I began to make China Blues soon after a week's holiday in Portugal with my family. Just before the holiday I had got the go ahead from Deptford X that I was to be included in the festival. We stayed in self catering accommodation on the outskirts of Porto, in the grounds of a family estate. The family business was wedding banquets and the owners (who were grandparents) lived on the estate and tended the garden which was full of fruit and vegetables. On our penultimate day, they invited us to have lunch with them and the rest of the family and we had a marvellous feast followed by a tour of the banqueting rooms. It turned out, to my surprise, that our hostess, Maria, was an enthusiastic collector of Willow Pattern. She and her husband Antonio had travelled quite a lot and had been to Macao, and also to England and the Midlands potteries. The china they used for the wedding banquets wasn't Willow Pattern but featured the family crest and had been ordered from Royal Staffordshire. Maria had also been a highly regarded chef and had cooked for British royalty and the president of Brazil on state visits to Porto. Anyway, she had an enormous collection of blue and white, and most of it was Willow. It was an interesting co-incidence.