Tag Archives: bird of prey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And who is “she”? The cat’s mother?

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s just not my day, is it?

Sunday 22nd August 2021 – AS BARRY HAY …

… once famously said – “one thing I gotta tell you man, that it’s good to be back home.

And indeed it is too. Even though I didn’t go to bed until 02:30 last night, I slept right the way through until 12:40 this afternoon without a single interruption. And I must have needed it too.

There’s some stuff on the dictaphone too. I was with 3 girls and I can’t remember who they were now, which is a disaster, but I do know them. We were in Canada sightseeing in my Passat. In the end we tried to find the big fort that was at the junction of the two rivers on the cliff where the place was being defended. After poring over a map I worked out where it was. A passer-by showed us where it was as well so off we set. We went for a good explore and then went through the forest on the other side of the river which would lead us out to the battlefield and so on. After we’d been there we said “let’s go and visit Liz and Terry because they are leaving”. One of the others said that and the other 2 couldn’t believe that they were leaving. Off we went in the car and came to their apartment. We could see Liz down at the bottom working on the garden so off we went down their garden. The other 3 girls had disappeared somewhere along the way. I said to Liz “can we come and visit or are you too busy?”. She had a dubious think and said “ohh okay”. I turned round anf found that the other 3 had gone so I said “OK I’ll round them up”. Somewhere along the line I had one of these pencil case purse type of things with a huge pile of cash in it and I can’t understand why. There had been some discussion about my cars. Someone said that they couldn’t see the word “Audi” on the clock. I said that it isn’t an Audi but a Cortina – no, it’s a Passat

First thing was of course the medication, and after I’d taken all of that I came back in here to check my messages, of which there were more than just a few.

With all of this medication, I have to wait for about an hour before I can eat anything so it was rather a late lunch – or breakfast – today. Toast and porridge and coffee.

After my meal I paired up the tracks for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow morning. And that reminds me – I mustn’t forget my appointment with the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon, and to go and do some shopping too because there isn’t much here in the house.

Having dealt with that, it was time to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst place to go to visit is the beach, of course. It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen it and it will be interesting to se how the tide has evolved.

Right now, the tide is quite far out, and there is plenty of room for people to be wandering around and lazing about down there, soaking up the sun. And plenty of people were making the most of the opportunity too.

No-one had actually made it right into the water this afternoon, and that wasn’t a surprise because although it was reasonably warm this afternoon, there was quite a wind blowing, as you can tell by the whitecaps on the waves down there.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile one of my eyes was looking around at the events going on down on the beach, the other one was looking around out at sea.

It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good, as the old saying goes. And the proof of that is that despite the fact that the tide is well out and the harbour is inaccessible, there’s a yacht out there that is taking full advantage of the wind.

He’s going to have to stay out until the tide turns in about 5 hours time, so I hope that he’s stocked up with supplies while he waits.

There’s another one right out there near the horizon too, but I’ve no idea where he might have come from.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dealt with the question of the land and the sea so far, it remains for me to check the air to see what’s going on up above.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen plenty of photos of the sparrowhawks that seem to congregate around the cliffs here. And there’s another one out there this afternoon keeping an eye open for something for tea.

A year or so ago, there was just one of them and then a second one came along some time later. Now there are four or five of them, so the cliffs are obviously a happy hunting ground, otherwise they wouldn’t be sticking around like they do.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then of course, while we were dealing with that, we were overflown by a mechanical device.

This one is our old friend F-GBAI, the Robin DR400-140B that belongs to the Granville Aero Club and which we have seen quite regularly flying around the Baie de Granville.

She took off at 16:03 this afternoon, flew a short way down the coast towards the Pointe de Carolles, back again, did a lap around towards Coutances and then came back into land at 16:17. My photo was taken at (adjusted) 16:12 so I must have caught her coming back from down the coast.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather was quite clear this afternoon and we could see quite far out to sea.

The ile de Chausey was looking quite splendid this afternoon although the houses at the foot of the lighthouse didn’t stand out as well as they have done for us in the past.

There wasn’t all that much activity out there at sea though. I could only see a couple of yachts and that was about my lot. None of the ferries were visible, which wasn’t all that much of a surprise seeing that the tide won’t be far enough in here at Granville to allow them into the harbour for another couple of hours.

beaches marker lights ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view down at the north-east end of the island was quite clear today as well.

With the tide being so far out, we can see the beaches there today, looking really nice. We walked along those when we were over there with the Spirit of Conrad. Most of them are leased out to seafood harvesters and where you are allowed to walk is controlled.

And you can tell how high the tide comes in by looking at the warning beacons on the rocks. Those rocks are well-submerged at high tide and the height of the beacons with give you some idea of just how much water will cover them.

police car parked on grass pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe paths around the headland were quite crowded this afternoon.

The car park at the Pointe du Roc was completely full and everyone was having to park on the grass at the side of it.

You can tell that it must have been authorised because there is a police car parked on there as well. There were a couple of coppers walking around the lawn amongst the crowds but I’m not sure why. I didn’t actually see them do anything while I was watching.

Mind you, I didn’t wait around all that long. I’m trying not to draw attention to myself.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I went for a little wander around on the lawn on the other side of the car park.

le Loup, the marker light on the rock just outside the harbour entrance was looking quite attractive this afternoon in the sun. You can actually see how high the tide actually rises down in the bay by looking at the change in colour of the material with which she’s built.

There are a few people right out on the beach behind it, and in the background, we can see quite clearly the houses at Kairon-Plage and Jullouville on the side of the coast road down to Avranches.

On the skyline on the right-hand side of the image is that strange tower, and one of these days I’ll go for a wander round over there to see what it is.

man fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s Sunday in August, the height of the tourist season, so I was half-expecting to see crowds of fishermen on the rocks this afternoon taking advantage of it.

In fact, I only did see one of them out there. He was up to his knees in the sea casting his line out into the water, without having very much luck by the looks of things. As far as I could see, he didn’t have a net or a bag with him in which to keep his catch

As for commercial fishermen, or recreational fishermen out there in boats, I couldn’t see a one. There were a couple of small boats out there though, but they were quite far out and it wasn’t possible to tell who they were or what they were up to.

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, he wasn’t the only person out there fishing this afternoon.

A little further around from where our fishermen was standing, there were three young people scrambling around on the rocks, looking for all the world as if they were doing a bit of the old peche à pied, although the tide wasn’t far enough out to make a good catch.

No boats out there that were close enough to photograph and nothing else of any excitement going on, so I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … along the path around the headland towards the port.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving been away from the town for a few days, I wanted to see what was happening down in the chantier naval.

There has been quite a high and rapid turnover of boats in there just recently so I was expecting to see a few changes in there.

However, there didn’t seem to be anything different in there. There was Charlevy of course, still there on her blocks on the right-hand side of the image, all masked off and with a nice fresh coat of paint.

The smaller fishing boat is there too in the centre of the image, up on blocks in front of the line of all of the others. There doesn’t look as if there is much room left to bring anyone else in if there is an emergency.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further along the path I could have a good look at the row of boats by the old dry dock.

There are five of them there, including the trawler Trafalgar nearest the camera. So there’s a total of seven boats in there right now, and that is pretty good going.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … it’s good to see such a busy ship repairers. It encourages people to bring their boats into Granville, knowing that they can be serviced and repaired here. Plenty of boats in the port is good for the town.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust before we went away, we also saw a yacht in the yard down here too, looking as if she was about to receive a paint job.

While I was out there this afternoon, I didn’t forget to have a look down there to see how she was getting on.

And by the looks of things, she’s getting on quite well. She’s pretty well masked off and she looks from what I can see that she’s already had a coat of paint on her superstructure. I’ll be very interested to see how she turns out when she is finished.

It’ll be quite exciting too, watching the portable boat lift coming to fetch her and take her back to drop into the water.

horse and carriage chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn one of the earlier photos we had a good view of Chausiase, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey and back.

At that time, I didn’t take a photo of her because I’d seen something else out of the corner of my eye and I wanted to wait until I could take the picture that I wanted.

There wasn’t long to wait, as it happened. Soon enough, a horse and open carriage came into view, carrying some passengers. It looks as if part of the entertainment for this Festival of Working Sailboats includes a ride ina carriage.

However, I’m not sure why this would be. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t really have much of a nautical flavour about it.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were bound to be further interruptions today, with all of this nice sunny but windy weather.

Sure enough, the Bird-Men of Alcatraz decided to come out and enjoy the weather this afternoon. One by one they came over the Pointe du Roc on their way down to the end of the headland.

There were all kinds of nazgul going by over head. This one is a two-seater, as you can see, and the person in the front seat seems to be filming the voyage as they passed by overhead. They will probably have a good film to show everyone when they return, thanks to the good weather.

crowds festival of working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I mentioned the other day, this weekend is the Festival des Voiles de Travail, the “Festival of Working Sailboats”.

Today is the climax of the event and so I was expecting to see crowds of people wandering around down there, and I’m not disappointed. The harbour down there was heaving with them this afternoon.

It was interesting to see the old marker buoys that were down there. I’m not quite sure what is the purpose of displaying them. I suppose that if it’s connected with the sea, it’s good enough to exhibit them

And that rectangle that we saw – it’s actually a water tank and there were some model boats going around it.

crowds festival of working sailboats rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the reasons why there were cars parked just about everywhere this afternoon is that the car park down at the port is occupied .

As part of the Festival, they have erected tents and booths on the car park, and part of the exhibition is being held down there. It seems to be quite popular too, with all of the people who we can see down there.

It’s a strange decision though – to hold an event in the centre of the town in order to attract tourists from elsewhere, and put the event on the car park so that they have nowhere to park so that they can visit it. They should have put these tents on the other side of the harbour where the gravel used to be stored.

jazz band crowds festival of working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the things that we saw them erecting last weekend or whenever it was is a grandstand.

We now seem to have acquired a stage too, and there was a jazz band performing down there this afternoon to give the festival some kind of ambience and to entertain the public as they wander around.

All of the greenery down there was interesting too. We seem to have acquired a kind of desert island environment with sand and palm trees, presumably to give a kind of “Pirates” effect to that part of the exhibition.

If that’s the case, then instead of a jazz band, there ought to have been Roy Plomley, a gramophone record and 8 songs.

Croix du Sud 3 sailing yacht port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the looks of things, we have a new sailing boat in the harbour right now, one that I haven’t seen them before.

She’s called Croix du Sud III and was built in 1934. She was built as a fishing boat and when she retired, she passed through several pairs of hands before being bought by the town of Cherbourg in 2003.

She was completely overhauled as soon as she came into the hands of the town, and again during the winter of 2015-16 and is now the “official boat” of the town. She now represents the town at all kinds of maritime events, and that’s probably why she’s here at the Festival.

Croix du Sud 3 sailing yachr port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe harbour gates are closed so she can’t go outside.

As I watched her, she was doing a series of figure-eights, taking passenger around the harbour. She is completely sold out, by the way, so I couldn’t have a trip on her even if I so wished.

And that was really all that was happening, so I decided to go back home and have a nice cold strawberry smoothie.

You are probably wondering why I haven’t gone down there for a closer look around and ro take a few photographs. The fact is that I didn’t feel as if I could face the walk back up the hill afterwards. I really am in a right state, aren’t I?

Back here I spent the rest of the day going through the photos. As well as today’s, there were those for the previous two days too, which I’ll bring up to date when I’ve transcribed the dictaphone notes.

After my lunch i’d taken out the last pizza dough and it had been defrosting during the afternoon. Now it was ready to be kneaded and rolled, put on the pizza tray and left for an hour to rise. When it was ready I assembled the pizza and then baked it.

It was delicious and really tasty, despite it being rather low on ingrdients. No dessert of course because I wasn’t hungry – my appetite is still down from where it was.

And now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. There’s an early start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare. I need to be on top form.

Monday 16th August 2021 – WE HAD TO WAIT …

yellow autogyro ponte du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… for a good few days longer than I expected but nevertheless we got there in the end.

Sure enough, while I was out walking around the headland this afternoon, out of the clouds in the distance with its old familiar rattling came the old yellow autogyro from the direction of Avranches and the Pointe de Carolles.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I had anticipated her arrival a few days ago and as if to make up for her rather late arrival, she did a couple of laps around my head before disappearing off into the sunset and that was that.

grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that we have been eagerly anticipating for the last few days is to find out whatever is going to be happening down at the loading bay on the quayside.

