Category Archives: omerta

Saturday 9th October 2021 – I DON’T BELIEVE IT!

Yesterday I posted that I had a really good sleep all the way up to 04:41 in the morning.

Anyone care to guess what time I awoke this morning?

Yes, you’ve guessed it. 04:41. Someone round here somewhere must have an alarm clock set for an early start, unless my body clock is playing tricks with me again. It can’t be a coincidence.

Although I was once more in bed early yesterday evening, the big difference is that I had a wretched night. I spent most of the night tossing and turning in my bed it it didn’t seem as if I had slept at all.

Mind you, the dictaphone tells a completely different story because by the looks of things I travelled miles during the night.

After the medication and checking my mails, I prepared to fight the good fight with the dictaphone. And I wasn’t joking about the miles either. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

We were at school, primary school and we’d had a test. Then the teacher sat down and started, we thought, to read through it and give us the answers. No-one understood what she said about question 1 and she didn’t mention question 2 so I asked “could we have the answer to question 2?”. She replied “you’re supposed to be writing down the answers”. We said “we’ve done that. We’re waiting for the answers”. She replied “the next person who makes a noise will be beaten”. Just then one of the children had been playing with something, a traffic light or something, and the lens fell off. She grabbed hold of the child and took it into her room and prepared her cane. There was another teacher there and they were discussing this child’s anatomy about where they were going to give it the cane. This wasn’t the first time that this has happened. I remembered seeing it perhaps on some other occasion the previous day or something. Of course, all the children there were quite distressed by this.

Later on I was playing bass with a guitarist and I just couldn’t find the opening note. It was one of these heavy metal power trio things like Robin Trower. My bass playing was awful. Eventually he told me that the opening note was E which I didn’t think it was, but that was what we started to play.

There was something else about some people. There had been a raid on a camp somewhere and they had found a steel door. Behind the door was a pile of illegal immigrants or asylum seekers. They had gone through and processed them, and found that there were some valuable workers there with them. They were then going to embarrass a few other countries by pointing out what they had found in this batch of asylum seekers.

So the French were interested in these people as resistance fighters from start to finish yet the British were more discerning looking on them as sex objects, that kind of thing.

There was a family barbecue and everyone was buying everything. We were all there at 09:00 lined up outside the supermarket. I was the first one away and took my stuff to where this was being held. My brother was in charge of the camp and I noticed that he had 10 litres of petrol stored somewhere and was planning to burn down some undergrowth near where this petrol was. I went back for a second load. I had a Landrover chassis but it wasn’t really – no body on it and you sat in it rather than on it, towing a trailer. We returned and my brother was there by this time and one of Lynette’s children had stayed with me. We started to unload this stuff. he was fetching out his petrol and putting down a circle ready to burn. I said “don’t be stupid! You have all that fuel there and some gas. He asked “what do you mean? The first lot has already been burned”. I can’t remember who I looked at but I said “thank God I wasn’t here at the moment when you did that.

All these pretty girls (which pretty girls?) were a pile of water too at the port (if that makes any sense) and I wanted to send them away because much as they were very attractive and helping to keep the male/female ratio a little closer than it might be, they were distracting me from anything else going on.

There was some kind of downhill water racing course in a machine, like a series of rapids or something like that. You go down there and when you reach the lake at the bottom you have to swim underneath the water in a tunnel and come out at the other end where the finishing line it. I did it 3 times and filmed it, including the bit of me going under the water down this tunnel which of course is an astonishing thing for me and made a collage together of how the film would be. Nerina was in here somewhere and I was showing this film to her and actually going ahead and doing it for her although I can’t think why. I can’t remember where this went or what happened about it afterwards.

We were off on board the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again and it was lunch, or evening meal and we were queueing to get it. There seemed to be two queues, one for the normal meal and another for the fish or cheese variety. I had a look at the cheese variety that turned out to be a white square of fish in cheese sauce with toast. I thought that I would try that but I couldn’t find the vegetables. I managed to grab plenty of toast but there were some people chuntering about “all these people pushing in, doing this and doing that”, whatever. Despite the fact that I had to pay 20p extra my meal was looking like a washout. I went over to where Liz was sitting and asked if this looked right to her, my meal I had to choose a place to sit and there wer e2 seats, one either side of her, that were free. The one on the right was opposite another seat of course. I could see that the seat facing Liz was the handbag of the mother of Miss Stoke On Trent. The seat next on the right had someone else’s handbag on, and the seat on the left facing the seat on the right of Liz had nothing on it. I wondered if that was where Miss Stoke On Trent was going to sit so I decided that i’d sit at that seat facing there in the hope that it would be the case.

And that’s not all of it either. There was other stuff too but I’m sure that you wouldn’t appreciate my posting it as you are probably eating your meal right now.

It took me all morning to type out all of that – right up to lunchtime. But there was a reason for that.

home made bread fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Yesterday saw me almost reach the end of the bread, so seeing as I wasn’t going to go shopping this morning, I decided to do some baking.

There were only two or three fruit buns left too, so while I was at it, I made half a dozen of those. If I make some space in the freezer somehow (don’t ask me how) I can freeze half the load and three of the fruit buns for when I return from Leuven.

And I shall too, because this batch has turned out really well. The buns look really good and believe me! The loaf is excellent!

After lunch, there was football on the internet. Connah’s Quay v TNS.

TNS are way out in front of the table but Connah’s Quay, despite winning the league for the last two years in succession, are stuck in mid-table and their manager left in midweek. Nevertheless it was a pulsating, exciting match decided by a penalty for TNS not long after the start of the second half.

Mind you, it could have been completely different had Connah’s Quay been awarded a penalty for what looked like a pretty clear handball earlier in the game.

Both sides had a player sent off for fighting later in the game and we carried on into no less than 6 minutes of injury time that came from God Knows Where because this is the first match that I have seen for ages where neither first-aid attendant was required to enter the pitch.

Connah’s Quay actually had the ball in the TNS net in the dying seconds of the game but it was ruled out for offside.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021This took me up to walkies time so I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed off outside.

Almost immediately I felt the icy hand of death upon my shoulder, but what had happened was that a Nazgul had gone flying by overhead. A two-seater Nazgul too.

In fact, I could have photographed any number of them this afternoon because they were out there in force. probably about half a dozen that I could see at any one time and I bet that there were more than that as well in total.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Having dealt with the issue of the Nazgul, I wandered off to the end of the car park to see what was happening on the beach.

And with the tide being out this afternoon, there was plenty of beach to be on. And there were crowds down there too – more than we have seen on the beach for quite a while.

That wasn’t really a surprise because despite it being October and there being a fair bit of wind about, the day was the warmest that we have had for a couple of weeks and once I was out of the wind I was obliged to remove my jacket.

aerial ballet hang glider powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I was watching the people on the beach, another Nazgul flew by overhead.

And around the corner from behind the College Malraux came the little red powered hang glider that had been out for a spin.

As they closed up on each other, they performed a really delightful aerial ballet – they really did. Not a danse macabre as we have seen the trawlers in the harbour do so often but a proper little dance.

powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So having performed its little pas de deux with the hang glider, the powered machine headed off.

Its route took it out to sea across the Baie de Granville and I could follow it for quite a way. But then it headed off towards the airfield to come in to land.

The little scene had been witnessed by the crowds of people who were out there this afternoon. It seems that the whole town had come out up here for a walk.

hang glider falls to earth pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I fought my way through the crowds of people I had a very unexpected sight right in front of me.

Another Nazgul had gone by overhead and as I walked along the path he came tumbling out of the air and touched down right on the very edge of the cliff. With the camera already in my hand, it was an instinctive shot into the sun, hence the overexposed image.

My intention was to go over there and buttonhole him and ask him about his association and how I can blag my way up into the air, but as quick as he came down, he leapt of the cliff and was away, long before I could catch up with him.

digger heavy machine laying pipeline baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I was walking over the path towards the car park, I could see that there was plenty of activity going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

It’s a Saturday of course today, a weekend, so no-one was more surprised than me to see the heavy tractor thing and the digger out there working on this pipeline. It’s very unusual for this kind of work to be carried out at a weekend.

Obviously the tide is playing an important role in this, and with the lowest tides of the season being round about now, they must be paying the workmen a good bonus to have the work done.

Crowds of people out there too having a dab at the pèche à pied while they have the opportunity.

SNU Service National Universel pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There were three Gendarme vehicles and a pile of gendarmes on the car park and they seemed to be dealing with this group of people, one of whom was carrying a banner.

Thinking that I might be witnessing some kind of exciting incident I sidled up to one of them. “Who are you?” I asked.
“We’re the SNU” he replied
“What’s that?”
“The Service National Universal#34;
“And what’s that all about?”
“We volunteer” he said, and at that he wandered off. Talk about informative!

Anyway, having made my own enquiries subsequently I can tell you that this is a French Government initiative aimed at kids between 15 and 17 who want to “participate in the construction of a society of Engagement built around national cohesion”.

And don’t blame me. I’m only quoting. I don’t write rubbish like that. I have my own brand of rubbish to write.

F-HFMS Robin DR 400-160 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And while I was talking to that young person, I was overflown by a light aeroplane from the airfield.

And she’s a new one. We haven’t seen her before. We’ve seen plenty like her though because she’s a Robin DR 400-160 like some of the aeroplanes at the Aero Club de Granville, but this one is owned by the Aeroclub d’Andaines, near Alençon and is registered F-HFMS.

With no flight plan filed, I can’t tell you where she was going from here at 16:20, or even how she’d arrived here, but she was picked up on radar at 19:33 somewhere in the vicinity of Vire and did a big loop towards Alençon.

She disappeared off the radar at 19:59 not too far from Alençon somewhere near her home airfield at Rives d’Andaines.

trawler pescadore yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Having spent a lot of time out there this afternoon, I headed off back down the other side of the headland overlooking the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And here in the chantier naval this afternoon we have another new arrival to accompany the yacht that came in here on Thursday morning.

She has her AIS beacon switched off so I couldn’t tell you her name at first but her serial number came up trumps. She’s Pescadore and why I didn’t recognise her was that she used to be blue and yellow before she had a new paint job.

She was in here a couple of weeks ago, so I wonder what has happened to make her come back.

l'omerta tractor trailer vehicles under fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Another one of our old favourites from the chantier naval is sitting on the silt over there at the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant.

She’s L’Omerta and was in the chantier naval for a repaint a couple fo weeks ago as well.

And it looks as if they are going to be expecting a bumper harvest of shellfish this evening when the tide brings in the boats that are out working. As well as the tractor and trailer in position, we have several vehicles on the concrete pad underneath the Fish Processing Plant waiting to take away the loads from their boats.

Back here I made a coffee and sat down for a relax. I should have gone up town this evening to watch the football but I wasn’t up to in. Instead I carried on with the updating of some of the journal entries for August to add in the details of my nocturnal voyages.

They are all now complete, so something positive came out of today.

Something else that I forgot to mention was that somewhere along the line I had a play with that desktop mixer and made it work after a fashion. But I need to do more work on it some time.

Tea tonight was a breadcrumbed vegan burger with veg and some more of those nice potatoes.

Now that my journal is finally finished, I’m off to bed, hoping that there’s no 04:41 alarm in the morning.

Today has been something of a bad day. As well as not having had much sleep, I’ve opened a letter, thrown the contents away and filed the envelope, made a mug of coffee without any coffee in it, and boiled the kettle without any water.

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Thursday 23rd September 2021 – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL …

montmartin sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… day it was today – at least, the afternoon of it.

The sky was as clear as a bell and you could see for miles, way out to sea and all along the coast too. With the sun now shining brightly, and down at a lower angle, it had lit up the town of Montmartin sur Mer as if it had been in a spotlight on a stage.

And when I blew up the photo, I could even make out some people on the beach, and that’s pretty good going for that kind of distance.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021The view was just as good further out to sea as well.

It was another one of those days where not only was Jersey really clear on the horizon 58 kilometres away, we could even make out some of the buildings at St Helier.

The big tower over to the left is very intriguing. It really could be anything – the “Marine Peilstand 1 Tower” which was a German Army artillery ranging point or La Tour de Vinde, a Napoleonic-era Martello tower, or even the tower the name of which I have forgotten that overlooks St Brelade’s Bay.

yacht ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on around to the west, the Ile de Chausey was looking quite good too.

The colours weren’t as brilliant or as visible as we have seen them on the odd occasion here and there but the little white cottages at the foot of the lighthouse stand out quite clearly against the dark background of the hill on which the lighthouse is situated.

There wasn’t much going on out at sea though this afternoon. There was just a yacht drifting about rather aimlessly and what looks like a motor boat on the extreme right, but that was about everything.

trawler cap frehel brittany coast France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, finishing off our arc from north-east to due west, from my vantage point on top of the bunker at the back of the lighthouse the view was even better.

Right out there in the distance, 70 kilometres away, the lighthouse and fort at Cap Frehel were visible with the naked eye this afternoon, never mind with the camera’s zoom lens.

And we could even see the headland around at the end of the next bay, which I think is the Ile de Brehat at the mouth of the River Trieux

There’s a trawler out there as well, and we can even see that it has its nets out this afternoon. That’s what I call a really good day.

But I’m glad that some people had a really good day today because I had an absolutely awful one.

The night wasn’t as early as I was hoping and when the alarm went off at 06:00 I was right out of it, absolutely and completely. And having another feverish sweat as well.

There wasn’t even time to finish checking my mails and messages before I had gone west and I ended up, to my complete and utter dismay, back in bed and under the covers again. Twice in three days, after going for a couple of years without doing so. That’s a sign of how I’m feeling right now.

It was about 10:20 when I finally staggered out of bed and I’m not sure if I wasn’t feeling any worse either. It took me an age to pull myself together.

But once I did, I made an Executive Decision, and for the benefit of any new reader (of which there are more than just a few these days), an Executive Decision is one where if it’s the wrong decision, the person who made it is executed.

And the decision is that I’ve changed the time of the alarm from 06:00 to 07:30 to give myself an extra 90 minutes in bed, until this situation resolves itself one way or another. Just on Mondays will I be having an 06:00 alarm call as I have the radio stuff to do.

Once I’d had a coffee I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I had to go to meet my aunt off the ferry that was coming in at 06:00 so I had to get up early. There was half my family in my apartment and that was uncomfortable for a start. When I set off, I didn’t realise actually where I was going to have to go to meet everyone. I ended up at the shop and was in there when suddenly my mother walked in. There was some discussion with the shopkeeper about tickets to go to meet people, all this kind of thing, tickets to come back from the ferry terminal on the bus to where they were dropped off at his shop. He said “if my aunt comes, she’ll have a ticket and we can all arrange it them”. Then I had my mother and my brother trying to argue with me. I said “look, for the last 20-odd years I’ve lived on my own. I’m not used to all these people”. That led to a few ribald remarks from my brother and one or two other people. As we walked back to my apartment I found myself thinking “I wish there were some other apartments in this building vacant where I could stick them and get them out of my hair”. There was something as well that I’d told one of my sisters about a book about a Chinese disc jockey that summed up quite a lot the way that I’d been feeling. All the way back we had “my sister couldn’t be bothered to read that book” all that kind of thing and it was a most uncomfortable dream.

I was out with TOTGA last night, of all people. I’d been to go to a Conference on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so I went to the hotel which was near Birmingham and booked myself in for the Tuesday night to start on Wednesday morning. There were another 2 people there booking and they were only booking for the Wednesday night and Thursday on the same course. He asked me why, and I recognised one of them. I knew that he lived fairly locally so I said that I imagined that he would come straight from home for the conference and then come back here for the next two nights. I can’t remember how it went on from there but there was some time to kill so I ended up going for a walk with TOTGA. We were hand-in-hand walking and chatting. She asked where I would like to go but I didn’t really have much of an idea. She said “how about the cinema?”. I’d never been to the new cinema in Crewe so I said “yes, fine”. We walked along Wistaston Road. There was a queue outside the cinema and it slowly started to move. The tickets were £27:00 to go in, so I thought that I’d pay for her but she was renewing her annual subscription so she said that she’d pay. I insisted on paying but the woman at the counter said “you know that hers is £999, don’t you?” I replied “right, in that case I’d better let you pay”. We arranged to meet one lunchtime as well. She asked me where we’d meet so I replied “why not the cinema?”. We agreed that we’d meet on the lunchtime at the cinema. Then there was the case of making a snack. She had bought me a pizza from here once so I thought “right, we’ll have a pizza”. Apparently you made your own. The cheese though was like a spread that you spread over the base of your pizza and put your topping on top which I thought was an extremely strange way of going about things but I started to do that.

I’d been working on repairing an old MkII Ford Consul. We’d had the engine all stripped down in situ and reassembled it. The owner, my father, was not very happy about everything. He saw petrol lying around in cans and he went and took them away. I had to clean all of these parts, and in the end someone went and fetched the petrol back so I cleaned all of the parts of the carburettor and reassembled it. There were still a few bits and pieces left to do including fuelling it up because there was very little petrol left in it but someone had brought a portable bed and gone to sleep right up against the car where the fuel filler was so I couldn’t reach it. In the end my father came back and asked how we were doing. I replied that it was almost done. He made a few remarks about a few bits that were missing, all this kind of thing. I said “it’s not trouble at all, they aren’t really necessary until we find out how the car runs”. We went to start it and it started first time and sounded nice. He got into it and took it for a little drive around the block. He said “yes, this is fine”, then drove off somewhere else. I remember saying “he’s not going to get very far with the few bits that are missing off it and there’s no petrol in it” And he should know about the petrol because ha was the one who stopped us filling it”.

