Tag Archives: carole brooks

Tuesday 12th April 2022 – IT’S BEEN SOMETHING …

jade 3 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… of a nautical day this afternoon when I was out on my rounds.

So while you admire several photos of the Trawler Jade III out there fishing just offshore in the Baie de Granville (and you can tell that she has a good haul on board from the crowds of seagulls that are flocking around her) I’ll tell you about my less-than-exciting day today.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 it goes without saying that I didn’t actually leave the bed at that moment. Mind you, I did beat the second alarm to my feet, although there wasn’t much in it.

In fact I actually felt like death this morning.

philcathane jade 3 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022So while Jade III and Philcathane cross each other in the bay, I had my medication and then sat down to deal with today’s radio programme that I should have done yesterday.

And although I’d already done half of it previously, it took me much longer than it ought to have done.

At about 09:20 I had a ‘phone call. “You told us on your questionnaire (for my MRI scan tomorrow) that you worked in metal.”
“That’s correct. But I’ve not done any welding since 1997 (when I welded up the exhaust on my old Passat) and only some very rare moments of grinding ever since”
“Nevertheless you need to come here for a brain scan. And bring your prescription with you”

jade 3 trawler speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And so I had to rummage through a pile of paperwork to find the prescription and then Caliburn and I set out for the Radiology Centre.

For a change, I didn’t have to wait too long to have my skull x-rayed but I had to wait for an hour for the results. Consequently I went down the hill to the Leclerc to do a little shopping – like sunflower seed, peppers, mushrooms and some flour.

Back at the Radiology centre they gave me my photos. “We gave you a brain scan” she said “but we found nothing” and that’s the most depressing thing that I’ve heard for quite some considerable time.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Back here I cracked on with the radio programme and it took me almost until lunchtime to finish it off. It really wasn’t a good day.

At least the bread that I had taken out of the freezer was nice and fresh, and that soft Greek vegan cheese that Alison found for me is absolutely delicious. It’s amazingly like fresh mozzarella. I’ll be buying more of that in due course.

Once I’d finished lunch I spent a short while organising some more photos from August 2019 and my trip to the High Arctic. Right now I’m in a zodiac roaring up Dundas Harbour at Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, trying to out-manoeuvre a polar bear that was there to keep a close eye on a family of seals.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022When I’d gone out earlier this morning it was quite a reasonable day. But this afternoon it had gone really cold and it was raining.

Not the kind of day that I would have expected to have seen anyone down on the beach, but nevertheless there were some people down there this afternoon, and there were some more people coming down the steps from the Rue du Nord to join them.

No-one in the water though, and that wasn’t a surprise at all.

While I was down there I had a look out to sea to see what was happening, and you’ve already seen Jade III and Philcathane out there in the bay having a good trawl around.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was quite a racket going on this afternoon from the work that’s being undertaken on the medieval wall at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

They are pushing on with the pointing over there and they seem to have made it as far as the huge vertical crack and that’s going to take some filling.

But it’s not going to be done right now, with one of the workmen sitting on top of the wall eating his butties or something.

Having dealt with all of that I headed off down the path towards the end of the headland. Despite the rain and the cold weather there were quite a few people walking around on the path this afternoon. I suppose that they have come here for a holiday and don’t have anything else to do.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022A little earlier I mentioned that it was something of a nautical day today.

You have seen trawlers and yachts and speedboats out there at sea but right now we have a cabin cruiser going past as I walked around the end of the headland. It was moving rather quickly too as if it was on a Mission from God.

As for me, I was on a mission too, which was to find some shelter from this rain. There was no-one sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon, and that was no surprise, and so I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

le roc a la mauve 3 anakena chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022First stop was to see what was going on at the chantier naval this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw it in a long-distance shot from a different viewpoint yesterday so I wanted to see it from this point of view.

Of course, Spirit of Conrad has now gone back into the water but Le Roc à la Mauve III is still there where she has been for quite a while although her paint job is well advanced.

Anakena is there too. We saw her lifted out of the water a couple of weeks ago. There are a couple of people working on her this afternoon despite the rain and with the tourist season about to start, I bet that they are in a hurry.

jade 3 chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022In the meantime, Jade III has finished her fishing session is on her way into the harbour, minus the flock of seagulls that accompanied her out in the bay.

