Saturday 16th February 2019 – THAT WAS AN …

… exciting football match.

The semi-finals of the Irn-Bru Cup, where various Scottish clubs compete against selected invited sides from Wales, The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Tonight, Edinburgh City were playing against Connahs Quay Nomads of the Welsh Premier League for a place in the finals. It was something of a scrappy match – with Edinburgh City having more skill but the Nomads having more possession and more directness.

The Nomads went behind after just one minute, but after that, Edinburgh didn’t really threaten the Nomads’ goal very much, except from corners.

After that, the Nomads equalised from another long-throw, and hit the woodwork a couple of times.

We ended up with extra time and penalties, and Jon Danby in the Nomads goal did really well to save two penalties to push the Nomads through into the finals. This competition is certainly putting the Welsh premier League on the map, and not before time either.

Last night was quite a reasonable night.

I had a decent sleep for once, and was off on my travels. I was meeting a guitarist somewhere in Granville. he lived in the flats on the left halfway up the rue Couraye but when I pulled into the courtyard, he wasn’t there. His wife came down for a chat and as we were talking, her husband turned up. The asked me if it was me that they had seen last night coming back down from the football stadium. I replied that it was, to which they added that I needed to be careful if I were going there that evening because there would be crowds and there was some violence threatened.
This led on to two people being chased around a park by a polar bear. They climbed up a ladder to escape but to everyone’s surprise, the polar bear climbed up after them. They climbed down another ladder and ran off, leaving me looking at the polar bear. So it came over towards me. For some reason, I didn’t run either and as the bear approached me, it suddenly transformed itself into a tall, thin youth with a bushy black beard.

Despite the alarms, it was more like 07:00 when I arose. and after going through the usual ritual I had a shower and then set a washing machine on the go. It was a nice sunny day outside so I wanted to put the washing in the window to dry.

bedford cf caravanette boulevard des terreneuviers granville manche normandy franceOnce I’d organised the washing in the window, I headed off into town.

Our old friend – and I do mean “old” – the CF Bedford transformed into a mobile home was back there in its usual spot overlooking the harbour.

One day i’ll get to speak to the owners and find out more about it. It’s a pretty anonymous vehicle in the sense that it doesn’t even display its département number on the number plate.

new house construction rue du port granville manche normandy franceWhile I was down there I had a look over the wall at the new building that that they have been constructing.

The back wall is finished now and I imagine that they will soon be putting in the windows.

But my attention was drawn to the rear of the house, and in particular the annex extension. I was wondering what it is supposed to be and what they are intending to do with it.

tide out boats aground port de granville harbour manche normandy franceFrom there I walked down the stairs and across the rue du Nord and onto the harbour by the fish processing plant.

Dodging the seagulls dropping the crustaceans onto the concrete to break them open, I crossed over via the harbour gates that were closed.

The tide is well out and all of the boats in the harbour are aground.

fish dock tidal harbour gates granville manche normandy franceWe’ve seen a few times the layout of the fish dock underneath the fish processing plant, but we’ve never had a close look at it.

One of these days I’ll go for a walk around underneath and see what it’s really like, but this is the best view that we can have of it for now. We’ve not seen it from this angle before.

You can see the tidal gates to the port here on the right, and you can see from the stains the height of the tide when it’s in.

bollards quayside port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOn the southern side of the harbour there were a couple of guys messing around with tools and measuring tape and all of that kind of thing.

And on the principle that if you want to know the answer to a question, you need to ask the question, and so I did.

It seems that they are erecting bollards along the edge of the quayside, presumably to stop motorists driving off the edge into the harbour.

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOur old friend Le Grande Ancre is in port today, moored up at the other side of Marité

There’s some kind of interesting tractor with double rear wheels, parked on the deck of the boat. I wonder what that’s for and where it might be going.

There was also a boat there too – presumably the lifeboat for the ship if ever she were to sink. As we know, she’s actually been involved in one rescue a few years ago, as a rescuer, not a rescuee.

gilets jaunes place charles de gaulle granville manche normandy franceIn the town centre the gilets jaunes were out there in force, disrupting the traffic.

Regardless of whether or not their protest is a valid one, they should be protesting against the politicians and the tax officials and the like.

That’s far too difficult, however. They aren’t brave enough for that. Their level is just about coming to a peaceful market and harassing the passers-by and the motorists. It really does get on my wick and I wish that they would all clear off.

indoor market granville manche normandy franceAnyway, I made it to the market today for my special baguette.

And as you might expect, the boulangerie is on holiday this week so I had to do without. I picked up some pears though, and also some cooking apples. I’m going to make an apple tart when I come back from Belgium.

I went to another boulangerie for a baguette and then went home.

After lunch, I pushed on with updating the blog and I’ve made it back to 15th December 2018. Still plenty to go at.

I would have done even more, except that round about 14:30 I had to go to bed. No idea why because I’d had a good sleep during the night. I was out for 90 minutes yet again.

yachts baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceStill plenty of time to go out and join the madding crowds milling around on the Pointe du Roc.

Hordes of people out there, even more than yesterday. And that was no surprise because it really was a beautiful day today.

Out in the bay there were the yachts out again having a bit of a sail around in the Baie de Mont St Michel. It made me want to be out there with them too, and one of these days I will.

armor chantier navale granville manche normandy franceThere was quite a racket coming from the chantier navale while I was out there, so I went for a look around.

Armor, the ship from the diving people, was still in there and receiving attention. It looks as if they are taking off all of the paint for it, presumably ready for giving it a bare-metal respray.

When I come back from Leuven I’ll have to go over there for a look and see what they’ve done to her, if she’s still in there.

Tea tonight was out of a tin and then we had the football. Now I’m off to bed because I really need a decent sleep as I do have to be up early.

There’s a lot to do.

tide out boats aground port de granville harbour manche normandy france
tide out boats aground port de granville harbour manche normandy france

market rue saint saveur granville manche normandy france
market rue saint saveur granville manche normandy france

steps rue saint saveur granville manche normandy france
steps rue saint saveur granville manche normandy france

lifeboat memorial baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france
lifeboat memorial baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france

Friday 15th February 2019 – AS WHAT SEEMS TO BE …

… the normal procedure this morning, I heard the alarms go off and then turned over and went back to sleep.

The irony about that is I was wide awake at 04:40 and lay there tossing and turning until 06:00. Going back to sleep straight away and not waking up at 07:25 is bizarre.

During the night I’d been on my travels. On a bus holiday too but the bus was huge – it was more like an aeroplane with over 200 people in it, although it was rather laid out like a bus. I had a double-seat to myself but I had noticed a girl who would have been an ideal companion to share my seat. The driver announced that those people going on the optional excursions needed to alight and board another bus. That meant me, but I hadn’t been to my hotel yet. So I had to fight my way down to the front to speak to the driver. He told me that it did include me, so I had to fight my way to the back again, pick up my possessions, struggle through the crowds with my huge suitcase and find my bus. The driver looked at me and laughed. He said that it was the first time that he had ever had a passenger wishing to bring all of their possessions on an optional excursion. I replied that this was because I hadn’t yet been allowed to go to my hotel, and what was he going to do about it? But he walked off.

A late breakfast of course, and then a relaxing day without doing anything exciting.

And by the time that I’d finished, I’d finished the web-page with the photos of Cologne back in December and put it on line. The photos are a little disappointing, mainly because the weather was so dreadful, but one or two of them have some remarkable effects.

Having attended to that, I could then press on with the blog entry for that day too. That’s now on-line too.

That doesn’t sound as if I have done very much today but, believe me, it wasn’t particularly straightforward. And having done the difficult bit, I can press on with the rest of the blog.

That hummus that I made the other day is even more wicked than it was when I made it. It’s maturing nicely and the garlic smells delicious. It should keep me going – in many more senses than one – for a considerable time.

rue du nord city walls granville donville les bains manche normandy franceThis afternoon was one of the nicest afternoons that I have ever experienced in a February.

It really was a pleasure to be out and about in it – so much so that I actually went out earlier than normal.

There was a light sea mist that prevented a really good view down the coast, but the skies were blue and so was the sea – a really deep summery blue.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceAnd I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the weather either, as you might expect.

There were hordes of people milling around on the grass on the Pointe du Roc around the old military installations of the Atlantic Wall. And who can blame them?

In the foreground on the left is one of the rotation tracks for one of the large guns that were positioned here, and on the right in the background is the former military athletics track that is now the playing field for the College Malraux.

yacht seagull pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThere was plenty of activity on the sea too.

