The Good Stuff

I’ve been thinking a lot about the things we love and keep.

Do you know the rattle of the good stuff? It’s the kind of rattle you get when the floorboards are a bit creaky and tired. When the floral carpet won’t cushion your steps any longer. So the special objects in the doiley-ed cupboards begin to rattle and shake each time you cross the room.

Or maybe you know the rustle of the good stuff? The pop of the box lid unsealing, the crumple of the paper, pulled from around and within those good shoes, letting them out into the light for a special day.

Perhaps you know the clatter of the good stuff? The careful lifting and un-piling of the good crockery, being passed down from hand-to-hand for a special dinner or unexpected gathering of far-flung family and friends.

Or the creak of the good stuff? As the handle turns and the door opens to flood the prettiest, tidiest room with hallway light for the first time in ages.

Every time I take off my favourite black dress after an event, I can hear my Mum and my Nan saying ‘Hang up your good dress!’ And I do. Then I remember hearing things like ‘I got jam on my good coat’ or ‘I’ve torn my good stockings’ or ‘Should we use the good glasses?’

Don’t you think it’s funny that some things are ‘good’?

So good that we surround them with a beautifully polished kind of ceremony?


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more reading pink

Unfinished Business
The Social Club
Why Slowing Down Is The New Speeding Up
Have Your Pie And Eat It Too!

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Vintage Ladybug Milk & Creamer via here


  1. After recently spending the weekend with my Grandma and having a fancy delicious dinner with my family, using all the “good” dinnerware, I completely get it. It was so nice to watch her enjoy using it, and the memories that came with it. We shared stories and ate delicious food so now, I guess the dinnerware is ‘good’ to me too?!

  2. My mum and dad both had “good stuff” so did my grand parents.

    It was mainly fine china and special clothes that had survived the voyage from Europe to Melbourne. Then one day my grandparents were really really upset and brought out the good stuff and used it more often. I found out later when I was older that the catalyst for it was the death of one of my grandfathers friends. This bloke had been a fighter pilot and survived the whole of WW2. He fought in the Battle of Britain, North Africa, Malta (where my grandfather met him) and up through Europe after DDay. It would have been about late 1969 because I was five. He had been knocked over riding his bike to work. My grandparents decided life was too short. So all the Royal Doulton was used in their house and indeed our and all my uncles as they got older. The only thing my grandparents and parents did was to ensure we treated the items with respect. One of my grand parents most prized possessions was their set of Encyclopaedia Brittanica and the year books. If we had a big school assignment it would off to my grandparents and we used them at my grandmothers desk. no food allowed.

    Thanks again Pip for prompting my memories. Both my grandparents are gone now but each one of us 18 grandchildren has a cup and saucer from the Royal Doulton and we all got some sentimental pieces that we all saw being used. I have a book my grandmother was awarded as a school prize in 1927 when she was 10 for an English composition competition.



  3. I love the good things – more and more though I have stopped trying to save the good things and make use of them in everyday life. No point having things set aside for a rainy day, life is too short so just enjoy them! Your words are perfect Pip. I ordered your book yesterday and cannot wait for it to arrive in my mailbox xx

  4. We were given two (!) fancy cutlery sets as wedding presents by family members, and they sat unused in the linen press for years while we ate with the mismatched op shop/hand-me-down/IKEA plastic handled crap cutlery. One day I thought, ENOUGH! Why aren’t we using our nice stuff every day? So I bagged up the contents of the cutlery drawer, donated it to Salvos, and unboxed the gorgeous Royal Doulton flatware – gorgeous to use and look at and makes every meal a bit of “nice”. P.S. I don’t have a hutch/display/china cabinet on purpose – Mum had one and one day all the glass shelves collapsed and her novelty teapot collection was reduced to slivers. I hated the precarious way they rattle whenever you walk near them. I don’t like breakable tchotchkes.

  5. My Mum still has her ‘good’ stuff that she doesn’t really use, it gets kept in a cupboard for a special day.
    I keep telling her that at her age, she can probably start using the nice things and spoil herself, cause I’m pretty sure the Queen isn’t coming to dinner any time soon!
    I guess it’s one on those things – that if you only buy things that are special, functional, and beautiful to you, everything you own can be the ‘good’ stuff, and we can take pleasure in the small moments every day.

  6. I have been wanting to read this post all day. I’ve had a not so fun day with a jab in my hip for my stupid & painful bursitis and some very upsetting developments surrounding a high school buddy and his fragile emotional state. So I saved the nice to last.
    I love the good things. My dad’s house us full of things that my mum considered good. The good room with its Adriatic Baroque Furniture suite with the matching extending dining table and wall unit. It’s the wall unit I spend ages looking at. It is filed with untouchable treasures from my past, there are crystal wine glasses and very fancy crockery and cutlery sets. There are oddball things too, like the pewter beer mugs and the plastic place mats in a variety of bright colours.
    We use the contents of this cupboard for Christmas and Easter lunches, carefully setting the table with things our mum loved and things we love because we miss her so much. I like to think of her sitting on the Baroque armchair enjoying us being together and using the good treasures she accumulated so lovingly. She would think that was good. I’ll talk about her tapestries another time!
    Hope you’ve had a good day. Are you thinking about the move and having to carefully pack away all those special treasures? 🙂

    1. Geesh. I hope today is a MUCH better day. I LOVE the concept of ‘the good stuff’ – but I must say, I don’t really keep anything ‘for good’ myself, as a rule. I love using the things that are special to me. That said, I totally ADORE the ceremony around ‘the good stuff’ – I love that it’s an almost universal tradition and that we all have ‘good stuff’ memories from someone in our lives! Thanks for reading my little piece, lady! x

  7. We should start a ‘make good a daily event’ campaign (but then it wouldn’t be special, would it?!)….but then we’d live in good and everything would be more special……(ooh, round and round imaginings of how to live a better life….I could daydream all day!)

    1. I love ‘everyday good’!! I wonder if that would help us appreciate the things we have more? Perhaps we could learn to?! Maybe? Daily special!! x

  8. I think I have a fraught relationship with the “good” stuff. I sometimes buy a lovely designer piece – like my treasured Alpha60 dresses – that certainly stretch my student budget. I used to think ‘tthis will be a GOOD dress’, but latterly I’ve come to the conclusion that buying something nice means treasuring it through wear; I love the way I feel when I wear it so I wear it often. On the other hand, I have my grandmother’s engagement ring, which she gave to me for my 21st birthday. I only wear it on special occasions, and I am terrified of losing it. I think I need to change this I treasure my ring more than I treasure my dress, for it is my connection to my beautiful grandmother. I will make a point of wearing it, just because, not just for “best”

  9. we had ‘best’ rather tha ‘good’, I think. I remember we would always have our ‘best’ clothes and our ‘best’ shoes. The Arzberg dinner set was for ‘best’ too and was used for Christmas and dinner parties. I think it saw its fair share of Beef Wellington!

  10. Yes Pip. My Grandma had her ‘good china’. It was kept in one of those glass cupboards, just next to the dinner table, for all to see and admire. It was flowery and shiny and beautiful, with gold edges. I don’t remember Grandma ever using it. As a little girl, my brothers and I just knew that it was out of bounds…sacred territory. How strange, in retrospect!

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