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

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Another step closer

This evening in Wivenhoe saw the wonderful firework display, set off on the other side of the river. The spectators crowded on the quayside outside the Rose And Crown to get the best view possible. They, and I, weren't disappointed. The general atmosphere was splendid.

I was standing just a few feet from the place where I imagined The Boat For My Potplants will one day be moored, and I strolled home with a spring of anticipation in my step. My small step became a giant leap, when I bumped into a man who might play a critical role in helping to get my mooring. We shall see if he can make the key introductions that I need.

The river was perfectly tranquil this evening. A perfect place for my boat. On yesterday's posting I promised to disclose its name, and this evening I thought its name was even more apt. It's called Serenity. Aaaah!

Friday, 30 October 2009

What's In A Name

This is the weekend in which I will make some true investigations as to the mooring possibilities. I am sure I will be asked what is the name of my boat. I can't really say that it is called A Boat For My Potplants, as this will raise further questions about a) the boat and b) my state of mind.

So, I need to say what its name really is. I have often been asked this particular question, which until recently I couldn't truthfully answer, as I did not know it.

But now I do. And, dear bloggers, I can assure you all that it is most certainly in keeping with a) the boat and b) my state of mind.

All will be revealed tomorrow, but the picture taken this morning close to the boat's (hopeful) new resting place, gives a good clue.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Up all night checking out transportation

After the second time that my darling wife Jane kicked me for snoring, I decided to vacate the warmth of the marital bed and go and (try to) sleep on the sofa. But I couldn't. My mind was by now whirring with the thoughts of how to get the Boat For My Potplants from St Neots to Wivenhoe.

Despite my friend Paul saying that he has 'a cunning plan', which I am sure involves The Sea, and which I have already stated 'No Sirree', I found myself pouring over the internet at four in the morning doing all-important research. No, honestly Guv'nor, there wasn't a big breast in sight. It was all about inland waterways and boat transportation companies, to whom I have sent a number of emails requesting further information and estimated costs. I can't wait for their responses. It will make me feel that I'm now becoming serious, and that others may take me seriously too. Money talks.

So, dear bloggers, it's either going to be by trailer by road, or boat by sea. We shall see.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Back to the ceiling with a bump

Ouch! After last night's whimsical dalliance to and from the pub, dreaming about the positioning of the Boat For My Potplants along the quayside, my mind has been brought firmly back to earth, or rather the ceiling.

As you can see, there is some mighty work to be done! Not only in getting a mooring, or getting the boat to Wivenhoe from St. Neots. No. Even after those essential tasks have been completed, there is plenty to be done inside and out in order to get her shipshape - or should that be boatshape?

Who knows? Another glass of rum Cap'n, and all will become as clear as a silted up River Colne.

Friday, 23 October 2009

This beautiful place

Jane and I took a walk this evening along this beautiful quay of Wivenhoe, hopefully the new home for the Boat For My Potplants. We smelt the air, so warm for nearly November. We watched the sunset and saw the moon rise in the sky. What Friday evening would be complete without a pub drink? So we took a glass of wine in the local pub, The Rose And Crown, and I imagined the boat being moored just a few yards away.

I imagined it, and I knew that imagination alone will not be enough. Or could it be?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

What type of Pot?

Ey ey me Hearties
After a delightful cycle ride at the weekend with my delightful wife Jane, along the delightful River Colne, I gazed in awe at how magnificent this part of the country is. I imagined cruising up and down the river in The Boat For My Potplants, and I can't wait for the Spring to come.

In the meantime, I have been asked the same question now by several bloggers and followers; what sort of potplant will be grown in the pots. Yeah, yeah, I know where you're coming from, and I have to say that I HAD been thinking along the lines of mint, thyme, parsley, bay and that sort of thing. But now that a pot seed has been planted in my mind, well, you never know...

Monday, 19 October 2009

Ey ey, me Hearties

Another day, another exhilaration! It's only a matter of time before my boat comes in, literally speaking. In every way it already has, but here I am talking about getting The Boat For My Potplants here.

I am such a novice in the boating world. What sound system should I get? Where should I position the lcd TV? Which is port or starboard?

