Category Archives: physiotherapist

Thursday 16th June 2022 – GONE!

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And never called me “Mother”!

Yes, when I went for a wander out on my way to the physiotherapist’s this afternoon, I noticed that Victor Hugo, the Channel Island ferry, is no longer in port.

In actual fact, I saw a photo of her in the harbour of St Helier to where she set off this morning with a ferry-load of passengers, and I was unlucky enough to have missed her

But it just goes to show that she is actually out there working, despite what her prolonged sojourns in the harbour here might suggest.

While we’re on the subject of prolonged sojourns … “well, one of us us” – ed … I could have done with a prolonged sojourn today because while today was an improvement on what was going on last week, it wasn’t as good as the last day or so. It’s a case of one step forward, two steps back unfortunately.

The night was what would be called a very mobile night with a lot going on and I must have travelled miles. And at one point I fell asleep in mid-dictate and there’s a sound file of one hour and 41 minutes, most of which is of me snoring.

And my heart-felt apologies to Percy Penguin (who doesn’t feature in these pages half as often as she deserves) who used to complain that I snored in bed and I always denied it. Well, the evidence is there for everyone to hear.

By 06:45 I was wide awake again and leaving the bed at 07:30 was fairly easy for a change. After the medication and checking my e-mails I sat down and transcribed the dictaphone notes.

All of them.

I started off last night in the Canadian High Arctic working as a radio presenter for some outpost out there in the High Arctic but that’s all that I remember. I can’t remember any details at all about what was happening while I was out there doing it

I was back in this dream about this little girl again. They were doing up her house ready to exhibit it as a museum. They had loads of photos that they were exhibiting, they were doing quizzes about her life etc. I can’t think of her name but it was in the USA cotton belt in the 1920s and 30s, a small child. She was very well-known and very wealthy, from that kind of background, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. We were going through some paperwork and finding when we got these kids helping us to sort it out. Everyone wanted to be her and be like her even though the period was very depressing and they were living in some very depressing circumstances. All of their family stuff we were finding in this house we were going to exhibit as a museum to her and probably to Disney too. It was taking up a lot of our time and progressing quite slowly. We even found stuff of when she had to capture her cat so that they could take her cat with them on holiday. There were newspaper articles about the cat from Minnesota that was visiting everywhere right now that were going in this girl’s dream, highlights and that sort of thing.

We were back on an island where there was some kind of celebrity living here so we decided that we’d tidy up the island and make it look nice, collect all the rubbish in then go through and find out what she wanted to keep then we could either throw away the rest or sell it. Selling it would bring in some money to the commune because it isn’t really making very much at all. Lots of important things are being missed off due to lack of money. This conversation went on for quite some considerable time with this discussion about all of this tidying up of the island somewhere in the northern hemisphere in the artic before someone pointed out that it is in fact a German citizen, she’ll be real fell asleep here

And when I awoke again I don’t know if I mentioned this actress who lived on this island who was the Queen Bee etc, rules didn’t apply to her. She had a kind-of Jeep and one day she was going somewhere and she cut the corner of the traffic at a road junction and something coming the other way hit her. Although she wasn’t particularly damaged it caused a lot of damage to her car and to the other car and blocked the road for quite some time. Everyone was going around saying how it served her right that it should happen to her, that she received something that she deserved at last and it might teach her to behave with a little more humility even though she’s someone rich and famous

Later on I was in Crewe. I’d been away somewhere and had come back. I had to go into work next morning so I set my alarm. Before I went to bed I’d spoken to Percy Penguin on the phone. For some unknown reason my alarm hadn’t gone off and it was past 09:00 when I awoke and I had to be in work by 10:00 at the latest. I had to run around to wash and change then nip to the grocer’s for some food as I didn’t have any. It was 10:30 before I was ready. I had to walk to work and it was cold and snowing and a long weary trudge through the streets of Crewe, some streets that I didn’t recognise. I couldn’t remember where the office was and I kept on taking wrong turnings. I thought “how on earth am I going to face everyone that I’m turning up for work at this time of day when the working day starts so much earlier than this?”. I was annoyed with Percy Penguin for not having rung me to remind me. I was annoyed with quite a few people who knew that I was back. They could have placed a towel or something under the door and made sure that I was ready for work that next morning. Instead no-one had done that and I was hours late wandering around the streets in a panic.

Then we were all in a car. We’d gone off somewhere and were driving around these streets, a big group of us. The idea was that we had gone to look for some pea soup. We reached a place where we stopped and a few people alighted. Gradually more and more people alighted just leaving me and a girl. We were having a really good chat about something or other and it was quite entertaining. It’s not like me at all to have such a good chat with someone. In fact I ended up being more interested chatting with this girl than in the pea soup. She told me all about pea soup, telling me that the most exciting thing about pea soup was how they got it in. Everyone came back into the car and moved it onto the pavement to park it out of everyone’s way then they all alighted to wander off to find some stuff. This girl and I were still in there chatting. I thought to myself that I’d never had a chat quite like this with a girl before, let alone an interesting chat. It was quite obvious that she was really interested in chatting with me. That’s something I’m not used to at all, people chatting to me in this kind of extremely friendly fashion. I thought that I might be onto something here.

That bit about working on the radio in the Canadian High Arctic was interesting though. A week or so ago CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) was advertising a vacancy for a radio presenter in their outstation at Rankin Inlet in Nunavut in the Canadian High Arctic.

As you might expect I applied for the job and when I checked my e-mails this morning I had a mail from them saying that as the work is in Inuktitut (which I can’t speak very well and which the advert didn’t mention) I couldn’t be considered.

But they have plenty of other vacancies in the High Arctic where English and French are spoken and would I like to send them my CV? I’ll get to the High Arctic yet!

The rest of the day has been spent revising my Welsh, with a couple of moments of falling asleep. Once for about 15 minutes in the morning and also about 25 minutes in the afternoon.

Mind you, I wasn’t able to concentrate very much. I might not be falling asleep as much as I was last week but I’m still pretty much wiped out.

Before lunch I had a good shower and then after lunch I carried on with the revision until it was time for me to go out.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And as usual, the first place where I went was to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to make sure that the NIKON 1 J5 was still working.

And the port was quite deserted today. The tide was well out as I was going past and by the looks of things it had taken all of the boats with it.

There was no-one playing Musical Ships today. No Gerlean and no L’Omerta either. They must both be out there somewhere in the bay working today.

But there are plenty of vans and lorries at the Fish Processing Plant today. It looks as if they are expecting a busy day today.

No-one over at the ferry terminal either. They must all be having a busy day running out to the Ile de Chausey today

emptying burnt out houses rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On the way down the hill I noticed that there was some activity going on at the burnt-out houses.

By the looks of things they are emptying the houses of furniture and possessions and the like, tipping the stuff into the skip. They may well be starting pretty soon on rebuilding the houses.

And that’s not going to be the work of five minutes either.

Down in the town I stopped at the Post Office to post a letter and then carried on to the physiotherapist. It was more difficult than the walk on Monday and I had to stop a few times for breath.

The exercises were a little easier though although I’m totally dismayed about my loss of balance. Just a few years ago I was running up and down along beams on the roof and along the floor of my house. I can’t even stand on one leg these days.

After 10 minutes on the exercise bike (that wasn’t easy in this heat) to finish off she threw me out and I staggered down the hill into town.

The climb back up the hill towards home was much more difficult than it was the last time that I did it too. I seem to be having a relapse.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went back in I walked over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

Plenty of beach and plenty of people on it too. Not that I’m surprised because it really was a gorgeous day today.

Back here I made myself a smoothie and tried to concentrate on my Welsh revision but it really was hard to do so, tired as I was. and I drifted away for my second bout of sleep s well at one point.

No tea tonight. There was the last of the revision sessions, three hours from 19:00 to 22:00. I grabbed a packet of crackers and during the pause I had a bowl of porridge.

But at least I seem to have got the hang of these discussion points and was able to have a few good conversations about some of them. These gap-filling questions are another thing entirely and if I’m going to fall down anywhere, that will be where it is.

Having written my notes I’m off to bed. Revision in the morning and my exam is at 15:00. And then the next part of the adventure depends on how I feel.

Whatever I do, I must remember to set an alarm for my exam. I don’t want to miss it after all of this effort.

Monday 13th June 2022 – NOW HERE’S A THING!

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While you admire a couple of photos of various sea-going craft, including what looks like Marité out there in the bay, I’ll tell you about my rather surprising day.

In fact, I seemed to be rather better today. The walk up to the physiotherapist and back again wasn’t quite as bad as it has been of late, and I only crashed out for about 15 minutes today, and that’s rather surprising considering the way that things have been.

Especially when I was up and out of bed this morning at 06:00 ready to work on my radio programme.

Once again today I wasn’t particularly rushed to complete it and it was about 11:30 when I finally finished it. And that was despite stopping for a coffee and also for breakfast sometime later

trawlers yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Although it’s not one of the better programmes from a music point of view, it’s a good one from a technical point of view with some of the nicest joins that I’ve made for a while.

What slowed me down somewhat as well was that for part of the time I was having a chat with Alison on the internet. She had a few exciting pieces of news to impart.

When I’d finished preparing the radio programme i had a listen to one that I’d made several weeks ago that will be broadcast this coming weekend, to make sure that it’s all correct

And while I was listening to it, I was tidying up and sorting out a few files on the computer freeing up a little more space.

There was time for me to have a shower before going to lunnch, to make sure that I was nice and clean and presentable ready to go to the physiotherapist’s.

After lunch I had a listen to the programme that I’d prepared this morning while I was still doing some housekeeping on the computer, and then it was time for me to go out for my appointment.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As usual, the first thing that I needed to do was to go to make sure that the NIKON 1 J5 was working properly.

That means going to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour to see what was happening there and take a photograph of it.

As it happens, there was nothing to see today. The tide is quite far out and there is no-one playing “Musical Ships” this afternoon.

But the tractor and trailer are down there on the lower level waiting for the boats to come in later on this afternoon. They will take away the boxes of shellfish although to where I don’t know. I’m not quick enough on my pins these days to break into a run to follow it.

yacht pescadore wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Meanwhile I’d heard a racket coming from over in the chantier naval.

It looks as if the portable boat lift has just a yacht out of the harbour earlier today and is presumably waiting for the tide to come in so that they can lower it back in.

And apart from that, there’s no other change in the occupants of the chantier naval. We still have Pescadore and Wavecat Express in there today along with the cabin cruiser and the catamaran that have been in there for a while now.

So with nothing else going on I wandered off down the hill towards the town.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A little further on I came to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour where I stopped to see what was happening there.

Marité, the large sailing boat, wasn’t there. We saw her in an earlier photo out there in the Baie de Granville, but there was a pile of freight waiting on the quayside.

That means that we will be going to be having a visit from one of the little Jersey freighters some time soon.

And it might even be Normandy Trader because I saw a photo this morning to suggest that her overhaul is complete and she’s gone back into the water ready to carry on where she left off.

cherry picker Rue de l'Abreuvoir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There weren’t too many people in the town today – there never are on a Monday as many places are closed.

But what there was was a cherry picker in one of the side streets with a guy in the nacelle doing some maintenance work on one of the buildings.

He had the street coned off to traffic and as I watched, a motorist reversed out of a parking place, flattened a couple of the cones and then drove away. It’s not just pathetic parking that’s an issue around here.

And gritting my teeth, I prepared myself for the long, weary climb up the hill towards the physiotherapist’s.

furniture lift rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And here’s something that I’ve not seen before in France.

We’ve seen plenty of them in Belgium though, haven’t we? A furniture lift being used to help someone move from one of the apartments in the Rue Couraye.

One thing that I have noticed is that many of the stairs in the buildings here are steep and narrow and I must admit that I wouldn’t feel safe, even if I was feeling fit and healthy, carrying heavy loads down the kind of stairs that you find in some of the buildings here.

At the physiotherapist’s she had me doing a few exercises and then 10 minutes on the exercise bike. And things seemed to be a little easier today.

When the session was finished I staggered out into the daylight and down the hill towards the town centre, and then back up to the other side of the hill towards my building.

gerlean rocalamauve l'omerta la grande ancre le styx port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now all of the boats are coming into the port one by one to unload their catch.

We can identify several of them – Gerlean, Rocalamauve, L’Omerta, La Grande Ancre and Le Styx are the ones that we can recognise at a glance.

Round about here I bumped into one of my neighbours. She’s the nurse and home help who lives on the floor above and, biting the bullet, I told her that I’m intending to engage her services when I come back from my travels.

Cleaning my apartment is now quite beyond my capabilities and if I don’t do something about it soon, it’ll be too late and I’ll end up living in some kind of squalid circumstances and I need to avoid that at all costs.

car driving the wrong way place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Now here’s something else worthy of note.

