Tag Archives: avenue de la liberation

Sunday 14th August 2022 – WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT!

It actually rained today. And I missed most of it.

When I (eventually) awoke this morning (yes it was morning) the bright blue sky that we had had for the last I don’t know how long had changed into a woolly grey mass of cloud and the temperature was probably 10°C cooler too. Not that you’d know it in here because being a stone building with walls 1.20m thick it managed to avoid the extremes of temperature that we have outside.

Mind you, it wasn’t far off midnight. That’s because come 03:00 this morning I was still up and about. I’ve no idea what time I eventually went to bed but I was glad that I wasn’t going out at 08:30 this morning.

In actual fact I was awake at 10:20 but there wasn’t all that much likelihood of me showing a leg at that time. It was much more like 11:00 when I finally staggered into the daylight and went for my medication, feeling quite grateful that I’d prepared the music for the radio yesterday instead of trying to do it today.

Back in here, in a mad fit of enthusiasm and I’ve no idea where that came from, I listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. There was a house somewhere down Minshull New Road or somewhere like that, a council house. I don’t know what I was doing in it but it was filthy, dirty, dusty, overfull of furniture etc. The only way out was to climb through a window, one of the smaller fanlight windows at the top. I’d been doing that for a while here and there. One day a girl in there got hold of me, told me her name and told me that she lived in this house and that she was fed up of people coming in and going out again through the window. I made a facetious remark about going out of the door which didn’t go down very well. I said “never mind. I’ll write you an apology. It’s no problem to me” so we agreed that I would write her an apology and she would accept it. We had a chat and she was saying how she hated this house and how she was hoping to move etc, quite a long discussion. In the end I decided that I had to go. Of course the only way out was through the window. I went to open the window which for some unknown reason wasn’t easy today. While I was at it two dogs, a big one and a small one came up and started gnawing at my leg. Then some old man came in and asked what I was doing. I explained to him and explained that I’d seen the girl. He didn’t seem to be all that pleased and was making up all kinds of reasons for it to be extremely difficult for me to climb out of that window. I was determined that I was going anyway. We were talking about travelling around the world. I said that I’d met some interesting people. He asked if I’d been to Moscow so I replied “yes”. He asked if I’d ever been to New York so I replied “yes”. He said that the World Trade Centre has only been down a few years so I replied that I’d been to New York a lot longer than those had been down. We had quite an acrimonious discussion, polite but bad-tempered. All the time I was trying to go out through this window so that I could leave but everything seemed to be conspiring against me to stop me going and to keep me in this flaming filthy, dusty, dirty house.

Later on I was at work. I’d been promoted and was working with the inspectors. We received certain information about different things and I suggested ways of dealing with it that were unorthodox but were bound to bring in results and weren’t illegal. Everyone looked at me strangely and as we didn’t have the staff we put it on the back burner for the moment. In the afternoon we were invited to a beach party so we went down there. A lot of the people were playing beach volleyball but I was peering through some papers that I’d brought with me sitting in the sun. I thought “when I’ve finished these papers I can go and join in the volleyball”. But everyone suddenly packed up and started to move. Someone asked where they were going and the response was “guess”. It turned out that they were all heading to the local night club because even though it wasn’t night time it was probably open by now. I had no intention whatever of going there but one has to be sociable. Just then some woman from the office came by with a huge folder and said “guess what I have in here”. I know that I was trying to lay my hands on a folder for work so I said the name. She said “no. It’s a list of all second-homes and country cottages in the UK”. I suggested that these be compared with the owners. If necessary we could make enquiries about them and tie them up to their owners and see what comes of it. Someone was there, a Prophet of Doom, saying that it would never work, that’s totally illegal” which of course it was nonsense. I was trying to argue my particular corner. For some reason these people seemed to be totally devoid of any imagination and were totally unlikely to make anything work with the kind of imagination that they had.

That’s one thing that I’ve noticed since I left the UK in 1992. These days British people seem to fall at the first fence when they are trying to do something. When a problem arises or a technical hitch develops or something goes wrong or a machine breaks or a plan needs developing, the first setback is enough to make them throw in the towel.

We were always taught to use our imagination, to think, and work out a workaround and I used to have loads of fun doing that. But I seem to be one of a very small breed of people today. It reminds me of the saying “99% of the population has problems, but the rest of us have solutions”.

After lunch I came back in here but strangely, I can’t remember now what I did. I know that I didn’t fall asleep, that is a surprise in itself these days. I managed to keep on going until it was time to go walkies but just as I was about to step out of the door Ingrid rang.

We ended up having a marathon session on the telephone too seeing as it’s been a while since we last spoke, and the result of all of this was that I was considerably late going for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual the first thing that I did was to go over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down on the beach.

There were hordes of people down there this afternoon but they weren’t there for the sunbathing.

That was because
1) there was no sun
2) It’s the time for the pèche à pied and they were all mainly down there at the water’s edge having a scratch around to see what they could pull up

bouchot farm donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And with the tide being quite well out, it was all systems go further down the coast.

At Donville les Bains there’s a bouchot farm and you can see all of the stakes planted in the sand. Someone made an accidental discovery that if you leave ropes and things in the water the shellfish will actually grow on them in preference to the sand.

And that’s quite a delicacy too because the shellfish aren’t full of sandy grit and taste so much better.

Why that works so well here, apart from the fact that we have so much shellfish, is that with the high tides, the ropes and stakes can be well-submerged for growing the shellfish but at low tide they are out of the water and can be harvested and the equipment maintained quite easily.

medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But here’s an example of an earlier generation of fish traps.

This is the kind of thing that would have been common in medieval times. They would build a wall of loose-fitting stones across a bay or estuary so that at high tide, water and the fish therein would over flow behind the wall. And as the tide went out, the water would exfiltrate through the gaps in the stones leaving the fish behind.

And then all of your medieval fishwives would wade in and catch the fish with their bare hands ready for supper.

It’s the kind of thing that would still work today if it were properly maintained.

lifeguard tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There’s a sort-of modern version of it here.

That’s the tidal swimming pool at the Plat Gousset and the principle is the same. And today it seems to have caught quite a few fish of the two-legged variety in its trap.

The person in the fluorescent yellow jacket is the lifeguard. There is a handful of them scattered around at various places on the beach keeping an eye on the activities and making sure that no-one is swept away.

Not that they are likely to be swept away in the tidal swimming pool but you never know your luck, I suppose.

place marechal foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From there I wandered off to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

Whenever we’ve seen that just recently it’s been heaving with people on the beach taking the sun but not today. There aren’t too many people down there in this weather. They are all wandering around the Place Marechal Foch.

But what caught my eye in this photo was the long queue of traffic coming down the hill into town. I can’t remember ever having seen a traffic jam quite like that in all the time that I’ve been living here

police interaction with mtorcyclist avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The reason for that might be something not unconnected with what’s going on in this photo.

These days it seems that you can’t go anywhere without attracting the attention of the local farces of Law and Order. And a couple of Granville’s finest seem to be rather more than interested in what this biker is up to with his machine.

In actual fact there were four policemen altogether and maybe they were performing a spot check of vehicles entering the town.

Nevertheless it’s good to see them going for the same old stereotyped victims. Nothing much changes, despite the passage of time.

crowds rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022another reason might be that the town centre is all closed off to through traffic today.

No vehicles are allowed in there right now and so they are having to go around the outside. That means that gordes of pedestrians can roam around the streets in perfect safety to their hearts’ content.

Rather bad luck if you live in the town centre and need your car, but never mind.

When I lived in Brussels we had a car-free day one Sunday every year. All of the public transport was free and there were all kinds of entertainments in the street.

Where I lived was on a hill on the edge of the city centre and you could see the dramatic improvement in air quality down below by the end of the day.

le coelacanthe le tiberiade suzanga massabielle nais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022My route from here took me through the Place Maurice Marland.

My seagull chick wasn’t there today so maybe it had gone off for a fly around with its mum. I hope that it wasn’t the one that I saw dead by the side of the street on Friday.

There was plenty of activity in the harbour this afternoon. It doesn’t look as if anyone had gone out working. Over there on the back wall we had Le Coelacanthe and little sister le Tiberiade. You can tell them apart in this photo as the gormer has the wings to its bridge.

In the foreground from left to right we have the new Suzanga, the blue Massabielle and on the right, the little white Nais.with red and yellow stripes.

Plenty of others too that didn’t make it into the photograph which was a shame.

marité philcathane chausiase port Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022 Over there in the bay where the gravel boats used to tie up is the trawler Philcathane

The other two boats that are there, I didn’t expect to see them here today. Marité for example, the wooden sailing ship. With it being a Sunday in the middle of the tourist season I would have thought that she would have gone out and about into the bay with a crowd of passengers to earn a few bob while the going was good.

As for Chausiaise, a friend of mine in St Helier sent me a photo this morning of her over there in jersey. The freight situation is definitely hotting up here if she’s being pressed into service.

Victor Hugo, the Channel Islands ferry isn’t here though. She spent yesterday and today running around the Channel Islands but she’s back in port by the time that I’m writing this.

book fair rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From here I headed for home through the old town.

It’s book fair today and everyone had set out their stall to sell their surplus books. But by the time that I arrived here it was quite late and most people had packed up and had gone home.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall me talking about the Monegasque Royal Family and their connections here when one of the Grimaldis married a local girl. The browny-grey granite house on the street corner on the left is where she lived.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Carrying on homewards I had a look over the wall and out into the bay.

A little earlier I mentioned the pèche à pied. Over there you can still see a few people out there but they are now heading for safety as the tide is coming in. And it comes in here quite rapidly too so they don’t want to be caught hanging about.

It was raining ever so slightly as I reached home and that’s a good thing as this are has been declared in a State of Emergency because of the drought. But we’ll need much more rain than this to do any good. Probably about a week’s torrential downpour.

And now I remember what it was that I did after lunch.

Last weekend I used up the last of the pizza dough so I had to make some more. That was how I spent the early afternoon and it had been proofing while I was otherwise occupied.

When I came back from my walk two lumps went into the freezer and I rolled out the third one and put it on the tray for its second proofing.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Later on this evening I assembled my pizza and put it in the oven to cook. And it was delicious too.

But here’s something that I rarely do. In fact, I can’t think when I last did it.

Usually I know exactly what my appetite will be and I make my food accordingly. My pizza is always a standard, regular size.

But tonight, about a third of it went into the bin. I quite simply couldn’t finish it and that’s something that has rarely, if ever happened to me before. It’s not like me at all to be off my food and not even want to save it for breakfast.

What’s happening here?

Anyway that’s for another day as I’m off to bed right now. Radioing early in the morning so I need to be at my best. But not much chance of that.

Monday 29th November 2021 – SAY HELLO, EVERYONE …

marité normandy warrior port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… to Normandy Warrior.

Moored down there behind Marité is the newest freighter to visit the port. You won’t have seen her before because we are lucky enough today to catch her on her maiden voyage to the town

She’s the sister ship to Normandy Trader and you can tell them apart because Normandy Trader has a small upper deck behind her bridge on which lightweight articles can be loaded.

normandy warrior port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A few months ago I mentioned that the crew of Normandy Trader were talking about buying another boat.

What I had assumed that they meant was that they were going to replace her with a larger ship, but actually there’s an issue about licences and permits for larger boats and so they have managed to track down a sister ship and they are going to be operating the two simultaneously.