Also in the port today, over at the ferry terminal, are Chausiaise, the little freighter that goes over to the Ile de Chausey, and one of the Joly France passenger ferries.

In the background in the port de plaisance we can just about make out the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

There were also several people with nothing better to do in the miserable weather lounging about looking over the sea wall at nothing particular.

le styx lysandre charlevy chant de sirenes catherine philippe port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That’s because all of the activity is taking place on this side, over at the fish processing plant.

From front to back we have Le Styx, Lysandre, Charlevy, an unknown boat, Chant de Sirenes and Catherine Philippe just coming in to tie up.

And there’s quite a crowd over there on the quayside watching the activity. There’s plenty of it going on.

Back here I had a coffee and then, rather regrettably, I fell asleep. So there was half a mug of cold coffee and some in the percolator when I awoke.

and it was freezing cold too. Not even an extra jacket helped so I switched on the portable electric heater for a while.

That was the cue to make a start on listening to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. And I’d been quite far, as it happens.

Last night I met some Russian apologists who were excusing the violence and everything that was taking place but before I didn’t go very far into this before it petered out.

Then there was going to be the World Cup and there the organisers of the Welsh FA were on stage and with a crowd inside. They were drawing out of a glass bowl the names of players who were going to represent Wales. They started off with 30 but were choosing 23. They were pulling out these names of players and they were all players about whom i’ve never heard and I didn’t have a clue who they were or where they played. I had no idea exactly what was going on and why they had even thought about selecting some of these names to be in this pool.

And next I was on a station in Germany watching a Trans-Europe Express pulled by one of the NEZ CASSÉ French locomotives of the 1970s. I don’t know anything about this other than that I was on the station.

We were also going on a coach holiday. A girl whom I knew was coming with me – a really big girl (and I do mean “big”). It wasn’t until we were assembled ready to go that I realised just how big because the two of us sitting in a coach seat would be rather problematic. They were discussing all of the holiday but I wasn’t listening very much because I was too busy making a list of things that I had forgotten, including my raincoat so I was going to have to do some shopping when the coach stopped. They we had to board the coach so I took my suitcase but no-one else was bringing their suitcase. I imagined that there was someone collecting them in the office so I had to walk back to the office with mine, against the flow of traffic to leave my suitcase there and then come back. That probably meant that we wouldn’t get a good seat together on the coach. That really suited me because otherwise I would have had to sit next to her and there wouldn’t have been any room on the seat. But I can’t believe that I was coming away on a holiday and i’d left half of my important stuff behind like I had.
Actually, I can because it wouldn’t be the first time. Most people usually make a list of what they need and pack accordingly. I normally just pack and then when I’m away I make a list of what I’ve forgotten
So we all walked back to the coach. I was one of the last to board. Luckily the girl was sitting right at the front next to someone else which was great for me so I walked a few seats back. There was an empty seat next to a young girl who turned out to be Castor. so “hello Castor after all this time. Isn’t it nice to see you?”. I sat next to her. She was busy trying to pass her headphones to the girl in the seat behind her so that she could listen to the sound for the film that was being shown on the coach. Castor wasn’t talking to me yet. She was telling the girl behind her that she used to get up very early and go for a wander around and then go back to sleep for an hour. That was basically how I existed at that time so I thought to myself that with sitting next to her on this trip I might be able to strike up a good relationship with her, and isn’t that some wishful thinking?

We were in Crewe somewhere on the Wistaston Road estate although it was supposed to be somewhere round Pym’s Lane – Minshull New Road area. There were people preparing to go to school. There was a young girl there busy adjusting her cardigan, tying it in a knot at the bottom because it was a warm summer day. There were other people getting into a car to be taken to school because their school was actually on the Middlewich Road. I was walking past all of these people heading down the bacnk but I’m not sure why

Did I dictate the story about the girl who was preparing to go to school adjusting her cardigan as I was walking down the hill where I thought was the Wistaston Green Estate but was somewhere round by Pym’s Lane – Minshull New Road and there were all these people there preparing to go to school as I was walking past them … “yes you did” – ed. What I meant to say was we were now heading back towards the coach. I was one of the last on. Luckily this girl had found someone else by whom to sit, right at the very front seat wedging this person in. That was fine by me. I went back a couple of rows and found an empty seat. It turned out that I was sitting next to Castor so “welcome back Castor”. She was busy passing her headphones to the person in the seat behind her so that person could listen to the sound on the film that was playing on the coach. She was saying that she was a very early riser, awoke in the morning, did a few things and then went back to bed for an hour. That was the kind of thing that suited me because that’s how I behaved. I was hoping that I could have a really good rapport with her during the course of this voyage on this bus.

