Tag Archives: beautiful sunset

Friday 27th August 2021 – JUST IMAGINE …

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… walking out of the front door of your building and being confronted with this!

What with one thing and another, my peregrinations today totalled 98% of my daily effort and so I wasn’t going to give up at that particular point – so I decided to just nip out for a quick lap around the block to take the total over the 100%

With it starting to go dark, I debated whether or not to take the NIKON D500 with me, and I’m really glad that I did. It’s been a long time since we’ve featured a really decent sunset.

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you lot admire some more photos of the sunset this evening, let me tell you about my day starting at the beginning.

As you might expect these days, I didn’t have my early night last night. Just as I was on the point of switching off the computer, Jethro Tull came round on the playlist. And so I was treated to an earful of –
A PASSION PLAY
BENEFIT and
STAND UP
three of the finest rock albums that have ever been recorded

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I did go to bed before
AQUALUNG and
THICK AS A BRICK
came around, just in case …

What surprised me more than anything was that I was up and about at 06:00 just as usual despite the lateness of the hour at which I went to bed. And I can’t keep on going like this.

It took me a while to clear my head, as I’m sure you can imagine, and after the medication I had a few things to do.

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe early part of the morning was spent alternating between

  1. tidying up
  2. resting
  3. crashing out

not necessarily in that order.

But the tidying up was because I was expecting visitors. Liz and Terry wanted to see me.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you lot admire some close-up photos of the Galeon Andalucia, I was going through the apartment like a dose of salts.

By the time that they arrived, the apartment (well, the parts that you could see) was actually looking quite nice and that must have come as quite a shock to my visitors. It’s been a while since they have been to visit me and they aren’t used to this.

Terry had brought his laptop with him. A few months ago I had fixed Liz’s computer and made it work much better, and now Terry was wondering if I could do the same for his. So that’s a job for some time next week.

But that wasn’t the main reason for their visit. They really wanted to tell me that I have to say “goodbye” to an old friend

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that just a short while before I was taken ill, I’d bought a small mini-tractor for the farm – a Kubota B1220. And I’d done just 13 hours on it, mostly as a generator powering the cement mixer, before I fell ill

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt had been left down on the farm when I was taken ill and a neighbour had contacted me to tell me that someone had been “playing” with it so Terry and I went to rescue it.

It’s been in the bottom of Terry’s barn ever since.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … one of their acquaintances had seen it, had a good look at it, and then made them an offer. As a result, they came round this morning with a bundle of folding stuff.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s like the story of the digger. I was sorry to see that go last summer but I’m in no state to do anything with them and it’s just a couple of things fewer to worry about.

As a reward I took Liz and Terry out for a coffee at La Rafale where we had a good chinwag and a good laugh at the antics of a cat sitting outside o a third-floor window ledge and an eighteen month-old toddler.

We discussed a few plans for the future and then decided to go for a walk down to the harbour and look at the Galeon Andalucia and whatever else was down there this morning.

black pearl port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe first thing that we noticed was that there was a small fuel tanker down on the quayside. The driver was busy coiling up his hose as if he’d finished his work.

Where has was parked was right by where Black Pearl and her younger sister Le Pearl who sailed into the port for the first time last autumn were moored.

As we watched, Black Pearl cast off her mooring and set out from the quayside. The harbour gates were open and so it looked as if, having been refuelled, she was setting off to work. And I imagined that Le Pearl would be following her as soon as she’s ready.

philcathane galeon andalucia granville victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut really it was the Galeon Andalucia that we had come to see, just like everyone else in Granville I reckon.

To her left though is the trawler Philcathane, with the Channel Island ferry Granville immediately behind her. To the right of Granville is her colleague Victor Hugo.

My plan was for us all to go aboard for a good look around but Liz and Terry had other things to do so we just loitered around taking a few photos. Then, in the best traditions of the News of the Screws, we “made our excuses and left”.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually, the Galeon Andalucia wasn’t the only game in town this afternoon.

While we had been looking at the galleon, we’d see some rather distinctive sail-tops go past behind the harbour wall, so distinctive that there were no prizes for guessing to whom they belonged.

One look at the familiar “G90” number on the sails will tell us that it is indeed La Granvillaise out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel with a ship-load of passengers on board.

She’s someone else towing behind her an inflatable dinghy that will have room for probably about a quarter of the people currently on board.

chausiaise entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallLiz and Terry don’t come to Granville all that often and so they aren’t aware of the new boats that have been coming into the port recently.

One of them, whom they haven’t seen before, is the little freighter Chausiaise that takes the supplies and the luggage over to the Ile de Chausey.

This is the last weekend of the main holiday season so she’s going to be busy bringing back all of the luggage of the people who have spent the summer out there, and of the holidaymakers whose two weeks in what has laughingly been described this year as “the sun” has come to an end.

commodore voyager english channel France Eric HallBy now, back at the apartment Liz and Terry made ready to leave, but before they did so, I had a quick glance out to sea from the car park.

A big white blob right out there on the horizon indicates that something large has not long ago set out from the port of St Helier heading for the UK. I took a speculative snap of it to see if I could identify it back at the apartment.

It looked very much like one of the Condor high-speed ferries, and I noticed that Condor Voyager had set sail from the port at 10:32. She would seem to fit the bill quite nicely.

Back in the building I bumped into a couple of neighbours and we had quite a chat. And I’ve been invited to go for coffee with one of them on Sunday afternoon.

There wasn’t much time left before lunch to do very much, and the first thing that I did after lunch was to have a shower. I have the therapist so I need to look clean and tidy. And I switched on the washing machine too afterwards

marite philcathane galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce I was ready, i hit the streets.

Down the hill in the Rue des Juifs I paid a call at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. As well as the Galeaon Andalucia, Marité was in port as well and the two of them made a very nice photo, together like that.

Peering through the rigging of Marité we can see the little trawler Philcathane moored up where the gravel boats used to moor when they came here. To the left of Marité is the little red, white and blue boat that we have seen quite regularly just recently.

And I can confirm that she is indeed Les Epiettes, the one that we saw last year out at the Ile de Chausey. She was down there this morning and I noticed her name as we went past, but I forgot to say..

Having taken the photo, I pushed off through the town and up the hill for my appointent with destiny.

emergency ambulance rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I came out of the physiotherapist just in time to see an emergency ambulance, all bells and flashing lights, go roaring past me.

It stopped a few hundred metres down the road and the guys within leapt out and went into a building just there. By the time that I caught up with them, they were still inside so I have no idea what was happening.

As it was quite a nice afternoon I decided that I’d go down to the harbour and have a good look around at what was happening there. We’d seen Galeon Andalucia and Les Epiettes earlier this morning, but there was plenty of other stuff that I wanted to see but had been unable to do so

It’s not easy gratuitously wandering around when you’re in company.

While I was down there, I noticed that the harbour gates were closed so I could go back that way home. Spirit of Conrad was in port and Pierre, her skipper, was there so we had quite a chat for a while about this and that.

His trips to the Channel islands have restarted and ordinarily I might be interested but I have another cunning plan for that.

repainting charlevy charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere’s a trawler that we should all recognise, because we’ve seen it often enough just recently.

She’s the trawler Charlevy who spent a considerable amount of time just recently undergoing a repaint at the chantier naval.

And by the looks of things, the paintwork wasn’t completely finished there either. The workman standing on the roof of the bridge is armed with a paintbrush, a roller and a large tub of thick black paint and he’s giving the “ancillaries” a good covering.

And she’ll need it too once she’s out at sea this autumn and winter.

yellow autogyro port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the meantime while I was watching the work going on aboard Charlevy an old familiar noise roused me from my slumbers.

Rattling by overhead went yet another familiar face, the yellow autogyro that we see quite often flying by as we are out and about on our travels.

But right now I’m going out and about over the harbour gates to the other side, stopping on the way to exchange pleasantries with a fisherman who actually has a bucket with a couple of crabs in it that he has caught.

So that’s a first for me.

briscard pierre de jade catherine philippe chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here I went down to the chantier naval to have a look at the fishing boats that were in here, and to see if I can identify them.

Two of the three here were pretty easy to identify because I could see their names displayed. On the left, the smaller white and blue one is called Briscard and on the right, the red, blue and white one is called Catherine Philippe.

The middle one was not so easy, but as I was pondering over it, someone came down the ladder on the far side, so I asked him. “She’s the Pierre de Jade he replied.

So now I know.

peccavi unknown saint andrews chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the other three here, I didn’t have the same luck.

Once again, two of them were easy to recognise. On the left, we have Peccavi and on the right under the tarpaulin is Saint Andrews – a rather unusual name for a French fishing boat. Why didn’t they call her Saint-André?

But then, if they can call a French trawler Trafalgar, they can call one almost anything.

The black and blue one in the middle remains a mystery. No name was visible and there was no-one around to ask.

retimbering hull peccavi chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was having a prowl around, I noticed this rather unusual work going on with Peccavi.

It looks as if they are sheathing her hull in tongue-and-grooving and I have never seen that done before on a sea-going boat. I wonder what the reason is for this.

But i’m not going to find out right now because there isn’t anyone to ask. Anyway, it’s time for me to be going home and it’s a long haul back up the hill from here. And by the time that I reached the top, I was pretty exhausted too.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I go in though, I ought to have a look down onto the beach to see what’s happening there this afternoon

Surprisingly, there weren’t too many people down there this afternoon. It’s not exactly the height of summer, as I realise, but it was still nice enough for people to be out on the beach enjoying one of the last days before the holidays are over.

That was about the sum total of my trip out this afternoon. I came back for my smoothie and to sit down and relax – and to fall asleep as well.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too, as I noticed later. I was on board a ship last night. Something had happened and my right leg had been injured. They were saying that they were going to have to amputate it. Of course I was totally opposed to that idea. Nevertheless they doped me up with local anaesthetic and operated away. I was trying to stagger round this common room trying to make myself comfortable. I was just so awful about this. I sat down and there was some news on the TV about 4 marathons that were being run at the same time when there was total confusion about who was in which one and where, as well as on one occasion where on a studio leg someone had tripped over an apparatus and fallen into the athletics’ 100-yard sprint track, demolished all of the hurdles just as all the runners were running up to it so they were all entangled as well. That was so real, that dream having my leg cut off and that was one nocturnal voyage that made me very relieved when it was over.

After tea I went out for my little stroll as I mentioned earlier, and now it’s time for bed. I have shopping in the morning and hence an early start. I think that I’ve done enough for today.

Sunday 10th January 2021 – IT WILL BE …

… of no surprise to anyone that I slept right through until about 11:00 this morning. Furthermore, it was 11:30 when I finally fell out of bed.

But then again, I do have to say that because of the deep sleep that I’d had earlier during the day, it wasn’t until about 02:30 that I went to bed this morning. And so the sleep wasn’t as deep and as long as it might otherwise have been.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. We were off on another coach trip. We were leaving from some kind of stately home and there were 2 coaches there. Ours was pretty much full – there were only about 3 or 4 seats so we were all waiting around. One of the coaches pulled up. It happened to be ours so we all scrambled aboard and the driver set off. I had a look round and there were more empty seats on this coach than I remembered but I couldn’t see anyone running after the coach. We reached the end of the driveway and had to cross the traffic and turn – we had to wait for a gap. I looked around and there was still no-one running after the coach. Well, it must be right but there were more empty seats than I remembered. We set off but by now we were on foot, walking. We had a load of giant dolls with us, about 3 feet tall. They were walking. One doll was a female and another was a male. The male was about 40 and the female doll looked as if she was in her late 20s. Someone made a joke about what a good couple they would make and the female doll said “we’ve already had a kiss and he didn’t seem all that interested” and she started ordering him about, this doll, to give her another kiss. It was really funny, this doll giving these orders like this. We were walking up West Street and one of the girls with us was spotting golf balls so we were making jokes about her and her golf balls. There was one that we went past but she didn’t bother to pick it up so we had a few jokes about that. But while we’d been on the bus some people had lapel badges about something or other. Someone had done a deal but hadn’t let on – he’d passed an order around and people had ordered and paid him for these but instead of sending off to buy them he pocketed the money and had some cheap substitutes made. One of the people on the coach actually belonged to this organisation and he could tell straight away that these badges were false so he made the people buy the right ones and pay the money for it. I was keeping a low profile about this because although I wasn’t involved, I knew what had gone on and I was afraid that my name would be mentioned in this connection by someone or other.

That brought me all the way round to lunchtime and so I went off and had a bowl of porridge

After lunch, I went off on a cookery afternoon.

First task was to mix up a pile of dough for the next three pizza bases as I have now run out. That flour mix stuff that I found in Belgium when I was there in November is really good and did a great job. I’ll be sorry when it runs out.

Next stop was to deal with the next load of kefir as I’m running low.

orange kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I was in LeClerc on Saturday I noticed that they had a pile of juice oranges so I bought a bag of a couple of kilos so I took four of them and whizzed them in my whizzer. I strained them through my filter stack into my large jug and then added most of the kefir that had been brewing for a few days.

Leaving an inch or so in the jar, I made up another batch for a few days later.

Having mixed the kefir and the orange juice in the large jug, I filtered it back through the filter stack into the bottles. And this will keep me going for the next 5 days.

yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time to go off for my afternoon walk around the headland.

There were quite a few people walking around too because although it was cold and windy, it was quite nice and sunlight. The wind was such that there were several yachts out there on the water having a good sail around. This one here was out in the English Channel on its way back presumably from the Ile de Chausey.

For some reason that I didn’t understand, the path was al churned up and muddy so I had to pick my way around the mud on my way along the top of the cliffs.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAcross the lawn and down the path across the car park, I ended up at the end of the headland looking out to sea.

There was nothing going on out there to sea as far as boats go, but there was yet another example of a really nice sunset this afternoon. The rays of the sun was pouring through the gaps in the clouds and illuminating the sea right in the middle of the channel.

There were quite a few people out there admiring the sunset and this view this afternoon, and I left them to it as I walked on around the headland and down the path on the other side.

yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale, I had a look down to see how they were getting on.

