When I eat, I eat off Royal Doulton.
It may be the everyday ware, but it’s still Royal Doulton.
I drink out of crystal glasses and I admire the shine of my cutlery and its quick ability to cut what used to be a bit uncuttable.
And I like a fine china mug for that once-a year cup of green tea.
I’m not really a posh person and until now the Big W dinner service with its chips and cracks has served me well.
But this isn’t what this is about.
I just decided a few months ago, to use the good stuff.
The good stuff has been in the good cupboard in the good room and only dragged out for guests and special occasions for too long. It is time for me to simply enjoy it and to hell with a smashed glass or two.
I know that when my poor children have to sift through all my stuff, most of it will be on a direct course with a skip out the front and there the Royal Doulton setting for four will be smashed with nary a thought.
Having ‘good stuff’ is something I grew up with.
My mother still talks about her Noritake dinner service with reverence. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. Clearly, my presence at her dining table is not considered a special occasion.
There is no denying that my mother, at age 94, has a good cupboard that is better than mine and definitely filled with superior stuff. Even the buffet is made of solid maple and bought at one of those super expensive furniture shops, just down the road from David Jones in the 1950s.
Some of its contents hails from the last century having been brought over to Australia by a very English grandmother. In England, it seems, what is written underneath the cup is more important than reading the tea leaves inside. (She was highly superstitious so reading the tea leaves was also important).
My mother’s ‘good stuff’ remains perfect after more than 70 years and mine hasn’t done too badly either.
But now this generation has broken the tradition and my good stuff is out in the world. It is highly likely that one day, the four-piece dinner service will be whittled down to two.
But think of the joy of cutting that steak with a superior knife on a gorgeously aesthetic plate. I sip my mineral water from a crystal glass, casually making it sing as I lay back and enjoy the ‘good life’, hopefully for a long time.