Tag Archives: alan fearon

Friday 17th September 2021 – AFTER YESTERDAY’S …

… exertions it was no surprise to anyone that I was in bed by 20:45. But the difficulty whenever I do that is that I’m usually awake quite early and so I never seem to take advantage of it.

But if anyone thinks that I’m going to be out of bed at 05:40 and doing things when there’s no alarm set, they are totally mistaken. Even 07:20 was rather early but there’s no point in staying in bed if I can’t go back to sleep

At 09:00 I nipped downstairs to the “Match” supermarket in the basement for my bread for lunch. And some drink too. I’ve already finished off the 1.5 litres of iced tea and 2 litres of banana-flavoured soya drink that I brought on Wednesday night.

Back up in my room I finished off my notes from yesterday and then had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was with a couple of friends and we were discussing, of all things, rape. The girl said something like “rapists should all go on strike and down tools”. I replied that if all rapists downed tools, there wouldn’t be any such thing as rape at all. And despite the gravity of the subject, I was pretty impressed that I could come out with a pun like that while I was asleep.
Later on there was an issue about a socket not working. I immediately reckoned that there was a bad joint somewhere and the first joint that I tested came apart when I pulled it I was with a guy whom I knew so I asked him if he would hold a lamp at the socket while I held the wires togeter to see if this was the bad joing in question but he refused. I had to run off and try to find a light with a plug that would fit in the socket and try it myself.
Even later Rosemary was asking me about the Battle of Rhedae. I knew that it had taken place on the outskirts of Clermont Ferrand (which it didn’t – I was thinking of the Battle of Gergovie) so I went to fetch my Michelin guide to the Puy de Dome and had a good search through but couldn’t find it in there, which was no surprise seeing as Rhedae, which is these days believed by many to the the town of Quillan, is in the Razès in South West France.

class 18 electric locomotives gare de Leuven railway station Belgium Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was busy working I was keeping an eye on what was going on outside down on the station.

At a certain moment a train from Oostende pulled into the station just as a train from Eupen and Welkenraedt pulled in on its way to Oostende.

But of them were powered by the typical Class 18 electric locomotives. The one from Eupen, furthes away from the camera, is being pulled by a locomotive whose number I can’t see, and the one from Oostende, closes to the camera, is being pushed by locomotive number 1819.

aeroplane going in to land brussels airport zaventem Belgium Eric Hall photo September 2021What else I could see from my window were aeroplanes flying from right to left just above the horizon.

Way over to the left is the Brussels National Airport at Zaventem. All of these aeroplanes are on the flightpath going into land there and there were quite a few too. At one stage I counted one every three or four minutes.

When I lived in Schaerbeek back in the early 1990s my apartment looked out right across to the airport way out in the distance and the aeroplanes that came in to land were clearly visible at night with their landling lights illuminated. They would come into land right in line head-on to my apartment and the view was fantastic.

universitaire ziekenhuis Leuven Belgium Eric Hall photo September 2021Another thing that you could see from my window up here on the 5th floor was the Universitaire Ziekenhuis Leuven, the University Hospital of Leuven.

That’s the building, or buildings, I should maybe say, over there on the skyline on the right-hand side of the photo. And this photo will give you some idea of the size of the hospital. It’s one of the biggest in Europe, if not the World.

The thing that impressed me about this hospital is that while most hospitals give instructions zbout how to arrive there from the town centre, this hospital give directions from the airport.

It’s truly a cosmopolitan hospital and that’s what I want. Many hospitals and medical services are quite chauvinistic about their treatment, but not so the Belgians. They aren’t afraid to mention medical research that is being undergone in other countries.

class 21 electric locomotive gare de Leuven railway station Belgium Eric Hall photo September 2021Another thing that I noticed pulling into the station was a rather elderly Class 21 locomotive.

These first came into service in the mid-80s, with 144 taking to the rails. There are Class 11s, Class 12s, Class 21s and Class 27s, with the latter being the most powerful and the former being the least powerful.

They were built by the Belgian BN/ACEC combine which is now no longer in business. And so since the Class 18s have arrived, these are gradually being withdrawn and dismantled as a source of spares for the big Class 27s.

Something else that came through the staion that I wasn’t quick enough to photograph, much to my regret was one of the new Bombardier-Alstom “M7” double deck multiple units that are currently on proving trials on the Belgian network. That would have been quite a thing.

