Category Archives: bouquet granvillais

Sunday 5th November 2023 – MY CHOCOLATE AND COCONUT …

… biscuits with a hint of orange flavouring are absolutely excellent and I’ll make some more like that another time too.

And I’m glad that something went right today because not much else did.

For a start, I had another miserable night and it wasn’t until 11:30 this morning when I finally left the bed. I did mention last night that I needed a really good sleep.

Actually, I was in bed rather later than intended last night. After I’d dictated my radio notes I was on the point of going to bed when Alison came on line for a chat. And while I was chatting to Alison, my niece in Canada appeared too.

It’s really quite strange, this telepathy thing. I’d just been typing in my notes about making biscuits when up popped my niece – “here’s a lovely biscuit recipe that I found”.

And if I’d have had any peanut butter and maple syrup I’d have made them today instead.

It’s not the first time by a long way that there has been such telepathy. Nerina and I certainly had it and I’ve experienced it with other people too.

So after I awoke this morning, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And there was a huge pile of stuff on there, including a recurring dream that appeared a few times during the night. There was a party going on at someone’s house and a game of cards had been organised – a game of bridge. I’ve no interest in a game of bridge so while they crafted a scorecard to keep a late arrival happy I pretended to be dummy and that suited me fine. They wrote up the scores bearing in mind the fact that I hadn’t played, to which I had no objection. While they were playing I was wandering around. People were chatting about their medication. I noticed that one of the people here had a huge pile of medication but it was just a big lump of stuff so I sat down and began to sort it out into different types. I ended up in the end with a range going right across the table of all different types of medication. I tried my best to have it arranged in “morning, noon and night” too. I can’t remember now any more about this but it was another one of these dreams that went on for ages.

And then there was a big group of us. We’d been out somewhere and were on our way home. I was in BILL BADGER my old A60 van. We pulled up at a motel to stop there for the night. We ended up sleeping in a variety of rooms, 2 each to a room. I had someone whom I didn’t really know who seemed to be a reasonable guy, an older guy, rural type. The discussion came round to talking about ghosts and spirits. Just then I went into the bathroom but the sudden noise in the bathroom which was connected to the next room made the occupants in that room jump wo we had quite an exchange of conversation about spirits and ghosts etc. When I came back into my bedroom there had been some kind of issue about keys. I didn’t actually have my keys with me. I was convinced that I’d left them in the ignition but when I’d looked earlier they weren’t there. I remembered that I’d changed my trousers so the keys were in the pockets of the dirty ones. Now I wanted one of my mint sweets that were in the van. I found my keys, and with more teasing about ghosts being out there waiting etc I set out. When I reached the van what there was was a huge baker’s oven, the type with probably about 6 shelves. For some reason I opened one of the shelves. It was packed full of all kinds of strange food, a type that I hadn’t seen before, wrapped in portions. I was scratching my head wondering “what’s all this food about? What is it? Who is it for?”. I’d seen nothing like this in the past.

But that did remind me of an interesting court case where a woman was put on trial for having obtaining money by false pretences. She had been holding “seances” to attract visiting souls and charging fees for attendance, whereas the “visiting souls” were actually her friends pretending.
One of the witnesses gave his occupation as “Customs and Excise Officer”
“Testing spirits?” asked prosecuting counsel
“Yes” replied the witness “but not the type of spirits that we are discussing at the moment”.

There was something going on in a house about preparing for an operation. What first caught my eye was a row of cats all spread out across the top of the back of a settee watching a TV programme. The discussion came round to this operation. I volunteered to be one of the first to be treated, on the grounds that the quicker you start, the quicker you finish. That’s not like me at all. Usually I wait until the last minute before volunteering for something like that, especially something rather groovy and here I fell asleep)

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I am actually asleep when I’m dictating my notes, but in cases like this, when I refer to “falling asleep” what I mean is that everything suddenly goes quiet and then I can hear myself snoring.

Meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … bed another group of us had gone out for a meal, a sort-of pizza evening. All 8 of us were sitting round a table. They began to bring out the slices of pizza. Depending on what pizza you ordered, you ended up with 1, 2 or 3 slices before anyone else was served. Some people were well on their way with their meal but others hadn’t even begun. The conversation came round to houses. I was talking about my house but I hadn’t realised that everyone else was from the UK. They began to ask me questions about my house. I explained as best as I could but it was just making the situation more confused. In the end someone turned round and said “I thought that you lived in France”. I replied “I do” which puzzled everyone even more. In the meantime my meal still hadn’t arrived. There was some kind of greasy-type things, crackers that were being passed around. I grabbed a box of those, sat down and began to eat them because by this time I was starving and I wasn’t sure when I’d receive my pizza. The conversation carried on and I began to talk about my little apartment in Granville.

One thing that I had forgotten about the previous dream was that we were staying the previous night in someone’s house before this meal. It was a Sunday morning and I’d left the bed to go to the bathroom. Just then my bedroom door opened. It was the woman of the place where I was staying, wondering if I was OK. I asked her what the problem was. She replied “it’s 16:00 and you’ve been asleep for 14 hours”. I explained about Sundays, how they are Days of Rest etc but I don’t think that she took it seriously. She was extremely concerned that I hadn’t shown any sign of life until just now. I think that she was rather offended that I’d chosen to spend all my time in bed asleep instead of coming down to mix with everyone else in the house at some reasonable point.

I was back in the dream about the pizzas later on. everyone else had gone to visit one of these 19th Century workingmen’s villages of the type built by philanthropists to house the employees in their factories. This was a village out in the countryside. After the factory had closed down years ago the village had fallen into ruin. Gradually people had been slowly restoring it. A group of us went. I remember having my breakfast with a family with 2 children, talking to them. Then I went off for a wander around the village on my own. It really was quite interesting because the original buildings were marked with the fact and buildings subsequently built mere marked as being later editions. It was clear that although a lot of it was in very poor condition some of it had been rebuilt quite nicely. There was an enormous amount of potential in this place. I began to wonder whether there might be some kind of small cottage for me to buy. By now I was actually running, pushing some kind of trolley in an effort to keep fit. I overtook the people with whom I’d had breakfast but I carried on running around the village like this looking at the shops – there was a good array of shops, even a fish and chip shop – and looking at the stone buildings. I was absolutely enthralled by the whole place and the possibilities that existed here.

At one point while I was wandering around that village I came across a car accident. 2 cars had collided. One of them looked quite bad but I’m sure that it wasn’t as badly damages as it looked so I began to measure things up to see whether it was safe to be on the road. The father of the 2 children began to ask me “why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do that?” but the wife kept interrupting him saying “leave him alone to deal with it. It looked as if he knows more of what he’s doing than you do” which offended her husband quite a lot.

Of the vehicle that had come off worst in the accident I’d had part of the floor up, measuring the chassis for deflection. The guy asked in an exasperated tone why I was actually doing that. His wife told him again to keep quiet and let me continue with my work as I clearly seemed to know what I was doing

That took me right up to and beyond lunchtime so my porridge and cheese on toast was rather late today.

This afternoon I made a start on one of the radio programmes and then wandered off to make my biscuits. However, just after I’d sorted out the ingredients Ingrid telephoned me.

It was Ingrid’s birthday yesterday so I’d telephoned her but she was busy so she called me back today. And we had a Rosemaryesque chat that went on for 68 minutes, mainly about our illnesses.

The chats that Ingrid and I have are actually really quite interesting. We usually start off in French until someone can’t remember a word and then we switch to another language and we end up usually rotating through English, French, Dutch (Ingrid) and Flemish (me), quite often one person speaking in one language and the other replying in a different one.

Dutch and Flemish are very similar languages by the way, and if you know one you’ll understand the other, in the same way that a Londoner will understand Scots English and vice versa

Actually Ingrid was one of my two choices to come with me to this wedding in Michigan next weekend – the other being Rosemary after our success in the Arctic in 2019. But of the only two people who might be free, they are both too unfit to travel.

And that’s a shame because even though I’m not supposed to say it, it’s my favourite relative who is marrying and I would move heaven and earth to be there with her. But I can’t go on my own – my week in Belgium in September proved that.

So back at the biscuits. And a standard mix of 10/8/4 of flour and oats/butter and coconut oil/sugar with a generous helping of ground almonds, desiccated coconut, orange essence and vanilla essence and there we were.

While all of this was going on I’d had a dollop of pizza dough defrosting and when it was ready I made myself a pizza. Delicious as usual but I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I run out of my vegan cheese.

In between everything I finished off one of the radio programmes and so the first task tomorrow will be to finish off the second one, and then start the next after that.

The nurse should be coming tomorrow too in order to discuss my Covid injection with me. So I’d better hurry up and go to bed. I’ll have to have a good wash before he comes too. But at the moment, the shower is out of bounds.

And I’ve only just realised something – and that is that I must have just come in here out of the kitchen without using my crutches. Fancy that!

Monday 9th October 2023 – I’VE BEEN OUT …

… and about this morning.

There’s something happening at the radio studio and for my sins I’m involved in it so I’ve been out at St Nicolas.

And some good news is that while I was there I was able to inspect the bus stops near the other Carrefour supermarket and the pavements are indeed raised up. So this trip to the supermarket at St Nicholas on Friday may well be on.

My cleaner tells me that she reckons that it’s bigger than the one down by the port and so I might be able to choose from a wider range of produce and that will be good news.

But meanwhile, back in the bed, I had another depressing night tossing and turning at round about 06:45 I was thinking about raising myself from the dead but I fell asleep and had to be awoken by the alarm.

The shower didn’t look as inviting as it did yesterday so I had a strip-down wash in the bathroom and then when I received a message to say that my lift was on its way I struggled down the stairs.

At the radio station the climb up the stairs to the first floor was agony and I was glad to sit down. A mug of hot coffee was thrust into my sweaty mitt (followed by another one) and then we spent the morning working.

As for what we were doing, you’ll find out on Friday, maybe.

From the radio station I was given a lift back home where I staggered up the stairs into my office and didn’t move for a considerable period of time, which was hardly no surprise.

There was quite a bit of stuff on the dictaphone from the night, which probably accounted for the turbulent night. I had to go to see my solicitor. My siblings were invited too. A few of us set out from here on the train to go to the next railway station but when we pulled in, the next train that we needed to catch was already there. On crutches, I can’t rush so by the time I’d alighted the next train had gone. There was no-one else at all standing around. Eventually I found my way on the next train to the next station and went to the solicitor’s office but there was only me in the waiting room. I waited for a while, then my brother and his wife appeared followed by my other sister. We waited for a few minutes and in the end my brother’s wife opened the door to see if whoever was missing was in there. He came out quite angrily. Apparently he’d been looking at some papers thinking that we hadn’t turned up. He said “I might have expected a knock on the door!”. We apologised and explained the situation to him, that we’d all been held up by confusion with the trains.

There was something else but I can’t remember very much about it, something about being in my doctor’s office. There were some fruit cakes like mine so i wrapped one in a napkin and went to put it in my pocket. There was much more to it but I can’t remember any more apart from that.

I was in Virlet later on last night. There was a girl with me. We were putting things into the back room but the things were being damaged after it had been left in there. We wondered what was happening to it. She had to go somewhere so off she went. A short while later I heard the most incredible noise outside. They’d come by with a big kind of earthmover thing to go into the field at the back. There were probably half a dozen men with it. One of them came dashing around to ask “where’s the toilet?”. I replied “I don’t know. There’s probably one in that field somewhere”. he asked “could I use yours?”. I replied “no. We don’t have one installed yet”. All these guys were rushing around etc and eventually disappeared. I went back to do what I was doing. Then I happened to look quite by chance into the back room and saw 2 squirrels. That would explain why the things in there were being damaged. In the end I was having a good look around and hunt around for things like the Ryobi drill that had somehow gone into an outhouse. I suddenly looked up and there was a guy there with an enormous pair of shears in the doorway to my house looking as if he wanted to talk to me about something.

I was then back doing my Philip Marlowe impressions. I had a huge 1940s-type American convertible that was parked in a lock-up garage. When I went to fetch it out there was a car parked there with 2 guys sitting in it talking about business. I went in and started up my car and much to my surprise it started immediately. I had to manoeuvre around the garage to try to exit but the door had blown closed. I was having to stop, leave the car and open the doors. One of the guys opened one for me so I tried to squeeze trough but I couldn’t because there were a couple of bicycles in the way against the other door. I had to stop and try to leave the car again to move the bicycles. The 2 guys began to move the bicycles for me. In the meantime the interior of the garage was becoming full of exhaust fumes and was beginning to become rather uncomfortable.

