Category Archives: Post Office

Thursday 16th June 2022 – GONE!

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And never called me “Mother”!

Yes, when I went for a wander out on my way to the physiotherapist’s this afternoon, I noticed that Victor Hugo, the Channel Island ferry, is no longer in port.

In actual fact, I saw a photo of her in the harbour of St Helier to where she set off this morning with a ferry-load of passengers, and I was unlucky enough to have missed her

But it just goes to show that she is actually out there working, despite what her prolonged sojourns in the harbour here might suggest.

While we’re on the subject of prolonged sojourns … “well, one of us us” – ed … I could have done with a prolonged sojourn today because while today was an improvement on what was going on last week, it wasn’t as good as the last day or so. It’s a case of one step forward, two steps back unfortunately.

The night was what would be called a very mobile night with a lot going on and I must have travelled miles. And at one point I fell asleep in mid-dictate and there’s a sound file of one hour and 41 minutes, most of which is of me snoring.

And my heart-felt apologies to Percy Penguin (who doesn’t feature in these pages half as often as she deserves) who used to complain that I snored in bed and I always denied it. Well, the evidence is there for everyone to hear.

By 06:45 I was wide awake again and leaving the bed at 07:30 was fairly easy for a change. After the medication and checking my e-mails I sat down and transcribed the dictaphone notes.

All of them.

I started off last night in the Canadian High Arctic working as a radio presenter for some outpost out there in the High Arctic but that’s all that I remember. I can’t remember any details at all about what was happening while I was out there doing it

I was back in this dream about this little girl again. They were doing up her house ready to exhibit it as a museum. They had loads of photos that they were exhibiting, they were doing quizzes about her life etc. I can’t think of her name but it was in the USA cotton belt in the 1920s and 30s, a small child. She was very well-known and very wealthy, from that kind of background, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. We were going through some paperwork and finding when we got these kids helping us to sort it out. Everyone wanted to be her and be like her even though the period was very depressing and they were living in some very depressing circumstances. All of their family stuff we were finding in this house we were going to exhibit as a museum to her and probably to Disney too. It was taking up a lot of our time and progressing quite slowly. We even found stuff of when she had to capture her cat so that they could take her cat with them on holiday. There were newspaper articles about the cat from Minnesota that was visiting everywhere right now that were going in this girl’s dream, highlights and that sort of thing.

We were back on an island where there was some kind of celebrity living here so we decided that we’d tidy up the island and make it look nice, collect all the rubbish in then go through and find out what she wanted to keep then we could either throw away the rest or sell it. Selling it would bring in some money to the commune because it isn’t really making very much at all. Lots of important things are being missed off due to lack of money. This conversation went on for quite some considerable time with this discussion about all of this tidying up of the island somewhere in the northern hemisphere in the artic before someone pointed out that it is in fact a German citizen, she’ll be real fell asleep here

And when I awoke again I don’t know if I mentioned this actress who lived on this island who was the Queen Bee etc, rules didn’t apply to her. She had a kind-of Jeep and one day she was going somewhere and she cut the corner of the traffic at a road junction and something coming the other way hit her. Although she wasn’t particularly damaged it caused a lot of damage to her car and to the other car and blocked the road for quite some time. Everyone was going around saying how it served her right that it should happen to her, that she received something that she deserved at last and it might teach her to behave with a little more humility even though she’s someone rich and famous

Later on I was in Crewe. I’d been away somewhere and had come back. I had to go into work next morning so I set my alarm. Before I went to bed I’d spoken to Percy Penguin on the phone. For some unknown reason my alarm hadn’t gone off and it was past 09:00 when I awoke and I had to be in work by 10:00 at the latest. I had to run around to wash and change then nip to the grocer’s for some food as I didn’t have any. It was 10:30 before I was ready. I had to walk to work and it was cold and snowing and a long weary trudge through the streets of Crewe, some streets that I didn’t recognise. I couldn’t remember where the office was and I kept on taking wrong turnings. I thought “how on earth am I going to face everyone that I’m turning up for work at this time of day when the working day starts so much earlier than this?”. I was annoyed with Percy Penguin for not having rung me to remind me. I was annoyed with quite a few people who knew that I was back. They could have placed a towel or something under the door and made sure that I was ready for work that next morning. Instead no-one had done that and I was hours late wandering around the streets in a panic.

Then we were all in a car. We’d gone off somewhere and were driving around these streets, a big group of us. The idea was that we had gone to look for some pea soup. We reached a place where we stopped and a few people alighted. Gradually more and more people alighted just leaving me and a girl. We were having a really good chat about something or other and it was quite entertaining. It’s not like me at all to have such a good chat with someone. In fact I ended up being more interested chatting with this girl than in the pea soup. She told me all about pea soup, telling me that the most exciting thing about pea soup was how they got it in. Everyone came back into the car and moved it onto the pavement to park it out of everyone’s way then they all alighted to wander off to find some stuff. This girl and I were still in there chatting. I thought to myself that I’d never had a chat quite like this with a girl before, let alone an interesting chat. It was quite obvious that she was really interested in chatting with me. That’s something I’m not used to at all, people chatting to me in this kind of extremely friendly fashion. I thought that I might be onto something here.

That bit about working on the radio in the Canadian High Arctic was interesting though. A week or so ago CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) was advertising a vacancy for a radio presenter in their outstation at Rankin Inlet in Nunavut in the Canadian High Arctic.

As you might expect I applied for the job and when I checked my e-mails this morning I had a mail from them saying that as the work is in Inuktitut (which I can’t speak very well and which the advert didn’t mention) I couldn’t be considered.

But they have plenty of other vacancies in the High Arctic where English and French are spoken and would I like to send them my CV? I’ll get to the High Arctic yet!

The rest of the day has been spent revising my Welsh, with a couple of moments of falling asleep. Once for about 15 minutes in the morning and also about 25 minutes in the afternoon.

Mind you, I wasn’t able to concentrate very much. I might not be falling asleep as much as I was last week but I’m still pretty much wiped out.

Before lunch I had a good shower and then after lunch I carried on with the revision until it was time for me to go out.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And as usual, the first place where I went was to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to make sure that the NIKON 1 J5 was still working.

And the port was quite deserted today. The tide was well out as I was going past and by the looks of things it had taken all of the boats with it.

There was no-one playing Musical Ships today. No Gerlean and no L’Omerta either. They must both be out there somewhere in the bay working today.

But there are plenty of vans and lorries at the Fish Processing Plant today. It looks as if they are expecting a busy day today.

No-one over at the ferry terminal either. They must all be having a busy day running out to the Ile de Chausey today

emptying burnt out houses rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On the way down the hill I noticed that there was some activity going on at the burnt-out houses.

By the looks of things they are emptying the houses of furniture and possessions and the like, tipping the stuff into the skip. They may well be starting pretty soon on rebuilding the houses.

And that’s not going to be the work of five minutes either.

Down in the town I stopped at the Post Office to post a letter and then carried on to the physiotherapist. It was more difficult than the walk on Monday and I had to stop a few times for breath.

The exercises were a little easier though although I’m totally dismayed about my loss of balance. Just a few years ago I was running up and down along beams on the roof and along the floor of my house. I can’t even stand on one leg these days.

After 10 minutes on the exercise bike (that wasn’t easy in this heat) to finish off she threw me out and I staggered down the hill into town.

The climb back up the hill towards home was much more difficult than it was the last time that I did it too. I seem to be having a relapse.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went back in I walked over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

Plenty of beach and plenty of people on it too. Not that I’m surprised because it really was a gorgeous day today.

Back here I made myself a smoothie and tried to concentrate on my Welsh revision but it really was hard to do so, tired as I was. and I drifted away for my second bout of sleep s well at one point.

No tea tonight. There was the last of the revision sessions, three hours from 19:00 to 22:00. I grabbed a packet of crackers and during the pause I had a bowl of porridge.

But at least I seem to have got the hang of these discussion points and was able to have a few good conversations about some of them. These gap-filling questions are another thing entirely and if I’m going to fall down anywhere, that will be where it is.

Having written my notes I’m off to bed. Revision in the morning and my exam is at 15:00. And then the next part of the adventure depends on how I feel.

Whatever I do, I must remember to set an alarm for my exam. I don’t want to miss it after all of this effort.

Thursday 9th June 2022 – I WAS DOING …

… really well today. I went all the way through to the late afternoon without crashing out and I even managed to accomplish a great deal of work which was quite a surprise.

And when you see how far I travelled during the night, it’s a surprise that I wasn’t dead on my feet a long time before I did.

Once again I was awake before the alarm went off – at about 06:30 in fact – and there was no difficulty at all in leaving the bed as soon as the alarm sounded.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. We started off with something to do with Christmas time. There were Christmas carols. Some young girl had to sing them but someone was busy trying to make her intoxicated and she was far too young for that so that they could take advantage of her. Her mother found out about what was going on and stepped in to put a stop to the situation developing out of hand. There was part of it with someone having an on-line chat. She was having all of these people queueing up to have on-line chats with her as soon as she came on-line. There were so many that she couldn’t carry on a conversation with any of them and was being swamped. If it had been a case of 2 or 3 conversations it wouldn’t have been too bad but this was dozens of people calling her for conversations as soon as she came on line and she wasn’t able to cope with any of this at all. That was a dream that was again extremely vivid and extremely real, far too real to be comfortable.

Then I had to go to the Wistaston Green estate to pick up Andrew Beddow to take him to one of the clubs in Crewe. The taxi fare came to £1:40 but he gave me a 20-guinea piece to hold onto as a sign of good faith while I waited while he went off to change a £20 note so that he’d have the correct change to give me. We were talking about taxis and money and the clubs etc. It was quite an interesting chat.

There was some kind of quiz game on TV. One of the contestants was having a right mauling and the producer went over to the presenter to ask him to go easy with the contestant because she was someone from his old school. He wanted her to have an easy ride about it. The presenter wasn’t having any of this and if anything, started to make the questions even tougher for this particular girl. That’s all that I remember of this which is a shame.

There was a swimming pool where a lot of young girls used to go. The owners had it in their heads that they wanted to set up cameras and film everyone from a safety point of view and tuition point of view. None of the customers or regulars were having it. They believed that this was being done for some kind of mischievous purpose. Everyone just upped and walked out. Even the boss of this company quit as well right in the middle of him having some kind of beauty appointment with Frank Sinatra when he handed in his notice and left.

Nerina and I had both been at work as well and we’d come home to our flat as usual. We had to go out again so we made ready. She was going out of the door and I had to check to make sure that I had my keys and money etc. There was a note on our door so she picked it up and read it. She asked me if I’d go down and put the money in an envelope that someone would give her and then inside an envelope that someone else would give her and take it to the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival so that they’d be up-to-date and if I could spend any time to work down there that would be great. I said that I’d see what I could do about that. Then we prepared to go out. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember any more now. What confused me about this was that I found myself dictating this into my hand as well and I had to go back and start again from the beginning using the dictaphone this time. That’s how come I forgot a lot og it

And then I had to go to Nantes or Rennes and I was in the red Cortina estate. I drove all the way down there and found what I had to do. I had to come back in 2 days time. I had all my dirty clothes and a big plastic sack and I wandered around looking for a tap. Eventually I found one in a park and filled the plastic sack of clothes full of water. I was going to leave it down there for a couple of days all to soak and I could pick it up when I returned in 2 days time for the next meeting or whatever it was. While I was wrestling with this bag a woman, her husband and three little girls came down the steps. Of course I was in their way with this bag so I had to move it out of the way. I didn’t realise how heavy it was now and it was quite a wrestle for me to move it out of the path so that they could all go past and go on into this park.

Meanwhile I went all the way down to the end of the yard in these 2 old Commer vans so that I could dismantle all of the plumbing fittings that were around here. And I have a feeling that I’ve missed off a lot of this one as well.

After the events of recent times, I’m surprised that I wasn’t stark out at some early point in the morning after all of that.

There was an interruption at 10:00 for breakfast with my delicious fruit buns and to answer the telephone when Ingrid rang me. We chatted for quite a long time as we had plenty to say to each other. It’s been quite a while since we last spoke.

Having finished the dictaphone notes I had a form to fill in.

Every couple of years I have to complete a certificate to say that I’m still alive so that I can continue to receive my pension. The doctor countersigned it last time that I was there but I’d forgotten to send it off. Now they were telling me that they are planning to stop paying me unless I send it back quite soon.

It did rather remind me of the story that I’d heard about the guy who had been left a large sum of money in a will “if he could prove that he was still alive”. He had to find a Justice of the Peace to swear an oath.
The JP asked him “Are you …. (Mr X)?”
“Yes I am”
“Are you still alive?”

That left me with enough time for a shower and a good clean-up before lunch.

After lunch I had several e-mails to write. As I’ve mentioned before, this Sports Therapist wants to give me a few sessions of therapy and he wants to give a prescription to the physiotherapist about some special exercises.

Before he can do so, he needs a resumé of my health condition, presumably to make sure that nothing that he’s prescribing will compromise my hospital treatment or create a bad effect on my health.

Another thing is to tell them about how I’m feeling about my health in general, that seems to be deteriorating quite rapidly now. And so I composed an e-mail to each of the services that is treating me to make them aware of the situation and to ask them for the resumé.

gerlean port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my trip to the physiotherapist.

And as usual, I went to the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was happening this afternoon down in the harbour.

And our game of Musical Ships has taken another turn this afternoon. L’Omerta is no longer there this afternoon but in her place Gerlean is back again.

At the moment then there are only these two boats playing “Musical Ships” and I wonder how long they’ll be able to keep it up, or whether we’ll have some more players in due course.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was here I had a good look out in the baie de Mont St Michel.

There was plenty of activity going on there this afternoon too. After the storms of yesterday that kept everyone indoors a few of the sailing schools were out there today.

There were two sailing schools out there just outside the harbour with a couple of zodiacs shepherding them around.

And there was a third one out there deeper in the bay too as I discovered later as I was walking down the hill towards town. The students were certainly having their money’s worth this afternoon.

While I was here I had quite a shock as well. A girl who was the spitting image of Castor went walking past. I did a double-take and I still wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t she and it was quite unnerving.

Something similar happened to me in Brussels a few years ago now. It’s been years since I’ve seen Zero in the flesh and I’ve often imagined how she might have looked as she’s grown older.

And then in Brussels, of all places, into a café where I was drinking walked a girl who was exactly how I had imagined Zero to be by then. I was so surprised that I dropped my coffee.

painting zebra crossing Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here – there was work going on in the street this afternoon.

The pedestrian crossing here has faded quite considerably and this afternoon they are repainting it.

And that reminds me of the time that a pedestrian was trying desperately to cross a busy street and a passer-by yelled at him “there’s a zebra crossing just a little further down the street”
“Well, I hope that it’s having better luck than I am” retorted the pedestrian.

