Britta's Letters from her life divided between city-life in German's capital Berlin and life in a Bavarian village

Sunday 3 July 2022

My Cup of Tea (Little Stories of Your Life)


There are two favourites - and that tells a lot about me: very often between two extremes. 

The cup which I use most often is a mug. Relaxing cream white bone china, Wedgwood. Snagged from a discontinued line in the classy porcelain shop Lindemann in Hildesheim - a shop with intimidating older salespersons, clad in black, and the shop now closed long ago. (Do you know that prices for valuable porcelain as Meissen or KPM crashed deeper than many stocks now?)

As often I didn't buy as much as I "should" have bought - I had just become a young mother, and we had bought the huge Art Deco villa, thus money was scarce and I thought well before spending it.  

I only bought four mugs and added two round teacups with saucers (one long called from this mortal life, and I don't know whether the shards brought me luck, as a German proverbs promises). Those cups are in my Berlin apartment, the four mugs are justly divided between Berlin and Bavaria. 

The mugs feel so wonderful in my hands - glossy and unexcited, and you can trust them to keep the soothingly warmth for a long time in their bone(s) china. 

The tea I mix myself - but that is a different story. 

And that of the second favourite cup too. 

 I just bought this book and might follow its interesting suggestions.                                          

Query: are you content with this font? I like it because it looks as if I have written a letter to you - but maybe it is difficult to read? 


  1. Little Stories of Your Life sounds like the perfect book for inspiration for writing as we do Britta. I may find a copy for myself. I also have favourite mugs and cups, and only the minimum I require because to have heaps of mugs would just be a waste of time and space. I attach myself to a favourite and that is that, all the rest would never be touched. I found the new font pleasing to look at but difficult to read.

    1. Dear Rachel, the book is inspirational through beautiful photographs and many questions and tips. But please have a look at it on Amazon or a bookshop first to see if it is right for you: I think you have such a good personal way to write in your blog, that it might only be "a drop of cream on the coffee".

      I understand the question of minimum cups (and other things). In Bavaria I try to get as near to "Less" as possible (though I watch it growing over time...) I am still fascinated by the Middle Ages, when each person had its own spoon, fork, knife, mug and plate - and that was it.
      Or so they say... :-) xxx

  2. The story of 'bone china' porcelain is a very interesting one. An Englishman made his fortune by bringing the recipe back from China and keeping it a secret for as long as he could. I think he worked for or with Josiah Wedgwood. I have used porcelain in the past. When it is wet and unfired it is very similar to rubber - it has an elasticity. I am afraid I find your new font too difficult to read.

    1. I did not know about the history of bone china.

      In Berlin we could one day walk through KPM - see how they make their fine porcelain - but I never touched it, so I am surprised by your description of "rubber" feeling.
      I worked a bit with clay.
      As to the font: everybody seems to agree that it is too difficult to read - thus I'll change it. Next time.

  3. I have always felt, as individuals, we are a compilation of many "little stories." I will definitely seek out this book. Our favorite fine china is always prized. Rosenthal, Winnifred china bought by my mother in Germany in 1949 is treasured and the quality is unsurpassed. I like the look of the script in your post but it is hard to read.

    1. T
      Dear Susan, true, those little stories are present in everything (I believe it is the tenor of that book - please look at the index whether it is witty enough to get a place on your book shelf).

      Rosenthal is a very fine porcelain, and often very elegant. My old Rosenthal I have to clean by hand (gold rim would vanish) - so it appears only on festive days. And that while I am a fan of using all things one owns not only on special days!

  4. I don't have any fine bone china mugs, but now I want one. China cups I have plenty, but no china mugs.
    I don't use the font that blogspot seems to prefer but use one that I have personally chosen. However, blogger often tries to change mine without my permission.
    If you enjoy using this new font, it might be easier for others to read if you choose the extra large size.

    1. Isn't it funny, Rosemary, that feeling which suddenly spring up that one "must have" something - in fact, one needed it yesterday :-)
      Yes, the font: clear is better - and as I have to choose from those blogspot offers (nowadays quite many) I might return to Verdana. And "write" only the title in "Parisienne" - because it is of no use when we all love the sight of a scripture - but cannot read the content.
      Which reminds me of endless discussions in former decades about aesthetics and practicability - culminating in the mighty important question whether you prefer a good wine in an ugly glass, or a mediocre wine in a beautiful crystal glass...

  5. I have Laura Pashby's book in my AMAZON wish list - and will go ahead and purchase soon. I need some writing help as I'm thinking of making changes reflecting more on my past!!! Is that a sign of old age? Perhaps.
    Britta the font is lovely but hard to read for me even with readers on - I have enlarged VIEW which makes if somewhat easier.
    I have so many mugs as for some reason family members keep gifting me with a new ones, especially from the store Anthropologie over here! They are beautiful and I try to use different ones depending on my mood. For afternoon tea I've pushed the cups and saucers aside for a while as I bought a couple of smaller mugs recently - white and unadorned - from IKEA. We often have tea on the front porch now summer is here and it's just easier handling a mug rather than a cup!
    Enjoy your weekend dear.

