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Lao Tzu says


But you knew that, right?

Steptoe’s Yard

It seems to be the rule in this house that if there is work going on in one room, there will be uncontrollable overspill into the others.

The dynamic duo of plumbers are back this morning; look what they left overnight and they weren’t even working in this room.

On another Groundhog Day note I just popped into the garage to buy a sack of coffee beans and some petrol.

“All together?” was the opening gambit. I was on my own and yes, shockingly, I did want to combine the two items on the same receipt.

They don’t let you away so easily in that gaff: “Do you want a hot drink with that this morning?”

*screams silently*

Why is life better poured from a jug?

And why are jugs more satisfactory receptacles when they are handleless?

I never had jug in my twenties; then I acquired a Pyrex one when I met the man with the iron and oven in my thirties and when that broke (or was broken by me probably) I had to go straight to Woolies without passing Go or collecting £200 for a new one. Life with a jug was so good I could not go back to my pre-jug days. Now where would I go for the Pyrex replacement?

Anyway, in my late thirties decided I needed more jugs (evidence of finally growing-up?). So now I have a large glass one for lemonade and kids parties in the summer. A Wedgwood Queensware one for warm milk in coffee on the weekends. Then a ridiculous gravy boat. And working with artistic sorts means you are constantly tempted into buying stuff. Ceramics in my case and most recently a glazed handleless jug that is begging for a summer’s evening in the garden.

Then at the weekend in a cafe I saw another handleless jug assortment, contemporary in design and I had to resist the urge to shove one in my handbag, their purpose being for pouring not buying. Here’s a thing though: jugs without handles are more satisfying to hold, but not easier to handle. You have to take more care with the pouring because a handle gives more functional precision. On the other hand there is more comfort in the process when you are not at the mercy of the handle and its attachment, or otherwise, to the main body.

I think the bottom line is that a jug (not you Pyrex, sorry) has a transformational quality, turning the mundane into at least a minor event. I know my coffee tastes way better when the warm milk has been poured out of a little cream jug rather than heated in a mug slammed in the microwave.

(Cold milk + Coffee = Big No) x Tepid infusion

Chardin c.1760