Tag Archives: brittany

Monday 18th April 2022 – THERE WAS MUCH …

yacht trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… more activity out on the water this afternoon.

Still not as much as I would have expected to see, given that it’s a bank holiday and we’re having nice weather, but still much more than there has been just recently.

But be that as it may, let’s retourner à nos moutons and while you all admire the photos of the water craft out there today, I’ll tell you about the morning that I had.

at least, insofar as I remember it because until about 11:00 or so I was deep in the arms of Morpheus. It’s a bank Holiday today so there was no alarm.

cancale brittany trawlers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It’s no wonder that I was exhausted this morning because I must have travelled miles during my sleep, as I discovered when I listened to the dictaphone.

Some girl had fallen foul of a gangster boss for some reason. She’d been taking photos and dictating things into her dictaphone about this and that, dictating her dreams. This gangland boss insisted that she hand over her memory card and dictaphone which of course she flatly refused to do. This led to some kind of argument or stand-off. In the end one of his minions managed to produce some kind pf portable machine that would copy everything off the memory card and off the dictaphone so that she could have copies of everything that she had done. She could possibly have her memory card and dictaphone back. This was again a completely realistic kind of dream and made me worry about my dictaphone.

And then it was the birthday of TOTGA’s daughter so she was dancing around, reciting words in a form of poetry about presents that she would like to have for her birthday. Then TOTGA was talking about going to China … JUST LIKE SWEET REGINA” – ed … so I asked if the whole family was going. She replied “yes” or at least to the China museum which is free for everyone who visits China. She went over to a ticket machine to try to sort out everything from the machine that was there. I’m missing a few bits off this. I can’t remember all of it.

There were a couple of cowboys, taxi drivers, but one of them was an Indian. There had been some talk about disabled passengers. There was a notice on the door that said “if you’re phoning up for an elderly disabled person make sure that the taxi has a wheelchair lift fitted”. Anyway these 2 guys were on horses. One of them had a horse blanket over his horse because he was an Indian. When you took the blanket off you could see the saddle underneath all ready for war. One of his comrades came into town, also sitting on a blanket ready for war. The other cowboy went out to confront him.

people in zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022I was in a pub waiting for someone to bring round a settee to make it more comfortable. When the pub closed for the afternoon I was cleaning it up and doing some tidying up. There was something like an indoor pool in this pub, a water feature. I thought that I’d put a spade in and get down to the bottom here and see what was happening. Then 2 people turned up, a girl who worked here and her boyfriend, and they were in the middle of having an argument so I left them to it. I put my spade into the water and dug down into the mud and pulled up a huge pile of LPs and single, an Alquin double album, a pile of stuff by Alquin, loads of stuff like that. Everyone came to give me a hand to help me pull all of these out. I realised of course that they would all be ruined but I wondered what on earth they were all doing in there. I recognised one or two of them from stuff that I’d upgraded to CD but I don’t remember throwing away. There I was, picking out all these LPs from this dirty, muddy, filthy water inside this pub.

Robert Fripp was having a party to celebrate the release of his new blues album. A whole pile of us went. There was a young girl there, a bass guitarist, who played bass on his album but when she came to listen to his album you couldn’t hear the bass on it at all. She asked Robert Fripp what had happened to the bass and he told her that basically her playing was rubbish. That had of course reduced her to tears. I went to see him and asked if he would play the album with the bass on it. He replied that with the bass being rubbish he didn’t want to feature it. I told him that he didn’t really understand music because music isn’t just one performer, that sort of thing, music is everyone together, the whole ensemble. We had this argument. I told him that there had been other cases like Richie Blackmore who for example had sacked Mark Clark in the middle of a recording session and played the bass himself because he didn’t like Clark’s bass playing and I’m impressed that I could remember that when I was asleep. I said that it was dishonest in a way to have this girl play and then wipe out her playing. I insisted that he play the album version with her bass on it. He said that it would take some time so I asked him if he would send me a copy of the album with her bass playing on it. He had to fiddle around in the corner of the room to try to find the master tapes.

Finally I’d been at work. Everyone was slowly leaving. In the end there was just me and a girl, the girl whom I knew from Stoke whose name I can’t remember, the pretty one who had cancer. We were chatting away and the conversation became more and more about our intimate selves. In the end I ended up kissing her. We spent a good few minutes like that. Then I had to leave. On the way out I bumped into my elder sister. She noticed that I was late so I said that I’d been seeing some guy whose sister she knew who lived in Shavington. Then I walked down to my parents’ house in Davenport Avenue. It had changed quite considerably from when I remembered it, the outside. I knocked on the door and one of my younger sister’s children let me in. It told me to make sure that I wiped my feet but there wasn’t really any need because the lawn inside the house was all churned up like a ploughed field, a real horrible mess. My sister said that one of her children was dropping out of school. I told her that she better hadn’t because she only has one chance at education and this is it. She didn’t seem to think that she was, it was my sister’s idea that she would.

There was an interruption in the middle of this for a rather late brunch. Porridge, coffee and the last of the hot cross buns. I shall have to hope that someone I know is going back to the UK soon to bring me back another couple of batches. They aren’t very easy to make correctly and I do like them very much.

When I’d finished the dictaphone notes I had a good session on the guitar and then made a start on the radio programme that I’ll be completing tomorrow if all goes according to plan.

And while we’re on the subject of tomorrow … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ll have to tidy up the apartment tomorrow as I have someone coming round at 14:00 to see me and the place is something of a mess. How I’m going to manage raising myself from the dead with an alarm after several days of lying in remains to be seen.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But that all relates to tomorrow. Today, it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end to see what was happening down on the beach.

The tide is of course well out, as we have seen over the last few days. But there weren’t as many people down there today as there have been.

The difference today is the amount of wind that we are having. It’s a lot windier than it has been and I suppose that that is keeping people off the sand. No-one really wants to be out in a cossy in this wind.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good.

And so consequently we had the birdmen of Alcatraz out in numbers this afternoon. I counted a good half dozen and maybe more out and about in the air.

This one is carrying a passenger too, and I haven’t forgotten that it’s on my bucket list to go up for a flight one of these days if I can find an intrepid birdman intrepid enough to take me up, and a Nazgul strong enough to support the two of us. I really could do with losing another 8 or so kilos to bring me down to what I consider to be my optimal weight.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022The birdmen of Alcatraz weren’t the only people up in the air today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last couple of days we’ve seen the red powered hang glider flying around and I mentioned yesterday that I wondered what had happened to the yellow one.

Sure enough, around the corner she came this afternoon, pilot and passenger, on their way back to the airfield after a lap around the bay.

All we need now is to see the yellow autogyro and we’ll have had the full set but she’s been conspicuous by her absence for quite a while now.

There was also a small aeroplane flying around the bay but she was too far out for me to be able to take a decent photograph.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Not so many people out on the path either this afternoon.

That’s much more like how it ought to be these days when there’s a pandemic raging.c Not that I’m all that bothered during normal circumstances but if people won’t wear a mask when I’m a person at high risk, I would rather the path be empty.

Only another 87,000 cases yesterday and 35 deaths. Mind you, it hasn’t escaped my notice that the UK hasn’t declared its figures for the last few days. I wonder what’s going on there right now.

people by cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022With all of the excitement going on out at sea this afternoon I was expecting to see crowds of people down by the cabanon vauban.

Well, at least there were a couple of people gazing out to sea at the trawlers and the zodiac in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And also at the pecheurs à pied too because there were plenty of those down there on the rocks this afternoon too. I wondered why there were so many cars on the car park and so few people about.

So I left them to it and headed off down the path on the other side of the headland.

ch798530 briscard ch638749 pescadore sm517594 rocalamauve port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It looks as if there were several boats that missed the tide and the open harbour gates this morning

Settling down in the silt over there at the quayside next to the Fish Processing Plant from front to back are Briscard, Pescadore and Roc A La Mauve. It’s not like any of those to be moored there deliberately.

Back at the apartment I made myself a coffee and settled down in front of the computer for this evening’s football match – a basement match between Barry Town, second bottom, and Aberystwyth Town, third from bottom, in a game that Barry Town must win.

Considering the positions of the teams in the League, this was one of the most exciting games that I’ve seen for quite a while, ranging from end to end like a tide. Aberystwyth took the lead quite early on and managed to hang on for the victory despite Barry throwing the kitchen sink at them in the final 15 minutes.

Whether Barry Town remains in the league now depends on whether Llanilltud Fadre or Pontypridd Town’s grounds are up to the required standard. I wasn’t impressed at all by the ground at LLanilltud when I’ve seen it.

It was too late for food by the time that the football finished so I had a few rounds of toast instead. It won’t do me any harm to go without a full meal here and there. But now I’m off to relax before going to bed.

Tomorrow I’ve an alarm to set, a radio programme to complete, a meeting to attend and a session with a new physiotherapist as well as an apartment to tidy. My few days off passed rather quicker than I was expecting.

Saturday 5th March 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… a few photos of the 120-odd people who turned up spontaneously outside the Mairie in Granville at midday for an impromptu show of support for Ukraine, I’ll tell you about my really miserable night last night.

And when I say “miserable” I really DO mean “miserable” because last night, in a sleep that went on theoretically for just a little over 8 hours, there were no fewer than 14 entries on the dictaphone and that must be something of a record in anyone’s language.

And so it will be no surprise to anyone to learn that when I awoke this morning with the alarm I was thoroughly, completely and absolutely overwhelmed with fatigue.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Although it wasn’t until very much later that I transcribed the dicatphone notes, it’s probably a good idea if I insert them here so that we can keep things in order.

Last night I was standing up but suddenly I fell forward and knocked over this tripod that had some kind of equipment on it like camera equipment or dictaphone equipment. Then I realised that I was wearing a soldier’s uniform and I’d been arrested or captured, something like that

And then there was something about a cucumber rolling around in the bed and I’ve no idea at all what that was all about.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And then later on I was out with a friend of mine from Brussels. We’d started off at work – we were working together – and then we decided that we would go for a walk. There’s a bride being married in a couple of days and she was having an exhibition so off we went. We had a lengthy heart-to-heart chat about all kinds of things that had happened between us 20 years ago. It was an extremely intimate discussion. She ended up saying “if only you hadn’t been married, if only you hadn’t been middle-aged” etc. It was a really deep discussion. The bride had settled herself down so we decided that we would go and look. I knew that there was a phrase that you had to use but I couldn’t remember what it was. We walked past this tent and a little head popped out – a little girl. I said “cuckoo, are you getting married?” and she blushed and went back, stuck her head back inside. I could see inside that the bride was asleep in the corner of the tent and there were 3 goats in there as well. I was trying to work out the ritual nature of all of this.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I actually missed out a few things in that story about my friend in Brussels. I can’t remember who I was with at first but we were coming in late for work and we heard people talking about the “Naz” department store. I arrived at work and asked someone what had happened about the department store. They replied that it had fallen down. I asked if it was any relation to the fire a few days ago somewhere. They said “no”. This guy was very interested in telling me so much more about so many different things but I wasn’t interested in hearing them. On my way back to my desk with whoever it was I said that we really need to be in work earlier because we are pushing the boundaries and we need to do better than this and make every effort to arrive at work earlier. When I was walking with my friend we could see in the distance a load of white smoke that might either have been from the collapse of “Naz” or whatever it was called or else the remains of this big fire

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022. Back at home later I was talking to my mother and one of my sisters. I said where I’d been and that many years ago when my blog was in hiatus I used to read books and I’d underline or highlight phrases in books that actually meant something. When I’d been writing my blog subsequently and re-read one of these books and came to a phrase that I’d noted, I’d mentioned it in relation to her. She’s read my blog and seen these references etc but was still interested in coming out with me for a chat. I thought “well, there’s hope yet, isn’t there?”

So there were pirates who stopped a boat and they put everyone ashore. There was a flag that they were flying that had five rings on it like the Olympic flag. I had no idea to engage in this fight so I didn’t go but they swarmed onto this other boat and started hacking the other defenders about to see whether it was going to take them

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And here I am doing it again – dictating a dream when I have no dictaphone with me. I was on a boat somewhere in the Indian or South Pacific Ocean and I was talking about the time that I’d been on a voyage of discovery with my Belgian friend – and fell asleep again in the middle of it – but basically what this was about was something about me being there and maybe taking a boat to Japan and back to the USA. There was a lot more to it than this but unfortunately I can’t remember anything and that’s really disappointing.

And later again I was out on the Pacific on yet another ocean liner with someone else when the subject of this girl in Belgium came up again but I don’t know where it went from here. But how many times last night was it that she put in an appearance?

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Next time I was in the American cavalry in a dark-blue uniform. There was a person of colour in the troop. We came across this girl and noticed her bounty of seventeen dollars which we thought was quite a lot for her seeing as she was an Indian so we resolved to kill her. She was killed in the struggle but handed her jacket all the same to create an entry to receive this money

And yet again dictating in my sleep but it was one on those things where the ones I was with would go and sort out some enemy checks or something like that so we set off in a car and drove. As we drove around the headland we saw the ruins of a castle across a bay that looked very close. We suddenly realised that we had gone within earshot of these particular people and so we’d better not say any more in case they overheard us.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I was at University last night waiting for morning classes to start and I’d been talking to Rosemary on the ‘phone and I said something like “why don’t you come up?”. When I finished I went back into the classroom and took my seat but suddenly Rosemary turned up. I had to go out to see her and talk to her. I sent her off to the cafeteria because our lecture was about to begin. Back in there the cat was on the windowsill so I went to stroke it. Someone said “that’s my cat” but I said that anyone could stroke it as far as I’m concerned. I found that someone else had taken my seat so I had to look for another empty one. Then I had to go through my timetable to find out what lessons I had for the rest of the week so I could go down when this one finished and talk to Rosemary. There were a couple of conversation lessons I couldn’t miss and one or two other things but there was still a fair amount of time so I had to sit down and think about making a plan that I could take to Rosemary in 40 minutes when this lecture finished.

beach rue ru nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022After the medication and checking my mails and messages (and having a little relax too) I set off to go into town to do a little shopping. I need some mushrooms for the pizza tomorrow and also a baguette for my Saturday treat.

As usual, I went off to have a look at the beach to see what might have been going on down there today. And one look at what is supposed to be the beach will tell you that there wasn’t anything whatever going on down there right now.

And for an obvious reason too. The tide is right in today at probably its fullest extent and that’s put a stop to everything. You can see now how it’s possible for people to be cut off from the steps.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I was also looking out to sea to see what I could see.

Right out on the horizon in the Baie de Granville are a couple of yachts. At least, one of them is a yacht and I’m not quite sure what the other one is.

As you can see, it’s a beautiful day out there this morning but there’s plenty of haze around farther out and the Channel Islands are obscured which is a shame. I was hoping that we might have had a really good view of St Helier today.

And that reminds me – the ferry service is supposed to be starting up some time soon. I must make further enquiries.

cabin cruiser marker light baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022One thing that regular readers of this rubbish might recall is that a few days ago we say the marker on the rocks just off the headland here right out of the water.

Today of course, it’s a completely different story. You can see that it’s almost submerged and that will give you a really good idea of how high the tide is. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … we have some of the highest tides in Europe just here.

Of course, with the tide being as it is, the harbour gates will have been open for quite a while and that will account for the yachts, and also for the cabin cruiser that’s out there. At first I thought that it might be fishing but judging by its wake it’s in rather a hurry and presumably heading out to the Ile de Chausey.

pointe de grouin brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022The view out to sea might have been obscured by haze this morning but the view along the coast was one of the best that we have ever had.

Although I had to enhance this photograph quite considerably, it shows a really good view of the lighthouse at the Pointe de Grouin on the headland at the entrance to the bay on the Brittany side.

That’s of course where we spent our first night when we were out and about on the Spirit of Conrad in summer 2020.

It was here that I had a ‘phone call about the Demonstration at lunchtime so I abandoned my shopping trip and headed home for a shower and clean-up and to find some blue and yellow clothes.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On leaving the apartment I’m grabbed my ZOOM H8 to record whatever might be happening.

There wasn’t enough time to check the batteries – I use it on the mains here – and so it goes without saying that the batteries were flat. And so were the spare ones too.

But anyway the talk that we were given only lasted for a couple of minutes and that was that. I wandered around taking a few photos until everyone dispersed.

A couple of friends from the radio were here so we all went for a coffee and a chat.

