Tag Archives: blackberry

Monday 1st August 2022 – HERE WE GO AGAIN

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022This is one reason why tourists have such a bad name and reputation in holiday resorts.

As Guns ‘n’ Roses once famously sang, “They come to our country and think they’ll do as they please”

Where that woman is parked and where her passengers are alighting is on the disabled ramp that leads down to the pedestrian crossing.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I promised that I would lay off the “pathetic parking” that I see on my travels around and about but sometimes some examples are really too awful not to document. I really do wonder what goes through the minds of some people some times.

Anyway, enough of that. Retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, my night last night was as bad as that piece of what is laughably called “parking”. I don’t recall going to sleep at all despite my early night and I spent all of it tossing and turning around in bed.

That’s not quite right because there were two things on the dictaphone, one of which I was actually dictating when the alarm went off at 06:00. And, rather like the gay ghost, that put the willies up me and no mistake.

There wasn’t much difficulty in falling out of bed at the sound of the alarm and finishng off the dictation once the alarm had finished, and then after the medication and checking the mails and messages I sat down and started work on the radio programme.

It turned out to be rather more complicated than most that I’ve done because I seemed to have somewhat overrun the speech. There was really only space for a final song of 1:59 and I had nothing even approaching that in the batch of music from which I had extracted this week’s stuff.

This led to some rather hefty editing of the speech. It’s just as well that I always add in facts that can easily be cut out but even so I was scratching around for stuff to erase at the end. That’s why even though I’d cracked on quite well this morning it was still as late as 11:20 when I finally finished.

While I was listening to it afterwards I was busy writing. I’d received a few e-mails and messages from various people that for one reason or another I hadn’t answered so I took care of that. I think that I’m up-to-date now so if you are waiting for a reply from me and haven’t had it, send me a reminder.

Another thing that I did was to organise my tickets for my journey to and from Leuven later this week, something to which I am not looking forward at all. But I’m going to be using the time sensibly while I’m away (I hope) and making plans for the rest of the year.

Before I went for lunch I had a good long session with the acoustic guitar, just to keep my hand in.

After the fruit I came in here to do some work but rather unfortunately the bad night caught up with me and I crashed out well and truly and completely. Gone for good, in fact, and I didn’t feel a thing for a couple of hours.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022Consequently I was rather late for my afternoon walk today.

There weren’t too many people down there on the beach this afternoon. The weather forecast had told us that today the summer weather would be back and while it was certainly nicer than yesterday, it wasn’t that nice.

So that would explain why the beach was rather quiet and why no-one had plucked up the courage to go for a dip in the sea. And I can’t blame them either. I wouldn’t have gone in there today either but I’m rather notorious for the kind of water in which I would immerse myself.

picking blackberries pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022There were quite a few people out walking around on the path this afternoon though.

This couple had caught my eye, and it took e a minute or two to work out what was going on. But by the looks of things they were blackberrying.

It made me think that if they were that keen on blackberrying I should have sent them round to my house in Virlet where there would be enough blackberries to keep them going for as long as they like.

One of these days I’ll have to think about doing something with that jungle outside my place there. There’s some stuff in the house that I need but I can’t access it.

f-gcum Robin DR400 180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022While I was brooding on the infinite, an aeroplane roared by out in the bay.

She’s one of our old friends, F-GCUM, a Robin DR400-180 owned by the aero club. We’ve seen her and her sisters on numerous occasions.

She took off from the airfield at 15:58 and flew south down the bay, did a lap around Mont St Michel, then came back up the coast, went out and around the Ile de Chausey and then came back in to land at 16:33.

My photo was timed at 16:09 (adjusted) so that seems to fit in with her voyage.

And “adjusted”? As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … all of my digital equipment is always set to standard time and not adjusted for Summer Time

sailing ship cap frehel brittany english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022As I walked down the path towards the end of the headland I noticed a set of sails out there in the bay off Saint Malo.

