This is not just any mug …..

Mug.

‘Caffeine Queen’

My favourite cup.

Memories in a drink.

Twenty years.  Cracked, broken, enduring.

Ellie gave me this mug – oh – more than twenty years ago.  Straight away, it appealed to me, though it’s not an item of any refinement.  It’s not fine china. It’s not hand made, nor hand painted. Nevertheless, this piece of unremarkable pottery soon became not just another mug, but my Caffeine Queen.

I’m a caffeine queen too.  Make me begin the day without a strong shot of coffee inside me and I’ll be simultaneously cranky and listless for hours on end. Caffeine Queen and I are united daily at the breakfast table.

She lived with us in Leeds.  She travelled with us when we moved to Harrogate.  Then she went to France, and returned to England when we too came back.

Overnight visitors didn’t realise that she was mine, and mine alone.  If they chose to drink from her when helping themselves to coffee, or even worse, tea, I’d sulk and fume in silence.  Silent, because even I knew I was being ridiculous and unreasonable.

Today though, at breakfast time, I noticed something.  A long black crack running straight down Caffeine Queen’s head.

I’ve drunk from her for the very last time.   If I fill her with hot coffee she may shatter and break beyond repair. If I’m careful, she may see out her days – and mine – in a new role as my favourite pencil pot.

The Queen is dead.  Long live the Queen.