And I’m surprised that I dreamt the same dream twice a good distance apart and it all sounded almost the same even with the sidelong remarks.

Finally it was the school holidays again so we were back there and I was working on the railway station at Koln or Aachen. A train pulled in and the people started to alight. It turned out that one of the people was a girl whom I knew so I said “hello”. She wondered what I was doing here because she knew me from Brussels. I said that i’d come here to change trains. I asked where her train was going so she told me but that wasn’t really anywhere near the one that I wanted …indistinct…. but there was some detail on it that I could keep.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper with rice and veg. And it was delicious as usual.

And now that I’ve finished my notes, I’m off to bed for a decent sleep.

So Castor came back last night for the first time for ages. She’s been missed while she’s been away. But even so, it it didn’t look as if she was taking much notice of me. I hope that she’ll be back tonight and I can see more of her.

Friday 26th November 2021 – PHEW! THAT WAS EXPENSIVE!

And I don’t even have any photographs for my pains either today.

That is for two reasons too.

  1. there’s a howling gale blowing outside right now
  2. I have been busy all afternoon and couldn’t even find time to go for my afternoon walk

Before we start though, I’m not going to mention last night. You can read the dictaphone notes and make up your own mind.

A train had been requisitioned by the Germans last night and was heading off with all kinds of art treasures that had been looted. They had a man on the front with a machine gun to defend against saboteurs, all this kind of thing but in the corridor of the tender facing the engine driver was another German armed with a sub-machine gun. At a certain point the train ground to a halt and there was some panic going on outside. The commandant in charge said “we’ll get the guy with the machine gun on the crew to reinforce you” which of course caused panic because no-one there actually knew that they were being watched like this on the footplate. At the same time there was a strike going on with football players because of recognition with their previous clubs hadn’t been granted so they weren’t considered as being equal or equivalent footballers to the Premier League and weren’t being able to be picked for the Premier League sides but that was on the point of being resolved.

A little later I was with someone (and I wish that I knew who it was) on a bicycle ride on holiday. I had a rucksack on my back and she had one on hers. We’d had some kind of incident that meant that she’d used my jeans as a mop so she’d had to borrow some jeans from someone for me. We were cycling and came to this bridge over a motorway. There were several lanes and a main road and a side road and a footpath etc. Several lanes went on a bridge over the top of the motorway while a couple went through a tunnel underneath. We cycled on and came to the motorway interchange. This was an awful, really complicated road junction. We were on bikes and the vehicles were running really quickly and not giving us much time to get into position because we wanted the lane far over in the centre. Eventually we managed to pick our way through the traffic without any excitement. We noticed on the map that someone who used to work for the radio lived here in a little cul-de-sac so we thought that we’d go to visit him. He had a bungalow in a kind-of close. When we arrived he was on the doorstep saying that he was just going to bed. he told us about an incident he’d had which involved the police which had left him feeling very bitter about whatever it was that the radio was. He went to bed but we were inside the house and used his bathroom, organised a few things. We noticed that there was an orange plastic skull sitting on his bed. We wondered what that was doing. Then my partner started to take stuff out of my rucksack to rearrange it which was uncomfortable seeing as I was wearing it at the time

And then there was a sandpit there (wherever “there” was) and a kid who was very much like me as a small child playing in it. Someone said something about how he could foretell the future in various respects. I mentioned that I’d had mine told for me and it wasn’t very complimentary

This cable had an olive-green and white speckly very thick-outer a cable with a very solid rigid central core that we could make into all kinds of shapes, but none of them were anything to do with what we were trying to do. And whatever that bit is all about is a complete mystery to me.

