Tag Archives: arc en ciel

Saturday 19th February 2022 – HAVING SPENT ABOUT …

prego air fryer place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… a week or so trying to fry some chips in the oven earlier this week, I walked into Noz this morning and Lo! And behold! They had some air fryers in stock, at just €29:99 too.

This is a kind of technology that has passed me by up until now so I’ve not really very much idea about how well they work, but at that kind of price it’s well-worth a try.

Bearing in mind the price of oven chips and the electricity that it takes to cook them, I don’t think that it will take too long to recoup my outlay, and they can’t be any worse that what I’ve been eating for chips so far.

One thing that hasn’t convinced me though is the trade-name of the article. I have a feeling that nine months after making my first batch of chips, I’ll be making medical history.

Trying to awaken this morning nearly wrote my name in the history books too. I didn’t quite go back to sleep after the alarm went off but it was pretty close and I only just managed to make it to my feet before the second alarm went off.

After the medication and a shower to clean myself up, I headed off to the shops. Apart from the air fryer, Noz didn’t come up with very much but at leClerc I spent something like a small fortune.

And for two reasons too

  1. Stocks were pretty low seeing as I haven’t been to the shops for a fortnight
  2. They were having one of their special “multiple offers” again and things like orange juice, soya milk, ginger beer and the like I can always use and the bathroom is a fairly cool room in which to store things.

Back here I put away the frozen stuff and then made myself a coffee. The slice of fruit bread was delicious too.

Next task was to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night. And talking about dreaming in French – last night I was with my Welsh class but last night we were speaking Flemish. We’d been on board a ship and it had set sail. I had stayed behind for the next leg of the journey. We carried on having our discussion on line. At one point the discussion became very difficult. One of the girls on board this ship said that it was very late. I had a look at what time it was and I could see that it was a certain time where I was so I said “it must be twintig voor negen where they are. That means that it’s probably late and is getting too late for them”. There was then some discussion about whether we should stop or carry on.

And dreaming in Flemish is a totally new departure, isn’t it?

Later on we were out in the Far East and I stepped back into that dream where I’d left off. We were all getting our radio programmes together but this team there was a team of radio presenters who had to guess whose programme was whose. We did all that we had to do and then our programme was revealed to the public one by one. It came down to the last 3 and there was me, another girl and Liz. They presented their radio programmes and then it came to presenting mine. Mine was about a lake so I presented mine. Then the audience had to award prizes to what they considered to be the best and they also had to guess whose was whose. They were doing pretty well until they reached the last 3, the girl, Liz and me, They had me presenting someone else’s programme but I can’t remember which one – it might have been Liz’s. Then it came to mine which was about the lake but they couldn’t decide who presented it so they gave up. I started off singing the title entry to it, waiting on the podium with this little girl and Liz. I said to the little girl “what do you think? Didn’t we do well?” and we started to sing down the microphone which wasn’t actually picked up by the podcast. They asked me what had inspired me to do this programme. I was beginning some talk about how I had a lorry here and I was on my way to do something else and I just happened to notice the lake in a certain situation, state or colour.

After lunch there was football on the internet – Penybont against Ffynnon Taf in the quarter-final of the Welsh Cup.

Playing football in a hurricane is always a lottery. Even though Penybont are one division and quite a bit above their opponents and played with much more skill, the wind was a great leveller and at one stage Ffynnon Taf were actually leading 2-1.

But almost every second of the last 15 minutes was played in the Ffynnon Taff half and 2 goals in a minute near the end after the Wellmen had gone down to 10 players ensured that Penybont went through.

windsurfer people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022By now it was time to go out for my afternoon walk. I mustn’t forget that.

There were quite a few people walking around down on the beach this afternoon, including a windsurfer who looks as if he’s been making the most of the weather today. The sea might not be as rough as it was yesterday but there was quite a wind still.

And you can see what a mess the sea yesterday has made of the beach, with all of the ripples in the sand caused by the force of the waves as they slammed into it at the height of the storm yesterday.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Another thing that the storm will have done is to have ripped a load of shellfish from their beds and cast them onto the rocks.

naturally, the seagulls will have made pretty short work of those but there were plenty of people down there scavenging around to see what they can find while the tide is right out. Let’s hope that they don’t find anything that they wouldn’t want to find

Not too many people up here on the path though today. The wind was quite strong and that was keeping them indoors.

The view out to sea and down the coast was quite clear today too but I wasn’t going to stand on top of a bunker to take a photo in this wind. I’ll leave that for another time when the wind calms down.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022The clear sky though meant that the view across the bay to Cancale was really good this afternoon.

In the lee of another bunker and the lighthouse I could take a photo without being bowled over by the wind.

The church over there is 18 kms away from where I was standing and I know that from bitter experience. I was once looking for a hotel in the vicinity of Granville and one in Cancale – “18kms away” – was recommended. That was of course 18 kms as the crow flies but to drive it was about 70 kms down to the head to the bay and then back up the other side.

yacht tiberiade le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022With nothing else going on around the end of the headland I walked on down the path to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval.

The other day I talked about the new props on which the yacht down there had been posed, but while I was out in Caliburn this morning I had a closer look and saw that in fact it’s a wooden framework that has been knocked up quite quickly and doesn’t look all that strong.

And as you can see, there are no nets on board Tiberiade. That’s what makes me think that the nets on which they have been working in the inner harbour belong to her.

By the way, Joly France wasn’t at the ferry terminal. So hats off to any travellers who have gone out to the Ile de Chausey this morning in this weather.

philcathane les bouchots de chausey fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Here though are quite a few people who haven’t gone out to sea today.