Just now I mentioned a motorist squidging a couple of cones down in the Rue Paul Poirier. But up here outside my apartment we have something even more interesting.

You can see quite clearly the “no entry” sign by the gate. This street here is a one-way street but this motorist doesn’t seem to care less about any of that. He’s pushing on regardless.

There’s definitely something wrong with a lot of people when they don’t care less about the rules of the road.

It’s not just cars coming the other way but there are loads of pedestrians around here who are used to cars only coming one way with the flow of traffic and won’t be looking out for vehicles coming in the opposite direction.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went in I went across the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what was happening there.

There weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. Only a couple of people. There wasn’t anyone else taking advantage of such a nice day which was a surprise.

On the way back here there was another neighbour loitering around so I had a chat with her as well. She’s not doing very well at the moment either. It seems to be quite an epidemic of illness in the building.

Back here I made a strawberry smoothie and came in here to transcribe the dictaphone notes.

I was working behind the bar in this night club. Someone came in asking for a packet of cigarettes. They gave me the little square card with the barcode on and I had to go to the machine. It was hung from the ceiling so I had to climb up onto a couple of tables and 1 or 2 other things and then I’d be lucky if I could reach it. At one of the tables was a girl called Alison whom I knew from school whose surname ought to have been “Raleigh”. She was there with a guy so I was talking to her. The guy was looking at me rather strangely so I said that we knew each other from school and didn’t say too much. She made a few remarks about one or two people whom we knew and she knew in particular. Then I had to reach for this cigarette machine but I couldn’t reach it. It was one of those things that you were only ever going to have one go at reaching because if you overbalance you’ll fall. If you fell you’d need to grab hold of the cigarette machine to stop you falling into a void. I was there tottering away on the edge of this table thinking that I’m never going to reach this machine and get this pack of cigarettes. I had absolutely no confidence that I was ever going to do so. It seemed a strange place for this machine anyway. Everyone was urging me on to go and get this packet of cigarettes but I just couldn’t see how I was going to do it without it all ending in tears. It was all extremely confusing and extremely bad for the morale this kind of dream where I couldn’t even think about getting this pack of cigarettes. All I could think about was stopping myself from falling into the void.

Then there were a few of us walking through this shipyard when all of a sudden we were pounced upon by a group of people. They started to attack and torture us, asking us questions about the ships that we’d seen being built. Wr hadn’t taken very much notice so we weren’t able to say very much. They started to become even more aggressive and the attackes became even more painful as they tried to make us tell them things but we couldn’t really tell them anything because we hadn’t noticed anything while we were walking through the shipyard

I had a cheque for £347 that I had to take to the bank. I handed it over the counter to the cashier but she credited it straight away into my bank account without asking me what I wanted to do with it. A little later in the day I’d run out of money. I realised that I’d only wanted to pay £200 into the account and I wanted the rest as cash so I had to go back to the bank and argue about that they had done with this cheque. Eventually I managed to find the woman whom I’d seen earlier (at least I thought that it was her) and discuss the situation with her before she would then return some of the money that was paid into my account from this cheque

It was while I was finishing it off that I fell asleep but surprisingly it was only for a few minutes.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with rice and veg and now that I’ve typed my notes I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form.

And who knows? I might have a better day tomorrow too but one swallow doesn’t make a summer, does it?

Thursday 9th June 2022 – I WAS DOING …

… really well today. I went all the way through to the late afternoon without crashing out and I even managed to accomplish a great deal of work which was quite a surprise.

And when you see how far I travelled during the night, it’s a surprise that I wasn’t dead on my feet a long time before I did.

Once again I was awake before the alarm went off – at about 06:30 in fact – and there was no difficulty at all in leaving the bed as soon as the alarm sounded.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. We started off with something to do with Christmas time. There were Christmas carols. Some young girl had to sing them but someone was busy trying to make her intoxicated and she was far too young for that so that they could take advantage of her. Her mother found out about what was going on and stepped in to put a stop to the situation developing out of hand. There was part of it with someone having an on-line chat. She was having all of these people queueing up to have on-line chats with her as soon as she came on-line. There were so many that she couldn’t carry on a conversation with any of them and was being swamped. If it had been a case of 2 or 3 conversations it wouldn’t have been too bad but this was dozens of people calling her for conversations as soon as she came on line and she wasn’t able to cope with any of this at all. That was a dream that was again extremely vivid and extremely real, far too real to be comfortable.

Then I had to go to the Wistaston Green estate to pick up Andrew Beddow to take him to one of the clubs in Crewe. The taxi fare came to £1:40 but he gave me a 20-guinea piece to hold onto as a sign of good faith while I waited while he went off to change a £20 note so that he’d have the correct change to give me. We were talking about taxis and money and the clubs etc. It was quite an interesting chat.

There was some kind of quiz game on TV. One of the contestants was having a right mauling and the producer went over to the presenter to ask him to go easy with the contestant because she was someone from his old school. He wanted her to have an easy ride about it. The presenter wasn’t having any of this and if anything, started to make the questions even tougher for this particular girl. That’s all that I remember of this which is a shame.

There was a swimming pool where a lot of young girls used to go. The owners had it in their heads that they wanted to set up cameras and film everyone from a safety point of view and tuition point of view. None of the customers or regulars were having it. They believed that this was being done for some kind of mischievous purpose. Everyone just upped and walked out. Even the boss of this company quit as well right in the middle of him having some kind of beauty appointment with Frank Sinatra when he handed in his notice and left.

Nerina and I had both been at work as well and we’d come home to our flat as usual. We had to go out again so we made ready. She was going out of the door and I had to check to make sure that I had my keys and money etc. There was a note on our door so she picked it up and read it. She asked me if I’d go down and put the money in an envelope that someone would give her and then inside an envelope that someone else would give her and take it to the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival so that they’d be up-to-date and if I could spend any time to work down there that would be great. I said that I’d see what I could do about that. Then we prepared to go out. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember any more now. What confused me about this was that I found myself dictating this into my hand as well and I had to go back and start again from the beginning using the dictaphone this time. That’s how come I forgot a lot og it

And then I had to go to Nantes or Rennes and I was in the red Cortina estate. I drove all the way down there and found what I had to do. I had to come back in 2 days time. I had all my dirty clothes and a big plastic sack and I wandered around looking for a tap. Eventually I found one in a park and filled the plastic sack of clothes full of water. I was going to leave it down there for a couple of days all to soak and I could pick it up when I returned in 2 days time for the next meeting or whatever it was. While I was wrestling with this bag a woman, her husband and three little girls came down the steps. Of course I was in their way with this bag so I had to move it out of the way. I didn’t realise how heavy it was now and it was quite a wrestle for me to move it out of the path so that they could all go past and go on into this park.

Meanwhile I went all the way down to the end of the yard in these 2 old Commer vans so that I could dismantle all of the plumbing fittings that were around here. And I have a feeling that I’ve missed off a lot of this one as well.

After the events of recent times, I’m surprised that I wasn’t stark out at some early point in the morning after all of that.

There was an interruption at 10:00 for breakfast with my delicious fruit buns and to answer the telephone when Ingrid rang me. We chatted for quite a long time as we had plenty to say to each other. It’s been quite a while since we last spoke.

Having finished the dictaphone notes I had a form to fill in.

Every couple of years I have to complete a certificate to say that I’m still alive so that I can continue to receive my pension. The doctor countersigned it last time that I was there but I’d forgotten to send it off. Now they were telling me that they are planning to stop paying me unless I send it back quite soon.

It did rather remind me of the story that I’d heard about the guy who had been left a large sum of money in a will “if he could prove that he was still alive”. He had to find a Justice of the Peace to swear an oath.
The JP asked him “Are you …. (Mr X)?”
“Yes I am”
“Are you still alive?”

That left me with enough time for a shower and a good clean-up before lunch.

After lunch I had several e-mails to write. As I’ve mentioned before, this Sports Therapist wants to give me a few sessions of therapy and he wants to give a prescription to the physiotherapist about some special exercises.

Before he can do so, he needs a resumé of my health condition, presumably to make sure that nothing that he’s prescribing will compromise my hospital treatment or create a bad effect on my health.

Another thing is to tell them about how I’m feeling about my health in general, that seems to be deteriorating quite rapidly now. And so I composed an e-mail to each of the services that is treating me to make them aware of the situation and to ask them for the resumé.

gerlean port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my trip to the physiotherapist.

And as usual, I went to the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was happening this afternoon down in the harbour.

And our game of Musical Ships has taken another turn this afternoon. L’Omerta is no longer there this afternoon but in her place Gerlean is back again.

At the moment then there are only these two boats playing “Musical Ships” and I wonder how long they’ll be able to keep it up, or whether we’ll have some more players in due course.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was here I had a good look out in the baie de Mont St Michel.

There was plenty of activity going on there this afternoon too. After the storms of yesterday that kept everyone indoors a few of the sailing schools were out there today.

There were two sailing schools out there just outside the harbour with a couple of zodiacs shepherding them around.

And there was a third one out there deeper in the bay too as I discovered later as I was walking down the hill towards town. The students were certainly having their money’s worth this afternoon.

While I was here I had quite a shock as well. A girl who was the spitting image of Castor went walking past. I did a double-take and I still wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t she and it was quite unnerving.

Something similar happened to me in Brussels a few years ago now. It’s been years since I’ve seen Zero in the flesh and I’ve often imagined how she might have looked as she’s grown older.

And then in Brussels, of all places, into a café where I was drinking walked a girl who was exactly how I had imagined Zero to be by then. I was so surprised that I dropped my coffee.

painting zebra crossing Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here – there was work going on in the street this afternoon.

The pedestrian crossing here has faded quite considerably and this afternoon they are repainting it.

And that reminds me of the time that a pedestrian was trying desperately to cross a busy street and a passer-by yelled at him “there’s a zebra crossing just a little further down the street”
“Well, I hope that it’s having better luck than I am” retorted the pedestrian.

So hotfoot in desperate pursuit of the Castor lookalike and failing miserably, I headed off down the hill into town and the Post Office where I posted my letter about my pension and then wandered off to the physiotherapist.

Somehow today, although the climb up the hill was agony again, the physiotherapy session wasn’t quite as painful today. Even so, I staggered out of there at the end of the session looking like “The Death of Nelson”.

Even walking down the hill was painful, and the least said about the climb back up towards home the better.

victor hugo chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Once again, I had to make several pauses on the way back up there to catch my breath.

One of them was at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. Marité was there with members of her crew clambering all over her, but I was more interested in Victor Hugo and Chausiaise

We still haven’t seen Victor Hugo in action so far despite the service to the Channel Islands being up and running for over a month. We’ve noticed her absence on a couple of occasions and I’ve seen photos of her out around the Channel Islands when other ships have encountered her, but that’s all there is so far.

And Chausiaise seems to be leading something of a nomadic life in the harbour, moving around from berth to berth.

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Having recovered my breath I pushed on up to the top of the hill and home.

Before going inside though, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to have a look at what was going on out at sea this afternoon.

It’s not easy taking photos out there today as I only had the NIKON 1 J5 and the standard lens with me. I could pick up this speedboat that was out in the bay but that was the best that I could do.

Whether there was anything else out there I really couldn’t say. The focal length of the lens isn’t all that long and in any case the weather conditions weren’t as good as they have been just recently.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And of course while I was here I had to go and look at what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

Sticking my head over the wall and having a look I could see that there were plenty of people down there on the beach this afternoon and several of them had actually taken to the water.

There was a little wind about, although nothing like as much as yesterday, and it was nice and warm. In fact, I’d come all the way back from the physiotherapist’s in my shirt sleeves.

It was that kind of day today. I actually saw a lizard today – a sure sign that sumer is acumen in.

bus with passengers place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was a crowds of people loitering around in the vicinity and as I watched, a coach pulled up and they all scrambled aboard.

Where the coach is parked is where they put that new kerb in the other day, and the fact that the coach is there explains in part why they installed that kerb.

As of 1st July they are reorganising the town’s bus service. There’s a new line being added and there are a few more changes, one of which is rerouting the bus that comes up here. Instead of going down the Boulevard Vaufleury where no-one lives, it will now coming through the square where everyone including me lives, and the bus stop will be where they installed that kerb.

That couldn’t be much better for me, could it?

Back here I had a strawberry smoothie and then I crashed out. I knew that I couldn’t keep going for ever. I’m surprised that I kept going as long as I did after the night that I had. I was out of it all for about 90 minutes and felt like death.

There was plenty still to do but I’ll have to do that tomorrow for I’m not in any fit state to do it now.

Tea was steamed veg with vegan cheese sauce and falafel, and that was just as delicious as usual.

