Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels


I travel light if I can – I reckon that William Morris had it right when he said ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’  But there are exceptions to every rule, and mine come with handles.

I always knew I had more than enough mugs to go round, although somehow they escaped even my most enthusiastic attempts at de-cluttering.  I did, after all, use each one of them from time to time.  But a few years ago I emptied all of my kitchen cupboards at the same time, and was a little shocked to find I had forty-eight different ones.  I still had one of the Mary Quant mugs that my sister gave me when I first set up home.  The ‘Happy New Year’ mug from 1981, the Snoopy mug I had in my luggage when I went to University, the frighteningly gory ‘Macbeth’ mug, the ‘Year 2000’ mug…  you get the picture.  Ironically I also have a William Morris mug (sans quote).  And there’s this little beauty, which my mother bought for me from a jumble sale, more than twenty years ago, and which includes a snippet of breathless prose on the back.  I wonder what became of Jake and Jessica?

Mug1 Mug2

Why, I hear you ask.  The answer is that I have no idea.  I’ve never had cause to use all the mugs simultaneously.  And the funny thing is, that I don’t remember ever having left home with the express intention of buying a mug.  They just seem to have crept up on me.

In my defence, a number of them have been presents.  Friends notice my rather diverse collection and so they add to it 🙂  But forty-eight seemed enough to last me a lifetime, and I imposed a ban on myself.  I couldn’t face throwing any of the mugs I already had away, as so many of them held memories for me, but enough was enough.

My resolution was a limited success.  Mugs are surprisingly robust, and in the past few years natural wastage has only claimed one of them.  And I couldn’t resist adding a Paralympics mug, and a particularly snazzy one from The Globe to my collection.  But generally speaking, the mug population seems to have reached a plateau.  And in the scheme of things, I suppose that mugs aren’t the most lavish of indulgences, even if they do take up more than their fair share of room in the kitchen cupboard.

So there’s my confession.  I’m not alone in this, a friend of mine has a whole drawer full of shopping bags, and she’s the first to admit that she couldn’t possibly use all of them at once and has no idea where most of them came from.  Do you have a collection which crept up on you while you weren’t looking?  If so, what did you do with it?  Or do you manage to stick with just the useful and the beautiful?


16 thoughts on “Mugged!”

  1. Oh, I had to laugh, Annie! I just took a HUGE number of mugs to the charity shop and got rid of so many with memories but which I never use. William Morris would be proud of me 😉
    But not if he looked at the pile of stainless steel serving trays and bowls etc which I recently acquired from the village fete! I have no idea where to put them, but as our house is of that era and has stainless steel door knobs and a whole load of other iconic stuff in it, it seemed a sensible buy. At the time! I also got a stoneware Denby-type coffee cup set. Sigh. Also lying on the side for the last 3 weeks waiting for a home. And don’t even start me on books…
    I am without doubt a lost cause!

    Caroline x

    1. I think you’ve put your finger on the problem, Caroline. Get rid of the mugs and there’s a danger of causing a vacuum, which needs to be filled by other things 🙂

      Fetes get me every time, I always find something that I never knew I needed. Your stainless steel serving trays and bowls sound fab. And it’s a good thing we weren’t at the same village fete, you would have had a fight on your hands for the Denby-type coffee set! xx

  2. Oh Annie

    I too have cupboards filled with coffee mugs and sadly I also have lots of different tea sets that are never used some are still in the boxes they came they are engagement and wedding gifts LOL hubby is always asking if he an clean the coffee mug cupboard out and I say no note yet I will do it there are a lot that have special Mum’s are staying 🙂

    Have Fun

    1. Ah, tea sets, Helen. They definitely pass the William Morris test, on the basis that I believe them to be beautiful. I have a couple which have been handed down through my family, but like you I feel they’re rather too precious to use 🙂

      Congratulations on your brave stand! A woman’s coffee mug cupboard is definitely her own territory and should never be encroached on 🙂 xx

