Tag Archives: cat

Saturday 10th September 2022 – NOT MY CAT

not my cat place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Say “hello” to Not My Cat.

There’s a lengthy thread on all forms of Social Media with posts about Not My Cat. Anyone who knows anything about cats will know that they come and go as they please and finding Not My Cat in a house is a regular occurrence.

Finding Not My Cat in a block of flats is even more rare especially when, as far as I know, no-one has a cat and there’s a security door.

But I opened the door to my apartment this morning and there was Not My Cat waiting outside. Quite a young cat by the looks of things. He (or she) ran inside before I could do or say anything, did a tour of the place, found a cosy spot on the sofa, curled up and went to sleep as if he owned it.

When I stroked him he purred quite loudly and I’m sure that he could have settled down here for ever and how I would have liked that. Only the other day I was talking about having a cat around the place. But someone would be missing him somewhere.

A little later I had to go out so I picked him up to carry him out. He ran down the stairs to the front door and as I opened it he skipped off outside like a 5 year-old girl and that was that. He didn’t have any fear or anxiety about going out.

And that was that. What a shame because even though it was only for half an hour or so, I really enjoyed having Not My Cat here.

Maybe it’s a sign from somewhere.

He’s not the first Not My Cat that I’ve had around. Back in the Auvergne there was a FERAL BLACK CAT that roamed around that adopted me during that really bad winter that we had.

Not My Cat wasn’t the only visitor that I had today, and that will explain the mad burst of energy and all of the tidying up just recently. But I’ll tell you more about that in a minute.

When the alarm went off this morning at 07:30 I was straight out of bed which is a surprise by itself and by the time that the 3rd alarm went off at 08:00 I’d had my medication showered and shaved.

When Lidl opened its door at 08:30 I’d already been outside for 5 minutes and by 09:15 I was back here.

It was an expensive shop at Lidl today but I’m not going to miss out on Bags of Brazil nuts at 40% off. And I’m certainly not going to miss out on grapes at €0:99 a kilo. We’re coming to the interesting time of the year.

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When I pulled up on the car park I noticed that Marité ws out and aboout on her travels again so I went upstairs to fetch the NIKON D500.

Back down here I strolled over to the wall at the end of the headland and took a photo of her.

She was quite far out by the time that I came back down too. It was a windy morning and she had some of her sails unfurled but I bet that the diesel motor was churning away too.

Settling down with a coffee, I had a listen to what was on the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I can’t remember too much about this particular voyage but we were working on a friend’s boat for some unknown reason, some kind of galleon. We needed to contact someone else about it. That other place asked us for the name of the boat and who owned it. For some unknown reason every time we tried to say his name a different name came out. They couldn’t match it with anything in their database. We must have said it 3 or 4 times and they still didn’t get it right as far as we were concerned.

A little later I was with Liz, wandering around the shops. We came to a newsagent’s where they had some brochures about camping. I had a look at a couple of them. One of them was for a company called Action Canada. The name caught my eye. I noticed that up in Labrador they had a camp site and 3 months there in June, July and August cost something like €3,000. I thought to myself “I could do this”. I picked up a brochure and showed it to Liz. When we had a look, this was a brochure for the British Isles only. I’d picked up the wrong one. I went back to try to find the one for Canada to find that where they had been, the owner had cleared out this particular range. We were scrabbling around looking for this particular brochure in stuff that was piled on the floor but we couldn’t find it. I was thinking to myself “here’s another one that has slipped away isn’t it?”.

Finally I was out with a bus-load of passengers and we were cruising around the back end of Shavington. We ended up on a dirt road. We were making comments about the dirt road etc. All of a sudden we came to a bit where they were tarmacking it. They actually had the whole road blocked off. I reached where these guys were working and asked “which way is past for me?”. He pointed to a steep bank that was probably about 1:2. he said “go down there”. I asked “are you serious?”. He replied “yes”. I thought that at the very least the front end of the coach is going to ground out on the bottom etc. I had the passengers making sure that they were sitting down and strapped in, and ever so slowly went down there and managed to bring the coach down to the bottom. We pulled away and ended up right where we ought to be in this café where we were stopping for lunch. I went in to see the girl. She was telling us that we would have to wait for a bit because we were early. I asked where was the best place to park the coach. She replied “about 1.8 kms away”. I replied “I’m not walking 1.8 kms”. Nerina who was with me said that she’d walk around the local area for a minute and look around. She was telling us about a mine shaft that was here which was why we’d come here for a coffee stop so that the people could see the mineshaft. She started to give the whole rigmarole speech. I thought “if she does this we aren’t going to have the time for the meal” so I had to somehow stop her and organise things properly. It occurred to me sometime during the night that I’d done the whole of the morning’s trip without putting on any music on the PA of the coach. I thought “that’s not like me at all to do that”.