But in the middle of all of my blasted family coming around to annoy me like they do, it must have cheered me up to have had an afternoon or evening out involving a Close Encounter with TOTGA. But in real life she had far too much sense to involve herself with me to that kind of extent.

What with one thing and another I missed out on having lunch, because, even though I didn’t feel like it, I had a task to perform

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago I bought a new printer to replace the one that was only printing in blue. I hadn’t installed it yet but this afternoon someone sent me an important communication that I needed to sign and send back, so I had to unpack it and install it.

Although it’s the same make and model as the old one, it’s an upgraded version so it took me a while to figure it out, and when I’d finished installing it, even though it would print, it wouldn’t scan.

Eventually I discovered that despite it being one of these multi-function printers from a major manufacturer, the scanner drivers aren’t included in the installation package, something that left me totally bewildered, so I had to go on-line and hunt them down.

And then I couldn’t make the machine work as I wanted. The control panel is quite complicated but seems to be lacking in functionality. I was surprised that it hadn’t installed a “scan” button on the computer desktop.

So after much binding in the marsh, I eventually discovered that the original “scan” icon for the old printer now points to the new one and once I’d realised that, it was all plain sailing.

All of this made me quite late for my afternoon walk, and when I finally made it outside, I bumped into a neighbour who kept me chatting for half an hour. Not that I had the time to spare, but I can’t spend all my life being totally unsociable with everyone.

While we were chatting, there were all kinds of stuff going on in the air. The powered red hang-glider went by overhead, followed by a couple of Nazguls, a light aeroplane and even the air-sea rescue helicopter, but you can’t interrupt your conversation to take a few pictures. It’s not very polite.

launching site for hang gliders Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One we’d parted company and gone our separate ways, like the Knights in THE HOLY GRAIL? i tried to make amends.

The field from where the Bird-men of Alcatraz take off is right next door to the cemetery, which I always thought was a good idea because if they make a mistake on take-off or landing they won’t have far to go, so I took a random photo to see if I could see anyone.

But they must have come in and untangled themselves from their equipment quite quickly because by the time that I looked, the field was pretty much deserted. The bird-men had flown.

bouchots donville les bains people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Instead, I concentrated myself on what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

Plenty of beach to be on today of course with the tide being out, but not too many people on it taking advantage of the warm, almost windless afternoon.

Meanwhile, further over at Donville les Bains, they are out there in force at the bouchot beds – the beds where the mussels grow on strings rather than in the sand. You can see the tractors and trailers out there as they harvest today’s catch

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was here, I had a look to see how the repair work on the old medieval city wall at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux was going on

It’s been a while since we’ve had a close look, so I was hoping to see some substantial progress today. But all that I could see was that some white protective sheet had been erected to cover the scaffolding at the far end.

There are however a couple of guys on the scaffolding down at this end working on the wall so if I can get away early on my way to the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon I’ll go for a closer look and see how they are doing.

jersey trawler Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While all of this was going on, I was having a good look around out at sea.

As I mentioned earlier, Jersey was standing out quite clearly this afternoon. With some digital enhancing we can see plenty of boats out there this afternoon, like the fishing boat over to the right that might even be the same one that we’ve seen in the bay for the last couple of days.

And it’s not all that usual that we see the eastern end of the island so clearly, yet here it is today. I was trying to identify some of the buildings there by reference to an aerial photo, but without very much success.

boats leaving harbour st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further around to the west there’s a really good view of several boats leaving the harbour at St Helier.

The one on the extreme left of the image caught my eye. Blowing up the image as much as I could, I could see that it has some kind of winching gear on the stern, but it looks too big to be a trawler.

However, there was nothing arriving at or leaving the port round about that time that corresponded with a ship of this nature.

And then we have another couple of trawlers heading our way

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy Eric Hall photo September 2021With nothing else going on over here (as if all of this isn’t enough) I went to have a closer look at Cap Fréhel, which I could see with my naked eye today, and then across the lawn and the car pary around to the end of the headland.

In the past, I can’t recall having seen fishing boats working in the strait here between Granville and Cancale over in Brittany, but that all changed fairly recently when we noticed them starting to try to exploit this area. There’s a trawler out there this afternoon trying to see what it can pull up out of the sea bed.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wonder if this constant search for new fishing grounds is due to the issues over fishing rights further out in the Baie de Granville.

hotels baie de mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned how nice the weather was today and how clear the sky was.

Down at the foot of the Baie de Mont St Michel, while we can’t actually see the Mont until someone removes the Pointe de Carolles and the Cabanon Vauban that sits thereupon, we can see the hotels on the mainland this afternoon.

If you look just slightly to the right of the foot of the Pointe de Carolles you’ll see a few white or light grey buildings. These are where anyone who comes to visit the Mont and stay overnight will usually stay because prices actually on the Mont itself are quite simply out of this world.

And there on the mainland they aren’t really all that much better, I suppose. It’s pretty much a captive audience over there.

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, it’s “all change” at the chantier naval this afternoon.

As I walked along the path on the top of the cliff towards the port, I could see that things were looking quite different down there this afternoon. And it looks as if there has been a massive clear-out today.

The only boat that is left today is L’Omerta. The other boats that were in there – Hera, Le Pescadore and Catherine-Philippe – have now gone back into the water.

The next question is “who is going to come into the chantier naval to take their place?”.

belle france chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s a lot more normal over at the ferry terminal this afternoon.

The new ferry Belle France and the little freighter Chausiaise are moored over there this afternoon. The two Joly France boats are probably out at sea somewhere. And they’ve closed up the jib of the crane as well, which is good news for the hydraulic seals.

Meanwhile, in other news, there’s some kind of jogging team out there on the quayside going for a run. They’ve turned off and are starting to run along the wall around the port de plaisance.

And I’m intrigues to find out what will happen when they reach the end, because there’s a large gap in the wall. Perhaps it’s the start of a triathlon and they are all going to leap into the sea and swim across.

Back in the past, I took part in a triathlon, but only the once. I was busy doing the water leg when I suddenly thought to myself “this is silly. I’m getting the bike all rusty here”.

marquees chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the last few days we’ve seen interesting developments taking place in the Rue du Port.

We have the chicane of course, and the marquee that they erected yesterday. But now a couple more marquees have sprung up on the car park of the Fish Processing Plant. This is all starting to become interesting.

And we can see that Marité is back in town as well. She’s been absent for the last couple of days. Well, in fact, she hasn’t really. She’s been nipping out early on the morning tide for a lap around the Ile de Chausey or over to Cancale and not come back until the evening tide.

Hence my mid-afternoon walk has missed her.

aztec lady capo di fora spirit of conrad mini y port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, In other news, we have a couple of new visitors in the port.

The white yacht on the extreme right next to the blue Aztec Lady is called Capo di Fora. Despite her Italian-sounding name, she’s actually flying the Belgian flag, as, incidentally, her neighbour Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went up and down the Brittany coast last summer.

The large grey yacht is called Mini Y, registered in the UK. She’s a “Baltic 85” yacht built in Finland in 2018 of fibre and composite construction and weighs in at just 50 tonnes.

She’s been cruising along the North European coast for the last few days and just recently has been roaming around St Malo and the waters between there and here

Back here in the apartment I had a few things to finish off and then I was just on the point of starting some work when Rosemary called me again.

Once we’d finished, it was long past my tea time so I grabbed an aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit out of the freezer and had that with some pasta. That tasted really nice, and it would have been even nicer had I not dropped the bottle of tabasco sauce in it.

***Note to self – put toilet roll in fridge tonight ***

And now I’m off to bed – going to make the most of my lie-in for the next few days to see if it makes me feel any better. Although I have a feeling that I’ll need more than this to liven me up.

Tuesday 21st September 2021 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… night I had last night.

For a start, it was just after midnight when I went to bed, which means that leaving the bed at 06:00 is bound to be something of a struggle.

And then, when someone has a night as disturbed as I had, it makes things even more difficult.

It was hardly a surprise that, after I’d made my bread dough and with my Welsh lesson looming, I did something that I haven’t done for several years, and that was to go back to bed. That is a real disappointment of course, but as things stood, I was in no fit state to face a Welsh lesson.

You might think that this is something of an exaggeration, but the fact that there are no less than seven files recoded on the dictaphone during the night, that tells its own story.

The medication was more than enough for me to cope this morning but with no bread in the house I had to force myself to make the dough ready to bake later on – and then I went back to bed for three hours.

It’s no surprise to anyone that when I awoke at 10:00 I felt even worse than I had been at 06:00 but the feeling soon wore off once I’d had a coffee. I gave the bread its second kneading and then came back in here to prepare for my lesson.

The bread went into the oven and I went off for my Welsh lesson, which all passed quite well. It seems that the extra three hours of sleep did what I had hoped that it would.

My bread was delicious, nice and soft and spongy and made some really nice sandwiches. And afterwards I came back in here where I … errr … crashed out for 45 minutes. The extra three hours of sleep wasn’t that good, was it?

But then I turned my attention to the contents of “War And Peace” on the dictaphone. I’d been on a ship last night and I’d met a young girl and we had become quite friendly. We were chatting quite a lot and it turned out that she didn’t live all that far away from me. I heard that she was attending some kind of birthday party so I went over to the town where she lived and found where this birthday party was taking place in a pub. I’d ordered some clothes for her for her birthday. When I arrived at the pub I saw another girl whom I knew and quite liked go upstairs, and then another one! I thought “3 of my favourite girls upstairs in this room. Is it going to be confusing if I walk in there because I’m bound to end up talking to the wrong one. I was arranging to pay for these things and I’d been working, I wasn’t very clean, I wasn’t shaved and I had my glasses on and not my contact lenses in (and so this dates it to prior to 1996 when I had my laser surgery. First of all down the stairs came a girl who was exactly like her except that she was about 7 or 8, wearing a bottle-green party dress thing. She cleared off. Someone else came down whom I knew or in whom I was interested, then a third girl and it was she. She said that so-and-so had seen me so she’d come down to say “hello”. I replied “I was going to come and see you in a minute”. When I saw that other girl in the bottle-green dress, I mentioned it to her. She burst out laughing and said that she was her sister. She’d been on the boat with us but I didn’t remember her at all. We were talking but there were some people in the way of us so they moved out of the way, this girl came round and we squidged in on a sofa. She ended up almost sitting on me. We had a chat and I said “when these things are ready (which was going to be in about 15 minutes time) I’d bring them up”. So she went back upstairs to join this party. I was waiting for these things and ended up watching a football match. Pionsat were playing right by a river. The ground was on the other side of the river but it was flat except for one big rock in the way. The centre-forward playing for Pionsat was someone whom I didn’t know but he had some kind of lucky talisman like a big skin with a black cat skin attached to it. He was in a good goal-scoring position but his shot was blocked and blocked again so he went for his talisman and started to shake it out, ready to go back in and score this goal which he didn’t do. Then I found out that they were losing 3-1 which was a surprise to me because I’d only ever seen the ball go up the other end. I hadn’t seen it go towards the Pionsat goal at all. Then I thought that I’d better get a move on because i have to wash, shave and change and pick up these clothes. I said that I’d only be 15 minutes but I’d been side-tracked again. This party will be over and this girl will be gone by the time that I arrive there if I don’t get a move on And here I am, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as usual.

There were these people, a mother, father and a girl, and 2 other young kids there as well so that was 5. And I remembered this girl from that voyage. They were there, dressed in navy blue school uniform-type of thing, all of the children. I was trying to organise myself to go to see this girl. As I was with this family we seemed to be walking further away from where all of this was taking place and of course I really wanted to go towards it to meet this girl again and chat to her. My brother ended up talking to one girl, a flighty, flirty girl who was one of these indeterminate ages and there was something going on there that was rather disagreeable I suppose and in the end my brother took umbrage and flounced off. I think that he had asker her age, something like that, or she had asked him his age and she had made some remark about it. After my brother had gone I asked her how old she was. She replied “18” and just taking her A Levels. We had a chat about O Levels and A Levels and schools. Then she came to go for her French Oral exam and my brother was back by this time so she went rooting through my cupboard to find an ignition switch, starter motor, a few bits of wiring, everything. She festooned my brother with them with the idea that he would be some kind of car that she could describe how everything worked, how it started up, how fuel got there, everything as part of her French Oral exam.

Incidentally, all of the above is a combination of about four different sessions on the dictaphone. It seems that I was dictating my notes and then falling back into sleep again, stepping straight back into the dream where I had left off. This kind of thing happens maybe once every few months, but to have four consecutive dreams on the same subject on the same night that dovetail one into the other is something quite remarkable. Especially as I seem to be regressing into my teenage years – wishful thinking, I expect.

I haven’t finished yet either. I was with Marianne and we’d been corresponding for some time anonymously and I think that she had the assumption that I was a woman. Then we met and were talking about all kinds of various things. She was talking about some man whom she had met who had even come out to where she lived and brought her a pile of buckets of water to do something. I said “no-one is likely to do that where I live”. Then the talk moved round to Brussels. She asked me what it was like living near Schuman. I replied that I didn’t live there any more – I’d moved when I’d retired so she wanted to know what this was all about – the “retired”, so I started to tell her a few problems about what happened at work and my job.

And later I was back on my travels again looking at an old AA map that I’d cut out of an old AA handbook. I’d seen where Frome was in Somerset and seen the coast and the Severn Estuary and noticed that there were some ferries so I went down there and took a ferry across to Wales. I was explaining to the guy about how I liked the water and how I liked boats. We were having a chat but he walked away in the middle of our conversation and I was rather upset. I was taking photos but my camera wouldn’t work again. That was extremely annoying. Someone next to me was taking brilliant photos with a really long lens. I don’t know whether I’d had an ill-health thing but I ended up at a woman’s house. She had a family of 3 or 4 kids maybe. She made me a coffee and I just sat there and so on. The kids came in and everyone else made themselves a coffee so I went to ask this woman but she was busy making the beds. She said that she was going to make herself a sandwich in a minute and started talking about the mess that the garden was in when she was on her own.

Finally I had to catch a ship so I had to take a train and change trains. I had all my luggage with me, loads of it, and had to arrange for someone to help me at the railway station to cross London. I reached the railway station eventually in London but didn’t wait for someone – I went to a nearby hotel from where they came. Eventually they found someone for me and he escorted me to a room. That wasn’t what I wanted at all. In the end I had to wait for him to go. There was something about when my train pulled in at one station the other train that I needed pulled up alongside it. I could step out of one door into another, but the doors weren’t open alongside so I had to go all the way round and up the stairs and across the walkway and back down the other side. I’m not too sure about all of that. But there I was in the hotel room and had to get everything together. Someone was there delaying me and I didn’t have half my things. They were talking about refugees and some Fiji child who had been abandoned on a station. In the end with about a minute to spare I managed to grab everything and threw it all into an Ikea bag and dived down to the station. There, everyone was beckoning me. I couldn’t find my train. In the end, it wasn’t a train that I wanted but a boat. We reached this quayside harbour place. Someone wanted to check my ticket but I showed him the wrong one from when I was in Germany the week before. Eventually the boat came in. It was a little, I dunno, 40-seater something, not at all the ship that I was expecting to go to the Arctic. There were all these animals, wildlife around but no-one knew what they were. One woman with us dived in to go and swim with some of them. There were cats there fishing, pulling the fish out and eating them and everything. It was nothing like that I expected at all, this trip. This boat was tiny.

Is it any surprise that after all of that during the night, I was totally exhausted.

And I wish that I knew who the girl was. I have a feeling that I know her, but she wasn’t one of our “usual suspects”. That’s the kind of thing that annoys me. I feel that I’m missing out on something really good.

peche a pied place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021In between all of that, I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And in a change from the advertised programme, I wandered off to have a look down onto the rocks because the tide was quite well out this afternoon.

Sure enough, there were several people at the peche à pied, scavenging amongst the rocks for shellfish and picking them up to put in their buckets. What you might call “flexing your mussels”, I suppose.

beach plat goussset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And then I could return to my usual routine of going round to look down on the beach.

The wind has dropped from yesterday and while it was a little colder, it was rather brighter. Hence there were a few more people down on the beach that there were yesterday.

And it looks as if I’m not the only one who thinks that the summer season is over and that winter is on its way. Over there on the Plat Gousset we can see that the beach cabins have been removed. We’ve seen the storms that crash down on there during the winter and if they didn’t put the cabins into hibernation, they would come back next season to a pile of matchwood.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there looking down onto the beach, my other eye was roaming around looking at what was going on out at sea.

There wasn’t anything close at hand but right out to sea on the way to the Channel Islands there was what looked like a fishing boat out there working.

She’s far too far out for me to be able to identify her but I was wondering if she was the same one who was out there yesterday but is now trawling further out in the bay

boats ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Surprisingly enough, given how things have been this last while, there seemed to be plenty of activity out by the Ile de Chausey.

There are at least two large yachts out there, and there’s also a large powered boat heading this way from the island.

She’s too far out to be able to identify, even blowing up and enhancing the image, but I did notice thathalf an hour or so after I returned home one of the Joly France ferries put into port.

And look how clear the sky is. The colours on the Ile de Chausey are quite evident this afternoon, even though the island is 18 kilometres away.

fishermen inshore shellfishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Closer to home, there was a small boat just offshore close to the end of the headland.

