Category Archives: Eric Hall

Sunday 17th October 2021 – I WAS ONLY …

ile de chausey yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… half-right about last night.

While you admire a couple of photos of maritime activity today, I can tell you all about it

It was almost 03:00 (in fact 02:50) when I finally fell into bed this morning but as for the “sleep through until tomorrow afternoon” bit, I was wide awake at 09:25.

There was no possibility of going back to sleep either and by 10:00 I was up and about and taking my medication.

boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021With it being a Sunday I had a very quiet morning, not doing very much at all except vegetating.

After all, the journey home yesterday takes a lot out of me I had to recover my strength after my exertions, although that new route that I tried wasn’t half as exerting as the regular route.

Later on though, I finally galvanised myself into action and paired off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow.

And while I’m on the subject, I need to have a look round and see what Christmas songs I have for my programme that will be broadcast on Christmas Day

After lunch I had a pile of photos to sort through from my trip to Leuven. These are all now edited and when I transcribe the piles of dictaphone notes that accumulated, I’ll go back and edit the relevant entries.

No sooner do I catch up one lot of outstanding stuff, I fall behind with another. What upset everything was of course my having to go to the hospital on Thursday morning.

When I went to take out some dough for this evening’s pizza, I discovered that there wasn’t any. I must have used up the last lot last Sunday. As a consequence I had to prepare another batch and it didn’t turn out too badly.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It’s been a long time since I’ve been out for a walk around the headland, what with being off on my travels, so I was keen to be out there again.

There wasn’t very much beach out there this afternoon. The tide is well in right now, as I discovered as I peered over the wall.

There were plenty of people down there as well taking advantage of what beach there was, and even some of them brave enough to go out into the water up to their waists. Braver people than I am, I have to say. You wouldn’t catch me in there quite like that.

yachts baie de granville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It was a really nice afternoon out there, considering that it’s mid-October.

Quite sunny, not too much wind at all, the kind of weather that brings the people out in their hordes. And even out on the water too, as you have already seen. A couple of yachts, a couple of speedboats, a cabin cruiser or two. The bay was full of them.

And people over there on the beach by the airfield as well enjoying themselves in the sun, although I’m not sure about the tractors out there disturbing the peace.

film camera crew lorries place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the car park, the workmen’s compound that was there has long-gone but it seems that we now have other activity there.

Part of the car park has been cordoned off with a couple of rows of cones, and in that section, there are several lorries and trailers that are parked there.

There were the usual “no waiting” notices scattered about, and so I went for a closer look. Apparently that area is reserved for “film crews making a film”. It looks as if once again, the town is going to be the scene of another cinematographic epic.

It’s happening quite regularly these days.

fishermen in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Fighting my way through the masses this afternoon I headed off down the path towards the lighthouse.

As well as all of the other boats that we have seen already, there was a zodiac a way out offshore with a group of people therein.

Enlarging the photo when I returned home, I could see that they were fishermen having a go at whatever they would catch which, while I was watching, wasn’t anything at all.

There was on aerial activity this afternoon. Not even one Birdman of Alcatraz, so I wandered off around the end of the headland.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path and across the car park, I came to the very end of the headland.

Down at the bench near the cabanon vauban there was quite a crowd and I thought to myself that if they all intend to sit on the bench, they must be very close friends. But the perch of the guy on the extreme right looked rather precarious to mr.

It was here that I was buttonholed by a passer-by who asked me if it is possible to see the Mont St Michel from here.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we can see the hotels on the mainland from down by the bench, but not the Mont St Michel itself because the Pointe de Carolles is in the way.

yachts les epiettes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good look in the chantier naval so I was keen to see how things were developing.

My trip down the path on the south side of the headland brought me to the viewpoint overlooking the yard where I was disappointed to see that there was no change in there from before I went away.

The big yacht is still in there, as is the little Government boat Les Epiettes. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have seen a couple of trawlers in there as well? I’m missing the overcrowding in the yard.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Not very much happening over at the ferry terminal this afternoon, but there was something happening over at the Fish Processing Plant.

Just pulling away from the wharf over there was La Grande Ancre with quite a load of shellfish boxes on board, so it looks as if she’s off to try her hand herself at bringing a pile of shellfish back home.

Talking of “back home”, I wasn’t going to hang about too long. I could do with going back home and having a nice, hot mug of coffee. It might be warm out here this afternoon, but a mug of hot coffee is always welcome.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Passing the inner harbour, I looked down to see what was happening in the inner harbour.

To my surprise, the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie is no longer in there, and neither are the tubes that were floating about on the water. It’s all been happening while I’ve been away, hasn’t it?

Back here, I made myself a coffee and came in here to sit down for a few minutes. And later on I made a start at unpacking my suitcase from my trip. That was a good idea that was, taking the larger suitcase.

Later on, I went to assemble my pizza.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021No fresh mushrooms unfortunately so I had to make do with tinned ones. I’d drained them earlier and while the oven was heating up, I put them in the oven to dry out.

As for the pizza itself, it really was delicious. Not the best that I have ever made but it was certainly pretty good.

Now that I’ve written my notes, I’m going to have a quiet relax for a while and then go to bed. I’m up early in the morning because I have a radio programme to prepare and I need to be on form for that.

And I mustn’t forget – there’s shopping to do tomorrow when I finish or there will be nothing to go on my butties at lub=nchtime.

Saturday 16th October 2021 – THIS NEW WAY …

… home actually seemed to work a lot easier than going home the normal way. So if ever my 07:17 from Brussels is cancelled in the future and I can’t have another cheap ticket any other way, I’m going to consider quite seriously going this way home again.

The alarm was set for 06:00 but it was pretty much a waste of time because I didn’t have much sleep at all. The heating made so much racket that in the end I went down and switched it off, and then I ended up with people talking outside my door for what seemed like hours.

Nevertheless I was up and about as soon as the alarm went off and it didn’t take me long to finish packing and to make my sandwiches. There was even time for coffee and toast for breakfast.

07:00 is the latest time for me to leave my digs because there’s an express train to Brussels at 07:33. But I was on my way at about 06:50 and was in plenty of time to catch the 07:21 express. And I wish that I’d brought a coat because I was absolutely freezing.

Sitting on a draughty station for 45 minutes froze me to the marrow and I was really glad that the train to Paris came in early. I scrambled aboard the crowded train to warm up and found myself sitting next to a Chinese student who was confused about the application of the Eurorail pass. He didn’t realise that there’s a supplement to pay on the TGV and so he was stuck for an excess charge.

Much of the route to Paris was spent catching up with my beauty sleep so I was wide awake when we arrived in Paris. I had to show my vaccine passport on arrival and then go to look for RER track E.

It’s actually quite a walk but it’s on the level and on a really good surface so it didn’t seem like too much effort.

Down in the bowels, I didn’t have long to wait for a train. Much more comfortable than the metro, rather like a cheap mainline multiple-unit in fact, and it was only 15 minutes to the Gare St Lazare.

There was quite a walk from there too but once more, it was all on the level and going up to the station was on an escalator so there wasn’t any struggle with the baggage.

Finding my way onto the platform was something else. There’s a “magic eye” that reads the QR code of your ticket, but the eye isn’t where you expect it to be and it took me 5 minutes and the assistance of a passer-by to enable me to find my train.

It’s a newish double-decker multiple-unit with all mod cons and very comfortable. Furthermore it’s non-stop to Caen and it doesn’t hang about either.

At Caen there’s a one-hour wait for the train to Granville so I could go for a walk around, eat my sandwiches and even buy myself a coffee. The train though, one of the Bombardier units that we have seen in Granville, is strange in that there’s only four power points per carriage and they take some finding.

Just four power points, and in the 21st Century too!

Coming back home was easier than it has been recently. I only had to stop four times coming up the hill and loaded up as I was, that isn’t bad going at all. And it really was nice to be back home.

Football later on, in the Welsh Cup. Colwyn Bay of the 2nd Division against Cardiff Metro of the 1st. A game rather short on skill and technique, but a proper cup-tie all the same played in front of a big, noisy crowd. Cardiff Metro had most of the play, missed a penalty, had a goal disallowed for offside and missed three or four absolute sitters.

Colwyn Bay, who were on the back foot for most of the game and only had one real shot on goal. And so, as you might expect, Colwyn Bay won the game 1-0 to move into the next round.

Now that i’ve had tea, I ought to be going to bed but I’m not tired right now. I’ll go to bed at about 03:00 I suppose and then sleep through until tomorrow afternoon.

That’s what usually happens.

Friday 15th October 2021 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… I actually had a reasonable night’s sleep last night and I can’t say how much I appreciated it.

The night was reasonably early for a change and despite waking up once or twice during the night I slept right the way through to 09:50. And having left the heating on during the night, for once, the place was warm.

After the medication I sat down and chose the music for the next batch of radio programmes and by the time that I’d finished later on in the afternoon I’d actually chosen the music for 5 programmes.

This included a pause for breakfast and a pause for lunch as well as a couple of coffee pauses.

Some of the stuff was quite complicated to do because I have several discs of all kinds of assorted music, several tracks that I wanted to use in order to break up the run of groups, and so I had to track down the songs, who recorded them and on which album they appear.

This afternoon I went for a good walk around the city centre and managed 5.7 kilometres without stopping for a breather. I know that the town centre is comparatively level so walking around isn’t as difficult as it is in some places, but even so it’s an impressive achievement considering the way that I’ve been feeling just recently.

One of the things that I did was to buy a new rucksack. The big one that I have is starting to fall apart after all of the rough handling that it’s had for the last four years and this one that I bought was on special offer at €50:00. It’s of a reputable make and has a capacity of 65 litres.

This evening I finished off the last of the veggie balls with pasta and vegetables, and since then I’ve made a start on packing my things ready to leave tomorrow. I have a train leaving Brussels at 08:43 so I need to be up at 06:00 and well on my way down the road by 07:00.

It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.

