Category Archives: notre dame du cap lihou

Saturday 30th October 2021 – THIS EVENING …

reload Argouges Bar Alimentation Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… in some tiny village lost in the depths of the bocage in rural south Normandy I have seen the best live concert that I have witnessed for a very, very long period of time.

Tha ambience, the lighting and the audience (with 2 exceptions) were total rubbish, with elderly village drunks making an exhibition of themselves falling over the equipment in mid-performance. How the group kept going under these circumstances is anyone’s guess and a credit to their professionalism.

And having listened for two hours to the bass player, how I’m bitterly regretting not keeping up my bass playing over all these years. That was what I found the most difficult part to stomach of all of this.

Meanwhile, back at the ra … errr … apartment, last night would have been the best sleep for a good while had it not been for the pain in my upper right arm from my injection earlier in the evening. I’m quite mobile in bed and I lost count of the number of times I rolled over onto my right side and felt a bolt of pain go right through to my shoulder.

Anyway, eventually I awoke as the alarm went off and staggered into the kitchen for the medication.

Last night I was in my old Reliant running up and down the motorway to places, I don’t know why, somewhere in the Midlands. I got to somewhere and had bought some equipment, tools and the like, an emery block, a file and a few other things, then I couldn’t think why I needed them. I went to throw half of them away. But then I was thinking “maybe I might so I better hadn’t”. I got into the van and drove off down the slip road onto the motorway. I could keep up with traffic fairly easily which was a surprise. I had to come off at a Motorway Service Station to use the bathroom. Then I began to think about throwing away more of this stuff. Then maybe I thought that perhaps I oughtn’t then I went to get back in the van ready to leave.

I did actually have an old Reliant van when I was a teenager – a Regal MkV called Spiny Norman because it looked like a giant hedghog. A 750cc cast-iron side-valve engine and because the weight had to be less than 5cwt there was nothing else of any substance in the construction of the vehicle.

For a bit of fun I junked the cast-iron engine and fitted a 600cc all-alloy overhead-valve engine that weighed nothing at all. Consequently it went like stink. We could wheelie it at the drop of a hat but it just ripped half-shafts to shreds and eventually the supply ran out.

It’s shopping day today so I headed off with Caliburn to see what was on offer.

Noz had some more of those frozen burgers in breadcrumbs so I bought another packet, but LeClerc was once again singularly unexciting, apart from the grapes at €1:89 per kilo so I took full advantage.

Back at home I made some toast and coffee and then sat down to deal with the journal entry from yesterday. But that took longer than I was expecting and it was nowhere near finished by lunchtime

By the time that I was due to go for my afternoon walk rather later than usual) I had finished so I could go out with a clear conscience – and that’s something that doesn’t happen too often either.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As usual I wandered off to have a look over the wall down onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

Plenty of people down there this afternoon, although well-wrapped up against the cold, not that it was all that cold this afternoon.

No-one in the water that I could see, which was heardly a surprise though. Only one more day left in October and while I was once seen swimming in the sea in November, that was in the South of France and nowhere near here.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There night have been nothing actually in the water, but there was certainly something on it.

And only one thing too which was a surprise with it being such a sunny day. There was a yacht sailing by, leaning hard over against the wind, with someone hanging over the side as ballast to keep the boat in the water.

And when I say that there was nothing actually in the water, I bet that his head had been in it a few times and if he doesn’t hang on tightly, the rest of him will Be in there with it.

crowds on footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As you might expect, the crowds were out there in force this afternoon.

The pathway along the north side of the headland, the route that I take on my outward journey, was heaving with people doing the circuit around the headland and there was hardly room to swing a cat in certain places.

It was even more crowded behind where I was standling, with kids scrambling all over the ruined bunkers and damaged artillery, making the most of the afternoon.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was up here, I went to my viewpoint on top of one of the bunkers and took a photo of the Ile de Chausey.

As you can see, despite the haze coming off the water, the view was pretty good this afternoon and once more we could see quite clearly the white houses at the foot of the lighthouse and along the shore.

