… people down on the beach this afternoon either.
When I went for my wander around this afternoon (around the medieval city walls rather than around the end of headland) I had a quick glance down onto the beach as usual to see what was happening there.
While it was wrong to say that the place was deserted, we can see that we are coming to the end of the summer season and the crowds are slowly melting away to go back home.
Just two people swimming in the sea here this afternoon as well.
The situation wasn’t all that much better at the beach round at the Plat Gousset.
Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing people packed shoulder-to-shoulder down there a couple of weeks ago. It’s thinned out quite dramatically down there now that we are at late afternoon on the last weekend of August.
But not to worry. Once the brats are back at school we’ll be swamped with all of the retirees in their caranavettes crawling literally like snails with their homes on their backs into every possible (and several impossible, if previous years are anything to go by) spaces and making life quite intolerable.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m a retiree too and anyone reading these notes on a regular basis will think that I’m a miserable old moaning retiree too, but I have a long way to go before I fall into the category of person who drives a caravanette.
So, retournons à nos moutons, I’ll tell you exactly what kind of category I do fall into today. And that is the one that lies abed until almost midday doing absolutely nothing at all.
Going to bed at 02:00 is probably responsible for some of that, but bone idleness is responsible for the rest. But seeing as it’s Sunday and a Day of Rest, ask me if I care.
Once I’d finally seen the light of day I went off for my medication and after that I came back in here for a very leisurely stroll around the information highway before going for food.
Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. Walking around Brussels I met some kind of guy who lived off his wits doing casual work. We’d had a chat and I went off to do what I was going. On the way back I bumped into him again. He was talking to me about a house clearance that he had done, about how it was taking lots of time etc. I was on my way back into the centre and noticed that some property that had been fenced off for years, the fence had come down ready for some developer to start to demolish and redevelop the property. It was in the centre of a railway line with all these bridges and had been closed off for years and now that the fencing had gone you could see that there was all graffiti etc. The way through led to where the dechetterie was so you had to walk across this site through these ruined buildings, climb through a stile at the far end and you’d be on the road where the dechetterie was. That would take you straight into the centre. I set off to walk through these buildings. I saw that there was something that was severely fire-damaged so I went to have a look. It was painted red, black and white, some buildings. Eventually I managed to find a plaque. This was one of Belgium’s oldest football teams that had played here until fire had destroyed their stadium and the club had folded. It looked very much as if they had been sponsored by this paint company whose warehouse had been here, which was what they were planning to demolish. While I was looking around 1 or 2 other people came up to me and started to chat. I wandered away and found myself by a ticket agency where they sold tickets for all kinds of events. I’d talked to a friend a while ago about going to see a concert and I’d have to travel on the train so I’d need rail tickets. The concert tickets weren’t on sale yet but I could see by peering through the window around the blind that was closing it off that there was someone in there so I knocked on the door. She came over, opened the door and started to talk to me.
Later on I was in Paris. There was some kind of lecture or something taking place and some activity going on. All of the students wanted this lecturer to lead it but he wasn’t really all that impressed with the idea. They were trying to persuade him. Then I was in the air looking down on Paris. I could see a car chase taking place. From my vantage point a few hundred feet up I followed this car chase. It ended up going through the Arc de Triomphe, out the other side and onto the Boulevard Haussman. I was able to follow it although I was floating in the air. I gradually came into land. The street was called Rue Fantastique. I vaguely seemed to remember knowing someone so I thought that I’d go for a wander around here in case this was where they lived. As I was wandering around I could hear them on the ‘phone. She was going on saying “yes, I’ve never been out with a songwriter before. It would be really interesting”. What she must have been doing was arranging a date with the songwriter. She gave him her address which sounded like “Fantastic Alley” which considering that I was in “Fantastic Street”, Rue Fantastique sounded about right. I shouted at the top of my voice “did you say that you lived in Fantastic Alley?” but she didn’t hear me or, at least, didn’t reply. I wandered round and could see her in the window of a bathroom shop which was presumably the one that she owned. I wasn’t sure whether she saw me. I walked on a little way out of this courtyard place and ended up back in the street where there was a timber merchant’s or DiY place.
And how long is it since we’ve had a “flying” dream? It must be ages, I reckon. I don’t recall having had one recently.
And more to the point – when did we last have a night without my family making an appearance?
