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)

Friday, 15 February 2013

What's For Lunch?

With summer just around the corner, I thought it was time to go down to the Boat For My Potplants and  put the covers back on the cushions, now that they've been washed and ironed by the lovely 'Erindoors.

Thank goodness she came with me, as I'm certainly no dab-hand when it comes to fabrics and foam - it was like squeezing a king-size duvet into a queen-size cover. Impossible for me. Easy for her.

Whilst there, I couldn't help noticing that the interior needs a good old wipe over and some painting here and there - so today's the day for me to get some work done.

And I may as well have some lunch on board, chosen from the extensive collection of Tesco tins I found languishing in the galley locker.

What will it be, I wonder? With no reference to horse jokes, I rather fancy a gourmet meal of beef curry, new potatoes and mixed vegetables - a great stable diet if ever there was one. 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A HiFi For My Boat

Back when I was sixteen I put together my first hi-fi. I ventured into deepest South London (from the top of the Northern Line) to buy a BSR record deck and plinth, that I eagerly put together with an arm and cartridge. I bought a Teleton amplifier from Tempo, and also some Wharfedale speakers - and it sounded oh so good.

I added some Koss headphones, and I was streets ahead of my game at school, with only a few other students having caught the stereo bug.

And then when Stevie Wonder's Songs In The Key Of Life finally came out in September '76 'Songs to the tune of seven quid' (according to the headlines in Sounds), I rushed out to buy it and took it round to my school pal Jonathan's house, where we took it in turns to be mesmerised by the stereo vibes of Sir Duke on the cans.

Another pair of speakers on the rear cabin
From that moment I was truly hooked to the world of recorded and live music, and that LP then went on to become my all-time favourite - where it remains to this day.

Thirty seven years later, and I get the same buzz playing that track on my Boat For My Potplant's dedicated hifi system, comprising Grundig spherical 'Audiorama' speakers and Grundig R3003 receiver I used to work for the once mighty German company and managed to acquire some remnants of their old stock for just a few pounds - and I swear the sound is as good as some equipment costing many more arms and legs in today's money. I concede that maybe I should think about upgrading the Aldi deck (though good value at only £25!).

Down on the boat I can turn the amp up to eleven without pissing off the neighbours, so readers' suggestions of brilliantly produced music, played LOUD, to compliment my system would be most welcome.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Back To The Dogs

The conversation went like this at the lunch party:

Me (who doesn't own a dog): 'I've done this competition to find the Cutest Canine On A Boat, and out of the thousands of entries from the Norfolk Broads website forum, Tetley is the winner. I'd like to send a little something to Tetley to commemorate his new-found champion status, but I can't think what it could be.'
Wayne (who does own a dog): 'How about a dog-tag?'
Me: 'That's brilliant, Wayne - I'll get straight on to it.'

So I promptly sent off for a solid gold tag from the 'Solid Gold Dog Tag Company' and put my credit card through for the squillion quid that it cost, and hey presto it came in the post just a few days later. (The bit about the gold isn't quite true).

It's now winging it's way to its soon-to-be proud owner, and I hope it'll make him even more cute when he wears it.

He (and his owners, Mark and Julie) have an open invitation to come aboard my Boat For My Potplants anytime they happen to be near Wivenhoe. A dog bowl and biscuits await.

And if Mark and Julie aren't hungry, Tetley is more than welcome to have them instead.