Tag Archives: bad parking

Saturday 25th September 2021 – THIS SHELLFISH FESTIVAL …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 10th September 2021 – ON WEDNESDAY …

digging trench laying drains rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021 … we took a little trip to see the roadworks that were going on in the Rue du Boscq.

On the way back home from the physiotherapist I came back that way to see how they were doing and they seem to have made a great amount of progress in just 48 hours.

They’ve already started to dig the trench that looks as if it will be going the length of the street and they are laying the drainage pipes in there already. They certainly seem to be advancing a lot quicker than those workmen did in Leuven when they were doing a similar job that took 18 months and more.

lorry load of gravel on old railway line parc du val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021What had excited my curiosity was that a heavy lorry was going down the track bed of the old railway line towards the road works.

He had a trailer that was quite heavily loaded with gravel, and so that gave me some kind of indication that the work was progressing rapidly. They wouldn’t be bringing in the gravel to leave lying around for 12 months or so.

And it was interesting to see that the old track bed was being put to good use as well, even if it won’t ever be a railway line as well. A sign of the times, maybe?

notification of works rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Something else that has appeared since we were here on Wednesday is a noticeboard at the town end of the work setting out the plans.

So we are going to have a cycle path, some car parking, piles of trees (at last), a real footpath and 2 viewpoints, presumably up on top in the Avenue de la Gare where one may look down on the scene.

There don’t seem to be any plans for a lift though to take you up to the station instead of having to negotiate these awful steps.

It’s going to cost pretty much €2,000,000 and I hope that they have their money’s worth out of it.

having fun with signs parc du val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Talking of “these awful steps”, these are the ones that I mean.

Trying to walk up here with a suitcase in the pitch-black in the middle of winter is a nightmare. Since I tried it once like that, I’ve been going up the Rue Couraye instead.

There was a pile of builders’ material that had been dropped here and it looks as if someone has been having a great amount of fun playing around with the road signs. Still, it keeps them out of mischief.

By the looks of things, I didn’t get into much of a way of mischief during the night. There was nothing whatever recorded on the dictaphone. I didn’t sleep right through though – I had a miserable, uncomfortable night tossing and turning in bed for much of it. I was exhausted when the alarm went off.

home made bread fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021After the medication there was the bread-making to be done.

There was no ordinary bread left, and only a very small amount of fruit bread so I decided to make both lots seeing as I had the oven on.

Having had one or two failures with my fruit bread just recently through having tried a new method, I decided on a kind-of hybrid method and that actually looks quite a nice loaf.

After I’ve tried some tomorrow, I’ll tell you what it’s like but I do know that the ordinary loaf is excellent.

Having made the dough I went to have a shower to make myself smell nice and it was just as well that I did because the nurse came earlier than expected.

He had all kinds of trouble trying to find a vein from which to take the blood, but not half as much trouble as some of those butchers in Montlucon did.

Once he had departed I could have my coffee and the last of the old fruit bread, and then make a start. First task was to deal with the dictaphone arrears and now every one of those has been transcribed. Another good job done.

The next task was to deal with an outstanding h=journal entry from THE END OF AUGUST. by the end of the day that was finished and as from tomorrow I can turn my attention back to the 2019 photos and the trip to the Ile de Chausey.

As for updating the journal with the details of the night’s travels for the three weeks or so that I let things lapse, I’ll just do a couple a day.

There were the usual breaks, one for lunch and another one to go to see the physiotherapist.

ferry to ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way out, I went via the old medieval walls.

And from the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I could see way out to sea and there was something of a reasonable size heading out towards the Ile de Chausey.

Without any doubt at all, it was one of the ferries going that way so I photographed it in the hope that back here later I could see who it was.

It wasn’t easy, but I could see that she had no step in the stern and had a more angular that streamlined shape so I think that she may well be the elder of the two Joly France boats.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One of the features that seems to run through these pages is the sad state of the medieval walls.

The area round by the Place du Marché aux Chevaux was closed off about a year or so ago and when I was round this way a couple of months ago they had made a start on repairing them.

Just recently however, they seem to have made rapid progress and while the actual repointing hasn’t progessed that much on the outisde of the walls, we now have a huge scaffolding that is in the course of being erected just there.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021What caught my eye were the huge water tanks that are on the scaffolding there.

With 1,000 litres of water in each of them, each one will weigh a metric tonne. So judging by the way that the scaffolding is being erecting, it looks as if they are going to be erecting a “flying scaffolding” over the walls and the water tanks are being used as a counterweight.

This is going to become quite interesting and one of these days at low tide, I’ll go down onto the beach and have a good look from underneath at what they are doing.

female underwater swimmer rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was looking around at the scaffolding I was also having a look around on the beach as well.

Emerging from the water down there just like Ursula Andress in DR NO was another one of these underwater swimmers, complete with snorkel and flippers.

Whatever it is that they are doing, I still haven’t managed to find out. It can’t be anything special because where they are swimming is uncovered at low tide. It must be some kind of training exercise, that’s all that I can think of.

beach swimming pool diving platform promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A view that we haven’t seen properly, with not having come this way for a while, is the view down to the Plat Gousset.

First thing that I noticed was that it it still seems to be the summer season as far as the local Council is concerned. The beach huts are still there and the diving platform is still on its pillar.

These are all removed into storage at the end of the season. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen the power in the storms that crash down there during the winter. The storms will make a considerable mess of those cabins if they were to remain there during the winter.

There are some steps at the end of the path that go down to the Place Marechal Foch. I went down that way and headed off through the town centre.

delivery van unloading rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Another thing that regular readers of thids rubbish will recall is that bad parking is another regular feature of these pages.

Delivery vans these days are everywhere these days and they park anywhere they like. But if you have a look at this photo very carefully, you’ll see that there’s an empty parking space just to his left,.

Rather than waste 10 seconds of his own by manoeuvring into it, he proceeds to waste about 5 minutes of the time of 20 other motorists stuck in the queue behind him.

This is the kind of thing that brings these delivery drivers into disrepute, and it’s hardly any surprise that people have such a low opinion of them.

At the physiotherapist’s, he put me through my paces on his tilting platform. He gave me a pile of new exercises to do, with the result that just about every joint in my body, except the right knee, which is why I’d gone there for treatment in the first place.

flowers dying avenue de la gare Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back, I went down the Avenue de la Gare to look at those flowers that we saw last week.

Whatever was happening to them has obviously happened very quickly because most of the flowers seem to have died in that very short space of time.

And there were no more than a handful of butterflies compared to the other day.

Down the steps I went to the Parc du val es Fleurs to check on the roadworks, and then went to the Carrefour for some fruit, seeing as I won’t be going shopping tomorrow.

empty quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s amazing the difference that a couple of kilos of fruit make. It was quite a struggle to climb back up the Rue des Juifs

At the viewpoint overlooking the harbour I could see that the pile of freight that had been visible on the quayside yesterday afternoon has now disappeared.

Checking the comings and goings in he port on the radar later, I could see that Normandy Trader arrived in port at 09:10 and left again at 11:13. That is what I call a quick turn-round. I can’t keep up with all if this.

trawler aground in naabsa position port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Yet another subject that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that of fishing vessels which, instead of going into the inner harbour, are left outside in the outer tidal harbour to simply settle down in the silt.

The technical name for this is NAABSA, i.e. Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground, and it seems to be happening more and more frequently these days. We’ve seen this vessel a couple of times now moored up against the sea wall near the entrance to the harbour.

When I first came to live here we would only very seldomly see one, but these days it seems to be a couple of times a week. There must be something going on about the mooring in the inner harbour and I wish that I knew what it was.

trawler saint andrews catherine philippe l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There’s plenty going on over at the chantier naval today though.

By the looks of things, there has been a big clear-out of ships that were in there. Of the seven that we have seen over the lst couple of weeks, we now seem to be down to just four.

The ones that remain, by the looks of things, from left to right, are Saint Andrews, the unidentified one, Catherine Philippe and L’Omerta. Back into the water today have gone Yann Frederic, Peccavi and Massabielle.

The next question that needs to be asked is “who is going to come in to take their place?”. There’s a very high turnover of boats in there these days and those places won’t be remaining empty for long.

tank cleaner porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021from the viewpoint over the harbour I headed off for home.

We have another lorry parked up by the Porte St Jean that can’t fit under the arch. It’s not a question of a trans-shipment today. That’s a tank cleaner or drain unblocker.

Someone must have a problem with the drains and so there’s about half a mile of pipework running into the old town as the driver tries to blast it away. There’s no end of inconvenience that you encounter when you are living within the walls.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Before I went home, I went to have a good look down on the beach as usual.

The tide is well out but there weren’t too many people down there. It was rather cool and windy compared to how it has been and that might explain it.

There did seem to be a few people in the water too, although I don’t know why because it’s not really swimming weather. Anyway, I left them to it and came back here for my banana smoothie and a little rest.

As it happened, it was more than a little rest too. Probably about an hour’s deep sleep, in fact. And it’s no surprise because I’d worked hard at the physiotherapist’s and then i’d had the long walk home up the hill.

Tea was a burger on a bap with a baked potato and veg. No pudding still, but it doesn’t seem to be working because not only did I put that 100 grammes back on, I added another 100 grammes to it as well.

But right now i’m off to bed. I have visitors tomorrow morning and I want to be on form.

Saturday 28th August 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… miserable day today. And much of that is my own fault too.

Despite having, for what has been just recently an early night – so early in fact that I was nowhere near finished yesterday’s journal entry – it was a real struggle to force myself out of bed this morning when the alarm went off.

It was a crawl into the bathroom and even after a cold-water wash I didn’t feel any different. I had the medication and then came back in here to start work.

After an hour or so and ot having done very much at all, I reckoned that I may as well go for a coffee.

A quick check of the time told me that it was in fact just 05:25 – it seemed that I had forgotten to switch off the alarm from last Saturday. No wonder I was feeling so dreadful.

What I did was to switch off all of the following alarms except that for 06:20 and then went back to bed.

When the alarm went off, I couldn’t move out of bed at all so I went back so sleep and the next thing that I remembered was rhat it was 08:40. That wasn’t the start of the day that I wanted.

Having organised myself I went out to the shops. First port of call was Lidl where I bought some stuff that I couldn’t carry home when I was there on Wednesday.

Next stop was at Centrakor where I wanted to see if they had anything to cover my fruit but that was a disappointment.

At Noz I spent half my time going around the shop buying a couple of things and the other half of the time dismantling Caliburn’s door handle and freeing it off so that it would work.

At LeClerc, that was a disappointment too. No decent keyboard and no decent printer either. Some other stuff that I needed, like food and so on, and then I came home.

Carrying the stuff up here (only some of it too) was quite a struggle and I was glad to sit down for a pause with a coffee. And while I was seated, I organised myself a new keyboard and printer. The keyboard can’t be here soon enough because this one is driving me berserk.

After lunch I came back in here to start work but unfortunately I fell asleep again – as if this morning hasn’t been enough. It meant that I was rather late for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNevertheless, out I went and as usual, my first port of call when I go out for my afternoon walk is to stick my head over the wall at the end of the car park to see what’s going on down there.

Despite the weather, which is quite windy today, there are a few people making the most of the last weekend of the summer season. No-one actually in the water this afternoon which is hardly a surprise because I imagine that it will be quite cold in there this afternoon.

By the looks of things the beaches further along the coast look as if there is no-one on them and that’s a surprise. They are less susceptible to the wind, the views are good and they are good for walking

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile one eye was roving around on the beach, the other eye was having a good look out to sea.

There wasn’t anything going on just offshore but way out in the bay there was a zodiac travelling offshore at quite a rapid rate of knots. I’ve no idea from where it’s come and to where it’s going. There’s no evidence of anything out there that might be of interest.

But you can see how rough the sea is this afternoon. It’s due to the effect of the wind that is whipping up the waves. You can tell that from the whitecaps out there in the bay.

joly france ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite everything else, the sky was quite clear this afternoon and the view was really good.

In the past regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen plenty of photos of the Ile de Chausey but it’s been very rare that we’ve been able to see it quite as clearly as this.

The colours have been enhanced a little, of course, and we can see the houses along the shore quite clearly . And that’s the lighthouse on the left of the image on the hill, and on the hill on the right is the semaphore station.

lighthouse semaphore crowds on footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that’s the lighthouse and semaphore station station on the Ile de Chausey. Here are the lighthouse and the semaphore station at the Pointe du Roc.

The semaphore is of course the smaller post on the far right. The taller post in the centre seems to be some kind of transmission aerial, maybe for the coastguard post right out on the end of the headland behind the building up there.

And is that one of the Joly France boats out there to the right?

Crowds of people taking a walk this afternoon around the headland too. The last weekend of the summer season and they’ll all be heading home tomorrow (I hope) and we can all return to some peace and tranquility far from the madding crowds.

fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, in other news, a little further on along the path we have the presence of a fisherman.

Not a very optimistic fisherman either because he doesn’t have a net with which to haul in his catch or a bucket in which to keep it, and that seems rather a strange idea to me.

In fact, I’m slowly coming round to the conclusion that the fishing off the rocks is sport fishing, not subsistence fishing, and the aim isn’t actually to keep and eat any fish that they catch but to release it back into the water afterwards.

As a vegan I should be applauding this gesture but it’s still something of a mystery

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving had our attention distracted by the sea and by the land, it’s now time to turn out attention to the air.

Even if the fisherman isn’t necessarily hunting for food, other people are, like the sparrowhawk whom we have seen on several occasions.

He’s out there again hunting for his food in the rough grass down the bank on the clifftop and he’s probably having better luck than the fisherman below him.

That’s my lot really. Nothing else of any other great excitement happening around here and nothing else going on out to sea, I headed off around the path and across the car park.

carolles plage Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust at that moment, as I was crossing the car park, a ray of sun fell onto the beach at Carolles-Plage and illuminated it as if with a spotlight on a stage.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have walked the length of that beach on several occasions not long after I first came here, when I was staying at that cheap hotel in Jullouville while I was looking for an apartment.

It’s a beautiful beach and quite quiet too as much of it is not easily accessible. It peters out up against the Pointe de Carolles, under the watchful eye of the Cabanon Vauban that is out of shot to the right.

Around the end of the headland and along the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour.

marite les epiettes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing much going on there of any note so I carried on along to where I could see the boats in the inner harbour.

First of all, the small red white and blue boat that’s there in the loading bay – when I was down there yesterday I was able to have a good look at her and she is indeed Les Epiettes, the boat that we saw out at the Ile de Chausey when we were aboard Spirit of Conrad last year.

Marité of course needs no introduction at all. she’s quite happily sitting at her berth waiting for her next trip out.

But as for me, I was waiting for my trip back home.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that “bad parking” is a feature that used to figure quite often on these pages, but fear of boring you all to death has made me abandon it, except in certain clearly outrageous circumstances.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust like this one here in fact.

This is a van that is fitted out as a mobile home and because there is no room to park just here (obviously the public car park just up the road at the Boulevard Vaufleury is too far to travel, they have decided to park just here.