On the way home I popped into Carrefour for the mushrooms and baguette and then crawled slowly (and it was slowly too because I wasn’t feeling too good after my bad night) back home where I had lunch.

This afternoon was pretty slow. Transcribing all of the dictaphone notes took an enormous amount of time and there was also at least an hour and a half when I crashed out completely, absolutely and definitely.

There was football too on the internet – Penybont v Caernarfon. Penybont hit the woodwork twice, had a stonewall penalty appeal turned down, had about 75% of the play and somehow managed to lose 3-0 in a match that they should have won at a canter.

Tea tonight was a couple of those small breaded quorn fillets with potatoes and veg and it was delicious.

This evening, something surprising has happened. Someone from Ottawa has contacted me and asked to be my “friend” on my social network.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I have plenty of family and friends in Ottawa. There are also plenty of people who have been with me on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and of course a certain young lady who has accompanied me on several of my nocturnal voyages in the past.

Consequently I was intrigued to see who it might be and how I might know them.

It turns out that it’s someone who has found me “by accident” and wants me ” to always be open, honest and having free speech about everything, share your worries, your children and everything be that support group for me as I will for you, plan together, play together and treat me like I mean something to you, you don’t have to sugar coat anything, as adults, we can handle things. I expect you to treat me right, be truthful, and honest with me because I do believe in gospel truth and that is what I want. I want to feel true love and happiness with you and share everything with you based on love and understanding.”

She will apparently “climb the highest mountains just to be with the one i love”.

So while you are all reading this, I’ll be waiting for the message when she will ask me to send her the air fare so that she can come to join me.

Saturday 19th February 2022 – HAVING SPENT ABOUT …

prego air fryer place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… a week or so trying to fry some chips in the oven earlier this week, I walked into Noz this morning and Lo! And behold! They had some air fryers in stock, at just €29:99 too.

This is a kind of technology that has passed me by up until now so I’ve not really very much idea about how well they work, but at that kind of price it’s well-worth a try.

Bearing in mind the price of oven chips and the electricity that it takes to cook them, I don’t think that it will take too long to recoup my outlay, and they can’t be any worse that what I’ve been eating for chips so far.

One thing that hasn’t convinced me though is the trade-name of the article. I have a feeling that nine months after making my first batch of chips, I’ll be making medical history.

Trying to awaken this morning nearly wrote my name in the history books too. I didn’t quite go back to sleep after the alarm went off but it was pretty close and I only just managed to make it to my feet before the second alarm went off.

After the medication and a shower to clean myself up, I headed off to the shops. Apart from the air fryer, Noz didn’t come up with very much but at leClerc I spent something like a small fortune.

And for two reasons too

  1. Stocks were pretty low seeing as I haven’t been to the shops for a fortnight
  2. They were having one of their special “multiple offers” again and things like orange juice, soya milk, ginger beer and the like I can always use and the bathroom is a fairly cool room in which to store things.

Back here I put away the frozen stuff and then made myself a coffee. The slice of fruit bread was delicious too.

Next task was to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night. And talking about dreaming in French – last night I was with my Welsh class but last night we were speaking Flemish. We’d been on board a ship and it had set sail. I had stayed behind for the next leg of the journey. We carried on having our discussion on line. At one point the discussion became very difficult. One of the girls on board this ship said that it was very late. I had a look at what time it was and I could see that it was a certain time where I was so I said “it must be twintig voor negen where they are. That means that it’s probably late and is getting too late for them”. There was then some discussion about whether we should stop or carry on.

And dreaming in Flemish is a totally new departure, isn’t it?

Later on we were out in the Far East and I stepped back into that dream where I’d left off. We were all getting our radio programmes together but this team there was a team of radio presenters who had to guess whose programme was whose. We did all that we had to do and then our programme was revealed to the public one by one. It came down to the last 3 and there was me, another girl and Liz. They presented their radio programmes and then it came to presenting mine. Mine was about a lake so I presented mine. Then the audience had to award prizes to what they considered to be the best and they also had to guess whose was whose. They were doing pretty well until they reached the last 3, the girl, Liz and me, They had me presenting someone else’s programme but I can’t remember which one – it might have been Liz’s. Then it came to mine which was about the lake but they couldn’t decide who presented it so they gave up. I started off singing the title entry to it, waiting on the podium with this little girl and Liz. I said to the little girl “what do you think? Didn’t we do well?” and we started to sing down the microphone which wasn’t actually picked up by the podcast. They asked me what had inspired me to do this programme. I was beginning some talk about how I had a lorry here and I was on my way to do something else and I just happened to notice the lake in a certain situation, state or colour.

After lunch there was football on the internet – Penybont against Ffynnon Taf in the quarter-final of the Welsh Cup.

Playing football in a hurricane is always a lottery. Even though Penybont are one division and quite a bit above their opponents and played with much more skill, the wind was a great leveller and at one stage Ffynnon Taf were actually leading 2-1.

But almost every second of the last 15 minutes was played in the Ffynnon Taff half and 2 goals in a minute near the end after the Wellmen had gone down to 10 players ensured that Penybont went through.

windsurfer people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022By now it was time to go out for my afternoon walk. I mustn’t forget that.

There were quite a few people walking around down on the beach this afternoon, including a windsurfer who looks as if he’s been making the most of the weather today. The sea might not be as rough as it was yesterday but there was quite a wind still.

And you can see what a mess the sea yesterday has made of the beach, with all of the ripples in the sand caused by the force of the waves as they slammed into it at the height of the storm yesterday.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Another thing that the storm will have done is to have ripped a load of shellfish from their beds and cast them onto the rocks.

naturally, the seagulls will have made pretty short work of those but there were plenty of people down there scavenging around to see what they can find while the tide is right out. Let’s hope that they don’t find anything that they wouldn’t want to find

Not too many people up here on the path though today. The wind was quite strong and that was keeping them indoors.

The view out to sea and down the coast was quite clear today too but I wasn’t going to stand on top of a bunker to take a photo in this wind. I’ll leave that for another time when the wind calms down.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022The clear sky though meant that the view across the bay to Cancale was really good this afternoon.

In the lee of another bunker and the lighthouse I could take a photo without being bowled over by the wind.

The church over there is 18 kms away from where I was standing and I know that from bitter experience. I was once looking for a hotel in the vicinity of Granville and one in Cancale – “18kms away” – was recommended. That was of course 18 kms as the crow flies but to drive it was about 70 kms down to the head to the bay and then back up the other side.

yacht tiberiade le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022With nothing else going on around the end of the headland I walked on down the path to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval.

The other day I talked about the new props on which the yacht down there had been posed, but while I was out in Caliburn this morning I had a closer look and saw that in fact it’s a wooden framework that has been knocked up quite quickly and doesn’t look all that strong.

And as you can see, there are no nets on board Tiberiade. That’s what makes me think that the nets on which they have been working in the inner harbour belong to her.

By the way, Joly France wasn’t at the ferry terminal. So hats off to any travellers who have gone out to the Ile de Chausey this morning in this weather.

philcathane les bouchots de chausey fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Here though are quite a few people who haven’t gone out to sea today.

As you can see, most of the fishing fleet is in port today, just as it was yesterday. Over on the far side of the harbour are Philcathane and Les Bouchots de Chausey and everyone else is moored up at the pontoon.

On the extreme right is Calean, with Suzanga moored behind her. In front of Calean is Galean, and then Yann Frederic and in front of her is L’Arc en Ciel.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There are people out in the Baie de Mont St Michel having a look at what the storm might have turned up.

But that would be the last place where I would look. That’s right at the entrance to the harbour and all kinds of boats have probably been doing all kinds of things just there.

And so I left them to it and went back home for a hot coffee. But I didn’t have one because I’d had one at half-time during the football and I need to cut down on my coffee consumption. Instead I came in here and …errr … fell asleep for a few minutes.

Tea was a baked potato with veg and a handful of those tiny breaded soya burger things that are really nice when cooked in the microwave in vegan butter.

Tomorrow I’m going to have my long-awaited lie-in and see if I can’t recharge my batteries. They have been run down flat over the last few weeks and I ought to see what I can do about rectifying the situation.

But not tomorrow. I’ll be in bed.

Monday 7th February 2022 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall what usually happens when I have something important or urgent to do, and so it goes without saying that today, with so much going on that I need to do I have been on the receiving end of a load of rubbish.

roadworks place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Monday is of course the day when I work on my rock music programmes for the radio and I had three live concerts to remix, edit, and then to write and dictate the text that I intend to use, and then edit it.

So having left my stinking pit at 06:00 and written all of the notes, at 08:00 precisely they started working on the road underneath my window, using a pneumatic drill.

And that, dear reader, was that.

Mind you, I did have a dash through while they were going for their 2-hour lunch and after when they had finished, and I thought that I’d managed to produce something that was adequate for all three concerts – only to find that one of them has a hole in it.

The irony of that is that I recorded this concert myself on 22nd April 1977 (I wrote it on the tape) but the quality was not as good as I would have liked it to be so rather than spend ages editing it and ending up with something that would still be of somewhat dubious quality, I trawled across all kinds of sources to which I have access to see if I could find a better copy.

And sure enough, I eventually did but firstly, a lot of the audience interaction, some of which was quite important, was edited out and I had to edit it back in from my copy, and secondly, it has a hole in at at 45:20:00 that I didn’t notice when I played it through at first.

It’s not been my day, has it?

The day started off well enough. I was out of bed almost as soon as the alarm went off at 06:00 and after the medication and checking my mails and messages I made a start on writing the notes for the three radio concerts that I was hoping to do.

As I mentioned, the pneumatic drill interrupted my work quite considerably but I picked my way through the quiet gaps in the work as best as I could. I adjusted the one that I mentioned yesterday and that sounds quite nice.

But the second one is perfect, despite all of the work that I had to do on it and I’m really impressed with how it’s come out.

As for the third one, we’ll have to see about that when I’ve filled in the hole, and found something that will take up the time. I’ll probably have to lengthen some applause or something.

There were several interruptions, apart from the pneumatic drill. First of course was for lunch and second was the nurse, about whom I had forgotten, who came to give me my injection.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And then of course there was the afternoon walk around the headland.

First call was, as usual, the walk across the car park to the wall at the end where I can look down upon the beach to see who’s around.

And there were plenty of people down there today. It’s school half-term right now so there are families coming here to their second homes and holiday lets to take in the sea air, and to bring their viruses with them.

The figures have calmed down this last couple of days from the ridiculous levels of the last few weeks, so just watch them soar upwards again now that everyone is on the move.

trawlers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Plenty of other stuff on the move as well this afternoon.

As usual I had a good look round out at sea while I was watching the beach. My eyes fell upon a couple of fishing boats way out in the bay.

Judging by the direction in which they were pointing, they must have been working. They were neither heading back to port or out to sea in the direction of the Channel Islands

Fishing boats with their nets out are obliged to shine a couple of white lights, but I’m not likely to see them at this distance.

f-gcum, robin dr 400/180 regent, baie de granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022That wasn’t all that was going on out in the bay this afternoon either.

Not actually in it, as it happens, but over it. We had a light aeroplane flying by way out in the distance.

Of course, from here I have no chance of seeing who she might be but she’s red and white and that seems to suggest that she’s F-GCUM, a Robin Dr 400-180 Regent.

My photo is timed at 15:49 and while no-one took off from the airfield round about then, F-GCUM took off at 15:07, flew up to Utah Beach and then back down in a figure-of-eight to Avranches and then back again where she landed at 16:16.

She must have been on the second part of her flight when I photographed her.

brittany coast in sea mist Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Although the view out to sea was reasonably clear, it wasn’t like that everywhere else.

The way things were, I was hoping that I might possibly be able to see all the way down to Cap Fréhel this afternoon but it wasn’t to be, unfortunately.

There was quite a heavy sea-mist hanging around just offshore and obscuring the coast. It was extremely difficult to make out anything further than the Baie de St Malo and anything coming out of the harbour over there would be immediately lost in the mist.

It wasn’t the day for any kind of long-distance photography in that direction.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022However, around the corner in the Baie de Mont St Michel, things were quite dramatically different.

Not a trace of mist just over there and so we have another one of these magnificent sunsets. The Brittany coast, the town of Cancale and the sea just offshore are illuminated by the sun just as if they have been floodlit on a stage.

But we need to make the most of this because the sun is now quite high in the sky and I don’t imagine that we’ll be seeing many more of these beautiful late afternoons now until late autumn. I shall have to find something else to extol.

people watching sunset pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And just for a change, I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying it.

Several people had made their way down to the bench by the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland and they were admiring the sunset, complete with improvised visors.

Nothing much seems to have happened in the bunker behind me over the weekend. Everything was as I remember it being when I last looked.

And so I carried on down the path towards the port to see what was happening there since Saturday morning.

le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As far as inhabitants of the chantier naval go, there hasn’t been any change. Tiberiade is still in there, and so it Le Roc A La Mauve III.

However, there’s been a considerable change to Le Roc A La Mauve III. It doesn’t look as if she’s going to be mauve any more, because they are down there busily sanding off all of the paint from the hull of the boat.

She’s going to have a new coat of paint, by the looks of things. I shall have to make a note of her new colour when she’s done so that I can identify her at a distance when she’s out at sea.

When I find the time, whenever that might be, I’ll make up a list of boats that operate out of here and append some photos to help me identify them.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022No difficuly in identifying this boat though.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we will probably be able to identify her simply by where she’s moored. She’s L’Omerta of course, and we’ve seen plenty of photos of her moored up at the quayside underneath the Fish Processing Plant.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve seen her moored here but like a homing pigeon she’s found her way back again to her nest, sitting on the silt now that the tide is out.

She’s on her own down there today. Everyone else is either in the inner harbour or out working at sea.

harbour port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022What is interesting about what’s happening in the harbour is the case of what isn’t here today.

What have gone from the harbour today are the two Channel Island ferries, Granville and Victor Hugo. Gone! And never called me “mother”!

They are probably on their way to Cherbourg or somewhere like that. As I mentioned a few days ago, there are rumours going around that the sailings to Jersey are to restart at the end of April.

Having been standing idle for so long, it’s likely that they have gone for an overhaul and a service ready to restart work. And I’ll have to make a few enquiries myself because as I have mentioned before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I’m determined to get out there somehow and see what’s going on.

light aeroplane 50SA pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022While I was brroding on the infinite, I was overflown by another light aeroplane.

And “overflown” was probably the correct word because she really was right overhead. We can clearly see that she’s 50SA, one of the light aeroplanes that fly out of the airfield.

As I have said before … “and on many occasiosn too” – ed … I’ll have to go out there to the airfield at some point to make enquiries about these aeroplanes that I can’t identify. The registration numbers that they carry aren’t in the series contained in the database to which I have access.

lorry negotiating porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the difficulty of large vehicles faced with the medieval city walls.

On the way back I noticed that not all of the large vehicles trans-ship whatever it is that they carry. Some of them press on regardless.

And this one certainly did – with a clearance of no more than an inch or two either side the driver bravely nosed his vehicle out of the walled city as I watched.

It would have been much more interesting to have actually watched him fight his way in, but I wasn’t here at the time.

Back here I had a coffee and carried on with my work until I had to stop for tea.

Eventually I managed to find the time to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I was with 2 girls at school last night. They were a few years younger than me but they weren’t particular friends of mine and this was a good few years later at a kind-of party. I’d gone to wash my hands and it was dark so I was having an explore and a look around. I was in some of the classrooms wondering why there was no-one else in here. Suddenly these 2 girls walked in. I shouted “booh!” and they jumped. They put the lights on but it took a while for them to come on then I could see who they were. I said “God it’s only you. I thought that it was someone else” and mentioned the name of a girl in their year who I actually happened to quite like. They said “yes, we noticed that you liked her”. I replied, “yes, she and her friends are really quite nice”. By this time a whole crowd of people had come in. They were all sitting down making coffee and everything. I asked “could someone lend me some coffee?”. These girls said “so and so (her friend) and I have some coffee. You can share ours” and gave me a drink of coffee. They gave me some chocolate cake too, that they put on the saucer of the cup, but it was hot from the coffee so the cake stuck to the saucer. We were talking about something or other and I thought that that reminded me of a man, a distraction for about 30 seconds. Then one of the girls turned to me and asked “who did that remmind you of?”. I replied “do you know, it’s gone clean out of my mind”. We were talking about all kinds of things. The question of coffee came up and she said “my husband never makes me a coffee”. I replied “he ought to” and I told the story of my friend in the USA who even though he didn’t like coffee would quite happily make one for his wife”. She said “yes, come on” in a dismissive tone. We were having quite an interesting chat that I wouldn’t have had with these 2 girls in real life. It was really quite interesting and it was a shame when it petered out

There was also some kind of ceremony going on at a war memorial and we were there. There was talk that they had given some of France’s post-war allocation to people like the Basques and the Greeks to ensure some kind of post-war stability. We then walked back out with Liz and as we were passing a shop she asked if I fancied a coffee. I replied “no, we’re nearly back so I’ll have one when we arrive back home”. She went in anyway and I noticed that she was buying an alcoholic drink. I didn’t say anything, I just watched as the shopkeeper collected all the ingredients to mix it.