As you can see, most of the fishing fleet is in port today, just as it was yesterday. Over on the far side of the harbour are Philcathane and Les Bouchots de Chausey and everyone else is moored up at the pontoon.

On the extreme right is Calean, with Suzanga moored behind her. In front of Calean is Galean, and then Yann Frederic and in front of her is L’Arc en Ciel.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There are people out in the Baie de Mont St Michel having a look at what the storm might have turned up.

But that would be the last place where I would look. That’s right at the entrance to the harbour and all kinds of boats have probably been doing all kinds of things just there.

And so I left them to it and went back home for a hot coffee. But I didn’t have one because I’d had one at half-time during the football and I need to cut down on my coffee consumption. Instead I came in here and …errr … fell asleep for a few minutes.

Tea was a baked potato with veg and a handful of those tiny breaded soya burger things that are really nice when cooked in the microwave in vegan butter.

Tomorrow I’m going to have my long-awaited lie-in and see if I can’t recharge my batteries. They have been run down flat over the last few weeks and I ought to see what I can do about rectifying the situation.

But not tomorrow. I’ll be in bed.

Tuesday 1st February 2022 – REGULAR READERS …

chausiaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw Chausiaise loading up at the loading bay in the port, and then go and tie up.

This afternoon, while I was out on my post-prandial perambulation around the perimeter, I noticed Chausiaise right out there in the Baie de Granville about eight or nine miles offshore.

What caught my eye about this was that she wasn’t in the normal shipping lane that she would use to travel to and from the Ile de Chausey, her usual route, but in fact she was in the shipping lane that the boats use when they are travelling to and from the Channel Islands.

A quick look at the shipping register showed that she had in fact been in the port of St Helier this morning.

When she first came here a couple of years ago, I REMEMBER SPECULATING that there might be more to her presence in the port than mere trips back and towards Chausey. It looks as if there is some kind of substance in that.

Mind you, I was lucky that I actually managed to see her today because the way I was feeling this afternoon, I may well have ended up in bed and not gone anywhere at all.

fire engine porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Part of the reason for this was that I ended up having a rather late night, despite what I might have said yesterday.

As I was closing everything down last night, I went into the living room where I noticed that down at the Porte St Jean we had a fire engine with its blue lights flashing.

One or two other smaller vehicles with blue lights were loitering around too but it was very difficult to say what they were doing. I might ordinarily have been tempted to have gone out for a wander to see but I was ready for bed and it would have been rather an interesting sight had I done so.

At least I didn’t wake up at 04:00 or something silly like that. I managed to stay asleep (or thereabouts) until the alarm went off and then it was quite a struggle to rise up and leave my stinking pit.

Things didn’t improve as the morning went on either and I couldn’t concentrate on my Welsh lesson either. It ended up as being something of a disaster today. I didn’t fall asleep but it would be wrong to suggest that I was awake.

And not only that, I was freezing cold again. Despite the thermometer in the dining room showing some kind of reasonable temperature, I was sitting on an electric heater and I still wasn’t warm.

After lunch I came back in here and … errr … fell asleep. And that was how I was until it was time for me to go for my afternoon walk. I really don’t know how I managed to wake up in time for going out.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Nevertheless, out I went and staggered off down to the end of the car park to look over the wall onto the beach.

Despite how miserable the weather was, as you can tell from this photograph, there were a couple of people down on the beach. And there was plenty of beach for them to be down there on this afternoon too.

Very few people up here on the path though. All the way around the circuit I didn’t count more than half a dozen people. I imagine that they had far more sense then to be out here this afternoon. At least it was warmer than it ought to have been.

While I was looking down on the beach I was also looking around out at sea. And that was when I saw Chausiaise in the distance.

chausiaise trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022By the time that I’d walked down to the end of the headland by the lighthouse she had made some progress in towards the coast.

She wasn’t the only boat out there either this afternoon. I noticed later on when I was looking at the first photo of Chausiaise that there was a trawler hiding away in the gloom, and there were several others too out here in the bay.

Consequently I waited until she approached another vessel out there and then took another photo of her. Things were quite busy out there at sea this afternoon and it’s about time that we saw some more seagoing stuff.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There wasn’t anyone sitting down on the bench at the headland this afternoon and that was a shame because everyone was missing quite a show.

Not only were they missing the boats massing out in the bay, they were missing another beautiful sunset.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … this is one of the things that I like about this time of the year – the really nice sunsets in the bay. We’ve seen a few of those over the last few days.

And that was quite a storm that was brewing across the bay obscuring the Brittany coast.

ch932880 calean baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Just now I mentioned something about the boats massing out there in the baie de Mont St Michel.

It will be quite a while before the harbour gates open but even so there were several boats hanging around waiting for the tide to come in.

This one is called Calean, I think. It’s very difficult to read her name or her registration number at this distance but everything seems to correspond with who she is.

The others were even farther out to sea so I left them alone and headed off down the path towards the port to see what was happening there.

ch907879 arc en ciel chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And we have a new vessel in the chantier naval today.

Le Roc A La Mauve III is still there over in the far corner out of shot but Arc en Ciel – “Rainbow” – has come to join her.

Behind her on top of the silt you can see the mooring chains in the inner harbour. There are small buoys tied to the chains that float up to the surface when the tide comes in, so the boatmen know where to fish with their boathooks to pick up a chain so that they can tie their boats to it.

