Category Archives: courrier des iles

Saturday 26th February 2022 – YOU HAVE ALL MISSED …

earth and tyres dumped by farmers at leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… the excitement that took place through the night at quite a few of the supermarkets in Normandy overnight.

It seems that the local farmers had been to pay a visit, and had dropped off loads of earth, old tyres and other assorted stuff all over the entrances to the car parks so that no-one could enter.

The cashier at LeClerc with whom I spoke about the matter couldn’t tell me what was the object of the exercise, but French farmers don’t need an excuse to be militant . They can do it as a matter of course

tractors and lorry removing earth and tyres leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Some of the obstructions had been moved by the time that I arrived, and when I was on the point of leaving they were removing the others.

One of the workers had seen me taking photographs and came over to talk to me. He wanted to make sure that I knew that they had nothing whatever to do with the depositing of the load and that they were private citizens clearing it up.

Of course, I had no idea that they were anything else, but as they went to great pains to point it out, I thought that it was only correct that I emphasise the point.

Another point that I ought to emphasise was that I didn’t have much sleep last night. Not at all.

It was about 11:30 when I went to bed and with the alarm set for 07:30 I was optimistic that I could have something of a reasonable sleep. However I set off on my first nocturnal ramble at 01:24 according to the dictaphone and I didn’t stop after that. I started off in the north of Québec on a big Harley Davidson. It was winter and snowing heavily, and the only way that I could keep warm was to have my hood up on my jacket right over my head with just a small gap for my face. For some unknown reason the hood came down. I was riding along this autoroute and I was freezing – i’d never been so cold. There was snow and ice everywhere. On one occasion I lost sight of myself and looking on further down the road I couldn’t see where I was on this motorbike. Eventually I managed to catch up with myself and I had my hood back on. I arrived at the place where I was going, somewhere round by Québec or somewhere like that

And later we were back in Québec again, in winter again and at school. Again it was one of those things where my hood came down and I started to freeze to death in the snowstorm without putting my hood back up. Eventually, later on I relocated everything and I could put my hood back up. Then I could go to find the Governor and talk to him about some kind fo reciprocal arrangement for me to leave.

Amazingly, I was back a third time in Québec working in a butcher’s or a food-packing plant where we were putting boxes of food away in freezers ready for distribution. For some reason, in order to move fast, I was on a pair of roller skates and I’ve no idea why that was or how likely it would be and I can’t remember anything more about this, although I do remember that I went back into this dream at a later point but while it was pretty much the same dream my way of moving about this warehouse was a considerable amount slower compared to how it was previously when I was on roller skates.

The dream about the woman in the Ukraine dressed up on the second trip was actually after the Ukraine one that where everyone was freezing cold on the second trip. That’s what I dictated anyway, and what it relates to I really don’t know. Should it be maybe something connected to my second trip to Québec and does the woman relate to the part that I forgot?

It makes me wonder what else I might have forgotten or failed to note when I’ve been out and about at night, and whose visits have I omitted to record.

There was a deer that was wild but somehow it had come into a place where there were lots of people. It started jumping up and knocked over a woman in a bright blue dress before stamping off through the town. This was something to do with me being at work. I’d been absent for a considerable period of time. When I came back I plonked myself in a corner. people were making remarks about me being stuck in a corner. I replied that I’d just sat here to keep out of the way. if it’s someone else’s desk they have to tell me and I’ll quite happily go and sit somewhere else. In the end someone said that it was his seat. I was sure that it wasn’t so I had to gather all of my things. With all of the stuff that I have, it takes much longer than for someone else. Eventually I found that I had almost everything in my arms and stuck into bags etc. They found a place for me on a chair with no table sitting by a wall near a radiator. At least there was a bit of a socket there. One of the girls, Anne-Marie or someone, came to talk to me. “No-one likes Morales”, they said. “You should see his car. It’s parked 15 feet in front of a parking space” etc. That’s just the kind of person whom he is.

While we’re on the subject that vampires come up into this (and what this relates to, I really don’t know). Alison and I suggested meeting Jackie at a town that we know that was decaying, crumbling down where some really depressing things look as if they have taken place. There was something else about whales in an aquarium tank that I can’t remember at all

Finally, I was at some kind of meeting last night. There was some kind of talk being given and later on everyone went for lunch. When we came back out I was looking for a seat because someone had taken mine. There were these 4 statues right at the very front of the room. I patted one on the head and it said “hello” and started to talk to me. I realised that it was one of these pre-programmed things and the reply was based on what you said to it. I asked it all kinds of strange questions and was giving me some reasonably coherent answers, so much so that I was surprised. I was having quite a lot of attention from various people, my conversation with this statue. It turned out that the voice inside it was that of a girl and she came from the Soviet Union somewhere. I had quite an interesting chat with this pre-programmed robot statue thing.

So no TOTGA, Castor or Zero yet again, but having an interesting and exciting chat with a statue is something new. It sounds just about how my real life is these days. If I were to have a statue in here, having an interesting chat with it would make quite a change to talking to myself.

So after the medication I had a shower and then headed off to the shops.

All they had at Noz that interested me was some Italian alcohol-free beer so I bought a couple of packs of that and I’ll try one with my pizza tomorrow.

100 percent veggie food with eggs noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022But what was interesting, for quite another reason, was the 100% veggie Schnitzel escalopes.

Having been caught out on a previous occasion by one of the 100% veggie products that they carried, I check the labels these days and sure enough, it contains eggs. So much for the 100% veggie.

But I thought that the “yellows of eggs from free-range hens in powder” was rather extraordinary. How can powered hens, free-range or otherwise, lay eggs?

At LeClerc’s, apart from forgetting the Vitamin C tablets yet again, I didn’t buy anything special. It was just a normal shop this week. Quite a change from last week.

tractor removing earth and tyres leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I was leaving the supermarket, the tractor that was helping to move the rubbish turned it.

At first, I saw the tyres so I thought that it was coming to drop some more rubbish off but then I saw that those tyres were stuck on the prongs

On the way home I was listening to some SIMPLE MINDS. It’s another one of these albums that always touches a nerve with me. There’s a time and a place for music like this in my life and unfortunately, it always comes round on the playlist at the wrong.

“Somewhere there is someone who can see what I can see”. Yes, and for three whole days (and nights) too.

Back here I had a coffee and a slice of my really delicious coffee cake, and then I transcribed the dictaphone notes, which you read earlier.

After lunch there was football on the internet – Y Drenewydd v Connah’s Quay Nomads. The Nomads won 2-0 but I’m not going to comment on the match for fear of being charged with bringing the Welsh Premier League into disrepute.

What I can say is that if Chris Hughes, the manager of Y Drenewydd knew Jim Finks, the manager of the New Orleans Saints back in the late 80s, he would be repeating his comments “We’re not allowed to comment on the lousy officiating”

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022On that note, it’s probably best that I go out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual I wandered off across the carpark to see what was happening down there on the beach. And I don’t know if the young girl down there is the same one who was down there yesterday but the wellingtons certainly looked familiar.

In fact there were plenty of people down there this afternoon. We’re supposed to be having the carnival but that has been cancelled. Nevertheless I imagine that many people had made arrangements to come here and they are here to make the best of it.

cabin cruiser fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And as usual I also had a good look around out at sea while I was here.

The yellow buoy that we saw yesterday was still out there but I was more interested in the cabin cruiser that was right out in the bay.

By the looks of things it’s a fishing party that’s out there – a rod and line fishing party, I mean. There weren’t any trawlers out there this afternoon. When I went past the port earlier this morning they were all moored up at the quayside.

They must be having a day off today.

sea pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one of the things that feature regularly in these pages is the water out in the bay.

We’ve seen a few good examples just yesterday of these variegated layers of water and yesterday we even saw quite a clear demarcation line where two currents had met.

But today, just offshore, we had another really good example of what I mean. There’s no physical demarcation but the colours are quite distinct.

On a completely different subject, there was a girl walking along the cliff edge filming herself and talking on the phone. I was inclined to go over to her to tell her to be careful. After all, I don’t want to be a witness at yet another inquest but she stopped her call as I approached and walked off.