With a nice quiet day I ought to have done so much more too but unfortunately much of the time was spent curled up on my bed having a little relax. No point in fighting it.

Later in the evening I caught a bus that took me out to Alison Wonderland, as her new home is called. She had some falafel left over from her barbecue so I cooked it while she went to the fritkot down the road for a bag of chips.

We had a nice meal and lengthy chat, and instead of singing for my supper I helped her move some heavy furniture around.

Once I’d recovered my strength Alison drove me home. I was totally exhaused and so with an early start tomorrow, instead of writing up my notes I crawled into bed and that was that.

Sunday 27th June 2021 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING …

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… today that I haven’t done for absolutely ages. And that is that I’ve been out for an evening walk. And I’ve even seen the sun go down on the Ile de Chausey for the first time since I don’t know when.

Mind you, there’s a good reason for that. When I went out for my usual afternoon walk today the rain was so heavy that the noise was deafening. According to a storm warning that we received round about lunch-time, the amount of rain that was planned to fall during the afternoon would be the equivalent of three weeks’ worth of rain.

And anyone who has seen the amount of rain that we have had this last three weeks will know that a pasting was on its way.

Something else that I’ve done today that I haven’t done for ages is to awaken to the sound of the alarm on a Sunday at 06:00. And if I ever understand what made me forget myself so much to have set an alarm for this morning , I’ll let you know because it’s certainly something that I didn’t intend to do.

Furthermore it interrupted me right in the middle of an exciting voyage too. I’d gone round to a girl’s house. It was in some kind of back entry I’d been walking down there. there were big houses and some girls were coming out into the back as I walked past so I walked into their yard. They were setting up a tennis game. One of them was serving a few balls that came remarkably close to me and I was very surprised. As this game developed a guy whom I used to know turned up. He started to work on a red Cortina belonging to one of these girls – the girl who had been serving these balls at me. I could see that there was some kind of chemistry between those two. He was going things like draining the oil all over the floor of the garage and he was masking up and painting some bits as well. He was asking me questions about the Capri that I had and what I’d done. I said that I’d swapped over a load of engines. he said “I thought that you were putting the yellow engine into that one”. “No” I replied. “I’ve put the red one in for now and the yellow one is going in somewhere else and when that’s done I’m going to take out this engine and rebuild it”. He was wrestling with this girl and I was getting more and more jealous and that was when the alarm went off and what the alarm was doing going off at 06:00 on a Sunday morning I really don’t know.

It took me quite a while to go back to sleep as well but eventually I dropped off. There was someone like a French friend of mine who was going to come to visit so we were tidying up the house. I was tidying one of the rooms and rearranging the furniture and some old guy who lived there came back from work. Whoever it was in charge told us all to stop and to get on and do some things but I was still looking around for any tons of mess that needed cleaning hidden behind chairs and so on. I had to go off to work – I worked in a cafe or a hotel or something so I set off to walk. There were a couple of these motorbike/moped things going past. I thought that one of them might have been my friend arriving. Anyway I ended up at an ice-skating rink and I wanted to go in. I was going to hire my skates but then I saw that I needed a towel to dry off after the shower and a few other things too. I thought rather than just help myself and leave the money on the counter I’d wait for the woman to finish what she was doing then she could come and serve me properly. She was with one of the managers and they were filling out a diary about cleaning and so on.

It was about 10:45 when I eventually managed to haul myself out of bed and go for my medication – but not before I’d checked the stuff in the slow cooker to see how it was doing.

After the medication I mixed a pile of pizza dough and then left it to rise. I then came back in here and typed out the notes on the dictaphone, the two above from today and the one from yesterday which is now on-line, and then organised some stuff that needed organising.

Lunch was porridge and toast with coffee following which I came in here and did some music stuff. Tomorrow I’ll be preparing a radio programme and the music is already chosen. This afternoon arranged it into pairs and merged the pairs together. Tomorrow I can start by writing the text.

Another thing that I’ve done is to check the specifications of my computer because it needs upgrading and I need to make sure that I buy the correct parts for it.

With the walk being abandoned I kneaded the pizza dough, divided it into 3, put two parts in the freezer and rolled out the third, putting it on the pizza tray.

While that was doing I’d tipped the stuff out of the slow cooker into the wok where the tofu was marinading, mixed it all around, brought it to the boil, added a few spoonsful of porridge oats to thicken and glutify it, and left it to simmer.

