My parents told me a story of a woman ‘back home’ who was very old – that is, she was over 80. Understand that ‘back home’ not only identified the little town of their origin, it also sets the date of the tale to around the late 1940s, so a woman that old was something remarkable.

When questioned about the ‘secret’ to her longetivity, she answered quite simply, “I haven’t learnt everything there is to learn”. This thirst for knowledge was borne of the desire to pass on what she knew, and here I guess, I am playing the same role.

Today’s lesson though has a bonus of providing a refresher course on nouns, verbs and adjectives. Three things we recalled at will in our younger days, yet as years pass, we are certain of only ONE, and it’s different depending on ‘what stuck’. In my case, it’s the definition of a noun.

The most basic definition is that it refers to a person, place or thing, and today’s noun, boys and girls, is ‘crockery’.

Not a person, but rather, the choice of a person.

Not a place, but a kitchen is where they belong.

And so, it’s a thing – or a series of things – comprising plates, dishes, cups and bowls, that are essentially made of china, ceramics, porcelain or stoneware.

I (noun) am not ashamed (adjective) to tell you that I have purchased (verb) many crockery items from Ikea and Kmart, for my everyday use. Take notice (along with the bracketed definitions) of the term ‘everyday use’.

As a reminder, and through self paraphrasing, the many elements involved in the upkeep of a house is that it is rewarding to both yourself AND your guests.

What’s the use of creating a great meal if you serve it on chipped plates that reveal knife marks on the surface when wiped clean – as they WILL be if you cook accordingly and gift the joy of bread with the meal.

Using plastic utensils to avoid such marks is not practical. Concealment by repainting your crockery’s surfaces is even less so (and I believe, even toxic). Chipped edges are an inevitability, and incomplete and irregular sets are highly likely. So how do you avoid this, and how do you present your meals proudly, and with internal happiness of your efforts?

Buy, store, and look after a different, newer, fancier, and perhaps even a coloured set of crockery that is only used for when guests visit!