Thursday 14th October 2021 – IT’S BEEN ONE …

…of those days when very little seemed to go right today.

Such things as having yet another bad night’s sleep, awakening bolt-upright for no good reason at 06:00 exactly, that sort of thing.

And despite having turned on the heating in the room last night, it was flaming cold as well.

The way that I leapt out of bed was hardly “with alacrity” this morning. I waited around for a few minutes for the room to stop spinning before I left my stinking pit.

After the medication I checked m mails and messages, had my breakfast and then went for a shower. And despite having turned up the heating to “full”, it was still cold and I didn’t enjoy the shower at all.

Having made my sandwiches I headed off through town towards the hospital, taking a few photos on the way, some of which didn’t turn out for a reason that I haven’t understood.

At the hospital I had a CT scan of my chest – and then I had to wait. “I’m sorry that you had to wait so long” siad the nurse. “I had to send for a doctor to look at the images. I don’t like the sound of that very much.

After a wait around I had to go for another test to measure the capacity of my lungs – breathing in and out of a long tube.

Finally I could go round to the Oncology department for my usual treatment. I arrived there at 13:40 for my treatment that was timed for 14:00, and I was finally seen at 14:45. I’ve no idea what was happening today that was making them run so late.

It was 17.30 before the doctor came to see me too but at least this time it was a doctor who was very concerned and very interested – not like the one that I had a couple of times ago.

My blood count has seen a dramatic rise – to 9.7 and I’ve no idea why. He went through my other results too and explained them to me. Apparently there wasn’t much out of order with my breathing and my lungs in the way in which they are functioning.

As a result he’s going to try to make an appointment with a cardiologist for me who will hopefully probe my case a little further. I didn’t tell him that my doctor at home is also on the case. 2 opinions are better than one.

This all finished by me being hours late for everything so I waited at the hospital for Alison to come there and pick me up. We went round to her house, having to go back to the hospital to pick up the medication that I had forgotten.

Alison had bought some vegan sausages so while I cooked them, she went to the fritkot for some chips. And it was a lovely tea too.

Afterwards we had a lengthy chat until I began to go to sleep so she kindly ran me home. Now I’m off to bed for a good lie in. No alarm in the morning – I’m going to sleep until I wake up

Wednesday 13th October 2021 – JUST BRIEFLY …

… because I’ve been watching the football –

It really takes some believing that for the last four and a half years I’ve been flogging myself through the backbreaking, if not heartbreaking labyrinth that is the bowels of the Gare Montparnasse.

Let me give you the background to this.

The Gare Montparnasse is not the original site of the station. That site, where the legendary Granville train of 100-odd years ago failed to stop at the buffers and crashed into the street below is now the site of the Tour Montparnasse.

They moved the station back about 500 metres or so but they didn’t move the metro station, so you have to descent about 10 flights of stairs into the bowels of the station, walk 500 metres along a dingy corridor, and then climb and descend a succession of steps that take you over other metro lines, sewage pipes, water pipes and just about everything.

As I said, I’ve been doing this for four and a half years, sometimes even with some really heavy luggage and in my state of health and it’s been a nightmare.

But not any more.

Before I came away, I had a look at a street map and then at one of these live camera sites and I’ve had a change.

Today, I just went down one flight of stairs, outside the railway station into the open air for a walk of 400 metres down the Rue de Départ on the level to the corner of the Boulevard Montparnasse.

There, I went down an escalator, then down one flight of steps and I was on the platform. As easy as that, after all of this struggling for all of these years.

While I was doing it all, I was keeping an eye on the times and I reckoned that I’d arrived at the Gare du Nord 2 trains earlier than usual too.

So this morning I was up at 06:00 after another bad night’s sleep but I was hard at it from the start, making my sandwiches, cleaning up the place, disinfecting the drains and even washing the floor. I must be feeling better.

Taking a bigger suitcase with me, even though I’ve lightened the load, was also a good idea too. Its bigger wheels were easier to manoeuvre and I actually made it to the station only stopping three times for breath.

The train was in early as well so I could take my seat without having to wait. I was in a four-seat place and while two of the seats were occupied, the one next to me wasn’t so once I’d updated the laptop I could have a decent sleep for a while.

The trip from Montparnasse to Gare du Nord I have already described and one of the very few advantages about Covid is that because of all of the new procedures on long-distance trains, they are opening the gates early so I was one of the first on board.

At Lille, the walk from Lille Flandres railway station to Lille Europe wasn’t as difficult as it has been of late either with my different suitcase.

There was no-one sitting beside me on the train to Brussels either so I could eat my sandwiches in peace.

Leaving the platform at Brussels Gare du Midi was a nightmare because there was only on exit working. As a result I missed my 15:34 train and had to wait until 15:56.

At Leuven I tried something else new. With plenty of space inside my suitcase I went to the supermarket at the back of the station and bought my drink there. It fitted nicely into my suitcase to bring down here, and it was at that point that I discovered that my laptop will also fit in there.

As a result it was a much easier walk down to here than it has been of late.

Going down to the shop later on and coming back was nothing like as difficult as it has been either because with no drink to bring back, the shopping was comparatively light. That took ages because there were so many people in the place, and also because a girl in front of me in the “cards only” queue didn’t have a card and wanted to pay cash. That took ages to deal with.

Later on after tea there was football on the internet so I watched the basement clash between Cefn Druids and Aberystwyth Town on one of the world’s slowest internet connection that spent more time freezing than streaming.

From what I saw of the game, Druids are adrift at the foot of the table purely on merit and I do have to say that despite my optimistic remarks of a few weeks ago, Aberystwyth aren’t going to find it as easy to move away from near the bottom of the table as I was suggesting

Aberystwyth had the lions share of the game but the Druids looked dangerous on the break, but the game was won by Aberystwyth by a free header from a free kick They missed a penalty and had a goal disallowed as well

But unless a miracle happens, the Druids are doomed, even this early in the season .They defended well against what Aberystwyth had to offer but they will find other clubs a much more difficult proposition and they really had nothing whatever to offer up front

But now, after one of my rather better days for the last few months, due almost entirely to a major change of procedure, I’m off to bed. I have not one but three different appointments tomorrow at the hospital so it’s an all-day job. And then I’m off out socialising in the evening.

Tuesday 12th October 2021 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… today, no-one bothered me at all. I had quite a calm day today wthout having to deal with reams of phone calls, people having fits of hysteria an dall that kind of nonsense.

Last night’s sleep wasn’t as good as it might have been either. It was another one of these nights when I was tossing and turning around in bed.

Tons of stuff on the dictaphone, and as I type this out I realise that I haven’t typed out the notes today. It’s going to be another long week, I think.

There was a lie-in until 07:30, which seems to be the start time these days, I had my medication, checked my mails and messages and then started to revise my Welsh ready for my lesson.

That started at 11:00 and went on until 01:30 without any problems although I made one or two simple errors that were rather embarrassing.

After lunch I had some correspondence to deal with and then I set out for town.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury, there’s a good view looking out over the harbour.

This afternoon, the sailing schools were out having fun this afternoon. It was a little cool and windy, but a nice sunny day so I suppose that it was the ideal kind of weather for them to be afloat out there.

Down in the harbour itself there wasn’t very much happening at all. everything seemed to be exactly as it was when we saw it yesterday afternoon.

dumper depositing sand in skip boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was however something goin on down at the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

A dumper had turned up with a load of sand and was busy tipping it onto a container that has turned up today.

When the dumper left, I followed its course and I can now tell you that this compound and the associated machinery are here in connection with the work that we saw the other day in the Rue Cambernon.

At least, that was where it was heading when I lost sight of it.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further down the hill I came to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour.

There’s something having been going on down there because the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie has shuffled round a little and all of the pipes seem to have moved somewhat.

The number of pipes doesn’t seem to have diminished any, though. I wonder when they are going to start doing something with them. The dredger has been here for a couple of weeks and someone must be paying a rental for that.

First stop was at the Health Centre. My doctor had told me that a new cardiac specialist had set up shop there so I went to try and blag an appointment with him, taking with me the letter that my doctor had given me.

Unfortunately the receptionist was rather intransigent but I did manage to coax the doctor’s phone number from her.

Next stop was at the bank. I’d had my cheque for the last three months of my state pension from Belgium, and it needed to be paid in. Now, where can I go with €90:18?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I only worked for about 11 months in the Belgian State Pension Scheme, back in 2005/06.

Final port of call was at the Post Office. I’ve had the estimate for the repair of the NIKON 1 J5 and it’s less that I was expecting. I needed to authorise the work and, more importantly, to pay the bill.

The way back home up the hill passed much more easily that it has done of late and I’ve no idea why that is either. It wasn’t anything like the struggle that it was a couple of weeks ago, although it’s still a long way short of how it was 18 months ago.

buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Back at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour we could see that Buddy M, the trawler from Cork, is still there.

She’s been here a few weeks now having her overhaul, and I’ve noticed over the last couple of days that there has been a white van parked by her. maybe that can belongs to the mechanics.

From there I carried on up the hill, rather more easily, heading for my apartment and a cup of coffee. I felt that I had earned it this afternoon.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Outside the apartment there was one of my neighbours so I went over and had a chat, grabbing a photograph of a Birdman of Alcatraz on my way.

Shortly afterwards, another neighbour came over and then a third, ans we were gossiping away like a bunch of old women for about half an hour.

Most of the topic centred around the garden outside the building. There’s been a proposal for the occupiers of the building to do something with it, like plant flowers and the like. Not that it affects me in any way as I won’t be taking part, but I can’t be unsociable all my life..

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Once everyone drifted away from the conversation I walked over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

And pleasant day thatit was, there wasn’t anyone down there at all, even though there was plenty of beach to be on right now. Even the Birdmen of Alcatraz had folded up their wings and departed.

There were a few boats out there in the bay, but they were even farther out that usual so taking a photo would have been pretty much a waste of time.

people on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But one thing that I did notice was a couple of people out on the rocks further around the beach.

