Monday, 25 July 2011

CNSC Mugshots

There is a tradition at the CNSC of people on the Earthwatch courses bringing a cup with them from their home city or country. When we moved into the new studies centre they were replaced by some small white cups and the old cups resigned to the back of the cupboard. Being attached to their mugs the researchers would sneak into the kitchen to take them, so that in the end we had to leave them out. New cups would arrive daily in the kitchen while the Earthwatch group were around, and it felt like the researchers were swarming to stake out their claim on a new mug.

I had quite a few favourite mugs. Two of them I appreciated for their comedy value- The Shell mug (most appropriate for a facility where people study ecology and environmental issues) and the newly acquired Museum of Aviation mug (it just made me chuckle to drink out of that one).

I was also pretty fond of the Western cup, although I hadn't been so fond of the university it refers to. It was a decent sized mug though.

It soon became clear to Valerie and myself that most of the inmates of the studies centre also have a favourite cup, so we thought it would be a good idea to take a mugshot of each of them with their favourite mug. Here they are:

Land Kayleigh (rather than C Cayleigh) was the first to pose for the mugshot series with her three favourite mugs- the Brazil one, the stripy one and the Koenigstein in Taunus one. She pressed me as to whether I had come to some understanding of her psychological state from this. I confess I have not really got the insight to reach much of a conclusion. She seems to like green, has a preference for handmade mugs and likes foreign countries (or maybe just Brazil and Germany).

Brittany chose the Rachel Carson Middle School mug. It's not one of those mass-produced made in China ones and I seem to remember it has quite a grainy texture.

The colourful and adorned with wildlife Minnesota mug was Laura's favourite. I didn't want to linger and take more than one photo while she still had that fork in her hand.

I share one of my favourite mugs with Celia. She's got good taste. It's also a very large mug so she's probably also got a taste for tea or coffee.

The Natural History Museum mug and another one were chosen by Matt. The Natural History Museum has fossilised leaves and lots of animals on it. It ranks pretty high on my ratings. Not sure what to think of the second choice though, I seem to recall seeing a flag like that in one of the countries I've visited...No maybe it's just a deja vu.

Emilie (and her fantastic laugh) came forth to the kitchen to present the green ceramic mug to us. This cup doesn't get out much and we've never seen it while washing dishes. Once we'd thought about it for long enough we could just about remember having seen it in the kitchen before Emilie arrived and got her hands on it. It's pretty unique and there must be quite a firm attachment between the two of them.

We found the (as always) mischievous looking Anne in the lab with her shapely, but pretty non-descript cup. Also one rarely sighted at the dishwasher. Almost started up a mug twitch.

Now I realise why Madi always has that infectious smile on her face, it's because she's under the impression that it's permanently Christmas (and seeing as she's in the subarctic she has a point). Well suffice to say, she doesn't have to battle off the competition when heading for her favourite mug.

When asked whether she had a favourite mug Kat, who works at the CNSC as a science technician, replied with 'of course'. She is clearly a winner.

The unhappy face mug couldn't be found, so poor Hope had to find a plain mug and pull the unhappy face herself. I seem to think we had to throw away some broken mugs recently...

Vanya didn't need to tell us which was his favourite mug since he'd made it pretty clear before. This is one of the two Bulgaria cups that he took a shine to. Perhaps somewhere in him lingers some Bulgarian blood. Not only did he pose for us with the mug, but he also wore his legendary wolf t-shirt for the occasion. There are 12 hidden wolves on this t-shirt, with one that glows in the dark. The build up for the grand unveiling of the glow in the dark wolf had been long, so much so that we thought we might never get to see it. Well we did never get to see it, the glow seemed to have worn out, Valerie suggested it's because he's washed it too many times. One might be more inclined to think of an alternative.

Hannah went for the beer tankard from some village in Germany, it's on the smaller size as mugs go, grey with a mountain scene. Having a German surname might have influenced her decision.

Valerie's favourite one was the Dubai cup with camels on it. She has a bit of an obsession with camels so it's understandable. I even found her a camel riding school in Austria to go and volunteer at and taught her the necessary camel vocabulary e.g. Kamel hast du Hunger? Unfortunately someone else seems to have taken a liking to the cup or sought to sabotage our efforts because the said cup could not be found by us on the CNSC premises for a photo opportunity. I seem to recall she went through a stage of being fond of the yellow one with the cats and dogs too.

Lisa is partial to the Western mug. She also likes the purple Idaho mug, bought along with the latest Earthwatchers. On its arrival it was the talk of the CNSC. This might be a sign that our lives had been pretty uneventful. It's a good cup though, I quite liked the idea of having it amongst my favourites, but it was already so popular and being that popular can't be good for a mug.

Staying on a similar theme we managed to capture Heidi with her favourite mug from her own collection. Of course it was green and if hadn't have been green it would have been pink. Heidi's house is beautifully furnished with lots of pink and green.

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