Why so many tea pots? I asked myself. Obviously, I drink tea. And I just like them. My grandmother liked them. I have one I inherited from her, and my very first tea pot is one she bought me. So reasons both sentimental and practical. But there is more. I realized I had spent decades searching for THE PERFECT TEAPOT. One that holds lots of tea. One that doesn't drip when poured. One with a handle generous enough that you don't burn your fingers against the hot pot. One with a lid that doesn't fall off when you pour!!
And then I realized that I had finally found it. THE PERFECT TEAPOT. (Shamefacedly, I confess that I actually have two, but one has preference because I like the pattern better.) It is made by Emma Bridgewater, a pottery in the UK, and I hereby swear that I will never buy another teapot... unless, of course, it's another Emma Bridgewater in a pattern I can't resist.
So, REDS, what is ONE PERFECT THING you've found in your lives? Silly or practical, something you use everyday or only occasionally, but one thing that simply couldn't be bettered.
RHYS BOWEN: I've been looking around the house trying to see if anything ranked as "the perfect thing". My car is pretty good with all the safety bells and whistles, but I might rather have a Porsche or a Tessler or even a Jaguar. Then I looked out of the window and the sun was just setting and lights were twinkling on across the valley and a ribbon of fog was moving in and I thought: that's it. I live in the perfect place. I'm half an hour from the middle of San Francisco. I can get there on a ferry. But I'm on a hill in the middle of nature, with a lovely view. What more could I want? (of course the house itself is not perfect--needs new kitchen counters, new hall floor, new carpet and painting in the living room etc etc. But my situation and view--just perfect.
HALLIE EPHRON : Oh, Debs, I LOVE Emma Bridgewater pottery. Especially her bird mugs. I gave my husband the grebe and bought myself the hoopoe. But my PERFECT thing is a red fleece coat. It's still in perfect condition, even though I bought it when... thinking thinking... a few years before my first book was published, so in the late '90s, in a little boutique near where Kate's Mystery Books used to be on upper Mass Ave in Cambridge. It was on sale.
Here's what I love about it:
- it's red (yay, red!)
- it's warm
- it's short and swingy and makes me feel like Mary Tyler Moore in the opening of her old TV shows (spinning around, throwing her hat up in the air)
- it has a rolled collar that I can wrap around my face for extra warmth
- it has pockets lined in velvety fleece
- it can double as a bathrobe in a pinch
- rolled up, it's the perfect pillow to prop up against a plane window and snooze against
- rain shakes off it
- it's machine washable
- it looks sensational with my turquoise pashmina
I'm sitting at my computer right now, wrapped up in it. Wearing it is something to look forward to as summer changes into fall.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I'm thinking about Hallie's coat so deeply it's hard to focus. Okay. My
first thought: this whisk. Because it also flattens into *this*! How cool and clever is that? You know how necessary a whisk is for cooking, and you also know how impossible they are to clean. This one flips open to whisk, and closes to stir and clean easily. Okay, its not comfortable for a pillow on the plane, and doesn't repel rain. But for what it does and the problems it solves, its amazing. But the winner: I LOVE my new suitcase. I wore out the old one, after ten years, needed a newie. I cannot believe how much stuff I can get into this, it's astonishing. It's like it has some mad secret Hermione thing that allows you to add clothes (and shoes!) but not take up any space. It has little zips and pockets exactly where you need them, and it's very light, and slips right into the overhead compartment, and it's so rollable, yesterday when I got out of the cab at the Nashville airport, its rolled (upright!) down the curb cut all by itself.
"It's trying to escape!" I told the cab driver.
Also my long sleeved white gap t-shirt. And my black pashmina (shawl, pillow, coverup, bathrobe, blanket). And our garden.
LUCY BURDETTE: My two furry guys are the closest thing to perfect in my house (husband excepted of course.) Not that they are perfect, but perfectly entertaining. Yoda, for example, woke me up at 6 am, but by purring. Started out softly but then got louder and louder. You can't really be mad at a guy like that.
And Tonka, well dear Tonka wants to be with me every moment. He's thrilled when I come home and devastated when I go out. And they are endlessly entertaining as a pair too--every night at dinner time they play a game called "Knock the cat off the counter." Tonka rarely wins, but it never dims his enthusiasm.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I'm tempted to be obnoxious and say, "My children!" with sunbeams shooting out of my eyes and bluebirds flying about my head. Ha! No. My one perfect thing is my black velvet sleep mask. Don't laugh. It's super comfortable, with a cushy rolled liner that keeps it from squishing my eyeballs and a soft wide elastic strap that never snags in my hair. It totally blocks light, even if Ross has his bedside lamp on reading while I'm trying to go to sleep. I need total darkness to sleep, so I haven't traveled without this sleep mask in eleven years. You know all those annoying lights that shine out of appliances and under the door in hotel rooms? Gone. Peaceful sleep assured. That's what really gives me sunbeams and bluebirds.
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Hmmm, this is tough, you guys! I have to say that the thing I couldn't live without is my passport. Even though I'm not always using it, the idea that this one document can more or less get me anywhere in the world is nothing short of miraculous. Continuing the travel theme, I recently splurged on a Really Good Suitcase. Light and so easy to wheel. Since I mostly travel alone, it's just fabulous. Oh! And this year I bought nude heels that are actually comfortable, even after a long night of standing. A seriously great pair of shoes, just when I was ready to give up on heels. Huzzah!
DEBS: Hallie, your coat is adorable, and you do look like MTM! Hank and Susan, you can tell we travel. I love my passport, and I have great luggage, too, Biaggi, which I bought when my fifteen-year-old suitcases finally bit the dust. But Hank, I want that whisk!!! Where did you get it! And I want Julia's sleep mask, and Susan's comfortable heels. (What are they???) And I wouldn't mind Rhys's view, either.
As for the pets, Lucy, Tonka and Yoda are the most admirable pair. I'm afraid with three dogs and three cats I couldn't pick, however. It would be like choosing a favorite child (which is easy for me:-))
We REDs are a font of brilliant ideas! How about you, readers? Tell us your ONE PERFECT THING!
P.S. Hallie, Emma Bridgewater is one sale this week, with ten pound shipping to the US. Just in case you're tempted...
P.S.S. Stay tuned as we have a great week this week! Guests Pam Jenoff, Tammy Kaehler, Marcia Talley, and Charles Todd, as well as some Labor Day celebrations!
P.S.S.S. Here's view 2 of Hank's magic whisk! I WANT this!