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)

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Now That The Turkey Has All Gone...

The Christmas turkey has all gone, and now I'd like to wish my blog-followers a Happy New Year with the latest Virtual Tour movie of The Boat For My Potplants.

'Come on Oliver', I said to my computer-whiz-kid son. 'Let's nip down to the boat and make a quick film before you have to go back to London.'

DreamWorks we are most certainly not, and we won't be winning any BAFTAs - but I think the boat's spirit has been captured - and it's kind of fun (for me, at least) to compare it to the first instalment that we made back in March 2010.

(Just click on either of the pics to start the virtual tours on YouTube, at the top of the blog)

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Search Is On For A Motor!

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of The Boat For My Potplant's secret admirer, I am now able to look for something to fix to the flat bit at the back, and my budget is a cool grand. Although this represents a small fortune to humble old me, I know that this won't get me a brand new motor - so RELIABILITY is a key factor in my choice for a second-hand machine.

Just like the world of boats was an alien planet to me a couple of years ago when I was given the old Norman, ...er, Callumcraft, ...er, Teal, I am now in a similar position when it comes to outboard motors.

And at the moment I don't know one end of an outboard from t'other, so I welcome all the help and advice I can get.

I do understand that LENGTH OF SHAFT and POWER REQUIREMENT are crucial in the choice. And it needs to have a REVERSE GEAR, and I've been told that 4-STROKE is better than two.

Well, I've measured from the top of the back bit (TRANSOM, I believe) to the bottom of the bottom bit (HULL), and it's around 50cms. And as the Colne is a tidal river and quite choppy at times, I think I need something between 10hp and 20hp.

So the search is on! And ideally I'd like the supplier to assist with fitting and connecting it all up.

This is turning out to be more exciting than opening my first Scalextric box at the age of four, and to add to the thrill, I am - for the first time ever - going to the Boat Show in January.

I can't wait.

In the meantime I think I'll make myself a nice cup of tea.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Putting The Right Foot Forward

I'm now back in the real world again after a surreal couple of weeks in the south of France. It's back to starting the van, getting the brushes out, paying the bills, climbing the ladders. How wonderful it would be if I could spend all my time on the boat. There's still such a lot to do...

...and so little time...

...but when I look back at how far things have come since I first climbed aboard the old wreck on that winter's day in St Neots, I don't feel too bad (see the pic on www.aboatformypotplants.blogspot.com).

And now I can probably count the number of things still to be done on one hand. Or maybe two. And perhaps on my left foot. And my right.

I still have to...
Varnish the rear deck
Repair the rubbing strake
Attach a bilge pump
Fix the rear rail
Get a motor
Get it working
Go on picnics on the river
Set up the record deck
Set up the iPod
Get The World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station up and running
Have some fun
Have some more fun on board The Boat For My Potplants