Today I have a very special guest blog from the lovely, funny, and brilliant Lynda Renham. Coincidentally she has a blog from me up on her website, which you can find here. If you haven't read a book by Lynda you must. She's one of the funniest writers I know and I know a few. You can find Lynda's new book, 'Fudge Berries and Frogs' Knickers' right here. So without anymore waffle from me, here's Lynda's blog. Enjoy.
Lynda’s Giant Leap for Mankind
When I wrote my latest novel ‘Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers’ I felt myself shudder. My main character Poppy finds herself living on a boat after a serious of mishaps that leave her almost penniless as well as homeless. My own experiences of boat life have been disastrous and while writing the novel I couldn’t but help remember them.
My brother lived on numerous boats over the years. He loved it. He even had a piano on one of them. I used to dread visiting him. Just climbing on the boat was an ordeal for me. I swear climbing Kilimanjaro would have been easier, especially when he moved to a mooring near Canary Wharf.
‘We’re a little way out,’ he’d said. ‘You need to clamber over a few other boats. It’s okay, just come during the day.’
This sounded a little ominous to me. But we ventured there anyway. The car park was of course miles from the mooring as was usual. ‘Clamber over a few boats’ was an understatement. His boat was moored at the back of five huge barges and they weren’t that close together either. I managed the first one okay with my husband giving me a helping hand. But the distance between the first and second one was gigantic. Okay, gigantic in my opinion. My husband just leapt across. Good for him, right? I’ve never leapt across anything in my life, except across the road and that would have been because my life was in danger. Now, bearing in mind I can’t swim. Put yourself in my position, what would you do? Luckily there was a plank on the barge and my husband laid it across and held it down with his feet. Perfect. One barge crossed. I stupidly thought the rest of the climb would be easier. The third barge was a bit better. This one actually had a plank to help those who were crossing. But by now my legs are like jelly and all that is on my mind is getting back. The next barge is worse. Firstly it looks like it is falling apart. There are no planks, at least no planks that look safe and the gap between barges is so big that even my husband isn’t keen to take the leap. Then we spot the rope.
‘That’s how we do it,’ says husband.
‘What are you talking about?’ I say stunned. ‘Are we supposed to Tarzan and Jane it over that gap because I’m telling you I’m no Jane and if you’re Tarzan then I’m a monkey’s uncle.’
‘Okay, no need to be insulting,’ he snaps.
We use the rope to pull the barge closer for us to leap. Or should I say my husband leaps and I kind of crawl over but I really don’t want to go into that. Finally we reach my brother’s narrow boat and thankfully he has proper fitted planks. I navigate those easily enough but the next problem is getting down the steps into the boat. He has it moored a little way out so the boat rocks constantly. He swears it doesn’t. I’m telling you it did. Either that I was drunk and I’m sure I’d remember knocking back the booze. Mind you, once on the boat I did or at least I tried to. I swayed down the steps and finally enter their tiny living area.
‘Would you like a glass of wine?’ asked my sister-in-law.
I needed a glass of wine or something alcoholic to steady my shaking hands and jelly legs. I fall onto the couch and take a large gulp of my drink. I place it onto the table so I can take a biscuit and the next thing I know the glass has slid straight past me and smashed to the floor.
‘That happens a lot,’ she said.
It’s like being in a Greek restaurant.
‘We tend to use plastic ones.’
So why didn’t she?
I felt more like a prisoner and so wished the boat would stop moving. Although everyone kept telling me it wasn’t moving that much. A plastic glass or two of wine and frankly I couldn’t care if the thing was going down. I’m feeling quite happy and quite enjoying being on a boat until … I have to use the loo. Let me tell you a loo on a boat is a totally different experience to going to the loo in your nice cosy bathroom. Firstly it smells, secondly trying to pee or do anything else while your head and body is swimming is a very difficult task indeed. By the time we’re ready to leave I’ve had far too much.
By the time we’re ready to leave I’ve had far too much to drink. Obviously I’d completely forgotten the obstacle course we have to navigate on the way back. We safely cross from my brother’s boat to the next one. But then there is the gigantic leap to the next one and I’m now feeling even less like Jane. In the process of crossing this one my foot slips on the plank and although my husband rescued me he couldn’t rescue my new Blackberry as well, which fell with a plop into the Thames. That was one giant leap for mankind but suffice it to say I’ve never been on a boat since.
Poppy has similar adventures in my novel ‘Fudge berries and Frog Knickers’.
Here is the blurb to whet your appetite.
‘Poppy Wellesley is rich. In fact Poppy Wellesley is very rich, so when her fortunes change from riches to rags Poppy has to start a whole new life. Put yourself in her Guccis as she swaps her penthouse apartment for a run-down houseboat on Regent’s Canal. Meet her dippy friend Chelsea, the infamousJack Diamond (see The Dog’s Bollocks) and her hunky boat neighbour, Taylor. Will Poppy hold on to her millionaire fiancé or will Pug-face Pandora steal him from her? Can she avoid the advances from Balls (Lord Balthazar Wyndham-Price) or does she find true love on the canal? Fudge Berries and Frogs’ Knickers is a romantic comedy roller coaster ride that will put a smile on your face and a cheer in your heart.’
And please check out all of Lynda's book on Amazon.
Until next time.