Tag Archives: breville sur mer

Friday 7th May 2021 – WHAT A REALLY …

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… nice day it was today. The kind of day that brought out the crowds in their numbers on the seas this afternoon.

You couldn’t move out at sea today for pleasure craft making the most of the gorgeous warm sunshine although there was very little wind for them to be blown around . It would take some expert tacking to bring them back to where they wanted to go.

What I’ve been doing today is nothing much of any importance at all. I’ve had my head glued to the election counter in the UK that’s counting the votes in the English Municipal elections and the elections for the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments.

And watching with a mounting sense of total disbelief as the most corrupt, inept and self-serving Government that the UK, and possibly the Western World, has ever seen sweep away much of the opposition in England and Wales and soar to an immense victory.

Much as I try to keep politics off these pages, I have to make two remarks about these election results –
1) Just how gullible, ignorant and stupid the average Englishman and Welshman are
2) just how totally useless the so-called “Opposition” is if they are unable to launch any kind of campaign against the misdemeanours of this corrupt Government.

As the Scottish Nationalist Party storms to an impressive victory and subsequent Independence, the English and Welsh will get the Government and the future that they voted for.

And get it in spades too.

This morning I was up at 06:00 and after the medication came back to the office to discover the depressing news from Hartlepool. But then I shouldn’t have been so surprised about that because any town that could mistake a monkey for a French spy and hang it is capable of anything.

And then throughout the day I watched more and more depressing news unfold. But one conclusion, seeing the rise of the Conservative and Green parties at the expense of the Labour party under Keir Starmer just goes to show that if people want to vote for a Tory, they’ll vote for a Blue Tory. And if they don’t want to vote for a Tory they won’t vote for a Red Tory.

At some point I had a listen to the dictaphone. During the night I’d gone to buy a bird for a house. I was getting a few things together so I went to see this bird but for some unknown reason. I didn’t buy it. I was turned away by the Polish landlady. I went off to the house that I was thinking of buying and there was plenty of time to wait. I’d got there early and in any case I’d taken a short-cut. Having waited around I decided maybe it would be nice to have in the house so I went back to this guy’s house. As I was pulling up at this guy’s house I was having all kinds of thoughts about “should I or shouldn’t I”. In the end I decided against it for the simple reason that birds on their own aren’t much company just singing all day and the other part of the time lying there doing nothing. (this last bit isn’t correct but I couldn’t understand it)

There was something in this dream about string as well but I can’t remember what it was, whether it was to tie this woman up with it, the woman who they had caught somewhere but I can’t remember now. This woman had been in the Welsh class and we’d been given a new book to study for those who were continuing the course. The tutor had us looking at the back for one or two things and then to move to page 216 which we all did and there was something saying “sorry Barbara but you have been conned into this by someone at the chief of Police. The other people are willing students” or something like that. She was extremely put out by all of this. But there was a piece of string somewhere in all of this to tie her up.

Later on we were on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR heading somewhere and I was telling people about how cold it was on board and I was freezing. I was saying that when I first was on the ship in 2018 it was really warm but it was quite cold on board this year. We put into a port unexpectedly and we all assembled on deck to find out what was happening. They had rigged up a crane with a kind of stretcher or bed so we assumed that it was a medical evacuation. We were all ushered off the ship and taken by a guide on a walk. We were out in the country and we passed a camp of Bedouin Arabs in tents on a grassy ridge just like Western Europe. I took a photo of them quickly even though the camera strap was obscuring the part of the lens. And then we climbed up a bank shooing away a flock of animals and then on a road. But even though we were walking it was speeding up like in an old film, very high speed. We passed a building so closely that I felt sure that we were going to come into contact with it. I asked the guide where we were and he said that we had been heading towards the site of the Battle of Trafalgar so I assumed we were somewhere in Western France.

There was a rather late lunch, due to the fact that everything was heating up rather round about normal lunchtime, and then I went out for my afternoon walk as usual.

work compound machinery place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRight outside the dour of my building there was some kind of excitement – or, maybe, it would be more accurate to say “lack of excitement”.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on the car park for the building across the street, they’ve had a little builders’ compound with machinery, gravel and all that kind of thing while they have been working on the Rue St Michel in the old walled town.

But today, the compound has been dismantled and most of the machinery and all of the gravel has gone. This might signify that the work there has finally come to a halt and they are all ready to go home.

At some point over the weekend I shall have to go for a look to see.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHowever, something that I can go and look at right now while I’m out here is the beach so I wandered off to the end of the car park to look over the wall.

The tide is by now well in and there isn’t all that much room at all for people to be out about. Nevertheless we can see half a dozen or so people, some of whom have a light brown dog, who have managed to find some room down there to sit down and make themselves comfortable.

Not that I can blame them either because today was the first day this year when I felt that I could have gone out without my coat. Plenty of warm sunshine and no wind at all, and doesn’t that make change?

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome people out on the beach, and plenty more out at sea as we have already seen, but here are some more people enjoying the nautical weather in the sun.

In fact there were plenty of boats drifting slowly around the sea just off the Pointe du Roc and here’s someone else who is coming along from the direction of Breville-Plage. And he seems to be in quite a hurry too, and passing by a pile of drifting or stationary boats at this kind of speed, he is not going to make himself very popular with the others

There were quite a few little marker buoys out there too indicating where the fishermen have dropped their lobster pots, and speeding like this past them so closely isn’t a good idea either.

people fishing from rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it looks as if the fishermen are back too.

Having walked across the lawn and the car park I went down to see what was going on down at the end of the headland. For a change there was no commercial fishing from boats out in the Baie de Mont St Michel but standing on the rocks where these three guys, two of whom had cast their lines out into the sea from here.

They didn’t catch anything while I watched … “no surprise there” – ed … so I set off on my travels on the footpath along the top of the cliffs on the south side of the headland to see what was going on in the port and in the chantier navale.

fishing boats fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this is probably why there aren’t any fishing boats out in the bay this afternoon.

After their day yesterday besieging the English in their port at St Helier they have a living to earn and so they must have gone out as soon as the harbour gates opened this morning.

Now that the gates are about to open for the afternoon tide, they have all come into port already to unload their catch and then to move into the inner harbour for a well-earned rest.

After that, with nothing else going on, I came back home and had a coffee and then carried on watching the depressing news from the UK. I was so depressed and so involved in this that I missed my tea.

Anyway it’s really late now but that’s not important because with it being a Bank Holiday tomorrow there’s no alarm and I’m going to have a lie-in. I can’t say that I don’t deserve it after all of my efforts just now. A lie-in will do me good.

Wednesday 14th April 2021 – I AM NOW …

… a proper, legal, registered citizen of France.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of years ago, with Brexit, we all had a mad scramble to assemble piles and piles of documentation to prove our status in France. That was pretty important because we had no clue as to what would happen once the UK left the EU

And having done so, we were eventually all issued with temporary residence cards.

The next problem was that the UK then abandoned us all to our fate, refusing to negotiate a residence position for us, with the result that we were once more left in limbo because our temporary residence cards became invalid and there was no recognised right of residence.

Consequently each EU member state was left to deal with the issue on its own terms, and some of us in France who had had residence cards under the previous system were luckier than others in France and elsewhere because it simply involved reregistering.

That was something that I did just after Christmas and a couple of weeks ago I was summoned to the Préfecture for an interview and to have my fingerprints taken.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … the new card turned up in the post this morning. A 10-year card with the right to work. That caused me to breathe a sigh of relief.

But it’s only valid for France though. I can’t up sticks and move to another country as I was able to do prior to Brexit. I don’t think that people realise just how much we have been affected by Brexit. And I’m sure that if they did, they wouldn’t care

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhat else turned up today – or, rather, turned up again today – were the fishing boats back in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Not as many as there might have been though. The other day there were quite a few fishing around out there but yesterday there weren’t any at all out there. Today though, there were three of them out there fishing in the bay.

You can see two of them in this photo. One of them is away in the background close to the Brittany coast but another one of them is here in mid-channel.

In the background the church at Cancale is silhouetted in the sunshine on top of the cliffs. It’s been a while since we’ve seen that

trawlers english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were other trawlers and fishing boats out and about in the vicinity too, as well as those in the Bay.

The very big fishing boat is out there having a good trawl about this afternoon in the English Channel. You can tell that by the fact that it is going from west to east rather than from north to south or south to north. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen them working so close inshore.

Over there in the background to the left is one of the marker lights on one of the rocks just off the archipelago that makes up the Ile de Chausey. And in case you are wondering, that marker light is about 11 or 12 kilometres away from where I’m standing

buoys baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we can see what it’s doing this afternoon. I think that this is another mystery that might be cleared up.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that every now and again we see a few buoys appearing rather miraculously in the Bay just here off the coast at Donville les Bains and Breville-sur-Mer. They have appeared again today, coincidentally more-or-less exactly in line with where the trawler is dragging.

If that’s the case, then we know why those buoys are out there, marking the lanes for the trawler to drag.

Another thing that was resolved today was the question of my mega-tour of Central Europe. Everything is now written out and on-line and you can see the start of it HERE. The page that took me most of the time to write was THIS ONE.

It’s not quite complete because all of the photos aren’t on line as yet. Most of them are there but my eyes glazed over before I reached the end. I’ll do the rest of them tomorrow if I can find the time.

Some of the stuff needs rewriting as well, and I’ll be attending to that in due course.

It surprises me that I managed to do as much as I did today because I had another difficult day. Once more, I was up and about just after the first alarm at 06:00 and by the time the third alarm went off I was already at the computer working.

Another batch of photos from August 2019 were dealt with this morning. I’m still on the Little Big Horn battlefield but I’m now more or less where Captain Keogh was cut down. There’s still a long way to go on this battlefield before I can move on..

Having finished my day’s photos I had a few other things to do and then I attacked the Central Europe trip and worked at it until it was finished and on line, along with most of the photos.

There were the usual breaks too – for my hot chocolate and sourdough, for my lunch of course and then for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith the weather being as nice as it was today I was expecting to see hordes of people out and about on the beach.

Accordingly I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end where I could look down and see what was going on. And to my surprise there were hardly any people down there. I had to have a good look around until I could see anyone down there.

And I do have to say that I admire the yellow wellingtons. They added some ambience to the environment.

There were very few people around on the footpath so I could wander around at my leisure along the clifftop. And no bird of prey either. I don’t know where everyone has gone.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I reached the end of the path by the lighthouse, I could see Le Loup, the marker light that sits on top of the rock at the harbour entrance, winking at me.

From halfway along the path down to the car park a really good view of the light presented itself so I took a photograph of it, and then I pushed off along to the end of the headland.

We’ve seen what was going on at the end of the headland – the three fishing boats out there in the bay. But there was no-one disturbing the two buoys right close inshore where we saw that small boat the other day.

And no fishermen out there on the rocks either. They have probably had enough of spending all that time out there and catching nothing.

anakena hermes 1 nyx 3 notre dame du cap lihou aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe mystery of the pleasure boat in the chantier navale is solved today too.

The boat is down there on her blocks with Anakena, Hermes I and the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou. She’s called Nyx III as you can see by the name on her stern. There was no-one there today obstructing the view. Those men are standing down there on the quayside this afternoon instead of on the stern platform.

Aztec Lady, the other big yacht that has graced the chantier navale for the last quite a while is still over there on the right-hand side. There’s a car parked alongside here and a couple of people who seem to be working on her, but they don’t seem to be particularly fired with enthusiasm.

trawler joly france ferry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver at the ferry port there has been some kind of activity over the last 24 hours.

One of the Joly France boats is still moored up at the ferry terminal even though the tide is out. So it looks as if she has some work to do in the very near future running out and back to the Ile de Chausey. Her sister ship is parked up in the inner harbour right now so they don’t seem to have all that much work on the go.

But interestingly, there’s one of the fishing boats tied up at the ferry terminal too. Usually they would me moored at the new pontoons in the inner harbour so I’m wondering what the issue must be that means that so many of them are just tied up outside at the mercy of the tide.

chausiais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other day, we saw a huge pile of freight loaded up at the side of the quayside waiting for someone to come along and cart it away.

Today, we’ll notice that it’s all been removed. A message had reached me this morning that Normandy Trader had been on her travels during the night last night so it looks as if she’s been into port at some point and loaded up to take it all away. I’m not sure if she brought in any freight but there wasn’t anything on the quayside waiting for a lorry.

But at least we know where Chausiais is today. She’s moored up down at the bottom at the loading bay this afternoon so I’m wondering if she’s going to be running some freight out to the Ile de Chausey on the evening tide.

We’ll have to see where she’s moored tomorrow.

cherry picker repairing aerial square pelley le pleville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there was something interesting going on at the new building at the roundabout at the Square Pelley le Pleville, with that cherry picker .

From this distance I couldn’t really see what it was but back here, having blown up the photograph (which I can do despite modern anti-terrorism legislation) I can see that the cherry-picker has some men in it and they seem to be working on the mobile phone aerial on the roof.

Back in the apartment I had my mug of hot coffee and came back in here to carry on with the work. I knocked off with the Central Europe photos when it was time for guitar practice, and afterwards I had tea – a madras curry out of the freezer with rice followed by the last of the jam roly-poly. And what a success that was.

