|I stole this pic from http://www.recycleboxes.co.uk where I got mine from. I hope he will forgive me but I couldn’t be arsed to go outside and take a picture of my own.|
When I lived in the West End of London, I lived in a mansion block. Like many mansion blocks our home had some really funny little details. For instance, our two bedroomed flat had bells to ring for the maid, and in the kitchen there was one of those boxes that showed you whether the bell had been rung in the bedroom or the living room. For yes, there were two bells that could have been pushed in urgent maid-need. I found this fairly startling given that the flat was not that big and you could just have easily have shouted for the maid.
If you had one, which we didn’t.
It also had, outside the front door, a little cabinet recessed into the wall which you accessed via a flap-door. This was for storing the milk. We had a milk man who delivered milk in bottles, until such time as we started buying our milk in the supermarket and milk no longer came in bottles but cartons, and the funny little cabinet was no longer used, although I used to play with it sometimes and put my dolls in there.
I’ve always been a birruva sucker for milk in milk bottles. When I moved from the mansion flat to a flat around the corner, I could have had my milk delivered I suppose, but I was in my 20s and too busy going out and smoking Lucky Strike to worry about milk being delivered. Then I moved to Old Street and lived up 102 flights of stairs in a loft appartment and there was no way I was going up and down those stairs any more than necessary. Plus it would have been very unlikely the milk would still have been there in the morning as it was an edgy place. At least for the first five years we lived there until our presence gentrified the area of course.
So when I moved to a house, having milk in bottles delivered was pretty high on my list of priorities. Above, possibly, even looking at schools in the area and checking train time-tables.
Once I’d had the entire garden fenced and the electric gates installed and the watch towers erected, the milk man found it hard to get in to deliver his clinky bottles of milk. And because we’re on a sloping drive leaving the milk bottles out, in our litigious society, was risky.
I felt a purchase coming on.
The world of milk bottle holders is a bizarre place. Before you know it, you’re transported onto sites that want you to believe you’re living in Provence and you need hand painted house-number tiles and little signs saying things like “I’m in the garden”. Once I’d pushed past the sachets of dried lavender and ceramic egg boxes (which no sane person should use since eggs should always be kept in the fridge), I realised that I was not going to find what I wanted on these whimsical sites whose merchandise was 95% twisted wire.
And then I found this wall mounted version (above, except mine is a different colour) from Milk Safe. Completely practical. Fairly minimalist. If you stain it yourself (which I recommend you do) you can make it look fairly decent. And if you live in a high crime area you can even opt for the lockable version. There are various different versions – you can get it for four or eight bottles, wall mounted or not, lockable or free for all, closed at the bottom or open.
Look here for all the variations, from £27.99.
An addendum to this fine, fine entry. I asked the man behind the milk bottle box to make me a custom-sized box to match, for my papers and post. No-one makes a box big enough for all the newspapers and post I get.The service was fantastic, as is the box.
I'm the man behind the box (a Milksafe) described above. Since about June 2011 we've been painting them with a superior quality preservative which looks just like paint (actually the photo at the top of this page is current). So I am happy to declare the box looks better than ever. Many thanks for the praise! Just need to get the Guardian to write all about our product now 🙂