So here is Normandy Warrior busily being loaded with a huge pile of freight that has accumulated over the last few days for her first return journey from Granville to Jersey.

replacing christmas decorations Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Something else that has been going on today has been the repair to the town following the devastation of Storm Arwen.

The Christmas decorations in the Place General de Gaulle were savaged quite badly. Father Christmas was blown halfway down the street and the trees that they had erected to surround him were all bowled over.

As I walked past on my way to the physiotherapists they were busy re-erecting the trees. Santa had already been restored to his previous place, so let’s hope that he stays there this time.

broken slates rue general patton Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021That wasn’t the only sign of a tragedy either.

As I was walking home along the Rue General Patton I was trying to avoid all of the broken slates that were littering the floor.

It seems that there has been a roof quite badly damaged in the storm and there were broken slates everywhere. This is going to be quite a bill for someone to have to pay

It’s actually quite a testament to our building that despite being exposed to the full force of the wind, we seem to have escaped quite lightly.

school children college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However I’ve no idea what might be happening here.

When I returned with Caliburn from having his windscreen replaced, all of the schoolkids from the College Malraux were outside on the public car park hanging around.

Whatever had caused it had happened before I arrived so I wasn’t able to identify a reason, but the fact that all of the fire doors are open seems to indicate that there has been a fire alarm and the school has been evacuated.

While we are on the subject of alarms, my alarms didn’t go off this morning. Not that it made any difference because I was wide awake. I’d had another bad night where it seemed that I hadn’t slept at all.

And seeing that there are no files recorded on the dictaphone (and it’s been quite a while since that has happened, hasn’t it?) that’s a distinct possibility.

So I fell out of bed at 06:00 and staggered off for my medication. Then back here I checked my mails and messages and then had an hour or so working on the radio programme that I should be doing this week, although when, I don’t know.

A shower was next, to get myself cleaned up, and then I changed the bedding. I’m not sure when I did that last but one thing that I did notice last night was that it was high (and I do mean “high”) time that I changed it.

And then I put set the washing machine on the go.

Having made sure that Caliburn would start, I prepared myself to leave and then headed off to the windscreen fitter’s. And with the temperature being at 2.5°C, I put my woolly hat on my woolly head for the first time this winter.

Having dropped off Caliburn I went for a walk – to buy the stuff that I need to clean his wheels, to go to Bio-Coop to see if they had any vegan cheese (which they didn’t) and then to LeClerc for a coffee, where I fell asleep for 20 minutes.

When Caliburn was ready I picked him up and drove home, and I was amazed about how pitted and grimy his old windscreen must have been.

unloading scaffolding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Back at the building there was someone here unloading a scaffolding.

Not to climb up onto the roof, but they were actually taking it inside the building.

These rooms are quite high and to reach the ceiling is not very easy at all. It looks as if someone is redecorating and the scaffolding must be to enable them to paint the ceiling.

Back here I sat down to carry on with the radio programme but unfortunately I dozed off again. As a result I had rather a late lunch.

After lunch I tracked down the rest of the things that I need to give Caliburn his showroom appearance and then headed off to town.

black pearl spirit of conrad Courrier des Iles charles marie anakena aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury I could see that a trawler was just pulling up at the Fish Processing Plant.

She’s Black Pearl, one of the newer trawlers in the port whom we saw sail into port a while back.

Also in the shot are a load of the hire yachts that re laid up over the winter. We have, from left to right, Spirit of Conrad on whom we went up the Brittany coast 18 months or so ago, and then Charles Marie with the little Courrier des Iles moored against her.

Over on the right, Anakena is moored against the quayside with Aztec Ladymoored against her.

installing christmas lights avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021With the Rampe du Monte à Regret being closed while they repoint the wall, I carried on down the Rue des Juifs.

Down in the Avenue de la Liberation the Council’s cherry picker was out installing more Christmas lights. I wonder what this lot of lights is going to be like this year.

Heading through town, I climbed back up the Rue Couraye towards the physiotherapists, stopping off at Carrefour on the way. I forgot the tomatoes this weekend and I bought a can of energy drink to help my climb the hill back home.

At the physiotherapist’s she tightened up the screw on the cross trainer t make it harder for me to work the machine, and then I had a few kinetic exercises to carry out.

Finally I was put on the tilting platform and she obviously likes my company … “I can’t think why” – ed … because she let me stay on the machine for an extra 10 minutes.

abandoned railway line parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home I came back down the steps at the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs to see how the work was going.

From up above though, I could see that they are slowly advancing with the kerb along the line of the old abandoned railway. They are still a long way from finishing it though.

They’ve not made it to the road yet so it was something of a muddy tramp across the churned-up grass onto the car park and then down the steps to the bottom by where they have installed the keep-fit equipment

cutting wood parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While I was on my way down there I heard the sound of a circular saw being used .

As I walked a little further on I could see that there was a van and a trailer. There was a generator in front of the van and they were using it to power a circular bench-saw.

Having cut the wood into the required length the guy working the saw carried it off to his friends who were working out of shot on the course of the abandoned railway line.

And judging by the amount of wood that he has on the trailer, he’s going to be working there for quite some time.

creating boardwark abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021What they are actually doing is construction some kind of boardwalk at the side of the concrete pathway that they have laid.

While I was going past I asked them if they would be going the full length of the abandoned railway track and they replied in the affirmative. And I can imagine that it will be fun riding a bike on that in the pouring rain.

But once again it’s pretty dismal, all of this concrete that they have been laying all over the place. I’m sure that they could do much better than that if they really tried, but they seem to be singularly lacking in imagination around here.

parc des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile further down the road I came upon the Parc des Docteurs Lanos.

It’s still quite a mess, churned up by all of the heavy vehicles that have been driving on there moving all of the stuff about, and that is going to take a considerable amount of effort to restore it, unless they do as they have done elsewhere an sink it under a mass of concrete.

And talking of stuff, there seems to be considerably less stuff on there now. They are using it up as a considerable rate and the fact that they aren’t replacing it with any rapidity seems to indicate that the work is slowly coming to an end.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And talking about masses of concreete, here’s a photo of the view behind me showing the Rue du Boscq.

Last time that we looked down here they were laying yet more concrete reinforcement matting and sure enough, while I was away in Leuven they have poured yet more concrete down.

One of these days I’ll post a photo of the car park at Lezardrieux where we visited with Spirit of Conrad. There, they laid out the car park with small stone setts and used setts of different colours to mark out the lines and it all looked quite nice.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the other end of the street, the situation was just the same.

Another mass of concrete poured down at this end too. It all looks so dreary and depressing.

Mind you, there’s a lorry-load of earth down there and they are tipping it into the gap between the edge of the concrete and the stone wall to the right. I wonder if that is where they will be planting the hundreds of trees that they have promised.

But anyway I left them to it and carried on home dodging the broken slates in the Rue General Patton.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Yesterday we saw a really nice sunset, with what remained of the sun peeking through a small gap in the clouds.

This afternoon, we had a similar phenomenon. There wasn’t as much cloud this afternoon and so the effect was much more dramatic.

In the background we can see the church at Cancale across the bay on the Brittany coast, silhouetted against the orange sky, just to the left of centre.

It is one thing that I like about this time of year. At the time when I usually go for my walk, we have some wonderful lighting effects. We’ve seen quite a few already and there will be plenty more before Spring, I hope.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Before I went in for my afternoon coffee, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to look over onto the beach.

There wasn’t anything going on down there this afternoon, for the simple reason that there wasn’t much beach for anything to be happening on. The tide was well in right now.

So on that point I came back in for my coffee and carried on with some work, but I knocked off earlier than I normally do.

That’s because in a fit of extravagance (or forgetfulness) I bought two loads of peppers at the weekend and I had no idea of when I was going to use them. So I made one of my mega-curries with peppers, mushrooms, a tin of diced veg and a tin of white beans.

It was absolutely delicious and there’s plenty left. So when it’s cooled down and there’s some more room in the freezer, I’ll parcel it all up into individual helpings and freeze them for later use.

But right now I’m off to bed. I’ve had a very long day, walked miles and I’m exhausted. I want to make the most of this and hopefully have a really good sleep for a change.

Monday 4th October 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

new shop opened rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago we saw a shop unit in the Rue Couraye being renovated ready for some new owners.

Outside the shop there was a pile of boxes being delivered that looked as if, according to the label, that they had come from a book wholesaler, so I assumed that we were going to have a new bookshop in the town.

Now that it’s open, we can see that it’s not exactly a bookshop but is in fact a centre for comic strips and other assorted accessories that are associated with bandes dessinées.

They are much more popular here on the mainland than in the UK and in the USA.

sign on door avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But while we’re on the subject of shops … “well, one of us is” – ed … here’s a sign that I saw in a shop in the Avenue de la Liberation.

It’s proof that you don’t need any kind of qualification in mathematics to own or manage a shop. That’s the strangest looking 2 people that I have ever seen in my life.

Last night I wasn’t in bed as early as I was hoping so it was rather a struggle to force myself out of bed at 06:00. And after the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to work on the radio programme.

It was rather straightforward today, although it took me a while to find a suitable final track. Nevertheless I could have finished it before 11:00 had I concentrated but after breakfast I was side-tracked by a few things here and there and it was 11:20 when I finally finished it.

Strangely enough, I didn’t really enjoy doing this one and I’m not quite sure why. It’s probably something to do with the way that I’m feeling right now.

While I was listening to the finished product and also to the one that will be broadcast this coming weekend, I was going through my mailbox weeding out a pile of dead correspondence that is serving no purpose. It’s now down to about half its previous size.

After lunch I had a shower and then prepared to go out for my physiotherapy session. The days are being changed at the moment.

Outside in the wind I walked across to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was going on.

dredger cleaning chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There wasn’t anything much going on down there this afternoon but there was certainly some activity going on over at the chantier naval.

Never mind the dredger, which is still there, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the past couple of months the yard has been packed continually with boats undergoing all kinds of repair and they’ve been making quite a mess of the place.

And so today they have brought in a street sweeper and it’s giving the place a really good wash and brush up, creating quite a cloud of dust as it goes past.

boulevard des terreneuviers closed to traffic Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further on down the hill, I stopped to look at the workman’s compound that has appeared in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

It looks as if things are about to start down there any day now. We can see that the road is closed and diversions signs have been posted.

The lorry has dropped off a container and they have already started to fill it with soil, although I can’t see to place from where they have scraped it.

But as the work progresses I’ll be able to find out so much more about where they are working anf what they are doing.

road closed rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There are more roadworks going on here too.

Believe it or not, the passage over the drawbridge into the old town is a street, the Rue Cambernon, that’s accessible to motor vehicles. But that seems to be closed off too and the traffic diverted elsewhere.

Presumably there are roadworks going on up there too.

My route took me on down the hill and into town, and then up the hill in the Rue Couraye to the physiotherapist. Surprisingly, I only had to stop twice to catch my breath going up the hill. That makes a change from the last couple of weeks.

Today he tested my knee, seemingly having forgotten everything that I told him a few weeks ago, and then he put me on the tilting platform and then the cross trainer.

Even more surprisingly, I pushed my best time on the cross trainer to 4 minutes and had I tried a little harder, I could have done better than that. It seems that my health is slowly improving. Maybe the physiotherapy is doing me good.

rainbow place semard Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I’d been in the physiotherapist’s we’d had a torrential downpour that stopp just as I set foot outside – and that’s not like how things usually work for me, is it?

