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Monday 19th September 2022 – WE ALMOST HAD …

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… a new record for the completion of our radio programme this morning. So while you admire several photos of the marine activity out on the water today I’ll tell you all about it.

Actually, I’m not quite sure what happened today but at about 10:10 this morning I was about to start dictating the final speech for the last track, and once that it would be edited, it would be done.

For some reason though, probably an error of mathematics, I ended up with 10 seconds too much of speech. That was quite disappointing because I’d taken great care to make sure that the length of speech was correct. One like of text in my text editor is about 290 characters and that equates to about 17 seconds when it’s edited down so I have a reasonable idea of how long a piece of text takes to dictate.

So finding 10 seconds of speech to “lose” from what I’ve already dictated and merged into the programme so far isn’t as easy as it might be. Sometimes there’s a nice piece of speech that is ripe for editing out but there might be the introduction of the track of music to which it relates that overruns it.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Anyway, while it finally saw the light of day at about 10:50, which is still quicker than quite a few that I’ve done just recently.

But almost as soon as I started to listen to it to make sure that it was OK, Rosemary rang me up. I’m convinced that she hid a camera in here when she came to visit a few years ago. Anyway, we had one of our lengthy chats again.

But the good news is that Miss Ukrainian has started school today at the High School in the nearest town to where Rosemary lives. I’m sure that that’s a good idea.

Even if she can’t speak French and follow the lessons, she’ll be mixing with kids of her own age. Where she’s living right now there’s no-one around at all of her age and a young teenager needs to socialise

speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … apartment, last night was something of a mess.

It was later than intended that I went to bed, and then I didn’t have much sleep because I must have travelled miles during the night. To start off there was a lady-friend of mine. I don’t know who she was but she started to date someone who was a cross between Boris Johnson and Bill Bailey and only had one leg. he was a famous politician and would sneak away from meetings etc to be with her. On one occasion the two of us had booked somewhere to stay but there was only one double-bed so we thought that we’d just have to make the best of it. Biy he turned up as well so it ended up with three of us in the bed. I went out to go to the bathroom ready to go to bed. He and this woman were in there so I said to them on parting “don’t forget later on in the night that your partner is the one on your right. When I prepared to go to bed his security team was there. They were looking for him so I didn’t say anything. I went back to another room after I’d had a wash in order to leave them to it for a while.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Back in the same dream later I was up and about. Those two were still in bed. Meantime the house was filling up with people. Eventually the woman got up and came in to join us. I asked her if she knew what “discussing Uganda” meant. She replied that she didn’t. I said that if I come out with the phrase, do me a favour of bursting out laughing and I’ll explain it to you later”. She wondered what I meant by that. Eventually he came out of the room. I explained that Zero (who must have put in an appearance somewhere but shame as it is to say it, I can’t remember her being there)’s mother had been to collect her, implying that we had a young child in the house at the time last night etc. After about 10 minutes of embarrassed chatting from their side I said that I’m going off to wash my hair so I’ll leave them alone and they can “discuss Uganda” or something like that. The other people in the house knew exactly what that meant and burst out laughing. I went into the bathroom, used the bathroom and went to wash my hands and found that someone had coupled the shower up to the tap and hadn’t undone it afterwards. As soon as I turned on the tap the water went everywhere and soaked the bathroom. I managed to stop it, opened the bathroom door and hurled a huge volley of abuse about the person who’d had a shower and left the shower attachment attached to the sink and not removed it at the end. Of course you can guess who that probably was but it was an impressive volley of abuse all the same. I started to look for something to clean up the mess.

Back in this dream for a third time. I said that Zero had gone home and the kids who had been on the trampoline were leaving. I gathered that those 2 had gone back to bed again so I made some remarks about “ships that pass in the night” etc while they were there and various other things to give the game away that I knew exactly what had happened although I said them in a manner that implied that I knew nothing.

Moving on from there, there was a big party in the office. The office was absolutely filthy. There was stuff all over the place. There was only one girl and I think that it might have been my elder sister who was attempting to tidy it up. I wasn’t going home as I had something arranged in the town so I stayed behind and helped her as best as I could. I did several huge bowls of washing up. Then it came to be 19:10 so I went to put back everything that I’d done so far. She asked how the room was so I told her that it was still a mess. I told her what I’d done. She said “OK, you’d better wander off now and do what you have to do. I’m going to be late in the morning” she said. “I’m not going to be in at my usual early morning time”. I said “never mind. I’ll try my best to be there myself something early and see what happens”. I was really disappointed that all our colleagues, none of them would stay behind and help and none of them were interested in coming along to open up the office tomorrow either.

When the alarm went off I was in the middle of a meeting with the owners of this building but they were only just setting up the bottles of water for people to drink and I never found out what went on. It was all about some abandoned farmhouse and buildings on the side of a main road that they were talking about demolishing even though it was nice, old Victorian stuff. It would have made a really nice conversion to flats and houses etc rather than being just swept away.

Anyway so when the alarm went off I did manage to leap to my feet quite quickly even though it was early, and after the medication I cracked on with the radio programme, as I mentioned earlier.

There were a couple of interruptions. Firstly for an early morning coffee and secondly to answer the door. The nurse had finally printed out my vaccination certificate from last June. Just one or two things that I need to do now.

Having listened to the radio programme and also the one that I’ll be sending off for this weekend, I went for my lunchtime fruit And then I had the notes on the dictaphone to deal with.

So I stepped back into a dream not just once but twice last night. And a mention of Zero too. What a shame I can’t remember her being about although I know that she must have been there.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After all of that it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And once again, it seems that the Nazguls were waiting for me to step outside the door again. I hadn’t gone more than three feet outside the building when one of them came swooping over the roof of the High School and heading in my direction.

A solo outfit too, but not to worry. There were several others waiting around in the distance, some of which were two-seater Nazguls. So at least there’s still an opportunity to go for a flight around.

And I haven’t forgotten …

paddle board people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So dodging the diving Nazguls I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

But first, my attention was focused on the events just offshore. yesterday we had a zodiac watching events unfold on the beach. Today, we have a paddle-boarded paddling past.

There were a few people down there as well for him to watch. Probably a dozen or so scattered about all over there.

No-one in the water as far as I could see, but then again the paddle-boarder hasn’t fallen in yet. There’s still plenty of time for that.

cormorants baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Lots of other stuff down there for me to watch as well.

As I made my way along the path amongst the people who were wandering around, I noticed that out there on a rock just offshore was a whole colony of birds.

Cormorants, I reckon, but what do I know? All that I do know is that they aren’t any kind of bird which I would be interested in watching. I should have paid much more attention, because when we were married I had several long lectures from Nerina about bird-watching.

What I could do I suppose is to go on and on about how I don’t particularly like those birds, but it would just be another cormo-rant.

F-GCUM - Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and so on that note I suppose that I’d better carry on with my walk and see what’s hapening with the aeroplane that has just taken off from the airfield.

It’s one of the aeroplanes that we see quite regularly as we are walking along the cliffs around here. She’s F-GCUM, a Robin DR400-180 that belongs to the local aero club.

My photo is timed at 16:01 (adjusted) which corresponds with a flight that she undertook when she took off at 15:15 and flew northwards. That’s not a usual flightpath for an aeroplane out of the airfield. usually they go out to sea and then down the coast to the south.

F-GCUM - Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022However there was something bizarre about the flight that she was undertaking just now.

As I watched her, she did a U-turn and headed back towards the airfield, almost as if when she had taken off but the pilot had forgotten his sandwiches.

Her actual flight plan though was she went north, as I said just now, and then flew back south, back over the airfield and out to sea but after just a couple of miles she performed a rather dramatic U-turn and flew back towards the airfield.

Once back over the airfield she carried on inland, performed yet another U-turn and back to the airfield where she landed at 16:09.

My route along the top of the cliff and across the car park was pretty much without incident today. Just a few craft out at sea that you have already seen, and no change either in the inner harbour or in the chantier naval.

mercedes tourismo iveco mercedes tourismo coaches boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Now that the heaving masses have headed back home at the end of the holiday season, we have the next generation of visitors.

The town and the cliffs are crawling with the pensioners out of the caravanettes or day-tripping on the fleets of coaches that are now arriving.

The poor little Iveco that waits to take the Homework Club schoolchildren back home at 17:00 is sandwiched between two rather large Mercedes Tourismo coaches, and thanks to Duncan Payne on the “Bus and Coach” group for identifying the bodywork.

It’s a good job that he did too. The driver of the brown one with whom I had a lengthy chat didn’t know and the driver of the green one drove off when he saw me approaching.

Unfortunately I’m out of the loop these days. I was left behind on Van Hool Alizees and Plaxton Premieres. I can’t believe that it’s almost 28 years since I last drove a coach after all the miles that I did in the past.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had a few things to do which took me up to teatime.

My stuffed pepper tonight was a really good one. I have really grasped the principle of those now. Plenty of stuffing left over for a taco roll tomorrow and maybe even some more to add into Wednesday’s curry.

But right now that’s that. Tomorrow I have a Welsh lesson and I hope that there will be more than four of us. But to be on the safe side I shall have to have a good night’s sleep and do some more revision tomorrow.

That is, if I can remember.

Monday 12th September 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

boats lighthouse ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… day where I’ve done rather more than I would otherwise usually do.

So while you admire the small boats coming back from the north end of the Ile de Chausey. I can tell you that I was leaping out of bed with alacrity this morning at 06:00 this morning as soon as the alarm went off.

And that’s not quite like me these days, is it? But there it was, and here I am.

After the medication this morning, I came back in here to check the mails and messages from over the weekend. And to my surprise, there weren’t all that many. I don’t think that anyone loves me any more.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while Belle france sits quietly in the silt over at the ferry terminal, I’m busy making a start on the radio programme that I’ll be preparing for this week.

This morning it was ready, up and running at 11:10 this morning. And it would have been done much quicker had I not had so much editing to do.

The fact is that this is something special. I’ve had something quite remarkable fall into my possession. A rock group from upstate New York were in the throes of recording an album back in 1971 when they split up. The recoding was never finished and the tapes were lost.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … some kind of copy of the tape has come into my possession.

It seems to me that when this programme hits the airwaves in a few months, it will be the first time ever that a track from this group has been broadcast. And I can’t simply dismiss that in 800 characters.

Furthermore something else has come into my hands where the drummer was the guy who stood in for Keith Moon during a recording session of a Who album. and that’s not something to gloss over lightly either.

While I was listening to it and to the one that I’m sending off for broadcast this week, I was sorting out a few things around here and dealing with a few photos

After the lunchtime fruit I had to organise the payment of my Canadian motor insurance. Although I haven’t driven Strider since 2019 I have to keep the insurance going. It’s no longer possible for foreigners to have an insurance with a non-Canadian or non-USA driving licence but I’m a “legacy” case so I can keep mine up. But if I let it lapse then I’m snookered too.

It’s quite complicated to do it but it has to be done. Mind you, it’s not so complicated as actually having to drive down to the insurance company in Saint John’s to renew it.

It led to quite a chat with my niece as well. We haven’t really spoken for a while so there was a lot to say.

Having done that, I had other things to do. There’s something happening around here at the weekend and if I play my cards correctly I could become involved in it.

It will involve a lot of work and preparation so having sent out an enquiry (to which I have yet to receive a reply) I made a start on organising myself, just in case.

caravanettes mobile homes place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This took me up to the time that I would usually go out for my afternoon walk.

And I didn’t go far at all before I came to a grinding halt. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that back in the summer I mentioned that once the holidaymakers go back, we’ll be swamped with the old retirees in their mobile homes and caravanettes.

By the looks of things, I’m not wrong either. But then again I knew that. It ws pretty-much odds-on.

That isn’t even a parking spot for mobile homes. There’s a sign to say that they are prohibited. There is a camping ground about 200 metres down the road but it’s probably full right now.

The purpose of the car park is primarily for parking for the locals who live in the walled town where parking is almost impossible. But let’s not go letting rules, regulations and the rights of the local residents stand in the way of a selfish tourist.

So having had my daily moan quite early, I headed off as usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening there.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And sure enough, there were crowds of people down there today. It really was a nice day so it’s not a surprise.

You can’t see too many people in this photo because the tide is quite a way out so there was plenty of beach on which they could spread themselves about.

No-one quite brave enough to take to the waters though. I suppose that the temperature of the sea is dropping now after the bad weather that we had last week and that’ll keep anyone out of the water.

Having seen the beach and the people thereupon, I had a look around out at sea to see what was going on there.

trafalgar baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You’ve seen what was going on right out by the Ile de Chausey but I was also interested in a trawler that I could see out at the entrance to the Baie de Mont St Michel.

At this kind of distance it’s not possible to identify it with any certainly but it’s white with a blue stripe or two and edged in pink. Those are the colours of Trafalgar, as we saw when she was in the chantier naval just now.

This is another unusual place in which to find a trawler but as we have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … since the disruption to the usual fishing arrangements here in the bay we’ve seen the trawler owners trying out all kinds of unusual and different fishing grounds

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Fighting my way through the crowds I ended up down at the end of the headland.

One thing that I noticed this afternoon was the crowds of people out there at the pèche-à-pied with the tide being so far out right now. This person here was one of several dozens scratching around on the rocks.

And I know the secret of the pèche-à-pied. There’s what they call a “tidal coefficient” – a number that indicates the difference between the high tides and the low tides. The higher the number, the greater the difference between the tides.

And when it’s greater than 100, that’s when the pèche-à-pied is authorised. Today, it’s 101.5

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And as for whatever was going on out at sea or on the rocks, thee was quite a crowd of people down there watching it.

There were dozens of people milling around down at the end of the headland and on the lower path. Some of those gravitated down to the bench by the cabanon vauban where they could relax and admire the view. They were actually looking quite romantic down there.

A couple of others were standing there presumably awaiting their turn to take a seat. But today, there was no-one hiding in the bushes or sunbathing over the edge as we saw the other day.

From here I set off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And just then I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way north.

It was too far out to identify it but back here I was able to enlarge and enhance the photo. It’s actually an old friend of ours, F-GBAI.

She’s a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club. She appeared on the radar at 16:08 flying out to the Ile de Chausey and having done a lap around, went down to the Mont St Michel and back up again where she disappeared off the radar in the vicinity of the airfield.

My photo was taken at 16:12 (adjusted) so this flight plan doesn’t really correspond with my photo. Usually we coincide pretty much.

le poulbot pescadore peccavi briscard chant des sirenes massabielle le styx chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And while there is no change to day in occupancy of the chantier naval, there looks as if there is something about to happen.

The portable boat lift has left its usual parking place over the drop into the water and is now hovering around over the top of Peccavi. It looks as if she’s about to go back into the water as soon as the tide comes in.

Over at the ferry terminal, Belle France was quietly sleeping in the silt, as you saw a little earlier. She’s presumably waiting for the tide to come in when she can go back out to rescue the day trippers who might be stranded over there right now.

cranes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of months ago they refurbished the crane that lives over on the far side of the harbour.

Right now though they have brought the crane over into the loading bay and the other one has now been pushed over into the back corner.

This could mean one of two things – either they are going to refurbish the other one or else they are going to withdraw it and replace it with one that will handle the freight that the owners of Southern Liner want to transport.

This is something else on which I will have to keep my eye in the future.

Back here I had a nice cold drink and then had a listen to the dictaphone to see what I’d been up to during the night. We had another dream about cars last night. I can’t remember how it started but I remember leaving work and walking outside. My car was the VANDEN PLAS 1300. I went to go into it ans switched on the radio to say that I was going home. There was no tax on it and no MoT on it, one of the many vehicles that I had with no tax and MoT (this is becoming a regular theme, isn’t it?). I remember being annoyed because I never seemed to have the time where I could take one of my vehicles, go right underneath it and do what needed doing and then have it taxed and MoTed. I wondered how long I could go before I was going to be caught. I ended up going back down Gresty Road. This time I was on an electric scooter. I reached the end and turned left. For some reason I had a premonition that something was going to pull out in front of me at Edleston Road top and hit me, or I’d hit it. The police would come along and that’s when I would find out all about having not tax and no MoT.
For the benefit of non-British readers, of whom there are more than just a few, every vehicle on UK roads needs an insurance certificate. It it’s over 3 years old and not a collector’s vehicle it needs a Ministry of Transport safety check every year and on passing the test it’s issued with a Ministry of Transport (MoT) Safety Certificate. Armed with current Insurance and MoT Certificates you can then go to the Post Office and on production of those valid documents you can buy a Road Tax certificate to display in your windscreen. That’s how it used to be anyway when I remember it. It’s all automated these days and done on line.

