Tag Archives: cancale

Sunday 29th May 2022 – DESPITE IT BEING …

… a Sunday today, I’ve actually been rather busy. And it’s not like me on a Sunday, is it?

It actually started off like any Sunday ought to have started, by having a nice lie-in. And to a reasonable time as well. None of your middays or anything like that but I was wide awake at 10:05 and by 10:30 I was actually up and about. I’m quite happy about that.

After the medication I started to hunt down the paperwork that I need to complete my tax return. Luckily, the banks have organised themselves correctly and a search on their sites reveals something called “fiscality declarations”. It’s just a case of downloading them and then printing them off.

For a change, I can actually find my pension certificate from Belgium. Last year, my Belgian old-age pension totalled €403:58. Spend, spend, spend, hey?

Unfortunately, there’s a slight problem with my pension from the EU. I need a declaration from them about the tax-free status of my pension from them but as you might expect, their web site is down at the moment.

When I had a look a couple of days ago, the EU’s website was OK but the web site of one of the banks was down. It looks as if they are all taking it in turns to confound everyone and make our tax returns late.

After lunch I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was in the army. A group of us had to go and investigate a chimney from the inside. The vertical transition up and down was easy enough but going from side to side, horizontal transition, was difficult. I had to go first. People were keeping a close eye on what I was doing. I had to call back every couple of minutes to explain the procedure. It was quite complicated to try to move horizontally in this chimney rather than vertically so everyone was keeping close tabs on me. They were pretty impressed with my progress. Someone was telling me about the cables he’d used when he was doing it. He’d plug the electricity cables into a house’s socket but for some unknown reason that had caused certain problems and the light only worked at certain times

And then I’d been away on holiday for several weeks and had taken a whole ton of stuff with me. When I came back to the office and my car I had it all in the office with me ready to move down to the car park. Someone reminded me about a book that he’d lent me. I didn’t remember actually taking it with me. I thought that it must be at home so I went to explain to him. He started to talk to me but then went off to talk to someone else. This happened two or three times. In the end I was fed up of waiting. I went back and started to search through everything that I’d taken with me. I couldn’t find anything there that related to this book at all. There were all sorts of things like 7-inch records, tons of paperwork, all kinds of stuff. Then I thought about how I was going to take all this home. From my office to the car was quite a trek. I’d have to do about a dozen trips to move all this. I thought that I could stick it all in my storage locker and take it home bit by bit over the period of the next few days. I went off to look for a trolley to load it all on so I could take it all round to my storage locker but it was strange that I couldn’t find that book in all this stuff that I had with me. This guy only seemed to be interested in making a scene about his book rather than making genuine enquiries about where it is and what had happened to it.

And then I was also having a laugh at the daughter of my friend Erika in Atlanta, Georgia, who is just 10 years old. According to Erika’s social network, Harper was going over to a friend’s house a few buildings away.
Erika: “Ok, what do we do if someone tries to grab you?”
Harper: “Kick him in the balls and yell ‘FIRE’!”
Erika: “Ha, right, but that’s not a good word, it’s ‘testicles’.”
Harper: “Ok, kick him in the balls and yell ‘TESTICLES’!”
Erika: “You know…that might work too.”.

Kids of that age are wonderful, aren’t they?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk as usual.

There was plenty of sun this afternoon but the strong winds that we had earlier in the year are now back again. For that reason I wasn’t expecting to see too many people out there this afternoon.

And I was right as well. The wind seems to be keeping them all indoors this afternoon. Everywhere was quite deserted, even the car parks up here. It wasn’t like yesterday at all when you could hardly move around down there because of the crowds.

Nobody up in the air either. I would have expected to have seen a few Birdmen of Alcatraz out and about in this weather.

yachts ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022What else I would have expected to have seen would have been fleets of boats out there just offshore having a good run around on a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

However it looks as if everyone has now gone back to Paris now that the long weekend is over. There wasn’t anything at all just offshore. All that I could see was right out at the Ile de Chausey where there was a handful of yachts milling around this afternoon.

No speedboats, no cabin cruisers, no fishermen. “No shipwrecks and nobody drownding. In fact, nothing to laugh at at all” as the old song goes.

And so I headed off slowly down the path towards the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that can be said about the day today was that visibility was amongst the best that we have had for a while.

The other day I showed you a photo of St Helier but I can do even better than that today. Even with the naked eye I could see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel this afternoon and considering that that’s about 70kms away, that’s quite impressive.

One of these days I really will post those photos of the Cap Fréhel lighthouse that I took when we sailed down that way on Spirit of Conrad two years ago. I haven’t forgotten but like most things these days, I never seem to have the time to do anything.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday while we were out for our afternoon walk we were overflown by the air-sea rescue helicopter.

Today, someone else has had his chopper out. We were overflown by yet another helicopter as we walked across the lawn at the end of the path.

And this is a helicopter that I don’t recognise. I’m not sure whether or not we have seen it before and unfortunately from this distance I can’t read the registration number that it painted on her tail boom so I’ve no idea who she is.

All of the arrivals at the airfield this afternoon are aeroplanes whom we know for one reason or another so it’s not likely that she went in to land there.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022With no-one in my way and no cars to knock me over on the car park I had a safe passage down to the end of the headland this afternoon.

And as usual, we had a few people sitting down there on the bench by the cabanon vauban admiring the view.

Not that there was much view to admire this afternoon because there wasn’t a single boat out there in the bay this afternoon. I’ve no idea where they have all gone today, unless they have all gone home.

But there are still five weeks to go before the schools break up for summer and then we’ll know all about tourism and no mistake.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little earlier I mentioned the really good view that we were having this afternoon.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a decent view of Cancale, away across the bay in Brittany so it seemed to be the right moment to deal with that.

