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

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Frustrating Wind

I'm cursing the wind in more ways than one this week. Firstly, I was struck down on Tuesday by a bit of the old food poisoning from one of those dodgy all-day-breakfasts in a tin. I know I should have had muesli, but quite frankly who wants to eat chopped up cardboard when there's sausages and beans beckoning for your stomach-space? By Thursday evening I was more gusty inside than the force ten blowing outside.

And I'd asked able-seaman Martyn (pictured left) to help with my inaugeral trip on board the Boat For My Potplants on the Friday, which I'd been so looking forward to with equal degrees of fear and excitement.

'I'm not coming out on that boat if it's got those stupid potplants on it', he had forewarned me. I hoped he was only joking. He must have been as he even arranged to bring his Royal Navy-serving son along for the ride - so I really was going to be in good hands, and I was praying my wind would have let up by then.

Fortunately it had - but unfortunately the north-easterly wind blowing around the boat's mooring grew stronger than ever - and we had to abandon our plans, drink Guinness and discuss geraniums instead.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Planning My First Trip

Back from holiday and the Boat For My Potplants is calling me to take it out. They say the thing in front of what you really want in life is fear, and I guess this adage applies in my case.

I am fearful of doing something I've never done before - taking out my boat with its new motor onto the River Colne - but I really want to do it. To all you experienced boating people out there it might come as second nature - but to me it's all new and scary.

I'm only planning on going out of the mooring and then up-river for about a quarter of a mile, then back past the mooring to the barrier and back again to its mooring outside the Rose And Crown, where (if successfully completed) I may even treat myself to a celebratory shandy.

My pal (and able seaman) Martyn has agreed to accompany me and to give me some tips, which I welcome.

And that's given me an idea - I should acknowledge some of the key characters from Wivenhoe Quay. Why not call it Quay Characters? A sort of play on words, n'est ce pas?

Let's start off with my chum and nautical neighbour John, who just adores my plants and must surely be ever so slightly envious that he doesn't have any flowers adorning his magnificent vessel. 

John - you only have to ask, and my pansies are your pansies.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

And Now On To The Radio

I've missed Wivenhoe, and I've missed my Boat For My Potplants. I'm back from my hols, rejuvinated and ready to begin three tasks;

One for the past - to research and discover the true history of my 23ft former Norfolk-Broads ex-hire river cruiser. Who owned it? Where was it based? Who were its clients?

One for the present - to learn how to sail, er, motor her up and down the River Colne. Will I avoid crashing into other boats? I jolly well hope so.

And one for the future - to create The World's Smallest Pirate Radio Station (WSPRS-FM). Regular readers of this blog will know all about my ever-so-slightly barmy idea. How will I 'broadcast' top tunes from the boat, using an iPod? Will anyone be bothered to listen?

My revisiting of the LRV15 lightship in Harwich yesterday awakened my inspiration. Last time I was on board, I was Barnacle Bill on the Mark Wesley show. What a day that was. This time I was a guest at the fantastic wedding reception of our Wivenhoe friends Trish and Geoff. And what a day THAT was! I walked around the ship, in awe. This is the real boat that rocked, with all that history, from all those years ago.

Don't ask me how I'm going to do it. I don't know yet. But that's not important. What IS important is to offer sincere congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Lee for a tip-top, 100% brilliant, hurdy-gurdy day.