There's something about buying things in second-hand and charity shops. Particularly when you're rummaging around for old kitchen things: plates, bowls, casserole pots, teapots. New stuff never has quite the same pleasure for me; things need to have a history.

Doesn't even matter whether the plates and the cups and the bowls match or not, or if they're plain or patterned, round or square. I'm not even fussy about a tiny chip here and there. Finally, this plate, this engraved spoon, this sturdy little crock pot has found me and my home and is going to become part of my history, see my life played out between winter days when only hot soup will do, shared dinners with friends, and thoughtful times alone over a cup of tea.