Baa baa Welsh black sheep: Cheryl Gillan's menagerie

It's that time of year when the media are (often unfairly) pilloried for focusing on those stories that lead some to brand August the silly season.

Not on this page. Oh no. Instead, here's the latest on the menagerie being assembled by the Secretary of State for Wales.

Cheryl Gillan is about to take delivery of two Welsh black mountain sheep, who will live at her family home in Derbyshire.

According to the Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Breeders' Association, "they produce premium quality, lean meat with an excellent meat to bone ratio and a full flavour".

Before the phrase "lamb chop" interrupts your thought process, I pass on Mrs Gillan's own bulletin via twitter: "the woolies are not for eating but for wool and grass eating duties and hopefully will live a long peaceful life."

She added: "Only baby baas so no shearing until 2012 but have friend who wants to spin and knit wool."

The sheep will be joining Mrs Gillan's hens, whose names include Diana Dors, Marilyn Monroe and Boris (his feathers resemble the mayor of London's hairstyle).

Mrs Gillan is currently on holiday, but her office is working overtime in August to end the mystery over the guest list at her St David's Day reception.

The Wales Office has previously refused to say who attended Ewe-turn for Welsh Secretarythe bash but we should prepare ourselves for a ewe-turn (sorry).

The Secretary of State's principal private secretary, Stephen Hillcoat, has been e-mailing guests to let them know their names could be published this Friday in response to a request under the Freedom of Infomation Act.