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Saturday 18th January 2020 – I’VE FINALLY MADE …

… it back home after my adventures of yesterday.

The last thing that I did before hitting the sack was to change the times of the alarms from 06:00 etc to 08:00 etc. And it worked because I awoke at 07:55.

Having a quick check, I found that there’s a file on the dictaphone but that’s going to be another job for again. I’ve not had time quite yet.

We had breakfast and then we decided to go for a walk.

The guy who runs the radio station where I work comes from Roncey and he had told me about a weird edifice on the edge of the town.

As it happens, Liz and Terry know about it. It’s not too far away from where they live as it happens and they know where it is so we agreed to go out there.

caveau auguste letenneur roncey manche normandy france eric hallTerry lent me some wellingtons which was just as well because we needed them in the mud and water but eventually after much binding in the … errr … marsh – and when I say “marsh” I really DO mean “marsh” – we arrived at the Caveau Auguste Letenneur

The aforementioned was someone from Roncey who had made his fortune in St Lo with several grocery shops, taking advantage of the benefits offered by the railway line and the products that it could bring in.

He decided that he wanted something really splendid as a mausoleum so he had one built.

caveau auguste letenneur roncey manche normandy france eric hallAs well as being really wealthy he was also clearly very eccentric because the statue outside is, well, rather … err … suggestive.

Apparently it’s supposed to be symbolic of man’s inferiority to women in the process of creation of life, but we’ll have to take his word for that. It’s certainly very … errr … individual.

And so we went over to have a closer look at the building itself. we tried to go up onto the roof where there is a really good vantage point but the gate to the stairs was locked.

caveau auguste letenneur roncey manche normandy france eric hallAs for the building itself, what I can tell you is that the first stone was laid in 1900 but I haven’t been able to find out when it was finished.

Surprisingly, it has a dining room and a couple of bedrooms. And at least two dead bodies in it. Letenneur intended it to be used for himself, his wife and his descendants. He was killed in a farming accident in 1916 and was placed inside, and there’s at least another one.

We continued on our way into the village and stopped for a coffee for a while. We deserved it.

And then we headed back to Liz and Terry’s. They went for lunch and I went to the shops.

The shops in Coutances as so much better than in Granville, that’s for sure. Bigger and better and more choice too.

At LIDL I bought a good deal of stuff including three bottles of artisanal bio lemonade at €1:69. The lemonade will be nice but I’m more interested in the glass flip-top bottles that they come in. The bottles alone would cost me €2:49 in LeClerc.

Action had nothing but LeClerc came up trumps.

As well as the usual stuff, they had plenty of porcelain on offer and I bought a few things including two porcelain bowls, microwave-proof so that I can dispose of the old plastic stuff.

They had sheets on offer at half price too so I bought another blue one for the other set of bedding

There was a lovely electric kettle there, a glass one, but they didn’t have one in stock and they wouldn’t do a good deal on the demo one. Instead I ended up with a smaller cordless kettle and – touch wood – it seems to work

And on that note I came home, nearly wiping out some stupid old woman who drove out of a parking space into the traffic without stopping or looking.

First task was to make some coffee. And shock! horror! I’d run out. I had to open the last packet, so I mustn’t forget to but some more some time.

After lunch I went to check the mail and some more stuff has arrived. All I need now are the keyboard stickers and the 67mm UV filter. But the bracket on the microphone stand is the wrong size so I need to contact the makers to obtain another one.

There was football on the internet too. Newtown v Airbus UK Broughton in the JD Cymru League.

It’s the first time that I’ve seen Airbus this season. They are adrift at the foot of the tale and had shipped quite a few goals so i was expecting something of an exciting match.

And an exciting match we had too. It actually finished 0-0 but Airbus gave the lie to their league position as they looked the better team. And they hit the bar with the keeper beaten too.

Tea was, as usual, out of a tin and then I went for a walk.

proken car park barrier place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, I noticed that the car park barrier here was broken so I’d had to park in the publics. I’m not sure what happened to it.

There were one or two other people out there but nevertheless I managed two runs to make up for the one that I missed yesterday.

And I’m glad that people take the effort to read my notes. having had a search of my site from Granville, a menu has now miraculously appeared in the window of La Contremarche.

Ordinarily I would have photographed it but it was far too dark and I couldn’t read it.

It’s now hopelessly late and I’ve not crashed out today. So I’m off to bed and no alarm at all with it being Sunday. So who’s going to anger me by awakening me tomorrow?

Friday 6th December 2019 – I HAVE JUST SEEN …

… one of the strangest football matches that I have seen for quite some considerable time.

It’s the Welsh Cup this weekend and there are several banana skins lying aound. One of those is Carmarthen Town v Rhydaman, and this was shown on the live internet feed tonight.

Carmarthen are at the foot of the Welsh Premier League and struggling whereas Rhydaman, one division below them in the pyramid, are in 5th place and having a good run of form. Not the match that I would have picked – I’d have gone for Colwyn Bay v Airbus – but’s good enough. It’s the kind of game where you can smell that someone is in for a scalping.

