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

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Rollocks! I Have A Little Tender Behind.

I have a little tender behind. It's a corny joke, but I like it.

Yes, I am now the proud owner of a little tender for going at the rear of the Boat For My Potplants.

All I need are some rollocks and some oars, and I'll be able to pop out onto the river under my own steam with just a small step off the rear deck. And I love saying rollocks. Rollocks, rollocks, rollocks.

Maybe I can keep a couple of plants on it too, now that spring is in the air and the sun is coming out.

I can call it A Tender For My Potplants - The Sequal.

Friday, 28 March 2014

It's All In The Preparation

May the 17th is going to come round like no tomorrow, so it's best if I begin to make preparations for the Wivenhoe Open Gardens RIGHT NOW, before it's too late. I don't want my Boat For My Potplants to let the Wivenhoe Quay-side down, do I?

There's so much to do. I need to buy a flag, that's for sure, and the bunting down the sides of the planters is looking shabby and needs replacing.

The canopy is now four years old and has had four years of weather and seagull poop - so arrangements are currently underway for a spruce-up by the lovely Sarah at Sail And Cover.

There are plants to buy, and a lick of paint wouldn't go amiss either.

But at least I haven't missed a trick with getting some tasteful artificial plants and flowers - as well as the picket fence from Aldi.

All I need is the garden gnome, and I'll be well and truly sorted.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Peace And Love

All this talk about bicycle maintenance (see previous post) has got me thinking about my upcoming bike trip to Malta in May. It's a yearly thing. It's a boys' thing.

And then I just happened to notice that there are quite a few readers of this 'ere blog clicking in from good old US of A.

I wonder what on earth my American readers may think of Wivenhoe, this quintessentially English village (or is it a town?).

Anyway, I extend to you, dear blog-readers, from wherever you may hail across The Pond, a very warm welcome.

I recall a while back that some folks from the Big Country were shocked that I included the word 'POTPLANTS' in my writings. Apparently, over there it means something quite different from our innocent definition.

That gives me an idea for the Wivenhoe Open Gardens...but in the meantime...

I'll leave you with a pic of me (yes, it's all about me, me, me) in that great country of theirs when I cycled from West to East. Half way across, in Kansas actually, I met a fellow cyclist from Tokyo going the opposite way. I wonder where Yoshichika Shida is now, 33 years later.

I was indeed a little younger then, with more hair, but fundamentally the same as I am now.

Peace and love, man. Spread the word.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Zen And The Art Of Cycle Maintenance

Knock me down with a light-weight bicycle spanner - the fisherman's shed that the fisherman doesn't much care for has finally been found a use for. And what a fine use it is too!

The good people of Transition Wivenhoe are turning it into a bike-kitchen, where folks can learn how to look after their two-wheeled mode of transport. All for free. A brilliant initiative. Well done Jo (left), Jason and Ed (blue shirt), who I had the pleasure of meeting today.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Wivenhoe Wonders

There's been so much going on recently that I've had to step back and admire the view - metaphorically speaking as well as the view itself.

A few small highlights are...Jon getting his head stuck down the Houdini attempt at sushi being quite successful...seeing my friend Ian's joyous face with his new toy...waking up and looking out the window...putting my feet up with a beer

Simple, cheap, effective.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Mark - A True Wivenhoe Quay Character

Yesterday, faced with blue and cloudless skies I thought to myself 'Shall I go to work today?'

After a few moments contemplating the consequences of letting a customer down, I decided to go along as planned to paint windows in a flat along the quay, here in Wivenhoe.

Thank goodness I did, because - as usual - my job isn't like real work. It was in fact a pleasure to do.

No more "tough days at the office" for me - no Sir-ee. Those days are long gone.

So I breathed a sigh of joy as I enjoyed the view.

Then on my way home at the end of the day I drove past Mark, a true Quay Character Of Wivenhoe.

Some may say that Mark is slightly eccentric? Maybe. Many would say that he's friendly and a pleasure to acquaint? Most definitely.

He is a thoroughly decent chap, whose craftmanship is well sought after around these parts.

And it's easy to see why when you look at his brilliant miniature 'paint your wagon' being lovingly created by his own fair hands.

When it's finished, I'm sure everyone is going to want one.

Get back - I'm first in the queue.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Eruptions, Part Two - Artificial or Real? That Is The Question

Dear Blog-readers.

Type in the word 'ERUPTIONS' in the search box (top right of this blog), and you'll be transported back in time to 2010 when I wrote about the battle of minds between 'Erindoors and me, when you may recall I was in favour of using ARTIFICIAL plants on my boat, and 'Erindoors wasn't playing ball at all.

You can read the comments and laugh mightily due to the hornets' nest that I so vigorously stirred up.

Never before has opinion been so strongly divided.

Until now, that is, because that old chestnut is about to be resurrected with my invitation by the Wivenhoe Society to include my Boat For My Potplants in the Wivenhoe Open Gardens in the middle weekend of May.

What a ruse, I thought, it would be to place some ARTIFICIAL plants in and amongst the REAL ones, and invite visitors to stand on the quayside an see if they can tell the difference!

How brilliant is that?

So, off I will go this weekend, to the artificial plant capital of the England (IKEA in Thurrock) in search of prime specimens.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

And The Sun Comes Out

Is it really early March or am I dreaming? The sun comes out and so do the crowds.

How could we resist taking the canoe out for a trip up the Roman River for a pint at The Whalebone?

Up with the tide coming in, and back with the tide going out. That's the way to do it.

Those of you familiar with this 'ere blog will know that our good friend Canoe-Man Jon plays a big part in quenching our thirst for all-things-a-paddling. And Saturday afternoon was no exception.

And thanks to Jon, I learned the beauty of the 'J-Stroke', helping to make light work as we made our way to the landing stage at the end of the river.

We tied up and then walked along the track towards the pub, taking in the wonder of the mill.

Thank our lucky stars for living in such as place as this.

And to cap things off nicely on Sunday, Jon joined us for a beer on the Boat For My Potplants, when he shared his words of wisdom to us.

They are as follows...

"Why go somewhere else on holiday when we're already here?"