The trawler was still there up on its blocks and the yacht was still there too. But there were some people on board in protective uniforms and it seemed to me that they were painting the boat. It certainly looks better than it has done from that point of view, although this isn’t really the weather to be out there painting.

There was nothing else going on in the harbour so I came on back home and made myself a nice hot mug of coffee and prepared to start work on some more cookery items.

First of all I fed the sourdough – mustn’t forget that. I need to keep that going even if I’m not having much success right now.

The pizza dough had risen nicely so I needed it again and split it into three. Two of them I rolled in oil, wrapped in baking paper, put in a plastic bag and bunged them in the freezer.

The third one I rolled out and put it into the pizza tray and put it on one side.

Next off I made some pastry and having rolled it, I lined a pie dish with it. There are plenty of half-open jars of strawberry jam around here so I tipped some into the pie dish and put a pastry lid on top and sealed it down and brushed it with milk and water.

With the pastry left over I made a jam turnover and then put the pie and turnover in the oven to bake.

While that was cooking, I prepared a vegan pizza and when the pie and turnover were cooked I took them out and put the pizza in.

rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile the pizza was cooking I headed off for my evening walk around the medieval walls.

Once again, I was all on my own out there except for a couple walking their dog, so I could do my running bits quite happily. At the viewpoint overlooking the town I took a photo of the Rue Pau Poirier just to prove that I was out there and then I turned for home and ran across the Place Maurice Marland.

It was so quiet out there and there was so little going on that I don’t really remember anything about the trip home. However I did run the last length back home again just to keep going.br clear=”both”>

strawberry jam pie strawberry jam turnover vegan pizza place d'armes  Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now the pizza was cooked so I took it out of the oven. And here we are – doesn’t it look delicious? The jam pie and the turnover look really nice.

The pizza was delicious too, although the tomato sauce wasn’t as I would have liked because having forgotten to buy any tomato sauce I’d ended up with a jar of tomato and aubergine purée to use as a base. And as for the jam pie and turnover, I’ll tell you about that tomorrow as I wasn’t hungry after my pizza.

Now I’ve written my notes, I’m off to bed. I’ve had a short day but if I’m not too well I don’t want to push my luck. I need to take it easy until I’m feeling better, whenever that might be.

After all, I have to start back to work in the morning with a radio programme to do.

Thursday 7th January 2021 – I STILL DON’T …

… know where all of the time goes, that’s for sure. All that I’ve done today as far as work goes is to answer about 10 e-mails and that’s my lot.

Mind you, it was something of a late start this morning. I heard all of the alarms go off but it was still about 07:00 when I finally left the bed.

First thing was to check the dough. 2 loads because I had prepared a normal yeast-driven loaf as well last night before going to bed.

And while the sourdough hadn’t risen by much, the standard loaf had gone up like a lift. I kneaded them both and put them in their respective moulds to proof a second time and then, after the medication, I came in here to check the dictaphone.

There was a really weird kind of dance thing going on last night with 3 young girls who were dancing and singing and performing these really rhythmic movements. There were me and two other people at the other end of the dance floor just basically keeping in time to the music. For some unknown reason, what we were trying to do was that the movements that these people were performing led to them being separated at some time and our job seemed to be that one of us, when we saw someone separated was, in keeping in time to the music, to go off down there and somehow capture the one who had come out of the pack if you like and was dancing on her own halfway down the hall. I noticed that at one time that it was always the same girl who was doing this. She had a beautiful voice and I remember thinking to myself “I wouldn’t mind capturing her”. On one occasion when this rhythmic dance was going on I had to rhythmically make my way back to my group and one of my colleagues was preparing to advance. He ended up pirouetting round and his hand caught in my clothes and went underneath the top that I was wearing and missed my catheter by a millimetre otherwise it would have been really really dramatic. We had a bit of a joke about that.

What goes on in the night is really exciting, isn’t it?

As I was off out I put a load of clothes into the washing machine to do while I’m out at the doctor’s.

The interesting thing there was that he doesn’t recommend a ‘flu injection. Everyone is in facemasks and the ‘flu isn’t expected to take a hold this year.

As for my booster injections for my immune system (I have to have them every 5 years) he gave me a prescription, along with the prescription for the medication that I forgot.

The most interesting thing is the Covid vaccine. Here in Granville, we aren’t a priority, so it seems. Cases here in the town are rare due to the fact that we are on a westerly clifftop in one of the strongest prevailing winds in Europe. Any airborne virus here is blown well inland and the only time that we usually have any outbreaks is when the holidaymakers arrive.

However, he does agree that I should be in the first batch to be vaccinated as soon as we have supplies and he made a note in my file that I would be willing to take it

christmas decorations rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving bade farewell to the doctor I set off towards LIDL for supplies.

It’s been a long time since I set my foot in the Rue Couraye, what with having chosen a different route to go uptown just recently, so I didn’t really know much about what’s been going on there for a while. But it seems that we had have some kind of novel decorations in the street – some that I haven’t seen before.

At LIDL it was a major shop and I staggered home under quite a load. Not helped any by the fact that they were selling 3kg of carrots for the price of 1kg, and ditto the potatoes. The freezer is for a change fairly empty and I can always do things with potatoes.

trawlers ready to leave port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving called at the chemist’s for a rest and my medication (I have to go back for some on Saturday) I staggered up the Rue des Juifs towards home. And there I noticed that the trawlers were starting to pull away from the quayside.

The harbour gates were closed, so I was expecting them to open any minute now so I hung around to watch. However I was distracted. While I was observing the harbour I fell in with our itinerant friend who is still loitering about the town and we had a chat.

One thing that I noticed was that he had a shopping bag full of groceries so at least it seems that he’s feeding himself, which is one less thing for anyone to worry about.

On returning home I switched on the oven and then, having checked the loaves, I put them into the oven to bake.

Once again, the sourdough loaf hadn’t done very much but the normal loaf had risen impressively again. And this time I did remember to brush the top of the fruit loaf with milk and sprinkle the top with brown sugar.

home baked bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile it was cooking I came in here and answered a couple of outstanding e-mails and then when the oven timer switched itself off I went to check the bread.

The standard loaf was cooked perfectly but the sourdough wasn’t so I left that in for another 20 minutes and with the standard loaf, I made some sandwiches for lunch. And it really was a good loaf, this one. Just as it should be and it was delicious.

After lunch, I attacked the carrots, peeled and diced about a kilo or so and then blanched them ready for freezing. I’ll do some more tomorrow too and then finish the rest off on Saturday.

moving scaffolding roofing college malraux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on this afternoon I went out for my usual afternoon walk around the headland.

The other day, I mentioned that they had started to move the scaffolding from the north end of the east wall and reposition it down at the south end of that wall. Here, on the extreme right, you can see than dismantling some more of it to move that along too. And you can also see where they are ripping off the slates from farther along.

Up until a couple of days ago they were working to the right-hand side of the safety rail going up the roof.

This is going to be a very long job, I can see that

first buds pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the path at the side of the College I stopped to have a look at one of the bushes that was growing there.

The other day the gardeners had been by and trimmed the bushes back. But I’d noticed, a day or so later, that there seemed to be some small buds starting to grow. Sure enough, one or two of them have burst out into leaves.

It’s very tempting to say that the mild winter that we have had to date has started the first buds of the year off early but I suspect that the bushes haven’t quite gone into hibernation and there has still been some rising sap in the bush, and that has provoked the growth.

It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on it.

sea fog pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut whatever else happens today, I won’t be keeping an eye out to see what is happening out to sea down the Brittany coast today.

You’ve probably noticed from a couple of earlier photos that there seemed to be quite a mist hanging around today, but out at sea there seems to be so much more of it and there’s quite a heavy fog bank rolling in along the coast and onto the headland where I’m standing.

It’s one of those occasions where you might expect primeval man, or Godzilla or something similar to come emerging from the miasma.

calm seas baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInterestingly, in the reverse angle of this shot, there’s hardly a wisp of fog to be seen along the coast.

But you can see the reason why the fog is here. If you look closely at the water you’ll notice that it’s calm and almost flat as a mirror. There’s hardly a breath of wind at all – hardly enough to disperse a fogbank, that’s for sure.

But nevertheless out of the fog and gloom came one of my neighbours who had also been for a walk. So we had a chat for a few minutes about nothing in particular before I wandered off to carry on with my perambulations.

scull pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s one thing about a fog and a really calm sea, and that it encourages people to take to the water.

Paddling around the headland from the direction of the port de plaisance came a couple of kayaks. And as I watched, they paddled their way around the marker light on the rocks below.

There was the idea in my mind to make the old hoary joke which regular readers of this rubbish will recall, about it being inadvisable to light a fire in a canoe because you can’t have your kayak and heat it, but a closer inspection revealed that these aren’t kayaks but in fact sculls, so I doubt if the rowers in there would get up to any such scullduggery.

beautiful sun shining on sea baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver the last couple of days we’ve been having some brilliant sunsets out across the bay. As I walked across the lawn and the car park to the other side of the headland I sensed that today might be different with the fog.

Unfortunately I was correct. There was nothing really like the views that we have had for the last few days. Nevertheless it was quite different and quite unusual, and was creating quite an eerie effect, especially where we seem to be half in and half out of a fog bank.

The rays of sun streaming out through the hole in the clouds and disappearing into the fog bank were quite novel too.

speedboat with cabin baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably noticed in the previous photo the traces of a wake passing through the image.

There was a boat out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel and it was making quite a racket and going like the clappers too. My first thought was that it was a fishing boat but no fishing boat goes that quickly. I’ve no idea who he was or where he’d been.

With nothing else of interest out there this afternoon, I made tracks for home. It’s a shame that there was no freighter in port today, and I wonder when we are next going to have another gravel boat.

home made sourdough fruit loaf place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack home I made myself a coffee and then went to have a look at the sourdough loaf. It’s been cooling off in the oven for a good couple of hours.

It’s possibly overdone on top, although I did lower the shelf when I put it back in at lunchtime so that the bottom would cook better, but it doesn’t look at all bad really. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. And for that, you’ll all have to wait until tomorrow morning’s hot chocolate break.

Instead, I hung up the washing, something that I had forgotten to do earlier, and then came in here to carry on with my e-mail marathon. And it would have been better had I not crashed out again.

There was the usual hour on the guitars of course but for some reason I couldn’t get my head around the acoustic guitar and I’ve no idea why. I didn’t seem to have the same motivation which was strange.

Afterwards, I went out for my evening walk – and I tried a few more runs today too. In fact I made it up to three legs. Not much, but better than it has been.

When I stopped for breath after one of the legs, I looked out to sea and the fog seemed to have lifted. It as a really clear evening and you could see for miles.

st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably won’t think all that much of this photo but this is taken with the camera perched on a rock, hand-held. And the camera is in fact the little NIKON 1 J5 which in the past has not proved to be very successful in the past in the pitch-black.

However, with some judicious manipulation I managed to take some photos of St Helier, 58 miles away. And the lights of fishing boats out to sea and even some stars too. And for a camera that doesn’t like the dark, that’s quite impressive even if the quality isn’t up to all that much.

Had I taken the tripod with me, and worked out how the time-lapse procedure works on the calmera, I might have done even better than this.

place marechal foch plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound at the viepoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch there wasn’t much going on at all. The whole town seemed to be deserted and I hadn’t seen a soul.

Instead I came on back to the apartment for tea. Stuffed peppers followed by apple crumble. There’s only enough crumble left for one meal now, so I might have to defrost a slice of frozen apple pie for tea on Saturday.

But now I’ve written up my notes, I’m going to go to bed. Just a couple of phone calls to make tomorrow, a form to fill in and some carrots to peel and blanche and then I can crack on with work.

And, of course, the fruit bread to try. I mustn’t forget that.

Wednesday 6th January 2021 – I WON’T EVER SEE …

… my friendly neighbourhood ginger cat again.

Regular readers of this rubbish may recall that I mentioned a while ago that his mum, one of my neighbours, had been offered an apartment in sheltered accommodation due to her age and infirmity. This afternoon as I put my head outside the door of the building I saw a removal van outside the door to her block.

And when I went out later this evening, her apartment was totally empty and cleared out. There she was – she and her cat – gone, and never called me mother (next week, East Lynne).

As for me I was totally gone last night too. When I finally made it into bed, late as usual just recently, I was out like a light and didn’t move a muscle until the alarm went off. And while I didn’t actually beat the third alarm, I wasn’t many minutes behind it.

After the medication I had a few things to do and then I had to ring up the doctor’s and make an appointment. And you can tell that this isn’t the UK.
“Is it urgent?”
“no, not particularly”
“Is 9:30 tomorrow OK?”

Haven’t dealt with that I sat down to start to dictate the notes that I’d written but then almost immediately I was interrupted by a telephone call. Would I like to go for a coffee with the manager of the radio station?

So I managed to dictate all of the notes and then go and have a shower before I headed off across the car park to the Municipal offices at the back. Coffee was served and then we had a lengthy chat about Brexit and Scottish and Welsh independence.

Very little to do with the radio, and it seemed to me that I was being interrogated for something, although I don’t know what it might be. We shall see what transpires of this in due course, if anything.

There was no bass guitar practice tonight. Even though I seem to be a little better today, it’s not that much better and it took me an age to do what it would normally take a couple of hours to do. When it came to 18:00 and knocking-off time, I wasn’t far away from finishing so I pushed on and by 18:35 both of the outstanding radio programmes were now completed up and running.

Of course we had had a couple of interruptions. Lunch was taken of course and unfortunately the bread supplies are quite low. I need to look into this.

There was the afternoon walk and today this was a walk with a difference.

If I’m baking bread tomorrow morning, I may as well make a sourdough fruit loaf so having fed the sourdough and watched it rise like a lift, I headed off into town. I have no jellied fruit and I need to buy some. The Super U in the town is the place for that.

water tower chateau d'eau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOutside it was cold and cloudy but with the sun poking through the clouds here and there.

But just for a change, instead of the sun lighting up the sea or the Brittany cliffs or whatever, today the sun was streaming down onto the water tower up near the Shopping Centre. It was all particularly impressive.

The Super U came up trumps with the jellied fruit but my new bank card wouldn’t work. having tried a couple of times I paid in cash and went round to the Bank to try it there. Once again, it didn’t work so I went to chat to a cashier.