Some time later we were driving down the M6, a big group of us. A girl whom I used to know in Scotland was there as well, heading down. At a certain moment I recognised somewhere and said “this is the start of the Morecambe Bay holiday area, isn’t it?”. They didn’t know but we’d gone about half a mile and saw a load of surfers in the water. I mentioned that there was a town down here a little further where I’d been a couple of years ago and there had been an enormous flood. We’d spent our time swimming in what was the town square. When we arrived, the town square was flooded again so we had to drive round and find a place to park and then needed to find the solicitor’s that we were visiting the next day. I was sure that I knew where it was because I’d been here before. So we went and sure enough, this was where it was. Then we had to work out where we were going to stay. Everyone else was broke so we were talking about hostels and everything. Eventually they found some kind of bed and breakfast place that was quite cheap and were talking about booking it there but some people didn’t have any money etc

When the alarm went off I couldn’t get out of bed for quite some time but eventually I forced myself out and went for my medication.

Having checked my mails and messages I cracked on (and I really did too) with the work that needed doing. The sound-files have been sent off with the accompanying notes, and so have my questions for these perishing elves.

One thing that I noticed was that my server wasn’t saving the copies of my mails, which was no surprise as my mailbox was at 101%. I spent a very happy rest of the morning going through and weeding a pile of stuff that had built up in there that should have been deleted a long time ago.

What’s filling the place up is all of the piles of stuff that I’ve been receiving about my family so I went and downloaded it all and deleted it from my mail server. Now my mailbox is now at a more-manageable 73%.

One day I’ll download a mail-handling client like Thunderbird and download everything from the mail server.

There were several phone calls to make too. I contacted the insurance company about Caliburn’s windscreen and then I rang around for some new winter tyres for Caliburn.

When I was in the Auvergne 18 months ago I’d brought a couple of spare wheels back from the Auvergne because winter tyres are now obligatory in many départements in the centre where my farm is and it’s high time that I had some.

Hunting around on the internet I couldn’t find any bargains of the make that I wanted but somewhat closer to home, a tyre fitter could supply exactly what I wanted and on the wheels on the van they will work out even cheaper than the tyres alone on the internet.

Some other stuff is needed too for Caliburn. There’s a cracked mirror and a cracked rear light that the controle technique examiner mentioned, and of course if he’s having a new windscreen he’s having new wipers to go with it.

Rosemary rang me too and we had another one of our mega-chats

After lunch I wandered off to LIDL where I spent a fortune and can’t really see what I bought with my money, except that it was too heavy to bring all of it upstairs.

Next stop was at the windscreen place. The Insurance Company told me that the windscreen people would contact me but as I was driving past, I popped in. And as luck would it, they had a windscreen in stock and a vacant spec in their workshop at 09:00 on Monday morning.

From there I drove to the tyre fitter. he didn’t have the tyres in stock but I paid a deposit and he’s ordered them and they’ll be here on Friday morning. While I was there I bought some rust killer and some wheel paint. I may as well make his wheels look pretty

Final stop was LeClerc where I spent a fortune and once again I couldn’t really see what I’d bought for my money – except the four bottles of ginger beer that they had on special offer and the new slippers to replace my worn-out ones.

By the time that I returned it was 18:00 (where does the time all go?) so I made a coffee and ended up chatting to Liz for an hour.

Tea was a burger on a bap (now that I have baps and the correct burgers) with a baked potato and vegetables, and it was delicious.

Now I’m off to bed. I need my sleep – if I get any with this astonishing storm raging outside – as I have my Welsh weekend class for the next couple of days.

Can you imagine it? Me, setting an alarm on a Sunday! Wonders will never cease.

Tuesday 16th February 2021 – I’VE HAD SOME …

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

There’s a website that keeps people up-to-date with the Covid vaccination programme here in France and for the last week or so I’ve been following it closely. Today, I noticed that they had moved away from just “Healthcare Staff” and there was a box to tick for “Over 75”, with appointments from 8th March.

Of course it wouldn’t let me reserve a slot as I’m not over 75, despite how I feel, but my understanding was that the next step was to include Vulnerable People as well so I rang up the Virus Centre again (they must be sick to death of me) to enquire.

And indeed I’m right. It is for vulnerable people too but the centres at Avranches and Granville have a preponderance of older people compared to some regions so they are just concentrating on those for now. But if I were to try an industrial area maybe where there are more younger people, he told me, I might be in luck.

