Tag Archives: Barry Town

Monday 18th April 2022 – THERE WAS MUCH …

yacht trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… more activity out on the water this afternoon.

Still not as much as I would have expected to see, given that it’s a bank holiday and we’re having nice weather, but still much more than there has been just recently.

But be that as it may, let’s retourner à nos moutons and while you all admire the photos of the water craft out there today, I’ll tell you about the morning that I had.

at least, insofar as I remember it because until about 11:00 or so I was deep in the arms of Morpheus. It’s a bank Holiday today so there was no alarm.

cancale brittany trawlers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It’s no wonder that I was exhausted this morning because I must have travelled miles during my sleep, as I discovered when I listened to the dictaphone.

Some girl had fallen foul of a gangster boss for some reason. She’d been taking photos and dictating things into her dictaphone about this and that, dictating her dreams. This gangland boss insisted that she hand over her memory card and dictaphone which of course she flatly refused to do. This led to some kind of argument or stand-off. In the end one of his minions managed to produce some kind pf portable machine that would copy everything off the memory card and off the dictaphone so that she could have copies of everything that she had done. She could possibly have her memory card and dictaphone back. This was again a completely realistic kind of dream and made me worry about my dictaphone.

And then it was the birthday of TOTGA’s daughter so she was dancing around, reciting words in a form of poetry about presents that she would like to have for her birthday. Then TOTGA was talking about going to China … JUST LIKE SWEET REGINA” – ed … so I asked if the whole family was going. She replied “yes” or at least to the China museum which is free for everyone who visits China. She went over to a ticket machine to try to sort out everything from the machine that was there. I’m missing a few bits off this. I can’t remember all of it.

There were a couple of cowboys, taxi drivers, but one of them was an Indian. There had been some talk about disabled passengers. There was a notice on the door that said “if you’re phoning up for an elderly disabled person make sure that the taxi has a wheelchair lift fitted”. Anyway these 2 guys were on horses. One of them had a horse blanket over his horse because he was an Indian. When you took the blanket off you could see the saddle underneath all ready for war. One of his comrades came into town, also sitting on a blanket ready for war. The other cowboy went out to confront him.

people in zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022I was in a pub waiting for someone to bring round a settee to make it more comfortable. When the pub closed for the afternoon I was cleaning it up and doing some tidying up. There was something like an indoor pool in this pub, a water feature. I thought that I’d put a spade in and get down to the bottom here and see what was happening. Then 2 people turned up, a girl who worked here and her boyfriend, and they were in the middle of having an argument so I left them to it. I put my spade into the water and dug down into the mud and pulled up a huge pile of LPs and single, an Alquin double album, a pile of stuff by Alquin, loads of stuff like that. Everyone came to give me a hand to help me pull all of these out. I realised of course that they would all be ruined but I wondered what on earth they were all doing in there. I recognised one or two of them from stuff that I’d upgraded to CD but I don’t remember throwing away. There I was, picking out all these LPs from this dirty, muddy, filthy water inside this pub.

Robert Fripp was having a party to celebrate the release of his new blues album. A whole pile of us went. There was a young girl there, a bass guitarist, who played bass on his album but when she came to listen to his album you couldn’t hear the bass on it at all. She asked Robert Fripp what had happened to the bass and he told her that basically her playing was rubbish. That had of course reduced her to tears. I went to see him and asked if he would play the album with the bass on it. He replied that with the bass being rubbish he didn’t want to feature it. I told him that he didn’t really understand music because music isn’t just one performer, that sort of thing, music is everyone together, the whole ensemble. We had this argument. I told him that there had been other cases like Richie Blackmore who for example had sacked Mark Clark in the middle of a recording session and played the bass himself because he didn’t like Clark’s bass playing and I’m impressed that I could remember that when I was asleep. I said that it was dishonest in a way to have this girl play and then wipe out her playing. I insisted that he play the album version with her bass on it. He said that it would take some time so I asked him if he would send me a copy of the album with her bass playing on it. He had to fiddle around in the corner of the room to try to find the master tapes.

Finally I’d been at work. Everyone was slowly leaving. In the end there was just me and a girl, the girl whom I knew from Stoke whose name I can’t remember, the pretty one who had cancer. We were chatting away and the conversation became more and more about our intimate selves. In the end I ended up kissing her. We spent a good few minutes like that. Then I had to leave. On the way out I bumped into my elder sister. She noticed that I was late so I said that I’d been seeing some guy whose sister she knew who lived in Shavington. Then I walked down to my parents’ house in Davenport Avenue. It had changed quite considerably from when I remembered it, the outside. I knocked on the door and one of my younger sister’s children let me in. It told me to make sure that I wiped my feet but there wasn’t really any need because the lawn inside the house was all churned up like a ploughed field, a real horrible mess. My sister said that one of her children was dropping out of school. I told her that she better hadn’t because she only has one chance at education and this is it. She didn’t seem to think that she was, it was my sister’s idea that she would.

There was an interruption in the middle of this for a rather late brunch. Porridge, coffee and the last of the hot cross buns. I shall have to hope that someone I know is going back to the UK soon to bring me back another couple of batches. They aren’t very easy to make correctly and I do like them very much.

When I’d finished the dictaphone notes I had a good session on the guitar and then made a start on the radio programme that I’ll be completing tomorrow if all goes according to plan.

And while we’re on the subject of tomorrow … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ll have to tidy up the apartment tomorrow as I have someone coming round at 14:00 to see me and the place is something of a mess. How I’m going to manage raising myself from the dead with an alarm after several days of lying in remains to be seen.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But that all relates to tomorrow. Today, it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end to see what was happening down on the beach.

The tide is of course well out, as we have seen over the last few days. But there weren’t as many people down there today as there have been.

The difference today is the amount of wind that we are having. It’s a lot windier than it has been and I suppose that that is keeping people off the sand. No-one really wants to be out in a cossy in this wind.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good.

And so consequently we had the birdmen of Alcatraz out in numbers this afternoon. I counted a good half dozen and maybe more out and about in the air.

This one is carrying a passenger too, and I haven’t forgotten that it’s on my bucket list to go up for a flight one of these days if I can find an intrepid birdman intrepid enough to take me up, and a Nazgul strong enough to support the two of us. I really could do with losing another 8 or so kilos to bring me down to what I consider to be my optimal weight.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022The birdmen of Alcatraz weren’t the only people up in the air today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last couple of days we’ve seen the red powered hang glider flying around and I mentioned yesterday that I wondered what had happened to the yellow one.

Sure enough, around the corner she came this afternoon, pilot and passenger, on their way back to the airfield after a lap around the bay.

All we need now is to see the yellow autogyro and we’ll have had the full set but she’s been conspicuous by her absence for quite a while now.

There was also a small aeroplane flying around the bay but she was too far out for me to be able to take a decent photograph.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Not so many people out on the path either this afternoon.

That’s much more like how it ought to be these days when there’s a pandemic raging.c Not that I’m all that bothered during normal circumstances but if people won’t wear a mask when I’m a person at high risk, I would rather the path be empty.

Only another 87,000 cases yesterday and 35 deaths. Mind you, it hasn’t escaped my notice that the UK hasn’t declared its figures for the last few days. I wonder what’s going on there right now.

people by cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022With all of the excitement going on out at sea this afternoon I was expecting to see crowds of people down by the cabanon vauban.

Well, at least there were a couple of people gazing out to sea at the trawlers and the zodiac in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And also at the pecheurs à pied too because there were plenty of those down there on the rocks this afternoon too. I wondered why there were so many cars on the car park and so few people about.

So I left them to it and headed off down the path on the other side of the headland.

ch798530 briscard ch638749 pescadore sm517594 rocalamauve port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It looks as if there were several boats that missed the tide and the open harbour gates this morning

Settling down in the silt over there at the quayside next to the Fish Processing Plant from front to back are Briscard, Pescadore and Roc A La Mauve. It’s not like any of those to be moored there deliberately.

Back at the apartment I made myself a coffee and settled down in front of the computer for this evening’s football match – a basement match between Barry Town, second bottom, and Aberystwyth Town, third from bottom, in a game that Barry Town must win.

Considering the positions of the teams in the League, this was one of the most exciting games that I’ve seen for quite a while, ranging from end to end like a tide. Aberystwyth took the lead quite early on and managed to hang on for the victory despite Barry throwing the kitchen sink at them in the final 15 minutes.

Whether Barry Town remains in the league now depends on whether Llanilltud Fadre or Pontypridd Town’s grounds are up to the required standard. I wasn’t impressed at all by the ground at LLanilltud when I’ve seen it.

It was too late for food by the time that the football finished so I had a few rounds of toast instead. It won’t do me any harm to go without a full meal here and there. But now I’m off to relax before going to bed.

Tomorrow I’ve an alarm to set, a radio programme to complete, a meeting to attend and a session with a new physiotherapist as well as an apartment to tidy. My few days off passed rather quicker than I was expecting.

Tuesday 25th January 2022 – DAY EIGHT …

… of my self-imposed exile and I actually set foot outside the building this afternoon, for the first time in over a week.

My Covid test result has come back and, as I expected (well, as I knew, really) it was negative so tomorrow I’m going to restart my physiotherapy sessions.

My plan is to take Caliburn, and for several reasons too –

  1. with not having been out for exercise for over a week, I’m not sure how I’m going to manage the climb up the hill and back again.
  2. with everything floating around and my still not feeling 100%, I don’t want to pick up something while I’m out and about in town.
  3. with having been stuck inside for 10 days and not having done any shopping for a week before, supplies are running low so a trip to Lidl with Caliburn is in order.

And so I went outside to make sure that Caliburn will start, having been idle for almost three weeks and with the temperatures hovering around zero. And sure enough, he fired up fairly easily.

While we’re on the subject of zero … “well, one of us is” – ed … I spent much of the night in the company of Zero. And several other people too but it was she who figured the most in all of my lengthy travels.

For some of the time, she was with one of my sisters. They had moved into a house and shared a bedroom, with posters and everything like that all over the bedroom door and wall. I’d been working in the area so I popped in to see how they were doing.

Later on, I dropped straight back into the dream at some point near or nearabouts, with the three of us travelling on a train somewhere.

Later still, there was a reality TV programme about a young girl who I reckoned was Zero, who would choose her boyfriend. The choice had narrowed down to 2. 2 guys turned up, 1 of whom looked like the young dynamic type and the other looked like a slightly older, shy person. It goes without saying that she chose the 1st one. The guy who was 2nd was extremely bitter and disappointed about all of this but I explained to his that he had come a darn sight farther in this competition than almost anyone else and what wouldn’t I have given to change places with him and been up there on the stage at that particular moment when Zero was on the point of making a choice? The conversation drifted around to talk about general life and happiness etc and I can’t remember very much about where it went after this. It was certainly one of those things that if you set your goals too high you’ll fail and you’ll always be unhappy. Success is measured by the level of expectation and I have several examples of this that have occurred during my life. I gave him a few examples but I can’t remember what they mean now.

Still plenty to go at yet. There was 1 of these guys again with a baby or very small child who was about to board a tram. He pointed to one of the trams and said “it’s nice to see some Bristol artwork these days” and went off and boarded his tram.

And then we had 2 girls who had been friends for years. There was a huge pile of glass bottles stored in the garage of one of them. They loaded them into the boot of the 2nd one’s car to take to the recycling plant but half an hour later she was back with the bottles. Her friend asked why and she replied saying “(the name of the other girl’s partner) he’s round there with her at the moment and didn’t want to enter up them”. The other girl went somewhat ashen and said “yes, it was the same with Hugh. They don’t stay faithful for two long”. They began to put the bottles back into the space where the woman had been tidying up after they had gone. Just then her boyfriend or husband came back. He saw what was going on and probably got the message straight away. They started to have an argument which on the girl’s part was more sadness than anything else. By this time I was there and I don’t know why. The girl was talking to me saying “this is where all our money goes”. He was saying “don’t you show him that! Don’t you show him that!” but she showed it to me all the same and said “look where the red circles are”. It was all about guitars that he’d bought and music that he’d bought, everything like that with just 2 or 3 gigs where he’d made a bit of money. The conversation turned round to things like people growing up and taking responsibility, being adult, something that of course never ever happened to me, and it gradually petered out on that kind of discussion.

