Tag Archives: bad night

Saturday 3rd September 2022 – I MADE IT …

… to the supermarket this morning.

Not that I felt much like it but nevertheless there I was. And here I am back again so something went right today.

Not that it looked much like it earlier though.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While you admire a couple of photos of some of the water craft that was out and about this afternoon, I was having a pretty miserable night.

The computer didn’t start up again during the night but that was about the only thing that didn’t. I had that weird problem with my ankle strapping and I reckon that as there’s a French saying of jamais deux sans trois I’ll take it off before I go to bed tonight if I remember.

Apart from that there were loads of voyages and by the looks (or the listening) of things there was about an hour and a half where there must have been all kinds of turmoil going on, judging by what was there on the dictaphone. I started off at school. The back way out of school was to go out of a window and down a ladder that was usually propped there. I went that way and found that the ladder had been extended to its full extent and put across the pavement to the window. Because it was at its fullest extent it was at something like I dunno less than 40° for an angle of the ladder. I thought that that was positively lethal. The ladder needs to be brought up closer to the wall and made much shorter so that it’s much safer and you aren’t actually on it for as long. I pulled it in from where I was standing. I had to untangle a few nets that were around it then drop the ladder down to the right kind of height. Somehow it all went down and didn’t reach up to the window. One of the teachers went past and saw my manoeuvres. I thought that she was about to say something but she didn’t. eventually I managed to make my own way down to the floor underneath. There was an Afro-Caribbean family living there. They were going on about this ladder. I explained that the ladder had been set up all wrong. One of the little girls there, I told her to go and fetch something but she refused so I told her that if she were to go and fetch it I would show her how to set up the ladder so I could actually go down to the ground floor and the street at the back.

kayaker baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022At the end of the exhibition thing (which exhibition thing?) the crowd started to thin out until there was just about half a dozen of us left. I saw that the person there was someone whom I knew. He’d been kept captive there and the ladder out to the back garden was at an angle of much more than 45° so it was completely unsafe to be on it. Despite being told off by his teacher he made it down to where the ladder was. He pulled it in but ended up dropping it so he was stranded on the rock where he was. Eventually he was met by a West Indian family who started to show him crutches and things but he showed them a few tricks himself with the card that frightened one of the girls. He then asked about using the phone otherwise he’d end up here making them alone for Christmas, carrying out work about that when he went over to sign them in at the council’s local papers and he had to give a name and date of birth. That completely stumped him.

When I dictated this bit about going out when the ladder was not steep enough and causing problems sliding so I picked it up to try to adjust the length and put it at a better angle. Instead, the whole lot of the ladder folded up. The teacher who saw me didn’t actually say anything which surprised me so I went somehow down to the floor underneath. There was a West Indian family there. I explained to them what had happened and asked their little girl to go and fetch something but she refused even though I promised to let her see what was going on.

He (who?) played for the local village football team, a group of shopkeepers and he embarrassed a few senior professional sides on more than one occasion while he was playing for them. I can’t remember what else I had to say about this

We had a few of these where the prosecution had a buoy that was much bigger than the normal standard size so it creates all kinds of confusion on shore when you take it ashore but I can’t remember why it was a subject of conversation now. And what this is about I really don’t have a clue

There was something weird happening in a space laboratory that made TV tubes last night. There weren’t all that many workers and the process is automated. In the rest room there were all kinds of problems going on and the camp was split pretty much into 2 groups of people, the humans and the not-quite-so-humans. They were creating some kind of nasty atmosphere towards each other. There was a definite split down the workforce such as it was with the humans ganging up on the non-humans. They created an aggressive situation. There was one newish workman who had come there from earth to work. He tried to resolve the conflicts but his manager made the announcement that this guy’s funeral will be on Wednesday next week, which is to the effect that they were going to push him right out of the organisation. They asked what would become of him. he said that there’s another factory here in Space and he can go to work there. He said that they had a lot of trouble with door knobs but they can only go in occasionally and can’t come out at all.

We were all in Canada later on last night. There was a problem with the insurance on the Ranger. We could have the vehicle MoT’d but he wouldn’t pass it until I produced the insurance. Of course this was going to be extremely complicated for me being a non-resident. In the end after a great deal of argument and discussion I managed to have him agree that I’d produce the letter from the insurance company offering renewal and submit that and he’d issue the certificate. He had to go to check with his boss and quite a few people first. After that we were all ushered away. We ended up going to someone’s house. All of my friends etc had gone upstairs but there were one or two people milling around on the ground floor. I asked “do I have to go upstairs too or am I being stuck down here?”. They replied that I could go upstairs so I went to go but there were all people sitting on the stairs talking and wouldn’t move out of the way for me to go past. One of the women made some kind of remark that was intended to make these people move but they took no notice at all and carried on talking. I was effectively being prevented from going upstairs.

And finally there was some time for me to go and meet some kind of Middle-Eastern family who had come to live in the West. They had ever so many people living here. I somehow ended up being with 2 children. I was talking to them. The little bit of the apartment that I could see was untidy, littered with all kinds of dust etc. I asked the little boy how many people lived here. He replied “21”. I said “that must be difficult when you go to sleep, isn’t it?. He started to tell me a story but his sister who was perhaps a little older began to speak to him in a foreign language and he didn’t tell me any more after that. I didn’t press the issue on the grounds that if they wanted me to know they would tell me but if they didn’t, they wouldn’t.

As well as all of this, that blasted steam engine or whatever it is went past this morning again at about 06:00. I haven’t a clue what that is.

Anyway when the alarm went off I fell out of bed, had my medication and then went for a shower. And how embarrassing is it when I can’t climb into the bath to take a shower? I had to invent something in order to take a shower this morning.

And then I set off for LeClerc. Climbing into Caliburn was difficult but at least this posh new barrier looks good, complete with its LED lighting. I don’t have to climb out to move any bollards.

When I pulled into the supermarket car park a delivery of fuel had just taken place and there were only a few cars on the pumps so I pulled in and fuelled up with 30 litres just so I’d have some. The car next to me was well over the cente line while the driver was fuelling up, and Caliburn is rather wide so the driver had to wait for me to clear off before he could get back into his car.

And serve him right.

This week’s shopping bill was much more than it ought to be. But then they had that orange juice that I like on a special offer for a multiple buy and the coffee that I like was reduced to €6:50 for a pack of 4 and I’m not going to pass that up. One or two other little “extras” made it into something of an expensive shop but what I buy today I won’t need to bother any other time.

It was 10:25 when I returned from the shops, nearly squidging a couple of pedestrians who were passing through our private car park, A coffee and some toast then saw me attack the dictaphone, the results of which you have already seen.

Other things that I have done today were pairing off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday, and then also dicing, blanching and freezing a kilo of carrots.

people swimming beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Apart from the usual pauses I went out yet again to try my luck with a little walk.

As usual I wandered over to the wall to the end of rhe car park to see what was happening down on the beach. And sure enough, there were quite a few people down there today.

Some of them had even gone into the sea and that was quite brave of them. But then again the weather had improved dramatically. This morning it was all grey and overcast but right now there was plenty of sun, even if there was quite a bit of wind about

But have you noticed that a couple of the people down there in the water look as if they are fully clothed?

people on beach donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, I had a good look around to see what else was going on round there.

You’ve seen already all that there was to see out at sea. And there wasn’t all that much of that. But along the coast beyond Donville les Bains there seemed to be plenty going on.

There were a couple of tractors along the waterline there but on the boat launching ramp there was a van looking as if it has just launched a boat into the water.

Dozens of people milling around on the beach too. There must still be plenty of people at the holiday camp down there

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Nevertheless it seems that I was unlucky this afternoon because I missed one of the Joly France ferries coming back from the island.

When I staggered over to the other wall at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, the boat was busy discharging its load of passengers.

Jusging by the windows in “landscape” format, this is the older one of the two boats. And by the looks of things she had brought back quite a crowd too. All of the passengers were queued up on the boat waiting to leave.

The service is now winding down for the winter. All of the seasonal staff were laid off on Friday so it’ll be just a skeleton service for the winter.

dog in bicycle trailer boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While I was there, there was a lot of other stuff going on too.

And what do you make of this? While I was standing at the viewpoint overlooking the Fish processing Plant (you have some really scenic views here), this strange contraption went rolling past.

We’ve seen DOGS PUSHED AROUND IN TROLLEYS before now, but I don’t think that I’ve seen anything quite like this before. Dogs being moved around in trailers pulled by pushbikes is certainly a novel idea.

But shouldn’t the dog be wearing a seatbelt and crash helmet?

unloading joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, as all of the passengers swarm away from Joly France on their way home, the real work begins.

For the last couple of years there has been a little freighter, Chausiaise, that runs back and to to the island with the freight that is required. Today though it looks as if there wasn’t all that much demand for freight.

Instead of sending Chausiaise they are bringing back the freight in the hold of Jolly France and they are now unloading it with the aid of the quayside crane.

It’s a good job that I’m not operating the crane. Seeing all of the tourists milling around there, I’d be sorely tempted to have a go at a life-size version of pub skittles

As well as Chausiaise and Victor Hugo moored up in the inner harbour today there was plenty of other stuff too.

le styx spirit of conrad capo di fora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the left is the trawler Le Styx and on the right is the yacht Capo di Fora that we have seen in port A COUPLE OF TIMES

But the boat in the middle is the one in which I’m interested. She is of course Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the Brittany coast a couple of years ago.

She’s been off on a mega-sail around Scotland and the coast of Norway and at one time I was optimistic about having a moment spare to go for part of the trip. However health issues soon put a stop to that idea.

In fact I knew that she was back in port because on my way out of the building this afternoon I met Pierre her skipper on his way in and we had quite a lengthy chat. I seem to be “flavour of the month” right now with the neighbours.

Back in here I finished off what needed finishing and with all of my work done for the weekend, except for the pizza bases tomorrow, I relaxed.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap, which was quite delicious.

But now I’m off to bed. There’s an alarm for the morning because the nurse is coming round. And I won’t feel all that much like it but it has to be done.

And then I’ll probably go back to bed. After all, it IS Sunday.

Friday 2nd September 2022 – I’VE JUST HAD …

yellow powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… one of the most delicious meals that I’ve had for quite a while.

So while you admire a couple of photos of the little yellow powered hang glider that caught me unawares not once but twice this afternoon, I’ll tell you all about it.

And what I can say is that it was a pretty good move to buy those four tins of baked beans in St Helier the other day, and the vegan sausage that I bought were way beyond excellent, all washed down with chips and the malt vinegar that I’ve had here for a while

It’s been years since I’ve had real baked beans. The European ones are quite insipid and even the “English-recipe” ones that I buy in North America are nothing like these.

And the “proper” American ones are awful – packed so full of sugar that they are disgusting. So the cheap Morrisons ones went down a treat.-

yellow powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022last night wasn’t quite so much of a treat though.

For some reason that I have yet to understand, the computer fired itself up at 03:20 and it goes without saying that that awoke me bolt up right. A while later I had a bad attack of cramp, the first time for years since I’ve been taking these magnesium tablets,

And not only that. There was a problem with the elastic knee support that cut into my leg and the elastic ankle support that cut into my big toe that awoke me each time and in the end I took them both off.

Add to that the fact that I was off on my travels during the night and you can understand why it wasn’t a treat going to bed.

Waking up was even worse and I struggled to take to my feet. I beat the second alarm but not very much.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. No Zero unfortunately, and neither was there any TOTGA or Castor. We’d opened some kind of specialty shop somewhere or other and it had gradually evolved into a whole range of things like a corner shop, café, restaurant etc. There was a great wish to try to keep it ethical but one of the partners ended up having an affair with someone on the quiet. Things were not going right at all. Someone buttonholed the female partner of the business and started to talk about ethics. The complaint of course was that he preached ethics but didn’t practise them because of this, this and this. This set the woman thinking. The next thing we knew was that a couple of people left to go travelling. She’s there in her little house that she built herself at the side of the bus station instead of the company premises that were there. Someone from the company asked “do you have enough small change for 2 tills?”. She replied “yes”. 2 women came over and shook hands and thanked her for giving them the opportunity to take over and run this ethical business. She was walking away from it after her principles had been betrayed.

There were 2 people who were supposed to be busking in the street. One was a girl hitting a piece of scaffolding pipe with a scaffolding joint. The second one was a guy and I’m sure that he had a guitar but I couldn’t see it. They were arguing about things that were going wrong and not performing. I stood there watching them for a couple of minutes until my partner dragged me away. She asked what i was doing. I replied “those 2 look interesting from a music point of view”. I wanted to go to give them my card but she put her foot down about people behaving like that being friends of ours. I had to convince her that the world was full of personal and petty disputes etc. That’s nothing to what I’ve seen in the past. She wasn’t really interested but I still had this strong temptation to back and make myself known to them and see what could be developed between the 3 of us at least.

Later on I was with someone and going through this list of songs that I had that were on my playlist for some reason or other, checking which ones they were and why they were there. We only had three organised before I had this dramatic pain in my big toe that I mentioned earlier so I don’t know what that was going to do. That was a shame because it sounded as if it might have been exciting.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And while a zodiac goes past out in the bay, I was on a bus or a plane even going somewhere. It was the time when my radio programme was being broadcast. There were 2 guys sitting in front whom I could hear talking. They were talking about a previous broadcast so I couldn’t be sure which one was being broadcast so I had a listen. I could identify it from about 3 seconds of music and thought “this is the correct one being broadcast today”. I put the headphones back and started to ferret around in my briefcase for the green file in which I keep all the information. The girl next to me was rather irritated and asked “you aren’t searching for something else are you?”. I replied “yes but I promise you that this is the last thing”. She said “we can swap places if you like”. I replied “no, I’m quite comfortable where I am. It will be the very last thing I promise you that I’ll be looking for”. Then I was looking through the papers and found that the paper that I wanted wasn’t in the file. Just then the alarm went off.