A yacht was quite happily sailing past the headland of the Pointe du Roc and I went to take a photo of it – and just at that very moment a seagull flew past the camera.

That’s what they call a “photo-bombing with a difference” and I couldn’t reproduce that photo if I tried for a hundred years.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound the corner and today’s walk took me on the cliffs above the chantier navale.

As I mentioned the other day, there’s a lot of activity going on in there right now. They seem to be very busy and that’s always good news.

There are a couple of new boats in there today too. We saw the yacht and the trawler in there when we went past on Monday, but the third one in there is new.

She’s Armor owned by a leisure diving company from near Lannion in the Côtes d’Armor, in between St Brieuc and Roscoff. So she’s come a long way to be serviced here.

I had to fight off a wave of fatigue round about 17:00, which is an improvement from just recently.

Tea was a vegan burger with pasta, veg and tomato sauce. Quite delicious it was too.

night avenue de la liberation granville manche normandy franceI was alone on my walk again this evening. And I can’t think why because it really was pleasant out there. Not at all like a February night.

I had a wander around the walls and spent a couple of minutes looking at the traffic driving up the hill and round the slalom of the Avenue de la Libération.

No-one – not even a seagull – disturbed me at all while I was out there

night house place du parvis notre dame granville manche normandy franceNo cats either tonight, so I trudged on homewards.

There’s a small house in the Place du Parvis Notre Dame that has attracted my attention. Some evenings it’s illuminated by a lampt outside, and tonight the building was looking particularly attractive.

It would come out even better if I had a better camera that would stop down even lower. This was taken with the 18-105mm lens at f3.75 at ISO800.

Saturday tomorrow and ordinarily I would be going shopping. But on Sunday I’m heading off to Leuven again so I shan’t bother.

I might have a little wander into town tomorrow morning though and visit the market to see what is going on. They should be starting the preparations for the Carnaval too and I’ll be interested to see where they are up to.

brehal plage granville manche normandy france
brehal plage granville manche normandy france

marker light rocks waves granville manche normandy france
marker light rocks waves granville manche normandy france

waves on rocks pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
waves on rocks pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france
fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france

lifeboat memorial port entrance marker light baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france
lifeboat memorial port entrance marker light baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france

sailing boats yachts baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
sailing boats yachts baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

trawler fishing boat refuelling port de granville harbour  manche normandy france
trawler fishing boat refuelling port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Thursday 14th February 2019 – TODAY’S BAD NEWS …

… is twofold.

Firstly, my TGV to Brussels on Sunday is cancelled. Due to a perturbation, or disturbance, so they say, but more likely it’s under-subscribed and there’s plenty of room on the ones before and after.

Secondly, I had a letter back about my taxe d’habitation. I asked for the years 2013 and 2015, but instead they sent me the ones for 2016, 2017 and 2018. Just as did the Tax Office in Montaigut-en-Combraille.

So I’ve no idea what’s going on there. I’ll have to ring them up to find out.

Last night wasn’t as early as I was expecting, and I left the bed … errr … somewhat later than the alarms. i’d been on a nocturnal ramble too, but all that I remember was going into someone else’s office to sharpen my pencil – the plot of something that I was watching on a DVD at teatime last night – to write it down.

We had breakfast and a shower and general clean-up, and then headed off to the shops. Just LIDL today of course. And the only thing that I bought was a new balaclava helmet to wear under my crash helmet. The old one that I have is ancient and filthy and so it’s high time that I replaced it.

marité normandy trader loading up port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBut I was waylaid on my way to the supermarket.

Normandy Trader was in port this morning, moored up at her usual mooring place next to Marité. She was unloading what looked like piles of shellfish, and the empty crates were being loaded back on board.

There were also sacks of what looked like sand or gravel just there on the quayside, presumably waiting their turn to be loaded up on board.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and attacked the remaining carrots that needed preparation and freezing. They were peeled, diced and blached with a couple of bayleaves, and then stuck in the freezer.

That was anough for the morning. I had a little relax while I reviewed what had been going on during the morning.

No excitement as yet – that is to come later.

After lunch, I carried on with my text database and all of December is now complete. I’ve done a few more blog entries and I’ve now reached back as far as 24th December 2018. The 23rd is the day that I went to Köln to see Jackie, and there are so many photos from there that I’m working even as we speak on a web page to display them all.

people on beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy francelater on this afternoon, I went out for my usual walk.

Around the walls in the glorious winter sunshine. It was such a beautiful day today.

And I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the weather. There were crowds of people swarming around on the pathways and down on the beach making the most of the school holidays.

sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThe tides and currents were interesting too, and the crowds on the beach down there at the Plat Gousset weren’t the only ones enjoying them.

There were some beautiful swirling waves coming onto the beach with the tide, making some spectacular patterns up and down the beach.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything look quite so artistic as this. Nature can do some wonderful things sometimes.

street decorations rue paul poirier granville manche normandy franceCarrying on around the walls, I looked down on the rue Paul Poirier. They have strung up a pile of decorations across the street – probably today because I don’t recall seeing them yesterday.

This year, Carnaval is the weekend of 2nd/3rd March and it looks as if they are setting their stall out already.

The Carnaval here in Granville is certainly special, and attracts crowds from hundreds of miles away.

yachts baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy franceDown in the harbour, Normandy Trader had cleared off – presumably fully loaded with whatever it was that was piled up on the quayside.

But it looks as if the sailing school was in operation today because there were a few yachts outside the harbour doing a little manouevring around in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Everyone seemed to be out there enjoying the weather today and I can’t say that I blame them.

Back here, I had a coffee and carried on working, fighting off wave after wave of fatigue. In the end, I went to bed where I stayed quite comfortably for 90 minutes, most of which was spent asleep.

I’ve gone on from an occasional 10 minutes here and there to a regular flat-out 90 minutes and it’s worrying.

For tea tonight I didn’t have my potato curry. In fact, by the time I’d been through and sorted out the bit of a leek and the mushrooms that were remaining in the vegetable rack, the rest of the stuffing from yesterday made a decent-sized proportion.

And it was delicious too.

night rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOutside tonight for my walk in the calm, cool evening, and almost colliding with a couple of shadows making their way around in the dark, I noticed that there wasn’t anything to see in the tidal harbour.

Probably something not unconnected with the fact that the tide was too far out.

Instead I noticed that the restaurant down on the rue du Port was open and, presumably, frying tonight. I’ve taken a few photos of the street down there but I’ve never noticed the restaurant before.

night english channel pont aven st malo granville manche normandy franceThis photo and the next one might not be of any interest to you, but they are to me.

Right out in the distance there was a bright light slowly moving across the horizon. And so I took two photographs of it, messing around with the exposure controls and the camera speed.

The first one (this one) is over-exposed, and the second one, below, is underexposed.

night english channel pont aven st malo granville manche normandy franceThey aren’t very clear at all and you can’t see what they feature, because after all, it’s only a 50mm lens, but I can have a wild guess.

It was round about 21:15 when I took the photos, and so that tells me that the lights could well be those of the Brittany Ferries ship Pont Aven setting out on its 20:35 sailing to Portsmouth.

I really need a better camera to bring out the best in this kind of shot.

So back in the apartment again, and I’m getting ready for bed. If I can go to sleep after my repose later on this afternoon.

I need to sort myself out.

And today’s excitement?

Mrs Mayhem put her proposals yet again before Parliament. And once again, she was defeated.

But is she taking this latest humiliation seriously? Not in the least. She’ll keep on going by keeping on presenting her proposals every week, wearing everyone down with the threat that if they don’t accept her plan, they’ll have to accept a no-deal pull-out.

Something that will suit her husband – and piles of currency traders and Futures dealers – down to the ground.

She will go down in History as having laid down her country for her life.

beach sea pointe du roc place d'armes granville manche normandy france
beach sea pointe du roc place d’armes granville manche normandy france

beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france
beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france

sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

waves beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france
waves beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france

casino sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
casino sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Wednesday 13th February 2019 – THIS WAS ANOTHER …

… day when things started off by going wrong.

The alarms went off as usual at 06:00 etc – I know because I heard them – but despite having had an early-ish night it was 07:25 when I awoke. And 07:50 when I crawled out of the stinking pit.

I’d been on my travels during the night too. Back in Crewe again in fact, with a group of people planning to travel to a football match – as we did a few times back in the mid-70s. But this time, the match was somewhere near Wrexham and even on a nocturnal ramble I was able to realise that this was something that would be extremely unlikely.