And finally I was visiting the university and a friend had come over from North America and was staying in the University for 10 days or something. I’d gone to see my niece and her husband, so had he actually come over from North America? I dunno. But I’d gone off to see him and he asked me to stay for a few days so I did, and shared his room. He also had another room-mate and 3 of us in there was rather cramped. We had a very bad night’s sleep the 1st night and the 2nd night his room-mate moved out to go to stay with friends. He and I shared the room but I had another bad night waking up every 5 minutes. In the end he awoke and said that he had things to do so I said that I’d catch him up. It turned out that he had to take a bus to the main university building and the refectory there. I told him “leave some kind of indication where you might be and I’ll catch you up”. He went and I gathered my wash things together and went to find a shower but couldn’t find one. I found some urinals but that was about it. I thought “I’m going to have to go back and take my shower in his room”. I remembered that there was somewhere where food could be obtained so I thought that I’d have a quick look. I couldn’t find it but I found a place where half a dozen old cars had been dumped. Someone was taking some spares off one of them. On the way back to his place there was some kind of dispute between some boys and a couple of girls and a couple of older students from the University had involved themselves in it and were arguing with these boys. I broke into a run, to my own amazement, and ran for miles all the way round the University campus and up these side streets thinking to myself that this is really good with me running like this but I’m never going to meet my friend now because I want to organise myself, go to the bathroom, have a shower, find something to eat and this will take me most of the morning. I wonder where he’ll be by the time that I’m ready to go on the bus and go to the main building to meet him. But I was so happy running that I didn’t really want to stop

There was even more too as it happens, but as you are probably eating a meal or something right now, I’ll spare you the gory details. But is it any wonder that I’m so exhausted these days with all of the mileage that I’m putting in during the night instead of sleeping?

When the alarm went off I arose quite quickly and went off to take my medication, and then to check my mails and messages. Having done that, I sat down and revised my Welsh from last week and prepared for today’s lesson.

There was a new pupil this week as well so some time was spent in introductions, and the lesson itself passed quite uneventfully, and quickly too.

There was some soup left – not much – but there were a couple of frozen potatoes in the freezer that needed eating so I tipped them in as well.

After lunch I started to transcribe the dictaphone notes and it’s no surprise that it took me almost all afternoon (apart from going out to play with Caliburn), although I might have had then done sooner had I not … errr … closed my eyes for quite a while. Much longer than I would have expected or would have hoped for.

But there was a pile of mail in my letter box, all of which were for my next series of appointments at the hospital. And instead of being at 13:30 they are for 11:10 which puts paid to my lie-in to recover from my journey.

With something of a start, I noticed the time. 20:05. Tea thus ended up being out of a tin because there was a football match kicking off at 20:45. Cardiff Metro v Barry.

Both teams at the wrong end of the table and it wasn’t difficult to see why because whatever skill there was only occurred in brief flashes. Cardiff Metro have only a small and diminishing pool of players from which to pick, but Barry seem to have gone backwards this season.

Surprisingly, the Met won 2-0. And surprisingly because at one stage they were really lucky to have nil and I reckoned that it would stay like that if they carried on playing until the next matches on Saturday evening. However one goal from a defensive error and a second from a breakaway down the field in the final minutes as Barry were pushing everyone up for an equaliser sums it all up really.

This isn’t Barry’s season, is it?

Right now I’m off to bed, and to see where I’ll end up during the night. If Zero is as tired out as I am after everything that went on during the night, she won’t be joining me, but TOTGA has had a couple of days off and Castor has been away for a week or so so who knows? I might end up with yet more pleasant companions.

But knowing my luck, I’ll get my family again.

Friday 3rd December 2021 – JUST A QUICK …

… few lines because I’ve been busy this afternoon and this evening and now I’m absolutely exhausted.

Most of that though is due to the fact that I had yet another dreadful night, but we won’t go into that right now because you’re probably as fed up about these as I am.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I went through the two recipes that I have and made a list of the shopping that I need to do. And then I nipped out to Biocoop for some molasses.

As I was on my way to Noz in the driving rainstorm the tyre fitter rang me up. My tyres hadn’t arrived so my appointment was cancelled. Nevertheless I went to Noz where they had some really nice alcohol-free beer that will be just the thing for the Christmas period.

At LeClerc I bought what I could but the range of French cooking accessories falls a lot short. No glacé cherries, no candied peel, nothing like that at all. And even worse, no essence of alcohol-free brandy in which to soak my fruit.

Back home later I had a coffee and spent the rest of the day trawling through my record collection for Christmas rock songs. In the end I managed to pull out about 15 or so and then I remixed them and began to write out the text for the radio programme for Christmas Day.

sea fog beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021During the course of the afternoon I went out for my walk although I don’t know why because the weather was just as foul as it had been earlier.

It wasn’t just the rain that was annoying either. There was a thick sea-fog and the view was no more than a few hundred yards.

But that was enough visibility for me to say that there was no-one down there this afternoon, and that wasn’t a surprise. I was the only one stupid enough to be out there in this weather this afternoon.

tiberiade baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021That isn’t actually quite correct.

There were some other people out there this afternoon, but they were out there of necessity, not through choice. As I peered out through the gloom a trawler came into view out of a low cloud.

The brief glance that I had seemed to indicate that it might be Tiberiade, one of the larger trawlers that operate out of the port. People still have to eat, regardless of the weather, and as long as they need to eat, the fishermen will still need to go out in all kinds of conditions.

lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Having taken what photos I could, I went off on my walk along the headland.

From the path at the back of the running track I could just about make out the lighthouse and semaphore down at the far end of the Pointe du Roc.

Although it’s only mid-afternoon, the lights on part of the equipment were already lit. Not that they would do much good because I doubt if you can see tham at any appreciable difference in this fog.

With no-one to disturb me, I carried on down to the end of the path and across the car park at the end.

mushroom pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Nothing going on out at sea (that I could see anyway) and no-one sitting on the bench down below, which was no surprise either.

There was however this gorgeous mushroom growing on the bank and it reminded me of that beautiful mushroom soup that Nerina made for me once many years ago.
“That’s absolutely beautiful” I exclaimed. “Where did you find this recipe?”
“In an Agatha Christie murder story” she replied.

la grande ancre les bouchots de chausey omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021It wasn’t just Tiberiade who had been out there braving the conditions this afternoon.

By the looks of things several others had been trying their luck and were unloading at the fish processing plant.

We can, I suppose, rule out L’Omerta because as far as I can tell she seems to live over there permanently now. But on the extreme left we have La Grande Ancre who pulled away from the quayside almost as soon as I took the photo, and next to her is, I think, Les Bouchots de Chausey .

As for the third boat, the blue and white one, I don’t recognise her at all.

After all of this miserable weather than I had encountered, I was glad to be home. I made myself a nice hot coffee and several plans for the future.

Later on I cleared the decks and prepared everything for the baking session. And I actually knew someone else who was attending the demonstration – my very first tutor from 18 months ago.

The demonstration was quite straightforward although my oven is quite a disappointment at this kind of thing. It took about twice as long as the recommended cooking time, and it would have been even better if I’d bought food-quality bicarbonate of soda rather than general-purpose quality.

treacle banana cake place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021So here’s the finished product. Not quite as crumbly as the previous versions have been but I suspect that the almond-flour and flax seeds might have contributed to that.

It’s supposed to be iced but I’m not sure how a treacle cake would taste with icing on it. I don’t think that marzipan would be a good idea either.

After the demonstration I grabbed a quick tea and then watched the football – Bala Town v TNS. As expected is was all one-way traffic and the score of 4-1 to TNS was not an exaggeration.

It’s not that Bala are a bad side. They have most of the team that was there last season but the quality of the league has increased dramatically.

TNS were always quicker and better and played some nice football. Bala played some nice stuff too on occasion but it was far too little and far too late.

Anyway, now I’m off to bed, and I’m going to try a little experiment. I’ll tell yuo all about it tomorrow if it works.

Tuesday 9th November 2021 – WE’VE HAD ANOTHER …

aeroplane f-hgsm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… aerial afternoon this afternoon, just for a change.

Not a nazgul or any bird-men of Alcatraz but actually an aeroplane flyng by overhead out in the bay on its way hame to the airfield just outside Donville Les Bains.

Its an aeroplane that we have seen before – F-HGSM, a Robin DR400/160 aeroplane that’s owned by the Aero Club of Greaves of Mont Saint Michel just down the road from here – coming out for a quick lap around towards the end of the afternoon.

aeroplane f-hgsm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021We’ve seen her before, and a few minutes later we saw her again, this time flying the other way.

In fact she’s spent much of the afternoon flying up and down the coast between Avranches and Granville. The first this that she was picked up on radar today was at 14:41.

Unfortunately, many of her flights weren’t picked up on radar. Certainly, these two weren’t. The aeroplane doesn’t seem to have filed a flight plan either so I can’t say much more about what she’s been up to.

65px light aeroplane place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Jamais deux sans trois – “never just two without a third” as they say around here.

Sure enough, no sooner had F-HGSM disappeared off down the coast then around the corner came another aeroplane from the direction of the airfield. But as this one approached me it did a dramatic U-turn and headed back the way from which he came.

Unfortunately I can only tell you even less about this particular one because it’s another one with one of these short registration numbers – 65PX -that isn’t on any database to which I have access. So I let it go off on its way.

This morning, I had a great deal of difficulty going off on my way. Despite a reasonably early night I had an extreme amount of difficulty leaving my bed. But as I promised no to talk about my bad nights I won’t say any more.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then knuckled down to revise my Welsh from last week and to prepare for my lesson this morning.

There was a slight interruption though because the NIKON 1 J5 came back. I shall have a play with that in due course.

The Welsh lesson passed quite quickly and quite well too. An I need to remember now is “Fish Fingers, Baked Beans, More Beans, MMMMM”

After lunch I updated a few more days of the journal from late October, transcribed a few more entries for due course and then set about dealing with last night’s issues. I’d been back at my old school last night but I didn’t recognise anything of it. All of the House names had been changed to reflect the current way of thinking. I couldn’t see a timetable or a room list, a teacher list or anything like that. I was just wandering around aimlessly checking rooms to see if there was anyone I recognised, which I ddn’t. The teachers all looked strange, young and modern to me. Each class had a Social Media page that was pretty open and even the teachers were writing down their innermost thoughts on this. I went to have a look at the roll-call for students who had started this year. There were some from Pontypool, some from Galashiels, even some from Centreville in Canada. This has all changed from how it used to be with just local recruitment. I wondered where they were all staying because there’s nowhere for groups of kids to stay in Nantwich

Then about 85 minutes later, the problem with the school was that they were recruiting from all over the place, Galashiels, down south, even Cetreville in Canada. There didn’t seem to be anyone local at all. All the classes had Social Media accounts. Even teachers were writing their innermost thoughts down there. It didn’t look anything like the school that I knew with local recruitment. It seemed to me that there was a year that was being missed for which they weren’t offering tuition which I thought was strange. I must have dictated the previous notes and then gone back to sleep right back into where I left off yet again.

Later still, I’d been leaving France for Belgium and gone a different way than usual. I was looking over the map and the road that I wanted was over the edge of a page so I was wondering where I was going to end up. At first I thought that it looked shorter but then with it going off the page it started to look longer. I was wondering whether I’d made the right decision. I noticed that it seemed to end up back on the road that I used to take when I went down to the Auvergne through the mountains of the Ardennes. I was trying to work out exactly where that was going to be.
There was also something about living on a farm and buying a car, but I wasn’t allowed to use the car on the road. I bought it and I was trying to smarten it up and getting it to be a kind-of custom hot-rod thing. I’d bought 2 exhaust pipes for it that go down the outside of the car. Then I found out that there was another type that improved performance even more than I ought to have bought and it was starting to get a little bit crazy.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021In the middle of all of this I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

First stop is at the end ot the car park where I can look down on the beach. And considering that we are now rapidly approaching mid-November there were still plenty of people down there this afternoon.

It was actually quite a nice, sunny day which was a surprise, and there wasn’t very much wind. And as you can see, there was plenty of beach down there for everyone to wak upon with the tide being well out this afternoon.

seagulls harvesting bouchots donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further on down the beach towards Donville les bains there were even more crowds down there.

Mainly crowds – or shoud I say flocks – of seagulls. They seem to be enjoying themselves having a feeding frenzy in the tidal pools with all of the fish that has been left behind, stranded by the tide.

Further on down the coast the harvesters of bouchots are also out there at work. You can see a couple of their tractors heading out towards the beds. No trailers though, so they aren’t ready to pull them in just yet.

trawlers yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As usual, when I’m out and about looking at what is going on down on the beach, I have one eye looking around out at sea to se what’s happening there.

Right now of course we are living in interesting times so I’m keeping a close watch on all of the activity. And there’s plenty og avtivity out there this afternoon.

