I'm standing on my bed looking out of the window. The curtain behind me is damp where I used it to wipe the condensation from the glass. After about ten minutes - an absolute age - I see the milkman turn into the close. I run downstairs and let myself out of the back door.
We are the only two people awake and working at this time of day. I help Mr James deliver milk to the whole close. He doesn't say much, in fact I don't actually remembering him agreeing to my helping him. He looks like my Grandad, in his tweed suit and pork pie hat. He comes to collect his money on a Friday. If my mum changed her order for the next week he said 'Right-ho', just like they do in the Mr. Men books.
I am in awe of the neighbours who treat themselves to gold top. My dad says skimmed milk is just water. I can't understand why anyone has it delivered, but Mrs Ford does. Just one pint. Mr Ford left her for his bit on the side. Her daughter is at university, studying economics. Mum says I can study economics O Level one day. Mrs Ford has her hair done by Vinnie, where my mum goes. I pass Vinnie the yellow and red perm rollers and the thin papers. He asks me if I'd like to be a hairdresser. He says when I'm a bit older I can have a Saturday job, sweeping up.
Some customers are better than others at cleaning their empty bottles. By the end of the close all I can smell is sour milk. Mr James pays me with a yogurt. I can chose any flavour I like. We only have strawberry flavour Ski at home, so I always choose the exotic pineapple flavour and eat it when I get home. I lick the lid last. We keep the empty pots and grow cress in them.
I thought of Mr James this morning, as I always do when I eat a pineapple flavour yogurt, and smiled at the memory of a kind gentleman humouring a little girl each Saturday.