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)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Two Lessons Learned

When I began renovating the Boat For My Potplants, I didn't have a clue as to what pipe or hose was supposed to go where.

Anything and everything to do with plumbing is my weakest spot. and it simply leaves me cold. So I did what any normal person would do – I left it alone.

What I really wanted was for my friend Mark to just fix the whole damn thing for me.

‘Mark. I can't do plumbing. And I'll reward you handsomely', I pleaded, thinking of the decorating job I’d just been paid for.

'Sorry Neil - I'm too busy. And besides, it will help you to help yourself'.

That became LESSON ONE - help myself.

So on a blustery and dark mid-week evening, I dragged a long hose along the quay to the boat's filler cap and proceeded to half-fill the water tank.

I tried the foot-pump. Nothing happened. Not even a trickle.

After calling Mark yet again, I realised I was on my own.

‘You will have to take it all apart’, he advised, emphasising the 'you'. The prospect of ME doing THAT filled me with horror.

So, yesterday I told Jane I may be gone a while, and set off to the boat with a heavy heart. I ended up with a multitude of nuts, bolts, washers, rings, springs and bits of plastic all over the cabin table, with still more parts having fallen on the floor. I just stared blankly.

I needed to take a break and wandered across to Pete The Roof's boat down river, and told him of my problem. 'Now what you should have done was to make a drawing as you took the pump apart'. That was to be my LESSON NUMBER TWO. Er, thanks, Pete, I'll remember that.

I returned, trying to keep inwardly calm, and made a cup of tea. To my utmost astonishment, after cleaning up the washers, adding a little lubrication here and there and scratching my head some more, I somehow managed to put things back together.

I reconnected everything and pumped the pump. Like a miracle, water came out the tap, into the sink, down the plug-hole, and out into the river.

It might not sound like a big deal to anyone else, but for me it was a Major Achievement.

And now I can do the washing-up on the boat, so in celebration today I'm off to Tesco's. Never before have I been so excited by the prospect of purchasing a dish-cloth and tea-towel.

1 comment:

  1. You mean you can't screw Tesco's for a dish cloth and a tea-towel? Neil, you're a big disappointment!