She must have heard all about me from someone else.

yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There was something else that was moving about right out in the bay off the Ile de Chausey so I went to stand on my bunker for a better look.

As I thought, it was a yacht returning to port after, presumably a sail out to the island. Not that I’m surprised because it was a gorgeous day. Quite sunny and just enough wind to move boats around out at sea but not enough to disturb those of us up here on the headland.

The sails were quite distinctive but it isn’t a yacht that I recognise. There were several seagulls keeping her company too so I hope that the crew had their headgear. The seagulls around here have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

couple bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022The weather was so nice that I was expecting to see crods of people out and about around the car park.

The lower path that goes round the base of the cliff was crowded today and we even had a pair of lovers right out on the headland at the bench by the cabanon vauban and it looked as if they were having a good time.

And so was I, actually. It was nice to be out there in the sun without too much wind to blow me around off my perch. And so I headed off around the corner to the other side of the headland.

yachts le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel there were a several other people out there taking advantage of the good weather.

There were several yachts wandering around in the bay but these two particularly caught my eye and I waited until they were lined up perfectly with Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour.

Over there in the background there were several people walking around on the beach at the side of the road that runs between St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville. They were taking advantage of the nice weather too.

tiberiade la roc a la mauve 3 courrier des iles yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Meanwhile, in the chantier naval it looks as if most of the people connected with the activity down there were having the weekend off too.

As far as I could see, there was just one person down there, working on La Roc A La Mauve III. But by looking around on the ground underneath Courrier des Iles you can tell that they’ve been sanding down her paintwork.

Back here I had a few things to do, such as unpack the shopping and put it away. And I actually found one of the burgers that I especially like.

Consequently, for tea I had a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg. Plenty of mustard and garlic mayonnaise.

So having done everything that needs doing, I’m going to change the bedding. I had a good scrub this morning and I’m feeling quite clean (for a change) so I’m going to make the most of it.

Friday 25th February 2022 – REGULAR READERS OF …

girl taking photos hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… of this rubbish will recall that one of the recurring themes that run though these pages is photos of people taking photos.

And sure enough, we had a couple of those today. We also had the first Bird-Man of Alcatraz this year too today but his Nazgul came to grief on the car park at the back of the lighthouse at the Pointe du Roc.

There was a young girl taking a photo of our bird-man packing up his troubles in his old kit bag and so I joined in the fun by taking a photograph of the girl taking a photograph.

And then, like the KNIGHTS OF KING ARTHUR we went our separate ways.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022My journey didn’t take me very far before I came once more to a stop.

This afternoon there were some people down there by the bench at the cabanon vauban and one of them was taking a couple of photos.

Even at this distance I could take a photo of what she was doing so that I could add it to my collection of photographs of people taking photographs.

However, as usual, I’m running ahead of myself here. Let’s go back and start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022While you admire a few photos of the huge rollers coming in and colliding with the sea wall, I’m going to start today’s story even before the very beginning.

In fact, last night, I couldn’t go to sleep. In the end I ended up watching a film on the internet while I was waiting for sleep to come and it was at about 01:30 when I finally staggered into bed.

That doesn’t bode well for a 07:30 start but if we turn the clock back a year or two, I was going to bed at that time and arising at 06:00 without the least problem. And then going out for a run around the town.

Ohhh! How things have changed!

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There wasn’t a great deal of time to go off on much of a nocturnal ramble, but I did my best.

Compared to the events of the last few nights; what happened last night was rather tame. Nevertheless, there was a very enigmatic entry on the dictaphone.

It went “I wish that I knew more about that dark-haired girl who came to visit me last night but that’s all there was on the dictaphone so I’ve no idea at all about anything relating to this”.

And I was dead right too. I wish that I did know more about it as well because it’s the kind of thing that must have been extremely interesting. I seem to be meeting an awful lot of unidentified young ladies just recently and it’s extremely frustrating to say the least when I can’t recall who they are or what we did.

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Later on I was with Nerina again last night. We were doing something at a bungalow on the Poets Estate near Coleridge Way around there. I’d been working on a car. I’d put my things away but when I went back there were still some bits and pieces lying around so I picked them up and put them in my pocket. Then I went to look at the car. The seat adjuster had broken – the circlip that holds it in place had come off. I made a mental note to do something about that when I was in a place where I could fix it. Then we drove to Nerina’s – it was about 21:45. Nerina’s mother said “oh, you’re early. She had tea ready which, for me, was vegan sausages. We had our meal then I was going to show Nerina this seat attachment thing because if she will be going out in the car in the morning she’ll need to know about this so she’ll know what to expect and she’ll know how to fix it. I couldn’t find a circlip to hold it in position. I was singing RIDING THE WAVES by Steve Harley all the time and I don’t know why and even Nerina made a mention of it during the dream.

And how I wish that I could sing it as well as I could 30 years ago

What I’ve been doing all day today is dealing with the arrears on the dictaphone that hadn’t been transcribed. I’ve no idea where I found all of the energy to do it but I did it all the same and now it’s finished.

Surprisingly, of the 40-odd sound-files that I had to transcribe, TOTGA and Zero only put in a very minimal appearance or two but we haven’t seen anything of Castor for a while and that is depressing me.

But anyway, all I need to do now is to find an hour or two over the weekend and update the relevant journal entries.

We had the usual breaks during the course of the day, a coffee or a hot blackcurrant here and there, a slice of my wonderful, delicious coffee cake and then lunch of course.

Another couple of things that I needed to do was to telephone the doctor about another appointment. I need more Aranesp for my fortnightly injections.

And then I had to write out a recipe. A while ago I’d promised my friend in Munich a copy of my vegan pie recipe but I had kept on forgetting. But the photo of my pie the other day reminded me.

low loader place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There was a lot of noise going on outside during the afternoon, heavy machinery and so on, so I wondered what I was going to see when I went outside.

Right outside my front door was an articulated tractor unit with a low-loader trailer attached thereto. And running around the area was a large tractor-type JCB thing with a pair of fork loaders on the front.

What was strange about this, and I didn’t notice until afterwards otherwise I would have taken a photo of it, was that the driver of the JCB thing was a young woman.

That is surely the first time that I have ever seen someone of the female sex driving a machine like that.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And so as usual I wandered off down to the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

The tide was well in now so there wasn’t much beach to be on. But nevertheless there were plenty of people down there wandering around or sitting on the rocks as you can see at the bottom of the photo.

There was even a young girl down there in pink wellingtons actually going out into the water and that was rather courageous of her. I can’t see what she and, presumably, her father were doing down there. They had no equipment for the pèche à pied and in any case the tide is too far up for that.

buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Every now and again we notice a certain type of yellow buoy out there in the bay in between Granville and St Martin.

Today we have another one of them, and I wish that I knew what it was doing and what was its significance. It’s not a mooring buoy and it doesn’t look like a typical lobster pot marker buoy to me.

There were several seagulls flying around it and so I was wondering whether we might be in for a romantic love story. After all, the ocean is the place where buoy meets gull.

Yes, I’ll get my coat.

sea pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As usual I also had a good look around out at sea to see what was happening there.

Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the different layers of water that coexist side-by-side in the bay and the mystery that it causes.

What we have here today is a kind-of ripple effect in the water. The last time that I saw something like this was POINT PELÉE, the southernmost point of mainland Canada when I was there with Katherine in 2010.

What was happening there was that we had a river flow heading to the east and a wind-blown flow heading west. However here today, just for a change there wasn’t anything like enough wind for a similar phenomenon today.

There were crowds of people milling around this afternoon as you might have seen in some of the previous photos. It was a nice day and it had certainly brought out the crowds.

The storm and the waves had subsided considerably since yesterday but coming into the Baie de Mont St Michel every now and again were some very heavy rollers. You saw a couple of them breaking on the harbour wall in the photos right at the beginning.

courrier des iles chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022In the chantier naval we have a new occupier over at the back of the yard. She’s Courrier des Iles, one of the charter hire boats that operate out of the port.