The rest of the day was spent mainly going through the photos from Jersey. Not that I’ve done very many at all because much of the time was spent researching what it was that I’d photographed. And even though there’s a long, long way to go, I’ve been able to identify many of the features that show up so clearly when I see them from here, and that was the aim of the trip in the first place.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Regardless of how I’m feeling, I still went outside this afternoon.

And as usual I staggered across the car park to see what was going on down on the beach. And there seemed to be plenty of all of that too with quite a few people down there enjoying themselves today.

They certainly had better weather for it too. The sun was out, there wasn’t very much wind and with everyone else now back at work or at school, there aren’t the crowds of heaving msses with which everyone has to contend.

shtandart baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022What also caught my eye quite early on too were the sails that I could see in the distance.

It’s not Marité of course but the Russian sailing ship Shtandart that came in here for the Festival of Working Sailing Ships. and I don’t know why she’s still here either because the Festival has now finished of course.

Here’s hoping that she’s not going to be moving in here permanently. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m not actually overwhelmed to see her in here. But then it’s not my decision.

buses place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There seems to be something rather bizarre happening with the buses.

The bus that we saw parked in a strange position yesterday was there again this afternoon. But it’s not the service bus on a layover because as I watched, the service bus pulled in at the usual bus stop, discharged some, picked up others and then cleared off again on its route.

And when I came back from my little crawl around later, she was still there too so there’s something strange happening here with the local buses.

That’s something else that I’ll need to check. It it’s here tomorrow I shall go and engage the driver in conversation

unidentified light aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Right now though there was an aeroplane flying by overhead.

Regrettably I couldn’t quite read its registration number so I’ve no idea who it might be. But it begins with “OO” and that’s a series of numbers assigned to Belgium so it’s strange to see it out here.

She wasn’t picked up on the civilian radar either.

Now that I have access to the records of a few more airfields I could cast my net further around but there’s no aeroplane of any similar registration anywhere and so that would seem to be that.

delta airlines Airbus A330-223 N857NW baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022No such problems with this aeroplane though. I didn’t need much help with this one.

She’s N857NW, an Airbus A330-223 owned by Delta Airlines and took off two and a half hours late at 15:59 from Paris Charles de Gaulle on flight DL 265 to JFK Airport, New York.

The delay incidentally was caused by the late arrival of the outbound flight DL264, although why a 40-minute delay in arriving should put it back by that much is rather strange. But at least it had a nice clear sky in which to fly back.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The way that I’m feeling right now, I’m not going aroind the headland.

Cliniging on to a series of stone walls in case I might fall, I made my way slowly to the viewpoint overlooking the port. And at least we can confirm that Marité isn’t out at sea hidden in the haze. She’s moored up in her usual place at the end of the inner harbour.

Also in there this afternoon are la Grande Ancre ,Chausiaise and Victor Hugo. Obviously the trip out to St Helier with me on Wednesday was far too much for the latter ship.

Plenty of trawlers in there this afternoon too. They must be having a day off today.

le soupape pescadore peccavi trafalgar chant des sirenes ch639133 le poulbot charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022In the meantime I noticed that there’s a change in occupancy at the chantier naval so I gingerly inched my way in that direction.

All of the usual suspects, le soupape , trafalgar , peccavi , trafalgar , chant des sirenes and charlevy are still in there but there’s another boat come to join them.

Her name isn’t visible from here but I can see her registration number. It’s CH639133 and that tells me that she’s Le Poulbot.

Although her registration number is quite old, built in 1986, we haven’t seen her before. Apparently she seems to spend much of her time in Fécamp.

le roc a la mauve 3 joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With Victor Hugo and Chausiaise being in the inner harbour I had a quick look over to see who was at the ferry terminal.

All that I could see was the new Belle France and one of the Joly France ferries. Judging by the windows in “portrait” format, it’s the newer one of the two.

In the foreground in Le Roc à La Mauve III and we know all about her because we saw her in the chantier naval for quite a long time.

Back here I had a coffee, finished off what I was doing and then went for tea. My delicious meal of vegan sausage, chips and beans. And I’ll have plenty more of that in due course. I have set plans afoot.

Later on, there was football in the Welsh Premier League – Caernarfon Twon v Airbus UK Broughton. Promoted for this season, Airbus are pretty much up against it already. Yet to take a point after four matches.

And today they didn’t help themselves very much, going down 3-1 in a score that very much flattered Caernarfon. But then experience will always tell.

It wasn’t as if Airbus played badly either.

Their goal really summed up their misfortune. Caernarfon had a bucket-load of corners but as usual these days, the delivery towards the goal was pretty dismal. Airbus won just two or three but the deliveries were peaches and one of them was a free header that led to their goal.

The margin between winning and losing is wafer-thin. We had two identical situations with one-on-ones in front of goal. Josh Tibbetts saved the one on the Caernarfon goal but Mike Jones didn’t.

And then when Caernarfon were awarded a penalty Mike Jones managed to stop it. But he couldn’t cling on and with 20 players to whom the ball could have rolled, it of course had to roll to an unmarked Cofi

Yes, when your luck is out, it’s well and truly out.

Bedtime now, very late, and shopping tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to that either. To be frank, I’m rather nervous about going out in case I have another fall. I know exactly now how a tortoise feels when it ends up upside-down. And it’s not very pleasant.

Monday 22nd August 2022 – YET MORE CONTROVERSY …

le shtandart entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022 … here in Granville this afternoon.

Despite a European Union embargo that came into force in April, into the port today came the Russian sailing ship Shtandart. She’s a modern (as in 20-odd years old) replica of an 18th Century Russian sailing ship.

She’s probably come into port because of this Festival of Working Sailing Ships that starts later in the week but her presence is a kick in the teeth for the hundreds, if not thousands, of Ukrainian refugees in the area.

And remember – this is a town that refused to allow its radio station to broadcast a pro-Ukrainian rock concert back in March. So it doesn’t look as if there is any doubt about where the sympathies of the officials of the town lie when they allow this ship to come into port.

le shtandart baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022She spent several months loitering around in the Mediterranean just after the sanctions were announced.

And while she has been in a couple of French ports subsequently, she has been met with demonstrations and pickets.

With a Town Council that seems determined to suppress all kinds of traditional entertainment in the town, as I have mentioned on several occasions when I’ve been talking about the Big Wheel and the Bar Ephemère, I’m not really sure what else I can say about a Council that allows this ship to come into port, Festival or not.

marité le shtandart port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The captain has refused, according to at least one news source, “to abandon his Russian flag” because he “does not want to give up his country despite being at war”.

Furthermore, an unverified source suggests that the captain’s brother is ” fighting on the Ukrainian front of the war” and I don’t think that anyone needs to ask “on which side?”.

And I should mention too that she is not transmitting an AIS signal, in contravention of various maritime procedures. And if you want to know how I know this, don’t forget that I maintain the AIS beacon for the port.

All in all, I smell a rat. And I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile, in other news, there was plenty of other maritime activity today. So while I tell you about my day today, you can admire a few photos of what was going on on the water.

We started off as usual on a Monday by the alarm going off at 06:00. And I had a struggle to rise to my feet as well which is no surprise because it was a very disturbed night.

Nevertheless after the medication I attacked the radio programme that I wanted to prepare today. And much to my surprise, it was finished and up and running at 11:09.

Even more surprising, it dovetailed together perfectly to the tenth of a second without any editing at all and I don’t think that I’ve ever had one that has gone together so well.

kayakers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was listening to the finished product, and also to the radio programme that will be broadcast this weekend I had a few things to sort out.

Nothing of any great importance, as it happens, but things that needed to be done all the same.

Lunch was rather late, and the next task afterwards was to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night.

And it’s no surprise that I had something of a difficult night last night because there was tons of stuff on there. If I’d been disturbing my sleep as many times as it seems that I did, then it’s no surprise that it was quite difficult to drag myself out of bed.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Last night I started off at school when someone said that they overheard me use a derogatory term for a type of person. This led to quite an argument firstly because I wouldn’t be the kind of person who would do that and secondly everyone there ought to know it too. It led to a great deal of awkwardness which couldn’t be explained away for some reason. Someone seemed to be convinced that he’d heard me say it and that was all that there was. In the meantime I was busy going through all of my books and Lps because I was going somewhere in a car and wanted to take some music with me. Someone else was making suggestions about the books I should take but I was actually looking in the end for my Agatha Christie compendium and thought that i’d take that with me but there was a lot of confusion between all of the books and LPs that I had and it was very difficult to actually find the book that I wanted.

Later on I was in Caliburn with someone else looking for someone. We had driven round quite a way to find this person but couldn’t find him. In the end we saw a tramp by the side of the road with a couple of molotov cocktails so we stopped and suggested that he might like a ride to Chicago. We threw away his molotov cocktails but we only went about a quarter of a mile down the road before we stopped, put him out of the van and started to question him rather roughly about where this person might be. This led to some kind of fight between the 3 of us and he cleared off. By this time I’d emptied out Caliburn and was ready to tidy it up. I found a USB key and I wondered where it went. I was having difficulty tidying up, not sure where to put everything. I was worried that Caliburn was on the public highway. It turned out that it was in a parking place but still on the public highway. There was something like a wifi router in the back of caliburn that controlled the TV. There was also a kind of CD player. I suddenly had a flash of inpiration. Put the USB key into a slot in the router thing and it suddenly started to show TV pictures that were coming out of the other appliance that we had. I thought that this was progress but I hoped that it keeps up. It was an old Marlene Dietrich film. I was still in all kind sof confusion about the bast way to pick Caliburn.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And then we were in Brussels. We had some kind of discussion group, three of us, me, a woman and a girl named Andrew about where to go and what to do. One of the suggestions had been to go to Salzburg. We were wandering round in the upstairs of this department store. This Andrea saw a snooker table so she decided that she was going to have a game of snooker. This woman and I wandered away. The lift was out so we had to climb down this escalator to the ground floor. In the basement was a railway station so we went there. it was 09:25 at the moment. We asked about trains to Salzburg at the railway station, using my best French and him replying in English. There was a train at 10:21 that arrived just after 12:00. That sounded like a really good deal. There was plenty of room on it so I left the girl and ran back through the department store. I had to run up the stairs to where this Andrew was playing snooker. I actually could, to my surprise. At first he wasn’t sure about it as if he had only suggested Salzburg as a joke but then the idea began to appeal to him so he put down his cue and started to come with me to the railway station in the basement to book his ticket.

And if I can go from Brussels to Salzburg in well under two hours, I’ll be doing it every month.

Next off, we were in the middle of the heatwave. I had gone to pick up my boss to take him to his home, drop him off and wait for him to bring him back. I was sitting in the drive in the car. Just then a woman poked the front end of her car out of the garage as if she wanted to come out. I had to reverse up the drive to give her some room. Instead she came out holding something and said “look, I have a hedgehog”. I wound down the window to have a look and she was indeed holding a baby hedgehog. We were talking about the heatwave. She said “people nearly died on Tuesday didn’t they, in the heat?”. I replied “yes, it’s not very good for creativity. A lot of creative stuff was laid off because of the heat”. Then she bent down and picked up a cigarette end. She said “please don’t drop cigarette ends down in my drive”. I replied “I can promise you madam, it’s not my cigarette end at all. I don’t smoke”. “It’s come out of your car” she said. “Maybe one of your colleagues has been smoking in it”. I said “my colleagues aren’t allowed to smoke in my vehicle but I can always enquire and find out. One thing is certain and that is that the cigarette end isn’t mine”.

Things out of that descended into something like chaos. There was something else about a group of us and a Mini. I found myself dictating into my hand but when I picked up the dictaphone to start again I found that I couldn’t remember any of it so I have no idea what this is about at all.

Dictating into my hand again another story about a Mini. I can’t remember very much except that we pulled up at a road junction in a country lane. The exit was blocked by these people who had just left their car at a stop sign and wandered off into the hedgerow. We were sitting there confused about how we were expected to drive onto the main road with this couple having abandoned their car like this.

Finally, there was something going on about bad picking with an Albatros which I imagine was a type of car or something but again I’ve no idea what that relates to.

But with dictating into my hand instead of my little machine, forgetting what I was doing, things aren’t looking so well. What must I have failed to record in the past? This is pretty depressing news.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was an interruption half-way through the dictation for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

The weather was quite cloudy and overcast, threatening rain so I didn’t think that there would be too many people down there on the beach this afternoon.

Surprisingly the beach was quite busy this afternoon and even a couple of people had gone so far as to go into the water. That was quite brave of them because I was wondering whether I ought to put on a jacket.

There was someone down there again with a small tent and had I been down there on the beach this afternoon, I would have been inside it and no mistake.

No-one seems to be all that interested in the inflatable boat though.

fisherman baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Plenty of other water craft out there this afternoon though, as you have already seen.

But I was more interested in this fisherman fishing from the water just a little bit further along from the beach.

Not that I can see very clearly but it looks very much to me as if he has actually caught something and that in itself is a surprise. If that’s the case, then he’s only the second person whom we have seen.

If it is indeed a fish, it isn’t all that much of one but I suppose any fish is better than none the way things have been.

collapsed wall place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022We’ve seen the workmen repointing and repairing the medieval city walls in several places over the time that we’ve been living here.

They’ve just finished at the Place du Marche aux Chevaux and it looks a sif they’ve done that just in time because when I looked over the wall at the fisherman, I could see that another section of the wall has gone crashing down onto the beach.

By the looks of things, the workmen will be coming back before much longer to have a look at this part of the walls.

But that’s for another time. I set off for my walk down the path, fighting my way through the crowds.

yellow powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was on my way along the path I was overflown.

There had been a few aircraft out and about but too far away for me to see who they were. But the yellow powered hang-glider was right overhead.

No-one on the bench at the cabanon vauban and no change in occupancy at the chantier naval either. However I didn’t take much notice of anything else because I was too busy watching Shtandart

And as an aside, while we’re on the subject of Shtandart“well, one of us is” – ed … judging by comments that have been floating around this afternoon and this evening, I’m the only person who objects to her presence in the port.