The information still hasn’t filtered through but all of the equipment, including the grandstand is still down there.

As well as that, where that kind of rectangle was that we saw yesterday, we now have a couple of tents that have sprung up like little mushrooms. And we have even grown a couple of potted palms over the course of the day, as well a couple of bizarre objects, red and yellow.

tents quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it isn’t just there that things are happening.

All along the quayside down there and out into the car park at the side, there are yet more tents, marquees and other different things, and a few noticeboards indicating whatever might be going on.

As I’m off to Leuven tomorrow, I’ll probably miss whatever it is, but I shall go that way towards the railway station for a closer look and see what I can discover.

The plot sickens.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let us return to our moutons as they say around here, and start at the very beginning.

Once more, going to bed early doesn’t seem to make all that much difference because I still had a very tormented sleep and it didn’t seem to make all that much difference as to how tired I am.

After the medication I checked my mails and then made a start on the radio programme. And by 11:20 I was finished as well, despite having stopped for breakfast – a slice of fruit bread (I’ve given up the hot chocolate as it’s starting to show).

And had I not had to redo some of it and choose another track in the middle to replace one that didn’t work as I would have liked, I could have been finished a long time before that too.

Having dealt with that, I listened to the programme to make sure that it was correct, and while I was doing that I booked the rail ticket for tomorrow from Brussels to Leuven and back again. By the time that it was all finished it was almost time for lunch.

After lunch I had the tidying up to do because the nurse is coming round to give me my injection and the place needs to look as if someone actually lives here.

The rest of the afternoon was spent transcribing the dictaphone notes, and there were tons and tons of them too, and it took me ages.

The stuff for Sunday took ages and ages, but it was all done and it went on-line to update yesterday’s journal entry.

There had been a couple of interruptions while I’d been doing it. Firstly the nurse came round and injected me. I hope that it will propel me up the hill tomorrow to the railway station.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSecondly, there was the afternoon walk around the headland, which of course always starts with a look down to the beach to see what is happening.

Off across the car park I went and over to the wall at the end of the car park where I could look over the wall. Not many people down there this afternoon but then again there wasn’t all that much beach to be on.

Nobody was quite brave enough to take to the water to any great degree this afternoon which wasn’t a surprise because there was a biting wind this afternoon that was quite really quite cold

Here I met one of my neighbours and we had a good chat, interrupted by a frantic chase back across the car park to rescue my cap that had Gone With The Wind

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallwhile we were chatting we were overflown a couple of times by various aircraft, but I only managed to detach myself long enough to catch one of them.

She’s our old favourite F-GBAI, one of the Robin DR 400-140B aircraft that belong to the Granville Aero Club. We’ve seen more of her just recently than we have of all of the other aircraft in total.

She took off from the airfield at 14:12 and flew several laps up and down the coast and even inland for some distance before coming back to land at 16:33. My photo was timed at (adjusted) 16:15 so she still had some time to remain in the air before landing.

sparrowhawk bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallF-GBAI wasn’t the only flying object that we were able to photograph this afternoon.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there are some birds of prey that loiter around the edge of the cliffs looking for animals, baby rabbits and anything else that might do for an appetising lunch.

We started off with one but it seems to be a happy hunting ground down there because there are now three or four of them.

Incidentally, I am informed that they are sparrowhawks. Not that I would know, of course. While I am a very keen birdwatcher, it’s not this kind of bird that usually attracts my attention.

fishermen in zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of activity going on out of the wind in the Baie de Mont St Michel so I wandered off in that direction.

There was a zodiac with fishermen aboard coming around the headland and I knew what was likely to happen once they came out of the lee of the headland so I waited.

Sure enough, the wind and the waves that hit them gave them a very nasty moment.

It reminds me of the story of the zodiacs aboard THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR. They all carry names, but prior to that they had numbers.
One day, the captain was bellowing down the loud-hailer “Zodiac number 61 – come back to the ship”.
No response, so he called again. Still no response, so he called a third time.
Suddenly realising that there were only 20 zodiacs aboard, he changed his tune and shouted “zodiac number 19 – do you have a problem?”

cabin cruiser yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as I said earlier, there was plenty of activity going on in the bay out of the wind.

The first things that caught my eye were the yachts of one of the sailing school. There were a couple of schools out there this afternoon, taking advantage of the tide and the shelter that was afforded by the headland.

As well as that, there were all kinds of other boats out there – a cabin cruiser goign along at quite a rate and a small motor boat that might be something to do with the yachts of the sailing school – maybe the instrructor with a loud-hailer.

trawler charlevy trafalgar chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlong the path on the southern side of the headland, I took myself down to the viewpoint overlooking the port and in particular the chantier naval.

And we’ve had another change of occupant down there this afternoon. We’re now back up to our seven boats again and I really ought one of these days go down and enquire about their names. But that won’t be this week as I’m off to Leuven tomorrow as I mentioned earlier.

But I can’t keep up with the speed at which they are coming and going these days. They are wearing me out and I don’t have the energy to keep on nipping down there to check before they clear off back into the water and another lot take their place.

tents car park port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I go back to the apartment and carry on with the dictaphone notes, we can see the final shot that I took of what’s going on down at the end of the port.

As you can see, the tents and whatever it is that they have erected have continued out into the car park, the area where the fishermen keep their shellfish drags and where the fresh shellfish are sold. It’s clearly going to be something quite important to take up all of that space.

With all of the lorries being there, it looks as if they are only just setting up their equipment. That means that they probably won’t be doing whatever they will be doing until the weekend.

Eventually, I finished off the notes from yesterday and then pounced upon the pile that related to last night. And if anything, there were even more of them.

Last night I started off on a ship, the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR or something last night in the Antarctic. We were involved with icebergs and so on and there was a very famous poem that had been written about ships and icebergs and somehow I was trying to make the poem match up with those on board the ship but I awoke before I’d gone very far with this.

And later we were discussing the ferries and in particular the ones out to the Ile de Chausey and the trips that they do around the bay and the Ile de Chausey but I can’t remember now how the story went

Later still I was around at the farm of a friend of mine from school and was talking to one of the young girls who worked there – it might even have been Percy Penguin. I’d just been into the farmhouse to use the bathroom and as I was leaving someone came to the door. Whoever I was with asked if I knew who it was and I said “no”. She replied “what a shame. You could have found out and they could have babysat while we went out”. After a couple of minutes I thought that i’d go back and find out and pretend that I needed the bathroom again. Just as I arrived these people were disappearing down the drive. One of them just looked from the rear like the sister of my friend except maybe a little younger. In the house I talked to their mother and she showed me her new Avon purchase which was something for putting tea into for dropping into a cup like a reusable tea bag. We had quite a talk about that. When I returned I explained things to the girl I was with. She asked “didn’t you ask if she would babysit for us anyway?”

But here’s a thing. After making those notes I stepped right back into where I had left off before dictating the previous notes, back on the farm. My friend and his little sister, on whom actually I had quite a crush back 50-odd years ago, were there. They were laughing and joking and she was sitting on him and generally being a pest. He said “why don’t you go and sit somewhere else?”. So me, ever the opportunist, said “come and sit on me instead” and much to my surprise she did. I thought “God, I’m popular”. We sat there, the three of us, talking and I had my arm round her at one point. Then she had to go and clear off and fetch the dinner as there was a big party taking place. She was serving everyone around and still coming over to talk and chat to me occasionally here and there. I couldn’t believe my luck. I thought “how on earth is this going to end?” but it ended up by me sitting bolt upright wide awake with probably the greatest feeling of disappointment I have ever had in my life and I would have given all that I had to have gone back into that dream again at that point and see how it finished. It was just as if 50 years had suddenly vanished from my life.

That was probably the most powerful, realistic and optimistic dream that I have ever had since the famous WORLESTON INCIDENT all those years ago and the fact that I cans till remember that particular voyage so well after all these years shows you just how much of an impression that made on me. And this one will probably be the same. It’s another one of these that has left quite a disturbing effect.

Having dealt with all of that I went and made tea. A fry-up of everything that was left in the kitchen that wouldn’t keep until I return.

And now I’m off to bed. It’s not early but still earlier than it has been here and there. There’s a lot to do in the morning before I head off for the train.

Sunday 4th July 2021 – CONSIDERING THAT IT’S …

… Sunday today and a Day of Rest, you’ll be surprised at just how much work I’ve done today. I know that I am.

There was even the customary lie-in, right up until about 10:30 too before I saw the light of day, and then once I was up, I was well-and-truly up, as Errol Flynn was heard to say on more than just the odd occasion in the past.

First thing that needed doing was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And you can tell that I had forgotten to take my sleeping pill thing last night because there were pages and pages of notes of adventures while I was asleep.

I started off by having marital problems last night. I went to start to get to know one or two people a little better. The problems with my wife increased. She had no interest in me and our marriage and was going about everywhere with her friends both male and female and using this house as a kind of hotel coming and going as she pleased. One night she came back in and as soon as she came in she disappeared. I had to search the property and eventually I found her at an old type of church hall place like St Mark’s with a load of her friends. They were having a party and I thought that well this is on my premises so I said “fancy having a party without inviting me to it”. I thought that they ought to have had me in it at least so I muscled my way in. She was on the floor dancing at the time but tried to intervene. Eventually I became so obnoxious that everyone started to leave and she started to go. I had this 2lb bag of flour with me and for some unknown reason I poured it all down the back of her t-shirt and patted her back with it. Of course this made her extremely uncomfortable and was the rift that drove our marriage apart. I was thinking “how is she going to retaliate to this because she surely wasn’t going to leave things on their own as they have been?”…. I fell asleep here… Yes, the pressure on these not-really-married people was so intense and it soon became clear that whoever didn’t want my wife or anyone of her family in our country. I was quite pleased by this as I could start to get on and do something and issue some directives and at moments at the house but she wasn’t very happy at all when she saw me with what I was doing.

There were some tanks and all the heavy equipment, a full garage … I fell asleep here … at the end we were trying to get more stuff through but because of the train traffic we couldn’t … fell asleep again … I had two apples still in the oven there that couldn’t fit in the loaf that was going in the sixth car bonnet … fell asleep yet again … I can’t think of anything else.

There was something as well about some of my friends trying to rescue the owner of the older freezers and they had us change places and so many responses would be hanging out … fell asleep yet again … when you get there you’ll see that the big pile of equipment and property lined up that people have had to as they have been going past the city hall and this property is all going to be burned at the races and sometimes set on fire … fell asleep again

And with all of that, I’ve absolutely no idea what was going on and, more importantly how much of everything I might have missed.

Later on there was something else about me being at my place for the last day of work before I retired. I decided to have a lie-in and this lie-in went on and on and I was in danger of not even getting there for midday. Eventually I managed to organise myself then someone came in and checked a letter that I’d written before I sent it, or maybe it was notes of an interview or something. I didn’t think that whatever I’d written was complete or good enough but I didn’t really care all that much because apart from having to come back on my final day this was the actual last day that i’d be working because I had so much holiday to take so I wasn’t all that bothered. But this woman came in and checked my letter and all my notes. She seemed quite happy and went off. I turned up in work. The first thing that I did was to go to the bathroom which was situated on the ground floor right near the front door but the corridor had a kink in it so no-one at the door could actually see what was going on inside there. The ladies’ bathroom was on the 2nd floor at the top of the stairs and I don’t know why I remembered that. This dream just faded out at this point and I probably faded out with it, but this is one of these recurring dreams that we have.

Rosemary rang me up just as I was finishing. She had a question to ask me about access issues she was having to one of her sites. In the end after much discussion I managed to identify the problem and helped her to resolve it. She went off happy and I went to have my lunch.

After lunch I had a look at the bread dough that I’d made yesterday. It had risen quite well, both lots, so into the smaller load I added all of the nuts, suitably ground up, and then the fruit and seeds, folded it all in and made sure that it was properly mixed in

With the larger amount of dough, I added in several handfuls of sunflower seeds and mixed them well in. Then both lots were shaped and then put in their respective moulds and left for their second proofing.

Back in here, I then had to organise my voyage to Leuven and back in 10 days time. Because I have some extra appointments, I’m going a day early, on the Tuesday. But with our Welsh class now being on holiday travelling on a Tuesday is no problem.

Although I have extra appointments on the Friday as well, I was at one time thinking of coming home on the Sunday but I’ve decided in the end to come back on the Saturday again. I’m becoming a real home-body, aren’t I?

