Saturday 22nd February 2020 – NOT A SINGLE …

… photo of the Carnaval today.

And that’s because I’ve been far too busy. In fact I still haven’t finished Friday’s notes yet, I missed out on the shops, I missed out a football match at the Stade Louis Dior (which US Granville won) and I’ll miss out on my lie-in tomorrow.

However, start as we mean to go on. And I was once more up and about before the third alarm. And after the medication I attacked the dictaphone and sure enough, there was an entry

There was a big group of us living in these like ships cabins things, 4 or 5 ships cabins. I was in a room with Andy Morrison of all people and what was happening was that I wanted to go to bed early. But it was the night of the budget and he wanted to record the budget so this was going on and on and on this discussion, and he went off somewhere. I went to the bathroom and ended up peeing into the chimney – the pot-bellied stove, I’ve no idea why. Just then he came in and we were talking about this. I said “do you want to record it or don’t you?”. He said “well, yes”. So I found a video tape we could use to record it and he said something about a cowboy film that was on afterwards. I was really tired by this time – I couldn’t really think straight and I didn’t want to have to programme the machine in case I programmed it wrong. I asked “when’s it starting? Is it starting now because I can get 6 hours out of this tape so I can switch it on and record it. Would that be enough time for the budget and this film?”. He was going on about “it’s not very fair on these boys” meaning he boys in another group because they want to do something and want to know about the budget. I said “they’ll have to look out for themselves. Do you want me to record it or don’t you?”. While he was vacillating like this I awoke. He was going on about things being unfair for the others which was of more importance than what he wanted to do in his dormitory where he was sleeping for your own personal affairs.

After breakfast it was the calm before the storm so I dealt with a pile of file-splitting for this digital sound file project. I’ve now split enough to fill a DVD so I burnt one and put it in the store for future reference.

Another thing was that I haven’t done a USB memory stick for albums that I’ve purchased recently and there was enough to fill a 2GB USB stick. The hi-fi here can only read up to 999 files so 2GB is about the correct size for that.

While that was doing, I attacked a pile of photos. Of the several thousands that need doing, I’m now up to 83 but there could have been more, but some of the morning wa spent doing some research. There was a photo that I took of a distinctive object on shore so I tried to track it down. And after a great deal of searching I found it, and that set me right for another pile of objects.

parking rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallTime to go down into town for my dejeunette at la Mie Caline.

In view of the short time available I went the direct way. I looked over the wall and saw the reason why they had the compactor on the dug-up car park the other day. It’s been pressed into service as a relief car park for the period of tCarnaval and I imagine that the chars will be parking down ther eon Tuesday.

At least I hope so and that they aren’t going to leave it like that. It will be a shame if they were to.

char de carnaval place generale de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving picked up my bread, I had a quick look across the road at the stage that they erected the other day.

It seems to have sprouted a few figures all ready for Carnaval. Satire plays an important rôle in the proceedings and we can be assured that someone somewhere will be up to no good somewhere.

So I came back home and made myself a sandwich but was caught unawares by Thierry who turned up early so I had to bolt my lunch and then we headed out.

Up in town it was the defilé des enfants and my task was to interview the kids. Kids have a tough time because they usually have a great deal to say but no-one ever listens to them.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that at one of our live broadcasts a while back there was a family of two adults and three kids standing there. The interviewer wanted to know what the kids thought of the affair so he asked … the parents.

That was something that I didn’t appreciate at all. I have a great deal of time for kids so I made it my mission to be spokesman on their behalf.

And when I came back here at 16:30 I had 29 soundfiles that I had recorded with the kids. I had to sit down and edit every single one of them and then send them off to be processed and that wasn’t the work of five minutes either. I ended up having a very late tea out of a tin.

fete foraine funfair parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallStill had to fit in my walk though, although I didn’t need to go far seeing as I’d done all that walking today.

The fete foraine is in full swing as you can see. I walked – or rather, ran – all the way down the rue do Roc to the roundabout and then came back through the car park.

That gave me a good view across the bay down into the town where I could see what was going on.

fete foraine funfair parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe car park right now is full of grockles in their mobile homes making a mess of everywhere and I must have disturbed half the camp site.

But taking photos is much more interesting than dealing with them so I couldn’t really care.

Back on the road again and I ran back along my usual course and found that I could fit in an extra 25 metres or so of running. and the only reason that I came to a stop was that I hit an incline.

It seems to be the inclines that kill me off but that’s unavoidable round here.

So I’ll listen to a little music and then go to bed. I have to be up at 08:00 tomorrow as they are coming for me at 09:00 and there are things to do.

Friday 21st February 2020 – EVEN AS I …

… write I’m watching the football.

And in case you are wondering how I’m managing to do this, I have the football on the big computer and I’m typing on one of the laptops.

Not the little Acer that served me for all those years but the one that I bought in the USA to replace it. However I did magae to fire up the little Acer and download a couple from my suite of programs. I’ll give it a good run out next week and see how it does.

It’s not easy doing these two things at once but I’m having more luck than the footballers are. There’s a howling gale blowing on Deeside and it’s making a total mockery of this match. It’s nothing but a complete lottery out there. One goal kick “straight down the field” ended up in the commentary box.

This morning I was, for once, up and about before the third alarm. And apart from my adventures yesterday, that makes a nice change. Once the medication was out of the way I had a go at the dictaphone.

After breakfast I had another go at cutting up some digital sound files. A couple were quite straightforward but one was, as expected, out of order and that took a while to untangle.

Afterwardsm being in an enthusiastic mood, I tracked down a couple more on the internet and, as bad luck would have it, they were all over the place and took an age to sort out

That left me a short while to do some tidying up in the bedroom and put away stuff that had been hanging around for a while. One of these days I’m going to strip out the bedroom and tidy it up completely.

That took me up to lunchtime and so I went for my bread at La Mie Caline. As I’m having a quiet day today I went for my very long circuit right around the headland, down into town and across the harbour gates.

After lunch I had a look at the Acer. It’s as slow and creaky as ever so I just downloaded Irfanview, Notetab and VLC Player. Part of the problem with that machine was that there was too much stuff on it. It was only ever meant to be a portable machine for travelling

After my afternoon walk I had a good session on the photos. There are thousands to go at and I made it as far as 36. Mind you, much of the time was spent trying to decipher the names of the ships that I was photographing. At least that was a success.

One thing that I was planning to do was to dive out to the shops round about 17:00 but on reflection I reckoned that I have everything that I need and can buy some stuff on Monday if I need it.

Instead I went for a shower. I need to make myself look pretty because I have been invited out this evening to one of the neighbours. I went, anyway, just to show the flag for an hour and then came back here.

After a quick tea I went for a quick walk including a couple of runs and then came back for the football.

Connah’s Quay Nomads v TNS at the top of the Welsh Premier League, or JD Cymru League as I ought to be calling it from now on I suppose. Played in a hurricane, it was an impossible match and the ball was impossible to predict.

Connah’s Quay took the lead deep into stoppage time in the first half, and deservedly so because for once, TNS looked jaded and tired and the Nomads had the lion’s share of the play.

After half time TNS had the wind with them but it didn’t make a lot of difference and after 75 minutes, when the Nomads finally got the message and played the ball on the floor instead of the air, the Nomads actually looked much more dangerous.

1-0 it finished though, and the Nomads could have had another 2 or three quite easily. Lewis Brass in the Nomads goal was practically a spectator. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen TNS play quite like this.

Nomads now 4 points clear at the top. Let’s hops that they can hang in there.

Now, I’m off to bed. I’ll finish this properly sometime soon but I have a lot on this weekend. We’re broadcasting the Carnaval procession live on Sunday from 13:30 CET and tomorrow I’m out interviewing the kids.

Thursday 20th February 2020 – NOW HERE’S A THING!

When the first alarm went off this morning at 06:00 I was actually sitting at my computer working.

And yes! I had been to bed – not a case of staying up all night, as has happened on several occasions, eben though it was something of a rather late – in fact very late night (a huge pile of my favourite tracks came onto my playlist while I was thinking of going to bed so I stayed up and listened to them).

It all happened this morning quite by accident too. I awoke at about 05:20 to find myself dictating into the dictaphone that wasn’t switched on. The reason – a flat battery.

None around by the bed (I forgot to look in the camera bag) so I had to leave the bed to find one. In the radio bag there was only one so I had to search the apartment to find some more.

By the time that I found them, I was wide awake so there wasn’t much point in going to bed. I may as well start work. And I wish I knew where that battery disappeared to. It was one of my new ones too.

So I had my medication and was checking the dictaphone when the alarms went off.

I was back in Hankelow Hall again There was a huge crowd of us having a party or something and Clare Channing was there and I can’t remember who else and her husband. They had the electric on for some reason or other and were having a party. I was upstairs trying to do something and had to go to the bathroom so I went in and it was overwhelmed with cobwebs and things but there were still things hanging everywhere and so on. But there was toilet paper which was great. I switched on the light but the light wouldn’t work. I tried putting the bulb in various positions to see if that was something wrong but no. But I thought it was still light so I could go anyway. But I was called down at that point. A lot of people had gone and there were just a few around. Someone brought a big plate of sandwiches and gestured towards them “there’s some here that you can eat”, some kind of paste or something on really dark brown bread like German. I said I hope that I’m going to get more than this for my tea because there was really only two triangles and I can eat a lot more than that when I’m going. But no this seemed to be my entire teatime and I felt a sense of dismay at that.
I was In Hankelow Hall last night and there was a lot of us there doing something downstairs. I went upstairs to use the bathroom and it was all covered in dust and there were decorations everywhere all over the wall and everything, cobwebs, but I went in al the same. I found some toilet paper which was just as well but I couldn’t get the light switch to work which was odd. It wouldn’t come on. I messed around with the cable for a bit trying to get that into a better position but that didn’t work either. I realised that I was going to be more embarrassed by getting further, deeper into this than I intended to. And someone shouted out, it was a cry of “Maths” so I had to go downstairs and eat my maths. We were in a building like St Joseph’s so I went downstairs and changed my money and got some maths, changed some more money and got some motorbike company and had my evening meal. Although I was sitting at a table with a few people I had my thoughts practically about me and I stayed like that until the alarm went off at 07:15 when I was the first out of the door and got a boat ready to sail off to see the animals to see how they had survived the winter.
I’m not sure if the second part of the above is the same as the first part and dictated a second time in a different fashion, or whether it really is a different voyage that, by simple coincidence, is related to the first one.
A little later I was doing something but I can’t remember quite what that involved a couple of old cars and I had to swap these old cars around. I ended up in a black Citroen traction avant. I had to drive it up the road and down a slip road onto the motorway and off again somewhere. I got up to the set of traffic lights where you turn left for the motorway and turned onto the sliproad. Round about there, there was a boy and a girl weaving about in the road on pushbikes talking to each other and I clipped the heel of the boy on the bike. Of course that was all I needed! he insisted on filling in an accident form, all this kind of thing. Of course this traction hadn’t moved for years and there was no paperwork with it. he was quite insistent about this so I had a root around in the vehicle, found some kind of paper about something and he seemed to be quite satisfied with this, saying that the controle technique was OK and so on. In the meantime I was talking to this girl about the car. She said “if this was 30 years older it would be a real veteran”. I said “I know. It came out of a barn down on the French border somewhere (… I was in Belgium …) and we were having a friendly chat about this car and he was getting a bit up in the air about all kinds of things which he was right to do but anyway …

After breakfast I sat down and split up a few digital music files into their component tracks. And while it might have been more straightforward that on previous occasions, it was not without its complications.

One of the albums ended up with 19 minutes of extra music and of those, I only recognised one. I ad to search all the way through a pile of catalogues until I could find which version of the album it was and, more importantly, the timings because not every catalogue entry has the timings.

And then I had to listen to samples of the extended tracks to make sure that it really was what I was expecting to hear and that it was all in the correct order – because I’ve been caught out with out-of-order recordings before, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

“But why are the recordings out of order?” I hear you ask

The answer is that with studio master tapes, they are recorded, quite simply, in the order that they are recorded. However, unless it’s a concept album or something where the running order is crucial, the producer will then try to sort out the tracks so that there’s as near as possible an equal length of recording on each side of an LP or a cassette. And quite often, that’s nothing like the order in which they were recorded on the studio master tapes.

stage me vie dans la manche place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallThat was the cue for me to head into town and LIDL so I had a quick shower and put the washing machine on the go before leaving the apartment.

There was nothing whatever of any relevance on the way down into town so I didn’t loiter around. But my route took me onto the Place General de Gaulle where they have assembled the stage, to see what else was happening.

And there was certainly plenty of excitement there this morning.

ma vie dans le manche place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a bunch of guys manhandling a trailer around on the square, so thinking that they might be trying to steal it, I went to see if they needed a hand.

Actually there were delivering it, not taking it away. And I’ve no idea what it might be except that it makes reference to ma vie dans la Manche – “my life in the Manche” (the département here).

And so my thought is that it might well be some kind of sales pitch, tourism or advertisement thing ready to try to seduce the crowds at Carnaval.

chapiteau marquee parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallInstead of going up the rue Couraye I went along the Cours Jonville to see how they were getting on with the chapiteaux, the marquees that we saw yesterday.

And by the looks of things they might well be almost finished over there now. And that’s a really impressive task that they’ve undertaken to do it so quickly.

Mind you, they’ve r^probably had plenty of practice doing it. I imagine that the marquees are hired in and that the fitters and installers come from the hirers and do this every week.

stage cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallBut this is a new thing and I’d forgotten all about this, even though I stood on it last year to have a good view.

There’s a Princess of Carnaval and on Sunday she’ll be standing on this stage to address her loyal supporters.

And I’m amazed at just how quickly they’ve set up this stage too. There wasn’t even a hint of this here yesterday lunchtime when I came for my bread so it looks as if they must have dashed through the installation yesterday afternoon.

funfair fete foraine place pierre semard gare de granville manche normandy france eric hallUp past the cinema and onto the rue Couraye that way up towards LIDL.

At the roundabout at the Place Pierre Semard by the railway station, I came to another halt. On Monday as I came by there were just a couple of lorries here but today the fête foraine, the funfair is practically all installed ready for the opening on Friday evening.

These people don’t ‘arf crack on with this kind of work when they have a timetable to which they have to adhere

renovating old car spares shop avenue du marechal leclerc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I first moved here there was a car spares shop and rally centre in the avenue du Marechal Leclerc but it closed down not long after I arrived.

A few months ago the windows were pained over on the inside as if something was going on there but there were o visible signs of anything at all. Today though, they’ve ripped out the shop window.

And so with this work going on, it looks as if there’s going to be a new occupier in there. I wonder who it might be and, more importantly, what they might be selling.

gluten free products lidl avenue aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve been examining LIDL here for vegan and vegetarian products on sale as their range slowly expands.

What we’re featuring today is another discovery that has taken me by surprise, namely a range of gluten-free products. This is a major Leap into the Unknown by a shop like LIDL but it’s a sign of the times, I suppose.

But it’s not all good news though. It’s a good job that I bought those vegan burgers when I did because there are none in the freezer today. Whether it’s a temporary rupture of stock or something more permanent remains to be seen.

And LIDL felt the benefit of my largesse rather more than usual today. They were selling bathroom stuff in there and one of the things that they had was a magnifying tabletop mirror, something that I don’t have and which I can certainly put to good use.

building work impasse de la corderie granville manche normandy france eric hallbeing rather later than usual today I didn’t loiter around too much but headed for home.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall a while ago that we saw them erecting a crane outside a house in the Impasse de la Corderie, but not a great deal happened subsequently. Today though, there’s some shuttering gone in and a pile of breeze blocks have been delivered.

