Category Archives: normandy trader

Tuesday 26th July 2022 – AFTER ALL OF THE …

hang gliding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… problems that I’ve been having over the past few days, today has been a rather better day from that point of view.

So while you admire several photos of all of the aerial activity that was going on outside this afternoon, I’ll tell you something about it.

Last night, I was much later than usual in going to bed. There was a Hercule Poirot programme, MURDER IN THREE ACTS, that came round on the playlist and so I stayed up to listen to it instead of going to bed.

Sleep is of course quite important but sometimes a little relaxation is quite good for the soul and I enjoyed the radio programme very much.

35ma aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As a result, trying to wake up at 07:30 was extremely difficult indeed and I was very lucky that I managed to beat the second alarm to my feet.

After the medication and so on I came in here to deal with my mails and messages and then I had things to do.

However I didn’t do much. Surprisingly I didn’t fall asleep today (although I was pretty darned close to it) hence the day being rather better, but for all the good that I was doing today it didn’t really make much difference.

At least the weather was warmer today than yesterday. We’re slowly climbing back into heatwave territory.

45ahb pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was rather a late breakfast today, with the last of my delicious fruit buns and some nice strong coffee.

And a rather late lunch too. Just the usual fruit at the moment. I’m still taking a lot of care about my eating habits and trying where I can to cut down on everything. This diet of fruit and nuts hasn’t lost me much weight but you ought to see me climb trees.

After lunch I went through everything that was in the kitchen and sorted out what I needed to make another batch of fruit buns. I seem to be running low on just about everything right now and I’ll have to stock up on my baking supplies.

It would be nice though if I could bring up here the two cupboard things that I bought in IKEA and install the proper oven.

What a state to get it, hey?

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While we’re on the subject of all of the aerial craft that went by overhead this afternoon, here’s a horrible photo of the yellow autogyro.

Horrible because it was taken directly into the sun rather quickly through a gap in a couple of buildingss, but important because it’s the yellow autogyro.

And why that is important because the other day we saw a beautiful new and shiny red autogyro fly past and the thought had gone through my mind that the reason why I hadn’t seen it before might have been because it might have been the yellow one having been given a respray.

But as the yellow one is still up in the air then that can’t be the case.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Rather later than usual, for reasons that you will soon find out if you read on down to the end, I went out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I wandered across the car park through the crowds to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

There wasn’t much beach to be on but that didn’t matter much because the warm weather had driven many of the people into the water to cool down. It was that kind of day today.

Quite windy too, as you have probably guessed when you saw the squadrons of Nazguls flying by overhead in one of the earlier photos.

man on paddle board baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was quite a bit of excitement going on out in the bay too.

This guy was out on what looked to be a paddle board but he’d stopped to sit down and have a rest for a while when I saw him.

At first I thought that he might have been in a kayak but on closer inspection I ruled that out.

And he was on his own too, which is just as well because making love in a kayak is rather like Watneys Beer – it’s f***ing close to water.

yacht
marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was walking down the path and being overflown by all kinds or aerial machines, I was also looking out to sea to see what was happening there.

Through the gap in the trees at the far end of the headland I could see Marité riding at anchor in the Baie de Mont St Michel near Le Loup – the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

But what’s interesting in this photo is the colour of the grass in the background. It’s a rather scorched light brown colour right now. Apart from that 5-minute shower that I mentioned the other day, we’ve not had any rain for ages and everywhere is looking rather like North Africa at the moment.

yacht joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Marité wasn’t the only ship out there in the bay this afternoon either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we’d seen Belle France out at the bottom of the bay with, probably, a full load of passengers going for a look at Mont St Michel. Today, we have one of the Joly France ferries coming back from down there with a full load of passengers.

Have a look at her windows. They are in “portrait” format rather than “landscape” format and so that tells us that she is the newer one of the two. Her upper deck superstructure is smaller than her sister too.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Fighting my way through the crowds I wandered off through the car park down to the end of the headland.

And this afternoon, we had a fisherman out there on the rocks this afternoon. Just one fisherman, and he didn’t look as if he was all that interested in catching anything. He didn’t have a bucket of anything in which to put his catch.

Mind you we have actually seen someone catch something with rod and line a couple of months ago, although I didn’t see what he actually did with his catch. I was just hoping that it wasn’t one of Austin Powers’ bad-tempered sea bass.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022With all of the activity out in the bay and the fisherman on the rocks, it’s hardly surprising that that there was quite a crowd watching everything that was going on.

Sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban in a front row seat was this family watching Joly France go sailing past around the headland and Marité at anchor in the bay, as well as a host of other small craft out there too.

Having watched everything for a while I wandered off down the path and around the corner to go and see what was happening down at the port this afternoon

ch517520 yann frederic ch898472 cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022L’Omerta was still moored at her position at the Fish Processing Plant but I was more interested in the two boats that were moored behind her.

The one at the front is Yann Frederic and the one behind is Cap Lihou. I’m not quite sure what they were doing over there but there was quite a crowd of people watching them doing it and there was a van over there looking as if it was unloading some shell-fishing crates.

Meanwhile, La Confiance II was still in the chantier naval and Chausiaise was moored up at the ferry terminal.

The harbour gates were opn by now and all of the other fishing boats were streaming into the inner harbour.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And once everyone had gone sailing in, it was the turn of the ships in the inner harbour to come sailing out.

And just for a change these days I was right yesterday about the freight on the quayside when I said that it wouldn’t be there for long. Out of the inner harbour came Normandy Trader with a load of freight, including the swimming pool that had been on the quayside yesterday.

The guy walking on the deck by the crane is Nathan the skipper.

You can tell that she’s Normandy Trader and not Normandy Warrior by the raised deck at the back of the wheelhouse.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Anyway, this is why I’d gone out later than normal this afternoon.

Word had reached me on the grapevine that Marité was out and about this afternoon so I imagined that she would want to come home when the harbour gates opened and I wanted to see it.

Sure enough, as soon as the commercial congestion at the harbour entrance eased, she pulled up her anchor and set sal for the harbour and I watched her come into port and tie up.

She had quite a crowd of people on board too so it must have been a good trip. It’s a shame that her staff aren’t nicer otherwise I might be out there myself one of these days.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was quite a crowd of people lining the walls watching her come into port this afternoon.

And that had led to some of the worst examples of pathetic parking that we have seen for a while. It’s a subject that I’ve tried to avoid but sometimes it’s inescapable and it’s the kind of thing that brings these holidaymakers and their caravanettes into disrepute.

When he finally moved off, he went to try to park in a car park in which caravanettes are prohibited as if it didn’t matter at all.

These caravanette drivers have a logic that only works in their bizarre minds

normandy trader bay de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Before going in for a drink, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to check on Normandy Trader.

It had taken me an age to make sure that Marité was tucked up safely in bed so by now Normandy Trader was miles out at sea. I was hoping that I’d catch her a bit closer to shore than I did.

Back here I had a drink of iced almond milk and then had a look at how my fruit bread was doing. I’d mixed up the dough before going out and now that it was proofed I divided it up into little rolls and put them on some baking paper on the shelf.

When they’s had another go at proofing, I brushed them with milk and dusted them with brown sugar and bunged them in the oven to bake for 35 minutes.

While they were baking I had a listen to the dictaphone. I had been playing in a rock group during the night. I was talking to one of the girls in it. There were a couple of people who were in the group who were very insecure and needed a lot of guidance. We had one or two people who would do that. For example, One girl (wit whom I’d worked a few times in the dim and distant past) needed a lot of prodding around and guiding and taking places and everything and there was a guy near to where she lived and where she worked who would do all of that. Some of us were very self-reliant and would make our own way without any problems. Others needed just as much help but couldn’t really find anyone to do things for them. It all came to be rather chaotic. There were the wrong kind of people hanging around and it was a shame because it was a really good experience except for these people. I was talking to one of the girls, explaining about that girl’s helper and how it would have been nice if everyone had found someone like that who could have led them around and worked on their personal development or whatever so that they would have been much more comfortable with themselves and the travelling.

But what’s she doing making a rather dramatic appearance in my nocturnal voyages? She’s someone about whom I haven’t thought for even a minute for probably 38 years

Later on I was out in my van and I’d encountered a young girl somehow. I’d lent her the music and she was really delighted with it. I’d made arrangements to go and pick it up again but when I arrived she was at her grandmother’s house at Kidsgrove up at the back, Newchapel way and a really steep hill to get there. I’d gone with Caliburn. Her grandmother had given me a list of things to do, some of which I could do on the spot and some I couldn’t, like disposing of a pile of mail for her etc. I invented some kind of procedure that meant that I’d have to come back there again in the hope that I’d see this girl when I went back. I had to sort out my tapes that she had. The grandmother asked me something about this job and I was stuck because I couldn’t remember what it was that I’d told her that I’d do. I had to invent something quite quickly. For once it seemed that I was going to be getting somewhere with some young girl which was very nice. When I left I noticed that I didn’t have much fuel in Caliburn so I’d have to go along and find some fuel somewhere and that wasn’t easy. This was once for a change something positive, even if I didn’t actually “get the girl” during the dream.

And Newchapel again? I’ve been there a few times during the night, probably more times than I ever was there in real life. That’s a mystery too.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022By now the fruit buns were cooked and they looked absolutely delicious so I took them out of the oven to cool, and then thought about making tea.

Plenty of stuffing eft over from yesterday’s pepper so I made myself a taco roll with rice and vegetables and that really was delicious again. Spicy food tastes so much better after it has marinaded for 24 hours.

Back in here I wrote up my notes from today and engaged in an argument on my social network with someone who posted a photo that he had taken in Norway of a car and was insisting that it was a MkIII Cortina estate when it was actually a Ford Taunus

Yes, I can be a pedant when I have to be.

Tomorrow I’m hoping that I’ll feel better. Not crashing out (even if it was touch-and-go on occasion) today was already an improvement despite the lack of sleep, so a good sleep might make me feel even better.

But as events have shown, quite often a good sleep usually makes me feel worse. But whatever it is, it’s still quite depressing.

Friday 18th February 2022 – I WAS IN …

storm beach rue du nord baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… two minds this afternoon … errr … weather to go out for my afternoon walk.

The local weather office had produced a map today showing predicted windspeeds and Granville just happened to be at the junction of two wind bands – 100-110 kmh and 110-120 kmh – between 15:00 and 17:00, just round about when I usually go out for my walk.

But nevertheless at my usual time of 15:45 I set off out and while the sea looked quite turbulent, as you can see in the photo, the wind was actually something of a damp squib. We’ve had much stronger winds than this in the recent past without any drama at all.

Never mind Storm Eunice, it was more like Storm Useless. 110kph might look inpressive but a few weeks ago we had gusts of 140kph so we are used to it.

For a change, last night wasn’t all that turbulent – or, at least, not as turbulent as it has been. It was probably due to the fact that when it was bedtime I wasn’t in the least tired and it ended up being 01:30 when I finally crawled into bed.

As a result, things wre not all that easy when the alarm went off at 07:30, although I did manage to beat the second alarm.

There wasn’t all that much time for me to go on anything like as many nocturnal voyages as I seem to be doing just recently. I had to go to pay a fine at the police station last night. I hadn’t been given the formal notice to pay but I’d been given the decision. I knew that there was something else happening at the police station that was likely very much to have me arrested but my idea was to have everything over and finished as quickly as possible. I turned up at the police station but the entrance hall there was under all kinds of renovation so I had to walk through all this work, everything like that. I eventually ended up at a temporary desk and handed over the paper. The policeman started to go through the list to see what he had of cases but couldn’t find my case. I saw a name that I thought was mine so I said that i’d seen it so he turned back a couple of pages but it wasn’t and that annoyed him. I thought that if I carried on like this the kind of outcome isn’t going to be any good whatsoever so in the end I decided that i’d keep quiet and let him find it himself and see what happens. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember that bit now.

After the medication I spent the rest of the day transcribing dictaphone notes and updating a few previous journal entries. What started off as being 41 dictaphone sound files is now down to 22.

There were several voyages involving members of my family, which is regrettable, but also a few featuring people like Zero, which always cheers me up. But we’ve not had a voyage featuring Castor for quite some time and that’s disappointing.

There were also several breaks today, firstly for breakfast and secondly for lunch. And I do have to say that my fruit bread is absolutely excellent. This is a really impressive fruit loaf.

There was also a rather unfortunate break when I fell asleep. But that’s not really a surprise these days, is it?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I mentioned earlier, I did manage to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As usual I went over to the wall overlooking the beach to see what was happening down below. And apart from the waves that were coming in with the kind of force that I haven’t seen for a while, there were actually several people down on the beach.

That was quite surprising because of the weather, but then again apart from the wind it wasn’t actually a bad day. Warm for the time of the year and fairly sunny.

storm le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022When I went round the corner where the Monument to the Resistance is situated, I had a really good view of how the storm was raging in the bay.

The waves down there were quite impressive, smashing over the rocks on which Le Loup, the light that guards the entrance to the harbour, is situated.

And judging by the tree on the right, Bob Dylan wouldn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows around here, would he.

Not that it’s any surprise, but there was no-one out at the end of the headland today admiring the view. Only me of course, and I was glad when I turned the corner and had the wind blowing into my back instead of into my face.

man and van on ramp port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022No change of occupancy in the chantier naval or the ferry terminal today so I had a look around elsewhere.

It was the van on the boat-launching ramp underneath the fish processing plant that caught me eye. I wondered what it was doing there because the incoming tide would make short work of it.

However there was a man standing on the silt down there having a good look around. But at what I really don’t know. However it is round about the time of year when they dredge the harbour so I wonder if he’s eyeing up the job.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Further on down the path towards the inner harbour I noticed that Normandy Trader is still in port.

She came in on the evenign tide last night as I mentioned, and she should have gone out on the morning tide after laoding up (you can see the swimming pool on board) but a message went round earlier in the day that “due to abnormal weather conditions” she won’t be going out until things calm down.

What I did was to send a message to the crew to invite them round for a coffee but they didn’t reply. I suppose that they were quite comfortable on board.

Incidentally, you’ll notice the small “upper deck” behind the wheelhouse. That’s how we know that she’s Normandy Trader and not her sister Normandy Warrior.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Also in the inner harbour is a trawler that we haven’t seen for a while.

She’s Philcathane of course, and moored up against the harbour wall just like almost every other fishing boat. It loks as if none of the fishing boats have gone out today and that’s not a surprise in this weather.

Outside the building I noticed one of my neighbours struggling taking her rubbish over to the bins so I gave her a hand. We had a little chat about next-to-nothing and then I came back in for my coffee, clutching my new credit card in my hand.

So “Spend Spend Spend” hey?

After the coffee I finished off what I was doing and then went for tea. Veggie balls, pasta and veg in a vegan cheese sauce and it really was nice. It might only be simple food that I cook but it really is delicious

So tomorrow if Caliburn is still there and hasn’t been blown away I’ll be going to the shops. I wonder how things would work if I fitted him with sails.

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.

Wednesday 3rd November 2021 – I HAVE HAD …

… a proposal of marriage today.

And the worst thing about it is that I’m not sure exactly how serious it was.

On the way back from the physiotherapist I met one of my neighbours heading down the hill. We had a chat about the current situation in the town, one thing led to another and she asked me “do you have your French nationality yet?”?
“No I don’t” I replied. “Just my Carte de Séjour. Nationality is a long, complicated process”.
“We’ll have to marry and then it will take much less time” she continued.