She was so far away that I couldn’t recognise her so I took a photo with the aim of enlarging and enhancing it when I returned home to see if I could identify her. But from what I could see, she’s the one that we saw the other day with the strange sails that we were unable to identify.

We could identify the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel though quite clearly. That’s over on the right-hand edge of the image. It was quite clear this afternoon and we could see for miles.

anvil cloud ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022This cloud out in Granville Bay caught my eye this afternoon. It was extremely interesting.

It’s what they call an “anvil cloud” and it’s a sure sign that wherever it is, there’s quite a storm raging.

If you look closely at the surface of the sea just in front of the Ile de Chausey, you can see the different, darker colour that would seem to indicate that that particular spot is taking a right beating right now.

There aren’t any boats out there in the bay right now and that’s not a surprise given the weather. They would be shipping a lot of water right now.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022And although there wasn’t an awful lot going on right now just offshore there was quite a crowd watching it.

Plenty of people on the car park, as I found as I threaded my way across the car park, and loads wandering around on the lower path, and that family of four has stopped for a breather on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

“No shipwrecks, and nobody drownding, in fact nothing to laugh at at all” and no-one fishing off the rocks either and so I left them to it and wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on.

la confiance 2 chant des sirenes cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022When I reached the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I noticed that we have yet another change in occupancy.

There’s La Confiance II and Chant des Sirenes in there along with the two fishing boats that I have yet to identify, but we now have a fifth one that has just been pulled out of the water.

She’s Cap Lihou, one that we have seen quite often, and there was someone around there somewhere with a Kärcher pressure washer giving her a good going-over, as you can tell from the scaffolding and all of the water that’s around her.

There ought to be a squadron or two of seagulls loitering around as well because liberated barnacles would make a tasty snack

gerlean l'omerta fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022Meanwhile, over at the Fish Processing Plant we have our usual suspects moored up

In front we have Gerlean and at the rear is L’Omerta in her usual place. In between the two is a little boat that we have seen around and about quite often but I’ve not yet been able to identify her.

One of these days I shall have to go for a walk around for a closer look but I’m really not up to it – at least, not up to the walk back up the hill again afterwards. Things have gone downhill quite considerably since I’ve been living here.

marité freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 1st August 2022Before I went home I had a good look at what was happening in the inner harbour.

Marité is back in town after her perambulations over the weekend. and at the side of her there’s a lorry that’s unloading a pile of freight presumably for one of the Jersey freighters to take away.

There’s a speedboat too, shrink-wrapped in plastic so I imagine that she’ll be going on a freighter too.

Back here I had a coffee and then had a listen to what had been happening on the dictaphone during the night. While I had been in my sleep I tripped over a rough bit in the path and fell, and couldn’t pick myself back up again. That was about the only time that I went to sleep during the night, that was, as I noted at the time.

There was a group of refugees who wanted to be taken clandestinely across Europe. I worked out a few things to do basically and came to the conclusion that it would be easier if I put a few of them on the train led by jackie and Alison. Then with one other person I brought the luggage and everything across Europe by vehicle. I could get in front of them and be there when they arrived. When they returned from work I had the apartment all ready. They had to fight their way in over this sofa that I was using to block the door. They had a meal of boiled eggs and bread but there wasn’t much bread then we discussed everything. I could see that they weren’t too happy about this which I could understand I suppose. They asked me what the railway company thought about me moving these refugees by rail. I came up with some story because they hadn’t really asked because I was quite confident that it would work anyway and I didn’t want to involve too many people in what we were doing. It was all going to be something of a mish-mash with the idea that it would be all right on the night. I had a few things to prepare like some dummy school books so I was sitting down trying to prepare those in a quiet moment before it was time to go. I had a feeling that we still hadn’t resolved this issue about who was going how and where. I felt that we were heading for some kind of difficulty amongst ourselves in this respect.

Tea tonight was a curry made of all kinds of bits an pieces loitering around in the fridge. And there is enough for tomorrow too which is just as well because it really was quite nice and I’ll make more like this, except that I’ve run out of fennel now.

