Tag Archives: cap lihou

Thursday 26th May 2022 – I’M QUITE SURE THAT …

… this physiotherapist is doing her best to finish me off. This afternoon our session finished with 10 minutes on the exercise bicycle and she programmed it so that the final few minutes were at the maximum resistance and I really struggled to make any headway.

The other day I mentioned something about staggering out of the building close to death and that’s just how I felt today.

But all in all I’m feeling pretty dismayed by what is going on with me right now. For the last few sessions she’s had me standing on one leg balancing with my eyes closed, something that has been a dismal failure.

And there I was in the past, scrambling over scaffolding, along beams and rafters, reroofing houses, reflooring bedrooms without any problems of balance at all. I don’t know what’s happened to me just recently but it seems as if I can’t really do anything as I used to in the past and all the enjoyment that I had out of doing things like this has gone. I’m in a bad way.

At least it seems that having abandoned that medication I can actually get up in the morning now. Once again I managed to leave the bed as the first alarm call went off at 07:30. That’s certainly an improvement from 10 days ago so I suppose that I ought to be thankful for that.

And after the medication I spent most of the day working on my Welsh course, making a table for the past and future tenses of the most common verbs and trying my best to learn them. And it’s not easy because I have a teflon brain. Nothing sticks to it.

Rosemary rang me this morning for a chat as well and we had another one of our marathon sessions on the ‘phone. As well as breakfast and lunch and a coffee here and there, I also had a shower. I must make myself nice and pretty for my physiotherapy session.

gerlean l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Eventually it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk across town for the physiotherapist.

And once again, we seem to be playing “Musical Ships” this afternoon. Gerlean is still there from yesterday but Nais who was there the last time that we looked has now disappeared.

In her place, L’Omerta was now coming back into port to tie up at the fish processing plant where we usually see her. I don’t suppose that she can keep away.

There’s another smaller boat tied up there in front of Gerlean but I don’t think that she has anything to do with the fishing trade, and neither does the van that’s pulling up on the lower level, unless she’s going to be doing some repairs on one of the boats.

cranes freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022We’ve seen a couple of the little Jersey freighters in port over the last couple of days.

Thora in there yesterday and between her and Normandy Warrior, they seem to have cleared away all of the backlog of freight that had built up over the last week or two.

But those two little mini-containers are quite interesting. They are of the type that Thora carries on her deck, presumably to transport high-value goods, and they have been dropped onto the quayside waiting for someone to come and take them away.

And no Marité. I don’t know where she’s gone but she’s making a good trip of it.

chez maguie bar ephemere place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And finally, the Bar Ephemere, Chez Maguie is open on the Place Pelley.

It’s been installed for a couple of weeks now but today was the first time that I’ve seen it actually open with the crowds of clients loitering around. But no boulonauts this afternoon, which is a surprise.

Going down the Rampe du Monte à Regret, I was almost squidged by a cyclist who took it upon himself to cycle down there. They seem to think that everything is permitted here in Granville.

And it wasn’t just me either. It’s a Bank Holiday today so there were crowds of people in the town today, all at risk from errant cyclists.

kiddies roundabout place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And here’s a thing!

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there has been quite some controversy about the kiddies’ roundabout that appears every now and again on the Place Charles de Gaulle, with claims that it’s over-size and forcing pedestrians to walk in the road.

The on that is the subject of all of these issues is a pink one, but today we have another one, a yellow one, and this is definitely smaller than the pink one.

So the question is, is this a permanent replacement for the pink one or just a temporary one? Watch this space.

The walk up the hill to the physiotherapist’s was a struggle this afternoon. A real struggle. And apart from that I found that I’d forgotten my fitbit, forgotten my pouch thing with my wallet and cards, forgotten almost everything.

And my physiotherapist is away for a few days so she’s had to shuffle my schedules around.

When she finished with me she threw me out and I staggered off down the hill in agony. I’m really not doing too well right now

royal enfield motorcycle rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It was a long and weary road going through the town and back up the hill towards home.

But at least there was something for me to admire while I stopped to catch my breath. A more modern version of an early 1960s Real Oilfield.

When they stopped producing them in the UK in the late 60s they sold the design and the presses to India who manufactured them and once they had ironed out the notorious British quality control issues, began to import them back into Europe.

My friend in Munich has one and I’ve mee mulling over the idea of treating myself to something like this or even a Triumph baby Trident but I can’t even pick myself up if I fall over, never mind a motorbike as well.

cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There were a couple of trawlers on their way into the har bour as I walked up the hill.

One of them went off to by the Fish Processing Plant but the second one came into the inner harbour to tie up at the pontoon here.

She’s Cap Lihou, a trawler whom we have seen on several occasions in the past. By the looks of things she’s one of the last trawlers to come into port this afternoon.

Having recovered my breath for a moment and waved “hello” at one of my neighbours heading down the hill, I carried on with my struggle up the bank towards home.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Instead of going inside for my coffee I carried on across the car park to have a look at what was going on down on the beach.

Surprisingly, because it wasn’t a very nice day this afternoon, there were quite a few people down there on the beach this afternoon.

It’s probably something to do with the fact that it’s a Bank Holiday in France today. The Month of May is full of Bank Holidays – we have May 1st, and then VE Day, and then Ascension followed by Pentecost. That explains the crowds.

There were crowds of people on the path up here too, and judging by the number plates of the cars, I bet that half the cars on our private car park were nothing to do with the occupants of the apartments either.

trawler fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was up here I had, as usual, a look out to sea to see what was happening there

There was the last of the trawlers over there on the left on its way back to the harbour and there was one of the shell-fishing boats making its way back too but that was about that.

So having satisfied my curiosity I headed back to my apartment for a coffee and where I rather regrettably fell asleep for a short while. And cold coffee isn’t my cup of tea, I’m afraid.

Once I’d recovered I had a listen to the dictaphone. The first voyage had something to do with Spanish exploration in the Golden Age with the three cities of Asturias … “which is actually a Province” – ed … Barcelona and I can’t remember the third that were on some kind of promontory or peninsula. All the boats had set out from there and gone off and discovered all different parts of the World and so on. These towns are really famous as far as Spanish history went as a result but I awoke quite quickly in this dream so I couldn’t really find out much about it.

And then I was in Stoke on Trent at a big factory complex that had been built in an old quarry. They were demolising it and as they were knocking it down to the ground where this quarry had been infilled they were pulling out all kinds of lorries, plant and machinery etc that had been used as infill. I was astonished by all of this stuff. I thought that it was brilliant. They told me that part of the grounds had been an old Primary School and when the area had become depopulated they had taken it over and demolished it. They told me how they had demolished it. The wall had gone and it had turned into a nature garden before completely removing it to make it into an industrial property etc. It was really quite fascinating. But I couldn’t get over all these lorries that were buried in the side of this quarry as infill and had been backfilled all around.

But when the alarm went off I was busy telling Liz the story about someone I once knew in Stoke on Trent who had bought a few houses for cash in a subsidence zone. They were really dreadful houses but he was hoping to build up a property portfolio of them. They really were in awful condition. That was as far as I reached when the alarm went off.

And that was a pity. Had I started to tell that story a few minutes earlier, I might actually have met up with Zero. I’ve not had any of my young lady friends accompany me for ages and I’m missing them terribly. I really must improve my aim

Tea tonight was steamed veg with falafel with vegan cheese sauce, and very nice it was too. But right now I’m off to bed. Wishing myself sweet dreams but somehow I don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm that I had a while ago.

And don’t forget, on Friday and Saturday at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK time, 15:00 Toronto time, one of the five best live concerts of all time. BO NOT MISS A MINUTE

Thursday 3rd March 2022 – REGULAR READERS …

footpath repaired place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… of this rubbish will recall that the other day i made a few scathing remarks about the 5lack of° repair to the footpath on the top of the cliffs just down the road from here.

And so of course, it goes without sating that at some point between Tuesday afternoon and the afternoon today, they came back and repaired it.

Of course I would like to brag that they obviously must have read my journal entry, but I can’t really claim it as a victory for me.

Mind you, I wish that they would have rolled it because with the rain that we have had, it was like walking in porridge.

bicycle shelter under repair place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022So that was the situation about the path. How’s the bike shed doing today?

And the answer to that is that there has been absolutely no activity there today except that someone seems to have moved the fence a little.

So that was that, by the looks of things. Heaven alone knows when they will be back.

Anyway this morning, I was back in bed with a great deal of difficulty trying to leave my stinking pit. And I only just made it too before the second alarm went off.

With going to bed late last night after my long phone call, I didn’t take the tablet that I was supposed to. And so I was off on a considerable series of voyages during the night.

We were busy organising things for the radio, interviewing people and so on. I came across someone from the Ukraine so I asked around to see whether someone else would like to interview them. No-one would do that willingly and instead they all encouraged me to do it which I thought was strange. Someone agreed to do the job but only asked 3 or 4 questions which I thought was strange so I was busy in my upstairs room making a list of questions. There were some people from this kind-of radio commune hanging around. At that point 3 girls decided that they would go to bed. I looked out of the window to see who they were. There was one whom I quite liked . They saw me looking so they said “goodnight, Eric” so I replied “goodnight” and we had quite a chat out of this window across this path. A few other people overheard it too. When I went downstairs some woman appeared. She had gone to the airport to meet her daughter who was flying in from the Ukraine but for some reason her ‘plane didn’t arrive. It wasn’t due to arrive now until Sunday. That meant that we wouldn’t be interviewing anyone anyway so I thought that I would take her around and introduce her to everyone here and maybe there would be somewhere where she could stay. I introduced her to the people in the part where I was but for some reason she wasn’t interested in saying “hello” to the kinds which I thought was strange. We went over to the main house. It was a total tip and overgrown garden etc. She met a couple of people there, one of whom was my German friend from the Auvergne. A couple of young boys were showing her posters that they had made, saying “this is what we do. We make these posters and stick them up in all kinds of places”. It was becoming really anarchic, not that I was bothered at all because I’m really anarchic anyway but I wondered how she would react about having to spend the night or maybe more in this type of untidy, unkempt anarchic situation.

Something else came up about this radio programme when I went back to sleep and I found that I was dictating it without holding the dictaphone so I fetched the dictaphone and switched it on, then I couldn’t remember what it was that I was about to dictate

Later on I was round at the house of one of my sisters last night. There were kids everywhere, cats and kittens, everywhere you went to sit, sleeping in food tins etc. She told me to sit down so I did and she put a kitten in my lap. I asked whose it was so she mentioned the name of one of her male cats who was only about 4 months old but had managed to father a litter of kittens. Another one of my sisters was there with a baby. She was trying on an emerald blue-green jacket and trying to choose a suitcase. I asked if she was going away in that outfit. She replied “let’s not push the boat out too far out at the moment”. This was another one of those depressing dreams that I’ve had.

And when the alarm went off I was busy organising some kind of railway tickets for some kind of journey that I was planning but I didn’t go very far with that.

After the medication I transcribed my dictaphone notes, and then much of the rest of the day has been spent in editing and remixing a new live concert for my radio programme.

And this really did take me quite a long time because, with not understanding very much at all of Ukrainian, I’ve had to use a considerable amount of intuitive guesswork as to where one track ends and another one begins so I could edit it correctly.

In the great scheme of things, I don’t suppose that it matters all that much because I doubt if any of my listeners can speak Ukrainian either, but there’s always bound to be one when you don’t expect it

Once I had done that I then had to track down some information about the group who played at the concert, and seeing that that was written in Ukrainian, that wasn’t easy either. However, I had the most astonishing piece of luck the deeper I delved, and if you want to find out more, you’ll need to listen to my radio programme at the end of the month

There were the usual breaks of course. Breakfast with my delicious coffee cake, a mug of coffee here and there, lunch of course, and then of course there was the afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Which started off as usual with me going across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

And to my surprise, there were crowds of people down there this afternoon. I’ve no idea why either. They don’t look as if they are the usual peche à pied crowd. They don’t have spades, rakes, buckets and all of that kind of thing.

It wasn’t actually the kind of weather to be out there wandering around for no good purpose. While it wasn’t actually raining, it wasn’t far off and there was a mist rolling around not too far offshore as well.

For that reason, I didn’t spend too long looking out to sea trying to see anything.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Now, these people are much more like what you would expect to see when there’s some peche à pied going on.

You can see the rakes, or gratteurs and the buckets in which to carry away one’s catch. Wellingtons are a good idea too if you intend to go wading about in the kind of weather that we are having right now.