And so in the best traditions of the (News of the Screws), I “made my excuses and left”.

But the regular readers of this rubbish needn’t worry. Since I’ve been ill and I’ve had all of these bits cut out of me, I’m no use to anyone. Not even to myself.

It’s all very well discussing people like Percy Penguin, TOTGA, Miss Stoke on Trent, Castor and all of the others but they’ll all be perfectly safe with me these days.

Particularly after the night that I had last night. I was in bed really early – not long after 22:00 when I went to bed, planning on having a really good sleep all the way through to 07:30 but it wasn’t to be.

And so I’ve decided that in the future I’ll mention my good nights rather than my bad ones. It’ll save more time.

So staggering out of bed I went for my medication and then came back in here to check my mails and messages.

Plenty of mails too about my radio project and I stirred the pot by sending out a pile more. That led to the odd ‘phone call or two and so most of my day evaporated before my very eyes.

While I was dealing with the radio stuff, I uploaded the recording from last night on our visit. Two microphones means two mono tracks, with one “major” sound channel and one “minor” sound track. I’ve run them together and created a stereo track which doesn’t really give the effect that I wanted but I’m a novice with this machine and I have a lot to learn as yet.

Some time during the course of the day I had a look at the photos from Saturday night. I’ve edited 27 so far and I’m surprised at how good one or two of them are.

During the night I travelled miles. I started off having to make declarations of imports to the Customs and Excise people at Newcastle upon Tyne. My first ones weren’t very good – not very-well completed but by the time that I came round to the second ones and subsequently I had it all down to a T and was busy , doing it quite well and I was quite pleased with that.

Later, I was in Chester and I can’t remember what I was doing there now. I had this really ancient 1920s motorbike with me. We’d gone to the station to meet someone and it turned out to be an old woman. I was there with a friend of mine who was on an old motorbike too. When we met this old woman we then had to go out of Chester. I lost my way all round the station complex. I couldn’t remember where everything was because Chester had been so modernised. In the end we made our way to Northgate Street more by luck than judgement. This old woman was lagging behind because we were setting quite a pace. In the end she was talking about going for a cup of tea so we found this olde-worlde café place and went in there. I left my motorbike outside but he took his in. There were probably 7 or 8 other old motorbikes from that era in there as well. Now we had acquired 2 children, a girl about 6 and a little boy. I went and sat down where my friend and this woman went to order the coffee or whatever.

Later still I was working in an office and I’d been up to the canteen at about 10:45 to ask for a coffee. The woman said that she would make one and bring it down. By the time that it was 15:15 it hadn’t come so I went back up to find out what was happening. When I went in there I asked and she replied that she wasn’t going to make one for me. There were several other people there, one or two who were also drinking coffee so I asked why she wasn’t going to make one for me when she’d obviously made one for other people. One or two of the people tried to get me to leave but I wasn’t leaving under any circumstances and it all developed into something rather unpleasant. She still refused to make me a coffee even though everyone else who had asked had been given one

trawlers ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021It was such a beautiful afternoon when I set out for the physiotherapist so I headed over to see what was happening in the bay.

And for a change this afternoon, there was quite a lot. The Iles de Chausey looked really nice in this strange sunlight and we could see plenty of fishing boats out there looking as if they were heading for home.

On the horizon though was something big and white. One of the ferries going from St Malo to Portsmouth, I expect. I made a mental note to check it when I returned but I forgot.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There was quite a bit of activity looking the other way too.

Down in the bottom of the Baie de Granville between Donville les Bains and Bréhal Plage there were quite a few boats out and about this afternoon – some yachts and a cabin cruiser, as well as a few others that didn’t make it into the photo.

But not that I was going to hang around to count them. I have things to do and other fish to be frying.

One of the things that I mentioned that I would do was to go and see what was happening in the old town with all of the rebuilding that seems to be taking place.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Regular readers of this rubbis will recall that we have noticed a big hole in the medieval city walls near to where they are working in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux so I wanted to check up on that.

And the hole isn’t there any more – or, at least, if part of it still is, it won’t be there much longer.

The stone masons have now reached the hole and they are busy patching it up, with a handy shield up above their head to prevent anything dropped over the wall from hitting them.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And there is actually a big danger of things being dropped down on their heads from up above.

Another worker has been raking out the loose mortar between the stones, so presumably that’s going to be the next bit that will be repointed once they have finished below.

And you can see why the men down below have erected a roof when you see where the guy up above has left his electric drill. That will make quite a dent in someone’s skull if it’s dropped 20 feet.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021When we were here last time, they had dismantled part of the wall in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

Now it looks as if they have begun to reassemble it and with the fresh pointing it looks quite nice. When they refit the large stones on top, it will be a really good job.

But what will be the next job to tackle? There’s the one further along towards the viewpoint at the Plat Gousset that has been fenced off for as long as I’ve been living here at least, then then there’s the bit in the car park by my building.

But the smart money is on the Square Potel and the signs are up there already.

repairing rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another thing that we saw a couple of weeks ago was all the hieroglyphycs that had appeared on the road surface in the Rue St Michel.

They had been working in the Rue Cambernon close by, but now they have finished. They have gone on up the Rue St Michel and by the looks of things they are quite well advanced there.

But this road surface is dreadful. In the medieval city everywhere else is cobbled stone – except here. They can’t complain about people not keeping to the “epoch” in their own private renovations if they aren’t going to do the same with the official ones.

thora loading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, down in the harbour, I see that we have a visitor.

Thora, one of the two little Jersey freighter, is in port today and by the looks of things she has quite a huge load on board. You can tell that by how deep she’s sitting in the water.

It looks as if there are some vehicles on the deck too, but I’ll go for a look on the way back. I want to have a chat with the skipper anyway.

erecting christmas decorations avenue leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Once more, I made it all the way up to the hill to the physiotherapist without stopping for breath.

There was however one stop, and that was almost near the top as well. You can tell that we are in November and the tourist season is over, because now they are putting up the Christmas decorations.

And this year, I hope that they are going to use their imagination and do something different than they have done over the past couple of years. They have been very samey, except that there seem to be fewer and fewer things to erect.

The physiotherapist had me doing kinetic exercises for my half-hour session and it does seem to be doing me some good. I can tell that by the fact that I seem to be moving about a little easier than I did when I first started. Not by very much, but it does take time.

working on abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home, I went to see how the major roadwork project is doing down in the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs.

They are making some kind of progress where the old railway line used to be. It’s all graded and they have fitted the drainage system and the electric conduit.

It looks as if it’s All Systems Go there, but I doubt if it will be finished for when I need to go to Leuven in a couple of weeks time. I might have to wait a little longer for that but it will be a much easier way to walk once it’s finished.

workmen installing play equipment parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Remember the hardstanding that we have seen in the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs in the past?

There are a couple of workmen down there doing something with it all today. I shall have to go for a closer look.

But there are still plenty of the concrete reinforcement matting sheets down there – if anything, more than there were last time. It looks as if we are going to be in for a serious amount of concreting which will be a shame. This much concrete must be bad for the environment.

workmen installing play equipment parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021So down at the bottom of the steps I could have a closer look at their doings.

In the absence of any indication I asked them what was the purpose of they were doing. “It’s for the sport” replied one of them.

And so it looks as if I might not need the physiotherapist at all once they have finished what they are doing. I can come and do my exercises down here. But they will need much more equipment than just this, that’s for sure, if they want the town to improve its fitness.

square des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There wasn’t much else that I could see happening on the trackbed of the abandoned railwy so I cleared off down the road towards the quagmire that is the Square des Docteurs Lanos.

And quagmire is certainly the word. It’s raining on and off at the moment and over there is just a morass or sea of mud. Nothing much has changed there over the last 10 days or so, except that we now have some concrete drain boxes dropped over there.

And do you notice in the bottom corner the concrete strip that they have placed across the road? It looks as if we are going to be having a sea of concrete all the way up to the end of the abandoned railway line at this rate, hence all of the reinforcement matting.

roadworks rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021That’s certainly what it’s looking like in the Rue du Boscq.

The concrete strip that we saw them pouring the other day has now expanded widthways to three times its size, for what purpose I really don’t know.

Ohh! For a long line of trees that should have been planted every 30 feet along there to bring some shade and greenery to people walking about in the summer.

On the other side of the road they have left the half-a-dozen trees that were growing there previously, and that looks as if it’s going to be our lot for now.

digger moving road roller rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But the excitement here isn’t quite over yet.

There’s a road-roller that has been stuck on the concrete and can’t drop off the end so they summoned up one of the diggers on the site.

He picked it up without too much effort and dropped it back onto the roadway where the driver drove it away. and then the digger picked up what looked like a generator and then cleared off down to the far end of the roadworks.

children's roundabout place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And as if in sympathy, I cleared off down the far end of the roadworks too.

The kiddies’ roundabout that we saw them installing the other day is still here. It’s planned to be here until 7th November but it may be on its way sooner than that.

Apparently it’s larger than it’s supposed to be, according to the plans that were submitted to the local council, and it’s forcing people to step into the roadway. The council is none-too-happy about it and there’s some kind of proceedings going on right now about the issue.

vans and builders material thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On our way out to the physiotherapist, we saw Thora moored at the loading bay and I mentioned that I’d go over for a chat.

However as I arrived, she was just casting off ready to go. And I was right about the vehicles that she was carrying. 2 vans with Dutch number plates heading off towards the Channel Islands along with about 40 large sacks of stone.

Obviously it’s too late to speak to her skipper to I shouted a message to him as he peered through his window. Whether he heard me or not is another thing completely.

thora leaving normandy trader arriving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021The reason for the rapid departure of Thora is that the loading bay is wanted by someone else.

As she disappears off into the sunset, right in behind comes Normandy Trader. I didn’t think that they would be able to fit all of the freight on the quayside into Thora.

It was sheer luck that I’d arrived at this moment because I wanted to speak to Normandy Trader‘s skipper too. But he had a considerable amount of work on the go, quite obviously, so I didn’t want to get in his way. I’ll catch him another time.

normandy trader unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But doesn’t Normandy Trader look nice in her new livery?

Her captain was telling me that he was fed up of everything being blue and so while she was out of the water the other week he’s had a lot of her painted red.

They started to unload her almost immediately so I stood and watched from a good viewpoint. And the unloading didn’t take long because, as you might expect with all of this going on, the Jersey Fishermen’s Co-operative isn’t sending any shellfish over to Granville right now.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little earlier I mentioned that it was raining on and off as I walked home.

As you can see, out there in the baie de Mont St Michel and on the Brittany coast they were having it much worse than I hwas having it right now. That looks like one impressive rainstorm that is cascading down over there.

The wind wasn’t blowing it in my direction but I didn’t want to hang around. Nevertheless it was round about here that I had my proposal of marriage.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little further on I bumped into another neighbour out for a run so we had a little chat and then I carried on along my way.

Before going inside, I went to look at what was happening down on the beach. And the fact is that there wasn’t any beach for anything to be happening on right now. The tide is well in.

A few minutes earlier while I was walking home Rosemary telephoned me. So back here I made myself a coffee and phoned her back for another one of our long chats.

Hence I am, us usual these days, running hours later than planned.

later on, I was out again. I seem to be in great demand today as well because I was invited to a soirée in the building. It’s not like me to be popular, is it? I took myself off upstairs but I only stayed for an hour or so. I just don’t have the time (or the inclination) to be nice and friendly for such a long time.

Back down here I had pasta and a burger for tea, and now I’ve written up my notes I’m going to bed.

While I was out I took over 20 photos. But you won’t get to see them until later because with running late, I haven’t processed them and in any case, I’m whacked.

Somehow (and I don’t know how) I’m managing not to fall asleep during the day as I did in the summer but at the end of the day I’m wasted, particularly when I’ve had a bad night. A good night will do me the world of good, although I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll have one.

Thursday 2nd September 2021 – I’VE BEEN OUT AND …

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… about this morning, being sociable, which regular readers of this rubbish will know is not like me at all

As you can see, this morning we have Normandy Trader in the port. She came in on the overnight tide. And I had an appointment to go and have a chat with the crew.

The discussion that we had enables me to tell you a lot more about her too. She’s an ex-military landing craft built in 1964 and served in the Falkland Islands Campaign. And if you look very carefully, you can still see the bullet holes.

There are lots of other news to tell too, but I’m under instructions to leave that for a couple of weeks. So watch this space.

But at least I was right about the reason for the triangular run that they now do on occasion from St Helier to St Malo to Granville to home. There’s no health inspector here at Granville so the shellfish have to be landed at St Malo where there is one.

But anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here yet again. After my marathon session last night when I couldn’t sleep and didn’t go to bed until 03:10, I reset the alarm to 08:00 and even so, it was still a nightmare rising from my stinking pit yet again.

At least I’d written up yesterday’s notes so I didn’t need to worry about that.

With such a late start there wasn’t long to wait before breakfast, and after breakfast there was barely enough time to start work before the doorbell rang. And I wasn’t even back in my apartment with my parcels – just loitering at the front door – when someone else turned up with a package for me too.

And isn’t it nice to be finally typing with a decent keyboard – the nearest thing to a flat-key silent portable-computer-type of keyboard that I have ever experienced. It’s definitely something.

Once it had all arrived, I shot off down to the harbour to talk to them at Normandy Trader, bumping into a whole collection of neighbours on the way.

After lunch, I very regrettably fell asleep for a while, which is no surprise after my night’s efforts but even so I’d managed to attack some of the arrears from the other day. But anyway, I was a few minutes late going out for my afternoon walk.

people swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual, I wandered off across the car park over to the wall at the far end to look down onto the beach to see what was going on.

It wasn’t the beach that actually caught my eye today. If you look closely at the photo you’ll see that there are actually some people down there swimming in the water.

And I do have to take my hat off to them because it wasn’t all that hot and it was quite windy too. Not the kind of day to be going out into the water.

As for the beach today, there wasn’t all that much of one this afternoon as the tide is well in right now.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was busy admiring the view of the swimmers, I was overflown by a small aeroplane heading inland.

No prizes for guessing who she is. She’s F-GBAI of course, the Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the Granville Aero Club. She seems to be about the only aeroplane we ever see these days.

She took off at 14:24 and did a kind-of figure of 8 – one circle inland and the second circle dpwn to Avranches and round the Ile de Chausey to come back into land at 16:02, and as my photo was taken at (adjusted) 15:57 that seems about right to me.

It’s been a while since we’ve featured an aeroplane on these pages but that’s not to say that I haven’t been overflown. I’ve either had the wrong camera, the wrong lens or else I’ve been busy talking to a neighbour.

yacht in high winds baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A short while ago, I mentioned the wind that has sprung up this afternoon out in the bay.

Looking at this photo should give you something of a clue about that. Apart from the whitecaps on the waves, the way that the sails belly out in the wind and the fact that the yacht is keeling over will tell you everything that you need to know.

Strangely though, the wind is coming from the north-east today. It almost invariably comes from west-north-west so to see it actually doing something else is quite a surprise.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The Baie de Mont St Michel is therefore sheltered from the nor’easter and so with the tide being in, it’s no surprise to see one of the sailing schools out there this afternoon. Doesn’t the sea look calmer on that side of the headland?

They are having quite some fun out there in the bay and I haven’t forgotten that once my physio sessions are over I have every intention of joining them

It’s school chucking-out time now incidentally, hence the arrival of the big 53-seater fill-size coach, and have you seen one of the bunkers from this angle, proudly displaying its battle scars from World War II.

normandy trader yacht pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So from there I pushed off across the car park and down to the headland to see what was happening in the bay.