Out there we have a couple of trawlers looking as if they are working rather than heading in for home. And the yacht that’s out there with them is going to have a long wait before the tide comes in far enough for it to make it back home.

patrol boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021I’m not the only one keeping a close eye on the activity either.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, that looks like a French Navy patrol boat out there having a little wander around in the bay.

Of course, with things starting to heat up around here in the bay, it’s not surprising that the French Government has sent someone in to watch what is going on.

It’s not just the British Navy that has warships, despite what the crooks in Westminster and the collaborationist press will tell the gullible public.

There were quite a few people walking around on the path this afternoon in the nice weather, although I don’t know where they have come from. The schoolkids were out ther eorienteering too but none of them came over for a chat this afternoon.

people taking self photograph cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the end of the path I crossed over the car park to go down to the end of the headland.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, a regular feature on these pages is photographs of people taking photographs of people. And here were a couple of people in action down by the cabanon vauban.

Whether or not “selfies” actually count as photographs of people taking photographs of people, I’ve included it all the same. There was another couple as well on the car park taking photos of each other but I wasn’t quick enough for that.

man fishing off rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And our photoraphers weren’t the only ones down there at the end of the headland.

We had the fishermen out there on the rocks as well. Here is one of them almost up to his knees in the water casting his line into the deep. Not that he’ll be catching very much if past experience is anything to go by.

With plenty of things to do I couldn’t hang around very long to watch. I cleared off down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the port.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Over at the ferry terminal there was one of the Joly France ferries sitting in the silt. It’s the older one of the two with the larger upper deck superstructure

On this side of the harbour at the chantier naval there wasn’t anything at all happening.

The portable boat lift is still standing there in the middle of the yard with its wheels off waiting for something to happen to it. And I hope that they won’t be taking too long to repair it. The town needs the business that the chantier naval can bring.

joly france belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One of the ways of telling the two Joly France boats apart is by the step in the stern of the newer one.

There’s a really good view of the stern of the new one down there in the inner harbour and you can see the step quite clearly.

To the left of her is the very new Belle France ferry that came into the town earlier in the year.

And if you want a full house, Chausiaise, the little Chausey freighter, is over on the right out of shot. There’s nothing whatever going on over at the Ile de Chausey today, not like the other day when we saw them streaming out from port.

roofing rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little further along the road there was quite a racket coming from somewhere in the Rue du Port.

Looking down there from up on top of the cliff I could see that there was someone down there doing a bit of roofing.

It’s certainly the right kind of weather to do it. It’s a nightmare being up on a roof in a torrential downpour and a howling gale, as I know from bitter experience. And I’m surprised that, just for once, there isn’t a howling gale blowing around.

Anyway, there’s plenty of time for him to be soaked to the skin or blown off the scaffolding. It looks as if he’s only just started and the weather can turn at any moment.

people taking photographs boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little earlier, I mentioned something about some people taking photographs of each other.

When I was down at the Pointe du Roc I wasn’t quick enough to catch them but I caught up with them in the Boulevard Vaufleury, standing in the middle of the road defying the oncoming traffic to take their photos.

She had a bunch of flowers earlier. I wonder where she has stuck them.

Back at the apartment I made a coffee and carried on with the dictaphone notes, and that took me right up to teatime.

It was a quick tea of taco rolls and rice with veg (not dropped into the sink tonight) because there was football on the internet. Hwlffordd v Barry Town.

Played in a driving rainstorm on a sodden pitch it wasn’t a very attractive game as the teams struggled to come to terms with the conditions. The match ended 1-1 which was probably a fair result in the circumstances although the goals were really messy goalmouth scrambles.

It wasn’t at all like the match LAST WEEKEND which had a couple of the finest goals you’ll see at this level of football.

Anyway now I’m off to bed for another night’s voyages. Listening to all of the stuff on the dictaphone I’ve been having some really vivid dreams just recently, and plenty of them too.

All of this corresponds with my dreadful nights and I’m wondering if there’s been a change in eithe rmy diet or my medication that has brought all of this on. I shall have to go back and review everything to see what it’s all about.

Saturday 2nd October 2021 – YOU’RE PROBABLY WONDERING …

… why there aren’t any photos today. Well, read on.

Last night I didn’t finish my journal entry because I almost fell asleep on my chair and in any case it was almost bed time so I posted what I’d done and went to bed.

It was another depressing night, tossing and turning and not really going into a deep sleep at all, although there must have been some at some point because there was stuff on the dictaphone.

Once again, I awoke in a deep sweat – it seems to be happening almost every night now and why I note them is because it’s one of the things that they always ask me at hospital.

After the medication I came in here to organise a few things. With these new sleeping hours there isn’t time to do much before I have to go out to the shops.

Windy, grey and damp this morning but that’s enough about me. So was the weather.

At Noz they didn’t have a lot although there was some kind of book sale so I bought a couple more to add to my library.

LeClerc was an expensive shop because I bought more coffee. I always go for the instant coffee in the silver paper containers rather than glass jars to save on waste and (of course) they are lighter for me to carry upstairs – that’s the kind of state that I’m in these days.

They never seem to have any when I need some and last week I had to buy a different variety that I don’t like all that much. But this week they had my preferred brand so I added a packet to the weekly shop to keep in store.

As I mentioned earlier, the weather was windy, damp and overcast. When I went out of LeClerc it was teeming down with a torrential downpour of rain, the kind of downpour that we haven’t had for ages. From the end of the covered parking to where I park Caliburn is about 30 metres but I was soaked and so were the paper bags with my fruit and veg in them.

By the time I reached home it was pouring down even more, and that’s exactly how it stayed until at least it went dark. And if anyone thinks that I’m going out in that, they are mistaken.

Back here I put away the frozen food and then made a coffee. And while I was drinking it, I turned my attention to the dictaphone. I downloaded the files onto the computer but then I remembered that I had no hummus for lunch.

Luckily I had everything that I needed

At some point during the night Barbararling – and it’s probably been 10 years since she last featured in a nocturnal ramble so what’s made her reappear? – was there in her role as mother of Zero but I don’t remember much of that at all, which is a shame. Wouldn’t I have liked to have known how this would have ended?

Somewhat later I’d gone to look at the new building to where I was moving. I was in the laundry on the 1st floor and to get down onto the ground floor I somehow missed the stairs and slid down a kind of post thing and ended up in the foyer. The foyer was full of plants that were not in very good condition but were giving off tons of fruit. All the people there were discussing the plants and fruit and what needed to be done. I happened to say something and someone asked “are you moving in?”. I replied “yes, on the 12th”. I’d gone and had a quote for a kitchen and some kitchen fitters and I was checking out the apartment but I couldn’t get in, something like that. So these people started to talk and they knew the person who was moving and thought “thank God she’s going”. Everyone said that they had seen her packing and driving off with some stuff. They tried to find the advert for me in a magazine for the property that was on sale but we couldn’t find it. Then the German army turned up and started to interrogate everyone quite roughly.

Finally, I was in New Brunswick last night as well. There were some people whom I knew who had a laboratory and making dangerous drugs. They sent some off in a car to someone and they rang him up to tell them that they were on their way. Someone said something about the last time the shipment was intercepted by the police and this guy went totally berserk and completely wrecked the apartment building where he was living.

After lunch I sat down and carried on with the journal entry from yesterday, but only in a half-hearted way because I’ve been shuffling the music around.

There are 6 groups of artists, grouped at random, each with about 50 artists, and I alternate from one group to the next so that I’m not playing the same group all the time. But over the last year or so it seems to have settled down into a rut so I wanted to shake things up a little.

No walk of course but I made a coffee all the same and carried on with my work.

While I was looking through my messages I came across a video of the highlights of Y Barri v Y Drenewydd from this afternoon, a match in which Y Drenewydd won 0-3.

And I’ll ask the same question that I asked a few weeks ago – “whatever is Lifumpa Mwandwe doing playing in the Welsh pyramid?”. He’s a country mile above everyone else whom I’ve ever seen.

Tea tonight was baked potato, veg and a couple of those small breaded soya burgers that I bought ages ago and froze. That’s the last of those which is a shame because I liked them.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I really feel that I ought to stick my head out of the window to see if the weather has eased off and if so, go for a walk, but I’m not up to that.

Instead, I’m going to have a little relax before going to bed. Make the most of my evening and have a nice lie-in tomorrow. And then bake my fruit bread because I’ve run out.

Saturday 18th September 2021 – JUST A FEW LINES …

… because I’m really not feeling like sitting down and writing War and Peace after the day that I’ve had.

As seems to be usual these days, I had a pretty disturbed night last night, not being able to sleep very much. It always seems to be the case when I have to arise early in the morning.

But arise early I did and I had plenty of time for my train. I was on the station at 06:15 in the freezing cold – winter is coming quicker than you might think

My train was the 06:33 to Brussels that arrived at about 07:05 so there was plenty of time for me to go to the supermarket and pick up a little something for lunch before my train left at 07:43.

Yes, half an hour later than usual, simply because my usual one had no seats left. But even though this train costs €30:00 more, I don’t have to change trains at Lille and stagger halfway across town.

We were 10 minutes late arriving in Paris Gare du Nord but there was still plenty of time to cross the city on the metro to Gare Montparnasse.

The train that was awaiting me was a two-trainset one of 16 carriages, and was pretty much empty. It looks as if they were just using one trainset pulling the second one as a positioning voyage. I’d slept for much of the way between Brussels and Paris, and repeated the exercise on the train between Paris and Granville.

In fact I was asleep when the train pulled into the railway station at Granville.

The walk downhill into town was quite easy but to be on the safe side I’d bought a can of go-juice at the Carrefour in the Rue Couraye.

The climb back up the hill in the Rue des Juifs was a nightmare as you might expect and I can’t go on much longer like this. It took me about four or five stops to make it up to the top, one of which was a nice long one while I drank the drink that I’d just brought.

Back here I sat in my chair and vegetated for quite a while. It’s good to be back home, as Barry Hay once famously said.

Later on I made a coffee and without moving from my chair I watched the football on the internet. TNS v Barry Town.

With the demise of Connah’s Quay Nomads and the strengthening of TNS over the summer, TNS are pretty unstoppable and this is how it proved to be.

Their 3-1 victory tonight was really a foregone conclusion but Barry’s defence was appalling. Their second goal came about because the Barry keeper didn’t dive to cut out a ball doing across inside his goal area at about knee-height.

For the third goal, Declan McManus was standing in an onside position on the goal line right in the centre of goal with not a defender anywhere near him for about 15 seconds before he was presented with a simple tap-in.

Round about 23:00 I finally summoned up the energy to leave my chair. I’ve had no tea tonight because I was too tired to make it and I’m just going to dash off a few notes before I go to bed. I’ll add the photos into the notes in due course when I’m feeling better.

Saturday 21st August 2021 – I’M BACK …

… home right now, on one of the most uneventful journeys that I have ever had – at least, as far as the trains went.

Despite going to bed early I couldn’t sleep at all and I remember things like 01:00 coming round and I still hadn’t dropped off. Although I must have done at some point because there’s some stuff on the dictaphone. There had been an army patrol up in the High Himalayas, 2 jeeps and some soldiers. One of the jeeps had split off and gone somewhere and picked up 3 tyres. On the way back, one of the guys with the tyres had arranged to be dropped off somewhere so he was dropped off in this mountain pass which was quite a coincidence just as the other jeep came into view. The 2 jeeps carried on without him. he scrambled down the mountain which was honeycombed with German troops and the Germans were talking about the guys who were bringing the tyres, so this must have been a plan. In one of the buildings above the pass that the Germans were guarding was Caliburn. You could see from the German point of view that they were down there in the pass and on the hillside Caliburn suddenly rolled out of this garage, did a wheelspin start and was away. The Germans were throwing bombs at it and the windows broke but Caliburn kept on driving up this hill.

When the alarm went off at 04:30 I hauled myself out of bed feeling about as bad as I have ever felt, but surprisingly, it didn’t take me long to make everything ready.

The walk down to the station (and I do mean “down” because it is downhill) was pretty depressing – imagine having to stop to catch my breath when I’m going downhill. I’m clearly going downhill right now, and in more ways than one too.

Being rather early this morning, I was just on the point of entering the station when the 05:33 to Oostende pulled in. A carriage door opened right in front of me so I pushed my way onto the platform and scrambled aboard just as it was on the point of closing. No photo unfortunately but it was a Class 18 electric that was pulling it.

We pulled into Brussels-Midi with over an hour to wait for my train out to Lille so I had to loiter around. But then, I’d rather be hanging around at Brussels waiting for my train than in Leuven wondering if I’m going to make it to Brussels in time.

TGV Réseau 38000 tri-volt 4525 PBA gare du midi brussels belgium Eric HallThe train this morning was, as usual, one of the TGV “Reseau 38000′ machines, number 4525 – or, at least, my bit of it was.

