Category Archives: hera

Thursday 21st July 2022 – I WAS RIGHT …

la confiance 2 chantier naval chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… when I said the other day that it looked as if Les Bouchots de Chausey wasn’t going to be around for very long in the chantier naval.

When I went past this afternoon she had gone! And never called me “mother”. There was just La Confiance II in there now and that was that.

Meanwhile, in other news, over at the ferry terminal is Chausiaise, the little freighter. The last time that we saw her was when she was underneath the crane in the loading bay in the inner harbour.

However someone whom I know sent me a photo this morning of Chausiaise in the harbour at St Helier. That will explain why she was loading up the other day.

It will also explain why ships like Southern Liner have been in port sounding out the possibility of running additional freight services to the Channel Islands. Business must be booming if they have pressed Chausiaise into service on that route too.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While we’re on the subject of ferry terminals and ferries … “well, one of us is” – ed … other things that have gone! And never called me “mother” either are the two Channel Island ferries.

Granville departed at 11:04 and is currently in St Helier. Victor Hugo also left at 11:04 and may currently be found in Cherbourg.

So what’s happening there I really don’t know, but the plot sickens. Whatever it is that’s going on, I wish that they would sort themselves out quite quickly because all of this isn’t doing anyone any good.

Last night’s sleep didn’t do me much good, unfortunately. It was another one of those nights where I struggled to go to sleep and when I did, I was soon awake as the bedroom warmed up dramatically.

Things were such that I could even have left the bed at 07:00 but I loitered around until the alarm went off at 07:30, for old time’s sake.

After the medication I went outside to take some stuff out of Caliburn. A pile of rubbish went into the waste bin and some more stuff came upstairs.

The idea was that someone was coming round this morning. There was a request on Social Network for an offcut of linoleum and I have some here.

We’d agreed a deal that he could have it for free in exchange for helping me bring upstairs the flat-pack units that I’d bought from IKEA in Germany the other week, hence the tidying up in Caliburn. However it goes without saying that after all that effort on my part, he never turned up.

What else never turned up was the Zoom link to the Welsh class. As a late addition to the course I’m not on the mailing list. I had to send an e-mail to the tutor and hope that she saw it. I ended up being 45 minutes late for my course.

She was much more organised today which was good, and that was helped by the fact that we as students are starting to take the initiative and between us we’ve worked out screen-sharing for powerpoints and so on and that makes things much easier when we are in break-out rooms.

Once again we bashed right through without lunch and finished early. That gave me time to deal with a few things such as the dictaphone.

My solicitor came round last night and he brought his managing partner with him. This was when my parents were out then – there was me and one or two other people. They began to talk and said that they had some good news for me. Firstly all my accounts had been accepted. They confirmed that I didn’t actually buy or sell anything so I’m not liable to anything. Secondly they aren’t interested in any accounts for previous years. The third thing is that I don’t have to sit any English exams at all. For unknown reasons this really delighted me. When my parents came back it took an age for them to stop talking. At the end I could tell them all my good news. They wanted to know all about the implications of it. They were wondering about this English exam because they thought that I could have some really high marks with my English. Not taking it would reduce my overall average. I explained that things like time was an issue, my energy was an issue. If I could receive a credit for my English without taking an exam then I would go that way. We had quite a long talk about everything about this.

There was something going on later about 2 girls who knew each other. They had been to the USSR and had noticed a few business opportunities that they could exploit. One went back to the USA and the other stayed in the USSR. They set up this import-export agency. For one of them it went really well and so was living a life of comparative luxury but the other one was living in poverty in a caravan and eventually on an old boat. She had to cross the Atlantic in this boat but it was not particularly seaworthy. Things like the wind generator was only held on by an old nail etc. This was going to be a voyage fraught with disaster. I was on it as it slipped out of harbour and she went off to do something. As we rounded the bend to leave the harbour there was a catamaran coming in with children on board. I couldn’t really stop the boat so I had to put it into the side wall where it bounced along the side wall and out so that it left this catamaran plenty of room. She was quite upset about that and asked me what I thought that I was doing. I explained that I’d never been on board a boat before in these kinds of circumstances and I was doing what I thought was correct to the best of the ability that I had

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was rather later than usual when I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

That meant that it was cooler than it otherwise might have been when I went out so I wasn’t expecting to se too many people out there but I was pleasantly surprised.

It was warmer than I was expecting anyway and the crowds were wandering around everywhere even down on the beach and even one or two brave souls who had gone into the water.

No Nazguls out there today though. There wasn’t all that much wind about.

ch651332 hera suzanga baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one of the things that I have mentioned recently is the fact that the fishing boats seem to be exploiting new areas of the sea since the issues with the Channel Islands.

This wzs illustrated today by not one but two trawlers out there in the bay with their nets out and I was expecting to see one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek vs Greek” moments as Hera in blue and Suzanga in pink sailed towards each other on a collision course.

They did however pass by with a couple of metres spare, and then both did a U-turn and went back for another go at each other.

This was certainly exciting and I stayed around for a few minutes to watch but eventually they formed themselves into parallel lines and headed off into the sunset.

lysandre baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of other boats out there this afternoon too.

This blue inshore shell-fishing boat heading back from the Ile de Chausey is blue and white and that tells me that it’s either Lysandre or Petite Laura because there isn’t much differenc ebetween the two and I can’t read the registration number from here.

But for reasons that you will find out if you have the patience to read on to the end, I reckon that this boat is Lysandre.

And there were others too but they were too far out to identify.

10sa aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And there weren’t just crowds on the path or on the sea either.

Although we had to Nazguls in the air today while I was out, we did have a light aeroplane. As far as I can tell, its registration number seems to be 10SA and that’s one of the ones that isn’t on the aeroplane database that I can access.

But that’s a number that hasn’t appeared before in our paperwork so I’m wondering it it is in fact 50SA with some dirt or staining obscuring part of its registration.

Or maybe I should have gone to a well-known chain of opticians.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022My eyesight can’t all be that bad today though.

Although there’s quite a bit of haze about today I actually did manage to see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel with the naked eye, even if it is about 70 kms away from where I’m standing.

In fact it was easier to see with the naked eye than it was with the camera and that’s not something that heppens every day. Usually the camera picks out objects much better than the naked eye at any kind of distance.

One of these days I’ll post the photo that I took of the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel that I took when we sailed past on Spirit of Conrad so you can see what it is that you are supposed to be seeing.

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022With the crowds out there this afternoon it was quite busy at the end of the headland so I fought my way down to the end of the headland.

There were plenty of fishermen out there too. There seemed to be one on every rock. This guy, and presumably one of his offspring, were out there near the cabanon vauban.

Only the father seemed to be fishing though. Although the younger one had a fishing rod handy, he seemed to me more interested in scrambling around on the rocks and I’ve no idea why.

But then we’ve only ever seen one fisherman actually catch something so I imagine that the younger one found it to be rather boring.

cabanon vauban man pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Mind you, there was an audience out there this afternoon.

Not sitting on the bench but standing down at the end of the headland was this guy armed with a camera. And there was plenty going on down there so I’m surprised that he wasn’t taking any interest in anything that was happening around him.