We were actually there five years ago and didn’t take a single photo because we couldn’t find a place to park. And then we were there with Spirit of Conrad but we never stepped ashore.

Why I was there 5 years ago was that I was looking for a hotel for the night and one came up that was 18 kilometres away “in Cancale” so I booked it. Of course, as I was to find out later, that’s 18 kms as the crow flies and I ended up driving almost 90 kms around the bay to reach the hotel

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022We had a few more fishermen out there on the rocks this afternoon.

Not engaged in the peche à pied but using a rod and line like the guy was using the other day when we saw him pull a fish out of the water. These three here didn’t have the same amount of success though but then again, I don’t think that anyone was actually expecting them to.

Mind you, one of them did have a bucket so I suppose that he was having certain expectations.

And who knows? Maybe I might have seen him catch something had I waited around long enough but I had places to go, things to do, people to see etc.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Before I head for home, I had to take a photo of the latest arrival at the chantier naval.

It’s not exactly what I would call a serious piece of maritime equipment and I’m sure that they don’t need the services of the chantier naval to do what needs to be done to it, but as Marechal MacMahon once famously, said, “j’y suis – j’y reste”.

Back here I made a coffee and started work again as I had plenty of things to do. Firstly, I had some home-made bread to make seeing as I had run out. And so I mixed up a big batch of dough and left it to proof for a while.

Before I’d gone out I’d taken the last load of dough out of the freezer and by know that had defrosted so I kneaded it, rolled it out and then pout it on the pizza tray.

By now the bread was ready for its second kneading so I dealt with that and then came in here for a bash on the guitar for a while.

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Later on the bread went into the oven and while it was baking I assembled the pizza and that went into the oven when the bread was cooked.

And here are the finished products. The pizza was quite delicious as usual – much as it pains me to say it, going back to commercial bleached flour was the right decision – and I’ll tell you about the bread at lunchtime tomorrow.

But right now I’m off to bed. I have a 06:00 start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare. High time that I organised myself better than I am doing. I’m never going to make any progress if I don’t.

Monday 18th April 2022 – THERE WAS MUCH …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 19th February 2022 – HAVING SPENT ABOUT …

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

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

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

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

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

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

And for two reasons too

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But not tomorrow. I’ll be in bed.

Monday 7th February 2022 – REGULAR READERS …

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

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

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

And that, dear reader, was that.

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

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

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

It’s not been my day, has it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Definitely not my day, is it?

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

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

Saturday 1st January 2022 – HAPPY NEW YEAR

Here’s hoping that 2022 will be a far better year than 2021. Although today’s figure of almost 220,000 infections seems to suggest that the worst is yet to come.

people pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022It’s this kind of thing that’s responsible for the incredible rate of increase in infections.

Having seen the swarms of people at the station 2 weeks ago ready to bring the virus out to the provinces and the seaside resorts, seeing people congregating like this without any kind of facemask or protection whatever will spread it like widfire.

The figures of infections and the rising numbers of deaths is well in the public domain and I really don’t know what it will take for people to grasp the seriousness of the situation.

But I console myself with the idea that if they don’t want to wear a mask, then nature will take care of them, as it usually does.

It didn’t take much care of me last night though.

It was about 03:00 when I finally went to bed. And it was about the first year since I don’t know when when I haven’t been out for a prowl around the town at midnight. I’m really not “with it” at all right now.

11:00 was a pretty good time to raise myself from the dead on a Bank Holiday despite the fact that I had been awake on numerous occasions during the night. That much is evident by the amount of voyages that I undertook during the night. I started off at a rugby match at a girls’ school and there were loads of girls there, like a couple whom I know from here and there and there was one who immediately sprang to my mind. They were playing rugby against another school. I had some of them sitting beside me and the rest were out on the field, swapping over now and again as you do. The one in particular who was in a really nice cape to keep warm who really caught my eye about all this.

And later we were back again for the third time (what happened to the second time?) with these girls and all my favourite girls were they. Saying that what an effective fighting force they would make and they would worry most men if they started getting going

Later still I was in Leclerc again shopping and all of the girls from somewhere that I couldn’t decipher were walking down the corridor behind where all of the tills are. So fancy meeting them again, and I wish that I could work out where they were from!

Meanwhile TOTGA was having problems and her car was being repossessed, a dark blue Austin 1100 and so were her other cars, including the Vanden Plas Princes that I used to own (which I still do in real life of course). She was distraught. We’d been to a dance of some sort, a group of us. There had been a flare somewhere so she and everyone else dashed out to their cars to go to help out at this fire. She ended up with her car on fire but she was still driving. An ambulance had taken a short cut, come out of a side road into the main road and hit her. It wasn’t badly damaged so the ambulance sped on its way but TOTGA ended up going to the wrong house and fighting the wrong fire. Later on we were all in a night club and she wanted to plug in some electric but all the plugs were wrong. In the end she brought an adaptor. She said that other people had used this adaptor to plug whatever it was into the mains but it was totally the wrong type. She said that what they did was to hold it against the contacts in the wall. I tried that but I had blue sparks and shocks everywhere so she agreed that it wasn’t a good idea. However it fused all of the power in the power circuit, not the light circuit. The disco ground to a halt so I thought that we had better go as this will cause a load of problems in a moment. We went outside and she came out a little later carrying a fuel can that was on fire. I shouted “put it down! Put it down!” which eventually she did. She came over and got into her car, this blue 1100. Just as we were about to set off she noticed that coming round the corner was a boy she knew from school. “Oh God! Should I tell him that this car is restored? Shall I tell him … what shall I tell him?”. Just then I let out the clutch and hit the kerb with the car. I thought “Oh God! It’s not my day either, is it?”. Then we drove off.

