Arcadia. The countryside. Horses. Pink. Wooden barns. None of these symbols of joy have ever had much meaning for me. Yet this is one of my most treasured objects. It came as part of a large tea and coffee service most of which I still have, but this teapot is what I have used the most in the last forty years!

This was perhaps the most unexpected present I have ever had. It was my 25th birthday party to be held in two stages at 24 Gordon Road. My best friend’s mother, whose house it was, had insisted I invite her husband’s nephew, who was staying there from time to time. I also had a friend staying with me.

So I had a brainwave. I’d send them both out together to do the shopping for the party while I made the bedsit ( you don’t get many of these now) presentable. I didn’t feel guilty because he had a car and she had lots of ideas.

But after a couple of hours they still hadn’t come back. How annoying. I was ready. The room was ready. The glasses were ready. Only the food wasn’t ready. I stomped around a bit, read a book a bit and waited a bit more!

Eventually I could hear a lot of clatter and laughter as they lugged the bottles etc up the stairs. They left all the provisions in the middle of my room and went down again, giggling in the most irritating way. I was getting cross. I needed their help. And they were just being silly.

Next thing I know they’re singing sto lat to me and giving me flowers and this pink set of crockery. I was so embarrassed. They made it quite clear the flowers were from her – Kasia Szczepanska, and the teaset was from him – Jacek Korzeniowski. Oh my goodness. I hardly knew him. I hadn’t wanted to invite him. And now this!!

But as you know, reader, I married him a month later. The teaset has come with us to every home. The teapot is in use whenever I feel the need for tea. And although I’m still not keen on pink or horses etc, I have grown up to be very fond of this particular piece of pottery

Every object tells a story.

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