It was stationary and judging by what I could see, they had fishing roads raised so it looked as if they were fishermen looking for a good place to cast their lines.

But as I watched, one if the inshore shellfishing boats complete with buoys and, presumably, lobster pots came around the corner. The boat passed very close to our boat-load of fishermen and I don’t suppose that they appreciated it very much.

Not that I know very much about fishing, but turbulent water as is churned up by a fast-moving boat is not the place to go casting your lines, and most boats would steer well clear if they notice a boat out there fishing.

F-GSBV Robin DR400 180 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there, I was overflown by a light aircraft out there in the Baie de Granville heading back towards the airfield.

She’s one of our aeroplanes from the Aero Club de Granville – F-GSBV, the Robin DR400 180. She had taken off at 15:22, flown down to Avranches, back up and around the Ile de Chausey and finally came in to land at 15:58

There was plenty of path for me to walk before I could come in to land at my apartment. I went to have a look from my viewpoint on the bunker to see if I could see down to Cap Fréhel but despite the clear view this afternoon, it only went so far and I couldn’t see right dow that far.

Instead, I walked down across the lawn and the car park down to the end of the headland but there was nothing going on at all there, not even anyone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

le pescadore catherine philippe l'omerta hera chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Instead of loitering there I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening down in the harbour.

And we seem to have had a tactical substitution today in the chantier naval. It made me thing that it was a good idea to have gone for a wander around there yesterday morning because Cherie d’Amour, whom we saw yesterday having come in earlier that day by the looks of things, has now disappeared.

“Gone! And never called me mother!”

However we still have four boats down there because the trawler Hera has now appeared in the yard and is now up on blocks over by the portable boat lift. It’s all go down in the chantier naval.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A short while ago I’d noticed that there was a large boat heading towards the port, so I was interested to see who was moored at the ferry terminal.

As it happens, there was only the very new Belle France moored up over there. That means that the boat out there at the Ile de Chausey heading for home will be one of the two Joly France boats.

But look at the crane just there. There doesn’t seem to be anyone working it right now, but leaving the jib in the fully-extended position like that is going to put quite a weight on the hydraulic seals and they won’t be lasting all that long.

crane quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was plenty of activity over in the inner harbour this afternoon.

We have two portable cranes in there, one in the loading bay where the Jersey freighters and the other round by where the gravel boats used to tie up. That one doesn’t often move about but it was moving about this afternoon as I was watching. You can see the driver in the cab.

The big yellow marker buoys that were in the gravel bins back there now seem to have moved. Does this mean that we are going to have another major delivery of gravel and hence another gravel boat coming in. I hope so.

crane quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The other crane, the one in the loading bay, was also busy too.

There are two small lorries down there, one with what looks like a cherry picker on the back and the other one with what looks like a HIAB. This might indicate that there might be a repair about to be made to the crane, but I didn’t see any activity at the lorries.

That was really all of the activity that was going on down there. With nothing else to report, I headed off for home and my coffee. It wasn’t warm enough for a banana smoothie.

buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One final thing to do though before I went home.

When I returned home yesterday I did some research into the trawler Buddy M and found that there was no photograph of her on the marine database.

The photo that I took yesterday, I didn’t like all that much so I took a better one while I was out this afternoon and uploaded it to the marine database.

In case you are wondering, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I host and maintain the AIS (Association for Information Systems) beacon for the port that picks up the pulses from the transmitters of the boats to indicate their position, and this gives me an entitlement to the fleet database and the positioning radar

Back here I carried on with my transcribing and then went for tea. Rice with taco rolls, made with the remainder of the stuffing from yesterday filled out with a few kidney beans. I’m still not having an dessert though, trying my best to keep down my weight.

But now it’s bedtime and I really am going to have an early night. But after all the sleep that I’ve had just recently, I’ll probably still be awake when the alarm goes off tomorrow.

Monday 20th September 2021 – SOME GOOD NEWS TODAY!

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

I went to pay the laboratory for my blood test this morning and after they registered my Carte Vitale – the entitlement card for the French Social Services, they told me that I’m registered as a Maladie Grave – a “Serious Illness” case, I don’t have to pay a thing.

So as well as the nice nurses at Castle Anthrax, we now have free blood tests. This illness does have some compensations, but I’ve had to look hard in order to find them.

This morning I was up quite quickly as the alarm went off, thanks to the early night that I had, and with nothing on the dictaphone I must have had a very peaceful, restful night for a change.

After my medication I came back here to check my mails and messages.

Do any of the regular readers of this rubbish recall A PHOTO THAT I POSTED a few weeks ago?

photo from advertisement Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When I posted it I mentioned that the photo was being used on the internet as an advert for a piece of photo-editing software and that when the photo came round again I would post it for you to compare.

It’s definitely the same photo as you can see, so there is something weird going on here with this. I smell something fishy, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

Having checked my mails and messages I then attacked the next radio programme. And despite a couple of stops for coffee and for breakfast, it was all done and dusted and ready to go by 11:05 and I don’t recall having prepared a programme as quickly as this one.

11:05 I’d finished my radio programme, and 11:06 I was on my way out to the shops to buy salad and fruit.

chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There were roadworks in the Rue du Port and so we had to go through a sort-of chicane to head into town.

What complicated the issue was that firstly I was stuck behind a grockle in a mobile home crawling along at 10mph admiring the seagulls and secondly, a coach had decided to stop there despite the narrow road and the “no waiting” signs in order to discharge his passengers.

After a couple of foul oaths and curses I eventually made it to LIDL and did a lap around the shop for a pile of stuff. And forgot to buy the syrup for the soft drinks too

The laboratory closes at 12:00 for lunch and it was 12:01 when I pulled up on the car park. I just about beat the staff to the door and I was lucky in that they agreed to see me. So with the good news about my account, I headed for home and a coffee.

cherie d'amour chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way out to the shops I went past the chantier naval where I noticed that there was a new occupant this morning.

On the way back I nipped into there to see if I could find her name. Actually, she’s not a new boat because we have seen her before when she was in the chantier naval a while back.

She’s one of the smaller inshore shellfish boats called Cherie d’Amour. She’s usually been seen – for the last few weeks at least – sitting on the silt in the outer tidal harbour and not travelling very far, if at all.

Ordinarily I would have made further enquiries about her but there was no-one around her to ask.

le pescadore chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was there, there was another task that I had to do, one about which I’ve been talking for a while.

There’s been a trawler in the chantier naval for the last several weeks and i’ve never been able to find out her name. But seeing as the paintwork was almost finished I imagined that her name would have been painted on the wind deflector above the cabin windscreen.

Sure enough, they’ve repainted her name and I can now tell you that she’s called Le Pescadore. She’s one whom we’ve seen before although I’m not surprised that I didn’t recognise her because back then, she was painted light blue and yellow. But she’s certainly carrying the same registration number

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On my way back to Caliburn I went to have a good look at L’Omerta.

She’s a catamaran-type, which explains why they are happy for her to sit in the silt when the tide goes out, and I bet that there’s a really good view from that lower window when she’s out at sea.

One thing that I noticed is that she has two screws or propellors, one on each pontoon. I don’t recall having seen that on a small catamaran before.

So back at the apartment I made myself a coffee. That was a good morning’s work and it’s one less thing to worry about.

There was a huge pile of washing-up to do because I’d forgotten to switch the water back on after my return from Leuven. It wasn’t until late last night that I realised and switched it back on. And now having clean crockery and cutlery I could make lunch.

That’s the last of the bread so tomorrow morning first thing I shall have to make some more.

After lunch I listened to the radio programme that will be broadcast on Friday night and the one that I’d prepared this morning. Friday night’s is going to be a belter – a live concert from the Crystal Palace Bowl and it’s one of the best that I have ever done

whitecap waves people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, so with no Nazguls about this afternoon to threaten me I could make my way safely to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

Down on the beach there were very few people, and that’s no surprise because despite the sunshine and the bright sky; it was howling a gale out there.

You can tell that by looking at the whitecaps on the waves as they crash down onto the beach. I know that we have plenty of wind around here, but this was one of the strongest winds that we have had for a little while.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So much so that when I wwent to look out at the sea, I had to take off my cap in case it blew away.

But right out there in the Baie de Granville there was one of the smaller shellfishing boats battling away among the waves. It was having quite a battle too, trying to make progress against the weather.

There weren’t too many people around on the footpath this afternoon and none of the aeroplanes from the airfield taking to the air so I pretty much had the path to myself as I set off towards the lighthouse.

sparrowhawk fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I reached the end, I discovered that I wasn’t alone.

There were one or two people here but there was also one of our sparowhawks hovering around keeping an eye open for anything edible moving around at the foot of the cliffs. And while I was looking, he didn’t seem to be having much success.

And while we are on the subject of people not having very much success, there was a fishing boat down there just offshore. He was too far out for me to see what he was doing or if he was catching anything, but we have yet to see anyone pull anything out of the water.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The tide was too far out for me to expect to see anyone fishing from the rocks at the end of the headland at the Pointe du Rock.

There were however two people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban braving the gale-force wind although I’m not sure why because there wasn’t anything at all going on out there this afternoon.

By the looks of things they were picking up messages on their mobile phones, but I’m sure that there must be plenty of other places nearby that are much more comfortable than down there to do it.

baie de mont st michel le loup kairon plage Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further on around the headland I could have a really good view of Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

The tide is out so we can see the rocks upon which the light sits, but we have also seen it when the tide has been right in up to the upper of the two red rings, and we can see the tide mark that is the more usual level of high tide.

In the background we can see the beach at Kairon Plage. It looks like quite a nice beach, which it is, and there are quite a few people on it too. The headland here at the Pointe du Roc acts as a windbreak so that it’s not as cold over there as it is here.

le pescadore, catherine philippe cherie d'amour l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on along the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval.

We can see all of the four boats that we noticed this morning. From left to right we have Le Pescadore, Catherine Philippe, Cherie d’Amour and L’Omerta. Only four boats down there, which is a far cry from the heady days of a couple of weeks ago when we had no fewer than seven.

There are plenty of vehicles down there so it seems that there is plenty of work going on with the boats. I’m half-expecting to come down here one of these days soon to find that another one or two boats have gone back into the water.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was looking down at the chantier naval, I was overflown.

In fact, I was wondering if I was going to see some aerial activity (apart from the sparrowhawk of course) with there being no Nazguls, no aeroplanes from the airfield, and too much cloud to see if there were any full-size aeroplanes going past at 35,000 feet.

However I was not going to be disappointed because rattling past overhead on its way back to the airfield came the yellow autogyro that we see quite often. And he was making heavy weather of the trip back, fighting his was through the headwinds. His rotor was going round at 13 to the dozen but he was barely inching along.

trawler buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way home to the apartment I noticed this strange trawler moored in the inner harbour.

She’s one whom I haven’t seen before so I had to make a few enquiries. She’s called Buddy M and she’s arrived here earlier this afternoon from her home port of Cork in Ireland.

Tomorrow morning I shall have to check the newspapers to find out why she arrived here because it’s a pretty strange voyage for a trawler like this to undertake.

Back here I made myself a smoothie and then spent another while sorting out some photos from several years ago until it was time for tea.

At the shop this morning I’d bought a pepper and some mushrooms so I made myself another really nice stuffed pepper – and to do the washing up again now that I have mor ehot water.

And with my notes now written, I’m off to bed. I have bread to make tomorrow and a Welsh lesson too, so I can’t hang around.

Sunday 19th September 2021 – THIS WAS ONE …

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… of the nicest pizzas that I have ever made.

Surprisingly I can’t think what I did to it to make it any different from the usual. The diced peppers that were left over from several weeks went in the bin as being unfit for human consumption and as I had no fresh mushrooms I used tinned stuff, sticking them in the oven to dry them out.

That was about all that I did that was different but whatever it was, the results were all that counted. No complaints there.

Last night I didn’t go to bed until quite late because I couldn’t find the energy or the motivation to leave my chair. But once I did go to bed I went straight to sleep and stayed there until … errr … 07:30. 6 hours sleep on a Saturday night/Sunday morning is not very much but it shows just how much I slept during the day yesterday.

Even so, there was no danger of my leaving the bed at that time of morning. I went back to sleep and stayed there until 09:20. Even that was quite early for a Sunday but if you can’t sleep, you can’t sleep.

After the medication (when I forgot what medication that I’m supposed to be taking) I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone. I was looking at apartments last night, either to rent or to buy. During the furniture removal that we were doing we were stationary and someone backed into us. There were a whole kind of problems that didn’t involve me because I wasn’t the driver of our vehicle but we were talking about this to a few people and they were surprised that there was even a dispute about it. Anyway we were something going on and I went over to one of the other estate agents who was letting the apartment on behalf of Pozzo. They had the keys so I went to see it. It was strange, an open-plan apartment and had no walls. You looked over the balcony straight down into the hallway. I thought that this was the coldest apartment that there ever is going to be. It was nice but I couldn’t get over the idea of having no walls. In the end I came away. I was with a former friend. We wanted an Indian meal so we looked around. There was this really posh hotel-type place. Finding a place to park was the 1st thing. Then we had to walk to try to find a waiter. There were dozens of them, all done up in buttoned jackets looking like something out of a 18th Century novel. Just as we were about to ask, I awoke.

Later on I was with a group of people and we were at that hotel and left all out clothes there. We had the bill for 4 coffees and it came to something like £299:00. We wandered off into the streets of Glasgow. We had somehow become separated in some roadworks and I could see them disappearing away. I was trying to catch up but there was all kinds of obstructions and road works and people on bikes in my way and I couldn’t catch up. In the end I found myself on a demolition site with all old apartment blocks in the real back-end of Glasgow. I was having to scramble over scaffolding and everything. First of all I couldn’t remember the name of my hotel, and secondly I couldn’t even work out where I was. The map that I had wasn’t much help. I wasn’t even sure which side of the Clyde I was on. Eventually I came out and I was on top of a hill going through a small village. Down in the valley I could see a river and a railway line. I thought “if I can get down there I can probably work out where I am and maybe catch a train back. We were so high up that I couldn’t see how I was going to get down this slope to get into this valley where this river and railway line were.

Once I’d done that the next task was to pair up the music for the radio programme. That didn’t take me all that long and by the time that I was ready to stop for lunch it was all out of the way.

After lunch there were several tasks that needed my attention.

Firstly, the ice-box in the fridge had frozen up so I emptied the fridge and switched it off. A week or two ago Liz had given me some old towels and what with the lino that we laid a few weeks ago, I had everything that I needed and basically the job took care of itself.

When it had defrosted completely I washed and cleaned it, sorted out the food, washed and dried the shelves and then reassembled it. And there seems to be much more room in there than there used to be.

Earlier on, I’d transcribed the other dictaphone notes from when I was away and then turned my attention to FRIDAY’S JOURNAL ENTRY that I had missed.

hang gliders rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There were several breaks in my afternoon routine, including, as usual, the walk around the headland.

But I had hardly set foot out of the building before a squadron of Nazgul took off from the field next to the cemetery and started to head my way.

“Almost perfect timing” you might think, and having read Lord of the Rings as many times as I had when I was nought but a pup, it was somehow rather unnerving watching them head my way.

Probably the same feeling that Frodo and the others had as they were on their way to dispose of the Ring and the Nazgul appeared.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So having managed to escape the wicked clutches of the Nazgul, first stop was at the wall at the end of the car park to check on the beach to see what was happening down there.

With it being a warm but cloudy day, I was expecting to see the crowds down there making the most of it but, surprisingly, it was quite empty. There can’t have been more than a dozen people down there, and there wasn’t anyone that I could see in the water.

With it being one of the last weekends of the summer, I should have thought that the madding crowds would have been down there this afternoon

joly france yachts baie de Granville ile de chausey Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021They may not have been down there on the beach, or even on the path around the headland, but in the gap between the Ile de Chausey and the mainland there were plenty of people.

Here are just some of the yachts that were out there this afternoon. There were probably three times as many as this all told.

In the middle of all the yachts there was something fairly large moving quite quickly towards the mainland. When I returned to the apartment later I enhanced the photo and blew it up, and I could see that it was one of the Joly France ferried coming back from the island.

Unfortunately it was too far out for me to tell which one it was.

f-gsbv Robin DR400 180 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there, I was overflown by a light aeroplane going by towards the airfield.

She’s F-GSBV, one of the Robin DR400-180 that is owned by the Aero Club de Granville.

She’s described in their literature as “a good aeroplane for travelling and is ideal for 4 passengers and their luggage to travel all around France and Europe”. And so today she took off from the airfield at 16:10, did a quick lap around just offshore and came back in to land at 16:24.

Not exactly the “all around France and Europe” as they advertised. Mind you, she did take off half an hour later and was airborne for almost 35 minutes.

cabin cruiser yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021With nothing going on whatever offshore at the end of the headland I carried on round to the path on the other side of the headland.

And out here in the Baie de Mont St Michel there were just as many pleasure boats as there were on the north side of the headland.

Here, we have a fine collection of yachts, a cabin cruiser and a small motor boat. And plenty more of them out of shot too.

There looked to br a rainstorm brewing up down at the foot of the bay near the Pointe de Carolles too, but luckily the wind was blowing from the north-west so it was pushing the rain farther to the south.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Here is something that we haven’t seen for a couple of weeks.

