07 February 2013
I seldom leave anywhere remotely historic without scratching around in the dirt, hoping for a shard of pottery of glass to add to my collection.
I love how these are tiny clues to stories of dinners and teas, arguments and celebrations. I wonder who washed them and who filled them with tea or hot food, lovingly cooked or otherwise.
Did anyone take comfort and delight in the finely painted leaves embellishing their saucer as much as I loved discovering the remaining piece?
I found the green leaf shard half buried under a thorn tree near a modest old farm ruin, once very remote, in what is now a rest camp in the Karoo National Park.
What thoughts did the bearer of the red feathery painted cup have over early morning tea in the Welsh mining village situated meters away from a blast furnace and a stinking ironworks? Did the delicacy of the porcelain offend them, or was it a relief to have something pretty in the hand?
I'll never know, but I love finding these fragments and wondering.