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

… busy today, for a change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 10th September 2020 – IT’S ALWAYS INTERESTING …

traffic lights porte st jean granville manche normandy france eric hall… the things that I see when I’m out and about on my travels around the town.

And it’s not as if I have to go all that far from home to find it either. I hadn’t gone 20 yards otside my front door this morning before I was confronted by a set of traffic lights.

“Road works going on in the old Medieval walled city” I mused to myself. I shall have to go for a look round later on to see what is happening.

roadworks rue notre dame pizza van place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd sure enough, while I was on my travels later this evening, I did come across what was causing the issues.

The road has been dug up on the corner of the Place Cambernon and the Rue Notre Dame. And judging by the names written on the “no parking” signs, it seems to be the Water company whose turn it is right now to dig up the streets.

It’s Thursday night as well, and the Pizza van is there tonight. And with the tables of the bar La Rafale being out in the square and its reserve place prohibited by the road works, it’s had to perch itself precariously on the corner.

Talking of perching oneself precariously on the corner, when the third alarm went off this morning I was perched precariously on the corner of the bed with my feet on the floor.

Not exactly awake but it still counts as being up and out of bed.

What was surprising about this was I’d had such a bad night. At one stage I thought that I would never ever drop off to sleep. There isn’t really much point in going to bed early if you can’t sleep.

When I finally got off to sleep last night I met another strange girl. She was from Venn which wasn’t too far from Eching (which it isn’t, but let’s not go allowing facts to get in the way of a good nocturnal ramble). There was this weird girls’ school and they were teaching these children all this dance, everything like that and poetry recital, that kind of thing. They had a kind of dancing competition. I wanted to see them about something but it was “oh no we can’t interrupt these proceedings now. It’s far too important. You’ll have to come back later”. Off they all went and I went back. All of these girls were in school uniform, grey with grey hats, that kind of thing, a very posh private school, that type of place. They all had taken some strange kind of wooden furniture, shelf kind of thing with two sides like blackboards that you could write on them. They had all taken these with them but there was one left in the garden. I mentioned it to the headmistress. She said “you’ll have to take that. It looks like one of the girls has forgotten it”. “What do you mean ‘I have to take it’?”. She said “you have to take it”. I asked “what do I do with it?”. She replied “you have to learn the ritual and at the appointed time tonight you’ll have to perform the ritual”. I thought to myself “what the hell am I going to be involved in now?”. She insisted that it was terribly important that I did this, so I ended up taking it home with me and stuck it in a corner when I returned home. I had to be very careful about who came to my house. We were listing stuff to sell and I can’t remember who was helping me now, maybe my brother I dunno. We’d listed some stuff to sell and we’d sold it and now we were listing some free stuff. He was listing some stuff that I thought was much more important to sell – we could get a good price for this – but no, he insisted on it being free. There was one thing that he insisted that people make an appointment to come round to pick it up. I said “that’s crazy, tying me to the house and I don’t want to be tied to the house. I want to get rid of these things as and when!”. We had a dispute about that and in the end we agreed that people would just have to ring up and say when they were coming to pick it up, a kind of compromise. After we’d done that, I said “hang on – I have something else to show you”. There was a girl in my house at this time – it might have been Pollux but I’m not too sure about this. I went and brought down this furniture thing and assembled it. I asked this girl ” how’s your Latin?”. She said “I come from Venn, it’s Venn that I speak, that’s near Eching in Germany, like Germany and Austria”. I replied “you’ll get on really well with Hans”. “Yes” she said, “that’s right. From Eching”. I showed them this and explained about this ritual that I had to do. One thing that I had forgotten was that during this competition I had 16 dances to learn. There had been a musician playing all of the dances and for a minute I’d been round with him doing something, trying to work out what the music was for these dances. It was another hot and sweaty night when I awoke and it took me hours to go back off to sleep as well.
Somewhat later I was with a girl and my father was around somewhere. I’d had to go out in a car and there had been some kind of confusion over which one I was to drive. It was suggested that i would take my father’s Zephyr 6 – the MkIV, not the MkIII which was his famous one 3816 TD. I went to try to organise something about all of this and I ended up with a pocket of keys. I had to start swapping them over. Then I noticed – I had to get up from my table at this bar place – and on the way back I noticed this key on the floor. It was the one that I needed to start the car. I showed it to the girl I was with and said “phew! That’s lucky!”. She asked what it was so I told her that it was the key to the car. My father then went to move all of his cars away. he took his mkIII Zephyr and drive it home and came back with the MkIV. There was still a bit of confusion about how we were going to go somewhere. I had a pocket full of rubbish and wondered how I was going to fit this key in. Then I couldn’t find the key and it was hidden in all this rubbish in my pocket. There was the question again about what car I was going in and we agreed that it was my father’s. I asked “what’s going to be in it?”. They replied “just his coat and one or two other little things”. I wanted to ask my father a couple of questions about his cars. I remember the two Ford E83W vans that we had – KLG 93 and XVT 772 – and I’m sure that there was one before them that had become stuck in my head, a 1937 van, and I wanted to know what we had had before that, and what he would consider to be his typical car if someone had to connect him with one particular car, which one would it be? I thought that it was important that he would tell me because of course he wouldn’t last for ever and if I didn’t start asking these questions soon I would never know.

But I’m not too sure why it is that Pollux has suddenly started making a series of appearances in my nocturnal rambles. Where has Castor got to?

There was some stuff on the dicaphone from yesterday too, so I transcribed that and ADDED IT TO THE ENTRY FOR YESTERDAY.

As well as having a shower this morning, I also cut my hair. It’s been a while since I’ve cut it and it was becoming a little straggly.

mobile crane rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd then I went out to the shops.

We’ve seen the traffic lights around the corner but that was far from being the only excitement. There’s a huge mobile crane down there in the Rue Lecampion lifting a load of something or other over the roofs of the houses into the rear behind the Rue des Corsaires.

That was well worth a photo of course, and when I’m down there I shall make further enquiries to see what they are up to.

crane rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd sure enough, when I was down there I could see that there’s quite a major operation going on.

It’s difficult to say what they are doing but there was this kind of glazed roof – at least, it would be glazed had there been any glass in it but I imagine there soon will be – that they are presumably going to lift up and over and onto whatever it is that they are doing.

My first stop today was the railway station.

My Old Fogey’s railcard expired a few weeks ago and with me planning to go to Belgium for my hospital appointment at Castle Anthrax, I need it updated.

That was dealt with without any particular problem and then I went off to LIDL. There was nothing much there that attracted my attention although with fruit being so cheap right now (especially grapes, of course) I ended up with a huge pile of fruit.

archaeological dig square potel granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I went past the Square Potel.

There’s an archaeological dig going on around there right now and we’ve seen the digger in the grounds of the museum. Today though, they were digging a trench in the square and there was an archaeologist examining some artefacts.

Having watched them for a short while I came on home, where I … errr … crashed out on the chair until lunchtime. That’s enough to make me feel really miserable.

After lunch I spent a pleasant hour or so working on the photos from Brittany at the end of June when we went off on the Spirit of Conrad.

joly france english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd the sailing – or, at least, nautical – theme continued while I was out on my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there enjoying the pleasant weather and looking out to sea as something rather large was moving about heading towards us. These days I can recognise the silhouette at quite some distance without needing to crop and enlarge it.

And it is as I expected. Joly France is on her way back with the afternoon ferry from the Ile de Chausey. She seems to be quite busy right now despite the end of the holiday season.

fishing from speedboat pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were plenty of other boats out there too, as you could see in the previous photo.

There are several boats too much closer to home. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we seem to be in the middle of the rod-and-line fishing season. We have another small boat out there today with their rods out trying for a bite.

Here’s hoping that they will have more luck than anyone else who I have seen out there. Three and a half years have I been here and not a single bite have I seen

sailing school baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnyway i pushed on along the path and round the headland to the path on the south side.

One of the things that I regret not doing while I’ve been living here is to make the most of the opportunities that the local sailing school can offer. I would have thought that with the season being over their activities would have ceased but there seems to be another class out there today.

Not having gone down there to make enquiries is an opportunity that I have let slip and I hope that I’ll have another opportunity to put that right.

speedboat cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen we saw the photo of Joly France just now, we saw another boat coming along behind it.

And as I carried on with my walk along the path this rather large pleasure boat came around the headland towards the port de plaisance and I reckon that this is the “other” boat from the previous photo.

Having a good look at this, it’s clear that there is plenty of money around here, what with one thing and another. Not around me though. It seems to have passed me by a long time ago.

Back here I did some Welsh revision and then had my hour on the guitars.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallTea tonight was a stuffed pepper with rice, followed by apple pie. And then I went out for my evening walk.

There was a beautiful sunset tonight, although maybe I should say that the sun has long-since set. It was very reminiscent of some of the very late nights that I have seen in the High Arctic and makes me all nostalgic.

Before much longer, I’m going to have to make another return out there, even if it’s just to sit on the shore of the North West Passage and admire the sky.

My route carried on with a run down along the footpath, a walk around the corner to gather my breath and then another run across the Square Maurice Marland.

minette black cat rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that for a couple of years I had a regular encounter with an old black cat called Minette

Ever since the turn of the year I only recall meeting her once and the feeling seemed to be that she had gone off across the rainbow bridge. However, much to my delight, she was there again tonight sitting on her windowsill waiting for her stroke.

That cheered me up no end.

Nothing much else going on, apart from the roadworks that we have seen, so instead I came home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I have a full day at home in which I can catch up with some arrears. I also need to book my voyage to Leuven for my visit to Castle Anthrax and so that will be a priority too.

But sleep is the first thing to do. And who will come with me on a travel tonight?

Saturday 16th May 2020 – IT’S THAT TIME …

paraglider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall… of the year again and the paragliders are out in force. So while you admire them in full flight I’ll tell you about my day.

As for this morning I won’t tell you anything because regular readers of this rubbish will recall what has happened. The same on many far-too-similar mornings just recently.

And after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been and, more interestingly, who had been with me.

Last night started me off on the The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour pulling into a fjord in Iceland. This was going to be the end of our journey. There was all snow and ice everywhere and the sea was frozen and the boat was crashing its way through. I was busy doing something, like washing my clothes whatever when I learnt that we were going to finish the tour here. I thought “all my clothes are going to be wet. This is no good”. Then we had a kind of meeting, a group meeting. I was going through my clothes. Some wee dry and some were still wet. I thought that I would have to take them back and hang them up. I noticed that everyone else was streaming off the ship. I asked what was happening. They replied that we all had to get off and stretch our legs. I thought “I’ve far too much to do. I can’t possibly go off and stretch my legs” but we all had the appearance of being ushered off the ship. I couldn’t find Marianne. I was with her but couldn’t find her. I thought that maybe she had left the ship already or maybe she’s somewhere still on board. I had to go and fetch my camera and all my washing needs to be sorted out and everything and I’m never going to get anything done at this rate messing around like this.