There was something white in the sea to the right of the lighthouse and I was puzzled by its shape. It looks to be almost perfectly square and I couldn’t think of anything that would have that form or shape. Enlarging and enhancing the image didn’t help very much either.

50sa light aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And at this point on my walk, I was overflown once more.

The culprit this afternoon was 50SA, the light aircraft that we have seen flying by overhead on several occasions in the past.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I can’t tell you anything about this aeroplane. Its registration number is out of the series to which I have access and I wouldn’t have any idea where to look in order to find this registration.

One of these days I’ll have to pop round to the airfield and enquire.

people on bench by cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021From the top of the bunker I walked down the path and across the car park to the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

There were two people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban and their attention seems to have been caught by someone or something that is out of my view.

As for what was going on out at sea, the answer was simply “nothing”. There wasn’t even one single boat out there that I could see this afternoon. And that’s not really a surprise by looking at the waves. That doesn’t look like the right kind of sea to be out in a small boat.

fishermen on rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There wasn’t anything going on out at sea right enough, but there were things going on at the water’s edge.

On the rocks down below were two fishermen, one of whom had his tackle out and in the water, whereas the other one seemed to be more interested in having a chat. He’s not going to be catching many fish like that.

Anyway, I left them to it and carried on along the path on top of the cliffs towards the viewpoint overlooking the port to see what was happening down there.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021At the chantier naval there wasn’t any change in situation. The portable boat lift is still parked in the centre of the yard and doesn’t seem to have moved an inch since we saw it there a couple of days ago.

With nothing new to see there, I looked across the harbour to the ferry terminal. In there this afternoon is one of the Joly France boats, and judging by its smaller upper superstructure and windows in “portrait” format, it’s the newer one of the two.

There are a few people up on the sea wall taking quite an interest in the boat although I don’t know why because she won’t be going anywhere just now.

In the background in the port de plaisance you’ll notice an orange superstructure. That’s the local lifeboat, Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

What I don’t understand is that boats can only enter and leave the port de plaisance during certain times so I don’t understand why they would keep the lifeboat there. She wouldn’t be much use in a catastrophe if she weren’t able to leave port..

people staring at something in port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further along the path I noticed some people taking a great interest in something that seemed to be going on in the water down there.

From up here I couldn’t see anything at all that would cause such excitement, but they all seem to be quite riveted by it.

Back here in the apartment I made myself a coffee and then had a quick snack of something or other because I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to be having anything to eat tonight. I took a packet of biscuits with me too, and that turned out to be a shrewd move as well.

Laurent came to pick me up and we had a drive of about 45 minutes down to Argouges, where we found the bar without too much trouble.

There was catering on site but although the main dish seemed to be pumpkin soup, I wasn’t sure about what was in it and with nothing else, not even any chips, so I was glad that I had my biscuits to nibble.

As I mentioned earlier, the group was absolutely excellent but the ambience, tha audience and lighting were awful. I was really disappointed by that.

If anyone is ever going to learn a lesson from anything like this, it’s “bring your own stage to stand on in venues like this where drunks won’t fall over your equipment”.

The journey home was fine except that with the new bypass being opened at Avranches we missed our turning and went the long way round.

It took me a while to make myself ready for bed – it’s usually the case when I’ve been psyched up like this. But it was a good night and I really enjoyed it. I’ll be going to see these again.

You needn’t worry by the way about not hearing the group – you’ll all have the opportunity in a few months’ time.

Saturday 10th April 2021 – WOO-HOO – I’M VACCINATED!

Yes, I’ve now had both my jabs and I have a Certificate to prove it too! At least I shall be in the forefront of the queue whenever normal service is resumed.

That’s not to say that I’m going to be perfectly safe. I’ve had the Pfizer vaccination so I’m now about 95% safe against current strains of the virus but there are no details about how I’ll be covered against any new strains and in any case I could carry the vaccine around and infect others.

So I still have to be careful whatever I do. I can’t throw caution to the wind.

Mind you, I did throw caution to the wind last night because what with one thing or another it was long after 01:00 when I finally went to bed.

Nevertheless I still managed to crawl out of my stinking pit a 06:00 when the first alarm went off. It just confirms my suspicions that the issues that I’ve been having about leaving my bed have nothing to do with any physical complaint.