But eat your hearts out, you Britishers. 1300 miles on a train, half of which is on an ultra-high-speed TGV, all for the grand sum of €123:00 – about £108:00. When I once wanted to go from London to Bath, about 150kms, it cost more than that and it worked out cheaper to hire a car, put the fuel in and drive there and back

people in beach and sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halland then it was time for walkies so I went outside and across the car park to stick my head over the wall at the end to see what was happening down on the beach.

Owing to the crowds of people hanging around, I couldn’t make it to my usual spec, but from where I ended up I could see that there wasn’t much of a beach for people to be on this afternoon. The tide was well-in by now. But nevertheless there was still the odd little crook and nanny on the rocks where people were perched to enjoy the last of it before the water drove them up the steps.

But there was at least one person this afternoon who wasn’t too bothered by all of that. He was well away, enjoying himself in the water up to the top of his legs.

caramaran speedboat ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs is customary, while I was here I had a good look out to sea to see if there was anything else exciting going on down there this afternoon.

At least the sea mist that we have had over the last few days seems to have lifted and so we can actually see what’s going on out at sea this afternoon. Even the Ile de Chausey is looking quite nice and resplendent in the sunshine today.

And in between here and there in the Baie de Granville are a couple of boats to whet our appetite this afternoon. A really nice large white catamaran heading our way and also some kind of speedboat travelling quite rapidly towards us too. Presumably they have both set out from the Ile de Chausey.

Diamond DV20 Katana f-gnjc aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut that’s enough nautical action for right now. There was plenty of activity going on in the sky this afternoon.

It was difficult to read the serial number of this aeroplane that had taken off from the airfield because it kept well out to sea. The best I can come up with is that it’s F-GNJC. That’s a Diamond DV20 Katana although this doesn’t look much like one of those to me, although the angle might be deceptive.

But whatever she is, she hasn’t filed a flight plan from the airport and she didn’t fly high enough to be picked up on the flight radar either so it’s another one of those things that’s of no help whatever in enabling us to identify it.

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that wasn’t all by any means either. A short while later something else buzzed by overhead.

This one is a powered hand-glider that had also taken off from the airfield – or, at least, I think that they come from the airfield – this afternoon just after the aeroplane that we saw previously, and headed my way as I was walking around the path on the cliffs.

Of course, there is no flight plan for any of these and they aren’t ever picked up on the radar. Neither do I have access to the registration database and in any case the information would be meaningless to me so I can’t tell you anything whatever about it

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter I’d walked a couple of hundred yards, threading my way through the maskless crowds again, I heard once more the sound of the powered hang-glider.

Thinking that it was the same one coming round again I didn’t pay too much attention but as it passed by I noticed that not only was it a different colour but it was in fact a two-seater machine. That has to be worth photographing before it goes out of view.

One of these days I shall have to go out to the airfield for all kinds of different purposes, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I shall have to see if I can blag a ride in that as well. There’s probably some good photography to be had at 500 feet up.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not all the aerial activity either. In between the two shots of the powered hang-glider, there was more aerial activity that caught me eye.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we have a couple of birds of prey that fly around the edge of the clifftop here. There is plenty of small wildlife in the long grass, including a colony of rabbits.

It must be good hunting ground for food because we started off with one bird occasionally, and then it became a more frequent visitor. This Spring it brought a friend and now they seem to be here almost every day.

And so am I there days, but not hunting for food. And today I did something completely different and instead of going across the lawn and the car park, I went down the steps and along the lower path.

men fishing from zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown here we meet all kinds of activity, and it’s the favourite spot for us to catch a few fishermen.

Today there were three of them out there in a zodiac busy casting their lines into the water. And I thought that my luck might be in today as I saw the guy on the left reel in his line. “Are we going to see someone actually catch something after all this time?” I mused, but he reeled in and cast out his line again.

There were a couple of guys fishing from the rocks but they were of little importance today. They weren’t even close to catching anything, so I left them to it and continued on my way down the path.

black pearl chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I can now reveal the name for which I have been searching for the trawler that has been in the chantier naval for the last few days.

This was my purpose of going down on the lower footpath that takes me round to the port this afternoon. I wanted to check up on her name because, knowing my luck, she’ll be back in the water before I would otherwise do it.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I reckoned that she was the sister-ship to the new trawler Le Pearl and I bet that I’m correct too because apart from the colour scheme; she’s called Black Pearl and that’s all pretty conclusive. And it’s nice to be in a position to take a good photo of her.

l'alize 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs for the other boat that’s here on the other side of Philcathane, I was right about that yesterday too.

She is indeed the trawler L’Alize III, the trawler that appeared in the inner harbour a short while ago and about which there was all that commotion a couple of months ago. I was rather hoping that there would be someone around with the boat who might want to chat, but there was no-one.

Disappointed, I headed back up the hill in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers in the general direction of home and a nice hot coffee. It was quite a warm afternoon but a hot coffee never goes amiss at any time of the day.

fishing boat coming into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I reached the top of the hill I could look down into the port to see what was happening.

It’s a Sunday today and most of the fishermen are having a day off today. All their boats are moored in the inner harbour. It looks as if there has been one out there working earlier because she’s now come in and is looking for a place to tie up for the rest of the day.

Back at the apartment I made my coffee and then looked at the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer earlier today. It had now defrosted so I could roll it out and put it into the pizza tray (that I’d greased earlier) and left it to fester.

That was the cue to switch on the oven and when it was nice and hot I stuck the two loaves of bread in there to bake.

And while they were baking I came in here and dealt with a large order of things that I need to makr from Amazon.

I know that it’s a popular thing to go “Amazon-bashing” but have a look at where most of the products come from. Amazon might be the handler but in most cases (and in the case of almost everything that I buy) it isn’t the supplier or the expeditor. Most of the products are sold and distributed by small retailers who simply use the on-line “shop window” provided by Amazon.

During the pandemic with more and more small businesses being obliged to close their doors to face-to-face sales, they have turned to on-line shop windows like Amazon.

vegan pizza home nade bread fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut anyway, when the bread was nearly ready I went and assembled the pizza and once the bread was cooked, out it came and in went the pizza. And when that was done, I sat down and attacked it. It was delicious as well, as was the bottle of that alcohol-free beer that I bought yesterday.

As for the bread, I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

“And no dessert?” I hear you say. Well, there’s plenty of chocolate sponge left that needs finishing so I didn’t bake anything else. That’s enough for the next few days and in 10 days time I’m off to Leuven anyway.

Talking about being off, I’m off to bed right now. It’s hard to believe that it’s been my Day of Rest today with everything that I’ve done today. I’m exhausted. I can’t wait to get back to work tomorrow so that I can have a rest.

Sunday 20th June 2021 – HOW LONG IS IT …

citroen traction avant 15 boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… since we’ve featured an old car on these pages?

So here’s one that I saw today and you don’t need any introduction to they type of vehicle that this is because you’ve been introduced to its LITTLE BROTHER on several occasions.

And when I say “little brother” I really do mean this because whilst mine that’s in the back of my garage at Montaigut-en-Combraille is one of the smaller lightweight four-cylinder 7CV models, the one that’s here on these pages is the Real McCoy, the big heavyweight 6-cylinder 15CV models, as you can tell by the badge that is proudly displayed on the right-hand mudguard.

citroen traction avant 15 boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact we can actually put a date to this one, assuming that it’s all correct.

The boot lid features the shape of the spare wheel. That was phased out in late 1952. But it has straight bumpers instead of the curved “whiskers” type. That type was phased out in early 1952

But the real Real McCoy, the Holy Grail of all Citroen Traction Avants that I know existed at one time and which were never put into production, and I’ve no idea if there are any left, are the model 22s.

22 is of course twice 11 and so you might be expecting something special, and indeed you are right. It’s an experimental model fitted with a V8 engine made of two of the four-cylinder 11 engines. If only I could find one of those I would be in heaven, but let’s be honest – it’s not very likely.

What else that wasn’t going to be very likely is me being up anything like early. With having crashed out so definitively in the afternoon I couldn’t sleep and I was still up working at 04:00 this morning. Being awake and up and about at 11:30 on a Sunday was something of a surprise.

There had been enough time for me to go off on my travels during the night. We were looking after 2 children about 8 or 9, a boy and a girl. They were rather unruly and it was hard to keep control of them. As it was nearly bedtime I took them outside to let them play around for a while. That was the idea – I brought a ball with them. I left them out there for what was going to be 10 minutes but turned out to be longer than that. They must have gone to bed on their own so no-one said anything. The next morning I went to awaken them. They asked “what are you going to make us do today”? I asked why and they replied “if we’re going to play football we’re just going to make a noise”. I replied “in that case I’d put one of you up here and the other one somewhere else and you can make as much noise as you want”. When we went outside they had made a snowman only it was the two of them kneeling down stroking a big snow cat. I thought that it was wonderful. I asked “who made that”. They said that they did and some of the cats helped. So I made the kids kneel down by this sculpture and went to find as many cats as I could so I could give them to the kids to hold so that they would all be in the photo. But trying to round up a herd of cats at any one time is pretty impossible as anyone who has a large number of cats will tell you.

After the meds, much of the day has been spent going through the music and sorting a few things out. And in a spectacular burst of energy I paired the music for the radio programme that I’ll hopefully be doing tomorrow.

And then I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing to do while I was out was to go and stick my head over the wall at the end of the car park to see what the score is down on the beach this afternoon.

And while there wasn’t all that much beach to be on because the tide was well in, there were still hordes of people clinging on to the rocks like seabirds, or rather like King Canute trying desperately to turn back the tide. There were even some people looking as if they had been into the water too.

That must have been quite a brave thing to do this afternoon because while it’s summer tomorrow, it was rather like an April day out there right now. The heatwave that we had at the beginning of the week seems to be well and truly gone and that seems to be our lot.

people fishing from boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot that that would ever seem to bother a certain part of our society. The fishermen seem to be always there either on the rocks or in their little boats just offshore. That is, if they aren’t right out at sea in a big trawler or two.

Today we have Jerome K Jerome’s “Three Men In a Boat” out there armed with fishing rods and heaven alone knows what else, but probably not a dog called Montmorency. One of the guys has his rod in the water but as the boat is moving along, it’s going to be very unlikely that he will be tempting any of the local sea bass to come in and take the bait.

Of course, fishing is actually very much like having sex. You get your rod out and you never know what you are going to catch.

I’ll get my coat.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd the fishermen in the boat weren’t the only people out there hoping to catch a bite to eat this afternoon.

There are a couple of birds of prey who loiter around in the air around the edge of the cliffs here at the Pointe du Roc. As well as the lizards and mice and all of the usual kinds of wildlife that inhabit the cliffs, there’s a colony of rabbits and I would imagine that a young baby rabbit would be just the thing to feed a growing family of vultures or whatever they are.

But while he was swooping up and down a few times, I didn’t actually see him catch anything either although I reckon that he would have far more animal cunning than the fishermen.

crowds of people on footpath british flag pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so I headed off on my walk along the path on top of the cliffs, in amongst the crowds of people who were also out there for their afternoon stroll, most of whom were not taking a blind bit of notice of the order from the Préfet that masks are compulsory here until 30th June.

But there was something interesting down by the war memorial to the Resistance that I noticed for the first time since I came back. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that they were flying the German flag down there the other day but this afternoon I noticed that it had gone and in its place is the Union Flag of the United Kingdom.

“Is there a story behind the substitution of the flags?” I asked myself when I saw it. I would have expected the British flag to have been the more likely of the two seeing as we are celebrating the Normandy landings, but the German flag was flown first. So why the change?

yacht speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was pondering over that conundrum I noticed something moving out in the Baie de Mont St Michel and as it looked rather like something a little weird I went to investigate.

It was a yacht that was out there this afternoon and while there wasn’t really anything in the way of wind today, it was careening right over at quite an angle. There must have been quite something of a wind blowing out there to sea to have caused it to go over at that much of an angle. There isn’t the wake of another boat or anything that is causing it.

The little zodiac that looks as if it’s coming over from the Ile de Chausey looks as if it might be having a few yachtsmen dropping in for a coffee if the yacht goes over much more.

speedboat joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here’s some much more exciting activity going on around the headland in the Baie de Mont St Michel so I wandered off around the path to meet it.

