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)

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Anyone For Breakfast?

To celebrate having The Boat For My Potplants included on the website for Dulux's parent company (see http://www.tradexpress.co.uk/ask_the_expert/my_life_in_paint/neil_watson.jsp ), I decided to throw a breakfast party on my Boat For My Potplants this recent Bank Holiday Sunday. After all - corporate sponsorship from Yamaha and B&Q must surely be following Dulux's footsteps, just around the bend.

The guests of honour included my son Oliver and daughter Laura, my nautical neighbour Pete The Roof, and the lovely Neil (he, who got me the boat in the first place) and his even lovelier wife Angela. And of course my great missus Jane.

Neil and I went up to the Co-Op to buy provisions of tea, milk, sugar, butter, bread, - and essentially to bring back the bacon. We all convened on the boat at 10.30 sharp. I removed my new frying pan from it's wrapper and took up my rightful place in the kitchen, er, galley.

Before too long the quietness of the still River Colne was broken by the sizzle of the Danish, and I distributed the butties to all who were eagerly awaiting their sarnies, complete with brown sauce. None of yer mamby-pamby tomato ketchup on this occasion.

Ah, this boating life. I have to say that nothing has ever tasted so good.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bog Off

Today is an exciting day on board The Boat For My Potplants. I am now starting to work on the bathroom, and in the early hours of this morning I took great delight in removing the old cassette toilet that must have been there for the last five years.

It wasn't a job that I'd been looking forward to, and since becoming proud owner of the boat, the smallest room was being used by me as a dumping ground for all my pieces of wood, tools and other mullarkey.

Gradually the old toilet was becoming covered over, which I didn't mind one iota. Out of sight - out of mind.

Until yesterday, when I began to clear the decks, so to speak.

Off with the old bog and on with the new. But I didn't want to put the patrons of The Rose And Crown off their pints of lager last evening with the sight of me carrying off a full-up tank of five-year-old you-know-what. So I waited until the early hours of this morning, and like a stealth bomber on a secret mission I discreetly removed the offending item, carried it home to empty down our own toilet and then dump it, never to be seen again.

After a quick celebratory cuppa, I'm off now to install the bright and shiny brand new toilet that I happened to find last year on a skip. It was still in its box and there was even a pack of chemicals in its original wrapper.

Sometimes I just can't believe how lucky I am.







Saturday, 13 August 2011

Dear B&Q / Dear Yamaha...

Now, where did I put my pen..? I wonder if this might work...

Dear B&Q / Dear Yamaha (delete as appropriate)

You see, it's like this...
I was given an old boat that was falling apart and I've been renovating it. It's parked outside the pub in Wivenhoe and it's quite famous now. It's got a multi-coloured canopy that was made specially by a nice local company. It's had windows put in by another nice local company. It has solar electricity for the onboard Hi-Fi, and it'll eventually become The World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station. Nice.

I write a blog about the boat, see, and it's sometimes included in Essex Life, a jolly nice glossy magazine for this region. And those nice people at Dulux gave me lots of paint, which was very nice of them, particularly as their paint is very nice too and perfect for the boat, and they've asked me to write for their website as well.

By the way, did I mention the boat's got nice potplants on it as well as nice astroturf, and that I call it A Boat For My Potplants?

Sadly I'm now running out of spondoolics but I still need quite a few more materials / an outboard motor to finish the renovation. Some plywood and plumbing items / ten horses would do very nicely.

Dear B&Q / Dear Yamaha, will you help? I really like your products. It would be really nice of you if you said YES.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

This Time Next Year...

Jane (aka 'Erindoors) inspects my handiwork and is pleased with the way things are coming on with the new interior. It's the shag-pile carpet that sets it off nicely, and she doesn't even mind my plastic flower arrangement or my hanging hi-fi loudspeakers. What a girl!

But just recently I've hardly had time to catch my breath, let alone continue with any on-board renovation, much to my frustration. To keep the wolves at bay I've been having to actually get my finger out and work for a living. How inconvenient! And to cap it all, on every single weekend we've been busily going hither and thither to weddings, parties, concerts and family affairs.

Every weekend that is, except when the Regatta came to Wivenhoe.

A constant stream of visitors on board, many bottles of wine later and a right party atmosphere made the day one of the best in the history of The Boat For My Potplants. We managed a record ten people all on board at the same time that day, perched on the rear deck observing the proceedings of other boats maneuvering up and down the river.

By this time next year, when it's finally got an outboard motor, and the renovation is complete, the Boat For My Potplants will be joining them. I'll make sure of it.