Tag Archives: cabanon vauban

Sunday 17th October 2021 – I WAS ONLY …

ile de chausey yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… half-right about last night.

While you admire a couple of photos of maritime activity today, I can tell you all about it

It was almost 03:00 (in fact 02:50) when I finally fell into bed this morning but as for the “sleep through until tomorrow afternoon” bit, I was wide awake at 09:25.

There was no possibility of going back to sleep either and by 10:00 I was up and about and taking my medication.

boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021With it being a Sunday I had a very quiet morning, not doing very much at all except vegetating.

After all, the journey home yesterday takes a lot out of me I had to recover my strength after my exertions, although that new route that I tried wasn’t half as exerting as the regular route.

Later on though, I finally galvanised myself into action and paired off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow.

And while I’m on the subject, I need to have a look round and see what Christmas songs I have for my programme that will be broadcast on Christmas Day

After lunch I had a pile of photos to sort through from my trip to Leuven. These are all now edited and when I transcribe the piles of dictaphone notes that accumulated, I’ll go back and edit the relevant entries.

No sooner do I catch up one lot of outstanding stuff, I fall behind with another. What upset everything was of course my having to go to the hospital on Thursday morning.

When I went to take out some dough for this evening’s pizza, I discovered that there wasn’t any. I must have used up the last lot last Sunday. As a consequence I had to prepare another batch and it didn’t turn out too badly.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It’s been a long time since I’ve been out for a walk around the headland, what with being off on my travels, so I was keen to be out there again.

There wasn’t very much beach out there this afternoon. The tide is well in right now, as I discovered as I peered over the wall.

There were plenty of people down there as well taking advantage of what beach there was, and even some of them brave enough to go out into the water up to their waists. Braver people than I am, I have to say. You wouldn’t catch me in there quite like that.

yachts baie de granville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It was a really nice afternoon out there, considering that it’s mid-October.

Quite sunny, not too much wind at all, the kind of weather that brings the people out in their hordes. And even out on the water too, as you have already seen. A couple of yachts, a couple of speedboats, a cabin cruiser or two. The bay was full of them.

And people over there on the beach by the airfield as well enjoying themselves in the sun, although I’m not sure about the tractors out there disturbing the peace.

film camera crew lorries place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the car park, the workmen’s compound that was there has long-gone but it seems that we now have other activity there.

Part of the car park has been cordoned off with a couple of rows of cones, and in that section, there are several lorries and trailers that are parked there.

There were the usual “no waiting” notices scattered about, and so I went for a closer look. Apparently that area is reserved for “film crews making a film”. It looks as if once again, the town is going to be the scene of another cinematographic epic.

It’s happening quite regularly these days.

fishermen in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Fighting my way through the masses this afternoon I headed off down the path towards the lighthouse.

As well as all of the other boats that we have seen already, there was a zodiac a way out offshore with a group of people therein.

Enlarging the photo when I returned home, I could see that they were fishermen having a go at whatever they would catch which, while I was watching, wasn’t anything at all.

There was on aerial activity this afternoon. Not even one Birdman of Alcatraz, so I wandered off around the end of the headland.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path and across the car park, I came to the very end of the headland.

Down at the bench near the cabanon vauban there was quite a crowd and I thought to myself that if they all intend to sit on the bench, they must be very close friends. But the perch of the guy on the extreme right looked rather precarious to mr.

It was here that I was buttonholed by a passer-by who asked me if it is possible to see the Mont St Michel from here.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we can see the hotels on the mainland from down by the bench, but not the Mont St Michel itself because the Pointe de Carolles is in the way.

yachts les epiettes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good look in the chantier naval so I was keen to see how things were developing.

My trip down the path on the south side of the headland brought me to the viewpoint overlooking the yard where I was disappointed to see that there was no change in there from before I went away.

The big yacht is still in there, as is the little Government boat Les Epiettes. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have seen a couple of trawlers in there as well? I’m missing the overcrowding in the yard.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Not very much happening over at the ferry terminal this afternoon, but there was something happening over at the Fish Processing Plant.

Just pulling away from the wharf over there was La Grande Ancre with quite a load of shellfish boxes on board, so it looks as if she’s off to try her hand herself at bringing a pile of shellfish back home.

Talking of “back home”, I wasn’t going to hang about too long. I could do with going back home and having a nice, hot mug of coffee. It might be warm out here this afternoon, but a mug of hot coffee is always welcome.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Passing the inner harbour, I looked down to see what was happening in the inner harbour.

To my surprise, the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie is no longer in there, and neither are the tubes that were floating about on the water. It’s all been happening while I’ve been away, hasn’t it?

Back here, I made myself a coffee and came in here to sit down for a few minutes. And later on I made a start at unpacking my suitcase from my trip. That was a good idea that was, taking the larger suitcase.

Later on, I went to assemble my pizza.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021No fresh mushrooms unfortunately so I had to make do with tinned ones. I’d drained them earlier and while the oven was heating up, I put them in the oven to dry out.

As for the pizza itself, it really was delicious. Not the best that I have ever made but it was certainly pretty good.

Now that I’ve written my notes, I’m going to have a quiet relax for a while and then go to bed. I’m up early in the morning because I have a radio programme to prepare and I need to be on form for that.

And I mustn’t forget – there’s shopping to do tomorrow when I finish or there will be nothing to go on my butties at lub=nchtime.

Thursday 30th September 2021 – FISH AND SHIPS, ANYONE?

ile de chausey trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A couple of trawlers were setting out for the fishing grounds this afternoon as I was walking around the headland.

As I watched, this one skirted the marker lights on the rocks lying off the Ile de Chausey and set sail into the sunset.

This one, and the one that you’ll see in a moment, are a couple of the lucky ones. Today is the day that Jersey is supposed to issue the permits for French fishing boats to continue to exercise their rights under the Treaty of the Bay of Granville to continue to share the waters and the fishing grounds.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A total of 217 boats applied for licences to fish.

47 have already been granted, 64 were granted last night, and another 31 have been issued with a provisional licence valid for three months while their appeal against rejection is being considered.

That leaves 75, about a third of the French fleet in the bay, who have been refused permission to fish, with no hope of appeal.

Will this mean that there will be losses and redundancies, or will there be some kind of industrial action? How this is going to pan out now is going to be very interesting.

What was very interesting from my point of view was that even though the night wasn’t as early as I would have liked, I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning throughout the night and it seemed as if I hadn’t had any sleep at all.

Mind you, I must have done because at one point I was back at school. Miss Howlett the history mistress had noticed that my brother had skipped a history lesson. He’d been up to no good for a while an this was probably the final straw. She sent him out of the back of school where there was actually a beach and sea to wait there until she sent for him. Then she spoke to me and told me that basically he can either be expelled or take a severe detention. The choice is up to him. I called him over and explained the situation to him, made him aware of what the situation was. She called him over and started to admonish him. We were onn a boat at one time and he’d been singing in a concert. It turned out that it was right up on the highest deck where he’d been singing. He was looking with astonishment at the arrangement of the boat, where he’d been. This teacher was telling him as well about how good he was, whatever, and he had a good career ahead of him if only he would behave. They were talking about hippos and rhinoceros and everything. When we’d all been out in the zodiacs earlier, one zodiac had been followed by a hippo and another one by a rhinoceros, everything like that.

Later on there was something going on in South Cheshire last night and I can’t remember what it was. We ended up being in a house. There was a girl there learning to type. She was having to use some kind of strange printer that built up ink squares that showed the letter. It took ages to type out one letter because of the way the ink built up. We were chatting about something and she was being ever so frustrated. She kept on telling us to be quiet while she concentrated. We quietened for a while and then the conversation carried on, and she started again. As this was going on it was taking hours for her to type out just one letter on this strange printer.

Today, I have spent almost every minute of normal office hours on the telephone. Yesterday I received a rather strange letter to say that my vehicle insurance had expired on 20th March 2020 and there was a substantial fine to pay.

What I was interested in knowing was “if that’s the case, what’s this letter right here in front of doing, saying that my insurance was renewed on 23rd May 2020?”, “why is there an identical letter saying that my insurance was renewed again on 26th May 2021?” and “why there are two sums of money debited from my account that correspond with the amounts demanded for vehicle assurance?”.

Have you any idea just HOW difficult it is to receive a straight answer from anyone on this question? And I had the phone cut off from underneath me four times while I was at it.

One thing that I did manage to do though was to make some bread dough. And then having made it, I was so carried away with all of these phone calls that I forgot to put it in the oven until far too late

Lunch was late because I was on the telephone at lunchtime, and the same thing happened at walkies-time. Believe me – I wss heartily sick of it all.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual, first thing was to go for a wander down across the car park to have a look at the beach.

There wasn’t really all that much beach this afternoon but a couple of people were down there taking full advantage. Trousers rolled up to their knees like day trippers on the beach at Blackpool, they were paddling around between the rocks.

That was really all that was going on down there. And apart from the two trawlers that we saw earlier, there wasn’t anything else going on out at sea this afternoon. It was all rather boring from that point of view.

workmen's compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was something else exciting happening on the car park though.

It looks as if we are going to ba having some work done somewhere in the vicinity in early course because right in the middle they have erected a workmen’s compound.

They have already dropped off a load of stuff into there so what I’ll do tomorrow on my way back from the physiotherapist (if I remember) is to go and have a closer look.

That should tell me much more about what they plan to do with it all. I hope that it’s to repair the crumbling wall over there because that’s been out of bounds for quite a while now.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021My route along the path was pretty untroubled this afternoon. There weren’t too many people about at all.

No aeroplanes about either to overfly me this afternoon, and no Birdmen of Alcatraz either, but one of our local sparrowhawks was hovering around the edge of the cliff, trying to find himself a tasty snack.

It’s really quite impressive watching them. There’s a howling gale that comes over the headland but they are there hovering completely stationary despite the wind waiting for an opportunity to swoop down after their prey.

people cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There wasn’t very much going on at the end of the headland either this afternoon which was no surprise given the wind.

But today we did strike it lucky with as many as four people down there admiring the view of nothing at all. One couple sitting on the bench in front of the cabanon vauban and the second couple looking as if they have just arrived.

And winter drawers on as well, by the looks of things. Overcoats seems to be the order of the day, especially by those sitting on the bench. It must have been quite uncomfortable out there taking the full blast of the wind so it’s no surprise.

There were moments when I too was hanging on to my hat.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This general air of nothingness seems to have extended just about everywhere this last couple of days.

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been keeping some kind of desultory eye on a rather large yacht that was down there being painted.

The last time that I saw her, she was in primer and masking paper but they must have put on a really impressive spurt, finished her off and packed her back out to sea. Either that or else she’s shrunk when they went to hose her down

But to be serious … “for once” – ed … I wonder what they will be doing with that little fishing boat that’s down there in its place.

dredger chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The other day on the way back from town we say a large mobile crane messing around with some machiner, and I said that the first chance that I would get, I’d go to see what was going on.

This is obviously what was going on – they’ve been assembling some kind of dredger down there. She’s almost certainly a dredger because you can see the grab on the front and the discharge pipe at the back

No what are they going to be doing with that? I didn’t see anything in the local paper to give me a clue. This is going to be quite interesting too.

Things are definitely livening up in here right now.

Back home, I had a coffee and then sorted out my paperwork. Laurent had offered to take me to the radio meeting which was very nice. I put my proposition to the assembled multitudes and it met with favour, so Yours Truly now has his work cut out until Christmas.

As if I don’t already have enough work to do – but I mustn’t stagnate and get myself bogged down in self-pity.

Maryline who lives round the corner from me brought me back home. We had a nice chat on the way too, I like Maryline.

Back home I made tea – pasta and veg with an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit. And much to everyone’s surprise, including mine, I didn’t finish my plate. I think that my appetite might be going, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

But never mind, a baked potato, a few falafel and the left-overs from tonight will make a nice meal. And quick too, which is just as well as there is football on the internet tomorrow evening – Y Fflint v Y Bala.

So you might be getting a “plceholder alert” tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m off to bed to catch up on the beauty sleep that I never had. I have a lot to do tomorrow, including writing to Father Christmas and also to my favourite Inuit

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.

