Adrian went on holiday from Blogland. It was partly because he was having a good time and partly because in The English Lake District broadband cover is sparse and erratic. However it is evident that some of his friends were concerned: probably because he's a mildly eccentric and very likeable chap (not that I'd ever tell him that).
The absence made me think about milk bottles. Some of my readers may know what they are and remember the days (before refrigerators - which unlike fridges don't have a d) when they were delivered daily to the doorstep. It's still possible to have milk delivered on Lewis although I suspect it's very rare nowadays.
When you went on holiday one of the first things you did was cancel the milk (and the newspapers). Obviously you didn't want a load of sour milk to accumulate nor could one generally afford the luxury of waste in those days.
If you didn't cancel the milk and it accumulated the milkman or the postie would be concerned and would tell the neighbours. Neighbours would usually know if you were on holiday. If you weren't - or they didn't think you were - then they would immediately be concerned and raise the alarm.
Thus might the humble milk bottle have been your saviour.
This made me think how vulnerable we are in modern society if we live alone. After Mum died I used to phone her 93 year old brother (who lived about 550 miles away from Lewis in Anglesey) every night. He was a bit reclusive. One night he didn't answer the phone. After a couple of hours I got in touch with a neighbour. He had had a stroke and was on the floor a few feet from the phone and unable to reach it - it might as well have been a million miles away. Had he had the stroke after the phone call instead of before it then it would have been 24 hours before he'd have been discovered. If I'd missed an evening for some reason then my next call may well have been too late.
He was, however, an exceptionally methodical man and if he'd had milk delivered and had not taken the milk bottle in that day then it would have been noticed by the evening.
Thus might the humble milk bottle have been his saviour.
Of course the story of the humble milk bottle, though real enough, is simply allegorical of the issues that face us in a society that lets one in three people over the age of 60 go a whole week without speaking to anyone at Christmas (according to figures from the UK's Office for National Statistics).
Makes you think!