First thing was to grab the medication and the second thing was to listen to the dictaphone to see if I’d been anywhere during the night. In fact I was doing something last night and I can’t remember what it was but I ended up in Canada. It was something to do with cars ad I can’t remember at all. I ended up at my niece’s. One of her daughters was there and feeling very happy with herself because she had taken some courses to improve her reading ability. The had studied these courses for 12 months and when I arrived there I found that she had received a Diploma award from the Open University for English speaking and she was absolutely delighted. And of course so was I because she deserves something like that.

There was time to have a whack at some of the photos from North America from August 2019 before going for a shower, and then I made a coffee in my thermal mug, grabbed some crackers and then leapt into Caliburn.

And I did too, because the door opened quite easily this morning which is very good news.

It was pouring with rain this morning so it was a pretty miserable drive up north towards Valognes. There was a lot of things to see on the way but the rain put a complete dampener on everything.

There was something that I stopped to see on my way north, because there was a good view from inside Caliburn.

Calvaire de Le Plessis-Lastelle Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is the Calvaire de Le Plessis-Lastelle on the outskirts of the town of Le Plessis-Lastelle.

It’s formerly the site of a castle on a nice high ridge and was destroyed during a revolt against Duke William of Normandy in 1047. It was rebuilt later but fell into disrepair, although a traveller in 1835 remarked that it was still in reasonable condition.

In 1911 the locals transformed what remains of the site into a Calvary but during the fighting in Normandy in 1944 it was very badly damaged. A programme of restoration was finished in 1967 and this is how it appears today.

And that reminds me of the story that I heard about the renovation of the Calvary after the war. There was a call for designs for the Calvary but due to a misunderstanding on the telephone, someone sent in a drawing of George Custer on his horse.

hospital simone veil valognes Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually, 15 minutes early I arrived at the hospital.

As you can see, it looks quite … errr … interesting from the front. It’s actually an old Benedictine Abbey and as it came into the possession of the State in 1803 one can easily imagine that it was a prize of the Revolution. It was registered as an ancient monument in 1937.

When the hospital was inaugurated in 1977 it didn’t have a particular name but it was opened by Simone Veil who was Minister of Health – the fist female to hold the post – at the time. When she died in 2018 the hospital was given her name.

hospital simone veil valognes Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound the back though, it’s totally different, with all kinds of modernisations having been undertaken.

When I came here before, the Vaccination Centre was under there but seeing it all in darkness and it being a Saturday morning, I was full of foreboding.

A sign on the door said “Vaccination Centre now moved to …. (another address in town)” so I had to leap back into Caliburn, type the address into the Satnave and let the Lady Who Lives In The Satnav plot me a course.

Eventually I arrived at the Sports Centre on the other side of town where I had my injection, was given my certificate and left to fester for 15 minutes before they threw me back out into the rain.

My route back was a different one from my way out so there were new things to see on the way home.

chateau de saint saveur le vicomte Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I came down the hill into Saint Saveur le Vicomte I was confronted by this beautiful building here. I had to do a U-turn and go back up the hill to find a good viewpoint where I could stick the camera out of Caliburn’s window.

This is the Chateau de Saint Saveur le Vicomte and it has a very interesting history because in view of its strategic position on a hill at the side of a river that leads into the interior, the Norse raiders built a fort there, according to one local historian.

Whatever was on there was destroyed during the revolt against Duke William. A subsequent castle here was an English stronghold in the Hundred Years War.

It later became a hospital, an orphanage and later a prison. Badly damaged by Allied Bombing in 1944, it’s now the subject of a restoration project financed by the proceeds of the national lottery.

On the way home I called in at Coutances and fuelled up Caliburn and then went to the LeClerc and LIDL here. They are much bigger than the ones in Granville and even though there’s more stuff in there, there isn’t anything extra that suited me. I did by some sweet potatoes though as they were cheap, and I’ll have to think of something to do with them.

Back here I made a sandwich for lunch and then came in here to carry on work but unfortunately I crashed out. And crashed out good and properly too, for about an hour and a half.

