Tag Archives: autogyro

Friday 29th July 2022 – AFTER EVERYTHING THAT …

… happened – or didn’t happen, as the case may be – yesterday, today was marginally better.

I say “marginally” because I managed to keep going until 18:00 before I crashed out, but I needn’t have bothered to stay awake because it wasn’t as it I did anything during the day. Staying awake was enough of a struggle on its own without adding any work into the equation.

hang glider donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while you admire a few photos of the aerial activity that was taking place today, I’ll tell you about my travels during the night.

And there were plenty of those again because once more I had quite a mobile night.

We were talking about cars with this old lady. She was thinking of changing hers and was wondering what to buy. I said that as hers was running OK then keep it but she was insistent. We were talking about the merits of different cars and how in 1882 Ford introduced the turbodiesel small car etc. They had a Fiesta van from 1982 that was a turbodiesel on sale at this garage but they had loads of other vehicles as well including strange-looking tricycle-type machines. One was a “W” registration and I remember saying to everyone there that this was bound to be cheap because of the engine in it and what it is these days. We had a look and it had been reduced from €2800 to just €480, something like that. They had knocked over €2400 off the price. There were a couple of people who were eager to talk to a salesman about it. Someone asked me if I thought that it was a good deal. I said it was as well and if I’d been in the market I’d have been there harassing the salesman about it as well. Someone tried to say that it was a typo but I was sure that it wasn’t. It was just a case of disposing of these obsolete vehicles at any kind of price.

aeroplane 40y baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And then I was at this chaotic road junction in Surrey somewhere near the Thames. It was a roundabout with loads of other roads feeding into it. There was a strict priority as you might expect but no-one was taking any notice of it. There were a couple of vehicles that we noticed – 2 were motorbikes where they had a flasher out so they were indicating but of course you couldn’t see it from the street. They were weaving in and out of the traffic as it suited them to go the way that they wanted to go regardless of any priority. It was causing all kinds of confusion and there were all kinds of argument that I was doing my best to stoke. What really caught my eye that I found extremely funny was that while there were cars parked in this queue waiting for it to clear the drivers would pop out and go to the coffee shop on the corner to buy a cup of coffee and come back. Sometimes the traffic had moved on but his car had been stuck there while he was away getting himself a coffee. He’d get into his car and drive on. There was one woman with a black enamel tea container thing that she had been to have filled and was taking back to her car. A group of us was having quite a laugh about that, talking about times that we’d had issues about getting tea. I mentioned the time that I was home on my birthday and everyone prepared a special coffee for me but I’d come in, I couldn’t find my normal coffee so I’d simply made myself a cup of tea and hadn’t even noticed this special coffee at all.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on we stopped right back into that dream, back somewhere else down in South London this time watching the traffic at 04:00 or 05:00, becoming light. There were a lot of vehicles around. There was a taxi that had parked up blocking a road junction and vehicles were having to negotiate around him on the kerb while I was out fetching a coffee. I was with someone and we were admiring the spectacle. In the end we decided that we would go and have a coffee. He looked at me and winked. “Back door?”. I said “yes!” like the other taxi drivers were doing. We walked across the street carefully trying to dodge the vehicles that were manoeuvring around this taxi and went into this café that seemed to be doing quite a good trade. I was having trouble walking and he ended up being way ahead of me. I was thinking “I hope he’s going to slow down and let me catch up with him before he goes along and orders something at the bar of this café otherwise we’ll find ourselves in a few difficulties here”.

Much of the day was spent stirring papers around here, not doing very much at all. I had my breakfast of course, rather later than usual, and my lunchtime fruit too. And at some point I managed to find the time to have a good play on the guitar.

And having crowed yesterday about how my playing has improved and how I don’t need to change key these days, I ended up changing key on David Bowie’s “Lady Stardust” and Paul Peña’s “Jet Airliner”, but primarily to suit my voice.

Having struggled to my feet later, I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end in order to look down on the beach to see what was happening.

And I could see that there was at least one person in tent on being down on the beach today. And it must have been exciting to watch the occupier move it when the tide came in. He wouldn’t have much time to pack it up.

Plenty of other people down there too and there were even a few of them having a swim in the water. Not surprising because it was a nice afternoon.

But while we’re on the subject of the tents, I once had a very cheap tent that blew away in a gale. “An Act of God” said some of my friends but I thought that it was a portent.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Before I left the viewpoint over the beach I had a good look out at sea.

There were some sails away in the distance and at first I thought that it might have been Marité or even Le Renard going out for a run around, but when I had a closer look at the photo on returning home I found that it was a yacht, nothing more, nothing less.

There wasn’t anything else out there at all this afternoon. No other pleasure boats, no fishing boats, no freighters and no ferries either. It was surprisingly quiet out at sea this afternoon.

Nothing else happening out at the end of the headland. No-one fishing and no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

la confiance 2 chant des sirenes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022With nothing much happening here I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

And it’s all systems go in the chantier naval this afternoon. La Confiance II is still there along with the boat that came to join her yesterday but we have two others that have come in there today.

The one to the right of La Confiance II is unidentified because I can”t read the registration number, but the green and white one on the extreme right is Chant des Sirenes. You don’t need to see the registration number to work that out. Just a quick glance at the image of the mermaid on her bow will tell you that.

l'omerta fish processing plant port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And while we’re on the subject of ships, we’re back to playing “Musical Ships” again.

Over there moored up at the wharf underneath the Fish Processing Plant is L’Omerta in her usual place. And on her own too. There isn’t even one of the port lighters to keep her company over there.

A little earlier I mentioned the fact that Marité might be out and about this afternoon. She certainly wasn’t at her mooring in the inner harbour when I walked past.

When I checked the radar tonight she was back in port, having spent the day doing a lap around the Ile de Chausey.

circus zavatta rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was wandering around there was plenty of noise and music along with a running commentary.

Eventually I was able to pin down the source of the noise when a pickup went past down below in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers and turned into the Rue du Port.

It looks as if the circus is coming to town quite soon, and I wonder how the people who live in the new block of flats at the port who seem to be objecting to just about everything will cope with having a circus just down the road.

You can picture the scene of the locals in the flats trying to play bridge, and every time someone plays an ace an elephant would trumpet.

Back here I made myself an almond milk drink and then summoned up the energy to transcribe the dictaphone notes, which you have read already. And there I was, stepping back into a dream yet again. It’s becoming a habit.

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and vegetables in a spicy tomato sauce and it was delicious. One of the better ones that I have made, thanks to the chili powder and the garlic salt that I added to it.

And hopefully there will be an early night tonight and a decent sleep. As I’m on the road next week I don’t want much in the way of shopping but I’ll go to Lidl tomorrow for some bits and pieces. I need a little bit of stock in the store here to keep me going.

Tuesday 26th July 2022 – AFTER ALL OF THE …

hang gliding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… problems that I’ve been having over the past few days, today has been a rather better day from that point of view.

So while you admire several photos of all of the aerial activity that was going on outside this afternoon, I’ll tell you something about it.

Last night, I was much later than usual in going to bed. There was a Hercule Poirot programme, MURDER IN THREE ACTS, that came round on the playlist and so I stayed up to listen to it instead of going to bed.

Sleep is of course quite important but sometimes a little relaxation is quite good for the soul and I enjoyed the radio programme very much.

35ma aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As a result, trying to wake up at 07:30 was extremely difficult indeed and I was very lucky that I managed to beat the second alarm to my feet.

After the medication and so on I came in here to deal with my mails and messages and then I had things to do.

However I didn’t do much. Surprisingly I didn’t fall asleep today (although I was pretty darned close to it) hence the day being rather better, but for all the good that I was doing today it didn’t really make much difference.

At least the weather was warmer today than yesterday. We’re slowly climbing back into heatwave territory.

45ahb pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was rather a late breakfast today, with the last of my delicious fruit buns and some nice strong coffee.

And a rather late lunch too. Just the usual fruit at the moment. I’m still taking a lot of care about my eating habits and trying where I can to cut down on everything. This diet of fruit and nuts hasn’t lost me much weight but you ought to see me climb trees.

After lunch I went through everything that was in the kitchen and sorted out what I needed to make another batch of fruit buns. I seem to be running low on just about everything right now and I’ll have to stock up on my baking supplies.

It would be nice though if I could bring up here the two cupboard things that I bought in IKEA and install the proper oven.

What a state to get it, hey?

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While we’re on the subject of all of the aerial craft that went by overhead this afternoon, here’s a horrible photo of the yellow autogyro.

Horrible because it was taken directly into the sun rather quickly through a gap in a couple of buildingss, but important because it’s the yellow autogyro.

And why that is important because the other day we saw a beautiful new and shiny red autogyro fly past and the thought had gone through my mind that the reason why I hadn’t seen it before might have been because it might have been the yellow one having been given a respray.

But as the yellow one is still up in the air then that can’t be the case.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Rather later than usual, for reasons that you will soon find out if you read on down to the end, I went out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I wandered across the car park through the crowds to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

There wasn’t much beach to be on but that didn’t matter much because the warm weather had driven many of the people into the water to cool down. It was that kind of day today.

Quite windy too, as you have probably guessed when you saw the squadrons of Nazguls flying by overhead in one of the earlier photos.

man on paddle board baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was quite a bit of excitement going on out in the bay too.

This guy was out on what looked to be a paddle board but he’d stopped to sit down and have a rest for a while when I saw him.

At first I thought that he might have been in a kayak but on closer inspection I ruled that out.

And he was on his own too, which is just as well because making love in a kayak is rather like Watneys Beer – it’s f***ing close to water.

yacht
marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was walking down the path and being overflown by all kinds or aerial machines, I was also looking out to sea to see what was happening there.

Through the gap in the trees at the far end of the headland I could see Marité riding at anchor in the Baie de Mont St Michel near Le Loup – the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

But what’s interesting in this photo is the colour of the grass in the background. It’s a rather scorched light brown colour right now. Apart from that 5-minute shower that I mentioned the other day, we’ve not had any rain for ages and everywhere is looking rather like North Africa at the moment.

yacht joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Marité wasn’t the only ship out there in the bay this afternoon either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we’d seen Belle France out at the bottom of the bay with, probably, a full load of passengers going for a look at Mont St Michel. Today, we have one of the Joly France ferries coming back from down there with a full load of passengers.

Have a look at her windows. They are in “portrait” format rather than “landscape” format and so that tells us that she is the newer one of the two. Her upper deck superstructure is smaller than her sister too.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Fighting my way through the crowds I wandered off through the car park down to the end of the headland.

And this afternoon, we had a fisherman out there on the rocks this afternoon. Just one fisherman, and he didn’t look as if he was all that interested in catching anything. He didn’t have a bucket of anything in which to put his catch.

Mind you we have actually seen someone catch something with rod and line a couple of months ago, although I didn’t see what he actually did with his catch. I was just hoping that it wasn’t one of Austin Powers’ bad-tempered sea bass.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022With all of the activity out in the bay and the fisherman on the rocks, it’s hardly surprising that that there was quite a crowd watching everything that was going on.

Sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban in a front row seat was this family watching Joly France go sailing past around the headland and Marité at anchor in the bay, as well as a host of other small craft out there too.

Having watched everything for a while I wandered off down the path and around the corner to go and see what was happening down at the port this afternoon

ch517520 yann frederic ch898472 cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022L’Omerta was still moored at her position at the Fish Processing Plant but I was more interested in the two boats that were moored behind her.

The one at the front is Yann Frederic and the one behind is Cap Lihou. I’m not quite sure what they were doing over there but there was quite a crowd of people watching them doing it and there was a van over there looking as if it was unloading some shell-fishing crates.

Meanwhile, La Confiance II was still in the chantier naval and Chausiaise was moored up at the ferry terminal.

The harbour gates were opn by now and all of the other fishing boats were streaming into the inner harbour.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And once everyone had gone sailing in, it was the turn of the ships in the inner harbour to come sailing out.

And just for a change these days I was right yesterday about the freight on the quayside when I said that it wouldn’t be there for long. Out of the inner harbour came Normandy Trader with a load of freight, including the swimming pool that had been on the quayside yesterday.

The guy walking on the deck by the crane is Nathan the skipper.

You can tell that she’s Normandy Trader and not Normandy Warrior by the raised deck at the back of the wheelhouse.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Anyway, this is why I’d gone out later than normal this afternoon.

Word had reached me on the grapevine that Marité was out and about this afternoon so I imagined that she would want to come home when the harbour gates opened and I wanted to see it.

Sure enough, as soon as the commercial congestion at the harbour entrance eased, she pulled up her anchor and set sal for the harbour and I watched her come into port and tie up.

She had quite a crowd of people on board too so it must have been a good trip. It’s a shame that her staff aren’t nicer otherwise I might be out there myself one of these days.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was quite a crowd of people lining the walls watching her come into port this afternoon.

And that had led to some of the worst examples of pathetic parking that we have seen for a while. It’s a subject that I’ve tried to avoid but sometimes it’s inescapable and it’s the kind of thing that brings these holidaymakers and their caravanettes into disrepute.

When he finally moved off, he went to try to park in a car park in which caravanettes are prohibited as if it didn’t matter at all.

These caravanette drivers have a logic that only works in their bizarre minds

normandy trader bay de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Before going in for a drink, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to check on Normandy Trader.

It had taken me an age to make sure that Marité was tucked up safely in bed so by now Normandy Trader was miles out at sea. I was hoping that I’d catch her a bit closer to shore than I did.

Back here I had a drink of iced almond milk and then had a look at how my fruit bread was doing. I’d mixed up the dough before going out and now that it was proofed I divided it up into little rolls and put them on some baking paper on the shelf.

When they’s had another go at proofing, I brushed them with milk and dusted them with brown sugar and bunged them in the oven to bake for 35 minutes.