    1. Dear Mary, I find the Amazon wish list such a good way to cool down the feeling that one MUST have something, it gives us time to rethink and maybe we have forgotten it overnight.

      As I am not "through" with reading I cannot judge whether the book is a great help to write. I will look through my quite ample collection of books on writing if I find something even more substantial - though this is at least a nice appetiser.

      I follow Hemingways advice: Sit down if you want to write - every day at the same time - and for the same time - and you will wonder how suddenly you write (after an hour of idle sitting you will start :-)

      As to the font: promised, I'll change it.

      Mugs are the only gift in porcelain or bone china that doesn't seem "encroaching" to me - I mean: a service or cutlery is some very personal expression, so I want to choose it ...
      But some lovely mugs make my heart sing when I go there in the middle of the night for a warm milk with honey, or Horlick, or Ovomaltine - and I think: Oh, this one is from Anne..and this one from Klaus, and that from Gvantsa. Cozy!

  6. I do own a porcelain cup, hand thrown by a porcelain potter. It is my preferred coffee cup.
    Sadly, I do not like the new font. It might be easier to read if it were darker.

  7. Dear Joanne, I would like to see a photograph of your cup!
    The font will be changed.

  8. I am reading this with a cream handmade Leeds pottery mug in my hands with the whimsical quote on its side: "Charles Lamb once told Coleridge he was especially fond of Books containing traces of buttered muffins." It is printed in a delicious olde font and I shall be the rebel here and say I adore your font! Fleeting it may be, but it is truly like reading a letter where you need to carefully read the handwriting to decipher the contents. (Although embiggening helps :))

    We've become very accustomed to the standardisation of printed fonts to the point where skim-reading is almost the norm, which is more than good enough for some things but sometimes we like something Special to arrive before us - well, I do! When handwriting was served up to us with a variety of hands during the course of our day, (I'm talking Olden Days before p.c.'s!) we became familiar with some sufficiently enough to breeze over them but a new hand always presented something novel for our eyes and brain. Anyway, enough of that for font musings are all a moot point!

    Your mug is elegant & I am not surprised it should be so. There is a surfeit of cups and saucers and mugs in this establishment. All get used on differing occasions and for differing hot beverages but I'm rather fond of my aforementioned mug for a morning tea in bed.

    I'm hoping your German proverb holds sway for me as I'm in possession of another sherd that needs gluing back onto the vintage saucer I use to hold a cake of soap at my kitchen sink. The enamel milk pan fell off the rack when I was washing up yesterday onto the saucer and broke another ruffle from its rim. Again. The poor saucer has been/will be glued back to a semblance of wholeness for a fourth time and the crazing will become even crazier. I cannot bear to throw it away as it belonged to a grandmother who died before I was born and sentimentality courses strongly through my veins.

  9. Dear Pip, by now I see a book before my eyes: "Pip & Britt - Commentaries exchanged on/over their Blogs". :-)
    Soon we would fill the pages - and our photos will add a further joy.

    thank you for all your ideas and observations.

    Instantly I long for a book with traces of buttered muffins (at the first moment I - honestly! - read "butterfly muffins" and wondered what this poetic pastry might be - especially fluffy and light, snowed under by powdered sugar? Then I re-read..

    I am a firm believer in atmosphere & halo of people (though I do not believe in "auras" :-) ), meaning: the energy a person sends out, and to think of being in the presence, sort of, of those two great men, Lamb and Coleridge!

    I utterly agree on the beauty of handwriting, and am the first to deplore that it evidently got lost in the time of tablets and computers. Even I reduced my letter writing (computers are so forgiving allowing us to fill in a word, or put a paragraph onto another page!)

    Nevertheless on Saturday I drew a card for a friend of mine in Bremen - I drew a cup (the unmentioned one in the post above) because she owns that service and every time I look at it I think of her - and she, being a girlfriend since school days, is a very important link to my past in Bremen.
    And of course I wrote by hand - she had mentioned my beautiful handwriting, an being an easy target for flattery, I started. (One of the 10 easy secrets to treat this woman: appreciation - a much better word than flattery, because flattery often has something not quite honest about it.)

    IF ones makes an effort to write by hand one is rewarded also in a second way: Japanese (or were it Chinese? - see: I reduced writing by hand - with these sad results for my brain! Quod erat demonstrandum) scientists found out, that brain development grows especially by writing per hand (and we both know why they are so brainy, these two nations: think of all those many many characters to learn!)

    As to the broken vintage saucer - I feel with deeply with you! - I might remain in the Japanese realms - nowadays there are enough books on the art of Kintsugi - they put gold between two shards (already bricolage kits are sold!) and thus make something broken even more beautiful.
    And guess what? My friend Michou in Hamburg and his husband did just that: they repaired some edges in their kitchen that couldn't be saved otherwise with stunning results. (And not real gold, though very convincing).

    I once brought a beloved chipped Spode teapot to a shop in Hamburg where they repair broken china. As with handwriting it is very satisfying to keep something one loves - and try to repair and not run off at the slightest scratch to buy something new.