Crumbs, Captain Curruthers, I have so much to learn, but it's going to be a ball!

Questions, questions, questions

Now it is established that the Boat For My Potplants is the one for me, I have to turn my attention to TWO main tasks;

1) Getting it here (from St Neots to Wivenhoe)

2) Getting a mooring for it (preferably along the quay)

To get the boat here, it can either come by road, or by water. If by road, I need a vehicle with a trailer - or I could hire the services of a specialist company - at goodness knows what cost.

If coming by water, I need to research the waterways and find out the route. My good (?) friends Mike, Paul and Jay have kindly suggested that we should navigate our way to the Thames, and then out round the Essex coast. On their last message to me, they asked me to organise the life jackets. Thanks guys! I'll think about it.

I'll also think about the mooring.

Questions, questions, questions. All will be answerd in due course. Watch this space.

Saturday, 17 October 2009


Wow indeed! Yesterday I was taken to see the Boat For My Potplants. I was half expecting to find a wooden old wreck in its early stages of sinking. Instead I climbed aboard a sad, old, decrepit and neglected river boat that, in essence, is fine. Sure, it needs much TLC bestowed upon it to make it water-worthy again, but I'm in no doubt that it can be brought back to life.

It has a fiberglass hull!

There is an outboard motor!

There is space for the potplants!

I was clambering around on board like a demented boy. Like a cheshire cat who's just got the cheese.

After languishing for so long in the waters of the Ouze, the boat's own spirits soared yesterday, as it realised that new life was going to be breathed in to it one day soon.

There is much work to be done. But the first hurdle has been passed by a sea-going mile.

Now we must work in earnest to find a mooring in Wivenhoe, and then concentrate on getting her there.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

I aint going in no sea

Apologies to my band of avid readers - I've not been able to post a blog for three days now, but I guess I will be making up for lost time from tomorrow - because tomorrow is THE BIG DAY when I go to see The Boat For My Potplants for the first time, in the flesh, so to speak.

I will be armed with my trusty camera, ready to take snaps galore. I know you are all gagging for views of the interior, and my appraisal of the boat's condition, and by jove, that's what you'll be getting. Roll on tomorrow!

Now, on the subject of sea, it has been suggested that we should drive The Boat For My Potplants down to the River Thames and round the coast to Brightlingsea, and then up the river to its final resting home of Wivenhoe. I can assure all of you that I enjoy and value my life immensely, so a sea-going adventure is catagorically out of the question. I might be mad, but I'm not stupid. Or is it that I might be stupid but not mad? Whatever. I ain't going in no sea, no sirree.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Tea at sunrise

As autumn and winter approaches, the chill is without doubt creeping in to the riverside air. As I walk along the quayside here in Wivenhoe, I can hear the gentle jingle-jangle of things to do with boats clanging in the breeze.

When I get my boat, I will sleep on it all night at the first opportunity, so that I can experience waking up at the crack of dawn, boiling a kettle on an old camping stove, and making a brew of tea, as the low sun rises on the horizon, reflecting its rays onto the bow. I won't use tea bags. No, sirree! Only a tea pot and proper tea leaves will do on my boat. I will of course need a strainer.

I've heard that tea leaves are rather good for pot plants. Can anyone confirm? Earl Grey or English Breakfast? Twinings or PG? So many questions. So much to learn.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

A colourful deal has been done

Apologies to my band of loyal readers for missing my daily blog yesterday. It was on account of attending the wedding of an old friend, Anna Hennings, who I learned has two canoes. Why would anyone want two? So I did the polite thing and offered to buy one of them from her. She accepted. The deal has been done. I know not what type of canoe it is. Except the colour, which I can assure my dear readers is more than acceptable.

So in a few weeks, after returning from honeymoon with her husband, Anna will be bringing the vessel over to Wivenhoe. And then the problem of getting out to the centre of the river to go on board The Boat For My Potplants will have been resolved - just in case I cannot get a mooring closer to the quay.

You see, I am logically thinking this through, and filling all the gaps.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Bed and Breakfast and Pork Pies

Today was a good day, and I feel I have moved another step forward . Firstly, I have found a local garage who will probably be up for sorting out the engine and outboard motor. Secondly, this evening I had dinner with my wonderful sister Emma who thinks that having the boat is a great idea.