While they were baking I had a listen to the dictaphone. I had been playing in a rock group during the night. I was talking to one of the girls in it. There were a couple of people who were in the group who were very insecure and needed a lot of guidance. We had one or two people who would do that. For example, One girl (wit whom I’d worked a few times in the dim and distant past) needed a lot of prodding around and guiding and taking places and everything and there was a guy near to where she lived and where she worked who would do all of that. Some of us were very self-reliant and would make our own way without any problems. Others needed just as much help but couldn’t really find anyone to do things for them. It all came to be rather chaotic. There were the wrong kind of people hanging around and it was a shame because it was a really good experience except for these people. I was talking to one of the girls, explaining about that girl’s helper and how it would have been nice if everyone had found someone like that who could have led them around and worked on their personal development or whatever so that they would have been much more comfortable with themselves and the travelling.

But what’s she doing making a rather dramatic appearance in my nocturnal voyages? She’s someone about whom I haven’t thought for even a minute for probably 38 years

Later on I was out in my van and I’d encountered a young girl somehow. I’d lent her the music and she was really delighted with it. I’d made arrangements to go and pick it up again but when I arrived she was at her grandmother’s house at Kidsgrove up at the back, Newchapel way and a really steep hill to get there. I’d gone with Caliburn. Her grandmother had given me a list of things to do, some of which I could do on the spot and some I couldn’t, like disposing of a pile of mail for her etc. I invented some kind of procedure that meant that I’d have to come back there again in the hope that I’d see this girl when I went back. I had to sort out my tapes that she had. The grandmother asked me something about this job and I was stuck because I couldn’t remember what it was that I’d told her that I’d do. I had to invent something quite quickly. For once it seemed that I was going to be getting somewhere with some young girl which was very nice. When I left I noticed that I didn’t have much fuel in Caliburn so I’d have to go along and find some fuel somewhere and that wasn’t easy. This was once for a change something positive, even if I didn’t actually “get the girl” during the dream.

And Newchapel again? I’ve been there a few times during the night, probably more times than I ever was there in real life. That’s a mystery too.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022By now the fruit buns were cooked and they looked absolutely delicious so I took them out of the oven to cool, and then thought about making tea.

Plenty of stuffing eft over from yesterday’s pepper so I made myself a taco roll with rice and vegetables and that really was delicious again. Spicy food tastes so much better after it has marinaded for 24 hours.

Back in here I wrote up my notes from today and engaged in an argument on my social network with someone who posted a photo that he had taken in Norway of a car and was insisting that it was a MkIII Cortina estate when it was actually a Ford Taunus

Yes, I can be a pedant when I have to be.

Tomorrow I’m hoping that I’ll feel better. Not crashing out (even if it was touch-and-go on occasion) today was already an improvement despite the lack of sleep, so a good sleep might make me feel even better.

But as events have shown, quite often a good sleep usually makes me feel worse. But whatever it is, it’s still quite depressing.

Saturday 23rd July 2022 – HAVING COMPLAINED YESTERDAY …

belle france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… that we hadn’t seen Belle France out and about anywhere for a while, quess who we ran into this afternoon?

Sure enough, there I was out and about on my afternoon walk and as i was crossing the lawn at the end of the headland, from around behind a bunker she came.

It didn’t look as if there was anyone on board so presumably she’s on her way out to the island to bring back a boat-load of tourists.

It just goes to prove once more that I have the Kiss of Death when it comes to things like this. Every time that I make some kind of profound comment I am confounded.

Just like yesterday when I was waxing lyrical about the subject of kites and I was wondering to what exciting place I would be heading and with whom I would be heading there. And instead I ended up going almost nowhere and with no-one either. There was just something vague last night about a few drinks in these tetra-packs and taking a car in for a service etc. I can’t remember anything at all about anything except that and I’ve no idea at all what was going on.

When the alarm went off I struggled to my feet – really struggled – and then after my medication I headed off to LeClerc. I was there so early that the place wasn’t open yet and I had to queue with a pile of other folk for a while before they would let us in.

Once inside I did my usual shopping and bought a few extra things as well. For instance, they had some alcohol-free beer on special offer so I bought a six-pack to add to the supplies in here.

It was only just after 10:00 when I returned so I had a nice early breakfast, and then everything fell apart. I had the worst day that I’ve had for quite a while – several years in fact.

You can tell by the times of the photos that I ended up not going out for my afternoon walk until about 17:00 (adjusted). That’s because from about 10:45 until about 16:45 I was flat out on the chair in my bedroom. Out like a light with no prosepect whatever of awakening.

Anyway, I eventually summoned up the strength to go out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual the first place to go was to the car park at the end of the headland to see what was happening down on the beach.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The weather had improved dramatically since yesterday and even since this morning when it was still quite cool.

By now it was quite warm and that had brought out the crowds, even if there wasn’t all that much beach right now for all these crowds to be on.

And I do mean “crowds” because there were loads of people out there on the beach today.

Some of them had even taken to the waters which was quite brave of them because I don’t think that the weather was that warm today. Not warm enough for swimming anyway.

paddle boarding baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022In the previous photo we’d seen al kinds of water craft in the water just offshore.

A little further out we had a couple of men on paddle boards looking as if they were going for a good run along the coast this afternoon. Not that I know anything about paddle boards though. It’s not my idea of entertainment.

And that was really all that there was going on down at this end of the beach. There weren’t any Nazguls out and about this afternoon or anything else of any interest.

I left them all to it and wandered off down the path on top of the cliffs towards the end of the headland.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There might not have been very much happening down by the car park, but it was all action further on down the path towards the end of the path.

The sea was absolutely heaving with boats and there was hardly any room to swing a cat in between them.

This is just one photo of half a dozen that I could have taken that would have shown the same situation. It seems that everyone who is anyone has taken to the water his afternoon and it must have been total chaos at the slipway trying to put all of these boats into the water in the limited time that’s available when the tide is high enough.

And taking them out of the water is going to be even more exciting.

commodore goodwill english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It wasn’t just pleasure craft that had caught my eye this afternoon either.

There was something large moving around out in the English Channel behind the Ile de Chausey so I took a photo with the aim of enlarging it and enhancing it when I returned home.

Back here when I examined the image more closely I found that her silhouette bore a close resemblance to the freight ferries that run between Portsmouth, the Channel Islands and St Malo.

And when I checked the fleet radar, I found that at the time that I’d taken the photo, the freight ferry Commodore Goodwill was out there in the English Channel. She left St Helier at 13:30 and arrived at St Malo at 18:50.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And seeing as we were mentioning yesterday an obscure 1960s one-hit wonder, today it’s the turn of another one – Pete Townshend’s chauffeur John “Speedy” Keen and SOMETHING IN THE AIR.

It’s one of our old friends, F_GBAI, a Robin DR400-140B from the aero club, flying out into the bay de Granville.

My photo is timed at 17:09 (adjusted) and she was picked up on the radar at 16:10. She flew around the bay, then back inland, then down the coast and back where she disappeared off the radar again right by the airfield at 17:23.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only thing in the air either today.

This is something that I don’t recall seeing before. We’ve seen the yellow autogyro flying around here quite often but this is the first time that we’ve seen a red one. She looks quite new and clean too.

So pondering on this mystery I wandered off along the path towards the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

Surprisingly there was nothing at all. No-one fishing off the rocks and no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban either. And so I wandered off towards the port.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Meanwhile, out in the bay here, we have La Granvillaise coming for a sail past, towing her little dinghy behind her.

The other day I believe that I mentioned something about hos we haven’t seen so many of the charter boats out there so far this year so it’s odds-on that we were going to see one of them out and about this weekend, wasn’t it?

No change in the chantier navale or in the inner harbour so I came on home for my chocolate drink. and to try to do some work seeing as I’d had a miserable day so far.

Tea was the left-over breaded quorn fillet from last weekend, with potato and veg. Really delicious. I’ll have to go back to Lidly to see if they have any more of those.

The one problem with having slept so much today is that I can’t sleep now. It’s quite late, or, rather, early next morning, and I’m still not tired. It’s totally messed me up, this sleep that I’ve had today and I’m going to regret this very much. But it’s a sign of the times I reckon.

It makes me wonder how tomorrow will work out with all of this going on – or not going on, as the case may be.

Tuesday 19th July 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE

There can’t have been too many nights like last night.

When I finally went to bed I had every door and window open in the apartment and a fan on the chest of drawers going off blowing cold air onto my body – no cover over me of course.

The racket was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep but when I closed the doors and windows and switched off the fan the heat was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep. In the end I decided that if I wasn’t going to sleep, at least it’s a better plan not to sleep when it’s hot and noisy rather than not to sleep in the boiling hot, stifling and stuffy oppressive heat.

When the gale sprung up at about 02:00 I wished that there had been a third alternative too. Not even hanging a heavy weight to the end of the curtain would stop it flapping about.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 and I’d had such an awful night, and with a Welsh lesson to come, I decided that a lie-in would do me some good and there I stayed until 09!15

Having organised myself I went for Day One (well, Day Two really) of my Welsh Summer School. This tutor doesn’t seem to be as organised as the others whom I’ve had in the past. She’s one of these people who doesn’t believe in breaks. Instead she crashed on regardless and finished early.

However I can’t complain because
1) it was very nice of her to squeeze me into her course
2) the course is free

What I’ll have to do tomorrow is make a flask of coffee and have some biscuits standing by.

By the time I’d had my midday fruit (at some time considerably later than midday) I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual, I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end so that I could look down onto the beach.

There wasn’t a great deal of beach today. The tide cycle here is about 25 hours or so so every day when I go out the tide is about half an hour later and with the speed that the tide comes in and out here that can make a considerable difference.

There weren’t too many people down there this afternoon either. The weather was not quite as warm as yesterday and, strange as it might seem, at midday or thereabouts we’d had a little shower of rain for a couple of minutes.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was here I was looking out to sea as well.

And as I watched, one of the Joly France boats came out of the mist (because it was quite misty this afternoon) from the Ile de Chausey and was heading back towards the port.

The small upper-deck superstructure and the windows in “Portrait” format suggests that this is the newer one of the two.

And she has quite a crowd on board too. It looks as if they have had quite a busy time out on the island today. There are water supply issues on the island and I bet that this weather has been taxing their facilities.

d-eqdk Breezer B600 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And that wasn’t all the excitement either.

As I watched, a light aeroplane went flying by out in the bay from the south. And as I watched it performed a U-turn and headed back southwards.

When I enlarged the photo back home, I could see that she’s a German-registered plane, D-EQDK. She’s a Breezer B600 and we have in fact seen her before, on the 13th August last year.

According to the flight radar she took off from Avranches 16:04, headed north towards Granville, turned back southwards and then disappeared off the radar near Dinard at 16:27. My photo was taken at 16:13 (adjusted).

f-gbai robin dr 400-140b pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only aeroplane in the sky either.

A few minutes later another one went flying by in the bay. This one is one of our usual suspects, F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140b that belongs to the Granville Aero Club.

She’s been out and about a couple of times today but at the time that I saw her, according to her flight plan, she was still on the ground at the airfield and certainly wasn’t picked up on the radar.

Maybe someone has the time set wrong somewhere.

yellow autogyro baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third” as they say around here.

Sure enough 10 minutes later, out of the mist came the familiar rattle of another one of our old friends.

This is the yellow autogyro that we see quite regularly, taking passengers for a spin up and down the bay to see Mont St Michel and whatever else there is of interest in the area.

All we need now is the Loch Ness Monster and Godzilla and we will have had everything.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of people wandering around on the path today kicking up the dust so I didn’t hang around.

Narrowly avoiding being squidged on the car park I went down to the end of the headland. No-one fishing off the rocks today but there were a couple of people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

And they had plenty to see as well, like the Joly France ferry going past and the aerial display too.

Quite a few people down there on the lower path as well. The slightly cooler weather this afternoon has brought out the crowds.

les bouchots de chausey la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Some more changes in the chantier naval today.

La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in there but over there on the left they’ve now been joined by one of the shell-fishing boats. Her number isn’t on the database that I have but I reckon that she may well be Les Bouchots de Chausey.

Whoever she is, there are several workmen already swarming all over her so it doesn’t look as if they are going to be hanging around.

Mind you, I’ve said a few things like that before and lived to regret it, haven’t I?

joly france chausiaise yacht ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the ferry terminal there’s some congestion.

We have Chausiaise, the little grey, white and orange freighter, and also the two Joly France boats. The one that just arrived is the one at the back of the queue.

By the looks of things Belle France, the newest ferry, isn’t there. She’s not in the inner harbour either so I reckon that she’s probably still out there at the island.

Not much happening in the way of pleasure craft today though. That yacht that went sailing past in the background was the only one that I saw.

loading zodiac onto trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Mind you, had I been out there 10 minutes earlier I might have seen a zodiac out there in the bay.

But as I went past just now, the zodiac was at the ramp underneath the Fish Processing Plant and there was a van and trailer there. By the looks of things they were loading up the zodiac onto the trailer ready to take it away.

L’Omerta was still there too, but she was on her own. Everyone else who was tied up there yesterday has now cleared off.

Having taken my photos, I cleared off too. I have plenty of things to be doing this afternoon and not much time to be doing them either.

Granville victor hugo port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Things seem to be heating up in this ferry dispute too.

In the inner harbour Victor Hugo has now been joined by the newer Granville. They are both tied up there now and that seems to be that for the moment.

It would really be nice if this dispute could be resolved and we could get back into the business of running a ferry service. Right now we seem to be going one step forward and two steps back.

Incidentally, Granville, although the newer of the two ferries, is a second-hand boat. She was built new as the Bornholm Express in 2006 and sailed between Simrishamn in Sweden and the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and was last seen on that service in 2014.

lorry trans shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022One of the problems of living in a medieval walled city is that the streets and gates aren’t designed for modern traffic.

The Porte St Jean into the old town is quite small and many larger vehicles can’t enter. They have to park up outside the walls and arrange some kind of trans-shipment of their cargoes.

Just like this van delivering wine, in fact. I suppose that his cargo is destined for one of the restaurants in there.

Back here I had a glass of cold coconut drink and then sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I must have gone to sleep at some point during the night.

