There have been many occasions over the course of this year when my mind has wandered back to Liz. In 2009, much like 2016, we were inundated with pet lambs. Liz was a lovely little Texel/Suffolk cross.
The first comparison between Liz of 2009 and Nobby of 2016 was of course their appearance. Thanks to Liz, I knew Nobby's face would become much more solid in colour as he got older. He was a Suffolk/Texel/Charollais cross.
This is a photo of Liz, like the one at the top of this post, taken at one of my high school's open nights. We spent a good few hours in one of the science labs. Since she was young enough to be held, if she got scared I could give her a reassuring cuddle. Needless to say she was the star of the show! She even had her photo in some local newspapers.
Of course Nobby had many adventures of his own away from the farm - although he was older when he took his first steps on new ground.
Liz's best friend was the hilarious Jim, a big lamb with very floppy ears.
Nobby's best friend was Fred, who was also a big lamb, but with ears that were not quite so floppy.
Liz moved into a new field my Dad, Granny and I made especially for the eight pet lambs to live in. Six years later Blue Belle would stand here.
As I'd predicted, and like Liz, Nobby's face become more solidly marked - he too moved into the field with the other pet lambs. Here he's in a field my Dad and I made especially for Blue Belle.
Liz embraced her retirement from public life (no more school visits, as much fun as bringing a lamb to school sounded to me). Until her untimely demise from bloat, we enjoyed walks around the yard and wearing trousers I would find embarrassing when I came to write a blog post about it.
The final comparison I would make, and the most important, is that both of these lambs will forever be remembered for being my friends, and the footsteps we took together.