Two wheels up on the kerb on the grass verge and the rest of the vehicle parked in the street, on a bus route and right opposite a relatively busy road junction.

But of course, who cares about the day-to-day life of the residents here? Being a tourist is much more important and who cares if it inconveniences the locals? Tough luck!

It’s no wonder that many people are glad to see the backs of the tourists when the holiday season is finally over.

By the way, it was one of those little concrete bollards just there that I tripped over on my nocturnal excursion the other evening.

Back here later there was the dictaphone that needed attention. And despite the rather short night, there had been plenty of time to go off for a mega-ramble or three.

There was another ship very like a Spanish galleon. I was on it and someone said to me “you won’t be going back on board the ship for a while because it had been raided by the local police. I was still out there trying to make a living by getting her food by carving on fish paste sandwiches and making sure that she does actually want to do it herself. I’ve no idea at all what was going on here, but once again I awoke covered in sweat from this.

And who is “she”? The cat’s mother?

Later on I was watching a football match and the opposition goalkeeper had been sent off just like someone yesterday. Someone else had to go in goal. His team won a corner so he went up to the penalty area for it. The corner came in but the other team’s keeper caught it quite cleanly but the other guy bundled him straight into the net, ball and all, and did a lap of honour around the goal at the back. Of course, the referee, talking to his linesman, ruled it out. That caused all kinds of problems but I could certainly see why it had been ruled out and wasn’t going to argue about it. It seemed a fair decision to me

And somewhere along the line I had another one of these work dreams where everything that I was doing was in total chaos yet again, and when I was on the point of retiring and could have just walked out.

There was football too on the internet – Penybont v Connah’s Quay Nomads. An exciting, free-flowing end-to-end game but most of it went to naught because the final touch was just not good enough.

The score finished 1-1 which was a surprise because there was a point in the game when I was thinking that they could be playing until next weekend and the score would still be 0-0. The central defensive pairing of Penybont was one of the best that I have ever seen.

But up front, both teams will have to be doing much better than this.

Just as I was about to go for a late meal, Rosemary rang me and we had a chat for … errr … 2 hours and 37 minutes. Hence I’ve had no food, and I’m too tired to write this out properly.

It’s just not my day, is it?

Wednesday 25th August 2021 – I WENT TO …

… see the rapist this afternoon.

rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing that I have to say about it all is that there’s traffic flowing again down the Rue Cambernon again.

It looks as if the braderie was only a one-day thing because everything seems to have been cleared away, all of the streets are now open and the cars are driving along them.

It’s a shame really because for that one day it was quite interesting and quite quiet too. It reminded me of the “car-free Sunday” that we had once a year when I lived in Brussels. All of the public transport was free, all of the parks and museums were open and you could wander everywhere without any interruption at all.

And, at the end of the day, the normal haze that hung over the city had gone and the sky was really clear.

Just for one day.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, one of the things that really gets my goat around here is the pathetic parking.

bad parking rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou’ve seen so much of it that I’ve been trying to avoid showing it, in order not to bore you to death, but sometimes there is something so extreme that I have to feature it. Something like this, for example.

The white car, with a registration number from out of the département so clearly a tourist, has stopped – with a couple of wheels on a zebra crossing, and let his wife out to go and buy a baguette from the bakery here.

And then he sits and waits for her.

This is a bus route for the large service buses that ply up and down the coast, and he’s blocking the road so that this bus can’t go past.

And does he move? Of course he doesn’t. He’s a tourist. The town belongs to him. Who cares about the locals?

But anyway, let’s start at the very beginning.

Despite having a good deal less than 5 hours sleep last night, I was up and about at 06:00 and went to take my medicine.

Back in here again I checked my messages – well, I didn’t – just about half of them. I didn’t actually go to sleep – I was wide awake – but in something like a zombie-like trance for a couple of hours, unable to function at all.

When I finally gathered my wits – which takes far longer these days than it ought, seeing how few wits I have left these days, I made myself a coffee and cut a slice of my gorgeous fruit bread – which really is gorgeous by the way – and then came back in here to finish off checking my messages.

Next task was to prepare a music playlist for the week. It’s the turn of the music in the “BB” folder to be selected and it will be any 11 tracks from about 15 of the 50 artists and groups in the folder.

The playlist will now be running continuously until Sunday night (as long as the computer is switched on) and I’ll be listening to all of the relevant albums, choosing tracks that might be interesting, noting down their running times and the albums from which they come, and whether they are good or faulty.

And whether they are needing editing too. Chopping exciting bits out of “Tubular Bells” or “Thick as a Brick” – stuff like that. Much as I like the complete albums, my listeners would fall asleep if I played all of them non-stop.

There was the dictaphone to check of course and eventually I managed to get around to it. Last night I was living on some kind of island. There was a huge explosion that had destroyed part of the buildings. Everyone had to evacuate this island and move onto another one that was already occupied. Everyone immediately thought that it was me who had blown up this island or whatever it was, so no-one was really my friend and gave me all cold stares when I’d tried to talk to them about anything.

And doesn’t that remind me of an event about two years ago?

Later on, I’d been on a bike and apparently I’d started off walking. It was medieval times. I was loaded up and on my way somewhere or other. The priest of this area was standing there looking over the harbour and everything. As I walked past he made the sign of the cross to me so I made the sign of the cross to him. He said “good evening” and I thought “it’s morning, isn’t it?”. I carried on walking and then I was on a bike cycling down a hill near Lyon. A group of 5 people walked off the pavement straight in front of me. I gave them a tinkle of the bell. They moved slowly out of the way so I swore at them and cursed them in French. They were making all kinds of gestures and insults but I carried on. In the end someone invited me to appear on television. I thought “if they had heard that lot just now they wouldn’t have allowed me on at all.

After that, I know that I did something else, but don’t ask me what it was because I can’t remember.

After lunch I went and had a shower and a general clean and tidy up, and then went off on my travels to see the rapist.

transhipment porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I didn’t go very far before I came to a stop.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, because I’ve said it before … “and on many previous occasions too” – ed … living intra muros in the old walled city does have its drawbacks Like the height of the gateway into the old walled city.

If you are having anything big delivered, you need to have some kind of trans-shipment system in place because the chances are that the delivery lorry might not be able to fit through the arch. We’ve seen all kinds of Heath-Robinson arrangements since I’ve been living here.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, a little farther on along the road I come out to one of the viewpoints on the outer walls – the one that overlooks the fish processing plant.

The first thing that I noticed was that all of the “charter hire” yachts like Aztec Lady, Spirit of Conrad and so on are conspicuous by their absence.

Not that it is a real surprise because I heard on the grapevine that the Channel Islands are relaxing their strict anti-Covid controls on visitors from France, and so everyone who is anyone has headed off in a northward direction.

And had I not had my series of appointments starting this week, I would have been tempted to have joined them as well.

Les Epiettes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallEvery now and again we’ve been seeing a small red, white and blue boat running around in the bay or just outside the harbour.

It might be this one here. I know that we encountered one, called Les Epiettes once when we were on Spirit of Conrad out at the Ile de Chausey, but unfortunately we can’t see her name from here.

When I was back in the apartment later I checked the port call register and there was no trace of a boat that resembled her so she probably has her AIS switched off.

But I did discover something else and I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

charlevy port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I’m sure that we all recognise this trawler. It’s been the subject of quite a few photos just recently.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, she’s our old friend Charlevy, anchored at the loading bay with one of the cranes working on her.

What I suspect is that while she’s been in the chantier naval she’s had all of her nets taken out and presumably overhauled and repaired on the quayside as we’ve seen them do before.

Today, it looks as if the crane is reassembling all of her fishing gear, ready for her to go back out to sea.

From there I pushed on through the streets and up the hill to the therapist. And the climb up there was a little better than on Monday.

He had me walking up and down a step, doing some stretching exercises and then standing on some kind of tilting, vibrating plate that reminded me on being on the deck of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in a hurricane.

There was a kind of ski-walking machine there but that wasn’t a success. Not because I couldn’t work it but I didn’t have the breath to keep it going.

After half an hour he threw me out and I walked home, feeling actually a little more sprightly in my right leg than I have done for a while. I wonder what it will be like at the end of the sessions.

Passing the shenanigans outside the bakers I carried on towards home and my ice-cold strawberry smoothie. And the climb up the hill in the Rue des Juifs went rather better than the other day.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out, I thought that I’d go and see how things were down on the beach. It’s much more like my usual time of afternoon.

Plenty of beach to be on or course because the tide is well on its way out now. You could see quite a difference to how it was 90 minutes ago when i set off for my appointment.

But the holiday season is definitely coming to an end. Three days now on the run I’ve made the point that there have been fewer and fewer people down on the beach , and once again I couldn’t see anyone in the water either. It’s a sad end to a rather depressing summer season here.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was at it, I was having a good look out to sea.

The NIKON D3000 was my main camera between the demise of the Nikon D5000 and the purchase of the NIKON D500 and while I was happy with it at the time, I’ve had to do a lot of post-work to pull out a photo of the Ile de Chausey from the haze out at sea.

None of the Joly France ferries in sight – they must all be sheltering in the gap between the two islands. Just the odd yacht or two out there this afternoon. Nothing much to be excite myself today. I did see a brown smudge on the horizon which at first I thought was Marité but it turned out to be a mark on the computer screen.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallGoing back to the apartment, there was a view of the beach down at the Plat Gousset – a view that I don’t usually see because I’m going the other way.

Quite a few people going for a paddle around in the water retained by the medieval fish trap, and a few folk on the beach down there too. But seeing as that area is the most popular part of the beach, I was expecting it to be much busier than that.

A few people down on the beach at Donville les Bains though. I can just about make them out in the distance.

So back into the apartment I came and had my strawberry smoothie – and the next thing that I remembered was thatt it was 18:30. I’d been stark out for 90 minutes. The walk out and back had taken it all out of me.

There were carrots that needed peeling and blanching ready for freezing and then it was time for tea. I had the rest of the mushrooms which were going to start to do something rather peculiar if I didn’t do anything with them so I threw in a small tin of lentils and a few other bits and pieces and made a quick curry.

big wheel at night place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack in here I came to write up my notes but while I was checking the radar to see whether it really was Les Epiettes coming into the port, I noticed a rather large boat coming into the port, larger than any that have been in here recently.

Immediately I grabbed the camera and dashed outside to see what it might be, falling over a concrete bollard in the street in the darkness.

Firstly though, the big wheel was working, even though it was quite late. People must be staying up until all hours, being still in the holiday mood even if they don’t want to go down to the beach during the daytime.

big wheel at night place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the attractions of the big wheel, especially for the spectator, is that it changes colour as it goes round.

As I watched, it went through all of the colours of the rainbow and made quite an exciting spectacle.

But only for a few more days. It usually closes down round about the end of August so maybe next week will be the last that we shall see of it.

And the tourists too. While I’m always pleased to see them leave, I do feel sorry for them for the miserable summer that they have had.

medical emergency at galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably noticed in the two photos of the big wheel a set of lights coming down the hill in the Rue Couraye. What you won’t have heard of course is the sound of the sirens that came with the lights.

There’s something rather large and top-heavy down there and it’s certainly not a gravel boat as I was originally thinking.

And why it’s put into the harbour is presumably due to some kind of medical emergency that needs to be dealt with

medical emergency at galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut in the meantime I can tell you something about her, because she has her AIS beacon switched on.

Believe it or not, she’s a Spanish galleon. Not a original one, I haste to add, and wouldn’t that be something if it were, but a faithful replica of a Spanish galleon of the 17th Century and at an overall length of almost 48 metres, she’s the largest ship of any description to come in here for quite a while.

How long she’ll be staying is something else, so I’ll be out there first thing in the morning to see her in daylight, because the harbour gates open early.

trawler leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’m out, I’m not going to bed quite yet. I may as well make the most of things

With the harbour gates being open, one of the trawlers here is taking the opportunity to slip out to sea. She doesn’t have her AIS beacon switched on so I can’t tell you who she is. It’s just a purple lozenge on my radar screen with no name attached.

Anyway, that’s enough excitement for this evening. I’m going back to the apartment to carry on with my journal entry for today before I forget any more.

Now, much later than intended, I’m off to bed. A whole day at home with no interruptions. I bet that I’ll fall asleep and miss most of it.

Thursday 22nd July 2021 – NO SURPRISES THEN …

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… for guessing who this ship is.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen it now three days on the run, each time getting closer to confirm by assumptions about her identity.

And sure enough, here she is today just entering the Baie de Mont St Michel and we can see quite clearly the number G90 on her sail and so she is without any doubt La Granvillaise, as I thought.

But you have no idea how lucky you are with this photo because when I spied her, she’d already furled up a couple of her sails and that one followed suit quite quickly. I was only just in time.

people in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe people in La Granvillaise weren’t the only people in a hurry to return home either while I was out.

This large zodiac was belting along at an incredible rate of knots across the Baie de Granville, presumably trying to return home before it turned into a pumpkin or something like that.

These things make quite a racket, as anyone who has ever travelled on one will tell you, and the noise that they make when travelling at full-speed is ear-splitting and shatters the environment for quite a large radius around.

As you might expect, I for one was glad when he had cleared off around the headland and gone the Way of the West as they used to say.

Of course, regular readers of this rubbish will recall where the phrase “Gone West” comes from because we’ve touched on this in the past.

It refers to the endless lines of wagon trains that set off in the 1840s and 1850s from the eastern part of the USA to head to California and Oregon. Dysentery, cholera, childbirth, drowning, starvation, wild animals, accident and murder (more emigrants were killed by their colleagues than by native Americans, incidentally) took such a toll of the emigrants that anyone who “went west” would never likely to be seen again by those at home.

speedboat people fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I bet the guys in this small cabin cruiser are totally fed up of what is going on all around them.

They’ve just been buzzed by an ear-splitting zodiac going past hell-for leather, and now they have to contend with a speedboat.

The guys in the cabin cruiser are fishing and if they had ever caught anything before, which is extremely doublful, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, they won’t be catching anything with all of this going on.

The guys in the speedboat have all of their fishing gear in the back too, but they won’t be catching anything at all going at that rate of knots so it’s just as well that they have their equipment out of the water.

But I’m going to leave all of this behind me and talk about calmer pursuits.

As usual this week, as was up and out of bed as the alarm rang at 08:00. And after my medication I made a bread mix. I don’t have any bread in the house right now.

With that out of the way I came into here to listen to the dictaphone. Unfortunately I can’t remember very much about last night except that there was some girl trying to model a bikini but where she was was invaded by hundreds and thousands of these polystyrene balls and she had to clear them out of a couple of rooms in order that they could carry on.

It’s a shame that I don’t remember at all very much about this because I sure would have liked to. Girls in bikinis is something of which there is a great shortage currently in my life.

There wasn’t much time left to do much so I edited some more photos, on the grounds that doing something – anything – of the arrears is better than sitting around doing nothing.

Then I went to make my hot chocolate and grab some fruit bread before my Welsh lesson. And because I was hoping to be early, my laptop decided to do an upgrade.