There was some kind of tennis match taking place. I don’t really remember who it was or what it was about or anything but I think that one of the participants was quite young. There was something about an advertising campaign where you could have stencils to stencil over your vehicle. The company would give you money for doing that kind of thing so that they would have the publicity from the moving vehicle as well as anywhere else.

And then we had to go to stay in a dormitory for some reason, a load of us. It wasn’t separated by sex at all for young people. I found a bed right by the alleyway, the walkway in this dormitory in the hope that a young girl whom I knew would sleep in one of the other beds around me. She was with a group of people so hopefully she might go on the other row and be down this end. I had to go to the bathroom. It was again a communal bathroom and wasn’t restricted by sex so there were all kinds of people coming and going, including one rather insistent girl while I was using the facilities. That was rather uncomfortable. Then I had to hurry back to make sure that I had my bed and that no-one else had it and hoped that this girl would have the bed that was across the walkway from mine.

There was something about a bookstore. all the books were in a total mess and it needed some arranging. I was there doing some work. a young girl kept on coming in to look at the books. She would also come in to chat to me and we became quite friendly. It turned out that she was leaving school and didn’t know what to do. I asked her why she didn’t want to work in a bookshop with us. We always had vacancies and she would enjoy it. Of course I had a two motives. One was to be nice to her and the second was to get to know her much better but that’s beside the point isn’t it?

Just recently I seem to have spent a lot of time thinking about young ladies. I must be becoming broody or something.

I forgot to mention that one of the offices in this dream had a sheep’s skull nailed to the door as a kind of talisman. Someone else who came to see me once and there was a dispute in the corridor which was upsetting. I explained that but it made no difference about people having disputes as long as they weren’t with each other.

Someone with whom I used to work in Chester was teaching at the school where I was working. He came up to me in a class and we were talking. “Do you know what I would really like? I would like to go on holiday to the Isle of Thanet and for you to come with me” which I thought was really nice. We had a really good chat about the Isle of Thanet and me going on about things that we did when we were kids and things that my mother used to tell us that she did etc. This talk went on for quite some time about all kinds of things.

My mother lived in Birchington as a child until she and her sister were evacuated to Frome in Somerset when Manston Airfield down the road came under attack. She had plenty of stories to tell us and in fact we used to go down there every summer in the late 50s and early 60s while she still had her connections there to see things for ourselves.

The guy from Chester wanted to know when I’d be free but what he didn’t know and I didn’t tell him was that I was retiring at the end of the school year so I would be free all the time. There was no case of needing a diary or anything to write stuff down but I didn’t want it generally known quite yet that I was retiring so I didn’t say anything to him while he was discussing everything.

And that’s a recurring theme too these days

However I couldn’t keep going and at about 18:30 I crashed out. Only for about 20 minutes and that’s no surprise after the night, but I wish that I could have kept going.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and then I came in here to write my notes.

Rosemary rang me up for one of our marathon chats and that prevented me from going outside to find out why the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter was hovering around. By the time that I could go outside, it had gone.

So bedtime now. Let’s see how we get on tomorrow with this Summer School. It’s not like the usual ones that i’ve had before but it’s free and at least it keeps me interested and helps me remember what I might otherwise forget.

That has to be some kind of positive anyway.

Saturday 16th July 2022 – WHEN THE ALARM …

… went off this morning, I was elsewhere at that moment busily making a sandwich for an Irish girl whom I knew at one time years ago.

It’s strange, the things that go on when I’m on a nocturnal ramble.

Perhaps I should have organised a lie-in today to continue where the alarm cut me off. And I wish that I had too, because I’ve had quite a difficult morning.

It’s not as if I’d had a late night either. It was after my usual time but not so late as would worry me aver-much. But sleeping in nice, clean bedding was really nice. I really must organise myself so much better.

Not surprisingly it wasn’t easy to leave the bed this morning. However I managed to beat the second alarm by a comfortable margin.

Quite early on this morning I nipped out to LeClerc. I was one of the first there too. The cap park was quite empty and I pretty much had the place to myself at first, although that didn’t last long.

For a change I remembered a few things that I’d forgotten, including the new mop. The only thing that I didn’t remember was the mint syrup, which is running low. There was something else that I’d forgotten too but I can’t now remember what it was.

It was only 10:15 when I came back here, which is about the earliest that I’ve been back, so I made myself a coffee and came in here to drink it. And that was when I crashed out. Totally and completely too, for a good couple of hours. Just like a few weeks ago and you know how depressing that was.

Once I’d recovered and warmed up my cold coffee, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There’s a young girl in this first story. I know who she is but I can’t think of her name. There was a lot in this dream but I’ve forgotten most of it. I had a cat and I was away and someone was supposed to come in to look after it. In fact it was one of the guys from the radio himself who turned up to feed it. My trip ended early and I was back home when he came. I knew about this, at least, it was something like that. Later on in the afternoon when I was round at his house I was preparing everything to go. We were doing something on the car and I went back into the house to see if there was anything that I’d forgotten or that I’d need. His daughter was there in this dream – it was this girl. We said hello. He came in and I asked him about something but he couldn’t think of it. I was inclined to go into the pantry and fetch it myself but no. What happened after this was that he and the girl started to talk. She said that she should have gone round today to feed my cat but he did it instead of her and she wasn’t very happy. Tomorrow was Saturday so I said to her “you can come round tomorrow morning if you like”. She replied “I can’t make tomorrow morning. Would tomorrow afternoon be OK?”. I thought that if I’m going to have visitors of nice young ladies I said “yes, that’ll be fine”. I’ll do my stuff some other time. He wanted to come round to do something as well so I was trying to arrange it that their appointments would be different so that I’d have this girl on her own and she’d come round without him being there so that we could have a nice friendly chat and I could maybe find out a little more about her.

Later I was with someone going around Shavington. We went past the houses at the Sugarloaf. I pointed out that one of them was owned by a family who had been there for a very long time but before that there was someone who was the founder of Chester Zoo who lived there. She didn’t believe it at fist but she went away and did some research and found that it was true. There used to be a zoo in Shavington etc a long time ago which moved off to start Chester Zoo.
And if you think that this is somewhat far-fetched, then READ THIS

Later still, there was something going on in work that made drinks and food to eat but then they left to go cold so someone thought to put them in the oven so in 10 minutes they would all be nice and warm again. There was some issue with a girl here. They found out how she was and sent Security to search her. She thought that these people were trying to arrange a date with her on one of these Social Networks so she was busy trying to arrange a date back while they were coming to look for her. This led to all kinds of confusions as to what was happening at this place that evening when they were trying to rid themselves of these 2 girls and instead had a match-making service operating

Then there was a place with all kinds of problems going on about whether pies were food or whether hair was part of you or an accessory, a few other bits and pieces. I can’t remember any dream that it was in but there was all of this going on. In the end some sea captain of a pleasure cruiser decided that he was going to deport a woman who was continually in the way and made suggestions that were wrong.

Finally, my Irish friend and I had been down at Rosemary’s and we had spent a week there and were about to go our separate ways. My friend had to go to the airport and I had to drive home. I was feeling less and less like the drive. Rosemary said that I could stay over for a few days if I wanted to so I thought that I was going to exercise the option. My friend and I of us went for a walk first of all around the town as her flight wasn’t until the afternoon. We spent a lot of time sitting on a bench just chatting about things in general. Then of course she said that if we’ve got to go, we’ve got to go so that made us get up and wander off along the street. I had to check the times of her flights and make sure that she was on time at the airport. I wasn’t sure if we were to go on the Metro or in the van etc but I was making a sandwich for her when the alarm went off.

She was a lovely girl and we did go out together a few times – even on a skiing holiday together and I would really have liked to have known her better but she had far more sense than to to take our friendship any further than she did.

There was a break for lunch today, seeing that I hadn’t had any breakfast today, and then I washed, peeled diced and blanched a kilo of carrots that I’d bought this morning. Once they had drained properly they went into the freezer for the next couple of weeks.

Later on I went out for my usual afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual I started off by going across the car park to look down over the wall onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

And with it being a really hot day today, and a weekend to boot, I was expecting to see quite a few people down there this afternoon but this really took me by surprise.

There were hordes of people down there this afternoon and plenty of them had taken to the water. I must admit that I was quite tempted too. I really was hot today and by the looks of things the next few days will be even hotter.

No-one out there kite-surfing today. The wind that we were having yesterday has dropped considerably now.

people on beach shellfish harvesting donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No-one hang-gliding either. I did have a good look around to see if there was anyone about on the field by the cemetery preparing for blast-off.

No-one out at sea either today but there was plenty going on out on the beach at Donville les Bains. As well as the crowds in the water over there, we had the sea-food harvesters working away this afternoon while the tide was well out.

You can see the stakes there on the beach. These ae submerged at high tide and the strings that connect them are where the bouchots grow. This was a serendipitous discovery many years ago, the fact that mussels would grow on strings and they are quite a delicacy because unlike sand-grown mussels, they aren’t “gritty”.

It’s quite high-maintenance however, hence the fact that they are considerably more expensive.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while there was nothing going on out at sea, there was plenty happening in the air, the lack of Nazguls notwithstanding.

While I was looking down at the beach I was overflown by several flying machines. The first one to go by overhead was the little yellow hang-glider.

She had been for a flight down to Mont St Michel by the looks of things and was now on her way back to the airfield.

There are two people on board – the pilot and his passenger. And don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten that I intend one of these days to go over to the airfield and blag a ride on one of these for a lap around the bay with the camera.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022That wasn’t the only airborne machine either.

While I was walking down the path through the crowds that were thronging this afternoon the little yellow autogyro came flying past, having performed a similar trip to the yellow powered hang-glider that flew by overhead a couple of minutes earlier.

As it happens, that’s actually the machine on which I would like to go for a trip. I shall have to make further enquiries.

That was that for the moment so I headed on down to the lighthouse.

fisherman buoy pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Crowds again around here so I imagine that this is how it’s going to be every weekend until the kids go back to school.

To find some peace and quiet I went down to the end of the headland and saw this guy here. At first I had no idea what he was doing but it turned out, when I could have a closer look, to be fishing.

But he’s the first fisherman whom we’ve seen who has been up to his knees in it. All the other just stand upon a rock.

And just offshore is another marker buoy that is presumably indicating the site of a lobster pot that one of the fishermen has dropped off.

la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

And absolutely nothing whatever any different from what we saw yesterday. La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in the chantier naval and L’Omerta was still over by the Fish Processing Plant. Marité was still absent too.

That was that really. I headed off back home for a coffee and a really good session on the guitar. On the acoustic guitar I’m much happier now playing the more complex chords and mastering the more complicated chord changes.

My playing on the acoustic seems to have improved rather a lot just recently.

Tea tonight was potato, vegetables and a breaded quorn fillet. To my surprise, Lidl had some in stock yesterday. Just one packet which I bought and had they had any more I would have bought them too.

Tomorrow is Sunday and a lie-in. And I need it too. I think that I’m slipping back into the situation in which I found myself a month ago when I was crashing out for hours without any notice.

And with my right knee looking as if I’ve done for it permanently right now, I’m in something of a mess.

Wednesday 13th July 2022 – AND THE WINNER …

… of yesterday’s sweepstake is “whoever suggested Nerina”.

She came to accompany on my voyages around and about last night – or, at least, part of them. It was pouring down with rain and we were on our way to our cabin. She was telling me that she thought that it was all wrong, what we were doing with the solar panels and wind turbines. We should have had a job where we could have worked and just spent the weekend and our spare time doing up the house and everything so that we could at least have had some money behind us. I said that there’s little point in arguing now because we were so well advanced. Things were going along anyway. It was pouring down with rain and we had 2 people with us. We were walking down this asphalt path towards our cabin. The path ended and it meant walking across a field. It was extremely muddy in places. These other 2 people found the muddy bits but Nerina and I were lucky. It was pitch-black the sky, daylight but it was so dark and raining that Nerina wanted to know what the batteries were doing. I could see through the window that there was just a faint glimmer of an orange light so I said that there was some charge in there. She thought that the fact that we could see everything through the window meant that it wasn’t really burglar-proof and we should have done more to try to hide everything from the public view when they were gazing in through the window.

There was much more than just that last night as well. One of my father’s friends had been sent to prison for something or other for a couple of months. He was now out and living near Worleston. One of my family but I can’t remember who – one of my sisters – needed a wheel bearing changing on her car so I suggested that this guy would do it. I tried to give her directions to Worleston but it wasn’t easy for some reason and I couldn’t understand why. It was a pretty straightforward place to go to from where we lived but she couldn’t understand the directions and mine were probably much more complicated than they would be in real life. In the end I thought that I’d drive over to see him so I went. He was there with his wife in his house. We had a little chat. He asked me how I was doing, whether I was off to University now that school had finished etc. It was very hard for me to talk to him because I didn’t want to ask him many questions about how he’d been and what he’d been doing because I didn’t imagine that he would want to talk to me about his 3 months in prison so it was an extremely stilted conversation, very difficult.

There was something similar about an Infant’s School that had been created in an old monastery or similar, that kind of building, but I can’t remember anything at all about that or who was there.

While I was round at that guy’s house, which had now turned itself into some kind of luxury apartment, there were all these girls coming over asking if we could do something to their cars. It was very nice, seeing all these pretty girls but as time went on we came to the conclusion that there was something going on about which we didn’t know anything that was bringing all these girls here. We were sure that it wouldn’t be car repairs

Finally I’d bought a new expensive guitar and I’d gone to the bank to see whether I had the right to reclaim the VAT on it. There was quite a queue, a couple of women in front of me doing all kinds of different things. Then some guy turned up and pushed in front to start to argue with the woman behind the counter about something. I didn’t speak German well enough to tell him to clear off but I was really annoyed by this and I made sure that he knew it. Eventually it was my turn and the clerk was away for ages. She came back with a huge sheaf of papers and pointed out all kinds of things that I’d bought in the past. She explained to me that I’d reached my limit for duty-free purchases and I wasn’t able to claim the tax back on this guitar which was extremely disappointing.