Clearly things are going to start happening there sometime soon. I wonder what that will be.

fairground kiddies corner fete foraine parking rue saint sauveur granville manche normandy france eric hallOver the last few days we’ve seen them erecting the fairground attractions on the Parking Hérel.

That’s all the heavy stuff going in there but there’s a smaller car park next to it in the rue Saint-Sauveur and they are setting up a few attractions there today.

So that looks as if it’s going to be Kiddies’ Corner for all of the tiny tots to have their round of fun. As you can see, in one fashion or another the Carnaval and the fête foraine are taking over the town.

compactor parking rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAt la Mie Caline I picked up my bread and headed back up the hill towards home.

And my progress was erected in dramatic fashion by the sight down on the parking area that they’ve been renovating where they ripped out the old railway lines.

We have a compactor down there now flattening down the surface. So I imagine that they are going to be putting the top layer on there any day now.

That’s going to be exciting to see what they are doing – I hope.

Back here at the apartment I reflected on the fact that I hadn’t made any observation whatever about the climbs up the hills today. That alone tells me tjat I must be feeling somewhat better than of late.

And so I made a coffee and returned to the digital sound files.

As well as the ones that I’d previously downloaded, I actually managed to track down a couple more and they were summarily dealt with too.

The next task was to make myself a decent badge with my name on it for the weekend. We have badges for the radio but with our given names scrawled on the back in felt-tipped marker pen. I wanted something much more official so I scanned my badge, inserted text with my name in bold font, and then printed out two copies on stiff paper and glued them back-to-back

And it’s moments like this that I wished that I had my laminator here.

This was another job that took an hour to do. 5 minutes to scan the badge, 5 minutes to insert the ext and 5 minutes to print it out and stick it together, and blasted 45 perishing minutes to find that flaming thing that I sodding well had in dratted hands 10 damned minutes earlier.

By now it was lunchtime so I made my butties.

nw-700 neweer microphone holder place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThis afternoon I had plenty to do.

Not the least of which was to contact the company who made the desktop mike stand that I ordered and which came the other day. The mike mounting is about 2.5cms and yet the diameter of the microphone is actually 4.5cms.

It looks as if the wrong mounting bracket was put in the box so I had to photograph the set-up to send off to the suppliers.

Of course I don’t have my coloured ruler – that’s in the pocket of my jacket that’s hanging up in a hotel bedroom in Calgary – so I had to invent one.

Coloured rulers – where each inch or centimetre is coloured differently are really useful because when you are photographing objects like this you can lay the ruler alongside it then take your photo, and the presence of the coloured ruler in the shot shows at a glance the effective size of the object.

Tidying up was next. I’ve found that the plastic containers in which I’ve been buying my carrots fit nicely in the small drawer of my desk – suspended from the top of the sides leaving a space underneath.

And so I tidied the drawer out and found a few things about which I had completely forgotten

Final task for today was to start the photos from the summer. All of June is now finished and I’ve now started on July.

But so much for my shipboard idea about placeholders. By the time that I’d reached just number 7 I’d already overtaken the placeholder numbers.

And the fault in the images on the portable computers doesn’t seem to be the photos but the screens, as I suspected. On this screen, which is quite expensive and good quality, as well as being more modern technology, they look so much better.

A couple of interruptions though. The afternoon walk was one of them but I didn’t go far as we were having a torrential downpour and hurricane-force winds. I did about half a lap in an ad-hoc direction that kept me out of the wind, and then came back.

The second interruption was … errr … a little relax. And no susprise given my night. The only surprise was that it was only for about 10 minutes and wasn’t all that deep.

Tea was all of the leftovers with spicy tomato sauce and pasta with vegetables, followed by apple pie and raspberry sorbet with chocolate sauce and it was magnificent.

And then the evening walk. The weather had subsided but it was still quite damp outside.

Nevertheless that didn’t stop me going for my evening runs. And for two days on the run … “groan!!” – ed … I ran on for a good few metres on my first run and on my second run ended up halfway up the ramp instead of flaking out at the foot.

Yes, I’m definitely feeling better.

And for two days on the run, Minette was there on her windowsill waiting for her stroke. It’s very relaxing, stroking a cat. Good for easing the stress.

new pizza van place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallThe pizza van was there again, parked bang outside Le Contremarche, the new posh restaurant in the Place Cambernon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I pointed out the other week that she had a new van. And now it seems to have been painted. Business must be good.

So now I’m home, finished my notes and ready for bed. And with new batteries in the dictaphone I’m hoping for a decent night’s sleep.

Whether or not I have one is another matter.

And no water craft today either. What is happening to me?

Wednesday 19th February 2020 – THESE FAIRGROUND WORKERS …

marquee parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hall… aren’t half cracking on with it, I’ll tell you that.

At lunchtime I went down to La Mie Caline to buy my dejeunette and after picking it up I went round to the car park at the Cours Jonville to see just how they are going on with the chapiteau that they started to erect on Monday morning.

Yesterday we saw that they had had a really good go at one of them but today they have leapt ahead in spades and they now have a second one up and it’s almost finished.

When they’ve done that I’ll have to get them to go round to my farm, won’t I?

As for me, I’m not very impressed with myself. I somehow managed to miss the second alarm and while I was contemplating my navel in bed, the third alarm went off. I actually had my feet on the floor half a second later but just couldn’t puck up the courage and went back to bed.

By the time that I was finally on my feet, that was half an hour of the day missed and gone.

After the medication I had a look at the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

There was this family – a husband and wife and a couple of kids – girls about 11 and 9. They had been on their travels and I’d forgotten a lot of what had gone on but they ended up being back in Mexico. They were at some kind of place and they had an old Mexican woman with them who had befriended them. There was some music being played. While they were rejoicing about their escape or whatever it was that had got them to Mexico these two guys slowly sidled in from the dark. The kids were cheering and the husband was laughing but the two women, this wife and the elderly Mexican realised that these two guys were here and it was quite clear to them that these two guys meant some kind of mischief. They tried to get the person who was playing these records to stop playing them so they could all go off to bed but this person hadn’t really grasped the seriousness of it and carried on. Meantime these two guys were becoming a bit more intrusive and talking about all kinds of things and reading some of the comments that I had on piece of paper about the music that I was doing. One was making air guitar gestures that kind of thing and I thought to myself that this is going to start to turn really ugly in a minute.
Somewhat later, I was at the death of John Cipollina the musician. He didn’t die of lung disease at all but was killed in a motorcycle accident in South Street, Crewe, opposite the Up The Junction club. He’d been playing with man and I’d been recording it for a concert for my live shows and I was preparing it. There was an awfully long speech about the introduction and all of this kind of thing. We were all called outside and there was a car mounted on the pavement where the undertakers used to be and Cipollina and his motorcycle were there. They’d been hit by this car. They were asking “how is he” but his eyes were closed and all this kind of thing “don’t anyone go near him”. Someone said “we had to go near him. We had to disentangle the wheels of his motor cycle, all this kind of thing. We were there; we didn’t know what to do. We phoned an ambulance but the ambulance took ages to come along. We then all went off into the village hall where they had the autopsy and examination and someone was talking about suicide at one time – he’d rammed the car directly, I suppose. Then we had to go down to the High School, Sandbach High School and break the news to my daughter whoever she was because she was rather fond of John Cipollina.

Like I said, the things that go on during the night are far more exciting than whatever happens to me during the day. Someone once asked me if I were troubled by dreams during the night. I replied “well, no. I actually quite enjoy them”.

After breakfast (and my apple, pear, coconut and cinnamon purée and drink are delicious by the way) I attacked the radio projects. And by the time that I was ready to knock off to go and fetch my bread I’d finished project 26 completely and also done the “live concert” for the last week in March.

The way things stand now, I’m already dealing with the prjects for may but I’m short of a live concert for the end of April. I have a few things lined up that I could use but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, anyone who has anything that they would like me to broadcast on their behalf is more than welcome to submit it.

joly france ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWith my new determination to push on past the 100% level on my fitbit every day, I decided on a very extended walk down into town to fetch my bread.

So off to duplicate my afternoon route around the headland and I’m glad that I did because there was something moving about in the thick mist out to sea in the general direction of where the Ile de Chausey might be.

Armed with the big Nikon and the mega-zoom lens I took a photo of it to crop and blow up back at the apartment in case it was anything interesting.

However, it was only Joly France off on one of her runs out there.

bunker atlantic wall lighthouse point du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I reached the lighthouse, instead of going off across the lawn my the War memorial as I usually do, the lack of any major wind today meant that I could go down the steps and right around the headland without any major discomfort.

It’s actually an exciting way to go, not just because of the physically-challenging nature of the walk for someone like me but also for the fact that there’s quite a lot of the old Atlantic Wall, like this gun emplacement, to see.

We normally wouldn’t get to see this when we are on the more usual route.

slit trench atlantic wall pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s another part of the Atlantic Wall that we don’t usually see either.

This is a slit trench that’s reinforced with concrete and I can’t make out whether it’s supposed to be a shelter (given the roof) or an observation post given that the direction of the trench aligns with the Channel Islands.

Whatever it is, it must have been a very lonely, cold and isolated vigil, being posted to a tour of duty in here.

storm waves port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallJust now I mentioned something about “the lack of any major wind today”.

That may well be the case but you would never have thought so by looking at the waves here. The tide is still a couple of hours out yet the waves are storming in from out at sea and smashing their way into the sea wall here.

It’s going to be pretty exciting down there at high tide if they keep on going on like this, that’s for sure.

speedboat disappearing into the waves english channel baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallYou can see exactly what I mean by looking at this photo here.

Out in the English Channel is this speedboat – at least, I think that it’s a speedboat – and it’s disappearing into one of the heavy waves that’s rolling in.

That’s going to be something of a wild ride into the harbour in a little vessel like that in waves like these. Whoever is on board will know all about the weather by the time that they arrive in port.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was round about this time yesterday that I walked into town for my bread. And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my arrival coincided with all of the fishing boats coming in to harbour.

The tide is about half an hour later every day so the gates won’t be opened for a bit, and this looks like the first of the fishing boats heading in for home. It’s quite a way out in the English Channel (hence the blurred photo) but it will take that extra half-hour to arrive here.

No particular need for me to rush for the harbour gates today then.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallJust as well because … ohh look over there!

Yes, we have a visitor today. It seems that Normandy Trader has sneaked in on the morning tide and tied up at the unloading bay underneath the crane.

So seeing as I have plenty of time today, having finished my essential work for the week, I’ll go over there and have a talk to them. I have things to discuss.

new pontoon port de granville habour manche normandy france eric hallSo I make my way down onto the docks, across the harbour ates by the pathway on top, and across to the other side of the port.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall yesterday that we watched them float one of the new pontoons across the harbour to the far side.

And sure enough, there are some of the new pontoons, properly anchored (I hope) to the mounting brackets that they have been installing over the last few days.

But how are they going to get down to the pontoons? They’ll need some steps of some description.

machinery pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallEveryone was at lunch and the harbour was totally deserted right now.

That gave me a good opportunity to go and have a look at the big floating pontoon that they are using to transport the crane about the harbour to see what else is on there.

There’s a compressor and a generator on there as well as a couple of storage containers, and also some other machinery that I was not able to identify with any certainty.

Still, it’s enough to be going on with.

Once again, despite my best intentions, there was no-one about on Normandy Trader. I shouted and button-holed a passer-by from another ship, but no luck.

This is something that I’m going to have to deal with by correspondence or by phone.

workmen outboard motor dinghy port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAt la Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette, went to check on the chapiteau as above, and then headed for home.

And the workmen are back at work by now too. Clearly too tired to walk around the harbour, they have decided to sail across in some kind of outboard motor-propelled craft of some description.

Whatever is the world coming to? As for me, I believe that I did mention that the last day or so I’ve been feeling a little better. So much so that I actually RAN for 50 metres or so UP THE HILL o the way back.

How about that?

After lunch I updated THE RADIO PLAYLIST with the tracks that were played over the weekend. That’ ssomething that’s pretty important and I always seem to manage to let it fall into arrears.

After that, I realised that I hadn’t yet chopped up any digital soundfiles into the individual tracks. So that was the next task and I would have done that much quicker and been much farther ahead had I not confused myself by “copying” when I should have been “cutting”, pasting the same track three times and wondering why everything was out of sync.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel port de granville granville  manche normandy france eric hallWhat with all of that, I found myself rather late going out for my afternoon walk around the headland – the shorter route this time.

And it seems that I wasn’t the only one who was “late” either. The harbour gates have been open for a good few hours and they won’t be so far off closing. But here’s a fishing boat heading into harbour nevertheless.

There’s always someone who has to be last, no matter when they come in. Nothing wrong in that as long as he makes it in before the gates close. We’ve already seen one fishing boat stranded at the fish processing plant, caught by the receding tide.

school children atlantic wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt’s school holidays here in Granville right now. Most kids are at home or with grandparents but there are some poor kids who have to go on what is called classe découvert or “discovery class”.

It’s said to be a way of making children explore their environment, to see things in a different fashion than they would otherwise do and to learn about them in a different way.

But in fact, it’s more about putting the kids somewhere out of mischief because either there is no-one to look after them or the parents want a break themselves.

Mind you, knowing some parents as I do, perhaps a classe découvert is a good way for the kids to get some peace and quiet away from their parents, so don’t knock it.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallGoing past the top of the cliff I stuck my head over the top to see what was going on in the chantier navale

And we seem to have a change in there this afternoon too. There’s only one fishing boat in there now. The other one seems to have cleared off back into the water.

So I wonder who’s going to be next to arrive in the chantier navale. It would be nice to have something exciting in there for a change or perhaps from them to build a boat.

That would be interesting.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNo chance of getting to speak to Normandy Trader now this afternoon, because she isn’t there.

She must have sneaked out as soon as the harbour gates opened earlier this afternoon. And into the harbour has come Thora instead. I want to speak to her skipper too but if I can’t catch hold of them I’ll contact them in writing to maybe arrange an appojntment.

And there’s someone else I would like to talk to about this matter before I forget. I shall have to sit down one day and draw up some plans.

Back here I … err … had a little doze for a short while and then carried on with some other stuff that had been building up while I’d been stuck in this “work” mode just recently.

There’s plenty of that lying around and I shall be doing it bit by bit. But there are several things that need doing fairly quickly, so now that I’m free of any serious commitment until Saturday, I can tackle them tomorrow.

But I also have a party to attend on Friday night, here in the building. I don’t really have the time but it would be unsociable not to at least go for half an hour. I know that “sociable” isn’t like me at all but these are mu co-residents and I have to be polite.

Tea tonight was some of the lentil and tofu pie from the other day with potatoes, veg and gravy, followed by apple pie (also from the other day) with the last of the Alpro Soya Cream and chocolate sauce.

And it was absolutely delicious. I really am eating so well these days and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

night brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went out for my evening walk.

It was beautiful outside with a relatively clear sky and you could see for miles. The lights of Brehal-Plage were really bright tonight and came out so well.

If you look closely, you’ll see a small red light in the background. In the absence of any other candidate, I reckon that that’s the warning light for the wind turbine at the back of Gavray, about 20-25 kms from here. That’s how clear the night was

So now that I’ve written up my notes I can go to bed, and have more exciting dreams, I hope. And maybe if I’m lucky, actually leave the bed when i’m supposed to.

Shopping tomorrow, the dictaphone and the sound-file chopping, and then the rest of the day is my own. Plenty to do, though, and it won’t be done on its own that’s for sure. I have to get a wiggle on.

Tuesday 18th February 2020 – I CAN NOW ADD …

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… to my list of accomplishments that of “tying up a trawler”.

