34 year old well-travelled coffee mug


I sent this photo to my family the other day because they couldn’t believe this mug was still going strong!

I was given this mug on my 21st birthday by my family. I am a Leo, love black and gold and I adore lions. At that stage it was very unusual for people born on 23rd July to be under the Leo star sign. I was usually a Cancer, but I always felt like a Leo – so I loved this mug and I know how hard it must have been to find something like this in a small town in Africa.

I have taken this mug with me every time I have lived in another country. It has travelled all over the world with me, and is still going strong. I have never been careful with it so I am amazed it has not been broken, chipped or lost yet. There is colour loss but apart from that, it makes any tea and coffee taste fantastic.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

10 thoughts

  1. Hi, Janet,

    Longtime lurker here, finally surfacing. Really enjoy your site, and am a fellow expat but for me it’s from the U.S. to Canada.

    Just to help solve the mystery for you, it appears that if you were born in South Africa before 4:24 a.m., you are a Cancer. If at or after that time, then you’re a Leo. The Sun went from 29 degrees Cancer to 0 degrees Leo at 4:24 in the morning in that neck of the woods.

    Hope that helps! Thanks so much for all the detailed photos and reviews of your leather treasures.

    1. Wow thank you so much for this! I was born at 6am on the 23rd July. So that means I really am a Leo! Yay the mystery is finally solved and I am thrilled. What you said is fascinating – do you know a lot about these things?

      1. You’re welcome! I took an interest as a university student after having a professional chart reading done, and then obsessively read at least 200 books on the subject to learn everything I could. They were far more engaging than my excruciating textbooks. I haven’t done this since the 90’s, but knew I could resolve this for you once I had the birth year. Based on your post, I used 1961 (Sleep deprivation is heavily at play here, so please correct me if I’m wrong). It doesn’t look like SA observed any seasonal time alterations (such as DST) in the 60’s.

        From what I understand, many southern hemisphere-based astrologers tend to construct charts with the ascendant (rising sign) on the left, same as for a northern chart, despite the Sun’s apparent movement from right to left. Surely there are exceptions, and you may want to consult with a SA-based astrologer for an opinion on southern chart construction. Based on the northern (left side) model, your rising sign is Cancer, which accounts for your identification with those traits, and your Leo qualities would be filtered through that sign in your interactions with your early home and family environment.

        Perfectly even birth times (such as 0600) are often — but not always — the result of a harried nurse or doctor rounding up or down after the fact, so the actual time is likely to be at least a few minutes earlier or later. Still, you are indeed a Leo!

      2. Yes it was 1961 – you are so wise! And I kind of rounded it up because my parents died when I was young so I don’t actually know when I was born. The general time was given to me by my aunt. I don’t have any hospital records to double check. SA has never had any DST so you were spot on with that one too. I think I feel way more of a Cancer than a Leo but people who don’t know me well see the Leo only. I was born on my father’s birthday and he was definitely Cancerian. Deep in his shell, born in 1932.

      3. There’s so much more to it than the embarrassingly stereotypical treatment of sun signs, which doesn’t even scratch the surface. I feel more like my rising sign, too, among other things.

        Had to check out this date in 1932. When out of his shell, your father was a brilliant, restless, expressive, enormously creative and proud man with zero patience for slow, dull thinkers or the willfully ignorant. Looks like he was forced to grow up early and assume burdensome responsibilities, which tempered his exuberance. A voracious learner and quite a sharp tongue!

      4. Wow you described him to a T. He had to drop out of university and work in a café to support me and my mum. He never stopped learning though – he was always teaching himself something.

  2. This is amazing! It’s a lovely mug. I have a mug that was given to me while I was an exchange student. I still have it with me and it has just turned 23 this year… It’s amazing how we get attached to the most random items…

  3. I have my Sagittarius tankard/mug in black and gold given to me by my best friend’s mom for my 21st, although mine has never been used. I would never consider getting rid of it even though I would never use it, because she was the dearest lady ever. According to the information I have Leo begins on the 23rd July, and you obviously have a great affinity with the sign.

    1. No you have to send me a photo! Yes I am right on the cusp so some put me at Leo and some put me at Cancer. I am more of a Cancer I think, though I don’t really pay much attention to horoscopes!

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