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Dear Ann,

I loved this so much I watched it several times. It’s a 19-minute New Yorker Documentary on the life of Welsh shepherd Evan Wilf Davies, who cares for his 70 sheep alone, in a beautiful place that is changing rapidly. He’s a wise man, who in his 73 years has learned how to be happy. He sees his primary work as looking at the sheep every day, to “make sure they’ve got plenty of food and water and everything is on their feet.” No spoilers, but I’ll admit that I re-watched him making his breakfast, on a hotplate in a shed, because a saucepan of custard-enriched oatmeal with fresh grapes sounds like just the thing to get the day off to a good start.

He’s just lovely, and this is a gem that I’ll save for my thinking time and evening walks.

Plus, if you’ve never laid eyes on a Plynlimon Speckle sheep, here’s your chance. You can watch the full documentary via the link up top.

Wrinklies Cinema

If a 20-minute movie isn’t enough for you, here’s 12 minutes more: a poignant little love story with John Hurt and Phyllida Law.

Yours in trying to be present, polite, and always helping somebody,


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  • OMG Kay, this is fabulous. Thank you so for bringing it to our attention. He’s a man after my own heart – I could eat the same thing for dinner for 10 years too (tho it might have to be pizza!). And while in English, thank goodness for subtitles!

  • This was wonderful! Thank you.

    • Thank you. What a wonderful thing to watch on Christmas Day. It is especially nice to see someone happy with his work and his life. So many others are sad, bored and miserably unhappy.

    • If you enjoyed that, check out the series, This Farming Life. I believe it’s currently streaming on Britbox. It’s set in Northern Scotland and follows several different farm or sheep raising families. The landscape is beautiful also. I don’t usually gravitate to documentaries or reality shows, but this is so enjoyable, It’s not sensational or a competitive thing, it just gives you a slice of life of the days to day challenges and triumphs of these families.

      • What a lovely little film. Thank you for sharing.

  • I wonder if he shears his sheep himself or somebody comes and does it for him?

  • Thank you so much, Kay, Beautiful, and it is does give one perspective. LOVE the sheep. A few questions came to mind. Do the sheep realize when one of them is sprayed green? (I hated that part, although I know it is necessary.). Was this man with his solitary life ever lonely? Whatever. He has arrived at a place that can give us all life lessons. (At one point in my life all I wanted was either spaghetti or chicken. Now I eat whatever the Internet tells me to…which gives me a very full spice cupboard. So much for simplicity.)

  • This was lovely to watch first thing this morning. I wonder if I can clear my mind enough to be happy about the day, life, surroundings on my evening walk? Thanks for sharing this.

  • My goodness that was fantastic. Thank you.

  • This brought tears to my eyes. My mothers ancestors were all Welsh sheep farmers, and when they came to America, they still raised sheep. By the place names he mentions, Evan Davies lives in the very same area that they did; watching it is as close as I will come to seeing and hearing my own kin. I always explain my love of knitting by explaining that sheeps wool is part of my DNA; this explains why.

    • Both of these videos are so poignant. You made my Saturday. Thank you.

  • Absolutely stunning and beautiful in all ways. Saving this for when I am craving peace and quiet.

  • A beautiful, simple life.

  • Loved this video, so soothing, I was treated to it via Clara Parkes’ daily newsletter, my other most favorite morning read.

  • The love story, the footnote in your article, was beautiful. Thank you.

  • Thank you for sharing this video. Those last two lines of dialogue…oh, my heart.

  • Thank you for sharing these short films. Made my day! I enjoyed them both so much. Wilf is very fortunate to live this life. The sheep are adorable. It is sad to see his lifestyle disappearing. And the other love story is wonderful! Good to be reminded of all the varied types of love that make the world go ’round, especially this time of year.

  • To be happy in the life that you live. That’s all there really is. Beautiful!

  • So much beauty! But my heart goes out to him and all the people who once lived in these small communities. We and they have lost so much courtesy of greed and devaluation of what is necessary. When he dies, I well imagine someone with more money than heart buying his land, clearing off the sheep, and building some monstrosity of a “country cottage. “

    • As I watched, I kept wondering what will become of the sheep and the land when he passes.

  • Present, polite, and always helping someone!
    Beautiful aspirations! And I would add “kind.”

    • I want to be a shepherd in the hills of Wales with my flock of sweet sheep!! What a lovely thought to ponder.
      Thanks for this.

  • Heart Valley, what a beautiful wake up story: saved me from scrolling IG with my coffee just now, starting my day off right. Thanks!

  • Thank you, Kay.

  • Both videos are stunning. . .You knocked it out of the park today. Thank You!!

  • Everything’s perfect … Top of the world!
    With gratitude.

  • Thank you, Kay. These were lovely and sweet, and I so appreciate your finding and sharing them. Really.

  • Lovely films, both. I knit them into the dishrags I’m making for Christmas gifts!

  • Thank you. Thank you. Your fine recommendations made my day a good one.

  • You might also enjoy two books by James Rebanks – A Shephards Life, and Pastoral Song. Both are also available on Audible.

  • Arm chair travel. Thanks!

  • Oh my, that is the best up-lifting moment, his home/his heart/his valley+farm are tender and treasured parts of his world.
    It brought such similar memories of ‘home’ to me.
    Home is where the heart lies.
    Thank you.

  • I’m extremely thankful that the Director in crew handled this documentary with care and respect for the gentle man. Small rural farms in the US are very much like this one. There isn’t large machinery or new implements. Much Of the machinery is older and worn out. My head nodded when I saw the typical twine holding the fence, until he completed his new fence. For years my family has teased my husband about his bailing wire and twine repairs. He laughs too! Farming and livestock are his love and his joy. Regardless of the weather, he is out there taking care of the cows; they all have names and personalities. Now that I’ve retired from civil service, I share in his daily joy.

  • Already commented but reading all the other Comments just now called to mind the wonderful book “Shear Spirit” for anyone whose interest in small, fiber-bearing animal farms has been awakened. Sheep, goats. alpaca and the lives and words of the farmers who raise them. I love this book and still feel soothed by the words and pictures even all these years later. Came out in 2008 but a few copies (only 3 at the moment) still available on Amazon and probably elsewhere. Chloe

  • Thank you so much for your recommendations. This was such a beautiful story. I starting crying right from the beginning. I cried for the beauty and simplicity of the Shepard’s life. Also, for a sad feeling that the way of life depicted in the documentary was fading away.
    Knitting has enriched my life in so many ways, and this documentary is just one example.

  • That was so beautiful. Grateful for the chance to see the world through his eyes and happy, contented soul. Cried for the eventual loss of this lifestyle. Praying it will continue. Such a gift. Blessings.

  • Loved the recommended film “Love at first sight” and, as well, found the Irish short film “Ruby” that was a good laugh.

  • Thank you for directing us to this man’s life. Sometimes we do wish that our lives were more directed and a little easier to understand. We love him and the sheep!!

  • Two lovely films. Thank you so much!

  • I’ve saved the Shepard one to watch in a quiet few minutes, maybe tonight or Monday after everything quiets down. The Love at First Sight is one of the sweetest films I’ve seen, watched a couple of weeks ago. Wonderful!

  • Thank you for this! Made my Christmas (early) morning in Germany!

  • That was awesome. Thank you for sharing!

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