Saturday, February 01, 2014
Harbour Ways : coming very soon
I was walking through the harbour today when a hail storm started, so I ran to the shipyard and took shelter in amongst the post boxes. Yes. I do mean that. We have this wonderful cylindrical monster pillar box standing in the yard that looks as if Dr Who has decided police phone boxes are 'de trop' and HM's old English pillar boxes are 'de rigeur' - and that he has sort of landed here. Only our pillar box is not red; it is a sort of British racing green. Inside, it is lined with small post boxes and it's where we go to fetch our mail, we harbourites all having the same address (very confusing for suppliers and service providers, but that's another story). As a result, I was able to stand inside sorting my post until the hail stopped.
When I emerged I saw Angelique, another long term ligger who figures in Watery Ways, and whose name comes up again in my new book, Harbour Ways. It was lovely to see her as we don't bump into each other all that often these days. Things have changed a bit since those early years when I was busy converting the Vereeniging from an empty hull into a home. It seems incredible now that it's ten years since I finished it, and I realise my lovely barge is due for an almost total re-fit.
Anyhow, as I said, things have changed; liggers have come and gone and the core of our community is centred in the younger members now, most of whom have children, and so 'the life' revolves round them. As it should. What hasn't changed is the sense that I belong in this harbour more than almost anywhere in Europe. In fact, I have lived in Rotterdam longer than in any place in my entire life and it has become home. I felt that very strongly today as I was sheltering in our monster pillar box and it felt pretty good. It seems rather fitting too that I should have this sort of light bulb moment just as I am about to publish the sequel to Watery Ways.
My new book tells the story of the Vereeniging's transformation, and is very much focused on this harbour and its people - the main reason I have given it the title of Harbour Ways.
If you are interested in reading about my first two years on the Vereeniging, Harbour Ways will be released on **** 18 February**** (that's in two weeks!) firstly as a Kindle book with a paperback version available on Lulu.com. But shortly afterwards, it will be available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and then a bit later, it will also be available through all the other online stores such as Bol.com, Barnes & Noble and Ingrams.
PS My special thanks go to Christina James, who has been an amazing encouragement to me to finish this book. Her Facebook, twitter and blog posts have been a great inspiration. Thank you so much Christina!