This was another car dream similar to the first one. I left home and there was no real car for me so I got into a Berkeley 2-wheeler type of thing, again with no insurance, tax or MoT and wishing that we had the time to look at one of my vehicles and have it registered properly. But this is always the thing when you’re spending all this time looking after these kids that you never have time to do anything of your own and everything else falls obviously into arrears.

This story came up with one of my Germany friends about a guy who had joined out chat room group but had been ejected. He said that he had been grouped with 2 particular people. That meant that it was they who had something to do with his ejection but she couldn’t understand why. I replied “no, that’s not correct. he was grouped with me and of course I’m a Moderator. I was the one who ejected him”. She wanted to know why and I replied that it was because of his posts. She said that surely his posts about cups of tea and things weren’t offensive. I replied that that wasn’t what he was writing at all. She was then wondering whether or not we were talking about the same person. I knew exactly whom I was talking about and presumably so did she but she was wondering whether we were talking about the same one

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper and it was really nice too. I think that I have this off to a … errr … tea now. Plenty of stuffing left so it’s a taco roll tomorrow. That’ll be quite powerful, having marinaded in the spicy sauce for 24 hours.

Tomorrow our Welsh class is starting again so I need to be on form. That calls for an early night and a good sleep. So what’s the betting that something will come along to interrupt me?

Sunday 11th September 2022 – WHILE THIS GUY …

kayak baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… on his kayak goes paddling by the end of the headland at the Pointe du Roc, I was busy recovering from yesterday.

Far too tired to go to bed, and far too tired to do anything else after my exertions yesterday, it was rather late when I finally went to bed.

For a couple of hours I was having quite a good sleep and then all of the tossing and turning began and the rest of the night was quite disturbed.

If I had had the energy and initiative (both of which are sadly lacking these days) I could have been up and about a lot earlier than 10:45. But then again it IS Sunday and I’m entitled to have one day of lying in bed vegetating.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And as the red powered hang-glider goes gliding by overhead while I was out in the Place d’Armes, I was busy taking my medication and then sitting down to start work.

And work on a Sunday? Yes! Especially when I had a day like yesterday when I didn’t write up my notes.

It took much longer than I ought to have done too, but then again with it being Sunday I wasn’t quite as dedicated as I might otherwise have been. There are always interruptions, one thing leads to another and once you make a start you’ve no idea just how many other things there are.

And this took me up to lunchtime.

It was the usual Sunday breakfast of porridge, toast and plenty of strong black coffee, and a good proportion of my porridge ended up in the bin.

Whyever that would be I have no idea. It’s not like me to leave food that I have made. I usually have a very good idea of how much food I’m able to eat and this was just a usual proportion.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While these people scramble across the rocks with their equipment for the pèche à pied, I began to deal with the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing.

Having been out all day yesterday I hadn’t paired off the music for Monday’s work and so I sat down to do it after my meal.

The joints went together really well and it sounds quite good. And I’m getting to grips with the idea of intros, and extended the one for Monday’s opening track so that there would be enough time to superimpose the introductory speech.

There was also a good lead-in for the speech from this week’s guest and that impressive as well.

And that took me up to the time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The weather was much nicer today – in fact I had the window open again – so there was a good possibility that it would bring out the crowds.

There were plenty of people down there too just as I expected. Plenty of them in the sea too “taking the waters” and that’s quite impressive. We’re approaching the start of Autumn and everything will be cooling down.

The tide was well-out this afternoon – far too far out for people at the Plat Gousset to be taking advantage of it – so it was quite quiet down at that end of the beach. No-one in the water down there unless it was in the tidal swimming pool that I can’t see from here.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And you can see just how far out the tide is right now.

We’re used to seeing the marker lights on the rocks at the end of the Ile de Chausey, but it’s rare to see them so far out of the water like this.

It makes quite a contrast from what we are used to seeing when we are looking out from here or going past on a boat.

That will explain the people that we saw just now on the rocks at the end of the Pointe du Roc on their way out for a bit of pèche à pied .

F-GIKI Robin DR.400-120 Dauphin 2+2, chassis number 1931 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While we were out here on the clifftop there was an aeroplane that had taken off from the airfield.

She’s F-GIKI, a Robin DR.400-120 Dauphin 2+2, chassis number 1931 that is owned by the Aero Club of Granville.

She was picked up on radar at 16:20 just offshore from here, flew over Mont St Michel, deep into Brittany and came back over St Malo, coming back in to land at 17:57.

My photo was timed at 16:17 (adjusted) so that’s probably about right. She must be under the radar just here.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Taking my life into my hands, I decided to restart my walks down to the end of the headland.

Fighting my way past the crowds, I came in the end to the bunker at the back of the lighthouse where there’s a good view out to sea.

The view out to sea today towards Jersey wasn’t as good as it might have meen but down the coast it was one of the best that we have had. Cap Fréhel was visible with the naked eye today, and even the lighthouse could be identified.

Having clambered up there to the top of the bunker I took a photo, and I’ve not enhanced it at all.

pointe de carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The view down the bay on the other side of the headland was just as good.

The Pointe de Carolles was looking quite beautiful this afternoon. The sun was catching it quite nicely and we could see the houses down there quite clearly. However they aren’t all that far away.

The hotels down at the head of the Baie de Mont St Michel are much farther away but even so, we can see them quite clearly this afternoon as well, in the background just to the right of the Pointe de Carolles.

It’s a shame that we can’t see Mont St Michel from here – that is, not until someone decides to dynamite the headland over there.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The walk down to the end of the headland was undertaken quite gingerly, sliding about on my gammy leg on the loose gravel and rough surface.

As we have already seen, there was plenty of activity down there with the kayak, the pèche-à-pied and all of the views. And so it’s no surprise that this afternoon there were a few people down there making the most of it.

There’s a woman down there hiding in the bushes but I’ve really no idea what she’s doing, and the knee of someone sunbathing too.

Plenty of people wandering around on the lower path as well enoying the lovely afternoon.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, there has been something exciting happening in the inner harbour by the looks of things.

Both od the sailing ships, Marité and Shtandart, have left the port and are out at sea. Marité must have simply gone for a lap around the bay as she did yesterday, because she came back into port at 19:51 this evening.

As for Shtandart, it’s much more difficult to keep track of her. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that she has switched off her AIS beacon and so I’m not able to find out by reference to my radar where she might be.

For all I know, she might even br back in port but it’s dark outside so I won’t be able to see anyway.

Having checked the harbour this afternoon I headed for home.

customs patrol porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And this was something that took me rather by surprise. I’m used to finding police barrages all over the place and even customs barrages. Regular readers of this rubbish in one of its previous guises will recall that I’ve even been caught in a few of them.

But what I don’t understand is why on earth they would want to have a customs barrage underneath the Porte St Jean. It’s not as if they are going to come across too many foreign smugglers there or people driving their cars on red diesel.

In fact the funniest moment that I ever had with a French “flying customs patrol” was back in 2002 when they took ages to set up all of their equipment to check the fuel of a lorry that I was driving, only to find out that it was in fact petrol-engined.

Back here there were the dictaphone notes to transcribe. All of them. There was Hans, Alison, Caroline and me. Caroline was in a wheelchair. We came into a building to go upstairs. Caroline went up first because she was going to bring down Aunt Mary in her wheelchair so that we could go up and visit whoever else was in her apartment. We waited and waited but nothing happened. We went upstairs to the floor, going up the stairs. The lift came back and Caroline exiited pushing the person on a wheelchair. We asked Caroline what had happened. She said that the panel had fallen down and you can’t see the buttons to press. We walked in there and a cupboard in there had fallen over blocking the entrance to the lift properly so we just stood it upright. I went to pull Caroline in and this other wheelchair. I thought that I would be blocked in here so I’d have to go down with them and back up. I stepped out. Caroline asked “how do I get in now?”. Suddenly Hans took her wheelchair, folded it up, stuck it in her hand and pushed them both inside it. Alison looked at Hans and said “I thought that you’d do well living in France”. The lift didn’t move but we were now focusing on getting to this door. Caroline would have to fend for herself to make the lift go downstairs and back up again.

Later I was in a white Ford Transit van driving from Nantwich to Crewe. As we reached Wells Green there was a vehicle in the middle of the road turning right so I passed underneath him on the left. Just as I passed him on the left a Morris Minor Traveller came the other way on my side of the road and hit all down the side of the van. Of course I stopped. Some guy came over who said that he had seen the accident. There was a girl there so he pointed me out to her. I shouted to her to come over. She was shouting some guy’s name. I went over to her and asked her why she wouldn’t come over and talk to me about the accident. She replied “no, I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it” and continued to shout this boy’s name. I said “right, let’s call the police”. I picked up my phone to dial 999 but she ran off up the road towards Nantwich. I ‘phoned the police and told them that I was involved in this accident but the driver had taken flight. They said that they’d be here in a moment.

And then we were in a hotel somewhere. There was a big business meeting taking place. I’d arrived early and was waiting maybe for Alison to show up. People stated arriving, all these upper echelons. I was amazed about how they were behaving, insisting, demanding, peremptory with the staff. One guy whom I noticed was particularly revolting with them. another guy sitting near me who was sprawled out on his chair listening to his music, someone walked past and pulled the plug out of the wall accidentally as they were going past. He was outraged and called on them to come back but they can’t have heard and just carried on walking etc. But he had put his power cable across the aisle so what did he expect? Eventually I noticed that it was approaching 16:00 and we had things to do so I decided to go upstairs which meant disturbing this guy again which wasn’t very popular. There was some stuff on the floor by the seat that I thought was mine so I went to pick it up. he made a scene about it as it was his. eventually I made sure that I had everything I need and began to set off for my room. I was really embarrassed by the behaviour of some of these people checking in at this hotel. It wasn’t a good signal for any of them.

I can’t remember very much about this one. I was with Nerina and I’d gone away early for Christmas. She was saying something along the lines of “you can tell that you’re popular when people waited until after you’d gone to bring in their Christmas gifts for each other”. I replied that that’s not true at all because people give their Christmas gifts around before they themselves go on holiday. There were a couple of people who went on holiday before me who brought in Christmas gifts for everyone including me”. That’s about all that I remember

Finally I was watching the football last night as well. Mike Wilde of Connah’s Quay Nomads took a really quick throw-in down the touchline to one of his players who beat someone and passed inside where one of his team-mates was totally unmarked. He came into goal with a on-on-one situation with the keeper. he pushed the ball past the keeper and then tripped over his own foot. The referee blew his whistle to stop the game. Everyone in the crowd could see quite clearly that there was no penalty because he really did stub his toe in the ground going round a good 3 feet from where the keeper was. We were all bewildered as to why the game had stopped.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Tonight’s pizza was one of the best that I have ever made.

And had I remembered to put the olives on it too, it would have been even better. I shall have to remember to make more like this

After breakfast i’d taken out a lump of frozen dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting all day. After my ginger beer following my walk this afternoon I kneaded it and rolled it out onto the pizza tray where I left it to proof for a while.

When it was ready, I assembled it and put it in the oven to bake, and when it was completely baked it was ready to seat.

Now I’m off to bed. It’s an early start in the morning with a radio programme to prepare. And then I have things to do. It looks as if everything is warming up again.

Monday 5th September 2022 – YOU WON’T FIND …

victor hugo baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Victor Hugo in port this afternoon.

While I was out taking my little (and I DO mean “little”) walk outside this afternoon I noticed her out in the bay going “Full Speed Ahead”.

She’s not on a scheduled sailing to Jersey today – I’m sure of that. And so I checked on the radar later on this evening. She’s actually moored in Cherbourg even as we speak so and as her next trip out isn’t for another week or so, I imagine that she’ll be staying there until then.

Having been keeping an eye on her for the last year or so, I reckon that she’s travelled further “light” to Cherbourg and back than she has travelled with fare-paying passengers.

And last night I travelled quite some distance too. Not as far as one or two just recently but certainly a lot farther than on many other nights.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I didn’t feel anything at all like leaving my bed but needs must when the devil drives and I did beat the second alarm although I don’t know how.

After the medication I came back in here to make a start with the radio programme.

It took me until almost 11:30 to complete it today and that’s a really long time. But then there are several good reasons for that.

  1. There was an early break for a coffee
  2. As predicted, the nurse came around to give me the injection that I should have had yesterday
  3. Liz told me that a couple of her grandchildren had started school today and she sent me some photos, so we had a little chat
  4. There was a hole that I had missed in one of the tracks that I’d chosen so I had to hunt down another copy, only to find that that had a hole in exactly the same place

There were probably a couple of other reasons too that I can’t now remember. All in all, I don’t suppose that it was too bad.

But as you might expect, the nurse turned up right at an “inappropriate” moment and I had to make him wait for a couple of minutes until I’d finished … errr … whatever it was that I was doing.

While I was listening to the one that I’d prepared and the one that I’ll be sending off, I was making a late breakfast. The last of the baguette that I bought on Saturday and the last of the vegan cheese that I found in the fridge the other day, washed down with hot, strong coffee.

This afternoon I’ve had plenty to do such as organising the directories that are still out of order and then dealing with a query relating to a Ukrainian refugee living in Paris. I don’t know how I manage to involve myself in things like this.

Eventually I managed to set off outside for my afternoon walk but at the front door I was buttonholed by a neighbour (yes again) where I had a conversation for about 15 minutes.

Not that I’m complaining too much though because it’s just because I was held up that I saw Victor Hugo head out into the bay. Had I gone out at the normal time I would have missed it.

fisherman people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so I staggered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach.

There weren’t all that many people down on the beach this afternoon. Almost every holidaymaker has now returned home, even the British ones, and so it’s really only the locals and the pensioners in their mobile homes who are out there now.

But to my surprise, there was someone down there fishing from the rocks on the beach. I can’t recall having seen anyone fishing from there before.

But he wont be there long, given the speed at which the tide comes in.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, while I was up here looking around, I was looking around out at sea as well.

As well as seeing Victor Hugo out there heading away towards Cherbourg, there were also plenty of yachts out and about in the bay.

They were quite a long way out as well, right by the marker light that signals the rocks at the extreme end of the Ile de Chausey and the chain of rocks.

There were no fishing boats in sight this afternoon though. And it was such a clear day that had they been there, i’m sure that I would have seen them

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With the weather being so nice, the views out to sea were quite clear.

The Ile de Chausey was looking quite nice too. We could see it quite clearly this afternoon although the weather wasn’t quite bright enough to see the whites of the cottages. Only the surfaces facing the afternoon sun were able to pick up the sunlight.

There was a yacht out there too, out there round about where a couple of years ago we had that famous incident of the rubber boat ramming the one that had stopped at his mooring place.

It’s a shame that we don’t have any more incidents like that where I can see them

joly france ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was something else out there moving around just offshore from the Ile de Chausey.

At this kind of distance I couldn’t see what it was so I took a photo and, back here at the apartment I enlarged and enhanced it in order to see if I could identify it.

And as it happens, I can see that it’s one of the ferries that run between here and the island. It doesn’t look like Belle France, the new one, though. It is therefore one of the Joly France boats but I cant even begin to tell you which one it might be.

le loup yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From here I wandered off at a snail’s pace back across the car park and down to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

We’d seen a few yachts out on the other side but over here there were even more of them. A couple of the sailing schools were out in the bay this afternoon and I caught one of the schools going out and doing a lap around Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

They had a couple of zodiacs swarming around them too making sure that they stay in a straight line and don’t stray too far off course.

And here I was a week or two ago saying how I’d be out there with them one day, but not much channce of that right now.

arranging fishing nets port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Victor Hugo wasn’t in the inner harbour, but there was plenty of other activity going on.

Over there on the quayside there’s someone who has stretched out what looks like a new fishing net and there’s plenty of other activity going on with fishing equipment in the background too.

Back here I had a drink of ginger beer that I’d bought on Saturday. It reminded me of the story of the time that a couple of Scotsmen stepped off a ‘plane at Toronto airport.
“What is the purpose of your visit?” asked the immigration officer.
“We saw that advert ‘Drink Canada Dry’ and here we are” they replied.

later on I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been. There was an invasion planned for the Ile de Chausey by environmentalists who were opposed to the rearing and eating of turkeys on the island. This was investigated and it turned out that there were 4 different groups of people with 4 different aims in view who were going to have some part of what was going on. The interesting part about it was that the newspapers responded in a very aggressive way, telling people that if they don’t like it, to go and live somewhere else, generally being quite aggressive to the demonstrators even though they hadn’t actually started the invasion yet.

