It’s a mug’s game

I have, over the past couple of years, acquired a semi-decent collection of Doctor Who themed mugs.


The Dalek one (top centre) came first. It was used to serve Emily’s morning tea for a good couple of years until it got smashed (not, for a change, at the hands of yours truly) and I felt smug that I’d bought a spare a while back, only to find that she was thinking of switching to another mug anyway (“Because  I really like the one that Vicky gave me”). The undersized one on the far left is used for warm milkshake, while the one next to it is like no other mug in existence, and I know this because I drew (and baked) it myself. Oh, and that TARDIS one? Very pretty, but piggin’ impossible to drink out of. Or perhaps my mouth just doesn’t do corners.

The ones on the bottom shelf all come from the BBC. I’d ordered Davison first. Actually, I ordered Hartnell, because it was cheap, but they erroneously sent Davison, which I didn’t bother returning because given the choice I’d have plumped for the Fifth in any case. The others followed when the BBC shop finally closed: their loss was our kitchen’s gain, and we can now entertain a whole minyan full of visitors using Doctor Who crockery.

But it wasn’t always like this.

One of my less orthodox hobbies begin with Emily’s birthday, several years back. I’d arranged her main gift and was scouring the charity shops for last minute bargains. In this manner I’d already bought a bottle cooler and a pedometer, but while examining the racks of Cancer Research one lunchtime I found something so gut-wrenchingly awful and simultaneously perfect that I bought it immediately. Three weeks after her birthday was Valentine’s Day, and she returned the favour. It was at this point that we decided we really ought to try and get as many tacky mugs as possible. “It would be nice,” she said, “If all our mugs were dreadful. Then people would be scared when we served them tea.”

“They’d stop visiting,” I said.

Our collection of kitsch mugs was both a diverting hobby and the subject of an occasional series on a blog that I no longer administer, largely because it was full of stuff that now goes on Twitter anyway. Besides, the hobby petered out. I eventually stopped buying them because we stopped seeing them – it was as if the charity shops had somehow been informed of our mockery and had decided to take all their kitsch off the shelves so that they wouldn’t be laughed at, or (and this has only just occurred to me) perhaps they were secretly starting their own collections in the back.

Anyway, we’ll always have Paris, so here are the ones we managed to acquire. Most are either donated or smashed now, but the photos linger. Enjoy, if it’s at all possible.

#1: the Daniel O’Donnell, acquired January 2012.


#2: The fluffy kittens, February 2012


#3: The ballet shoes, April 2012


#4: The Coronation Street, April 2012


#5: The tartan bears, May 2012


#6: The rabbit and the dalmation, May 2012


#7: The bear wearing a doily, May 2012


#8: The Polish folk singers, May 2012


#9: Pope John Paul II, June 2012. (My sources tell me that everyone’s got one of these…)


#10: The Christmas penguins, June 2012


#11: The menstruating nurse, August 2012


#12: The Extra Special, August 2012


#12: The jubilee, December 2012


#13: The impractical millennial, December 2012


#14: The textured city, December 2012


#15: The Royal Wedding, January 2014


#16: The Reg, March 2013



And I think that’s run its course, don’t you?

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