My favourite tea cup belonged to my grandfather. He was an avid reader, devoted to libraries where he nourished his love of literature and expanded his knowledge. He was a wonderful storyteller. As we sat on his front verandah with our tea – milk with a mere dash of tea in my case – I was encouraged to devise stories about the people on the Royal Doulton Coaching Days cup. His questions fleshed out my stories.
"If they are leaving York and going to London, are they going north or south?"
"Why are the goose and rabbit hanging on the back of the coach?"
"What sort of dangers might they encounter on the journey?"
"Could one set of horses take them all the way?"
These sessions and this cup gave me three wonderful gifts: interest in countries far away, an insight into the lives of people in times past and an insatiable curiosity.