When the alarm went off this morning I was out of bed quite quickly and after the medication checked my mails and messages as usual.

First task this morning was to make some more fruit buns, otherwise I wouldn’t have anything to eat for breakfast.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022300 grammes of flour, a pile of ground brazil nuts into a kind of coarse flour (and if it’s “coarse” you want, then in the words of the late, great Bob Doney “I’m your man”), some desiccated coconut, sultanas and raisins, banana chips, dried tropical fruits, some salt and some yeast all mixed up with 125ml of water and a ripe banana.

The mixture was well-kneaded, rolled, shaped and then left to proof for 45 minutes. Then it was all brushed with milk and sprinkled with brown sugar and baked for 35 minutes.

And when it was all baked, it looked delicious. And tasted delicious too. I think that I’ve mastered this process for now. One of them makes a lovely breakfast with some hot strong coffee.

After breakfast I had a few things to do.

Firstly I had to check all of my hospital appointments for 4th August and then make all of the necessary reservations on the train.

What I have done is to make an executive decision (that is, a decision that if it’s not the correct decision the person who made it is executed) that I’m not coming and going via Lille. It costs me more but the trek across town from Lille Flandres to Lille Europe is quite uphill and I don’t fancy that very much at the moment.

There have been changes too at the place where I stay. The smaller, cheaper rooms are now only available on long-tern let so I’ve had to pay for a more expensive room. Still cheaper than anywhere else in Leuven though.

One good thing about it is that I finally managed to make my Belgian credit card work and that will save me quite a bit of anguish in the future.

Rosemary rang me as well for one of our usual chats that go on for hours. Surprisingly, we managed to steer clear of politics. There is no doubt that having to deal with the issues that arise from caring for a family of Ukrainian refugees is a whole new way of life and a full-time occupation.

She also told me that little Miss Ukrainian is a little better, which is good news, and that one of the local boys who lives nearby asked her to come with him while he took his dog for a walk. Yes, I can remember when I was barely a teenager too and I think that it’s sweet.

Having had a good session on the guitar this afternoon I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual I went across the car park, having said “hello” to a neighbour, to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

There’s rather more beach there today but surprisingly, nothing like as many people. That’s a surprise because it was probably the warmest day of the year today and I was expected to see hordes of people taking full advantage.

Only a handful of people in the water too. I don’t know where everyone has gone to this afternoon. There is nothing else happening around the town today.

hang gliders place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was watching the people on the beach I suddenly felt the cold hand of doom on my shoulder.

Never mind the odd one or two that were passing by overhead, there was a whole squadron of them assembling down by the field next to the cemetery.

By the looks of things it was the entire force of Nine Riders together with several reserves. Give them 10 minutes and they’ll all be heading my way so I cleared off down the path so that they wouldn’t sweep down on me.

Where is Legolas when you need him?

l'omerta baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No prozes for guessing who this shell-fishing boat is. After all, we’ve seen her often enough.

Right out there in the Baie de Granville over towards the Ile de Chausey is our old friend L’Omerta. For a change she isn’t playing a new game of “Musical Ships” today but is out there at sea working.

When I saw her out in the distance I couldn’t identify her at that kind of distance but back here when I enhanced and enlarged the photo I could distinguish her silhouette quite clearly with her winch assembly on the stern.

people with kite pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There weren’t all that many people wandering around on the path this afternoon so I had it pretty much to myself this afternoon.

But on the grass by one of the old bunkers from the Atlantic Wall defences of the Second World War was a young family having a great deal of fun flying a kite.

That reminds me of a time when I was with Laurence and Roxanne at the seaside on the “Costa Stella” in Belgium when Roxanne and I managed to put a kite quite high in the air. Roxanne was delighted until it crashed down into someone’s picnic.

The two of us had loads of fun together in the three years that she was my “daughter”.

f-gykl Robin DR400 160 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The kite and the Nazguls weren’t the only things flying around in the air this afternoon.

While I was admiring the kite a light aeroplane went flying by overhead. She is F-GYKL, a Robin DR400-160 and one that we haven’t seen here before.

She took off from Cherbourg at 15:09 and disappeared off the radar near Avranches at 15:35. She was next picked up near Granville at 16.21 (I saw her overhead at 16:12) and went back to Cherbourg, so it’s probably someone else clocking up the flying time on a nice warm day.

victor hugo baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Now here’s a thing.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve complained … “surely not!” – ed … on several occasions that I’ve yet to see Victor Hugo going out to sea on a ferry trip to St Helier.

But here she is today, out in the bay with her bow pointing in the direction of the Channel Islands.

However if you look closely at the photo you’ll see that there is no wake. In fact she didn’t move for all the tima that she was in my field of vision. So there’s definitely something not quite right.

It’s always possible of course that she’s waiting for the tide to come in at Granville so that she can dock at the ferry terminal but she’s facing the wrong way for that.

fishing boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022With nothing happening at the end of the headland I wandered off around the headland to the port.

On the way I had a look out towards the Baie de Mont St Michel to see what was happening there. No sailing school out there this afternoon but there were several of the smaller shell-fishing boats waiting for the tide so that they could come into port.

This perhaps give some kind of credence to the idea that Victor Hugo is waiting for the tide to come in even if it might be facing the wrong way.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Someone has however made it into port at some time just recently.

That is, unless we are having a new competitor in our game of “Musical Ships”. Moored over there and settled down in the silt is La Grande Ancre.

We’ve seen her quite often loaded up with crates of shellfish and we can see that there are piles of crates on the quayside up above her.

We’ve also seen her doing other things too. I recall on one occasion seeing her coming over from the Ile de Chausey carrying an old wreck of a tractor and probably a few other things as well

monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There’s also a new arrival in the chantier naval today too.

Philcathane who was in there when we came back from Germany left some time after Monday afternoon so the yard was empty but today we can see that Monaco du Nord II has been brought in.

And “Monaco du Nord”? That’s the nickname that is given to Granville, and not without reason either. Firstly we have the kind of weather that allows certain kinds of palm trees and the like to flourish here.

Secondly, the Monegasque royal family has people from Granville in its family tree. In 1715 Jacques François Léonor de Goyon de Matignon who lived in the old town here and whose house we have seen on the corner of the Place Cambernon on several occasions married Louise Hippolyte Grimaldi.

yellow autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Having seen all that there was to see out in the harbour I headed for home and my banana drink.

On the way back I was overflown yet again. This time it was the little yellow autogyro, complete with passenger, going by overhead on its way back to the airfield.

Back here I mixed myself a banana drink with plenty of ice and came in to drink it. Instead though, I crashed out for an hour. It looks as if I’m slowly going back to where I started off a few weeks ago.

When I awoke I had another session with the guitar. I’m trying to find some more stuff to play with the bass but I seem instead to be finding more acoustic tracks. In fact another 5 have been added to that playlist today and if I’m not careful I’ll end up with 200 songs in it.

What this might seem to indicate is that my acoustic guitar playing is improving. God help us!

Tea tonight was a burger on a bun and for a change I had a salad with my potato. Plenty of salad stuff around here seeing as I’m not eating lunch these days and I have to use it up somehow.

Later on I had a nice long chat with Liz. It seems to be my day for speaking to friends. Can’t have too many of those. We talked about all kinds of things, including my little voyages during the night. She hoped that I would find some nice and interesting companions to accompany me on my travels tonight.

another night with Zero would certainly be nice and interesting but that’s probably expecting too much. It’s pretty much like pot luck these days and I’m very lucky indeed if it works out as I would like.

Saturday 9th July 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

kids jumping into sea port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… a couple of photos of the local kids taking the Leap of Death off the harbour wall into the sea, I’ll tell you about my day today, such as it was.

It started off as I mean to go on, by ignoring the alarms when they went off at 07:30, 07:45 and 08:00. In fact it was at 09:30 or thereabouts when I finally crawled into the Land of the Living. That’s much more like it.

And so after the medication I sat down and began to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night. And if you are wondering why it took me all of the morning to deal with them, then read on. I haven’t crashed out yet today and that’s a surprise given the distance that I must have travelled during the night.

kids jumping into sea port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022I’d been with someone shopping and we’d picked some stuff out and we had a tub of ice cream. We couldn’t carry that so we put it on the floor by the freezer and took the stuff over. We came back and I put that tub back in the freezer and picked one from right down at the bottom that would be nice and cold and hard because it was a hot day. Then we bumped into this girl called Marie or Maria. In real life she was someone whom I knew from Woolworth’s in Crewe in the 70s. We were chatting and then I said I’d take this ice cream over to where there was a desk. She gave some kind of vague indication. When I arrived there I realised that I didn’t know her family name so I was looking for some French-sounding family names because I was sure that her husband was French. In the end I found 2 desks with 2 people the same family name, a foreign-sounding name. There was a girl working at a desk nearby so I asked her which was Marie’s desk. She said “if you had been here yesterday …” “which I wasn’t”. “No, but if you had been here yesterday …” and was on the point of giving me some really long lecture.

The guy in this dream lives with his mother, not in a flat, and is dating Marie. They don’t live together because she had something weird in her separation agreement with her husband about having guys staying over so they are a couple. We were out somewhere in Scotland in the Central Belt with baked beans and sausage on toast talking but I can’t remember what we were talking about now. It’s all gone out of my head.

belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while you admire a photo of Belle France doing a trip around the Bay, there was an unexploded mine that had drifted into a harbour where they were loading these ships with soldiers. I’d been detailed to take it to a disposal centre in my Cortina. A woman called Carol and I went to pick it up. We had to fight our way onto the quayside in this car. We eventually arrived at the end where we could hoist this mine up. In the meantime thousands of people were fighting to get into the Cortina to get away. We had to explain to them that if they got into the Cortina they would be travelling with an unexploded mine so they all left. We put this mine in the back of the car. A woman came over and asked if we’d seen a child’s coat. I said no, I hadn’t so she had a look in the back where we’d put this mine and there were two kids’ coats in there. She thought that one of them might have been the coat for which she was looking but could she order an extra coat from the stores just in case? I told Carol to make a note but she pulled a face. We had this mine safely aboard our car and had to turn round through these crowds of soldiers and leave for this mine disposal place

Somewhere in this I was at Marianne’s and she told me that I could make some tea. I switched on the oven and put a small mushroom pie in it. I had potatoes on the stove and some peas cooking in gravy. Later on she came to check and saw that I was doing OK so she went back to her book again and carried on working. She seemed to think that I was doing everything correctly and asked me if I wanted some Brussels sprouts. I replied “no” because she would overcook them terribly.

la granvillaise notre dame de cap lihou baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And while La Granvillaise and the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou do a lap around the Bay I was back with this little girl and her father … “which little girl and her father?” – ed … again. They’d been round an amusement park and looked at the gardens and now gone to look for their plants. He couldn’t find his radishes but his wife and daughter found their plants. In the end he found his radishes in the wrong place so he went to dig them up. Just then there was some kind of commotion and he and his daughter fled. They scrambled aboard a spaceship that was one of the exhibits at this park and set off down this waterway. After a few hours they stopped. The girl was really nervous. She didn’t want to stop as they could easily be caught if they stopped so when he lowered the machine down onto the water she pressed the lever and it took off again and they went somewhere else. Eventually they came to another place. When they landed there and went out for some fresh air there was another young girl watching them. They took this young girl and put her on the spaceship as well. There were now 3 of them fleeing from whatever authority it was that pursuing them over these radishes.

Then I was in my bedroom and there was another girl here (and I wish that I knew who she was). We were talking about going somewhere. She moved her suitcase over to the wardrobe ready to pack it and my suitcase still had those hot cross buns in it so I had to go and make some room in the freezer to store them in there. When I came back in here she had gone. That awoke me with a start and for the first minute or two I was looking around the bedroom trying to find her, it was somehow so realistic that I thought it was real.

That was absolutely weird

kayak buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on, while this kayak rows past this strange buoy that has appeared just here in the bay, there was some kind of geography field trip. Half a dozen or so of us had gone to the site of some shale deposits and were searching through for all kinds of stuff. I lost interest after a while. I had these things and I had 3 foam-rubber cushions on which I’d been kneeling. I knew later on that afternoon that we were going to go home so I was simply piling them up in a corner ready to post them off but putting them so they looked tidy and I was just stirring stuff around to pass the time more than anything else. There was only really one person working, running out into the shale to pick up fossils etc. There was someone there with 3 vehicles, a black saloon, a red double-decker bus and a green double decker Bristol Lodekka bus. While I was walking around I suddenly had the thought that I’d never driven a service-bus double-decker so I went over to him but he didn’t stop. He kept on driving. I had to run round after him. I thought that this was pretty pointless. I was determined to have a go at this bus for about 5 minutes. It was like a farm track or something so it wasn’t going to be dangerous but the guy wouldn’t stop to talk to me. I had to run after him. I thought that this is going to be a pretty futile exercise, I could see this, but it was going to be my only chance to have a go behind the wheel of a bus like this.

I had some endives and a pile of Brussels sprouts that needed preparing, blanching and freezing. I prepared the endives but I didn’t like the look of the sprouts because they were all old and brown. Trying to find something nice in those would take me an age. There won’t be very much left to freeze if I do it properly so I was really not looking forward at all to doing that.

All of that and not a single TOTGA, Castor or Zero. I hope that they put in an appearance while I was away otherwise it’s going to be a pretty poor do. It’s been an age since I remember them coming to see me.

Once more, I’ve had no lunch. I’m trying my best to keep on top of my weight. There’s still plenty that I could do with losing to bring me down to what I consider to be my optimum weight. While I was in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2019 I actually made it too and I kept it off for a while until I was obliged to stop running.

This afternoon I made a desultory start on the photos from June and my trip around Europe. There are plenty to go at and I didn’t feel like pushing myself too hard.

And in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been out to the shops today.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Instead I went out for my usual walk around the headland.