And that reminds me – I need to check the supplies to see what I need because many of the herbs and spices tht=at I use can only be bought at the Asian supermarkets in Leuven and not anywhere local to me in Granville. It’ll mess up my cooking completely if I run right out of some things.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. I’m looking forward to a good sleep although I’m not sure if I’ll have one. I can’t understand why last night was such a bad night because I didn’t actually crash out at all on Sunday and with the early start and the open-air exercise I ought to have been completely wasted.

So it all totally beats me.

Tuesday 7th August 2012 – WELL, I’VE FINISHED …

collapsed lean to repairing stone wall les guis virlet puy de dome france… the rebuilding of the wall.

Well, to be honest, of course I haven’t. What I do mean to say is that all of the stonework and all of the infill has been done. There’s still the pointing to do of course and that’s not going to be the work of 5 minutes, I can tell you.

And then I’ll need to do the woodwork for the window frames, paint it all and then fit the glass

collapsed lean to repairing stone wall les guis virlet puy de dome franceAnd there’s also the inside of the stonework to attend to, but that’s nothing like as important as the pointing.

But there’s a reason for it all being done today. That is that I didn’t have any sleep at all last night – clearly my guilty conscience or something like that.

Anyway at about 07:45 I was fed up of just lying there and so I got up and about breakfasting. And then, seeing as how I couldn’t concentrate on the web site, I went out and resumed work on the wall

I had a lovely interruption for a couple of hours though, because Liz came round. She was after my blackberries, which I gladly let her take. And we also had a good old chinwag too.

And after lunch, it was back up the wall.

I said that once the wall was finished I would knock off, no matter what the time. And that was what I did – although 18:54 represents only a 6-minute bonus.

And now I’m far too shattered to do anything else and so I’m off to bed

Tuesday 6th September 2011 – I WENT OFF …

centreville new brunswick canada… for a little drive today as I had a few things to do.

But on my way out towards Florenceville I caught a good view of Centreville in the rear mirror and so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a photograph of the town. I don’t recall taking a photograph of the town from here before so I need to put that right.

In Florenceville my lawyer was unavailable but I was able to open a bank account at the bank next door. Mind you, it took them long enough and a couple of good kicks to the computer in order to do it, but there it is.

I now have 200 dollars in a Canadian bank account, and I’ll be adding to that here and there as I go around.

worlds longest covered bridge saint john river hartland new brunswick canadaI took the old road down alongside the Saint John River down to Hartland and there’s a really good spec along there to stop and take a photo of the covered bridge there.

It’s the world’s longest covered bridge at 391 metres long and, much to everyone’s surprise, it wasn’t covered when it was built. The covering was actually added about 20 years later, but not many people know that.

canadian pacific railway bridge swept away by ice saint john river woodstock new brunswick canadaThere used to be a railway line, maintained by the Canadian Pacific, that ran up along the Saint John River.

From what I understand, which may or may not be the case, that the CPR was looking for a way out of its obligations out here beyond Montreal and in the Spring of 1987, the weather came to the aid of the company where the spring ice-flow took half of the bridge down just outside Woodstock.

That was the best excuse that the company could wish for, and the line was abandoned immediately.

At the Planning Office in Woodstock, I was out of luck. It had been closed for Labour Day and was not due to re-open until Wednesday.

I wasn’t the only person to be taken by surprise by that. A local came in with some business to do, and he was quite upset. He had a good go at Public Servants and suggested that we change our jobs. How could I disagree?

chevrolet 1300 step side pick-up woodstock new brunswick canadaHowever, it wasn’t a completely wasted journey down here. Parked up here is a Chevrolet 1300 pick-up. No idea about it really but I imagine that it’s from the 1960s. But that’s just a pure guess.

It’s had a makeover and is being used as a mobile advertising display, and that’s not a bad idea. It’s certainly attracted my attention, and probably the attention of many others too.

