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, 16 January 2011

Paint Job

After what must have been one of the worst and earliest winters for many a year, I thought I'd better check out the state of the boat's exterior paint job.

Sun, sea water, fresh water, rain, snow, ice, gales; you name it, we've had it.

My old mate Greg, who (thinks he) knows a thing or two about boats, laughed his head off when I told him I'd be using ordinary exterior undercoat and gloss. "You can't use THAT!", he scorned, last year. "You've got to use special marine paint if you're going to avoid becoming a boat-bodger."

Well, after discovering that marine paint was mega-bucks, I decided to wing it and try the ordinary Weathershield house paint from B&Q at less than half the price. I hoped to goodness that I wouldn't end up having egg on my face, as I knew I'd never hear the end of it, and I certainly didn't want Greg to have the satisfaction of saying "Told you so".

It's turned out to be as tough as old boots. Hoorah!

And from one successful paint-job to another, I am eternally grateful for Chelmsford artist Cherry Ann for sending me her 'Mermaid' to adorn the cabin's interior, right next to my Captain's 'at, 'anging on the 'ook, in the 'all. Or is it a galley?

Who cares. I just like it, and that's all that matters.

Monday, 3 January 2011

A new year, and a new chapter begins...

Happy New Year to all the readers and followers of my blog with whom I am very glad to share my adventure.

We saw out the old year and welcomed in the new at a fab party in Wivenhoe's Nottage Museum, with its balcony overlooking the quay.

I reflected on my time spent last Spring on the river-cruiser's exterior renovation. It was a most positive period, being there among the other boat-owners at the Alresford Creek sheds, and then culminating in the most grandest of launches on July 17th 2010.

I missed Old Alan calling out to me from the deck of his boat parked next to mine at the boat-sheds - "Ready for a cuppa, Neil?". And I remembered Wise Paul wandering over to comment on my progress to date - "It's coming on now, Neil." Happy days, indeed. And I'm certain there will be more happy days to come.

That New Year's morning, as I took in some fresh midnight air, I looked down at my Boat For My Potplants in its mooring just a few yards away, and wondered what lay in store for it in 2011.

Will it get its much needed outboard motor?
And when will the first trip up the river take place?

Will the interior get its much needed restoration?
And when will the first drinks party be held aboard?

Will 'Erindoors get the much needed curtains made?
And when will she draw them to?

Will The World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station ever take to the airwaves ?
And what will the first record to be played be?

I can't wait to find out.