Tonight was to empty the fridge of everything loitering in there, especially the stuffing left over from Saturday’s pepper. So I made a really nice curry of all kinds of bits and pieces, and forgot to put the stuffing in it.

Definitely not my day, is it?

Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be at my best, not that that is ever likely to happen. Piles of radio stuff and only one day to do it all before I leave.

The fact that I just can’t get myself up to date is another one of these mysteries that I don’t understand.

Saturday 8th January 2022 – THE LEAST SAID …

… about today, the better because it’s been one of those days that’s best forgotten.

In fact, it all went wrong before it even started, if you know what I mean. The alarm went off as usual at 07:30 and the next thing that I remember, it was 08:03. Yes, for the first time in ages, I’d gone back to sleep after the alarm. Definitely getting back into old habits.

So it was rather a rush this morning to have my medication and then have a shower and clean-up before dashing out to the shops.

Well, to Lidl anyway.

09:11 I’d set out, and at 09:58 I was back in the house. Mind you, it was hardly a surprise because there was nothing whatever going on anywhere. It was a wet, grey, dark, depressing morning, the ideal day to match my mood.

Back here I dictated the dictaphone notes from last night. And I was rather puzzled by one sound-file that ran for 57 minutes. “That must have been some voyage” I mused, only to find that it was 00:34 of me talking and the remaining 56:26 of me snoring. I’d drifted off back to sleep with the machine still running.

And apologies to Percy Penguin. She used to complain about me snoring during the night and I always denied it. Well …

Meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … apartment we’d come back on a ferry from somewhere in Europe. When we readhed the pier where we could disembark there were thousand upon thousand of us. We had to walk the length of this pier to reach the ferry terminal. Formerly there had been a train service between the ferry and the terminal. You could still see the railway station and the lines and an odd steam-train or two were going past crowded with people. We walked, and reached a T-junction where we had to turn left and ended up in the ferry terminal, suitcases, everything, hordes and thousands of people. I don’t know where it went from this but a little later there was an announcement on the radio that thousands of people were still stranded at the ferry terminal after 2 days. It looked as if we’d been there and there was no way for us to move on at the moment. Someone said something that he had arranged for a nurse to come to look after the disabled people so that their carers could have rest. It was all just total and utter chaos.

Also last night I was with one of my friends from Montreal for a while. We arranged to meet at some other time. She was living in Russia at the time so she suggested we meet and what I thought was today. I asked her where we would meet – I assumed that it would be half-way between the two -and she mentioned the name of a hotel somewhere in Kiev. I had a look on a map on the internet and found the hotel. It wasn’t too far from the railway station and in fact I’d driven past there once with her and she’d pointed it out to me. I wanted to know what time we were meeting so I rang her on her mobile number but had a recorded message something like “please don’t wake my dad, please don’t wake my dad”. I wondered what was happening because that was a long way to go, all the way to Kiev on the train from Brussels and not be met or not be picked up by anyone. I wanted some kind of more definite arrangements but she wasn’t answering her ‘phone.

As well as that I was out in Caliburn last night looking for the place where he would be MoT’d. It was a strange drive in some kind of strange village or town and then out into the countryside where I kept on being surrounded by sheep and i’m not really sure about that.

And just for a change I managed to save the text file without deleting it.

What else I’ve been doing today is to finish off that sound file that I had to re-edit. It wasn’t as easy as it might have been either because there was a lot of “bleeding over” between the channels so I had to be careful how I edited it and some of the stuff that I would have liked to have kept ended up having to go.

But at least it sounds more like something that it ought to do.

Going out for my afternoon walk wasn’t as easy as it ought to have been either.

When I went into the living room to gather up my stuff as I would usually do at the usual time, it was raining like rain that I had never seen and was as black as the ace of spades outside. There was no possibility of going for a walk in any of that.

rainstorm underneath door place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022About half an hour later it eased off so I decided to make a run – well, perhaps a crawl – for it.

And this is what has happened in the building. The rain has come down with so much force and with the wind being so strong, it’s blown all of the water underneath the front door and we’ve had a mini-flood on the ground floor.

Luckily though it’s not made it into any of the apartments down there, but now we know why there’s a kind-of step at the front door of the apartments down there if this is the kind of thing that happens on a regular basis.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Once I’d finally negotiated the entrance to the building I could go outside and see what was going on.

As I expected, the answer was “nothing at all”. There wasn’t a soul down on the beach which is no surprise given the weather that we had just had. Mind you, it was probably drier to actually go and sit in the sea.

With nothing else of any kind of note whatever happening, I pushed off towards the headland. The quicker I start, the quicker I finish.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While I was out there looking down onto the beach, I was also having a look around out at sea.

Not that I could see very much out there. It was rather like yesterday in that respect. There was another rainstorm circulating out there in the bay that was making life interesting for that small boat that was racing away from it towards the mainland.

Seeing the rainstorm was the cue for me to put my skates on. The wind was blowing it in my direction. I’d been caught in that downpour yesterday and I didn’t fancy another one. The sooner I return home the better

sunset brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022However, as I walked on down the path, all on my tod, the sun suddenly and rather dramatically came out over the Brittany coast.

It looked pretty good in this photo but it became even better a little later when the heavy, dark cloud had moved completely away and was shining over the sea.

But I wasn’t to be lulled into a false sense of security by any of this. There might be sunshine over there but there was none of that here and the rainstorm was coming closer and closer.

The rain falls down upon the just
and on the unjust fella
but mostly on the just because
the unjust steals the just’s umbrella

french flag seafarers memorial pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022A little earlier, I’d mentioned the wind.

In fact, the wind was blowing quite strongly, although not as strongly as it had done when we had had the rainstorm. And you can see what damage the wind has been doing, because it’s shredded the French flag that flies above the monument to the departed seafarers.

And as you might expect, there was no-one else apart from me admiring it. Not even anyone down on the bench by the cabanon vauban, and that’s not a surprise to anyone at all.

waves harbour wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022So with nothing happening in the bay, I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

There was quite a wind and a turbulent sea but with the tide being well-out there were no waves breaking on the sea today. However, over on the wall that protects the port de plaisance we had some waves breaking there.

That’s the first time that I recall seeing the waves there. The wind must be blowing on the correct direction for that to happen. It’s probably quite a rare phenomenon.

Meanwhile, in other news, there was still Gerlean and Joly France in the chantier naval and the ferry terminal, but you are probably fed up of seeing them.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022In the inner port, we had most of the trawlers tied up. They haven’t gone out today.

They must be having a weekend off, or else the weather is too turbulent for even them to put out to sea this afternoon.

And so I made it back home where I was finally able to have my hot coffee. And then I sat down to pair of the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday but to my shame I fell asleep in the middle of doing it.

Not just for 5 or 10 minutes either but for well over an hour. A really deep sleep as well, the type that I haven’t had for several months. And that depressed me more than just about anything else.

When I awoke, the storm was back. And in spades too. A howling gale with driving rain. I’m glad that I went out when I did otherwise I would never have made it.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper with rice, and now I’m off to bed. Although I’m not sure how I’ll sleep with the wind blowing tin cans around outside and the fact that I had such a good sleep this afternoon.

But it’s Sunday tomorrow and I’m having a lie-in. Rather like the CATALOGUE PRINCESS, APPRENTICE SEDUCTRESS, I seem to be spending most of my time praying “for endless Sundays” instead of performing ” to scattered shadows on the shattered cobbled aisles” of the streets of the old walled city at the back here.

Anyway, more of the same tomorrow.

Sunday 26th December 2021 – IT REALLY IS …

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021 … unbelievable, isn’t it?

Look at all of the crowds here walking along the path between the College Malraux and the Pointe du Roc. Hordes of them, and not even one single face mask to be seen.

Yesterday we had almost 105,000 cases of infection here in France and much of it is heading our way on the holiday trains that I saw at Gare Montparnasse at the weekend.

As well as that, there’s a Prefectorial Arrêt ordering the wearing of facemasks in public in the Manche, and no-one (except me) taking any notice whatsoever of it all.

If they all catch Covid, it will be no surprise, and won’t the World be a much better place when these people are no longer on it? Serve them all right, the lot of them.

But in much more interesting news, while I’m typing out these notes, I’m letting my evening meal cook itself. And in news that will come as a complete surprise to regular readers of this rubbish who will recall that Sunday night is pizza night, I’m not having a pizza.

Yes, as it’s Boxing Day, I’m cooking another Christmas meal.

With it also being Boxing Day, I had a nice lie-in this morning. All the way up to 10:30 which was really pleasant. I could do with a few more of these although I doubt that I will have any more for a while.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and sent out a few replies to messages that I had received over the last day or so. And then, I had a relaxing morning doing next-to-nothing except sorting out this old hard drive. Another 2.3GB of duplicate data has bitten the dust and there’s still more to go. It’s hard to think that my first home computer back in the 1980s worked on 2x 5.25″ floppy drives of 256kb each and at a push I could make it work on just one.

There was a ‘phone call immediately after 12:00 – someone is well-aware of my habits. A friend of mine is writing a book and needs a letter writing in English to a “witness”. It’s an extremely complicated and crucial letter so he’s asked me if I could write it for him.

Not a problem – after all, he’s helped me out on numerous occasions, so he’s going to come round tomorrow at 17:00 for me to do it.

The work is piling up, isn’t it?

After my Christmas brunch of beans, sausage, potato fritters, toast with mushroom pâté, I sat down to pair off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow (yes, I’m still working). And to my surprise, the joints went together perfectly – they couldn’t have been better.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, especially after yesterday when I didn’t go out at all.

What was disappointing was that there wasn’t anyone down there on the beach at all. I must have missed the mad stampede into the sea down at Donville-les-Bains this afternoon.

No-one down on the beach here either, although over there we can see plenty of people walking around on the path underneath the city wall and over on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021So with absolutely nothing whatever going on out at sea, I turned my attention to the Ile de Chausey.

There was something of a sea mist over there in the direction of the Ile de Chausey so we couldn’t see it as clearly as we have done just recently. It was all hidden in some kind of light blue haze.

But even more interestingly, there weren’t any boats at all out there at sea this afternoon. I would have expected there to have been quite a few out there right now as people sail off their Christmas pudding. I’ve no idea where they all are.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021A little earlier I showed you the photo of the crowds of people milling round on the path.

While I was up there on top of the bunker I had a good look around in the other direction down the coast.

The view was much clearer in that direction and even with the naked eye I could just about make out the lighthouse at the Cap Fréhel 70 kilometres away. The camera lens didn’t bring it out very much better than I could see with the naked eye, unfortunately.

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Another thing that I noticed while I was up there on top of the bunker was the sunset over the Brittany coast.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … one of the things that I like about going out for my walk at this time of afternoon at this time of year is the magnificent sunsets that we can sometimes have.

This afternoon there was another TORA TORA TORA effect with the rays of the sun streaming down through the small gaps in the clouds over there.

The nice round circle in the centre of the bay was most impressive.

cabanon vauban people at bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And as it happens, I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the sunset.

It’s been a few days since we’ve seen people down by the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland but today with all of the crowds milling around on the paths I was expecting to see some people down there this afternoon.

Sure enough, we have four people down there right now. Not actually admiring the sunset but talking to each other with their backs to the view. But I imagine that they will be turning round in a moment or two to see the beautiful sight behind them.

light aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And while there was nothing whatever going on out at sea, we had a few things going on up above in the sky.

The usual sounds of machines in the air told me that there was something heading my way.

Unfortunately it was too far out for me to see its registration number but it doesn’t resemble any of the larger aeroplanes that loiter around at the airfield.

It’s probably one of the light aircraft there that isn’t registered on the main database and doesn’t file a flight plan.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021The light aeroplane wasn’t alone either.

Following it very closely was one of our regular visitors – the red autogyro. It was following the aeroplane so closely that I imagined that they had been out together for a lap around the bay.

My lap around the headland was coming to a close as well so I set off down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was happening down there.

l'omerta port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021L’Ormerta was back in town today.

She was moored over by the fish processing plant, settling down in the silt seeing as the tide has gone out. There is a whole pile of fish baskets just above it on the quayside so it looks as if she is in the course of being made ready to go to sea.

At the chantier naval the portable boat lift was back in its position over the dock. The yard was still fenced off, however and there was no boat in there awaiting repair. I imagine that it will be getting back under way after the New Year.

articulated lorry fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And talking about the fishing boats being made ready to go out to sea, there was an articulated refrigeration lorry pulling up at the fish processing plant.

It looks as if they will be expecting a decent crop of seafood when the boats come back from their next trip out.

My trip out was drawing to a close so I headed back home. I’d put the coffee machine on the go before I went out and the coffee should now be nice and hot.

Back here I made a couple of ‘phone calls to wish a friend the season’s greetings but she was out which was a shame. I’m not having a great deal of luck just recently.

Tea was delicious as usual. But I have so many vegetables left over – leeks and sprouts – that tomorrow I’m going to have a blanching session followed by a freezing session.

And whatever else happens, I mustn’t forget last night’s voyages. They are really quite important. And there were plenty of them too. It must have been a restless night.

I started off in hospital. It was actually my old Grammar School building but it was a hospital. I was walking there. As I was walking through a ward of a corridor there was someone there who was not a medical staff but opened a door and pushed a rat into the room. Someone inside said “you’re cheating! This isn’t a minute!”. I chased him off and asked matron what was happening. She replied “he’s not a medical staff. He’s a friend of mine. I have a personal pet project that I’m following up”. I said “it doesn’t look very good to me”. There were some other kinds of slithering animals etc that were being introduced into this hospital for one reason or another that made me most uneasy. Outside there were a few kids messing around. Girls probably mid-teens. One of them started to talk about a Beatles song, Savoy Truffle. She asked whether something was in the song and I said that it was. She threw me something like a very small but heavy frisbee. I caught it and threw it back to her. She asked me about something else. I said “yes” so she threw it again. This went on for a couple of minutes. Then a couple of other girls who had been watching came down and it was as if they had put me in the middle, like a kid’s game to catch this thing as they were throwing it between themselves. Of course I caught it. One of the girls had a kind of wrestling match with me to to try to wrestle it from me.

Later on I was driving a lorry up to Scotland last night. I had a box with me that I had to bury, the ashes of one of my cats. I dropped off the cars that were on the back of this lorry, drove out of the yard and stopped at the side of the road to make sure that all of the straps were secure and weren’t going to fall off as I drove home. There, it was a lot of wasteland so I started to look around to find a place to bury this box with this cat’s ashes. A couple of little kids came round to see what I was doing. I explained it to them. In the end we found a few cemeteries where you could bury ashes but there were lots of people round there. I didn’t have a spade. In the end I thought that I would just throw it in a ditch on this wasteland. I thought that I could drop it in my old rucksack and leave that there. I wasn’t very happy but that was the only solution. I Went to the bottom of the rucksack and pulled out a few things that I’d overlooked and put the box in there ready to discard. Then I had another thought. I kept on having all these different thoughts of course but every time I tried something I ended up with some kind of problem so I would think of something else. That would create a problem as well

And then I was back on the taxis last night. After I’d sold it we were going through the paperwork. The boy who lived down Coleridge Way, we found some papers of his. I was back out again driving, sometimes in France, sometimes in the UK, enjoying things much better in France than the UK. Then I had to go to the station in Sandbach so I was driving down the A530 and came to the roundabout at the end of Bradwell Road. The car skidded at the roundabout, mounted the pavement, went through a pile of snow, missed a lorry and ended up facing the correct way down the correct street. Everyone gave a round of applause for that so I got out and bowed to everyone. I got into a different vehicle and started to drive back up there. I can’t remember now what happened after that.