But then again being in a minority of one is not an unusual position for me, is it?

Armed with a coffee I came back in here to finish off my notes and then I was … errr … engaged in correspondence with several local and not-so-local media sources about a certain issue that has arisen.

Tea was a stuffed pepper, just as delicious as always.

And now I’m off to bed. To my surprise, despite the early start, I haven’t crashed out today. And I have a Welsh chat meeting tomorrow so I need to be at my best. Such as it is, that is. It’s been a long time since my best has been any good.

Friday 19th August 2022 – JUST FOR A …

… change, I’ve had a good day today.

Here in the apartment I can’t move because of carboard boxes too. And printers. There are two of them that are destined for that great office in the sky once it goes dark.

What I’ve actually done is to strip out the cupboard and wardrobe in the bedroom. Apart from finding all kinds of stuff that I didn’t know that I had or forgotten that I’d bought, I found a big pile of cardboard boxes that I had no idea why I was keeping them.

They are all now piled up by the door waiting for dark as well, always assuming that I can leave the apartment because of the cardboard boxes in the way of the door.

In fact I had a good couple of hours in the cupboard stripping it out without even stopping to catch my breath. And now, there’s tons of storage space that I’ve liberated. I shan’t know myself at this rate.

As well as that, over the last couple of days I’ve been walking a little easier too and it was better again today, although I’ve no idea why that should be. But whatever it is, all of the foregoing has made me feel much better.

And it’s been a long, long time since I’ve been able to say all that.

It will be interesting if this new, improved me can keep on going and keep the momentum. We all know some very well-worn phrases about swallows and summers but there’s absolutely no reason why I can’t make the most of it while it’s there to be made the most of.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while you admire a couple of photos of the two Joly France ferries coming back from the island in line-astern, I’ll tell you how my day went today.

And as usual these days, it started off with a late night. I’m having a few of those just now.

A turbulent night as well. I didn’t sleep very well at all. Tossing and turning around for much of it, wide awake, something of a failure as far as I can see.

Consequently it was something of quite a struggle to rouse myself from the depths of wherever I was when the alarm went off. I’m having more than just a few of those as well just recently too.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022after the medication I came here to have a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

To my surprise, I hadn’t gone very far. I had a group of people around, a couple of girls whom I knew and one or two others. I was sorting out something to eat. There was a bag full of cooked sausages so I put some plates out and started to put these sausages on the plates for these people. Gradually everyone came in and began to sit down. One of the girls piped up and said ‘now Eric what about our ski holiday?”. I simply had a flash of horror because it was now 20:30 and we had a plane to board at 22:00 to take us to our ski holiday. It had completely and utterly slipped my mind. Of course it seemed to have slipped everyone else’s mind too who was going except this girl who had left it until the last minute to remind me. I sat there totally lost for words which is not like me trying to think of what to say while everyone else sat there and waited for some kind of reply from me but I really didn’t know what to say about that.

It must have been a bad night if I’d only gone off for a wander once despite spending most of the night tossing any turning around like that.

But it’s an ill-wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good, so the saying goes. Having typed that out fairly quickly, in a mad fit of enthusiasm I dealt with (a mountain of) recordings from one of the days when I was out and about in Central Europe. And I bet that that took you by surprise as much as it took me.

Had I not had an interruption in mid-transcribe, I could have done far more too. However Rosemary rang me up and we had another one of our marathon chats that go on for hours and hours.

It’s almost back-to-school time and some arrangement ought to be made for Miss Ukraine to be educated. Whether or not she’ll benefit academically is one thing, but she’ll certainly benefit from having some social contact with local kids of her age.

And now that she’s a teenager I’m sure that the question of “boys” will be somewhere on the agenda at some point in the near future and she isn’t going to meet too many where she is.

Her parents don’t have a clue about what to do and neither does Rosemary so we spent some time surfing the internet looking for clues, as well as having one of our usual chats.

It was after the phone call and having finished the notes that I was transcribing that I attacked the cupboard in here.

It’s not very well-laid out so it’s always going to be problematic but I’ve been stuffing things in there for a little over 5 years without much thought. And I’ve no idea why I have so many empty boxes.

But now they are ready to go along with a lot of other old stuff (yes, I’m ACTUALLY throwing stuff away) and there’s now quite a lot of room to bring yet more rubbish into the apartment. This is progress.

With a break for my fruit and to chat with my niece’s eldest daughter on the internet (it’s her birthday today) all of this took me up to the time for me to go for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And as usual, my first stop would be at the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach.

With nothing to hold me up on my way across the car park I strode out (for the first time for months). I wasn’t expecting to see too many people down there on the beach because the weather has changed dramatically.

The temperature must have dropped about 20°C since those heady days of 10 days ago and although we had some blue sky, we also had plenty of cloud and wind.

There wasn’t anyone at all in the water and that’s no surprise at all to anyone in this weather

dry footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022During the morning we had had some rain, and with the rain that we had had overnight, it’s done wonders for the local plant life.

Although the path is still quite dusty, the vegetation is starting to regain its colour. We saw yesterday how the weeds had picked up after those two quick showers but if you look closely today at a photo that I took from roughly the same place as the others, you’ll see that the grass is now starting to find its colour.

It’s pretty good how quickly nature can revitalise itself after such a period of stress. Give it a few hundred thousand years after humans have been eradicated from the planet and we’ll see Mother Nature in all her glory.

Well, we won’t, because we won’t be here. But you know what I mean. But it’s not just in the nineteen-seventies that humans have “Mother Nature on the run”.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Just now we saw the older of the two Joly France boats coming across the bay from the Ile de Chausey.

Shortly afterwards we had another boat come around the headland heading out into the bay. At first I thought that it might be Lysandre or her look-alike Petite Laura so I took a photo with the aim of enhancing and enlarging it when I returned home to see who it was.

However, it’s neither of the two. It looks like some kind of unusual design of cabin cruiser that has taken to the water.

So leaving that alone I fought my way through the crowds to the end of the headland. It was busy up here today yet again as holidaymakers look around for something to do.

lobster pot buoys pointe de roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022When I was out here yesterday I forgot to check to see if the buoy for what I preusme to be a lobster pot was still out here just offshore.

So either it’s the same one that I hadn’t noticed yesterday or else it’s an entirely new one that has appeared offshore today. And it seems to have found a friend too.

Not that I would know anything about it but I would imagine that the fact that the flags on the buoys are different colours, they belong to different owners. But I really have no idea. I know that I would want my flags to be different from any other.

There wasn’t anyone on the bench by the cabanon vauban so I cleared off down the path towards the port.

le roc a la mauve III belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was no change in occupant yet again at the chantier naval so I had a look over at the ferry terminal to see what was going on.

Moored over there at the head of the queue is Belle France. We didn’t see her out and about this afternoon but that is not of course to say that she hasn’t gone anywhere.

My attention was also caught by the fishing boat down there with the impressive-looking HIAB on board. She’s le Roc à la Mauve III who we saw in the chantier naval for a while a couple of months ago.

With a crane like that on board they must be expecting to haul in a whole load of shellfish.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile, as I was watching Belle France, the first of the Joly France ferries that we saw earlier pulled into port.

She is of course the older one of the two. That you can tell from her windows in “landscape” format and the larger upper deck superstructure. She has quite a crowd of people on board this afternoon. It must have been quite busy over there today.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day I mentioned something about the water over on the island. There was something about that in the local paper yesterday.

Scooped them again, didn’t I? I wonder if they are actually reading my notes.

plant with flowers boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As I walked down the path on top of the cliffs overlooking the harbour I had a look at the lawn by the Boulevard Vaufleury.

A little while ago I mentioned the grass and how quickly it seems to be regenerating. But nothing like as quickly as this here.

This plant has not only recovered its green colour but pushed out some flowers since I was last here. That’s quite dramatic. Mind you, whatever would my friends make of me taking photographs of flowers?

IT HAS BEEN SAID in the past that the only time I would ever take a photo of a flower would be if there were an old car parked upon it.

While I was musing over this, the other Joly France ferry pulled around the headland and you saw a photo of that just now.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Before going home to carry on, I went to have a look in the inner harbour.

Victor Hugo has gone out again but back in port is Chausiaise after her run out to St Helier. She docked at 21:04 last night.

Back here I had a coffee and sat down for a while. And regrettably I … errr … disappeared with the fairies. Only for about 15 minutes or so but even so it was something of a disappointment after what else had been happening.

Tea tonight was falafel with steamed veg and vegan cheese sauce. Delicious as usual. At least I’m slowly making some room in the freezer but there is still plenty more to go at in there that needs finishing off.

And while we’re on the subject of cold storage … “well one of us is” – ed … it IS nice to be able to open the fridge door without the fear of being buried under a pile of bottles.

So how long will that last?

Anyway I’ll try one more time for an early night. Shopping tomorrow although I don’t need all that much. And we’ll see how long this mad fit of enthusiasm lasts. If it keeps up, I shan’t know myself but not even I am that optimistic.

Sunday 7th August 2022 – IT WAS JUST AS WELL …

marité entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022… that I decided not to go out today on this trip to see the high tides.

While you admire a few photos of Marité coming into port this afternoon after a trip around the bay, I was still awake at 03:00 this morning not even in the least bit tired. Nowhere near going to bed at all, despite all of the efforts that I expended in coming home yesterday.

That is what comes of crashing out like I did late yesterday afternoon. It was about 03:30 when I finally crawled into bed last night – or rather, this morning – and I still wasn’t all that tired.

Mind you, I must have gone to sleep quite quickly because there was plenty of stuff on the dictaphone from last night and it started quite early.

marité entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was something rather indecent written on a wall about something that I’d been up to in the days of my youth with a young lady. Someone had appended some notes to it that attracted a lot of attention. When I went to see it, none of these allegations were actually true (which they aren’t of course – they related to a friend of mine in real life) but that didn’t alter the fact that these allegations are there so I just simply left them there and ignored them but they seemed to be gathering rather a lot of momentum and people were asking me what I was going to do about it. It was very difficult for me to give an answer because I didn’t know how I was going to silence these rumours even though there was no truth whatever in them because you can’t really counteract an anonymous posting in this respect. I’d actually gone there to do something else involving a bucket of water and I had my hands full with this bucket of water at the time as well which meant that I was even less able to do anything about it.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Later on I was dismantling equipment. I had a little workshop set up that was slowly getting itself organised. My brother had one the same but there had been a load of trouble at his workshop and needed some people to go in to refit it. The floors needed re-doing, everything like that. I went in and there was a group of us there. We did what we could but there were a few things that didn’t work. One was some kind of machine where the carburettor needed dismantling so I was working out how to dismantle this carburettor. I wasn’t easy – it wasn’t like a normal one. It was more like one of these Victorian tube ignition things. I was dismantling it and I had a pile of screws and nuts in my hand. There was a little girl helping me so I asked her to fetch a drawer out of one of these little tiny drawer unit things that you use for keeping nuts and screws. She did but it had stuff in it so I tipped them into something else and put these screws and everything into this drawer and told her to find a little piece of paper and write “carb” on it so we know that it’s where the carburettor goes. Someone said “you like working in this workshop, don’t you?”. I replied “I like working in mine much better”. Then someone came by and tried to hold everyone up, wielding a hammer around. He wanted money. I leapt of the top of this workbench at him but I missed. He had some kind of foam spray that he sprayed on me. He added water and it expanded but the aerosol can was still stuck to my jacket so I was able to beat him to death with this can attached to my jacket just by flailing my jacket around and that was that.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a violent dream like this.

man diving from diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while you admire the folk on the diving platform, I was back at home, talking to my Scottish friend. She rang me back later and said that due to a change of plan she’d actually finish work Friday evening. I said that if she could grab a bus, to come down for the weekend. “I can find you a bed” but I added quite quickly something like “don’t worry, your principles won’t be compromised” because of course she’s extremely religious. There was something about a really idle young boy who wouldn’t do anything. We’d installed an air vent with a metal grille in a wall somewhere. The grille was just vertical slats. They were before a judge somewhere trying to talk about him over things that he’d done or not done. I asked the judge if he could paint these metal slats in this ventilation grille for me. They all couldn’t see why not but it was up to him whether he wanted to do the job

people jumping from diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Then another dispute arose about the arrival of camp beds. We wanted 4 camp beds for something but it took us a while to convince some distant member of the family that that was what we needed. In the end they agreed to bring them so I went to change into winter clothes including a pair of winter tights so that I could work outside in the winter when they turned up. They had only brought these beds and not a few other bits and pieces that had been asked, and no car batteries. With no car batteries we couldn’t finish the cupboard that we were building inside the corner of one of the rooms. We found out that it was someone else who was supposed to be bringing the batteries but they had gone out so I had to lift these 4 bunk beds with all the noise and everything in the cold. The only one who would help me was some woman, 50, who had driven this car round who looked as if she was dressed like a scout patrol leader or something

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And while you admire a couple of photos of the crowds on the beach, I’d also had a chat with some kind of accommodation director at an army barracks about some double flats. His basic response was that if I don’t like the way that things are run I can jump into the fire alongside the flats which I thought wasn’t very polite.

Going back to this military dream again there was some issue about a couple of yachts that were in a basin but then in the middle of dictating this I fell into a deep sleep and I was then treated to 18 minutes of snoring and I’m sorry, Percy Penguin (who doesn’t feature in these pages as often as she deserves) for doubting your word when you told me that I snored in my sleep.

Despite not having gone to bed until 03:30 I was awake by 09:30.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That’s not the same thing as saying that I was out of bed though.

You’ll have to wait until 10:40 or thereabouts before I finally saw the light of day and then I went off for my medication.

That was followed by working on the music for the radio programme on which I’ll be working on Monday. It’s another good batch of music and the joins have turned out really well.

There’s even a good speech that I managed to track down for my guest and that should bring a smile to the face of everyone who understands it.

After lunch I went and had a wade through all of the … GULP! … 42 photos that I took when I was on my travels. I’ll have to transcribe all of the dictaphone notes at some point and then update the blog entries, along with the entries for when I was in Central Europe that I still haven’t updated yet.