Saturday 25th September 2021 – THIS SHELLFISH FESTIVAL …

marquees fete des coquilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021 … isn’t half bringing in the crowds. And it’s absolute chaosas well by the looks of things.

Several more marquees and stalls have been set up since we last looked and they are packed to the gunwhales with people who have apparently come from all parts of France in order to indulge in an orgy of shellfish.

Including the boat Anakena, the one that was stranded in port at the height of the pandemic. You can see her, the dark blue one moored in the background. She’s been working her way around the Brittany coast, having set sail from Lorient at the end of August.

marquee marité rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And the chicane in the Rue du Port was total chaos this morning as well.

Motorists not knowing where to go and what to do, stopping, and even parking, in the most inconvenient places, and then there were the hordes of pedestrians milling about in the way of all of the traffic.

The way out to the hypermarket was chaos enough at 09:15. I shuddered to think of what it would be like by the time that I come back, so I went the long way round to reach home. And I bet that despite being the long way round, it took me much less time.

bad parking leclerc hypermarket Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While we’re on the subject of bad parking … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was enough bad parking today to fill a photo album, so I’ve selected this example for you.

It’s a delivery van delivering products to one of the boutiques in the Hypermarket. Dozens of empty spaces at this time of morning, including this disabled space right by the front door, but reversing in there is far too complicated for this guy.

What he’s chosen to do is to abandon his van in one of the car park paths, blocking in several cars while he was at it, including one with a driver who was trying to leave. But as long as he’s okay, what does he care about anyone else?

Anyway, let’s return to our moutons as they say around here.

Once more, the blasted phone people sent me a text message that awoke me during the night and I had trouble going back to sleep again. Nevertheless I must have done because the alarm awoke me at 07:30

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too so I copied the audio files onto the computer, and as I type out these notes, I realise that Bane of Britain has forgotten to transcribe them.

Off I went to the shops once I’d awoken. at Noz I didn’t spent much but at LeClerc it was another large bill, due to my buying more coffee and a pile of syrups seeing as I’m running out. I’ve given up making my own drinks for now. I’m not feeling up to tasks like that at the moment.

Another thing that I bought was some of those soya desserts in small pots. I need to vary my diet rather more than I’m doing at the moment.

Back here, having taken the long way round, it was astruggle up the stairs with my heavy shopping. But the fact that I managed it, albeit rather precariously, tells me that the physiotherapy is working somewhat.

Having put down the shopping I made myself a coffee and cut a slice of my fruit bread, and then came in here to relax for a while. I was exhausted after my efforts at the shops.

After lunch, there was football. Trefelin against Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Welsh Cup.

The gul in class was pretty evident right from the kick-off and at one point well into the second hald, the stats showed 28% Trefelin possession and 72% Connah’s Quay possession.

Nevertheless, the score at half-time was just 1-0 to the Nomads thanks to a brilliand Jamie Insall goal. The Trefelin goal was having a charmed life with shots whistling narrowly over the bar or around the post, and when they were on target, they found the Trefelin keeper in exceptional form.

Nomads scored a second goal shortly after the interval as a result of a goalmouth scramble, a goal that should quite properly have been disallowed due to a foul on the keeper, but with the Nomads having been denied a stonewall penalty in the 1st half that everyone except the referee thought should have been given, I suppose it evened things up.

The introduction of Jamie Mullan injected some more spark into the Nomads. He had a point to prove, and set about proving it.

2 late goals for the Nomads sealed what was in the end a comfortable victory, but in all honesty they should have been down the road and out of sight a long time before the interval.

old car peugeot 203 wedding civic offices Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was getting ready to go out for my afternoon walk there was quite a racket going on outside.

My apartment looks out onto the Civic Offices where the marriages take place, and it looks as if this afternoon, judging by all of the people around there, this today must have been the marriage of the Century.

But my attention was drawn to the car down there. It’s been a long time since we’ve featured an old car on these pages, and today there’s a Peugeot 203 down there – the white and red car.

These are gorgeous machines and I would have one in a heartbeat, especially a plateau, or pickup. I found one once ON THE ILE D’YEU when Cecile and I went to visit her mother, but I had to decline.

ship relaying bouchot stakes donville les bains baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual I went across the car park to have a look down onto the beach, but my attention was immediately drawn to this.

Whatever is going on down there, I have no idea but there’s a small ship fitted with a crane of some description, and I’m sure that that row of bouchot stakes wasn’t there yesterday.

It looks as if the bouchot farmers are having an extension, and there are quite a few people on the beach down by the campsite having a good look

And had I been feeling much better, I would have been down there having a good look with them.

people on beach rue du nord plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But enough of that. Let’s go back to the beach.

Today was cloudy and overcast so I didn’t expect to see too many people down there, especially with all of the other attractions going on elsewhere.

And I was right in that respect, at least by the steps that lead up to the Rue du Nord, because there was only a handful of people there.

Farther along by the Plat Gousset there were a few more people, but that’s always the case. Access to the beach is much easier along there

f-gorn Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there at the end of the car park, I noticed a light aeroplane taking off from the airfield.

She’s F-GORN, the Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 that belongs to the Aero Club de Granville, on her way out to sea

However I can’t tell you any more than that because she didn’t seem to file a flight plan, and she wasn’t picked up on radar. She’d been out for a couple of flights earlier in the day, flights that had been either recorded or picked up on radar, but for some reason or other, this one hasn’t.

trailer load of everything place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From the wall at the end of the car park I set off for my walk, but as I crossed back across the car park I encountered this.

Everyone will know what some of these items are, and I’m surprised to see them on open display like this. But different countries have different attitudes of course.

But whatever the significance of it all is, it beats me. I was thinking that maybe it’s something to do with the wedding that’s going on at the Civic Offices. But it’s certainly strange behaviour and I’ll simply leave it at that.

zodiac men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From my usual vantage point at the highest point of the walk, I had another look out to sea.

There was a zodiac out there, stationary, with a couple of guys in there. “Fishermen” I mused to myself.

But as I watched and prepared to take a photo, another zodiac came around the headland into the bay travelling at some speed so I waited until they were both in the viewfinder before I pressed the shutter.

At least the moving zodiac gave the stationary one a wide berth. Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen many photos that showed speeding boats passing fishermen far too close for comfort

cabanon vauban person sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Across the car park I went, down to the end of the headland.

There was someone this afternoon sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban having a good look out to sea. And I’m not sure why because with the mist and haze that was about this afternoon, you couldn’t see very far out across the bay this afternoon.

There weren’t any fishermen down on the rocks this afternoon, nor anyone at the peche à pied. They are all probaby at the shellfish festival having a whale of a time.

So leaving our visitor to it, I set off on the path down the far side of the headland.

cherie d'amour port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I could see that there was no change in the chantier naval this afternoon. L’Omerta was still in there all on her own.

As for the boats that have been in there just recently, sitting in the silt in the tidal harbour is the yellow Cherie d’Amour. She was in the chantier naval for a short period of time a couple of days ago.

Over at the ferry terminal, Belle France was tied up, but you’ve seen plenty of photos of her just recently. The other two Joly France boats are very probably out at sea somewhere around the Ile de Chausey waiting for the tide to come back in.

marquee chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As for where Chausiaise might be, she’s over there underneath the crane in the loading bay, preulably waiting to load up for her next trip out to the island.

While I was busy looking at the mayhem down at the fish processing plant as everyone swarms around the stalls and marquees, I noticed her over there so I fitted her into this photo of the rest of the activity.

The pile of freight to the right of the crane seems to have increased since we saw it yesterday, and it’s a good job that neither of the two Jersey freighters are coming into port today. It would otherwise have been extremely exciting to watch them try to unload with all of those cars blocking the loading bay.

buffet fete des coquilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I mentioned yesterday, no fête anywhere in France is complete unless there’s a buvette.

THis one of course is no different than anywhere else in that respect. You can see what looks like a bar and row upon row of tables and benches where everyone can sit down and enjoy a quiet drink.

The doors into the Fish Processing Plant are open, and I understand that that is where the dressing of the shellfish is taking place.

There was apparently even a space for small children to try to dress a shellfish, although what you would do with the sleeves of your garment is something that would confuse me.

la granvillaise coelacanthe suzanga port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021No prozes for guessing who this is.

The angle of the sails and the number “G90” painted thereupon will tell you that this is of course La Granvillaise. Never one to miss out on a commercial opportunity, she’s giving tourists a lap around the harbour, presumably for a couple of bob a head.

You might have noticed Marité in an earlier photo. She’s down there too, although not sailing around right now. Also down there at the back on the left is the trawler Coelacanthe and in the foreground is the new pink Suzanga.

yellow autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, and last but not least, on my way back to my apartment I was overflown by the yellow autogyro.

She came around the corner from behind my building at an altitude of several hundred feet just as I was crossing the road.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and then watched a couple of videos with highlights of a couple of other games from the Welsh Cup. I suppose that I should have been transcribing my dictaphone notes but I rather unfortunately forgot.

Tea tonight was the remainder of the curry from yesterday, lengthened with a small tin of lentils, and it was just as delicious. I had one of those soya dessert pots for afterwards to sweeten my palette.

Eventually, I did manage to deal with the dictaphone notes from today. I’d bumped into the captain of one of the little Jersey freighter in Granville and tried to interest him in taking part in our radio programme. But he didn’t have very much for himself to say and he asked about payment. I explained that there was no budget, that we were volunteers. He insisted that there must be some money somewhere. We went round in circles and in the end I thought that I had managed to persuade him that there was nothing. he didn’t speak French but one of his crew did so we arranged that next Sunday we would all meet in one of the bars here and he could let me know exactly what he thought and what he was able to tell me with the aid of his colleague

later, we were at a vehicle exhibition, wandering around looking at all the old lorries that were there, in the USA judging by the plates. A former friend of mine had one, an old Ford-type of lorry but there was no engine in it. We were wandering around and they lifted a flatbed back off a lorry and found that there was another flatbed underneath it, a FEMSA dated 1972. They wondered what this was doing because this was quite rare. They made a few enquiries but the owners knew nothing about it. They rang up FEMSA and quoted the body number. They replied that they sold it to that company in 1972 so this was a big mystery as what they’d bought it for and on what hat they were going to use it. There was an autojumble there as well. I was with some woman looking at all the bits and pieces. She was asking one particular guy loads of questions about stuff. All his stuff was American electrical stuff that was no good for the UK. Eventually we came back and there was a guy actually dismantling a lorry and rebuilding it while the show was going on. He was waiting for some bits but he was quite confident that he would rebuild it and have it on the road. He was planning on a drive from Northern France to South Africa in his lorry so I was interested in going along as a co-driver but he had a team. I still tried to see and ask my way around to see whether or not there might have been a place for me because it was something extremely interesting. But there were all kinds of strange people there, 3 babies, 2 of them very badly sunburnt. There was a woman dressed as a bride who was carrying a baby on her back. I thought “she’s left it rather late to be married, hasn’t she?”

So rather later than I was hoping, I’m off to bed. I’ll leave the phone in the living room where if someone messages me tonight, I wont hear it. It’s Sunday, and a lie-in tomorrow and I’m hoping to make the most of it.

But something will go wrong of course – it usually does.

Thursday 23rd September 2021 – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL …

montmartin sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… day it was today – at least, the afternoon of it.

The sky was as clear as a bell and you could see for miles, way out to sea and all along the coast too. With the sun now shining brightly, and down at a lower angle, it had lit up the town of Montmartin sur Mer as if it had been in a spotlight on a stage.

And when I blew up the photo, I could even make out some people on the beach, and that’s pretty good going for that kind of distance.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021The view was just as good further out to sea as well.

It was another one of those days where not only was Jersey really clear on the horizon 58 kilometres away, we could even make out some of the buildings at St Helier.

The big tower over to the left is very intriguing. It really could be anything – the “Marine Peilstand 1 Tower” which was a German Army artillery ranging point or La Tour de Vinde, a Napoleonic-era Martello tower, or even the tower the name of which I have forgotten that overlooks St Brelade’s Bay.

yacht ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on around to the west, the Ile de Chausey was looking quite good too.