There were several pecheurs on the car park too who were busy divesting themselves of their outer garments before driving off home. Strangely, they all had the contents of their buckets covered so that I wasn’t able to see what they had.

yacht spirit of conrad le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022No-one at the cabanon vauban this afternoon so I carried on around the headland towards the port.

Down in the chantier naval we have a nex occupant today. Where Tiberiade was moored over the last couple of weeks we have an old friend of ours.

No prizes for guessing who she is because we’ve seen her from close up – actually from within. She’s Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the Brittany coast nearly 2 years ago, and she’s being prepared for her summer season as a charter hire boat when she’ll be off on her travels circumnavigating the British Isles.

notre dame de cap lihou joly france ferry terminal les bouchots de chausey port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Meanwhile, over at the ferry terminal, the older of the two Joly france ferry boats is moored up, presumably waiting for the weekend and its next trip out to the Ile de Chausey.

However in front of her is the local lifeboat – Notre Dame de Cap Lihou. So what’s she doing over there and not in her usual berth in the Port de Plaisance?

The boat that’s careening over in the foreground is another one that we know quite well. She’s Les Bouchots de Chausey and we don’t often see her moored in the harbour during daylight hours. She’s usually out working.

Anyway, I’m going to head off for home and my afternoon coffee.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Yesterday, when we were out and about on our travels, we saw Thora, one of the little Jersey freighters, moored up in the loading bay.

She’s gone back out to sea by the look of things and her place has now been taken by Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey and, occasionally, the Channel Islands.

They were actually using the crane as well. I couldn’t tell whether they were loading or unloading her but her jib was certainly swinging round. There’s certainly quite a load of freight on the quayside and if they are loading, it will keep them busy for a while.

cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Over on the far side of the harbour we have one of the trawlers having fun with a fishing net.

She’s Cap Lihou and it looks as if she has caught her nets and tangled them up. They’ve taken them off the boat as you can see by looking at the pulleys on the back, and they are busy sorting them out.

In fact, a closer look at how clean they are and the tangled old mass that you can see on the bollard on the right-hand edge of the photo, she might even be having her old nets exchanged for new ones.

roadmender's lorry rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way home I noticed that the lorry that we see quite often at the Porte St Jean is parked there again today with its machinery trailer.

There must be some more work going on in the old town and so what I’ll have to do is to go along for a walk in there sometime in the near future for a closer look.

Stopping at the bike shed to take a photo, I came back in here for my coffee and a rest. It’s taking a lot out of me these days.

When I finished my concert I attacked the photos again from Greenland in August 2019 and managed to complete about 40 of them. I’m now walking around on Disko Island off the coast of Greenland in the Davis Strait.

It’s known that Erik the Red visited the island, as did many of the “Golden Age” Arctic Explorers, from whence they recruited quite a few Inuit to accompany them on their travels.

It sounds exciting to be walking around in the footsteps of Erik the Red but don’t forget that I’ve actually stood on the foundations of what is believed to be his house in Brattahlid.

Tea didn’t work out too well. I tried the air fryer tonight and while the chips on the top were nicely cooked, the ones underneath were not. It said to “shake the basket” every so often but I think that it needs a lot more than that, like tipping out and repacking.

But at least it was better and quicker than the chips that I had made in the oven last time.

Tomorrow I’ll crack on with my photos, I reckon. I have to back up my computer too and there’s a letter to write as well. I’ve probably forgotten something quite important but I’ll worry about that at the appropriate time.

Sunday 16th January 2022 – NO WONDER …

… that I’m exhausted. I must have travelled miles during the night.

One of these days they’ll invent an ethereal fitbit that will track my travels when I’m off on my nocturnal voyages and I bet that the distances that I travel will be interesting.

Anyway, last night I had a very disturbed night (as you will discover as you read on) and despite being awake on several occasions at some kind of ridiculous hour, there was no danger whatever of my leaving my stinking pit until I was good and ready – which was about 10:15 this morning.

After the medication I had to download a few files off the portable computer that I take with me to Leuven, and then I could pair off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. They went together quite well too, but not as well as they did a couple of weeks ago.

For a few hours afterwards I had a little laze about not doing too much, except for having my brunch. Porridge and thick slices of toast with strong black coffee.

Round about 15:00 I wandered into the kitchen and made a big load of pizza dough, seeing as I’d run out. And I do have to say that for some reason that I can’t understand, it turned out to be one of the nicest doughs that I have made.

Nice and soft and smooth and silky.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022having put the dough on the side in order to rise, I went off for my post-prandial perambulation around the promontory.

First port of call quite obviously was the beach to see what was happening down there today. It’s been a good few days since I stuck my head over the parapet.

Plenty of beach this afternoon but there wasn’t anyone down there on it, although I did notice a couple of people walking down the steps from the Rue du Nord going off for an afternoon ramble.

And while I was at it, I was being photo-bombed by a seagull on its way out to sea.

rainstorm ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While I was there, I was having a good look around out to sea to see if there was anything happening there.

There wasn’t a single boat that I could see out there this afternoon which was a surprise because it was actually quite a nice afternoon, for a change. And after the last few days of winter, it’s warmed up somewhat and now much more like March again.

But there was a rainstorm brewing out at sea in the bay. You can see it out there just offshore, obscuring the Ile de Chausey. Luckily there wasn’t very much wind to speak of this afternoon so there wasn’t very much danger of me being caught in it.

rainstorm sun on sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022This afternoon we were having yet more beautiful lighting effects. It’s one of the things that I like about this time of the year.

We were having another one of these really nice TORA TORA TORA light displays where the sun comes streaming through the gaps in the clouds.

And with the rainstorm that was going on out at sea it was producing some quite interesting effects. It was a shame that there were so few people out there watching it. There can’t have been more than a dozen or so people out there on the path up to the lighthouse this afternoon.

sun baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022And out in the Baie de Mont St Michel things were even nicer.

As well as the TORA TORA TORA effect we had a spotlight or two illuminating the water as the sun shone brightly through a gap in the clouds.

The rainstorm in the distance was obscuring the Brittany coast but the sea was nice and bright there.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have caught a yacht or a fishing boat sailing through the beams of light? But you can’t have everything of course.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022There actually were some people down there admiring the view as well.

Sitting down there by the cabanon vauban was someone on the bench watching the sunset. And someone further out sitting on the rocks at the end of the headland. It’s a shame that there weren’t any boats out there for us to see this afternoon.

But on another more depressing note, the way things are these days, we have to keep a lose eye on people sitting like that on the rocks. The events of mid-November are still etched quite firmly in my mind.

container pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But never mind that for the moment. There were things that were much more interesting going on that require some investigation.

The skip that’s down here on the headland gives us a clue, and my hat goes off to the driver who dropped it off here.

What is going on right now is concerning the group of people who are planning on opening a museum in one of the abandoned World War II bunkers. They have been given permission to go into another one of the closed-up bumkers and clear it out of 75 years-worth of debris and see what they can find.

pivot for cannon bunker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022and almost straight away, they uncovered something interesting.

This is the pivot of a field gun – either a 105mm or a 128mm quite likely, that would be used as coastal defence to protect the area from either an invasion landing or a commando raid.

Mind you, when the Germans launched a commando raid on Granville on 9th March 1945, whatever artillery was here in the bunker didn’t do much good to repel the attack.

And, I suppose, as they go further into the bunker, the more and more artefacts will be discovered.

interior of bunker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But at least they have cleaned the walls of the bunker we can actually see the markings that the Germans painted on the walls.

These are presumably unit identification marks, although I don’t know which units are being indicated.

What I’ll have to do is to have a wander around the area during working hours and hope that I can lay my hands on one of the people clearing out the bunker. The fact that the skip is still here seems to indicate that they will be back here using it at the beginning of next week at least.

And so I’ll make a mental note.

storm waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022although I said that there was very little wind today, there must be something going on somewhere out at sea.

As I walked around the headland I could hear the sound of the waves smacking into the harbour wall so I was keen to see exactly what was going on. Consequently I pushed on along the path towards the post.

It wasn’t much of a show, unfortunately. The waves were more powerful that I was expecting in view of the weather conditions, but they weren’t producing anything spectacular when they crashed into the wall. There was plenty of noise but none of it to any great effect.

les bouchots de chausey unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Meanwhile, over at the fish-processing plant, there was plenty of activity going on.

Les Bouchots de Chausey, one of the little inshore shell-fishing boats, was in port this afternoon, working on a Sunday. And she must have had quite a good catch today.

She’s busy unloading her boxes of shellfish onto the trailer at the back of the tractor over there and you can tell from the amount on there that she’s had a profitable day.

A few weeks ago I encountered the tractor hauling the loaded trailer off through the town and out towards Donville les Bains. And one of these days I’ll follow her to find out where she goes.

gerlean chausiaise joly france chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022When I came back from Paris yesterday I could see that there was little change in the chantier naval.

As we can see, Gerlean is still in there. All on her own, too. No-one else has come in to join her while I was away.

Over at the ferry terminal however, we have the usual suspects over there. Chausiaise, the little freighter, is at the head of the queue and behind her is the older of the two Joly France boats – the one without the step in the stern.

ch638749 pescadore ch907879 l'arc en ciel ch898472 cap lihou l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way back home I went to look at the boats moored in the inner harbour, not the least of the reasons being that L’Omerta was actually tied up for once at the pier.

We also had Pescadore, L’Arc-en-Ciel, Cap Lihou and a couple of other boats that I didn’t recognise tied up down there too.

And of course there were the two Channel Island Ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville, moored up in the background looking as if they aren’t ever going to move again.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and then sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night.

In the middle if the night I awoke as I was counting something and trying to write down these numbers with a pen but I couldn’t find a pen that worked. But I can’t remember now what it was that I was counting and I have no idea. It was like a table of numbers or something and this was just one particular row of these numbers but I can’t remember what they were for.

Later on there was a pile of girls, probably about 6 or 7 years of age having to stand in a line and talk about where they came from etc. One girl came from Africa but was a white girl said “Africa, yes, that’s me. That’s where I come from. That’s my home town” etc but I couldn’t help the feeling that this was being transferred over to me as well. I had ti edit the view of this concert because the ratio was wrong – something like 1.5:1 instead of 1.1. If I were to do that I would lose a lot of everything. I had to have the focusing right and the general screen capture size right in order to do it. And I’m impressed with the technical details and terms that I can spout when I’m asleep .

After that there was a girl aged about 10 or 11 or so in a swimsuit and bonnet. Suddenly she was attacked and killed. That cheered me up because it meant that there would be a place for me to go and live on an island so I put myself in the queue but there was someone there in charge, some fellow or person, who said “there are still too many people so the queue needs to be cut down by half” which meant that I wasn’t going to go this time. I would have to wait for something equally dramatic next time before I could go. And isn’t that all a totally gruesome idea?

Last night we were also prisoners of war in something like COLDITZ CASTLE in a high security room with a few of us in it. We tried to escape once but the guy in charge was not very good and not only had we all been recaptured before we’d even done anything he’d had some confidential papers captured too and he’d been shot although not seriously. We were there again and we tried to have another go at escaping. The idea was to lull this commandant person into a false sense of security then when one of his guards would go out to do something, we could overpower the reduced numbers and escape from the castle like Colditz. So one of the guards had to leave. As he pulled up the zip on his ski suit it passed a certain point that someone had indicated with a blue “X”. This meant that the escape was on. He went and someone pulled on the commandant a gun that he had hidden and gathered up quickly everything that they needed. Then it was a case of making the commandant unconscious so someone hit him with the barrel of the gun. It didn’t work so I hit him about 3 or 4 times but that still didn’t knock him unconscious so in the end someone else took over. We then set the room alight. Someone wasn’t happy about leaving the commandant there with this room alight. I replied that every time he flew over Germany he dropped one bomb that killed far more people than just one without any scruples whatsoever

Interestingly, later on we were all in this Prisoner of War camp in this high-security room with the commandant and a couple of the guards. We’d already tried to escape once but had been overpowered by weight of numbers and the guy in charge had been shot, not seriously. They captured all of our confidential papers and I tried to drum it in to the idea thatwe should keep all of the papers like that together so that they could be thrown into the fire early etc. In the end we made ourselves ready. One of the German guards was called away as we hoped leaving the commandant behind. When this guy’s zip was drawn up to a certain spot it was as if a blue “X” appeared on his zip when the two sides were drawn together. That was our signal so we overpowered the commandant and captured his papers etc and prepared to leave. We set fire to the room with some accelerant. Someone was upset about that. We should rescue the captain but I said that each bomb that they had dropped over German territory would kill far more people than just one and that they’d dropped that bomb without any scruples whatsoever. In the end they prepared to scramble down out of this building and this railway cutting on their way off. So what was happening there that I had an almost-identical dream twice I have no idea.