  3. I am an accidental mug collector too, Annie. I probably own about the same amount as you but the irony is I only use about 2 continuously…

    If it were up to me (hubby is a hoarder) I’d ditch all of them except for my romance related ones – probably about a dozen. And that would do if I’m ever inundated by a crowd all wanting hot beverages. I can’t wait for the kids ot move into their first crappy student/share digs – the mugs will be the first things I give them to fill their new cupboards 🙂

    1. Amy, you’re a fine example to us all. Ditch all but the romance mugs. (Although I’d probably have to temporarily widen my definition of romance to take in at least 47 of the 48 🙂 )

      Kids going off to university is a great opportunity to part with a few. I must see if I can find some budding students, who might like to take a few of my memories and add their own…

  4. Alas, only one mug for me. Had it 40 years. But if you want to talk about accumulating things – for me it’s hurricane glasses and pens. Pens go in the hurricane glasses, all over my office.

    1. 40 years, Dianne! That’s a triumph of careful washing up.

      Hurricane glasses are so pretty though. And at least you have somewhere nice to put your pens, so I think that should put them in the useful category 🙂 I have to admit to a weakness for pencils 🙂

  5. I don’t have a collection of mugs, only have a few because i am not a big hot drink person; but the ones i have I use for pens, crochet hooks, and cooking microwave 3-2-1 cakes. I like cake, but I refuse to make or buy a whole one. I swear they call my name in the grocery store. I found a recipe on Pinterest for microwave mug cakes, so now when I get a craving I can have this slightly better for you treat without frosting, eggs or oil. Here’s the recipe: In a coffee mug place3 tablespoons of your favorite flavor cake mix and stir in 2 tablespoons of water. Place mug in microwave (mine is 1000 watts) and cook for one minute…let cool slightly and dig in. If I am feeling really crazy I put a marshmallow on top when it’s done a cook for 10 seconds or just until the marshmallow begins to puff up. i put the rest of the cake mix in an airtight container for later use. The only things I officially collect are dust bunnies and cat fur tumbleweeds, but I have to get rid of them every other day or they would overtake the place!

    1. Laurie, thank you, you’ve come to my rescue! I was hoping there might be a reason for the mug collection if I just looked hard enough, and you’ve provided me with the perfect one. I’m definitely going to try your mug cake recipe, it sounds particularly yummy with the marshmallow 🙂

      I’m with you on the dust bunnies. I’m not sure I can vouch for where they all come from, but I’ve an official collection of those too 🙂

  6. Recipe books are my passion. I have so many that will hardly ever be used but they make great reading. My step daughter buys me an annual subscription to a cooking magazine and when it arrives in the post everything stops except for the kettle making my tea to have while I read from cover to cover. I think I’ve only ever thrown out about two, and those I’d replaced with a newer version. My favourite at the moment is from our favourite Indian restaurant and tonight we’re having chicken korma. Yum.

    1. What a wonderful gift from your step daughter, Sue! And one that just keeps on giving, every time you cook one of those yummy recipes.

      I reckon that throwing out two must count as de-cluttering 🙂 May your collection grow ever larger!

  7. Please don’t ever get rid of that Mills & Boon mug. It’s just too perfect! I honestly can’t say I’ve let my mugs get out of hand, or anything else because I have a husband who “declutters” without asking. His favorite phrase: “Do we need this?”
    How does one answer such a biased question?
    Thanks for the fun blog. Oh, hey, you could have a yard sale of mugs to raise money for your favorite charity? But don’t sell that M&B mug!

  8. I love your mills and boon mug and am very jealous! I don’t think I gave any matching mugs – much to my embarrassment when I have visitors. Worse still I broke my favourite Captain Picard mug the other day and am on a hunt for another!

    1. My visitors don’t get matching mugs either, Scarlet 🙂 My story is that it gives them something to talk about and I’m sticking with it.

      Noooo! Your favourite Captain Picard Mug? I hope you find a replacement. Make it so…

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