So hotfoot in desperate pursuit of the Castor lookalike and failing miserably, I headed off down the hill into town and the Post Office where I posted my letter about my pension and then wandered off to the physiotherapist.

Somehow today, although the climb up the hill was agony again, the physiotherapy session wasn’t quite as painful today. Even so, I staggered out of there at the end of the session looking like “The Death of Nelson”.

Even walking down the hill was painful, and the least said about the climb back up towards home the better.

victor hugo chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Once again, I had to make several pauses on the way back up there to catch my breath.

One of them was at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. Marité was there with members of her crew clambering all over her, but I was more interested in Victor Hugo and Chausiaise

We still haven’t seen Victor Hugo in action so far despite the service to the Channel Islands being up and running for over a month. We’ve noticed her absence on a couple of occasions and I’ve seen photos of her out around the Channel Islands when other ships have encountered her, but that’s all there is so far.

And Chausiaise seems to be leading something of a nomadic life in the harbour, moving around from berth to berth.

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Having recovered my breath I pushed on up to the top of the hill and home.

Before going inside though, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to have a look at what was going on out at sea this afternoon.

It’s not easy taking photos out there today as I only had the NIKON 1 J5 and the standard lens with me. I could pick up this speedboat that was out in the bay but that was the best that I could do.

Whether there was anything else out there I really couldn’t say. The focal length of the lens isn’t all that long and in any case the weather conditions weren’t as good as they have been just recently.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And of course while I was here I had to go and look at what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

Sticking my head over the wall and having a look I could see that there were plenty of people down there on the beach this afternoon and several of them had actually taken to the water.

There was a little wind about, although nothing like as much as yesterday, and it was nice and warm. In fact, I’d come all the way back from the physiotherapist’s in my shirt sleeves.

It was that kind of day today. I actually saw a lizard today – a sure sign that sumer is acumen in.

bus with passengers place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was a crowds of people loitering around in the vicinity and as I watched, a coach pulled up and they all scrambled aboard.

Where the coach is parked is where they put that new kerb in the other day, and the fact that the coach is there explains in part why they installed that kerb.

As of 1st July they are reorganising the town’s bus service. There’s a new line being added and there are a few more changes, one of which is rerouting the bus that comes up here. Instead of going down the Boulevard Vaufleury where no-one lives, it will now coming through the square where everyone including me lives, and the bus stop will be where they installed that kerb.

That couldn’t be much better for me, could it?

Back here I had a strawberry smoothie and then I crashed out. I knew that I couldn’t keep going for ever. I’m surprised that I kept going as long as I did after the night that I had. I was out of it all for about 90 minutes and felt like death.

There was plenty still to do but I’ll have to do that tomorrow for I’m not in any fit state to do it now.

Tea was steamed veg with vegan cheese sauce and falafel, and that was just as delicious as usual.

So having written my notes I’m off to bed. I’m totally exhausted and I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep where I can recharge my battery and have a better day tomorrow. I have that meeting tomorrow at 10:00 about the radio and we’ll see what happens there.

Thursday 2nd June 2022 – WELL THAT WAS A …

folk club nicorps Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022 … complete waste of time, that was.

Someone had told me about a folk club that takes place at a bar in the countryside about 25 miles away but its meetings usually coincide when I’m in Leuven. With not going to Leuven this month, I decided that I’d go along this evening and see what happens.

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve been working out a little basic acoustic set so I can contribute something to the evening.

But when I arrived, no-one said “hello” and no-one spoke to me. I tried to engage a few people in conversation but they just cut me dead.

No-one asked me if I wanted to sing or to play an instrument but people who came in after me and who were clearly “known” to the organisers were dragged up onto the stage to do something.

In the past I’ve been ignored by a far better class of person than anyone whom I’d be likely to meet at an event like this so after an hour I paid for my coffee and headed for home, thinking that there are many more things that I can be doing that would be far more exciting than sitting around like Piffy on a rock hoping that someone might condescend to talk to me.

But at least I can forget about the acoustic guitar now and concentrate on the bass for the next 4 weeks. There aren’t any more incestuous events like this one to attend for a while.

What puzzles me though is that usually, people only start to ignore me once they know me and find out about me. It’s quite rare for me to be ignored before someone has even found out anything about me. My reputation must be spreading wider than I realise.

Anyway, today, this is the first time for quite a while, I haven’t crashed out during the day at all. And actually, I didn’t go anywhere during the night either. I wonder if by any chance the two events are connected.

But it certainly was something of a tempestuous night. If only it had been one where I had managed to sleep all the way through I would have felt so much better. But beggars can’t be choosers.

After the medication I had a play around with this music list that I’d been sent and thanks to Grahame who solved the mystery of the “H” chord things seemed to work much easier. But there are one or two songs that I don’t recognise at all and I can’t find anything that might resemble them either, so this is going to be a long job.

But then I had another couple of runs through the acoustic list to see how that was doing. But I’m having problems remembering the chord sequences. Two things happen when you reach my age – the first is that you forget absolutely everything. As for the second thing – I can’t remember what that is.

Before lunch I spend an hour writing about “Food” for my Welsh revision. I need to keep that going.

After lunch I had to complete my tax return. Half the stuff was missing and I had to resort to a few ingenious downloads. And then the printer ran out of ink and I had to hunt down a spare ink cartridge

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022When I’d finally collected everything together I headed off to town to post it off.

First place to stop was at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to make sure that the NIKON D500 was working and to see what was happening in the port.

And the answer was “nothing”. There wasn’t even one fishing boat moored at the Fish Processing Plant this afternoon.

PLenty of vehicles around at the fish processing plant though. It looks as if they are expecting a good catch this afternoon.

cabin cruiser catamaran chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022With having the big Nikon I could have a much better view of the chantier naval fron here than I ordinarily would with the NIKON 1 J5.

And the big luxury cabin cruiser that we’ve seen for the last few days has a companion in there this afternoon. There’s a catamaran moored in there now receiving attention.

The tide is quite far out this afternoon so there wasn’t anything loitering around in the bay or just outside the harbour so I headed off down into town towards the Post Office to post my tax return and the Bank to pay in my pension cheque for the last couple of months.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The other day I mentioned that Victor Hugo, one of the Channel Island ferries, had been tied up in port for as long as I could remember even though the ferry service officially restarted about a month ago.

It goes without saying that having committed that to print, she’s no longer there this afternoon. In fact, I heard that she arrived in St Helier round about the time that I was staring at her empty berth.

Down in the town I had to wait a while in a queue at the Post Office and then I was only just in time to make the bank to pay in my cheque. So “spend! spend! spend!” hey?

marquee port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The climb back up the hill was real agony and I’m wondering if my blood count has collapsed. I remember being this ill trying to chop down a tree just before I was carried off to hospital.

On one of my pauses for breath I had a look across the port and noticed this marquee. I haven’t see that before, so I wonder what’s going on that requires a marquee like that. I haven’t seen anything in the local newspaper about it.

But whatever it might be, it’s going to be pretty impressive with a marquee like that.

As for the boats, we can make out the dark blue and white Charles Marie and behind her, the little Courrier des Iles.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While we’re on the subject of boats … “well, one of us is” – edMarité is back in port.

She’s been away for several days on a voyage. I don’t know where though because I’m not really all that interested. I love the ship of course but it’s her personnel that get on my wick.

Anything you want to know, go down and ask them and they drudgingly stop chatting amongst themselves long enough to say “it’s all on the internet” and then carry on ignoring you.

In fact, that seems to be the way of the world right now. Customer service has gone right out of the window and “it’s all on the internet”. No-one wants to help you any more.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The rest of the climb up the hill was agony but even so I went to see what was going on down on the beach.

It was trying to rain so there weren’t too many people down there at all. There was just this couple, as far as I could see.

Back here I had a coffee and then learnt all about “Food” for my Welsh revision. They I printed off a few of the songs that I’ve added to my playlist just recently and collected my things together.

A brief stop to buy some diesel and then we drove out to Nicorps – and then drove back.

So that was that. Not a very good day but if you want to find a prince you have to kiss a lot of frogs. I think that I shall just have to accept the fact that I’m not a “people” person and I’m far better off as a hermit. Maybe I should go back to live in the Auvergne.

Friday 18th March 2022 – AFTER ALL …

filming at civic rooms place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… the excitement of yesterday, there’s been even more today.

Unfortunately not quite of the same calibre, but nevertheless it beats the monotony. Especially when they lay down a red carpet at the Communal Rooms at the back of my apartment and set up a film camera to film whatever was going to make use of it.

Whatever or whoever it was, though, I’m not able to say. I had to go out to the Post Office before it closed and so I missed it.

If we’re lucky, there will be something in the newspapers tomorrow, but I’m not all that hopeful. There wasn’t a word about what the Dassault Falcon was doing yesterday.

fire brigade rue des juifs burnt out house rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022At that wasn’t everything either.

This afternoon it looked as if it was the local Fire Brigade’s annual outing. There they were, complete with vehicles, standing around and chatting, looking up at the ruins of the houses that were devastated in the fire.

While we’re on the subject of “devastated” … “well, one of us is” – ed … I was pretty devastated this morning.

It ended up being a much later night than I was expecting or hoping, and when the alarm went off at 07:30 I switched it off and … err .. went back to sleep. But it wasn’t as bad as yesterday. I managed to make it out of bed a good few minutes before the second alarm.

Not all that much on the dictaphone through the night either. I must have had something of a decent sleep. I was out somewhere last night on the road that runs between Newcastle and Shrewsbury. I don’t know where I’d been but I ended up down some kind of side road somewhere. I stopped and I’d had a piece of cake and a coffee, standing in the middle of this farm track drinking it and eating the cake while the farmer was driving around in his tractor somewhere. Something had gone wrong but I can’t remember what it was. I looked at the time and I thought “God! I only have 20 minutes to get to work!”. I thought that I’d never reach work on time at all from here because I’m on foot. I put down my mug and plate down in the middle of this track and walked down to the main road thinking that I’d hitch a lift. I walked back towards the road junction that would take me to Crewe which was 4 miles away. First of all a bunch of school kids went past, then an old Austin A40 Somerset followed by an old BMC lorry. I then found myself in this village As I walked through this village I thought that I’d never seen such a village. I didn’t know that there was a village like this on this road and I know it so well. By now I was in Caliburn and. There was some road work in the town centre. Everything was being dug up. There were rocks being cut up with a disc cutter. They were even dynamiting small small rocks. I was just driving over everything, machinery, the lot in Caliburn. Some guy was even putting his feet against the glass windows to stop them vibrating when the dynamite went off.. There was this really sharp U-bend by an expensive estate agent’s. I thought that things were becoming really bad. Some woman went past and said “you’re going to be terribly late for work. It’s 2 days running for me that I’ve had to call in with car problems”. I was back in Caliburn again and came across an auto-electrician. I drove into his workshop. I had to straighten a carpet. A guy came over so I asked him to go to listen to the starter while I turned the engine so he could see if there was a problem with the starter.

Later on I was out near Tarporley in a small village … “Tiverton;” – ed. I bumped into a girl whom I knew but I can’t remember who she was. She had curly ginger hair and I don’t know a girl like that in real life. She was telling me about a family whom I knew who lived by the traffic lights at the Rising Sun. She was saying that they’d all cashed in their chips, sold up and moved on. I asked if she knew where they had gone. She told me of a couple of them but there was one whom she didn’t know. She mentioned his name and I knew the name. He’d gone to Toronto. She said “yes, I remember now. He’s bought a racehorse”. I looked surprised and asked “what’s he doing with a racehorse?”. She didn’t actually know. In the end she said something like “if you’re going to take a chance on buying an unknown racehorse for £1:00 or something you’d buy it from a member of your own family rather than from a complete stranger” but she couldn’t see the purpose of this racehorse. I asked her if it was identical to any others that he owned because there’s always the old “run a slower identical horse in a few races to build up a bad reputation then switch the real one in for an important race once the other one has a bad name”. She said “no, it’s not at all like (she mentioned the name of another horse)” so I thought that perhaps it might be an identical horse or something where in this case this one might be slower. I was about to ask her the question when the alarm went off.

After the medication and transcribing the dictaphone notes, I spent most of the rest of the morning working on the photos from the High Arctic in August 2019. We’re now back on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR after our little walk around Qikiqtarjuaq.

That was where Dennis Minty and I bumped into a local Royal Canadian Mounted Police “Mountie” who gave us a lift in his pickup up to the top of a mountain on the island where we took some superb photos which you will see in due course.

After lunch I had a letter to write. It’s the reply to one that’s been hanging around here for quite a few months and someone somewhere is probably wondering if I’ve died.

“Snail mail” has all but died out for personal purposes but I still have the odd (and I use the term advisedly) technophobe friend who writes letters. Unfortunately, just like me, she has had a hand injury and so I have a great deal of difficulty reading her writing just like people have difficulty in reading mine, and it’s not easy to decipher it.

But anyway, it was eventually ready and in a mad fit of enthusiasm which has sprung up from heaven alone knows where, I actually set off to post it.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to check the camera and see what was happening down below.

As you can see, the tide is right out at the moment. It’ll be a while before it’s back in today. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone taking advantage of it and going for a bit of the peche à pied.

And if there’s anything going on at the Ile de Chausey this afternoon, they aren’t doing it aboard the Joly France ferries.

There’s one moored up over there at the ferry terminal in the NAABSA (Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground) position, and the other two are moored up in the inner harbour along with Chausiaise

charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As well as the Ile de Chausey boats in the inner harbour, there’s plenty of other stuff too.

One of the boats here is Charles Marie. We’ve been keeping an eye on her over the last couple of weeks while she was being serviced in the chantier naval but now she must be ready for the sea.

There was a trawler parked in the chantier naval where she was, but I couldn’t see who she was. I’ll go for a wander out that way tomorrow and find out more about her.

And by the looks of things, La Granvillaise wasn’t there either. She must have gone back into the water but she isn’t around in the harbour so I wonder where she’s gone.

There are tons of the containers in which they stack the sacks of shellfish over there on the quayside. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many.

road works abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Dodging the pompiers who were having their meeting on the pavement, I carried on down the hill to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour.

The freight was still there but what caught my eye was the lorry and the digger over there on the track of the old abandoned railway.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw them working on the far end of that track in the town centre. They seem to have made rapid progress.

Down in the town I made rapid progress to the Post Office to post my letter. And then I went off to the Credit Agricole. I’ve received a cheque in respect of my Belgian State Pension but I dont now why. Anyway it has to be paid in to my account.

Now what can I do with €60:45? Spend! Spend! Spend! I suppose.

road works abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Walking back into the town centre on my way home I had a quick peek down where the old abandoned railway ran to see how they were doing.