They had piled up some of their clothing down there and had gone for a little paddle in the water. I hope that they were enjoying it.

Back in the apartment I made a coffee and then sat down to telephone the heart specialist. After much debate and discussion they eventually managed to fit me in on Monday 25th October – at 08:00.

That’s going to be some appointment, at that time of the morning.

Tea was pasta and veggie balls again in spicy tomato sauce – more spicy that notmal because I dropped the tabasco sauce into the mix. But apart from that it was nice.

Now I’m off to bed, later than I would have liked, because I’m up at 06:00 tomorrow. I’m off to Leuven on the 08:45 train for a long day’s travel and I’m no good if I’m half asleep.

Monday 11th October 2021 – WE’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… amusing exchange of family correspondence today.

Someone sent me a copy of a family tree and my attention was drawn to a name – Brian – in this family tree.

And so I sent a mail “Your “Brian” – is that the Denis Bryan Ashness-Wells who was born on 1 April 1915, father Francis George Ashness-Wells age 31 and mother, Alice Charlotte Frances Stuart “Elsie” Beavis, 38 who died in 1968, in Hillingdon, London, England, United Kingdom, at the age of 53?”.

The reply that I received was “That’s where you have me at a disadvantage. I find a document, show you the document then you ask me if it matches information you have that I’ve never seen. Not a game I want to play.”.

This reply is from someone who has complained to me in the past (like a couple of days ago) that I haven’t shared any information with him, despite the fact that he hasn’t spoken to me in over 20 years. So when, of course, when I do share some information with him, he goes totally berserk.

You really can’t make up nonsense like this, can you? And to think that I had to put up with behaviour like that for all these years until I became fed up, emigrated and left them all behind.

Some people need to go and lie down in a darkened room and double their dose. The rest of us had grown out of behaviour like this by the time we left Primary School.

But anyway, I digress.

Last night I was in bed rather later than I hoped and the night wasn’t a particularly good one, but I still managed to stagger out of bed when the alarm went off at 06:00.

After the medication and having checked my mails and messages, I attacked the radio programme. And despite a pause for a coffee and another one for breakfast, the programme was all done and dusted and ready to go by 11:15.

Of course I had to listen to it and also the one that I’ll be sending off for broadcast this week. And this week, they both went off without any issues – not like last week of course.

While I was listening to them, I was carrying on with this slow project of checking the duplicates of images that I have on the computer, and another few GB have bitten the dust right now.

After lunch I had a shower and a general clean-up and dealt with some stuff for my other radio project while I waited for the nurse to come to give me my injection.

Eventually I found out that he had already been, while I was in the shower and I’d missed him. So he told me that he’ll be round this evening.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021That meant that I could finally go out for my afternoon walk so I headed off towards the wall at the end of the car park.

Being rather later than usual, the tide was much farther in than you would expect, and the little spit of sand down there was quite prominent. I’ve never seen it quite as clearly as this before.

And there was no-one on the beach down there this afternoon. It’s later than normal and not as warm as it was at the weekend, but still pleasant enough for anyone who wanted to go for a walk along the foreshore.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was looking down on the beach, a familiar noise up above attracted my attention.

As I watched, around the corner from behind the College Malraux came out own friend the red powered hang-glider that we have seen quite regularly over the past few days.

He came flying by and headed straight out across the bay in the direction of the airfield, presumably to go in to land.

Having watched it disappear out to sea, I headed off on my walk along the path on top of the cliffs.

men fishing from zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was looking out to sea, I happened to notice that there was something out at sea.

A closer look showed me that it was a zodiac, and in it were a couple of fishermen dangling their rods into the water in the hope of catching something for supper.

At this point I had another phone call to answer so I couldn’t see whether they actually managed to catch anything, but if the past is anything to go by, it was unlikely.

But once the ‘phone call ended, I carried off on my walk towards the lighthouse, fighting my way through the crowds of people who were on the path.

people on bench men fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021At the lighthouse I walked down the path and across the car park down to the end of the headland.

There was plenty of excitement down there this afternoon. Today, we have two couples sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban looking out to sea.

What they were looking at was difficult to say because there was nothing whatever going on out in the bay and across to Cancale this afternoon

There was also a couple of fishermen standing on the rocks down there with their rods and lines. But I didn’t wait here either to see if they actually managed to catch anything. I headed off down the path.

yacht les epiettes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the port and the chantier naval.

The yacht is still there, but the trawler Pescadore has gone back into the water. She wasn’t in there for very long.

In her place we have the little boat that is painted in French Government colours. She’s called Les Epiettes and we had a very close encounter with her when we were on board the Spirit of Conrad last summer.

She’s been hanging around the bay for quite a while subsequently and has been in and out of the port a few time, although I haven’t actually found out yet what she does.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was at the viewpoint overlooking the Chantier naval, I glanced over at the ferry terminal to see what was happening.

This afternoon we had a full house of Ile de Chausey ferries moored up over at the terminal. From left to right, we have the newer one of the Joly France boats with the smaller upper deck superstructure, and in the centre is the brand-new Belle France.

And then on the right is the older one of the two Joly France ferry with the windows in “landscape” format.

And they have finally collapsed the jib on the crane and folded it back up again after all of this time at full extension.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was on my way back home I was overflown yet again.

This time there was another helicopter going by overhead, a red one this time, different from the one that we saw yesterday.

Back home again I made myself a coffee and then sat down to do some work but instead I had a phone call from Rosemary and we had another lengthy chat, putting the world to right.

After our call finished, I went to make a curry with all of the bits and pieces that were lying around but I was interrupted by the nurse, and this injection was painful for a change.

While I was at it, I told him that I’d been notified that I have the right to a booster injection 6 months after my second injection, so that means with effect from any time now.

The information told me that a nurse can do it, so I asked him f he could administer it when he comes in 2 weeks time. He’ll bring one with him, he told me.

The curry was delicious, as was the scoop of ice cream that I had afterwards as I’d run out of soya dessert.

Now that my notes are complete I’ll have a little relax and then go to bed. I have my Welsh class tomorrow and I need to be on form. And then I have some errands to run in town tomorrow.

Sunday 10th October 2021 – CONSIDERING THAT SUNDAY …

… is supposed to be a Day of Rest and I’m not supposed to be working, I’m flaming well exhausted after everything that I’ve done today.

The day started really well too. I finally had what I’d been hoping for several days now and had a really decent, uninterrupted sleep from about 00:45 right the way through to 09:35 without even a flicker.

And staying in bed vegetating for another hour or so was exactly what I needed to do as well.

After the meds I came in here and checked my mails and messages, and then I paired off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be doing tomorrow.

That took me up to lunchtime, following which I had a little clean-up in the kitchen to try to make it look a little more presentable.

Back in here, I printed out my rail tickets and then shock! Horror! I did some tidying up.

There have been papers all over the place for the last couple of months, stuff that I have to keep on moving so I can sit down or go to bed or whatever. Anyway today, I sorted right the way through them and filed away the important ones and filed the rest under “CS”.

There were some expenses from various sources for which I need to seek reimbursement and I set them on one side for scanning, but I ran out of time.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There’s quite a change from yesterday in the amount of beach available this afternoon.

That shows you really just how quickly the tide comes in around here. But there were plenty of people down there sunning themselves, and no surprise because it was a nice sunny day this afternoon.

Not as much wind as of late either either. We seem right now to be having a little Indian Summer since the storms, and I wonder how long we can keep it up.

Robin DR400-160 F-HGSM pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was out there looking at the beach, an aeroplane came flying in towards the airport.

She’s one that we have seen before – on the 2nd of April this year in fact. F-HGSM, a Robin DR401-160 owned by the Aéroclub Des Grèves Du Mont Saint Michel down the road at Avranches.

Once more, she hasn’t filed a flight plan, and she’s not been picked up on radar either so I’ve no idea of her route or anything else about her today. She’s being extremely mysterious.

helicopter 34-ACI pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was nothing whatever going on out at sea this afternoon so I carried on along the path fighting my way through the hordes of people out there.

While I was doing so I heard the sound of an unsilenced rotary engine overhead. On looking up (yes, things are looking up here) I saw that I was being oveflown by a helicopter.

The nice weather this afternoon has made someone take out his chopper and go for a good run around. And even though I can see her registration number – 34-ACI – I couldn’t find out anything at all about her.

red powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And that wasn’t all either.

As I rounded the corner to head down the path towards the car park, something else came over going the other way.

This afternoon, we have once again the company of the red powered hang-glider, this time heading on its way out to sea rather than back home as we saw it yesterday.

But me, I was heading down to the end of the headland to see what was going on. and the answer to that was “nothing”. No crowds of volunteers, no boats, no-one sitting on the bench at the cabanon vauban and no-one skiving off on the roof of the old German observation post.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Instead, I wandered off down the other side of the headland towards the port.

No change in occupancy in the chantier naval so I had a good look over towards the ferry terminal. And once again, they’ve gone off for the weekend and left the gib of the crane fully extended. All that weight resting on the hydraulic seals.

Down there tied up at the terminal is Belle France, the very newest of the three ferries that do over to the Ile de Chausey. One of the others is tied up in the inner harbour so the third one is probably over at the island.

workmen's compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back, I stopped for a look down at the workmen’s compound in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

Things seem to be hotting up in there right now. The piles of gravel that they deposited at the side of the road now have dried out and as well as the white digger that we had before, there’s a large yellow one.

When I come back from Leuven next weekend, I’m expecting to see a few changes down there such as some actual work being done.

Back at the apartment I made myself a coffee and then came back in here to sort out the stuff that I’m taking to Leuven.

This time I’m taking a larger suitcase, simply because it’s easier to manoeuvre and there’s more room to bring things back in it if necessary instead of struggling with a collection of carrier bags.

Everything has been stripped down to the bare minimum too and I’m taking a lot less with me than I usually would. I imagine that it’s still going to be a struggle and I wish that it wasn’t.

