Monthly Archives: August 2020

Monday 31st August 2020 – MY BANANA BREAD …

… was something of a success today.

Not exactly perfection, because if the truth be told, it was rather on the dry side, but nevertheless it was delicious and I shall be looking forward to a slice every day with my afternoon drink.

In fact, I do recall purchasing bread like this when I lived in Belgium so from a commercial point of view, it’s quite passable and I shall be thinking of ways to improve it as a go on.

full moon granville manche normandy france eric hallSo while you admire the almost-full moon this evening, let me tell you that my day today wasn’t all that much of a success.

Far from it, in fact.

It all went wrong last night where for some reason I wasn’t in the least bit tired and ended up still being wide awake at 02:00. But it wasn’t wasted time because I was actually doing some productive work.

Consequently, no leaving my bed this morning until 08:30 was not the disaster that it otherwise might have been.

I was in Nantwich last night walking up Welsh Row and there was a little girl far too young to be a grammar school pupil but she was in the grammar school uniform all the same walking up there. So I had a chat to her about the school. She said that she didn’t like it all that much – she wanted to go to one in Kent. That’s all that I remember about that.

This morning I have spent preparing another radio programme. All of the first 10 tracks have been selected, paired and merged and the intro added to the first pair.

That took me up to lunch where I tried my new loaf of bread. And that’s pretty good as well and i’m quite pleased with that.

This afternoon I was about to start the text for the radio programmes but Ingrid rang me up. We were chatting on the phone for a couple of hours about all kinds of things

fisheries protection vessel english language granville manche normandy france eric hallAs a result my afternoon walk was somewhat later than usual.

There was plenty of activity out to sea today. This boat here out to sea caught my eye because I couldn’t make out what it was at first. It didn’t look like a fishing boat to me.

Back here at the apartment I had a closer look at it. Although it’s difficult to see, the colour scheme seems to suggest that it’s some kind of official boat – although the police and customs boats are usually grey and blue

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDown on the beach though it was quite busy today.

Lots of people seem to be taking advantage of the final week of official holidays and a rare warm, comparatively wind-free day.

There were plenty of people in the water today too. And that was no surprise because just look at the colour of the sea. We’ve seen it this beautiful emerald-blue on a couple of occasions this year and it’s really enticing when it’s as beautiful as this.

crowds on beach hang gliders plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued along the path underneath the walls of the rue du Nord and round to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The tide seemed to be on its way out but what caught my eye here was the pile of seaweed on the beach. Usually it’s pretty clear of seaweed so I’ve no idea where all of this has come from today.

There were several bird-men of Alcatraz up in the air too although it wasn’t really as windy as it has been. Nevertheless they seem to be having plenty of fun out there this afternoon.

builders supplies on port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRound by the Square Maurice Marland there wasn’t very much at all going on so I pushed on to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw several pallets of granite on the quayside awaiting the arrival of one of the Jersey freighters. They are still there waiting, but they have now been joined by a pile of these big builders bags full of building materials.

Obviously the arrival of either Thora or Normandy Trader is quite imminent. And with none of the passenger ferries to Jersey operating, they may well be bringing in all kinds of exciting things and in the past we’ve even seen cars being winched out onto the quayside.

working on medieval city walls rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I was out and about on my travels last week I noticed that in the rue des Juifs there were all kinds of warning notices advising of parking restrictions due to take place.

Today, I can see that all of the parking is now fenced off, and they had this skyjack machine roaming around in the streets.

When I go out to the shops on Thursday I’ll have a good look to see if I can see what they have been doing. It’s high time that they gave some of the walls a bit more attention rather like they did last year to the part a little higher up the street.

digger museum de granville rue cambernon  manche normandy france eric hallSomething else that’s been on my mind has been the town’s museum, situated in the old gatehouse by the drawbridge.

That’s been closed “for renovation” since before I came to live here and it makes me wonder when they intend to reopen it, because there has been little sign of any kind of movement. Today though, a digger has appeared in the grounds and they seem to be digging a big hole.

It’s just going to delay the opening even more, I reckon. I don’t suppose that i’ll ever get to see what the museum is all about.

unloading bouchots de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRound by the port, there was plenty of activity going on.

The fishing boat les Bouchots de Chausey had just come into port and was busy unloading piles of bouchots – the mussels that grow on strings – onto the tractor and trailer.

There were so many crates in the hold that they were using the quayside crane as well as the crane on the trailer. That looks as if it’s a really good catch and they can be well-pleased with that.

It’s nice to see something successful happening here, even if it is stuff that I don’t like.

hang gliders pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I trudged my weary way back home again to check my photos.

The Birdmen of Alcatraz were still out there and as I reached my building a couple of them flew by overhead.

Back here I had my slice of banana bread and then sat down to work on the speech for my radio programme.

And shame as it is to say it, I fell asleep on my chair. Not just for 10 minutes either but for a couple of hours too. When I awoke I felt totally dreadful and it took me a good half-hour to pull myself together again.

It’s probably the worst that I have felt for quite some considerable time.

Tea was a burger on a bun with potatoes and vegetables followed by the last of the apple crumble.

full moon over st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was no-one about at all when I went for my evening walk tonight.

The moon was beautiful tonight as you have probably already seen. it was quite low in the sky tonight and looked really impressive shining as it did over the water at St Pair sur Mer.

Back here I had a chat with Liz and then wrote up my notes for today. having done that, I’m now off to bed, and not before time because i’m pretty tired again right now.

It looks to me if i’m not going to shake off this ill-health for quite some time and that’s really depressing. And if countries continue to pull in their borders it may well be that i might not be able to reach Leuven for my medical appointment at Castle Anthrax on 7th October.

It’s already 9 months since I’ve had my four-weekly cancer treatment and I’m feeling the strain terribly.

It’s also exactly 12 months today since I had my “life-changing” evening – the first of three that I had in the High Arctic that really did change my life for ever.

Three nights that I wanted to go on for ever and at the time, it seemed as if they would too.

It’s quite nostalgic right now, and terribly, terribly sad that it all ended like it did. I don’t regret a thing for a single moment and I’ll never be the same after all of that. Despite the fact that the water has flown well underneath the bridge, I won’t forget it for ever.

Sunday 30th August 2020 – I’VE HAD A …

home made pizza home backed bread banana bread granville manche normandy france eric hall… bit of a bake-in today.

Apart from the rice pudding that you can’t see, and the vegan pizza that you can, you’ll also notice two loaves of bread.

The larger one is of course a standard loaf of bread with a generous helping of sunflower seeds. As for the smaller one, it was 200 grams of flour with a couple of generous handfuls of sultanas and an over-ripe banana mixed well in

At the moment I’ve no idea what it tastes like, but I shall find that out tomorrow. It goes without saying that I have high hopes for this, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating – quite literally in this respect

marite english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallso while you admire the photos of Marité coming back to harbour, this morning was quite a strange morning. Even though there was no alarm, I awoke at 06:17. No chance of my getting out of bed at that time though. 10:00 is a much more likely time to heave myself out of bed on a Sunday.

And a big “hello” to Castor and Pollux who came to join me on a trip out last night. They had been off somewhere in some kind of themed concert, fancy dress type of thing. I had to go to pick them up afterwards. Pollux had a something, a kind of hood on with what looked like a knife blade sticking up out of the back. I can’t remember what Castor was wearing and imagine that! Me taking little notice of Castor’s apparel. it had been like a themed harem kind of thing. I picked them up and brought them back.
There was much more to it than this and when you’ve finished eating your meal I’ll tell you all of the gruesome details.

marite baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBefore this there had been some kind of thing about trains where we had got to London and we were waiting at a station which was a combined tube and main line station in West London. There were tube trains stopping there and trains going to Birmingham as well. We were cornered by someone, me and this girl. Someone wanted something or other and he was a bit violent so when he started to throw his weight around I kicked him in the groin and he just keeled over onto the floor clutching his groin saying that he was going to get me, all this kind of thing. We just wandered off. His train came in and so he staggered onto it. About a minute later we ended up on a train as well. We were going round to Hanley – the Potteries on the train on one of the old loop lines. The ticket collector came along and asked for our tickets . I had about 100 tickets in my pockets that someone had given me from all various places. I had to search through them and in the end he said “this is a Birmingham train” so I found a ticket that had Birmingham on it. Even though it had been clipped once I gave it to him and he clipped it again and whoever I was with, she gave him the correct ticket. That would cause complications if we were controlled again because we were getting off this train somewhere and getting back on another one and with me having used any old ticket collected was going to be complicated for continuing our journey.
And this strikes me as having a familiar ring about it when once on a nocturnal ramble I was on a train in Crewe Station.

marite baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallSomewhat later on I was living in a house a bit like Hankelow Hall with all of these rooms. I remember that it was August and I had the heating on because it was so cold. i was spending my time working between the computer in one room and the kitchen in another. Suddenly this house became occupied by students as well. I had my things all over the place so i had to start tidying up. There were tins of food absolutely everywhere – a mess and so on but little by little I was getting this place somehow tidied up. I had to say that my tenants were really good-natured about it because I wouldn’t have been this good-natured had it been someone else. I had a pile of money – copper coins and 10c pieces lying all over the place as well. This surprisingly wasn’t being moved by anyone. We were all in cooking a meal and I was getting all my stuff organised slowly to make some space for everyone else, putting my dirty clothes in for washing, that kind of thing, filling a bin with rubbish. The conversation came round to something that I had recorded as a demo for someone, a speech about someone’s broken arm. It turned out to be a very prescient comment according to these kids but when they played it back I couldn’t see how it related to anything but they seemed to think that it did

Pierre came round this morning to see if I’d received the presents from yesterday. I thanked him very much, and he told me that Catherine, the girl who had made them, would be coming off the Chausey boat later that afternoon at about 16:00.

