Sunday 1 September 2013


I found these teacups on a market stall in Oxford while I was a student.  And because I was a student, I had a student budget so I-really-want-this seldom translated into I-shall-buy-this.  

But seriously, look how pretty they are.  I contemplated my existence without them and realised promptly on the spot that I hadn't truly been living up until that point.  I'd just been letting life drift by.  But if I had some teacups, then clearly my life would have some meaning, it would be more profound and there would be more tea.  Plus my teapot was lonely.

With all this clearly rationalised in my mind, I asked how much they were.  Have you heard the expression 'If you need to ask the price then you can't afford it?'.  Well, the default student position is 'I can't afford it' anyway, so suffice to say I couldn't afford the pretty teacups.

But I could squeeze one out of that week's budget if I was careful.  I decided that I would be careful (that's also what I tell people who try and sell me additional insurance cover - don't worry, I'll be careful and take my chances) and so I took home the pink teacup.

But the pink teacup, whilst an excellent companion for my teapot, definitely missed his friends.  Apparently he's a male teacup, just go with it.  So the next week found me doing the same financial wizardry and ended with me back in the little stall.   Shortly after that, I was back in my room with the green teacup nestling into the pink one.  So now I had two happy teacups, reunited as friends and with a new partner-in-crime in the teapot.

But somehow, I couldn't forget that poor little yellow teacup.  Bereft and abandoned and wondering if maybe yellow wasn't his colour and that he'd have had more success in life had he been a blue teacup. 

Obviously, the next week, the budget was plundered once more for yellow teacup funds.  And so here they are.  The first three teacups in my collection.  Friends together under the wise council of teapot.  They were the only teacups I had for a long time; I tend to use mugs on a day-to-day basis as they fit more in.  With tea, I'm very much about the quantity.

They've been through a lot, these teacups.  With me they have moved 4 times as I transitioned from student to trainee teacher to teacher to teacher-with-a-flat.  They have held champagne and toasted the new year, seen me through a depressing summer job, been outside on picnics and been cradled by the best of friends.  The saucers have also had their fair share of cake and biscuit action, if you know what I mean.  But I love these teacups.  They're quite chunky, their sturdiness guarding them against the odd accident and they have a quirky quality; they are more like a small child's idea of teacup than a fine bit of frippery china. I don't quite think I'm mature enough for delicate grown-up teacups yet, although I have started a collection.  Just in case I ever get there.

But these three have been there for 6 years now, holding the tea, bringing comfort to friends and being the focal point of many a shared cup of tea.

You can read more stories from more talented bloggers over at Sian's blog 'From High in the Sky' as part of her series 'Storytelling Sunday'.  Enjoy!

Kisses xxx

P.S. It is a little bit awkward if there are 4 of us having tea.  But fortunately, I have a system where I choose my favourite friends, and they get the good teacups.

P.P.S. Obviously, you would all get one of the good ones if you were having tea with me.

P.P.P.S. Milk jug has only been with me for a couple of years, but that's another story...


  1. I love this story and I love the teacups! Definitely money well spent. =)

  2. I'm so glad you bought them all in the end! Would hate to think of one being left behind!

  3. Oh I am so glad you plundered your student budget - those are very special tea cups - - I love them, Thanks for todays story - I have really enjoyed reading it. J x

  4. Many thanks for sharing x
    I'm a big tea drinker too & first thing in the morning quantity wins over quality!

  5. Wookie always says tea is his favourite pint :) These are very cute and definitely worth plundering your budget as well as seeing lots of cake and tea action. Looking forward to hearing about the milk jug another time...

  6. You always make me laugh! I totally sympathise with your story and student spending! I justify funny things sometimes like "yes, I do need that cath kidston mug, my room is full of cath kidston therefore it would look at home!". I am also a believer in quantity of tea over a pretty mug! I feel we should do some more tea drinking together!

  7. Even though you say they are sturdy hey look a little like dolls tea cups too, which of course makes them even more delightful in my mind. Lovely!

  8. I love the story behind these teacups Kirsty, and I think it's so fab that what began as a single cup on a student budget turned into a family of teacups that have been with you through uni and trainee teaching and 'real' teaching! The fact that they're chunky and sturdy makes them all the more appealing to me. Like you, I'm definitely more of a mug person for the everyday cuppa, but I love to break out the dainty cups for special occasions!
    P.S. Was in the middle of writing this comment when I got an email to say you had commented on my post! Great minds :D
    P.P.S. Thank you for your message - an email will be winging it's way back to you tomorrow! x

  9. I am sipping coffee from a mug as I read this. It's a great hand thrown purple and cream colored mug with just the right handle. Sometimes something is made to be owned by you! Love your photo of your pretty mugs and always enjoy your tales from Girl Guiding to tea! Thanks for hanging with us over at Sian's!

    Mitra (from the States, which is why I am drinking coffee!)

  10. Love the cups, they were well worth the alteration in budget :-) As always, a great story

  11. I'm a mug girl as well, but if I owned such cheerful tea cups, I'm sure I'd be sipping tea from them!

  12. A lovely story and beautiful cups :)

  13. they really are pretty and needed to be bought!

  14. Those cups are so cute. Where can I get them?! I just wanted to mention my site skin lightening, has some good skin care info on there. Okay, that's all, good day!