There were more people in the vicinity too, including a Dutch family of a father and two young girls who were taking photos of almost everything. And much as I like to take photos of people taking photos, there are some limits to what it’s polite to do.

yachts speedboat le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022From the end of the headland I wandered off around the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

There was plenty going on there as well. Out by Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the mouth of the harbour, a few yachts from one of the sailing schools were happily sailing by.

There was a speedboat too roaring past, as well as another boat hiding behind the light.

There was quite a lot of other stuff too but they somehow managed to make themselves out of shot.

Having made a photographic note of what was going on at the ferry terminal and the chantier naval, I carried on along the path towards home.

l'omerta petite laura port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the Fish Processing Plant we can see L’Omerta. She’s still there from the other day and doesn’t look as if she’s moved.

And behind her is a blue and white shell-fishing boat. She has a “CH” (Cherbourg) registration number so she’s not Lysandre, who has an “SM” (St Malo) number and so she must be Petite Laura

That means that the one that we saw earlier out in the bay must be Lysandre because it’s certainly a different boat.

With my chocolate drink awaiting me at home, I headed off back to the apartment

extinction rebellion posters Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It looks as if the flyposters have been out overnight.

There’s a project afoot to turn the road between Granville and Avranches into a dual carriageway and it’s causing a great deal of controversy. It now looks as if the Extinction Rebellion movement people are now on the case.

Actually I sympathise with their campaign because the road isn’t all that busy. And they could deal with much of that by making the train service more reliable and regular.

At the moment it’s just trains between Caen and Rennes but they really need to restore the trains between Cherbourg and St Malo and that will double the frequency of trains on the section of the line between Granville and Avranches.

Bus transport around Granville is improving and if they would make more of an effort at Avranches I for one wouldn’t need to use the van to travel there.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bun and that was quite delicious with potatoes and vegetables. Tomorrow I’m going for sausage beans and chips.

But that’s tomorrow. Right now I’m off to bed and prepare for the last day of my Summer School. I’m glad that I found this Summer School because even if it’s not as well-organised as it might be, it’s still bringing my Welsh out of the dark recesses of my mind and that can’t be a bad thing.

There’s still 6 weeks until our course restarts and I bet that I will have forgotten it all again by then.

Tuesday 7th June 2022 – THIS WAS ANOTHER …

… day that I’d much rather forget, because I’ve spent most of it asleep again.

Surprisingly the day started quite well because I was wide-awake shortly after 07:00 and didn’t have any trouble at all leaving the bed at 07:30 when the alarm went off. But that was as good as it got.

After the medication I came back in here to prepare for my Welsh course, and I promptly fell asleep. And not just for a few minutes either but for over an hour and that was disappointing. Even more disappointing was that Zero didn’t come to watch over me while I was asleep, like she did yesterday.

Eventually I managed to find the strength to prepare for the Welsh lesson, and actually it didn’t go too badly. I was actually surprised with what I could remember and that’s not like me at all.

When the lesson finished I went for a shower and a good scrub up, and I actually smell quite nice for a change.

Lunch was quite late, what with one thing and another, and then fighting off waves of sleep I headed off out.

gerlean port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was no physiotherapy yesterday because it was a Bank Holiday, but she had offered me a session today.

So on my way out I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was happening down in the port.

And it looks as if we are back playing another game of “musical ships”. L’Omerta isn’t there this afternoon nut in her place today is Gerlean.

There’s another boat moored behind her too but I can’t see who she is from here. Whoever she is, she’s quite small so she can’t be anyone special.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was plenty of activity going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel this afternoon too.

One of the sailing schools has gone out there and they are all having a really good time, being shepherded around by a couple of zodiacs.

One of these days I’ll be out there with them. I haven’t forgotten that. But I just don’t know when I’m going to find the time what with everything that I have going on right now, physiotherapy, language lessons, hospital appointments and all of that.

But anyway, that’s something to worry about for another time. I headed off down the hill towards the town.

la grande ancre p692 maroni gendarme maritime port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The other day we saw one of the Gendarme Maritime boats, P692 Maroni, in port.

There’s one moored over there against the wall today as well. Of course I can’t say whether it’s Maroni, but it would be most unlikely to be a different one.

Plenty of smaller boats over there as well, and we can recognise La Grande Ancre amongst them.

The walk up the hill was total agony. It was just like the dark days of last summer when I was at my worst. Just recently I’ve been making it all the way up the hill in one go but today I lost count of how many times I had to stop for breath

She put me through my paces for a while and then we finished off with 10 minutes on the exercise bike. Luckily she didn’t wind it full up otherwise I would never have managed it.

My plan when she threw me out was to go round to Lidl for some shopping but I was honestly in no state whatever to go there today. Instead, I went to the Carrefour across the road for just enough apples and onions to see me through until the weekend.

kiddies roundabout biofood stalls place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Back in the centre of the town the kiddies’ roundabout was still there.

It’s certainly smaller than the pink one that used to come here, about which there was all of that fuss with the mairie.

And with it being Tuesday, it’s the bio market in the Place General de Gaulle and you can see a couple of stalls in the background. But it’s not much of a bio market at all. Last time I looked, there were only two stalls and that’s not going to change significantly anyone’s eating habits.

But the walk back home was pretty awful again with several stops for breath. I’m definitely right out of this.

omerta hera victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A little earlier we saw Gerlean moored at the quayside by the fish processing plant and you were probably wandering where L’Omerta, who usually lives there, was moored.

She’s actually just there in the inner harbour, just to prove that she can do it at times when she wants to. It’s just a mystery why she doesn’t want to do it all the time.

Also in shot is the trawler Hera on her way back to the quayside after a day out fishing in the bay. And Victor Hugo is there too. One of these days we’ll see her actually taking passengers out to the Channel Islands, although I’m not holding my breath.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before going into the apartment for a coffee I went to look down onto the beach.

There were just one or two people down there this afternoon, and no-one brave enough to go into the water. It was a nice afternoon, but clearly not that nice.

Back in the apartment I made myself a coffee but before I could drink it, I crashed out. And I was out for 90 minutes too in a really deep sleep.

One of the things that was disappointing about that was that after yesterday, Zero didn’t come to watch over me while I was asleep. That was something that I actually found extremely touching. I’m not used to people being so solicitous about my welfare.

It’s a shame that it never happens in real life. But then again I would take Zero in a dream watching over me rather than anyone whom I know in real life.

While I was drinking my very cold coffee later on I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was a young person, a little person running around creating mayhem in a kitchen somewhere that was doing something for a fair or a fête or something but that’s all that I can remember.

And then I was on a beach somewhere but it wasn’t a beach it was a snow field. It was like a holiday thing and a meeting and we’d all connected to the internet to try to follow this meeting. I’d managed to make a connection and I could follow it vaguely although it was clicking in and out. There were a few things that needed to be doing here and there and I could follow them vaguely. The girl in charge of it was coming round. She came to me and asked me how I was doing. I showed her that everything seemed to be fine and working after a fashion so she left me to it. People started breaking up and drifting away as it was starting to go dark and cold. I didn’t see much point in being here for very much longer so I was planning on drifting away as well, I reckoned, and seeing what maybe tomorrow might bring or later on that night somewhere else might happen

Tea was a taco roll with rice and veg and then I sat down to type up my notes. I had intended to deal with my Welsh notes for my exam once I’d finished but Rosemary rang to tell me about her trip to the mairie with her Ukrainian refugees in order to start their registration process. That should keep her busy for the next few weeks.