The first thing that I did was to go over to the wall at the end of the headland and look down on the crowds on the beach.

And crowds there were too. Plenty of people taking advantage of the nice warm weather and beautiful sunshine, even if there wasn’t all that much beach for them to be on this afternoon. The tide is well in right now.

Quite a few people actually brave enough to take to the water too. They were all having a whale of a time this afternoon, and who can blame them?

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of people wandering around on the path up here on top of the cliffs too.

And that’s not all because we had one of the sparrowhawks too this afternoon. There’s a colony of rabbits down there in the cliffs and I imagine that the bird is on the lookout for a juvenile to take home for tea.

From what I’ve seen, I think that there are at least two of them working the cliffs around here. Usually there’s just one of them but I have seen two on a couple of occasions flying around there.

While I haven’t actually seen one of these here manage to catch something, I’ve seen plenty of them in the Auvergne when I lived in Virlet that were clutching some kind of rodent in their claws.

yellow gyrocopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022That wasn’t all of the aerial activity that was happening either.

As I wandered along the path I was overflown by our old friend the yellow autogyro.

It was heading towards the airfield when it overflew me but immediately afterwards did a rather dramatic U-turn and headed back down the coast towards Mont St Michel.

Apart from that we had a few full-size jets flying by overhead at 35,000 feet but I haven’t seen a light aeroplane for a while. With it being summer, I would have expected to have seen them out and about more-or-less permanently.

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022However, there were plenty of fishermen out this afternoon.

Every rock seemed to have its own fisherman today. There were seven just in my field of view here at the end of the headland, although only three made it into this photo.

And with all of the activity going on out at sea today, because there was much, much more than that which you have seen in the earlier photos, there was no-one at all sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban enjoying the spectacle.

Having taken several photos here and there of the various water craft I wandered off along the path on the other side of the headland.

The kids were there on the sea wall leaping off into the sea so I watched them for a while and took a few photos. Apart from that, there was nothing else going on in the harbour that we didn’t see yesterday.

people on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022What we did see yesterday were a couple of marquees that hed been erected down at the far end of the harbour.

There was some music going on from down there this afternoon and quite a crowd of people around there watching whatever was going on. They all seemed to ba having a good time.

Back here I had a strawberry smoothie and then true to form, bang on cue, Rosemary rang me. I’m sure that she’s hidden a camera in here somewhere.

We had a good chat about all kinds of things including her adventures with her Ukrainian guests at the local Prefecture when they went to register.

And little Miss Ukrainian is ill, so I heard. That’s really sad because I quite like her. I hope that she gets better soon.

Tea was a baked potato with veg and one of these breaded quorn fillets that I like so much. I’m running quite low on those now and that’s a shame. I don’t think that Noz will have any more of those.

So I’m going to have a relax before I go to bed. Tomorrow is Sunday so I’m having a good lie-in. It’s been several weeks since I’ve had a really good interrupted sleep and I am quite looking forward to it.

Friday 10th June 2022 – YES, WELL … !

marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While you admire a few photos of Marité and La Granvillaise going out and about for a run around in the bay, let me tell you about yet another miserable day.

Most of the day has been spent asleep, something that comes as a great surprise to me because there was nothing at all on the dictaphone from last night and no-one was more surprised than me to be awoken by the alarm going on at 07:30.

By the looks of things I hadn’t stirred at all during the night so ordinarily you might expect me to be fighting fit today.

But “fighting for breath” and “fit to drop” was the best that I could manage.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Back here I set an alarm for 09:50.

The reason was that I knew that I was tired and that at some point this morning I was going to crash out. With this appointment at 10:00 my logic was that the sooner I went to sleep the sooner I’d awaken and there’s no point in fighting the inevitable.

When the alarm went off I staggered off for my meeting. Thierry hasn’t seen me for several months and he certainly noticed a deterioration in my condition.

We had a coffee and quite a lengthy chat about all kinds of things. The Council is moving out of the building here in the autumn and there is talk that it might be converted into apartments. I made sure that he knew that I might be interested.

la granvillaise marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Back here I had a fruit bun and then had a look at my Welsh revision.

This morning I wrote about “My Region” and “Television or Radio”. Seeing as I don’t have a television the second one was quite straightforward and I could churn out a pile of stuff about working at the radio.

After lunch I came back in here for a session on the acoustic guitar, but not for long because I crashed out again. And I was out for a considerable period of time too

When I awoke it was almost time for me to go for my afternoon walk. I can’t believe that I’d been out of it for so long.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And so as usual the first thing that I did was to go across to the car park to have a look at what was happening down on the beach today.

First of all though there wasn’t all that much beach to be on. The tide was well in this afternoon so there wasn’t really all that much room for people to be on.

And that probably explains why there wasn’t anyone down there at all this afternoon.

The weather didn’t help much either. It was cold and overcast and not the kind of weather to entice anyone out to go sunbathing down there. And certainly not in the water either.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On the other hand there was plenty of activity out at sea this afternoon.

While I was looking down onto the beach one of my eyes was roving around out at sea and it was spoilt for choice. There was quite a selection of yachts and cabin cruisers out there in the bay today.

Not so many people up here on the path though. probably no more than half a dozen so I could wander around wuite comfortably on my own.

There wasn’t anyone down on the bench by the cabanon vauban either. And that was surprising because they would have had a grandstand view of Marité and La Granvillaise sailing past.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was a much better view of everything from the air and we had one of our old friends up there enjoying it.

It’s the yello autogyrow on its way back to the airfield. It’s come from down the south of the bay so presumably the pilot has been taking his passenger for a run around the Mont St Michel.

They have arrived back here just in time to have a really good view of Marité and La Granvillaise sailing by underneath.

Right now though I’m off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what’s happening there.

pescadore wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And there has been quite a lot of activity in the chantier naval just recently.

There’s the cabin cruiser and the catamaran still there but we have two more boats in there. One of them is the trawler Pescadore who we have seen around and about on several occasions.

The other one is extremely interesting. She seems to be called Wavecat Express and judging by the signwriting that has been removed, she was owned until quite recently bu a Dutch company called “Vletterlieden”.

That’s a company that I actually know, and according to their website “Our core business is the mooring and unmooring of seagoing vessels and the supervision of all ships in and around the ports and locks of IJmuiden”

So I wonder what has brought her here. Are we going to be seeing some kind of new activity in the port in due course?

hauts de france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022She’s not the only new boat in port either today.

Over there is a boat called Hauts de France and according to her signage she’s owned by the Department of Lighthouses and Marker Buoys.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve been seeing a few new marker buoys appearing on the quayside so presumably Hauts de France has come into port to pick them up and drop them off in the sea to create some kind of sea lane.

It looks as if there’s a lot of excitement brewing around here right now, and I for one am all in favour of that.

Back here I had a coffee and then I crashed out yet again for quite some time. With all of the things that I planned to do and I’m getting nothing done at all.

But when I awoke I managed to write some notes on “My Home” and “My Last Holiday”.

Tea tonight was vegan sausage, beans and chips (I love my air fryer) and French supermarket beans are appalling. Not even pepper, cheese and chili power could make them taste any better.

But now even though it’s early I’m off to bed. I’m totally fed up and I’ve had enough for now. Shopping tomorrow so I’m hoping to have a much better day than this one. Things can’t get much worse, that’s for sure.

Wednesday 1st June 2022 – MY VISIT TO THE …

… sports doctor person was interesting today.

He had a look at my knee with his ultrasound scan thing and then put his thumb right on a certain spot that as soon as he touched it, it hurt like hell. Right on it with no messing around at all.

And then he gave me this injection right in the spot. And that hurt like hell too because the needle wasn’t long enough and he had to press really hard on my leg to make the needle go in deep enough.

He wants me to send him an e-mail to tell him whether there’s an improvement. And I do have to say that there does actually seem to be an improvement already, but how much of this is due to the placebo effect is anyone’s business.

He’ll write out a prescription for me to give to the physiotherapist to recommend some exercises that will build up my knee, and apparently I’m entitled to one session per week of sports training with him. Would I be interested?

He wants to see a resumé of my medical condition from the hospital at Leuven before he can work out a training programme for me. I’ll have to sort something out.

Anyway, once again I fell out of bed when the alarm went off at 07:30. I’m still not exactly bouncing with health these days and I wish that I could do better than this. But after how I was three or four weeks ago then anything is an improvement than that.

After the medication and doing some paperwork I went and had a shower, and I noticed that my weight is slowly – very slowly – going down. I seem to recall when I lost all that weight in 2019 was a combination of having food poisoning and being without my blood transfusion stuff for three months.

Due to problems on the road I was almost late for my appointment. Just as I was driving along the promenade a tractor pulled out of the port de plaisance towing a large boat on a trailer. And so we inched our way all down the coast at a maximum 25 kph until I could find a place to overtake.

After they threw me out at the clinic I drove back to LIDL to do some shopping. I needed some olive oil but I ended up buying everying except olive oil because they didn’t have any.

In fact I’m surprised that they had anything at all because the woman in front of me in the queue spent €256:00 on groceries. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anyone buy so much stuff in a supermarket.

It was late when I returned from the shops so it was something of a very late breakfast. And then I ended up having a session on the guitar to keep in shape.

Another thing was to have a look at a couple of songs in this playlist that I was sent but I’m not convinced by their accuracy, especially when I saw a mention of a chord of “H minor” in one of them. That’s enough to make anyone smell a rat.

After lunch, rather regrettably, I crashed out for a while. And as I said yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that as well, it’s getting on my nerves and I’m rather fed up of all of this.

hang gliding cemetery Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Later on, I just about managed to awaken myself in time to go for my afternoon walk around the headland.

Yesterday I mentioned the lack of Birdmen of Alcatraz and their Nazguls but I was going to have better luck today by the look of things.

As I watched, a Birdman rose up from the ground and began to hover over the cemetery ready to shoot off down the coast along the top of the cliffs.

And as he began to move away, another one began to unfurl his equipment ready to take to the air. It’s going to be busy out there today.

man on beach reading book rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022so having dealt with that I went over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach.

With it being half-day closing at school today and a nice day I was expecting to see quite a few people out there today enjoying themselves but to my surprise there was just one person down there on the beach by the Rue du Nord.

Interestingly, he was actually sitting there reading a book, very reminiscent of that girl who was sitting on the rocks at the end of the headland the other day.

It’s actually something of which I approve wholeheartedly. In fact it’s been a long time since I sat down with a really good book.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022for the last couple of days we’ve been admiring the views out to sea.

It’s yet another day where the views were excellent. That white building at St Helier was once again quite clearly visible with the naked eye. But I was more interested today with the little islets down at the end of the Ile de Chausey.

A couple of years ago when we were on the Spirit of Conrad we were out there walking on that beach that you can see and it really is beautiful. And much of its beauty is due to the fact that it’s quite inaccessible.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was walking along the path on top of the cliffs I was overflown.

It’s our old friend the yellow autogyro. It’s been down the coast with a passenger, presumably for a lap or two around Mont St Michel and is now on its way back to the airfield.

We’ve seen it a few times just recently which is something of a surprise because we went for a couple of months through the winter without seeing it at all. It made me wonder where it had been.

And no, I haven’t forgotten …

people in zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022there weren’t all that many people on the path again so I had it pretty much to myself today

At the end of the car park there was nothing happening so I went down to the end of the headland to see what was happening. No-one sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban but if there had been, they would have seen this zodiac in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And I’ve no idea what they were doing in their zodiac. They don’t seem to be fishing and I can’t see anything else to give me a clue. They might just have gone out for a roar around the bay with the afternoon tide.

cabin cruiser chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022From there I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the port.

And we can all see why work had ground to a halt on L’Ecume II yesterday after the speed at which they had been working. Here she is! Gone! And never called me “mother”!

She’s actually over in the inner harbour even as we speak, ready to go back to Jersey at some point in the proceedings .

All that we are left with at the moment is the impressive-looking and expensive cabin cruiser that we saw in there yesterday.

crane dismantling dredger chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Well, that isn’t exactly all.

On my way out to the sports therapist person this morning I noticed that there was a rather large mobile crane in the chantier naval. It looks as if they are now making a start on dismantling the dredger.

One of these days in the very near future a lorry will turn up and the crane will pick up the bits of dredger and drop them on the trailer.

In fact I’m surprised that she’s still there now. It’s been several weeks since she was lifted out of the water and she’s just been sitting there waiting for things to happen.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On my way back towards home, I was overflown yet again.

Actually, I had to wait for quite a while for it to arrive. I could hear its engine from a long way away and I was surprised that it took so long to reach here. It certainly made a racket when it did.

It’s another helicopter, a different one from the last one that we saw, but I do have the feeling that I’ve seen this one before at some point in the past.

And once it had gone by I could hear it rattling its way towards the airfield for quite some time as well. It was definitely one of the noisiest light aircraft that we have seen.

chausiaise scrap metal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022When I went out this morning I noticed that Thora was in port unloading.

She’s gone back out now but has left a pile of scrap metal on the quayside waiting for someone to come and collect it for taking away.

In her place is Chausiaise, the little freighter that goes out to the Ile de Chausey. I’m not sure why because there’s nothing on the quayside that needs to be loaded up onto her.

Back here I made a coffee and then came back in here to listen to the dictaphone. No nightmares involving Zero this time. Instead, I’d done something extremely silly like lending a scrapman some money and I was having a load of difficulty talking to him, never mind getting it back. We had to go back and I had to take someone with me and have one more go at speaking to him. We had to mountaineer up the side of this house to reach somewhere near where his office was. We couldn’t go in it. This was an awful climb up the bricks and the gutters etc. Finally we arrived within shouting distance of where his office was and we shouted without any hope at all. His wife heard us and said “he’ll be here in a minute” which I didn’t expect but it turned out that he was. We had a chat about the money that he owed me and I had a date by which he would pay me back etc. Of course I didn’t expect him to keep to any of this for a minute but it was even something that he had agreed to see me and talk to me about it. I didn’t think that there was any chance whatever that I’d be getting back this money at all.

