Having young children is a major hazard of my Modern Country world.

That's not to say that I don't utterly adore them but I have three words for you: silver, cutlery and bin.

Yes, I did cry.

When Mr Modern Country and I got married, we were given a set of beautiful silver-plated rat tail cutlery. The 'rat tail' refers to the raised line that is on the back of the heads of the spoons and forks.

I know some people save their best cutlery for...ummm...best. Call me a fool, if you will, but I've always wanted to use ours everyday.

When I was young, my parents had a cabinet full of their best things that never got used (or never when I was around anyway!!) and I always vowed that when I was a grown -up, I'd always keep my loveliest possessions in constant use, for better or worse!

Fast forward eleven years, four children later, and my romantic notions have come back to haunt me!

Our youngest two, who are twins, have, as their house job, the lovely task of clearing the table after tea. They are overseen by yours truly but the job is basically theirs to do. However, I have noticed, since they started this chore, that some of our lovely silver-plated rat tail cutlery has gone missing. Hmmmm. I think they went the way of empty yogurt pots and leftovers. In the bin! Aaaargh! I hope the refuse collectors were pleased!

So, that's the sad news! The happy news is that I've found a fabulous replacement source. Last week, I ordered lots more (remember we have added four extra people to our family since we were given the originals). I'm so, so pleased with them! They are shiny and lovely and beautiful.

And the best part is that they were so much cheaper than our originals because they were from an antiques shop, rather than John Lewis. I was starting to wonder if I was being a bit foolish allowing the children to handle such expensive things everyday, if those things were going to go the way of the others (goodbye Mr Serving Spoon....) but this is a perfect, perfect solution. Hurrah!