There is this big yacht that’s been in the compound of the chantier naval for quite some considerable time and doesn’t seem to have moved at all.

It’s all been masked off and there has been some primer applied with a spray gun, but the work seems to have run aground because I can’t see that any progress has been made for several weeks.

The summer season is now almost over so I don’t suppose that they are in too much of a rush to complete the work.

catherine philippe l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021In the main area of the chantier naval, there has been quite a lot of activity while I was away in Belgium

The trawler Saint Andrews has gone back into the water leaving just the unknown black trawler, the trawler Catherine Philippe and L’Omerta, the shellfishing boat.

By the way things are looking, they aren’t going to be around there for long. The paintwork on all of them looks quite fresh and so they’ll be back in the water quite soon.

Although I do remember having said that sort of thing on several occasions in the past and been made to eat my words. I can see me doing the same with these three.

chausiaise belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Before I headed back for home I had a look out across to the ferry terminal.

Over there is the little freighter Chausiaise, tied up to the outside of the terminal. Behind her is the very new ferry Belle France. The other two Joly France are out at sea and we saw one of them just now.

Back in the apartment I finished off the cleaning of the fridge and filling it up, and then I kneaded out the pizza dough, rolled it out and put it in the pizza tray to proof for an hour or so.

When it was ready I assembled the pizza and baked it ready for tea.

Now that I’ve written out my notes I’m going to bed. I have the radio programme to prepare tomorrow and then go to the shops for some fruit and veg before lunch because there isn’t anything here to eat as far as fruit goes.

One or two other things too, so I’ll be going in Caliburn. I’m not really up to going on foot.

Saturday 11th September 2021 – IT’S BEEN ONE …

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… of those days where anyone who can possible get out to sea had been out there today.

We started off today with Marité having a really good sail around the Baie de Granville, in company with a pile of other yachts, some of which you can see in this photograph.

She was quite far out at sea this morning and I didn’t really have the time to wait for her to come back closer to the shore. But never mind. Read on …

armorique english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further out there in the bay, right out beyond Jersey, is another ship – a huge one this time.

At first I thought that it might be the high-speed Condor Voyager, which I know to to be out there somewhere, but then I had another think.

Another car ferry, a full-size one, left St Malo about 100 minutes ago and on blowing up my image (which I can do, despite modern terrorist legislation) she has a superstructure that is much more like a full-size ship.

And when I saw that the ship was the Brittany Ferries’ Armorica and compared a shot of her stern with my photo, then I’m now pretty certain that that’s who she is.

commodore goodwill english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There’s another large ship heading the other way, towards St Malo.

Just one quick glance at her was enough to tell me exactly who she is, without even checking the radar or the port arrivals.

Her colour scheme is that of Condor Ferries and so she must be Commodore Goodwill, their big ferry that takes cars and commercial freight between the UK, the Channel Islands and St Malo

In fact, I did check, and she did arrive in St Malo about 50 minutes after I took this photo.

la cancalaise english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Also out there this morning on the right of this image is a ship with a very familiar set of masts and rigging.

At first glance you might be forgiven that she is La Granvillaise but actually, it isn’t.

She actually has a sister boat, a near-identical twin that operates from Cancale on the other side of the bay and is called, surprisingly enough, La Cancalaise, and that’s who she is. I’m pretty certain of that.

As for who the other one is, she could be any one of a couple of hundred yachts that were out there early this morning.

We haven’t finished yet with the maritime activities, but I thought that I would give you all a break from the excitement and give you a chance to recover your breath.

When the alarm went off this morning, I was actually already awake. I’d awoken blot-upright for some unknown reason at 05:47 and there isn’t really much point in going back to sleep then.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. In fact I had been on a bus. I had to go and pick up my youngest sister from School. She was at a school called Pebble Brook which was in Shavington (which of course it isn’t). I had to catch the bus and I asked for Dodd’s Bank. The bus drove into Shavington and went clean past Dodd’s Bank so I had to press the button myself and have it stop. The conductor asked “how pressed the button?” I replied “I did. I should have alighted at Dodd’s Bank”. He asked where I was going and I replied “the Primary School”. He chuntered a bit but anyway I alighted, walked through the track alongside the brook and ended up at school. All the kids were milling around and I could see her there, except that she was more like Roxanne by now. I took her by the hand and we set off. I asked her if she had ever been to see any of the houses where we lived when we were kids. She replied “no. Where are they?”. I said “we’re here” because 61 Osbourne Grove is just around the corner from the school. I showed her that house. of course it’s nothing like the heap that it was when we lived there. It’s all been modernised and 2 houses have been knocked into 1. The people inside could hear me talking about what it was like but they never came out which was a shame so we set off to go round the corner and down the street to Vine Tree avenue.

While I was at it, with not going to the shops today I had a couple of hours to spare so I paired off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be doing on Monday. I may as well get ahead of myself just for a very rare change and it will give me some free time on Sunday.

Then there was some tidying up to do because I was going to have visitors. and sure enough, Liz and Terry came round. Terry gave me back my 3/4″ drive heavy duty ratchet and socket set, and I gave him back his computer that I’d been fixing.

Liz gave me a few old towels that she was planning to throw away. I have nothing here for mopping up heavy spillages, protecting surfaces or anything like that and half a dozen decrepit towels are ideal for this kind of thing.

A coffee at La Rafale was next on the agenda so we headed off out that way, checking out the ships in the Baie de Granville as we went past the viewpoint.

diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021After our coffee we went for a good walk around the old medieval walls.

Regular readers of this rubbish will be interested in the photo just here because if you compare it with THIS ONE taken from the same viewpoint yesterday, this will give you a really good idea of how high the tide is when it’s right in.

You can just about make out the crown of the diving platform, and even a seagull that is photobombing me.

marite baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned Marité, about how she was quite far out in the bay, and I told you to “read on”.

We’d spent quite a time in La Rafale and on our walk but even so, It was quite a surprise to see Marité just here in front of us as we came round the corner.

She’s done her morning lap around the Baie de Granville and it now looks as if she’s going to be doing a lap around the Baie de Mont St Michel before coming back home before the harbour gates close.

charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And we haven’t finished yet either.

There was another boat that seemed to be doing a lap or two around the inner harbour with a load of passengers.

She’s the Charles-Marie of course and this is one of the very rare occasions when we’ve actually seen her with her sails unfurled.

When we returned to the apartment Liz and Terry went to their car and headed off into the sunset – well, not exactly the sunset but you know what I mean – and I came in here because it was almost lunchtime and my nice fresh bread awaited.

After lunch, I had a couple of other things to do, such as carrying on sorting some images – a project that I started ages ago when I merged together all of my hard drives into one large one.

What had restarted my enthusiasm (such as it is) for this particular project was the other day when I spent half a day looking for a couple of photographs and couldn’t find them. I decided that I ought to be more organised and not let things drift as I seem to be doing right now.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This took me up tp the time to go on my afternoon walk around the headland, and as usual, the first port of call was the beach.

Looking over the wall at the end of the car park I could see that there was plenty of beach to be on, and there were plenty of people making the most of it.

There were even a few people who had taken to the water, which was no surprise because although it had been quite cool this morning, as the day went on it warmed up quite dramatically and after the miserable summer that we had, it looks as if it’s going to be unseasonably warm for a while.

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out with Liz and Terry this morning there had been quite a lot of aerial traffic. Ordinarily I would have photographed some of it but you can’t really do things like that in company.

One of the aircraft that had gone by overhead was the red powered hang-glider, and I was lucky while I was out this afternoon because as I was watching the beach she came by again.

This time of course there were no hang-ups, if you pardon the expression, and I could take quite a nice photo of her as she roared by over my head. Unfortunately, from this position I couldn’t see who was in her.

50sa aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021and that was by no means all of the aerial activity. There was plenty more to go at yet.

Something else that went by overhead almost immediately was one of the little aeroplanes that seem to have a serial number range all of their own that I have yet to decipher.

This one is 50SA, whatever or whoever she might be. I keep on meaning to go one of these days over to the airfield and have a good look around, make a few suitable enquiries and maybe even blag myself a flight in the yellow autogyro. Who knows?

hang gliders pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And had I been out a few minutes earlier, I might even have witnessed some more aerial activity too.

But when I arrived at the lawn by the lighthouse at the Pointe du Roc, I could see that a couple of the Birdmen of Alcatraz had come to grief. It looks as if their Nazguls have given up the ghost, the wind has dropped or else Legolas has shot them down with his arrow in the dark.

Now, the riders are lounging around presumably waiting for someone with a car to come and rescue them from their peril and take them back home.

la cancalaise english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But for the last few minutes I’ve been digressing.

While I was watching the beach and watching the air, my third eye was casting around out at sea to see if there was anything exciting going on out there.

Earlier this morning, I posted a photo of La Cancalaise out there in the English Channel. And when I went out for my afternoon walk I noticed that she was still out there, with a couple of smaller boats to keep her company.

It would seem that they don’t have the same issues with the tides at Cancale as we do here

fishermen in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It goes without saying that if there is going to be all this much marine activity, there are bound to be some fishermen somewhere.

What was surprising though was that despite the dozens of boats milling around, there was only this zodiac that looked as it it had any fishermen in it.

So I left them to it and pushed off on the path along the clifftop past the downed Nazguls and across the car park to see what was happening out in the bay.

To my surprise, the answer was “nothing”. It looked as if the crowds that we had seen out there this morning had all gone home. No point in my loitering around. I’ll head for my home too.

saint andrews catherine philippe l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The path along the top of the cliff on the far side of the headland takes me past the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour.

From here, there’s a really good view down into the chantier naval and I was right yesterday when I thought that I could only make out four boats down there.

We have the blue and black one whose name I haven’t yet discovered, and facing her is Saint Andrews. The white blue and red one is Catherine Philippe and to her right is the shellfishing boat L’Omerta .

Nothing else has come in this morning to fill the empty places.

stalls and marquees parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the car park at the Boulevard Vaufleury are a pile of marquees and the like.

Ordinarily I would have gone for a nosey about to see what was happening but it’s a sign of how ill I am that I couldn’t face the extra few hundred yards to go and check.

What I’ll do is to go home now, and if they are still there tomorrow I can give them the once-over without having to take too much of a diversion.

But these health issues are really depressing me and no mistake.

Back here there was football on the internet and for once, the broadcasters had picked a match of two teams that are down at the wrong end of the table, Aberystwyth Town versus Cardiff Metropolitan.

Despite the lack of skill compared to the more successful clubs this was an exciting match as the action raged from one penalty area to the other. Aberystwyth played soe really attractive football but the Met were more direct and began to take control the longer the gamae went on.

They were unlucky to find Aberystwyth’s goalkeeper, the Slovenian Under-21 International Gregor Zabret, in stunning form and he kept them out right until the end when a wicked deflection off one of his own defenders sent him the wrong way.

Aberystwyth are now third-bottom in the table but surely, on this performance, they’ll finish higher up the table than this.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and that means a lie-in. I have more visitors in the afternoon so I want to be at my best and maybe even tidy the apartment a little. It does need it.

Friday 10th September 2021 – ON WEDNESDAY …

digging trench laying drains rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021 … we took a little trip to see the roadworks that were going on in the Rue du Boscq.

On the way back home from the physiotherapist I came back that way to see how they were doing and they seem to have made a great amount of progress in just 48 hours.

They’ve already started to dig the trench that looks as if it will be going the length of the street and they are laying the drainage pipes in there already. They certainly seem to be advancing a lot quicker than those workmen did in Leuven when they were doing a similar job that took 18 months and more.

lorry load of gravel on old railway line parc du val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021What had excited my curiosity was that a heavy lorry was going down the track bed of the old railway line towards the road works.

He had a trailer that was quite heavily loaded with gravel, and so that gave me some kind of indication that the work was progressing rapidly. They wouldn’t be bringing in the gravel to leave lying around for 12 months or so.

And it was interesting to see that the old track bed was being put to good use as well, even if it won’t ever be a railway line as well. A sign of the times, maybe?

notification of works rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Something else that has appeared since we were here on Wednesday is a noticeboard at the town end of the work setting out the plans.

So we are going to have a cycle path, some car parking, piles of trees (at last), a real footpath and 2 viewpoints, presumably up on top in the Avenue de la Gare where one may look down on the scene.

There don’t seem to be any plans for a lift though to take you up to the station instead of having to negotiate these awful steps.

It’s going to cost pretty much €2,000,000 and I hope that they have their money’s worth out of it.

having fun with signs parc du val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Talking of “these awful steps”, these are the ones that I mean.

Trying to walk up here with a suitcase in the pitch-black in the middle of winter is a nightmare. Since I tried it once like that, I’ve been going up the Rue Couraye instead.

There was a pile of builders’ material that had been dropped here and it looks as if someone has been having a great amount of fun playing around with the road signs. Still, it keeps them out of mischief.

By the looks of things, I didn’t get into much of a way of mischief during the night. There was nothing whatever recorded on the dictaphone. I didn’t sleep right through though – I had a miserable, uncomfortable night tossing and turning in bed for much of it. I was exhausted when the alarm went off.

home made bread fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021After the medication there was the bread-making to be done.

There was no ordinary bread left, and only a very small amount of fruit bread so I decided to make both lots seeing as I had the oven on.

Having had one or two failures with my fruit bread just recently through having tried a new method, I decided on a kind-of hybrid method and that actually looks quite a nice loaf.

After I’ve tried some tomorrow, I’ll tell you what it’s like but I do know that the ordinary loaf is excellent.

Having made the dough I went to have a shower to make myself smell nice and it was just as well that I did because the nurse came earlier than expected.

He had all kinds of trouble trying to find a vein from which to take the blood, but not half as much trouble as some of those butchers in Montlucon did.

Once he had departed I could have my coffee and the last of the old fruit bread, and then make a start. First task was to deal with the dictaphone arrears and now every one of those has been transcribed. Another good job done.

The next task was to deal with an outstanding h=journal entry from THE END OF AUGUST. by the end of the day that was finished and as from tomorrow I can turn my attention back to the 2019 photos and the trip to the Ile de Chausey.

As for updating the journal with the details of the night’s travels for the three weeks or so that I let things lapse, I’ll just do a couple a day.

There were the usual breaks, one for lunch and another one to go to see the physiotherapist.

ferry to ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way out, I went via the old medieval walls.

And from the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I could see way out to sea and there was something of a reasonable size heading out towards the Ile de Chausey.

Without any doubt at all, it was one of the ferries going that way so I photographed it in the hope that back here later I could see who it was.

It wasn’t easy, but I could see that she had no step in the stern and had a more angular that streamlined shape so I think that she may well be the elder of the two Joly France boats.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One of the features that seems to run through these pages is the sad state of the medieval walls.

The area round by the Place du Marché aux Chevaux was closed off about a year or so ago and when I was round this way a couple of months ago they had made a start on repairing them.

Just recently however, they seem to have made rapid progress and while the actual repointing hasn’t progessed that much on the outisde of the walls, we now have a huge scaffolding that is in the course of being erected just there.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021What caught my eye were the huge water tanks that are on the scaffolding there.

With 1,000 litres of water in each of them, each one will weigh a metric tonne. So judging by the way that the scaffolding is being erecting, it looks as if they are going to be erecting a “flying scaffolding” over the walls and the water tanks are being used as a counterweight.

This is going to become quite interesting and one of these days at low tide, I’ll go down onto the beach and have a good look from underneath at what they are doing.

female underwater swimmer rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was looking around at the scaffolding I was also having a look around on the beach as well.

Emerging from the water down there just like Ursula Andress in DR NO was another one of these underwater swimmers, complete with snorkel and flippers.

Whatever it is that they are doing, I still haven’t managed to find out. It can’t be anything special because where they are swimming is uncovered at low tide. It must be some kind of training exercise, that’s all that I can think of.

beach swimming pool diving platform promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A view that we haven’t seen properly, with not having come this way for a while, is the view down to the Plat Gousset.

First thing that I noticed was that it it still seems to be the summer season as far as the local Council is concerned. The beach huts are still there and the diving platform is still on its pillar.

These are all removed into storage at the end of the season. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen the power in the storms that crash down there during the winter. The storms will make a considerable mess of those cabins if they were to remain there during the winter.

There are some steps at the end of the path that go down to the Place Marechal Foch. I went down that way and headed off through the town centre.

delivery van unloading rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Another thing that regular readers of thids rubbish will recall is that bad parking is another regular feature of these pages.

Delivery vans these days are everywhere these days and they park anywhere they like. But if you have a look at this photo very carefully, you’ll see that there’s an empty parking space just to his left,.

Rather than waste 10 seconds of his own by manoeuvring into it, he proceeds to waste about 5 minutes of the time of 20 other motorists stuck in the queue behind him.

This is the kind of thing that brings these delivery drivers into disrepute, and it’s hardly any surprise that people have such a low opinion of them.

At the physiotherapist’s, he put me through my paces on his tilting platform. He gave me a pile of new exercises to do, with the result that just about every joint in my body, except the right knee, which is why I’d gone there for treatment in the first place.

flowers dying avenue de la gare Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back, I went down the Avenue de la Gare to look at those flowers that we saw last week.

Whatever was happening to them has obviously happened very quickly because most of the flowers seem to have died in that very short space of time.

And there were no more than a handful of butterflies compared to the other day.

