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What is too good to actually use?

(43 Posts)
Jane10 Wed 22-Oct-14 09:18:35

When clearing my MIL`s flat after she died it was so sad to see the items carefully kept for a special occasion or for "best" but never actually used. e.g. she had beautiful bedding, duvet covers sheets etc still in their wrapping for "just in case" guests who never came to stay (and never would as she lived in a one bedroom retirement flat). There was china and crystal that was "too good" for her to use. What a shame. It was so sad to see. We resolved to use all our "good stuff" although somehow I seem to have a lot of clothes for special occasions that never come! Is it just me and MIL?

Bez Wed 22-Oct-14 16:56:47

I have a Doulton dinner tea and coffee service which I used to use frequently for family birthdays or when people came for a meal - I stopped using it so much when I became the owner of a dishwasher and the plates habe a gold stripe at the edge. I have a variety of plates of different types and colours (mostly in sets of 4,6 or 8) and I use the ones which I think the meal we are having will look best on - that way we have a variety and I just find it adds a bit of spice to every day cooking! When DGS comes to stay I have to use the blue and white willow pattern ones at least once as he loved them when a small boy and, like me, he loves trips down memory lane!

thatbags Wed 22-Oct-14 16:58:12

We are good at eclectic in our house. Hardly anything matches anything else.

MiniMouse Wed 22-Oct-14 17:09:37

There's a cafe/tea room in my cousin's town which uses fine bone china, but nothing matches! You may have a pink patterned cup with a blue patterned saucer and a green teaplate etc, but it has such a lovely welcoming, homely, quirky feel. It's always full to bursting and is the local social hub.

Jane10 Wed 22-Oct-14 17:34:01

Ana and Nonu I hate to bother the staff as they are so busy with the goffering iron and starching DH`s collars as well as dusting the Crown Derby etc that I generally just get Bartlett the chauffeur to run me down to that shop that Mr Marks and Mr Spencer have set up. Naturally I take my own wicker baskets to carry items home and the hampers for the food shopping. wink

Nonu Wed 22-Oct-14 17:40:39

You are most obviously a very considerate mistress , I would love a postion in your household MAM, preverably as a ladies maid .

I must say I have heard of those upstarts called MR Marks & Mr Spencer, I do believe they started on a market stall oop North.
I don"t think they will last, do you MAM?

Jane10 Wed 22-Oct-14 17:47:31

Not if they keep charging for bags to put clothes in! I will have my legal man discuss it with them.
Sorry Nonu I don't have a vacancy for a ladies maid at present but the way Saunders is going she may have to be replaced. She failed to heat my bath to the required temperature this morning causing me to emit an unseemly shriek. Henderson the butler was not amused.( I have a rich fantasy life believe it or not) wink

Nonu Wed 22-Oct-14 17:56:32

That may be right about the charging for bags, infernal cheek, especially when you consider what they charge for stays and bustles these days.

May I be so bold as to suggest that if Saunders does not carry out her duties to your very exacting standards, your social secretary could contact me .
I do believe they have a thing called the general Post office which will deliver letters for the princely sum of one penny[rather expensive , to me but if I may say so Marm] not an awful lot to a high placed lady such as yourself.

tiggypiro Wed 22-Oct-14 18:16:20

Not having the advantage of Jane's staff when I emptied a drawer (in order to fill with more fabric) full of old linen damask tablecloths I gave them to my neighbour who does 'Vintage Tea Parties' for weddings etc. She was thrilled with them and does not mind ironing. I used to use them for family parties years ago but not in the last 25 years at least. I was keeping them as there was an emotional attachment to them as they came from my great granny. Amazingly I don't feel emotionally harmed by parting with them !
I sent a lovely old dinner service to auction a few years ago which I remember being used by my mother on 'highdays, holidays and funeral teas' when I was a child. I don't miss it either and now like many others only have things which will go in the dishwasher.