And by the looks of things, they don’t seem to be doing a great deal. They have a compactor down there (which was more than they had on the 1800 miles of the TRANS LABRADOR HIGHWAY IN 2010 but the road surface doesn’t look much different than it did before they started.

And I’m half-expecting one of those boys to end up like an Austin Powers henchman if he isn’t careful. I suppose that the other boy there would refer to his friend as his “flatmate”.

I’ll get my coat.

So having dome my tasks for the day I set off up the hill for home, feeling rather pleased that I’d actually finished a couple of tasks.

Maybe it is these pills that are giving me energy, I dunno, but sometimes I really think that they could give you absolutely anything, tell you what the imaginary effects will be, and then you psyche yourself up to believe them.

kite surfers people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Before I went back inside I went to see what was happening down on the beach outside my building.

Today was a really glorious May day today, really warm, but with a strong wind. And so while there were no Nazguls about, there were a couple of people down there kitesurfing. And having a really good time doing it by the looks of things.

Plenty of people walking around on the beach too having a good time. I don’t know where they have all come from.

One of my neighbours was outside the building too, soaking up the rays. he and I had a good chat before I came in for a coffee.

Later on, I had another session on the guitar. I seem to have rekindled my enthusiasm, having done very little since I fell into this depression several months ago. I quite enjoyed it too, although i’m dismayed at how much of my technique I’ve lost.

Tea was a quick falafel from out of the freezer with pasta and veg because there was football on the internet. Y Bala v Penybont in the first of the Welsh Cup Semi-finals.

And for a match then ended 0-0, this was probably one of the best and most exciting that I’ve seen in a long while. Both teams have star players but they managed to checkmate each other at every turn as the game roared from end to end for the whole 90 minutes. It’s a shame that there aren’t more games like this.

So bedtime now. I’m shopping tomorrow and then I’m going to try to do some exciting stuff. What, I’m not quite sure yet.

Who knows? I might do something wild, like take more rubbish out to the bins.

Monday 7th March 2022 – IT WAS A …

… very different experience today at my physiotherapy session. She put four electric pads around my knee, coupled them up to some kind of electric machine and then spent 20 minutes putting electric shocks through my knee.

When the machine wasn’t pulsing, it was as if someone was tapping the surround of my kneecap with a small hammer. And when the current was going through it, it was as if some kind of retired Bulgarian weightlifter was squeezing my leg in a downward direction.

But anyway, more of that later.

Last night I actually had the first decent sleep that I’ve had for quite some time. I was in bed by 22:15 and there was one file on the dictaphone at 23:17 and a second at 05:12 and that was about that until the alarm went off at 06:00.

So where did I go during the night?

The night started off by me getting on a train in Central Europe, a steam train. I was trying to syphon some lemon juice from one empty container to another. I looked out of the window and there was a woman having a row with what looked like an old border guard in an old border guard uniform. The woman with me and I went down to see what was happening. He was trying to detain her but as this wasn’t the border here he had no authority so we simply told this woman to come on board and ignore him. He became quite agitated at this and threatened to arrest us all but he had no authority to do that. We took no notice and in the end the woman with me broke the hold that the man had on this other woman. She could board but my lady-friend was subjected to some rough treatment from this guy so I went over there. It ended up that he let go of her and the 3 of us boarded. As the train was heading away I went to find out where everyone was sitting. I found my friend but the other person, she was now a pair of twins whom I knew from years and years ago. They were sitting somewhere else. Being of African descent they were quite obvious in this 3rd class carriage. The woman and I sat not too far away from them. I wandered over to where one of the twins was. She was asleep but when I was very close to her she awoke so I made some kind of gesture that I hoped no-one else noticed that the two of them should come and sit by the two of us and discuss what our next move was going to be. We certainly couldn’t say that we were inconspicuous with what had happened boarding the train.

And later I was with someone last night who might have been a girl with whom I worked 40 years ago. We’d bumped into each other quite by accident and she told me that she was working out at the back of Chester. She mentioned the place and I said “yes, I know it well there. It’s by the Little Chef, isn’t it?”. She replied that it was further on down from the Little Chef closer towards Shelton Bar … “he means John Summers Steelworks at Shotton” – ed. I mentioned that it must be near somewhere else but she replied that that was in the other direction. I thought that I’d better shut up otherwise I’d make more of a fool of myself than I’m doing at the moment. Of course that’s an area that i used to know years ago all around there. We started to talk about this and that and I asked her how she was going to work. She replied that she was going by train. I thought that the railway line there had been closed years ago but apparently not. They had reopened it with new stations and there was a new station that had opened that very day right where we were. That was where she was heading to catch the train. We set off to walk to the station and quite by surprise I found myself holding her hand and we were having a very friendly boy-girl chat about next-to-nothing. When we reached the station there was a train just pulling in so she let go and ran for it but the train didn’t stop. It pushed on right through the station. I arrived on the platform just behind her. We asked someone and they said “the train you want is the 17:17 which is in a minute’s time. That was a non-stop through train, that one. Her train pulled in and she boarded, and I did as well for no particular reason other than to go with her to her particular station.

After the medication I started the radio programme that I wanted to do today and it took me much longer than it ought to have done, simply because there were so many interruptions of all sorts. Have you ever tried to explain to someone with no braincells the difference between cost-of-living increases and price increases?

No wonder the UK is in such a mess.

After lunch I had a shower and a good clean up and then I left for my physiotherapy appointment.

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne on the way out to test the camera.

The tide wasn’t very far in at all this afternoon so there wasn’t anyone out and about down there. As usual these days, one of the Joly France boats is over there at the ferry terminal waiting for her next trip to the Ile de Chausey, whenever that might be.

The walk down into town was rather difficult today. There’s a ramp of four steps halfway down the hill where I can test my right knee to see if there’s the strength in it to lift me up.

And today, there was no force whatsoever. I had to climb the steps with the left leg leading and the right leg limping along behind instead of climbing up normally with alternate legs leading.

digging up rue saintonge Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Down in the Rue Lecampion, I noticed that in one of the side streets … “Rue Saintonge” – ed … they had closed off the street and were busy digging up the surface.

It doesn’t look as if it’s a cable-laying job as there’s no trench there and no cables either. It looks as if they are just digging a hole there.

In the town centre I went to the Post Office. I’d written two letter earlier and they needed posting. Not that anything will necessarily come from them but nothing will anyway if I don’t post them.

Up the hill I went to the physiotherapist. It was quite agonising but I managed it without having to stop for breath. I’m not so sure that going to the railway station on Wednesday is going to be any better.

decorating mairie place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way back down into town I noticed that there were things going on at the Mairie.

We were all across the road from there showing our support for Ukraine, but I hadn’t noticed the blue and white banner that was attached to the balcony and I was surprised that I had missed it.

And there’s a cherry-picker out there too with a couple of people sticking up posters for something else. I’ll have to wander past there when they’ve all gone and take a closer look at what’s happening.

erecting scaffolding rue georges clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022There’s something happening in the Rue Georges Clemenceau down at the end of the Rue Paul Poirier.

There are several buildings that have changed hands down there just recently and this afternoon they’ve been erecting scaffolding up around one of them.

Parked over there too is a carpenter’s van so it looks as if the building over there is going to be having a new roof within the next few weeks or so.

The walk up the Rue des Juifs towards home wasn’t as easy as it has been for this last couple of weeks. I wasn’t feeling too good over the weekend and it seems to have continued into today. I hope that it picks up before Wednesday. I don’t want to be going to Leuven like this.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Before I went into the apartment for a coffee I went to have a look over the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

There was plenty of beach to be down on as well today, but only a couple of people down there on it. It seems that everyone has gone back to work or back to school now, and that will be that until Easter when we’ll have the crowds back again.

After I’d had my coffee I transcribed the dictaphone notes and then did a little tidying up. Not for any good purpose because it looks as if the Nurse has forgotten to come round today to give me my injection for Wednesday.

Tea tonight was a curry made of all kinds of bits and pieces hanging around in the fridge. And there’s enough left over for tea tomorrow as well. At least the fridge will be fairly empty when I go to Leuven.

But right now I’m off to bed. It might be early but I’m exhausted. Tomorrow is my Welsh lesson and I need to be on form for that. I’ve been rather flagging over the last few weeks as far as that goes.

Monday 21st February 2022 – THIS WINDY WEATHER …

storm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… is really getting on my wick these days.

The other day we had a storm warning for Storm Useless and it wasn’t anything at all to write home about compared to what I have experienced in the past. And yet subsequently we have been battered by winds that would have knocked Storm Useless into a cocked hat.

The high winds that met me this afternoon and which were churning up the sea in the Baie de Mont St Michel were better than anything that we have experienced over the last few days.

In fact the last six months or so have seen nothing but wind and I for one am becoming really fed up of it.

Another thing about which I’m thoroughly fed up are these bad nights that I’ve been having.

Last night, despite going to bed at a reasonable time and falling asleep fairly rapidly I awoke shortly after and it was as if my right leg and both my elbows were on fire.

One of the side-effects of one of the medication tha I take makes me itch and with having really thin blood, every time I scratch myself I bleed. And having made a right mess of my right leg a few months ago and then spent several months doing everything that I could to help it to heal, then it’s now back to even worse than it was back then.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall one of my habitual partners in crime (was it Zero?) seeing my leg during one of our nocturnal rambles and bursting into tears. Well, that was exactly how I felt when I saw the mess.

At some point towards the morning I must have fallen asleep because I went off on a ramble. There was something strange last night that involved a girl whom I knew although it took place in French. It concerned some kind of confusion between a couple of people who were having marital problems. I knew someone called Michael and she knew a different person called Michael. I knew the one who was having marital problems and it turned out that the one that she knew was also. When we were discussing them we were confused about who was the one about whom we were talking. But the alarm went off at that moment and I can’t remember any more.

Hauling myself out of bed at 06:00 was pretty miserable but once I’d checked my messages and everything I had a go at my radio programme. And by 10:45 it was all up and running and I was listening to it.

In fact I could have finished it earlier but I had a ‘phone call. The nurse was in the building giving someone a blood test so he wondered if he could come round to give me my fortnightly injection then instead of coming back at lunchtime.

No point in inconveniencing him so he came round and inconvenienced me. Not that it really matters, I suppose

While I was listening to the output, and also to the radio programme that will be broadcast this coming weekend, I had something of a tidy up and did a few other things here and there that needed doing.

After lunch I had some correspondence to deal with and then I headed off into town.

showmen's wagons port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022You’ve already seen the effects of the wind that was whipping up the sea in the bay, but something else down there had caught my eye.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that Carnaval has been cancelled this year but it looks as if the Fête Foraine – the funfair – is still going ahead.

Down there are all the living quarters of the showmen who will be setting up their amusements on the car park down by the Salle Hérel.

That’s not very many compared with what we have seen in the past so it will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few days if more and more of them come into town.

les epiettes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Someone else who has come into town today is Les Epiettes.

She’s painted in the colours of the French Government and the sign on her rails saying “do not tie up to me” would seem to bear that out.

Further research tells me that she’s owned by the Département des Ponts et Chausssées – the Department of Roads and Bridges – and she must be based reasonably locally because Les Epiettes is the name of a buoy somewhere off the coast of the Ile de Chausey.

And that was where I encountered her for the first time when we were out there on Spirit of Conrad two years ago.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Someone else who is in port today is Chausiaise.

But she isn’t moored up where she has been for the last couple of weeks. She’s now moved and is underneath the crane in the loading bay.

That would seem to indicate that she’s off on another voyage somewhere very soon. She usually goes out to the Ile de Chausey although just recently we’ve noticed her coming back from St Helier in Jersey.

With important things to do, I had to leave her there and wander off into town. I’ll go and have a walk around the harbour at some other time. I need to go to see the doctor some time soon.

Meanwhile down at the Post Office I posted off my letter and then made ready to come back home. I wasn’t going to hang around.

sideshows place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022In the street outside the post office the people associated with the fête foraine were setting up a couple of stalls.

It seems that they are making the most of the absence of the Carnaval to take over some of the ground that the Carnaval would otherwise occupy.

Incidentally, despite the fact that the half-term holiday is over, the kiddies’ roundabout is still in the square so it looks by the nature of the stalls here that they are going to have a kiddies’ corner in the town centre.

Presumably, the activities in the car park will be reserved for the adults and take place during the hours of darkness.

new brickwork rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022The walk back up the hill towards home was rather more difficult than I was expecting it to be, seeing as I had only myself and the NIKON D500 to worry about.

Halfway up the hill I stopped because there was something that I was keen to see. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago they had replaced some of the crumbling brickwork with some new stuff but they hadn’t actually pointed them.

And when I had a close look today, I saw that they still hadn’t pointed between them. Once the frost and the rain get in there the new brickwork won’t be staying there for very long.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Before I went back to my apartment I braved the gale-force wind and went to see what was happening down on the beach.

Down below on the beach, regardless of the wind, there were several people wandering about. Mind you, it was quite sunny so I suppose that if you could tolerate the wind it was quite a nice day.

Back in the apartment I had my coffee and came back in here where, regrettably, I fell asleep again for half an hour or so. Mind you, after the night that I had, it was hardly any surrpise.

And then I went for tea. A stuffed pepper with rice and I do have to say that the stuffing in the pepper was the best that I have ever made. The way in which I make it is rather hit-and-miss but this evening’s efforts were definitely a hit.

Having written up my notes and having transcribed the massive amount of dictaphone notes from yesterday I’m off to bed. I’ve soaked my leg and elbows in some cold cream and I hope that it will work and I won’t set myself on fire tonight.

Wednesday 5th January 2022 – REGULAR READERS …

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022… of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a lorry taking away the material that had been used in resurfacing the Rue St Michel.

At the time I said that if I remembered, I would go that way down to the doctor’s to have a look at what kind of job they have done of it.

Anyway, this will teach me to post vituperative comments about things like the quality of the road surfacing that they do, because while I’ve seen better surfaces finished than this, it’s not actually too bad.

They seem tp have been somewhat confused with the curves in a few places, but considering that this is the 21st and not the 15th Century, I don’t suppose that they have the skill that they used to have.

rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Mind you, I don’t think that they have quite finished.

A little lower down in the Rue Cambernon they are still in something of a temporary situation as they carry on laying the electric cables in the street.

When they finish the cable-laying, they might relay the pavé to the same standard as in the Rue St Michel, but what is actually making me wonder right now is what kind of electric cables they are laying, and for what purpose?

The hope is that we might finally be having fibree-optic cable, some 25 years after we had it in Belgium and 4 years since they started to install it here, but I’m not that optimistic about that. This is the kind of work that can go on for ever.

lorry trailer minidigger porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But they obviously have some kind of plans for something, because the lorry, its trailer and the mini-digger were back this morning.