The colours weren’t as brilliant or as visible as we have seen them on the odd occasion here and there but the little white cottages at the foot of the lighthouse stand out quite clearly against the dark background of the hill on which the lighthouse is situated.

There wasn’t much going on out at sea though this afternoon. There was just a yacht drifting about rather aimlessly and what looks like a motor boat on the extreme right, but that was about everything.

trawler cap frehel brittany coast France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, finishing off our arc from north-east to due west, from my vantage point on top of the bunker at the back of the lighthouse the view was even better.

Right out there in the distance, 70 kilometres away, the lighthouse and fort at Cap Frehel were visible with the naked eye this afternoon, never mind with the camera’s zoom lens.

And we could even see the headland around at the end of the next bay, which I think is the Ile de Brehat at the mouth of the River Trieux

There’s a trawler out there as well, and we can even see that it has its nets out this afternoon. That’s what I call a really good day.

But I’m glad that some people had a really good day today because I had an absolutely awful one.

The night wasn’t as early as I was hoping and when the alarm went off at 06:00 I was right out of it, absolutely and completely. And having another feverish sweat as well.

There wasn’t even time to finish checking my mails and messages before I had gone west and I ended up, to my complete and utter dismay, back in bed and under the covers again. Twice in three days, after going for a couple of years without doing so. That’s a sign of how I’m feeling right now.

It was about 10:20 when I finally staggered out of bed and I’m not sure if I wasn’t feeling any worse either. It took me an age to pull myself together.

But once I did, I made an Executive Decision, and for the benefit of any new reader (of which there are more than just a few these days), an Executive Decision is one where if it’s the wrong decision, the person who made it is executed.

And the decision is that I’ve changed the time of the alarm from 06:00 to 07:30 to give myself an extra 90 minutes in bed, until this situation resolves itself one way or another. Just on Mondays will I be having an 06:00 alarm call as I have the radio stuff to do.

Once I’d had a coffee I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I had to go to meet my aunt off the ferry that was coming in at 06:00 so I had to get up early. There was half my family in my apartment and that was uncomfortable for a start. When I set off, I didn’t realise actually where I was going to have to go to meet everyone. I ended up at the shop and was in there when suddenly my mother walked in. There was some discussion with the shopkeeper about tickets to go to meet people, all this kind of thing, tickets to come back from the ferry terminal on the bus to where they were dropped off at his shop. He said “if my aunt comes, she’ll have a ticket and we can all arrange it them”. Then I had my mother and my brother trying to argue with me. I said “look, for the last 20-odd years I’ve lived on my own. I’m not used to all these people”. That led to a few ribald remarks from my brother and one or two other people. As we walked back to my apartment I found myself thinking “I wish there were some other apartments in this building vacant where I could stick them and get them out of my hair”. There was something as well that I’d told one of my sisters about a book about a Chinese disc jockey that summed up quite a lot the way that I’d been feeling. All the way back we had “my sister couldn’t be bothered to read that book” all that kind of thing and it was a most uncomfortable dream.

I was out with TOTGA last night, of all people. I’d been to go to a Conference on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so I went to the hotel which was near Birmingham and booked myself in for the Tuesday night to start on Wednesday morning. There were another 2 people there booking and they were only booking for the Wednesday night and Thursday on the same course. He asked me why, and I recognised one of them. I knew that he lived fairly locally so I said that I imagined that he would come straight from home for the conference and then come back here for the next two nights. I can’t remember how it went on from there but there was some time to kill so I ended up going for a walk with TOTGA. We were hand-in-hand walking and chatting. She asked where I would like to go but I didn’t really have much of an idea. She said “how about the cinema?”. I’d never been to the new cinema in Crewe so I said “yes, fine”. We walked along Wistaston Road. There was a queue outside the cinema and it slowly started to move. The tickets were £27:00 to go in, so I thought that I’d pay for her but she was renewing her annual subscription so she said that she’d pay. I insisted on paying but the woman at the counter said “you know that hers is £999, don’t you?” I replied “right, in that case I’d better let you pay”. We arranged to meet one lunchtime as well. She asked me where we’d meet so I replied “why not the cinema?”. We agreed that we’d meet on the lunchtime at the cinema. Then there was the case of making a snack. She had bought me a pizza from here once so I thought “right, we’ll have a pizza”. Apparently you made your own. The cheese though was like a spread that you spread over the base of your pizza and put your topping on top which I thought was an extremely strange way of going about things but I started to do that.

I’d been working on repairing an old MkII Ford Consul. We’d had the engine all stripped down in situ and reassembled it. The owner, my father, was not very happy about everything. He saw petrol lying around in cans and he went and took them away. I had to clean all of these parts, and in the end someone went and fetched the petrol back so I cleaned all of the parts of the carburettor and reassembled it. There were still a few bits and pieces left to do including fuelling it up because there was very little petrol left in it but someone had brought a portable bed and gone to sleep right up against the car where the fuel filler was so I couldn’t reach it. In the end my father came back and asked how we were doing. I replied that it was almost done. He made a few remarks about a few bits that were missing, all this kind of thing. I said “it’s not trouble at all, they aren’t really necessary until we find out how the car runs”. We went to start it and it started first time and sounded nice. He got into it and took it for a little drive around the block. He said “yes, this is fine”, then drove off somewhere else. I remember saying “he’s not going to get very far with the few bits that are missing off it and there’s no petrol in it” And he should know about the petrol because ha was the one who stopped us filling it”.

But in the middle of all of my blasted family coming around to annoy me like they do, it must have cheered me up to have had an afternoon or evening out involving a Close Encounter with TOTGA. But in real life she had far too much sense to involve herself with me to that kind of extent.

What with one thing and another I missed out on having lunch, because, even though I didn’t feel like it, I had a task to perform

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago I bought a new printer to replace the one that was only printing in blue. I hadn’t installed it yet but this afternoon someone sent me an important communication that I needed to sign and send back, so I had to unpack it and install it.

Although it’s the same make and model as the old one, it’s an upgraded version so it took me a while to figure it out, and when I’d finished installing it, even though it would print, it wouldn’t scan.

Eventually I discovered that despite it being one of these multi-function printers from a major manufacturer, the scanner drivers aren’t included in the installation package, something that left me totally bewildered, so I had to go on-line and hunt them down.

And then I couldn’t make the machine work as I wanted. The control panel is quite complicated but seems to be lacking in functionality. I was surprised that it hadn’t installed a “scan” button on the computer desktop.

So after much binding in the marsh, I eventually discovered that the original “scan” icon for the old printer now points to the new one and once I’d realised that, it was all plain sailing.

All of this made me quite late for my afternoon walk, and when I finally made it outside, I bumped into a neighbour who kept me chatting for half an hour. Not that I had the time to spare, but I can’t spend all my life being totally unsociable with everyone.

While we were chatting, there were all kinds of stuff going on in the air. The powered red hang-glider went by overhead, followed by a couple of Nazguls, a light aeroplane and even the air-sea rescue helicopter, but you can’t interrupt your conversation to take a few pictures. It’s not very polite.

launching site for hang gliders Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One we’d parted company and gone our separate ways, like the Knights in THE HOLY GRAIL? i tried to make amends.

The field from where the Bird-men of Alcatraz take off is right next door to the cemetery, which I always thought was a good idea because if they make a mistake on take-off or landing they won’t have far to go, so I took a random photo to see if I could see anyone.

But they must have come in and untangled themselves from their equipment quite quickly because by the time that I looked, the field was pretty much deserted. The bird-men had flown.

bouchots donville les bains people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Instead, I concentrated myself on what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

Plenty of beach to be on today of course with the tide being out, but not too many people on it taking advantage of the warm, almost windless afternoon.

Meanwhile, further over at Donville les Bains, they are out there in force at the bouchot beds – the beds where the mussels grow on strings rather than in the sand. You can see the tractors and trailers out there as they harvest today’s catch

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was here, I had a look to see how the repair work on the old medieval city wall at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux was going on

It’s been a while since we’ve had a close look, so I was hoping to see some substantial progress today. But all that I could see was that some white protective sheet had been erected to cover the scaffolding at the far end.

There are however a couple of guys on the scaffolding down at this end working on the wall so if I can get away early on my way to the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon I’ll go for a closer look and see how they are doing.

jersey trawler Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While all of this was going on, I was having a good look around out at sea.

As I mentioned earlier, Jersey was standing out quite clearly this afternoon. With some digital enhancing we can see plenty of boats out there this afternoon, like the fishing boat over to the right that might even be the same one that we’ve seen in the bay for the last couple of days.

And it’s not all that usual that we see the eastern end of the island so clearly, yet here it is today. I was trying to identify some of the buildings there by reference to an aerial photo, but without very much success.

boats leaving harbour st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further around to the west there’s a really good view of several boats leaving the harbour at St Helier.

The one on the extreme left of the image caught my eye. Blowing up the image as much as I could, I could see that it has some kind of winching gear on the stern, but it looks too big to be a trawler.

However, there was nothing arriving at or leaving the port round about that time that corresponded with a ship of this nature.

And then we have another couple of trawlers heading our way

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy Eric Hall photo September 2021With nothing else going on over here (as if all of this isn’t enough) I went to have a closer look at Cap Fréhel, which I could see with my naked eye today, and then across the lawn and the car pary around to the end of the headland.

In the past, I can’t recall having seen fishing boats working in the strait here between Granville and Cancale over in Brittany, but that all changed fairly recently when we noticed them starting to try to exploit this area. There’s a trawler out there this afternoon trying to see what it can pull up out of the sea bed.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wonder if this constant search for new fishing grounds is due to the issues over fishing rights further out in the Baie de Granville.

hotels baie de mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned how nice the weather was today and how clear the sky was.

Down at the foot of the Baie de Mont St Michel, while we can’t actually see the Mont until someone removes the Pointe de Carolles and the Cabanon Vauban that sits thereupon, we can see the hotels on the mainland this afternoon.

If you look just slightly to the right of the foot of the Pointe de Carolles you’ll see a few white or light grey buildings. These are where anyone who comes to visit the Mont and stay overnight will usually stay because prices actually on the Mont itself are quite simply out of this world.

And there on the mainland they aren’t really all that much better, I suppose. It’s pretty much a captive audience over there.

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, it’s “all change” at the chantier naval this afternoon.

As I walked along the path on the top of the cliff towards the port, I could see that things were looking quite different down there this afternoon. And it looks as if there has been a massive clear-out today.

The only boat that is left today is L’Omerta. The other boats that were in there – Hera, Le Pescadore and Catherine-Philippe – have now gone back into the water.

The next question is “who is going to come into the chantier naval to take their place?”.

belle france chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s a lot more normal over at the ferry terminal this afternoon.

The new ferry Belle France and the little freighter Chausiaise are moored over there this afternoon. The two Joly France boats are probably out at sea somewhere. And they’ve closed up the jib of the crane as well, which is good news for the hydraulic seals.

Meanwhile, in other news, there’s some kind of jogging team out there on the quayside going for a run. They’ve turned off and are starting to run along the wall around the port de plaisance.

And I’m intrigues to find out what will happen when they reach the end, because there’s a large gap in the wall. Perhaps it’s the start of a triathlon and they are all going to leap into the sea and swim across.

Back in the past, I took part in a triathlon, but only the once. I was busy doing the water leg when I suddenly thought to myself “this is silly. I’m getting the bike all rusty here”.

marquees chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the last few days we’ve seen interesting developments taking place in the Rue du Port.

We have the chicane of course, and the marquee that they erected yesterday. But now a couple more marquees have sprung up on the car park of the Fish Processing Plant. This is all starting to become interesting.

And we can see that Marité is back in town as well. She’s been absent for the last couple of days. Well, in fact, she hasn’t really. She’s been nipping out early on the morning tide for a lap around the Ile de Chausey or over to Cancale and not come back until the evening tide.

Hence my mid-afternoon walk has missed her.

aztec lady capo di fora spirit of conrad mini y port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, In other news, we have a couple of new visitors in the port.

