Doing the hard work

I am at home now, sharing space with the offspring and the birds and very belligerent squirrels. I am going to report this last group to my company’s human resources office, as they are aggressive and keep hanging upside down off the bird feeder, trying to filch the peanuts. I am sure that’s gross misconduct.

I am sure you are probably at home too, unless you’re a front-line worker, such as NHS staff, or someone who keeps the endlessly emptied supermarket shelves restocked. Or my Milk & More milkman, Anthony Trotter. My milk deliveries have continued as though nothing has changed, although there was a rather sweet note left saying, if you see our milkman, please keep a distance. He is quite safe. I am never up at that ungodly hour, but he is, as is my newspaper delivery fellow.

It seems strange to think that several years ago, Dairy Crest in the UK was despairing over the milk delivery business and the loss leader tactics in supermarkets were threatening its viability as a whole. But two things happened – first, the move towards more reusable packaging, of which the humble milk bottle is a very good example. And then of course, the current pandemic. In a way, it sold at the wrong time, and Müller UK & Ireland is now the beneficiary of this sea change in conditions.

I now go on the website and am told it can accept no new customers, which is fine as we’ve been customers since Dairy Crest owned it (at one point the milkman drove around in a Unigate electric vehicle, which they hadn’t bothered to rebrand). We use a bit more semi-skimmed when we’re all at home. Might also need to order more biscuits.

Otherwise, I notice everyone signs off their phone and zoom conversations with “Stay safe!” now. Which is another minor miracle. Zoom, the programme for business conference calling, has become a quick hit in these self-isolating times. In the past week, I have done a HIIT class, had Saturday drinks with my New York/Connecticut friends, and did a Pilates class this morning before I started work. I recommend it, because we need to keep ourselves isolated, but we are really social animals. I will also warn that it’s a video thing, so people can see you making faces. Stay safe.

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