And across the road hovering over the railway station we had this really gorgeous rainbow. It’s been quite some considerable time since I’ve seen a rainbow looking as good as this one. It’s magnificent.

And, as we can see, the leaves are now starting to turn. It’s not as vivid as in the Canadian Maritimes, which is where I usually am at this time of the year, but we can see that autumn is now well on its way. I wonder what weather that is going to bring.

digger loading soil onto lorry abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021This afternoon I walked on down past the railway station and down to the abandoned railway line, which I followed down to the Parc du Val Es Fleurs.

The digger that we saw the other day is hard at it this afternoon, scraping up the old ballast and soil and dumping it into the back of that lorry that had reversed all the way up there from the Rue d Boscq.

They have made quite a large amount of progress with that since Friday afternoon. They aren’t going to be hanging about with this project. It’s quite a contrast with what seems to happen in Belgium, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

piles of soil workmen's compound parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There were no haphazard road signs at the foot og the steps, but there have been “other developments”.

The area at the foot of the steps has now been cordoned off and there’s a skip, a mini-digger and a van towing a trailer parked down there now.

The piles of soil are still here too. They don’t look as if they have changed in size – neither increased nor decreased.

From there I wandered off down the Boulevard Louis Dior to the corner of the Rue du Boscq to see how they were progressing there.

digging trench rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021No change in the park opposite the Ecole des Docteurs Lanos, but there are plenty of goings-on across the road.

Having gone to all of the lengths that they have of preparing the surface, they have now dug a trench in it and they are laying some of this red cable trunking in it. That’s rather a shame after all of this effort.

Meanwhile, part of the car park here has been cordoned off. That’s being used at the moment as a parking area for the machinery and vehicles, but I could see them digging this up as well and resurfacing it to match the rest of the work.

Before I left the house I’d packed an energy drink so I wasn’t all that worried about the walk through the town and the climb up the hill towards home.

sailing school belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Once again, I only needed to stop a couple of times instead of the usual half dozen just recently.

One of the places where I stopped for breath was at the viewpoint over the harbour. And out there in the bay the sailing school was just setting out for the afternoon now that the tide was well in.

While I was watching them, I was leaning on the wall drinking my can of energy drink thinking to myself that had I not been having all of these problems right now, I might easily have been out there with them having a go.

That’s something to do that’s on my bucket list, but whether or not I manage to get round to it is another thing completely.

trawlers waiting to enter port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was waiting there to catch my breath I was looking down at the harbour gates.

They were closed at the moment but the pile of fishing boats that was out there told me that they would be open any time now.

And so I waited for about 15 minutes to take a photo of a nice stream of fishing boats following one after the other into the harbour, but as long as I waited, the gates didn’t open at all.

In the end I became fed up of waiting and headed for home.

Just up the road I bumped into a neighbour and we had quite a chat that went on for quite a while. And I learnt quite a lot of interesting facts too that will come in useful as time goes on.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Instead of going straight home, I went over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach.

The tide was well in as I said earlier, so there wasn’t all that much beach to be on this afternoon.

There were a few people nevertheless and by the looks of things, they appear to have been in the water. Not that it’s warm, of course. It’s pretty windy too so hats off to these people.

And for a change, there was nothing whatsoever going on out at sea. I couldn’t see even one boat anywhere out there.

workmens compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was out here, I went to have a look at the workmen’s compound, or whatever it is.

Much of the stuff that has been there over the past few days has now disappeared. But to where, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s something to do with the roadworks in the Rue Cambernon.

Back in the apartment I had a nice hot coffee and then, regrettably, I fell asleep for 10 minutes. The first time for a couple of weeks and I was quite disappointed by that, having done so well just recently.

As for any nocturnal voyage, I was at British Salt and they were busy erecting barriers around all the doors so that no-one could see in. I was wondering what was going on. It was obviously something special that they didn’t want anyone to see. Then they wheeled out this extraordinary – it looked like a motor bike with a Ford Model T place to sit for 4 passengers and a huge engine at the back with a big exhaust. Someone called it the “White Fox” or something like that. It was a huge long thing so I asked if I could take some photos of it and the guy said “yes”. He started to move all the boxes and coats and everything that was on it. I started to help and I can’t remember where we went from that. We were all sitting around eating a meal later. Someone had to leave the garage and they had an A40 Farina hatchback thing. I expected them to open the doors wider but he managed to drive it in a slalom all the way round these sight screens and out like that. Then we were sitting down having a meal and talking, and that’s where this ended. It was a most impressive motorbike thing. I’ve never seen anything like this.

A little later or maybe earlier, I can’t remember now, there was a group of cowboys and a woman holed up inside a house, a cabin on the prairie because they were surrounded by Indians. The Indians took their buckboard, filled it full of explosives and rode it round and round until it blew up, all that kind of thing. Someone had managed to slip out and they were there for several days. Then there was a knock on the door. It was this guy who had come back and brought a few other people with him, the Matt Dillon type, US Marshall and a couple of his friends. They’d come to deal with the issue after all but it seemed that these Indians had gone. Whether it was because of the new arrivals or not, I don’t know.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, and then I came in here to write up my notes.

That reminded me that I’d weighed myself just before I had my shower. And over the last week, I’ve lost half a kilo. I consoled myself by thinking that if I carry on at this rate then in a little over three years I will have gone completely.

Friday 1st October 2021 – I’VE HAD AN EXCITING …

… day today. So much so that I’ve hardly done a thing of what I’m supposed to be doing.

It wasn’t very exciting at first though. The first job that I had to tackle was to get my entry from last night on line.

For some reason, access to my web host timed out last night every time I tried to access it, and in the end I gave it up as a bad job and went to bed.

The night was better than some that I’ve had just recently although I wasn’t too happy about being wide-awake at 06:40.

Nevertheless I waiting until the alarm went off, had my medication and then came in here to tackle a few tasks.

The web-host was still timing out and even clearing the cache and cookies on the (four!) different browsers that I use didn’t make things any better.

However I do have another browser that I don’t use too often, and for a variety of reasons too, but its big advantage (which at times is a big disadvantage) is that it automatically erases your browser history, cache and cookies and everything else on closedown.

On trying that, it worked perfectly (given its limitations) and I was able to upload the journal entry.

Then I had a rather onerous task to perform. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I was having some kind of issues about an insurance policy that I believed that I had and that other people disagreed.

Searching around in the apartment (and thank heavens that I have most of my papers filed neatly) I found exactly what I was looking for, so I sat down and wrote two letters.

Incendiary letters – the type that blister the paint off the walls of the office where they are opened – are two-a-penny around here, but the two I wrote today will probably beat most of those. And they were written in French too.

They will certainly provoke a reaction, although whether it will be the reaction that I want remains to be seen.

Writing those took much longer that it ought to have done because Rosemary rang me – not once but twice. She’s having difficulty dealing with a French administrative issue but because I can’t go into the site, I was unable to help her.

As a result, it was lunchtime by the time that I’d finished .

After lunch I had a shower (and my weight is now down to the lowest that it’s been for a good seven or eight months) and then headed off towards town.

baie de mont st michel joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne I stopped to have a look down into the harbour.

From here, I could see that they are up to their antics with the crane again. Parked up, fully extended like that, at the worst possible angle for it to be. All of the weight on the arm pressing down on the hydraulic seals. They won’t last for long.

Down there underneath the crane moored at the ferry terminal is one of the Joly France boats. The older one of the two with the larger upper deck superstructure and windows in “landscape” format.

dredger chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was here, I had a look down towards the chantier naval to see what was happening in there today.

No boats as yet, but there’s a much better view of the dredger that arrived here at the end of last week. And it’s definitely a dredger too, I reckon. We can see the grab quite clearly, and the pipework that discharges the waste water that the grab might pick up.

But when is she going to go into the water? And more importantly, where? They must have some task lined up for her now that she’s here, and I wonder what it’s going to be.

Time will tell.

belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So from there I wandered off down the hill towards town.

For a change, moored up underneath the crane is Belle France – the new ferry for the Ile de Chausey that arrived here in the summer. She won’t be loading, of course, so I imagine that she’s just parked there waiting for a more permanent mooring.

Into town, I went to the Post Office and posted my letters. Recorded delivery with registered receipt. I’m taking no chances. Mind you, I did include the bill for the postage and my time when I wrote the letters.

Whether the recipients will pay me, I really have no idea and I doubt it very much, but at least it’s a menacing gesture.

The walk up to the physiotherapist wasn’t quite as exhausting as it has been. He put me for 20 minutes on this tilting platform thing and we went through several exercises to strengthen my knees.

Finally, he put me on this cross trainer thing and I managed to push my personal best up to 3:05 which is pretty good. Even more surprisingly, when I had a second go after catching my breath, I was so busy talking that I went well over 2 minutes without even noticing.

After he threw me out, I headed for home via the steps down to the Parc Du Val Es Fleurs.

soil parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There wasn’t a weird collection of signs at the bottom of the steps this afternoon.

Instead of the signs, we now have a huge pile or two of soil now deposited at the end of the car park where they had set up their little compound, with the signs hidden somewhere behind it.

It looks as if the renovations are progressing quite rapidly. That pile of earth wasn’t there last week, and this week, some of it has been removed already and presumably scattered about somewhere over the course of the work

digger on abandoned railway line parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And as for this beast here, I wonder if he’s the machine that moved it.

He was sitting on the abandoned railway line a short distance down from where everything was happening looking as if he was waiting for a signal from someone to go and do something else.

There was a driver in it and the engine was ticking over too, so he was clearly up to some kind of work.

But I didn’t wait to see. I continued on my way down past the Primary School to the corner of the Rue du Boscq.

parc des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down at the end of the road on the corner by the Rue du Boscq I asked myself if this is where the big pile of soil is going.

After all, they seem to have just about everything else here – piles of gravel, piles of sand, and that looks like soil down there right by the yellow digger.

At the moment this all looks like quite a mess but then it wasn’t actually very pretty here before the work started. It was a rather sad place. And so I’m looking forward to see how it develops over the next few months.

It has to be an improvement on how it used to be.

new roadway construction rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The reverse angle shot from where I was taking the previous photo already shows signs of dramatic improvement.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen the Rue du Boscq in all kinds of different states but right now we can actually see signs of progress. The stones are all down by the looks of things and there’s just a little bit of building up to be done before they add the tarmac.

Last time I photographed this, with the grader and the compacter here, I made some kind of remark about the Trans-Labrador Highway. If this had been Labrador, all of the construction crews would have been long-gone by now and they would be running heavy lorries on it already.

filling road markers with water rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down at the far end of the roadworks there’s quite a bit of excitement going on right now.

They are obviously expecting a storm here this weekend, because being carried on that digger is a pallet tank of 1,000 litres of water and the guy in the red fluorescent jacket is opening the tap and filling the red and white road markers with water, presumably to weigh them down.

Of course, for an extremely complicated job like that, there had to be a supervisor, doesn’t there?

There was qute an interesting storm in the Avenue de la Libération when I walked past. There was a vehicle dropping off a passenger in the Place Marechal Foch right on the corner, not caring less that there were three or four vehicles waiting to turn into the square behind the.

As the next in the queue was a large lorry, he was too wide to pass in the inside lane and consequently the traffic was backed up right the way through the town centre as this one person leisurely took its time.

trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The walk back up the hill towards home was a little easier than it has been of late.

There were only a couple of times where I had to stop for my breath. One of those was at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour. The gates were now open and this trawler was setting out for the fishing grounds, rather later than the others.