It’s one of those days, isn’t it?

As usual we belted at 100mph through the paperwork and had a couple of role plays. I was running an excellent café somewhere in Wales selling all kinds of exciting stuff. I clearly missed my vocation here.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I’m sure that Rosemary has planted a camera in my apartment. No sooner had my Welsh lesson ended than she rang up and we had a good chat.

It seems that I might have forgotten to mention that my friend Mike Beedell in Gatineau has an exciting plan for August 2022 and I’m on his mailing list, so I mentioned it to Rosemary. She’s going to add herself onto it, so watch this space – the dynamic duo may yet be hitting the road again to recreate our triumphs of 2019.

Eventually I managed to go out for my afternoon – now early evening – walk.

bus parked place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this was the sight that greeted me when I put my sooty foot outside the door this evening.

Normally I wouldn’t have minded so much except that that’s our kerb – not the council’s – on which he has sat his 11 tonnes of bus. And secondly there’s part of the car park down the Boulevard Vaufleury that’s set aside for tour coaches to park.

And then of course there are always the bus bays outside the College in the Rue du Roc if he can’t be bothered to walk from the Boulevard Vaufleury.

This sort of thing always gets my goat, if you haven’t already guessed. It’s definitely one of the more classic cases of pathetic parking, isn’t it?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut anyway, let’s leave that alone for the moment and wander off to have a good look down onto the beach.

Off across the car park go I to the wall at the end and have a good look down. And as you can see, there is even less beach than before for people to occupy this evening.

And the lateness of the hour hasn’t prevented the people from taking to the water has it? They are heaving down there with the great unwashed masses.

And a few more children today too. Obviously, some parents have been reading my notes, which makes a very nice change these days. I could do with all the readership that I could get.

yacht speedboats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked along the path on my way around the headland I was watching all of the activity out to sea.

We’ve already seen plenty of it, and there is plenty more to come. There were no yachts today surveying the beach at the Rue du Nord, but there was one out at sea heading back towards Granville.

She has quite a crowd with her too. There’s a zodiac that has just gone roaring past her and a little further out there’s a speedboat that’s gone roaring past both of them

But as for me, I continue on a much more leisurely, and quieter pace along the path and across the car park to the end of the headland.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall has been the never-ending saga of the local fishermen.

Making wisecracks at their expense is rather depassé days but I can’t help thinking that here they are, with no net to haul in their catch and no basket in which to keep it. It’s almost as if they don’t expect to catch anything.

Here’s another one of them on the rocks at the Pointe du Roc, casting his line out to sea, more in hope than in expectation. And one of these days I will see a fisherman pull a fish out of the water and carry it off home for his tea.

powered hang glider microlight pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd right on cue, as I was watching our fisherman doing his best, I was overflown yet again.

It’s one of the two powered hang gliders or whatever they are that regularly float around overhead. Today we are honoured by the red one flipping about in the sky.

In fact he did a nice big circle around, almost as if he was looking for something. I can’t think what else was going through his mind as he passed by.

But I wasn’t going to hang around. I was heading off along the path on top of the headland overlooking the port.

yacht rebelle trawler l'alize 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it looks as if we are going to have yet another change of occupancy here in the chantier naval.

Judging by the way that the portable boat lift is positioned, it looks as if it’s going to be L’Alize 3 that is next to go back into the water, and later this afternoon too by the looks of things before the tide goes out.

That wil just leave us with the yacht Rebelle and the unidentified trawler. And I suppose that I had better go down and find out her name before I’m much older. At this rate she’ll be back in the water before I can get down there to see.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw some freight on the quayside yesterday waiting to be picked up.

It’s still there today, and it looks as if it’s been joined by a skyjack. So one assumes that one of the Jersey freighters will be in port pretty soon to whisk it all away.

While I was walking along the clifftop above the port, I fell in with one of my neighbours. We had a really good chat and put the world to rights for half an hour before I headed off home.

It’s not like me to be this sociable, is it? Two lengthy chats in one day? Whatever next?

speedboat yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I can go home I’m attracted by some kind of luxury cabin cruiser heading into port.

He’s doing his best to disturb the yachting school out there. Even if it’s late, they are all still out there at it and probably will be until the tide has well-turned.

Back at the building the coach was still outside damaging the kerb. But doing my best to ignore it I came inside.

Too late to do anything now, I made tea. Burger on a bap with baked beans followed by jam roly poly and coconut whatsit. Totally delicious.

Right now, I’m totally bleary-eyed. I think that I’ve looked at the computer far too long so I’m off to bed. Last Welsh Summer School tomorrow so my routine will revert to normal. If I can wait that long.

Thursday 6th May 2021 – OUR HEROES …

trawlers returning from st helier channel islands baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… returned from the port of St Helier this afternoon as I was out on my afternoon walk around the headland.

It all seems to happen here during the small hours of the morning because at about 03:00 this morning as soon as the harbour gates opened, almost the entire fishing fleet left the port en masse like a ferret up a trouser leg and set sail to St Helier in Jersey where, arriving at first light, they blockaded the port, hemming in the ferry to St Malo and the oil boat that brings the fuel over to the island.

It seems that the Royal Navy’s two gunboats, HMS Tamar and HMS Severn, were totally powerless to stop them. Do much for this “Britannia Rules The Waves” nonsense. There were also 3 French military vessels, including Geranium with whom I had a run-in last summer, out there too to make sure that there was fair play.

trawlers returning from st helier channel islands baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn case you are wondering what this is all about, let me first mention that it’s nothing whatever to do with Brexit, due to the rather prosaic reason that the Channel Islands were never in the EU.

There’s a separate treaty, the Treaty of the Bay of Granville, that has been in force since 1843 that controls fishing rights out here and the Channel Islanders, doubtless inspired by the British Government, have seized the opportunity of Brexit to unilaterally revoke the Treaty.

In negotiations earlier this year, which I briefly mentioned a while back, they gave the right for French fishing boats already fishing in the bay to continue to do so. Suddenly, on Friday afternoon, they asked the boats to provide proof of their entitlement by Monday morning. And then they promptly closed their office for the weekend.

Some of the boats are owned by fleets where there is office staff and the like who can easily access the information. But the smaller boats and one-man bands don’t have the staff and their records are held at the Fish Processing Plant down the hill – whose offices were closed from Friday late afternoon until Monday morning so the information couldn’t be obtained before the deadline.

Of course, a deadline to provide all of this information with zero working days’ notice is unrealistic, if not impossible. Most neutral commentators see it as nothing more than a deliberate provocation whereas cynics like me would draw attention to the flagging election campaign of the Tory Party and the massaging of the Prime Minister’s ego.

But be that as it may, we aren’t here to discuss politics I was awake at 06:00 and up and about a couple of minutes later. After the medication I finally caught up with the dictaphone notes so I can tell you where I went during the night. I was near Hunter Avenue in Gresty and there was a big American car parked up there. I’d had a lot of problems crossing the road from where the Mucky Bridge was on the Cheshire Cheese corner. I just couldn’t get to grips with waiting for traffic to come, I don’t know why. In the end all of the traffic stopped and let me pass. They did it twice as well. As I got to Hunter Avenue there was this big American car there. This guy was speaking to someone on the telephone trying to find out about a position as a taxi driver with his own vehicle. He obviously had a quote from someone so he said “yes” and they sent hi something that he printed out on his ‘phone – an insurance certificate. I asked him about it. He said that it cost him $15:00 a year for Private Hire endorsement on his licence which I thought was astonishing. With that, he can get going. He said that he could do a couple of jobs I asked ” every few days?” and he replied “no, at weekend”. Anyway so we had a bit of a chat about that. There was one of his competitors nearby who was doing the same thing so this was obviously paying its way, I thought to myself. Maybe I ought to get a car and do some taxi driving again these days. There was a lot more to it than this but I can’t remember now and I wish I knew what the rest of this dream was. Unfortunately several bad attacks of cramp totally disrupted my sleeping arrangements and I’m fed up of that as well.

After a shower I headed off to the shops in the pouring rain. It really was a wicked morning and had it not been for the fact that the shops will not be open on Saturday, I wouldn’t have gone out.

repointing wall rampe du monte a regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the last 6 months or so we’ve been following the very slow progress of the students who have been practising on the pointing of the stone walls at the Rampe du Monte à Regret.

Of course, they aren’t likely to be there today in this kind of weather so I could have a good look at what they have been doing And what I can say is that a blind man would be pleased to see it.

Of course, when I pointed the stone walls on my house back in the Auvergne I had a lot to learn, and a lot to learn quickly too, but I was extremely satisfied with the results that I obtained and I reckon that I did a very good job of it.

scaffolding rampe du monte à regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I was going down the steps, I noticed that they had moved the scaffolding further down the slope to carry on down the other side of the wall.

And I’ll tell you something for nothing, and that is that I don’t fancy the idea of climbing up and working on that scaffolding the way that it is. I wonder if they were in the process of re-erecting it and hadn’t finished it when the rain drove them all away.

LIDL was packed today. There were crowds in there. I couldn’t buy everything that I needed as they didn’t have it in stock, but I did what I could, especially as there are no shops on Saturday. In fact I had to go round a second time as I had forgotten the mushrooms.

It had been difficult for me to go up the hill to LIDL for some reason – I really wasn’t in any kind of form today, and coming back, loaded as I was with everything that I had bought, made it even worse and I had to stop several times to rest on the way back.

Having put the frozen food (they had more of the falafel) into the freezer I made myself a hot chocolate and my sourdough and then came in here. I was so tired that I wasn’t able to do any work but at least I managed not to fall asleep.

After lunch I made a start on the photos from August 2019 and then went out for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, I went to the wall at the end of the car park to look over and down onto the beach to see who is about.

Not that there was any beach for people to be out on, and the miserable weather combined to ensure that no-one would be down there this afternoon. It may well have been that it had stopped raining right now but it was freezing cold out there this afternoon and I’ve gone back to being cold again – really cold, just like I was a few days ago.

There wasn’t anyone else around on the footpath up here on top of the cliffs either. And that was just as well because there wasn’t all that much room to move around there because everywhere was quite flooded because of the rain that we had had this morning.

commodore clipper baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallUp on the butte at the back of the lighthouse I could look out towards the sea to see if I could see the ferry that had by now set out to St Malo from St Helier.

Of course, at this range, it’s not possible to say with any certainty but if you look at the island in the centre of this photograph here, you’ll see something large on the horizon next to it. If I had to say that something out there was a small Ro-Ro ferry (because there was one out there somewhere), I’d probably be happy with identifying that as a likely target..

There were still plenty of fishing boats heading my way but I didn’t wait around for them. Otherwise I would have ended up feeling like Brian Hanrahan (and I’ve no idea where i would find him this afternoon) and “I’m not allowed to tell you how many there were, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back”.

black mamba baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been walking over to the butte, I’d seen a familiar black sail in the sunset out on the other side of the headland.

As a result I wandered off along the path and across the carpark and from the top by the old bunker there was an excellent view out to sea in the bay. Of course it’s our old friend Black Mamba who has been moored up in the harbour for the last couple of weeks now having gone off for a run around in the bay. It’s not really the best kind of day for a sail.

While I was out there, Rosemary rang me up so I promised to call her back when I returned to the apartment. That was the cue to set off home before it started to rain again.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA couple of days ago I mentioned that I’d given up commenting on cases of bad parking, and so it goes without saying that I would stumble on something extraordinary almost immediately, like this in the Boulevard Vaufleury.

Here’s a van and trailer belonging to a garden maintenance company working on someone’s garden this afternoon. It’s parked on the wrong side of the road on a main bus route at school chucking-out time when there are service buses going in one direction and school buses going in the other direction. And there’s a huge parking space free just 10 yards further on where it can park on the correct side of the road without obstructing the traffic.

There are a couple of kids waiting for the bus at the bus stop but they can’t see the bus coming and the bus can’t see them because the van is in the way.

This is a recipe for a disaster if ever I saw one.

Back at the apartment, armed with a coffee I rang Rosemary back and we had a very long chat yet again. Consequently I’ve done almost nothing yet again today.

There was the guitar practice of course, and then tea. Stuffed peppers with rice and veg followed by apple turnover and home-made custard.

And having done that, I’m off to bed. I’m not going to hang around tonight. I’m tired, cold and fed up so a nice long warm-up in bed will do me good. After last night I’ll have one of these sleeping tablets so there might not be a dictaphone entry tomorrow.

Saturday 9th January 2021 – TODAY HAS BEEN …

… another depressing, dismal, miserable day as far as my health has gone.

But more of this anon

heavy frost noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallToday has also been the first day that I’ve had to scrape the ice of Caliburn’s windscreen before I could take him out for a drive to the shops.

Overnight the temperature had dropped to -0.5°C – the first time that it’s been below freezing, and we had had a heavy frost as you can see in this photo of the grass down the side of NOZ. It’s not quite the -16°C of the Auvergne of course through which I lived for 9 years, for the first couple of years at least in the most primitive of circumstances, and there was no snow either.

But winter is here with a bang and although it’s still above freezing even as I type, this brilliant clear sky outside fills me full of misgivings. I’ve turned the heating up.

But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, it was another horrible day for me. Once again I heard the alarms but I couldn’t get out of bed and it was just after 08:00 when I finally tore myself from underneath the covers.

And it took me quite a while to find enough energy to go and find my medication too. It was definitely one of the worst starts to the day that I’ve had.

However I did manage to have a shower too and then I wandered off to organise Caliburn so that I could go to the shops.

NOZ came up with a few odds and sods of this and that but nothing worth shouting about so I wandered down the road to LeClerc.

bad parking leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallExcuse the extremely blurred photo but the camera has focused on some dirt on the windscreen of Caliburn instead of the car over there.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that pathetic parking features quite often in these pages, and here’s another fine example. Of course, it’s an Audi, as you might expect, and the driver has just abandoned (I won’t say “parked”) his car like that in two spaces and cleared off inside.

As for me, I had my own parking issues. With Caliburn being wider than a standard car, I always park at the end of a row and park right over so that there’s a good gap up the side. That was what I did today, so the person in the next bay parked right over on the white line which meant that it was a struggle to put my shopping into the side door.

And talking of the shopping, I bought loads of fruit and some other bits and pieces but there was nothing in the sales that caught my fancy.

Back at the apartment I put the frozen food away and then made myself a banana smoothie with plenty of ice – I really did have a fancy for that this afternoon.

And then, regrettably, I fell asleep on the chair and that was that until 14:00. Just going to the shops had totally exhausted me. And I felt totally dreadful when I awoke. I know that I’ve had some bad re-awakenings but I don’t think that I’ve ever had one quite like this.

unloading seafood fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter a rather late lunch I went for my afternoon walk – into town and the chemist’s to pick up the medication that they didn’t have on Thursday.

At the foot of the Escalier des Noires Vaches there was one of the shellfish boats unloading its catch into a fish shop van – presumably there’s some kind of connection between the two. But I didn’t stop to enquire. I pushed on along the quayside where I bumped into the itinerant and we had a little chat.

