Mr B and I have been squirrelling away today. All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we were, as befits a couple of squirrels who can see that winter is coming and a bit of serious stocking-up is needed.
I checked up in a Thesaurus to see what alternative words I could have used to describe us: (i) Collector; (ii) Saver; (iii) Accumulator; (iv) Magpie; (v) Miser; (vi) Stasher. Of all of these, I like "stasher"
best. But none of these words comes close to the sheer appropriate homeliness of the word "squirrel." I squirrel. You squirrel. We squirrelled. It's a word which makes you smile just to utter it.
I've seen lots of squirrels out and about this last week or so, making a dash for it across the garden, scampering up the tree trunk, leaping sure-footedly from branch to branch. And, no, Mr B and I haven't been doing any
of that. Not unless there's something he's not telling me.
What we have been doing is stocking up the freezer with goodies which will warm our hearts come the winter. Today it was the turn
of the cooking apples, a great stash of them we had - all bound for the freezer once we had peeled them, sliced them, cooked them and packed them. So we set up a production line in the kitchen, armed with peelers, knives, chopping boards, a couple of
Pyrex jugs, the microwave and several foil containers. Efficiency was our middle name.
We did have a couple of arguments about the Pyrex jugs and whose turn it was to fill them with our
apple slices, and we did get in each other's way, once or twice, between sink and microwave - but, most of the time, we were like a well-oiled machine.
Mr B reminds me of the time when he stocked up
on sugar, having been warned that we were about to face a sugar shortage. This was in the days when there were six of us at home and we used a lot more sugar than we do today. And Mr B, then as now, took his role as Hunter-Gatherer extremely
Well the months rolled on and there was no sugar shortage. There wasn't even an inkling that there might be a sugar shortage, sometime in the distant future. It was a time of
plenty, sugar-wise. Until, suddenly, there wasn't any to be had, not here, there or anywhere. Mr B was triumphant at the thought of all the sugar he had stashed away, in preparation for this very moment.
Except that there wasn't. Any sugar. Stashed away. Over the months, I'd been slowly whittling down our sugar mountain, because, honestly, I hadn't believed his dire warnings of a sugar famine. I have never lived it down.
Obviously I won't make that mistake again. Come winter, there'll be apples galore in our freezer. And all they will need is a spoonful of sugar....