Yes, I’ve let things slide rather a lot just recently and I need to pull myself together.

cap pilar baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Anyway, I trotted out for my afternoon walk around the medieval walls, but I was detained by having seen Marité coming into port on the tide.

Other things were coming into port as well from out in the bay, including the trawler Cap Pilar.

But what caught my eye about her was her rather strange “bow down” position as she came around the headland, almost as if her for’rard hold was flooded. There can’t be that much fish in her to make her trim like that.

So having seem Marité come safely into port, I wandered off for my walk around the walls.

tent on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022You’ve already seen several photos of the crowded beaches and the sea this afternoon.

No surprise there because it really was a nice if somewhat windy day today. But I’m not sure why you would need to bring a tent down to the beach today.

For all of the people around there wondering what was going on after the owners had erected it, they must have thought that the excitement was … errr … intense.

Far too intense for me of course, in my state of health. I wandered off down the Rue du Nord on top of the medieval city walls.

repointing medieval city wall rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the last God-knows how long, the wall around here has been sheathed in scaffolding.

But today, I noticed that it had all gone. So much for the workman telling me a few months ago that they will be here for a year.

What with the way that my health is right now, I wasn’t up to going down to the foot of the steps to see the finished results so instead I pointed the camera over the top and had a play with the exposure time.

And I do have to say that I am really quite impressed with the job that they have done. It really does look well and I hope that they can do the rest of the wall to make it look like this.

repointing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that here a little further along in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux they completely dismantled … “disPERSONtled” – ed … it all the way down almost to ground level.

They rebuilt it right up afterwards and you really can’t tell that it was completely taken apart.

There was a flying scaffolding here too weighed down with 5 tonnes of water in those pallet tanks. The scaffolding turned up overnight last Summer and it did really well to survive all of the storms that we had in the meantime.

There’s an arch a little further on where I can pass outside the walls and walk along the path underneath the walls. In the days of my youth I used to run down there but these days it’s more of an undignified totter.

street musicians place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The path goes past the viewpoints overlooking the diving platform and the beach at the Plat Gousset where I took a few photos, and then I pushed off further along the path.

There’s quite a lot of entertainment going on in the town today and I’d been hearing music. And what caught my eye as I peered down the Rue Paul Poirier was a group of musicians marching up and down the Rue Lecampion into the Place Charles de Gaulle and back again.

Some of the streets are blocked off too for pedestrians only so it looks as if it’s the braderie today, when the shops have a sale to dispose of all of their surplus stock to make more room for the new fashions.

They’ll be setting their stalls out, both literally and figuratively, outside their shops in the street and on the pavements.

seagull chick rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was at it I wandered off down through the Square Maurice Marland.

All of the roofs in the Rue Des Juifs have been covered with seagull nests and many proud mothers have been rearing their chicks through the early summer. Many of them are now pretty autonomous and are hanging around on their own, just like this one.

But as for the Square itself, it’s looking like a very sad and sorry shadow of itself with the burnt grass and dust-bowl conditions. But you can tell which are the native plants and which are the cultivated ones because it’s the former who seem to be doing better in these drought conditions.

fete des soudeurs port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022This weekend it has been the Fête des Soudeurs, a festival where all of the local blacksmiths set up their smithies around the town perform in public, with a few musical performances here and there as accompaniment.

It’s all quietening down now but there is still some music and according to one of my neighbours they are auctioning off some of the artefacts.

These days I seems to be having quite a few interactions with my neighbours. This afternoon I was walking around on top of the cliffs looking down into the sea when I fell in with the young guy from the top floor and we had quite a chat.

Back here I transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night and then rolled out the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer a few hours earlier and put on one side to thaw.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The pizza dough was put into the pizza tray to proof and then when it was ready I assembled the pizza and put it on the oven to bake.

It was another delicious one but I reckon that I need a new sharp knife to cut the base because the one that I’m using is struggling to fight its way through the base. Maybe I ought to slice it in future and then eat it with my fingers.

So having now finished my notes, I’m ready for bed. It’s a 06:00 start in the morning to make a start on the radio programme that I’ll be preparing and the way that things are right now, it’s not going to be easy.

So here’s hoping for a better night than those that I’ve been having just recently.

Monday 1st August 2022 – HERE WE GO AGAIN

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022This is one reason why tourists have such a bad name and reputation in holiday resorts.

As Guns ‘n’ Roses once famously sang, “They come to our country and think they’ll do as they please”

Where that woman is parked and where her passengers are alighting is on the disabled ramp that leads down to the pedestrian crossing.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I promised that I would lay off the “pathetic parking” that I see on my travels around and about but sometimes some examples are really too awful not to document. I really do wonder what goes through the minds of some people some times.

Anyway, enough of that. Retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, my night last night was as bad as that piece of what is laughably called “parking”. I don’t recall going to sleep at all despite my early night and I spent all of it tossing and turning around in bed.

That’s not quite right because there were two things on the dictaphone, one of which I was actually dictating when the alarm went off at 06:00. And, rather like the gay ghost, that put the willies up me and no mistake.

There wasn’t much difficulty in falling out of bed at the sound of the alarm and finishng off the dictation once the alarm had finished, and then after the medication and checking the mails and messages I sat down and started work on the radio programme.

It turned out to be rather more complicated than most that I’ve done because I seemed to have somewhat overrun the speech. There was really only space for a final song of 1:59 and I had nothing even approaching that in the batch of music from which I had extracted this week’s stuff.

This led to some rather hefty editing of the speech. It’s just as well that I always add in facts that can easily be cut out but even so I was scratching around for stuff to erase at the end. That’s why even though I’d cracked on quite well this morning it was still as late as 11:20 when I finally finished.

While I was listening to it afterwards I was busy writing. I’d received a few e-mails and messages from various people that for one reason or another I hadn’t answered so I took care of that. I think that I’m up-to-date now so if you are waiting for a reply from me and haven’t had it, send me a reminder.

Another thing that I did was to organise my tickets for my journey to and from Leuven later this week, something to which I am not looking forward at all. But I’m going to be using the time sensibly while I’m away (I hope) and making plans for the rest of the year.

Before I went for lunch I had a good long session with the acoustic guitar, just to keep my hand in.

After the fruit I came in here to do some work but rather unfortunately the bad night caught up with me and I crashed out well and truly and completely. Gone for good, in fact, and I didn’t feel a thing for a couple of hours.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022Consequently I was rather late for my afternoon walk today.

There weren’t too many people down there on the beach this afternoon. The weather forecast had told us that today the summer weather would be back and while it was certainly nicer than yesterday, it wasn’t that nice.

So that would explain why the beach was rather quiet and why no-one had plucked up the courage to go for a dip in the sea. And I can’t blame them either. I wouldn’t have gone in there today either but I’m rather notorious for the kind of water in which I would immerse myself.

picking blackberries pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022There were quite a few people out walking around on the path this afternoon though.

This couple had caught my eye, and it took e a minute or two to work out what was going on. But by the looks of things they were blackberrying.

It made me think that if they were that keen on blackberrying I should have sent them round to my house in Virlet where there would be enough blackberries to keep them going for as long as they like.

One of these days I’ll have to think about doing something with that jungle outside my place there. There’s some stuff in the house that I need but I can’t access it.

f-gcum Robin DR400 180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022While I was brooding on the infinite, an aeroplane roared by out in the bay.

She’s one of our old friends, F-GCUM, a Robin DR400-180 owned by the aero club. We’ve seen her and her sisters on numerous occasions.

She took off from the airfield at 15:58 and flew south down the bay, did a lap around Mont St Michel, then came back up the coast, went out and around the Ile de Chausey and then came back in to land at 16:33.

My photo was timed at 16:09 (adjusted) so that seems to fit in with her voyage.

And “adjusted”? As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … all of my digital equipment is always set to standard time and not adjusted for Summer Time

sailing ship cap frehel brittany english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022As I walked down the path towards the end of the headland I noticed a set of sails out there in the bay off Saint Malo.

She was so far away that I couldn’t recognise her so I took a photo with the aim of enlarging and enhancing it when I returned home to see if I could identify her. But from what I could see, she’s the one that we saw the other day with the strange sails that we were unable to identify.

We could identify the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel though quite clearly. That’s over on the right-hand edge of the image. It was quite clear this afternoon and we could see for miles.

anvil cloud ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022This cloud out in Granville Bay caught my eye this afternoon. It was extremely interesting.

It’s what they call an “anvil cloud” and it’s a sure sign that wherever it is, there’s quite a storm raging.

If you look closely at the surface of the sea just in front of the Ile de Chausey, you can see the different, darker colour that would seem to indicate that that particular spot is taking a right beating right now.

There aren’t any boats out there in the bay right now and that’s not a surprise given the weather. They would be shipping a lot of water right now.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022And although there wasn’t an awful lot going on right now just offshore there was quite a crowd watching it.

Plenty of people on the car park, as I found as I threaded my way across the car park, and loads wandering around on the lower path, and that family of four has stopped for a breather on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

“No shipwrecks, and nobody drownding, in fact nothing to laugh at at all” and no-one fishing off the rocks either and so I left them to it and wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on.

la confiance 2 chant des sirenes cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022When I reached the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I noticed that we have yet another change in occupancy.

There’s La Confiance II and Chant des Sirenes in there along with the two fishing boats that I have yet to identify, but we now have a fifth one that has just been pulled out of the water.

She’s Cap Lihou, one that we have seen quite often, and there was someone around there somewhere with a Kärcher pressure washer giving her a good going-over, as you can tell from the scaffolding and all of the water that’s around her.

There ought to be a squadron or two of seagulls loitering around as well because liberated barnacles would make a tasty snack

gerlean l'omerta fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022Meanwhile, over at the Fish Processing Plant we have our usual suspects moored up

In front we have Gerlean and at the rear is L’Omerta in her usual place. In between the two is a little boat that we have seen around and about quite often but I’ve not yet been able to identify her.

One of these days I shall have to go for a walk around for a closer look but I’m really not up to it – at least, not up to the walk back up the hill again afterwards. Things have gone downhill quite considerably since I’ve been living here.

marité freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022Before I went home I had a good look at what was happening in the inner harbour.

Marité is back in town after her perambulations over the weekend. and at the side of her there’s a lorry that’s unloading a pile of freight presumably for one of the Jersey freighters to take away.

There’s a speedboat too, shrink-wrapped in plastic so I imagine that she’ll be going on a freighter too.

Back here I had a coffee and then had a listen to what had been happening on the dictaphone during the night. While I had been in my sleep I tripped over a rough bit in the path and fell, and couldn’t pick myself back up again. That was about the only time that I went to sleep during the night, that was, as I noted at the time.

There was a group of refugees who wanted to be taken clandestinely across Europe. I worked out a few things to do basically and came to the conclusion that it would be easier if I put a few of them on the train led by jackie and Alison. Then with one other person I brought the luggage and everything across Europe by vehicle. I could get in front of them and be there when they arrived. When they returned from work I had the apartment all ready. They had to fight their way in over this sofa that I was using to block the door. They had a meal of boiled eggs and bread but there wasn’t much bread then we discussed everything. I could see that they weren’t too happy about this which I could understand I suppose. They asked me what the railway company thought about me moving these refugees by rail. I came up with some story because they hadn’t really asked because I was quite confident that it would work anyway and I didn’t want to involve too many people in what we were doing. It was all going to be something of a mish-mash with the idea that it would be all right on the night. I had a few things to prepare like some dummy school books so I was sitting down trying to prepare those in a quiet moment before it was time to go. I had a feeling that we still hadn’t resolved this issue about who was going how and where. I felt that we were heading for some kind of difficulty amongst ourselves in this respect.

Tea tonight was a curry made of all kinds of bits an pieces loitering around in the fridge. And there is enough for tomorrow too which is just as well because it really was quite nice and I’ll make more like this, except that I’ve run out of fennel now.

And that reminds me – I need to check the supplies to see what I need because many of the herbs and spices tht=at I use can only be bought at the Asian supermarkets in Leuven and not anywhere local to me in Granville. It’ll mess up my cooking completely if I run right out of some things.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. I’m looking forward to a good sleep although I’m not sure if I’ll have one. I can’t understand why last night was such a bad night because I didn’t actually crash out at all on Sunday and with the early start and the open-air exercise I ought to have been completely wasted.

So it all totally beats me.

Sunday 24th July 2022 – HOW LONG IS IT …

old cars lancia fulvia sport 1600 place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… since we’ve featured an old car on these pages?

This afternoon when I went out for my walk there was this rather nice Lancia Fulvia Sport 1600cc parked outside by the new bicycle rack.

If I’ve identified this correctly this is one of the “Zagato” models designed by Ercole Spada and built in the early 1970s.

Beautiful cars but if I were spending the kind of money that I’d need to spend to buy one of these, I would have gone for the “Spider” with the roll-down soft top.

people on diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022But anyway, be that as it may, while you admire a few photos of the local kids throwing themselves off the diving platform at the Plat Gousset, I’ll tell you about my miserable day.

And it’s hardly surprising that it went so bady considering how badly it started. It all went wrong last night when after having crashed out for hours last night, I couldn’t sleep.

At one point I thought that there wasn’t much point in going to bed because it was so late. But round about 03:30 I finally bit the bullet and fell into bed.

And surprisingly I didn’t stay awake all that long once I was in bed.

people on diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No alarm in the morning of course, with it being a Sunday.

And I was awake a few times here and there during the morning with it was about 11:15 when I finally took the plunge and left the bed.

After the medication I came back in here to have a play about with the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow and combining the tracks into pairs.

The choice of the music for this week isn’t as exciting as it has been over the last few months and combining them in pairs wasn’t easy as they didn’t gel together at all.

people on diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022But anyway, I did what I could and it doesn’t sound too bad.

That was the cue to go for lunch. Porridge, toast and strong coffee to try to make me feel better. But unfortunately it didn’t work out because after lunch while I was in the bedroom I drifted off to sleep again. How disappointing is that?