I arrived at the harbour at exactly the moment that the harbour gates opened, and I actually do mean that because I was walking across the path on top when they started to close and I had to scramble underneath the barrier.

There must have been eight or nine fishing boats of various sizes sitting in the queue outside the gates waiting for the off.

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnyway, as soon as the gates opened, they shot in like greyhounds out of a trap and headed for their berths.

One of the later arrivals pulled up right by me as I was walking down the quayside. The skipper shouted “tie us up, will you?” and hurled me a rope. I missed the first time but the second time I caught it and looped it over a bollard and wound it round.

he seemed quite satisfied that I’d done it correctly so I cleared off. I had no idea that passers-by – civilians like me – were expected to know how to do things like this and be roped (if you’ll excuse the pun) into participating in the antics of the fishing fleet.

You learn something new every day.

Nothing new though in this morning’s antics. I missed the alarms again and it was about 06:45 when I finally arose.

But I’d been awake a couple of times during the night and on both occasions found myself dictating the account of a nocturnal voyage … into my hand. Dictaphone still on the chest of drawers.

It’s enough to make me wonder how many times I’ve done that in the past and what I might have missed.

After the medication I had a look at the dictaphone and … GULP there’s enough on here to keep me busy for a week or so, enver mind half an hour.

There was a group of kids, 7 or 8 or 9 and it was some kind of adventure quest. They had to travel to France for some reason or other, all dressed up, even two of them dressed as a pantomime horse with a girl dressed as a princess sitting on top, all dashing off down to Dover docks. I was one of the monitors – I had to follow them around and make sure that they weren’t getting up to any good. They had challenges that they had to meet on the way, like one where it was the task of this pantomime horse to actually involve itself in the encounter, this kind of thing. I pile of them made it down to Dover so I said “what happens now? Do you have to get your tickets?”. One said “ohh no. They said we could get our tickets at the other side” which sounded strange to me but they all seemed to agree that that was what was supposed to be happening. They were all jostling around for a place to sit. One of the girls was Helena who was probably a little older, 10 or 11 I dunno so i got talking to her. “What have you been doing?” “Well apart from having to drive my car to the Isle of Man, not a great deal” so I asked her to tell me about her kind of adventure in this particular thing but she didn’t have the chance to before I awoke
And I’ve done it again, haven’t I? Dictating a dream in my sleep without the Dictaphone. Strange. I was up on the Elm Drive estate in what should have been a council house but it was a big private house of mine. I was doing it up but I’d been taken ill as you know and couldn’t work so the work had really slowed down on this place. But Castor and Pollux were there and Jerry Kobalenko (welcome into my nocturnal rambles, Jerry) too. We were preparing for an expedition and it had started and we had lost a lot of equipment and I’d fallen through the ice. We’d had to arrange this kind of thing and ended up with no clothes so we were back at my house again drying off. I started to lend Jerry some clothes and stuff like that and get myself organised. Jerry borrowed my car which was a Mark IV Cortina RHD but with the gear lever on the right up against the door. He went off and did something and then I came back and took the car for a drive. Went down West Avenue and Richard Moon Street and out to Nantwich. Round Nantwich and back again all the way up Middlewich Road. I can’t remember where I ended up then, some town or other and had to do a U-turn. I pulled out of a side road and nearly knocked a lorry off over into the centre of the road. There was a huge power station where I did my U-turn and came back. Castor and Pollux were talking to me. They asked me what I intended to do about the house. I said that I was going to finish it off and live here. They were surprised and asked if I ought to be taking more care of my health. I gave them the usual story about wanting to enjoy what life I had left rather than being afraid and not doing anything. They were a bit surprised by this but I told them that was how it was. They asked what I was going to do for money. I wasn’t going to say anything but yes I’m OK for money, plenty of it. I said “you don’t need a job”. Castor said to Pollux “but everyone needs a job, you know” and Pollux was still wondering how you manage to live, all this kind of thing. I was trying my best to explain to her. I’d forgotten that bit about taxis when I was out in the car. I wasn’t supposed to be taxiing and I had to stop thinking about being a taxi driver. So this discussion went on and then was when I awoke to find myself dictating this dream out loud into my hand not the dictaphone so I’ve no idea what has happened there – and how many other times I might have dictated into my hand during my sleep and never been aware of it.
Interestingly, it proves the point that dreams are connected with memories and not out-of-body experiences – at least this one was. The area of West Street around West Avenue, Richard Moon Street and Middlewich Road has undergone all kinds of changes since the demolition of the railway works after I left the town. But not one of these changes appeared in my voyage around that area.
Somewhat later I was doing exactly the same thing again – dictating my dream into my hand while asleep. It was a cowboy situation – the James Brothers. One of them was an outlaw, fed up of them being on the run and wanted to go straight. He was talking to me about it. I went outside and there was the other brother trying to break in a horse. That was when I awoke to find myself dictating my dream in my sleep again
Later on I was with Nerina and we’d been working on a taxi. We’d had to have some letraset done to make some stickers and Karen Brierley had done it. The job was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t have had the patience to do this, as I told her, but this was really good. In fact we’d been talking about business cards prior to this. Someone had taken us to a place and the guy had opened up a set of drawers that he rented out, right by the doorway. “You’ll know what’s in here” he said and opened the top drawer but there was nothing in it. he opened the next one and it was full of business cards and that’s how we got talking about stickers. We much preferred stickers for the taxis because you could stick them everywhere. Anyway then people then were going on about this taxi, painted white and letraset it but it was really late. My family were all up and Nerina was really tired, and I needed her to do some more work. In the end I smiled and said “yes, go on Nerina, go to bed”. I said to my mother that I won’t be up very long either. Even though they were planning to be up all night I’d go to bed and do this first thing in the morning. She went off to bed and I went out to work on this car. But I came back because I was in a suit. I took off the jacket and shirt and went to get an old tee-shirt. And as for jeans I’d but on a pair of overalls to protect the trousers.

As you can imagine, it took me much more than half an hour to type out all of that. I had a break for breakfast at some point and then came back to carry on and it was right into mid-morning by the time that I’d finished all of that.

That meant that finally I could start on the notes for the radio project on which I’m working, but I wasn’t at it for long because I needed to go for my bread.

mobile crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFirst task was to leave the house of course. And it was a bright sunny day so i’d planned a nice long walk.

Not that i would get very far though before I had to stop. regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m quite interested in the plant life around here – this kind of plant of course, not the other kind. So when I saw this mobile crane pull up on the other side of the harbour I stopped to photograph it.

No idea what it might be doing there. There’s already enough plant and machinery over there as it is.

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I walked down the boulevard des Terreneuviers I noticed that the fishing boats were now jostling for position at the entrance to the inner harbour even though the “traffic light” was showing red.

That could only mean one thing – that the harbour gates were closed but would be opening very shortly. I had a brief look at the chantier navale but there was nothing there any different from the last time I looked.

And so I pushed on rather rapidly, not even stopping to take a photo of the shellfish that they were hauling up from a boat at the fish-processing plant.

fishing tackle trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallJust as I set foot on the footpath across the top of the gates the siren sounded. I moved rapidly but the barrier came down and the gates started to open before I could cross over.

Luckily I was on the far gate so I didn’t have to jump for it, but I still had to scramble under the barrier at the far side. But I’m glad I did because it gave me an opportunity to inspect the fishing tackle on one of the fishing boats.

So now I know where everything goes and what it’s for. I’ll have to get myself out there on a fishing boat one of these days and have a first-hand look at it.

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo as all of the fishing boats cleared off into the harbour, I cleared off after them. And that was when I had my encounter with the other fishing boat that I had to tie up.

The guys were there with the pontoon and the large mobile crane. Having been rebuffed the other day I decided not to waste my time asking them anything but to wait and use my own eyes to see what was going on.

And I wasn’t to be disappointed at all, as you will see in due course.

food stall carnaval place godal granville manche normandy france eric hallAnother one of the things that I’m doing right now is to go round by where the fête foraine – the funfair – will be for the carnival and see how they are getting on with arranging everything.

In the Place Godal, where some of the caravans of the entertainers are parked, there was this popcorn, toffee apple and ice cream stall.

Not that i reckon that it’s supposed to be set up there (although it wouldn’t come as any surprise) but my thinking was that they are waiting for the funfair to erect itself and then these stalls will fit in around the amusements.

carnaval funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo down to the Parking Hérel to see how they were doing.

And the big machinery is going up together quite nicely – and quickly. In fact the apparatus on the left was actually working, swinging back and forth. It made me wonder whether the inspectors were actually there today checking it over.

These machines are impressive but they are quite dangerous and can’t ply for hire until they have been inspected and have a permit to operate.

palais du rire funfair fete foraine parking herel carnaval granville manche normandy france eric hallThe Palais de Rire – the Palace of Laughter – looks impressive and they must have worked impressively to have it done this quickly. They had barely started on it yesterday.

But I learnt something today too, and I’m always in the market for learning new things.

There was a lorry there that was towing a couple of trailers – the typical “showman’s goods” lorry. So I asked someone with it what licence yuo needed to drive with more than one trailer.

The answer was (the Fench equivalent of) “a HGV Class one licence – nothing else”. In other words, any ordinary Heavy Artic licence. And I have one of those, don’t I?

But don’t worry. My days of driving all this heavy stuff are over.

entertainment stage place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I walked into town and La Mie Caline to pick up my dejeunette

And here across the road is something that wasn’t here this time yesterday. Clutching my bread quite tightly, I went for a closer look.

They are pushing along quite rapidly with the features for Carnaval as we can see. This is the stage from which they will make all of the announcements I reckon and where there might be some kind of entertainment during the evening – I dunno.

erecting marquee chapiteau parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday I’d been past the car park in the Cours Jonville and seen them laying out the edges of the chapiteau – the big marquee where the Friday night Ball will take place.

And so I went that way today to see how they were getting on with it. And “getting on with it” they certainly are. It’s quite impressive the speed with which they are putting up these things and the marquee is certainly one of the more exciting things

So Friday night we’re going to ba having a Ball. Well, they are. I shall be tucked up in my warm little bed ready for the onslaught the following day.

cranes slinging into place pontoon support rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe roadworks in the place des Corsaires have gone now and the street is open. Me though, I pushed on up the rue des Juifs until I was interrupted.

Excuse the dreadful shot but the sun was right in my eyes and in the camera lens. But here’s our mobile crane, now on this side of the harbour in the rue du Port and the big pontoon has sailed over here too.

And between the pair of them they are manoeuvring one of the pontoon supports into place ready for fixing against the harbour wall. I was lucky to catch this photo today.

Back here I had a late lunch and then set about my afternoon project.

home made apple pear coconut puree orange ginger syrup apple pear cinnamon cocnut cordial place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallPeel some ginger, dice it into some very tiny squares and then put it in a small amount of water to boil, then leave to simmer.

Meanwhile, peel four good juicy oranges and put them in the whizzer. Whizz them round and then filter out the orange juice which goes in the fridge in a bottle.

The left-over pulp goes into the pan with the ginger and it’s all left to simmer.

While that’s doing, put about 5mm of water in the bottom of your nice new big saucepan and add plenty of lemon juice to it.

hen peel, core and dice seven apples and three pears. When they are finely cut, add them to the water and lemon juice as you go along, swirling them around so that there’s some lemony liquid covering all of them to stop them browning.

Then add desiccated coconut and some cinnamon to the apples and pears, take off the orange and ginger and put the apples and pears etc onto the heat and bring to the boil and leave to simmer.

With the orange pulp and ginger add a couple of dessert spoons of honey and stir well in. Then add to the whizzer and give it a really good whizzing around to liquidise almost everything. Then when it’s cooled down, add to the orange juice and give it all a really good shake.

There’s a nice orange and ginger syrup to add to filtered water.

floating pontoon across rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat was the cue to go for my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there today because it was so nice, and I’m glad that I went out when I did because I saw a most unexpected sight. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the new pontoons stacked up on the quayside the other day, but here’s one in the water heading across to the cranes that we saw earlier.

But how are them moving? They aren’t rowing them so maybe there’s an outboard motor somewhere, I suppose.

rainbow granville manche normandy france eric hallThere had been a heavy rainstorm briefly a short while earlier but it had passed and was gone.

Not too far though because we had this gorgeous rainbow. We’ve certainly seen some impressive rainbows since we’ve been living here but this one is one of the best.

Back here I checked to see that the apples were done, and then strained off the liquid. That’s in a bottle ready to be diluted in early course.

As for the solids, they went into the whizzer and turned into purée for me to bottle. That’ll keep me going for a week or so.

Now I could finish off writing the texts and dictate them, just interrupted by a little 10-minute crash out. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to finish editing them before it was tea-time which was a shame.

For tea I had a stuffed pepper with rice followed by apple turnover and Alpro soya almond with chocolate sauce. And I’ll tell you something for nothing, and that is that now that i’m much better-organised my diet is improving 100%

Cutting out these shop-bought sugary drinks and their plastic bottles was really a good New Year resolution.

For my walk I managed my two runs and then headed back here to write up my notes.

And now bed-time. After my marathon adventures during the night last night I’m ready for a good sleep. I just hope that I remember to use the dictaphone if i want to dictate any notes.

Monday 17th February 2020 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall that last week at our weekly meeting I was about half an inch from … errr … expressing my displeasure at the antics of a certain member of our team.

It seems that i was not alone because every one of us today received an e-mail from a member of our team announcing that he was standing down, and explaining in great detail exactly why. And these reasons correspond pretty much with my own ideas.

There is another reason, as I became aware on Saturday when I went for this press thingy with the chars for Carnaval, but that wasn’t mentioned at all which is hardly a surprise. But it’s what I expect is the real reason.

As for me, I missed the third alarm yet again, but not by all that much. 10 minutes or so, I reckon.

After the meds I came back to check on the dictaphone. And phew!

For some unknown reason I was in Burnley last night and I was taking an exam. It was about decimalisation and I had to write about decimalisation in this exam. I wanted to have ot done quickly so I could go. And I did it quickly. But just before I went to hand in my paper I suddenly remembered something that I had missed off so I had to add an extra paragraph onto my paper and add an extra conclusion. And then as I had done that which I had to write, I remembered something else about how easier it would be to calculate so I had to write another paragraph about that as well and another conclusion. But each time all the papers were getting muddled up and I couldn’t find half the papers. And then I couldn’t find more papers. There was this little girl trying to help me find the papers. In the end we were just disturbing everything but a little boy said “this paper is over here” so I went into one pile of papers and got one of the papers out. This was all getting into one confusing mess and just as usual, I was spending more time looking for the papers than I was writing anything down. My idea of getting away early had gone right out of the window by now.
Later on during the night I was at IKEA with Ingrid and a baby believe it or not. We started to wander around the introductory bit of the shop where everything is displayed but we somehow became separated. I went back to look for her but found the bargains corner so got waylaid in there looking through all the bargains. By the time I’d made it back into the display area Ingrid had gone and I couldn’t see her anywhere. I had a pretty good look for her and caught her in the distance waiting by a meeting point so I got my phone to ring her, gave her a couple of bleeps, she turned round and waved so I hung up and walked over to her. Then another family group, I was talking over the internet in a chat room and mentioned my daughter in this chat room twice so I was kicked out with a warning message about “talking about my daughter” on there.

After breakfast I came back in here and cut up a few digital music files into their component tracks and seeing as I picked three easy ones, it didn’t take that long to do

A shower next, (and I’ve put back about 400 grammes of that 600 that I lost) and then I headed off into town.

bad parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst port of call was the Post Office to post the letter that I had written the other day.