Having picked up my medication I came on back home and sat down to listen – at long last – to where I’d been during the night.

At some point during the night I ended up in Accrington, although it was nothing like the Accrington that I know, and as I’ve only ever been to Accrington twice in my life I wondered why I would suddenly find myself there on a nocturnal voyage.. I ended up in a big office building and I was looking through all the stuff that was on sale in the Oxfam shop there. There were 2 Oxfam shops and I’d gone from one to the other in these 2 big skyscraper buildings and I hadn’t found anything that I wanted. I ended up in the living room of one of these shops. There were 2 people in there so I asked them if they could tell me the way to the railway station. They said “it’s only a few minutes walk away from here, but really you aren’t supposed to be in here”. I apologised and said “just point me in the direction of where the railway station is and that will be fine”. Some other guy said “we’ll have to get someone to take you”. “Why’s that?” “Well, you aren’t qualified to do that”. I looked at this guy and could see that he’s a foreigner but I could see the first bit clearly that he was talking about the other 2 guys had hushed him up. One of them said that he would sort something out but I shouldn’t really be in that room where they are. It’s a private room.

Later on I was working in a nursing home in the UK. We’d started to organise holidays and I’d been based in Dover. I had to pick up a group of people and they were all elderly and infirm, on crutches and in wheelchairs, that kind of thing and I had to meet them at the station. when they came off the train I was staggered at my lot which wasn’t much good. I had to take them into town, so I pointed out a few things to them. After we’d set off for a couple of minutes someone made me aware that there were 3 people missing. I knew about 1 who had gone off to do her own thing but another couple had apparently gone off to visit a fort in the vicinity. That left me with 15 instead of 18. I told them about an anecdote – how I’d met a hotel keeper down here when I was travelling back and to to Europe but I didn’t have the chance to finish it as I was kept on being interrupted. Eventually I had to tell them about the area where we were and took them to a corner of a street basically. This was the street where my newsreader lived and at that moment my newsreader suddenly decided to update and started to pump out loads of information going back a couple of years. With my newsreader 99% is rubbish and you have to sift through to try to have the 1% that’s good. I thought “how am I going to explain to people that they are going to be seeing news 5 years old that we already know what has and hasn’t happened and how are they going to act when they start to get it again.

Later still I was with 1 of my regular girls but I can’t remember who it was now – something that really fills me with dismay as I’m sure you can imagine. We were talking about cars. I had my collection of vehicles, a Cortina, a couple of others and a BT estate from Italy that I had that I was quite happy showing off. It came to the question of doing them up, and I decided that I would sell everything except the one that I really liked and I’d spend all my money restoring that one. Then off we separated and a short while later she was sitting at a table with a couple of people who had kidnapped her. I walked over and said “hi”. I was breakfast time so I mouthed that I would fetch a loaf and bring it back. I brought it back to the table and these 2 guys were still sitting there. They wouldn’t take a hint about going and leave the 2 or us on our own. I cut a couple of slices off this bread and put them in the toaster but it jammed the toaster and 1 piece just wouldn’t come free and wouldn’t switch off. All smoke started to come out as if the toast was burning inside it.

But this thing about kidnapping (which thing? Have I missed something?) relates to something else that happened earlier where there was a young girl who had to be home at something like 22:30 but it got to 22:15, 22:20, 22:25 and she still hadn’t turned up. I ended up going to a night club and she was sitting on 1 of the tables there. There were a couple of people with her so I gave her a wide berth although I kept an eye on the proceedings. Round about 02:30 her mother stormed in, grabbed hold of her and they had this really intense discussion and I don’t know what happened after that, which is disappointing.

There was more stuff too, but as you are probably eating a meal right now, I’ll spare your stomachs. But it seems that the really disturbing dreams are back again. They went away for a while so I wonder what has summoned them to return.

rue georges clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor my evening walks I had a quick dash around my circuit – four legs of my run tonight as well.

There were a few people out there tonight but nothing else much going on at all. I took a photo of the Christmas lights in the shop in the Rue Georges Clemenceau just to prove that I was out and that I wasn’t the only one still with Cristmas lights illuminated, and then I ran back home for tea.

There was some stuffing left over from my stuffed pepper so I added a small tin of kidney beans and a mushroom and then had taco rolls with rice and veg followed by the last of the apple crumble.

So now I’ve finished my notes, I’m off to bed. A lie-in tomorrow of course and I hope that it’ll do me some good. I can’t go on like this. It’s getting on my wick.

Thursday 24th December 2020 – WOW!

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEven though I say it myself, I’m quite impressed with this photo that I took this afternoon.

It’s not necessarily the quality of it because I still have a great deal of issues with that, but it’s the dramatic and stark effect of the colours here. Just as I lined up a shot of Cancale silhouetted on its clifftop across the Bay, the light gave me everything I wanted just at the correct moment and it’s come out exactly as I would have wished, with no post-processing at all.

It’s one of those very rare photographs where everything that you are trying to do suddenly does it itself with you having to try.

Another thing that I did without really having to try was to haul myself out of bed before the third alarm. And I bet that that took you as much by surprise as it took me too. Mind you, I was only sitting on the edge of the bed is a dazed and weary state, not exactly running around like a headless chicken.

After the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was in the USA last night and Trump was giving a concert. He had someone playing banjo or mandolin or something and he was playing bass and singing, doing some kind of rap about how good he was, and everyone in the crowd was greeting him with stony silence. He was becoming all worked up on the stage and everyone was treating him with stony silence. When everyone left I had a look at the bass guitar. It was just a cheap $29 thing so I said to someone of the road crew “at least you might have got him a real guitar to play with”. They replied “he does have a real one but he was afraid he’d be all emotional”. Trump heard this conversation and came over, and started to have a bit of a go at me about it. I said “I’ll tell you what my life means to me. Come with me”. He couldn’t get the hang of what was going on but “come with me, come outside”. So we went outside and there was Caliburn. I opened the door to the back of Caliburn and there on the floor was a mattress and a sleeping bag and a few bits and pieces. I was living rough. And there at the side of the sleeping bag was the Gibson EB3. “That’s what my bass means to me” I said. “It’s all that I have here”.

The next thing was about the wife of my friend on the Wirral. She was telling me that she had been taken into a bedroom by an Indian guy to which I said “lucky her” and they spent 4 hours together so I said “even more lucky her” discussing some kind of new sales venture for some kind of product that she might have been interested in. There was much more to it than this but in the time it took me to grab hold of the dictaphone I forgot it.

The next hour or so was spent dealing with the arrears of work. I’ve been stuck in Chateau Gaillard for the last 2 weeks and I can’t seem to drag myself out of there. I seem to be bogged in there quite deeply at the moment.

That took me up to shower time and weigh time, and I’ve gained 1kilo in weight in this last week. But examining my body closely (and isn’t that a gruesome task?) I noticed that my feet and ankles are swollen. So it looks as if the water retention is back again and that will explain this weight issue.

crowds at seafood shop rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I set to the shops for the groceries to see me through the Christmas period.

It’s the tradition in France for people to have oysters as a Christmas treat (which probably explains why so many babies are born here at the end of September) and there in the Rue Lecampion where there’s the fishmonger’s, with the butcher just down the road, it just looks like Poland as I remember it in the 1970s, or the UK after 6 months of Brexit.

But I was joking about the oysters and babies just now. Don’t you believe everything that you hear about oysters. I had 12 of them on my wedding night and only 9 of them worked.

christmas decorations place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s unlikely that I’m going to get down into town to see the Christmas lights this year. I’m not well and I know it, and I’m not going to tax my system too much.

But it didn’t prevent me from having a good mooch around for a look at the decorations in the Place Charles de Gaulle. And I was right about one thing, in that they aren’t very inspiring this year. It seems to be merely the same stuff that has been here for the last ever so many years, just arranged differently.

But anyway I pushed on to the Railway Station for my tickets for next week. The clerk in the office was on her own so I asked her about the trains next week. At the moment, they are still running as advertised. Whether it stays like that, we shall see.

bad parking bmw bus station railway station Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that pathetic parking takes up a lot of room on these pages.

Not so much recently – not (I hasten to add) because the situation has improved but because there is just so much of it that it’s become boring and even i’m fed up of it. But I couldn’t let a thing like this go by.

Right outside the railway station is the bus station. all of the long-distance buses (of which there are plenty) as well as the two service buses for the town come here and there are 4 bays. But this driver has decided that he’s allowed to park in one of them and the bus that goes in there can park elsewhere.

Of course, it’s a BMW and like Audi drivers, they consider that the rules of the road and of common courtesy don’t apply to them.

On the way up the hill I stuck my head in the newsagent’s. I’d heard that US Granville had made some club facemasks and the newsagent was selling them. These are tough times and we have to do what we can to help things along right now, and so I bought one to wear when I’m in Belgium.

At La Vie Claire they had Seitan slices so I bought two ridiculously expensive packs and then went round to LIDL for the shopping. I bought most of what I needed but shock! horror! no Brussels sprouts. How do you have Christmas without Brussels sprouts?

Luckily I still have some frozen ones for the meals on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but it’s going to be touch and go after that.

christmas market kddies roundabout place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way back into town again I went past the Place Generale De Gaulle again.

There’s quite a lot going on in there now that wasn’t happening earlier. They seem to be setting up some kind of Christmas market in the Square, although that doesn’t look much like Christmas goodies to me.

But at least the kiddies’ roundabout was working and entertaining some clients. And that’s good news because Christmas is all about children anyway and they ought to be making the most of it while they are still young enough.

seafood stall rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a fresh seafood stall on the harbour every Friday morning selling the stuff that his boat has landed that morning. But with Friday being Christmas Day it looks as if he’s having his stall a day earlier to cash in on the Christmas trade.

And quite right too. Even though I don’t eat animal products, it’s up to others what they do and there is nothing at all quite like fresh food of any description.

So having caught my breath, for I was carrying some quite heavy shopping, I carried on back home where I had a slice of my fruit bread and a mug of hot chocolate.

And then, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out good and proper on my chair. It was late-ish when I returned from the shops but even so, it was 13:30 when I awoke, feeling like total death yet again. This is what I meant earlier when I said that I wasn’t too good right now. It’s just not possible at the moment for me to live a normal life like this and it’s dismaying me very much.

So at lunch, I’d run out of bread so I set about making some more. Not the sourdough this time but a real loaf. I want to see how my technique is doing and to see if the fault about my sourdough not rising is because of me or the sourdough.

And so I bashed out a quick 500-gramme dough mix with yeast and several handfuls of sunflower seeds and left it on one side to see what it would do.

storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was walkies time so I set out into the wild blue yonder.

And wild was hardly the word either. The wind has shifted around and we now have a nor’easter instead of a sou’wester as we had yesterday. So if you thought that the Bay of Granville was turbulent yesterday, you ought to have seen it this afternoon. There hasn’t been anything quite like this for a considerable period of time and I bet that the boys in Thora and Normandy Trader are glad that they are tucked up safe and sound in the harbour in St Helier.

It was enough to make me want to join them but the journey across to Jersey would be extremely uncomfortable right now.

brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were hordes of people out there this afternoon, everyone having a pre-Christmas walk I reckon and making the most of the lack of rain (for the moment at least).

And if you are able to peer underneath the clouds, it was the kind of afternoon where the visibility was so impressive and you could see a very long great distance down the coast. Cap Frehel and its lighthouse were just about visible with the naked eye over to the right on this photo.

We’ve had some good shots of Cap Frehel in the past, better than this one of course, but it’s not every day that it’s visible with the naked eye

rainstorm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust a little earlier I taked about the lack of rain – “at the moment” – and I said that for a reason.

While I was scanning along the Brittany coast with the camera, I noticed a strange phenomenon out there in certain places so I photographed it for a closer look to see what it might be. And back here in the comfort and warmth of my apartment I determined that it was actually a rainstorm out there.

Of course, as I said earlier, the wind is blowing in the wrong direction for us to be bothered about it right now, but the wind is a highly volatile and uncertain beast and can change direction at any given moment.

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving taken my photographs I walked off across the lawn and the car park (almost being squidged by a motorist reversing out of a parking place) down to the end of the headland.

Once more, there are no boats out there in the bay but we do have this beautiful sunset, an excellent example of which you have already seen. And here’s another really good view of Cancale across the Baie de Mont St Michel, lit up as if it was on a stage and they had switched on the spotlights.

Far too many people about for me to break into a run this afternoon so I walked off down the path instead.

st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw just now how churned up the sea was around the north side of the headland with this raging nor’easter.

Nothing could have been a greater contrast than the sea down on the southern side of the headland by the port. Whereas yesterday we had a raging storm with waves crashing over the sea wall, today the sea seems to be almost becalmed.

Actually, it isn’t but that was how it was looking this afternoon especially after yesterday.

But that was enough for me anyway, I had a peek in at the chantier navale to see that there was no change whatever there, and then carried on home for a hot coffee and a mince pie. And delicious, if a bit sweet and sickly.

And the bread had risen like a lift. I’d never had it go up quite like this before. It was so impressive. I gave it a good squeezing to let the gases out and then shaped it and put it in its bread mould, covering it with a damp tea-towel.

And now I have a little Christmas present for you all. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my friend Liz and I produced a series of programmes for several local radio stations in the Auvergne under the “Radio Anglais” banner back in those days.

While I was looking around for something I came across one of the Christmas Specials that we did, so I’ve uploaded it to the internet FOR YOU ALL TO LISTEN TO OVER CHRISTMAS with much love and best wishes from me.

Don’t take too long in listening to it because I need the space on my server so I’ll be taking it down again after a week or so. So you’ll probably be better off downloading it onto your own machine. Or, if you make your next Amazon purchase via the links on the right and I receive a small commission on the deal, I can buy more space.

While I was at guitar practice I had the oven warming up and I slipped the loaf of bread in there at a suitable moment along with a potato and, later on, a slice of frozen home-made pie.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the guitar, it was time for evening walkies. And with the wind now blowing in the opposite direction from yesterday, it was the outward journey that caused me more problems than just a few.

In fact, I had to abort the trip along the Rue du Nord and seek shelter within the narrow streets of the old town by dodging down an alley way. We’ve seen plenty of photos of the Rue St Jean in our time but we haven’t seen one from this viewpoint. The Place Cambernon is just down there at the bottom and the Porte St Jean which we have photographed on several occasions is right down there at the end out of the picture.

And if you look up at the top you can see the spire of the Eglise Notre Dame du Cap Lihou all illuminated.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not going that way. I’m going in this direction down towards the Place de l’Isthme.

We took a photo of the street from the Place de L’Isthme a few weeks ago and so I reckoned that I should take one back up to the place where I was at the time, just for the record. And then I set off for a run along there all the way to the end of the street.

As I emerged into the open square at the end I was hit by a huge blast of wind that brought me to a dead stop, and I’m not surprised because it was wild.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat was enough to make me not want to hang around any longer out of doors – especially now that it had started to rain as well, And so I went down ste steps to the Place Maurice Marland and ran on home.