That gave me just enough time to crack on with the bread making.

autogyro granville manche normandy france eric hallDown in the town I found out that the Chausey ferries would be coming in at about 17:00 so I had a little sit-down to relax for a short while.

Once I’d recovered my breath I went for a little walk along the harbour wall. However I didn’t go very far before my reverie was interrupted. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the autogyro that we’ve seen flying over us every now and then. And here it was again.

It’s another one of those objects in which I shall have to go for a fly around one of these days. It probably takes off from the airport at Donville les Bains so I’ll have to wander off over there.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe boat came in earlier than anticipated but I was there to meet it.

However I couldn’t see Catherine anywhere so in the end after a good look around I came home again. I’ll have to send her an e-mail to thank her but that’s not going to be easy to send her the bottle of wine.

Once all of the break was baked I made my pizza. It was another delicious one and so filling, I didn’t have any pudding. That will be for another day I reckon.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter tea I went out for my usual evening walk

The sun had long-since sunk below the horizon but there was a beautiful radiant red sky away out over the Ile de Chausey this evening.

There were a few people out there enjoying the evening view too, taking photographs and the like. It’s been a while since i’ve seen so many people out there and it’s no surprise that Covid infections are running so high at the moment with all of this.

Seeing the casual way in which people are wearing their masks, it’s hardly any surprise.

boat with light cap frehel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallThis was quite an interesting sight.

Even though it was fairly dark this evening there was still a clear view all the way down the Brittany coast. The lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, to the extreme right of the image is quite clearly visible even though it’s over 70kms away

It was also interesting to see the light out to sea too. It’s probably a trawler or some other fishing boat with its nets out having a go at making a catch.

So back here I wrote up my notes and that was that. i’m going to have an early night because there is plenty of work to do starting tomorrow – all of the usual stuff plus catching up on arrears and there’s also a new internet course starting

So here’s hoping for more pleasant dreams with charming companions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 28th August 2020 – THERE WEREN’T …

high tide plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall… too many people on the beach today when I went out for my afternoon walk.

And that’s hardly surprising – and for several reasons too.

Firstly, the tide was well in, as you can see. In fact it wasn’t far off being high tide – although I suspect that the tide was on its way out just now.

Secondly, the weather was pretty miserable too. There was a very high wind, it was cold and there were occasional rain showers. I actually had a jacket on when I went outside and I can’t say that it was unnecessary.

This morning though was another miserable morning. The alarms, although I heard them, didn’t raise me from my bed. It was about 07:15 when I finally arose.

Nothing on the dictaphone either, although I have a vague memory of being somewhere in Portugal with a dog during the night. And if that’s as ever likely.

This morning, with a great deal of effort, I managed to complete the radio programme that I had been preparing. And that was more difficult than it might seem as well because the timings were all miles out and I had to improvise.

Unbelievably, that took me up to lunchtime. And seeing as I had forgotten to bake any bread this morning I had to make do with taco rolls. It’s a good job that I have a stock of those.

This afternoon I’ve spent working on the photos from my trip around Europe. Not that I’ve gone very far with those because firstly I had my route into the Czech Republic all wrong and I had to spend an hour or two going over one of these satellite imaging sites to see if I could identify anything.

Once I’d done that, I managed to trace and old abandoned building that I had seen. Once I’d identified it I was able to do some research about it and in the end I managed to find (in Czech) some information about it.

Czech was not a language that I learnt – they didn’t join the EU until after I had left – so I ended up having to teach myself a little Czech vocabulary in order to work out what it was that I was reading.

Mind you, it took me long enough.

yachts english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIn between all of this I braved the weather to go out for my afternoon walk.

There was plenty of wind, as I said earlier, but it’s an ill-wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good because there were certainly plenty of people taking advantage of it.

Not only did we have the yacht schools out there today, there was probably a dozen or so of them performing some kind of nautical danse macabre out at sea in the English Channel.

trees with blankets on trunks square maurice marland granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom the rue du Nord I carried on to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset to watch the high tide, and then I walked around to the Square Maurice Marland to see what was going on there.

Not a lot, as it happened, but it was amusing to see what was going on with some of the trees there.

There was no indication at all to suggest what was the purpose of these woollen wrappings around the trunks. It beats me – after all, it’s not as if it is winter yet – but there must be some kind of purpose to it all.

black mamba baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve seen plenty of yachts out in the English Channel, but there were also quite a few on the other side of the headland in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen this one before. It’s Black Mamba and she put in an appearance a few weeks before I went off on my travels on Spirit of Conrad.

She’s been hanging around now ever since, and one of these days I shall have to go along and chat to the skipper to find out some more about the vessel.

old cars jaguar xj s granville manche normandy france eric hallHow long is it since we’ve had an old car on these pages?

Round by the Eglise Notre Dame I saw this vehicle parked up. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen several old jaguars around the town, but we’ve not seen anything as rare as this old Jaguar XJ-S

It’s difficult to tell whether this is a Mark I or a Mark III. The side repeaters on the Mark III are different but on the Mark I it didn’t have them.

That makes me think that it’s a mark I with aftermarket repeaters, but that’s just a wild guess. Whatever it is, it’s certainly interesting.

Back here I carried on with my photos and then stopped for tea. There was some stuffing left from my pepper so I lengthened it with some kidney beans and had more taco rolls, followed by apple crumble

My evening walk was completely uneventful. There was no-one about in this wicked wind and there was nothing whatever going on. The only excitement was that there were still seven boats in the chantier navale.

Shopping tomorrow so i’m having an early night – I hope. And I need it too because I’m exhausted. Here’s hoping that tomorrow will be somewhat better.

Thursday 27th August 2020 – YOU ARE ALL PROBABLY …

… fed up of me going on about all of the bad days that i’m having. But it’s important that I note them because with this illness, which is terminal and a slow decline, it’s important to me to keep track of where I am and how I’m feeling.

And so it goes without saying that despite a reasonably early night, I still missed the alarms this morning and it was about 07:30 when I finally left the bed.

There had been planty of time to go off on my travels of course. Last night I was doing something with a ticket agency. We had to print some extra tickets for a show somewhere so I started work on it. It became very complicated because the person who had ordered the extra tickets – someone else had bought tickets after them so I had to go through and do all of the renumbering of the new tickets by hand. I did 10 then I had to find out who it was who had ordered them. That was a more complicated procedure than it ought to have been. In the end I managed to extract the information. It was the Queens Head Hotel in Wistaston Road so I had to put all those details on. Then I started to think of a way of doing E-tickets involving photos of purchasers, that kind of thing. Then I was asked if I would go into the stands to watch Manchester United v Liverpool. I asked if this was to commentate and they said “no, just to be up there in case any of the fans ring up”. So I went up there to watch the game. On the way down afterwards I was asked if we had a recipient because one of the wine vats was becoming full and overflowing. I didn’t have anything to hand so I had to organise and arrange something. I came across a dustbin that if it had been cleaned that would have done but for some unknown reason the woman I was with decided that it wasn’t appropriate. In the end we found something else. She made a remark about me being very unhappy to do this and to move this container but I said “no, it’s heavy” but she wouldn’t have it. She insisted that I had some bad grace or something. She was going on and on about it. I wished that she would shut up and let’s get this thing outside and decant this wine out of the vat.

There was some paperwork to do this morning and then I had a shower to make myself all neat and tidy.

lorry trans-shipping rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallRather later than usual, I headed out of the apartment for the shops for the midweek shopping.

One thing about living in a medieval walled city is that transport is extremely difficult. Deliveries in large lorries are quite impossible.

The solution is that if your products do come in a large vehicle they need to be trans-shipped into a smaller vehicle that can pass through the gateways and into the old town.