But start as we mean to go on, hey? Back on this bad parking lark again. But then, why just take up one parking space when with a little less effort you can take up three as well as block off a pedestrian crossing?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that this is the kind of thing that really gets my goat and it’s just becoming worse and worse.

erecting carnival marquee cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallBut for the next few weeks parking here in the centre of town will be more and more restricted.

Over the next couple of days I’ll be wandering around checking up on the erection of the Carnaval attractions, seeing how quickly they can get them up. And here on the car park at the Cours Jonville, they have ejected all of the cars and are sticking this marquee up for the Friday night dance.

That’s when it al kicks off, Friday night, but my work doesn’t start until Saturday.

boutique ludique cafe boulevard d'Hauteserve granville manche normandy france eric hallWith having come this way to check up on things, I carried on up the boulevard d’Hauteserve, a street that I don’t usually use.

And i’m glad that I came this way because here’s something that I haven’t noticed before. It’s a “Boutique Ludique” – a games shop café. And that could be extremely interesting.

Next time that I have half an hour or so to spare – whenever that may be – I’ll have to come here to make further enquiries.

And if it livs up to its title, I’ll bring my microphone and Zoom H1 because there must be some kind of story in this.

painting street furniture st nicolas granville manche normandy france eric hallThe walk all the way up to the Centre Agora was pretty uneventful with nothing much happening – except that I seemed to be a little more like my former self going up the hill. Not quite at the “on my way to invade Poland” yet, but getting there.

In the Square St Nicolas or whatever they call it, the street furniture guys were there. We saw them a few days ago in the Cours Jonville but we couldn’t see what they were doing. But here it was pretty evident.

Our meeting was somewhat subdued with the news that we had received, and when we were asked for our observations I wasted no time in putting forward the things that have been bugging me in this affair and telling them the things that I’ve been telling you lot over the last few weeks.

Whether anything comes of it or not, I really do not know. But I have heard that there has been a “follow-up” to all of this, so I’m awaiting developments with bated breath.

After the meeting we went down to the basement and did a stock-check. There is some kind of talk about some kind of offer of some kind of permanent place to use as a studio and store.

What, when, how or where – or even “if” – is very much an unknown factor but we need to know what we have. And it seems that somehow we are a microphone cable short.

No idea how, and I know that I don’t have it. But then things like this are always disappearing so it’s no surprise.

After the meeting I went off to LIDL to do a little more shopping.

soya desserts lidl granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd although I spent a little more than usual, on some cable ties and Brazil nuts, I didn’t buy any of this here but six months or so ago I might well have.

Last time I was here I pointed out the new vegetarian and vegan products that are appearing in LIDL, and this is the latest that I have found.

I would have died for this stuff back then but having given up hope of finding it, I’ve gone down a different road and buy the big tubs of Alpro stuff for dessert and make my own apple purée.

And that reminds me – I need to make some more purée tomorrow. So I bought a big bag of apples.

erecting funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday I mentioned about going round to see how they are getting on erecting the amusements for the fete foraine on the parking Hérel.

Earlier today, we saw the marquee at the Cours Jonville and I expected them thus to be well on their way here too. And I was right because they really are bashing it out.

No time to lose, I suppose. They can’t afford to be hanging about seeing as how they move from place to place quite rapidly wherever there’s a fairground to be installed.

erecting funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere are all kinds of amusements here – fun for all the family I reckon – but I don’t really know what’s in these lorries.

Time will tell of course so I’ll have a wander by tomorrow when I come down for my dejeunette and see what they are up to then.

But talking of my dejeunette I carried on with my walk into town and La Mie Caline. I don’t need to ask for my bread now – they just see me coming and slip a dejeunette into a bag all ready for me.

Service with a smile, that. You don’t get that in Belgium.

road closed place des corsaires granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back home there wal a little more excitement.

The road that goes through what used to be the Place des Corsaires seems to be closed and they are digging up the street. I wonder why – and there was no-one around to ask.

Back here it was already after my usual lunchtime so I quickly made my butty and had some fruit – the new apples, not the old ones. They are destined for the purée tomorrow.

And I’ll try out my new saucepan too.

This afternoon I attacked the radio project 26. “Where”s 25?” I hear you ask.

The fact is that 24 has now become 25 because 24 is the last Friday of a month (Bane of Britain forgot that there are only 30 days in April) so that will have to be a Live Concert, if I have one by then.

If not, I’m sure that I’ll find something.

By the time that I knocked off I’d chosen the 10 main tracks, combined them in pairs, worked out a speech for my guest and added in my standard into to Pair A.

Tomorrow I’ll do the text and see where we go from there.

Tea was falafel and steamed vegetables in vegan cheese sauce – not the pie because I wanted to use up the falafel that has been hanging around for a while.

Pie is tomorrow and stuffed pepper is on Wednesday by the way.

Pudding was half of the apple turnover with that Alpro almond dessert stuff and chocolate sauce, and that was delicious.

The beautiful weather that we had this morning has given way to a rainstorm this evening. I didn’t have my afternoon walk because I was already at 106% but I wanted to get in my runs.

So sopping wet and miserable, I completed them both, although the first was on my reserve track as my main one was flooded out again. In fact I did quite well on my first one, running on for about 20 metres which, the way things are with me, was quite good.

bad parking place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, we had more excitement and so we’ll go out where we came in.

Bad parking again, folks. Someone else who decides that it will be fun to park in the fire lane at te back of our building despite the yellow hatching. never mind that we’ll all be burnt to a cinder because he is far too idle to walk an extra 20 metres from the main car park.

So now my notes are written and i’m off to bed. Not as early as I wanted but still I should have about 6 hours sleep I reckon.

makes me wonder where I’ll be going tonight. And, more importantly, who is coming with me.

Sunday 16th February 2020 – DESPITE IT BEING A …

lentil tofu pie apple turnover apple pie granville manche normandy france eric hall… day of rest today, I have been a very busy boy.

And here is the evidence. Frm left to right we have a lentil-and-tofu pie, an apple pie and, to use up the rest of the pastry and apple, an apple turnover.

The other day I mentioned that there were only a couple of slices of pie left in the fridge. Well, there was some tofu that needed using up and I bought a couple of pastry rolls yesterday.

Lentils are never in short supply here and so there we were.

A couple of hundred grammes of lentils went into the slow cooker with some parsley, sage and rosemary, and then some water. And they were left to boil up.

Once they had boiled, I drained them off, rinsed them and put them back in clean water with some tofu, more herbs as above and a couple of stock cubes. And left them for a couple of hours.

And talking of a couple of hours, it was more than a couple of hours of sleep that I had last night. In bed at a relatively realistic time, I slept right through until about 07:50.

But there was no chance of my leaving the bed at that time of the morning. The howling gale and rainstorm that I could clearly hear going on outside made me crawl back down under the bedclothes. 10.30 is a much more reasonable time to arise on a Sunday.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone. Apparently I was at a rock concert last night in Nantwich and there was a group playing and I was watching the group. I was with someone but I can’t remember who now and a woman came over. I knew this woman but I can’t remember who she was. She was big and tall and in a wide-brimmed black hat with a small crown, black cloak type of overcoat. She looked like a Bishop. She shouted at me but I didn’t recognise her at first but then I did and got talking with her. I noticed that one of the musicians was someone who had been a chauffeur with me, and he was with a saxophone. I thought “ohh, how strange”. We had a talk and a joke about cars, that kind of thing. I was meeting someone else but it was quite early so I went back to my apartment and got a burger and started to fry it. But being hit overwhelmingly by an overwhelming way of sleep I went to get into bed. I took off all of my clothes to get into bed and just then the doorbell rang. I staggered out of bed past a half-cooked meal, half asleep and asked who it was. “Oh, it’s Mikhael” the bass guitarist from the Hillbilly group. That was the guy I was waiting for. So I thought “‘I’d better let him get in and get dressed, stop eating and trying to cook this food, all of that kind of thing”.
After that I was in a museum somewhere and there was a discussion about a play taking place where two actors were throwing balls at each other – Roman actors. They were on version 2 of a CD or DVD and I had to check first of all to check that I had DVD version 2, which I had. So we checked and it was the Romans in bed that were throwing, these two guys were throwing these hard balls at each other until one was hit on the head and killed. We were discussing why the other guy hadn’t killed the first one and we thought “maybe he had been lying on his arm so long so his arm was weak and so he had to use his bad arm. This led to a discussion about military tactics at Flodden -Culloden rather where British soldiers were instructed to attack the man on their right whenever he raised his claymore to attack the British soldier standing on his right and never mind about the guy in front of you because your mate on the left would be taking care of him. Whenever they raised their right arm, their soft under-belly was exposed and that was where you would bayonet them. That went back to the crusaders and armour, how you would kill a knight is underneath the right armpit. Someone said “should we all go and get a glass of water out of the tap and resume this discussion somewhere more comfortable rather than around a few library desks.
A little bit earlier I was having to do something that was extremely urgent and I’d got off the Metro and there on the Metro was someone, the guy who played someone in Hawaii 50 and I can’t remember his name – a very famous actor. I quickly got back onto the Metro to get off a bit further down and was hoping that there was no-one at the station waiting for me. It was a long and convoluted route to get to where the safety deposit box was because obviously the previous Metro Station would have been better for that. I had to come off and walk across a crowded street which took ages and walking up this hill in the countryside. As I was doing it, some woman’s dog came along and started growling at me so I kicked it away. She complained. The dog came back and bit me so I gave it a really good heavy kick and she complained about that. I said “you should have your dog on a lead”. She said that lLeads are compulsory here which I thought strange. I had to walk up this hill and I reckon that it was a climb of about 500 feet and it was hot, in the summer and we were quickly out of the urban area into the rural area. I was feeling really uncomfortable at this walk and this climb. I have this the wrong way round haven’t I? It was first the man then the story about being on the tram and the dog biting me then finally the third part.
Later still I was on the The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again with a group of people, a family with very young kids and we were doing the usual family type of thing that you do with young kids, playing games and things. And then I went for a walk. We’d only been on this ship half a day or so but I’d been on it before so I knew my way round so I was wandering around quite happily. I walked past all these people on the deck sitting there in the lounge. I walked out and upstairs, outside and round and ended up being on the top of a double decker bus, an old green Crosville one. I worked out that on the top deck there was only room for about 20 people that you would expect on a double-decker bus or maybe more I dunno. Anyway I walked back down and these people were looking at le with amazement thinking “where’s he been?”. A stewardess called Kerry who I knew so I said to her, calling her by her first name and they all thought “wow he’s learning quick about the ship” and then we approached Crewe Bus Station which was a dock and I said to her “gosh, he’s coming in quick! Is he on a mileage bonus or something?” “Ohh God yes he is!” and he hit the quayside, bounced up on top of the quay. I said “that’s our holiday finished, isn’t it now?” But he kept the power on and the sip sailed round in like a U-turn, back to the edge of the quayside and dropped over and into the water again. I thought “God, I’d never ever thought of doing that” but there we were, back in the water again.

By the time that I’d finished typing that lot out I’d had breakfast, had a quick bit of butty and it wasn’t all that far off teatime. After all, it’s Sunday and I was in no hurry.

lighthouse coastguard station meteorological station pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall
One thing though – because of the weather I hadn’t set one single foot outside the apartment but round about 16:00 the rain briefly stopped.

Seizing the chance I grabbed my coat and went outside for a walk. The weather was still grey and totally miserable as you can tell from this photo of the lighthouse and the coastguard station at the Pointe du Roc.

But the most important thing was that the wind had dropped considerably and that was good news. it had really been wicked.

waves storm port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer manche normandy france eric hallAnd while the wind might have dropped there was still plenty of power in the sea.

That’s quite evident in this photo. The tide is well out right now and yet there’s enough force in the waves to bring them right up to the sea wall with something of a splash.

If it keeps it up, it’s going to be really impressive out there this evening at high tide I reckon. Not that I’ll be there to see it though.

eroding cliffs concrete supports pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallHeading into town for a long walk by the very old road – or path more like – here’s something that I don’t remember encountering before.

It was the fencing and the “keep out” notices that drew my attention to it so I went to look. It seems that the cliffs are eroding just here and undermining part of the wartime German concrete.

There’s tons of that around here in the Atlantic Wall and we have seen plenty of it in the past, but this looks like one piece that we won’t be seeing for much longer.

spring exit pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut while I was there my attention was further caught, this time by the sound of running water.

There are a couple of springs up on the top and these days they disappear into some kind of guttering system. I’ve never worked out where they go to from there but now I think that I know.

This culvert here that discharges into the sea looks very much like the outlet for all of this.

caravans fete foraine port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith the tide being quite far out right now the gates to the harbour were closed so I could walk over the pathway at the top to the other side of the harbour.

Yesterday I mentioned the fete foraine here in Granville. The machinery and amusements are to arrive today and start to set up tomorrow. It looks now as if most of them have turned up already.

Here they are anyway, parked up at the car park at the end of the quayside near to the ferry terminal and here they’ll stay fr a couple of weeks.

tractor trailer stone rubble port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been following the fortunes of the two concrete breakers, the digger and the two tractors and trailers that are removing rocks from the ferry terminal.

The havy stuff parks over by the fish processing plant but here on the quayside are the tractors and trailers and all of the stuff that they have brought with them.

And this can only mean that we won’t be expecting a gravel boat for a while because all of this is parked where the gravel would be dumped for loading.

caravans lorry fete foraine granville manche normandy france eric hallLast night we saw the arrival of the first lot of caravans for the fete foraine and they were parking up at the Place Godal.

Today there are a lot more of them as well as a couple of lorries that might well be something to do with the fairground attractions.

and just in case you hadn’t already noticed, it was now back to raining again. But the wind was still keeping down so I pressed on with my walk. After all, I can’t get much wetter than I am.

fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy little voyage took me along the sea front and down to the Parking Hérel.

Starting tomorrow this will be where the fete foraine will be erected. And it’s a complete work of art the things that they do to get it going.

Tomorrow I’ll be coming back from my radio meeting this way and I’ll be able to see how they are doing. And hopefully take a few photos of the erections that they put up. And it doesn’t take them long to do it.

old normandy house rue commandant yvon granville manche normandy france eric hallFor a variety of reasons there aren’t too many old houses of the traditional Normandy-Style here in Granville.

And this is one that I haven’t seen before, in a little alleyway off the rue Commandant Yvon. A real Normandy wooden-framed house. And not falling down either like the one in the rue Ernest LeFranc.

By now I was ready to return home but still wishing to push up the percentages on the fitbit I continued around the town for a while getting wetter and wetter and eventually made it back home for coffee and cake.

For tea I made myself the usual pizza, forgetting the sliced garlic, and then made my pies.

Before I’d gone out I’d checked the slow cooker. The mix was too liquidy so a couple of spoonfuls of oats had taken care of that and it was lookign quite good.

So pastry in the pie dish, add in the filling, moisten the edge of the pastry, put a top on, press down the top with a fork so that it seals, trim off the excess pastry, paint with soya milk and prick with a fork.

Roll out all of the excess pastry so that it’s flat again, cut out a circle to put in a pie dish, slice a few cooking apples very thinly and pack the pie dish with them, some lemon juice and brown sugar and forget the cinnamon and nutmeg but remember the desiccated coconut.

Roll out the remaining pastry, cut out enough for a lid, repeat the process as for the previous pie except to sprinkle on the top some brown sugar.

With the pastry that you’ve trimmed off, roll it out again and keep on trimming and adding back as you roll it to keep it square, fill it with the leftover apple brown sugar and coconut, fold it over and then bung the lot in the oven to cook while I’m eating my pizza.