There are called “PBA” trainsets because they spend much of their time working the Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam route, although the 07:13 which I susually catch is a train that goes to Strasbourg.

It describes a wide arc going via Lille, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Marne-La Vallée, mainly because the direct route through the Ardennes via Luxembourg isn’t of the correct standard for sustained high-speed running and upgrading will be extremely difficult.

It was a delightful journey to Lille because I had the sweetest, cutest passenger that I have ever had sitting next to me. She wasn’t particularly talkative which was a shame but it was still a pleasant journey.

TGV Inoui 225 are TGV Reseau Duplex gare lille flanders railway station lille France Eric HallThe walk down to Lille Flandres was a struggle too

The train that was going to take me to Paris was already in at the platform at Lille Flandres, as it usually is. You’ll probably notice the time on the clock as well. I’ve done a lot already and it’s still early.

Once more, it’s a TGV Reseau Duplex double-decker but undortunately there were no comfy sofas in the lounge area. I had to cram myself in and it wasn’t easy either with all of the luggage that everyone had.

Most of the journey was spent having a sleep because the morning had caught up with me by now

TGV POS 4408 gare du nord paris France Eric HallOur train was made up of two trainsets and, interestingly, the front trainset wasn’t another one of the Reseau Duplexes, as I discovered when we arrived at Paris Gare du Nord.

Instead, we have been pulled to pulled to Paris by one of the old TGV POS trainsets. That’s not something that happens every day, is it?

At Paris I stepped onto the platform of the metro just as a train was pulling in – perfect timing again. I shall have to do this more often. Luckily I was able to grab a seat and have a comfortable journey across the city.

84580 gec alstom regiolis gare montparnasse paris France Eric HallIt was just as well that i’d had a good rest because the labyrinth in the cellars of the Gare Montparnasse, up and down stairs and walking along these long corridors just about finished me off.

Luckily there was an empty seat in my little corner behind the coffee machine by the platform where my train was waiting because I couldn’t go much further. I sat down and had a good rest.

For some reason that I don’t understand, the wait seemed to be much longer than it is usually, and I couldn’t wait to be called forward and to settle down on my comfortable seat – well, I hoped that it was going to be comfortable.

At long last the platform – which we all knew anyway – went up on the noticeboard and we could all move off to our train.

And actually, it wasn’t as comfortable as it might have been because it was packed to the gunwhales today – there wasn’t an empty seat anywhere. I’ve no idea what was going on down the line, but whatever it was, it seemed that everyone In Paris was going to it.

Once the crowd thinned out, I managed to eat some of my sandwiches but my appetite has definitely gone again for now and I’ll save the rest of my lunch for later.

84581 gec alstom regiolis Bombardier B82652 gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen we pulled into the station I gathered up my possessions and cleared off towards the exit.

As I reached the end of the platform, another train pulled in. There’s another line that passes through the station at Granville – the line from Caen to Rennes.

In the past it used to take the direct route through Folligny but when they did some excavating work a few years ago they found that the curve that connects the Granville-Paris line to the line towards Caen was in reasonable order, so they refurbished it and brought the trains here.

Bombardier B82652 B82650 gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd just after I clicked the shutter, another train came into the station.

One of those (and don’t ask me which because I don’t know) is the train from Caen to Rennes, and the other one is the reverse from Rennes to Caen.

They all meet up here a couple of times per day so that passengers coming from Paris can travel on easily to places like Avranches and Coutances, and vice versa.

of course, if there’s any vice involved, I’m bound to be interested.

As I left the station I debated whether I ought to wait for the bus to take me home. In the end I decided to walk which was not the best idea that I had. While going downhill into the town was one thing, the rest of the journey back up the hill on the other side towards home was a different thing entirely.

crowds at exhibition working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt took me an age to climb up the hill, with about a dozen pauses to catch my breath.

One of the pauses was overlooking the harbour. That’s interesting today because the festival of working sailing boats or whatever it’s called in now in full swing and there are quite a few people down there this afternoon enjoying it.

As for the greenery, it doesn’t ‘arf look nice, but wouldn’t it have been nicer decorating on a permanent that new car park that they resurfaced earlier in the year instead of having one big miserable mass of Macadam.

sailing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith events like this going on, the place is bound to be full of working sailing boats making an exhibition of themselves.

Down there we have Marité of course and the other boat bears a very strong resemblance to Charles Marie but I can’t see her name at all from here.

Having recovered my breath, I carries on up the hill towards home, much more weary than I was when I set out. I can see that if things don’t improve over the next few weeks I shall be going to and from the station on the bus in future.

Back here I put away the food in the fridge and made myself an ice-cold strawberry smoothie to cheer myself up. Next, I poured the rest of the coffee from the flask into a mug and brought it in here to drink. And when I awoke about 90 minutes later, it was right by my side, stone-cold.

Football on the internet later – Barry Town v Bala Town. A rather entertaining 0-0 draw but it was always going to be 0-0 because both teams were rather lacking in firepower up front and neither goalkeeper was really tested. I don’t think that either of these two teams will be challenging for very much this season unless they can come up with something in attack.

For tea I just had a handful of pasta with some veg tossed in garlic, olive oil and black pepper. And now it’s ridiculously late and I can’t sleep so I don’t know about tomorrow. I’ll just go to bed and get up when I awaken, provided that no-one disturbs me first.

Saturday 22nd May 2021 – AND NOW I KNOW …

… why I’m here in the hospital right now.

They gave me a blood test he other day and the count was 7.6. That’s well below the critical limit of 8.0 and represents quite a dramatic drop from the last test that I had 4 weeks ago.

This will explain a lot about my behaviour over the last couple of weeks and also explains why I’m here. The drop has been so dramatic that they are quite concerned.

As an aside – that’s why I write so much about my health and how am feeling – so that I can look back and compare my results with how I’m feeling and it gives me some kind of guide to how I’m doing.

This morning I was allowed something of a lie-in, and I found out why, and that was because I needed an ecograph and a stomach x-ray and for that I needed an empty stomach. And so no breakfast for me. Tomorrow we’ll have a 06:30 start, despite it being a Sunday.

And another thing too, in that the girl who gave me the ecograph can run her apparatus all over my thorax any time she likes too. Not for nothing have I chosen to be in a University Teaching Hospital with loads of students examining my credentials.

Meanwhile, where had I been during the night? I had started off in London, trying to get back to Aunt Mary’s. I didn’t know which way to go. I was going to get on any train and work my way around because the metro stations were just so packed with people and even I was having to wait on the stairs until the platform was cleared. Finalltya train pulled in but I couldn’t get on that one. The next one pulled and it was a Northern Line train. It didn’t go into the City at all. It went around the top of the town and I was trying to work out where I could change. I noticed that it crossed the line that I wanted, cross the Northern Line so I had to alight at one station and walk to another one. I didn’t think that they would be far away even if they didn’t connect so I thought that I’d ask someone. There was this girl standing next to me and I asked her. She looked at me and said “why did you ask me? Why didn’t you ask someone else?”. She said that she didn’t know. I think she thought that I was trying to chat her up, which I probably was, but anyway … I asked someone else, a couple of others on the train but they didn’t know. The girl said that she knew a woman and the woman explained roughly how to get there. It was only a 5-minute walk so it didn’t make any problem of mine. The girl asked where I was going so I told her. I said that my aunt lived near there. She said “ohhh la la, plenty of money there!”. I had a laugh and a smile. She said “I hope that you’ll be OK there” and “watch out when you are out on your bike” everything like that, teasing, because people who live near my aunt have piles of money – it was well-known as an area that was well-off so she was having a good tease at me about it. I wondered what was going through her mind. It was a shame that I had to get off when I did and walk through a couple of streets to find this other metro station to take me to the one near my aunt’s

Later on there was something about playing tennis with an old woman. She said that she was 70 but she looked much older than that. She was hitch-hiking to a tennis court so I picked her up. She said she was off to Ellesmere Port so I left her at my friend’s at Neston but she didn’t have the red card that you needed so I don’t know how she was going to manage with that. She had some kind of illness too. I went on with this guy who I’d also picked up hitch-hiking. We parked and we walked somewhere around North London again and ended up at the supermarket. We didn’t go in, we just looked at all of the kids playing all around. I walked over to the river where there used to be a bridge that had fallen down. There were crowds of people hanging around and there were people jumping off the bridge onto the sand about 60 feet below. They were braver then me. They would jump It was a hilly outcrop, one or two of them would get on the hilly outcrop and then spring forward again. others would go straight down in a variety of gymnastic positions until they hit the ground. But there wasn’t much room as there were lots of rocks that had fallen there. They had to land on the sand between the rocks and from 60 feet up, doing that wasn’t easy. This guy came over to me and said goodbye. he explained that the thing with boring people is that they don’t really make life interesting etc but “you were very interesting” he said “even though I wasn’t very keen on what you were saying or doing, you made it sound quite interesting so that made it an enjoyable time”. I thanked him and he disappeared.

Some time later they came along with a pouch of blood and I was given a blood transfusion. We’ll see what good that does me.

But there are many more tests planned for me during the next couple of days so I dunno about that. By the time that they finish their tests and give me a report, I’ll probably need another blood transfusion.

This afternoon in between the interruptions I brought the blog up to date and then later I settled down to watch the football. Barry Town were entertaining Caernarfon Town in the first of the playoff matches for the vacant Welsh place in the European Cup next season.

Barry is a team that is technically so much better but the players of Caernarfon have an extraordinary team spirit and actually play like a team.

And that was how things went in the game. Barry pressed forward relentlessly in the earlier part of the game but Caernarfon looked quite dangerous on the break. And they took advantage when Mike Lewis in the Barry goal got his foot to stop a dangerous shot on goal but could could only divert it into the path of Mike Hayes who buried it in the back of the net.

Their lead didn’t last long though. From a corner a Barry Town header hit a Caernarfon defender and the ricochet completely flat-footed Tyler French in he Caernarfon goal.

In the second half Barry Town pushed forward but were caught by a beautiful ball by Jack Kenny into space over the top of the Barry defence was pounced upon by Mike Hayes who was quickest to the ball and he put a beautiful lob over the head of Mike Lewis into the net for the second goal.

Barry Town threw everything at Caernarfon but the Caernarfon defence stood firm and deep in stoppage time with everyone up in the Caernarfon penalty area looking for the equaliser, Caernarfon caught them again and Jake Bickerstaff ran almost the full length of the field to score a third.

Later on I had a video chat with Alison but now I’m off to bed. It might be early but tomorrow is Sunday and a Day of Rest when I usually have a lie-in. But with a 06:30 start, I need to totter off now.

Tuesday 4th May 2021 – HAPPY STAR WARS DAY!

May the fourth be with you!

It was certainly with me today because I have had one of my better days today. Noy only have I not crashed out today I’ve actually felt quite energetic today and it’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to say that, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Mind you, that’s not to say that it was a lively start to the morning. It was something of a desperate stagger to my feet when the first alarm went off and that’s hardly a surprise. A gale sprang up at about 02:00 and a tin can down in the street spent what seemed like a couple of hours being blown back and to.

But I very slowly improved as the morning went on. I spent a lot of time going through my Welsh and then I had the lesson.

At first the lesson was pretty depressing as I couldn’t seem to remember even the basics of the course and I’m not sure why. But it improved dramatically as the course went on and I surprised myself, and probably the tutor too, during a comprehension exercise. She told us that it was difficult but nevertheless I had the highest marks in the class.

It’s all this watching the football in Welsh that does it, I reckon.

As usual, we overran so it was a rather late lunch yet again and this afternoon I had quite a few things to do on the computer So much so that I haven’t looked at the photos or transcribed the dictaphone notes, of which there are more than just a few, for the last few days.

But I do know now why all of those people were streaming out of the Fish Processing Plant yesterday AND YOU CAN READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

As usual this afternoon I went out for my post-prandial perambulation around the peninsula.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst stop was the wall at the end of the car park where I could look down onto the beach to see what was happening this afternoon.

There was even less of the beach today than yesterday for anything to be going on. And even fewer people for it to be going on to. In fact I couldn’t see a soul down there this afternoon.

But that’s hardly surprising because the temperature has fallen dramatically from how it has been over the last couple of days. And while the wind has dropped from how it was through the night, it was still quite blustery out there and I imagine tha everyone has been blown back into their little shelter today.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was over there at the end of the car park I had a look out to sea to see what I could see. There was definitely something of some description sailing about so I kept an eye on it as I walked down the path towards the end of the headland.