It seems that Brain of Britain has struck again. Somehow I must have taken the old card out of my wallet, signed the new card and then put the old card back in the wallet.

sunset on water baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing else much going on in the town I headed back for home.

By now, with the sun having moved around on its cycle and with the clouds having been blown around by the wind the sun was now shining in a different direction. It was rather later than usual so we were having a gorgeous orange glow in the sky which was reflecting off the water in the bay.

This is without doubt one of the best sunsets that we’ve seen so far, even though the photo was being photobombed by a seagull flying through the shot and I stayed out there for a while to watch it – the sunset that is, not the seagull.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there I had a look down to see what was going on at the chantier navale

There was nothing special going on there this afternoon. The yacht is still there on its blocks and there are a couple of cars parked around it. It’s not clear though whether they have anything to do with the yacht or its owners. There certainly doesn’t seem to have been much progress on the yacht, whatever they might be doing, over the past few months.

The trawler is still there too, parked up on blocks at the back near the portable boat lift. There’s a van parked right by it so it might well be that there has been some kind of work being undertaken.

But that’s been there for a while too.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRather than go straight home I went to have a look out to sea from the North side of the headland to see if there was anything exciting going on.

Nothing much at all though this afternoon. No boats out to sea or anything else. There were a few people out walking on the beach, presumably looking for shellfish or something similar lying around on the beach. I’m not sure what they have found.

For a couple of minutes I watched them and then came on back into the apartment for a hot coffee and a slice of Christmas cake. Having digested that I cracked on with the radio work that I had been doing until I finished it.

And I might have finished it earlier too had I not crashed out a couple of times.

gymnasium jean galfione Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the practice with the 6-string guitar, I headed off out for my evening walk.

Seeing as I hadn’t been round the headland this afternoon I went that way this evening in the dark. The gymnasium of the College Malraux was all lit up and so there must have been something going in there. It’s actually called the Gymnase Jean Galfione.

And in case you are wondering who Jean Galfione was when he was at home, if he ever was, he is probably France’s most successful pole vaulter and won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympic Games as well as winning several other championship events.

woman with laptop pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s a shame that this photo hasn’t worked out as I wanted, but it was taken in quite a hurry.

You can’t actually see clearly in this photo but there’s a woman there with a large dog, and also a laptop computer. And what she’s doing working on a laptop with a dog outside in the middle of winter I really do not know.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few months ago we also saw a couple of other people working on a laptop outside in the cold on the city walls. So I’ve no idea what that is all about.

From there, I ran home – my first run for a week or 10 days. I really wasn’t up to it and I was in agony when I finished but I can’t let this thing pass me by.

Tea was pasta with veg and some veggie balls followed by defrosted apple crumble; And then I made my sourdough loaf – or, at least, the first mix of it so that it can do what it might do overnight. It’s crammed full of goodies like

  • a pile of whizzed up brazil nuts
  • several dessert spoons of desiccated coconut
  • ditto sunflower seeds
  • a couple of handfuls of raisins
  • ditto jellied fruits

and I can’t wait to see how it comes out.

And now that I’ve finished my notes I’m going to make some dough for my main loaf and let that rise overnight too. It both loaves have their second kneading first thing tomorrow morning, they’ll be ready to bake as soon a I come back from the shops and I can have fresh bread for lunch.

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

… busy today, for a change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 15th September 2020 – DESPITE NOT …

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… doing everything that I wanted to do, I’ve still had an extremely busy and active day today. I’ve never stopped and, even more surprisingly, I didn’t crash out either. That’s not really a surprise – it’s a shock!

So while you admire some photos of this evening’s beautiful sunset, let me mention that while once more I missed the third alarm, it was only by a matter of seconds and I was immediately up and sitting on the edge of the bed.

Mind you, it did take me a few minutes to collect my thoughts and summon up the strength to move, but that’s par for the course these days.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall During the night I was in my old office in Prince Albert Street. I’d had a shave and a wash but the hairs that I had shaved off my face weren’t flushing down the drain of the sink. There was a young guy sitting there by the side of the sink waiting for me to finish but I was just taking longer and longer and longer because of these hairs. In the end I told him that I was ready to get up but I can’t leave it like this because of the hairs. He said “let me have a look” and he tried to move it as well. He said “what you need is a new sink because the capacity on this isn’t enough. We need to go along and get another sink” which I thought was silly because they just don’t issue sinks like this but off we went, clambering over a few items into the main office and out again over another pile of stores. We were asked what we were looking for and we explained about the new sink. Someone said “you’ll be really lucky finding a new sink like this. You want to try a new plug hole”.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallA few more of the arrears from the dictaphone disappeared too which is good news as I slowly catch up.

After that, I tidied up in the kitchen and the dining area. We have our Welsh lesson this morning and that’s on line. I don’t really want people to see the chaos in which I live these days.

And having put all of that behind me I sat down and did some more revision of the previous course. I’ve forgotten almost everything that I learnt in the Spring.

At least, that’s what I thought because I found that once the lesson started I could actually remember some of the things that I had learned. More than I thought, more than was necessary for our opening session and more than some of my fellow-students.

Interestingly, we have a student from Romania living in Connah’s Quay who is learning Welsh. That’s certainly something quite extraordinary.

Instead of two hours, these lessons are 2.5 hours so we didn’t finish until 13:30. That meant a rather late lunch.

Having used the last of the bread, this afternoon I baked some bread. Some ordinary bread, into which I added a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds, and also a smaller loaf with a banana, some sultanas and a pile of ground almonds added to it, brushed with soya milk and sprinkled with brown sugar.

While all of that was rising in the corner, I attacked the carrots that I had bought the other day. They were peeled and diced, blanched in boiling water with some bay leaves and then drained and left to dry.

While they were drying, I peeled and diced a lump of ginger into some tiny fragments and then boiled them in some water.

While they were boiling, I peeled the lemons that I had, put them in a whizzer and whizzed them gently to separate the juice. That went onto a glass and then the remainder was thoroughly whizzed round into a pulp and then added to the ginger and water that was boiling. This was then set to simmer.

diving platform fishing boats pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile the lemon and ginger was simmering away, I went out for my afternoon walk.

It was a beautiful afternoon again, hot and sunny with very little wind. And plenty of people out there too enjoying it. The fishermen were out there as well.

At least, I reckon that they are fishermen because I can’t think of what else they might be doing in those boats down there so close inshore by the diving platform at the Pointe du Roc.

la grande ancre english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were quite a few other boats out there too. Not very many yachts today, with it not being weekend, but quite a few others.

Here’s one of our old friends again. She’s La Grande Ancre and she seems to spend much of her time engaged in fishing activity and the rest of the time transporting items out to the Ile de Chausey.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw her go out a year or two back with a tractor on her deck and she’s had many other things to transport as well, although she doesn’t seem to do as much in that line since Chausiais arrived.

driftwood part of cabinet washed ashore pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut here’s something interesting down there on the rocks.

One thing that I have noticed about the coastline here is that driftwood of any sort is very rare. We haven’t seen anything interesting, despite all the storms that we have. But this down here is the first substantial item that I’ve seen in all the time that I’ve been here.

The kids were out here again playing around on the grass. And I now know what they are doing, because I had a close look. They are having sessions in Orienteering – being given various sets of co-ordinates and running from point-to-point armed with a map and a compass.

Strangely enough, that’s the one thing that I know something about because in 1971 I came 15th in the North West England Schools’ Championship.

And no – there were not only 15 entrants.

But anyway, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the proceedings over the next few weeks to see how they are doing

trawlers chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn that note I wandered off around the headland to the other side of the promontory.

And there’s some excitement today in the Chantier Navale. Over the last week or two there have been as many as seven boats in there and that’s been the most that I have ever seen – up until today, that is.

As I went past this afternoon, I noticed that they had just pulled another fishing boat out of the water with the mobile crane. That’s eight boats in there today and I’ve never ever seen that many at any one time.

hang gliders boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallSo we’ve seen crowds on the land and crowds in the sea. I’m sure that you are all wondering what is going on in the air.

The answer is that despite the apparent lack of wind this afternoon the Bird-Men of Alcatraz were flying around somehow. At one particular moment I counted three of them in the air all at once and I’m not sure how they are keeping aloft.

As an aside, I’ve not had any news about the bird-man who came to grief 10 days ago on the rocks by the tidal pool. I wonder how he’s getting on.

police on duty college malraux granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the things that features quite regularly on these pages is the question of pathetic parking. The Rue St Pierre by the entrance to the College Malraux at school chucking-out time is notorious in this respect.

But not today.

Obviously the local constabulary is a keen reader of my pages because today we have one of Macron’s Finest on duty keeping an eye on things, including, one assumes, the wild parking.

If everyone can park properly in the free car park round the corner when there’s a copper on duty, why can’t they do it all the time?

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOnly one thing remained to be done before I could clear off home.

We have a visitor in the harbour this afternoon. One of the Jersey freighters, Normandy Trader, has come into port on the morning tide.

She’s been in a couple of times since we last saw her but the ship is very busy with plenty of work so there have been some really rapid turn-rounds just recently. She’s been in like Flynn and out again on the same tide which means that I’ve not been lucky enough to be present to snatch a photograph.

We’ve not seen Thora, the other Jersey freighter, for a while either. Things must be hotting up with the run-in to Brexit.

Back in the apartment I put the oven on to heat up and when it was warm enough, I bunged the bread inside.

home made bread banana bread blanched carrots lemon ginger honey cordial place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallTaking the ginger and lemon mix off the heat, I put it in the whizzer, added two tablespoons of honey and the lemon juice that I had decanted earlier and then whizzed it all around into a nice pulpy syrup. Then put it into a bottle with some turmeric.

When the bread was cooked I tipped the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool down.

And here are the finished product. The bread is cooling down on the rack, the carrots are now freezing nicely in the freezer and the bottle of lemon and ginger cordial is in the fridge.

And the cordial is delicious too. I tried a sample of it just now.

rue du nord place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallTea was a burger on a bap with baked potatoes (I did them in the oven while I was baking the bread) followed by apple crumble and soya coconut dessert.

That was the cue to nip out for my evening walk and runs. We’ve seen the beautiful sunset this evening, and I reckoned that while I was out there I would take a photograph of the Rue du Nord and the Place d’Armes.

You can’t see very much of my own building, but in the background to the right is the College Malraux, the local High School.

And, of course, you can see some of the decaying medieval wall that is fenced off to stop people putting themselves at risk by walking close to it.

It’s one of four parts of the wall that are fenced off right now and there seems to be no effort being made to fix them, which is a shame. The whole place is falling to bits.

flock of birds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom the rue du Nord I ran on along the footpath, walked a while to catch my breath and then ran on along the Square Maurice Marland.

While there was nothing particular going on as far as terrestrial objects go, there were huge flocks of birds taking off, flying around in a couple of circles and then landing again – only to take off again and repeating the process ad infinitum.

It’s difficult to make assumptions of course but it seems to me that they are practising their formation flying en masse with all of the young newly-born fledgelings ready for their flight south in a couple of weeks time.

flock of birds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere were hundreds and hundreds circling around, so I stopped and watched them for a while and then ran on home.

But with it being quite light this evening you are probably wondering why I’m out and about so early. The truth is that there’s football on the internet kicking off at 20:45 – Newtown v Caernarfon Town in the JD Cymru (Welsh Premier) League and I wanted to be home in time for the kick-off.

It wasn’t a very exciting match and, to be quite frank, these two teams are not going to be up there challenging for the honours at the end of the season.

The fire has gone out in Caernarfon and their central defence was somewhat conspicuous by its absence. Newtown were probably slightly the better side but their attack was rather wayward and they failed to take full advantage.

However Caernarfon ended up winning 3-2, which surprised me considerably, but it was down to one moment of magic from Paulo Mendes, another from Noah Edwards (aided by some miserable Newtown defending out by the corner flag) and some excellent work from Mike Hayes, who Bala will end up regretting releasing.

It’s now long after 03:00 and I’m still not tired so I’m carrying on working and I’ll switch off the alarms for the morning. I’d written half of the speech for my radio programme this afternoon so I can finish that off and then get on with the internet web lesson that I missed.

Monday 7th September 2020 – I DIDN’T …

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall… do anything like I intended to do today. And while you admire the photos of this evening’s night sky, I’ll tell you all about it.

It all actually started off quite well though. Despite not going to bed until long after 01:00, I still up and about before the third alarm went off. And I bet that that surprised you as much as it surprised me.

Mind you, it would be wrong to suggest that I was leaping about raring to go. I was sitting on the bed with my feet on the ground but that was about all that can be said for it.

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving slowly come round to consciousness, I had my medication and then sat down to do the paperwork.

However I was interrupted by a ‘phone call. A few months ago, a newspaper reporter took my ‘phone number and said that he would ‘phone me some time.

Not having heard anything from him for a while I’d forgotten all about it. But he rang me up this morning to see if he could come round for a chat. That meant a really good tidying-up session, vacuuming the apartment and washing the floors.

All my plans for the day thus went right out of the window.

When he came round, we had a really good chat about the radio, about music and about all kinds of subjects. I was glad that I’d had something to eat before he came because he was here until about 15:30.

ship english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWith a few urgent things to do it was rather later than usual when I went out for my afternoon walk.

The afternoon was magnificent. It was quite warm with some pleasant wind. The sky was quite clear and you could see for miles. Right out on the horizon presumably on its way to the Channel islands was a ship.

It made me wonder if it was a ferry of some description but back here when i cropped and enlarged it, I couldn’t make out what kind of ship it might be. It’s quite possibly some kind of military vessel.

cap de carteret granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was an even better view right up the coast towards Cherbourg.

By my calculations, which may or may not be correct, that in the background on the horizon is the range of hills at the back of the Cap de Carteret and all the way up to Bricquebec.

It’s been three and a half years since I moved here and I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the coast as clear as this during all of this time.

cap frehel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallMy afternoon walk went all around the headland and back down the other side.

However at the end of the headland I climbed up on one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall to see what the view was like from up there. And sure enough, Cap Fréhel and the lighthouse were pretty prominent right out on the horizon.

