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, 28 March 2013

Window Of Opportunity

When will this blinkin' cold weather ease up? It just isn't conducive to practical and artistic boat-related thoughts.

Especially on the Boat For My Potplants, where I'm eager to get going on developing the radio studio using authentic '70's equipment.

Of course I also have to re-fit the motor after its service has been carried out.

And clean the canopy - I can't help notice a spot or two of green mildew having developed over the seasons.

But what I really want to do is find some way of utilising a left-over from the old pre-renovation days - my pair of leaded light windows.

They are too naff to get rid of, I'm sure you'll agree.

There must be somewhere I can put them. 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Way Down The Swanny River

What a difference a few days makes. Not long ago I was painting the exterior wall from an apartment's balcony overlooking the River Colne. It was so warm I was down to my t-shirt and nearly went further!

As I looked over I noticed our local family from whom I had saved some blushes - two swans and their adopted goose. Wivenhoe is for sure slightly quirky - we can't even manage a normal cygnet to grace our mud-banks.

Although I was enjoying the view and the sunshine, I was also eager to finish my work and get down to the Boat For My Potplants so that I could give the loo-library a little spring-clean.



Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Busy Busy Busy

At last! Some time to myself!

What better way to spend it than preparing the boat for my special guests coming up from The Big Smoke in April? The Editor and Features Editor of a very well-known boating magazine are coming to prepare for an article for their July issue all about The Boat For My Potplants and its delightful host village (or is it town?) of Wivenhoe.

What I thought would be a simple repaint of the windscreen turned out to be a much bigger job when I discovered the amount of moisture in the wood. Never mind - just get on with it Neil, I thought to myself. I'll stop for lunch soon.

So when my hunger couldn't be put off any longer, I pulled out the saucepan from the kitchen cupboard - sorry, galley locker, and was just about to pour the tinned curry in to it when at the last second I just happened to glance .

It was a stroke of luck that I did. I nearly ended up having curried slug.

Mmmm. Yummy. I wonder if I'd have noticed.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Motors and Bunting

I was very excited on Saturday when I found some new 'Union Jack' bunting for the boat. I'm technically competent to remove the old and fit the new. That's about as far as my ability stretches.

So on Sunday morning I went to the boat to complete my task. But before I had the time to even get the scissors out, Martin arrived.

He was coming over for the very important removal-of-the-motor that I thought I'd better leave well in the hands of his superior competency and ability.

We - or rather, he - detached whatever bits and bobs were necessary to be detached - and we carefully lifted the 9.9hp motor over the top of the boat, across the gangplank, and into my van, ready for delivery to the Suzuki dealer for its first service.

The 12th April is now focused in my brain as the date I have to have everything ship-shape by. For that's when I will be receiving some very special guests from the boat-publication world so they can complete their special feature about my Boat For My Potplants.

The motor needs to be back in place, of course.
The windscreen could do with a repaint.
The radio studio should be functioning.
The new geraniums have to be planted.

And, to be sure, the British flag bunting will be majestically flapping in the breeze along the side of the potplanters.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Notes to Self: ONE and TWO

It's coming up to the time to get the ol' new Suzuki mota serviced. What a pullava! My brother-in-law Martin is coming all the way over from Braintree on Sunday morning to help me get it off the back of the Boat For My Potplants, so that I can take it to the dealer in Brightlingsea (the excellent Boat Park And Ride) people in my trusty old Fiat van.
Inspired by Radio Essex' pirate station at Harwich

Note to self ONE: I must get a trailer one day so that the boat can be transported more easily for times like this. The dealer doesn't have a spare trailer, and I don't have one at all.

Note to self TWO: Get things ready for setting up the radio studio on board BEFORE April the 12th, which is when I have some VIP guests arriving from a top boating magazine to write a feature about my boat and Wivenhoe, for publication in their July issue.

How jolly exciting.