So having written my notes I’m off to bed. I’m totally exhausted and I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep where I can recharge my battery and have a better day tomorrow. I have that meeting tomorrow at 10:00 about the radio and we’ll see what happens there.

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.

Wednesday 1st June 2022 – MY VISIT TO THE …

… sports doctor person was interesting today.

He had a look at my knee with his ultrasound scan thing and then put his thumb right on a certain spot that as soon as he touched it, it hurt like hell. Right on it with no messing around at all.

And then he gave me this injection right in the spot. And that hurt like hell too because the needle wasn’t long enough and he had to press really hard on my leg to make the needle go in deep enough.

He wants me to send him an e-mail to tell him whether there’s an improvement. And I do have to say that there does actually seem to be an improvement already, but how much of this is due to the placebo effect is anyone’s business.

He’ll write out a prescription for me to give to the physiotherapist to recommend some exercises that will build up my knee, and apparently I’m entitled to one session per week of sports training with him. Would I be interested?

He wants to see a resumé of my medical condition from the hospital at Leuven before he can work out a training programme for me. I’ll have to sort something out.

Anyway, once again I fell out of bed when the alarm went off at 07:30. I’m still not exactly bouncing with health these days and I wish that I could do better than this. But after how I was three or four weeks ago then anything is an improvement than that.

After the medication and doing some paperwork I went and had a shower, and I noticed that my weight is slowly – very slowly – going down. I seem to recall when I lost all that weight in 2019 was a combination of having food poisoning and being without my blood transfusion stuff for three months.

Due to problems on the road I was almost late for my appointment. Just as I was driving along the promenade a tractor pulled out of the port de plaisance towing a large boat on a trailer. And so we inched our way all down the coast at a maximum 25 kph until I could find a place to overtake.

After they threw me out at the clinic I drove back to LIDL to do some shopping. I needed some olive oil but I ended up buying everying except olive oil because they didn’t have any.

In fact I’m surprised that they had anything at all because the woman in front of me in the queue spent €256:00 on groceries. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anyone buy so much stuff in a supermarket.

It was late when I returned from the shops so it was something of a very late breakfast. And then I ended up having a session on the guitar to keep in shape.

Another thing was to have a look at a couple of songs in this playlist that I was sent but I’m not convinced by their accuracy, especially when I saw a mention of a chord of “H minor” in one of them. That’s enough to make anyone smell a rat.

After lunch, rather regrettably, I crashed out for a while. And as I said yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that as well, it’s getting on my nerves and I’m rather fed up of all of this.

hang gliding cemetery Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Later on, I just about managed to awaken myself in time to go for my afternoon walk around the headland.

Yesterday I mentioned the lack of Birdmen of Alcatraz and their Nazguls but I was going to have better luck today by the look of things.

As I watched, a Birdman rose up from the ground and began to hover over the cemetery ready to shoot off down the coast along the top of the cliffs.

And as he began to move away, another one began to unfurl his equipment ready to take to the air. It’s going to be busy out there today.

man on beach reading book rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022so having dealt with that I went over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach.

With it being half-day closing at school today and a nice day I was expecting to see quite a few people out there today enjoying themselves but to my surprise there was just one person down there on the beach by the Rue du Nord.

Interestingly, he was actually sitting there reading a book, very reminiscent of that girl who was sitting on the rocks at the end of the headland the other day.

It’s actually something of which I approve wholeheartedly. In fact it’s been a long time since I sat down with a really good book.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022for the last couple of days we’ve been admiring the views out to sea.

It’s yet another day where the views were excellent. That white building at St Helier was once again quite clearly visible with the naked eye. But I was more interested today with the little islets down at the end of the Ile de Chausey.

A couple of years ago when we were on the Spirit of Conrad we were out there walking on that beach that you can see and it really is beautiful. And much of its beauty is due to the fact that it’s quite inaccessible.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was walking along the path on top of the cliffs I was overflown.

It’s our old friend the yellow autogyro. It’s been down the coast with a passenger, presumably for a lap or two around Mont St Michel and is now on its way back to the airfield.

We’ve seen it a few times just recently which is something of a surprise because we went for a couple of months through the winter without seeing it at all. It made me wonder where it had been.

And no, I haven’t forgotten …

people in zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022there weren’t all that many people on the path again so I had it pretty much to myself today

At the end of the car park there was nothing happening so I went down to the end of the headland to see what was happening. No-one sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban but if there had been, they would have seen this zodiac in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And I’ve no idea what they were doing in their zodiac. They don’t seem to be fishing and I can’t see anything else to give me a clue. They might just have gone out for a roar around the bay with the afternoon tide.

cabin cruiser chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022From there I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the port.

And we can all see why work had ground to a halt on L’Ecume II yesterday after the speed at which they had been working. Here she is! Gone! And never called me “mother”!

She’s actually over in the inner harbour even as we speak, ready to go back to Jersey at some point in the proceedings .

All that we are left with at the moment is the impressive-looking and expensive cabin cruiser that we saw in there yesterday.

crane dismantling dredger chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Well, that isn’t exactly all.

On my way out to the sports therapist person this morning I noticed that there was a rather large mobile crane in the chantier naval. It looks as if they are now making a start on dismantling the dredger.

One of these days in the very near future a lorry will turn up and the crane will pick up the bits of dredger and drop them on the trailer.

In fact I’m surprised that she’s still there now. It’s been several weeks since she was lifted out of the water and she’s just been sitting there waiting for things to happen.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On my way back towards home, I was overflown yet again.

Actually, I had to wait for quite a while for it to arrive. I could hear its engine from a long way away and I was surprised that it took so long to reach here. It certainly made a racket when it did.

It’s another helicopter, a different one from the last one that we saw, but I do have the feeling that I’ve seen this one before at some point in the past.

And once it had gone by I could hear it rattling its way towards the airfield for quite some time as well. It was definitely one of the noisiest light aircraft that we have seen.

chausiaise scrap metal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022When I went out this morning I noticed that Thora was in port unloading.

She’s gone back out now but has left a pile of scrap metal on the quayside waiting for someone to come and collect it for taking away.

In her place is Chausiaise, the little freighter that goes out to the Ile de Chausey. I’m not sure why because there’s nothing on the quayside that needs to be loaded up onto her.

Back here I made a coffee and then came back in here to listen to the dictaphone. No nightmares involving Zero this time. Instead, I’d done something extremely silly like lending a scrapman some money and I was having a load of difficulty talking to him, never mind getting it back. We had to go back and I had to take someone with me and have one more go at speaking to him. We had to mountaineer up the side of this house to reach somewhere near where his office was. We couldn’t go in it. This was an awful climb up the bricks and the gutters etc. Finally we arrived within shouting distance of where his office was and we shouted without any hope at all. His wife heard us and said “he’ll be here in a minute” which I didn’t expect but it turned out that he was. We had a chat about the money that he owed me and I had a date by which he would pay me back etc. Of course I didn’t expect him to keep to any of this for a minute but it was even something that he had agreed to see me and talk to me about it. I didn’t think that there was any chance whatever that I’d be getting back this money at all.

Tea tonight was a curry made up out of leftover bits and pieces, and it was just as delicious as normal. And having written up my notes I’m off to bed ready for tomorrow.

But would I be interested in a once-weekly sports training session with a sports therapist? Do bears go to the toilets in the woods?

Monday 30th May 2022 – EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T …

… feel much like it, I actually made it to my feet as the alarm went off at 06:00 this morning. And to tell the truth, I could have actually made it to my feet a couple of minutes earlier because I was wide awake round about 05:55.

And after the medication I sat down to start work on the radio programme for this week only to find that I forgot to pair off the music yesterday. And so I had an extra 45 minutes work to do that I wasn’t expecting and that disrupted all of my plans.

As a result it was about 11:30 when I finally finished. That included several stops for coffee, for breakfast and so on. I wasn’t able to sit down and blast my way through it as I have done in the past. I’m struggling for motivation at the moment, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

While I was listening to the finished product I was having a play around on the guitar and when I was satisfied with the programme I went to have a shower to make myself look pretty for the physiotherapist this afternoon.

After lunch I had to download a huge file that i’ve been sent. My friend in Munich has sent me his group’s latest playlist and I have a month to learn it all. I can see that i’ll have my work cut out for this.

replacing kerbstones place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There had been a huge racket going on outside on and off all the way through the morning.

When I went outside on my way to the physiotherapist I saw that they had been digging up the grass verge just outside the building.

They are busy replacing the kerbstones along here, and I’m not quite sure why because there didn’t seem to be very much wrong with what was here before.

It’s possibly going to be something else for cyclists, but as I said the other day, Granville is all up-and-down and it’s not really the place for cyclists. But I’ll keep an eye on it over the next few days and see what develops.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, down in the port, there was nothing happening at all.

The tide was well out and there were no boats down there settling into the silt this afternoon, not even L’Omerta.

So I headed off for a very uneventful walk into town and then something of a desperate climb up the hill to the physiotherapist’s. It wasn’t a very good afternoon at all from that point of view and I have a feeling that I’m getting quite close to the end of my tether.

We had the usual 25 minutes of torture and then 10 minutes on the exercise bike, and I couldn’t manage the maximum resistance this afternoon. I was really glad when it was over today. It was the hardest that I’ve ever had and I had to go into Carrefour to buy something to drink before I could go home.

The walk back was agonising and I was thinking to myself how happy I was that I didn’t have to go to Leuven because in all honesty I probably wouldn’t make it, the way that I’m feeling right now.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Before going in for my coffee I went to look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

There were a few people down there today. Not all that many. It looks as if everyone has gone back home after the long weekend.

Back in the apartment I made my coffee and while it was percolating I came in here to sit down for five minutes. 45 minutes later I awoke to find that my coffee was cold.

It’s doing me in, all this exercise and it’s not as if I’m feeling any better because of it. 9 months of physiotherapy and there’s no improvement and I’ve not lost any weight. What on earth would I have been like had I not gone for these sessions?

With a mug of cool coffee I had a listen tot he dictaphone. I was somewhere down in South Wales. I’d heard about a place something like the Centre for Alternative Technology that had opened so I went down to find out. They weren’t very good at what they were doing and were only beginning. I ended up giving them more advice than they were giving me. They had a few problems with one of their machines. They gave me the address of a place back up North so I said that I’d call in and talk to these people about the machine that these guys had and see whether they could come up with some kind of solution because of course it was of interest to me anyway to build a network of these kinds of people. I had a good wander around their shop. It was full of all kinds of exciting bits and pieces.

And then I walked into a cafe place somewhere and ordered a glass of hot chocolate and went to sit down. I had a book with me and started to read my book. It wasn’t until about 20 minutes later that I realised that my hot chocolate hadn’t come so I had to hunt down a serving lass. That wasn’t easy. There was a group sitting by the till so I asked them. They pretended at first not to understand me so I said it again very slowly and distinctly. They replied “normally it’s for you to go and fetch your order”. I asked them why it was that no-one had said anything, that someone had just taken my order and wandered away with it.

Tea was a stuffed pepper, nice and delicious, and now I’m off to bed. I’m exhausted after all of my exertions today and an early night and good sleep will do me good. At least, I hope so. At least I can’t do any worse than I am.

Thursday 26th May 2022 – I’M QUITE SURE THAT …

… this physiotherapist is doing her best to finish me off. This afternoon our session finished with 10 minutes on the exercise bicycle and she programmed it so that the final few minutes were at the maximum resistance and I really struggled to make any headway.

The other day I mentioned something about staggering out of the building close to death and that’s just how I felt today.

But all in all I’m feeling pretty dismayed by what is going on with me right now. For the last few sessions she’s had me standing on one leg balancing with my eyes closed, something that has been a dismal failure.

And there I was in the past, scrambling over scaffolding, along beams and rafters, reroofing houses, reflooring bedrooms without any problems of balance at all. I don’t know what’s happened to me just recently but it seems as if I can’t really do anything as I used to in the past and all the enjoyment that I had out of doing things like this has gone. I’m in a bad way.

At least it seems that having abandoned that medication I can actually get up in the morning now. Once again I managed to leave the bed as the first alarm call went off at 07:30. That’s certainly an improvement from 10 days ago so I suppose that I ought to be thankful for that.

And after the medication I spent most of the day working on my Welsh course, making a table for the past and future tenses of the most common verbs and trying my best to learn them. And it’s not easy because I have a teflon brain. Nothing sticks to it.

Rosemary rang me this morning for a chat as well and we had another one of our marathon sessions on the ‘phone. As well as breakfast and lunch and a coffee here and there, I also had a shower. I must make myself nice and pretty for my physiotherapy session.

gerlean l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Eventually it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk across town for the physiotherapist.

And once again, we seem to be playing “Musical Ships” this afternoon. Gerlean is still there from yesterday but Nais who was there the last time that we looked has now disappeared.

