The Lost Jewels
The Hollow Mountain

The Milkman

When I was a small child, there were large fields to play in. There was dinner at 6 pm at the kitchen table. There was the river to swim in during summer and to ice-skate on during winter. And then, there was the milkman.

Once a week he would come to our house in his little white van. Empty milk bottles would be waiting for him beside the front door. Using a wicker basket he would take the empty bottles away and replace them with full and fresh ones. His basket was specially made to hold the glass bottles in such a way that they could not clash against each other and break. And so, with a wicker basket in his hands the milkman would move from house to house.
At the end of his daily round he would drive his little white van full with empty milk bottles back to the milk factory. There the empty bottles would be washed and sterilized before being used again for another week's milk.

Now, many, many years later and I am not so small or young anymore.
Where the fields used to be, are now office-buildings. Dinner is no longer at 6pm at the kitchen table but whenever you want in front of the TV.
There is no more swimming in the river during summer as the river is too toxic. And in winter, there is no more ice-skating on the river either as the river will not freeze over anymore.

Over the years a lot of things have changed. But still, once a week a man comes to collect my empty bottles. Only he is called: the binman.

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© Brigitte Franssen 2008
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