And while I was eating my pizza I was wondering why I hadn’t fried any onions and garlic for the pie mix.

The pies weren’t ready so for pudding I had a banana with some of the Alpro almond-flavoured dessert stuff that I’d bought for the apple pie.

No-one about at all on my evening walk so I had a good couple of runs. My usual track on the north side of the walls was waterlogged so I improvised. And I even did a third run – or, rather, half a run – later on because having seen that I was now on 93% of my daily target, I extended my walk.

Now my notes are finished, my day of rest is over and it’s back to work tomorrow. A good night’s sleep is required and then i’ll be fighting fit for tomorrow.

I don’t think.

Saturday 15th February 2020 – OH GOD NO!

bad parking noz granville manche normandy france eric hallYes, I’m off again. You didn’t think that it would be long before we returned to the subject of pathetic parking, did you?

The little street outside NOZ is notorious for it. And there are posters all over the place advising people that parking in this street carries a more severe penalty, for Parking Très Genant, not merely Parking Genant. And notices to say that there is a big free car park right behind the shop.

So today we don’t just have people parking half-on, half-off the pavement on one side of the street, we have them on both sides. Just how ridiculous is this going to become before we start seeing the Police towing cars away?

How can people be so bone-idle?

Talking of being bone-idle, I missed the alarms today. Not bu much but it was still disappointing. I’d been to bed early too, having crashed out while writing up the notes for yesterday.

There was the usual procedure, namely firstly the medication and then to check the dictaphone. Last night apparently, I had been with a group of people and we were discussing religion seeing as something had cropped up about that just recently. We were discussing these religious sects where they would send a preacher off somewhere to convert the people and get them to worship his way and then gradually expand a bit outward. It’s all divided into halves like “could you use another half a person to help you with your area of your ministry” so they would send out someone young and keen to help you out and gradually take over part of it. It would keep on expanding like that. Then one day of course it would all go “POP” as someone worked out what was happening and made the announcement to everyone so they all quit the church. It was just at that point that two people actually had discovered the truth behind this particular religious sect. He’d left and gone to mull over the situation and that was when the alarm went off.
Somewhere along the line I was doing something with the people from the radio too but I can’t remember now.

After breakfast I went for shower ready to hit the shops. I weighed myself too and the weight that went back on over the last couple of weeks while I’ve not been too well has mostly gone. I’m now just 900 grams from my target weight.

Hopefully I can press on and lose that too. I was actually beyond it once just before my last bout of ill-health and I’m hoping to be there again.

Back here ready to leave and I noticed an e-mail telling me that our meeting at 12:00 today has been brought forward to 11:00. Not enough time to go to the shops before hand so I stayed behind and finished off the notes.

When that had been done I cut up a few digital tracks and at the same time was involved in a discussion with a couple of people who are extremely touchy about any hint of criticism about HS2. That touchy in fact that it makes me wonder what they are afraid of.

Anyway, off I went to the huge Council hangar at the back of town where I met up with a couple of colleagues from the radio and where I discovered that I had forgotten my microphone.

The purpose of today’s visit was to interview the owners of the chars – the Carnival floats that will be parading in the streets next weekend. We’re broadcasting Carnaval live and what we intend to do is that as each char passes our commentary point, we’ll have a soundbite that we recorded today that we can broadcast, with the owners telling people about their char rather than us.

Unfortunately I’m not going to tell you lot anything about it because we have been sworn to secrecy, as you might expect. No-one wants any details to leak out until their chars appear in the streets.

One thing that I did learn is that Carnaval isn’t just a town wide, or déprtement-wide, or even nationwide event. It’s actually listed on the UNESCO World Heritage sitelist so it’s of International interest, which is good news.

When we’d finished I went off to the shops.

At NOZ I spent a bit of money but it was all on good stuff, including some stainless steel pastry-cutting rings. I don’t have any and it’s pretty inconvenient cutting round saucepan lids and the like.

Another white board too because the one that I bought last week has since then become a permanent wipe-off calendar and to-do list, so I can keep track of what I’m doing and when I ought to be doing it.

Pride of place though has to go to the half-litre tub of Alpro vegan icecream, almond and smoked caramel flavour. There’s no room in the freezer but nevertheless I wasn’t going to pass that one up.

LeClerc was next and that was a very cheap shop. That came to almost nothign at all and would have been even less had i remembered to buy the mushrooms and peppers at LIDL on Thursday.

Another thing was that I bought a couple of vegan pastry rolls. I’m going to make a tofu bean and lentil pie and an apple pie tomorrow while the oven is on – and while I have some ice-cream to eat with the pie.

Back here I had lunch and then started to edit the sound files that i’d recorded.

rue du nord place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric halla couple of interruptions though.

Firstly of course there was my afternoon walk and in view of the fact that I hadn’t walked much today I went on a super-long walk around the walls, part of which included my run, down into town, around the block and then back up the hill.

Nothing whatever of any interest at all happening there, although I did go for a little diversion for a look around inside the library.

But not for long because almost as soon as I had put my sooty foot inside they announced that it was closing time.

The second interruption was, unfortunately, a little crash-out for five minutes. Only five minutes but five minutes I could well have done without.

Tea was out of a tin tonight as it’s Saturday and it was delicious. And pudding, of banana and raspberry sorbet, was even nicer because NOZ was selling some chocolate sauce for ice cream so I bought a couple of bottles.

That’s one thing that I like about NOZ – every so often it comes up with things that I don’t normally buy and it varies my diet.

And they would do more if they were to price everything. Much of the stuff, like the Sodastream syrups in there that interested me for example just didn’t have a price at all.

caravans fete foraine place godal granville manche normandy france eric halllater on I went for another really long walk to push up the 100% on the fitbit (it made it to 105% in the end). Not around the headland because we now have Storm Dennis. I went to town

And as I walked past the Place Godal I noticed that the caravans have started to arrive. Carnaval is always accompanied by a Fête Foraine, a funfair. Officially they aren’t supposed to arrive until Sunday but some of them anyway are here this evening, much to the displeasure of the motorists who would normally park here.

But it’s all good fun and brings piles of money into the town so you can’t criticise it from that point of view.

borsalino ponton restaurants port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt was while I was there admiring the caravans that a trio of women came over to me. “Did I know where … (some restaurant) … was? It’s at the docks” they said.

The name rang no bells with me but i knew where the restaurants on the docks were so I led them that way. It occurred to me that as far as I was aware, I didn’t have a photo of them at night from down here so I resolved to deal with the issue.

And why not? No time like the present and I can add them to the list of photos that I’m making of the town.

le regate port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOhh yes, that’s the restaurant there – Le Regate. Anyway, I took them over there and left them to it.

While they were trying to find whatever it was there that they were seeking, I took a photo of the place. I may as well do that while I’m there.

And from here I went foe a leisurely walk into town down past the library. There were a couple of people sleeping in sleeping bags ina dorrway and I hadn’t noticed that before.

The Police Station os right by there too. I wonder why the cops haven’t taken these people in to arrange for them to have help.

kids roundabout place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw them erecting the kiddies’ roundabout in the Place General de Gaulle a couple of weeks ago, and then we saw it in action.

It’s a different story this evening though. They are actually dismantling it to take away. Obviously his period of rental is over and now, I imagine the whole place will be turned over to Carnaval

On that note I came back here to listen to the rest of my radio programme and then to write up my notes for the day.

And now that they are finished I’m going to go to bed. Sunday so no alarm and, for a change, nothing whatever that needs my attention that will divert me from a totally free day off.

And it’s been a long time since I’ve had one of those.

Friday 14th February 2020 – IT’S ST VALENTINE’S DAY …

… and someone loves me evidently.

No-one tangible unfortunately, but someone “up there” … “down there, more like” – ed … must do, because I’ve had some good fortune. And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

Those of you who read my notes from yesterday will remember that I’d received this strange letter from some insurance company in Belgium. I rang them up this morning to enquire about it because it was puzzling me.

It turns out that, not that I remember, but when I worked for that strange American company in Belgium I’d been part of their occupational pension scheme which involves a “lump sum” payment on retirement.

As I officially retired, as far as Belgium is concerned, last year on reaching 65, I claimed my Belgian retirement pension to which I’m entitled having worked for this company and also my spell at General Electric.

This was awarded to me and as a result my identity number in the Belgian national records system has been reactivated and the Insurance company has thus been able to track me down and write to me telling me to claim it.

Usually I like to slip sideways off national registers because being on them brings the wrong kind of attention from the Authorities, but for once, as I said, it’s good news

Other good news – well, almost good news – is that I’m feeling a lot more like myself today. I must have had one of these 24-hour bug things, that’s all that I can think of, and of course I have no immune system to fight it off.

And I almost beat the third alarm today too. I had my head off the pillow and I was just about to sit up straight when it went off. Still never mind. Close enough!

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. And another night of rambling away to myself. I started off with something to do with the dictaphone last night but as soon as I picked up the dictaphone whatever memory I had in my mind had gone completely and I’d completely forgotten what it was all about. But I did remember a bit of it. I was walking past an outdoor swimming pool. It was pouring down with rain and there was a big fat boy swimming in there. He climbe dout and got his clothes on and started to get dressed. He went inside the office and there was something happening inside the office with a couple of people and he was one of them but this is where my memory runs out. This certainly involved something to do with dancing and i was trying to work out a dance step with someone or other, a girl but I’ve no idea now.
Later last night I was emptying out Marianne’s apartment getting a pile of stuff in her living room and throwing away some of it, putting some of it in boxes and bags and getting it ready to be taken down to Caliburn. I was working quite well and was quite impressed wuth myself but when I had a look at the bedroom and kitchen there was still tons to do there and I started to get a bit despairing. But I thought well, it’s no good me standing here looking at it is it? I may as well press on regardless and get on with it, which was what I did. I was looking out of this window at Caliburn parked in the street, all that kind of thing.

So whatever all that was about, I really have no idea.

After breakfast I set about cutting up a few albums and this was an agonising task. The first one just wouldn’t cut as it was supposed to and after much binding in the marsh I realised that it was actually titled wrongly and not the track it was supposed to be.

The second one wouldn’t cut properly either but after a while (and I do mean a while) I realised that it was a studio acetate rather than a recording master and so the track order is quite different than the published and printed album.

The third one was one of the very few that had survived the Universal Studios fire so it was actually very high quality although it was “in bits” and needed reassembling.

But just a reminder – I’m only tracking down digital tracks for albums that I already own on vinyl or on tape.

trawler coelacanthe port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving resolved the issue of this pension thing, I had to go to the bank to have my payment details confirmed and stamped.

But on the way I was … errr … detained. We saw the trawler
Coelacanthe doing some kind of weird nautical danse macabre in the harbour the other day, but here she is again manoeuvring herself around.

Obviously the fishing is back on the agenda right now that Storm Ciara has passed.

Meanwhile, at the Bank, in the headlong plummet into the abyss of being The Worst Bank In The World, the Credit Agricole Normandie once again rises to the top, or maybe I should say “sinks to the bottom” to snatch the lead from the Royal Bank of Scotland once more.

“Ohh we can’t do that here” said the second cashier to whom I had spoken. “Our Head Office has to do that”.
“All I want is for you to confirm my bank account details and to apply your stamp”
“No, our Head Office has to do that”.

Totally pathetic, that is. Whatever happened to the excellent service and first-class customer consideration that I had at Pionsat? There was none of this nonsense.

trawler coelacanthe port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back to the apartment I picked up my dejeunette from La Mie Caline and then went to see what was happening in the harbour.

And the gates were open now, so Coelacanthe was heading off out so sea. And at the same time there were fishing boats coming in so we had a kind of traffic jam at the port entrance as they jostled for position.

But as for me, I came back here to carry on work. There was plenty to do

This afternoon I started to attack the outstanding photos. And there are more than I thought because there were those few weeks when I had my broken hand and couldn’t type or do anything.

Not only that, there were piles missing so I had to fire up the failed laptop and see if they were still left on there, and also to fire up the travel laptop to see what was on there.

They’ve all been copied over, although I’m still not convinced that they are all here as they are supposed to be. And it took an age to do so.

By the time that I’d knocked off for tea I’d finished all of the photos for June. And I think that I was unnecessarily depressed about the quality – at least of the early ones – because they didn’t need much post-work at all. Well, not as much as I was expecting anyway.

But of course that’s without making any reference to the ones that were taken under the Arctic light which is a great deal different than any light that I’m used to.

samu pompiers emergency ambulance rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy afternoon was interrupted, as you might expect, by my afternoon walk. And, for a change and I’ve no idea why, there were hordes of people out there. A nice day, yes, but not that nice.

And I’d hardly set foot out of my apartment before I was shocked out of my usual reverie by the sirens of an emergency ambulance roaring past me.

So, as you might expect, I wandered off down the footpath at the top of the cliffs in order to catch up with it to find out what was going on that needed an ambulance.

samu pompiers emergency ambulance rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut when I finally caught up with it I was none-the-wiser. And not even better-informed either.

The ambulance was parked at the side of the road sure enough and there was an ambulance man talking to a family group on the grass verge. But as for why, I really have no idea.

And whatever was going on there didn’t look like anything particularly urgent to me, so I left them to it.

digger hydraulic drill concrete breaker port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBy now, the tide was well on its way out. Not quite right out yet though.

And so I was totally surprised to see the digger and the concrete-breaker already making their way out across the water to the ferry terminal. What was really quite amusing was that, as I watched, the digger bogged down a couple of times and he used his jib and bucket as a lever to pull himself out.

On eof the best free afternoon’s entertainments that I had had.

tractor trailer port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut the sight of the digger bogging down, even with its caterpillar tracks, had presumably convinced the tractor driver that the time wasn’t right for him to set out.

He was waiting patiently at the foot of the concrete ramp for the tide to subside some more and for the ground to dry out a little before he sets off.

And I can’t say that I blamed him. After all, he doesn’t have a bucket and jib to pull himself out if he becomes bogged down.

hydraulic concrete breaker port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut they had the order of proceeding all wrong anyway.

The tractor should have been the fourth, not the third machine to move. Because he’s not ready to set out quite yet he’s stopping the other concrete breaker from going across.

The other two by this time had actually made it across and had started work while they were still sitting there.

modeling mannequin rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallDesperate to bring the day’s total up to 100%, I went on another extended walk to clock up the miles.

My route back brought me along the rue St Jean towards home, and there at the dressmaker’s there was some excitement going on. Someone was all dressed up like something out of the 19th Century and there was someone else taking a photo of her using a tablet.

With nothing better to do, I stayed and watched them for a minute to see what they were up to but after the photo they just hung around chatting so I cleared off home.

cat place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it looks as if I have a new neighbour too.

Whoever they are, they must be acclimatising their family pet to his new surroundings as they had a cat tethered to a lead that was tied in through their window on the ground floor.

A very friendly cat too, and we had a good ten minutes of chat and socialisation. I hope that he’ll be there again.

Back here, I carried on working despite having a little snooze here and there. But nothing like as complete as they have been just recently.

Tea was next and, having tidied the freezer once more, I came across a potato and lentil curry of 2018. That was totally delicious with rice and vegetables.

No more rice pudding so I had a banana and raspberry sorbet. And even though it was the cheap LIDL sorbet it was still delicious.

But one thing that I noticed was that there are only a couple of slices of pie left. Sunday’s task will therefore be to make another pie. If I can fit in two pies at once I might even make an apple pie.

night trawlers entering port de  granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe evening walk was, as usual, all alone around the walls. That meant that I could fit in my two runs in relative comfort, regardless of the howling gale.

Being almost at 100% I extended my walk and went on the cliff by the fish processing plant where, from my lunchtime spec when the weather is good, I could see the fishing boats coming home now that the tide was coming back in.