Still, it’s a small price to pay.

town council working on sculptures square potel granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on down the rue des Juifs there was something else exciting going on.

In the Square Potel there are all kinds of interesting and weird sculptures around and about. But today, the local council have sent a cherry-picker to do something with the metal crocodile or whatever it is.

Into town and up the hill to LIDL I went. But I was interrupted on the way by a telephone call. The guy who manages the radio station telephoned me to ask me how I was and to update me with the latest news.

We were on the phone for about half an hour all told.

At LIDL I didn’t buy anything out of the ordinary today. Just the usual stuff that is running low, and a big bunch of grapes of course. I really want a nail brush but I couldn’t find one there. I shall have to look elsewhere.

On the way back I stopped off at La Mie Caline for my dejeunette today and then walked – or rather, staggered – on back up the hill.

chausiais leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was some movement in the port today too.

Chausiais was manoeuvring her way into the ferry terminal today. It looks as if she has another load of freight to deliver to the Ile de Chausey.

I had to have a pause for breath half-way up the hill too. That’s not like me at all but it’s an indication of how I’m feeling and how my health is degenerating these days.

It’s rather sad, isn’t it?

Back here I organised myself a little and then, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out on the chair. About 90 minutes or so, I reckon. That is really depressing.

Lunch was therefore rather late and then I cracked on with the radio programme. I missed my afternoon walk which is a shame, but I wanted to make progress. And when I knocked off I’d finished the entire show except for the final track and the closing speech.

That I can do tomorrow but it’s depressing me, what I usually do in about a day and a half taking a whole week.

Tea was steamed vegetables with vegetable balls and vegan cheese sauce, followed by apple crumble and soya dessert.

red sunset coastguard station pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThis evening I went out for a walk.

There was a really high wind tonight but apart from that it was a really nice evening. There was a really nice red sky out to sea in the general direction of the UK.

Still, you know what they say –
“Red sky at night means Portsmouth is on fire”.

And they are probably correct as well. All kinds of things are going on over there right now.

moon granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday I mentioned that the moon would probably be really nice in the next few days.

It certainly was bright and clear tonight – one of the nicest that i’ve seen it. So even without a tripod, I took a photo of it with the BIG ZOOM LENS.

Back here, I wrote up my notes and now I’m off to bed. I’m going to have an early night seeing as I’m feeling really tired right now.

A good sleep will probably do me the world of good and one of these days I might start to feel better. I hope that it won’t be long.

Wednesday 26th August 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

… about last night.

What a waste of time that was. I was still wide awake at 04:00 with no sign whatever of going off to sleep. I’ve really no idea what happened there.

Mind you, I did eventually get off to sleep, having switched off the alarms first. There would be no danger of my ever being out of bed at 06:00 so it was a waste of time disturbing my sleep.

My eyes first saw the light of day at 08:45 but that was being rather optimistic. 11:30 was a much more reasonable time to rise up.

At some point in the night I’d been on my travels again. We were back in the Underground last night, somewhere else where I go quite often and it was to do with a girl whom I knew in Brussels. We’d arranged to meet somehow but we had kept on missing each other. Eventually we arranged to meet at a station on the Northern Line somewhere round by the North Circular Road. I had to make my sandwiches so I cut up a lettuce and got everything ready. There was some kind of confusion and I can’t remember what it was now about these sandwiches, making them, then having to leave and getting on this Underground – I can’t remember too much about it.

The most unusual think about missing half of a day’s work is that in fact I’ve done more work today than I did over the last two days. And that’s totally surprising. I’ve finished the notes for the radio programme on which I’ve been working. Tomorrow I’ll dictate them and edit them.

It’s just as well because there’s a new internet course starting on Monday next week on which I’m enrolled. Another one about *.css and javascript. High time that I brushed up on my technique.

peche a pied plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on in the afternoon I went out for my walk.

For a change I was out earlier than I have been and the tide had only just turned. Not too many people out there on the beach right now, although one intrepid young girl was out there with her bucket and her gratter having a go at the peche à pied in the rock pools.

With nothing better to do, I watched her for a while but I couldn’t see what she was harvesting

hang gliders crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on along my path, there was something of a different scene from the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The crowds were starting to come down onto the beach. The shelter underneath the wall was already packed with people seeking shade, and there were several people down there in the water enjoying the waves.

There were the Birdmen of Alcatraz out there today. One of them was already up in the air – a tandem machine with two people on board. There was certainly enough wind to lift them both into the air this afternoon.

Back here I finished off the radio programme and even managed 20 minutes on the acoustic guitar. I’ll have to hurry up and get back into my rhythm.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with potatoes and vegetables followed by apple crumble and coconut soya dessert

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric halllater on this evening I went out for my walk in the dusk.

No-one was out there except for a couple walking their dog and a family on the car park. But the bird of prey that we saw a couple of months ago, that was out there again hovering around above the edge of the cliffs.

There are a few rabbits that run around on the clifftop so I’m wondering whether the bird might be after some of the younger babies in the family.

moon reflecting in rock pool pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued along the clifftop and then across the car park to the other side.

There was a nice moon up there tonight – about half-full. What was interesting about it was that while it didn’t look to be so bright, it was making a glorious reflection in a rock pool down there at the top of the beach.

It was really well worth a photo and it’s come out quite well too. It won’t be long before we have a full moon and then it’s all going to be quite impressive. It’ll be a lot darker by then too.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallJust further along the path is the viewpoint over the chantier navale

And i’m not quite sure what is happening down there these days but the boats seem to be multiplying rapidly. We now have a seventh boat down there in the yard and I don’t recall ever having seen that many before.

As I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … a full yard is a very good sign for the town. It encourages people to moor their boats here if they know that they can be serviced and repaired in the vicinity.

Anyway, after all of that, I’m off to bed. I’ve already drifted away once or twice, despite having had such a very short day. if I’m ever going to recover, which is doubtful, I need to be taking more care of myself.

And that reminds me – i’ve had a letter from Castle Anthrax. They want me back on 7th October and as the appointment is for early in the morning it may well be that they intend to restart my treatment.

And seeing as I haven’t had my four-weekly treatment since January I can’t say that it’s before time. It’s not really any surprise that i’m feeling so unwell when I’ve not had my cancer treatment for such a long time.

Roll on October.

Tuesday 25th August 2020 – IT’S BEEN YET ANOTHER …

… day when I just couldn’t find the concentration to get going again. In fact, it’s been something of a bad day all round.

And, once more, it started off quite well again with me being out of bed before the third alarm went off. Twice in two days is going it somewhat!

And as well as that, I’d been on my travels yet again. I was in a big old metallic green V6 Granada last night. I’d only just bought it and I’d been out for a drive around Creve in it. There was no tax and no MoT on it and I was reluctant to take it for an MoT and I’ve no idea why. I should have just taken it and had it tested and seen what it needed but for some unknown reason I didn’t want to do that so I was just driving around in it thinking “should I go to Stoke on Trent in it? Should I see someone whom I know there etc etc and get him to drive my other car back?” I thought that I’d better get it insured at least but then I couldn’t remember where my insurance broker lived and I was drifting along the streets around the West End of Crewe looking for the street where he lived but I just couldn’t remember which one it was. Anyway I went into the Post Office for something or other. It was a Saturday and the Post Office was crowded so I started to queue but I couldn’t remember what it was that I wanted so in the end I got out of the queue and up to a table. Someone came along and dumped a pile of papers and a cheque book and then wandered out of theplace for some reason. I was looking at these papers wandering what was going on when a young guy came over. I can’t remember exactly how he said it but he was going on about how he really had three cars and how he was proud. I said that I had four cars up my drive at the moment. He asked what I had and I said “a Transit and three Ford Cortina estates” (But I could think of two estates, THE MK III and THE MK V, so what was the other one?). He was all enthusiastic about those.

This is quite reminiscent of a recurring dream that I have every now and again about having various Ford Cortinas parked up in all kinds of miscellaneous places all over Crewe

There was some paperwork to do of course this morning but shame as it is to say it, I fell asleep on the chair. That early too!

This is no good at all and I’m going to have to do something serious about all of this sometime.

But anyway I eventually awoke and had a look at my notes prior to my Welsh class starting.

And that was a disaster too because I couldn’t remember a thing. I’m going to have to deal with this issue too. But I think that in all honesty I’m breaking up, I reckon, and I can’t go on much longer like this.

After lunch the first task was to deal with the carrots. There was 1 kilo of them that needed peeling, slicing, blanching and freezing. For some reason, shop-bought frozen carrots seem to be pumped full of water and are particularly ghastly so I like to freeze my own from fresh.

