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)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Our Maiden Voyage In Tallulah - The Big Blog Post

Our first night's dinner, after a trip to Tesco's
Six days and 300 hundred miles may not sound much of a maiden voyage to you, but to me it represents a major excursion, especially in a 36 year old lumbermobile van with a gear stick that feels like it's set in pea soup, no power steering and a top speed of fifty mph.

Jane's cousin's civil ceremony to her partner Sarah gave us the perfect excuse to have a holiday and travel up to Lincoln Registry Office for the wedding of the year.

The glorious Secret Garden
This was our very first experience of staying at motorhome campsites and I feel it's my duty to pass on my unbiased opinions about each place we stay in from now on. It may come in handy to other motorhomers.

After calling in to Wivenhoe Autos to find out EXACTLY where the oil and water goes, we set off on Wednesday for the first leg to Thetford Forest Camping and Caravan Club Site, the most expensive one on our tour at £31.90. It was an open plan field affair in the middle of nowhere, but within wonderful countryside. The nearest shop was Tesco, about seven miles away (their own 'shop' was nothing to write home about) so off we set for our provisions.

The next morning, keeping 'Erindoors 'appy was the foremost thought on my agenda, so we went for a bike ride within the aforementioned wonderful countryside. On our return we packed up and drove off on our second leg to Wisbech.

Ta dah! Awning success.
The two sisters before the wedding
On arrival at that evening's destination, The Secret Garden, we nearly passed out at how spectacularly great the place was. Our choice of plot was in its own secluded area, the showers and toilets were immaculate, there was a micro-brewery (their superb beer sold on site) and also lots of lovely piglets waiting to become grown-ups so that they could become our breakfast (sausages sold on site). We were met by the friendliest of hosts (Leslie Pollington) who showed us our plot. I would give this place a ten (out of 100). No, only kidding - it was a definite 10/10!

Being there also gave us the perfect opportunity to work out for the first time whether we had all the things for our awning that came with Tallulah when we bought her. Have you ever seen two adults staring confusedly at a variety of poles, ties and materials, not having a clue as to what goes where? But eventually we succeeded.

Me with the two sisters at the wedding
The morning after - pop up concert BBQ
We were there for a wedding at Lincoln, and it was undoubtedly the wedding of the year, of the decade and very possibly of the century, but for now I will leave details about the wedding for a future post. This 'ere post is about the motorhoming experience.
Huntingdon, and we arrive in time to catch The Clones
We had a lot of fun at Oakhill. My sis-in-law Ann joined us, and that was fun in itself as we discovered whether Tallulah was big enough for all the three of us (it was), and on our hastily put-together BBQ for our last morning we accommodated some of the previous night's wedding guests for a pop-up private uke and guitar concert.

Then it was time to pack up and leave for our next venue at Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, and to pay a visit to the Huntingdon Boathaven. Apart from the continuous drone of nearby motorway traffic, the place was another delight. The River Ouse a few yards away from our plot, the shower and toilet block had piped music from the sixties, and our visit coincided with a free concert in the park by a Rolling Stones tribute band. On exit we discovered an Indian restaurant from where we ordered a top-notch curry to be delivered to the campsite, and so we gave ourselves an evening off from cooking.

A bike ride was the order of the day for the next morning, and we found a wonderful ride alongside the River Ouze (the very same river from where I got my Boat For My Potplants nearby at St Neots.

Last morning of the voyage
Now being dab-hands at all-things-awning, we dismantled it and were ready for the off within half an hour of our return for our final leg of the journey back to Wivenhoe.

Now, I feel it is my duty and a pleasure to pass on details of our favourite campsite so far, so that fellow motorhomers can enjoy it too. It is at The Secret Garden, Mile Tree Lane, Wisbech, and I would bet a tenner of the Queen's English that you would not be disappointed! And what's more, it was the cheapest of our stays, at only FIFTEEN POUNDS sterling!

Bike ride along the Ouze










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