And when I awoke I had a sore arm again and I was also freezing, freezing cold. So much so that having turned off the heating about a week ago, I tuned it on again full-blast.

When I eventually recovered, I went outside for a walk where I bumped into Pierre the skipper of Spirit of Conrad. he told me that the other week the boat was simply in the chantier navale simply for an annual service.

But all of his tours this year are cancelled yet again. He’s thinking about doing trips up the Brittany coast whenever the situation relaxes.

Finding that the battery was yet again flat in the NIKON D500 I came back in for the NIKON D3000 and then I went back outsode again for my afternoon walk in the wind and rain.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe whole of the town around here was totally deserted which was no surprise given the weather. There wasn’t a soul on the beach at all.

That’s something of a surprise of course because we’ve seen people down there in all kinds of weather, even swimming in it. But not today. I suppose that it was just too much for them today.

Instead, I trudged off along the path towards the end of the headland in my lonely solitude, and also in the rainstorm too. It must have been raining quite a lot over the last 18 hours because the path was flooded yet again and I had to pick my way gingerly around the puddles as I wended my weary way.

commodore goodwill english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the elevated part at the far end I could see something moving right out there in the English Channel so I took a photograph of it, regretting that I didn’t have the big NIKON D500 with me.

Of course it’s much too far out for me to be able to identify it but enhancing the image considerably I could make out some rough idea of its colours. That seems to indicate that its a Condor Ferries boat.

Its silhouette seems to match that of Commodore Goodwill, the Ro-Ro ferry that does the shuttle between St Malo, St Helier in Jersey and St Peter Port in Guernsey.

Ro-Ro stands for “roll on, roll off” and should not be confused with ferries such as Herald of Free Enterprise and Estonia which were Ro-Ro-Ro ferries, which stands for “roll on, roll over, roll off”.

fishing boat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was more movement out to sea too, but this time so much closer to home.

This is one of the little shellfish boats that worked the beds off the Ile de Chausey, I reckon. She’s on her way home to port in Granville, even if the tide isn’t far enough in for the harbour gates to be open.

Off the lawn and down the path to car park I went, encountering a family whose members were as surprised to see me as I was to see them.

Across the car park to the end of the headland to see what was going on. And the answer to that was nothing at all. So picking my way through the puddles I walked down the path on the other side of the headland.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was very little going on in the harbour this afternoon.

The tide was still far out so the outer harbour was quite dry. But we can see all of the tyre tracks of the various heavy vehicles that have been working in there over the last month when we had the very low tides. Their work doesn’t seem to be finished so I wonder when, or maybe if, we will ever see them back working here again.

The fishing boat that we saw earlier is now in the harbour, here on the left, and it’s looking rather bewildered as the skipper tries to think of what to do next with it. And unfortunately she’s still too far out for me to be able to read her name on the visor over the cabin.

anakena hermes 1 notre dame de cap lihou aztec lady Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere is still no change in occupancy in the chantier navale today.

We have, from left to right, Anakena, Hermes I and the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou. In the background is Aztec Lady, with a pile of small assorted yachts on the other side of the wall.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay around to count them because I had to rush on home for the football this afternoon. TNS were playing away to Bala Town.

What astonished me about this match was that the two best players in the Welsh Premier League, Greg Draper and Henry Jones, managed just 28 minutes on the field between them.

Even more strangely was that the best player on the field, TNS’s Ben Clark, was substituted after 60 minutes of the game, with no sign of an injury. He’d run the Bala defence ragged and had a hand in TNS’s goal, but after he left the field the spark went out of the TNS side and Bala had several good chances to equalise, although they were unable to convert them.

Tea was out of a tin seeing as it’s Saturday and now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to make some sourdough dough ready for baking tomorrow. And then I’m off to bed for a nice lie in.

And I deserve it too.

Sunday 25th October 2020 – I KNOW THAT …

… it’s Sunday and Sunday is a Day of Rest, a lie-in and all of that, but nevertheless, 11:20 is just a little exaggerated, even if it was about 02:30 when I went to bed this morning.