We eventually ended up in a night club. There was a group of us there with Jools Holland on saxophone and flute etc. I was playing the bass, piano and guitar. However, by now I was with Castor. We were playing the same music and she was full of despair about something. I was trying my best to cheer her up. Then we had to go on the stage – Duke Ellington announced us. It was an old blues number. Sometimes we played it in a contemporary fashion, sometimes we didn’t and I couldn’t remember what kind of fashion we were going to play it in tonight –

We were back on the orphanage (whichever orphanage we were in before, wherever it was) and one of the girls got up to sing and play a musical instrument, the one with glasses. She’d been all wired up to the electricity somehow and cables everywhere but the computer completely spoiled her voice. I was there with Castor. She was very upset about something but I can’t remember. Then the entertainment started. It was another girl singing, again all wired up to the mains and so on. She wasn’t much good and I was thinking “Castor should really be up there singing with all of these”.

Later still I was on my way to Canada on holiday with someone and I had to stop and pick up some money. I pulled up at the bank that I knew. It was just 09:00 and it was opening but there would be a delay as the time lock doesn’t open until 09:10 to take the money out of the safe, which was quite surprising but that’s Canada for you. So I went in. It was a little Asian girl whom I know and she was telling me all about the stresses and strains she was under. I took her in my arms and gave her a hug. We had a bit of a chat and everything but then I had to prepare to leave. There was lots more to this but I can’t remember it because I awoke in the middle of it but it was one of these dreams that I wished would go on for ever.

Next morning it was New Year’s Day and prize-making time so we sent four girls, one of whom was the blonde-haired girl whom I happened to like quite a lot to get the prize ready and everything organised. While I was watching her, one or two of them came up to me for a chat but I can’t remember anything more now about this.

Yes, it was certainly interesting last night. Stepping out of dreams and back into them later, appearances by both TOTGA and Castor, what else would I need? Apart from Kate Bush and Jenny Agutter of course. I just wish that last night could have gone on for ever.

But using the ZOOM H1 while I’m asleep is … errr … challenging, and the recoding quality of the built-in microphone is appalling. I had to make a considerable amount of editing before I could even hear what I had dictated and it took me almost all of the day.

Brunch was very appetising, with my potato fritters, baked beans and vegan sausage followed by toast and mushroom paté with buckets full of hot black coffee. I really enjoyed that today.

There was a pause from my exertions with the dictaphone for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022The first place to visit is of course the beach to see what’s happening there.

Although there won’t be very mcuh beach at all, given the state of the tide, I was still expecting to see hordes of people down there today, given what we had seen over the last couple of days.

But I was to be disappointed. It was really quite quiet down there. In fact I couldn’t actually see anyone down there today, which was a great surprise. Not even anyone going up and down the steps to the Rue du Nord.

buoy baie de granville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While I was looking down onto the beach I was also keeping an eye out in the bay to see what was happening there.

There wasn’t a boat of any description at all down there, but there was something out there that attracted my attention. It’s a yellow buoy of the type which we have seen before and relates, I think, to the yacht club over at Coudeville-Plage. But what it signifies I have no idea at all.

No-one on the beach or on the sea, but there were crowds wandering around mask-less on the path around the headland. So I set off to join them on my way down to the lighthouse at the end of the headland.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022So apart from all of the people down there at the end of the headland, what else was going on out there?

No fishing boats this afternoon because they are all still on holiday, but we did have a couple of yachts and what looks like a couple of zodiacs swanning around in the bay. When I was crossing over the car park on my way to the end of the headland I noticed them.

So there are some people out there who are making the most of the nice afternoon. I watched them for a minute or so and then carried on with my walk across the car park to the end of the path.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Earlier on with my notes I mentioned the hordes of people standing on the rocks by the bench at the cabanon vauban.

When I first saw them I wondered what it was that they were watching that had attracted their attention. When I had a good look, I couldn’t see anything particular but I did notice the beautiful sunset.

It was making a nice glossy streak of light all the way across the bay towards where I was standing. It was the kind of view that we see quite often at this time of year and it’s still quite magical even though we have seen it on several occasions.

And leaving it there to set even lower I carried on along the path on the other side of the headland towards home and my hot coffee.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, Joly France was moored up at the ferry terminal.

She’s the older one of the two, without the step in the stern. The other one is moored up with Belle France and Chausiaise in the inner harbour.

There were plenty of people walking around over there on the harbour wall too this afternoon and again, from what I can see, there were no facemasks over there either. I wonder what I’ll do when I find people wearing facemasks … “Find something else to moan about, I shouldn’t wonder” – ed.

sunset baie de mont st michel cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way back home I had a look over my shoulder to see what was happening behind me.

Although the sunset streaming through the clouds was nothing like as impressive as it has been just recently, it was illuminating the Brittany coast and in particular the town of Cancale like something out of a film set.

Back at the apartment I had the coffee that was waiting for me, along with a mince pie (I still have a couple left) and then carried on with my dictaphone notes.

Tea tonight was another Christmas dinner with all kinds of steamed veg, roast potatoes and seitan slices. And so tomorrow there will be more leeks and sprouts to freeze, although where I’m going to put them is something else completely. There isn’t even half an inch of room.

But that’s for tomorrow. Right now, late as it is, I’m off to bed. It’s Sunday tomorrow so I can have yet another lie in.

Sunday 26th December 2021 – IT REALLY IS …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The work is piling up, isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And isn’t that the Kiss of Death?

Sunday 14th November 2021 – ONE OF THE BEST …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 22nd October 2021 – WE’VE HAD AN …

F-PAIA - Henri Nicollier HN 700 Ménestrel II pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… aerial day today. After having gone several weeks without being overflown, I seem to have hit the jackpot today.

