Some of my relationships have brought great joy. Some have been transitory. Some have been long lasting and deep. None has been quite as shattering as my relationship with glass.
Glass is the unseen menace in my world. Its attentions are largely unwanted and unwelcome. Just when you think you are over it, there it is again, making its presence felt.
An early encounter with toughened glass left me bruised. It was the seventies and I doubt that smearing butter on the resulting lump on my forehead had any medicinal use. The lie down in a darkened room was probably more useful.
Teenage folly meant that I needed more than butter to sooth the lacerations of my next encounter with glass. The resulting lump on the inside of my lip, born of over enthusiastic stitching, has served me well in moment of stress, giving me something else to chew on.
A lucky escape came in trying to put my head through the invisible sash window of an upstairs bedroom in order to shout a fond farewell. At the point of contact, the window fell out. Building maintenance has come a long way since then and I doubt I’d be so lucky now.
My relationship with glass has not always been a happy one, but still I persist. I absolutely adore a really good wine glass. Better still I enjoy having the right glass to drink for the right drink. Wine cannot be drunk out of plastic, as water cannot be drunk out of china.
This purist approach has got me into all sorts of bother. I’ve swooshed glasses off the table resulting in spectacular explosions and tiny slithers of glass everywhere. Two Christmas’s ago I wrecked a carefully constructed table decoration by putting my red wine glass on the step change on the table that I didn’t know was there. I don’t imagine anyone expected to be picking glass out of their Christmas lunch.
I once listened to long account of how the precious glasses from which we were drinking came into the ownership of my host. Then I smashed one. I have carefully carried hand blown liqueur glasses back on a bucket flight only to sweep them up with the rubbish and hurl them out for the bin me.
The depleted state of my glassware, which has happened for reasons now known to just about everyone I know, has led me to think again how to address its shortcomings, and I have concluded that the Champagne coupe must surely be making a comeback. Mine are long since smashed, but in the spirit of having suitable glasses for all eventualities and not finding myself having to drink the Christmas fizz out of a mug, I have been on a mission to buy more glass.
So successful has this mission been that I am now the proud owner of three beautifully proportioned baccarat champagne coups that I found in a charity shop. Buying glass in a charity shops is the best way of managing the sense of waste when you (by which I mean me) inevitably smash a glass.
I could not be more thrilled at the handling of my coupes. They are impeccably balanced with a low enough centre of gravity to offer easy handling. It is this proportion and weighting that offer the best chance of any glass making it through first use in this house. The fizz will definitely taste the better for it.
I hope my new relationship with my champagne coupes will turn out to be long lasting and rewarding (no cracks or chips). If it turns out to be short lived, at least I will have had a smashing time.