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)

Monday, 24 February 2014

On That Day

An extract from my story that was featured in last year's Motor Boats monthly magazine, describing my World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station broadcast from my Boat For My Potplants to the people on Wivenhoe Quay, just a few feet away...

On that day there were hundreds of people gathered on the quay and at the British Legion building. Requests came in from far and wide by text and email.

For me the most bizarre moment was when I was in full flow with turntable and microphone and I looked up at the crowd on the quay and then at my mother who had decided to squeeze herself down the Houdini hatch with a glass in one hand and an unlit cigarette in the other. All in all it was a mad evening.

Good old Mum - she knew how to party alright.





Sunday, 23 February 2014

A Little More Of My Favourite Tut

I am lucky to have a boat upon which I need not worry about what tut I keep.

It may well be ordinary tut to anyone else, but to me it's special tut.

Painting of flowers by my mate Paul, aka 'Intrepid', as he often does mad intrepid things during our yearly bike ride together

Welcome Aboard from car boot sale in France

Painting of boat by 'Erindoors

Photo of my boat with Quay Fireworks

Barometer that doesn't work


Fungus The Bogeyman mirror I've had since 16

Bottle with sand from beach in Cannes

Dominos set that I really should play one day

Badge from Harry Nilsson's 'The Point' play 
Wooden Gonk from Majorca when I was 7

Blue bicycle from when I was a real cyclist

Surf board and wire man

Silver cup commemorating my bike ride across USA
Ceramic tile made for me by son Oliver when he was 8
Tin Tin's dog Snowy from antique shop in Maningtree soon after we moved here

Lucien The Captain from car boot sale

Victoria Police badge from Liz in Oz 

Rasta-Man on my Boat For My Potplants, appropriately with pot

Saturday, 22 February 2014

It's Curtains For Tallulah

As a much-needed practice-run in Tallulah leading up to this summer's Latitude festival and our very own motorhome madness, we have decided to venture forth to deepest, darkest Lincoln. It's not until July, but I mustn't be complacent, as there is much to do.

Like installing a radio and making cushion covers and new curtains. The old ones are a bit -how do you say - crap, and the interior could do with a bit of jollying up.

And not to mention the boring old mechanical things to do with making the thing go along the road. So I must call up my Chief Engineer Ian and ask him if he wouldn't mind poking his stick up the water pipe in preparation. I wonder what he'll say.



Friday, 14 February 2014

Time For A Clean

So much has happened recently. For those who know what I mean, there's no need for further explanation. For those far and wide who don't know what I'm on about, please allow me to explain some other day.

But in the meantime, the Wivenhoe Open Gardens are coming up. Okay, they're not happening until May, which may seem a long way off to you and me. But I know from experience how quickly things come round.

x
The general exterior appearance of my Boat For My Potplants is playing on my mind, almost as much as the plants and flowers adorning the deck that will become part of the 'open garden'.

So, I must arrange to get the canopy cleaned. It's had over three years of the elements, not to mention countless friendly seagulls depositing their daily wares.






Saturday, 8 February 2014

Thursday, 6 February 2014

New


As spring beckons on the horizon, the nights draw out and the days lengthen, we have summer to look forward to.

Summer. Festival. Music.

A new era.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Wivenhoe Open Gardens

Now I know and understand that the primary use of a boat is NOT to have it as an Open Garden. But you have to appreciate that a) This is Wivenhoe, and b) This is no ordinary boat - it is in fact A Boat For My Potplants.

Should I bring out the artificials from the heads (toilet area)?
So, it stands to reason that it should be included in this year's list of gardens, open to the general public between Saturday 17th May and Sunday 18th May (11am-5pm).

The idea is that the Wivenhoe Society can raise funds by selling a programme and map of where the participating gardens are located.

But I'll let you all, dear blog-readers, into a secret. I will whisper it in your ear. My one is outside the Rose and Crown pub on the quay - you really can't miss it. But don't tell anyone, okay?

Of course I am already preparing things by planting a few choice bulbs, the names of which I can't quite remember, but I am equally looking forward to including some plastic artificials in the right places - so long as they're tasteful!






Sunday, 2 February 2014

My Girl Bill

My super cool cousin has been visiting Wivenhoe, and staying with us. And it's been a real pleasure, I can tell you. For reasons best known to herself she likes to call herself Bill. Who am I to question why?

Well, this morning the sun came out to say hello, so we decided to drive to the local farm shop in Alfonso in order to get some bacon and eggs for breakfast.

I noticed a nice pot of plants (a primula and something else that I can't remember the name of), and Bill insisted on buying them for me. Top girl!

I was so excited (it doesn't take much) we drove straight to the Boat For My Potplants and I promptly planted them. My green fingers soon became brown and dirty, but I didn't care.

And it's all for the Wivenhoe Society's Open Gardens, which I will reveal more details of shortly. I bet you can't wait!

In the meantime, I raise my proverbial collection of hats to Bill, who writes an incredible blog of her own. Check it out. She somehow manages to say in just a few words and visuals more than I can possibly say in many paragraphs.

And I raise my other hats to her, as it was she who suggested and encouraged me to begin writing a blog of my own at a time when I had barely heard of the b-word.

So it's My Girl Bill that you can blame for all this rubbish what I write.

Here's to you, Bill. x

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Ah, It's All Becoming Clear

It was one of those Eureka moments that came to me. I mean, it's not rocket science to work out my very own theory of relativity...

...We're all on a journey, whether physically or emotionally.

And it's not really the destination that matters - it's the journey itself.

So, for me with this 'ere blog over the coming days and weeks, I will be telling you about my plans for my forthcoming physical journeys.


With the Boat For My Potplants, it will be taken on a journey to Brightligsea along the River Colne.

With Tallulah The T-Reg Motorhome, it will be taken to the Latitude Music Festival.

With Alfonso The Second, it will be taken to its birthplace - the famous roof-top of the Fiat factory, as featured in the classic car chase from The Italian Job.

All significant (for me, anyway) destinations. But (for me, anyway), it will be the journeys that are more significant.

Profound stuff, eh?

And in case you're wondering about my Einstein pose - that was on another journey I embarked upon for Movember 2013. My moustache went on a journey, growing from nothingness on Nov 1st to somethingness on Nov 31st.




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