And rattling around the corner right into the wind came Normandy Trader. I was told that she would start her loading at 14:00 so it’s not taken her too long to load up and get under way back home to St Helier.

The yacht that we saw coming in earlier has now made it to the headland anyway so in a few minutes she’ll be in the calmer waters of the Baie de Mont St Michel.

What I’m going to do is to see if I can beat her back to the harbour.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I noticed that there was no change in occupancy of the chantier naval so I turned my attention elsewhere.

Over at the ferry terminal this afternoon there was only one of the ferries that I could see. She’s the very new one, Belle France, and she doesn’t look as if she’s going to be going anywhere this afternoon.

As for the other two, they are probably over at the Ile de Chausey and they’ll be back before long otherwise they will miss the tide.

At this rate I’ll miss my nice banana smoothie if I don’t make an effort to go home. So with nothing else exciting (Galeon Andalucia is still here but you’ve seen enough of her just recently) happing in the inner harbour and no bad parking to upset me, I made for home.

After my drink I tidied up the kitchen because I had a visitor coming round to see me with some information for me and after he had gone I FINALLY finished amending SATURDAY’S ENTRY. It’s really nice having a decent keyboard to type everything with.

When Sunday’s entry was finished, I could start on the tons of stuff that have accumulated on the dictaphone over the last fortnight. Nothing from last night though, which was a shame.

Tea tonight was another handful out of the European Veggie Ball Mountain with microwaved potatoes and veg – delicious as usual – and still no dessert. My appetite has diminished just now and I’m going to keep on encouraging it to do so.

So bedtime now. I have a computer to fix in the morning, fruit bread to make, and in the afternoon it’s the physiotherapist again. As well as that I have a radio epic to prepare for the end of December.

It’s non-stop, isn’t it?

Thursday 26th August 2021 – THERE HAS BEEN …

… a calamity!

This morning I dropped a full mug of coffee onto my keyboard.

It goes without saying that that has now been filed under “CS” and the rest of the morning was spent hunting down the spare one that I have here.

After a good search I came across two, a very flaky old Belgian one and a more recent French one with “NumLok” stick permanently in the “On” Position. (And it could have been worse – it could have been stuck in the “off position”).

When I had finished lunch I tried to work out why the new keyboard was totally misbehaving and doing all kinds of strange things. That turned out to be a stuck “CTRL” button which I freed off.

All I need to do now is to find out why the “N” doesn’t work, and I’ll be in business. I’m using a keyboard shortcut for now so if you find any missing “N”, then you know why.

Thinking about it later, it would probably have been quicker to have driven to LeClerc and bought a new one instead of all of this messing about.

Strangely enough, the flooded keyboard had a fault with the “N” too. There was a delay in the “N” appearing when I touched it so I found myself often ending up with “GN” instead of “NG” if I wasn’t careful.

But I digress … “again” – ed

Despite yet another late night, I was out of bed as the first alarm rang and the went off for my medication.

After that I came in here to read my messages and as soon as it was light I dashed outside with the NIKON D500

chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd without falling over a bollard this morning I headed off to the viewpoint overlooking the port.

And it seems that I should have bee here 30 seconds earlier because they had been loading Chausiaise. I’d seen the crane swinging around as I was coming down the street but as I made ready to photograph it, they closed it up.

Parked behind Chausiaise is one of the Joly France boats that runs the ferry service to the Ile de Chausey. the older one of the two, I think, with the rectangular windows in landscape format.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s the pride of the harbour for the moment.

When I first saw her name I misread it. She’s actually called the Galeon Andalucia and is a replica of a 17th Century Spanish Galleon. She was built in Punta Umbría as a typical “Galeón de Manila” at a cost of about €450,000.

She was launched in 2010 and went out to represent Spain at the Universal Exposition in Shanghai. Since then she’s been visiting various ports around the world, including a couple of weeks in early July in St Malo, and I wonder if that coincides with that mystery sailing ship that we saw.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSeeing as I was up quite early, the sun was quite low to the east so we were having all kinds of unusual views that we don’t often see.

The chantier naval was nicely illuminated this morning by the low rays of the sun. You can see quite clearly all of the seven boats that are in there, and they all look pretty much like the seven that were in there yesterday.

Away in the distance on the horizon we can see the town of Cancale quite clearly. I’ve made no effort to enhance this photo so even at this range today, the views were pretty good.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that wasn’t the best of it either.

There’s a high hill away in the distance somewhere a little way into the interior of Brittany and I can’t recall having seen that more than once or twice. Today though, it was probably about the clearest that I have ever seen it.

The coastline was pretty clear too this morning. And I’m not sure if it’s a trick of the light but that looks like an enormous flotilla of yachts out there in the distance over by the coast.

fishing boat calean leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMuch closer to home there were other things going on.

The harbour gates were now open (I’d only just made it down to the port in time) and already half of the local fleet (that bit that isn’t in the chantier naval) had headed off into the sunrise. One of the last to go out was this little shellfish boat, Calean.

You can the shellfish boats by the covered awning over the open hold. That’s to stop the seagulls diving down and pinching the catch on the way back from the beds.

fishing boat bay de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLeaving the port, I wandered over to the other side of the headland to have a butcher’s at the Baie de Granville to see what was going on over there.

And out at sea many of the fishing boats had taken up their positions and were starting work, like this blue and white one here.

One thing that I had always wondered is “how do they decide which boat fishes where?”. They can’t all surge out en masse and fight for a spec in a glorious free-for-all. There must be some kind of organisation.

Do they draw lots? Or do they take turns on a rota for different specs?

Normandy Trader approaching port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a thing.

While I was looking out at sea at the trawlers I noticed something else heading my way, and as it approached me, I reckoned that the silhouette was quite familiar so I photographed it for a closer look when I returned home.

Back here I had a close look at the photo and had something of a play around with it. Sure enough, it’s Normandy Trader, one of the little Jersey freighters, on her way into port. I wonder what she and her crew will make of a Spanish galleon here in port.

Having done that, I edited the rest of the morning’s photographs and also the ones from last night. Then I began to update the journal to add the details of last night’s meanderings.

Round about 10:45 I knocked off for breakfast – coffee and my fruit bread. The bread was fine but it was round about then that I had my calamity.

Accordingly, the rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent messing around with the computer.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNone of the foregoing stopped me from having my afternoon walk of course.

You will have seen the glorious morning that we had earlier today, but by now there had been a dramatic change in the weather. It was cloudy, overcast and cold, just like any late October day.

It was no surprise therefore to see that the beach was totally deserted. There wasn’t a soul down there that I could see. The weather had finished off the holiday season in a way that no-one will ever forget in a hurry.

There’s even a rainstorm by the looks of things a few miles out to sea to put the tin hat on it.

harvesting bouchots donville les bains Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said that there wasn’t anyone out on the beach, that’s not strictly accurate.

Away in the distance out at Donville les Bains the bouchot harvesters are hard at work. They have all of the tractors and trailers out there this afternoon bringing in the shellfish from the beds that are to the right of this image.

And in the background there are a few people walking around on the beach. Probably tenants of the holiday park just along there. They will be walking along the beach because, to be frank, there isn’t anywhere else for them to walk around there.

crowds footpath pointe du roc lighthouse semaphore Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I’m sure that you are now wondering where all of the holidaymakers have gone if they aren’t on the beach.

The answer to that is that they are all on the path that leads down to the semaphore and the lighthouse at the end of the Pointe du Roc. Hordes and hordes of them too.

And they weren’t all holidaymakers either. While I was walking around on top of the cliff overlooking the sea, I fell in with one of my neighbours and we had a really good chat.

While we were chatting, we were overflown by a helicopter, our friend F-GBAI and also the sparrowhawk but you can’t be rude and interrupt a conversation by taking a photo.

Just my luck, isn’t it?

ulm microlight powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I didn’t have long to wait before someone else flew by overhead.

The familiar rattle in the distance gave me a clue as to who it might be and it wasn’t long before the red microlight who we have se so often came fluttering by.

Interestingly, it just went a mile or so out to sea, turned round and headed for home.

Bizarre.

Nothing else flew by so I carried on to the end of the path and across the car park, which was crowded yet again.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other day I asked the question “what do you do if you head back to port and find the port gates closed with the tide.

Almost on cue, we saw a yacht riding at anchor about half a mile outside the harbour. And here today we have another one. And I wonder if he has also missed today’s window of harbour gate openings.

There doesn’t seem to be anyone on deck so maybe they are riding at anchor an gone below for a cuppa. However, they are supposed to display a signal – a black ball – if they have their anchor out but I can’t see anything of that nature hanging from the mast.

people on beach port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further around the headland there was a group of people out on the beach and rocks underneath the harbour wall.

My first thought was that they were doing a bit of peche à pied but a closer look failed to convince me. And apart from the fact that there’s no sun right now, that’s no place to go sunbathing.

Meanwhile, in the chantier naval there was no change in occupancy since this morning. Everything was the same as yesterday except for an infernal racket from down there as if someone was doing some heavy-duty sand-blasting.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the inner harbour I noticed that Normandy Trader had already left. That was a quick turn-round.

Galeon Andalucia on the other hand was still down there with a huge crowd of admirers around her.

And well there might be too, for she’s a gorgeous machine. She’s 38 metres above the water (and 3 metres below it) and her three masts carry almost 2,000 square metres of sail.

Altogether, there are 6 decks which amount to 315 square metres of usable floor space. She looks as if she could launch a broadside of 14 guns

Sadly, she also has an auxiliary engine.

Back here I finished off yesterday’s notes and then went for tea. Aubergine and kidney bean whatsit with pasta.

Finally, I managed to find time to listen to the dictaphone. I was in Villedieu les Poeles last waiting to catch a ferry to go somewhere and there was a talk about how this town was one of the most important in the area as a fishing port, which considering that it’s 20 miles inland, is pretty good going (and I fell asleep here). It was a story on the radio about how important it was and how it was about the 4th most important bridge in France. I thought that it was the first and I was looking for a few reasons out of UP POMPEII to substantiate it. Then I was going through people’s different houses (and I fell asleep again). There was more to it than this but I can’t really remember now which is a shame

later on we were on the top of the cliffs looking down onto the village at Villedieu and the ferry and there was a bridge there as well (yes, I’ve stepped right back in where I left off, haven’t I?). We had to go down to the bottom and somehow fight our way across on rubber boats or something to the other side. We all charged and it was quite a bloodthirsty do with fighting everywhere. Eventually I managed to reach across to the other side of the river, cheered and pushed on. A few of us overwhelmed everything and we were all extremely happy that we had done this and survived and conquered this town.

Now that I’ve finished today’s notes I’m off to bed. I’ve been having too many late nights just recently. I have to put a stop to that.

Thursday 12th August 2021 – I WAS RIGHT …

joly france leaving ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about the place out here being a hive of activity at the morning tide while I’m still plucking up the courage to drink a mug of coffee

This morning started off with a couple of blasts on the siren from one of the Joly France ferries , the older one of the two as she reverses out of the ferry terminal with a load of passengers on board.

They all do that when they reverse out, because they never know what is coming around the corner behind them, and I imagine that the sounding of the siren is the result of bitter experience.

belle france arriving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s just as well that she did because she had company right behind.

The very newest Chausey ferry, Belle France looks as if she’s been an early bird this morning.

She’s on her way back into harbour having presumably already dropped one load of passengers off at the island, and coming back for more, bringing with her, I imagine, holidaymakers who want to return to Paris on the midday train.

And so it looks as if it’s going to be a busy day for them out there today with them starting early like this.

chausiaise arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJamais deux sans trois – never two without a third, as I said yesterday.

And in behind all of them, somewhat later and at a much more leisurely rate, comes Chausiaise, the little freighter that they use for running the supplies and the luggage out there

All we need now is the other Joly France boat, wherever she may be, and the Loch Ness monster and we’ll have a full house today.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you think that that was all of the excitement this morning you are very much mistaken.

One of the big issues about living in a medieval walled city is that deliveries are somewhat complicated. The heights and widths of the gates weren’t made for modern lorries.

Anyone who has anything delivered here in a lorry like this will need to have some kind of trans-shipment facility for their purchases if they expect their goods to arrive at their front door.

normandy trader loading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, back at the ran … errr … harbour we have another visitor in here this morning.

The Normandy Trader seems to have come into port with the evening tide yesterday and by the time that I got round to see her she was busy being loaded up with a pile of building material that must also have arrived quite early.

According to her skipper, she’d already been over to St Malo on her way out from St Helier so they are keeping her busy.

marite baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was at it, I went to have a look on the north side of the headland when I came back from the shops.

And here, sailing around the bay was Marité

We had seen her at her mooring earlier when we saw Normandy Trader but by the time that I came back both of them had cleared off into the sunset.

Normandy Trader had long-since disappeared into the distance but Marité kept me entertained for quite a while.

condor voyager english channel Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we had another surprising sight right out to sea just leaving the harbour at St Helier and the camera did really well to pick this up.

A quick check of the fleet radar told me that just about 20 minutes before I took this photo, Condor Voyager, the big superfast ferry whom we had seen the other day, had set out from St Helier on her way back to Poole in Dorset, where she arrived at 14:43.

She was the only ship out there who fitted the description and the size of what I was seeing so I reckon that it’s she.

Yes, I’ll go out again when the tide is right.

But anyway, I’m getting well ahead of myself.

And after last night’s adventures, all that I can say is that there’s no point whatever in killing myself to go to bed at a reasonably early time if I spend most of the night tossing and turning and not being able to sleep properly It was a rather dismal night in fact.

Nevertheless, I did manage to go off on several travels and it’s these that are probably wearing me out the most. Last night I was living at the top end of Crewe in Victoria Street and I had a little ginger kitten. One day I let it out and it shot off at a right pace. I was calling it and running after it praying that it wasn’t going to be knocked over by a car or something as it had never been out at all in the past. Eventually I caught it playing around by the railings that led up the steps to one of the shops on Hightown. I picked it up and thought “I’m on the way to the hospital but i’m going to have to carry the cat because I can’t just put it down and let it run around like this. It will drive me mad and be ever so stressful

Later on I’d arranged to meet one of my Canadian friends to go to the cinema but somehow I’d forgotten. I’d ended up going to bed. But the phone rang to ask me where I was “God! I’ve forgotten!” She replied “we’re just going in now”. She’s met someone and they were going to be on the balcony in the cinema. I dressed quickly and dashed into town, went up into the cinema and had a look round. Eventually I found them and went to sit next to them. There she was, then this guy then me then another woman. This was a B-feature and the lead film was a film abour economic analysis and everything. Of course I was fascinated by this and sat and listened to it. This woman started to talk about something that she had planned for her thesis to do with making glucoses on plants and transposing them to trees. I said “you should speak to my friend’s friend because he’s into genetics”. That sparked off a lively incident. This film then started to talk about someone who had developed some babysitting rings in South London with a couple of friends, about how they had started this but were doing it while studying and hadn’t let on. Their friends were starting to shun them because of the implications about what would happen to their studies if they found out that they were working.