After breakfast I cracked on with my work.

The blog is now done as far back as 28th December 2018, and the text database for December 2018 is almost finished.

But apart from that, the fact that I now have my passport means that I can set in motion a couple of other little projects that I have in the back of my mind. I sent out a couple of mails and I’ve even had a reply from one of them.

That was quick!

As well as that, I have a contact whom I met on board the Good Ship Ve… errr … Ocean Endeavour. He’s an agent for Nikon cameras so I’ve been talking to him today about a new camera. He seems to think that the new mirrorless Nikon Z6 would do what I want, but after my bad experience with the Nikon 1 J5 I’m just a little bit wary of mirrorless cameras.

We had lunch of course, and a session on the guitar.

beach diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy franceAnd then a walk out this afternoon.

And it was another gorgeous day. A real pleasure to be out in the sun and it was actually warm out there which was a surprise.

The beach looked really inviting and I was tempted to go for a walk thereupon but I have too much to do right now than to go off idly passing the time.

buoy yacht donville les bains brehal plage granville manche normandy franceThere was a sea haze out there looking northwards and visibility wasn’t all that good today.

There was a yacht in the distance off the coast of Bréhal-Plage, but there were also a couple more of these buoys that we have been seeing just recently.

I still haven’t worked out what they might be for. They appear as if by magic and the next day they are gone.

For tea tonight, I had a stuffed pepper with spicy rice. And it was just as delicious as normal. But there’s plenty of stuffing left so it might be a potato curry tomorrow to finish it off. there’s half a leek from the other day that will go in there nicely.

night trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOut for my walk again tonight. And once more I was the only one out there, which is a shame because it really was quite nice out there;

You couldn’t see anything to the north because the mist had closed in, but to the south we were treated once more to the fishing boats going around the harbour.

Only the small ones because the tide was only just coming in. The ones with a deeper draught will be in there later.

So while I go to bed for an early night I’ll leave you with the news that the British Defence Minister has said today that The UK will use Military force to protect its interests after Brexit.

He went on to say “we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality, and increase our mass”.

“Increase our lethality”! Just what planet are these fools living on?

To think that these are the people who are going to lead the UK into the Brave New post-Brexit world. They are insane!

It’s this kind of 19th-Century sabre-rattling that makes me more and more ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I’m British.

beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

buoy yacht donville les bains brehal plage granville manche normandy france
buoy yacht donville les bains brehal plage granville manche normandy france

beach diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france
beach diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france

promenade plat gousset granville manche normandy france
promenade plat gousset granville manche normandy france

place georges clemenceau granville manche normandy france
place georges clemenceau granville manche normandy france

night trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france
night trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france

night trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france
night trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france

coa

Tuesday 12th February 2019 – THE GOOD NEWS …

… today (because there has been some) is that my new passport arrived.

There was a telephone call this morning asking me if I would be here this afternoon because the courier intended to pass by.

And so having confirmed it, I received a second phone call at about 15:35 to ask me which was the door to my block of apartments. Instead, I went downstairs and a charming lady handed me a big yellow envelope.

So now, being all legal again, that’s one less thing to think about. That is – until I lose this one.

For some reason or other, I was still awake and working at 01:30 last night. That’s usually a recipe for disaster but then again there’s no point in going to bed when I’m not tired and when I can carry on working.

Despite that, I managed to wake up when the alarm went off and I was out of bed comparatively early.

A comparatively early breakfast and then I settled down to work. And by the time that I had finished, I’d finished the blog back as far as 1st January 2019. And it’s not as easy as it might be either because until I fathomed out the depths of this new blog upgrade, the blog was itself inserting all kinds of redundant and surplus *.html code that bears little or no resemblance to the coding that I use.

It all has to be stripped out and while I have a computer program that does that, it strips out everything, including the coding that I want leaving in. And so I have to start again.

As far as the text database goes, I’m now back almost to the beginning of December. That was, by the way, a heavy month for photos so it’s going to take longer than it otherwise might.

british range rover discovery unloading furniture rue st jean granville manche normandy franceI went out and about for my walk this afternoon as usual.

And was treated to the delightful sight of a group of British people blocking off the rue St Jean while they unloaded a trailer of furniture – because they were too lazy to carry the furniture 50 metres from the car park around the corner.

It’s this kind of thing that I hate, because it gives all of us a very bad name when they treat the locals with contempt like this.

beach donville les bains brehal plage granville manche normandy franceHowever, leaving aside a really good rant for the moment, the weather this afternoon was beautiful.

It was sunny and warm (for the time of year) and the sky was quite clear. There was a beautiful view of the coastline all the way along from Donville les Bains down to Bréhal-Plage.

On the right of the image is of course that old hotel where I saw that miserable apartment that was to let.

beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceAnd hardly surprisingly, I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the beautiful weather;

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s school holiday so there were crowds out there strolling along the Plat Gousset and walking along the beach.

No-one actually in the water, though. And I can’t blame them. It wasn’t that warm out there.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd not only that, there was some activity in the port too. Our old friend Thora was in the harbour this afternoon tied up at her berth by the dockyard crane.

I could see that she was loaded up with a dozen or so of these enormous gravel bags, but whether or not there was gravel in them I couldn’t really say.

But whatever there is in there, it’ll all be off to Jersey in early course.

place d'armes granville manche normandy francehaving been up on the top of the walls at the back of the Eglise Notre Dame de Cap Lihou to take a photo of Thora, there was a really good view of my apartment building.

It’s the building on the right there, part of an old military barracks with the parade ground in the middle.

Part of the old parade ground is closed off and is our private parking. You can see Caliburn in his little parking space just there.

The building in the background is now the College Malraux – the local secondary school. Their playground is the old military sports ground at the back of the College.

Back here, I had the usual strum on the guitar followed by a coffee. No Christmas Cake because I finished that off on Sunday. And then I started work again;

But not for long though. I was soon tucked up in bed under the covers fast asleep. And there I stayed for about 90 minutes. I wasn’t asleep for all of that time but it’s difficult for me to tear myself out of bed.

There was some of that potato and lentil curry left over from the other day. So I added half a leek and some sweetcorn to it to lengthen it.

And followed by tinned fruit salad and that soya cream stuff (almond this week, not coconut) it was thoroughly delicious.

night trawler pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceLater on after tea I went out for my evening walk. Around the headland tonight, looking at the trawlers coming in with their catch.

And I tried a little experiment. The photos that I’m taking of various things at night are sometimes coming out poorly because I’m struggling to set the exposure correctly to stop pinpoints of light being too bright and distorting the image.

So tonight what I did was to set the exposure to where I would ordinarily have set it, and then reduced the ISO by one stop and increased the exposure by a couple of stops.

And it’s coming out much clearer – but there’s still room to go.

trawlers baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was a large collection of lights just outside the entrance to the harbour. It looked as if it might have been a gravel boat such as Neptune standing off and hove to, waiting for the tidal gates to open.

But with the photo being much better and clearer than usual now, I could see that it was actually a couple of trawlers having stopped to have a little chat before they came in and tied up to unload.

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBut the harbour was really quite busy tonight.

There must have been eight or nine fishing boats in the outer harbour either tied up unloading or waiting for an empty berth. And half a dozen more here or hereabouts on their way in.

As I have said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … I would have loved to have been here in the heyday of the port when it would have been packed with Newfie trawlers.

So now I’m going to try to have an early night. I probably won’t sleep, what with having crashed out this afternoon, but I ought to make an effort.

I can’t keep on going like this.
people on beach granville manche normandy france
people on beach granville manche normandy france

beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france
thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france

rue st jean granville manche normandy france
rue st jean granville manche normandy france

night trawler ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
night trawler ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Monday 11th February 2019 – THAT WAS ONE …

… of the nicest cheese sauces that I have ever tasted, never mind ever made.

Tonight, everything went perfectly and my steamed vegetables with vegan sausages and vegan cheese sauce were totally delicious, and I’ll eat that again any day of the week.

Another bit of news is that ever since I came back from the Arctic I’ve been trying to make an appointment to see some people. They finally replied in mid-January to say that there were no appointments just now, and the same e-mail has come every two weeks.

But today, I’ve had a different mail sent by a different person, and this has an air of being somewhat more optimistic.

However, that is just about all of the good news today. The rest of it hasn’t been so good.

It all started to go wrong as early as 06:00 this morning.

This was another one of these days where even though the alarm went off, I took absolutely no notice whatsoever. I turned over and went straight back to sleep. Not out of willingness, I hasten to add, but simply because I couldn’t wake myself up.