Pastry was next. I made a nice mixing of pastry, rolled out enough to make a base in a pie dish and rolled out some more to make a lid and then switched off the filling to let it cool down.

Once it had cooled down sufficiently I stuck it in the pie bottom, added the top and sealed it, and put it in the oven to bake. With the leftover pastry and the leftover filling I made a pasty-type of thing for tea tomorrow night.

vegan pizza vegan pie vegan cornish pasty place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile all of that was cooking I assembled my pizza and when the pie was properly baked, I swapped it over for the pizza.

When the pizza was baked too, I could sit down and have my tea. And as for the pizza, it was delicious – one of the best that I’ve ever made too. I just wish that I had remembered to turn up the heat in the oven to “full”, and then it would have been even better.

And why no pudding tonight? That’s because I’m having to bake bread on Tuesday morning and I’ll make a pudding then. Meantime, I’ll live off the apple pie that’s in the fridge.

Finally the rain stopped and I went out for my walk.

storm out at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier on I mentioned that this afternoon we were in the grip of a torrential rainstorm. This had only eased off a short while ago.

And that looks like it might be the storm over there, heading off down the coast of the Cotentin Peninsula depositing the contents of the heavy raincloud onto Agon-Coutainville and into the sea just offshore.

As you can see, there’s no point in scanning the horizon for any fishing boats or anything like that this evening. Whatever is going on out there, we aren’t able to see anything because of the raincloud.

man fishing from yellow zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a craft that we have seen on many occasions in the past – always assuming of course that it’s the same boat.

It’s quite possibly the same yellow zodiac that we have seen on previous occasions in the past moving in and out of the harbour and the Baie de Mont St Michel. Today, it’s anchored in the Baie de Granville and is occupied by a man who is bent on fishing in the water just offshore. He has one rod in the water and another one upright in the back of the boat.

As I watched him for a while he didn’t manage to pull anything out of the water and eventually, pulled his rod out of the water, sat down at the controls of his boat and roared off into the sunset. Another unsuccessful fishing expedition out of the many that we have seen so far.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo with him having cleared off now I can concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing this evening.

No walk around anywhere in Granville would be complete without looking down on the beach at the Rue du Nord to see what is going on down there this evening. Due to the later hour, I didn’t expect to see anyone sunning themselves down there, and the fact that the tide was right in meant that there wouldn’t be too much beach to actually be on.

From this photo you can see how people can descend to the beach here. Over there at the top of the image towards the right is the set of steps that descend from the Rue du Nord. The foot of the set up steps in deep in the water which shows you just how far in the tide actually is right now.

wooden structure medieval city walls place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that we have noticed over the last while is the state of the medieval city walls and how the walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux have been fenced off to prevent people going too close to it.

What I noticed here today was that there is some kind of wooden structure that has been assembled and fastened to the wall. And I’ve no idea as to its purpose either. It doesn’t look very substantial so it can’t be anything important.

But out of shot is some kind of trailer that looks as if it might be a workman’s cabin. That’s appeared here over the last few days and so who knows? We might even be seeing something actually happening to the city walls in the near future and won’t that be a surprise?

person swimming diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was something going on round by the diving platform at the Plat Gousset and so, bravely dodging the big puddles on the path underneath the medieval walls, I wandered off that way to see what it might be.

First of all though you can see how high the tide is right now. There’s a concrete pillar out there on which is a kind of diving platform that the kids use for leaping into the water wen the weather is much more clement than it is right now. And today, the diving platform is actually submerged by the tide. Only the guard rail is above the water right now.

And as for what is actually splashing around in the water by the diving platform, it’s a swimmer who seems to be enjoying himself in the water. And sooner him than me in this weather. Mind you, it’s so wet out here that I don’t suppose that it makes much difference whether you are in or out.

urban trail announcement medieval city walls Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s something else that has attracted out attention over the last few days.

Having seen this sign I can tell you that this “Urban Trail” and the white tapes that have sprung up all over the place relate to a couple of races that took place on Friday evening in the town. 700 runners were attracted to the town to take part in 2 races, one of 13 kilometres and the other one of 8 kilometres.