Not that I know too much about the operation of the smaller boats that ply for hire but the larger ones certainly have to have an annual inspection before they can carry fare-paying passengers and so if that’s the case with her, she’s probably having an overhaul to prepare her for the forthcoming season.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the yard, Tiberiade, Le Roc à le Mauve III and the two yachts are still in there receiving attention.

cable laying rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022At the rear of the apartment I found out what was going on with all of this machinery.

They are laying some cable in the underground conduit and although you can’t see it in this photo, the cable reel is whizzing around. It’s on a stand of course, and there is someone somewhere else in the neighbourhood pulling on the end of the cable to whizz it through the conduit.

Back here I had a coffee and came back in here to carry on with the dictaphone notes and eventually I finished them

Tea tonight was a vegan burger with pasta and veg in tomato sauce and it was quite a delicious, if quick tea.

So now I’m off to bed. I’m going shopping tomorrow so I need to be fit. I don’t need much but we shall see what the shops come up with.

Monday 29th November 2021 – SAY HELLO, EVERYONE …

marité normandy warrior port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… to Normandy Warrior.

Moored down there behind Marité is the newest freighter to visit the port. You won’t have seen her before because we are lucky enough today to catch her on her maiden voyage to the town

She’s the sister ship to Normandy Trader and you can tell them apart because Normandy Trader has a small upper deck behind her bridge on which lightweight articles can be loaded.

normandy warrior port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A few months ago I mentioned that the crew of Normandy Trader were talking about buying another boat.

What I had assumed that they meant was that they were going to replace her with a larger ship, but actually there’s an issue about licences and permits for larger boats and so they have managed to track down a sister ship and they are going to be operating the two simultaneously.

So here is Normandy Warrior busily being loaded with a huge pile of freight that has accumulated over the last few days for her first return journey from Granville to Jersey.

replacing christmas decorations Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Something else that has been going on today has been the repair to the town following the devastation of Storm Arwen.

The Christmas decorations in the Place General de Gaulle were savaged quite badly. Father Christmas was blown halfway down the street and the trees that they had erected to surround him were all bowled over.

As I walked past on my way to the physiotherapists they were busy re-erecting the trees. Santa had already been restored to his previous place, so let’s hope that he stays there this time.

broken slates rue general patton Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021That wasn’t the only sign of a tragedy either.

As I was walking home along the Rue General Patton I was trying to avoid all of the broken slates that were littering the floor.

It seems that there has been a roof quite badly damaged in the storm and there were broken slates everywhere. This is going to be quite a bill for someone to have to pay

It’s actually quite a testament to our building that despite being exposed to the full force of the wind, we seem to have escaped quite lightly.

school children college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However I’ve no idea what might be happening here.

When I returned with Caliburn from having his windscreen replaced, all of the schoolkids from the College Malraux were outside on the public car park hanging around.

Whatever had caused it had happened before I arrived so I wasn’t able to identify a reason, but the fact that all of the fire doors are open seems to indicate that there has been a fire alarm and the school has been evacuated.

While we are on the subject of alarms, my alarms didn’t go off this morning. Not that it made any difference because I was wide awake. I’d had another bad night where it seemed that I hadn’t slept at all.

And seeing that there are no files recorded on the dictaphone (and it’s been quite a while since that has happened, hasn’t it?) that’s a distinct possibility.

So I fell out of bed at 06:00 and staggered off for my medication. Then back here I checked my mails and messages and then had an hour or so working on the radio programme that I should be doing this week, although when, I don’t know.

A shower was next, to get myself cleaned up, and then I changed the bedding. I’m not sure when I did that last but one thing that I did notice last night was that it was high (and I do mean “high”) time that I changed it.

And then I put set the washing machine on the go.

Having made sure that Caliburn would start, I prepared myself to leave and then headed off to the windscreen fitter’s. And with the temperature being at 2.5°C, I put my woolly hat on my woolly head for the first time this winter.

Having dropped off Caliburn I went for a walk – to buy the stuff that I need to clean his wheels, to go to Bio-Coop to see if they had any vegan cheese (which they didn’t) and then to LeClerc for a coffee, where I fell asleep for 20 minutes.

When Caliburn was ready I picked him up and drove home, and I was amazed about how pitted and grimy his old windscreen must have been.

unloading scaffolding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Back at the building there was someone here unloading a scaffolding.

Not to climb up onto the roof, but they were actually taking it inside the building.

These rooms are quite high and to reach the ceiling is not very easy at all. It looks as if someone is redecorating and the scaffolding must be to enable them to paint the ceiling.

Back here I sat down to carry on with the radio programme but unfortunately I dozed off again. As a result I had rather a late lunch.

After lunch I tracked down the rest of the things that I need to give Caliburn his showroom appearance and then headed off to town.

black pearl spirit of conrad Courrier des Iles charles marie anakena aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury I could see that a trawler was just pulling up at the Fish Processing Plant.

She’s Black Pearl, one of the newer trawlers in the port whom we saw sail into port a while back.

Also in the shot are a load of the hire yachts that re laid up over the winter. We have, from left to right, Spirit of Conrad on whom we went up the Brittany coast 18 months or so ago, and then Charles Marie with the little Courrier des Iles moored against her.

Over on the right, Anakena is moored against the quayside with Aztec Ladymoored against her.

installing christmas lights avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021With the Rampe du Monte à Regret being closed while they repoint the wall, I carried on down the Rue des Juifs.

Down in the Avenue de la Liberation the Council’s cherry picker was out installing more Christmas lights. I wonder what this lot of lights is going to be like this year.

Heading through town, I climbed back up the Rue Couraye towards the physiotherapists, stopping off at Carrefour on the way. I forgot the tomatoes this weekend and I bought a can of energy drink to help my climb the hill back home.

At the physiotherapist’s she tightened up the screw on the cross trainer t make it harder for me to work the machine, and then I had a few kinetic exercises to carry out.

Finally I was put on the tilting platform and she obviously likes my company … “I can’t think why” – ed … because she let me stay on the machine for an extra 10 minutes.

abandoned railway line parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home I came back down the steps at the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs to see how the work was going.

From up above though, I could see that they are slowly advancing with the kerb along the line of the old abandoned railway. They are still a long way from finishing it though.

They’ve not made it to the road yet so it was something of a muddy tramp across the churned-up grass onto the car park and then down the steps to the bottom by where they have installed the keep-fit equipment

cutting wood parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While I was on my way down there I heard the sound of a circular saw being used .

As I walked a little further on I could see that there was a van and a trailer. There was a generator in front of the van and they were using it to power a circular bench-saw.

Having cut the wood into the required length the guy working the saw carried it off to his friends who were working out of shot on the course of the abandoned railway line.

And judging by the amount of wood that he has on the trailer, he’s going to be working there for quite some time.

creating boardwark abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021What they are actually doing is construction some kind of boardwalk at the side of the concrete pathway that they have laid.

While I was going past I asked them if they would be going the full length of the abandoned railway track and they replied in the affirmative. And I can imagine that it will be fun riding a bike on that in the pouring rain.

But once again it’s pretty dismal, all of this concrete that they have been laying all over the place. I’m sure that they could do much better than that if they really tried, but they seem to be singularly lacking in imagination around here.

parc des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile further down the road I came upon the Parc des Docteurs Lanos.

It’s still quite a mess, churned up by all of the heavy vehicles that have been driving on there moving all of the stuff about, and that is going to take a considerable amount of effort to restore it, unless they do as they have done elsewhere an sink it under a mass of concrete.

And talking of stuff, there seems to be considerably less stuff on there now. They are using it up as a considerable rate and the fact that they aren’t replacing it with any rapidity seems to indicate that the work is slowly coming to an end.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And talking about masses of concreete, here’s a photo of the view behind me showing the Rue du Boscq.

Last time that we looked down here they were laying yet more concrete reinforcement matting and sure enough, while I was away in Leuven they have poured yet more concrete down.

One of these days I’ll post a photo of the car park at Lezardrieux where we visited with Spirit of Conrad. There, they laid out the car park with small stone setts and used setts of different colours to mark out the lines and it all looked quite nice.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the other end of the street, the situation was just the same.

