Sometimes, you just know there’s an absence in your life. At certain times of the day, you feel it most – that lack; that empty space that won’t be filled. You know you’re missing The One.
One magical day, when you’ve stopped looking (when you’re trying to pretend you don’t need The One at all) – that’s when you’ll find The One. A glimpse out of the corner of your eye. A fluttering of your heart. Could this be it? Is this The One? You know it must be, because The One feels just right in your hands – as though you were made for each other.
And it holds exactly the right amount of tea.
That’s right: The One is a mug, but not just any mug. The perfect mug. The one that’s the right size, the right shape, the right colour. I found my previous One in a random shop in Healesville, when I wasn’t even looking for it. But there it was in cheerful orange, with an inscription inside that read Morning Coffee Makes Me Happy (which I defied every single day with Morning Tea instead). We spent many a happy, caffeinated year together, until the day that One suffered a sudden and catastrophic introduction to the floor at speed. All I could do was to get by with other mugs while I waited for the happy day when I would find the next One.
It happened in Wodonga, in an op shop (of course). We’d already visited three op shops but there’s always time for one more op shop. So when the Chef spotted a ridiculously huge Vinnies, we made a quick u-turn and left our freshly-acquired coffees in the car as we set off to tackle this giant store. I was on the lookout for quirky old things and patterns (which I found in abundance) while the Chef contented himself with looking through the cassettes in case there was one we could play in our car. Then, he made the suggestion that was to see my fate entwined with The One.
“Let’s get some mugs here so we don’t have to use the stupid tiny mugs in the cabin,” he said. As it turned out, the mugs in the cabin were even tinier than we’d been anticipating, so it was a good call on more than one count.
We browsed along a lengthy wall of crockery and then I saw it: a beautiful blue mug with hints of triangle in its design. Not too big but definitely not too small. And as I picked it up and held it in my hands, I knew I’d found it.
The One. At last.
Later that day, in our tiny cabin in Canberra (more on that soon), I had a chance to use The One for the first time. It was perfection! While my friends had finished their drinks in roughly two sips (seriously, they were stupidly small mugs), my mug of coffee kept on going for ages.
It may look like a mere mug, but to me, it’s the tea drinker’s version of the Holy Grail. It’s only found after a long search and many miles of travelling (although with a lot less in the way of battling so-called infidels or discoveries of this new-fangled thing called ‘soap’) but it’s always worth the effort. You could have your tea or coffee in any old mug and it will taste just fine but when you’ve found The One… well, you know it tastes just a little bit better.