Another thing that I learnt today is that my fitbit doesn’t automatically reset the time when the clocks change. So in actual fact, it was 10:20, not 11:20. That makes me feel better. Clocks only an hour back not like the UK where they are busily setting their clocks back 200 years to the days when the rich and privileged sent starving kids up chimneys and condemned the poor to workhouses.

Mind you, I needed that extra hour in bed because of the distance that I must have travelled last night.

I started out in Shavington last night. It was snowing and wintertime. We were all hanging around outside, doing all kinds of different things and it gradually became dark at night. I went around the street at night looking in people’s gardens because they would put out things that they wanted other people to have. I was collecting a nice little collection of Christmas decorations. Every night I would go out and look but tonight I was at someone’s house I knocked my box over and all the decorations went everywhere. It was embarrassing trying to pick them all up again because you would think that people would be thinking that I was stealing everything. Then I went for a slide, like you used to do as a kid, on your feet. I remember sliding all the way down Vine Tree Avenue into Chestnut Avenue and I got to where the new-build houses were. I couldn’t remember whether they had any Christmas stuff or whether it was just the old ones, so I went over there to have a look. I was doing something in an attic and I can’t remember exactly what it was that I was doing. Something to do with my clothes or something, I’m not too sure, all a very sad, solitary thing

Later I was at the doctor’s. There was a queue in front of me and we were gradually advancing one by one to get in. It was an Asian doctor and most of his clients were Asian. Who should walk in behind me but an Indian woman whom I knew in Stoke on Trent. After some people had gone in she said “go on in Eric, it’s your turn”. I said “no, there’s someone just gone in”. She replied “no, there can’t have been”. “Yes there is” I countered so she had a look and she was right and this doctor was doing some kind of strange tests and setting everything right.

Some time later there were all these people milling around in the bus station thinking where it was they were wanting to go to. I was going to somewhere along the North African coast and people keep on presenting me to their cousins who were travelling with me or travelling in the reverse direction. There was a queue at the reception desk, and I was busy trying to find the bay for my bus because it wasn’t very clear. If you were travelling by car the bay was actually somewhere else outside, but I couldn’t see from the map. I was hoping for a clue when there were all these people who had got to the front of the queue and were being told by the receptionist that they could discuss the matter amongst themselves but preferably do it away from where the ticket machines were and the queue for the reception was because they were blocking the road for everyone else.

Later still I’d been out for my usual early morning walk and as I crossed over the railway bridge where one of the branch lines came into Crewe an electric goods train went underneath. I had a look at my watch – it was something like 06:15 and I thought “I’m usually somewhere else at this time, not here. I have to be out and on my way to the station by 06:30 and I’m well over a mile away from home. How am I going to manage this?”. I cut short my route and went home through a side street. The first thing that I came to was a wolf- a sheep that was all alone. It came over towards me so I shoo’d it off. It went over to where a pack of dogs was so the dogs chased it off down the street. I continued walking and came to a T junction. I didn’t remember a T junction here so I didn’t know which way to take. There was a hill where I could climb to the top to look over but it was on private property. When I went over the fence onto this land to try to climb this hill I was suddenly surrounded by several people who demanded to know exactly what it was that I was doing. I gave them an explanation but they wouldn’t believe a word of it.

I’ve not finished yet. Not by a long way.