Standing on the little butte at the back of the lighthouse I took a photo of it with the intention of blowing it up – the photo, not the object – when I returned to the apartment later on after my walk. And having done that, I can see that it’s one of the larger trawler-type of fishing boats.

From this range I couldn’t see which one it was unfortunately. There were a couple of others out there in the bay too but they were likewise too far away to identify today.

waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked across the car park I had seen the waves breaking on the harbour wall with quite some force and so I went for a closer look.

Even here in the shade of the wind there were very very few people walking around and a couple of people whom I’d seen over the last few days sitting on camping chairs on the lawn above the viewpoint overlooking the harbour had taken shelter behind a handy hedge.

While I was here at the viewpoint I had a quick look down at the chantier navale and there was no change in there. Still just the fishing boat and long-term resident Aztec Lady and no-one else. And so I turned my attention to the waves and the harbour wall.

waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey aren’t exactly crashing down with the same kind of force as they did earlier in the year when we saw the spray streaming over the top of the wall, but the tide is still fairly far out as yet.

But there really was a rolling sea with the waves being nice and thick, and that’s hardly a surprise. Although we had for several hours quite a storm during the night it was nothing to what they had had elsewhere .

It must have been quite a powerful storm out at sea to churn up waves like this. Remember that there is no land mass between this point and the North American continent so there is plenty of room for the wind to whip up a powerful sea.

car going the wrong way up rue st pierre Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s something extremely interesting that s worth noting.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in the Rue St Pierre is the street that leads up to the entrance of the College Malraux, the local High School. We are usually troubled by pathetic parking in this street and it’s so endemic that I’ve given up mentioning it.

But today at school chucking-out time we have something completely different. The Rue St Pierre is a one-way street and while this car is only going one way, it’s going the wrong way as you can tell from the no-entry sign on the extreme right of the image and I don’t know what to say about that.

spirit of conrad black mamba anakena port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere’s something else that I’m not syre what I can say about it.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that just recently we saw Anakena in the chantier navale for quite some considerable time until last Thursday morning when she was released back into the water and moor up in the inner harbour.

And there she has stayed. After all of that work I was expecting her to have put to sea and continued on the journey that she aborted as a result of the Covid pandemic but apparently not. She’s still in here with Black Mamba to her right and Spirit of Conrad sideways-on against the pontoon.

On my way home I walk down another one-way street outside the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs and would you believe that there was another car going down that street in the wrong direction too. I really don’t know what’s happening to disciline on the roads around here.

Later on I had my hour on the guitars which I quite enjoyed and then nipped off for a quick evening meal. A curry out of the freezer followed by some jam roly-poly. And then we had the football tonight. Barry Town v Connah’s Quay Nomads.

And this evening I was watching a completely different match to the one the referee was watching. He waved away two penalty appeals that I would have given without a moment’s hesitation and later in the game gave a penalty when I thought that the defender had clearly won the ball fairly.

Connah’s Quay would have been 2-0 up at half-time had I been refereeing but instead after about 65 minutes Barry Town took the lead through an extremely soft goal. 10 minutes later we had this mystifying penalty award that drew the Nomads level and then from the kick-off Connah’s Quay intercepted the ball, went upfield and scored a second.

And that was how it ended – 2-1 to the Nomads and they stay top of the table. It wasn’t an exciting match or a skilful exhibition of technique and the Nomads will have to do something rather different and better than this if they hope to progress in Europe.

Anyway now I’m off to bed, much later than I intended. And tomorrow I have work to do, and plenty of it too. Part of this was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night last night. I had been getting married last night and all these thousands and thousands of people turned up. All my family, and people whom I didn’t even know, nieces, nephews, cousins, all of this. They turned up in their droves. I thought “they haven’t spoke to me in 25 years and here they all are, swarming up for a free meal” that sort of thing. A friend of mine was there, giving a speech about my taxi business, how successful it had been and how I was right doing what I did with old bangers rather than buying all these new Mercs and BMWs that everyone was turning up in today when they could be bothered to turn up. He was coming out with all of this speech which was quite embarrassing me because my taxi company was never like that, organised and disciplined, all that sort of thing, the cars well-maintained and so on. it was all embarrassing.
Then it turned into a football match. We were attacking up the hill and my defence was at the bottom of the slope. 3 or 4 of my cousins or nephews or nieces were hanging around my goal, young girls so I expected all kinds of stuff to be happening. It was total and utter chaos. It ended up in a siege. We were in the Navy now but like pirates and everything. We were laying siege to all these quarters belonging to these people. One of them was John Pertwee. He’d barricaded himself in a room and we were trying everything to get him out but not even our explosive would go off. he was quite happily coming and going but we couldn’t actually get into the building to chase him. I was thinking all these plans about actually getting some real dynamite and blowing the front off his building so we could all get in. All total chaos.

Later on I was back on this island again and I’ve forgotten now. it was to do with playing football and we were playing really well but losing, which was the story of our season so far. Played well but not had very much luck. I was waiting for the price of fruit and vegetables to drop to step out my team with it in the hope that it would do better. I was watching these football manoeuvres break down. They started to substitute a couple of these girls. I thought “that’s going to make things easier for us” but the subs were even better than the ones who came off. This was an easy match and we should have won it at a mile but we were struggling to make any headway.

There was more to it than this but I shall spare you the gory details as you are probably eating your meal right now.

Tuesday 9th March 2021 – WE’VE BEEN HAVING …

yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… a nautical afternoon this afternoon. It seems that every man and his dog were out there doing some kind of maritime activity this afternoon.

So while you admire the yacht that went sailing by the headland at the Pointe du Roc this afternoon, I finished writing my notes last night, only to find that I couldn’t go off to sleep. In the end I gave it up as a bad job and carried on working on clearing duplicates out of the back-up drive.

It was after 01:30 when I finally went off to bed, which was not what I was planning on at all with an alarm call at 06:00 and a Welsh lesson on Zoom later in the morning.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while you admire another image of a trawler sailing past the headland towards the harbour in the wake of the yacht that we have just seen, I went to find out where I’d been during the night.

And a very welcome return to Zero who a couple of years ago used to accompany me on my travels on quite a regular basis but hasn’t been around for a while.

Last night I was taking her to a football match but it was the middle of the winter so we were putting on layers of clothes. She was dressed in a big heavy coat. When it was time to go I found that I was dressed in some kind of yellow thermal tights but I’d forgotten to put on my trousers so I had to go back. That was annoying because I’d been urging her to hurry up and now she was ready, I wasn’t. Her father wasn’t all that keen on her going – I don’t know if it was because of me or because of the football but her mother was fine with the idea.

This morning, I wasn’t feeling anything like working. It was all that I could do to keep awake and I was really surprised that I’d even managed to crawl out of bed. As a result I was totally unprepared for my Welsh lesson and it didn’t pass very well at all. Most of the time was spent trying to keep awake.

It was a very late lunch too. Our Welsh lesson overran. I was ready for my sandwiches too by the time that we stopped. And to my dismay, the apples that I’d bought the other day haven’t survived.

After lunch I came in to start work but I fell asleep instead. And I was out for about an hour, comfortable on the chair in the office. That was disappointing but it wasn’t a surprise.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy afternoon walk wasn’t disturbed by neighbours or shopping too, but by a flat battery in the NIKON D500. As I went to take a photo of the people out on the Plat Gousset it just petered out.

And so I had to dash back into the apartment where I grabbed hold of the old NIKON D3000 and swap over the camera lens and then dash back out again for my photos.

And when I say “old” NIKON D3000 I do mean “old” as well. It was an end-of-series discontinued range that I bought in a hurry in QUEBEC IN MAY 2012 after I dropped the NIKON D5000 on a concrete floor and cracked the casing.

And to my surprise, it’s kept on going after all this and still producing some kind of acceptable results.

men fishing from zodiac english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I mentioned earlier, we were having a nautical afternoon today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last summer we were seeing here and there a bright yellow zodiac roaring around offshore. We seem to be in luck, or maybe it’s a sign that the summer is here, because the zodiac is back out there offshore.

There are two guys in there fishing – or, at least – one of the two guys is fishing. The second one is fixing his fishing line ready to cast off out to sea.

And I suppose that we’ll be back as we have been every year since I’ve been living here, watching hundreds of people fishing and catching nothing whatever at all.

There was nothing else doing out to sea off the end of the Pointe du Roc, so I walked around the corner to the viewpoint over the port.

fishing boats returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou have probably noticed that the tide was quite a way in so the outer harbour is flooded.

We saw earlier one of the trawlers coming back into port and here is another one coming into the port, one of the crustacean boats with the roof over the hold to keep the seagulls from stealing the catch. There’s already one of the boats there at the Fish Processing Plant unloading its catch.

The two fishing boats that have been moored there for the past couple of days here seem to have moved on today, but the same four boats in the chantier navale are still there, and look as if they are going to be there for a while as well.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA new arrival in the port today though is Thora, one of the two Jersey freighters.

They seem to be finding plenty of work going on right now and that’s good news for the port. We need all of the business that we can find.

Back here at the apartment I had my coffee and coffee cake and finally settled down to do some work. I’ve managed to edit 20-odd photos this afternoon, some of which involved doing some research and involved the help of a few people in a Group on a Social Networking site who were able to identify a twisting pile of metal as a Bedford JSL.

Such is the power of the internet.

During a few pauses here and there I’ve been going through the duplicate files on the back-up drive and what with last night’s “overtime” and the bits and pieces that I’ve done today, I now have 927GB free. But of course, the farther ahead that I advance, the slower the work becomes.

There was the hour on the guitars of course, and then a hurried tea – stuffed peppers with rice and the last of the jam pie- because there was football on the internet again – Barry Town v Penybont in the JD Cymru League.

It’s easy to see why there seem to be three clubs – TNS, Bala Town and Connah’s Quay Nomads – way out in front of the League because this match was really pretty aimless.

These two teams are fourth and fifth, and Penybont won the match with a deflected shot out of nothing from 20 yards, but apart from that neither team ever looked like doing anything. Long, aimless balls out of defence and plenty of misplaced passes, quite a contrast to the skill that was clearly evident on Saturday when TNS played Bala Town.

There’s a huge gap in skill between the top three and those following on behind at quite a distance.

Right now though I’m off to bed. I won’t have a long sleep tonight, thanks to the football, so I probably won’t be on form tomorrow either. But we’ll see how we go. At least the backlog of photos seems to be shifting and that’s something to appreciate, I suppose.

Saturday 28th November 2020 – I’VE BEEN SPENDING …

… my money again. I went out somewhat early this morning on speculation now that the “unnecessary” shops are allowed to open and sure enough, my luck was in I found “mon bonheur” as they say around here. It was expensive and I do mean that, but it will be well worth it in due course.

It’s for my Christmas present so I can’t tell you what it is until I open it at Christmas time but it’s what I’ve always wanted ever since I moved here three and a half years ago.

Even though I said “early”, it wasn’t as early as I was hoping though because I didn’t leave the bed until about 07:20 this morning, to my dismay. But at least I was in a better frame of mind than I was last night, which is one thing I suppose.

First thing to do is to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d made contact with my old school last night and I’d volunteered to talk to them about certain things. They suggested that I came round to see them on Saturday. So off I went on a Saturday morning and found to my surprise that a lot of kids were still in school. I thought that it must be something to do with Covid or something like this. I arrived at the front of the school but couldn’t find the door in. All the front of the school had changed. In the end I found a door and went in – I thought that I’d look for the secretariat. All the kids were telling me not to go in through this door for some unknown reason but I went in anyway. I couldn’t find the secretariat but then I saw a hatch that was an opening in the wall and there was a queue of people around there talking to whoever was going on inside. I thought “well, I’d talk to these people, whatever was going on in this hatch and they can point me to the right place”. So I waited my turn. Then a guy came over and said “ohh don’t you go missing now that I’ve got you here. I’m going to give you a class”. I thought “this is strange. he doesn’t even know who I am”. But on my way in parking my car or going into the school grounds or whatever I bumped into one of my old teachers. I said “you must be Mr Lighton” but he didn’t recognise me. But this other guy obviously recognised me, and I didn’t have a clue who he was and I was certain that he ought not to know who I was but he got me right. He said “well …” and we were talking about what I could do. he said “you could give this class a talk on iron ore, the miracle of iron ore”. I replied “yes, I can tell them all about iron ore mining in Labrador”. I thought for a moment “I wish I’d remembered to bring my photographs with me” but then I thought that I had my laptop and they are all on there. Another teacher who was there said “I didn’t know that they mined iron ore in Labrador” so we had quite a chat about that. I had some gold with me and I produced this sample of gold and said “what about this from Labrador?” He looked at it, the amazed guy, but the one who came to talk to me first was totally nonplussed by this gold. he didn’t think that it was anything extraordinary at all.