Down the steps I went to the Parc du val es Fleurs to check on the roadworks, and then went to the Carrefour for some fruit, seeing as I won’t be going shopping tomorrow.

empty quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s amazing the difference that a couple of kilos of fruit make. It was quite a struggle to climb back up the Rue des Juifs

At the viewpoint overlooking the harbour I could see that the pile of freight that had been visible on the quayside yesterday afternoon has now disappeared.

Checking the comings and goings in he port on the radar later, I could see that Normandy Trader arrived in port at 09:10 and left again at 11:13. That is what I call a quick turn-round. I can’t keep up with all if this.

trawler aground in naabsa position port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Yet another subject that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that of fishing vessels which, instead of going into the inner harbour, are left outside in the outer tidal harbour to simply settle down in the silt.

The technical name for this is NAABSA, i.e. Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground, and it seems to be happening more and more frequently these days. We’ve seen this vessel a couple of times now moored up against the sea wall near the entrance to the harbour.

When I first came to live here we would only very seldomly see one, but these days it seems to be a couple of times a week. There must be something going on about the mooring in the inner harbour and I wish that I knew what it was.

trawler saint andrews catherine philippe l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There’s plenty going on over at the chantier naval today though.

By the looks of things, there has been a big clear-out of ships that were in there. Of the seven that we have seen over the lst couple of weeks, we now seem to be down to just four.

The ones that remain, by the looks of things, from left to right, are Saint Andrews, the unidentified one, Catherine Philippe and L’Omerta. Back into the water today have gone Yann Frederic, Peccavi and Massabielle.

The next question that needs to be asked is “who is going to come in to take their place?”. There’s a very high turnover of boats in there these days and those places won’t be remaining empty for long.

tank cleaner porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021from the viewpoint over the harbour I headed off for home.

We have another lorry parked up by the Porte St Jean that can’t fit under the arch. It’s not a question of a trans-shipment today. That’s a tank cleaner or drain unblocker.

Someone must have a problem with the drains and so there’s about half a mile of pipework running into the old town as the driver tries to blast it away. There’s no end of inconvenience that you encounter when you are living within the walls.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Before I went home, I went to have a good look down on the beach as usual.

The tide is well out but there weren’t too many people down there. It was rather cool and windy compared to how it has been and that might explain it.

There did seem to be a few people in the water too, although I don’t know why because it’s not really swimming weather. Anyway, I left them to it and came back here for my banana smoothie and a little rest.

As it happened, it was more than a little rest too. Probably about an hour’s deep sleep, in fact. And it’s no surprise because I’d worked hard at the physiotherapist’s and then i’d had the long walk home up the hill.

Tea was a burger on a bap with a baked potato and veg. No pudding still, but it doesn’t seem to be working because not only did I put that 100 grammes back on, I added another 100 grammes to it as well.

But right now i’m off to bed. I have visitors tomorrow morning and I want to be on form.

Tuesday 7th September 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… much better and much more productive day today – due almost entirely, I reckon, to the fact that I had a sleep for about 90 minutes or so on my chair this morning not long after I had risen from the dead

As you might expect, it was a struggle to leave the bed this morning when the alarm went off and when I came back in here after the medication, I didn’t do very much in the way of work before I was away with the fairies.

When I finally awoke and came back round into the Land of the Living, I made myself a coffee and then attacked the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s notes were transcribed and went on line, and then I turned my attention to today’s notes.

I’d been on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR last night and it was our final day out. We’d all been off looking at something and I was wandering around. Suddenly I had this uncomfortable feeling that everyone else had gone. Not to worry, because these were the days when I could run so I set off at a run back to it. Matthew Swann and a few others were there. Yhey were being quite derogatory about it They asked what had happened and I told them that I had fallen asleep. They had a moan and everything like that. I was quite literally leaping over obstructions, scrambling down hills and so on. But it turned out that it was all like giant beds with blankets and sheets on and I was falling down the side of these giant beds and running up the other side of them, hanging on to the sheets and everything as I went over the top. Every now and again I would bump into someone who knew me. They all were wondering what I was doing, whether I was doing something for a bet or a personal achievement. I explained what had happened, and I was wondering what would happen when I would reach the other side of the island. Had all of the boats gone out to the ship and left me right behind? But I awoke in a night sweat, as I have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

Later on there was something about we were driving somewhere in Germany and retracing our steps back the way we had come. It all started to become confusing when we arrived in a big city. There were all these weird blue and white buses and trams driving around and I couldn’t quite follow the signposts for some reason. I wasn’t even sure where I was supposed to be going. After we had driven out of the city and going into the suburbs I suddenly looked over to my right and saw a couple of shops in the distance that were extremely familiar so I turned round and started to head off that way thinking that if I remember them it must have been from when we came in and therefore it’s that road over there that must be the right one out again.

While I was asleep just now I was driving around Montreal with one of my Canadian friends talking to her. She was asking me all kinds of questions about places in Montreal and its vicinity and I knew none of them. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t know Montreal anything like as well as I thought I did. We were discussing dating sites with someone else. he was wondering about their popularity. I said “well sex is the most important part in people’s lives and people just aren’t meeting up as they used to” which he agreed. I went out anyway, going to post a letter and get some food. In the meantime a bus did a U-turn in the road in front of me and clipped a car that was in front. Another vehicle clipped another car somewhere else. I was driving around finding myself in an area that I didn’t really know at all and wasn’t really sure how I was going to find out anything.

Grabbing another mug of coffee, I went for my Welsh lesson and ended up being rather late because the portable computer chose that inconvenient moment to perform an upgrade.

The Welsh lesson passed really well and then after lunch, because I was feeling very lively, I caught up with an outstanding task. A while ago someone gave me a laptop to fit an Solid State Drive in it,seeing as I have a certain little computer program that means that I can do it without going through any complicated back-up procedure.

It took me quite a while because it’s an old steam-driven computer, dating to at least the year 2000 running an underlying DOS operating system so I had to dig deep into my memory from 20-odd years ago.

It works fine now except that I can’t extract the data files from the old drive because this computer doesn’t have a USB 3.0 port so tomorrow, if I’m feeling up to it, I have a cunning plan that I can use to make things work.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This took me right up to the time that I go out for my walk around the headland this afternoon.

Across the car park I went to look out over the wall down onto the beach to seed the crowds of people down there this afternoon. And crowds there were as well today.

Although there are a couple of people wearing swimwear, walking away from the water, there weren’t any people in the water here this afternoon. And this was surprising because this was one of the nicest days that we have had so far this year

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further out along the coast down at the Plat Gousset, there were even more people on the beach.

Quite a few people in the water too, making the most of the opportunity presented to them by the availability of the water in the medieval fish trap.

Way further out on the beach at Donville les Bains, there are dozens of people taking advantage of the sunny afternoon. Of course, you might well expect this now that the children have gone back to school and the holidaymakers have all now gone home.

There was nothing whatever going on out at sea in the Baie de Granville – no kayakers, no frogpersons and not even any fishermen so I had a very lonely trudge around the headland in the heat.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I walked around the corner by the old bunker I could see that out in the Baie de Mont St Michel on the other side of the headland that Le Loup, the marker light on top of the rock at the entrance to harbour, was looking splendid today.

The dark line underneath the lower of the two red lines is where the tide reaches and so it gives you a good idea of how high the tide can be.

Out in the background on the beach at Kairon-Plage in between St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville, there seem to be hordes of people this afternoon. More than I would expect so I wonder what is happening there today.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned that there were no fishermen out in the Baie de Granville.

On this side of the headland however there were plenty of people down on the rocks having something of a scavenge about.

With the tide being so far out this afternoon the public part of the foreshore down there is now uncovered so they can have a good forage for the shellfish and other seafood in rockpools that have been left behind as the water recedes.

Judging by the size of the containers that they have, they must be having a good and successful time.

trawler baie be mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the past few months we’ve seen the local fishing boats working out in areas that have previous been unexploited.

Today, right down at the end of the Baie de Mont St Michel close to the Brittany coast, we have a trawler down there this afternoon having a go to see what it can pull up out of the water.

At this kind of distance I can’t see who she is, and I’m not even sure that she comes from here.

So with nothing else happening, I pushed off along the path on top of the headland towards the port.

l'omerta fishing boat massabielle trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And down at the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I could see that we have had plenty of excitement down there today.

The little trawler Briscard that was nearest the camera and Pierre de Jade, the trawler next to her, seem to have gone back into the water this afternoon.

It didn’t take long for their places to be filled either. L’Omerta, the little shellfish boat that we’ve seen so often sitting on the silt by the Fish Processing Plant, and Massabielle, a trawler whom we haven’t seen before, have taken their places.

It’s all go in the chantier naval these days.

Back here I had my banana smoothie and then had another play with that computer, which took me up to teatime. Taco rolls with the rest of yesterday’s stuffing.

Tomorrow I’m at the physiotherapist’s so I need to have a good relax and gather my strength during the morning. But not 90 minutes-worth.

And while I was typing up my notes, with my other hand I fixed the computer issues that I mentioned just now

Friday 30th July 2021 – THE THING THAT …

… surprised me most about this morning was that after so little sleep – much less than 5 hours, I was up and about so early and so … well … maybe not so energetically but at least I wasn’t staggering about incoherently (inasmuch as I am usually incoherent). And I was even back in here to check my mails and my newsfeeds in a reasonably rapid rate of knots.

It wasn’t long though (geologically speaking) until I had to leave the apartment and head off to the doctor’s and my early morning appointment. And I actually made it almost to the surgery before I realised that i’d forgotten to bring my injection with me, by which time it was too late to go back.

skip lorry loading scrap port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way to the doc’s I walked past the docks as I usually do

My attention had been drawn there a long, long way before I could see them by the racket that was coming from down below. When I reached the viewpoint I could see that there was a skip lorry that was picking up the scrap metal in the skips there.

Bearing in mind my post from several days ago, I mused that it was probably old bicycle wheels and World War 11 munitions that had been dredged up in the shellfish scrapers. Start the day with a bang? Why not!

“This is not the time to be hanging around within pressure-wave distance” I thought.

repairing brick wall Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further on down the hill, this little matter of interest caught my eye.

In actual fact, it was a closed-off car parking space across the road that I noticed at first before I saw the builders’ tape. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall, without any help from me, that the old medieval walls around here are crumbling away quicker than they can repair them.

Thai wall here, in between the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard des Terreneuviers has been quietly crumbking away and bits have gone missing, but it looks as if the local builders have been having a go at it.

Whatever next?

Next of course was the doctor’s. Having forgotten the injection, it wasn’t much of an omission because the doctor wrote out a prescription for me to have a nurse come round.

Furthermore, stocks of this injection are available in France and he’ll write out the prescription for me when I run out of the stock that I had from the hospital.

The Covid certificate is easy. Now that I have a Carte Vitale and an account at the French Government’s Health database, he could do all the necessary and I now have a proper Covid Europass. My telephone even reads it too.

The knee isn’t so simple. he thinks that it’s just the menisque, the meniscus muscle, and he’s prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication (which means that my daily dose has now gone up to 10) and a course of physiotherapy.

But prescribing a course is one thing – finding a therapist to do it is something else completely, especially in midsummer when everyone has gone on holiday.

At the chemists I had to wait five minutes before they were opened – first in the queue as well. But clutching my medication I headed back home.

aztec lady charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish might recall that a few days ago we saw Charles Marie come sailing into the harbour.

Not having been this way since then, I hadn’t seen whether or not she was still there but sure enough, she’s the blue and white boat across there.

As for the dark blue boat behind her, I couldn’t make out at first whether she was Anakena, the boat that had set off to go to Scandinavia but had been caught in the pandemic. If it had been she, she probably would have set the record for the boat that’s been the longest in the harbour.

However, a closer examination of the photo shows that she’s Aztec Lady and she’s been in there for quite a long time too.

goods on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut remember yesterday? When we saw a pile of goods on the quayside as Normandy Trader was busy loading up, and I speculated that they wouldn’t be getting all of that into her with the swimming pool as well?

It looks as if I was right – although it didn’t really take much of an effort to work it out. There’s still a pile of freight on the quayside despite the fact that the ship has long-since sailed off into the sunset.

That means that we shall be expecting another visit, either from her or from Thora, in the near future. Imagine leaving all of that stuff unguarded on a quayside in the UK.

On the way back home I met a neighbour (I seem to be doing this quite a lot just recently) and we had a good chat for a while. Then I came back in here for my hot chocolate and fruit bread, which really is delicious!

Armed with my breakfast I came in here and settled down to work on yesterday’s journal entry and the next thing that I remember, it was 2 hours later. Luckily I’d finished my hot chocolate before it went cold.

While I’d been asleep on the chair I’d gone off on another voyage. I was in my holiday home getting ready to go back to the Auvergne because I decided that I was going to move my holiday home … start again … I was in the hotel where I was staying in some seaside resort somewhere in the south of France or somewhere in the west of France. I was going to get back into Caliburn and drive back to Virlet to get some stuff because I was planning to rent an apartment here. I’d thought about going to contact all of the Agents Immobiliers in the region about seeing who had a flat to let. I just walked out of my hotel room and across the hotel into the lobby just to walk straight out, get into Caliburn and drive straight back. I saw the rain and thought “do I need anything to take with me to leave back there? Do I need to bring anything else. Then I had a horrible thought about the train – how was I going to get to my hospital in Belgium?

There was really only just enough time to sort out the photos before lunch and guitar practice.

After lunch I had to ring around for a nurse, but everyone seems to be unavailable. Better luck at the hospital where I was able to change my appointment to the following week. And then I could at last push on with my notes.

There was the usual break for my afternoon walk so grabbing the NIKON D500 j cleared off outside.

lancia fulviasport 1600 zagato place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while there was no bus parked outside the building today, I would swap any bus on the road for one of these.

This vehicle is probably one of the fasted production cars that Lancia ever produced, and I didn’t recognise it at first because someone has taken off the distinctive bumpers. But in actual fact it’s one of the Zagato-bodied Lancia Fulvia Sport 1600s.

Made for just two years, 1971 and 1972, there can’t have been many of these made, and there can’t be more than a handful that still survive, especially here in France.

But yes, one of these would do me very nicely, thak you.

man in water beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo having dealt with the car, let’s go and deal with the issue of the beach.

It took quite an effort to make it across the car park because there was now a howling gale that had sprung up. I wasn’t expecting to see too many people on the beach, and I was quite right too because everyone was conspicuous by their absence

Apart from a few brave souls wandering around out there, there was this guy leaping up and down as the waves came into shore. He was certainly a braver man than I am.

waves breaking on rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd waves of course, there were plenty because there was quite a storm raging out at sea.

There are some rocks that even when the tide is well in, they aren’t covered over by the sea and the waves were breaking on them with quite considerable force. We aren’t likely to see too many ships out there today.

But there were crowds of people at a loose end wandering what to do and I threaded my way through them along the path, chasing after my headgear that had decided to go off for a stroll all on its own with the aid of the wind.

joly france 1 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said that we aren’t likely to see many ships out there this afternoon, here’s one that I certainly didn’t expect to see.

It was the clouds of spray being thrown around out there that drew my attention to somethign moving so I went to find a high point on top of one of the old bunkers to have a better view.

Exposed as I was to the wind, it was impossible to take the shot that I wanted for when there was a shower of spray over the ship I was being blown out of position. I had to compromise.

Digital enhancement back home brought out the step in the stern of the ship and this tells us that it’s Joly France I battling its way valiantly out through the gale to the Ile de Chausey and I bet that the people on board were not enjoying the trip.

A few years ago I was on a crossing like that, and everyone was leaning over the railings.
“The trouble with you” I said to one man “is that you have a week stomach”.
“Nonsense” he retorted. “I’m throwing it as far as all the others”.

waves on sea wall baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith all of these storms at sea I was expecting to see waves of hurricane proportions dshing over the sea wall and soaking everyone and everything in the inner harbour.

Consequently I dashed down the path, across the car park and around the corner onto the path onto the other side of the headland in eager anticipation.

And this is the best that I can get.

It’s true that the harbour wall is well-sheltered from the nor’westers by the headland around which I have just walked, and you can tell that by the fact that I have now replaced my headgear. But I was expecting much better than this.

If I knew who to complain to, I would lodge a complaint.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday (was it only yesterday?) we saw one of the shell-fishing boats moored up and aground at the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant.

Today, it looks as if we have had a tactical substitution because while she has now cleared off, another one his come to take her place.

When I went further round to the front, I could see that it’s our old friend L’Omerta who seems to spend a lot of her time moored over there when she isn’t out at sea.

But anyway, that’s not my affair. With nothing going on any different in the chantier naval I carried on with my walk.

man in hazmat gear le tiberiade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther on down the road I stopped to have a look at what was going on in the inner harbour.

The trawler Le Tiberiade is in there this afternoon. She has a sister-ship, Le Coelecanthe and the only way that I can tell them apart is when I see them together because the latter is bigger than the former.

But as I looked more closely, there was something else that had caught my eye. In the background is a white van and a large commercial pressure-washer, being operated by someone in full hazmat equipment.

So whatever that is all about, I’d love to find out more. Although there isn’t likely to be anything in the local paper about it, and at the speed at which I move these days, I wouldn’t be able to catch him before he went.

unloading builders equipment port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I turn my attention to the rest of the inner harbour.

And remember the pile of builder’s material that we saw there yesterday and this morning, well, like Topsy, it “just growed”.

If you look very closely, you can make out the front of an articulated lorry and there’s also a guy on a fork-lift truck busy manoeuvring stuff around there.