Somewhere along the way I’ve peeled, diced and blanched half of the carrots too, so it really was a productive day.
I’ll be glad to get into bed now and have a rest because I reckon that I’ve deserved it

Tuesday 19th January 2021 – IT’S BEEN …

… another bad start to the morning today.

As you might expect, I missed the third alarm again. When it went off I thought to myself “I’ll just have another quick 5 minutes” and then it was 07:51. And so with my Welsh class due to start and a pile of homework to do, it was rather a mad scramble.

In the time that was available I did what I could (which wasn’t all of it) and then I grabbed some hot chocolate and a slice of my sourdough bread, and we began.

Surprisingly, it was a better lesson today and I quite enjoyed it. I even managed to bluff my way through the missing homework which was quite something, I suppose. But I need to be more disciplined. I keep on saying that I learn to be more self-disciplined – unless I become a Tory MP and pay one of these women in Soho to do it for me.

No time to stop for lunch. I needed a good clean-up and that took up my spare time.

boules petanque place pleville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThen it was time for me to go for my doctor’s appointment.

But first I have to take a photo of the guys playing boules or petanque or whatever down on the Place Pléville at the foot of the Rampe du Monte Regret. No social distancing, not a facemask in sight, right next door to the Police Station. No wonder the virus is soaring out of control.

Yes, that’s right. We’ve just had a Christmas holiday with tourists arriving from Paris, haven’t we? And cases of Covid in the département have gone up 250%.

Just what is going through the minds of these people? It’s unbelievable.

At the doctors I had one of my two injections. Now that I have no spleen, and hence nothing to vent, I have to have a series of vaccinations every 5 years and the time is up for the renewal.

Just one today, and the next one in two months’ time.

There’s a problem though wit my Covid injection – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it. I’m a foreigner with a foreign comprehensive medical insurance and so I’m not registered with the Social Services here in France. In Belgium it’s the GPs who do the vaccination apparently but as I’m not registered with a Belgian GP I can’t have it done there.

In France it’s the Social Services who do it. Everyone agrees that I’m a priority case but if the Service doesn’t know about me, there’s nothing that anyone can do. So my doctor rang them up today for a chat. They didn’t know either but they’ll call him back (so they say) and then he’ll call me.

But what he’ll call me, I can only imagine.

Next stop was the Police Station to have my certificat de vie from the Belgian Pensions Service signed to prove that I’m still alive. Not that I’m convinced that I am, but there you go.

There are two police stations in Granville – the Municipal Police and the National Police (and also the Gendarmes but that’s another story). Of course, given a choice of two, I went to the wrong one and so had to go back to the other.

digging up rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way home, instead of walking along the top of the cliffs I cut through the Medieval town to see what they were doing in the Rue St Michel.

They are still digging it up and it looks as if they are going to be there for the Duration. But at least you can see all of the strange hieroglyphics and markings on the roadway. I’ve mentioned them a couple of times.

When I arrived home, very late as you might expect, I stopped and finally had my lunch. And the bread that I made the other day really is good too and I’m proud of this loaf.

trawlers english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was so late that by the time that I’d finished it was time for my afternoon walk.

If it had been windy earlier, it was now even winder and I was being blown around by the storm. The other day we saw a fishing boat out in the English Channel having a bit of a fish. Today, it’s still there – at least, I think that it’s the same one

And she has some friends out there with her today. I can see two others fishing not too far away from her. But it’s rare to see them fishing so close to shore. The fishing ban seems to be having an effect and I’ll be interested to see what happens when Normandy Trader tries to unload the shellfish from the Jersey< Fishermen’s Co-operative.br clear=”both”>

fire donville les bains breville sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubish will recall the huge firt that took place here last year when we were lost in the billowing clouds of smoke.

There always seems to be the odd fire or two of some sort or another taking place, and we have another one today. That’s out behind the Holiday Camp on the way to Breville sur Mer and round about where the airport is.

At least, I think that it’s round by the airport so I hope that there’s nothing serious going on over there. The last thing that we need is an air accident.

sun on sea cliffs ile des rimains brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway, I pushed on … “he means ‘pushed off’ ” – ed … along the footpath along the cliffs, which was now drying out somewhat in the wind after the heavy rain.

Just a few people around but no-one got in my way this afternoon although a dog took more of an interest in me than I would have liked. But I made it unscathed to the end of the headland to look out across the bay to the Ile des Rimains that was even clearer than it was yesterday.

Unfortunately, the sun is now so high in the sky that it’s not illuminating the water in the bay. And give it a couple of weeks and it won’t even be illuminating the water at all when I go out.

courrier des iles chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday, we saw Courrier des Lies – or some of her at least – up on blocks in the chantier navale.

Today though, we can see much more of her because Joker who was obscuring our view, now seems to have cleared off and gone back into the water. It’s not clear what is being done to her. And, of course, the big yacht is still there. I think she’s put down roots and become a permanent fixture.

It’s not for me to put down roots either. I cleared off too only back home, where I made myself a nice hot coffee and sat down for 5 minutes quietly.

And the next thing that I remembered was that it was 18:15. About 90 minutes or so I was crashed out, I reckon. This is becoming really bad.

Although I managed an hour on the guitars, I was in no fit state to move – hence I had a very late tea of just pasta and veg in a cheese sauce, and I’m going to have a very late night tonight.

One of these days I’ll break out of this vicious circle – but I’ve no idea when that will be. But in the meantime while I ponder on that, I’ll just append the dictaphone notes of my voyages during the night, which I didn’t have the time to transcribe earlier

I was staying with friends and in the apartment building where we were living there was all talk of the supernatural and everything like that. Everyone was panicking because the demons were going to visit the earth – the graveyard or something. They were all going to come down to look for the humans and kill them all off. I suggested that a couple of us went out to confront the demons taking crosses and holy water, things like that, on the grounds that cowering in our attics and rooms, they are going to find us anyway. We’ll be locked in and we won’t have any room to manoeuvre whereas if we are outside we have a chance of taking them by surprise, taking the initiative and with plenty of room to manoeuvre it will take them by surprise and we might be able to actually achieve something. In the end I convinced one person to come with me so I thought that I’d go upstairs and find Marianne’s cross and holy water etc so I went, and found that the door to my apartment was open so I burst in and there was a family sitting there eating a meal. I’d heard that there was a family who had had some accommodation difficulties and had some problems about their kitchen but here they were borrowing mine. There were a couple of cats and dogs running around my apartment and I was most unhappy to say the least, as you can imagine. I started to look for Marianne’s cross and holy water but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Then I realised that Marianne’s cross had been buried with her. We began to run out of time and we needed to be getting off. I wasn’t in the least bit ready for this but it was a case of having to go as you were.

This is another voyage where I awoke and it immediately evaporated. We ended up walking through a town and I suddenly realised that I didn’t have my camera with me. I remembered putting it on the seat of the car and putting my coat over it so that no-one can see it and we walked away, so I couldn’t take any photos. We went for a meal – there was one place open – and had something to eat. Then we came out and walked back to the car and reached a place where there were a couple of old American vehicles. Someone had sculpted the bodywork of one so that it was like a kettle. I went to take a photo and had this horrible feeling that I’d left the camera in the place where we’d had lunch. Of course that place would be closed now. I realised now that I hadn’t brought it with me so we nipped back to the car and I fetched my camera and nipped back to the place where this old American car was. By now about 30 kids had all piled into it and in it and around it. The engine started up and it started to set off. I went to take a photo but once again I couldn’t take a photo – the shutter just wouldn’t let me photograph it.

Later on last night I was in one of these great big coffee places. I ordered a coffee and had a bunch of grapes but I had to hunt to find a table or a sofa to sit on. I found myself a table and sofa and sprawled out on there and realised that I didn’t have my coffee yet. In the meantime the place was filling up rapidly and a family with 2 kids came to sit at the table next to me. I stood up to go and fetch the coffee and reached the island in the centre of the place where all of the coffee was. I had to walk around it and did two laps round but couldn’t see where the coffee was. There were all kinds of different things, teas, chocolate and so on, desserts, ice creams and everything but I just couldn’t find the jugs with the coffee in it.

Thursday 3rd December 2020 – I DIDN’T …

… go to the shops today.

On looking out of the window I noticed that it was absolutely chucking it down and there was a violent wind bending all the branches of the trees. It’s not as if there’s anything particular that I need today, so I’ll wait until tomorrow and try again.

Another thing that I didn’t do today was to beat the third alarm. When it went off, I was still in bed. Mind you, I was up and about within seconds so it didn’t make a great deal of difference either.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith it being shopping day (even though it ended up not so being) I had a shower, and then while you admire a couple of photos of tonight’s storm, I’ll attack the dictaphone.

A gang of thieves had raided a large shop and had escaped with an enormous amount of money in the run-up to Christmas. They decided that they would go on and do it again thinking that there would be more money in it now and they would have learnt a lot from their previous escapade. So that was what they did. But what was lacking this time was a suitable watch-out, a suitable dedication and a certain amount of ruthlessness. They obviously thought that they knew it all before and that they knew it all but whereas the authorities had learnt quite a lot, these people hadn’t. The person who was actually the security guard was actually one of the criminals. He faked the hold-up while someone fired a shotgun blast that blew out one of the windows in a door and the guard let everyone in. They started rampaging through the store, going through the safe but there was just one guy working. The others were larkign around a bit. There was no-one in the foyer of the place keeping an eye on who was coming up and down in the lift which was still working. Of course the Police appeared pretty quickly because they were all clued up by this before the gang had even finished loading up the stuff from the 2nd safe. It was the look on the guy’s face when everyone was urging on the safecracker, when he got everything out of the 1st safe and they said “there’s another safe to go now”. You should see the look on his face because he’s the only one working. The others were just larking around when speed was the essence. if they had taken what they had out of the 1st safe and disappeared they might have made it. As it was there was a running battle all the way down this street with the police and these gangsters. They’d set the whole street on fire in trying to make away their escape in the confusion. But it hadn’t quite worked like that and they were trapped by the flames. And I awoke in a night sweat

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little later I was staying in a house with a family. A house very similar to Davenport Avenue. There was a question about this mattress. We had to put it out of the way and I had assured everyone that it would go somewhere in a cupboard so I tried to push it into a cupboard but after a while trying, it wouldn’t go so I said in the end “what would it matter if it went into the attic?” They all agreed to put it into the attic so I climbed into the attic ready for them to pass it to me. But it looked far too long to go into the attic and had to be folded in half. I wasn’t sure whether it would fit. We needed it to be in the box to keep the dust away from it and that was going to be even more difficult. It was going to turn out to be one of these Chinese puzzle things . Again I awoke in a sweat. There were a few other things we could get into the attic afterwards as well if we persevered which would make the place look a lot better anyway

There was more to it than that too but as you are probably eating your meal I’ll spare you the gory details.

Having typed all of that I spent the morning dealing with the arrears of my journey to Central Europe. There was a break for my hot chocolate and chocolate cake and I do have to say that despite how it looks, my chocolate cake is delicious. And the icing, once it had set, was perfect too.

That recipe will be used again, certainly, but with individual cake cases to better manage the dough mixture.

kiwi kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter lunch I had the kefir to attend to as stocks are getting low right now. The earliest batch of kiwis are now super-ripe so they were whizzed up into a pulp, the juice was extraced and the remainder squashed to extract the final drops.

The kefir that had been brewing was now passed through the filter with the kiwi pulp in so that it would rinse more liquid through into the juice in the big jug while I made up another batch of kefir

The kefir and kiwi juice in the big jug were all mixed together and then filtered through the very fine mesh filter into the bottles where it will ferment for a few days

mushroom pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, believe it or not, it was time to go out for my afternoon walk.

And so walk I did seeing as the rain had stopped for the moment. But the weather had certainly brought out the mushrooms. They were sprouting everywhere and were quite an impressive size. This one must have been about three inches in diameter.

Many people have asked me if I know whether these mushrooms are edible or not. I usually reply that I don’t know, but there is a test that works. All you do is just before you go to bed, take a small piece, cook it and eat it. If you wake up next morning then you know that it’s perfectly safe to eat.

It’s infallible

cap frehel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallStrangely, even though the weather was heavily overcast and it was threatening rain, there was a really good view down the Brittany coast.

If you look closely at this photograph you’ll not only see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel but also the headland behind it that it is protecting. And while seeing the lighthouse is not an everyday occurrence, seeing the land is even less so.

The gap in the land mass that you will notice just to the right of centre, that’s the bay with Saint-Cast-le-Guildo at the bottom – the little port where we stayed one night in early summer when we were out aboard wem>Spirit of Conrad.

north coast of Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view in the other direction from where I was standing is pretty impressive too despite the weather.

from left to right, we have

  • Coudeville-sur-Mer on the extreme left
  • The “Route Blanche” caravan site
  • The large white building which I think is the grandstand for the racecourse
  • the airport buildings
  • Bréville church on the skyline
  • L’Oasis camp site
  • the start of Donville les Bains just disappearing behind the hedge


ceres 2 yacht chausiais joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there, I pushed off around the headland and down the path on the other side to see what was happening.