Bang on cue at 11:00 my friends turned up. Someone whom I knew from my time in Manchester and with whom I’d kept in touch ever since, and was even best man when I married. We haven’t seen each other for eight years and so when I heard that he and his wife were passing through the area on their way down south, I invited them to call in.

And this is when Not My Cat appeared.

There was so much to discuss and we were in here for a couple of hours. However the weather improved dramatically and it looked like a nice day so we decided to go for a walk around the headland.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You can see how much the weather had improved by looking at this photo of the Ile de Chausey.

With the sun being behind me the colours on the island came up much better than they notmally do in the afternoon. Perhaps I ought to go out more often in the morning.

There’s a yacht sailing around out there too but that was all the marine traffic that there was just now. Marité must be loitering around somewhere behind the island.

We couldn’t see Jersey today though. Still, I suppose that you can’t have everything.

autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We carried on walking along the path towards the port.

There was no-one on the bench at the cabanon vauban but there was something in the iar, for the first time for several days. It’s a different autogyro than the one that we normally see. That one is yellow but this one is white and red.

It seems that this place is becoming much more popular as far as aerial travel goes, with all kinds of different planes putting in an appearance.

We went to la Rafale for a coffee and waited for a while until the crowds down in the town dispersed after the market was over, and then we went to hunt for food.

And just as you might expect, all of the restaurants had closed for the afternoon.

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Instead, we went for a walk around the harbour.

As we reached the Ferry terminal where we made a pit stop, we were lucky enough to witness the arrival of one of the Joly France ferries from the Ile de Chausey.

This is the older one of the near-identical pair, as you can tell by her windows. There’s quite a crowd on board and they can’t have appreciated the weather that was out there in the bay this morning.

While we were there on the quayside at the fish-processing plant we saw the tractor and trailer belonging to Les Bouchots de Chausey pull up, as well as another outfit that I didn’t recognise. It looks as if the shell-fishing boats are out there working today.

briscard chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022One place that I wanted to visit seeing as I was out on my travels with people who could pick me up if I fell over was the chantier naval

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there’s a shell-fishing boat in the chantier naval that I haven’t been able to identify and I wanted to see who she might be.

We headed off that way and that enabled us to identify that it is Briscard who is in there next to Peccavi.

Hhaving ascertained that we wandered back into the town to find food. Our first choice didn’t serve meals on a Saturday evening so we ended up at the pizzeria. They also served Italian food and to my surprise it was no problem at all to rustle up a vegan meal for me.

It was quite delicious too.

bar ephemère chez maguie place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home we went up the Rue des Juifs where we would look down on the boulodrome.

The Bar Ephemère, Chez Maguie, is still here and in the twilight it’s looking quite nice with all of the lights that illuminate it.

Whether it will be here there next year though is something else completely. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the residents of the building opposite have launched a petition to oppose it.

They were successful in obtaining a ban on the Big Wheel that we used to have here and that has probably given them courage. If only we had a maire and a town council who would do their job and respect the wishes of the other residents.

It’s quite true that I moan about the tourists being here, but even I realise that without them this town would be a very poor place.

old cars chevrolet covette stingray rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Something else that we saw on the way up was a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

It’s been quite a while since we featured an old car in these pages. For some reason or other we don’t seem to see so many these days, so it cheered me up to see something like this just parked at the side of the road.

This is one of the third generation of Corvettes, one of the “T-top” versions, and it’s a later rather than earlier model because of the bumpers. The earlier ones had a traditional metal bumper but in 1973 it was replaced with the plastic “collision bumper”.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We stopped a little higher up for me to catch my breath, and to overlook the port.

Now that it’s going dark and all of the lights are on, it’s looking quite dramatic down there tonight. All of the lights reflecting off the water, and the lights at the town of Carolles down there underneath the Pointe de Carolles.

The ferry terminal is still lit up, although it looks as if all of the ferries are now back home. Presumably they are cleaning them out ready for work tomorrow.

Looking at this photo, I really ought to start to go out again at night like I used to.

sunset baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Back in the car park my friends prepared to leave to go back to their camp site.

We watched the sun go down while we were there but it wasn’t as spectacular as some that we have seen. It actually sunk below the horizon a while back and all that we are seeing is the reflection of the sun in the sky.

We’ve seen some good ones of those in the past. One in particular that I remember was on 21st June one night when I was in Scotland years ago when I drove my coach up to the top of a hill near Stirling in Scotland at celestial midnight and watched the night fail to go dark and the sun to rise a few hours later.

After they had left I went back in. 135% of my daily activity when I’m having major mobility issues is something of an achievement. And so I’m going to bed while I still can. I’ll probably pay for all of this tomorrow but who cares?

Live for today, regardless of what happens tomorrow.

Wednesday 6th January 2021 – I WON’T EVER SEE …

… my friendly neighbourhood ginger cat again.

Regular readers of this rubbish may recall that I mentioned a while ago that his mum, one of my neighbours, had been offered an apartment in sheltered accommodation due to her age and infirmity. This afternoon as I put my head outside the door of the building I saw a removal van outside the door to her block.