So I let him do his stuff seeing as he has the appointments registers in front of him, and sure enough, I’m off to Valognes in the suburbs of Cherbourg, 100 or so kms away, on Friday 12th March for my first jab.

To be honest, I don’t really care where I have to go as long as they’ll give me the injection. Once I’m in the system, that will be fine for me and I can breathe a sigh of relief.

Another thing that I can breathe a sigh of relief about was that I had the date wrong for my one-on-one with my Welsh tutor. It’s Thursday, not Tuesday that I’m having it. And I’d made a special effort too. I’d even beaten the third (well, it’s now the fourth) alarm to my feet yet again.

Plenty of time to listen to the dictaphone. Yesterday’s entry is now well and truly up-to-date, having found out where I’d been, and now I could turn my attention to where I went last night.

I had been with a former friend of mine and her family in Scotland and they had this most extraordinary cat which was like a square box with legs. Apparently it was a stray and they had found it in their kitchen so they had adopted it. The question came up about war crimes, don’t ask me why, in ex-Yugoslavia. I was worried about this cat that might be connected with that there and might be prosecuted again for its role. It was all extremely confusing. There was so much more to it than this but I can’t remember the rest.

Last night had in fact been a very late night – and I do mean “very late” too. This file transfer thing had about an hour to go after I’d finished my notes so I sat and waited for it. It did indeed take an hour to transfer what it could, but dealing with the duplicates was something else completely .

Anyway, this morning the first task was to go through it, merge with other back-up drives and discard where appropriate. It’s about half-done because I ran out of steam but even so, it’s liberated an extra 100GB of free space here and there.

Incidentally, I always have four or five jobs going on at once because I do have a tendency to run out of steam, so when I lose interest I have other things that I can do to stimulate my interest and I don’t ground out.

The next job, after my abortive attempt at a Welsh tutorial, was to download the drivers etc from the Acer website for the laptop that I’m hoping to repair. And the procedure has changed since I last restored a hard drive set-up. Nowadays you just download a bootable sector onto a memory stick, plug the memory stick in, switch on the machine and follow the instructions.

Mind you, I have downloaded all of the drivers and the BIOS and a few other bits and pieces (including an operating system) because we all know how these things work with me.

What I was going to do was to nip to the shops as I said yesterday but when I looked out of the window and saw the rain I changed my mind a little.

After lunch I had a baking afternoon.

With the extremely volatile sourdough that I have I made a pile of sourdough dough with a banana, dried fruit, jellied fruit, desiccated coconut, sunflower seeds and ground brazil nuts, and that’s quite happily festering away, going to have its second kneading tonight before I go to bed.

home made ginger beer place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd see those three bottles in the foreground just here? I’ve made a start on brewing my ginger beer now that my starter is ready.

Grind up 100 grammes of ginger and add 1 litre of water and bring it all to the boil. Once it’s boiled, add 100 grammes of sugar, stir it all together and leave it to cool.

When it’s cooled down to room temperature,, add the juice of a couple of lemons and 300ml of the ginger bug that you have been brewing for the last week or so. Then filter it through your filter stack into some strong clip-top bottles and leave for 3 days, releasing the pressure every now and again.

Last thing to do of course is to feed the sourdough and the ginger bug so that they’ll be ready for the next batch in due course.

waterlogged path college malraux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat took me up to my afternoon walk time around the headland.

By now the rain had stopped and it was a lovely summery afternoon. But you can see what I mean about waterlogged paths. That was almost dry the other day and the rain that we have had over the last day or so has caused all of this. Can you imagine what it must have been like after two weeks of continual torrential downpour and then all of that snow?

But still, if the weather keeps up, it might dry out in aa day or two’s time, but the next downpour that we’ll have will bring it all back. For the amount of people who use these paths around here, they might try to do something about all of this flooding or we’ll all have to be buying canoes.

st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust now I mentioned that it was quite beautiful out there this afternoon. It was another day where we would see for miles up and down the coast, and out to sea too.

Just recently I’ve been back out with the big NIKON D500 and it was just as well because we could see all the way to St Helier on the island of Jersey, all 58 kilometres, this afternoon and even the houses were visible. The little NIKON 1 J5 wouldn’t pick up the island and the houses as well as this.