I was manning a look-out post on a high ridge overlooking a valley. I had a tent there and that was basically my camp. I was out on this ridge with a large-bore shotgun. I had no idea what I was supposed to be looking for – just generally watching the movements. First of all a couple of young people came up. They put their tent up not too far from mine and then changed into their hunting gear complete with feathers on their hats and wandered off with their guns further off down the ridge. Then a couple of couples, elderly couples turned up and started walking aorund, taking a great deal of interest in my van, like an old Ford Thames 400E with a high-top roof. Filthy inside – it had been used as a butcher’s van and it was all lined with dirty fat inside. I had a few words with them. There was a girl about 9 or so who was expressing an interest in it. She said something to me that was extremely informal so I asked “did your father teach you to say things like that to people whom you don’t know?” She replied “my father’s here. You can ask him”, something like that. I ended up having a chat with this guy. He took me down to his farm and then wandered off. I was still there, on guard in his farmyard now, and noticed a really ancient moped so I went over to have a look at it. The handlebars were broken and the rear wheel was missing. This girl came out again and I said “is this yours?” “No” she replied. “It’s dad’s”. He came over and took me into this room, barn or storeroom or something. He had all kinds of machinery all over, huge stuff and he was showing me one or two things. I hadn’t a clue what they were but he showed me the crankshaft of an engine which was really long but really lightweight. I thought “I wonder what it is that this is from”. We had a chat about it. he had a few other bits and pieces together and showed me roughly how it worked. Further on down into this barn was all of his electrical equipment – desk meters and so on. He had one that turned out to be some kind of 2-way radio, a 2-way hi-fi radio so he could actually talk on it as well. As he was showing it, he said “ahh! Table-tennis!” and started to tune it in so people could have a game of table tennis on this machine.

And finally I ended up walking across a car park, the one at St Nicolas. There was a van there parked in the roadway in the car park and the driver was eating his sandwich. But there were plenty of places for him to park, even one right by where he was stopped. I had this great big dig with me for some unknown reason and it came across 2 girls having a wrestling match, so he shot off to join in, which didn’t go down very well and everyone said something about it. Then this girl from the previous voyage put in an appearance. Stepping back into a previous dream yet again!

And when I said “finally”, I’m not sure that I really mean it. I’m certain that there was much more to all of this and furthermore, the files on the dictaphone are numbered consecutively and there are two missing. I’m not sure how it happens because it doesn’t have an “over-write facility” (well, yes it does but I’ve disabled it) and I’ve also disabled the “delete” facility – the only way that I can delete files is through a computer interface.

So what’s going on here, then? It beats me.

This morning there wasn’t much time left after I had typed out all of that. I went and had a hot chocolate and some of my fruit bread.

And having had some food, I then prepared another fruit loaf. Two small bananas, a dozen or so brazil nuts finely whizzed up in the whizzer, several handfuls of raisins and, for a change, a couple of tablespoons of desiccated coconut added into the flour and salt mix. Then, the yeast and water (more water than usual – I’m told that my mix is too dry) mixed in and kneaded well into a lovely dough ball.

While that was proofing, I took some pizza dough out of the fridge and kneaded that ready for tonight.

With the important stuff out of the way, I turned my attention to the day’s work. I know that it’s Sunday and I don’t usually do any work today but I’ve been so lazy just recently that I thought that I’d better do something.

Accordingly, I started on the updating of the journal to include the stuff that I didn’t do when I was ill or when I was away. The first one, for 23rd August when I was recovering, is now completed and you can SEE THE FINISHED VERSION HERE. I’ll be working on backwards from here and finally you’ll get to read about some of these weird and wonderful nocturnal voyages that I went on and told you all about.

All through the morning (such of it as I saw) we were alternating between sunshine and torrential downpours. And it became worse and worse after lunch.

crowds on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually the rain eased off. It had all gone quiet and I could hear voices of people outside. It must be the moment to go for a walk I reckon. I took to the walls.

There was no-one sitting down on the beach this afternoon and I’m not at all surprised by that. But nevertheless there were still plenty of people taking, presumably, their last stroll on the beach.

And when I say that, I don’t mean it terminally. Although of course, with almost 50,000 new infections disclosed yesterday, it may well come to that for so many people. I really don’t understand what is so difficult about the restrictions that are taking place.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, I walked (not ran – there were far too many people about for that) around to the Square Maurice Marland.

And here you can see exactly what the weather is doing today. Huge and horrendous squalls of rain being blown by the wind across the Baie de Mont St Michel. I’m glad that I’m not out there in all of that, that’s for sure.

In fact, I’m not going to hang around at all. I’m going to head for home as soon as I can to avoid being caught up in this because as sure as night follows day, this lot will be dropping on my head in about 20 minutes.

lifeboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it doesn’t look as if I’m the only one with doubts about the weather either.

As I watched, out from the harbour came the port’s lifeboat, the Notre Dame de Cap Lihou. it headed off to sea, cutting its way through the waves that were crashing down on her bow. If it’s an emergency call, it’s no surprise in this weather because the storms really were raging again.

