I bought Ernie for Brendan last April for his birthday. He was only a few weeks old. We fed him by hand, with plastic pop bottles full of milk. He and Arthur were the best of friends.
Then he grew up. And he got big, then he got bigger, then he got even bigger, and then he got bigger still.
And when he got big - he got territorial, he got a bit aggressive with certain people who he just decided that he did not like the look of.
In December 2009, when we were all calling him Ernie Ba$tard, we put him in the freezer. A ginormous chest freezer that the neighbours lent us. He almost filled it.
And now that chest freezer has died. We suspect that the mice have nibbled through some of the essential bits of wiring. Is is stored in the barn after all.
Today I have been desperately trying to move the last bits of Ernie from the chest freezer into the upright, but having managed to squeeze various bits of him in, I have not been able to get all the veggie harvest in around him. Not surprising considering I have managed to freeze 10 bags of courgettes, and 9 bags of green beans, as well as several large carrier bags full of broccoli, cauli and cabbage.
This afternoon whilst stuck in the house waiting for an important phone call from the UK (that never came due to the staff shortages caused by the inclement weather according to the email I eventually received), I have been cooking up various veggie dishes to try to use up the veggies that I cannot store any longer. Luckily as the weather has not been above freezing all day I can still leave all the left over bits in the chest freezer for now.
Brendan and Thea are already sick of cauliflower cheese and courgettes and pumpkins, and they have not even had to eat any of them yet.
Cabbage and bacon tomorrow. Followed by beetroots and carrots.
Perhaps I should mention that I also found the secret stash of Magnums from the summer - or perhaps not.