Several months ago I was in a club in Lagos and met a young German who works at the consulate here. He was from Dusseldorf, and I told him that next week I will be going to an area near there: Sauerland. He replied with eyebrows raised:
“Why would you go to Sauerland?”
I told him I was going to the wedding of somebody from there.
“Oh, that explains it.”
Sauerland, it appears, is a rural area in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany which has much in common with mid-Wales: it rains heavily at short notice, there are plenty of hills and forests but not much else, the locals drink beer by the keg, optimists label it a tourist area and attempt to sell the hills as mountains, and not much English is spoken. The only thing missing was sheep, much to the disappointment of this Welshman.