At some point during the night I was out with the Liz who died in 2009. We were walking around somewhere and I happened to make the observation “look – I’m walking around without my crutches”. It wasn’t a very steady walk but it was a vast improvement on how I’d been the previous day. Everyone was quite impressed with it but they told me not to push it too much. Let it slowly develop if it is improving. We were sitting down having a coffee when a girl whom we knew came by. Liz had gone to the bathroom by this time so there were just me and the girl and it took me a minute to recognise her. She said “I’m glad that I’ve caught you because the football is kicking off in half an hour”. I had a look in my programme of events and she was actually correct. I’d have to get a move on if I wanted to go to watch this game from the beginning.

Tea tonight was a delicious stuffed pepper with pasta and vegetables. The stuffing was excellent but I don’t think that I’ll be having my usual taco roll with the remainder because I forgot last time I was at LeClerc to buy any wraps.

What I’ll have to do tomorrow is to order some, so after my Welsh lesson tomorrow I’ll place an on-line order. If it arrives later in the day, all well and good, but if not I’ll have to make other plans.

That’s what you call “First World Problems”.

Sunday 8th October 2023 – SO MUCH FOR MY …

… lie-in this morning. I was actually up and about by 09:30 this morning.

What’s even more surprising about that was that I didn’t go to bed until after 02:00 this morning. 7.5 hours isn’t all that much sleep on a weekday, but on a Sunday morning it’s quite depressing.

However, I should have been in bed a long time before 02:00. Once I’d finished what I was doing I began to dictate the notes for the 4 radio programmes that I have in the pipeline. And I won’t be doing that again.

Four programmes one after the other is too much to dictate in one session. Firstly, my throat was cracking up by the end of it and secondly, I was too tired to concentrate and I was making all kinds of mistakes.

So once I was up and about, I had my medication and then checked my mails and messages. And once everything was ready and I wound myself up, I began to edit the notes for one of the programmes.

After I’d finished making the programme I went and had lunch. And then I had a go at having a shower.

Earlier on in the morning I’d had a try at climbing into the bath and it seemed that I managed to do it, after quite a struggle. And so I bit the bullet and … errr … took the plunge.

Climbing in was one thing. Climbing out was something else completely but I finally managed it, and it wasn’t as difficult as it had been on Wednesday.

It’s still not much good though and I need to do something about it.

Strangely enough, after my shower I crashed out on the chair for a while and once I’d come back round into the Land of the Living, I went and did some baking. Now I have a pile of pizza dough and a large batch of fruit buns that will last me for the next few weeks.

While it was all busy proofing I had a listen to the dictaphone notes from the night to see where I’d been. I was walking through Nantwich with my doctor, going down Hospital Street. He was explaining to me what he wanted me to do over the next few weeks and next period of time. I asked him about different kinds of things for walking. He said that I needn’t do so much but that was not the point because I wasn’t supposed to be walking anyway. Obviously I still had to live and do my things. I asked about maybe having a bicycle. He said that it was clearly impractical and one or two other things like that. He suggested that we wait until the end of this current series of prescriptions before we decide on what we are going to do and where we are going to go, any more than we are at the moment. It would give us time to reflect and to find out what the alternatives are. I was quite disappointed but he was the guy in charge so we carried on walking down Hospital Street talking about nothing in particular.

And then I was in hospital last night. I was in one of the rooms where they sort out the stuff that arrives from other sections of the hospital. The first thing that came was a huge box on wheels full of all kinds of different bits and pieces that they were sorting out to send off to whoever needed it. The other one was wheeled in – something on four wheels with a handle at one end, wheeled in by a private soldier. It had on it “this is the box that Jimmy Fallon told us to prefer but we forgot”. There was a nurse there who had some kind of machine that was supposed to help people prepare for a bath. I’d tried to use it last time but for some reason the nurse muscled me out of it. I was determined to take my place in the queue and have a shower however the nurse in charge said “I have something special for you – something that I meant to give you last time”. She produced another weird kind of machine. She then asked me what I was doing in this queue. I told her, and she said basically that I have to forget about that for now because this other job has cropped up. I can see that I’m never going to be able to have this shower, am I?

Later on I was in a second-hand record and video shop with a few people last night. We were discussing certain films, books and the new copyright regulations. I mentioned HARRY POTTER AND THE DEADY HALLOWS which for some reason, was only available from one particular source, the official source of the copyright holder. You couldn’t buy it on Amazon or anywhere like that. When they tightened up the copyright laws, they decided that they didn’t have the right, even though they were the copyright holders, to sell this film so they stopped selling it with the result that there was no legitimate of buying the film anywhere. People were coming up with all kinds of ideas about how to make sure that you had a copy, like borrowing one and taping it etc. While this discussion was going on I walked out and went across the road. My niece had been talking to someone on the ‘phone about insurance, saying how much she’d had to pay just for her vehicle and my vehicle for a weekend to go somewhere to do something special. It was cheaper to have an annual premium anywhere else. I thought that I’d be over here in this other shop for when she decides to come out, but I hope that there will be some kind of organisation about a meal as I have no money on me at the moment.

Finally, I was with a French – or European – girl, it might have been Cecile or Laurence. We were supposed to be going out somewhere but she was in the kitchen cooking. I went in to ask her what she was making and to remind her that we needed to hurry. She said that she was making a meal of some description with beef, or, at least, she said that she would if she had some English sugar. I bent down, opened a cupboard, took out a packet and dumped it on the table. “Is this what you need?”. She laughed and I gave her the sugar. I gave her a tin in which I keep the sugar and said “when you’ve opened the bag can you pour the rest in here?” which she thought was strange because the tin wasn’t all that clean. When she’d finished everything I had to pour it into a plastic bag but ended up missing my aim with half the contents down the outside of the bag and all over my hand which was scalding to death so I put it quickly into some cold water. I had on my watch too so I ended up with my watch in the water.

My pizza tonight was excellent once more and it would have been one of the best ever had I not dropped a spoonful of oregano onto one corner of it.

But now that that’s all done and my notes are written, I’ll go back to preparing my on-line order for later on in the week. But I’ll be struggling to make it up to €50:00 because a lot of stuff that I usually buy isn’t available on delivery. The vegan range is particularly devastated and the vegan cheese isn’t there. That’s a tragedy.

But I’ll have to do the best I can and hope that one of these days I’ll be able to sort something out. I must admit that I did miss my little trip out to the shops.

Monday 2nd October 2023 – YOU PROBABLY WON’T …

… believe this, and I don’t blame you if you don’t, but at 04:20 this morning I was actually up and about.

And as it happens, I could have been up and about before that too because I spent a good 30 minutes trying to go back to sleep before I finally gave it up as a bad job.

By the time the first alarm went off I had finished one of the radio programmes on which I’d been working and had almost finished the second.

However, it’s not all roses. My condition is deteriorating by the minute and this morning I couldn’t even manage to climb into the bath to take a shower. It took me all of my force and guile to make it into the bath and then I had a difficult task of trying to stay upright while I showered.

The nurse came round and although he didn’t give me my Aranesp (I’ve had a mail from the hospital telling me to pause the injections) we had something of a chat about a few other things.

After he’d left I had a few things to do – the first of which was to reply to a letter that I’d received from the Mobility and Inclusion Department of the département.

They have now confirmed that I am entitled to a disabled person’s card and also a disabled parking permit. They want a photo of me for the card but the easiest way to do this is to create a personal account on the French Government’s “personal space” website.

On there, you can upload a photo of yourself and then it can be cross-referenced to any other Government site. You need a special code in order to set it up and they had sent it to me. It’s a rather complicated procedure but it works because eventually I had an acknowledgement.

Halfway through doing that, I crashed out and that’s no surprise. My 04:20 start was killing.

Once I’d recovered I had a coffee and a fruit bun, and then chose the music for the next radio programme.

Rosemary rang up for a chat so I made use of the opportunity to configure the new webcam that I’d bought the other day on-line. Not that she wants to see me of course, but I was more interested in the built-in microphone. That works an absolute treat, apparently, so I can now do on-line calls from the big computer in here.

As well as that, I’ve been chatting to several of my friends on-line. There’s something going on at the radio so I’ve been deep in conversation with them making a few plans and doing some work ready for an appointment next Monday.

Something else that I’ve been doing is thinking about motability scooters. However I want a motability scooter with Attitude so I’ve been thinking about some of these three-wheeled scooter things with the two close-coupled wheels at the front.

Several of my friends are still involved with motor bikes so I’ve been seeking advice.

There was the dictaphone to deal with too. I was in something like a Paul Temple adventure as Temple himself, investigating a kidnapping or murder that was taking place in Granville at the back of the market down there towards the car park. I went down there to look and was able to hop on and off the bus but everything else came to satisfy me. At one moment a guy whom I knew came over for a chat but he said that he wasn’t Temple. There were several other people who looked as if they were either doing something or waiting for them to be clear of what they were doing but we weren’t able to identify them at that moment

Later on I took the bus and went to the St Nicolas quartier of the town. When I alighted I saw Christophe there. We had a big chat about my health condition. Unfortunately I can’t remember very much of what this chat was like. Later on a girl and I were in an office working. She had to go through a rung binder and write down certain details about the information that was on cards in there. I was busy doing something else that was much more exciting. The phone rang which meant that she had to do something different. She turned to me and told me that I had to carry on her job. I understood that I was senior to her- it’s not really for her to tell me what to do . She asked if that was OK so I replied “no. I’d much rather do the job that I’d been doing”. She said “I’ve done half of it for you”. My argument was “it was your job. Doing your job means that I’m not doing mine”.

Strangely enough, I’ve been thinking about going to the quartier St Nicolas. The bus that I take into town drops me off at the bus stop by the port but for the return journey, there’s no raised kerb so I really struggle to climb back into the bus and it’s not going to be any easier as time goes on.

However, at the St Nicolas bus stop, there’s a little shopping precinct with a small Carrefour, a Post Office and a Pharmacy. I’m wondering if the kerb is going to be any better there.

There is a downside to this, in that I’ll only have 15 minutes to do my shopping before the bus comes back so I’m going to be struggling for time. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Meanwhile, back in my dreams, I was round at the house of a former friend of mine showing him a new stuffed animal that I’d had – some kind of green furry rabbit. He had all of his dogs there. There was a cat there that was my particular favourite but I didn’t get on with any of the dogs. This cat was quite friendly with me. At some point there wa sa party about to take place so they’d cleaned up the house. I was absolutely tired by this and had to go to lie down. I went upstairs to the room where I usually crashed out but they’d folded the sofa up now so it was the sofa and not a bed. I just lay down on it any old how with a blanket over me and it was all the dogs that came to join me on the bed, not my favourite cat.

For about half an hour or so I transcribed a few notes from the arrears of last autumn. It should have been much more but I rather regrettably crashed out again.

Tea tonight was another stuffed pepper, and that was really tasty too. But that’s all that I’m going to be doing. I’m exhausted now so I’m going to crawl into bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form.

Sunday 13th August 2023 – SO WHILE WE’RE WAITING …

… for my webhost to upgrade the *.php version to correspond with the latest *.sql configuration, we’ll continue the notes ready for upgrading.

And despite not going to bed until about 02:30 this morning, I was still up and about at 10:00 this morning and had I forced myself, I could have been up even earlier. But let’s not go berserk on a Sunday, hey?

It took me a while to wind myself up ready for work but once I was feeling up to it (which takes much longer than it really ought to) I made a start on the radio programme.

What with one thing and another (and once you make a start, you’ve no idea how many other things there are) it took me all day to finish one of them. I dictated the other set of notes last night too but I haven’t even started on that lot yet

It’s probably due to the fact that there was so much stuff on the dictaphone. I had a really busy night last night. A was working for a French radio company last night. We’d prepared a whole series of programmes. As they started, we found that there were changes to be made. One was the introduction to the programme. It needed someone to say something like “it’s now 09:00 and the following programme is ..” whatever. We decided that I’d do that. I picked up a microphone and one or two other things then set off on my motorbike and sidecar down Bedford Street into Gresty Road and headed out of Crewe. I’d no idea what time it was etc but it looked like the correct time so I pulled off the road onto a footpath where I could park a 2-wheeled vehicle. I had to force my way down the track on this motorbike and sidecar, damaging pillars etc until I came to the other end of the parking area where there was somewhere to park. I began to make my announcement but I couldn’t remember what to say at first. I had to give the matter a great deal of thought. Someone else had to help me with that. But the idea of recording all of these introductions then just pressing the relevant button before the programme began just didn’t enter into my head.

