How this blog began: Boat, garden, party venue and writer's retreat.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Last Night...

Last night, Christmas 2009, I walked quietly along the quayside at Wivenhoe, in the freezing damp air. The river was calm and still, and no one was about, Wivenhoe's occupants having decided wisely to stay in the warm for their Christmas evening supper.

I wandered casually over to the position on the quayside where the Boat For My Potplants is going to be moored, and gazed dreamily at the empty space, feeling happy with myself for having secured such a prime location for the boat's new home.

It is sure to be an upstream struggle, transporting the boat over from St Neots, getting it ship-shape in the Spring, and finally welcoming friends and family aboard to share the first Captain's Dinner some time in the Summer.

I can't wait!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Definition Of A Boat

I have been reliably informed that the definition of my boat, or any boat for that matter, is a 'hole in the water that you pour money into'. But it's a secret, dear bloggees, between you and me. My wife MUST NOT be informed. But what the heck - in for a penny, in for several pounds. After all, it's not every day that one gets given a boat, so at least one can do is to look after it. And a couple of hundred quid for bead-blasting sounds quite reasonable. And with mooring costs and moving costs, insurance costs and licensing costs, it is, er, cough cough, the season to be jolly. And if I were to be writing this post-sunset instead of pre-sunrise, I'm sure it would all sound jolly cheap indeed, as I sleepily sip my port at the end of the day. Somehow, this morning's tea only serves to make the reality more clear to me.

But good news - I may be joining the Norman Boats Appreciation Society, if the Boat For My Potplants turns out to be a Norman 22. Or could it be a Teal 22? How exciting! Sooner or later all will be revealed as my membership to Yachting And Boating World Forum proves to be invaluable, in the unfolding story that is The Boat For My Potplants.

Now! Under which mattress did I hide that brown paper envelope? Because sadly I can't seem to find it. I'd better buy a Lottery ticket today.

Friday, 18 December 2009


Bless my digereedoo! Do you know what it is yet? Well, I do - it's a "Norman 22", that's what it is, diddle, iddle iddle um, by the jolly Court of King Caractucus. Thanks to my new contact who will be transporting the Boat For My Potplants from St Neots to Wivenhoe in February. He obviously knows more than a thing or two about boats, as he so quickly identified the craft.

So now I can begin to research interesting facts about the "Norman 22", and I am sure that you bloggees out there cannot wait to find out more. Well, tie me kangaroo down, Cap'n, all will be revealed in the goodness of time.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Three Stops Past...

This morning I received a text message from my very good, but equally very mad, friends Paul, Mike and Jay, who are trying to pursuade me to take the Boat For My Potplants by river AND sea from its current mooring in St Neots to its new home in Wivenhoe.

In the past I have declared that No Siree Will I Go To Sea, but I do have to admit a faint enthusiasm for such an adventure, despite there being more cons to the pros.

Here are 12 cons, in no particular order...

The boat does not currently have a floor on which to stand safely.
To take it via river / canal / sea will take days, or even weeks.
It will cost a fortune in diesel
I don't even know if the outboard works
It might sink in the sea.
It might capsize in the wind.
It has no electricity. Or toilet that works. (that counts as one con, combined)
I don't have any life-jackets.
We would have to plan meticulously, and time is lacking due to...(next...).
( I'd have to take ages off work.
We might drown.
My mate Greg (who knows a thing or two about boats) has advised that he is re-naming me Dagenham (ie 3 stops past Barking) - for International bloggees, Dagenham and Barking are stations on the London Underground. And Greg says don't do it.

...And 1 pro...
It would be extremely good fun

Monday, 14 December 2009

Just When I Thought...

Just when I thought I had it all sewn up regarding the somewhat two critical questions of a) transportation and b) mooring, I have hit a snag. A jolly big snag at that. Now that the deal has been done for the mooring, I thought it would be prudent to contact the company (who had quoted £275 to transport the Boat For My Potplants) without delay, and book them in the diary for as soon as possible after 1st February.

Alas, their answer came back, saying that their trailer had been involved in an accident and was now out of service. So, it's back to the drawing board to organise transport of the Boat For My Potplants from St Neots to Wivenhoe.

So if any of you fine Bloggees out there have a trailer and a vehicle to tow it, please step up to the mark. Generous quantities of Captain's Rum will be provided upon completion.

Of course if all else fails I suppose the Boat is going to have to be driven (or sailed or rowed) down the river and out to sea. Anyone got any life-jackets for hire?

Saturday, 12 December 2009

It's a Done Deal!

Today, on the twelfth of the twelfth, the deal was done between tenant (me) and The Waterlords of Wivenhoe! I officially now have a mooring for my Boat For My Potplants. And what a grand mooring it is! It must be in the most prime position in Wivenhoe that could possibly be wished for - bang smack in front of the Rose And Crown pub. The Rose And Crown is the in the epicentre of Wivenhoe life, especially in the Summer months, when the Boat For My Potplants will surely flourish.

Will it become a sales pitch for The Potplants?
Will it become an Offshore Pirate Radio Ship?
Will it become a Floating Luxury B&B?
Will it be a Summer Rave Disco? - (I haven't yet mentioned this latest idea - watch this space)
Will it become a shrine to Essex Life readers?

The answer is, of course, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes.

We have now answered the questions of HOW to get the boat here, and WHERE it will be placed. Now the remaining question is WHEN?

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Buoy oh buoy!!!

Buoy oh buoy, me hearties, shiver me timbers, raise the anchor and set course for Wivenhoe. Because WE HAVE GOT A MOORING!!! I made strong head-way during last night's Important Meeting with the water-lords. I almost swelled up on the poop-deck as negotiations successfully concluded and agreement was made on an even keel.

So, steady as she goes, Cap'n. Thanks to all you bloggees out there for your support and advice. I must stem the tide of my own excitement and prepare for the next installment of the Boat's adventure.

I must admit that I'm rather pleased with the cut of my own jib. Now all I have to do is to fathom out a way to shape a course for getting my Boat For My Potplants to its new home, right bang OUTSIDE THE PUB!!!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Blogsite Goes International!

How cool is this? A Boat For My Potplants is about to go Global with followers from across the pond in the USA. I don't think my boat would actually make it across such a large pond, but metaphorically it's just a short haul away.

My terrific friends whom I have known for many years, Jackie and Larry, are to become bloggees of this very site. Jackie asked if I will be growing Pot on deck? Of course not was my answer. But on reflection what a brilliant idea that would be.

So now we have several uses for the Boat For My Potplants; Herbs and Spices, Bed and Breakfast, Wonderful Wadio Wivenhoe, and Illegal Drugs.

A Very Important Meeting that is due to take place shortly, might open the (flood)gates for the mooring that I am seeking. By this time tomorrow I could well have a mooring tenancy along the quayside. Watch this space.