That little speedboat or cabin cruiser with the fishermen in it that we saw earlier is heading back into port at quite a speed, and here it’s about to collide with the wake of one of the Joly France boats that has just left harbour and is heading over to the Ile de Chausey to presumably rescue some holidaymakers from there.

And that’s the older of the two Joly France boats. You can tell that by looking at the windows. They are rectangular but in “landscape” rather than “portrait” mode.

aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat’s not quite all of the fun that was going on out there this afternoon.

While I was out there watching the activities of all of the boats off the end of the headland and in the Baie de Mont St Michel I was overflown by another light aeroplane. Unfortunately it was far too far out for me to be able to read its registration number.

And as you might expect, the records of the control tower at the airport here were of no use whatsoever. No planes were recorded as having landed round about this time so I couldn’t even check to see if a flight plan had been filed or if it had been picked up by radar at any point during the afternoon.

yacht rebelle fishing boat chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I pushed along the path on top of the headland round to the viewing point overlooking the harbour, dodging the unmasked millions as I did so.

From the viewpoint there’s a good view looking down into the chantier navale. I was expecting to see some changes down there over the period while I had been away, but apparently not so. The yacht Rebelle is still down there, up on blocks at the side of the harbour where Aztec Lady lived for so long.

The fishing boat that moved in there not long before I went away is still there too, so there have been no goings, and no comings either, unless I missed them while I wasn’t here.

And there was nothing else going on very much so I went to look at the Citroen on the car park.

One of the things that I did earlier this morning that I have yet to mention was that I made some bread dough. On my return I gave it the second kneading, shaped it and put it in the bread mould.

Then I made a pile of pastry mix, lined a pie dish with some of it, made a filling out of diced apple, raisins, desiccated coconut, cinnamon and lemon juice, and then covered the pie with the rest of the pastry. It was then sealed, brushed with milk, dusted with brown sugar and priced to let out the steam.

With the pastry that was left and the filling that was left, I made an apple turnover.

That lot went into the oven and while they were baking I attended to the pizza. I’d taken the dough out of the freezer earlier and now I kneaded it, rolled it and put it in the pizza dish to rise. After an hour or so when it had risen I assembled the pizza with that I had (which wasn’t much).

apple pie home made bread vegan pizza apple turnover place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here are the finished products. The pizza is delicious even if it was undercooked because I forgot to turn up the oven after the bread.

As for the rest of the food you’ll have to wait until tomorrow because I had no room for any pudding or any bread tonight after the pizza. I shall look forward to that with eager anticipation.

So now that’s all done and I can think about going to bed. Despite the late start I’m ready for an early night what with having to do my radio programme in the morning. And that reminds me – I mustn’t forget to switch the alarms back on for tomorrow morning otherwise I’ll be in a right jam.

But not a jam pie. Thats maybe for a few weeks’ time.

Saturday 12th June 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… good and productive morning today which was nice. And which was just as well because I had a pretty lousy afternoon.

But more of the afternoon anon. Let’s talk about the morning first.

As the alarm started to ring I leapt out of bed and wandered off for my medication. And then I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone.

And there was nothing on it from the night, which was a surprise because I had all sorts of vague ideas and images going around the margins of my mind when I awoke but they had all flown away as I had tried to grab hold of them.

There was however some stuff on the dictaphone from 30th and 31st May that needed transcribing and so I dealt with that and brought their pages in the journal up-to-date.

While I’d been doing that I’d been listening to music. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, a week’s radio programmes was lost in some king of confusion and my records ended up being out of order for a week. And rearranging it meant that I had a blank week.

Without confusing things any more, I was rather stuck for what to do. But then yesterday I had an idea. I have a load of music that is waiting to be digitalised and even more than hasn’t yet been sorted. So I went through and sought out the groups who are debuting in my playlist.

The CDs that needed digitalising were then digitalised and I made up a playlist of albums where the groups and musicians were debuting in my lists.

And so today while all of this updating of the journal was going on, I was listening to music. I’d already been listening it last night and I’d selected a few tracks from it but by the time I’d finished the updating this morning I ended up with a nice collection.

And so I selected my tracks, edited them to cut out bits I didn’t want and to regulate the volume and then I combined them in pairs. So that’s the music sorted for that programme. On Monday I need to start by writing the music which is good because I have an appointment at lunchtime and I need to have the programme done by then.

When I’d finished what I’d been doing I grabbed a Louis de Funes sound file and chopped that up for more soundbites and I’m now accumulating a nice bunch of soundbites. And there are plenty more to go.

When I’d finished it, that was when it all started to go wrong, because I almost immediately crashed out. And a good and proper crashing out it was too. It was a very late lunch today because I didn’t come round until about 14:20. And then I was staggering around like a drunkard for a few minutes until I grabbed hold of my equilibrium.

The rest of the day has been spent cutting up albums (and there are still plenty to go at) and editing photos from August 2019. And I’m now actually at South Pass – at least where Highway 28 goes through it.

It didn’t look like the description that I had though and while things can change since 1845 they don’t change that much so what I did then was to go back to find a hotel and make further plans and do further research. So unless I am distracted tomorrow you might get to hear a little of my adventures.

In between all of this I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing that I did, as you might expect, is to interest myself in what is happening down on the beach today.

And so girding up my loins I headed for the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down from my viewpoint. And as we can see, there’s plenty of beach again today because the tide is well out again today. As I go out most days at roughly the same time, it’s interesting to see how the tide evolves over a complete cycle.

And while the weather is better today than it has been, warm with hardly any wind, there weren’t as many people down there as I was expecting to see. After all, it’s the holiday season and the place is swarming with Parisians right now bringing their viruses with them.

marite english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut while I was admiring the people on the beach my attention was caught by some kind of movement away on the horizon.

It was a ship – I was pretty sure of that. It couldn’t be anything else at that spot but with the naked eye it was far too far away for me to make out exactly what kind of ship. I was intrigued to see what it might be so I took a photo with the aim of cropping it out and blowing it up (which I can still do despite modern anti-terrorist legislation).

And so there you are. It’s a large sailing ship with at least two masts. And according to my shipping radar, Marité, the old fishing schooner that lives in the port, slipped her moorings at 07:53 this morning and headed off towards Bordeaux. And I can’t say any more than that about the ship out there.

microlight aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd its not just people on the beach and ships at sea that is attracting our attention right now. Try to do something serious and concentrate and your reverie is immediately interrupted by a buzzing noise overhead.

It’s not a mosquito or an insect like that, but it’s one of these microlight ULM powered hang-glider things. These kinds of things have their origins in the pou de ciel or “flying flea” microlights designed in the 1930s by the Frenchman Henri Mignet and popularised in many magazines, with plans being produced for home-builders.

Ever since then the French have had quite a reputation for building light aircraft of all shapes and sizes and regular readers will recall that we have seen quite a few different types of light aircraft flying over our heads when we’ve been out and about.

Cessna F182P Skylane F-GBTS pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis on the other hand, is a real aeroplane and it makes a change to see one that not only was picked up on radar but is entered in the books of the airport at Granville.

She’s a Cessna F182P Skylane, a model that was introduced in October 1971 and powered by a Continental O-470 piston engine fitted with a carburettor and producing 230 HP, or 72 kW. With a range of over 1,000 miles, the models for the European market are quite often flown over from Wichita, crossing the Atlantic via Newfoundland, Baffin island, Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

This one though was noted as being at Toulouse Airport this morning at 11:59 and was picked up by the radar near Balma at 13:21. And I could follow her route from there all the way to Granville where she landed at 16:15.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut right now I haven’t finished with the air yet because there were other things going on too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have a local bird of prey that we have seen quite regularly. I’ve forgotten what breed he might be because the birdwatching lectures that I had from Nerina weren’t about this type of bird, but it hovers about the edge of the cliffs because there are many small animals, including a colony of rabbits, that have made their home there.

And to my surprise, I noticed today that it had a mate. Or, at least, there was a second one working the cliff edge farther along. It will be nice if we can have our own colony of vultures or whatever they are.

men fishing from zodiacs baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLet’s turn our attention back to the sea now because there was still plenty going on out there too.

With it being Saturday,, then of course we can expect the local fishermen to be out in their droves this afternoon trying their luck from their boats just offshore at the foot of the cliffs. But doing my best not to make any tart remarks about their success rate, I pushed off along the path.

And the path was crowded with people today too. And despite the Préfet‘s instructions about masks being compulsory until the end of the month, many people were walking around maskless or with their mask tucked under their chin.

And seeing that many of them are holidaymakers from Paris, that will tell you all that you need to know about why the disease is so rampant in those places. And here they are, bringing their disease to us.

trawler beached port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I pushed my way along the path all the way around the headland until I reached the viewpoint that overlooks the harbour from where I could see what was going on in the port.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have talked … “at great length” – ed … about trawlers left in the outer harbour to go aground when the tide goes out.

So here’s another one of them – one of the bigger ones too, tied up in a NAABSA (not always afloat but safely aground) position to the harbour wall underneath the red marker light for the harbour entrance.

There’s definitely something fishy about this, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

gerlean l'omerta fishing boat port de Granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut to put your minds at rest L’Omerta and its friend, which is called Gerlean, are still tied up at the fish processing plant and are sitting on the mud.

But it beats me why they are there because it can’t be very popular with the other little fishing boats. With those tow moored there, there’s less space for the others to tie up to unload and so they’ll have to queue for longer.

But anyway, that’s not my problem. There’s a hot coffee and some ginger cake waiting for me back at home so I headed that way, and ended up having quite a lengthy chat with one of my neighbours on the stairs. That’s not like me at all, is it?

Tea tonight was interesting. There was some stuffing left over so I lengthened it with stuff that needed using in the fridge, added some tomato sauce and had it with some pasta. And as an ad-hoc meal it was surprisingly good.

But now I’ve finished and I can hardly keep my eyes open, and so I’m off to bed. A nice Sunday lie-in tomorrow and won’t that do me the world of good?

Monday 12th April 2021 – I WAS NOT …

… alone this afternoon when I went out for my afternoon walk.

bird of prey place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out this afternoon I was overflown yet again.

Whenever we’ve had clear days in the past it’s been aircraft, whether main-line stuff flying at impressive altitudes over my head or else it’s been light aircraft, autogyros and Birdmen of Alcatraz (who, incidentally, we haven’t seen for quite a while) going past at head height.

But none of that today. It was the local bird of prey, whatever species he (or she) might be, buzzing around over my head looking for food, and then swooping down to the ground to capture something, all of which takes place a darn sight quicker than I can follow it with my camera.

fishing boats brittany coast baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that was different this afternoon was the situation in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

For the last I-don’t-know-how-long I’ve been down there on the path to the end of the headland to look out across to the Brittany coast to see what was happening and, as Bob Dylan once famously sang on THE BASEMENT TAPES there was “too much of nothing”.

But today was rather different. We had the fleet of local inshore fishing boats out there in the bay doing what they are good at. There was probably about half a dozen of them all told presumably setting their traps and the like.

They rotate from one fishing area to another and it looks as if today is the turn of the inshore waters to receive their attention.

My attention this morning was focused hauling myself out of bed this morning. And seeing that I didn’t go to bed this morning until 01:30 that was rather a complicated matter. I’ve had worse mornings than this, but I can’t remember when.

First task after the medication was to deal with the radio programme on which I was going to work this morning. Having already chosen the music and paired it all off it was a simple matter of writing the text, recording it, editing it, cutting it into segments and using the segments to join together all of the pairs of songs.

Then I had to choose a closing song and write the text for it, edit that and then join it all together.

It ended up being 23 seconds over but in the speech that I write, there are all kinds of little bits that can be edited out and so weeding out 23 seconds of recorded superfluous speech is not as complicated as it might sound.

It was all done and dusted and up and running by 11:30.

That left me with plenty of time to book my transport and accommodation for my trip to Leuven next week. And while I can understand that there is only one train out of Granville per day when there’s a pandemic and movement is severely restricted, just WHY does it have to be at 05:55?

At least I’ll get into Leuven with plenty of spare time to recover from the voyage, but on the other hand it means that if there’s an issue with just one of the trains that I need to catch, I shall be well and truly up a gum tree.

After lunch (and my bread from yesterday is really delicious) I had a go at the photos from August 2019 and I’m now caught up with my plan of a minimum of 30 a day. I’m now patrolling the “south skirmish line” of last Stand Hill at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

But while some might think that it’s a “south skirmish line” it look to be very much like the route of a panic -stricken flight to me. You don’t dig yourself in at the bottom of a steep ravine when the place to dig yourself in would be at the top of the slope where your adversary would have to struggle up towards you slowly and you’ve have plenty of time to fire at them to push them back.