But right now I’m off to bed. An early night because I have a lot to do. Here’s hoping that I can do it without falling asleep. Or if I do, then that Zero will come to watch over me while I’m sleeping.

Monday 6th June 2022 – MUCH TO MY OWN …

… surprise I managed to fall out of bed at 06:00 as soon as the alarm went off. I don’t think that anyone was expecting that – I know that I wasn’t.

So after the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to work at the radio programme that I wanted to prepare.

And for some reason or other I’ve no idea where the time goes because even though I didn’t stop except for a coffee and for breakfast, it was 11:40 when I finished. Gone are the days when I could bang them out by 10:30 or even earlier. I’ve no idea why it’s taking so long these days.

However regardless of all that, it did all fit together quite nicely with some really good joins.

When I’d finished it, I had a listen to the one that I’d be sending off later this afternoon. And while I did so I wrote a pile of stuff about “Next Year” as preparation for my Welsh exam

When it finished, I sent it off and went to listen to the one that I’d just prepared. However, before I even started, I crashed out on my chair and that was that. Interestingly, I went off on a little voyage while I was crashed out.

Well, actually, I didn’t. I stayed here sitting on my seat at my desk. From a distance I stood and watched myself sleeping. And then to my surprise Zero came to see me sleeping. She didn’t actually say anything though, I could see her simply standing there watching me sleep. She certainly saw me asleep in my chair, but she didn’t see me watching events unfold from where I was standing. It was a really strange, eerie situation and I’m not sure whether it was unsettling or relaxing, watching her watching me.

Lunch was rather late and then afterwards I finally managed to listen to this morning’s radio programme. And at the same time I wrote some stuff about “Work” as preparation for my Welsh exam

There was time for me to have a run through my acoustic set again before I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As usual I wandered off across the car park to have a look over the wall down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

It’s a Bank Holiday here again so all of the schools and offices are closed And with it being a reasonably nice afternoon there were crowds of people down there on the beach.

There were even a few people who had taken the plunge and gone into the water as well. That’s what I call “brave” because although the weather was nice, it wasn’t that nice.

You wouldn’t have caught me in the water on a day like this, but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m notoriously nesh at moments like this. Not even Castor could drag me into the sea when we were up in the High Arctic in 2019.

trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And as usual, while I’m here I’m having a good look around out at sea to see what was happening there.

The Ile de Chausey was looking really nice this afternoon. The weather is quite overcast but even so the colours are quite clear this afternoon.

And while there aren’t any pleasure boats of any description out there this afternoon, there is what looks like a trawler working away out there just offshore.

As for what was happening further out at sea, it wasn’t possible to see anything. There was quite a haze out there this afternoon that was hiding just about everything that might have been further out in the bay.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There weren’t too many people on the path up here this afternoon so I had it pretty much to myself this afternoon.

The car park was fairly deserted too so I walked down to the end of the headland to see what was happening out there.

We had a couple of people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban but there wasn’t really anything for them to see. There weren’t any boats out there this afternoon and there wasn’t anyone fishing from the rocks this afternoon either.

And so I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland.

a href=””>trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was a trawler out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel heading down towards the end of the bay.

She was making quite an interesting wake and that was what caught my eye.

It’s not possible to identify her from this distance of course but judging by what I can see of the colour of her paintwork she could well be either Coelacanthe or Tiberiade.

There’s another trawler that has a similar shade of green paintwork too but I can’t recall her name for the moment.

That was really everything that was out there at sea this afternoon so I headed off for home and my coffee.

belle france joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was no change in occupancy in the xhantier naval this afternoon. The cabin cruiser and the catamaran were still in there and that was about it.

Over at the ferry terminal though, we had the new Belle France and one of the Joly France ferries, the older one of the two. Presumably they’ll be going back out to the island later this afternoon to bring back the passengers who might be out there.

And while we’re on the subject of the port, what’s happening with the marquee is that there’s a maritime market where all kinds of seagoing accessories are on sale, aimed at all of the boat owners who operate out of the port. It’s the last day today.

fishermen zodiacs port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was walking along the top of the cliffs, a couple of zodiacs came into port.

It’s easy to see what they have been up to this afternoon. They are both festooned with piles of fishing rods so it looks as if they’ve been having a really good time.

What’s interesting though is that there are only two people on board each zodiac and yet there are at least four, and maybe more, fishing rods on each boat.

Maybe they have a fishing rod for each hand, unless they have hit a couple of rogue waves and dropped off half of the passengers somewhere out in the bay.

That’s the thing with white-water raft racing. It’s not the first raft over the line that wins, it’s the one that crosses the line with the most people still on board it. “Rapids” have a whole new meaning.

victor hugo ch651332 hera port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I’d been wandering around in the ether at some point during the day I’d seen a photo of Victor Hugo running somewhere between Guernsey and Sark.

And so I was rather surprised to see her back in the inner harbour when I was wandering around there this afternoon. She can’t have been back all that long and I must have missed her return. I’ve given up all hope of ever seeing her out with passengers. I can’t see that I’ll ever manage to catch her for my own trip out to Jersey.

The trawler there is one that we have seen before. She’s called Hera.

And there are several marker buoys on the quayside there. I wonder where they are going to be putting those.

But that’s for another time. I was heading for home.

35ma place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Here’s someone whom we’ve seen quite frequently, and as recently as yesterday too.

She’s 35MA, one of the light aeroplanes that fly from the airfield up the coast, on her way out for an afternoon’s flight around the bay.

Back here I had a coffee and then I transcribed the dictaphone notes. Yesterday’s notes are now on line and then I turned my attention to the ones from last night. I was talking on a bulletin board about living in Virlet in my house with alternative energy and water resources etc. It was a bulletin type of thing and we were having an exchange of information. I was typing on there about how a lot of so-called modern groups would maybe be interested in one thing like maybe photovoltaic and know absolutely nothing about anything else. You would join a group to have a good background of all kinds of things and end up trying to teach them something about wind or hydro power etc from what you know because they knew nothing about it at all. You were on there to find as much information as possible about everything. That seemed to be the case with a lot of these societies – a bee in their bonnet about one thing and wouldn’t be concerned with anything else. We had an extremely lively discussion and debate about all of this.

And then I was round at a former friend’s in Stoke on Trent last night, although it was not his house that I ever knew. We were talking a lot about different things, then I had to go out for something. On the way back I couldn’t remember which house his was so I had to look at them all until I saw the one that had the advert for his wife’s business in the window until I finally arrived. He was quite upset because he’d laid out some food and cheese spread etc. Of course it had all gone cold and set etc. I had to get into the house because the driveway was so steep. I was climbing up the side of the house and clinging on to the window with your fingernails, dangling there underneath rying to open this door. It was a nightmare and gave me the chills trying to enter. In the end he said “I’ve made it better. There’s a handle for you to grab”. You could grab it with a couple of ends of your fingers and it wasn’t any better at all. I was having nightmares. He was explaining how you cook your food and how one of Zero’s friends had messed it up and messed that up so it wasn’t like before when you had to do this and do that. All the time you were hanging on to this thing with the end of your fingers dangling over this void. This was the most uncomfortable horrible thing I’ve ever been in. Zero never put in an appearance, which made things even worse. There I was with him going on about this and that and how he needs to do this and that. I was sweating away with fright dangling over this void trying to enter this house and cook this meal and use this thing to light the gas while I was hanging on

Later on I was round at his house again. This time it was someone joining the Army. They were having to cling onto this thing at the side of his house with their hands while they were up there and we were back in this nightmare situation again, clinging onto this side of this house while we talked about this person going to join the army etc. It was all extremely uncomfortable and very difficult.