Then apart from that, there was some washing up to do for the things that I had brought back from the Auverne. They are all done now, at least, as far as the glass jars are concerned. There’s still the cutlery for the camping kit to do, although that’s not necessary now because I can’t go off for a further wander around this year.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallHowever, I can go out for my afternoon walk – or crawl, or whatever, even if it was later than usual.

And it goes without saying that I wasn’t the only one out there either. Despite all of the wind that we were having, there were still crowds of people taking in the sun on the beach .

There were quite a few people out in the water too and I bet that that was exciting for them. The kids with the surfboard probably enjoyed it.

sunlight reflecting off marker light ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw several lights out to sea in the evening.

There’s a bit more light out there again today and I was wondering what it might be. A long-distance shot with the big ZOOM LENS and enlarged when I returned home soon solved the mystery.

It’s one of the tall markers on the little tidal islands off the Ile de Chausey with the sunlight reflecting off the glass at the top. Nothing really exciting at all

kitesurfers english channel donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallWe mentioned just now about people out there in the water this afternoon.

Here’s a few more of them out there in the distance off the shore by Donville les Bains. These people are out there kitesurfing and I do have to say that they have picked a nice day for it.

They were out there last Friday when i went for a walk with Liz and Terry but I didn’t have an opportunity to take a photo of them.

crowds in sea waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if that isn’t enough, there are plenty of people down there in the water too at the Plat Gousset.

The waves are quite high with the wind that’s blowing in off the sea and all of the people seem to be quite enjoying the waves as they come rolling in.

A couple of surfboards out there too and of course the lifeguard in the green flourescent top to the right, keeping an eye on things for safety’s sake.

chevrolet car with connecticut usa licence plates granville manche normandy france eric hallNow here’s a thing.

Round by the church I happened to notice this car parked up in the street. To my surprise it had number plates from Connecticut in the USa both front and rear and that made me wonder what on earth it was doing here. And, more importantly, how it had arrived here.

Mind you, it hadn’t escaped my notice that the Connecticut road licence in the window expired in 2009 so there’s clearly something not quite kosher about all of this.
.

Back here I had another go at the radio programme. I added the introduction to the first couple of tracks and then started on the notes but once more I made very little progress and i’m going to have to do better than this.

Tea tonight was delicious. Leek and tofu pie with potatoes and vegetables with gravy, followed by apple crumble and soya dessert. Despite everything, at least the food is good here.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went out for my evening stagger around the headland.

There wasn’t very much going on at all and apart from one other person doing the circuit in the opposite direction, I was totally on my own. Nevertheless it was interesting round by the chantier navale because we seem to have acquired another attendee.

There were five boats in there last night, I seem to remember, but tonight we seem to have ended up with six.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat’s not the only excitement down there either today.

Talking of ships arriving in port, we have Normandy Trader down there this evening. She must have come in on the afternoon tide.

It was mentioned that she should have come into port yesterday but I understand that she postponed her sailing for a day due to the high seas and the nature of the cargo she was transporting.

Back here now, it’s late and I’m not tired and I don’t know why. That’s not a very good sign. I can see it being a really difficult day tomorrow.

Monday 24th August 2020 – IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE …

… that just 6 weeks or so ago I was running a couple of kilometres every night without all that much effort.

These days I can barely stagger round the circuit and end up collapsing in a heap on my chair for a couple of hours.

And it all started so well too.

The alarms went off as usual and to my surprise, as well as that of everyone else, I was actually up and out of bed by the time the third alarm went off. And it’s been a good while since I’ve done that

Some stuff on the dictaphone too.

I was with, of all people, a certain former girlfriend last night. I wondered what the heck she was doing featuring in my nocturnal rambles because I haven’t spent a moment thinking about her for 45 years or so. We started off just being acquaintances and she was having to stay somewhere but no-one had come up with a place. I said “not to worry because if the worst comes to the worst I have a caravan in a yard just off the A13 where you can stay in East London. She asked about it and I said “it’s not particularly noisy”. Anyway so we drifted on through this evening and in the end her offer of accommodation hadn’t turned up so she came to my caravan. She got into bed but there was nowhere really for me to sleep so I slept on the other edge of the bed. After a while she said that she wanted a cuddle so I got right over to her side and gave her a cuddle. Of course things started to go on from there. Her mother put in an appearance at this point and said something like “I know what you two are doing” which of course we weren’t particularly doing but nevertheless. What it had to do with her mother I realy don’t know because the girl was a young adult. So it went on like that, running around in bed. But I had to get up to go to work – it was 09:15 but I suddenly realised that she wasn’t going into work today so we started discussing her working arrrangements and she was telling me about her working time for next week. Her boss had cocked things up as she had to go to a certai factory – coal mine – on Friday and it was closed on that day. I asked her if she had a key to the timekeeper’s lodge. She said “yes” so I said that it doesn’t really matter then because she can time herself in and out again . I had to get up and went outside. It was rzasonably warm for the time of year so I told everyone, her, her mother, my friend who was hanging around that they didn’t need their jackets on today.

There was something else on the dictaphone too and this I don’t understand. I dictated that we had this beautiful view of three horses – between the legs of one we saw the second and in between the legs of that we saw the third, all very surreal. And what that was all about, I don’t have the slightest idea.

One thing about restarting work after a long holiday is that the concentration isn’t there and it takes an age to do the simplest of tasks. It took me until all of 15:50 to choose the 10 tracks of music for the next radio show and to combine them in pairs.

And then I forgot to add in the opening announcement to the first pair.

There was a break for lunch of course – more of my nice fresh loaf – but I don’t know where the rest of the time went.

joly france english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallAt about 15:50 I knocked off and went for my afternoon walk – or stagger, more like.

And while I was walking along the rue du Nord I noticed behind me that Joly France was on her travels again. Taking the afternoon ferry to the Ile de Chausey.

And of course, while I was taking the photo, I was photo-bombed yet again by a seagull. Of course there are so many more of those around at the moment with the babies taking to the air.

diving platform tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried on along the walls underneath the rue du Nord to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The tide seemed to be on its way out and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it goes quite far out. But they have cleaned out the tidal swimming pool and that is proving to be quite popular with the tourists.

You can see that they are all enjoying it down there, under the surveillance of a lifeguard in the flourescent jacket.

unloading builders material port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallcarrying on around into the Square Maurice Marland, I noticed that all of the baby seagulls have flown the nest; which is no surprise of course.

So I pushed on along on my walk to where there was a good view overlooking the harbour. My attention was drawn to the lorry over there that was busy unloading a pile of building material onto the quayside.

There’s a dozen or so gas bottles too, and so this all looks to me as if there’s going to be some serious work being undertaken over there in early course.

Back here I started to write out the notes for the radio programme. And I did about three or four lines too before I crashed out. And that’s how I stayed until about 18:50.

About three hours all told that I was out like a light, and you’ve no idea just how much that dismayed me.

Tea was stuffed pepper and rice, followed by apple crumble with ice cream and soya coconut stuff.

trawler english channel islands jersey granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd then I went out for my evening walk.

It wasn’t quite dark outside and you can see the coast of Jersey out there in the background. What caught my attention though was the light. It looks as if it’s on the coast but it isn’t as far as I can tell. It’s off the coast and is probably a fishing boat.

What surprised me about it was that the light wasn’t there at first. I was admiring the Jersey coast when it was suddenly switched on, right in front of my eyes.

speedboat red light english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThat wasn’t the ony light that was out there either.

There was quite a collection of lights out to sea tonight. The most interesting was the red light on this speedboat that was coming across the Channel from the Ile de Chausey.

There were several yachts moored off the entrance to the harbour too. They were all displaying masthead lights and in the twilight it was looking quite impressive.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued around the headland to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier Navale

It’s pretty full in there tonight. All five berths are occupied by a variety of fishing boats and that’s good news as far as I’m concerned.

So having noted all of that, I continued on my trek around and back home, walking rather slowly rather than going at a run as I might have done a couple of months ago.

Back here I wrote up my notes and now I’m off to bed. Not quite as early as I would like and it’s going to be another busy day as well.

It’s hard to get back into the swing of things when i’m not feeling too well, but I’ll just have to do my best.

Sunday 23rd August 2020 – SUNDAY IS …

… a Day of Rest.

Even so, you might think that 11:00 is something of an exaggeration, especially as I had an early night. But you might change your opinion when I tell you that about 5 or 6 times during the night I was awoken by some really bad attacks of cramps.

Bad to such an extent that I had to leave the bed and walk around to ease off the pain.

And so it’s hardly surprising that once I finally went off to sleep I slept all the way through to about 11:00 or thereabouts.