What we could also see too was the coastline all the way up there, including the bay where St-Cast-le-Guildo, the port where we overnighted one night on our sail up the coast on Spirit of Conrad, is situated.

And I’ve only seen that once before, I think.

hang gliders pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe bird-men of Alcatraz were out there yet again enjoying the good weather.

When the journalist and I were having our chat, I asked about the hang-glider who was injured on Saturday. He told me that he was still in intensive care with damage to his spinal column and it’s not clear what his future prospects are.

But all of that didn’t stop the current crop of hang-glider pilots from performing all kinds of aerobatics and so on right on the edge of the cliffs and right in front of the pedestrians strolling around the headland.

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWe were treated to another aerobatic display too while we were out on our walk.

This time though, it was a display of nature. That bird of prey that’s been loitering around the rabbit colony in the cliffs was back again hovering over the cliff edge. It remained stationary, beating its wings, for long enough for me to take a really good photograph of it.

There was nothing else going on during my travels so I came back home to have a closer look at some of the photographs that i’d taken, to see what I could see.

home made bread banana bread granville manche normandy france eric hallBack here, before I looked at the photos, I had bread to bake seeing as I’ve run out.

For some reason or other, the larger loaf of bread didn’t rise up as well as it has done in the past. It’s certainly better than the first two or three that I made, but not as good as the last couple.

As for the banana bread, that looks pretty good and I’m hoping that it tastes as good as it looks. I went to town with the sultanas and that’s given it some added oommph. As well as that, I brushed the surface with milk and sprinkled brown sugar on top.

While the oven was baking the bread, I stuck a potato and some frozen pie in there. What with some vegetables and gravy, followed by my apple turnover and coconut soya dessert, it made a really delicious tea.

Tomorrow I fancy a burger on a bap, I reckon.

street light illuminated trees square Maurice Marland granville manche normandy france eric hallOn my walk around tonight, I had the f1.8 50mm lens on the camera – hence the brighter images.

You’ve already seen the sky over the English Channel, but there wasn’t anything else of any importance so I took another photo of the Square Maurice Marland and the illuminated trees.

Altogether I did my three runs, and I almost walked on a young couple having a quiet moment in a darkened corner of the city walls.

So later than usual, I’m off to bed now. I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll be on form to crack on with work. I crashed out today for an hour or so before tea, but I’ve also chosen the music for the next radio programme so at least I have done something.

But I need to push on with my work otherwise i won’t ever get anywhere.

Sunday 30th August 2020 – I’VE HAD A …

home made pizza home backed bread banana bread granville manche normandy france eric hall… bit of a bake-in today.

Apart from the rice pudding that you can’t see, and the vegan pizza that you can, you’ll also notice two loaves of bread.

The larger one is of course a standard loaf of bread with a generous helping of sunflower seeds. As for the smaller one, it was 200 grams of flour with a couple of generous handfuls of sultanas and an over-ripe banana mixed well in

At the moment I’ve no idea what it tastes like, but I shall find that out tomorrow. It goes without saying that I have high hopes for this, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating – quite literally in this respect

marite english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallso while you admire the photos of Marité coming back to harbour, this morning was quite a strange morning. Even though there was no alarm, I awoke at 06:17. No chance of my getting out of bed at that time though. 10:00 is a much more likely time to heave myself out of bed on a Sunday.

And a big “hello” to Castor and Pollux who came to join me on a trip out last night. They had been off somewhere in some kind of themed concert, fancy dress type of thing. I had to go to pick them up afterwards. Pollux had a something, a kind of hood on with what looked like a knife blade sticking up out of the back. I can’t remember what Castor was wearing and imagine that! Me taking little notice of Castor’s apparel. it had been like a themed harem kind of thing. I picked them up and brought them back.
There was much more to it than this and when you’ve finished eating your meal I’ll tell you all of the gruesome details.

marite baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBefore this there had been some kind of thing about trains where we had got to London and we were waiting at a station which was a combined tube and main line station in West London. There were tube trains stopping there and trains going to Birmingham as well. We were cornered by someone, me and this girl. Someone wanted something or other and he was a bit violent so when he started to throw his weight around I kicked him in the groin and he just keeled over onto the floor clutching his groin saying that he was going to get me, all this kind of thing. We just wandered off. His train came in and so he staggered onto it. About a minute later we ended up on a train as well. We were going round to Hanley – the Potteries on the train on one of the old loop lines. The ticket collector came along and asked for our tickets . I had about 100 tickets in my pockets that someone had given me from all various places. I had to search through them and in the end he said “this is a Birmingham train” so I found a ticket that had Birmingham on it. Even though it had been clipped once I gave it to him and he clipped it again and whoever I was with, she gave him the correct ticket. That would cause complications if we were controlled again because we were getting off this train somewhere and getting back on another one and with me having used any old ticket collected was going to be complicated for continuing our journey.
And this strikes me as having a familiar ring about it when once on a nocturnal ramble I was on a train in Crewe Station.

marite baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallSomewhat later on I was living in a house a bit like Hankelow Hall with all of these rooms. I remember that it was August and I had the heating on because it was so cold. i was spending my time working between the computer in one room and the kitchen in another. Suddenly this house became occupied by students as well. I had my things all over the place so i had to start tidying up. There were tins of food absolutely everywhere – a mess and so on but little by little I was getting this place somehow tidied up. I had to say that my tenants were really good-natured about it because I wouldn’t have been this good-natured had it been someone else. I had a pile of money – copper coins and 10c pieces lying all over the place as well. This surprisingly wasn’t being moved by anyone. We were all in cooking a meal and I was getting all my stuff organised slowly to make some space for everyone else, putting my dirty clothes in for washing, that kind of thing, filling a bin with rubbish. The conversation came round to something that I had recorded as a demo for someone, a speech about someone’s broken arm. It turned out to be a very prescient comment according to these kids but when they played it back I couldn’t see how it related to anything but they seemed to think that it did

Pierre came round this morning to see if I’d received the presents from yesterday. I thanked him very much, and he told me that Catherine, the girl who had made them, would be coming off the Chausey boat later that afternoon at about 16:00.

That gave me just enough time to crack on with the bread making.

autogyro granville manche normandy france eric hallDown in the town I found out that the Chausey ferries would be coming in at about 17:00 so I had a little sit-down to relax for a short while.

Once I’d recovered my breath I went for a little walk along the harbour wall. However I didn’t go very far before my reverie was interrupted. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the autogyro that we’ve seen flying over us every now and then. And here it was again.

It’s another one of those objects in which I shall have to go for a fly around one of these days. It probably takes off from the airport at Donville les Bains so I’ll have to wander off over there.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe boat came in earlier than anticipated but I was there to meet it.

However I couldn’t see Catherine anywhere so in the end after a good look around I came home again. I’ll have to send her an e-mail to thank her but that’s not going to be easy to send her the bottle of wine.

Once all of the break was baked I made my pizza. It was another delicious one and so filling, I didn’t have any pudding. That will be for another day I reckon.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter tea I went out for my usual evening walk

The sun had long-since sunk below the horizon but there was a beautiful radiant red sky away out over the Ile de Chausey this evening.

There were a few people out there enjoying the evening view too, taking photographs and the like. It’s been a while since i’ve seen so many people out there and it’s no surprise that Covid infections are running so high at the moment with all of this.

Seeing the casual way in which people are wearing their masks, it’s hardly any surprise.

boat with light cap frehel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallThis was quite an interesting sight.

Even though it was fairly dark this evening there was still a clear view all the way down the Brittany coast. The lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, to the extreme right of the image is quite clearly visible even though it’s over 70kms away

It was also interesting to see the light out to sea too. It’s probably a trawler or some other fishing boat with its nets out having a go at making a catch.

So back here I wrote up my notes and that was that. i’m going to have an early night because there is plenty of work to do starting tomorrow – all of the usual stuff plus catching up on arrears and there’s also a new internet course starting

So here’s hoping for more pleasant dreams with charming companions.

Thursday 20th August 2020 – IT’S BEEN …

clouds sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… another slightly better day today, and while you admire a few photos of the evening sunset – because I managed to get out and about today – I’ll tell you all about it.

Mind you, it could just as easily not have been because for some reason or other I couldn’t go to sleep last night. It was 01:30 and I was still awake, working on the computer.

But sleep I eventually did because the alarms awoke me at 06:00. Mind you, that doesn’t mean that I was out of bed at that time.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall08:15 is a much more reasonable time to be leaving the bed when I’m not feeling well. Plenty of time for me to go off on a noturnal voyage here and there

I was in Scandinavia last night and there was some friction at the border, to do with transporting young people across the national line from one to the other. You aren’t allowed to do it, rather like the old Mann Act in the USA. I can’t remember but I was going across and it was a question of a girl who came under this particular jurisdiction. Whether she had come with me I dunno but I ended up being chased by these people who wanted to arrest me. We had all kinds of James Bond things, Spiderman leaping from buildings, all this kind of thing, running at ridiculous lengths for ridiculous distances at ridiculous speeds, everything so that I could get clear of whoever was pursuing me about this and eventually find my way across the border.

light out to sea english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallBack at the border again I was walking past a kind of supermarket which had a huge tent as an entrance. 4 or 5 men went in there. I thought that these looked suspicious – they were rough, heavily-armed type of people so I waited outside the door. There was someone else waiting outside the door too who was clearly going to be helping them. They came out with these two girls and it was clear that they were intending to take them across the border so I intercepted and grabbed hold of these two girls and steered them off and these people came after me. They caught me in some kind of area but I had a machine gun and just let fly at a couple of people with it. I can’t remember whether I hit anyone or anything like that. With this machine gun I was well in control of the situation here about liberating these two girls .

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallSome time later I was back in a similar kind of situation, if not further along on the same voyage. Yet again, it was a border crossing thing.

This time though I was on a motorbike this time having to cross the border which was not so straightforward as I would have liked bearing in mind that the countries were in the EU. Again it was a question of what to do with the young girl who was there.

Unfortunately I don’t remember much about it because I awoke in the middle of it with the thing well under way and I missed the most exciting bits – the story of my life I suppose.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallSo now that I seem to be feeling a little better, what exactly have I done today to put my life back in order?

Apart from the usual bits of paperwork here and there that needed sticking away, I’ve actually been something of a busy boy, which took me completely by surprise.

Now that I’ve finally managed to organise the photographs of today you can see something of what I’ve been up to, if you are all up to it, that is.

crowds watching clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst of all and most importantly, I’ve managed two meals today.

For tea this evening I had a ferret around in the freezer and ended up with a potato curry that I had made back in June with some rice. This was followed by an improvised dessert of pineapple chunks and ice cream.

For lunch though, there is no bread here so I had a couple of taco rolls with salad. It’s a good job that I have a packet or two of those in stock. And they were really nice too.

But two proper meals in a day is pretty much of an improvement.

crowds watching clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall
No bread reminded me that I ought to be doing something about it. After all, I have all of the ingredients and I seem to have a little energy and enthusiasm today.

I emptied a sachet of yeast into about 250 ml of slightly warm water into which a table spoon of sugar had been dissolved, and left the yeast to ferment. While that was a-doing I took 500 grammes of flour, added some salt and a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds and mixed it all together with my hands.

Then I added the liquid which by now had a nice frothy foam on top, and mixed it all together and gave it a really good kneading to mix it all togather. When the dough had all gone nice and smooth and elastic afer about 10 minutes, I put it on one side with a cover over the top to proof.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe bread usually takes about an hour or an hour and a half to proof – the dough should double in size – so there’s plenty of time to be getting on with things.

And things I did too. There was another little session on the photos from my little voyage too, and I managed to complete about 35 of them this afternoon.

That might not sound as if it’s very much but the fact that I’ve been able to concentrate to that extent is definitely something of an improvement over how I’ve been for the last few days.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFinding that I was still feeling somewhat better, I plucked up the courage to go for a walk around outside.

And I’m glad that I did, even if it was something of a very slow stagger around, because it really was a beautiful day out there this afternoon. Down on the beach just below the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord there were plenty of people enjoying it.

It was the kind of thing that might have tempted me to go and join them but I wasn’t sure how I’d climb back up the steps.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so instead I pushed on along the pathway underneath the walls, fighting my way through the throngs of people out taking the air.

Down on the beach at the Plat Gousset there were plenty of people taking the sun too. The tide was well out, as you saw in the previous photo, so there was plenty of room to spread out for your social distancing.

That’s going to be pretty important too because one thing that I know about these viruses, having spent so much time reading about the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918, is that it’sll be back. And back in spades too.

young seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the things that I wanted to do while I was out was to check on how the baby seagulls were doing.

Off I toddled around to the Square Maurice Marland where I could see over the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs where they had made their nests earlier this year. And sure enough, there was a very fine example of a baby seagull just here.

Not such a baby now either. Probably as big as his mum, I reckon. But at least he’s one of the survivors. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the baby that we were following at first didn’t seem to make it.

tree trunks wrapped in woollen texture square maurice marland granville manche normandy france eric hallBut what’s going on here? This is something completely new that wasn’t here before.

Down on a couple of the trees at the far end of the Square someone has seen fit to knit some kind of woollen warmer for the tree trunks of a couple of the trees. This is extremely puzzling. I don’t understand the purpose of this. After all, the trees have managed quite well on their own for the last God knows how long.

The artists around here are a funny lot, that’s for sure.

Back in the apartment I had a look at the bread to see how it was doing.

It had risen somewhat, although nothing like what I was hoping for. That seems to be a problem with the bread that I make. But anyway, I gave it another good kneading, shaped it, and put it into the mould that I use and which I had greased all ready. It can have another go.

And while it was doing, I went and had a crash out on the chair in the bedroom. The walk had done me in for right now.

home made bread place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hall
When I’d recovered my wits – not that that takes too long these days because I don’t have too many left – I switched on the oven and when it was hot, I bunged the bread inside.

70 minutes later, the timer switched off so I went to extract it. And by the looks of things it came out really well too. Not quite as overwhelming as the previous one, but still looking pretty good.