Finally there was a miserable old woman spying on what was going on in someone’s hotel room who had gone to a meeting with the company where she works but I can’t remember very much about this.

There was time left for me to run through some of the songs on this playlist that I’ve been sent. I need to spend more time working on this but I have so much going on right now and I’m lacking a great deal of motivation too. I wish I could sort myself out.

Tea was a stuffed pepper and then I came back in here to write up my notes before going to bed.

But I’m really bewildered about that visit that I had at lunchtime from Zero when I was asleep. She was just standing there watching me asleep, not saying and not doing anything, and not realising that I was standing behind her watching her watching me. It’s definitely something bizarre that’s happening here and I’m intrigued to know what it might be and what it’s supposed to signify.

It’s all very well having these really bizarre moments when I’m asleep but not knowing their significance is actually quite disturbing.

Sunday 24th April 2022 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

scaffolding repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… my walk this afternoon took me around the medieval city walls to see what was happening around there.

And so while you admire the progress that they have been making with the repointing of the medieval city walls in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux and the Rue du Nord, I’ll tell you all about my rather quiet day today.

“Quiet” was definitely the word to use because it didn’t actually start until 11:40 when I finally fell, not without a great deal of difficulty, out of bed.

And even then I wasn’t really in all that much of a mood to do very much for a while.

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022After brunch I eventually buckled down to work and the first task was to pair up the music of the next radio programme.

That didn’t take too long and then I turned my attention to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

There was a war on. The whole system of supply chains and everything was totally disrupted and nothing was being produced anywhere. One person organised something that churned out tonnes of stuff much quicker than anything else had ever been churned out and was rescuing people from cars (including a girl in a wheelchair whom I know), all kinds of things. It became some kind of by-word on the TV what he was doing but someone actually went behind the scenes afterwards and showed loads of collateral damage that had been done. This was really something that could only be done once because they couldn’t afford the damage that was being committed to the infrastructure and everything in doing it. There was litter and junk abandoned all over the place that couldn’t ever be used again. Barges were just emptied and dumped and didn’t go back for return loads etc.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was also something about a delivery service something like ours … “whose?” – ed … that had all kinds of weird and strange rules about delivery. They were catching people out because of the volume of stuff that they were sending. There was one case where they were sending stuff to be collected by a young family on behalf of a relative but were totally overwhelmed with packets. They had to bring in someone from the company to try to deal with all of these deliveries and deal with all of these children as well in this family who were being disturbed by the continual flow of parcels etc. Again there were parcels dumped all over the place. It was like a runaway juggernaut type of situation with these kids in a pram or pushchair and this guy from the parcel company trying to control them and the parcels, trying to obtain all of the address details changed etc. These two dreams were extremely stressful.

Finally there was a group of soldiers, an informal group who rode into a fort in order to help defend it. They eventually found where the colonel’s office was. He was totally intoxicated rather like the colonel in THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY. He told them to take their place wherever they thought fit. Having had a tour of the walls with the colonel, the guy in charge took a huge lump of bread and some cheese, pickels etc and went back to his men. He started to talk to them about the defence of the city and the battle and shared out the food amongst them.

When I listened to what was on the dictaphone, I was quite surprised. I was convinced that there was much more than this too. I had the feeling that I was awake for much of the night dictating into the dictaphone. I know that in the past I’ve caught myself dictating into my hand instead of the dictaphone and I wonder if I’ve been doing that again.

All of this took me up to the time when I would usually go for walkies around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But as I had made up my mind to go around the walls this afternoon I made a little diversion to have a look over the wall at the end of the car park to see who was down on the bach this afternoon.

Although there was quite a strong wind it was really bright and sunny this afternoon and so there wre quite a few people down there, not that there was an awful lot of beach to be on right now.

No-one actually brave enough to put their feet in the water though. It wasn’t actually that warm. That will probably be for another time later on. There are a couple more Bank Holidays coming up imminently

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022While I was out there looking down at the beach I had my roving eye looking around out at sea.

Although there was quite a haze out there and not even the Ile de Chausey was visible, there was plenty of activity just offshore. There was a cabin cruiser and a couple of speedboats for a start, and probably a few other things that I couldn’t make out.

No fishing boats though – they must all be having a day off today.

So I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … along the path down past where they were repairing the medieval city walls, dodging the English family with the dog who were trying to negotiate the scaffolding.

But the repairs are continuing along the Rue du Nord right now, even though the big crack in the walls where they have been repairing is filling me with some kind of concern.

beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022From the Place du Marché aux Chevaux I passed through the arch and along the path underneath the walls where I used to go running all that time ago.

Down at the viewpoint overlooking the beach at the Plat Gousset I stopped to have a look down there to see what was happening.

The summer season hasn’t officially started yet. The promenade cabins haven’t arrived on the Plat Gosset yet and the diving platform on the pillar hasn’t been put back. I imagine that that’s for some other time later on.

The tidal swimming pool is looking nice though, although no-one is taking advantage of that right now either.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022From there I continued on to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Maréchal Foch.

As well as the vertical-axis wind turbine spinning around in the foreground, we had lots of people milling around on the beach and on the Plat Gousset. The fine weather has certainly brought them out in their droves.

Even the seagull that bombed the photograph on the extreme left-hand edge seemed to be enjoying itself too as it prepares to alight on the roof of the casino down there.

seagull nesting rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022While we’re on the subject of seagulls … “well, one of us is” – ed … it’s that time of year again.

The town’s gardeners have been out cutting the grass and the seagulls have been collecting it. They’ve built all of their nests on the roofs of the houses and they are now settling down to lay their eggs.

In a couple of weeks we might catch sight of the eggs and then we can watch the seagull chicks slowly growing up. I shall have to make a note to come by this way more often in order to watch the events as they unfold until the chicks are ready to fly away.

planters square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Here in the Square Maurice Marland there have been a few more developments too.

A few years ago they spent a lot of money renovating the square and then the let it run to seed somewhat. At one time just recently it was looking quite shabby.

However, while I’ve not been paying attantion, they have been slowly bringing it back into condition.

These planters are quite new. They certainly weren’t here before. I wonder what we’re going to see planted in them.

marité belle france ch711273 hermes 1 ch651332 hera ch639451 philcathane ch642969 Galapagos sm734551 hermine Bastien Steeven pl626645 Le P'tit Caprice port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Back into town there wasn’t anything happening so I went to have a look at the port.

With having seen no fishing boats out at sea this afternoon I was expecting to see them all in the harbour. And they certainly were there too.