Chausiais and Joly France were over there at the ferry terminal of course. And there’s a sign of things to come in the chantier navale this afternoon. For some unknown reason they have erected a tarpaulin tent over the rear of Ceres II as if there’s some kind of important work like repainting going on underneath it (although it’s rather too cold and damp for painting right now, I would have thought).

It looks as if we might have to wait for a few days to find out. But could this be a sign that at long last she might be going on her way very soon?

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re on the subject of comings and goings in the port … “well, one of us is” – ed … here’s someone who has come into port this morning and, presumably waiting for the gates to open so she can go out again.

Yes, we’ve been honoured with the presence of Normandy Trader over there being loaded up ready for departure. And moored the correct way round too, not like Thora yesterday, although it’s not so crucial which way round she moors as her accommodation is at the rear.

With that much excitement going on, I was overwhelmed so I had to come on home for a mug of nice hot coffee to warm myself up.

There was the usual hour on the guitars and then I went for tea. I fancied a vegan pie but to my surprise I’ve run out completely of main-course pies. I had one of my vindaloo curries that I made a few weeks ago instead, followed by apple pie.

So tomorrow, I can see that I’ll have a job to do – like bake a pie. I really fancied one today too so I’ll have to make one tomorrow instead, I reckon.

This evening I almost came within an ace of not going out for my runs. It was teeming down with rain and there was a howling gale blowing.

But having missed so many, I gritted my teeth (well, it was freezing) and set off.

christmas lights mairie cours jonville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRunning was pretty difficult and I didn’t even consider the path underneath the walls. That’s waterlogged at the best of times so heaven alone knows what it would be like right now. I remained on the Rue du Nord and round to the top of the Escalier du Moulin a Vent

That’s possibly one of the highest part of the walls at this end and you can see all the way out across town. And down into the Cours Jonville and the Mairie – the Town Hall – which is now all decorated in blue Christmas lights.

There’s a hint of decoration in the trees opposite the Mairie too. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw the electricians stringing up the lights in the trees down there a while ago.

escalier du moulin a vent viewpoint place marechal foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy usual viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch is down there.

You’ll see the metal fence, and if you look below it you’ll see what looks like a row of small arches. I’m usually tucked in the corner on the far right of those arches when I’m taking my photos. You can see the difference in height between the two positions. It’s probably about 30 feet to right down there.

And that was where I went for my photos of the storm that you have seen, and then I ran off across the Square Maurice Marland and straight home. No detour around the walls in this weather.

So if the weather is better, it’ll be shopping tomorrow. I shan’t be going if it’s still like this though. I was soaked to the skin and frozen to the marrow. Never mind my woolly hat – it’ll be gloves tomorrow if I go out.

Monday 12th October 2020 – PHEW!

Looking back through the reams of rubbish that I regularly write, I recall on a couple of occasions spending almost an entire week not so long ago preparing one radio programme.

Since I last wrote up my notes yesterday, in a space of just 16 hours, of which 7.5 hours was spent either sleeping, eating or doing other things, I have prepared not one but two. It just goes to show that I can do it when I really try.

But as Margaret Thatcher once said, “anyone can do a good day’s work when they really want to. But the secret is to do a good day’s work when you don’t want to” and I’m a long way from that.

It all started after I’d finished writing my notes last night. Having had a decent night’s sleep last night and a crash-out in the afternoon I wasn’t in any way really tired and ready for bed. During the day I’d been listening to a concert that I intended to edit down for my monthly “live” concert and I’d an idea which tracks I wanted to use so it was a case of splitting the concert and selecting the tracks, and then transferring them to a holding directory.

That didn’t really take all that long, which was a surprise because it’s the kind of thing that sometimes can take forever. And much to my surprise, and probably yours too, I ended up with 58:24 of music without any messing about. That’s the kind of thing that never ever happens and I can spend hours and hours editing live concert tracks and still have a substantial shortfall.

It then needed to be joined seamlessly and that’s usually a long, complicated process which sometimes can take hours because you don’t only have to make the beat and the rhythm fit in, you also have to control the sound balance so that it sounds like a smooth, flowing concert. But for another reason that I don’t understand it snapped together almost perfectly. There was only one join that was in any way complicated.

At that point I’d ended up with 58:21 of music which meant that there was just 1:39 of introduction – a big change from the usual 3:30 or something when I’m scratching round for things to say and how I wish that I could mix more concerts like this one.

On that note I went to bed. It had taken quite a while to do all of that and I was tired.

Much to my surprise, and probably yours too, I beat the third alarm to my feet. How did that happen after my late night?

Sensing that this might be my day, first thing that I did was to listen to the dictaphone. I was doing some work over the weekend or an evening or something and I had to be ready for work later that morning. I didn’t have time really to take it round to the person I was going to see so I was wondering if Zero, who used to accompany me regularly on my nocturnal rambles but hasn’t put in an appearance for a while, so hello to you again at last – would do it for me or if she had to see it I can’t remember but for some reason I had to make her see it. I was thinking that maybe I could post it somewhere and send her a mail for her to link to have a look at it. But there was much more to it than this that I can’t now remember, and some more that I can but as you are probably eating your meal right now, I’ll spare you any discomfort.

Next task was to attack the notes for the live concert. Having done some research I sat down and dashed off an introduction. And by the time I’d finished it, uploaded it to the computer and edited it down, I ended up with 1:46 of notes. 7 seconds over which makes a change from either being 30 seconds over or a minute short, but as there is a lengthy applause lead-in to the concert, I simply overdubbed it and ended up with my hour programme just like that.

It wasn’t yet 08:30 so I decided while I was at it, I’d make a start on the programme for the following week, a standard one with 11 tracks, a speech from my special guest and an introduction to each track. And by the time that I was ready to go for my afternoon walk at 15:40, it was all done and dusted and complete, despite the usual break for lunch. I don’t think that I’ve ever done any standard programme that quick.

Erecting Scaffolding College Malraux Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter all of that I was ready for my break.

But once I went outside, I didn’t get very far. regular readers of this rubbish will recall that they had a cherry picker up at the College Malraux the other day after Storm Alex, with some people apparently checking the roof and the guttering. Today, they are erecting some scaffolding outside against the walls of the College.

There’s a little compound there so I went to have a closer look at it. There was a huge pile of laths there, and a section that was empty but labelled ardoises – “slates”. So it looks as if the College is going to be having a new roof in the very near future.

Yacht English Channel Breville sur Mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so I wandered off to the sea wall to have a look at what might be going on there.

The tide is well in now so there’s no beach to speak of for anyone to be on, but over in the English Channel by Breville-sur-Mer there’s a yacht that looks as if it’s anchored. “Probably fishing” I mused to myself. That’s the usual reason for boats to be anchored out there.

But it shows you how the weather has calmed down now. A week or ten days ago at the height of Storm Alex there were no boats out at all and even a hardy fishing skipper would be thinking twice about it. But you can see in the background that it’s raining over there. Less windy it might be, but the weather is still depressing.

Monument French Resistance Flagpoles Point du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were a few people out there this afternoon – the weather wasn’t that nice – but there was nothing else going on out at sea that I could see except a yacht way over by the Ile de Chausey.

But there’s been a change at the Monument to the French Resistance here at the Pointe du Roc. It seems that it’s not just the leaves that come off the trees at autumn, the flags in the flagpoles do as well.

And if you look very closely at the photograph, you’ll notice that we have only three flagpoles there today. The fourth one seems to be missing. So I’ve no idea what’s going on there. It’s something on which I’ll have to keep an eye as I go on my rounds here and there.

There was no change in inhabitant in the chantier navale today so I pushed on along the path.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that pathetic parking is something that takes up a lot of pages in these notes, and as I went past the Rue Saint Pierre that leads up to the College there were the usual suspects parked with wheels on the kerb blocking the path for the pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Parking at No Waiting Sign Boulevard Vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThinking that you are probably fed up of seeing it, I resolved not to take a photo today, but here’s a photo that I couldn’t help but take.

Parking is prohibited here in the layby in the Boulevard Vaufleury from 08:00 today for the next few days so that they can trim the trees, but this hasn’t deterred this motorist and a couple of others from parking here.

And by the look of things the seagulls didn’t think very much of this “no waiting” sign either

Having taken my photo I turned for home. I’ve plenty of work to do and can’t afford to spend the time hanging around aimlessly.

While I was sorting through the photos I had a listen to the two programmes that I’d done today. And I’m quite pleased with them. They’ve come out well.

There was the usual hour on the guitar but for some reason I couldn’t get into it and I don’t know why. I’m not quite sure what’s going on right now but this isn’t like me at all.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg followed by more blackberry pie and soya coconut dessert.

Place Marechal Foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis evening I almost didnt go out for my walk and runs. The rain was teeming down.

Nevertheless I did, and here’s the photo to prove it- a photo of the Place Marechal Foch in the rain and the only reason I took it was to prove that I’d been out. My footpath under the walls was totally waterlogged so it wasn’t possible to have my evening run down there. However I did manage to improvise something and at least made the distance.

Apart from me, there were just two other people out tonight in the distance, walking dogs, and that was your lot. I didn’t stay out there too long either in this weather. I came home quite quickly.

Having finished the notes, I’m off to bed. I deserve an early night after this. Just my Welsh revision tomorrow and then my Welsh course, and all my programmed work will have been completed by Tuesday lunchtime. Hopefully I can then push on and catch up with some arrears. I’ve done a pile of photos from July 2020 and I’m now deep in Switzerland.

There’s just about 20 more to do and then I can turn my attention to those for August 2020. There’s about 120 of those but they will take some finding

Saturday 3rd October 2020 – I ONCE STARTED TRAINING …

… as a fortune teller, but I had to give up my studies due to unforeseen circumstances.

That is just as well because I would never have made the grade. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last weekend I mentioned Y Fflint – a football club from Deeside that has just been promoted to the JD Cymru League I mentioned that “They are no mugs, and certainly not cannon-fodder like some promotees have been.”

Today they played TNS – and TNS put 10 past them. That’s the heaviest defeat that I recall in the JD Cymru League for quite some considerable time … “August 2016” – ed …. although in fairness, Flint’s keeper was carried off after 23 minutes and they had to put a substitute in goal.

But anyway, I’ll stop predicting and shut up. Except to ask the same question as I did last weekend – “just how good are TNS this season?”.

They are obviously better than I was this morning because once again I had trouble hauling myself out of my stinking pit. Only by a few minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile.

But it seems that I have a lot on my mind right now, judging by what was happening last night.

There was a boat last night and a few of us were on it. It was called the “Son Derwyn”, something like that it was called. There was some woman on there but I can’t remember what she was doing. In fact I can’t remember anything about it at all apart from that.

Later on I’d been seconded onto a job to go to work in the South Atlantic (that’s a coincidence, isn’t it?). There was a group of us and three of us were leaving on the same flight so we were waiting around at the ferry terminal (don’t ask me why). I was with Nerina. We were sitting there talking to each other and there were these two other people talking and making a couple of phone calls. It turned out that they were indeed two of these people. They’d been told to look out for a third so I was wondering whether to introduce myself but I couldn’t be bothered. Nerina and I sat there and carried on talking then we got on this plane and flew to wherever we were going. We ended up in the hostel where we were staying, all sitting around but these two other guys hadn’t come. We weren’t saying too much about anything to anyone. In the end it was time to go to our rooms to get ready for dinner. We went off to our rooms but ended up in the wrong one. We’d all been waiting in one of the rooms so we went off to ours. All it consisted of was two divans, sofas, wickerwork type bamboo things. We thought “this is strange. It’s not going to be very comfortable. We’re not going to be able to get up to much good in here”. We realised that we’d left all of our stuff in the other room. One of the other guys had been for a shower. He came out and said “God you don’t want to go in that shower. It’s freezing cold”. I said “I’m not a penguin. I don’t fancy that idea”. He said “it’s all there is”. We went down into the communal bar place. Apparently there was some bread and jam somewhere so Nerina asked one of the waiters or staff or someone where the bread and jam was. They replied “you have to do things for yourself you know here. You’re expected to work on Saturdays”. I explained that we were quite happy to go and get stuff for ourselves – that’s not a problem. We just wanted to know where it was because we were new. We didn’t get our bread and jam but nevertheless Nerina went off to try to find some and I went to find some tables. It was pretty crowded and in the end I found a couple of chairs and we tagged ourselves on to some other group we were with. Then I realised that I needed some names of people who did things in the town – tradesmen and I’d left the telephone directories that I’d pinched from the library in this guy’s room so I thought that I’d better go and find some more. I walked out into town and found a few. On the way back I was being harassed by this little boy and I almost picked him up and thumped him one but I restrained myself just in time. As I got to the traffic lights – we’d been passed by buses and whatever – I thought “this is a bigger city than I expected. Much more modern”. An ambulance came out of a junction and was rammed by a little white van. A few people piled out of this little white van and another vehicle pulled up as well. They started dragging people out of this ambulance. I noticed that the people in this little white van had police jackets on. One of them gave this gorgeous right hook on one of the passengers in the ambulance. i’ve no idea what this was all about. The ambulance guy was radioing through that he’d been hit by this van and that there was a fight going on with some of his passengers but he had a woman who was seriously ill who he was taking to hospital. Could they send another ambulance to pick her up and take her on while he sorted everything out here. I was making my way back to where I was staying. I do remember thinking “how the hell am I going to be expected to keep the peace in a town like this if this is the kind of behaviour that goes on and it’s such a busy place anyway?
Somewhere along the line was a pizza that had to be put in the fridge so we went to arrange the slices so we could but found that it was all too big for the fridge and there wasn’t the room to put it so what would we be doing about that? I had some ribald comments from my father and my brother about all of this while I was doing it to so I thought that if I can’t find a solution to a little problem like this how am I going to manage doing anything major?
And what was this next bit all about? “This train was crowded with people. Everyone was crammed in and no-one dare move in case someone took their seat. I was handed a telegram which when I opened it said that there was a mumbled something that I couldn’t decipher. immediately. I thought that this was a reference to this new job or else they’d found out something about me that I hadn’t wanted anyone else to know.