And a scalping there certainly was. Rhydaman, playing away from home at Carmarthen, ran out winners. And not just by the odd goal either but they won 0-4.

You would have thought from the scoreline that this was a right spannering, but that was very far from the truth. Whilst Rhydaman were the better side, they weren’t all that better. The difference was that we were treated to 4 magic moments of Trundlemania

Yes, Lee Trundle. He must be 45 now if he’s a day but still proving that he can cut it with the best and while he’s slowed down considerably as you might expect, he still showed the kind of magic that made him a multi-million pound footballer in the days when multi-million pound footballers were still quite thin on the ground.

I mean – just HOW do you defend against something like this?

Despite a reasonably early night, I missed the alarms again. Not by much – only a few minutes in fact, but missed them nevertheless.

Not only that, although there was nothing on the dictaphone, I had a vague recollection that during the night I’d been on a voyage and found something that was way beyond exciting – the same feeling of elation that I had when I I came across that Santana concert after 42 years of searching.

But what it was, we shall never know now.

After the medication and breakfast, with no dictaphone notes to do, I attacked a couple of digital music files to break up into tracks.

One of them took me four hours to do, and for a variety of reasons too. It was an album of a live concert and with this digital sound analyser program that I have, I could see that it was a series of individual tracks that had been artificially joined together – and by a blind man by the looks of it too.

16 tracks altogether so it took me quite a while to edit all of the joints together properly so that it actually looks like a live concert as well as sounds like one too.

Then I had to break the file down into 16 individual tracks and save each one of those individually, but not before I’d copied about 15 decent applause tracks (some of which went on for half a minute and more) from the file, cut out any speech and unnecessary noise from them, boosted the volume in what are called “S-curves” in places to hide the difference in volume in the joins where I’ve cut things out, and then saved them to disk as 15 individual files.

Applause tracks are good and I love them because I can do all kinds of exciting things with them. But you need a good number of them from the same concert because if you “mix and match” applause tracks from different concerts, the applause doesn’t sound similar and it gives the appearance of being false. And if they are long applause tracks, you can cut them down and that gives you even more opportunity to make something different.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound about 12:45 I knocked off for lunch.

No bread here and no lettuce either so a walk into town was on the cards. And quite right too. Past the docks where the harbour gates were open sothe trawlers could come inside to unload.

And Charles-Marie is still over there with her winter wrap on.

trawler seagull photobomb port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe gates to the harbour can’t have been open all that long because there were several fishing boats on their way into port right now.

This one coming into port just here gave me a good opportunity for a photo-shoot but as I took a shot, my photo was once more bombed by a blasted seagull.

They get absolutely everywhere, these perishing things.

At the Super-U the lettuce was extortionate. €1:39 for a small one. That’ll teach me to forget one at LIDL, won’t it?

stage place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceAt La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and walked across to the Place general de gaulle to see what was going on.

Nothing right now as you can see, but clearly something will be going on in the very near future because we seem to have acquired a stage.

That’s going to upset a few of the marketeers tomorrow. It’ll quite take the shine off their sausages, now that they can begin to roast them again with charcoal following a recent Court decision.

badgers dry ski slope place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceBut what about our famous ski slope in the town?

No room for any humans on there because we seem to have been overrun by animals. I can understand why they might want to use animals as decoration, but why beavers … or … errr … Castors to the French people around here.

What does a beaver have to do with the festive season?

reindeer sleigh place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceThis is much more like the kind of thing you would expect to see at Christmas, isn’t it?

We have a sledge here and a reindeer pulling it. Presumably there will be a Father Christmas around somewhere to travel in it.

But I have a cunning plan and I shall be having a word with Strawberry Moose in early course and we will go for a little walk together late one night for a photo opportunity.

christmas decorations square potel rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceYesterday I mentioned and indeed showed you a photograph of the Christmas decorations that they were unloading at the Square Potel in the rue des Juifs, and I remember saying that I would go for a butcher’s today.

So here I am in the Square Potel with the decorations and I do have to say that I’m considerably underwhelmed by it all.

Mybe it’s just me I dunno, but I was expecting much more than this.

After lunch, I attacked the sound mixing desk for the vocals for the current project. It took me hours to figure out again how to record anything with it because I had forgotten what I did last time. And then I had to clean out all of the test files, set the volume levels and the like, and then clean out those test files too.

And then I could start.

The recording level is quite low using the built-in mike but my sound analyser program enhances that with no loss of quality. But there is a major problem with it, in that there’s no “pause” facility. So every time you stop for a think or to clear your throat, it restarts with a new track.

Trying to edit out about 40 of those into one coherent track and then split that down into tis segments is going to take me an age.