Some time later a couple of us were hemmed in on a car park by a car and a lorry on a car park in Granville. We had to go to pick someone up from the seafront a little later and the gale was howling. It was really strong. I was trying to eat something but it was all falling apart. In the end I turned to whoever it was I was with and said something like “shall we go?”. I swept all of the ruins of whatever it was I was eating into a bag and I saw the cheese sandwich and said “God! Sorry!” to whoever it was we were meeting. We set off to go to see the storm.

A little while earlier at some point I’d been on a bike and I’d come to some roadworks and I’d had to wait while we were ushered through. The ushers were dealing with some kind of incident involving a lorry so we were there for hours. The we were let through and I had to cycle behind the girl on the bike who was leading everyone through. I’d switched my lights off and I couldn’t get them to work again. In the end I cycled off and by now I’d transformed myself into a car. I was heading back home to my place in Virlet. Although I’d come a different way I suddenly found myself back on the road that I knew so I was able to put my foot down and go that way. In the night with the lights and everything we could see all of these ancient buildings with all old dates carved into these buildings, hundreds of dates, all reflected in the shadows of the car’s headlights. It was the first time that I had ever seen them so clearly.

It’s no wonder that I’m totally exhausted with all of this going on, is it?

Having organised that I went and had a shower and went one better than Graham Nash – I actually DID cut my hair, although my not feeling up to par is not because I had the flu for Christmas – it’s something else completely.

Then I hit the streets – not that I feel much like it but on Tuesday I have to go for the train and so I may as well see how I feel.

You’ve already seen some photos and I’ll show you a few more quite soon once I’ve disentangled myself from the chat with the itinerant who hangs around the town.

unloading goods at empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a clothes shop for kids in the Rue Couraye but it moved to different premises not so long ago.

Just recently the windows have been covered over to stop people peeking inside, and today they’ve had a delivery of stock.

Hachette is wholesale book distributor and it’s their name on the packaging, so are we going to be seeing a bookshop open in the town?

Watch this space.

On the way up the hill my knee gave out again and that reminded me that as I was going past the new physiotherapists’ clinic I should pop in there and make an appointment. I have a doctor’s prescription for a course of physiotherapy.

At LIDL I didn’t buy very much at all today – it was the exercise that I went for more than the shopping, so I was soon heading back.

crane rue victor hugo rue saint paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we watched them demolish the old café on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

They erected a crane shortly afterwards and I said that they would get a move on now because hiring a crane is expensive. So since then they haven’t done a tap of work.

Of course it’s August and everyone is on holiday right now, but in that case why bring the crane in and not wait for September when everyone is back at work? It seems rather strange to me, but there again many things around here do.

public notice square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt LIDL I’d bought some energy drink to fuel the climb up the hill to home, so I stopped to drink it right by the Square Potel.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, late last year they demolished the staircase and closed it all off to the public, and today I noticed that a notice had been erected at the site.

Basically, work is going to start here next autumn, so they say, and so it’s not worth anyone’s while making the place look presentable at the moment, only to have to rip it all out in early course.

So at least we know when things might be starting. When they might be finishing is something else completely.

Outside the building was a neighbour so we had a chat, then I came in to put away my frozen peas and then … errr … hit the chair for a while. And no surprise there.

As a result there was a rather late lunch and I wasn’t in the mood for doing all that much afterwards for a while. Eventually I did some more Greenland photos to keep things ticking over.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen it was time for my afternoon walk, somewhat later than usual, I wandered as is my custom these days down to the end of the car park to have a look at the beach.

And we’re right at the turn of the tide by the looks of things judging by the beach, and there are quite a few people down there this afternoon making the most of it.

Plenty of sunbathers and and even quite a few people taking to the water. It was certainly one of the nicer afternoons that we’ve had for a while.

A few yachts out there in the distance too and beyond them are the bouchot beds that we saw yesterday. They aren’t as clear today as they were.

yachts ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on the subject of things being clearer, the air is certainly much clearer than it was yesterday.

The difference between the view of the Ile de Chausey today and the view YESTERDAY WHEN WE SAW MARITÉ is quite considerable.

Unfortunately she’s not out there now, she’s gone somewhere else out of my view. However there are quite a few other yachts over there in the distance, one of them being Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the coast last year.

lighthouse cap fréhel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re on the subject of going down the Brittany coast … “well, one of us is” – ed … the view down the Brittany coast was quite good today.

Right out there on its headland we can vaguely see today the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres from where I’m standing. Not the best view that we have had – we’ve had days when we’ve seen it with the naked eye – but pretty good all the same.

And I haven’t forgotten that I have a few close-ups on the lighthouse to show you one of these days when I find enough creative spirit to write something up about my journey down there.

st helier jersey channel islands Eric HallIf the view out down the Brittany coast is good, there’s a fair chance that the view out to sea might be good too (although quite often it isn’t).

Out there today, we have a really good view of the island of Jersey and the port of St Helier, even down to being able to see plenty of the buildings around the town. It’s very rare indeed that we cans ee them as clearly as this.

The big white building with the round dome on top is as far as I can tell, the Fort Regent Leisure Centre but I can’t really identify the others. One of these days I’ll have to go for a sail out there, but I bet that it will be raining and foggy and I won’t be able to see a thing.

seagulls baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this particular moment I was overflown by an aerial duo.

The white one on top was, presumably, mummy seagull and she seemed to be taking one of her babies, the browny-grey one underneath, for its maiden flight around the clifftops.

And judging by the noise that baby was making, she was not one very happy seagull at all. The younger ones have this very distinctive squeaky call that sounds like an unhappy toddler.

And by the way, if ever you come to Granville, bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

yellow microlight pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I’m on the subject of being overflown, it’s getting to be more and more like Play School here.

Today we aren’t going to be deciding which window to be looking out of, we’re going to be deciging which one of the microlight aircraft will be oveflying us.

Last time, it was the red one, so today then obviously it has to be the turn of the yellow one to come and pay me a visit, rattling its way past overhead.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the yellow autogyro so maybe that’s his turn tomorrow.

Surprisingly, that was the only aircraft today that went anywhere like close enough to be able to take a worthwhile photo. There were a couple of others but they were either too far out or too high.

fishermen speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dispensed with all of the activity out on the north side of the headland I went to see what was going on round the corner because i’d seen some things moving out there.

Across the car park went I, down to the end of the headland and just as I did so, a speedboat went right past in front of me.

We’ve had everything else today so why not a boat full of fishermen? Not doing very much fishing because they are travelling at some speed, from where I don’t know because all of the slipways are out of the water right now.

They are going to be having quite a long wait until the tide comes in far enough for them to go ashore.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said just now that things were moving out there, I was only speaking figuratively because here’s someone who clearly isn’t.

This is the best way to spend a quite sunny afternoon – anchored off the coast (you can see his anchor chain extended off the port bow) taking in the rays and waiting patiently for the tide to come in.

It doesn’t even look as if he is doing any fishing, and that is surely heresy around here right now.

There’s a few other things to see around the corner so i’ll wander off that way.

trawler in portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallPlenty of excitement yet again in the chantier naval this afternoon.

The portable boat lift has been pressed into operation today and it has a small trawler-type fishing boat in its evil clutches. And there’s a guy standing behind it with a pressure washer presumably removing the barnacles from her hull

And I suppose that you’re wondering why she’s still in the boat lift despite the tide being well out right now, and not dropped down onto a set of chocks as they usually do as soon as they take them out of the water.

Well, read on.

7 trawlers in chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s your answer. There simply isn’t anywhere to put her.

It’s been a really busy morning down at the chantier naval by the looks of things and we have no fewer that seven boats in there. There’s Charlevy of course across the other side, and Trafalgar nearest the street, and then four in a line with the seventh in the portable boat lift.

This is probably a record number of boats for me in there and I don’t see how they could hope to fit any more in their place.

And the excitement will begin when they need to use the portable boat lift to drop a boat back in the water, with nowhere to drop the one that’s in the lift while they do it.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw Chausiaise coming back into the harbour after her run out this morning, but she’s now back where she was moored yesterday.

Maybe that’s her work finished for the day, unless she has to go over and bring back some luggage tonight.

And in the background there’s another class taking place in the pool over there by the beach at the Grève de Hérel. It looks as if it might be kayaks this afternoon.

But I came back for a cold drink and to stir some papers around. Despite having felt a little better, I’ve still not been able to concentrate at all.

For tea I made a huge pile of aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit, with no pudding as I wasn’t all that hungry. I had no breakfast either so my appetite seems to have gone.

But now I’m off to bed, rather late, and hoping for a better, more productive day tomorrow. High time that I extricated my digit.

Thursday 5th August 2021 – HAVING BEEN FEELING …

… a little better over the last couple of days, I’m afraid that the inevitable happened today. I ended up having the worst morning that I’ve had for a considerable period of time. While I should have been out at Lidl doing my shopping, I was curled up in the foetal position on my chair in the office, and that’s no good for anyone.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut be that as it may, I consoled myself with the thought that I was probably feeling a little better than any landlubber who might have found himself on the deck of Normandy Trader as she set out from the port this afternoon.

Right into the teeth of a raging nor’wester that hit her full bow-on the moment that she left the shelter of the harbour wall. And with having a blunt end at the bow, I bet that she would have felt every wave that came smashing into her.

This was not the weather for the faint-hearted to be out at sea this afternoon.

storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you are wondering what has brought this on, well here’s your answer.

As you can see, we were hit this afternoon by one of these rolling storms that soaked absolutely everything that was in its path, including me

It was relatively moderate, if windy weather when I set out for my walk but the wind soon whipped it onto the shore and we suddenly got the lot. Where there were once several dozen people idly strolling along the path, the next minute it was panic-stricken flight and the path cleared in a matter of seconds.

normandy trader in storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf I had had any sense I would have cleared off with them as well, but I had things that needed my attention.

Normandy Trader left the harbour while I was on that side of the headland and I wanted to see if I could catch a glimpse of her out at sea and see how she was doing, battling against the storm.

However, you couldn’t see a thing out there in all of this. Eventually I was able to make out some kind of trace of a wake so I took a photo with the aim of digitally enhancing it when I returned to the apartment. And this is the best that I can do.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m getting ahead of myself here. While you admire another photo of Normandy Trader fighting her way out of the harbour, I was busy fighting my way out of bed.

After the medication I came back in here for a listen to the dictaphone to see where i’d been during the night.

There were all kinds of things going on last night like I’d started to make a radio programme. It was all about little bits of music or speech in French and it was all over the place. It took some tidying up and someone’s speech overran by miles, all kinds of things. I can’t really remember all that much about it now except having to combine all these speeches together to make my programme.

A little later on we were talking about postal charges and how I had to spend a lot of money getting a jacket back from Canada once but only £5:99 to get a camera back. There were some jokes about “what was my jacket doing in the meantime? Who was wearing it?” And all that sort of thing – had she stripped it off and was no longer interested. The question came round to postage and Airfix kits where it was all just die-cast plastic – you’d cast a few off, put them into envelopes and post them away, and why was postage “always to be advised” when you were buying something on line. It turned round to me singing on board the ship. I’d just started to sing a song when the alarm went off.

Until breakfast time I occupied myself in doing some more tidying up of the new computer drives. Then after breakfast I had some things that needed my attention but that was when I hit the wall and so I remined curled up on my chair for a couple of hours.

For two pins I would have climbed into bed and gone to sleep properly but that’s defeatism. If I were to do that I’d be in bed for the rest of my life and that wouldn’t be very long. I have to stay up and slug it out.

When I finally recovered my wits, such as they are these days, I did some tidying up in here and threw away a pile of stuff.

After lunch I set about trying to print out a label for the return of my NIKON 1 J5 and its faulty lens but it seems that the printer has failed definitively.

At the moment it’s printing just blue ink and not very much of that, despite all four cartridges being full of ink. I’ll buy some genuine ink cartridges at the weekend and see if it will work with those, and if not, it will be a new printer. I never have much luck with printers

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst stop of course is the beach. Well, not actually on the beach, but to look down upon it to see what was happening.

And with the tide being well in, there wasn’t all that much beach for things to be happening upon. But there were still a few hardy souls sticking it out down there.

There were even one or two people in the water, and had they realised what was heading their way, they probably would have been well-advised to stay in it because it was bound to be drier than what they were about to receive.

And I would have loved to have been there to have witnessed the panic-stricken flight up the steps to the Rue du Nord when the going got tough.

yacht in storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you are wondering what I meant by “what was heading their way” then take a look at this.

As usual, I had one eye on the beach and one eye out at sea, and I caught a glimpse of this yacht being battered by the storm as the giant dark cloud was catching it up.

The waves and the whitecaps should be enough of a clue about the weather. And it’s no surprise that I ended up being as soaked as I was. One glance at this made me think that I had better get a move on otherwise I would be regretting it.

So I didn’t hang around. Down the path, across the car park and round the corner like a ferret up a trouser leg

le loup normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen a few photos of Normandy Trader already on her way out of the harbour, and here’s another one.

She’s still not cleared Le Loup – the marker light at the mouth of the harbour, so she’s no more than a couple of hundred yards out at sea and still theoretically in the shelter of the headland, although you wouldn’t have thought so judging by the waves and the spray that are beating over her bow

You can imagine what that is going to be like when she’s 30 kilometres out in the bay.

trawler charlevy yacht rebelle going back into the water chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut while all of this is going on with Normandy Trader we must not allow ourselves to be distracted from anything else that might be going on down there.

And we’re having a change of occupancy down in the chantier naval. The trawler Charlevy is still there but at long last, the yacht Rebelle is going back into the water.

A good few weeks after the crew that was repairing her told me that it would be “shortly”, which I suppose it is, geologically-speaking. I wonder who is going to be coming into the chantier naval to take her place.

joly france leaving ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this point my reverie was interrupted by a loud blast from a siren nearby.

It’s actually one of the Joly France boats, the older one of the two, reversing out of the ferry terminal on her way to the Ile de Chausey.

Plenty of people standing around watching (the rain hadn’t hit over there yet) but there didn’t seem to be too many people on board, and that was probably just as well because, although she has a pointed bow of course, she still has a pile of waves that are going to hit her as she heads out to sea.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re at it, let’s have a look at Chausiaise.

She’s still where she was yesterday, moored up against the wall by the harbour gates, and still with her freight hatches open. So she can’t have been on the point of unloading or loading up yesterday as I thought.

And I hope that she has some decent bilge pumps to pump out the water. Leaving the hatches open in a rainstorm that is going to arrive any minute is not a good idea.

trawler charlevy yacht rebelle going back into the water chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut diverting my attention back to the chantier naval once more, I notice that there’s another change that I have missed.

The yacht Rebelle is on her way out of the place of course, but if we look closely, we see that the little inshore shell-fisher that was in between the two trawlers seems to have preceded her into the water today.

And in a storm like this that’s boiling up nicely, it will be a good test of workmanship in the chantier naval to send them right out of the repairer’s into the open sea. We’ll soo n see how good the work was.

So having done that I scurried off in the teeth of the gale and right into the storm head-on in order to catch a final glimpse of Normandy Trader as she disappeared off into the sunset.

joly france in storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as she went off out of sight, around the headland came Joly France.

This photo needed to be digitally enhanced too in order to pick her out of the raincloud which was by now drenching everyone and everything. And you can see that she’s making really heavy weather of the crossing, and she’s only about a mile out.

This is not ordinarily the weather for her to be going out, but there must be a good crowd of day trippers on the island who would otherwise be stranded there, and there’s almos nothing in the way of shelter on the island

But no matter what the circumstances, I bet that they aren’t looking forward all that much to the return journey.