While I was asleep in the middle of one of my voyages someone came past, banged on the door and shouted “alarm call for Madame -” (and said a Russian girl’s name). I wondered what she was doing sleeping in my room

Later on there was some kind of workmen’s or youth hostel where I was staying. There were dozens of people staying there but I always seemed to be pushed out on the margins for everything. I remember we would have our meal and then be in this series of common rooms and I would always end up being on my own. When the meal was finished there was this huge bowl of water that needed to be taken out and emptied and for some reason or other I would always do it. They would probably have to open the door for me while I took it out. There would be people hanging around the sink etc. I’d tip the water in down the sink. Gradually after I’d been there a few days I discovered the snacks, where they kept the fruit salad, where they kept the soya dessert. Gradually, wandering around I came to where they kept the fruit so things weren’t going to be too bad. The people there from all places and all nationalities but it seemed that everyone was speaking English which I thought was a shame. Then I thought that I would have to look for a couple of books, something like “500 Words You Never Knew In France”, that kind of thing and make more of an effort to improve my foreign languages.

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

Having done all of that, which totally exhausted me, now I’m off to bed. I have an early start tomorrow as I’m preparing a radio programme. It’s later than I would like right now so it’ll be a struggle to leave my bed. But we’ll manage somehow, won’t we?.

Sunday 5th December 2021 – AFTER THIS MORNING’S …

laurent comité de jumelage cerences bere regis Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… exertions, I was glad actually to come back home and sit down.

And for a change, when the alarm went off this morning at 09:30 (and isn’t that early for a Sunday morning?) I was already up and about. A quick tidy-up and a play with my equipment to make sure that it was all in working order and I was ready to go.

And while I was at it, I worked out (quite by accident too) how to switch the recording from 2-track stereo to two mono tracks. And I’m a lot happier now I know how to do that.

Laurent turned up on time and we set off for Cérences, stopping to put fuel in Laurent’s car. It was my turn to pay because, after all, he’s been driving me around on these interviews for quite a few times now.

laurent comité de jumelage cerences bere regis Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021The interview was rather a disappointment.

My understanding was that we were to interview the President of this twinning committee and so it would be somewhere quiet and secluded. However it turned out that the whole committee was there and the interview took place in the middle of a Christmas Fair.

There was nowhere to bolt the pivoting mike stand so the committee ended up passing “their” microphone from hand to hand, with all of the pops and crackles that that entailed.

But at least they were content to see us, which is more than most people have been with this radio project on which we are working and I might be able to salvage something out of it.

But all of this is a learning curve for me and it’s only by making mistakes and learning how to rectify them that I’m going to make progress.

On the way home Laurent took me on a little drive to show me a few places of his childhood and then back here I made lunch although I needn’t have done so as I hadn’t realised that the clock on his car wasn’t changed at the end of October and it was earlier than I thought.

After lunch I prepared the dough for my loaf of bread for this week, and also a fruit loaf for breakfast. Yes, a fruit loaf, not fruit buns, and that’s because my oven is too small to make fruit buns at the same time that I’m baking bread. I wish that I had a larger oven.

people beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Later on it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down there this afternoon. And to my surprise there was actually someone down on the beach.

That was a surprise because the weather wasn’t nice at all. It had been quite miserable this morning, brightening up a little while we were on our way home but it had soon clouded over again.

buoy on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And it wasn’t just people who were down on the beach either.

It looks as if Storm Arwen that paid us a visit last weekend has left us a little present. Down there on the beach below is what looks like a marker buoy off a mooring chain

Somewhere around here in some local port will be someone now fishing in vain with his boathook for the mooring chains.

These are sunk in most harbours and regular readers of this rubbish will have seen them in Granville. They run along the bottom of the port, indicated with the red buoys. You fish for the chain with your boat hook, tie your boat to it and drop the chain back into the water.

rainstorm ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021One look at the weather told me that I wasn’t going to stay out here long.

There was a rainstorm cascading down out there in the bay somewhere around the Ile de Chausey. Although it wasn’t as big or heavy a rainstorm that we have had just recently, it would still be wet and the wind was blowing it in my direction.

“This isn’t the time to be hanging around” I told myself, and headed off down the path towards the lighthouse, in the hope that I could complete the circuit and be back home with my mug of hot coffee before it arrived.

brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There were only a couple of people out there this afternoon and that was a shame because once again we were having some interesting light effects.

The cloud cover only seemed to extend as far as the other side of the baie de Mont St Michel and the brittany coast down towards Cap Fréhel was basking in gorgeous sunshine by the looks of things.

Had I not been in a rush to return home I would have gone to stand on my bunker and taken a photo all the way down the coast because the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel was visible with the naked eye yet again this afternoon.

brittany coast cancale Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021But instead, I made do with a photo of the Brittany coast over at Cancale.

The weird clouds and lighting effects were silhouetting the skyline of the town on top of the cliffs over there and it was quite impressive.

It’s a shame though that there was only me out there now enjoying it. Everyone else had gone and there was no-one out there sitting on the bench down below.

And with no boats or anything out at sea this afternoon I carried on down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the port.

tractor trailer fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There was nothing whatever going on in the port this afternoon.

There weren’t any boats moored up at the ferry terminal this afternoon and nothing – not even L’Omerta – moored at the fish processing plant.

The tractor and trailer that handle the loads brought in by some of the smaller boats were down there this afternoon so presumably there are some boats out at sea and which will be coming home on the evening tide.

And with nothing else worthy of note I cleared off home and my coffee before the rain arrived.

Later on I bunged my bread into the oven and let it do its work.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And while it was working I was busy rolling out the dough for the pizza and putting it in the tray to rise.

When it was ready I assembled the pizza and as soon as the bread finished I took it out and the pizza went in. And when it came out, it was delicious too. I think that I have the hang of making pizza now.

And so I should after all of the times that I’ve been baking them. But if I were to have a better oven they would be better still. But that isn’t likely to happen any time soon, if at all.

Eventually I managed to find the time to transcribe the dictaphone notes. At the beginning it was to do with the radio station. We were having to organise some songs but I wasn’t sure about what kind of songs and how many to organise so I was going through other people’s entries on the Social Media page looking for examples that had been suggested by other people at other times. There was one in particular but the guy who had sung it felt himself and made him feel silly but I can’t remember very much more about this.

Later on I was at a holiday camp last night and had Zero with me. There had been a lot going on so I decided in the morning that I’d go back to bed and have a couple of hours sleep. She went off to play somewhere. A woman came along just as I was waking up, sitting there talking to me, telling me about Zero, everything like that. I went to dress but I couldn’t find any of my clothes. There were some clothes lying around belonging to someone else so I put them on. I made a joke that I’d put on my underpants inside-out. Also in an unconnected incident I’d broken my pencil so the joke was going around that I’d put on my underpants inside-out and broken my pencil as a consequence. There was a lot more to it than this but I can’t remember, and a lot more that I can but as you are eating your lunch you don’t want to be reading about it.

Finally I was staying at a strange boarding house with a girl who was a cross between a girl I know in Swindon and another one I know in Scotland. We had separate rooms of course. We were up until fairly late that night then went to bed and arranged to meet next morning. When I awoke it was something like 09:25. I thought “breakfast will be over in a minute so even though I’d switched on the computer and switched on everything and went outside to use the bathroom. I found that thr bathroom was actually a glass cubicle stuck on the end of the house. Everyone could see what you were doing. There were lace curtains at the side but they kept on coming undone. When you finished what you were doing there was no toilet paper, just a pile of old clothes and you had to tear off a bit. I started to do that but there was another couple inside there, from Clacton in Essex. They were talking away. I thought “this is the strangest situation that I’ve ever been in. I could see the girl who was with me. She was down on the lawn sunbathing, talking to it looked as if it was the woman who owned the place. I thought “I’d better get a move on otherwise breakfast will have finished”. I couldn’t seem to tear off a suitable piece of this old clothing to use and ended up with miles of it. Trying to do it in this glass cubicle where these curtains kept coming undone and everyone could see inside was not really very comfortable. In the end I stuffed a large piece of the cloth into my trouser pocket, dressed and went outside with the aim that I can go and arrange myself properly somewhere more quiet and more convenient than this.

And now that everything is done and finished, I’m off to bed. It’s an early start in the morning as I have to radio programmes to prepare. But at least I’ve done a lot of the work already so it shouldn’t take too long.

And isn’t that the Kiss of Death?

Sunday 14th November 2021 – ONE OF THE BEST …

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… pizzas that I have ever made.

And one of the best that I have ever eaten too. It really was delicious. I just wish that I knew what the trick was to make the vegetables go crispy instead of soggy.

Liz recommends that I gril them slightly before using them on the pizza but that didn’t seem to bring me mush success. Maybe I ought to try it again and persevere until I get it right. I dunno.

Anyway, after yesterday’s issues I’m surprised that I went to sleep last night. But sleep I did, right up to 11:00 here and there.

Mind you I did go off on several voyages during the night, nothing really relating to the events of yesterday but it was definitely a restless night. There was something last night about a group of us having to explain or someone suggested that we explain the difference between the rules between lacrosse and some other sport I can’t remember now, another game that’s descended from the native Americans of North America.

Later on it was the village fête at Audlem. There was music and a procession and exhibitions and everything like that so I went down. Of course there are loads of people in Audlem whom I know and I ended up chatting to these 2 girls, one of them whom I knew really well and they were both about 15 or 16. She was flirting with me absolutely outrageously and I thought to myself “what’s going on here?”. We were talking for ages then the procession started to come past. There was a steam-powered fire engine pulled by horses that was the first thing. I said “I’d better go and take a photo of this” and went to fetch my camera. She came along too. We were chatting and the procession went into the church so we went in and everything was laid out for a meal. She said “we may as well sit down” so we went to find a table. I noticed that she was very careful to pick two seats where I wouldn’t be sitting next to her, just opposite her. I thought “this is rather strange from 5 minutes ago”. We sat down. This woman looked at me as if I had to introduce myself so I said “hello, I’m Eric. I’m the guy who drives the bus that takes …” and I couldn’t think of this girl’s name no matter how hard I tried. The girl said “oh yes, he has a memory like this so I explained about my road accident. It was terribly embarrassing that I could not remember her name at all. But it was the way that she was flirting with me back at the town square. I thought that there was something really strange happening here. I’m not used to this behaviour, certainly not in real life. And I wish that I knew who she was too.

Something had happened and I wasn’t living at home any more, living with a large family. It wasn’t very convenient at all. I was having to share a bedroom with 2 small girls. They were going to have a party last night and there were crowds of people there. One girl told me that I wasn’t in someone’s very good books because I’d attacked him with a mop and the mop happened to be wet and he’d soaked his trousers. I went up to try to dress for this party. First of all I went into the wrong room where there was a little girl still in bed. We had a talk, a laugh and a joke then I went into the room where I was sleeping and I couldn’t find my clothes. Eventually, after much looking about, I came upon them in a white set of chest of drawers like I had in Crewe but it was hidden behind a TV, something like that. While I was getting them my father came in and said that I was going to have to leave. I asked why. He replied “it’s very inconvenient as you’ll soon find out, cramped and everything like that”. Whilst I thought that it was the case that everyone was realy cramped the conditions back where I was supposed to be living hadn’t improved any. He said “you can leave right after this party”. I said “that’s impossible” because I had all my clothes and everything here and I can’t leave just like that in the middle of the night.

I was with a girl – it was either with the girl whom I’d met in Brussels or my friend from the Scottish borders, I can’t remember who now. I was trying to make the beds. This was difficult for me because we were back in the old days of bedspreads, stuff like that, She came upstairs to see what I was doing and she helped me do the beds. We had them done in no time, with me shaking the blankets out of the window, looking at the cats playing around outside and she came to look at them too. I said “it’s much easier making the beds with two of us, isn’t it?”. “Yes” she replied and talked about her mother, how her mother would make them. I said about mine and how she was really difficult and didn’t have much of a clue about everything. She said that there was this Nicholson guy and I remembered that her Family name was Nicholson (which it isn’t). He worked in tobacco but spent much of his time asleep when he came home from work. I don’t know how he coped with his day job if he was asleep like he was when he was at home.

There was more to the night than this but as you are probably having your tea right now I’ll spare you the gory details. But it wasn’t anything to do with the events of yesterday morning.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then set about pairing up the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow. And typing this out reminds me that I didn’t choose a speech for my guest. There will now be a short intermission while I deal with that.

So now that I’ve sorted out Louis de Funès, I went for a nice brunch – toast and porridge with plenty of coffee. I do quite alright for myself here as far as food goes.

Once lunch was out of the way I had some work to do. That’s right – me working on a Sunday! Would you believe it?

On Friday night I interviewed that girl from Greenland and I’d intended to deal with the recording yesterday. However, the events of the morning got in my way.

What I did was to separate the two tracks, mine and the interviewee’s, cut out the bleeding over between the mikes (I haven’t had time yet to look at that helpful tutorial you sent me, Grahame), diminish the volume on my track and then cut out any irrelevances from the interview

When that was done I sent them off to the girl who wanted me to do the interview along with the photos that I had taken.

What she can do now is to prepare her own track to ask the questions that I asked as well as any questions that she might want to ask to interject into the monologue of the interviewee.

When I interview someone, I don’t like to interrupt them when they are in full flow. I let them carry on, wait until I’m back home to ask the questions to break up the monologue, and edit them into the recording at the correct place.

Once I’d done that it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021First stop was of course the wall at the end of the car park and the beach down below.

The tide wasn’t actually all the way in this afternoon. There was still a little bit of beach to be on but I couldn’t see anyone down there taking advantage of it.

That’s hardly a surprise because we are now well into the grip of autumn. It wasn’t as cold as it might be at this time of year but it was a real November day with a strong wind blowing that would blow the cobwebs away from the corners of your mind.

yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While I was there looking over the wall I was also looking out at sea to see what was going on in the bay.

There was something white moving around just off the coast of the Ile de Chausey so I took a photograph of it to examine at my leisure back home later.

Its shape suggested to me that it was a sail, a sail of a yacht, and when I enlarged and enhanced it, I could see that that was the case. He was the only one out there too.

having photographed the object I headed off down the path. There weren’t too many other people down there so it was quite a comfortable walk.

zodiac marker light baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Halfway along the path I noticed that there was somethign happening just offshore.

There’s some kind of marker here sitting on a big lump of rock and there were two guys with a zodiac right by it. I’m not sure what they were doing but they didn’t look like fishermen.

With nothing else going on, I waited for a couple of minutes to see whether they would tie up their zodiac and then shin up the ladder but it took them so long to sort out their equipment that I was distracted elsewhere and that was that.

tora tora tora sun shining through clouds baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As I have said before … “and on may occasions too” – ed … one thing about going out for a walk at this time of day at this time of the year is the marvellous effects that are sometimes produced by the sunlight.

Once again, we have another TORA TORA TORA effect as the sunlight streams through a gap in the clouds and onto the surface of the sea.

However I’m not going to hang about too long. That looks like a tremendous storm in the background and the wind is blowing it my way. The sooner that I go back for my coffee, the better.

brittany coast yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But I shan’t be going back home quite yet.

As I was walking down the path and over the car park I could see all of these yachts out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

The light at the moment is producing some really spectacular effects and it’s probably the best light that I’ve seen for a while. The colours that it’s creating are superb.

Looking closer at the image, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the wind turbines at the foot of the bay stand out so clearly as they were doing this afternoon.

cancale brittany boat in baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the end of the headland there was a couple of people sitting on the bench by the old stone cabin.

However I ignored them today because for once we had some kind of activity going on out there at sea right now.

There’s some kind of boat heading off towards the brittany coast and the town of Cancale but I can’t tell what kind of boat it is.

Even enlarging and enhancing the image didn’t tell me all that much. There are a couple of crane-like objects on the back but that’s all that I could say.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way back home I went past the chantier naval as usual but now that we know the score after my foray down to the port office yesterday, I shan’t be featuring it until there’s some kind of activity taking place at the yard.

Instead, I concentrated on L’Omerta instead, still tied up at the wharf underneath the Fish Processing Plant. It looks as if she’s moved in there permanently now.

Back here I made a coffee and then did some work on cutting up a couple of digital recordings of albums that I had tracked down on the internet over the past few weeks. I’ve pretty-much digitalised my entire collection now but some tracks are quite badly damaged and I’ve been hunting down replacements.

Now that I’ve had my pizza I’m planning on going to bed. I’m up early radioing tomorrow and I have my physiotherapy in the afternoon so I’m going to be having a busy day. An early night and nice deep sleep will do me some good.