Not unloaded though, so I’ve no idea what was happening. But they haven’t apparently finished quite yet.

But never mind the pavé. After today, I’m pretty much finished. I’ve had another really bad day where I seem to have fallen deep into the pit and been paralysed by inaction. That’s not doing me any good at all.

It’s a shame really, because although I didn’t end up going to bed as early as I would have liked, I was optimistic that I would have as good a sleep as I had last night. But it wasn’t to be. Nothing like, in fact.

There were a few travels during the night and once more, I was blessed with pleasant company. I started off with a girl last night, a young girl. It could have been Percy Penguin, it could have been Castor, one of those two. But I was in the Navy when I met this girl and I was going to take her home so we set out and drove and ended up behind a convoy of farm carts pulled by a tractor. We couldn’t go past it because the roads were narrow and it was too slow. The rear cart was just bumping around hitting just about everything so I couldn’t get too close to that. Then it disappeared somewhere so we could carry on. Then we had to climb over loads and loads of brambles and rocks down this well overgrown path to reach my house. In the end I had to go first and trample down as much as I could and help her over. She was standing on my clothes so I couldn’t move and that was where we ended up. And I wish that I knew which one of my female companions it was.

Some time later, Zero and I went off together in a car to Blackpool. She did a few things on her own and so did I, and then we did a few things together before coming home. It was quite late now as we drove home, which was my old family home in Vine Tree Avenue. When we went into the house I hoped that the two of us would have some time to be alone together but her parents were still up, which was surprising. It was Christmas morning so they had started to celebrate rather early. Surprisingly they said nothing whatever about anything.

Later still I was at the hospital last night and I’d had a booster injection, then I had an appointment with someone. But the booster injection didn’t show up on my passport so I went to see someone at reception. There was already one person being served, then there was me, then a girl came up behind. Thea someone came and started to talk to this third girl so I shouted “hello” quite loudly making it clear that it was me next. I explained the situation to this receptionist and she replied in English that it takes a day or two to come through. That’s why when someone comes to the hospital asking for a pill for the temporary effects they always take a note of their name and number

There was more to it than this but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you any inconvenience. But nevertheless, Zero and either Percy Penguin or Castor all on the same night. My luck really was in for a change.

But talking of people who I met on my travels a long way from home, we haven’t seen anything of The Vanilla Queen for a couple of years. I wonder how she’s doing.

Leaving the bed was agony this morning, and I didn’t have long to hang around before I had to nip off to the doctor’s.

christmas lights place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022It came to my mind while I was on my way out that I hadn’t seen the Christmas decorations in the Place Cambernon yet this year.

On my way to the Rue St Michel I went that way for a look as it was still just about dark enough to appreciate them. But they were nothing special. Just the same old stuff that they have every year.

So I took my photograph to add to my collection that one day when I’m feeling better (whenever that might be) and pushed on down the road towards the Rue St Michel, chatting with one of my neighbours whom I encountered on my way down.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022We have a visitor in the harbout too today.

We can tell that this is Normandy Trader by the little raised deck behind the bridge. She’s come in on the morning tide for what I believe to be the first trip of the year, and is busy loading up.

And that might explain the lorry with the building materials that was doing a U-turn in the chantier naval yesterday.

At the doctor’s, he renewed my physiotherapy and my Aranesp prescriptions, and delighted on showing his student doctor a photo of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and telling her all about my voyages.

He mentioned the radio too. I hadn’t realised that I was such a celebrity!

But he also mentioned something else. Apparently he’s had some kind of sneak preview of the report that the cardiologist will present to me next week. There’s something somewhere in my body that I’m supposed to have 50 units of, but which some people might have as many as 250. I have 2246.

No idea what it is though. Craig thinks that it’s the size of my spirit, but I reckon that it’s the number or people whom I p*ss*d off last year. anyway, I’ll find out soon enough.

Next stop was the bank. I’d had my cheque for the last 3 months of my Belgian pension so I needed to pay it in. It also had my Christmas bonus too, so aren’t I the lucky one? And now I can go off and paint the town red with that extra €32:00.

moving apartment post office place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But I didn’t let it lie fallow for long.

There are bills that need to be paid so I headed off to the Post Office to post off a cheque. And there was an interesting removal job going on from the apartment up above.

They could do with a couple of these lifts that are quite common in Belgium. That will be a much more convenient machine that the pallet truck that they are using.

Next stop was the chemist’s to give them my prescription. She’ll have to order them of course, and I can pick them up again later in the afternoon.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way home we had even more excitement.

Having seen Normandy Trader loading up on our way down into town, we were lucky enough to catch her stern as she sailed off out of the harbour back to St Helier. That’s what I call a quick turn-round.

Back here, the first job was to book my trip to Leuven next week. And that’s not as easy as it might be either.

Covid (would you believe more than 330,000 new cases of infection today?) has decimated the railway network and the trains are not running as they usually would

With the choice of either sitting at Paris Gare du Nord for almost 3 hours or making an early start, I’ve gone for the early start option and I’m on the … gulp … 06:55 to Caen and then to St Lazare in Paris, the reverse of the trip that I took a couple of months ago.

This means that I actually arrive in Brussels at 13:00 but I need to visit my bank there at some point, so this seems like the perfect opportunity. Do it on Wednesday early afternoon while I can.

That took longer than it ought to have done, but nevertheless there was time to start to edit a sound file of an interview before lunch.

After lunch I sat down to carry on with this editing but this is where I ran aground. And seriously too. I need to snap out of this. And it’s not even anything to do with the news that I had at the doctor’s either.

And with the travelling companions that I had during the night, I ought to have a smile on my face and a spriing in my step for the rest of the day

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022However not even the thought that Percy Penguin, Castor and Zero might be waiting outside for me made going out at 16:00 to pick up my Aranest any easier.

But once I was out, I was out, and first port of call was the beach to see what was happening down there. And there were a couple of people down there this afternoon.

One person was walking around along the water’s edge, but I have no idea whatever what the other person was supposed to be doing. It looked quite unhealthy to me.

There were a few other people walking around in the distance too but they were too far away for me to see what they were doing.

trawler jersey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022The air was extremely clear this afternoon – one of the clearest days that we have had for a while.

As usual I had a good look around to see what was happening out in the bay, and in the distance right out towards Jersey I could see a couple of fishing boats.

And they looked as if they were heading for home too. The tide might be well out right now but by the time that they arrive in the vicinity it will be quite a way in and they’ll be able to come into harbour without too long of a wait.

There were several other boats further out towards Jersey but I couldn’t tell from this photo which way they were heading.

baie de Granville st helier jersey Eric Hall photo January 2022But you probably noticed how clear the air was in the previous photos.

The buildings at St Helier were quite visible with the naked eye even though they are 58 kilometres away.

And that reminds me that I must go over there one of these days to have a look to see which buildings are which. I’ve had a virtual drive-round with an internet program but that’s no substitute for going for a real walk around the town itself.

Talking about going for a walk around the town, I ended up at the chemist’s to pick up my Aranesp and then walked back up the hill towards home, with no drama whatsoever.

It’s still not as easy as it used to be but a lot better than it was in the summer. I’m not sure whether it’s the physiotherapy, the Aranesp or the heart medication that’s doing it.

peche à pied port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way back, I did stop for a moment.

But not for a question of breath, but for a photo opportunity. There were some people out there having a go at the peche à pied. But if I were going to be having a go at it, I wouldn’t be at it at the entrance to the harbour where several dozen boats pass right over the top four times a day.

Back here I had a coffee, but that was that. I’d really run aground by now. So much so that I couldn’t even think of what to have for my evening meal. In a total state of indecision and confusion I ended up with a curry from out of the freezer.

It beats me where this depression has sprung from, but I know that regardless I need to pull myself together and drag myself out of it. I have far too much to do than to waste my time sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

Part of it is the inactivity, with all of this time slipping away without going anywhere or doing anything. But then, I’m not fit enough to go anywhere anyway and even if I could travel, I’d be far too tired and exhausted to do it satisfactorily and to profit from it.

So i’ve no idea what the answer might be. But whatever it is, an endless circuit of physiotherapy and shopping broken by a trip every month to Leuven isn’t it. And with Covid running rampant at the moment almost everywhere, it won’t be anything else.

332,252 cases of Covid in one day is a disgrace.

Thursday 25th November 2021 – I MIGHT HAVE BEEN …

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… rather hasty when I posted my rather vituperative comments the other day about the state of the road surface in the Rue St Michel.

As I walked past this afternoon on my way to the Post Office I can see that the workmen have come back.

While I watched, they were digging up the surface of the road down to a depth of about 30 centimetres, and they had some rather heavy professional equipment to move the soil, as you can see.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next down there

workmen's equipment place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However I can tell you what is happening next on the public car park outside my building.

Aapart from the equipment and material parked down at the far end, there’s a lorry with a skip and the dumper that you saw in the previous photo is bringing the soil to dump into it.

In fact it was the rather frequent passage of the dumper and its load up and down the street here this afternoon that actually drew my attention to the fact that there was work going on somewhere in the vicinity and I ought to be tracking it down.

At least it will give me something to do rather than to wade through mountains of sleep yet again because I had another miserable night. You can tell that my the amount and distance of the voyages on which I travelled.

We were living in London last night and a lad there was living in a house as a lodger. We suddenly found out that his landlady was someone really evil, in the style of Dracula or something so we rushed round there, made our way into his or her room. All of a sudden the woman appeared at the window and was making all kinds of uncomfortable gestures. The guy with me shooed her away and we played cards or something. Later, she came back and started to assemble a scaffolding at the front of the house. We chased her away again. The 3rd time we sent the dog out but it really didn’t do much so this guy went out with the dog, and the dog put an end to this woman. We carried on playing our game, a board game with this person although we were all very reluctant to sit by the window again in case this woman appeared even though the dog had finished her off

Later on there was something about trains being converted from diesel to electric power and running on electric lines in rural locations but I can’t remember that now. It’s all gone right out of my head.

There was a spaceship that landed on some ice. We went to see this spaceship and went on board. We were just about to go to bed when we heard a noise outside. We saw one of the people who had originally been on this boat and had somehow managed to escape. They were busy putting the leg of their boat or whatever back into position after they had moved it out of the way so that they could leave. We anticipated that there was going to be some kind of concert and right as this concert started under way I can’t remember any more about this
They had to start by untangling these jeeps and air passengers and so on, making a place on the stage for me to sing and where I could record but my voice seems to have gone down an octave and I couldn’t sing the parole as high as I used to
Later on I was on some kind of seaplane and it put us down somewhere in the far North of Canada on the sea. As we started to try to clamber off I looked out of the window and saw one girl whom I knew redirecting traffic and so on
“I fell asleep here” – ed
So I didn’t know then what was happening because I fell asleep again. Stopped wondering about what was going on, and then there was the missing one about being on board that seaplane that I added at a later date – and that really makes sense, doesn’t it?
There was a big party taking place and loads of people whom I knew where there. They were all doing exciting things. My German friend, for example, was cycling up a wall. Everyone was going around trying to find a friend, partner or something like that. I knew that nothing was ever going to happen to me. Who should turn up but a long-departed friend of mine. We had a little chat but because of my health issues the idea that I would have a partner was out of the window. We started talking, a couple of us there, and suddenly she burst into tears. I asked her what was the matter and eventually it was when we said that we can’t go on like this. I said “I can’t remember saying it”. She replied “you did, several weeks ago”. I thought that she meant that I’d said it today. Anyway, I tried to explain to her about my health problems, that I had other preoccupations at the moment but it was quite difficult for me to talk as she was in such a condition

Finally, Castor and Pollux put in a brief cameo appearance and it’s been a long time since they’ve done that, isn’t it? There was something about a major airport, it might have been Luton, that was having to close down because two big budget flight companies had collapsed so now the airport wasn’t having the custom that it had. Of course, whatever business we has was going to affect that very much. I said that Travel Agency was going to be the thing to get into because people like Castor and Pollux who were growing up are not going to be very happy sitting on a coach now for 10 days. They’ll be much more interested in sitting on a beach. Whoever it was with me was saying “that will change in the future”. I mentioned “we aren’t talking about the future at the moment, we’re talking about the way things are right now.

Once more I was wide-awake long before the alarm went off, although you might not think so reading all these notes, but even so it took me an age to tear myself out of bed.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I transcribed my masses of dictaphone notes and then set about dealing with these interview sound files. I ended up with two distinct interviews, and two for the price of one is always good value, even if it did take me until tea time, although with plenty of interruptions.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Not the least of the interruptions today was for the bread.

And isn’t this a magnificent-looking loaf? It’s certainly one of the best that I have ever made and when I tried it for lunch with my salad it tasted just as good as it looked.

This one was definitely a success and if I can produce loaves like this all the time I’ll be really happy.

It probably has something to do with the amount of time that I spent kneading it and shaping it. That probably contributed quite a lot to the success.

Something else that has taken up a lot of my time just recently has been a pile of correspondence that I have received today. An enormous box of papers has come to light relating to my maternal grandfather (who died in 1951) and his side of the family. No-one knew that they existed until recently.

Someone is currently scanning everything and sending them out in dribs and drabs. I’ve jhad a few loads just recently and another batch turned up today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my maternal grandmother was a well-known Vaudeville and Music-Hall singer in Canada in the early post-World-War I era.

It turns out that my maternal grandfather was an accomplished piano player and singer, and taught at a private boarding school, Denstone College, near Rocester (and that, incidentally, explains why my grandmother died in the hospital in Stafford). Later on, he had a road haulage business in Wisbech.

The letters are fascinating stuff, in particular his castigation of his younger brother for having abandoned his own business when he became ill, totally and utterly ignoring the fact that he himself had abandoned his own two children to strangers when his wife was taken ill.

In fact, when the south-east of England was evacuated in World-War II he wouldn’t even take his own children into his safe house in Wisbech and they were cared for instead by his younger brother.

But anyway, I digress. But at least I now know why the members of my mother’s side of the family are nothing but a bunch of thespians.

There was tile this afternoon to write the two incendiary (not that it will do me much good but it makes me feel better) letters that I should have written and posted yesterday.

On the way down to the Post Office I had a call to make. We have several projects on the go for the radio right now, one of which concerns the Carnaval here, and not too far away from here lives a woman who is a costumier who makes the outfits for the carnivalers.

My task for today was to persuade her to be interviewed for the radio and after a chat of about 15 minutes she agreed. We’ll have to organise a date in the near future.

jade 3 victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way down into town, passing the Rue St Michel, I ended up at the viewpoint overlooking the port.

We have a trawler – Jade III – over there parked stern-on to the quayside. There’s a van parked next to it and a couple of guts working on untangling a fishing net. They are going to have hours of fun playing around with all of that.