I was there in my apartment with Percy Penguin. We were living together. My friends from the Wirral came round and I was going to cook them a meal. We started to chat and I asked the woman how she was. She replied “ask my husband first” so I asked him. He said that he was feeling a little under the weather suffering from this and that, usual age ailments. I then asked the wife how she was. There were some tree roots that I’d noticed growing across my lawn so I was there pulling these roots up, like this willow that we used to have in the Auvergne. These roots would go for miles so I was busy pulling them up. I asked the wife how she was. She began to come out with a long complicated story while I was pulling on this stuff. Halfway through she broke off and went to do something that she’d forgotten which left just me and Percy Penguin. Her husband had gone as well. I wondered how they would finish it. What would happen next?

Yes, with all of the boats that I’ve had from my palodeon years and they were entitled to stay. If the couple from the Wirral were becoming annoyed with me about the food it was they who were going, not the bikes. We walked through the town. It was a sunny day towards the beach that afternoon. All of a sudden I lost them. I caught up with them later again outside this working shop. They had stupidly allowed something to be performed and had come to a rest in full view of me. I wasn’t sure how this shock was going to help everyone particularly those in the bushes who were hiding. I realise that this makes no sense at all and I’m sure that I haven’t transcribed it correctly, but nevertheless it’s a really confusing story.

Later on I was with Nerina and that Les whom we knew. We were in Gresty. Something had happened and we’d changed some of the wiring on the Cortina, the red Cortina estate with some wires off his car. I’d wired it up and had it running. he had loads of problems doing his and we were running hours late. he seemed to be taking all day to do a simple job which was very frustrating. In the end he finished it. Both cars started. He looked at mine and said that I had the wiring wrong (as if I’d have the wiring wrong on a Cortina). Eventually I had to correct it and it ran OK. From there I started to push a wheelbarrow down Gresty Lane. I had Nerina and Roxanne with me. Roxanne kept on saying that this was her motorbike transport but it was just so heavy and awkward to push, this wheelbarrow. I’d never had a wheelbarrow quite like this. Every step became agony after a while. I was glad when we stopped somewhere half-way. We went in and this was where Roxanne and Nerina had tea. The place was really untidy. There were plates and half-eaten sandwiches everywhere. I really fancied a coffee at this moment but no-one seemed to be thinking about making one for me.

Finally I was queueing to enter the USA. I’d arrived on my ‘plane, joined the queue at Passport Control. The last time that I’d been here it was quite chaotic at Passport Control with queues everywhere all over the place but this time they seemed to be much more efficient. They had it organised much better. I was sitting at the front of the queue only to find that i’ve forgotten to fill in my form. The young guy there chuntered a little but I filled it in. We had a little chat and I told him to have a nice day. He looked at me and said thank you so I thought “thanks to all them at immigration control.
“So here I am
With my immigration form
Big enough to keep me warm
When the cold wind’s blowing.”

Tea was one of the best stuffed peppers that I’ve ever made. I enjoyed eating that one very much and the leftover stuffing for the taco roll tomorrow will be wicked after marinading for 24 hours.

But that’s tomorrow. I’m off to bed right now hoping for a good sleep and some pleasant travels with charming companions.

It’s nice to see Percy Penguin again anyway. She doesn’t figure in my voyages half as much as she deserves.

Monday 29th August 2022 – BEFORE I START …

… crowing about another day where I haven’t crashed out at all (and how many consecutive days is this now?) just let me mention two things –

  1. I didn’t go to bed until 22:25 and I was up at 06:00
  2. There were no fewer than TWELVE entries on the dictaphone during the night. And if that isn’t a recode I don’t know what is

In fact, the longest period during which I wasn’t disturbed was one hour and 22 minutes.

So given the foregoing, I expected to be crashed out on my chair a long time before tea never mind still going strong at this time of evening.

Something else I’ve noticed is that my walking seems to be a little easier and so is my breathing. Only a little, but it’s noticeable. I know that they told me a week or two ago to stop taking one particular medication, but I was feeling quite ill a good while before I started taking it. So it can’t be that.

Nevertheless, it was a struggle to tear myself out of bed when the alarm went off at 06:00 and I really didn’t feel much like doing the radio programme today.

However, despite a couple of interruptions, for coffee and for breakfast, it was all up and running and sounding quite well by 11:10. Mind you, with two tracks less about which to write, it ought to have been finished a while before then.

However I made a total mess of dictating the speech and had to restart not once but twice. And you try saying “The Victor Brox Blues Band” when you’re half asleep

Yes, 2 tracks short today, but when you open with a track that is 21:42 long, it doesn’t leave much time for many others when you only have an hour to do.

There are plenty of short tracks that aren’t being used because with 11 tracks in about 52 minutes, it’s not that easy to fit so many in. One of these days I’ll have to start doing programmes with 13 tracks. That’ll move them on.

While I was listening to that one and the one that I’m sending off for broadcast (I’m several months ahead) I was … errrr … tidying up.

Lazy me hasn’t filed away the post since last October and there’s paperwork and letters all over the bedroom. Having made a start yesterday on tidying the desk, I went through the paperwork that was lying around, sorted it into date order, perforated it all and filed it away in a binder.

There are binders for each year with papers filed in date order, but since everything seems to be digitalised these days I’m doing two years to a binder.

After lunch I had something important to do.

On Friday I ate the last of the fruit buns and so I had to make some more. It took quite a while to make the dough with all of the extras that went into it, and then I divided it up into 10 and made buns, leaving them to proof

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While the buns were busy proofing I went out for my afternoon walk.

And you can tell that the holiday season is now over. The car park was comparatively empty and down on the beach there weren’t all that many people down there at all.

It’s true to say that the weather was quite windy but that wouldn’t be enough to keep the crowds back at home if there were crowds of people and a beach to be on. It certainly kept them out of the sea anyway today.

But I’ve never seen the beach as empty as this on a sunny August day.

people on rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022A little further on along the path I noticed these people scrambling over the rocks.

From up here I had no idea what they were doing, not even with a 300mm telescopic lens. They didn’t look as if they were engaged in the peche à pied because they didn’t seem to have any equipment.

My neighbour couldn’t understand what was happening either. She was slowly ambling along the path so I stopped and we had a good chat for 10 minutes

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m not the sociable type at all, but I have to be friendly with the neighbours. It makes the world go round and makes life here much easier.

scuba divers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further along the path I noticed some unusual activity just offshore in the bay.

And I’m not talking about the lobster pot buoy either, but the other objects down there in the water.

It didn’t take me long to work out what they were, particularly once they broke surface, because we’ve seen them before. It seems to be where they practice their SCUBA-diving techniques although I couldn’t see a boat anywhere in the vicinity.

So would you call them SCUBA-divers or frogmen? If the latter, I suppose that we’ll have to call them “frogpersons” these days.

And SCUBA? Why, its “Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus” of course.

unidentified aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was walking along the path in comparative solitude I noticed an aeroplane out at sea.

Just in case I could identify it, I took a photo to check when I returned home, but it was far too far out at sea for me to read its registration number.

As you might expect, I checked the registers of the local airfields and there were no arrivals or departures that corresponded with the time that the aeroplane flew past

On the path there can’t have been more than a dozen people walking past. It seems that the holiday season has ended here too.

cabanon vauban person pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Not so many people on the car park either. It was almost as if I had the place to myself.

So I pushed on down to the end of the headland to see what was happening here. There was a young woman out by the cabanon vauban who was taking a photograph of themselves but as soon as I arrived she put her ‘phone away.

However I’m not sure why she would want to be down there this afternoon. It wasn’t as if there was anything going on out at sea. There wasn’t a single boat out in the bay that I noticed, and the weather wasn’t all that bad either.

breakdown rue du cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Fromthe end of the headland I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland.

It may well have been that there would have been an extra vehicle on the car park but whoever it was didn’t quite make it to the top of the hill. a depanneuse had been sent for and he was busy dragging a car onto the load bed.

And depanneuse is a lovely word. It’s a feminine word and means here in a France a “breakdown truck”. But if you see the word depanneur on a notice in Québec, it doesn’t mean the driver or the male version of a breakdown truck, but it’s actually Québecois for a “corner shop”.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The tide was well out this afternoon so the port was quite dry.

But once again you can tell that the summer season is over. We’ve been used to seeing all of the Ile de Chausey ferries out and about in the afternoon doing all kinds of things to keep themselves busy with the crowds of tourists looking for things to do.

But today, Belle France, the newest one of the three, was parked up at the ferry terminal waiting for the tide. There wasn’t anyone loitering around there with her so it looks as if she’s going to be there for a while.

unloading shellfish drags port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Here was something interesting that I noticed while I was here.

Those down there are the drags for the shellfish trawlers. The are marked, usually with electric welding writing, with the name of the ship to which they belong and they are stored down there.

A lorry-load has just turned up and there’s a forklift truck dropping them off.

The grillage is made to a certain size so that when the drag is dragged along the sea bed, anything undersize slips through the grillage and back onto the sea bed.

Mind you, they still manage to pull up all kinds of interesting things, unexploded World War II munitions included. There are plenty of those about out there.

la soupape trafalgar peccavi trafalgar chant de sirenes hermes I charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile there is much excitement in the chantier naval this afternoon.

Cap Lihou has gone back into the water, what with her brand-new paint job. But La Soupape Trafalgar Peccavi Trafalgar and Chant De Sirenes are still in there too.

However we have a couple of new occupiers in there over at the back. We can see Hermes I quite clearly but hidden behind the portable boat lift is Charlevy.

So things are looking up in the chantier naval and that is good news for all of us.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Not so much though over in the inner harbour.

Almost all of the fixtures and fittings of the Festival of Working Sailing Ships have now gone. It didn’t take them long to remove all of that. The only thing that I can see that still remains is the artificial beach over on the right-hand side.

Something else that has also gone is Marité. And never called me “mother”! She was glued to the harbour for most of the Festival when all of the crowds were about but once the visitors departed she cast off her chains and cleared off.

She left at 09:10 and didn’t return until 20:36 having spent the day having a run-around in the bay.

chausiaise victor hugo arc en ciel massabielle port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Someone else who is back in port after being away for a while is Victor Hugo.

She’s been running around in the Channel Islands and came back into port yesterday evening at 20:57 and tied up next to Chausiaise. She won’t be back out now until Wednesday morning at 09:30.

Meanwhile, several of the trawlers haven’t gone out to sea this morning. We can see Arc en Ciel and Massabielle down there and there are a few more too.

But I didn’t stay around to see them. I came back home for my iced ginger beer.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And having drunk my drink, I brushed the fruit buns with vegan milk and brown sugar and put them in to bake.

And I’m not sure what happened by the bottom of the buns are slightly burnt as if they are overcooked. And I cooked them as I would usually do. So what’s happening there? With my pizza being overcooked too, I wonder if my oven has finally started to do what it is supposed to do.

While they were baking I was transcribing the dictaphone notes. And I’m not convinced that you’ll want to know about them. I was with Rosemary in Canada. We’d been for a walk in this city then she had to go off somewhere so I kept on wandering around. We met up again and ended up right out of town at this park somewhere wandering around the park. I said that I had things to do so I needed to be back in town so I’d leave her there and come back for her at 19:00. I walked back into the city centre and was sitting on a bench catching my breath when another tourist from our group came past – a South-Asian guy. He sat down and was complaining about the distance that he’d walked and how he was going to find someone with a Honda moped. I said that I had one of those back at home (and I do back in Virlet – a Honda Melody actually) which of course was no use here. he was saying that so far he’d walked 12 kilometres. I had a look at my fitbit and found that i’d only done 7 which really surprised me as I thought that I’d done three times that. We carried on talking and a 3rd member of our party, David from my building, turned up and joined in our chat. I said that I was going to go back to pick up Rosemary because I was going to cook a meal. This Indian guy’s eyes lit up. “A meal?” he asked. “I’d have to come to help you do something” but I didn’t like the idea of someone inviting themselves in for one of my meals like this.

I was getting married but at the very last moment the bride pulled out. She didn’t tell me until the very final minute. I had to go round to tell all the guests that the wedding had been cancelled. That’s all that I remember of this. There was an awful lot more to it.

Back at my wedding again and this time I’d married. I was standing on a page about to give a speech when my mother in law turned up with a bunch of flowers and began to chat me up in the middle of all of this crowd of people. I thought that regardless of anything else this was extremely inappropriate, certainly not the time and place to do something like this.

This was another one where I found myself dictating into my hand again. There was some kind of issue with the parking and one of the guys at the wedding stood up and was making a speech about the issue but I can’t remember now what he said because the dream evaporated when I was halfway through it.

This was my parents again at this wedding talking to some other people who were there including some girl who they happened to like and wanted me to marry at one point. I had to hurry up and change ready to go on my holiday. I was chatting to a girl of 12, something like that, and realised that I had to prepare to go on my honeymoon

There was a girl there notoriously flirting around, getting on everyone else’s nerves so she was arrested and found guilty of water-walking, whatever that is, I dunno.

Dick Whittington had been elected in 1066 for each year and protested in favour of more-normal relationships between London and Exeter, Bristol and Manchester.

I’d been out to somewhere near Audlem, some stately home to do something or other. It was early in the morning. When I arrived there was no-one around so I had to wait for someone but they didn’t show up so I was sitting in their library reading books. Then I had to go to work. They told me that it was 07:40 so I’d have to leave. I went down to my car but I wasn’t sure that it would start so I coupled up one of these battery packs to it. That didn’t do anything, the whole car was dead so I disconnected it. There was enough charge in the battery just to turn the engine over sufficiently for it to fire up. I drove off down the long drive. There was a small lorry heading my way something like a Mercedes 508 with a tipper back. The path was extremely narrow so trying to pass was quite difficult. I had to use a paper in front of the car to press down the weeds to find out where the edge of the road was so that I didn’t slip into the ditch at the side. On the way down the drive before that lorry a woman and her friend had been talking. I mentioned something about DVDs. They said that they had plenty ond they would lend me one for the journey back. As I set off to drive they came running out of the barn with these buckets of DVDs. So I tried to stop. There were no brakes so the vehicle rolled on about 10 metres and they had to catch me up. I had a quick glance. There was nothing there that I needed so I set off down the farm track. Turning onto the main road was on a really bad bend. I wished that I had some extra-powerful rear lights so that people coming from a distance away could actually see me coming onto the road. For some unknown reason the Polish guy who worked there hadn’t fitted any. I drove on down there and came to a road junction. There was a guy who pulled up with his car on a piece of wasteland at this road junction and then went running back to the main road waving as if he was trying to flag down a car behind. I asked him if he needed any help but he just ignored me and carried on trying to wave down whatever it was that was coming behind him.

I’d booked a hotel, an expensive hotel but it was at a bucket price at an on-line website place for e47:00. When I had the bill next morning it was for €163:00. I had a look and there were all kinds of optional things that he’d added in to this bill that I hadn’t the remotest interest in paying. There was €43:00 for the privilege of booking a room at Christmas and New Year which I didn’t want. There was £25:00 for the manual finding of the records, all kinds of this. I was flatly refusing to pay this. He told me that it was too late to take them off my credit card but I told him that I wanted it put back on my credit card because I’m not paying it. I went through the bill item by item, crossed off what I didn’t agree with until it came back down to this €47:00 that I’d been promised. He wasn’t going to move an inch and I could see that we were heading for some kind of enormous confrontation.

I was back working for Shearings again, doing a feeder out from the tour interchange to places all round the East Midlands. I set out with a coach and started to climb up through the Pennines. It was a brand new coach full of all mod cons, everything, really nice. We were doing OK. Then I had to come down a hill. While I was driving I was sewing my trousers because I had a tear in them. I was doing that but as we went down this hill I stopped sewing and concentrated. I suddenly found myself in a series of bends that I didn’t recognise at all. An ancient Ford Anglia came the other way that virtually brought me to a stop on one set of bends. When I came round these bends I came to a road sign that said “Windermere”. I thought “where am I going here? I don’t recognise any of this and I shouldn’t be anywhere near Windermere”. I pulled up at the side of the road in a lay-by. All the passengers alighted to stretch their legs. I went to fetch my SatNav. I thought that I’d plug it in and plug in the address of the first drop-off. That way I’ll have the coach take me back to where I want to go. There were all discussions about this coach and all of the luxuries that were fitted to it that we never had when we were driving the old Fords etc. Even so there was still only room for one official passenger which was bound to make life complicated when you had 2 drivers bringing their wives on a Christmas tour.

There were some people in a medival tower being taken to their rooms . Although this was a modern period these people might have been prisoners or something like that being led through the tower. One said to the other “at least it’s not bad. We know that there are people in the adjoining rooms”. One of the people in one of the adjoining rooms was a young girl. They said “goodnight” as they walked past but there was no reply from her room so they were wondering what was going on in there, it was so quiet and she didn’t seem to be about.