As for how it tastes, I’ll give you my verdict on that tomorrow lunchtime when I try it. Home-made bread is always good.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now I’d recovered womwhat from my exertions of the afternoon walk so I decided to take my courage in my two hands and set out for an evening walk.

And how there’s been a change since I was here last because even though it’s only 21:00 the sun is sinking rapidly down behind the horizon. Crowds of people out there enjoying it too, which is not much good for the social distancing, but that’s going to be an eternal problem, I reckon.

Nevertheless I hung around and took a few shots of the sun sinking into the sea.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallTen seconds later the sun had gone completely.

You have no idea whatever of just how quicky the sun disappears. By my timing and that of the camera, it was still over 100% above the water just 3.5 minutes ago and that is really quite some going.

And once the sun had gone, the crowds on the headland here slowly dispersed, and me along with it. I had plenty of other things to be doing now that I’m out and about.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued on around to the other side of the headland.

As well as checking up on the baby seagulls I wanted to check up on the chantier navale too. That’s a regular port … “very good” – ed … on out travels. There are four boats in there this evening, and I don’t know if that’s more or less than last time because I can’t remember how many were in there the last time that I looked.

And even though it’s 21:15, there are people down there working on one of the boats. I suppose that when it’s your living, you don’t do an 8-hour day 9-5.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd the people in the chantier navale weren’t the only ones out there working this evening.

As I watched, one of the Joly France boats, one of the two that run the ferries across to the Ile de Chausey, came around the headland towards the port. She had quite a crowd of people on board too. They must have had a really good day out today.

She’ll go right over to her starboard (right-hand) side to come into the harbour. The running water out of the harbour drain has scoured away a chanel over on that side so there’s more depth for the boats to make use of.

philcathane trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale I walked down the Boulevard Vaufleury to the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

There’s a viewpoint there that overlooks the inner harbour and I was interested to see who might be in there. The answer to that was “no-one special”. Just a whole collection of assorted fishing boats, amongst which was the trawler Philcathane, all nicely lit up and reflecting in the water.

From here I walked on home. No chance of running because I’m not up to that.

In fact the walks took a great deal out of me. I was exhausted after the first walk and crashed out on the chair. Right now, after the second, I’m even more exhausted and I’ll be off to bed in a minute. I’ve also made a couple of trips down to fetch stuff from Caliburn but I forgot to mention those earlier. There will have to be a major washing-up session soon so that I can clean everything that I brought with me, once I feel up to it.

So progress is being made – slowly but surely. It’s just like when I was in the High Arctic last year and how I slowly recovered at Rachel’s after my exertions over the three preceding months.

I’m clearly not as well as I used to be.

Thursday 16th July 2020 – TODAY WAS …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… not much better than the last couple of days. In fact in some respects it was worse because I missed the third alarm yet again.

So while you admire the photos of tonigh’s sunset, I’ll tell you that I only missed the alarm by 5 or so minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile, as we all know. What didn’t help was that all through the night I was awoken by some wicked attacks of cramp that really had me in pain. I could have done without those, right enough.

After the medication I checked the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallYes I’m not too sure about very much of last night’s dream at all except that I was in Belgium and I’d been out somewhere. I’d ended up on the frontier with France right on the point of a headland by the sea. There was a river that divided the two countries and you could see everything that was happening in France and I took a few photos. Then I went back to tell everyone where I’s been but people weren’t all that concerned or interested in what I was doing.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little later on I was playing football, playing central defence. I’d gone into a kind of forward attacking role to play the ball but I’d made a bit of a mess of it and the ball had got behind me with three attackers so I was running back after it but I just blew up – ran out of steam completely and could hardly move while I was chasing the ball and chasing these players
After another attack of cramp I went back to sleep and found myself on the playing field at the back of where we used to live in Shavington. There was the upper football pitch and the lower football pitch and I was on the upper one. everyone else was on the lower one and no-one was coming along to play with me so in the end I went down to join the others. But there were many more than 11-a-side there so I reckoned that one team ought to wear chasubles (I’m dreaming in French again) so that we would know who is on which team.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving disposed of all of that I turned my attention to the photos from July 2019. Another 50 or so bit the dust today which is good news, although I haven’t advanced very far. Right now we are in a fleet of zodiacs zooming around Kangerluluk Fjord on the east coast of Greenland. At this rate I’m never going to get to the North-West Passage, never mind New Brunswick.

It was shopping today too so I had a shower and a weigh-in. And my weight is still under my first target weight which is good news, I suppose.

And nice and clean, I changed the bedding and did a machine-load of washing. It’s all clean and nice-smelling right now which is good. I like the conditioner that I bought the other week.

film crew foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallSo off into town I set, having a quick chat with a neighbour as I left.

But I didn’t get very far. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s a film being made here just now. The seem to have transformed the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs into some kind of Government office and it was all floodlit this morning.

They must be filming something right at this moment, I reckon. And for that reason we are not allowed to approach the site.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route into town continued. And as I looked over the wall here I could see that down in the harbour “Old Faithful” is nack.

Chausiais must have moved pretty smartly this morning from the mooring underneath the crane because Normandy Traders, one of the little freighters from Jersey, is now in port.

The gates havent long been open so I imagine she sneaked in on the morning tide to drop off a load of shellfish from the Jersey Seafood Co-operative and pick up a load of material.

moving house place godal granville  manche normandy france eric hallOn I pushed to the Rampe du Monte Regret where I pictured a bizarre kind of house removal.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in Brussels we had portable lifts for all of this, but here apparently not. They were hauling up the stuff by hand with a couple of ropes.

That must have been hard work but it’s not a new experience for me. When I was younger I did all kinds of furniture removals like this, but that was in the days before Health and Safety regulations were in force.

Making my way into town, I called at the Post Office and sent off my letter – the one that I had written yesterday. Then I walked on to LIDL.

It beats me really why I went because I didn’t want to buy very much at all – and for a good reason too as regular readers of this rubbish will find out in a couple of days.

weedkillling with hot water rue de la houle granville manche normandy france eric hallIn the end, the grand total of €6:12 or something like that was what I spent.

On the way back down the Rue de la House I encountered this trange phenomenon – some people spraying the streets. That intrigued me greatly so I went to make further enquiries.

On the side of their little vehicle was a little sticker “weedkiller with boiling water”. So that’s what they are doing them. Pouring boiling water on the weeds.

How effective is that? I asked myself. It’s better for the environment than Agent Orange, that’s for sure. But does it really work that well?

On the way back I called at the vegetable shop and bought two (yes, two) carrots. For tea tonight and tomorrow. I won’t be needing any more for a while after that.

loading normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I headed on home up the Rue des Juifs.

Normandy Trader was still there being worked on. They were loading her up quite rapidly so it looks as if they are pushing to have her out of the harbour and on her way as soon as the gates open this afternoon

Back here I carried on with the photos for a while and then I had something else to do. There are a couple of cunning plans running round my head right now, one or two of which I have put in motion already.

One of the people approached actually replied (and another one did later this evening too) so I decided to push my luck and see if fortune would carry me onwards. That meant replying to the mail with a certain amount of jen ne sais quoi and seeing where we go with this.

But it’s not for right now, although it makes sense to push along while it’s fresh in people’s minds.

After lunch I started on my two courses. Firstly the song-writing course. And by the time that I knocked off I’d done the first week.
It didn’t teach me anything new but that’s not a problem. There is plenty of time and I have great hopes for this.

joly france baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter I’d finished I went for my afternoon walk around the walls.

The tourist season is well under way as we can imagine right now. Joly France is keeping quite busy, taking day-trippers on a couple of laps around the bay as she waits for the tides to turn so she can go back to the Ile de Chausey and pick up those whom she dumped on there earlier.

They do a lot of work in the tourist season, do the two Joly France boats. This is the older one, with the smaller windows, the larger upper deck and without the step in the stern.

boats people fishing baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThis is the kind of thing that makes me wish that I’d been out here 10 minutes earlier.

There is a huge load of small boats moored just off the headland as if there is a shoal of sea-bass in the vicinity. It seems to me that anyone who can hold a rod in his hand is out there trying his luck at catching supper.

I learnt the following day that it was in fact a shoal of mackerel that had appeared off the headland

And what confusion it must have caused to everyone when Joly France came round the corner at a rapid rate of knots. Scattered them like ninepins, I reckon.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallCarrying on my walk around the walls, I came to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The tide is rushing in right at this moment and the massed crowds of grockles have now retreated up to the sea wall to keep their feet out of the sea.

The tide isn’t a particularly high tide today – a coefficient in the 40s – so they might be lucky and stay dry. But it would be interesting to see the outcome of all of this if the tide does comme in higher than they are expecting.

hang glider bombed by seagull plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just on land or in the sea was it busy.

It goes without saying that there was plenty going on in the air this afternoon too. The Birdmen of Alcatraz are out there in force swooping around like a bunch of vultures.

The seagull here is taking a great deal of exception to this particular birdman. It spent a good 10 minutes or so buzzing him, presumably to get him to clear off. Unfortunately I didn’t have tile to stay and see how it ended but my money was on the seagull.

kids jumping from diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just boats out on the sea either. There were plenty of swimmers there too.

The diving platform was crowded with people too and others in the sea swimming out that way to take part in the sports. This young boy here showed us quuite an acrobatic somersault into the water.

He received a good 4.9 for artistic impression from the bystanders but he lost a few points on the technical merit. His entry into the water could have been better.

kids jumping from diving platform granville manche normandy france eric hallBut at least he entered the water quite rapidly. This young boy here was not quite so keen.

The onlookers on the cliff were urging him on, chanting “sautez, sautez” but he didn’t budge. A couple of the people on the platform were also counting him down to enter the water too.

Eventually the young boy in the previous photo pushed his way to the front and leapt in. This seemed to galvanise the other one here into action and he leapt in immediately afterwards, to a loud cheer and round of applause from the onlookers.

loading boats onto thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRound I went to the Square Maurice Marland I went to check on my baby seagull but he seems to have definitively gone now.

Something else that has gone is Normandy Trader. She must have cleared off the moment that the harbour gates opened because there at the loading bay in her place in Thora, the other Jersey freighter.

You might recall seeing in an earlier photo some shrink-wrapped boats on the back of a lorry at the side of the quay. They are now being loaded into Thora ready to go to the Channel Islands.

And Marité is back in port too after her adventures just recently.

market place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving spent a few minutes looking at the loading, I carried on with my walk.

And there are changes in the Place Cambernon too today. It looks as if a little market of sorts has sprung up in the square. Only a couple of stalls but it’s a start, I suppose. We could do with more like this in the neighbourhood

There is the pizza van of course. That’s here on Thursdays too so it looks like that’s the day for everyone to come to the old town just here. I wonder if the market will expand over time. I hope so.

film crew foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I was walking along the elevated section of the walls when I noticed that the filming at the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs had finished.

They were packing up the equipment so I took a photo to show you what was going on.

Back here I started the other course – “building an interactive website”. And unfortunately and depressingly, i crashed out yet again. Another good hour or so on the chair, well away with the fairies.

As a result I didn’t do half as much as I liked, so I’ll have to push on tomorrow as it’s going to be rather a busy day for me

There was the hour on the guitars, followed by tea. A lentil and potato curry out of the freezer followed by apple crumble.

joly france lifeboat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfterwards I went out for my run. And I don’t know why because my heart isn’t in it right now.

It’s knowing that I had a collapse in health a couple of weeks ago on the Spirit of Conrad that’s done it. I can feel the difference right now and it isn’t very nice.

But anyway I made it a good way up the hill before I shuddered to a halt, and then walked the remaining 100 metres to the corner. From there I ran on down past the itinerant to the clifftop.

There were a few people around but nothing at all happening so I walked across the lawn to the other side and then ran on down the next leg of my run.

From that rest point I could see that there was something going on at the ferry terminal. Joly France is there of course but the lifeboat is tied up next to it.

It beats me why it would be there. The only thing that I can think of is that it’s been out on a job and missed the tide for going back into the port de plaisance where it lives.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord I have to do in two legs these days. The strain is definitely getting to me these days, that’s for sure.

At the viewpoint I watched the sun go down, and you have already seen the photos of that. But once more there were the crowds on the beach enjoying the good weather (it was a really nice evening).

Having seen the sun go down, I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes. And now they are done I’m going to put away last week’s washing that I took off the clothes airer and then go to bed.

It will be a long day tomorrow so I want to be on form for it. I hope that I don’t have another attack of the cramps like last night.

Wednesday 15th July 2020 – WE HAD ANOTHER …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
… horrible day again today and I’m becoming rather fed up of this.

And while you all admire the photos of yet another beautiful sunset, I’ll tell you all about it.

In actual fact it all started so well and for a change I was filled with a certain amount of optimism. Despite something of a late night I managed to beat the third alarm to my feet, and that’s an achievement these days, that’s for sure

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was out last night with Rosemary and we were walking around a field where there were these old prehistoric statues, things like that. We became separated somehow and I was walking down to the edge of the field and who should I see at the edge of the field but Liz Ayers. “God, Liz, you’re dead!” Anyway she didn’t hear me and she was carrying on. I thought “if she sees me she’s going to start coming over to me and talk to me and that’s going to upset Rosemary. That’s not a very good idea”. But there was nowhere to go znd hide. I just had to brazen it out. Then something happened and it was a call for an assembly and everyone started to go back up the hill so I went back up the hill with everyone else. Someone was reading this text as to how as some kind of Pharaoh or God he was expected to walk 100 miles every day. The first day he had done 38 and the next day he had done 42. He set off and a few people started to follow him. Somehow I was swept up into following him as well. A few people started to dodge off down side streets so I went to dodge off down a side street but someone grabbed me and pulled me back into the main procession. It turned out that we were all expected to climb up the side of this house in our bear feet onto a scaffolding and start to rip the plaster off the front of this house. They gave the word and shouted to go so we all shot off. Slowly the rest of the crowd came to join in. There were a couple of guys who couldn’t make it up the side of this house – they didn’t have the right footwear. They were sobbing that they were going to be killed. As the crowd approached them the crowd started to climb up. There was a scaffolding near the top where people were standing and under the weight of the surging people the scaffolding collapsed. There were just a couple of people standing on the end and they had managed to scrape enough plaster off the front of this house to get in. Now they were passing stuff out from the house to throw down to the floor. I’ve no idea where I was by this time except that in the dream I was observing what was happening from a distance.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd whatever that is all about I really don’t have a clue.