07:45 was much more like it, and leaving my bed at 08:30 was even more interesting. It’s not my usual modus operandi for a weekday as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but after the miserable day yesterday when I missed my lie-in, I must have needed it.

I’d been on my travels too during the night. And surprisingly (or maybe not, because it’s the whole point of doing all of this) it was a continuation of a couple of voyages that I had been on several years ago. I was in Brussels working in an office and I’d gone home for lunch. I decided to have a salad but a “fried” salad. So I tossed a lettuce leaf into a frying pan and it singed up around the edges. The rest of the salad I tossed into another frying pan but it was one in which my younger sister had just fried an egg and she’d used lard or dripping to do that. I left my home to head back to work but found myself right outside the city with the high-rise towers away in the distance and I was wondering however I would reach work in time to restart. But there – that weird American company for which I once worked – I was chatting to a former colleague of mine (from another employment) who was terribly upset. She’d received a copy of a bill that someone had sent in, on which she had been described as a “barsteward” – and this offended her deeply. Meantime, there were a pile of magazines lying around in the office. They were entitled “The Flame of Islam”, and although that might sound an inflammatory title, it was actually a Christian publication. Not many people knew that, which probably explains why they looked so astonished when I suggested that we go out and sell them to passing motorists in our lunch breaks.

First thing that I noticed this morning was that I had the kind of thirst that you could photograph. I downed about a litre of my Vitamin B12 juice straight off.

After a rather late breakfast, I settled down to wait for my passport to arrive.

And waited

And waited

And waited.

Meanwhile, I tried to concentrate on the work that I needed to do – such as the photo database and backdating the blog.

After much binding in the marsh I made the blog back to 6th January 2019.

But the photo database was rather slower today. I couldn’t really get going for some reason. But then I have days like this, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

hang gliding pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceAnd that’s not all the bad news either. I’m having camera issues yet again.

And that’s a shame because the bird-men were out in force today.

I’ve noticed for the last couple of months that the camera is having issues focusing, especially at night. And when it is particularly dark, I have to find a distant point of light to use as a focusing object.

hang gliding pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceBut today, the focusing is simply not working most of the time, and especially when the background is neutral, like a large patch of sky.

I can hear the motor in the lens engaging and the focal length changes, but it creeps in to the beginning and blurs out

hang gliding pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceAnd it’s not just with one of the lenses – it’s with all of them.

I’ve tried to adjust the focal settings and that’s not made any difference. I think that the camera is slowly dying.

But that’s not really a surprise. I bought it in Canada in an emergency, back in 2012. It was an end-of-range model then and I paid peanuts for it, so I can’t really complain.

It’s just disappointing.

lifeboat statue baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy franceThe only way that I can make it work is to focus on a specific object that is sharp enough to register.

So anyway, I pushed on round the corner to see what things were like round by the lifeboat memorial.

It might look cloudy out there, but it was surprisingly warm. And that had brought out the crowds – especially as it seems to be school holidays right now.

river pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceOne thing that I have noticed is that there seems to be a spring of some sort here on the Pointe du Roc.

There would have to be, I suppose, otherwise they would never have put a fortified city up here. They would need a water supply in case of a siege.

But today was the first time that I had noticed the water evacuating out into the sea down below.

And here, I had a message. My passport will be delivered tomorrow.

night beach casino plat gousset granville manche normandy franceAfter tea, I went out for my evening walk around the walls.

There was no-one around even though it was a pleasant evening. There was no storm tonight and the tide was quite far out, so we weren’t treated to the spectacle of the waves smashing on to the sea walls.

And so I didn’t linger long out there. I came back here instead.

And I’ll be trying once again for an early night. And this time, hoping that I can get out of bed at something very close to the correct time.

hang gliding pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
hang gliding pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

hang gliding pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
hang gliding pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

Sunday 10th February 2019 – AS YOU MIGHT …

… have expected, going to bed really early meant that I was awake early too. At 04:35 as it happened, and that’s ridiculous really for a Sunday.

I was still awake at 06:00 too because I remember noticing the time. But I must have gone back off to sleep again because I finally awoke at 07:45.

Mind you, at some time or other I had managed to go off on a nocturnal ramble. I was at a school last night, not any of my old ones but a boarding school. there were a couple of boys who were the domineering type whom no-one particularly liked. They were on the verge of committing an enormous indiscretion by misunderstanding something important, and so I scooted off to the dormitory to awaken a couple of boys who I thought would love to see this. So they came downstairs just in time to see these other boys come in, but they seemed to take ages to reach the whole point of this matter and I could see that interest amongst the spectators was slowly starting to drop off.

07:45 I awoke, but it was more like 08:30 that I arose. Still not good enough for a Sunday and I’m pretty dismayed by it all. I seem to be going to pot these days.

After breakfast, I started to attack the blog and the photos.

As for the photos, it’s been tough work today as I’ve reached all of the 100-odd photos that I took in Koln. And I need to research the internet to find out where I was when I took them, and that’s not easy.

But as for the blog, I had a good-ish day with that and I’ve reached as far back as 9th January.

Another thing that I did was to scan a pile of documents and print out copies. These are important documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates and the like. Whenever I receive an official document like that, I always scan it and keep a copy as a graphic image. If necessary, I can always print out a copy and I’ve done that on several occasions, like when I lost my driving licence and lost my passport.

Seeing as it was Sunday, I also spent some time doing nothing at all except vegetating. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … everyone should have a day where they can do nothing at all and not feel guilty about it.

That hummus has matured nicely and it almost took my head off. It’s no wonder that I don’t have many friends if I can churn out stuff like that.

storm high seas granville manche normandy franceI went out for my afternoon walk. The rainstorm of the morning had stopped and the sun had appeared, although the wind was quite wicked.

It was blowing the waves all along the beach and there were some impressive whitecaps out there.

Just the kind of day to be out there on a small boat, I reckon.

house building rue du nord granville manche normandy franceRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that they are building a new house on the rue du Nord overlooking the walls and the sea.

Every now and again I like to see where they have reached with the work. They seem to have put a spurt on just now because they have actually started to do the roofing.

The heeavy beams and the like are in position. I don’t suppose that it will be long before they start the tiling.

beach concrete building pipework plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThere were quite a few people out there on the beach today at the Plat Gousset enjoying the sunshine, despite the wind.

And I don’t remember seeing this building before, and I was wandering what it might be. It’s made of concrete, and there seems to be some kind of encased concrete pipework leading from it.

I shall have to go down there one day for a closer look.

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound the corner and in the Baie de Mont St Michel the storm really was raging.

Although the tide was miles out, we have the concrete pylon with the navigating light for the entrance to the harbour, and that was receiving quite a considerable battering.

As an aside, when the tide is right in, the water level is above the top red band. We have the highest tides in Europe here.

Tea was a pizza of course. And while that was cooking, I peeled some of the mound of carrots that I had bought yesterday, sliced and par-boiled them and now they are in the freezer.

I hate shop-frozen carrots. For some reason they seem to taste all rubbery.

night cancale st malo granville manche normandy franceThis evening was another nice evening. Really windy but the sky was perfectly clear.

There was only a small crescent moon but it was really bright. And the street lights of Cancale stood out really clearly over there. That’s 18 miles away of course, as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed.

We also have the street lights of St Malo reflected off the clouds over there.

night sky stars granville manche normandy franceOne thing about the night was that it was really clear. And the moon wasn’t too bright as to be overwhelming.

And so I reckoned that I would have a try at photographing some of the stars and see how they came out.

It’s not particularly good, but it’s hand-held in the wind on a long exposure. It’s surprising that it’s even managed to do anything at all.

So back here now, I’m going to go to bed. It’s not as early as I would like but it can’t be helped.

Quite surprisingly, I’ve not crashed out today. And it certainly comes to some kind of pretty pass that I feel that I ought to mention it.

beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france

moonlight baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
moonlight baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night jullouville baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
night jullouville baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night roundabout rue du cap lihou granville manche normandy france
night roundabout rue du cap lihou granville manche normandy france

Saturday 9th February 2019 – WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT?

A few weeks ago I had the choice of going out to watch US Granvillaise’s 2nd XI play football in a torrential downpour and hurricane, or to stay at home and watch on the internet a Welsh football match.

And just like last time, I chose to stay at home and watch the football match from the comfort, warmth and safety of my own sofa.

And just like last time, the match was abandoned due to a floodlight failure. .

It’s really not my lucky subject, is it?