All of this seems to indicate to me that the arrival of one of the Jersey freighters is imminent.

But I shan’t be around to wait for it if it arrives on the evening tide. I’m off back home for my coffee.

Downstairs in my letter box was a letter, from the Welsh Joint Education Council. For my “spoken Welsh exam” I’ve scored … errr … 208 out of 220. The reason for that mark is that I have learnt after many years of bitter experience to “Keep it Simple” and don’t try to complicate things gratuitously. Then you can’t tie yourself in knots of your own making.

Back here I finished off yesterday’s entry, about 7 hours later than I had intended, and then made tea. Falafel and pasta with the most delicious pineapple upside-down cake with coconut soya stuff.

No football tonight so I can go to bed. And about time because I’m wasted after my bad night and early start.

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Monday 5th July 2021 – WELL I’LL BE …

… and I will be too.

It’s another one of these “if you don’t try it, it won’t work so try it and see what happens – you have nothing to lose” moments.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but many others will not, that I don’t have health insurance from the French Government. When I took early retirement from my job in Belgium I kept my private health insurance and as it’s more comprehensive than offered by the French Government (because it’s Belgian) ther’s no need for any other cover.

To prove that you have French health insurance, a person has a Carte Vitale – a green and yellow chipped photo ID card. For the people of pension age, it confers other benefits too but I’ve never been too bothered by any of those.

However the Government’s Covid passport scheme, and hence the European passport scheme, depends on having a Carte Vitale and so back at the beginning of the year, more in hope than expectation, I applied for one.

For months I didn’t hear a thing but about 6 weeks ago I had a message asking me to send off a photo and a copy of some photo ID which I did. And in the post this morning, sure enough, came a Carte Vitale. So now all that I have to do is to work out what I can do with it.

Another thing that has taken up most of the latter part of the afternoon was to answer a phone call about a subject that has been simmering away in the background for 6 months or so. There’s a possibility of going North again, and a lot farther north (depending of course on the ice conditions) than we did IN SEPTEMBER 2018.

One of the things on which it depends (and there are several) is how far the news of certain events of two years ago, and about which I haven’t yet written but will write one of these days when I can think of a way to express them, have spread.

And also, how far the Covid epidemic has spread too. This particular journey starts and finishes within Canada and so will not be affected by the closure of Canada’s borders but if I can’t get into Canada to reach the starting point, then I shall … errr … be in difficulties.

But as it isn’t going to happen for at least a year and maybe even longer than that, then the future remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, returning to our moutons, as they say around here, despite another crazy, late night, I was up at 06:00 as the alarm went off.

After the medication, I sat down to deal with the next radio programme in the cycle. And today it took me rather longer than usual and it wasn’t until midday that I had finished.

There was a reason for this, and not just a halt for coffee and breakfast either. But when I’d listened to the programme that I was to send off today, I found a glaring mistake in it. So as well as the programme that I was doing, I had to write out some more text for the other one to rectify the mistake, record that too, and then do some rather hasty doctoring in order to make that one work as well.

There was the dictaphone too, to find out where I’d been during the night. We were back with the old Cortinas last night scattered all over the place and I was doing some work, The paraffin heater was becoming rather low on fuel and I was wondering whether to go and fill it up. But my friend and his wife, I noticed hat they were preparing to go out in the evening and when I looked, they were wearing masks and I thought “they are off to do another bank robbery”. I decided that I would go and fill up the oil heater which meant that I had to go across the car park. There on the car park were crowds of people milling around using the paraffin machines. I thought “I hope that there’s no-one using mine”. Eventually I had to fight my way into the end of the queue. Mine was OK which I thought was lucky but there were loads of people hanging around it, especially kids and I had difficulty trying to put my container over the nozzle of the filler. I said a few times to a kid “be careful, don’t step back” but like kids they would step back anyway and got oil all over themselves. There were a few moanings and rumblings, that kind of thing. Eventually a guy said that he would do it for me. He did it but kept finding an obstruction so he went to siphon it and ended up with a mouth full of dirty engine oil. At this point I thought that I’d give up and go and buy some fuel from the petrol station but then I wasn’t sure what fuel I was using in my oil heater. I thought that if it’s not paraffin and I go and buy some fresh paraffin and put it in, then of course it’s going to start to pop because the regulator is only going to be set for whatever fuel I have in it, not paraffin. Having worked in the motor trade as often as I did with insurance companies I cantell you what happens when an oil stove pops and there’s a jet of flame that shoots out from it and sO many fires starting. This isn4t really the best way forward to go at all.
So after this car had done its aerobatics and gone out of the way (and what was that part about?) I could prepare to fuel up but I was offered a posting to the Caernarfonshire Fuel Authorities for my time getting the most out of this fuel station was over because it was the old Alan Pond garage in Crewe and it was time that I looked for somewhere a bit nearer wherever it was that I might be living

The rest of the day has been spent working on the photos from August 2019 and now we are heading up to the end of the Nassuttooq, or Nagssugtoq, or Nordre Stromfjord in Greenland preparing to go ashore for a walk around amongst the artefacts.

Talking of going for a walk, it was time soon enough for me to go for my walk around the headland.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call was to go to check on what is going on down on the beach this afternoon and so I walked off across the car park for a look over the wall down to the beach.

This afternoon, there was no-one down on the beach. And that’s no surprise, and there were two reasons for that. Firstly, with the tide being well in, there wasn’t all that much beach to be on this afternoon. and the second reason was that it was raining yet again – no surprise here – and not only was there no-one on the beach, there was no-one about on the path up above either.

But one thing that did catch my eye in this photo was in the upper right-hand corner where the other day that had set up some scaffolding underneath the city walls. There seems now to be some kind of covering over the scaffolding now, so I’ll have to go along to check on that later this week.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking with one eye at events going on (or not going on as the case may be) down on the beach the other eye was roving around out to sea to see what was going on in that direction.

The weather was pretty rough this afternoon and so was the sea, and it was quite a struggle for the fishing boats making their way back into the harbour before the tide turns. This one here was battling its way through the waves on its way back to the Fish Processing Plant.

My journey along the path was something of a struggle too in the miserable weather. I really can’t believe that it’s July when we are having weather like this.

fishing boat yacht brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view out to sea might have been pretty depressing and miserable but along the Brittany coast it was actually quite clear.

Off the coat near St Malo one of the beaches was quite clearly visible, as were two very small yachts just offshore and another larger yacht that was sailing by offshore out there. There was a fishing boat out there too having a go at harvesting the sea at the entrance to the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Nothing else was going on out there so I carried on down the path and across the car park down to the end of the headland to see what was happening down there.

man fishing off rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe sea was actually quite rough out there this afternoon with spray flying around just about everywhere where the waves were breaking on the rocks.

It’s the kind of weather where the best policy would be to keep away from the edge but it’s not the kind of weather that’s going to deter a keen fisherman from trying his luck even if his bait is going to be swished around by the waves.

Even in the best of weather they don’t seem to catch anything so I didn’t fancy his chances in this weather. Mind you, he was the only one out here trying his luck. Anyone else interested in fishing must have decided to stay indoors and I wish that I had stayed indoors too.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the end of the headland I walked off around the headland on the other side of the headland and came across another group of people who might have wished that they had stayed indoors too.

It’s not the weather to go off sightseeing out at sea but one of the Joly France boats – the newer one – that provides the ferry service out to the Ile de Chausey looks as if she’s taken a load of tourists out on a trip around the Baie de Mont St Michel.

In this weather you’d certainly need your sea legs to go off on a voyage around the bay in a small boat like that. It was pretty rough on land as well and it was something of a stagger along the clifftop for me in the wind and rain.

l'omerta fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith no change of occupancy in the chantier naval today, and with you having seen yesterday in close-up the new boats that were in there, I didn’t bother to take a photograph of anything going on in there.

Instead I concentrated on what was happening in the outer port at the Fish Processing Plant as the fishing boats come in to unload. And here’s an unusual sight. That looks as if it might be L’Omerta over there leaving the quayside.

What’s unusual about it is that instead of staying tied up at the quayside she’s gone off to moor herself in the inner harbour for a change. She’s spent the last couple of weeks moored up there and left to go aground when the tide goes out.

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2107/21070044.html”>fishing boat yacht kairon plage baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as some boats leave the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant, other boats come along to take their place.

A short while ago we saw a fishing boat out at sea heading in towards port. By now, it’s taken me so long to walk around my circuit that she’s caught me up and she’s now about to enter port where she can unload too.

Behind her is a yacht that I thought at first was heading in towards the harbour but when I cropped and enlarged the photo I noticed that she was actually heading out to sea. She’s not the Spirit of Conrad and I can’t think who else she might be, and I pondered on that as I headed home.

goods on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked past the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour I noticed that there was another pile of merchandise lined up on the quayside underneath the loading crane where the Jersey freighters tie up.

The swimming pool on the quayside seems to indicate that it’s Normandy Trader who’ll be coming in to take the stuff away. She has the contract with the manufacturer to transport his pools to the Channel Islands whenever it’s necessary.

But the shrink-wrapped boat that’s at the other side of the crane is a puzzle. That’s been there for a while now and showing no signs of moving. But the red tent that we saw at the end of last week has gone now. Whatever its purpose was is now clearly over.

Back here I had my ‘phone call from Canada that went on for quite a considerable time and which meant that unfortunately my guitar practice time was curtailed.

But I had a lovely tea – pie with veg and gravy followed by chocolate sponge and coconut soya whatsit. But right now I’m off to bed now that my journal is finished. We have a Welsh conversation group meeting tomorrow so I need to catch up with my revision in the morning.

Thursday 1st July 2021 – HAPPY SUMMER…

foggy morning rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… so welcome to the sunshine and the glorious weather. Can it get any better than this?

Yes, what a way to start of the summer. A cold clammy fog enveloping absolutely everything, just like a November day. And it was cold too. I had to go and search for a jumper to keep me warm. I’m not cut out for this kind of weather.

Anyway, that was the weather that greeted me as dawn broke this morning. I couldn’t believe it. And I have to go out shopping later. One look at that and I made myself a piping hot mug of coffee and came back in here to get on with some work

With it being the first of the month, it’s the day when I normally back up everything. So today I decided to start on a full and complete programme.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there’s a USB stick permanently plugged into the laptop on which I back up a few times every day. Then there’s a spare hard drive in this machine on which I back up once a month.

And then there’s an external drive on which I uploaded every single file off every computer or hard drive that I have ever owned and I’ve been gradually sorting it out into some kind of order.

So today, I copied the files off the working drive onto the back-up drive in the machine and then copied them over to the external drive. And even as we speak, after about 12 hours or so, it’s still going on. It’s a long job but it had to be done and I ought to do it more often.

But there’s one good thing about it, and that is that I can remove some of the stuff off the working drive that doesn’t need to be there and make some space, now that it’s stored in at least two other locations. That’s probably going to be tomorrow’s job, always assuming that this back-up is completed by then.

At least, while it’s doing, I can get on and do other stuff, like a pile of photos from August 2019. And now I’m wandering aimlessly around Sisimut in Greenland having a good look around.

After a shower, I made myself ready to set off to the shops. Not that I was feeling like going. And I was feeling even less like coming back loaded up with shopping.

empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere in the Rue Couraye is somethign that regular readers of this rubbish might recall.

This used to be some kind of oriental restaurant, as you might remember. And after it closed, a lot of money was spent on transforming it into a rather plush and expensive interior decoration shop with condultants and the like to give advice. And it opened amid a great fanfare.

But it didn’t last very long by the looks of things. As I went past this morning, it was empty, closed up and abandoned. There was a sign saying “we have moved” – but it omitted to tell us just where it actually moved to. And that tells us all that we need to know.

At LIDL I spent more money than I intended, not that I bought anything special. And they had run out of brazil nuts too which is a shame. But anyway, off I set for home, staggering under my heavy load.

retiled roof rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the roofing job that was being undertaken on a house here in the Rue de la Houle.

Last week we saw them nailing battens around the chimney in order to hang slates therefrom. And sure enough, they’ve now been and gone and as we can see, the chimney is now all slated and looking quite nice.

But my money is on the fact that they didn’t repoint the chimney and replace the rotten bricks, and that’s going to lead to a problem in the future because a poor chimney isn’t going to last forever, especially when the wind gets going.

And we’ve seen some famous winds since I’ve been living here.

crane building site rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that we’ve seen a lot of since we’ve been living here is redevelopment of buildings and building sites, such as this one at the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

There used to be a café on this corner and we watched them knock it down and clear the site, and then fence it off. last week we saw a digger on site and it had dug a big hole. And I was wondering what was the purpose of the hole.

And now we know. They’ve installed a huge crane here and that tells me that building is about to get under way any minute now. Those cranes are expensive to hire and small builders won’t hang about when they have the rental to pay.

Although I suspect that you’ll all be reminding me that I said that in 6 months time.

seagull chick lost in rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack in town again, in the Rue Paul Poirier, I encountered something that caused me some anguish.

It’s the time of the year right now when the fledglings in the seagull nests begin to flex their wings and one or two of them manage to take to the air. Here is one that has left his nest and fluttered down into the street in the Rue Paul Poirier. And now he can’t get up steam to fly back to his nest.

It isn’t easy to know what to do in these circumstances. Maybe his mother will come to look for him, and human scent on her baby might drive her away. And if you do try to catch him, would he dash off into the traffic? I decided with regret that the best course of action was to leave him and hope that a more knowledgeable person would come along.

trawlers waiting to leave port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo up the hill I trudged with my heavy load of shopping until I reached the benches half-way up where I could see down into the harbour.

And it looks as if I’ve arrived at exactly the right time because judging by the little queue of trawlers here, the harbour gates are going to be open any minute now and I could sit and enjoy the spectacle. Mind you, I don’t envy them going out to sea in this dreadful fog. It’s not that thick down there, with visibility about half mile or so, but I bet that it’s a lot worse further out at sea.

It made me wish that there was a café nearby where I could fetch a drink for myself as events would unfold. This is pretty unseasonal weather for July.

trawlers leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSure enough, I only had to wait a couple of minutes before the gates opened and the red lights changed to green.

And once they did so, a whole line of trawlers suddenly burst into life from all over the inner harbour and they were off like ferrets up a trouser leg. It was quite an impressive sight to see them all go like that.

There was a whole line of trawlers waiting to come into the harbour too but it looks as if those leaving have priority. And once they had cleared the entrance, the ones outside swarmed in. I wanted to take a photo of them but once again, the lens jammed on the NIKON 1 J5. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we had that repaired about 18 months ago.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway I cleared off up the hill, still wrestling with the camera lens and eventually I managed to free it off.

And thzt was just as well because out of the fog came another one of our old friends going for a run around the bay with a bunch of tourists. It’s La Granvillaise, one of the charter yachts that operates out of the port. We can tell who she is because of her unusual sail layout and also the fact that she displays quite prominently the number G90.

And I felt sorry for the tourists because they aren’t going to see very much in this weather, although with the tide being in, at least the boat can go closer to the shore so they will be able to see something of what’s going on.

seagulls fighting rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was taking the photo of La Granvillaise there was a tremendous squawking from the roof of one of the buildings so I went off to have a look to see what was happening.

There are two seagulls down there having a tremendous tug-of-war over something or other but I couldn’t see what it was. They kept it up for quite a while too – longer than I was prepared to wait and see the outcome. I wanted to go home.

Back here I put the frozen peas in the freezer and made my self some real hot chocolate to go with my fruit bread. and having had breakfast I came in here to upload the photos onto the computer when unfortunately I dozed off.

Good and proper too. I didn’t wake up until about 13:30 and then it took me a while to find my equilibrium. Another late lunch.

This afternoon there was plenty of excitement, which led to me being kicked out of the “British in Europe” Group. The people who run it have the most unbelievable egotism and arrogance. Ever since Brexit they have leapt aboard every possible bandwagon going and every time some concession has been made, it’s been “look what we won for you” even when they weren’t involved at all.

There’s a campaign been organised to thank the various Préfectures in France for their forbearance and patience but the people who run “British in Europe” have ordered everyone (and told people to pass the message on) NOT to thank the French authorities as “it undermines our campaign”. Have you ever heard anything like it?

One of their main beefs is that the French authorities have, according to them, failed in their obligations to notify every British person of the new arrangements. However, the facts are considerably different. In France, the censuses are held every 5 years and a great many British people have failed to fill in the census forms, for various reasons. So, quite naturally, the French authorities don’t know that they are here so they can’t notify them.

Furthermore, they are complaining that the French are expelling people. The French have a right to expel people if they represent a manifest danger to the security of the State, and the people I know who have been refused residence and expelled are those who have not long been released from prison for certain unspeakable offences.

So I told the organisers what had been going on, but like any two-bit organisation, it can’t tolerate one bit of criticism and won’t hear anything that undermines the “Big I Am”.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis took me up to afternoon walkies so the first thing that I have to do is to go off to the end of the car park and look down to see what was happening on the beach.

So uutangling myself from a group of residents at the door, I set off to see who was about down there. And this afternoon there was quite a crowd down there. That’s because the weather had improved somewhat since this morning. The sun had burnt off the mist from on the land and it was quite warm.

Warm enough for people to be undressed and in swimwear although I didn’t see anyone actually take to the water while I was there. Maybe it wasn’t all that warm in there after all.

sea and rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut whether it was warm or not, the sea really did look beautiful this afternoon.