As an aside, it was 7 years ago yesterday that I stood by Marianne’s side and watched her die.

paraglider plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I was back on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again and we were all getting ready to get off. Our trip had come to an end. I’d been co-opted into this committee to go to do something about the ship finishing its trip so I’d missed all of the socialising that had taken place. As we were all sent back to our posts I walked back onto the ship and there in the queue, the first passenger ready to leave was one of the passenger with whom I’d spent a great deal of time back in 2018. I was so pleased to see her because I really liked her and I wanted to see her before we went and I was sorry that our trip was over. She was equally delighted to see me so I suggested that we went for a drink because there was so much that I wanted to tell her. We worked out that while there was five minutes before people started to get ready to go so arm in arm we went off down into the hold to look for the bar while everyone else was streaming up the steps with their suitcases. Just as I went to sit down and the waiter came with the drinks and as I started to tell her all about my problems I awoke. And this was another one of these senses of disappointment.
Even later, we were all on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and we were just coming into port. Our cruise was coming to an end. I’d been co-oped onto this committee to do something so i’d been off on a meeting. When it came to getting back on board again who should be standing at the first position ready to get off the ship was the aforementioned woman. I wanted to see her and was really sorry that I was going to miss her. I said “let’s go for a coffee, a drink” so while everyone was staggering up the steps with their suitcases we were going down and ended up in this cafe. Just as I was about to tell her what it was that I wanted to say, I awoke. But yes that was one thing where I wanted to see Inspector Japp because I don’t know what was planned already, and that was so puzzling.

It goes without saying that you’ve noticed a great deal of similarity between all of these voyages. and the final two are more-or-less identical (except for Inspector Japp of course – I was watching a Hercule Poirot adventure while I was eating my tea).

Strangely though, according to the timestamps on the dictaphone, there was about two hours between voyage one and two, and one hour or so between voyages two and three so it’s unlikely (although not impossible) that it’s the same voyage that i’ve dictated three times.

And, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there have been several occasions now where I’ve had repeat voyages on the same day and even on different days. All I can say is that I hope that MCI isn’t going to charge me for these trips that I am making on their ship during the night.

After breakfast I had a shower and set the washing machine off on its travels, and I went to the shops.

The town was heaving and the market was in full swing. You would never guess that there was a global pandemic. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything like it.

NOZ was open and I bought a few things here and there, including a six-pack of that cranberry and rosemary alcohol-free beer that I like (and even as I write, I’m polishing one off).

LeClerc was total mayhem with the whole world and his wife in there. Flour is back on the shelves and tomatoes are a reasonable price again. But no yeast at all still.

What they did have which was interesting was some new pure coconut dessert stuff. It was expensive but a two pack was a special offer with a considerable reduction so I bought a pack. We’ll see what it tastes like in a day or two.

One thing that didn’t impress me though was the surly cashier. They are usually cheerful and happy in LeClerc but this one wasn’t.

And we are on the verge of a tragedy. I went into la Vie Claire, the Health Food shop and there isn’t a gramme of vegan cheese or Manuka honey in the whole town.

This afternoon I’ve been a very busy boy.

This new template seems to work so I set about a few of the pages from that web site and brought them up to the new specifications. And then had to go back and do some more work on them because, for one reason or other that I haven’t quite understood, I didn’t put an index on the pages.

There was also this plan to rewrite a web pager per day for my main site. And the one that I chose took some rewriting too because since I wrote it over 20 years ago, the area has changed out of all recognition.

It took me up to 18:15 to finish it and so I missed out on editing any photos.

kayakers plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were a couple of breakes in between though.

No crashing-out today, but lunch was one and my afternoon walk was another. And outside was a seething mass of humanity. We’ve had the paragliders and we had pedestrians too, but there was an awful lot of nautical activity too and we even had a couple of canoeists.

And you know that you must never light a fire in a canoe, don’t you? After all, you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

speedboat yacht brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t all canoeists and kayakers either.

Right out over there offshore at Bréhal-Plage they had the yachts out. I’m not sure whether it’s a yachting school or similar, but the boats seem to be of an identical type. And then there’s the speedboat roaring past.

Crowds on the beaches over there at Bréhal-Plage too, all enjoying the beautiful weather because even with a wind it was quite nice out there this afternoon.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallCrowds on the beaches down here on the Plat Gousset too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday and the day before I queried the situation with regard to access to the beach during the post-quarantine.

The local newspaper came up with the answer this morning, which was that, with certain restrictions applying to the dunes and to the use of the beaches for picnics and sunbathing, the ban was lifted on Thursday afternoon.

So now we know.

seagull nest roof des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallWe saw a seagull settling down comfortably on the roof of one of the houses in the rue des Juifs the other day.

The council has been cutting down the weeds around here just recently and you can see that this seagull here has collected some of the freshly-cut weeds in order to make a nest. The weeds are still green, and I suppose that the heat given off during the decomposition will help incubate the eggs.

Not that I’m a birdwatcher of course (well, not this kind of bird anyway) but it’s fascinating to see how their lives evolve over the year.

small fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route took me round and through the Square Maurice Marland.

And although I can’t be certain it looks as if the harbour gates have just opened – you can see the algae at the high water mark – and this boat has just come sailing … “dieseling” – ed … through.

At first I wasn’t sure what kind of boat it might be but as it turned towards the quayside along the rue du Port I could see that it’s one of the very small inshore fishery boats. It must have been interesting out there in that boat in those winds and waves earlier in the week.

On the way back, I encountered Minette, the old black cat that I hadn’ts een for ages and whose disappearance perplexed me. Anyway, she’s back and wherever she went, she had a very good grooming. She’s a long-hair and she certainly needed it.

Tea was a huge disappointment. I’d seen the remains of a bag of oven chips in the freezer yesterday and that had fired up my appetite. And so I prepared everything that I needed

And then I found that in the bag were just half a dozen chips, so that was pretty much a waste of time. I ended up with a baked potato with my beans and burger.

The apple turnover that I prepared yesterday with the leftover pastry, I baked that as well and that was pudding.

On my evening walk tonight there were even more caravanettes on the camp site, so I’ve given up moaning about it as it’s clearly doing no good. However I did check the numberplates and while there were one or two “50” plates (that’s a number for round here) most of them were not.

sun reflecting off window onto beach st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallHowever, apart from the grockles, there weren’t all that many people around. My run up the hill and then down to the clifftop was a solo effort, although two girls sitting on the old gun emplacement wished me a good evening.

Yesterday, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we had some sunlight reflecting off a window in St Pair sur Mer across the bay and into a tidal pool on the beach. Tonight we have a very similar phenomenon although even more so

Disturbing a bunch of boys eating a take-away meal, I ran on down to my resting place on the clifftop for a breather and then wandered over to the Boulevard Vaufleury.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the headwind I made it all the way down to my marker and then after a breather, carried on down to my next resting place at the viewpoint in the rue du Nord.

There were several people there already, and I arrived just in time to see the sun sink slowly down behind a cloud. Timed to the second, it was.

For a good few minutes I stood there soaking up the atmosphere because out of the wind it really was a pleasant night – the idea night to be out and about admiring the scenery.

crowd on beach building inukshuk plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd as I said, I wasn’t alone here. There were far more people than I was expecting to see.

The rules for the use of the beaches might be relaxed, but not as relaxed as these people here are suggesting. It’s not what I would call social distancing and they seem to be having a forbidden picnic.

It looks as if they have constructed an inukshuk too, in good old Greenland or Canadian Arctic Inuit tradition. They are going to have to wait for quite a while if they are planning on slaughtering a seal for supper.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo the sun and I said goodbye and I ran on back to the apartment.

An early night tonight, I hope, and then a decent sleep with no alarm.

where shall I go tonight? And, more importantly, who shall be coming with me? And even more importantly after last night’s antics, how many times will I be going there?

And I have to be on form tomorrow too, because I’m having visitors late in the morning. I told them to ring me before they set out because we’ve seen some silly times of leaving the bed when there’s been no alarm.

And some when we have had an alarm too. We can do without any of that

Saturday 28th December 2019 – HOW ABOUT …

sunrise st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france… this as a fine way to start off the morning?

There we were, Caliburn and I, sitting in the car park just above the chantier navale down the road here, watching the sun rise above the horizon over St Pair sur Mer and the Baie de Mont St Michel.

That’s not a sight that I’m likely to see very often – the sunrise. We have seen it before on a few occasions but very very rarely when we are back home.

But just in case you are wondering, which I’m sure you are, this wasn’t at some ridiculous hour like 04:00, this was the situation at just before 09:00 this morning. It’s the middle of winter as you know.

Last night, I was in bed realtively early compared to how its been just recently. And although it was a struggle, I did actually make it up out of bed before the third alarm at 06:20. Only just, but nevertheless …

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone notes, as I had in fact been on my travels during the night as I discovered. I didn’t remember much about them except at one point I was on a bus as a passenger. I’d been taking an express bus strip from somewhere or other and I’d got to be picked up and I wasn’t sure whether my luggage had been put in the boot or not, my green rucksack and a brown jacket. I went round the back to look and there was a guy there, and I was talking to him but suddenly the bus took off and we ended up the two of us sitting in the luggage boot having a chat about this and that, going around Crewe. I remember thinking that we can’t go all the way to Caen sitting here like this – we’re going to have to get out at one point, but anway that was that.
Earlier, there was a situation where I had a girlfriend and I was doing something and some guy, one of these arrogant pushy types, was talking to my girlfriend. He turned round and said “anyway, you’re with me now” to which this girl replied “no, no no I’m not. I’m with Eric (or whatever my name was at the time)”. He wasn’t used to being turned down like this and became quite annoyed by it.

Once breakfast was out of the way I split another digital album into its component tracks and that’s all looking good. Then I hit the streets.

channel islands ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAs well as the gorgeous sunrise this morning, there was also activity at the ferry terminal.

Granville, the modern Channel Islands ferry that came from Sweden a few years ago, is at the ferry terminal and she looks as if she’s loading up ready for a trip out to Jersey this morning.

Thinking hard, I’m not at all sure that I’ve actually seen one of the Channel Islands ferries actually depart from the terminal. I’ll have to give this a miss too as I’m in a hurry.

oysters leclerc granville manche normandy franceHaving visited LIDL on foot on Friday and not been tempted by anything on offer, I made my way straight to LeClerc.

It’s the tradition in France at New Year to eat oysters and to drink champagne. And sure enough, one of the local oyster-sellers has set up his stall just outside the supermarket today in order to catch the crowds.

And by the way – it’s not true that oysters are an aphrodisiac. I had 12 on my wedding night and only 10 of them worked.

In Leclerc I bought my ticket for the next football match – in Versailles! US Granville are away in the cup next weekend and once more, there are buses provided. If you pay for your seat on the bus (which I did – €10:00) the club will give you a free ticket to enter the ground.