Friday 12th November 2021 – TORA TORA TORA!

tora tora tora sunlight through clouds pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One of the many things that I like about this time of year is the effects tha the sun can produce when it’s low in the sky.

Particularly on days when there is heavy cloud and there are these small gaps through which the sun, low in the sky, can send its beams radiating out into the sea.

Here on the edge of the cliffs we have no obstruction to our view and can see for miles, so it’s really a grandtand seat here to see the sort of effect that so inspired the Japanese naval Air Force when they set out that morning to attack Pearl Harbour

spotlight of the gods brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And sometimes we have an effect that is even more spectacular, like this one seen from the other side of the headland.

This one really is a spotlight of the Gods and I’d love to know what it was illuminating over there on the Brittany coast. it must have been just like on the stage of a theatre during a performance.

It isn’t every day that a photo opportunity such as this presents itself and strangely, I was the only person who seemed to be interested in watching it. These days most people seem to be oblivious of the free shows that Nature puts on for them.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021If you had read these pages earlier, you might have been wondering why the entry was so short last night.

The answer was that I had been out radioing until quite late. I’d been to see a girl called Leoma who was performing at the local Mediatheque.

She was born in Paamiut, in the south of Greenland, and had come here to tell a few native Greenlandic tales for a small audience in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the twinning of Granville with the town of Uummannaq in northern Greenland.

For once in my life I must have had a reasonable night because the entry (there was only one) on the dictaphone was at 07:15 – just 15 minutes before the alarm rang. Nothing whatever at 02:00 or 03:30 or whatever like there has been quite recently.

Last night they had doled out the soup on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and it was just sitting there going cold while there was something going on. I heard somehow that there had been a record number of complaints about something so I mentioned it to one or two people. One of my disabled friends from University was there. We were chatting about the company. I said last year that i’d come north with a different company and it wasn’t the same at all hence I’m back. He said that it was the same for him and several other people whom he knew. I said that at least I reached destinations differently last year. Then our ship pulled into a port. I disembarked and so did a lot of other people, took my camera with me and went to photograph it. There was a big aeroplane coming in to land that flew past overhead. There was a church and the hotel. I couldn’t fit the hotel in the frame so i went to photograph the church first but everyone kept getting in my way. Then I couldn’t get the camera to work. When I did, I found that I didn’t have the shot that I wanted so I had to go somewhere else to take the shot. I walked past a shop, a toy shop, and there were a couple of girls dancing, being very happy. I went to take the photo but a couple of other people got in my way so I couldn’t. When finally I could, I pressed the shutter but the camera didn’t click. I was wondering “have I taken this photo or not? How am I going to be able to check?”.

When the alarm did go off I struggled once more out of bed and went for my medication.

Afterwards, having checked my mails and messages and transcribed the dictaphone notes, I set out to perform the task that I had promised yesterday to undertake – to wit find the spare battery and battery chargers for the NIKON 1 J5.

Finding the mains charger was easy – it was plugged into a plugboard in the dining room. But the USB charger and battery was something else completely.

This led to a sorting-out and filing of a pile of papers, making up my suitcase for Belgium next week, photocopying a pile of medical receipts, a discovery of several other missing bits and pieces (which usually happens at these moments) and SHOCK! HORROR! I actually found what I’d been looking for.

Mind you, it had taken long enough but even so, finding something on the day that I set out to do so must be something of a record.

After lunch I had another go at attacking the photos from Greenland 2019. It’s been quite a while since I’ve attacked that, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

It’s not that I’m actually out of the woods with this backlog of arrears, I’ve simply moved into different woods.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Of course there has to be the usual break while I go for my afternoon walk today.

First place to visit is the beach down below the car park – not actually visit the beach of course because I can’t manage the stairs these days – but to look down upon it from above.

There wasn’t anyone down there that I could see today, which was hardly a surprise because after the balmy day that we had yesterday, winter and the wind are back with a vengeance.

There weren’t too many people around on the footpath this afternoon either which was goon news for me. I could walk around in peace and tranquiliity without running much risk of catching some kind of infectious disease.

cabanon vauban people sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There were a few people though braving it out, sitting on the bench down at the end of the Pointe du Roc.

Not that there was very much to see today because the sun, being so low in the sky, was shining right into the surface of the sea and if there was something out there it was impossible to see it.

But take a look at the sea out there. It’s not as rough as it was the other day but even so there’s quite a storm whipping up the waves somewhere further out at sea.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However, what the storm was producing at the blunt end was something of a damp squib.

Having left behind the ladies on the ledge I set off along the path to see how the waves were doing as they broke on the sea wall around the corner.

However I needn’t have been so impatient because there wasn’t all that much to see. I wasn’t expecting them to go right over the sea wall but I was expecting to see someting rather more lively than this. And this wave was the best of the bunch too.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, down in the chantier naval there’s something going on at the portable boat lift.

They haven’t just been content to take off the wheels, they have the stub axles off too. This looks as if it’s going to be quite a long job to fix whatever is the problem with it.

Meanwhile, they’ve corralled it off with the blocks that they use for the boats to settle in while they are being worked on. Not that it’s going to be keeping too many people away from the scene, although it might prevent a car driving into it at the dead of night.

yachts baie de mont st michel crane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further along at the ferry terminal, I see that they have once more left the crane to its own devices fully-extended while they have gone off to do something else.

Things like this makes me wonder how long it will be before this is out of service for repair, and who they will end up blaming for the faulty seals.

But it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good. I mentioned the wind earlier and there are a couple of yachts out there taking full advantage of it.

Back here I had a shower then a coffee and then checked my radio equipment ready for this evening.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the Mediatheque I found, to my dismay, that the girl running the show on whose behalf I was going there for THE RADIO hadn’t reserved me a place and it was a sell-out.

Nevertheless I managed to blag my way in and listen to her telling a few animated traditional stories from Greenland, stories that I hadn’t heard before, surrounded by her collection of Qulliks

Although I took a few photos from my very cramped and uncomfortable position, it was impossible for me to record it, despite doing my best.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021At the end of the show I door-stepped her and after a little chat she agreed to be interviewed by the radio.

We agreed to meet at the Archipel Theatre where there was an exhibition of paintings by an American artist who had visited Uummannaq to paint the town and its scenery

There were plenty of people around there because they were having some kind of party – a vernissage, although it’s the first time that I’ve ever heard of a vernissage given by a dead artist – so I had to hunt around for a quiet room and ended up in the refectory.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Of course, all of these entertainers have their fans and so I had to hang around for her while she disentangled herself from her admirers.

Eventually she came over and we went off for our chat.

Although she was born in Greenland, her family are French. Her grandfather had visited Greenland quite often and ended up settling there. She was born while her parents were visiting him.

She didn’t stay there long after she was born but in Greenland there’s a droit de sol – nationality is accorded to those who were born there but they have to be present at 18 years old to claim it so she returned. Unfortunately, she’d never visited Uummannaq so that mean that most of my questions ended up in the bin. In fact, she’s never been to the north of Greenland.

In the end we chatted about life in Greenland, which was rather difficult seeing as she hadn’t grown up there, so talking about youth and education and the like was clearly going to be difficult.

Having visited Greenland as often as I have (which is three times more than most people on the planet) I had a good idea of where things differ than mainland Europe and what might be of interest

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One thing that surprised me (well, it didn’t because I know all about this, although I wasn’t expecting it) was that she was subconsciously aware of the differences between the more urban (if anything in Greenland can be said to be urban) southern part of the country and the more rural and traditional north of the country.

It was very much a case of “us and them”.

She didn’t seem to be concerned as much as I would have expected about the environment either. For her it was a case of exploiting the opportunities that the melting ice-cap had given then in the search for new raw materials to make the country economically self-sufficient, rather than the destructive effect that it will have on the traditional Inuit lifestyle in the north.

That was probably the strongest “us and them” part of the interview and, to be honest, it was an attitude that rather dismayed me. Most of the people whom I know in Greenland are Inuit from the North and their response would have been completely different.

For that reason, it wasn’t a very good interview from the point of view of Uummannaq.

he said that she could spare 5 minutes but we were there for half an hour talking about Greenland, and we would have been there longer had she had anything to say about Uummannaq.

By the time that I returned home it was late to to listen to a group whom I’d been invited to see so I just threw a quick tea together – pasta and veg tossed in a garlic, oil and pepper sauce with grated vegan cheese.

Now I’m off to bed and I’ll add the photos in tomorrow. No big shopping tomorrow as I’m off in the middle of next week. I’ll just pop into town for some basic supplies instead.

Sunday 26th September 2021 – NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL …

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… the perfect vegan pizza.

It really was too. I had to make a new batch of pizza dough this afternoon because I’d run out of the last batch. But I used wholemeal flour instead of bleached white flour and although the taste was rather unusual, it rose to perfection.

It’s a shame that I can’t make my bread dough rise quite like this batch of pizza dough did, and I don’t know why it won’t. I shall just have to keep on practising until I can find the key.

But it’s bizarre all the same.

And that’s what I call a lie-in too. Despite not going to bed until about 00:30 I was asleep until about 10:35 this morning. And it was … errr … some time later when I finally arose from the dead.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’ve forgotten very much about the first part of my travels but it was some kind of car journey with kids and we had to make up a bed inside the car for them because it was a long way travelling through the night but I can’t remember very much about this at all.

A short while later I was with a woman and we were wandering around the streets of a strange city somewhere in Eastern Europe. It was an aimless wandering around and I let her take charge but every time she seemed to take a decision to go somewhere it was always the wrong way. But it was still quite an adventure. It was hot and stuffy with quite a lot of traffic about, including one bus where the passengers were arguing with the driver about which way to go. Then we came to a complicated road junction where I misunderstood the lights and was nearly squidged. By this time I was with Nerina. We had been somewhere the night before after she had come in. She was telling me that a she came in my brother had invited her out for a drink. She said that she had this opinion that he’d known that she had been drinking although it was 16 minutes since her last one and she should have been clear so maybe she’d drink her drink in a different way next time to provoke a different reaction in her stomach.

I was wandering around Nantwich later and it was something to do with my German friend who was there – I’d arranged to meet him so I went to phone him up but I phoned Percy Penguin instead. I had a little chat with her and we tentatively arranged to meet. Then I was back in my house getting things ready for going. Another friend had said that someone had left me a message. I had a look and it was yet a third friend looking for the seed potatoes that he’s left. I had absolutely no idea where these were so I started to hunt my through for them and couldn’t fond anything. I came across my boots that I’d been wearing that I’d forgotten all about. I wondered if I should take those because the ones that I was wearing now were extremely comfortable although they were rather old and I still couldn’t find these potatoes. Liz Ayers turned up and said something like it was time to go. I told her that we hadn’t found these potatoes and she said that she wanted to go round to my house on the way back to see whether there was anything there that we needed. This was going to end in a load of confusion.

Later still, there were some more people round at my house. I had to go off somewhere and knew that I was going to miss these people by ages because I wouldn’t be back until late. When I returned there were 2 people walking up the stairs in front of me in the dark without the light on. I was wondering what they were doing. They went to my door and rang the bell. Whoever was in my house opened the door. This woman asked “have you received a message or a bill some time today?” to which whoever it was said “no”. Just then a girl came out of my apartment, a girl who had been in there earlier and was the one whom I was afraid that I was going to miss, carrying a box of stuff to put in her car. These 2 women saw her and asked “are you leaving? I hope that you are going to come back again”. She replied “yes, I’ll be coming back”. I added “yes, she better had be coming back”. We were having this kind of chat on the stairs at about 23:00 and this girl should have gone a long time ago. I was leafing through an old file and came across a sailor’s discharge book from the Navy, showing all the ships that he had been in, where he’d been torpedoed, where his ship had broken in 2 and sank, whatever. I was so fascinated by this book and deeply absorbed in it and wasn’t folling half of what was happening in this conversation which was strange because I was very keen to keep friendly and keep in touch with this other girl.

While I was at it, I transcribed the notes from yesterday and now they are on line as well.

After lunch, I had a little vegetate – after all, it IS Sunday. I was doing some research on something that I had read about a Communist sympathiser known as Hilaire Noulens, whose real name was Jakob Rudnik as I discovered, who was sent by Comintern to Shanghai to foment rebellion against the “International Forces” in 1931 but was arrested and exposed.

In the “International Zone” of Shanghai in the 1920s and early 1930s there were all kinds of strange and bewildering goings-on until 1932 when the Japanese invasion put a stop to most of it.

Following that I organised and paired off the music for the radio show that I’ll be preparing tomorrow and a little later I went off and prepared the dough for my next batch of pizza.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk so I headed off across the car park to the wall at the end to see what was going on down on the beach.

There were quite a few people down there this afternoon. Although we are at the last weekend of September it is unseasonably warm right now with very little wind so people were taking full advantage.

There were even a couple of people in the water right up to their knees. I know that it was a nice day, but it wasn’t that nice. But then the definition of “nice water” for me is “water that is at 37°C”

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further along down at the beach at the Plat Gousset there were even more people.

Of course, the access there is much easier but they are closer to some competing attractions such as the Fête des Coquillages St Jacques down at the port. A plate of shellfish surely has to be a better deal?

But then I suppose there are those people who have come here to take the waters. As you can see, there are even more people up to their knees in it over there. Sooner them than me.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There wasn’t anything happening this afternoon out at sea so I had a look over to the Ile de Chausey.

The view was quite good today – not as nice as it has been but better than most days – so the colours didn’t come out particularly too well.

There was one of the two Joly France ferries (Belle France is still moored at the Ferry Terminal as I found out later) moored out there and we could see it quite clearly from here.

While I was admiring the view I fell in with another one of my neighbours and we had a lengthy chat. I seem to be quite popular these days and it’s not like me to be so sociable, is it?

While I was chatting, I was overflown by just about everything that could possibly take to the air, as you might expect. But you can’t be so impolite to break off a good chat to take a couple of photos. There will be other times.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From my viewpoint up on top of the old bunker at the back of the lighthouse I could just about make out the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel with my naked eye.

With the NIKON D500 and the 70-300mm LENS the photo came out quite clearly after I’d enhanced it somewhat and we coud see once more the land beyong the cape.

Surprisingly, apart from the Joly France boat that I mentioned earlier and something far to small to identify, I couldn’t see a single other boat out there at sea this afternoon.

yacht small boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The position in the Baie de Mont St Michel is rather different.

As I walked across the lawn and the car park, that was once more packed to the gunwhales, I could see a couple of things out there towards the Brittany coast.

I took a photo of what I saw with a view to having a closer look when I returned home. And I’ve managed to capture a yacht with its sails furled and also a smaller boat of some other type.

But what “other type” it was, I couldn’t say. I couldn’t see clearly enough.

cabanon vauban couple changing a baby pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By the looks of things, I wasn’t the only person admiring the view out across the bay this afternoon.

There was a couple sitting on the bench by the Cabanon Vauban and my first thought was that they were having a picnic. “A nice big helping of shellfish from the fête”, I mused.

Back here I had a closer look and I could see that in fact they were actually changing a baby. And I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that because any other baby is probably going to be just as noisy as the on that you already have.

F-GKAO - Piper PA-28-181 Archer 2 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Round about now I was overflown by another aeroplane and I was in a position to be able to take a photo of it.

It seems that this is one that we haven’t seen before so i’m glad that I was able to photograph her. She’s F-GKAO, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer II.

She’s spent much of the day flying around here. When I saw her, she had taken off at 16:24, flown down the coast as far as Avranches, and then along the coast to Cap Fréhel before coming back into land at 17:16.

At 18:07 she took off and, stopping at Dinard and then Dinan, disappeared off the radar near Rennes St Jacques at 19:30.

buvette fête des coqilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As you can see, the buvette at the fête is still going great guns.

There was no change at the chanter naval today, with just L’Omerta still in there, and there was only Belle France moored at the ferry terminal so I didn’t spend too long having a look around there.

It seemed to me too that there has been an expansion of the facilities there today. Yesterday, everything seemed to stop by the door into the Fish Processing plant, but today there are a few more marquees and stalls further on that seem to have attracted quite a crowd of people.

equipment on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But what had attracted me – or, at least, my attention, was the big pile of equipment in the background.

Full of curiosity I cropped it out and enlarged it to see if I might be able to work out what it all is.

It looks like another load of pipework, as far as I can tell. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a while ago they did dig up part of the quayside to lay a network of pipes.

