I was under the impression that the English weren’t allowed into Wales any more, now that Tony Blair persuaded us we ought to have at least half a government of our own and let Westminster pay for it. I assume Colin Cotterill managed to make it through the border undercover on his Australian passport. Which is a good thing, because his blog post of this week was a lovely appreciations of my homeland, even down to the 28 yards of daily rainfall for which I yearn as I swelter through 40-degree desert heat here in Jerusalem.

During his stay at the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival, Colin muses that a soggy sheep would be less attractive than a dry one. A dry sheep may conjure up pleasanter images of romantic moments in the haybarn (in a land where there are more sheep than humans, romance might occasionally include a sheep.) There is, however, considerable lanolin in the sheep’s wool, so the rainfall doesn’t penetrate to the sheep’s body and therefore a good shake would be all that’s needed to dry him or her out – for further investigation, as it were.

I hope that clears things up for you, Colin. Next time you’re at the Hay festival, even if it’s raining, sheep are the perfect antidote. (Why do you think all those fat, boozed up London publishing types come all the way to the countryside?) Take this old Welsh joke as your cue:

A man walks into a pub. “Jones has been found having sex with a sheep,” he says. The barman looks up and asks, “Was it a male sheep or a female sheep?” “A female sheep, of course,” says the man. “There’s nothing wrong with Jones.”

Read the rest of this post at my blog The Man of Twists and Turns.

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