And there was more to that than this as well but if you’re eating your tea you really don’t want to hear about it.

Tea was a stuffed pepper as usual and it was one of the best that I’ve ever made. Plenty of stuffing left too so I’ll have a good taco roll tomorrow.

But I have no idea what was going on between 00:30 and 02:01 when I dictated no fewer than SEVEN soundfiles and stepped back into the same dream a total of four times one after the other.

It’s probably the strangest night that I’ve ever had and it’s a shame that none of my regulars were there to share it..

Saturday 27th August 2022 – I CAN’T REMEMBER …

… the last time that it was as quiet as it was today on the path overlooking the port.

Maybe yesterday, with all of the painters and everything, was exceptional, I dunno, but today there was hardly anyone about at all round there.

wet pavement boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Mind you, that did actually have its own advantages.

During the night we must have had a really heavy rainstorm because you can see just how wet the path is there. That’s the bit that usually floods in the heavy rain so considering that we’ve had no rain to speak of in an age, it must have been something impressive last night.

And you can see the vegetation here. It’s turned a lot more green just overnight. Things must be looking up and if we aren’t careful, we might have our lawn back.

And while we’re on the subject of “during the night” … “well, one of us is” – ed … I actually had quite a disturbed night.

And not just during the night either. I sat up bolt-upright 10 minutes before the alarm was due to go off, to find myself once again dictating notes into my hand. How many times must I have done that?

Nevertheless I grabbed the dictaphone and dictated what I could remember The milk was rather late being delivered so they sent some elderly guy round to check and to go to see his way into the attic. And it was at that moment that I awoke and whatever else was going on just evaporated,

Not a success.

Regardless of that it was still a struggle to fight my way out of bed and take my medicine. And then in an effort to liven myself up, I had an energy drink and then a shower.

It’s shopping day today, not that I need all that much, but I set the washing machine off just to finally at long last empty to linen basket and then we went to the shops.

There wasn’t much that I needed so I didn’t buy much. It still came to €24:00 though, mainly due to the big bag of peaches and the vegan spread and I was back home by 10:05.

But i’m beginning to notice another problem – and that is that it’s a long way up into Caliburn and I’m struggling to make it. That’s ominous.

Back here, armed with a coffee and some toast, I had a listen to the rest of the dictaphone notes, of which there were more than just a few. Someone came to the door of the house where I was at that particular moment. He walked in, saw me and someone else there and asked for “Professor (so-and-so)”. For some unknown reason I went white and began to shake. The person I was with said that he was Detective-Sergeant (someone-or-other) and was here to make a few enquiries. Before he could continue I asked wht=at this was all about so they explained that the professor had been murdered some time previously which caused an enormous amount of upset. At least I discovered that it wasn’t me whom the person was after.

And later I had a train to catch in London at 22:15 and was coming back again early in the morning. I’d been camping so I had to pick up everything and prepare to leave. When it was time to leave I looked around for everything and couldn’t find my bumbag anywhere. I had a good hunt round but couldn’t find it. In the end I decided that I’d have to go without it. I tied my tent to the bottom of my sleeping back, stuck my parasol in the sleeping bag, hoped that my bumbag was in there. I had to walk somewhere to say goodbye, forgot my sleeping bag, walked back, picked it up, got into the car, drove into Crewe. It never occurred to me until far too late that I should have gone to a suburban railway station in a village somewhere and caught a train to Crewe and could have left my car there. When I arrived in Crewe I was too far away from my house to park there so I had to look for a parking space. There wasn’t any in the public highway. In the end I found myself thinking “how much will it cost to use the British Rail car park by the station for 10 hours or whatever. It’s only going to be expensive if I’ve lost my bumbag. If I have to start paying for parking it’s going to be the end of the world

I’d just gone into a restaurant to have some salad sandwiches. Although the place wasn’t crowded the 2 people behind the counter were working like demons. One of my friends from Germany was there and someone else. The someone else was making the sandwiches and my friend was waiting on table and waiting at the counter and also making some sandwiches. I stood there while they were all busy running around. They’d smiled at me but they hadn’t otherwise said “hello”. I thought to myself that this is taking much longer than it ought to fetch me something to eat. There was a dispute about someone – they thought that they’d organised the wrong meal but my friend was adamant that they hadn’t. Someone had set the toaster too high and burnt a lot of the sandwiches. I was beginning to think at the end of the day that I was invisible because no-one took any notice of me at all.

My niece was pregnant last night too. She’d come round for something and had gone off to the corner shop on the corner of Brookhouse Drive and Davenport Avenue (which there isn’t). In the meantime I’d had to nip out to do something so I went off in my red Cortina. It took much longer than I thought. By the time that I returned my niece was sitting in her car on the car park looking extremely miserable so I have her what it was that I had, parked my car and went back to our flat. I found that I was even so late that everyone had already started to deliberately eat it as well. THis was incredibly late as well, I don’t know why everything had taken so long but it wasn’t supposed to be anything like this at all

With not being in any great rush that took me up until my lunchtime fruit. And one of the peaches is bruised already. I can’t seem to keep fruit very long here and I don’t know why.

And afterwards I paired off all of the music. Only 8 tracks because one of them goes on for almost 22 minutes. I always had a secret admiration for Graham Bond’s Holy Magick.

It took far longer that it ought to have done as well because there were small gaps in the recording at regular intervals, as if the tape had been nicked by something sharp that had gone right through. You’ve no idea how many nicks there can be in 22 minutes of recording and I had to patch each one.

The opening is a very good opening too and I like good openings when they can run underneath my opening speech (which lasts for 13.555 seconds) but as this one wasn’t long enough for that, I looped a segment 8 times and it kept the beat all the way through my extended opening.

As well as that, I had to change a track because one that I had chosen was much more suitable as a programme opener. I don’t have too many of those so I don’t want to waste them.

All in all, I’m glad that I did that this afternoon instead of trying to do it on a Sunday when I don’t really feel like it.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That took me more-or-less up to the time to go for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And once more, I was surprised to see so few people down there. They had plenty of beach to be on but for some reason everyone had deserted the sand.

Many of those down there had made it into the water which was no surprise because regardless of what might or might not have happened during the night, we were back to summer again today and it was hot.

Just the day, in fact, when you would expect to see a lot of people.

medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Down at the Plat Gousset it was pretty much the same, although I was intrigued by the guy in suit trousers, shirt and tie. What was he doing down there on his own dressed like that?

But you can see how the medieval fish trap works. As the tide goes out, some water is retained in the trap and that’s where you’ll find the fish that have come in with the tide but been stranded when the tide has gone out.

This would be the time when all of the fishwives would wade in and start to pull out the fish by hand. And that evening, everyone would have a fish supper.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, while I’m here I’m also having a good look out at sea.

In the Baie de Granville there was hardly any water craft today. Just recently we’ve seen hordes of craft but it seems that they are all having a day off today. These three yachts and probably a handful of other boats were all that I could see.

Mind you, the weather was quite hazy today in patches and while some of Jersey was visible from up here, the rest of the island that we could normally wasn’t clear.

The ile de Chausey was quite visible and I had a little smile to myself listening to some British guy telling his friends that it was the Plateau des Minquiers which are just off Jersey to the south.

sailing ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further out in the English Channel there was something of interest going on.

There’s another sailing ship right out there again today.

Marité is out at sea but she’s currently behind the Ile de Chausey so I don’t think that it’s her and I’m not sure who else it might be.

La Cancalaise hasn’t been out that way today either, but a couple of other suitable candidates might be Etoile du Roy although that’s unlikely, and Le Renard who was out there in that direction somewhere.

It’s not easy using the radar on my mobile phone and when I return home to look on the computer, all of the ships have changed position so I have to estimate their position at the time from their historical track.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Down at the end of the headland there wasn’t an awful lot going on today so I wandered off across the car park to see what was happening down on the rocks.

We had another fisherman down there this afternoon and I do have to say that I was impressed by his tackle. he had a nice big aluminium box strapped to his back but the way things are around here, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was for a seat rather than to store his catch.

There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon. Judging by what happened yesterday, they must have heard me coming and cleared off before I arrived.

Not that I blame them either.

festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Walking down past the sodden part of the path I could see what was happening at the Festival of Working Sailing Ships.

There doesn’t look as if there are all that many people there today either compared to how many there were earlier in the week.

One reason for the comparative lack of people around today is that we’re coming close to the end of the holiday season. Many people will have packed up and gone home this morning, I suppose.

Nevertheless, there would surely still be plenty of people living not too far away who would want to come away for the weekend and see the sights.

la granvillaise marie fernand rowing boats l'alize 3 festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The mystery ship that we saw just now, I can tell you who she isn’t.

It can’t be La Granvillaise because she’s down there giving tourists a lap around the harbour for whatever the local equivalent of half a crown might be. And without her tender either. Let’s hope that she doesn’t need it.

And if you can’t afford the half-crown, you can row your own in one of the rowing boats that are wandering around there. Plenty of opportunity for doing something with a pair of oars.

Up against the wall at the back is of course Marie Fernand and the trawler in the foreground is Alize III

philcathane chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further along the quayside are the trawler Philcathane and the little freighter Chausiaise. Of course there will be no loading up of freight while the Festival is taking place.

But one ship that isn’t there right now is Victor Hugo and I don’t need to consult her itit .. init … tinit … itninnin .. timetable either to tell you where she might be. As I was on my way to the shops this morning I saw her loading up at the Ferry Terminal presumably for a trip out to Jersey.

And as for me, I’m not there right now either. I came back to the apartment for a drink of ice-cold ginger beer. Shop-bought from a while back. And I reckon that I ought to start my drinks-manufacturing again. But in the bathtub in cas eof any unwelcome explosions.

It was a shame about my TV

No football this evening but there were extended highlights of a game last night in the second tier between Ynyshir Albion and Llanelli. I remember Llanelli from their time in the Welsh Premier League but I’ve never seen Ynyshir so I reckoned that that was a good way to relax.

You can’t tell much from highlights of course but Ynyshir looked the better side, even if they couldn’t make their way past Scott Coughlin, who I remember from Afan Lido, in the Llanelli goal who had a good game. Llanelli scored a goal early on and then rode their luck to the final whistle.

Tea was steamed potato, veg and a breaded quorn fillet and as usual it was delicious. I’ll go back to LIDL at some point and look for more of those.

A day off tomorrow with it being Sunday, and no work to do because I’ve done it all already. I’ll have a few more days like that. I’m going to bed early, no alarm, and have a good sleep so I’ll be fighting fit for tomorrow.

And pigs will fly as well.

Monday 22nd August 2022 – YET MORE CONTROVERSY …

le shtandart entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022 … here in Granville this afternoon.

Despite a European Union embargo that came into force in April, into the port today came the Russian sailing ship Shtandart. She’s a modern (as in 20-odd years old) replica of an 18th Century Russian sailing ship.

She’s probably come into port because of this Festival of Working Sailing Ships that starts later in the week but her presence is a kick in the teeth for the hundreds, if not thousands, of Ukrainian refugees in the area.

And remember – this is a town that refused to allow its radio station to broadcast a pro-Ukrainian rock concert back in March. So it doesn’t look as if there is any doubt about where the sympathies of the officials of the town lie when they allow this ship to come into port.

le shtandart baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022She spent several months loitering around in the Mediterranean just after the sanctions were announced.

And while she has been in a couple of French ports subsequently, she has been met with demonstrations and pickets.

With a Town Council that seems determined to suppress all kinds of traditional entertainment in the town, as I have mentioned on several occasions when I’ve been talking about the Big Wheel and the Bar Ephemère, I’m not really sure what else I can say about a Council that allows this ship to come into port, Festival or not.

marité le shtandart port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The captain has refused, according to at least one news source, “to abandon his Russian flag” because he “does not want to give up his country despite being at war”.

Furthermore, an unverified source suggests that the captain’s brother is ” fighting on the Ukrainian front of the war” and I don’t think that anyone needs to ask “on which side?”.

And I should mention too that she is not transmitting an AIS signal, in contravention of various maritime procedures. And if you want to know how I know this, don’t forget that I maintain the AIS beacon for the port.

All in all, I smell a rat. And I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile, in other news, there was plenty of other maritime activity today. So while I tell you about my day today, you can admire a few photos of what was going on on the water.

We started off as usual on a Monday by the alarm going off at 06:00. And I had a struggle to rise to my feet as well which is no surprise because it was a very disturbed night.

Nevertheless after the medication I attacked the radio programme that I wanted to prepare today. And much to my surprise, it was finished and up and running at 11:09.

Even more surprising, it dovetailed together perfectly to the tenth of a second without any editing at all and I don’t think that I’ve ever had one that has gone together so well.

kayakers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was listening to the finished product, and also to the radio programme that will be broadcast this weekend I had a few things to sort out.

Nothing of any great importance, as it happens, but things that needed to be done all the same.

Lunch was rather late, and the next task afterwards was to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night.

And it’s no surprise that I had something of a difficult night last night because there was tons of stuff on there. If I’d been disturbing my sleep as many times as it seems that I did, then it’s no surprise that it was quite difficult to drag myself out of bed.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Last night I started off at school when someone said that they overheard me use a derogatory term for a type of person. This led to quite an argument firstly because I wouldn’t be the kind of person who would do that and secondly everyone there ought to know it too. It led to a great deal of awkwardness which couldn’t be explained away for some reason. Someone seemed to be convinced that he’d heard me say it and that was all that there was. In the meantime I was busy going through all of my books and Lps because I was going somewhere in a car and wanted to take some music with me. Someone else was making suggestions about the books I should take but I was actually looking in the end for my Agatha Christie compendium and thought that i’d take that with me but there was a lot of confusion between all of the books and LPs that I had and it was very difficult to actually find the book that I wanted.

Later on I was in Caliburn with someone else looking for someone. We had driven round quite a way to find this person but couldn’t find him. In the end we saw a tramp by the side of the road with a couple of molotov cocktails so we stopped and suggested that he might like a ride to Chicago. We threw away his molotov cocktails but we only went about a quarter of a mile down the road before we stopped, put him out of the van and started to question him rather roughly about where this person might be. This led to some kind of fight between the 3 of us and he cleared off. By this time I’d emptied out Caliburn and was ready to tidy it up. I found a USB key and I wondered where it went. I was having difficulty tidying up, not sure where to put everything. I was worried that Caliburn was on the public highway. It turned out that it was in a parking place but still on the public highway. There was something like a wifi router in the back of caliburn that controlled the TV. There was also a kind of CD player. I suddenly had a flash of inpiration. Put the USB key into a slot in the router thing and it suddenly started to show TV pictures that were coming out of the other appliance that we had. I thought that this was progress but I hoped that it keeps up. It was an old Marlene Dietrich film. I was still in all kind sof confusion about the bast way to pick Caliburn.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And then we were in Brussels. We had some kind of discussion group, three of us, me, a woman and a girl named Andrew about where to go and what to do. One of the suggestions had been to go to Salzburg. We were wandering round in the upstairs of this department store. This Andrea saw a snooker table so she decided that she was going to have a game of snooker. This woman and I wandered away. The lift was out so we had to climb down this escalator to the ground floor. In the basement was a railway station so we went there. it was 09:25 at the moment. We asked about trains to Salzburg at the railway station, using my best French and him replying in English. There was a train at 10:21 that arrived just after 12:00. That sounded like a really good deal. There was plenty of room on it so I left the girl and ran back through the department store. I had to run up the stairs to where this Andrew was playing snooker. I actually could, to my surprise. At first he wasn’t sure about it as if he had only suggested Salzburg as a joke but then the idea began to appeal to him so he put down his cue and started to come with me to the railway station in the basement to book his ticket.

And if I can go from Brussels to Salzburg in well under two hours, I’ll be doing it every month.

Next off, we were in the middle of the heatwave. I had gone to pick up my boss to take him to his home, drop him off and wait for him to bring him back. I was sitting in the drive in the car. Just then a woman poked the front end of her car out of the garage as if she wanted to come out. I had to reverse up the drive to give her some room. Instead she came out holding something and said “look, I have a hedgehog”. I wound down the window to have a look and she was indeed holding a baby hedgehog. We were talking about the heatwave. She said “people nearly died on Tuesday didn’t they, in the heat?”. I replied “yes, it’s not very good for creativity. A lot of creative stuff was laid off because of the heat”. Then she bent down and picked up a cigarette end. She said “please don’t drop cigarette ends down in my drive”. I replied “I can promise you madam, it’s not my cigarette end at all. I don’t smoke”. “It’s come out of your car” she said. “Maybe one of your colleagues has been smoking in it”. I said “my colleagues aren’t allowed to smoke in my vehicle but I can always enquire and find out. One thing is certain and that is that the cigarette end isn’t mine”.

