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"But our minds soon became two parts of one operation. We dreamed a lot of shared or complementary dreams. Our telepathy was intrusive.
I don't know whether our verse exchanged much, if we influenced one another that way - not in the early days. Maybe others see that differently.

Our methods were not the same. Hers was to collect a heap of vivid objects and good words and make a pattern; the pattern would be projected from somewhere deep inside, from her very distinctly evolved myth.

My method was to find a thread end and draw the rest out of a hidden tangle. Her method was more painterly, mine more narrative, perhaps."

(taken from an interview with Ted Hughes published in the Paris Review, Spring 1995.)
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THERE was once a man who had a giant dog. It could swim in the sea, and was so big that it could haul whale and narwhal to shore. The narwhal it would hook on to its side teeth, and swim with them hanging there.

The man who owned it had cut holes in its jaws, and let in thongs through those holes, so that he could make it turn to either side by pulling at the thongs.

And when he and his wife desired to go journeying to any place, they had only to mount on its back.

The man had long wished to have a son, but as none was born to him, he gave his great dog the amulet which his son should have had. This amulet was a knot of hard wood, and the dog was thus made hard to resist the coming of death.

Once the dog ate a man, and then the owner of the dog was forced to leave that place and take land elsewhere. And while he was living in this new place, there came one day a kayak rowing in towards the land, and the man hastened to take up his dog, lest it should eat the stranger. He led it away far up into the hills, and gave it a great bone, that it might have something to gnaw at, and thus be kept busy.

But one day the dog smelt out the stranger, and came down from the hills, and then the man was forced to hide away the stranger and his kayak in a far place, lest the dog should tear them in pieces, for it was very fierce.

Now because the dog was so big and fierce, the man had many enemies. And once a stranger came driving in a sledge with three dogs as big as bears, to kill the giant dog. The man went out to meet that sledge, and the dog followed behind him. The dog pretended to be afraid at first, but then, when the stranger's dog set upon it in attack, it turned against them, and crushed the skulls of all three in its teeth.

After a time, the man noticed that his giant dog would go off, p. 96 now and again, for long journeys in the hills, and would sometimes return with the leg of an inland-dweller. And now he understood that the dog had made it a custom to attack the inland-dwellers and bring back their legs to its master. He could see that the legs were legs of inland-dwellers, for they wore hairy boots.

And it is from this giant dog that the inland-dwellers got their great fear of all dogs. It would always appear suddenly at the window, and drag them out. But it was a good thing that something happened to frighten the inland-dwellers, for they had themselves an evil custom of carrying off lonely folk, especially women, when they had lost their way in the fog.

And that is all I know about the Giant Dog.
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Capturing the fleeting moment when flower petals are about to fade and leaves are ready to drop, Cornelia O’Donovan creates a subtle and compelling sense of melancholy through her painted floral displays. Cornelia O’Donovan’s work is often reminiscent of grand but faded medieval frescoes and of crumbling murals, hidden within the walls of ancient country churches. This aesthetic is developed further for her new exhibition with the use of thick, deckled edge paper which is prepared by lightly sanding the surface and finished with a fine layer of varnish - a technique which is still used today to stabilise delicate wall murals.

Available exclusively at
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A hand painted goose egg for Easter for the Art shop and Gallery,

from their site:

"We have filled our window with artist decorated goose eggs by illustrators, painters, jewellers, printmakers, stone-carvers and ceramic artists. Each one is unique, quirky and beautiful. Each a little piece of art to be treasured. These eggs are blown and very robust."

see their site for pieces from Louise Brosnan RCA, Sarah Thwaites, Alexis Snell, Andrea McLean, Matt Caines and myself.

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