Helper for this gal­ley slave

Vicky was de­lighted to wel­come her whirl­wind grand-daugh­ter on board for fort­night of cruis­ing fun

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: -

One of our grand­daugh­ters had a hol­i­day with us a while ago on nb Harry. Life turned from be­ing quiet and peace­ful, slow and re­lax­ing to a mad, non-stop pace of skip­ping, cart­wheels, jogging and fran­tic ac­tiv­ity.

It was like liv­ing on a ham­ster wheel with our legs con­stantly mov­ing. But she was so happy and fell for life afloat. She loved work­ing the locks and wash­ing the boat. And af­ter her week’s stay be­came two, I don’t think she wanted to go home.

We were on the Leeds & Liver­pool, it was sunny and the beau­ti­ful hills were beck­on­ing us to their sum­mits. Be­fore it was even proper day­light, Martha wanted to know if we could climb to the top of the hills and take a pic­nic. And be­fore we knew it, our day was com­pletely or­gan­ised.

She’s seven, a joy and such good com­pany. In­tel­li­gent, cheeky and she makes us laugh. How­ever, there was only one neg­a­tive as­pect to her stay on board.

She’s a fussy eater and is quick to say: “I don’t like this or that” so menus for the stay were her choice. It’s not that she lives on junk food at home. In fact, far from it as her mother is a healthy food and life­style kind of mummy.

Her favourite meal is mac­a­roni cheese but even that is not an ob­vi­ous win­ner. Mrs Paddy, the school cook, ap­par­ently makes the best mac­a­roni cheese ever fol­lowed by the other granny. Mummy comes last. Why, we ask. Well she uses brown pasta, no ba­con and co­conut milk. Yuk. I don’t think I would vote that a win­ner ei­ther.

So it’s com­pe­ti­tion time and my chance to con­vert Martha! My store cup­board con­tains reg­u­lar pasta, full cream milk, strong Ched­dar cheese and ba­con so I was hop­ing that my ver­sion of mac­a­roni cheese would knock Mrs Paddy off first place for good.

It’s a ideal meal to cook af­ter an en­er­getic day be­cause it’s so easy, quick, fill­ing and nour­ish­ing plus af­ter a good scrub of the hands, Martha grated the cheese, stirred the sauce and made her­self use­ful in a way that wasn’t tax­ing for me on board nb Harry.

‘Be­fore it was even proper day­light, Martha wanted to know if we could climb to the top of the hills and take a pic­nic’

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