With a reasonably early start nevertheless I managed to edit about 15 photos before I went for my shower. And today I had the heater on in the bathroom. The first time this back-end. And I needed it too.

Next step was to empty out the fridge and switch it off. It’s frozen up again and needs to defrost. It can do that while I’m out at the shops.

NOZ had nothing exciting and Centrakor couldn’t supply a new bread mould.

In Leclerc I spent very little – most of which went on things like a box of 2kg of grapes. I bought three fresh figs too and when I reached home, I set another kefir mix en route. Mind you, I needed a boat to come home in, not Caliburn. It was raining hard when I set out but by the time I made it home we were having a torrential downpour of the type that you don’t see very often.

Brigitte had left the window open on her car too so I rang her and told her. But it was rather too late to do any good.

Having set the kefir going, I alternated between the photos and hacking lumps of ice out of the fridge. That latter is now done – all nice and clean and defrosted (but for how long?) and I’ve done almost 70 photos today. And some of them needed quite a lot of editing too. That took some time.

St Helier Jersey Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time that I was ready for my afternoon walk there had been a dramatic improvement in the weather.

By now not only had the rain ceased but we were having a beautiful afternoon – one that had really brought out the crowds. And the views were splendid too. You could see for miles and miles – all the way to St Helier in Jersey 58 kilometres away. In all the years that i’ve lived here, I’ve never ever seen the Channel islands so clearly with the naked eye, and with the BIG NIKON D500 and the 18-300mm ZOOM LENS it all looked even more clear

It’s tempting me, if I remember, to go out with the tripod tonight if the wind has dropped to an acceptable level

Peche À Pied Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halland it wasn’t just on the footpaths and the lawns around here that there were plenty of people either this afternoon.

The severe storms that we have had just recently, such as Storm Alex and what went of before it have certainly shaken up the sea bed and who knows what they have unearthed? And so that’s another reason for the people doing the peche à pied to be out there this afternoon, over and above the beautiful weather and the very low tide today.

And I hope that they share the catch with all of their friends and neighbours. After all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

Medieval Fish Trap Crowds On Beach Plat Gousset Bouchot Farming Donville Les Bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so I left the viewpoint overlooking the beach and walked on along the Rue du Nord, and down the footpath underneath the walls. Too many people about today to go for my run so I shelved that until this evening.

There was quite an assortment of items to note going on this afternoon on the beach at the Plat Gousset and down all the way past Donville les Bains.

  1. In the foreground we have the medieval fish trap (at least, I’m assuming that it’s medieval). The water flows over the walls when the tide is coming in and when it retreats it leaves behind a large pool of water in which, in theory, there should be fish trapped which the inhabitants can then pull out with their hands.
  2. Plenty of people out there too, including more pecheurs à pied
  3. The bouchot farm. These are mussels that instead of growing in the sand, somehow manage to grow on the strings that are attached to those poles. These are supposed to be something of a delicacy because with not having been in the sand, they aren’t anythign like as gritty. I once talked to one of the ropes and asked him about the affair. He told me that at first he didn’t like the bouchots but then after a while they began to grow on him.
  4. More pedestrians
  5. The caravan park, with the airfield behind it
  6. The Church of Bréville sur Mer


Crowds Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt beats me sometimes where all of these people come from because as well as the crowds milling around on the footpaths etc., there are also quite a few loitering around on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

You can see that all of the beach changing cabins on the promenade are no longer there, having been taken away for winter storage a couple of weeks ago. And that’s just as well because had they still been there the other night they would have been smashed to matchwood with the force of the waves that were sweeping up over the wall onto the promenade.

There are one or two people on the beach as well, but not as comfortably-installed as they were last weekend with their folding chairs.

Anyway, I left them to it and wandered off through the Square Maurice Marland where I was engaged in conversation with a boy about three years old.

Joly France Seaweed Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the viewpoint overlooking the port, I could see that one of the Joly France ferries to the Ile de Chausey, the newer one with the smaller upper superstructure, is there whereas the other one looks as if it might be out at sea.

But it wasn’t that which caught my eye, it was the seaweed in the dock. The storm has clearly devastated the sea bed, as I suspected that it might, and the tidal current has been so strong that it’s brought the seaweed right into the head of the harbour.

That must have been some storm.

Football tonight on the internet tonight again. And Sgorio is still having problems with its service. Apparently the English-language stream stalled and while they were fixing it they transferred the viewers over to our Welsh language stream. And the presenter apologised to the English-speakers – IN WELSH.

As for the match itself, it was Cardiff Metropolitan v Caernarfon Town.The Met had 60% of possession, 15 corners compared to the 5 of the Cofis and a dozen shots on goal compared to the 4 of the opposition. When the Met were awarded a penalty early in the game those of us who were watching were saying “here comes the first of many”.

However Josh Tibbetts in the Cofis goal saved it, and from then on the result was predictable. The Met could still be playing out there all alone right now on an empty pitch and they would still be unable to score. As for Caernarfon, three of their four shots went into the back of the net, to produce one of the most unlikely results that I have ever seen.

The Met had a right-winger out there – a young lad called Liam Warman. I’ve not seen him before but he impressed me considerably tonight and I’ll be looking out for him again.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite what I said earlier, I didn’t get out with the tripod tonight.

When the weather brightened up earlier this afternoon as it did, I reckon that it must have simply been the eye of the storm, because it’s back, and with a vengeance too. So well wrapped up and in my waterproof jacket (and how I wish I’d taken my waterproof trousers too) I went out to take a photo or two of the storm.

And if you are wondering about the dreadful quality (because they really are dreadfully blurred and over-exposed) there was a wind blowing at over 100 Km/H and a driving, torrential rainstorm right into the lens of the camera and I had to do the best that I could.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there, I noticed that there was no-one else whatsoever taking advantage of the view tonight.

That’s hardly surprising because I don’t think that I’ve ever been out in such dreadful weather. There was no chance whatever of going around the headland so instead I went back around the walls. It was impossible – absolutely impossible to run down the path as I usually do. Not only was this absolutely awful headwind and driving rain, but the path was about two inches deep in water.

That meant that I had to pick my way gingerly around, which wasn’t easy as I had the hood of my raincoat pulled firmly down and I couldn’t really see where I was going.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually, after many difficulties, I reached the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

Here, I was being battered and buffetted by a blinding blizzard of rain and I could hardly see a thing. But I’d caught glimpses of the spray as I walked around the path and you could hear the noise of the waves smashing down on the promenade for miles, so I knew that it was going to be a good one.

Basically, it was just a case of waiting for a really loud crash, counting to three to give the spray enough time to make it high into the air, and then pressing the shutter blindly, hoping that something would work out. And, quite frankly, it was something of a failure altogether but you can’t have everything. Ideal conditions and nothing to photograph – miserable and depressing conditions and lots of excitement.

isn’t it always like that?

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving stuck it out for as long as I could and with rivers of rain running down the back of my jacket and soaking my legs through to the bones, I headed off for home, thanking the heavens that there had been no football in the area tonight that I might have gone to see.

The Square Maurice Marland was pretty well sheltered so I managed to run all the way across there and even halfway up the second ramp. I need to try my best to keep my heart working. But the final run that I do – from the church back home, there wasn’t any possibility of attempting it tonight in that wind. And I was right yesterday about the wind tunnel. The howling gust coming up there as I walked past almost bowled me over.

Back here I’ve written up my notes and that’s that. Sunday tomorrow and a day of rest too. No cooking or baking either (except for the usual pizza) because I shan’t be here for a few days. I might stretch myself and, having defrosted the fridge today, defrost the freezer tomorrow.

In this weather, it’s not as if there’s any danger of anything defrosting, is it?

Tuesday 8th September 2020 – THIS EVENING …

… I have seen something that has caused me a great deal of disquiet.

There was an ambulance and police car in the rue Cambernon here and about half a dozen people, ambulancemen and police, were struggling with a hysterical adolescent girl to put her into the ambulance.

There was no clue as to what had caused the incident, but her hysteria was way beyond the norm and quite suggestive of some kind of stupefiant-ignited issue although of course from the distance at which I was observing the affair and the fact that it was in the dark, there was nothing other than the audible indication to promote this idea.

But whatever it was, my hat goes off to the police and ambulancemen. It was a very stressful event, quite a battle to put her inside and strap her in, and they showed far more patience and discipline than I ever would have done.

It goes without saying that it’s not the kind of incident that one photographs, but it’s still bad news when the affairs of the banlieux of Paris come to, quite literally, our own doorstep.

As for me, much to my and everyone else’s surprise, I was out of bed before the third alarm went off. At least – I was sitting on the edge of the bed trying to summon up the courage to take some kind of drastic action, like moving.

Once I’d gathered my wits, I had a listen to the dictaphone.

I was on a galleon last night, one of these Spanish galleon things with crowds of people on it, a big tourist attraction. I was there with a certaib lady of my acquaintance. Something happened, me being careless I think, and she ended up with a sea-full of face – or, more likely, a face full of sea. I said that I was sorry but she started to whine on and on and on in this silly voice that she had, mimicking what I was saying so on that point I’d had enough so I just turned round and walked away. She changed her tune afterwards, apologised and asked me to come back but I’d really had enough so I just walked off. There was someone climbing up a ladder into the rigging of this ship. He was carrying a tray with about 10 different drinks on it. I thought that that was adventurous. I wouldn’t even do that with two. I was wandering around this ship, trying to find my way around and try my best to totally ignore her while she was still having one of these tantrum display things. There were some people sitting down – I was wondering whether to go to sit with them but I thought “no. I really want to be somewhere quite a way from this end of the ship somewhere on my own”.
Somewhat later we were having a look at some photos last night about all of the abandoned properties around Crewe and Nantwich, places like the old Co-op brewery and so on, a lot of them with photos of abandoned cars on them. There were several in Nantwich, three of them being churches close together in Hospital Street and their congregations transferred to the main parish church there. These churches, one of which was called St Werburgh’s, were all very eerie but very magnificent, Victorian Gothic-type but in terrible states of disrepair and decay. Even though I don’t remember them as a kid (because they weren’t there) we were having a good prowl around these places last night in this dream. It was really quite interesting. On one occasion we ended up being at a church service. They came along and asked for a collection. The girl I was with said she didn’t have anything and I just had a few copper coins that I gave them. later, we were on a railway station watching the trains come in. We moved away but a train had pulled in so I prepared my camera to take a photo. As it pulled out another one, a magnificent really big powerful locomotive pulled out of this station hauling an express train so I went to take a photo of them with the NIKON 1 J5 as it pulled out of the station but it wouldn’t work at first. I had to press the shutter a couple of times for it to work. While I was doing this there was some woman standing nearby. She was excited because she could see the main railway station from here. I thought that she meant the one at Manchester which was quite some way away and you can’t see with the naked eye, but bathed in fog anyway. But she said “no, it’s Denton station! Look over there! So I looked over there but I couldn’t see it at all with my naked eye.

Having dealt with all of that, I finally got round to having a look at Sunday’s effort. And after a good deal of listening, of thought and of transcription I managed to sort something out and you can READ IT HERE.

Surprisingly, even though I had the strongest impression that Pollux was one of the people with me, there was no mention whatever of her name at all, so I’ve no idea where this impression comes from. Mind you, there are several minutes missing here and there, either because

  1. I didn’t dictate it (there seems to be a hole in the middle of the story somehow).
  2. I didn’t transcribe it because I couldn’t decipher it (there was some of that too)
  3. I didn’t type it out because there was a significant part of the voyage that would put you off your tea. And there seems to have been quite a bit of that just recently. I’ve been having some really disturbed – and disturbing – nights just recently.

As I was finishing everything, which had taken me long enough, someone with whom I wanted a chat appeared on the internet. We ended up having a lengthy chat and that was, basically, the morning finished.

After lunch I set about the radio programme. All of the tracks have been paired and combined and the text is written. Not dictated though because I ran out of time.

There had been a few interruptions during the afternoon.

speedboat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst of all, there was the afternoon walk in the beautiful pleasant if not slightly windy afternoon.

There wasn’t all that much activity out there at sea this afternoon. Whatever that big ship was yesterday, that’s cleared off and there was only a speeedboat roaring past out at sea.

