in front of me at the supermarket with a full trolley of food for their family spend between £200-£300 at a time.

I was pleased to find that in this little pocket of London, there was a very lovely milk-man when I moved here, driving round in a sweet milk float and delivering foiled topped glass bottles of milk (and even groceries if you put in an order). There is a little milk caddy outside my landlady’s front door and she sets the dial to say if she wants one pint, two pints if she has guests, or nothing if she is going away on holiday. She always has semi-skimmed milk.

I don’t drink milk – I seem to have a bit of a lactose intolerance or something. I buy soya milk, cashew milk, almond milk and occasionally lacto-free milk at the big supermarket instead. But nonetheless, I did love seeing the milk-man in his milk-float! Those who have their milk delivered by the milk-man like to support a much loved traditional part of the community – the local milk-man.

rai hail or shineor shineHe was a chirpy chappy who always had a jolly greeting for you. He was faithful and reliable. The milk was always there, rain, hail, and shine (I don’t think he came when it snowed…I cannot remember to be honest). But you get the point, we all thought he was wonderful!

Then one day the milk stopped coming. No milk for two weeks. Just empty milk bottles sitting outside the front door waiting to be collected. We found the contact details for the milk suppliers and called them. Apparently there was an outstanding amount owed on the account. This seemed strange because normally the milk-man would leave a note to say how much was due and my landlady promptly left a cheque for him.

It turned out, we had a new milk-man. Nobody knows what happened to our old milk-man. We have asked all the neighbours. It appears nobody knows what what happened to him. It is a mystery. The mystery of the missing milk-man.

mysteryNow you may think I should put this mystery out of my mind, however, there is more, much more. I am going to continue this mysterious puzzle in other posts. I have to go out to work now and will not be back at the little nest until midnight.

I have been observing and making deductions and I have several theories to explain the disappearance of our old milk-man. I am eager to share with you my investigative conclusions in another post. The finger of suspicious is pointing straight at…THE NEW MILK-MAN!!!