Also over there are the two sad, sorry-looking Channel Island ferries, the blue and white Victor Hugo and behind her, the newer Granville. I wonder if we’ll ever see them resuming their sailings. It’s not looking very optimistic right now.

christmas decorations place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down in the town centre I posted off the two letters that I had written and then looked across at the Christmas decorations on the Place Général de Gaulle

There’s a cherry-picker down there this afternoon so it looks as if they are installing the Christmas lights. And I hope that they will be different from last year’s. I couldn’t ever understand why towns don’t meet up and swap decorations every year so that we have different ones all the time.

As for what’s going on round by Santa, we can’t see anything because of all the forest. It looks as if Birnam Wood has finally made it to Dunsinane after all.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way back home I stopped for a gander at the inner harbour.

It looks as if one of the Jersey freighters has slipped in without me knowing it because a lot of the freight that was on there last time we looked has now disappeared

But not to worry. There’s still a large pile of stuff accumulating on the quayside. It looks as if it’s all going non-stop at the moment and that will keep the little freighters busy. It’s good news for the port too as we are struggling somewhat now that the big gravel boats have stopped coming.

man fishing from beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way back home I remembered to go and have a look at the beach this afternoon.

Only one person down there this afternoon. he looked as if he was a fisherman but I couldn’t see whether or not he had a rod with him. He was however striding out into the water with some great purpose.

Back here I made myself a coffee and carried on with my reading 70 and 80-year old letters and editing the sound files for my radio intervals.

Tea was veggie balls and pasta tonight. I have mountains of those and they need to be eaten so I’m doing my best to polish them off. At this rate, I reckon that they’ll finish me off before I finish them.

Bedtime now, and tomorrow I have yet more work to do – not for me either but someone’s bunged a translating job on me at the last moment.

There are also these sound files to send off for some gap-filling, a pile of questions for a bunch of elves, some shopping to do (as I’m at a weekend Welsh School this coming weekend) and several other things before I even start to think about my own work.

There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Monday 25th October 2021 – JUST AS I FEARED …

concreting rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… and how sad is this?

Last week when I walked down alongside where the old railway like to the port used to go I noticed that they were laying out what looked like some concrete shuttering, and I remember expressing my dismay.

It seems that I’m living in a town that has a total lack of imagination and no understanding of artistic endeavour either. Almost everywhere you go these days in Normandy, you see some nice pavement, something interesting and eye-catching.

But not here in Granville. I’ve been moaning incessantly in the past about the pan of black asphalt that is the new car park by the port, without even a bush or a shrub to break the dreary monotony. And now there’s this ugly concrete pan to deal with.

reinforced concrete matting parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And that isn’t the worst of it either.

At the foot of the steps that lead down to the Parc du Val Es Fleurs there seems to be several acres of matting for reinforced concrete floor pans stacked up one on top of another waiting to be used.

What this signifies is that somewhere else there’s going to be another mass of concrete being laid down somewhere and I’m not looking forward to seeing that at all. The town can do much better than this if it really tries.

What I wasn’t looking forward to today was seeing the heart specialist. I know that there’s something wrong with my heart because it’s either my heart or lungs and it isn’t my lungs.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I fell out of bed and went to take my medicine. And when I’d done that I went off for a shower and a general scrub up to make sure that I was fit to be seen.

Outside it was pitch-black so I didn’t take any photos. And trying to enter the medical centre was exciting because the door was locked and the doctor, being new, wasn’t listed on the bell pushes.

The nurse gave me a good going-over, and examined me thoroughly too, and then sent me to see the doctor.

He gave me a complete workout and has identified the problem. And it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. The vascular evacuation of the heart should be about 60% but mine is just about 47%.

In other words, with my heart already beating 60% faster because of my lack of red blood cells, it now has to work 30% harder yet again (and 30% of 160% is 50% approximately which totals 210%) to maintain the blood supply, and it can’t keep on going like that for ever.

He’s writtten about 3 feet of notes for me to take to Leuven to show my Professor because he feels that there will be a follow-up to this. and to be honest, I don’t really want to know what it ie.

But I’ll telephone my professor tomorrow, have a chat to him and maybe send him the notes so that he can start to organise something.

The cardiologist had given me a prescription for something that might ease my discomfort so I went to the chemist’s.

trawler leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021By the time that I was ready to come home, it was quite light as I walked up the hill towards home.

From one of my rest stops I could see that the harbour gates were open and there was a trawler heading out to sea.

It was surrounded by seagulls too, which was surprising. They are usually much more interested in a trawler full of fish heading home rather than an empty one heading out to sea.

There were plenty of other fishermen about though. You can see them in the background standing on the harbour wall, rods in hand.

granville victor hugo belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Here’s an interesting photograph though.

We can see the two Channel Islands ferries still moored up at the quayside – Granville against the quayside and the blue and white Victor Hugo moored alongside. And to the right is Belle France, the newest of the three Ile de Chausey ferries.

But what we can’t see is the Irish trawler Buddy M. She’s slipped out on the tide when I wasn’t looking and is now well on her way back to Ireland.

“Gone! And never called me Mother!”

By the time that I returned it was almost breakfast time so I made myself more coffee and tried one of my fruit buns. And they really are delicious. I’ll be enjoying these for the next week or so with my breakfast coffee.

And then I turned my attention to the radio programme. It takes me about 3.5 hours to do one so starting at 10:15 meant that I wouldn’t be finished by lunchtime. However, I wasn’t all that short of finishing.

The home-made bread is delicious as usual and went down really well with my salad, followed of course by a pile of fruit.

After I finished the radio programme, I had a letter to write. Another incendiary one to deal with yet another problem that has arisen, although I don’t really know what the problem is all about.

The nurse called to visit me a little later. There needs to be a few days before I can have my third Covid injection so it looks as if it it will be on Friday. There has to be 10 days after the Covid injection before I can have my next injection of Aranesp.

65px avion place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021After he had gone, I made ready to leave for my appointment at the physiotherapist’s.

As I left the building I was overflown by a light aeroplane. It’s one that I haven’t seen before, and is carrying the registration number 65PX. That’s a number that is outside the range of registration numbers to which I have access so I can’t tell you any more than that.

The town was packed, with it being the school holidays but I managed to fight my way through the crowds to post my letter at the Post Office. That will set the cat amongst the pigeons when it arrives.

scaffolding rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago we saw a crane by the Eglise St Paul reaching over towards the Rue Couraye.

As I walked up one of the side streets towards the Rue Couraye, I could see that the rear part of one of the buildings in the street is swathed in scaffolding, so it’s not surprising that I couldn’t see it from the street.

At the physiotherapists, I had a go on the cross trainer for 5 minutes and then had to perform several exercises. They were quite strenuous and I was quite glad to finish them and leave the place, aching in places that I didn’t even know that I had places.

concrete edging abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back home I came back the pretty way via the Parc du Val Es Fleurs.

Last week we had seen the digger digging a trench and dropping the soil into the back of the lorry. They aren’t there now but we can see what else has been going on around here.

We now have a border up some of the way, made with concrete blocks. This is turning into a major construction effort and they are going to be here for a while until it’s all finished and the builders have left the site. I assume that they will be laying a border on the far side.

pipework abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021When we saw the digger and the lorry last week, it looked as if they were digging a trench for drainage pipes.

Further down the hill, there is another pile of pipes dumped at the side of the work. I suppose that the next task with the digger will be to dig the trench on down the hill and lay the pipes in it.

And there’s plenty of pipe to go at as well. That’s something else that will take a while to sort out.

There wasn’t anything else going on down at this end of the work this afternoon. Nothing was moving at all so I carried on towards home.

square des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021We’ve already seen what was going on in the Rue du Boscq but looking the other way, I could see what was happening in the Place des Docteurs Lanos.

Each time that I look at this Place it seems to be going from worse to worse. It’s now a total and complete mess and this isn’t something that’s going to be restored in a hurry either.

Apart from the concrete mixer and the men in attendance, there wasn’t anything else at all going on down there. The concrete goes all the way down to the far end so they have done that in something of a hurry.

The walk up the hill towards home was rather more painful than it has been just recently and I don’t know why. I seem to be having a slight relapse. But with the harbour gates being closed, there wasn’t anything exciting to see when I stopped for my breath.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021At the top of the hill though, there was something to see.

Or rather, there was something not to see. For the past couple of days we’ve been seeing the trawler Yann Frederic in the chantier naval. But today, it’s empty. It looks as if she’s gone back into the water on the morning tide.

It now remains to be seen who will be coming in next. It’s a far cry from how it was a month or two ago where for a considerable period we had as many as 7 boats in there at one time and you couldn’t find room to swing a cat.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021When I returned home I didn’t go straight inside.

Even though it’s considerable later than usual I went to have a look down on the beach to see if there was another feeding frenzy going on in one of the tidal pools, but I was to be disappointed this afternoon.

The tide has made a few nice patterns on the beach as you can see. I’ve never seen it looking as good as this. There were some seagulls admiring it, and also several pedestrians doing the same. But not as many as I was expecting to see. We’d had a thunderstorm while I was in the physiotherapy but it had turned out into a nice, sunny afternoon.

trawlers returning baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021With the naked eye I couldn’t see anything out at sea but a glint of sun on glass had caught my eye.

As a result I took a photo and came back here to examine it. And I could see that right out in the Bay beyond the Ile de Chausey the trawlers were on their way home after their day’s fishing.

Back in the apartment I made a coffee and had a few things to do that took me up to tea time. Stuff on the dictaphone needed transcribing. I was with a girl last night but I can’t remember who she was now. We’d been definitely dating and we’d been round at her mother’s house. It was someone like Mrs Marshall but I don’t think it was Ann, Liz or Jackie. It was a Sunday evening round about 19:00 and time for me to go so she came out with me, went to my car. I unlocked the back door, not the front door. She asked what I was doing so then I went to open the passenger door for her. At that moment the next-door neighbour turned up. We were in Wardle at the bottom of Wardle Avenue although it wasn’t there either. There were some houses across the bottom, all very tight and the girl who lived next door had to manoeuvre her car into her drive between a couple of parked cars. She had only just learnt to drive. The girl with me said something about how well she did it considering she was a learner. That’s all that I remember about that.

Later on there was one of these minor German princesses. I had to write a letter and I needed to know a word in a foreign language so I went to ask a boy I knew about it. When I got to his house Zero was there. She was having some problem about a certain item of her clothing that needed adjusting and it goes without saying that there was one very willing volunteer not a million miles away from here keen to help.

And why do things like that only ever happen during the night and not during my waking hours?

There was more stuff on the dictaphone but as you are eating your meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

Tea was a stuffed pepper tonight, with rice and vegetables, and it was delicious as usual.

But now I’ve finished my journal I’m going to bed. I’m hoping to have a good night’s sleep for once. Last night’s was another disappointment and I can’t keep on going like this. If it carries on, I’m going to take a sleeping pill. I know that it’s a last resort but that’s the place in which I find myself right now.

Thursday 21st October 2021 – NO CAUSE FOR A LLAMA

Laurent feeds the llamas Nicorps Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Here is Laurent feeding one of the llamas at Nicorps.

We were out late last night radioing. The project that I have on the go at the moment involves interviewing several people and one of my subjects is a llama farmer.

Our radio interview wasn’t about the llamas – that’s for another time – but we did so much talking that we ran out of time and will have to meet again. It’s hard to keep people focused on the matter at hand but it’s their show, not mine.

What i’m wondering about is how I’m going to edit all of this down to about 10 minutes-worth of chat.

But meanwhile, in other news, I had yet another bad night and I’m becoming fed up of these, that’s for sure.

Anyway, after the medication I sat down and attacked the days tasks that I’d written down on my list. And much to my surprise, by the time that Laurent came to call for me at 18:00 with the exception of scanning 3 receipts that I couldn’t find.

And when I say that I couldn’t find them, I knew where they were. It was just a case of putting my hand on them

One task that I hadn’t noted down was to bake today’s bread. I’d completely forgotten about it and it wasn’t until 11:00 that I remembered. As a result, today’s lunch was rather late but the bread, hot from the oven, was delicious with my home-made hummus and salad.

There was of course the afternoon walk, but an afternoon walk with a difference today. One of the tasks on my list was to write a letter that I’d been putting off, for various reasons, for quite some time.

Naturally, there’s no point in writing a letter if I’m not going to post it so I set off into town and the Post Office.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021First stop was the wall at the end of the car park overlooking the beach.

The howling gale that we had had yesterday afternoon and through the night (which was probably why I had had a bad night) had subsided somewhat but you could see the effect that it had had by the ripples in the sand on the beach.

There were still a few vestiges of the storm, such as the whitecaps on the waves as they come in onto the beach out there. And there were a few people who had gone there for the experience and someone who had actually put his feet in the water.

hole in wall place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Just for a change I went around the walls on my way into town, in order to check how the work was advancing in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

From the top of the steps that go down onto the beach I could see how they were getting on with the hole in the wall. And the answer to that question was that they haven’t been getting on at all. The hole is still there.

However, the leaves have fallen off the trees since WE LAST SAW IT so we can have a better view of the work that needs to be done, and it’s not going to be the work of five minutes.

stones demolished from wall place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The reason why they haven’t attempted to fill up the hole in the wall is because they are rather busy right now elsewhere.

In the Place du Marché aux Chevaux they have demolished part of the wall as we can see and are slowly reassmbling it, and that is going to keep them out of mischief for quite a while, as I well know.

There was a workman wandering around there so I tried to engage him in conversation but he wasn’t the talkative tyoe at akk and I couldn’t obtain much information from him, which was a pity.

stones demolished from wall place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The outer part of the wall has been finished as far as they can go but viewed from this angle, there is still plenty to do

Peering through the scaffolding we can see the extent of the work that needs to be done. These walls are quite thick so there’s much more work than you might think. When I built my stone walls, I just had an outer and an inner layer of stones and the centre was lightweight concrete, but it looks as if they are going to be doing it properly.

And it’s a good job that that had all of that water weighing down the scaffolding because otherwise, after Storm Aurora had gone past last night, there wouldn’t have been any scaffolding left.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021My route towards the town takes me along the path underneath the city walls and round to the viewpoint overlooking the beach at the Plat Gousset.

There were a few people down there too this afternoon enjoying the sun, but I’ve no idea what the two people on the right of the image were doing and what the one on the extreme right was wearing.

There are some steps at the end of the path that lead down to the Place Marechal Foch and that was the way that I went into town – down there and along the Rue Couraye.

There was no-one else waiting at the postage machines so I didn’t hang around in the post office so that was a quick visit, and the letter is now on its way. I could go home in peace with another task accomplished.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The walk back up the hill wasn’t as easy as it had been yesterday and I had to stop a couple of times for breath.

