Not Just a Dinner Set... The Willow Pattern has a StoryCategory: Redgum, Food
You can call me old fashioned but there are some traditional things I love. Dinner sets for example.
Last week I bought a new dinner set. Two dinner sets to be exact, to give me eight place settings that are all the same.
Yesterday it arrived in the mail.
The last dinner set I bought was nearly thirty years ago. Since then I've been making do with hand me downs and the pieces I needed. I didn't see the point in buying a dinner set containing so many cups and saucers that I'd never use.
Since I'm edging ever closer to 50 I'm now reserving the right to change my mind.
And I've found a use for the teacups and saucers!
After years of persisting with the clean looking, elegant but increasingly boring, white dinner plates I've finally succumbed to one with a pattern.
And not just a bit of a pattern.
A hefty pattern.
One that brings back childhood memories since both sets of grandparents had this design.
So it's a design of comfort.
There are several versions of this story that I've been able to find online, most give different spellings for names but generally the main points agree.
It tells of a lovely Chinese maiden, who fell in love with her father's secretary, Chang. However, she was commanded by her parents to wed a wealthy rival suitor. She refused and her enraged father locked her up in the little house just visible on the left of the temple. From here she contrived to send a message to her lover.
Thus encouraged, Chang entered the apple orchard and carried off his beloved. So we see them hurrying over the bridge, pursued by the angry father brandishing a whip.
The lovers made good their escape in the 'little ship sailing by' and landed on the island, where they took refuge in the little wooden house. But the father and discarded suitor tracked them and set fire to the house while they were sleeping and so the lovers perished.
Next morning their spirits rose, in the form of two doves and we see them, with out-stretched wings, flying off to the realms of eternal happiness.
The Willow design is traditionally coloured blue, but it has also been produced in other colours, such as green and red.
My dinner set is made by Johnson Brothers, which ironically, was formerly manufactured in the UK but now made in China.
Since this has now reached epic proportions, I'll write a separate entry for my new found use of teacups and saucers.