Another mass of concrete poured down at this end too. It all looks so dreary and depressing.

Mind you, there’s a lorry-load of earth down there and they are tipping it into the gap between the edge of the concrete and the stone wall to the right. I wonder if that is where they will be planting the hundreds of trees that they have promised.

But anyway I left them to it and carried on home dodging the broken slates in the Rue General Patton.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Yesterday we saw a really nice sunset, with what remained of the sun peeking through a small gap in the clouds.

This afternoon, we had a similar phenomenon. There wasn’t as much cloud this afternoon and so the effect was much more dramatic.

In the background we can see the church at Cancale across the bay on the Brittany coast, silhouetted against the orange sky, just to the left of centre.

It is one thing that I like about this time of year. At the time when I usually go for my walk, we have some wonderful lighting effects. We’ve seen quite a few already and there will be plenty more before Spring, I hope.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Before I went in for my afternoon coffee, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to look over onto the beach.

There wasn’t anything going on down there this afternoon, for the simple reason that there wasn’t much beach for anything to be happening on. The tide was well in right now.

So on that point I came back in for my coffee and carried on with some work, but I knocked off earlier than I normally do.

That’s because in a fit of extravagance (or forgetfulness) I bought two loads of peppers at the weekend and I had no idea of when I was going to use them. So I made one of my mega-curries with peppers, mushrooms, a tin of diced veg and a tin of white beans.

It was absolutely delicious and there’s plenty left. So when it’s cooled down and there’s some more room in the freezer, I’ll parcel it all up into individual helpings and freeze them for later use.

But right now I’m off to bed. I’ve had a very long day, walked miles and I’m exhausted. I want to make the most of this and hopefully have a really good sleep for a change.

Monday 8th November 2021 – GUESS WHO …

… has just dropped his rice and veg down the sink?

So we ended up with not very much for tea this evening. Mind you, it’ll do me good for once in a while.

There has however been some good news. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m having heart problems right now.

2 weeks ago I went to see the cardiologist who checked me over, found that I still had a heart (which means that I’m not a Conservative) but it has a few problems.

He gave me a report that I scanned and sent off to the hospital in Leuven, on the grounds that if I’m going to have another major health issue, it makes much more sense to have them both treated at the same place to avoid complications.

Anyway, they have now replied. And they’ve offered me an appointment earlier on the same day that I have my usual treatment in 10 days time. So they obviously think that there’s something worth following up.

This morning’s 06:00 start was rather painful seeing that I didn’t take full advantage of the night in bed that I had.

But after the medication and checking my mails and messages I attacked the radio programme that I wanted to prepare. And by 10:50 it was up and running. I could even have finished it earlier except that for a while I was talking to someone on the internet about something or other.

And that included a break for coffee and for breakfast too.

It was the old ZOOM H1 that I used too, not the new ZOOM H8. I’ve not as yet worked out how to record in stereo with just one mike on that.

While I was listening to the finished product I was doing some research. I’ve received a pile of paperwork relating to our family history and I’ve been going through it.

And if anyone wonders why my mother’s side of the family (including me) is so … errr … combative, it seems that somewhere in our family tree we are related to EDWARD KENEALY of TICHBOURNE CLAIMANT fame, or rather, infamy.

One thing that I’ve been doing as well today is to attack the dictaphone backlog, and another few days from late October have now been updated.

While I was at it, I had a go at last night’s voyages too. There was some kind of machinery or equipment used in connection with my health. I posted something about it and someone posted back that it was ridiculous, that this didn’t exist. I had to go through all this rigmarole to prove that it did and how I was supposed to use it because of my health

Later on there was some guy who had a mine of some description. He had a girlfriend and she and her father went off to look at this mine leaving the guy and his two friends like Bulldog Drummond behind. When they didn’t come back at the end of the day he started to become worried and decided that next morning he would set out to the mine to look for them. Next morning instead there was a press release that this woman considered that he’d been exploiting her and that she was now assuming control of the mine. It was necessary for him to infiltrate this circle of people with whom she was now working. He and one of his friends arranged to disappear and the disappearance became headline news. The 3 of them set off for this hotel where everyone was staying. When they arrived they found that it was some kind of show with cheerleaders or something. They found a cheerleader uniform and dressed in it as girls, but found another group who had exactly the same uniform. They waylaid a couple of girls, borrowed their uniforms and went on to do a kind-of dance routine. One of them lost her dress so quickly the 2nd one had to drag her away and lock her in a room somewhere. This guy couldn’t understand why he was being treated like that. His friend explained to him that with the scientist being missing, he couldn’t go around identifying himself as who he was even if it was simply over the case of a missing dress because everyone would immediately put two and two together, knowing everyone’s relationship wtth each other and immediately guess what was going on. It was very important for them to remain anonymous for as long as possible.

Somewhere in all of this I was fostering a kitten, a tabby and white one. Someone came to see me and saw the kitten. When I went to bed the kitten came and got into bed with me but it got up again, ate some food and wouldn’t settle after that

Later on I was back in Virlet and, surprisingly, back with the kitten. There had been a big rainstorm and a lot of the houses were flooded. Mine was OK. I came back from work, it was my last day at work. I opened the outer door but when I came inside I found that I had left the inner door open. I walked in and there was someone in there. She said “look what your kitten has got”. I had a look and the kitten had one of my bread buns. I said “it doesn’t really matter because it’s been here over a week now so it’s bound to be no good”. She put the kitten down and let the kitten run off with it. We were talking about voyages to space, the stars, saying that they need to be somewhere deep at the bottom of a deep quarry to launch the rocket. We were working out other suitable places. We thought that the Auvergne would be fine for that because it was so soggy that if you put a rocket on top of the ground somewhere it would just sink in and go down to any depth you like before you could fire it.

For some reason or other, the nurse never came round today to give me my injection. I changed the time from 15:00 to 12:00 so I can go for my physiotherapist for 15:30. He didn’t come at 12:00 and he never rang me later on to say that he was here at the normal time but had missed me.

courreur des iles charles marie lorries unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way out to the physiotherapist I went down to look at the port to see what was going on this afternoon.

What caught my eye were the two lorries over there unloading. I’m not sure what they were unloading but the old cold storage plant over there has been closed since cod-fishing on the Grand Banks was suspended in 1992.

There were a few of the charter boats down there this afternoon too. Charles Marie is moored up against the harbour wall, with Courreur des Iles moored alongside. There won’t be much going on with them now until maybe Christmas.

repointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Something else that regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a while ago they had some work experience people out repointing the wall at the Rampe du Monte à Regret.

They did half of it and then stopped, but today I noticed that there were scaffolders down there erecting scaffolding down alongside the part that they didn’t make a start laat time.

Perhaps we’re going to be having another lot of Work Experience people learning the trade. There’s plenty of work for them when they qualify, and not just around the city walls here in the medieval city. There are plenty of stone houses and walls that could benefit.

Once again I walked all the way up the hill to the physiotherapist without stopping. She had me on this tilting platform thing doing exercises to strengthen my knees and shoulders. We finished off with 5 minutes on the cross trainer.

It has to be said that i’m doing much better now than I was when I first came. But then that’s the point of the exercises, isn’t it?

place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Going back, I went the short way right down the Rue Couraye into the town centre.

The kiddies’ roundabout has now gone, and we aren’t sure if it’ll be coming back again. The owner was in front of the local council last Friday arguing his case about his roundabout, which is larger than he said in his planning application and which forces pedestrians to walk in the road.

He’s asked for a 12-month adjournment of the case to give him time to buy a slightly smaller machine and the council has offered him another site. They haven’t been able to agree a compromise so we’ll see how things develop over the next few days.

erecting christmas decorations rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, around the corner, the Rue Paul Poirier is closed to traffic.

They have a cherry picker out there and he’s busy putting up the Christmas lights. Unfortunately, they look just like the Christmas lights that they had last year and the year before that, and the year before that as well.

The lack of imagination that they show round here in respect of the Christmas decorations is dispiriting.