It was that beautiful emerald green colour that we don’t see all that often. I reckon that it has to be a trick of the sunlight and the reflections or something like that to make it look so nice and inviting, even if it might be fairly cold this afternoon.

But I can’t hang around and admire the view. I had to push on around my little circuit and see where I can end up. And more importantly, what I encounter on my trip round the headland.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRather like this yacht that suddenly appeared from out of the mist.

Somewhere out there in that direction is the Ile de Chausey but there is no chance of seeing it in this weather. And that is probably from where the yacht has departed. As I was walking along the path on top of the cliffs it just materialised out of the doom and gloom rather like a phantom.

Of course it’s too far away for me to identify from here so I can’t say if it’s someone whome we know. But anyway, I wandered off across the car park and along the footpath on the other side of the headland.

trawlers philcathane chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here is someone that we ought to recognise. And I ought to know who it is because I’ve seen it so often in the past.

There’s been another change of occupancy in the chantier navale this afternoon because she certainly wasn’t there this morning. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the trawler le Pearl, the new trawler that arrived here last autumn. Well I’m pretty sure that this is her elder sister and I wish that I could remember her name.

But anywhere, here she is, next to Philcathane, with the other trawler whose name I have yet to discover and the yacht Rebelle to keep her company while she’s in here receiving attention.

chausiais l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown in the other harbour, the tide is quite far out but once more we have a couple of fishing boats tied up ay the fish processing plant and left to go aground.

It’s L’Omerta of course and she’s been moored over there on and off for quite some time now and I’m curious to see what is going on and why she’s there so often.

In the background to the right, moored up at the ferry terminal, is Chausiais, the small freighter that runs supplies out to the Ile de Chausey. She’s probably not long come back from a trip out there and is empty at the moment. When she’s about to go off on a trip out there she’ll be in the loading bay underneath the crane in the inner harbour.

Back here I carried on with the backing up of the computer and the hard drives and that took me up to guitar practice. And I’m not making as much progress as I would have liked with the bass unfortunately. It’s not a case of lack of technique, it’s a case of lack of memory. I can’t remember what I learnt yesterday, stuff like that.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper (now that I have some mushrooms) and I’m sure that I forgot something that usually goes in it. My chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce was delicious too.

And now, as this argument from this afternoon rumbles on over a whole variety of pages on my Social Network, including someone from Britain In Europe wading into a person’s private page and telling her how to manage her own page (how outrageous are these people?) I’m of to bed, as soon as there’s a suitable pause in this backing-up.

But I fear that it’s going to be going on for quite a while yet. And so is this argument.

Saturday 26th June 2021 – THE BIGGEST SURPRISE …

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… today was the fact that when I went out for my afternoon walk today, there were actually a couple of people down there on the beach.

You only have to look at the photo to see what kind of afternoon it was. When I went out for my afternoon walk it was raining quite heavily and there was a rolling, wet, claggy mist everywhere that was engulfing everyone and everything in its path.

There wasn’t any point in asking me to look out to sea because I couldn’t see a thing. It was far worse than yesterday and I think that our brief encounter with Summer is finished.

This morning though, when I awoke, it wasn’t all that bad and it looked as if it might actually be quite a promising day. Certainly, me being out of bed as the first alarm was ringing is quite promising if nothing else is.

After breakfast I went and had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something strange about three of us having to go to some kind of meeting of the army, something like that. I know that I had these khaki battledress things with zips and everything so I had to hide them before I could go to this meeting. We were all meeting up for breakfast at the Chinese Coach Park café. Liz was coming as well but she was saying that she was going to sit somewhere else because she wasn’t into eating meals in polite company, all these affected mannerisms and everything. I told her “well that’s rather crazy because no-one is going to be watching anyway. We’re all going to be doing the same thing”. Something came around about buying a house. I was thinking of moving or buying a house somewhere. The suggestion came up with Terry that perhaps I ought to think about buying a house with them.

There was much more to this but I really can’t remember it now.

Having organised myself a little I went and bashed on with the photos from the USA in August 2019. And by the time that I’d finished, I’d crossed back over the border into Canada and the province of Saskatchewan.

And now I think that I only have British Columbia and the Yukon Territory to visit. It’s only 3,000 kilometres by road from Vancouver to Whitehorse. I can foresee an aeroplane journey in the near future.

After a shower and a change of clothes I headed off to the shops. NOZ came up with very little, except a long queue at the checkouts, and LeClerc had nothing really exciting, although they did have some nice vegan mini-burgers in breadcrumbs. It was expensive though because I needed coffee and also apples which are much more expensive than they have been.

Back here I put the frozen food away and made myself a hot chocolate (with real chocolate) which went down nicely.

The next thing that I remember was that it was 14:00 and I’d been asleep for a couple of hours. There was something on the dictaphone too. One little thing that I had when I would start out was that I was working in an office and I’d been on my lunch break. When it came towards the end of my lunch break I realised that I couldn’t find my fruit so I tried to remember where I had it last. That was down i the basement somewhere so I went all the way down in this basement down all these escalators with these people behind me talking about different things. I reached the bottom where the tunnel went under the road but there was no fruit there. I had to take the escalators back up and I suddenly remembered that i’d put them in the fridge at the back of my desk last night as I was going home. I wondered if they were still there. I came back up and headed off to my office thinking that I’d be horribly late and sure enough everyone was there. There was a girl sitting at my place doing some temporary work so I asked her if I could have my desk back. She said “yes” and “that was nice. We’ll have to do it again sometime” in a kind-of sarcastic manner. The girl who was sitting behind me said “we’ll have to work out hw much of my desk you’ve got so you can pay me some money and I can pay someone else”. I said “I think that there are about 4 things in it” but we opened the drawer and we counted about 8 or 9 so she started to laugh. There were some other things in there. I remembered that someone had given them to me to keep them safe because they related to someone who had just come to work in the office. I’m glad that they were still there but I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain that to this girl because I’d put them in her desk. When we were counting up this stuff I might have to know how to justify it and I thought “why should I have to pay for stuff that belongs to the office anyway?”

After lunch there was football on the internet. Rhyl 1879 were hosting Bangor 1876 in a friendly match and surprisingly, given the history between these two teams, it was quite friendly too. Both these teams have a very long and successful history but due to all kinds of difficulties, now find themselves languishing in Tier 4 of the Welsh pyramid.

Bangor won 1-0 and I’ll tell you something for nothing that if this was a Tier 4 match, then either Tier 1 is going to be fantastic this season or else quite a few Tier 1 clubs are going to be in for a shock.

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland so remembering my mask and my cap I set off.

lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it comes as no surprise to anyone to know that I was all alone out there this afternoon.

There wasn’t another soul … “ahhh soul” – ed … out there on the path at the top of the headland facing the Baie de Granville. I had the path al to myself – just me, the lighthouse and the semaphore station in the distance.

Plenty of that white tape still there though and I think that I’ve found out to what it relates as well. As went out and about this morning I saw lots of signs about pedestrians in the streets tonight. There’s some kind of walk going on. Although if it carries on raining like this, it won’t be a walk, it will be a swim

frogman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is not actually a sneak preview of tonight’s walk, even if it will end up something like this tonight I reckon.

While I’d been on my way down the path and across the car park at the end on my way to the end of the headland, I’d seen something swimming about offshore and I was wondering if it might have been a dolphin or a porpoise or whatever they are. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in the past we have seen a few of those.

But as it broke surface, I could see that it was actually a diver, complete with rubber ring. And by the look on his face, he was just as surprised to see me as I was surprised to see him. He gave me a really good, long look as if I was doing something that I wasn’t supposed to dp.

frogman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd he wasn’t alone either, which was even more of a surprise.

There were a couple of other objects that were loitering just underneath the water and which had caught my eye. One of them floated up to the surface and it turned out to be yet another diver. So what’s going on just offshore here that requires the service of three divers, because I reckoned that the other object is probably a diver too

However, I’m not likely to receive very much of an answer from them because they were too far out to shout at and I wouldn’t have heard their reply. And I’m not expecting to see anything in the newspaper tomorrow either. And so I just turned round and cleared off.

mother and child waiting for father peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further on I heard a little voice shouting “papa, papa from somewhere down at the back of the chantier navale so I tried to have a look for the source of the sound.

So down there sitting on a rock underneath a large umbrella was a mother and her little child – a daughter by the looks of things. Having a look farther out among the rocks I could see someone who looked very much like papa doing some prospecting down there in the fashion of the peche à pied.

The tide is still quite far out and the public areas are uncovered so he’d gone for a scavenge around. Howevern I imagine that his wife and daughter were not so keen and so had taken shelter under the umbrella. Not that I blame them. Given half a chance, I’d be under an umbrella myself.

flooded footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother one of my favourite moans, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is the state of the public footpaths around the headland.

Just there is the viewpoint that overlooks the harbour and you can see that it’s practically inaccessible today. As usual, whenever there is persistent rain, the footpath floods like that and everyone has to go for a very wet and slippery scramble around on the grass.

It’s not by any means the first time that it’s been like that. It was like that when I first came here over 4 years ago and it’s never ever become any better. In fact it’s deteriorating from one day to the next.

Much as it pains me to say it, this is a tourist resort and a great deal of income comes from tourism. And yet the facilities for the tourists are falling into disrepair as the local council, whoever it is who is running the show, is making little effort to improve or even maintain it.

They’ll soon by crying when the tourists stop coming, which they will do if things don’t improve..

yacht rebelle trawler philcathane chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually I did manage to find a place where I could look down at what was going on in the harbour.

Of course, the chantier navale is bound to be my first port of call, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. The yacht Rebelle from London is still in there, as I thought she might be, and so is the trawler who appeared in there yesterday.

And I can tell you her name now too. She’s one of our old favourites Philcathane. As I went off to the shops this morning in Caliburn I drove past the chantier navale and I could read the name on the side of her superstructure.

But nobody seems to be working on her today. Whether it’s because of the weather or because it’s weekend I don’t know. But neither is preventing someone from being aboard Rebelle.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, back around towards the Fish Processing Plant, another one of our old favourites is back.

That is L’Omerta which is Italian for silence and also the name of the oath that the Mafia take, so I’m interested to see how come a fishing boat here in Granville carries that name.

Another thing that interests me is to find out why there are quite a few fishing boats being tied up in a NAABSA (Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground. When I first came here it was a very rare thing to see one and when you did, it had been tied up so that maintenance could be carried out on it. But these days, it’s getting to the stage where it’s two or three every week.

But in the unpleasant, wet weather I pushed on towards home.

new fishing boat l'alize 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here in the inner harbour something else caught my eye.

The white fishing boat there is one that I don’t recall having seen before. Maybe I have, I don’t know, but it doesn’t look very familiar to me. I can see that I’m going to have to go for another wander around down at the quayside some time soon.

But not right now. I’m heading for home and a nice mug of hot coffee.

And then I have some searching to do on the internet. It’s high time I upgraded my big computer and I need quite a few things to do so. They aren’t going to be bought and the computer upgraded if I just sit here and do nothing about it, even if it is going to be expensive.

Guitar practice went well for a change and then I went for tea. A couple of those burger things that I bought, baked potato and veg followed by apple pie and the custard that was left over from yesterday.

Next task that I mustn’t forget is to soak some lentils in the slow cooker and marinade some tofu. I’ve run out of vegan meat pie and I want to make another one tomorrow. Everything needs soaking and marinading to absorb all of the herbs and spices. Left overnight, it will be wonderful tomorrow.

And then I could press on with the journal.

Bed time now and I can’t say that I’m SORRY. I’ve had a tough week all told, much of which is due to ill-health and I’m not going to get any better. But we’ll see how things develop if I can have a good night’s sleep for once.

Saturday 12th June 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… good and productive morning today which was nice. And which was just as well because I had a pretty lousy afternoon.

But more of the afternoon anon. Let’s talk about the morning first.

As the alarm started to ring I leapt out of bed and wandered off for my medication. And then I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone.

And there was nothing on it from the night, which was a surprise because I had all sorts of vague ideas and images going around the margins of my mind when I awoke but they had all flown away as I had tried to grab hold of them.

There was however some stuff on the dictaphone from 30th and 31st May that needed transcribing and so I dealt with that and brought their pages in the journal up-to-date.

While I’d been doing that I’d been listening to music. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, a week’s radio programmes was lost in some king of confusion and my records ended up being out of order for a week. And rearranging it meant that I had a blank week.

Without confusing things any more, I was rather stuck for what to do. But then yesterday I had an idea. I have a load of music that is waiting to be digitalised and even more than hasn’t yet been sorted. So I went through and sought out the groups who are debuting in my playlist.

The CDs that needed digitalising were then digitalised and I made up a playlist of albums where the groups and musicians were debuting in my lists.

And so today while all of this updating of the journal was going on, I was listening to music. I’d already been listening it last night and I’d selected a few tracks from it but by the time I’d finished the updating this morning I ended up with a nice collection.

And so I selected my tracks, edited them to cut out bits I didn’t want and to regulate the volume and then I combined them in pairs. So that’s the music sorted for that programme. On Monday I need to start by writing the music which is good because I have an appointment at lunchtime and I need to have the programme done by then.

When I’d finished what I’d been doing I grabbed a Louis de Funes sound file and chopped that up for more soundbites and I’m now accumulating a nice bunch of soundbites. And there are plenty more to go.

When I’d finished it, that was when it all started to go wrong, because I almost immediately crashed out. And a good and proper crashing out it was too. It was a very late lunch today because I didn’t come round until about 14:20. And then I was staggering around like a drunkard for a few minutes until I grabbed hold of my equilibrium.

The rest of the day has been spent cutting up albums (and there are still plenty to go at) and editing photos from August 2019. And I’m now actually at South Pass – at least where Highway 28 goes through it.

It didn’t look like the description that I had though and while things can change since 1845 they don’t change that much so what I did then was to go back to find a hotel and make further plans and do further research. So unless I am distracted tomorrow you might get to hear a little of my adventures.

In between all of this I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing that I did, as you might expect, is to interest myself in what is happening down on the beach today.

And so girding up my loins I headed for the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down from my viewpoint. And as we can see, there’s plenty of beach again today because the tide is well out again today. As I go out most days at roughly the same time, it’s interesting to see how the tide evolves over a complete cycle.

And while the weather is better today than it has been, warm with hardly any wind, there weren’t as many people down there as I was expecting to see. After all, it’s the holiday season and the place is swarming with Parisians right now bringing their viruses with them.

marite english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut while I was admiring the people on the beach my attention was caught by some kind of movement away on the horizon.

It was a ship – I was pretty sure of that. It couldn’t be anything else at that spot but with the naked eye it was far too far away for me to make out exactly what kind of ship. I was intrigued to see what it might be so I took a photo with the aim of cropping it out and blowing it up (which I can still do despite modern anti-terrorist legislation).

And so there you are. It’s a large sailing ship with at least two masts. And according to my shipping radar, Marité, the old fishing schooner that lives in the port, slipped her moorings at 07:53 this morning and headed off towards Bordeaux. And I can’t say any more than that about the ship out there.

microlight aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd its not just people on the beach and ships at sea that is attracting our attention right now. Try to do something serious and concentrate and your reverie is immediately interrupted by a buzzing noise overhead.

It’s not a mosquito or an insect like that, but it’s one of these microlight ULM powered hang-glider things. These kinds of things have their origins in the pou de ciel or “flying flea” microlights designed in the 1930s by the Frenchman Henri Mignet and popularised in many magazines, with plans being produced for home-builders.

Ever since then the French have had quite a reputation for building light aircraft of all shapes and sizes and regular readers will recall that we have seen quite a few different types of light aircraft flying over our heads when we’ve been out and about.

Cessna F182P Skylane F-GBTS pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis on the other hand, is a real aeroplane and it makes a change to see one that not only was picked up on radar but is entered in the books of the airport at Granville.

She’s a Cessna F182P Skylane, a model that was introduced in October 1971 and powered by a Continental O-470 piston engine fitted with a carburettor and producing 230 HP, or 72 kW. With a range of over 1,000 miles, the models for the European market are quite often flown over from Wichita, crossing the Atlantic via Newfoundland, Baffin island, Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

This one though was noted as being at Toulouse Airport this morning at 11:59 and was picked up by the radar near Balma at 13:21. And I could follow her route from there all the way to Granville where she landed at 16:15.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut right now I haven’t finished with the air yet because there were other things going on too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have a local bird of prey that we have seen quite regularly. I’ve forgotten what breed he might be because the birdwatching lectures that I had from Nerina weren’t about this type of bird, but it hovers about the edge of the cliffs because there are many small animals, including a colony of rabbits, that have made their home there.

And to my surprise, I noticed today that it had a mate. Or, at least, there was a second one working the cliff edge farther along. It will be nice if we can have our own colony of vultures or whatever they are.

men fishing from zodiacs baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLet’s turn our attention back to the sea now because there was still plenty going on out there too.

With it being Saturday,, then of course we can expect the local fishermen to be out in their droves this afternoon trying their luck from their boats just offshore at the foot of the cliffs. But doing my best not to make any tart remarks about their success rate, I pushed off along the path.

And the path was crowded with people today too. And despite the Préfet‘s instructions about masks being compulsory until the end of the month, many people were walking around maskless or with their mask tucked under their chin.

