My mom is obsessed with dishes. If I went home for a visit and I didn't find a new set of stoneware stacked somewhere in the kitchen, I'd be disappointed.
Her additions always complement the season: octagon-shaped pastels for spring, summertime tinware in Americana-hues, substantial earthenware in rust, pumpkin, and rich sage green to accommodate Autumn's tawny soups, and ornate gold-leafed Victorian reproductions for special winter meals.
I didn't realize this level of affinity for tableware could potentially be hereditary, however, until I had a flat with my own empty cupboards to furnish.
I strolled the high-street likes of Marks & Spencer's and eyed plenty of run-of-the-mill plates in creamy colors: 3 for the price of 2! But as much as I knew purchasing such a set would be economically prudent, I couldn't bring myself to do it. The dishes were just so ordinary, so uninspired, so... mass-produced.
Then, at Columbia Flower Market a few weekends ago, I knew what I'd been waiting for. Never mind that the vintage "Midwinter" bowls you see above cost more than some imported Cambodian vessels I'd dismissed two shops up as too expensive - these were special. Their delicate shape and unique motif. The fact that they hailed from the 1940's (the white ones with the fruit) 50's (green) and 60's (blue); they were a veritable rainbow of historic decades from which I could daily partake.
I didn't have the requisite cash on-hand to buy them (the curse of being a hopeless credit card toting American). So I trooped a half-hour away to the nearest ATM, then a half-hour back, to retrieve these four pieces that the shopkeeper called a "bit of British history."
And now, probably just like my mom does, each time I open the cupboard - I see them - and smile happily.