The fact that there are so very few memorials to the Native Americans on this side of the battlefield when the whole area is littered with memorials to American soldiers tells its own story. My opinion is that the natives were firing into the backs of the fleeing soldiers rather than face-to-face in a firefight.

All of this took me up to the time for my afternoon walk so I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed off out.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing to do today was to go to the wall at the end of the car park and look down onto the beach to see what was going on down there.

The tide is quite far out this afternoon so there was plenty of beach to go at. And there were quite a few people down there this afternoon making the most of it. Not as many people as we have seen on occasion – no schools playing rounders or anything like that – but I would have thought that with all of the holidaymakers around right now, they would have been there.

After all, it was a pleasant, sunny day if you could find some shelter out of the wind, because once more we seem to be having a bucket-full of wind and I’m rather fed up of that right now.

yacht jersey english channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as we all know, it’s an ill-wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good.

There’s always going to be someone who would take advantage of it and we have one of those out here this afternoon – the yacht that’s out there somewhere between the Channel Islands and the French mainland.

At the distance that it was from here – probably about half-way across, I couldn’t make out whether it was coming or going and I know exactly how it feels after everything that I seem to be going through right now. And the whitecaps on top of some of the waves will indicate that it’s not having the best of it out there in this weather. The wind must be even stronger offshore.

unidentified ship st helier jersey english channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking out at the yacht that I saw just now, I noticed something just offshore outside the harbour at St Helier so I took a photo of it to enlarge when I came back so that I cn see what it might be.

Having done that, I have to say that unfortunately, I’m still none-the-wiser. It’s big and white and my first thought was that it might be a cruise ship anchored outside the harbour. But there’s no trace of any large ship of this size anywhere in the vicinity so I’ve no idea what it might be.

But I’m impressed with the weather this afternoon because I can see St Helier so clearly this afternoon. We can even see the medieval tower that guards the entrance to St Helier harbour, never mind all of the other buildings there.

bird of prey place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was round about now that the famous bird of prey flew past overhead.

It took up station, hovering around over the edge of the cliffs round about 50 yards from where I was standing. And then suddenly, as I looked it swopped off down to near the foot of the cliffs. Presumably it had seen something edible but it was so quick that I couldn’t see what it was.

At least it’s having more luck that the local fishermen.

So from there I set off along the path on top of the cliffs. The people were there on top of the bunker again clearing off the dirt and dust but I carried on past them. There weren’t too many people this afternoon to get in my way.

cap frehel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere’s the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel once more

With the weather out to the Channel Islands being so good this afternoon, I was wondering how the view would be out along the Brittany coast. So I climbed up on top of one of the other bunkers where there’s a good view.

Once again, the lighthouse was clearly visible even with the naked eye and we could even see the headland behind the lighthouse today. It’s not every day that we can see that much of the coastline. I’ll really have to crack on and finish the notes of my trip around Central Europe so that I can get on and show you the photos of the Brittany coast that I took on board the Spirit of Conrad

Off along the path I went and then across the car park to the end of the headland.

fishing boat with nets out pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that just off the headland at the Pointe du Roc we’ve occasionally seen something that might be interpreted as a marker buoy for a lobster pot are something similar.

Seeing this boat here make me even more certain that it is a lobsterpot and its marker or something like that. If you look closely at this little boat you’ll see that it has its lines out on the starboard side so it’s possibly engaged in either lowering down or raising up a lobster pot.

However, as you can see, there are so many boats out here working away in the Baie de Mont St Michel, all over the place this afternoon.

From there I pushed off along the path towards the port.

panhard 24 2+2 rue du cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallCrossing over the pedestrian crossing in the Rue du Cap Lihou I was almost squidged by a passing motorist.

But if I’m going to be run down by a passing motor vehicle, I wouldn’t mind so much it being one of these. This is a Panhard 24 2+2, one of the very last of the vehicles built by the Panhard Motor company before they closed their doors in 1967.

The Panhard 24 was the car that was designed to replace the famous Panhard 17 and was built between 1963 and 1967. It contained many features that were considered to be “luxury items” at the time such as 3-way adjustable seats, adjustable steering wheel and the like

They must be beautiful to drive but unfortunately I have never ever had the chance to find out.

joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, there was some kind of excitement going on over at the ferry terminal.

Both of the Joly France boats, the ones that provide the ferry service over to the Ile de Chausey, are over there this afternoon. The tide is well out so they are in a NAABSA – Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground – situation over there.

This would seem to indicate that at the next high tide, probably later on towards the evening, they’ll be going back out to rescue the perishing wo are stranded out there right now.

We also have another fishing boat tied up over there too. It’s bewildering me why so many of them are no longer going into the inner harbour to tie up in there.

material on quayside port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther on along the path there’s a good view down into the inner harbour and the loading bay where the little Jersey freighters Normandy Trader and Thora tie up.

And have you ever seen such a large pile of freight lined up on the quayside waiting to be taken away? It’s enormous. They must be expecting one of the freighters to come in pretty soon because they wouldn’t otherwise leave all this much stuff lying around.

It’s no surprise that they are talking about buying a larger ship to deal with all of the freight. It’s quite an unexpected Brexit dividend that rather than having freight sent to and from the UK for onward trans-shipment to and from Europe, it’s sent directly to the European mainland

men inspecting harbour bed port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat’s not the end of today’s excitement. either. We had some men rooting around in the outer harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve had diggers out there working in the harbour dealing with the issues of installing more mooring chains. They are a long way from finishing, so I imagine that these men are either inspecting the work that has been done or else surveying it for further work.

But I wasn’t all that interested in what they were doing. With nothing else going on, I headed on for home and my mug of hot coffee. And I certainly needed it today because I’m still feeling quite cold.

Armed with my coffee I listened to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was living with Nerina and we had the house at Gainsborough Road and all of the kids were living there as well. I kept on coming back from away and the place was an absolute mess so I started to tidy up the kitchen. I started to collect together all of the things for the microwave. There was a lot of stuff that I didn’t use regularly so I thought that I’d take them to France so I put it on one side ad carried on emptying these boxes to see what there was in there and stacking it up. When I reached the final box it was full of water as it had been left out in the rain. There was one of my electric drills in there. I drained it off but the sound of the running water awoke Nerina as it was 02:00. It also disturbed someone walking down the side of the house so Nerina asked what was going on. I told her. She asked if I was going to take all this lot to the Cheshire Cat. I asked her what she meant and she said “to put it all in a line”. I replied “I’m not selling anything, I want to keep it all. I can keep some of it in my garage but I’ll have to find a place for the rest”. This was another dream where I had these imaginary lock-ups that I had but I couldn’t remember where they were.

Having done that, I did some Welsh revision but unfortunately I crashed out in the middle of it.

The hour on the guitar passed quickly and then I went for tea – veggie balls with steamed vegetables with vegan cheese sauce followed by more of my really delicious jam roly-poly.

Now I’m off to bed. I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow and then I REALLY MUST deal with my Central Europe trip and finish it off. I’m fed up of it lying around like this. There’s plenty of other stuff that I need to be doing, even installing the kitchen that I bought before Christmas.

There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Friday 9th April 2021 – I’VE HAD SOMETHING …

… of a bad day today and I really don’t know why.

It all went wrong during the night when I spent most of it wracked with attacks of cramp and having to get up and walk about to ease it off. They say that the medication that I’m taking takes its time to work but I was expecting it to work quicker than this.

As a result I missed the first alarm this morning. Well, I didn’t because I did actually wake up, but I must have gone back to sleep because the second alarm brought me round properly. And then I spent the rest of the day fighting off the impulse to go back to sleep, sometimes unsuccessfully.

After the medication I went to listen to the dictaphone to hear if, despite the disturbed night, I’d been on any travels anywhere during the night. There was a train that had pulled into a platform but had stopped short to allow a pilot engine to be coupled up with I so consequently getting to it was a bi of a problem. People were having to leap over some adjacent track and a bay platform in order to get to the train. 1 passenger made it and the crew of the train made it over with the help of someone. Then another passenger tried it. It looks as if he made it OK and he got into the train but apparently he hadn’t. Then a 4th couple tried it and made quite a mess of it all. Then the train took off and it was all swaying around quite dramatically. 1 person who had only just caught it was hanging on for dear life in between 2 carriages and it wasn’t long before the whole thing was derailed. That was when I had a wicked attack of cramp that forced me to get up and walk about.

Somewhere along here was the story of a guy and his 2 acquaintances who were rustlers and were knocking everyone off. They’d already had 2 off this particular train that we were talking about and I don’t know how many more they were intending to have before they did some real damage.

For much of the morning I’ve been working on the photos from August 2019. I’ve dealt with another big pile of those today and I’m well ahead today. I’m now at the site of the ghost town of Kooi north-east of Sheridan in Wyoming heading towards the site of the Battlefield of the Little Big Horn

As well as that, I’ve done some of my arrears of my trip around Central Europe and some of my revision for my Welsh course but unfortunately I fell asleep in the middle of that and ended up dropping my papers all over the floor.

All in all, it’s not been a very successful day.

There was the afternoon walk around the headland, rather later than usual today, what with one thing and another.

man leaning on rock beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut time doesn’t seem to be an issue with this guy here on the beach.

The first thing that I did as usual was to stick my head over the wall at the end of the car park here to see what was going on down on the beach. There wasn’t much beach for anything to be going on this afternoon but the guy here managed to find a place to rest, leaning on a rather large rock as he admires the view of whatever was going out at sea.

But with the tide coming in quite rapidly, he’s chosen a good spot, at the foot of the steps up to the Rue du Nord to which he could make a hasty retreat without being cut off anywhere by the tide

Having seen the beach, I headed off along the top of the cliff towards the headland.

philcathane trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was an endless stream of trawlers heading out of the fishing port this afternoon. One after the other they were coming around the headland.

There could have been any one of them that I could have photographed but the one that caught my eye particularly was the trawler Philcathane, on her way out to the fishing grounds in the English Channel.

We’ve had the opportunity to examine her in the past when she’s been up on blocks in the chantier navale for a while and ONE NIGHT LAST AUGUST when she was sailing around the harbour late at night.

So leaving the other trawlers to their fate, I carried on with my walk along the headland towards the end of the Pointe du Roc

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOur friendly neighbourhood bird of prey is out there again this afternoon.

And I’m glad that it was too. With having seen people on the beach and people i.e. trawlers out at sea, all we needed now to make up our trilogy is is SOMETHING IN THE AIR, as Thunderclap Newman might have said.

You might have noticed in the photographs so far that we have really thick ten-tenths cloud which means that it’s impossible for us to see anything in the way of airliners and there was nothing going on in the way of light aircraft going to and from the airport. A bird of prey is just as good a substitute for an aeroplane in these circumstances.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here I had a good look across the sports field to see how they were getting on with the roofing job on the College Malraux.

And they seem to have put a spurt on just recently. They’ve been working from right to left on this side of the roof so they have now done over half of the roof on this side. Give them another six months and they might actually finish the job. They’ve been at it long enough.

What’s surprising though is that they seem to have found enough scaffolding to go all the way down that side. When they were doing the other side they only had enough to do half of it and they had to dismantle it and move it down the side halfway through the job.

man fishing from rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs well as the man on the beach, there was another man out there this afternoon down on the rocks.

My journey from the lawn takes me down the path by the war memorial to the Resistance and then across the car park. From there I can go down to the end of the headland and see what’s going on.

Having seen two guys the other day fishing off the rocks at the headland, they were both there this afternoon but today they were fishing off different rocks.

And once again, they didn’t actually catch anything while I was there. I’m at the stage where I’ve given up expecting to see someone haul a sea-bass out of the water, bad-tempered or not.

joly france english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was taking the photograph of Philcathane I’d noticed something else out to sea heading our way from the Ile de Chausey.

Having seen Chausiais coming back from the Ile de Chausey yesterday, today it’s the turn of one of the Joly France boats to make an appearance on these pages. We’ve seen both of them tied up at the ferry terminal and in the inner harbour and it’s been a long time since we’ve actually seen one riding the waves.