For a change, I’ve been relatively busy today. First task was to deal with some more photos from July 2019. And I reviewed about 50 today which is good going as far as I’m concerned. Right now we are having tea on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour before going on a zodiac ride around Kangerluluk fjord – “The Awful Fjord” – in Greenland.

Second task was to write a letter. I’d received a letter the other day from a long-lost friend (I probably mentioned something about it at the time) and I reckoned that I had better reply before I forget completely.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter lunch there was yet more to do. First task this afternoon was to book Caliburn in for his bodywork.

That’s now arranged for late October ready for his control technique at the beginning of November. I need to bite the bullet and have the work done before it gets too bad.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I received – out of the blue a few months ago – a notification that I’m entitled to a works pension from when I worked for that weird American company in Watermael with Alison 15 years ago.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallI’d been sitting on the correspondence for a while but I received a reminder by registered post the other day so I reckoned that I’d better deal with it.

That involved a lot of searching for paperwork, photocopying, scanning, filling in forms and then ending it all off by e-mail. Only to have the e-mail rejected as “too large” so I had to divide it into four parts and send it off again.

That’s not come back yet so it might be good this time. But we shall see. I’ve no idea how much is involved, but it won’t be all that much, that’s for sure.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFinally there was a very long e-mail to send to a friend – someone I had met on board The Good Ship Ve … errr Ocean Endeavour 2 years ago.

She lived in California but we had somehow lost contact. She replied just as I was about to set off on the Spirit of Conrad to tell me that she had moved to Hawaii and had to stay with friends as her house wasn’t ready.

So that was something urgent that I needed to do before I’m much older. Plenty of things have happened since we last spoke so it’s high time that we updated each other with our news.

swimmer plat gousset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallOf course there was the afternoon walk around the walls.

The mobile canteen was still there although there were no customers around it. But I was more interested in what was going on out at sea. It wasn’t very warm at all so anyone out there in the water earned my respect, no-one more so than Captain Matthew Webb here.

He must be on his way to pay a call at Dawley Bank, although that doesn’t look much like old canal that carried the bricks to Lawley down there.

hang gliders donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallIt goes without saying that there was plenty of aerial activity today with the wind that we were having.

There were dozens of bird-men of Alcatraz in the air today and so I hung around for a while hoping for a mid-air collision to add a little bit of excitement to my otherwise-boring life.

Unfortunately nothing out of the ordinary happened while I was watching. After a couple of minutes I became somewhat bored so I pushed on … “pushed off, he means” – ed … down the path through the crowds of people.

kids jumping from diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were crowds too, blocking the pavements and paths and so on all the way around my circuit.

Crowds too on the beach and in the water round by the Plat Gousset. And all of the kids were once more on the diving platformm leaping off into the sea.

You saw plenty of photos of them yesterday so I won’t trouble you again. But here’s one for the record just to fill in the gap. I wasn’t going to wait for the others.

big wheel place godal etoile baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe scaffolding was still up with no sign of any workmen at the building in the Place Marechal Foch so I carried on around and into the Square Maurice Marland.

Etoile, the French maritime service’s sail-training ship was out there this afternoon. She looks as if she’s taking a load of passengers out for a day trip around the Baie de Mont St Michel.

The Big Wheel is in operation too with a good load of passengers right now. I can see as many as 6 passengers in there. It’s not as busy as one would think. But apart from that, look at the seagulls all loitering on the roof of the old cold store that was used when the town was an important port for trawlers working the Grand Banks.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was here I went to look at my baby seagull. But the roof was bare so I reckon that baby seagull has had its chips, if you pardon the expression.

On the other roofs, the rest of the colony of babies are stretching their wings. This one was having a load of fun flapping its wings and taking little leaps about.

They seem to have lost their baby plumage from their heads too and no longer look the same colour or pattern as their eggs. It won’t be long now before they all take to the air and then that will be fun.

etoile baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way home I came across Etoile again.

By now she’s heading off out to see with an an accompanying yacht riding along in her wake to see her off. I wonder if she’ll be coming back or whether this is goodbye.

On my return to the apartment I sat down to have a go at one of my courses but, shame as it is to admit it, I was out like a light on the chair in here for all of 90 minutes. I’d missed a whole early evening of work.

In fact I felt dreadful – dead to the world and it took a good while to pull myself together again. I reckon that this lack of medication is getting to me.

The next morning when I was reviewing the dictaphone I noticed that there was a note on it from this afternoon.

Apparently I’d been in bed with Nerina while I was away with the fairies. She suddenly realised that she had to go for a doctor’s appointment. so she got herself up and said should she bring back some mushy peas as well. I said “yes, and some chips and some vinegar”. I gave her a voucher that I had been keeping for Addison’s chip shop In Shavington where there was a special deal on in chips. She didn’t know where Addison’s was so I had to draw her a map in the sand on the floor so that she could work out her position and where the chip shop was.

Tea was a falafel and veg with cheese sauce. The falafel and veg were cooked in that microwave grill that Rachel gave me. But it doesn’t seem to work too well in my microwave and the food took ages to cook.

Next time that I try it, I’ll have to do things differently. Maybe slice the potatoes thinner, or use more oil, I dunno. But it still tasted nice with the vegan cheese sauce, now that I have some vegan cheese again after my trip to Belgium.

Dessert was more of that delicious apple crumble. I seem to have excelled myself here what with that and the bread.

Etoile english channel brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallOn my run up and around the headland I saw what at first glance looked as if it might be the lighthouse on Cap Fréhel looking even cleared than normal. Consequently I took a photo of it so that I could enlarge it and check when I returned to the apartment.

Closer inspection revealed instead that it’s a big white sailing ship with some of its sails furled.

At first I thought that it was Marité on her way home – after all, there’s only one big white sailing ship around here that I know of. But I counted the masts and there are only two, not three and so that makes me think that it’s Etoile sailing off into the sunset back home to Brest.

chausias big wheel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMarité wasn’t back in her berth in the harbour so she’s not made it back home as of yet.

Chausiais was there, moored up underneath the crane in the unloading bay where the two freighters from Jersey tie up when they arrive. It looks as if she will be taking a load out to the Ile de Chausey on the morning tide.

The Big Wheel was working away too. I like the idea of it being all lit up, something that I have never actually seen because I am usually never here at this time of the year, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

picnickers plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallRound at the viewpoint the canteen vehicle was there all closed up. However they had left an electric cable connected to it and plugged into one of the sockets. Imagine how long that would be there in the UK.

The picnickers were back on the beach too, enjoying the sunset. Not as many as we have seen in the past but even so the three of them there seemed to be having a good time,

And who could blame them? There was a terrible wind blowing but nevertheless it was a pleasant evening to be out

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd talking of the wind, it had upset my running this evening.

It was impossible to run down to the clifftop because it was straight into a headlong nor’easter that stopped me in my tracks and made me walk.

The itinerant was there. He had built himself a little shelter using his wheeled trolley as a windbreak and I can’t say that he didn’t need it.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe rest of the runs passed off without much incident.

The gale that was blowing down the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne stopped me in my tracks.

But that’s nothing new. Since I came back from my adventure on the high seas I’ve not been able to make it up the hill there anyway. Instead, I have to stop to catch my breath before I can do the next lap.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next lap takes me all the way round to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord where I could stand and admire the sunset.

As it slowly sank into the sea a small crowd of about two people gathered around me to take some photos. And when it had gone beneath the horizon I turned round and ran home.

Back here I wrote up my notes with something of an air of disappointment. My health isn’t doing very well right now which is no surprise because it’s been exactly 6 months since I’ve had my medical treatment.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThey aren’t going to treat me until at least October, something that I find very strange.

But they are in charge and presumably they know what they are doing. It just seems to me to be quite funny that when I miss a treatment they go berserk about it, yest they can let me go for 9 months without anything at all.

And on that note, I’m off to bed. It’s shopping tomorrow so I need to be on form for that.

Sunday 12th July 2020 – MY BREAD …

home baked bread place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hall… seems to have gone somewhat berserk today.

This isn’t cooked. This is it on its second rise in the windowsill. It’s totally overflowing the bread mould and about to expand onto the windowsill.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall my previous attempts at bread-making. I’ve never ever had bread perform quite like this. But then again it’s new flour and new yeast, and that must make a difference.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall So while you admire this evening’s sunset, let me tell you that the bread rose a darn sight better than I did this morning. Although for a Sunday, 10:00 is quite an acceptable time for me to be up and about.

There’s some stuff on the dictaphone too so I must have been somewhere during the night. Unfortunately what with one thing and another I forgot to transcribe the notes today.

You’ll have to check back tomorrow to see where I’ve been. I for one can”t wait to find out!

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNo time like the present! First thing that I did was to mix the bread dough. 600 grammes of flour and a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds seeing as they were reasonably handy. A couple of teaspoons of salt in there too, all mixed together.

Meanwhile I’d heated 400ml of water to about 30 degrees or so, added a little sugar to activate the yeast, and then a sachet of yeast.

That went onto one side until there was a really good froth on top of the water to show that the yeast was working, and then tipped into the flour and thoroughly mixed together.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe thing about bread dough is that you know when it’s exactly right. It makes a lovely elasticky ball that no longer sticks to anything and takes all of the floury mess off your hands.

It’s something of a “trial and error” procedure so you need a bit of flour and a bit of water stabding by in case your mixture is either too wet or too dry.

When it’s done, you stick it on one side under a cloth for a couple of hours and let it do its stuff.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd while it was doing its stuff I was busy editing some more photos from my trip on the Spirit of Conrad. There are about 400 of those and if I’ve done a quarter I’ll be lucky.

For lunch I had breakfast – muesli with soya milk and some grape juice.

Following that, I made some pizza dough – basically the same recipe as the bread dough except that I add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. 500 grammes of that is enough for three pizza bases.

That went on one side while I greased my bread mould and put the bread dough into it. That went onto the side next to the pizza dough.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallSunday is the day when I go for my very long afternoon walk and end up in town for my treat of the week – my vegan banana sorbet.

But with it being such a delicious hot day and all of the bright sunlight that goes with it, it had brought out the people in droves.

And no question of Social Distancing either. Crowds congregating as they wish. Anyone would think that this virus had passed and wasn’t coming back. But several hundred infections and several deaths every day ought to give someone a clue about what is happening.

yachts speedboats english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallAt least, out at sea, social distancing of a sort can be maintained.

And how many boats did you count out there in this photo? I haven’t counted them but there must be several dozen all jostling about in the English Channel in between the mainland and the Ile de Chausey.

We have yachts, speedboats, zodiacs, everything. You name it and it’s out there somewhere having a splash around at sea. And if I had the chance, I would be joining them.

yachts speedboat english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallBut it was a really beautiful day for photography.

The sky was hot, the air was clear and there wasn’t a trace of sea mist anywhere. It had all been burnt off. And so the view out to the Ile de Chausey was spectacular.

It’s not every day that you cans ee the colours of the buildings on the island as clearly as this. The lighthouse is there on its peak just to the left of centre, and the semaphore station is the square building on the ridge to the right.

st helier jersey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it wasn’t just the Ile de Chausey that stood out really well in the afternoon sun.

The island of Jersey was looking quite spectacular too today. We can actually see the houses at St Helier too – and that’s at a distance of about 58 kilometres away.

Unfortunately we can’t see if either Thora or Normandy Trader are on their way to pick up that load of timber that’s still on the quayside here awaiting collection

cap frehel brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd down the coast the weather is just as good too.

We saw yesterday the outline of the lighthouse away down the coast on Cap Fréhel but today we can even see the the Cape itself away on the extreme right of the image here.

As for the thing that’s farther over to th right, I’m still undecided as to what that might be. It could be a yacht or it could be one of the lighthouses off the coast of St Malo but I really have no idea.

1943 carving in concrete pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnyway, leaving that to one side for the moment I carried on with my walk along the top and then down the stairs to the viewpoint right at the end of the Pointe du Roc.

And here’s something that I don’t recall seeing before – or maybe I do, I dunno. A nice flat piece of concrete in the steps leading down, with a little design in it and dated 1943.

Probably a souvenir from when they were building the Atlantic Wall and there must be a story behind this if only I knew what it was. I wonder who inscribed it here.

seagulls on rocks in sea pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAs it happened, I’d gone down there for a special purpose.

While I was descending the steps I noticed a huge swarm of seagulls on the rocks and riding the waves and I hadn’t a clue why. My first thought was that they might have been fishing but I didn’t notice any bird catch anything – rather like my local fishermen.

It wasn’t as if they were sleeping either. There was plenty of activity going on down there, so it beats me.

fishing from rocks pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut talking of fishing … “well, one of us is” – ed … one of the rocks out there had a fisherman or two perched thereupon.

Jusding by the writing on the back of the tee-shirt – BELGIUM – they are probably grockles come to disturb the peace of the local inhabitants.

For a good few minutes I stood and watched them too but, true to form, they didn’t pull anything out of the water. As I have said … “on many, many occasions” – ed … I’ve yet to actually see any fishermen actually catch anything there

trawlers chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued along the old road that eventually comes out by the chantier navale.

And dodging the swarming masses I finally made it down there to see what was going on. We still have six boats in there. I know that you can only see five but the sixth is in front of the two on the extreme left and you can’t see it.

There were massive crowds too on the quayside around here. Holiday season is in full swing and it was definitely a case of “dodge the covid-carrier” around here today.

portacabins gone from port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe gates across the harbour entrance were closed so it was possible for me to walk across the top to the other side.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago we saw a rack of portacabins over here for some reason or other – I never did find out why. But they have gone now so whatever they were doing is finished.

ulm microlight granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving dealt with that I walked through the port and then around the town in a glorious figure of 8, ending up at the ice cream parlour for my Sunday ice cream

But not before I was buzzed once more by yet another low-flying object. A microlight, or ULM as they call them around here, was flying by overhead disturbing the peace.