While I was at it, I backed up my memory stick with files for the last two months. Last month’s back-up was done in a hurry and wasn’t complete so I made sure that I had time this afternoon to do it.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Earlier in the afternoon I’d taken out the last pizza dough from the freezer to defrost.

Later on i rolled it out and then assembled my pizza ready for baking. After all, what is a Sunday without a pizza?

Especially a delicious pizza like this one turned out to be. It really was nice, one of the best that I’ve made for quite a while.

And now even though it’s early, I’m off to bed as I have an early start in the morning. There’s stuff on the dictaphone from last night but that can stay on there for now as I don’t have time to do it.

Tomorrow I’m radioing so I need to be on form. And about time too.

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

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

Anyone care to guess what time I awoke this morning?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Friday 8th October 2021 – I WAS IN BED …

… last night really early – at about 22:40 as it happened, and I had one of the best, deepest sleeps that I have ever had, all the way through until … errr … 04:41. And then the wheels fell off.

When I awoke, I was drenched in sweat yet again (and isn’t this becoming a regular occurrence?), probably the worst yet, and then I spent the time until the alarm went off at 07:30 just tossing and turning in bed.

Staggering out of bed I went for my medication and then back here after dealing with my mails and messages I made a coffee and dealt with the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s voyages are now on line in the appropriate place and then I had a listen to today’s. I’d found myself a nice young girlfriend and I’d been round at my mother’s house with her. It was time for her to go home so I said “yes, you have school in the morning”. She said no, she wasn’t going to school. I asked 2 or 3 times but it didn’t sink in with me. We went to go out and it was pouring down with rain. My mother asked “what are you going to do now?” I replied “put our hoods up”. THe girl decided that it was rather too much so my mother said that she’d run us. I replied “I’ll drive – where are the keys?”. My mother refused and I thought that this was a strange turn-round from how things usually are. I got into the back of this Cortina estate and my mother and this girl got into the front and set off. My mother’s driving was all over the place, driving up the kerb and everything. I said to the girl “I told you that you’ll regret this”. We came to a road junction out of Vine Tree Avenue into Somerville Street in Crewe and I’ve no idea why we were there but my mother didn’t slow down. She just carried on. I shouted “aren’t you going to stop?”. She jammed her foot on the brake and the car slid across the road junction just missing another car coming the other way. I took this girl and we left the car and said “right, we’re walking”. This girl was rather unhappy about walking and said “we can always go to see Reg and have him drive us home” but he was just about walking as far in the other direction as it was walking her home to her house from where we were. I had this feeling again that here was something else that was slipping through my hands. That’s turning into a regular part of my dreams, isn’t it? Here I am with a bird on my plate and just as I’m about to get my fork stuck into it …

Later on I was back working in an office and who should start to work there but TOTGA? Of course I was very interested in that but she never seemed to have the time to talk to me, which was rather a shame. This affected me once to such an extent that I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I had the bougeotte, the need to move around. I went out of the office to go for a little walk. Some other woman came out and asked me where I was going so I told her. She said “well if you like I’ll come back afterwards and peel your carrots for you” which I thought was a strange thing to say. I got into my car, which was the Omega, left-hand drive, and drove it down the ramp into the car park. But my badge wouldn’t work the car park and quite a queue of people built up behind me. The guys in the office down there controlling the car park weren’t in the least bit interested. Eventually one of them came over and tried my badge but it didn’t work. He said “your badge has expired” and that was that. I had to make all of these people behind me reverse out of the way and I had to reverse the Omega back up which wasn’t easy with these vehicles coming down behind me and going off somewhere else. I ended up back in my office. By now there was a party taking place at lunchtime so I walked round the corner and there was TOTGA still sitting at her desk working. I went over and asked her “aren’t you taking part in the festivities?” and that was when things ground to a halt unfortunately, although I had a feeling that I was heading for yet another disappointment

Later still I was in some kind of army. I can’t remember much about this but someone came along with a cannon so I gave him a run out. His was far better than any artillery I had in my army so I was very keen to sign him up. I can’t remember what happened after this.

Finally, I’d gone to see a car for sale. An Opel. 40 miles on the clock despite it being 4 years old. It had been bought for someone who had become ill and had never ever used it. I went to see it and it really was in good condition as you would expect but it had had a bang underneath it and the paint had come off one of the sills. The sill was bent and the floor pan was rather bent. I offered then £4,000 for it but they wanted £8,000 which was what they had paid, which was probably right 4 years ago. I offered them £4,000 which they thought was a humiliation but I pointed out these defects and said “let me know what you think”.

It’s hardly surprising that I was totally exhausted after all of that, especially as it seemed to be so full of disappointment. Nothing seems to be going my way during my nocturnal rambles, rejected by TOTGA and having relationship issues with a girl whom I wish I knew who she was, and my family sticking their oar in to spike my guns just like in real life all those years ago.

Anyway, let’s not brood on the past.

Much of the morning was spent with this radio project, following up a couple of hot clues about people who might have a few things to say for themselves. But one thing that I have noticed, particularly with the Brits, is that they will spend days if not weeks moaning about something and yet refuse to do anything about it, even when the opportunity is presented to them on a plate.

A shower came next and as a surprise, I went one step further than Dave Crosby. Must be because I had a ‘flu for Christmas. I weighed myself today too and in the space of a week I’ve lost 1.2kg. At this rate, I’ll be gone completely in 18 months.

After an early lunch I headed off into town.

building work boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The first port of call, for a change this afternoon seeing as it was early, was to see if there was any sign of life at the roadworks in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

And there was actually someone there too. As I was walking down the hill he walked out of the compound and went to sit in the digger that was there. And that’s all he did – just sat there.

But there has been some kind of activity because the skip that was here has now gone. You can see the mark on the road where it was left. So something is happening, although it’s hard to say what it is.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further on down the road, there’s still no change in the port.

The dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie is still down there in the harbour, still surrounded by all of the pipes and tubes. It looks as if nothing of any importance has moved since yesterday.

But I need to be moving so I pushed on down the Rue des Juifs and then down the steps towards the Place Pléville-Lepelley

place pléville-lepelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The Place looks empty and deserted right now.

Over the summer there was the Bar Ephemère, “Chez Maguie”, down there with several tables and benches and all kinds of things but a couple of weeks ago it was all folded back up into the shipping container that was its home.

But now that’s no longer here. Gone! And never called me “mother”!

Usually there are hordes of people here too playing boules but there’s not a soul down there this afternoon. And that’s a surprise, seeing as it’s lunchtime right now.

diesel fuel spill place semard Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The walk up the hill wasn’t as bad as it has been just recently. I only stopped once to catch my breath and if that were the case every time I’d be quite happy with that.

At the roundabout in the Place Semard there looks as if there has been a diesel spillage. There’s a big trail of sand around the roundabout that stops as the road begins to climb the hill. A couple of scooters were taking the bend very gingerly.

The physiotherapist had me on the tilting platform thing for 20 minutes and then the cross trainer to finish off. I pushed my personal best on by another 10 seconds and could have done better except that my right knee was feeling the strain. I was glad to stop.

After he threw me out I went across the road to the little Carrefour. I’m running low on fruit and I don’t want to go all the way out to the hypermarket tomorrow for just a few things as I’m off to Leuven on Wednesday morning.

Fruit is expensive in there but it’s right on the way home so I may as well splash out. And they had 1.5kg of nice-looking potatoes on special offer at €0:99 and I’ve run out.

It was a stagger back home carrying all of that but it had to be done and it saves me going out tomorrow of course

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The walk up the hill in the Rue des Juifs wasn’t as easy as it might have been had I not been loaded up, and I was glad to reach the viewpoint overlooking the port.

Leaving on the wall with my energy drink in one hand, I could see that we’ve had a change down there on the quayside.

One of the Jersey freighters (it was the Normandy Trader with a skeleton crew as I learnt later) has been into port this morning, taken away a lot of the stuff that was on the quayside and it looks as if she’s unloaded another pile of freight that is waiting to be collected.

eglise st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way down the hill earlier I noticed that there was something going on by the Eglise St Paul.

While I was here I took a photo and back home in the apartment I could enlarge (I only have the NIKKOR 30-110mm LENS on the NIKON D3000) the photo to see what was happening.

It looks as if they are working on the rear of a building in the Rue Couraye and using a crane to swing stuff over from the road by the church. Strangely, I’d just been walking up and down the Rue Couraye and I hadn’t noticed a thing. I must be slipping..

repairing flags boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days I posted a photo of the flags on the car part at the Boulevard Vaufleury that had been shredded by the wind early in the week.

Today, they have turned up there in a cherry-picker and there are a couple of workmen there. Are they chanign light bulbs in the street lights there, aor are they actually dealing with the flags?

Whatever it is that they are doing, they have an interested spectator in Georges René Le Peley de Pléville who is watching from his plinth.

IN case you are wondering who he is, which I’m sure you are, he was born in 1726 in Granville and was variously a privateer, governor of Marseille and an Admiral of the French fleet, to name but three of his many positions.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back home I went via the beach to see what was going on there.

Plenty of beach for it to be going on on, and quite a few people down there too, all armed with rakes and all kinds of unusual tools to scratch away at the sand to pull out whatever is left there by the tide.

Back home I made myself a coffee and then, rather regrettably, I fell asleep for 20 minutes. It’s been a while since I’ve slept like that, especially since I’ve been lying in, but I suppose that the walk and the physiotherapy has taken it all out of me

Once I’d recovered I set about adding a few of the noctural voyages for the journal entries for August. I’ve actually made it as far back as 21st August and there’s still plenty to go at yet.

Those potatoes looked so nice that I had steamed veg, veggie balls with vegan cheese sauce for tea and it was totally delicious tonight.

Now that my notes are finished, I’m going to have a quiet relax for half an hour and then go to bed for an early night.

No shopping tomorrow, but I have a desktop mixer panel with which I need to have a play around and make work. It’s been sitting on my shelves for far too long and it’s about time that I brought it into use if I can.

