I can not remember the exact age of the mug on the left. Probably over 20 years though. Initially, it was just one of a small collection of mugs that I owned, but when Karen came into my life she swiftly assigned it as my primary mug. She claims that it’s because it is a very nice mug, but I think it’s really because she was struggling to remember my name so having a mug that said “Peter” on it was very helpful.
Either way, for about the last 15 years, that mug has had regular use at home and become a staple part of our lifestyle. That is, until recently. For it has developed a fault. You may be able to see, if you peer closely, a tiny pale patch just above the ‘t’. That, my friends, is a chip. Not the delicious sort either, but the rough and grainy sort.
At this point all the boomers in the house jump up and say “you call that a chip? Back in my day we’d drink our tea from a smashed up house brick and we’d be grateful for it!” And yes, I know that at first glances it may seem overly precious of me to replace a drinking vessel over such a seemingly-inconsequential defect. But I present two items of evidence in my favour:
Firstly, one of my preferred “grips” for drinking tea is the middle-and-ring-finger through the handle technique. This is an incredibly effective mode, as the weight of the beverage is supported on opposite sides (the thumb on the near side, the other 4 digits on the far side) meaning that the mug is not trying to rotate away from the handle. It also means that your hand is wrapped around the barrel of the mug, for maximum heat retention. Do not try this with a freshly-poured cup, obviously.
Secondly, this year has been one of big changes. Some positive, some negative. It seemed like the right time to acknowledge those changes with a replacement mug. So, on the right, you see the new hotness (pun intended). From the moment I clapped eyes on it, I knew that this was the mug for me. The yellow/orange gradient is bold, inspiring and invigorating. It is of a reassuring thickness with a sturdy shape and a matte finish. It does have a handle but stupid me set up the photo poorly. This new mug now carries a lot of responsibility, as if terrible things happen to me for the rest of the year, then I shall naturally blame the mug.