Those of a certain age will understand the importance of the China tea set in family life. On your wedding day you might be gifted several sets. In fact you could end up having one for every day of the week. They were only to be used for special occasions though – Usually when you wanted to impress visitors. We have just one set intact after 33 years. This set was given to us by my Aunt Mary from Ballybunion. It has survived the years mainly because it saw little use, being kept in the good china cabinet. Today, I was reminded about Aunt Mary and the great times in Ballybunion when her china set came in handy for this beautiful still life. It is appropriate that the rose is called “Mary Rose” and the china and the rose complement each other.

While talking of china sets I have to mention that I passed the “Cracked China” test. When my girlfriend, now my wife, first brought me to visit her mother I was treated to tea and apple pie. The tea was served in good china as was the custom. Or so I thought. Afterwards she explained that I had passed the ‘cracked china’ test. She said her mother must have liked me. If she hadn’t my tea would have been served in the “Cracked China”