When I awoke I had a play about on the guitar for a while, playing through a few of the songs on my playlist. I have to keep uo on the music otherwise I’ll just slide back into oblivion as I did last winter when I was in a very bad place and stopped practising.

Mind you, I don’t think that I’m in a much better place at all these days seeing how the last couple of days have panned out.

people on diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022At some point or other during the day I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

I’d been in digs with some woman in some small town in Scotland. I’d been telling this woman that I was planning on settling in the area so she was trying to give me loads of stuff. I said that that was far too early yet because I don’t know what I had and where I was going etc. I was trying to find the bus timetable. In the end I did and there was one bus in the day and one bus in the evening to Inverness. I was interested in the evening bus to Inverness on Sunday evening so a local bus driver took me to find out about it. We spoke to some kind of strange Mennonite or Amish family who told me the correct answer. As I was leaving some other woman and her child told me the answer as well. The bus was at 22:55 which meant that it didn’t arrive in Inverness until the small hours of the morning which meant that I was going to have to keep my room here in this town. I couldn’t give it up and take a room in Inverness because everything would be closed when I arrived. I was sitting down there working out the differences, if I stayed for a week for example where I was it would cost me more than £1:00 in difference compared to staying as an ordinary bugler boy with the Salvation Army or something. I was performing all these calculations in my head as well to have it all organised here but it wasn’t organised the way that I wanted.

As it happens, I’ve actually been in a similar place to this in the Highlands of Scotland in the past during one of my nocturnal rambles.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And as usual I went out for my afternoon walk.

Today I chose to go around the medieval city walls so the view that I had of the people on the beach is quite different from how it usually is.

Not much beach right now but that didn’t seem to matter because most people who were down there this afternoon had made it into the water.

That’s no surprise because today was another candidate for one of the hottest days of the year.

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And there were tons of stuff happening out zt sea today.

The first thing that I noticed as I walked around the corner was that Marité had finally made it out into the bay to take the locals for a ride – in more senses than one.

She was originally a fishing boat that went out to the Grand Banks of Labrador with a load of dories that were used for fishing for cod. She is apparently the last of the wooden-built Newfoundlanders that set sail from the ports of Western France.

la granvillaise ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of of other boats out there too.

It took me a minute to work out who this one might be because I’ve never before seen her with all of her sail unfurled and set. But she is in fact La Granvillaise.

Once she turned to run with the wind I could see the familiar “G90” on her sails.

The Ile de Chausey in the background is looking magnificent too today.

st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It wasn’t just the Ile de Chausey that was looking nice today.

The view out to Jersey this afternoon was magnificent and you could see everything on the island with the naked eye even though it’s 58kms away from where I was standing. I’ve not enhanced this photo at all.

There are even a couple of speedboats right out there in the bay just off the Channel Islands and the camera has picked them up really well today.

We could do with a few more days like this.

belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Retuning to our moutons as they say around here, the new Belle France is having another run-out this afternoon.

She’s taking a boat-load of tourists for a quick lap around the bay while the tide is in the correct position.

As for why all of these boats are out and about this afternoon, this morning has been what they call the Grand Pardon, the religious procession when they bless all of the boats and the seafarers.

Last year we were there taking a few photos but today I was in bed while all of this was going on.

le renard english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There are still more interesting boats out there in the English Channel behind the Ile de Chausey. I haven’t finished yet.

This one isn’t one of our local boats and it’s too far away for me to be able to identify it correctly.

However, a glance at the radar when I returned home showed me that somewhere over there at the time that I took the photo was a 33-metre sailing boat called Le Renard that resembled that boat.

She left St Malo at 13:52 and returned to port at 17:59 so the timing would seem to be correct anyway

repointing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Before I left the area I had a look at the repointing of the medieval city walls to see what was happening down there.

Not that I can see everything everything from here, but by the looks of things they seem to be on the point of finishing. So where will they be going next?

Having shown a few tourists where the steps down to the beach were situated, I walked off across the Place du Marché aux Chevaux and through the arch to walk along the path underneath the city walls.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Having taken a pile of photos of the kids leaping off the diving platform, I carried on to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

There were crowds of people down there this afternoon. Imagine being sandwiched somewhere in that lot while confronting the issues presented by some of the highest tides in Europe.

It’s not really the place to be if you aren’t of a sociable turn of mind so it wouldn’t be doing me any good at all. I’m not even tempted by an ice-cream these days, due to a “certain photograph” that was published by someone looking down on a delivery vehicle.

seagull with chick square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Instead I wandered off around into the Square Maurice Marland.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we have been keeping an eye out on three young seagull chicks. They weren’t there this afternoon but what we did have was a mother seagull teaching her chick to fly.

If her chick had already made it this far, then it’s doing pretty well and won’t need a great deal more teaching. But it was crying for its mother in that weird little chirping noise that baby seagulls make although its mother wasn’t taking much notice and was busy chirping away to herself.

f-gtjc cessna 172s place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She was probably trying to warn us that there were something else going past us in the air.

This aeroplane is F-GTJC and that tells me that she’s a Cessna 172S. My photo was taken at 16:36 (adjusted) but she wasn’t picked up on radar until 16:51. She was obviously keeping a low profile.

She was near Avranches when she was first observed, and from there she flew westwards along the coast for a while until turning round and flying back diagonally across the bay towards Granville when she disappeared off the radar again at 17:17, presumably going in to land.

trawler belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And while all of this was going on, there was a hooting from the ferry terminal.

All of the boats there hoot away when they start to reverse out of their berth, just in case they might collide with something coming into port. But today I was lucky to see Belle France, who had presumably been into the ferry terminal to drop off the passengers who had been around the bay with her just now, reverse out.

She then pulled forward to pull into the inner harbour but was obliged to give way to a trawler that was on its way out to the fishing grounds this afternoon.

ch589986 la bavolette 2 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of trawlers out at sea this afternoon, fishing in and out of the paths of the pleasure boats.

One of them was La Bavolette II. She was in the bay not too far offshore having a good fish around.

Back here I had a cold drink with ice and then went through to catalogue today’s photos. and to try to find the name of that sailing boat that we had seen out off the coast in the English Channel near St Malo.

And then I had to think about tea tonight. As usual, Sunday night is pizza night and I’d taken a lump of dough out of the freezer earlier this afternoon.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022When I came back from my afternoon walk I gave it a good kneading and then rolled it out and put it on my pizza tray to proof.

When it was ready and had risen quite nicely I assembled the pizza and had it ready to bake.

After it had cooked I sat down to eat it for tea and it really was delicious. After the one last week that didn’t turn out too well, this one was back where it ought to be.

Slightly overcooked but there’s not a lot that I can do about that right now until I can have some help to bring up those kitchen units. Those people who were going to help me never turned up, so no surprise there.

Off to bed early now. I have an early start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare, and I would like it to be finished before it’s too hot to work.

Tuesday 19th July 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe someone has the time set wrong somewhere.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s a recurring theme too these days

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

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

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

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

That has to be some kind of positive anyway.

Tuesday 31st May 2022 – I’VE HAD A …

… really miserable day today and I’ve absolutely no idea why. I thought that having stopped taking that medication 10 days or so ago would have seen an end to days like I had today, but aparently not..

During the night I had a visitor. Zero came to see me but you really don’t want to know about it, especially if you are eating your evening meal right now.

But I reckon that it was her visit that set me off because I couldn’t go back to sleep after her visit and that was hardly surprising. It’s been a good while since I’ve had such a disturbing experience.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 I fell out of bed and went off to have my medication. and then I came back in here and … errr … fell asleep.

And fell asleep in spades too. I couldn’t even make it to my feet for breakfast this morning. I was out like a light for well over two hours and it’s a good job that I didn’t have a Welsh lesson today.

Instead I had a listen to the dictaphone because there was something else on there. There was a hotel in Sandbach and we had to go there to find some oil. It was very late at night so we had to be quiet. A wedding had taken place and they were still celebrating. They had the bride and groom’s room all done out and a Vietnam minefield sign written on the door etc. There were drunk people everywhere. We were on the 3rd floor of this hotel and this was the way out to Bayley Close which is actually in Nantwich but let’s not go letting facts get in the way of a good nocturnal ramble. We were wandering around this hotel trying to find what we were looking for. It was just like one great big maze although it was a small provincial hotel. We were quite lost in it trying to find whatever it was that we wanted. We couldn’t make a noise because of the time and no-one seemed to be in any kind of fit state to ask. We were just going round in circles.

It hadn’t escaped my notice that the details of Zero’s visit weren’t on the dictaphone. It’s hardly surprising that I couldn’t bring myself to dictate them, even when I’m in the arms of Morpheus. That’s not something that happens very often.

And so for the rest of the morning I’ve been writing notes about “my favourite place” for my Welsh exam. And that includes topics that can be covered in “my last holiday”, “celebration”, “family and friends”. It’s all interlinked and the deeper into things I go, the clearer it will all become.

It ended up being a late lunch and then I came back in here and fell asleep again for an hour or so. And it’s really getting on my wick now.

new kerb place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Just for a change, I managed to do something on time this afternoon.

Yes, I staggered off outside for my afternoon walk bang on time to see what was happening around the headland. But first I went to look at what they had been doing with this kerbstone that they had been laying just outside the door here.

By the looks of things, they have just been straightening out the road layout and the junction of the driveway that leads into the car park. And I can’t think why because while it was a bit untidy here, it wasn’t actually anything that was in desperate need of attention.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having resolved that issue I wandered off across the car park to have a look at what was happening down on the beach.

It was quite a nice clear day so I was expecting to see a few people down there this afternoon but surprisingly there can’t have been more than three or four people down there this afternoon that I could see.

The tide was quite a way out so they had plenty of beach to be on as well. But there wasn’t anyone brave enough this afternoon to be in the water.

And no Birdmen of Alcatraz out there this afternoon on their Nazguls.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that I do have to say is that the air was one of the clearest that I have ever seen.

We’ve seen a few photos of that white building in St Helier in the past but what was surprising about today was that I could actually see it with the naked eye even though it is 58 kilometres away.

Although the ferry service is said to have started up again and I’ve seen photos of Granville arriving in St Helier, her older sister Victor Hugo is still tied up here in port where she has been for the last couple of weeks so I’m beginning to wonder what the situation might be with regard to the services to Jersey from here.

It’s one of the things that has quite a high priority on my bucket list and yet I haven’t seen a single advert about the operation as yet.

trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while I was up here on the wall I had a good look around out at sea as well.

There was something way out in the bay over by the Ile de Chausey so I took a photograph of it with the aim of having a closer look when I returned home.

And having enlarged and enhanced it back here, I could see that it was a trawler busily working away. Unfortunately, at this distance I’m not able to identify it

But you can see how clear the skies are today, just by looking at the colours in this photograph. It’s not often that the come out so clearly and so vividly as they have done today.

plage de la touesse brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There weren’t very many people wandering around on the path so I headed off down towards the end of the headland.

You saw the Cap Fréhel the other day so you don’t really want to see it again so soon. Instead, you can see one of the beaches that are over on the Brittany coast near St Malo.

There are four or five of them over there and it’s difficult to say which one this is. But I think that it may well be the Plage De La Touesse. It’s the only one whose orientation matches the orientation of the beach over there and isn’t hidden behind a headland of rocks

f-gifn Piper PA-28-161 Cadet baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little earlier I mentioned that there were no Birdmen of Alcatraz out there this afternoon.

What we did have though is a light aeroplane flying by overhead. This one is F-GIFN, a Piper PA-28-161 Cadet. She’s actually appeared in our pages before, back in February when she flew into the bay from an unknown direction , flew around and then disappeared.

Today, she did exactly the same. She didn’t come in to land at the airfield here, she didn’t appear on radar and she hasn’t filed a flight plan and so I can’t tell you any more at all about her.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There weren’t very many peole on the car park this afternoon so I wandered off down tot he end of the headland.

There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon, but we did actually have a fisherman down there on the rocks with his rod and line.

Not that he actually caught anything while I was watching but I didn’t really expect him to.

So after a wait of a couple of minutes I wandered off along the path down the other side of the headland to see what was happening down in the port

l'ecume 2 cabin cruiser chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And we have a new occupant in the chantier naval this afternoon.

L’Ecume II is still there today. It looks as if work on her has slowed down just now. But my eye was caught by the boat that is in there with her.

That’s a serious piece of kit, whatever it is. It really looks the business and it’s the type of machine that any one of us is likely to be able to afford, although I’m sure that we all would love to.

It seems to be quite new as well so it’s a surprise to see it in here in the chantier naval. I’ll have to go down there and find out who owns it and see if I can’t blag myself a trip out on it.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But at the moment this is more like what I’m able to afford right now.

Over there at the ferry terminal is the new Belle France and one of the Joly France boats, presuably going to go out to the island on the evening tide to bring back to holidaymakers who are out there.

Back here I made myself a coffee and came in here to drink it. Instead I fell asleep again and ended up once more with a mug of cold coffee. This is really awful and I can’t be doing with this. Obviously this medication isn’t the secret.

And after my cold coffee I spent an hour or so writing notes about “sports”, another subject for my Welsh exam.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and veg, and now I’m off to bed. I’ve had enough for today. It really was awful, especially having a nightmare about Zero. I really can’t keep going on like this. Let’s see what this sports doctor person has to say for himself tomorrow morning.

Friday 13th May 2022 – THIS WAS PROBABLY …

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… the worst day that I have had for quite a while.

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve had a few of those just recently.

So while you admire a few photos of everything that was going on out at sea this afternoon, when the alarm went off at 07:30 I couldn’t move an inch and it was just the same at 07:45 and again at 08:00. In fact it was, would you believe, 10:20 when I finally put my feet on the floor this morning

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It wasn’t that that was the worrying part about it. What worried me more than anything was that I was feeling as if I had a hangover. I don’t know what there are in these pills but they are certainly kicking in with a vengeance

But seriously, if this is how I’m going to end up, I’m going to try to work out which one of these new medications it is that’s causing this and simply stop taking them.