They are clearly going far too fast for fishing and I can’t think of any other good reason why they would be out there this afternoon. It’s not as if there’s anywhere to go in that direction.

tractors beach breville sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallIn theory I suppose that they might be heading towards shore because there is something exciting going on over there on the beach by the looks of things.

We saw the other day that the bouchot harvesters were out there on the mussels beds at Donville-les-Bains. Over there on the beach bear Breville-sur-Mer they seem to be gathering again.

They are quite possibly waiting for the tide to go out so that they can access the mussels beds over there too. I doubt that the cabin cruiser there has any involvement in the activity.

fishing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThey are probably local fishermen, because there have been quite a few of those out there over the last week or 10 days. There are plenty of mooring buoys and pot markers out there right now.

And plenty of other fishermen too. While I was walking along the path on the north side of the promontory a boat came around the headland. They are clearly intent on fishing as they have rods and fishing nets clearly on display.

It beats me why, because I have yet to see anyone out there ever catch anything.

painting trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route arounf the headland took me past the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

And there was plenty of activity in there once again. The usual seven boats of course – nothing has changed that much. But the fishing boat from which they had been stripping the paint the other day, that’s now in the process of being resprayed.

Give it a week or two and we may well find that boat back in the water. And one or two others because there was a considerable amount of work being carried on on the other boats too.

Back here, another interruption was to deal with the question of Strider’s insurance. That expires in a few days and needs to be paid, even though I won’t probably have the pleasure of going over to Canada to drive him this year.

So this involved several e-mails, a ‘phone call to Canada, a complicated series of transactions with the bank and then a discussion on the internet with Rachel.

That took much longer than I expected and meant that my third interruption, my session on the guitar, was somewhat curtailed.

Tea was my burger on a bap with potatoes and vegetables, followed by a slice of my delicious apple pie and soya dessert.

yacht sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I went out for my evening walk it wasn’t quite dark outside.

In the distance out in the English Channel there was a yacht looking as if it was heading towards port. Of course it was far too far out for me to be able to identify it.

There were also plenty of other lights out to sea on the horizon. It wasn’t possible to say anything whatever about those.

Instead, I carried on and ran all the way along the footpath underneath the medieval walls. And, having recvered my breath again I ran across the Square Maurice Marland

trawler docking in port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDuring my walk across the Place Cambernon I observed the incident that I related earlier and by the time that I moved on, it was now quite dark.

We’ve seen a couple of fishing boats here and there just recently – not as many as we saw three or four months ago. However there was one coming into port and performing a U-turn to tie up alongside the fish processing plant, presumably to unload its catch.

From there I walked down to the road and then ran all the way home to write up my notes.

And having done that, I’m now ready for bed. A nice early night, finish off the radio programme (which might take all day) and then do some tidying up

There is still plenty of work to be done and I’m not really catching up with very much at all. That needs to be changed, and rapidly too.

Sunday 31st May 2020 – HANDY HINT N° 12345

Before sewing up the hole in your pocket, make sure that you’ve left nothing down inside the lining, because once it’s in, it’s in for good.

Yes, pride always comes before a fall, doesn’t it? Well, actually, that’s a misquote from Proverbs 16:18 which states “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”. But even that’s correct as well.

seagull divebombing fire breville sur mer donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallBut never mind that. here’s an exciting photograph.

It’s not every day by any means that the local wildlife co-operates with the photographer. In fact, wildlife, children and females are notorious for never doing what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Like my friend who once proudly told me “one word from me, and my wife does exactly as she likes!”

But here, we have a seagull doing a very passing resemblance of a dive bomber pulling out of a dive having dropped a bomb on something onshore.

And you’ve no idea just how long I had to wait to take this photo.

seagull yacht baie de mont st michel joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd that’s not the only piece of wildlife that appeared in my photos today.

This seagull bottom left appeared by accident, making a really good photobomb as I tried to take a photo of Joly France pulling out of the harbour and heading off with passengers this afternoon for the Ile de Chausey.

A good 10 minutes I was waiting there too for there to be a calamity with Joly France having to negotiate a flotilla of yachts just outside the harbour.

But she made a clean getaway without colliding with a yacht or sinking a speedboat, much to my dismay.

However, there is some good news about clean getaways, and that is that even though today is a Sunday and a lie-in with no alarm, I made a clean getaway from my bed by 08:10 this morning.

So don’t ask me what happened there because I’ve no idea. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there have been days when I can’t even manage that when I’m supposed to be getting up early.

During the night I’d been on my travels, right enough.

I’m not too sure about what was happening for the first part of the night but it certainly involved a cricket match on the beach and the limit of the field was like a hexagon and there were people standind at each angle of the hexagon to field the ball.
Later on there had been a new EU ruling for the removal of trees. We’d planted a double row of cypress leylandii down the edge of a field next to a main road so the decision was taken to pull up one of the rows. I had to be there with a tractor and my father was there with someone else – a girl. She was in charge of this operation so I had been given instructions as to where I was to drive this tractor and go down and pull these trees. There was also at about every foot or something like that, chicken in rosemary with potatoes in rosemary fried in oil and she wss taking away the meals as well, except for one every so many when she was just taking out the hot potatoes. I was intrigued by what was going on so I asked her about this. She replied “ohh yes we’ll be making many friends with this job.” The whole point and purpose of this job totally bemused me and I didn’t have a clue what was happening. Anyway it wasn’t my father, it was a friend of mine who was there with this girl and that reminded me of something that had happened a little earlier. He was due to come round to visit me the previous day at 10:30. I’d been doing something, I can’t remember what, but it involved tidying up this hotel. I was with another guy and we were tidying this up. He suddenly said “do you have any beds in this hotel?” I asked “why, are you tired?” and it turned out that he was. he’d been on work since 04:00 and he wanted to go off and have a sleep somewhere. She – the owner of the hotel – found him a bed and I carried on. I noticed a stain on my jumper and had to go and wash this stain out. I had to find two or three different bathrooms before I could find it. So I was there taking off my jumper, washing out this stain. I was hearing all of this noise in this hotel and I’d been interested in staying here because it was near to where I used to go quite often but when I heard all the noise coming from the guests in there I thought that I’m glad that I didn’t. The we were walking through the streets of Manchester, the back streets round near where that hotel was where I used to go to when I had the coaches and I suddenly realised that my friend was to have come round at 10:30. but actually I had been at home at 10:30. Then I realised that we had actually finished that hotel job and we had been home, and it was 10:40 when we had set out again.So yes, we had been there at 10:30 and he hadn’t turned up. When he turned up with this girl about these trees and removing these potatoes and meals he didn’t say anything about us not being there the previous day so I imagined that for some unknown reason he just hadn’t come.

But don’t ask me what I’ve done today because I don’t really remember doing anything. I had a really lazy day, to which I’m entitled every now and again of course.

cat place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallBut it was such a beautiful day today that I had to go out, of course.

And it goes without saying that I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the sun at lunchtime. El Moggo was up there sitting on his thrid floor windowsill taking in the rays, looking as if he owned the place, which he probably did.

It looks as if he had seen something down below, so here’s hoping that he didn’t decide to pounce.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith it being such a beautiful day I took my butties to go and sit on the wall above the harbour and see what was going on down there.

And just as I arrived, so did one of the Joly France boats coming back from the Ile de Chausey. It’s the older one with the smaller window and doesn’t have the step in the stern, as you probably noticed in one of the photos above as it was pulling out.

And have I noticed the crane in the bows before? I’m sure that i might haven but I don’t recall it being extended like that while she’s been sailing.

joly france chaisiais ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMuch to my surprise she didn’t pull up at the ferry terminal as she would normally do, but at the harbour wall.

In all the time that I’ve lived here I’ve never seen the ferries moor there. And it’s interesting that she’s there next to Chausiais who hasn’t moved from that impromptu berth fora few days now.

That makes me wonder if they are still working on something over at the ferry terminal that is stopping the boats mooring there. But anyway, she did pull over tothe ferry terminal to load up and then she cleared off.

old cars morgan boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd that was far from being all of the excitement for today.

With living in civilisation as I do these days, old cars are few and far between. It’s not every day that you see them, but when you do, they certainly are interesting, like this car, which I believe might be a Morgan.

Not the old Morgan three-wheeler with the JAP V-twin engine in front, for one of which I would give all that I own and more besides quite happily, but something much more modern.

Always assuming that it is a Morgan of course, because these days there are so many kit cars around that are clones of something famous. So you can never be sure.

old cars jaguar boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallIt went off down the road, closely followed by this machine.

Once more, this could be anything, although the prancing animal on top of the radiator suggests “Jaguar”. In which case it might be one of the old “Swallow Sidecars” SS jaguars from the 1930s, although the front wings don’t look very Jaguar to me at all.

So I shall have to make further enquiries about this one too and report back.

speedboat port de granville harbour normandy france eric hallBut this is much more like the kind of scenery that I should be expecting.

He came roaring into the harbour as if the Hounds of Hell were clutching at his coat tails – avec le feu dans ses fesses as they say around here.

The people who had been picnicking next to me and now playing beach skittles on the grass were quite alarmed by it all.

After my butties I went back to my apartment and had a look (just a look!) at the next web page to be edited.

There was an unknown lorry on there that needed identifying so I posted it in a newsgroup that I follow that concerns itself wit abandoned lorries. And that I think was the sum total of my work today

yachts english channel islands jersey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe beautiful weather at lunchtime had made me feel like another ice cream so seeign as it really was a beautiful day, I decided to walk into town – the long way round – to go and pick one up.

And if you thought that the sea was busy earlier, then you should see it now. We’re quite used to long lines of vehicles towing trailers with boats thereupon queueing up down the street awaiting their turn to discharge their cargoes into the sea

The whole town become littered with cars and trailers parked up just about everywhere while their owners take to the waters.

pleasure boats pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallYachts are fine because they are beautiful and graceful – and silent.

That’s more than can be said for the speedboats and the other powered marine craft that are in the water and go round shattering the peace. And it can’t be much fun to be in a small yacht and hit the wake of a fast-moving boat like that.

But at least there’s no kayak out there right now. There have been one or two incidents just recently of kayaks being swamped for one reason or another, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

microlight ulm granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it isn’t just on the roads or in the se or on the beaches and the lawns that we have the crowds of people.

It’s becoming pretty densely populated in the air too around here. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the flocks of the Birdmen of Alcatraz hovering above us like Nazgul, but there are one or two people who are fitting motors to their contraptions and roaring past overhead.

There’s no peace for the wicked, is there?

autogyro granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen this machine on a few previous occasions too.

We first encountered it A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO during our visit to the Cabanon Vauban and we’ve seen it sporadically since then flying around and about. It’s certainly an interesting machine.

And reading what I’ve just been typing, anyone would think that I’m turning into a right grumpy old do-and-so in my old age.

But that’s far from being the truth. I’m the first to realise that all of these people coming here like this are actually bringing money into the town and the reason why we have so many facilities here is because we have so many visitors spending their money in the town.

We should all be grateful for that.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallNot much chance of any peace and quiet anyway with the crowds on the beach.

This is one of the more inaccessible parts of the beach here. There’s a very long series of steep winding steps that come down the cliff to just there and you can see that the hordes have even swarmed onto here. And finding the gap in the wall that leads to the steps isn’t the easiest thing to do either

I shudder to think of what it must be like round at the Plat Gousset this afternoon

frogmen pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThese persons here have found an ideal way to get themselves far from the madding crowd.

Nothing like an aqualung or snorkel and a pair of flippers and a spot of deep-sea diving for some peace and quiet.

But what’s interesting about this is what they are supposed to be doing. That area just there is uncovered during low tide and there’s nothing of any particular interest at that spot.

It’s not as if there’s a shipwreck or buried treasure or anything like that might attract the attention of a frogman – or frogperson as I suppose we have to call them these days and even if there had been, it could be accessed at low tide without even getting your feet wet.

At least there aren’t four skin divers down there

water port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I continued on my way around the headland and down the old track into the port.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been noticing just how clear the water in the sea has been just recently. I’ve seen much worse than this in the past in the harbour as well.

It’s a very rare event indeed to be able to see the bottom of the harbour when the tide is this far in. Nevertheless, it’s still not clean enough to entice me in.

trawlers fishing boats rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe new pontoons that they have installed are proving to be quite popular.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw all of the seagulls enjoying them, and today with very few of the fishing boats being out, they are clustered around too.

But right on the extremem left of the photo the pontoons come to an abrupt stop. I wonder if they are going to continue along to the harbour wall.

Another mystery was solved here today as well.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw what looked like a vacuum cleaner nozzle down into the hold of one of the fishing boats and I speculated that it might be for sucking up the shellfish.

However, that’s not the case at all. I went to have a closer look and it is in fact an ice chute – for pumping ice into the hold of the boats presumably to keep the shellfish fresh

Picking up my ice cream (which was one of the reasons why I came down here in the first place) I went for a wander around on the other side of the harbour.

But while there were plenty of people milling around over there, there wasn’t anything that particularly caught my attention so I headed back for home.

It wasn’t easy though. The fine weather had brought everyone out and the streets were crowded with no thought whatever about social distancing. I really do hope that we don’t have a second wave of the pandemic because with people thronging around like this, it’ll spread liKe wild fire.