Sounds very fair to me!

And even though I didn’t spend much money in LeClerc today, I was there for much longer than I wanted to be. For some reason which only they will know, a charge of about €3:60 was added to my bill “for Carte Noire coffee” – and I hadn’t bought any.

The girl at the cash desk couldn’t deal with it so I ended up having to go back to Reception where eventually, and not with just a little umming and ahhing either, I had my money back.

But I’ll watch my bill in future.

Another thing that I will watch will be the ice-cream freezer. Today, I found a tub of banana sorbet, 100% vegan. That’s my New Year treat and if it’s any good, which I hope it will be, I’ll be getting some more.

From LeClerc I went on to NOZ. And spent more money in there than I intended to too.

But the main reason for that was that they had a box of 7 high-quality “brand name” socks on offer at just €7:99. I get through cheap socks at an astonishing rate and yet some decent ones that I bought in 2013 are only just now wearing through and need to be replaced.

They also had twin-packs of proper woollen Arctic over-socks there too, so I bought one of those. If ever I go North again, which I hope to do, keeping my extremities warm is important.

And in that respect, rummaging around in the €0:99 bin I found another woolly hat.

Back here I put everything away and then for a little while I started the tidying up. Not for long though because I had to sit down after a while. So I had a coffee and vegetated.

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceLater this afternoon I went for my little walk around the headland.

There were crowds of people out there today because although it was grey and overcast, it wasn’t all that cold and the wind had dropped considerably too0

But it took me a while to get going. I was “detained” by Gribouille who came for a stroke and I ended up chatting to his mum for quite a while. I hadn’t seen her for ages.

There wasn’t anything else whatever of note going on so I did my circuit around the headland and came back home.

For all of the afternoon I’ve been alternating between cleaning and resting (and crashing out for 10 minutes too, unfortunately). I might be having visitors tomorrow so the place needs to look respectable.

At least the toilet and the bathroom are cleaned and the floors washed. The rest of the place has been vacuumed out and some attempt at tidying has been made.

Another thing that I did was to finish off the making of the rest of the lemon and ginger drink and it’s not too bad at all. 6 litres in all, I made.

The leftover pulp, now not too strong, is in the fridge and I added a little of it to tonight’s tea – a curry from October 2018 that I found in the freezer. It gave it a certain je ne sais quoi.

And while I was in LeClerc I bought some more ginger. I’ll let that ripen for a few days and then I’ll have a bash at doing something with some oranges. That should be interesting.

On my evening walk tonight, there wasn’t a soul about whatsoever. No idea why because it was a lovely evening.

Having been around the headland this afternoon, I took my walk around the walls tonight but there wasn’t anything of interest to photograph either.

With no-one about in the Square Maurice Marland, I could have my run without disturbing anyone or embarrassing myself, and I made it all the way across and half-way up the ramp. I don’t suppose that I should be too disappointed with that.

Having seen Gribouille this afternoon, it was the turn of Minette this evening. She was sitting on her windowsill watching the world go by, and she let me give her a stroke for a few minutes

spirit of conrad trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBy the time I reached the apartment I noticed that I had done 83% of my day’s activities. And so with it being such a pleasant evening, I pushed on to continue my walk up towards the Pointe du Roc

Round in the harbour, there wasn’t anything worth seeing. Granville was back and moored up, so I walked on to the chantier navale to see how Spirit of Conrad and the fishing boat were doing.

Both are still there and on their own too, but I did notice that a new set of blocks had been laid out. Are we perhaps expecting another visitor some time soon?

trawler night baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceWhile I was musing on the foregoing, my reverie was interrupted by the sound of a long-stroke diesel engine coming around the headland.

Not sure what it might be, I waited for a while until it came into view and sure enough, it’s another fishing vessel heading back into the harbour.

When I had started my walk a little earlier I’d noticed that there were half a dozen or so out there in the distance. They must be on their way home

trawler night baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceWhile the fishing boat continued its progress towards the port, I continued mine, around the headland and then down the rue du Roc towards home.

And as I crossed the threshold into the apartment the fitbit passed over to 100% of my daily activity and that’s always good news.

And for some reason, that’s 8.4kms today. The daily activity target is slowly increasing. The machine is obviously noticing that my fitness level is improving.

There will be SHOCK! HORROR! an alarm call tomorrow. I’m off out to do another outside broadcast – but recorded this time.

Laurent and I have decided that we’ll do a few of these whenever there’s some kind of special activity going on, and tomorrow there’s the annual “polar dip” so we’re going round to interview the participants.

Not that you’ll catch me going in. I’ve done three of them already – up to my knees at Etah, 650 miles from the North Pole, up to my knees in Cambridge Bay in the North-West Passage around the top of Canada and up to my chest in a river in northern Labrador and that’s enough for me.

In any case I have a catheter in my chest as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and that prevents me from immersing myself.
“What would you do if you didn’t have the catheter in?” Castor asked me several weeks ago
“Ohhh – I’d think of another good excuse” I replied.

On that note, I’m off to bed. Goodnight

Thursday 28th November 2019 – I MISSED …

… the second alarm call YET AGAIN – and I’ve no idea why because it’s quite clearly programmed in.

And so when what I thought was the second alarm call went off and I glanced at my fitbit and saw that it was 06:20, no-one was more disappointed than me.

There I was, deep in the arms of Morpheus and I wasn’t alone either, because the Girls from Uummannaq were in there with me.

What was going through my mind was a quote from the report of Vaino Tanner, a Finnish anthropologist who had studied the Inuit in Labrador and reported, in his book “Outlines of the Geography, Life and Customs of Newfoundland-Labrador” of 1944 that inuit girls …

  1. … are the hardest-working of all of the Inuit people (and then goes on to list all of the household tasks that they are expected to do in the home)
  2. … are very keen to marry settlers of European descent
  3. … have an extremely sensual nature

There he was, wondering how he found out all of this, and there I was, about to put Point 3 to the test (and wondering how Tanner discovered that particular point) when, with sitting bolt upright like that, it all immediately disappeared from my mind.

So having had a disappointing medication and breakfast followed by a shower, I attacked the dictaphone notes, totally forgetting that I was supposed to be going to LIDL.

jcb pallet lifter rue st jean granville manche normandy franceEventually, it clicked with me, so I dressed and made a hurried exit.

Stepping out into the street, I was nearly flattened by a JCB pallet lifter that was in something of a hurry going down the street.

And when I expressed the fact that I had almost bee flattened by this thing, al of my friends expressed their regret.

unloading plasterboard battens rue st jean granville manche normandy franceThey’ve been working on another house here in the old town, this time in the rue St Jean, and they’ve had a delivery of metal plasterboard struts.

Our pallet lifter was on his way to lift them into the house, blocking the entire street as he did so, much to the dismay of all of the motorists.

I, however, had a delightful five minutes watching him have all kinds of problems trying to unload the pallet, with part of the metal struts wedged under the load bar of the pick-up.

clouds over granville manche normandy franceThe weather was looking rather miserable today and was on the point of rain.

Over there you can see a nice storm cloud hovering over the town right where I’m heading, and with the rays of the sun shining somewhere else.

There was this feeling that it was not going to be my day today.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy franceWhile the wind had dropped considerably from the previous few days, you would never have thought so by looking at the waves down there.

The tide is quite a way out still as you can see and yet we already have something crashing down on the loading ramp at the Plat Gousset.

The amount of energy there is in the sea and yet there are some people who don’t want to harvest it.

fibre optic cable laying roadworks place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceDown in the Place marechal Foch I had better luck.

The workmen were there today and they didn’t run off when I approached them like they did yesterday, so I was able to talk to them.

And I was right. It’s more fibre-optic cable trunking going in. And they don’t have a clue as to when the system will be going live. After all, it’s only been about two years now. There’s no hurry

Having said that, I hurried, right up the hill at something of a good pace all the way to LIDL. And I can tell that I’m doing better because I was talking to myself all the way up. if I can do that, I can’t be too out of breath.

At LIDL there was nothing special that I needed so I just bought a few bits of fruit and veg, some drink and some boxes of rice. I’m on my last box of that so I need supplies.

old cars jaguar xj8 granville manche normandy franceBut how about this that I bumped into on the way home? You don’t see too many of these about and I haven’t seen one for ages.

It’s a Jaguar XJ-8 2+2 coupé, and the reference to the “8” in the model name relates to the fact that it’s powered not by the standard 6-cylinder or v-12 engine but by a V8 engine.

These were launched in 1997 as a kind-of replacement for the XJ-S but because of the reputation that the earlier vehicle had, they just never caught on at all and as I have said, I haven’t seen one on the road for years

normandy trader marite port de granville harbour manche normandy franceHaving fought my way through the town and stopping off for my dejeunette, I headed on back home again.

And peering over the wall, I noticed that our old friend Normandy Trader is back in town again. She must have sneaked in on the early morning tide.

Of course she would, wouldn’t she, when I’m running so late that I don’t have time to go down to say “hello”

young cat rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all of the excitement in the rue des Juifs either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I encountered a young black cat in the vegetation up on the city walls. Today, it was the turn of this very young tabby and white to make my acquaintance.

We had quite a chat too for a few minutes before it went off to do some more exploring.

There was half an hour or so to go before lunch so I attacked some more dictaphone stuff. And by the time that I knocked off, I was down to just 59 outstanding entries.

Mind you, the ones that I attacked today (and will be doing for the next few days) are the ones when I was slowly reaching a crisis point and they make rather grim, if not gruesome listening.

There was all kinds of turmoil going on in my head round about this time and that much is clearly evident in what was going on during the night.

After lunch, I started to attack the web pages, to carry on with the updating. By the time I was ready to go for my afternoon walk, I had done 13 of those.

That may not sound like much compared to yesterday, but there were plenty of distractions going on while I was trying to do it and I was lucky that I did that many.

By now we were in the middle of a rainstorm but I didn’t let that deter me.

fishing boats english channel granville manche normandy franceOut in the English Channel towards jersey I could make out something moving in the gloom so I tok a speculative shot to work on when I returned to the apartment so that I could see what it might be.

And it’s another bunch of fishing boats out there doing what they do best, and i this weather too!

However, I’m absolutely certain that we haven’t seen this much activity out there in preceding years. It seems to me that things are changing, and changing quite rapidly too, in the fishing industry.

trees pointe du roc light beacon baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceFurther on around the headland and, as Bob Dylan famously sung, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” around here.

The tide is right out now as you can see. if you look at the beacon there between the trees, that’s almost totally submerged when the tide is fully in.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … we have the highest tides in Europe right here on the coast.

But the rain is now closing in again quite quickly and I have a feeling that I’m about to get the lot of it.

storm pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceLook at that storm brewing up over the Pointe de Carolles.

That triangular lump just there by the way is part of one of the old bunkers that formerly formed the Atlantic Wall.