At one of my stops overlooking the port I could see that Thora was still tied up in port. That gave me a couple of ideas, more of which anon.

Back here I was pretty warm so I made myself a cold drink for a change and then carried on with the scanning of my medical receipts. I have a lot of money tied up in those and I need to send them off to my health assurance people before they become timed out.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too that needed transcribing. There were 4 of us at a concert. A guy, two girls who we’d met and I were chatting about Woodstock and how it had changed our lives when we were adolescents. This chap went on for quite a while. My friend was quite keen on one of these girls which I didn’t mind because I thought the other one was quite nice. She was talking as if she had the air of being older than she looked so I was intrigued to find out how old she was. Right up near the end my friend said “I’ll have to take (the other girl) home”. I thought “we’ll have to go”. The second girl looked at her watch and said “I suppose I’d better be thinking about going as well”. I said “I’ll drive you if you like”. She replied “actually I’ve come in my car”. I said “that’s a silly idea, isn’t it? I can’t run you home if you’ve come in your car”.

There was something else about living in a house, a group of us. We had 4 cats but 2 of them had gone and we were with 2. Someone came back with a pure white kitten. It looked rather young to me to be away from its mother but it seemed to manage OK. We introduced the other 2 cats to it but they weren’t particularly impressed. I had to go outside to do something. A young boy in the house had the cat and was throwing it up in the air and making it land on its feet. I told him not to do that because the cat hadn’t grown or developed and that could damage it. He said in that case you shouldn’t hold it upside down and tickle iit either. I said that that was something completely different because you aren’t putting any strain on the legs but he was chuntering away and grumbling about it so I didn’t say any more.

When Laurent came to pick me up we headed off towards Nicorps but down in the port we saw that Thora was still there, so we took a diversion down there to talk to her skipper.

We had a little chat and he agreed to be interviewed one of these days for my series of radio programmes. He’ll prepare a resumé when he returns to Jersey and e-mail it to me so that I can translate it into French and pass it to an interviewer.

After that we went off to Nicorps where Samantha and Lee were waiting for us. They had cooked a beautiful meal for us, vegan of course, and I presented them with a bottle of wine. Not that I drink it myself of course, but one has to be sociable and grateful for the efforts of others.

And that reminds me – I must stock up my wine cellar, which is looking rather bleak right now.

The interview went well, but there was so much of it that it will need careful editing. Laurent is currently listening to it and making notes about what needs to be cut, what needs to be added in, and then I’ll do the rest.

It was quite late by the time that I returned home and then Liz wanted a chat, so it was extremely late when I finally crawled off to bed. I can’t be doing with too many late nights like this. I’m having enough trouble as it is.

But on the subject of tomorrow, it’s my 100th rock music programme with the radio station so I’m celebrating by having a music festival. Starting at 21:00 CET (20:00 UK time, 15:00 Toronto time) there will be 12 hours of live music, featuring 12 groups and musicians, each one having a one-hour spot.

You’ll find it on LE BOUQUET GRANVILLAIS and because it’s free, it’s not to be missed under any circumstances.

Tuesday 12th October 2021 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… today, no-one bothered me at all. I had quite a calm day today wthout having to deal with reams of phone calls, people having fits of hysteria an dall that kind of nonsense.

Last night’s sleep wasn’t as good as it might have been either. It was another one of these nights when I was tossing and turning around in bed.

Tons of stuff on the dictaphone too.

I was the owner of a helicopter last night and something had happened that meant that I was in a lot of financial difficulties over it. Some big company was trying to squeeze me out and had been serving writs and summonses on me that I’d been fighting off, not receiving and refusing to receive and so on. eventually I had to go somewhere in my helicopter and ran out of fuel and had to put down on the North European coast somewhere. So I had to land and somehow found my way back to my base but there was no food to eat or anything like that. There was a girl and a guy eating some stuff so I went to fetch their plates to wash them up but they hadn’t finished. They were playing some kind of game with a couple of cats.

There was something about a girl probably 13 or 14 driving around in an America sports car, probably in his 20s. She was clowning around in the car as if she owned it. They were just driving around like they used to do in the old days and generally showing herself off to everyone in this car.

I was in Shavington last night and they had organised a football team and it was playing friendlies. The first match that they played, they lost 2-0 and were getting ready on Sunday to play another match. They were discussing the teams, who was playing and who wasn’t, what position. I was thinking that it was a shame that they hadn’t done this a few years ago. Then a group of us headed back to the house. I was bringing back some things that I’d discovered in an old cellar. We bumped into a woman and her daughter. The daughter was on a scooter and were chatting away. The woman with me (I don’t know who it was) said “when we get back to the house I’d better get a cardboard box to put this girl’s present in. She was in fact 21 even though she only looked 13 or something. To descend into the cellar was a complicated thing. We had to move a metal grille with a pile of paper on it so this woman could go down there and get a box. half of the stuff on top of this box fell down and it was all generally confusing.

Later on my mother was going berserk about some photos that had been taken of the surrounding buildings. I had a close look at it but some of them I didn’t recognise although it was my camera. It looked to me as if someone else had been taking the photos so I was rather annoyed about this. as I tried to look my mother told me to stop wasting my time and not to bother looking through them because that was her decision anyway so I went for a walk. It turned out to be in Sandbach. I had a walk round, initially to have a look at these buildings but I don’t know what happened. I was eventually caught up in the kids coming out from school. The girls from the Grammar School were wearing big cloaks and just red tartan-coloured knickers, that’s all that they were wearing. Of course they were flirting around with a few boys, that sort of thing while they were doing it.

There was a lie-in until 07:30, which seems to be the start time these days, I had my medication, checked my mails and messages and then started to revise my Welsh ready for my lesson.

That started at 11:00 and went on until 01:30 without any problems although I made one or two simple errors that were rather embarrassing.

After lunch I had some correspondence to deal with and then I set out for town.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury, there’s a good view looking out over the harbour.

This afternoon, the sailing schools were out having fun this afternoon. It was a little cool and windy, but a nice sunny day so I suppose that it was the ideal kind of weather for them to be afloat out there.

Down in the harbour itself there wasn’t very much happening at all. everything seemed to be exactly as it was when we saw it yesterday afternoon.

dumper depositing sand in skip boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was however something goin on down at the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

A dumper had turned up with a load of sand and was busy tipping it onto a container that has turned up today.

When the dumper left, I followed its course and I can now tell you that this compound and the associated machinery are here in connection with the work that we saw the other day in the Rue Cambernon.

At least, that was where it was heading when I lost sight of it.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further down the hill I came to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour.

There’s something having been going on down there because the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie has shuffled round a little and all of the pipes seem to have moved somewhat.

The number of pipes doesn’t seem to have diminished any, though. I wonder when they are going to start doing something with them. The dredger has been here for a couple of weeks and someone must be paying a rental for that.

First stop was at the Health Centre. My doctor had told me that a new cardiac specialist had set up shop there so I went to try and blag an appointment with him, taking with me the letter that my doctor had given me.

Unfortunately the receptionist was rather intransigent but I did manage to coax the doctor’s phone number from her.

Next stop was at the bank. I’d had my cheque for the last three months of my state pension from Belgium, and it needed to be paid in. Now, where can I go with €90:18?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I only worked for about 11 months in the Belgian State Pension Scheme, back in 2005/06.

Final port of call was at the Post Office. I’ve had the estimate for the repair of the NIKON 1 J5 and it’s less that I was expecting. I needed to authorise the work and, more importantly, to pay the bill.

The way back home up the hill passed much more easily that it has done of late and I’ve no idea why that is either. It wasn’t anything like the struggle that it was a couple of weeks ago, although it’s still a long way short of how it was 18 months ago.

buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Back at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour we could see that Buddy M, the trawler from Cork, is still there.

She’s been here a few weeks now having her overhaul, and I’ve noticed over the last couple of days that there has been a white van parked by her. maybe that can belongs to the mechanics.

From there I carried on up the hill, rather more easily, heading for my apartment and a cup of coffee. I felt that I had earned it this afternoon.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Outside the apartment there was one of my neighbours so I went over and had a chat, grabbing a photograph of a Birdman of Alcatraz on my way.

Shortly afterwards, another neighbour came over and then a third, ans we were gossiping away like a bunch of old women for about half an hour.

Most of the topic centred around the garden outside the building. There’s been a proposal for the occupiers of the building to do something with it, like plant flowers and the like. Not that it affects me in any way as I won’t be taking part, but I can’t be unsociable all my life..

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Once everyone drifted away from the conversation I walked over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

And pleasant day thatit was, there wasn’t anyone down there at all, even though there was plenty of beach to be on right now. Even the Birdmen of Alcatraz had folded up their wings and departed.

There were a few boats out there in the bay, but they were even farther out that usual so taking a photo would have been pretty much a waste of time.

people on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But one thing that I did notice was a couple of people out on the rocks further around the beach.

They had piled up some of their clothing down there and had gone for a little paddle in the water. I hope that they were enjoying it.

Back in the apartment I made a coffee and then sat down to telephone the heart specialist. After much debate and discussion they eventually managed to fit me in on Monday 25th October – at 08:00.

That’s going to be some appointment, at that time of the morning.

Tea was pasta and veggie balls again in spicy tomato sauce – more spicy that normal because I dropped the tabasco sauce into the mix. But apart from that it was nice.

Now I’m off to bed, later than I would have liked, because I’m up at 06:00 tomorrow. I’m off to Leuven on the 08:45 train for a long day’s travel and I’m no good if I’m half asleep.

Friday 1st October 2021 – I’VE HAD AN EXCITING …

… day today. So much so that I’ve hardly done a thing of what I’m supposed to be doing.

It wasn’t very exciting at first though. The first job that I had to tackle was to get my entry from last night on line.

For some reason, access to my web host timed out last night every time I tried to access it, and in the end I gave it up as a bad job and went to bed.

The night was better than some that I’ve had just recently although I wasn’t too happy about being wide-awake at 06:40.

Nevertheless I waiting until the alarm went off, had my medication and then came in here to tackle a few tasks.

The web-host was still timing out and even clearing the cache and cookies on the (four!) different browsers that I use didn’t make things any better.

However I do have another browser that I don’t use too often, and for a variety of reasons too, but its big advantage (which at times is a big disadvantage) is that it automatically erases your browser history, cache and cookies and everything else on closedown.

On trying that, it worked perfectly (given its limitations) and I was able to upload the journal entry.

Then I had a rather onerous task to perform. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I was having some kind of issues about an insurance policy that I believed that I had and that other people disagreed.

Searching around in the apartment (and thank heavens that I have most of my papers filed neatly) I found exactly what I was looking for, so I sat down and wrote two letters.

Incendiary letters – the type that blister the paint off the walls of the office where they are opened – are two-a-penny around here, but the two I wrote today will probably beat most of those. And they were written in French too.

They will certainly provoke a reaction, although whether it will be the reaction that I want remains to be seen.

Writing those took much longer that it ought to have done because Rosemary rang me – not once but twice. She’s having difficulty dealing with a French administrative issue but because I can’t go into the site, I was unable to help her.

As a result, it was lunchtime by the time that I’d finished .

After lunch I had a shower (and my weight is now down to the lowest that it’s been for a good seven or eight months) and then headed off towards town.

baie de mont st michel joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne I stopped to have a look down into the harbour.

From here, I could see that they are up to their antics with the crane again. Parked up, fully extended like that, at the worst possible angle for it to be. All of the weight on the arm pressing down on the hydraulic seals. They won’t last for long.

Down there underneath the crane moored at the ferry terminal is one of the Joly France boats. The older one of the two with the larger upper deck superstructure and windows in “landscape” format.

dredger chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was here, I had a look down towards the chantier naval to see what was happening in there today.

No boats as yet, but there’s a much better view of the dredger that arrived here at the end of last week. And it’s definitely a dredger too, I reckon. We can see the grab quite clearly, and the pipework that discharges the waste water that the grab might pick up.

But when is she going to go into the water? And more importantly, where? They must have some task lined up for her now that she’s here, and I wonder what it’s going to be.

Time will tell.

belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So from there I wandered off down the hill towards town.

For a change, moored up underneath the crane is Belle France – the new ferry for the Ile de Chausey that arrived here in the summer. She won’t be loading, of course, so I imagine that she’s just parked there waiting for a more permanent mooring.

Into town, I went to the Post Office and posted my letters. Recorded delivery with registered receipt. I’m taking no chances. Mind you, I did include the bill for the postage and my time when I wrote the letters.

Whether the recipients will pay me, I really have no idea and I doubt it very much, but at least it’s a menacing gesture.

The walk up to the physiotherapist wasn’t quite as exhausting as it has been. He put me for 20 minutes on this tilting platform thing and we went through several exercises to strengthen my knees.

Finally, he put me on this cross trainer thing and I managed to push my personal best up to 3:05 which is pretty good. Even more surprisingly, when I had a second go after catching my breath, I was so busy talking that I went well over 2 minutes without even noticing.

After he threw me out, I headed for home via the steps down to the Parc Du Val Es Fleurs.

soil parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There wasn’t a weird collection of signs at the bottom of the steps this afternoon.

Instead of the signs, we now have a huge pile or two of soil now deposited at the end of the car park where they had set up their little compound, with the signs hidden somewhere behind it.

It looks as if the renovations are progressing quite rapidly. That pile of earth wasn’t there last week, and this week, some of it has been removed already and presumably scattered about somewhere over the course of the work

digger on abandoned railway line parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And as for this beast here, I wonder if he’s the machine that moved it.

He was sitting on the abandoned railway line a short distance down from where everything was happening looking as if he was waiting for a signal from someone to go and do something else.

There was a driver in it and the engine was ticking over too, so he was clearly up to some kind of work.

But I didn’t wait to see. I continued on my way down past the Primary School to the corner of the Rue du Boscq.

parc des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down at the end of the road on the corner by the Rue du Boscq I asked myself if this is where the big pile of soil is going.

After all, they seem to have just about everything else here – piles of gravel, piles of sand, and that looks like soil down there right by the yellow digger.

At the moment this all looks like quite a mess but then it wasn’t actually very pretty here before the work started. It was a rather sad place. And so I’m looking forward to see how it develops over the next few months.

It has to be an improvement on how it used to be.

new roadway construction rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The reverse angle shot from where I was taking the previous photo already shows signs of dramatic improvement.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen the Rue du Boscq in all kinds of different states but right now we can actually see signs of progress. The stones are all down by the looks of things and there’s just a little bit of building up to be done before they add the tarmac.

Last time I photographed this, with the grader and the compacter here, I made some kind of remark about the Trans-Labrador Highway. If this had been Labrador, all of the construction crews would have been long-gone by now and they would be running heavy lorries on it already.

filling road markers with water rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down at the far end of the roadworks there’s quite a bit of excitement going on right now.