The white yacht on the extreme right next to the blue Aztec Lady is called Capo di Fora. Despite her Italian-sounding name, she’s actually flying the Belgian flag, as, incidentally, her neighbour Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went up and down the Brittany coast last summer.

The large grey yacht is called Mini Y, registered in the UK. She’s a “Baltic 85” yacht built in Finland in 2018 of fibre and composite construction and weighs in at just 50 tonnes.

She’s been cruising along the North European coast for the last few days and just recently has been roaming around St Malo and the waters between there and here

Back here in the apartment I had a few things to finish off and then I was just on the point of starting some work when Rosemary called me again.

Once we’d finished, it was long past my tea time so I grabbed an aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit out of the freezer and had that with some pasta. That tasted really nice, and it would have been even nicer had I not dropped the bottle of tabasco sauce in it.

***Note to self – put toilet roll in fridge tonight ***

And now I’m off to bed – going to make the most of my lie-in for the next few days to see if it makes me feel any better. Although I have a feeling that I’ll need more than this to liven me up.

Monday 20th September 2021 – SOME GOOD NEWS TODAY!

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

I went to pay the laboratory for my blood test this morning and after they registered my Carte Vitale – the entitlement card for the French Social Services, they told me that I’m registered as a Maladie Grave – a “Serious Illness” case, I don’t have to pay a thing.

So as well as the nice nurses at Castle Anthrax, we now have free blood tests. This illness does have some compensations, but I’ve had to look hard in order to find them.

This morning I was up quite quickly as the alarm went off, thanks to the early night that I had, and with nothing on the dictaphone I must have had a very peaceful, restful night for a change.

After my medication I came back here to check my mails and messages.

Do any of the regular readers of this rubbish recall A PHOTO THAT I POSTED a few weeks ago?

photo from advertisement Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When I posted it I mentioned that the photo was being used on the internet as an advert for a piece of photo-editing software and that when the photo came round again I would post it for you to compare.

It’s definitely the same photo as you can see, so there is something weird going on here with this. I smell something fishy, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

Having checked my mails and messages I then attacked the next radio programme. And despite a couple of stops for coffee and for breakfast, it was all done and dusted and ready to go by 11:05 and I don’t recall having prepared a programme as quickly as this one.

11:05 I’d finished my radio programme, and 11:06 I was on my way out to the shops to buy salad and fruit.

chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There were roadworks in the Rue du Port and so we had to go through a sort-of chicane to head into town.

What complicated the issue was that firstly I was stuck behind a grockle in a mobile home crawling along at 10mph admiring the seagulls and secondly, a coach had decided to stop there despite the narrow road and the “no waiting” signs in order to discharge his passengers.

After a couple of foul oaths and curses I eventually made it to LIDL and did a lap around the shop for a pile of stuff. And forgot to buy the syrup for the soft drinks too

The laboratory closes at 12:00 for lunch and it was 12:01 when I pulled up on the car park. I just about beat the staff to the door and I was lucky in that they agreed to see me. So with the good news about my account, I headed for home and a coffee.

cherie d'amour chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way out to the shops I went past the chantier naval where I noticed that there was a new occupant this morning.

On the way back I nipped into there to see if I could find her name. Actually, she’s not a new boat because we have seen her before when she was in the chantier naval a while back.

She’s one of the smaller inshore shellfish boats called Cherie d’Amour. She’s usually been seen – for the last few weeks at least – sitting on the silt in the outer tidal harbour and not travelling very far, if at all.

Ordinarily I would have made further enquiries about her but there was no-one around her to ask.

le pescadore chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was there, there was another task that I had to do, one about which I’ve been talking for a while.

There’s been a trawler in the chantier naval for the last several weeks and i’ve never been able to find out her name. But seeing as the paintwork was almost finished I imagined that her name would have been painted on the wind deflector above the cabin windscreen.

Sure enough, they’ve repainted her name and I can now tell you that she’s called Le Pescadore. She’s one whom we’ve seen before although I’m not surprised that I didn’t recognise her because back then, she was painted light blue and yellow. But she’s certainly carrying the same registration number

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On my way back to Caliburn I went to have a good look at L’Omerta.

She’s a catamaran-type, which explains why they are happy for her to sit in the silt when the tide goes out, and I bet that there’s a really good view from that lower window when she’s out at sea.

One thing that I noticed is that she has two screws or propellors, one on each pontoon. I don’t recall having seen that on a small catamaran before.

So back at the apartment I made myself a coffee. That was a good morning’s work and it’s one less thing to worry about.

There was a huge pile of washing-up to do because I’d forgotten to switch the water back on after my return from Leuven. It wasn’t until late last night that I realised and switched it back on. And now having clean crockery and cutlery I could make lunch.

That’s the last of the bread so tomorrow morning first thing I shall have to make some more.

After lunch I listened to the radio programme that will be broadcast on Friday night and the one that I’d prepared this morning. Friday night’s is going to be a belter – a live concert from the Crystal Palace Bowl and it’s one of the best that I have ever done

whitecap waves 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 with no Nazguls about this afternoon to threaten me I could make my way safely to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

Down on the beach there were very few people, and that’s no surprise because despite the sunshine and the bright sky; it was howling a gale out there.

You can tell that by looking at the whitecaps on the waves as they crash down onto the beach. I know that we have plenty of wind around here, but this was one of the strongest winds that we have had for a little while.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So much so that when I wwent to look out at the sea, I had to take off my cap in case it blew away.

But right out there in the Baie de Granville there was one of the smaller shellfishing boats battling away among the waves. It was having quite a battle too, trying to make progress against the weather.

There weren’t too many people around on the footpath this afternoon and none of the aeroplanes from the airfield taking to the air so I pretty much had the path to myself as I set off towards the lighthouse.

sparrowhawk fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I reached the end, I discovered that I wasn’t alone.

There were one or two people here but there was also one of our sparowhawks hovering around keeping an eye open for anything edible moving around at the foot of the cliffs. And while I was looking, he didn’t seem to be having much success.

And while we are on the subject of people not having very much success, there was a fishing boat down there just offshore. He was too far out for me to see what he was doing or if he was catching anything, but we have yet to see anyone pull anything out of the water.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The tide was too far out for me to expect to see anyone fishing from the rocks at the end of the headland at the Pointe du Rock.

There were however two people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban braving the gale-force wind although I’m not sure why because there wasn’t anything at all going on out there this afternoon.

By the looks of things they were picking up messages on their mobile phones, but I’m sure that there must be plenty of other places nearby that are much more comfortable than down there to do it.

baie de mont st michel le loup kairon plage Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further on around the headland I could have a really good view of Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

The tide is out so we can see the rocks upon which the light sits, but we have also seen it when the tide has been right in up to the upper of the two red rings, and we can see the tide mark that is the more usual level of high tide.

In the background we can see the beach at Kairon Plage. It looks like quite a nice beach, which it is, and there are quite a few people on it too. The headland here at the Pointe du Roc acts as a windbreak so that it’s not as cold over there as it is here.

le pescadore, catherine philippe cherie d'amour l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on along the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval.

We can see all of the four boats that we noticed this morning. From left to right we have Le Pescadore, Catherine Philippe, Cherie d’Amour and L’Omerta. Only four boats down there, which is a far cry from the heady days of a couple of weeks ago when we had no fewer than seven.

There are plenty of vehicles down there so it seems that there is plenty of work going on with the boats. I’m half-expecting to come down here one of these days soon to find that another one or two boats have gone back into the water.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was looking down at the chantier naval, I was overflown.

In fact, I was wondering if I was going to see some aerial activity (apart from the sparrowhawk of course) with there being no Nazguls, no aeroplanes from the airfield, and too much cloud to see if there were any full-size aeroplanes going past at 35,000 feet.

However I was not going to be disappointed because rattling past overhead on its way back to the airfield came the yellow autogyro that we see quite often. And he was making heavy weather of the trip back, fighting his was through the headwinds. His rotor was going round at 13 to the dozen but he was barely inching along.

trawler buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way home to the apartment I noticed this strange trawler moored in the inner harbour.

She’s one whom I haven’t seen before so I had to make a few enquiries. She’s called Buddy M and she’s arrived here earlier this afternoon from her home port of Cork in Ireland.

Tomorrow morning I shall have to check the newspapers to find out why she arrived here because it’s a pretty strange voyage for a trawler like this to undertake.

Back here I made myself a smoothie and then spent another while sorting out some photos from several years ago until it was time for tea.

At the shop this morning I’d bought a pepper and some mushrooms so I made myself another really nice stuffed pepper – and to do the washing up again now that I have mor ehot water.

And with my notes now written, I’m off to bed. I have bread to make tomorrow and a Welsh lesson too, so I can’t hang around.

Tuesday 14th September 2021 – WELL, AT LEAST …

chest x-rays place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… I do actually have a set of lungs

There are certainly two of them inside my ribcage and while I don’t really know anything about what I’m looking at, they both look pretty much the same to me.

And one thing that I like about the French – indeed the European – medical servce is that not only was there just a couple of days between my ‘phone call and my appointment and not a couple of months as in the UK, my appointment was at 10:00 and at 09:51 I had been x-rayed and was waiting for the images.

And they said “wait 30 minutes and then pick up your photos”, but the actual wait was more like just over 20 minutes. Efficient is not the word.

Last night was another bad night that I spent tossing and turning under the covers drifting in and out of sleep. And it really was a struggle to haul myself out of bed when the alarm went off.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There were three presidents or secretaries or whatever of the Rolling Stones Fan Club who had arrived by canal or on bikes on their way into town so I had to go out there to the canal. I was one of the first away and when I arrived I found that George was there. He’d been there for hours watching them because they had been waiting for so long. He thought that there were 4 or them but I definitely only counted three. Then some more of our party turned up so I went into the back of my van to get out the stuff that we needed for this operation.

Later on during the night I’d gone on a holiday somewhere skiing. There were all kinds of organised excursions as well. There was one where they were allocating people to different things. Someone asked me what I was doing on one particular afternoon right before we went home. I said that I didn’t know so they replied that the notice board was “over there”. I had a look and it seemed that I’d been put down for an early start to go on a coach tour. I thought “I may as well go”. Only about half the people who had been put down turned up and no-one was particularly interesting but we had a chat all the same. The concern was with drivers’ hours. Was the driver taking us on this sight-seeing trip going to be the same one who was going to be taking us home in the evening because how would he fit his drivers hours in? We ended up in Coventry at the museum. The bus driver had parked the exit door right over a puddle. everyone was getting out of this coach and wading through this puddle but I slid down the wing because it was an old half-cab bus and reached the ground that way and went off to have a look at a few of the exhibits which showed Coventry basically before it was bombed, and Coventry afterwards. I mentioned to Nerina, who had turned up by this time that I’d written about Coventry for my University thesis (and I DID TOO as it happens). She replied “yes, she knew” but she didn’t seem to be all that interested so I didn’t say any more.

Having written out my notes, I headed off for my x-rays at the Laboratory On The Edge of Town. And that didn’t take as long as I was fearing, and I was back well in time for my Welsh lesson.

teacher taking photo of schoolchildren place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One of the regular features of these pages is “taking photos of people taking photos of people”.

As I pulled into the car park outside here I nearly squidged a crocodile of schoolkids on a walk around the area. They weren’t in any particular hurry to get out of my way.

They all assembled on the clifftop over by the wall that overlooks the beach, and a teacher went to take a photo of them all. Luckily I had the NIKON D3000 to hand and was able to take a quick snap of them all before they all moved on.

The Welsh lesson wasn’t as easy as it might have been, and for two reasons too –

  1. I was struggling to keep awake for some of it
  2. Now that on-line working has come to an end, Zoom has stopped its free offer for schools and colleges, so every 40 minutes we had to log out and back in again.

As for the lesson itself, it passed quite well and I seem to have grasped the hang of what we were studying.

After lunch I had another go at these old duplicates and, to my surprise I found another several thousand that I hadn’t thought too much about. But eliminating the duplicates went ahead quite happily and another 6.2GB of photos bit the dust.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When I went out for my afternoon walk, the first thing that I did was to go over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

The tide was quite well in so there wasn’t a great deal of beach to be on. Not that it made a great deal of difference because the weather wasn’t as good as it might have been – cloudy and overcast – and not the right kind of day for sunbathing.