Apart from that, it’s not been a very good day today.

It started reasonably well with me leaping from my bed at some kind of reasonable time. And after breakfast and a shower, I took out the plastic and glass rubbish and then headed for the hills.

LIDL didn’t come up with anything special. And neither did NOZ – except that I managed to change the faulty guitar lead that I bought last week. Some nice coffee cups were probably the highlight.

vegan croissants leclerc granville manche normandy franceBut look at this from LeClerc.

We’ve seen the vegan pains au chocolat from a few weeks ago, but now LeClerc is starting to sell vegan croissants. I’ve no idea what these are going to be like but the supermarkets need to be encouraged when they dip their toes into the vegan waters.

It’s for that reason too that I bought some tahini – sesame seed purée – that they have now started to sell.

Back here, I couldn’t summon up the energy to unpack the food. I had to sit down and have a coffee.

When it came close to lunchtime, I made a pile of hummus. And I tell you what – I shan’t need to worry about vampires coming to visit me. The garlic seems to be extremely strong.

This afternoon I made a start again on the text database but not for long. I was soon curled up under the bedclothes fast asleep. For at least 90 minutes too.

And during that 90 minutes my mother – of all people – came to visit me. But I can’t remember what it was that we discussed.

pont aven brittany ferries st malo granville manche normandy francenevertheless I went out for my afternoon walk. It was cold and windy, but there were quite a few people out there nevertheless.

And I saw something moving out here, away on the horizon, so I coupled up the 70-300mm zoom lens so that I could make further enquiries.

After all, I was sure that it was a ship out there either going to or coming from St Malo, about 35 miles away.

pont aven brittany ferries st malo granville manche normandy franceCropping out the photograph, blowing it up (which I can do despite modern anti-terrorism legislation) and digitally enhancing it, I could see that it’s one of the ships of Brittany Ferries.

Having made further enquiries by reference to my live ships database (it’s quite a benefit hosting an AIS receiver here in my apartment) I can see that it’s Pont Aven.

Built in 2004, she’s one of the largest ferries on the English Channel, displacing 41,000 tonnes, and with a capacity of 650 vehicles and over 2400 passengers.

It’s quite likely that she’ll be one of the ferries that will be rerouted to Ireland after 29th March.

Back here I pressed on with adding some more photos to some of the earlier blog entries. I’m now back as far as 15th January and there’s still a long way to go;

Tea was a handful of pasta with some veg and then I sat down to watch the football.

With that being abandoned, I went off for an evening walk.

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThe storm was raging outside and the rain was teeming down.

The sea was quite rough too but the wind had changed direction. Instead of blowing straight into the bay, it was blowing across the bay, so the waves weren’t breaking over the Plat Gousset as strongly as they have done.

I stayed out there for as long as I could, but soaked to the skin, I headed for home.

Tonight, I’m hoping to go to bed early and to have a decent sleep. I need one too because I’m having difficulty in keeping going right now.

A nice lie-in will do me good.

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Friday 8th February 2019 – I HAD A MESSAGE …

… today on the telephone. “Your parcel will be delivered on 11th February”.

Now I don’t have a delivery planned or an order outstanding so I didn’t have a clue what it might be. I suspected that it might be some kind of scam.

But then I had another idea.

I had a look at the British Government’s Public Service website. And sure enough – there on my private page is a little note “Passport Application status – ‘issued'”.

That was quick – a lot less than the 6-week time limit that is advertised. That can only be good news. So after Monday, I can push on with a project that has been sitting on the back burner for several weeks.

In view of my recent difficulties I decided last night to go to bed somewhat earlier than of late and even not set an alarm for the morning to give me an opportunity to sort myself out. And so waking up at 06:35 wasn’t really quite what I had in mind.

That’s not the best of it either. I was awake at least three times during the night – once as early as 01:20. So you can see that I’m becoming rather fed up of this.

Three different travels during the night too. The first one involved some woman who had been charged to make a meal – possibly a pie – for some kind of meeting. But as time passed on, it became clearer and clearer to everyone that she was an alcoholic and as time passed on she became less and less coherent until she ended up sitting there in an alcoholic stupor.
The second part of the night’s activities involve me being in Macon, where I spent a summer once back in my youth. I was travelling somewhere which involved passing by the big airport at Lyon and so it involved taking the TGV but although we were certainly on the rails (which will come as a mjor surprise to regular readers of this rubbish) we were actually on board a coach.
Thirdly, I don’t remember very much about this but it involved some woman and there was some passing reference to her connection with Shirley Temple – people were comparing her with that actress for some reason, although presumably not with Graham Green’s review.

After breakfast I pushed on with the photo text database. What with one thing or another that took me right up until midday. And I’m now well back into December’s photos. It’ll keep me out of mischief for quite some time.

There was an interruption at Midday though. Rosemary rang me up for a chat and we were on the phone putting the world to rights for a good hour and a half. Not that our ideas will ever be accepted by anyone – they are far too serious and sensible.

After lunch, I cracked on with updating some of the blog entries. I’m now back as far as 23rd January and there will be more done over the weekend if I’m not interrupted by other events.

lifeboat statue baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy franceTalking of interruptions, I went out for my afternoon walk.

You can see what the weather was like simply by comparing this photo here with the photo taken from the same spot yesterday.

There was a howling gale, a spattering of rain and it was freezing cold. Not the right kind of day to be out at all but I have to keep on keeping on, as Bob Dylan famously said.

lighthouse atlantic wall bunker pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceOne thing that occurred to me was that while I’ve been on my travels I haven’t taken a photograph of the lighthouse down the road just recently.

You can also see one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall to the right of the lighthouse, and in the foreground is one of the emplacements for the large naval guns that were positioned here.

You might also be able to see a cannon of some description immediately to the right of the lighthouse. there are several all dotted about, all of them damaged

chantier navale tidal harbour port de granville harbour manche normandy franceA little further around the Pointe du Roc there was a good vies of the tidal harbour.

The tide was right out and all of the boats were aground on the mud bank.

St Pair-sur-Mer is in the background shrouded in the mist, and on the right is the ship repairer’s.

As for the objects in the foreground, I’m not sure what they might be. I reckon that they are lobster traps whereas others think that they might be dredging buckets.

Back here I carried on with my work – until about 17:30 when, overwhelmed with fatigue, I crawled into bed for an hour or so.

And then I was off on my travels. I was doing something and Rosemary was there. I had a cat, a black one but one that had the same shape as my grey one, and Rosemary was trying to pick it up. I ended up on a rafter going across the ceiling and the cat could only climb so far after me, so she took a flying leap – and missed, falling to the floor. But she found something else – a piece of wood – to climb up and come to join me on my rafter.

There were a couple of sorry-looking potatoes left over in the kitchen so for tea I made a potato and lentil curry. Totally delicious it was too.

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy franceOutside later this evening, the wind wasn’t all that strong but the sea was probably the best that I have ever seen.

The waves were totally astonishing – roaring up over the sea wall at the Plat Gousset and soaking just about everyone and everything down there.

It seemed like hours, but it was only about five minutes that I was standing there watching them. It was quite hypnotic.

On the way back, I bumped into someone who actually said “bonsoir”, and also Minette who had a little stroke.

But now I’m going to go to bed. have a nice early night. Shopping tomorrow and I need to be on form. Not that I feel much like it.

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Thursday 7th February 2019 – WHAT A NICE …

… surprise!

Wandering through the streets on my way to the shops, my phone rang.

It was Terry. He was on his way into Granville and wanted to know if I fancied a coffee.

And so he picked me up and we went off for a drink at the café at LeClerc for half an hour and put the world to rights.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I don’t get out half as often as I should.

Talking of getting out, it was difficult to get out of bed this morning. The alarm may well have gone off at 06:00 but it was after 07:00 when I finally crawled out into the Land of the Living.

cement mixer vieille ville granville manche normandy franceAfter breakfast I had a shower and then wandered off into town.

I didn’t get very far though, because my attention was caught by this cement mixer.

The roads in the medieval town are so narrow and there are the city gates that are quite low and narrow which means that large heavy vehicles can’t go in.

They have to unload outside and tranship in

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOn my way down the steps to sea level, there was quite a racket coming from the harbour.

Close inspection revealed that it was La Grande Ancre setting off on another voyage somewhere now that the harbour gates were open.

No idea where she’s going of course. It could be anywhere within reason but more likely she’s taking freight to the Ile de Chausey. That’s her usual run.

roundabout moulin cours jonville granville manche normandy franceIn the town centre at the Cours Jonville, it’s far from carnaval time (that’s the first weekend in March this year) but there’s clearly something going on.

