If there's anything I'm addicted to more than coffee it's tableware. A beautifully designed ceramic bowl, an elegant glass, a well-weighted fork. Divine. Two of the most sparkling occasions of my life were visits to the Iittala/Arabia factory outlet in Helsinki.
This morning I hear that famous English tableware companies like Spode and Royal Worcester have gone into administration (the beginnings of British bankruptcy procedure). The traditional ceramics industry around The Potteries of Stoke are under threat. The latest victims of the credit crunch? A failure to innovate in terms of technology and brand development? Both?
Taking joy at the misery of others demonstrates a poor character, but I couldn't help but have a frisson of excitement at the thought of taking a trip up to Staffordshire to tour the increasingly desperate factory stores.
If the online store is any indication, fine China can be had at low, low prices. For example, this Christmas themed deviled egg tray can be had for less than a third of its original recommended retail price!!
What a bargain! And if I regularly made deviled eggs during the Christmas season, I would snap this up. And just think of the fabulous deals that might be available in Stoke itself.
The Vol-in-Law was not as excited by the prospect. He said that we didn't have room to store more crockery and if we did use it, Buddy would only smash it.
That's not really the point.