Thursday 7th October 2021 – I’M BEGINNING TO THINK …

“which makes a change” – ed … that I may have underestimated the amount of time that it’s going to take me to do this project that I’ve undertaken with the radio.

Today i’ve done almost nothing except write out a (three-page) summary (in French of course) and e-mail it to all of the other members of the team (and that was not without its problems either).

And then deal with the inevitable enquiries, of which there were more than just a few.

There’s plenty of stuff on the dictaphone too but I have yet to find the time to deal with it all.

This is going to be a long three months.

Last night was pretty long too. I was in bed at something like a respectable time but it didn’t seem to do me much good as I was tossing and turning around for much of it.

And despite a period in bed that wasn’t all that much short of 8 hours, I felt like death when I awoke and things didn’t improve for a while.

After the meds and checking my mails and messages, I sat down to write out my notes for this project. I’d already done several rough drafts and so I had to merge them all together, and format them in a way that would be acceptable to users of Microsoft Word.

The rewriting was fairly straightforward but the formatting took an age and I wasn’t convinced that it was correct. In the end, I prepared a *.pdf s well.

The co-ordinator sent me the e-mail list so after lunch I could send it out. But three addresses bounced and so I had to make further enquiries. And despite several attemps, one of them is still bouncing. I have no idea what is happening here.

After lunch I prepared to receive the volley of responses and I wasn’t disappointed. But right now, late in the evening, I’ve not received one for half an hour. I shudder to think what my mailbox will be like in the morning.

There was the break this afternoon to go for my walk, somewhat later than usual.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021First task was to go and have a look over the wall to see what was going on down on the beach.

The tide is well out now. We are not too far short of the lowest tides of this time of year, and as I was expecting, there were plenty of people down there this afternoon.

They weren’t actually going for a walk or a paddle in the sea but were mostly all scratching around in the sand and on the rocks looking for seafood that the tide has left behind. It’s that time of year again.

people on bench jardin de la haute ville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was watching the people on the beach I could hear a tappinng coming from the hole in the wall that we saw yesterday so I had a closer look.

Unfortunately I couldn’t see anyone there from my viewpoint, but instead I noticed a couple of people sitting on the bench by the steps down to the bench.

Where they are sitting is actually a small garden known as Le Jardin de la Haute Ville – the garden of the upper town. People drop off their compostable material up there and some people have created a little plot of flowers and vegetables to bring a little life to the area.

With nothing else happening out here, I headed off along the path on my walk.

cabin cruiser seagull baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I approached the headland, a small cabin cruiser came into view heading towards the port. I’ve no idea why because he’s going to have a long wait.

He was making quite a wake behind him as he approached, and when I had a good look at the photo once I returned home, it looked to me as if he was actually towing something.

That piqued my curiosity so I enlarged and enhanced it, and to my surprise what has actually happened is that I have been photobombed by a seagull. Right on cue.

And so fighting my way past another horde of kids out orienteering, a couple of whom engaged me in conversation, I carried on down the path and across the car park.

young people on bunker roof pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Whether or not these kids are supposed to be orienteering I really don’t know, but they have found a good place to skive off.

Sitting on top of the old World War II German observation post out of the way of passers-by might be one way to avaoid the crowds. It’s just as well that it wasn’t as windy as it was earlier in the week.

And in case you are wondering, there was no-one sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban this afternoon. And that was possibly because there wasn’t anything much happening out in the bay just there either.

peche à pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Round the corner though on the other side of the headland it seemed to be all happening.

The fleet of cars parked all along the seawall told me to expect crowds of people down there on the beach and on the rocks now that the tide is quite a way out.

The pêche à pied is now in full swing with half of the town out there this afternoon scratching around. No need to be selfish not sharing your shellfish with your friends, because they are all probably down there with you.

tractor digger laying pipeline baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But in that photo I noticed something exciting down there that I couldn’t identify, so when I returned home I blew it up (I can do things like that despite modern anti-terrorism legislation) and enhanced it for a closer look.

And here’s something that I have forgotten all about. A good few months ago there was a digger and some other heavy equipment out there laying some kind of pipeline on concrete blocks.

So here they are, back again now that the tourist season is over and we’re having some low tides at the moment. I’d thought that they had finished this, but apparently not. I wonder how far out they are going to be going with it.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Meanwhile down in the nice, clean chantier naval we have a new occupant. So much for me saying that there doesn’t look as if anyone will be in there for a while.

There’s no name on her hull that I can see and although she looks very much like Spirit of Conrad, I don’t think that it’s her. I suppose that means another trip for me to go down and have a closer look.

But where’s the dredger? She’s disappeared from the chantier naval now. But she probably hasn’t gone far, I bet, and the fact that they are working on that pipeline right now seems to be more than just coincidence.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021In fact, here she is right now, in the inner harbour.

And furthermore, I can tell you her name. She’s called St-Gilles Croix-de Vie and we know all about her because she was here in port a little over two years ago doing some dredging.

Having made “certain enquiries”, I can tell you all why she’s here too. She’s come to dredge the port de plaisance where the pleasure boats tie up, on the other side of the harbour.

There’s more equipment appeared now o the quayside behind her too. I can see that this isn’t going to be a work of five minutes, whatever is going on right now down there.

building work boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Before I go back home, I went to see how things were doing down in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

Not a great deal of change today, except that we how have a couple of piles of sand and gravel down there, so they are clearly doing something, even if it doesn’t look much like it right now.

Back here at the apartment I had a coffee and carried on dealing with the issues from my mail at lunchtime. I have a lot to learn about all of this because apparently I’m not making myself clear enough.

However, having done it all in French, I’m pleased that I did as much as I did.

Eventually (the next morning, actually) I found the time to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I was with Liz walking through the streets of Crewe, down Alton Street in fact. She was talking to me about her house move and how it had passed, and how much she missed her little Citroen car. It turned out that she didn’t sell to to the guy she was going to bit it had to go back to the garage because there was an issue with the paintwork. Part of it had faded and part of it hadn’t. It was almost white on one side and the guy wouldn’t take it. So we walked and chatted and she kept on wondering where it was that we had to turn off. She didn’t realise that Alton Street was one long straight road. Eventually she said that she had to go to the bathroom so she nipped behind a hedge. I said “Liz, if you’re going to the bathroom, go to the bathroom properly”. There was a public convenience in the park just round the corner. She said something like “it’s my toilet roll, not yours” and off she went. I thought that it would be a good idea if I were to go too.

Later on we were in Greece and we’d been to a party one afternoon or something. Someone pointed out that there was a big tourist attraction nearby but it meant taking a bus. About 7 of us left this party and found a local bus that took us to the big bus station which was where the railway station used to be in the past. We had to find out which was our bus. Then we had to buy some kind of wooden bead that would be our ticket. We met the bus driver who spoke English. She told us which bus it was. She said that she’d be back in 10 minutes and when she came back we could take our place. It was a strange way of doing things. There was another bus with these Japanese girls in it, all sitting by the door on their luggage, inside the bus. We went over to where the food was. It was mostly chips but there were some boxes of things that looked like gold, called Machynlles. I was interested in this because there’s a big gold mine near Machynlleth in Wales that the Romans exploited so I was trying to find out exactly what a Machynlle was. There was a girl there and they were all wearing aprons with what languages they spoke written on it. There was one girl there with Welsh on it so I went over to speak to her. I said a few words in Welsh but she didn’t really understand. In the end I found another woman and explained to her but she couldn’t understand my pronunciation so she went to find the box. Then she couldn’t find the box so I never did get to know. But when we alighted from that bus and were walking towards the bus station there was a girl there. We ended up with my arm around her walking towards the bus station which i thought was strange

There was also something about we were in Scotland. I can’t remember who I was with but we were going to see Morton play. We had to catch a bus but I couldn’t remember which bus it was so we were waiting in Wistaston Road just round the corner from Flag Lane. I was with someone and a bus came. It wasn’t that one so we waited again. I wandered away to do something. Of course that was the moment that the bus came and the person with me stepped on board and went off. In the end I had to hitch a lift in a lorry that brought me to within 10 minutes of the stadium just in time to hear the final whistle.

Tea was a burger and pasta with veg – I wasn’t up to cooking a proper meal and there are plenty of burgers in the fridge. When I come back from Leuven I’ll have a vegan pie to bake and a vegan curry to make. I don’t have the enthusiasm right now.

That’s probably because I’m tired again. I brilliantly fought off a wave of sleep earlier but I can’t do this for ever. I need an early night and a decent sleep – but when I’m going to have one of those is anyone’s guess.

Wednesday 6th October 2021 – I NOTICED …

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… something very interesting this afternoon when I went out for my afternoon walk.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we are keeping a lose eye on the repairing of the medieval city walls round by the Place du Marché aux Chevaux, but I don’t think that I would have missed this.

Either they are intending to do a very throrough job of it or else they have had a calamity, because part of the wall down at the base looks as if it has collapsed and has left a gaping hole.

This is going to cause someone some rather difficult problems.

children's amusements Square Maurice Marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021What else is going to be causeing someone else some severe problems is whatever is going on in the Square Maurice Marland.

When we had the previous Maire there was an anonymous blog (not one of mine, I hasten to add) doing the rounds criticising her for the state of the Square here

She wasn’t re-elected, which was probably the aim of the blog, but since we have had the new incumbent, not only has the Square deteriorated further, most of the kiddies’ amusements that were fenced off from use a few weeks ago have now been removed completely.

So there have certainly been several changes under the new Maire, but I wonder what our anonymous blogger is making of them all.

Last night I went to bed early with the intention of having a really decent sleep right the way through until 07:30, but as you might expect, that never happened.

I was tossing and turning for much of the night and having a couple of these severe night sweats that I need to record. And there were nocturnal voyages a-plenty too.