But up on the walls the night was looking so beautiful despite the rain, so I took a photo of the harbour, the Baie de Mont St Michel and all of the lights out there twinkling away on the Brittany coast. It was all looking quite magical tonight and I’ve no idea why.

But that’s enough of my waxing lyrical for the moment. It’s time I was at home tucking into the tea.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile my veg was cooking (endives, broccoli, leeks and carrots) I had a look at the bread to see how it was doing.

It had risen quite a lot while it was sitting for its second proofing, but in the oven it’s not done too much more. But as I took it out of its mould, part of it had stuck so I sampled it. And it was perfect, it really was. The best that I’ve made to date. There’s nothing wrong with my technique at all.

With the veg water I made a delicious gravy, and the whole lot was finished off with apple crumble with some soya dessert stuff. That was what I called a good tea.

So now it’s Christmas Day and I’ve written up my notes. I’m off to bed. A Merry Christmas to you all and I hope that Santa brings you lots of nice things, including, more important than presents, lots of love and good health. We’re living in hard times right now but at least we are living, and the joys of the internet mean that we can stay even closer all the same.

There’s our radio show to listen to and tomorrow night at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK Time, 15:00 Montreal and Toronto time etc, there’s my Christmas broadcast on LE BOUQUET GRANVILLAIS. It’s a special live rock concert that I’ve spent some time preparing and I hope that you’ll enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed preparing it.

Best wishes from me.

Monday 23rd November 2020 – REGULAR READERS …

police interaction bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… of this rubbish will recall that one of the things that I moan on about from time to time is the question of bad parking.

In the Boulevard Vaufleury round about school chucking-out time it’s particularly bad as people would rather block off the street and prevent the school buses and the service buses passing rather than make their precious little darlings walk an extra 20 metres to the large free car par park just across the road.

And here today is the local police force giving a “Hail Columbia” on the loud hailer to two women (because they are both women) parked opposite each other, the white one with all four wheels on the road and the black one with two wheels on the pavement, combining to block the entire street and one of the two pavements to just about everyone who might be going past.

And that’s good news as far as I am concerned.

What else that is good news is the fact that when the third alarm went off this morning I was already in the kitchen sorting out my tablets. And that’s a long time since that has happened.

After having had the medication I cracked on with this week’s radio programme. And by the time I stopped for lunch it was all done, completed and ready to go. And apart from the fact that I stopped for my hot chocolate and slice of chocolate cake (which isn’t half as bad as I was expecting it to be) I would have finished it earlier had there not been a power cut round about 09:30 which meant that I lost whatever work I hadn’t saved since I’d backed it up a short while earlier.

In actual fact, it’s all worked out really well and it’s certainly one of the better ones that I’ve done. Unfortunately, I missed out the fact that I should have been doing a live concert, so I’ll have to deal with that probably later on this week.

As for my chocolate cake, the bottom is rather burnt and the rest of the outside is overcooked whereas the centre is rather heavy and slightly undercooked. That implies that the oven was too warm but the cooking time was not long enough. It’s not as much of a disaster as I was thinking and it’s hopeful for the future.

After lunch, I had a listen to the programme that I’d recorded this morning ans also to the live concert that I had prepared a few weeks ago for this weekend. And it seems that in the past I had already edited the part that I felt needed attention so I could relax.

While that was going on, I had a listen to the dictaphone. to see where I’d been during the night.

I was with a lady-friend of my acquaintance last night. We were a couple. Something had happened about a letter – there was an important letter to give to me and even though I wasn’t there she hadn’t realised about it so she said that she would take it. I ended up being back at home again on my own first and I had gone to the bathroom. I’d had a load of issue about closing the door to the bathroom but in the end I managed to do it. Just then she turned up and said “I have this important letter for you”. I was trying hard to pretend that I didn’t know that she had it. I said “ohh right”. She said “I’ll throw it over the top of the door”. I said “no, I’ll be out in a minute. You hang on to it”. So I went to sit on the toilet and she went into the kitchen. There was only a wire netting fence between the two so that you could see. She was getting out this envelope and then she got some cucumbers and cut them in half lengthways so that they were very long and thin and started scoring them to get them into some kind of cut, maybe about 10 to the inch, something like that all the way down this cucumber and then bent the skins inwards then she could trim all of the cucumber off at one go and have all of these half-slices at one go. Some other girl came along into the kitchen, picked up another half of a cucumber and started to do the same thing so I wondered what on earth was going on here now with this other girl. What’s she doing here?

Later on I was on a tram in New York last night travelling up Edleston Road in Crewe when a couple of ticket inspectors climbed aboard to check tickets. I suddenly realised that I’d forgotten to buy a ticket. I had a search around in my pockets and found a ticket that I had used a couple of days previously so when the ticket inspector came to me I handed her the ticket. She had 2 or 3 tickets in her hand at the same time so she checked them, handed the 2 back to the other 2 people and said “I’ll be back in a minute” and wandered off up the tram. Just at that moment the tram reached the top of Edleston Road and of course I was planning to go off down Nantwich Road anyway so I took the opportunity to nip out at that tram stop and walk off down Nantwich Road and tried to think about how the tram system in New York worked – I certainly hadn’t put any of my tickets through any machines or anything like that while I’d been on the trams or so on. And then thinking that maybe it’s probably not a good idea to get a tram back home but to walk. At least it would save me going out for a walk later on at night. I’d have got my exercise in simply by walking home from Nantwich Road.

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

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound about the normal time I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As you can see from the photo they have made a start on replacing the slates on the roof, and that’s not something that I would fancy doing doing in this kind of weather. It was cold and windy although, admittedly, not as windy as it has been.

One thing that I ought to mention about the roofing task is that a couple of weeks ago while I was in Leuven one of the workmen fell from the roof and was seriously injured. They actually had the helicopter air ambulance in the car park here to take the injured party to hospital.

cloud formation ile de chausey english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I’ve already mentioned the weather just now, I went over to the sea wall to look out to sea in order to see what might be going on out to sea.

There were no boats out there at sea today which was a shame, but what had caught my eye was the beautiful cloud formation out there in the centre of the photograph just beyond and to the left of the Ile de Chausey. There have been quite a few good ones just recently, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

No brats out there today orienteering so I pushed on round to then end of the headland to see if there is anything going on round there too, but there was disappointment there too. I’ve never known it to be so quiet.

ceres 2 portable boat lift chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, there was something going on at the chantier navale as I was to discover when I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the port.

While there was no change in the actual occupancy of the chantier navale but as we can see, the mobile boat lift has now moved from its usual position over the docking area to a position right by Ceres II as if it’s about to pick up the little boat and drop her into the water at the next high tide.

Having spent a few minutes watching the excitement in the Boulevard Vaufleury with the Police interaction, I came on home because there were things to do.

The sourdough was bubbling away quite nicely so I cleared all of the workplace, cleaned the worktop and started to make some sourdough dough. And it’s a real time-consuming process too – much more than I was expecting and the standing time is quite lengthy too.

While I was at it, I prepared the next batch of kefir.

5 of my batch of clementines were peeled, put in the whizzer and slightly whizzed round to extract the juice. This was filtered through into the large jug and the pulp was put back into the whizzer, whizzed for a good five minutes and filtered through again.

clementine kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe kefir was then filtered through the filters and the clementine pulp into the jug and then it was stirred round to mix together. I’d left an inch or two of liquid in my big pot with the kefir starter in, and prepared a new batch with sugar, lemon slices and a dried fig and, or course, a couple of litres of water.

The clementine/orange mix was then filtered through the fine mesh filter into the bottles and that will now be left to ferment for a few days until it’s ready for use.

With having used some nice, juicy clementines, I’m intrigues to see how it’s all going to turn out. The big idea of course is to use whatever fruit is handy and in season to make your kefir.

The hour on the guitar was quite enjoyable too and I’m finding that my singing and playing the bass is improving, although I have to keep the bass lines much les complicated than I otherwise would and I can only let myself go during the solos. But at least it’s quite an improvement over where I was a few months ago. I just have to persevere.

Tea was a vegan burger with pasta and vegetables followed by a slice of my raspberry tart, which likewise hasn’t turned out too badly. The custard Filling worked particularly well.

st martin de brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut on my walk tonight, I was all alone yet again so I could run as much as I wanted, which was not as much as I would like, but nevertheless …

It was a cold, clear, bright night with a good view all the way down the coast so when I stopped at the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord I took a photograph of all of the street lights on the promenade down at Saint Martin de Bréhal and further along the coast at Bréhal-Plage.

having dealt with that, I ran down to the footpath underneath the walls and then ran all the way round to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch.

rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was nothing going on at the Place Marechal Foch so I went over to see what was happening in the Rue Paul Poirier.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days ago we saw that the Christmas lights had been installed down in the street and I was rather hoping that they might have been switched on by now. But that wasn’t to be the case. It seems that we’ll have to wait for that to happen, whenever that might be.

There was quite a strong headwind as I ran across the Square Maurice Marland and it was something of a struggle to fight against it. But I made it all the way to the end, despite giving the girl sitting on the wall in the dark quite a surprise.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallContinuing along the medieval walls I heard a sound coming from the harbour as if there was an engine running somewhere.

It looks as if they are doing something with Victor Hugo. All of her lights are on and it seems that the engine was running too. What’s going on there is something that remains to be seen, but I do know that there are no plans to resume the ferry service to the Channel Islands in the near future.

From there I ended up at the Place du Parvis Notre Dame and from there I ran on home to write up my notes for the day.

Now that’s done, I have to knead my sourdough dough. It’s been standing for five hours instead of the recommended three but it still hasn’t doubled in size. Nevertheless I’ll give it a go and put it in its mould and leave it overnight ready for the morning when I’ll bung it in the oven.

In view of its lack of energy so far, I’m not convinced by the sourdough procedure. I’ll try three or four loaves but unless there’s something dramatic it’s an experiment with which I may not continue. At least the kefir and the cordial (this batch of orange cordial is delicious) are working.

But that’s for tomorrow. After I’ve kneaded the dough I’m going to bed. I have my Welsh letter tomorrow.

Monday 12th October 2020 – PHEW!

Looking back through the reams of rubbish that I regularly write, I recall on a couple of occasions spending almost an entire week not so long ago preparing one radio programme.

Since I last wrote up my notes yesterday, in a space of just 16 hours, of which 7.5 hours was spent either sleeping, eating or doing other things, I have prepared not one but two. It just goes to show that I can do it when I really try.

But as Margaret Thatcher once said, “anyone can do a good day’s work when they really want to. But the secret is to do a good day’s work when you don’t want to” and I’m a long way from that.

It all started after I’d finished writing my notes last night. Having had a decent night’s sleep last night and a crash-out in the afternoon I wasn’t in any way really tired and ready for bed. During the day I’d been listening to a concert that I intended to edit down for my monthly “live” concert and I’d an idea which tracks I wanted to use so it was a case of splitting the concert and selecting the tracks, and then transferring them to a holding directory.

That didn’t really take all that long, which was a surprise because it’s the kind of thing that sometimes can take forever. And much to my surprise, and probably yours too, I ended up with 58:24 of music without any messing about. That’s the kind of thing that never ever happens and I can spend hours and hours editing live concert tracks and still have a substantial shortfall.

It then needed to be joined seamlessly and that’s usually a long, complicated process which sometimes can take hours because you don’t only have to make the beat and the rhythm fit in, you also have to control the sound balance so that it sounds like a smooth, flowing concert. But for another reason that I don’t understand it snapped together almost perfectly. There was only one join that was in any way complicated.

At that point I’d ended up with 58:21 of music which meant that there was just 1:39 of introduction – a big change from the usual 3:30 or something when I’m scratching round for things to say and how I wish that I could mix more concerts like this one.

On that note I went to bed. It had taken quite a while to do all of that and I was tired.

Much to my surprise, and probably yours too, I beat the third alarm to my feet. How did that happen after my late night?

Sensing that this might be my day, first thing that I did was to listen to the dictaphone. I was doing some work over the weekend or an evening or something and I had to be ready for work later that morning. I didn’t have time really to take it round to the person I was going to see so I was wondering if a girl whom I know – someone who used to accompany me regularly on my nocturnal rambles but hasn’t put in an appearance for a while, so hello to you again at last – would do it for me or if she had to see it I can’t remember but for some reason I had to make her see it. I was thinking that maybe I could post it somewhere and send her a mail for her to link to have a look at it. But there was much more to it than this that I can’t now remember, and some more that I can but as you are probably eating your meal right now, I’ll spare you any discomfort.

Next task was to attack the notes for the live concert. Having done some research I sat down and dashed off an introduction. And by the time I’d finished it, uploaded it to the computer and edited it down, I ended up with 1:46 of notes. 7 seconds over which makes a change from either being 30 seconds over or a minute short, but as there is a lengthy applause lead-in to the concert, I simply overdubbed it and ended up with my hour programme just like that.

It wasn’t yet 08:30 so I decided while I was at it, I’d make a start on the programme for the following week, a standard one with 11 tracks, a speech from my special guest and an introduction to each track. And by the time that I was ready to go for my afternoon walk at 15:40, it was all done and dusted and complete, despite the usual break for lunch. I don’t think that I’ve ever done any standard programme that quick.

Erecting Scaffolding College Malraux Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter all of that I was ready for my break.

But once I went outside, I didn’t get very far. regular readers of this rubbish will recall that they had a cherry picker up at the College Malraux the other day after Storm Alex, with some people apparently checking the roof and the guttering. Today, they are erecting some scaffolding outside against the walls of the College.

There’s a little compound there so I went to have a closer look at it. There was a huge pile of laths there, and a section that was empty but labelled ardoises – “slates”. So it looks as if the College is going to be having a new roof in the very near future.

Yacht English Channel Breville sur Mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so I wandered off to the sea wall to have a look at what might be going on there.

The tide is well in now so there’s no beach to speak of for anyone to be on, but over in the English Channel by Breville-sur-Mer there’s a yacht that looks as if it’s anchored. “Probably fishing” I mused to myself. That’s the usual reason for boats to be anchored out there.

But it shows you how the weather has calmed down now. A week or ten days ago at the height of Storm Alex there were no boats out at all and even a hardy fishing skipper would be thinking twice about it. But you can see in the background that it’s raining over there. Less windy it might be, but the weather is still depressing.

Monument French Resistance Flagpoles Point du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were a few people out there this afternoon – the weather wasn’t that nice – but there was nothing else going on out at sea that I could see except a yacht way over by the Ile de Chausey.

But there’s been a change at the Monument to the French Resistance here at the Pointe du Roc. It seems that it’s not just the leaves that come off the trees at autumn, the flags in the flagpoles do as well.

And if you look very closely at the photograph, you’ll notice that we have only three flagpoles there today. The fourth one seems to be missing. So I’ve no idea what’s going on there. It’s something on which I’ll have to keep an eye as I go on my rounds here and there.