There are people here erecting a roundabout for the kids. So I don’t know whether this means that there will be other sideshows coming, or whether this is just going to be an isolated amusement for a short period.

Up the hill to the station to pick up my tickets for my trip next weekend to Belgium. And here of course I was waylaid by Terry.

Back at LIDL there was nothing special going on. But they did have some decent bath towels. I bought one to use as a guest towel for my visitors (always assuming that I have any) because ones that I have used won’t be fit for much.

new facade theatre place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceI had to stop off at the Estate Agent’s to give them my insurance certificate, but I was distracted on my way.

There’s a little theatre down on the Place Marechal Foch and there’s a pile of work going on there right now.

It looks as if they are erecting a new facade on the theatre. So I wonder what that’s going to look like in a couple of weeks time.

removing waste paper place d'armes granville manche normandy franceAnd that wasn’t everything either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have already seen the waste lorries taking away the glass from the glass waste bins.

But today there was the waste paper lorry there emptying out the waste paper skip. My missing passport is probably somewhere in that lot.

What with going for a coffee, I was back quite late so I only had time for a coffee before it was lunchtime.

And after lunch, I went to sit down to carry on work, but I ended up in bed. And for a good hour or so too.

I went off on a little travel too. There was a party going on in an office where I was working and I was expected to be there, but for some reason or other I didn’t want to go. When I came back from outside, there was some woman dressing up with a party hat. I decided to go on down the corridor to another office in our building to pretend that I was looking for something, but then I realised that I would look rather silly going into that office in my outdoor coat.

fishing boats ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceLeaving the bed was rather difficult again. i was really flat-out. But I had to go off on my afternoon walk in the nice sunshine.

All of the fishing boats were heading back towards the port . It must mean that the tide is coming back in so that they can unload at the fish processing plant.

It’s quite a busy little fishing port here really.

lifeboat statue baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy franceBut the weather was really good.

This particular view, of the lifeboat memorial on the Pointe du Roc, overlooking the Baie de Mont St Michel in the foreground and St Pair sur Mer in the background, came out really quite well.

But to give you some idea of the height of the tide, at high tide the pillar on which is positioned the red marker light for the harbour entrance is almost all submerged.

Having had a little sleep earlier, I was able to crack on with some work. And I managed to keep going until tea time too.

Burger on a bap with veg and potatoes, followed by fruit salad and soya coconut cream. I’m really looking after myself as far as food goes.

sea rue du nord granville manche normandy franceIt wasn’t all that windy outside this evening.

But there must have been a storm somewhere because there was quite a roaring sea. The tide was right in and it was making quite a noise as the waves crashed down onto the rocks.

It’s a shame that my camera won’t pick up the best of the image. It’s struggling on as best as it can, but I do have a cunning plan in the back of my mind.

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy franceAnd if you thought that the waves crashing down on the rocks was impressive, you ain’t seen nuffink yet.

The waves were roaring full-tilt into the bay and the sea wall on the Plat Gousset was taking a real bashing.

There were several young kids down there having a field day, running around being soaked by the impressive waves roaring over the walls.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy franceI carried on with my little walk, but was distracted by some moving lights heading into the harbour.

I wandered down to the wall to see what was happening, and I was treated to the rather spectacular sight of a trawler manoeuvring around in the inner basin about to tie up at the fish-processing plant.

I stood and watched it for quite a while.

This evening I had a very lengthy chat with June on the internet. Catherine has gone into hospital and June is a little concerned. Catherine is having a rough time right now so I hope that things improve for her.

And now I’m off to bed. I’ve had a long, difficult day and have done 118% of my daily activity. There’s no doubt that it’s taking a lot out of me right now but I have to keep on going.

fishing boats ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
fishing boats ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

brehal sur mer granville manche normandy france
brehal sur mer granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Wednesday 6th February 2019 – I’M WET

beach in the rain granville manche normandy franceAnd that comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me.

When I went out for my afternoon walk, it was teeming down with rain. You can see in this photo just how wet it was today.

Really dreadful and in the end I gave it up as a bad job and curtailed my little perambulation

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy franceIt didn’t stop me going around to the wall overlooking the harbour to see what was going on.

And down there this afternoon is Normandy Trader who has come in from Jersey for her usual freight run.

There wasn’t anyone around down there and there was no loading going on, but she looks pretty well loaded up to me.

unloading gravel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd as we know, Neptune was in here yesterday and departed with a big load of gravel.

But it looks as if she’ll be back pretty soon because they are still bringing in the loads of gravel. And piling them up by the conveyor too rather than putting them in the gravel bins.

So it’s all systems go down there today despite the weather.

night fishing boat unloading port de granville harbour granville manche normandy franceThat’s not all either. Because this evening while I was out on my perambulations I stepped in a puddle – not quite up to my middle like Doctor Foster, but pretty well near enough.

But at least it didn’t stop me from my wanderings. Down at the harbour a trawler had just come in and all of the crew together with a few landlubbers were busy tidying it up.

Maybe it’s already been unloaded round by the fish processing plant.

Last night I had another decent night’s sleep. So much so that I had a really good nocturnal ramble. I was out in a coach last night, and not for work either but for my own purposes. And of course I had a flat tyre. I had to change it myself, which is no mean feat, and then I needed a replacement tyre. Someone told me of a place out on the Middlewich Road (I was in Sandbach at the time) but a tyre would cost me the best part of £1,000. That wasn’t the news that I was expecting to hear, but it was part of the price of using the coach like this.
And later I was with a group of people waiting to go home after a holiday. We were in a big draughty shed with a couple of benches around the edge. As the coach pulled in, people started to climb aboard but I, and someone else, decided that we would wait until the end. At this moment I started to wonder if I had everythig with me, and looking around, I saw something underneath one of the benches where I was sitting. So I crawled underneath the bench, getting myself all filthy in the process, to find that what I had seen was actually an old beer bottle. So covered in dust and dirt, I went back to the coach to wait to board.

Despite the alarm call I was in no hurry to leave my bed. More like 07:00 in fact. And after breakfast I made a start on adding the photos to some of the previous blog entries.

I’ve done as far back as Saturday, and I’ll be slowly uploading them back again as time goes on.

Another task was to keep on with my searchable text index. I’ve almost finished January and then I’ll just roll on backwards until it’s finished, whenever that might be.

After lunch I carried on, with a little interruption for my walk in the wet.

And I’ve also tried something else that’s new. I’ve been moaning and complaining about the time it takes me to buy a ticket for Leuven when I arrive in Brussels and how I nearly miss my train, so I researched online and found that I can make a booking and download the tickets (thanks to the printer). And it saves me €0:20 too.

Spend! Spend! Spend!

This afternoon though I couldn’t keep going. I’ve managed sort-of for the last couple of days but today I didn’t. I’d had a couple of dodgy moments and in the end I gave up and went to bed for an hour. I even managed to sleep for some of that time too.

There was some filling left over from last night’s tea so I diced and cooked a couple of potatoes to add to it and made a very quick ad-hoc curry. And it was delicious

I mentioned my little walk later on and then back here I have things to do. Another name from a very dim and distant past has come to the surface following my little exercise of the other day.

This is all getting very interesting.

night waves beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
night waves beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

night st helier jersey granville manche normandy france
night st helier jersey granville manche normandy france

night fishing boat unloading port de granville harbour manche normandy france
night fishing boat unloading port de granville harbour manche normandy france

night fishing boat unloading port de granville harbour granville manche normandy france
night fishing boat unloading port de granville harbour granville manche normandy france

Tuesday 5th February 2019 – THE FIRST THING …

neptune port de granville harbour manche normandy france … that I did this morning, after it was light of course, was to go to the sea wall out here and look down into the harbour.

And sure enough, there was Neptune. Tied up to the quayside and judging by the noise coming from down there, they were busy loading it up.

It didn’t take them long either because she sailed out of the harbour on the afternoon tide. She’s now well on her way to Whitstable with 2000 tonnes of gravel.

Just for a change I had a decent night’s sleep. In bed before 23:30 and asleep practically right the way through. And I wasn’t in all that much of a rush to leave my bed.

fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAfter breakfast I had a shower and a clean-up, and then went down to have a look at the harbour.

As well as Neptune down there, the fishing boats were coming in on the tide.

