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

Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Cripes!!! OMG!! Wooah! Is that the date, already? Where did the year of 2010 nearly go? It was back in October of 2009 that I first embarked on this crazy adventure. My very first blog was read by a grand total of five people - and now I have, er, something like 5,000! Gee, thanks, guys and gals. It's because of you that those nice peeps at Dulux gave me their paint, and the nice man at Colchester Motor Glass sorted out my windows, and the fab crew at Sail & Cover had an eye for colour-coordinated canopies - with a difference.

How did it all begin in those heady days way-back-then?

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.

Ha ha. I didn't only end up with potplants. I got the full-on 5-foot planters, complete with winter pansies - which in the Spring of 2011 will be updated to geraniums.

Aaaah. The Spring!!! ROLL ON THE SPRING.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Hot Water Bottle

Crumbs, Neil Watson, pull yourself together, and nod your cap to what you HAVE got, rather than what you haven't.

During the past few weeks I've been feeling slightly sorry for myself.

Completely ridiculous, I'm at least thankfully aware!

Just because I've recently been working outdoors in the freezing cold. So what? Many others have to as well.

Just because I'd been wondering where my career took a wrong turn while my frozen hand held on to the ladder whilst my other frozen hand held the paint-brush. I know that it was somewhere way back, when my father encouraged me to go to university. Of course I knew best, and instead went my own way.

But now, during the coldest and earliest winter that I can recall, I can't help looking back to only a short while ago. I only need to think of those happy and hot days, laying on the back of the cockpit of The Boat For My Potplants in the company of 'Erindoors, basking and snoozing in the afternoon sunshine. Feeling slightly happy with myself.

And now my heart feels as warm as a hot-water bottle.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Oh no. It's a Disaaaster!

Part Two...

I couldn't get on to the Boat For My Potplants. The structure upon which the planks rested had been pulled clear out of the mud by the nose of the boat at high tide.

Luckily, a very helpful man by the name of Mark knew exactly what to do. In an instant he shimmied down the plank into the mud and attached a rope to the timber structure, climbed back up the plank and attached the other end of the rope to his car tow-bar. Slowly but surely he pulled the the frame clear of the mud.

He must have worked in a circus in a previous life. I don't know how he managed, but somehow he repositioned the posts in the mud, then precariously stood on top of one of them while he whacked in the other with a sledge-hammer.

To top it all it was by now dark, and the boards were damp and slippery, but that didn't seem to bother him.

It seemed like a disaaaster to me at first, but then I realised that here in Wivenhoe people help each other out. Especially when you have a Boat For Your Potplants down at the quay outside the pub.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Oh no. It's a Disaaaster!

Part One of a Two-Part-Blog...

So I got a phone call one evening from my Next-door Nautical Neighbour, complaining that in the recent high-tide and storm, my boat had moved precariously close to touching his pole. Ooh-err, missus.

I was so worried that my Boat For My Potplants might cause some embarrassing damage that I decided to get down to the boat at the very next high-water. Which was (unfortunately for me) at two o'clock in the morning.

Gosh. How loud everything sounds at that hour. But undeterred, I pulled the rope a little tighter and tied up.

However, not being experienced in said rope tieing, I had (unfortunately for me) pulled a little too tightly, causing the boat's nose to nuzzle itself under the timber structure that was embedded in the mud, and to which the planks were placed to allow for embarkation.

Imagine my horror, when I discovered (unfortunately for me), that the subsequent high-tides eventually lifted the structure clear out of the mud and apparently wrecked in the river.

Wait with bated breath for the next exciting installment, when all will be revealed as to the outcome. In the meantime, just marvel at Jason Cobb's excellent picture of the infamous timber structure, which is back in position. There's a clue (fortunately for me).