There was no change in inhabitant in the chantier navale today so I pushed on along the path.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that pathetic parking is something that takes up a lot of pages in these notes, and as I went past the Rue Saint Pierre that leads up to the College there were the usual suspects parked with wheels on the kerb blocking the path for the pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Parking at No Waiting Sign Boulevard Vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThinking that you are probably fed up of seeing it, I resolved not to take a photo today, but here’s a photo that I couldn’t help but take.

Parking is prohibited here in the layby in the Boulevard Vaufleury from 08:00 today for the next few days so that they can trim the trees, but this hasn’t deterred this motorist and a couple of others from parking here.

And by the look of things the seagulls didn’t think very much of this “no waiting” sign either

Having taken my photo I turned for home. I’ve plenty of work to do and can’t afford to spend the time hanging around aimlessly.

While I was sorting through the photos I had a listen to the two programmes that I’d done today. And I’m quite pleased with them. They’ve come out well.

There was the usual hour on the guitar but for some reason I couldn’t get into it and I don’t know why. I’m not quite sure what’s going on right now but this isn’t like me at all.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg followed by more blackberry pie and soya coconut dessert.

Place Marechal Foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis evening I almost didnt go out for my walk and runs. The rain was teeming down.

Nevertheless I did, and here’s the photo to prove it- a photo of the Place Marechal Foch in the rain and the only reason I took it was to prove that I’d been out. My footpath under the walls was totally waterlogged so it wasn’t possible to have my evening run down there. However I did manage to improvise something and at least made the distance.

Apart from me, there were just two other people out tonight in the distance, walking dogs, and that was your lot. I didn’t stay out there too long either in this weather. I came home quite quickly.

Having finished the notes, I’m off to bed. I deserve an early night after this. Just my Welsh revision tomorrow and then my Welsh course, and all my programmed work will have been completed by Tuesday lunchtime. Hopefully I can then push on and catch up with some arrears. I’ve done a pile of photos from July 2020 and I’m now deep in Switzerland.

There’s just about 20 more to do and then I can turn my attention to those for August 2020. There’s about 120 of those but they will take some finding

Thursday 1st October 2020 – IT’S ANOTHER MONTH ALREADY…

… so start as we mean to go on.

Storm Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire the waves crashing over the Plat Gousset this evening, because the winds have sprung up again this evening, this morning I missed all three alarms and it was 07:35 when I finally surfaced. That wasn’t what I was hoping for, was it?

So anyway I had a listen to the dictaphone. There was something last night about an accident of some description. There was someone in court giving some evidence about some woman and her pet animal, might have been a cat or a dog who has disappeared without trace. They believed that she’d been involved in this accident.

Storm Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd later I’d been on a coach with a group of people, young people like me for I was young. We’d had quite a good time. When we got to be dropped off – a holiday it was – we all said our goodbyes and my life carried on. I decided that I wanted to go to see some kind of play so early in the morning I got into the metro to go into London. I had some banter with a girl with a girl on the way in. I did my usual trick of going right to the front of the train so that when it pulled in I could step out and put my foot straight on the escalators. I got to the top and it was far too early yet to go to the theatre or wherever I was going to get these tickets. Then I saw a coach that had belonged to the coach company that had taken us on our holiday. I though that I’d go and pick up another brochure.

Storm Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall Before that I was wondering whether I ought to get two tickets because I might be able to talk some girl into coming with me – not that that was likely but never mind. So I saw this coach. I thought that I’d go along and get a brochure for the next lot of holidays. I climbed on at the back and there sitting down at the front were the people with whom I’d had such a good time. I had a laugh and a joke with them, this kind of thing. We exchanged a few humorous chats but nevertheless I was rather disappointed that they had said nothing to me about this next trip. Then the coach set off to do a lap round to drop me off somewhere. One of the passengers shouted up from the back “I hope you realise that the boot’s open with all our luggage in there. It could all have fallen out. I said “well, I’m not driving it. It’s nothing to do with me, is it? I got out and started to walk off. I had my rucksack on my back. I’d also been wearing a pair of green trousers and brown jumper. One of the people on the bus had said “ohh you’re all in blue today”. I thought “this is a strange thing to say with all these clothes that I have on”.

Joly France Port De Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallLIDL was next and so I had a brisk walk up there. On the way down into town I went past the viewpoint that overlooks the harbour here.

Moored at the quayside in the place usually reserved for fishing boats are the two Joly France boats, the ferries that run out to the Ile de Chausey. I’m not sure why they would be moored there but never mind.

At least with them being moored side by side you can see the difference between the two. Joly France I, the newer of the two, I think, is nearer the camera. It’s longer (something that I hadn’t realised before), has a smaller upper deck superstructure and the stern is different too. There’s a step cut into it.

Flower Bed Rue Couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallPushing on through town, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in the past I’ve moaned … “surely not” – ed … about the new car park down on the port.

Instead of doing something really nice with a pretty cobbled or stone surface, it’s just a mass of tarmac with nothing to relieve the monotony. One of my … “many” – ed … gripes is that they could also have put some nice flower beds with plants in trees to make it look a lot more welcoming and attractive.

After all, the town has done this elsewhere. This here in the Rue Couraye is quite attractive so imagine how nice the car park would look with a couple of these in it with nice trees growing there.

I didn’t stop anywhere on the way or on the way back to LIDL (except for the photos) and I wasn’t in there long. I didn’t buy anything special except a bag of potatoes and a bag of carrots, plus the usual fruit of cours

La Grande Ancre Le Tiberiade Chantier Navale Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back from the shops I had a look down to the Chantier Navale.

There have been as many as eight boats in there at any one time but the other day they were down to just two. Today though, it’s gone back up to three. Sitting on the blocks by the portable boat hoist is one of our old favourites, the trawler-type vessel Le Tiberiade having some work done on her.

And in the background, out in the open sea La Grande Ancre is busy battling the waves on her way out. It doesn’t look as if it’s a particularly good day today to be at sea with all of that going on.

Back here I had a play with my kefir and then fed my sourdough started. I had to find a new jar for it too because if it ferments too much it’ll overflow the jar that it’s in.

After lunch, the first thing that I did was to peel, dice and blanch half of the carrots that I’d bought, and then set them to drain when they were ready. They went into the freezer later of course and I’ll do the other kilo tomorrow afternoon

Cabin Cruiser Fishing Pointe Du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe had the usual early afternoon pause for my walk around the headland.

The weather had changed too. This morning it was heavily overcast but by now it was even worse and there was 100% heavy cloud. As well as that, it was also doing its best to rain. Hence there were not too many people out there walking this afternoon. It didn’t prevent the maritime traffic from being out and about though. I couldn’tsee any of the commercial fishing boats but there was a cabin crruiser here just offshore by the Pointe du Roc.

There was no evidence of what it was trying to do, but regular readers of this rubbish will recall that just there is a favourite spot for fishermen as they chase after the elusive, and presumably bad-tempered sea bass

Children No Face Masks Pointe Du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said that there were not too many people about, that of course excluded the brats who were out here in force again.

I’m not too sure if they are the members of the Orienteering group that meets on the field in the late afternoon though. The posts that they have to find hadn’t been set up anyway. But what caught my eye was the fact that although the teacher was wearing a face mask, I couldn’t see that any of the kids were.

Not much social distancing either, so I can see all of this ending in tears before too long. The infection rate figures should go to show that this virus is not something to be taken lightly. After all, kids might possibly be fairly safe if they catch it, but I bet that their parents, grandparents and neighbours won’t be.

Le Tiberiade Trawler Chantier Navale Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway, musing on that point, I wandered off around the headland to the other side. I’d not seen anything of interest on the way.

At the viewpoint overlooking the Chantier Navale I had a look to see if there was anything interesting going on. Le Tiberiade is there now, up on blocks by the portable boat lift. On the starboard side that had a skyjack up against her so it looks as if they are working on her already.

But it does occur to me that THE OTHER DAY, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that Le Tiberiade was in the port at the unloading berth having all of her nets lifted off. Has it anything to do with the repairs that we are witnessing to the vessel, or something else completely.

You’ll notice too her registration number on her bow. It begins “CH” – an indication that she’s registered in Cherbourg.

Bad Parking Rue St Pierre Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe can’t let the opportunity go past to mention another case of pathetic parking.

The Microcar over there in the Rue St Pierre is especially interesting. Parked on the kerb, blocking the pavement, forcing the kids, people with pushchairs, disabled people in wheelchairs etc to take to the road to go past. As I have mentioned before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … there’s large free a public car park not 50 metres away. And if that’s too far for his poor dear to stagger after school, there’s a parking place right where I’m standing in the Boulevard Vaufleury not 10 metres away.

Back here afterwards, I had an important task to carry out. There’s a vacancy for a Conservation Officer – an admin, not a practical post – and also a Tourism officer on the South Sandwich Islands in the far South Atlantic. Not that I stand any chance of the posts but they looked extremely interesting and I have all of the necessary qualification. And so I wrote out an application.

Like I say, it’ll be a Cold Day In Hell before I’m ever considered for a post like that but if you don’t apply, you don’t get, do you?

Interestingly, the posts carry the office and responsibility of a Police Constable for the islands. That means that if the Argentinian Army ever decides to invade again, it would be my duty to go and arrest them all.

After the guitar practice, it was tea time. Having been to LIDL we had stuffed peppers, followed by more of my rather sad strawberry tart with soya coconut dessert.

This evening I went out for my nocturnal stroll as usual.

The wind has sprung up again, as I mentioned earlier, and we are being blasted once more. Hardly any surprise that there was almost no-one about. The run underneath the city walls was fairly uneventful but it was exciting to watch the waves crashing down on the Plat Gouseet while I caught my breath.

Trawler Unloading At Fish Processing Plant Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRunning across the Square Maurice Marland in the teeth of a howling sou’wester was no fun whatsoever and I needed a good couple of minutes again to catch my breath afterwards. But from there I carried on with my walk around the walls and was lucky enough to see a trawler-type of fishing boat unloading at the fish processing plant. They are keeping busy down there.

The run back to the apartment was also a struggle, going head-on into the wind. But I’m glad that I’m back because it’s a lot quieter and warmer in here.

Tomorrow there are no plans for anything (except to take out a pile of paper to the paper bins if the wind has dropped sufficiently not to blow a pile of my personal papers about the town) and I can get on with some work at last. That is, if I come back from my nocturnal ramble in time. I’m clocking up the miles during the night, aren’t I?

Tuesday 29th September 2020 – I’VE BEEN REALLY …

… busy today, for a change.

And it started off quite early too when I was up and about long before the third alarm wet off. Mind you, I’m not quite sure how because when I listened to the dictaphone, I was amazed.

plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire the photos of the tide coming in onto the Plat Gousset I’d been off on my holidays somewhere around the north-west of England but my holidays were over and it was now time to go back to work. Instead of going back to work I set off for the Welsh coast. People started to talk “well, the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR is coming in there, isn’t she? It looks like you’re going off on another voyage with her”. Although I hadn’t booked anything, that was indeed my plan to get down there, speak to the people and see where they would end up taking me – hopefully get a flight out from there to the High Arctic. But the closer I got to the coast I began to realise that the question of payment – it’s not cheap and most of my money is in my English bank account and I can’t remember the number or the contact details and I don’t have the little machine with me, so how was I going to pay for all of this? But I was still looking forward to going. I was within a couple of days of my retirement. I was planning on retiring soon in which case the question of getting any extra time off didn’t really matter very much. This latter part is a dream that i’ve had so many times – being at work and being retirement age and for one reason or other I could just get fed up, turn round and walk away.

plat gousset  granville manche normandy france eric hallSome time later I was at work and the question of some kind of qualification came up. We all trooped round to my sister’s house. It was overrun with kittens, totally untidy. everywhere you tried to sit you had a kitten on you, something like that. In the end we hardly dare do anything. We had to take a photo of a particular page in a booklet with this woman’s identity – she had a ring with a special seal on it. We needed this ring in view on top of the image and we could use that as proof that we’d done this course and had this qualification although we hadn’t. When it came to my turn to take the photo I couldn’t get my camera to work. Everyone was becoming quite impatient. In the end someone took the form and took this woman off so they could photograph it for themselves.
At another point we were in the army, a big group of us. We were slowly on the advance through this town. There wasn’t very much pressure – it seems that we’d had quite a clean sweep of this. We were pushing on through and came round a bend. A couple of groups in front of us had disappeared round this bend. We came round this bend and as we did so a couple of soldiers came over a railway bridge or something. Their uniforms didn’t look like ours. Suddenly the commander said “God, these are Russians!”. They saw us as we saw them. They opened fire and we ran, we lost a couple of men. In the end we got back to the little square where there were barricades erected. We got in behind the barricades. I sent two soldiers off down a side street because it was possible that we could be outflanked down this street. I sent these soldiers off with a machine gun and told them to dig themselves in and if anyone came just send them a stream of machine gun fire. They seemed very reluctant to go and I had to shout at them to get them to move. They still didn’t move with any kind of enthusiasm. I ran back to find that our compound had been under attack but we had pushed them back. They’d gone and they hadn’t come back as yet. The commandant was giving orders about this and that. We were talking about being supplied by sea in which case this little post that I’d set up needed some kind fof reinforcement for that was between us and the sea. We started to discuss all of this and I awoke in a fever.

plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWe were all in this compound (this was later, by the way) and there were people milling around downstairs in this kind of open-plan office type of place on a floor below. It turns out that they were selling tickets for something – it might have been a Connah’s Quay football match. I was going to ask if the people at the desk wanted a cup of tea for I was going to make a pot. I had to wait my turn in the queue before I could get to see them as there was a big queueing arrangement. When I got there there were 5 of them working there but I’d only seen 2. They all said “yes we want tea” and how many sugars they wanted. I thought “I don’t have much chance of remembering all of that”. But I asked them again to make sure. There was too much water in my kettle so I tipped some out. That brought some kind of strange look from some of them but I went off to make this pot of tea. There was some kind of headlines on the radio about it but there was a huge discussion about the outpost. they were suggesting that this outpost be pushed further south and they were poring over maps for it. Out technical in command said that we already had one. It was called Preston Central and explained about the Preston railway station, how it had been relocated in the past to allow a junction for a few lines and how it had been reinforced, how lots of industry and so on had started to congregate around it. he seemed to think that this was vitally important for this industry and laid claim to the fact that Preston Central should be our outpost

From there I was somewhere around Knutsford/Manchester Airport with my brother of all people. We’d been to some kind of exhibition or village fete or something like that. We were all in this huge hall. Who should we bump into but Nerina. The 3 of us ended up having quite a lengthy chat and it all came to be quite a friendly situation. We all then had to go and get some breakfast next morning so we went down to this place where all these people were congregating, hordes of them, but somehow we lost Nerina. She must have gone to get some breakfast. We’d seen a stall with all fruit buns and things like that on it but there was a proper breakfast place. In the end I said that I’d stay where we are. He can go off and get breakfast and I’ll wait here and we’ll all meet up here again. Off he went and I was on my own, and waited for hours! We’d been given some complimentary glasses of tea and we’d had a few sips out of them. They were on the table but I got up to stretch my legs. When I came back my tea had gone – someone had cleared it away. I said something pointed about this and a guy at the table next to me was one of the organisers. He didn’t really take much notice so I had a good moan about this, saying “it’s a good job that it’s free or I’d make a fuss about this”. Eventually, after a very long wait, my brother came back with a plate with about half a dozen potato crisps on it. I asked “what’s happening now?”. he replied “they’d run out and I wasn’t going to wait any more. I had to wait long enough as it was”. I asked “have you seen Nerina?” “No!”. I started to mention this stall with all this bread on it but he didn’t seem to be particularly interested. I said “we can get some chips on the way home”. He said” what? Round by the airport?”. I replied “we’re going Knutsford, Holmes Chapel Sandbach, Crewe way home, aren’t we?” so we set off. I found that I had Nerina’s phone number on my phone so I phoned but there was no answer. I left it for a minute and phoned again – still no answer. In the end there was no other solution but we had to go home and hope that she would make it home OK without any problems. We set off, the two of us, on foot. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember it now. We ended up in some kind of square and there were loads of people milling around. Someone we knew there said something like “let’s have a coffee”. There was a huge urn of tea or something and he went to get the ladle out but we couldn’t find a clean mug – no clean mugs anywhere. Someone said “God, yes. The mugs gave out ages ago”. I thought “I’m not having much luck today!”