Quite a few people have used the opportunity of the lockdown to start some kind of régime of fitness and many of the runners, particularly in the 8-kilometre race, were debutants at road-racing.

man with guitar girls sitting on sea wall plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow that my curiosity was satisfied I pushed on towards the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

There might not be a beach to sit on right now but there’s a sea wall. And with the comfortable seat and the calm sea, it’s an ideal place to sit and watch the sunset as these two young girls are doing.

But I’m not sure what the man is doing, apart from chatting to them of course. And he’s carrying a guitar as well so maybe he’s going to give them both a tune. The girl farthest away from the camera doesn’t seem to be to impressed by what is happening.

Nor me either, for that matter, I cleared off across to the Square Maurice Marland to see what was happening there.

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst of all, I have to go to see what my seagull chicks are doing on the roofs across in the Rue des Juifs.

And they seem to be coming along quite nicely. They look quite healthy and while they weren’t actually flapping their wings, they were quite active and alert, waiting for mummy to come home with supper.

As for the Square itself, I was hoping that with signs of repair taking place here and there around the town that they might have actually done something to start work on tidying up the place and restoring the kiddies’ rides ready for summer. But there looks to be no chance of that happening right now.

Another opportunity lost.

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd when they do eventually get round to restoring the place after all of this time, I hope that they do a far better job than they have done here. Because this is dreadful.

At one time the Rue St Michel used to be a really nice authentic cobbled street here in the centre of the old town but as we know, it’s been dug up a couple of times just recently while they have been replacing various pipes and cables.

But now they seem to have finished, they haven’t bothered to put back the cobbles at all. They have simply resurfaced the street with asphalt and how I hate to see that. It shows a total lack of imagination and lack of skill, particularly when we are talking about a historic place like the medieval walled city up here on the rock.

All of the old-time skills are dying out and I suppose that this is another one where there is no-one left with the skill to do the job correctly.

trawler l'alize 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the alleyway there’s a view over the inner harbour and at last I can identify the fishing boat that I saw yesterday.

She isn’t in fact a new one and I’m surprised that I didn’t recognise her because she is in her way quite a famous little boats. She’s L’Alize III and she was the boat that was excluded from the fishing grounds around the Channel Islands on 18th May and which led to yet another confrontation between the Channel Islands authorities and the town of Granville.

But this was enough for me. I folded up my tent and cleared off into the shadows back towards my apartment. I’m exhausted and so I’m off to bed. An early start in the morning and I’m radioing, so I need to be fit.

Thursday 25th June 2020 – I CAN’T SEE …

grinder for electric vegetables lidl granville manche normandy france eric hall… just what use this particular product would be to anyone.

believe me, I hunted high and low but I have yet to encounter a shop that sells electric vegetables. There certainly weren’t any in LIDL where I saw this appliance.

What I did see in LIDL though was someone pick up almost every melon in the shop (with his bare hands) and hold it close to his face to sniff it to see if it was ripe.

Note to self – don’t buy melons from LIDL. I really don’t see what is so hard to understand about behaviour in the middle of a pandemic.

Something else that I don’t understand is why I found it so hard to leave my bed this morning. Another day where I missed all three alarms and that is more depressing that anything to do with this pandemic, that’s for sure.

After the medication though, I had a listen to the dictaphone.

last night we were all on a yacht (I’m getting carried away with this idea, aren’t I?) and the question of some kind of news came up. We were talking about the weather, storms, all this kind of thing. At fist I couldn’t understand it but later I began to get to grips with the message and started to understand it. The project really wasn’t very bright. They asked me if I would go on the TV and speak to them, say something about it in Welsh but I declined the offer as I really didn’t know enough off the top of my head to be able to hold a conversation in it yet. The British all left and it just left this boat bobbing around and I was on my own for a while. Then more and more people started to come back and it wasn’t the same tranquil little scene that it should have been. I was annoyed about that as well.
And what that was all about I don’t have the faintest idea.
A little later on I was looking around at houses, in Sandbach, a house on the corner of that street that leads into Park Lane, an old terraced house. A friend of mine had been to see it so there was some thing about “this house is Private Property” and for any inspection please telephone “so and so” – Keep Out – all that kind of thing. It was from the Estate Agent who was showing me around. he told me about the house on the corner of Carter Street. I said “yes, a friend of mine had seen it”. he said “it’s good value isn’t it?” I said “it’s good value if you have the money to spend to do it up, I suppose”. He started to he a bit derogatory about my friend, saying “you could soon come up with the money if you wanted to”. I said “he hasn’t had his inheritance yet”. he replied “what kind of guy is it who sits around waiting for an inheritance? he should be out there making his own way”. I pointed out that he was making his own way if he was renting an apartment pro-tem and had his yacht, all this kind of thing. But this conversation just went on in a very deprecating tone towards this guy and I didn’t like that at all.