By the time that I returned home I was dripping wet, and I mean that too. A hot coffee went down really well while I dried out.

The rest of the evening was spent dealing with photos from Greenland 2019 (I have to justify my day somehow), playing guitar and then making tea. The last of the aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit from a few months ago so I had better make some more next week

Now I’m off to bed. It’s been a harrowing day for me and a good sleep might do me some good. At least it can’t be any worse than today.

Thursday 29th July 2021 WHILE I WAS …

repairing city walls rue du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… out for a walk with Liz at lunchtime on our way back from a coffee we came via the rue du nord, one of the reasons for which being that I wanted to see how they are progressing with the repair work to the medieval city walls.

Much to my surprise, they have already made a decent start to the work and I’m sure that regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen A SIMILAR STYLE OF WORK in the past when they were repairing the walls in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

When they did that work they did what looks like a decent job so I hope that they’ll bet on and do the same here.

And then hopefully they can get on and do the rest of the walls that are falling down around our ears. If medival builders can build something that will last for 600 years there’s no reason why modern builders shouldn’t be able to do so.

But anyway, be that as it may, I was awake at about 06:00 this morning as usual so I had my medication and came back in here listen to the dictaphone. We were all at home but home was dirty, disgusting and untidy and a complete mess. For some reason, at a court my mother’s family life as a young person was being discussed. Then some time later or was it earlier, I dunno, we ended up with anoher girl staying with us and we were trying to think of a place to go. But then this girl started talking about going to somewhere on the North Wales coast where she had been. She asked if we had ever been there and we replied “ohh no, we had far too much class. We went to Rhyl” which provoked howls of laughter but this gave us an idea and we booked a trip to Rhyl. When we arrived on the coach we all piled off and this girl “ohh yes I know all of this, I know all of that” so we were having a laugh and a joke and teasing her. Our mother was telling us to be quiet, we mustn’t be so rude. Then something happened to my mother and she ended up talking about other people behind their backs and we were sitting there saying “mother, don’t be so rude” which of course didn’t go down very well. We crossed the road over to the river.

At that point I’d switched off the dictaphone, which makes a change from the way that things have been just recently.

When I’d finished transcribing the notes I finished off the tidying up of the apartment as far as I could and it actually looks quite tidy, which is just as well, because Liz turned up.

We started off making the first dough for my fruit bread and she gave me several valuable hints for the first kneading, and then we put it into a basin to proof while we had a nice cold drink.

After the drink I mixed the fruit for the filling but Liz thinks that I’m putting too much fruit and nuts in it – and she would leave out the banana too. As for the banana chips she thinks that I should be breaking them up.

Liz showed me her method of adding the fruit and nuts, which might have worked had I not been using so many.

That was the cue to go for a coffee so we walked down to La Rafale, bumping into one of our neighbours on the way. And also meeting another one at the bar.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back we came via the Rue du Nord and I’m pleased to report that the absence of boats out to sea over the last couple of days must have been an aberration because they were all there today.

As many yachts as you might care to see this afternoon and I suspect that it might have something to do with the state of the tide. The tide is well in, the outer port is under water and the gates to the harbour and the port de plaisance are open.

It will be a completely different situation, I suspect, when the tide is ebbing and the gates are about to close. Then all of the marine craft will scuttle off home to safety.

Incidentally, there’s a dark blue flag right out there in the distance. I wonder if that’s Black Mamba gone off for a run around in the bay.

swimmer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just water craft that were out there this lunchtime.

There was a swimmer down there doing the Australian crawl along the coastline just offshore. In a wetsuit too, and I can’t say that I blame him either because although it was sunny, it wasn’t actually all that pleasant.

Now comes the story of a disaster. Liz hadn’t asked me how I baked my bread and I hadn’t thought to tell her, so when I produced the bread mould back home she was taken by surprise.

The bread fell apart as we tried to move it gently into the mould so that didn’t work too well. Anyway we put it in the oven to bake while we had lunch.

After lunch, our next trick was to make a pineapple upside-down cake. I don’t know why but I’ve been hankering after one of these for a while and Liz had a recipe. Well, of an apple upside-down cake but the theory is still the same so we had a go at that.

That went into the oven and while it was baking, Liz still had some time to spare. A while back she had sent me a recipe for cranberry and pecan cookies and as I actually had some cranberries (but cashew nuts instead) we made a pile of those too. They went into the oven as soon as the upside-down cake was baked, and we went for a walk outside.

50sa aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe hadn’t gone more than five yards out of the building before two things happened.

Firstly, we were overflown by a light aeroplane. Well, not exactly overflown – it was in fact right out at sea and it was difficult to pick it up with the camera.

Some judicious editing when I was back home later showed it to be 50SA – another light aircraft that does not figure in any register that I have been unable to find, even though we’ve seen it before. It’s painted out in the style of a World-War II US Army Air Force fighter although its fixed tricycle undercarriage tells me that it is anything but.

The second thing that happened was that we were swept away in the turmoil of a furniture removal. Someone else is moving out of the building. There won’t be anyone else left except me at this rate, and I won’t be here for all that long at the rate that bits are dropping off me.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo walk outside the building these days is complete, or even begins, without a walk across to the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see the activity down there.

By now the tide has gone well out and there’s plenty of room for people to be moving around this afternoon. Not that there were too many people though because while the weather had improved, it hadn’t improved that much.

nd while I was admiring the people in the water, Liz’s eye had picked out a father rubbing his young children with sun tan oil so that they could all run into the sea and wash it off.

Yes, I used to be a child too, believe it or not.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been watching the beach with one eye, the other one had as usual been roving out to sea.

Out there was a silhouette on the horizon that looked quite familiar to me so we headed for the nearest high ground where I could have a better view.

Once safely installed I took a photo and later on after Liz had left, I had a look at it, cropped it, enhanced it and blew it up (the photo, not the object)

No prizes of course for guessing what it might be, because we are all familiar with this silhouette right now.

Anything that’s big, with three masts and loads of sail can only be the Marité, our sole remaining Newfoundlander fishing boat, gone out on the morning tide for a lap around the coast and will probably return home this later on the evening tide.

people in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLiz had also spotted this and wanted to know what it was. I explained that it was probably asylum-seekers who had gone to the UK, decided that they didn’t like it and came back.

Seriously though, I thought that it might have been fishermen at first, which it may well be, but of what description?

And I wonder if they had anything to do with the strange square object bottom left? It doesn’t look like a mooring buoy marker or a lobster pot marker, so I wonder if it’s a diver in a face mask?

Mind you, what would be be diving for that he couldn’t find quicker and easier in an hour or so when the tide has gome out and the sea bed is uncovered?

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw the swimming pool on the quayside and I intimated that this would mean that Normandy Trader would be on her way into port quite soon.

And look who’s in port this afternoon then? I wasn’t wrong. And I was very lucky to see her because usually she comes in as soon as the harbour gates open and she does a quick turn-round and disappears back to Jersey with her load before they close again.

And so I’ve no idea why she’s loitering in port this afternoon. I suppose that these swimming pools have to be stowed very carefully because they are quite fragile, especially when they have a rolling sea to contend with.

Tons of other stuff on the quayside too and they’ll be lucky to fit all of that in. They can’t exactly drop it inside the swimming pool.

fishing boat in naabsa position port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut in the meantime, while you are admiring Normandy Trader, there’s another item worthy of note.

Here moored up at the quayside by the fish processing plant is another one of the local fishing boats, left to go aground as the tide goes out.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve discussed this phenomenon on many … “many, many” – ed … occasions in the past so I shan’t dwell on it again. Instead, Liz and I will go home and see how the biscuits are doing.

And cooked to perfection they were too, so we had another cold drink to celebrate, and rightly so because when you are out of the wind it’s really quite warm in the sun.

After another chat, Liz decided to head off for home and make tea for Terry who had been out working.

That was a shame because I had a few things that I wanted to discuss, but they were things of the moment and it’s doubtful that the moment will ever present itself in the same way again.

home made fruit bread oat and cranberry cookies pineapple upside down cake Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving seen Liz safely off on her way, I had a look at all of our cooking efforts for today.

As I mentioned earlier, the fruit load was not as it was supposed to be. The consistency and texture were perfect – the best that I’ve ever tasted and that was certainly a success. But picking it up and putting it into the bread mould halfway through its second proofing was not a success as you can see.

We’d already sampled the cookies and I do have to say that they were pretty good too. That was certainly a success and instead of cranberries and pecans, almost any kind of dried fruit and nut will do.

It’s like most things, when you are baking, you have your basic recipe and you adjust it as you go along, depending on what you have to hand.

When I worked in that Italian restaurant in Wandsworth, the woman who owned it told me that whenever she interviewed a new chef she would always have him make a tomato sauce. If that were good, then everything else would be.

Incidentally, my tomato sauce passed muster, but then Nerina was full of fiery Italian blood so what do you expect? I had a good teacher.

Back in my little office I sat down on my comfy chair and found that I couldn’t move. Not actually stuck in it, but I lacked the energy to pull myself out of it. I started to do some work but I couldn’t concentrate on it and that was the most difficult part.

Eventually a football match came on the internet. Connah’s Quay Nomads were playing FC Pristina in the European Championships. Having lost 4-1 in Kosovo last week they were up against it but it all started so well for them and within 3 minutes they had pulled a goal back.

They were pushing forward and forward incessantly and could have had several more but in the space of five minutes were hit for two soft, sucker goals, the kind that would kill off any team.

Nevertheless, Andy Morrison isn’t one to throw in the towel. He pulled off a defender at half time and sent on an attacker and then it was a relentless stream down the field towards the Pristina goal.

To everyone’s surprise, they managed to score three goals as they created all kinds of panic in the Kosovar defence, and had Mike Wilde not been offside in the 70th minute or had Jamie Insall had a clearer connection on the ball in stoppage time, who knows where they would be now?

But this is the problem with so many Welsh clubs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They are up against teams that are much more street-wise and astute than they are, with several internationals from all over the developing world in their teams, and while domestic Welsh teams can turn on a performance like this, little lapses of concentration and stupid, silly mistakes are ruthlessly punished and rob them of just about everything.

Meanwhile, in the other match that wasn’t broadcast, events went on to prove just how wrong I can be. Having stuffed no fewer than 5 goals past FK Kauno Zalgiris of Lithuania last week, TNS went out and did exactly the same again tonight, to record the biggest ever aggregate win by a Welsh domestic side in any European competition anywhere. Teams with a long history in European competition, like Dinamo Tbilsi, Austria Wien and AA Gent were knocked out of the tournament last night.

It was 01:00 when I finally found the energy to go off to bed. And with getting up at 06:00 and going to the doctor’s tomorrow, I’m not looking forward to that at all.

Friday 23rd July 2021 – WHAT HAVE I BEEN …

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… saying for the last few days? That with all of the freight that we ought to be expecting the arrival of one of the little Jersey freighters to take it all away?

And sure enough, look who I saw in port this afternoon? And i was lucky, I can tell you, because as we have seen so often in the past, the boats are so busy that their turn-rounds are so quick these days and I miss them on a regular basis.

Yes, here’s Normandy Trader, the old converted ex-military landing craft having missed the morning’s tide and having to wait until this afternoon and the tide comes in before the harbour gates open and she can clear off back to Jersey.

But seeing Normandy Trader and Thora in the port in the same week is not something that happens all that often these days.

And what else have I been saying quite often just recently about how my regular nocturnal companions seem to have deserted me? Well, look who came back to accompany me last night.

We were off on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again last night and although there were lots more to it than this but where it led up to was that we were all out somewhere ond one of the girls was Pollux so I started to try to talk to her but her mother kept on getting in the way, or different people did. In the end it was time to walk back to where we were going to have our evening meal so we set out back and I went to align myself with Pollux who was now Castor – or was it Castor who was now Pollux (proper Castor and Pollux stuff this, to anyone who worked out the story). We walked back and to start the conversation I ask who were her favourite groups. She told me a few names which I didn’t recognise. When I told her that I didn’t recognise them she laughed and asked where I’d been living for the last so many years. We walked back to this village hall-type place and had to walk up onto the stage where we could wash our hands and so on. She disappeared off behind the scene backcloth, I imagined to put on a special kind of dress so I forestalled – that was the favourite word of Peary, the Arctic explorer by the way – her by going round the other side and grabbing 2 seats, sitting on one and saying that the other one was taken. Pollux turned up and I beckoned her over and said “here, I’ve saved a seat for you”. She replied “that’s fine, thanks, but do you mind if I sit next to my mother?”. I had a look round and found that I was sitting right next to her mother and I thought “ohh dear! Right! Ok!” So I moved up one seat and she slid in. Of course she was still next to me but she was next to her mother as well and then I tried to start off some kind of conversation with her.

But it’s interesting that I was spending so much time with Pollux and not with Castor. There has to be a story behind that and I wish I knew what it was. And I wish that I knew how the story ended.

But it’s quite a throwback to the days of my youth when I had my long hair, my leather jacket and either my Ariel 250 or later on, my AJS 650. I might have been popular with one or two girls (not all that many) but certainly not with their mothers.

I remember once lying in wait for a girl in Nantwich on Saturday morning and her mother, who knew my family well, saw me waiting and steered her up a side street out of my path.

That was the story of my life with mothers, and it’s interesting to see it emerging out of nowhere in this instance.

But meanwhile, back to the plot.

This is my last day of staying in bed until 08:00. And so I celebrated by having a really bad night’s sleep where I awoke early on in the night and couldn’t go back to sleep.

After the meds I came back to listen to the dictaphone and I must have gone to sleep at some point because my story about Castor and Pollux was there.

Then I went to print out the noted for today – 22 of them. And in trying to be ready early, the printer ran out of yellow ink and it took me ages to fit a new cartridge and make it work.

And then a few minutes later the black one ran out, so in desperation I ran it all in blue ink.

With my hot chocolate (made with real chocolate of course) and home-made fruit bread and went 5 minutes early for my Welsh lesson – last day of our Summer School. And if to confound absolutely everything, the tutor forgot me and didn’t let me in until 5 minutes after the lesson had started.

And if you thought that we had belted on at 100mph on each of the last 4 days, that had nothing on how we moved today. I don’t think that we stopped to draw breath. And it’s the only time that ever I’ve used more than 4 pages of notebook of vocabulary. When I’d finished I had to come in here and sit in the shade and talk to a friend of mine on the internet for a while.

Eventually I plucked up the energy to go off outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo buses or coaches parked on our kerb today, so I wandered off across the car park and looked over the wall to see what was going on down below on the beach.

And to my surprise, while there was much more beach to be on today, such are the benefits of going out 2 hours earlier, there were far, far fewer people down there on it than there have been over the past few days.

It beats me where everyone had gone to, that’s for sure. While the day had clouded over and the wind had got up (in fact at one stage earlier in the day it blew open the bedroom window and blew the clothes drier all over the floor) it wasn’t cold by any means.

We’re well into the holiday season too. There should be so many people about that it would be impossible to move. But not that I’m complaining. The fewer tourists bringing their viruses here the better from my point of view

fishing boat towing dinghy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd of course, while I had one eye scanning the beach, the other eye was scanning out to sea to see what I could see out there this afternoon.

Plenty of movement going on out there, including something quite bizarre out there close to the Ile de Chausey, so I took a photo of it with the idea of cropping it out, enhancing it and bowing it up (the photo, not the object) when I returned home.