Things out of that descended into something like chaos. There was something else about a group of us and a Mini. I found myself dictating into my hand but when I picked up the dictaphone to start again I found that I couldn’t remember any of it so I have no idea what this is about at all.

Dictating into my hand again another story about a Mini. I can’t remember very much except that we pulled up at a road junction in a country lane. The exit was blocked by these people who had just left their car at a stop sign and wandered off into the hedgerow. We were sitting there confused about how we were expected to drive onto the main road with this couple having abandoned their car like this.

Finally, there was something going on about bad picking with an Albatros which I imagine was a type of car or something but again I’ve no idea what that relates to.

But with dictating into my hand instead of my little machine, forgetting what I was doing, things aren’t looking so well. What must I have failed to record in the past? This is pretty depressing news.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was an interruption half-way through the dictation for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

The weather was quite cloudy and overcast, threatening rain so I didn’t think that there would be too many people down there on the beach this afternoon.

Surprisingly the beach was quite busy this afternoon and even a couple of people had gone so far as to go into the water. That was quite brave of them because I was wondering whether I ought to put on a jacket.

There was someone down there again with a small tent and had I been down there on the beach this afternoon, I would have been inside it and no mistake.

No-one seems to be all that interested in the inflatable boat though.

fisherman baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Plenty of other water craft out there this afternoon though, as you have already seen.

But I was more interested in this fisherman fishing from the water just a little bit further along from the beach.

Not that I can see very clearly but it looks very much to me as if he has actually caught something and that in itself is a surprise. If that’s the case, then he’s only the second person whom we have seen.

If it is indeed a fish, it isn’t all that much of one but I suppose any fish is better than none the way things have been.

collapsed wall place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022We’ve seen the workmen repointing and repairing the medieval city walls in several places over the time that we’ve been living here.

They’ve just finished at the Place du Marche aux Chevaux and it looks a sif they’ve done that just in time because when I looked over the wall at the fisherman, I could see that another section of the wall has gone crashing down onto the beach.

By the looks of things, the workmen will be coming back before much longer to have a look at this part of the walls.

But that’s for another time. I set off for my walk down the path, fighting my way through the crowds.

yellow powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was on my way along the path I was overflown.

There had been a few aircraft out and about but too far away for me to see who they were. But the yellow powered hang-glider was right overhead.

No-one on the bench at the cabanon vauban and no change in occupancy at the chantier naval either. However I didn’t take much notice of anything else because I was too busy watching Shtandart

And as an aside, while we’re on the subject of Shtandart“well, one of us is” – ed … judging by comments that have been floating around this afternoon and this evening, I’m the only person who objects to her presence in the port.

But then again being in a minority of one is not an unusual position for me, is it?

Armed with a coffee I came back in here to finish off my notes and then I was … errr … engaged in correspondence with several local and not-so-local media sources about a certain issue that has arisen.

Tea was a stuffed pepper, just as delicious as always.

And now I’m off to bed. To my surprise, despite the early start, I haven’t crashed out today. And I have a Welsh chat meeting tomorrow so I need to be at my best. Such as it is, that is. It’s been a long time since my best has been any good.

Monday 15th August 2022 – ONE THING THAT I …

… forgot to do (well, two things in fact) was to contact the various people like the nurse and the physiotherapist and tell them that I’m back home again.

But I needn’t bother about contacting the nurse. There I was working away at the radio programme this morning when round about 09:30 there was a ring on the bell. The Nurse was in the building and he thought that he’d check up on me to see how I was.

Anyway I’ve had my injection this morning, the first one that I have had since the beginning of June. I wonder if that would perk me up and give me a burst of energy. I must admit that I need one.

Especially having had to crawl (extremely unwillingly) out of bed at 06:00. I staggered into the kitchen for my medication and then staggered back in here to check my mails and messages before starting to deal with my radio programmes.

It was another long, slow morning doing the radio programme. There was the usual coffee break and then I was interrupted for about 15 minutes by the nurse coming round to give me my injection.

Even so, I would have expected to have finished it a long time before 11:35. It was definitely one of the slowest radio programmes that I’ve done, and for no obvious reason either.

While I was listening to the finished product and also to the programme that I’d send off later in the day I had a shuffle round with the music. I’ve let a few things go out of sync and I needed to tidy up everything.

As a result I ended up going for my lunchtime fruit rather later than usual.

After lunch I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. We were on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR. We were British and Norwegian Resistance fighters and the ship was crewed by Germans. We were undercover pretending to be Germans but we were going ashore later that night to sabotage some instruments and equipment. Our plans were interruped by having to go to shore immediately so we had to hide our equipment and hope that no-one would see it until we came back later and could nip out. While I was hiding the equipment and keeping the Germans talking they were trying to make our escape route out of the side of the ship by drilling 2 holes in the side. They were caught by a German so they beat him to death. They managed to smuggle him ashore where they could bury him. Then it was time for all of us to go ashore so we assembled at the side of the deck. The motor boat was below us and there was quite a strong current and high waves. The first 2 people who were 2 of my people lowered themselves down the steps into the motor boat. The first one went in OK but the 2nd one had her timing wrong. The wave hit this motor boat and threw her about 6 feet into the air. She landed in a heap at the bottom of the boat. As I was going down the steps I happened to look up. I could see 2 small holes in the side of the ship thinking that if anyone else sees that our goose is going to be cooked. If anyone sees that while they are boarding the boat our goose will be booked. I boarded this boat and said “the last time I was in this motorboat …” and they all looked at me strangely. I said “the last time I was in this motorboat was 3 years ago” and they all suddenly realised that this was the same boat that we were on in this wartime exploit that I’d been around the Arctic on a couple of years earlier.

Later on I was at University. There was a group of us and we gradually paired ourselves off into twos. I ended up with a Brazilian girl and we started to see each other. One day I had to pick her up after University. We were going to do something. I went home and it was all locked etc but the plates and crockery were out for the evening meal. I did what I had to do then went to pick her up. We went to the swimming baths. We had a good time around there. Afterwards I asked if she would like to come home. She replied “yes, fine” so I drove home. Trying to enter the house I couldn’t remember which key was which. There were so many of them on my key ring. Eventually I found the correct one. We were the only ones in and it was just like it was beforehand. She made a remark about it. She asked what time it was. I told her and she made an exclamation and said that she had to telephone her mother to let her know that she was OK. She asked if it was OK that she rang from here but it was to Brazil. I said yes if it’s a very short one. That was when I began to have a feeling that someone was going to be taking advantage of me in this situation. I didn’t quite like the idea of that.

It’s not something that I have never actually encountered in real life. My Road to Hell really is littered with previous good intentions

Finally we were going to an auction of possessions somewhere in aid of some Charity. There was a huge crowd building up outside and in the ante-room but they weren’t letting anyone in. It was becoming later and later. Then they announced that it might be that a lot of goods had been sold by tender prior to the auction which annoyed everyone. There was a surge of people forward into the auction hall and they were all surged back out again. While we were waiting we were looking out of the window. We were quite high up. We saw a vehicle towing a water tank on a trailer come out of a building and turn right. As he did, the trailer locked up and hit a parked vehicle. It spun the car round which hit a lorry. The trailer disengaged and broke away so the car drove off. This lorry did a U-turn and chased after it. When the driver saw the lorry coming he tried to escape but realising that he was never going to escape from this lorry he pulled over. By this time we’d caught up with the action for we were keen to see what would happen. The lorry driver took a big sledge hammer and started to hit this car which was an old London taxi by this time putting huge dents in the bodywork, breaking the windows etc while the young guy with his guitar who was driving stood around watching. Just then the police appeared so the lorry driver entered a building, picked up one or two things and came out carrying some stuff as if he was an innocent bystander. He’d probably gone 100 yards when the police suddenly started to run after him. He dropped his stuff and ran and dashed into a pub. In the meantime a group of girls in prom dresses was going past. he came out of the pub wrapped in a scarf or curtain. he looked like one of these girls in these Prom dresses but we could see that it was him. He tagged onto these girls while the police were busy scouring the streets. Suddenly they started running again after him. They stopped right by my car, one policeman did. He had his keys in his hand and they were pointing at me. I wound the window down on my car and said “you point that gun again at me and there’s going to be a problem”. He hastily stuffed his keys in his pocket and asked “what gun?”. I replied ” the gun that you just had in your hand and stuffed in your pocket”. He looked as if he was about to argue with me but he turned round ad ran off again. Whoever I was with asked “why did you say that?”. I replied “to disrupt the flow of his thought and action and slow him down a lot while the lorry driver makes his getaway”

And that must have been really exciting watching that during the night.

Unfortunately, during the middle of all of this transcribing, I crashed out. And for about an hour too. But I suppose having started at 06:00 this morning it was only to be expected. I even had a little wobble while I was doing the radio programme but I managed to fight it off.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual the first thing that I did was to go over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

The weather is now much more like a clammy October day today so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone sunbathing down on the beach today, and I wasn’t all that far out

Just one or two people sitting on the sand but there were plenty of people down on the waterline but I wasn’t counting all the numbers.

Those who weren’t actually swimming about in the water (and I’ve no idea why they would be doing that this afternoon) were presumably scratching around looking for shellfish, with the tide being well out right now.

It’s pretty pointless looking out to sea because there was quite a sea mist this afternoon and I could hardly see anything in the bay.

F-GCUM Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Instead, I concentrated my efforts on what was happening up in the air this afternoon. There were several aircraft up there, such as this one.

She’s F-GCUM, a Robin DR400-180 that belongs to the local aero club that fly out of the airfield a little further along the coast.

She took off at 16:11 and flew out around the Ile de Chausey and then down the bay to Mont S Michel, a quick lap around down there and back home again where she came in to land at 16:45.

My photo was taken at 16:39 (adjusted) so that all fits in.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Right behind him, another aeroplane came flying over the headland.

Her registration number is F-GBAI and she’s another Robin aeroplane, a DR100-140B that also belongs to the aero club.

She’s been out this afternoon for quite a long flight this afternoon. She took off at 15:26 and carried out the same flight as the previous one, but did several laps around between the Ile de Chausey and the Point de Carolles on her way up and down the coast.

She came back in to land at 16:47 and seeing that my photo was timed at 16:41 (adjusted) all of that fits in too.

There were a couple more aeroplanes out there too but far too far away for me to identify.

pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were plenty of people out and about on the path and this photo doesn’t really do justice to the crowds.

But what I was much more interested in was the grassland. Despite the rain that we had yesterday, it’s not done anything to revitalise the grass and it still looks as brown as it always did over this last month or so wih the heatwave that we had.

Interestingly, the native plants, otherwise known as “weeds” seem to have perked up somewhat though. It just goes to show that the weeds will always triumph in any circumstances. We are going to need much more than what we had yesterday to bring this lot back to life again.

lobster pot buoy pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were plenty of cars parked in the car park and on the lawn at the side again this afternoon.

And there were plenty of people milling around at the end of the headland. But what caught my eye was the buoy out there just offshore (and only just offshore too) that is presumably marking the site of where someone has dropped a lobster pot in the hope of making a catch.

Plenty of people down on the lower path below where we are standing, but no-one at all on the bench at the end of the headland by the cabanon vauban. But then again, that’s not really any surprise because it wasn’t as if you could actually see anything out in the bay this afternoon.

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022However there were plenty of people down on the rocks just offshore

As I mentioned earlier, the tide was well out so there were people out there at the pèche à pied making the most of low tide and having a good ferret around amongst the rocks.

Anyway, I left them to it and wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

There was no change in occupancy in the chantier naval today, although there was quite a racket coming from there. And no-one playing “Musical Ships” this afternoon at the Fish Processing Plant either.

freight port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Considering the amount of freight traffic that there has been just recently between Granville and St Helier, I was surprised to see so much freight still on the quayside.

We had Thora and Normandy Trader at least once running back and forth and even Chausiaise pressed into service as well. No wonder Normandy Warrior has come to join the party and the big Southern Liner has been carrying out trials in the harbour here.

But we all know where Marité is today. We can just about see her bow poking into the photograph.

Back here I had a glass of cold chocolate drink and then I had some work to do. Ages ago I broke a door shelf and the veg basket in the fridge and my temporary repairs have reached the stage where I’m spending more time repairing them than anything else.

Consequently I spent a while trawling through the internet and eventually came across somewhere from where I can order them. and it’s a good job that nothing else in the fridge is broken otherwise it would have cost me more to order them than the fridge cost new. I was astonished at the price.

After a good session on the guitars I went to make tea. The pepper that I had left over from last week had bitten the dust so I made a big curry with everything in the fridge, enough to last a couple of days. I rather overdid the chili powder so tomorrow after 24 hours of marinading it’s going to be totally wicked and I’m looking forward to it.

But that’s tomorrow. Tonight I’m off to bed. A good night’s sleep will do me good but I doubt if I will have it.

But if I go off on a couple of good voyages with some of my regular travellers, who seem to be rather conspicuous by their absence these days, I shan’t complain at all.

Saturday 13th August 2022 – GUESS WHO …

… dropped a full jar of tomato sauce on the floor and broke it?

It’s just not my day, is it?

But anyway, despite having gone to bed at something like a respectable time yesterday it was still a struggle to fight my way out of bed this morning when the alarm went off. Nevertheless I was still up and, well, almost about when the second alarm went off.

After the medication I organised myself, such as I’m able to, and headed off to LeClerc.

For some reason or other the place was absolutely packed, even if I did arrive just 2 or 3 minutes after opening time. I can’t recall ever having seen it so busy.

Nevertheless I managed to remember to buy everything that I needed there, even if I did have to queue for about a week in order to leave the shop.

On the way back I hit the traffic and there were queues everywhere. It took me quite a while to navigate myself through the town. It really does look like the height of the summer now with the crowds of people coming into the town, and parking is next-to impossible. I’m glad that I have a private parking spot otherwise it would be rather grim.

My entry into the car park though was blocked by a visitor trying to negotiate her way past the informal barricade that we have to stop strangers coming in, seeing as our barrier STILL isn’t working. But eventually I managed to sort her out, only to find that the person whom she’d come to visit wasn’t in.

It was almost time for breakfast when I returned so I made some strong coffee and toast to keep me going until this evening. and then I had a listen to the dictaphone. There was a little girl who had been caught in a strange land, the neighbouring land to where she lived. There had been some conflict between the two lands and the owner of the land to where she had strayed told her to go home and dispose of all of her milk and dairy produce. She went back and tried to break into her parents’ fridge. At first it was difficult but eventually she managed it but she found that it was the freezer and it was full of things like frozen carrots etc. She didn’t know what to do so she decided that she’d have another go. This was where I stepped in because I caught her trying to find the fridge. I asked her what was the matter and she told me everything. I suggested that she went and told her mum about it because no-one unless they are really stupid these days wants a war. Maybe her mum could either co-operate with this guy or else go to see him herself and tell him what kind of deal there is about whatever he is concerned about. It’s certainly not the place for a small child to become involved in this kind of thing.

And then one of the girls on our Welsh course had died and it was going to be another couple of weeks before our Welsh course restarted so her body had been placed outside her room but I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t think that it should be left outside her room for a couple of weeks until everyone came back. They told me to take care of the problem so I came along and put her in a room where there was like a coffin-shape already chiselled in the floor. I dropped her in that with the idea of obtaining approval from someone before I covered it in cement. The teacher in our class said “if you don’t mind me saying so, there are some very weird people in our classes”. I asked “what’s the problem?”. She replied “it’s a strange way that you’ve chosen to deal with this girl”. I answered “you can’t leave her body surely outside her room for several weeks while people come back etc”. She said “there’s a camp bed there. You can erect the camp bed and put that on it”. I answered “that’s a strange thing if you ask me, but I came to ask your advice and you’ve given it so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t follow it. I’ll go out there and put the camp bed outside her door and put her body on it and just leave it there like that”.

There had been an explosion in a mine and a lot of people had been killed. CCTV showed an employee taking something out of his haversack immediately prior to the explosion. It’s believed that that was what caused the accident while the men were having an evening sing-song down there. A couple of weeks later some kind of singer was appearing for a benefit concert for this mine disaster. He began to sing this song and while he was doing it he reached into his satchel for something and was immediately pounced upon by 2 security guys. This led to a kind of confrontation between his security guys and the mine’s guys. The mine’s guys explained what had happened a couple of weeks ago and the singers guys were having nothing to do with it at all. It led to quite a confrontation and people were really annoyed that this famous singer was seeming to get away with this breach of the law just because he was famous without any regard to the consequences that might have happened had he actually succeeded.