The first aeroplane to oveflow me as I passed along the path on the south side of the headland was this one, registration number F-PAIA.

She’s a French Henri Nicollier HN 700 Ménestrel II aeroplane, the “II” representing the fact that she’s a 2-seater craft. They are designed for home building and this particular model was first built in 1969. She’s powered by a 60 kW (80 hp) Limbach L2000 flat four engine.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The second object to flying by overhead is one of our old favourites.

As I was perched with my elbows on the wall taking a photo of the port area I could hear the familiar sound heading my way from the direction of the Mont St Michel and the only thing that I needed to know was its colour.

So today we have the yellow powered hang-glider going past overhead on its way presumably to the airport with a passenger on board. It’s nice to see a familiar face after all of this time.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The French have a saying “jamais deux sans trois” – “never two without a third” – and sure enough, there was something else in the air heading my way as I headed for home.

This time it’s one of the Birdmen of Alcatraz aboard his Nazgul going out for a quiet flap in the afternoon’s wind. Although the storms of earlier in the week have died out, it’s still fairly windy outside.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’d had another absolutely dreadful night. And this time I suppose that I ought to blame all of the coffee that I drank while I was out radioing yesterday evening. It doesn’t usually affect me that much from a “lack of sleep” point of view but it must have done last night.

However I forgot to set the alarm this morning so it was 08:05 when I finally crawled out of bed and the extra time in bed must have done me some good.

After the medication I had to check the mails and messages and that took some time because there is plenty going on right now and there were several mails to deal with. And then I had to attend to yesterday’s journal entry. It was 23:30 when I came home yesterday evening and that’s far too late to start work.

My work was interrupted by a phone call. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I wrote a couple of blistering letters to a couple of people a couple of weeks ago. It’s now provoked a response and I have … errr … accepted a cash settlement.

But then I noticed that the glass bottle that exploded several months ago has cracked the screen on the TV. Not that I use it very much at all but it just goes to show that what comes in with one hand goes out with the other.

More stuff on the dictaphone too. Some bossy woman was organising a party. Crowds of people were there and a lot of my family were there. We were waiting and waiting, then the person with me said that we had to go as we couldn’t wait any longer. Regrettably I went to get myself ready but just then everyone turned up. People came in and more people came in. Everyone started to talk to me and mentioned that they would come along to my wedding in the morning. I thought that at this rate it was so late this this wedding was just not going to take place, is it? A baby had disappeared a couple of years ago and there was something else that went missing and we had to look in the barn for it. The barn was even worse and more untidy than mine. We entered the barn and started to look for it and found this mummified cadaver of this baby while we were doing it. There was something about the clothes that it was wearing. What we found with this baby was that it seemed to be wearing different clothes so we wondered if in fact it was the same baby or a different one. Everyone came to see how we were and some woman, this bossy woman came in and started talking to me. I said to her “do you know that we’ve found this baby?”. She said “really?”. I said “yes. You’re standing on it” which she actually was. She just went “eeww! I hate babies” and going on like that, not really concerned by the fact that this was a dead baby at all.

And later we were somewhere watching Boris Johnson or Donald Trump, I can’t remember now, ruining a grant. When I looked round, the person standing next to me shaking her head was Angela Merkel. We had a bit of a discussion about it but I can’t remember anything else now.

After lunch, I had my medical expense claims to deal with and you have no idea how many there were. In fact by the time I knocked off I still hadn’t done them all. But I’m going to have to finish them tomorrow because a couple will be timed out if I’m not careful.

And look for the expense receipts from October last year that seem to have gone missing.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021This afternoon I was only a few minutes late in going for my afternoon walk around the headland.

First stop is of course the wall at the end of the car park so off I trotted to peer over and down onto the beach.

Right now there is plenty of beach to be on, with the tide being so far out. And there were quite a few people taking advantage of it as well.

It’s also interesting to see that many of the rough ripples that were created by the storm earlier in the week have been smoothed out by the subsequent action of the tide.

peche à pied beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There wasn’t anything at all going on out at sea – not a single boat anywhere.

However there was something moving about on a pretty inaccessible part of the beach amongst all of the rocks so I took a photo.

What we have here is someone who has been at the pèche à pied, armed with a bucket and a scratching stick. And by the look of his bucket from here, I would say that he has a fair old load of shellfish in there.

That’s what they call “flexing your mussels”.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There ere only half a dozen other people out there on the path this afternoon so I had a comfortable walk along the path to the end of the headland.

The sun is sinking quite low now over there to the west and the town of Cancale was looking really splendid silhouetted against the sky and the setting sun.

One of these days, when I can summon up the courage, I’ll carry on with my task of writing about my adventures on board the Spirit of Conrad while we were over there and I’ll show you all of the photos so that you can see exactly what it is that you are supposed to be able to see from here.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was at the end of the headland, I looked down onto the bench by the Cabanon Vauban

There wasn’t anyone sitting there this afternoon but there were a couple of people scrambling around on the rocks with their equipment for the pèche à pied.

Having seen the ripples on the beach the other day, what I imagine is going through the minds of these people is that all kinds of shellfish has been torn from the sea bed and thrown up onto the rocks so they are going about scavening to see what they can find for themselves.

storm damaged tree boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And although I don’t know for sure, I suspect that this is storm damage just here.

It looks as if the wind has torn a couple of branches off the tree here at the side of the Boulevard Vaufleury and they have been busy cutting it up ready to take it away.

had this been the Auvergne, there would have been none of that wood left there by now. It would have all disappeared off into someone’s woodshed drying out ready for next winter.

Wood is a pretty valuable commodity over there and people seize every possible opportunity to lay their hands on as much as they can obtain.

trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So I continued on my walk around the headland and down the path towards the port.