Once again, I made it all the way back up the hill to home without stopping once, which pleased me very much. I wonder if these heart tablets that the cardiologist prescribed are having some effect, or whether it’s the effect of the physiotherapy.

It’s still a struggle to make it up the hill and I don’t really feel comfortable while I’m doing it, but I have to do what I can.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Before I went back into the building I went to have a look down on the beach.

Today the weather was cool, windy and overcast so even though there was plenty of beach down there, there weren’t all that many people down there on it. And I wasn’t surprised either.

Back here in the apartment I made myself a coffee and then attacked the photos from that rock concert the other day. There’s another huge pile of those that are now done.

What I’ll be doing will be to create three-column *.css layout to show the photos off. I’ll have to dig deep into my memory for that because it’s been probably not far short of 20 years since I was doing three-column *.css stuff.

Two-column stuff is quite easy because it’s either “align-left” or “align-right” and I use that all the time. But I’ll sort it out.

Tea was stuffed pepper with whatever rice and veg remained in the sieve after I’d finished pouring it into the sink. And it was quite nice too, what I was able to eat.

But now I’m finished my notes I’m off to bed. A nice long sleep, I hope, but if it’s anything like the last few weeks it’ll be a disappointment. I’m seriously considering sleeping pills if this carries on.

Tuesday 28th September 2021 – “BNP IS PRODUCED BY …

… the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber. The heart releases more BNP and NT-proBNP when the left ventricle is distended from working too hard, as in heart failure.
Levels above 450 ng/L for individuals between 50 and 75 years of age are consistent with heart failure”.

Mine is 514.

Still, with only 60% of the red blood cells that carry around the oxygen, my heart has to beat about 1.67 times faster to move the oxygen around my body. And it’s been doing that now for over 6 years and it can’t keep up that pace for ever.

We’re not quite at the “it’s a waste of time you buying any long-playing records” yet, but I don’t think that it will be far off.

But going to the doctor’s this afternoon did bring about some benefits.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there I walked back via the port to go and ispect these piles of freight on the quayside that we’ve been admiring from a distance over the last few days.

As for what this lot is, it’s very difficult to say. It’s some sort of folded-down equipment that can be unfolded and repositioned. I had a good look around it but I couldn’t see what it might be when it’s unfolded.

It’s pretty heavy and substantial so it’s obviously going to be for something quite serious.

However there were no makers’ labels or anything on it to give me any further information.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This other pile of freight is however rather more interesting.

It’s galvanised, made in the Czech Rupublic, supplied by a company in France and labelled “Jersey”, so it’s evidently destined for one of the Jersey freighters.

It’s this new-fangled design of corrugated sheeting of the type that it used for roofs or walls but the way that it’s packed on these pallets, it’s something much more substantial, more heavy and more important.

It’s not all just thrown together, one on top of another, like normal corrugated sheeting..

tubes on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was here, I went to have a look at these tubes that had appeared on the quayside by where the Jersey ferries are moored.

Once more, no clue as to what they might be. They are metal, and quite substantial too so they aren’t going to be buried in the ground to carry water or cables or anything like that.

They look to me more like the kind of things that could be used as pillars, but where they are going to use them is another matter entirely. The flanges don’t look to be the type that can be bolted together either.

This is another thing on which I’ll have to keep an eye in the future.

working on electronic equipment buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was on my way between the different piles of freight I walked past the Irish trawler Buddy M.

There were a couple of guys up there on the roof of the cabin dismantling some of the electronic equipment so I engaged them in conversation. After all, if you want to know any answers, you have to ask the appropriate questions.

She’s put in here from Ireland especially for an engine overhaul and she’s expected to be in port for three or four weeks while it all takes place. In fact, what with one thing and another, we were chatting for quite a while. We had a lot tosay to each other, mostly about Brexit.

But anyway, despite having almost 8 hours sleep last night for the first time, I felt dreadful this morning. I had an awful night again, tossing and turning for much of it and trying really hard to go to sleep.

Although I must have gone to sleep at one point because there was some stuff on the dictaphone. Some teenage boy had led a raid on an amusement park somewhere on the coast and had been quite successful so he was always keeping his eye open for another opportunity. He noticed a few other vehicles lined up there looking as if they were about to raid the place so he raided them and disrupted all of their proceedings. Most of them went away empty-handed or with nothing or were caught. There seemed to be one woman who was really interested in him and he was very interested in her even though she was quite a way older than him.

Later on there was something about me wandering around a shopping precinct. There was a particular shop that I wanted to visit and I ended up going down there just as John Houston was walking back up again, going on about that’s the 3rd time he’s missed it now. He’ll have to wait for another train. I wasn’t sure what he meant ro when I reached the bottom it was 19:00 and they were locking up. Part of it was a butcher’s and part of it was a clothes shop. It was that Sylvester guy who made the sandwiches cleaning up the butcher’s place. everywhere was starting to close down and I couldn’t work out where my sister worked. I ended up with another woman and we ended up doing some kind of field trip exercise, getting everything ready. We’d been disturbed continually by the aeroplanes flying over but suddenly they stopped and we could continue to work. I said something to this woman. Se replied “yes, we put our foot down, didn’t we?”. I replied “yes, we’d better get a move on because once the other groups are finished they’ll be buying them bottles of drink so it will all start up again and be even worse.

When I awoke, I was drenched in sweat again – really drenched. It’s hardly a surprised that it was a bad night.

After the medication I came in here to check my mails and messages and when I’d transcribed my dictaphone notes I went to prepare for my Welsh lesson.

Unfortunately, and to my dismay, I fell asleep while I was trying to revise, and that filled me with dismay again. As I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … there’s no point in going to bed early, or lying in until late. It makes absolutely no difference to my fatigue.

The Welsh lesson passed quite well. We had two new people starting today so we were 14. It’s becoming rather unwieldly now, but it’s a sign of how popular the Welsh language is becoming.

Usually, these courses are run in colleges and every year they might have 100 students. The course that began in March 2020, the one that I joined, coincided with lockdown and so were held on Zoom.

They had 1038 students that year and so now that colleges are reopened, they are nevertheless continuing on line.

After lunch, with the new printer now printing properly, I printed out the return paper that I received when I registered the faults with the NIKON 1 J5 and its lens, and then packed it in a suitable small cardboard box.

And then I headed for the town.

yacht cherie d'amour le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Autumn is definitely here now after the howling gale (107kph) winds that we had on Monday morning.

It was windy, cloudy, overcast, not a trace of sun anywhere. There’s a yacht out there near Le Loup being pushed along by the wind towards the port.

There was plenty of water in the harbour this afternoon, although the harbour gates were closed. The yellow Cherie d’Amour is over there floating about.

There were a couple of other fishing boats in there too this afternoon so maybe they’ll be heading for the open sea when the tide turns.

crane assembling structure chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was some kind of excitement down in the chantier naval this afternoon.

It’s clear now why they didn’t seem to be in any rush to fill any of the empty berths in there. We have a very large mobile crane in there that seems to be used to assemble some kind of large metal structure.

Had I had the time, I would have walked down there to the viewpoint that overlooks the chantier naval for a closer look, but I always seem to be running short of time these days. Too much work to do and not enough time to do it.

That’s the story of my life.

council working on pavement rue de juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From there I walked on down the hill towards the town.

In the Rue des Juifs I was intrigued to see some council workmen busy working on the pavement over there. It wasn’t so much the work that intrigued me, but the fact that their van is parked facing the wrong way in a one-way street that is used as a service-bus route

My route towards the doctor’s leads down the Rampe du Monte a Regret so I wasn’t able to find out what the workmen were doing.

But I needn’t have worried too much about the time as the doctor was running late and I would have had plenty of time to find out everything, had I known.

The plan that the doctor has for me is to go and see a heart specialist. There’s one opening an office in the Health centre next week and he reckons that I should go t see his secretary in midweek to make an appointment.

And I need to take my x-rays, my blood test results and, if I’m lucky, my heart examinations results, to the hospital with me when I go.