Next thing was to have a shower and to check my weight. And in the last 2 days I’ve put on 0.6 kilo. That’s clearly incorrect and I shall have to check this again.

Having changed the bedding (I’m going to be in the lap of luxury tonight) and set the washing machine off on a cycle (very clever, my washing machine) I hit the streets with Caliburn.

Our first stop was miles out of town and more of this anon and then it was time for NOZ and LeClerc. Both were open but neither came up with anything of any special interest. It was just more of the boring same so I came on home without hanging around too long.

By now it was quite late so there was barely time to put the frozen food away before I had to make my soup for lunch (more of the butternut squash) and then there was football. Connah’s Quay Nomads against Barry Town in the Welsh Premier League.

Barry Town scored first after just a couple of minutes but from the restart Connah’s Quay went up the field and equalised. Even with half a team out injured or suspended they were still far too good for Barry Town and the final score of 3-1 was fair enough. Barry Town need to find a striker from somewhere if they want to push on up the table.

yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was by now way after the time that I would usually go out for my afternoon walk, but I went out all the same.

Winter has certainly arrived. It was cold and quite windy out there, but there was plenty of sun to encourage people to come out for maybe the last fine day of the year. This guy in his yacht was certainly enjoying himself just offshore.

And you can see what I mean about the sun by looking at the sails of his yacht. They are supposed to be white but they are reflecting the late-afternoon sun and are looking a rather bright shade of gold.

kayaker english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd he wasn’t the only one out there in the water today.

There were several people in kayaks having a paddle around the Pointe du Roc too. And it’s a good job that it’s warm because it’s not permitted to light a fire in a canoe. They say that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

Back in the apartment I noticed that someone else had taken a photo of the kayakers and posted a “group photo” on the Social Media. And someone complained about them being allowed to congregate but ramblers were not allowed to do so.

I despair of some people.

microlight Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just on the water that there were crowds of people. The air was quite busy too.

A light aircraft had flown over my head just as I was setting out but I wasn’t quick enough to take a decent photo of it. But a few minutes later one of the little microlights went past. This time I was ready and when it turned out of the sun I was able to take a photo to speed it on its way.

What was disappointing was that our autogyro didn’t put in an appearance. We can usually rely on that going past overhead whenever the air is busy.

full moon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s that time of the month too.

There was a beautiful moon out there tonight – we missed the last one due to heavy clouds, if I remember correctly, but no danger of missing this one. It really was quite beautiful. And as you can see, there isn’t a cloud in the sky to get in the way of seeing it.

So it looks like either tomorrow or the day after, I’ll have to be shaving the palms of my hand. I used to be a werewolf but I’m all right noooooooooooooow”.

And that reminds me, the use of shockingly poor English is even threatening the Film Industry. They are planning to remake an old classic horror film of the 1930s, but the modern version this next year will be called “I Were a Teenage Waswolf”

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEnough of that. I turned tail and headed for the headland to look out over the Baie de Mont St Michel to see what was goign on.

And this is a far cry from 21:00 and 21:30 of early this year, isn’t it? You can tell how late it is that I’ve gone out because the sun is quite low in the sky and about to sink into the sea, where it will presumably sizzle.

we are certainly having some spectacular effects just recently. This one I stayed and watched for a few minutes before pushing my way onwards around to the south side of the headland.

ceres 2 yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a new trawler in the chantier navale and we watched it being hoisted aboard the mobile boat lift.

This morning when I went out to the shops I was half-expecting to see it comfortably installed on one of the sets of blocks so that they can work on it, but to my surprise she wasn’t there. They must have been putting her back into the water yesterday when we saw them manoeuvring around.

Still, Ceres 2 and the yacht are still there. They must be completely fed up of spending all this time together on their own without any company.

clementine kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing else going on, I walked on back to the apartment.

There were some carrots that needed dicing and blanching, the sourdough needed feeding and then there was the kefir to attend to. The kiwis that I had bought last week weren’t ripe enough and besides I was rather pushed for time so I grabbed a handful of clementines (I’d bought another load today), whizzed them around to extract the juice, and then made another batch of clementine-flavoured kefir.

Having done that, I set another batch of kefir en route. And one of these days when I have more time, whenever that might be, I’m going to look into making my own ginger beer.

Today’s special offer on veg at LeClerc was “Cauliflowers at €0:99”, and large illegitimate ones too. I love them when they are fresh so I bought one and for tea had veggie balls with steamed veg (including lots of cauliflower cooked to perfection) and vegan cheese sauce. And I’ll be having more of that too in due course.

But the sad thing is that I finished the last of my ad-hoc raspberry and custard tart. That worked really well and I was pleased with that. It encourages me for the future now with other fruits.

night beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe moon was incredibly bright tonight. It really lit up the night sky and it would have been a perfect evening for photography had we not had one of the sea mists yet again.
With something of a struggle I ran on round to the viewpoint over the Plat Gousset and took a photo of the beach in the moonlight just to see how it would come out.

And I have to say that I’ve seen worse than this one. And, of course, it goes without saying, a great many so much better too.

street light scaffolding netting rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing doing at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch so I ran off all the way across thez Square maurice Marland where I stopped for my breather.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on a couple of occasions we’ve had a quick look at the house in the Rue LeCarpentier that is undergoing renovation by this specialist building company. Tonight, I couldn’t help noticing that with the light mist that we were having, the street light wrapped in the scaffolding netting was creating some kind of ethereal effect.

This is the kind of thing that is worth photographing, even if just to let arty people gasp with admiration. I don’t think all that much of this kind of thing

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis on the other hand is much more like my kind of photograph.

Only Marité at anchor – or should I say “moored” – down at the bottom end of the harbour tonight. But she’s all lit up and looks quite pretty and for once, I managed to take a decent photo of her that actually worked out doing what I wanted it to do.

But everywhere is like death now with this lockdown due to the Corona Virus. Once more I was the only one out there tonight and I didn’t see another soul. I’m starting to feel quite lonely these days.

cat rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, that’s not exactly true. I wasn’t the only one out there tonight.

As I walked up the Rue St Michel a pretty long-haired cat, looking rather like a heavily-pregnant female, came out of one of the alleyways. I called it and it came to me for a stroke so we had a little bit of socialising. Strange as it is to say it, I miss having a cat, but it’s not possible with my lifestyle.

So having said goodbye to my new friend I ran on home to write out my notes.

Despite being in a better humour than I was yesterday and having had something of a lie-in this morning, I’ve still had a bad day. For some unknown reason I’ve been fighting off sleep (and not very successfully on some occasions) for most of the day and because I’m so tired, everything is taking 10 times longer.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last week because of a few rather extreme, if not ridiculous Sunday lie-ins, I was talking about setting an alarm on Sunday mornings in the future. But not tomorrow. This is going to be one of those “sleep until I awaken” days. I have clean bedding, I’m clean and tidy and I think that a good rest and long sleep will do me a world of good.

It makes me wonder who will come along to spoil it.

Saturday 21st November 2020 – JUST FOR A …

… change, I managed to beat the third alarm to my feet.

And not only is that a surprise in itself, it’s even more surprising when you consider that I didn’t go to bed until long after 01:30.

It goes without saying that I didn’t go anywhere during the night. There probably wasn’t enough time to do very much anyway so it was something of a restful sleep for what it was. And I do have to say that when the third alarm went off I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my feet on the floor, and that’s as good as it got for about half an hour.

This morning I finished going through my mailbox and a pile of stuff has bitten the dust – and quite right too. It’s down to a much-more manageable proportion now.

As well as that I was chatting to my friend with Covid (well, she doesn’t have it now of course) and doing some work on the arrears from my journey around Central Europe. And then, I … errr … fell asleep. And no surprise there after my early start.

After lunch I didn’t do the baking. After all if I’m baking tomorrow as well I may as well have a go at my cake then and use the oven for everything.

But there was football on quite early today too. Barry Town and Y Drenewydd played out an exciting, pulsating 0-0 draw. Yes, exciting, not like most 0-0 draws. The action flowed from one end to the other throughout, ably assisted by Cheryl Foster, the league’s female referee. We had several shots on goal, including one almighty whack from; Nat Jarvis that rattled the Newtown woodwork, but the defences were well on top in this game. Quite an enjoyable game all around.

lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was extremely late and going dark but nevertheless I went out for my afternoon walk.

Surprisingly there were a few people out there this afternoon and some of them were heading my way as I admired the lighthouse and the semaphore station out on the end of the Pointe du Roc. And of course, that would have to be my luck, wouldn’t it? Not many people around, but all of them right where I would ordinarily be running.

And so instead, dodging the dog, I had a sedate stroll up to the end of the track, across the car park and around the headland to see what was going on at the memorial to the lifeboatmen.

decorated seafarers monument pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day they sprinkled fresh gravel all around it to make it look pretty.

Today there seem to have been even more changes. The memorial has now grown a few huge bunches of flowers. It would be to commemorate something I imagine but what, I don’t know. I shall have to go tomorrow and check the dates of the sinkings that are recorded there.

What with nothing else whatever going on out there this afternoon, I headed for home and a hot coffee. And such are the way of things around here right now that I switched on the kettle, went for a gypsy’s and then headed for the office, completely forgetting to make the coffee.

Tea tonight was something of a fry-up of vegetables and vegetable balls, in the microwave fryer that Rachel gave me last year. It’s actually too big for the microwave but if I take out the round plate, put a support over the rotator and put the fryer on that so that it doesn’t turn round, it does actually fit.

It takes ages though, so there was plenty of time to make some cheese sauce too. And it was all followed down by the last of the apple crumble. Tomorrow I’m going to have yet another attempt at a fruit tart with agar-agar

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat was the cue to go out for my evening runs. And it was just as well that I was all alone out there because for some reason I wasn’t on my best form and my running was rather bizarre.

Have I taken a photo of the Rue du Nord from this point before? I don’t think so, and so I’ll put that right. This is the resting point after the second leg of my runs, the first being right down at the end of that shot. There’s quite a steep bank behind me and I can’t run up there. It brings me to a shuddering halt.

From here I ran on down the path underneath the walls and all the way round to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch where we take our photos of the sea breaking onto the Plat Gousset.

place marechal foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was absolutely nothing of any excitement here either.

With nothing else to do, I took a photo of the end of the Place nearest the street and then headed for home, running across the Square Maurice Marland.

At one of the houses at the end I encountered a woman. She had let her dog out to take itself off for a walk but instead of coming back home it was simply sitting there by the side of the road and she was trying everything to make it move, but with no success.

After an exchange of pleasantries I continued my walk around the walls and then ran on the rest of the way home.

For a change I’m going to have an early night. And then a nice long lie-in to get myself together for what I have to do tomorrow – like bake a cake, bake a tart, start off the sourdough bread etc etc. And to book my voyage to Belgium, something that I forgot to do today. I really must organise myself.

Saturday 14th November 2020 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… the way things have been recently, I actually managed to beat the third alarm this morning.

Well, sort-of anyway. I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my feet on the floor waiting for the world to stop spinning round before I stood up.

Mind you,with not having gone to bed until almost 01:00 this morning I did realise that it was going to be a very long day.

There was a sale onlast night and there were one or two things that I wanted so after I’d finished writing my notes I went to make my purchases.

Only to find that Paypal now has this weird system like my French bank does, that in order to make a purchase they will send a numerical code to your phone number for you to enter into a box on the vendor’s website. It’s a system that has never troubled me previously with Paypal so I’ve never had occasion to use it. So when I didn’t receive the text message I found to my dismay that it had been sent to my old number in Virlet which has of course been out of commission for well over 4 years.

Now you can change your ‘phone number, but only if you log in. And to log in, you need the four-figure number that they send to your phone. Which is still in the Auvergne.

The next step is to send Paypal a message. But to do that you need to log into your account, for which you need the four-figure number.

There is of course the option to telephone them, for which you don’t need to log in. But you can only call them between 09:00 and 19:30 Mondays to Fridays.

In the end, having exhausted ever other avenue, I created a new Paypal account, which was not easy, and thanked my stars that there was a one-hour time difference between here and the UK and for having an on-line access to my bank statements.

It just goes to prove a point doesn’t it? If something is going to go wrong, it’s going to go wrong with me.