Nevertheless, there were still a couple of people who had taken to the water this afternoon and looked as if they were enjoying it. So hats off to them.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021With the cloud cover that we were having today, it kept the haze down so the view out to sea was quite good.

Not as good as it was the other day but still better than some days that we’ve had. While I was looking out to sea towards Jersey I could see a small yacht about halfway out in the bay.

The island of Jersey was visible in the background but we couldn’t actually see or distinguish anything out there this afternoon.

And so instead, with nothing else going on out there at sea, I set off for my walk along the headland out towards the lighthouse.

boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When I reached the lawn, I could see out across to the other side of the headland and into the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Out there in the bay this afternoon was a small motor boat. I couldn’t see what the crew were doing, but I shouldn’t be surprised if they were out there fishing.

My attention was also drawn to the background of the photo. We’ve seen quite a few interesting things on the skyline at the back of Jullouville and today we can see on the right some kind of chimney and on the left there’s some kind of what looks like a stone tower.

One of these days i’ll have to go for a drive around there for a closer look around.

people on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But right now I was more intent on pushing off across the car park over to the headland to see what was going on out at sea.

And, just like yesterday, and one or two other days just recently, I wasn’t the only one interested in what was going on. Today, we had a couple sitting on the bench by the Cabanon Vauban looking out to sea.

Not to any good purpose of course, because out in the bay all the way across the bay to Cancale there wasn’t anything going on at all. Not even a boat of any description.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And so I headed off along the path on top of the cliffs on the far side of the headland towards the port.

When I’d gone past the sailing school this morning on the way to the laboratory they were busy dragging out a few of the yachts ready to start the lessons.

And this afternoon, as I walked along the clifftop I could see some of the yachts from one of the sailing schools out there in the bay having a lap around before the tide went out.

In the background, there were people out there on the Plage d’Hacqueville having a good walk around. i’ve not yet set my foot on that beach so that’s another job for one of these days.

saint andrews chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The path took me along to the viewpoint that overlooks the chantier naval where I can see what was going on down there.

The work on the little trawler Saint Andrews is progressing. Some of the hull and superstructure has been masked off and they are quite busy giving her a second coat of paint.

She looks something of a mess right now but I bet that she will look really nice when she’s finished.

There wasn’t any change of occupancy in there again today so I carried on down the path

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Yesterday I took a couple of photos of the ferry terminal, where we saw the two Joly France boats.

At the time, I mused about the whereabouts of the brand-new ferry Belle France. I didn’t know then where she was but I can tell you where she is today. She’s actually tied up at the ferry terminal this afternoon.

In front of her, out of shot, is the newer one of the two Joly France ferries. The older one of the two is nowhere about so she’s probably out at the Ile de Chausey witnessing the next instalment of dodgems round by the landing stage.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I watched, the reversing siren on Belle France sounded and she reversed out of her berth.

From my viewpoint I saw her reverse out into the channel and she looked as if she was about to head off to the Ile de Chausey, even though there were no passengers on board.

However, having reversed out and turned 180°, she then reversed back into her berth and tied up again. I’ve no idea why she wanted to do that.

From the viewpoint I headed off back to the apartment and my banana smoothie and where I unfortunately crashed out for an hour or so.

This evening I’ve packed my suitcase ready for tomorrow and then made tea – a slice of pie with potatoes and vegetables. And it tasted delicious.

Right now though, I’m off to bed. I need to be on form tomorrow for my trip to Leuven. I’m not looking forward to this.

Monday 13th September 2021 – IT’S A PITY …

ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… that my 70-300mm LENS is the longest lens that I have.

Had it been of any greater length it might have picked up some really exciting activity out at the Ile de Chausey over the weekend.

Someone in a zodiac pulled up at a landing stage on the island to drop off some passengers and a speedboat, taking a great deal of exception to someone beating him to the pitch, rammed him – not once, not twice but continually over a period of seven or eight minutes.

They say that the police and the harbour authorities are “very interested” in the affair, and i’m not surprised.

If you are interested, you can see A VIDEO OF SOME OF THE ACTION

There was plenty of action during the night in here as well. I’d borrowed a van to do some removals. I had everything in the van and gone to do this but the place wasn’t ready so I had had to hang on to the van. I was going to do it next morning. The guys whose van it was wanted their van back by 11:00. After much discussion we agreed that someone from their place would come with me early in the morning, we’d unload the van and then he’d drive back the van so that I could go on to work. There were two pints of milk on the table so I said that i’d take one with me as my breakfast but my mother refused and said “no”.

A little later there was something going on about an old Transit van that i’d had for years, like that Sykes Pumps one. The diesel engine had been no good in it. I took the diesel engine out of my old white Transit and put it in. Then I tried to start it and to my surprise it fired up. I remember saying to someone that I’ve had this van for 18 years and it’s the first time that I’ve ever heard it run

Later on again I was working in Manchester. There was a huge office car park and we were parked on there. They were talking to an old manager of Rangers FC about what was going to happen to some buildings just below. He said that they were going to turn them into shops so the discussion went on to parking. Were they going to be parked in our area or not? he said not – they would probably have parking of their own. I went outside the compound and looked back. One of the buildings here was a huge 37-storey building like a space rocket thing. I was working in another one. I was lying down on my back looking at this building and these two girls came past. I said that that was where I worked . They looked at it and asked “what floor?”. I said “the ground floor. They won’t get me working on the 37th floor for any love or money. Just then I heard a load of clanking and it sounded as if the car park was being locked. I had to run back to the car park but I couldn’t get in because the gates were closed. There was a security guard there and he opened the gate for me and let me in. He said “I’ll let you in this time but don’t do it again because you won’t be let in otherwise.

There was some other stuff as well but as you are probably eating your meal right now, I’ll spare you the gory details.

After the medication I made a start on the next radio programme. And despite having to stop for a coffee and for breakfast it was all done and dusted by 11:20. And it’s a pretty good one too. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

While I was listening to it afterwards I was busy sorting through a pile of old photographs and weeding out the duplicates. There’s a couple of GB in there right now and I imagine that as I progress there will be plenty more to go with them.

After lunch I had a shower and then did a pile of tidying up because the nurse was coming around to give me my fortnightly injection.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a week or so ago I had a very lengthy talk with the skipper of Normandy Trader. Amongst other things, he told me some news but asked me no to say anything quite yet.

Anyway, now I’m able to spread the news about. Several weeks ago he saw a sister boat to his own and discovered that it was for sale. He made several enquiries and as a result, this morning the boat passed into his fleet.

At the moment she’s called Brecqhou Warrior but she’s likely to have a name change before she starts work.

lotus place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

Once again I was held up before I’d gone too far, because on the car park is one of the little Lotus Sevens.

At least, it says that it’s a Lotus and while I have no reason to doubt that it is, one has to be very careful about accepting cars like this at face value. There are plenty of kit cars out there that resemble the real thing, and some of them are very good indeed.

There are several cases of people having been “taken in” by faithful replicas. It’s very hard to tell some of them apart.

red autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021esterday, I couldn’t even get out of the door without being overflown by the red autogyro.

This afternoon I should have delayed my walk by about 30 seconds because then exactly the same thing happened. As I was looking at the Lotus, the autogyro came out from behind the College Malraux.

It rattled past overhead, the pilot and his passenger, and disappeared off towards the airfield where presumably it went in to land.

There were several other aeroplanes that went past, light aircraft or full-size commercial aircrat but they were all too far out in the bay or too high up for me to photograph them with any clarity.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Having dealt with all of that, I went over to the wall to look down at the beack to see who was about.

The tide is now well in so there isn’t much beach down there right now but there were still quite a few people down there.

And who can blame them? It was a really nice afternoon with plenty of sun and not a lot of wind. An ideal time to be down there.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea this afternoon which was quite a surprise, so I headed off along the path on top of the cliffs.

One of the sparrowhawks was there looking for food but he wouldn’t keep still long enough for me to take a photo of it, so carried on through the crowds of people.

man on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Across the lawn and across the car park, I went down to see what was going on there.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single boat of any description that I could see out there this afternoon. The only sign of any life was this guy down there sitting on the bench in front of the Cabanon Vauban.

And wherever he has come from, it’s been a hot and difficult walk judging by the sweat stain on his back.

So with nothing to see out at sea, I cleared off along the path towards the port.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was no change of occupant today at the chantier naval so I looked over towards the ferry terminal to see what was going on there.

Moored up there at the walkway was one of the Joly France ferries that run over to the Ile de Chausey.

This one has the larger upper deck superstructure, no step at the stern and windows in “landscape” format, so she’s the older of the two near-identical boats.

The red crane on the quayside was working although I couldn’t see what it was going to lift, but there was certainly something going on over there with the boat.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021In front of her was the other one of the Joly France boats.

We can see by the smaller upper-deck superstructure and the windows in “portrait” format that she’s the newer one of the two.

And if we could see her stern clearly, we would see a step in it as well.

All that remains to be found now is the brand new Belle France. She must be over at the Ile de Chausey hoping to catch a bit more of the aquatic demolition derby. They could sell tickets for an event like that.

refrigerated lorries fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Not many fishing boats in port this afternoon and I’ve no idea where they all are because I couldn’t see them out at sea.

But they are obvously out there working somewhere because there’s one refrigerated lorry already at the fish processing plant and another one reversing into position.

And this is what makes a mockery of the UK Government’s plans to simplify the HGV driving tests and eliminate the reversing requirement. There’s only one way for an articulated lorry to park in a loading bay, and that’s backwards.

It’ll be extremely interesting when I newly-qualified driver has to reverse up to a loading bay between several other lorries.

Back here I had my banana smoothie and then made a start on my Welsh homework but at 17:00 I had to go upstairs to speak to a neighbour. I have several cunning plans going on around in my head right now, and one of them has something to do with this building.

Tea was another one of these curries made with everything that was lingering in the fridge – well, almost everything because having forgotten the diced peppers yesterday, I forgot them today as well.

Tomorrow I have my lung examination early on, and then my Welsh lesson. There’s my homework to finish too. And then Wednesday i’m off to Leuven. It’s all go here, and I can’t keep up with it.

Sunday 5th September 2021 – WHAT I SAW …

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… down on the beach this afternoon.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s my habit to go over to the wall at the end of the car park outside my door and look down to see the activity on the beach.

But today, you’ll need a darn sight more than a good telephoto lens to penetrate this sea-fog that is rolling in with the wind from off the bay and over the headland where I’m standing. There were definitely people down there because I could hear them, but there was no chance whatever of seeing them.

sea fog baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Round the other side of the headland, it’s easy to see whereabouts in the bay is in the wind-shadow of the headland.

The two harbours and the coast down as far as St Pair sur Mer are fairly clear but further on down the coast where there is no wind-shadow the coast is overwhelmed by the sea-fog.

But that’s enough of that for the moment. Let’s go back to the start of the day.

And Bane of Britain strikes again, by somehow having managed to arrange for the alarm to go off at 06:00 this morning. One very unhappy bunny here.

It was about 09:30 when I finally staggered from my stinking pit. After the medication this morning and checking my mails and messages I made a start on the notes for yesterday that I hadn’t done last night.

Strangely enough, it didn’t take me too long to do it and by the time that I stopped for lunch, they had long-been finished.

This afternoon I made a start on pairing up the tracks for the next radio programme – the one that I’ll be preparing on Monday.

That took much longer than it ought to have done because I’ve made a conscious decision that many of the songs that I’ve been choosing are no longer appropriate for the style of programme that I want to develop. Well – they are, but not in the amount that I’ve been using them just recently.

Later on I made another pile of dough for the pizzas for the next three weeks. This one seemed to work really well and I wish that the fruit bread had turned out like that the other day.

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon grope around the headland.

lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This is a view that we have seen on many occasions.

It’s the path that leads along the top of the headland towards the lighthouse, the coastguard station and the semaphore post. But unfortunately today, you can’t see any one of those things with the fog.

Nevertheless, the fog didn’t deter people from being out and about. There were far more people out there this afternoon than you would realise, and you didn’t notice them until you fell over them.

cabanon vauban people pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Not just on the path towards the lighthoue either.

