Life on board means do­ing away with all that clut­ter but there is one gad­get I could not do with­out

Canal Boat - - This Month - Vicky Blick

Meal that ticks all the boxes

Space is al­ways at a pre­mium on a nar­row­boat yet there are a few things on board that take up valu­able space but are not used of­ten.

These are life’s lit­tle lux­u­ries. Like my only pair of high heel shoes, my stylish de­signer hand­bag and other ac­ces­sories. The Cap­tain has a pair of smart linen trousers and jacket with trendy shoes to match tucked away on a shelf.

Though rarely worn, our non-boat­ing wardrobes have def­i­nitely had their use for the oc­ca­sional ‘posh’ non-boat­ing gath­er­ing.

It’s a stand­ing joke that from day to day we are in our tatty clothes with ac­com­pa­ny­ing oil stains, grease marks and with a faint smell of our reg­u­lar ‘diesel’ per­fume thrown in. We look like typ­i­cal boaters wher­ever we are.

But ev­ery now and then, we scrub up, dress up and go out, be­com­ing non-boaters as we stand around in a crowd chat­ting and be­ing so­cia­ble. And then some­one asks where you live and we tell them we live on a nar­row­boat.

That starts the in­evitable ques­tions. The Cap­tain replies about the tech­ni­cal stuff, the en­gine, gen­er­at­ing elec­tric, heat­ing and costs and so on whilst I al­ways say how liv­ing on the boat makes you ap­pre­ci­ate that our lives ‘on the bank’ are too full of clut­ter and un­nec­es­sary clothes and costly gad­gets which can’t be housed on board.

Mind you, there is one gad­get I wouldn’t be with­out and worth ev­ery inch of stor­age space and that’s my lit­tle vac­uum cleaner.

Al­though I could just use the dust­pan and brush, a good old vac­uum once a week keeps the dog hair at bay. Mine’s not an ex­pen­sive top of the range bat­tery-op­er­ated Dyson, it’s a Black and Decker model that is cy­clonic too and there­fore doesn’t use bags. It’s to­tally ef­fi­cient and very pow­er­ful. A bit like me!

But I’m drift­ing away from my point of space-sav­ing ef­fi­ciency and pre­par­ing a quick and tasty meal with the min­i­mal amount of work­top space, in­gre­di­ents and fancy cater­ing tools.

This month’s recipe for a lay­ered potato bake ticks all those boxes and it’s veg­e­tar­ian too which may not ap­peal to those tra­di­tional boaters of a car­niv­o­rous dis­po­si­tion but is def­i­nitely good for you once in a while.

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