Perhaps they are going to repeat the process once the crowds disappear and the harbour is pretty much empty. Whatever happens, I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

fête des coqilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned that the crowds were still flocking to the Festival.

There are probably even more today than there were yesterday. It’s a good turnout and I’m glad that I’m up here.

You are probably wondering how come I never went down to see what was going on down there. The truth is that I don’t feel up to it. Not even the downhill part, never mind the climb back up afterwards.

What i’m going to be doing is to wait for the doctor to see the x-ray photos of my lungs and see where I go from there.

electricians compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One final thiing to see is something that I haven’t noticed before, not having come this far down the hill on my previous walks.

There’s some kind of compound been created on the waste land at the side of the Boulevard des Terreneuviers. By the looks of things and the name on one of the containers, we’re going to be seeing some electrical work taking place down here pretty shortly.

Not right now though. I came back home for a cold drink and to check on the pizza dough – to find that it had risen by an extraordinary amount.

While I was waiting for the pizza to cook, I peeled and diced about 1.5kg of carrots and blanched them ready for freezing. I hadn’t planned to buying a pile of carrots, but when loose carrots worked out at €1:79 per kilo and yet a 2kg bag was €1:29, what would you do?

That 1.5kg filled the saucepan, so I’ll do the rest tomorrow afternoon.

Bedtime now that I’ve finished my notes. An early start because I have my radio show to do so I won’t be hanging around either. I hope that I’ll have a good night’s sleep, but we shall see.

Thursday 26th August 2021 – THERE HAS BEEN …

… a calamity!

This morning I dropped a full mug of coffee onto my keyboard.

It goes without saying that that has now been filed under “CS” and the rest of the morning was spent hunting down the spare one that I have here.

After a good search I came across two, a very flaky old Belgian one and a more recent French one with “NumLok” stick permanently in the “On” Position. (And it could have been worse – it could have been stuck in the “off position”).

When I had finished lunch I tried to work out why the new keyboard was totally misbehaving and doing all kinds of strange things. That turned out to be a stuck “CTRL” button which I freed off.

All I need to do now is to find out why the “N” doesn’t work, and I’ll be in business. I’m using a keyboard shortcut for now so if you find any missing “N”, then you know why.

Thinking about it later, it would probably have been quicker to have driven to LeClerc and bought a new one instead of all of this messing about.

Strangely enough, the flooded keyboard had a fault with the “N” too. There was a delay in the “N” appearing when I touched it so I found myself often ending up with “GN” instead of “NG” if I wasn’t careful.

But I digress … “again” – ed

Despite yet another late night, I was out of bed as the first alarm rang and the went off for my medication.

After that I came in here to read my messages and as soon as it was light I dashed outside with the NIKON D500

chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd without falling over a bollard this morning I headed off to the viewpoint overlooking the port.

And it seems that I should have bee here 30 seconds earlier because they had been loading Chausiaise. I’d seen the crane swinging around as I was coming down the street but as I made ready to photograph it, they closed it up.

Parked behind Chausiaise is one of the Joly France boats that runs the ferry service to the Ile de Chausey. the older one of the two, I think, with the rectangular windows in landscape format.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s the pride of the harbour for the moment.

When I first saw her name I misread it. She’s actually called the Galeon Andalucia and is a replica of a 17th Century Spanish Galleon. She was built in Punta Umbría as a typical “Galeón de Manila” at a cost of about €450,000.

She was launched in 2010 and went out to represent Spain at the Universal Exposition in Shanghai. Since then she’s been visiting various ports around the world, including a couple of weeks in early July in St Malo, and I wonder if that coincides with that mystery sailing ship that we saw.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSeeing as I was up quite early, the sun was quite low to the east so we were having all kinds of unusual views that we don’t often see.

The chantier naval was nicely illuminated this morning by the low rays of the sun. You can see quite clearly all of the seven boats that are in there, and they all look pretty much like the seven that were in there yesterday.

Away in the distance on the horizon we can see the town of Cancale quite clearly. I’ve made no effort to enhance this photo so even at this range today, the views were pretty good.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that wasn’t the best of it either.

There’s a high hill away in the distance somewhere a little way into the interior of Brittany and I can’t recall having seen that more than once or twice. Today though, it was probably about the clearest that I have ever seen it.

The coastline was pretty clear too this morning. And I’m not sure if it’s a trick of the light but that looks like an enormous flotilla of yachts out there in the distance over by the coast.

fishing boat calean leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMuch closer to home there were other things going on.

The harbour gates were now open (I’d only just made it down to the port in time) and already half of the local fleet (that bit that isn’t in the chantier naval) had headed off into the sunrise. One of the last to go out was this little shellfish boat, Calean.

You can the shellfish boats by the covered awning over the open hold. That’s to stop the seagulls diving down and pinching the catch on the way back from the beds.

fishing boat bay de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLeaving the port, I wandered over to the other side of the headland to have a butcher’s at the Baie de Granville to see what was going on over there.

And out at sea many of the fishing boats had taken up their positions and were starting work, like this blue and white one here.

One thing that I had always wondered is “how do they decide which boat fishes where?”. They can’t all surge out en masse and fight for a spec in a glorious free-for-all. There must be some kind of organisation.

Do they draw lots? Or do they take turns on a rota for different specs?

Normandy Trader approaching port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a thing.

While I was looking out at sea at the trawlers I noticed something else heading my way, and as it approached me, I reckoned that the silhouette was quite familiar so I photographed it for a closer look when I returned home.

Back here I had a close look at the photo and had something of a play around with it. Sure enough, it’s Normandy Trader, one of the little Jersey freighters, on her way into port. I wonder what she and her crew will make of a Spanish galleon here in port.

Having done that, I edited the rest of the morning’s photographs and also the ones from last night. Then I began to update the journal to add the details of last night’s meanderings.

Round about 10:45 I knocked off for breakfast – coffee and my fruit bread. The bread was fine but it was round about then that I had my calamity.

Accordingly, the rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent messing around with the computer.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNone of the foregoing stopped me from having my afternoon walk of course.

You will have seen the glorious morning that we had earlier today, but by now there had been a dramatic change in the weather. It was cloudy, overcast and cold, just like any late October day.

It was no surprise therefore to see that the beach was totally deserted. There wasn’t a soul down there that I could see. The weather had finished off the holiday season in a way that no-one will ever forget in a hurry.

There’s even a rainstorm by the looks of things a few miles out to sea to put the tin hat on it.

harvesting bouchots donville les bains Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said that there wasn’t anyone out on the beach, that’s not strictly accurate.

Away in the distance out at Donville les Bains the bouchot harvesters are hard at work. They have all of the tractors and trailers out there this afternoon bringing in the shellfish from the beds that are to the right of this image.

And in the background there are a few people walking around on the beach. Probably tenants of the holiday park just along there. They will be walking along the beach because, to be frank, there isn’t anywhere else for them to walk around there.

crowds footpath pointe du roc lighthouse semaphore Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I’m sure that you are now wondering where all of the holidaymakers have gone if they aren’t on the beach.

The answer to that is that they are all on the path that leads down to the semaphore and the lighthouse at the end of the Pointe du Roc. Hordes and hordes of them too.

And they weren’t all holidaymakers either. While I was walking around on top of the cliff overlooking the sea, I fell in with one of my neighbours and we had a really good chat.

While we were chatting, we were overflown by a helicopter, our friend F-GBAI and also the sparrowhawk but you can’t be rude and interrupt a conversation by taking a photo.

Just my luck, isn’t it?

ulm microlight powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I didn’t have long to wait before someone else flew by overhead.

The familiar rattle in the distance gave me a clue as to who it might be and it wasn’t long before the red microlight who we have se so often came fluttering by.

Interestingly, it just went a mile or so out to sea, turned round and headed for home.

Bizarre.

Nothing else flew by so I carried on to the end of the path and across the car park, which was crowded yet again.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other day I asked the question “what do you do if you head back to port and find the port gates closed with the tide.

Almost on cue, we saw a yacht riding at anchor about half a mile outside the harbour. And here today we have another one. And I wonder if he has also missed today’s window of harbour gate openings.

There doesn’t seem to be anyone on deck so maybe they are riding at anchor an gone below for a cuppa. However, they are supposed to display a signal – a black ball – if they have their anchor out but I can’t see anything of that nature hanging from the mast.

people on beach port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further around the headland there was a group of people out on the beach and rocks underneath the harbour wall.

My first thought was that they were doing a bit of peche à pied but a closer look failed to convince me. And apart from the fact that there’s no sun right now, that’s no place to go sunbathing.

Meanwhile, in the chantier naval there was no change in occupancy since this morning. Everything was the same as yesterday except for an infernal racket from down there as if someone was doing some heavy-duty sand-blasting.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the inner harbour I noticed that Normandy Trader had already left. That was a quick turn-round.

Galeon Andalucia on the other hand was still down there with a huge crowd of admirers around her.

And well there might be too, for she’s a gorgeous machine. She’s 38 metres above the water (and 3 metres below it) and her three masts carry almost 2,000 square metres of sail.

Altogether, there are 6 decks which amount to 315 square metres of usable floor space. She looks as if she could launch a broadside of 14 guns

Sadly, she also has an auxiliary engine.

Back here I finished off yesterday’s notes and then went for tea. Aubergine and kidney bean whatsit with pasta.

Finally, I managed to find time to listen to the dictaphone. I was in Villedieu les Poeles last waiting to catch a ferry to go somewhere and there was a talk about how this town was one of the most important in the area as a fishing port, which considering that it’s 20 miles inland, is pretty good going (and I fell asleep here). It was a story on the radio about how important it was and how it was about the 4th most important bridge in France. I thought that it was the first and I was looking for a few reasons out of UP POMPEII to substantiate it. Then I was going through people’s different houses (and I fell asleep again). There was more to it than this but I can’t really remember now which is a shame

later on we were on the top of the cliffs looking down onto the village at Villedieu and the ferry and there was a bridge there as well (yes, I’ve stepped right back in where I left off, haven’t I?). We had to go down to the bottom and somehow fight our way across on rubber boats or something to the other side. We all charged and it was quite a bloodthirsty do with fighting everywhere. Eventually I managed to reach across to the other side of the river, cheered and pushed on. A few of us overwhelmed everything and we were all extremely happy that we had done this and survived and conquered this town.

Now that I’ve finished today’s notes I’m off to bed. I’ve been having too many late nights just recently. I have to put a stop to that.

Tuesday 17th August 2021 – HERE I ALL AM …

… not actually sitting in a rainbow but sitting in my little room in Leuven in Belgium.

Just for a change there were very few problems as far as the journey went but I have had a fraught time and I can’t go on like this for much longer.

This morning started fair enough as I was awake as soon as the alarm went off and there was some stuff on the dictaphone. There was something happening last night about Channel swimmers and there was even a dog that swam the Channel but in almost every one of these cases they were carrying drugs and the bag of drugs would split in their stomachs and almost all of them would die from drug overdoses just as they reached shore

Because of my condition I was having to move. They had offered to treat me at Chester General Hospital so I went to live in Connah’s Quay. That was several trips of 150 miles to organise everything . While I was there the new ferry out of Connah’s Quay, Castell Alun I think, was sailing through the sky brightly lit by the moonlight. I went to make myself a mug of hot chocolate which was just powder and boiling water. While I was there some people were walking past my house. They were talking about whatever it was that had to be 94 inches wide rather than 84, and they didn’t know where they would find something like that size. I didn’t know what it was that they were talking about because they certainly wouldn’t find a lorry that width.

To my deep regret I didn’t step back into that epic and memorable dream where I left off yesterday, and wasn’t that a disappointment?

Having tidied and cleaned up the living room yesterday for when the nurse came, it didn’t take too long to prepare everything ready to leave. Taking the rubbish outside was exciting though – I can’t believe that there was so much and I’m surprised that it didn’t walk out there all on its own.

In the absence of the NIKON 1 J5 I took with me the old NIKON D3000 fitted with the old 15-110mm lens.

houses on brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not as easy to pack as the Nikon 1 but a lot smaller, easier and lighter than the big NIKON D500.

First thing that I did when I was out there this morning was to take a few pics with the camera to make sure that it was working correctly.

The weather was really cloudy with just a few gaps in the clouds where the sun was streaming through. It was illuminating a couple of houses way over on the Brittany coast and so I reckoned that that was a good enough object to try out the camera.

And despite the haze on the water across there, it’s not too bad an attempt for a 9 year-old camera and lens of doubtful quality

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile close to home, there was some activity doing on over at the ferry terminal as if they are preparing the boats for the morning crossings.

To the right of the image is one of the Joly France boats. She’s the one with the rectangular windows in “portrait” format and that tells me that she’s the older one of the two.

As for the one in front of her, hidden by the jetty, it’s difficult to say who she is. The brightness of her colours seems to suggest to me that she’s the brand-new Belle France but that is a mere assumption on my part.

It’s not the little freighter Chausiaise at any rate.

festival de voiles de travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo having made sure that the camera was working sufficiently well, I set off for the railway station

What has been catching my eye for the last few days has been the appearance of all of these tents and other weird things that have sprung up all over the harbour.

The tents now have their sides fitted so they are going to be some kind of exhibition rather than somewhere to shelter from the rain.

And the purpose of that rectangular enclosure is still something that I have yet to discover.

victor hugo festival de voiles de travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown on where the fishermen keep their gear and on the car park next door, they have erected a few marquees too.

There’s what looks like the hulk of a very small and old wooden boat.

Incidentally, I found out what it is that is to happen down there because there was an advertisement in a shop window that I passed. It’s the Festival De Voiles De Travail, the “Festival of Working Sailing boats” starting tomorrow and finishing on Sunday.

And it doesn’t make much sense to me to have a Festival to entice crowds down to the town and then erect it on the car park so that they can’t park their cars anywhere to visit it.

police blocking road rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor a change I decided to go to the station via the town centre rather than the park because I didn’t think that I could get up the steps at the end.

Mind you, I was wondering whether I would be allowed to walk up the Rue Couraye because as I turned the corner into the street I encountered a police barrage and they were directing all of the traffic down a side street.

It’s not the done thing of course to photograph the police in the execution of their duty unless there’s a very good reason but of course I was more interested in the guy drinking his coffee outside the café on the corner, which I could photograph having been allowed to pass beyond the barrage.

broken down van rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course you are all wondering why there might be a barrage across the road.

It didn’t take long for me to discover why either. There’s a large van that has broken down on the road junction and as I passed the driver, he was busy telephoning for a dépanneur.

While I was recovering my breath from the climb so far I could take a photo of it, and then I could press on. But it was a long, hard climb up the hill for some reason today and I really didn’t feel anything like as well as I ought to have done or indeed have done in the past.

This was a really difficult walk.

84559 gec alstom regiolis gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I arrived at the railway station, my train was already there so I could go along and find my seat. And I needed it too because I was exhausted.

My knee gave out while I was trying to climb into the carriage and it really was a most undignified entrance as I fell inside, dropping all of my luggage, and then trying desperately to stand up again.

Eventually I found my seat and I could set about updating the portable computer with the files that I’d copied earlier off the big computer.

And I had a very cute and charming young companion on my trip to Paris but unfortunately she wasn’t the chatty type so we didn’t say very much at all to each other.

84584 gec alstom regiolis gare montparnasse paris France Eric HallMuch to my surprise, and yours too after all of the recent events, we arrived at Gare Montparnasse bang on time to the minutes.

The next bit wasn’t quite so easy because there had been an abandoned piece of luggage found by the entrance to the metro and so it was all closed off while they fetched someone to examine it.

It took them about 15 minutes for them to clear the problem and we could advance. Everywhere was crowded as you might expect although I did just about manage to find a seat.

And that was just as well because trying my best to rush down the long corridor and up the steps had finished me off.

224 TGV Reseau Duplex gare du nord paris France Eric HallMy late arrival at the Gare du Nord meant that I didn’t have too long to wait for my train to Lille Flandres.

As usual, it’s one of the TGV Reseau Duplex double-decker trains, and in order to board it we had to show our vaccine passes and then our rail tickets, which meant that juggling two different screens consecutively on the mobile phone wasn’t an easy task when you have a handful of luggage.

The voyage was quite uneventful and we arrived at Lille on time. But by now the cloudy day had turned to light rain so walking down the road to Lille Europe was at least quite refreshing, even if it was not easy

TGV Réseau 38000 tri-volt 4517 PBA gare du midi brussels belgium Eric HallAs I walked onto the railway station at Lille Europe my train pulled in at the platform.