It’s surprising that I managed to awake as early as I did. In fact, the more that I think of it, I must have caught myself as I was on my way back home.

Even more so, last night I didn’t go to bed as early as I expected. I wasn’t tired so in order to profit from my lack of fatigue I pushed on and finished off the radio programme before going to bed, so that at least there was something out of the way.

First thing after I’d finished transcribing the dictaphone notes (which took longer that you might think) was to revise my Welsh and then have a quick tidy around ready for my lesson. That’s the problem with these Zoom meetings – when you’re on the screen everyone else can see all about you.

After lunch I decanted the latest batch of Kefir. That’s all that I’m doing for now – simply because I don’t have any more figs. When I’d decanted it I whizzed up a couple of oranges, extracted the juice and then ran everything through a series of sieves and filters.

That’s now having its second fermentation, and the first batch made with the strawberry juice is now in the fridge ready for use.

yacht speedboat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAll of that took me up to the afternoon. Time to go out for my walk.

There was plenty of wind, although not as much as there has been, and it was quite cold too. There were a few things going on out at sea too. Here we have a yacht battling hard against the wind, with a speedboat roaring past showing just how efficient modern technology can be at times.

It’s not the same as sail, that’s for sure, but you don’t run much risk of being becalmed, except if you run out of fuel. At least, with a steam engine, you could burn bits of the boat.

trawler speedboat english channel pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther along the path, I was pretty much alone. Just the odd person here and there out on the path.

Out on the sea, there were a few more boats dotted around in the English Channel between the Ile de Chausey and the Pointe du Roc. We have one of the trawler-type fishing boats on its way back into the port with today’s catch.

As well as that, there’s a speedboat coming back over from the Ile de Chausey.

There were probably a few others out there too but the low cloud and mist prevented me seeing right out to the horizon.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere were no brats out there this afternoon – looks as if the orienteering classes have now finished. I was enjoying watching them, remembering my own childhood experiences in orienteering.

But round the other side of the headland, I had a good look at what was going on in the chantier navale. From the heady days of as many as eight of the boats in there up on ramps, we’ve now come down to just two.

A couple more seem to have gone back into the water today, including the one that had been on the blocks by the portable lift.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd we have another visitor in port today, someone whose arrival I have been expecting for a couple of days.

Having come in on the high tide today, Normandy Trader is now moored up at the quayside underneath the unloading crane. There is nothing actually going on there right now so it looks as if she’s been unloaded and loaded back up already.

All of this points to a rapid getaway on the evening tide. One thing that I’ve noticed is that these days, with no passenger ferries operating, the two little freighters have plenty of work and they don’t hang around for long.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallWe can’t go for too long without a photo here or there about the bad parking that goes on round about the College Malraux – the local high school.

Here in the Boulevard Vaufleury we have someone parked up on the pavement right by the pedestrian crossing at the bottom of the road that leads to the college.

The Boulevard Vaufleury is a service-bus route and coming in the other direction is the fleet of school buses that pick up the kids to take them home.

Furthermore, there is a public car park across the road, not even 20 yards further on from where the car is parked.

orange kefir strawberry bread rolls place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAs well as the kefir, I’d made some bread dough that had been proofing. I shaped them into small buns and left them to proof again while I did some more photos of the Spirit of Conrad.

When they were ready I bunged them into the oven and left them to cook while I cleaned up the mess that I’d made.

When I took them out, I noticed that they had been overcooked. 25 minutes seems to be far too long for them and I shall have to refine my technique for my next batch, whenever that might be.

After the hour on the guitar, I went for tea. A burger with pasta and vegetables with tomato sauce, followed by the strawberry turnover that I had made.

sunset ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThen it was time to go out and about for my evening walk.

The wind had dropped and the sun had long-since set, but from the viewpoint overlooking the Rue du Nord I could see a beautiful sky right over the Ile de Chausey and it looked absolutely magnificent.

We could see the light of the lighthouse shining quite brightly, and also several lights of boats that are anchored off the island. Whether they are there for the night or whether they are fishing boats out there at work, it’s impossible to tell

donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom the viewpoint I ran on down the path underneath the city walls. One or two other people were around there so for a part of my travels I wasn’t alone.

The lights of Donville-les-Bains were glittering very brightly and their reflection in the sea looked quite wonderful. And from there I walked on around the corner to the viewpoint over the Place Marechal Foch to have a look at how the tide was doing.

No-one else about now so I ran on down across the Square Maurice Marland. I can get all the way down there and all the way up the first ramp at the end.

fishing boat trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMind you I have to stop and catch my breath at the end, and from there, there’s a nice view over the harbour.

There’s a trawler-type of fishing boat anchored over there on one of the pontoons that the commercial yachts use, and I’ve no idea why it would be tied up over there. It has all of its work-lights on too and that is bizarre too.

And I was right about Normandy Trader too. As you can see, the loading berth is empty. The harbour gates haven’t been open long but nevertheless she has made a smart getaway.

minette rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I mentioned that I hadn’t seen Minette, the old dark tortoiseshell cat, for quite a while.

And so it goes without saying that tonight, here she is sitting on the steps outside her front door. She let me stroke her for a few minutes and then she wandered off.

And me? I wandered off too – ran the final length back home to clock up the metres and the percentages on my fitbit.

Back here, I had a surprise with the kefir. The instructions say that on the second fermentation, the bottles need to be opened regularly to let out the excess gas that’s been created.

Accordingly, I opened the bottle of strawberry kefir, and the fountain that was produced would have put Vesuvius to shame and would have launched the Space Station.

Perhaps I ought to open the bottles more regularly that once every day, or maybe it’s because the first fermentation isn’t complete

Whatever it was, I ended up having to wash down the kitchen and I’ll have to change my clothes in the morning.

Saturday 19th September 2020 – BRAIN OF BRITAIN …

… strikes again!

Having spend some time today pondering upon the question of this little matter about recording my old cassette tapes, round about 15:00 this afternoon the light suddenly went on in my head.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have a ZOOM H1 that I use for recording outside broadcasts for the radio. So this afternoon I went plugged the audio cable out of the headphone socket in the big hi-fi and into the mike socket of the Zoom.

The settings are a bit all over the place and I’ll have to be doing some kind of further research to improve the sound balance, but it’s already a great improvement on not being able to produce any sound.

But sometimes I really wonder however I managed to get so far in my life as I have done when I spend days trying to solve a problem when there is a simple solution like this at my fingertips.

You might also think that getting out of bed is a simple solution too, but it wasn’t today. It was another 07:30 start.

Mind you, it’s no surprise that I had such a lie-in because I’d been off on quite a considerable and lengthy voyage or three or four during the night.
There was another one of these little flighty girl-types of people and we were all somewhere in Crewe – the Nantwich Road end. We were all flirting around and I had a quiet little word with her because there was someone in our group who was’t particularly appropriate for her to meet.
abandoned Opel estate place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallSo this larking about went on but then there was some kind of issue about tidying things up and putting them away and so on. There had been an old Vauxhall estate abandoned on wasteland on Mill Street, like the one that’s been dumped outside here for a year or so, and that needed to be tidied away. They asked me if I could arrange that. I asked what was the deal – they replied “you take the vehicle, you can have it”. I said “I’m sure that I can arrange something”. I contacted a friend of mine and he said that he would come down to join me. In the meantime this girl was flirting and she ended up with another young guy. I had a little whisper in her ear about one or two things and she asked “is this the guy you were warning me about?”. I replied no it’s not. It’s actually the one who’ll be here in a minute. Anyway he turned up and he wasn’t in a car but on foot. He asked “where’s this vehicle that you want us to go and have a look at?”. We had to walk down some stairs into the foyer and he got on his radio. He had a police radio and he was radioing back to the police station about some guy who’d been seen prowling around. They eventually managed to track him down to some kind of street somewhere, not hanging around somewhere dangerous – and I awoke all hot and sweaty in a fever again.

The call had gone out to Wales for everyone to rise up on behalf of the Welsh monarch against the English one. This is one of those things where I’ve completely forgotten absolutely everything
Later on we were at University. I was with a couple of girls and someone came along to say that they had left something. They described accurately what one of these girls was wearing and they said that she came and sat here after they left. After much discussion debate and argument she went off to have a look in the clothes that she was wearing that morning to see whether she had it. I was having a chat with one or two of these girls who had come over. The subject was about the University, my friends and so on. The girl who had gone off, she said that she had to tell everyone that she was 21 but she was actually 15, one of these child prodigies who had gone off to University early but she didn’t really want to draw attention to herself. We were having a chat and one of these girls was being a bit forward, talking about a few racy subjects and I wasn’t sure if she was trying to lead me on somewhere so I replied in a non-committal kind of way but I was very interested to see where this discussion was going and that rings a very familiar bell, doesn’t it? Again all hot and sweaty.
I was with Liz and Terry and there was something happening about a racing car. There was no-one to drive it and they asked me if I would. I said yes even though I didn’t know how and we went off to this racing circuit. I don’t know what happened about the race but on the way back we stayed at this really posh hotel. I had to go out for a walk or something and there I met a woman with two girls, Germans. They were discussing different things I suppose about patriotism, whatever. The elder of the two girls, a little thin blonde probably about 10 or so was saying how proud she was of her country, all this thing, how proud she was of her navy, whatever. I overtook them walking back to the hotel. I walked past a house that wasn’t there any more. It had been redeveloped and a new house was built there. I remember one of my school friends having a house on that site and I used to go there regularly but I couldn’t for the life of me remember who it was. All these names came ticking through my head only to be ruled out. I got back to the hotel and these people were coming in. I had to help them over the patio wall into the main room – it was quicker than going all the way round to the door at the main entrance. They summoned the receptionist and there was confusion about the car machines, which one they had to use. These people were booked in. This blonde girl came over to me and said that she had lost my phone number and could I give it to her.

It’s hardly any surprise that I was so late getting out of bed after all of that.

After a shower and a general clean-up I went off to the shops. At NOZ the prize was a beautiful olde-worlde porcelain mixing bowl to replace the smaller metal one that I’ve been using.

It’s becoming quite professional in here now.

cars parking at electric charging bay leclerc granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that pathetic parking is a regular feature of these pages.

Here’s some more from the car park of LeClerc and this is something that’s going to cause a big problem in the future. The supermarket was heaving today – I’ve never seen it so busy – and parking was at a premium.

The charging bays for the electric vehicles are close to the entrance so two motorists have taken it upon themselves to park in them rather than out in the wilderness.

Purists may argue that one of them (if not both) is an electric vehicle but neither of them is plugged in. And as there are only four charging points at the supermarket, that’s 50% of the potential capacity blocked off for no good reason.

It makes me wonder how long it will be before we start to see the warning notices like we see at disabled bays.

Despite the crowds in the supermarket and the fact that they had run out of my favourite traditional Saturday baguette, I was in and out in half an hour.

Mind you, I’d forgotten my bread flour and one or two other things too, but nothing that I can’t live without. And they had no frozen broccoli either.

Such an exciting life I lead when an absence of frozen broccoli in the supermarket makes headline news.

Back here I attacked a couple more of the arrears and that’s becoming even more manageable now. And then, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out on the chair. The excitement of finding no frozen broccoli in the supermarket is clearly proving too much for me.

After a late lunch I recorded a few more albums from the USB turntable and then had a session with the Zoom.

I was pleased that at last I’ve been able to digitalise probably the rarest record in my whole collection. I’ve seen the value (not that it means very much of course) of some of my records being in the thousands, when they are available, but what would be the price of the only rock LP (of the early 70s of course) being sung in the native Greenlandic Inuit language?

That’ll make my listeners sit up a little. They are still struggling to come to terms with rock music sung in Scots Gaelic. They can’t say that they aren’t having their money’s worth, considering that they are getting it all for free.

low tide out baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric halllater on I went out for the football.

By now, the tide is well out on one of the lowest-tide days of the year and you can see now how far it goes out when it has a mind to. When it’s right in, you can see the tide mark on the harbour wall to the right of centre.

On my way through town I bumped into Maryline from the radio – she who does the film and cinema programmes – and we had a chat for five minutes or so before, in the best traditions of the late lamented News of the World, “I made my excuses and left”.

football stade louis dior sm caen us granville manche normandy france eric hallSM Caen must have been kicking themselves tonight on the way back home from the Stade Louis Dior.

On several occasions they carved their way through the Granville defence like a hot knife through butter but their finishing was even worse than Granville’s, who never ever looked like scoring if they were still playing now.

Nevertheless it was an exciting match as you never knew who was going to be the next to kick the ball into the keeper’s arms when in a one-on-one situation or to completely miss connecting with the ball when presented with a free header on an open goal.

And it all turned up on its head with 4 minutes to go when a Granville player was brought down in the Caen penalty area. For once, Granville managed to find the back of the net.

But after all of the chances that Caen had, they must have been totally devastated to lose a game to Granville like this when they should have been out of sight and down the road a long time before half-time.

marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back home I noticed the crowds of people loitering around the harbour so I went to see what was going on.

Actually, I had an educated guess seeing as on the way out to the shops this morning I saw Marité heading out of the harbour and across the bay, and that her berth was empty when I went out earlier to the football.

And sure enough, into the harbour, full sail ahead, came Marité, heading for her berth again.

marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallShe had quite a crowd of people on board, and I’m not quite sure how she managed that, as regular readers of this rubbish will well recall the issues that I’ve had with the personnel who operate her.

A more unfriendly bunch of “customer service” people I have yet to meet. They actually make Belgian shop assistants sound friendly.

But nevertheless, it makes quite a magnificent impression when the old Newfoundland cod-fisher is out there with all of her sails out in a full gale.

Even manoeuvring into the harbour is quite an impressive sight, as the crowds out there watching it will testify.

yacht baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallShe wasn’t the only large boat out there heading for home on the evening tide.

