Calling with a pinta

I HEAR one dairy firm is today claiming its milkmen have only been saved from extinction because they now sell other goods as well as milk. In a flash those words took me back to the 1960s and early 70s when lots of roundsmen delivered products direct to your door such as coal, greengrocery, general groceries, fizzy drinks, meat, bread, biscuits and cakes.

I HEAR one dairy firm is today claiming its milkmen have only been saved from extinction because they now sell other goods as well as milk.

In a flash those words took me back to the 1960s and early 70s when lots of roundsmen delivered products direct to your door such as coal, greengrocery, general groceries, fizzy drinks, meat, bread, biscuits and cakes.

Oh the joy of rummaging in the baker's wicker basket for a pack of Penguins and some Golden Wonder crisps - I was only a kiddie!

But such people have long since vanished from our streets. Today of course we can always order items from supermarkets via the internet, if we don't want to or can't do the shopping ourselves. Which is great as far as it goes, but not of much use if you don't happen to have a computer or only need a few basic articles.

Personally I think we should count ourselves lucky that we in this country still have the opportunity to have our daily pinta brought to our doorstep. Who else but milkmen provide a vital link to the housebound, use environmentally friendly floats, recyclable packaging and supply 'top of the milk' for your cornflakes?

IF it isn't bad enough that my poor hubby has had to spend the best part of the last 30 years in a household dominated by females, he now has to contend with yet another vociferous woman telling him what to do.

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At least she is confined to the car however.

And he assures me he is quite happy to sacrifice his bastion of occasional peace and quiet if it means she will keep him on the straight and narrow.

And she does more often than not which is more than can be said for me when I am accompanying him. Oh, she may seem to go on - and on - a bit at times, but her directions are so much better than mine. Well, it's hard to read a map when your stomach starts to think it's on a rollercoaster the instant you take your eyes off the road. So nowadays my hubby and I prefer to sit back, relax and let this expert in navigation, otherwise known as our sat nav, guide us to where we want to go. Or should I say, where she thinks we want to go.

Many's the time she has taken us along roads we would never have considered negotiating, but we have learned that this particular woman really does know best. Never again will we ignore her appeals and merrily take what we believe to be the quickest route. The last time we did that we found ourselves stuck in the middle of Leicester city centre going round and round the one-way system for the best part of an hour.

Whoever said it's easier to travel on a Sunday must be kidding themselves and everyone else. There was as much traffic streaming - or more precisely crawling - along on that particular afternoon as there normally is in Ipswich town centre in the rush hour. It wasn't until we gave in and followed our sat nav's instructions that we finally managed to escape the flow of vehicles and start our journey home.

Even this wonderful machine isn't totally infallible though. It does tend to go rather quiet when faced with a brand new road which can be pretty unnerving I can tell you, especially if you happen to have been daydreaming and completely lost track of where you are. Past experience has taught us that it's best to just carry on driving along in this situation because we know it's guaranteed that sooner or later our lady will start talking.

She can also become a bit hysterical on occasions particularly if we double back on ourselves, without first resetting her and giving her details of our new destination. Honestly, her persistent high-pitched cries of “Do a U-turn” can be quite heart rending.

Of course sat navs can be given a man's voice but apparently male drivers prefer being told what to do by a woman - yes, really - even if it is completely at odds to what they believe is the right thing to do. We never actually got to choose the voice for our sat nav as our car came with it already fitted.

I don't mind it being female though and I know my hubby certainly doesn't.

After all, as he said to me the other day, at least he can switch her off.

In case you're wondering, my quest to find suitable 'Mother of the Bride' apparel is in full swing and virtually every spare moment I have is spent browsing the shops.

Not much difference from normal there I know, but now the intensity of this browsing has gone up a notch - in fact several notches.

Well, with an end date in sight I'm starting to feel the pressure to find that elusive outfit.

I'm very happy to report that I may have found the ideal headgear though. You see, I've recently taken a bit of a fancy to those feathery ornamental types of headdress that look as if they stay in place more by luck than anything else. Apparently they are called 'fascinators' because people can't take their eyes off them. What could be more perfect than that?

At least with one of those I won't have to worry what the rest of me looks like.

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