As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the only excitement that I seem to have these days is what goes on during the night. The last thing that I want to do is to cut all of that out of my life.

In fact I can understand why (although that’s not the same as saying that I agree with) the taking of hallucinatory drugs is so habit-forming. There is certainly something to be said for being taken out of yourself and going off on a series of voyages into the ether.

yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while we’re on the subject of my nocturnal voyages … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve actually managed to pull myself together at some point during the day and dealt with the stuff on the dictaphone.

I was going to do a coach job which meant taking a coach to a race track by a big army camp in Yorkshire. I set off in Nerina’s Ford Escort to go to find the coach. When I reached the army camp I parked the Escort and got out but I must have knocked the gear lever by mistake for all of a sudden it revved up and roared off across the car park on its own with no-one at the wheel. It was late at night and there weren’t all that many vehicles on the car park but I had a feeling that this was going to be a recipe for disaster. I had to run after it but I didn’t have a hope of catching it. I could see it driving erratically around this car park. There was no way that I would catch it. Gradually the car park filled up, ordinary people, whole families of Gypsies hauling scrap and rags, soldiers etc. Of course I lost sight of the car and had to climb up onto a bank in the middle of the race course and that wore me out so I had to climb up a smaller one but I couldn’t see as far. Then they came in with the coach. I thought to myself that if I’d made such a mess of driving this Escort what am I going to be like driving this coach? This is going to be an absolute nightmare to me and how am I going to explain to Nerina what’s happened about her car? She’s not going to believe this story for a minute.

yachts speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And then there was a big group of us on an aeroplane. I somehow ended up with a girl whom I’d sat newt to on numerous occasions. We were discussing an aeroplane incident in the Atlantic similar to the Titanic and we were looking for the location of the yellow parachute of the plane. We were poring over maps documentation etc but we couldn’t actually see it. As well as that we were having a big lengthy chat. This girl was married but was in bad company and they spent a lot of money gambling. I’d been trying to tell her to cut down on it. She told me that last weekend she’d refused to go out even though everyone else in her family had wanted to. They’d wanted to go out on a big gambling spree but she’d dug her heels in and ended uo not going out at all. I was immediately pleased with her. Our hunt went on with quite a few documents but we couldn’t relate anything in them to anything on the ground. In the end she asked me quite pointedly what I was going to do now. I interpreted this as being that she wanted me to go. I gave her a great big kiss but she fought me off saying that people were looking so I prepared to leave on my own

That actually took me until rather late in the afternoon to type all of that out. For the first part of the day I couldn’t actually bring myself to do anything. It was all far too reminiscent of 2003/2004/2005 when I was going through another phase like this and I remember how difficult it was to climb out of the pit back then.

It was only Rhys’s wedding that rekindled my spirit of adventure back then. I’ll have to persuade him to marry again.

A lot of the morning was spent trying to recover and then the rest of the day was spent tidying up in the kitchen. There were piles of stuff everywhere and all of the washing-up that I hadn’t done yesterday after my rather busy day.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There is of course the afternoon walk around the headland so I had to drag myself out of the apartment and off on my way.

First port of call was the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down on the beach to see what’s happening down there today.

It was a really nice day and there were plenty of people down there making the most of it. No-one brave enough though to take to the water which was a surprise. I’d have expected to have seen the crowds in there today with the nice weather that we are having but they semmed to have all chickened out.

f-pdyt Turquetil DYT-01 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was looking around out at sea at all of the maritime traffic, I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way to the airfield.

It’s a new one on us. We’ve not seen her before. She’s F-PDYT, a Turquetil DYT-01 and that’s a machine about which I can tell you nothing at all.

Firstly, she hasn’t filed a flight plan and secondly, she wasn’t picked up on any radar anywhere so I can’t tell you anything about where she’s been and where she’s going.

And then I can’t even tell you anything about the manufacturer either because I can’t find any information about that either. It’s really not my day, is it?

As I walked down the path I came across a large group of people trying to take a selfie so I took their phones and duly obliged them. We had a little chat and then I carried on my way.

fishermen in speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Nown at the end of the path I walked across the car park and down to the end of the headland.

For a change there wasn’t anyone sitting down on the bench by the cabanon vauban, which was a surprise because there was enough going on out there this afternoon to keep everyone entertained for hours.

We’ve already seen plenty of marine traffic going by this afternoon, but this speedboat was stationary out in the bay. There were several fishermen on board but in all the time that I was watching, no-one actually pulled anything out of the water.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in all the time that we’ve been here, we’ve never ever seen anyone catch anything with a rod and line.

l'ecume 2 valeque sagone d'angawelys chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From there I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the port.

There was quite a racket coming from the chantier naval this afternoon. It looked as if they had the air sander working full tilt on L’Ecume II grinding off the old paintwork.

In actual fact they are making quite rapid progress on her, which you can see when you compare her to how she was ON SUNDAY.

It’s not like them at all to be this rapid, is it?

St-Gilles Croix-de Vie chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday I mentioned that the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie had finished its work in the harbour and had been towed across the harbour to the portable boat lift and had been lifted out of the water.

She’s now out there on a couple of blocks while they start to dismantle her ready to be taken away.

She doesn’t actually sail into port, as you might expect. She comes into port in a dismantled form on the back of a low loader and they assemble her on the hard-standing before they drop her into the water.

And then they dismantle her ready for her to be taken away again on the lorry that will come to pick her up in due course and take her off somewhere else.

fishing boats unloading fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022This afternoon there was quite a crowd over at the fish processing plant.

All of the boats are coming in to unload, swarming around L’Omerta that is still there after all this time. And there are a couple of large refrigerated lorries over there ready to whisk away the catch.

Back here I carried on tidying the kitchen and putting away the shopping from Thursday. The place looks a little more respectable now which makes a change. It had got into quite amess over the last few days.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper now that I have some and it tasted quite delicious. But I’m using a different rice right now and it’s not as nice as the usual stuff.

So later tha usual, I’m off to bed. I have a weekend school for my Welsh course so I’m hoping for a better start to the day tomorrow that today’s start. That was appalling and I don’t want to do that again.

Monday 25th April 2022 – THAT WAS A NIGHT …

… that I would much rather forget. I’ve been having a few of these here and there as well just recently.

Although I was in bed last night at 22:30 ready for my 06:00 start, and feeling tired at that as well , by the time that 04:20 came round and I was still awake, I was thoroughly and completely fed up.

Even more surprisingly, when the alarm did go off at 06:00 I was up quite smartly too even if I didn’t feel much like it. And apart from a little wobble here and there just after lunch, I kept on going all day without really crashing out.

And the chances of that happening – well, not happening – are pretty remote as well the way that things have been just recently.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down and attacked the radio programme that needed preparing.

It was all up and running too at 10:45 and that was a surprise considering all of the interruptions that I had today. There was an early morning coffee, followed by breakfast followed by the nurse coming round early yet again to inject me with the Aranesp ready for my trip away at the weekend.

And having had a visit from the nurse, I had to ring up the doctor for an appointment. I need more Aranesp, having used the last lot, and I have to talk to him about my knee. Now that I’ve had the MRI scan and something has been discovered, I need to find out what is going to happen next.

As well as that, I need a blood test. They upped my medication when I was at the hospital just now, and I need to have the results ready for when I return next Thursday.

There were four radio programmes that I needed to verify today. I’m sending off two today because I won’t be here next Monday, and then there was the one that I prepared last week and never had time to verify, and then there was the one that I’d prepared today. And s much of the rest of the day was spent listening to them to make sure that they passed muster.

While that was going on I was working on the photos from the High Arctic in 2019. Right now I’m on board a zodiac in Flexure Bay off the coast of King William Island on my way to investigate a rather large pod of Beluga Whales.

There were several breaks in this task too. Firstly, I went for a shower. Secondly I had lunch and thirdly I went off for my appointment with the physiotherapist.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022First port – if you pardon the expression – of call was the wall overlooking the harbour on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

Our little game of Musical Ships is continuing this afternoon as well. Although the tide is in, L’Omerta is in with it, tied up at the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant. It must be her turn today.

There are two other boats in the photo too. The one in front looks as if it might be some kind of official boat judging by the colour, but I can’t make out the identity of the one behind her Whoever she is, she’s one of the inshore shell-fishing boats.

philcathane joly france yachts port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022The tide is actually quite well in right now and so one or two fishing boats are heading back to harbour.

This one coming in is Philcathane. Parked up at the ferry terminal is one of the Joly France ferries and the small upper deck superstructure makes me think that she’s the newer one of the two.

And there’s someone standing by the crane too, although there doesn’t look like any freight that needs loading aboard.

There are a couple of yachts out there in the bay behind her having a good sail around too, enjoying the nice weather.

repairing roofs rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022My route into town goes down the Rue des Juifs past the three houses that were devastated by the fire the other week.

There’s been a cherry-picker there for a couple of days with a few workmen in the nacelle. They are putting some kind of wooden framework up there to which they will be covering with a tarpaulin or two.

It’s quite important to keep at least the ones either side of the destroyed house covered in order to stop the elements doing even more damage than the fire has already done, but I think that te one in the centre, on which they were working as I went past, is beyond redemption.

The smell from the fire-damaged structure would be enough to put off anyone who might want to repair it, never mind anyone else.

swimming pool cranes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There’s more activity going on in the inner harbour this afternoon.

There are two cranes that work the freight in the harbour and it looks as if they are having a conference this afternoon. And there are a couple of people in attendance too.

On the quayside is another pile of freight, including yet another swimming pool. That can only mean that one of the Jersey freighters will be coming into port quite soon to which it all away.

There wasn’t anything of any interest going on in town this afternoon so I had a pretty uninterrupted trip up the hill towards the physiotherapist.

She gave me an electro-massage on my knee and then had me doing a few exercises.

While I was there I cancelled my appointment for Wednesday as I’m at the doctor’s, and cancelled them for next week too as I’m on my travels again.

redecorated facade rue georges clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022After she threw me out I headed back into town on my way home for my afternoon coffee.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the last couple of weeks we’d seen some scaffolding up against a building in the Rue Georges Clemenceau. Today, I noticed that the scaffolding has gone and we can see what they have been doing.

It’s the building down there that has the nice fresh blue edging. They have done a pretty good job of painting it and it looks quite nice now. I wonder when they are going to paint a few more to match.

fishing boat leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022On my way up the hill towards home I walked past the port where I noticed one of the fishing boats heading off out to sea.

Unfortunately she’s not one that I recognise and with only having the NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens, I’m not likely to be able to enlarge it sufficiently to see its registration number.

Her colours are distinctive enough and I’ll certainly remember her if I ever see her again.

Around here while I was looking at the port I fell in with one of my neighbours on her way home and so we walked up the hill together putting the world to rights.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022When we arrived at the building I went over to the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

Firstly, there wasn’t all that much beach to be on. Even so with the nice sunny weather I was expecting to see a few people down there making the most of it.

However, there weren’t all that many people there this afternoon. all I could see were a couple of people loitering around down there.

No-one in the water as far as I could see though. The weather wasn’t all that warm, I suppose.

fishing boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was plenty of activity going on out at sea.

Even with the standard lens on the camera I could see quite a few boats out there in the bay, although I couldn’t see if they were fishing boats or pleasure craft.

But they were clearly busy so I left them to it and came back here where I bumped into yet another neighbour. It’s my day for being sociable today.

Back here I had a coffee and finished listening to the last of the radio programmes, and then I could see what was going on with the dictaphone.

At some point during the night I must have gone to sleep because there was some stuff on there that I had recorded. Three of us had booked rooms at a hotel (and there’s more to this story than meets the eye too). I’d specified a room next to the other two. I turned up at about 08:30. Of course it was far too early to take my room but I thought that there would be a consigne where I could leave the baggage but they were so busy at reception with people checking out and having breakfast that I had to wait around. Eventually someone came to take over from the night desk staff. We began to chat. He discussed my special requirements – I’d listed dozens of special requirements, some of which were quite silly but he went through them with me. We entered the lift but I’d forgotten half the stuff. There was some stuff that I didn’t know that I had to bring but eventually I collected everything together end we entered the lift. We went up to the 2nd floor but they were vacuuming there so we had to go up the the second-and-a-half floor and come down the stairs at the back in order to arrive at the consigne where I could leave my baggage.

And then I was living in Winsford again. There was a woman there with 3 small children, girls. They were round at my place. I was looking after them, taking turns to take them to the bathroom etc. They met Tuppence, my black cat. They were asking questions about her, how old she was. I said that she must be at least 20 now. They thought that that was wonderful. One of them had a cat that usually hid in a drawer. When she went to open the drawer of course it wasn’t there. Outside, between my house and the next-door neighbour’s I’d erected a suspension bridge. It looked absolutely magnificent. Everyone thought that it was great. I had to have the neighbour sign a liability waiver so that if anything happened to the bridge with him on it he wouldn’t sue me for it. We had an inspection of the bridge and in the end he signed the paper.

Tea was a stuffed pepper – there was one lying around – and it was delicious. And now I’m going to have a little relax and then go to bed. I’m totally exhausted and I’m surprised that I’ve kept on going so long. It just goes to show that I can do it when I want, even when I’ve taken one of those night-time pills.

Wednesday 20th April 2022 – I’VE NOT HAD …

… a very good day today unfortunately.

After having had a few weeks of feeling so much better, today was something of a relapse.

It was one of those things that I knew as soon as I awoke this morning. It was a real struggle to leave the bed (but I still managed to beat the second alarm) and I was feeling like death. For a couple of hours I couldn’t manage to do anything at all and it was a desperate struggle to keep awake for much of it.