This one that I vaguely saw in the gloom (in a heavily-lightened photo) was also heading into harbour. When I first noticed it I thought that it might have been la Granvillaise but even with having thrown plenty of light onto the subject, I stil can’t say.

Back here, it was tea out of a tin and then time for more football. In the Welsh Premier League, or the JD Cymru League as it’s now called, Newtown who have been misfiring during the season so far were away at newly-promoted Haverforwest County.

Haverfordwest have a beautiful, modern little ground thanks to a good deal with a local supermarket who bought their old ground from them, but the team has never had any particular success. They survived relegation from the WPL for several seasons due to lack of suitable promotion candidates or due to licensing issues of other clubs but they fell out of the league a few seasons ago – 2016 if I remember correctly – and have gradually clawed their way back.

They are another team who I haven’t seen so far so i was looking forward to this game.

And the match was particularly interesting. Newtown were the quickest out of the blocks and looked the better side, but Haverforwest, having signed the cream of the second tier, looked nothing like the patchwork team that they were said to be and in fact actually played more like a team than Newtown’s experienced regulars.

The final score, 2-2, was a fair reflection of the match and while Haverfordwest are not going to set the league alight this season, Newtown are going to have to be doing some rather serious looking over their shoulder. Even after three matches, they are adrift at the foot of the table and that’s not a very comfortable position for one of the only two teams who have been in the WPL for its entire existence.

But now it’s late and I’m tired. Far too tired to write up my notes so I’ll have to do that in the morning instead.

Friday 4th September 2020 – IT’S BEEN A …

… rather better day today than yesterday. For a start, I beat the third alarm again. Not by very much, and I was sitting quite groggily on the edge of the bed when it went off, but I beat it nevertheless.

After the usual morning ablutions I had a go at the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

We were staying in the city, something like that, last night. It was winter and I was on this hospital car park for some reason. Someone pointed out to me a dog that had two pairs of shoes on and a man running behind with some kind of paper wrapped round his feet. Apparently he’d been getting the dog out of his car in the snow and the dog had taken his shoes and gone off, leaving him behind. It was some kind of hospital and I had to walk across this car park to do something. Then I realised that I had my own appointment so I carried on. I was carrying a ladder and something else that I’d borrowed from the hospital. I got into the sheltered walkway and came to the door where there was a row of steps going up. When I got there, there was someone I recognised. It might have been someone whom I know from Newfoundland who was the caretaker. I had to give my things back to him. There was another guy on the door. It occurred to me walking across the car park that I didn’t have any form of identity with me, any kind of money. I didn’t have my hospital paper so I don’t know how I was going to talk my way into having my appointment. It was too late to run back to the car now. Anyway when I got there I thought that my Newfoundlander friend would vouch for me and who I am. There was a receptionist guy on the counter and I was about to go up and tell my story to him when I awoke again with yet another bad attack of cramp. I don’t know how many attacks of cramp I’d had during the night but that part of it was quite awful..
At somewhere else during the night I’d been with a guy who I know from a Greenock Morton Football Club internet site. We’d been to watch the game. Morton had started the season very unprepared with quite a few players short. They had been talking about players who the club was signing so I went to the ground. We were all standing around the field watching. the first action was a clearance from one of the defenders that hit a Morton player and the refereee blew for handball. Under the new procedures it wouldn’t have been given so we all had a moan at the referee. The we suddenly realised that we were all encroaching on the pitch so we had to walk back a couple of yards and found a chain link around the ground so we walked further back and put the chain link back up. There was some kind of fence that stopped us seeing much of the game so the two of us walked round behind Morton’s goal to watch the action from down there. There was talk of someone signing from a non-league club. he was supposed to be very thin and very tall. There was a discussion about players initials, some kind of gambling thing where you gambled on who the club would sign based on initials. We were talking about the game and the score was 2-0. I couldn’t find out who is was who had the 2. It looked like Morton as they were doing all of the attacking but I couldn’t be sure.

While I was at it, I transcribed a few more from the backlog from when I was on my travels. It was really hard to do anything while I was away because the computer was just not quick enough to respond and I wasn’t well enough

Another thing that I’ve done this morning is to do some tidying up of the things that I’ve bought. There was more stuff than I thought that I had, including some round rice that I thought that I didn’t have.

One day i’m going to have a major rearrangement of the things on the shelves and make some more space. There’s no need for half of the plastic containers that I have, for a start.

With some time that was left I attacked the photos from my voyage. I didn’t edit anything like as many as I wanted because I ended up with two photos having to track down where I was when I took them.

In the end, one I managed to trace but the second (and one or two that come later) will require much more of a detective effort to work out where I was when I took them.

Another reason why I took so long was that I … errr … closed my eyes for a moment or two.

After lunch, I did some of my Welsh revision and then attacked the new internet course. It took most of the afternoon but I managed to do a whole week’s course today.

It’s true to say that I knew a great deal about the basics of the course and that helped a lot, but I still learnt quite a lot from it.

tractors trailers mussels nets bouchots donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual break in the working afternoon while I went out for my afternoon walk.

Not that I went very far before I was distracted. The tide was quite far out this afternoon and out across the bay at Donville-les-Bains the mussels posts were uncovered.

What I think they are are the posts and strings for the bouchots – the mussels that grow on strings. The tractors and trailers are out there harvesting them.

The advantage that bouchots have over ordinary mussels is that with not being on the ground, they aren’t full of grainy sand so they taste much more natural and don’t break your teeth.

zodiac fishermen pointe du roc english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s not just down on the seafood beds that the ocean is rendering up its harvest – at least, in principle.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few das we have seen several fishermen out there casting their lot into the water. Today, we have a couple of guys on a zodiac coming round the headland.

They have their rods at the ready and it looks as if they will be taking up their positions just off the Pointe du Roc. I wonder if they will have any more luck than anyone else whom I’ve seen.

kids games pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was something extremely curious going on this afternoon on the lawn by the old bunkers at the Pointe du Roc.

The kids, presumably from a local school, where playing a game there. But what caught my eye more than anything else was the absence of masks and the absence of any social distancing.

It’s apparently true to say that kids aren’t as susceptible to the virus than adults (so they say) and don’t suffer as much, but then they all go home and see their siblings, parents, grandparents and neighbours over the weekend.

It seems to me to be pretty short-sighted to exempt kids from the requirements that everyone else is obliged to take. But then, looking at the horrendous casualty figures and the lack of decisive action to prevent or enforce the regulations, it looks as if Western Governments have given up the fight and prepare to sacrifice the population to the God Mammon.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile we’re on the subject of social distancing … “well, one of us is” – ed … there isn’t much social distancing going on down in the Chantier navale right now.

My walk continued round the headland to the viewpoint there and I could see the latest developments in there. It’s been pretty full with seven boats in there but just the other day we went down to six. However today, we’ve gone back up to seven as another boat has come to join the collection.

Plenty of people down there working on them too. It’s all go in there right now, so it seems. I’m particularly interested with the one on its own on the left in the front of the row of five. They have been spending the last week or so stripping all the paint off it.

bad parking rue st pierre granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I walked along the path and down past the the end of the Rue Saint Pierre, the little street that leads up to the College Malraux.

It’s close to school chucking-out time and you can tell that by the vehicles that are parked half-on, half-off the pavement blocking the path to anyone who would like to walk along the pavement on that side.

When you consider that there’s a huge free car park just 50 metres away from where they are parked, it’s really a shameful situation to see them parked like that.

Anyway, you’re all probably quite fed up of me talking about pathetic parking so I’ll move on back home where I finished the internet course for the week and had my hour on the guitars.

Tea tonight was vegetable balls with steamed vegetables and vegan cheese sauce followed by the last of the rice pudding.

Later on, I went out for my evening walk. There were only two other people out there which is no surprise because it was quite dark.

Nothing was going on round by the rue du Nord so I carried on to the footpath and then ran along there, pushing on 20-odd metres past my limit.

illuminated trees square Maurice Marland granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was nothing happening at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch so I went over to the Square Maurice Marland and ran all the way along it and up the ramp at the end.

A couple of days ago we saw the lights in there come on and illuminate the trees. They were already on by the time that I reached there, and everything was so much brighter so the photo is better tonight.

With nothing else going on at all, I ran on back home to write up my notes and then have an early night.

Tomorrow it’s shopping day so I need to be on form. I don’t need very much, for once, but I’ll need to remember exactly what I do need.

Tuesday 1st September 2020 – I’VE HAD A …

… much better day today, which will surprise many people. In fact, even more surprisingly, it was such a better day that I even managed to fit in three runs this evening.

Short they may have been (although two of them were longer than when I first started running again a year ago) but runs nevertheless.

And you wouldn’t have bet on that yesterday, would you?

What was even more surprising is that I actually managed to beat the third alarm this morning. And it’s been such a long time since that has happened too.

Plenty of voyages during the night too. I started off the night walking the streets of Paris last night and I was interviewing someone about some kind of incident that had happened at a parking meter. It was a guy on a motorbike and sidecar and I took a statement or whatever and asked the guy to produce his driving licence for me. I had no doubt that he was an official kind of person and looked quite presentable and respectable. Nevertheless I asked for his papers and he replied “you aren’t in uniform” and opened up the throttle of his motorbike. I grabbed hold of him by the lapel and ended up overturning the motorbike and sidecar and dragging him off into the street. Then I got on the radio and asked for assistance.
Before that there had been some kind of archaeology dig. A group of us was taking part in it. Normally we were finding comparatively modern things but we suddenly came across a complete skeleton of a girl aged about 11 that had been buried in a bank. We’d excavated it and it was pretty much complete. A girl who at one time accompanied me on several nocturnal voyages was there too. She was in a red jumper grey skirt and red tights. She was lying on the bed and we were talking about this skeleton, saying how it might have been her even and so on. All the time we were talking about this skeleton. They asked what i was going to do with it. I said that I would put it back where it came from first, back in this little place and then we’ll have a think about it.
There was another dream about a great big black bull and I was having to fit bolts into it for some reason or other. It was a huge hairy type of bull like a rastaman. I was talking to it about it being a rastaman and explaining what I was doing – the bull saying “ohh yes I like that – that’s very good”. I was tightening up the bolts with a huge spanner, not too tight though. I turned to the final bolt on the left-hand flank and it just upped and wandered off. I had to chase all the way after it. every time I got close to it it moved on again. By this time it had turned into a cat so I was just following this cat around through this crowded room. Eventually it went to settle down right in the very far corner the furthest possible point away from where I was.

That’s not everything either. There was a little bit of truncated, incoherent stuff from some voyage or other that never quite made it onto the dictaphone, and also another round of stuff that you wouldn’t thank me for posting while you are eating a meal or something.

After breakfast I did some paperwork and also SHOCK! HORROR! some tidying up. Mind you, it doesn’t look much like it right now.

However one thing that I did today was to finish as far as I can the radio project on which I’ve been working. The final track has been selected too and all that remains is to write out the closing speech, dictate and edit it and then combine it with what I’ve already done and with the final track.

In fact, I could have finished it today but Rosemary telephoned me for a chat and we were on the telephone for well over an hour.

hang gliders place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThis afternoon I went out for my usual walk in the sun (and wind).

And I hadn’t gone more than 10 yards out of the building before I was dive-bombed by a couple of bird-men of Alcatraz.

It’s another one of these tandem machines with two people in it. Ideal for doing some photography or even some bomb-aiming should the need ever arise.

It’s just as well that there was enough wind to get them off the ground.

cap frehel brittany normandy france eric hallFor a change I went for my afternoon walk around the headland instead of around the walls, for reasons that I will explain in due course.

The view once more was tremendous and we could see for miles. Right in the centre of this photograph is the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, that I could see quite clearly with the naked eye.

There’s a boat out to sea right on the right-hand edge of the photo and also a marker light off the coast clearly visible to the left. This might possibly be round about the Ile Agot or the Ebihens archipelago

speedboat fishing baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere wasn’t very much out there in the way of marine traffic today.

Not many fishing boats at all out there, although there were several smaller boats out there. A couple of speedboats rather like this one here in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

It looks to me as if they might be stopping there to do some fishing or something like that. It’s that time of the year.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallIndeed, it wasn’t just out at sea that there was fishing going on.

Here on the rocks there were several fishermen like these two casting their lines into the sea. I stood and watched them for quite a while but once more, I didn’t actually see anyone catch anything.

In fact in all the years that I’ve been watching fishermen on the rocks here in Granville, I have yet to see anyone catch any fish at all with a rod and line.

working on trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried on around the headland until I came to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

We still have the same seven boats in there that have been in there for the last few days. And because we are still in working hours, a few men are down there working on the various boats.

It’s keeping them very busy down there, whether it’s the employees of the shipbuilder, representatives of the owners or specialist tradesmen and it’s all good news for the town.

light aircraft pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just out at sea and here on the rocks that there were plenty of people

While I was out there there was a lot going on in the air. We’ve seen the bird-men of Alcatraz a little earlier and right now while I was walking along the footpath I was buzzed by a light aeroplane flying overhead.

There seems to be plenty going on in the air right now, and a trip to the airport at Donville-les-Bains will have to be on the cards for me one of these days in the near future.

crowds outside school bad parking boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallOne thing about today is that the schools have started back.

You can tell that by the fact that we are back with the pathetic parking again – a car parked with two wheels on the pavement blocking it off for pedestrians when there is a perfectly good free car park just 50 yards away.

And look at the people congregating around the gate too. No sense of social distancing and not very many facemasks either.

It’s no wonder that the virus is currently running rampant around the country with all of this going on. I don’t know how people expect this virus to be over.

Back here I finished off my work and had tea. Another stuffed pepper with vegetables and rice, followed by rice pudding which was delicious

plat gousset Place Maréchal Foch granville manche normandy france eric hallThen it was out for my evening walk tonight.

Feeling energetic I went around the walls and on the flat parts where there was no-one around, I broke into a run or two. It might not have been much but I went way beyond where I left off when I started running down there a year ago.

Round at the viewpoint over the Plat Gousset I had a look down at the Place Marechal Foch. There were quite a few people out for a walk round there, and it was nice to see the streetlights switched on too.

During the winter they had them switched off, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and it made photography something of a challenge. I hope that they keep them on this winter.

moonrise granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I had a second run along the
Square Maurice Marland and right up the ramp at the far end.

We’d seen the moon yesterday shining up above St Pair sur Mer but tonight as I watched, the moon slowly rose up above the cliffs and into view. It was really quite spectacular.

From there I had a wander home, breaking into another run for the last 50 yards or so.

back here I’ve written up my notes and now I’m off to bed, hoping to have another good night and hopefully another better day tomorrow – not that I have too much optimism about it.

But one thing that I know is that in approximately 5 hours time a year ago, my life changed dramatically thanks to one particular incident that happened at roughly that moment.

It was an incident that meant a great deal to me and which I won’t ever forget, regardless of anything else Even a year later, I still can’t get it all out of my mind.