Later on I was round at someone’s house last night. I had to make tea so I started off with a soup, putting all kinds of things like vegetables, olives, chives and everything into a pot ready to mince down wit the mincer. But I was rather carried away and not only was the pot overflowing but I’d put the chives in complete with the earth in which they were growing instead of clipping them. I thought “that’s a bad start”. Anyway I managed to get the soup under way. Then I had to think about a main course. That involved frying some burgers so I had to fetch some cooking oil for the frying pan. But I had the wrong frying pan. This one had a handle that was three feet long that you would use for a barbecue. I put some oil in that and spilled half of it. Then I had to fetch some water in a saucepan to cook the rice. I’d done that then I thought that I’d better fetch a kettle full of water so I was going back and to all the time. The Farmer’s Daughter was there again as well. She’s been making a few appearances just recently and I don’t know why. She was having problems with her maths homework. My maths homework had been based on the subjects that she’d been doing so I took my folder with my work in it to her so that she could read through it and ask me questions at a more convenient time as I was really busy. By now the soup was boiling so I was having to stir that round and check that it wasn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan and break up some kind of dry noodles into there, some really tough dry noodles that would absorb some of the excess water and thicken the soup. There was another guy there, the husband of this family who was working. He was giving me advice about what needed doing as well. he was careful about spilling stuff because my brother was working somewhere and he might come out and slip on the water, not to mention the oil that I’d just dropped everywhere. This was turning into a real chaotic cooking session instead of something that should have been so simple and so straightforward.

Finally there was a village fête going on. There were crowds of people watching all the events. There was a group of us sitting at a table. One of us was a little girl. She took quite a shine to me and we had quite a chat. This chat went on for quite some time then in the end she got up and said that she had to go which disappointed me as I happened to quite like her. About 10 minutes later she came back. There were 3 little girls. 2 of them were skipping and she was in the middle. As the skipping rope went past over the girls’ heads they would go over her and she would jump too. This was all done in rhythms so they wouldn’t be tangled up in each other’s rope. So there were 3 of them and 2 ropes with the girl that I liked in the middle without a rope who was jumping just the same. It was something that looked quite impressive. They made their way slowly to the centre of the arena. Then the other events carried on. I was doing some work on a kind of Victorian water pump, something about being jammed by logs in Victorian times by careless felling and how the local council was improving some techniques that was going to lead to more of this careless felling which would lead to more problems with the pumps. I looked up and this little girl was watching the events in the arena. For some unknown reason I felt extremely disappointed that she hadn’t come back to sit by me and carry on with our conversation again.

Yes, two small girls again last night. I’m becoming broody again. I ought to have had a daughter of my own at some point in the past. She would have been spoilt rotten Those three years that I had Roxanne as my daughter were amongst the happiest of my life and I’d do it all again given half a chance. But that ship sailed a long time ago.

And choreography in my dreams too. Whatever next?

Having done that the next thing that I did was to pair up the music for Monday’s radio programme. That’s something that I usually do on Sundays but today I thought “let’s push on and get ahead”. Why not? and a couple of the pairs went together really well. A couple of them … well, less so.

Having had a few other things to do as well I ended up once more being late for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, my first pace to visit will be to see what’s happening down on the beach.

And so I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on there.

Because I was later than usual there was plenty of beach to be on and there were plenty of people taking full advantage of it. Absolute crowds, in fact.

Quie a few of them in the water as well, not that I’m surprised because every day we seem to be setting new records about heat and temperature. I’m at the stage where I wish that I had the strength to go down and join them and that’s not like me at all, is it?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But there was something else going on down there this afternoon that caught my attention.

It was a bunch of people shouting that did it and so looking around I noticed a bunch of guys doing stuff with cones and markers.

From up here I had no idea what they might have been doing but my money was on them being one of the local football clubs having a Saturday afternoon training session. After all the season starts here next weekend, if I remember correctly.

And that’s another thing, isn’t it? A couple of years ago I was a regular at the local football matches, all kinds of them. But that’s another ship that has sailed too. I can’t get up the hill to the ground these days.

The path around here was crowded too. Everyone who was anyone was out and about admiring the view out to sea, even if it was too hazy to actually see anything farther out.

car park pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That much was apparent by looking at the car park.

All of the spaces were taken when I arrived there and there were probably two dozen vehicles parked on the lawn on either side of the entrance.

Not that I’m going to criticise that all that much because, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, going back a couple of years we actually have a photo of a police car doing just that.

So I fought my way across the car park and down to the end of the headland but there was no-one sitting on the bench at the cabanon vauban this afternoon.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Plenty of people out on the rocks though.

This weekend is one of the highest tides of the year and it’s well out right now. So with it being a Saturday it’s brought out everyone for the peche à pied when they can go scavenging among the rocks on the public part of the shellfish beds to see what they can find.

Some of the shellfish are attached quite firmly to the rocks, so you’ll have to flex your mussels to pull them off

Yes, I’ll get my coat. Sorry.

zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But what are those guys doing down there?

They have a zodiac and it looks from up here as if they are perilously close to the rocks in it. In fact, although I can’t be sure, it looks as if one of the guys is in the water up to his kneess pushing the boat out to sea.

From the way that they are dressed, they aren’t your usual pleasure boaters znd they don’t seem to be wearing any lifesaving equipment so there’s something rather bizarre going on here and I’d love to know what it is.

red powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022On that note I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was going on in the port.

However I was overflown by one of our favourite little aircraft, the red powered hang-glider. By the looks of things it had been taking a pilot and passenger down the coast to Mont St Michel and back again.

In the port there was no change at all from yesterday. No-one playing “musical ships” this afternoon at the Fish Processing Plant and no change of occupant in the chantier naval.

And no Chausiaise at the ferry terminal either.

chausiaise ch907879 l'arc en ciel ch338276 massabielle port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That’s because she was here in the inner harbour tied up at the quayside.

Also in shot are a couple of trawlers, the little Arc en Ciel and behind her the bigger Massabielle whom we saw the other day.

What isn’t in shot is Victor Hugo, the Channel Islands ferry, and there’s good reason for that. When I went to the shops this morning she was actually at the ferry terminal loading up.

She left port at 08:36 this morning and arrived at St Helier at 10:43, and then departed at 18:49 to arrive back at 20:56.

So does this mean that services have finally begun? Watch this space.

Back here I had a glass of iced chocolate milk and put my feet up on the desk ready to watch Pontypridd United in their first game in the Welsh Premier League after their surprise promotion last year against a Fflint side that had, I reckon, 10 new players in their team from last year.

Pontypridd looked a fairly useful side technically but lacked height all over the pitch and had no-one up front to capitalise on the good work that their midfielders were doing.

Y Fflint, apart from having a centre-half who was 6’6″ tall, had some old hands on the pitch who have been around the block a few times and had several spells of a few minutes here and there when they looked pretty unstoppable.

It looks as if it’s going to be a long hard season for Pontypridd but if Fflint can play more often and more regularly as they did in those little cameo flashes they could surprise one or two pundits who have written them off too.

Y Fflint had two players on the field, a winger called Omar Ibrahim who has been playing in Finland and Okera Simmonds who was on the books of Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Accrington Stanley and was capped at England under-18 level. And if those two play like they did just now in those little flashes, we’ll be hearing a lot more about them as the season progresses.

After I’d finished I went to make my tea where I had my incident with the pot of tomato sauce. At least the walls and floor are clean now.

Tomorrow I’ve been invited out but I’m not going. An 08:30 start isn’t any good to me on a Sunday especially when I’m feeling out of sorts. I’m going to lie in and have a rest and build up my strength ready to fight the good fight next week.

And I don’t feel much like that either.

Monday 8th August 2022 – EVEN THOUGH I WENT …

… to bed fairly early last night, the 06:00 start didn’t do me much good and round about 12:45 while I was thinking about lunchtime, I ended up going away with the fairies.

And not just for five minutes either. When the alarm went off at 14:45 to remind me about my physiotherapy appointment (that I’m not restarting until next week) I was only just about tucking into my lunchtime fruit.

That was a period that I would like very much to forget.

When the alarm did go off at 06:00 I was out of bed quite quickly for my medication etc and round about 06:30 I was beginning to attack the radio programme.

There were a couple of new groups and artistes making their debuts so I had to carry out some research rather than just extracting information from my notes, and then I had to find about 11 seconds of speech to edit out when it came to adding the final track as it over-run.

As a result, it wasn’t finished until about 11:20 but it does all sound very good and, as usual, I learnt a lot.

That was the cue to go for breakfast, much later than usual, and Rosemary mistimed her ‘phone call because I hadn’t quite finished my toast when she rang up. We ended up chatting for about 45 minutes during which I told her about my vicissitudes at the hospital on Thursday.

It was shortly after the end of my phone call with Rosemary when I crashed out.

After lunch I made a start on transcribing the dictaphone notes but stopped half-way through because it was time for me to go on my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, the first place to go was to go and see what was happening down on the beach.

Consequently I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end of the car park where I can look over and down onto the beach.

As it was a lovely day, I was expecting to see crowds of people down there this afternoon and I wasn’t disappointed either. There were plenty of people disporting themselves on the rocks and many of them had actually gone into the sea.

It must have been really nice down there this afternoon and what wouldn’t I have given to be down there with them?

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, while I was looking around down on the beach I was also having a look around out at sea too.

Away out in Granville Bay almost in the English Channel (you can see the channel marker over to the right) was a beautiful set of sails, the topsail of which was bellying out in the wind.

No prizes for guessing who it was, although I had to wait until I returned home to enlarge and enhance the image to make certain.

It is indeed our old friend Marité who has gone out for a sail around the bay with a bunch of passengers. At least, that’s why I imagine that she’s gone out there.

belle france joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was even more activity out at sea too.

As I watched the action in the bay we almost ended up with another one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek v Greek” moments. There was a ferry on its way back from the Ile de Chausey and another one going out from the mainland and it looked at first as if they were on a collision course.

The one of the left heading out to the island is the very new Belle France and the one coming in on the right from the island is one of the Joly France boats.

They didn’t stay on the collision course for long though so I was cheated out of some free entertainment. Belle France did a little bit of the old “left hand down a bit” and they passed each other to starboard.

flying a kite pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From my vantage point at the back of the College Malraux where I’d been observing the nautical goings-on, I headed off down the path towards the end of the headland.

On the lawn half-way down the path there was a father and his little child having endless amounts of fun with a balloon. Unfortunately he couldn’t keep it up for all that long and it soon came crashing down to the ground.

But just look at the vegetation. It really is in a right state, isn’t it? All burnt to a rather delicate shade of light brown with just the odd patch of green weed that still seems to be thriving.

And the path is like an Oklahoma Dust Bowl from the 1930s and with the wind, there’s quite a bit of dust being blown about.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Acros the car park I walked down to the end of the headland to see what was happening out at sea in the bay.

There was plenty of activity out there this afternoon but I was much more interested in the ferry that we had seen a little earlier that was now just sailing around the headland towards the port.

From this position it’s easy to see which one of the ferries she it. With the step taken out of the stern and the windows in “portrait” format, we can tell that she’s the newer one of the two.

Strangely, there was no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban watching the fun, and no-one fishing off the rocks either, so I pushed on down the path on the other side of the headland towards point.

ch764626 chant des sirenes ch 730708 la soupape I ch898472 cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There has been some activity in the chantier naval while I was away in Leuven.

Chant des Sirenes and her painted mermaid are still in there, but I can’t remember who was there with her before I went away. Anyway, in there today with her is La Soupape I and over on the extreme right by the portable boat lift is Cap Lihou.

There’s a trawler in between Chant des Sirenes and La Soupape I but I can’t identify her from this position.

L’Omerta was still there moored up by the Fish Processing Plant but she was on her own.

men working on crane chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022They were having fun with one of the cranes in the inner harbour this afternoon.

That’s the one that they renovated a couple of months ago as you can tell by its new fresh paintwork but now someone is busy presumably checking over the hydraulics.

Chausiaise is over there too moored up close to the crane but the two Channel Island ferries are missing.

Back here I finished off the banana drink that I’d brought back from Leuven and then finished off the dictaphone notes from last night. I started out at school, sitting in a lesson writing notes into a notebook. On the cover of this notebook I had a drawing and the name of The Farmer’s Daughter (who has appeared a few times in the past in my nocturnal rambles but was only there last night in spirit) who went to this school and on whom I had quite a crush. When the lesson finished I put my notebook in the desk. Of course it happened to be hers. We all filed out of the classroom and I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until a couple of lessons later when one of the teachers asked me for a piece of work and I realised that it was in the notebook that was in The Farmer’s Daughter’s desk. He wanted it straight away so I had to go to her classroom. It was being used by another group. My brother was there along with a load of other people whom I knew so I had to interrupt the lesson to ask if I could collect something out of one of the desks. All the desks had been pushed over to the back wall to make a large empty space in the middle. I didn’t have a clue whose desk was whose and what and where. I had a look in them all as best as I could but I couldn’t find this notebook. I wasn’t even sure that I’d looked in them all. I did everything that I possibly could but in the end I had to admit defeat. I thanked the teacher and the class for their time and made my way out to go. They had all piles of magazines etc stacked up ready to be distributed amongst the students etc. Everything was in a real mess. There was no way that I could find this desk with this notebook in it so I was wondering what was going to happen next.

As it happens, I did have quite a crush on her at school although that didn’t go anywhere. However we did meet up in Manchester once or twice when I was living there and we saw each other once or twice.

Later on Nerina and I had separated and I was left with a pile of cars. I had the red MkV estate, the brown MkIII saloon and a couple of other estates. I decided that what I was going to do was to trim down the fleet and dispose of a couple of estates. I was putting a couple of ads in the newspapers. I’d written the ads but I hadn’t sent them off yet and I hadn’t decided which of the estates I was going to sell. I was obviously going to keep the red one but I didn’t know about the others. Then I was thinking that at the moment I don’t have a car on the road. There was no reason why the MkIII can’t be on the road because that’s MoT’d but it’s not taxed and I could afford to pay the road tax for once so I may as well tax it and have that going. While I was debating this my brother came along and asked me what I was doing. I said that I was contemplating the ceiling. He said “besides that”. I said that I was getting ready – I was going to – I was at work. He said “that’s not what I mean at all”. I replied “that’s all that I’m doing at the moment. I’m not doing anything else. It’s not the Spring or Summer so i’m not working on any cars. I’d leave it until then to put something else on the road running”. The chat with my brother turned in to be something rather acrimonious.

For some reason I was looking at fishing rods. I still had my fishing rod from when I was a kid but it was falling to pieces. I was looking in the window at various fishing rods. There was a young boy standing there looking who came over to talk to me. While I was looking at some that were in the region of £70-£80 he was just looking at any old one. I found out that he had never been fishing before and wanted to have a go. In the end he came into one of the shops with me and we had a talk to the woman behind the counter. I introduced her to him and he explained that he wanted to go fishing. She took him off to have a go with a few things while I listened to the radio about a few few fishing programmes. She came back with him picking a fishing rod at £5:95 but it needs some line and a few other bits and pieces. I said “that sounds good to me. Make sure that he has everything”. Then we started talking about what I really wanted. I explained that I wanted something good that would work under ice as well.

Like most kids, I had some fishing tackle that my grandfather gave me but I only went out about three or four times and just like the fishermen around here, I never actually caught anything. It was like watching paint dry.

Finally there was some woman whom I wanted to see, something to do with the radio. When I found out where she lived I went round to see her. She had some kind of security guy on the door who refused to let me in on the grounds that she was working. I suggested that maybe the 2 of us could do our work together and that way I could talk to her while she was working and neither of us would be wasting any time.

Having had a search around in that old-time radio site that I mentioned the other day, I came across some more ITMA, some “Much Binding In The Marsh”, some PG Wodehouse and some more Clitheroe Kid that I’ve not found elsewhere so I’ve been downloading that.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper which was delicious and now that I’ve finished my notes, I’m off to bed for an early night. I’m exhausted and a good sleep will do me the world of good. I bet that I’ll still fall asleep at some point tomorrow

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.

Monday 25th July 2022 – THE WEATHER HAS …

waves sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… changed dramatically today, as you can see in this photo.

It’s cooled down dramatically, clouded over and a high wind has sprung up. So much so that we are having some impressive waves slamming into the harbour wall while I was out on my afternoon walk.

Contrast that with the situation over the last couple of weeks or so where the heat has been enough to blister a bunch of barnacles and toast a throng of tourists.

This was much more like the usual weather that we have throughout the year and made it feel so much more like home.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The situation was reflected in what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

Not too many people down there at all and of those who were, there wasn’t a soul in the water as far as I could see.