Unfortunately though, I couldn’t see where she went. She certainly didn’t head out into the English Channel as far as I could see, and she didn’t go across the Bay to the Brittany coast either. All told, she wasn’t out for long. When I checked her fleet log an hour later, se was already back at her berth.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that’s for sure – she wasn’t going to rescue the passengers of Joly France, the ferry that goes out to the Ile de Chausey.

The bad weather today hasn’t stopped her sailing. As Notre Dame de Cap Lihou went one way, Joly France came the other way, back to port with a load of passengers.

And it must really have been a shame for them. All that way out to the island, it’s not cheap either, and to have had the dreadful weather that’s bothered us for much of the day, and then had to come home in a storm that created a really rough crossing for them.

waves crashing over sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd rough crossing it must have been too.

The wind wasn’t as strong as the last couple of days when I spent more time running after my hat than I did walking around my little circuits, but it was still strong enough to send the waves crashing over the sea wall, even though the tide was quite far out as you saw in the photo of the beach just now.

All of this has got me thinking. And I know that that could be quite dangerous. looking back over the last few months, we seem to have spent most of our time being battered by storms. I know that I’ve only lived here 3.5 years and that’s no time at all but I don’t remember it being as windy as this for as long as this.

brittany coast cap frehel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLooking for the lifeboat, I went for a walk over to the other side of the headland to see if I could see where she went.

No such luck, but what I did see cheered me up immensely. Through a large gap in the clouds the sun was treaming down onto the Brittany Coast round by St Cast le Guildo where we went with Spirit of Conrad and the Lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, on the extreme right of the photo, is quite clearly visible.

No lifeboat so I came home, noticing that one of my neighbours had left the headlights burning on her car on the car park, so I gave her a buzz to tell her as I came in.

When I came back, I checked on my bread. It hadn’t risen as much as I would have liked – far from it in fact. But never mind. It’s had three hours to have sorted itself out so I gave it another good kneading, and then shaped it and put it in the mould that I use and covered it for its second proofine.

home made fruit bread vegan pizza Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the pizza dough, I gave it a good kneading and then rolled it out . When I had it how I wanted it, I put it on a greased pizza tray and left it to proof.

In the office I sorted out the photos that I had just taken and wrote up my notes, and then bunged the fruit bread in the oven. It hadn’t risen very much but once in the hot oven it went up like a lift. While that was cooking I prepared the pizza and when the bread was cooked, I took the bread out and put the pizza in.

Half an hour later I was tucking into one of the best pizzas that I have ever made. Everything about it was just so right.

And I’ll tell you about the fruit loaf tomorrow.

moonlight baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallTonight’s run was rather depressing, if not something of a failure.

There was a biting, howling gale coming hurling itself down the Rue du Roc that brought me to a standstill as soon as I started on the uphill bit. With the sky being do clear I was hoping for a good photo of the moonlight reflecting off the bay by resting the camera on that handy stone that I found last night but no chance of that. It was impossible.

From the shelter of the Atlantic Wall bunker there, the result just wasn’t the same. But you can’t win a coconut every time.

rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing at all happening out to sea so I harried on along the path to the viewpoint.

Nothing in the harbour either. The tide is too far out for the fishing boats to come in, assuming that there are any out there tonight in this wicked storm. And so tonight I took a photo of nothing – except perhaps the lights of the restaurant in the Rue du Port.

From here I ran on home again, bunging in a little deviation to make up some of the ground that I’d lost. After all, it it’s deviation that you want, then, in the words of the late, great Bob Doney “I’m your man”.

So tomorrow I have work to do. Two radio shows have to be prepared. But at least I have a head start for I’ve sent off this week’s – and next weeks – already, ahead of time. Next week’s of course because I won’t be here and it’s almost impossible to work when I’m away.

Consequently I need to be on form. None of these 10:20 or even 07:20 – starts. Not that I’m optimistic but I’ll see what I can do.

Tuesday 23rd April 2019 – I REMEMBER SAYING …

… yesterday to Ingrid that I was feeling probably better than I have been feeling for quite some time.