TerriBull Wed 22-Oct-14 18:39:31

We inherited some beautiful bone china tea services from my mother- in law, complete with tiered cake stands, the sort you find in really nice tea shops. I don't think she used them that often but I always get them out when we have visitors at tea time.

Because the tea cups are small, I have on occasions found my oaf like boys cracking eggs into them and not handling them with care. When this happens I feel compelled to address them in my best Hyacinth Bucket voice "what are you doing with your grandmother's fine bone china" to which they respond, with rolling eyes "it's just a cup!"

Thank God I've now got a granddaughter, little point in passing delicate bone china on to the neanderthals!

I also have some beautiful hand painted 1930s art deco plates which belonged to my grandmother, but sadly not a set.

FlicketyB Wed 22-Oct-14 20:51:34

Generally, if I don't use it it goes. A beautiful 100 year old ribbon lace bedspread is on the spare bed - and needs to be repaired regularly, but it is in use and admired. My beautiful 19th century tea set comes out for dainty teas in front of the fire on Sundays in winter. I put a very pretty embroidered tea cloth on the table first.

whenim64 Wed 22-Oct-14 20:59:03

I got a tiered cake stand like the Betty's teashop ones, from Ebay. It takes your own plates and collapses flat after use. £16 and it looks great with the dainty china.

Deedaa Wed 22-Oct-14 21:42:13

I have a canteen of cutlery that was presented to my grandfather. It gets used at Christmas if I can be bothered. It's silver plate so it won't go in the dishwasher.

I've got a bit collection of painted Italian crockery which I do use, but don't risk with the children around.

When we cleared my mother in law's house her drawers were full of unused birthday and Christmas presents. It made me wonder why I'd spent so much time choosing them.

felice Thu 23-Oct-14 10:41:17

When DD married SIL, she moved into his house, with me in the granny flat which had been his home before his Mother died 20 years ago. Upstairs is packed, SIL can be a bit of a hoarder, and all his Mothers stuff is also still there, when she set the table for a dinner party one evening with beautiful china and glasses he came in and was so shocked, he had never seen them used, loudly pointed out that they were more than 200 years old and had survived 2 world wars hidden in the garden in Paris to save them from the Nazis.
DDs comment, if you don't want to use them give them to a museum.
I have a lot of good stuff it all gets used, Just inherited from a friend here 48 Edinburgh Crystal glasses, from liquior to brandy goblets.
They are a pleasure to use and I know that is why my friend left them to me.
SIL now proudly tells friends the history of the tableware, and DD is very careful with them, never about when DGS is running around.
Although I must say after going upstairs one afternoon to find her polishing a huge set of 17th century siver cutlery made me wonder slightly where my feminist taechings had gone!!!!!!!!

goldengirl Thu 23-Oct-14 17:38:53

I have quite a few bits and pieces of my mums which I enjoy using. They're not expensive items but I like them. I've also started collecting trios which I use from time to time. I'd use the crockery more if I thought it would be reasonably well treated. I would love a proper canteen of cutlery. Our long lasting stainless steel knives are OK but not elegant. I bought a set of bone handled butter knives which of course have to be hand washed but I do like using them. Perhaps I belong to another era

felice Thu 23-Oct-14 21:50:10

Goldengirl, I think my DD does . She loves the old china, cutlery and table linen.

biddymarie Sat 25-Oct-14 23:35:48

I must admit i know what you mean i have a china teaset my mom bought me,Used it twice @ kids christening stuck in the unit never to be used again but feel like i can't get rid.Everyone uses mugs now.I also had a china dinner service lovely but not practical got silver line around edge so not microwaveable took it or most of it to charity shop.Only thing is my hubby used to help @ a charity shop if a set has say one missing they throw it out,Actually they smash them up which grieves me, reason they do that cant sell & smash to deter people who rummage the bin. Marie x

nightowl Sat 25-Oct-14 23:49:44

I bet they don't smash up part tea sets now biddymarie. Since the rise in popularity of afternoon tea and mismatched teasets it's almost impossible to find even a mismatched trio in a charity shop. They are very much sought after by tea shops and wedding organisers.