A Boat For My Potplants


My nautical project took me to glorious places, metaphorically speaking. There were parties on board. There was The World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station. Of course there were plants. And one day even a gorilla.
The boat also became my 'Writer's Retreat'. I decided to become an author, writing my debut novel aboard the boat. The book, called MUDDY WATER, was naturally set in Wivenhoe. Amazingly, several local people paid good money to have their names appearing in the book, and a lot of cash was raised for worthy charities - the RNLI, MIND, The Samaritans, and The Royal British Legion.
Now, my next multi-singular selling novel, FLORIDA KEY, is in 'production', due for publication in October 2017.
I'm sure to be visiting writers' block along the way, as well as euphoria, self-doubt and inspiration.
See how my book goes through all the stages - from initial concept to final print. I'll take you with me on my personal journey as I work on the words, on the cover, on the marketing, and on the publishing.
Maybe it will inspire you too to have a go at bringing out THE BOOK IN YOU. Everyone has a story in them, just waiting to be told, and after all, if I can do it, anyone can.
(Click on the tabs below to see more about the Writer's Retreat In France, the old Boat For My Potplants, Tallulah the Motorhome, Alfonso the Car, and Jane the Woman. And to find out more about MUDDY WATER the novel, click the cover to be transported to its Facebook page)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

What the hell is THAT?

"What the hell is THAT?"

Indeed, the good Cap'n of Wivenhoe Quay has every right to question what the hell is THAT doing on the Boat For My Potplants. Perhaps he was thinking that boats should be taken a little more seriously than I was demonstrating.

Well, we have taken it seriously - we've got green material on starboard, and red on port.

But I'm sure he'll come round to the sight eventually, and see that all I'm doing is brightening up the view from the tables of The Rose And Crown, as the merry drinkers gaze longingly towards the multi-coloured brand new canopy that was fitted only yesterday.

I bet they all wish they had one.

Congratulations to the delicious Danielle, the apprentice from Sail And Cover Ltd, who cut her cloth for the first time on The Boat For My Potplants, and got it right first time. And thanks to the charming Charlie for fitting the cover so expertly. And lots of gratitude to the sensational Sarah who's Sail And Cover company so generously entered into the spirit that is The Boat For My Potplants, and who made it all happen.

I raise my tumbler of whiskey very high in the air to all of you.

Monday, 16 August 2010

It's all so exciting!

Not only did I convince 'erindoors to sleep on the boat for the first time on Saturday (it was brilliant gazing up through the hatch at the stars above) - that was exciting enough.

Not only have I seen a photo of the work-in-progress of the multi-coloured canopy (it's going to brighten up the Wivenhoe quayside, that's for sure) - that was also exciting enough.

Not only am working on setting up the World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station (transmitting from my iPod inside the boat to the pub's tables outside) - that will be very exciting.

Not only am I going to start decorating the lounge, loo, kitchen and bedroom (now that I've got all the paint from Dulux) - that will be even more exciting.

Not only all the above, but also...The Boat For My Potplants has been featured in the September issue of Essex Life Magazine (complete with photo of a potplant being donated by one of the welcoming party on the launch-day) - now that really tops the excitement scale - for me at least!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A Woman Of Substance

'I never change my mind', said Sarah Blum, whose company Sail And Cover Ltd of Woolverstone near Ipswich, has kindly agreed to make me a new canopy for my Boat For My Potplants.

That's what I like - someone who sticks to her word. Why aren't there more companies in the world like hers? She said she was going to sort me out - and by golly, she is sorting me out.

And just in the nick of time, I wager. It's been a-raining all day long, and my temporary repair of the original canopy is all but falling apart - were it not for the Duck tape and staples that are keeping it in one piece - just about.

Pretty soon my boat will proudly be displaying a custom-made, and possibly multi-coloured, cover that will protect it from the elements.

And there I was thinking that Sarah may have changed her mind about the job. Shame on me. I hadn't realised that I was dealing with a real woman of substance.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Fired Up Again

My paint's run out. But thankfully those awfully nice people at Dulux Trade have supplied me with enough to sink a battleship, let alone a boat with some potplants on it. So, my glass is raised to you dear Dulux folks. It won't be long before I'll be opening up the tins of Supergrip Primer, Weathershield Undercoat and Weathershield High Gloss that you have kindly given me - all top stuff that will help me prove that I don't need that expensive specialist marine paint that some people say I should be using.

It is true to say that after all the euphoria of the Boat For My Potplant's launch, and then some subsequent shenanigans about where to park it, my enthusiasm for cracking on with the next phase of the renovation had waned slightly.

But now that I've had a much-needed rest to get my batteries recharged, I'm very much looking forward to beginning the next phase of the renovation - the bit at the back (cockpit, I think it's called) and the lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom (cabin, galley, bunk and, er, Porta-Potty).

'Erindoors seems to be pleased with the way things are coming on. And I'm very pleased to be using Dulux Trade products - so bright, tough and perfect for use in such a harsh working environment.

Thanks, Dulux!!!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

It Goes With The Territory

Blimey! Who would have thought such a hornets' nest could be stirred up so much by a little boat with flowers on it?

Mick asked me where my boat was going.
Bryce told me to put it there.
Mick said that was Pierre's space.
But Bryce told me to put it there.
Josh said the space belonged to Pierre.
Marvin told Josh to shut up.
Bryce had told me to put it there.
Pierre's boat is over at Daron's space.
Daron will want to bring his boat back soon.
Josh will have to sort things out with Bryce.
Gerard got all upset with Bryce.
Andres laughed.
George stood back to watch.

And I carried on watering my potplants.