Back here I regrettably fell asleep again but eventually I came round enough to listen to the dictaphone notes. I was back in the UK last night and there had been a revolt by the Army, or, at least, part of the army. It had led from a misunderstanding about a training exercise and hed lef to fighting and bloodshed amongst units of the Regular Army. Eventually control had been regained and those engaged in the rebellion, such as it was, had been rounded up. Some of the fighting had really been vicious. The Queen was involved in it somewhere, being threatened, and was out of the Public eye for 3.5 weeks. They thought that either the strain had been too much for her or she’d been injured or had had a health crisis triggered by it. It was a training exercise gone wrong rather than a deliberate act of rebellion. Eventually they rounded everyone up suppressed it but it was really nasty while it was going on.

Later on I was down in London. I can’t remember which car I had. I think it was the blue estate. There was something going on with some people, market traders of something, and they were looking for as much help as they could get. I volunteered but they kept on coming out with all kinds of weird suggestions as to why I shouldn’t help them, the Cortina estate was too good, but it wasn’t. It was another one of my vehicles where nothing really worked on it except that it kept going, it needed “that type of insurance”, “that type of cover” etc. They were coming up with minute details of legislation which I thought for a market trader was completely ridiculous. I’d never yet met a London market trader who had stuck to the letter of the law so rigidly. I kept on coming up with counter-arguments but they weren’t interested in them at all. I had the impression very quickly that they were just not interested in my helping them no matter what I offered to do. I kept up the pretence of arguing with them simply to annoy them and get on their nerves because it was annoying me and getting on my nerves the fact that they weren’t interested in accepting any help from me.

So none of my favourite companions last night. I think that they must all be as exhausted as I am after the last couple of weeks.

Tea was a taco roll with the remainder of yesterday’s stuffing – a quick tea because there was football on the internet. Aberystwyth Town third from bottom were playing Haverfordwest, second from bottom, in what was Aberystwyth’s 1000th game in the League – the first team to reach that milestone.

Haverfordwest were actually the better team as far as skill went but Aberystwyth play with a spirit that is only mayched by maybe Caernarfon Town. I’ve seen Aber play several times this season and I’ve said … “and on several occasions too” – ed … that all they needed were a few breaks.

And they certainly got those this evening. They punished a Haverfordwest mistake to go one up and then scored a second out of nothing from another defensive mistake that led to all kinds of panic in the Haverfordwest defence and the giving away of a penalty.

Two-nil was something of an exaggeration but having seen them lose games when the rub of the green has gone against them, it’s high time that they had some luck.

So now I’m going to bed. It’s been another bad day today and I really ought to be doing my best to pul myself round. let’s see how I do tomorrow. Things surely can’t become any worse.

Sunday 16th January 2022 – NO WONDER …

… that I’m exhausted. I must have travelled miles during the night.

One of these days they’ll invent an ethereal fitbit that will track my travels when I’m off on my nocturnal voyages and I bet that the distances that I travel will be interesting.

Anyway, last night I had a very disturbed night (as you will discover as you read on) and despite being awake on several occasions at some kind of ridiculous hour, there was no danger whatever of my leaving my stinking pit until I was good and ready – which was about 10:15 this morning.

After the medication I had to download a few files off the portable computer that I take with me to Leuven, and then I could pair off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. They went together quite well too, but not as well as they did a couple of weeks ago.

For a few hours afterwards I had a little laze about not doing too much, except for having my brunch. Porridge and thick slices of toast with strong black coffee.

Round about 15:00 I wandered into the kitchen and made a big load of pizza dough, seeing as I’d run out. And I do have to say that for some reason that I can’t understand, it turned out to be one of the nicest doughs that I have made.

Nice and soft and smooth and silky.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022having put the dough on the side in order to rise, I went off for my post-prandial perambulation around the promontory.

First port of call quite obviously was the beach to see what was happening down there today. It’s been a good few days since I stuck my head over the parapet.

Plenty of beach this afternoon but there wasn’t anyone down there on it, although I did notice a couple of people walking down the steps from the Rue du Nord going off for an afternoon ramble.

And while I was at it, I was being photo-bombed by a seagull on its way out to sea.

rainstorm ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While I was there, I was having a good look around out to sea to see if there was anything happening there.

There wasn’t a single boat that I could see out there this afternoon which was a surprise because it was actually quite a nice afternoon, for a change. And after the last few days of winter, it’s warmed up somewhat and now much more like March again.

But there was a rainstorm brewing out at sea in the bay. You can see it out there just offshore, obscuring the Ile de Chausey. Luckily there wasn’t very much wind to speak of this afternoon so there wasn’t very much danger of me being caught in it.

rainstorm sun on sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022This afternoon we were having yet more beautiful lighting effects. It’s one of the things that I like about this time of the year.

We were having another one of these really nice TORA TORA TORA light displays where the sun comes streaming through the gaps in the clouds.

And with the rainstorm that was going on out at sea it was producing some quite interesting effects. It was a shame that there were so few people out there watching it. There can’t have been more than a dozen or so people out there on the path up to the lighthouse this afternoon.

sun baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022And out in the Baie de Mont St Michel things were even nicer.

As well as the TORA TORA TORA effect we had a spotlight or two illuminating the water as the sun shone brightly through a gap in the clouds.

The rainstorm in the distance was obscuring the Brittany coast but the sea was nice and bright there.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have caught a yacht or a fishing boat sailing through the beams of light? But you can’t have everything of course.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022There actually were some people down there admiring the view as well.

Sitting down there by the cabanon vauban was someone on the bench watching the sunset. And someone further out sitting on the rocks at the end of the headland. It’s a shame that there weren’t any boats out there for us to see this afternoon.

