Heaven is a gate over which you can lean to gaze at sheep. Unless, of course, you happen to be a sheep.
The Celt and I are in Wales. We are dogless, catless and fancy free for an oh-so-brief sojourn. We spend our time getting lost and being baffled by Welsh place-names. It takes us two hours to get where a Welshman would get in 30 minutes.
And we love getting lost. It has enabled us to draw some surprising conclusions about the denizens of the landscape, those sheep. For example: we observe that most fields of sheep have one black sheep in them. Why? And that it is indeed possible to have mixed fields of cows and sheep. The Celt is not happy with the density of sheep in the North Welsh fields – he feels it should be greater – but he wears his disgruntlement well as we tear down tiny Welsh lanes with no earthly idea where we are going, far away from the questionable salvation of the satnav and trying diligently to remember details from the Ordinance Survey map we downloaded this morning.
After we have spent the day careering about nowhere in particular we like to eat and then wander the nearby Welsh lanes in a non-specific sort of way, taking hundreds of pictures (thank you, digital photography) and talking rubbish and going oooh-aaaah at every turn in the lane. It is indescribably beautiful here, and at each gate we lean and gaze at sheep.
Which, I believe causes considerable consternation to them.
This is how a gaze goes: I stare and the two nearest sheep to the gate clock me. They put their heads up and I see their perfectly symmetrical attention, two 45 degree radar atop a large tea cosy on four twiglet legs. Their attention is intent and focused. I can feel their hearts beating.
Then, like wary accountants faced with an exuberant pothead, they move with stealth, one prudent hoof at a time. They wheel round to face the opposite direction and suddenly I am faced with not radar but a large tea-cosy bottom (ignore the legends about the predilections of their countrymen please. They have no place here.)
And they gravitate away, across the field. As they go they have discreet words with their colleagues and the whole herd strolls nonchalantly away from the mad lady leaning over the gate.
They don’t hold with me.
So we give up and go home, taking pictures of the silhouettes of trees against the sky, until it is dark and either cloudy or starry. When we go outside and have a jacuzzi in a tub with lights and bubbles.
And sheep on the other side of the fence.