Plenty of time for me to go off on a few nocturnal rambles – and it’s just as well as I must have travelled miles during the night.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSo while you admire some photos of people on the beach in the sun, a welcome return last night for Zero, who at one time was a regular companion of mine on my nocturnal voyages. I’d been out somewhere and gone round to her father’s house. It started off with me being offered a cup of tea and for some reason i’d only half-stirred it with the spoon and put the spoon down and went to get another one. As people were watching I couldn’t use my own spoon to finish it off, I had to use a second one of theirs to do it. Then someone thanked me for the slide that I had given them. It turned out to have been one of these kids’ prefabricated garden amusement type of thing, a great big slide. Someone had given it to me and I’d given it to Zero’s dad. They had finally erected it and it had matched the one that she had had. She’d had a great time this past year or so playing on this. They all thanked me so I went in to see it and she was sitting there. Then they all came back with the tea, all kinds of chips. For some unknown reason there weren’t any for me so we were going through all the piles. I asked “which one is mine?”. Her brother said “hang on – I’ll make you yours now”. I asked “didn’t they get any for me from the chip shop?” We went through and calculated again. The father said “ohh no. What’s happened is that two of you must have gone and asked for chips without bread at the same time and they’ve only done one of them. My boy will make you another helping”.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I’d been out with a general of the European Army who wasn’t in fact the general but one of the directors and I’ll tell you his name in a minute. I’d applied for another job and I’d practically got it but his secretary said that he wanted to see my ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels and I couldn’t understand why. She said “he thinks quite highly of you and he wants to keep you” so I had to go and get my education sub-folder out as all my certificates were in there. I went to see him and said “here’s my degree to start with. We may as well start at the top”. We got chatting about everything and then he started talking to me about Official Secrets, what I had to do and what needs signing. I told him that when I was in the UK the guy for whom I drove actually did his job for the Uk so I know all about secrets. Someone said “you can’t be much good if you’ve had to go through this procedure twice” which surprised me. So then we went out for a drive and he went through all of my paperwork then he asked “I need that form back”. I thought “which one?” so I gave him the folder again to look for it and it wasn’t in there. I said “if it’s the security form you left it back in the office” to which he said “OK”. We went back and got out of the car and there was some of my paperwork that had fallen on the floor and was all damp. I had to pick all of that up. A couple of my cats were there and he started to stroke Sid. he said “ohh yes, Sid is definitely my favourite”. Nerina was there too and that was when I had yet another bad attack of cramp. How many attacks of cramp is this that I’ve had this morning?

I was talking to one of my sisters of all people last night about my father who had died. I asked if he had any papers or newspaper cuttings or anything like that. She said that he had died and left nothing, and his place was in a total mess. I asked about these press cuttings. She said “yes he had a pile of those”. I said that I would like to see them. She replied “I thought you might”. I told her the story about the chat that I’d had on Facebook with those people who lived on Wardle camp. One of them had mentioned that my grandmother had a great many gentlemen callers, which my sister doubted, which I found rather strange as I didn’t think so either. We had this conversation about it. This guy Clive – his name was mentioned and I couldn’t think of his family name. He had a market stall in his name and it will come back to me one of these days. We were talking about all of that. We were at school and she said “you’d better keep an eye on the time, you know, because it’s 13:15 and lunch break is nearly over” so we wandered off to sit in a corner to continue our talk. Just for a change I awoke with just a small attack of cramp.

To finish off, we had a right Boys Own adventure, of people who were in cars of the 1920s who were chasing each other about the countryside. There were a couple of married couples and one married couple had fallen foul of a single man who was a bit of an evil type and who had kidnapped the wife and their kids and was taking them somewhere. The other guy was busy trying to hunt them down. There was another married couple or something involved as well. There was all this confusion going on. In the end they all met up at the docks in Dover. They just parked up at the side and I had to go and persuade them to park up in the queue for the actual ferry crossing which eventually I managed to do. There was a couple of people who wanted to know if they should be going there, mainly kids, that kind of thing but it was one of these things like someone called Harold. he was the hero and it was one of these Enid Blyton Famous Five types of thing only starring this boy called Harold who was there trying to lead everyone, all that kind of thing. I might have been him but I don’t really know now.

With it being a Sunday it’s been a very quiet day today and I haven’t done very much at all.

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall There was the afternoon walk of course.

We’ve seen the crowds on the beach already, and there were crowds on the footpaths too, but it wasn’t just on land that we had the hordes. The Bird-men of Alcatraz were out in force today too . They fly perilously close to the buildings some times and one of these days we’re going to have a disaster.

However, as long as there is enoguh wind to gove them scope for manoeuvre, we’ll see plenty more them up and about in the air.

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallToday’s route took me around the city walls and along the footpath at the clifftop.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the roofing job that has been going on down in he Place Marechal Foch for the last few months. As you cans ee, they are still at it. All this time and they haven’t finished yet. They still have some scaffolding up there.

Mind you, the seagulls look as if they have been busy, don’t they? They appear to have well-and-truly christened parts of the roof that have already been completed, and I bet one or two of the scaffolders have received Blessings from above too.

crowds braderie rue paul poirier granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the things that I found out this afternoon, and maybe I should have gone down to investigate, was the braderie taking place in the town this afternoon.

The Summer Sales have been going on for the last few weeks and it’s the custom at the end of the month for the streets to be closed and for the retailers to have a public exposition of everything that they wish to be sold off.

All at bargain prices too, and while some of the reductions mean that the products just cost an arm instead of an arm and a leg, sometimes some goods might be sold at real bargain prices. But by this time of day, near the end of the afternoon, most of the bargains will be long-gone.

ulm microlight pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWe spoke about the Bird-men of Alcatraz just now, but we haven’t finished with the air just quite yet.

As I was walking back across the Square Maurice Marland I was overflown by a couple of the ULM, or microlights that I believe come from the airport at Donville les Bains.

There are all kinds of exciting aerial machines that loiter about there. We’ve already seen plenty of examples. One of these days, as I keep on saying, I’ll have to go out for myself and see what’s happening and maybe even blag my way on board one of the machines for a lap around the bay.

home made apple crumble vegan pizza granville manche normandy france eric hallMeanwhile, back at the apartment I was having something of a bake-in.

We started off as usual with the pizza this evening. Sunday evening has been pizza night for as long as I can remember and there are no good reasons that I can recall to change my habits right now.

While the pizza was cooking, I made a couple of apple crumbles. It should have been just one but there was too much crumble and of course, that won’t keep. As for what it tastes like, I’ve no idea. The pizza filled me up pretty much and there wasn’t enough room for any pudding.

flagpole flags resistance memorial pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I went out in the evening it was almost dark. The nights are definitely drawing in. And I was glad that I wore a jacket because there was a vicious wind tonight too.

Having been around the city walls this afternoon my walk took me around the headland tonight. Past the Monument to the Resistance Fighters from the area who continued the fight against the Axis powers after the debacle of June 1940.

And if you compare the photo here WITH THIS ONE FROM JUNE you’ll notice a little difference. The German flag has now gone and the European flag has been raised in its place. i wonder what might be the significance of that.

night port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNot only has the German flag gone, but the light has gone too – as quickly as that and we are now well into dusk.

My route continued along the headland at the top of the cliff until I came to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour. The harbour gates are closed and the red traffic lights that the boats in the outer harbour see is casting a nice reflection onto whatever is left of the water there.

It looks to me as if the tide is receding quite rapidly now.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith it being a summer weekend, the ferries over to the Ile de Chausey are quite busy.

They are running quite late too, but as long as there is water enough to get into the Ferry terminal they willl be still be out there. It may well be gone 21:30 and fairly dark, but here’s one of them coming into harbour right now.

This one seems to be Joly France I, the newer one of the two. Yu can tell that by the shorter upper deck superstructure and the longer depth of the windows on the deck underneath.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallRight behind her into the harbour came her sister Joly France. She was quite busy too.

You can see her navigation lights quite clearly. There are five letters in “Green” just as much as there are in “Right” so it’s obvious that the green light will be on the right, or starboard side. The opposite side to starboard is port, and port is red, so it’s obvious that the port, or left side light will be red.

There’s the white central navigation light too, and it’s the juxtaposition of these lights on a ship at night that mariners at sea are able to tell in which direction a ship is sailing and whether it’s going ahead (forwards) or astern (backwards).

big wheel place albert godal granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that as we were setting out on our big adventure at the end of June we saw a lorry bringing in the bits to make the big wheel that sits every summer in the Place Godal.

Ever since I came back at the beginning of July I’ve been trying to take a decent photo of it in the dark so I thought that I would have another go tonight. It’s important because at the end of August when the tourists go back the wheel will be dismantled.

In previous years, I’ve almost always been away in Canada during the period when it’s been operating and I’ve never had a decent picture of it in the dark before.

trawlers heading out to sea baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now, the light has gone completely and it’s getting to be very much like pitch-black.