They are obviously expecting a storm here this weekend, because being carried on that digger is a pallet tank of 1,000 litres of water and the guy in the red fluorescent jacket is opening the tap and filling the red and white road markers with water, presumably to weigh them down.

Of course, for an extremely complicated job like that, there had to be a supervisor, doesn’t there?

There was qute an interesting storm in the Avenue de la Libération when I walked past. There was a vehicle dropping off a passenger in the Place Marechal Foch right on the corner, not caring less that there were three or four vehicles waiting to turn into the square behind the.

As the next in the queue was a large lorry, he was too wide to pass in the inside lane and consequently the traffic was backed up right the way through the town centre as this one person leisurely took its time.

trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The walk back up the hill towards home was a little easier than it has been of late.

There were only a couple of times where I had to stop for my breath. One of those was at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour. The gates were now open and this trawler was setting out for the fishing grounds, rather later than the others.

She must be one of the lucky 50% of the local fleet that has been given a permit by the Channel Islands authorities. Whether the remaining 31 temporary permits will be finalised or whether they will join the ranks of the 75 who have been rejected remains to be seen.

marité chausiaise joly france belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was there catching my breath, I noticed that there had been a change in position of some of the boats.

On our way out, Belle France was moored over there underneath the crane, but now her place has been taken by Chausiaise.

Belle France is now moored down here next to one of the Joly France boats. This is the newer one of the two as we can tell by the small upper deck superstructure.

Also in the photo is of course Marité. She’s in port rather than being out on an excursion, which is probably logical now that the summer season has come to an end.

trawler returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I walked further on up the hill, I noticed that there was something rather strange going on.

The trawler that we had seen earlier setting out to sea was now on her way back to port, like you do if you have forgotten your butties or your overcoat.

But instead of coming back into the harbour, she did a rather dramatic left-hand U-turn and headed off back out to sea, brushing along the harbour wall. And I’ve no idea what that was all about either.

workmen's compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And here’s something else about which I have no idea at all.

A few days ago I posted a photo of a workmen’s compound that had sprung up in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers, something that looked as if it might have some kind of connection to the electricity supply.

Although I have yet to see anyone working around there, we now seem to have acquired a large lorry and a digger, so it looks as if we are about to see some trench-digging beginning some time fairly soon.

That’s something else for us to monitor in the forthcoming weeks.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back home, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down on the beach.

Actually, there wasn’t all that much beach for people to be on this afternoon, and that’s probably why there weren’t all that many people on it. In fact I didn’t see a soul.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, one of the things that I had intended to do this afternoon was to go and have a look at the builders’ compound that has sprung up in the Place d’Armes.

Instead however I fell in with one of the guys from the radio, we had quite a chat and I’m afraid that it totally slipped my mind. There’s always tomorrow.

Back here, I had a couple of things to do – including playing the guitar for the first time since for about ever. These days it’s very hard for me to summon up any enthusiasm.

Tea tonight was a baked potato, some veggie balls and the left-over pasta mix from last night. And I’m convinced that spicy food left to marinade for 24 hours improves its flavour considerably.

And then we had the football. Y Fflint v Y Bala.

Flint at one time were leading the league and with a front line of veteran striker Michael Wilde who is enjoying a resurgence wince his move, and Jack Kenny who I have always admired, it was no real surprise.

However they have gone off the boil just recently and were up against a Bala side that has always been a good, if inconsistent side that is enjoying a bit of a good run right now.

Most of the football was played in the Flint half and it was easy to see why – Bala were certainly the more skilful side.

However Flint caught them on the break with a good cross over to Michael Wilde to head home, and he almost had a second 5 minutes later when a powerful run, shrugging off four defenders, saw his shot strike the inside of the post but rebound to safety.

A couple of substitutions for Bala did the trick though. They wore down the opposition and scored twice later in the game to pull off a deserved victory.

Mind you, it ought not to have been. Bala scored one of their goals from a throw-in which absolutely everyone watching on the internet and in the ground except the linesman and the referee considered that it should have been awarded to Flint.

And where did I go last night? Mustn’t forget that. In fact I must have forgotten it because I remember almost nothing about this except that that there was some kind of special offer for families going for a 4-week speaking course in Welsh that was being offered as a taster. There was some issue about driving licences in these communities but that’s really all that I can remember.

So I’ll go off to bed and hope for a more memorable voyage during the night.

Tuesday 28th September 2021 – “BNP IS PRODUCED BY …

… the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber. The heart releases more BNP and NT-proBNP when the left ventricle is distended from working too hard, as in heart failure.
Levels above 450 ng/L for individuals between 50 and 75 years of age are consistent with heart failure”.

Mine is 514.

Still, with only 60% of the red blood cells that carry around the oxygen, my heart has to beat about 1.67 times faster to move the oxygen around my body. And it’s been doing that now for over 6 years and it can’t keep up that pace for ever.

We’re not quite at the “it’s a waste of time you buying any long-playing records” yet, but I don’t think that it will be far off.

But going to the doctor’s this afternoon did bring about some benefits.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there I walked back via the port to go and ispect these piles of freight on the quayside that we’ve been admiring from a distance over the last few days.

As for what this lot is, it’s very difficult to say. It’s some sort of folded-down equipment that can be unfolded and repositioned. I had a good look around it but I couldn’t see what it might be when it’s unfolded.

It’s pretty heavy and substantial so it’s obviously going to be for something quite serious.

However there were no makers’ labels or anything on it to give me any further information.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This other pile of freight is however rather more interesting.

It’s galvanised, made in the Czech Rupublic, supplied by a company in France and labelled “Jersey”, so it’s evidently destined for one of the Jersey freighters.

It’s this new-fangled design of corrugated sheeting of the type that it used for roofs or walls but the way that it’s packed on these pallets, it’s something much more substantial, more heavy and more important.

It’s not all just thrown together, one on top of another, like normal corrugated sheeting..

tubes on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was here, I went to have a look at these tubes that had appeared on the quayside by where the Jersey ferries are moored.

Once more, no clue as to what they might be. They are metal, and quite substantial too so they aren’t going to be buried in the ground to carry water or cables or anything like that.

They look to me more like the kind of things that could be used as pillars, but where they are going to use them is another matter entirely. The flanges don’t look to be the type that can be bolted together either.

This is another thing on which I’ll have to keep an eye in the future.

working on electronic equipment buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was on my way between the different piles of freight I walked past the Irish trawler Buddy M.

There were a couple of guys up there on the roof of the cabin dismantling some of the electronic equipment so I engaged them in conversation. After all, if you want to know any answers, you have to ask the appropriate questions.

She’s put in here from Ireland especially for an engine overhaul and she’s expected to be in port for three or four weeks while it all takes place. In fact, what with one thing and another, we were chatting for quite a while. We had a lot tosay to each other, mostly about Brexit.

But anyway, despite having almost 8 hours sleep last night for the first time, I felt dreadful this morning. I had an awful night again, tossing and turning for much of it and trying really hard to go to sleep.

Although I must have gone to sleep at one point because there was some stuff on the dictaphone. Some teenage boy had led a raid on an amusement park somewhere on the coast and had been quite successful so he was always keeping his eye open for another opportunity. He noticed a few other vehicles lined up there looking as if they were about to raid the place so he raided them and disrupted all of their proceedings. Most of them went away empty-handed or with nothing or were caught. There seemed to be one woman who was really interested in him and he was very interested in her even though she was quite a way older than him.

Later on there was something about me wandering around a shopping precinct. There was a particular shop that I wanted to visit and I ended up going down there just as John Houston was walking back up again, going on about that’s the 3rd time he’s missed it now. He’ll have to wait for another train. I wasn’t sure what he meant ro when I reached the bottom it was 19:00 and they were locking up. Part of it was a butcher’s and part of it was a clothes shop. It was that Sylvester guy who made the sandwiches cleaning up the butcher’s place. everywhere was starting to close down and I couldn’t work out where my sister worked. I ended up with another woman and we ended up doing some kind of field trip exercise, getting everything ready. We’d been disturbed continually by the aeroplanes flying over but suddenly they stopped and we could continue to work. I said something to this woman. Se replied “yes, we put our foot down, didn’t we?”. I replied “yes, we’d better get a move on because once the other groups are finished they’ll be buying them bottles of drink so it will all start up again and be even worse.

When I awoke, I was drenched in sweat again – really drenched. It’s hardly a surprised that it was a bad night.

After the medication I came in here to check my mails and messages and when I’d transcribed my dictaphone notes I went to prepare for my Welsh lesson.

Unfortunately, and to my dismay, I fell asleep while I was trying to revise, and that filled me with dismay again. As I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … there’s no point in going to bed early, or lying in until late. It makes absolutely no difference to my fatigue.

The Welsh lesson passed quite well. We had two new people starting today so we were 14. It’s becoming rather unwieldly now, but it’s a sign of how popular the Welsh language is becoming.

Usually, these courses are run in colleges and every year they might have 100 students. The course that began in March 2020, the one that I joined, coincided with lockdown and so were held on Zoom.

They had 1038 students that year and so now that colleges are reopened, they are nevertheless continuing on line.

After lunch, with the new printer now printing properly, I printed out the return paper that I received when I registered the faults with the NIKON 1 J5 and its lens, and then packed it in a suitable small cardboard box.

And then I headed for the town.

yacht cherie d'amour le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Autumn is definitely here now after the howling gale (107kph) winds that we had on Monday morning.

It was windy, cloudy, overcast, not a trace of sun anywhere. There’s a yacht out there near Le Loup being pushed along by the wind towards the port.

There was plenty of water in the harbour this afternoon, although the harbour gates were closed. The yellow Cherie d’Amour is over there floating about.

There were a couple of other fishing boats in there too this afternoon so maybe they’ll be heading for the open sea when the tide turns.

crane assembling structure chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was some kind of excitement down in the chantier naval this afternoon.

It’s clear now why they didn’t seem to be in any rush to fill any of the empty berths in there. We have a very large mobile crane in there that seems to be used to assemble some kind of large metal structure.

Had I had the time, I would have walked down there to the viewpoint that overlooks the chantier naval for a closer look, but I always seem to be running short of time these days. Too much work to do and not enough time to do it.

That’s the story of my life.

council working on pavement rue de juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From there I walked on down the hill towards the town.

In the Rue des Juifs I was intrigued to see some council workmen busy working on the pavement over there. It wasn’t so much the work that intrigued me, but the fact that their van is parked facing the wrong way in a one-way street that is used as a service-bus route

My route towards the doctor’s leads down the Rampe du Monte a Regret so I wasn’t able to find out what the workmen were doing.

But I needn’t have worried too much about the time as the doctor was running late and I would have had plenty of time to find out everything, had I known.

The plan that the doctor has for me is to go and see a heart specialist. There’s one opening an office in the Health centre next week and he reckons that I should go t see his secretary in midweek to make an appointment.

And I need to take my x-rays, my blood test results and, if I’m lucky, my heart examinations results, to the hospital with me when I go.

There was a notice on the Post Office door “closed exceptionally at 16:00 today” and it was 15:58 when I arrived. This isn’t like me at all. usually I’d arrive at 16:02 expecting it to be open until 16:30 as usual, and find it close instead.

It’s twice now that that has happened. It was the same last week at the laboratory, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. What is happening?

But anyway the NIKON 1 J5 is on its way to the repairers and we’ll see what happens about that in due course.

fork lift truck coiling up old steel cable port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back home I went via the port to look at the freight and to see what else is going on down there.

There was a fork lift truck out there wrestling with a mile or two of heavy steel cable. I asked the driver about it and he told me that it’s old rotten cable that’s come off a trawler.

Sure enough, further on down the quayside there was a mile or two of new steel cable, ready to be wound on round the pulleys from which the old cable had been taken.

For a few minutes, I stood and watched him. He was making quite a ballet of coiling it up ready to be taken away.

capo di fora spirit of conrad port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on down the quayside I stopped to look at the two large yachts.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw them from a distance the other day. The one on the right nearest the pontoon we know all about because she’s Spirit of Conrad. She’s the boat on which we sailed down the Brittany coast last summer.

The other one is called Capo di Fora and she came into port the other day. Despite her Italian-sounding name, she’s actually fling the flag of Belgium. And so, incidentally, is Spirit of Conrad. I keep on meaning to ask her skipper why that should be but it keeps on slipping my mind.

charles marie courrier des iles anakena valeque sagone d'angawelys port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Here’s an exciting collection of boats for you to admire.

The blue and white one far left is of course Charles Marie who we have seen on many occasions. Then we have Anakena, the big beast that was stranded here at the height of the pandemic and which slipped back into port at the end of last week.

Tied up to her is the little Courrier des Iles.

There’s a fishing boat here, Valeque too, but the most interesting boat is the other one, Sagone D’Angawelys. She’s actually a mobile seawater laboratory based at the Laboratoire De Biologie Marine, at Bénouville.

She goes round taking samples of seawater which I suppose is something to do with the fishing industry along the coast.

tide coming in port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The harbour gates were closed so I wcould walk over the pathway on the top and across to the other side.

By now the tide had turned and you can see from the waves here the speed at which the tide comes in when it has a mind to do so.

But then regular readers of this rubbish will have seen the difference of height of the water between high tide and low tide by comparing the photos of Le Loup at the different states of the tide, and of course it only has 6 hours to do it too.

On the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant, everything from the seafood festival has now been cleared away and not a trace remains.

removing marquee rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s not quite like that in the Rue du Port.

The chicane is still there and while the big marquee has been dismantled, the framework is still here ready to be loaded onto the back of a lorry to be taken away.

The climb up the steps of the Escalier des Noires Vaches to the Boulevard des Terreneuviers was total agony. I ached from every bone in my body and had to stop half a dozen times to catch my breath before I reachd the top.

Back here I made myself a coffee and sat down to drink it, but ended up falling asleep again for 20 minutes. As I said earlier, what’s the point of going to bed early and lying in?

Tea was taco rolls and one of these soya desserts. And now I’m going to bed. I’m expecting a phone call in the morning so I need to be up and about. I just hope that it isn’t too early.

Tuesday 15th June 2021 – SUMER IS ACUMEN IN.

big wheel place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLhude sing cucu and all of that stuff.

You can always tell when summer is about to arrive in Granville because the Big Wheel puts in an appearance. It must have sneaked in under the cover of darkness and there they are on the Place Albert Godal sticking it up. By the time that I come back from Leuven on Saturday afternoon (God willing) it might even be working.

But I’ve been working today – and working quite hard too, would you believe. Although it was a real struggle, I managed to be out of bed by 06:00 all the same although I would have given all that I own to have been back in bed tucked up in the warmth.