She must be one of the lucky 50% of the local fleet that has been given a permit by the Channel Islands authorities. Whether the remaining 31 temporary permits will be finalised or whether they will join the ranks of the 75 who have been rejected remains to be seen.

marité chausiaise joly france belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was there catching my breath, I noticed that there had been a change in position of some of the boats.

On our way out, Belle France was moored over there underneath the crane, but now her place has been taken by Chausiaise.

Belle France is now moored down here next to one of the Joly France boats. This is the newer one of the two as we can tell by the small upper deck superstructure.

Also in the photo is of course Marité. She’s in port rather than being out on an excursion, which is probably logical now that the summer season has come to an end.

trawler returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I walked further on up the hill, I noticed that there was something rather strange going on.

The trawler that we had seen earlier setting out to sea was now on her way back to port, like you do if you have forgotten your butties or your overcoat.

But instead of coming back into the harbour, she did a rather dramatic left-hand U-turn and headed off back out to sea, brushing along the harbour wall. And I’ve no idea what that was all about either.

workmen's compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And here’s something else about which I have no idea at all.

A few days ago I posted a photo of a workmen’s compound that had sprung up in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers, something that looked as if it might have some kind of connection to the electricity supply.

Although I have yet to see anyone working around there, we now seem to have acquired a large lorry and a digger, so it looks as if we are about to see some trench-digging beginning some time fairly soon.

That’s something else for us to monitor in the forthcoming weeks.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back home, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down on the beach.

Actually, there wasn’t all that much beach for people to be on this afternoon, and that’s probably why there weren’t all that many people on it. In fact I didn’t see a soul.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, one of the things that I had intended to do this afternoon was to go and have a look at the builders’ compound that has sprung up in the Place d’Armes.

Instead however I fell in with one of the guys from the radio, we had quite a chat and I’m afraid that it totally slipped my mind. There’s always tomorrow.

Back here, I had a couple of things to do – including playing the guitar for the first time since for about ever. These days it’s very hard for me to summon up any enthusiasm.

Tea tonight was a baked potato, some veggie balls and the left-over pasta mix from last night. And I’m convinced that spicy food left to marinade for 24 hours improves its flavour considerably.

And then we had the football. Y Fflint v Y Bala.

Flint at one time were leading the league and with a front line of veteran striker Michael Wilde who is enjoying a resurgence wince his move, and Jack Kenny who I have always admired, it was no real surprise.

However they have gone off the boil just recently and were up against a Bala side that has always been a good, if inconsistent side that is enjoying a bit of a good run right now.

Most of the football was played in the Flint half and it was easy to see why – Bala were certainly the more skilful side.

However Flint caught them on the break with a good cross over to Michael Wilde to head home, and he almost had a second 5 minutes later when a powerful run, shrugging off four defenders, saw his shot strike the inside of the post but rebound to safety.

A couple of substitutions for Bala did the trick though. They wore down the opposition and scored twice later in the game to pull off a deserved victory.

Mind you, it ought not to have been. Bala scored one of their goals from a throw-in which absolutely everyone watching on the internet and in the ground except the linesman and the referee considered that it should have been awarded to Flint.

And where did I go last night? Mustn’t forget that. In fact I must have forgotten it because I remember almost nothing about this except that that there was some kind of special offer for families going for a 4-week speaking course in Welsh that was being offered as a taster. There was some issue about driving licences in these communities but that’s really all that I can remember.

So I’ll go off to bed and hope for a more memorable voyage during the night.

Sunday 11th July 2021 – I’VE NOT HAD …

… a very good day today, and I don’t know why that is.

Well, I do, but it’s something that I don’t care to talk about on here and involves a trip down Memory Lane to places that I’ve been trying to forget.

But I would ordinarily say that I don’t know what’s brought it on, but actually I do – I just don’t know why it’s caught me unawares like this.

It’s one of those things that always seems to hit us when we are at our most vulnerable so I’ll need to have a good night’s sleep and in the words of the boxer Jack Johnson, “Eat jellied eels and think distant thoughts”.

This morning after my walk around the upper town at midnight (and about which I haven’t forgotten the photos, by the way) I was to my surprise awake at 07:00. But badger that for a game of cowboys. 09:30 was too early too but 10:45 is much more respectable for a Sunday.

After the medication I came in here again to listen to the dictaphone. At first there was something going on in a big old rambling house full of kids last night but I can’t remember what it was now. And waking up with an attack of cramp and when was the last time that I did that as well? I thought that some of this medication was supposed to stop that.

So having had some kind of meeting (when did this take place?) with a Greek girl with whom I was very friendly in Brussels who put in an appearance I was off in some medieval city somewhere in medieval times. There was some kind of difficulty that I can’t remember now but a man became involved in it who was a so-called spy and he helped me resolve this difficulty. In the end he stood on this bridge of this canal with his hand behind his back hiding a gun these 6 people road up asking for information. He replied “sorry, I don’t have one”. They replied something like “how is it possible to be in this country without an identity card?”. At that moment, from behind his back he pulled out a gun. He made them all drop their guns. Somehow at this point he became me. I ordered 5 of those people away and the 6th guy I mounted on a camel and told him to set out to such-a-place and I’d follow him. On the way out there was a barge going past on the canal so I stopped to take a photo of it. We had another one of these sessions when the NIKON 1 J5 wouldn’t work. All the time this guy was getting further ahead of me as I was trying to take this photo. In the end I said “sod it” and chased after this guy on the camel. Then I got to thinking “how stupid am I? I made those people drop their guns in the street and walk away. Why didn’t I throw them over into the canal? All they need to do now is to wait until I’m out of sight, pick up their guns and come along and chase after me. At least had I thrown their guns into the canal they might have chased after me but they couldn’t have done very much without any weapons”.

There was also something somewhere about me being with a few people and the subject of dreams came up. I was told to go and see a woman with whom by some lucky chance I’d just been talking because she was very keen on the subject. I wish I knew where she’d gone so I could chase after her. I explained to the people with whom I was talking that I’d been following my dreams for nearly 30 years.

So at least I managed to go off somewhere at some point.

One task that I wanted to do was to to pair off the music for the next radio programme and find a suitable chat line for my guest. That was all done and organised and took me nicely up to lunchtime.

Before I could make my lunch though I needed to make some bread mix. Only for a small loaf though because I’m going to be away for a while next week and there’s not much room right now in the freezer.

Talking of the freezer… “well, one of us is” – ed … I also took out the last pile of dough from the freezer so that it could defrost ready for tonight.

After lunch I came back in here and the first thing that I did was to sort out the camera equipment. I have three cameras on the go – the NIKON D500 which is the main one, the little NIKON 1 J5 that I use when weight and/or privacy and discretion are czlled for, and the old NIKON D3000 that I bought ON QUECEC IN 2012 after I had broken the Nikon D5000 and which keeps on rolling along.

Each camera now has its own bag with all of its own accessories inside it and surprisingly, I bought a brand-new upmarket camera bag last year. The D3000 has found its way into that and the D5000 is in the bag that the D5000 used to occupy and which I’ve had for ages.

The J5 is in an even older camera bag that belonged to one of the older 1st-generation digital cameras that I had and which packed up nearly 20 years ago.

One of these days I’ll have to go through the redundant camera equipment, sell it off and use the money to repair the D5000.

With time to spare I sat down to deal with the photos from last night. They are all uploaded, edited and some of the text was written. But my afternoon walk intervened.

Before I went on my walk though I kneaded the bread mix, added the sunflower seeds and put it in the bread mould.

full car park place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe crowds outside this afternoon were unbearable. You couldn’t move for people and cars. It was not very pleasant at all.

You can see what I mean from this photo. The public car park just outside this building is bursting at the seams and if you look quite closely at the photo you’ll see the crowds of people milling around there today.

In fact, while you are looking closely, you’ll see a group of several people standing together just to the right of centre on this photo, looking over the wall there. That’s my usual spec for when I’m taking photos of the beach if I’m going off around the headland on my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not going round that way this afternoon. I’m going off on a trek around the city walls.

That means I’m having to look down onto the beach from the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord so the view is rather different than usual.

The tide is well out so there is plenty of beach to be on, and there were plenty of people on it this afternoon taking advantage of the space.

And I’m not sure why because while the conditions weren’t Arctic today the sky was quite overcast and it was cool (if not cold) for the time of the year and there was plenty of wind about. It’s not the kind of day in which you’d catch me sunbathing o the beach, that’s for sure.

people fishing in rock pool beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other hand, I might be down on the beach for other reasons, rather like this family here.

The retreating tide has left several large rockpools behind it, so while daddy supervises the operation, mummy and the two kiddiewinks have taken off their socks and shoes and, in one case, trousers, and they are scavenging around in the rock pools for whatever they can find.

Which I hope they will remember to share with their friends because, after all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

And as for paddling up to my knees, I’ve done that twice now in water that was much colder than this – AT ETAH IN GREENLAND just 700 miles from the North Pole and the second time in the North West Passage in the Canadian High Arctic, about which I’ll write when I can think of what i’m going to say that will express how I felt on that day with the events that were goign on all around me, without causing too many problems.

But meanwhile, trying to dig myself out of the Black Pit into which i’ve fallen, let’s return to our moutons as they say around here and ask why there are all these people wandering around this afternoon.

people at brocants rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe answer to that is that it’s the annual brocante or car boot sale in the old town, and that always attracts the crowds, which is not a good thing from my point of view.

Not 50 yards from where those people are, and they must have walked past that spot to be where they are is a sign “face masks mandatory”, and yet there are so many people who just couldn’t care less.

Having brought the figures down from over 20,000 per day to just a thousand or so, it can’t give anyone any pleasure to see the infection rate rising again so rapidly and yet people totally disregarding even the most basic of rules because they just don’t feel like it.

But anyway, that’s enough of me moaning and whining for the moment. Let’s return to my afternoon walk around the walls

medieval city wall crumbling place du marche au cheveaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the main reasons that I came around this way was to see what they were up to with that scaffolding the other day, but I wasn’t quick enough with the scaffolding and it’s now gone.

But we can see just so clearly now exactly what is the problem with the city walls at the Place du Marché au Chevaux. You can see the vertical crack in the brickwork right there and it’s not before time that they are going to be dealing with it.

It does in fact remind me of the rather nasty crack that appeared on the outside wall of 10 Downing Street but Carrie called in builders to cement over it before Boris Johnson could read it.

And I still haven’t worked out what that wooden structure is that they have built on top of the wall and what its purpose is supposed to be. I suppose that it will become clear over the next few days, but I remember saying that a few days ago.

cement mixer workmen's cabin place du marché au chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo the obvious question is “what are they going to be doing with the walls?”

Here in the little compound we have what looks like a couple of workmen’s huts but also a cement mixer and tubs full of something or other, so it looks as if they are going to be making a start some time soon on repointing. But I think that it needs a bit more than repointing, if you ask me.

And if you look above the nearest workmen’s hut, you’ll see a map. It tells us of work that they have done in the past in restoring the walls, and what they will be doing this year here in the Place du Marché auc Chevaux.

And I wish that it would tell us what they are going to be doing subsequently because sections of the old medieval walls are being closed off quicker than they can repair them.

It was round here that I fell in with a family – mum, dad, a girl about 12 or so and a grandfather. They were not from round here and were struggling to make out a few of the local landmarks. Jersey was really clear to me today so I pointed it out to them, as well as the Ile de Chausey and even the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel which was perfectly clear with the naked eye today.

bouchot beds donville les bains medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was talking to them, I noticed that the bouchot beds at Donville les Bains were quite visible today too with the tide being so far out.

