DAILY BREAD

WHAT THE HUMBER LIFEBOAT COXSWAIN ATE ONE DAY LAST WEEK
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MY DAY always begins at around 7.30am: for breakfast this morning I had two slices of toast and marmalade and several cups of tea with milk and sugar. This kept me going until around 1pm when I had a white bread sandwich filled with the leftovers of my previous night's meal, which was cold roast chicken.

I am a member of the only full-time lifeboat crew in the country, based at Spurn Head - a promontory with the River Humber on one side and the North Sea on the other. There are seven of us and our families who live permanently in houses provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. From where we live, it is 14 miles to the nearest town.

Today we did not have a rescue, but when the crew is called out, there will often be no opportunity for any food at all. However, if we are out for a long period of time the boat carries supplies. These are typically things like self heating tins of chicken casserole or beef Irish stew: these work by piercing the tin and allowing a chemical to be released, which heats the contents of the can via an inner seal. They aren't bad and are much appreciated if we are out in cold, rough weather. The boats also carry custard cream biscuits which are good for filling up on when in a hurry. If we are not on a rescue our time is spent doing general maintenance and boat repairs, but you never know when a rescue call is coming.

For dinner tonight I had bacon and eggs but, as always, what I have depends on whether or not we are called out on a rescue. If we are, the evening meal tends to be Irish stew or chicken casserole. This week my wife and I have been pushing the boat out, so to speak, having had two roast chicken dinners (chicken, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, greens and gravy) in the past few days. The nearest shops to us are a very long way away, and since we have just one day off a week, our free time is invariably spent getting in supplies.

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