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Here is one of Esme’s teapots, a quirky joy of a type named ‘Blushware’ produced by a company called Burslem, of Staffordshire, and deriving from the late 1800s, or early 1900s, most likely. I hadn’t seen any such pots since I was a mere spatiotemporal speck upon a rather younger Cloud, and thought it so unusual I took my twenty-foot-high jar of pennies out of the dungeon and carried a suitable sackful to the seller.

It’s an orphan piece, for is broken in parts and has its knob riveted on (casts a warning glance at the audience). The spout is chipped too, and apparently it had been on sale for so long due to such imperfections. I love giving pieces that are damaged, yet which are still very beautiful, a home, as they are unwanted orphans. It is not about valuations or investments for me, and I collect purely to enjoy the object, to feel its age, to know that way back when, someone else will have loved it and perhaps mused to themselves, ‘What happens when I am dead and gone? Where will you, my wondrous teapot, end up, smashed and trashed?’

Well, doubtless it has survived many owners prior to Esme and I shall have a clause in my will stating that someone of good character must further adopt it (and all the other many orphans upon the Cloud, who may well start to feature on here as I’m warming to the subject of showing my wares to one and all), doing so on pain of being cursed for eternity if not obliging. Seems reasonable enough. As it happens, in this case, the teapot, against all the odds, pours better than any other I own. This is a pleasant bonus.


And much as I was telling Bela how much I enjoy tea sets made up of various odds and ends, I must admit I’d love to have teacups and saucers to match this, for it has such a cracking ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feel to it!.