Mind you, I had another extremely violent dream and I reckon that it was this that took a lot out of me. We were in some city somewhere in Eastern Europe. There had been a load of events leading up to something but I’ve forgotten them all. We went into this restaurant, it might have been in Eastern Germany, to order something. There were all these people milling around, all kinds of people of all kinds of sexual persuasion just as there used to be in West Berlin in the early 80s. No-one seemed to be paying very much attention so our drink hadn’t come so I went to walk out. Someone gave me a bunch of flowers so I just threw them onto the floor and walked out. Someone tried to restrain me so I gave them a “Glasgow Kiss”. It just descended into a complete and utter orgy of violence after that. It just became worse and worse afterwards and really you don’t want to know about it. It was all absolutely appalling and violent and so real as well.

And then there was a group of us somewhere in Ireland last night. There were several abandoned villages and the talk was that one of them should be reoccupied so they sent a guy out there. They asked which house he would be living in and he replied “the warm house”. They arranged for him to have supplied etc and his letters delivered. A short while later a few more people went out to live there, prospectors, miners, etc. I was one of them although I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. I had my electricity bill, 3 for one property, 3 for another and 1 for a third as well as a few other bits and pieces. I was trying to contact the Electricity Board to have some kind of overview of my account so that I could write out one cheque to clear everything. This was much more difficult than it seemed and I could see that after the time that I had spent on the ‘phone and on the 2-way radio trying to talk to people, I was just going to have to write out one cheque for each individual bill and pay it like that. If I run out of cheques that would be rather too bad.

So having had my medication, checked my mails and messages and transcribed the dictaphone notes, I spent most of the day dealing with the photos from the Canadian High Arctic in 2019. We eventually struggled onto the shore on Devon island across the bay from Dundas Harbour, STRAWBERRY MOOSE and me, and His Nibs was serenaded by a lady Inuit drum-dancer whom we encountered.

Right now, we’re back in our zodiac heading back to THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR.

Something else that I did was to do some tidying up (shock! Horror!) here in the bedroom and also to deal with some more photos that I found hidden in the depths of the computer that look as if they have been here since the Dawn of Time.

There were the usual pauses for breakfast, for lunch, for a good session on the guitar and also my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And as usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

And just here at the foot of the steps that lead up to the Rue du Nord there wasn’t very much happening at all. There was hardly anyone down there this afternoon.

Quite a few people further down by the Plat Gousset though. That seems to be where all of the action is taking place. Maybe I ought to go for a wander in that direction one of these days.

But not to buy an ice-cream. There’s a photo (not one of mine) currently doing the rounds about a “certain event” that took place there earlier today.

marker buoys baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There were however considerably more people up her eon the path so I was glad that I remembered to wear my mask.

Anyway, I walked all the way round and across to the car park to see what was happening out at sea and once again there were strange objects bobbing up and down in the water.

Nothing particularly exciting though. No dolphin or anything, just a buoy marking where a fisherman has dropped a lobster pot into the water.

And the 25-litre plastic container seems to be back. It wasn’t there yesterday. It’s probably also being used as a pot marker in that case. But these lobster pots are quite interesting. How on earth do you train a lobster to go on one?

cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Although there wasn’t a great deal going on out at sea this afternoon, there had been some people watching it.

However, they must have heard about me because as I turned up and prepared the camera, they stood up and began to leave. This is what happens when you are famous.

So with nothing else happening over here, I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was going on down at the harbour. Not all that much, I imagined. I was having one of those days today that one has when things aren’t going too well.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was no change in occupant at the chantier naval this afternoon. Still just Anakena and la Roc A la Mauve III.

Over at the ferry terminal we have Chausiaise today and that was about it. By the looks of things the two Joly France boats are out at the Ile de Chausey and Belle France is still moored in the inner harbour.

But still no sign of the Channel Island ferries. If they really are planning to restart the service by the end of April as the intimated earlier in the year, they need to be getting a move on. There’s not long to go.

In any case, I can’t see me being off to Jersey before I go off on my next trip.

And that was something else that I did this morning and forgot to mention – to book my next trip on the road.

ch 798530 briscard port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022The other day we saw a few fishing boats moored up on the silt by the fish processing plant.

Yesterday they had gone and L’Omerta was in their place. But today she’s gone and one of the three that was here the other day – Briscard – is now back again. It looks as if it’s becoming a popular spot.

Abd back here in my apartment I made a coffee and came back in her – and prmptly fell asleep. I told you that I was having a bad day and it didn’t improve as time went on.

Tea tomight was a taco roll with the left-over stuffing from yesterday. And so tomorrow I’ll be having a curry with the left-over food in the fridge

Anyway, right now I’m off to bed. I’m hoping for a better night tonight without the violence, and a better day to follow. I was really hoping that I’d seen the last of these bad days that I’ve been having, but apparently not.

Wednesday 16th March 2022 – AFTER THE OTHER NIGHT’s …

… disaster I remembered to take that pill and decided that I would stay awake and work until I felt really tired.

The wisdom of that idea was quite apparent when it was 02:00 and I was still awake and at the computer.

No-one was more surprised than me to find that at 07:30 when the alarm went off I managed to fall out of bed. Definitely a case of “shaken but not stirred”.

And that became apparent when I came back in here after the medication where, settling down in my comfy chair, I went to sleep again. And that’s how I stayed until 09:00

Part of the morning, once I was properly awake, concerned organising the music again. I had to make a new playlist for one of my batches of music for a start, and then there was some sound files that needed chopping up.

There are dozens of those and the first one proved to be far more difficult than anyone might imagine because after the first 5 tracks, the rest of it doesn’t go in accordance with the running order that I have. In the end after much binding in the marsh, I abandoned that and did three different ones.

That leaves me with about 30 to do. A mere bagatelle.

Something else that I’ve been doing is to run through another pile of photos from th High Arctic in August 2019. And if anyone thinks that they are having problems with prices in the shops these days, then HAVE A LOOK AT THESE in Qikiqtarjuaq, an island in the Davis Strait between the far North of Canada and Greenland.

It’s this kind of thing that makes me glad at times that I don’t live in the High Arctic and I feel sorry for those who do. And my hat goes off to the girl whom I met in Edmonton in 2018 and subsequently on several occasions who threw up her life in Montréal to go and live among the Inuit on Baffin Island

We had the usual interruptions for breakfast (and my coffee machine, while not perfect, is a vast improvement on the old one) and for lunch. I even spent some time having a little sort-out in the kitchen.

But don’t worry – it was only a little one. These new pills aren’t working that well.

As well as that, I sent off an order to Amazon. I need a new course book for the next lot of Welsh lessons, and while I was at it, I ordered a new dictaphone identical to the one that broke down a couple of months ago.

It served me well for a considerable number of years and did exactly what it was supposed to do. Using the ZOOM H1 is too inconvenient when it comes to playing back. Of course I copy it onto the computer to listen to it but it needs a lot of enhancement in order to be able to hear it.

There was also a pause for a shower, and then I wandered off out for my rendezvous with the physiotherapist.

lorry with trailer digger porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen quite often one of the main problems that arises when you live in a walled city – big stuff can’t pass through the gateways and has to trns-ship.

We’ve seen on many occasions this lorry (or one very much like it) and its trailer with the digger on board parked up at the Porte St Jean whenever there’s road work to be carried out within the walls

It has to stop here and the driver has to drive the digger off and through into the town under its own steam to get where it’s going and that’s not the work of five minutes either. But there’s no other solution unfortunately – at least, one that’s practical.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022You didn’t notice it in the previous photo because I enhanced it but I’ve not enhanced this one, so you’ll notice the rather strange, eerie yellowy-green light.

There’s a dust storm blowing up from the Sahara and it arrived at my friend’s in Munich yesterday late afternoon. But now it’s arrived here and we’re having it. It’s certainly a strange effect.

However, returning to the subject-matter of the photo, the tide is well out at the moment and there are no fishing boats moored up at the Fish Processing Plant.

And there aren’t any ferries at the ferry terminal either. They must be all at sea this afternoon, just like I seem to be these days. But at least they’ll be back sometime soon, which is more that I will.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Meanwhile, down at the loading bay in the port there’s a pile of freight that’s accumulated on the quayside.

That tells us that one of the little Jersey freighters will be coming in within the next day or two to whisk it all away.

And no large masts in the harbour either. That tells us that Marité is still in Cherbourg having her annual check-over ready to start work for the summer season.

By now it was starting to rain – enough to dampen my enthusiasm but not enough to dampen the spirits of the boulonauts who carried on playing. It’ll take more than a torrential downpour to stop them from playing.

renewing road surface abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022In the town centre we had yet more activity taking place.

That’s the site of the old railway branch (you can still see the rails) that used to go to the cold store where they used to keep the cod that the trawlers brought into port when fishing on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland was still undertaken.

Nowadays it’s a short-cut for pedestrians but at the moment it looks as if they are resurfacing it. I wonder what it will look like when they finish it.

The walk up the hill to the physiotherapists was just as good as it was on Monday. And once more she had me on the couch massaging my patella with her electric machine. And then I had some exercises to do.

But the knee doesn’t seem to be strengthening and the left knee now seems to be hurting. I hope that the doctor can see something on the x-rays about which he can do something.

brick capping rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022With the rain still pouring down, I walked through the completely deserted town centre and back up the hill in the Rue des Juifs towards home.

When I reached the place where they had been repairing the wall, I had a look at the brick capping that they put on top a good few months ago.

There is still no pointing in between the bricks and the moisture that will penetrate will destroy the capping if there’s any frost to freeze it.

Mind you, by the look of things, winter is a thing of the past. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … we haven’t had a winter this year, and it doesn’t look as if we’ll have another one ever again at the rate that things are going.

le coelacanthe trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022By now, the tide is much further in.

A big bunch of the smaller boats with shallow draught is down there at the Fish Processing Plant, all unloading their catch with the various vans and lorries of the owners waiting to take away the harvest.

Behind them, a few of the larger ones are waiting for the gates into the inner harbour to open so that they can go in. We can of course recognise Coelacanthe, the green and white trawler with the gold stripe.

There is even a trawler moored up at the ferry terminal out of everyone else’s way as the rush begins.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022With the rain that was falling, I was all ready to rush home. But there was one thing that I needed to do first.

But it didn’t really matter because there was no-one down there on the beach. And that’s no surprise because I wouldn’t have been out there in this weather had I not had to.

Back here I made myself a coffee and then had a listen to the dictaphone.

War had broken out so they were arming the island on which Zero lived with battleships and things like that. My father noticed and made some kind of comment and I replied but I can’t remember what I said but it was basically to do with the fact that we are all in this together. And here’s another voyage in which Zero was involved and I can’t remember how or why. What kind of state is this to be in?

Later on, everyone was getting their stuff out ready to welcome the Ukrainian refugees. One lot that was to come hadn’t come so the people who were waiting to show them their way threw all of their paintwork and the Ukrainian flag into the hedge back on someone else’s land. This caused a lot of problems and they had to prepare the stuff again. It turned out then that someone still had the stuff wrong even though the gates were now open. They were going around in yellow and blue even though they had nothign to do with the situation in the Ukraine.

Finally I was with my brother and someone else. I was supposed to be going outside but it was raining. I took some hot water with me anyway and poured it into the bath but I just lay down and curled up under a blanket or quilt any old how. I wasn’t interested at all in anything. The water was going cold and I was asleep under this quilt. The 2 of them walked past so I gave them a wave and curled up back underneath my blanket again. A little later I was climbing up this hill. There were loads of buses and coaches full of all kinds of children heading down the hill. It looked as if it was like a Sunday School outing or something. I got to where I was supposed to be going. I had some clothes baskets with me. I was going to do someone’s washing. I put down the baskets and the dog moved them so I told it to bring the baskets back. To my surprise, it did. That was quite amusing for both me and the woman who owned the dog when she realised exactly what had happened.

There was much more than this too but you really don’t want to know about it

There was no tea tonight as I had the first of my 5 revision lessons. Instead I grabbed an “unlabelled” frozen pie out of the freezer, defrosted it and warmed it up. To my surprise it turned out to be a vegan lentil pie. There are two more slices of that in the freezer so now that I know what they are I’ll have another tomorrow with potatoes, veg and gravy.

The Welsh lesson was something of a disaster. We were 14 students and the aim was to put us in pairs to chat about topics that the tutor gave us, and then to swap around after 20 minutes. And I’m just dismayed about how much I don’t know and how much I’ve forgotten.

Now i’m off to bed. I have two days with no interruptions so I need to get a move on and hope that no-one interrupts me and I can crack on with work. After last night, I need a good sleep.

If you aren’t tired, you can WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS of last night’s football. And there was so much that they have cut out half of them, which is a shame.

Wednesday 9th March 2022 – I HAD A STROKE …

… of luck this morning.

There I was going down the stairs towards the front door when out of the lift came one of my neighbours.

“Are you off to Belgium?” she asked
“Yes I am” I replied
“Come with me” she said.

She was on her way to work so she took me and threw me out about 200 metres from the station and you’ve no idea how much I appreciated it.

That’s because I’d had a really bad night. I hadn’t taken one of those pills before I went to bed and I don’t know whether that’s anything to do with it, but it took an age to go off to sleep and then I awoke again at 04:30 and that was that.

Despite trying my best, I couldn’t go back to sleep and so when the alarm went off at 06:00 I was up and about quite easily.

By 07:30 I was ready to leave so I loitered around until 08:00 and then went off out where I bumped into my neighbour.

concrete pad gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Just or a change, I was at the station at 08:10.

That gave me plenty of time to have a look around to see what has been going on here. And this concrete pad is certainly new

It’s taken over two or three spaces of the railway station car park and unless I’m mistaken, it’s the area where electric cars could be charged too. So if they have been removed, where will the electric cars be charged now?

That’s something that is causing me a little concern. There’s a commitment to phase out new fossil-fuelled cars over the next 15 years or so and so they need to think long and hard about the necessary infrastructure and to have it in place long before the cut-off date – not leave it until the last minute.

And to install a whole new system of wind and tidal power generation. The wind doesn’t stop blowing and the tides don’t stop changing at night when everyone is asleep in bed and not using power. There will be tons of energy available to charge up vehicles if they organise themselves.

mural gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we were here last at the railway station they had a pile of scaffolding up inside the building.