As she came on over across from the Ile de Chausey I wandered off along the path along the south side of the headland towards the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was going on down there this afternoon.

anakena hermes 1 notre dame de cap lihou chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we have a change of occupancy in the chantier navale this afternoon

Yesterday we saw the portable boat lift loitering around above Lys Noir as if it was about to pick up the boat and take her to the water. Today, we can see that Lys Noir has now gone from the chantier navale back into the water.

That leaves us with just Anakena, Hermes 1, the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou and, out of shot, Aztec Lady in there right now, with plenty of room for a couple of other boats to come in.

There’s plenty of activity going on at Anakena though right now with a couple of people standing on her deck talking. She is the boat that was marooned here when all of the ports in Northern Europe closed their doors to foreign boats. With Covid easing off now in several countries, it may be that she’s getting ready to leave port and continue with her journey.

Further on along the path I could see the boats that are still tied up at the fish processing plant.

coelacanthe tiberiade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallTwo of our favourite trawlers are moored to the quayside over there. They haven’t followed all of the rest out to sea this afternoon.

It’s not easy to tell which one is Coelacanthe and which one is Tiberiade when you see them on their own, but when you see them together like this you’ll see that Coelacanthe is slightly bigger and has the raised sides of the hull to protect the bridge doors.

The inner harbour was fairly empty this afternoon. Normandy Trader has left the port, probably on the early morning tide today, so I wandered off home for my hot cup of coffee and try to summon up the energy to carry on with what I had been doing.

As usual I knocked off for my guitar practice and then went for tea. I had a curry out of the freezer tonight with some rice and veg, followed by some more jam roly-poly.

But I imagine that I’m going to have some nightmares tonight because the video that I was watching while I was eating was one of these spaghetti westerns in Italian where right in front of my eyes we had a real genuine scalping with plenty of blood followed by someone being devoured alive by lizards and bats and the like.

Not the kind of thing that I enjoy watching at any time, especially when I’m eating my tea.

Now I’m off to bed. I don’t know where the time goes. Tomorrow I’m off for my second vaccination for Covid. It’s a long way to go, and an early start so I need to be on good form for that. Here’s hoping that I’ll have a better night than last night.

Sunday 7th March 2021 – AFTER I’D FINISHED …

… finished writing up my notes last night I went off and made my kefir. There were a pile of kiwis that were on the verge of going off so I used four of those. Whizzed up in the whizzer and then pressed through the filter system and the brewed kefir mixed in.

While it was seeping through I set another batch of kefir on the way and then the stuff that I’d mixed, I filtered through the filter stack into the bottles and left it to brew.

When I’d finished I came back in here but I wasn’t in the least bit tired so I sat down and did some work. I finished ANOTHER PAGE OF THE ARREARS FROM CENTRAL EUROPE and then I went on and bashed out 30 or so photos from Greenland 2019 and I’m now sailing down Tunulliarfik Fjord.

It was about 01:45 when I finally went to bed so it was something of a disappointment to be awake at 07:50 when I awoke. But there’s no chance whatever of me being up and about on a Sunday at that ridiculous time so I turned over and went back to bed.

10:15 is much more like it on a Sunday.

First task after the medication was to deal with the sink. I went to do all of the washing-up from last night but the water simply didn’t drain out at all.

In the end I dismantled all of the pipework under the sink and found a nice piece of cable to ram down the pipe that I couldn’t dismantle. Judging by how far the cable went down the pipework it was well into the communal lengths before it found the obstruction.

It took quite a while of furkling about with the cable before the obstruction suddenly moved. And then I had to reassemble everything. It wasn’t exactly how I intended to start my Sunday but at least I could crack on.

After all of that I couldn’t concentrate on the blog entry that I’d started and didn’t seem to make any progress so I had another go at the photos. That’s a huge pile of those that I did today and I’m now in a zodiac in Arsuk Fjord heading for a close encounter with a musk-ox.

microlight powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite it being a Sunday, I remembered to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

The sky was absolutely beautiful once more with not a cloud in the sky today. But there were plenty of other things in the air instead. None of the bird-men because there wasn’t enough wind but we did have one or two people up in the air in their powered hang-gliders or whatever they are called.

Several light aircraft were flying past overhead too, but they were too far away for me to photograph with any kind of clarity.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other hand, something else went flying by quite clearly enough for me to photograph this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have some kind of bird of prey flying around the edges of the cliffs. There’s a colony of rabbits somewhere in the cliffs and I imagine that it targets the very young of the colony together with whatever else it can find in the way of small mammals.

As for the details of its species, I have to say that I have no idea. Despite all of the lectures on birdwatching that I’ve had in the past from Nerina, they weren’t about this kind of bird.

But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, we were talking about the gorgeous weather today.

girls coming out of the water beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNice though it might have been, it wasn’t all that warm at all and so I was surprised, if not astonished, to see a couple of women emerging from the sea like a couple of 21st-Century sirens. I would have expected the water to have been cold enough to freeze the barnacles off a brass dinghy right now.

When we were in the Arctic we had people throwing themselves into the sea even as the surface was freezing over but they were Canadians and it’s the kind of thing that you might expect from them but it’s not the thing that I would normally expect French people to do for pleasure.

There were quite a few people out there this afternoon, not as many as there were yesterday for sure, and with nothing going on out at sea I walked round to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

trawlers fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was no change in occupancy in the chantier navale today, the same four boats that have been there since Thursday are still there on their own today, but also, surprisingly, the two boats that were grounded over by the Fish Processing Plant yesterday are still there today.

Every now and again we see the odd boat left there overnight or in between tides but to see them there for this long is quite unusual. It prevents others coming in to unload from reaching the wharf and they can’t be too happy about that.

It’s not as if there isn’t any room in the inner harbour for them to tie up. There is plenty of space in there since they installed the new pontoons.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t a great deal of wind this afternoon, but there must be some kind of strong wind blowing from somewhere as you can see from this photograph.

The sea was quite calm this afternoon without any high waves, as you can tell by the wake of the cabin cruiser going past but there was a really powerful current rolling in. It’s about every seventh wave that is the strongest and this seventh waves was smashing in and sending spray right up to the top of the sea wall.

There were several people standing around here at the viewpoint watching the spectacle. I’m not quite sure why because there were no shipwrecks, nobody drownding, in fact nothing to laugh at at all.

yacht st pair sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother indication of how calm the sea really was today was the behaviour of the yacht out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

All of that looks perfectly calm out there and the boat looks perfectly stable regardless of all of the waves beating up against the harbour wall. It seems to be such a really nice day to be out and about on the water.

In the background, the road that leads into Saint-Pair sur Mer is all bathed in sunlight and the chateau d’eau looks particularly prominent today. There’s also some building work going on in St Pair sur Mer too, judging by the crane on the extreme right of the image. I’ll have to go and have a look at that one of these days too.

Back here I made another attempt at rewriting the notes of one of my pages from Central Europe and this time, I made some progress. But I broke off to have a chat with TOTGA and then I had to go to attend to the cooking for the following week.

The pizza dough I had taken out of the freezer this morning and now that it had defrosted I kneaded it again, rolled it and put it on the tray to proof again.

home made vegan pizza apple pie kiwi kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a roll of flaky pastry left over in the fridge since Christmas so I used it this afternoon and made myself an apple pie with it. And while the pie was baking I assembled the pizza and that went into the oven when the pie was finished.

And here we have the finished products from today’s baking session, along with the kefir from last night. That’s already fermenting so it seems to be a very good batch today. I hope that it tastes as good as it performs.

The pizza was delicious but as for the apple pie, I’ll tell you another time – there was no room for any this evening as the pizza was, as usual, quite filling.

Having done a little tidying up, I’m now off to bed as it’s Monday tomorrow and I’m radioing again. I remember saying at the beginning of the week that I was quite optimistic about the week that was to come and I seem to have accomplished a fair amount for a change. I wonder how this week will turn out.

Monday 11th January 2021 – JUST TO PROVE …

… that I can do it when I really try, I beat the 3rd alarm to my feet this morning. And I bet that you weren’t expecting that, were you? I know that I wasn’t.

After breakfast I made a start on the radio programme and with having to start it from scratch, it took me until about 14:30 to finish.

It would have taken a lot less time but I rather seriously overran. What I normally do is to choose 10 tracks for a total length of 50 minutes, some text to introduce the tracks which I edit down, and then a final track to finish to make up an hour’s worth of programme.

Unfortunately I was rather carried away with what I did today because I ended up with 51:40 in my 10 tracks, and then 11.46 of text which when edited down made 7:30, did not leave enough time for a decent final track. Consequently I had to go through and edit the text right down again to make some space for a final track.

There was the usual pause for my mid-morning hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread, and a pause for lunch as well with my home-made bread.

fog in english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSpending the afternoon not doing all that much at all, I did however stop what I wasn’t doing in order to go out for my afternoon walk.

And we were having the kind of weather where I would have been much happier being out with a white stick and a guide dog. This wasn’t a rolling fog but in fact a thin mist of very light rain.

As it was out there in the English Channel and I couldn’t see the Ile de Chausey at all, I was tempted to think about the people out there on the island looking over to us over here and coming out with the old hoary chestnut “fog in the Channel! Continent cut off!” – a throwback to the days when to be born British was to win the lottery of life and wasn’t tha a long time ago.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway I continued along the footpath at the top of the cliff, dodging my way past the mud patches that have mysteriously appeared over the last couple of days.

As I reached the footpath and the car park, out of the doom and gloom came a fishing boat, chugging its way back into port.

It was extremely windy out there this afternoon and the sea was quite rough so it can’t have been very pleasant out there this afternoon, and these small boats take quite a battering out there in this kind of weather.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were quite a few people out there this afternoon walking around despite the weather, and it wasn’t just people out there enjoying the weather either.

Every now and again we see a bird of prey hovering over the cliffs here at the Point du Roc looking for little rodents and baby rabbits in the grass. And he’s here again doing his stuff on the clifftop.

He spends a lot of time hovering around over the cliffs here and, just like the local fishermen out here sometimes on the rocks, I have yet to see him actually catch anything. But if the cliffs here were barren he wouldn’t be coming back here at all.

joker fishing boat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe port this afternoon seems to be packed with fishing boats today. And there’s a reason for that too.

With the Treaty of the Bay of Granville being revoked by the British, the Channel Islands should be issuing permits under the Brexit withdrawal agreement for fishing boats from here, but by the middle of last week they had yet to do so. The French Minister for Fisheries came here at the end of last week and told the fishermen that if the Channel Islands hadn’t issued the permits by Sunday, they could head out there on Monday accordingly with the blessing of the French Government.

And so I imagine, they must have set out for the Jersey fishing grounds this morning.

joker port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the fishing boats that we saw in the previous photo was the shellfish boat Joker that we have seen on several occasions.

As I watched, she left the quayside by the fish processing plant and chugged off across the harbour in the general direction of the chantier navale. As she came into the shadow of the portable boat lift, she did a U-turn and I was treated to a delightful little nautical danse macabre as she pirouetted around.

Actually, I was expecting her to reverse into the lifting bay, and that was what I was expecting the guy on the end of the bay to be organising.

baie de mont st michel fishing boat joker port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as I watched, she pulled forward again and came to a stop. For about 10 minutes or so I waited there expecting things to develop but she didn’t move at all.

While I was there, a couple of trawlers came out of the gloom around the headland and headed into port. And as well as that, one of the school buses passed by on the road at the foot of the cliff so it was quite a busy afternoon all in all.

But after waiting for 10 minutes in the rain and Joker hadn’t moved at all during that time, I turned and headed for home.

chausiais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut that wasn’t the only action taking place in the harbour today.

The fact that the trawlers were heading back into port suggests that the harbour gates were about to open. And sure enough, not only did they open as I watched, Chausiais appeared out of the fog and passed through the harbour gates into the inner port where she moored up at the loading bay underneath the crane.

Having seen her safely home, I wandered off back to my home for a nice hot mug of coffee. With all of this rain and wind, I needed it.

There was the usual hour on the guitar and after that I set off for my evening walk and run.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was still raining when I went out but I put a brave face on it and headed off outside.

This wasn’t the weather for hanging around so I didn’t stop to take too many photos. I made my way all round my usual route, either running or walking, and ended up overlooking the harbour. We’d seen the gates open earlier today but I was lucky enough to be out here to see them close tonight.

It’s not every day that I manage to see them both on the same day. So, rather content with my self, I ran off home again.

