My grandfather, Samuel Pretty was an unusual man of his generation though he was orphaned and widowed at an early age which was not unusual.
Pop, as we called him, worked as an engineer on the railway and was away from home for days at a time. While he had a housekeeper after he was widowed, he became the chief cook at home in his later years. Pop was a good cook due to his life on the railway and made tasty, rustic meals while many men of his generation could not boil water.
My grandfather loved his mug up, a refreshment between meals or before bedtime. To Pop, this mug up was an important part of his daily life which never included coffee or a mug but rather tea, cup and saucer. He often had biscuits, toast, cookies or cake with his tea as well.
Pop was never one to waste anything, which was a testament to the difficult times he experienced as a child. He always had the tea bags which provided two cups and saved the bag from his previous cup of tea for the next mug up. This tea bag he placed in the middle of the saucer and inverted the cup over the bag so as to protect or hide it. Sometimes several bags were revealed when he lifted the cup though guests always received a clean cup and saucer and a new tea bag.
Today, many people have taken up the fancy coffee or tea trends for their mug ups. Even Canadian favourite, Tim Horton's, has taken to the fancy coffee blends in addition to the basic double double, two cream/two sugar. Coffee shops, offering the fanciest brews imaginable, with costs between $4.00 and $7.00 each, abound.
However, I can't look at one of those fancy drinks without thinking of Pop and that overturned cup, the multiple tea bags, and the pleasure he derived from a mug up, for pennies a cup.