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, 31 January 2013

Musical Ping-Pong

It's no secret that I like music, and I'm still a bit cross with my dad that he didn't whip me with a stick and force me to learn the piano when I was about knee-high. Instead I was too keen to go and watch Orlando or Robinson Crusoe on the old black and white telly, and so many years later and I still can't play a note.

The substitute now is to play CDs, records and iTunes - and where better than on the Boat For My Potplants.

The madness that was the World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station last summer has inspired me to make a weekly programme for Radio Wivenhoe that can be put out on the internet - so with a couple of free days next week I hope to start putting 'the studio' together. I guess I'm going to need some stuff like a mixer, a microphone, a laptop, maybe some recording device or whatever, so I'm going to need to do some research and pour over some eBay pages.

But I also want to hear what sounds do it for others, whether it be jazz, hip-hop, classical, R&B, gothic, rock, reggae. You name it, I want to hear it.

So I'll be inviting a different guest each week to join me for the craic, have some beers and play some musical ping-pong similar to the following...

Guest: Here's the latest by Rihanna

Me: But it's no contest to Harry Nilsson


Saturday, 19 January 2013

There's Money In Old Boats

Spondoolics will soon be coming this way!

Thanks to you, dear bloggees, everytime a viewer of this 'ere blog expresses an interest in one of the adverts, those nice people at Google notch up a few pennies to pass in my direction.

Now, A Boat For My Potplants has never been intended for profit, but I did state a while back that if the blog ever amassed enough to reach the sixty quid threshold, then I'd donate that dosh to the Wivenhoe British Legion, whos building is a mere stone's throw along the quay from the Boat For My Potplants.

It gives me great pleasure and excitement to announce that the threshold has now been crossed and a celebratory party will be thrown onboard for the handing-over-of-the-cheque ceremony.

I just hope that the rain, wind and snow will have eased off by then.

There's money in old boats, you know.

CHEERS!

  

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Art Of Pottering (Part Two)

The lovely Mrs 'Erindoors has ventured West to visit her daughter for the weekend, leaving me to fend for myself.
So on Sunday morning I decided it was about time I got on with some more boat-pottering. This time, instead of gazing at my naval and not actually doing anything (see Part One of this duology), I got on with the v. important task of repositioning the Grundig amp from starboard to port in order to accommodate two people sitting at the table, and talking into a microphone for Radio Wivenhoe. More on those plans at a later date.

Some men (and women?) have a shed to potter in, but I don't. Instead, I have a Boat For My Potplants, and after setting the amp into the locker space, I put on some music (Captain Fantastic, one of Elton's better albums) to check out the old hifi.

Even I have to say that the acoustics from those spherical speakers were in fact the dog's b*ll*c*s. This 1970's boat, with all its wood, cushions and curtains, is the perfect environment for a 1970's bit of hifi kit.

My next task is to locate a suitable microphone and mixer desk and start building the 'studio'. But for today I was perfectly content to make myself a brew and soak up the sounds from the Seventies.




Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Art Of Pottering On A Boat

It was a wonderful sunny afternoon yesterday and I'd finished work early, so a quick pop down to the Boat For My Potplants wouldn't go amiss.

I didn't want to do anything too taxing. I lit a candle on the rear deck and looked around, checking to make sure the two Snowy dogs were okay and weren't feeling too left out after the recent Cutest Canine shenanigans in which they weren't allowed to enter (as they were bound to have won). They seemed to be okay.

Then I wandered around the galley (kitchen), and found an almost full bottle of white wine left over from last year's Smallest Pirate Radio Station madness. I thought I'd better make sure it was still drinkable. It was.

After that I lifted up the ol' shagpile and checked the bilge. There was a wee bit of water there. 'No!', my mother would say. 'A bit goes in a horse's mouth.' Okay, mum, there was a wee drop of water there.

So I sponged it up, and looked around to see what else I could do, without actually doing anything. I opened the lockers to make sure that things were still there, and I moved the things around a bit. I switched on the lights and then off again. I turned on the radio and listened for a while, and made mental notes of the various jobs to be done during the coming days, weeks and months ahead.

But for now I was content with simply mastering the art of pottering on a boat and not doing very much at all. 

Monday, 7 January 2013

And The Winner Is...


I think Ian got the wrong end of the stick with his photo (above) and comment "I know he doesn't look like a dog but the man who sold it to us assured us that he is"
Well thanks a lot Ian. Keep taking the pills.

Anyway, back to the serious business of announcing the winner of the Cutest Canine-on-boat competition. After spending one of my most bizarre and surreal Sunday evenings ever, adding up doggie-votes, I can now reveal the results. Drumroll please...



Sniffing up the rear in fourth place we have Griff's MACIE with a cool 17.5% of the vote. And jolly well done Macie for wearing a jacket.






Closely laying in front of Macie, there's old BORIS, who pulled in a cool 20%, looking like he rules the waterways. 





In second place, in front of Boris, DYLAN got an impressive 25%, undoubtedly thanks to his cuddliness. 



But the heartiest congratulations go to the leader of the pack, also safety conscious, our number one Cutest Canine, with a massive 37.5% of the entire votes cast, please put your sea-legs together for Mark and Julie's TETLEY. 




I remember being five years old and the teacher making each of us in class stand up and say what we wanted to be when we grow up. 'Please Miss', I said. 'I'm going to have a Boat For My Potplants with dogs on it, and astroturf, winter pansies, and a hi-fi, and everything. And I'm going to be a judge for my own doggie competition'. 

'Don't be stupid, boy', Teacher said. 'Go and stand outside the Headmaster's study'.

And then I woke up.


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Cutest Canine Competition

I can't believe this is happening!

I put some pics of the various doggies who had all been welcomed aboard my Boat For My Potplants. With my brain suffering from the effects of too much Christmas mulled wine, I had an idea to see if anyone else had some relevant pooch-on-boat photos.

So I enlisted the help from the wonderful Norfolk Broads website, being that my boat once resided in that beautiful location back in the '70s.

When I accepted the challenge of doing up an old boat, I never envisaged that one day I'd be judging my very own Cutest Canine Competition - especially as I'm not particularly a dog lover (or perhaps I am, and always have been, without realising it).

Anyway, enough of all that, and on with the show. A sort of Crufts Of The Waterways.

The trouble is - I can't decide on the winner just yet - they're all so cute. So out of all the entries, here are my Favourite Five, in no particular order.

You can email me, or post a comment with YOUR favourite from the shortlist below, so that I can award First Prize to the most popular.
Dylan



Macie
Brillo
Tetley

Boris



I'm not sure what the prize is - I'm still working on that - but it's bound to be something, er...well, er...something doggie and boat-related!