But on another more depressing note, the way things are these days, we have to keep a lose eye on people sitting like that on the rocks. The events of mid-November are still etched quite firmly in my mind.

container pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But never mind that for the moment. There were things that were much more interesting going on that require some investigation.

The skip that’s down here on the headland gives us a clue, and my hat goes off to the driver who dropped it off here.

What is going on right now is concerning the group of people who are planning on opening a museum in one of the abandoned World War II bunkers. They have been given permission to go into another one of the closed-up bumkers and clear it out of 75 years-worth of debris and see what they can find.

pivot for cannon bunker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022and almost straight away, they uncovered something interesting.

This is the pivot of a field gun – either a 105mm or a 128mm quite likely, that would be used as coastal defence to protect the area from either an invasion landing or a commando raid.

Mind you, when the Germans launched a commando raid on Granville on 9th March 1945, whatever artillery was here in the bunker didn’t do much good to repel the attack.

And, I suppose, as they go further into the bunker, the more and more artefacts will be discovered.

interior of bunker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But at least they have cleaned the walls of the bunker we can actually see the markings that the Germans painted on the walls.

These are presumably unit identification marks, although I don’t know which units are being indicated.

What I’ll have to do is to have a wander around the area during working hours and hope that I can lay my hands on one of the people clearing out the bunker. The fact that the skip is still here seems to indicate that they will be back here using it at the beginning of next week at least.

And so I’ll make a mental note.

storm waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022although I said that there was very little wind today, there must be something going on somewhere out at sea.

As I walked around the headland I could hear the sound of the waves smacking into the harbour wall so I was keen to see exactly what was going on. Consequently I pushed on along the path towards the post.

It wasn’t much of a show, unfortunately. The waves were more powerful that I was expecting in view of the weather conditions, but they weren’t producing anything spectacular when they crashed into the wall. There was plenty of noise but none of it to any great effect.

les bouchots de chausey unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Meanwhile, over at the fish-processing plant, there was plenty of activity going on.

Les Bouchots de Chausey, one of the little inshore shell-fishing boats, was in port this afternoon, working on a Sunday. And she must have had quite a good catch today.

She’s busy unloading her boxes of shellfish onto the trailer at the back of the tractor over there and you can tell from the amount on there that she’s had a profitable day.

A few weeks ago I encountered the tractor hauling the loaded trailer off through the town and out towards Donville les Bains. And one of these days I’ll follow her to find out where she goes.

gerlean chausiaise joly france chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022When I came back from Paris yesterday I could see that there was little change in the chantier naval.

As we can see, Gerlean is still in there. All on her own, too. No-one else has come in to join her while I was away.

Over at the ferry terminal however, we have the usual suspects over there. Chausiaise, the little freighter, is at the head of the queue and behind her is the older of the two Joly France boats – the one without the step in the stern.

ch638749 pescadore ch907879 l'arc en ciel ch898472 cap lihou l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way back home I went to look at the boats moored in the inner harbour, not the least of the reasons being that L’Omerta was actually tied up for once at the pier.

We also had Pescadore, L’Arc-en-Ciel, Cap Lihou and a couple of other boats that I didn’t recognise tied up down there too.

And of course there were the two Channel Island Ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville, moored up in the background looking as if they aren’t ever going to move again.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and then sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night.

In the middle if the night I awoke as I was counting something and trying to write down these numbers with a pen but I couldn’t find a pen that worked. But I can’t remember now what it was that I was counting and I have no idea. It was like a table of numbers or something and this was just one particular row of these numbers but I can’t remember what they were for.

Later on there was a pile of girls, probably about 6 or 7 years of age having to stand in a line and talk about where they came from etc. One girl came from Africa but was a white girl said “Africa, yes, that’s me. That’s where I come from. That’s my home town” etc but I couldn’t help the feeling that this was being transferred over to me as well. I had ti edit the view of this concert because the ratio was wrong – something like 1.5:1 instead of 1.1. If I were to do that I would lose a lot of everything. I had to have the focusing right and the general screen capture size right in order to do it. And I’m impressed with the technical details and terms that I can spout when I’m asleep .

After that there was a girl aged about 10 or 11 or so in a swimsuit and bonnet. Suddenly she was attacked and killed. That cheered me up because it meant that there would be a place for me to go and live on an island so I put myself in the queue but there was someone there in charge, some fellow or person, who said “there are still too many people so the queue needs to be cut down by half” which meant that I wasn’t going to go this time. I would have to wait for something equally dramatic next time before I could go. And isn’t that all a totally gruesome idea?

Last night we were also prisoners of war in something like COLDITZ CASTLE in a high security room with a few of us in it. We tried to escape once but the guy in charge was not very good and not only had we all been recaptured before we’d even done anything he’d had some confidential papers captured too and he’d been shot although not seriously. We were there again and we tried to have another go at escaping. The idea was to lull this commandant person into a false sense of security then when one of his guards would go out to do something, we could overpower the reduced numbers and escape from the castle like Colditz. So one of the guards had to leave. As he pulled up the zip on his ski suit it passed a certain point that someone had indicated with a blue “X”. This meant that the escape was on. He went and someone pulled on the commandant a gun that he had hidden and gathered up quickly everything that they needed. Then it was a case of making the commandant unconscious so someone hit him with the barrel of the gun. It didn’t work so I hit him about 3 or 4 times but that still didn’t knock him unconscious so in the end someone else took over. We then set the room alight. Someone wasn’t happy about leaving the commandant there with this room alight. I replied that every time he flew over Germany he dropped one bomb that killed far more people than just one without any scruples whatsoever