Tea tonight was a curry made up out of leftover bits and pieces, and it was just as delicious as normal. And having written up my notes I’m off to bed ready for tomorrow.

But would I be interested in a once-weekly sports training session with a sports therapist? Do bears go to the toilets in the woods?

Tuesday 24th May 2022 – WELL, JUST LOOK AT …

fisherman with catch pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… this! We were only talking about this a couple of days ago.

If you look very closely at this photo you’ll see, dangling on the end of the line just above the water, is what looks suspiciously like a small fish on his hook.

Of course, it could well be something that our fisherman might be using as bait to catch something larger, but on the other hand it could be the encouraging sign that one of our fishermen has at long last managed to pull something out of the water while we were watching.

Wonders will never cease. At least I won’t be quite so quick to pour scorn on the activities of the fishermen in the future. As is said in Proverbs Chapter 16 Verse 18, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”

normandy warrior baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But here’s something else that I was much more pleased to see this afternoon.

As I walked around the headland, just pulling out of the harbour was Normandy Warrior on her way back to Jersey, having presumably picked up the swimming pool and the speedboat that have been on the quayside for the last couple of days.

Apart from the fact that we know that her sister, Normandy Trader, is currently in dock being overhauled, we can tell that this is Normandy Warrior because she doesn’t have the raised deck at the back of the wheelhouse.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that caught my eye, miles out in the English Channel beyond the Ile de Chausey was this sailing ship.

As to who she is, I wouldn’t really like to say. It’s true that Marité wasn’t in the harbour this afternoon but that array of masts and rigging on that ship in the distance doesn’t look as if if belongs to her.

and unfortunately, I have too admit that when I returned to my apartment after my walk, I forgot to look at the radar to see if I could identify her from there.

Do you ever have that feeling that it’s really not your day today?

normandy warrior baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while you admire a few more photos of Normandy Warrior loaded up to the gunwhales with freight and on her way back to the island, let me tell you something about my day today.

Just by way of a change, I was in bed at something like a respectable time – 23:30 if I remember correctly – but in the absence of this night-time medication it takes me an age to drop off to sleep.

But sleep I did, eventually, and I was once more wide awake a good few minutes before the alarm went off at 07:30. Mind you, it was more of a struggle to leave the bed this morning than it has been of late.

As I said the other day, I’m not out of the woods quite yet. I’ve just moved into different woods.

normandy warrior baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It took me a while to make a start on work today as well, and that’s something of a change from the last couple of days too.

There was a Welsh lesson this morning so I had to prepare. It’s about this fifth time that I’ve prepared this particular lesson, what with one thing and another.

And it didn’t go as well as I would have liked it to either. I just couldn’t get going this morning.

And it’s half-term next week as well so there are no lessons either. As far as I’m concerned, this is the wrong time to be having a pause, what with my exam coming up in less than 4 weeks’ time. I’m going to have to do better than this if I want a decent result.

After lunch, I had an urgent task to perform.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On Sunday I forgot to make some fruit bread and then I promptly forgot on Monday too. And so this afternoon, having been living on toast for the last few days I made myself a big batch of fruit buns.

For some reason I ended up with a dollop of dough that was much bigger than usual and instead of making a batch of 8, it made a batch of 12. And it mixed together quite nicely too. In fact, one of the best that I have made.

And so I left it to proof for a while and after I came back from my afternoon walk I baked them in the oven. And they look, and smell delicious too. I can’t wait to sample one for my breakfast tomorrow.

In the cake tin now are enough to last me up to the weekend and the rest are in the freezer.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Anyway, with the dough busily proofing, I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And as usual, I went across the car park to look over the wall down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t actually see anyone down there this afternoon. It was actually quite a nice, warm day without very much wind. Just the kind of weather to bring out the crowds, but in fact I couldn’t see a soul.

So I’ve no idea at all where everyone had gone to this afternoon. Presumably they were all watching the fisherman pulling that tiddler out of the water.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And while I was there leaning on the wall I had a look around out to sea to see what was happening there.

Way out in the bay was a trawler – well, at least, I think that it’s a trawler but it has a superstructure like no other trawler that I have ever seen here in Granville. Mind you, it was wandering slowly up and down out there as a trawler might do if it were to have its nets out.

It’s a convention of the sea that a trawler with its nets out has to show a white light as a warning to other maritime traffic but at this kind of distance in daylight I wouldn’t be able to see it.

And as you have probably noticed, it’s another day with really good visibility. You can see the island of Jersey quite clearly in the background.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yes, I mentioned that the view this afternoon was really quite impressive.

Once more, we can see the Ile de Chausey in all of its glory, with the colours being quite clear without all that much enhancing.

But surprisingly, even though we can see for miles, we can’t see any maritime traffic at all out there in the vicinity of the island. Not a yacht, not a cabin cruiser, not a speedboat.

And certainly not one of the ferries. This would have been a really nice day to have gone out there for a walk around the island. But just like the ferries to the Channel Islands – they don’t seem to be doing very much in the way of marketing here. It’s all very well running ferries and the like, but you need to let people know all about them.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It wasn’t just out at sea or on the rocks that we had the fishermen this afternoon.

As I walked off along the path towards the end of the headland, a couple of cabin cruisers came around the headland in the other direction. The only thing that sprung to my mind was that they were fishermen looking for a cosy spec for a couple of hours before the tide goes back out.

There were quite a few people on the path this afternoon as well so I had to fight my way around, yet for once there was no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban. First thime that we’ve ever seen a fisherman pull something out of the water and there wasn’t anyone there to watch it.

yellow autogyro baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Here’s someone who we haven’t seen for quite a while.

We’ve seen the red and the yellow powered hang gliders quite often just recentlly but the yellow autogyro has been conspicuous by its absence. But today while I was walking across the car park at the end of the headland it flew past overhead.

Incidentally, there was something in the newspaper about someone who was 98 going for a flight in one of the light aircraft that operate from the airfield. That had me thinking that if I don’t get a move on and do something, I’ll probably be older than that by the time that I actually take to the air.

gerlean ch640361 nais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Down at the port by the fish processing plant, it looks like we’re having another game of musical ships.

The other day we had L’Omerta and Petite Laura. And then yesterday we had L’Omerta and Gerlean. Today it’s the turn of Gerlean and Nais to hold the fort.

Back here I brushed the bread rolls with milk and brown sugar and then put them in the oven to bake while I came in here with my mug of coffee where I … errr … fell asleep for a few minutes.

And to my surprise, there was nothing on the dictaphone through the night. It looks as if I had a really good sleep for a change, even though it didn’t feel much like it when I awoke.

Tea was a taco roll with the left-over stuffing from yesterday, and it was even more delicious than yesterday.

But now it’s bedtime. Another long, interrupted sleep like last night and I’ll probably feel even worse.

It reminds me of Pyrrus of Epirus, who said after his victory against the Romans at the Battle of Asculum, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined”

Sunday 26th December 2021 – IT REALLY IS …

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021 … unbelievable, isn’t it?

Look at all of the crowds here walking along the path between the College Malraux and the Pointe du Roc. Hordes of them, and not even one single face mask to be seen.

Yesterday we had almost 105,000 cases of infection here in France and much of it is heading our way on the holiday trains that I saw at Gare Montparnasse at the weekend.

As well as that, there’s a Prefectorial Arrêt ordering the wearing of facemasks in public in the Manche, and no-one (except me) taking any notice whatsoever of it all.

If they all catch Covid, it will be no surprise, and won’t the World be a much better place when these people are no longer on it? Serve them all right, the lot of them.

But in much more interesting news, while I’m typing out these notes, I’m letting my evening meal cook itself. And in news that will come as a complete surprise to regular readers of this rubbish who will recall that Sunday night is pizza night, I’m not having a pizza.

Yes, as it’s Boxing Day, I’m cooking another Christmas meal.

With it also being Boxing Day, I had a nice lie-in this morning. All the way up to 10:30 which was really pleasant. I could do with a few more of these although I doubt that I will have any more for a while.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and sent out a few replies to messages that I had received over the last day or so. And then, I had a relaxing morning doing next-to-nothing except sorting out this old hard drive. Another 2.3GB of duplicate data has bitten the dust and there’s still more to go. It’s hard to think that my first home computer back in the 1980s worked on 2x 5.25″ floppy drives of 256kb each and at a push I could make it work on just one.

There was a ‘phone call immediately after 12:00 – someone is well-aware of my habits. A friend of mine is writing a book and needs a letter writing in English to a “witness”. It’s an extremely complicated and crucial letter so he’s asked me if I could write it for him.

Not a problem – after all, he’s helped me out on numerous occasions, so he’s going to come round tomorrow at 17:00 for me to do it.

The work is piling up, isn’t it?

After my Christmas brunch of beans, sausage, potato fritters, toast with mushroom pâté, I sat down to pair off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow (yes, I’m still working). And to my surprise, the joints went together perfectly – they couldn’t have been better.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, especially after yesterday when I didn’t go out at all.

What was disappointing was that there wasn’t anyone down there on the beach at all. I must have missed the mad stampede into the sea down at Donville-les-Bains this afternoon.

No-one down on the beach here either, although over there we can see plenty of people walking around on the path underneath the city wall and over on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021So with absolutely nothing whatever going on out at sea, I turned my attention to the Ile de Chausey.

There was something of a sea mist over there in the direction of the Ile de Chausey so we couldn’t see it as clearly as we have done just recently. It was all hidden in some kind of light blue haze.

But even more interestingly, there weren’t any boats at all out there at sea this afternoon. I would have expected there to have been quite a few out there right now as people sail off their Christmas pudding. I’ve no idea where they all are.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021A little earlier I showed you the photo of the crowds of people milling round on the path.

While I was up there on top of the bunker I had a good look around in the other direction down the coast.

The view was much clearer in that direction and even with the naked eye I could just about make out the lighthouse at the Cap Fréhel 70 kilometres away. The camera lens didn’t bring it out very much better than I could see with the naked eye, unfortunately.

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Another thing that I noticed while I was up there on top of the bunker was the sunset over the Brittany coast.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … one of the things that I like about going out for my walk at this time of afternoon at this time of year is the magnificent sunsets that we can sometimes have.

This afternoon there was another TORA TORA TORA effect with the rays of the sun streaming down through the small gaps in the clouds over there.

The nice round circle in the centre of the bay was most impressive.

cabanon vauban people at bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And as it happens, I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the sunset.

It’s been a few days since we’ve seen people down by the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland but today with all of the crowds milling around on the paths I was expecting to see some people down there this afternoon.

Sure enough, we have four people down there right now. Not actually admiring the sunset but talking to each other with their backs to the view. But I imagine that they will be turning round in a moment or two to see the beautiful sight behind them.

light aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And while there was nothing whatever going on out at sea, we had a few things going on up above in the sky.

The usual sounds of machines in the air told me that there was something heading my way.

Unfortunately it was too far out for me to see its registration number but it doesn’t resemble any of the larger aeroplanes that loiter around at the airfield.

It’s probably one of the light aircraft there that isn’t registered on the main database and doesn’t file a flight plan.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021The light aeroplane wasn’t alone either.

Following it very closely was one of our regular visitors – the red autogyro. It was following the aeroplane so closely that I imagined that they had been out together for a lap around the bay.

My lap around the headland was coming to a close as well so I set off down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was happening down there.

l'omerta port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021L’Ormerta was back in town today.

She was moored over by the fish processing plant, settling down in the silt seeing as the tide has gone out. There is a whole pile of fish baskets just above it on the quayside so it looks as if she is in the course of being made ready to go to sea.

At the chantier naval the portable boat lift was back in its position over the dock. The yard was still fenced off, however and there was no boat in there awaiting repair. I imagine that it will be getting back under way after the New Year.

articulated lorry fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And talking about the fishing boats being made ready to go out to sea, there was an articulated refrigeration lorry pulling up at the fish processing plant.

It looks as if they will be expecting a decent crop of seafood when the boats come back from their next trip out.

My trip out was drawing to a close so I headed back home. I’d put the coffee machine on the go before I went out and the coffee should now be nice and hot.

Back here I made a couple of ‘phone calls to wish a friend the season’s greetings but she was out which was a shame. I’m not having a great deal of luck just recently.

Tea was delicious as usual. But I have so many vegetables left over – leeks and sprouts – that tomorrow I’m going to have a blanching session followed by a freezing session.

And whatever else happens, I mustn’t forget last night’s voyages. They are really quite important. And there were plenty of them too. It must have been a restless night.

I started off in hospital. It was actually my old Grammar School building but it was a hospital. I was walking there. As I was walking through a ward of a corridor there was someone there who was not a medical staff but opened a door and pushed a rat into the room. Someone inside said “you’re cheating! This isn’t a minute!”. I chased him off and asked matron what was happening. She replied “he’s not a medical staff. He’s a friend of mine. I have a personal pet project that I’m following up”. I said “it doesn’t look very good to me”. There were some other kinds of slithering animals etc that were being introduced into this hospital for one reason or another that made me most uneasy. Outside there were a few kids messing around. Girls probably mid-teens. One of them started to talk about a Beatles song, Savoy Truffle. She asked whether something was in the song and I said that it was. She threw me something like a very small but heavy frisbee. I caught it and threw it back to her. She asked me about something else. I said “yes” so she threw it again. This went on for a couple of minutes. Then a couple of other girls who had been watching came down and it was as if they had put me in the middle, like a kid’s game to catch this thing as they were throwing it between themselves. Of course I caught it. One of the girls had a kind of wrestling match with me to to try to wrestle it from me.