With what little sleep I had, I still found time to wander off.I was in Nantwich last night. I had a little house there in Welsh Row that used to be an old shop at one time. I had all kinds of various friends and acquaintances. Two of them were people like Walter Billington used to be. They had been to visit me and I’d shown them out but I’d suddenly discovered them back in my house again searching for something. I went to grab them both but one got away. The other one I managed to grab hold of him and got him in an arm lock and stuck his head under a cold tap to cool him down, and phoned the police. It was a sergeant who knew me so I explained exactly what had gone on and where I was. He asked me “are you drowning someone?” I replied “yes”. In the end a black policewoman turned up outside in a Ford Anglia panda car so I dragged this guy downstairs, not caring if he was bumping along the floor or anything, let her in and told her the story. She made him sit in a corner while we went through the kind of things that he might have been looking at.

After the meds and transcribing the dictaphone notes I found some time to do some work on the outstanding blog entries, which makes a change. And then I went for a shower. At least my weight has stabilised – albeit at 100 grammes over one of my target weights. It’s not gone up any but it hasn’t gone down either.

And then I set off for the shops, in a howling gale. And I bumped into the itinerant who is still sleeping rough. I urged him to go to the Mairie to seek help, but he says that he will be OK. I’m not too sure about that but I’ve learnt from bitter experience, as I’m sure you have too, that trying to persuade people to do things, even if you think that it’s in their best interests, quite often rebounds.

replacing shop front rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we were on our way to the shops the other day we saw some workmen busily starting to rip out the front of the cafe on the corner in the Rue Paul Poirier.

In just two days, they seem to have really gone to town with it, for not only have they completely ripped it out, they’ve erected a temporary facade around it to protect the building while they set about installing a new shop front.

It would be nice to think that they would replace it with something nice and aesthetically pleasing rather than something that is simply utilitarian. We can always live in hope, I suppose. It’s better than dying in despair.

replacing shop front rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallTalking of utilitarian, this is what I was talking about.

Regular readers of this rubbish will call that we saw a similar temporary structure across the front of a shop in the Rue Couraye when we were out picking up our rail tickets the other day. That’s all been swept away and we’ve been left with this.

But whatever you might say about “utilitarian”, it’s a vast improvement on the cheap and dated 1960s aluminium shop front that was here before.

However there’s a singular lack of imagination around here because there have been three or four new shop fronts in the town since I’ve been living here and they all look like this. Here’s hoping that the one they are doing in the Rue Paul Poirier will be a little more individual.

No figs at the fruit and veg shop, La Halle Gourmande, and none at the Health Shop, La Vie Claire either. It’s the end of the season. So I asked the guy there what I should use in my kefir instead of figs and he gave me a bizarre look and said “dried figs” – the look being the kind of look that means “why aren’t you using dried figs to start with?”.

At LIDL they had a packet of dried figs and they had tons of other stuff too. But I was limited by what I could carry away. It’s a long walk home and the final climb is long and steep. I wish that they would hurry up and fix Caliburn.

Back here I put away the frozen food and one or two other things, made myself a hot chocolate and grabbed a slice of my banana bread, and then came in here to do some work. I was doing all right too up to a certain point, and then the next thing that I remember was that it was 13:45. 90 minutes I’d been out for, I reckon.

It took me a while to come round to my senses and then I ended up with a very late lunch.

That confused all of my timing and I was running well behind after that.

rainstorm english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on in the afternoon I took myself off for a walk around the headland in the gale force wind that was blowing out there.

Although it was dry at the moment, there was plenty of rain about and the strong winds were blowing it all about at a ridiculous speed. The clouds were so thick and heavy that we were having some really unusual lighting effects in the sky like this one across the bay over the Brittany coast.

And with the wind, everything was changing so rapidly too. I’d go to take a photo of a particularly impressive scene and by the time that the camera had focused it had changed considerably.

different colours tidal settlement baie de mont st michel pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnoher thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we mentioned the other day is the phenomenon of different colours in the sea – this layering effect that we see every now and again.

There was another beautiful example this afternoon in the sea just off the Pointe du Roc. I’d struggled around the headland in the wind but when I saw this I considered it to be worth the effort.

We’ve seen plenty of photos of this point when the tide has been out and there’s nothing on what is at the moment the sea bed to cause this dramatic change in colouring. It’s not even the effect of the clouds obscuring the sun either because you can see what the weather is like.

victor hugo spirit of conrad aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith there being no-one about I had a little run down to the viewpoint overlooking the port and then had a slow walk the rest of the way home.

It didn’t turn out to be all that slow though because the rain that had been loitering around just offshore came in and got me and I ended up having to run for it. Not before I’d taken a nice photo of the harbour with the two Channel Islands ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville down there along with Spirit of Conrad and Aztec Lady.

The harbour gates can’t have long opened because we can see the trail of sediment flowing into the harbour from outside. It’s quite a dramatic contrast when you see it in this context.

Back here I played with a few photos, chatted on the internet with Rosemary and then it was time for the football. TNS v Barry Town.

And regrettably, Apart from the first 5 minutes, Barry didn’t start to play until there was 15 minutes to go by which they were already 2-0 down. They pulled back a goal pretty quickly but it was too little far too late.

One thing that I noticed though was that the Barry defenders were giving the attackers of TNS far too much time and space instead of closing them down. With the space that TNS was being gifteg, it’s no surprise that they were running the defence ragged and they really ought to have had a couple more, including what I considered to be a stonewall penalty.

But I really do wonder what Kayne McLaggon had to do to be awarded a free kick in his favour. The TNS central defenders were kicking lumps out of him and when he fell over the outstretched leg of a defender (no penalty, and quite right too) he was booked for diving, which was probably the most extraordinary decision that I noticed.

Tea at half time was out of a tin, followed by another slice of defrosted apple pie.

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then I went out walkies on my evening circuit.

As it happens, I didn’t go far. It was much later than usual, there’s a curfew too and the gale is still howling away like mad but I needed the exercise. The Rue du Nord was looking quite pretty in the streetlights and as that’s one of the bits that I run, I set off down there, to the surprise of a couple of small dogs and their owners.

At least it’s in the shelter out of the wind so that it didn’t bother me too much. I could run down there quite comfortably until I reach the incline, which brings me to a shuddering halt.

place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s an alleyway that cuts through there and leads to the Place Cambernon so I nipped down there instead of going all the way around the walls.

And it looks as if the Christmas decorations fairy has paid here a visit too. They might not be illuminated yet but they have certainly been installed. This is looking quite good, I reckon.

But the Place Cambernon isn’t. The bar La Rafale and the restaurant La Contremarche are closed. The place is like a ghost town. But then again, it would be even more of a ghost town if everyone caught the virus and died. I cleared off too, back home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow is a day of rest but I have carrots to freeze, bread to bake and pizza dough to make. My work is never completed, is it?

Saturday 17th October 2020 – WE CALLED IT …

… a draw this morning. I’d just thrown off the bedclothes and was on the point of sitting upright ready to crawl out of bed when the third alarm went off. Just one second earlier would have been a glorious victory.

And seeing that I was in bed by 22:30 last night I ought to have done better too.

And during the night I’d been on my travels as well. I was with Nerina and we were in Gainsborough Road. I don’t remember too much about this but we’d been doing a lot of sorting out. I’d been to see a lock-up garage somewhere near Manchester which would be ideal for me to use as a store to store a lot of stuff that was lying around that I didn’t need but didn’t want to dispose of. Then we were back at the house and I don’t remember a great deal but I seem to remember that I’d bought a house in Winsford – it might have been Plantagenet Close – years ago and I was wondering what on earth I was still doing with it. I couldn’t find the keys so I wondered if the estate agent still had them, or if Nerina had them – I’d given them to her to look after, or her mother, something like that. In the end I went to ask her but each time I started to ask, she interrupted me and said something else. We ended up in the Post Office in Crewe. I was going to go to Winsford the next afternoon but it was a Saturday afternoon and the Post Office wouldn’t be open. The aim was to ask someone in the Post Office about delivering letters – where do they go to, who had a key? All of that kind of thing. I got myself into a queue by a counter but there was no-one there at the time, just a customer but no member of staff so I was idly loitering around. One member of staff came and started to deal with it. When she had dealth with this person, a young guy and his father walked up in front of me straight to the counter. Nerina said “those two guys have pushed in front of you. I said “yes, they haven haven’t they?”. The younger of the two turned round and made a smart remark to me – in Dutch. I turned round to Nerina and said “yes, Ne’erlandssprekers” so this guy made another comment and strolled away. Then I got to the window and the cashier, and that was that..

But it seems that dreaming about a new house elsewhere that I own is becoming another recurring feature of my nocturnal rambles. So what’s going on here?

For an hour or so this morning I tracked down some more photos of my trip around Central Europe at the beginning of August. And one or two of those took some tracking too. German road signs are not the clearest, especially when viewed on my low-resolution dash-cam through a bug-infested windscreen but in the end I managed to do some good with them and they are all properly labelled.

One or two in Munich were likewise difficult but reference to Hans, my friend there, soon resolved that issue.

After a shower and a clean-up (and a weigh -in, and I’ve lost another couple of hundred grammes) I went off to the shops. NOZ came up with one or two things, but nothing to get excited about, and it was the same at LeClerc.

No figs though, but luckily the Fruit and Veg shop, la Halle Gourmande, had a few. The lady there told me that they are seasonal, so I’m going to have to think of a substitute for my kefir.

Back here, I put some of the stuff away and then sat down to continue the photos but ended up falling asleep on the chair after my exertions. A whole hour or so I was out, and that’s good for neither man nor beast, especially when it means a very late lunch.

orange flavoured kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter lunch I attended to the kefir that had been fermenting away for the last few days.

Four juice-oranges were whizzed up, strained and filtered and put in a large jug. Then most of the kefir liquid was strained and filtered (always leave an inch or two in the bottom of your jar to cover the grains that you are making) into the orange juice.

The whole lot was then mixed together and then poured through a filter into a few stoppered glass bottles, and I hope that this batch is going to be as good as my lime-flavoured kefir from last time, which was excellent.

Finally, I set another lot of kefir en route for later in the week.

By now it was time to go for my afternoon walk

Peche à Pied Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other day I mentioned the Peche à Pied – the local pastime of scavenging amongst the rocks and the beach during the very low tides when the public areas below the commercial concessions are exposed

It seems that I may well have been right when I mentioned that it looked as if we are having another very low tide – a Grand Marée – this weekend because, sure enough, the crowds were out on the beach with their buckets and rakes, and whatever else they bring with them.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the Peche à Pied at the Grand Marée in April was forbidden due to the virus, so two of us from THE RADIO broadcast a “virtual Grand Marée instead.

Light Aeroplane Airport Donville les Bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halland there weren’t just crowds of people on the beach either.

There were the veritable hordes swarming around in the sunshine too, but also plenty going on in the air. As I watched, I saw a couple of light aeroplanes take off from the airport at Donville-les-Bains. One of them obligingly headed my way but before I could take a decent photo of it head-on, it veered off out to sea.

While we’re on the subject of the airport at Donville les Bains … “well, one of us is” – ed … there’s some talk about allowing international flights to land there again, mainly from the Channel Islands. This will mean that a permanent Police and Customs presence will be required.

All of this can only be a good thing.

Back here, a few more photos, and that leaves just 75 to do. But at the rate that I’m doing them, they are going to take forever to finish off.

Then it was time for the football. An early evening kick-off on the Internet for Barry Town v Connah’s Quay Nomads.

It was a game that finished 0-0 which is hardly a surprise because Connah’s Quay are still missing four of their star players – Danny Holmes, George Horan, and their two star attackers Jamie Insall and Mike Wilde. Chris Curran who normally plays on the wing, had a really good game up front for them but he was never likely to score.

Barry Town had a solid central defence for a change after their debacle the other week, but they too were missing their star attacker Kayne McLaggon and they still haven’t recovered from losing Momodou Touray at the end of last season so they were never really likely to trouble Connah’s Quay’s makeshift defence without Horan and Holmes.

The match though turned on a decision made after just two minutes. A Barry Town attacker burst through the defence and broke clear, only to be fouled by a Nomads defender. Certainly a foul, no doubt about that, but a red card for “denying a player a goalscoring opportunity”? The ball was only just beyond the centre-circle in the Nomads area, about 50 yards from goal with another two defenders bearing down on him and with the ball about 10 yards in front of him that the keeper might even have reached first? To call that a “goalscoring opportunity” is rather stretching things a bit in my opinion. I didn’t agree with that at all.

In fact the referee seemed to have a pop-up toaster in his top pocket because it seemed to me that there was always a yellow card popping up. I think that I counted 8 all told, many of which I wouldn’t have given myself. And the red card given to Barry’s David Cotterill, the former Welsh International, in the dying seconds of injury time for “kicking an opponent” was likewise somewhat exaggerated.