Interestingly, later on we were all in this Prisoner of War camp in this high-security room with the commandant and a couple of the guards. We’d already tried to escape once but had been overpowered by weight of numbers and the guy in charge had been shot, not seriously. They captured all of our confidential papers and I tried to drum it in to the idea thatwe should keep all of the papers like that together so that they could be thrown into the fire early etc. In the end we made ourselves ready. One of the German guards was called away as we hoped leaving the commandant behind. When this guy’s zip was drawn up to a certain spot it was as if a blue “X” appeared on his zip when the two sides were drawn together. That was our signal so we overpowered the commandant and captured his papers etc and prepared to leave. We set fire to the room with some accelerant. Someone was upset about that. We should rescue the captain but I said that each bomb that they had dropped over German territory would kill far more people than just one and that they’d dropped that bomb without any scruples whatsoever. In the end they prepared to scramble down out of this building and this railway cutting on their way off. So what was happening there that I had an almost-identical dream twice I have no idea.

And then I had my house up for sale. There was a group of us round at my other place tidying it up because it was really dirty, building rubble and brick dust everywhere that I was trying to vacuum, not very successfully. My friend from Belfast grabbed hold of me and asked me what was going on about Luxembourg. I replied that they were worried that the whole world was going to be flooded with cheap labour from the Arab states. He asked what I propsed to do about it and I replied “put a tax on foreign workers”. He said that that wouldn’t go down very well with some people. I replied “never mind. It can’t be helped”. We had to keep checking the door to make sure that a girl I know from Luxembourg wasn’t overhearing. We came round to what we were going to do about the apartment that was for sale. Someone told me to be careful and not to accept the first offer I received. I replied “I’m well aware of that” and told them a few stories about apartments that had been sold. “I’m prepared to wait for the right moment” even if it meant leaving it empty or putting it down in ten, but I’d sell it”. Then we were all called together and had to collect our security passes. Helen’s security pass and Steve’s security pass, I’d been involved in the preparation of those and I still had the boxes in which their cards came so I had to be very careful to give the right number to the guy taking the details that whoever he looked at had, he would write down the right number, mine and not one of the other two’s, and that he wouldn’t duplicate the numbers and leave one of the cards out.

Finally there was something about a Land Rover. I was with a friend last night. We’d gone to see a van that I’d just bought – that he’d bought on my behalf. An LDV. We didn’t actually get to see the LDv – we were sidetracked as usual by a Land Rover that he owned. It was a diesel and we were taking about this diesel Land Rover. I mentioned that I owned a Minerva that brought a few smiles from around various people. In the end we ended up back at his wife’s. She was talking about his cars, saying that he had far too many and it was high time that he did a few things with one. Something came up about another Land Rover that he owned, how something had to be done with that so that the Land Rover that we had seen at someone else’s house could be brought home. he said something about going to fetch the van that I’d bought but I asked him “where are you going to park it?”. There was no room in his drive at all. he saw the wisdom in that and said that we can do that another time. By then the wife and I were out somewhere. We had Zero with us. We’d been driving around but I thought that we’d not been going the right way to get back to her house. Instead she took another way. We were waiting to turn right at a road junction but were there for hours, even with people passing on the right to go straight on. Eventually we reached this other house which was in total chaos worse than mine. She was telling these guys about her husband’s new Land Rover. Zero was there with these other kids, all playing with a huge pile of toys and everything. It just seemed to peter out at that particular moment, this story, which was rather a shame.

It’s no surprise that I was exhausted after all of this travelling about. And what a shame that the final voyage petered out just as it was becoming interesting.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But there was so much of it that I had to break off in the middle to go and deal with the dough.

It had risen beautifully so I split it into three batches. Two of them went into the freezer and the third one was rolled out and put in the pizza tray to proof for an hour or so while I carried on with “War and Peace”.

After the dough had risen nicely I assembled the pizza and put it in the oven to bake.

And when it was finished, it looked totally beautiful. And I do have to say that it tasted even better, even if I had forgotten to use the remaining half-pepper that I had brought out of the fridge.

So having written my notes, I’m off to bed. It’s a 06:00 start tomorrow as I have a radio programme to prepare. There’s the physio tomorrow afternoon too, so I need to be at my best.

But we’ll see how tomorrow unfolds, especially if I travel as far during the night as I did last night.

Friday 3rd September 2021 – JUST LOOK AT …

flowery plant swamped with butterflies avenue de la gare Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… this beautiful flowering shrub.

The flowers are a long cylindrical shape of a mauve colour with a beautiful smell that reminds me immediately of the Mediterranean. There is an enormous row of these shrubs all the way down the side of the Avenue de la Gare.

But it’s not the shrubs or the flowers themselves that are particularly interesting – although they are, of course. The fact is that the plant was absolutely swamped in butterflies. I don’t think that I have ever seen so many butterflies in one place in my whole life.

But anyway, I digress, of course … “yet again” – ed

last night I ended up in bed at some time like a reasonable time, for once, but it didn’t seem to do me any good because I awoke at 05:35 and that defeats the whole point of going to bed early.

Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone too. There was a big blazing row going on in the master’s room about something or other and I couldn’t hear what it was and I couldn’t understand it. Anyway I had to make my usual ‘phone call to my girlfriend’s mother so I could speak to my girlfriend. I’d asked the operator to connect me but there was “no-one known of this name”. I had a look in the telephone directory and there wasn’t either I asked “may I borrow the post then I can check the directory to see if it’s a mis-spelling, but I knew it wasn’t because I’d rung it before”. She replied “no, I might need this”. Failing to understand why, I asked her to give me my insurance details because the information would be there somewhere. By the time this row had subsided so I went to see the matron. The office secretary was in there and we bumped into each other in the room and had a surprise. I asked for permission to ring up the mother. The woman replied “yes”. The secretary started to come out with all these facetious off-the-cuff comments about me and this woman. I said nothing for about half an hour and they were still going on. I said “how would you like it if all of them and me came and invaded your country?” and it all went rather downhill from there.

Incidentally, “the mother” and “my girlfriend” starred in one of my more recent rambles a couple of weeks ago. Nice to see them back so soon.

Later on I was with Nerina. I’d been away for 5 years on a business course and I’d come back to my old job and I found it very limited and restricting after everything that I’d done. Nerina suggested that I should move somewhere where my competences would be much better realised. I asked “how do you fancy working and living in London?”. She said that she didn’t. I replied “well, there’s your answer, isn’t it?”. I went on to say “it’s a shame because if you were working in London you would be promoted within a week and probably running the office within a year, there’s that much of a high turnover of staff down there”. We had a laugh and generally just fooled about a bit and

There was some other stuff too but seeing as you are probably eating your tea right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

After the medication and checking the messages etc I went and made my fruit bread for the next week or so. And I don’t know what has happened here but this one has turned out to be a right dismal effort. Probably the worst that I have ever made. But it’ll be eaten all the same, I suppose.

That took me up to breakfast and afterwards I made a start on transcribing the dictaphone notes – in case you haven’t already guessed. I did the ones from last night and now I’ve made a start on the arrears from the last couple of weeks.

By the time that I had finished there are only … gulp … 17 files left to transcribe so at the rate at which I seem to be working, that will take another couple of years.

It might have even ended up with fewer than that, except that I … errr … fell asleep in the middle of it all.

After lunch I had a shower and a tidy-up and then headed off for the physiotherapist.

black mamba charlevy la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down in the harbour, the gates were open so there was some activity going on down there, more of which later.

But first, this photo features three of our old friends. The big dark blue yacht in the background to the left is Black Mamba. The grey, white and turquoise boat to the right is La Grande Ancre, a boat that seems to be connected to the shellfisheries out on the Ile de Chausey.

The trawler in the middle needs no introduction to anyone because we spent all summer looking at her up on blocks in the chantier naval. She is of course Charlevy, now back at work after her overhaul.

For a change, the walk up the hill wasn’t too gruesome. I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, more than Wednesday but nothing like as many times as my nadir when I was on my way to Leuven just now.

He had me doing all kinds of exercises on this moving platform thing and then another session on the cross-trainer. And I managed to improve my personal best by a good 20 seconds.

abandoned railway line to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back, passing by those gorgeous flowers, I went down to where the old railway line to the harbour crosses the road.

There’s an ongoing programme about them pulling up the railway lines to make a pedestrian footpath so I wanted to see how they were progressing.

But it seems that they started from the side of the road where I’m standing and have made their way downhill to the port. Uphill towards the main line is still in place – for now.

But as for me, I’m going downhill – in many senses of the word. But right now, I’m following the old line down past the Parc des Val Es Fleurs towards the port and home.

It was something of a struggle to come back up the hill to home but not as much of a struggle as it has been just recently

l'arc en ciel le coelacanthe port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Nevertheless I was glad to reach the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, where I could stop and take a break.

The trawler that is just coming into port here, the black and white one with blue coachlines, is a new one for these pages. She’s called L’Arc En Ciel – “Rainbow” – and I know nothing whatever about her at the moment.

The one to the right, moored up at the fish procession plant needs no introduction. Turquoise and white with gold coachlines means that it can only be one of two boats, and the wings at the side of the bridge tells me that she’s Le Coelacanthe, one of the larger trawlers in the port.

fishing boat victor hugo granville port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was plenty of other activity going on in the port today too, which is no surprise seeing as the harbour gates are now open.

Put-put-puttering her way into harbour this afternoon is another one of the boats that is used in the shellfish. I’m never very good at remembering the names of those boats so I’ve no idea who this is.

In the background are the two Channel Islands ferries Victor Hugo and Granville. Apart from a couple of days last summer, they haven’t turned a propeller since last March (except when they were ejected from the harbour while it was being dredged) and the prospect of the service recommencing is looking bleaker by the day.

classe découvert fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The poor kids have only been back at school for a couple of days but they are hard at it already.

The Classe Découverte – “Class of Discovery” – is quite popular here in France and they are always out and about, sometimes travelling hundreds of miles and staying in hostelsin order to undertake activities outside the classroom.

This group of kids is visiting the Fish Processing plant with their teacher, presumably to have a good look around.

And did I ever tell you that I found out what the pipes and tubes are for? There’s a huge ice-making machine in the plant and before the fishing boats go out to sea they fil their holds with ice to keep their catch cool and fresh until they return home.

yellow autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021I continued on my way home from the port and as I came out into the Place d’Armes I was overflown.

It wasn’t the first time today, but with the NIKON D3000 it’s not very easy to take photos so far out or so high up and to see the results clearly, but there’s no mistake here.

It’s the yellow autogyro that we have seen on several occasions in the past. He’s rattling by overhead with a passenger on board and one of these days I’m going to make sure that I’m taken up there for a good look around from a few hundred feet. It’ll be an interesting and exciting adventure.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Of course, it goes without saying that I’m heading over to have a peek down over the wall onto the beach to see what is going on down below.