And so it’s no surprise whatever to learn that today I’d had a relapse.

Last night was nothing like as early as I was hoping and it was something of a disturbed night. Nevertheless there was enough time to go for something of a ramble. There were two schools in London. Both originated from the same family who owned a wealthy sailing factory. One was a kind of prison or reform school and the other was an upper-class school and everyone was always getting the two mixed up about who went where. The guy who was chairman of the Board of Governors at the wealthy school was the sole surviving member of the family who founded it so some people thought that there might be a confilct of interest between the objectives of the school and the running of it. The school was running through some kind of financial issues. I don’t remember too much about it except that on one occasion the chairman was sitting there with his head in his hands doing a really fine impression of Quasimodo going “the bills! Ohh the bills!”.

Despite the bad night I was up before the final alarm went off, but I’ve somehow awoken with my bad throat and coughing fit again. It’s never-ending, isn’t it? And a certain medical condition that plagued me for a considerable while and then mysteriously disappeared has suddenly come back with a vengeance.

With having had an early start I was all fit for work and had a good crack at photocopying and sorting documents for my little visit tomorrow, stopping for a shower along the way.

There are a few papers missing but I can assemble quite a comprehensive folder full of documents;

The printer ran out of ink midway through but luckily I had bought some more when I bought the printer. It was something of a performance to make the cartridge fit because Epson doesn’t like you using non-original cartridges.

There was also time to have a crack at the dictaphone, and now all of the notes for Canada 2016 are transcribed. I’m about a third of a way through them now, but I won’t be as quick with the next batch as there are some substantial files in there.

Lunch was taken indoors today because the weather has clouded over and ran was looking likely.

Back at work I had to change my hospital appointment because I need it to be a week later. And then it was necessary to book my accommodation and travel. So all of that is done.

repaired walk pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceOn my walk around the headland this afternoon I tried once more the new route that has just reopened.

I reckon that the older path is the diagonal line that runs bottom left to upper right across the centre of the image.

That looks as if it’s formerly a path on some kind of gider bridge but it looks as if it’s slipped out of position. The part at the head of the bend looks as if it’s been dug out quite recently. It’s not very wide at all.

notre dame de cap lihou chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy francehaving climbed all of the steps back up to the top, I walked along the path to have a look at the chantier navale.

There’s another new arrival in there today. She’s Notre Dame du Cap Lihou, the local lifeboat whom we have seen out and about in the sea now and again.

No idea what she’s up to in there and I won’t be able to find out either I suppose, because I don’t imagine that she will be in there for long.

pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy franceFor a few days now we’ve been seeing the little pontoon in the harbour taking core-drill samples of the sea bed to investigate its make-up.

That’s now gone and we have a different machine in there. So I wonder what that’s going to be up to.

But It’s not escaped my notice that in the background are objects that look suspiciously like floating walkways, and so the next step, I imagine, is to place them in the water and secure them to the quayside.

Back here I tried to crack on with the mountain of photos but I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t fight off the sleep on the chair, and in the end gave up and went to bed. I think that climbing all of the steps was what might have finished me off.

For a good 90 minutes I was right out of it and I awoke feeling like death.

Tea was a slice of giant pasty with potatoes and veg followed by a rice pudding.

tide coming in plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThe evening walk, accompanied part of the way by a group of boys from the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs, was agony but I needed to do it.

At the beach at the Plat Gousset he tide was coming in, and coming in quite quickly too. There was a lovely current rolling over the beach and swamping the tidal swimming pool.

It was quite an impressive sight. Such a shame that there was no-one else around to enjoy it. I was quite on my own out there once those boys had cleared off.

rue paul poirier granville manche normandy franceA little further on around the corner, I stopped for a while where the path around the walls overlooks the rue Paul Poirier.

The light was going quite rapidly so I took a photograph just as the street lights were coming on and illuminating the streets.

This will be probably the last photograph of street lights that I shall take on my evening walk until later in the year, unless I happen to be delayed in my plans for going out.

So back home now and I really am going to have an early night. Tomorrow is a big day so I need to be on form.