That’s not anything to stop the fishermen going out to work though. My hat comes off to all of them who face a peril out at sea, working day and night like this in all weathers. There are plenty of easier ways to be earning a living.

So watching them disappear out to sea, off around the headland, I turned round and continued my walk back towards home.

gate porte st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallNot all the way home though.

Now that it’s going dark earlier and the tourists are still here, the town has switched on the lights to illuminate the medieval city walls. This is the Porte St Jean at the back of my building, and it does look nice with the lights switched on. I’m glad that someone in the Mairie has found a shilling at last.

Anyway, back at home now. Tomorrow I’m starting back to work so I’m going to have an early night. And a decent sleep, I hope, without any cramp.

And, for a change, some pleasant dreams. Over the last couple of days they haven’t been quite so healthy. It must be my confused state of mind.

Saturday 22nd August 2020 – I NOW REMEMBER …

… why I didn’t like being here in the month of August.

There was a headline in the local newspaper today about “incivilities by the tourists” and having spent a lot of time outside today and having witnessed enough incivilities to last me a lifetime, I can see what they mean.

Interestingly, the incivilities were almost exclusively committed by either British people or Parisians and none of that should come as any surprise to anyone.

Last night was something of a disaster. As I said, I was still up and about long after 03:00 but I must have gone to bed soon after because I awoke again about an hour or so later – at 05:20 or so – covered in sweat having had another nightmare.

And what a nightmare this turned out to be, all to do with spies and Berlin and the Cold War. Some people who had broken into a house where I was staying. One of the girls who was living there confronted these people and didn’t seem to realise that they were evil but Government members. She telephoned her father to say that there were some people breaking in so I picked up the phone and told him to get down here pretty quickly. There was an enormous fight between me and a couple of people on my side and these people who had been breaking in, cheered on by a couple of spectators. It was a vicious horrible fight with absolutely no holds barred. In the end we ended up beating these intruders to a pulp and I do mean that. This girl’s father arrived. He worked for the Government. he said “You realise of course that although you are right you can’t go back to the Government now”. I said “we’re proud of your resolution”. We had to get washed and ready to leave East Berlin. Somewhere in this we’d been walking around trying to work out an escape plan out of – or into – Berlin. It involved walking around this industrial area which then led onto some old abandoned railway embankment across a patch of green in the middle of the city. We had to go down to the farmhouse that was there to make arrangements to receive whoever it was that was coming over. But all of that was there in somewhere too. During this walk we were being followed and having to slip between patrols of police, that kind of thing. This violent scene was right at the end, presumably something to do with our ring of people smuggling or whatever it was being broken, I dunno. But this nightmare was so thorough that I couldn’t go back to sleep after that for quite some time. It’s really been a bad night for me.

The alarms went off as usual but I didn’t care. It was 09:00 when I finally awoke and that was something of a surprise too seeing how late and how disturbed the night had been.

No breakfast of course because I’m still not feeling that well, but I put a machine-load of washing on the go and then went off to the shops.

LIDL was first and I spent quite a lot of money in there too. There was nothing special either – just the usual stuff. But as I haven’t been shopping for quite some time and the supplies were run down it was quite a lot of usual stuff too.

At NOZ I didn’t spent very much. Most of it was on vegan ice-cream which was on special offer. There’s quite a bit now in my freezer and I don’t use it all that often, but it wasn’t anything that I ought to be passing by when it’s available.

LeClerc was disappointing in that my frozen chopped spinach wasn’t available. I had to buy frozen leaves and that’s not the same.

While I was travelling from LIDL to the top end of town I was following a British-registered Volvo. We went around three roundabouts, four left turns and a couple of right turns (across the traffic) and yet there was not one turn indicator signal from the Volvo.

Back here, the fridge needed cleaning and defrosting so I emptied it and switched it off to let it defrost.

After lunch I carried on with the defrosting and organised the fridge once again. Now there is no build-up of ice (for the moment) and we’ll see how it goes.

la belle poule port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall
Later on I went out to the football. However I didn’t go very far before I was interrupted.

There was a large sailing ship moored against one of the new pontoons here. At first I thought that it might have been Marité having been moved from her usual berth but counting the masts, I came to the conclusion quite rapidly that it wasn’t.

Marité has three masts whereas this one only has two. It’s probably La Belle Poule, the French navy’s sail training ship that’s been around here for the last few days on a courtesy visit.

stade louis dior granville manche normandy france eric hallEventually I arrived at the Stade Louis Dior. The football season has restarted and crowds are being admitted again, but it’s not quite that simple.

  1. There’s no standing. Everyone has to sit on a seat in the stand.
  2. Only certain seats are available. Others are marked with a red cross on a white background indicating that the seat is prohibited. It seems to be alternate seats only.
  3. Face masks are compulsory in the ground.

And quite right too. This virus doesn’t take prisoners and it’s too lethal to play pot luck with it.

football stade lous dior Sainte Geneviève Sports us granville manche normandy france eric hallAs for the football, Granville, with an almost completely new team kicked off against Sainte Geneviève Sports.

For the first 15 minutes it was all one-way traffic towards the St Geneviève goal but the opposition slowly awoke and we had a much more even game. Granville were pretty ineffective up front – a very lightweight “attack” and the defence were up to their usual tricks as well, lack of concentration and all of that.

Some of St Geneviève’s players were rather spiteful and it was no surprise that they were down to 10 men after an hour.

And Granville brought on a substitute – a Gaudaloupe international winger they had just signed. He was quite a useful player but there was no-one really to take advantage of his good crosses.

However with about 15 minutes to go he put in a good cross to no-one in particular but the keeper, under pressure palmed it away, straight into the path of an onrushing Granville forward who side-footed it into the net. A goal out of nothing after all of the chances that they had missed.

We had a torrential rainstorm for 20 minutes too and we in the crowd were all soaked to the skin.

Back here, I did a couple of extra laps around to make up the 100% (I can’t be feeling that bad, can I?)

Tea was out of a tin and pudding was a banana with ice cream.

Sunday tomorrow so a lie in. I’ll need to make the most of it because I’m back to work as of Monday.

But I’m dismayed at the attitude of people and their masks.

I’ve been out and about amongst a lot of people at various times today and so many people just don’t take their masks seriously. Very few people seem to be wearing them correctly.

It’s hardly surprising that there’s a resurgence of cases here. This virus won’t ever go away at this rate.

Friday 21st August 2020 – IT’S 03:15…

… right now and I’m nowhere near ready to go to sleep quite yet.

But there’s a good reason for that – well – a reason anyway, and that is that I’ve spent most of the afternoon in bed.

This morning depite the alarms going off at the usual time, it was about 08:00 that I finally left the bed.

First task was to tidy up, and the second task was to have a shower and a general clean-up.

Round about 11:00 Liz and Terry turned up to see how I was. I gave Terry his brush cutter and I gave Liz my old acoustic guitar to pass on to one of her grandchildren.

We went down to La Rafale for a drink and a long chat, and then for a long walk around the walls which totally tired me out.

For lunch we had a rather impromptu salad with all bits and pieces that were hanging around here, with some of my home-made bread which went down really well – the general opinion being that it was delicious which pleased me greatly.

After Liz and Terry left I worked on a few photos but round about 14:30 I fell asleep on the chair. I woke up at about 15:30, feeling so dreadful that I crawled into bed and that was that.

Rosemary awoke me round about 18:00 by phoning up for a chat. We had a good natter and then I made some tea. Falafel and pasta in tomato sauce.

This evening I was in no fit state to go out for my evening walk so I stayed in. But nevertheless I can’t go to sleep and that’s no good because it’s shopping day tomorrow and there’s a lot to do.

There I was, thinking that I was getting over this illness but it doesn’t look much like it to me. I have a feeling that this is going to be a long, hard haul.

Thursday 20th August 2020 – IT’S BEEN …

clouds sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… another slightly better day today, and while you admire a few photos of the evening sunset – because I managed to get out and about today – I’ll tell you all about it.

Mind you, it could just as easily not have been because for some reason or other I couldn’t go to sleep last night. It was 01:30 and I was still awake, working on the computer.