The people in these provocative tee-shirts set out, the Americans, these people for 24 hours, the British being much more polite. The people set out on this kind-of race. At the radio station we had to manage to cover it somehow but we had no real equipment and very little time spare left over, and not much size on the radio station’s internet storage on which to store it all. Whatever all that is about, I really don’t know.

There was also the question of the English boy’s vest and pants didn’t fit. They had to break into somewhere and steal another one, much to the annoyance of the Welsh tutor and that’s all that I can remember.

Then I was having another dream in French just now about all this food that was to be eaten at this horror show party. A mother cat came along and brought her kittens one by one. When she thought that each kitten had had enough to eat she took it out of the bowl where the food was, take it somewhere else and fetch another kitten, repeating the process. It was really interesting to watch, the way this mother was making sure that all of her kittens had enough food to eat without overdoing anything.

Later on when these important people took to the stage I began to dream in Welsh to present them. It’s all happening here.

I was back with my cats playing American Football again. I had a cat n°11 who was complaining that he had a stone in his eye. That was presumably while he’d been acting like a wild thing during the earlier stages of the game. Once more I’m missing loads of this dream that I knew happened but I can’t remember as soon as I picked up the dictaphone.

Then there was a discussion about the Saudi Arabian football team and their n°11. Sure enough he was the first name on the screen, a description about him and how he was going to be their star player during their next World Cup adventures.

Finally I was with my father and someone else. The other person and I had come into our village by coming through the mountains on an old road that was all overgrown with brambles and weeds etc. It had taken ages. We passed several old roads on the way that looked extremely interesting. When we met my father we recounted our journey so he asked us to take him. We agreed and set off back, fought our way back all the way up the hill through a forest, undergrowth etc. We came to a spot where someone’s back garden of a house backed onto the path. Those people were in there having a party. I told my father “what we’ll do is to climb over the hedge here, push those big weeds around there and climb over the one there and not take any notice or pay any attention to the people in their back garden”. We explained the procedures so he replied “fair enough”. He’d noticed a post box and said “I have to post a letter. I’ve already written it, it’s in an envelope with a stamp. Seeing as there’s a post box here I’ll put it in there”. I said “well ok but this is the kind of box that’s only emptied once every Preston Guild. You want at least to make sure when the next connection will be otherwise it could be in here for ever”.

It’s hardly surprising that it took ages to type out all of that. It’s even more surprising that I was up and about so early too

There was football on the internet too this afternoon so as well as trying to resolve my web-hosting issues I was watching the football – Colwyn Bay v Caernarfon in Colwyn Bay’s beautiful, modernised stadium.

Colwyn Bay’s first match in the Premier League watched by the biggest crowd in North Wales for several years, and they were treated to a full-blooded affair with no holds barred. A proper North Wales derby.

For the first hour or so Colwyn Bay had the upper hand although Caernarfon had far too many old hands on the field to be caught out and were actually leading 1-0.

But then lack of experience, lack of concentration and a few silly mistakes undid them and Caernarfon rattled in 3 more goals quite quickly and the game petered out.

If the final whistle had gone after an hour, Colwyn Bay could have been quite satisfied about their prospects for the rest of the season but how quickly the fell away at the end is bound to be a source of worry for the manager and the team.

But right now I’m going to worry about my Welsh course tomorrow, my *.php coding and whether I’m going to have a good night’s sleep. I need to make the most of whatever time I have in bed if I want to be fighting fit in the morning.

Wednesday 2nd August 2023 – I MANAGED TO KEEP …

… on going this afternoon until about 17:00 before I crashed out. And then it was only for about 10 minutes or so.

That makes a change from how things have been just recently. But there’s no need to crow about it because one swallow doesn’t make a summer, as we all know.

And in any case, even if it were to be the situation, past experience tells us that what goes around comes around and it wouldn’t be too long before we’re back there again.

Mind you, it’s a real surprise that that’s all there was, considering the night that I’d had. Because I’d certainly been around the block, and more than once too. There was some kind of weird dream about cats and football goalkeepers and these wafers that you have on which you spread your food but I can’t remember any of it at all.

Then there was something to do with the town football club that had been playing in Wales. They’d played against three Welsh Premier League clubs and had been beaten comprehensively in each one 4-0. They went on some kind of outing. I was there and took part in it. We had to walk through a really old building. When we reached the far end someone opened the door and there was a very small yard outside. The tour must have stopped at this door but there was no-one about to talk to and we hadn’t actually seen anything. It was one of these dreams where one expects something to happen and you grip the edge of your seat waiting for it yet nothing does. You end up being in some kind of void about it. I was walking without crutches but having some mobility problems.

There was another distressing dream about being in the Southern Hemisphere where the penguins there were being fed live rodents, just tearing these rodents to shreds. The squeals were horrible. In the snow was a strange vehicle that went past. It looked like a tadpole travelling in reverse making a noise as it scrunched past the snow. But it was the squeals of these rodents that were being torn to bits that got me.

We were also talking about these animals that were watching a football match. They somehow managed to escape from the crowd and ran down this narrow footpath through the ice. People chased after them in different cars and machines and so on. One person was on foot and managed to corner them in the kitchen of a house somewhere but they threw some product onto the fire to make an explosion that broke these people’s trains of thought so that they could escape without being noticed

Later on I was back in Crewe. There was a wedding of a membr of our family. I’d no intention of going. My sister was going but there was no-one to do her job. They couldn’t find a replacement at the pub where she worked in Nantwich. I said that I’d go to do it. I prepared myself . That took me much longer than I expected. In the end I set off in this ancient Ford Transit van that was rusting and generally falling to bits. When I reached where I was going to park, an Indian guy came over to ask me what I was doing. I told him. He had a look inside my van and saw tons of stuff lying around. He went round to the passenger side and just with the force of his hands slid down the window from the outside. I shouted at him and told him what I thought. I said “if I come back here and find stuff missing I have a good idea of your face and I’ll call the police about it”. He asked “what would the police do?” as if the police wouldn’t be interested in a case like that. He explained that he owns several properties in the town and rented the rooms out to different people. I replied “God help them!”. Making sure that the van was locked I set out to walk to the pub but bumped into a friend of mine. As we were walking down towards the river bridge in Welsh Row the subject of Charles Hawtrey came up. I explained that I’d once actually met him. He replied “yes he’s a wonderful guy. You’re really lucky. I would really have liked to have met him”. I was thinking that I was already running late . Everything that’s happened since has been to delay me. I’ve no idea what the time is now. I was too afraid to look in case I’d messed the thing up totally and completely.

Finally I was back in Crewe again, this time for the first time in years. I’d gone to help out to work on the taxis. There was a job to pick up at 01:45 from a house. I didn’t recognise the address but someone said that it’s next to a certain pub near Nantwich. I knew where the pub was soo I thought that I could find the house. I set out but the whole entire road layout had changed. New roads had been added. I completely and utterly lost my bearings. In the end I had to retreat to a place that I knew in the centre of Nantwich and walk the way that I would walk 30 years ago. I found out where I’d made a mistake and eventually found my way to this house. I was running ever so late because of all this confusion but it really was bewildering how all of the roads had changed. I didn’t recognise anything.

As you can tell, it took me quite a while to type out all of that. It was quite a voyage last night.

Something else that I had to do was to re-do part of the radio programme that will be broadcast at the weekend.

As you might expect, being so far in advance causes all of its own problems, and we had the usual one that having dictated something along the lines of “and is still performing even now” about a musician, he then duly obliges by shuffling off this mortal coil to go to that Great Gig In The Sky.

It’s all very well being “not frightened of dying – Any time will do, I don’t mind” but I wish they wouldn’t do it a week or so before the programme is to be broadcast.

While the cleaner was here I finished off the notes for the next radio programme and then after she left I turned m attention to the notes for the trip around Canada in 2017.

Right now, I’m coming off the Eagle Plateau and out of the Mealy Mountains down into the valley of the Churchill River where I’ll be heading east and then north to North West River, the furthest north that it’s possible to go by road.

Well in fact, it’s possible to go further north, but not in a continuous drive. Strider and I would have to take a freighter and head north to one of the Mission Stations where the Moravian missionaries attend to the spiritual needs of the Inuit.

That would have been an interesting trip prior to the Influenza epidemic of 1918. There were about a dozen or so Mission Stations but several of them were wiped out and abandoned. There are now just five.

But as for the road, that didn’t go to North West River in the past. Access was by boat and then a cable car across the river.

However, the discovery of a deposit of uranium at Makkovik at the height of the Cold War led to the construction of a road, which reached as far as North West River before the deposit was found to be uneconomic.

The road was thus abandoned and piles of radioactive rock was left lying around causing a health risk to the local inhabitants.

Tea tonight was one of the best that I’ve made. It should have been a leftover curry but I’m saving that for tomorrow because I won’t have much time.

Instead, I had the meal that I promised myself – steamed vegetables in a cheese sauce with a spicy vegan sausage. It really was delicious.

So I’m off to bed, hoping to have a really good sleep. Or if not, a really good voyage. The other night several of my favourite characters came to accompany me and it would be really nice if they were to turn up again.

Monday 13th February 2023 – THAT AIR FRYER …

… bread that I made yesterday wasn’t actually too bad. I took one of the little rolls that I made and sliced it. And it looked like bread too – much softer than I have made before. and it toasted quite nicely too. Nice and crispy and hot with a pile of vegan butter it was absolutely delicious.

It’s strange that it looked so different on the outside though.

What I’ll have to do is to make some more and see whether I can reproduce the same results with that lot. But at least it goes to show that the air fryer has what it takes to make my bread in the future.

Maybe I should have bought a bigger air fryer to go with the bigger freezer that I also should have bought.

last night though I didn’t have too much time to dream about making bread because although I was in bed quite early, it took an age to go to sleep.

And when I did, I had the pain in my leg and feet again and I awoke much earlier than planned too.

But even though I didn’t have too much sleep, there was still plenty of time to go off on a few travels here and there. I started off by reading a newspaper. There was a photo of something that had happened behind where I parked Caliburn. There was some kind of electrical equipment there in this photo. I went over to have a look. It was still there. What I thought at first were the 2 batteries had spilled out so I picked them up and took them back to Caliburn for a closer look. One may well have been some kind of battery pack but the other one wasn’t. it functioned between 11.7 and 17 volts. While I was about to have a good look at it someone pulled up and started to search through Caliburn. I asked him what was the matter. He replied that he was borrowing some sockets. He went to put one of his daughters in the cab of Caliburn so we had a huge row about that. he asked me a few questions about things that happened in Shavington. I asked him what he had taken of mine. He replied “a couple of sockets” but not to worry because he’d bring them back to me on Friday.

And then I was moving into my new place. There were 3 large metal cabinets that needed taking there. I emptied them and asked the guys from the radio. They carried the 3 of them down and put them on the back of Caliburn. I drove off to the new place. From there I had to go off somewhere so I left them to fetch the 3 cabinets out and take them up to my apartment. When I returned I couldn’t see Caliburn nor these cabinets. I could see that 1 of the cabinets had made it outside the apartment and they were all extremely unhappy about me having left them to deal with all of this which I thought was quite a straightforward easy thing to do but they were really unhappy about it and it left a really bad impression. I still had the other 2 filing cabinets in the back of Caliburn somewhere that I was going to have to bring up on my own.

After that I took a week off work. I’d been walking around the Nantwich Road area of Crewe all morning thinking that this is really nice. Why don’t I just retire and spend the rest of my life just doing nice things like this instead of rushing into a place like work where I don’t have to go anyway because I’m over the retirement age. On the way back I cut through a few side streets and came across an area that had been badly burnt after having caught fire somewhere round by Mill Street. The only camera I had with me was on my phone so I went to take a couple of photos of it. The photos just wouldn’t keep on working out properly. I ended up either photographing something else completely different or else it wasn’t clear enough to catch any of the fire damage.

And I must be dreaming if I’m thinking that wandering around Crewe for a morning is really nice and that I ought to do it more often. Nantwich Road is on the south side of the town and it was to the north to where the Luftwaffe paid a visit, dropped a stick of bombs and caused £14,000,000 worth of improvements.

And dreaming that I ought to be retiring? How many times is that just recently?

Finally I was with TOTGA last night. We were driving around Stoke on Trent trying to go somewhere. There were demolition works and road works everywhere. We turned into a street that was a dead end that we found, all fenced off. I had to reverse all the way back out and onto the main road again which was a rather dangerous thing to do. I was in the Opel Senator. As I was reversing out onto the main road I suddenly realised that this car hasn’t been on the road for over 20 years. There was no tax, no MoT, no insurance or anything on it. This was bound to lead to all kinds of complications if we were to run across a policeman or something like that. I couldn’t understand why I’d chosen this car to come out in to pick her up.