And there has been a change of occupant in the chantier naval since we drove past there yesterday. The big yacht and the Government boat (well, I assume that it’s a Government boat) Les Epiettes have gone back into the water.

Instead, there’s a trawler come in to take its turn in there. Although I can’t see her name anywhere, I can tell from her registration number that she’s the Yann Frederic and she sails out of this port.

We’ve seen her before – about 6 weeks ago when she spent a week or so in the chantier naval.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was here I had a look over at the ferry terminal to see what was happening.

There’s just one boat in there this afternoon – one of the Joly France ferries that go over to the Ile de Chausey. We can see that there’s no step in the stern so she would be the older one of the two boats.

And for once, they have folded up the crane correctly, just as it’s supposed to. And I suppose that the hydraulic seals are very grateful for the rest that they are having right now.

jade 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Just one more item caught my attention while I was out this afternoon.

We’ve talked a lot about boats being parked in the NAABSA (Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground) position, and here’s one in a position that we don’t see very often.

She’s Jade III and why she’s parked there I don’t know. usually it’s to carry out some simple repair or to empty some of the contents out of the boat into a waiting vehicle.

But what I’m imagining is the strength that must be in those ropes to hold her there like that. It’s a good job that she’s a catamaran.

Back here at the apartment I had a coffee and carried on with my medical expenses until teatime.

There was some stuffing left over from my stuffed peppers earlier in the week so I finished that off with some taco rolls. And now I’m listening to MY LIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL.

Don’t worry if you missed it, by the way. It’s repeated on Saturday night too – 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK Time and 15:00 Toronto time. Enjoy!

Thursday 9th September 2021 – HAVE A LOOK …

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… at this photo of Le Loup, the marker light at the entrance to the port here.

And then, have a look at THIS ONE that I took two days ago when I was out on my rounds.

Can you see the difference? It’s pretty impressive, isn’t it? Not for nothing do I say that right outside my front door are some of the highest tides in Europe –
“Here’s €5:00”
“Right outside my front door are some of the highest tides in Europe”.

It’s no surprise that we can have ships the size of the gravel boats coming into the harbour when they did, with that depth of water underneath them.

photo in doctors surgery Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And here’s another photo – one that has an interesting story behind it.

My social networking site is pretty much flooded with adverts these day – as if the owners don’t already have enough money. I only have to mention something, no matter how indirectly, and I’m immediately swamped with adverts about it.

Photography is one of the things that features quite a lot on my pages and so I’m swamped with photography adverts. One of them that features more than most is an advert for a piece of post-processing software, and I was convinced that I’d previously seen the photograph somewhere else.

Sure enough, there stuck up on the wall at the doctor’s surgery is exactly the same photo, only with text and graphics added. I was planning on doing a screenshot of the advert so that you could compare the two, but of course, today is the first day for about a Century when it hasn’t appeared.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself once more. Let’s start at the very beginning.

When the alarm went off, I fell out of bed again and staggered into the kitchen. Although the night hadn’t been all that late, it certainly felt like it.

Back in here after the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d caught Covid last night, and so had a few people. I was somewhere in Stoke on Trent and somehow it had come amongst us. I wasn’t feeling particularly too bad so I was still working. A former friend of mine who features occasionally in some of my voyages featured in this one too and he was talking about getting a shop somewhere on one of these shopping estates on a council estate somewhere where they did wi-fi and something like that that he could do. He had spoken to a couple of people about doing different things with it but it was never going to be serious. He was wondering about what phones you sold, who you sell them to and what programs you put on them, all that kind of thing. It carried on from there but I awoke in a sweat and half the stuff that I had dreamt had disappeared.

Somewhere along the line I was on a bus trip with a group of young guys. I don’t remember very much about this at all.

Later on it was another one of these “I was leaving work” dreams. I’d had a pile of boxes delivered to me. My brother was there. He said “at least this one here we ought to be dealing with before I left. So we opened it and there were tins of food in to, small fish like anchovies and a few tins of picked onions, olives and whatever. I asked him to open the tins and we’ll set them out to make some kind of buffet. Every time ha opened a tin we has helping himself to some stuff so I smacked him on the hand and took the tins away from him and had a word with him about it. A couple of minutes later some army colonel or someone came past. He started to take a lump of pie crust so I slapped him on the hand and said something about people pinching all of this food before we’ve even set it out so he went to take an olive so I gave him a resounding smack across the hand even though he was a colonel. This smack echoed around just about everywhere it was so hard.

But as I mentioned the other day, I’m having a lot of night sweats just recently. It’s something about which they always ask me at the hospital and I keep a kind-of informal note to remind myself for when they ask.

There was also time to wade into the pile of arrears and now there are only two left. That’s tomorrow morning’s task, I reckon, in between making the bread for lunch as I have now run out.

joly france belle france fishing boat ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When it was time, I headed off out to the doctor’s for my appointment.

Of course, I took the camera with me, which was just as well because over at the ferry terminal this morning we have a “full house” of Ile de Chausey ferries.

From left to right, we have the newer of the two Joly France boats, in the centre is the brand-new Belle France and to the right, we have the older Joly France boat. You can tell the difference between them when they are together like this.

It looks as if they are going to be having a very busy day if they are all over there like that.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And it looks as if we have a full house too!

Here in the inner harbour tied up to the harbour pontoon is the little Ile de Chausey freighter Chausiaise. It seems that whatever plans that they have for today, the plans don’t include her.

My plans though are to go down to the doctor’s for my appointment. Whose silly idea was it foe me to have a doctor’s appointment for 08:30?

At the doctor’s I saw the photo that I mentioned earlier, and we had quite a lengthy chat about things.

He thinks that I have a heart issue, which accords with what the hospital has told me. But while the hospital is content to sit back and let things develop, he’s going to try to fit me in with a heart specialist as soon as he can.

