Don’t worry, I know how silly that sounds but … I can’t help it. It really does matter to me.
I was going to type, “I don’t know why it matters”, but the truth is, I do. It mattered to my mum, it mattered to my aunts and it mattered to my uncle. Yes, in my family, china matters.
A coffee does not taste the same from a mug with thick walls and everyone knows, don’t they, that white is the only colour for the interior of a cup or mug?
Money was hard to come by in my family but there was always money for a beautiful cup and saucer, for a china ornament or a special plate.
I can remember, as a young adult, a friend’s mum describing ornaments as dust collectors. It was the first time I had ever encountered the view that Royal Doulton, Wedgewood, Lladro, Fitz & Floyd, and the like, were not something to be coveted.
I remember, very early in our relationship, buying Maus china as gifts. It took me a while to realise that I liked it much more than she did.
I backpacked around Europe for a year and carried home six Lladro figurines for me and a one for each for my sisters and my mum. That’s normal, isn’t it?
One of my great regrets was not buying a Christmas mug one year. I don’t even remember the brand except that it was Japanese and it cost $78. This was about 20 years ago and $78 was a bit to pay for a mug but, geez, I liked it. I thought it would be on special after Christmas. Who would spend $78 on a mug you can only use once a year? I went back to the store and it was gone. I couldn’t believe I could have been so silly not buying it when I saw it. That mug has haunted me ever since.
As you can tell from the picture, there has been an accident in our house. I broke a plate. I know 99.99% of you would think “big deal” but big deal it is to me. I broke it on Friday and I haven’t thrown it in the bin yet. How weird is that? Actually, it is on the desk by me as I type.
Hey!! I am not that weird! It is here because I have been on ebay searching for a replacement and I wanted to make sure I bought exactly the same as I broke. Maus once broke one of my plates and I bought a replacement online but the replacement was the wrong bloody size so I had to buy another one. And then I wanted to buy 5 more of the larger size because I didn’t like having just one. I know, I know …
The plate I broke is a Villeroy & Boch Amapola bread and butter plate and, lucky for me, there are people out there who make a living supplying obsolete china to loonies like me. A replacement is on its way from England.
Amapola was in production from 1981 – 2001. It was made in Germany. At the time of its first release, it was a bit radical. It is very bold and not at all like country roses. I remember buying each plate, one by one. I would buy one each pay day. My mum bought me pieces for Christmas and birthdays and, slowly but surely, I got the whole set. Most young women would be spending their money on clothes and booze but not me; I was into plates.
It didn’t seem strange to me to spend my hard earned money on plates. I can remember, as a kid, going to David Jones once a fortnight with mum whilst she paid off a lay-by for some Royal Doulton figurine she had seen and couldn’t resist. Clearly, it is in the blood.