So welcome back TOTGA. It’s been a long time since she’s put in an appearance. It’s nice to see her back. Her front’s quite nice too.

It didn’t take long to finish off the two radio programmes this morning, having done most of the work over the end of last week. I had a listen to them too and I’m quite pleased with how they have worked out. There’s some good music in them.

As well as that I also had a listen to the one that i’ll be sending off for broadcast this coming weekend. On eof the joints between the music in that one isn’t up to much but I couldn’t work out how to make it sound any better.

The rest of the day has been spent working on something else for the radio. Just before Christmas 2021 Laurent and I interviewed the woman who makes the dresses for the Carnival Queens but I didn’t do anything with the interview because Carnaval was cancelled last year.

However, Carnaval is going ahead next week at long last so I edited the radio programme and added in some music. A few years ago I recorded the music from some of the marching bands so I filtered it into the interview to give it some kind of introduction.

Tea tonight was another delicious stuffed pepper. And with plenty of stuffing left I’ll be having a taco roll tomorrow night and a leftover curry (seeing as there are plenty of leftovers here and there) on Wednesday.

My meals might be very much the same from one week to the next but the thing is that they are delicious so why would I want to change. But I’m thinking about having some falafel with my chips on Friday night. All I need to do is to remember to go to the supermarket for a big shop on Friday afternoon because Carnaval starts this weekend and it’ll be pretty pointless trying to go to the shops once things get under way

So right now I’m off to bed, hoping for a better night because I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow and I need to revise for it. As I said a few weeks ago, I’m falling behind and it’s showing. But I can’t seem to find the time and when I do, I can’t find the motivation.

And I don’t know what I am going to do about that.

Monday 12th December 2022 – YOU MAY NOT …

… believe this, but Caliburn actually started up this morning on the battery that was on the van. And that’s astonishing, especially as he hasn’t run for over 11 weeks. There’s a small leak in the electrical circuit somewhere that slowly drains the battery so I was expecting it to be dead by now.

What wasn’t nice though was that I’d left open the window in the driver’s door. It had rained in somewhat but one of my neighbours had stuffed a black plastic bag in the door and taped it up to keep the worst out.

Nevertheless, fancy Caliburn starting. I gave him a couple of laps around the block to warm him up and charge up the battery but I’ll tell you something for nothing, and that is that driving him in my condition is a nightmare.

And so as you can imagine, I’ve been outside this morning, and in the freezing fog too. I had to take some rubbish to the bins across the road and even though it is just “across the road” it took me an agonising 25 minutes to do it, going in baby steps. I thought that having had a good relax and a gentle easing off of the stiffness would have made things better, but far from it.

This trip to Leuven for 2nd January is therefore looking less and less likely.

In other news, Strawberry Moose is back home. On eof the reasons why I put a battery on charge last night and then went to start him today was that a couple of guys from the radio had told me that they would be around today at lunchtime.

It was my intention to ask them to help me carry the battery downstairs and to couple it up in order to start him but that wasn’t unnecessary. But they brought back my suitcase completr with His Nibs.

It was interesting too because they work for the local council and they were able to give me some useful hints about dependent living. Having had some kind of impromptu interview, they told me that someone would be in touch.

And I’ll need it too after last night, which was another awful, horrendous night. I kept on waking up, went for one or two walks down the corridor and so on. I was also on my travels quite considerably during the night in another sphere as well. I was with my friend from the Scottish Borders last night. To my surprise she was heavily involved in Black Magic and Spiritualism. She had one of the original books from that period and she had lent it to me. Every time I tried to make a start on reading it someone came past and I wasn’t comfortable about reading this book in full view of whoever it was so I kept it hidden below the desk or down the bed or something until that person had gone. After a while my friend became frustrated and quoted some phrase in the book about “whoever has taken me from my possessor” or something like that. I explained that I hadn’t actually done that. I’d explained what I was doing but she thought that I had to be a lot more forthright about reading the book even though I was uncomfortable. In the end there was always a piece of music that I played that stopped us arguing. She handed me my guitar and asked me to play this piece even though I hadn’t played for quite a while. My performance was bound to be suspect but I thought that I’d give it a go, although I felt that this was just a sticking plaster over a wound and wasn’t actually solving the problem of me getting down to actually reading this book. Whether or not I has an interest in Spiritualism I had an enormous amount of curiosity and I was intrigued just as much as anyone else to see what was in this book and how everything would unfold. However just glancing through a couple of pages made me seem to think that she had at one time or another said something about almost everything that was in there

There was something in there as well about working in the suburbs of Brussels, how some people were complaining that it was expensive. The question was then asked “why don’t they move even further out? That way they could find somewhere more affordable”. The reply came back about the cost and time of commuting which would put them back to Square One even if they were to do that.

Percy Penguin sent me a text to ask me if I could run her to a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. I replied “yes I would” but then I had a realisation that there was no MoT or tax on the car. I had to send her another e-mail straight back. She said that she had cancelled her transport at work so now I was pretty-much obliged to take her unless I could find someone else or someone else would volunteer. Then I was with friends walking around Middlewich. I was pushing something like a pram or a push-chair or whatever. We came off the street around some kind of semi-circle parking place to try to get through to where Walgrens and Marks and Spencers was. We’d been talking about the traffic problems being caused by people turning into their car park. I said that they should get all the nouveau-riche pretentious people, put them in Marks and Spencers and Walgrens and then drop a bomb on the place. That didn’t go down too well with my friends. We were trudging round this semi-circle car space with a cinder base thing. I suddenly wondered if we could get through to Walgrens from here. They replied “no, we should have gone through somewhere else”. On the skyline 100 yards ahead of us were these most peculiar buildings, tall and really narrow. They looked most unsafe. It turned out that these were single-bedroom flats for single occupancy. We were thinking that maybe Percy penguin could find a place there. Then we thought that they looked so delapidated that they would be bound to be closing down these places and demolishing them soon. Nevertheles we went in. There was only a small ladder on the ground floor on the inside. I thought that we had to climb up this ladder, look out of the top by poking our heads through the roof to look out over the top to see how we could get to where we wanted to go. If this ladder wasn’t tall enough for us to be able to do that then we would have a great amount of difficulty. I didn’t fancy leaning too much against the wall of one of these buildings in case we pushed it over because it was really unsafe.

I was also having a dream involving Rosemary. A Government had arbitrarily cut some kind of rate on bankruptcies. She couldn’t see a problem except that someone else had noticed and pointed out to me that it had wiped out the whole market for Insolvency Practicioners. This led to a big discussion about the acounts already agreed with Brussels. The only difference was that the dissident who was supposed to have been held in Moscow at some time but turned up eventually in China. She had a talk that they had a benefit concert for this guy in China but the two people who contributed most in bringing his name to the forefront never actually turned up for it. That name rang a bell with me.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I felt absolutely awful and I was all ready to stay in bed but I forced myself out. I’d already written half of the notes for my radio programme so I finished the rest, recorded and edited them and then assembled everything.

For a change, I was working backwards so I fell about a minute short so I had to expand my notes and re-dictate some of them. Therefore I didn’t really save as much time as I might otherwise have done.

Then I had Caliburn who required attention, and then my visitors.

Once everyone had gone I had a play around on the computer but fell asleep on my chair. That prompted me to go to bed, something that I have been trying not to do but there was no alternative as I have never in my life felt so tired, as all of … errr … 7% of my daily target will testify.

When I finally crawled out of bed (due mainly to a need to go and take a ride on the Porcelain Horse otherwise I’d probably still be there now) I ended up doing … shock! Horror! … some tidying up. Not much but just enough to take me up to tea time.

So now I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form and then I’ll (hopefully) take Caliburn for another spin. See how I feel and maybe in a few days I’ll pluck up the courage to go to the shops.

Monday 26th September 2022 – GONE!

gerlean briscard chant des sirenes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And never caled me “mother”!

Thee have been wholesale changes in the chantier naval today and I seemed to have missed them all!

The only boats that are still there from the five that were lined up at the side are Briscard and Chant des Sirenes. And add to that the fact that Gerlean has now moved over there too, and you can see that they have been really busy.

Everyone else that we have seen in there over the last couple of days has now gone back into the water.

So what’s going to happen next?

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Also gone! And never called me “mother!” either are the crowds of people

Autumn has certainly arrived, and arrived in spades too. As a result, despite the fact that there was plenty of beach to be on, there wasn’t a single person – or a married person either – taking advantage of it.

By the looks of things, everything is quietening right down ready for winter to arrive. All we need to do now is to clear out the caravanners and we’ll be back to our normal sleepy selves, and I won’t ‘arf be looking forward to that!

belle france joly france le roc à la mauve 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The beach isn’t the only thing where winter is a-cumin in.

Over there at the ferry terminal we now have two of the ferries parked up. Belle France is over there at the front of the queue and behind her is one of the Joly France boats.

We can tell from the windows in “portrait” format and the lack of step in the stern that it’s the newer one of the two. Chausiaise is in the inner harbour so all we need now is the other ferry and we’ll have a full house.

In the foreground, nothing to do with winter, is the little Le Roc À La Mauve III whom we saw for a while in the chantier naval

granville victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The final event that has underlined the arrival of winter relates to the Channel Island ferries.

Victor Hugo has been moored in the harbour for quite a few days but she’s now been joined by her sister, the single-hulled Granville that plies between some of the smaller ports up the coast and some of the ports on the minor Channel Islands like Alderney and Sark.

The fact that they are now both here seems to imply that they aren’t going to go anywhere until next Spring. And I hope that next year when everything starts up again we’ll have a much better service than we had this year.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But while we’re on the subject of going anywhere … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve been going places today.

So while you admire some of the photos that I took while I was out and about I’ll tell you all about it.

And the first thing that I wanted to say was that I actually went out on the bus. The event that I attended was taking place at the rear of the Agora Centre on the edge of town and as the bus passes by there, I reckoned that I would leap aboard instead of going in Caliburn.

Especially as travelling on the bus around the town is free. I should really do more with that.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Mind you, I was lucky that I went.

The bus was due to leave at 09:10 and the nurse was also due as well and he can come at any time. I was half-expecting him not to come until after the bus had left but he turned up with 10 minutes to go.

Having had a shower earlier in the morning I was ready and so immediately after he left I grabbed my things and was out of the door. I made the bus in seconds flat, which you must admit is an amazing piece of engineering.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It was pouring down with rain this morning, and I had to wander around in the wet to find the place that I wanted.

It’s the old Ecole Pierre et Marie Curie that closed down last year. The town has bought it so that they can bring into one place all of their outlying offices instead of having them scattered all around in various buildings.

It’s been refurbished, so they tell me, which I find surprising – it must have been in a dreadful state before – and some of the services have moved in. Today was the formal, official opening and I’d been invited.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s plenty of room in there. I must have counted as many as 20 old classrooms, of which only a handful were occupied.

Consequently they have made a lot of the empty rooms into “communal rooms” where the various associations can rent a space to hold meetings, and several “likely tenants” were there. I spent a lot of time talking to someone who runs a ballroom dancing class.

Interestingly, they have ploughed up what I suppose used to be the school playing field and that has been converted into some kind of communal garden rather like an allotment site. Now doesn’t THAT have possibilities?

le bouquet granvillais radio studio espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But why I was there was that one of the rooms has been seized by the organiser of our radio station.

We’ve never had a studio. Everything is always done at the home of whoever is presenting the programme and that can sometimes be inconvenient. But right now we have staked our claim and thinks can only (hopefully) improve.

It’s nothing like the type of studio that I would like to have, with a separate control room, sound insulation and absorption material all around it, but from small acorns large oaks grow and they’ll begin to realise the shortcomings and do something about it.

Thierry drove me home afterward so I didn’t even have to wait for the bus, and I could then carry on with my work.

As it happened, I’d already done quite a lot of work. With the alarm going off at 06:00 I was out of bed immediately even if I hadn’t gone to bed until after 23:00 and had a bad night, all of which just goes to show that I can do it when I really try.

After the medication, having a shower and checking my mails I made a start on the notes for the radio programme that I’d be preparing today. And not only did I finish writing the notes I’d actually dictated half of them when the nurse interrupted my progress.

Back here later I had a very late breakfast and then carried on with the work.

And it took an absolute age to do because it was rather a different way of doing it today. Usually I just trawl through my databases when I’m choosing the final track and pick one that matches the available timeslot less 45 seconds for a closing speech.

Today though was a themed programme and I didn’t have the same choice that I would otherwise have. I had to choose a track from a very small selection and adjust the length of the speech to fit.