There was a notice on the Post Office door “closed exceptionally at 16:00 today” and it was 15:58 when I arrived. This isn’t like me at all. usually I’d arrive at 16:02 expecting it to be open until 16:30 as usual, and find it close instead.

It’s twice now that that has happened. It was the same last week at the laboratory, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. What is happening?

But anyway the NIKON 1 J5 is on its way to the repairers and we’ll see what happens about that in due course.

fork lift truck coiling up old steel cable port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back home I went via the port to look at the freight and to see what else is going on down there.

There was a fork lift truck out there wrestling with a mile or two of heavy steel cable. I asked the driver about it and he told me that it’s old rotten cable that’s come off a trawler.

Sure enough, further on down the quayside there was a mile or two of new steel cable, ready to be wound on round the pulleys from which the old cable had been taken.

For a few minutes, I stood and watched him. He was making quite a ballet of coiling it up ready to be taken away.

capo di fora spirit of conrad port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on down the quayside I stopped to look at the two large yachts.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw them from a distance the other day. The one on the right nearest the pontoon we know all about because she’s Spirit of Conrad. She’s the boat on which we sailed down the Brittany coast last summer.

The other one is called Capo di Fora and she came into port the other day. Despite her Italian-sounding name, she’s actually fling the flag of Belgium. And so, incidentally, is Spirit of Conrad. I keep on meaning to ask her skipper why that should be but it keeps on slipping my mind.

charles marie courrier des iles anakena valeque sagone d'angawelys port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Here’s an exciting collection of boats for you to admire.

The blue and white one far left is of course Charles Marie who we have seen on many occasions. Then we have Anakena, the big beast that was stranded here at the height of the pandemic and which slipped back into port at the end of last week.

Tied up to her is the little Courrier des Iles.

There’s a fishing boat here, Valeque too, but the most interesting boat is the other one, Sagone D’Angawelys. She’s actually a mobile seawater laboratory based at the Laboratoire De Biologie Marine, at Bénouville.

She goes round taking samples of seawater which I suppose is something to do with the fishing industry along the coast.

tide coming in port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The harbour gates were closed so I wcould walk over the pathway on the top and across to the other side.

By now the tide had turned and you can see from the waves here the speed at which the tide comes in when it has a mind to do so.

But then regular readers of this rubbish will have seen the difference of height of the water between high tide and low tide by comparing the photos of Le Loup at the different states of the tide, and of course it only has 6 hours to do it too.

On the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant, everything from the seafood festival has now been cleared away and not a trace remains.

removing marquee rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s not quite like that in the Rue du Port.

The chicane is still there and while the big marquee has been dismantled, the framework is still here ready to be loaded onto the back of a lorry to be taken away.

The climb up the steps of the Escalier des Noires Vaches to the Boulevard des Terreneuviers was total agony. I ached from every bone in my body and had to stop half a dozen times to catch my breath before I reachd the top.

Back here I made myself a coffee and sat down to drink it, but ended up falling asleep again for 20 minutes. As I said earlier, what’s the point of going to bed early and lying in?

Tea was taco rolls and one of these soya desserts. And now I’m going to bed. I’m expecting a phone call in the morning so I need to be up and about. I just hope that it isn’t too early.

Tuesday 19th January 2021 – IT’S BEEN …

… another bad start to the morning today.

As you might expect, I missed the third alarm again. When it went off I thought to myself “I’ll just have another quick 5 minutes” and then it was 07:51. And so with my Welsh class due to start and a pile of homework to do, it was rather a mad scramble.

In the time that was available I did what I could (which wasn’t all of it) and then I grabbed some hot chocolate and a slice of my sourdough bread, and we began.

Surprisingly, it was a better lesson today and I quite enjoyed it. I even managed to bluff my way through the missing homework which was quite something, I suppose. But I need to be more disciplined. I keep on saying that I learn to be more self-disciplined – unless I become a Tory MP and pay one of these women in Soho to do it for me.

No time to stop for lunch. I needed a good clean-up and that took up my spare time.

boules petanque place pleville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThen it was time for me to go for my doctor’s appointment.

But first I have to take a photo of the guys playing boules or petanque or whatever down on the Place Pléville at the foot of the Rampe du Monte Regret. No social distancing, not a facemask in sight, right next door to the Police Station. No wonder the virus is soaring out of control.

Yes, that’s right. We’ve just had a Christmas holiday with tourists arriving from Paris, haven’t we? And cases of Covid in the département have gone up 250%.

Just what is going through the minds of these people? It’s unbelievable.

At the doctors I had one of my two injections. Now that I have no spleen, and hence nothing to vent, I have to have a series of vaccinations every 5 years and the time is up for the renewal.

Just one today, and the next one in two months’ time.

There’s a problem though wit my Covid injection – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it. I’m a foreigner with a foreign comprehensive medical insurance and so I’m not registered with the Social Services here in France. In Belgium it’s the GPs who do the vaccination apparently but as I’m not registered with a Belgian GP I can’t have it done there.

In France it’s the Social Services who do it. Everyone agrees that I’m a priority case but if the Service doesn’t know about me, there’s nothing that anyone can do. So my doctor rang them up today for a chat. They didn’t know either but they’ll call him back (so they say) and then he’ll call me.

But what he’ll call me, I can only imagine.

Next stop was the Police Station to have my certificat de vie from the Belgian Pensions Service signed to prove that I’m still alive. Not that I’m convinced that I am, but there you go.

There are two police stations in Granville – the Municipal Police and the National Police (and also the Gendarmes but that’s another story). Of course, given a choice of two, I went to the wrong one and so had to go back to the other.

digging up rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way home, instead of walking along the top of the cliffs I cut through the Medieval town to see what they were doing in the Rue St Michel.

They are still digging it up and it looks as if they are going to be there for the Duration. But at least you can see all of the strange hieroglyphics and markings on the roadway. I’ve mentioned them a couple of times.

When I arrived home, very late as you might expect, I stopped and finally had my lunch. And the bread that I made the other day really is good too and I’m proud of this loaf.

trawlers english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was so late that by the time that I’d finished it was time for my afternoon walk.

If it had been windy earlier, it was now even winder and I was being blown around by the storm. The other day we saw a fishing boat out in the English Channel having a bit of a fish. Today, it’s still there – at least, I think that it’s the same one

And she has some friends out there with her today. I can see two others fishing not too far away from her. But it’s rare to see them fishing so close to shore. The fishing ban seems to be having an effect and I’ll be interested to see what happens when Normandy Trader tries to unload the shellfish from the Jersey< Fishermen’s Co-operative.br clear=”both”>

fire donville les bains breville sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubish will recall the huge firt that took place here last year when we were lost in the billowing clouds of smoke.

There always seems to be the odd fire or two of some sort or another taking place, and we have another one today. That’s out behind the Holiday Camp on the way to Breville sur Mer and round about where the airport is.

At least, I think that it’s round by the airport so I hope that there’s nothing serious going on over there. The last thing that we need is an air accident.

sun on sea cliffs ile des rimains brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway, I pushed on … “he means ‘pushed off’ ” – ed … along the footpath along the cliffs, which was now drying out somewhat in the wind after the heavy rain.

Just a few people around but no-one got in my way this afternoon although a dog took more of an interest in me than I would have liked. But I made it unscathed to the end of the headland to look out across the bay to the Ile des Rimains that was even clearer than it was yesterday.

Unfortunately, the sun is now so high in the sky that it’s not illuminating the water in the bay. And give it a couple of weeks and it won’t even be illuminating the water at all when I go out.

courrier des iles chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday, we saw Courrier des Lies – or some of her at least – up on blocks in the chantier navale.

Today though, we can see much more of her because Joker who was obscuring our view, now seems to have cleared off and gone back into the water. It’s not clear what is being done to her. And, of course, the big yacht is still there. I think she’s put down roots and become a permanent fixture.

It’s not for me to put down roots either. I cleared off too only back home, where I made myself a nice hot coffee and sat down for 5 minutes quietly.

And the next thing that I remembered was that it was 18:15. About 90 minutes or so I was crashed out, I reckon. This is becoming really bad.

