Crooked Crockery

In my parents house there are cupboards crammed with mugs. The matching sets seem to fade at various speeds, one never quite the same rate as the others, and the mugs near the back are so crippled and cracked you’d wonder who’d even dare to drink from them. In the summer when the days are long and the fields full of tractors, we rediscover the cups barely larger than a thimble. The ones that only come out when the dishwasher is mid-cycle, and everything else is scattered across driver cabins and pick-ups. These are the days when the cry goes up for the purge and new eco-systems are discovered.

In my own house, the mugs are just as mismatched. While the other half buys four the same, I horde crockery one piece at a time. Even the sets are unique in each individual piece. One a pheasant, a rooster, a hare, a fox. Sizes, patterns, colours, the cupboard is a threatened explosion. Some speak for me, ‘Go Away I’m Writing’, ‘It’s Okay, Writers Are Supposed To Be Strange’, while others are simply bowls mascaraing around in a handle. What? It still counts as a single cup of tea.

I can trace my timeline through the cups of tea I have drank. Through the gifts and the purchases cluttering the kitchen.

Leaves turn to amber

as autumn’s fingers creep near.

Tea brews in the pot.


I might be a little obsessed with mugs, I will admit that. I’m very proud of the collection I have amassed so far in my life. It’s a beautiful collection! See for yourself:

Tonight’s inspiration over at dVerse Poets Pub is imperfection and it’s Haibun Monday night so the haikus will be out in force! If you want to join in then you can click the badge above and visit the pub for yourself. Happy writing.


    1. They don’t seem to sell sets much anymore either. Sainsbury’s does a lot of single mugs. It a great achievement in self restraint each time I manage to leave Sainsbury’s without yet another mug.


      1. There’s probably a name for your condition. It’s quite a common one. I hope you live with someone who understands. It would cause divorce in this household 🙂


  1. Mugs do tell a story, don’t they? I love your collections, especially the ones for writer’s. Your prose gives me, not only a narrative about the mugs but a sense of place. The haiku is exquisite.


  2. It’s a good thing when we can get pleasure out of the things we use every day. I love that you fully embrace the mismatch. I have the mismatching cups situation but I am still learning to revel in that. Nicely written!


  3. Mugs, my wife makes me keep them all. Some haven’t seen the light of day in decades. They do remind you of long ago events and friendships. Ours are coffee mugs. Yours are very inspiring! Your Haiku and Haibun make me think you are a farmer. Here’s to a good harvest


  4. I can relate to this! Does everyone have an overload of mugs? I threaten my husband to not buy any more. We don’t have the space. But who finds them? Me. And I try to recycle, but they all have such a space in me…
    Great post!


  5. Mugs! I love them and I love the hare mug and where your Union Jack mug is placed on the bookshelf – in front of a copy of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’! I tend to use cracked and chipped mugs for plants because I can’t bear to throw them out, while my husband happily chucks them in the recycling bin. Carol, your haiku is so (tea) cosy!


  6. Oh you have captured the “beauty of mugs” as I call it. I’m afraid our cupboard is quite boring since we moved to Boston and had our huge garage sale in Iowa — also our children took the things we would not bring East, that they wanted for whatever reason. We now have all matching white mugs….except at Christmas time when I delight in bringing out my Christmas dishes (every day dishes, not the fancy Spode) because then my cupboard is cheerful with mismatched Christmas themed mugs, different shapes and designs.
    I also always smile when I’m at my son’s home in NC — and I reach for a coffee mug. He has a few of my old favorite ones from Iowa and I’m always surprised at this attachment and sentimental feelings about Iowa. My favorite is a tall pottery mug with brown hearts all over it. I always rummage for that one at his house! 🙂 Oh….I LOVED this haibun. I suspect you’ve hit a familiar note with many in terms of their mug collections 🙂


  7. We collect mugs individually for no particular reason. Often they are gifts. You have a nice collection. One can trace one’s timeline, as you mention, through the kitchen clutter.


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