And then I had my house up for sale. There was a group of us round at my other place tidying it up because it was really dirty, building rubble and brick dust everywhere that I was trying to vacuum, not very successfully. My friend from Belfast grabbed hold of me and asked me what was going on about Luxembourg. I replied that they were worried that the whole world was going to be flooded with cheap labour from the Arab states. He asked what I propsed to do about it and I replied “put a tax on foreign workers”. He said that that wouldn’t go down very well with some people. I replied “never mind. It can’t be helped”. We had to keep checking the door to make sure that a girl I know from Luxembourg wasn’t overhearing. We came round to what we were going to do about the apartment that was for sale. Someone told me to be careful and not to accept the first offer I received. I replied “I’m well aware of that” and told them a few stories about apartments that had been sold. “I’m prepared to wait for the right moment” even if it meant leaving it empty or putting it down in ten, but I’d sell it”. Then we were all called together and had to collect our security passes. Helen’s security pass and Steve’s security pass, I’d been involved in the preparation of those and I still had the boxes in which their cards came so I had to be very careful to give the right number to the guy taking the details that whoever he looked at had, he would write down the right number, mine and not one of the other two’s, and that he wouldn’t duplicate the numbers and leave one of the cards out.

Finally there was something about a Land Rover. I was with a friend last night. We’d gone to see a van that I’d just bought – that he’d bought on my behalf. An LDV. We didn’t actually get to see the LDv – we were sidetracked as usual by a Land Rover that he owned. It was a diesel and we were taking about this diesel Land Rover. I mentioned that I owned a Minerva that brought a few smiles from around various people. In the end we ended up back at his wife’s. She was talking about his cars, saying that he had far too many and it was high time that he did a few things with one. Something came up about another Land Rover that he owned, how something had to be done with that so that the Land Rover that we had seen at someone else’s house could be brought home. he said something about going to fetch the van that I’d bought but I asked him “where are you going to park it?”. There was no room in his drive at all. he saw the wisdom in that and said that we can do that another time. By then the wife and I were out somewhere. We had Zero with us. We’d been driving around but I thought that we’d not been going the right way to get back to her house. Instead she took another way. We were waiting to turn right at a road junction but were there for hours, even with people passing on the right to go straight on. Eventually we reached this other house which was in total chaos worse than mine. She was telling these guys about her husband’s new Land Rover. Zero was there with these other kids, all playing with a huge pile of toys and everything. It just seemed to peter out at that particular moment, this story, which was rather a shame.

It’s no surprise that I was exhausted after all of this travelling about. And what a shame that the final voyage petered out just as it was becoming interesting.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But there was so much of it that I had to break off in the middle to go and deal with the dough.

It had risen beautifully so I split it into three batches. Two of them went into the freezer and the third one was rolled out and put in the pizza tray to proof for an hour or so while I carried on with “War and Peace”.

After the dough had risen nicely I assembled the pizza and put it in the oven to bake.

And when it was finished, it looked totally beautiful. And I do have to say that it tasted even better, even if I had forgotten to use the remaining half-pepper that I had brought out of the fridge.

So having written my notes, I’m off to bed. It’s a 06:00 start tomorrow as I have a radio programme to prepare. There’s the physio tomorrow afternoon too, so I need to be at my best.

But we’ll see how tomorrow unfolds, especially if I travel as far during the night as I did last night.

Wednesday 25th November 2020 – THIS IS NO …

… good at all.

Never mind the three alarms this morning. I didn’t wake up until about 10:00.

This is a really sad situation to be in. But then, it’s probably my own fault. I was distracted after finishing off my notes and didn’t go to bed until 01:30. And so I was thinking that I would be lucky to be up at 06:15. Even so, I didn’t think that it would be this late and waste half a day.

Plenty of time to go on a walkabout during the night too.

By now things were advancing with TOTGA and we were definitely a couple. She was definitely living in Gainsborough Road with me. She had brought her animals with her, a couple of cats and a couple of dogs. The cats were very stand-offish as far as I was concerned. One night she went to bed and I had a few things to do so I stayed up. I was wondering about going to bed, and I thought “no, I have a few things to do and I can make the most of it doing them while it’s quiet”. We’d done a furniture removal and we could have removed all of the stuff out of my house with this van but it didn’t quite work out like that with people not being able to keep to a timetable and likely to run off or something like that. I ended up having to take the van back without moving my stuff but I’d removed the other person’s. It was 01:00 or 02:00 and I didn’t feel particularly like going to sleep so I’d done some some more stuff. But I’d made a mistake. I went to press the button on something but ended up pressing the doorbell and thought “God, I’ve awoken everyone in the apartment building now”. I carried on doing what I was doing. For some unknown reason a heavy lorry started up and drove away. I thought “I’m glad that’s not me waking the neighbourhood even more”. Then TOTGA came down and asked “are you going to come to bed or what?”. I had a little laugh and smile to myself and off I went upstairs. She’d changed all of the bedding in the bedroom so I made a remark about it. There was no room for me in the bed because of all these dogs and cats fighting their way around. Suddenly the alarm went off. I looked and it was only 05:00 instead of 07:00. I couldn’t remember how to switch off the alarm. In the end she had to come and do it for me and it was all. That was all very well – I’d lived in this place and she’d only been here half an hour, something like that. I went to get into bed and some of her cats were all curled up with my cats and it all looked like one big happy family until I got into bed when hers started to move. I thought “that’s just typical, isn’t it? It’ll take them a while to get used to me”.

So it wasn’t all bad then during the night. Not ‘arf it wasn’t.

First thing this morning (or what was left of the morning, should I say) was to make the booking for my trip to Leuven. And that’s not going to happen now either. All of the train across the border are cancelled and there’s just the repatriation trains. The one out is on Sunday and costs €155, which costs more than I usually pay for a return ticket. The one back is on Friday but I didn’t even check that.

In theory I suppose that I could drive there in Caliburn but it’s a long way and a lot of organisation so in the end I decided not to go.

They weren’t impressed when I rang them up to tell them but the way I see it, it was fine for them to annul my 4-weekly appointments for 9 months when it suited them so there’s no reason why I can’t annul a 4-weekly appointment for 4 weeks.

Time for hot chocolate and chocolate cake and then I could press on with work. And I’ve been doing another load of stuff of the arrears for my trip to Central Europe in the summer.

There were the usual interruptions during the day. Firstly of course there was lunch. And I do like my sourdough bread. I’m pleased with how it’s turned out although the shape leaves something to be desired. I need it to be taller and not as wide. But it’s no big worry – it’s all about learning as you go along and I’m doing plenty of that.

bunker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was also the pause this afternoon to go for my walk around the headland

It’s Wednesday of course so no brats out playing or orienteering this afternoon on the field at the back of the sports ground of the school. I can therefore take a photograph of the lawn and also of one of the bunkers of the old Atlantic Wall that are dotted about here.

That’s the one that they opened up about 18 months ago and about which there is some talk of transforming into a museum of the Atlantic Wall and, presumably, of the Resistance Fighters here.

Whether it will ever be a project that gets off the ground remains to be seen of course

ceres 2 new boat arriving in chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing else of very great importance going on I walked on around the headland and then ran all the way down the path (seeing as there was no-one about) to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

And it looks as if there is going to be a change of occupant in the chantier navale today. We have one of the little inshore seafood harvesting boats being winched up out of the sea by the portable boat lift.

You can see that it’s only just come up out of the sea, with all of the water that’s dripping off it. And yet there’s a van parked by it and workmen who look as if they are inspecting something on the port side. So maybe it’s been in a collision with a rock or a mermaid or something.

And that reminds me. A short while ago I asked one of the local fishermen if he knew the ideal vital statistics of a mermaid. He replied “36 – 24 – €9:99 per kilo”

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not all of the excitement going on down there this afternoon either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I mentioned the other day that there was a pile of equipment down on the quayside in the loading bay for the Channel Island freighters and so I expected one of them to be putting in an appearance some time soon.

And so it looks as if today is the day because Thora is down there this afternoon and by the looks of things she’s not long come into port. And I’m glad that I got to see her because with the rapid turnover that we’ve been having just recently I might otherwise have missed her.

And then you lot would be moaning on at me to improve my aim.

trawler cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there looking at Thora into port came another one of our old favourites.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the trawler Cap Lihou was up on blocks i the chantier navale for what seemed like eternity this summer. But here she is today, just having unloaded at the fish processing plant and now heading into the inner harbour.

But I headed off back home for a hot coffee and to carry on with some work. But my friend with Covid (or who had Covid, should I say) was on line so we had quite a chat again.

Anything to keep up her morale. It’s very important that she keeps a positive outlook. And in any case, I happen to like her.

My hour on the guitar was another one that was very enjoyable – playing along on the bass and singing to a few Hendrix numbers that I used to play in a group in which I played all those years ago, and then later playing lead guitar solos to “Riding The Waves” and “Whisky In The Jar”. I’m still rubbish at bar chords though.

Tea was an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit out of the freezer followed by more raspberry and custard tart. And this worked so well that it’s going to be added tot the menu for future reference.

Just as I was about to go out for my evening runs Rosemary rang up and we ended up chatting for 2 hours and more yet again. By now it was far too late to go out, what with the curfew and all of that, so I’ll have to write that off tonight. I can’t rely on the coppers turning a blind eye too often.

So I’l lgo to bed, still later than I intended. Shopping tomorrow and there’s quite a list so I need to make an early start. But late as it is, I’m not relying on a 6:15 start. I really need to do better than this.

Thursday 29th October 2020 – PHEW!

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter everything that I’ve had to do, I’m thoroughly exhausted. And it isn’t going to be better any time soon.

So while you admire more photos of yet more waves crashing onto the Plat Gousset this afternoon, to the evident delight of the little kids down there, I’ll tell you all about it.

And it all started off so well too. Much to my own surprise, and to yours too, no doubt, I beat the third alarm to my feet yet again. How many days on the run is that now?

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst task this morning was to listen to the dictaphone. And once again, there was nothing on it. I must have had a really restful night again.

So that gave me some time to have another look at ANOTHER ONE OF THE ARREARS from my trip around Central Europe in the summer.

There was actually time for me to start a second, but I left that half-finished knowing full well that there would be time to finish it off later today … “ha ha ha” – ed … I went off to have a shower instead.

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was on my way down the street that I discovered that the battery had gone flat once again in the NIKON 1 J5. It looks as if the battery on it is heading for the hills which is a shame.

So while you look at yet more photos of waves, I went to the local Nick.

Here the copper on duty was very polite and friendly, but he didn’t know what was going on either so he wasn’t much help. Despite the ban effective from Friday night on foreign travel, there’s a right to travel to seek medical attention and I didn’t know if the medical attention outweighed the ban.

And neither did he.

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was going past the Post Office I dropped a letter in there. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had a “parcel” delivered the other day.

While the sender told me that there was no charge, I couldn’t leave it like this. He may not want any money for what he sent me (more of which anon) but I can still buy him and his mates a drink. Every job of work deserves its rewards.

From there I headed up to the railway station, today going by the Boulevard Louis Dior so we could see the other end of the alleyway that we saw the other day. This was when I discovered that the camera battery was flat.

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey were queueing out of the door at the railway station. The quarantine has changed everyone’s plans of course and they are all trying desperately to change their tickets.

The transaction that I needed, when I finally reached the head of the queue after half an hour, seemed to take all day and there ended up being an enormous queue waiting by the time that I finished.

It’s always this way with me – even the most simple transaction goes all wrong when I’m pushed for time, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. I apologised profusely to everyone waiting behind me. It was the least that I could do.

LIDL was heaving today. Everyone was stocking up with essentials prior to the lockdown. I didn’t want much so I think that I spent more time queueing than I did looking at the shelves.

Back here, I had work to do. A whole pile of packing, a couple of phone calls to make, a few internet purchases to arrange and a pile of paperwork to be printed out. All of that took me up to a rather late lunch.