Now that they have removed it, we can see what they were doing. We now have a lovely mural of Granville as it was in the days when we had wind-powered “Newfoundlanders” sailing out of the port to the Grand banks of Newfoundland for the cod.

“The cod were in largeness and quantitie … that they stayed our ships” wrote Richard Hakluyt in the 16th Century when he was discussing voyages to “The New World” that went via Newfoundland.

But that was a long time ago.

84567 gec alstom regiolis gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022For even more of a change, the train was already in the platform so I took my seat quite quickly.

You might be thinking that that means that the train started off bang on time, but in actual fact we were 5 minutes late leaving.

The train was packed and I had a rather irritable neighbour so while I was able to update the laptop, I wasn’t able to do any work. I read a few theses about medieval castles in Cheshire instead.

By the time that we arrived in Paris we had made up a couple of minutes so I had time to pop into the ticket office at the Metro to buy another set of 10 tickets. I’m running rather low right now

225 TGV Reseau Duplex Gare du Nord Paris France Eric Hall photo March 2022Travelling to the Gare du Nord on the Metro was quite painless – especially since I’ve found my short-cut in the open air.

My train to Lille – Flandres was already in. It is, as you might expect, one of the TGV “Reseau Duplex” double-deckers. Old and showing its age but quick and reasonably comfortable.

As usual we weren’t allowed to board it. There’s an 8-car trainset that comes in later and couples up to the rear of this trainset and then all 16 cars go back to Lille. We have to wait until it’s all coupled up and ready to go before we can board it.

210 TGV Reseau Duplex gare de lille flandres lille France Eric Hall photo March 2022This is the power car of the second trainset, photographed at Lille Flandres as I was leaving the station.

Our train was a few minutes late leaving, like the one from Granville, but that didn’t matter so much as there was plenty of time to walk across the city from Lille-Flandres to the Lille-Europe railway station.

There was even time to find a quiet corner at Lille-Europe and eat my lunchtime sandwiches before boarding my train. But I had to keep an eye out for the railway police who were cautioning people for not wearing a mask. And it’s difficult to eat your butties whilst wearing a mask.

TGV Réseau 38000 tri-volt 4525 PBA gare du midi bruxelles belgium Eric Hall photo March 2022When I descended to the platform, the train was already in. It’s one of the PBA – Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam trainsets on which we travel quite frequently.

For reasons that I don’t quite understand, it waits here for about 20 minutes before departing. It’s more-than-likely due to the timing of the various connections that it makes with trains along its route.

And it was packed too and someone had taken my seat which was a shame, for I had rather looked forward to being out of my brain on the 5/15. I ended up sitting elsewhere, hemmed in and once more unable to do any work. I listened to “Colosseum Live” on the phone instead.

2730 class 27 electric locomotive gare de Leuven railway station Belgium Eric Hall photo March 2022At Brussels-Midi there was a train to Leuven already so I didn’t have to hang around waiting.

Running (as best as I could) down the concourse I leapt aboard with no problems and settled down for the journey to Leuven.

When we arrived, I nipped down to the head of the train to see what was pulling us along. It’s one of the old Class 27 electric locomotives and we’ve had a few of these just recently.

Considering that they must be getting on for 40 years old, they are still clocking up the miles on mainline services with little sign of slowing down.

At the back of the station is the little supermarket so I went there and bought the bread, vegan margarine and stuff to drink. It saves on the weight that I have to carry back from the big supermarket later this evening.

martelarenplein Leuven Belgium Eric Hall photo March 2022Now here’s a thing!

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the last however-many years we’ve seen (or not seen, as they case may be) the Martelarenplein, the Square of the Martyrs, all fenced off and covered while they have been renovating it.

Today though, apart from just one small area, all of the fencing has been removed and we can actually walk across the square if we choose to do so.

Not for me right now though. I’m tired and exhausted and and I can’t wait to find my way to my little room.

And once more I’m up a couple of flights of stairs and that’s killing me. Luckily the manager saw me struggling up the stairs so that might hopefully mean a change of room in the future.

Despite a nice hot coffee, I crashed out definitively, and for a good half-hour too.

electric three wheeled vehicle Leuven Belgium Eric Hall photo March 2022You’ve no idea just how much difficulty I had trying to rouse myself to go to the shops for food.

Nevertheless, I’m glad that I did because I encountered this strange machine. It’s a three-wheeler and it’s probably electric because it was quite silent. But whatever it is, it was quite interesting to say the least.

At the supermarket I don’t know what happened there but the shopping bill was much less than it usually is. I don’t reckon that I bought any less than I usually do.

At some point I managed to find the time to transcribe the dictaphone notes. Last night started with a family thing again with my sister and her first husband. It was probably 01:00 and they were thinking about going to bed and I had all of my paperwork to do which involved those two. I had to set the time on Big Ben and a few other things too but I kept on having trouble seeing because the lights on this big tower clock were so dim that I couldn’t actually see how I was setting it. Occasionally it would all light up bright and I’d see that I’d done in incorrectly and had to go back but to be very careful not to wipe off everything that I had done so far – just go back 1 or 2 steps and start on. By now of course it was daylight. I could easily see what was happening and there were all kinds of things going on on this clock face – people laughing and cheering at it. In the end I had to set it by some kind of analogue means moving the hands because I couldn’t make it go correctly by doing it digitally. In the end I managed it but by now it was 06:40 and broad daylight. I had to be up at 10:00 and they had to be up earlier than that. In the end I said that I was going to bed. My sister’s husband said that he was going to lie in in the morning because he was exhausted. I thought “how does he think that I feel?”. On the way back they were rationing out some things for issue and showing me some kind of drink made by a well-known pop manufacturer in a very distinctive bottle. They said that last tie they had issued this it was 17 shillings and so many pence but now it’s just 4.5 pence and they can’t understand what has happened. I asked if it was generic stuff. They replied that it was so I replied that maybe the patent has expired so now it’s being cloned or something but they couldn’t seem to understand. Neither could I but I didn’t really want to because I was so tired

Later, I was in backwoods Canada or backwoods USA sometime in the 50s or 60s judging by the cars that were driving around. I was writing up someone’s memoirs from a set of old war letters, something like that. I’d gone to this house ad he’d let me have all of this communication and I was going through it making notes etc. Gradually one of two other people had let me have their stuff as well. The first guy was concerned that this was going to slow me down doing other people’s stuff as well but I explained that it was all part of the same thing. They gave me a time and said that I had to be finished by something like 18:15. He thought that time was dragging on but I said that I’d be back tomorrow and that seemed to be OK. Various people came to see me and talk to me about everything while I was there making all of these notes and what had happened in the past. It gradually worked out that I was writing stuff about current events as well for a more immediate publication. This was something that concerned all of the people in this area. But all of the cars were fantastic. Someone was driving a pickup where instead of having the pickup bed behind him it was something like an enormous American saloon convertible thing with just 1 seat for the person driving it and the pickup bed was at the side where the passenger would sit. There were all these kind of weird machines that looked like something out of the 50s and 60s

And then I was with Claude and Françoise last night in the Auvergne. They owed me some money and I had a few IOUs and we were settling up. While I was there I showed them how many US dollars I had. I explained about the time that I had to use the toilet in a cafe and I didn’t have any money to go in so I had to write out an IOU. I told them about a trip that I’d made to the USA with 2 girls. We’d roamed around the Midwest in a big American car which was a small Opel saloon from the late 60s, a type 1. On one occasion I’m not quite sure what had happened but these girls must have been in their night clothes in this diner. They had gone to the toilet to have a wash and brush-up but they came out in their night clothes as well. I asked what was going on so they said that they were going back to the car to change. I asked why they hadn’t taken their clothes into the ladies toilets and changed in there instead of doing it on the car park of this diner

Now that I’ve had tea I’m off to bed. I know that it’s early but I’m exhausted and I’ve almost fallen asleep twice. Hospital tomorrow so I’m lying in with no alarm.

After last night’s disaster, I need all the beauty sleep that I can get.

Friday 11th February 2022 – THAT WAS A …

… horrible night last night.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I went to bed fairly early hoping to have a really good sleep. However at about 23:00 a party started up in one of the University houses at the back here.

At at 04:30 they were still at it and I hadn’t had a moment of sleep.

Eventually I must have dropped off because when I awoke, at 09:35, there were four files on the dictaphone. I was with my youngest sister last night. To my surprise we were actually boyfriend and girlfriend. We were on a bus doing a lap around a football ground so that we could watch the game but it was almost impossible to see it no matter where I moved to or where I sat or where I went. I tried to sit in all kinds of places. On one occasion I saw the goalkeeper catch the ball but it was behind the line so I indicated that it was a goal. He thought that the ball had come through the side netting into his hands. it was very much a one-sided match. That American guy Lamela was playing and someone said “look what they would have missed had he gone to Celtic”. Eventually the bus stopped because it was half-time. I hoped to find a better seat when everyone had got off. Then I noticed that just round the corner was a petrol station so I said to her “do you want to come along and have a coffee? See if they have a coffee there”. She was searching through her money – she had plenty there, all £10 notes. In the end off we went. She wasn’t very talkative and I had the impression that she wasn’t very happy. We went past a fish and chip shop so I said “would you like a bag of chips as well?” but it turned out to be a place that made venetian blinds. There was something going on about fires at football grounds and they were talking about Airdrie that had been burnt to a cinder and several other grounds where they had had fires, how at Dundee they’d had a big fire but it wasn’t the case at all of an opportunist suspicious fire because the chairman was young, keen and energetic and it had taken him years to rebuild his fortune after the fire even if the club had been refused planning permission to re-erect a stand and how many of their supporters had died in the fire. As they were explaining, my sister asked “how long do we have?”. I replied “normally 15 minutes”. I wondered how much of that time had already passed so I said “as long as it takes if we grab a coffee and are quick back”.

By now I was with Zero and the two of us were at some kind of water park or adventure park. What I’d heard was that they were going to freeze over a waterfall or part of it so that we could go skiing on it. I contacted my friends from the Wirral to see if they wanted to come. Sure enough, they turned up so I went to meet them while Zero was visiting this waterfall walking exercise. She was obviously having a whale of a time. They turned up but for some reason they weren’t very happy at all. My friend’s wife wandered off on her own and he hung around for a minute and then asked “do you want to have a beer or something and I have to go back to the car or something” and walked off in order to get a panda. Zero was enjoying herself but this was coming to an end and they were going to freeze over the waterfall so I had to find the wife. I walked all the way up this slope but I couldn’t see her. I bumped into a few people whom I knew and told them what was happening. They said “surely your friends will turn up to go skiing”. I said “no, they are coming up now”. I walked all the way up the hill but couldn’t find her at all. She had disappeared. Someone said “she’s just walked past at the end of the water wheel” so I decided to turn round and walk back to see if she was there. In the meantime all the kids came off this lake-walking thing so I thought that I’d better go and find Zero otherwise she’ll be the next person who is going to be lost.

I stepped right back into this dream again. The husband turned up and the discussion went on about porridge for breakfast. I offered him some porridge but he thought that it wasn’t porridge but something else. I was absolutely certain that it was porridge and I couldn’t understand why it was that he was saying something different

There had been some kind of incident on Moathouse Drive in Crewe. Someone had been arrested for it and I had to go along and give evidence. I was there making my statement and the person was brought in behind me to make their statement and it was my little Inuit friend from Uummannaq. While she made her statement I waited for her. I had a look round while I was waiting and came across a map of the High Arctic islands in Nunavut. When she finished giving her evidence I said that I’d take her home. I knew where she lived. I showed her this map, explaining to her about the Inuit in Canada and the outlying islands and she was extremely interested. She had some kind of pet like a mongoose or a weasel, something like that, and it was running around inside this room. I had to catch it and that wasn’t easy. It was a persistent animal. In the end I caught it and we both set off. Somehow I ended up back at my house alone with this animal. I let it loose inside my house, my house in Winsford. I’m not quite sure how it happened after that but with me having an empty room in my house and my brother living in all kinds of strange circumstances I ought to invite him to come and stay but it didn’t quite work out like that and I can’t remember how it finished.

After the medication I spent much of the day working on the remaining music for the next batch of radio programmes. All five of them are now prepared and there’s some good music in there.

There were several breaks of course, Breakfast, lunch, and then a couple of chats with Liz and Alison.

Later on I went for a walk around the town to stretch my legs.

dismantling market stall herbert hooverplein leuven belgium Eric Hall photo February 2022My route took me down the Teinsestraat and into the Herbert Hooverplein.

It’s market day this morning and the square, and the adjacent Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein are swamped with stalls, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen in the past but at the start of the afternoon they begin to pack everything up.

When I arrived this afternoon I was just in time to see the last couple of stalls being dismantled.

At FNAC there was nothing there that interested me. I had half a mind to buy a new voice recorder to replace my old Sony but they didn’t have anything at all.

With nothing that I needed to buy particularly, I didn’t go into ay other shop but instead headed across town to Origin’o, the vegan shop, for some more grated cheese, some vegan sausages and a dessert for Saturday night’s tea

rebuilding medieval city walls handbooghof leuven belgium Eric Hall photo February 2022On the way back into town I came back via the Handbooghof to have a look at the repairs to the city walls around there

There isn’t actually very much to see because of the high fence that they have built around it. Apart from the decoration on the fence, we can make out something of what they have been doing and the different types of brick and stone that have been used.

Sourcing the material to rebuild it can’t have been easy though because I imagine that like most similar places, the walls will have been used as a quarry during the expansion of the town in the past.

At Delhaize there was a disaster. They had run out of the banana-flavoured soya drink that I love. I’ve had to make do with chocolate but it really isn’t the same.

Back here I crashed out for an hour or so, even before I had time to make myself a coffee. I’m not coping too well with things at the moment and the bad night just about finished me off.

So now that I’ve had tea I’m off for a very early night. Grab a few hours sleep before the party starts up again tonight.