My first grant check took a few weeks to arrive. The bursar was quite sniffy about it. Most people at my college did not receive a full grant. Naturally he stood over me while I wrote a cheque for my hall fees before he parted with my grant. Then off down to the town mug shopping!
I still have my first purchase, and use it almost daily. Brown with the outline of an owl - more than 20 years before I even thought of being a Brownie leader. It came from a little shop with a narrow frontage and a semi-basement - the faint damp smell nearly hidden by the incense sticks and smelly candles. I took my children to Durham some years ago to see where mum went to college - we bought some postcards from the shop.
My next mug purchases were a set of four, which were not as well designed, or as well made - all have since lost their handles. They were really quite twee - not what I would choose now perhaps. They represented the seasons. Each had the name of a season painted from 'tree-trunk'- letters. In and around the trees, and in glimpses in the backgound, were very detailed representations of the seasons. I still have these at the back of a cupboard. Each one instantly evoked the real feeling of the season and I was impressed with the imagination of the designs and the large number of seasonal images which each mug displayed.
Primroses have always been a favourite wild flower of mine, and much loved by 'the Snowdrop Lady' ( see earlier post). Naturally, they featured prominently in the 'spring' mug.
With memories of Durham, and spring walks with my grandmother, I have designed my latest embroidered landscape brooch.