I started off by going on holiday with Nerina. We were going somewhere down to the south coast and we boarded a plane, one of these small 24-seater things. It took off and we were there in the queue talking about preparing to leave etc. The planes in this queue were going out one by one. Then we took off and ended up flying north from Crewe doing a big circle round over where Wardle Airfield is. I pointed out where my grandparents used to live (and they did, too). I asked her if she had ever met them. She said not, that Wardle didn’t ring any bells with her at all. She asked about a couple of buildings that were there, weren’t they something to do with the Women’s Institute? I replied that they were the original buildings from the airfield.

Later on, I can’t remember how it went but Nerina was living with someone else in squalid circumstances worse than ever I lived in the Auvergne. She had a few people round and was bottling some kind of milky drink so I gave her a hand and ended up bottling a banana smoothie for someone. I had to fill it with water. In the meantime she was inside the house talking to Claude and his wife, whatever her name was. I didn’t really want to go in to see them so I kept outside but I could hear the conversation. In the end something drew me in so I went in. They were both still in bed. They were also living in poor circumstances, not as poor as Nerina. She was getting on really well with them and I was just exchanging pleasantries, if you like, trying not to get too involved.

There was also something about me and a brand-new house that I’d owned somewhere, a 2-bedroomed house. The bedrooms were really small but I can’t remember anything particular about that.

Finally, I’d been out somewhere and not come back until late. I had to go into work so I’d gone to bed. It was my house in Winsford but that new house that I mentioned. Then I had to go out again to see Hans. He was talking about something. I explained that I’d only got in at 06:00 but I had to go to work so I wasn’t doing anything. I drove back home thinking that I was going to have another day off but then I thought that my time records were in such a state that I couldn’t do that kind of thing. It was another one of these “thinking about retiring from work” dreams that occur regularly.

On the way back from Hans’s house I was walking down the road at the back of Wardle Airfield towards my house. For some reason I couldn’t keep my feet and kept on falling over. A guy came out of a side road in a car, the guy who had the farm at the back of me at Les Guis, He asked me If I’d received his package but I couldn’t understand what he meant so I saif that I would check. I ended up back at my house and Claude and his wife were there. he handed me a package and I opened it. It was full of old tools so I had to think what these were. He said “that’s a good deal that you got for that battery”. I suddenly realised that Claude had given me a battery and I’d given it to that farmer, so I’ll go through these tools later and give a few of them to Claude that he might need.

This is a total of four or five different voyages, and not only were they so real that I was totally convinced that they were happening, I seemed to have been stepping in and out of dreams at various points and stepping right back into them round about where I left off, not once, but several times.

And then, of course, we have the recurring dream about me being in a mess at work and so planning to resign.

It’s all very eerie, this.

So after the medication, checking my messages and mails and the like, much of the day has been spent dealing with the radio project that I have in hand.

There is a huge pile of notes that I’ve written for distribution, I’ve spent some time on the phone with the co-ordinator and I’ve also been sending mails and making telephone calls to contacts.

What happens from here on is anyone’s guess but several people at the radio seem to be quite enthusiastic, and quite well-placed to push things forward.

We had the usual breaks – coffee, breakfast, lunch, and then the afternoon walk of course.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021You’re probably wondering why the photo of the beach looks different today from how it has been over the last few weeks.

You’ve probably guessed from the photos at the beginning that I haven’t gone around the headland this afternoon. Instead, I’m walking around the walls.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on Monday we saw several things that seemed to be going on within the walls that piqued our interest and I mentioned that I would go round one day and check up.

peche a pied beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021In fact there were quite a few people down there on the beach this afternoon

The weather was quite nice and we’re getting to the stage of having some really low tides right now, so most of the people down there in this photo and in the previous one seemed to be engaged in the pêche à pied, scavenging about amongst the rocks for shellfish.

And it looks as if the two people in this photo have made quite a substantial haul. There are limits to what one can take away from the beach, and I bet that they can’t be far off it.

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2110/21100044.html”>fishing boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There’s other fishing going on down there too.

As usual I was having a good look around out at sea and although there were none of the trawlers (or any other type of boat) out there in the bay this afternoon, there were two fishing boats way out off the headland.

Luckily the sea is quite a lot calmer than it was yesterday so they can have a better working day today. I really felt sorry for those in peril on the sea yesterday in that storm.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The most interesting (from my point of vies) part of the walk around the walls is the repair work that’s going on here in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

They’ve had this scaffolding – this magnificent work of art – up here for a few weeks now and they are slowly advancing up the hill, making good progress with the pointing as they do so.

But having seen the wind that we had yesterday, you can understand why they have it weighted down with 5 tonnes of water. It wouldn’t mast very long in the winds that we have without something to hold it down, and 5 pallet tanks fulll of water is a good place to start.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The last time that we looked over the wall, we saw them working about 6 or 8 feet below the top of the wall.

Today, we can see that they have practically worked their way up to the top at this end, and doubtlessly they’ll be working their way downhill to the end as time goes on.

It was round here that I was overwhelmed by a horde of brats.

There’s no school on Wednesday afternoons but there are plenty of activities for children whose parents have to work.

A bunch of 4 girls aged about 9-11 came swarming around me asking me if I’d noticed something. It turns out that they are one team of orienteers who were having a competition this afternoon around the old town, and were looking for a marker.

It’s a little-known fact that when I was 16 or 17, I competed in the North-West Schools orienteering championships, so I had a little chat with the kids for a minute or two.

Believe it or not, I actually like children round about that age. I think that they get a very raw deal from adults and have a lot to say for themselves, if only someone would listen to them.

There was also someone from the tourist board taking photos, and we had a little chat as well.

peche a pied medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021From the Place du Marché aux Chevaus I went along the path underneath the walls.

Once more, plenty of people on the beach, including all those round by the Plat Gouseet in the medieval fish trap hunting for shellfish buried in the sand.

That’s not really the purpose of the fish trap. In medieval times, and even today if someone were to bother to maintain it correctly, it would retain water after the tide has done out, and which would slowly filter out between the gaps in the rocks.

This would leave a supply of fish behind, trapped by the stone walls, and the average medieval fishwife would wade in there and pull them out with her bare hands.

repair work plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The Plat Gousset has now been cleared of beach huts, as I mentioned last time.

And that’s probably just as well after the storms that we’ve just had. Instead of lifting them up with a crane, they could have moved them with a brush and shovel.

But there’s some kind of repair work going on down there at that blue and white building. I wonder if that’s anything to do with the storms that we have just had.

It actually looks quite peaceful and pleasant down there this afternoon. I bet that it wasn’t like that just now.

Anyway, I cleared off down the Square Maurice Marland, looking at the state (or otherwise) of the kiddies’ amusements as I passed.

tubes and pipes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I had a good peer to see what was going on.

Regular readers of this rubbish will remember that yesterday, they hard started to put into the water the tubes that had been on the quayside for a week or two.

Today, by the looks of things, they seem to have put in all of them that I could see. It’s all looking very interesting and so I wonder what the next step is going to be.

And, furthermore, is the dredger that is in the chantier naval going to be playing any part in it all?

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was there, I had a look at the quayside underneath the crane to see what was happening there.

Those galvanised sheets are still on the quayside, and they have now been joined by a few of these sacks of builders’ materials.

This would seem to indicate that we are going to be having one of the Jersey freighters in very soon.

And I’ll be surprised if it’s Normandy Trader because at the last update that I had, the skipper and his mate were somewhere between Lands End and John O’Groats on their bikes.

That reminds me of the famous record-breaking woman cyclist Br Barbara Moore who would either walk or cycle between Lands End and John O’Groats as the fancy took her.

On one occasion, having completed one of her rides, she was asked by a commentator what she planned to do next. She replied, in her thick Eastern European accent I vill strip – and overhaul my bicycle.

digging a trench rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021What has actually brought us to this neck of the woods is the sign that we saw on Monday telling us that the Rue Cambernon is closed to traffic.

That’s the kind of thing that needs to be checked so I wandered round that way, and sure enough, they are digging a trench down the side of the street.

That’s something that is totally bewildering me because only about a year or so ago, or maybe even less, they dug it up to do something else. That’s pretty bad planning if they are now having to dig it up for something else so soon afterwards.

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And that’s not the best of it either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the winter (or what passes for winter around here) they’d dug up the Rue St Michel and replaced a pile of pipework, then relayed the street – in asphalt rather than cobbles, to my eternal dismay.

But now it seems that they will be coming back, as all of the hieroglyphics are back on the road surface.

Blue is for water, of course, but I’ve no idea which other colour represents anything else.

They aren’t doing too well with their planning, are they?

abandoned american car place du parvis notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Round by the Eglise Notre Dame du Cap Lihou, the American car from Connecticut is still here.

We first came across it on our return from North America 2 years ago, and it’s still here now, not having moved an inch since then.

Someone has liberated the front number-plate over time but the rear is still there.

Around the corner I was swept up in a swarm of people coming out of the church after a funeral and I had to fight my way through the mob in order to reach home.

After my coffee I carried on with my notes for my radio project, and even found time to update a couple of entries from the end of August by inserting the details of my nocturnal voyages in them.

And then I went for tea.

There was a couple of mushrooms looking sorry for themselves and 2 small potatoes that had seen better days so I heaved a small tin of chick peas in and made myself a quick curry. And it was delicious too.

So now I’m hoping for another early night, hopefully on through which I can sleep undisturbed. It’s high time I had a really good night’s sleep.

But at least – lying-in until 07:30 instead of rising at 06:00 means that crashing out during the day is only happening rarely these days. I’ve been wondering whether I should set the alarm to 07:00. What would happen then?

Tuesday 5th October 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… very strange communication today.

People have given up asking me about my family because we weren’t really a family at all – just a collection of strangers living under the same roof, a 20th Century version of the “Harleian Miscellany”. and as soon as we were able to do so, we did our imitation of the KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE and each went our separate ways.

Some event that took place several months ago seems to have focused some minds, so it seems, and today I had an e-mail from someone who last spoke to me over 20 years ago and never replied to a couple of mails that I sent him afterwards.