And “back in the warmth” would have been appropriate because there was a cold, clammy mist outside this morning when I awoke. It didn’t look very sunny at all and there would be no chance whatever of seeing TITTAN 1 or any of its siblings.

After the medication I sorted out the dictaphone notes for the last couple of days. They are up to date now and I can turn my attention to last night’s activity. I was out behind the Iron Curtain on a coach tour as a passenger. Everyone was getting ready to go off on an excursion. I hadn’t heard about this so I wondered what was happening. I asked one of the organisers who was rather brusque with me. He told me that they were just going to visit a church and maybe going on to a show or something. I knew where this church was so I said that I’d follow them on. We were told that things were strange in this town because of different rules and regulations. For example, we’d find lots of doors open, or I did when I walked through it, but no-one was there answering it. Films that were going, when you went to watch them they would freeze and when you’d turn your back they would move again. It turned out that because of Covid no-one was allowed to stay in anyone else’s house. They were worried that people meeting each other in a night club or a cinema or somewhere like that would end up pairing off for the night. The authorities wanted to prevent that from happening. It sounded strange to me. All round this city was ringed with these forest ridges where you could go. There would be loads of people about. The place was like a ghost town and there was no-one about at all because of this.

Following that I worked on my Welsh revision and I’m glad that I did because there was a lot that I didn’t know..

And then grabbing my slice of cake and a mug of hot chocolate I went for my lesson. And surprisingly it went quite well although, shame as it is to say it, I fell asleep three times. Not flat out but I could feel myself going off and managed to stop myself just in time.

The results of our exam won’t be known for another 6 weeks, so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed for longer than I was expecting.

And while we’re on the subject of tests, my Covid test came back negative.

After lunch I had a huge pile of correspondence and printing to do, as well as my tax return. I’ve no idea what i’m supposed to be doing with that. I just date it and sign it, attach a load of papers from various people and let them deal with it. If they need any more info, they can write and ask for it.

gardeners sheltering from the heat rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was stifling hot when I set out for the town.

And I wasn’t the only one who was feeling the heat. There are some gardeners around the town dealing with the vegetation and they clearly decided that the only protection is flight. They’ve pulled their lorry up underneath a tree and they were all sitting on the wall in the shade.

Not for me though. I pushed on to the estate agent’s and gave them the certificate of insurance for my apartment. They didn’t think that it was the correct one but they’ll sort it out.

And I cursed my bad luck as well. They had a storage garage to let that would have been ideal for me to rent and dump all of this stuff out of Caliburn but I’d missed it by a whisker. It was now let.

Next stop is the Post Office. I’m just a whisker away from having a Carte Vitale, the card that opens the dorrs to the French Social Security system. I didn’t think I’d qualify but I applied all the same. And surprisingly, I had the paperwork back asking for my photo, a copy of my carte d’identité and a specimen signature.

So who knows?

Third stop was at the bank. They pay my Belgian pension 6-monthly by cheque and I don’t know why, but anyway the cheques came the other day and I need to pay them in. Now where can I go with €230?

unsafe scaffolding rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way up to the Tax Office (there are 41 steps up to the Eglise St Paul and I felt every one of them) I came across this interesting arrangement.

The scaffolding legs that are on the floor don’t go all the way up to the top. It’s just a few 2-metre lengths and the rest of the height of the scaffolding is somehow wedged up against the lengths on the floor.

No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t see how it was rendered safe. That’s the kind of thing that looks totally unsafe to me. But there’s probably a very simple answer to this even if I couldn’t see it so don’t take this insecurity for granted. It probably makes perfect sense to those who go up it.

beach Boulevard des Amiraux Granvillais Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving deposited my papers in the letter box, I headed down to the beach. A different one today – the one by the Boulevard des Amiraux Granvillais with its tidal pool.

And there were quite a few people taking in the sun down there today. And I’m not surprised because it was a really scorching afternoon.

One person down there enjoying the weather was our friend the itinerant who used o hang around up here in the past. He was in an expansive mood and we spent a good 45 minutes chatting before, in the words of the News Of The Screws reporter “I made my excuses and left”. I had plenty of things to do right now and standing there talking wasn’t getting them done.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I left I noticed a Bird Man of Alcatraz on his way towards the end of the headland, but rather more likely on a direct collision course with the spire of the Eglise Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

As I awaited the inevitable calamity, he did a U-turn and steered himself out of the way and headed back from whence he came. And I cursed my bad luck. It’s really not my day, is it?

To console myself, I went off and treated myself to an ice-cream. It was that kind of day. And my favourite ice-cream stall was actually closed, which was a surprise to me. But the one next door wasn’t. And it really did taste delicious. I shall have to go there again.

zero waste shop mademoiselle vrac Rue Georges Clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe old pharmacy in the Rue Georges Clemenceau closed down a while ago and it’s now been reoccupied.

It’s going to be one of those weigh-and-save places, rather like the BULK BARN places that we know from Canada, but I bet that it will be much more upmarket than that and we’ll be hard-pressed to find any bargains.

You would think that with the absence of packaging, the produce would be cheaper but that’s rarely the case.

Back here, my Inuit friend Heidinguaq was on-line so we had a little chat. It’s nice to see her after than nocturnal visit that she paid me the other day. I asked if she would be coming to Europe some time soon. She hoped so so I said that we’d meet up and I’d bring my bass.

STRAWBERRY MOOSE will come too. Those two have a special affinity after their meeting in Uummannaq when we called in there with THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

The guitar practice was slow but sure, and then I had veggie balls and pasta for tea, followed by apple pie and home made custard.

Now I’m off to bed. I’m going to Leuven tomorrow and I have nothing whatsoever ready. It’s one of those days.

Tuesday 18th May 2021 – I REMEMBER HEARING …

… a story about a destroyer in World War II. It was ordered to join a convoy that was sailing into a battle zone where there were a couple of U-boat wolfpacks. The destroyer signalled “mechanical problems prevent joining convoy” and the convoy commodore signals back “this is not the time for destroyers to be breaking down”.

And this is not the time for me to be breaking down either. The day before I have a long tiring journey to Leuven and I have had a dreadful afternoon. Crashed out on the chair in the office for 2.5 hours, missing guitar practice, missing absolutely everything.

There was even the mug of coffee from after my afternoon walk, half-drunk and freezing cold, as I discovered when I awoke.

This is absolutely no good at all and if I can’t pull myself together soon I’m going to have a real struggle on my hands.

It wasn’t as if I had had a late night last night either. I was in bed by 23:00 And had a decent almost-uninterrupted sleep all the way through until the alarm went off at 06:00. And then, I leapt out of bed with alacrity. Well, almost, but you know what I mean.

After the medication I came along to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And surprise! Surprise! Having complained the other day about the absence of congenial company on my nocturnal rambles, Zero put in a welcome appearance.

I’d been working at the house of a former friend of mine and it was time for me to go home. They very kindly made me breakfast which I had and then I got up. While I was organising my things his wife asked “Eric do you have any washing that needs doing?”. I thought “my clothes are a bit dirty” but I asked if it would be ok and she said yes so I went to the van to fetch some clean ones – there are always clean clothes in the van. Zero was there and where I’d been sitting was some kind of hair clasp or something. I looked around again and she was sitting there having breakfast. I said to her “have you seen your hair holder, your thing?”. She replied “yes thanks” I said “it’s there with your doll”. She said “yes” and carried on eating. There was something else on the settee so I went over to it and asked if anyone had put anything there about these pearls that they had in a necklace that was there but how nice it was” and Helen Whatshername from the Open University, Scots girl, joined it and really told me off for noticing them which I thought was a strange thing to do.

There was much more to it than this but it deteriorated rapidly after than and as you are probably eating your tea or something right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

Most of the rest of the first part of the morning was spent revising my Welsh and working through the notes for the forthcoming lesson, although I did take 20 minutes off to go for a shower and a good clean-up.

Armed with a mug of hot chocolate (made properly with real chocolate) and a slice of my sourdough fruit bread, I went for my lesson and it passed quite quickly and for a change I didn’t have too much trouble.

Well, I did, but not with the lesson. My laptop hung up in the middle and in the end I had to go and fetch the other laptop and fix it up. It would be nice if I could make the mike function on this big machine work, but that’s a job for again, I reckon, when I upgrade the hard drives.

We finished quite late, as usual and I had some work to do and a letter to write so it was something of a latte lunch today. and then I could go off into town.

boats in port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the street I could look out over the harbour and see what was going on down there this afternoon.

The tide is in so there were plenty of boats bobbing up and down in the harbour right now. And just outside the harbour the sailing school was in full swing with the little boats being led out to sea by the pilot boat. And I haven’t forgotten that I have to contact the sailing school one of these days to find out about when I can go sailing.

But not right now. I have things to do in town so I headed off down the street. I cast my eye on the pointing on the wall at the head of the Rampe du Monte à Regret and noticed that they hadn’t advanced any further than when I last noticed.

And the workmen and apprentices weren’t there either. They don’t seem to be all that keen on completing the job, which is a bit of a shame. I could have had this job finished all on my own right now.

bar ephemere place pleville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHowever there is plenty of action on the Place Pleville where all of the layabouts play boules instead of doing an honest day’s work.

Summer is definitely acumen in and lhude sing seagull because the bar ephemere, the temporary bar, has arrived. It’s an old shipping container that has been transformed into a temporary bar and by the looks of things it’s just been dropped off in its usual temporary summer home.

You can see the owners talking out the benches and tables from the inside of the container and setting them up ready to receive their clients.

The post office was my next port of call where I dropped off the letter that I needed to send and then wandered off to the bank for my appointment.

And I didn’t understand why they had called me in for a chat because there wasn’t anything that needed doing or needed signing. It seemed to me that the bank clerk just wanted a chat.

He got that, all right, and I managed to deal with a little issue here and there that needed doing, although they don’t seem all that interested in pushing on to the next level which is a bit of a surprise. That’s the problem with these little provincial banks and it’s one of the reasons why I keep my accounts open in Brussels.

Next stop was the public library where at long last I was able to find a map of the town in the early 1950s. Although the tacot, or “rattletrap”, the old narrow-gauge railway network had been ripped up by then, there was still evidence of the earthworks so I could at least trace its course, but only to the town boundary.

It seems that I shall have to cast my net wider if I’m to find out more about it.

articles on quayside awaiting transport port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving left the library I wandered off down to the port to see what was happening down there these days with all of the changes going on.

And there is some activity going on in the loading bay as supplies of wood and so on and a couple of tractors are now parked up. It looks as if Normandy Trader or Thora, the two little Jersey freighters, are expected in the port soon enough to take them away.

But there is still no news on what is happening with the shellfish of the Jersey Seafarers’ Co-operative. That looks as if it’s well and truly blocked from being landed here in the port.

When Normandy Trader came into port the other day – minus the shellfish – she was met with a couple of jeers and catcalls but that was about it. I imagine that had she come in with the shellfish, the reception would have been a darn sight warmer.

seats on granville jersey ferry covered up port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThese are the seats on board Granviile, the newer of the two boats that (in theory at least) provide the ferry service from here to Jersey. As you can see, they are all covered up to protect them from deterioration from the sun.

There was some kind of fitter on board doing something so I engaged him in conversation. Apart from a period of about a week last summer, they haven’t run out since March last year at the start of the pandemic. I asked the fitter if there were any plans to restart the ferry soon and he replied “maybe at the start of July. We’ll have to see”.

They know about as much as I do about the future of the ferry service from here. I hope that they set it up and are allowed to start running again. It’s good for the town of course to bring people here from abroad. They spend their money here and provide employment, and you can’t have too much of any of that.

spirit of conrad black mamba port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust a little further along the quayside Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which I went down the Brittany coast last summer, is moored. She has Black Mamba tied up behind her and an unidentified boat that I didn’t recognise tied up at her side.

Pierre, her owner, was there and we had a chat. He has 3 trips organised all the way down the coast as far as Ouessant and my ears pricked up at that. I made further enquiries but it turns out that the first trip is going on Friday when I am in Leuven, the second clashes with my Welsh exam, and the third one clashes with my next trip to Leuven.

Not much luck there for me, so I asked him to keep me in mind for his next series of trips. I’m keen to get away for a week or two and a trip on a yacht will do me a world of good, I reckon.

victor hugo black mamba aztec lady anakena port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that I was hoping to do was to speak to the owners of Anakena to find out more about the boat and what her plans are for the future.

She’s moored here of course, where she has been for well over a year (apart from her sojourn in the chantier navale recently) and with Aztec Lady to keep her company. She was on her way to the Far North when she was held up in here when everywhere closed their ports to visitors and I was hoping to find out when – and where – she’ll be going.

However, rather like the Marie Celeste, she was completely deserted. There was no-one about at all so that was rather a pointless visit. She’ll be in good company here with Victor Hugo and Granville, the two Channel Island ferries in the background keeping her company as well.

And so I crossed over the top of the closed harbour gates to the other side and climbed up the steps to the top road, the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

fishing boat l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd there’s yet another fishing boat left at the quayside at the Fish Processing Plant to settle in the silt as the tide goes out.

She’s L’Omerta, one of the larger fishing boats that collects the shellfish. And I’m interested in whatever story there might be in her name. L’Omerta isn’t just Silence in Italian, it’s the name of the Oath of Silence that members of the Mafia take when they are recruited into the Society.

And another thing that interests me, as regular readers of this rubbish might recall, is why the boats are left to go high and dry at the fish processing plant instead of being moored in the main harbour or moored somewhere else out of the way.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that I needed to do of course was to go and check on the beach near the Rue du Nord to see how things were going down there.

And so when I arrived back at my building I went down to the end of the car park to look over the wall.

It had been a warm day today, the first really warm day that we had had, so it was hardly a surprise to see people actually settling down to soak up the sun. A day like today has been a long time coming.

A couple of my neighbours were up there on the car park talking so I joined in and had an exchange of pleasantries while I was about it. I’m not the sociable type as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I can’t ignore my neighbours too much.

fishing boat english channel baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was also a fishing boat out there too, trawling away in the Baie de Granville in the gap between the Pointe du Roc and the Ile de Chausey. They are a lot more active in the local area these days, given the situation further out in the bay.

Back here in the apartment I made myself a mug of coffee and brought it in here to do some work, but the next thing that I remember is that it was 19:20. and it was another one of these occasions when I didn’t even remember going to sleep.

Anyway, girding up my loins, I made myself pasta and veg with a burger, one of the pile that I need to finish off. There a couple of dozen or so of those in the fridge that I’m going to have to eat sometime, not to mention the pile that are in the freezer.

When I come back from Leuven I’m going to have to go through everything and see what I have and what I need to make to keep the supplies going.

But not right now. I’m going off to bed. I’ve had a hard day and a bad evening and I’m off to Leuven in the morning. I haven’t even printed my rail tickets yet and I have to do that pretty quickly