Later on I had a shower and a general clean-up. And a weigh-in too. And my weight is going back up – in fact i’m almost back up to my old target weight, having stayed below it for two weeks. I must do something about that.

marite normandy trader men with fishing net port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLike go for a walk up the hill to LIDL in the early morning heat.

And here I am – right again. My assumptions from yesterday were correct. When i saw that lorry and the fork-lift truck preparing to unload it, I suspected that one of the Jersey freighters would be in port very shortly.

And here in the harbour this morning, having presumably crept in on the early morning tide, is Normandy Trader bringing in more stuff from the Channel islands and ready to take more stuff back

man in rigging marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut something in that photo caught my eye so I went for a closer look.

And there up in the rigging of Marité there’s someone messing about with a mast. Had this been the UK then the Health and Safety inspectorate would have a field day with this.

And the guys with the fishing nets are still having an enormous amount of fun trying to untangle it over there. They still don’t seem to have sorted them selves out.

First stop was at the Railway Station. I’ve ordered and paid for my tickets but I need to collect them from the machine. I need to do that because there have been times when the machine has been out of order and the Booking Office doesn’t open until after the train has departed.

So if I can’t obtain the tickets from the machine then I am well and truly stuck.

Next stop was LIDL. I’ve mentioned some of the excitement there, but what was more exciting was that peaches are on special offer, and they had grapes in at a reasonable price.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m a big grape fan and I can demolish a kilo of grapes at one sitting with no problem at all.

fixing roof on building Rue de la Fontaine Bedeau granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s plenty of home maintenance going on all over town right now.

But ehre’s some adventurous stuff that’s worthy of a photo. It looks as if the guttering or the fascia board has come adrift from the fron of that building in the Rue de la Fontaine Bedeau.

Seeing as it’s Thursday I went on to la Mie Caline for my dejeunette and a chat with the guys in there, and then headed off for home

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way up the hill in the Rue des Juifs, something caught my eye.

We’ve had another change of occupant in the chantier navale today. Or maybe I should say “changes” because there are two extra fishing boats in there now that must have been lifted up this morning.

So it’s all go in there then.

By this time I was roasting so when I arrived home I made a smoothie. There was a peach left over from last week, quite ripe, so I put it with some soya milk and ice into the whizzer and whizzed it all round.

That was something that I called extremely tasty, although maybe an extra peach might have given it more flavour.

This afternoon I started on the final week of my music course and that is now finished despite several interruptions. In theory I should be able to play 32-bar sequences in 5 scales using 2-5-1 progressions to change scale but of course the practical application of this course left me behind a long time ago. I can’t play the piano to save my life.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne of the interruptions was to go for my usual afternoon walk amongst the crowds in the glorious sunshine.

Strangely though, there was nothing whatever happening out at sea today, although there was plenty of activity in the chantier navale. We saw that there were four boats in there at lunchtime. This afternoon they seem to have multiplied.

There’s now five of them over there up on blocks for work to be carried out. This is really good news as far as I’m concerned. Nothing wrong with all of this activity at all.

men fishing in boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRound on this side of the headland there was some activity in the water.

We had a few men in a boat yet again all equipped with all kinds of tackle looking as if they meant to do some serious harm to the piscatorial population.

Whether or not they will do of course remains to be seen. I’ve yet to see any one of the huge number of rod-and-line fishermen actually pull anything out of the water. Not even an old boot.

26 aew aeroplane pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was out there admiring the fishermen I was interrupted yet again by some more air traffic.

A light aeroplane, presumably from the airfield at Donville-les-Bains overflew me. This time I managed to take a good photo of its registration – 26-AEW – but that tells me nothing because it’s not on the national database.

Apparently there’s some kind of local register for small light aircraft and the 26 in its number relates to the fact that it’s registered in Départemente 26, which is the Drôme, down in South-East France.

stenaca trawler port de granville france manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried me on around the path where there’s a good view of the fish processing plant.