Quite a few whom we have seen before, like Hermes I, Hera, Philcathane and Galapagos but there are a couple there who are strangers. SM734551 is called Hermine Bastien Steeven, the SM telling us that despite her Dutch name, is from Saint Malo, and PL626645 is called Le P’tit Caprice, registered down the coast at Paimpol in Brittany.

Marité and Belle France are in there today too which is a surprise. They ought to be out at sea earning their keep with a couple of loads of tourists.

Back here I had a coffee and then sat down with the guitar. On the playlist earlier, the song ROLL ME AWAY had come round. When I listened closely to it, I reckoned that it was a fairly simple chord progression so I sat down to work it out.

And it works too. So for my next trick I’ll work out a bass line to it.

Regular readers will recall that I said in the past that I won’t add any more songs to my own acoustic playlist set until I can master the ones there, but this particular one has always been a favourite of mine and it has a certain significance.

“Stood alone on a mountain top
Starin’ out at the Great Divide
I could go East, I could go West
It was all up to me to decide”

Doesn’t that remind me of when I was standing up there on the HIGH PLAINS OF WYOMING in 2002?

And what about
“12 hours out of Mackinaw City
Stopped in a bar to have a brew
Met a girl and we had a few drinks
And I told her what I’d decided to do
She looked out the window a long long moment
Then she looked into my eyes
She didn’t have to say a thing
I knew what she was thinkin’
Roll, roll me away
Won’t you roll me away tonight
I too am lost, I feel double-crossed
And I’m sick of what’s wrong and what’s right
We never even said a word
We just walked out and got on that bike
And we rolled
And we rolled clean out of sight
We rolled across the high plains
Deep into the mountains
Felt so good to me
Finally feelin’ free
Somewhere along a high road
The air began to turn cold
She said she missed her home
I headed on alone”

And the air certainly was cold where we were at the time that all of this was going on. Yes, one day I really will, I promise you, write about those three missing days on my blog.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Tea tonight was, as usual, a vegan pizza.

After lunch I’d taken out a lump of frozen dough from the freezer and it had been happily defrosting during the afternoon. When I’d finished what I’d needed to do I rolled it out and when it had proofed I assembled it.

After last week’s unsatisfactory attempt when it was overcooked, I turned the oven down slightly today and that produced a much better effort. I didn’t break any teeth this evening.

But I’m off to bed in a minute. An early start and a radio programme to complete. And two to send off – I mustn’t forget that, as I’m not here next week.

Well, in fact I’m not all here at any time but let’s not bog ourselves down in semantics.

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.

Wednesday 9th June 2021 – IN NEWS THAT WILL …

french flag, usa flag, german flag pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… infuriate every gammon for miles around, we can now see which of the four flagpoles was taken away earlier in the week.

The interesting thing about this is that the three nations whose flags are represented there have long-since given up fighting World Wat II and for the past 70 or so years have been working together to make the world a far better place in which we all can live (except when, of course, the Septics elect a Republican president).

There’s only one nation that is still fighting World War II and that’s the Brits. Still unable to live down the humiliation of throwing away their weapons and running away from the Germans and ever since then, clinging to the coat-tails of the Americans.

This inferiority complex was never better shown than on a few islands just in sight here on the horizon. The one part of the British Isles occupied by the Germans in 1940, the liberation passed by the Channel Islands in July 1944 but because the Americans refused to let the British have the resources, the British were too afraid to confront the Germans on their own and left their own people to starve, cut off from supplies, until after the Armistice in May 1945.

The people in the Channel Islands have never forgotten this of course, although the British have, a long time ago. Humility and remorse is not something in the character of the average gammon.

What’s not in the average character of me right now is this getting-up-at-06:00 lark, although I’ve been doing it for long enough these days. Still, to my surprise, I hauled myself out of bed as the alarm sounded (well, maybe a minute or two later) and went off to sort out the medication, which takes far longer than it ought these days.

Back here, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I went during the night. I was with a boy from school last night last night and somehow we had ended up being chased out of our accommodation. We had to walk and travel one stop on the train and we found another place where they were building some kind of armed camp to defend themselves against the authorities. We went to squat there. I asked him how he felt about seasick and he said that he wasn’t very good. We were in this room and I asked “what about your trip to Shearings? Are you still interested in going?”. He replied “yes” … (indistinct) … but instead he dressed and with about 12 minutes to spare I took him out and thought what was the matter with him … (I fell asleep here for a good few minutes) … I don’t know where I got to with that when I fell asleep dictating but we found some refuge in this place and then we got to the time when his pickup was ready so I asked him if he was still interested in going with Shearings, going on something that I had organised. He wanted to go with Shearings so I told him to get his things ready and I’ll see him on the bus somewhere. And the moral of this story is “never give up no matter how tempting the other alternatives are because you never know how good the profits of what you are planning are going to be” and what those last few words have to do with anything that has occurred I really have no idea.

And once more, apologies to Percy Penguin (who doesn’t appear in these pages anything like as often as she deserves) for doubting her when she complained that I snored when I was asleep.

Most of the day has been spent revising my Welsh, with plenty of comfort breaks, coffee and hot chocolate breaks, lunch breaks and even a couple of work breaks when I updated a couple of the Leuven pages (but don’t ask me which they were – you’ll have to go back and find out for yourself). And I made an appointment to visit the doctor tomorrow too.

My Welsh exam took place at 16:00 and by 16:15 it was all over. Although I made a couple of basic errors, I think that overall I might have done OK.

Luckily I’d found tucked away in the revision section of the course book 50 standard questions that might go with one part and 50 keywords that would go with another part so I spent a couple of hours working over different answers to the standard questions, and then inventing questions to fit the 50 keywords.

And I’m glad that I did that because while not many of the actual questions or keywords came up in the test, question patterns were pretty much the same. That will make up for me saying ‘sgynno fo on a couple of occasions when I should have said ‘sgynny hi. And that’s an important distinction. If only I’d stuck to “mae gan Caroline …”.

Anyway, about half an hour late, I went out for my afternoon walk.

volvo skip lorry collecting skip place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd right outside the front door we have yet more activity. And had I come out at my normal time I would have missed all of it.

The other day we saw a skip lorry drop off a skip and drive away empty. Today we’ve seen the reverse of the operation. An empty skip lorry has pulled up and he’s now reversing into position where he can lift up a skip onto the back of his lorry and drive away with it.

They were out working until quite late last night, judging by the times that the dumper came past here while I was writing up my notes. It’s not like French workmen to do overtime. There must be a penalty clause somewhere about to come into operation, hence the rush.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs is my custom, my next stop is to go and look at the beach to see what activity there is going on there right now.

Off I strolled across the car park over to the wall at the end where I can stick my head over the top to see what gives down there. And the answer is “not all that much”. There’s more beach than yesterday because the tide isn’t as far in, and it’s also a nice day considering what we have had just recently.

And so I was surprised to see only one couple down there on the beach, as far as I could see. And they are either preparing to go into the water or else they have just come out. It’s not all that clear. But it is a Wednesday afternoon and the schools are off this afternoon. So why aren’t there crowds of kids swarming about down there this afternoon?