It’s one of the “Paris Brussels Amsterdam” or PBA Reseau 38000 tri-volt trains, and inside it was chaos as no-one was sitting in the correct seat. But I quickly turfed out the people from my seat and took my place.

For a change I was on my own on this train so I could stretch out on my way to Brussels.

At Brussels they had a barrage as the police were checking vaccination passes. The queue stretched for miles and it wasn’t long before people began looking for a by-pass. I followed them through as well and left the queue behind.

big wheel foire du midi brussels belgium Eric HallUnfortunately the delay meant that I had missed my usual train to Leuven so I had to wait for about 15 minutes for the next one

While I was waiting, I was sitting on a concrete kerbstone watching what was going on all around me. It’s the time of the year right now when we have the Foire du Midi, the big funfair that takes place outside the Gare du Midi.

They have a big wheel too just like the one that we have at Granville and from where I was sitting I could see it going round. There are usually a few other large attractions too but they were out of my view unfortunately.

And it’s much more interesting at night too when everything is all illuminated.

push me pull you gare du midi brussels belgium Eric HallEventually my train pulled up, and it was another one of the pushme-pullyous that we have on the Oostende-Welkenraedt route as there is no run-round for the locomotive at Oostende.

It’s brought with it the rain too, as you can see. Luckily I’m underneath the platform canopy but you can see how much is teeming down by looking at the photo. It’s raining cats and dogs right now.

This train was pretty packed too but with being at the front of the train I could grab a seat quite easily before the crowds who had swarmed on board at the centre of the train filtered down my way.

There are a couple of single seats right by the door so I grabbed one of those and I wasn’t bothered by anyone else.

1882 class 18 electric locomotive gare de leuven railway station belgium Eric HallAt Leuven I could wait and photograph the locomotive that was pushing our train.

It’s one of the class 18 electrics – the workhorses of the SNCB these days, and why is it that there is always someone who makes a special effort to walk in front of you when you are photographing something?

The rain was coming down quite heavily by now and I struggled to reach my little room. And I had to come up the stairs on my hands and knees as it was the only way that I could get myself up them.

There is shopping to do as well so after a rest of about 90 minutes I headed off down the road. Just as far as Delhaize because I didn’t have the strength to go to the Carrefour.

And I only bought stuff for tea and a loaf of bread for toast in the morning too. I’m having to do my shopping in two loads because I don’t have the strength to carry everything back up the hill in one go.

Now that I’ve had tea and written my notes, I’m off to bed. No alarm in the morning because I need a good lie-in to recover. And then I’ll have to go down the road and buy the stuff for lunch.

What a state to be in!

Friday 13th August 2021 – I WAS WRONG …

35ma pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about it being the little yellow autogyro that would cast its shadow upon me from the air this afternoon.

A couple of planes about which I had completely forgotten are the little ones that seem to carry a “special series” number that, to date I have been unable to trace except by the most fortunate of circumstances.

This one, 35MA, has overflown me on several occasions and I’m still none-the-wiser. I’m not even better-informed either and so I’m going to have to wait for a more suitable moment to make further enquiries.

unidentified aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving aeroplanes overfly me when I can’t identify their numbers is one thing. Having them overfly me without any number at all on display is somethign else completely.

This machine overflew me at (adjusted) 17:06 going straight up the coast from south to north and as she didn’t make any effort to turn off as if to land at the airfield here at Granville then I’ve no idea who she is.

It’s this kind of thing that gets on my wick. It’s a legal requirement for an aeroplane to display a registration number, but it ought to be a legal requirement to display it where people can see it.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe had much more luck with this aeroplane because we’ve seen her on numerous occasions, and her number is clearly displayed.

She’s F-GBAI from the Granville Aero club, one of the Robin DR400s that they have. This one is the 140B models.

She took off from the airfield at 10:38 and flew off out to sea, and then flying up the Rance estuary beyond St Malo, doing a lap around Mont St Michel and coming home for 11:23

My photo was taken at (adjusted) 11:19 so that’s about right.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we were in luck later on too, because we saw her as she went out for a run around later.

This time she was picked up on radar at 17:05, which corresponds with my (adjusted) time of 17:03 when I saw her, and according to my flight radar plot, she’s still airborne even now.

She headed out to sea, did a lap around the ile de Chausey and for the rest of her time has been cruising up and down the coast as someone clocks up the flying hours. I’ll have to check tomorrow to see what time she finally did land.

Breezer B600 D-EQDK baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s an aeroplane that we haven’t seen before.

At first glance I thought that she was an ME-262 fitted with a Junkers Jumo 210 engine as some of the earlier ones were, but in actual fact she’s a Breezer B600, registered D-EQDK and owned by the Aeroclub-Avranches.

She was first picked up on radar at 11:11 and must have done a few laps around before I picked her up at (adjusted) 11:22, and she disappeared off the radar near Avranches at 11:31

There are plenty of small airfields around here and on the basis of no other information I would imagine that they have their origins with the German Luftwaffe

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner TC-LLA Turkish airlines baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow this is much more like it. It’s been a good while since the skies have been clear enough to pick up full-size jets in mid-flight.

No prizes for guessing what this is – its distinctive shape gives the game away straight away. It can only be a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

And according to my radar, only one Dreamliner in the air in this vicinity when I took this photo. And that’s a Type 9, TC-LLA, owned by Turkish Airlines.

She took off last night from Miami and is taking Turkish Airlines Flight THY78C to Istanbul where she’s expected to arrive at 12:31, 26 minutes late.

She passed over me at 39,000 feet at 544 knots ground speed on a bearing of 098.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that was what I got wrong today. Why don’t we look at what I got right?

Like the fact that there’s much more activity in the morning at high tide than what I’ve been seeing on my afternoon walk, like La Grande Ancre heading out of port.

What exactly her rôle is, I haven’t quite worked out yet. One of the very first times that I encountered her, she had a tractor strapped to her deck and heading out to the Ile de Chausey. But most of the time she’s running here and there with fishing equipment like this morning.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else having an early start today is one of the sailing schools.

Plenty of water in the bay of course, seeing as I’ve gone out round about high tide this morning, and so they are bringing out the little yachts to do a lap around, being towed out into open water.

There are quite a few other boats too, coming and going out there this morning, and even a couple of kayaks having a paddle around. It’s more-than-likely that there will be some fishermen too somewhere.

trawler le coelacanthe speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the subject of fishermen, here is one bunch of fishermen heading for home this morning after a night on the tiles.

It’s our old friend Le Coelacanthe , one of the larger trawlers to sail out of the port, and if she’s on her way home with her hold full of fish then her little sister Le Tiberiade can’t be all that far away somewhere because they keep quite close to each other more often than not.

And the people in that speedboat were in quite a devilish hurry too – with the feu dans les fesses as they say around here. I’ve no idea where she’s off to.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually, it’s not Le Tiberiade that has come following Le Coelacanthe into the harbour, as it happens.

It’s one of the Joly France ferry boats that goes over to the Ile de Chausey and presumably she’s come back for a second load of passengers.

This boat is the one with the smaller upper deck superstructure and the rectangular windows in “portrait” format so that tells me that she’s the more modern of the two near-identical boats.

And having seen the older one and the very new Belle France yesterday, it means that we have all three running the service right now. Business must be booming.

marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else who seems to be having a booming business these days as well is the sailing ship Marité.

We’ve seen her out and about for the last few days, usually out in the English Channel or the Baie de Granville but here she is today going for a lap around the Baie de Mont St Michel.

From what I can make out, she has quite a crowd of passengers on board, and I do sometimes wonder what would happen if they had an emergency and had to fit everyone in the little boat that she tows behind her.

But I suppose that there are always enough other boats loitering in the immediate vicinity everywhere she goes to deal with any issues.

yacht ile des rimains cancale brittany France Eric HallBut anyway, while I was out there, I noticed that the air was quite clear this morning and the view was really good.

A clear white sail right over underneath Cancale caught my eye so I took a photo of it. And when I enhanced it on returning home, I could see quite clearly the fort on the Ile de Rimains over there just offshore, to the left of centre.

When I was on board the Spirit of Conrad I took a few close-up photos of the fort and one of these days when I can, I’ll post them on line.

And on the right there’s a very good view of the church at Cancale – one of the best views that we have had from over here.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf you think that all of the action was taking place on the southern side of the headland this morning, you are mistaken. There’s plenty more going on out here on the north side too.

Most of these boats look to me as if they are fishing boats – I did say that there would probably be some fishermen out today. There were several groups of them, some inshore and others farther out in the bay.

But I bet that those just here don’t think all that much of what that rather fast craft just behind them is doing. That’s the kind of activity that will drive away all of the fish and it’s not as if they catch all that many to start with.

joly france la granvillaise ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd even more activity over towards the Ile de Chausey too this morning.

Apart from the dozens of smaller craft out there, bearing down upon us at a rather rapid rate of knots is one of the Ile de Chausey ferries and to my reckoning she is the older of the two Joly France boats likewise returning to this side of the bay.

Also over there, right up against the shore were some strange white objects and while I can’t see for sure what they are, they have the same shape as the sails on La Granvillaise

beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re here, we will of course have to have a look over the wall and see the beach to see what’s happening down there.

And as I expected, there isn’t any beach for anything to be happening upon right now. The tide is well and truly in, and that will account for all of the boats out there at sea.

Maybe I should come out here and look at what happens about 10 minutes before the harbour gates close. I imagine that there will be an almighty stampede for the harbour and the devil take the hindmost.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that was all of the water craft and aerial activity this morning.

Still afew other things going on that caught my attention this morning, like another lorry stranded at the Porte St Jean being unable to pass under the arch. That’s two now in two days.

No-one in attendance either so it looks as if the driver has gone off to seek further instructions. It’s really pleasant living in an environment like this, but it does have its drawbacks if you don’t happen to have a handcart handy.

mummy and baby seagull foyer des jeunes travailleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we are at it, yesterday we saw mummy seagull taking baby seagull for its maiden voyage over the cliffs.

There’s another mother and offspring here this morning siting on the roof of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs, the hostel for young people, and baby is not at all enthusiastic as you can tell by looking at the photo.

It’s squawking at its mother in the most plaintive of tones and mummy, like most exasperated mothers, is taking absolutely no notice whatsoever. I find a lot of pleasure in watching the interaction between the young and their parents, whatever the species.

But like most things, I’m getting way ahead of myself these days. Let’s start with waking up, which I did about 20 minutes before the alarm was due to go off.

There were details of a voyage going round and round my head, details that were so miserable that I couldn’t even say them, let alone dictate them and transcribe them.

It’s very rare, very rare indeed that I have a voyage quite like this. Some have been really gruesome and they haven’t been much of an issue although I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to read them, but this was just unhappy, miserable and depressing. I’m glad in a way that it happened during the night and not during the day.

After the medication I came in here to start work but it took me a good couple of hours drifting in and out of a kind of trance before I was able to get myself going and then shock! Horror! I tidied up the bedroom.

You couldn’t move in here for stuff all over the floor, but now most (not all, just most) of it has been put away. I have plenty more to go at in here but I can only do so much before I wear myself out.

In the past the question of tidying up ( or the lack thereof) used to be because the Spirit was unwilling. But these days I have to contend with the flesh being weak as well.

Another thing that I did this morning was that when I was going through the files that I’d uploaded to this computer I came across three digital soundtracks of albums that I’d found but hadn’t yet split.

Two of those were quite straightforward, even if they are time-consuming, but the third should have had 8 tracks on it but somehow I ended up with at least 12, and one of them definitely didn’t sound like the singer whom it should have been.

All of that took some tracking down and it seems that I have somehow ended up with a master tape that includes several other tracks that were recorded for the sessions but were cut from the album.

These are as rare as hens’ teeth of course, these dropped tracks, and I have amassed quite a few here and there. They are good fun to broadcast on my radio programmes when probably no-one has ever heard of them.

After lunch I came in here and … errr … closed my eyes. And for only about half an hour too. A couple of years ago that would have filled me with dismay but these days it’s a sign of optimism – in that it’s not a couple of hours dead to the world as it has been just now.

Once I’d recovered, I had a coffee and had another go at the Greenland photos from 2019. Right now I’m on board the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR just about to get into a zodiac to go and visit the Eqi Sermia Glacier in Ataa Fjord, one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.

At 15:00 I knocked off to have a go at the Spirit of Conrad notes and I’d actually written a cople of words too when the phone rang. It was Rosemary wanting a chat and she had one too – for 105 minutes as well.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlthough you’ve already seen over the wall and down onto the beach during my morning wanderings, no reason why we can’t go there and have another look.

This time, of course, the tide was way out and there were plenty of people down there this afternoon compared to how there have been in the past.

Dozens of people sunbathing on the beach, and plenty of hardy souls out there in the water too. Mind you, it was really nice out there this afternoon even if there was some wind. But I suppose that down there, they are out of the wind and it could be quite pleasant.

fishermen in zodiac speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier on, we saw plenty of what I took to be fishermen out there in the bay.

It looks as if a few of them are staying out until this evening’s tide comes back in because there were several boats still out there.

Those two boats out there look as if they have fishermen on board although they don’t seem to have their rods in the water right now. They are probably just having a sociable chat for a few minutes.

There’s a dark object in the water behind the boat on the left and I wonder if that’s the head of a swimmer maybe.

men fishing in zodiac man fishing from beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut these people here much closer inshore have definitely gone out there with the intention of fishing.

However the guy on the rocks doesn’t really look all that enthusiastic about it either, holding his rod at about 45° when the water is that shallow just where he is isn’t going to bring him very much much.

As for the four people in the zodiac, they look even less enthusiastic about the whole idea. Their rods are still perpendicular in their holders while they seem to be just sitting around chatting. I’m sure that they ought to be more eager than that if they hope to catch anything.

sailing boat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there spying out the land I saw a rather large sail out there on the horizon in the English Channel.

Being interested, I took myself off to the high point on top of the bunker at the end of the path for a better view. I took a photograph of it and when I was back at home I had a much closer look.

Rather disappointingly, it turned out to be something of an optical illusion. It’s a smaller boat closer into shore than I thought and it’s the spar of the mast that’s level with the horizon. I don’t think that it’s anything more than a rather large yacht.

men fishing from zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on that disappointing note I walked off down the path and across the car park to see what was going on at the end of the headland.

And we have a few more fishermen this afternoon. At first glance I thought that these people on this zodiac were musicians because one of them at least seemed as if he was holding a guitar.

In actual fact it is a fishing rod and he’s holding it with his arms extended. Two other people are fishing too but the fourth one just looks as if he’s passing the time. If I were out there, I’d need a really good book to help do that, along with some good music.

yacht being prepared for painting chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo leaving them to it, I pushed off down the path towards the port. And when I arrived at the chantier naval I asked myself “have I seen this before?”.

None of my earlier photos are conclusive but I’m sure that I would have noticed this had I seen it. It’s a medium-sized yacht and it’s been stripped and masked off for painting.

And if it has indeed only come out of the water this morning, then they have been moving at a hell of a pace and it’s a shame that all workmen around here can’t work at this kind of speed.

She’ll look really good when she’s finished, that’s for sure.

trawler on blocks chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I mused about what might happen if the have to drop one of the seven trawlers that were here yesterday back into the water when the portable boat lift had a trawler in it.

It looks as if they have actually had to cope with this eventuality because they seem to have rigged up some kind of impromptu kind of blocking so that the trawler can be dropped from the lift.

The workmen have now clambered aboard her making a start and the boat lift has now gone back in its usual position over the drop into the harbour.

trawler charlevy trafalgar chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this is the reason why there have been the changes.

Today there are only 6 tralwers down there. Charlevy, Trafalgar and four whose names I don’t know and which I’ll have to find out before they all go back into the water. There are plenty of workmen down there so they aren’t hanging around.

It looks as if the next one to be moved might be Charlevy because they seem to be well-advanced with her paint job and there are a couple of vans around her with men who look as if they are working.

marité grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne last thing to do is to check the inner port to see who is there.

We saw the big sail earlier, and even without enlarging the image I can say that it’s not Marité because she’s moored up in her little corner down there.

What has however caught my eye is the temporary grandstand at the loading bay. We had a concert down there a couple of weeks ago and so I wonder if they’ll be having another one this weekend.