And it looks as if someone has forgotten their fishing boat. Stenaca is here tied up to the wharf at the plant but the tide has gone out around it and she’s now grounded out.

We’ll have to wait for the tide to come back in before she can sail off into the evening sunset. But while she’s there they could be giving her hull a really good scrub.

jcb digger place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallBack round in the Place d’Armes there’s more activity going on with the pipelaying in the Rue Lecarpentier.

We now have the digger here moving big slabs of rock into the back of the pick_up. I wonder if this means that the work is almost finished and they are now tidying up.

But anyway, I came on in to carry on with my music course. I wanted to finish it.

And I did too, although I could have finished it much earlier had we not had the other usual interruption of me crashing out on the chair for a while. It’s the kind of thing that is filling me full of dismay that I can’t keep going for a whole day.

In the time that was left before guitar practice I had another play around with the web pages that I have been editing. That’s a job that i’m looking forward to restarting tomorrow in earnest.

After the guitar it was teatime. I’d forgotten that I’d bought some endives at the weekend so I made myself some steamed veg with some of those frozen vegetable balls, all covered in a cheese sauce.

So filling was it that I didn’t have any pie for afters either.

My run this evening was much, much later than usual. And for a very good reason.

It had slowly begun to cloud over during the evening but round about 20:00 there was the most astonishing clap of thunder that blew the window right open, knocking the fan onto the floor.

That was followed by a torrential downpour of epic proportions with flashes of lightning and claps of thunder that I hadn’t heard for ages. No chance of my going out in any of that.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallBy about 21:30 the rain had stopped, the wind had died down and the ground was starting to dry out.

That was the signal for me to go out for my evening runs just in case the weather worsened again. And I’m glad that I did because I was treated to a really gorgeous sinking sun tonight

So anyway, off I shot and ran all the way up the hill and down to the clifftop past a rather sodden itinerant who still won’t seek shelter out of the rain.

normandy trader le loup baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were a few people there admiring the sunset but my attention was drawn elsewhere.

From behind me I’d heard the familiar thud if a couple of old diesels and sure enough, Normandy Trader was heading off out to sea past Le Loup – the light at the harbour entrance that marks the sunken rocks.

The way in which she was bathed in the late evening sun was so impressive and that was something that is always worth a photograph.

It surprised me that none of the others there were interested in it.

normandy trader baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs she sailed past me, I stood on the headland and watcher her go.

And then I set off for my run down to the viewpoint over the cliffs. apart from the fishing boats in the chantier navale, which hadn’t multiplied yet again during the late afternoon, there wasn’t an awful lot else going on.

having recovered my breath I walked over to the Boulevard Vaufleury and ran off all the way down to the bottom and then through the medieval town and back up to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord.

normandy trader ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFor some reason or other, it was a much more difficult run that it has been of late, and i was glad when I reached the viewpoint.

My arrival coincided with that of Normandy Trader rounding the headland. She was well on her way out to sea now for an arrival in Jersey in the small hours.

The background of this image, a beautiful pale pinky orange colour and the Ile de Chausey fading away in the distance looked quite impressive too and I was getting all nostalgic about it yet again.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I arrived, there was no-one down on the beach having a picnic, nor anyone perched on the rocky shelf either.

But during the course of the next fifteen minutes a couple of people ended up down there and the crowd slowly swelled are more and more people came down to watch the sunset.

By the time that I was ready to leave there was quite a crowd down there enjoying the view, and with every good reason too.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe rainstorm that we had had had left plenty of clouds hanging around in the sky and the sun was playing peek-a-boo with everyone here tonight.

The spectacle was pretty amazing so I stayed to watch it for about 15 minutes and then I came on home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I’m going to make a start on the current projects that have been in abeyance since I started my series of courses. The Welsh course still has three weeks to run but the others are all now finished.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallMind you, I have plenty of ideas of things that I need to do which i shall have to put in motion for when I’m free of all commitments, whenever that might be.

But that’s not for this evening. It’s already quite late and I’m going to have another bad day tomorrow if I don’t get a move on and go to bed soon.

So what I’ll do is to leave you with all of the photos from later this evening with Normandy Trader disappearing into the sunset while I go and catch up with my beauty sleep.

See you all tomorrow.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

normandy trader beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel  granville manche normandy france eric hall
normandy trader beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

normandy trader beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
normandy trader beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

Saturday 20th April 2020 – TODAY WAS THE FIRST …

coastguard station pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall… day for quite sone considerable time (and I’m talking weeks here, I’m sure) that we’ve had ay appreciable amount of rain.