My walk took me across the lawn and across the car park down to the end of the headland where there is a good view across the bay. But not today, unfortunately.

We couldn’t see a thing out to sea this afternoon, but there were some people who had made their way down the steps to the little bench in front of the Cabanon Vauban, the old Customs sentry-box. I’m not sure what it was at which they were looking, but I couldn’t see anything special.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021They weren’t the only people wandering around off the beaten track in the fog this afternoon.

It will take more than a sea-fog to stop the fishermen going out to practise their art, and sure enough, there is one of them down there.

It’s very difficult to see what he’s actually doing. He has his rod in his hand but I can’t tell whether he is packing up or setting out.

And so I left him to it and headed off along the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on down there.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I could see that there was no change in occupancy in the chantier naval. Still the same seven boats that have been there for a couple of weeks.

Over on the other side of the harbour, there was one of the Joly France ferry boats moored up at the ferry terminal. Judging by its small superstructure and rectangluar windows in “portrait” format, it’s the newer one of the two near-identical ones.

As for where her older sister and the brand-new Belle France might be, I really can’t say. But I bet that they won’t be doing any sightseeing trips around the bay or a lap around the Ile de Chausey. And Chausiaise, the little freighter, is in the inner harbour.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From the viewpoint further along the path, I could see into the inner harbour where I noticed that Marité wasn’t there.

She must be out at sea with passengers, and I bet that they can’t be enjoying themselves too much in this weather, with not being able to see what is going on anywhere.

There was also an aeroplane flying around overhead, but of course I couldn’t see it in this weather.

Instead, I went back home and had a banana smoothie. Despite the fog, it was hot, clammy and oppressive out there this afternoon.

Having drunk my smoothie I sat down to check the dictaphone notes but ended up dozing off for about 20 minutes. That still left time for me to find out where I’d been last night.

The first thing that I noticed was that I remarked that I had had an attack of cramp – first time for about ever. I’d forgotten all about this.

But in the meantime, a former friend of mine was speaking to me and telling me what a surprising person I am with all this news that I have that I have never told anyone. he said that he had only found out by accident so I asked him what he was on about. He said that we’d have to go out and celebrate it, all this kind of thing, and I hadn’t really any idea. It turned out that he’d heard someone say “we’d still be up to 15 people if we replace Eric quickly or get a replacement for Eric quickly enough”. “Ohh that!” I said. “I’ve just had an internal transfer in the office and going somewhere else”.

There was somewhere else about a house in Wistaston in Crewe that I was trying to sell but no-one had been to see it for a while. People had asked me why I hadn’t reduced it to sell. I replied that I’ve had it almost 20 years and very very shortly the mortgage will be paid. It’s not in my interest to sell it once the mortgage is paid because it will be increasing in value.

What was that dream about a banana that suddenly awoke me and drained everything away from me immediately? And don’t ask me what that was all about because I don’t have a clue. It’s what I must have dictated but I can’t think why.

Later on during the night I was out with Nerina. There were 4 of us, me, her, another guy and another girl, something to do with me being at the hospital. Nerina had her Wolseley 1300 and the door on it didn’t fit quite properly. While we were walking towards it there was another group of people walking towards us. One of them was joking about how easy it was to steal these cars. he took out a key from his pocket, opened the door, got in and sat at the steering wheel. The guy and I dived in, dragged him out, bent him over the car and had his arms in an arm lock. We marched him into the hospital where someone called the police. The idea was basically to frighten the wits out of him. But this went on and on and in the end I was called forward for my surgery. The boy that had come out before me now had the most beautiful white teeth so I wondered if that was what they were going to do to me. I had to go to wait by this cubby hole where the guy searched through some papers. There were people coming and going and the surgeon was rooting through these papers as well looking for the names. Someone else out of the room where we were had come out and gone past me in a wheelchair and gone into a theatre. I thought that I was going to be here all night with this. I’d told one of the others who was with us that they were in charge about the affair with this boy. I wondered how long it was going to be before they become fed up?.

There was also time to deal with a couple more of the arrears too. I’m hoping that they will be finished quite soon too so that I can update the relevant journal entries.

When that was done I divided up the pizza dough into three, rolled two in oil, wrapped them in greaseproof paper, put them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The other, I rolled out and put in the pizza tray and left it to proof for a while. And once it was ready I assmebled it and baked it.

Here’s the finished product. It was nice and crispy for a change, one of the best that I’ve made for ages. Quite delicious too.

Now the washing-up is done and the kitchen has been tidied up and it’s all looking quite nice. i’ve finished my journal entry early too so I have a couple of things to do and then i’m off to bed. I have a radio programme to prepare in the morning so I need to be on good form because I don’t want to waste too much time.

Tuesday 31st August 2021 – THIS WAS ANOTHER …

… day that is best forgotten, as far as I’m concerned. It’s not been good at all.

When the alarm went off I managed to crawl from my bed and take my medicine, and then I had things to do.

The first thing that I needed to do was to bake some bread as I have now run out.

500 grammes of wholemeal cereal flour and a couple of handful of sunflower seeds produces a really nice loaf and using the technique that Liz showed me the other day when she came round, it produces a nice textured dough.

Once it was all kneaded together I left it to proof for a while and came back in here to check my mails and messages.

Meanwhile, according to the dictaphone, There had been a kind of “ping” when I was in bed during the night. Nerina panicked a bit and said something. I looked round and all the electricity was out. It looked as if we’d blown a fuse so I got up, went downstairs and reset the fuse. I came back upstairs and it was already 06:25 so there was no point going back to bed at that time. I decided that I may as well get up.
There was also something somewhere that I was down Middlewich Road somewhere where the Rising Sun used to be. I was with someone and it was a story about a motor bike. Someone had passed their driving test on a motorbike but they had left ot somewhere so we had to go and pick it up. It might have been Liz Ayers who was with me. We found the motorbike and I asked whoever it was with me if she wanted to ride it. She said “yes” so I got on the back, she got on the front and we rode off towards Willaston on it. When we arrived there this person had turned into a little girl wearing a kind-of party dress or bridesmaid’s dress or something. We were walking hand-in-hand down Crewe Road. We came to the turn-off down to Willaston but it was nothing like what the turning was like, but it was all blocked off. They were saying “you have to go down 2nd Avenue and I had no idea where 2nd Avenue was. I was going to go down Coppice Road. There was an interesting alley on our right so I took this girl down there to explore it but we found that it was just taking us back to where we’d been so we turned round and went back. In the meantime there were several other little girls who were all dressed in a similar kind of clothing, bridesmaid or 1st communion or something like that.

After I’d given the bread a second kneading and put it in the mould I came back to look through my Welsh coursework for today but just then Rosemary rang me up for a chat about a problem that she had, which I had to cut short (after about half an hour!) because it was time to go to class.

While I was making my coffee and sorting out my fruit-bread I switched on the oven and then when it was warm I put the bread in.

Just four of us at the Welsh lesson today – well, it is the summer break – and the time passed quite quickly.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomewhere near the end of the lesson the oven switched itself off so once the lesson had finished I went to rescue the bread.

And it looks quite good too. I’m quite pleased with this, especially when I tried a couple of slices for lunch. One of my better loaves of bread, this is.

After my lunch I came back in here to start work but instead I drifted off once again into the Land of Nod and I’m going to have to stop doing this. It’s not doing me any good at all and I have far too much work to be doing right now.

But anyway, I digress … “again” – ed.

people swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor my afternoon walk, once again I strolled across the car park to go and have a look over the wall and down onto the beach.

The tide is now even further in and there is even less beach to be on, but that clearly hasn’t bothered some of the people down there because, much to my surprise, there were some people actually in the water.

Not actually swimming, but being up to their shoulders in the water counts as much as anything else does. And for that they deserve a medal because the weather has certainly turned today and it seems that autumn is only just around the corner.

It’s the usual procedure while I’m here to have a look out to sea to see what I could see but I couldn’t even see a seagull this afternoon. There wasn’t a single thing happening out at sea so I set off along the path on the top of the cliffs taking care not to fall over again.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut in the distance at sea there was a rainstorm brewing and the Ile de Chausey was pretty much obscured by clouds, as the old song goes.

But there was something moving right out there, just about to disappear itno the rainstorm. Something rather large so I photographed it for further examination when I returned home.

As it happens, I wasn’t much further forward after I’d enlarged and enhanced the photo. My best guess is that it’s one of the Joly France ferries going out there to bring home the day trippers and holidaymakers who are still out there. But which one, I really don’t know..

From what I could see, there is no step in the stern so it may well be the older Joly France boat.

men fishing from rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallPushing on across the car park I went down to the end of the headland to see what was happening down there.

There may well have been no fishermen out at sea this afternoon but there were several people fishing from the rocks today. These two guys were fishing together so I stood and watched them for a while as they sorted themselves out.

Not of course that they actually caught anything while I was watching, and even had they done so, they didn’t seem to have a net to haul in their catch, or a bucket in which to keep it.

people sitting on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey weren’t the only people down there right at the end of the headland either.

Sitting on the bench at the end of the headland was this couple having a little relax.

And the old stone building behind them is one about which we have talked on many occasions. It’s one of the sentry boxes to give shelter to the Customs men while they were keeping an eye on traffic in the bay.

Back in the 18th and 19th Century the Channel Islands were a smuggler’s paradise and boats would regularly run the gauntlet in order to bring contraband into France. Hence the Customs men had these little cabins dotted all around the bay here, and handy semaphores that they used to send messages.

flotsam on beach pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking around at the headland, I noticed this pile of flotsam and jetsam on the beach.

It would be very doubtful if the sacks and their contents had been washed up by the tide – I don’t think that even the power of the tides around here would be strong enough to move them about, but it’s very likely that the couple of buoys have come in with the tide.

As for the two buoys, the white one would seem to be a lobster pot marker or similar, whereas the yellow one is the same colour as the buoys that are used to mark out the patrolled areas of the beaches.

belle france joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, I trudged on along the path round to the viewpoint from where I could see over the port.

And at least I ca tell you who it wasn’t who we saw out at sea just now. Over there, parked up at the ferry terminal is Belle France, the very newest of the ferries. Behind her is another one of the Joly France but unfortunately I can’t see which one she is.

While I was there I had a look at the chantier naval to see what was happening there but there was no change in any of the occupants today so I left them alone and carried on with my walk around the path.

chausiase galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s someone else who it was’t as well. Chausiaise, the little Chausey freighter, is down there moored to the quayside.

Behind her is the Galeon Andalucia and I’m not sure what’s happening with her because everyone, including the owners whom I contacted, told me that she should have sailed by now.

By now, my coffee was calling me so I headed back for home and a nice hot drink. And to draw up a couple of floor plans with a computer design programme for a project that I have in mind right now.

Another thing that I did was to try to write up some of the arrears from the other day but regrettably I fell asleep yet again and I can do without all of this.

As a result I was late for tea. Taco rolls yet again with the leftover stuffing from yesterday lengthened with a small tin of kidney beans. And while it was all a-doing I sorted out the freezer and tidied it up a little to make a little bit more space.

Once tea was over, I came back into the office just in time to catch the start of Y Drenewydd v Cefn Druids.

Y Drenewydd is a comfortable mid-table side but the Druids are quite frankly wretched. They were miles off the pace last season and during the summser a few of their better players departed for pastures new leaving their new manager to assemble rather hastily a scratch side of cast-offs and hopefuls.

They were swept aside in their opening couple of games this season and this match was no exception. At half-time the score was already 3-0 and Y Drenewydd could have had half a dozen more too.

At the start of the second half Naill McGuiness made a couple of substitutions and his team had a far better shape and even managed a shot on target. However, later in the game Chris Hughes took off a defender and a midfielder (something he should have done much earlier) and put on two extra attackers who simply overwhelmed the defence.

The 5-0 victory in the end was a lucky defeat for the Druids. They could have conceded a dozen and not had any cause to complain.

But here’s a question – what is Lifumpa Mwandwe doing playing in the Welsh Premier League? He was the best player on the field by a country mile and way above the class of everyone else on the field.