He is also interested in my lungs too, and reckons that I ought to go for a pulmonary X-ray. He’s given me a prescription.

And then there’s a full and complete blood test (which should be interesting as the laboratory here always seems to come up with figures different to those of Leuven). The nurse is coming to do that tomorrow morning early.

The bad news though is that despite everything, he’s told me that this illness has some kind of cumulative effect. So once I start to struggle, the more tired I become and it makes me struggle to keep going so that wears me out even more and it’s a downward-spiralling effect.

This illness was diagnosed in November 2015 although I reckon that I had it for a while before then. People have died of this illness long before 6 or so years of suffering, so I suppose that I’m well ahead of the game. I’m just going to do my best to get further ahead.

It reminds me about the German Emperor, was it one of the Frederick Williams, who was complaining to his doctor about the treatment he was receiving.
“I can’t make you any younger” said the doctor.
“I don’t want you to” replied the Emperor, “as long as you succeed in making me older”.

Down at the chemist’s, I was staggered by the price of the injections. The next four cost e210:00 in total.

And we hit an unexpected snag too. This is a “special request” medication that can’t be prescribed by a GP – only by a specialist. I need my prescription from the hospital, which I didn’t have with me. And as it’s a foreign hospital in a foreign language, it wouldn’t be acceptable.

However, there is always a work-around. I’m a private patient with a private health insurance from my former employers, not from the State, so it doesn’t go through the State system. My prescription from the hospital will do and she’ll let the supplier worry about it.

On the way back home I bumped into a neighbour so we had a chat and then I came home for my coffee. I needed it.

Back here I set to work on the radio programme that I’m planning for the end of the year. Much as it is regrettable, I don’t want to do the interviews myself because it’ll end up as being perceived as “whining Brits” and that’s exactly what I want to avoid.

Someone else who works at the radio is quite amenable and I get on well with him so we had an internet chat throughout the morning about my plans and eventually we arranged to meet on Sunday afternoon.

What was this about “never working on a Sunday?”.

But to be serious, I’m off to Leuven on Wednesday and if I don’t set things in motion before I go, I’m going to be missing out on a whole week and maybe more, and I don’t have the time to waste.

While I was at it, I paid the motor insurance on Strider. I went a whole year last year without even seeing him, never mind driving him, because I couldn’t get to Canada. It’s probably going to be the same this year too but it can’t be helped.

After all that, I crashed out in my chair until lunchtime. It’s just amazing how tired you can become.

After lunch I had another go at some of the arrears and a journal entry from last week that was left unfinished is now on line. Not only that, I’m well on the way to catching up with another one too. I suppose that I’ll be up-to-date just in time to go off to Leuven and create yet more arrears.

Just wait until I have to add back about three weeks’ worth of nocturnal voyages.

chantier naval port de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021by now it was time for me to head off to the chemists to pick up my injections, taking the original prescription with me.

It struck me as I was going around the corner that we haven’t had a view of the chantier naval from this viewpoint for quite a while so seeing as I had the big NIKON D500 with me, I put that right.

Still the same seven boats in there from yesterday. There’s no change. Still, you can’t win a coconut every time, can you? Anyway, there’s no room now to fit in anyone extra.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down the hill to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour, I noticed that there’s more activity going on there.

Having seen Thora in port yesterday and take away all of the freight, they are busy now piling up some more. Maybe this means that Normandy Trader will be coming in very soon to take it all away.

Meanwhile, down at the berth usually occupied by Marité, there’s no activity there at all because she’s no longer there. Put to sea as soon as the gates opened earlier, I reckon.

She’s still finding things to do even though the tourists have gone home and people are at work or at school.

Down at the chemist’s they had my products so I picked them up and hurried back here to put them in the fridge. However I bumped into yet another neighbour and I had to spend a couple of minutes being sociable regardless.

trawler baie de mont st michel cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way up the hill in the Rue des Juifs I stopped at the viewpoint to have a little rest and look out at the sea.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a trawler operating deep in the Baie de Mont St Michel. Today, there’s another one working there, but lower down the bay nearer to the sea.

You can see the town of Cancale in the background. It’s looking quite nice this afternoon in the sun, although nowhere near as splendid as it did that morning a few weeks ago when it was all lit up by the sun.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Seeing as I’m out and it’s the right time of the afternoon, I went to have a look at the beach.

The tide is well out by now but there aren’t all that many people down there. I suppose that most people with any time to spare have gone off for a lap around the bay on board Marité.

So I came back inside, put my injections into the fridge and made myself a banana smoothie. Then I came back in here to carry on with the work that I’d been doing before I went out.

Tea tonight was a chick-pea and potato curry with rice. It was quite nice too, although not very spicy. I could have done with some more to liven it up a little.

Now that I’ve finished, I’m off for an early night. I have the nurse coming for my blood test, I have bread to bake, and then in the afternoon I have the physiotherapist.

But I’m impressed that my doctor is taking such an interest in me.

Thursday 26th August 2021 – THERE HAS BEEN …

… a calamity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I digress … “again” – ed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just my luck, isn’t it?

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

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

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

Bizarre.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sadly, she also has an auxiliary engine.

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

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

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

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

Friday 13th August 2021 – I WAS WRONG …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 29th June 2021 – MY CHOCOLATE PUDDING …

… is absolutely delicious.

This morning after the medication I mixed a pile of bread dough and left it to fester in its own time

home baked bread chocolate cake place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd after my breakfast of fruit cake, toast and hot chocolate (made with real chocolate of course) I gave the bread a second kneading, shaped it and put it in the mould that I use.

While it was festering I made the chocolate cake mix and put it in a deep baking tray lined with baking paper. When the bread mix had risen enough I put both the bread and the chocolate cake mix in the oven.