Anyway, that’s enough about that. My own day has been slightly better than the last couple of days. I only managed to crash out for about 40 minutes today, and seeing as I was up and about at 06:00 after a night that was rather later than I was hoping, I suppose that it’s not too bad.

Mind you it’s a far cry from the days when I could function properly and thoroughly on only 3 hours sleep, or have a working day of 32.5 hours non-stop on the road.

They were the Good Old Days. As A E Housman once famously wrote, “The happy highways where I went and cannot come again”

After the medication and checking my mails and messages, I sat down to prepare another radio programme. I was doing quite well too for quite a long time but I ended up not finishing until 11:30.

But then that’s the problem with choosing songs by Canadian folk groups, Cheshire-based space rockers and Californian cover artists who are so obscure that they don’t even have a biography listed anywhere on the usual pages.

Interestingly, as an aside I ended up writing a few things about the Mariposa Folk Festival at Orilia, Ontario, in 1968 from out of my head without undertaking any research whatever.

And guess what site my social network provider suggested that I should “like” shortly afterwards? I smell a rat, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

While I was listening to the finished product I was sorting out my music and then I had a good session on the guitar, punctuated by my lunchtime fruit. It makes me wonder what my current weight may be. I haven’t weighed myself for a week.

Another thing that punctuated my guitar session was, rather regrettably, a crashing-out for about 40 minutes. and how I’m fed up of this. But then I’ve told you that before.

divers zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022For a change I was out for my afternoon walk at the usual time and after having inspected the beach, I headed off down the path towards the end of the headland.

Out there in the bay this afternoon was a zodiac. At first I thought that it might have been a fisherman or two but closer inspection revealed that it was full of Deep-End Dan and his mates.
“Don’t forget the diver!”
“Going down now, sir!”

No idea what they were after – it certainly wouldn’t be pennies thrown in the Mersey off the ferries – but we’ve seen a few training exercises taking place out there in the past.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Not too many people out there today in the wind so I had the path pretty much to myself this afternoon.

Mind you, there were crowds of people down there on the lower path, as I discovered when I reached the end of the headland. They were all congregating around the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland.

No-one out there fishing this afternoon though. I’m not sure whether that might be due to the notice that has been circulating for much of the day that because of high pollution levels, fishing in certain places is prohibited. I wonder if those “certain places” include the Pointe du Roc.

belle france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The people who had actually made it down to the end of the headland had something to admire this afternoon.

Right down at the head of the bay there was a large boat moving around so I took a photo of it with the idea of enlarging and enhancing it when I returned home.

Having messed around with it for a while I could see that it was without any doubt at all Belle France. It looks as if she has taken a party of day-trippers and tourists down to have a gaze at Mont St Michel from the seaward sid.

Under certain circumstances it’s possible to walk out to Mont St Michel from furhter down the coast and it’s one thing that I’ve been intending to do, but not until my knee improves, if it ever will.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022On that not I wandered off on the path down the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the port.

First of all though, there was all kinds of things happening in the bay today. We can see that oen of the sailing schools has gone out regardless of the rough weather, and a few private yachts have gone out as well.

What intrigued me though were all of the cars parked down there on the sea wall. It seemed that there were plenty of fishermen out there. If fishing from the beaches or from the rocks is prohibited, then I suppose that fishing from the sea wall is the obvious place to go.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Plenty of other things happening in the harbour this afternoon too.

Although the tide is well in, the harbour gates to the inner harbour are not yet open. However many of the trawlers and other fishing boats have come into port and they are queueing up waiting for the green light.

And it is a green light too. There’s a red light that shines at the harbour gate when the gate is closed and once it’s open, the light turns to green.

Meanwhile, La Confiance II is still on her own in the chantier naval. No change in there.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022On my way back home I looked at the quayside at the loading bay o check on the freight.

The freight that we saw a couple of days ago is still there but we have also acquired a swimming pool now. So one of the Jersey freighters will be in quite soon to whisk it away. The swimming pools are quite valuable so they won’t leave them lying around for long.

Back here I made myself a coffee and then had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d been doing some research into a guy so I’d been to see someone who ran a company that was connected to him. Somehow I found myself inside the build so when I’d made sure that I had my paperwork and a piece of paper with my notes I rang the bell. This guy went to answer the door but he was horrified to find that I was already in there. he went shouting up and down but calmed down when he realised that I was serious and started to answer a couple of my questions. After a few minutes he was more interested in establishing my bona fides so he ended up interrogating me about myself. I was sitting on my windowsill by my kitchen with my mother inside. He was asking questions about my farm and solar energy etc. I wasn’t asking and he was asking “are you sure that that’s correct?”. I replied “yes”. This went on and on and I was wondering when we were going to get round to doing what we were supposed to be doing which was interviewing this particular guy.

And later it was the town fair on a Saturday morning. We’d all gone and ended up enjoying ourselves, sitting down to have a meal. They guy who was organising it was going to bring me home about 13:00 but every time he came near to where I was sitting he was side-tracked off somewhere by something else. he’d have to run away and do something else and then come back, but before he could come back he’d be side-tracked by someone else again and again and again. In no time at all it was 15:20. I was horrified about what people were going to say about me being out so long when I’d promised to be back by 13:00 but there was absolutely nothing that I could do except sit there and wait for this guy to come along and take me home. He was being continually swept away by everyone and everything and had no idea about making sure that I arrived home at the correct time when I’d promised to my parents that I would.

When I sit down and transcribe my notes they usually ring some kind of bell with me. I’m asleep when I dictate them but nevertheless transcribing them triggers off something in my subconscious. But for the last few days I have absolutely no recollection whatever of anything that has gone through my mind about what happened during the night.

And that’s bizarre.

Tea tonight was quite a delicious stuffed pepper. There’s plenty of stuffing left over so I imagine that there will be a taco roll tomorrow if they are still edible and then a good curry on Wednesday.

The food that I eat here is simple but it’s pretty tasty and pretty good. I do look after myself from that point of view. It will be nice when I can bring up those cupboards and install my new oven. But I’ve no idea when that might be

Monday 18th July 2022 – WE’RE LIVING …

burnt grass on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022IN A DUST BOWL.

That’s the path that leads up to the lighthouse at the Pointe du Roc (the lighthouse is behind me) and “scorched earth” has nothing on this.

The grass is dying and whenever there’s a gust of wind it whips a cloud of dust into the air. We are “living in interesting times” right now and if people don’t get a grip and do something, it will be like this much more often.

Nature is indeed starting to fight back at the human race and we have only ourselves to blame.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that back in 2018 I was on Bylot Island in the Canadian Arctic with an Inuit guy. He told me that where we were standing was where he used to come with his kayak when he was a boy to collect ice from the glacier that was here so that his grandfather could have some fresh, pure water for his tea.

He then took us to where the glacier was on that day. We had to walk a little over two kilometres.
“How old are you, Michael?”
“I’m 22”

Anyone who doesn’t believe in global warming needs to take a little trip to the Arctic and talk to the Inuit who are watching their traditional way of life evaporating before their eyes..

But anyway, I digress.

Nature was certainly getting its own back on me last night. It was far too hot to sleep and I had a miserable night tossing and turning.

However I must have done at some point because there was some stuff on the dictaphone. I’d been with the boys in the band, one of the groups in which I used to play back in the mid-70s. We’d had to go to the Post Office to pick up some new equipment for one of them. When we arrived there was an enormous queue so we had to fight our way to the front eventually. There were crowds of people in the Post Office but the woman didn’t have the time to look for it. She wanted us to come back later. I said “yes, how about 45 minutes?”. That would give us chance to have a bag of chips or something for lunch. She replied “yes, that’s OK”. We went outside but the other 2 didn’t want to wait. They got into the van and drove off home which left me wandering around Crewe wondering what I was going to do. Eventually I drove home and parked the vehicle. I took this speaker cabinet out of the van. It was on 4 castors and I had to push it home over a muddy farm track. It wasn’t easy to push this. It was narrow and there were cars and bikes coming so I had to pull into the side to let them go. A girl appeared – a girl who lived in our building. She said that she would help me push it. I replied that there was no need, I could manage but she pushed it quite easily which surprised me. We reached the part where I’d put down a wooden flooring in this lane. We started pushing it and it really was easy. We pushed it between us up to my building. She made some facetious remark about the carpet that I’d laid down for my speaker. I said “yes and I’d have finished the rest of the way to the van had I had more wood but I’ve not been to Canada for the last few years and that’s where I usually buy it. It’s dirt-cheap there”. We entered the lift and I asked her what floor she wanted. She said “the first floor”. I wanted the ground floor so the lift took us down. I thought that it would take us to the first floor where she lived but instead it went on down to mine. We both left the lift and started to move the speaker cabinet. I thought that it was polite to ask her if she wanted to come in for a coffee or something but my place was a total tip. Even so I thought that it was the polite thing to do to ask her if she would like to come in.

Later on I was driving a taxi last night. On the radio the instructions came through to go and pick up someone called “Jagger”. They said that the address was in Walthall Street. I reached the street and asked for the number of the house. They said that they didn’t have it but it was the one with the wooden frame and the music. I drove down the street, eventually found it and knocked on the door. This old woman came out and Mick Jagger came as well. They both got into my cab. I asked them where they wanted to go to. The woman said that she lived next door to TB Furnishing. That shop I didn’t have a clue where it was. She said that it was one of the streets off Nantwich Road. I headed up that way and when I reached Nantwich Road heading towards the railway station the woman said “it’s not in this direction. Everyone else usually goes another way”. I replied “you tell me which way they go and I’ll take you that way. It’s no problem”. I couldn’t work out where this place was. Mick Jagger was going to Nantwich once I dropped off this old woman but I couldn’t get this old woman out of the cab because I didn’t know where she wanted dropping off.

Finally I was at work and someone came over to me to ask if I recognised a song. They said the first line of it. It was a Barclay James Harvest song “See The Gambler Make a Stand”, one of the tracks that I play on the acoustic guitar. I recognised the song immediately and told them the name … THE WORLD GOES ON” – ed … and which album it was off … “Octoberon” – ed … one of the best albums ever recorded in Progressive Rock (which it is). They asked a little more about it so I said that I would look it up on the computer. I went over to their computer to call up one of the music sites to look at it. They were busy playing on their computer, playing something on there so I had to use a different keyboard. This involved pressing piles of mud, pushing my finger deep into these piles of mud outside their vehicle to type this up. Of course, dealing with mud is not very easy to find the correct keys and their computer was even slower than mine. I thought that it would take quite a time to go through.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I was up and out of bed quite quickly. Having taken my medication and checked my mails and messages I sat down to prepare the radio programme that I wanted to do today. I wasn’t in any rush and it took longer to do than some of the ones that I’ve done quite recently.

But it really ought to have taken longer than it did because what I do is to prepare 10 tracks for about 48 minutes, 10 speeches that go for about 8 minutes after being edited, work out how much time is left for a final track, knock off 45 seconds for a final closing speech and then choose a track for the time that remains and then record the final speech which, after editing, should last for 45 seconds.

And in case you are wondering, 300 characters of text works out at 17 seconds of speech.

Anyway, usually it all over-runs so I have to edit some speech out from here and there to make it all fit and that can take a lot of time, but today it was a perfect fit. Just 0.3 seconds under, and lengthening a few pauses took that up in a couple of mouse strokes.

While I was listening to it, I was on the hunt for a Welsh Summer School. The problem with having a teflon brain is that nothing sticks to it so I need to keep it working.

Coleg Cambria, with whom I study, had a couple but for some reason that I don’t understand, our tutor didn’t tell us about them. So they have been and gone.

So rummaging through a few of my contacts elewhere I ended up with a tutor whom I know from Coleg Gwent with whom I did those supplementary classes earlier this year. Her college had a Summer School that started today and after much binding in the marsh I managed to blag my way onto it.

So that’s me occupied for the rest of the week.

While I was at it I also had a good session on the guitar today.

For a change, I missed breakfast so I ended up having my fruit bun for lunch with a pile of fruit. And then, regrettably, the bad night caught up with me and that was that for an hour. No problem sleeping in this heat when I’m on my chair, is there?

As usual I headed off out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And I rather wished that I hadn’t either because it was breathtakingly hot and I was seriously considering going back into my apartment.

As usual I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end to have a look down at what was going on down there

There weren’t all that many people out there this afternoon and that’s no surprise because anyone with any sense would be sitting inside the fridge keeping cold on an afternoon like this. Somehow I don’t think that being in the water will cool anyone down enough today

seagulls people in water plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There wasn’t anything at all happening out at sea this afternoon, but I was rather intrigued by the people here.

There was a kid on the rocks at the edge of the water doing something or other and an adult with a couple of kids in some swimming rings shaped like swans.

Interestingly though there was a flight of seagulls on their way over to inspect the proceedings and presumably making a bombing raid on the people in the water. That would have livened up the proceedings quite considerably.

The path was completely empty this afternoon. There wasn’t anyone at all out there as I headed off towards the lighthouse.

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There might have been nothing happening out at sea but we had something going on in the air this afternoon.

It was making quite a racket even though I couldn’t see it, but eventually I managed to lay my eyes on it. It was one of the powered hang gliders on its way out into the bay.

Unfortunately I can’t tell which one because it was flying so high that I was struggling to make it out.

At the car park at the end of the headland there were just four or five cars and no more than 15 people in total. That was all that I saw out there this afternoon.

No real surprise. One of my friends told me later that the temperature this afternoon had reached 41°C and sent me a photo to prove it. That’s what I call warm.

buoys pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench at the end of the headland by the cabanon vauban this afternoon.

Nor anyone walking around the lower path either so I was having a good look at the buoy that we saw yesterday, simply because today it seems to have found a friend. There’s another buoy there by its side now.

There were a couple of others further on round the headland too but I left them to it and headed off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the harbour.

Not that I was expecting all that much.

chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the ferry terminal this afternoon we had a couple of boats moored up.

At the front is the little freighter Chausiase and behind her is one of the Joly France ferries to the Ile de Chausey. No step cut out of the stern so she would be the older one of the two.

No Channel Island ferries though. Victor Hugo is still moored up in the inner harbour.

But the situation regarding the Channel Island ferries is becoming clearer by the day. There was a court hearing today that seems to suggest that the previous operators of the ferry service have not handed over the keys and documentation that the new operators require.

They have entered a defence against the action but my understanding is that it’s been struck out, so they are appealing.

l'omerta saint andrews port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022For that reason we’ll have to turn our attention elsechere.

Like to the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant where our game of musical ships continues with L’Omerta moored there again in her usual position. And behind her is the little trawler Saint Andrews.

Plenty of vehicles around there too on the lower level, and up above are a couple of piles of fishing equipment.

There is one of the little harbour lighters there too but I can’t identify her unfortunately, even if she does have a name.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022On my way back to my apartment and my coconut drink, I noticed that Martité was back in town.

No point though in going to ask when their next trip out will be, because the answer will be “it’s all on the website” and they’ll go back to chatting amongst themselves.

So with my coconut drink I pressed on with dealing with this Welsh Summer School and making sure that I had been accepted. And, of course, thanking Karen (who taught the supplementary courses and who found this course for me at lunchtime) for her assistance.

Byddaf i yna I said. “I’ll be there’.

As I said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … they are taking quite seriously this “Million Welsh Speakers by 2025” or whenever the time limit is.

Tea tonight was a rather sad stuffed pepper. “Sad” in the sense that it was the pepper itself that was showing signs of age. The stuffing was excellent.

So now I’m off to bed. I have four days of Welsh Summer School now for the rest of the week and that will keep me out of mischief for a while. But I bet that I’ll forget it all by the time that our course starts up again in September.

Sunday 17th July 2022 – THIS AFTERNOON …

… has been one of the hottest that I can remember. So much so that I almost abandoned my walk after about 5 minutes and come home for the shelter of my apartment with its 1.2m thick stone walls.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It certainly brought out all of the crowds and the town was heaving with people today.

So while you admire the crowds of people on the beach and in the sea enjoying the weather, I’ll tell you about my day today.

No alarm of course, but even though it was extremely late when I went to bed last night I was still up and about by 10:30. Had I made an effort, I could actually have been up and about earlier but hey! It’s Sunday! a good lie-in will do me some good.