The tractors were taking advantage of the low tide this afternoon and were out there doing the harvesting.

The medieval fish trap had some water still in it too although no-one was taking advantage of it. I’d love to see it restored and people in there catching their own supper with their own bare hands just like they did in the Middle Ages.

After all, there were enough people down there to have had a good go and made a good catch this afternoon had the fish trap been working properly.

f-gcum Robin DR 400/180 Regent baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was doing that, I was overflwon by a light aeroplane. I mean – we have to have one of those, don’t we, on a day like that?

She’s another one of our old friends, F-GCUM, the Robin DR 400/180 Regent that’s owned by the Granville Aero Club.

And she’s been out for a nice long flight this afternoon. She took off at 13:38 and did a nice figure-of-8 going gown to Avranches then across to Cap Fréhel, back to Granville, over Coutances, up to Barneville Carteret and then back home.

She disappeared off the radar at 15:58 presumably when she went into her landing approach and I saw her about 15 minutes later so it must have been a long, shallow dive into landing.

crowds avenue de la liberation place marechal foch plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf you think, by the way that everyone is here who is coming here and that the crowds will slowly die away, then look again at this lot.

There’s a whole stream of cars coming down the hill nose to tail in the Avenue de la Liberation. And good luck to them if they can find somewhere to park when they finally get to where they are going.

It’s a Sunday of course and the public transport doesn’t run on a Sunday. Perhaps the local council needs to think about that in the summer when there are all of these events and organise a “Park and Ride” on the LeClerc Car Park

Plenty of people too in the Place Marechal Foch and walking along the promenade at the Plat Gousset too. And the ice cream parlour looks as if it’s doing a roaring trade.

seagulls rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course, seeing as I’m here now, I have to go and see how my baby seagulls are doing.

So off I took myself into the Square Maurice Marland, past a couple of little girls playing hopscotch, and up to the place where I can see onto the roofs of the Rue des Juifs where their parents have their nests.

Two of my seagull chicks weren’t up to very much, just curled up in the nest having a relaxing afternoon but the third one here was a little more energetic and he was off for a wander around on the roof.

And I hope that he doesn’t fall off like a couple of his friends seem to have done over the last week or two.

seagull rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually I was watching this particular energetic one for quite a while.

When I first saw him he was flapping his wings like Billio and I thought that he was going to have a go at taking off, but animals, like children, are very contrary and never do what you want or what you expect. Having got myself into a good position, he did nothing at all.

You can tell by the times of the images. 4 minutes after I took up my position he decided to inspect himself for fleas and that was about the limit of his activity while I was watching.

In the end I became fed up before he did and I cleared off, upon which I imagined him immediately taking off, doing a few loop-the loops and Immelmann turns

people in brocante rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the Square I walked through the alleyway into the Rue Notre Dame where it was all happening.

And the first thing that I noticed was the lack of face masks despite the notices plastered everywhere. And I know that I go on about this quite a lot but 4,000,000 dead and God alone knows how many people’s health permanently damaged, endless queues in hospitals, routine work cancelled (remember, I went 9 months without my four-weekly cancer treatment) just because people can’t be bothered to take the most basic precautions.

But anyway, even though I remembered to bring my money, I didn’t even look at what was on offer. I have seen the prices in the past and that’s been enough for me. Not even the chip van could tempt me this year.

people place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallCrowds of people in the Place Cambernon too, mainly at the bar down the far end.

However I didn’t go that way, I carried on around the church and at the edge of the walls overlooking the port I fell in with one of my neighbours chatting to a couple at the nice house with the nice round turret.

We had quite a pleasant chat for 10 minutes or so but then I set off for home as I had work to do.

autogyros pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I hadn’t gone very far before I was brought to yet another halt.

On my way along the street I’d heard a rattling from the air and I’d wondered what it was. But suddenly in a gap between two houses, two of these autogyros came flying past in formation.

Two-seater autogyros too so they were obviously up to something, like a photo shoot or a film shoot. And one of these days I’ll have to get myself up there in one of those things for a photo shoot.

But not right now. Ad I said earlier, I have things to do this afternoon. Like kneading the pizza dough that had now defrosted, rolling it out and putting it on the pizza dish that I had greased.

When everything was ready I switched on the oven and bunged the bread in to bake, and when the pizza dough had proofed sufficiently I assembled my pizza.

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen the bread was baked I put the pizza in and let that bake, and here are the finished products.

Only a small loaf as I mentioned earlier, and I’ll tell you about that in a day or two, but the pizza was delicious as usual.

No pudding because there is still some chocolate sponge left and in any case, I’m pretty full right now.

And now my notes are finished I’m off to bed. I’ll sleep off my depression and have a better day tomorrow. And if I have time, I’ll finish off those photos from last night and post them up.

We’ll see how I get on.

Friday 27th November 2020 – HAVING NOT GONE …

… to bed until 02:30 this morning, I totally surprised myself by actually being up and about at 06:30.

Mind you, I needn’t have bothered for all the good that I’ve done today. I’ve not been able to get started today and I’m getting rather fed up of this.

So having slowly recovered from my extremely lethargic start and taken my medication, I listened to last night’s adventures on the dictaphone. Despite only being asleep for less than 4 hours, I still managed to find time to wander off.

There needed to be a big marriage in this family in a house very much like my old Grammar School and for some unknown reason they chose me to impersonate the bride. I was OK doing that until the groom appeared along with a couple of wedding cars. Then it became a kind of Brian Rix farce scampering around with all of this. My brother threatened to tell this guy and was making all kinds of suggestions. In the end he said that he needed someone to comfort him and console him, and the groom volunteered. I thought “that’s great. It will get rid of him. I can grab my shoes and clear off”. But I couldn’t find my shoes – I could only find one. The place was an absolute tip with presents and wrapping paper and everything around. But I could only find one shoe, which meant that I was stuck there. This guy came back down again and started to make some story about we needed to get this place tidied up. That was not what was going on in my mind at all. I was hoping to find a way to distract his attention so I could go but I had to find my shoes first and possibly my money and computer and loads of other things but the place was in such a mess that I couldn’t find anything.

It sounds rather like my place right now where I don’t even seem to have the energy to take the rubbish out to the bin.

Most of the day has been spent working on the arrears of when I was in Central Europe back in the summer, although you wouldn’t actually notice. My excuse that “much of the time was spent researching” isn’t really valid. It’s a far cry from the days 15 years ago when I could sit down and dash off 10,0000 words in a session without really thinking about it and without losing concentration and it’s making me even more depressed. Thank heaven that there’s music.

It will be no surprise to anyone that I crashed out round about midday. Crashed out good ‘n’ proper too, for more than an hour or so, curled up on the chair.

And so deep was I in it that I actually went off on a voyage. I was living with a large family and it was a weekend. I was wondering if all of the shops in Crewe had now reopened as I was thinking about going to B&Q for an exterior light for my house at Gainsborough Road and finally getting round to sorting a few things out there, but it was only a half-hearted thing. I was picturing myself doing some wiring but using some green flexible trunking. We were talking about things to do around the house to entertain us and I suggested a party. Someone wondered if I was being serious but I asked them if we had any jelly and cakes in ready. Feeling hungry, I went to the fridge where I had a tin of sweets and took one out, but I didn’t have the time to eat it as I found a Mickey Mouse cut-out of mine so took it over to the settee, sat down and went to put it in a folder. That mad me think about work, how I didn’t really like it and how I was creating arrears but thought then that I could always leave as I’m over the Retirement Age (how many times have I had this dream?) but then the downside would be that I would be really bored and going round in circles like I am now. The little girl came to sit by me with her big black long-haired cat that she was stroking. After a couple of minutes she got up to go somewhere and put the cat on my knee. That awoke me with a start.

At least my butternut squash soup was delicious even though it was quite late. And that was another thing – when I awoke from my little reverie I had the strangest feeling that I’d actually already eaten my lunch.

Back at my insipid work after lunch, up until walkies time and then I forced myself to go out into the cold.

Granville donville les bains Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd cold it really was too. Winter has definitely arrived now in Normandy.

The sea fog that we saw yesterday morning – or would have done had the camera worked properly, it was back again. Or maybe it hadn’t gone away. The whole of the coast was shrouded in it and visibility was only about 7 or 8 miles, as you can tell from this photo.

You can just about see the coast beyond Donville les Bains, but not much further. It’s certainly a foretaste of things to come and I think that it’s going to be a cold one this year. We haven’t actually had a really cold winter for a while

sun shining into water baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe brats were out orienteering on the lawn again and I helped a little one find a marker that she was looking for, and then I pushed on.

Round on the headland we had another one of these beautiful sunny effects where rays of sunshine shine through the gaps in the clouds and make pretty patterns on the water. It’s not as spectacular as the one a week or so ago but it’s pretty good all the same.

Nothing else going on out at sea so I continued on my way. Too many people around for a decent run so I had a nice sedate walk.

ceres 2 trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been round at the headland I’d heard the sound of an old diesel motor chugging away somewhere so I was wondering what was going on.

And it seems to be all excitement this afternoon at the chantier navale. The green fishing boat that we saw in there yesterday seems to have disappeared but nstead they’ve hauled out another one from the water and dropped her on blocks.

I’ve no idea who she is, so I suppose that I’ll have to make further enquiries. But whoever she is, she’ll be in good company there with the yacht and with Ceres II who seem to have settled in for the Duration.

trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSudenly the engine that I heard revved up. It’s the engine on the mobile boat lift and as I watched, it over-rode the new fishing vessel and they wrapped the lifting tackle around it.

Moving her off to a new more permanent location I imagine. I waited for a while to see but they didn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry.

But can you see the driver’s cab of the boat lift? he has a good view of what’s going on around him while he’s in motion. But it’s quite a beast, that. They need something like that here for lifting the boats in and out of the water. 100 tonnes is no lightweight.

Back at the apartment I made a coffee and then carried on with my paper-stirring until it was time to practise the guitar. At least all of that went well and I had an enjoyable time. Thank heaven there’s music.

Tea was taco rolls and rice followed by another slice of my pie with banana sorbet.

trench place du marche au ble Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter tea, I had to dash out pretty smartish-like for my runs as there would be football on the internet later.

It was another day where I really wasn’t feeling up to all that much but I persevered all the same and managed my 6 runs, to some kind of degree. One of the legs of my runs goes past the other end of the trench that we saw yesterday. There’s no light here at all so you can’t see very much of it but anyway …

On I pushed round to the viewpoint over looking the Place Marechal Foch.

christmas lights avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlthough there was nothing going on down in the Place, there was some excitement happening in the Avenue de la Liberation.

Here we are, the first Christmas lights of the year, shining away in the biscuit shop over there. A sure sign that Christmas is coming. Next it will be the public lighting that we’ve seen them installing throughout the town over the last couple of weeks.

So I cleared off again, running across the Square Maurice Marland and making my way home via the shorter route rather than going by the walls. I was in a hurry.

parking blocked off avenue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s been quite a while since we went up the Rue Notre Dame so I was wondering if we’d see any changes along there.

Not really, I have to say. After all, it was quite dark. But it looks as if there is going to be yet more digging up of the road here, as if there hasn’t already been enough, judging by the fact that some of the parking is now fenced off.