And then in an error of calculation I was 10 seconds short so I had to re-dictate the final speech with some extra stuff in it and then re-edit it.

As a result it was a very late walk around the headland. At least the rain had stopped for a moment but there was a howling gale that had sprung up. I was the only one out and about and I could understand why.

le loup fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You’ve seen the beach already, and there was nothing else of any note on the north side of the headland.

The storm was keeping everyone else in today except for a few brave souls such as those people in the little boat out there sailing … “dieseling” – ed … past le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the port.

You can see how much she’s struggling against the wind in this photo, and although I wasn’t in the best position to take it, it was too good an opportunity to miss as it would soon be in the shelter of the headland.

ch932880 calean baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This boat is having even more difficulty coming into port.

This is Calean whom we have seen on many occasions in the past. And I’d seen her way out at sea fighting her way past the waves and she had taken an age to come into the bay.

In fact she didn’t have it easy coming into port either because as you saw in one of the earlier photos there wasn’t a lot of water in the harbour so she’ll have to ride outside in the storm for a while until the tide comes in a little more.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Surprisingly, there was someone on the rocks at the end of the headland.

THis fisherman was having plenty of fun fighting the storm but he didn’t last long. He evidently heard me coming because as soon as I arrived he folded up his gear and cleared off.

There was someone on the bench at the cabanon vauban as well but as soon as I arrived he did likewise. I really ought to change my deodorant.

Crossing the road was rather a bad time as I hit the school buses going home. A whole fleet of them. Discretion was the better part of valour so I stayed on the pavement until they’d all gone by.

ch922443 cap pilar port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home I took a few photos that you have already seen, but there was this one too.

Actually it’s cropped out of another one and although it is missing some of the hull of Cap Pilar, it’s of interest because it shows quite a lot of her distinguishing features.

One of the things to do eventually is to make my own fishing boat database for the port with photos of all of the boats showing their name and registration number so that I can refer to it in future.

No time like the present.

Back here I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And then later (“later than what?” I asked myself) I was walking around an island. I started off in the company of Zero but we met other people. Gradually they wandered off and I was on my own. Because I’d had no orange juice I went to look for a shop that would have them. There weren’t many shops on this place. There used to be 3 but now there were only 2. Now the hotel had a few possessions as well, things to sell. I went to the first one but I ended up being side-tracked. I bought something else but completely forgot about the orange juice. Later on, when I was wandering around waiting for someone I remembered the orange juice as well. By this time I was a long way from where the shops were and I didn’t want to go to the hotel to see if they had one to fill so I had to go all the way back to the shops and have a look in there. But there was much more to it than this. It was a dream that went on and on and on as I was walking around this island and it lasted for ever.

I couldn’t go back to sleep after this but I must have done at some point because there was some kind of office meeting taking place. I was having to question a couple of people at this meeting. It concerned an interview between 2 people that had taken place on Monday. One of them was management. Some meetings between more members of staff who were senior grades and representatives of employers. There was a third topic too but I can’t remember that. I had to ask that question at 4 or 5 separate meetings. The first 3 or 4 went fine but in the final one I lost my plot, lost where I was. That was because in the first question I asked about this meeting with one member of staff, someone whom I believed was a member of staff shouted up and shouted “yes” in answer to a question. Of course no-one was even supposed to know about it except me. Anyway I awoke again and couldn’t go back to sleep after that

When the alarm went off I was somewhere in a hotel with a group of people. We’d been driving somewhere and going down this steep hill it was pretty dark. Some guy kept shouting “no, no, no! You’ve gone the wrong way! Stop, stop stop!”. In the end we stopped and had to retrace our steps then turn to the right. We followed a canal for a while. There was a sign for an abandoned railway station and we passed through some kind of derelict abandoned village. That was where I dropped something that I was carrying over the side of the jeep so we had to do a U-turn but the jeep behind us picked it up and gave it back to me. Someone in the jeep asked if I really enjoyed camping. “No” I replied. “I’m a hotel person myself”. And this really was an extremely realistic dream too that shook me rather when I awoke and found that it was a dream.

But at least Zero had come to see me during the night, although not for long. But let’s just be thankful for small mercies.

Tea was a delicious stuffed pepper, interrupted by a phone call from Rosemary, so I called her back later.

1 hour 45 minutes we were on the phone talking about this and that, and especially how Miss Ukrainian is enjoying going to school even if it is just part-time for a crash course in French. As a result, I’m running horribly late today.

And a Welsh lesson too so I need to be fully fit and raring to go. Still, we can all dream, can’t we?

Monday 12th September 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

boats lighthouse ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… day where I’ve done rather more than I would otherwise usually do.

So while you admire the small boats coming back from the north end of the Ile de Chausey. I can tell you that I was leaping out of bed with alacrity this morning at 06:00 this morning as soon as the alarm went off.

And that’s not quite like me these days, is it? But there it was, and here I am.

After the medication this morning, I came back in here to check the mails and messages from over the weekend. And to my surprise, there weren’t all that many. I don’t think that anyone loves me any more.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while Belle france sits quietly in the silt over at the ferry terminal, I’m busy making a start on the radio programme that I’ll be preparing for this week.

This morning it was ready, up and running at 11:10 this morning. And it would have been done much quicker had I not had so much editing to do.

The fact is that this is something special. I’ve had something quite remarkable fall into my possession. A rock group from upstate New York were in the throes of recording an album back in 1971 when they split up. The recoding was never finished and the tapes were lost.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … some kind of copy of the tape has come into my possession.

It seems to me that when this programme hits the airwaves in a few months, it will be the first time ever that a track from this group has been broadcast. And I can’t simply dismiss that in 800 characters.

Furthermore something else has come into my hands where the drummer was the guy who stood in for Keith Moon during a recording session of a Who album. and that’s not something to gloss over lightly either.

While I was listening to it and to the one that I’m sending off for broadcast this week, I was sorting out a few things around here and dealing with a few photos

After the lunchtime fruit I had to organise the payment of my Canadian motor insurance. Although I haven’t driven Strider since 2019 I have to keep the insurance going. It’s no longer possible for foreigners to have an insurance with a non-Canadian or non-USA driving licence but I’m a “legacy” case so I can keep mine up. But if I let it lapse then I’m snookered too.

It’s quite complicated to do it but it has to be done. Mind you, it’s not so complicated as actually having to drive down to the insurance company in Saint John’s to renew it.

It led to quite a chat with my niece as well. We haven’t really spoken for a while so there was a lot to say.

Having done that, I had other things to do. There’s something happening around here at the weekend and if I play my cards correctly I could become involved in it.

It will involve a lot of work and preparation so having sent out an enquiry (to which I have yet to receive a reply) I made a start on organising myself, just in case.

caravanettes mobile homes place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This took me up to the time that I would usually go out for my afternoon walk.

And I didn’t go far at all before I came to a grinding halt. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that back in the summer I mentioned that once the holidaymakers go back, we’ll be swamped with the old retirees in their mobile homes and caravanettes.

By the looks of things, I’m not wrong either. But then again I knew that. It ws pretty-much odds-on.

That isn’t even a parking spot for mobile homes. There’s a sign to say that they are prohibited. There is a camping ground about 200 metres down the road but it’s probably full right now.

The purpose of the car park is primarily for parking for the locals who live in the walled town where parking is almost impossible. But let’s not go letting rules, regulations and the rights of the local residents stand in the way of a selfish tourist.

So having had my daily moan quite early, I headed off as usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening there.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And sure enough, there were crowds of people down there today. It really was a nice day so it’s not a surprise.

You can’t see too many people in this photo because the tide is quite a way out so there was plenty of beach on which they could spread themselves about.

No-one quite brave enough to take to the waters though. I suppose that the temperature of the sea is dropping now after the bad weather that we had last week and that’ll keep anyone out of the water.

Having seen the beach and the people thereupon, I had a look around out at sea to see what was going on there.

trafalgar baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You’ve seen what was going on right out by the Ile de Chausey but I was also interested in a trawler that I could see out at the entrance to the Baie de Mont St Michel.

At this kind of distance it’s not possible to identify it with any certainly but it’s white with a blue stripe or two and edged in pink. Those are the colours of Trafalgar, as we saw when she was in the chantier naval just now.

This is another unusual place in which to find a trawler but as we have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … since the disruption to the usual fishing arrangements here in the bay we’ve seen the trawler owners trying out all kinds of unusual and different fishing grounds

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Fighting my way through the crowds I ended up down at the end of the headland.

One thing that I noticed this afternoon was the crowds of people out there at the pèche-à-pied with the tide being so far out right now. This person here was one of several dozens scratching around on the rocks.

And I know the secret of the pèche-à-pied. There’s what they call a “tidal coefficient” – a number that indicates the difference between the high tides and the low tides. The higher the number, the greater the difference between the tides.

And when it’s greater than 100, that’s when the pèche-à-pied is authorised. Today, it’s 101.5

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And as for whatever was going on out at sea or on the rocks, thee was quite a crowd of people down there watching it.

There were dozens of people milling around down at the end of the headland and on the lower path. Some of those gravitated down to the bench by the cabanon vauban where they could relax and admire the view. They were actually looking quite romantic down there.

A couple of others were standing there presumably awaiting their turn to take a seat. But today, there was no-one hiding in the bushes or sunbathing over the edge as we saw the other day.

From here I set off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And just then I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way north.

It was too far out to identify it but back here I was able to enlarge and enhance the photo. It’s actually an old friend of ours, F-GBAI.

She’s a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club. She appeared on the radar at 16:08 flying out to the Ile de Chausey and having done a lap around, went down to the Mont St Michel and back up again where she disappeared off the radar in the vicinity of the airfield.

My photo was taken at 16:12 (adjusted) so this flight plan doesn’t really correspond with my photo. Usually we coincide pretty much.

le poulbot pescadore peccavi briscard chant des sirenes massabielle le styx chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And while there is no change to day in occupancy of the chantier naval, there looks as if there is something about to happen.

The portable boat lift has left its usual parking place over the drop into the water and is now hovering around over the top of Peccavi. It looks as if she’s about to go back into the water as soon as the tide comes in.

Over at the ferry terminal, Belle France was quietly sleeping in the silt, as you saw a little earlier. She’s presumably waiting for the tide to come in when she can go back out to rescue the day trippers who might be stranded over there right now.

cranes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of months ago they refurbished the crane that lives over on the far side of the harbour.

Right now though they have brought the crane over into the loading bay and the other one has now been pushed over into the back corner.

This could mean one of two things – either they are going to refurbish the other one or else they are going to withdraw it and replace it with one that will handle the freight that the owners of Southern Liner want to transport.

This is something else on which I will have to keep my eye in the future.

Back here I had a nice cold drink and then had a listen to the dictaphone to see what I’d been up to during the night. We had another dream about cars last night. I can’t remember how it started but I remember leaving work and walking outside. My car was the VANDEN PLAS 1300. I went to go into it ans switched on the radio to say that I was going home. There was no tax on it and no MoT on it, one of the many vehicles that I had with no tax and MoT (this is becoming a regular theme, isn’t it?). I remember being annoyed because I never seemed to have the time where I could take one of my vehicles, go right underneath it and do what needed doing and then have it taxed and MoTed. I wondered how long I could go before I was going to be caught. I ended up going back down Gresty Road. This time I was on an electric scooter. I reached the end and turned left. For some reason I had a premonition that something was going to pull out in front of me at Edleston Road top and hit me, or I’d hit it. The police would come along and that’s when I would find out all about having not tax and no MoT.
For the benefit of non-British readers, of whom there are more than just a few, every vehicle on UK roads needs an insurance certificate. It it’s over 3 years old and not a collector’s vehicle it needs a Ministry of Transport safety check every year and on passing the test it’s issued with a Ministry of Transport (MoT) Safety Certificate. Armed with current Insurance and MoT Certificates you can then go to the Post Office and on production of those valid documents you can buy a Road Tax certificate to display in your windscreen. That’s how it used to be anyway when I remember it. It’s all automated these days and done on line.

This was another car dream similar to the first one. I left home and there was no real car for me so I got into a Berkeley 2-wheeler type of thing, again with no insurance, tax or MoT and wishing that we had the time to look at one of my vehicles and have it registered properly. But this is always the thing when you’re spending all this time looking after these kids that you never have time to do anything of your own and everything else falls obviously into arrears.