The rest of the afternoon, such as it was, was spent first of all (and in news that will shock everyone on a Sunday – it certainly shocked me) was to tidy my desk. I found stuff lying around on here since late October 2019 when I came back from an Arctic adventure.
Working on a Sunday? Whatever next!
And then the rest of the time has been spent catching up with the blog entries from my trip around Central Europe. At the moment I’m just about to hit the road in Macon but as I said the other day, I’ll wait until I’ve finished it all before posting details.
Having had an uneventful walk past the viewpoint down onto the beach and with nothing much at all happening out at sea I ended up at the viewpoint further along underneath the walls.
Not many people down here either today although there are a few people scavenging, presumably for fish, down at the end of the medieval fish trap. A free meal tonight maybe if they are lucky.
The other day I also mentioned the yellow buoys that mark the limit of the patrolled swimming zone here. You can see them down there and if you look closely you’ll see the chains to which they tethered. There are a few people giving them a close inspection too.
So if that’s the zone that is patrolled by the lfeguards, where do the lifeguards go when the tide is out beyond the buoys?
Sure enough, the green flag is flying at the tidal swimming pool and you can see the two lifeguards there in the fluorescent yellow tops.
The green flag and the lifeguards are the kind of thing that will bring the crowds, such as they are today, flocking to the pool and it looks like a reasonable turn-out
Stopping for a glance at the Plat Gouseet, I cleared off on my way around the walls.
In the Place Maurice Marland there was a young woman who must have been sitting on a blanket on the grass. She had the blanket spread out across a bench there and was picking bits of grass from it. That’s what I’d call “obsessive”.
With nothing else of excitement going on there and all of the seagull nests having been cleared out I went for a look at the last day of the Festival Of Working Sailing Ships.
When I eventually get round to finishing the photos from my sail down the coast you’ll see a few more photos of a small boat rigged like this one.
This is one of the traditional, typical chausias-rigged dinghies doing a lap around the port. It’s very symbolic of the vicinity before mass-produced motorised aluminium yachts took over just about everything.
Bith the 2 men at the bow were pulling on the same oars, which was interesting to say the least, if not confusing.
As for the rest of the festival, numbers were dropping off as I arrived.
Nothing like as many people as we saw earlier in the week even though it’s Sunday. Marité seems to be doing a roaring trade seeing as she hasn’t gone out to sea this afternoon, but not so many people seem to be interested in Marie Fernand
As for Philcathane and Chausiaise, they are being pretty much ignored. And that’s a shame because I’d ben much more interested in whatever they were up to.
Perhaps we ought to have a festival celebrating the current working boats that operate out of here, with an Open Day where we can swarm all over them. Maybe I should suggest it.
But I won’t invite the jazz band that was playing in the background. I have my dignity.
But in which class of boat would La Granvillaise fall?
She’s certainly a historic sailing ship but she’s also a current working ship that sails out of the port. And as yesterday, she was sailing around within the confines of the inner harbour this afternoon, diesel-powered unfortunately and with her tender by the side.
The chausiais dinghy had to move out of the way and all of the proceedings were being overlooked by the trawlers Monaco du Nord II and Le Styx as well as several others, while Chausiaise keps a discreet distance.
On the way back home I was oveflown.
Whoever it was was flying at quite an altitude and I couldn’t identify it at first. Back here though having enhanced and enlarged the image I could see that it was the little yellow powered hang glider on its way home after a run out down the bay.
Back here I had another iced ginger beer and then finished off the work that I’d started earlier.
After brunch I’d taken out the last lump of dough from the freezer and that had been quietly defrosting while I’d been working and walking.
When I’d finished working it was ready to be re-kneaded and rolled out, and then I left it to proof for a while.
When it was ready I assembled my pizza and put it in the oven to bake. And when it was finished I attacked it with gusto (and a knife and fork).
The base was slightly overdone so what I’m going to try next week if I remember is to put it in the oven one shelf higher up so that the base will be less cooked but the topping more so.
It’s annoying me somewhat that I don’t have my new oven up here. I’m going to have to think about how I’m going to manage to bring up those kitchen units that I bought in Munich.
But that’s for another time. I have an early start in the morning with a radio programme to prepare so I’m going to have an early night – if I can and I’m not disturbed.
But something is bound to happen. It usually does.