So having picked up my ice-cream I headed off once more down the Rue Lecampion and down the Rue du Port

buoys on boatd fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe new car park down there is depressing me completely. A solid mass of tarmac without one blade of grass or any other greenery What a shame.

And that thought brought me along to one of the fishing boats here. Do you notice the buoys and the flags at the stern? Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve often wondered about those, but now I know.

The flags are an indication that a casier such as a lobster pot, is at the other end on the sea bed. And the round buoys can either serve that purpose too or otherwise they might be mooring buoys

coelacanthe tiberiade port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA couple of our more well-know trawlers are in the harbour today.

Coelacanthe and Tiberiade probably belong to the same company, seeing as they carry the same livery, but they are in fact different types of boat.

Coelacanthe seems to be a bigger boat, with more solid superstructure at the side rails and with a different array on the cabin roof.

One of these days I’ll have to blag myself a ride out to sea in one of them.

Rosemary called me while I was out so I arranged to phone her when I returned home.

Back here, by now we’ve already seen what has become of the bread in the bread mould, and the pizza dough has expanded dramatically too.

In the meantime I phoned Rosemary back and we had a chat. And I worked out a cunning plan, more of which anon

So while the oven was heating up I prepared an apple crumble. The bread went into the oven when it was hot, followed by the crumble. But there was plenty of crumble mix left over so with another apple, I made a small apple crumble too. There will be enough for ages, I reckon, like that.

Once the bread and the crumble was under way I split the pizza dough into 3. One I rolled out and shaped to fit in the pizza tray and the other two were rolled in olive oil, wrapped in greaseproof paper and put in a plastic bag in the freezer for another time.

vegan pizza place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving left the pizza on its tray for half an hour, I then went and prepared it ready for the oven.

When I took out the bread and the crumble, I put the pizza in and let it cook for half an hour. And this is the result.

The pizza base had risen to perfection – it really had – and the toppings of course were the usual delicious items. I have to say that this was the best pizza that I have ever cooked – and I’ve cooked plenty of them, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

home baked bread apple crumble place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAs for the bread and the apple crumble, then the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

And the eating didn’t take place tonight because I was rather full after my pizza and i’m trying to cut down on what I eat. So I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.

One thing though – with all of this cooking there was a whole pile of tidying up and washing up to do. Not my favourite occupation at all.

later on, I went out for my evening run, dropping off the bin bag in the bin as I went.

people sitting in sunset pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWith a little effort I managed to extend my run up the hill another 50 metres again, and then having walked up to the corner, i ran down to the clifftop.

Nothing much going on there so I walked across the lawn to the other side. On the viewpoint was a couple watching the evening sunset. And quite right too because, as you have already seen, it really was beautiful again tonight.

The next stage of my run took me along the clifftop but there was nothing going on there very much.

striations colour variations in water pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWe did however have another case of the different colours in the water.

And while I was on the train the other day i was reading the account of the journey of Vilhjalmur Stefansson to the Arctic coast of Canada between 1908 and 1912

Of the Mackenzie River he wrote “The huge volume of fresh water in the spring (the river usually opens between the fifth and twenty-fifth of May) not only melts away the sea ice, but also by its current drives away any that happens to be floating about, so that none but the strongest ones from seaward can fill the immediate vicinity of the delta with ice. The volume of fresh water is so large, tluit the whaling ships in passing outside of Mackenzie Bay take water for cooking and drinking purposes that has not a taint of brackishness
even where land is not in sight from the masthead”.

Doesn’t that sound familiar?

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallI ran on down the Boulevard Vaufleury and having recovered my breath, I ran on round to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

We’ve already seen the sunset out to sea and while there were no picnickers this evening, there were still a few people on the beach.

Crowds up here watching the sunset too so I didn’t hang around for long after the sun had gone down. I ran on home to write up my notes.

And having done that, much later than I intended, I’m now off to bed. It’s been a long day and I deserve a good rest.

Saturday 11th July 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… day I’ve had today!

While you admire the beautiful sunset from this evening, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that it always takes me a day or two to adjust myself after the travelling to Leuven, but it’s never been quite as bad as this.

It goes without saying that I missed the alarms this morning. No danger whatever of me showing a leg at 06:00. 07:30 would have to do, I’m afraid.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd after the medication I listened to the dictaphone to see if I had been anywhere during the night. Somewhere on my travels I’d ended up near the new by-pass that they were building on the A556. I had a lift in a lorry out of Manchester and it dropped me off right slap bang in the middle of the roadworks and I had to walk all the way up to the M6 roundabout. I could see queues on the new road and I was lucky because there was no traffic here. When I walked off I met my brother and we had a discussion about things that needed to be collected from a little factory just off this old road that was being modernised. We had to walk all the way back to this factory. A guy came out to see us and said “yes I’ll fetch your order”. So we waited and waited and waited and waited. In the end I said to my brother “you stay here. I’ll go back and fetch the van because they are going to come out and say that the order is ready and we’ll have to fetch the van anyway. We may as well do it now while we are waiting”. Then the question of tyres came up. They had sent me four tyres and I had never received them. Then; thinking on, there were two earlier tyres that I had ordered from them and they had never come either. I was wondering what was happening about these tyres and should I bring up the subject while I’m waiting here to pick up this next load of stuff.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSeeing as I’m off to the shops I went for a shower and a weigh-in. My weight is hovering just underneath my target weight which is good although I would love to lose two or three more kilos.

NOZ was rather a disappointment. Some coconut milk, another box of these breaded soya fillets and a 9-volt battery for the preamp on the 5-string fretless bass. I need to push on more with that.

LeClerc wasn’t much better either. I wandered around rather aimlessly in there, spending most of my money on fruit. They did have some of the small tins of kidney beans in stock. I like using those to lengthen left-over meals to fill taco rolls.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were more frozen falafel too so I bought another box of 12.

Back here I unpacked, put the frozen stuff away and then … errr … crashed out for half an hour or so. It took me quite a while to gather my wits once I returned to the land of the living, something that surprised me seeing as I don’t have all that many left.

Most of the day has been spent dealing with photos. There have been some of those from my journey on board Spirit of Conrad and some more of my Transatlantic voyage last July. We’ve left Vestmannaeyjar and now in our raging storm somewhere in between Iceland and Greenland.

There was the break for lunch of course and also a break for my afternoon walk.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I wasn’t the only one out there either.

Although there was plenty of wind about, there was a beautiful sunshine too. Not the kind of weather that would encourage me to go and sit half-naked on a beach but it evidently appealed to some folk.

More than some folk in fact because the beach was pretty crowded. That’s the inaccessible bit down there.

granvillaise ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNow that the tourist season has officially started the “boats for hire” are back hard at it.

Marite has slipped her moorings, nowhere to be seen, but out there near the Ile de Chausey is a boat that has the same sail configuration as La Granvillaise

It’s not easy to see from this range, even with a good telescopic lens, whether it has the “G90” in its sails that would confirm its identity as La Granvillaise, but I can’t think who else it might be in a yacht like that.

And she wasn’t alone either, as you can see. Plenty of other yachts out there too dashing in and out of the harbour over there. They are keeping busy in the port right enough.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDodging the massed crowds out on the walls, I made my way down the footpath to the viewpoint over the beach at the Plat Gousset

Here, it’s a bit more sheltered from the wind and I expected to see many more people here. And i wasn’t disappointed because they were out there in droves this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have been rather critical of Mme la Maire’s expenditure in the town but my hat does go off to her for having dealt with the issue of the tidal swimming pool and restoring it for use this summer.

The crowds down there are really enjoying it.

air sea rescue helicopter plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was admiring the view of the beach, I was buzzed by a low-flying object passing by overhead.

“Someone has got their chopper out again” I mused, but it is in fact the Air-Sea rescue helicopter flying back to its base at the airfield at Donville-les-Bains.

It’s obviously been somewhere, but whether on a training flight or a real mission I really couldn’t say. I suppose that I’ll have to keep an eye out in the papers tomorrow and see if there is anything in there to give me a clue.

baby seagull learning to fly rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallNo change at the roofing job in the Place Marechal Foch so I carried on into the Square Maurice Marland

My baby seagull wasn’t there on its roof this afternoon and I couldn’t see where it was at all. Mummy wasn’t there either. But on a roof across the road a couple of baby seagulls were taking their first fluttering flight from ground. This one here was hopping up onto that air vent and hopping off flapping its wings and somehow managing to cover a couple of feet before landing.

My baby seagull is a week or two behind the others so I don’t imagine that it’s flown away already. I hope that it’s OK.

square Maurice Marland granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall the three baby seagulls that we saw a couple of weeks ago having a pile of fun on a roof.

Today though they were being much more sedate, just sitting around in the sun. It gave me an opportunity to have a look at the Square Maurice Marland in all its glory.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I started running last winter I used to run across there. The first ramp that I somehow managed to struggle up is to the right of the tree and it was the steep one on the left of the image that always defeated me.

The place was littered with wedding parties too – there had been a couple of weddings up here and they weren’t half making a racket. But nevertheless I somehow managed to crash out yet again and was gone for a good hour or so. It really was a miserable day from that point of view.

Round about 18:00 I pulled myself together and had a session on the guitars – including the 5-string fretless bass that I’m not using half often enough.

That took me up to tea time, which as usual was a breaded soya fillet with potatoes and veg. I’d bought some endives today so I had one of those with tea.

An old apple turnover from the freezer made up the dessert. It was quite nice with some of the vegan soya coconut stuff.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was going out, it looked as if everyone else was coming home.

My first run was once more a disappointment. For the nth time in succession I never made it to the top of the hill, never mind down to the clifftop. But at least I was in time to see this yacht coming in towards port.

The itinerant was there again, buried in his hedge, sitting quietly reading a book. I have to say that I totally admire his stoicism, sticking it out in the hedge in all weathers.

yacht speedboat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallNot needing to pause for breath I carried on past the hordes of picnickers on the lawn and round to the south side of the headland.

And it does have to be said that I was right about everyone heading for home. The town had been thronged with cars and trailers pulling boats into town this morning as I went to the shops. All of those boats that had been launched are not streaming back into port to go home.

There are five boats close to shore on this photo and any other photo of the sea around the port entrance would have picked up a completely different five. There’s a lot of money to be made with the launching fee, that’s for sure.

victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I ran on down the Boulevard Vaufleury but ran out of steam when I rounded the corner, so I went back to see what was going on in the port.

It was rather disappointing to see both Granville and Victor Hugo still in port. It was my understanding that the ferry service to the Channel Islands would be starting today and that one or other (or maybe both) of the ferries would be off.

But apparently not. They are both ties up here, presumably waiting for Godot or something like that. It will be good to see them back at work and bringing some revenue into the town.

While I was on my travels this morning I noticed a couple of Jersey-registered vehicles out an about, so it looks as if the car ferry to St Malo is already up and running.

crowds picnicking on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage of my run took me down the Rue St Jean and through the alley into the Rue du Nord and up to the viewpoint.

There was quite a crowd there watching the setting sun – I just arrived there in time – but I was also interested in what was going on down on the beach. We have the picnickers back this evening having a meal down there. Not for nothing are they called “sandwiches”.

Having seen the sun set I came back home to write up my notes.

That was another disappointing day, spending most of it fighting off waves of sleep. It’s rather depressing that I can’t have a few days when I’m free to concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing.

But there’s always tomorrow. It’s going to be a baking day with a loaf of bread, an apple crumble and some honey, lemon and ginger drink. Now that i’m back home I ought to be more focused on what i’m trying to achieve.

We shall see.

Friday 10th July 2020 – I’M WHACKED!

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd while you admire the photos of this evening’s sunset I’ll tell you why.

This afternoon I went out for a little walk. And by the time that I returned I’d walked 11.0 kilometres and 142% of my daily activity.

And that’s BEFORE I go out for my evening run.

This morning started off though as it ought to have done – with me having a decent lie-in until almost 08:00. And I’d earned it too after yesterday’s efforts.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the meds I had a listen to the dictaphone. We were on board the yacht last night and the discussion turned round to Brexit. My opinion of it that it was a mass of sewage met with great approval. I said things like they made all this mess and now they have to clean it up. There was a lot of symbolism there that I don’t remember now and there was a lot more to this that I can’t remember at all.

But I awoke all drenched in sweat again – it was another one of those nights, wasn’t it? I have to make a note of these because it’s a symptom of my illness, although they didn’t ask me about that the other day.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I’d finished today’s dictaphone entry I had a session transcribing a couple of others that were awaiting processing.

Rather too many of those, although nothing like as many as there were while I was on my transatlantic sail last year and which took a good while to transcribe.

The rest of the morning was spent dealing with the photos from my voyage on the Spirit of Conrad last week. A good few hundred of those and so far I’ve probably done about 40 of them. I’m not doing too well with those, am I?

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s no bread in the house at the moment because I used it all up before I went to sea.

So instead I had taco rolls for lunch, filled with salad. It’s quite a useful thing to have hanging around here, a couple of packs of those. But I can see Sunday being a Day of Baking)

After lunch I set off on my mega-ramble. I need to go to pick up the estimate for Caliburn’s bodywork and the garage is shut on Saturdays. With trying to use Caliburn as little as possible, I decided to walk there. it was a lovely day for it too.

film crew place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I didn’t get too far out of the house before I was interrupted.

This morning I was awoken by an infernal racket coming from underneath my bedroom window. There’s a film being made in the old medieval town for the next couple of weeks and it looks as if the film crew has arrived with all of the equipment.

There are probably half a dozen large vans and lorries parked all around here with all kinds of stuff inside them (I did have a crafty peek).

unloading freight from lorry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMore excitement down at the docks too this afternoon.

having lived here long enough, I’m starting to recognise the signs. There’s a lorry down there loaded up with wooden beams which are being unloaded by the fork lift truck.

It’s a sure sign, if ever there was one, that one of the Jersey freighters, Thora or Normandy Trader or maybe even both are due to pay us a visit in early course.

Normandy Trader was in last night as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but she didn’t hang around for long and was soon back at sea again. But a quick turn-round at St Helier will bring her back soon enough.

clock with no hands tourist information office cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will likewise recall that yesterday they had a cherry-picker with a couple of men in it working on the broken clock by the old tourist information office.