But sleep I eventually did because the alarms awoke me at 06:00. Mind you, that doesn’t mean that I was out of bed at that time.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall08:15 is a much more reasonable time to be leaving the bed when I’m not feeling well. Plenty of time for me to go off on a noturnal voyage here and there

I was in Scandinavia last night and there was some friction at the border, to do with transporting young people across the national line from one to the other. You aren’t allowed to do it, rather like the old Mann Act in the USA. I can’t remember but I was going across and it was a question of a girl who came under this particular jurisdiction. Whether she had come with me I dunno but I ended up being chased by these people who wanted to arrest me. We had all kinds of James Bond things, Spiderman leaping from buildings, all this kind of thing, running at ridiculous lengths for ridiculous distances at ridiculous speeds, everything so that I could get clear of whoever was pursuing me about this and eventually find my way across the border.

light out to sea english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallBack at the border again I was walking past a kind of supermarket which had a huge tent as an entrance. 4 or 5 men went in there. I thought that these looked suspicious – they were rough, heavily-armed type of people so I waited outside the door. There was someone else waiting outside the door too who was clearly going to be helping them. They came out with these two girls and it was clear that they were intending to take them across the border so I intercepted and grabbed hold of these two girls and steered them off and these people came after me. They caught me in some kind of area but I had a machine gun and just let fly at a couple of people with it. I can’t remember whether I hit anyone or anything like that. With this machine gun I was well in control of the situation here about liberating these two girls .

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallSome time later I was back in a similar kind of situation, if not further along on the same voyage. Yet again, it was a border crossing thing.

This time though I was on a motorbike this time having to cross the border which was not so straightforward as I would have liked bearing in mind that the countries were in the EU. Again it was a question of what to do with the young girl who was there.

Unfortunately I don’t remember much about it because I awoke in the middle of it with the thing well under way and I missed the most exciting bits – the story of my life I suppose.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallSo now that I seem to be feeling a little better, what exactly have I done today to put my life back in order?

Apart from the usual bits of paperwork here and there that needed sticking away, I’ve actually been something of a busy boy, which took me completely by surprise.

Now that I’ve finally managed to organise the photographs of today you can see something of what I’ve been up to, if you are all up to it, that is.

crowds watching clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst of all and most importantly, I’ve managed two meals today.

For tea this evening I had a ferret around in the freezer and ended up with a potato curry that I had made back in June with some rice. This was followed by an improvised dessert of pineapple chunks and ice cream.

For lunch though, there is no bread here so I had a couple of taco rolls with salad. It’s a good job that I have a packet or two of those in stock. And they were really nice too.

But two proper meals in a day is pretty much of an improvement.

crowds watching clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall
No bread reminded me that I ought to be doing something about it. After all, I have all of the ingredients and I seem to have a little energy and enthusiasm today.

I emptied a sachet of yeast into about 250 ml of slightly warm water into which a table spoon of sugar had been dissolved, and left the yeast to ferment. While that was a-doing I took 500 grammes of flour, added some salt and a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds and mixed it all together with my hands.

Then I added the liquid which by now had a nice frothy foam on top, and mixed it all together and gave it a really good kneading to mix it all togather. When the dough had all gone nice and smooth and elastic afer about 10 minutes, I put it on one side with a cover over the top to proof.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe bread usually takes about an hour or an hour and a half to proof – the dough should double in size – so there’s plenty of time to be getting on with things.

And things I did too. There was another little session on the photos from my little voyage too, and I managed to complete about 35 of them this afternoon.

That might not sound as if it’s very much but the fact that I’ve been able to concentrate to that extent is definitely something of an improvement over how I’ve been for the last few days.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFinding that I was still feeling somewhat better, I plucked up the courage to go for a walk around outside.

And I’m glad that I did, even if it was something of a very slow stagger around, because it really was a beautiful day out there this afternoon. Down on the beach just below the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord there were plenty of people enjoying it.

It was the kind of thing that might have tempted me to go and join them but I wasn’t sure how I’d climb back up the steps.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so instead I pushed on along the pathway underneath the walls, fighting my way through the throngs of people out taking the air.

Down on the beach at the Plat Gousset there were plenty of people taking the sun too. The tide was well out, as you saw in the previous photo, so there was plenty of room to spread out for your social distancing.

That’s going to be pretty important too because one thing that I know about these viruses, having spent so much time reading about the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918, is that it’sll be back. And back in spades too.

young seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the things that I wanted to do while I was out was to check on how the baby seagulls were doing.

Off I toddled around to the Square Maurice Marland where I could see over the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs where they had made their nests earlier this year. And sure enough, there was a very fine example of a baby seagull just here.

Not such a baby now either. Probably as big as his mum, I reckon. But at least he’s one of the survivors. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the baby that we were following at first didn’t seem to make it.

tree trunks wrapped in woollen texture square maurice marland granville manche normandy france eric hallBut what’s going on here? This is something completely new that wasn’t here before.

Down on a couple of the trees at the far end of the Square someone has seen fit to knit some kind of woollen warmer for the tree trunks of a couple of the trees. This is extremely puzzling. I don’t understand the purpose of this. After all, the trees have managed quite well on their own for the last God knows how long.

The artists around here are a funny lot, that’s for sure.

Back in the apartment I had a look at the bread to see how it was doing.

It had risen somewhat, although nothing like what I was hoping for. That seems to be a problem with the bread that I make. But anyway, I gave it another good kneading, shaped it, and put it into the mould that I use and which I had greased all ready. It can have another go.

And while it was doing, I went and had a crash out on the chair in the bedroom. The walk had done me in for right now.

home made bread place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hall
When I’d recovered my wits – not that that takes too long these days because I don’t have too many left – I switched on the oven and when it was hot, I bunged the bread inside.

70 minutes later, the timer switched off so I went to extract it. And by the looks of things it came out really well too. Not quite as overwhelming as the previous one, but still looking pretty good.

As for how it tastes, I’ll give you my verdict on that tomorrow lunchtime when I try it. Home-made bread is always good.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now I’d recovered womwhat from my exertions of the afternoon walk so I decided to take my courage in my two hands and set out for an evening walk.

And how there’s been a change since I was here last because even though it’s only 21:00 the sun is sinking rapidly down behind the horizon. Crowds of people out there enjoying it too, which is not much good for the social distancing, but that’s going to be an eternal problem, I reckon.

Nevertheless I hung around and took a few shots of the sun sinking into the sea.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallTen seconds later the sun had gone completely.

You have no idea whatever of just how quicky the sun disappears. By my timing and that of the camera, it was still over 100% above the water just 3.5 minutes ago and that is really quite some going.

And once the sun had gone, the crowds on the headland here slowly dispersed, and me along with it. I had plenty of other things to be doing now that I’m out and about.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued on around to the other side of the headland.

As well as checking up on the baby seagulls I wanted to check up on the chantier navale too. That’s a regular port … “very good” – ed … on out travels. There are four boats in there this evening, and I don’t know if that’s more or less than last time because I can’t remember how many were in there the last time that I looked.

And even though it’s 21:15, there are people down there working on one of the boats. I suppose that when it’s your living, you don’t do an 8-hour day 9-5.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd the people in the chantier navale weren’t the only ones out there working this evening.

As I watched, one of the Joly France boats, one of the two that run the ferries across to the Ile de Chausey, came around the headland towards the port. She had quite a crowd of people on board too. They must have had a really good day out today.

She’ll go right over to her starboard (right-hand) side to come into the harbour. The running water out of the harbour drain has scoured away a chanel over on that side so there’s more depth for the boats to make use of.

philcathane trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale I walked down the Boulevard Vaufleury to the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

There’s a viewpoint there that overlooks the inner harbour and I was interested to see who might be in there. The answer to that was “no-one special”. Just a whole collection of assorted fishing boats, amongst which was the trawler Philcathane, all nicely lit up and reflecting in the water.

From here I walked on home. No chance of running because I’m not up to that.

In fact the walks took a great deal out of me. I was exhausted after the first walk and crashed out on the chair. Right now, after the second, I’m even more exhausted and I’ll be off to bed in a minute. I’ve also made a couple of trips down to fetch stuff from Caliburn but I forgot to mention those earlier. There will have to be a major washing-up session soon so that I can clean everything that I brought with me, once I feel up to it.

So progress is being made – slowly but surely. It’s just like when I was in the High Arctic last year and how I slowly recovered at Rachel’s after my exertions over the three preceding months.

I’m clearly not as well as I used to be.

Wednesday 19th August 2020 – TODAY …

… I actually made it outside the building. And if that isn’t progress I don’t know what is.

And that’s not all

Another thing that will take everyone completely by surprise is that when the alarm went off at 06:00 this morning I was already up and about sitting at the computer doing some work.

And not only that – I’d been on a few little rambles during the night too.