After the War they tried to demolish the bunkers and so they packed the first one with explosive.

With the force of the explosion they managed to break every window in Normandy, Brittany and the Channel Islands but as far as the bunker went, they managed to move a hatful of concrete about half an inch.

They decided then to give it up as a bad job.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBy now it was pelting down again so I didn’t hang around for long. I headed for home.

The Chantier Navale had its usual complement of boats so I didn’t stop to take a photo, but Normandy Trader was still at her berth by the crane so I took a quick photo of her.

And then I came back to the apartment, where I spent some time working on my “Girls of Uummannaq” web pages

There was some curry left over from the other day for tea, but not a frightful lot of it so I added a small potato and some spinach. And it was just as delicious.

For pudding, I had realised that I’d had some soya coconut cream stuff open for quite a while so I thought about that with my pineapple. But it looked rather dubious to me so it went don the drain and I had blackcurrant sorbet instead.

storm waves plat gousset place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceOut and about in the dark I thought that I was alone until I was barked at by a dog, with its owner standing in a deep shadow. It’s a good job that I wasn’t doing anything that I wasn’t suposed to be doing.

But it was dark down there tonight. They had switched off the lights on the Plat Gousset so although the waves were beating down on the sea wall, you couldn’t see them.

Nevertheless, I did my best

night rue lecampion granville manche normandy franceNot so much of a problem in the town though.

The upper floors of the buildings on the south side of the rue Lecampion for some reason mooked quite good this evening, very well illuminated by the street lights.

So much so that I couldn’t resist a photo. And I do like the shadow effect on the stone walls.

No-one about tonight so I had a good run, making half the way up the ramp at the end of my little track. One day I’ll measure it and see how far it is. It’s only about 300 metres, I reckon, if that.

Minette the old black cat was there on her windowsill so she let me give her a little stroke. It seems to be my lucky period for cats right now, although i’m not sure why. I probably smell of fish.

So tomorrow I’m having a day at home. For once I don’t have to go anywhere, but nevertheless I still have a lot of work to do.

To do some information files for my projects for a start. And once they are done, I can tell you all about it.

So there are one or two other little things that need to be done tonight and then I’m off to bed. I’m hoping that I can slide back into the arms of Morpheus and carry on my experiments from last night.

Wednesday 27th November 2019 – WHAT A WASTE …

… of a morning this was!

Although the night wasn’t as late as many nights have been just recently, I still had a few problems this morning.

I heard the 06:00 alarm go off sure enough and I’m not sure what happened next but when I heard the next alarm go off I thought that I’ll give it a couple of minutes and then get up before the third alarm, like I usually do.

After a few minutes I had a quick glance at the time before I arose. 06:25 it was. So for some unknown reason I had completely missed the second alarm.

At that point I decided that seeing as I had already missed my target time, another couple of minutes wouldn’t hurt any.

The next thing that I remembered was that it was 08:47 and I’d been right away with the fairies.

As indeed I had been. And not on my own either for there were three of us again and we were having something to do with the animals. We were looking after the animals in a kind of laboratory place and a couple of guys came past and were talking to us so we were talking back to them. But for some unknown reason the conversation took off into a kind of 1950s type of scene with all pork-pie hats and that kind of thing. I was speaking to them not as I would today but going back 50 years and everyone was wondering why. They didn’t understand the language for a start so I explained that this was how English would have been 50 years ago in the days of the Teddy Boys, all this sort of thing (of course the Teddy Boys were earlier than that) but this was when the period was, back in the teddy Boy days and they found it difficult to understand. From here it kind of drifted off into a wartime scenario and I can’t remember very much about this second bit where it was during the war.

By the time that my feet were on the floor it was almost 09:30 and I decided to forego breakfast again. Just have a coffee and some juice and then crack on with work. There’s an open-air fruit market on a Wednesday morning as I discovered when I was on one of my marathon walks just recently. I’d planned to go out there for a butcher’s but it won’t be today.

The first thing to attack, as far as work goes, was the dictaphone notes. And a mega-one of 12 minutes at that. All in all, from the night of 20th-21st September this year there were over 20 minutes of dictaphone notes and many of them are quite disturbing.

But the 21st was the morning that I set off from Montreal to ottawa so it was bound to be an extremely turbulent night. And had I listened to what had been going on during the night before I set off, I probably wouldn’t have gone.

But I didn’t, so I did, and that was an end to it. But I’ll be thinking long and hard before I put any of the night’s activities into print in the public domain. They will join the others that have yet to see the light of day until I have had an opportunity to consult m’learned friends.

The plan was to work on until about 11:00 and then go into town for a dejeunette (I’ve decided that I’ll do that every day from now on) and the Post Office to post the letters that I didn’t post yesterday.

But when I did glance at the time, it was just coming up to 12:00. This late start killed me off and it was far too late to go to the Post Office. I carried on with work instead.

low tide port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound about 13:00 I broke off and headed down the steps into town. The tide was out, miles out in fact, and all of the boats in the harbour were high and dry.

With the tide being out, the harbour gates would be closed so I headed off round the back of the fish-processing plant and onto the path across the top of the gates and went into town that way.

Striding along as if I were on my way to invade Poland, I was feeling so good that at a certain moment I even broke into a little run. And that’s not been anything that has been seen this side of this Century – me running for no good purpose in broad daylight.

ski slope place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceArmed with my dejeunette, I went to inspect the edifice in the Place General de Gaulle.

And I now know what it is, because there was an article about it in the local paper. It seems that Granville has pretentions about being a winter ski resort (don’t ask me how or why because I don’t have a clue either) and they are building an artificial ski-slope.

All that I can say is that the mayor and her cohorts are going downhill fast.

After lunch I carried on with the dictaphone notes. There were some mega-ones in there as you might expect, what with everything that was going on and how I was feeling, but I was determined to break the back of the issue today.

By the time that I knocked off for my afternoon walk, I had reduced the backlog to a mere 69. There are only a handful of really long ones in there, one of which is … errr … over four hours (and that can’t be right) so with a bit of luck I can crack on and whittle them down.

And then I can start on the photos.

storm at sea english channel granville manche normandy franceWhen I had gone out earlier in the day it had been quite windy. But now the wind was simply wicked.

The tide was out so I can’t show you just how wild the seas were, but you can have an idea simply by looking at the whitecaps in this photo.

They would have made rather a mess of the sea wall at the harbour or at the Plat Gousset.

casino beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceTalking of the Plat Gousset … “well, one of us is” – ed … I stopped to have a look down there and to see what was going on.

Just one solitary soul out there on the beach and no more than half a dozen on the promenade itself. And that’s hardly surprising because it really was a dreadful wind.

In fact, we’ve had nothing but gale-force winds since I’ve been back from North America and I don’t know about anyone else but I’m getting rather fed up of this.

It’s a good job that my apartment is a really solid building. If I had owned a paper shop, it would have blown away a long time ago.

black cat granville manche normandy franceMy route into town took me down the steps to the Place Marechal Foch, but I didn’t get very far at all.

My trip was interrupted by a young black cat that was wandering around in the undergrowth so I stopped and had a little chat with it. They say that stroking a cat is a very good way of relieving stress, and who can argue with that?

The moggy and I were there for a good few minutes until I moved on.

road works place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceNot too far as it happened, because down below me the Plce was cordoned off and there was a pile of machinery down there digging up the road surface.

There were a few guys down there too who looked as if they had something to do with it all so I went down the steps to ask them about it.

But they must have seen me coming because they took off and by the time that I reached their van, they had long-since departed and that was that.

road works place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceI had to content myself with a really good examination of thr work to see what I could see.

Definitely electric trunking and the trace cable for pulling through was there. So I was wondering if this is a bit more of the fibre-optic cabling that’s been going on here for as long as I can remember.

What I’ll do is to come this way tomorrow on my way to the shops and see if the guys are there then, and I can ask them

Down at the Post Office I posted my letters and then I came back here. And with a coffee and a slice of Liz’s cake, I really hit the jackpot.

And big-time too.

A quest that I have been undertaking for almost 43 years has deamatically come to a conclusion.

Let’s turn our clocks back to 22nd january 1977. I was living in Crewe, sharing a flat in Nantwich Road with Allen Marsden. And on the radio came a “Sight and Sound” concert of Santana.

It was the most amazing, most phenomenal live concert that I have ever heard either before or since and, grabbing a tape, I recorded it. I’ve played the tape to death and it’s all worn away now, and over the last 40-odd years I’ve been trying to track down when and where it was recorded. I’ve even been to the BBC to ask them, and they were no help.

But idly surfing the internet looking for something else I suddenly found a Santana live concert from the Hammersmith Odeon on 15th December 1976 and I only had to listen to the first three notes to know that this was exactly the concert for which I had been seeking.

It really is superb! Just listen to “Soul Sacrifice” from about 44:00 onwards.

So listening to Santana on an endless loop I attacked the web page updating. And by the time that I had knocked off for tea, another 30 had bit the dust.

All in all, I call that I good day’s work!

Tea was a burger on a bap, followed by pineapples and blackcurrant sorbet.

brehal plage granville manche normandy franceAnd then the evening walk around the headland.

Despite the high winds yet again, the sky was beautifully clear again and once more there was a beautiful view up the coast. The lights of Bréhal-Plage came out perfectly in this picture, taken with the camera being hand-held.

Of course I could have done a lot better with the tripod, but in this wind? You must be joking!

spirit of conrad omerta aztec lady chantier navale port de granville harbour  manche normandy franceOnwards or upwards then, and round the headland and along the top of the cliffs overlooking the port.

Nothing much has changed in the chantier navale. Spirit of Conrad, Omerta and Aztec Lady are still in there on their blocks, and there’s badger all else for the moment.

So I carried on and broke into a run at my usual spot, much to the amusement of a passer-by and his dog. And tonight I made it all the way over the rise and down the bank as far as the pedestrian crossing.

That’s the farthest that I’ve been

So now it’s bedtime and I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow, with a nice long walk up to LIDL. That should be interesting. I forgot to see what the sale goods are.

Tuesday 5th November 2019 – CALIBURN HAS GONE …

… to the garage today for his annual service and Controle Technique.

He should have gone sometime towards the end of June but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I was dealing with other issues like a broken right hand and a damaged kneecap which meant that I couldn’t drive.

And then I was heading off on my mega-adventure.

So this is the first time that Caliburn has turned a wheel since about the middle of June – 5 months – and then it was only around the block. So all in all, he did very well. There was a dashboard light illuminated when I set off but after about 10 minutes it went out again.

And talking of things going out, you won’t believe what time I was going out of bed this morning. Up and about and actually working at … wait for it … 05:45 and when was the last time that I was up and about long before the alarm? Even without a late-ish night?