There was a public notice pinned to one of the hurdles but the weather had got to that before I did, so I couldn’t see what it said.

Back in the apartment, I just about made the kick-off. Bala Town were playing Newtown and, to be honest, Bala had far too much in the tank for Newtown. Nevertheless although Newtown’s defence stood up well, they were undone by a couple of moments of magic down the right wing. A score of 3-1 to Bala was probably about right, I reckon, and no-one can complain about this.

And, rather shamefully, I fell asleep for a couple of minutes in the middle of the game.

Not an early night tonight again, unfortunately. One of these days I’ll manage a good, decent sleep without oversleeping. I’ve no idea when that will be, though.

Sunday 22nd November 2020 – I KNOW THAT …

… Sunday is a Day of Rest, but I do have to say that 12:30 is taking this to absurd lengths. So much so that I’m giving serious thought to setting an alarm for 10:00 on a Sunday morning just to remind myself that I have plenty of other things that need doing during the day too.

I could easily understand it if I hadn’t gone to bed until 05:00 or 06:00 (which has sometimes been the case) but going to bed at 23:30 is early by my standards. All I can say is that I must have been tired.

Plenty of time for me t go on a variety of travels, and so it comes as something of a surprise to learn that last night I didn’t go all that far. I’d been in France with Terry and we had to come back to the UK. Terry had his motorbike so we decided that we would go back on his motorbike. I remember that for some reason I was sitting on the front seat but he was sitting on the rear but he was driving. We made sure that we had absolutely everything and we set off. In no time at all we ended up back in Crewe and I don’t remember anything about the journey back except for tiny bits here yet we must have gone on the ferry, we must have stopped for fuel, all this kind of thing and surely did I fall asleep on the motorbike? He replied “yes, it took up 5 hours to come back”. I thought that that was absolutely astonishing. Anyway I ended up at home and had a few letters to post. I thought “I can do that tomorrow” so I went to the Bridge Inn at Audlem to see Alan Findlay. He wasn’t there so I thought that I’d take Liz Ayers with me there because there’s a woman in the bar who was her spitting image and it would be interesting to see their reactions if they were to see each other. But she didn’t come and this woman was looking more like Liz all the time. Then I met another couple of women who looked like her as well. I thought “God, if only Liz had been here this ould have been great”. I eventually tracked Alan Findlay down at his house and did what I had to do. That was when Liz had committed suicide and that was totally astonishing and the thought came over that she had had such a good time in France that to go back to the UK was bound to be an issue particularly with the health problem that she had.

But all of this is certainly weird. Liz Ayers popping up during the night and also Alan Findlay, a name from the past about 45 years ago and about whom I haven’t really thought all that much (if anything) ever since then.

So having wasted half a day there wasn’t really all that much to say about today. By the time that I’d sat down by the computer it was 13:00 and by the time that the paperwork was done it was about 14:00. That didn’t leave me much time because at 15:00 I had a Zoom meeting.

One of my friends, Jem Stuart, is an established poet and it was the launch of his latest book of poetry “No Limericks Left Overnight In This vehicle” today and he was having a “Zoom” party to celebrate. His sister has been a friend of mine for about 50 years ever since she was dating a friend of mine at school and so I’ve been following his career with some interest since we made contact again about 5 years ago. There were about 20 of us there and we had a good chat while he read some of his poems and told us a little story about them.

contemplating the ocean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat took me up to walkies time. Rather later than usual, but never mind.

There were several people out there walking around, and a group of them were pointing at something out on the rocks. At first I thought that it was a cormorant or a heron perched upon a rock but in actual fact, having enlarged the photo on returning home, I could see that it was someone quietly contemplating the state of the nation.

Not that I have too much time to do anything like that of course. If I’m not sleeping I’m working and I don’t really have the time to sit and relax. There are only so many hours in the day, and so many days in the year. And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I don’t have many of them left. I want to get up-to-date before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

lighthouse sunset pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so accordingly I continued on my way along the path on top of the cliffs.

It was so late when I went out that the sun was on the verge of setting. A far cry from the days when I’d be out at 21:30 and 22:00 and the sun was still visible in the sky. The sun was so low in the sky that it had plunged the reverse side of the lighthouse into pitch-black.

There’s a project simmering away in the back of my head right now and I need a photo like this to illustrate a point that I will be making. So no time like the present.

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound at the end of the Pointe du Roc on the headland overlooking the Baie de Mont St Michel and the town of Cancale over on the Brittany coast, the view was even better.

What was really nice was seeing the church at Cancale (on the horizon on the left of the image) and the Ile des Landes (on the right) silhouetted right in the full light of the sun as it was shining through the hole in the clouds over there.

In actual fact, the whole effect was quite pleasing, in a different way from the other day when the sun was higher in the sky.

From there I tried a little run along the path on the clifftop on the other side but encountered only too soon a group of other people so I slowed down to a sedate walk and came on home.

Back here, it was time for baking and I do have to say that it was not a success. In fact, probably my first culinary disaster. The pie base worked well enough, and so did the apple turnover with the rest of the pastry. But the Chocolate brownie mix that I tried went totally wrong. it said “bake for a maximum 30 minutes” but I’d only made about 3/4 of the mixture and as the oven is rather unreliable I put the time at 35 minutes and 15°C over. Even so, when I pulled out the cake mould to check it at the end, I poured half of the liquid all over the floor.

Even 70 minutes didn’t bake it thoroughly so I dunno. I know that my oven isn’t up to much but I would have expected it to have been better than this. I’ll have to write it off to experience.

It goes without saying that, once more, there wasn’t time to make a sourdough loaf. I might start that tomorrow after I finish my radio recording if there is time.

Tea was a vegan pizza of course. I attacked that with gusto and it was good enough, and so I checked the pie base into which I had added the fresh raspberries and agar-agar before tea. And that hadn’t set either. In the end I resorted to some very thick custard to complete the task.

All in all, not a very good cookery day today. Instead I went out for a run, far later than usual as I was running really late, what with one thing or another.

rue jules michelet avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhat was good about this was that there was no-one else around so I could run to my heart’s content, at least, as far as my health will let me. And my fourth leg brought me as usual to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch. We’ve seen a few photos from here just recently, but I don’t think that we’ve seen the back of the square.

On the immediate left is what I think might have been an old hotel but is now a Convalescent home (in which, apparently are several Covid patients brought from elsewhere) and to the right is the Rue Jules Michelet, probably the steepest street in France I reckon.

Just imagine what it must have been like trying to take a horse and cart up there 150 years ago. Today, traffic goes up the serpentine Avenue de la Liberation to the right and cover three times the distance to arrive at the same spot.

tree square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route home includes a trip through the Square Maurice Marland.

By the memorial to Maurice Marland, which regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing on numerous occasions, there’s a solitary tree which has some lights set in the ground around it. Today those lights were actually illuminated and the effect was so eerie that I stopped to take a photo of it.

No-one about calling their dogs tonight so after I finished my walk around the walls I ran on home, rather late.

So despite it being still a little early and that I had a late start to the day, I’m off to bed. Back to work tomorrow and I really must press on instead of idling about like I seem to be doing these days.

There’s a radio show to do of course, and I need tocheck on another one that is due to be broadcast because I think that I need to make some changes to it.

And bread to bake too, and maybe something else if my chocolate cake has turned out to be a total failure.

It’s all go around here, isn’t it? When was the last time that I sat down to read a book or watch a film? I really can’t remember, it was so long ago.

Sunday 8th March 2020 – I DON’T KNOW …

… whose idea it is to ring that cacophony of church bells at 11:00 on a Sunday morning but it’s almost as if they don’t want you to have a decent lie-in on a Sunday morning when they go around awakening the dead like that.

It certainly put paid to my morning reverie and I was obliged to leave the comfort and warmth of my beautiful bed.

It wasn’t the first time that I had had to leave the bed either. Round about … errr … 04:00 or something like that, I had to go for a ride on the porcelain horse. I thought that I had passed beyond that, but apparently not.

So I went off and had my medication.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire the high winds that we were having and the storm that was raging somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean, let me tell you about my morning.

First thing that I did of course was to check on the dictaphone. And sure enough, I’d been on a little voyage. I was with someone last night who resembled a girl with whom I had worked for a while although it wasn’t her I’m sure, someone like that. We were discussing languages. Something weird had come up and we had a reply to do which we had done in French or Flemish or something. This led to some kind of discussion about languages and what do we do, how did we behave, all this kind of thing. I made the point sometime during this discussion that what we did is that we’d have the radio on if we were at home and just listen to a French programme or a Flemish programme. It didn’t really make any difference to the two of us what we were listening to. Any of the languages were usually pretty good for us.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter that, I carried on with the project that I’m undertaking – of digitalising my collection of LPs.

On thing that I’ve been able to do is to find about 120 digitalised sound files of albums that I own, and I downloaded them all. I’ve then had to split them into individual tracks.

It isn’t easy because many of them are studio master tapes where the tracks are recorded in “recorded order” of course which is quite often very different than the order in which they are published on CDs and LPs

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnother issue is that some of the tapes include tracks that were never ever published – rejected for one reason or another – and which I don’t have a clue what they are.

And sure enough, one of the sound files on which I was working was one of the latter.

Eventually, after a great deal of effort, I tracked it down. It seems that I have somehow managed to lay my hands on a rare Swedish-only version of a master-tape with one additional track that was only available in a couple of countries and a second additional track that was only available in Sweden.

That should be quite a curio when it comes to playing it on the radio programmes.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall13:30. That’s a very civilised time to have breakfast, I reckon. And the last of the home-made apple juice from when I made the apple and pear purée. It’s certainly quite interesting when I am responsible for the making (within certain limits of course) of almost every product that I eat for breakfast.

After breakfast I didn’t really do all that much. After all, it is Sunday and I’m entitled to a break one day a week when I don’t do much.

Nevertheless, round about 15:30 or thereabouts I decided that I would have lunch. I wasn’t all that hungry, and there was an end of a baguette from yesterday hanging around in the kitchen.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLuckily, I had remembered to fetch some hummus out of the freezer yesterday. Roasted pepper hummus too, made with my own fair hands.

So I had a hummus, tomato, cucumber and lettuce butty for lunch, followed by the usual apple, pear and banana for afters.

And that reminded me (although I’ve no idea why it would) that the lemon and ginger syrup that I make for my medication is running low. Sometime later this week I’ll have to make some more. I’ve plenty of ginger but I bought some juice oranges so I’ll go for orange syrup this time.

storm baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallWhatever happens, I mustn’t forget my afternoon walk. I’m only on 3% wandering around the apartment.

Mind you, sticking my head out of the door, I wasn’t too impressed about the idea of going out.

By the looks of things, there was a huge storm brewing away across the baie de Mont St Michel over there on the Brittany coast. And knowing my usual luck, I would probably end up finding myself right in the middle of it before I’d gone too far.

storm baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallBut anyway, in for a penny, in for a pound. I set off out.

And I wasn’t alone either. Despite the wind there were crowds of people milling around enjoying the weather and I was determined to join them.

My route took me right around the headland and down the steps at the end. And the farther on my travels I advanced, the more I didn’t like the look of the weather. It was just looking worse and worse

storm pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallMind you, my luck was in, for once.

The storm was advancing quite quickly but as I rounded the headland at the Pointe du Roc I could see that it was going to miss me by a good few miles.

