And thanks to E. Annie Proulx, even American readers (and I know there are a lot of you) will know what I'm on about. It's why this tiny little pin dish – depicting the evocatively named sea regions surrounding the British Isles – is pretty much my favourite thing in daily use in my house.
I use it to put used tea-bags on (shamefully, as you can see, despite my scrubbing it quite hard for the photo its use is quite clear). I almost thought it was too good to use for my teabags – precisely because it was likely to get stained, and also because I liked it too much to want to give it such a prosaic purpose. But then I'd have been denying myself the daily pleasure I get from looking at it.
I hadn't looked at the back for the manufacturer until today (I bought it a little while back – prompted to write about it now for a reason I'll get to shortly): Britannia Dartmouth, it says. I Googled them and found that eBay is very well stocked with partner pieces.
the exact same dish currently going for £3.99 (and stain-free!), as well as the variation you can see above, for £1.99. The eBay search also threw up a few other Britannia designs of this ilk – one depicting London, one of the county of Devon, and a rather odd one with an illustrated Teddy Boy on it... Anyways – if you like the style, have a browse.
Now for the afore-mentioned prompt. I stumbled across this, below, which also feeds the warm fuzzy feeling we have for the Shipping Forecast.
Calm Gallery and is by the prolific illustrator, James Brown. It's titled Viking, after the first region on the map, and costs £35 unframed.