Later on I was driving a lorry up to Scotland last night. I had a box with me that I had to bury, the ashes of one of my cats. I dropped off the cars that were on the back of this lorry, drove out of the yard and stopped at the side of the road to make sure that all of the straps were secure and weren’t going to fall off as I drove home. There, it was a lot of wasteland so I started to look around to find a place to bury this box with this cat’s ashes. A couple of little kids came round to see what I was doing. I explained it to them. In the end we found a few cemeteries where you could bury ashes but there were lots of people round there. I didn’t have a spade. In the end I thought that I would just throw it in a ditch on this wasteland. I thought that I could drop it in my old rucksack and leave that there. I wasn’t very happy but that was the only solution. I Went to the bottom of the rucksack and pulled out a few things that I’d overlooked and put the box in there ready to discard. Then I had another thought. I kept on having all these different thoughts of course but every time I tried something I ended up with some kind of problem so I would think of something else. That would create a problem as well

And then I was back on the taxis last night. After I’d sold it we were going through the paperwork. The boy who lived down Coleridge Way, we found some papers of his. I was back out again driving, sometimes in France, sometimes in the UK, enjoying things much better in France than the UK. Then I had to go to the station in Sandbach so I was driving down the A530 and came to the roundabout at the end of Bradwell Road. The car skidded at the roundabout, mounted the pavement, went through a pile of snow, missed a lorry and ended up facing the correct way down the correct street. Everyone gave a round of applause for that so I got out and bowed to everyone. I got into a different vehicle and started to drive back up there. I can’t remember now what happened after that.

While I was asleep in the middle of one of my voyages someone came past, banged on the door and shouted “alarm call for Madame -” (and said a Russian girl’s name). I wondered what she was doing sleeping in my room

Later on there was some kind of workmen’s or youth hostel where I was staying. There were dozens of people staying there but I always seemed to be pushed out on the margins for everything. I remember we would have our meal and then be in this series of common rooms and I would always end up being on my own. When the meal was finished there was this huge bowl of water that needed to be taken out and emptied and for some reason or other I would always do it. They would probably have to open the door for me while I took it out. There would be people hanging around the sink etc. I’d tip the water in down the sink. Gradually after I’d been there a few days I discovered the snacks, where they kept the fruit salad, where they kept the soya dessert. Gradually, wandering around I came to where they kept the fruit so things weren’t going to be too bad. The people there from all places and all nationalities but it seemed that everyone was speaking English which I thought was a shame. Then I thought that I would have to look for a couple of books, something like “500 Words You Never Knew In France”, that kind of thing and make more of an effort to improve my foreign languages.

There was more than that too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

Having done all of that, which totally exhausted me, now I’m off to bed. I have an early start tomorrow as I’m preparing a radio programme. It’s later than I would like right now so it’ll be a struggle to leave my bed. But we’ll manage somehow, won’t we?.

Saturday 25th September 2021 – THIS SHELLFISH FESTIVAL …

marquees fete des coquilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021 … isn’t half bringing in the crowds. And it’s absolute chaosas well by the looks of things.

Several more marquees and stalls have been set up since we last looked and they are packed to the gunwhales with people who have apparently come from all parts of France in order to indulge in an orgy of shellfish.

Including the boat Anakena, the one that was stranded in port at the height of the pandemic. You can see her, the dark blue one moored in the background. She’s been working her way around the Brittany coast, having set sail from Lorient at the end of August.

marquee marité rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And the chicane in the Rue du Port was total chaos this morning as well.

Motorists not knowing where to go and what to do, stopping, and even parking, in the most inconvenient places, and then there were the hordes of pedestrians milling about in the way of all of the traffic.

The way out to the hypermarket was chaos enough at 09:15. I shuddered to think of what it would be like by the time that I come back, so I went the long way round to reach home. And I bet that despite being the long way round, it took me much less time.

bad parking leclerc hypermarket Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While we’re on the subject of bad parking … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was enough bad parking today to fill a photo album, so I’ve selected this example for you.

It’s a delivery van delivering products to one of the boutiques in the Hypermarket. Dozens of empty spaces at this time of morning, including this disabled space right by the front door, but reversing in there is far too complicated for this guy.

What he’s chosen to do is to abandon his van in one of the car park paths, blocking in several cars while he was at it, including one with a driver who was trying to leave. But as long as he’s okay, what does he care about anyone else?

Anyway, let’s return to our moutons as they say around here.

Once more, the blasted phone people sent me a text message that awoke me during the night and I had trouble going back to sleep again. Nevertheless I must have done because the alarm awoke me at 07:30

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too so I copied the audio files onto the computer, and as I type out these notes, I realise that Bane of Britain has forgotten to transcribe them.

Off I went to the shops once I’d awoken. at Noz I didn’t spent much but at LeClerc it was another large bill, due to my buying more coffee and a pile of syrups seeing as I’m running out. I’ve given up making my own drinks for now. I’m not feeling up to tasks like that at the moment.

Another thing that I bought was some of those soya desserts in small pots. I need to vary my diet rather more than I’m doing at the moment.

Back here, having taken the long way round, it was astruggle up the stairs with my heavy shopping. But the fact that I managed it, albeit rather precariously, tells me that the physiotherapy is working somewhat.

Having put down the shopping I made myself a coffee and cut a slice of my fruit bread, and then came in here to relax for a while. I was exhausted after my efforts at the shops.

After lunch, there was football. Trefelin against Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Welsh Cup.

The gul in class was pretty evident right from the kick-off and at one point well into the second hald, the stats showed 28% Trefelin possession and 72% Connah’s Quay possession.

Nevertheless, the score at half-time was just 1-0 to the Nomads thanks to a brilliand Jamie Insall goal. The Trefelin goal was having a charmed life with shots whistling narrowly over the bar or around the post, and when they were on target, they found the Trefelin keeper in exceptional form.

Nomads scored a second goal shortly after the interval as a result of a goalmouth scramble, a goal that should quite properly have been disallowed due to a foul on the keeper, but with the Nomads having been denied a stonewall penalty in the 1st half that everyone except the referee thought should have been given, I suppose it evened things up.

The introduction of Jamie Mullan injected some more spark into the Nomads. He had a point to prove, and set about proving it.

2 late goals for the Nomads sealed what was in the end a comfortable victory, but in all honesty they should have been down the road and out of sight a long time before the interval.

old car peugeot 203 wedding civic offices Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was getting ready to go out for my afternoon walk there was quite a racket going on outside.

My apartment looks out onto the Civic Offices where the marriages take place, and it looks as if this afternoon, judging by all of the people around there, this today must have been the marriage of the Century.

But my attention was drawn to the car down there. It’s been a long time since we’ve featured an old car on these pages, and today there’s a Peugeot 203 down there – the white and red car.

These are gorgeous machines and I would have one in a heartbeat, especially a plateau, or pickup. I found one once ON THE ILE D’YEU when Cecile and I went to visit her mother, but I had to decline.

ship relaying bouchot stakes donville les bains baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual I went across the car park to have a look down onto the beach, but my attention was immediately drawn to this.

Whatever is going on down there, I have no idea but there’s a small ship fitted with a crane of some description, and I’m sure that that row of bouchot stakes wasn’t there yesterday.

It looks as if the bouchot farmers are having an extension, and there are quite a few people on the beach down by the campsite having a good look

And had I been feeling much better, I would have been down there having a good look with them.

people on beach rue du nord plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But enough of that. Let’s go back to the beach.

Today was cloudy and overcast so I didn’t expect to see too many people down there, especially with all of the other attractions going on elsewhere.

And I was right in that respect, at least by the steps that lead up to the Rue du Nord, because there was only a handful of people there.

Farther along by the Plat Gousset there were a few more people, but that’s always the case. Access to the beach is much easier along there

f-gorn Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there at the end of the car park, I noticed a light aeroplane taking off from the airfield.

She’s F-GORN, the Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 that belongs to the Aero Club de Granville, on her way out to sea

However I can’t tell you any more than that because she didn’t seem to file a flight plan, and she wasn’t picked up on radar. She’d been out for a couple of flights earlier in the day, flights that had been either recorded or picked up on radar, but for some reason or other, this one hasn’t.

trailer load of everything place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From the wall at the end of the car park I set off for my walk, but as I crossed back across the car park I encountered this.

Everyone will know what some of these items are, and I’m surprised to see them on open display like this. But different countries have different attitudes of course.

But whatever the significance of it all is, it beats me. I was thinking that maybe it’s something to do with the wedding that’s going on at the Civic Offices. But it’s certainly strange behaviour and I’ll simply leave it at that.

zodiac men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From my usual vantage point at the highest point of the walk, I had another look out to sea.

There was a zodiac out there, stationary, with a couple of guys in there. “Fishermen” I mused to myself.

But as I watched and prepared to take a photo, another zodiac came around the headland into the bay travelling at some speed so I waited until they were both in the viewfinder before I pressed the shutter.

At least the moving zodiac gave the stationary one a wide berth. Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen many photos that showed speeding boats passing fishermen far too close for comfort

cabanon vauban person sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Across the car park I went, down to the end of the headland.

There was someone this afternoon sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban having a good look out to sea. And I’m not sure why because with the mist and haze that was about this afternoon, you couldn’t see very far out across the bay this afternoon.

There weren’t any fishermen down on the rocks this afternoon, nor anyone at the peche à pied. They are all probaby at the shellfish festival having a whale of a time.

So leaving our visitor to it, I set off on the path down the far side of the headland.

cherie d'amour port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I could see that there was no change in the chantier naval this afternoon. L’Omerta was still in there all on her own.

As for the boats that have been in there just recently, sitting in the silt in the tidal harbour is the yellow Cherie d’Amour. She was in the chantier naval for a short period of time a couple of days ago.

Over at the ferry terminal, Belle France was tied up, but you’ve seen plenty of photos of her just recently. The other two Joly France boats are very probably out at sea somewhere around the Ile de Chausey waiting for the tide to come back in.

marquee chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As for where Chausiaise might be, she’s over there underneath the crane in the loading bay, preulably waiting to load up for her next trip out to the island.

While I was busy looking at the mayhem down at the fish processing plant as everyone swarms around the stalls and marquees, I noticed her over there so I fitted her into this photo of the rest of the activity.

The pile of freight to the right of the crane seems to have increased since we saw it yesterday, and it’s a good job that neither of the two Jersey freighters are coming into port today. It would otherwise have been extremely exciting to watch them try to unload with all of those cars blocking the loading bay.

buffet fete des coquilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I mentioned yesterday, no fête anywhere in France is complete unless there’s a buvette.

THis one of course is no different than anywhere else in that respect. You can see what looks like a bar and row upon row of tables and benches where everyone can sit down and enjoy a quiet drink.

The doors into the Fish Processing Plant are open, and I understand that that is where the dressing of the shellfish is taking place.

There was apparently even a space for small children to try to dress a shellfish, although what you would do with the sleeves of your garment is something that would confuse me.

la granvillaise coelacanthe suzanga port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021No prozes for guessing who this is.

The angle of the sails and the number “G90” painted thereupon will tell you that this is of course La Granvillaise. Never one to miss out on a commercial opportunity, she’s giving tourists a lap around the harbour, presumably for a couple of bob a head.

You might have noticed Marité in an earlier photo. She’s down there too, although not sailing around right now. Also down there at the back on the left is the trawler Coelacanthe and in the foreground is the new pink Suzanga.

yellow autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, and last but not least, on my way back to my apartment I was overflown by the yellow autogyro.

She came around the corner from behind my building at an altitude of several hundred feet just as I was crossing the road.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and then watched a couple of videos with highlights of a couple of other games from the Welsh Cup. I suppose that I should have been transcribing my dictaphone notes but I rather unfortunately forgot.

Tea tonight was the remainder of the curry from yesterday, lengthened with a small tin of lentils, and it was just as delicious. I had one of those soya dessert pots for afterwards to sweeten my palette.

Eventually, I did manage to deal with the dictaphone notes from today. I’d bumped into the captain of one of the little Jersey freighter in Granville and tried to interest him in taking part in our radio programme. But he didn’t have very much for himself to say and he asked about payment. I explained that there was no budget, that we were volunteers. He insisted that there must be some money somewhere. We went round in circles and in the end I thought that I had managed to persuade him that there was nothing. he didn’t speak French but one of his crew did so we arranged that next Sunday we would all meet in one of the bars here and he could let me know exactly what he thought and what he was able to tell me with the aid of his colleague

later, we were at a vehicle exhibition, wandering around looking at all the old lorries that were there, in the USA judging by the plates. A former friend of mine had one, an old Ford-type of lorry but there was no engine in it. We were wandering around and they lifted a flatbed back off a lorry and found that there was another flatbed underneath it, a FEMSA dated 1972. They wondered what this was doing because this was quite rare. They made a few enquiries but the owners knew nothing about it. They rang up FEMSA and quoted the body number. They replied that they sold it to that company in 1972 so this was a big mystery as what they’d bought it for and on what hat they were going to use it. There was an autojumble there as well. I was with some woman looking at all the bits and pieces. She was asking one particular guy loads of questions about stuff. All his stuff was American electrical stuff that was no good for the UK. Eventually we came back and there was a guy actually dismantling a lorry and rebuilding it while the show was going on. He was waiting for some bits but he was quite confident that he would rebuild it and have it on the road. He was planning on a drive from Northern France to South Africa in his lorry so I was interested in going along as a co-driver but he had a team. I still tried to see and ask my way around to see whether or not there might have been a place for me because it was something extremely interesting. But there were all kinds of strange people there, 3 babies, 2 of them very badly sunburnt. There was a woman dressed as a bride who was carrying a baby on her back. I thought “she’s left it rather late to be married, hasn’t she?”

So rather later than I was hoping, I’m off to bed. I’ll leave the phone in the living room where if someone messages me tonight, I wont hear it. It’s Sunday, and a lie-in tomorrow and I’m hoping to make the most of it.

But something will go wrong of course – it usually does.

Monday 20th September 2021 – SOME GOOD NEWS TODAY!

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

I went to pay the laboratory for my blood test this morning and after they registered my Carte Vitale – the entitlement card for the French Social Services, they told me that I’m registered as a Maladie Grave – a “Serious Illness” case, I don’t have to pay a thing.