It had found shore down by the Pointe du Carolles and places like Carolles-Plage and Jullouville were taking something of a pounding. I’m glad that it wasn’t here, because it did look particularly nasty over there.

storm high winds port de granville harbourmanche normandy france eric hallMy perambulations brought me further around the headland and here I was greeted with a sight that made the walk all worthwhile.

As I have said before … “many times” – ed … there’s nothing between that harbour wall and the eastern seaboard of the USA and here we have the highest tides in Europe.

Consequently the power that can build up in the water whenever there is a major storm anywhere in the North Atlantic is really impressive and the sea walls here catch the lot of it full force.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallregular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen some really impressive seas come roaring in just here.

And today is no exception to that. I stoop and watched it all for a good 10 minites even though I had other things to do, just because it was so impressive.

Strangely enough, there were several people passing by here, but no-one else seemed to be interested in staying to watch the free show.

trawlers new pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo instead, I had a wander down to the port. The harbour gates were closed as, believe it or not, the tide is well out (although you might not think so) so I could cross over to the other side of the harbour.

One thing that has been interesting me is the story of the new pontoons that they have been installing in the harbour. We’ve seen the pontoons on the north side of the harbour alongside the rue du Port but I wanted to look at the new ones on this side

That is, assuming that I can get close enough to them, because they are crowded out with fishing boats right now. There can’t be too many out at sea today.

scaffolding anchoring boards port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnother thing that we’ve been looking at as we have been on our way around is the scaffolding that is bolted to the side of the harbour wall here.

Being a Sunday and with no-one around, I took the opportunity to have a closer look, trying not to fall into the harbour while I was doing it.

And the result is that I’m still not too sure of its purpose and the OSB boards here fixed to the wall don’t seem to be able to throw any light upon the subject.

All that I can think of, as a wild guess, is that it’s a set of steps for the crew of the floating pontoon to descend to their little boat.

new pontoon anchoring poles port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve also seen them installing steel pillars in the harbour in order to extend the row of pontoons out perpendicularly from the harbour walls.

Three have already been installed in the harbour and I was sure that there were others although I couldn’t remember how many. Consequently I went to have a good look aroud and eventually came across them.

And I was correct. I had seen them and here they are – five of them by my reckoning. That seems to indicate two lines of four each and that’s not going to be good news for the commercial boats that come here and need the open space to manoeuvre.

And that’s going to be interesting even sooner than we imagined, because Neptune, one of the gravel boats, has just left Shoreham Harbour – “next stop Granville”. I was right about the heaps of gravel.

quai de hérel roche gauthier granville manche normandy france eric hallAs you probably saw in the previous photograph, the storm has passed, the clouds are now all gone and the sun is now out.

That made me decide to push on and have a marathon walk all the way along the Quai Hérel all the way down to the new block of flats (and how I would love to live here!) and the Pointe du Roche Gauthier.

That’s as far as you can do around here. The path comes to a sudden stop and you have to retrace your steps 100 metres or so until you come to a flight of steps that go back up to the road.

quai de hérel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo, retracing my steps, I can show you the big modern building over there on the left.

That’s the CRNG, the Centre Regional de Nautisme de Granville, and it’s also where the Youth Hostel and the Salle Hérel are.

The Salle Hérel was quite interesting today – or should have been – because they were having a “Free Market” where everyone takes the stuff that they no longer want so that others may help themselves.

However I was too late because anything that might have been of interest had probably long-since gone.

old pallet bulkhead granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk brought me up past the Tax Office and it was round about here that I had an exciting encounter.

It’s not so much the car, but what the owner was using as a bulkhead to stop whatever was in the back sliding forward into the passenger seat.

It’s an old freight pallet cut down to size and trimmed to be an exact fit. I was well-impressed by this and wished that I had thought of it in the past when I had the Passat.

escalier chemin de choisel railway engineering depot gare de granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk took me onwards down little alleys that I had only glimpsed in the past.

My aim was to do down past the station and down into the Park de Val es Fleurs to see what was going on around there but in the distance I noticed a flight of steps that I hadn’t seen before.

That made up my mind to go and follow my star wherever it was going to lead me and see what was at the other end – stopping for a glance backwards at the railway engineering depot in the background where the trains are stored and repaired.

chemin de choisel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy little climb brought me out into a little housing estate where a small path led to the main Avenue de la Liberation.

This path in turn led me past a nice modern block of flats in the chemin de Choisel. And nice though the flats might have seemed, it wasn’t my cup of tea because someone was playing some music full-blast with the windows in one of the apartments.

Where I live, I have solid stone walls 1.2 metres thick so I can play music as loud as I like without disturbing the neighbours. That wouldn’t work here at all.

ruined house under repair avenue de la liberation granville manche normandy france eric hallOut on the avenue de la Liberation and here’s a thing.

Ever since I’ve been in Granville, and probably for many years prior to that, there were some old, abandoned houses that were fenced off from the road.

It’s been a good while since I’ve been past here on foot and to my surprise something seems to be happening to them right now. We have a crane, a new roof and all other kinds of exciting things.

That will be a nice place to live when it’s all finished.

While I was here, I could have carried on down the road into town, gone down another footpath and the steps to the Park de Val es Fleurs, or else through the gardens of the Musée Christian Dior and down the steps to the Plat Gousset.

buoy english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallObviously the latter will bring me closer to the sea and with me being a Pisces, being close to water is one of my aims, so I made my way down the side of the tennis club.

Last time I was out here, I saw a big cruise ship out to sea, so I had a look to see if I was going to be lucky again.

Not quite. No shipping out there today but we did have one of these mysterious buoys bobbing around in the sea down there. I still haven’t worked out what they are four but my suspicion is that they are something to do with fishing gear – nets or lobster pots, that kind of thing I reckon.

garden musée christian dior granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were crowds of people out there today and a long, continuous line of people coming up the steps.

The steps are quite narrow and there isn’t much room to pass anyone so I had to wait for a while while they came up. That gave me an opportunity to take a photo of the nice archway down there that leads to the final flight of steps down to the promenade.

And the sea was looking pretty rough down there too. This could be very interesting.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd i wasn’t wrong either.

It’s now 17:40 which means that there’s still an hour or so to high tide, and the sea is totally wicked out there, smacking into the sea wall here with an incredible force and sending spray everywhere.

It’s lucky that the promenade s quite wide otherwise I could easily end up marooned down here and that wouldn’t be very pleasant, having to climb all the way back up the steps again..

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I wasn’t alone here either.

This was a show that you would have to pay a fortune to watch in some places, but we were having it for free. There were probably a couple of hundred people down here this afternoon making the most of the entertainment and we were all having more than our money’s worth.

So impressive was it that I stayed down here for half an hour taking photos when one of the very big waves came in

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve had quite a few storms down here so far this year, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and we’ve seen plenty of areas that have been fenced off due to the damage that the wild seas have caused.

There’s some more over there and apparently this needs to be fixed before the Grand Marée, the very high tide, comes in on Wednesday. They’ve engaged some workmen to do the job and they have erected some scaffolding to work from, but I don’t fancy their chances out there today.

It’s a good job that it’s a Sunday – a Day Of Rest – today when they can have a day off.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire a few more photos of the storm on the Plat Gousset, I climbed back up all of the steps and walked home via the square Maurice Marland.

There was still about 40 minutes or so before teatime, so I busied myself with another pile of photos from July 2019 and my trip to Iceland. I really need to press on with that before i’m much older.

The trouble is, though, that with having no internet out there, I wasn’t able to do any research into the photos. Consequently every one that I am editing, I need to research to find out where it is and what’s in the image.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSunday is vegan pizza night of course, but it’s also pudding time seeing as I have the oven on already.

It’s usually rice pudding or some such, but last week we had a delicious apple crumble. Apple pie has been on the menu too in the past and that was what I intended to try today, using the new pie dish that I bought.

These pastry rolls are the business. The cheap ones from LeClerc are vegan of course so I always have a stock of those on hand. And I’d picked up some backing apples too on Sunday.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSo, grease the pie dish and unroll one of the pastry rolls and put that in, gently pressing down so that it’s in at the seam at the bottom.

Thinly slice a couple of the apples and lie the slices in on top of the pastry, making as many layers as you can fit in, so that the pastry is completely covered.

On every layer, a think coating of desiccated coconut, brown sugar and lemon juice (and some cinnamon and nutmeg, which I completely forgot, for some reason or other that I can’t explain).

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallUnroll another pastry roll, cut out a top for the pie, with an overhang of about 2 cms.

Wet with some mile the part of the pastry that is on the lip of the pie dish, then put the top on and press it down really hard with a fork to the pastry underneath on the lip. Then trim off the excess pastry.

Put a few slits in the top of the pie to let out the steam, brush with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. Then bung in the oven.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWith the excess pastry, coast it on both sides – and your rolling pin – with flour to stop it sticking, and roll it out with your rolling pin. It won’t be square, so keep on trimming it off and adding the trimmings into appropriate places so that it’s as square as you can make it

Grease a flat oven tray and gently with a couple of spatulas, pick up your flat pastry and put on the tray. Add the leftover apple slices into the centre, with desiccated coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (which I remembered this time) then fold over all of the pastry and press it together to seal it.

Prick it with a fork to let the steam out, brush with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar, and bung that in the oven too.

apple turnover apple pie place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd here’s the end result. It all looks pretty impressive and I bet it tastes even better even without the spices in the pie. I won’t be trying it this evening though because there’s still some apple crumble left.

Instead, the turnover was cut into 2 and put in the freezer, and the pie went in the fridge ready to start on tomorrow.

Rather like the time that I made a meat and potato pie when I was younger. I left the eyes in the potatoes so that it would see me through the week.

I’ll get my coat.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne thing that I mustn’t forget is my evening walk. I’m already up to 95% so i don’t intend to go far.

The NIKON 1 J5 and f1.8 18.5mm lens came with me so that I could have a little play around. I reset the ISO to “MAX 3200” rather than “MAX 6400” as the graining is too much, and stopped down a couple of stops to see what I could produce with that.

And f1.74 at 1/50 second and ISO3200 gave me this image. And for a hand-held shot, it’s quite reasonable. Joly France looks quite nice out there at the ferry terminal.

There have been much worse shots than this.

I’m wondering what else I can produce with this camera if I show some patience. Some good might come out of the enforced deprivation of the big NIKON D500

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire the rest of the photos of the storm there is something else that I mustn’t forget – and that is to go running.

And it’s a good job that I did those two-and-a-half runs yesterday because I only managed one and a half today. Not because of lack of willingness or lack of fitness, but because my first run down the rue du Roc was right into the teeth of a howling gale.

When I hit the slope of the hill about half-way or so along my course, it stopped me dead in my tracks and that was that. Luckily the return run along to boulevard Vaufleury was with the wind so that was a lot easier and I managed an extra 20 metres or so.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSo now I’m back home and in the warmth.

There are tons of photos to edit and lots to write, so i doubt that I’ll be able to finish it tonight. But I’ll do what I can before I go to sleep and whatever remains to be done, I can finish it all off tomorrow.

Not that I’m complaining of course. This was a good day out and a really good walk around – more than enough to tire myself out. If I do fall asleep while writing out my notes, it will be for a very good …


Tuesday 19th November 2019 – WHAT A WASTE …

… of a morning that was!

On Sunday night I had just a couple of hours sleep. And while it’s true to say that I dozed off quite a few times on the way home, that is nothing like what I would call a deep, meaningful sleep.

And so I’m totally lost and unable to understand why it was that I was still up and about working (talking to Mike on the internet about my Uummannaq speech) at 03:30.