But it’s not all about the new lean, keen, mean me. I woke up with the most incredible pain in a place that many men will understand and although the pain eased off somewhat, it was still giving me grief. So no point in lying in bed when there are things to do.

An early start means an early medication and an early breakfast, and being well-advanced with the dictaphone notes backlog, I could hit the streets with Caliburn.

There was a brief stop at the Centre Agora to pick up a recording kit. I have piles of audio to record in the near future and the quality of the dictaphone isn’t good enough.

Caliburn was then dropped off at the garage and I’ll tell you what’s frightening about all of this. I’ve only ever been there twice, the last time in June 2018, but the guy there this lunchtime saw me and said “ahhh – Mr Hall”. I don’t like the sound of this one little bit.

On the way back, I went into the cheap electrical shop where I’ve bought some stuff before and today I fell in love with an oven. Then down to LeClerc for a bit more shopping. Not too much though because this audio kit is quite heavy.

The route back took me by surprise because I walked all the way back up the hill to here from town without even stopping and I’ve not really managed that too often in the past.

After lunch I made a start on project 002 and the audio kit came in very handy, although it took me a while to work out how to use it. And I was so impressed that I was thinking about getting one of my own – until I saw the price. Now I’m trying to find something similar but cheaper.

sun effects tora tora tora baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy brittany franceAs usual, I went out for my afternoon walk at about 15:45 as usual – a nice mid-point between lunch and tea.

Round the headland again, and the sunlight is still playing tricks. We had yet another delightful TORA TORA TORA effect out there across the bay over onto the Brittany side between Cancale and St Malo.

You can see how this strange light is playing havoc with the colours of the sea out there

sunshine carolles granville manche normandy franceAnd that wasn’t all the excitement about the sunlight either.

The way that the rays of the sun were shining through the gaps in the clouds over there had illuminated the promenade between Jullouville and Carolles just as if it had been some kind of actor on a stage.

All of the surrounding countryside was in the darkness and this little area was properly bathed in sunshine.

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy franceGiven the foregoing and the lack of comment about any high winds, you could be forgiven for thinking that Tempete Amelie has abated.

But not a bit of it. Although the wind has calmed down somewhat (but not very much) we are still having the heavy rolling seas coming in from mid-Atlantic.

They are pushing along and smashing into the sea wall with some kind of incredible violence as you can see.

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBut as well as the one just above with the huge rolling wave, this one here is one of my favourites.

I waited just an extra second later before I pressed the shutter on the camera and while the wave has rolled away, I’ve captured the spray splattering down on the top of the sea wall and splashing everywhere.

It’s not very likely that I’ll be able to take another photo quite like this, right at the best moment.

fishing boat joker port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was a fishing boat in port … “there were about a dozen actually” – ed … that caught my eye.

At first glance, Joker looked rather too much like the very ill-fated MV Darlwyne for comfort. But of course it isn’t.

However if someone were to tell me that it was a direct descendant of the aforementioned I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised.

And talking of ships in the harbour … “well, one of us is” – ed … I had a nice mail (this contact form thingy really works!) this morning from some of the crew of Normandy Trader, a ship that has featured on these pages no fewer than 26 times, admiring my photos and inviting me aboard next time she’s in the harbour.

That’s a nice plan

There wasn’t enough time for me to finish off the audio work so I need to do that tomorrow. But for tea I had a scrounge around in the fridge and found some onion, green pepper, mushrooms and a few other things so I cooked some lentils and made a curry.

There’s enough for two days too so I’ll use the left-over stuffing in some taco rolls tomorrow and the rest of the curry on Thursday.

half moon granville manche normandy franceOutside, there were some thick clouds scudding about in the wind.

But just as the right moment the clouds parted and I had a lovely view of it. Just for a change, the camera was quite handy too and so I was able to take quite a good shot of an Autumn half-moon.

It’s come out quite well considering that it was hand-held and taken in a hurry. When I was taking all of those last year I was using a tripod and going for a slow exposure.

For my walk in the wind I was all alone, except for Minette the cat sitting on her windowsill. She still remembered me and allowed me to give her a good stroke.

And I had my run too – and even managed to run half-way up the hill at the end of my usual straight. You’ve probably noticed from the photos of the waves and the spray over the harbour walls that the wind has changed direction today. For a change I had a following wind.

carolles granville manche normandy franceWe had a photo earlier of Carolles bathed in sunshine.

Tonight there was no sunshine of course but the atmosphere was beautifully clear despite the clouds and I could see Carolles perfectly lit up tonight by the street lights along the promenade

Again, no tripod so it was hand-held and it’s not come out too badly. But some of the other night-time photos weren’t up to much.

So before I go to bed I’ll just have time to do half a dozen web-page updates. I promised myself that I would do that every day and I do need to catch up with the arrears of work

But no reason to go out tomorrow (I doubt that Caliburn will be ready) so I can do plenty of work if I put my mind to it.

That’s some “if”.

diving platform granville manche normandy france
diving platform granville manche normandy france

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

moon hidden by clouds granville manche normandy france
moon hidden by clouds granville manche normandy france

jullouville granville manche normandy france
jullouville granville manche normandy france

rue paul poirier granville jullouville manche normandy france
rue paul poirier granville jullouville manche normandy france

Friday 3rd May 2019 – I’VE DONE …

… a massive 15% – almost 20% – of the outstanding files on the dictaphone list this morning.

211 was the figure at which I started this morning. By late morning it was a mere 172. And the only reason that I stopped was because I reckoned that I ought to be doing other things as well.

Actually, I cheated. I finally found out where I’d copied the notes previously. I’d actually typed them directly into the blog entries without putting them in the notes file.

Ad so I simply copied and pasted them into the dictaphone notes file, and that was that.

Despite my saying that I’d be having an early night last night, it didn’t quite work out like that. Just as I was planning on going to bed, I had a phone call.

And that put paid to my early night, and in spades too because by the time that I’d finished the phone call, my desire to sleep had gone and it was long after midnight when I finally hit the sack.

And I was off on a voyage too. I was in the EU last night and a princess probably the princess of Monaco came walking through. I had my camera with me so I took a few photos of them. She asked to see them and was quite impressed. She said that she would be at a meeting at the Parliament there at 09:15 next day and would I like to photograph her there. So about 09:05 I picked up all of my stuff, cameras and the like but because I didn’t have a flash I carried a copper frying pan with me that would reflect the light. As I set off I had to walk through my office. everyone was sitting there like at school and I just walked through with my camera and my stuff and straight out of the back door, leaving them open-mouthed at what was going on. I had to fight my way through the huge crowds at the Commission (?!) And found myself at the back of this big meeting where a huge discussion was taking place. There were thousands of people there but I couldn’t see this princess. We were discussing documents and all this kind of thing. Suddenly a document came up talking about storage and I realised that it was a document that I had prepared. They were passing copies about through the meeting to people who hadn’t had them and an extra copy of this document which was in two parts appeared at my desk. I hung onto it as no-one else behind me seemed to want it. A woman came in late and had all of her documents given to her late. She started to ask “who’s this EH who had prepared this document?” I said that it was me – tey asked me who it was; She said that she didn’t have a copy so I passed mine over or the spare one that i had. She was not very impressed because she was expecting a much bigger document. I couldn’t see this princess and her children (because she had some children with her) anywhere in this meeting, but they were all looking at me and my stuff wondering what I was doing. I think that that Nicole was there at one time.

It goes without saying that I didn’t leap joyously out of bed with the lark this morning. Just after 07:00 it was when I finally saw the light of day.

After the usual morning performance, rather later than it has been just recently, I did the photos for yesterday and then attacked the dictaphone notes.

What with a stream of interruptions and the like, and searching for the notes files, it took me until probably 11:30 or something like that to demolish a good pile of them.

Next task was to do some of the outstanding blog entries – to update the photos. I’m now back to 12th July 2018. I’ve left out the trip to the High Arctic because I have plans for that.

There were no photos for 11th July, and 10th July puts me back to the last day of my voyage around Europe. We’re at the Somme battlefield and I spent much of the remainder of the day allocating the text and alt tags to the photos from that period.

When they are done, I’ll update the blog entries as appropriate, and then think about doing the web pages.

here was lunch in between all of that, and it was taken indoors again. The high winds are putting the wind up me as far as sitting on the wall goes.

autogyro place d'armes granville manche normandy franceI called a halt to the photos when it was time to go for my afternoon perambulation.

And I immediately came under aerial attack. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that back in August when we were at the Cabanon Vauban we saw an autogyro fly right past where we were standing.

This afternoon, just as I walked out of the apartment, the aforementioned machine flew right over my head. And so I took a photo of it.

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThat wasn’t the only aerial operation going on this afternoon.

About 30 seconds later, one of the hang-gliders flew past my head. There were a few of them out there this afternoon enjoying the windy weather.

I must admit to having a little musing to myself about how exciting it might have been had the hang-glider and the autogyro had a meeting of the minds and bodies right over where I was standing.

discussing installing monument resistance granville manche normandy franceAnd that was far from being all of the excitement out there too.

Round on the Pointe du Roc not too far from where the bunkers are situated, there were some people measuring up, setting pegs and tapes on the ground and marking something out.

Further enquiries (because I believe that if you want to know the answer to the question, you have to ask the question) revealed that they are going to erect a monument to the Heroes of the Resistance on this spot

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWe can’t have a trip around the Pointe du Roc without going to see what is going on in the chantier navale

We have the two usual boats that have been there for a while, and on the right is the old trawler that has been on blocks over on the far side of the yard for as long as I can remember.

But on the left we have what looks like a different trawler that has come in for some kind of repair or renovation.

fishing boat towing small boat english channel granville manche normandy franceIn between dodging the aerial attacks earlier, I’d been looking out to sea to see if there were any boats on their way in.

I’d noticed something in the distance and snapped it once or twice, but sure enough, it eventually chugged round the Pointe du Roc and into the Baie de Mont St michel.

And then I was finally able to work out what it was. We have a fishing boat and it seems to be towing a smaller boat behind it.

Back here, I had another outstanding task that needed dealing with.

The memory stick that I take with me when I travel is a mass of confusion because I’ve been very lax in bringing the files up to date.

So what I did was uploaded them all to this computer and wiped the memory stick clean for future use. Then, with all of the files now on the computer, I eliminated all of the duplicates.

Next wtep was to allocate files to folders where I could.

Finally, I had a mass of files, some with two, three or even four copies which are all different. My next task is to do a compare and merge so that there is only one file for each, but with everything on it.

Tea was another slice of shepherd’s pie with gravy and veg, followed by fruit salad and soya cream.

insulation grillage on floor rue du nord granville manche normandy franceTime then for my evening walk of course.

My trip took me by the house on the corner of the rue du Nord – the one that is currently under major renovation. They’ve now laid some grillage on top of the insulation that they put down yesterday, so it looks as if the concrete won’t be far behind.