Although I managed an hour on the guitars, I was in no fit state to move – hence I had a very late tea of just pasta and veg in a cheese sauce, and I’m going to have a very late night tonight.

One of these days I’ll break out of this vicious circle – but I’ve no idea when that will be. But in the meantime while I ponder on that, I’ll just append the dictaphone notes of my voyages during the night, which I didn’t have the time to transcribe earlier

I was staying with friends and in the apartment building where we were living there was all talk of the supernatural and everything like that. Everyone was panicking because the demons were going to visit the earth – the graveyard or something. They were all going to come down to look for the humans and kill them all off. I suggested that a couple of us went out to confront the demons taking crosses and holy water, things like that, on the grounds that cowering in our attics and rooms, they are going to find us anyway. We’ll be locked in and we won’t have any room to manoeuvre whereas if we are outside we have a chance of taking them by surprise, taking the initiative and with plenty of room to manoeuvre it will take them by surprise and we might be able to actually achieve something. In the end I convinced one person to come with me so I thought that I’d go upstairs and find Marianne’s cross and holy water etc so I went, and found that the door to my apartment was open so I burst in and there was a family sitting there eating a meal. I’d heard that there was a family who had had some accommodation difficulties and had some problems about their kitchen but here they were borrowing mine. There were a couple of cats and dogs running around my apartment and I was most unhappy to say the least, as you can imagine. I started to look for Marianne’s cross and holy water but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Then I realised that Marianne’s cross had been buried with her. We began to run out of time and we needed to be getting off. I wasn’t in the least bit ready for this but it was a case of having to go as you were.

This is another voyage where I awoke and it immediately evaporated. We ended up walking through a town and I suddenly realised that I didn’t have my camera with me. I remembered putting it on the seat of the car and putting my coat over it so that no-one can see it and we walked away, so I couldn’t take any photos. We went for a meal – there was one place open – and had something to eat. Then we came out and walked back to the car and reached a place where there were a couple of old American vehicles. Someone had sculpted the bodywork of one so that it was like a kettle. I went to take a photo and had this horrible feeling that I’d left the camera in the place where we’d had lunch. Of course that place would be closed now. I realised now that I hadn’t brought it with me so we nipped back to the car and I fetched my camera and nipped back to the place where this old American car was. By now about 30 kids had all piled into it and in it and around it. The engine started up and it started to set off. I went to take a photo but once again I couldn’t take a photo – the shutter just wouldn’t let me photograph it.

Later on last night I was in one of these great big coffee places. I ordered a coffee and had a bunch of grapes but I had to hunt to find a table or a sofa to sit on. I found myself a table and sofa and sprawled out on there and realised that I didn’t have my coffee yet. In the meantime the place was filling up rapidly and a family with 2 kids came to sit at the table next to me. I stood up to go and fetch the coffee and reached the island in the centre of the place where all of the coffee was. I had to walk around it and did two laps round but couldn’t see where the coffee was. There were all kinds of different things, teas, chocolate and so on, desserts, ice creams and everything but I just couldn’t find the jugs with the coffee in it.

Monday 18th January 2021 – BACK AT …

… work today and for a change, I had a really good morning.

Admittedly I missed the 3rd alarm but it was only by about 10 minutes or so, do I don’t mind all that much. But after having the medication I sat down and made a start on the radio programme for this week.

And to my surprise, I was able to stick at it without a pause all the way through (except for a pause for my hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread) to a rather late lunch at about 13:20 but having said that, in actual fact I finished the radio programme right the way through to completion.

And my home-made bread, the one that I made yesterday, is really good. It’s not risen as much as I would like, but nevertheless it’s nice, soft and tasty.

After lunch, while I was listening to the programme that I’d made, I made the arrangements for my next trip to Leuven next week.

And this is going to be pretty awful – the line from Granville to Paris is under repair and so I have to catch a train at, would you believe, 05:55. and I am not looking forward to this, especially as there’s a curfew until 06:00. Luckily, medical trips are exempted from the curfew but it still renders me liable to be controlled.

The way back home isn’t any easier either. Although I can have something like a lie-in, I have to go from Paris to Rennes and then catch a bus back to Granville from there. So instead of being home at 14:30, it’s a return at about 17:40.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat took me up to my afternoon – rather, my only walk of the day.

There were one or two other people out there but even so the weather was pretty depressing. Cold and overcast but the view was quite clear. Right out there in the English Channel was a trawler, the pink one that we’ve seen before in the harbour. There were actually a few out there, but they do seem to be fishing close to the French shore.

It’s going to be interesting over the next few weeks to see how the French fishermen will react to the Government of Jersey trying to keep out the French fishermen from their waters in contravention of the Treaty of the Bay of Granville.

sun on sea cliffs ile des rimains brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith the rain that we have had just recently the path along the headland was quite flooded so I had to pick my way around the puddles.

Eventually I ended up at the end of the headland looking out across the Baie de Mont St Michel towards the Brittany coast. With the clear view today the coast was comparatively clear and the Ile de Rimians has come out really well.

The sun was reflecting off the sea too creating quite a nice effect, but with the advancing daylight, there is no longer the same kind of sunset that we were having two or three weeks ago

courrier des iles chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I carried on along the path on top of the cliffs on the southern side of the headland.

At the viewpoint overlooking the harbour I could see down into the Chantier Navale, and there’s a new tenant in there up on blocks. It’s the pleasure boat Courrier des Iles. Although she’s of comparatively modern construction, she’s been built to an older style and usually undertakes guided tours around the islands off the coast here.

Back here I had a look at the dictaphone to see where I had been during the night.

I’d been in my office in the EU. It was dark and I had the lights out but the computer was on in the background. I was half-asleep lying on my seat. Suddenly I looked up and there were dozens and dozens of people outside wearing Trump hats all loitering around by my window. About 10 minutes later my room was suddenly invaded by thousands of people who began to occupy it. I asked what was going on here and they replied “this is the Trump Convention. We’re all meeting here. There are thousands of us”. I had no intention whatever of staying so I gathered up a few of my possessions. Money had fallen out of my pocket so someone handed it over to me. I asked them what time they were leaving and they said that they were going to Port Glasgow dead drunk at 04:00 so I indicated a few things and said that I’ll be back for these some time this evening and gathered up my things making ready to leave.

whatever is that person now doing, featuring in my nocturnal rambles? That’s something that I don’t understand.

Unfortunately I dozed off for an hour of so which was a terrible shame, but at least I was awake enough to have my hour on the guitar.

Tea was a madras curry out of the freezer followed by the last slice of jam pie from last week. Tomorrow I can start on the jam roly-poly and see how that tastes.

Rosemary rang up later on to have a chat and we were on the phone for another 103 minutes. This is turning into quite a story. But now I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. I have my Welsh to prepare and then in the afternoon I have to visit the doctor.

And so for all of this, I have to be on form so I’m not going to hang about.

Saturday 29th August 2020 – IT DOESN’T MATTER …

football us granville voltigeurs de chateaubriand stade louis dior granville manche normandy france eric hall… how many players they change at US Granville. They are still churning out the same old aimless nonsense.

They have replaced the three strikers of last year – the three who misfired for so much of the season last year, and replaced them with three who are, unfortunately, even less clued up.

Today we were treated to another pile of long, aimless balls up front to no-one in particular, or attacking midfielders who dribble round all the defenders as they run upfield with the ball, only to end up in a blind alley near the corner flag.

For the second week in succession Granville’s goal was scored by a defender coming up for a corner – and they wouldn’t have scored that had the Voltigeurs de Chateaubriant’s goalkeeper not let the ball go right through his hands.

As for the defence, they might be different players but they are still the same panic-stricken shambles under pressure and they conceded two goals that should have been cleared at least five minutes earlier.

Mind you – I know that it’s no excuse but i’m sure that the referee was refereeing a different match than the one that we were all watching. He booked a Granville player for diving when we could hear the crunch of the opposition’s boot into his leg from up in the stands, and he sent off a Voltigeurs de Chateaubriant player for a foul that didn’t even merit a yellow card in my opinion.

