Wine and Food Diary of Giles MacDonogh

Sheep

Sheep

Posted: 5th June 2017

I haven’t been in London much this month. For reasons best left unexplained, I elected to tour the island of Great Britain, making a serpentine journey from Oxford to Inverness. My overriding impression was of sheep: big shaggy ewes, gambolling baa-lambs born at Christmas or Easter, and every now and then, the rare, hornèd ram lying exhausted in the midst of his womenfolk. I was not in Kent, East Anglia, Sussex, Devon or Cornwall but that notwithstanding everywhere I saw sheep, from the Cotswolds to the Welsh Mountains, from the Yorkshire Moors to the Pennines, from the Lake District to the Scottish Lowlands and from Fife to the Cairngorms: sheep, sheep, sheep. In all fairness, Great Britain should be renamed ‘Sheep Island,’ as it is not so very different from the Falklands with their famous ‘365’ – that is the number of times in a year the islanders are apparently reduced to eating lamb or mutton. We are luckier, I suppose, at least we have chicken breasts for those days when sheep meat is simply de trop.

I ought to add that, statistically speaking, there were 31,350,000 sheep and lambs on the island at the time David Cameron was re-elected Prime Minister in 2015 – half a sheep for every man, woman and child. If you include two-legged ovines (and that is not including bovines) they would win any poll by a landslide.


A Cruel Month

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Giles MacDonogh

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