Tea was pasta and burger with vegan pesto sauce, and followed by jam turnover and soya coconut. That turnover was delicious and I hope that the pie is just as good.

Having done all of this, I’m off to bed. I have my Welsh lessons tomorrow (I hope) so I need to be on the top of my form. And that’s not very easy these days, is it?

Friday 8th January 2021 – TODAY WAS …

… the worst day so far of this little bout of ill-health that I’m having.

The alarms went off as usual and even though they awoke me and I was wide awake, I didn’t have the physical strength to leave the bed. It took me until about 09:15 before I could find the energy to leave the bed and for the next hour or two I was right out of everything.

When I finally pulled myself together I sat down and had a play with the dictaphone. And it seemed that I’d travelled miles during the night. Including one trip with one of my sisters, although I shan’t elaborate as you are probably eating a meal right now and I don’t want to spoil your appetite.

Somewhere along the line my wife and I had got back together and were living together. Things weren’t going too well and I had to be very careful about checking my post to make sure that no unexpected letters were being slipped in somewhere that I might have missed. I had to regularly keep an eye on the pile of paperwork for filing that nothing had been slipped in there. This caused one or two raised eyebrows when people started to work out what it was that I was actually doing. I had plenty of things to do the following morning but my brother was around living there I think talking about what we were going to do. He said that he needed some help to put some silencer paste on an exhaust and change a wheel over on his car. He showed me a wheel and the tyre had split. I had plenty of things to do myself that were pretty important but I would give him a hand for 10 minutes. One of the things that I needed was a new tyre for my car. I had a look at one that I had just taken off. It was completely perished and there was a huge split right across the canvas. I showed it to my brother and said “I wet down to London on this on Monday.

In the middle of all of this there was a story about me being in a lorry, a lorry driver and we were filming or rather watching a film of a route that someone had driven and I was trying to have some kind of indication or hints from this video about driving, a Youtube camera shot thing.

The third part of this was when I’d been working with something like Shearings or Adventure Canada and we were going on our Christmas Holidays. We’d each been given a place to go to. I’d been given a place that was only about 3 or 4 miles away from where we were which I thought was a bit miserable. I wasn’t very happy. I was sitting at a table with 3 or 4 old people and they were making jokes about Russian spies. One of them asked me a question “was I a Russian spy?”. I made some kind of sarcastic remark so he started to make a real issue out of this kind of thing. An old guy, Admiral of the Fleet or something. In the end I’d had enough of this. I stood up, threw down my napkin onto the table and said “I’ll tell you what. When I go from here I’m going to become a Russian spy and what I’m going to do will make you look a total and utter fool, and that’s not going to be difficult”. He went apoplectic. I stormed out. One thing that I’d noticed over the last few days that no-one was really speaking to me or giving me anything to do. Even a couple of girls whom I knew walked past. I said “hello girls” but they didn’t respond so I shouted “hello girls” and then they waved to me. 1 of the girls was coming with me. We were in the room where we were working and there was such a racket going on and suddenly one of the chairs caught fire. It had been right up against the heater and the heat had set it off. She switched a few switches and the noise immediately died down to just a noise. It was still annoying but a lot less than it had been. I realised that it had been the air conditioning or the heater fan or something that was blowing and making all of this noise. She was talking about the trip that we were going to go on, asking how long it was going to take us to get there and when would we be ready. I said that I’d be ready in half an hour because I’m not taking very much and if I’ve forgotten anything I can always come back here because we’re only round the corner anyway. I remember saying that the first thing that I’d be doing when I come back before I do anything else is to weld a sill on the red Cortina. That has its MoT very shortly.

As you can imagine, it took me an age to transcribe all of this and I haven’t really done all that much else. I did make the telephone call that I needed to make, only to find that with the Covid situation their office is only open Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The only other thing that I’ve done that can be classed in any way productive was something on the principle that if you can’t think of anything to do, or don’t have the energy to do anything, then just do something – anything – so I edited another pile of photos from Greenland in 2019. That’s not a productive day by any means, but I’m struggling with ill-health right now and I have to do what I can.

There were the usual interruptions today. Lunch of course with my delicious bread – and I forgot to mention that the fruit bread that I had with my hot chocolate this morning was delicious.

Another thing that I did was to peel, dice and blanch another kilo or so of carrots. They are in the freezer now freezing away to themselves.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was the afternoon walk too, in the freezing weather. The temperature had dropped to 1°C overnight and had risen to about 3°C by this afternoon.

Not too many people out there today but one person who was there who I hadn’t seen for a while was our bird of prey – hovering around over the rocks at the headland looking for a tasty snack. He didn’t catch anything while I was there watching – perhaps I had disturbed the prey, I dunno.

So after a while, I cleared off and left him to it. I walked down along the path overlooking the chantier navale as usual but there was nothing going on there at all that hasn’t been going on before.

new door public conveniences pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days I talked about the new door on the public conveniences here.

Previously it was a kind-of roller shutter door, quite lightweight and it looked as if someone had kicked it in. And so they other day they came out and fitted a really heavy-duty sliding door instead. I’d love to see someone try to kick that one in.

However, as I mentioned earlier, there’s a design fault in it and they’ll be out to fix it again, sooner than you might think actually because there are already signs that it wont last long.

What they have done is put the staple for the padlock when the door is closed (on the right-hand side of the door itno the wall and cemented it. That means that any reasonably-sized iron bar can prize it off and there are signs that someone has already had a try. It needs to be in an L-shaped backing plate and screwed to the frame on the inner profile, so that no-one can get behind the screws to prize them out.

Back here I had a coffee and then carried on with some photos in rather a half-hearted fashion. I stopped for guitar practice of course, and that went somewhat better than last night.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOutside again in the freezing weather I set off for my walk – and four runs tonight. I’m slowly pulling myself up again.

It was too cold ro loiter around outside so I just took one photo of the Plat Gousset to say that I was out, and then I came back home – at a run again.

But to tell you the truth, there wasn’t anything else much to photograph tonight. It was singularly quiet, as it has been all day.

While I’d been out I’d turned on the oven again and was cooking a potato. When I came back I put a slice of pie in there and while I was at it, a frozen apple turnover. I cooked some veg and gravy too, and had pie with baked potato and veg and gravy, followed by apple turnover for tea. I’ll finish the apple crumble tomorrow.

Now that I’ve written my notes, I’m off to bed. Which is more than … gulp … 68,000 British people will be doing tonight. One person in every thousand in the UK has been diagnosed with Covid today. And apart from the 1325 who won’t be waking up tomorrow – a disgraceful record for a developed nation, my friend Erika from Atlanta and I were working out that in the USA the Death Rate from Covid is 1/59, yet in the UK, with its much-vaunted and magnificent NHS, the death rate is 1/37.

There’s something dreadfully wrong in the UK.

Wednesday 9th September 2020 – THE BIRD …

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall… of prey that we have seen every now and again flying around above the rabbit colony has been back again today.

This afternoon while I was out on my rounds I came across it yet again. Unfortunately it wasn’t in such a good position to photograph as it was last time, but I did my best.

And that’s something else too. I’ve spoken previously … “and at great length too” – ed … about the fact that I’ve never seen any fisherman actually catch anything but, thinking about it, I haven’t seen the birds of prey catch anything yet either.

For my own part, I didn’t catch anything today either. The early bird might catch the worm but I wasn’t early at all this morning. Even though I was in bed at some kind of reasonable-ish time, I still couldn’t summon up the strength to be out of bed when the alarm went off.

Unfortunately, it was round about 08:45 when I finally crawled out of bed and I didn’t feel much like it then either.

Having finally managed to listen to the events of last night on the dictaphone it appears that I can’t remember very much about the nocturnal events. It seems that I was somewhere in Central Europe and it involved a cavalry army mounted on horseback that was pretty comfortably defeated by some insurrectionists of which I was one and had to retreat. All of its artillery was exposed to the TV cameras and so on during this retreat and it had to be very careful not to fall into the hands of the partisans who were roaming about

Despite it being something or a miserable day in which I was hard-pressed to summon up any enthusiasm, I finally did finish the radio programme on which I’ve been working. And much to my own surprise, it was short by a mere 0.912 of a second by the time that I had finished.

However a few additional small bits of generated silence in appropriate places soon took care of that and it was soon back up to the one-hour limit

joly france english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was of course the usual interruption while I went off on my afternoon walk.

And it seems that I wasn’t the only one heading off on an outing this afternoon. Joly France was heading off into the English Channel. It’s the old one – you can tell that by the fact that there is no step in her stern, and she’s on her way out to the Ile de Chausey with a load of passengers.

It beats me why they would want to go out there so late in the day because they wouldn’t have too much time to stay on the island.

microlight aeroplane pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was plenty of action in the air too.

Never mind the bird of prey that we have seen already. There was also a small light aeroplane too but I didn’t take too much notice of that as my attention had been attracted by the powered hang-glider flying overhead.

There are all kinds of aerial activity going on around here and I suppose that I ought to be paying more attention to it.

But for the moment I carried on with my walk. Apart from the fact that someone seems to have shuffled the boats in the chantier navale, there was nothing else very much going on at all and I came on home.

After finishing the radio programme I made a start on tidying up the bedroom and sorting things out. It’s a lot better now and I can actually move around in here. There’s still plenty to do but little by little I’ll get there.

Sitting down to carry on with my Welsh revision, I had the misfortune to fall asleep and I was out for about 90 minutes on the chair. And when I awoke I was in yet another dazed and confused state that lasted for a good half hour. I ended up missing most of my guitar practice yet again.

Tea tonight was a curry that I found in the freezer, with rice and vegetables, followed by apple pie and soya dessert. Very delicious.

porte st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallFor my evening walk outside, there was no-one out there at all

The Porte St Jean looked very beautiful tonight, all illuminated by various floodlight, and with the streetlights of the Place d’Armes in the background it made a very spectacular photograph.

With it being too dark to see if there was anything going on out at sea, I walked on along the rue du Nord and then ran all the way along the footpath underneath the walls to my usual resting place.

Having recovered my breath I carried on with my walk and then ran across the Square Maurice Marland.

place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallNo excitement or tension in the rue Cambernon this evening so I carried on around the walls past the car from Connecticut which seems to be definitively abandoned.

From up on the top, the Place d’Armes was looking splendid in the streetlights so I took a photo of that and then ran on home.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. It’s shopping day tomorrow so I need to be on form. Not that there’s much chance of that because I’m really not feeling as fit as maybe I ought to be.

It’s been over a month since I returned from my voyage and I had been hoping that I would have been much better than this by now.

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.

Wednesday 26th August 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

… about last night.

What a waste of time that was. I was still wide awake at 04:00 with no sign whatever of going off to sleep. I’ve really no idea what happened there.

Mind you, I did eventually get off to sleep, having switched off the alarms first. There would be no danger of my ever being out of bed at 06:00 so it was a waste of time disturbing my sleep.

My eyes first saw the light of day at 08:45 but that was being rather optimistic. 11:30 was a much more reasonable time to rise up.

At some point in the night I’d been on my travels again. We were back in the Underground last night, somewhere else where I go quite often and it was to do with a girl whom I knew in Brussels. We’d arranged to meet somehow but we had kept on missing each other. Eventually we arranged to meet at a station on the Northern Line somewhere round by the North Circular Road. I had to make my sandwiches so I cut up a lettuce and got everything ready. There was some kind of confusion and I can’t remember what it was now about these sandwiches, making them, then having to leave and getting on this Underground – I can’t remember too much about it.

The most unusual think about missing half of a day’s work is that in fact I’ve done more work today than I did over the last two days. And that’s totally surprising. I’ve finished the notes for the radio programme on which I’ve been working. Tomorrow I’ll dictate them and edit them.

It’s just as well because there’s a new internet course starting on Monday next week on which I’m enrolled. Another one about *.css and javascript. High time that I brushed up on my technique.

peche a pied plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on in the afternoon I went out for my walk.

For a change I was out earlier than I have been and the tide had only just turned. Not too many people out there on the beach right now, although one intrepid young girl was out there with her bucket and her gratter having a go at the peche à pied in the rock pools.

With nothing better to do, I watched her for a while but I couldn’t see what she was harvesting

hang gliders crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on along my path, there was something of a different scene from the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The crowds were starting to come down onto the beach. The shelter underneath the wall was already packed with people seeking shade, and there were several people down there in the water enjoying the waves.

There were the Birdmen of Alcatraz out there today. One of them was already up in the air – a tandem machine with two people on board. There was certainly enough wind to lift them both into the air this afternoon.