At least it isn’t after midday so there is still a fair amount of time to do stuff.

people on rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The first stuff that I did was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

Last night started off with me on board a ship, or a train, something like that. I eventually managed to access my computer and was sitting down there quietly going through some images. A young girl appeared behind me. She went to say “do you have a girl in a blue-grey background?”. Suddenly she shouted “yes you have, it’s on the screen” I asked “what is it?”. She replied “I need to have that photo”. I asked “and?”. “If you can let me have your computer I can copy them out”. I replied “no. I’m working with the computer. You can have it later when I’ve finished”. She made such a complete fuss about this that I said “I’ll tell you what to do. You give me a memory stick and I’ll copy all the files that you want onto it and you can take them away”. She said “I don’t have a memory stick” so I said “so you find one”. She said “you have one” to which I asked “so you want to use MY computer and MY memory stick to move some photos for YOU?”. I was trying my best to stay polite but it wasn’t working. I was starting to become extremely irritated. The more she insisted the more I became annoyed and I could see that this wasn’t going to end very well.

people in sea medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on I was in the Army and we were attacking a block of flats somewhere where my aunt used to live. We’d taken up positions and were busy preparing to go. One section had held them at bay first before we all arrived. They felt that they should have gone into the attack first as a result but as they weren’t they were busy trying to sabotage everything even down to the effect of shooting their own soldiers in the main army to try to have their way. It clearly wasn’t working and everyone was around there and they all gave the order to go. They swarmed in but were held up so there was a huge artillery barrage. Eventually they fought their way into this building. The other person who ran this other battalion was still going on about how he thought that it was all unfair. We could see that there was nothing that was going to happen besides that would console him even now that we’d gone into this building and looked as if we were going to occupy it successfully.

people on beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The situation at Lidl was getting out of hand. The manager wanted it done one way, the senior assistant wanted it done another way. The photographer who was taking the photographs wanted a third. Presumably he was working on instructions from the owners of the company so we didn’t understand why everyone else was arguing with him about it. Even when we went for lunch the woman who was serving the tomatoes was having words with this photographer guy. I thought that this was terrible because he was just doing what he had been told to do and nothing to do with what he thinks himself presumably. He won’t have any leeway deciding how this catalogue is made up.

I had a new washing machine and there was a free gift – a year’s supply of washing powder. I askd them if I could change the washing powder for something else because of course living on my own I don’t use all that much. It led to a most extraordinary argument with a salesman who called me all kinds of names under the sun for wearing dirty clothes, or wearing dirty clothes for ever etc. It was most unprofessional and I couldn’t understand what on earth was upsetting him so much when we were discussing a free gift.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022I’d been working in an office somewhere. I had everything all done and the place was really tidy for a change with just a few files here and there that I thought that I could do on Monday and I’d be completely up-to-date. I wouldn’t have to worry about leaving my appointment and finishing in a mess when I retired. After all, I could have retired a while back because I’m over the retirement age. Meantime I emptied out all of my drawers. There was a big carrier bag and I thought that I’d struggle to fit everything in it. In the end I managed it. Then I went down to the station – the station at Wigan to buy a single ticket to Crewe. It would cost me £20:50 which I thought was extortionate. All these other people were waiting to use the ticket machine so I had to let them pass while I brooded on how I was going to go home. In the end I just went up to the machine and bought the ticket anyway. When I arrived home my flatmate had been home earlier. We went off to a night club to see a group. I was still fuming about this £20:50. When we arrived at the club the admission fee was £0:92 which I thought was much more reasonable. My friend said “hang on a minute” and went up to one of the members of staff to say 3I had a colleague with me” because I was carrying my camera so we actually could enter for nothing. he was going to report on it and I imagined that he pretended that I was going to be his photographer so we entered this nightclub for free.

This is quite a recurring theme in my dreams, isn’t it? Being at work on the point of retiring and wondering about what kind of mess I’ll be leaving behind.

Finally I was with Jackie and Alison somewhere. We’d been to an Indian restaurant the night before. Next morning we would all meet for lunch. I was still in bed at home in Shavington but the ‘phone rang. That awoke me so I left the bed and everyone was there. My mother said that my older sister had rung wanting to ask me a few questions. I went upstairs to the bathroom. The house was similar to the one in Shavington. I thought that the corner at the top of the stairs would be a nice place to put a 90° circular table and a potted plant or something. I would tell my mother that when I go downstairs. From there I ended up in the street going to this Indian restaurant. I was sure that I was really late. When I arrived everyone had on their face masks so I had to look through my pockets for mine. I then went in and found the 2 girls. One of them had already had her meal but the other was waiting for me to eat before she would order. I thought that with it being lunchtime I didn’t want very much so I just ordered some poppadoms and curry. When it came, it was an enormous dish. I thought “so much for my good resolution”. As I started to eat a man came over and said something to one of the girls. She shook her head but he carried on talking to her. She continued to shake her head, saying “no”. I wondered what on earth was going on because my German wasn’t good enough to understand.

The next task was to pair off all of the music that I’ll be using in the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow.

There’s some good music in that so I wanted to make it sound good so I spent some time on it and it wall worked quite well.

In between everything I went for brunch. Porridge and toast with some nice, strong coffee. If only I could find some decent baked beans. Unfortunately the French variety is not up to much and fool that I am, I didn’t buy a dozen or so tins when I was in Belgium just now with Caliburn.

As well as an hour or so on the guitar I’ve been writing a reply to a friend in the UK. She sent me a long message earlier in the morning and I had to set aside the time to give the matter some proper consideration.

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022In the middle of everything I went out for my afternoon walk in the middle of this heatwave.

We’ve seen all of the photos of the people on the beach, in the sea and swimming in the medieval fish trap but my immediate concern after all of that was with the repairs that are being undertaken on the medieval city walls.

This part of the wall here in the Rue du Nord looks as if it’s completely finished now and they have made a really good job of it. Although it wasn’t part of the wall that was under threat, there is no need now to worry about this.

All of the scaffolding has been taken down and the road is open to traffic again. It’s just fenced off now to prevent people leaning on the wall while the mortar cures.

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was here I stood on the top of the steps to have a look at the outside of the wall.

Unfortunately we can’t see all that much here but it’s pointless going down to the bottom of the steps because it’s all sheathed in a shroud of scaffolding netting.

Nevertheless it looks as if the work here is going to be finished soon too. So what’s the next bit that they’l lbe doing that will keep them here for as long as the guy with whom I spoke a few weeks ago said that they would be staying.

Anyway, that’s a problem for another time.

helicopter baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Right now I headed off down the path further on underneath the walls.

Down there I was overflown by a helicopter, one that I don’t recall seeing before. I can’t even say whether it’s a military helicopter or a civilian one and there’s no clue visible that might enable me to identify it.

Further on down the path I had a good look at the crowds on the beach at the Plat Gousset. Hordes of people down there today enjoying themselves, parasols and sunshades and all.

The problem wth this is that the tide comes in here quite quickly, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. This causes people to scamper to the protection of the promenade, just saving their essentials. Everything else, like their litter, is left behind and that’s how come there’s a lot of plastic floating around in the sea.

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022From the viewpoint over the Plat Gousset I wandered off around into the Square Maurice Marland.

There weren’t too many people here this afternoon but my interest was in the seagull chicks on one of the roofs in the Rue des Juifs on which we’ve been keeping an eye over the last few weeks.

These three seem to have grown quite considerably now and they look in the best of health, which is nice to see.

What else was nice to see was the ladder that the neighbour had put up against the roof and the tubs of water that have been put there for the seagull chicks to drink.

Obviously not everyone agrees with this policy of exterminating them

cap pilar hermes 1 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022A little further along the path I stopped to see what was happening in the inner harbour.

Marité is still all at sea, just as I feel myself at times these days. However over there against the quayside is Cap Pilar and Hermes I. Both of these trawlers feature quite regularly on our pages.

Also on the quayside is a pile of freight, and also a pile of scrap metal. The scrap seems to suggest that Thora has been in port very recently. She brings in a lot of scrap from Jersey to be weighed in here whenever she has some spare room.

From the Square Maurice Marland I headed back towards home via the Rie Notre Dame.

brocante rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Today is the day of the annual brocante in the old town here and I was expecting to see crowds of folk browsing around.

But that’s not the case today. For a start, there were only half the stalls here compared to previous years. And only half the people too. It seems that the hot weather has kept many people away, both stallholders and visitors too.

And as usual, I didn’t stop for a look around. I’ve been here before of course, and found that some people’s idea of the value of junk is totally different from mine

Instead I headed for home. I had some coconut drink in the fridge that needed drinking and this was the right time to drink it, especially with three large ice cubes.

Earlier on this afternoon I’d made another pile of pizza dough seeing that I’d run out.

There was some whole-wheat flour on sale at Leclerc so I’d bought some for my pizza. I wasn’t happy with the industrial bleached flour that I used last time.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022After it had proofed I divided it into three. 2 lumps went into the freezer and I rolled out the third one and put it in the pizza tray.

When it was ready I assembled it and put it in the oven to bake.

Strangely enough it didn’t taste as nice as previous versions of the pizza. It’s not the base – that’s good enough (although it took some cutting) but maybe one of the toppings. But whatever it was, it’s given me the wind.

Perhaps I ought to go outside with a kite. I dunno.

Tomorrow morning I’m radioing again. There’s another programme to make that I can add into the queue so I’m going to have an early night. After all, an 06:00 start needs a lot of sleep just like anything else.

Monday 13th June 2022 – NOW HERE’S A THING!

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While you admire a couple of photos of various sea-going craft, including what looks like Marité out there in the bay, I’ll tell you about my rather surprising day.

In fact, I seemed to be rather better today. The walk up to the physiotherapist and back again wasn’t quite as bad as it has been of late, and I only crashed out for about 15 minutes today, and that’s rather surprising considering the way that things have been.

Especially when I was up and out of bed this morning at 06:00 ready to work on my radio programme.

Once again today I wasn’t particularly rushed to complete it and it was about 11:30 when I finally finished it. And that was despite stopping for a coffee and also for breakfast sometime later

trawlers yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Although it’s not one of the better programmes from a music point of view, it’s a good one from a technical point of view with some of the nicest joins that I’ve made for a while.

What slowed me down somewhat as well was that for part of the time I was having a chat with Alison on the internet. She had a few exciting pieces of news to impart.

When I’d finished preparing the radio programme i had a listen to one that I’d made several weeks ago that will be broadcast this coming weekend, to make sure that it’s all correct

And while I was listening to it, I was tidying up and sorting out a few files on the computer freeing up a little more space.

There was time for me to have a shower before going to lunnch, to make sure that I was nice and clean and presentable ready to go to the physiotherapist’s.

After lunch I had a listen to the programme that I’d prepared this morning while I was still doing some housekeeping on the computer, and then it was time for me to go out for my appointment.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As usual, the first thing that I needed to do was to go to make sure that the NIKON 1 J5 was working properly.

That means going to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour to see what was happening there and take a photograph of it.

As it happens, there was nothing to see today. The tide is quite far out and there is no-one playing “Musical Ships” this afternoon.

But the tractor and trailer are down there on the lower level waiting for the boats to come in later on this afternoon. They will take away the boxes of shellfish although to where I don’t know. I’m not quick enough on my pins these days to break into a run to follow it.

yacht pescadore wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Meanwhile I’d heard a racket coming from over in the chantier naval.

It looks as if the portable boat lift has just a yacht out of the harbour earlier today and is presumably waiting for the tide to come in so that they can lower it back in.

And apart from that, there’s no other change in the occupants of the chantier naval. We still have Pescadore and Wavecat Express in there today along with the cabin cruiser and the catamaran that have been in there for a while now.

So with nothing else going on I wandered off down the hill towards the town.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A little further on I came to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour where I stopped to see what was happening there.

Marité, the large sailing boat, wasn’t there. We saw her in an earlier photo out there in the Baie de Granville, but there was a pile of freight waiting on the quayside.

That means that we will be going to be having a visit from one of the little Jersey freighters some time soon.

And it might even be Normandy Trader because I saw a photo this morning to suggest that her overhaul is complete and she’s gone back into the water ready to carry on where she left off.

cherry picker Rue de l'Abreuvoir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There weren’t too many people in the town today – there never are on a Monday as many places are closed.

But what there was was a cherry picker in one of the side streets with a guy in the nacelle doing some maintenance work on one of the buildings.

He had the street coned off to traffic and as I watched, a motorist reversed out of a parking place, flattened a couple of the cones and then drove away. It’s not just pathetic parking that’s an issue around here.

And gritting my teeth, I prepared myself for the long, weary climb up the hill towards the physiotherapist’s.

furniture lift rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And here’s something that I’ve not seen before in France.

We’ve seen plenty of them in Belgium though, haven’t we? A furniture lift being used to help someone move from one of the apartments in the Rue Couraye.

One thing that I have noticed is that many of the stairs in the buildings here are steep and narrow and I must admit that I wouldn’t feel safe, even if I was feeling fit and healthy, carrying heavy loads down the kind of stairs that you find in some of the buildings here.

At the physiotherapist’s she had me doing a few exercises and then 10 minutes on the exercise bike. And things seemed to be a little easier today.

When the session was finished I staggered out into the daylight and down the hill towards the town centre, and then back up to the other side of the hill towards my building.

gerlean rocalamauve l'omerta la grande ancre le styx port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now all of the boats are coming into the port one by one to unload their catch.

We can identify several of them – Gerlean, Rocalamauve, L’Omerta, La Grande Ancre and Le Styx are the ones that we can recognise at a glance.

Round about here I bumped into one of my neighbours. She’s the nurse and home help who lives on the floor above and, biting the bullet, I told her that I’m intending to engage her services when I come back from my travels.

Cleaning my apartment is now quite beyond my capabilities and if I don’t do something about it soon, it’ll be too late and I’ll end up living in some kind of squalid circumstances and I need to avoid that at all costs.

car driving the wrong way place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Now here’s something else worthy of note.

Just now I mentioned a motorist squidging a couple of cones down in the Rue Paul Poirier. But up here outside my apartment we have something even more interesting.

You can see quite clearly the “no entry” sign by the gate. This street here is a one-way street but this motorist doesn’t seem to care less about any of that. He’s pushing on regardless.

There’s definitely something wrong with a lot of people when they don’t care less about the rules of the road.

It’s not just cars coming the other way but there are loads of pedestrians around here who are used to cars only coming one way with the flow of traffic and won’t be looking out for vehicles coming in the opposite direction.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went in I went across the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what was happening there.

There weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. Only a couple of people. There wasn’t anyone else taking advantage of such a nice day which was a surprise.

On the way back here there was another neighbour loitering around so I had a chat with her as well. She’s not doing very well at the moment either. It seems to be quite an epidemic of illness in the building.

Back here I made a strawberry smoothie and came in here to transcribe the dictaphone notes.

I was working behind the bar in this night club. Someone came in asking for a packet of cigarettes. They gave me the little square card with the barcode on and I had to go to the machine. It was hung from the ceiling so I had to climb up onto a couple of tables and 1 or 2 other things and then I’d be lucky if I could reach it. At one of the tables was a girl called Alison whom I knew from school whose surname ought to have been “Raleigh”. She was there with a guy so I was talking to her. The guy was looking at me rather strangely so I said that we knew each other from school and didn’t say too much. She made a few remarks about one or two people whom we knew and she knew in particular. Then I had to reach for this cigarette machine but I couldn’t reach it. It was one of those things that you were only ever going to have one go at reaching because if you overbalance you’ll fall. If you fell you’d need to grab hold of the cigarette machine to stop you falling into a void. I was there tottering away on the edge of this table thinking that I’m never going to reach this machine and get this pack of cigarettes. I had absolutely no confidence that I was ever going to do so. It seemed a strange place for this machine anyway. Everyone was urging me on to go and get this packet of cigarettes but I just couldn’t see how I was going to do it without it all ending in tears. It was all extremely confusing and extremely bad for the morale this kind of dream where I couldn’t even think about getting this pack of cigarettes. All I could think about was stopping myself from falling into the void.

Then there were a few of us walking through this shipyard when all of a sudden we were pounced upon by a group of people. They started to attack and torture us, asking us questions about the ships that we’d seen being built. Wr hadn’t taken very much notice so we weren’t able to say very much. They started to become even more aggressive and the attackes became even more painful as they tried to make us tell them things but we couldn’t really tell them anything because we hadn’t noticed anything while we were walking through the shipyard

I had a cheque for £347 that I had to take to the bank. I handed it over the counter to the cashier but she credited it straight away into my bank account without asking me what I wanted to do with it. A little later in the day I’d run out of money. I realised that I’d only wanted to pay £200 into the account and I wanted the rest as cash so I had to go back to the bank and argue about that they had done with this cheque. Eventually I managed to find the woman whom I’d seen earlier (at least I thought that it was her) and discuss the situation with her before she would then return some of the money that was paid into my account from this cheque

It was while I was finishing it off that I fell asleep but surprisingly it was only for a few minutes.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with rice and veg and now that I’ve typed my notes I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form.

And who knows? I might have a better day tomorrow too but one swallow doesn’t make a summer, does it?