But I can still sit behind a computer (as long as I don 't do so for very long), so here goes.
Like a lot of men - and it is mainly men - I have the urge to collect things. I think it's the last remnants of the hunter-gatherer instinct in us. I started with stamps and then engine-numbers, which led to bus numbers and then bus tickets (and to a very satisfying career in public transport!) and there have been other things along the way.
So, after we'd moved to Lancaster and arranged a daily milk delivery to the house (we had no choice: Colin, the milkman, had delivered to several previous occupants and wasn't going to lose a sale without a fight) I couldn't help but notice the variety of branded bottles that the milk came in.
I don't know whether this is a new thing - it is with beer glasses in pubs - and in Hereford our milk came in plain clear glass bottles, but I found it fascinating. I like to believe I'm mature enough now not to actually collect the bottles, but I'll confess to photographing them.
Here are a few
|Creamline of Eccles|
|Joylan of Preston|
|Kay's of Wigan|
|Jackson's of Hazel Grove|
|Morton's of Maghull|
|Wells Fram of Bradley, Staffs.|
|Shepherd's of Catterall|
|White House of Knutsford|
The milk itself all comes from a farm in Warton, north of Lancaster but the bottles come from a wide range of locations across Lancashire, Cheshire, Westmoreland and even Staffordshire. I think most of the dairies concerned are still in business, so it's not a case of buying up surplus stock but perhaps milk bottles have developed a method of migration around the country?!
Incidentally, if you are concerned about the way in which supermarkets are forcing down the incomes of dairy farmers because they can buy cheaper milk from Europe the best way to support them is to buy your milk from your local milkman. We pay 63p a pint (£1.11 a litre) for organic semi-skimmed. That's 30p a litre more than the same stuff advertised on Tesco's website today (and they claim to be supporting farmers with higher prices) but for that we get it delivered to the door and the satisfaction of knowing we are keeping a local dairy and a friendly milkman in business.
Makes a change from blogging about boats!