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Favourite things

  • neighbour's garden

    my neighbour’s garden

    November 21, 2015

      This is the front garden of my neighbour’s house, in Leytonstone, London. Her choice of decoration is full of historical – and mythological – resonances. She is an Irish Catholic grandmother (the Virgin Mary is, of course, a bit

  • stunt bike

    the Real Live Game

    November 6, 2015

    My older brother, Peter (now a philosophy professor) has had a life-long love of motorbikes. I drew this picture, of a stunt rider leaping through a wall of flame, when I was about 7, and it would have been in

  • oldwoman&pigSMALL

    The Old Woman and the Pig

    June 26, 2015

    So much is said about the importance of books and reading, but language and stories begin with talking and singing, not reading. Nursery rhymes are stories: Humpty Dumpty, the Grand Old Duke of York, Jack and Jill. When I was tiny

  • The Roman Vergil

    The Roman Vergil

    April 27, 2015

    I love naive art, and there is something magical about the sweetness and awkwardness of these pictures. They are from a manuscript of the Aeneid, known as ‘The Roman Vergil’ – one of the earliest surviving illustrated books – when the

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