But right now, I’m off to bed. I’ve had another bad day today and I don’t need any more.

Saturday 13th February 2021 – IT’S USUALLY FRIDAY …

… that is considered to be a very unlucky day. But for me, it’s usually some other day on which the 13th falls.

It started off really well too because I beat the third alarm to my feet yet again. That’s every day this week.

And I’m sure that you are wondering what is the secret of this new vitality. And it’s really quite simple. I’ve decided that there’s too much of a gap between the second and third alarms, giving me too much time to fall back into a deep sleep. And so I’ve inserted an extra alarm call to stop me dropping off. Whether it works in the long time, I really don’t know. We shall have to see.

So there I was, up on my feet (well, sort-of) when the alarm went off and that will come as a surprise when you consider that I hadn’t gone to bed until quite late. And according to the dictaphone, I’d travelled miles and miles during the night too – so you can tell what kind of day I was going to have.

We started off talking about food last night. There was some food somewhere, all kinds of curries and things like that. 3 different varieties. I was a chef whose recipe had been turned down by this place. It preferred its own recipes to ones from a top London chef. There was much more to it than this, some of which I can’t remember and some more that, as you are probably eating your tea, I don’t think that you would want to hear it

A little later on, my friends from the Wirral came to see me and had a very long chat about my health issues, that kind of thing. I wasn’t convinced at first that they were taking this seriously but later on they certainly were. I told them that the major problems were that my employers were being only a bunch of temps they shifted their offices every few days and we ended up in places miles away from any station or so on and walking takes hours. This is what’s going to finish me off more than anything, walking from the railway station to this office. They told me to take good care of myself – at least if the offices are going to kill me I should do it in comfort, something like that, I can’t remember now. I thought “that’s not much good to me”. They arrived at my apartment while I was still in bed so I had to get up and go into another room to get changed and get ready while they waited for me but instead they came into the room where I was getting changed which was a bit unfortunate.

Somewhat later, I had to go somewhere and I had someone with me. We had to catch a train at Crewe Station. The train pulled up right by us, the first carriage, a non-corridor train so we climbed in through the first door. Just as we got in the train took off and I nearly fell back out again – the door wasn’t shut. We had to wedge ourselves into a seat. Someone noticed that I had a book in English and was asking about it. I said that I’d got it from so-and-so. I said that it was one of 7 English books that he had. he didn’t have all that many and the guy seemed to be in agreement. Another guy was sitting there reading an old Bartholomews Map. He was talking, looking at the map saying “I hope that we’re going down the West End of Crewe. I said “we might end up going that way. He asked “where was the West End of Crewe?”. I replied “if we aren’t careful we’ll end up driving through it”. We got down to the end of Delamere Street and I expected the bus to turn left then turn right at the lights and along Wistaston Road but it turned right instead, heading back towards the top end of Victoria Street. I imagined that it was going to go down West Street so I said “it looks like you’re going to get the West End now”. We drove down there and I was appalled at all the that were empty and boarded up and being demolished. It was like a war zone. I’d never seen anything like this. He said “it’s not looking very good for Crewe is it?”. I replied “you’re absolutely right there”. We got to the end of Victoria Street but turned right instead of left. I thought “this bus is going back to the bus station now”. We had to do a bit of a U-turn on the quiet and work out how much it was going to cost this guy and somehow turn the bus round without he guy noticing so that we could go back the right way.

As an aside, before going to bed last night I’d been looking at some photos of the demolition of the huge Shopping Centre and Bus Station in Crewe town centre. Built in the late 1950s as “the pride of South Cheshire” and demolished after just 60 years or so while buildings around it built 100 years or so earlier still stand proudly erect. And the demolition site really DID look like a war zone. And children of the future won’t have the public conveniences on the bus station with all of the artwork on the walls that was largely responsible for me passing my “O” Level Biology.

There was one of these Raleigh Runabout-type standard 1950s type of mopeds, a blue one. There were a man and a woman on it. The man might have been my father and the woman might have been someone else. He was a little older than he was. We were at my house, the family home and my brother was painting a painting-by-numbers kit. He’d done several abstracts like this and I was wondering if I could take one home with me to my house. There was one that was warped a little but wasn’t too bad. He said that he was going to present it to “that girl who taught us about the metric system”. “Ahh – Pamela Smith”. “Yes, that’s right. Would you mind if I were to present it to her?”. I replied “you can present as many paintings as you like to Pamela Smith as far as I’m concerned”. I went to make a coffee. We were talking about things and I asked “where’s the ice-cream that you bought the other day?”. He replied “it’s in the fridge”. We took the ice cream out and I took a scoop and went to put it in my coffee – hot chocolate, rather, and add some fresh chocolate sauce, real decadence. Just then the front door opened but we couldn’t hear a thing. No-one was coming in. I asked my brother “what’s happening now?”. He replied “it’s dad coming home”. At that moment father walked in but he left the doors open, the door open to the street, everything. There was this thing about a project that would take about a month to do but if we were going to have to do it now in the middle of winter it would take him absolutely ages in his spare time at night because he wasn’t working overtime any longer so he had all of this spare time.

I’ve forgotten where I was in this (that was what I said and how I opened this speech, so it seems that I might have missed something out) so I went into a chip shop to buy some chips. The woman behind the counter asked me what I wanted so I replied “a bag of chips” but I couldn’t see anything else that I could eat so I just ended up with a bag of chips. While I was there someone came over to talk to me and the subject of George Formby came up. I agreed with what he was saying. He said “do you know George Formby?”. I told him about Hans who had left some cassettes behind. The guy said “I bet you thought that they were something else, didn’t you?”. I replied “I knew that there wouldn’t be any nude women because he’s not that type”. We began to talk about films at the local cinema. They had a late-night showing at 01:20 on Saturday night/Sunday morning. And somewhere in all of this the corner shop on the apex of the junction between Gresty Road and South Street figured in it.

And even more interestingly, I’d been watching a George Formby film while I was having my evening meal.

So after my marathon ramble during the night, I’m surprised that I’m back even now.

Transcribing all of that took me right up to shower time, and then having set the washing machine off on a cycle (a clever washing machine, mine) I set off for the shops. Again, there wasn’t anything of any excitement and I forgot half of the stuff that I needed from LeClerc. Mind you, I have never ever seen LeClerc with so many people in there doing their shopping. There were queues for miles, as well as an altercation that I witnessed on the car park.

While I was out there, I went across the road and bought a new hat (that isn’t all that much warmer than the one that I was wearing) but they had more of the tactile gloves, the same as the ones that I bought 2 years ago and left in my jacket pocket in a hotel in Calgary. And they are nice and warm.

By the time that I returned home it was late and I was cold. It wasn’t worth having any breakfast. Instead, I sorted out a few things here that needed doing, including charging the battery for the NIKON 1 J5 as it had gone flat on me yet again.

While I was at it, I charged up the battery for the NIKON D3000. I was planning to take that for a walk – the first time for a year for it to have a run out. And then, I … errr … went off with the fairies.

beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter I recovered from my repose I headed off out for my afternoon walk, the freezing weather notwithstanding.

There were very few people out there walking around this afternoon which is hardly a surprise. The tide was way, way out do we were unlikely to see a fishing boat making its way back into port. But there were a few people brave enough to go for a walk down there on the beach this afternoon and I didn’t envy them at all.

The path was churned up again with all of the melted snow but there was still plenty of ice and so on in the shade where the sun hadn’t reached it. That’s going to be there for quite a while, I reckon.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I trotted across the lawn and the car park and down to the end of the headland.

This afternoon, my walk was rather later then usual and so by the time that I reached the end, the sun was starting to sink slowly down towards the horizon. It’s been a good while since I’ve been able to take a photo of the sun like this.

It wasn’t very clear out there either. We can’t see the Brittany coast out across the bay this afternoon. But there is a little bit of sunshine peering through a gap in the clouds and lighting up the water.

We can also see plenty of ice-hard snow on the top of the cliff here too. We’re still in the grip of winter.

As it happened, I wasn’t the only person out there enjoying the view, such as it was, this afternoon.

cabanon de guet man on headland pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown there right on the point by the old watchman’s cabin was someone else surveying the scene. He’s certainly dressed for the weather.

Have I mentioned anything about the watchman’s cabin – the cabanon de guet – down there yet? The watchman served two purposes – firstly he would be looking out for the English (and later British) fleet that might come a-raiding. From the beginning of the 18th Century right up until the end of the Napoleonic Wars the British and the French were in almost perpetual conflict.

The second reason was a civilian matter. The route between the Channel Islands and the French mainland was a smuggler’s paradise as all kinds of contraband passed up and down the bay. Consequently they had watchmen positioned up and down the coast to look out for boats passing by, just in case they were engaged in smuggling.

Further along the path, there was no change in the occupancy of the chantier navale so I went to see what was going on in the harbour.

charles marie anakena port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing much happening there either. Charles-Marie is down there all wrapped up for the winter, and alongside her is the boat Akena. I’m not sure what’s happening with her now. At one stage she was heading to the far north but couldn’t travel because of the virus lockdown. She hasn’t moved since.

As for the people who were crewing her, I’m not sure whatever happened to them. They were at one time living on board but as we aren’t allowed out at nights these days, I can’t go to see if there are any lights in her cabin during the evening.

By now I was freezing to death so I went on home for a nice hot coffee, and then spent the rest of the early evening editing the photos for the Greenland trip in 2019.

Tea was out of a tin tonight. At Noz, they have been seeing tins of chick pea curry so I bought some a few weeks ago but I’d never managed to try one yet. They had more in today so I bought some more. And to my surprise, they aren’t bad at all, considering it’s all tinned stuff. If they have any more next week I’ll buy some more.

But now it’s bed time. I’m exhausted after today but at least it’s Sunday so I can have a lie-in. And then I really MUST book my journey to Leuven otherwise everything will be sold out.

Monday 4th January 2021 – THAT WAS A …

… horrible day today again.

It is a fact that the day after I come home from Leuven, exhausted by the travel and by the effects of the medication, I find it difficult to do anything the next day while I recover my strength. And when I’ve had no sleep the night before and I’ve been carrying heavy shopping around as well, it simply amplifies the effect.

When I’ve slept through the alarms in the past, at least I’ve heard them somewhere in the distance but I’ve taken no notice. This morning though, I didn’t hear a thing. Nothing in the night disturbed me. There wasn’t even anything on the dictaphone so it must have been one of the deepest sleeps that I’ve ever had.

Mind you, I didn’t go to bed until 02:30. Despite the heavy couple of days that I’d had, I wasn’t tired at all for some reason and I don’t understand that. And so it’s no surprise that I didn’t awaken until about 09:30, and didn’t leave the bed until about 10:20.

After the medication then, with nothing to transcribe from the dictaphone. I could make a start on the radio programmes. But while in the past I’ve been able to dash off a programme in a couple of hours, by the time that I knocked off at 18:00 to play the guitar I had just about finished writing, neve rmind dictating and editing, the notes for just one programme.

Fighting off sleep (unsuccessfully a couple of times), and not having the same energy that I’ve had just recently, it’s clear that I can’t keep going like I could previously. I hope that I can pick up in due course.

beach donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLunch was some of my delicious vegetable soup, even nicer than it was yesterday, and later on this afternoon I went out for my afternoon walk.

The temperature had dropped to about 3°C and it was damp and miserable out there. There were a few people nevertheless walking on the beach out by the Plat Gousset this afternoon, something that surprised me.

There was quite a mist out there too and it wasn’t possible to see any distance particularly. So haven’t taken a photograph of the beach I headed off along the path on top of the cliff

people sitting by cabanon de guet pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAcross the lawn and across the car park I went until I reached the end of the headland looking out over the bay.

As I mentioned just now, it was pretty cold this afternoon and so I was surprised to see a couple of people sitting on the bench by the old sentry cabin right out on the end. They can’t have been enjoying the view in this weather.

With nothing else going on out there that I could see, I walked off along the path to see what was going on at the chantier navale. And the answer to that was “nothing”. The trawler and the yacht were still there, in exactly the same position that they where before they left.

workmen repairing public toilets pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot too far away from the viewpoint overlooking the harbour is a set of public conveniences. There’s a roll-up lightweight door that rolls down when they are closed but before I went away, that had been damaged.

