Today on our sitting-room mantel-shelf, sandwiched between Ceridwen’s Welsh dragon and one half of the pair of Staffordshire King Charles spaniels that once belonged to my mother, two treasures add to the company of players. The beautiful ceramic is by Wendy Lawrence, and was given to me this Summer as a birthday gift. The Matisse-like wire sculpture is by the painter Sara Philpott, a house-warming gift to Ty Isaf on the occasion of our first Christmas here nearly five years ago. I love gifts that evidence the skills of the givers, and these two reward in a multiplicity of ways. Wendy’s ceramic has grown large, becoming a megalith in a landscape where Sara’s elegant centaur lassoes down a star from the sky while giant birds gather rowan berries and sway on airy fronds.