Now, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m slowly dying of an incurable disease and I have no reason to suppose that “others” are unaware of this.

However, this mail spared us all the usual niceties about “how are you?”, “sorry to hear of your illness”, “is there anything that we can do to help you?” but it cut straight to the crux of the matter.

Yes, someone has found out that I have some things that they would like and the mail went “How are you making available ************ to the wider family? Could you include me in your circulation of such?”.

Seeing that no-one in “the wider family”, apart from my niece in Canada, has spoken to me in over 20 years, my reply was, quite naturally, “no-one in “the wider family” has ever asked me for it”.

Yes, because I have something that someone else wants, I’ve suddenly become popular.

Not that the lack of courtesy, politeness and concern ever bothered me – I’ve long-since given up expecting any of that. I simply admired the brass neck of it all

But anyway, returning to our moutons, as they say around here, as I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … there isn’t really much point in going to bed early if I don’t go to sleep.

Last night, I was still tossing and turning in my bed long after 01:00 and so consequently even though I was lying in until 07:30, I was still half-dead when I crawled out of my bed when the alarm went off.

Much of the morning was spent hunting unsuccessfully for my notes from my Welsh lesson from last week, and it wasn’t until I’d written them out again that I finally found them.

And while I was reviewing the notes I … errr … closed my eyes for 10 minutes.

Armed with my coffee and one of my delicious fruit buns (and they really are delicious too) I went for my lesson. 150 minutes passed fairly quickly and it also passed quite well. Being tired was something of a drag but at least I didn’t fall asleep.

After my lunch, the first thing that I did was to book my stay in the hospital.

Surprisingly, all of the early TGVs were fully booked and I’ve ended up taking the 08:43 next Saturday from Brussels to Paris, and then I’m breaking new ground by going home via Caen. I’ve never been that way on a train before.

waves baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021By now it was time for me to go for my post-prandial perambulation around the Pointe so I headed off as usual across the car park.

It was a case of hanging onto my hat, and eventually taking it off and stuffing it in my pocket because there was a totally wild and wicked wind blowing around out there this afternoon.

Just one look at the whitecaps on the waves is enough to tell you all that you need to know. It was one of the wildest seas that we have had just recently, with the blowing round today from the north-east for a change.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021having made a note of that I went to look over the wall down onto the beach.

And to my surprise, there were quite a few people down there on the bsach this afternoon, despite the wind. Armed with buckets and spades, you might be forgiven for thinking that they are building sandcastles, but in fact they are scavenging for seafood amongst the rocks.

Into the teeth of the gale struggled Yours Truly, headig off on my walk along the path.

There was only me out there, which was no surprise. The wind really was taking away my breath and I had quite a struggle along the path.

le loup waves baie de mont st michel granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021When I reached the lawn by the lighthouse, just like Bob Dylan, I didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

The sea was quite wild in the Baie de Mont St Michel this afternoon and Le Loup, the marker light on the rock just by the harbour entrance, was being battered by the waves.

No cars on the car park, of course. There wasn’t anyone around at all.

You’ll notice the upright pole with the sign thereupon, just to the right of centre. They installed that a couple of years ago and laid a little path from the car park so that people could approach it. It took 2 workmen about a week to lay the path.

A year or so later, a few more workmen came past and dug up the path that they had laid, and laid the one that you see that leads up to the Monument to the Resistance Fighters.

That first path was a waste of time, effort and money, wasn’t it?

cherie d'amour fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021My walk takes me down the path and across the car park to the end of the headland

No-one on the bench by the Cabanon Vauban, as you might expect in this weather, but there were other forms of entertainment out there. A couple of fishing boats, one of which may well beCherie d’Amour, were battling with the waves out there in the bay.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those in peril on the sea working in weather like this.

flags boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The wind was far too strong for me to stay there for long, so I moved off down the path on the other side

The wind here was, for a change, just as wicked and it seems to have been wreaking havoc with the flags on the poles at the car park at the Boulevard Vaufleury.

The European Union flag has already gone and the French national flag is about to follow it, by the looks of things. The flags of Normandy and of the town also seem to have been taking quite a battering as well

What will remain of them tomorrow?

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Now that the chantier naval is empty (apart from the dredger of course) they have been tidying up.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a street cleaning machine down there hoovering up the debris. They have also put up the blocks on which they drop the ships, so does that mean that we might not be expecting any more boats in there in the near future?

However I’ve been quite wrong in the past about my predictions for boats down there, so I’m going to say nothing. I’ll just carry on with my walk down the path.

tubes in water port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Something else that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that for the past couple of weeks there have been a pile of pipes and other equipment on the quayside.

Today, those pipes have moved, and some of them now seem to be in the water in the inner harbour. The rest are on the quayside looking as if they are about to take to the water.

It still defeats me exactly what the plan is for all of those, but I suppose that it will become more clear as time goes on.

Back here I had my coffee and then turned my attention to the dictaphone.

I was having a chat with my Scottish friend last night about loneliness, of all things. She was saying that she had a girl of 14 whom she took away and it taught her about relationships with other people, that kind of thing, and stopped her being lonely. She was thinking about becoming a Brownie leader. I explained that I lived on my own little world and occasionally came out to interact with other people but mostly, I was doing fine as I was. This discussion went on for ages but I can’t remember much.

There was some stuff from some previous days on there too so they have all been transcribed and are now on line in the relevant places.

Tea tonight was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from yesterday and it was delicious.

And now I’m off to bed, in the hope that I can have a good night’s sleep instead of what I went through last night. It’s high time that I had a good night.

Monday 4th October 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

new shop opened rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago we saw a shop unit in the Rue Couraye being renovated ready for some new owners.

Outside the shop there was a pile of boxes being delivered that looked as if, according to the label, that they had come from a book wholesaler, so I assumed that we were going to have a new bookshop in the town.

Now that it’s open, we can see that it’s not exactly a bookshop but is in fact a centre for comic strips and other assorted accessories that are associated with bandes dessinées.

They are much more popular here on the mainland than in the UK and in the USA.

sign on door avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But while we’re on the subject of shops … “well, one of us is” – ed … here’s a sign that I saw in a shop in the Avenue de la Liberation.

It’s proof that you don’t need any kind of qualification in mathematics to own or manage a shop. That’s the strangest looking 2 people that I have ever seen in my life.

Last night I wasn’t in bed as early as I was hoping so it was rather a struggle to force myself out of bed at 06:00. And after the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to work on the radio programme.

It was rather straightforward today, although it took me a while to find a suitable final track. Nevertheless I could have finished it before 11:00 had I concentrated but after breakfast I was side-tracked by a few things here and there and it was 11:20 when I finally finished it.

Strangely enough, I didn’t really enjoy doing this one and I’m not quite sure why. It’s probably something to do with the way that I’m feeling right now.

While I was listening to the finished product and also to the one that will be broadcast this coming weekend, I was going through my mailbox weeding out a pile of dead correspondence that is serving no purpose. It’s now down to about half its previous size.

After lunch I had a shower and then prepared to go out for my physiotherapy session. The days are being changed at the moment.

Outside in the wind I walked across to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was going on.

dredger cleaning chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There wasn’t anything much going on down there this afternoon but there was certainly some activity going on over at the chantier naval.

Never mind the dredger, which is still there, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the past couple of months the yard has been packed continually with boats undergoing all kinds of repair and they’ve been making quite a mess of the place.

And so today they have brought in a street sweeper and it’s giving the place a really good wash and brush up, creating quite a cloud of dust as it goes past.

boulevard des terreneuviers closed to traffic Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further on down the hill, I stopped to look at the workman’s compound that has appeared in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

It looks as if things are about to start down there any day now. We can see that the road is closed and diversions signs have been posted.

The lorry has dropped off a container and they have already started to fill it with soil, although I can’t see to place from where they have scraped it.

But as the work progresses I’ll be able to find out so much more about where they are working anf what they are doing.

road closed rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There are more roadworks going on here too.

Believe it or not, the passage over the drawbridge into the old town is a street, the Rue Cambernon, that’s accessible to motor vehicles. But that seems to be closed off too and the traffic diverted elsewhere.

Presumably there are roadworks going on up there too.

My route took me on down the hill and into town, and then up the hill in the Rue Couraye to the physiotherapist. Surprisingly, I only had to stop twice to catch my breath going up the hill. That makes a change from the last couple of weeks.

Today he tested my knee, seemingly having forgotten everything that I told him a few weeks ago, and then he put me on the tilting platform and then the cross trainer.

Even more surprisingly, I pushed my best time on the cross trainer to 4 minutes and had I tried a little harder, I could have done better than that. It seems that my health is slowly improving. Maybe the physiotherapy is doing me good.

rainbow place semard Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I’d been in the physiotherapist’s we’d had a torrential downpour that stopp just as I set foot outside – and that’s not like how things usually work for me, is it?

And across the road hovering over the railway station we had this really gorgeous rainbow. It’s been quite some considerable time since I’ve seen a rainbow looking as good as this one. It’s magnificent.

And, as we can see, the leaves are now starting to turn. It’s not as vivid as in the Canadian Maritimes, which is where I usually am at this time of the year, but we can see that autumn is now well on its way. I wonder what weather that is going to bring.

digger loading soil onto lorry abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021This afternoon I walked on down past the railway station and down to the abandoned railway line, which I followed down to the Parc du Val Es Fleurs.

The digger that we saw the other day is hard at it this afternoon, scraping up the old ballast and soil and dumping it into the back of that lorry that had reversed all the way up there from the Rue d Boscq.

They have made quite a large amount of progress with that since Friday afternoon. They aren’t going to be hanging about with this project. It’s quite a contrast with what seems to happen in Belgium, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

piles of soil workmen's compound parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There were no haphazard road signs at the foot og the steps, but there have been “other developments”.

The area at the foot of the steps has now been cordoned off and there’s a skip, a mini-digger and a van towing a trailer parked down there now.