Plenty of people down below on the beach. Even with the holidaymakers gone, everyone back at work and the kids back at school, there are still some people who can find some time to be down there

It even looks as if there have been some folk in the water too. Not me though. It might be nice out there today, but it’s not that nice. For me, if the water isn’t at 37°C then I’m not interested in going near it.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there ontop of the wall looking down on the beach, I was also having a good look around offshore as well.

There was nothing really of any importance. No trawlers, car ferries, Jersey freighters or anything. Just this little yacht quietly tacking too and fro across the bay, taking his time.

However he can’t afford to take too much time because the harbour gates will close before long and then he’ll be out in the cold, quite literally, until the early hours of the morning before he can return home

It was now my moment to return home too so I went and prepared a coffee. And then, rather sadly but not too unexpectedly, I fell asleep for a while.

Would you believe – despite racking my brains for about half an hour, I’ve forgotten what I had for tea. And this is pretty much par for the course. I can remember everything that happened 50 or 60 years ago, but ask me why I have just come into the kitchen. It’s a sign of age.

But now that I’ve finally after all this time finished my notes, I’m off to bed. I’ve had enough of today and there’s shopping to do tomorrow.

Monday 8th February 2021 – I GIVE UP!

Never mind the third alarm. When the first alarm went off at 06:00 I was already at my desk working. And by the time that the 3rd alarm went off I was already working on the radio programme for this morning.

It wasn’t as if I’d gone to bed particularly early either. But judging by how much I was tossing and turning during the night, I didn’t have much sleep at all and by the time that 05:40 came round I gave up trying to sleep and decided that I may as well take advantage and make a really early start.

And by the time that lunchtime came round I had finished the programme, from start to finish too.

There had been the usual interruption for hot chocolate and sourdough fruitcake, and not only that, I had to deal with a couple of outstanding issues involving the radio. So in effect, I could have been finished earlier than I did.

After lunch I had some more radio work that needed attention. A radio programme was missed 2 weeks ago because the transmitter was down and they rebroadcast the programme 2 weeks later. That meant I had to shuffle the next set of programmes around, re-index them and move one or two so hat the sequence is maintained and I don’t end up out of order.

That took longer than it ought to have done, and it wasn’t helped by the fact that I … errr … dozed off twice during the afternoon. And that’s not a surprise, considering how the night had gone.

There was, of course the afternoon walk and I didn’t go very far before I took the first photograph.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been watching them replacing the tiles on the roof of the College Malrauxx over the last few months, and then last week we saw then moving the scaffolding round to the side.

Now, we can see that the roofers have made it round to that side and are busy stripping off the tiles from there and replacing the waterproof membrane and the laths.

And the guys up there on the roof – I don’t envy them one little minute. There’s quite a gale blowing outside and threatening rain too. It’s quite rough down here on the ground – up there it must be very much worse.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe only people whom I saw out there was just one jogger struggling against the gale. There was a trawler out there too, coming back into port from a day out at sea.

The trawlers are back out there working, as we saw the other day as we watched them going out of port. It seems that an agreement has been reached with Jersey about fishing rights in the Bay of Granville.

And that’s no surprise. Not just me but I think that everyone else was of the opinion that once the ports started to turn away the Channel Island boats, it wouldn’t take long for Jersey to surrender and to issue the permits. It’s just a shame that naked greed and self-interest has led us to a situation like this.

yachts chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe footpath was mostly dry so I had a comfortable walk around the headland to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

There’s some excitement down there this afternoon. There’s some kind of canvas cover over part of the hull of the yacht that’s been there since the dawn of time and there were a few people on the deck looking as if they were doing some work.

I’ve no idea what work it is that they are doing but the cover is quite suggestive of painting, although it’s not really the weather in which I would like to be doing any painting.

l'arc en ciel trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’d seen a trawler out there at sea heading into port, and there were already a couple of them that had arrived earlier and were unloading at the fish processing plant.

As I watched, one of them, L’Arc En Ciel – “Rainbow” – pulled away from the quayside and headed off to moor in the inner harbour.

By now it was raining fairly heavily so I headed off back home to my apartment. A nice hot coffee would be just the thing to warm me up, and having drunk that I spent the rest of the afternoon with the Greenland photos from 1907. One of them needed identifying so I asked one of my friends from THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and Adventure Canada who helped me out with the identification.

It was a strange session on the guitars this evening. The bass-playing part of it was really enjoyable and it’s definitely improving. I was adding in a lot more intricate stuff at the same time as I was singing, so my co-ordination is improving, I reckon.

But for some unknown reason I couldn’t get to grips with the acoustic guitar and seemed to have a couple of handfuls of thumbs this evening and my voice was off as well.

Tea was a stuffed pepper followed by rice pudding and it was all quite nice. Tomorrow I’m going to have a burger in a bap, I reckon seeing as there’s just one bap left. I can buy some more on Thursday and if I’m lucky, there might even be room in the freezer.

Before I go to bed now I’m going to have another half-hour on the photos. I’m just about to set foot on dry land on Cape Farewell in Greenland. Not much further to go on this leg of the voyage before I head off to Western North America.

Friday 1st November 2019 – I FOUND …

… the fitbit after all that. On the passenger seat in Caliburn where I must have left it when I was fitting the battery yesterday.

And I’d got up nice and early this morning specially to look. Even managed to beat the third alarm – and by a country mile too – and that’s not something that happens too often these days.

It was a reasonably late night too – mainly due to listening to some good music on the computer. And there’s nothing wrong in that as long as I’m working – which I was. In fact I updated some more of the web pages.

And so it was a short night too – but still plenty of time to go off on a ramble or two.