After lunch I started to load up the data files to the little Acer travelling laptop. I’m going to work with it for a week and see how it goes, in the hope that it will behave itself. It’s been running for over 48 hours non-stop and seems to be quite stable at the moment. I hope that it keeps on going, and there’s only one way to find out.

In the middle of all of this I crashed out – right out good and proper too, for about 45 minutes. A really deep, intense sleep. When I awoke I felt like death

kids going down to beach Rue du Nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving recovered my composure somewhat, but only vaguely, I set off for my afternoon walk under yet more leaden skies.

Surprise, surprise, there weren’t too many people about in this weather. Even the roofers on the College Malraux roof had become fed up and gone home. Probably no more than a handful of people, including two little kids running down the steps from the Rue du Nord onto the beach.

Such beach as there was, because the tide was well in by now and they weren’t going to be going far.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut despite the wicked weather, the work must still go on.

From my viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I cast my eyes out to sea and there in the distance I could make out a couple of objects heading in. When I returned home I cropped the photo and enlarged it, and I could see that it was a trawler-type of fishing vessel – a smaller one – heading back into port.

In the absence of any other information, I’m assuming that she has a good catch, as might the one coming on behind that I didn’t photograph. But the usual cortège of seagulls was absent.

You saw the photos of the waves just now, so having watched the entertainment I walked on through the Square Maurice Marland where there was a little 4-year-old having a whale of a time on the roundabout as her dad spun her around.

trawler being pushed by lifeboat notre dame de cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a week or two ago we witnessed the spectacle of a trawler being “helped” across the harbour by one of its friends to a berth where it could be tied up.

Today, I was interested … ” to say the least” – ed … to see that our friendly neighbourhood lifeboat, Notre Dame de cap Lihou was over there attending to her. I was wondering what might be going on that might require her services.

But as I watched, they tied the two boats together and drifted away from the pontoon

trawler being pushed by lifeboat notre dame de cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen she was out into the open, I could read her name on the side of her superstructure.

She’s none other than Cap Lihou – the trawler that’s been parked up on blocks in the chantier navale for the last I don’t know how long and who only went back into the water a short time ago.

It looks to me as if she might have a severe mechanical problem, and hence is unable to move under her own steam … “or diesel” – ed … and that’s what she needs help.

And that reminds me. Where does a ship go to when it’s feeling unwell?
Of course – it goes to the doc(k)s

trawler being pushed by lifeboat notre dame de cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was watching her I speculated where she might be going. Of course “out to sea to be scuttled in deep water” was after all hardly likely.

Of course, there’s no real prize for guessing correctly. There can’t be many places that a sick ship (and try saying that with someone else’s teeth in) can go to round here. She’s off to the chantier navalewhere presumably she’ll be winched up onto some blocks.

When I go out for my evening constitutional – if I do get out with all of this work going on – I’ll check on where she is and on what’s happening to her.

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was watching Cap Lihou limping along out of the inner harbour, there was plenty of other activity going on too.

When I first looked, the two Joly France boats were tied up at the ferry terminal. But as the pantomime in the inner harbour unfolded, I was joined by the newer of the two Ile de Chausey ferries – the one with the smaller upper deck superstructure and deeper windows.

Also in the photo behind her are two of our regulars, Aztec Lady and La Grande Ancre. They don’t seem to have very much going on with all of this virus lockdown going on.

trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not everything either. Despite all of the quarantine and lockdown, people still have to eat and we’ve seen a trawler out there earlier coming home with its catch.

And as I watched Cap Lihou and her manoeuvres … “PERSONoeuvres” – ed … into the inner harbour behind Joly France came another trawler. And, surprisingly, the seagulls floating on the water were taking not the slightest bit of notice.

Mind you, I must admit that I did admire the nonchalant attitude of some of the members of the crew as she swung round to tie up at the fish processing plant. They don’t look as if they are in any hurry.

Back in the apartment I carried on hastily trying to assemble things, and then broke off for my guitar practice. And I found to my dismay that I’d forgotten the bass line to “Moonage Daydream” that I’d worked so hard on in the past.

Tea was taco rolls with the rest of the stuffing followed by the last of the delicious apple pie. And then I went out for my evening runs. This was when I discovered that the battery in the NIKON D500 was flat too.

It’s really not my day, is it?

And Cap Lihou wasn’t in the chantier navale either. And it was too dark to see where she was. I just did all of my runs and came home. 135% on the fitbit. I’ll go with that.

So what will tomorrow bring me? Who knows? It’s certainly going to be interesting to find out. I don’t think that anything is going to be easy for a while and I’ve taken considerable precautions. Whether they are effective or not is anyone’s guess. But you’ll find out tomorrow assuming that the little Acer has managed to keep up.

And I never did finish amending that blog posting.

Friday 9th October 2010 – I’M GLAD …

… that I took Liz’s advice to vent my kefir in the bath.

That’s because it went up like the traditional four-bob rocket when I released the caps, and actually blew the caps and wires out of their sockets. So this will be a good batch. I hope.

Yes, for all my vicissitudes, I’m now back chez moi at the seaside and apparently I’ve brought the bad weather back with me. It was quite nice this morning, so I was told, but about an hour after I came back, it had clouded over.

This morning though, in Leuven, there was a heavy, damp, humid mist of the kind of which I’m so familiar, as anyone who has ever been in Belgium in the autumn will remember. I was up and about bang on the dot of the first alarm at 05:30 – just to prove that I can do it when I really try – and after finishing the packing and making my sandwiches, I headed out for the station.

SNCB 1906 Class 19 Siemens Electric Locomotive Gare du Midi Brussels Belgium Eric HallAt the station I had to wait 10 minutes for my train – the 06:21 to Blankenberge from Genk.

Being a shorter train than the usual Welkenraedt – Oostende train that I catch, it pulled up short of where I was standing. I had to run a hundred yards or two down the platform to the train. It was pulled by a Type 19 electric locomotive – basically the same as a Type 18 that we had on the way out to Leuven, but fitted with an automatic coupling system.

It was pretty busy too, even right down at the front where I usually sit. That’s quite a surprise at that time of the morning.

Thalys PBKA 4302 Gare du Midi Brussels Belgium Eric HallMy train to Paris-Nord was already in at the platform when I arrived – 40 minutes before departure, but we couldn’t board right now because while the passengers were there, the crew wasn’t.

This morning we’re going to Paris on one of the Thalys PBKA units – the ones specially-built for the Paris – Brussels – Cologne – Amsterdam service. They differ from the usual PBA units in that they are equipped to work on the German electric railway network.

They are getting on for 25 years old now and surprisingly, are still in quite good and comfortable condition. I’m quite happy to travel on one of these any time. But not so many other people were. Admittedly the 07:35 is the first service to Paris of the morning, and also the cheapest, but there were very few people on board today and we could spread out.

Our train hurtled off from Brussels bang on time and we made such good time that we had to sit outside Paris Gare du Nord for 10 minutes for our slot for the final half-mile.

It was rush-hour of course in Paris – 09:13 when we arrived – and while the Metro was busy, it wasn’t crowded as you might expect. As I said on the way out, it seems that the business life of Paris has changed somewhat with the Corona Virus and that might explain the lack of custom on the TGV.

At the Gare Montparnasse our train was in the station already even though it wasn’t advertised yet. It’s because it’s the only one that has “NORMANDIE” written all down the side of it. No point in trying to board because it will be all locked up, so I took a seat on a bench and read my book.

84559 GEC Alstom Regiolis Gare de Granville Railway Station Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter waiting around for 35 minutes, the train to Granville was announced we were all allowed on board.

The train set is one of the GEC Alstom Regiolis units. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we travel on one of these each time we go back and forth to Paris. There are 361 of these and they started to come into service in 2013. They were so successful that they allowed a whole raft of old equipment from the 70s and 80s to be swept away, and they are all that you ever see now on much of the French railway network, including the Paris-Granville service. I’ve never done the route in anything else.

And I was lucky in my neighbour today on the way back. She can sit beside me any time she like.

The voyage was pretty uneventful so I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

I was back running the taxis again and I had a yellow Mk IV but was completely yellow, a tidy little car. There was a driver driving for me who lived next door to a Hackney driver but didn’t get on particularly with him. He was quite good at his job. When he came round to start work one morning I was in the middle of changing windscreen wipers over. I’d got them off an old car that we’d had, the wipers and arms, and I was busy switching them over to then new one, getting it ready to go out, the yellow one. This guy was going through the sheets writing out his list of jobs. There were a couple of jobs, long ones and he wondered why he hadn’t been given them. I didn’t know so I told him that it might be something to do with the fact that they didn’t think that the car would be ready by then. Then someone else from another taxi company turned up from Northampton. While I was busy changing the wipers the other driver started chatting to them asking their advice – should he put these jobs down on his sheet or not. I had all the wires – dunno why there were wires on this – tangled up and I was trying to untangle them, everything like that. The more I tried to untangle them, the more tangled they became.

Having done that, I merged a few more composite files and than quietly ate my butties.

Our arrival in Granville was a couple of minutes early. I’m not used to this. It was a pleasant if not tiring walk back home from the station, and the first thing that I did was to spray the bathroom with orange-flavoured kefir.

Most of the stuff that I bought was then unpacked (I forgot some) and then I swapped the files over from the portable computer onto the big office machine. I didn’t do as much as I wanted to do because, what with the early start, I … errr … had a little relax.

That’s possibly because I had the heating on in here. It seems that the cold has arrived.

Tea was taco rolls – there was some stuffing left over from Monday followed by a slice of Blackberry pie out of the freezer.

Later on in the evening I went out for a walk around the headland in the dark. And first thing that I noticed is that the old Opel estate that had been been abandoned on the car park for the last however many months has now been removed.

Les Epiettes Cap Lihou Chantier Navale Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a strong wind, but nothing like as strong as it has been. Even so, I didn’t want to hang about. Instead I had a wander around and ended up at the Chantier Navale to see what was happening in there.

We’re down to just two boats now. Les Epiettes, the boat from the Département des Ponts et Cnaussées is still in there on the right, and the trawler on the left which is Cap Lihou is still in there. She’s been there for quite a while and probably now a permanent fixture.

My runs tonight were pretty disappointing. I only managed two and the second one of those was a little shorter than it has been of late. I need to work myself back into it again. Instead of going for my third run, I headed slowly for home. I’ve still managed 114% of my daily activity.

Having written my notes, I’m now off to bed. It’s shopping tomorrow and I need a few things to replenish the stocks. And there’s football tomorrow night too so I’ll be busy.

And what is left of my kefir is delicious.

Monday 15th June 2020 – I WAS HARD …

… at it all day today for a change) and by the time I knocked off at 18:15 I’d completed a whole radio project.

It was one of my live concerts which regular readers of this rubbish might think are usually easier than the usual ones – and usually they are. But not this one. Not at all.

Someone had very kindly send me a pile of music (which reminds me – if you are in a group and want your music featured on my shows, get in touch!) for a live concert, which was very nice of them and I never decry the effort, but it was all unusable.

It was a case of scouring the internet to see what I could find, re-manipulating and remixing the rest and then editing it and merging it all together. It’s ended up a bit of a dog’s breakfast, but there wasn’t all that much I could about it.

So in the end I wrote the intro, dictated it, uploaded it to the computer, edited it, and then merged it into the other part, and then had to edit everything to make it fit the on-hour time slot.

And if you think that’s a lot of work, it’s not all that I had to do either. And it didn’t help much that I missed the third alarm as well. Only by a few minutes but missed it all the same.

After the meds I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I had been during the night. I was actually working with someone for whom I don’t really care all that much in real life. We had a tyre depot or we had taken one over. It wasn’t particularly very busy but we were just doing odd jobs and things just to tide us over while we established ourselves. We’d taken it over from some other people, one of their depots and we noticed that we were getting into Novermber but we hadn’t had any calls to change tyres for winter or anything like that and I would have expected that to have been happening round about now. So I was wondering whether they were keeping all of the good jobs back from us and doing them themselves. I was talking to another friend on line and he was asking about how things were. I explained that I hadn’t had time to devote anything to any project that I particularly wanted to do because earning a living was the priority and as no-one wanted to employ me I’ve been having to create a business for myself and I was telling him about this tyre depot.

There were a few things that needed doing and then for the rest of the morning I dealt with my Welsh homework. And I found that I had forgotten most of what I had learnt last week so I had to revise it again.

There was the break for lunch of course, and also the brak for my afternoon walk.

speedboat zodiac buoy english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was trying its best to rain when I went out there this afternoon, so i didn’t like to hang around too much.

But regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen piles of weird buoys and maritime markers bobbing up and down in the water around the coast. There’s another one here just now, with a couple of boats – a zodiac and a speedboat loitering around it.

It’s difficult to see what they are doing – whether they are fishing with rod and line or whether they are doing something with the buoy.

fisherman cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallNo prizes what this guy is doing here.

With not very much (and even fewer people) around on the lawn I wandered off around the headland to see if there was anything happening there. Again, not an awful lot except this guy fishing from the rocks.

It’s quite a scramble to reach that particular point and I bet that it’s even more difficult scrambling back up the hill, especially with a full catch.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I’m not convinced about his choice of attire either, and I have a feeling that he’ll be regretting it before much longer.

Just look over there at the Brittany coast. That’s a couple of wicked rainstorms and they are heading right this way. I’m not too bothered because I’ll be home in five minutes. It’ll take him at least that to put away his gear and scramble up the rocks.

There are plenty of boats out there too and they’ll know all about it when the rainstorm hits them in mid-ocean or whatever

rainstorm baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france eric hallThat’s not the best of it either.

My walk took me further around the headland to the south side and this was the sight that greeted me there. A huge rain cloud has blown in from the bay and enveloped the Pointe de Carolles in its wet and clammy grasp.

It’s slowly heading up the coast and as I watched it advance, it slowly spread its shround all over Jullouville.

“This isn’t the time to be hanging about” I reckoned, and headed back for my apartment

workers van place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the weekend we saw the “no parking” notices on the part of the car park that is on the public part of the Place d’Armes.

Being intrigued to see what was happening there I went round for a good look. It’s not easy to see what they will be doing but we have a builder’s mobile office parked here now.

Not only that, there’s a generator just parked there waiting for just anyone to come along, pick it up and drive away. Imagine that in the UK!

On my way back I saw Gribouille sitting on his windowsill so I went to give him a stroke, only to find Nicole there struggling with her drawers, with her hand still in a plaster.

Gallant me, I went to give her a hand. I glued them back together for her and slid them back into the unit.

Back outside it was now teeming down. The rain had caught me up so I came inside quickly.

After my hour on the guitars I ended up with a stuffed pepper for tea. And the amount of fresh food that I’ve had to throw away due to not eating is appalling. I hate throwing food away.

pile of rubble place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went for my evening walk and run around the headland.

First stop though was to see what was going on where the builders’ office was. And we seem to have acquired a pile of tarmac and sand from somewhere. They must be digging up somewhere, but I’ve no idea where.

Having examined that, I ran off up the road – a little bit (just a little bit) easier than it was been. And having recovered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop.

couple enjoying sunshine pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy itinerant was there again. I reckon that he’s here for the duration.

He wasn’t the only one here either – although he might well have been seeing as how quiet the whole area was. There was just one other couple here – a young couple sitting in the sun quietly watching it sink down into the sea

It’s a really nice way to spend a summer evening.

And talking about nice ways to spend summer evenings, I’ve had an e-mail completely out of the blue from someone who played a large part in my life 45 years ago and who I’ve seen on a few occasions since, but not for about 10 years.

So what’s happening here?

fishing boats english channel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallNo prizes for guessing what’s happening here.

A couple of fishing boats out there, almost stationary. So I imagine that they have their fishing equipment out and are dredging up the sea bed for the shellfish. I’m determined to get out there one day and see how they do it.

Despite it being overcast, there was another excellent view all the way down the Brittany coast towards Cap Fréhel. Not as good as the last time but still impressive enough.

chateau de la crete atlantic wall baie se mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I walked across the lawn by the Resistance memorial, the sun suddenly came dramatically out of the clouds and lit up the Chateau de la Crête.

Ordinarily I would wait until I’m down on the other side of the headland where there’s an unrestricted view, but the weather is being rather capricious just now and you can’t rely on there still being the same effect in five minutes time.

But at least you get to see one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall. They don’t feature very often in my photos for one reason or another.

picnickers plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallNothing else of any importance happened at all. My run all the way in its several stages) down to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord was pretty uneventful.

There on the beach though I could see that a group of picnickers weas just installing itself down among the rocks. I didn’t think that it was warm enough for that, but they clearly do.

But when you ae young you are pretty much immune to that kind of thing. Yes, since I had that e-mail earlier, I’ve gone all nostalgic and broody.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallInstead of musing on the past, I straightened myself up and admired the sunset.

It’s another one of these wonderful mid-evening lights again and I really like the effect that it gives.

But I couldn’t stay for long. I had a chat with a couple of people admiring the apartment that’s for sale, especially when the woman stood on one of the bollards in the street to have a better view and it sank into the ground under her weight.

Tomorrow I have my Welsh class so I need to revise and prepare for it.

That means an early night, in the hope that I can be out of bed early.

Some hope, hey?

Friday 27th March 2020 – AND IF YOU THINK …

… that yesterday was a bad day, you should have seen today.

We started off this morning where we finished last night – in total chaos. It wasn’t as early a night as I was hoping because just as I was about to go to bed, onto the playlist came Al Stewart and his song “Modern Times” from THE ALBUM OF THE SAME NAME.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Al Stewart was pretty much dismissed in the same terms that were reserved for Chris De Burgh several years – “the work of a queasy adolescent scratching his pimples” or some such quote.

And while his early output was considered by many to be mushy, maudlin, sentimental and egoistic, it was something that many of us, brought up in similar circumstances, cast adrift as teenagers in squalid and sordid bedsits, could readily identify.

His later work evolved as he himself evolved, but there was still this underlying nostalgia deep in there somewhere and in the song “Modern Times” he brought out every memory that I ever had of the painful pangs of growing up, coupled with, right at the end, two minutes or so of one of the most magnificent, underrated guitar solos that I have heard for quite some considerable time.

So on that note, rather later than usual having listened to it three or four times and shared it with some of my friends, I went off to bed feeling about as depressed as I could be.

When the alarms went off in the morning, I quite simply missed it. All three calls. it was 07:50 when I finally arose from the dead, feeling completely disappointed about the whole affair. I don’t know what’s getting to me right now.

After the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And no wonder I was so tired. You would be had you gone off on the voyages that I had.

I’m not too sure about much of this first part because in the panic that I had when I couldn’t find my dictaphone and had to wake up and get out of bed to look for it, I forgot all of it. But it was to do with me being in a kitchen, a caravan-type of kitchen although it might not have been in a caravan and I had to get some things out of the cupboard that’s above the sink. So I opened it up but couldn’t find anything at all that I knew was in there. It suddenly occurred to me that what was happening was that for some unknown reason the stuff there in the cupboard was the wrong way round, as if you were trying to get in from the back rather than from the front. That’s why I couldn’t find anything that I knew was i there because it would now be at the back instead of at the front. There were things like little test tubes full of a kind of oily liquid of all different kinds of stuff in there and I was trying to work out what these were that I was pulling out – lots of different stuff like that!

Later on during the night I dreamt that I was arrested for a debt but because it was a debt that related to something weird to do with some kind of Act of 1742 I was arrested and sent to a debtors’ prison, the kind of place we had that still exists today. We were all herded into one great big cell, men women, children. We were all basically put in there and the key was locked upon us. Meals were cooked but there was no organisation or anything. We grabbed a seat where you could and lay down where you could, all of this kind of thing. The Salvation Army would come amongst the prisoners to talk to them, that kind of thing. Surprisingly, I counted quite a lot of solidarity between the prisoners, something that you wouldn’t really expect in those conditions. Certainly an interesting place to be. There was a book passed round with a list of all the prisoners in it. It had me in it, and showed my address and an extract of the roll of my premises and it said “car scrapping and recovery” and something else there that was all quite interesting too.

Finally I was on an aeroplane to Chicago but it was Canada and I’ve no idea why Chicago might be in Canada. It was only the previous day that I had made up my mind that I was going – I had a couple of weeks between hospital appointments so I thought that I would go. I got onto this plane and it was pretty crowded. I was sitting next to a young boy, a college student, something like that, and I had to explain to him that the UK was fighting a war and while there was a surfeit of Canadian students until 2021, that was going to disappear so I said that any Canadian student of which there is a surfeit to get them over to the Mother Country – tell them that the UK is fighting a war and needs their bodies. We were discussing things on board the ‘plane and talking about headphones. he asked “what happens when the staff plug in a headphone for you and you don’t use it – does that count?” I explained that you get a basic radio service that’s free, included in the price of the ticket and you only pay if you go for an enhanced service. There was a problem with my seat – it wouldn’t stay upright and kept on reclining backwards. I thought “God I hope that they don’t make me move prior to take-off because there didn’t seem to be anywhere to move to and I was settled where I was in a nice aisle seat.

Thinking about it later on, it was the whole kind of emotional environment last night going to bed where, had this been another time, I would have expected Castor or Zero to have put in an appearance. But as far as I’m aware, neither of them showed up, which was probably a good thing.

After a rather late breakfast I had a crack at the digital sound files. It wasn’t as good as it might have been because for one album, there was absolutely no trace whatsoever of anything relating to it.

Not that it surprises me because I must have the only copy in existence, so I’ll have to make a digital copy myself along with the others that I’m collecting for which there is no trace.

Two more, all that I could find are *.mkv files. And while I can convert them to *.mp3 just as easily as I can convert almost anything else, it’s disposing of them afterwards. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve identified a fault that makes them almost impossible to remove without a great deal of effort and if you have too many on your computer, they all try to open automatically at once and it slows your machine right down.

As a result I’m trying to hold off downloading *.mkv files until either Yours Truly or Microsoft can find a fix.

Having eventually finished the albums I went out to see if I could find my bread.

trawlers fishing boats english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I mentioned the Ile de Chausey, the folk who live there and the lack of facilities that they have, and I wondered how they would cope.

So when I saw a couple of boats heading out that way in the mist I took a rather speculative shot to see whether it might be either Joly France or Chausiais doing out with supplies.

But it actually appears to be two fishing boats going out that way, presumably for the purpose of fishing. So I’ve no idea what is going to happen over there if they can’t receive any help.

charles marie cap lihou joly france chausiais chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhat’s even worse from my point of view is that all of the paths around the clifftops are closed off so I couldn’t take my usual long route around the Pointe du Roc.

Instead I had to walk around the edge of the park in the boulevard Vaufleury. There’s a good view down into the chantier navale and from there I could see that Charles Marie has found a friend.

The fishing boat Cap Lihou has come to join her, but keeping her social distance as she can see. There was someone there with a pressure washer hosing off her barnacles.

That reminds me of the time that I was talking to a ship about barnacles. I was saying that I didn’t like them very much.
The ship replied “neither did I at first, but after a while I found that they grew on me”.

fishing boat lobster pot buoy port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe port and the harbour are out of bounds too with this new legislation so I walked on down the rue du Port.

There was one of the smaller fishing boats moored there, and there in the stern was a lobster pot (however do they train baby lobsters to go on one of those?) and, would you believe, some buoys with red flags like we’ve seen floating in the sea every now and again.

So that might well the answer.

As I expected, La Mie Caline was all closed up again with no sign of life. Luckily I had done my research yesterday as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and the boulangerie at the foot of the hill was open, so I picked up a baguette from there.

square maurice marland closed to public granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, I took a short diversion.

As I mentioned above, all of the walks around the clifftops are now out of bounds and that includes my running track across the Square Maurice Marland, as I discovered last night.

And so i went that way to have a look at the notice and to take a photograph of the situation so as to record it for posterity. We are living in unusual times and it’s important that we document as much as possible of what is going on so that history will have something to remember.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSomewhere on the internet in some social group or other I was reading that in some places the smaller fishing boats have been prevented from going out to sea.

We saw a couple from here earlier heading out towards the Ile de Chausey, and here’s another one heading into the English Channel towards Bréhal-Plage.

We’ve seen buoys out there where the boat is – in fact, there was one the other day – but I haven’t seen who is out there placing them in the water. But if you look closely at this photo, you’ll see some kind of disturbance in the water between the boat and the photograph.

After lunch, I turned my attention to the purée because I had used the last of that this morning.

Firstly, I peeled, cored and diced 9 eating apples (I prefer them to cooking apples as they need no extra sweetening) and put them as I diced them into a large saucepan that has a small amount of water, lemon juice, nutmeg and cinnamon in there. there was also a large amount of desiccated coconut, for a reason that I will explain.