There was quite a lot of activity at the fish dock as the unloading was taking place. It’s quite a busy place, what with one thing and another, and that’s why I’m here.

vegan leek and tofu pie granville manche normandy franceBack here, I remembered something that I had forgotten from the weekend.

I’d cooked a vegan leek-and-tofu pie on Sunday, as regular readers of this rubbish might recall. But I’d left it in the oven.

So out it came, and it looked even better than it did the other day. I’ve cut it into quarters and now it’s in the freezer ready for another day or four.

This morning’s task was to bring up-to-date the photos. And by the time that lunchtime came round, they were all done and finished. Thousands of them, and that’s going to take some organising.

After lunch, I made a start on the organising. If I don’t start, I won’t ever finish and that’s for sure.

What I’m doing for now is preparing an indexed text file, sticking the photos in month by month with the *alt* tags displayed for indexing purposes.

It’s even more important because I’ve had yet another request for a photo. That’s three or four already this year and while I won’t ever become rich, the photos won’t go anywhere if I don’t put them on line.

people picking sea shells beach tide out donville les bains granville manche normandy franceOutisde this afternoon, the tide was quite a way out.

There were several people out there today, including a couple of people hunting for shellfish in the rock pools, which made me think that the tide was going out.

Had the tide been out for a while, the seabirds would have had the shellfish. The roads and pavements are littered with fragments of shells where the seabirds have dropped them from a great height to break them open.

fishing boats baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy franceGoing around the headland, the fishing boats were there, presumably waiting for the tide to come in.

One of them, the big blue and white one, was clearly fed up of waiting. it did a U-turn and started to roll out the net again. It might as well earn some money while it’s waiting. I stood and watched it for quite some time.

But you see the marker light just there. At high tide, the water is up almost to the top of the column.

Back here, I had a coffee and cake and a play on the guitar, and then attacked the photo collection again. I had a little 5 minutes … errr … relax as well.

For tea tonight, I made a stuffed pepper and spicy rice and it was delicious. It set me up nicely for my little lonely walk around the walls.

But here’s a thing.

I’ve been doing a little bit of research on something or other, and I’ve actually found someone who used to live next door (or thereabouts) to me when I was a toddler.

You’ve no idea just how small the world is these days.

Tonight, I’ll have another early night. There’s plenty of things that I need to do tomorrow.

But I’ve set a few things in motion that might bring me some surprising results. But once you take the lid of Pandora’s Box you can’t put it back on.

beach tide out donville les bains granville manche normandy francebeach tide out donville les bains granville manche normandy france


beach tide out donville les bains granville manche normandy francebeach tide out donville les bains granville manche normandy france


silhouette people granville manche normandy francesilhouette people granville manche normandy france


fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy francefishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france


old military buildings pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceold military buildings pointe du roc granville manche normandy france


atlantic wall world war 2 bunker granville manche normandy franceatlantic wall world war 2 bunker granville manche normandy france


fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy francefishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france


Monday 4th February 2019 – HAVING GONE …

… to bed reasonably early last night, I slept right through until the alarm went off this morning, with just a little interruption here and there. Nothing serious.

And on the subject of “nothing serious”, I was off on my travels last night too. And it concerned my old black cat Tuppence. She had an accident to one of her front paws and pulled her claws right out. All rather gruesome.

I didn’t loiter long in bed, and so we had an early-ish start today.

But not for long.

Round about 09:15 I was overwhelmed with fatigue. Not a desperate tiredness but I just couldn’t concentrate. And so I went to bed for an hour. No point in fighting the fatigue because I wouldn’t get anything done anyway.

I did close my eyes for about 10 minutes or so, but that was about it. And by 10:20 I was back up and fighting fit. Well, sort-of anyway.

This morning I was attacking the photos again. I’d taken quite a pile yesterday and they all needed editing and generally sorting-out. And it took me longer than I expected. No idea why.

There was an interruption too. Rosemary rang me up for a chat and we were on the phone for over an hour putting the world to rights. It meant a rather late lunch but never mind. There’s nothing wrong whatever in spending time chatting to friends.

After lunch, the next project was to resurrect the database that I started to make a couple of years ago. But a good search around the computer and I can’t find it anywhere. It mustn’t have survived the transfer over.

And so I started off another one. But for some reason or other I couldn’t make it work as I wanted. I seem to remember having exactly the same issue with the previous one and it took me ages to solve it. And I can’t remember how I did it now. This is going to take me much longer than I thought.

fishing boat storm ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceThe wind had dropped by the time that I went for my walk. Just blowing at gale-force.

There were a couple of little trawlers out there heading for port, and it was quite amusing fun watching them smashing their way through the waves on their way home.

Many people really don’t appreciate the efforts and the dangers that fishermen go through;

lorry unloading gravel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBut no sign of Neptune in the harbour though. She’s still offshore somewhere and her latest ETA is 00:00. I won’t be there to see her put in to port at that time of night.

But in the meantime, they are still bringing loads of gravel down from the quarry and dropping it off on the quayside ready for Neptune to take away

Tea was sausages in cheese sauce. Just as delicious as it always is. And followed by the rest of the rice pudding.

casino place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceThere was no-one else about for the evening walk. I was completely on my own. Mind you, the wind had dropped still more and it was now just “strong”.

The Casino at the Place Marechal Foch presented a very interesting photography subject this evening, down there all bathed in blue light. I don’t recall having seen it looking like this before.

So I’ll try to have another early night and a decent sleep tonight. I have things to do tomorrow.

But at least my birth certificate turned up today. It’s destroyed one of my pet theories about my origins, but presented me with several other mysteries.

We shall have to see.

fishing boat storm ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
fishing boat storm ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy france
fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy france

fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy france
fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy france

vertical axis wind turbine plat gousset granville manche normandy france
vertical axis wind turbine plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Sunday 3rd February 2019 – WHAT A GORGEOUS …

port de granville harbour manche normandy france… afternoon it was today.

Beautiful and sunny, not too windy, not too cold. And hordes of people wandering around outside. Round about 15:00 I joined them and went for a good walk. I didn’t make it back until 17:30.

All around the headland, down into town, around the harbour, back into town and then back here. And had the ice-cream stall that sells vegan sorbets been open, I would have treated myself to the first ice-cream of the year.

Now, with having an early night last night, and nice fresh bedding too, that I would have had a deep, relaxing sleep. But unfortunately not. Round about 02:40 I had another massive attack of cramp and I was in total agony. I just couldn’t ease it off and ended by standing up and trying to stretch my leg.

All in all, it took about half an hour until the pain would ease up enough that I could go back to bed. But any chance of going back to sleep was long-gone. I was awake for hours until I finally slipped away.

But I must have gone to sleep at some time, because I was off on my travels.

I was in a some kind of weird pub last night – some pub not too dissimilar to the one next to the old Town Hall in Crewe. All dirty, run-down and very basic. And I was waiting for someone there. I’d actually booked a room in a hotel a couple of miles outside the town. But a couple came in to the pub and said that they had a room booked there, so the landlord showed them up. As this couple looked quite respectable, I wondered what the rooms were like so I asked the landlord to show me a room. He took me upstairs, and the room was dreadful. A really bad 1960s-type of room with about 10 beds crammed in any old how, with heavy plush bed coverings and really looking in the worst possible taste. I didn’t even hang around to see if it was clean and damp-free. I just made an excuse about it obviously being out of my price range and walked out.
Later on, I was on board the Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again. We were going to have a meeting about our journey and to sum everything up, but it was postponed. A very short while later, I was reading a newspaper on board ship, and it gave an “account” of this meeting, clearly written in advance of the meeting in anticipation of it taking place. To my surprise, the person who had written it was an old comrade of mine at the Open University and he had written quite a lot about my role in the voyage, blowing it up to well beyond what it really was, and putting a link in to my blog where readers could read so much more about it. However, the editor had edited out the url of the blog which disappointed me greatly.

08.40 when I finally awoke, but that’s not the same as saying that I was up and about. Much more like 09:30, or even 10:00 when I put my sooty foot on the floor.

Breakfast was even later. Much later too.More like an early lunch. I wasn’t in any hurry. I had a nice relaxing morning doing the usual Sunday task of badger all.

Feeling a little peckish later, I made some cheese on toast. And that reminded me about my pie. I must do something about that later.

floats granville manche normandy franceWhen I went out for my walk, I had a good look around, and saw a couple of things that I hadn’t noticed before.

There were four or five of these floats bobbing up and down just offshore, and each float was different. I’ve no idea what they are doing out there, and I’m convinced that I have never seen them before.

f-brag Bolkow Bo-208C Junior granville manche normandy franceWhile I was photographing the floats, I was distracted by an aeroplane flying overhead.