I started off back in the UK last night. I was in Cornwall walking around a headland and it was something (I don’t know what) to do but it was Marc Bolan and camping and he’d written the final verse of his song “Elemental Child” (… which I had been listening to just before going to bed …). They were broadcasting it over the radio and getting everyone to join in so anyone who was walking past or walking in the area they went and asked them if they would join in. This girl – she joined in too and did all of the song and to play it on the guitar or banjo or something. She asked about the lyrics so we pointed to where the lyrics were and she was brilliant. She had a really good go at it, this girl did. It really was a shame that I awoke.
A little later on, we were on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again last night and it was time to go home. There were a couple of coaches come to pick us up. They had already been and we’d packed but then we had to go off on a lecture or something so the buses were put back and were to turn at at 12:00. This lecture finished at about 11:55 and it was all about book-keeping, this kind of thing, and the guy who was giving the lesson afterwards went to print off some stuff and I went to help him but he didn’t need me. he was talking to some other guy and the other guy was saying that in Accountancy they were still using BBC Micros but they no longer dominate anything so they don’t actually see anything of what they do. The other guy said that he learnt his Accountancy on a BBC Micro. I said that I did my Finance First Part on pen and paper – but no-one took the slightest bit of notice of me whatsoever which seems to be normal procedure these days on board that ship. Then I had to get to my cabin and it was 11:55 and there was already a bus on board and people getting on so I had to fly throught the crowds and the ship like lightning to my cabin. Luckily I had packed before hand but there were still a few things out that needed putting away. I reached my cabin which was right at the back of my ship and the porthole was open so I could see the second coach pulling up and feel a nice cool breeze blowing through the porthole. The first thing I did was to grab a drink – some of my orange Vitamin B12 drink. There wasn’t much left but I took a swig of it and thought “Gid this is warm, this drink but it will do me until I get to wherever it is that I’m going and then I can think again”. At that moment the alarm went off.

10 minutes later I was up and about and tackling the notes from the night while I was waiting for the medication to work so that I could have breakfast.

Once it started to become light I went outside with the purpose of retracing my steps from my afternoon walk to see if the fitbit was anywhere about. But as I said, I didn’t get any farther than Caliburn.

Back in the apartment I attacked the 20-minute dictaphone entry from 30th July. And miles of it there was too, starting from when I left the motel in Lamoure all the way across North and South Dakota.

By now it was midday so I headed of for my morning walk. Down to the Super U for some garlic and a lettuce. The lettuce is exhausted and I have no garlic at all and I need to deal with that issue. And as I left the apartment and headed off down the street we were hit with a torrential rainstorm. Luckily I went in my rain jacket and so I managed to keep something-like dry. But there were plenty of others who weren’t so fortunate.

For lunch I had half of the carrot soup (which wasn’t so bad after all) and then attacked my little project. What I did the other day, I’ve undone it and started again because I could do better than that. And it’s all turning out rather nicely, although doing it in French is rather challenging.

crowds on beach peche a pied plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThere was an interruption in my activities when I went out for my afternoon walk. And I was not alone for even though the weather was miserable this afternoon there were still plenty of people on the beach.

It’s that time of year when we’e having the highest tidal range – the grand marée – and the lower beaches are uncovered.

These areas are beyond the limits that are leased out as commercial fisheries so anyone can go out there for the peche à pied – fishing on foot – to scavenge what molluscs they can.

rainbow arc en ciel granville manche normandy franceAnd I was right about the miserable weather too. Just look at the storm clouds.

But all of a sudden there was a hint of sun and we had the most magnificent rainbow. I managed to take a really good shot of it too.

It seems to be ending down in the town somewhere and I was tempted to back to my apartment to search for a spade.

There was an interruption after that. I received a text message “are you in?” to which I replied in the affirmative.

A few minutes later Terry and Liz turned up, with Darren, kate and the two kids. It was pouring with rain again so we went for a drink and a good chat. When the rain stopped (which it did for half an hour) we went for a good walk all the way around the walls and the headland and then they went home. I told Robyn to take good care of Strawberry Moose and she gave me a hug.

For tea I had two more taco rolls with the rest of the stuffing from the other night. Not enough though so I added a small tin of lentils so there was too much. No good for me, seeing as I’m supposed to be cutting down.

Football tonight on the internet. Not been too many of those this season. Connah’s Quay Nomads v TNS in the pouring rain in the Welsh Premier League.

In the first half, the nomads were dreadful and I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times they made it into the TNS half. Meanwhile TNS were rampaging upfield at will and could have had a hatful. As it happens, one goal disallowed for offside and a good save from Lewis Brass the Nomads keeper was all that they had to show for it.

Connahs Quay made three substitutions early in the second half and after that we had much more of a match, with the Nomads taking the game much more to TNS.

And so it goes without saying that TNS finally scored with a breakaway goal after all of that.

We then had bizarre incident where the referee gave a penalty to TNS for a handball, spotted the ball, and just as Greg Draper was about to run up to take the kick, he changed his mind and gave a dropped ball which Brass smothered.

From that, the Nomads raced upfield and with Insall (who should have been on from the start) having a shot saved, Michael Wilde running in fastened onto the rebound and scored – his first shot on goal in the whole game.

So 1-1 it finished, and it leaves me shaking my head. I’ve seen many more much batter games than this one, and I’m totally bewildered by that weird first half.

So not having done too much I’m going to bed and I’ll start again tomorrow. I must get myself going.

rainbow arc en ciel granville manche normandy france
rainbow arc en ciel granville manche normandy france