What's more, when I mentioned an idea I had to let people stay on the boat in a sort of bed-and-breakfast situation, she was positive about that too. In fact, she wasn't just positive, she was down-right enthusiastic. Thanks Emma for your encouragement. It was nice to hear, especially as I have been described earlier this week as being a pork pie short of a picnic. I don't understand why, but I do know this. Pork pies or not, this boat is sailing up the river one day!!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Wonderful Wadio Wivenhoe

As with all great Eureka moments, mine came to me like an epiphany last night in the pub. I was discussing A Boat For My Potplants with my old mate Mark, who used to be a DJ on Radio Luxy, and I was saying what I might do on the boat when it finally reaches its new resting place, here in Wivenhoe. And like a huge light-bulb being switched on, we both concluded that the boat could become a new pirate radio station.

Being no stranger to the world of radio myself, I recalled the good old days when, for two glorious hours, I became Barnacle Bill on Mark's show on Radio Essex's Lighthouse Ship off the Harwich coast a few years ago. So I've cut my teeth on the microphone of off-shore broadcasting already, and I'm ready for more. Wonderful Wadio Wivenhoe, broadcasting three feet off the edge of the quayside.

I wonder if I can get Jonathon Woss as a guest.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

It's a Date

Did I forget to mention that I've not actually seen this boat yet? Well, it's a fact. I haven't actually seen The Boat For My Potplants yet. But I will be visiting it soon. Friday week, in fact, weather and other circumstances permitting.

It is currently resting in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, and it belongs to the parents of my good friend Neil. We are going to go there, and I have to say I am VERY EXCITED, as I'm sure anyone would be if they were about to view the boat they had been given for the VERY FIRST TIME.

So, in the meantime I had better prepare. And I still need to find a mooring in Wivenhoe.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Politics, and Herbs and Spices

Well, I'm storming along now, with loads of followere (5!) to my exciting blog page. I may have chosen a less user friendly blogsite than I should have, but I'm sticking with it and learning to expand my mind as the days go by.

Anyone can post a comment, but you need to open a Google account first. Go on - it's easy - and then you will be part of my exclusive group.

The boat is currently moored on the River Ouze in St Neots - so I will either need to sail (drive) it along the waterways, or trailer it across the land.

And now for my thoughts of the day...First - POLITICS. I was asked about my views on Cameron / Brown / The Other One. I said I don't care - I will decide who to vote for nearer the time - depending on which party supports a) pot plants and b) boats,

Second - Herbs and Spices. Eureka! I will grow pot plants on the deck filled with fresh Herbs and Spices - and sell them on the quayside. It's sure to be a hit with the locals. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - and whatever else. Mint? Chillies?Bay leaves? The possibilities are endless. Post your suggestions please. I'm on to something, for sure.

More tomorrow...

Monday, 5 October 2009

Well, it's now Day Two of my new Blogging life. And I've got four followers (including myself). Things are definitely on the up, and there's only one way they can go...further up.
Back to The Boat.

I've moved to a place by the River Colne, which is very tidal. I think that the tideness (is that a word?) will become very significant as time goes on. I need to get a mooring. Apparently, it will be easier to get one out on the other side of the river, which means that I will need a dinghy to get to and from the boat. But that defeats the object somewhat of having A Boat For My Potplants.

I want to be able to go onto my boat, with said potplants, whenever I choose, without the need to pre-plan the event. So, I would much prefer a mooring on the quay. I think that may be easier said than done. But we shall see. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

This is my Tale Of A Boat For My Potplants. It is a new adventure for me - blogging and boating coming together for the first time.

I have moved to a new flat, which doesn't have a garden, but it is by a river. Wouldn't it be great to have a boat that I can sit on surrounded by my potplants?

Well, I visualised it happening, and I'm now on the first step of the rope ladder, now that I have been given a boat by a good friend.

The boat is a hundred miles away.

I know absolutely nothing about boats - a minor problem, indeed. I don't have a trailer. I don't have a car with a tow-bar. I don't have a mooring. The boat doesn't have a working motor. But I do have some potplants, so all will be okay.

Read my blog to see what happens.