Back home, I was going to attempt something exciting.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on Thursday I’d bought a pack of frozen strawberries. During the course of the day I’d had them out of the freezer to defrost.

Now that i was back, I made some pastry – and I do have to say that it came out perfectly because I could roll the ball around in my hands without any of the pastry sticking to my fingers.

With the rolling pin I flattened it out, put it in a pie dish, trimmed it off and stuck it in a hot oven. And with the excess pastry I made an apple turnover.

Meantime, being very brave, I burnt my bridges and made the Sunday pizza on the last of the shop-bought pastry rolls. It’s goign to be my own dough from now on.

When the pie base was cooked, that and the turnover came out and the pizza went in.

With the strawberries, I filled the pie and then prepared some agar-agar to pour over it so that it would set like a vegan gelatine, and stuck it in the fridge to set.

After I’d eaten my pizza, I looked at the strawberry tart and unfortunately, the agar-agar hadn’t set. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but this was not one of my triumphs. However, when I’ve finished the apple pie, I’ll attack that and see how it tastes.

photographer pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallOn that note I went out for my evening run. Another struggle up the hill and down to the cifftop. It doesn’t seem to be getting any easier these days.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one little peccadillo that I have is to stick my nose into other people’s photo shoots. Not photo-bombing them bu to take photos of people taking photos.

And up on the lawn at the Pointe du Roc, which seems to be a very popular place for photo shoots these days, there was another one going on. So i couldn’t resist the temptation to join in with my own three ha’porth.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut you can tell what the weather was like this evening simply by looking at the crowds of people here.

There were parties of picnickers all over the place and more coming along to swell the numbers even as we speak. Not very good or the social distancing but who can blame them in weather like this?

Around the corner by the coastguard point I even bumped into one of my neighbours taking the air and we had a good chat for quite a while – and that was mainly for an opportunity to soak up the sun as well

moon granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I ran on all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and with my usual two resting places, ended up at the viewpoint at the rue du Nord.

But on one of my rests I happened to notice that the moon had already risen. And it really did look beautiful in the evening sky tonight.

Considering that I didn’t have the tripod with me – or even the monopod, the photo has come out really well. But I suppose that I ought to be making more of an effort to go out with the tripod one of these days and take some decent photos.

And I’ll have to work on the time-delay functions too. I’ve not used it yet on the NIKON D500

crowds picnicking plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAt the viewpoint at the rue du nord I stopped to catch my breath and then to have a good look around.

And as seems to be usual these days, we have the crowds on the beach enjoying the evening sunshine, and having a picnic too in the pleasant weather. They’ve certainly chosen a nice evening for it.

But one thing that I have noticed about the evening picnickers is that it always seems to be a different crowd in that spot. I don’t think that i’ve ever noticed the same group of people there consecutively. I think that if I had a group of people with whom I enjoyed picnicking, then in weather like this I’d be down there every night.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd the setting sun this evening was splendid. I recall a gasp of admiration from a couple of people who had followed me down to the viewpoint when they noticed it.

Still half an hour or so before it sets, and unfortunately I don’t have the time to spare to wait. I don’t know where all of my time goes these days.

Instead, I ran on back to my apartment to write up my notes.

While I was writing up the day’s activities, a piece of music came onto the playlist.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my computer is awash with music – a couple of thousand albums almost all digitalised these days after our ptoject of the winter – and there is music going on in this apartment from the moment I awaken until the moment that I go to sleep.

Some music though I have to be very careful about playing, and for various reasons too. Some songs I can’t hear at all, even if I happen to like them, and others I can only listen to when i’m in the right kind of mood.

A couple of songs in that latter group always seem to appear on the playlist when I’m in the wrong kind of mood to hear them and sure enough tonight, while I was “hiding in a room in my mind” as Kate Bush used to say, onto the playlist came THIS SONG.

Magnificent song though it is, it’s the kind of song that I have a great difficulty hearing, much as I want to. I’ll always end up playing it two or three times one after the other even though I know exactly what’s going to happen.

And on that note (well, we are talking music here), with my notes not even half-finished, I went to bed. I’ll finish these tomorrow.

Saturday 30th May 2020 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING …

… today that I haven’t done for several years.

And not that, either, Rhys.

A few weeks ago I lost my keys down the lining of a pair of trousers that I was wearing and I had the devil’s own job to fish them out.

Today, that same pair of trousers came out of the chest of drawers to wear and so mindful of the situation, I fetched out my big tin of sewing materials, threaded a needle and sewed up the hole in the pocket.

Years since I’ve done any sewing, and even though I say it myself, it wasn’t a bad job. Not what you’ll call a professional job of course, but what do you expect? It did what it was supposed to do.

People have often called me a little sewer and there was the proof today. And for my next trick, I shall be knitting myself a bonnet and gloves for winter, I reckon.

Only downside was that I broke my needle threader. I shall have to find another one because I can’t thread needles by eye.

That’s not all that I broke either. The door shelves in the fridge have seen better days, and when I opened the door the last good one broke and fell off.

It was only a cheap fridge of course and it was bought with the idea that if I buy everything at once, the cheapest possible options, I can have everything at once and gradually replace them bit by bit with expensive stuff.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the kettle bit the dust a few months ago and was replaced with something better. It’s no big deal, that kind of thing, but I was hoping for rather more than 32 months out of the fridge.

Last night wasn’t as late as some have been just recently, so I was disappointed not to have beaten the third alarm. I only missed it by seconds, but a miss is as good as a mile.

After the medication I listened to the dictaphone to see where I might have been during the night. In fact I was back in Vine Tree Avenue, one of our old houses in Shavington and we’d been having some kind of lengthy discussion about different things. My brother decided that he wanted to go to the bathroom. I wanted to go to the bathroom as well so I nipped out of the living room and he nipped out from upstairs. He came downstairs, got into the bathroom just a foot ahead of me and closed the door. So I made a couple of remarks. My father came out and asked “has something been going on here?” At that moment I was rather in a bad mood so I just told him that I was sick and tired of him, every little thing that happened he’s got to know about it and he’s got to be involved in it and he’s got to be seen to be dealing with the issues, usually when there aren’t any issues to deal with. But he can’t leave things alone and he can’t leave people alone. He’s got to be in there spreading himself around in all of this.

But what took me by surprise in all of this was the vehemence that I heard in the tone of voice in which I dictated that when I heard it back on the dictaphone the following morning.

I was really quite agitated, and quite rightly so. I had to emigrate in order to leave all of the baggage of my past behind me and make a fresh start in a more friendly environment, and I can’t do with it all coming back to catch me up, even in a virtual situation.

After breakfast I finished off the web page that I had been editing – all 51kbs of it, which is clearly too long. But I had a shower, sewed up my trousers (what a little sew-and sew I am) and went to the shops.

Not straight away though. First port of call was the guy who services Caliburn. The guy who did the Controle Technique in November made a few remarks about some rust on Caliburn, and as he’s now officially a teenager (Happy Birthday, Calibutn) he’s going to have his bodywork seen to.

After all, he still runs perfectly well and i’d rather pay €1,000 for some bodywork than €20,000 for a new replacement. I’d asked the guy at the garage if he knew of a carrosserie and he said that there was someone, so I went today to pick up the ‘phone number.

Things were rather confusing at NOZ today. I’m not sure how they did their pricing but nothing that I bought seemed to be at the price that was indicated. Not that I’m complaining, because it was all in my favour.

They had more of those breaded soya fillets so I bought another box.

LeClerc was absolutely heaving – uncomfortably so. And I spent more than I usually would but there were several reasons, not the least being that in the bulk buying section they had quite a few things that I would ordinarily buy but on special offer too for bulk lots and they were the kind of things that keep without problem.

Furthermore, yeast was back on the shelves. So here’s hoping that I have better luck with my baking with yeast with an expiry date of 10/21 than I have had with yeast with an expiry date of 11/18.

Back here I had a coffee and then had a look at the web page that I’d rewritten.

And by the time I came to knock off, I’d

  • split it into three different pages
  • rekindled the links list that I’d stopped updating in about 2010
  • amended all of the relevant links accordingly in all kinds of different pages
  • started to prepare a generic index for the pages

Yes, I’ve been very busy today.

There were the usual breaks of course.

baie de mont st michel seagull speedboat yacht granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was another really stunningly nice day so I took my butties and my book and went to sit on the wall overlooking the harbour.

No lizards today but there was no question of being alone. Apart from the fact that there was a relentless stream of pedestrians going past, there was plenty of action on the water too.

And not only that. While I was taking a photograph of the scenery, I was photo-bombed by a seagull. Serves me right, I suppose.

sunlight reflecting off window brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we were talking about heliographs and sunlight flashes across long distances.

The purpose of this photo, which would otherwise be filed under CS, is to show you another flash of sunlight on a window. That’s round by Hirel in Brittany and is about 20-25 miles away as the crow flies.

Hence the poor quality of the photo. After all, you can’t have everything, can you?

baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so, in the glorious afternoon sunshine, I was out there for a good 45 minutes, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

There was certainly plenty to see out there today. Including Chausiais, who seems to have put down roots in that rather ad-hoc mooring position over there at right angles to the ferry terminal.

However, there wasn’t much time for me to enjoy it as I had planty of of other things to do, like completing the editing of the (now) three web pages that I had prepared.

Another break was for football. In 2008 the current broadcasting company won the rights to broadcast the live football matches in the Welsh Premier League.

Today they were showing the very first match that they broadcast, Rhyl v Llanelli. Rhyl’s ground has always been an excellent one, but the standard of football was surprisingly good for 2008. Real throbbing end-to-end stuff and I was exhausted just watching it.

Rhyl won the match 5-1 which suggests a right spannering, but although the best team won, Llanelli can feel quite rightly hard done-to by the result. There was never four goals difference between the teams.

Mind you, I did … errr … miss a couple of minutes of the match.

woman on surfboard plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe football meant that I was very late going for my afternoon walk.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing yesterday how clear the sea was. And it was just the same today. When I saw from a distance this woman standing on her surfboard, it looked as if the surfboard was hovering above the ground. You couldn’t see the sea at all, it was so clear.

And I know that there’s a name for that sport that she is practising. I just can’t think what it is.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile it was fairly quiet at the top end of the beach round by the steps at the Rue du Nord, it was absolutely heaving at the Plat Gousset.

Only a few people “installing themselves” on the beach (in defiance of regulations until Tuesday) but the water is fair game to everyone and there were hordes of people taking full advantage of it.

And who can blame them? Given half a chance I’d be in there too. Only up to my knees of course, but nevertheless …

crowds on beach holiday camp donville les bains breville sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just in the water and on the beach at that Plat Gousset that the madding crowds were congregating.

Down the coast at Donville-les-Bains and round at the camp-site near Breville-sur-Mer they were all out there too.

That’s actually quite a nice beach and I’ve had my butties on there a few tims. But you have to be careful in the dunes. It’s a well-known breeding ground for adders and vipers.

They say that there are even calculator-snakes in there. I asked what they were and I was told that they are very fast adders

There was even a baby viper that went up to its mummy and asked “mummy, are we poisonous snakes?”
“Why do you ask, darling?” asked mummy snake.
“Well”, replied baby snake “I’ve just bitten my tongue”

I’ll get my coat.

The half-hour on the bass was interesting and I was playing along to a couple of tracks that came round on the playlist. One of them was Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” and so I spent the half-hour on the six-string bashing out the chords to that.

Tea was one of the breaded soya steaks that I had bought today with a baked potaot and vegetables, followed by apple pie and soya coconut whatsit.

crowds picnicking pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAs usual, I went out for my evening exercise activities.

There was a following wind that pushed me up the hill on the first leg of my run, but nevertheless it was still a painful experience. And recovering my breath I ran on down to the clifftop where a large party of young people were having a picnic in what I now believe to be the base of a radar installation.

Surprisingly, there weren’t too many people out there on the lawn tonight, which is rather unusual for just recently

speedboat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallOut at sea it was pretty quiet too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have been swamped with fishing boats over the last few months but tonight I couldn’t see a single one anywhere. There was just this speedboat coming over from the Ile de Chausey and he wasn’t hanging around at all.

In fact, by the time that I had made it round to the harbour he had joined me there.

fire la sphere recyclage tri de dechets donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd regular readers of this rubbish will also recall the fire yesterday in Donville les Bains.

We’ve not had any calamities today as far as I can tell, but the fire over there is still smouldering as you can see. When I was out at the shops this morning it was still going, and at 21:00 today, some 30 hours later, they still haven’t completely sorted it out.

In fact, running down the Boulevard Vaufleury into the strong wind blowing from that direction, the acrid fumes were overpowering.

seagulls mudflats port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt was no fun running down the Boulevard Vaufleury in a strong headwind, but I made it to my resting poing.

While I was recovering my breath I went down to look at what was going on in the harbour. With the tide being right out there wasn’t much, except for the flock of seagulls on the mudflats at the entrance to the harbour.

They didn’t seem to be very active either, which surprised me. I’d imagined that they would have been scavenging about in the mud for shellfish to eat

crowds picnicking beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving recovered my breath, I ran on up and round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord

And this is where everyone is this evening. I could see at least half a dozen groups, a couple of whom were tucked right underneath the cliff so that I could only hear them. But there was one lot down there who were having a barbecue on the beach.

