2015 is, in Chinese astrology, the year of the sheep. Er, otherwise known as the ram or even the goat, but let’s forget about the alternatives and settle for sheep.
Of course, we’re still in the old Chinese year – the horse – but only just. (Next year is my year; I’m a monkey. As my parents often perceptibly said. And as a monkey I need to avoid bungee jumping in June or July this year, or so I’ve been told. Seriously. No problems there.)
So here, in celebration of the Year of the Sheep and marking the fact that I’ve just got to go and quickly sort through – grammar police, are you watching? – my patterns before heading off to a yarn sale (!), are some shots of sheep to celebrate their year, sheep in my local landscape.
This also gives me a great opportunity for some shots of Ardudwy, my part of paradise. That’s the Llyn Peninsula in the distance, and the sea is Cardigan Bay. Ardudwy is the piece of west Wales between two estuaries, essentially between Dolgellau and Penrhyndeudraeth, and between the mountains and the sea. Gerald of Wales, the twelfth-century chronicler, described it as ‘the wildest part of Wales’. That was then, though parts of my garden probably fit that description at the moment. Ahem.
Sheep – aka, to some of my friends whose garden they have recently invaded, those feckin’ woolly maggots – are everywhere. They’re on the hills, in the woods, browsing on top of cliffs, hanging around on the fringes of the dunes. Sometimes they are curious, looking up to check what’s going on, and sometimes they pretend to be boulders. Sometimes they pose. Lambs, I’ve found, are particularly good at this – when they’re not doing something else like bouncing, seeing if you can eat fence posts, escaping under gates, or just shouting their silly heads off.
Sometimes there’s just one sheep
They are almost always there, except when you want to find a good shot for some specific purpose – then they vanish. People think sheep are stupid, but I think they’re in tune with the infinite and are out to deliberately annoy – oh, OK, I don’t. But they’re not stupid. They’re flock animals (tell me humans are not – look, for instance, at the way teenage girls conform and follow a leader), and if you get a bright lead sheep you’re stuffed.
But by and large, they’re not generally that interested.
They’re quite happy to ignore you and get on with doing sheepy things. As long, that is, as you haven’t got a dog with you, because all dogs are wolves.
So may everyone have a good year of the sheep,
when it actually, officially, starts, that is. But I reckon it’s here already. The office / basement (its an office when it’s a bit warmer) is full of unwashed Gotland fleeces which I’ll have to move or wash if I want to do my tax return. It’s probably a sign.
Yes, of having the willpower of a maggot when it comes to fleeces. Sigh. Now where are my patterns?