Monday, 28 July 2014

A Blog About My Blog


It occurred to me that some people may actually want to see pictures of the old Boat For My Potplants, old Tallulah The T-Reg Motorhome, old Alfonso 2nd Fiat Coupe and even the old woman 'Erindoors, so I've been busying myself with updating this 'ere blog with some gallery pictures without me in them.

Whilst beavering away I couldn't help notice that the view count is coming dangerously close to 50,000.

Who would have thought that so many would have bothered to click their mouses, (or should that be mice, or even mices?) over A Boat For My Potplants.

I'm wondering what day the count will reach 50,000, and I wonder who will be the 50,000th clicker to visit my story.

Whoever you will be, WELCOME ABOARD!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Power Of International Goodwill


This week the Netherlands have been truly in the news for terrible reasons. On a lighter note I would like to thank Rene from that country for responding to a Facebook message I posted about the central console needing a repair job on Alfonso The Second.

He sent me some veneer, beautifully packaged and free of charge, despite me asking where I could send payment to him.

My poor man's classic is currently at the garage awaiting some welding work to be done in order to get this year's MOT certificate.

As soon as it's back with me I will be fixing the central console with the new woodgrain, thanks to Rene.
Veneer, ready to be cut into shape for the central console, thanks to Rene from Holland




Sunday, 20 July 2014

Rollocks! Saturday Night And Sunday Morning


Friday evening on the back of the Boat For My Potplants I met with Alison my health lady. I'm on a free NHS course to help me bring down my cholesterol level and reduce my alcohol intake. We sat and discussed what I ought to be doing as we downed a cheeky bottle of Rose and consumed a packet of pretzels. That wasn't quite the right idea in mind - but it was the end of the week, so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
Saturday evening

After Alison had left, Jane came down and we decided to take out my little tender behind. By the time I'd walked home to get the buoyancy aids from the garage and we had faffed about with untying the ropes, finding the oars and ROLLOCKS, and all that mullarky, we sat in the dinghy about to cast off.

Sunday morning
No sooner had we settled down with oars in hand we could see that the tide was rapidly departing, and that was that. We barely had enough time to clamber back aboard the big ship and dash off to the pub where I proceeded to not do much good to my health campaign for the rest of the evening.

Sunday morning came, and I began Tallulah's make-over with a paintbrush. What a difference a few drops of Hammerite can make.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Sound Of Noisy Silence

I was concerned that my little tender behind was perhaps not tied up as well as it could have been. I awoke early this morning and decided to go down to my Boat For My Potplants at high tide so that I could adjust the ropes.

I wanted to wait for the tide to go out and make sure that I hadn't tied the ropes too tightly, so I sat on board and waited.

Usually I have some music on, but at 5am I was content to sit in quiet.

Although I can tell you that at that time in the morning the silence is very loud

I listened attentively to it.

There were the gulls and egrets. I'm sure I could hear fishes popping up here and there. In the distance I could hear a plane. Or was it some rolling thunder? The air was still and it began raining - gently to begin with, and then harder for a few minutes. The birds' calls became louder as if they were competing with the noise of the heavy rain drops splashing on to the river's water.

The beauty of it all was deafening.

It was a magical silence.

 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Music And Words

The future international best seller was created here
I had a couple of hours spare, so I used them wisely and went to the Boat For My Potplants armed with my iPad, upon which I am furiously writing my first novel, called appropriately Muddy Water.

I don't mean that I was furious when writing it, just that I was writing quickly as my fingers on the keyboard struggled to keep up with the words appearing before me in my tiny brain.

To calm myself down I put on some soothing music, thanks to the new inverter that I recently installed to replace the one that bust a few months ago.

Now I can listen again to my on board hi-fi as I 'become' the characters in my book.

I was Stanley Markland the horrible wealthy landowner's son, Tristan Thomas the gay politician, and Constance Markland who's desperate to have another baby. All at the same time.

It's a confusing and tiring occupation being an international best selling author. Or so I'm told.

The soothing music was listened to here (the round thing is one of the speakers)


Friday, 11 July 2014

Coded Message


I was up with the larks, up to the Co-op, and bringing back the bacon. And the beans. And bread, butter, tea, milk, mushrooms and tomatoes.

The Boat For My Potplants opened its doors, er, canopy, to its first (and very probably last) paying customers this morning.


Four gentlemen left with their bellies full, ready to face their day of trekking across the Essex countryside after sampling the breakfast, cooked exclusively for them by Yours Truly.


I was pleased with myself that I managed not to scramble the eggs (they were in fact supposed to be fried), but it was jolly difficult bringing everything together, having only the one ring burner.


They must have been happy 'cos they gave me a tip! It was 'don't give up your day job, Neil'.


But as I pocketed their payment(*), and grinned for becoming a few pounds richer, I'm now thinking of renaming the boat 'Cafe de Los Amigos'.

(*) =  coded message...THE DO MAN TAX NOT TELL







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










Tuesday, 1 July 2014

We're Off On Maiden Voyage


Tallulah, our T-reg motorhome will be taking us on our maiden voyage, beginning tomorrow. Or should it be WE are taking Tallulah on HER maiden voyage?

Whatever.

Jane has been busily preparing the on-board cupboards with all the things that we may be using on our travels. I will be tidying up the boot and cleaning the roof hatch.

All we really need is our toothbrushes and bottles of wine for our overnight stops en-route at Thetford Forest and Wisbech before reaching our destination just south of Lincoln for a further two nights.

First things first though, and so we will be calling into Wivenhoe Autos in the morning for my appointment with the chief mechanic.

I've asked him to show me where the water and oil goes. I know it's somewhere around the engine area, but I want to know EXACTLY where.