But I have made a startling discovery, and that is that the mikes that I bought for the mixing panel, using the adapter that came with them I can plug them into the dictaphone, which DOES have a pause facility. And also an output for headphones.

In view of this, I see a whole new world opening up for me here. For although the sound is somewhat tinny, it seems to be of a much higher quality.

storm at sea english channel pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceOne thing that I didn’t mention today is that the high winds are back. And with a vengeance too.

There was quite a storm raging out offshore and so even though the tide was on its way out, the waves were still rattling down on the rocks.

Not too many people out there today and that’s hardly a surprise given the conditions.

strange lighting conditions brittany coast granville manche normandy franceBut overcast and miserable and foggy it might be here, over across the bay on the Brittany coast they were having a different kind of weather.

Low cloud, yes, but on the periphery there was bright sunshine and it was creating a most unusual lighting effect over there.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it could do the same thing around here on this side of the bay?

storm sea wall port de granville harbour manche normandy franceGoing around the headland was taking my life in my hands with the wind that was sweeping around there.

narrowly avoiding being squidged on the pedestrian crossing, I went round the cliff to see what the waves were doing on the sea wall.

Not a lot, because the tide was going out rapidly. It must have bee quite impressive an hour or so ago.

storm sea wall port de granville harbour manche normandy franceNothing changed at all in the chantier navale today, and Normandy Trader had sodded off too … “that was quick” – ed … so I stood and armired the waves for a little longer.

Every now and again there was a wave more powerful and deeper than the others, and that was providing me with some exciting entertainment.

But after a while I gave it up and headed for home and coffee.

bad parking boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne granville manche normandy franceRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that pathetic parking features quite regularly in these pages. Here’s another example.

I’d seen her pull up as I was on my way home with my lettuce and bread, and I thought to myself at the time “she’s not going to leave that car there, straddling two places and with 6 feet of room in front, is she?”

But yes she is. Gets right on my wick it does.

Back to the sound files and then a break for tea. I made a curry with the leftovers again and there were so many leftovers that there are some leftovers left over. That’ll be a tea for another night then, won’t it?

This evening it was raining when I went out so I didn’t hang around. I had my run though, right up to the top of the ramp and another 20 paces further on. It was feeling good today.

Then we had the football and now, considerably later than planned (like 01:45) I’m off to bed. I’m a busy boy tomorrow and another task has reared its ugly head as well.

Where will I find the time?

Thursday 9th July 2015 – EVEN THOUGH …

… it was something of a late night last night, I was still up and about long before the alarm went off. Well, in theory anyway, because I wasn’t in a rush to leave my cosy bed.

Mind you, I forget how many times I had had to leave it during the night. It certainly wasn’t just once or twice, that’s for sure. But that’s a sign of old age.

And here’s another thing too – after breakfast I sat down and sorted out the images and text for no less than 24 days of my voyage across Canada’s Maritime Provinces – without even stopping for breath. Out of 40, with a few previously done, it doesn’t leave too many to do now.

But that’s only just the start of it. I have to retype all of the notes from the dictaphone (and it’s a good job that I saved the dictations to a memory stick on my way around last year) and merge them in, and then research and expand them. So that’s not something that is likely to be finished in a short while.

After lunch, and a big pot of coffee (which I richly deserved), first job was to empty the beichstuhl. And it needed it too. But I’ve gone back to the bigger tub, because the liners are a much tighter fit and that works much better. The smaller one is a better fit in the container, but with the liners being too large, they are just pulled into the tub.

For the rest of the day, I’ve been carving out the cable trunking in the lower shelf of the flying shelf unit that I’m building. That needs to be done precisely and it takes ages, with measuring, drilling, chiselling and filing. But it’s done now and had the first coat of varnish at 19:15 and the second at – would you believe – 23:15. Yes, me working at that time is unheard-of. It’ll have the third and final coat tomorrow early morning too.

But there’s also been a subtle change in the design. While I was lying in bed this morning, I thought of another way by which I could improve the design, and so some of what I had done yesterday ended up in the woodpile. But it’s always like that around here. Design evolves continually, especially during the actual work, and I’ve lost count of the number of amendments that I’ve made to the original plan.

And in other news, a big “well-done” to the three Welsh clubs in Europe tonight. Airbus drew 2-2 in Croatia to lose 5-3 on aggregate to much superior opposition. Bala beat Differdange 2-1, but that wasn’t enough to overturn the away score last week – a match that they should have won at a canter, never mind lost. But pride of place must go to Newtown, who beat Valletta 2-1 away from home to progress through to the next round against FC Copenhagen. So with TNS going through to meet Videoton of Hungary after demolishing Torshavn on Tuesday, that’s a 50% success rate for Welsh clubs in Europe – a percentage that matches what Scottish football could manage in Europe this week.

A few heavy defeats tonight in Europe, including an 8-0, but no Welsh team lost this week. What with 10th place in the National rankings, things are looking up for Welsh football.

And not before time. Maybe people will start taking it seriously now.