Back here I finished off the radio programme and even managed 20 minutes on the acoustic guitar. I’ll have to hurry up and get back into my rhythm.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with potatoes and vegetables followed by apple crumble and coconut soya dessert

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric halllater on this evening I went out for my walk in the dusk.

No-one was out there except for a couple walking their dog and a family on the car park. But the bird of prey that we saw a couple of months ago, that was out there again hovering around above the edge of the cliffs.

There are a few rabbits that run around on the clifftop so I’m wondering whether the bird might be after some of the younger babies in the family.

moon reflecting in rock pool pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued along the clifftop and then across the car park to the other side.

There was a nice moon up there tonight – about half-full. What was interesting about it was that while it didn’t look to be so bright, it was making a glorious reflection in a rock pool down there at the top of the beach.

It was really well worth a photo and it’s come out quite well too. It won’t be long before we have a full moon and then it’s all going to be quite impressive. It’ll be a lot darker by then too.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallJust further along the path is the viewpoint over the chantier navale

And i’m not quite sure what is happening down there these days but the boats seem to be multiplying rapidly. We now have a seventh boat down there in the yard and I don’t recall ever having seen that many before.

As I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … a full yard is a very good sign for the town. It encourages people to moor their boats here if they know that they can be serviced and repaired in the vicinity.

Anyway, after all of that, I’m off to bed. I’ve already drifted away once or twice, despite having had such a very short day. if I’m ever going to recover, which is doubtful, I need to be taking more care of myself.

And that reminds me – i’ve had a letter from Castle Anthrax. They want me back on 7th October and as the appointment is for early in the morning it may well be that they intend to restart my treatment.

And seeing as I haven’t had my four-weekly treatment since January I can’t say that it’s before time. It’s not really any surprise that i’m feeling so unwell when I’ve not had my cancer treatment for such a long time.

Roll on October.

Sunday 5th July 2020 – WITH IT BEING …

… a Sunday and therefore a Day of rest, anyone who thinks that I might have leapt out of bed at 07:30 when I awoke is quite clearly mistaken

09:30 is much more realistic as far as I’m concerned and I’m quite happy with that.

After the meds I had a look at the dictaphone sure enough, I’d been on a few voyages during the night.

There was something going on last night about Space and I’m not sure how or why or where it was but there were three of us – me, a girl and a Welsh guy. Something happened – we’d been in contact with some extra-terrestres (I’m dreaming in French again) and we were all trying to decide what to do. I came up with a few ideas – I couldn’t really remember what they were. This Welsh guy came up with an idea “why don’t I go to deep Space to visit them and talk to them?”. He was a salesman by profession and of vourse being Welsh he knew how to talk so that seemed to be the way forward. We could see if we looked through an inspection hatch that there was a little hole on the side of this planet. That was where he had to aim his spacecraft for. We had to wait until the Americans had a space rocket ready to blast a capsule off into high outer space orbit so that he could contact the extra-terrestres and start selling them things. I thought that this was a really weird thing to be doing.
We were on our boat last night and we came to a place where some of us wanted to get off to go to look at some things. But Strawberry Moose he stayed on board and everyone wondered where he was. I said that he wanted to stay on board and do some things on board. We all got down into our zodiacs but the two girls whom I hoped would come with us stayed on board as well which was disappointing. We finally came ashore in a jungle area where a woman had arranged to meet two people who would be in a bar around the corner. So we went to this bar while everyone else dispersed. There was no sign of these two people at all and we waited for about 10 minutes. In the end we decided to go. Just then this German boy off one of the crossings turned up in the bar and started to talk to us. That was the last thing that we wanted, to end up with him. Before we went in we had to organise our clothes. I had some clothes that wouldn’t go in the washing machine to be washed in the cycle that they had. I was going to do them by hand but the guy in charge of the laundry had this procedure. He had some washing conditioner arranged in a series – a bowl with conditioner, a bowl with clean water, a beaker full of conditioner and another bowl of plain water. He took hold of one of my socks and was pasting this conditioner over it. Normally when I wash my socks I put one over my hand , rub soap into it, put the other sock over the other hand, rub soap into that and rub the two together like I’m washing my hands. He was doing it in a strange way so I thought I’d do it in that way too, watching him and seeing what procedure he was going to use.
There was a group of us in a room in a house later on. The room was really untidy and there was a load of papers and magazines and maps and things. They were all mine and all needed to be tidied up. A couple of girls were helping me, going through the piles and getting them in the right order, unfolding them and laying them flat, merging them together. There were piles of cables, computer and audio cables etc all over the place and they were all arranged in some weird crazy cat’s cradle. While the girls were organising these magazines and I’d done a bit of that I was starting to untangle these cables. One of the girls with black hair and glasses came over and said “I’ve already done that”. I showed here that there was a lot that was still tangled up. She said “just leave it for the moment because we can do that when it’s more convenient”. She started to take down the washing that was hanging up everywhere. We were on a big barge and we had to leave the main waterway to go down some kind of side waterway. It was a very tight turn, almost as if you had to double back on yourself which is no fun when you have a big barge like we had. The girl at the helm up front had to steer this barge round and I knew that she didn’t like doing it here so I said “this is your favourite bend, isn’t it, Judy?”. She didn’t hear me at first so I said it again. She made some kind of grimace. When we got to this waterway it was dry and there were sheep in it. We had to pivot this boat round to get it lined up then get out and drag it up out of the water onto this pathway that was going downhill. The first time we did it the boat ground out. It was in the wrong area and was going to hit the wall so we had to push it back to line it up to start again. I had a feeling that this was not going to be easy having to do this. But somewhere in the middle of all of this was Alan Dean – now when was the last time I ever heard of him? I was at the top of the steps walking down with some swing doors at the bottom. He was down there. It was a case of playing a bass guitar and I was stuck. I wanted to improve and I didn’t know where to go, how to learn, how to change my procedures. I thought that I would look at a few videos on Youtube but that was somewhere stuck in the middle that was.

It was therefore something of a major surprise that I found myself awake so early after that. And even more of a surprise that I kept going all day without a rest.

But let’s not go getting ahead of ourselves here.

It took me long enough to type out all of that, and then there was my Welsh homework. With having missed Tuesday’s lesson I had to do the coursework myself before I could make a start.

So what with one thing and another it was lunchtime by the time it was all done.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I spent a few days a couple of months ago copying all of the files from various hard drives onto the new external drive that I had bought.

The aim was to compare them and delete any duplicate files but for some unknown reason the file duplicate detecting program was having issues.

This afternoon I uninstalled it and reinstalled it but it still wouldn’t work. However eventually I found the reason. Two of the drives are “C” drives out of old computers with the deep BIOS settings on them – the settings that drive the drives. Of course you can’t delete those so when the program detected two identical files in the BIOS settings in two drives it was obliged to pause for thought.

Excluding those files from the compare did the trick, and so the afternoon has been spent mostly dealing with this little project.

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was of course the afternoon walk to deal with, and with it being a Sunday it was the day when I go into town for my weekly ice cream.

But I didn’t go very far before I was interrupted. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m quite a keen bird watcher and when I was married I had many a lecture on birdwatching from poor Nerina.

Anyway, this bird here was hovering around over the edge of the cliff where the little rabbit colony seems to be. I imagine that it was looking for any errant rabbit babies.

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s a bird of prey of some description but whatever it is, I’m none-the-wiser.

My friend Erika thinks that it’s either a white-tailed hawk or a hobby and she certainly has more idea than I do. My bird-identifying is rather like that of a woman identifying a car.

“What kind of car was it, madam?”
“A red one”.

And that’s me with birds too unfortunately

peche a pied port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs it’s my long Sunday walk I went down the steps at the end of the path and round the headland on the lower level.

Plenty of people milling around there today. The holidays are well under way now. And there were loads of people out there on the rocks this afternoon too. It’s a low tide today and so those who practise the peche à pied are out there in force.

Here’s hoping that they share their catch out with their friends too. After all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

fishing boats chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe path carries on around the foot of the cliff and then past the Chantier navale.

A big surprise in there today. It seems that they’ve been busy while I was away, for every berth has some kind of vessel in there undergoing repair. No fewer than six fishing boats, I make it, up on blocks today.

Having been quiet for a while, it’s good to see them so busy. It’ll just be someone’s luck to have a breakdown while there’s no berth available to accommodate them

covid warning notice fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide was right out just now as we have seen so I was able to take the short cut across the top of the harbour gates to the other side.

On the way past the Fish processing plant I observed this notice pasted to the door. Briefly, and crudely (and if you want anything crude, then in the words of the late, great Bob Doney “I’m your man!) translated by Yours Truly, there have been several “incidents” at the Fish processing plant that breach the Corona virus precautions.

This notice informs everyone of these breaches and states that if there are any more, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will take whatever action they consider necessary.

They don’t mess about here. None of your “driving to Barnard Castle” or “going to Greece via Bulgaria” in these situations.

spirit of conrad victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOur home from last week is still in port.

Spirit of Conrad is quietly moored where we left her on Friday evening, with the big wheel in the background.

The two Channel island ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville are there in port too. We are told that the ferry service is to start very soon – the 11th July is one date that is freely bandied about.

But the regulations for travelling are extremely severe and I don’t imagine that there will be many takers at the moment.

man fallen out of zodiac baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving observed the shipping in the harbour I walked on round to the end of the wall to see what was going on.

Here was something interesting. There was a zodiac parked up in the water over there and it looked as if there was no-one in it. Enlarging the photo when I returned home, I could see that there was someone in the water right by it.

It was one of those situations where I couldn’t see what he was doing or why he would have been in the water. It’s a shame that I didn’t notice him until it was too late to do any good.

propellor of antwerpen port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThis propellor here from a ship is propped up against the wall of the harbour offices and I must have walked past here 100 times without really noticing it.

It belonged to a small ship of 265 or so tonnes, the Antwerpen. She was a German coaster built in 1917 by the Germans but abandoned in Oostende at the Armistice.

Taken over by the Belgian Navy, she was repossessed by the Germans in 1940 when Belgium fell, and was one of the boats that plied between Granville and the Channel islands taking supplies out there.

In December 1940 in thick fog she was rammed by another vessel in her convoy and sank in shallow water. Demolished finally in 1963, her propellor was found by divers in 1986 and presented to the port office.

bad parking port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne thing that features quite often in these pages, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is pathetic parking.

And does parking ever get more pathetic than this? All of these cars are parked without any regard whatsoever for the road markings. It’s totally unbelievable, isn’t it?

Continuing on my walk, I went round onto the quayside to see what was happening, but there was nothing whatever going on there this afternoon.

big wheel place godal granville manche normandy france eric hallThat was probably because the gates were closed and the tide was right out. Not much point in anyone being here right now.

Turning on my heel, i went out to have a look at the big wheel. It’s going round and there are people on it too, although it would be wrong to say that it was actually busy. No clues at all.

And so I pushed on into the rue LeCampion to my little ice cream stall and had the weekly ice cream. I need to keep up with my habits while the summer is here.

steps rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallFor a change I walked back along the rue LeCampion, up the steps at the Rampe du Monte Regret and under the drawbridge into the old town.

The aim of going this way was to see how they were getting on with the replacement of the gas pipe in the rue Lecarpentier.

By the looks of things, they seem to have finished the work. And it looks quite a tidy job too. You’ll hardly notice that all of that has been dug up and subsequently replaced.

yacht english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallUp through the Place Cambernon and through the alley down to the rue du Nord and along the walls to the viewpoint.

There was a yacht out there in the English Channel struggling along in the wind. It’s not a boat that I recognise either and I can’t read a name on her anywhere.

Back here I carried on with my work and at 18:00 knocked off for a play on the guitars for an hour or so.

Later on I had tea. Another home-made pizza that was really delicious. But no pudding tonight as I wasn’t that hungry.
In

My run this evening was a dismal failure – and for a couple of reasons too.

  1. When I came back in this afternoon I put the camera battery on charge. And when i went out this evening, I forgot to put the battery back in it – so no photos
  2. There’s a gale blowing out here – 75 kph winds. Several of my runs ended abruptly as I turned a corner and ran into a headwind that blew me backwards. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so depressed. Something of a failure, that was

So I’m packed now and I’ll be off on my travels tomorrow. Back to Castle Anthrax. I wonder what plans they have in store for me there.