I suppose there inevitably comes a time in your life when you start to notice that you aren’t quite as young as you were. Joints creak a little more on damp days. You listen to some modern music and think ‘what’ and in my case you start collecting cookbooks full of recipes that were familiar and beloved when you were young.
Then you start sorting cupboards out after a bereavement leaves you determined not to do the same to your children someday and find all those treasures that you put away for best and ask yourself ‘What? What does that actually mean?’ I remember my mum had the best china and you could assess the status of the guest by the tea service that was used, but most people don’t use tea services any more, do they? These days we use mugs, and I go for a theme rather than matching sets.
Or rather, I did, but researching books like the Esther and the Professor series and the Windy Bay book ‘Vintage Girl Summer’ made me realise that I like the little ceremony of setting the breakfast table nicely with matching teapot and milk jug and plates and butter in a butter dish. It doesn’t take me all that much longer and it makes me feel wonderfully spoilt and as if I’m in a posh tea or coffee shop. I feel even more spoilt when my beloved husband makes me a cappuccino using our metal cafetiere and the milk frother that was last year’s Christmas present to me and uses a stencil and cocoa powder to put a pretty picture on the top. He enjoys doing it, and everyday life gets a little bit less everyday.
So I’m using my treasures and if they get broken then fine, they get broken. Obviously I'll be sad but least I’ll have had the fun of using them rather than having them sitting in a cupboard and gathering dust until they go to a charity shop. And I’ll always have the memories of sitting at the kitchen table with my family, without the TV on and talking about our days and relaxing. It’s so much cheaper than going out to eat and I’ve discovered that I like cooking. My family like eating, so it’s all good!
What do meals look like in your family? Do you ever hanker to settle down with a lovely china cup and saucer and one perfect biscuit along with your cup of Earl Grey tea? Let me know, and please, until we meet again, try to spoil yourself each day!
Today’s picture is of my homemade Empire biscuits (excuse the wonky icing, it was the first time I made them) on Poole Pottery plates in Kimmeridge design. I live in Poole and love Kimmeridge, which features in the next Amy book, so I smile whenever I use them and my family smile when they scoff the biscuits and that makes me happy too.