I’ll be intrigued to see how it all comes out.

museum christian dior granville manche normandy franceIt was a thoroughly beautiful evening out there tonight, and the colours in the evening sunshine were marvellous.

Just the type of evening that is ideal for photography so I spent some time out there taking a pile of pics of the scenery.

This one of the cliffs above the Plat Gousset, with the Museum Christian Dior on the top, has come out particularly well.

minette black cat rue notre dame granville manche normandy francetalking of things coming out particularly well, on my way back home via the rue Notre Dame, I was greeted by Minette, the old black cat.

She came over for a good stroke, and she expressed a considerable amount of interest in the camera.

Clearly she was looking for her little moment of fame, and what could I do apart from obliging her? She really is a nice cat, although she would benefit from a good grooming.

So back here now, and I really am going to try for an early night. I was disappointed about yesterday so I want to catch up, and of course I have shopping tomorrow.

I need a pile of stuff too so I need to be on form.

fishing boat towing small boat english channel granville manche normandy france
fishing boat towing small boat english channel granville manche normandy france

fishing boat towing small boat english channel granville manche normandy france
fishing boat towing small boat english channel granville manche normandy france

donville les bains granville manche normandy france
donville les bains granville manche normandy france

holiday camp donville les bains manche normandy france
holiday camp donville les bains manche normandy france

waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Wednesday 27th February 2019 – DESPITE MY …

… early night I took ages to go off to sleep. And when I did, being wide-awake at 04:45 was not what I actually had in mind.

I did manage to go off again to sleep at some point but much to my, yours, and everyone else’s surprise, I was up and about before the final alarm went off.

There had been time to go off on a voyage too. I’d been out driving in one of my own vans – that might even have been Bill Badger, my old A60 half-ton van. There was something about extracting digital images off kerbstones so I had a little electrical kit that could do that and I was driving up and down the streets doing it. At one point, there on the street corner was a girl called Carolyn (it’s amazing who appears in my travels) whom I knew probably about 35 years ago and who I encountered quite by chance under strange circumstances 10 years later. She was much younger than she was when I knew her, and dressed in a fashion that would have been inappropriate for the house, never mind standing on a street corner. I was having difficulty extracting these images, to which she replied that the electricity was usually turned off at midnight. I explained that it wasn’t midnight as yet and carried on, but with no result. In the end I decided to move on, but I told Carolyn that I’ll drop by later to see if she was still there.
A little later I was in my room – or, rather, not my room in Davenport Avenue. I was wrestling with a couple of different computers (as usual these days) trying to make sure that all of my confidential files and open web pages were just on one computer being run off just one web browser so that I could close down all of my searches and research in a hurry if some unauthorised person came too close.

crowds assembling at the foyer des jeunes travailleurs granville manche normandy franceWe had the usual morning procedure of course, followed by a some what later breakfast – a bowl of porridge and some orange juice.

Interrupted by the sound of crowds assembling on the car park of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs. No idea what’s happening there.

And while we’re on the subject of breakfast, that reminds me – apart from a coffee at the football on Saturday night I haven’t had a coffee now since the Tuesday morning that I was in Leuven.

Once I’d done what needed doing, I settled down to work. And haven’t I been a busy boy today?

I’ve amended all of the blog entries all the way back from 13th December 2018 to the 1st November 2018.

Not only that, I’m a long way down the text database for November 2018 too.

When I have finished that, whenever it might be, I’ll be starting on October. So you can see – I’ve hardly been idle.

trawlers unloading port de granville harbour manche normandy franceFor lunch, it was yet another beautiful day so I went to sit on my wall.

I was going to say “with my butties” but I forgot to defrost some bread from the freezer.

So in the end I took the little bread left over from the weekend and a packet of crisps that needed eating, and watched the fishing boats unloading at the quayside.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all of the action down there either.

Down there at the bottom end of the commercial harbour is our old friend Thora. She must have come in on the morning tide from Jersey.

Loads of merchandise all around the crane, presumably awaiting loading. But I couldn’t see any of the crew around there at all. Presumably they have all gone off for lunch too.

mobile homes caravans place d'armes granville manche normandy franceOver the past week or so I’ve been telling you all that it’s soon to be Carnaval, and I’m going to be locked in up here for the weekend.

But I shan’t be alone.

The public car park outside our premises is being transformed into a mobile home park full of caravanettes as all of the grockels turn up to come and pollute the atmosphere again.

But why should I complain? It’s activities like this out-of-season that keeps the town ticking over for the rest of the year.

And that’s why I’m here.

sea coast rocks pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThere was the usual mid-afternoon walk too.

The day really was beautiful and the sea was gorgeous and a nice deep blue colour.

It was one of those days here when it really was a pleasure to be out and about – me in just a sweater (and trousers too of course) in late February.

drainaige assainissage lighthouse cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceMy little walk took me around the headland of the Pointe du Roc.

At the bungalow round by the lighthouse and the coastguard station, there was a lorry there. This brings back many happy memories of my time in the Auvergne.

No mains drainage there of course, nor here, apparently. The tanker is here busily pumping out the contents of the septic tank.

Presumably to treat its 75mm gun with Dettol.

waves harbour wall port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe air was very calm and still, but there must have been a long rolling sea coming in right across the Atlantic with some terrific force.

You can tell that by the power of the waves as they break on the angle of the sea wall down there.

It’s quite surprising really, comparing the wind speed with the force of the water.

ferry ile de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWhile I was watching the waves, we had another one of our residents returning to the fold.

There must have been a ferry trip out to the Ile de Chausey today, because she turned up back here on the end of her round-trip while I was out there.

I was feeling rather envious, because this would have been a marvellous day to have gone out for a sale, and I suppose that with Carnaval, the tourist season is starting up.

astron chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd I missed out the chantier navale today too, didn’t I?

It’s quite busy in there today. We have the yacht in there of course, and Armor halfway through its respray down there.

The modern little fishing boat is interesting too, by my attention is drawn to the big wooden boat of some description in the centre of the photo.

I wonder what that is and what they are doing to it. I shall have to go for an investigation.

reroofing loading lorry foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy franceWe saw yesterday the workers repairing the flashing around the roof windows of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs

It looks as if they might now be finished. They were busy loading up a lorry with all of the left-over building stuff.

Presumably the container and the machine will be leaping aboard too and disappearing off into the sunset some time soon.

I’ll probably find out tomorrow.

When I returned, I got on the ‘phone again.

I tried another tack with the bank, going in through the soft-underbelly. Not for nothing do I have friends. And about 15 minutes later, they discovered a way that might help me out and which will really upset the Worst Bank In The World.

Back to work with the text database, and then a stop for tea.

While I was finding my crisps, I found a pack of tortilla wraps, so I made myself a pile of stuffing with kidney beans and had a couple with some pasta.

I was stuffed too. No pudding or anything, so I’m doing my best to cut down my appetite. It will probably help if I keep on drinking as much liquid as I am right now.

But then I’ll have my water retention issues.

minette rue notre dame granville manche normandy franceOn my evening walk around the walls, I almost flattened a pedestrian skulking in a dark corner with an obviously secret cigarette.

But apart from that, not a soul. No matter how nice and pleasant it was out there.

Well, not quite alone. Minette was sitting on a car bonnet taking the air and enjoying herself. So I gave her a good stroke and came home.

I’m off for an early night now. Although it’s Thursday, I’m going to be doing a good shopping round.

No sense in going out on Saturday. The town will be heaving with tourists, the streets will be blocked and I probably won’t be able to get out at all.

Do it first before it’s too late.

fishing boat coming in to unload port de granville harbour manche normandy france
fishing boat coming in to unload port de granville harbour manche normandy france

yacht speedboat granville manche normandy france
yacht speedboat granville manche normandy france

waves harbour wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france

waves harbour wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Friday 8th February 2019 – I HAD A MESSAGE …

… today on the telephone. “Your parcel will be delivered on 11th February”.

Now I don’t have a delivery planned or an order outstanding so I didn’t have a clue what it might be. I suspected that it might be some kind of scam.

But then I had another idea.

I had a look at the British Government’s Public Service website. And sure enough – there on my private page is a little note “Passport Application status – ‘issued'”.

That was quick – a lot less than the 6-week time limit that is advertised. That can only be good news. So after Monday, I can push on with a project that has been sitting on the back burner for several weeks.

In view of my recent difficulties I decided last night to go to bed somewhat earlier than of late and even not set an alarm for the morning to give me an opportunity to sort myself out. And so waking up at 06:35 wasn’t really quite what I had in mind.

That’s not the best of it either. I was awake at least three times during the night – once as early as 01:20. So you can see that I’m becoming rather fed up of this.

Three different travels during the night too. The first one involved some woman who had been charged to make a meal – possibly a pie – for some kind of meeting. But as time passed on, it became clearer and clearer to everyone that she was an alcoholic and as time passed on she became less and less coherent until she ended up sitting there in an alcoholic stupor.
The second part of the night’s activities involve me being in Macon, where I spent a summer once back in my youth. I was travelling somewhere which involved passing by the big airport at Lyon and so it involved taking the TGV but although we were certainly on the rails (which will come as a mjor surprise to regular readers of this rubbish) we were actually on board a coach.
Thirdly, I don’t remember very much about this but it involved some woman and there was some passing reference to her connection with Shirley Temple – people were comparing her with that actress for some reason, although presumably not with Graham Green’s review.

After breakfast I pushed on with the photo text database. What with one thing or another that took me right up until midday. And I’m now well back into December’s photos. It’ll keep me out of mischief for quite some time.

There was an interruption at Midday though. Rosemary rang me up for a chat and we were on the phone putting the world to rights for a good hour and a half. Not that our ideas will ever be accepted by anyone – they are far too serious and sensible.

After lunch, I cracked on with updating some of the blog entries. I’m now back as far as 23rd January and there will be more done over the weekend if I’m not interrupted by other events.

lifeboat statue baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy franceTalking of interruptions, I went out for my afternoon walk.

You can see what the weather was like simply by comparing this photo here with the photo taken from the same spot yesterday.

There was a howling gale, a spattering of rain and it was freezing cold. Not the right kind of day to be out at all but I have to keep on keeping on, as Bob Dylan famously said.

lighthouse atlantic wall bunker pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceOne thing that occurred to me was that while I’ve been on my travels I haven’t taken a photograph of the lighthouse down the road just recently.

You can also see one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall to the right of the lighthouse, and in the foreground is one of the emplacements for the large naval guns that were positioned here.

You might also be able to see a cannon of some description immediately to the right of the lighthouse. there are several all dotted about, all of them damaged

chantier navale tidal harbour port de granville harbour manche normandy franceA little further around the Pointe du Roc there was a good vies of the tidal harbour.

The tide was right out and all of the boats were aground on the mud bank.

St Pair-sur-Mer is in the background shrouded in the mist, and on the right is the ship repairer’s.

As for the objects in the foreground, I’m not sure what they might be. I reckon that they are lobster traps whereas others think that they might be dredging buckets.