Maybe they are all in the swimming baths at the Cité des Sports – it’s opened this afternoon for the first time since a long time ago.

hang gliders place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall And I hadn’t moved all that far away from where the people were down on the beach before there was yet more excitement this afternoon – this time, there’s Something In The Air as Thunderclap Newman would have said.

The other day I pontificated on the fact that we hadn’t seen the Bird-men of Alcatraz for quite a while, and so immediately there was one who took to the air. He must have been out there for a trial run and to report back to the other boys in the band, because this afternoon there were at least four of them out there enjoying themselves and probably a few more than that besides.

But for some reason they didn’t bother me all that much. I was able to walk faster than they could fly and so they never caught me up as I walked off along the path.

trawlers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the things that we have been doing recently, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is to look at what’s going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel to see if the fishermen from Granville are exploiting it.

And so I walked past the flags, that you saw earlier, across the car park and down to the end of the headland to see if there were any trawlers out there this afternoon. And sure enough, there were quite a few of them out there today.

Right down at the bottom of the bay right up against the Brittany coast are three of them working hard. And they were just three of a dozen that I could have photographed. But they will do because they were quite close together rather than spread out across the bay.

And look how clear the Brittany coast is this afternoon. That’s somewhere near Cherrueix which is about 20 miles away as the crow flies.

trawler hera rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the viewpoint overlooking the port I could see quite a lot of activity going on there and in the chantier navale today, which makes a nice change.

The yacht Rebelle is still in there. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw her still in the portable boat lift yesterday. But now, they have put her up on blocks, so it would seem to be more than a five-minute job that they will be doing on her.

The trawler Hera is still in there of course, but the question to which I’m more interested in knowing the answer is “what happened to that hulk that was in there for a few days?”. To my untrained eye that looked as if it needed much more work to make her seaworthy than the time that they spent on her.

fishing boats unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut you can tell that it’s coming up to that time of day when the tide will be well in.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few years ago that they dug out a deep channel a couple of years ago at the quayside under the Fish Processing Plant so that it would fill very quickly when the tide started to come in.

There’s already some water in that channel and there are a few of the inshore shellfish boats with a very low draught that have been able to come in and unload. The larger boats will have to wait until there is more water.

And doesn’t that yellow one resemble the one that was out in the Baie de Granville yesterday?

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOooh! Look who’s moored up in the inner harbour underneath the loading crane?

It’s one of our old friends from the Channel Islands. This is Thora, one of the little coastal freighters that plies her trade between here and Jersey. At one time, a long time ago, she used to be a car ferry working between the island of Bressay and the “Mainland” of Shetland. That’s a comparatively sheltered water so I bet she and her crew know all about conditions in the English Channel between Jersey and here when the going gets tough.

She still occasionally doubles as a car ferry. At the time that the lockdown was at its height and the big ferries weren’t running, people being repatriated had to come over on Thora and regular readers of this rubbish saw more than one or two cars lifted out of her by the big crane.

f-gorn Robin DR400/120 Dauphin pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo we’ve seen a bit of almost everything today. So what remains to be seen that we haven’t seen as yet? I know! How about an aeroplane?

Sure enough. Almost as soon as I’d said it one of the little light aircraft came flying by. I must have made a pact with the devil, I reckon.

This one is F-GORN, a machine that we have seen on many occasions. She’s a Robin DR400/120 Dauphin and she seems to have spent a lot of her time today flying around in circles not too far from the airport. Not that that should come as any surprise to anyone because she is actually owned by the Aero Club de Granville and is used either for instructing or solo flying by club members.

autobianchi stellina place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey say that you should always leave the best until last and so how about this one? It’s this kind of thing that made it all worthwhile going out late for my walk.

And so I’ll tell you that you have undoubtedly never ever seen one of these before, and you undoubtedly will never ever see one again, and that’s because there were only ever 502 of these made, and that was 55 or so years ago.

The first ever Italian car to have a fibreglass body and powered by FIAT’s water-cooled 767cc engine, it’s an Autobianchi Stellina and just what it’s doing here I really don’t know. These would be as rare as hen’s teeth in Italy, never mind here.

Back here I cut myself a big slice of Liz’s ginger cake as a reward for my efforts and made myself a nice hot coffee. And then I came back into my little office where I promptly fell asleep. About 2 hours I was away with the fairies and so the guitar practice, when I finally came round, was short and horrible.

Tea was a burger in a bap, and then seeing that I had no pudding I made something that I haven’t made for ages – viz. a baked apple with hot custard. And wasn’t that delicious too?

But now I’m off to make some bread dough, and then I’m goig to bed. I’ve had enough of today. it was only seeing that Autobianchi that cheered me up.

Tuesday 8th June 2021 – I DON’T THINK …

boats in passage ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… that I’ve ever seen so many boats in the passage between the Ile de Chausey and the Pointe du Roc all at once.

It goes to show just how busy the place is and how many boats there are operating out of the port. But we’re coming to the time when the harbour gates are going to be open and there will be enough water in the outer tidal harbour so that the smaller boats will be able to tie up to the quay at the fish processing plant and unload their catch.

And talking of the number of boats in the harbour, there’s going to be another one very soon. The company that owns the Joly France boats are about to take delivery of a new one that has been built in Turkey. Business must be booming.

men fishing from boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just the commercial boats streaming back towards the harbour this afternoon that caught my attention.

As you might expect, we’ve had the sports fishermen out there in numbers again today. This is just three of the dozen or so little boats that were out there stationary in the water today. A couple of zodiacs and a small cabin cruiser full of men casting their rods and line into the sea.

As to whether they caught anything, I couldn’t really say because I didn’t hang around for very long. That was because this afternoon, I wasn’t feeling myself this afternoon … “and quite right. Disgusting habit” – ed … and I wanted to be home without too much delay.

The problem actually began last night when I didn’t go to bed until 00:30 after everything that I had to do. And when you don’t go to bed until that time and you have to get up at 06:00 it’s a recipe for disaster. And awakening at about 02:30 in a cold sweat is another reason to be wary about how the events of the day would unfold.

Nevertheless I leapt out of bed as the alarm rang and went off to take my medication. Armed with a coffee I came back in here afterwards to make a start on revising my Welsh for the lesson today.

And that didn’t pass very well because firstly whatever I had read just wouldn’t stick in my head. and secondly I had to fight off waves of sleep.

When it came to the lesson I took my hot chocolate and slice of fruit bread over to the portable computer (there’s no microphone or webcam on this big machine) in the dining area. And there I had the misfortune to fall asleep twice in the middle of the lesson.

And once again, nothing at all seemed to stick. I need to be doing better than this if I’m to make good progress.

After lunch the tutor offered us a mock exam. Mine was at 15:00 and although I didn’t feel as if it was good, the tutor seemed to think that I’ll have no problem tomorrow afternoon.

Despite all of the other pressures under which I have been wilting today I didn’t forget to go out for my afternoon walk today, as you have probably noticed.

people on the beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as usual, the first port of call was the beach to see what was going on down there, so I took myself off down to the end of the car park to look over the wall and down onto the beach.

Just as yesterday, there wasn’t all that much room down there with the tide coming in quite rapidly but these two people have managed to find somewhere to loiter. And they are busy looking in the sand to see if they can pull any shellfish out of one of the little rivulets.