In the Health Food shop that has just opened, they didn’t have any vegan cheese but the girl there set me right about the whole kind of different things. There’s nothing much exciting going on around here but the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival starts on the 13th and she thinks that there might be camping in one of the forest parks about 20 mins from Fredericton. That should be useful.

She was telling me about all these places to go to in Woodstock “its near here and just by there” and she noticed the puzzled look on my face.
“How long have you been in Woodstock?” she asked
“Ohhh, about 15 minutes”, I replied.

I do know that there’s a swimming pool here and so I went for a swim – and a good wash and shower – but its surely no surprise to you to learn that it’s closed for maintenance. It closed down the day I arrived and it opens up the day after I leave.

You couldn’t make it up.

But that girl was right about the vegan cheese in the Atlantic Superstore. And while I was waiting in the queue at a shop I noticed a magazine that told me that Canada’s biggest worry is the grief “given to us by our best friends across the border”. Why is this a surprise? I’ve been saying this for years

If I do come to live in Canada, I’ll be okay for work here. I could have a job on the techie counter at Walmart’s Woodstock branch because I knew more about the products on sale than the girl on the counter. It was me who had to insert the additional memory card into someone’s Blackberry and then program it – and I’d never even seen a Blackberry before.

I bought a 8GB micro-SD card for my Samsung mobile phone and wasn’t that an excellent idea? I now have an MP3 player for far cheaper than I would ever have imagined anywhere else.

also were having a DVD sale – piles of DVDs on sale for $5 – I bought 4 – 1 box contained 25 John Wayne films, another had 20 spaghetti westerns, a third had 9 commando B-features the fourth had 8 B-movie westerns. I’m set up for the long boring nights now.

But it’s a surprise to see who is starring or otherwise appearing in some of these films. There’s Klaus Kinski, father of Natasha of course, Lee van Kleef, Robert Mitchum, Van Johnson, Michael Rennie, Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, Lloyd Bridges, Chuck Connors, Cesar Romero, Jose Torres, Eddy Chandler, Walter Brennan, Jack Elam, Ricky Nelson, Slim Pickens, Burt Lancaster, John Ireland (is he father of Jill?) to mention just a dozen all of whom went on to greater things.

And that is of course before we mention John Wayne himself.

On the way back to my little plot of land I have a bizarre encounter with two young boys riding bicycles towards me on the wrong side of the road.

rainbow centreville new brunswick canadaThat wasn’t all that I encountered either.

Away in the distance was a rainbow. There had been a storm somewhere and the wind had blown the residue towards me, and the sun had caught it full-on. I hope that the photo comes out as well as it looked in reality because it really was a nice thing to see.

presque ile stream bridge new brunswick canadaI’d come up the back way from Woodstock, missing out Centreville, and just before I joined the road that goes down to the USA border I came across the Presque Ile stream and a lovely girder bridge that was also worth a photo.

We have different issues about whether or not this image will come out. I can’t believe how late it was and the light was going already. I hope that this photo comes out properly too.

Wednesday 15th September 2010 – It’s been another one of those days ….

…. where I don’t seem to have done very much. I just don’t know where the time is going.

It was a somewhat later breakfast than usual and then I had another couple of hours on the FC Pionsat St Hilaire Football Club website and that’s now up-to-date and running.

pointing stone wall les guis virlet puy de dome franceThat took me almost until lunchtime so after lunch I went outside and raked out another load of rubbish from between the stones on my house wall I then mixed up another bucket-load of pointing, which I duly slapped onto the wall in between the stones.

But it’s soooo sloooooooooow getting this wall all done. At this rate I reckon that I’m going to be here for ever trying to finish it off.

I dug up some vegetables for tea. I can safely say that apart from my veggie burger, everything else for the main course came from out of my garden. Even the onion. That is certainly progress.

Pudding was just as nice – a plain soya dessert flavoured with a blackberry puree made from blackberries in my orchard. Things are definitely looking up.

But I really don’t know where all the time has gone. I’ve just noticed what time it is and I seem to have done nothing at all. I remember the days when holidays used to last forever. I suppose that time speeds up the older you get 🙁