When everything was cooked I took the cake, cut it in half, layered the halves with jam and joined the two halves together in a sandwich and left it to cool.

The bread was delicious of course but my cake was just so exquisite with some of the chocolate sauce that I make. I’ll make some more of this, that’s for sure.

While all of this was going on, I was working on my photos from August 2019. For a change I made good progress and I’m now in my hotel in Toronto waiting to leave for my plane to take me to Greenland.

One of the photos that I edited was of THE CHURCH IN WINNIPEG where my grandmother was married in 1918 and another one was of THE STAGE IN THE METROPOLITAN THEATRE where she shared the top of the bill in 1922 with Lon Chaney and Jackie Coogan.

Some of the time was also spent revising my Welsh – even though we’re on holiday until September I don’t want to forget what I’ve learnt so I’m going to spend maybe half an hour a day revising. In fact I might have spent more time working on my Welsh had I not crashed out rather comprehensively.

Lunch was as a consequence rather late, although my fresh bread was delicious, and then I carried on with the photos until it was time for me to go for my afternoon walk. And no girl hanging around the doorway today either.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call as usual was to go and look to see what was going on down on the beach so I took myself off across the car park to stick my head over the top of the wall

The tide was on its way out by the looks of things and so there was a reasonable amount of beach to be on. And there were a few people down there as well, and that’s not much of a surprise because the good weather has come back.

Not quite well enough for a session of sunbathing although when we were out of the wind it was quite warm and pleasant. Pleasant enough to loiter around on the rocks and wait until tonight when the tide will come back in.

people swimming in medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of other activity going on elsewhere on the beach.

While I was taking the photo of the people on the beach in the previous photograph I was casting my eyes around to look for anything else and they alighted on some people having fun over on the beach at the Plat Gousset.

The tidal swimming pool isn’t visible from here but the medieval fish trap is. And as well as being full of fish, it’s also full of people swimming around and being buzzed by a seagull while they were at it. They seem to get everywhere, these birds. And so do the swimmers too. They seem to be enjoying themselves in the fish trap. I hope that the fish don’t mind.

ships approaching st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallToday was one of those days where we could see for miles, which is rather a change from the last few days.

The island of Jersey was quite clearly visible today even if it is 58 kilometres away from me. But I wasn’t as interested in the island as I was in what was going on in the sea just off-shore from the island.

There were several boats sailing around just offshore and it’s very rare that you can actually see them from here. And if you look to the right of centre there’s a boat that has the same profile as the Commodore ro-ro ferries that ply between St Malo, Portsmouth and the various Channel islands although I’ve not been able to identify which one.

buildings at st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather was so clear that I could actually see the individual buildings in St Helier.

The big round white building that we can see is, I reckon, the View Bar and Supplement store at Fort Regent on the edge of the harbour. The smaller white building to the left is, I think, a building at the harbourside occupied by a firm of accountants.

As for the big tall structure at the left-hand edge of the photo, I’ve not been able to identify that. And I shan’t be able to for quite a while yet because with no way to get out to the Channel Islands right now as long as the Covid epidemic rages, I can’t get any closer.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there’s no difficulty at all identifying this view.

With the air being so clear today, I was expecting to have a good view out across the bay to the Brittany coast. And so after having admired the Channel Islands, I set off down the path and across the car park to the far end of the headland to see what was going on.

The town of Cancale was exceptionally clear this afternoon. That’s 18 kilometres away as the crow flies but to actually drive there it’s about 60 kilometres, as I know only too well having been caught out by that when I first came here.

No fishing boats out there today which was a surprise, and so I headed off down the path.

trawlers philcathane yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were crowds of people this afternoon at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour so I had to jostle for a view. But at least the path was a lot drier this afternoon than it was yesterday.

There’s been a change of occupancy in the chantier navale today. The trawler Philcathane and the yacht Rebelle are still in there but they’ve been joined by another trawler. She’s carrying the same colour scheme as L’Alize 3 although without being to read any name, I’m not able to say.

So I had to wait for the people to move away before I could take a photo. And then I could move off along the path. There wasn’t anything else going on in the outer harbour to hold my attention.

marite big wheel products on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was however plenty of activity in the inner harbour today.

Maité was in there today and she was surrounded by a pile of people who might be schoolchildren wearing something yellow that might be lifejackets.

And it looks as if we are going to be having a visit from one of the Channel Island freighters, either Thora or Normandy Trader, because there’s a pile of freight on the quayside down there, including a boat still in its shrink-wrapping for transport to its destination.

The Big Wheel wasn’t going round though while I was watching. Maybe there aren’t any customers waiting for a ride around.

But I headed off back home for my afternoon coffee. And while I was waiting for the kettle to boil I cut the vegan meat pie into slices and put them in the freezer along with the remaining apple pie that might be eaten one of these days..

And later on I crashed out yet again.

Guitar practice was quite good and then I went for tea – rice with an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit followed by my cake and chocolate sauce. And then a huge pile of washing-up.

Now I’m off to bed because I’m exhausted. I don’t know why I’m so tired today. Here’s hoping I’ll have a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday 14th April 2021 – I AM NOW …

… a proper, legal, registered citizen of France.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 6th April 2021 – JUST IN CASE …

trawler heading out to sea english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… you are wondering what the weather was like this afternoon when I was out for my afternoon walk, this photograph will tell you everything that you will need to know.

You can see the white caps on the waves as this trawler batters its way out to sea. Th wind from the north-east was probably about as strong as it has been for the last few weeks and despite, or maybe even because of the bright blue sky with barely a cloud visible, it was absolutely freezing out there. I was dressed in my winter clothing and I was absolutely perishing out there.