Today there were a couple of workmen there. They’d taken away the roll-up door, or what was left of it, and they were fitting a heavy-duty metal sliding door instead. I watched them for a while and then headed home for a nice hot coffee and a slice of Christmas cake.

What with chatting to Liz and dozing off a few times I didn’t do much work, and I knocked off for a very enjoyable session on the guitars.

donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I went out for my evening walk. Walk, not run. I wasn’t feeling up to running around tonight. I must be feeling under the weather.

It was now 2°C outside and trying its best to rain. Not the best weather to be out there at all. The view along the coast had improved slightly and down the coast to Donville the street lights stood out clearly. The image though, taken with the NIKON 1 J5 didn’t come out as clearly as I liked though. I shall have to have the big NIKON D500 repaired pretty quickly.

As you can tell, I’m down on the footpath underneath the walls tonight. Despite the weather today, it must have been dry while I was away because the path was no longer flooded.

st martin de brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the coast, the lights on the promenade at St Martin de Bréhal were quite bright this evening. The view was nothing like as clear as this earlier today

From here I carried on walking along the footpath and eventually ended up at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch. There wasn’t anything else going on around there either so I pushed on across the Place Maurice Marland – again at a walk.

The rain was starting to fall a little heavier now so I wasn’t going to hang around. I might not be able to run today but I can walk pretty quickly.

place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow that the scaffolding has gone from the house on the corner I could walk down the alleyway and into the Rue Notre Dame.

No black cat to greet me tonight, and no Christmas lights in the Place Cambernon either. I’d noticed from my viewpoint earlier that all of the Christmas lights in the town had been switched off so I suspected that that would be the case here.

The lights are still there though. They haven’t actually got around taking them down yet. And so it wouldn’t have heurt to leave them illuminated to add a touch of gaiety to the place in these difficult times.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been walking around the path earlier I’d seen all of the fishing boats out at sea heading home to unload.

By the time that I’d walked around my circuit, the first ones had started coming into port. The tide can’t be far off coming right in.

Back home I made tea. Rice with veg and a vindaloo out of the freezer followed by Christmas pudding and custard. That was a really nice tea.

While i’d been out Rosemary had rung so I called her back and we discussed this and that. for a whole hour and 38 minutes. This is why I’m just dashing off my notes – because it’s late and I’m tired. Tomorrow it’s the Welsh lesson and then hopefully I can push on with this work. And I haven’t forgotten that I didn’t do my Welsh homework today. That was disappointing.

Must do better.

Thursday 15th October 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

… when I asked yesterday “surely this can’t continue” or whatever it was that I said.

Consequently this morning, I missed the third alarm. Not by many minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile, I suppose.

Mind you, I’d been on my travels again somewhat. I’d been looking around, searching for different things about the house and came across an automatic firearm – a big heavy thing, silver one. I was messing around with that and then took it off to show a friend. He and I had a play around doing all kinds of different things. Then we were out in the town with it and there was a lot of trouble about theft and violence, groups, all this kind of thing. We thought that we would be bound to be searched and if they found this firearm we’ve had it even though we aren’t actually doing anything with it. The nearest official building to where we were was the Nigerian embassy so we took the gun there and handed it in. Back home a few days later I was about to go into the living room when I heard my father ask “does anyone know what’s happened to my gun? It’s gone”. One of my brothers and sisters piped up to say “Eric and his friend had it”. He rang up my friend and he told him what had happened but cutting out the flamboyant bits. I was concerned about this because I was going to get into a load of trouble by taking it but my father seemed to be rather nonchalant about this. I walked off into the room something like a hospital waiting room and as I was walking in a woman was walking out. “Ohh I have your food here” she said. “I wondered when you were coming back. I’ll bring it in”. I was loaded up with loads of other stuff that I was dropping on my way in and had to try about three doors before I found which one was the correct one. I went in and sat down and waited for the next part of this story to happen.

Which of course, it didn’t.

Having sorted out the dictaphone I had a good shower and clean-up. And a weigh-in too. And I’ve lost that extra weight that I put on in Leuven, having now accelerated my fitness programme a little. If I keep up this regime and continue to lose weight at this rate, by the time my next birthday comes round I’ll have gone completely.

And now it’s time to head for the shops.

For a change I didn’t but anything extra, but I was still loaded up like a packhorse. And when the 2kg bag of apples burst, I ended up having to stick them in the shoulder bag too and that wasn’t part of the plan. It was quite a stagger back home, loaded up as I was.

And to make matters worse, the battery in the NIKON 1 J5 decided to go flat even though there were plenty of interesting things to photograph. And I only charged up the battery the other day too. I hope that that’s not going to start playing up.

Back here I made a drink and sat down – and then crashed out, which is no surprise. I recovered in time to perform a major upgrade of the computer before lunch, something that surprised me too.

After lunch, with more of my delicious bread, I had a task to perform that I’ve been putting off for several months. There were a plie of *.mkv files on my computer that simply wouldn’t allow themselves to be deleted. I spent some time experimenting with the file properties of one of them and in the end I managed to delete it.

There were about 20 altogether and I had to adjust their properties one by one too, but at least they have all gone now, which is good news.

Next task was the photos of July 2010 in Switzerland and Austria. And here I came up against another problem. Instead of using a dictaphone, I was speaking loudly so that the dashcam in Caliburn would pick up the details. But it didn’t do it well enough so that can be classed as a failure.

But this is how you learn, isn’t it?

In the end I had to look for road signs, names of buildings, town signs, that kind of thing on the dashcam recordings to work out where I was and to follow my route on an internet mapping service to work out where I was.

That took an age, as you can imagine, but now all of the photos for that month have been edited, processed and correctly identified. Another job completed.

There just remains the photos for August which should be interesting, because all of those road signs are in either Czech, Slovak or Hungarian and that is going to lead to difficulties when I see a building name.

Scaffolding College Malraux Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving made some good progress I could go outside for my afternoon walk, almost bowling over four people whom I hadn’t seen before entering the building. Elderly people, so I reckon that someone has let out their apartment for holidaymakers.

Across the car park, the scaffolding seems now to be complete as far as they intend to go. They’ve even put their advertisements on it to let us know who they are. And as for the container, it’s not a container at all but a very large skip. Benne pour bois – “skip for wood”. So that’s where they will be disposing of all of their old laths.

And their compund has blown down again. They aren’t having much luck with that. I mean – it’s not as if it’s windy right now outside.

Sunshine Montmartin sur Mer Rainstorm Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact, the weather is quite changeable today.

And no photo can sum that up better than this one of the coast higher up the Cetentin Peninsula. If you look at the view round by Montmartin sur Mer towards the left, you can see the sun shining down on the houses, making them appear so nice and bright.

But yet just a couple of miles away, there’s a huge rainstorm throwing it down just there and everywhere is dark and gloomy.

Trawlers English Channel Ile de Chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday I mentioned that it looks as if the fishing season has started in earnest, and I’m very probably right.

We’re still a good half-hour before the time that the harbour gates open, so all of the big trawler-type vessels are heading for home, presumably with quite a good catch. Here are three of them heading for home and they all seem to be surrounded by socks of fleagulls

We also have a yacht out there over towards the Ile de Chausey. He’s picked a nice day to go out for a sail because it looked quite nice over there.

Unidentified Ship Antea English Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was scanning the horizon for more trawlers, I came across this object out at sea just off the coast of Jersey near the port of St Helier.

It certainly wasn’t one of our two freighters or a trawler – the superstructure is all wrong. And so I took a photo of it with the aim, when I’m at home, of cropping it and blowing it up (the image, not the object of course) to see if I can identify it.

Not that it was easy, but an examination of plots of ships in the area reveals that there’s a French research ship, the Antea, out there in that vicinity. And an examination of her photo reveals a superstructure quite like the superstructure of this ship here. So it may well be her

Man in Kayak Fishing From Rocks Pointe du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked on along the lawn at the Pointe du Roc I came across all of the brats. It looks as if the orienteering classes are back up and running … “very good!” – ed … again after a pause last week.

My route continued on past the Coastguard Post to the end of the headland, and looking down onto the rocks I could see that the fishermen are back again. And as usual, in the time that I was watching them, no-one actually caught anything.

We also had a kayaker out there, and I bet that he was quite cold out there this afternoon because you aren’t supposed to light a fire in your canoe. Everyone knows that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

Joly France Ferry terminal Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last year or so there have been plenty of rebuilding projects going on all over the port area.

And it looks as if they aren’t finished yet. There’s another crew over by the Ferry Terminal. They have a digger, a shipping container or skip and an assortment of all kinds of other stuff. it will be interesting to see what they are doing.

Joly France, one of the ferries that go out to the Ile de Chausey, is paying no attention whatever to the machinations. It’s the older of the two ferries – you can tell because there’s no step in the stern, the windows are smaller and the superstructure on the top deck is larger.

Autogyro Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen – or, at least, talked about – plenty of people, and we’ve seen a great deal of maritime activity too.

So let’s not go forgetting the air today. And so, our friend, the yellow autogyro who we first encountered AT THE CABANON VAUBAN in August 2018 just before I set off for the North Pole, decided to put in an appearance today.

And that reminds me – I’ve not been on a plane this year, and the only time that I set foot on the sea was our trip on the Spirit of Conrad. I don’t even think that I managed to get onto a ferry this year at all.

Mind you, it’s not good for my blood pressure to see a ferry. Every time I see one, it makes me cross.

Having finished the photos I crashed out yet again for a little while, and then had my hour on the guitar. And I’m still not enjoying it, which is a shame. But I’ll stick at it of course.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, now that I have some, followed by one of those desserts that I made yesterday.

Later on tonight I went out for my evening runs. And in pursuit of even more fitness I managed to fit in 5 runs tonight. I have to control my weight now I’m back on the intravenous drips.

St Helier Jersey Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut it really was a beautiful night tonight – one of those nights when you can see for miles and it made me wish that i’s taken the tripod. Although these next two photos don’t add up to much, the fact that I’ve taken them at all is significant.

Here we have the street lights of St Helier in Jersey reflecting off the clouds. And also, quite clear in the photograph, are the lights that are on the radio tower or whatever it is on the hills at the back of town.

And when you consider that this is a hand-held shot taken with a f1.8 50mm lens of objects that are 58 kilometres away in the pitch-dark, it’s quite something. But what would it have been like with a tripod?

Trawlers English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd pretty much the same thing might be said of this photo too.

While I was casting my eyes around trying to see what was going on out at sea, my eyes alighted yet again on something else. Three lights out at sea, presumably from working ships. My plotter seems to think that the one over to the left might be Antea, whom we encountered earlier, whereas the two brighter ones to the right might be fishing vessels.

There are in fact two in the area according to the plotter – Philcathane may well be the bright light to the left of the two, and the second one might be L’Alize III

Rue Du Nord Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there, I wasn’t just admiring the view out to sea. There were plenty of other things to see.

In the foreground of this photo is the area where the walls are crumbling away along the Rue du Nord. You can see the barrier that they have put up to stop people walking too close to the edge. It was this barrier that was swept away in Storm Alex and ended up littering the Rue du Nord.

Over in the background is the car park at the Place d’Armes, that used to be the old parade ground when all of the buildings there were Army barracks. And illuminated there is the College Malraux with its coat of scaffolding and its big banner advertisement.

If you see what looks like a diamond-shaped light, that’s the building where I live.

Marité Normandy Trader Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA couple of nights ago I mentioned that with all of the building material stacked up on the quayside, it looked as if we might be expêcting one of the Jersey freighters to arrive.

And sure enough, anchored at the quayside next to Marité underneath the loading crane is our old friend Normandy Trader. She’s obviously come into port on the afternoon tide on one of her regular runs across from St Helier.

Talking of runs, I’ve managed to do 5 tonight. Nothing particularly energetic but being back on the intravenous drip means that my weight is going to balloon up again and that’s the last thing that I want. I have to keep it down.

But not right now. It’s late and I’m off to bed. I need a good rest.