'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Morris Mug

I was in town today. I had my annual hearing test in the morning. Then I pleasantly filled in a couple of hours at the library and art gallery before my annual dental clean in the early afternoon. Then, finding myself in a mood of artistic optimism, I popped into the Inland Revenue to make an appointment to ask about how to become self-employed. (Well, you never know).
On my way back to the car I passed by the china shop and was distracted by one of those outside-the-shop bargain tables covered with bone china mugs of the kind that are usually three times my usual price. There were no nice birdie designs, but there was a lovely William Morris one in shades of greens with just a dash of soft scarlet and pale blue. I've just christened it with an ice-cold, creamy Guinness*. Was that wrong, do you think?

* Thank you Thomas and Havi.


  1. Hi! Please have a look at my paintings and sketches. Have some new done!

  2. By that I take it you mean should Guinness be drunk ice cold and not whether you should have christened your mug with Guinness per se. Which is a perfectly acceptable use for a mug (even though, personally, I'd prefer a handle/tankard).

    My reaction is 'absolutely not!' Guinness should be drunk at about 9 deg c (about 45 f) ('room temperature' in a cold draughty cottage and not 'room temperature' in a modern centrally heated house). Up until recently many Irish pubs had two taps for Guinness: one chilled; one not. You could order a ‘warm’ pint, ‘cold’, or even ‘half and half’. This tendency for ice-cold beers is a modern traversty.

    Well I was just in the mood for saying something other than "No. You were perfectly right!" in answer to your question.

  3. Very pretty. What makes a mug a Morris mug? It looks like an ordinary mug to me! Forgive my American stupidity.

    WV is pyodums (short, obviously, for pyodumbs)

  4. GB. I'm not really a beer connysewer but it says on the label 'serve extra cold' and I'd thought I'd do as I was told for once.

    Robert - thank you. Englishman William Morris was a central figure in the Arts and Crafts movement back in the mid to late 1800's. This mug features one of his textile designs.

    'Pyodums' means 'a lack of knowledge of old art movements and their main adherents'. From the words 'pyro' meaning 'old', 'past' or lit. 'burnt' (fr. Latin 'pyros' meaning 'fire') and 'dum' meaning 'dumb' or 'lacking in information', or lit. 'unable to hear the banging of a drum' (fr. celtic 'drume' meaning 'skinned percussion instrument')

  5. Thank you 'Joe'. But your comment is spam, really. *Smacks hand*.

  6. William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an inspirational English textile designer. If you hadn't heard of him you are a complete philistine! He did not drink Guinness from his mugs. They were reserved for tea. His Guinness was always poured into glasses - the habit of most other civilised drinkers. He wore green silk underpants and a green string vest in the wintertime. His firewood was never dumped on his driveway.

  7. Yes YP. He probably chopped his own firewood from trees felled on his own property. He also received so many compliments about his fine beard, he cut off some of his hair and painstakingly wove it into a fake beard so that people might borrow it and enjoy his 'beard' for themselves.

    He was also an active socialist and social reformer.


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