As I added the diced apple each time I had finished one, I stirred it round in the liquid so that it would remain white and not start to go brown. The desiccated coconut adhering to the bits of apple showed me that they had been treated.

Then I peeled, cored and diced three pears (and I would have added more had I had them) and added them to the mixture, stirring them round as above.

The saucepan then went on the heat and was brought to boil. Then I left it to simmer for an hour.

In the meantime, I made a start on the radio programme about the Grande Marée. There was an interview of almost 8 minutes that needed editing and that took me quite a while to deal with it too – but now it’s down to about 4:30 of quite interesting stuff.

Halfway through the proceedings I broke off to look at the fruit to see how it was doing.

It looked pretty good to me so I washed and cleaned the two jars and put them in the microwave with a small amount of water so as to heat and sterilise them.

home made apple pear puree granville manche normandy france eric hallThe fruit was drained off and the liquid put in a bottle that was put in the fridge for juice in the morning. The actual fruit was put in the whizzer and given a really good whizz round to turn it into a nice purée.

Once it was whizzed up, I put it into the sterilised jars and put on the lids, that I had carefully cleaned. So that’s the apple and pear purée for the next 10 days or so, I reckon. And it’s pretty good stuff, I promise you.

Once it had cooled down, I put it in the fridge. And I carried on with my radio programme. And as I was beginning to assemble it, I found another one of the interviews that I hadn’t actually edited, so i had to turn my hand to that as well.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time. It was 18:00 and time for my hour with the guitars. I won’t get any better if I don’t practise, even if I won’t get any better if I do, but that’s hardly the point.

At 19:00 I broke off and made tea. There was the rest of the stuffing left over so I added the rest of the mushrooms, some more onion and some spinach and tomato sauce, and boiled up some pasta and vegetables.

Pudding was, of course, jam pie and vegan ice cream with chocolate sauce. Totally delicious. And it’s a shame that there’s just one more slice left, because for an ad-hoc improvised arrangement, this was a real success.

And so simple too. There will be many more of these in the future, that’s for sure. With all different kinds of jam. Blackcurrant might be nice.

cresent moon planet granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that last night I went out to photograph the new moon with a camera that had a flat battery.

No such mistake tonight because I had it on charge overnight. So we can see the beautiful moon tonight, with a planet shining quite brightly close by.

Not being an astronomer, I’ve no idea what planet it might be but I understand that Venus is quite visible at the moment. I wouldn’t like to speculate, particularly after the last time when I said to a passer-by “I can see Uranus from here” and the dirty look that he gave me in response.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith all of my regular runnign spots and all of the clifftop paths closed off, I had a rather irregular walk tonight, although I still managed to fit in two runs of some description to the equation.

There was another nice view across the harbour and the town, so I took another evening photograph of the tranquil scene. We’ll be seeing many more shots like this as this lock-down takes hold.

And if it’s anything like any other plague or epidemic in history, it will flare up again for a couple of years until they can either find a vaccine, everyone becomes immune or everyone is wiped out.

So now I’ve finished my notes and I’m off to bed, as long as nothing in the way of nostalgic music appears on the playlist.

Saturday tomorrow, and shopping day. So we’ll see what that brings us. I’m expecting thigs to be much more busy than last week with people having been cooped up and thus short of supplies. I can see me eventually changing my time of visit to a less popular time as this affair carries on.

Wednesday 15th May 2019 – BANE OF BRITAIN …

… strikes yet again!

There I was, out on my evening walk, and the autogyro that hangs around out here flew by slowly overhead. So Yours Truly went to take a photograph of it, only to find that he had forgotten to put the memory card back in after extracting the afternnon’s photos.

So last night wasn’t as early as all that, and it was something of a mobile night too.

I started off by going round to a friend’s house. He had been doing something wrong and was on the point of having a nervous breakdown, and his wife and daughter were quite broken up by it too. The doctor had prescrbed them all a very strong sedative so I had a look at it. I saw the name and knew that it wasn’t appropriate for their situation at all so I told them all not to take it and have a word with the doctor. But the husband took his and it poisoned him. As a policeman I asked for his desk lid to be sent to me. It took quite a while to have this sent to me so that I could examine it. I must have forgotten it though because several years later when I was tidying up my office I actually came across it in a corner. I thought that it was far too late to do anything about this case now so I may as well stick it back in the corner and forget all about it.
After that, some woman was in a restaurant last night and sitting there she had a parcel on the table. All of a sudden someone came over to her, threatened her with a gun and asked for the parcel. She refused to hand it over and a third person sitting at an adjacent table grabbed hold of the parcel, threw it across the room, the waiter caught it and he and the third person disappeared immediately. he problem resolved by me appearing, a bit like the Saint sorting everything out and dealing with this other person, had him arrested etc. Then this woman had a threatening letter – either return this article or face death. But she didn’t have this article – what could she do? We were wandering around the school in Nantwich by the way. I said that we are going to have to find it. What do we know about all of this?. We discussed the facts as they happened and came to the conclusion that this third party was nothing to do with the robbers at all – the people who were after this. There must be some other reason why they had suddenly become involved. It seemed to be a very well worked out plan too. There was something going on that none of us knew anything about. She made a remark about “these people, they can’t really spell”. I asked her why and she replied that they had spelt “dagger” as “daga”. That suddenly rang a bell with me – wasn’t that some kind of sculptor or painter or something? Are they talking about the same thing? Are they really interested in what’s in this parcel? Or is there a fourth puzzle now going on?
From there, it was a question of some kind of ballet due to take place but it was one of those things that kept on being postponed a bit like East Lynn – always next week. Someone came to see me about it and said that he had been given the opportunity to finance the ballet. What did I think? I thought that the first thing to do is to see it, find out about it and why it’s being postponed. A question of finance is one thing but a question of competence is quite another. He asked “how do I know what’s good or what’s not?” I replied that you have some professional advice, take some people. I know someone in the area – TOTGA – who could help. I explained that her daughter had danced with the Royal Ballet when she was 10. I was sitting in my car and he got in, and said “take me to …” (some address) that was only 50 yards away. So I reversed the car, without looking or even trying, between two vehicles ready to turn round, thinking that it’s only 30 yards away now if I were to go backwards. But I went forwards and ended up down a long dead-end where there was this gorgeous 1960 Massey Ferguson chromed tractor. We looked and said “God this is wonderful”. We were on foot after this and that was when the conversation had taken place about the ballet, half in the car and half on foot. TOTGA was in the bit on foot. We walked past some shops – one had been Nichole’s Dance Wear but was empty and the sign badly painted over. The other one was a Sports Shop with all of these little kids trying out these weird swimming costumes and doing some kind of running group action for photography. We were talking about this ballet of course. He wandered off and there had been this queue somewhere. I asked him how handy he was – dood with his hands. If he were no good with his hands he would have to get someone in to make all these dresses and this would cost him a fortune because they aren’t cheap. That was something that he needed to bear in mind.
Later on, someone had made an incredible mchine. It was 6 solar panels fastened in a circular formation so that they would pick up the sun 24 hours per day and the machine was in the middle of this circle. We’d seen the diagrams and the notes which had taken up a couple of pages of A4. I thought that whoever patented that would be making a fortune and he’s going to need all of these drawings because these are going to form part of his patent application.

Strangely enough (although it actually isn’t) I can pick little threads out of all of the foregoing that compare with a few little things that were either going on over the last couple of days or going on right now.

Even more interestingly, while we are on the subject if the subconscious, after I left school I ran away from home and moved to Chester where I met a few lads my own age.

One of them had a sister who always followed us around and it wasn’t until I said something curt to her and she burst into tears was it explained that she was interested in me. But by that time my interest lay elsewhere.

And I’ve no idea why, but she suddenly appeared in my mind today, after not having given her a moment’s thought for 45 years. It’s rather strange.

I missed the third alarm but it was still fairly early when I crawled out of bed. And with a reasonably early start I’ve accomplished a lot today.

The notes for Canada 2016 are all collated with the photographs, and I’ve made a good start on Canada 2017. But I’m convinced that I’ve done this lot before too.

As well as that, I don’t know what I did to the CD recording program that I use but today, it managed to detect the album names and track listing. Have I fixed it? Or has something else happened?.

yachts granville manche normandy france eric hallWe had lunch of course, taken indoors, and then our afternoon walk in the windy sun, or the sunny wind.

And once again, the seas around here were absolutely heaving with sea craft. More than I’ve ever seen before. All of these yachts here, off the headland at the Pointe du Roc.

It did make me wonder what was going on with them all, especially the one centre-right nearest the rocks.

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it wasn’t just out at sea where there were the crowds.

With the schools being off for half a day each Wednesday, people have plenty of mid-week spare time and today in the really nice weather it was time for the beach.

The kids were particularly enjoying themselves down there. making sandcastles by the looks of things.

man swimming in sea plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallBut this is something that I would call “courageous”.

These days I’m much more nesh than ever I used to be, but even when I was fully-fit you’d be very lucky to see me in the water. But this guy seems to be doing fine.

He’s actually quite a way out from the shore just there.

But as we all know, once you are actually in, you’re in and it’s not too bad. But getting out of the water can be purgatory.

cherry picker men repairing windows plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I seem to have solved the mystery of the cherry-picker down on the Plat Gousset

There were a couple of guys on there inspecting the windows of the Rest and Rehabilitation Home down there. And there were a couple of vans fitted out with the kind of equipment that is used for carrying glass and windows.

So it looks as if new windows might be on order down there in the near future.

fishing boats entering port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route carried on around the walls past the Place Maurice Marland overlooking the harbour.

The gates must have not long opened, because there was a continuous stream of fishing boats coming in. Here we have three of them coming into the harbour in line-astern.

Like I’ve said earlier, I don’t recall seeing so many fishing boats getting out and about from here.

Back here, having given Minette a little stroke on the way round, I carried on working until tea time.

With some stuffing left over, I added some other bits and pieces of leftovers and a small tin of flageolet beans and made a curry.

There’s some left over for tomorrow too, which will save me a good deal of time.

fishing cap lihou granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I had my incident with the memory card. I came back in for it and carried on with my walk around the Pointe du Roc.

Just half a dozen or so out there enjoying the beautiful sunny evening, including quite a handful of people who were fishing with rod and line once more off the Cap Lihou.

And although I stood and watched them for a while, I didn’t notice them actually catching anything. In fact I’ve yet to see anyone pull anything out of the water at Granville with rod and line

brittany coast france eric hallBut as I said, the weather really was beautiful this evening.

Although it was rather more mistier than yesterday so the view was not quite as clear, at a certain moment tha haze over the Brittany coast lifted for just a brief moment and I was able to snap this photo of the coast and the lighthouse somewhere round by Cancale.

Tomorrow I’ll have to go to seek a reference point to see if I can find the locale

buoys baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that every now and again some mysterious buoys appear in the sea just off the coast.

And so it was this evening. There was a whole row of orange buoys anchored for some reason just off the coast here in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

No idea what they are doing and what they represent, but at least they are clear of the lane taken by trawlers coming and going into the harbour, otherwise we might have an unfortunate incident.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere’s a change of occupant in the chantier navale too this evening.

Our 10 green bottles are now reduced to three – the dredger St Gilles Croix de Vie from the Vendée, the trawler that has been undergoing major rebuilding for as long as I can remember, and the passenger cabin cruiser.

The yacht that’s been there for a while has now cleared off and we have two bays vacant. I don’t imagine that it will be empty for long.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere’s a change of occupant in the wet harbour too this evening.

Our old friend Thora must have come in on the afternoon tide without me noticing her. Another load from the Channel Islands I reckon, with a load to pick up from here and take back.

But she’s not quite parked in her usual place this evening. There must be a good reason for that and I wonder what it might be.

fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut I was rather confused by something in the harbour.

There was a type of boat in the harbour that I didn’t recognise at all, so I took a photo of it thinking that I could enlarge it and have a closer look back in the apartment.

And the mystery was soon cleared up. It’s not one boat at all but two completely different boats tied up side-by-side and that was what was confusing me.

Now I’m going to try for an early night again. I need a decent sleep again, and I have shopping tomorrow of course.

trawler granville manche normandy france eric hall
trawler granville manche normandy france eric hall

speedboat pleasure boat granville manche normandy france eric hall
speedboat pleasure boat granville manche normandy france eric hall

yacht buoy granville manche normandy france eric hall
yacht buoy granville manche normandy france eric hall

sea plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall
sea plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall

crowds on beach promenade plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall
crowds on beach promenade plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall

sailing school baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hall
sailing school baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hall

fishing boats entering port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall
fishing boats entering port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall


trawler granville manche normandy france eric hall
trawler granville manche normandy france eric hall

trawler granville manche normandy france eric hall
trawler granville manche normandy france eric hall

speedboat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall
speedboat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall

Tuesday 7th May 2019 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… start to the day today.