Being keen to see if they had finally repaired it after all these years I went for a quick look.

And isn’t this a disappointment? They seem to have taken the hands away from the clock rather than actually fixing the mechanism. The mechanism must be beyond repair.

But why remove the hands? At least the time was correct twice a day as it was before. Now it isn’t right at all and that’s rather a backward step.

coccinelle express rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s a new grocery shop opened in town in the old kids’ clothes shop.

We had a Coccinelle here before but it changed its franchise to Super U so someone has decided to open another Coccinelle franchise here.

And just look at the opening hours! This is really dragging Granville kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, isn’t it? It’s high time that a few places around here actually started to respond to the needs of the clients

water tower rue fontaine jolie granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s quite a long walk out to Espace Autos on the edge of town.

It takes me past the water tower on its little eminence on the edge of town. Quite a few times I’ve driven past here and seen the paintings on the side but I’ve never actually stopped for a closer look.

It’s certainly impressive, the way that it’s been painted. So much better than just a whitish-grey concrete eyesore despoiling the countryside. Up there it can be seen for miles so it needs to be a good advertisement for the town

At the garage they gave me the estimate for Caliburn’s bodywork. And when I recovered from the shock I set off again for home.

On the way back I called in at a couple of shops to see what was going on but there was nothing there that impressed me so I returned empty-handed.

Only as far as the Plat Gousset where I treated myself to a vegan banana sorbet. I reckoned that I had earned it.

So much that I wanted to do during the early part of the evening but instead I crashed right out. And for a good 90 minutes-worth of deep sleep.

That was a deep disappointment but I can’t say that I was surprised after all of the effort. It’s not every day that I walk that kind of distance without a break.

So a rather late tea. A curry from out of the freezer with rice and veg, followed by the last slice of apple pie and some soya coconut dessert. There’s an apple turnover for tomorrow and then on Sunday I’ll bake an apple crumble. It’s been a while since I made one of those.

cap frehel brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallThe weather out there tonight was beautiful.

Plenty of wind but very bright and clear and I could see for miles. All the way down to Cap Fréhel and its famous lighthouse in fact, as you can see right over on the extreme right-hand edge of this enlarged photo here.

And I’ll show you the photo of what it looks like close-to when I finally finish editing the photos that I took when I was aboard Spirit of Conrad

cap frehel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallHere it is again only a more distant shot.

The lighthouse is again on the extreme right and just to the left of it is the Fort la Latte. Immediately to the left of that where there is nothing on the horizon is the bay where St Cast le Guildo is.

That was where we moored up one evening during our voyage the other week. I really must crack on and deal with the photos that I took. It’s a shame that it was difficult to work on board the boat.

Phare de la Pierre-de-Herpin pointe de grouin brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallThis is something a little closer to home that I also had an opportunity to inspect when I was aboard Spirit of Conrad

That’s the Ile des Landes and in front of it is Phare de la Pierre-de-Herpin, the Pierre de Herpin lighhouse off the Pointe de Grouin on the Brittany coast.

It marks the entrance to the Baie de Mont St Michel and was opened on 1st October 1882, a light having been requested some 30 years previously. Since 1970 its light has been electrified and these days, like most lighthouses, it’s probably automated

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run was something of a disappointment. My two longest runs were cut short. It’s amazing how just two weeks of not exercising has affected me.

But I made it round to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord all the same. And while there was no-one picnicking on the beach, there were still crowds of people hanging around down there.

But one thing that I haven’t noticed so far is an fishermen. Before I went away there was a fisherman on every rock, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. Where have they all gone?

children's garden college malraux granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now I was on 191% of my day’s activity and being keen to make it 200% I carried on for another lap around.

This extra route took me past the College Malraux and here the kids have made themselves some kind of soft fruit garden. There are all kinds of soft fruits here with a sign “let’s protect them so that we can eat them – the fruit presumably.

Soft fruit? I’m all in favour of that! I’m going to restart my home food production next week now that i’m back in the saddle. It’s high time that I organised myself.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I continued on to the cliff edge in time to catch the sunset.

We’ve seen plenty of sunsets just recently but not with the sun actually sinking below the horizon. But here I was at the right time and the right place so I stayed to enjoy the view.

There were a few other people loitering around here too admiring the sunset and I can’t say that I blame them either. Everything was just about perfect for a change.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs the sun slowly sank below the horizon I took a few photos and then scuttled off back to my apartment. I had a few things to do.

Firstly there was to reset the language on the portable laptop that I bought in the USA. It’s in “American English” which I detest so I’d ordered some French keyboard stickers.

While I was tidying up a little yesterday I came across them again so I changed the language settings to “French” at applied the stickers in the appropriate place.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThen there is the journal to write up for today. And to be proud of course of my 202% of my daily activity. If that’s not a success i don’t know what is.

There was an interruption as “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart came onto the playlist. I had a quick strum with that and worked out the chords while I was at it.

But now it’s bedtime, just like the sun that has now sunk below the horizon. Shopping tomorrow, and there’s quite a bit of stuff that I need too. I’ve not done much for this last couple of weeks.

So I’ll set the alarm tomorrow. It’ll do me good.

Sunday 28th June 2020 – AFTER YESTERDAY …

… evening’s adventures with my colleagues at the radio I was in no mood to go to bed early. Consequently it was about 02:30 when I finally hit the sack.

No alarm of course, with it being Sunday, so no-one was more surprised than me to be wide awake at 09:30, and to be up and about by 10:00.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. And I didn’t seem to have been anywhere at all during the night.

However, there was a file on there. And when I looked at the datestamp it showed 12:30 yesterday. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that round about then I was away with the fairies so it must have concerned a voyage that I had made during that period.

Anyway, I’ve uploaded it TO YESTERDAY’S PAGE and you can read all about it there.

Today I had a lot to do and, for a change, despite it being Sunday i’ve been bust. First task was to cut my hair and make myself look slightly more respectable.

Second task was to deal with my Welsh homework. That meant actually studying because, shame as it is to say it, I couldn’t remember a thing about last week’s lesson and I had to do it all again.

Apart from that, I’ve been updating the files on the portable computer. That’s something that I haven’t done since January and there was tons of stuff that needed doing.

So much so in fact that the 128GB memory stick that I use as a back-up didn’t have enough room on it to deal with it all in one go.

marité english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was getting my things ready, I needed to collect some stuff out of Caliburn.

When I went through the door and glanced out to sea, I saw that Marité was quite happily sailing around the bay. I ran back upstairs, picked up the camera, ran back down and took a photo of her.

It seems that the repairs the other week in Lorient were successful, she now has her passenger licence and she’s back plying for hire around the coast with piles of day trippers

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I don’t see eye to eye with the people who run it – hence I haven’t been out with her. Every question you ask, the answer always is “it’s on our web site” and they go back to laughing and joking amongst themselves.

That’s no way to run a business.

For lunch, I had breakfast. Some muesli and apple juice. I would have had apple puree too but not that lot. I hadn’t opened it for a week and I wish that I hadn’t today either.

coloured streaks in water english channel granville manche normandy france eric halllater on in the afternoon it’s my custom to go for a long walk down into town for my Sunday ice cream and to see what’s going on.

But here’s a thing. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that every now and then we’ve been seeing different colours in the water, in strange patterns.

Today the difference was even more marked – probably the most dramatic that we have seen since we’ve been making observations. And looking at it closely, I think that I’ve a plausible suggestion for what is causing it.

coloured streaks in water english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAll of those boats flocking around there gave me a further clue.

But it was the colour that gave away the game because we’ve seen this before. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we saw the harbour gates open when the tide was coming in a few weeks ago, we saw a wave of just this colour coming into the harbour with the tide.

We classed that as silt being brought in from out of the harbour on the incoming tide. What’s happening now is the reverse. The tide has turned and the stream that flows out of the harbour is now pushing the silt back out and it’s been picked up by the current.

yachts speedboat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallCrowds of people out there again walking along on the footbath at the top of the cliffs.

That was my route – at least, part of it – because when I reached the end by the lighthouse, instead of going across the lawn I went down the steps and round the headland to see all the marine traffic that was down there. These two beautiful yachts were very impressive examples.

It was a shame about the speedboat though. Cutting through there and that kind of speed and disturbing everything. i’ve no idea why he couldn’t have given them a wide berth.

yacht baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThis little yacht was quite a dinky thing.

She came sneaking in towards port from somewhere out across the Baie de Mont St Michel. And I did rather like her sails too. That’s not a traditional yacht rigging of course. I shall have to look in my Book of the Sea to see what rigging it is.

Down the old pathway I went, right past the chantier navale but there was no change in there. Still the five boats that we have seen before.

spirit of conrad port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide was on its way out so by now the harbour gates were closed, so i could take that pathway over the top to the other side.

Down in the harbour something was moving about. It was my neighbour Pierre’s yacht Spirit of Conrad. He’s been working on it today, fuelling and watering it up today because he’s off on a voyage tomorrow morning.

We had a little chat across the harbour about this and that, and then I wandered off while he went over to his mooring.

ramp down to ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that they have been installing new pontoons all over the port just recently.

There are some here at the ferry terminal that they installed a while ago, but the photo that I took of the head of the ramp showed some kind of ramshackle affair of hand railing.

But it seems that they have now rectified that. This looks so much more solid and so much better. It’s actually quite professional now.

But I couldn’t see what it was thay they were doing with the two cranes the other day.

le loup entrance to port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallfrom there I walked on down to the end of the sea wall.

The harbour entrance is just here and I’m standing under the green starboard (right) light. Across the mouth is the red port (left) light and beyond there is Le Loup – the marker light that is positioned on top of the rocks just outside the harbour mouth.

And when you see where that light – and the rock of course – is, you’ll understand why it’s necessary. It’s quite a tight turn out of the harbour to pass safely by it, so exact positioning is essential.

We’ve seen how big the gravel boats are, for example.

catamaran addictive scilly granville manche normandy france eric hallMy next port … “well done!” – ed … of call was the port de plaisance – the pleasure harbour.

This big catamaran had just come into port and people were leaving her, dragging their suitcases behind them. She’s the Addictive from the Scilly isles, by the looks of things. I loved the solar panels at the stern. Brought back many happy memories.

Next stop was the ice cream stall for my vegan ice cream. They know me in there now and as soon as I appear they dash for my coconut sorbet

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallEagerly clutching my ice cream, I walked through the masses thronging in the streets.

And if I thought that the streets were packed, you should have seen the Plat Gousset. There was hardly any room to move on there with all of the folk taking the air. Look near the top on the right hand edge of the photo

The beach wasn’t left out of the equation either. Hordes of folk there too sunning themselves on towels on the sand. All kinds of fun and games going on there.

crowds in tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have been quite critical of some of the manoeuvres of the mayor that I consider to have been thoughtless and a waste of money.

But credit where credit is due and I applaud the decision to spend some money on rehabilitating the old tidal swimming pool. With more people holidaying at home, it’s certainly come into its own and there were loads of people in there this afternoon taking full advantage of it.

A good time was certainly being had by all today.

hang gliding plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it wasn’t just on land or in the water today that there were crowds either.

The Birdmen of Alcatraz were out there in force, swooping around like Nazgul over the crowds on the beaches. It’s quite bizarre when all of a sudden a big silent shadow slides across you as walk around in the sunshine. I can understand why the hobbits were so frightened.

But as I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … the fact that they take off from the field next to the cemetery is very significant. If they have a bad take-off or landing, they don’t have far to go until their next resting place

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I climbed all the way up the steps to the top, to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch.

having forgotten to see how the roofing job was doing when I came past yesterday, I had a look today.

It’s still not finished, which is a surprise. But by the looks of things they don’t have far to go. But then I’ve said that before.

Back here, I carried on with my work until 18:00 and guitar practice. Again with the acoustic guitar – I must become accustomed to playing it, even though I know that it’s pretty poor quality stuff.

Tea tonight was pizza – another home-made effort. Cooked to perfection and extremely delicious too. My pastry seems to be doing fine.

No dessert though. My appetite has gone completely, hasn’t it? They warned me about that at the hospital. It’s one of the first signs of decline and I would say “bang on schedule” too.

flags war memorial resistance pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallLater than usual, I went for my evening run.

In the twilight gloom past the itinerant, down to the clifftop, and then walk around to the lawn. Nothing much happening out at sea but there was quite a wind that was blowing tonight, snapping at the flags at the War Memorial with some force.

There were some people unpacking a drone here too, but this wasn’t the weather to be doing any of that. And, as we know from the experience that the police had when they tried a few drones around here, the seagulls will make pretty short work of it.

rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt’s becoming quite dark on the south side of the headland as the sun sinks down into the sea on the other side.

The restaurants are now open of course, and the one just there in the rue du Port is all illuminated. It’s a long time since we’ve seen anything so welcoming, even if there is nothing there that I can eat.

Up to the Boulevard Vaufleury I went, and ran all the way down to the end and round the corner. I’m no longer stopping at my usual breathing point but carrying straight on.

beautiful sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallDown underneath the Porte Dt Jean, down the rue St Jean almost to the Place Cambernon and then through an alleyway to the rue du Nord and back up to the viewpoint on the corner.

There were quite a few people there tonight and we exchanged pleasantries while we watched the sun sink slowly behind the clouds.

When Liz saw this photo later she described it as “like a battleship on the horizon” and who can argue with that? That was quite a description.

fishing on rocks plat gousset 	granville manche normandy france eric hallThe crowds weren’t just on the wall at the viewpoint either.

While it’s true to say that there was no-one down on the beach picnicking that I could see (after all, it was quite late) there were still some people out there, standing on the rocks fishing out into the water.

We can’t do without our fishermen, can we? The peche à pied is certainly popular around here. Something of a local sport.

beautiful sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallFor 15 minutes or so I stayed to watch the sunset and then I ran on home.

For a change, I was rather pleased with myself. Although it’s a struggle to go up the hill, my running this evening was easier than it has been just recently and my recovery time is becoming less and less.

But that’s all for tonight. There’s a lot going on tomorrow so I need to be on form as much as I can.

See you all tomorrow – maybe.