This story came up with one of my Germany friends about a guy who had joined out chat room group but had been ejected. He said that he had been grouped with 2 particular people. That meant that it was they who had something to do with his ejection but she couldn’t understand why. I replied “no, that’s not correct. he was grouped with me and of course I’m a Moderator. I was the one who ejected him”. She wanted to know why and I replied that it was because of his posts. She said that surely his posts about cups of tea and things weren’t offensive. I replied that that wasn’t what he was writing at all. She was then wondering whether or not we were talking about the same person. I knew exactly whom I was talking about and presumably so did she but she was wondering whether we were talking about the same one

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper and it was really nice too. I think that I have this off to a … errr … tea now. Plenty of stuffing left so it’s a taco roll tomorrow. That’ll be quite powerful, having marinaded in the spicy sauce for 24 hours.

Tomorrow our Welsh class is starting again so I need to be on form. That calls for an early night and a good sleep. So what’s the betting that something will come along to interrupt me?

Saturday 5th March 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… a few photos of the 120-odd people who turned up spontaneously outside the Mairie in Granville at midday for an impromptu show of support for Ukraine, I’ll tell you about my really miserable night last night.

And when I say “miserable” I really DO mean “miserable” because last night, in a sleep that went on theoretically for just a little over 8 hours, there were no fewer than 14 entries on the dictaphone and that must be something of a record in anyone’s language.

And so it will be no surprise to anyone to learn that when I awoke this morning with the alarm I was thoroughly, completely and absolutely overwhelmed with fatigue.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Although it wasn’t until very much later that I transcribed the dicatphone notes, it’s probably a good idea if I insert them here so that we can keep things in order.

Last night I was standing up but suddenly I fell forward and knocked over this tripod that had some kind of equipment on it like camera equipment or dictaphone equipment. Then I realised that I was wearing a soldier’s uniform and I’d been arrested or captured, something like that

And then there was something about a cucumber rolling around in the bed and I’ve no idea at all what that was all about.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And then later on I was out with a friend of mine from Brussels. We’d started off at work – we were working together – and then we decided that we would go for a walk. There’s a bride being married in a couple of days and she was having an exhibition so off we went. We had a lengthy heart-to-heart chat about all kinds of things that had happened between us 20 years ago. It was an extremely intimate discussion. She ended up saying “if only you hadn’t been married, if only you hadn’t been middle-aged” etc. It was a really deep discussion. The bride had settled herself down so we decided that we would go and look. I knew that there was a phrase that you had to use but I couldn’t remember what it was. We walked past this tent and a little head popped out – a little girl. I said “cuckoo, are you getting married?” and she blushed and went back, stuck her head back inside. I could see inside that the bride was asleep in the corner of the tent and there were 3 goats in there as well. I was trying to work out the ritual nature of all of this.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I actually missed out a few things in that story about my friend in Brussels. I can’t remember who I was with at first but we were coming in late for work and we heard people talking about the “Naz” department store. I arrived at work and asked someone what had happened about the department store. They replied that it had fallen down. I asked if it was any relation to the fire a few days ago somewhere. They said “no”. This guy was very interested in telling me so much more about so many different things but I wasn’t interested in hearing them. On my way back to my desk with whoever it was I said that we really need to be in work earlier because we are pushing the boundaries and we need to do better than this and make every effort to arrive at work earlier. When I was walking with my friend we could see in the distance a load of white smoke that might either have been from the collapse of “Naz” or whatever it was called or else the remains of this big fire

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022. Back at home later I was talking to my mother and one of my sisters. I said where I’d been and that many years ago when my blog was in hiatus I used to read books and I’d underline or highlight phrases in books that actually meant something. When I’d been writing my blog subsequently and re-read one of these books and came to a phrase that I’d noted, I’d mentioned it in relation to her. She’s read my blog and seen these references etc but was still interested in coming out with me for a chat. I thought “well, there’s hope yet, isn’t there?”

So there were pirates who stopped a boat and they put everyone ashore. There was a flag that they were flying that had five rings on it like the Olympic flag. I had no idea to engage in this fight so I didn’t go but they swarmed onto this other boat and started hacking the other defenders about to see whether it was going to take them

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And here I am doing it again – dictating a dream when I have no dictaphone with me. I was on a boat somewhere in the Indian or South Pacific Ocean and I was talking about the time that I’d been on a voyage of discovery with my Belgian friend – and fell asleep again in the middle of it – but basically what this was about was something about me being there and maybe taking a boat to Japan and back to the USA. There was a lot more to it than this but unfortunately I can’t remember anything and that’s really disappointing.

And later again I was out on the Pacific on yet another ocean liner with someone else when the subject of this girl in Belgium came up again but I don’t know where it went from here. But how many times last night was it that she put in an appearance?

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Next time I was in the American cavalry in a dark-blue uniform. There was a person of colour in the troop. We came across this girl and noticed her bounty of seventeen dollars which we thought was quite a lot for her seeing as she was an Indian so we resolved to kill her. She was killed in the struggle but handed her jacket all the same to create an entry to receive this money

And yet again dictating in my sleep but it was one on those things where the ones I was with would go and sort out some enemy checks or something like that so we set off in a car and drove. As we drove around the headland we saw the ruins of a castle across a bay that looked very close. We suddenly realised that we had gone within earshot of these particular people and so we’d better not say any more in case they overheard us.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I was at University last night waiting for morning classes to start and I’d been talking to Rosemary on the ‘phone and I said something like “why don’t you come up?”. When I finished I went back into the classroom and took my seat but suddenly Rosemary turned up. I had to go out to see her and talk to her. I sent her off to the cafeteria because our lecture was about to begin. Back in there the cat was on the windowsill so I went to stroke it. Someone said “that’s my cat” but I said that anyone could stroke it as far as I’m concerned. I found that someone else had taken my seat so I had to look for another empty one. Then I had to go through my timetable to find out what lessons I had for the rest of the week so I could go down when this one finished and talk to Rosemary. There were a couple of conversation lessons I couldn’t miss and one or two other things but there was still a fair amount of time so I had to sit down and think about making a plan that I could take to Rosemary in 40 minutes when this lecture finished.

beach rue ru nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022After the medication and checking my mails and messages (and having a little relax too) I set off to go into town to do a little shopping. I need some mushrooms for the pizza tomorrow and also a baguette for my Saturday treat.

As usual, I went off to have a look at the beach to see what might have been going on down there today. And one look at what is supposed to be the beach will tell you that there wasn’t anything whatever going on down there right now.

And for an obvious reason too. The tide is right in today at probably its fullest extent and that’s put a stop to everything. You can see now how it’s possible for people to be cut off from the steps.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I was also looking out to sea to see what I could see.

Right out on the horizon in the Baie de Granville are a couple of yachts. At least, one of them is a yacht and I’m not quite sure what the other one is.

As you can see, it’s a beautiful day out there this morning but there’s plenty of haze around farther out and the Channel Islands are obscured which is a shame. I was hoping that we might have had a really good view of St Helier today.

And that reminds me – the ferry service is supposed to be starting up some time soon. I must make further enquiries.

cabin cruiser marker light baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022One thing that regular readers of this rubbish might recall is that a few days ago we say the marker on the rocks just off the headland here right out of the water.

Today of course, it’s a completely different story. You can see that it’s almost submerged and that will give you a really good idea of how high the tide is. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … we have some of the highest tides in Europe just here.

Of course, with the tide being as it is, the harbour gates will have been open for quite a while and that will account for the yachts, and also for the cabin cruiser that’s out there. At first I thought that it might be fishing but judging by its wake it’s in rather a hurry and presumably heading out to the Ile de Chausey.

pointe de grouin brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022The view out to sea might have been obscured by haze this morning but the view along the coast was one of the best that we have ever had.

Although I had to enhance this photograph quite considerably, it shows a really good view of the lighthouse at the Pointe de Grouin on the headland at the entrance to the bay on the Brittany side.

That’s of course where we spent our first night when we were out and about on the Spirit of Conrad in summer 2020.

It was here that I had a ‘phone call about the Demonstration at lunchtime so I abandoned my shopping trip and headed home for a shower and clean-up and to find some blue and yellow clothes.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On leaving the apartment I’m grabbed my ZOOM H8 to record whatever might be happening.

There wasn’t enough time to check the batteries – I use it on the mains here – and so it goes without saying that the batteries were flat. And so were the spare ones too.

But anyway the talk that we were given only lasted for a couple of minutes and that was that. I wandered around taking a few photos until everyone dispersed.

A couple of friends from the radio were here so we all went for a coffee and a chat.

On the way home I popped into Carrefour for the mushrooms and baguette and then crawled slowly (and it was slowly too because I wasn’t feeling too good after my bad night) back home where I had lunch.

This afternoon was pretty slow. Transcribing all of the dictaphone notes took an enormous amount of time and there was also at least an hour and a half when I crashed out completely, absolutely and definitely.

There was football too on the internet – Penybont v Caernarfon. Penybont hit the woodwork twice, had a stonewall penalty appeal turned down, had about 75% of the play and somehow managed to lose 3-0 in a match that they should have won at a canter.

Tea tonight was a couple of those small breaded quorn fillets with potatoes and veg and it was delicious.

This evening, something surprising has happened. Someone from Ottawa has contacted me and asked to be my “friend” on my social network.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I have plenty of family and friends in Ottawa. There are also plenty of people who have been with me on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and of course a certain young lady who has accompanied me on several of my nocturnal voyages in the past.

Consequently I was intrigued to see who it might be and how I might know them.

It turns out that it’s someone who has found me “by accident” and wants me ” to always be open, honest and having free speech about everything, share your worries, your children and everything be that support group for me as I will for you, plan together, play together and treat me like I mean something to you, you don’t have to sugar coat anything, as adults, we can handle things. I expect you to treat me right, be truthful, and honest with me because I do believe in gospel truth and that is what I want. I want to feel true love and happiness with you and share everything with you based on love and understanding.”

She will apparently “climb the highest mountains just to be with the one i love”.

So while you are all reading this, I’ll be waiting for the message when she will ask me to send her the air fare so that she can come to join me.

Saturday 25th December 2021 – MY CHRISTMAS DINNER …

christmas dinner place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… was delicious this evening.

Seitan slices cooked in the oven in an onion and garlic gravy with boiled and roat potatoes, peas, carrots, runner beans, chicory, leek and sprouts. Washed down with this alcohol-free beer from Belgium.

Only one thing was missing. I wanted stuffing but I’ve no idea how to make that and I forgot to look it up over the last couple of days.

Breakfast – or rather, brunch – was quite nice too. My home-made potato fritters with baked beans and vegan sausage, and toast with mushroom paté.

That’s really all of the excitement today. I was awake at 06:20 but no danger whatever of me leaving the bed at that silly time of a Bank Holiday. 10:00 is much more like it.

This morning I lazed around doing next-to-nothing – except going through some more duplicate photos. And of this 4TB hard-drive that I’m sorting, there’s now about a third of it that’s free. And still plenty to go at too.

Stuff on the dictaphone from last night’s travels. There we three of us, me, someone else and someone who might have been Percy Penguin who were travelling somewhere. We ended up in some hotel, a cheap hotel. The person with us decided that that was where we were going to stay. But he was concerned whether the hotel was of the right standard etc. I had a look round and I could see that the computer screen had a telephone socket and a computer socket in its foot. I remembered seeing that in several other hotels where we’d stayed which were of reasonable quality so I reckoned that this was it. I called the proprietor and eventually he turned up. He wasn’t sure which room it was and had to look round the hotel to find us. Eventually he found us. There had been a woman with us as well who was the cleaner of the hotel so he signed the form for this other person. My plan was to wait until he’d gone downstairs then to follow him down and book another room, just one room between me and this girl but we never actually got that far as we were still booking this room for this guy when I awoke.

I was with a young girl last night, an American girl from a very wealthy family. This family was being blackmailed and the girl couldn’t understand why it had led to all kinds of problems. Her older brother had been thrown out of home because there was a difficulty between her and her brother. There was a younger child as well. It turns out that her father was not actually her father. I was the father, having had a one-night stand with the mother. I said to the girl that it was all down to what your mother did one night 9 months before you were born. She asked “how is it possible to blackmail a family like this?”. I replied “it’s all a question of shame and disgrace and everything like that touching a nerve”. She said “it’s certainly touched a nerve with my father because the way he’s treated my brother etc”. We had quite a lengthy discussion if he should be saying “don’t you ever get pregnant otherwise you’ll end up in all kinds of mess as well

In the afternoon Laurent came round and we rattled off another pile of questions for these radio programmes. There’s still plenty to go at but I haven’t edited those as yet. One of them is going to be rather difficult but we shall see how it goes. At least, that ad-hoc talk on Erasmus went quite well.

One thing though – that’s now two people who have asked me “why don’t you have someone in to help you with the housework?”. It seems that my increasing inability to cope with everyday tasks is becoming apparent to more and more people.