Back here I carried on with my work – until about 17:30 when, overwhelmed with fatigue, I crawled into bed for an hour or so.

And then I was off on my travels. I was doing something and Rosemary was there. I had a cat, a black one but one that had the same shape as my grey one, and Rosemary was trying to pick it up. I ended up on a rafter going across the ceiling and the cat could only climb so far after me, so she took a flying leap – and missed, falling to the floor. But she found something else – a piece of wood – to climb up and come to join me on my rafter.

There were a couple of sorry-looking potatoes left over in the kitchen so for tea I made a potato and lentil curry. Totally delicious it was too.

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy franceOutside later this evening, the wind wasn’t all that strong but the sea was probably the best that I have ever seen.

The waves were totally astonishing – roaring up over the sea wall at the Plat Gousset and soaking just about everyone and everything down there.

It seemed like hours, but it was only about five minutes that I was standing there watching them. It was quite hypnotic.

On the way back, I bumped into someone who actually said “bonsoir”, and also Minette who had a little stroke.

But now I’m going to go to bed. have a nice early night. Shopping tomorrow and I need to be on form. Not that I feel much like it.

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storm high seas plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Monday 28th January 2019 – THE ONE PROBLEM …

… with having a really good lie-in is that when you eventually go to bed, it takes a positive age to go off to sleep.

And so it was last night. It was well-gone midnight before I went to bed, and then I was tossing and turning around for quite some considerable time.

Mind you, once the alarm went off I was pretty much wide awake, although it did take some considerable time for me to leave my stinking pit.

After breakfast, I sat down and set to work.

First job was to go through a mountain of photos. The other laptop that I had been using was struggling to cope because the quality of the screen and the graphics card was not up to much and I couldn’t see properly what I was doing. And it’s a whole wide world of difference with the graphics card in this computer and the new IPS screen.

Second thing, that took all of the morning and quite a bit of the afternoon was to download a huge load of *.zip and *.rar files for the accessories for the 3D program that I use.

Luckily, I’d bookmarked most of them so I could track them down fairly quickly. Although downloading them and unpacking them took all of the time. And it’s amazing how much I had forgotten that I had.

Cheese and salad butties for lunch. I’ve finished off the hummus and there’s some cheese opened from when I was in Belgium last week. One of these days I’ll make some more, and have a mega-cook-in too because I have some puff pastry that needs using. I fancy an leek and potato pie, and I might even put some tofu in it too – except that I don’t have any.

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was a terrific wind blowing this afternoon. Not as much as yesterday morning though but impressive all the same.

We had a really impressive array of waves smashing onto the harbour wall.

The power of the sea is really astonishing and if only people would put more effort into harnessing it, the world’s energy problem would be solved without any difficulties.

agon coutainville hauteville sur mer granville manche normandy franceIt was a beautiful day for photography too.

The air was quite clear and you could see for miles down the coast. Montmartin-sur-Mer and the Sienne estuary stood out really clearly today so I took a few photos.

I cropped and enlarged a few selections and you can see them below.

Tea tonight was vegan sausages and vegetables, all covered in vegan cheese sauce. It was delicious. Especially when followed by pineapple and coconut-flavoured soya cream.

st helier jersey granville manche normandy franceThis evening’s walk around the walls was really nice.

The wind had dropped, it was warmer than it ought to be this time of the year and the sky on the horizon was quite clear. The lights of Jersey stood out quite clearly.

The way things are going, I’m going to have to buy a better camera with a more responsive ISO as well as a decent attachment for the tripod.

trees night place maurice marland granville manche normandy franceBut even so, the Nikon D5000 can still bring out some really good photographs in the right lighting conditions.

Now that they have installed some illumination in the Place Maurice Marland it’s producing some really nice effects.

I shall have to do some more of this when I have the time.

cable fibre optic granville manche normandy franceThe fibre-optic cable works are continuing.

We saw them the other day digging a hole on the corner of the rue Notre Dame and the rue de l’Auditoire. Now, they have put an inspection hatch in there, ready for the cabling.

While I was out there I nearly flattened another pedestrian, and I also met a new cat, a youngish short-haired black one that I had never seen before. And talking to the cat made me realise that I haven’t spoken to a single person today.

And in other news, there are reports coming in that British travellers arriving at Dusseldorf Airport from the UK were pushed into the “non-EU” lane.

Things are beginning to bite, and we aren’t even at B-Day yet.

agon coutainville granville manche normandy france
agon coutainville granville manche normandy france

hauteville sur mer granville manche normandy france
hauteville sur mer granville manche normandy france

st martin de brehal granville manche normandy france
st martin de brehal granville manche normandy france

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france

trawlers fishing night granville manche normandy france
trawlers fishing night granville manche normandy france

medieval city walls granville manche normandy france
medieval city walls granville manche normandy france

trees night place maurice marland granville manche normandy france
trees night place maurice marland granville manche normandy france

Sunday 27th January 2019 – NOW THAT’S …

… more like it.

No alarm this morning. And when I finally did awaken it was a gorgeous, beautiful 10:15. And when I finally did rise up from my stinking pit, it was an even better 10:40. Now why can’t I do this every Sunday when I don’t have to catch a train?

There was plenty of time to go on my travels too. Last night I was once more upon the Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour. There was a musician playing the guitar and singing and at some point he had invited me to join in. But when we reached the point where I should have joined in, someone else from the back of the room took up the part. And that upset me somewhat. It was something similar to the scene in The Gendarme At St Tropez when, on his way to choir practice, Louis de Funès arrests a burglar. A little later I had to go to the restaurant and take with me a crate of stuff, including half a dozen bottles. But I was so weak that it was a struggle to carry it, and when I found that it wasn’t needed and had to take it back, I couldn’t move. I had to put it on the floor and drag it, but that was even more difficult.

With a very late breakfast, I didn’t bother with lunch. Just a few pieces of fruit and a slice of my Christmas cake. It’s even better as it matures, although there is a limit.

But with it being Sunday, I had a very lazy day and didn’t do too much at all. I downloaded a program from the internet and had a play around with it, but it doesn’t work as well as I would like.

I also resurrected an ancient program from about 10 years ago to give that another go, but there seems to be an issue with that. Mind you, it’s been transformed through several operating systems and several computers so it’s probably not compatible with new technology and there’s probably been an upgrade along the way.

I eschewed my afternoon walk today. The wind was howling around outside like nobody’s business. It didn’t look very good at all.

night sea plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThis evening though, when I went out for my evening walk after a delicious vegan pizza, the wind had died down somewhat.

It was now a mere hurricane strength, but because the tide was so far out, there were no impressive waves crashing down on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

Had I been out this afternoon I might have had some kind of impressive view. But as Kenneth Williams once famously said, “I’m not getting wet for a load of bleeding birds”.

Minette the black cat was out there tonight on her windowledge. And believe it or not, that’s the only person to whom I’ve spoken today.

So tomorrow, back to work. there’s a lot to do and I keep on putting it off.

night sea plat gousset granville manche normandy france
night sea plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Thursday 6th December 2018 – BRAIN OF BRITAIN …

… strikes again.

With having the appointment for my anti-flu injection at 11:00 this morning I decided to go and do my shopping at LIDL as normal and call in at the medical centre on the way back.

And do you know? I was halfway into town, quite wet in the rain, before I realised that I had forgotten to take the injection with me and that it was still in the fridge. And that’s despite leaving a prominent note on the table in the dining room.

Last night was a rather later night than normal and I was still asleep when the alarm went off. Much to my surprise I was up and about fairly quickly too which is a change.

After breakfast I had another letter to write. One that I had forgotten to write the other day and which needed doing quite rapidly as there was a time limit involved.

After my abortive trip into town, and back here having found the medication, it was too late to go back out to LIDL so I stayed here and made a phone call. And as a result it was arranged that I can make another phone call on Monday afternoon in this respect.

But as an aside, I was given an e-mail address to which I can send a mail. But knowing the way things work, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I will be surprised if I have a reply.

christmas decorations place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceBack into town for my injection.

That isn’t snow down there in the place General de Gaulle, even though it might look like it. They are busy setting up the decorations for Christmas.

Only two and a half weeks away now.

The nurse who attended to me is from Lille, and he has a Flemish surname. It turns out that he has relatives in Flanders and we spent some of the time talking in Flemish.

At the Post Office I posted off all of the letters that I had written over the last few days, and then worked my way round to the Railway Station to pick up my tickets. And I’m glad that I picked them up well in advance during office hours because the ticket-printing machine was once again out of order.

One of these days I’ll forget, turn up at the station for my train and the machine will be out of order again. I wonder what the penalty is for travelling without a valid ticket.

There were a couple of things in LIDL that I would have picked up today but I wouldn’t be able to carry them home. I’ll have to wait until Saturday when I go up there in Caliburn and hope that there will be some left.

The exertions of the morning had worn me out and I ended up crashing out for half an hour in my comfy office chair. That took me up to lunch.

This afternoon I attacked the files that I had downloaded from the desktop computer. And I found all of the OU postings that I had saved for further reference, including the legendary “I’m a Pottymouth” message by the equally legendary Lee Prostitute, fairy boots and all.

storm sea wall port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel manche normandy franceNow that the wet weather was drying out this afternoon, there were crowds out there walking around the Pointe du Roc.

And on my way out of the apartment I bumped into one of my neighbours coming in.

But there’s a storm brewing in the offing as the waves are slowly to climb up the sea wall. I hope that it it will be as good as the one last winter.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy franceBy the time that I rounded the headland and came back, it was school chucking-out time.

And so of course we have cars parked all over the pavements by the College Malraux and on the boulevard Vaufleury which is the main bus route and where the school coaches pass by.

There’s a huge free public car park just 50 metres up the road from there, but that is clearly too far for our poor little dears to stagger, so let’s just disrupt all of the traffic instead.

Why not?

And as I was coming back in, I met the same neighbour going out. It’s a small world.

Remember the tin of potatoes that I had opened in error yesterday? While I was ferreting around in the freezer I found a pie from last year left over. So I switched on the oven, prepared a quick rice pudding, soaked some of the tinned potatoes in olive oil, and bunged the rice pudding, the pie and the potatoes in to cook.

While that was going on, I cooked some frozen peas and carrots, and made some gravy. And it was all very delicious. Except the rice pudding, which wasn’t ready. But I’ll finish that off next time that the oven goes on.

night christmas lights mairie place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceNo-one else was about on my walk last night, which isn’t much of a surprise.

I had plenty of time to stand on the walls and admire the view. The Christmas lights down in the town were illuminated quite brightly.

They seem to have done a good job of lighting up the mairie and I hope that they can do as good a job of the rest of the town as they have done down there.

night christmas lights rue couraye granville manche normandy franceThere is quite an array of lights going up the rue Couraye too.