But they aren’t particularly equipped for scavenging on the beach. No bucket and no grattoir to scrape the sand or pull the oysters off the rocks. They won’t go far without those.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there looking over the wall down onto the beach, I was also looking around to see what was going on out at sea as well.

This boat out here looks familiar, doesn’t it? Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw a boat exactly like this up on blocks in the chantier navale for a while a couple of months ago having some work done on her.

It’s very hard to mistake that bright yellow colour, especially as it’s similar to the colour of Caliburn.

But whether she is the same boat of not, she doesn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to go home right now like the other boats in the vicinity.

f-bxjq Robin HR-200-100 Club pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I moved off along the path at the top of the cliffs I was overflown by yet another light aeroplane that apparently had taken off from the airport at Donville les Bains.

She’s another aeroplane that we haven’t seen before. She’s F-BXJQ, a Robin HR-200-100 Club aeroplane and the 71st of her type to be built. She’s powered by an Avco Lycoming O-320-D2A air-cooled flat-four piston engine with an output of 119 kW, or 60 hp.

Unfortunately I’ve no idea where she’s going because she hadn’t filed a flight plan and she wasn’t picked up on any radar anywhere. In fact the last radar plot that I can find for her is over Belgium somewhere a while ago.

swathe cut through long glass pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me along the cliffs to the lawn, which they have left uncut for the last while and even planted a sign there to tell everyone that this area will not be cut so that it will encourage biodiversity, birds and bees and all of that.

And so I’m totally bewildered to see that they have been past here today and cut a great big, wide swathe right the way through the middle of it all. How this will promote diversity I really have no idea.

It was bad enough when someone came past with that lawn mower when they made a labyrinth in the long grass. But this swathe today is just inexplicable, especially as it’s right by the sign.

fixing flags to flagpoles pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday we saw the start of work being undertaken to remove the base of one of the four flagpoles that were installed near the Monument to the Resistance.

Today we have a couple of workmen here with a cherry picker and so I worked my way round to a good vantage point where I could take a good photograph of them without causing a disturbance.

It seems that they are attaching flags to the flagpoles which is rather late, seeing as D-Day was on Sunday. They have already fixed the flag of the USA and are in the process of attaching the French flag. And that’s a strange decision too. I would have expected them to have fixed the French flag first.

And whose flag will be on the third flagpole?

fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier in my walk around we’d seen all of the boats heading back towards the harbour. But one or two of them are well ahead of the game and have already arrived.

This trawler here just off the south side of the headland near the harbour entrance looks as if it will be first into the inner harbour, although it’s going to have a long wait, for while there’s some water by the Fish Processing Plant there still isn’t enough water in the outer harbour for them to open the gates to the inner harbour.

There seemed to be no-one fishing in the Baie de Mont St Michel this afternoon so I cleared off along the headland on the path as far down as the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

trawler hera yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the chantier navale today there has been yet more movement of boats.

The trawler Hera is still in dock, up on her blocks, but the wooden hulk that we saw over the last few days has now gone. Instead there’s another yacht, called Rebelle down there on the portable boat lift and it isn’t clear to me as to whether she’s coming or going. I don’t like to speculate these days , having had a couple of spectacular failures just now.

Instead I pushed on home for my coffee and some of Liz’s ginger cake. And when I awoke at 18:00 the coffee was by my side, stone cold.

During that 90 minutes during which I was stark out, I’d been a-travelling. I was round at a girl’s house – I can’t remember whose house but it was a girl from school. She was asking me how I was and where I’d been so I replied but I also noticed some vegan cooking on the oven. Then I noticed that she had my notebook open. I said that I was grateful for all of the help and the hospitality that I had received, and I added “and the vegan meals”. She laughed and explained that she wanted to see what I needed and how she could help. She asked if I’d picked up any ordnance while I’d been out. “Not even from Verdun” I added. I didn’t want to tell her about the ordnance ie the automatic pistol loaded and in working order that I’d found elsewhere.

Guitar practice was depressing as you might expect with me being half-asleep tonight. Another dismal failure because I just can’t keep awake these days. But I remained awake enough to make tea – one of the last of the curries that were in the freezer followed by the last of the apple crumble and custard.

Having written up my notes, I’m off to bed. And I can’t say that I’m sorry about it. I’m totally exhausted and I’m not going to be any better. A good sleep would do me good so that I can be in good form for my Welsh exam.

Thursday 3rd June 2021 – SOMETHING THAT HAS …

… figured quite often in these pages has been the subject of fishing. And seeing as I live in one of Normandy’s most important fishing ports, that’s hardly a surprise.

men fishing from boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not just talking about commercial fishing, I’m also talking about fishing with rod and line, whether it’s from the rocks down below the Pointe du Roc or from an open boat anchored just offshore.

And so today we have a pile of fishing boats anchored offshore with people on board casting their lines into the sea. More in hope than expectation, I have to say because as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we have yet to see anyone actually pull a fish from the water using rod and line, despite over four years of trying.

One of these days we’ll be lucky, and we will see someone pull something from the sea that isn’t an old boot or a bicycle wheel, but I’m not holding my breath.

You’ve all probably been holding your breath wondering how I coped with the alarm going off again at 06:00 after all of my vicissitudes yesterday.

The answer is that I leapt from my bed with alacrity at the sound of the first alarm, and then went for my medication. And as I explained earlier, that’s no light task because these days there’s so much of it.

And then, after the medication, I made some bread dough. Just because I’m ill doesn’t mean that I don’t have to eat. One lot of normal dough for the bread for my butties and another lot for my fruit bread with everything in it. Including yeast, unfortunately, because I think that my sourdough has died due to my rather long stay in Leuven.

Today’s task was to finish off the three radio programmes that I was half-way through. That meant

  • editing the third lot of recorded speech
  • cutting it into fragments representing each pair of tracks
  • joining up the pairs of tracks with the speech to make a radio programme of sorts
  • working out how much time is left to make up an hour
  • knocking off 45 seconds for some speech to introduce the track
  • choosing an appropriate track that fits the length
  • adjusting the sound balance and volume

When that’s done the next steps were

  • writing 45 or so seconds of text to introduce the final track of each of the three programmes (one line of text on my text editor is equal to about 17 seconds of speech)
  • recording same
  • editing same
  • adding each bit of text onto the end of the last bit of text already on each programme
  • adding the final tracks
  • editing it all down to fit the hour time slot.
  • Saving each one

As you can see, I had my work cut out, but I actually finished it all by lunchtime.

And that includes taking a lot of time out to organise the baking.

By about 10:00 the bread dough had had enough time to rise up so I gave them their second kneading , shaped them and put them in their moulds. And while I was at it I made some apple crumble for the rest of the week’s puddings. And how I wish that I had a bigger oven because I had to mess about with a collection of various containers in order to make everything fit in.

Round about 11:00 I switched on the oven and when it was stinking hot I put in the food.

home baked bread home baked fruit bread apple crumble place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here are the finished objects, all nicely cooked and ready to be eaten.