Fishing is back on the agenda now that Storm Ciara has passed.

Back here, there was the football. Bala Town v TNS in the Welsh Premier League

TNS have swept all before them over the past 10 seasons although Connah’s Quay are catching them up. And with TNS losing at Newtown the other day the gap has narrowed.

Bala are, somewhat surprisingly considering that they have two of the best players in the league in their team, somewhat off the pace.

The match though, went according to expectations. TNS had about 80% of the possession and had Bala pegged back in their area for most of the match. But we were treated to something much more than a defensive masterclass – more like a desperate rearguard “thin red line” defence as bala did everything they possibly could.

Henry Jones and Chris Venables were surprisingly subdued today and so they offered little in attack. The big winger Lassana Mendes though had an excellent game and why he didn’t win the man of the match award I really don’t know.

Surprisingly, despite having nothing much up front, Bala took a surprise lead when a corner into the TNS penalty area was headed into his own net by Aeron Edwards. But TNS pulled one back with a penalty late in the game – a case of “blaa to hand” rather than “hand to ball” but a penalty none-the-less.

But no matter how much they threw at the Bala defence they couldn’t break through for a winner.

Meanwhile over on Deeside, Connah’s Quay put four past Caernarfon to go top of the table. Interesting times indeed.

But asI write up the notes I have a feeling that I’m not going to reach the end before I crash out at my desk so i’d better ….


Thursday 13th February 2020 – LIDL IN GRANVILLE …

soya steaks LIDL granville manche normandy france eric hall… is slowly dragging itself into the 21st Century at long last.

Over the past year or so its BIO range has slowly been expanding and there have occasionally been things there that I can eat, but today, the freezer has been restocked and there are now not only vegetarian frozen foods but even a (very small) vegan selection.

And that’s god news for me and even though i’m struggling for space in my freezer, I bought a box, on the grounds that if no-one buys it, they won’t stock it.

Yes, I made it to LIDL this morning although I’m not quite sure how because I was feeling really dreadful. Last night I slept right the way through the alarms and it was 07:35 when I hauled myself out of bed eventually.

And to say that I wasn’t feeling at all like it is an understatement. Looking back on what I wrote last night before I went to bed, then nothing whatever had changed.

It was preying on my mind too during my sleep (such as it was) by the look of things. After the medication I struggled back to the desk to check the dictaphone. It had taken me ages to go off to sleep but I went back on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and there was a party type of thing that we were having and a group of people – the organisers – got up and did a song that involved banjos and guitars and a bass. It was really good – they were all disguised as Mexicans. I dashed in with my camera to take a photo but I couldn’t remember how to set the settings on it to get the photo that I wanted because they were standing right by an open window where the sun was streaming in so I wanted to play around with the settings but I couldn’t remember how to do it and it was the subsequent panic attack that awoke me, about 30 seconds after I’d gone to sleep.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter breakfast I had a quick shower and then headed out to LIDL even though I didn’t feel much like it.

And the first thing that I noticed was that the wind was back after its day off yesterday. And back in spades too. The port gates can’t have been opened long so the tide still has about 90 minutes before it’s full but even so it was still looking very impressive.

The waves were hurling themselves with all of their might against the sea wall and some were going over the top.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe wind wasn’t the only thing that was back either.

For the first time in well over a week, Normandy Trader had turned up in harbour. The blockade of Channel Island ships has ended of course with Guernsey’s capitulation (in four days!) and Normandy Trader, which brings in the shellfish from the Jersey Fisherman’s Co-operative, can now come into port.

But for how long remains to be seen.

crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallregular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been following the antics of the workmen down in the port and the gradual assembly of the big pontoon.

A large crane turned up yesterday too, and now it seems that it has been taken out onto the pontoon.

But for what, I have no idea. I can’t think what they would need something like that for in a harbour like this – unless it’s to act as a counterbalance for the crane on the quayside as it lowers the new walkways into the water.

Even so, that’s using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

mobile crane rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut then again, ther emight be something in this argument.

There’s now another mobile crane turned up in the rue du Port where they have been fitting the mounting brackets for the pontoon walkway on that side, so it looks as if they are almost ready to start there too.

This is all going to be extremely interesting over the next few weeks or so and I hope that I’ll be here to see it.

After something of a struggle I made it to LIDL where I forgot the mushrooms, but it was an expensive shop there today and for a good reason too. The largest saucepan that I have here is a 20cm one with a capacity of 2.5 litres and for what i’m doing now with making soups and drinks and also freezing carrots, it’s just not big enough.

On Monday I noticed that they had nig saucepans in on offer but I couldn’t bring one home. Today though, I was prepared with a large carry-bag and a 24cm 5.5 litre saucepan is now sitting in my kitchen.

That’s even big enough to sterilise all of my jars too.

pumping concrete rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving picked up my dejeunette at la Mie Caline I headed for home.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the other day the workman on the roof of that house that they are slowly renovating in the rue des Juifs. They are obviously going quicker than I was reckoning because now they are doing the floors and the concrete pump is here punping the concrete in.

It’s a good job that the local buses here aren’t double-deckers, isn’t it?

la grande ancre leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDespite the winds having started up again, it seems that the marine activity is still going on.

We’ve seen Normandy Trader braving the winds to come into port but now it’s the turn of La Grande Ancre to head off for a life on the open waves out there on the open sea.

And good luck to her too. She’s going to need it, a small thing like her out there in waves like that. As I’ve said before … “on many occasions” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those going out there

On the way back I bumped into my neighbour and we had a lengthy chat, buffetted by the wind as we were standing there.

Back here I had a coffee and then started work. And I can safely say that today I didn’t do a single thing that had anything whatever to do with the radio. And I think that this must be the first day since well before Christmas too.

First thing was, due to my late start this morning, to split up a few digital tracks into their component parts. And I’ve given up relying on the official data for cutting the tracks because they are just so hopelessly wrong.

That took me up to lunch time and my butties.

This afternoon I attacked the mountain of paperwork that had accumulated over the past few months. Some of it was quite urgent too so it wasn’t just a case of simply filing it away, I had a few letters and e-mails to write for stuff that I should really have attended to a while ago.

There was a pile of photocopying too that needed doing. All in all, I was still at this by the time that I knocked off for tea and there’s more to do.

But here’s a surprise. I’ve found a document that tells me that I have an employment assurance policy maturing at the end of February that is going to pay me a pension. The only pensions that I know of are my morks pension, my UK and my Belgian State pension (not that these are anything to write home about) and some old pension from when I was in the UK years ago.

So what is this all about? I’ll have to ring up tomorrow to enquire about it because I don’t have a clue. It can’t be anything substantial otherwise I would remember it. But was I in a works pension scheme when I spent that 12 months working for that crazy American company in Brussels?

windsurfer place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were several interruptions to my afternoon walk.

First and foremost was my afternoon walk. And that was interrupted too by me noticing a couple of guys out in the sea windsurfing. They must be out of their minds in this weather with this wind and these heavy seas and as I prepared the camera, one of them capsized into the sea.

This left the other one to engage with me.

storm high winds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if I thought that the wind was bad around here, I hadn’t yet gone round the headland.

and there it really was wicked. Not as bad as it was earlier in the week but still enough to disrupt almost everything that I was trying to do. The waves were rolling into the Baie de Mont St Michel with quite a considerable force and I reckon that this evening when the tide is in it’s going to be quite dramatic.

So I wish that they would fix up some lights somewhere to make it easy for photography.

dredger digging rocks ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNo change at all in the Chantier navale so I pushed on to see what they were up to at the ferry terminal.

The big tractor and trailer (there are in fact two of them) was heading back out there for another load of stone, with it being low tide. And wedged up in the corner was a concrete-breaker and a large digger.

The breaker breaks it off, the digger picks it up and puts it into the trailer and the tractor drives away the loaded trailer.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe photo this morning of Normandy Trader hadn’t come out too well as I had had the sun in the lens at the time.

But now, mid-afternoon, I have the sun behind me so i can take a much better photo of it too, and with the big NIKON D500 instead of the little NIKON 1. The Nikon 1 is a useful little camera and I take it with me when I go for long walks or go shopping because it’s very lightweight and fits nicely in my pocket

But it’s not up to big panoramic distance shots unfortunately. It’s very good at what it does, but it doesn’t do much.

crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFor the same reason as the previous photo, I re-took a photo of the pontoon and the big crane.

No idea at al what they are doing but as I said earlier it’s going to be interesting in the next couple of weeks as the story unfolds.

Back here and a coffee and then I tried to carry on work but I crashed out again. And that was a shame because my head had cleared and I was starting to feel a little better

But once I was back awake I carried on and now I have a huge blood blister on my finger where I caught it in the hole puncher.

Tea was a kind-of curry of everything left over – namely the rest of the stuffing with more onion and garlic and, to lengthen it, a good handful of salted peanuts. It was delicious with a tomato sauce, veg and pasta.

And the last of the rice pudding that followed it was equally delicious.

All alone again on my evening walk, and I managed my two runs, even putting an extra 10 metres on them which was quite surprising.

But now it’s bed-time, later than I had hoped but it can’t be helped. Tomorrow I’m going to finish off the paperwork and then start on the photos from my Arctic adventures.

That will be exciting.

Wednesday 12th February 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall… day it was today.

And I’m not talking about the weather either because considering we’re approaching mid-February, it was a nice day from that point of view. The wind had dropped considerably, it was a bright day and there were even people walking on the beach.

What I’m talking about is from a health point of view.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the end of November and for most of December I was feeling better than I have been doing for quite a number of years.

But then in the new year I could feel a decline in my health and I’ve been going steadily downhill.

Today I reached rock-bottom. Most of the day was spent flat-out in my chair and had this been a few months ago, I would have taken to my bed without a second thought.

But having had this good spell, I’m not going to let this defeat me and I fought it out. Not very successfully but there we go. And at one time I was really feeling totally and thoroughly dreadful.

But then, that’s what this illness is all about. They say that I’ll start to feel the effects after about five years, and it’s been almost four and a half since it was diagnosed – and that’s no telling how long I’d been carrying this illness before it was diagnosed

What I’ll have to do is to resign myself to it and just take things as they come, and reflect on the fact that I’ve been far worse than this.

and to make things worse, last night I did something that I haven’t done for years, and that is to go for a trip down to corridor. Back in the past it was at least once every night but for several years it’s not happened at all. Sign on the times, I reckon.

And to add insult to injury, I failed to beat any of the alarms and it was almost 07:00 when I arose, and that’s no good either. All in all, it’s pretty depressing.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone. We started off with a crowd of us in a room and I was drinking coffee and everyone else was drinking beer. There was a guy there from the – the – and he asked me if I’d had the Audi. “Which one?” “The one that was on your front the other day”. “Ohh that’s been and gone, that has. It just passed through my hands, that kind of vehicle”
A litttle later on we had an unexpected visitor. A footballer by the name of Jamie Reed has just signed for Cefn Druids in the Welsh Premier League and has been making something of a good impression. Anyway, don’t ask me why but last night on my travels he was trying to do something phenomenal with a boat out of Normandy but I can’t remember what now but it had become quite popular but on one occasion there was a balloon in a shop with him and someone else holding onto it. This mobile thing was turning around so they were suspended in the air turning around this object or being turned by it, one or the other (… like a ceiling fan…). Plastic models of them, inflatable plastic models (…not the real Jamie Reed …)
Then I was in a music shop and there was a little old lady there. She had a play on a guitar but played with one of the machine heads so the thing went flat. She put the guitar somewhere not quite right but when the guy came back in, the shop assistant, he saw that the guitar had been moved and said “is anybody here?”. This little old lady spoke up. He checked the guitar and it was out of tune so he plugged it into a machine to tune it up. In the meantime I had a bass and I was busy trying to tune that but it wouldn’t tune for some reason or another. I had the tuning gauge that I had set to percentages instead of an analogue meter and of course that’s much more difficult to tune when it’s like that. Then a parcel arrived, a huge, heavy parcel. I wondered what it could be. Then I realised that I’d gone in for a kind of lifesaving course so I could be a monitor in Canada in the Arctic and this was the first part of that and it was my certificate to say that I’d passed together with a huge wooden framed glass panelled door as a prize. Of course I could use that on my house between the kitchen and the hallway in Winsford, which of course never had a doorway between the kitchen and the doorway, but there you go.

That’s not all of it either but seeing as you are probably eating your lunch right now, I’ll spare you the gory details.

That apple and pear puree that I made – the verdict is that it was absolutely perfect and I really do mean that. You couldn’t distinguish it from any shop-bought stuff.

And then I attacked the splitting of the digital tracks. Again not straightforward because nothing actually corresponded to the published track lists. After much of an effort I came to the conclusion that the published lists are wrong, which is a surprise but there you go.

And also, if that’s not enough, some people have a strange idea of what constitutes a track break and I’ve often had to rebuild tracks before I could split them again.

Apart from that, I’m not quite sure what else I did during the morning. I know that I finished off the notes for the current radio project and I brought THE SET LIST WEB PAGE up to date so that people can see what was played when.

The rest of the time was probably spent fighting off a pile of sleep

pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom somewhere somehow I managed to summon up something to get me to go into town, even though I really didn’t feel like it at all.

Down into the port and across the top of the harbour gates seeing as they were closed, in order to see what they were up to. No sign of any wind turbine, as you might expect, but a very large floating pontoon with workmen and machinery thereupon.

And so the plot thickens here.

old pontoon walkway missing port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut I have an idea as to what might be going on because I’ve only just noticed that there’s something missing from the port.

In the space where Spirit of Conrad and Charles-Marie were moored up until very recently, there used to be a pontoon. And I should know because I walked on it once

But it’s not there now and I couldn’t possibly say when it went either. But anyway, I’ve only just noticed.

large crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd it makes me wonder what this machine might be doing here.

It’s a proper heavy-duty crane and is carrying a makers plate saying that it’s rated at 60 tonnes. Of course with an outstretched arm it won’t lift anything like that, but nevertheless they wouldn’t have brought something like this down here when they can have a mobile crane like the one that’s here already.

So we are definitely going to be having some strange things going on.

new pontoons port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut this might account for a lot of what is happening.

Out of curiosity and the fact that there was no-one around to stop me, I went for a closer look. Nice new rubber and aluminium heavy pontoons I reckon, presumably to replace the ones that they have ripped out and to go where they are installing the new supports.

But whether this brings any more marine traffic into the port remains to be seen. I haven’t seen a gravel boat since before I went on my High Arctic exploits

painting bus shelter cours de jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallAt La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and as the weather was nice I went for a little walk.

Round by the Cours Jonville they were erecting a marquee. At first I thought it might have been something to do with Carnaval but the smell of cellulose soon changed my mind.

It looks as if they are spraying the bus shelter there, to tidy it up.

My walk took me along to the rue Roger Maris to see why the street was closed on Monday but whatever it was, they must have done it as the traffic is flowing freely down the hill.

old well rue des moulins granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I turned my attention to heading back to my apartment.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in the past we’ve seen a few old wells dotted here and there about the town, particularly up near the Centre Agora.

But here’s one that I must have missed. I certainly haven’t seen this one before. It’s something that I shall have to look into sometime, if I could take off the roof.

And that reminds me of somethign out of Frankie Howerd and Up Pompeii
Senna the Soothsayer – “three times have I looked into the bottomless pit”
Frankie Howerd – “well, well, well”.

market hall art deco sculpture facade rue general patton granville manche normandy france eric hallcarrying on along the rue General Patton I came past the rear entrance to the Market Hall.