This aeroplane is a Bolkow Bo-208C Junior apparently, a type that I haven’t noticed before. And it’s quite interesting because the Bolkow company was the successor to the legendary Messerschmitt aircraft company of Luftwaffe fame.

It’s amazing what is out there once you start to look for it.

st helier jersey granville manche normandy franceTalking of things being out there if only you look for them, the air was so clear that there was an excellent view of Jersey today.

So cropping out a selection of an image, blowing it up, which I can do despite modern anti-terrorist legislation, and enhancing the colours, you can see some of the houses and other buildings dotted along the coastline of the island.

It’s hard to believe that that’s almost 60 kms (35 miles) away. But then that’s all thanks to the big zoom lens that I bought in October.

cabanon vauban pointe de carolles mont st michel granville manche normandy franceIn the other direction, looking down the Baie de Mont St Michel, the view was just as good.

Going as far out as I could, I still couldn’t see the Mont itself and the buildings thereupon. But the big hotel complex just a few hundred yards away from the Mont is clearly visible.

To give you some idea of perspective, that’s about 30 kms (18 miles) away as the crow flies.

And so back from my walk, I started by making another rice pudding.

While that was cooking, I fried a couple of leeks and onions with a few mushrooms and a tin of flageolet beans. When it was all thoroughly cooked, I added the tofu mix from yesterday, thoroughly stirred it in and heated it all through.

While I was waiting for the mixture to cool down, I prepared a pizza and stuck that in the oven to cook;

While the pizza was cooking, I took out a roll of pastry from the oven. It had dried and cracked so I had to wet it slightly and roll it. Good job that I had bought my rolling pin a while ago.

After it had been rolled, I greased a pie dish and put the pastry in. Added the pie filling and then folded over the excess pastry.

The pizza came out of the oven and the pie went in. I also added the rice pudding so that it would cook further.

The pizza was delicious, although it could have benefited from a longer period in the oven, and so was the rice pudding. The pie looks really good and I can’t wait to try it.

beach at night plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThere was just me outside tonight for my evening walk. It wasn’t really cold and wasn’t really windy. It sounds very good after the beautiful day but I bet that there’s more winter to come.

The tide was still on its way out by the looks of things but nevertheless there was a good photo of the wves rolling up and down the beach at the Plat Gousset just by the Casino

So now I’ll try yet again for an early night. And hopefully a good sleep, without an attack of cramp. I need it.

And I’ve just found out that we are going to have a visitor tomorrow. Neptune has just turned into the bay up by Cherbourg and there’s only one place where she will be going.

floats granville manche normandy france
floats granville manche normandy france

floats granville manche normandy france
floats granville manche normandy france

floats granville manche normandy france
floats granville manche normandy france

st helier jersey granville manche normandy france
st helier jersey granville manche normandy france

st helier jersey granville manche normandy france
st helier jersey granville manche normandy france

cabanon vauban pointe de carolles mont st michel granville manche normandy france
cabanon vauban pointe de carolles mont st michel granville manche normandy france

cabanon vauban pointe de carolles mont st michel granville manche normandy france
cabanon vauban pointe de carolles mont st michel granville manche normandy france

old military buildings pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
old military buildings pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

old military buildings granville manche normandy france
old military buildings granville manche normandy france

atlantic wall world war 2 bunker granville manche normandy france
atlantic wall world war 2 bunker granville manche normandy france

trawler undergoing repair chantier navale granville manche normandy france
trawler undergoing repair chantier navale granville manche normandy france

boat lift chantier navale granville manche normandy france
boat lift chantier navale granville manche normandy france

port de granville harbour manche normandy france
port de granville harbour manche normandy france

port de granville harbour manche normandy france
port de granville harbour manche normandy france

port de plaisance granville harbour manche normandy france
port de plaisance granville harbour manche normandy france

chemin de la roche gauthier granville manche normandy france
chemin de la roche gauthier granville manche normandy france

st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france
st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france

speedboat st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france
speedboat st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france

jullouville granville manche normandy france
ullouville granville manche normandy france

speedboat st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france
speedboat st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france

rue st gaud granville manche normandy france
rue st gaud granville manche normandy france

old crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france
old crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france

art deco building rue du port granville manche normandy france
art deco building rue du port granville manche normandy france

marite port de granville harbour granville manche normandy france
marite port de granville harbour granville manche normandy france

Saturday 2nd February 2019 – WHAT AN APPALLING …

football us grnavillaise cms oissel stade louis dior granville manche normandy france… football match this evening.

US Granville excelled themselves in cluelessness against CMS Oissel, 5 places below them in the table, at the Stade Louis Dior.

Oissel were a lively, energetic team and could easily have scored three goals in the first five minutes as they tore relentlessly into the Granville side. Only some excellent goalkeeping kept them at bay.

Granville had no answer and never really looked remotely like troubling the Oissel goalkeeper. The only surprise was that the score was only 1-0 for Oissel at half time.

It went from bad to worse on the hour mark. A Granville player put in a rather heavy challenge on a Oissel player and received a yellow card. And, for absolutely no reason that I could see or hear, while the Oissel player was on the floor receiving treatment, the referee strode over to the Granville player and showed him a straight red card. There was nothing whatever, no off-the-ball incident, no foul language, no dissent or anything that I saw that could have possibly warranted the straight red card.

Surprisingly, being a man down, Granville played their best football after this and had the Oissel defence under pressure – only to be hit by a breakaway upfield and a second Oissel goal.

There should have been a third one, for with the Granville keeper stranded, an attacker completely unmarked had a shot at the goal … and hit the post!

And even more astonishingly, a Granville player picked up the loose ball, kicked it upfield catching the Oissel defence cold and a Granville player slotted a goal back, after much binding in the marsh in the penalty area.

Granville then pushed on upfield, only to concede yet another breakaway with the last kick of the match.

But all in all, it really was a dreadful, clueless, aimless performance that was going absolutely nowhere. If you have the strength or the courage, you can see the goals here

Last night, I was in bed early. Long before 23:00 in fact. Not that it did me much good because I was awake again at 02:45. Eventually I did go back to sleep, where I remained until the alarm went off.

But during the night I was in the East End of London last night and ended up with a girl – a girl who was clearly someone of ill-repute. We were walking along the streets arm-in-arm having a laugh at a politician who had likewise met a girl of ill-repute and was walking the streets with her but pretending that they weren’t together, even though it was quite obvious that they were. This girl and I ended up in a typical East-End dosshouse right in the heart of Ripperland London round by Fashion Street and Thrawl Street off the Whitechapel Road. The house was was far, far worse than anywhere where I have ever stayed in my life. I stayed there the night and in the morning the girl disappeared off to have a shower, so as I needed the bathroom I followed her, although I lost track of her even though I could hear the water running. I was appalled at the state of the house – the toilets were nothing more than a couple of holes cut into benches, the plaster was falling off the walls and my fellow-tenants did not inspire me with any confidence whatsoever. When the girl came back she made a remark about being glad that she hadn’t bought the other shampoo because there was conditioner in it. I asked her if she didn’t use conditioner, to which she replied that she liked to use a separate conditioner.

Just for a change, I was up fairly early too. Breakfast was early and then I had a shower, even doing a machine-load of washing.

Before going out, I shredded another load of paper from the European Paper Mountain and then it all went into the paper bin outside.

Today was one of the most minimal shopping days for quite a while. LIDL had nothing special, and neither did LeClerc. In fact, I spent a mere €16:00 in there. And that includes some tofu. I remembered the vegan pains au chocolat too.

At NOZ, they had a guitar lead, a couple of nice cereal bowls and a couple of CDs. Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation and Joe Satriani’s “Super Colossal”. And at €1:99 each too.

This afternoon, having had a brief doze for 10 minutes, I made the filling for the next pie.

I fried some onion and garlic in olive oil until it was caramelised and then added sage, rosemary, parsley and the tofu. All of that was fried on a low heat for about 20 minutes, and then I added a stock cube and some water.

While all of that was marinating, I went off for the football.

Back here was tea out of a tin and then I put the tofu in the fridge. Tomorrow, I’ll fry up some leeks and green flageolet beans and then add the tofu mix. That will make a beautiful pie filling.

So no alarm tomorrow. It’s Sunday and a lie-in. And I can’t say that I’ll be sorry.

I’m looking forward to a decent night’s sleep, and I have clean bedding to enjoy. So I hope that I can make the most of it.