In her place, L’Omerta was now coming back into port to tie up at the fish processing plant where we usually see her. I don’t suppose that she can keep away.

There’s another smaller boat tied up there in front of Gerlean but I don’t think that she has anything to do with the fishing trade, and neither does the van that’s pulling up on the lower level, unless she’s going to be doing some repairs on one of the boats.

cranes freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022We’ve seen a couple of the little Jersey freighters in port over the last couple of days.

Thora in there yesterday and between her and Normandy Warrior, they seem to have cleared away all of the backlog of freight that had built up over the last week or two.

But those two little mini-containers are quite interesting. They are of the type that Thora carries on her deck, presumably to transport high-value goods, and they have been dropped onto the quayside waiting for someone to come and take them away.

And no Marité. I don’t know where she’s gone but she’s making a good trip of it.

chez maguie bar ephemere place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And finally, the Bar Ephemere, Chez Maguie is open on the Place Pelley.

It’s been installed for a couple of weeks now but today was the first time that I’ve seen it actually open with the crowds of clients loitering around. But no boulonauts this afternoon, which is a surprise.

Going down the Rampe du Monte à Regret, I was almost squidged by a cyclist who took it upon himself to cycle down there. They seem to think that everything is permitted here in Granville.

And it wasn’t just me either. It’s a Bank Holiday today so there were crowds of people in the town today, all at risk from errant cyclists.

kiddies roundabout place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And here’s a thing!

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there has been quite some controversy about the kiddies’ roundabout that appears every now and again on the Place Charles de Gaulle, with claims that it’s over-size and forcing pedestrians to walk in the road.

The on that is the subject of all of these issues is a pink one, but today we have another one, a yellow one, and this is definitely smaller than the pink one.

So the question is, is this a permanent replacement for the pink one or just a temporary one? Watch this space.

The walk up the hill to the physiotherapist’s was a struggle this afternoon. A real struggle. And apart from that I found that I’d forgotten my fitbit, forgotten my pouch thing with my wallet and cards, forgotten almost everything.

And my physiotherapist is away for a few days so she’s had to shuffle my schedules around.

When she finished with me she threw me out and I staggered off down the hill in agony. I’m really not doing too well right now

royal enfield motorcycle rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It was a long and weary road going through the town and back up the hill towards home.

But at least there was something for me to admire while I stopped to catch my breath. A more modern version of an early 1960s Real Oilfield.

When they stopped producing them in the UK in the late 60s they sold the design and the presses to India who manufactured them and once they had ironed out the notorious British quality control issues, began to import them back into Europe.

My friend in Munich has one and I’ve mee mulling over the idea of treating myself to something like this or even a Triumph baby Trident but I can’t even pick myself up if I fall over, never mind a motorbike as well.

cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There were a couple of trawlers on their way into the har bour as I walked up the hill.

One of them went off to by the Fish Processing Plant but the second one came into the inner harbour to tie up at the pontoon here.

She’s Cap Lihou, a trawler whom we have seen on several occasions in the past. By the looks of things she’s one of the last trawlers to come into port this afternoon.

Having recovered my breath for a moment and waved “hello” at one of my neighbours heading down the hill, I carried on with my struggle up the bank towards home.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Instead of going inside for my coffee I carried on across the car park to have a look at what was going on down on the beach.

Surprisingly, because it wasn’t a very nice day this afternoon, there were quite a few people down there on the beach this afternoon.

It’s probably something to do with the fact that it’s a Bank Holiday in France today. The Month of May is full of Bank Holidays – we have May 1st, and then VE Day, and then Ascension followed by Pentecost. That explains the crowds.

There were crowds of people on the path up here too, and judging by the number plates of the cars, I bet that half the cars on our private car park were nothing to do with the occupants of the apartments either.

trawler fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was up here I had, as usual, a look out to sea to see what was happening there

There was the last of the trawlers over there on the left on its way back to the harbour and there was one of the shell-fishing boats making its way back too but that was about that.

So having satisfied my curiosity I headed back to my apartment for a coffee and where I rather regrettably fell asleep for a short while. And cold coffee isn’t my cup of tea, I’m afraid.

Once I’d recovered I had a listen to the dictaphone. The first voyage had something to do with Spanish exploration in the Golden Age with the three cities of Asturias … “which is actually a Province” – ed … Barcelona and I can’t remember the third that were on some kind of promontory or peninsula. All the boats had set out from there and gone off and discovered all different parts of the World and so on. These towns are really famous as far as Spanish history went as a result but I awoke quite quickly in this dream so I couldn’t really find out much about it.

And then I was in Stoke on Trent at a big factory complex that had been built in an old quarry. They were demolising it and as they were knocking it down to the ground where this quarry had been infilled they were pulling out all kinds of lorries, plant and machinery etc that had been used as infill. I was astonished by all of this stuff. I thought that it was brilliant. They told me that part of the grounds had been an old Primary School and when the area had become depopulated they had taken it over and demolished it. They told me how they had demolished it. The wall had gone and it had turned into a nature garden before completely removing it to make it into an industrial property etc. It was really quite fascinating. But I couldn’t get over all these lorries that were buried in the side of this quarry as infill and had been backfilled all around.

But when the alarm went off I was busy telling Liz the story about someone I once knew in Stoke on Trent who had bought a few houses for cash in a subsidence zone. They were really dreadful houses but he was hoping to build up a property portfolio of them. They really were in awful condition. That was as far as I reached when the alarm went off.

And that was a pity. Had I started to tell that story a few minutes earlier, I might actually have met up with Zero. I’ve not had any of my young lady friends accompany me for ages and I’m missing them terribly. I really must improve my aim

Tea tonight was steamed veg with falafel with vegan cheese sauce, and very nice it was too. But right now I’m off to bed. Wishing myself sweet dreams but somehow I don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm that I had a while ago.

And don’t forget, on Friday and Saturday at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK time, 15:00 Toronto time, one of the five best live concerts of all time. BO NOT MISS A MINUTE

Monday 23rd May 2022 – HAVING GONE TO …

… bed last night at 22:15 I bet that you are all dying to know at what time I actually awoke for my 06:00 alarm call this morning.

The truth is that I was wide awake and raring to go at … errr … 05:30 this morning and I actually had difficulty staying in bed until the alarm went off.

That’s not like me at all is it? If recent events are anything to go by, my get-up-and-go has got up and gone a long time before I’m ready to leave my stinking pit.

So having had the medication and a mug of hot coffee I made a start on the radio programme that I needed to to today. I wasn’t in any particular rush and in any case there were several pauses for this and that (but regrettably, not for “the other”. Those days are long-since gone) so a time of 11:20 to finish it was not unreasonable.

And then I spent the next hour or so listening to it to make sure that it’s OK. It actually features several artists who are making their debuts on my radio programmes and you’ll get to hear them if you can wait for about 9 months or so.

When I finished I went for a shower and a good clean-up ready for my physiotherapy appointment, followed by a rather late lunch.

After lunch I had a listen to the radio programme that I’ll be sending off tomorrow for broadcast this weekend. As it’s the end of the month it’s a live concert and I do have to say that if I had to choose my top five live concerts of all time this one will be up there in that lot.

However, the tape is full of holes. It’s been played to death one way or another and it needs a lot of patching. So I made a few notes before I nipped off for my appointment.

saviem low loader porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Just my luck that the battery in the NIKON 1 J5 was flat. And as I was late, I didn’t have time to go back home to change it so you’ll have to make do with the camera on the ‘phone.

At the Porte St Jean we have a really beautiful old lorry this afternoon. An ancient Saviem pulling a low-loader trailer and if you look through under the gate you’ll see some kind of heavy machinery.

It’s probably just brought that here and unloaded it, and it’s gone disappearing off into the old town. I’ll have to go for a wander that way later in the week to see if I can find out what it’s up to.

There’s quite a bit going on in the old town at the moment. The Council doesn’t seem to be shy about spending our money, does it?.

gerlean omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And so I cleared off down to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was going on there this afternoon.

It’s not really any surprise for me to tell you that L’Omerta is there again this afternoon, but she has a new companion today.

Petite Laura is no longer there behind her, but in front of her this afternoon is Gerlean.

From there I headed off down the hill towards town, becoming entangled in a party of schoolchildren. French schoolchildren too, but wearing what I can only assume were ghastly parodies of a typical English school uniform.

There was something not quite Catholic about all of this and I wasn’t the oly one who noticed it.

speedboat swimming pool port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Thinking that I could head them off at the pass, I stopped for a look down at the port.

The speedboat is still there, and that is definitely a swimming pool that’s appeared there at some point over the last couple of days. And after the amount of rain that we had this morning, it probably has plenty of water in it already.

The walk up the hill to the physiotherapist was agony yet again. I’m not doing so well with that these days. I feel as if I’ve gone backwards by several months.

Still, it will soon be the 1st of the month when I have my next appointment with the Sports therapist person. I hope that he can do me some good.

It’s often been said that some women are capable of doing a man to death. I must admit that I staggered out of the physiotherapist’s pretty darn close to it and then I headed rather unsteadily for home.

erecting bollards rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that has cheered me up is that they seem to be doing something about some of the crazy parking that goes on in the town.

In the Rue Paul Poirier the local council was erecting a row of bollards along the edge of the kerb to prevent vehicles parking on the pavement just there. Not that it’ll do much good because they will just obstruct the traffic somewhere else instead.

But at least they are trying. Whereas the motorists who park on the pavements are very trying.

The walk up the hill towards home was much more like another agonising crawl and I had to stop a couple of times for breath before I made it.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But as usual I went to have a look at the beach before going in.

By now it was raining quite heavily so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone down there on the beach, so I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone has much more sense than me.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had work to do. There were five holes in this concert that needed patching and they had to be done forensically.

Luckily, it’s a group whose music has a pronounced beat and rhythm so I could copy out a segment from elsewhere that has the same beat and rhythm and then superimpose it back over the damaged sector, drag it around until it fitted perfectly, and then cut out the damaged sector from underneath it.

Do that 5 times, which took an absolute age and I ended up being 1.406 seconds over length. But if I can’t lose that amount of time with some judicious editing out of some applause after all of the practice that I’ve had, I can’t be much good.

You can – well, I can – detect one of the joins because it’s in the middle of a lead guitar solo and it doesn’t flow as it ought to, but the others are invisible and I challenge any of the regular readers of this rubbish to detect them when it’s broadcast.

It’s certainly, from a technical point of view, the best concert that i’ve ever done.

There was time to listen to the dictaphone too. There was plenty on there from last night. I was in my office last night, working on the case of a guy whose wife was also working. It was starting to become a little late so I mentioned that maybe Nerina would come round to join me in the office when she finished. As I was pushing on it was becoming later still so I was talking to myself rather out loud like “is Nerina here? Is she hiding from me?”. I carried on doing that. I was trying to find cases where I would know about the man’s income and about the wife’s income, what children they had, whether they went to school or to university or somewhere like that. It suddenly struck me that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing … “that’s something that doesn’t usually bother you” – ed … because it’s 30 years or more since I’d last done this. Things had changed so much over that time that I was probably doing everything wrong anyway. I was going to have to re-learn absolutely everything from the very beginning again in order to start again and have it all correct this time. Of course it was becoming late now and I could see that all that I’d been doing all afternoon has been wasting time because I’m in no condition as far as my knowledge goes today to actually do anything at all about any of this. I wondered why on earth I’d been wasting my time.

And then I was with a girl. I can’t remember who she was but she was a young girl. The subject of the Titanic came up. It was beached in New York and it was possible to go for a guided tour of her. I took this girl and we wet on board the ship and down into the bowels to the waterline where we could see the damage and the holes. It was all extremely impressive. They had one of those pressurised cargo wells like they had on some of the early “Lake-type” submarines where they were open to the water but it was air pressure that kept the water out so that you could actually walk off the boat inside under water and go into the sea. We were busy exploring that because it was quite a novel thing. We had a really good wander around and then headed back. I suggested to this girl that we go for a beer which sounded like a good plan so we stood in the queue for the lift back up to the top of the ship. The question of football came up because every Thursday they were showing Welsh Premier football on the TV. There had been a series of matches that had taken place on one day and what they were doing was to show them one by one every Thursday over the next few weeks. I was explaining to this girl that I was intent upon watching them so I’d be home from work early that particular day curled up in front of the TV. We had a little chat about that as we stood in the queue waiting for the lift in the Titanic to take us back up to street level where we could leave and go for a beer.

So who was this mystery girl? I Wish that I knew. Fancy being with a girl and not knowing who she was.