So I left them to it and ran home, where I had to close the windows because of the smoke that was now starting to fill my apartment.

Sunday tomorrow, and lie-in, at long last. About time that I had a proper sleep, I reckon. I’m having a day off for a change.

Wednesday 30th January 2019 – IT’S SNOWING!!!!

snow place d'armes granville manche normandy franceAlthough you’ve seen this heading before this winter, you’ve seen it in relation to Canada, the Auvergne and Belgium. But this afternoon, it’s been snowing here!

And I’m not talking about a light dusting for five minutes either. Round about 13:00 the heavens opened up and we had a right pasting for a couple of hours and it looked quite impressive.

I thought that it was going to stick too but it stopped, the weather warmed up a couple of degrees and all of the snow disappeared.

st helier jersey granville manche normandy franceThat’s a shame too. because tonight, there’s a clear sky, millions of stars and you could see for miles.

This photo, albeit rather blurred because it was hand-held on a very slow exposure in a wind, is of St Helier in Jersey.

The lights are, would you believe, about 60 kms – that’s 35 miles – away. And you won’t have this kind of light and this kind of photo in many weather conditions.

night montmartin breville granville manche normandy franceThis photo is a little closer to home.

That’s Montmartin-sur-Mer, Breville-sur-Mer and Bréhal-Plage. Montmartin, on the extreme left, is about 25 kms away.

So, in other words, it is probably going to be really cold tonight and had the snow hung around, it would have been a good base to really start the winter.

Despite my depressing posting of yesterday, I’ve had a better day today. A good sleep of at least 5 hours. There was a vague wave of tiredness round about 17:00 but I managed to fight it off.

And a little ramble or two too during the night. There were four of us, me, my father, the son of the woman whom he married in the 1970s and someone else. And the car was his red Mark III Cortina. We’d all been out for a drive somewhere and ended up in a small town somewhere. We were all hungry so decided to go for food. My father and his friend wanted to go somewhere special but I was just interested in something simple so Paul and I went to a chip shop for a portion of chips. The chip shop owner was a bad-tempered, miserable kind of guy, the chips were over-cooked and the portions were disgracefully small. We took them outside to eat them, and noticed that there were two young girls, one of them an Asian girl, chatting to my father and his friend in the car, and then they climbed in. So Paul and I made a few ribald comments about what was going to be going on. Shortly afterwards Paul and I were with a couple of people and the subject of these girls came up. I made some kind of suggestion about their professional activities, but the other people told my that my opinion was far from being the case and that they were really nice and friendly girls really and certainly not the kind of girls that I was suggesting.
Although I was awake at about 05:30, there was still enough time to go back to sleep before the alarm. And off on another voyage too. Ad I was with either Alison or Jackie – I can’t remember now just who it was. And she was clambering about up the side of a slope and on top of a hill and I was taking photographs. But when I looked at them, they hadn’t come out ptoperly but more like rather jerky poor-quality *.gif moving images. I was disappointed by that because it meant that either the camera was playing up or the computer was playing up. But either way, I was worried that I had lost all of the images.

After breakfast I had a very relaxing morning doing a mega-back-up of the new computer seeing as I hadn’t done one since I’d bought it. That took some time, what with one thing or another.

Another thing that I did was to sort out some more music for the bass guitar. And to print it out too. I need to organise myself so much better than I do.

Lunch was rather later than usual, and I spent the time watching the snowfall. Like I said, a shame that it all petered out.

This afternoon I did some more 3D stuff. I’ve had to go back and rework some objects that I created a while ago because I came across something the other day that made quite a useful add-on.

st helier jersey granville manche normandy franceThere were a few people out a-walking this afternoon. It was damp outside but not really cold and not really windy.

A good day for photography because there some strange effects on the sea as the storm was moving out across the bay.

St Helier and the rest of Jersey were fairly clear, even if they were swathed in storm.

ferry ile de chausey traversier granville manche normandy franceThere had been a ferry service out to the Ile de Chausey too. Or, at least, there was a ferry coming back from the island.

I would have been out there much more often on the ferry had the prices been more reasonable. But €27:50 for a round trip is a bit more than I’m willing to pay for a sail around the bay.

rock ship granville manche normandy franceThis photo was quite interesting too.

There’s a huge rock at the entrance to the bay at St Malo but there seemed to be something else out there too.

Cropping, enhancing and blowing up the photo (because I can do that despite modern anti-terrorist legislation) brought out something to the left of the rock that might possibly (although it’s difficult to tell) be a ship – possibly one of the Brittany Ferries fleet – sailing into St Malo.

Tea was a curry – a pepper, mushroom and coconut cream curry from November 2017. just as delicious as it was the day that I made it.

Later on, as I said, the storm has gone when I went around the walls, but it’s cold out there and I reckon that it’s going to become even colder tonight.

So I’ll be huddled up under the bedclothes gathering up my strength for my trip to the shops tomorrow. I’ll need to warm myself up.

ferry ile de chausey traversier granville manche normandy france
ferry ile de chausey traversier granville manche normandy france

st helier jersey granville manche normandy france
st helier jersey granville manche normandy france

st helier jersey granville manche normandy france
st helier jersey granville manche normandy france

Thursday 1st November 2018 – I NEVER LIKED …

… the Nikon D3000 anyway.

And I bet that I’ll like it even less tomorrow when I have a close look at it.

It was a beautiful night tonight and I could see Jersey and St Malo quite clearly in the distance across the sea with a storm blowing away in the distance. Even the lights of the wind farm 70kms away beyond Barneville-Carteret could be seen in the distance.

I took quite a few photos of Jersey in the storm, none of which worked as well as I would like. Trying to take a photo on a tripod in the pitch black in a gale in the windiest part of France is not easy

jersey by night storm granville manche normandy franceThe best of a pretty poor bunch was this one taken with the 50mm f1.8 lens.

As you might expect there was far too much vibration with the 70-300mm lens and even with the 18-105mm lens with a long exposure time of 3 seconds.

But the lights of St Helier, 54 kilometres away, and the reflection of the street lights of Jersey off the clouds in the sky have come out really well given the circumstances.

And I reckon that once I get the hang of working the tripod in the dark, I might be able to get the photos to come out even better.

It’s all trial and error at the moment – plenty of trial and even more error.

And then I moved on down the coast to the end of the Pointe du Roc.

And there I was, standing on top of one of the concrete bunkers taking a few photos of everywhere in the clear light of the night, when a sudden strong gust of wind, something like the one that blew down the Tay Bridge in 1879, blew the tripod off the top of the bunker and right down to the ground, with the camera and the new 70-300 mm zoom/telephoto lens attached.

At that moment I was in the process of taking a long exposure of St Malo too. I suppose that that will come out in a very interesting fashion.

With no alarm I did my best to have a nice long sleep but it didn’t quite work out like that. I was awake early enough but despite everything I wouldn’t haul myself out of my stinking pit at that kind of time. 09:00 was much more like it.

While I was asleep though I’d been out on my travels. Driving an artic somewhere which was actually parked up in a lay-by where there was another lorry blocking me off. As I clambered into my lorry the other driver reversed his lorry so that I could leave the lay-by. A short while later I was walking down a footpath towards a lorry park on the motorway and was accompanied by another lorry driver. I told him that I was happy to go on my own but he insisted on accompanying me. Apparently there had been an “incident” and several people had been injured. And there were some of the drivers who thought that I was at fault.

After a rather late breakfast I had a lounge around for a while and then made a start on the photos from Belgium. And there were quite a few too.

For lunch I had my usual butties but I ate them inside. It’s definitely autumn outside and going cold now.

This afternoon I carried on with the photos and had a few other things to do too, including some tidying up. And I managed a day without crashing out too, which is a little bit better.

Two walks too. There was the evening walk around the headland – where I had my camera incident, and also the afternoon walk around the walls.

donville les bains granville manche normandy franceThe lighting conditions were perfect this afternoon and there was a good view of the coast.

Donville-les-Bains has come out really well, including the old hotel where I went to see that ruin of a apartment not long after I first came to Granville.

A bit too windy for the birdmen today though. There weren’t any of them out and about.

donville les bains breville sur mer granville manche normandy franceI cropped out a couple of sections of the photo of the beach and enlarged them.

As well as the old hotel at Donville-les-Bains and all of the beach cabins out there, you can see the spire of the church in the distance.

That might well be the church of Bréville-sur-Mer.

donville les bains brehal granville manche normandy franceThis section was cropped from the extreme left-hand edge of the photo and enlarged by about 25%.

There’s the camp site that we have seen before, and another church spire away in the distance.

That is very likely the church in Brehal and we’ve seen a much better photo of that in the past when we were experimenting with the older zoom/telephoto lens.

plage de plat gousset granville beach manche normandy franceThere weren’t any people out and about on the beach either.

You can see the waves crashing down onto the sand and the whitecaps will tell you that there was quite a wind blowing them ashore.

A few people on the promenade though braving the inclement weather.

Tea was a slice of pie that was left over from when Alison was here, with spuds and peas and carrots too.

So tomorrow I’ll check over the camera and see what the damage is. I might even switch the heating on too. I actually had the halogen heater on for an hour or so to warm up the office this afternoon.

It’s that kind of time.

Friday 19th October 2018 – I SHOULD HAVE …

… been back at Mont St Michel today doing my tourist guide bit, but Josée contacted me yesterday to say that there had been a change of plan and she was off elsewhere.

And that was just as well because I wasn’t feeling all that much like it this morning.

Last night had been quite a late night – I was absorbed in a pile of work – so leaving my bed at 06:00 or thereabouts (and I did too – I was taking my medication in the kitchen when the alarm went off at 06:20) was something of a struggle.

After breakfast, I had a few things to do and then finished off the photos from yesterday’s walks. And now they are all on-line. All 40 or so of them so you can tell that it took me quite a while.

Another thing that I did today was to catch up with some tidying up and to do the washing-up that I hadn’t finished yesterday. I’m starting to let things slide in here as far as tidiness and cleanliness goes and I need to get myself back on track while I’m still able to do so. I won’t always be fit enough to tackle things when they need tackling.

There are also a couple of other projects on the go here and I’ve been dealing with a few of them too this morning.

Lunch was taken indoors today. It was overcast, cold and windy outside so I reckoned that I could do with the comfort of a chair in the dining area.

This afternoon, I did a few other bits and pieces and then sat down to tackle the photos from the Arctic. I’m still in Yellowknife on the Pilot’s Monument, and this afternoon I rewrote the things that I wrote about it earlier in the week.

Well, not exactly “rewritten”.

What I do is to write down things as they occur to me, put them into paragraphs and then cut and paste the paragraphs to make a continuous text, adding in a few conjunctions to make the text stream together.

It also involves research. And it’s amazing what you find when you start to look. Instead of worrying about finding enough text, I now have quite a considerable excess.

la granvillaise sailing ship granville manche normandy franceWe had the usual afternoon walk around the headland this afternoon in the sunshine.

And there, sailing about out in the bay off the coast of Bréville-sur-Mer was the sailing ship that we have seen over the past few days.

I had the standard lens on the camera so I took a quick photo of it at long range.

la granvillaise sailing ship granville manche normandy franceBut we haven’t bought a new zoom/telephoto lens for nothing, have we?

Seeing as the ship was sailing slowly, I stuck on the new lens and took a zoom photo.

I’ve still not been able to track down the name so I cropped the photo and blew it up (I can do these things, despite modern anti-terrorist legislation) but it seems that the name of the boat isn’t painted on the bows … “she’s La Granvillaise” – ed.

caravan site bréville sur mer manche normandy franceWhile I had the big new lens on the camera, I took a photo of the caravan site out at Bréville sur Mer near the horse racing course.

That was another place where I had enquired about accommodation when I arrived here.

Liz and Terry have a little caravan and one idea going through my head was to park it on there for the summer, and then try for a good deal in a long-term holiday let through the winter.

When I arrived back here after my walk I found that I had an important e-mail message.

The third lens that I had ordered – a refurbished 18x105mm lens – hadn’t been delivered as promised. And the tracking showed that they had tried twice, even though I had been here on both occasions.

Having instigated a search, I was told that it was now awaiting collection at the Post Office. So I went down there to pick it up.

And down there I found the reason why it hadn’t been delivered, and why I was puzzled as to how come no-one from the delivery company had rung the bell.

It turns out that the address for delivery was incorrect. An error on the part of the dispatchers.

But I’m not complaining, because when I wrote to them to tell them of the delay and the inconvenience, they refunded my postage. I’m quite content with that.

After all of that, I had to sit down for a while and have a little … errr … relax for half an hour.

Tea was a curry from the freezer and it was just as delicious as the day that I cooked it.

brehal sur mer manche normandy franceLater on I went out for the evening walk around the walls with the camera and the new lens.

Part of the plan was to retake many of the photos that I had taken the other day with the 50mm lens so that I could compare them and see the difference.

Just like this one of the sea front at Bréhal sur Mer

rue du nord granville manche normandy franceAnd this one of the rue du Nord with the Place d’Armes in the background to the right.

It won’t be as good as the 50mm low-light lens because it needs more light to work it, but its advantage is that the new lens is a zoom lens rather than a fixed lens.