Last night I told you that it might be rather late before I went to bed. But 01:00 was rather ridiculous.

As a result I totally ignored the alarms that went off, and it was almost 09:00 when I finally arose from the Dead.

I’d been on my travels as well. It was wartime and we were in Paris. Our task was to free Paris from the Germans. We’d formed these underground cells and one or two of these were confining these Germans to some kind of castle on a pinnacle separated from a rocky spur by a huge chasm. A red and white electricity pylon had been blown up and had fallen across the gap, and it was expected that the rest of the resistance would charge across it. I was summoned up for my troop and they were going to come and join me and said that all of the resistance would be ready for this attack. But when my troop turned up they were playing football – there was a football match going on. They started to pass the ball to me and I thought that we were supposed to be fighting, not playing football.
And that wasn’t everything either, but the rest of the story is not fit for human consumption, especially if you are eating your tea.

As you might expect, it was a very slow morning and it took me almost until lunchtime to attend to last night’s dictaphone entries and to organise yesterday’s photos. And there weren’t all that many of them either.

But later on, I managed to up the pace somewhat and by the time that I’d finished for tea the outstanding dictaphone notes have been reduced to a mere 65.

This was of course the period when I was falling seriously ill so it’s hardly surprising that although I had actually transcribed the notes for my 2015 trip, they were never connected up with the images. So as one task draws on to a conclusion, another one rears its ugly head.

There had been several pauses and interruptions too.

I tidied up all of the empty bottles and cartons and took them down to the rubbish bins, where I was detained for a chat by one of my neighbours for a while. She had a lot to say for herself.

Lunch of course, taken indoors yet again. And the hummus that I made the other day is delicious.

people on the beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThere was of course the usual afternoon walk.

And not too many people around either because the weather looks as if it’s on the turn. That must be keeping people indoors.

I certainly didn’t want to be out there on the beach on a day like this. It wasn’t very peasant.

people enjoying the wind and sea cap lihou granville manche normandy franceBut there are people who clearly don’t think like me, or else they are made of sterner stuff.

There was a couple sitting down there on the bench at Cap Lihou by the old medieval sentry-box. They were quite clearly enjoying the cold wind, the spray and the smell of the ozone.

And good luck to them too. They deserve it, and probably need it too.

trawler ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceAs I have said on several occasions recently, we seem to be having more and more trawlers out here in the bay.

Despite the miserable weather this afternoon, this photo came out quite well, all things considered. It’s a trawler working away out there just off the north of the Ile de Chausey.

We’ve seen a few trawlers working out there just recently. I wonder if this means that the fishing shoals have changed their swimming pattern

pontoon chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere’s another change of inhabitants at the Chantier Navale today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the yellow pontoon that appeared in the harbour a couple of weeks ago after the core driller left.

It seems that they have now pulled it out of the water and it’s up here having things done to it.

I’ll go dow tomorrow and have a close look at it and see what it’s supposed to be and what’s going on

Back here I carried on with the dictaphone notes, and had another lengthy chat with Rosemary. And by the time that I’d finished ready for tea, I realised that I had forgotten my shower today.

Tea was a stuffed pepper and rice followed by the apple pie and some of that coconut sorbet, which was delicious.

yacht trawler english channel granville manche normandy franceAnd then off for my evening walk around the walls.

For a little experiment I took the new monopod with me and gave it a try. There was plenty of activity still out there in the English Channel so I gave it a try with the camera.

It’s not as steady as I was hoping for, but it has to be an improvement on hand-held long exposures in the half-light.

victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy franceaAnd round the other side, I was distracted by a noise coming from the harbour.

It seems that Victor Hugo has been out on a run to the Channel Islands and had just come back, judging by the crowds at the ferry terminal.

She had unloaded her passengers and has now come into the inner harbour to tie up. She’ll stay moored here until she goes out again.

And still no sign of the new ship Granville that is to replace her. She was here the early part of last summer but had a breakdown and I haven’t seen her since, although according to her AIS signals she was in here a few times late last year.

So now I’m looking forward to an early night. I really ought to have one and a good sleep too. Last night’s fiasco I’ll put down to taking tomorrow’s bank Holiday one day in advance.

So an early start tomorrow.

trawler ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
trawler ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

trawlers baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france
trawlers baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france

working on monument de la resistance pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
working on monument de la resistance pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

yachts trawlers english channel granville manche normandy france
yachts trawlers english channel granville manche normandy france

Monday 22nd April 2019 – WITH IT BEING …

… a Bank Holiday I have imitated the example of the the mathematician who shares my name and I have done three fifths of five eighths of … errr … nothing.

We started off with a turbulent night where I couldn’t manage to go off to sleep for very long. Long enough to go on several nocturnal rambles though, and to leave my bed to go to look for some new batteries for the dictaphone too.

I started off with a group of students back at school outside the old “Room 10” having a huge discussion about something but I can’t remember now. Then a band in the assembly hall struck up some kind of high-tempo dance number. Most people disappeared to go off to this dance. One of the girls just standing around was a very studious type, long brown hair in a pony tail and glasses 3 or so years below me, very prim and proper and the correct uniform. I took hold of her and started to dance with her. She pulled such a face so I asked what was the matter. She just grunted something at me which was a bit of a shame.
A little later I was in Crewe, Davenport Avenue, painting the living room. I can’t remember who I was with. It might have been Marianne or Liz. There were huge plasitc sheets everywhere masking everything off. It was thick white emulsion. I had been masking everything off while she was painting and when I’d finished that I was daubing the paint on with a kitchen towel. I asked if there was a paint brush, and I was given a big old paste brush which wasn’t so good and I was smearing it on with that. For some unknown reason I had to go outside, with Nerina by now and we were at Gainsborough Road to the road down the side. We saw a large black plastic pipe so we walked down the road to look at it. It was sticking up out of the road then a 90° bend down the street with a drop so as to allow passage into the back entry and then back on and down the street. On the way back we went past the entrace to my drive and in there on the drive was my brown Cortina TNY. I thought “what is this doing here? It should be in its lock-up garage. How come it was suddenly appearing here? What was the tenat of the property doing with it on his drive? How had he known where it was? How had he obtained the keys to the garage?” I’d had a vague recollection that one of my Cortina estates had been seen on there but I had dismissed that as unlikely gossip. But now I wasn’t so sure. There were probably 20 vehicles on this driveway, all from the 60s and 70s and in all kinds of states of repair. I wondered what was happening. This was so realistic that I sat bolt upright at this point. It’s a recurring thread, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, about me having Ford Cortinas in various lock-ups and parked up all over the town and not knowing where they were or worrying about them.
Later still I was in a supermarket last night buying something and TOTGA was the manageress there. I can’t remember whether there had been some kind of issue between the two of us. I was in the queue waitig to pay when the cashier was called away. I saw TOTGA walk past but she didn’t see me but as I was in the queue I couldn’t leave it to go up to her to go and tap her on the shoulder and say hello. She stopped at a display rack where there was bottled water and rearranged something. She turned towards me and I waved hoping to catch her eye but then my view was blocked by a couple of people walking past. After they had gone I waved again but now it was a different girl so I felt rather silly. Another cashier came back now and took my item. I said something about TOTGA being there. She replied “ohh you’ve decided to come back to the shop then have you?” as if I have been boycotting it, which I didn’t understand.
And even later, I was here in my apartment with Terry. I was toasting hot cross buns for both of us and took the first lot out of the toaster and put them on his plate. He took some margarine and spread it over and ate them. He made some remark – is this margarine apple-flavoured? I looked and it was something and pineapple. He replied “God what a horrible thing!” so I asked if he wanted something different. I went to put mine in the toaster but his second round was still in there so I took them out and put them on his plate – this was when he made the remark about the margarine, but he put his knife into the same butter and spread it on the others too and I didn’t understand that when he didn’t like the stuff and there were other things that he could have asked for.

By the time that I arose from my stinking pit it was after 09:00 so I had my medication and caught up with a few things, and then just as I was about to go for breakfast Rosemary rang me.

We were chatting for a good hour or so, so I ended up with a very late breakfast.

Later, I attacked the dictaphone. I transcribed the notes from the night and then attacked a pile from the backlog of stuff. That was interrupted by someone coming on line and wanting a chat.

As a consequence I was very late for lunch and so seeing as it was Easter Monday I ate my vegan Easter Egg instead.

This afternoon I was intending to carry on with some work but I was interrupted by a special one-off sale of 3D items that involved spending an hour or so surfing through the web site to see what might be of interest.

That was interrupted my Ingrid ringing me and we had a really long chat for well over an hour.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceThat meant that my afternoon walk was rather late.

But when I finally did make it outside I was immediately struck by the strange lighting conditions that we were experiencing.

There was some kind of light grey light reflecting off the sea and the Ile de Chausey was standing out silhouetted on the horizon. I’m not quite sure why this should be.

painter pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceAnd it goes without saying that I wasn’t the only person out there this afternoon enjoying the weird light.

There was a painter out there too doing his thing. He had drawn quite a crowd of spectators eagerly admiring his work. And it wasn’t bad either. I wouldn’t have minded it hanging up on my wall.

He isn’t the first painter that we have seen in action either. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we encountered one in Québec in 2011.

coastguard post pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceYesterday I mentioned that the path around the Pointe du Roc had been reopened. This afternoon I went that way to see what it was like.

You need to be quite athletic to enjoy the trip because there is a considerable number of steps down to the bottom. And what goes down must come back up, as we all know.

But it’s worth it because there’s a view of the coastguard station that I have never seen before.

wartime graffiti atlantic wall pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceBut something else caught my eye while I was down here.

regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve spoken quite considerably in the past about the construction of the Atlantic Wall during the latter stages of World War II to defend the coast against invasion;

Here on the floor I found a fine example of 1943 graffiti drawn into the concrete, presumably drawn by one of the workmen when they were pouring the concrete.

cap lihou baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceAnother view that I haven’t seen was the Cap Lihou from the rear.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen the sentry’s cabin on the headland before on several occasions but we haven’t seen it from this angle.

And I’m also interested in what looks as if it might be a cave just down there to the left. One of these days when there’s a very low tide I shall have to walk around there for a good look.

repaired walk pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceAs for the walk itself, it’s very picturesque, but it’s also very difficult and very narrow.

What didn’t help either was that there were hundreds of other people out there enjoying it too so there wasn’t much room to move about.

Because of all of this, it’s not something that you would want to do in the dark either. It’s definitely going to have to be a daylight job.

Back here someone else wanted to chat so by then end of that I was hours late for tea. So I didn’t bother. I went for a walk around the walls in the twilight instead.

Now I’m back here and I’m going for an early night. I have a lot to do over the next few days and I need to be on form.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

zodiac baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
zodiac baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

cabanon vauban pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france
cabanon vauban pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france

atlantic wall pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
atlantic wall pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

flags pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
flags pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

fishing boats baie de mont st michel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
fishing boats baie de mont st michel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

fishing boats baie de mont st michel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
fishing boats baie de mont st michel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

Sunday 21st April 2019 – THIS SPENDING SPREE …

… is continuing.

Having received a totally unplanned and unexpected windfall the other day, I’m taking the opportunity to improve my situation somewhat.

Not to any major degree, it has to be said, but simply to make me feel better. I’ve been examining the hobbies and pastimes (such as they are) with which I seem to spend most of my time, moving out a pile of substandard equipment and replacing it with some much better stuff.

Browsing around on the internet, I’m surprised at how much decent second-hand gear there is on the market, as the purchase of that lens for the Nikon 1 the other day proved.

So I’ll keep you posted as and when things start to arrive.

having had a late night last night, I slept right through until about 08:15. Not quite as long as I was hoping, but better than some nights that I had.