Sure enough, it seems to be one of the smaller fishing boats on its way back to port this afternoon, but towing behind it a little dinghy.

They probably work the Ile de Chausey and the smaller boat is for getting in between the rocks. We saw what they were like last year when we were out there last year on our week away from home on Spirit of Conrad

men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt goes without saying that there have to be some fishermen around here doing something or other offshore.

These guys are just offshore by one of the coastal marker lights having a go at trying to catch something.

And as I watched, for all of five minutes or so, no-one pulled anything at all out of the water. No fish and nothing else either which is no surprise because whatever else out there will have been picked up by beachcombers when the tide goes out.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd even as we spoke, we had someone else come to join us.

Not La Granvillaise – I don’t know where she has got to today, but Joly France, one of the ferries that runs out to the Ile de Chausey.

And with me having talked about it so often in the past, regular readers of this rubbish will recall quite easily which one of the ferries this is from this angle.

No step in the stern, windows rectangular in the “landscape” format – it can only be the the older one of the two going out to bring home a load of day-trippers

yacht fishing boat towing dinghy speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, in other news, things are developing quite quickly and quite dramatically out at sea.

We’re heading for a traffic jam or a collision here right now. There aren’t as many water craft out there today as there have been just recently but these three here look as if they are heading for disaster nevertheless.

There has to be a yacht picture though, doesn’t there? There wasn’t one just offshore at the Rue du Nord as there had been at the start of the week, so I reckoned that I’d take a photo of this one, but I never ever expected to have it as exciting as this.

But luckily everyone missed everyone else and they all continued safe and sound on their way.

And so did I too. I walked around the path and across the car park down to the rocks at the end but, surprisingly there was no-one fishing down there either today, so I cleared off along the coastal path.

chausiaise entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I rounded the corner I just about managed to catch the rear end of Chausiaise disappearing into the inner harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall who she is but for the benefit of everyone else, she’s a barge, I suppose, owned by the people who run the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

With so many holidaymakers heading out there, the transport of their luggage and supplies for their stay on the island was becoming quite problematic on the ferries so the company bought the barge to transport the freight.

We saw her loading up the other day at the quayside near the harbour gate. She’s fitted with a nice big crane for that purpose as there are no unloading facilities on the island.

yacht rebelle trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now my walk has taken me round to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval, and it looks as if there is plenty of excitement going on down there this afternoon.

With the trawler L’Alize III going back into the water the other day, they now seem to have moved the yacht Rebelle into the place that she occupied. The portable boat lift was just dropping her into position as I walked past.

So I wonder if that means we’re going to be having another arrival pretty soon who will occupy that place, or does it mean that we aren’t expecting anything in in the near future to occupy the other spaces here.

But one thing is quite clear. When one of the guys told me that she would be “back in the water soon”, he was clearly talking in geological terms.

fishing boat pulling dinghy into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I was ready to go home, but not before I’d taken another photo.

The fishing boat and little dinghy that had been dogging my path all afternoon was just now coming (undamaged) into the harbour as I walked by.

And it looks as if it’s quite busy down there with endless streams of people leaving port on all kinds of water craft. But our fishing boat will be going to moor at the fish processing plant and unload its catch.

And me? Back at the apartment it was finally warm enough for me to have a strawberry smoothie instead of a coffee, and I came in here to finish my chat.

One thing led to another, as it often does and I ended up not only missing my guitar practice but my tea as well, which was just as well because I didn’t know what to eat.

But now I’m off to bed. Back to the early starts tomorrow and shopping as well – all three of my shops because there’s nothing in the house today.

The question is – will I last the pace?

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall that another recurring theme that runs through these pages with monotonous regularity is the shameful state of the medieval city walls here.

As you know, there was an initiate 2 years ago to restore part of them in the Rue des Juifs and they did a good job but while they were doing that, more and more of the city walls were being cordoned off as being unsafe for the general public.

more city walls closed to public place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA year or two ago they cordoned off part of the city walls in the Place du Marché Aux Chevaux and as I went past there today, they had closed off yet more of it by order of the mayor.

Much as I despise tourists … “surely not! Perish the thought!” – ed … there’s no doubt that they bring a lot of money into the town and help provide all of the activities and amenities that we have here. One of the things that they come to see is the medieval walled city, but at this rate there won’t be much of a walled city left.

The shame about this is that the Council seems to be showing not the slightest sense of urgency of dealing with this issue and the city walls are crumbling all around them. There’s history going back 600 years and they have a duty to protect it, not to let it rot away like this.

stairs removed to square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers saw the other day that in the Square Potel we saw a mini-differ that had brought down the condemned staircase that led down from the city walls and I mentioned that it was about time that something was done to make all of this area safe too.

But by the looks of things, the digger has cleared off too. The stairs are down and the ground underneath has been tidied but that looks as if it’s going to be our lot for the near future.

But it really is appalling, all of this. There was a campaign, as I have mentioned previously, when the previous mayor was in office to denounce her for the state that the place was getting into. But now there’s a new mayor, I wonder what the people who ran this campaign are saying now.

Today has been something of a depressing day, in case you haven’t already guessed from my first couple of paragraphs.

As usual, I was out of bed bang on the first alarm at 06:00 even though I didn’t feel like it, not having gone to bed until 00:30 this morning.

First task after my medication was to deal with some outstanding correspondence that has built up just recently. And as the regular readers of this rubbish have stopped writing to me, there wasn’t anything to send to them. But a couple of the mails were really quite important and we’ll see how they develop.

Then for a few hours I’ve been musicking. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve been digitalising my record collection and today while searching around I came across some more stuff that relates to albums that I own so I was working on that.

Another thing that I did was to record a cassette tape onto the dictaphone to see how that would work. And that, dear reader, was a dismal failure. The sound levels are all over the place and had “clipped” so lowering the recording level after the event was no good. It all ended up filed under CS.

There are a couple of dictaphones around here so I’m going to see if I can find one with a manual recording level rather than an automatic level, and see what good that might do. I’m not beaten yet. Ohhh no!

The rest of the morning was spent dealing with the photos from August 2019 and I’m now back in Montana on my way to Winnipeg. And just as I was about to back up my work and go to lunch we had a power cut and it wiped it all out.

After lunch I started to try to restore everything and by the time that it was walkies I was a long way from finishing it.

fishing boat yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I trotted into the wild blue yonder and down to the wall to look out to sea to see what was going on out there today.

Out there in the Bay of Granville there’s some activity going on. Out there today we have a fishing boat that I don’t actually think is fishing right now. It looks as if it’s heading back into harbour.

Behind it is some kind of yacht, right out near the Ile de Chausey. It’s far too far away for me to be able to read its name and head-on to the camera like she is right now, I can’t actually pick up any clues from her hull lay-out either.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here, I had a look down onto the beach to see if there was anything exciting happening.

Again, there isn’t all that much beach to be on but nevertheless, there are a couple of ^people down there sitting around on a rock. And rather them than me because it’s not exactly what I would call a warm summer day. Far from it in fact.

And you are probably noticing that today’s photo of the beach is taken frol a different perspective from the usual photographs. Instead of going around the headland this afternoon, I’ve gone off for walk around what remains of the city walls that hasn’t crumbled away.

objects swimming in water plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut there near to the Plat Gousset there was something really strange going on this afternoon.

Whatever they are supposed to be, I really have no idea but they are animate objects swimming against the tide and current. They might be humans, they might be mammals or anything at all but I really can’t identify them well enough.

But here’s something interesting. It’s down this path that I used to go running back in the good old days. And as there was no-one around, I actually did break into a run. I only covered about 100 metres which is nothing like enough or anything like as much as I used to do, but it was a start and it astonished me that I could even run that much after what I’ve been through.

lifeguard watching man entering water by diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a viewpoint along the path where I can stop and look out over the Plat Gousset to se what’s going on down there.

And despite it being a wintry day, nothing like summer at all, we actually have a lifeguard on duty there this afternoon, presumably with thermal blankets and mugs of hot soup and other artefacts and devices for treating frostbite.

There’s a guy down there who’s going off to test the water, but I imagine that he’s pretty safe. He’s not actually dressed for going swimming.

And in this photo you can see that the diving platform has been erected on top of the concrete pillar.

people swimming in water plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat guy might not have been dressed for swimming but these two people are, and don’t they know it?

There’s a couple down there in the water cavorting about and they are certainly braver men than I am, Gungha Din because not even Kate Bush and Jenny Agutter in skimpy bikinis would entice me into the water this afternoon in weather like we are having right now.

For a few minutes, I stood there and watched them fooling around and then I wandered off down the path to carry on with the rest of my walk. There were too many people about for me to break into a run. I don’t want to show myself up. I can do that without breaking into a run

seagull chick flapping its wings rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I reached the Square Maurice Marland there were still too many people around for me to start running, so I walked over to the edge of the path where I can look at the seagull chicks on the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs.

And it looks as if there are plenty of things happening right now. A few of them were flapping their wings and taking their first steps towards some kind of flight, like this one here and his sibling who were really making a valiant attempt to get off the ground.

It won’t be long until this new generation of seagulls will be flying around the town. And as an aside, any visitor to Granville is advised to bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

digger and lorry rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut of the Square Maurice Marland I found myself in the Rue Lecarpentier.

There’s some excitement going on there today as well because we have a lorry and a digger. They aren’t actually doing anything except blocking the street, because this is a cul-de-sac for vehicles and those stuck down at the bottom end were I am can’t move away until the lorry clears off.

Incidentally, there’s an interesting story told about one of the houses here. It’s actually facing into the street but it’s been turned round in effect so that the front entrance is through the garden at the back, off the Rue Notre Dame.

The story is that the owner of the house had an argument with the descendants of the person after whom the street is named, so he changed the layout of his house round so that its address was no longer “Rue Lecarpentier” but “Rue Notre Dame”.

thora normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day, the swimming pool on the quayside suggested to me that Normandy Trader would be in port pretty soon.

Well, I wasn’t wrong, was I? She seems to have come in on the morning tide and brought her friend Thora with her as well.

What with all of the changes that have been going on as a result of Brexit, and one or two as a result of Covid, we have had weeks when we haven’t even seen one of the little Channel Island freighters, never mind both of them. and so we really are lucky to see both of them in port together like this.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe boat that’s underneath the loading crane is Thora.

She was built in the Faroe islands in 1975 and was the fifth of the ferry boats ordered by the Shetland Islands Council when they began to run the ferries between the mainland of Shetland and the outlying islands.

She was one of the two ships that operated the ferry service across Yell Sound but that was a route that was only really busy in the summer so for much of the time she was either laid up or else operated as the relief vessel for the other runs.

She was laid up in 2006 when a new ship arrived to relieve her.

She first appeared here two or three years ago and looked quite smart at the time but the sea and the sinds that we have around here have given her quite a battering.

She’s used occasionally as a car ferry and regular readers of this rubbish will have seen cars lifted off her deck by the crane.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe ship to the right is the Normandy Trader She’s a converted landing craft – an ex-military machine apparently, designed for transporting tanks and that kind of thing.

And apart from the fact that she’s 27 metres long, I’ve not been able to find out very much else about her.

But you can see the swimming pool. That was what gave the game away. I know that she has the contract with a certain manufacturer for moving the swimming pools to their new clients in the Channel Islands, so when I saw one on the quayside on returning from Leuven, I guessed that the boat will be in port quite soon.

After all, they aren’t going to leave them lying around for too long.

patrol boat baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was watching the two little freighters, there was some activity going on close inshore in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw an official-looking boat passing by the entrance to the harbour towing a little boat behind her. And here she is again, or at least, one very much like her.

There’s no possibility of reading her name from here which is a shame. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen one boat very much like her, Les Epiettes when we were on the Ile de Chausey last year and they are some kind of patrol boat. Bit I’ve no idea what they are supposed to be patrolling.

fishing boats fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey won’t be patrolling the fisheries right now because by the looks of things the boats are coming in with their catch.

There are quite a few boats down there today, and if you look at the back of the queue you’ll see the boat that we saw as we set out on our journey. I was right when I said that she seemed to be on her way into port.

You can see the layout of the wharf here. The bigger loads of seafood are lifted up my the little cranes that you can see here and are whisked away by fork-lift truck into the plant for processing.

But you’ll notice the ramp that goes down and underneath where the people are working. Several of the smaller boats are chartered by fish shops, restaurants and the like. Their vehicles can drive down there underneath and the crew of “their” boats can pass the catch to them to be taken away

fishing boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot all of the fishing boats are in by the look of things.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the activity that has been taking place in the Baie de Mont St Michel. We have another two boats out there fishing even as we speak I don’t know who they are though unfortunately.

Anyway, I’ve done enough right now so I’m heading off home for a hot coffee and to carry on with recovering some of the stuff from when the power went. I never had this problem with laptops.

By 18:00 I’d done all that I could so I had a play with the bass guitar, writing out the notes for one of the songs that I need to learn. This is going to be a very long series of sessions

Tea was a curry from the freezer followed by more apple pie, which really is good. And now I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow and there’s quite a list. I need to organise myself for that. I wonder how I’ll get on up the hill?

Wednesday 2nd June 2021 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… bad day today and I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it.

As I mentioned last night, I was going to have a good lie-in this morning. However 07:15 is not what I call a good lie in at all. And leaving my bed at 07:30 because I couldn’t go back to sleep was extremely disappointing.

These days it takes me ages to sort out the medication. There’s just so much of it right now. I mentioned earlier that if I move too fast I’ll rattle. But moving fast is not something about which I’ll have to worry these days.

Anyway, once the medication was done, I came in here and started work. I dictated all three sets of notes. Not very well – a couple of them were a right mess. But by the time that it was lunchtime I’d edited one of them, chopped it about and assembled it all together. I’d even worked out the length of the final track and selected one that would do the job.

There’s no bread in the house so I had a couple of wraps with my salad in. They were nice. But while I’m on the subject of bread, I think that the sourdough has died while I was away. The flour and water is separating out. No chance of making a sourdough fruit loaf right now. But tomorrow I might make a loaf and make some fruit bread with yeast.

After lunch I came back in here to carry on with the other 2 radio programmes but, as you might expect, I crashed out completely. I was well away with the fairies too and didn’t come back round again until about 15:45. As a result I was quite late in going out for my afternoon walk.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOutside I went to have a look out to sea to see what was going on. And I wasn’t disappointed, as there was a trawler coming home.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that fishing has been a very topical point of discussion this last few months with the problems that have arisen with the British Government unilaterally revoking the Treat of the Bay of Granville of 1843.

But some kind of agreement has been reached because the local boats are still going out there. Here is one on its way back from the fishing grounds out there. It’s too far out for me to see if it has the usual crowd of seagulls hovering around it. That is usually a sign that there has been a good catch.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thig that I usually do when I go out is to look down onto the beach at the Rue du Nord to see what’s happening down there.

And I had a really good look down there but I couldn’t see a soul this afternoon. And that’s not a surprise because the weather today has changed dramatically. The wind that has been conspicuous by its absence since I came back from Leuven has now come back as well, the sky was overcast and cloudy, and the temperature has dropped about 6 degrees from yesterday.

In the circumstances it’s hardly a surprise that there was no-one about this afternoon down on the beach. I wouldn’t really want to be down there in this weather either.

gate in medieval city walls Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is a view that I can’t remember featuring in any previous posting, so I’m including it in here.