That means that it’s more useful as a general-purpose lens (which is why I bought it) but I still need to see how it performs.

rue du nord granville donville les bains manche normandy franceThe other day I took an almost-identical photo to this one and the difference is quite apparent. The earlier one has come out much better

But that’s only to be expected with the difference in the light and in the quality of the image.

But it’s still something that the new lens will bring out an image. The Nikon 1 would quite simply not have registered enough of an image to work.

So now I’m off to bed. In the morning I have to go shopping of course. In the meantime you can admire (or otherwise) this evening’s photos.

night time rue du nord place d'armes granville manche normandy franceNight time – rue du Nord with the Place d’Armes in the background.


night time place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceThe Place Marechal Foch in the night-time.


night time plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThe Plat Gousset in the night-time


night time rue georges clemenceau granville manche normandy franceNight time – the rue Georges Clemenceau


night time moon moonlight port de granville harbour manche normandy franceMoon (hidden by the copyright details) shining over the harbour in the Port de Granville


night time moonlight baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceMoonlight in the night over the Baie de Mont St Michel


night time moonlight baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceMore moonlight in the night over the Baie de Mont St Michel


night time moon light granville baie de Mont St Michel manche normandy franceMoon light in the night over Granville and the Baie de Mont St Michel


night time moonlight baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceYet more moonlight in the night over the Baie de Mont St Michel


night time inner port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe Inner Harbour in the port of Granville at night-time


night time inner port de granville harbour  manche normandy franceThe Inner Harbour in the port of Granville at night-time with St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville in the background


night time inner port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe Inner Harbour in the port of Granville at night-time


night time place cambernon granville manche normandy francePlace Cambernon in the night


bar rafale place cambernon night time granville manche normandy franceThe Bar Rafale in the Place Cambernon at night


rue st jean night time granville manche normandy franceThe rue St Jean in the medieval walled town in the night.


Monday 15th October 2018 – BACK INTO …

… the routine again. I don’t think!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the moon granville manche normandy france
The Moon

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

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

plat gousset granville manche normandy france
Plat Gousset

rue general patton granville manche normandy france
rue General Patton

place marechal foch granville manche normandy france
Place Marechal Foch

plat gousset granville manche normandy france
Plat Gousset

rue georges clemenceau granville manche normandy france
Rue Georges Clemenceau

rue paul poirier granville manche normandy france
rue Paul Poirier

place maurice marland granville manche normandy france
Place Maurice Marland

place maurice marland granville manche normandy france
Place Maurice Marland

port de granville harbour manche normandy france
Port de Granville

port de granville harbour manche normandy france
Port de Granville

place maurice marland granville manche normandy france
Place Maurice Marland

rue du Colombier granville manche normandy france
rue du Colombier

rue notre dame granville manche normandy france
rue Notre Dame

place cambernon granville manche normandy france
Place Cambernon

place cambernon granville manche normandy france
rue St Jean

rue St Jean granville manche normandy france
rue St Jean

Saturday 13th October 2018 – WE WENT …

… today to the Ile de Chausey, and if you want to see all of the photos that I took, you need to go to THIS LINK.

josee constant drinking coffee place d'armes granville manche normandy franceBut we started off as we meant to go on, by, just for a change, drinking coffee on the terrace.

Not exactly a terrace, but the footpath that goes along the walls at the end of the car park at the side of the building just here at the Place d’Armes.

It’s certainly a novel way to start off the day and I’ll have to do this more often.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy franceMeanwhile, while I was drinking my coffee I noticed some movement way out to sea in the English Channel.

With my new toy, more of which anon, I took a long-distance photo of it with the intention of cropping and enlarging it in due course.

And sure enough, once I’d done the necessary, I could see that there was a yacht out there next to the marker buoy

But to start with, we are running low on supplies and so our first port of call was the local market. Saturday morning is market day so we toddled off through the wind into town.

Josée bought me a book which was very nice of her. It’s all about making drinks from natural ingredients and I’m sure that once I have time to sit down and read it I’ll have endless hours of fun with it.

And then off to the covered market where we bought some lettuce, tomato, cucumber and the like. And on the way back we went past a place selling vegan biscuits. So a pack of those disappeared into the shopping bag too.

Back here, I had a very pleasant surprise.

Having been totally dismayed by the photos that I took in the High Arctic in Canada and Greenland just now, I’ve bitten the bullet and done what I should have done in the first place and ordered some new lenses for the big Nikon.

When we returned, two of the three had arrived.

There’s a 50mm f1.8 lens, auto-focus of course to replace the old manual focus lens that I had. That’s ideal for low-light work such as for indoor evenings, concerts and sporting events.

But also, in pride of place, a 70-300mm telephoto zoom lns, likewise auto-focus, to replace another elderly and creaking manual-focus telephoto zoom lens that’s been lying around here since the Dawn of Time.

So grabbing the telephoto zoom lens, that disappeared into the camera bag.

While we were making our butties, Liz and Terry turned up. They had decided to accompany us and so we all set out for the ferry terminal.

baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThe sea was quite rough in view of all of the wind but I enjoyed the crossing and I was there playing about with the big new lens. And I do have to say that I’m very impressed, almost as much as with my galvanised steel dustbin.

It does everything that it’s supposed to do, and does it quite well too. Obviously it’s not in the same class as a lens that might cost 10 times the price of course, but it’s good enough for what I want. Have a look at this photo of Mont St Michel, about 15 miles away and judge for yourself.

village les blanvillaises ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceFirst thing that we did was to go and find somewhere to go and have our lunch.

A nice quiet beach seemed to be an ideal place to have our picnic, so we sat down, filled our faces and had a chat.

Although it was quite cool and windy, it was nevertheless very pleasant sitting out there on the sand with a pile of sandwiches.

village les blainvillaises granville manche normandy franceOnce we’d eaten, digested and rested we headed off into the hills, such as they are around here because the highest point on the island is only 31 metres high, to explore the island.

There are two villages here – one round by the landing stage and the other one where we are right now. This is called Les Blainvillaises, and receives its name from the fact that the houses were originally built by people from Blainville on the mainland who came here to explore the local marine resources.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceThere are also several other isolated houses, all looking as if they are made of local stone.

The island is well-known for the quality of the local stone and it has been used in the construction of many important buildings on the mainland in the area, including many of the buildings on Mont-St-Michel.

Many of the houses would be empty though at this time of year. There aren’t too many permanent residents, most of the houses here being holiday homes.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceIt’s a bit similar to the island of Agistri where I was in October 2013 in that there’s no source of water on the island and it all needs to be shipped in. So conservation of water resources here is quite important.

Naturally, I could solve the problem in a matter of days by installing a rainwater harvesting system there like I had back on my farm in the Auvergne, a system that served me well from the day I arrived until the day I left 9 years later.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceApart from the water issues, rubbish and litter are very tightly controlled.

There’s some kind of organisation called the Conservatoire de l’espace littoral et des rivages lacustres – “The Conservation of coastal and lakeside surroundings” – and its aim is to preserve and protect the coast and waterside of France.

It’s taken on the rôle of protecting the southern half of the island and its presence is everywhere, with rubbish bins and notices all over the place.

And quite right too because it’s an area well-worth protecting. There are thousands of tourists who come here every year and the place could quickly deteriorate into a rubbish dump if no-one took any interest in the island.

chateau renault ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceOn the subject of people taking an interest in the island and holiday homes and the like, this building is extremely interesting.

It was originally a fort built round about 1559 to defend the island but subsequently allowed to fall into ruin.

Its potential was however realised by the industrialist Louis Renault, the founder of the Renault car company.

chateau renault granville manche normandy franceHe began to restore the property in the 1920s and subsequently became became his summer residence. And this is how the property remains today, although of course Louis Renault has long-gone.

However his memory linger on on the island. Many people still regard him as one of the main benefactors of the island.

And so does his view, because this is the kind of view that would attract me to a property too. I could pass many a happy holiday here.

fish pool ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceThis construction on the edge of the beach right by the Chateau Renault caught my eye too.

I’m not sure what it is, but I reckon that it’s possibly a tidal swimming pool – one that would fill when the tide came in and would retain its water as the tide went out.

On the other hand it could be a tidal fish pool. These are well-known round here. The tide would fill the pond with water – and hopefully fish – at high tide, and then the owner of the pool could wade in after the tide went out to pull out all the fish.

And the drain at the bottom would lend support to that.

st helier channel islands granville manche normandy franceAlthough these islands here (because there are 365 here at low tide and 52 at high tide) are officially and geographically part of the Channel Islands, they are part of France.

We’re much closer to the Channel Islands than you might think – about 40 kms I reckon at a rough guess – and with the new telephoto zoom lens I could pick out quite easily the town of St Helier.

Although I wish that the weather would have been clearer so as to have given a better contrast.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceBut there is some kind of common history between all of the Channel Islands.

They were formerly the personal property of the Dukes of Normandy, hence when William the Conqueror invaded England and became king, he took his islands with him (if you know what I mean).

But his grandfather Richard II had in 1022 made a gift of the Ile de Chausey to the Abbey of Mont St Michel, hence the reason why these islands belong today to France.

cancale brittany franceRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a good while ago during a period of good light, I was able to photograph a church on the coast right across the bay in Brittany.

Today, with the new lens, I was able to take a photo of the same church from a viewpoint on the island, and was able to take a cross-bearing to verify the position.

And I can say that it is almost certainly the town of Cancale, where I stayed one night in April last year.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceWe continued with our tour of the island on foot (as if there was any other way to see the island except on foot), stopping to rest on several occasions to take photos or to admire the beautiful views.

And to enjoy the beautiful weather because considering that it’s the middle of October right now, the weather is really nice for the time of the year. Quite balmy.

And you’ll be surprised just how quickly 3.5 hours disappears when you are having fun and enjoying yourself.

fort plage du port-marie iles de chausey granville manche normandy franceWe’ve seen the old 16th-Century fort that is now incorporated into the Chateau Renault. But there’s also a more modern fort here.

Tensions in Europe were rising and falling during the 19th Century and at one particular moment during the middle of the century, relations between the United Kingdom and France were somewhat tense.

As a result, in the late 1850s a new fort was constructed here at the back of the Plage du Port-Marie on the orders of the Emperor Napoleon III to defend the island and the Baie de Mont St Michel from any incursions by the British.

The fort was completed in 1866 but never saw action, although it was used as a Prisoner-of-War camp in the First World War and was occupied by a German garrison in World War II.

granville manche normandy franceOn the way back, the sea wasn’t quite as rough as on the way out but it was still pleasant all the same.

I took a pile of photos in the fading light and they came out quite well with the new lens. Despite the fact that it’s not as good in low light as a more expensive lens, the results are perfectly satisfactory for what I was expecting.

I really began to regret the fact that I hadn’t gone out and bought this lens before I left for the Arctic

port de granville harbour manche normandy franceGetting back into port was quite the thing though.

We were late returning and that 15 minutes makes all of the difference. The tide was going out rapidly.

The boat had to inch its way in over the sandbar and I was convinced that we were grounding out the bottom of the boat here and there as we tried to get in.

On the way back to the apartment I had a chat with Liz and Terry about something that had been preying on my mind for a few weeks. After explaining the situation to them, their understanding was exactly the same as mine, and exactly the same as Alison’s, with whom I had discussed this a couple of weeks ago.

No-one seems to think that I misunderstood the situation, so that’s comforting to a certain degree. But even so, it doesn’t change the situation one jot because what I (and other people) think about it has nothing to do with the situation at all.

Josée went for a walk around the town in the evening because there was a football match on the internet that I wanted to see.

That might sound terribly chavinistic to some readers of this rubbish, but the bare facts of the story are that I’d done about 130% of my daily activity today, I’d already had a couple of little “health issues” while I’d been out, and I couldn’t go another step. “Feet up on the sofa” was what was called for from my point of view.

So in the Irn Bru Cup we had Connah’s Quay Nomads of the Welsh Premier League v Coleraine of Northern Ireland. Coleraine were by far the more skilful side when it came to moving the ball around but they had no real answer to the uncompromising defence of the Nomads. It seemed to me that the match would be decided from a set piece and so it was – the Nomads centre-half rising highest to a very long throw-in from the right wing.

As Coleraine pushed forward to find an equaliser they were leaving gaps all over the defence and the Nomads were very quick to exploit the breakaway. Twice they burst through the defence with just the keeper to beat, twice they were hauled down from behind with no attempt to reach the ball, and twice the referee reached into his pocket for a red card.

Down to 9 men, Coleraine made three substitutions to freshen up the team but the new players had no more luck. By now though they were becoming rather desperate and some of the tackles and … errr … incidents which they instigated have no place at all on a football pitch.

And towards the end of the game the Nomads brought on their star player, Michael Bakare, who had been rested, and he made the difference – brushing off a couple of weak, tired challenges to set up one of his team-mates for a second goal.

This was a good win for the Nomads – a dour, workmanlike struggle against a superior side and if they can play like that more often they could do much better in European competition than they have done up to now.

So now I’m off to bed. It’s going to be an early start tomorrow as Josée will be back on her travels to wherever her next stop might be.