There were quite a few people wandering around outside in the lovely weather but they were all on dry land. There wasn’t anyone that I could see out to sea or even in the air.

The sun’s too high for any decent reflections off the sea too. We’ve had that for now.

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead of waiting for things to happen in the bay, I pushed on … “he means “pushed off”” – ed … to the viewpoint overlooking the port.

Yesterday we had just one of the Joly France boats moored up at the Ferry terminal. Today we have both of them morred up over there, so I wonder where the other one was yesterday. And there’s still no Chausiais. I wonder where she has got to … “she’s hiding down at the bottom amongst all of the trawlers” – ed.

And there are still the same four boats in the chantier navale. Aztec Lady hasn’t made it back into the water as yet. I think that I must have been rather optimistic yesterday.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallTalking of ferries … “well, one of us is” – ed … I posted a photo of Granville, the Channel Islands ferry, moored at the port and because I couldn’t see Victor Hugo, the other Channel Islands ferry, I assumed that she was hidden by her colleague.

Apparently not, because she is now back in the outside position of the two ferries. So all that I can think of is that she must have gone out for a quick run around yesterday afternoon to stretch her legs.

And talking of stretching legs, I was going to stretch mine too. I had a letter to post (I’d found some time to do that this morning) and then I needed to do a little shopping for the fruit and veg that I had forgotten at LeClerc on Saturday morning in all of the excitement

Having posted my letter I had a quick look in the window of the Mairie to see what the last Council meeting had agreed. And it seems that they have budgeted something for the repairs to the walls around the Rue du Nord, at long last.

snow white with hypodermic and face mask biblioteque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhere I went for my fruit and veg (and forgot the tomatoes) was the Carrefour Supermarket, just opposite the library.

And while the Carnaval might be dead this year (they would normally be parading today) the spirit lives on because the people who have been working on the floats have nevertheless completed some of the artwork and have been to deposit it all around the town to brighten up the place.

This might be Snow-White, I reckon, although doubtless some junior reader might enlighten me, and you’ll notice that she is not only socially distancing herself from the Seven Dwarves but is wearing a face mask and about to give herself an injection.

So on that note I came on back up the hill at a steady walk and spent the rest of the afternoon such as it was dealing with the issue of positioning the photos in the stuff that I’ve written about Oradour sur Glane. And doing some rewriting too in order to improve the style and add in a few more things that I’ve discovered.

The guitar practice was miserable tonight and so I vent off, rather depressed, to make tea.

Stuffed pepper and rice it was. So I brought the water to boil for the rice, switched off the heat as soon as it boiled, waited 12 minutes for the rice to cook, went to strain out the water, only to find that I had forgotten to put the rice in.

Yes, only I could do something like that.

But now I’m off to knead the sourdough and then go to bed. It’s late, I’m exhausted and I’ve already crashed out once. High time that I had a decent sleep.

Sunday 1st March 2020 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… day without a single photograph. And, eve, worse, the first day for a month that I’ve done less than my 100% daily effort.

And one of the main reasons for that was that there wasn’t much of a day today to have a go at.

What with one thing and another, I ended up not going to bed until 03:30 this morning. I had things to do, I was on something of a roll and there was good music on my playlist. No alarm on a Sunday either.

And so consequently when I awoke at 07:50, and was even out of bed at one stage, there was no chance of that ever continuing. A much more reasonable time after a late night like that was …errr … 11:50.

Consequently, breakfast was … errr … somewhat late and then I had a look at the dictaphone. And I rather wished that I hadn’t.