Let’s hope that the Jersey freighters don’t want to come and drop off a load of freight.

Nack here there wasn’t time to do much before tea. Veggie balls, seeing as I have an endless supply thereof, followed by apple crumble.

Tomorrow is shopping day and I don’t need much with going to Leuven on Tuesday but I do need some fruit so I’ll see how I go.

And there’s football tomorrow, and about time too.

Sunday 8th August 2021 – NOW THAT I HAVE …

… dealt with the issues of the radio programme for Monday, I can turn my attention to the journal entry for Sunday.

Having gone off to bed early and being awoken almost immediately by a bunch of revellers going home (as you’ve seen previously, it’s Concert Fortnight in the Old Town) I didn’t really have the relaxing night for which I was hoping.

Several times during the night I awoke, usually for no good reason and had I been really keen I could have been up and out of bed at 06:20. But I’m not that keen so I stayed in bed and didn’t leave until 09:30, which is early enough on a Sunday as it is.

Despite the turbulent night I’d been off on quite a few voyages and traveled a long way. And much to my surprise, things started off quite positively and pleasantly which is a surprise considering how things have been just recently, although it didn’t take them long to descend into the more habitual chaos and disorder.

Last night I started offin Crewe on Nantwich Road and there was a whole load of stuff that we had to somehow dispose of. We’d started by dumping it into an empty shop that was near where Barclays Bank used to be. While we were doing that someone came in and asked if we could repair the ferrule on their umbrella. We repaired that then someone else came in for anoher simple job like that which we did. The 3rd person who came in was a young girl and it was somethign similar as well, a ferrule on an umbrella Hers was a retractable one and I ended up dismantling it and found out that one of the set screws had sheared off. I cleaned it and did what I could to repair it. We started to talk about music and everyone there joined in. We were having a really good time discussing all kinds of groups. she’d been to see groups like Men at Work, all of those. As she was about to leave I called her back and asked for her e-mail address which she gave me. The ws started to talk about Strife. She said that her mother used to go to concerts as well and we jokingly said “Barry Manilow”. This was turning into something really quite pleasant. My radio programme came up and she said that she listened to my shows. She’d heard Strife and it was a pretty good thing
Later on a friend of mine put in an appearance. There was a group of us and we’d been doing something. i’d been involved in this from the beginning and my e-mail address had been handed in. The guy who’d been orgaising it had asked for a couple more addresses so I was going to say “I think you have mine already” and read it out so that she’d get a hint of this but instead he asked for hers and she wrote it down on a piece of paper and I could see it. She put it into an envelope and made sure that the woman who was co-orinating everythign had seen it, and then she popped it inside my envelope and said “here, you can have this”so I made a romantic kind of gesture and that seemed to go down well.

Later on I was doing somethingwith my partner and I can’t remember what it was but it was something to do with jars and containers and their contents. She made one of her remarks again and I said something and then I said “I suppose that you’re going to tell me that it’s all over in a minute are you?”. She replied “yes. It’s been all over between the two of us for quite some time” and generally going on like that.

At another point during the night i’d been researching an article on Greenock Morton FC, reading all the way through it and making notes. i’d got through to something like line 10,000 and something but I kept being drawn back to something round about 4,000-odd where there was some talk of a certain name who had a nightmare game for Morton. It looked as if he’d been on trial or something. His name was mentioned and it seemed to imply that he’d been a goalkeeper but I’d never ever remembered a goalkeeper of that name being there even once. I kept on being drawn back to this particular chapter or paragraph and trying to find out more about it. Talking to all these people and I was really bogging myself down in this research. It was a kind of thing that could be cleared up in a minute but for some unknown reason I just couldn’t get myself out of this paragraph.

And doesn’t that sound just like where I am with several projects right now?

This morning with it being Sunday I took it relatively easy because there will be plenty to do this afternoon. I simply edited a few photos from Greenland, and we are now ashore at Ilulissat visiting the abandoned Inuit village of Sermermiut and the stage is being set for the subsequent dramatic events that took place.

After lunch there was baking to do. The bread that I’d made with Liz had died a death and so I needed a new loaf, and I’d also run out of fruit bread. No pizza dough either so I had to make a pile of that too.

By the time that I was ready to go walkies all of that was sitting away simmering quite nicely.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst place to go and visit was the beach – in a virtual way of course because I can’t get back up the steps these days.

The tide is a long way from being in and if you compare this photo with THIS ONE that was taken at almost exactly the same time yesterday, you’ll see how the tide develops from one day to the next.

The difference between the two water levels represents just 38 minutes according to the tide tables so you can see how quickly the tide comes in on the beach down there.

lighthouse ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, while one of my eyes is roaming around on the beach, the other one is looking around out at sea.

There weren’t any marine craft out there at sea today which was a surprise because for a change just recently, the sky is quite clear out at sea . The lighthouse and the houses surrounding stand out quite distinctly today.

The lighthouse itself is 37 metres above sea level and there are 79 steps that take you to the top. The beam of the light can be seen 45 kilometres away in good weather.

yacht semaphore  ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I had the camera poised, I took a photo of the northern end of the island .

When I enlarged it I was able to make out a yacht that was sailing around just offshore. There wasn’t any other kind of water craft out there around the island this afternoon. I suppose that the tide isn’t high enough for the Joly France ferries to be out working yet.

So with nothing else going on out at sea right now, I set off down the path on my walk around the headland

people on footpath lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I wasn’t alone out there this afternoon either, as you can see in this image.

Set against the backdrop of a heavy dark grey cloud, the lighthouse stands out magnificently, with the semaphore post to the right and surrounded by the remains of the German fortifications of the Atlantic Wall.

Standing out there to the right was a crowd of people gawking out to see, although I couldn’t see what it was that had attracted their attention because there was nothing whatever going on out to sea.

sailing ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut when I reached the top and stood on top of the old bunker, I could see something moving out in the English Channel, in a completely different direction to that in which everyone was looking.

Back at the apartment later I was able to crop out the section of the photo, enlarge it and enhance it. And I was able to discern that it was some kind of large sailing ship of a type that resemble our Newfoundlander, Marité.

Keeping that idea in my mind, I wandered off down the path across the car park and down to the end of the headland.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesyerday, when we were standing at the end of the headland we saw an impressive storm brewing away over the Brittany coast.

Today, we’ve been lashed by showers on and off throughout the day and we can see that there’s another big storm brewing over there this afternoon too and it’s pouring down with rain in Brittany.

It won’t be long before the storm arrives over here so I don’t want to hang about to long over here. I’d better be heading back home rather quickly.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown the path on the southern side of the headland I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the port where I could see what was going on.

No change of occupancy in the Chantier Naval over the last 24 hours so I had a look over towards the ferry terminal. The tide is out and Belle France is over there in a NAABSA position, and we can therefore see her shape.

Yesterday, when we saw the ferry terminal we noticed that because of the weather the terminal and the surrounding harbour wall were completely deserted. Today though, with the slightly better weather, there were some people loitering around and others walking along the top of the wall around the port de plaisance.

l'alize 3 marite port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut we can rule out the idea that it was the Marité that we saw out at sea earlier.

In this photo we can see her bow intruding into the photo. Therefore she’s at anchor and we’ll have to think again about the identity of the sailing ship that we saw.

Next to her in the loading bay is the trawler L’Alize 3 that we saw for a while in the chantier naval.

But my eye has been caught by the shrink-wrapped boat on the quayside. This would seem to me to indicate that one of the little Channel Island freighters will be in port quite soon to take it away.

Back at the apartment I added the mixed fruit to the fruit bread dough and then kneaded all of the three dough mixes the second time and put that for the fruit bread and the ordinary bread into their moulds and left everything to proof a second time.

When they were ready I put the two loaves into the oven.

With the pizza dough I divided it into three and put two of the parts into the freezer. The third, I rolled out and put into the pizza tray and when it had proofed again, I assembled my pizza.

vegan pizza fruit bread home baked loaf Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut of the oven came the bread and into the oven went the pizza, and half an hour later it was ready. And here are the finished products.

As for the bread I’ll tell you about that tomorrow but it certainly looks good. The pizza was for some reason or another undercooked and I don’t know why because the oven was switched to full and the baking tray was lowered in the oven. It’s rather bizarre, that.

You’ll probably notice that there is no pudding made today. I was going to make an apple crumble but there was no room in the oven. I’ll bake that tomorrow evening and make some baked potatoes while I’m at it. Maybe a slice of home-made vegan pie too
.

Just as I was settling down to start to write my journal entry, the telephone rang. It was Rosemary who wanted to have a chat.

We were there talking for almost two hours and after, I was far too tired to write anything. Consequently I took myself off for an early night and I’ll write up my notes tomorrow.

Saturday 7th August 2021 – IVE HAD ANOTHER …

… really, really bad day today just like I did a couple of days ago.

Despite me having something of an early night for a change last night, I’ve been like death for most of the day and it’s really beginning to get on my nerves.

The night didn’t go as well as I had hoped either – a terrible pain in my foot meant that I was up at something like 00:30 rubbing some cream into it and that was the last thing that I needed.

Nevertheless I did manage – but only just – to beat the alarm to my feet and then after the meds I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone because there was some stuff on there. We were supposed to be going somewhere today so I got up early and made all the necessary arrangements. The others – there was my brother there and Percy Penguin, one of her friends and a fzw others kept fooling around making no effort whatever to get ready and I was starting to become annoyed. I’d made myself breakfast and by now I was organising dinner – it was 10:30. I had one of these old steak and kidney puddings that you used to have years ago out of a tin. I had one of those on my plate and I’d taken it out of the tin. I hadn’t realised that the others weren’t ready and the pudding was just flopping all over the place making a right mess. I went to put the tin in the kitchen. There was someone in there an I can’t remember who it was. He was asking me about the milk and if my sister had said anything about her headache. I replied “no, she said nothing to me”. All the while there was all of this messing around going on. It was 10:30 and everyone else had been in for breakfast and lunch was starting to be prepared but they were just wasting all amounts of time and we had to be gone by midday and we’ll never be gone at this rate. I was trying to speak to them as well but they were paying no attention whatever.

Later on there were people out near a boating lake in London and had these North American canoes, the type that you kneel in, practising launching them by the four of them running full-tilt into the water, launching the boat and leaping in after it. It was causing all kinds of hilarity amongst the general population watching them but they were getting it down to a fine art and getting off really quickly except that occasionally one of them would forget to leap into the boat or something like that.

Having done that I stripped the bed and now I have nice clean clothes in which to sleep and, having had a good shower and scrub up too, there’s a nice clean me to sleep in them. I put the washing machine on (it was a good fit too) and then Caliburn and I headed for the shops.

LIDL was interesting today, they had more of these flip-top mechanical bottles with drink in them, on special offer, two of them for less than the cost of one empty one at IKEA. i’m going to have to start making drinks again like I said that I would.

Surprisingly, Noz had nothing whatever of any interest and I came away empty-handed so I went to LeClerc where I almost collided with someone coming the wrong way out of the petrol station. I forgot to note the model of my printer so I didn’t buy any ink, and apart from that there wasn’t really anything else of any interest.

back here I put away the frozen food, made myself breakfast and sat down to eat it and drink the hot chocolate.

At some point after that I fell asleep and it was another one of those where I was vaguely awake but totally unable to move or to pull myself around. There was some stuff on the dictaphone too when I looked later. Despite not being up to it, I must have travelled far. I’d been out with a really tiny miniature set of cameras probably no bigger than a couple of grains of gold. The idea was that I was going to leave them dotted around LeClerc so that I could keep my eye on the people who were doing their shopping, see who they were and what they were buying and so on. But while I was doing that one of them fell into a waste paper bin and I thought “it’s not going to be much good in there, is it?”. On my way back I went to go to the toilet and there was a young girl standing outside so I said “hello” to her. I went in and while I was washing my hands she came in behind me and started to ask me question about a game, about the rules, for her family played it in a certain way. I replied “you can play it like that if you like” then a couple of minutes later her little brother came in followed by her mother and father. They were talking about this game and it seemed that the 6 of them, mother, father, 2 kids and another couple would go off down to a caravan every so often. They would stay there for a weekend or something and play this game. She was at the age where she was starting to question all of the rules. Father said “anything to keep the kids quiet” so I made some kind of gesture to say “why don’t you just palm them off on the other couple and clear off?” to which he burst out laughing. This girl knew me by the way from some reason or other because she kept on referring to me by my given name rather than “mister” or “sir” or something. She must have known who I was. And I wish that I knew who she and her family were.

It took me an age to pull myself together and come back into the land of the living and as a result I ended up with a rather late lunch. Back in here again afterwards, I was in almost as bad a way as I had been before lunch. I’m not getting any better.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually I plucked up the courage to go outside and see what was happening down on the beach.

Rather more beach than yesterday of course, but not as many people and as before, no-one brave enough to dip their toe in the briny.

And with a storm raging like this right now, it’s hardly a surprise. Not that I’ve been here for too many Augusts, but I can safely say that this is the worst summer that I can ever remember experiencing.

storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere’s a better look at the Baie de Granville and the coast down past Donville les Bains and the old hotel where there are those gruesome flats.

The whitecaps on the waves tell you everything that you need to know. There’s a really bitter wind that’s blowing out there – not exactly in the epic proportions of the other day but pretty near enough.

And it was freezing too. It was cold enough when I went out to the shops this morning but as the day has drawn on, it’s just getting worse and I can’t get myself warm at all.

Some of it is down to my health issues of course, but some of it is also down to the temperature.

yacht storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, I had one of my eyes roving around out to sea while the other one was looking down the coast.

And I had to look long and hard before I was able to pick up some kind of water craft – the sail of a yacht out near the Ile de Chausey.

And that’s your lot today. I couldn’t see anything else in the water. But you can see the rain squall out there with the rain bouncing off the surface of the sea, with the yacht swathed in the thick of it. I don’t want to hang around and wait for that to arrive. I need to be pushing on.

storm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not the only rainstorm that’s threatening the Normandy coast either. There’s a nice one brewing over there of the coast of Brittany.

Having decided to head away from the one coming my way from the Ile de Chausey I went down the path and across the car park at the end of the headland where I could see the Brittany coast across the Baie de Mont St Michel.

This one will be in her ein an hour or so so there’s time to take a photo. But not of any boats or ships. There’s nothign whatever doing out on the water except that yacht.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not the day to be going over to the Ile de Chausey unless you absolutely have to.

And so moored at the ferry terminal this afternoon is Belle France. She’s not even proposing to undertake a trip around the bay this afternoon. And if you look at all of the walkways over there and around the harbour, there isn’t a soul out there anywhere.

There were a few people around where I was but they weren’t going anywhere – just loitering around waiting for the weather to make up its mind.

baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou can’t actually see the rainstorms from this side of the headland where I am now, but instead we can see the area where the sailing schools assemble.

And, of course, there isn’t a boat out there this afternoon. Despite the shelter afforded by the headland, you cans ee the whitecaps on the waves. It’s pretty rough out there and I don’t suppose that they wan’t to give any of their pupils an impromptu ducking.

While I was at it, I had another look into the chantier naval to see what was happening, in view of the rather rapid turn-round just recently, but everything remained the same as it was yesterday afternoon.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I headed back towards my apartment, but not before I’d stuck my head into the port to see who was about in there.

The two Channel Island ferries Victor Hugo i, the foreground and Granville behind her are still there. Apart from two or three days last summer, they haven’t been out of port at all since March last year other than to go for their annual service and when the harbour was drained.

The ferry service from here to Jersey has been runiing for almost a couple of centuries and I can see it coming to a shuddering halt, not that it isn’t halted already, if nothing is done to reinstate the service pretty soon.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else in port this afternoon is Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey.

She’s moved from the harbour wall by the ferry terminal where she’s been moored for the last couple of days. That tells me that she doesn’t have anything to do for the next while so it’s unlikely that there are any holidaymakers who will need their luggage conveying over to the island.

Back here, I vegetated some more before going for tea. I’m clearly not well right now. Even tea didn’t cheer me up. A baked potato wot veg and a breadcrumbed vegan burger, followed by a baked apple in lieu of anything else.

Now that that’s done, I ‘m going to go to bed – curled up in my nice clean bedding. I don’t feel like doing anything else right now and even if I did, I couldn’t keep my eyes open to do it and I’d be too cold anyway.

There’s a lot of baking tomorrow so an early night and a good sleep will do me good. So who’s going to party under my bedroom window tonight?.