So Connah’s Quay played for 88 minutes with just 10 men and you wouldn’t have noticed because Barry never really had a serious shot on goal. A powerful header right into the arms of keeper Lewis Brass is all that I could think of.

Tea was out of a tin at half-time, and after the final whistle it was time for my evening walk

lighthouse pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor a change I went around the headland tonight and over some of the runs that I used to do.

The first leg was along the Rue du Roc for some of the way – not as far as I used to go, and then a second leg across the lawn down the side of the hedge to the clifftop where the lighthouse was busy sending out its beam.

Something that not many people know is that each lighthouse has its own individual sequence of lights, to distinguish it from another lighthouse somewhere in the vicinity. Here at Granville it’s four short pulses of light followed by a long pause.

There’s a rotating shield inside the light with bits cut out for the light to shine through which is responsible for that.

coastguard station pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were a few people out there tonight so I wasn’t as alone as I might otherwise have been.

There was even someone inside the Coastguard Station because there was a light on outside and when he saw me about to take a photo he switched it off just to confuse the issue and I had to take the photo again.

At least everyone had cleared off by now so I could run my third leg, along the clifftop. And that wasn’t as good as it might have been because the car park has now become the centre of assembly for all of the adolescents in the town with their motorbikes and music.

But who am I to complain? At their age I was doing just the same. And probably getting into more mischief too while I was at it.

Chantier Navale Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way back from the shops this morning I went past the chantier navale and I could see that it really is Les Epiettes in there.

There was also a new arrival, to make the total now three in there, so while I was catching my breath in the viewpoint at the top of the cliffs I could take a photo of it for the record.

And from there I ran on home – two extra legs of my fitness regime runs to make up five.

Back at the apartment I encountered one of my neighbours coming back home so we had a lengthy chat about putting the world to rights. And then I came up here to write my notes.

Having done that, I’m off to bed. Sunday tomorrow and a lie-in, but I also have pizza bases to make as well as some kind of dessert. It’s been a while since I’ve made an apple pie so I might have a go at that – either that or a crumble.

It might be a case of waiting until tomorrow to see how I feel.

Saturday 26th September 2020 – I WAS WRONG …

… about the weather last night. We didn’t have the rainstorm today. Or the plague of locusts either. But we had just about everything else.

The high winds are still here and still wreaking devastation about the town. I blame the baked beans that I had for tea the other night.

We also had one of the coldest days that I can remember for a good while too.

That’s probably why I didn’t feel like springing into action this morning and leaping joyously out of bed. Consequently I missed the third alarm. Only by 10 minutes or so, but missed it all the same.

And that’s hardly surprising as I must have been exhausted after my travels last night. I was with my aunt and we were doing a lot of stuff on the computer quite happliy working away. There was another guy with us as well. Suddenly my computer hard drive caught fire. This boy was all for dashing off for phoning up the fire brigade. Of coure I wouldn’t let him do that – I put it out myself. The fire brigade would just smother it in foam and ruin everything. In the end I managed to put out the fire. Of course the hard drive was ruined. My aunt and this boy were going into the City – Bishopsgate, although I don’t know why I thought Bishopsgate because it wasn’t there that I meant. There was a huge computer shop there. I felt really annoyed because I’d been to a computer fair that day and I could have bought a new hard drive there for peanuts had I known but it’s too late now. I asked this boy if he knew about this computer shop. Oh yes, he knew it very well. I asked “while you’re up in London with my aunt can you nip in there and pick me up a hard drive?”. I told him the one I wanted. He said “wouldn’t it be better to pick up a differet type for a MAC or something like that?”. He only ever uses MACs. I said that I use PCs and I’ve used them for years and I know them pretty well so I’m going to stick with them. He had a little bit of a chunter about that. Then I thought that I would have to get him some money as well and I probably don’t have enough cash on me so how am I going to do that? Then it came to booking the tickets so I went to look on the railway site. It turned out instead that I was looking at the bus site. It took endless goes for me to log in on it because everyone was meithering me and I kept on typing the wrong word. Eventually I got in to find that it was buses that we were looking at because we were now actually living in Bath. The first thing my aunt said was that they don’t have a direct bus service from Bath to London any more. We have to go on the train. We had to start looking for things like that. In the meantime we managed to find the times of the buses which would at least get them some of the way. Then the phone rang. My aunt talked to whoever it was and so on. When she hung up she said “that was George and that’s strange. He’s after his wages for the taxis. He’s on holiday and he wants it posted to him in York by cheque”. She couldn’t understand why he wanted it. I said “he’s probably going to buy something special while he’s in York”. “Yes but it’s early. he doesn’t get paid until Thursday but anyway …”. She had a chunter about that. Then I had to go and get her ready for this bus so they could get on it and this other guy too and head off into London
A little later on there was a girl and she was a lot older than she ought to be and she still had a dolly that she cuddled. People used to make remarks about it (Wiske and Schanulleke, anyone?). They decided that they would pass a Law about it. Somewhere inside there they inserted a clause that people who cuddled a pet or other object or person for the purpose of comfort would be exempt, which of course wiped out the whole purpose of this Law anyway. So we all had a debate about it.
Just then this other girl turned up. She was in a purple and gold kind of trouser suit kind of thing that looked more at home in a Middle-Eastern harem. She had long dark-brown hair that was cut in the style of an Egpytian, really precise cuts and edges and so on.
There was much more to it too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you any discomfort.
And once again I was dictating without the dictaphone in my hand. Either this is starting to become a habit or else it already is and a whole load of stuff has slipped quite literally through my hands.

After a shower, Caliburn and I hit the streets and headed to the shops.

NOZ is always on my shopping list. That’s a shop that buys job-lots of bankrupt stock, overstocks, that kind of thing from all over Europe.

In the past I’ve found plenty of useful things in there and also a whole variety of different foods to vary my diet somewhat. Today they had stocks of Sharwoods products on offer so I now have some vindaloo and madras sauces as well as some mango chutney. Stocks of curry in the freezer are getting low, an I’m also going to learn to make poppadoms, I reckon.

At LeClerc I didn’t spend very much, and most of what I did went on fruit. The place is now looking like a greengrocer’s, which is good for my health (and that reminds me – my kiwi, lemon and ginger cordial is delicious and I’ll be doing that again – hence more kiwis today).

One good thing is that, after much searching, I finally found the fresh figs. So back here, I finally set my kefir en route. How that will pan out remains to be seen.

This afternoon I had a whizz through some more photos of my adventures with Spirit of Conrad in July and we are now in our anchorage for the final night aboard. I reckon that there are about 50 more to edit before I finish.

Then, there are the 400 or so from my voyage into Eastern Europe and once they are completed I can turn my attention to the 3000 that remain from the High Arctic in 2019 and the 2000-odd from the High Arctic in 2018.

And then, finally, I can write up the notes for all of this.

The burning question of the day is not Rafferty’s motor car but whether I’ll finish all of this before all of this finishes me.

A few more albums bit the dust too, some more work was done on revising the web pages, Rosemary rang me and we had a chat for just over an hour, and I even found time to crash out for 15 minutes.

And as for that latter, with everything else that I’ve been doing today, it’s hardly a surprise. I must have been exhausted by then so I’m not too disappointed, even if for the last couple of days I’ve managed to keep going.

chez maguie bar itinerante closed granville manche normandy france eric hallThe day is far from finished too. There’s football this evening so I headed off into town.

And here’s another sure sign that the summer season has ended. The beach cabins have gone and they’ve taken down the diving platform at the Plat Gousset already, but now the itinerant bar Chez Maguie has folded up its tent and crept silently away in the night.

It’s a very significant sign for some of us, but for others it means that the locals can have their boulodrome back until next summer.

football stade louis dior fc flerien flers us granville manche normandy france eric hallProfessional football started back up a few weeks ago, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But this weekend amateur football has had the green light.

Consequently I headed off up to the Stade Louis Dior to watch Granville’s 2nd XI play FC Flerien, the team from Flers, in Normandy Regional 1.

For the first 15 minutes Granville’s control of the ball and their passing and movement was extremely fluent, but by the end of this little period they were already 2-0 down – a corner that the goalkeeper dropped into the path of an onrushing forward (he seemed to have a good pair of teflon gloves) and a misplaced header under pressure back to the goalkeeper that went to another onrushing forward.

After that, a couple of heads dropped, and the Fleriens got into their stride. We had to wait 55 minutes for Granville’s first shot on target (and about 10 minutes before the end for their other one) and 65 minutes for their first corner.

It was literally men against boys because Granville’s team was quite youthful whereas Flers had three or four old hands who had clearly been around the block far more times than the Granville players could handle.

The match ended 2-0 but really Flers could have had half a dozen and no-one in Granville would have complained.

And I’m glad that the match finished when it did because I was absolutely frozen to the marrow. It’s a long time since I’ve been this cold. I’ve been much warmer than this in the Arctic and next time I go to the football I’ll put on the thermal undies that I bought on Thursday.

blue light pedestrian crossing ave matignon granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, here’s something that I haven’t noticed before – mainly because it’s been an age since I went into town in the dark at night.

But now there seems to be blue lights shining down on all of the pedestrian crossings on the main roads. Presumably to give motorists a better chance of spotting civilians trying to cross the road.

It brought back many happy memories of a press release that we wonce received from the Parisian authorities when I worked at Shearings – “The policeman who directs the traffic at the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe will from now on be floodlit to make sure that motorists don’t miss him in the dark”.

marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route home had to be extended tonight for the simple reason that “if I’m out, I’m well out” and there’s no point in going home with just 90% on my fitbit. I may as well push it up to 100%.

For that reason I wandered on down into the port to see what was going on.

“Nothing much” was the answer to that. Marité was there of course, tucked up in her little corner and so were the two Channel Island ferries, Granville and the older Victor Hugo.

As an aside, we haven’t seen a gravel boat in here for almost 6 months. I was hoping that this new mayor would do something about stimulating the freight trade to the port.

restaurants rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route continued along the rue du Port.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen several photos taken of this street in the dark, all of which have been taken from the cliffs up above.

And so tonight, in an effort to do something different, here’s the reverse-angle shot taken from the street looking back towards the cliffs.

Not that you can actually see the cliffs in this (lack of) light. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

moonlight baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the climb back up the Boulevard des Terreneuviers I stopped (for breath) to look at the tidal port.

There was a beautiful bright moon tonight, even though it’s only half-full, and there was a wonderful reflection of light down in the Baie de Mont St Michel looking across to Jullouville and the Pointe de Carolles.

Actually, considering that this photo was hand-held and taken with the little NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens, it’s not come out too badly, even if I did have to stop it down by 8 (in fact by 10 because normally the camera has to be opened up by 2 since the lens was repaired).

Back at the flabberblok there was yet more football so I grabbed a bowl of rice pudding and settled down in a ringside seat in front of the internet.

Y Fflint, newly promoted to the JD Cymru League this season after a 20-year absence were entertaining Barry Town. Barry, usually a strong competitive side but who misfired so spectacularly in European Competition earlier and then against TNS on the opening day of the season, have yet to grace my screen this season and I’ve only ever seen Y Fflint play once, in a cup match a few years ago.

The match was quite entertaining because while Barry were much more powerful and street-wise (which you have to expect), Flint matched them blow for blow and I was quietly impressed.

There were three significant items in this match

  1. Alex Titchiner, Flint’s ace striker, was carried off injured after just 2 minutes.
  2. Mike Lewis, in the Barry goal, played the game of his life and made a couple of stunning reflex saves (and that’s not to say that our old favourite, Jon Danby, formerly of Connah’s Quay Nomads, now next-door in the Flint goal didn’t have his moments too)
  3. and had a Flint defender kept his head when Matt Jarvis burst into the area and not conceded a penalty

then the new boys would have had something from this game. They are no mugs, and certainly not cannon-fodder like some promotees have been.

And if TNS managed to sweep away this Barry side so convincingly, then just HOW good are TNS?

There is also some exciting news from Deeside too. It seems that the idea to build a new football stadium on Deeside to be UEFA-compliant for junior international matches, and European club competition and to be shared by next-door neighbours Connahs Quay Nomads and Y Fflint has taken a giant step forward.

Who knows? It might even become a reality if the two clubs can keep up the momentum they they have established over the last couple of years. The announcement that “certain funds have been made available” is major news but, as expected, BBC Wales, with its hands so deep in the pockets of the Welsh Rugby Union to an indecent depth that it imposes a news blackout on Welsh football, has totally passed it by.

But by now, it’s late. Long after midnight, so I’m off to bed. I’ll write up my notes in the morning – if I’m here. It’s Sunday and a day of rest and I might sleep in long past midday.