Sheep may safely graze (or maybe not)

There’s some bit of information that La Cieca’s missing in this story, or maybe it would be obvious to readers in the “This is Wiltshire Network.” But here goes. “Yet another” rural opera festival in Britain (this time, in “Somerly Park,” which is where La Cieca imagines the Maggie Smith character lives when she’s not sponging on her in-laws in Gosford Park) has been canceled due to renewed fears of “the foot and mouth crisis.”

Yes, yes, of course La Cieca knows that “foot and mouth” is an infectious disease of domesticated animals. What she misses is why people can’t go to an outdoor opera because of it. Anyway, here’s some of the story in question.

Marketing director for the [Somerly Park] estate, Rosalind Nott, said . . . “We’re stuffed but there’s nothing that we can do.

“We are hugely concerned about the number of people who will turn up on the night.”

She stressed that there are over 1,000 sheep on the site and that they are “all over the park”.

“When you have livestock you’ve got to protect them at the end of the day when we’ve got people arriving from all over the place.

“We all remember the last time it happened.”

. . . . A spokesman for The Garden Opera said: “Obviously we are disappointed with the cancellation given the work that has been put into the event but we understand the seriousness of the reasons for cancelling the event.”

Well, actually, that’s the problem: La Cieca really doesn’t remember the last time it happened and so she can’t quite grasp the seriousness of the reasons. Anyone care to explain to her what’s the danger here?

On a lighter note, devotees of high culture can rest easy that at least some of the events of the Romsey Show are going forward. Although the “display of sheep and cattle” is canceled (this La Cieca understands), Romsey Show secretary Annie Carder assures us that Wiltshire may still enjoy “the food show, helicopter displays, Titan the robot and, thanks to our president this year, Lawrie McMenemy, Saints in the Community coaching sessions.”

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