The piles of soil are still here too. They don’t look as if they have changed in size – neither increased nor decreased.

From there I wandered off down the Boulevard Louis Dior to the corner of the Rue du Boscq to see how they were progressing there.

digging trench rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021No change in the park opposite the Ecole des Docteurs Lanos, but there are plenty of goings-on across the road.

Having gone to all of the lengths that they have of preparing the surface, they have now dug a trench in it and they are laying some of this red cable trunking in it. That’s rather a shame after all of this effort.

Meanwhile, part of the car park here has been cordoned off. That’s being used at the moment as a parking area for the machinery and vehicles, but I could see them digging this up as well and resurfacing it to match the rest of the work.

Before I left the house I’d packed an energy drink so I wasn’t all that worried about the walk through the town and the climb up the hill towards home.

sailing school belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Once again, I only needed to stop a couple of times instead of the usual half dozen just recently.

One of the places where I stopped for breath was at the viewpoint over the harbour. And out there in the bay the sailing school was just setting out for the afternoon now that the tide was well in.

While I was watching them, I was leaning on the wall drinking my can of energy drink thinking to myself that had I not been having all of these problems right now, I might easily have been out there with them having a go.

That’s something to do that’s on my bucket list, but whether or not I manage to get round to it is another thing completely.

trawlers waiting to enter port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was waiting there to catch my breath I was looking down at the harbour gates.

They were closed at the moment but the pile of fishing boats that was out there told me that they would be open any time now.

And so I waited for about 15 minutes to take a photo of a nice stream of fishing boats following one after the other into the harbour, but as long as I waited, the gates didn’t open at all.

In the end I became fed up of waiting and headed for home.

Just up the road I bumped into a neighbour and we had quite a chat that went on for quite a while. And I learnt quite a lot of interesting facts too that will come in useful as time goes on.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Instead of going straight home, I went over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach.

The tide was well in as I said earlier, so there wasn’t all that much beach to be on this afternoon.

There were a few people nevertheless and by the looks of things, they appear to have been in the water. Not that it’s warm, of course. It’s pretty windy too so hats off to these people.

And for a change, there was nothing whatsoever going on out at sea. I couldn’t see even one boat anywhere out there.

workmens compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was out here, I went to have a look at the workmen’s compound, or whatever it is.

Much of the stuff that has been there over the past few days has now disappeared. But to where, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s something to do with the roadworks in the Rue Cambernon.

Back in the apartment I had a nice hot coffee and then, regrettably, I fell asleep for 10 minutes. The first time for a couple of weeks and I was quite disappointed by that, having done so well just recently.

As for any nocturnal voyage, I was at British Salt and they were busy erecting barriers around all the doors so that no-one could see in. I was wondering what was going on. It was obviously something special that they didn’t want anyone to see. Then they wheeled out this extraordinary – it looked like a motor bike with a Ford Model T place to sit for 4 passengers and a huge engine at the back with a big exhaust. Someone called it the “White Fox” or something like that. It was a huge long thing so I asked if I could take some photos of it and the guy said “yes”. He started to move all the boxes and coats and everything that was on it. I started to help and I can’t remember where we went from that. We were all sitting around eating a meal later. Someone had to leave the garage and they had an A40 Farina hatchback thing. I expected them to open the doors wider but he managed to drive it in a slalom all the way round these sight screens and out like that. Then we were sitting down having a meal and talking, and that’s where this ended. It was a most impressive motorbike thing. I’ve never seen anything like this.

A little later or maybe earlier, I can’t remember now, there was a group of cowboys and a woman holed up inside a house, a cabin on the prairie because they were surrounded by Indians. The Indians took their buckboard, filled it full of explosives and rode it round and round until it blew up, all that kind of thing. Someone had managed to slip out and they were there for several days. Then there was a knock on the door. It was this guy who had come back and brought a few other people with him, the Matt Dillon type, US Marshall and a couple of his friends. They’d come to deal with the issue after all but it seemed that these Indians had gone. Whether it was because of the new arrivals or not, I don’t know.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, and then I came in here to write up my notes.

That reminded me that I’d weighed myself just before I had my shower. And over the last week, I’ve lost half a kilo. I consoled myself by thinking that if I carry on at this rate then in a little over three years I will have gone completely.

Sunday 3rd October 2021 – I TRIED SOMETHING …

… different today, and by the looks of things, it might have actually worked too.

vegan pizza fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, my fruit bread has been something of a hit-and-miss but today for some reason that I have yet to understand, I ended up with a dough that was one of the best that I’ve ever made.

Consequently, in an attempt to try something rather different, I cut the dough into 8, rolled them into some rather flat discs, and put them on some baking paper on the oven tray.

When they had risen sufficiently I baked them in the oven. And although I haven’t tried them yet, they look and feel really good.

However, I did try the pizza that I baked after the buns, and that really was excellent.

So was my sleep last night. 10:35 when I awoke, and about 11:05 when I finally left the bed. I can do with a few more days like that.

Some stuff on the dictaphone too. I dreamt last night that Lidl had gone bankrupt so I walked from my apartment all the way out there without any problems at all, I should say, and had a look round. They were even giving free coffee to people who were looking around. There was plenty of stuff on sale. I don’t believe that I bought anything. I was following this man and his daughter down the stairs thinking to myself that seeing as I’m going off to somewhere else on Wednesday I’ll go in the van and have a look around the big Lidl that is there to see what bargains they have. There were some headlines in the paper that I was looking at – “1 foot 3 inch baby born again”. There were all these people hanging around the door and we couldn’t leave so I said “do you mind letting the ones born first out of the building so that the others about to be born can come along quicker?”.

With Sunday being a day of rest, I haven’t done a great deal. After a coffee I paired off the music for the next radio programme and that took me nicely up to lunchtime.

After lunch I relaxed for a while with a coffee and then made the dough for my fruit bread. While I was at it I did a little tidying up in the cupboard under the sink. Just a little – I didn’t go mad.

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021First port of call was the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on.

It wasn’t raining and we actually had some blue sky, and although it was very windy this afternoon, the weather was still good enough to tempt a few people out onto the beach.

But not into the water by the looks of things. It wasn’t that nice. And with the waves coming in like that, then it’s to be expected. No-one wants to be dashed to pieces on the rocks down there by a rather large wave or two.

storm brewing over jersey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It might have been a reasonable day over here in Granville, but that’s not to say that it was the same everywhere.

Look at that storm over there. Jersey is somewhere underneath that and by the looks of things it taking something of a severe pounding. I’m glad that I’m not out there in that.

Actually, the raincloud stretched all the way from the north-east corner of the Ile de Chausey and then right across to Jersey and beyond into the English Channel. And every now and again as I walked around my circuit, we had a spattering of rain as an extra-strong gust of wind brought some over.

workmen's compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a workmen’s compound had been set up in the car park outside here, and I’d promised to go and look at it.

Actually, it’s not all that much of a compound at all. Just some equipment that has been parked here, secured against theft by some red and white plastic tape.

Having a look round, I could see a notice that suggested that it belonged to a company that specialised in “difficult access”. And so I wonder if they are going to be setting up camp with a view to starting repairs on the part of the wall that is crumbling away just here.

If they are, then it’s not before time.

There were a few people around on the path as I made my way around the headland, but there wasn’t any activity out to sea. I reckon that most people had seen the storm and gone back home for a cuppa.

There was the sparrowhawk out there hovering around again but as soon as I pointed my camera at him, he cleared off, as you would expect.

sun reflecting on surface baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And you can tell that the sun is now going much lower in the sky.

For the first time since the summer we were having the reflections of the sun in that water. This isn’t the best that we have ever had of course, but it’s the first of the winter so it deserves to be recorded.

It’s a shame that there was no-one else but me enjoying it. There was no-one else about, not even on the bench down by the cabanon vauban. And there wasn’t even a boat out there either to profit from the afternoon.

yachts le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Mind you, there was a couple of yachts out there around the other side of the headland in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

You only need to look at the sea out there to see exactly what the wind was doing this afternoon. The whitecaps over there look quite wicked when you are battling the elements with a tiny yacht.

It’s actually not very often that we see the wind coming round from that angle. Le Loup is positively swamped in waves.

When I posted a photo a short while ago of the bay, the headland was acting as a really good wind-shadow to the bay with the usual nor’westers but this wind is now blowing from the west today.

waves breaking on harbour wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021With all of this wind surging around in the bay I was expecting to see something rather dramatic on the harbour wall.

However, it was only my hopes that were being dashed. Instead of a bang, it was much more of a whimper. The waves breaking on the wall were quite insignificant, and I had to wait for a couple of minutes even to have something like that.

Meanwhile, in the chantier naval there was nothing of any interest there. No new boats at all, only the dredger sitting there waiting for things to happen.

Had I been feeling better, I’d have gone down for a look. I planned to go there yesterday on my way back from the shops but the rainstorm put paid to that idea.

crane on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Anyway, further around the path, it looks as if I’ve acquired another pet subject to go with pathetic parking, the Birdmen of Alcatraz and the beach at the Rue du Nord.

Not a boat moored at the ferry terminal right now, everyone gone off for the afternoon, and they’ve left the crane arm fully extended, with all of the weight of the arm pressing down on the hydraulic seal.

But that’s their affair, not mine. I came back home for a coffee and for a relax, and left them to it.

After the coffee I kneaded and rolled out the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer earlier, and put it onto the pizza tray ready to assemble.

Then I had the delightful job of peeling, dicing and blanching a kilo of carrots. On Saturday I was jost going to buy a couple and then a couple more in midweek, but why buy loose carrots at €2:19 per kilo when a one-kilo pack of carrots costs €0:79?

The buns went into the oven while I was assembling the pizza and that went in afterwards. Really delicious.

With an early start tomorrow I’m off to bed now. I’m radioing tomorrow of course and then I have an appointment with the physiotherapist. We’ve had a change of day for my appointments.