And finally I was in Crewe last night staying in some lodgings in a little room just off Nantwich Road somewhere. Someone had a big bottle of pop and offered us a drink out of it. I had a drink and another guy who was there, an Australian guy, said “no, you don’t want to have a drink yet. Wait until he’s tried to borrow something then he’ll be much more willing to lend you some more stuff tomorrow. Of course I had quite a thirst so I was happy for that. Then I thought about getting us some food so I thought that I’d try to find a pizza in the area and something to drink as well. I thought that there’s bound to be a place nearby so I went out but for some reason I couldn’t lock my room. I tried 3 or 4 times to do it but it wouldn’t lock so in the end I thought that I’m only going out for a minute so it shouldn’t be too crucial just for a minute. I thought that I’d better leave it and just nip out to get something while everything was still open.

Tea was another delicious stuffed pepper, and now that I’ve finished I’m off to bed. I’ve decided that I’m going to file that medication under CS because whether it’s really that or whether it’s simply auto-suggestion, I seem to be doing much better without it. If I can keep on going like this I’ll be happy but as we know, one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

Thursday 19th May 2022 – JUST IN CASE …

… you’re wondering, which I’m sure you aren’t because I’m as fed up as you are, there wasn’t any change today in the way things worked out.

So there wasn’t all that much of a morning to do things in but I was working out a couple of plans for later next month. My Welsh exam is on 17th June and then I might go off on my travels for a while. I’m not doing much good here so I may as well not do much good somewhere else.

While I was at it I managed to fit in the time to go for a shower and a good clean-up.

After lunch I had a Welsh conversation class which wasn’t as long as it ought to have been because firstly I had to finish early to go for my physiotherapy appointment and secondly it took an age for me to connect up to the chat. It really was steam-driven internet here today.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So eventually I had to wander off out for my physiotherapy appointment this afternoon.

As usual I went for a look down into the port from the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

And for a change we haven’t seen L’Omerta settled down in the silt for the last few days. She must have gone out to sea to earn an honest living.

Incidentally, you are probably wondering what the “2E et 202E de Ligne” refers to in the name of the street. It actually refers to the “2nd and 202nd (Regiments) of the Line” – the two infantry regiments that were housed in the buildings here where I live when they were military barracks before the army sold them off in the late 80s.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022With nothing much else going on around here I headed off down the hill towards the town.

And for a change just recently, Marité is tied up at her berth this afternoon. It looks as if she might be having a day off today.

There are a few people loitering around on the quayside but I don’t think that they will be going aboard because she doesn’t have a gangplank out to the quayside.

And the speedboat that was there yesterday is still there today. No-one has been in from Jersey with a freighter to take it away so far today.

bar ephemere place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Things seem to be happening at Chez Maguie, the Bar Ephemère that opens every summer on the Place Pelley.

Never mind the boulonauts, the café tables now seem to have grown some orange parasols to shelter everone from the sun and, more likely, the torrential thunderstorms that we’ve been having this last couple of days.

As seems to be the case these days I didn’t enjoy the walk up the hill to the physiotherapist. I’m not doind as well as I did a couple of weeks ago and even then, that was nothing to write home about.

The physiotherapist put me through my paces again this afternoon. I’m sure that it’s a case of “kill or cure” with her. She’s certainly having a good go at finishing me off.

electricians working rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022At the end of my session I staggered out into the street and reeled off down the hill into the town centre.

The last time we came by this way, which was on Monday, we saw the electricians at work laying cables in the conduits under the pavement. And they are still at it today, but their tent has moved a few feet down the hill to another manhole.

The walk up the hill towards home was another desperate struggle with me having to stop for breath on several occasions. I was thinking that if I’m like this after just 10 days of being without my hospital treatment, what am I going to be like after 13 weeks?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I (finally) reached the top of the hill, after much binding in the marsh, I didn’t go straight home.

Instead, I went down to the end of the car park to have a look over the wall to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

It had been a lovely day – in fact I’d been out to the physiotherapist in just a tee-shirt without wearing a jacket or a jumper – so I was expecting to see the crowds down there this afternoon so it was rather disappointing to see so few people.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea either. Mind you, I only had the NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens so even if there had been something happening, the tide was so far out that I wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022However in the distance there were couple of bird-men of Alcatraz trying their best to take to the air with their Nazguls.

They seemed to be having an enormous amount of difficulty so I waited for a while to give them a chance to approach me but in the end I ran out of patience and went indoors for a strawberry smoothie.

And then I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something about spies. We were actually catching a spy in Wales on the Lleyn peninsula. Right at the very end we put his body back in the water hoping that the current would catch it and take it out to sea. There was much more to it than this and I remember thinking that this would have made a really good plot for a book. Then there was Mildred Murfin and two men a bit like the Men from the Ministry. She was planning on going on holiday with them but of course they weren’t used to going on holiday. It was all a bit of a mess, packing and preparing everything etc. One of them turned up at her apartment dressed in his pyjamas saying that he wasn’t going. He didn’t think that it was him so she had to cajole him along to try to take the few final steps to prepare his things ready to catch his flight. They were all typical British holidaymakers of the 60s going abroad with no idea what to expect, no idea what to do or what to take etc, all very naive and all really rather a sad dream watching them try to prepare to leave on this holiday of a lifetime.

There was a married couple, two kids and me somewhere in Central Europe. They were something like a Romany family. We were all going off to stay somewhere in a caravan for 2 weeks. I was driving and I didn’t recognise the car that I had. We were all going to this caravan by the sea somewhere. I can’t remember anything about it at all, what was happening. I know that in the end everyone ended up leaving the car, leaving me in it. There were a couple of little girls who had come to meet the youngest of these two children to go to a dancing class. There was going to be a football match with all the kids against the adults but that’s all that I can remember.

We were listening to a Gospel-rock song by “Arrival” although it was in fact mostly “Alquin” musicians with Dyan Birch singing. For some unknown reason the guitar solo wasn’t what I wanted at all. I had an earlier guitar solo for that track stashed away somewhere so I edited out the guitar solo that was being played and superimposed the one from earlier in its place. I mentioned to the musicians that I’d changed guitar solo and the guitarist was distraught. He was unhappy with his own playing rather than anything else. I explained that it wasn’t a case that the playing was bad, simply a case that it was inappropriate for what I wanted. He was still inconsolable about it but I went ahead and changed the solo anyway. The other group members didn’t seem to be all that concerned at all.

This is about the 6th attempt at dictating this. I’d had all of the motor insurance renewals for France and I’d noticed that the premiums had gone up quite a lot so I’d gone round to the broker’s. They told me that much of it related to the yellow Cortina saloon because with it being parked up the premiums had gone up because some actuary had worked out that cars are more at risk of accidents when they are stationary than when they are actually moving. I thought that that was absolute nonsense. Maybe they disagreed with me but they couldn’t agree with the actuarial report. It was a girl with a cleft palate who saw me so it was very difficult to understand what she was saying. The thalidomide girl was involved in the discussion as well at some point. I learnt as well that they were going to drop down and possess part of my yard where the building was, taking away 1500m² that I owned there so that they could make a by-pass around the town. That was going to be even worse for me because I had nowhere else to keep anything. This was turning into a very bad situation for me. I wasn’t enjoying what I was hearing at all today. The boss was very unhappy with the fact that I was complaining but I thought that I was well within my rights to complain about this kind of thing.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with a baked potato and veg – well, only half the veg because the other half ended up on the floor. It’s not my day today, is it?

and the fridge needs defrosting so I’m going to deal with that before I go to bed. One of these days things will start to go right for me, although God knows when that might be.

Monday 16th May 2022 – THAT WAS ANOTHER …

… totally messed-up day today.

Not that that’s any surprise because after my totally messed-up weekend and a 06:00 start this morning, it was pretty much odds-on.

Not that I’m complaining of course, even though it might sound like it. I take my days as they come and take what’s given to me. I really wanted to do that Welsh weekend course and so I have to accept the baggage that comes with it.

No-one was more surprised than me to find me half-way out of bed when the alarm went off at 06:00. And I even managed to be up and about before the second alarm went off.

After the medication I came back in here to make a start on today’s work but rather regrettably I fell asleep almost immediately. In fact I was out like a light until almost 08:00. In fact, for all the good that I was doing I may as well have stayed in bed.

When I’d finally come round I grabbed a quick coffee and then attacked the radio programme and that took me all the way up until 12:30 this morning before it was finished. I really wasn’t doing very well

There was time for a shower and a good clean up and then I made my butties with some of that delicious bread that I’d baked yesterday.

It was a good job that I’d set the alarm for my physiotherapy session this afternoon because back in here after lunch I fell asleep. And fell asleep in spades too. It was a real struggle for me to pull myself together when the alarm went off and I was in no mood whatever to go out for my physiotherapy.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As usual, the first place to go when I went outside was to the viewpoint on the corner onfthe Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

And for a change there was no-one parked up down by the fish processing plant. Not even L’Omerta. She’s forsaken her usual spot for a change and gone off to see what she can catch out at sea.

And have you noticed the weather? We had a torrential rainstorm for about 15 minutes yesterday afternoon and it looks as if we have had another one while I was asleep just now. The weather is all wet, grey and miserable.

Not that that’s any surprise, because so am I

diggers working in port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On thing that we see every now and again is something to do with the laying of a drain out of the port de plaisance into the open sea.

By the looks of things they are back there again today. They have a couple of diggers out there this afternoon working away. It’s not actually all that easy though to see what they are doing and the standard lens on the NIKON 1 J5 doesn’t help things any.

What I’ll have to do is to go by with the big NIKON D500 with the 70-300mm LENS tomorrow and see if that gives me a better clue.

From there I headed off down the hill towards town.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022At the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour I was lucky enough to catch sight of another hive of activity.

We’ve seen a shrink-wrapped speedboat down there for a couple of days, but today there’s a lorry delivering another one to add to the collection of stuff on the quayside to be taken over to Jersey by one of the little freighters.

My attention was also caught by the crane over there at the back of the loading bay by the old gravel bins. That looks quite new to me, unless they’ve overhauled one of the ones that was here before. If it has been overhauled they have done a good job because it’s much cleaner than it was before.

repairing electrical cables rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There have been notices all over town telling us of power cuts this afternoon.

On the corner of the Rue Paul Poirier and the Rue Couraye I caught up with them at one of their work sites. Apparently the work is due to go on into the evening.

The climb up the hill was awful. I wasn’t feeling in the least bit like it and it seems today as if I have gone backwards by about 6 months.

But when I was there she put me through my paces again. She’s certainly working me hard enough, much harder than the others did. Here’s hoping that it’s doing me some good.

After she threw me out I went to Lidl – eventually, because it was a nightmare going up the hill to the top. To think that there used to be times when I would sail up there like a galleon in the Spanish Armada.

At Lidl I spent a bit of money buying a few things and then headed for home.

digger working in rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Myy route home from Lidl is a different way to the way that I came, so I hadn’t seen these roadworks until I left the shop.

They’ve been digging a trench with the digger and were now busy filling it in so I couldn’t see what they had been doing with the trench.

But I was more interested in watching the digger driver. Of course I can drive and operate a mini-digger – I used to own one until recently – but I couldn’t drive mine the way that this guy was driving this one.

It was something rather like a ballet and it was most impressive. I was in half a mind to give him a round of applause when he finished. I was quite jealous.

cycle path rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Further on down the Rue de la Houle I noticed that they’ve been installing something of a cycle lane here.

They are spending a fortune on facilities for cyclists in the town and we have seen several examples thereof just recently, but I have a feeling that much of this is going to be money wasted.

The truth is that Granville is not a cyclists’ town. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s all “up-and-down” and that’s not the best terrain for cyclists. In fact there are parts of the town that are used as endurance trials during the Tour de Normandy cycle race.

That should give you some idea of what the streets are like around here.

new building rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we4ve been following the adventures of the new building on the corner of the Rue Victor Hugo and the Rue St Paul.

They have made a great deal of progress just recently. The roof is going on and the crane that has been there since July last year has now been taken away. It looks as if they might be finishing it some time soon if they aren’t careful.

From there I carried on down into town where I bumped into one of my neighbours and then staggered up the hill towards home, having to stop on several occasions to catch my breath and, on one occasion, to brink a can of energy drink.

That’s the kind of state in which I find myself today.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The weather had brightened up by now so I went to look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

There wasn’t a lot happening there right now though. Just one or two people. The bad weather earlier seems to have put the rest of them right off coming out today.

Back here I had a coffee and then collapsed into a chair, feeling absolutely awful. It’s a long time since I’ve felt as bad as this.

