Mugs (Photo credit: Alan Cleaver)

When feeling in the pink she would turn the kettle on,
look for her favourite paisley, fine bone
with handle elegant, Made-in-England
which always did nicely for a cuppa
But if it were a hot chocolate she was after
The charity-shop blue-and-white did better
with good body, it was robust and stronger
On lonely evenings she wrapped her hands around it, keeping it hot for longer
A strong peppermint seemed to have left an imprint
of long flavours in the petrol-coloured porcelain
So she turned to it time and again
after a particularly heavy curry
There was the Jamie Oliver pair in a mocca colour
the one she paid too much for
They would never be called square, but were rounded and mellow
capable of holding much more
Paired nicely with Rooibos, their pale interior
the perfect backdrop to a brew much redder
offering caffeine-free respite in bad weather
Coffee time presented a choice wider
The polka dot, cream on brown was chipper
Or the white on duck blue, cousin paler?
The petite yellow and grey against contents murkier?
Or the M&M collection – orange, brown, yellow, green –
Always perky for when friends came around, nice to be seen
But when a moment was special the Spode got an airing
with teapot, milk and sugar bowls in commanding view
making a statement, if only for a few
Not to make much of a to-do
Those from old lives she found hard to outdo
Deep in store cupboard, remembered, the male blue
wrong season, from days in Islington
Memories awkward if random
And, oh, the odd Christmas present – eclectic eccentric assortment
the hot maroon Marilyn; the ‘best friend’ graphic; the chic rustic; the mug-for-fun thingamajic
White was all the rage but she thought it sterile,
best retired to designer cafes for pretentious anglophiles

A girl could never have enough mugs
They coloured her life

Millicent Danker

25 March 2013


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