Item posted: Thursday 1st November , 2012
The clocks have changed and it�s dark at 5pm; there�s 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 replicas relojes landlubber friends & colleagues all seem to start with the same question: �What�s it like on your boat now it�s coming into winter? Bet it�s cold and dark and horrible!�
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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 � sure, some aspects suck: it�s 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 isn�t fun � but actually, there�s 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 they�ve been round to the boat before in the summer and we always have a great time. I hadn�t seen Pippa for about a year, and she has since been off working on superyachts, so it was awesome to hear about her adventures � including breaking a rib by falling in to the ship�s bilge!
In the summer, it�s 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, it�s 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.
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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 both�
jelly shares insights into the life and loves of a liveaboard writer, sailor and young entrepreneur.