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)

Old Teal Boat, 1974

This is how this whole blog thing began. We moved to Wivenhoe in 2009 and a friend offered me his father's old boat to do up. 'A Boat For My Potplants' took on a life of its own as things were given to the project. Dulux gave paint, Sail & Cover made and fitted the canopy, B&Q gave power tools and a mystery donor provided a grand cheque for an outboard motor - and then Suzuki supplied a 9.9hp for a grand knock-down cost. RoadPro provided solar power equipment so that I could run my ancient Grundig hi-fi system and vinyl record player. 160 watts through eight loudspeakers.

The blog was regularly featured in Essex Life Magazine, and then in 2013 a six page article was featured in Motor Boats Monthly. In 2012 the World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station broadcast from the boat, and old mate Jay made some jingles and a sign company in Brightlingsea made the name 'Los Amigos'.

In 2014 the boat's deck was home to a gorilla, when I was asked to participate in the Wivenhoe Open Gardens, raising money for the local church and three local charities including the Wivenhoe to Rowhedge public ferry.

The lounge / bedroom, complete with shag pile carpet

Very comfortable bed at night

The kitchen with kettle at the ready for a morning cuppa

Snowy the dog

The multi-colour canopy, made out of offcuts

The dining room

The brand new toilet was found on a skip still in its original box

To make the headroom higher, the floor was lowered

Pre-motor flowers

Some grass bought in France for three euros

Post motor fitment

Cushions covered by 'Erindoors, using Ikea curtains that had been given to us

Having a night-time music session. The round sphere is one of the speakers

The curtains were also made by 'Erindoors

The canopy at night

The loo and library

Getting the studio ready

These stained glass windows were originally dividing the bedroom from the lounge

One day there will be a singer on board

The rear deck

Nice to wake up to

Nice to go to sleep in

Food cupboard always stocked with essentials

Decking from B&Q...

...giving access to the down-below bit

Folding door

Fungus The Bogeyman

Snowy the dog, Captain Lucien, Rastaman, Captain Freud and Victoria Police badge

Built in 1974. After much controversy, it is definitely a TEAL, and not a Norman or a Callumcraft. It was used on the Norfolk Broads as a hire cruiser, originally called 'Solace', later called 'Kingfisher'.

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