… an era. And I’m not talking about anything to do with la Soupape I and Philcathane either.
What I’m talking about is what is – or more correctly, isn’t – behind them on the quayside.
In all of the excitement yesterday I omitted to notice that all of the equipment for the gravel boats has gone.
When we were on our travels on Wednesday we noticed a huge crane pull into the harbour but I forgot to go and check what was going on on Thursday and so I missed its removal.
It’s all been sold to the port of St Malo and they sent a lorry or two to pick it up and take it away. And that’s the end of the gravel boats coming into the port.
Presumably that’s going to underline the slow demise of the port as a cargo hub and I wonder how long it will be before the little freighters to Jersey move on. With the gravel trade going, the Chamber of Commerce who runs the port will have to think about how it’s going to finance all of the rest of the operations here.
But there will be another time to worry about that. While you admire a few photos of Le Coelacanthe and Le Tibériade having fun and games out in the Baie de Mont St Michel, I shall tell you about my day today.
And although the night was rather later than it otherwise might have been I still leapt out of bed with alacrity (and you thought that I was on my own too!) at … errr … well, maybe not quite 07:30.
After the medication I spent some time slowly dragging myself to my feet, which was not easy today, and then I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.
And we started off the night at Zero’ house, and wasn’t that a nice surprise?. There was something going on there about books. I can’t remember what I was actually doing now but she was there. So was her father. Our mother had died. There was a handbook for a Ford van, an E83W vzn, of which my father had two, one after the other, when we were kids and I do actually own a handbook for one, would you believe?. This was being given now to my father so I had to write an inscription in the flyleaf. There was also an encyclopedia left to my mother by someone called “Red George”. That had to be gifted to my father as well so I wrote the dedication in the flyleaf for the workshop manual then I was hoping to disappear with that so that I could present it and the pen over to my brother so he’d write the second dedication then I could get off and see Zero but I had a feeling that this was something where there would be some kind of ceremony or something about and of course she would be long gone by the time that all of this ended.
And this situation with my family trying to spike my guns when I have something interesting going on has a very familiar ring about it, doesn’t it?<
This next one was another dream that didn’t really get going. It was all about how I write up my blog. How I list all the image files which I normally do and then copy them onto a blank page and then fill in the text all around it but for some reason I was copying and pasting into the wrong file at the wrong time at the wrong place and generally speaking I couldn’t really co-ordinate my movements at all. It ended up being something of quite a mess which was a shame. It should have been so simple but I was finding all these ways to complicate it and time was slipping away.
And that’s a regular occurrence too, isn’t it?
But later on, when I was in work. TOTGA turned up for the first time in God knows how long and that was quite nice too. It’s been a good while since she’s been around. We started to talk and I invited her out for a meal as it was lunchtime. She agreed but she told me that someone else had invited her out at lunch and she was thinking of going with them. I immediately downed tools and said “let’s go now ourselves”. I asked her if there was anywhere she didn’t want to go because of other people whom she might meet. I stood up and started to walk out but suddenly realised that I had to pay for the meal that I’d had a while ago. I had to find a waiter but it was the equivalent of LIDL in here. Everyone was queueing etc. In the end the guy with me (for I was now with a guy) muscled his way in to the front of the queue and started to prepare my bill for me as if he was a waiter here or someone like that so that I could leave.
So while you look at the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou going out into the bay past le loup, I was in Virlet last night, taking stuff down to my house. I was doing it and there were one or two other people as well. Loads of other people came to join in. They were bringing stuff with them and putting it in my house as I was trying to sort through it to see what I had. Amongst the things that took me by surprise was a box that I thought was full of screws but when I looked underneath there were boxes of nuts and bolts etc, spark plugs and a condenser and set of points for the Cortina, all kinds of treasures, so I started to sort them out. Other people were bringing stuff. Someone pointed out a lorry fuel tank that was there. He was saying that when he put it there it was in good condition but someone had dropped something on it so it was now dented and useless. I was bringing a large plank with me. there were a couple of kids who were trying to get in my way by grabbing hold of the plank as I went past so I shouted at them. Some woman came past with some stuff that she had found that someone had apparently dropped. There was a fire burning in the grate even though the place had been empty for years. I asked if someone had lit a fire and they replied “yes”, not that I minded because it was cold. It was quite a little hive of business going on in there. At one point I had to find something. I remembered that it was in the fuel tank of my old CZ motorbike so we had to dismantle that but I couldn’t get my hand in to pick it out. I needed things like a long twig or something that I could push inside to dislodge this item. Everyone was really busy.
And apart from that, I’ve been doing stuff on the internet and not having a great deal of fun doing it either.
But there are moves of some description afoot to which I need to attend and they won’t be done if I sit on my derrière and do nothing.
Consequently I have had “arrangements” to make.
