At home (Cowplain, Hampshire) my family has been getting milk delivered to the doorstep in 1-pint glass bottles basically forever. I don't remember a time when we usually bought milk from a shop/supermarket along with the rest of our food, though we have done it on occasion (usually on a Sunday, when Friday's milk wasn't quite enough for the whole weekend and Monday morning before the milkman comes). Despite that, in the 4 or so years I've been living in Swansea (actually 5 years, but I was in Germany for the 3rd) I've bought my milk in plastic bottles of 2 or 4 litres from a shop.
This year, for a change, I'm living in what might be considered a household of more than one person, so we buy milk for 4 or 5 people at once. That needs to happen a couple of times a week, but it's a bit inconvenient to go shopping for 5 that frequently (we've only actually had two communal shopping trips since I moved in at the start of the month). Moreover, I really hate throwing away a 6 litre plastic bottle every week; glass bottles from the milkman, which get collected and reused, don't consume (much) oil in their manufacture and don't go into landfill, so are far more environmentally friendly. So I decided to set up milk deliveries. Observing our milk consumption before that point I decided we'd need about 3 pints on Monday and Wednesday and 5 on Friday (to cover the weekend). And the consensus was to get semi-skimmed. So on Friday morning a couple of weeks ago five pints of milk appeared on the doorstep.
Five pints of skimmed milk.
Well, sometimes that happens. The milkman might not have had 5 pints of semi-skimmed available when he got to my house. (Usually though you manage to get a pint or two of the right kind and the rest of something else.) So I put up with it, and we used the milk over the weekend.
On Monday, there appeared on the doorstep three pints of skimmed milk. And again on Wednesday, and another five pints on Friday. There was still a pint or two left over from Friday when we got Monday's milk, partly because skimmed isn't as nice as semi-skimmed so we didn't use as much, but also because it was starting to go off, despite being kept in the fridge and its best before date being Wednesday. (I've always thought skimmed milk tastes like it's started to go off even before you get it.) I checked the order on two occasions to make sure the order was actually for semi-skimmed (annoyingly you can't actually view your existing order on the Dairy Crest website) but still we kept getting skimmed, and it went off before it was supposed to.
This Monday I got the bill. Pricing on the Dairy Crest website for ordinary milk is "at current prices". Now I found out that it costs 58p per pint, about twice as much as getting it from Tesco. I expected it would be more expensive since they have to deliver it, but for stuff that doesn't taste nice and goes off prematurely so we end up throwing half of it away, that's just not acceptable. So today I cancelled the order.
So this little experiment lasted about two and a half weeks, and was thoroughly unsatisfactory. A crying shame. Surely the milkmen in Uplands can't be that much less competent than the ones in Cowplain?