So as well as the nice nurses at Castle Anthrax, we now have free blood tests. This illness does have some compensations, but I’ve had to look hard in order to find them.

This morning I was up quite quickly as the alarm went off, thanks to the early night that I had, and with nothing on the dictaphone I must have had a very peaceful, restful night for a change.

After my medication I came back here to check my mails and messages.

Do any of the regular readers of this rubbish recall A PHOTO THAT I POSTED a few weeks ago?

photo from advertisement Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When I posted it I mentioned that the photo was being used on the internet as an advert for a piece of photo-editing software and that when the photo came round again I would post it for you to compare.

It’s definitely the same photo as you can see, so there is something weird going on here with this. I smell something fishy, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

Having checked my mails and messages I then attacked the next radio programme. And despite a couple of stops for coffee and for breakfast, it was all done and dusted and ready to go by 11:05 and I don’t recall having prepared a programme as quickly as this one.

11:05 I’d finished my radio programme, and 11:06 I was on my way out to the shops to buy salad and fruit.

chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There were roadworks in the Rue du Port and so we had to go through a sort-of chicane to head into town.

What complicated the issue was that firstly I was stuck behind a grockle in a mobile home crawling along at 10mph admiring the seagulls and secondly, a coach had decided to stop there despite the narrow road and the “no waiting” signs in order to discharge his passengers.

After a couple of foul oaths and curses I eventually made it to LIDL and did a lap around the shop for a pile of stuff. And forgot to buy the syrup for the soft drinks too

The laboratory closes at 12:00 for lunch and it was 12:01 when I pulled up on the car park. I just about beat the staff to the door and I was lucky in that they agreed to see me. So with the good news about my account, I headed for home and a coffee.

cherie d'amour chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way out to the shops I went past the chantier naval where I noticed that there was a new occupant this morning.

On the way back I nipped into there to see if I could find her name. Actually, she’s not a new boat because we have seen her before when she was in the chantier naval a while back.

She’s one of the smaller inshore shellfish boats called Cherie d’Amour. She’s usually been seen – for the last few weeks at least – sitting on the silt in the outer tidal harbour and not travelling very far, if at all.

Ordinarily I would have made further enquiries about her but there was no-one around her to ask.

le pescadore chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was there, there was another task that I had to do, one about which I’ve been talking for a while.

There’s been a trawler in the chantier naval for the last several weeks and i’ve never been able to find out her name. But seeing as the paintwork was almost finished I imagined that her name would have been painted on the wind deflector above the cabin windscreen.

Sure enough, they’ve repainted her name and I can now tell you that she’s called Le Pescadore. She’s one whom we’ve seen before although I’m not surprised that I didn’t recognise her because back then, she was painted light blue and yellow. But she’s certainly carrying the same registration number

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On my way back to Caliburn I went to have a good look at L’Omerta.

She’s a catamaran-type, which explains why they are happy for her to sit in the silt when the tide goes out, and I bet that there’s a really good view from that lower window when she’s out at sea.

One thing that I noticed is that she has two screws or propellors, one on each pontoon. I don’t recall having seen that on a small catamaran before.

So back at the apartment I made myself a coffee. That was a good morning’s work and it’s one less thing to worry about.

There was a huge pile of washing-up to do because I’d forgotten to switch the water back on after my return from Leuven. It wasn’t until late last night that I realised and switched it back on. And now having clean crockery and cutlery I could make lunch.

That’s the last of the bread so tomorrow morning first thing I shall have to make some more.

After lunch I listened to the radio programme that will be broadcast on Friday night and the one that I’d prepared this morning. Friday night’s is going to be a belter – a live concert from the Crystal Palace Bowl and it’s one of the best that I have ever done

whitecap waves people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, so with no Nazguls about this afternoon to threaten me I could make my way safely to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

Down on the beach there were very few people, and that’s no surprise because despite the sunshine and the bright sky; it was howling a gale out there.

You can tell that by looking at the whitecaps on the waves as they crash down onto the beach. I know that we have plenty of wind around here, but this was one of the strongest winds that we have had for a little while.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So much so that when I wwent to look out at the sea, I had to take off my cap in case it blew away.

But right out there in the Baie de Granville there was one of the smaller shellfishing boats battling away among the waves. It was having quite a battle too, trying to make progress against the weather.

There weren’t too many people around on the footpath this afternoon and none of the aeroplanes from the airfield taking to the air so I pretty much had the path to myself as I set off towards the lighthouse.

sparrowhawk fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I reached the end, I discovered that I wasn’t alone.

There were one or two people here but there was also one of our sparowhawks hovering around keeping an eye open for anything edible moving around at the foot of the cliffs. And while I was looking, he didn’t seem to be having much success.

And while we are on the subject of people not having very much success, there was a fishing boat down there just offshore. He was too far out for me to see what he was doing or if he was catching anything, but we have yet to see anyone pull anything out of the water.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The tide was too far out for me to expect to see anyone fishing from the rocks at the end of the headland at the Pointe du Rock.

There were however two people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban braving the gale-force wind although I’m not sure why because there wasn’t anything at all going on out there this afternoon.

By the looks of things they were picking up messages on their mobile phones, but I’m sure that there must be plenty of other places nearby that are much more comfortable than down there to do it.

baie de mont st michel le loup kairon plage Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further on around the headland I could have a really good view of Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

The tide is out so we can see the rocks upon which the light sits, but we have also seen it when the tide has been right in up to the upper of the two red rings, and we can see the tide mark that is the more usual level of high tide.

In the background we can see the beach at Kairon Plage. It looks like quite a nice beach, which it is, and there are quite a few people on it too. The headland here at the Pointe du Roc acts as a windbreak so that it’s not as cold over there as it is here.

le pescadore, catherine philippe cherie d'amour l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on along the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval.

We can see all of the four boats that we noticed this morning. From left to right we have Le Pescadore, Catherine Philippe, Cherie d’Amour and L’Omerta. Only four boats down there, which is a far cry from the heady days of a couple of weeks ago when we had no fewer than seven.

There are plenty of vehicles down there so it seems that there is plenty of work going on with the boats. I’m half-expecting to come down here one of these days soon to find that another one or two boats have gone back into the water.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was looking down at the chantier naval, I was overflown.

In fact, I was wondering if I was going to see some aerial activity (apart from the sparrowhawk of course) with there being no Nazguls, no aeroplanes from the airfield, and too much cloud to see if there were any full-size aeroplanes going past at 35,000 feet.

However I was not going to be disappointed because rattling past overhead on its way back to the airfield came the yellow autogyro that we see quite often. And he was making heavy weather of the trip back, fighting his was through the headwinds. His rotor was going round at 13 to the dozen but he was barely inching along.

trawler buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way home to the apartment I noticed this strange trawler moored in the inner harbour.

She’s one whom I haven’t seen before so I had to make a few enquiries. She’s called Buddy M and she’s arrived here earlier this afternoon from her home port of Cork in Ireland.

Tomorrow morning I shall have to check the newspapers to find out why she arrived here because it’s a pretty strange voyage for a trawler like this to undertake.

Back here I made myself a smoothie and then spent another while sorting out some photos from several years ago until it was time for tea.

At the shop this morning I’d bought a pepper and some mushrooms so I made myself another really nice stuffed pepper – and to do the washing up again now that I have mor ehot water.

And with my notes now written, I’m off to bed. I have bread to make tomorrow and a Welsh lesson too, so I can’t hang around.

Monday 13th September 2021 – IT’S A PITY …

ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… that my 70-300mm LENS is the longest lens that I have.

Had it been of any greater length it might have picked up some really exciting activity out at the Ile de Chausey over the weekend.

Someone in a zodiac pulled up at a landing stage on the island to drop off some passengers and a speedboat, taking a great deal of exception to someone beating him to the pitch, rammed him – not once, not twice but continually over a period of seven or eight minutes.

They say that the police and the harbour authorities are “very interested” in the affair, and i’m not surprised.

If you are interested, you can see A VIDEO OF SOME OF THE ACTION

There was plenty of action during the night in here as well. I’d borrowed a van to do some removals. I had everything in the van and gone to do this but the place wasn’t ready so I had had to hang on to the van. I was going to do it next morning. The guys whose van it was wanted their van back by 11:00. After much discussion we agreed that someone from their place would come with me early in the morning, we’d unload the van and then he’d drive back the van so that I could go on to work. There were two pints of milk on the table so I said that i’d take one with me as my breakfast but my mother refused and said “no”.

A little later there was something going on about an old Transit van that i’d had for years, like that Sykes Pumps one. The diesel engine had been no good in it. I took the diesel engine out of my old white Transit and put it in. Then I tried to start it and to my surprise it fired up. I remember saying to someone that I’ve had this van for 18 years and it’s the first time that I’ve ever heard it run

Later on again I was working in Manchester. There was a huge office car park and we were parked on there. They were talking to an old manager of Rangers FC about what was going to happen to some buildings just below. He said that they were going to turn them into shops so the discussion went on to parking. Were they going to be parked in our area or not? he said not – they would probably have parking of their own. I went outside the compound and looked back. One of the buildings here was a huge 37-storey building like a space rocket thing. I was working in another one. I was lying down on my back looking at this building and these two girls came past. I said that that was where I worked . They looked at it and asked “what floor?”. I said “the ground floor. They won’t get me working on the 37th floor for any love or money. Just then I heard a load of clanking and it sounded as if the car park was being locked. I had to run back to the car park but I couldn’t get in because the gates were closed. There was a security guard there and he opened the gate for me and let me in. He said “I’ll let you in this time but don’t do it again because you won’t be let in otherwise.

There was some other stuff as well but as you are probably eating your meal right now, I’ll spare you the gory details.

After the medication I made a start on the next radio programme. And despite having to stop for a coffee and for breakfast it was all done and dusted by 11:20. And it’s a pretty good one too. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

While I was listening to it afterwards I was busy sorting through a pile of old photographs and weeding out the duplicates. There’s a couple of GB in there right now and I imagine that as I progress there will be plenty more to go with them.

After lunch I had a shower and then did a pile of tidying up because the nurse was coming around to give me my fortnightly injection.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a week or so ago I had a very lengthy talk with the skipper of Normandy Trader. Amongst other things, he told me some news but asked me no to say anything quite yet.

Anyway, now I’m able to spread the news about. Several weeks ago he saw a sister boat to his own and discovered that it was for sale. He made several enquiries and as a result, this morning the boat passed into his fleet.

At the moment she’s called Brecqhou Warrior but she’s likely to have a name change before she starts work.

lotus place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

Once again I was held up before I’d gone too far, because on the car park is one of the little Lotus Sevens.

At least, it says that it’s a Lotus and while I have no reason to doubt that it is, one has to be very careful about accepting cars like this at face value. There are plenty of kit cars out there that resemble the real thing, and some of them are very good indeed.

There are several cases of people having been “taken in” by faithful replicas. It’s very hard to tell some of them apart.

red autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021esterday, I couldn’t even get out of the door without being overflown by the red autogyro.

This afternoon I should have delayed my walk by about 30 seconds because then exactly the same thing happened. As I was looking at the Lotus, the autogyro came out from behind the College Malraux.

It rattled past overhead, the pilot and his passenger, and disappeared off towards the airfield where presumably it went in to land.

There were several other aeroplanes that went past, light aircraft or full-size commercial aircrat but they were all too far out in the bay or too high up for me to photograph them with any clarity.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Having dealt with all of that, I went over to the wall to look down at the beack to see who was about.

The tide is now well in so there isn’t much beach down there right now but there were still quite a few people down there.

And who can blame them? It was a really nice afternoon with plenty of sun and not a lot of wind. An ideal time to be down there.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea this afternoon which was quite a surprise, so I headed off along the path on top of the cliffs.

One of the sparrowhawks was there looking for food but he wouldn’t keep still long enough for me to take a photo of it, so carried on through the crowds of people.

man on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Across the lawn and across the car park, I went down to see what was going on there.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single boat of any description that I could see out there this afternoon. The only sign of any life was this guy down there sitting on the bench in front of the Cabanon Vauban.

And wherever he has come from, it’s been a hot and difficult walk judging by the sweat stain on his back.

So with nothing to see out at sea, I cleared off along the path towards the port.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was no change of occupant today at the chantier naval so I looked over towards the ferry terminal to see what was going on there.

Moored up there at the walkway was one of the Joly France ferries that run over to the Ile de Chausey.

This one has the larger upper deck superstructure, no step at the stern and windows in “landscape” format, so she’s the older of the two near-identical boats.

The red crane on the quayside was working although I couldn’t see what it was going to lift, but there was certainly something going on over there with the boat.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021In front of her was the other one of the Joly France boats.

We can see by the smaller upper-deck superstructure and the windows in “portrait” format that she’s the newer one of the two.

And if we could see her stern clearly, we would see a step in it as well.

All that remains to be found now is the brand new Belle France. She must be over at the Ile de Chausey hoping to catch a bit more of the aquatic demolition derby. They could sell tickets for an event like that.

refrigerated lorries fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Not many fishing boats in port this afternoon and I’ve no idea where they all are because I couldn’t see them out at sea.

But they are obvously out there working somewhere because there’s one refrigerated lorry already at the fish processing plant and another one reversing into position.

And this is what makes a mockery of the UK Government’s plans to simplify the HGV driving tests and eliminate the reversing requirement. There’s only one way for an articulated lorry to park in a loading bay, and that’s backwards.

It’ll be extremely interesting when I newly-qualified driver has to reverse up to a loading bay between several other lorries.

Back here I had my banana smoothie and then made a start on my Welsh homework but at 17:00 I had to go upstairs to speak to a neighbour. I have several cunning plans going on around in my head right now, and one of them has something to do with this building.

Tea was another one of these curries made with everything that was lingering in the fridge – well, almost everything because having forgotten the diced peppers yesterday, I forgot them today as well.

Tomorrow I have my lung examination early on, and then my Welsh lesson. There’s my homework to finish too. And then Wednesday i’m off to Leuven. It’s all go here, and I can’t keep up with it.

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.