And seeing that many of them are holidaymakers from Paris, that will tell you all that you need to know about why the disease is so rampant in those places. And here they are, bringing their disease to us.

trawler beached port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I pushed my way along the path all the way around the headland until I reached the viewpoint that overlooks the harbour from where I could see what was going on in the port.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have talked … “at great length” – ed … about trawlers left in the outer harbour to go aground when the tide goes out.

So here’s another one of them – one of the bigger ones too, tied up in a NAABSA (not always afloat but safely aground) position to the harbour wall underneath the red marker light for the harbour entrance.

There’s definitely something fishy about this, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

gerlean l'omerta fishing boat port de Granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut to put your minds at rest L’Omerta and its friend, which is called Gerlean, are still tied up at the fish processing plant and are sitting on the mud.

But it beats me why they are there because it can’t be very popular with the other little fishing boats. With those tow moored there, there’s less space for the others to tie up to unload and so they’ll have to queue for longer.

But anyway, that’s not my problem. There’s a hot coffee and some ginger cake waiting for me back at home so I headed that way, and ended up having quite a lengthy chat with one of my neighbours on the stairs. That’s not like me at all, is it?

Tea tonight was interesting. There was some stuffing left over so I lengthened it with stuff that needed using in the fridge, added some tomato sauce and had it with some pasta. And as an ad-hoc meal it was surprisingly good.

But now I’ve finished and I can hardly keep my eyes open, and so I’m off to bed. A nice Sunday lie-in tomorrow and won’t that do me the world of good?

Friday 11th June 2021 – I’M NOT SURE …

… what happened today but just for a change I’ve had rather a busy and productive day. And when was the last time that you heard me say that?

As usual I left my stinking pit as the first alarm sounded at 06:00 and headed off for my medication. I spent some time sorting it out too. I have two packs of it – one that stays here and another that’s in my rucksack for when I go off on my travels. I need to make sure that I have everything in both packs otherwise I shall be a bit stranded.

And while I was sorting out the Lyrica I noticed that the doctor’s “couple of boxes” that he gave me yesterday was enough for a six-months supply. It can’t be a very popular medication here.

Afterwards, I came in here and listened to all of the stuff that was on the dictaphone. First of all I started on the notes for last night. We were going somewhere on a coach. I can’t remember now who I was with. For a change I wasn’t driving – I was a passenger. It was an old coach and as we drove to this zebra crossing we had to stop, and a load of vehicles came up on the right-hand lane and pulled up to stop. Then one of these minibus/coach things pulled up. It didn’t pull up quickly enough and slid on the white line and hit a bollard in front of him. He was loaded with schoolchildren. We said “well he probably would have stopped had he not slid on that white line there. When we reached this place we went to a hotel room and the first thing that – it might have been Liz Ayers – said was “shall we have some coffee to forget about the journey?”. I replied “Oh God, yes” (load of incoherent rambling then I fell asleep). Yes this place that we went to was all futuristic and modern and so on. Everything about it was really advanced technology stuff so we couldn’t understand why they had a traditional toaster there.

Next task was to listen to yesterday’s ramblings (in both senses of the word). And did I ramble too because there was tons of stuff from yesterday. That’s all on-line too after much ado about a great deal.

There were several days from my trip to Leuven that weren’t sorted out so I’ve done a few more of those. Everything up to 29th MAY is on line now and I’ll do the final day tomorrow.

And they will be done tomorrow too because I have made an executive decision (that being a decision where, if it all goes wrong, the person making the decision is executed) in that I’m not going to the shops tomorrow.

There are two good reasons for this. Firstly, I’m off to Leuven on Wednesday morning so there’s no real point in buying all that much anyway. And secondly, I’ve made myself an appointment for a Covid test on Monday afternoon ready for my Belgium trip and I have to go there in Caliburn, so if I have forgotten anything, I can buy it while I’m out.

It’s silly to waste two lots of diesel like that.

For much of the rest of the day I’ve been musicking. Splitting a lot of album *.mp3 files down into their original tracks and then uploading lots of CDs that I’ve had lying around. I’ve been working with groups for which I only have one example of their work because I don’t want to confuse things any more than they are.

Some of that could do itself so I used the time to sort out a pile of paperwork and file it away. It’s hard to believe I know, but things are looking a little more organised in here just now.

But it won’t last.

There were of course the usual breaks, for my morning hot chocolate and fruit bread and also for lunch.

Not to mention going out for my afternoon walk … “Your afternoon walk?” – ed … “I told you not to mention that.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as usual I went out to have a look at the beach to see what was going on there today. Across the car park I walked (yes, not staggered. I’m feeling a little better) over to the wall to stick my head over the top of the wall.

And there is much more beach for people to be on today because the tide is quite far out . So much so that I actually managed to count as many as a dozen or so people down there today.

And that was a surprise in itself. There was hardly anyone down there yesterday when the weather was so nice, but this morning we had a rolling sea mist blowing in and there hadn’t been all that much of an improvement as the day had drawn on.

There was a neighbour on the car park and we had a chat. And he was as fed up of this weather as I am.

bouchot beds donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere might not have been all that much going on down on the beach but farther along the coats at Donville les Bains there was all kinds of excitement.

With the tide being so far out the bouchot – the shellfish that grow on strings rather than in the sand – beds were exposed and so the guys with the tractors who harvest them were hard at work pulling in their catch.

And in the background on the shoreline is the little campsite where when I first came to Granville I was all set to buy a touring caravan and park myself up in a corner because I couldn’t find anywhere comfortable to live.

And then I came to this place, and the rest, as they say, is history.

people fishing from boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not just from the beach that people are harvesting the fruits of the sea – that is, if those in the boat out there are actually harvesting anything.

When I’d finished taking photos down at the car park near my building I walked along the path on top of the cliffs past the hordes of tourists shamelessly not wearing masks despite it being compulsory until 30th June here, and noticed these men in a boat out to sea in the English Channel having a bit of a fish.

And as you might expect, it goes without saying that not one of them seemed to catch anything, other than a cold, while I was there watching. One day someone is going to take me completely by surprise and pull out a whale. And what would I have to say about that?

canoeist baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, there are other varieties of marine life that our men in a boat could try their hand at catching.

Not too far away from where they were, there was a canoeist paddling his own canoe, presumably from the marina around the other side of the headland. And I take my hat off to someone who can be able to do that. I was strictly a canal canoeist in my youth.

Once upon a time someone once asked me why making love in a canoe is different from beer from the south of the UK. My answer is that there is no difference whatsoever. They are both f***ing close to water if you ask me.

There was nothing at all going on out to sea anywhere. Or, at least, if there was, it was shrouded in sea mist and I couldn’t see it. Standing at the end of the headland looking out to sea was pretty much a waste of time today so I cleared off along the path on the other side.

l'omerta fishing boat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were one or two things going on – or not, as the case may be, in the harbour today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen plenty of fishing boats in a NAABSA – Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground – position in the outer harbour and today we have L’Omerta, one of the regulars, and another one whose name I remembered at the time and subsequently forgot.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I don’t understand why this is happening. At one time when I first came here we hardly ever saw a one moored like this but these days since they refitted the harbour, we’ve seen plenty.

The cynic inside me wonders how much the harbour fees have increased in order to pay for the redevelopments.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere are still plenty of boats in the harbour regardless of whether or not the question of fees is an issue and here are two of the local fleet, Victor Hugo in the foreground and behind it, obscured for the most part, is Granville.

These are the two passenger ferries that go out to the Channel Islands from here and one or two other ports up and down the coast. Or, rather, they did. Because apart from a brief foray at the end of June last year, they haven’t been anywhere (except when the harbour has been drained) since March last year and the start of the Covid drame.

And the word on the streets is that they won’t be going out for the rest of the year either. What with the Covid epidemic now surging in the UK (cases having tripled in a fortnight and are now well above France’s levels) and other factors, all ferries are cancelled “until further notice”.

So on that depressing note I left the harbour and returned home.

political posters rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s election time in France – the local elections this time. And what happens is that the local council sticks up notice boards and each party or group of candidates can have one on which to erect their publicity.

We have all kinds of candidates here, even a couple of Fascists unfortunately, and if I were allowed to vote I would be voting for anyone at all who could beat them. The last thing that we need here is the rise of the extreme right.

Back here I made myself a coffee and grabbed a slice of ginger cake, and then decided to attack the photos from August 2019. And now I’m heading towards the Holy Grail, which took a lot of finding over a couple of days but find it I eventually did, and in spades too. Yes, the goal of every emigrant on this side of the Rocky Mountains – South Pass – where they crossed the Continental Divide.

And the reason that it’s so hard to find is that it’s such a gentle slope up and slope down. Edwin Bryant wrote “we have scarcely been conscious of rising to the summit of a high ridge of mountains”.

That took me up to guitar practice, which went a little better than just recently, and then I went for tea. In the absence of any other alternatives I had taco rolls with the leftover stuffing, followed by rice pudding.

Now that I’m all caught up with my notes, I’m off to bed. With a bit of luck I’ll do the last bit of arrears of dictaphone tomorrow morning and then I’ll get down to some serious work.

We can always live in hope, I suppose.

Tuesday 1st June 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… really horrible day today, which will come as no surprise to anyone at all.

It’s always the same – the day after I return from Leuven I always have a day like this, which is why I always try to come home on a Saturday – so that I can take advantage of a Sunday and stay in bed. When I have to get up early in the morning it’s bound to back fire.

And so it did today. With my Welsh lesson this morning I had to haul myself out of bed at 06:00 as usual, and I managed that without any problems. After the medication, of which there is more than enough these days, I came in and sorted out a few bits and pieces that needed to be done.

Finally I could sit down and start to revise my Welsh. And I got as far as the first few pages of my notebook and that was that. Flat out on the chair, and until 09:40 as well. I must have been out for a couple of hours.

First thing after coming round was to have a shower. Nice clean clothes and properly refreshed after all of that, I could sit down and study – as much as I could in the time allowed because there wasn’t much time left.

Soon enough – far too soon in my opinions – I knocked off and went to make myself some hot chocolate – real hot chocolate made with real chocolate as usual, and armed with this and a slice of that cake that I bought from LIDL at Christmas, I went for my lesson.

It was a strange lesson. We have our exam next Wednesday – mine is at 16:00 – and so while it was officially a week off for school half-term, we had a special lesson which was in effect to work our way through 2 past question papers and then we each had a mock examination. Mine went rather flat as I forgot two tenses and also didn’t understand one word that our tutor used.

It’s an oral examination done on Zoom with four parts to the paper and we need 50% in each section to pass. And despite my faltering here and there, our tutor told us that we would all have passed quite easily.

For lunch I finished off yesterday’s sandwiches and then went off to the shops. With having been away for so long, whatever fruit was left had gone off and there wasn’t much of anything at all left.

At LIDL I spent a lot of money, mainly on all different kinds of fruit, and then at LeClerc it was another expensive do, mainly due to having to buy some more coffee. Not that I’m running low on supplies but whenever I do, I never have any handy and I never seem to be able to find the type that I like.

Back here I put away the frozen food and then went out for my afternoon walk. Mustn’t forget that.

workmen building compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw the builders’ compound across the road that had sprung up like a mushroom while I’d been away.

This afternoon when I went outside they were actually working there. There was a digger working there taking a pile of earth and sand out of the store of earth that they had in a container and tipping it into the load bed of the dumper, presumably to disappear off into the bowels of the medieval city to fill in whatever hole they have dug.

There is quite a lot of rubble and earth and sand in that container there so it must have been quite a hole or trench that they have dug. I might go for a walk out that way tomorrow to see what they have been up to.

people on beach rue du nord swimming buoys plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallit was the habit before I went off to Leuven for me to go over to the end of the car park and look over the wall down onto the beach by the Rue du Nord to see what is going on down there.

As you might expect, there were several people down on the beach. Not as many as I was expecting because the temperature was 24°C this afternoon, really warm, and hardly a breath of wind. How the weather has changed since I went off to Leuven.

With weather like this, I would have expected to have seen crowds of people down there this afternoon.

Also in the distance you can see the row of yellow buoys. They mark the edge of the patrolled beach of the Plat Gousset. It looks as if they have reassembled all of the necessary summer season items like the diving platform and all of that, ready for the arrival of the grockles.

fishermen zodiac speedboat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing of which we have seen plenty of in the past is all of the fishermen who hang around either on the rocks or in boats just off the cliffs out at sea.

Today, we have a pile of fishermen out there in boats. I had noticed that there were two guys in that zodiac just there. They were stationary and were casting their lines into the sea from their boat. And as I watched them, the other guys turned up in the speedboat from across the bay near Donville les Bains.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the two guys in the speedboat had made themselves quite unpopular by their sudden arrival. I’m sure that the wake of their boat would have driven away any fish that might be there.

As regular readers of this rubbish might recall, we haven’t ever seen a fisherman catch a fish when they have been on their own, never mind when someone has come along to disrupt their silence.

joly france speedboat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been looking down onto the beach just now, I had noticed out of the corner of my eye some kind of movement in white out near the Ile de Chausey.

Using the zoom lens at its fullest extent I was able to take a photograph of it, and later on when I was back at the apartment I was able to enlarge it and crop it out so I could see better which boat it was.

Of course, it goes without saying that what I had seen was a boat, and it was none other than one of the Joly France boats on its way back to port with a load of tourists having spent the day out there on the island, accompanied by a speedboat.

trawlers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that we were looking at prior to my departure to Leuven was the fact that the local fishing boats were now much more active in the Baie de Mont St Michel than they ever have done in the past.

And sure enough, there were a couple of trawlers out there in the bay today fishing away off over towards the Brittany coast. I’d seen them when I was on the lawn and so I walked across the lawn and the car park down to the end of the headland in order that I could photograph them.

It seems to me that despite the agreement with the Jersey authorities the fishing boats are busy exploring new fishing grounds as some kind of insurance

joly france trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, the white thing that I had seen moving about has come closer to the headland so that I can see better what it is. There was really no need for me to have taken the earlier photograph in fact.

Here she is, coming closer to the headland, just as she is passed by a trawler on its way out to the fishing grounds. Whatever the circumstances, they are still going out to the Baie de Granville for fishing purposes. At least those people in the large boats actually manage to catch things, which is more than can be said for the men with rod and line.

From here, I continued on my way along the footpath. Having been so ill, I was really struggling along the path. It was really hard to believe that 12 months ago I could run around here without any problems.

hera trawler customs launch chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy walk – or, more likely, my stagger – along the top of the cliffs took me to my viewpoint over the harbour where I could look down on the chantier navale and see what was going on down there.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I left here, the ship repair yard was empty. It had been full for quite some time but gradually all of the boats had ended up back in the water. And so it was nice to see it quite busy again when I came back from my little trip.

There’s a trawler, Hera in there, and next to it is a Customs launch. Does this mean that we are finally going to have our own Customs post here at long last?

Next to that is quite a large inshore fishing boat. You can see all of the buoys on board that we see floating around in the water occasionally, which seem to mark the position of lobster pots, and you can see the crane that presumably lifts the pots out of the water

But what piqued my interest most of all was the wooden craft closest to me. That looks like something old and disreputable from the 16th Century and I’ll be keeping a keen eye on her to see what is going to happen.

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, Joly France had arrived in port and was heading off to her berth at the ferry terminal.

In the past they enter port really close to the green marker light but today she had come in closer to the other side of the harbour entrance. That’s presumably because they’ve moved the silt bank that was over there, an activity that we watched with great interest a couple of months ago, so the water isn’t quite as shallow as it used to be.

And we can see that she’s the older of the two Joly France boats. We can tell that because of the windows down her side. They are rectangular in “landscape” mode, whereas in the newer boat, they are rectangular in “portrait” mode.

And doesn’t she have a crowd of people on board this afternoon? It must have been busy over there on the island today in this lovely weather.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYet another thing that had caught my attention, and that of the regular readers of this rubbish, who will recall that I have spent a great amount of time talking about the boats that are left tied up to the jetty underneath the fish processing plant and left there to settle in the silt when the tide goes out.

One that I’ve seen quite regularly is L’Omerta. She’s been tied up there a few times and left to go aground, instead of being taken into the inner harbour where she can remain afloat.

And I’ve still not figured out the significance of her name. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – edOmerta is the name given to the oath of silence taken by members of the Mafia.

Back here I made myself a nice cold drink – a strawberry smoothie – and then came in here to carry on with my work but, shame as it is to admit it, I fell asleep again and was stark out until 18:45. And I wasn’t in any fit state to do anything for a while. I’d missed my guitar practice and I was annoyed about that.

Tea was a stuffed pepper (I’d bought some of those while I was out) followed by chocolate sponge and coconut dessert stuff. There’s only enough chocolate sponge now for tomorrow so I’ll have to invent a dessert for the rest of the week. I did buy some cooking apples so I might even go for a crumble and make some custard now that I know that it works.

To my surprise the ginger hadn’t died so I fed it with more. I wasn’t so sure about the sourdough. It didn’t look at all healthy but I emptied it out, fed it, cleaned out its bottle and refilled it. We’ll see how it goes over the next couple of days as to whether it’s still alive.

As for me, I don’t feel as if I’m still alive. I’ve made an executive decision – which means that if it is the wrong decision, the person making it is executed – and that there will be no alarm tomorrow. I’m owed a Day of Rest after my exhausting travels and I’ll take it tomorrow.

Hopefully that will set me back on my feet but I doubt it. I think that I’m too far gone for that.