Although I’ve been out of that door a few times I’d never stopped to give it a good look. And I was impressed with it too – the Art Deco scultures of marine life such as shellfish.

It could do with a bit of a clean, a tidy-up and a repaint. It’s looking rather shabby around the edges, but then so am I and I’m not getting any younger either.

By the time that I returned it was long after lunchtime so I quickly made myself some butties and then attacked the work.

Fighting off wave after wave of fatigue, sometimes not successfully at all, I managed to dictate the notes, edit them, crop them and assemble a complete project, right down to the final track.

And for a change, I was short rather than overrun. Only by 7 seconds so I scanned through a collection of sound files that I’d made, cut out something from a previous project and inserted it in an appropriate place. There’s a lot to be said for building up your own sound library. I even added a cough to it too today.

A littl trimming here and there and off we go.

scaffolding house rue du nord granville manche normandy france eric hallapart from the sleep issues, I went for my afternoon walk too.

The rue du Nord was advertised as closed so I was intrigued to see why. That scaffolding that we saw the other day in the place du Marché aux Chevaux which I thought might have been for repairing the collapsing wall is in fact for repairing a house wall.

And with the street being so narrow, no cars can pass with the scaffolding erected. That will upset quite a few people I imagine.

people on promenade plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the waterlogged ground I managed to fit in my run along the north side of the walls because there was no-one around up here at all.

And when I made it round to the cliff overlooking the Plat Gousset I could see why. We’ve already seen the crowds on the beach and there were yet more people out there walking along the promenade enjoying the really nice weather.

And I can’t say that I blame them either. Given half a chance I would be down there too.

repairing roof rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallBetter down there than up there with that guy.

There’s been a major house renovation project in the rue des Juifs that’s been proceeding along at snail’s pace – in fact they don’t seem to have advanced much since this time last year. But today, someone is up there fitting a new metal roof to it.

It makes me wonder what the seagulls have to say about it. They have been making nests on the roofs over there and I imagine it won’t be long until they are back.

tractor trailer tipping concrete port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUnfortunately I didn’t manage to fit in my run along the square Maurice Marland because there were too many people about and I don’t want to show myself up.

But my ear picked up a noise of stones on the quayside so I went for a look to see what it might be. I thought that it might have been the gravel lorries starting to come back but in fact it was a tractor with a big trailer tipping rocks onto the quayside.

And that was interesting too. Tons of stuff going on around the place today.

tractor trailer loading rock ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallkeeping my eyes peeled, I followed the tractor and trailer as they left the quayside to see where they went.

And I was in luck again. Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen the concrete breaker down at the foot of the ferry terminal at low tide breaking off the rocks that are jutting out.

And there is the tractor and trailer, presumably on their way to pick up the rocks and drop them off somewhere where they can be collected. They can’t go and dump those off around the corner like they do with the silt.

Back here and in between the waves of fatigue I pressed on, determined to finish the radio project. And even though it meant a late tea, it was all done and dusted and ready for the road.

Tea was steamed veg with falafel in vegan cheese sauce followed by rice pudding. And absolutely delicious it all was too. My cooking is definitely improving.

trawler unloadind fish port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOut for my evening walk and I was the only one out there too so I managed another run. I have to keep on pushing on with this.

But with the foul weather having subsided it looks as if the fishermen are back at work. Here’s one of the trawler-type of boats unloading at the fish-processing plant, so it looks as if it’s back to business as usual.

So now all of my notes are written and I’ve listened to the radio programme to make sure that it’s okay, I can go to bed.

Here’s hoping that it’s a good night’s sleep and that I’ll be fighting fit in the morning. But I don’t think so at all. I think that i’m stuck with this.

Tuesday 11th February 2020 – IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING …

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall… why the photos of the storm tonight aren’t anything as impressive as last night’s images, the answer is pretty clear.

When I was outside just now, it was still an hour or so before high tide. The sea was still coming in with an incredible amount of force though and I reckon that by the time it’s high tide, we’ll be having a belter again.

But I won’t be seeing it as I’m off to bed shortly.

Just for a change, I slept right though the night as far as I’m able to tell. There was certainly nothing on the dictaphone anyway

And furthermore, I even managed to beat the third alarm call so that’s progress of some kind or other.

With no dictaphone notes to deal with, I spent the early part of the morning cutting up digital tracks. Well, actually, repairing some really dire cutting before I could cut them properly (I don’t know who the heck they employed in some of these studios, I really don’t), as well as chase down a missing track which I eventually found stuck on the wrong soundtrack long after I’d downloaded a duplicate.

After breakfast I made a start on choosing the music for the next radio project and by the time that I knocked off for tea I’d even written most of the notes.

Had I applied myself to the task I could have had it finished, I reckon, but there were loads of interruptions

Much of the morning was spent trying to take a decent “selfie” (uuurrrggghhh) because I need a photograph that isn’t a standard size. Eventually I managed to seize up the memory card in the telephone and that has spent most of the day being recovered and repaired. Ancient laptops are really good for doing that because although they aren’t as quick as modern stuff, they are much more reliable and aren’t equipped with all of this modern fail-safe stuff that would stop a modern one.

heavy machinery dredging rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDuring a break in the rainstorms – because we have been drenched today good and properly – I went down into town for my dejeunette from la Mie Caline.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the dredging that was taking place a few weeks ago over at the ferry terminal. Well, it looks as if the material that they were using – well some of it anyway – is back.

We saw one of the diggers heading out there yesterday afternoon, so they muct have turned up sometime after lunch yesterday

erecting pontoon supports rue du port de granville  harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have been following the work that’s been going on at the quayside in the rue du Port.

This lunchtime I managed to catch them at it, fixing one of the pontoon supports to the side of the harbour wall. No sign of any pontoon yet, but I imagine that it won’t be too long before it’s here. There can’t be many more supports to fix.

And then we shall see just how this is going to work out

heavy crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide was well on its way out so the harbour gates were closed. That meant that I could cross on the path over the top of the gates to the other side.

And it’s all go here too since I was over here too. We’ve had quite a few deliveries of all kinds of stuff and a giant crane too. This has excited my curiosity and as there are some people over there with it, I shall go and enquire.

And you have probably noticed the clouds in the sky. It was quite bright early but now it’s turning ugly.

heavy crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I made my enquiries of the guys standing by the stuff and their response was “we’re going to erect a wind turbine – three wind turbines in fact – at the harbour mouth”.

Well, quite! I was sorely tempted to reply something like “pull the other one, it’s got bells on it” but instead I played along with them for a while and then wandered off as it had now started to rain.

But anyway, I worked out what it is and we’ll see if I’m right in early course I reckon.

Yesterday I mentioned that I’d go and see what was going on that had caused the road in the rue Roger Maris to be closed. But no chance of that today because we were being pelted with rain and it was dreadful. I came home instead.

After lunch I made some apple and pear puree seeing as I have run out. And I solved the problem of excess liquid by draining it off and drinking it. I didn’t think until later that I should have made a cordial out of it.

As it was, I ran the fruit through the whizzer once it was thoroughly cooked and it’s come out exactly as it was supposed to. I’ll see what it tastes like tomorrow.

Being on a roll I peeled some ginger and boiled it. While it was simmering away I added some honey and turmeric, and then peeled three lemons. The lemons went in the whizzer too and the juice was drained off and put in the fridge.

The lemon pulp was added to the ginger and all of that was left to simmer for a while.

low tide baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now it was walk-time so off I went.

By the looks of things it was low tide and a very low tide at that too. The sea was miles out. And while the rain might well have stopped … “for the moment” – ed … where I was standing but across the bay at Jullouville they were getting the lot.

And the wind was still there of course. That couldn’t clear off across the bay too, could it?

storm brittany coast baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it didn’t look as if we were going to be spared the rain for very much longer … “I was right” – ed.

There was a wicked storm brewing up across the baie de Mont St Michel on the Brittany coast and whatever they were getting in Cancale, we would be getting it very shortly too give the speed of the wind.

This isn’t the time to be hanging around waiting for things to happen.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBut neither the rainstorms nor the high winds were going to deter the fans of peche à pied.

They are out there regardless of the weather scavenging among the rocks for shellfish and the like. There are some kind of rules about the exploitation of the coastline and the part beyond the normal low tide limit is apparently fair game.

But of course you can only access it at an abnormally low tide and today seems to be one of those. And I hope that they share out the catch with their friends. After all, you mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish.

fishing boat trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith the tide being so far out and with the weather being so vile today, many fishing boats that we wouldn’t normally see in port were all still there today.

And the low tide meant that you can see all of them too. As I’ve said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … this is what is called a NAABSA harbour – Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground – when the tide is out.

It might look impressive to see boats like this but some NAABSA harbours are even more impressive. Take Ridham in kent for example, one of the destinations of our gravel boats. That’s a NAABSA harbour and ships of a couple of thousand tons can sit on the sea ed there at low tide.

dredger concrete breaker ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd the mystery of what that digger was going to do yesterday is solved because it was doing it again today and I managed to catch him at it.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the concrete breaker working away on the rocks over by the ferry terminal. They’ve obviously reached the limit of their reach up there because they are now working away from down at the water level.

I makes me wonder if we are going to be having a bigger ferry boat in here sometime soon

heavy crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd I was right!

Earlier on we saw them with the crane and the equipment and we heard their “wind turbine” story. What we actually have is a floating pontoon or two out in the water now, which is what I thought it might have been.

That doesn’t answer the question as to why, and seeing as I doubt very much if I will get any sense out of the workforce, I’ll have to wait and see for myself.

By now the rain had eased off so I extended my walk a little and then came back to the apartment.

Having put some coffee into the microwave to heat up, I sat down to wait for it and promptly fell asleep for 20 minutes. How awful this is!

But then I finished off making my cordial and then cracked on with the work. But you can see why, with all of these interruptions, I didn’t manage to get as much done as I had hoped.

Tea was a stuffed pepper and it was the best that I had ever made. It really was good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The rice pudding was excellent too.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThat took me up to my evening walk time.

The rain had stopped by now … “for the moment” – ed … but everywhere was thoroughly soaked. One of my running tracks was submerged so I had to do that run somewhere else.

Abd as I mentioned earlier, the tide is still quite far out right now. The waves were still crashing down on the Plat Gousset though but without the force that they’ll have a little later.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallJust for a change I was the only one out there enjoying the spectacle so I stood and watched it for a while.

With no-one about I managed my second run too and then headed for home, exchanging pleasantries with a guy cleaning his window sill. Some people have some funny ideas.

Back here I’ve finished my notes so now I’m ready for bed. But the lemon and ginger cordial that I made was totally wicked. I mustn’t spill any or it will strip the varnish off the floor.

But being tired, I’m off to bed, hoping for another good night’s sleep. I need it.

Monday 10th February 2020 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall … yet more photos of Storm Ciara, taken at about 21:30 this evening in the pitch black, let me tell you about an exciting encounter that I had this morning.

Newspaper reporter – “you’re British, aren’t you?”
Our Hero – “No I’m not. I’ù European. 100% European, looking for a European country to adopt me”
Newspaper reporter – “could you give me your phone number? I’ll be wanting to talk to you sometime soon”

So there you go. Whatever I think about Brexit will be all over the newspapers in early course.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLast night wasn’t such a late night as some have been just recently and just for a change I beat the third alarm to my feet.

After the medication I came back to check on the dictaphone. And by the looks of things it was a night that was extremely active.

No wonder I’ve been so tired recently with nights like this. I’ll be needing a sleep to recover from the sleep at this rate.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWe started off with the Fête Forain or Funfair in town and we were having a kind of circus or something like that. I’m not sure how it related to this particular dream but Castor was here. In the end, Castor and I worked out a plan. She really liked the funfair so in the end I got her to sneak off and she went round to some woman’s house and tormented the woman so that in the end the woman lost her temper and tried to attack her and she could kill the woman. It was all very surreal.
Part of this dream and I don’t know exactly what part involved me travelling on a bus from Goodall’s Corner (… actually the Sugar Loaf …) in Shavington. I’d got in at about 07:00 and started to take off my clothes and get into bed but then all the school kids started to turn up ready for the bus. I thought that I really wanted to be on this bus – I had things to do. There was something I particularly wanted to do but I cant remember what it was now so i got myself back out of bed and started to get dressed quite quickly as I knew that the bus would be here and I needed to be on it with all these kids for this reason but I can’t remember what now.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSome time later we (whoever “we” were) were on the road driving somewhere around Europe and we came across a couple who had a Marina Estate with a big trailer behind with loads of stuff on it. They were moving across France somewhere. So we had a chat and they were telling us about our plans and all that then they set off to drive. A short while later we set off behind them. On this trailer were two big air bags tied to the side, the type that keep yachts afloat. They were bouncing about in the wind and I remember telling whoever it was I was with that I wonder if they’d still have those tied to their trailer at the end of the journey. But they started to get a bit slower and slower then we were overtake by this big white Scammell lorry and white trailer that went roaring past us and I remember saying that I know that lorry from before and I don’t know what engine he has in it but it’s not the right one. These people ground to a halt and I pulled past them to park on the verge in front and I could see the smoke and smell the hot oil from where I was standing. It seemed that the car had blown up or something like that so I told the guy to bounce it over on the starter onto the verge then at least it’s out of the way of the traffic. So he did that but the trailer became disconnected – he moved the car but not the trailer so we had to start to man-haul the trailer out of the road. And I woke up right at that point in the middle of hauling this trailer

Later still last night I was at a party and I can’t remember who I was with now. Two guys were there who I knew really well but I can’t remember them. They were farmers talking to me about the farm and joined by someone else who was a farmer locally. They were all having a chat about their farms, that kind of thing. I was loitering around near them. The stranger of the three said something like this was why he left St Julian’s Primary School, was to do something or other. Their conversation drifted along. eventually the new guy said “is that your Transit parked outside by the way?” I said “yes it was” and I was about to say that I was now on retirement but that was when I awoke.

No wonder I’m exhausted after all of that.

Once breakfast was out of the way I attacked the digital files. And while I would like to say that for a change it went quite well, I ended up being left with a pile of stuff left over that I recognise but I just can’t put a name to it and that’s annoying me intently.

But anyway I went and had a shower.

road closed rue roger maris granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the shower I went off out on my walk to my weekly radio meeting at the Centre Agora.

There were no interruptions until I reached the rue Couraye and there I was presented with a road closure. It seems that the rue Roger maris is closed for some reason or other and there’s a diversion.

Tomorrow when I go to pick up my dejeunette from la Mie Caline I shall go for a walk out that way and see what gives.

recycling lorry avenue des matignons granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on up the hill at the junction or the rue Aristide Briand and the avenue des Matignon, the recycling lorry was out again.

It was difficult to tell what he was collecting this time but judging by the sound as he emptied the silo, I would hazard a guess that it was the glass that he was collecting today.

Anyway I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … to the Centre Agora for our radio meeting and there I was within half an inch of saying something that everyone including me might regret.

But basically the guy who thinks that he’s running the show just wouldn’t shut up today and, even worse, he wouldn’t let anyone else have a say. and any suggestion that anyone other than he made was immediately shot down in flames.

He’s een bad before, that’s for sure, but today he was out of control and if he doesn’t get a grip of himself or p155 off elsewhere, this is all going to end in tears because there won’t be another meeting like this with me at it.

I have much better things to do with my time than to witness someone go off on an ego trip

We then had a Press Conference at which only two journalists turned up. A third, from Ouest-France, was scheduled to appear but declined. Apparently that newspaper supports another outlet and so won’t give ours any publicity at all.

It’s just like the situation in Wales where BBC Wales Sport is deep in bed with members of the Welsh Rugby Football Association and broadcasts everything to do with Rugby while imposing a total news blackout on the Welsh Premier League.

