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)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Old Boat, Old Car. Slow Down Neil

It was great on Friday night when we caught the train one stop away to Alresford to have dinner with some friends, Sue and Ian.

It was especially good because Ian shares my interest in old boats and old cars. Ian races at Silverstone. He's actually pretty good, and he has the trophies to prove it.

Over an excellent curry we chatted about his classic MG and my old Fiat 124 (Sport Coupe AC 1400cc 1968). We discussed our respective boats and cars. We talked about our hectic jobs, and the lack of time we have to indulge in our passions.

When I moved to Wivenhoe I thought I'd be semi-retiring, but life has turned out to be the opposite, being more filled with work than ever before. Never wanting to say no to a job, in case it's the last time I get asked.

But whether it's a car or a Boat For My Potplants, there's just always something to be done, and it ain't gonna happen without some better time management from me.

So, as we ease towards 2013, I must pull my finger out and slow down a bit. The river is calling me.






Monday, 15 October 2012

It doesn't seem that long ago that I met up with another Wivenhoe Quay Character, Pete. He's a roofer, you know, so we call him Pete The Roof. He used to have the mooring that my Boat For My Potplants now occupies. He's been busy preparing and repairing his lovely old boat all summer. And last summer too. And now it's nearly done, so well done to you, Mr Roof.

As I checked out the photo taken with me, I couldn't help noticing that I'd been putting on a few excess pounds. My wife agreed, and decided to drag me, I mean take me, on a nice walk around Mersea Island. 'It's only fifteen miles', she said. 'And it's a nice day'.

'FIFTEEN MILES?', I protested. But before I could think of an excuse to get out of it, I found myself going along with her plan, somewhat reluctantly, I have to admit.

Back home I managed to muster some energy to get down to my boat and tend to the geraniums.  Exhausted, I reflected on the day. It had been magnificent, and I thanked my lucky stars to be living here.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Pinching Myself

Blimey. I've got to pinch myself. After last weekend's not-so-great experience on my Boat For My Potplants, I've been having the good - no, great - fortune to have been asked to make a neighbour's boat become just like mine.

Blimey. It's catching. Sooner or later all my nautical neighbours are going to want one.

Blimey. What an absolute pleasure it's been to have been repairing, sanding, preparing and painting the interior of my customer's boat, from which I merely need to glance up and view my boat just a few yards away. And not only that, it's been all of 60 seconds to fall out of bed and get to of the morning.

Blimey. I'm even getting paid for doing this job, whereas really it is I who should be paying for having been granted such a great privilege.

It's the Wivenhoe Magic, making its mark again.