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 September 2011

A Big Decision - Burger or Balti?

It's Thursday night, and tomorrow promises to be another scorcher. I think I've managed to persuade Jane to spend tomorrow evening - and night - on the boat.

What could be better?

There's no good reason for the missus to change her mind - now that there's a rather classy working toilet, even if I say so myself. The lack of facilities was always an objection in the past - but that's not valid anymore, now that we have a bright and shiny 'heads' complete with book-case, loo-roll holder and bi-folding door.

So here's the proposed schedule that I have in mind...

5.00pm    Arrive on board with duvet and overnight bag
5.01pm    Open the cold Pinot Grigio and pour
5.02pm    Open the Kettle crisps and houmous, and tuck in
5.03pm    Turn on the solar power, the hifi and the iPod and relax to some music
6.30pm    Watch the sun go down
6.31pm    Open another bottle?
7.00pm    Think about dinner - this is the tricky part of the evening. A Big Decision has to be made;

Should we order burger and chips from The Rose And Crown like I did earlier in the summer, and have it brought to the boat? Or should I cook a Lamb Balti down in the galley? I heard the recipe on the radio this evening, and I'm tempted to give it a go, using my saucepan and camping stove.

8-ish    Dinner for two        
9-ish    Draw the curtains closed, and then get down to something for the first time on board The Boat For My Potplants...earlier this year we purchased a brand new SCRABBLE - and it's about time we took it out of it's wrapper.

I wonder what the highest scoring nautical word might be.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Naughty Boy, Hector!

'Mark. We're going away on holiday for two weeks and it would be fantastic if you could do a little job for me while I'm away', I said to Mark, just before we were going away on holiday for two weeks.

I followed on...'Now that I've finished the toilet and the kitchen on the boat, is there any chance you could help to fix the water tank and get the pump going so that the sink works properly?'

Mark is one of those brilliant people who can pretty much turn their hand to anything. He's a damned good chap, and is more than capable of carrying out most tasks, so a little bit of boat plumbing would be second nature to him.

I returned after a nice and relaxing break away, and excitedly rushed down to the boat to see the results of the work.

But his little dog, Hector, takes up a lot of Mark's time. So I had been wondering where Mark's priorities might lie - my boat's plumbing, or Hector.

Unfortunately for the Boat For My Potplants, it wasn't the plumbing.

Naughty boy, Hector.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Mum's The Word

My mum wants to come on to The Boat For My Potplants, but she's a bit doddery on her feet these days, especially after a small glass of wine. Or perhaps two.

She's confident about walking the plank, but it's the side-deck that she's more concerned about.

So I have a cunning plan, but I'm not sure whether it's feasible or possible, or if indeed it's ever been done before? Any comments, suggestions or ideas would be gratefully accepted.

The idea is to widen the side decks by screwing down some heavy-duty ply from the bow along to the rear deck, of course making sure that it's all properly sealed. The ply could be shaped and contoured to look okay, but I'm also thinking ahead to when I get a motor. Could the widening of the side-decks adversely affect the handling of the boat when I eventually get it out on to the river?

To support the weight of a person standing on it, I would make some 45 degree supports (like shelf brackets) that are fixed to the underside of the ply, and resting against, but not screwed in to, the sides of the hull.

It's a lot of work, but mum's are worth it, eh?

(I'll be away on hols for the next two weeks, so the next blog will be mid-September, hopefully with answers to the deck-widening debacle)