However I did manage to make my tea. And it was delicious too. And while it was cooking I phoned Ingrid to wish her a Merry Christmas.

That’s everything, really. Nothing much else has happened. It’s been a nice quiet day so here’s hoping for more of the same tomorrow.

And while I’m at it, I hope that you have had a good day today too.

Friday 24th December 2021 – MERRY CHRISTMAS …

… to all of my readers.

It’ll be Christmas Day probably by the time that you read this, and I’ll refrain from posting anything about the Public Conveniences on Crewe Bus Station because, regrettably, the whole Queensway Shopping Centre and Bus Station complex has been swept away in an orgy of demolition.

It just about managed 60 years of life before it was declared surplus to requirements and that tells you everything you need to know about modern construction.

But anyway, I digress … “once more” – ed.

After yet another turbulent night, I was once more wide awake at some ridiculous hour waiting for the alarm to go off although when it did, it still took me a good few minutes to force myself out of bed.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages, I had a cooking session. I’ve made a load of potato cakes.

There are some vegan sausages left from Leuven and a couple of tins of baked beans, so I’m going to have fried potato cakes, beans and sausage as a brunch over the festive period, with toast and mushroom paté. What’s the point of having Christmas if you can’t pig out?

After all, I haven’t bought any presents for myself this year so I’ll make up for it with food.

And then I had a cleaning session which was, as usual, 10 minutes cleaning followed by 20 minutes recovering, all the way up to lunchtime.

During the night I’d racked up yet another impressive amount of miles. I was in an apartment that I was renting somewhere and there was a problem with the water supply. It turned out that the cold water tank needed replacing. But to replace it was an exceedingly complicated procedure. It had to come out through the cellar wall into the public area down in the cellar and then lifted up which meant that you had to demolish the wall, which meant you had to fence it off to stop people coming through and helping themselves to other people’s possessions. Of course they were all blaming me in the first place for having done something to damage it. Someone described the action like something to do with eating a banana but this was going to be an extremely complicated procedure to take this water tank out and replace it with another more modern one that wasn’t broken.

Nerina and I were in Brussels visiting somewhere in the centre, looking up by the European Community. We were looking for a place to park the car. I found a corner to park on but a policeman came along to ask me to move so I went to move the car but couldn’t find a place and ended up back. The policeman was still there boxed in by someone else and he was giving them a lecture to move. In the end, with no place to park, Nerina gave me a pound and told me to park the car at a meter. Of course there were plenty of meters in the area so I went to look at them. It was something like £1:00 for 17 minutes and I thought that we would be here for at least an hour so I carried on until I came to the multi-storey car park at the European Commission. I went inside the building and asked where the entrance was. One person pointed across the road but that was like a little slot down which you posted your books so I asked someone else. He replied “yes, post your books down there and the guy at the bottom will deal with them”. I asked how you would receive them back and he had to think for a minute. After a while he admitted that he didn’t know. Incidentally he had a couple of motorbikes under tarpaulins on trailers there that were interesting me. I suddenly realised that we were only going to be there for an hour and I’d been away for half an hour already trying to find this place to park. This was getting rather ridiculous. I couldn’t find the entrance to this multi-storey car park no matter how hard I looked.

A little later I stepped back into that dream about trying to find a place to park the car. I was in the European Communities by now. I had this bag and I wanted to leave it somewhere where I could go off and look at a few things. But they wanted £5:00 to leave a bag so I replied “no, I’ll take it with me”. Anyway I went off to look at what I wanted to see and then ended up at a metro station that was called “metro” on a big, wide dual carriageway, an enormous place. One of the group told me off, told me that Michelle, whoever she was, was not feeling too well. I spoke to her on the phone and asked her if she was going home, was there anything I can do?. She replied that she wasn’t going to go home straight away but sit and relax. I said “I’ll come down and see you. Where are you?”. She replied “we’re in Brussels”. “Yes, but whereabouts?”. “I don’t know” she answered. “Can you see the European Community buildings?”. “I don’t know”. I said “well go outside and find something that looks significant and come back and tell me what it is so I’ll know where you are and where we can meet”. It took quite a while to persuade her what to do before she agreed to do it. That was one thing about this dream, that I hadn’t left my bag with these people because of this fiver issue but I realised that I didn’t have my camera with me to take any photos of what I was looking at.

During the rest periods I sent a Christmas greeting to all of the regular readers who have declared themselves to me over the last year or so. I don’t know why some of you are so shy as to not introduce yourselves, but I can’t send you my individual greetings, but rest assured that I am grateful for your support and I wish you all a very merry Christmas.

No lunch at lunchtime – instead, I hit the streets.

First port of call was at the Railway Station. My Old Fogey’s railcard expires imminently so that needed renewing. And with the odd money-off voucher for compensation for delayed trains, it wasn’t as expensive as it might have been.

Next stop was Aldi for a can of energy drink. It used to be once every few weeks a while back but these days it’s almost every time that I go out that I need an energy refuel.

Third stop was the Biocoop. They have nice vegan sesame-seed biscuits so I grabbed 150 grammes for my lunch. Biscuits and energy drink for lunch sitting on a bench in the street is somehow quite relaxing.

Finally I arrived at Espace Auto to rescue Caliburn. And here I hit a snag because he wasn’t ready. They had delivered the wrong parts.

No courtesy car available so I had them reassemble Caliburn and I drove him home – to take him back on Monday.

A quick tidying up and then Laurent came round. he had a listen to what I wanted him to do and then he dictated a pile of “supplementary questions” to edit into the monologues that we have been recording.

There were five interviews to do but we only managed 2. We’ll attack the others tomorrow.

Very kindly, Laurent invited me round to his house where he cooked a meal. I took the drink, the dessert (some of my delicious Christmas cake) and a vegan burger.

We had a good chat and he showed me a video of his trip up the Amazon from a few years ago, which was extremely interesting.

Back here now, I’m off to bed. Christmas Day in the morning so I’m having a nice lie-in, I hope. No alarm at all.

So if you are up before me, I hope that you have lots of nice gifts to unwrap.

Thanks for your support.

Tuesday 21st December 2021 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… day when I’ve not accomplished anything like as much as I intended to today and I’m really going to have to snap out of this if I want to make any progress because it’s getting me down.

Going late to bed last night didn’t help matters too much and as usual it was difficult to haul myself out of bed. However, as I had things to do, there wasn’t any question about it.

No medication this morning because I don’t have time to wait for the side-effects to kick in. Instead I took the paper rubbish out to the paper bin, and I hadn’t realised just how much there was and how long it had been hanging around.

But of course, you couldn’t take a pile of paper outside with the winds that we have had just recently.

Back inside I actually tidied up the kitchen and the dining area and even vacuumed the floor and it’s a long time since I’ve done that.

Caliburn’s new brake discs had arrived, having been on order for several weeks, so I had to take him to the mender’s and drop him off so they can fix him. And it was freezing outside, really cold. Minus 0.3°C and that’s the coldest that it’s been so far this winter.

Laurent came to pick me up and bring me home where we had a coffee and then wandered off down the road to speak to Nadia.

She’s a costumier who lives down the road and makes all of the costumes for the Carnival. We’re starting a series pf programmes about the Carnival in February in the hope that it isn’t cancelled again, and she’s an ideal candidate to be interviewed to tell us about her life, her work and how the Carnival affects her.

After we’d finished Laurent went home and I came back here for another coffee and to crash out in front of the computer. Well, not exactly crash out because I was as compos mentis as I can be these days, but I certainly was in no mood to do anything.

After lunch I forced myself into work and began the arrangements for my Christmas programmes. –

Wednesday 22nd December 2021 at 11:00 –
An exclusive interview with Father Christmas and his Elves, direct from his workshop in a secret location

Friday 24th December 2021 and Saturday 25th December 2021 at 21:00
Christmas songs with your favourite rock stars

Friday 31st December 2021 and Saturday 1st January 2022 at 21:00
A New Years Eve live concert from Boston, MA,; USA recorded on 31st December 1975

These can be heard on LE BOUQUET GRANVILLAIS


There’s also a special treat – while I was sorting out all of the old hard drives I came across many of the old radio programmes that we did in the old Radio Anglais days. So what I’ll be doing is on Christmas Eve at midnight I’ll upload it to my website and you can hear it AT THIS LINK – but not yet. You’ll have to wait until Christmas Eve.


And just a reminder …
All times are CET (French time)
For the UK, subtract one hour
For Toronto, subtract six hours
And you’ll have to work out the rest for yourself

peche à pied beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Despite everything there was still time for me to go out for my afternoon walk and with the aim of catching up with my old habits I went over to the wall at the end of the car park.

What took me by surprise was the number of people down there on the beach this afternoon. As I suspected, all of the holidaymakers and second-home owners have descended on the town and packed it out.

And there were many down there trying their luck at catching fresh oysters for their Christmas treat. Oysters is a big tradition in France on Christmas Day, rather like my Christmas cake is to me.

man in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021In fact there were so many people around roday that you had to be inventive if you wanted to have some peace and quiet.

Here’s someone out in the bay in his zodiac having a little relax. At first I thought that he might be fishing but having a closer look at his boat I couldn’t see any fishing equipment.

Just as I was standing here watching him, a neighbour of mine pulled up in her car and we had a chat for a quarter of an hour or so before I wandered off on my travels.

fishing boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Even though it’s coming up to Christmas for most of us, others are still out there working.

While I was looking out to sea I noticed two fishing boats heading slowly for home, presumably with a full catch after a hard day’s work.

And of you look very closely at the photo, to the upper left of the right-hand fishing boat you’ll see what looks like the Loch Ness Monster rearing its ugly head out of the water.

That took me rather by surprise. I’ve enlarged the photo and enhanced it and I still can’t make out what it is.

f-GSBV Robin DR400 180 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And how long is it since we’ve seen an aeroplane overflying us?

Today it’s the turn of F-GSBV – a Robin DR400-180 from the flying school here at Granville, flying past on its way home.

At least, I thought that she was on her way home but according to her flight plan, she took off at 16:06 and flew southwards before coming back, did a figure-of-eight over the airport heading northwards before coming home much later than when I saw her.

Someone clearly has a lot of flying hours to catch up.

base of flagpole pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Regumar readers of this rubbish will recall that the Pointe du Roc was devasted by gusts of 136kph at the height of Storm Arwen.

One of the flagpoles was uprooted and I posted a photo of it leaning drunkenly against its neighbour.

It’s now been removed and the base has been cordoned off. Presumably in the New Year they’ll re-drill it and fit new anchor bolts and then re-erect the flagpole.

You can see the size of the anchor bolts in the concrete base as they seem to have left one behind. You can imagine the force of the wind that tore the others out of their concrete settling.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … what I like about this time of the year are the magnificent sunsets that we have.

With the beautiful blue, clear sky that we had had today we were having another one and this has to be one of the best that we have seen for quite a while.

As I came up the path towards the lighthouse I noticed how nice it was looking, and as I walked across the car park I could see it in all its splendour. And one of the fishing boats that we had seen earlier had caught me up and you can see it silhouetted over on the right.

cabanon vauban woman on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And, just for a change just recently I wasn’t on my own admiring it.

As well as the crowds that were milling around on the car park and the footpath, there was someone down below on the bench by the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland.

Whatever it was that she was doing, she seemed to be totally engrossed in it, so I left her alone and pushed on … “pushed off, he means” – ed … along the path towards the port to see what was happening there.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021At the chantier naval there was no change in the situation this afternoon. Aztec Lady was still there of course but that was about it.

Over at the ferry terminal, we have one of the Joly France ferries in a NAABSA (not always afloat but safely aground) situation. She’s the older one of the two, as we can see because there’s no step in her stern.

There were a couple of people up on the sea wall making the most of the early evening sun sinking slowly down below the horizon, but my attention had also been caught by something in the water in the background, moving quite rapidly.

roofing rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Having done all of that I set out back to home, but I didn’t go far before I was distracted by the sound of Pink Floyd.

Further investigation revealed that there were a couple of workmen on a roof down in the Rue du Port, doing a re-roofing job by the looks of things. And I do have to say that I admired their choice of music.

Further along here, while walking on the path just above the port I fell in with another neighbour and we had another chat for a while – so much so that by the time I arrived home the coffee that I’d set in motion before coming out was now cold.

Having finished my radio notes I thought about tea. Stuffed pepper with veg and rice and it was delicious.

And while I was at it, I almost forgot the dictaphone too. We were all by a river somewhere in different positions. I wanted to attract someone’s attention so I built a mine and put it in the river to float it down there so that everyone else would see it. However I didn’t have any means of controlling it or directing it so it wasn’t as good an idea as it sounded. I was wishing, when I was halfway through making it, that I had some kind of radio control apparatus that I could make this thing work.

