Item posted: Thursday 1st November , 2012
The clocks have changed and itís dark at 5pm; thereís a near-gale blowing in the marina as I sit typing this; and the dehumidifier is purring away in the background. Yup, autumn is fast becoming winter. In turn, this means those conversations between me and my landlubber friends & colleagues all seem to start with the same question: ďWhatís it like on your boat now itís coming into winter? Bet itís cold and dark and horrible!Ē
There is no better way to answer that question than by inviting those friends & colleagues round to Miley for an evening of food, beer and good conversation.
As much as I moan about winter Ė sure, some aspects suck: itís pretty much impossible to completely eradicate damp, and trudging down to the fuel pontoon for a can of heating diesel on a cold, dark, wet night isnít fun Ė but actually, thereís something quite magical about this last season of the year. And I enjoy nothing more than inviting friends round to the boat, cooking a nice meal, and sitting round the saloon eating, drinking and chatting.
Last night was one such evening: my friends Joe & Lucy, and Pippa, came round for the evening. Joe & Lucy live and work in Brighton, so theyíve been round to the boat before in the summer and we always have a great time. I hadnít seen Pippa for about a year, and she has since been off working on superyachts, so it was awesome to hear about her adventures Ė including breaking a rib by falling in to the shipís bilge!
In the summer, itís great to invite lots of people round, sit out in the cockpit, go for a walk to the beach, and make cocktails to drink up on deck. But in the winter, itís all about intimate gatherings: about 4 people is perfect (plus the dog), a wholesome home-cooked meal, and maybe some posh hot chocolate (the recipe for which I have perfected, and includes proper milk hot chocolate with a tot of Malibu, Baileys and whipped cream to top it off). Last night I decided to venture into the world of home-cooked chicken goujons, with fried baby potatoes, mushrooms, garlic, spring onions, and salad. The timing was perfect: I had done all the prep just in time for Joe, Lucy and Pippa to arrive, so when they got here, we cracked open a cold beer each and started rolling, dipping and breadcrumbing the chicken pieces.
This is what I love about boats: a simple thing like cooking turns into something fun for us all to get involved in. I love inviting friends round and spending quality time with them, sharing the magic of life aboard a boat. Lucy and Joe even did the washing up! Now, does that make me a bad host, or them the perfect guests? Perhaps a bit of bothÖ
jelly shares insights into the life and loves of a liveaboard writer, sailor and young entrepreneur.