But let us turn to this morning, such as there was of it because having broken the habits of a lifetime and spent a Bank Holiday working, and with no Welsh lesson this morning, I had a lie-in instead.

And it was necessary too because it wasn’t until about 04:30 this morning that I felt myself dropping off to sleep.

Juqt for a change I’m not going to tell you what time I awoke because it’s rather embarrassing. But there was plenty of time to go off on a nocturnal ramble. So first thing after the medication was to transcribe the dictaphone notes from yesterday and today.

Yesterday’s are now on line for those of you who missed them but as for this morning I was at work in a new office somewhere. We were talking about the training and so on that we were getting. Someone was talking about how in a previous job she had to answer the phone and it had taken her 6 months to learn how the switchboard operated. I explained about my job where i worked once and just put at the switchboard and told how to work it out. They all looked astonished and asked why. I explained that in that job you just basically did everything and they wouldn’t wait a minute on saving a penny to make sure that the fewest number of people did the most amount of work there. The work drifted on, talking, and I was watching a video of some people assembling some things. They were using soldering, electric TIG welding and a few other bits and pieces to do these jobs. I was soldering mine and I wasn’t much good at it. I thought that I’d have a go at TIG welding one of these days when I had a moment. This conversation was going on and this guy looked up and saw me soldering. He said “God! Soldering! Did you do that?” I replied “soldering? That’s nothing! Just wait until I bring a plasma cutter in here!”

After that I went for lunch – porridge and toast which was very nice, followed by hot chocolate again. And then I attacked the radio programme from yesterday. Now that’s corrected and all runs together pretty well. In fact it’s even better than it was before.

The rest of the day, such as it was, was spent dealing with the photos of August 2019. I’ve dealt with the photos that I should have done yesterday and half of today’s batch. I’ll hopefully do the other half tomorrow along with tomorrow’s batch.

Right now, I’ve been to the site of the Waggon Box Fight in Story, Wyoming, and I’m now pulling up at the gates of Fort Phil Kearny, the scene of a disaster that befell the US Army that was second only to the humiliation of Little Big Horn.

There was a break for my afternoon walk of course, and I actually made it outside on time too.

people on the beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing to do was to look over the wall at the end of the car park down onto the beach below and to see what there was going on.

Actually, today there wasn’t all that much beach to look down upon. The tide was quite well in just now. Nevertheless there were a few people down there sitting on the rocks. But pretty soon there will be one person less down there because someone was making for the steps that lead back up to the Rue du Nord. He’s clearly had enough of the weather this afternoon.

And it won’t be long before the other people join him in climbing up to the street because the tide will be there in a very short space of time and they will need to make good their escape.

jersey english channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite the bitter, wild wind this afternoon the views out to sea were terrific.

Away in the distance we could see the island of Jersey quite clearly. And it’s been a good few weeks since we’ve seen that. It wasn’t so clear that we could see the buildings of St Helier, something that we can do every now and again. We’ll need a better day than this in order to do that.

Once more, there were very few people around this afternoon on the path so I made my way quite freely along the top of the cliffs without anyone else getting in my way – quite a novelty for just recently.

trawler le coelacanthe english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I was going about my business along the path on top of the cliffs, around the corner of the headland another trawler came a-chugging.

From my viewpoint I could see that it was one of he trawlers whom we know very well, and on enlarging the photo when I returned home later I discovered that it’s our old friend Le Coelacanthe

In fact there were several trawlers heading out to sea today, not just the two that we have seen so far. It seems that the Easter break is now over and with the ink now dry on the agreement to prolong access to the Channel Islands fisheries for the local boats, they are all heading out that way to take advantage of the situation.

man sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound on the other side of the headland we were in the shadow of the wind so it was reasonably warn there. This gave one or two people the opportunity to sit down on a bench and admire the view.

Not that there was very much of a view to admire right now because all of the trawlers that had set out from port had passed the headland and were now well out at sea, hidden from view by the headland. There wasn’t anything else going on in the bay and while the Brittany coast and Cancale might look really nice, it’s not exactly riveting over there.

To such an extent that I pushed off along the headland path towards the viewpoint over the port.

anakena hermes 1 lys noir notre dame de cap lihou aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the viewpoint I had a good look down to the chantier navale to see what was going on down there this afternoon.

And we have a change in occupancy down there today.Hermes I, which I suspected was being prepared to go back into the water is still there up on her blocks along with Anakena, Lys Noir and Aztec Lady but they have now been joined by Notre Dame de Cap Lihou, the local lifeboat.

While I was watching her they were revving up her engine and two guys down there were observing the smoke that was coming out of her exhaust. Another couple of men were spraying her hull with a pressure washer while a couple more were examining a part of her superstructure.

So what’s the matter with her then?

crane ferry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was even more activity going on over at the ferry port.

Chausiais is over there right up at the end of the quay but there are none of the Joly France boats were there. However the red crane is partially extended so it must be doing something interesting.

Just for a change just recently I wasn’t overflown by any aeroplanes this afternoon. I was able to come home quite tranquilly for my hot coffee and to carry on my work editing the photographs.

That took me up to guitar time where I had an enjoyable time working out the chords to Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore”. Of course I don’t have Sandy Denny here to help me, but this would be just the kind of thing that Castor would be able to do were she here.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with rice followed by a slice of my jam roly-poly and soya coconut dessert. And I’ll tell you something, and that is that the roly-poly is cooked to perfection and it tasted absolutely delicious. That was a good idea for dessert, that was.

Now that my notes are written, I’m off to bed. The alarm is set for the morning and I’m due to restart work properly so I need to have a really good sleep and be on top form.

That’s not going to be easy because if I can crash out like I did today after all of this sleep and a late start to the day, I can certainly do that with a 06:00 start, can’t I?