You can see the view that they are having from the coastguard station – just a mass of heavy, very wet cloud hugging the surface of the sea and no-one can really see anything at all. All that I can say is that it’s a good job that they are equipped with a radar

As for me, I’m not quite sure what I’m equipped with, but whatever it is, it seems to be preventing me from leaving my bed when the alarms go off.

That’s right, another one missed this morning too. Not by much, it has to be said, about 10 minutes in fact, but a miss is as good as a mile.

After my medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been and to see if anyone had manifested themselves to come with me too.

I started off last night in hospital, in a waiting room. I was on my own at first but then someone else came and a couple more people came. In the end there were about 8 or 9 of us. One of the couples was a young couple and it was the husband who was being involved in the medical procedure. And as he was sorting himself out someone else put his head round the door. I thought that it was a video at first but it was a real person. He started to deliver a eulogy about these two people – this couple. It was really strange, almost like he was sending them off to their deaths rather than to have medical appointments. There were a couple of people who were strange as well. One guy who came and then left after 15 minutes but came back in the middle of this discussion, shaking his car keys about, which I thought was really interesting
Later on, I was in work and went to sit at my desk. I hadn’t sat at my desk for ages. The guy sitting at the desk opposite me, an Asian guy had his feet all across my desk and didn’t move them either when I sat down. We were chatting and Frankie Howerd came up in the conversation and he asked me about him so I told him who he was. We were looking at some new buildings that were being built opposite. One of them certainly wasn’t perpendicular judging by all of the others so we were making some remarks about that. Then the story drifted around to me and an apartment block where I was living, a new-ish one, very low, four storeys something modern in an L shape with a garden in front. People were coming to see me and were talking about my apartment. I had a garage in the basement and Caliburn wouldn’t go in there so I was going to put one of my Cortinas, the red Cortina estate XCL, in. I realised that I needed some help to get it started and the kind of guy who would come along and give me a hand – I had a certain person in mind here and I don’t know why – someone with whom I was no longer on friendly terms and no-one else would really know how to help me the best to get this vehicle moved.

After breakfast, it was a long, weary drag to sort out the music for a couple of “various artists” collections. One album ended up being one short, which was astonishing because there was really some obscure stuff on there and I was expecting much more than that to be missing.

But the second one, after a great deal of work, actually worked out and no-one was more astonished than me. Some of the tracks on it were wrongly attributed too, and that always causes a huge problem.

As an example, one track attributed to Leslie Harvey (much better known as Les Harvey and the brother of Alex Harvey of the Sensational band of that name and who died through being electrocuted live on stage in the middle of a concert) isn’t by him at all.

Well, he might be playing the guitar on it, but the singer is definitely Maggie Bell (she of the “Taggart” theme song). So if Les Harvey really is playing the guitar, that can only be an early “Stone The Crows” track from before Jimmy McCulloch’s time.

And it was all like that. A track attributed to “Eric Clapton and Duane Allman” is actually a “Derek and the Dominoes” track from the “Layla” recording sessions when Duane Allman looked in from next door to see what was going on. And there were many others that were far more obscure than that.

No wonder that it took so long to sort out, and no wonder that I only edited a handful of photos from July 2019 while I was doing it.

Having got to where I wanted to be (albeit rather loosely) I turned my attention to the radio projects, with a break for lunch of course.

And by the time that I had knocked off, I’d chosen all of the music for two of them (except the last tracks of course), edited them, combined them in pairs as I usually do and even started on writing the text.

In another departure from previous practice, I’ve been preparing a searchable text file of tracks that I’ve used, with the project number to which they relate. I found to my horror the other day that I’d used the same track twice within a couple of weeks.

With a memory like mine, I need to do so much more than I’m doing. And talking of memory, I wish too that the memory sticks that I ordered would hurry up and arrive so I can merge a pile of new stuff into the various runs and maybe even start off a new run or two.

This evening on the guitar I took up a challenge.

The Dire Straits song “Telegraph Road” – one of the most emotional songs ever ever recorded and on a par with Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” – came up on the playlist just as I was pulling out the guitar.

And so I sat down and spent some time working out the chords to it. At first I just couldn’t do the chord changes even though I’d managed to work out most of them.