My way or resolving the situation with Ouest-France is simple. We are a public service outlet financed by the Town Council of Granville, organised by the Mayor. So quite simply, the mayor should refuse to invite them to any of her press conferences.

scales for digital kitchen lidl avenue aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallEventually the meeting was over and I headed off to LIDL.

There wasn’t much that I needed so I didn’t buy a great deal, but if only I had a digital kitchen I would have been well away with a set of scales.

But seriously, someone ought to teach the Chinese that what they are offering is not a set of scales for a digital kitchen, but a set of digital scales for a kitchen – a balance numérique pour cuisine, or at least check their writing before it goes to print.

coelacanthe trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn my way home and I called in at La Mie Caline for my dejeunette and then headed for home.

Down in the port one of the biggest trawler-type of fishing boats, called the Coelacanthe was having a nautical danse macabre all to herslef, and it wasn’t very clear whether she was coming or going.

But whatever it was, it won’t be far because the harbour gates are closed.

digger ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that at the beginning of the year they were dredging out by the ferry port with a digger and a couple of big lorries.

They cleared off after a few weeks but I noticed today on my way home that there was a digger back out there today. I’ve no idea what because he can’t accomplish very much on his own.

Back here it was long after lunch time so I had a quick lunch and went to work.

With not going for an afternoon walk (I’m over 100% already) I cracked on with the radio project and now that’s all finished and done.

Final task was to prepare a live radio concert for the end of the month. I had one lined up and dictated some text, but what I dictated wasn’t long enough so I had to dictate some more.

But listening to the concert – one that I mixed and edited 5 years ago – I decided that it was rubbish. I remember being impressed with it back in those days but I can do much better than that now.

And so I remixed and re-edited it. And I still wasn’t satisfied so I re-did it completely.

That meant a very late tea so it was an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit out of the freezer followed by more rice pudding

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallOutside tonight, the wind was totally wicked again and we have had a rainstorm and the ground is like a lake. I had to do my first run along another part of the track.

That brought me to the cliff overlooking the Plat Gousset where I joined the crowds looking down on the waves, driven by Storm Ciara, crashing down on the promenade.

Unfortunately they have turned off the lights on the promenade these days so we can’t really see the storm in all of its glory.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThis little crowd of us waited around for a while and I took a few photos.

It’s disappointing that they haven’t turned out any better than this but you can’t win a coconut every time. I’ll try to be out and about at high tide in the morning if the storm is still raging.

And so I carried on with my walk – and run too. I did my second run even though I didn’t feel like it.

Now I’m back home, finishing off my notes and listening to the project that I recorded earlier. And there’s still some more editing that needs doing.

And what is impressing me more than anything is that I’m now starting to look for it and to recognise it. Stuff that I thought was good 5 years ago I’m now discarding because I can do much better than that now.

And that’s something about which I should be pleased, I reckon.

Sunday 9th February 2020 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

waves storm ciara baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hall … the effects of Storm Ciara as the waves come crashing down onto the harbour wall here this afternoon, a good couple of hours before High Tide too, let me tell you a little about my day today.

With it being a Sunday of course, there was no alarm call. And I wasn’t in any great rush to go to bed last night either (not that it was late by any recent standard) but I was still hoping to have a pretty decent sleep.

But, unfortunately, it wasn’t really meant to be, was it?

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne glance at the dictaphone was enough to tell me that.

There were files on there that had been dictated at 04:25; 04:48 and 05:27 and all of that points to a very disturbed sleep. And while I finally awoke at about 09:30, it was still another 20 minutes before I could haul myself out of bed.

After the medication I attacked the digital file-splitting project. And I was right when I thought to myself that this seems to bear no relation to what I knew of the album, because it isn’t the album that it’s supposed to be.

Heaven alone knows what it is because it features three tracks that I don’t recognise at all and I wouldn’t even bet that it was the singer who it was supposed to be either.

And even worse, I can’t find any mention of the lyrics anywhere on the internet, which is even more strange.

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter breakfast I set about looking at the notes on the dictaphone. And I wish that I hadn’t because they are all somewhat confusing to say the least.

To begin with, I’d received a huge packet of envelopes through the post and one of them -I can’t remember what it was about – but it was really complicated stuff giving me all kinds of information that I didn’t really need and inviting me to do things and be things, so on. The next day I got another letter from a different source saying “be a travel agent” this was and it was a quote for a life assurance, like £36,000 and a bit of insurance for this and a bit of insurance for that and how I would have to make payment for this. Of course I had no intention of making any payment for life assurance as my life is on its way out so I was sitting there trying to work out a way how I could decline this offer and not take it up because it seemed for some unknown reason to be pretty binding and I don’t know why. It had something to do with a voyage I was making with Liz and Terry and we had to go to a club in somewhere like Wrenbury. We left Crewe – we were in Nantwich Road and for some reason I took them down Wistaston Road and out past the park and down the Middlewich Road into Nantwich. They were wondering why I’d gone that way and I said that there’s far less traffic this way and they didn’t understand because it was longer. I said “trust me” and they replied that they had trusted me the last time about this and you’ve brought us this way again. I said “yes but we got there and we got there fine didn’t we?” so I didn’t see a problem. We were going to a party or something and it was in a pub. I asked “is there something like a separate room or a quiet room or something ebcause I don’t really feel like mixing wiht a lot of people and making a lot of noise” They said “yes, you’ll enjoy it and it’s one of the reasons why we go there because there are other things to be doing as well”

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA little later, there was a concert or something due to take place about the blues or somewhere like that and I know that I had to go there and I was trying to think of a way out of it. There was something about us being on board ship as well and there was a girl here with a very long plaited pigtail-ponytail thing and that’s all I remember about this.

Later still, I’d received an invitation to go and take part in some research on this animal scientific centre out near Wrenbury (… why Wrenbury all of a sudden? …). I wasn’t very sure about this. Everyone was saying what a really good opportunity this is because it’s one of the market leaders in this kind of field. But being vegan I was pretty much opposed to it yet everyone was saying what a great opportunity this might be for me.

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd finally, we were on a bus, me George and someone else, it might have been Darren dunno. We were heading towards the French coast and – a tram, not a bus – and the tram was rattly and crowded and people were gradually getting off as we got lighter. I was having a chat to this George character about nothing in particular. At one moment we came round a bend and there was a beautiful view of the port and the ships in it at Ouistreham, all of this. I went to get my camera but by the time that I got myself organised the vuew had gone. Just the canals and the barges on them like Chausiais. I didn’t get a photo of those. As we came round a corner where there was an abandoned railway station with hoardings outside all covered in fly-posting. I thought “Ahhh I know where I am now”. We got off the tram and whoever was the third person came up behind us on a bicycle. They were having a conversation and they asked “what did I think?”. I hadn’t heard the conversation so I said “I don’t know – I haven’t heard it” so they started talking again about Valentines Cards. How many Valentine’s cards do you buy? I replied “as many as you need”. They replied “you just buy one don’t you, for people you like?” I said “and what about the people you love?” They replied that you don’t need a Valentine’s card for them because they know it already. I replied “you should never take people for granted, especially women” but they disagreed with me. In the meantime I was trying to do something with the lends of my camera. I’d put some glue on it to hold something on but it had come off and I was trying to get all of this pink glue off my camera where I had this lens attached

waves storm ciara port de granville harbourmanche normandy france eric hallAs you can see, that took up the greater part of the morning and a little chat with Liz on the internet took care of the rest.

Luckily I had made myself a pot of coffee so I was able to keep on topping myself up throughout the morning as I was going on.

And I needed it too because despite the lengthy sleep, I was creaking away and ready to drop off at the drop of a hat.

trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSomewhat later than I was expecting or hoping, I went for my walk into town for my bread.

And never mind “walk”. It was more like “crawl” in this wicked wind that was blowing. Nevertheless I made it down to the chantier navale to see what was going on.

And there’s another boat in there now, next to the mobile sling. One of the trawler-type of fishing boats that operate from out of the port here. So things are looking up.

trawler fishing boat waves port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut to give you some idea of how strong the wind was, there wasn’t a single boat out that I could see. They were all moored up in port.

And look at the waves that are chopping around them too. They ave to be at least one foot-waves, and you have to remember that the tide is out and the harbour gates are too.

So those waves are building up in just the wind and in a run of a couple of hundred metres.

Imagine what it must be like out in the open sea.

trench port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that they have been digging a trench on the quayside for the past week or two.

Despite the fact that it’s a Sunday and there would be no-one around, I went for a look to see what was going on. And that was a waste of time because I couldn’t see much. Whatever they have been doing is finished and the trench is now filled in.

Still, if there’s someone around during the week I can also ask him

chausiais port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne thing on which I have been musing is the situation re Chausiais.

As far as I could tell, there didn’t seem the capacity to take a lot of stuff aboard so I was intrigued to see how she was arranged. I had vowed next time that I was passing to take a closer look.

And I can now see what the score is and how she is arranged. If you look closely you’ll see that the roof is divided into sections and they slide back one underneath the other to make a big open space for goods.

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo while you admire a few more storm photos, I picked up my bread from La Mie Caline, came back here and had my lunch. The last of the smoked cheese so I fetched some home-made hummus out of the freezer.

Having eaten, I went back into my office to finish off the notes for the radio project on which I’m working. And unfortunately I couldn’t keep going for long.

In fact I crashed out a couple of times and that really annoyed me because I seem to be getting worse and worse from that point of view

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMind you, a couple of coffees brought me round and I did manage to remain awake long enough to finish them.

There seems to be quite a few too, more than the usual so I hope that they will edit down to a more manageable size. These days I seem to be letting myself be carried away by my verbosity and that’s not good.

Still, I suppose that it’s better than not saying enough. At least it gives my listeners a little break to go to the bathroom.

surfer crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the winds, I headed off for my walk – around the city walls this afternoon.

And surprisingly, there were a lot of people out there this afternoon despite the weather. A few people down on the beach, including one rather intrepid soul carrying his surfboard.

With there being lots of people about, I didn’t manage to fit in any runs either which was disappointing. I’ll never improve at this rate.

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith the urge to push on and do 100% every day as often as possible, I extended my walk out along the headlands.

There were crowds of people standing on the cliffs watching the waves from Storm Ciara smashing their way into the harbour wall so I went and joined them.

And with the trusty NIKON D500 I could take plenty of photos to record the occasion, because it was definitely one of those days

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAll in all, I stayed out there admiring the waves and then came back to my apartment.

First thing that I did was to dictate the notes onto the new ZOOM H1 and then copy them over to the computer for editing.

Ten minutes to the second, there are, but that lot needs quite some editing. And by the time that I’d knocked off for tea, I’d reviewed about 60% and got it down to 07:20, which is good going.

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallEven if it were to stay as it was, a final track of about 3:00 would fit in nicely, but I can reduce the amount of discussion by another minute or so at least.

On that note I knocked off for tea. I prepared a rice pudding and put it in the oven while I made the pizza, and then took the rice pudding out when I put the pizza in.

Ohhh! For two shelves in my oven. I really must look into this and see what I can do about inventing something to work as a second shelf.

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe pizza was really delicious and so was the rice pudding. And then I braved the elements for the evening walk around the headland.

And brave it was too because the wind was thoroughly wicked. It was a struggle to open the front door, never mind to go outside in it. And once I did make it outside, every step was a struggle.

There were times when I was in a mind to turn back but I pressed on regardless to see what I could do in the weather. It wasn’t easy.

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the south side of the headland it was relatively sheltered so I went for my run.

And that was what I called “agony”. Only pride kept me going, I reckon, and I had to sit on the wall for five minutes afterwards to catch my breath as I couldn’t move.

So now I’m back here, finishing off my notes and regardless of the fact that there are still things that need doing, I’m going to bed.

I really am on my last legs and it’s a long walk tomorrow. You can admire the rest of the photos while I curl up in bed.

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall
waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall
waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall

waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall
waves storm ciara port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall

Saturday 8th February 2020 – I’VE JUST SEEN …

football stade louis dior us st malo us granville manche normandy france eric hall… one of the strangest football matches that I’ve seen in years. And I’m still shaking my head about it even now.

Following US Granville’s dismal performance last week, the coach made a few changes to the team to play US St Malo this evening at the Stade Louis Dior, and rightly so. But the players that he replaced were players who I thought played well last week and left on the field some of the players, including the guy who gave Olympique de Marseille their third goal the other week and who gave away the ball that led to one of the Vannes OC goals last week.

In the first half St Malo had pretty much the best of the play and so you will be just as surprised as I was to learn that US Granville were 3-0 up. I don’t know what the trainer had put in the pre-match cuppa but I would like a drink of it.

But really, the goals were
1) a free kick
2) an own goal
3) a penalty.
Nothing really there to get excited about.

As I went for my half-time coffee, I remember thinking that there was still plenty of time for US Granville to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

And when US St Malo went down to 10 men, you would be forgiven to fetching the bottle of champagne, but I know my players and I had faith.

football stade louis dior us st malo us granville manche normandy france eric hallJust look where the St Malo goalkeeper is standing. Almost on the halfway line.

At this point St Malo are taking a corner. The ball is played into the centre and the Granville keeper catches it. Now you and I would go for the long kick downfield over the keeper’s head and who knows? There might be a goal in it. Chris Mullock scored one like that for Aberystwyth Town a season or two ago and even if it didn’t, it would keep the keeper back on his goal line and stop him playing centre-half.

But no. Our keeper rolls the ball out to a defender to play the ball upfield.

And the inevitable happens. He loses possession, the attackers are through one-on-one with the keeper abd they make no mistake.

The tragedy is that just 30 seconds earlier we had had exactly the same situation and a goal was only narrowly averted. It taught them nothing.

Even worse – a few minutes later US Granville messing around in defence instead of clearing the ball, and they lose possession. Consequently US St Malo pull back a second goal.

Luckily US Granville cling on until the final whistle to win the match with a desperate rearguard defence against 10 men in a match that they should have won at a canter.

This morning was another struggle to leave the bed. I missed an alarm once more so it was 07:10 when I finally left the bed. Nothing on the dictaphone from the night so after the medication I cut up a digital track.

That was more difficult than it ought to be because whoever had assembled it had left the marks where he had joined it up – and they were in the wrong places. So I had to rejoin it correctly before I could cut it.

After breakfast I had a shower and then went to town.

First stop was NOZ where I bought a cheap whiteboard at €0:79. I alreay have a whiteboard but a spare is useful for a variety of reasons and as well as that, it included a marker and the price of a marker on its own is more than that.

LeClerc was much more expensive but then again I had to buy coffee and the rest of the muesli stuff, and also they had some frozen vegan burgers and things like that and seeing as there is at the moment some room in my freezer for once I stocked up.

For a change I went to GIFI too to see if they had any pastry cutters. But no such luck, so I came home instead.

The rest of the day was spent working on the radio project and that’s all done and dusted and recorded and I’ve started on the notes for the final one. They are about two-thirds done now.

That could have been finished today but for the fact that I was having another bad day. I was crashed out on the chair a couple of times, really deeply too. I’m getting a little bit worried by this right now because I’ve been here in the past and I thought that I had managed to go beyond that.

There was the walk to the Stade Louis Dior of course and the walk back, which was extended to take me over the 100% mark. And I managed a run too, which pleased me greatly.

Saturday night so tea was out of a tin, followed by a banana with the rest of the raspberry sorbet. No walk afterwards because of course I’m over my limit so I can relax.

So now it’s bedtime. No alarm so it’s a nice long sleep – I hope. But you just watch someone come along and spoil it.