But I did manage to listen to what was on the dictaphone from last night. There was something about moving a squadron of lorries across the border in northern France. My friend from the Wirral was there at one point. I can’t remember very much about this particular dream at all. Then I was in Canada. I’d just hired a car and had an accident in it and that was before I’d picked up my temporary Canadian driving licence so they had to hurry up and issue my Canadian driving licence extremely quickly. In the meantime I had to go and wait over by the Sheriff’s office to tell them to come along and deal with it. It was in a terrible state, more untidy than mine. Some big, fat lady came over and asked me what I was doing. I explained so she went and rolled over onto a settee and lay down there and went to sleep leaving me amongst all these cameras and guns etc while they sorted out my driving permit.

Tea should have been a stuffed pepper but the pepper was no good so it ended up being a taco roll.

And now I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be at my best but that’s unlikely the way that I’m feeling right now.

Thursday 12th May 2022 – HAVING HAD A FEW …

… extremely quiet days just recently, that all changed today. I’ve been rushed off my feet and haven’t stopped all day. I haven’t even had any time for tea.

There’s even some stuff on the dictaphone too but I haven’t had time to transcribe it yet.

It all went wrong earlier this morning when for some reason that I didn’t understand, the alarm went off at 06:15. I was actually up and about by the time that I realised and it didn’t take much for me to crawl back into bed.

When the alarm went off again at 07:30 I did manage to leave the bed something-like on time and after I’d had my medication I went to have a shower and clean myself up

Then I nipped out to go and see this sports therapist at Saint-Pair sur Mer.

My appointment was for 09:30 but he was running horribly late and it was gone 10:00 when he finally saw me. He asked me a few questions and poked and prodded me around, and it didn’t take him long to find out where the bone in my kneecap is broken.

There is a series of special injections that he is proposing for me so he gave me a prescription and an appointment to go back on 1st June.

This weekend I have a Welsh weekend school so I called at LIDL on the way home and stocked up with a big pile of stuff to see me through the next 10 days. It cost a fortune too. But I’ll still nip out for a few things late on Saturday that I couldn’t buy at LIDL.

By the time that I returned home it was almost lunchtime, never mind breakfast, but I had one of my fruit buns all the same with some coffee. And I was right. It really was delicious.

After lunch I was back out again. It was the turn of the physiotherapist to have the pleasure of my company.

trawlers fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022First stop though was the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne where you can look down upon the fish processing plant.

It’s quite busy down there this afternoon. This is the moment when all the boats are coming in to unload and they are having to fight their way around L’Omerta who is still tied up to the quayside.

It shows you what a busy little port it is, with all of the boats down there and the people on top of the quayside helping to unload the catch into the fish processing plant. There will be cars and vans on the lower level underneath too, there to take away the load from some of the boats.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There was plenty of activity out in the bay too.

And not just trawlers coming into harbour either. One of the yachting schools was out there this afternoon with the pupils having a sail around the bay, with someone in a zodiac shepherding them around. And I haven’t forgotten that one of these days in the near future I’ll be out there with them.

There were plenty of pleasure craft too like the large yacht in the foreground that has just come out of the port de plaisance. And there were a couple of speedboats loitering around out there too.

chaisiase l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022That wasn’t all either.

While I was here I had a look over towards the chantier naval to see how they were getting on with L’Ecume II. They are still bashing away at her but as I watched, something else came around the corner into my field of view.

It’s the little freighter Chausiaise, on her way back from, presumably, a run out to the Ile de Chausey with a load of freight. Someone mentioned to me that if she’s out there with no return load, she’ll bring back a pile of shellfish for the fishermen over there.

marite normandy warrior port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From the corner here I walked on down the hill towards the town.

As I was on my way I noticed in the distance that there was a shrink-wrapped speedboat on the quayside and as I approached I could see that Normandy Warrior was in port.

At least, I think that it’s she, because the bridge is slightly different and her skipper has moored her differently than her sister Normany Trader is usually moored.

There were also crowds queueing up to board Marité too. It looks as if she’s going off out for an afternoon’s sailing around the bay. The first time this year that we will have seen her.

The walk through town was rather agonising today and I don’t know why. I’ve noticed for the last few days that I’ not moving around as well as I have been.

And the physiotherapist put me through my paces todays. This new one works me a lot harder than any of the others whom I’ve had so far. I think that she’s on a “kill or cure” mission.

On the way home I called at the pharmacy for the prescription that the sports doctor gave me. If I pick it up while I remember, it saves all kinds of unfortunate complications for later.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The walk back up the hill was a struggle today. I really am becoming worse and worse these days.

There were several occasions where I was obliged to stop, including at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. And “Gone! And never called me ‘Mother’!”. Both Marité and Normandy Warrior have cleared off.

But the shrink-wrapped speedboat is still on the quayside. Normandy Warrior hasn’t taken that away this afternoon. And so it looks as if either she or her sister will be back in port quite quickly to do the necessary. They won’t be leaving that on the quayside for too long.

notre dame de cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that was wandering around in the harbour was the local lifeboat, Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

Strange as it may seem, they have been using her to tow the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie around the harbour while she’s been doing her dredging. So by the looks of things, she’s just knocked off for the day and it going home to have a rest.

In actual fact, not that I saw it, but apparently she was back out later. The dredging is finished so she towed the dredger over to the chantier naval where the portable boat lift could winch her out of the water.

marite baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little further on along the path we finally caught up with Marité again.

It’s a shame that I only had the NIKON 1 J5 with me. That just has the standard lens and so distance photography is pretty useless and I can’t really pick out anything.

But at least, by the looks of things she’s having a good sail around, even if it is with her diesel engines and not with her sails. I don’t suppose that many people still have the skills for this kind of thing.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Instead of going into my building I went for a look out to see what was happening.

What I was hoping to see was Normandy Warrior disappearing off into the sunset but wherever she was, she was well out of range of any equipment that I had with me.

All that there were that I could see were a couple of local inshore boats with a couple of fishermen therein so I had to content myself with them.

In any case, there was quite a haze out at sea and even the Ile de Chausey was difficult to see in these conditions this afternoon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But it was actually a nice day so it was no surprise to see a few people down there on the beach this afternoon.

They were enjoying themselves, especially the few people who were brave enough to go into the water.

Having photographed them I came in here and had a strawberry smoothie and (regrettably) crashed out completely for a good half hour or so. This physiotherapist works me really hard.

And then I had to get everything together for my Welsh conversation class this evening. That passed quickly and it could have been much, much worse. But I’ve ended up with no tea and I don’t care either because I’m tired and I’m going to bed.

Tomorrow there are no plans but something will come along to disturb me, I’m sure of that.

But anyway, that’s for another time. Let me finally post up the details of my little nocturnal voyages from last night now that i’ve transcribed them We were in Wales, Hans, Jackie, Alison and me. We had to go to somewhere which meant going south on the train and then heading east and then back north again in the direction towards Shrewsbury. That was basically what we did and that was how we set off to do whatever it was that we were supposed to be doing.

And then there was something happening at the bar in the Rue des Juifs as well. We’d all taken musical instruments there and set them up in the alcove as if we were going to have some kind of performance but that was as far as I went with that.

Monday 9th May 2022 – HERE’S A SIGHT …

victor hugo belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022…. that I am more than happy to see.

Over there moored at the quayside is Victor Hugo, one of the two ferries that run out to the Channel Islands. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the service from Granville restarted on the 5th of May after a break of over two years (with the exception of one very short week).

There was this worrying feeling that with the end of the gravel boats and the cancellation of the Big Wheel, the ferry to the Channel Islands would be the next thing that this mayor would cancel in his valiant attempt to turn the town into some kind of haven for luxury retirees rather than a working, bustling seaport.

And so I for one am more than pleased to see the service restart.

place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But what comes with one hand goes with the other.

On Saturday I made the remark that the kiddies’ roundabout was back in the Place Charles de Gaulle during the outdoor market. But today, there it was! Gone! And never called me “mother”!

Never mind “musical chairs”. That roundabout is certainly doing the rounds a darn sight quicker than I can keep up with it.

Anyway, last night despite going to bed rather later than I intended, I still managed to be up and about “fairly shortly” after 06:00, beating the second alarm rather comfortably even if I didn’t feel much like it.

After the medication I had two radio programmes to prepare. I’d written the notes while I was in Leuven last week so that saved me some time but even so, it still took an age to complete everything. It wasn’t until 12:35 that both programmes were finished.

There had been a few pauses during the proceedings of course. I felt that I had the kind of thirst that you could photograph so I had several mugs of coffee during the morning, as well as stopping for breakfast.

And then the nurse came round to give me my injection for today.

When it was finished I made myself a big bowl of leek and potato soup. There was a big frozen mass of leeks in the freezer that weren’t doing much and having been brought several packs of hot cross buns last weekend seeing as I had run out, I needed to make some space in the freezer

While that was cooking I went and had a shower and a clean-up. And then filled the washing machine ready for when I go out later. I’m running out of clothes again.

The soup was delicious. Nice and thick and creamy and there’s enough for three days in total. And I’ll have to make some more some other time. The cumin and tarragon in it gave it an additional bite.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having set the washing machine off on a cycle (a very clever washing machine, mine) I went out for my physiotherapy appointment.

First thing though was to stop at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne where I can look down on what’s going on at the fish processing plant.

And as you might expect, L’Omerta is still tied up there. It looks as if she’s moved in there permanently now. Mind you, the other boat that was there yesterday, Petite Laura, she has moved away. There’s another boat tucked away around the corner but I can’t see who she is.

There were plenty of seagulls floating around down there too, waiting for some shellfish to drop off the quayside.

la granvillaise trawler l'ecume 2 j158 fishing boat valesque le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There was plenty of other excitement going on out there this afternoon.

My attention had been caught by the boat that was over there out at sea. Even though we can’t see her registration number at this distance, my money is on her being G90 – La Granvillaise. The shape of the lasts and the sails, even if they aren’t all unfurled, would seem to indicate that

And there’s still plenty of activity in the chantier naval. From left to right we have an unidentified boat, then L’Ecume II, Valesque, and then another unidentified boat. By the looks of things Le Roc A La Mauve III has finally gone back into the water after all this time.

boules petanque place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022My route into town took me down past the Place Pelley and the Bar Ephemere.

When we came past here on Saturday there wasn’t anyone down there playing boules, which took me by surprise because it seems to be an unstoppable national sport. But they are making up for it today. There are plenty of boulonauts down there right now.

The walk up the hill was strangely difficult today, and I don’t know why that might be. It might have been quite warm outside but nothing else had changed.

And starting today I have a new physiotherapist. She took my X-rays and MRI Scans and then put me through several tests before giving me a few exercises.

At least having all of these different people means that I’m having all kinds of different tests and that can only be a good thing.

ambulance rue couraye rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On the way home, down at the bottom of the hill there was yet more excitement.

There was an emergency ambulance parked at the corner of the Rue Couraye and the Rue Paul Poirier, complete with blue flashing light. There wasn’t anyone in attendance though and I couldn’t see where they had gone.

On the corner of the Rue Lecampion I had to go to the pharmacy. The nurse this morning asked me to ask them for a container to deposit my discarded needles. He usually takes them away but I imagine that he’s being overloaded right now. I’ve “had the summons” to have my fourth Covid injection (which he’ll be doing next time he passes) and if I’ve been summoned, so has everyone else.

building work rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022If the walk up the hill to the physiotherapist was tough, the walk up the Rue des Juifs back home was even tougher.

There were several occasions where I had to stop to catch my breath, one of which was just by where there was some building work going on. We had a skip lorry with crane and another small lorry in attendance.

It’s one thing that I’ve noticed, that there seems to be more and more renovation work taking place about the town, either rebuilding or renovating existing apartments or building new ones.

It’s quite a boom business now, but I bet that it’s not going to result in many more permanent homes. Holiday accommodation and Air B&B lets seem to be the way that things are going, pricing permanent residents out of the market.

classe decouvert rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Another thing that I’ve mentioned … “quite often” – ed … on these pages is what is called the classe decouverte.

This involves school kids being taken out of their normal environment to experience life elsewhere. And here is one such class, all congregating underneath the tree by the drawbridge into the walled city while someone was telling them all about the French Revolution.

The walled city is quite important because revolutionary forces defended it against counter-revolutionaries in a famous battle during the Revolution.

The conversation sounded quite interesting and I was in half a mind to hang around and hear the end of it but I was gripped by a raging thirst and wanted to go home.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022First though, I had to go down to the wall at the end of the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what is happening down there.

Plenty of people down there sunning themselves on the sand and a couple of people out there on a zodiac. But no-one brave enough to go in the water, which was a surprise because it’s a lovely afternoon right now.

