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)
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
So, instead of working several miles away, as originally planned, I switched to doing a local job - so local in fact, that it was but a stone's throw away - a midway position between my home and The Boat For My Potplants.
So there I was, repairing a window, and the sun came out. It was glorious to feel the natural heat on my face at long last, and I wanted more of where that came from.
I reached a point in the work-process where I needed to leave some filler to dry for two hours. In one direction I had paperwork to do at home. You know - really boring stuff like sorting out receipts and invoices. But I also had a boat that was calling me in the opposite direction, with its rear deck facing the sunshine.
Now I like to keep my paperwork up to date. But I also like to lay on the deck of the boat, drinking a Coke, listening to my iPod, and reading a magazine. But which one's better? There was only one way to find out...
In true Harry Hill style...FIGHT!
I wrestled with my conscience. It was a tough battle. But in the end there wasn't really any contest.
Posted by Neil Watson at 06:13
Sunday, 20 March 2011
When Ruby was younger she had a 'Naming Ceremony'. It was like a Christening, but without the religion, and it had been a privilege for me to attend as 'Responsible Adult', instead of God-father. You can forget the jokes, thank you very much - I've heard them all by now. As 'responsible adult', I knew it was my duty to show Ruby and Josh the Boat For My Potplants, which they had been looking forward to seeing.
The children 'walked the plank' and climbed aboard. I lowered them down the hatch one by one, and they then enthusiastically fished over the rear deck with their net.
I had forgotten the expressions of delight and excitement shown on young faces when they experience something fun for the first time, especially now that my own children are grown up and more interested in computers than boats.
Josh and Ruby didn't care tuppence that the paint was pealing off the cabin walls. Or that it was a bit cold and damp that day. And I didn't care thruppence that they went a-clambering around, knocking this and that in their wake. It was simply good Fun, with a capital F.
Even if I were a millionaire, I'd still choose my 36-year-old river cruiser outside The Rose And Crown in Wivenhoe. You couldn't have this much fun with a super-yacht moored in St Tropez harbour.
Posted by Neil Watson at 06:44
Friday, 11 March 2011
Clinton Hale (known as Doctor Clinton, although he's now retired) obviously knows a thing or two about proper photography, and this became obvious when he sent me a disc containing his recently-taken pictures.
How kind people can be! And it seems that The Boat For My Potplants is the catalyst for goodwill and favour.
I'm sure that certain serious sailing folks frown upon such a vessel taking up space outside the pub. "What on earth is that boat doing there with plants and astroturf and a multicoloured canopy?", I can here them muttering.
But to others, I hope it brings a cheer to them, especially now that the golden sun of springtime is beginning to shine upon its bow, with the perfect setting of the Rose And Crown in the background.
Thank you, Sir Clinton, for taking the trouble to capture the essence of what it's all about.
Posted by Neil Watson at 07:22
Saturday, 5 March 2011
I can't wait to begin working on the interior renovations, as well as the cleaning-up operation of the exterior (especially as I now have my super-duper ActiveBrush to try out).
T'was only yesterday that I spotted my nautical neighbour giving his vessel a good old scrub, and I think it's about time I followed suit and did the same with mine, so indeed I will.
And now that I have independent power on board, thanks to my solar panel set-up, it will be easy to use my power tools for cutting, sawing, drilling and sanding, and generally bringing the cabin up to scratch.
During our cold and wet winter of discontent, my plans for this summer's exciting programme of activity have been brewing, and soon the fermentation process will begin.
In the meantime, the winter pansies have been flourishing in their planters, and all is good with the Wivenhoe world.
Posted by Neil Watson at 08:24