And as usual, half the people to whom you write or otherwise try to contact don’t reply to you. People talk about there being a recession and how hard it is to earn money these days. And here I am, with a desperate need to spend some of it and it’s far too much like hard work for anyone to do what is required to prise it out of me.
That was the cue for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.
It was like November today. Wet, windy, foggy and overcast so my hat comes off to these two people here, especially the one who looks as if she’s just this minute come out of the water.
Not quite à la Ursula Andress, but never mind, hey?
And as far as I could see, they were the only people down there on the beach, and that won’t be a surprise to anyone who was out there this afternoon in this weather. I was in a sweater and a rain jacket in a vain attempt to keep myself dry.
Here are some people in a zodiac having a sail around offshore, as I noticed as I continued on my way.
I don’t know what they were doing but whatever it was, they were doing it with a loud-hailer for the rest of the day,
The kids were also out there again though, orienteering around on the lawn around the bunkers. One little girl had a little chat with me which was nice. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I competed in the North West England Schools Championship on one occasion.
As an aside, not long after I moved to Brussels I saw someone wandering around in sports gear carrying some orienteering equipment so I wandered over to him to ask him.
He was aghast. The moment I began to speak to him he took one step back and stuttered “On se connait?” – “do we know each other?”.
In the end, I ended up running around the streets of Schaerbeek and Evere at night on my own
You’ve seen already a few photos of Le Coelacanthe and Le Tiberiade and one of the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou out in the Baie de Mont St Michel.
At one particular moment we almost had one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek v Greek” moments and I thought that it was quite appropriate that the lifeboat was in the immediate vicinity.
From what I could see on their radar plots, they had both been fishing just offshore and were now considering whether or not to head for home. You saw Le Coelacanthe coming into the harbour in one of the earlier photos after she had made up her mind.
And on the AIS database she didn’t have a photograph. But now she does!
With no-one at the cabanon vauban this afternoon, I pushed on towards the harbour on the other side of the headland.
And it’s “all systems go” at the chantier naval this afternoon. And about to go is Le Poulbot after her length stay in port.
She’s sitting in the cradle in the portable boat lift waiting for the tide to come further in deep enough to drop her into the water.
Gerlean is still there though. You can just about make her out on the right. And L’Omerta is still there too, although you can’t see her.
But also gone! And never called me “mother!” is Pierre de Jade. Her berth is looking quite empty now.
But someone stepped into Le Poulbot‘s shoes before she has even gone into the water. In her place is the pink Suzanga, one of the newest trawlers here in the port.
She’s been here not quite two years and regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we “scooped” the local press by having her photographed and recorded here before they did.
So who is going to come along and claim the empty berth then?
Meanwhile, with both Gerlean and L’Omerta being in the chantier naval, we have other fish frying over at the Fish Processing Plant.
Moored there today, amongst several other boats were Calean and behind her, La Grande Ancre. And there are a couple of guys standing on the lower level by the van taking a great deal of interest in whatever is on the stern of La Grande Ancre.
Behind them, Le Coelacanthe had by now come in to unload. There was another boat too and waiting her turn to dock at the quayside was Le Tibériade.
It’s a shame that there are a few boats that habitually moor up at the wharf and prevent other ships from unloading quickly and having a rapid turnround.
So that was that and I headed for home and a coffee.
And I wasn’t the only one heading for home as around the corner towards port came Belle France from the Ile de Chausey with a crowd of passengers on board.
And I bet that they would far rather have been out there yesterday when there was everything going on in the bay. It was quite quiet and boring there this afternoon.
Armed with my coffee I carried on working and then knocked off for tea.
What I’d been doing, surprise surprise, is going through the Accounts of a football club in Wales to see if I could identify why they would want to allow themselves to be struck off the register at Companies House and compulsorily liquidated when they had assets of about £400,000.
That’s a saga that will run and run too.
Tea tonight was a Left-over Curry, delicious as usual, and then I had to run as I’d forgotten about the football this evening.
It’s this weird competition organised by the Scottish Football Association that includes the leading part-time clubs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. TNS were at home to Dundee tonight live on the internet.
Really, it was no competition. TNS had by far the lion’s share of possession but I don’t think that Dundee ever broke into a sweat. They just stepped up a gear when it mattered and made it look easy.
The difference between the “professional” clubs and the “amateur” club is the fitness.
You watch when a big team is playing against a minnow. For much of the game the teams can slug it out toe-to-toe but the danger periods are the first five minutes of each half when the lesser team is struggling to come up to the rhythm and the final 15 minutes when the steam has gone out of the lesser team.
And sure enough, Dundee rattled in two goals almost straight from the kick-off for the second half, and added another one right at the end. They were just in a completely different class to TNS.
Bed time now, and I wonder who’ll be waiting for me. Zero and TOTGA again? Or Castor? It’s about time she put in an appearance again. But my money will be on one of my family coming along to spike my guns.
Watch this space.