I’d been on a voyage too during the night. I had been driving a coach somewhere around the Worcester-Gloucester area, a route that I’d driven on a couple of occasions, and I was close to the lunch stop. The bus pulled up at what is in fact Millstone Lane in Nantwich and the passengers alighted. I drove on empty to the lunch stop, but the passengers never arrived. The place was becoming busier and busier and I thought that if they don’t come quickly there wouldn’t be any room for them. Then I realised that I hadn’t told them where the lunch stop was so I took the coach to go to look for them. I found them all at the pickup point waiting for me so I loaded them up to take them to the lunch stop. But the street that I was in was narrow and was blocked. One driver in a car – e Renault Dauphine – reversed to let me past but I had to manoeuvre around a dark green Jeep Cherokee – and scratched the coach and the car in the process. The street then narrowed and narrowed until it became nothing more than the back-entry between two rows of houses. It was so narrow that I was amazed that the coach could fit down there and one passenger said that it was because the coach was so high that the walls of the back yards were passing underneath the bodywork.

After breakfast I did some much-needed tidying up and cleaning, because I was expecting visitors. And sure enough, at about 11:00 Liz and Terry turned up. With Liz’s elder son, his partner and their little child.

beach plat gousset old town granville manche normandy franceWe all went out for a good walk around the walls and ended up in la Rafale, the café down the road, for a drink.

later on we went for a picnic lunch next up on the grass by the lighthouse, and then down the steps to the beach.

A lovely walk out to the sea and it was really amusing because the tide was going out quicker than we could walk towards it.

beach plat gousset old town granville manche normandy franceOnce the tide started to come back in again, we retraced our steps back up the beach.

I’m not as young as I was and my health issues don’t help very much, so the steps – all 112 of them – back up to the town killed me off.

I wasn’t the only one feeling the strain either, so it was back to la Rafale for all of us yet for another coffee.

They all cleared off afterwards and I made tea – another delicious pizza followed by rice pudding.

sunset baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThere were quite a few people out there tonight enjoying the warm evening sun.

And out here a delightful conversation took place
Young girl – “did you see the dolphin”
Our Hero – “no, I didn’t. Where was it?”
Young girl – “in the sea”.

Well, yes.

people enjoying the sunset lifeboat memorial granville manche normandy franceThere was another group of people down there at the Cap Lihou enjoying the sunset, with the bright orange glow reflecting off their faces.

And the good news is that according to another group of people, the footpath all around the headland is now repaired and open, so we can walk all the way around it now instead of taking the short cut through the car park.

I’ll have to go for a good look around there tomorrow and see what it’s like.

But now, it’s bed time. A Bank Holiday tomorrow so no alarm. And I intend to make the most of it.

oarsmen yachts fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
oarsmen yachts fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

beach plat gousset old town granville manche normandy france
beach plat gousset old town granville manche normandy france

beach plat gousset old town granville manche normandy france
beach plat gousset old town granville manche normandy france

frogmen zodiac plat gousset granville manche normandy france
frogmen zodiac plat gousset granville manche normandy france

buoys baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
buoys baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

beach plat gousset old town granville manche normandy france
beach plat gousset old town granville manche normandy france

fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

Friday 19th April 2019 – THERE’S NOTHING …

… like a good rice pudding for tea.

And that rice pudding that I had for tea this evening was nothing like a good rice pudding. I’m not sure what happened there. Maybe I didn’t put enough milk in it but it wasn’t as smooth and creamy as I would like it.

But there’s enough left over for the next couple of days so there’s a chance to improve it.

Last night’s sleep was somewhat better. Although I didn’t go off to bed early, I had a somewhat better sleep, even if I did awaken at about 07:00.

No chance of me leaving my stinking pit at that time though. 09:00 was much more like it.

Plenty of time to go on a ramble though. Last night I’d been invited to some kind of meeting at the Solar Energy Institute so I went along to some café-restaurant place and people were around there eating. My impression was that I had been invited to a meal too, and I was loaded up with a camera, telephone, laptop, notebook etc and I was desperately trying to do something on the laptop using just one hand before I could get to see this person. It too kme so much time that I was getting later and later, and I was 10 minutes late when I finished sending this document. I put everything down and sat at this table but no-one came so after 5 minutes I picked everything up and went to find the manager. I found that I had left the laptop behind, but I needed it as it had the name of this person on it. In the end I managed to locate the manager. He looked through the list of people on duty and said “it’s Katie” (or was it Kathy or similar?). But then he said “I’ve heard about you. You were camping out at that festival for a week and didn’t change your underwear” and made a gesture of holding his nose, which I found rather offensive because I had been washing my undies every day in the sink as I always do when I’m on the road. I went back into the restaurant and there was this girl sitting there with some small parcels. I thought that there can’t be anything for me, so I just sat down and had a look at the writing accompanying them, and it was mine. She approached me to confirm who I was, and satisfied, she undid these parcels which had some print work in, stuff that I had informally enquired about when I’d been at this festival. We began to discuss the festival and I made the point that it was one of those things that the people in the Auvergne had been organising, the same thing for 12 years and nothing has ever come of it. She said that this year it seemed to be really, really good. I replied that anything with Francois Carriatt involved in it couldn’t be really, really good. We had a lengthy discussion about how these people would start something with loads of enthusiasm but run out of steam before it got anywhere. The same old story every year for as long as I could remember. How all of the ex-pats would go along to help, full of enthusiasm but when they saw how it was all working out they all stopped going and left the locals to their mess and that was that. After a lengthy discussion she was telling me about the stage, to which I replied that I’d seen it al before. The discussion went round to selling things. How her parents used to sell tents, big heavy canvas ones but weren’t very good at it. They would take tents to camp sites and similar, and stick their tent next to the one they were selling and have a sign “tent for sale – see next door” but it never really worked. I said that this was a thing of the moment. People would come with their own sleeping arrangements and the only time that this was likely to change would be if there would be a torrential downpour in the middle of a festival when people who had been planning to sleep out would need shelter and then you could sell anything with no effort whatsoever

For breakfast I had, as well as the usual muesli, fruit juice and apple purée, a toasted hot cross bun. That was delicious too, I can tell you.

Today I’ve had a busy day, despite it being a Bank Holiday.

I started off by attacking the photos from my trip away. Quite a few had survived the short-circuiting of the memory card. and now they are all edited and uploaded.

nikon 1 18.5mm f1.8  port de granville harbour manche normandy franceI’ve also uploaded the photos that I took last night with the new 18.5mm f1.8 lens for the Nikon 1 J5.

Here’s one of them in its unadulterated glory. It’s simply compressed and not otherwise manipulated. And taken on totally automatic setting with no input whatsoever.

In fact, the images that I took in street lighting needed compensating because they were coming out too bright.

All in all though, I’m as impressed with this as I was with my galvanised steel dustbin.

crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe photos took me up to lunchtime, which I spent sitting on the wall outside in the glorious sunshine. The lizards haven’t found me yet, but the blackflies have.

The crane was there again, with a couple of pontoons by the look of it. And I now know their purpose because it was in the local newspaper this morning.

They are talking about replacing the floating walkways in the harbour, and they need to take core-drill samples of the seabed there to see what kind of anchorages would work best there.

I still can’t see why they hadn’t done it when they had the harbour drained out last winter.

This afternoon, in between falling asleep for 20 minutes and going for my afternoon walk, I attacked the dictaphone entries. All of them from my trip to Leuven and also another 8 from the backlog. another couple of months at this rate and it might all be done, ready for my next voyage, whenever and wherever that might be.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceAs for my walk, there were crowds out there today, enjoying the sunshine sitting and lying about on the beach.

There were even some people in the water enjoying themselves, for there were some who were braver than others.

Not for me of course. I’m well-known for having refused the swim in the Arctic Ocean just 100 miles from the North Pole.
“I have this catheter port in my chest”
“What would you do if you didn’t have the catheter port?”
“I’d have to think of another excuse”.

Tea tonight was a slice of my leek and tofu pie from last year, with baked potatoes, vegetables and gravy. It was delicious. And even though the rice pudding didn’t come out as it was supposed to, it was still enjoyable.

school children speaking english pointe du roc granville manche normandy francelater on this evening I went out for my walk, and there were crowds of people enjoying the sunshine.

Wandering around the headland was a party of teenagers, and they were trying to speak English to the couple of people who were leading the group.

Other people were out and about cooking tea in their caravanettes (and I didn’t half give one woman a shock when I walked around the corner)

couple enjoying sunset cap lihou granville manche normandy franceThere were yet more people enjoying the beautiful weather sitting on the benches overlooking the sea, including this couple on the Cap Lihou by the old sentry box.

It was that kind of evening tonight – nice and warm with plenty of sun. It really made me happy to be out there and I sauntered off singing quite happily to myself

It’s been a while since I felt like that.

victor hugo baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceMy reverie was distracted by Victor Hugo coming in from Jersey with a load of passengers. It was quite an impressive sight because she’s an impressive ship.

I’ve not seen her sister ship around for a while so maybe she’s still under repair. They bought her fairly new from a Swedish ferry company but she’s been giving nothing but trouble since she came here.

Something of a white elephant, she’s turned out to be.

And in the Chantier Navale we were back down to the two boats that have been there for a few weeks now. The two trawlers that were there yesterday have now been released.

Shopping tomorrow so I’m going to have an early night. And quite right too. I need to gather up my strength for my next vicissitudes.

la grande ancre buoys granville manche normandy france
la grande ancre buoys granville manche normandy france

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

victor hugo baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
victor hugo baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

victor hugo baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france
victor hugo baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Friday 4th May 2018 – HAPPY STAR WARS DAY!

Yes, May the Fourth be with you.

And I started off today as I meant to go on, that’s for sure. Flat on my back asleep.

And to 09:10 as well. This idea with me being ill of not having an alarm going off to disturb me is clearly doing me some good, I reckon. Sleeping all the way through until I wake up. You can’t say better than that.

It’s certainly making me feel a little batter too because, much to my surprise, I actually put all the washing away this morning after breakfast. There had been some here on the dryer since before I went away last month and although that was put away, the only reason was to replace it with the stuff that I washed on my return. So that’s some good news.

Not only that, I did a little more vague-ish tidying up and then sat down to edit another huge pile of photos. So if you scan back through a few of the last couple of days, you will probably see some photos and a bit more text that you hadn’t seen last time that you looked.

It was another beautiful afternoon with the window open once again to let in the air.

pointe du roc cap lihou baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceAnd while this was going on, I let myself out to go for a walk in the sunshine.

Crowds of people there were out there too, all taking advantage of the gorgeous weather. And I can’t say that I blame them either because it really was nice and the views were outstanding again over the Baie de Mont St Michel.

But I can see it becoming really busy here before too long and I’ll be back on my Friday shopping trips to avoid the rush.

hang gliding granville manche normandy franceAnd it wasn’t just pedestrians who were out there taking advantage of the weather.

We had a few more of these vulture-like people soaring up and down over our heads, reminding us of how primitive man must have felt when he had pteranodons and Pterodactyli to contend with.

I’m still waiting for one of these to end up as a crumpled heap at my feet because it’s bound to happen that a couple of these will become tangled up while heading for the same stretch of sky.

Is there some kind of Highway Code for these people?

With the general improvement in my health I found that I could concentrate once more on a course that I’m studying. I mentioned that I found a free 3D program called Hexagon where you can create your own props from “primitives” – that is, basic shapes such as cubes, circles and pipes, that kind of thing that you can combine together. I had a go at it a while ago but didn’t make much progress

However I’m not sure if I mentioned that I found a whole series of videos on Youtube which give a thorough grounding in the basics of the program. So before I was taken ill just now I had started to work my way through them.

But it’s hard going. The presenter might be good at what he does but he drives me berserk with his “pacifically” instead of “specifically” and his “access” instead of “axis” and his “gyro” with a hard “g” (as in “garden”) instead of a soft “g” (as in “German”). I’m not sure if I’ll make it down to the very end at this rate – I really don’t.

As well as that, I’ve had my first session on the guitar for quite some time. Things are definitely looking up here a little.

But not so much that I fancied any lunch. I’m still not feeling that well.

On the other hand, tea was a vegan lentil-and-pepper curry from last November (such are the benefits of having a deep-freezer) but no strawberries – I was right in saying that they wouldn’t last until this evening.

square maurice marland granville manche normandy franceThe walk this evening around the walls was almost completely uneventful,

I say “almost”, because there was a large group of people having a late-evening picnic on the grass at the Square Maurice Marland. They certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves, although they didn’t say why.

So I wished them all good health and carried on with my walk.

So now it’s an early night for me. The alarms go back on tonight for it’s a trip to the shops in the morning. Back into the old routine, hey?

Still, the rest did me good, didn’t it?