It’s true to say that I was not anticipating an early start today. I’d disconnected the series that starts at 06:00 and replaced it with the series that starts at 08:00. Nevertheless, although I had heard them, it was about 10:00 when I stuck my head up from under the quilt.

It was … errr … somewhat later when my feet finally hit the floor and that was the morning effectively finished before it had begun.

But I’d managed to go off a-wandering during the night and it was all a bizarre couple of journeys too. The first one was about one of my sisters. I’d been somewhere and she was in another room with a few people. She was getting changed. I went off to do something, review my post figures for the week so I did a couple of hours overtime, something like that in the night to do it. As I was leaving it, all these young girls were going to leave it too, off to the shops for something. They were all wearing these white sheets and black sheets like witches and druids, whatever, and I couldn’t see my sister there. I had to go to the back office to check in. A woman was there, and that was where I’d last seen my sister. We started to talk about things that I had done and things in the road, roadworks and everything. All of a sudden it came to be 04:00 now and everyone else was milling around, and I thought “where’s my sister?” and I couldn’t see her anywhere. I was getting a bit concerned because obviously I wanted to see her but I couldn’t find her at all. The thing is that it wasn’t really my sister at all that I was talking about but Zero, who has accompanied me on my travels on many occasions in the past (although this is her first time for quite a while). She was there and her father was there as well and he figured in it right at the very start for some reason

Some time later, there was a group of us gone camping somewhere supposed to be out in the cold but although it seemed cold it wasn’t that cold to me. We were staying in some kind of weird buildings with open fronts. We had pitched our bedding in there should I say, the whole group of us and I was hanging out with a couple of girls actually and I’m not sure who they were. Everyone else, they were very early to bed and very early risers. (… I can do the latter but not the former…) so they had to keep on going to fetch me to go to bed. On one occasion they came down and got me. We were walking back up past where the kids were sleeping and I made a remark because the courtyard was totally empty but it was to me quite early. “They must be all in bed, the kids”. We walked back to where we were sleeping. Our beds were there and I could see that everyone else was in bed but one or two of them were looking disapprovingly of me coming back. I was getting ready for bed, taking my trousers off, but decided that I had to do something so I started hopping around the room like a kangaroo with my trousers around my ankles and hopped off outside presumably to go to the toilet or something. But ti was totally strange seeing everyone sleeping in woolly hats fully clothed, all this kind of thing. And when I had returned to my room with these girls there was some money on one of the beds. I said to the girl “is it your money or mine?” She replied “it’s your money because my money is down in my car down below. It must be your money” so she gave it to me.

There was the usual medication and breakfast and the first part of what was left of the morning was spent in dealing with the dictaphone entries of the last few days and then catching up with three out of the backlog.

But then I noticed the time. A quick shower and clean up and setting the washing machine on the go, and I went into town. My lettuce was somewhat sad so I needed a new one as well as some bananas and potatoes. A visit to Super U was thus on the cards.

While I was down there I picked up another one of those dejeunettes from the boulangerie. 170gms – that’s about 2/3rds of a baguette and €0:50 a throw. That’s plenty for me for lunch and I may as well take advantage of the bakery while I’m down there.

Back at the apartment, I noticed the time. 13:25 already. So I had my lunch and then a play on the guitar for half an hour.

This afternoon’s projects were many and varied.

  • Find the receipts for the medication that I had been prescribed in Belgium and scan them into the computer. I’m trying to do this straight away rather than letting a pile build up.
  • Carry on with the hunt for digital tracks for the albums that I own
  • Hanging up the washing (which I had forgotten when I returned).
  • Backing up the stuff off the travelling laptop onto the main computer and merging the data. And that wasn’t a two-minute job as I can’t find a European power pack for it so I had to make up a converter out of some stuff in Caliburn.
  • Most importantly, starting work on Project 003.

All of the music for that project is now done and I’m halfway through preparing the notes. I want to finish that off for the weekend and maybe even finish Project 004 by then too.

And I don’t know quite what happened, but I fell asleep at some point too. Only 10 minutes or so, but asleep all the same.

In between all of this, I managed to take myself off out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

gravestone missing pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceBut here’s a surprise. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that ages ago we’d discovered something that looked like the headstone of a grave stuck in the ground close to one of the old bunkers of the Atlantic Wall

But when I got there this afternoon, I noticed that it seems to have been removed. There’s a hole in the ground where it used to be and that’s all closed off with bollards and tapes.

That’s a surprise because it’s something that seems to have been ignored for I don’t know quite how many years.

sailors memorial pointe du rock granville manche normandy franceAnd when I was out for my walk during the evening yesterday, I sensed that while I was round by the lifeboatmen’s memorial I was walking on something that didn’t feel quite right to me.

In the daylight today though, I could see what was the issue. It seems that they have planted flowers all around the memorial without telling me. And with not having seen them, I’d been trampling upon them.

Ahh well! Someone should have said something. I can hardly be blamed if they go cluttering up the footpath, can I?

aztec lady spirit of conrad chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd so my walk continued. Along the top of the cliff and past the chantier navale.

The two ships that were in there the other day – Aztec Lady and Spirit of Conrad – they are still in there today. Aztec Lady seems however to have grown a pair of masts since the last time that I looked.

There’s a new boat in there too. One of the little fishing boats is over there on ramps too, presumably having some work done upon her.

Back in the comfort, warmth and safety of my apartment I carried on with my work until tea time. There was a slice of vegan pasty left over from March so I heated it up in the oven with some potatoes and, seeing as I had the oven on, a large rice pudding for afters.

Peas and carrots and gravy with the pie and potatoes went down really well. And I’m running low on carrots too. I’ll have to make some more if there are any going cheap at LIDL on Thursday.

donville les bains granville manche normandy franceAfter tea I went for my evening walk around the walls.

There was some kind of searchlight shining over Donville-les-Bains so I went to take a photo of it. And just as I had finished setting up the equipment, they switched off the light.

That’s just typical, isn’t it? So I just took a photo of it normally in the dark instead.

avenue de la liberation granville manche normandy franceThere wasn’t a soul out there tonight, which was not a surprise because it was freezing cold out there and there was a high wind blowing.

For that reason I hadn’t taken the tripod with me, so I took a photo of the chicane in the Avenue de la Liberation by hand instead. It’s not come out too badly despite that.

And I was disappointed with my run. Very disappointed in fact. I could only manage about half of it and that’s no good if I intend to keep up this fitness regime. I have to take it seriously.

Just now I’ve had a mug of hot chocolate and now I intend to do a couple of web site amendments before going to bed. I must push on with this despite all of the other work and do a few each day just to whittle down the backlog.

No time like the present.

Friday 15th February 2019 – AS WHAT SEEMS TO BE …

… the normal procedure this morning, I heard the alarms go off and then turned over and went back to sleep.

The irony about that is I was wide awake at 04:40 and lay there tossing and turning until 06:00. Going back to sleep straight away and not waking up at 07:25 is bizarre.

During the night I’d been on my travels. On a bus holiday too but the bus was huge – it was more like an aeroplane with over 200 people in it, although it was rather laid out like a bus. I had a double-seat to myself but I had noticed a girl who would have been an ideal companion to share my seat. The driver announced that those people going on the optional excursions needed to alight and board another bus. That meant me, but I hadn’t been to my hotel yet. So I had to fight my way down to the front to speak to the driver. He told me that it did include me, so I had to fight my way to the back again, pick up my possessions, struggle through the crowds with my huge suitcase and find my bus. The driver looked at me and laughed. He said that it was the first time that he had ever had a passenger wishing to bring all of their possessions on an optional excursion. I replied that this was because I hadn’t yet been allowed to go to my hotel, and what was he going to do about it? But he walked off.

A late breakfast of course, and then a relaxing day without doing anything exciting.

And by the time that I’d finished, I’d finished the web-page with the photos of Cologne back in December and put it on line. The photos are a little disappointing, mainly because the weather was so dreadful, but one or two of them have some remarkable effects.

Having attended to that, I could then press on with the blog entry for that day too. That’s now on-line too.

That doesn’t sound as if I have done very much today but, believe me, it wasn’t particularly straightforward. And having done the difficult bit, I can press on with the rest of the blog.

That hummus that I made the other day is even more wicked than it was when I made it. It’s maturing nicely and the garlic smells delicious. It should keep me going – in many more senses than one – for a considerable time.

rue du nord city walls granville donville les bains manche normandy franceThis afternoon was one of the nicest afternoons that I have ever experienced in a February.

It really was a pleasure to be out and about in it – so much so that I actually went out earlier than normal.

There was a light sea mist that prevented a really good view down the coast, but the skies were blue and so was the sea – a really deep summery blue.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceAnd I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the weather either, as you might expect.

There were hordes of people milling around on the grass on the Pointe du Roc around the old military installations of the Atlantic Wall. And who can blame them?

In the foreground on the left is one of the rotation tracks for one of the large guns that were positioned here, and on the right in the background is the former military athletics track that is now the playing field for the College Malraux.

yacht seagull pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThere was plenty of activity on the sea too.

A yacht was quite happily sailing past the headland of the Pointe du Roc and I went to take a photo of it – and just at that very moment a seagull flew past the camera.

That’s what they call a “photo-bombing with a difference” and I couldn’t reproduce that photo if I tried for a hundred years.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound the corner and today’s walk took me on the cliffs above the chantier navale.

As I mentioned the other day, there’s a lot of activity going on in there right now. They seem to be very busy and that’s always good news.

There are a couple of new boats in there today too. We saw the yacht and the trawler in there when we went past on Monday, but the third one in there is new.

She’s Armor owned by a leisure diving company from near Lannion in the Côtes d’Armor, in between St Brieuc and Roscoff. So she’s come a long way to be serviced here.

I had to fight off a wave of fatigue round about 17:00, which is an improvement from just recently.

Tea was a vegan burger with pasta, veg and tomato sauce. Quite delicious it was too.

night avenue de la liberation granville manche normandy franceI was alone on my walk again this evening. And I can’t think why because it really was pleasant out there. Not at all like a February night.

I had a wander around the walls and spent a couple of minutes looking at the traffic driving up the hill and round the slalom of the Avenue de la Libération.

No-one – not even a seagull – disturbed me at all while I was out there

night house place du parvis notre dame granville manche normandy franceNo cats either tonight, so I trudged on homewards.

There’s a small house in the Place du Parvis Notre Dame that has attracted my attention. Some evenings it’s illuminated by a lampt outside, and tonight the building was looking particularly attractive.

It would come out even better if I had a better camera that would stop down even lower. This was taken with the 18-105mm lens at f3.75 at ISO800.

Saturday tomorrow and ordinarily I would be going shopping. But on Sunday I’m heading off to Leuven again so I shan’t bother.

I might have a little wander into town tomorrow morning though and visit the market to see what is going on. They should be starting the preparations for the Carnaval too and I’ll be interested to see where they are up to.

brehal plage granville manche normandy france
brehal plage granville manche normandy france

marker light rocks waves granville manche normandy france
marker light rocks waves granville manche normandy france

waves on rocks pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
waves on rocks pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france
fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france

lifeboat memorial port entrance marker light baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france
lifeboat memorial port entrance marker light baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france

sailing boats yachts baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
sailing boats yachts baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

trawler fishing boat refuelling port de granville harbour  manche normandy france
trawler fishing boat refuelling port de granville harbour manche normandy france