"I'll do my best!"
"I was doing one of your walks, when I came to this gate here".
We both lean over the map, her finger pointing at the gate in question.
"Oh yes, " I say. "That's the back orchard".
"Well, we got that far and couldn't go any further".
"Really? Oh dear. There shouldn't be any obstructions".
"There were all these sheep in the field".
"Yes, those are our Ryeland sheep, gorgeous aren't they?"
I smiled at her, genuinely mystified as to where we were going with this conversation.
"Well, are they safe?"
"Um....they're fine, as far as I know".
"No, I mean, is it safe to walk through them? You have to be careful when you have little ones," she stepped back, the sweep of her arm leading my gaze to the pushchair behind her.
"Oh!" I said, as understanding dawned. "Oh, they are perfectly safe! They will run away from you if you approach them. They are totally harmless, they don't attack or stampede or anything!"
She did not seem convinced. "Well, there's all that sheep muck I'd rather the children didn't walk through".
She left then, and drove off in her spotless 4x4.
I wondered if she finds herself trapped inside the car if she ever journeys to Wales or Scotland or anywhere that sheep roam freely over hill and dale. Sometimes it is hard to work out why some people choose a day out in the country.