And they were just two of the more bizarre decisions that I noticed

This morning there was no chance of my beating the third alarm, even though I’d had a quite early night. 07:30 on a Saturday morning is rather excessive.

Still, there was plenty of time to go on a few nocturnal rambles. Yes indeed!

We were back in London in the world of gangsters last night. Something had happened involving millions of pounds had been stolen and the word was out for it and it was extremely hot. Someone, this Michael Caine character I suppose had been told that it was hot money where it would be and who was involved and how dangerous it would be, all this kind of thing and he was walking through the streets of London, the east end, and someone came running towards him with a briefcase. He stopped this person and there was quite a fight and he ended up in possession of the briefcase. Of course the whole world was after him after this. he was running away and had to hide in a phone box from a girl on one occasion and eventually ended up in a certain night club which he had been led to believe was a safe night club. There he started to boast about all of his exploits with this money. One or two other people started to boast about what they had heard. This was all heading towards a showdown with the real villains.
Some time later we were in South London discussing roads. We were by a big road leading out of London. It was a bleak industrial area. It had been World War II and we had been looking at the accounts of someone who had been in hospital who had been hit by a V1 and seeing how much they had had to pay, all of that under the situation before the National Health, all of that, going through the itemised bill that they had found. Even in wartime hospitalisation cost you a lot of money. The girl had been released. She had been on this bus that had dropped everyone off at this bus stop. She was quite inebriated but was extremely polite drunk. We were watching this scene as they got out of this bus, talking about this bleak view of this modern industrial estate being built at the side of this road. I said ‘this is the A2 isn’t it? I know where we are I think”. We started to chat and there was a railway line with automatic half-barriers. I asked “isn’t there a railway station to the left?”. The said “yes there is”. Someone recognised the BBC building in the distance, someone recognised something else. This corner that we were on – “isn’t this the back way to Wimbledon?” They looked at me strangely as if it wasn’t. Someone reckoned that he had to go to Croydon and I thought “yes it’s the road to Croydon, not Wimbledon”. we started talking about a bank and how I had to visit a bank in the neighbourhood. One of the guys said “if you find a bank in the neighbourhood let me know the details because I’m looking for a bank as well to pay some money in”.
For some unknown reason I want to bracket this with a voyage that I had a good while ago about a van leaving London and coming to grief on a tight bend.
Later on I was out in the USA getting quotes on bank loans and finance deals for cars. I talked to a garage and he ended up showing me a Ford Escort Cube. the finish was pretty naff and it was leaking oil out of the rocker covers and one or two other things. They wanted nearly $30,000 for it and I thought they were joking. I ended up having a 10-minute chat with them, testing everything, feeling the oil on the dipstick and all that kind of thing, acting as if i’m really serious about it. Of course I wasn’t. I pretended that it was my son who was learning to drive who was looking for a vehicle. I was just passing the time more than anything else. i said that the pedals needed adjusting because they are in the wrong place for where the seat was going to be so they needed adjusting downwards.
And that’s not all. We were having a caravan outing a group of us. It was a three-storey caravan believe it or not.A girl – a female officer type of thing lived in the basement with some other people who were with us. Some of the crew stayed on the first floor and I was on the second floor which was where all of the offices were. I was early in bed but this girl was complaining that she was bored, that nothing was happening. We were saying that if you go to bed early and wake up early that’s when everything happens. Anyway sp I was getting ready for bed and said “when are you going to come round with the tea?” But someone said that it was only 21:00 so I said that there was another hour before our evening tea. Someone else was watching “‘Allo ‘Allo” on the TV and talking about it in the Radio Times.
And finally, there was something in one of my voyages about a young Harley Street physician who had to call Holmes in to investigate a case. He had come round again when Holmes was busy doing something else trying to get holmes to go round to see him straight away. basically this doctor had simply panicked and Watson was able to put him right onto the correct path. Then it turned out that this doctor was driving a lorry-load of grain and he had to get out of this loading depot. There was one land full of cars that were being let out fairly quickly so ha manoeuvred around a lorry that reversed out of the way for him. he got out via this lane. There was some issue about data recording but he refused to become involved because he thought it would be some kind of fiddle so coming out of the depot he turned left instead of turning right and went down to the traffic lights there. This recalled some discussion about when he was in an emergency and his young secretary was busy working the oxygen pump for him. he was talking about marrying some kind of rich widow or something like that to inject funds into his business but you could see that this young girl was much more suitable for him and there was some kind of rapport between them – they were doing really well and you could see that they would make a really nice couple if only he had been able to see it.

It’s hardly surprising that I didn’t make it out of bed early with all of that going on.

But anyway I did, and after a shower I headed off to the shops.

last week I followed a British Volvo all the way through town without it giving a single turn signal. Today, it was the turn of a local Gendarme vehicle do go all of that way without a single signal. I’ve no idea what has happened to the Code de la Route here in Granville.

Noz came up with nothing special – they had windscreen wipers on offer but none of Caliburn’s size. LeClerc came up with a pile of stuff, including a nail brush or two, a pile of orange juice on special offer and a pile of reduced vegan burgers that I can freeze for later.

After lunch I played around with some photos and then headed off to the football.

piles of granite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, in order to push up the daily total to over 100% I walked through the harbour.

It looks as if we’ll be having one of the Channel Island freighters, Thora or Normandy Trader, coming into harbour very soon. There’s a huge pile of pallets loaded with granite waiting here on the quayside.

There were some expedition labels on them so I checked, and they are indeed for someone or other in the Channel Islands. So they’ll be gone pretty soon, I reckon.

spirit of conrad le Courrier des Iles marie pierre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWalking along the harbour a little further I came across a gaggle of boats moored up.

We know all about Spirit of Conrad of course because back at the beginning of July we went away down the Brittany coast aboard her for five days or so.

The one nearest the camera is Le Courrier des Iles, a boat that also runs guided trips out and about. As for the third one, she’s the Marie-Pierre and I don’t know very much at all about her as yet.

old cars mark 2 jaguar 3.8 granville manche normandy france eric hallFor quite a while now we haven’t seen any old cars around and about.

And what we have seen just recently are several old Jaguars, like the XJ-S that we saw yesterday.

So how about this one that I saw on the harbour this evening? A beautiful mark II Jaguar from the 1960s, and a 3.8 at that too. I’ll take that home with me in a heartbeat.

old cars mark 2 jaguar 3.8 granville manche normandy france eric hallThese are really beautiful, powerful cars and the archetypical “Villain’s car” of many a 1960s gangster film in the UK.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I once owned its bigger brother, a jaguar 420G, when I had my taxis. And it was this colour too. And, incidentally, an even bigger Mark X Jaguar that I bought for spares.

And I bitterly regret letting an opportunity pass me by when I was offered one of these Series 2 vehicles fitted with a 2.5 V8 Daimler engine and couldn’t afford it at the time. It was all of £250 too.

Mind you, I once missed a Bentley priced at £800. But then again, that was 1971 and prices were a little different then.

sunset port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo while I was musing on the Jaguar and reminiscing on former times, I headed off into the sunset.

And beautiful sunset there was too. The sun had sunk below the horizon but it was reflecting up into the clouds and making this lovely lighting effect, complete with reflections in the water.

The tide was out so the harbour gates were closed and I could walk across the top back to the fish processing plant and along to the rue du Port.

cat seagull boulevard des terreneuviers granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was no-one about as I walked along the rue du Port. I headed for the steps up to the Boulevard Vaufleury.

But I had a laugh as I climbed up the steps. There was a baby seagull standing on the wall with its plaintive cry calling for its mother, and the cat sitting there taking absolutely no notice whatsoever.

Back here, it was tea out of a tin again. And a lovely surprise too because one of my co-voyagers from the Spirit of Conrad has been around and left me a present, more of which tomorrow.

Bedtime now, and quite right too because I’m exhausted. Sunday is a lie in and I have to say that I’m ready for this. I’m still not feeling myself right now, which is just as well, and I hope that I’ll be better tomorrow.