Crewe Alex were playing someone in the FA Cup at a stadium in Wistaston Road and we were going to the match. We were out by Audlem at 18:00 so we drove, the 4 of us, my father, my brother and someone else, 1 of his friends, in my car. We got to Shavington then I cut through the back into Wistaston and down to Wistaston Road that area going that way. We found a place to park but as I went to park the car I broke the key. The fob bit stayed on the key ring but the blade came out of the fob and stuck in the door. I had to lock the car with that. My father was in a Mercedes so I checked his doors as well and someone had left all his doors open so I locked them as well. Then we got into someone else’s car to drive to the ground. I thought for a minute that if we are in someone else’s car, maybe my father’s car, who on earth was it whose car I had locked? It turned out that we were in a FIAT, another person’s car. We drove down to where the park was then along Wistaston Road that way, trying to find a place to park. Then I had a sudden revelation that while I had the key fob I couldn’t find the key blade. Where the hell had I put that? Without that, how was I going to get home? I started to panic and go through my pockets to find this key blade and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I awoke in one of these cold, miserable sweats again.

About an hour later we were stealing a couple of trains to go and do some excursions that we had done one night per week for I don’t know how long. We got to where the carriages were stabled. One row of carriages already had a locomotive attached but the one that I was going to take didn’t so I had to go and hunt down an engine afetr I had the carriages cleaned and it wasn’t in the normal place. I had to hunt down a few sidings until I came across 4 of them but the sidings looked a bit damaged and it wouldn’t be possible to get the locomotives out. The points then had to be set in the right place so I had to walk back and on walking back I came across more that I’d walked past and not noticed, these locomotives that were parked up as spares. The other two people manning the other train they were there as well, arguing about the uniform that they were going to wear. I thought that this is ridiculous because there were other things a darn sight more important than worrying about than the uniforms they were going to wear but they were insisting on organising some kind of uniform even if it mean cutting a jacket out with plywood which was what they were doing. I was trying to work out how I was going to get my locomotive to my row of carriages because of course all of the points were being controlled from the signal box and I couldn’t get to change them over at all so this was going to become rather complicated for getting my train ready for going on this illicit excursion.

Unsurprisingly, I ended up back in bed shortly afterwards after all of this activity and it was round about 08:00 when I finally crawled out of bed.

However, I did manage to stay out of bed for the rest of the day and not even crash out for a minute. Add to that the fact that I’ve managed two meals today – muesli at lunch and then mashed potato and vegan burger for tea – and you can see that I’m slowly on the road to recovery.

This afternoon I went outside and brought some stuff in from Caliburn. The NIKON 1 was one of the things that I rescued. The new acoustic guitar was another.

And I managed to climb back up the steps with the stuff too, although I had to sit down straight away and rest. I’ve not recovered that much.

All of the photos that I took on my voyage – whether on the NIKON 1, the NIKON D500 or the mobile phone are now uploaded to the computer and I’ve actually made a start on editing them.

Only a start though. I think that I’ve done three of them.

As well as that, I’ve had a good play with the new guitar. And I like it more and more. The neck is reasonably narrow which means that I’m struggling somewhat to find the correct position for the strings but it makes playing bar chords so much easier.

So if I feel better tomorrow I might try to go for a little walk and see if I can manage some kind of distance. But one thing is certain – it’ll be a while before I’m back running again at this rate.

Tuesday 18th August 2020 – I’M FEELING …

… a little better today

That much is evident because I actually managed a day where I spent most of it out of bed – not like yesterday where I hardly moved from the horizontal.

Even though the alarm went off as usual at 06:00, it was about 08:30 when I finally crawled out of bed and apart from a spell between 16:30 and 18:00 when I crawled back under the covers I managed to stay awake.

In fact, it all reminds me very much of the time that I spent in that hostel in Leuven. Pretty similar circumstances, I reckon.

But while I was asleep during the night I managed to take myself off to various places

There was some crazy dream last night about Caliburn where I’d changed one of the logos on Caliburn and it was all in different places. One of the things that I had ended up doing was from the old Caliburn I cut out part of the side which was like sticky-backed plastic kind of stuff and I had to stick it onto the new Caliburn I suppose to make sure that all of the signwriting was in the right place. That was really complicated because I had to get it exactly right and that wasn’t particularly easy.

Later on we were with a group of ex-pats. We were all talking and discussing things. We all decided that we would go to this shop. I got into a car with someone else – a very, very strange place where I was sitting, right down on the floor and the road was roaring past me so quickly. We ended up coming into this Delhaize car park. I had to reverse in and it was really tight. For some reason the steering was really stiff and it took all of my effort to turn the wheel to make this vehicle, which was now Caliburn again, into this parking space. There were a couple of women there talking. They had only just come to France and weren’t settled as yet. They were only giving all kinds of excuses as to why they didn’t want to settle. They all thought that I’d been here for years and was I going to go to this breakfast brunch type of meeting thing later on, in which case I would have to leave them all somewhere

Later still I was on a bus last night going somewhere – it would have been an airport shuttle it was crowded and there were a few of us just basically sitting on the window outside. This bus travelled somewhere away from the airport. It was all very uncomfortable. There were some seats in there but the luggage had been dumped in them but we were clinging on anyway and from there we suddenly started to walk. We walked out of the city past all of these people. There were some kids there asleep on the side of the road, next to adults covered in blankets either on the ground or transats. We were carrying on walking into the countryside and you could see, behind, the planes taking off from the airport. I had a tent or something like that that I was carrying with my rucksack. In the end I put the tent on top of the rucksack, strapped the two together and went to carry it but it was heavy. Then I wasn’t sure about the height, whether I could pass underneath this gateway. I began to think “how the hell am I going to get to this camp site where I’m supposed to be going? This is like miles”.

another thing of interest is that I’ve managed to eat a pear and a banana and to drink a pint of vegetable soup. It all stayed in too which was a surprise, and so things seem to be improving somewhat. Maybe tomorrow I might even find the strength to leave the apartment.

This evening there was some live football on the internet. Crewe Alexandra, just promoted to the third tier of English football were playing Nantwich Town, 4 levels below in the pyramid, in a friendly match.

Nantwich Town fielded two strikers who have Crewe connections – Callum Saunders who was a youth player with the Alex but didn’t make the grade, and Joe Malkin, who had a trial with the club that didn’t lead anywhere.

Crewe took the lead early on but with almost the last kick of the first half, Malkin scored an equaliser. In the second half Saunders came on as a substitute and spent the entire second half strolling through the non-existent Crewe central defence and scored an embarrassingly easy hat-trick to really rub it in.

The Alex pulled back a second goal right near the end but by then it was far too late to do anything. It was probably one of the most embarrassing defeats that I have ever seen.

But the fact that I managed to watch it from start to finish shows that at least I’m feeling rather better than I did this time yesterday.

Let’s hope that the improvement continues.

Monday 17th August 2020 – I HAVE SPENT …

… almost all day in bed today.

And I’ll probably be doing the same tomorrow too at this rate.

So far I’ve had nothing to eat – probably because I don’t think that I can keep anything down. I have had two large glasses of grape juice though, just to keep up the calories. And my body wasn’t too happy about that either.

So today has been written off as a non-event.

However, just because my body doesn’t feel up to going out doesn’t mean that my Spirit can’t. Whoever it is in there was having a whale of a time while I was asleep.

Last night I was in the year with someone and we were talking about moving. I’d bought a house near Tarporley and they had bought one somewhere else. Someone came round to talk to us about moving this young lad whom we were moving although she spent more time talking to my friend than she did with me and I never really got much to say about it so I went off to make some tea. I put some water in the saucepan and had my primus stove cooker thing on and the water boiled immediately. I had ti think about what I was going to have. The choice really came found to pasta and vegetables because I wasn’t really feeling like eating anything else

Later on there was a little girl about 9 or 10. She had brown hair done in bunches at the side. Very lively, cheerful and happy, wearing a red top and red shorts and doing something with a menu like throwing it around at me, having a smile and laugh as she was doing it which I thought was very pleasant. We went on from there somewhere and I can’t remember now where it was that we went.

There was something about lorries as well moving stuff, Bedfords and Ford D-series (again after yesterday) were mentioned. This girl said “won’t their bonnets be too long to fit into where they are supposed to go”. I explained that they were the flat-fronted cabover type of vehicle and showed her a couple of photographs although one of them was all entwined in a tree. I’m not quite sure what had happened, whether it had been abandoned and the tree had grown round and through it, that kind of thing.

A sister of mine, very young, was on a coach tour with all of us, a big group. She had some money so she was thinking of going to the shops to buy some sweets. She couldn’t go on her own so she was making a list of all the people who would go with her. To my disappointment I found that my name wasn’t on there. She was talking away about these people, how they would help her choose her sweets and so on. I felt really hard-done-to that I wasn’t on there. Then we had that dream that I’ve had a few times before about buying sweets where you talk your way through the addition and conversion of money, all that kind of thing until you arrive at the right figure. This time though there was a mistake in it. I could see the mistake and I sat up bolt upright when I saw it because it’s not like me to have a mistake in some kind of addition.

So after all of that, let’s see what happens tomorrow.