But after a while, the light goes on in the head like it occasionally does, and I changed the key to Gmajor and it all fell into place.

Of course, the lead guitar solo is quite a different thing entirely and I don’t think that I’ll ever manage to work that out, but still …

There was some left-over falafel in the fridge that had been in there longer that was good for it so I finished that off with steamed veg and vegan cheese sauce, followed by apple crumble and soya coconut stuff.

Then off on my run all round the headland. Not that I was feeling like it (I’ve had a little chute in health this afternoon -I recognise the signs now) and I would gladly not have gone out, but that’s not going to help me one little bit if I let myself go, especially with all of this going on.

But the rain was pleasant. The first for ages as I said earlier.

And here’s a thing – have you ever noticed how fresh everywhere looks in the early morning after a rainstorm during the night? Reduced traffic on the roads at night means less pollution and what is there in the bigger particles, the rain can wash it out.

So with little traffic on the roads this last month or so, what will the first rainstorm for several weeks do to the atmosphere? I’m looking forward to seeing what it will look like outside first thing in the morning.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving recovered my breath I carried on running along the clifftop on the south side of the headland.

Still our four boats in the chantier navale. And still the same four too. I thought that I’d better check.

But one thing that I didn’t see tonight was any fishing boats out working. I suppose that there must have been some out though, because the harbour wasn’t full of idle boats by any means.

The tide was quite a way out though too, so I wouldn’t have expected tos ee an loitering around the harbour entrance either.

old cold store fish processing plant support pillar floating pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile I’d been working this afternoon, I’d heard the piledriver going off so I reckoned that they had been working down in the harbour.

When I paused for breath on my way home, I went for a look to see what they had been up to, and sure enough, there’s a third pontoon support that’s been pounded into the harbour bottom.

This is starting to look serious now, isn’t it? It won’t be long before they are in a position to finish off and I wonder what it will look like.

Granville, the newer of the two Channel Island ferries, is still there. Services are suspended now until 11th May at the earliest and we shall see after that.

The old cold store, from when the port was a thriving “Newfoundlander” deep-sea fishing port, is still there looking quite sad.

Mme la Maire wants to sweep it away and install a casino and leisure facilities there, but that will be the death of the town. The commercial activities in the port keep the town active all the year round.

if they are swept away and leisure activities replace them, then it’ll be like most other seaside towns – crammed to bursting point for two months of the year and dead as a doornail for the remaining 10 and that isn’t why I came here.

So I’m off to bed, and I’ll attack the radio stuff tomorrow, given half a chance.

That is, if my file-digitalising goes according to plan. But that’s too much to expect.

Monday 31st December 2012 – A HAPPY NEW YEAR …

… to all my readers.

A heartfelt plea of course, but not from my heart, but from the heart of whoever it was who was responsible for all of the “artwork” on the walls of the Gentlemen’s Rest Room on Crewe Bus Station back in the 1960s.

I remember all of the artwork so well, being an impressionable young lad back in those days and I owe my magnificent Grade 2 ‘O’Level pass in Biology back in 1970 not to the teachers who helped teach the course, but to whoever it was who was responsible for the drawings in the aforementioned.

My success in the poetry syllabus of the English Literature ‘O’ Level I also put down very much to the efforts of whoever it was who was responsible for the text of the illustrations.

Who can forget the heartfelt cry of
“It’s no good standing on the seat
The crabs in here can jump six feet
And if you think that that is high
Go next door – the b@$t@rd$ fly”?
Move over, Tennyson.

Which reminds me – my poetry teacher, Mr Simpson, once asked me “will you read a short extract from Alfred Tennyson?”
To which I replied “Certainly sir. ‘Fred Tennys'”

But back to the gentlemen’s rest room. I also remember the heartfelt wail of
“Here I sit, broken hearted;
Spent my penny but only f@rted”
and considered that it wasn’t a patch on my own juvenile retort of
“Broken hearted, here I sit
went to f@rt, had a $h|t”

And that also reminds me of another extract from days of yore when Alan Fearon once shouted out “I’m going for a $h|t”
to which I immediately retorted “you leave my brother alone!”

But enough of the misplaced humour for now. After two days of doing nothing at all and a third one coming right up tomorrow, I do sincerely wish you all a very happy 2013, and I wish for all of you in the coming year everything that you wished for everyone else in 2012.

Best wishes to all of you.