As much as I perversely love the endless tropical summers of our dirty old city, I found myself drawn this morning to the escapism of this little English pastoral: quaint cottages and cool quiet countryside. I read once that Japanese fans were sometimes printed with wintry scenes, the idea being that the image itself could cool the mind just as the fan's fluttering breeze cooled the body. I suppose this little demitasse brings some of the same. (Though shortly I after I brewed this cup, one of our unpredictable summer storms sprang up, the skies opened with rain, and and the air turned gently cool. Not that it will stay that way for long.) This scene goes all the way around: fences and sheep and honest little farm folk and, on the far side, a church nestled amidst the trees. And the center of the saucer contains another little scene, again the church, seen from the distance beyond a field of cows. I'm quite certain rural English life was never truly so quaint, but since when were pastorals ever about reality? (I grew up on a farm. It had its merits, but it was a hard and dirty business.) Regardless, a sweet little cup: those blues and whites — and again, the flowers.