At lunchtime I tried a few slices of the ordinary bread. And it was lovely, soft and delicious with the last of the spicy hummus from Leuven. And that reminds me – the last of the spicy hummus. That means that my task for tomorrow morning will be to make another big load of hummus. It’s been a while since I’ve done that. I might even make another load of ginger beer too.

This afternoon I came in here to make a start on transcribing the dictaphone notes – something that I’ve let go for the last couple of weeks. But as you might expect, no matter how perky and chipper I was feeling this morning (which really surprised me) I promptly crashed out. And I didn’t awaken until 15:50.

Whatever happened to these 10-minute power naps that I used to take?

lorry taking away container place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so eventually I staggered outside, just in time to see some activity in this little builder’s compound just outside my front door.

The other day we saw them taking digger-loads of stone and gravel out of one of the containers that was dumped here, and it seems that now they have finished with it because the skip hire lorry came round to load up the skip and take it away to wherever skips go to when they are no longer required.

It’s this kind of thing that makes me wonder if the activity that we have seen around the Rue St Michel in the old walled city is finally drawing to a close. After all, they’ve been at it long enough.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the things that I usually do these days is to keep an eye on the beach to see what is happening there.

So off I trotted down to the end of the car park to look over the wall. And while there wasn’t all that much beach to be on at the Rue du Nord due to the tide coming right in right now, some people had managed to find a cosy and comfy little spec down there.

The weather wasn’t actually the right kind of weather for me to be down there sunning myself. The hot windless weather that we had the other day seems to be a thing of the past. It was quite cool out there and there was quite a wind today.

Wouldn’t it be nice if summer were to come back?

man fishing from boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust now I talked about men out there fishing from their open boats anchored just offshore.

Here’s a prime example – a solitary man in a little cabin cruiser thing casting his line into the water in the hope of catching something interesting, and presumably edible, from the sea.

Where he’s fishing is just off one of the rocks at the foot of the cliff here on the North side of the headland, so I hope that he has a good anchor or mooring post because he’s in danger of being blown by the wind and driven by the tides right onto that rock just there. And that will give him a rather nasty awakening.

labyrinth pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the things that I read about in the local paper this morning was that someone had gone berserk with a lawnmower on the lawn up by the lighthouse. And so obviously I was eager to find out what was going on.

The local council is not mowing the lawn up here, except on the approved paths. The idea is to give something of a more natural habit to encourage wildlife like butterflies and bees and other sorts of things, an idea with which I concur wholeheartedly.

But someone has come by with a lawnmower – whether they had permission or not was not made clear – to create some kind of artistic labyrinth in the grass.

It beats me why they would want to do that because it totally defeats the purpose of the natural habitat. Animals normally running around beneath the level of the top of the grass would now be exposed as they moved from one patch to another, and we’ve already seen on several occasion the birds of prey that loiter around here.

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen enough of small boats out at sea fishing with rod and line in the hope of catching something decent for tea, so it’s high time that we turned our attention to some of the larger stuff.

This trawler was plying its trade out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel and I had noticed it in the distance. And as I came down the path and crossed the car park I noticed that by now it was heading for home, presumably with her work finished for the day.

One would think that she was carrying a good catch home with her this afternoon because she has a couple of seagulls hovering around her. The fishermen will already be busy gutting the fish and throwing the entrails overboard I suppose, and that will attract the birds. Regular readers of this rubbish witnessed this when we were in Greenland a while back

There are rules and regulations about throwing stuff overboard from ships but food products are not included in the ban, because of course that provides food for other marine species.

wild flowers pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow isn’t this beautiful?

Just now I talked about the local council stopping mowing the grass around the Pointe du Roc in order to encourage the local wildlife. It seems that it’s not just fauna but flora too and we now have a beautiful patch of wild flowers springing up at the side of the path around the headland.

This is the kind of thing that will encourage the birds and the bees to come and loiter around here. It certainly cheered me up. With a spring in my step, I pushed on along the path to the viewpoint overlooking the port.

trawler hera chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce more, there have been dramatic changes in the chantier navale since the last time that we came this way

Where there were four boats before, now there are two. The customs launch and the fishing boat have now gone back into the water. All that we are left with (for the moment at least) are the trawler Hera and that strange wooden craft that looks as if it’s seen better days.

There wasn’t much else going on anywhere around the port so I headed for home. This afternoon I fancied a nice hot coffee rather than a cold drink. It was that kind of weather and in any case, I needed waking up again.

Now was the time to attack the dictaphone. I started by seeing where I’d been to last night and, more importantly, who had come with me. In fact I had a visit from Heidingauq last night – her first so welcome to my nightmare. And she can come and visit me any time she likes. I started off living in a new house that was very similar to Winsford except that the stairs were different. I met this guy who lived in the neighbourhood and we’d been chatting and I invited him into the house for something but I can’t remember what it was. He came in with his wife and then they left. I noticed that they had left the door open so I went down to see. There was something going on outside so I went to look. It was a football match between a girls’ team from the area and another team. The girls were well-beaten, 3-9 or something like that but they had sent a note to say that they would like to play this team again. It was all a really big friendly atmosphere. They had put lights on and there was some guy doing the lights. Who should be there but Heidinguaq so we had a little chat. We started to talk about music and I suddenly had a brainwave. I dashed into the house and got my acoustic bass and my acoustic guitar. I came out and gave the guitar to Heidinguaq. She said “ohh shall we do a song? We’re going to do a song for you”. Then she found out that the guitars were out of tune so she had to retune them. This was what we were doing and the guy doing the lights had to go along to put a new light bulb in, to fetch one from my house. he asked “is that your dad?”. I laughed and said “no, that’s not my dad, that’s my house. I live there. I own it”. She said “my dad had a name for people like that” but she couldn’t remember what it was. She added “my dad says whatever you do, do it well, but do it with your honour” and I was trying to find out what the hidden meaning in that was when I sat bolt upright wide awake. It was rather a feverish awakening as well.
I stepped back into this dream as well later on (something I haven’t done for a while). Later on there was a knock on the door. It was Heidinguaq. She wanted something so I gave it to her and she wandered off again. A while later she knocked on the door and I opened it. She came in this time. We chatted and in the end she was helping me do the dishes which I thought was very nice of her. She asked about frogs legs. I said “never mind that. I’ll get a bottle of champagne. I produced this bottle of champagne out of my stock.

And I’ll tell you something for nothing, and that is that I do have a bottle of champagne in stock ready for if ever she, or TOTGA, or Castor does come round to my house.

Having dealt with today, I turned my attention to the backlog. And before guitar practice there was time to bring up to date THE FIRST OF THE ENTRIES FROM MY TRIP TO LEUVEN.

The guitar practice didn’t go how it was supposed to because I seem to have lost the knack and I can’t sing any more. I would have thought that with these stitches still in I would have had no problem reaching the high notes but apparently it’s not the case. And my co-ordination has gone too. I despair.

Tea was taco rolls with the leftover stuffing from the other day, followed by a delicious home-made apple crumble with delicious home-made custard. Whatever else that might not be going right, at least I’m eating well. Good food too.

But now it’s bed time, later than I was hoping but it can’t be helped. But fancy one of my Inuit friends from the far north of Greenland putting in an appearance. Things really are looking up. Maybe this is the sign of something good about to happen. We can always live in hope.

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.