It is the 1980s, and deep in mid-Wales the inhabitants of the Nant Valley are holding out against the modern world. But times are hard and bodies are beginning to hang from the beams. Then outsiders discover the valley, and wrongly believe it to be an idyll.
Stéfan, a rich and mysterious foreigner, buys a derelict manor house and sets about being squire - only to find that his money fails to impress anyone, least of all craftsmen. He can't even get served in the pub, as Gwillim the landlord hates customers.
Jane and Rob, a pair of ecological city folk, buy a tumbledown farmhouse and a Vietnamese pig. They want a wind turbine, but Rob is without an income since he is an abstract painter and the locals only like sheepdog portraits. A progressive couple, their enthusiasm for alfresco nudity has tragic repercussions for the farming community.
Meanwhile in the valley that time forgot, the old Commodore is trying to save the church from sliding into the river, Nico the antique dealer is stripping the locals of their last valuables, Mr Baker the bank manager is demanding intercourse as collateral for loans, and Felicity, hunt secretary and horse owner, is offering her body to any man with stabling.
Only Dafydd the over-friendly postman knows all the secrets, and he delights in spreading both truth and rumour. He doubts the valley is ready for outsiders - and as they struggle with sexual scandal, hostile artisans, an unsuccessful laundromat exhibition and a corpse, the omens are not good.
Barry Pilton is a TV and radio comedy writer and author of the hugely successful travel books One Man and His Bog, One Man and His Log and An Innocent Abroad.
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