In actual fact, back in the 1960s my grandparents lived near a canal and it was the start of the pleasure boat cruise network in those days. A big marina had been built at Barbridge and there was a lot of traffic on the canal. My brother and I had the idea to build a replica “mine” complete with horns, like an old German contact-mine, and float it down the canal into the marina and watch the chaos and confusion from a discreet distance. However our parents, in a rare act of parenting, vetoed the idea quite firmly.

Later on we were at the side of a river waiting for something. The guy in charge of this expedition said that he had sent someone down with the sandwiches. They got down to where we were. As they approached the first person he dropped the lot onto the floor. Of course everyone mulled round to see what they could find but the sandwiches were all messed up in the mud and totally unfit to eat

I was also back with the taxis last night. My brother was driving and he had driven all night, all the previous evening until quite late and was back in again early next morning working. My mother mentioned that when he had taken her home at the end of the shift at the evening he’d fallen asleep a couple of times driving and she had to wake him up. That surprised him that he was back in early next morning working away again. There was something about a job going on from Underwood Lane to Audlem so I made sure that whoever it was had our ‘phone number so they could ring up and book it for the next evening

I’d been out somewhere and I had a pile of oranges and one of them was rotten and had leaked everywhere so I had to go upstairs and wash everything out. Some had fallen on my pillow so I’d rinsed everything off. My mother wanted something so I went into her room. She started to laugh about these oranges and I became extremely annoyed so I tipped the contents of the bag, rotten oranges and all, all over her bed and left them there with it all staining into her bedclothes.

There was something else about photocopying. There was a girl doing a pile of photocopying and she was saying something about how the photocopying companies said that it couldn’t be done but she could do it. I asked “is that recto-verso? Because I found the same”. She asked “how do you do your recto-versos?”. I had to think for a moment because it’s one of those automatic things that you do without even thinking about it. I had to think for a minute and then explain it to her but I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right because I’d never really thought about it. She asked “did you write and tell the company?”. I answered “no. They told me that it couldn’t be done when I asked them and I had to work it out for myself so it’s nothing to do with the company. It’s something to do with me that I can do it. The company shouldn’t be profiting from my ideas”. She agreed to that.

And now, later than intended, which is no surprise after transcribing all of that, I’m off to bed. I’m baking bread tomorrow, making more hummus, peeling a pile of carrots and going to the physiotherapist. It’s all go around here and I’m exhausted.

Saturday 11th December 2021 – I’VE BEEN BUILDING …

… up to this for a couple of weeks now, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but this morning I failed miserably to arise from my bed when the alarm went off at 07:30.

In fact, it was extremely difficult at 08:55 as well but somehow I managed to drag myself out. I’m not doing too well at all with this.

Not that I had a late night either. I was in bed at a respectable hour, time enough to give me the better part of 8 hours’ sleep but there were things going on during the night that I can’t explain.

I was interviewing someone at work last night but had to go over and see Aunt Mary so I wanted to complete this interview as quickly as possible. It was a rather wealthy woman whom I was interviewing and she was having some kind of financial issues. I mentioned that a big overseas insurance company had recently gone bankrupt and wondered whether that might have been anything to do with it. They couldn’t understand that so I had a close look at the papers and saw that I had misread the date. It was 1982. They were quite angry about this so I said that I would write a letter of apology. He dictated the address but I couldn’t make any sense of it because the names were all completely different when he read it back to me to what I’d written in the first place. This went on and eventually when they had gone I looked at the time. It was 18:10 and my bus was at 18:20. I had to pack up my desk and pack up everything, change my clothes and so on. First of all all the bathrooms were occupied etc so I decided to go as I was and change at her house. I had to stuff everything into my briefcase but there was far too much stuff. I couldn’t get it to close. I had to run downstairs. In the meantime someone told me that Aunt Mary had been assaulted by someone who had called her by name and said so that I’d sent them. It was obviously something to do with someone at work and I couldn’t understand that. I’d only said something about my plans to one or two people. I ran downstairs hoping to find a bus to take me tothe station to catch my train. A kind-of weird bus pulled up. When it pulled up it was being towed by a Land Rover. The Land Rover parked at the bus stop and then uncoupled itself and pulled away. I noticed that it had a sign for “Alba” in the window of the Land Rover and I couldn’t understand what was happening here either. I was going to be horribly late for this appointment with Aunt Mary and I hadn’t a clue what was going on about this attack that she’d had or anything. It was all a great big mess.

There was also something else happening to do with the medieval King of Ireland. Some of his journeys from written accounts had been plotted onto some kind of map. Again, it was something to do with me having to go over there to talk to him but I can’t remember any more about this part of the journey apart from what I’ve already said.

When I went back off to sleep I went back into this dream about Ireland again with the King of Ireland being stuck over there I had to go over to see him, everything like that but again I can’t remember anything. However it involved going on a lorry but the lorry was already full of people in the cab and in the back. I can’t remember anything else really.

Later in the night I had a couple of cats. One of them was a little grey and white one. They were all outside but this little grey and white one stayed close to home which was quite unusual for her. After Nerina had gone to work I went inside and lit the gas fire because it was cold. I’d make myself a cup of tea but I poured water into a colander, not a saucepan. In the end I managed to fill the coffee machine with water and make myself a coffee, but it was warm, not hot. I put some food down for the cats and some water for this grey and white one but one of the girls said “she wants to go out”. Why she couldn’t have let it out I don’t know. I had to cross the kitchen and open the door for it and let it out. I don’t know where this dream was going after that.

When I went off back into the arms of Morpheus I was back at work and had to interview the same woman whom I had interviewed earlier in the evening. And we had exactly the same encounter.. There was me, another person from work, this woman and her adviser. The first thing was that she was having difficulty obtaining a repayment. I said that there was no difficulty as far as our end goes. I showed him a letter or something where the instructions were clear but they actually referred to payment, not to refunds. I didn’t know exactly what he was saying so I wanted to find out some further information. Then he said that she was experiencing a lot of financial difficulties that she shouldn’t be experiencing. I had a look through his papers and saw that an insurance company to which she was a contributor had gone into liquidation. I pointed this out to him but he replied “that was 1982” so I had another look. Yes, I’d misread the date. He was rather annoyed about that so I agreed to send him a letter of apology. he told me the address and I wrote it down. When he read it back it was different. Each time I corrected it and he read it back it was different again. I wasn’t sure what on earth was happening here about this because nothing seemed to be making sense. There was a lot more to it than this but I can’t remember now but it may well have been the same that I experienced when I first dreamt it.

Later on I was with someone and we were at the fruit-picking farm at Shavington where we used to go as kids. We were talking about things that had happened there when we were kids and how things are completely different these days. Even the layout of the farm was different. We talked about the girl who was supposed to be picking blackberries but ended up picking raspberries claiming that they were unripe blackberries, and ended up being given the sack. We ended up in the potato fields there. They had quite a few mis-shapen potatoes. This girl went to fetch a spade. I asked why and she replied “I’m going to get some potatoes to take home to my mother”. I said “you want to be very cow because you can be overlooked from here”. Sure enough there were quite a few people going past who could easily see what she was trying to do. They were higher up on a hill on the main path that went between one farm and another.

Finally I was at Barlow’s scrapyard in Crewe but it was nothing like Barlow’s scrapyard that I ever saw. He was having a clear-out. I’d only popped in for something because I was on my way round to see my sister because I had a date at 19:30. We were talking and he was giving me a few little bits and pieces. He said “your girlfriend has a mini, doesn’t she?”. He came out with a pile of things like air filters, all this kind of thing, all new old stock and handed them to me. By this time Nerina had turned up so he brought her a toolbox and a whole pile of nuts and blots from minis he’d dismantled. We were having a whole pile of stuff given to us here. When I looked, not only was it late for me to go round to my sister’s, it was getting late for me to go on this date as well. Then he wheeled out something that was an astonishing machine. It was an ancient motorbike but as the tale unfurled it became something on three storeys like a racing car but you sat on the third storey in like a torpedo body with a tiny engine on that level. and then there was a pile of equipment underneath it, and another level underneath that which was where the wheels were. It was all belt-driven. he explained to me what it was and I’d vaguely heard the name but never seen one. It was a racing car from about 1910. even though how frail and unwieldly it looked it would do 200 mph when it was tuned up. He asked me if I wanted it. I thought “of course I want this. Who wouldn’t?”. My German friend was there too. He wasn’t the least bit impressed. My idea was that seeing as it was a kind of sectional thing I could take it to bits and take each section up to my apartment and renovate it in the kitchen then take it downstairs to reassemble when it’s done. But no-one could really understand what was so fantastic about it except me. I thought that it was a fantastic thing.

As you can see, it was probably one of the most turbulent nights that I’ve had and it’s no surprise that I was totally wasted this morning.

While I was lying in bed I set myself three tasks to perform before lunchtime.

The first was to pair off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. I can’t do that on Sunday as I usually do because if things go according to plan (which they usually don’t) I’m baking my Christmas cake. And that will be a labour of love

The second thing was to sort out the photos from last night’s festival, edit them and post them off to the person who is preparing the radio programme

Third thing was to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night. I knew that there would be plenty – but not quite as many as there were. That really was quite extraordinary.

To my surprise, I finished everything on time and then went to eat my butties for lunch.

After lunch there was football. Aberystwyth v Y Drenewydd from last night. Y Drenewydd ran out comfortable winners 4-2 due to Aberystwyth’s defence pushing too far up and not getting back quick enough to counter the speedy Drenewydd breakaways.

But here’s an interesting fact. I’ve often talked about Lifumpa Mwandwe of Drenewydd and how he’s far, far better than the average player in the Welsh Premier League. According to some statistician 150 could have been awarded in Newtown’s favour before thise match started, of which 50 of them were awarded for fouls on Mwandwe.

It seems that kicking him off the park isn’t just confined to TNS.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk. And I didn’t want to, because it was teeming down outside.

Nevertheless I wasn’t the only person out there this afternoon. There were actually three brave souls down on the beach – one man with his dog who we have seen before, and another couple wandering about in the rain.

And then there was me, wandering around in the rain up here too. I wasn’t going to loiter around because I was becoming rather wet rather rapidly – not that that is any great news to regular readers of this rubbish who will recall it as my regular state of existence.

damaged flagpole pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that we have been battered quite severely just recently by a couple of really impressive storms.

As I was to find out when I arrived at the Memorial to the French Resistance up here on the lawn at the end of the headland. One of the flagpoles has taken a right battering.

And it has too. It’s anchored to a block of concrete by a set of heavy duty concrete anchor bolts and two of the three have been ripped right out of the concrete. And it takes some force to do that.

So having photographed it I wandered off to the end of the headland but there was no-one there – not that I expected there to be – and no-one out at sea either. everyone else had far more sense than me.

waves breaking on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Although there wasn’t a great deal of wind there was a great deal of power in the wind still stored up from the storm the other day.

As I walked around the headland I could see the waves breaking onto the sea wall. They weren’t quite going over the top but some of them were really impressive nevertheless.

This wasn’t the best one that I’ve seen but usually it’s every seventh wave that’s the best and by the time three had gone round both the camera and I were soaked to the skin so I took this photo and cleared off quick, which was rather a shame but a practical necessity.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021A few weeks ago I mentioned that I won’t be taking any more photos of the portable boat lift unless there was some change in the situation there.

Well, we certainly have that today. The last time that I took a photo of it, it was because the wheels had disappeared. Today, not only are they back but they are fitted onto the lift as well.

It looks as if the major overhaul that it’s been undergoing for the last couple of months is now drawing slowly to a close and the chantier naval may soon be back in business.

Back at the apartment I came in here to carry on with some work that needed doing, and then at 18:30 I set out again.

The purpose of my trip out was two-fold.

  1. to photograph the Christmas lights
  2. to do some work for the radio

Having taken a few photos on the way down we met at a restaurant in the Rue Couraye where I had a delicious but expensive salad while everyone else ate normally. And then off to the cinema to watch half a dozen short films of this “Fish and Films” Festival.

Our purpose wasn’t the films themselves but to interview the people who were leaving to ask their impressions of the films. We ended up with quite a mixed bag.

On the way home I photographed the rest of the Christmas lights in the town centre and that’s my task for tomorrow afternoon while my cake is baking – to edit and post the photos that I took.

But not now. It’s almost midnight and so I’m off to bed. A nice lie-in tomorrow and I’ll need it to recover from the distance that I travelled during last night. I don’t think that I’ve ever travelled so far in one night before and it left me quite exhausted.