Monday 6 July 2020

My Life in 10 Objects (#3)

If you could say it in words there'd be no reason for mugs
Apparently radiocarbon dating is the most effective way to both accurately date an artefact and to establish the site from which it came; though with fossils, for example, you could still be a few million years out either side.
Thankfully, I think it's safe to say, I can date the 10 objects in this series with a fairly high level of accuracy without the need for such technology.

In the case of today's show and tell I think it's pretty much beyond doubt exactly how old it is, and indeed where it's from: you've just got to look at it. A visit to Tate Modern in the summer of 2004 to see the magnificent Hopper exhibition was the backdrop for a perfect day out in the capital. Ah, train journeys to London; remember them? I can't wait to see John Betjeman at St. Pancras again and tap him on the shoulder.

Vintage 2004
I've written about Hopper hereabouts and in particular Nighthawks so, I hope you don't mind, I'll limit today's missive to concentrate on my purchase from the gift shop at the Tate. Not having a spare £50M about my person that particular day (how remiss of me) I had to content myself with the ubiquitous mug. Which, can I say, is still alive and well (after 16 years) in my kitchen.

At the risk of making me sound like a crazed loner I need to tell you that I only use it on Saturdays and Sundays; coffee only. I have mugs a plenty for use in the week; mainly, though not exclusively, for tea. But not Hopper. Oh no, not Hopper. He's a weekend mug. And a coffee mug. Today's object.


  1. I have mugs I save for special days, and coffee only, too. If that makes me a crazed loner as well, so be it.

  2. I'm catching up with this series today, and what a fine read it is! Nighthawks is a painting I have seen many times because its permanent home is the Art Institute of Chicago, and my college was right down the street. I used to pop in there all of the time for a peek at that and A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, the Old Guitarist, the Chagall windows and on and on. I was so fortunate. Of course, nobody can go in there and see them now...

    1. That must have been amazing, Brian. Nighthawks is definitely one of the Modern Wonders of the World.