You probably noticed that we had a different viewpoint of the beach today. That’s because, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m going the other way today – around the path underneath the city walls. In the Rue du Nord there’s an old gateway that leads to the footpath down there and this is where I used to go a-running.

It was probably an old sally-port where the defenders can make a counter-attack against anyone besieging the walls. There’s no actual gate there now though.

You can see what would happen to any attackers trying to batter down the door. Because the door is at right-angles to the walls, anyone trying to batter down the door would be right underneath the wall where the defenders could drop objects and boiling oil and that kind of thing on them.

diving platform tidal swimming pool beach cabins plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further along is the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset where we can look down on the beach and see how the preparations for the summer season are advancing

In the foreground, we can see that the crown has been put back on top of the pillar to make the diving platform where the kids can jump off or dive off. In the middle distance, the tidal swimming pool is looking really good too. They cleared that out last year, and earlier this year they carried out some more work on it.

In the background on the promenade of the Plat Gousset are the changing cabins. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw them arriving on the back of a Council lorry the other day while we were on our way to the railway station.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further on is a better viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset where we can have a better view down there.

There were a few people down there on the beach, huddled up against the sea wall out of the wind. They don’t actually look very comfortable down there. There are even a few people drying themselves off with towels as if they have just come out of the sea after a swim. And they are certainly braver than I am. There is no chance of me going in the water in this kind of weather.

You’ll also notice someone in a wheelchair on the Plat Gousset. There’s a big white building on the seafront just down there that at one time was a hotel but is now a Rehabilitation Centre for people to go who have had a serious illness and injury.

mother seagull with chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAwwwwww. Now look at this!

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last year we spent a very pleasant early summer watching seagull eggs hatch and the chicks growing up and learning to fly. So after I’d been to look down at the Plat Gousset I came across the Square Maurice Marland to go and have a look on the roofs in the Rue des Juifs to see what we have this year.

And sure enough, here’s a mummy seagull perched upon her nest down there on that roof, and she has at least two little baby chicks in her care. They look so cute, don’t they, with their lovely camouflage colouring.

mother seagull with chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here I had a look at the other roofs in the area to see what was going on on there, and I could see plenty of activity.

Here’s another very proud seagull mummy, and she has a couple of little chicks in her care. In fact I lost count of how many seagull babies I could see all over the roofs of the Rue des Juifs.

But I had other things to do rather than study baby seagulls. I’d come this way round today on an errand and I’d not had much luck yet. So dodging the people around here who weren’t wearing their masks as they are legally obliged to until the 9th of June, I carried on along the Square and then out into the street.

harbour crane loading normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a viewpoint just a little farther on where we can look down onto the port to see what was going on down there, so I headed off that way for a peek.

And we can see here that one of our old friends is down there in the port. Normandy Trader, one of the little freighters that runs the shuttle between here and Granville, is moored up in the loading bay and we can see the big crane loading the empty crates into the ship.

Those crates usually contain the shellfish from the Jersey Seafarers Co-operative but I didn’t think that she was bringing any shellfish over from Jersey due to the issues about which I spoke a little earlier. Unless of course they are empty crates that have been hanging around here since before the troubles started.

chez maguie bar ephemere place pleville le pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom that viewpoint there is a view all along the Rue du Port and down into the Place Pleville le Pelley.

The other day I mentioned the bar ephemere Chez Maguie. It’s stored in a shipping container that is delivered here at the end of May and set up here ready for the tourist season. Despite the unfortunate weather today, there were still plenty of people down there having a drink. And good luck to them too.

From there I threaded my way through the alleyways into the Rue Notre Dame. No sign of Minette, the old long-haired black cat who hangs around here on occasion and lets me stroke her, or any other cat either. Since Gribouille the big ginger cat moved away, there is definitely a shortage of cats in my life.

roadworks rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhat I was actually looking for by coming this way was where they were carrying out all of the roadworks for which they have set up the builders’ compound across the road from me.

And no prizes for guessing where it might be. I’m not sure how long they have been working on the Rue St Michel but they seem to be still far from finishing it. Part of the road is still fenced off and dug up.

But the huge pile of gravel there , which is what they must have been shifting in the dumper the other day, seems to indicate that they might be starting to fill the hole in some time soon. But then, judging by all the painted marks that were on the road surface before they dug it up, someone else will come along and take it all out again.

roadworks allee saint michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a short cut down to the walls. It’s called the Allee de Saint Michel and goes across the bottom of the Rue St Michel.

That was the way that I was planning to go but I ruled that out of the equation. As you can see, they’ve made even more of a mess of that alley than they have of the Rue Cambernon and the Rue St Michel.

But with nothing else going on out there I headed off around the walls and back to the apartment for a nice hot coffee. No cold drink this afternoon.

By the time that I knocked off work I’d finished the second week of radio programmes as far as I could. All ten tracks and the speech all coupled up together and the final 11th track chosen. It’s just a shame that I fell asleep today and couldn’t manage to do the third.

The guitar practice went okay although I’ve discovered that I’ve lost my voice and some of my co-ordination. I suppose being away for 2 weeks has had something to do with that. I’ll have to work out a way to take a guitar with me.

For tea, I had a burger on a bap with baked potatoes and veg, followed by the last of the chocolate cake. I shall have to do some baking tomorrow, I reckon.

But now I’m off to bed. It’s late and I’m going to have an alarm call in the morning. It seems that having a lie-in makes no difference at all, except to make the day even shorter than it already is.

Tuesday 20th April 2021 – IF THIS POSTING …

… finishes rather abruptly, what has happened is that the football has finished and I’ve gone straight to bed.

As I’m typing this out on the portable travelling laptop I’m actually watching the football tonight on the big office machine. Connah’s Quay Nomads v Bala Town in the Welsh Premier League – an important match that Connah’s Quay must absolutely win.

And as soon as it’s over I’m off to bed. The alarms are set for … gulp … 04:30 in the morning and I’m not looking forward to that at all.

This morning I was up once more for the first alarm and after the medication I had a few things to do, amongst which was to sort out my papers that are getting into a mess.

Armed with a mug of coffee I attacked the Welsh revision for a couple of hours – a spell of concentration that totally surprised me.

With my hot chocolate and last slice of sourdough fruit loaf I went for my lesson. To my surprise it all went rather well although I’m still struggling to get to grips with the basics. I’m going to have to go back to the beginning and start again, I reckon.

It’s quite strange really. I can remember some surprising things but I’m totally at sea with some of the easy stuff.

After lunch and a little … errr … relax I spent a little time editing the photos from August 2019 and Wyoming, and then went for my afternoon walk, rather later than usual.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, I strolled off down to the edge of the car park to look down over the wall towards the beach so that I could see what was going on down there.

There weren’t so many people down there today, something that probably bears some relationship to the fact that it’s a weekday today.

Had it been weekend there would have been hordes of people down there because we were having one of the nicest days of the year so far. There wasn’t very much wind to talk about today and with few clouds in the sky it was quite warm outside, compared to how it has been for the last few days.

council worker working on lawn pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was some excitement going on along the path towards the lighthouse too this afternoon as I strolled over that way.

It seems that the local council is doing its stuff this afternoon, with someone out there attending to the vegetation (I’m not sure why I almost typed “devastation” there – a Freudian slip perhaps?). He was cutting off the old dead branches from the bushes and throwing them into the back of his pick-up.

As I went past he stepped into the cab and set off to drive, almost squidging me underneath his wheels. Obviously my fame has spread to this neck of the woods. And when I mentioned to a friend that I had almost been squidged by a motor vehicle she expressed her regret.

fisherman in cabin cruiser pointe du roc baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve been having another encounter with the local fishermen again this afternoon.

From the lawn and underneath the wheels of the pickup I followed the crowds, walking along the path and across the car park to the end of the headland to see what there was going out in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And right inshore close to the headland was this little cabin cruiser going past my viewpoint. It wasn’t difficult to guess what they were up to. The fishing net standing upright in the stern gave away the game.

But what was interesting me was whereabouts they were actually going to fish. They don’t seem to have too much luck too close to shore, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther out to sea in the Baie de Mont St Michel they seem to be having more luck.

Every now and again the fishing boats from the port put in an appearance in the bay and regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last week they were out there in force. They all disappeared when that military vessel put in an appearance, but now that’s gone the boats are back there again.

There’s one of them there that I could see, and there may have been more. But there was so much haze on the water this afternoon that I couldn’t see very much and very far. The whole of the Brittany coast was shrouded in the stuff this afternoon.

joly france chausiais ferry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s jackpot over at the ferry port this afternoon.

Over the last few days we’ve been seeing various combinations of Joly France boats and the little freighter Chausiais moored over at the ferry terminal, but today we have the lot. All three of them are over there today moored at the terminal so that must mean that they are quite busy.

What wasn’t very busy though was the chantier navale. There were just the two – Aztec Lady and Anakena remaining from the rush over the last couple of weeks but no-one else had come in to join them over the last 24 hours.

men dragging boat across mud fishing boats grounded out port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe haven’t finished with the excitement in the outer harbour yet. There was plenty more to go at.

For a start, there were those two people down there dragging that little boat out there with them across the mud. They are probably trying to reach one of the boats that’s moored up further out on the harbour where the tide has already reached, and so they’ll need the boat for the final 20 metres or so where the water is too deep to wade.

But they really are making heavy weather of the stretch across the mud though. They would probably be better off carrying it to the water’s edge and then going back for whatever there is in there.

And once more, we have a couple of fishing boats tied up and abandoned at the quay near the Fish Processing Plant. They’ve been there for a few days now showing no sign of moving.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the inner harbour we have one of our regular visitors in there today.

It’s the little Jersey freighter Normandy Trader, come into port to take away a load of supplies. We don’t see too much of her these days because one of the Brexit bonuses is that she’s obliged to go into St Malo to unload the shellfish that she carries for the Jersey Fishermen’s Co-operative.

The shellfish need to have a health certificate before they can be landed and there’s no Health Inspector here in Granville as yet.

There’s no Customs Inspector either for the freight as yet, although there is talk that there might be one in the town pretty soon to deal with the port traffic and the airport landings. Planes from the Channel Islands have to fly elsewhere at the moment where there are customs and immigration facilities.

Back here afterwards I had a shower and shock! Horror! I cut my hair too. I’m actually looking a little more respectable now.

Most of the guitar practice was spent either working out the bass line to “China Grove” or else the chords to Steam’s “Nah Nah Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” and Donnie Elpert’s “Little Piece of Leather” – not usually the kind of song that you would expect, but I have a cunning plan …

For tea I had another helping of curry with rice and veg followed by some apple pie out of the freezer. That took me up to the football.

It was quite a fierce struggle too with the Nomads needing to win. And at half-time with it being a stalemate, Andy Morrison threw caution to the winds, took off a defender and a midfielder and threw on two attackers, changing from a 4-3-2-1 formation to an out-and-out attacking formation.

And later on with the score still 0-0 he took off yet another defender and brought on another attacker.

In the final stages of the game it was all-out attack from the Nomads with big centre-half George Horan playing up front as a striker as well.

And it all paid dividends when with just minutes to go, a shot through a crowded penalty area from a Nomads player took a wicked deflection into the back of the Bala net. And three minutes later as the game was ticking over into injury time George Horan rose highest to a cross into the area to thunder home a powerful header.

So having downloaded onto my memory stick the necessary files that I need to add to the portable laptop, I’m off to bed, fully-clothed, ready for my alarm all at 04:30 and my train at 05:55 if I make it there with this early start.

Thursday 8th April 2021 – TODAY, I’VE HAD …

trawler yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… another one of those nautical days that we have every so often.

There has been so much traffic on the waters today that I’ve really been spoilt for choice when it came to taking photos because I could have taken 100 and still not done justice to everything that was going on out there at sea this afternoon.

When I went out there this afternoon for my little walk around the headland I was overwhelmed by the amount of nautical traffic that was bobbing up and down on the high seas, from the smallest plank-boarders to some of the larger trawlers and freighters that hang around the port.

marite unloading normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just out at sea that we were having all of this excitement.

It was pretty busy in the harbour this morning too. One of or favourite boats, the little Jersey Freighter Normandy Trader has come into port on the overnight tide. She’s now tied up underneath the crane at the loading bay while the personnel of the Chamber of Commerce make ready to unload her.

You can see all of the material on the quayside already. I reckon that this is the load that she has to take back with her to St Helier. And you can see how busy she is with all of that load. No wonder her owners are talking about buying a larger boat

vna pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s not just at sea and in the port that we are extremely busy. Thee was quite a lot going on in the air today too.

The bright sunny weather has certainly brought out the aeroplanes this afternoon, like this one that overflew me as I walked my weary way around the headland. I’ve no idea what it is because I couldn’t see the registration properly. I can see the last three letters – VNA – of its registration.

Although I checked, there was nothing of that registration that had taken off from or landed at Granville Airport this afternoon. It’s probably frustrating me deliberately by not filing a flight plan so people like me can’t identify it.

fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire the picture of the busy port this afternoon with the crowds of boats queueing up and the portable boat lift now tackling Lys Noir, I’ll tell you about my busy morning.

It was rather a late night, although not as late as it has been once or twice, so I was able to leap out of bed with alacrity when the alarm went off.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone notes for the last couple of days seeing as I missed out on doing it yesterday. And if you now look at yesterday’s entry, you’ll see that that is now up-to-date with the entries for yesterday now incorporated. Now that those were out of the way I could turn my attention to last night’s travel.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome people came round to my house, including an old friend of mine so I invited a girl to come along as well. I made all of the arrangements but just at the last moment when I was getting ready to receive my visitors I had a ‘phone call to say that this girl was having to go into work so she wouldn’t be able to come. I had a little morning’s entertainment with these people and just strode out and the followed me. They went their separate ways. I just happened to be walking past their house when a car pulled up and these 3 girls got out. 1 of them said “so-and-so will run you home” referring to her youngest sister. “She knows the trick about the car”. They parked up but then they saw me walking past and asked “Eric, are you coming in?”. I walked up the path towards the door to join them.

having dome that I turned my attention to the photos from August 2019 on my North American Adventure and managed a few of those before it was time for me to go off for my shower.

And having done that, I wandered off out on my way to the shops for my mid-week shopping trip.

pointing rampe de monte à regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me past the top of the Rampe du Monte à Regret where they are using the poor state of the medieval wall as a training ground for young apprentices.

And sure enough, there were about half a dozen there, a few of whom were females, something that is always nice to see. All of them with their trowels and mortar boards doing a nice rightward lead along all of the cracks. It brought back many happy memories of when I was POINTING THE WALLS AT MY HOUSE all those years ago.

having watched them for a while I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … down the steps and on into the town.

roundabout place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it looks as if they are getting ready for the summer season, such as it might be this year, in the town.

The other day when we were around the town we saw the candyfloss and sweet stand that had arrived in the town and was now parked up hear the harbour. Today I noticed that the kiddies’ roundabout has arrived and has now been set up in the Place Charles de Gaulle ready to entertain them for the next few months.

My next port of call was LIDL for the midweek session of my weekly shopping. I didn’t want all that much from there so I ended up with quite a light load. So not to waste the trip I stocked up with some soya milk and some tomato sauce because I can always use that sort of thing and I never seem to have enough.

roadworks road closed rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back home I had to go along the Rue Paul Poirier, and that wasn’t as easy as it might have been.

There were roadworks in the street today and it was closed to all traffic. Not for pedestrians though so I could make my way along there and while I was it it, I could see what they were trying to do.