Because what a nightmare that was! I was in West London and I’d fallen in with a family a bit like one that I knew once in Scotland, pretty undisciplined and wild with loads of kids. When we got to their house there were dogs overrunning the house – 20 or 30 dogs. Absolutely terrible. You coudn’t do anything for dogs barking and jumping up at you, all this kind of thing. In the middle Keith Emerson came in for a piano lesson as the guy who was running the house was teaching him to play the piano. That just made the whole thing wilder. I don’t think that i’ve ever been in a house so dirty and disgusting, especially when I’ve been in a dream, something like that. An old school friend was there. There was a TV going in the background and the woman came down and told Liz off about turning on the TV, quite bossy about it and switched off the TV. And on and on went this dream
A little later last night I was walking with one of my nieces through London. She was having a row with her mother about doing something about estate agents. There were a lot of properties that needed some kind of descriptive sheet drawn up. She was saying that some kind of things were not needed but her mother was saying that she did and there was this talk about it. The girl came out with this “well I don’t care what Northern people have to say. It’s not how it’s done”. We were walking over this huge railway arch overbridge type of place. We could see railway lines that kind of thing below us heading towards London docks. We were walking through the streets and somehow she and I became separated, I was on my own. Someone touched me on the shoulder, a young guy. He said “you know all about this agency thing don’t you?” I said yes so he said “do you know what it is that the mother wants?” “yes, it’s like ‘this apartment is in a sunny situation, one bedroom, fitted kitchen’ that kind of thing of descriptive”. So he handed me a couple of forms and said “could you write them out for these places?” I noticed that there were three or four other people near me who were doing the same thing so I had to write out a descriptive for these flats. The first one was at the address where my aunt lived, a flat in her building. I said “God, how strange” but no-one seemed to pick up on that so I said it again and again but no-one seemed to pick up on it so I made a start. Someone else was writing something and saying “I wonder if she’s going to get much work done on her place?” I replied that I knew the apartment because my Aunt lives in the building there. They are allowed to work on the interior but not on the exterior. A guy said “yes, that’s right. That’s how I had my place – it was like that as well”.
One of the people in the previous dream came out with the old Kenneth Williams “I’m Alan Watermain and I’m bursting with indignation at having to do this”
I was in Granville again later on and it was the Carnival parade and everyone had to interview the owners of the floats. I’d interviewed a few and one or two other people but someone was having no luck at all. In the end he just stopped broadcasting so he had to fill in all of the events. One of the questions that we asked was “what brought you to Canada?” and they recited a bit of their history and that sort of thing. Anyway this drifted on into the night. Next minute I was up early and started to ring people again. They were looking for me on the radio – they had a TV monitor that they used to zoom into the crowds. Eventually they picked me up and used various hand gestures as I was having to take things easy myself otherwise I’ll be creating these people with all their health issues. They asked me what I was doing, so I told them that I was still hunting for people to talk to the radio.
I fell asleep again while I was dictating a dream, this one about the circus procession thing. I probably mentioned about how the French were no good at building up the tension – they were good at reporting on the actual events but didn’t have very much idea about setting the scene or building up the tension, anything like that.

So I don’t have a clue about any of that.

There was still time for me to attack one of the digital files to split that into its components, and that’s one that will have to be done because the tape seems to have been damaged – there’s a frequent blip that appears at regular intervals right through it as if the tape has been pierced at one point.

Caliburn and I hit the streets and headed for Brehal-Plage. One of the guys from the radio lives there and we had some things to talk about – making plans and all of that. Just because things aren’t going our way right now, that’s no reason to down our tools. I have plenty of ideas and if the loud-mouth in the “team” (a phrase which I use very carefully) doesn’t like our ideas then we quite simply won’t seek his approval and by-pass this selection “committee” upon which he sits. We’ll just plough our own lonely furrow.

From there, I went to Roncey. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last Sunday it was my birthday and I had been invited for a birthday tea to Liz and Terry’s. However, I had to skip it because of this debâcle in which I was involved and so I was invited today instead.

We had a really good chat and I discussed one of my projects, which will (hopefully) involve Liz and STRAWBERRY MOOSE – but that’s not going to happen any time soon unfortunately, due to various things getting in the way.

Tea was delicious. We had a dahl – a lentil curry with garlic naam bread followed by apple crumble and custard. Even better, there was plenty left for a doggy bag to bring home.

And best of all, Liz produced a chocolate and orange cake as a special birthday treat and I shall be trying that as soon as I can.

On the way home, the heavens opened and Caliburn was drenched. And if that wasn’t enough, I went over a speed bump and the passenger-side mirror glass fell out of its surround and broke.

So bed-time now, and tomorrow I shall be back at work. I have my travel arrangements to make and a few other bits and pieces to do too, as well as organising the music for the next series of music programmes.

It’s all go here, isn’t it? But at least there is cake.