Back here I had a coffee and then listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’ve been during the night. I was starting to shave myself with an electric razor last night but no matter how hard I tried, it hardly made any impact at all. I was there for hours trying to shave my face but there was very little hair coming off. I thought that I was going to be here for hours but I had to do it. Now that I’d started, it would look a mess if I only were to do a bit of it. After about an hour I had a feel of my face. There was still plenty on it in places. There was a knock at the door and a girl came in carrying my breakfast. I was lying on the floor trying to do my face so she didn’t see me at first. Eventually she put down the tray and we had a chat. I offered her some of my breakfast but I was still concerned about this shaving and getting my face done so I could hurry up and go out.

Having listened to the radio programmes that I prepared today, I went for tea. Pie with veg and gravy.

And now that I’ve written my notes I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form. But there’s not much danger of that.

Monday 25th April 2022 – THAT WAS A NIGHT …

… that I would much rather forget. I’ve been having a few of these here and there as well just recently.

Although I was in bed last night at 22:30 ready for my 06:00 start, and feeling tired at that as well , by the time that 04:20 came round and I was still awake, I was thoroughly and completely fed up.

Even more surprisingly, when the alarm did go off at 06:00 I was up quite smartly too even if I didn’t feel much like it. And apart from a little wobble here and there just after lunch, I kept on going all day without really crashing out.

And the chances of that happening – well, not happening – are pretty remote as well the way that things have been just recently.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down and attacked the radio programme that needed preparing.

It was all up and running too at 10:45 and that was a surprise considering all of the interruptions that I had today. There was an early morning coffee, followed by breakfast followed by the nurse coming round early yet again to inject me with the Aranesp ready for my trip away at the weekend.

And having had a visit from the nurse, I had to ring up the doctor for an appointment. I need more Aranesp, having used the last lot, and I have to talk to him about my knee. Now that I’ve had the MRI scan and something has been discovered, I need to find out what is going to happen next.

As well as that, I need a blood test. They upped my medication when I was at the hospital just now, and I need to have the results ready for when I return next Thursday.

There were four radio programmes that I needed to verify today. I’m sending off two today because I won’t be here next Monday, and then there was the one that I prepared last week and never had time to verify, and then there was the one that I’d prepared today. And s much of the rest of the day was spent listening to them to make sure that they passed muster.

While that was going on I was working on the photos from the High Arctic in 2019. Right now I’m on board a zodiac in Flexure Bay off the coast of King William Island on my way to investigate a rather large pod of Beluga Whales.

There were several breaks in this task too. Firstly, I went for a shower. Secondly I had lunch and thirdly I went off for my appointment with the physiotherapist.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022First port – if you pardon the expression – of call was the wall overlooking the harbour on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

Our little game of Musical Ships is continuing this afternoon as well. Although the tide is in, L’Omerta is in with it, tied up at the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant. It must be her turn today.

There are two other boats in the photo too. The one in front looks as if it might be some kind of official boat judging by the colour, but I can’t make out the identity of the one behind her Whoever she is, she’s one of the inshore shell-fishing boats.

philcathane joly france yachts port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022The tide is actually quite well in right now and so one or two fishing boats are heading back to harbour.

This one coming in is Philcathane. Parked up at the ferry terminal is one of the Joly France ferries and the small upper deck superstructure makes me think that she’s the newer one of the two.

And there’s someone standing by the crane too, although there doesn’t look like any freight that needs loading aboard.

There are a couple of yachts out there in the bay behind her having a good sail around too, enjoying the nice weather.

repairing roofs rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022My route into town goes down the Rue des Juifs past the three houses that were devastated by the fire the other week.

There’s been a cherry-picker there for a couple of days with a few workmen in the nacelle. They are putting some kind of wooden framework up there to which they will be covering with a tarpaulin or two.

It’s quite important to keep at least the ones either side of the destroyed house covered in order to stop the elements doing even more damage than the fire has already done, but I think that te one in the centre, on which they were working as I went past, is beyond redemption.

The smell from the fire-damaged structure would be enough to put off anyone who might want to repair it, never mind anyone else.

swimming pool cranes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There’s more activity going on in the inner harbour this afternoon.

There are two cranes that work the freight in the harbour and it looks as if they are having a conference this afternoon. And there are a couple of people in attendance too.

On the quayside is another pile of freight, including yet another swimming pool. That can only mean that one of the Jersey freighters will be coming into port quite soon to which it all away.

There wasn’t anything of any interest going on in town this afternoon so I had a pretty uninterrupted trip up the hill towards the physiotherapist.

She gave me an electro-massage on my knee and then had me doing a few exercises.

While I was there I cancelled my appointment for Wednesday as I’m at the doctor’s, and cancelled them for next week too as I’m on my travels again.

redecorated facade rue georges clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022After she threw me out I headed back into town on my way home for my afternoon coffee.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the last couple of weeks we’d seen some scaffolding up against a building in the Rue Georges Clemenceau. Today, I noticed that the scaffolding has gone and we can see what they have been doing.

It’s the building down there that has the nice fresh blue edging. They have done a pretty good job of painting it and it looks quite nice now. I wonder when they are going to paint a few more to match.

fishing boat leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022On my way up the hill towards home I walked past the port where I noticed one of the fishing boats heading off out to sea.

Unfortunately she’s not one that I recognise and with only having the NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens, I’m not likely to be able to enlarge it sufficiently to see its registration number.

Her colours are distinctive enough and I’ll certainly remember her if I ever see her again.

Around here while I was looking at the port I fell in with one of my neighbours on her way home and so we walked up the hill together putting the world to rights.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022When we arrived at the building I went over to the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

Firstly, there wasn’t all that much beach to be on. Even so with the nice sunny weather I was expecting to see a few people down there making the most of it.

However, there weren’t all that many people there this afternoon. all I could see were a couple of people loitering around down there.

No-one in the water as far as I could see though. The weather wasn’t all that warm, I suppose.

fishing boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was plenty of activity going on out at sea.

Even with the standard lens on the camera I could see quite a few boats out there in the bay, although I couldn’t see if they were fishing boats or pleasure craft.

But they were clearly busy so I left them to it and came back here where I bumped into yet another neighbour. It’s my day for being sociable today.

Back here I had a coffee and finished listening to the last of the radio programmes, and then I could see what was going on with the dictaphone.

At some point during the night I must have gone to sleep because there was some stuff on there that I had recorded. Three of us had booked rooms at a hotel (and there’s more to this story than meets the eye too). I’d specified a room next to the other two. I turned up at about 08:30. Of course it was far too early to take my room but I thought that there would be a consigne where I could leave the baggage but they were so busy at reception with people checking out and having breakfast that I had to wait around. Eventually someone came to take over from the night desk staff. We began to chat. He discussed my special requirements – I’d listed dozens of special requirements, some of which were quite silly but he went through them with me. We entered the lift but I’d forgotten half the stuff. There was some stuff that I didn’t know that I had to bring but eventually I collected everything together end we entered the lift. We went up to the 2nd floor but they were vacuuming there so we had to go up the the second-and-a-half floor and come down the stairs at the back in order to arrive at the consigne where I could leave my baggage.

And then I was living in Winsford again. There was a woman there with 3 small children, girls. They were round at my place. I was looking after them, taking turns to take them to the bathroom etc. They met Tuppence, my black cat. They were asking questions about her, how old she was. I said that she must be at least 20 now. They thought that that was wonderful. One of them had a cat that usually hid in a drawer. When she went to open the drawer of course it wasn’t there. Outside, between my house and the next-door neighbour’s I’d erected a suspension bridge. It looked absolutely magnificent. Everyone thought that it was great. I had to have the neighbour sign a liability waiver so that if anything happened to the bridge with him on it he wouldn’t sue me for it. We had an inspection of the bridge and in the end he signed the paper.

Tea was a stuffed pepper – there was one lying around – and it was delicious. And now I’m going to have a little relax and then go to bed. I’m totally exhausted and I’m surprised that I’ve kept on going so long. It just goes to show that I can do it when I want, even when I’ve taken one of those night-time pills.

Tuesday 19th April 2022 – THINGS ARE MOVING …

cherry picker rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… at the site of the huge fire in the Rue du Midi the other week

On my way down into town for my physiotherapy appointment this afternoon I came across a rather large cherry picker parked in the Rue des Juifs.

With some men up there with a load of building material it looks as if they are starting the repairs to at least one of the houses that was badly damaged in the fire.

Of course, they can’t leave them open to the elements for too long. If the rain sets in there will be more than just the roof than needs replacing.

What else was moving this morning was me – a good few minutes before the first alarm went off as well. Never mind being able to do it when I have to, this just goes to prove that I can do it when I don’t have to as well.

So why can’t I do it all the time? That’s what beats me.

Once I’d had my medication and checked my mails and messages I settled down to deal with the slowest radio programme on record – at least since I have been properly organised. It wasn’t finished until after I returned from the physiotherapist and I still haven’t heard it yet to make sure that it’s OK.

And that’s despite the fact that I’d written some of the notes over the weekend as well.

What happened today was that I was plagued by a whole series of interruptions. I was actually making good time, regardless of coffee and breakfast breaks, and then Rosemary rang me. It goes without saying that that threw all of my plans into a cocked hat because we are quite capable of chatting about nothing at all for several hours.

As it happens, Rosemary has a real problem right now, a problem relating to her health, and she needed a shoulder to lean on.

After we had finished I had to dash around and steam-clean the apartment. It’s been a good few weeks since I’ve done that and I have visitors this afternoon so it needs to be something like.

After lunch my visitor arrived. He has plans to set up a ratline bringing Ukrainian refugees from the Polish border to Normandy on the train and we wanted to pick my brains, such as they are

He’s not actually going to find it as easy as it might be because there are a lot of variables in all of this and even knowing the ropes, doing research, having the contacts and the accommodation (because you aren’t going to do it in an 18-hour railway day) I still ended up having to wait around for hours

Moving small groups around is reasonably straightforward, especially if I’m going that way anyway, but he’s talking about doing it with large numbers and that’s completely impractical, especially on the Paris Underground.

My advice was to go to Moldova and hire a coach and a couple of drivers.

No problem with finding accommodation there. Everyone can sleep on the coach as it’s travelling. Two drivers can do a 28-hour shift between them and that’s all you need to come up from Chisinau. I’ve done that a couple of times in the past when the roads and the coaches were nothing like as good as they are now..

After he’d gone I had a shower and cleaned myself up, and then set out for the physiotherapist.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022As my appointment is later than usual today, it was round about the right time for me to go and look down onto the beach so I headed off in that direction.

Of course, it’s no longer Bank Holiday so quite a few people are now back at work. Consequently I wasn’t expecting to see all that many people down there on the beach this afternoon.

And I was right too. There couldn’t have been more than a dozen people down there. Mind you, it was extremely windy again, but that’s not usually enough to keep people off the beach when it’s nice and sunny.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Next stop, as usual, is the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was happening down at the port.

The three boats that we saw moored up at the quayside down there yesterday have moved on but there is another, different boat moored down there this afternoon.

And no prizes for guessing who she is either because we’ve seen her down there on dozens of occasions in the past. It is of course L’Omerta, one of the big shell-fishing boats.

The tide is well out so she’s going to be there a few hours yet at least until she can float off elsewhere.

reroofing rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Having taken my photograph I headed off down the hill towards the cherry picker in the Rue des Juifs.

From here, we can see what is going on and why they have the cherry picker. There are a couple of people up there in the nacelle taking roofing material up there onto the roof. The repair work to that house seems to be beginning in earnest.

As for the ruins of the burnt-out one next door, there isn’t really all that much that anyone can do to it. I imagine that they will have to pull it down in the end. The stench of burnt wood would be enough to put off anyone from living in there again.

bar ephemere place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And on that note I carried on down the hill into town.

The last time that we were this way we saw them beginning to set up Chez Maguie, the Bar Ephemère or “temporary bar” that is set up on the corner of the boulodrome for the summer.

It’s pretty much all set up now and I imagine that it will be opening up before too long, although I would have expected it to have been open in time to catch the Easter trade, especially as Easter is so late this year.

Nevertheless, the presence of the Bar Ephemère isn’t putting off the boulonauts. They are still carrying on around all of the other activity down there. It takes more than this to put them off their stride.

road closed rue roger maris Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022On my way up the hill towards the physiotherapist I noticed that the Rue Roger Maris was still closed.

What I’ll do will be to go that way home and find out why. There didn’t seem to be too much going on to cause it to be closed for so long the last time I was there.

Today I had a new physiotherapist. She explained the results of my MRI scan and it doesn’t sound as particularly serious as I thought it might have been. Still, we’ll see what the doctor has to say next week.

As for my treatment, she gave my knee a massage with the electric machine and then had me doing a few exercises.

rue roger maris rue du boscq place des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Having been thrown out until next Monday, I headed off to find out what was happening in the Rue Roger Maris.

And what I could see was “nothing at all”. There doesn’t seem to be any reason why the road should be closed.