One of these evenings I’ll go for a walk up there and see what they are really like in the dark.

Alone out there I might have been, as far as human company went. But Minette was there though, and she let me stroke her for a few minutes before having a spit at me and wandering off. Dunno why she’s in such a bad mood just now.

night rue st jean granville manche normandy franceOn the way back to the apartment, I walked up along the rue St Jean.

From the corner of the rue du Nord there was a good view right down the street, under the gate and off into the place d’Armes. So I stopped to take a photograph of it on my way up.

Back here, I bumped into yet another neighbour. And she told me about a music course in the vicinity. I asked her to make further enquiries on my behalf.

So an early night is now on the cards. Tomorrow I’m going to wire up a big external hard drive to the desktop computer and copy the entire contents of the desktop computer onto the external drive.

Then, I can review it at my leisure without having to worry about the reliability of the desktop computer.

That lot should keep me out of mischief.

storm sea wall port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel manche normandy france
storm sea wall port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel manche normandy france

storm sea wall port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel manche normandy france
storm sea wall port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel manche normandy france

fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy france
fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Friday 23rd November 2018 – FOR THE FIRST TIME …

… for quite some considerable time, we’ve had rain today.

Not enough to prevent me from going for my series of perambulations but enough to make me put on the raincoat and do up the hood. And it’s not a long knee-length raincoat, Rhys.

With having had a reasonably early night, I had a good sleep too.

During the night last night there was something of a family reunion. I’m no longer sure of the beginning or even the middle but right at the end I can remember going to bed – in Vine Tree Avenue of all places. But when I went to get into bed with Nerina, my younger sister was asleep in there too. When I awoke her to find out what was going on, she told me that there was someone else asleep in her bed so she had to find somewhere else to sleep. I went to look in her bed and found that one of my friends had actually gone to sleep in there.
As an aside, in real life whoever was asleep in her bed later became her husband. But that’s another story.

It wasn’t a particularly early start this morning either. I had a bit of a lie-in, and then I attacked the breakfast.

This morning I’ve been a busy little B. The blog for the last week or two is up to date and you can see where I updated starting from this page and working forward.

When I’m more organised, I’ll be starting from the end of October and working backwards, doing three or four a day until it’s all done. It might take me several years to do it but if I don’t start, I won’t finish.

Another task that I’ve done this morning that took me far longer than it ought was to merge the clipbook libraries.

The program that I use the most is a text editor called Notetab. I do evrything with it, from making brief notes right up to hand-coding my own web pages.

The main advantages that it has are that

  1. you can have several *.txt or *.html files open at any one time
  2. you can build up a whole series of clipbook libraries, so that you can save a regular block of text or coding that you use on a regular basis, and just one click inserts it into your document, as regular readers of this rubbish might recall

There are enough old computers here to sink a ship, and there are backups that date to about 1999, so this morning I started to extract the libraries from the various machines and merge them together.

having done a couple this morning, I then did a big back-up of the laptop and I’ll be backing up my data a couple of times a day from now on, always assuming that I remember.

While I was searching for something else, I came across a rare book going back to AD731 that has now been uploaded to the internet and available for free download. And so I’ve now added a copy of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People to my virtual library.

This is one of the very earliest histories of England and, along with the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was the basis of much of what was known about English history in the Dark Ages.

And that reminds me. I brought my Domesday Book with me from the farm, but did I bring my Anglo-Saxon Chronicle?

This muesli that I made really is wicked. It went down a treat on my butties at lunchtime and there is still plenty left. And after lunch I came back into my little office and carried on with Day Four of the High Arctic.

trawler aztec lady ship repair yard port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was a break for a walk around the headland. Although it was raining, it wasn’t all that bad-certainly not bad enough to stop me.

At the ship repairers, Aztec Lady was still there, up on blocks. There was a ladder up to her deck but I couldn’t see any sign of any work being done.

The trawlers are still up there too receiving attention. I’m not sure what they are doing to the pink and white one that we saw being lifted out of the water.

fishing boats quay port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that back when they were dredging out the harbour, they had a digger in the tidal basin here at low tide.

It was digging out a deep channel at the outside of the fishing quay by the fish processing plant.

This was done presumably with the aim of making a cut there that would provide access to the quay for a greater part of the day

fishing boats quay port de granville harbour manche normandy france There’s a whole line of smaller boats that have been queueing up outside the harbour now on their way in to tie up and unload.

If you look at the surrounding tidal harbour, you can see that it’s a long way from being submerged right now.

It certainly seems that the little channel that they dug out is working, and in spades too, which is good news for the port and the town.

More time available to unload means that more fishing boats can use the facilities

Just by way of a change I’d been chatting to a couple of neighbours too – one as I left the building and the second as I arrived back. It’s all go here, isn’t it?

In the mail today I’ve had the bill for the taxe d’habitation – the Council Tax – for next year for my house in the Auvergne. Eat your hearts out, you UK dwellers. My council tax for next year is all of €24:00.

Ingrid phoned me up after I came back. And we had a lengthy chat for a good hour or so about all kinds of things. She’s not too well right now, so I told her that some nice, relaxing sea air would do her the world of good.

There was a pepper left over so tea tonight was a stuffed pepper. I need to rid myself of the perishable stuff before I go away on Sunday.

Then, back into the rain. There was just one other person out there this evening but Minette, the black cat, was there on her windowsill. She had a good stroke and even allowed me to pick her up for 30 seconds.

But for some reason or another, I’m feeling quite tired. No idea why – it’s not as if I had a bad night. But I do seem to think that I’ve not had my usual afternoon doze so that might account for it.

It’s a good enough reason to go to bed.

Monday 15th October 2018 – BACK INTO …

… the routine again. I don’t think!

Certainly the alarms went off – at 06:00, 06:10 and 06:20 as usual. But to say that I was eager to leave the comfort and safety of my stinking pit would be somewhat economical with the truth too.

I’d also been back in the High Arctic again. There were 50 of us leaving the voyage, trying to get into three zodiacs arriving one after the other, each one with a capacity of 12 persons. So that’s going to work, isn’t it? But it seemed that no-one was too eager to go in the first boat, and neither in the last one. So everyone was more interested in clambering into the middle boat. You can see immediately why this might cause a problem.

After breakfast, I did some tidying up so that this place looks more like a home, and then sat down and had a look at last night’s photos.

They have all been edited and reworked as appropriate and uploaded them to yesterday’s journal entry where they can be seen in all their glory.

That took most of the morning, which might come as a surprise to many people, but not when you consider that for some part of the morning I was … errr … away with the fairies.

It was my intention to go and sit on the wall and eat my butties but at that moment it was overcast so I ended up eating in here.

This afternoon I re-reviewed the photos from the Ile de Chausey on Saturday, chose a few as good samples and then started to rewrite the entry and add some photos. I didn’t get anything like as far into this as I was hoping, but you can see where I’m up to right now and this may well yet change.

But once again, I was somewhat overwhelmed. The effects of the last few days have caught up with me yet again.

There was a nice afternoon walk around the headland, and seeing that I’m in a photography mood right now, I took the camera with me.

demolished bunker atlantic wall granville manche normandy franceI’m not sure it I’ve previously taken a photo of the blown-up bunker and so I took one this afternoon.

I’ve told you previously … “at great length” – ed … about the Atlantic Wall that the Germans built here in the early 1940s. And after the war the French set about trying to remove the casemates and bunkers.

But they were built much more substantially than anyone realised, and all that they succeeded in doing was moving half a dozen enormous lumps of concrete a couple of yards away from their original position.

And so they gave up any further attempt and left the rest of the bunkers here.

council workmen car par pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceWhile I was there, I noticed some of the local council workmen carrying out a bit of work on the car park round the corner on the Pointe du Roc, so I went over to have a quick look to see what they were doing.

It seems that they are laying some paving stones as if there’s going to be some hard-standing for some purpose.

I’ll have to have a wander over there in a couple of days time to see how it’s evolving and what the purpose of it all will be.

port de granville harbour manche normandy franceHaving taken my photo I carried on a-wandering around the headland to the little spot where I can overlook the harbour.

The tide is well on its way out of the tidal harbour right now and it was interesting to watch some of the larger ships settle down on the silt as the sea disappears.

The yellow one seems to have settled in the wrong direction so I hope that it won’t flood when the tide comes back in. It should really be careened over onto the landward side

trawler repairs shipyard port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBut my reverie was interrupted by something of a racket coming from the shipyard.

It seems that they are carrying out some kind of major work on a fishing trawler that’s been hauled out of the water onto the top of the quay just there.

I’m not sure if they are in the process of dismantling it or whether they are renovating it. This is another thing to go back and check on in a couple of days’ time.

Tea tonight was steamed vegetables, sausages and vegan cheese sauce, and it was totally delicious too. I really enjoyed it and I shall make some more of that in due course. My frozen sprouts are working well.

vieille ville granville manche normandy franceLater on, I was back out in the evening for my walk around the walls. I took plenty of photos too with the new Nikon lens.

I went through them later and added them to the blog so that you can see them.

And I’m sure that you’ll be as dismayed as I am with the quality of the photos that I took in the Arctic when you see what this new low-light lens can produce under these kind of conditions.

fishing boat lights english channel granville manche normandy franceIn the previous photo you saw the lights of Donville les Bains in the background.

In this photo you can even see that the new lens was even able to pick up the fleet of ships out there to see – presumably a fleet of fishing boats.

The little Nikon J1 would never even have made the attempt, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

I can see that this time next year I shall have to go back to the High Arctic, won’t I?

On my way round, Minette was there waiting for her stroke – and a pick-up – as well. She’s clearly missed me.

So now I’m going to have a reasonably early night. I need to get myself back on track as I have plenty of things to do.

foyer des jeunes travailleurs granville manche normandy france
The Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs

the moon granville manche normandy france
The Moon

breville sur mer st martin de brehal granville manche normandy france
Bréville sur Mer and St Martin de Bréhal.

place d'armes granville manche normandy france
Place d’Armes

plat gousset granville manche normandy france
Plat Gousset

rue general patton granville manche normandy france
rue General Patton

place marechal foch granville manche normandy france
Place Marechal Foch

plat gousset granville manche normandy france
Plat Gousset

rue georges clemenceau granville manche normandy france
Rue Georges Clemenceau

rue paul poirier granville manche normandy france
rue Paul Poirier

place maurice marland granville manche normandy france
Place Maurice Marland

place maurice marland granville manche normandy france
Place Maurice Marland

port de granville harbour manche normandy france
Port de Granville

port de granville harbour manche normandy france
Port de Granville

place maurice marland granville manche normandy france
Place Maurice Marland

rue du Colombier granville manche normandy france
rue du Colombier

rue notre dame granville manche normandy france
rue Notre Dame

place cambernon granville manche normandy france
Place Cambernon

place cambernon granville manche normandy france
rue St Jean

rue St Jean granville manche normandy france
rue St Jean