They had half of the road dug up near the junction with the Rue Etoupefour but as for why, I didn’t have any idea. They were digging a small trench and one of the guys was relaying the cobbles where there is the 5-minute waiting spot, cutting a few of them with his stone cutter to make them fit into their spaces. I suppose we’ll have to wait for a few days after they have cleared off in order to see what they have been doing.

roadworks rue etoupefour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the other end of the street, having pushed my way through the roadworks, I crossed over the road and started to go up the Rue des Juifs where I glanced down at the junction of the Place des Corsaires and the Rue Etoupefour.

There was a man down there with some of the cobbles pulled up, chipping away at them. I’m sure that it can’t be a coincidence with people working like this at both ends of the street . They must be doing some kind of work in common so I suppose we’ll find our about that in due course too.

Anyway I carried on up the Rue des Juifs with my light load hardly impeding me at all. I wasn’t going to say that I ran up the street but it was a good climb up there with hardly a pause for breath.

unloading normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was an occasion to call for a pause halfway up the hill because there was something of interest going on at the docks.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that each of the Jersey freighters, Thora and Normandy Trader has started to carry a couple of small sealed containers, presumably with private freight, and this morning they were unloading one of them from the deck of Normandy Trader and putting it on the quayside ready to be taken away.

That was all of the excitement for the morning. I wandered off home for my hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread and to continue with my photo editing.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to do too many because I crashed out on my chair. And crashed out completely too. I must have been out for about an hour and a half altogether. As a result I had a very late lunch.

After lunch, seeing as it was a nice sunny day with very little wind I went and attacked Caliburn’s door.

Trying to take off the door card was a contortionist’s delight and it took me an absolute age to free it off just so far that I could put my hand inside the door skin. And as for where the spring clip that holds on the window winder went, I have absolutely no idea.

Being able to put my hand inside the door skin was one thing. To actually open the door was something else and my hands ended up black and blue with cuts and bruises but with a great amount of force and inconvenience I finally managed spring the catch and open the door.

With the door open I could re-attach the bits that had fallen off and do the necessary adjustments and now the door will open from the outside as well as the inside. But I’m not putting the door card back on until I’m sure that it works.

seagull place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there working, I was not alone.

Yesterday we saw the seagull on the windowsill of one of the apartments on the other side of the building. And this time the bird is waiting at the correct window – the one where there is the plastic bird model on the inside. And you only have to look at the state of the window to see how often it is that the bird calls there.

But anyway, I went off inside to put away my tools and then came back outside to go for my afternoon walk in the sunshine.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe first thing to do was to go to the wall at the end of the car park to look over the wall to see what was going on down on the beach today.

The tide is quite well in this afternoon so thee wasn’t all that much beach to be on today but even so, there was still enough room for a few people to wander about. These two people were having a pile of fun leaping about from rock to rock down there and they will probably keep on doing it until the tide comes in and cuts off their only means of retreat.

There was no retreat for me today. I was continuing my walk along the path on top of the cliffs. And despite the really nice weather there was hardly anyone else about so I had the place pretty much to myself

autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier I mentioned that there was quite a lot going on in the air and I mentioned the light aeroplane that flew by overhead.

We also had another regular visitor going past me overhead this afternoon someone whom we haven’t seen for quite some time. It’s the old yellow autogyro that we’ve seen in the past on several occasions. We saw a different one, a reddy-orange one, fly past us the other day and it made me wonder when we would be seeing this one again.

She was flying quite high over my head too, much higher than normal and he had a passenger too so they presumably are on one of these sightseeing trips that she does every now and again

The French have a saying jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third”, and that applied to the aircraft that I saw today.

EC-MVE Airbus A320-232 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact they may well have said “thirty-third” because there were so many in the sky this afternoon. Today’s choice of aircraft is an Airbus A320-232 that’s operated by Vueling Airlines, a Spanish low-cost airline and is operating their flight VY7826 /VLG7826 which is the 15:00 from Barcelona heading to Gatwick Airport.

Her registration number is EC-MVE and airframe number 8130 which means that she was built about three or so years ago and supplied new to the airline which means that she was supplied new to the airline in February 2018.

She wet past me over head at about 25,000 feet and 388 knots and had already started her descent down to the Gatwick flight path as I was watching her

chausiais yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have spent a great deal of time discussing Chausiais, the little freighter or barge that runs the freight between the Ile de Chausey and the mainland.

She’s usually been tied up at the ferry port or in the inner harbour but today I’ve actually been lucky enough to catch her on her travels, coming back from the ile de Chausey.

She’s down there now manoeuvring her way between a couple of yachts as she returns to the port after her little run out. I suppose that with all of the tourists and second-home owners being here fleeing the lockdown in Paris, she has plenty of work to do, ferrying the supplies out there to the island.

fishing boats waiting for port de Granville harbour to open Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the end of the headland I followed the rail of yachts Chausiais and all of the fishing boats towards the harbour.

The harbour gates into the inner harbour aren’t open as yet but the time can’t be that far off because the queue of trawlers around them waiting to go in was quite oppressive. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many loitering around the harbour gates. Chausiais had quite a struggle to fight her way into her berth.

Earlier on we saw the portable boat lift wrapping her slings around lys noir but I didn’t hang around long enough to see what they were going to be doing with her. Instead, I carried on along the path.

spirit of conrad charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around on the path above the harbour I’d noticed a sail being erected in the inner harbour. And earlier while I’d been fixing Caliburn’s door, I’d seen my neighbour Pierre who owns Spirit of Conrad in his working clothes leap into his car and drive off.

Putting 2 and 2 together, I assumed that it must be Spirit of Conrad that was having her sail hoisted, and it seems that I was quite right. It looks as if she’s being prepared for the sea again so I wonder where she might be going this time. We had fun on her when we were down the Brittany coast last summer.

Back at the apartment I had a coffee and then finished off the day’s photos from August 2019. I’m now on the Bozeman Trail at the site of the worst humiliation of the US Army at the hands of the native Americans prior to the battle of Little Big Horn where Colonel Fetterman and his entire troop of 79 soldiers and four civilian scouts were cut down by Red Cloud and his Sioux warriors.

Before guitar practice there was time for a little bit of the Central Europe trip and then I absorbed myself in music. And I didn’t really enjoy it al that much tonight. My heart wasn’t in it for some reason and I couldn’t really get going.

Tea was taco rolls and rice and veg, followed by some of my jam roly-poly and coconut dessert.

Tomorrow is going to be a Welsh revision day, I reckon, ready for the restart of my courses. I’m becoming far too rusty. I could do with an early night but I’m not going to get it today, that’s for sure. It’s late so I’m going straight to be. And I’m hoping to have pleasant dreams despite my new evening medicine which somehow has the effect of tranquilising me.

Thursday 4th March 2021 – YOU HAVE TO ADMIT …

high class graffiti rue saint sauveur Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall … that the standard of graffiti that we have around here is far superior to anything that you’ll find anywhere else.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day on our way to the railway station we saw some banners stuck in the windows of a few of the bars and restaurants, made by someone with some kind of skill in calligraphy. It seems that our phantom calligrapher has been out on his travels elsewhere too.

The town is now littered with more of the same kind of notices talking about all kinds of different subjects. I wonder where he’ll be going next.

As for me, I’ll probably be going back to bed next because once again, I’d been up very early. Just after the first alarm again this morning.

Plenty of time to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d killed some woman and I’m not sure how and I’m not sure why. I didn’t admit to it. This woman was a friend of someone who was something of a tough character and he was trying to find out who did it. I was quite confident that I would be particularly safe. He was talking to me one day and the subject of minivans came up in the conversation. He asked me if I knew what a minivan was. Seeing as we were in North America at the time I said that it was something like an F250 or an F350. He immediately said “it’s you, isn’t it? You’re the one who killed these people. I’m going to make you suffer as much as these other people suffered”, grabbed hold of me and went to put me in this car, to take me to pick up the rifle and the books I’d been reading at the time and 1 or 2 other things.

Later on some woman in a block of flats where I was living had had a row with everyone, I don’t know what about but she got into her car and drove it around the car park. She’d bumped into 1 or 2 cars while she was doing it and ended up rolling down the steep bank and ended up with her car in the pond. I’m not sure what else had happened but my yellow estate car MMB was in the pond as well and a couple of motorbikes and so on. I asked my father “what are we doing tomorrow? Do you think we could rescue my car from out of the pond?”. He said “yes, I suppose we could” so I asked “what time? Morning? Lunchtime? Afternoon?” and he didn’t really give me a definite answer. I was just chatting saying “I really hate working in water” which I do. I was loitering around because I was half-expecting someone to come along to call a breakdown truck and winch this woman’s car out of the pond. I was thinking that if they were going to do that I may as well slip them £50 or something and winch MMB out of the pond as well at the same time so I was loitering around waiting for something to happen.

There was plenty of time to have a shower and set the washing machine off on a cycle (a clever washing machine, mine) before I went off out to the shops.

la granvillaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot that I had gone very far before I had to start to brandish the camera about.

Although the harbour gates were closed, there was a big yacht coming sailing into the port. With her sails not being up I didn’t recognise her at first as she was so far out but as she sailed in deeper to the port I could se the number – G90 – painted upon her bow.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recognise her as being La Granvillaise, another one of the charter yachts that plies for hire from the port. And with the harbour gates being closed, I couldn’t work out why she’d come round here right now from her berth in the yacht harbour, although I did have my suspicions.

marite normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was actually quite a lot of activity in the port this morning.

Marité is still in there tied up in her little corner, and while we don’t have a gravel boat (we haven’t seen one of those in here for a good few months) we have Normandy Trader coming to pay us a little visit. She always seems to be here on a Thursday morning.

Once more she’s fully loaded, and I’ve heard a little whisper here and there that her owners are contemplating buying a bigger ship as they are actually having to turn away freight. It’s one of the very few upsides of Brexit that rather than export their goods to the UK and then into mainland Europe, all of the difficulties that this is presenting means that it’s easier for them to send them direct to here first rather than last.

pointing rampe du monte à regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the pointing of the wall on the Rampe du Monte à Regret ground to a halt a few weeks ago and nothing more was done to it since.

Today, the workmen are back and the work has recommenced. They aren’t working particularly fast of course, but the fact that they are here is something.

My walk up to LIDL was quite energetic and while I wasn’t quite at the “invading Poland” speed I made it all the way up the steep bank without stopping for breath and that’s rather better than it has been of late.

At LIDL I loaded up with tons of stuff and had I been able to carry it, I would have come away with more. But I wasn’t going to turn down 3kg of potatoes at just €1:69 even if I have to live on potato curry for the next couple of weeks.

So loaded up like a packhorse I staggered out into the fresh air (because I’ve never seen LIDL as crowded as it was today) and headed for home.

wall prepared for pointing rue des juifs rampe du monte a regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier we’d seen them pointing the wall at the Rampe du Monte à Regret – the face that looks down onto the Place Pelley.

But it looks as if they are going to be doing this face too – the one that looks out onto the Rue des Juifs. That’s all been raked out and cleaned out They’ve left a few weeds growing in there, I have to say, but I imagine that they are hoping that the lime in the mortar will do for them.

That’s horrible, nasty caustic stuff as my hands will testify when I was pointing the wall of my house in the Auvergne.

Back here I had a hot chocolate and came in here to work – but fell asleep. It was a short night, an early start and an exhausting visit to the shops so what do you expect?

For most of the afternoon I’ve been clearing out the back-up drive on which I copied all of the data from every single hard drive or memory stick that wasn’t actually connected to the big machine. Little by little I’ve been eating away at it and now there are just 4 items to examine.

Even more interestingly, there is now 715GB free on it and I need for that to be over 1TB so I can start to back-up onto it from the big computer – although a lot of stuff on the big computer will over-write some of the older stuff.

And talking of older stuff, I’ve been finding files dated 1997 and 1998. It won’t be long before I find the stuff from 1992 when I first bought a PC. Stuff from the 80s when I had the Apple II – I think that Nerina might still have that.

sea fog people on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was the usual break for lunch of course, and also the walk around the headland in the afternoon.

Mind you, I’m not too sure about the walk around the headland because it was another one of those days where had the fog been any thicker, I would have had to grope my way around the path.

It beats me what the matter might be the weather just now. We’re going from gale-force winds to this thick oppressive calm that’s letting the fog bank up against the cliffs here and we can’t se a thing. That might explain why there were so few people out and about on the beaches.

coastal path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe strange thing about this is that around the corner, the fog isn’t anything like as thick.

This is the lower footpath that goes right round the end of the headland and as you can see, that’s comparatively clear. Clear of fog, and clear of people too, which was surprising because up here on top in the car park it was heaving with all kinds of young families going walkabout. No-one braving the lower footpath though.

And nothing to see out to sea either. All of the fishing boats that were going out have gone out and they will be well out to sea by now.

workman painting seafarers' monument pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there’s a seafarers’ monument here on the path – in honour of two crews of lifeboatmen who lost their lives going out to sea to rescue distressed mariners.

All of the writing on the monument is very hard to read as it’s long-since faded away but today we had a guy from the local council with his fine paintbrush and pot of black enamel paint busily painting back into the monument all of the names and the details of the events in which they lost their lives.

It’s about time that they started doing things like this to make the place look as if people live here. Everything has become just a little run-down just recently.

joly france unloading building material port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if that’s not enough to be going on with, I’m not quite sure what all of that is over there.

Joly France is moored up at the ferry terminal. It doesn’t look as if she’ll be going anywhere anytime soon. There’s nothing doing over on the Ile de Chausey right now and while sometimes the ferries will do little trips with tourists all around the bay, there are no tourists particularly right now.

But I’m more interested in the rather large red builders’ bags that are being unloaded over there. They are dropping off a couple of dozen from that lorry and trailer so it looks as if there’s something really serious going to be happening there sometime soon and I wonder what it will be.

charles marie la granvillaise lys noir aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re up here on the cliffs we can look down and see what’s going on in the chantier navale today.

And I was right about my little thought this morning. We’ve yet another change of occupancy down there today. As well as Aztec Lady, Lys Noir and Charles-Marie down there on blocks, La Granvillaise has now come in to join them. That was why she sailed into the outer harbour when the harbour gates were closed – she wasn’t going that way but coming over here for an overhaul.

As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … with no possibility of any yacht charters at the moment the owners may as well take their boats out of the water and have them overhauled ready for whenever the season might start. I shan’t be surprised to see Spirit of Conrad, the boat in which we went down the Brittany coast last summer, in there next for an overhaul.

naabsa trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust now we’d seen Joly France in a NAABSA (Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground) position over at the ferry terminal but here we have a trawler also in a NAABSA position by the firsh processing plant.

And being a catamaran, she is of course even more safely aground than the others.

Back here I had a coffee and some of my vegan coffee cake and then carried on with my work. I’ve done another 20 photos from Greenland 2019 and some more work on the arrears from Central Europe.

All of that took me up to guitar practice time, which passed quite enjoyably this evening.

Tea was a stuffed pepper followed by jam pie ad ice cream, all very nice and delicious.

But now I’ve finished my notes, I’m off to mix some sourdough before I go to bed. I have nothing to eat for my mid-morning breakfast so I reckon that it’s time to make a sourdough fruit loaf. I need some real bread too so if I make that in the morning they’ll both be ready to be baked in time.

No point in having the oven on just for one thing when there are two things to be made.