However what I could see was that they had been putting sets of studs in the road, presumably to mark out a pedestrian crossing of some description. But that’s all completed now anyway so the road ought to be open.

There wasn’t anything of any interest going on in the town centre so I pushed on up the hill.

marité belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022On the way up the hill towards home I stopped for a look down into the harbour.

Marité is down there, back from her overhaul. But I’m surprised to see that she’s not out working this afternoon. There are plenty of people around and so there’s a marketing opportunity that’s being missed here.

Not that it surprises me. I’ve made several remarks in the past about the staff who run the operation who seem to be much more interested in chatting amongst themselves rather than dealing with customer enquiries.

Belle France, the new Ile de Chausey ferry, is down there too. The other two boats are missing though, presumably running out to the Ile de Chausey.

government boat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was something else that caught my eye while I was looking around the port.

Over there on the right is a boat that I haven’t seen before. She’s in the colours of the French Government so she’s presumably an official boat but I’ve no idea what she’s doing in the harbour.

And in the background there’s a mechanical digger doing some work. That’s something that has escaped my notice until this afternoon. I’ve not seen anything about that anywhere either.

But while we’re on the subject of the port and the redevelopment, the story that I mentioned yesterday of the Big Wheel not coming to the town is creating all kinds of controversy and I expect that there will be much more to say about that in the near future.

trawlers fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Another thing that I noticed was what I thought was some kind of strange phenomenon on one of the trawlers just down there.

At first I thought that it was a trick of the light, some kind of prismatic effect creating all kinds of arrays of colour, but a closer examination revealed that it’s just a collection of plastic boxes.

The chute and pipework at the side of the trawler by the way is an ice chute. The trawlers fill their holds with ice before they leave and that helps keep the catch fresh until they return to port.

Back here I had a coffee and listened to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

it started off with something about Ukrainian people coming to Shavington for shelter, all loaded up with all kinds of fishing equipment but I can’t remember any more about it than this

And then there was a prison break organised for a town in Mexico with some young boy in soldier’s uniform who had gone to see a bandit chief about smuggling 3 revolvers into the local prison so that they could escape. 3 American women came into town and ended up working at some kind of job in town where they could watch everything and keep an eye on the prison break. They set up the town so that there were all kinds of weapons like machetes and daggers deposited in certain strategic places so that if these guys escaped but lost their guns could grab hold of some kind of weapon to defend themselves as they tried to make their way out of town.

Later on I was browsing through a newspaper and came across an advert for a Suzuki GS550 4-cylinder for sale for £1000. It said “ex-Shearings” on it so I was rather tempted by that. My brother rang up the garage in London and yes, they still had one. He said that it was a 1987 model so I took over the phone and had a talk to them about it. It had had new shock absorbers all round and a few other bits and pieces so I said that if I paid £100 deposit could they keep it for the weekend and I could come down and listen to it. If it was making any strange noises I could have my money back otherwise I’d pay the balance. They agreed to that so I gave them my details where they could send their details. Then I spoke to my friend from the Wirral and asked if he fancied a trip down to London on Saturday. He said that he had something to do but he could do it early in the morning then we could go down to pick it up. One of the young girls there said that we had to take 2 cars because she didn’t want to see a motorbike so I had to sit by her and ask her what was the matter with motorbikes, why she didn’t want to see one and what problems she had etc.

Finally I was in Virlet last night. There were quite a few of us round at my house including my brother. He was spending all his time tormenting the next-door neighbour’s dog. In the end I told him off and told him to leave the dog alone. The next-door neighbour came out with his dog and a couple of people who were there and we all started to go for a walk. They came round to where we were standing and had a little discussion. Then we went off for this walk having something of a chat. We ended up back at my house. A little girl who was with us and one with them went and sat next to each other and started to play. The guy asked questions about my tomato plants that I had growing. A girl with me borrrowed my pen and wrote out a note for him. It all started to become reasonably friendly. I thought that this doesn’t sound like my normal neighbours to me. I wonder what’s the matter with them.

And I wish that my brother would clear off. It’s rather annoying having my family hanging around like this. I ran away from home 50 years ago this summer in order to put as much distance as possible between me and the rest of them and I really can’t do with them keeping on coming back like this to haunt me during the night when there are many more people, like Castor, zero and TOTGA for example whom I would much rather see.

As I have said before … “and on several occasions too” – ed … I don’t mind Nerina putting in an appearance every now and again. After all, I did quite happily invite her to share my life, for better or for worse, and I would much rather have her about than quite a few people I could name.

Tea was the stuffed pepper that I should have had last night – well, in actual fact it was one that I found from the previous week that I had forgotten but found when I was vacuuming out the vegetable trays. Still, it was just as delicious. I put a bit more chili powder in it and that gave it something more of a kick.

Tomorrow I have my travel arrangements to make. I’m going a few days earlier, for reasons that will become clear in due course.

But if fortune smiles upon me which I hope that it will, something for which I have been hoping for the last 30 years will surely come to pass, and there might even need to be a name-change somewhere along the line.

Wednesday 13th April 2022 – GUESS WHO …

… has a broken kneecap? And for a fourth time too.

The first time was when I went head-over-handlebars on a motorbike when I was 16. The second time was when I slid a motorbike on a greasy road when I was 19 and the weight of two people and the bike itself (a 350cc Triumph) fell on it. The third time was skiing in Scotland when I was in my 20s – and I drove BILL BADGER, my old A60 van, home again.

As for when I did it in the fourth time, all that I can think of is that it was when I had that fall and broke my hand just before I went off on my transatlantic trip across to the High Arctic on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in the summer of 2019.

But taking a couple of years to manifest itself (it collapsed last spring, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall) is some going.

Anyway, retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, I had a lie-in this morning. Not that I intended to but at 07:30 – and at 08:00 – I couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm to leave my stinking pit. 09:25 was much more like it.

Having had my medication, sorted out the mails and messages and organised this week’s musical playlist on the computer, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And there was tons of stuff on there too. I’d had a busy night. No wonder I was in no hurry to leave my stinking pit.

The night started off with a huge long rambling dream about refugees. Again I had them with me and I arrived at a railway station. There were rooms above so we took a room above there. We had to carry all of their possessions up into the room above. That meant 4 or 5 trips in the lift to do it. There were all kinds of things happening – there was some objects still stuck in a lift from someone, I kept on bumping into all kinds of old schoolfriends while I was doing it, there was interaction with authority, one of those things that just went on and on and on while we were trying to move these refugees into this room. I’ve missed out most of it I think but the interesting part was of course all these people from school who kept appearing every time the lift either went up or went down and the doors opened. There would always be someone whom I knew waiting there. One person in particular was there once and also other people

So I had these refugees trying to get them into the upstairs room at this station passing by loads of people whom we knew. Some wanted arguments, some wanted help. I had papers from the Red Cross and had to show them. We were going up and down in this lift moving their stuff into this little room. The dream went on like this for ages. We met so many kinds of people and friends and one or two other people who helped us on our way but the farther we could get away from Vienna or Germany or wherever it was the better

My brother had bought a car, a Ford Cortina estate over the internet. A Mark IV model but he said that it was grey so we imagined that it would be the colour of my father’s old one. He was sitting down trying to work out how to get out and get it because his timetable was so full, he was going here and going there, he was having to work something else. In the end it was going to be several weeks before he could get it so I said that I would go for it. It turned out that it was near Foinavon that’s not the name but it’s on the railway line over Slochd Summit so that rules out Forsinard so of course the Inverness train is the place to go. I checked on the timetables, found the correct train and set off. I had to change at a big station to catch one of the stopping trains that went up the Highland line. The train pulled in and I checked with the guard that there was a local service coming up behind. All the doors closed and I thought that I’d missed the opportunity to leave the train but the door was opened from outside so I had to fight my way out. I found myself on some kind of temporary wooden platform which was just framework and no flats. There were people balancing awkwardly on there trying to enter the train and I was trying to alight. Other people who had already alighted were trying to work out how to go down to the main platform. I had to point them the way. This was a scene of total chaos as everyone who alighted from this train onto this wooden framework or whatever was trying to fight their way down to where everyone else was down on the main platform. I was thinking about all the things that needed doing, that I hoped that the car had enough fuel as it was getting late and I imagined that most places for fuel would be closed round here. I’d have to go to Inverness or Stirling or somewhere to fuel up and I hoped that everything else would be OK. I could imagine 1001 things that could go wrong between me picking up the car and brining it back home again.

I don’t know how this one started but I was working in the American embassy doing something, running errands. There was some kind of issue with the Russian desk in this large building and the Russians suddenly started firing loaves of bread over to the Americans. I caught a few and stored them up but they were coming over more and more and more. Eventually there was a pause so I walked across the hall to the Russian desk, found their senior officer, thanked him very much for sending all the bread to me but I told him that I now had enough fresh bread that I needed so if he wanted to send me any more could he make sure that it was frozen so that I could keep it in store. This was greeted by stunned silence throughout the building. After I had said my little piece I walked back to where the American desk was. I was beckoned over to the desk of the Ambassador’s personal secretary. She said “don’t you ever do anything like that ever again” but she was laughing and so was everyone else. I imagined that although i’d been told off, that everyone else was really quite sympathetic and really quite pleased that I’d gone out there and confronted them over it.

We were a big group of teenagers last night wandering around the streets of Crewe. I can’t remember how this worked out but we ended up at the house of a girl to do something. Her mother came to the door and in the end she fetched this girl. We were all around the back having something of a laugh etc. This girl was being quite chatty and quite friendly. Then it became time for us to leave so I asked her for her ‘phone number. She was possibly playing a game and in the end ended up trying to give me her father’s ‘phone number. She said that she could always remember it because it was 8 over 6, the 6 numbers at the end. Of course I immediately told them what it was, which was 675000 (which of course it isn’t). She gradually warmed a bit and in the end asked me for my ‘phone number. I didn’t have a card on me so I had to borrow a card off someone else, try to write my number but we didn’t have a pen that worked. In the end she decided that she would ‘phone me so that I’d have her ‘phone number and she’d have mine. That was what she did. But all of this took ages and there was much more to it than this but I can’t remember now. It was another one of these dreams that slowly developed into something extremely warm and pleasant and the type that I would want to carry on for ever. I awoke in a night sweat, which I haven’t had for a good few months. “I wish that this could have gone on for ever, this particular dream” I said into the dictaphone, so being able to talk like that while I’m asleep shows you exactly what kind of effect it had on me.

But low-flying loaves of bread as well? As I have said before… “and on many occasions too” – ed … what goes on during the night is much more exciting than anything that happens to me during the day these days.

To take me up to shower time I had a play with a few more photos of the High Arctic 2019 and I wish I could remember the name of the hill on which the flagpole is erected at Dundas Harbour on Devon Island. All that I can think of, and I know that it’s not correct, is the painter Samuel Gurney Cresswell who sailed to the High Arctic as Lieutenant with James Clark Ross and then with Robert McClure.

If I had to pick one of my favourite Arctic explorers he would be up there somewhere, not the least for his quote “a voyage to the High Arctic ought to make anyone a wiser and better man”. Well, it didn’t work for me, as the events of the last few days of my 2019 trip bear witness.

After a shower and a weigh-in (and I’ve lost 600g) I had lunch and then cleared off with Caliburn to the physiotherapist. It’s my last session with her today as she moves on to pastures new. She’s fixed me up with a colleague, but I bet that the new girl won’t be anything like as nice as Sonia. She can massage my clavicles any time she likes.

The trip to Avranches was complicated today because of all the roadworks and road closures. I ended up having to meander through the countryside and then it took me a while to find the centre. And when I found the centre, to find the building where I needed to be.

The scanning machine was made by General Electric, one of my former employers, so I knew that it would be good. And eventually they shoved me through it.

The doctor came to see me afterwards and told me about my kneecap, and also the fact there’s some cartiledge damage too. She’ll send a report to my GP who I’ll have to go to see in due course, but I have to be aware that surgery is not ruled out

There was an Intermarché next to the clinic so seeing as it’s been a few years since I’ve had a good look around inside one, I popped in. But there wasn’t anything there much that interested me. I bought one or two bits and pieces and some frozen peas and beans, and that was my lot.

Then I had to fight my way back through the roadworks. And it was good to give Caliburn a decent run-out this afternoon.

Tea was a taco roll (seeing as I had bought some this afternoon) with the left-over stuffing from yesterday, with rice and veg and it really was nice. But I have plenty of mushrooms left so it looks as if it will be a potato and mushroom curry for tea tomorrow.

So a broken kneecap now. Whatever next? At the rate that bits are dropping off me these days I’m at the stage where I’m afraid to go to the toilet.

In fact I haven’t felt so nervous since I was standing in a toilet next to Shakin’ Stevens but that’s another story for another time.