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, 29 January 2015

Top Gear

Next week I will be working on my Boat For My Potplants - again. There's always something that needs doing, and this winter is no exception.

There's an awful lot of painting to be done, and it's about time I replaced the leisure battery. The battery was fitted new, about five years ago, and it's lasted all this time without any maintenance, so I can't complain. But now when I play my hifi it gives up the ghost after only half and hour or so, even when it's been a sunny day and it's been fully charged up from the solar panel on the deck.

So, now that I'm in the mood for spending some spondoolics (after all, I've just had to pay my tax bill), I thought 'to hell with the expense - let's buy a battery'. It will keep me in music while I work.

But as I prepare for next week's boat labour of love, my attention has been drawn to this wonderful comparison of three top Italian cars from the Sixties in a classic car magazine.

And guess which one has come out on top!

Yes! And on that bombshell I would say I've been set up very nicely for the day, thank you.

Their conclusion is: " Your heart says Alfa Romeo, your mind Lancia and then mixes the Fiat in the struggle. The Fiat is actually the best choice that we rely on four things. Firstly the Alfa and Lancia have more status, but the design of Boano and engine Lampredi lift Fiat at the same level. Secondly the looks. The trapezoidal shape of the 124 is timeless elegance and is hardly inferior to the exciting Guilia . Then the engine. They have all two camshafts and all three deliver nice performance at high speeds. But the Fiat engine needs much less maintenance. And then the market value. the Fiat is the most rare and least expensive. So are we waiting ? Yeah. It's quite a quest to find one. " 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

How To Top The Gorilla


It's coming around to that time of year when thoughts about The Wivenhoe Open Gardens are brought to the fore.


I received my invitation this week to take part in mid-May, but what can I do to top last year's coup?

I mean, it'll be tough to top Gorilla In The Midst, eh?

Any ideas, please send them on a postcard c/o
The Boat For My Potplants
aka Los Amigos
aka Kingfisher
aka Solace
aka Tarka
The Mud on Wivenhoe Quay
Outside The Rose And Crown

They say it can be bad luck to change the name of a boat, but I don't believe it!

It's going to change again soon




Sunday, 18 January 2015

Goodbye Vroom Vroom


Those who know me know that I have a liking for old things that give me pleasure.

There's Alfonso The Second, the old 1968 Fiat 124 Coupe. Superb.
There's Tallulah, the old 1978 Hymer motorhome. Original.
There's Los Amigos, the old 1974 ex-Norfolk Broads Boat For My Potplants. Splendid.
And of course there's the old 1959 Jane, aka 'Erindoors, wife extraordinaire. Concours.

But this weekend I've been letting go and saying goodbye to my old set of Scalextric.

Goodbye dear tracks, dear cars and dear buildings.

You've done me proud, but you're serving no purpose stuck inside boxes in the garage.  It's time for others to have some fun with you.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

1 / 11 Ratio


Since the summer I have been going down to the Boat For My Potplants on nearly every single Wednesday evening with my mentor, publisher, editor and all-round good-egg David so that we can 'work' on the latest chapter that my grey matter has created of my novel.

We've been taking it in turns. One week he brings the grub and I bring the wine. The following week our responsibilities are swapped around.

That was all very well during the warm and balmy evenings, but as the winter nights drew in and the evening air became colder it was sometime tempting to liaise for our 'work' session at the Rose And Crown instead.

BUT, we are not mice - we are men! So we kept at it - through the rain and cold, every week without fail. In actual fact with the heater on, the hot stew and dumplings and bottle(s) of wine to keep us cosy, the temperature outside was of no consequence.

And as a result of the 'work' on the boat, I am now pleased to report that the first draft of Muddy Water, set quite a lot in Wivenhoe, is now done and dusted, ready for doing all the error corrections.

I would say that for every five minutes of 'work', we did 55 minutes of eating, drinking, playing music and being very merry.

In my book that's a jolly good ratio.


Sunday, 11 January 2015

Yo Ho Ho!

Writing spondoolics! Christmas has come again for me - or perhaps early for next year already?

This February's edition of MMM magazine (Motorhome and Motorcaravan Monthly), OUT NOW, features good old Tallulah, our very own T-Reg.

And I have been given FOUR WHOLE PAGES in which to elaborate the story of the magnificent old Hymer and become the author of the magazine's OWNER REPORT. Yes, that's me, at the top of the page, looking like a right plonker.

But who cares about looking like a plonker when the real star of the show is our lovely home-on-wheels, freshly adorned with the rather superb looking go-faster stripes, even if I say so myself.

It's a shame that 'Erindoors doesn't much like the shade of blue that I chose, but I'm sure she'll come round to it one day - after all, I am now an official MMM contributor and of course I know what's best.






Saturday, 10 January 2015

It's A Classic

Citroen DS - great colour scheme
Happy New Year to all my blog readers.

Maserati - can only be in red
Belatedly, because we're already into the double figures of the month, and it was only like a minute ago that we were partying like there was no tomorrow. Well yes indeed - there certainly was a tomorrow, and the next day and the next. Where does the time fly?

One thing I I have always wanted to do was to visit the London Classic Car Show, and that was exactly what I did yesterday.

My favourite beauty was this stunning Citroen DS from the 1970's. Oh, Lordy Lordy, what I would do to have one like this is nobody's business.

My own little beauty
My second favourite was this Maserati. And I would still do just as much to have one.

And I even managed to pick up an original Fiat 124 AC 1968, just like my own one, for a song.

So I went home a happy bunny, with another classic in the bag.






A happy bunny