And when I went out later this evening, her apartment was totally empty and cleared out. There she was – she and her cat – gone, and never called me mother (next week, East Lynne).

As for me I was totally gone last night too. When I finally made it into bed, late as usual just recently, I was out like a light and didn’t move a muscle until the alarm went off. And while I didn’t actually beat the third alarm, I wasn’t many minutes behind it.

After the medication I had a few things to do and then I had to ring up the doctor’s and make an appointment. And you can tell that this isn’t the UK.
“Is it urgent?”
“no, not particularly”
“Is 9:30 tomorrow OK?”

Haven’t dealt with that I sat down to start to dictate the notes that I’d written but then almost immediately I was interrupted by a telephone call. Would I like to go for a coffee with the manager of the radio station?

So I managed to dictate all of the notes and then go and have a shower before I headed off across the car park to the Municipal offices at the back. Coffee was served and then we had a lengthy chat about Brexit and Scottish and Welsh independence.

Very little to do with the radio, and it seemed to me that I was being interrogated for something, although I don’t know what it might be. We shall see what transpires of this in due course, if anything.

There was no bass guitar practice tonight. Even though I seem to be a little better today, it’s not that much better and it took me an age to do what it would normally take a couple of hours to do. When it came to 18:00 and knocking-off time, I wasn’t far away from finishing so I pushed on and by 18:35 both of the outstanding radio programmes were now completed up and running.

Of course we had had a couple of interruptions. Lunch was taken of course and unfortunately the bread supplies are quite low. I need to look into this.

There was the afternoon walk and today this was a walk with a difference.

If I’m baking bread tomorrow morning, I may as well make a sourdough fruit loaf so having fed the sourdough and watched it rise like a lift, I headed off into town. I have no jellied fruit and I need to buy some. The Super U in the town is the place for that.

water tower chateau d'eau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOutside it was cold and cloudy but with the sun poking through the clouds here and there.

But just for a change, instead of the sun lighting up the sea or the Brittany cliffs or whatever, today the sun was streaming down onto the water tower up near the Shopping Centre. It was all particularly impressive.

The Super U came up trumps with the jellied fruit but my new bank card wouldn’t work. having tried a couple of times I paid in cash and went round to the Bank to try it there. Once again, it didn’t work so I went to chat to a cashier.

It seems that Brain of Britain has struck again. Somehow I must have taken the old card out of my wallet, signed the new card and then put the old card back in the wallet.

sunset on water baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing else much going on in the town I headed back for home.

By now, with the sun having moved around on its cycle and with the clouds having been blown around by the wind the sun was now shining in a different direction. It was rather later than usual so we were having a gorgeous orange glow in the sky which was reflecting off the water in the bay.

This is without doubt one of the best sunsets that we’ve seen so far, even though the photo was being photobombed by a seagull flying through the shot and I stayed out there for a while to watch it – the sunset that is, not the seagull.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there I had a look down to see what was going on at the chantier navale

There was nothing special going on there this afternoon. The yacht is still there on its blocks and there are a couple of cars parked around it. It’s not clear though whether they have anything to do with the yacht or its owners. There certainly doesn’t seem to have been much progress on the yacht, whatever they might be doing, over the past few months.

The trawler is still there too, parked up on blocks at the back near the portable boat lift. There’s a van parked right by it so it might well be that there has been some kind of work being undertaken.

But that’s been there for a while too.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRather than go straight home I went to have a look out to sea from the North side of the headland to see if there was anything exciting going on.

Nothing much at all though this afternoon. No boats out to sea or anything else. There were a few people out walking on the beach, presumably looking for shellfish or something similar lying around on the beach. I’m not sure what they have found.

For a couple of minutes I watched them and then came on back into the apartment for a hot coffee and a slice of Christmas cake. Having digested that I cracked on with the radio work that I had been doing until I finished it.

And I might have finished it earlier too had I not crashed out a couple of times.

gymnasium jean galfione Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the practice with the 6-string guitar, I headed off out for my evening walk.

Seeing as I hadn’t been round the headland this afternoon I went that way this evening in the dark. The gymnasium of the College Malraux was all lit up and so there must have been something going in there. It’s actually called the Gymnase Jean Galfione.

And in case you are wondering who Jean Galfione was when he was at home, if he ever was, he is probably France’s most successful pole vaulter and won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympic Games as well as winning several other championship events.

woman with laptop pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s a shame that this photo hasn’t worked out as I wanted, but it was taken in quite a hurry.

You can’t actually see clearly in this photo but there’s a woman there with a large dog, and also a laptop computer. And what she’s doing working on a laptop with a dog outside in the middle of winter I really do not know.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few months ago we also saw a couple of other people working on a laptop outside in the cold on the city walls. So I’ve no idea what that is all about.

From there, I ran home – my first run for a week or 10 days. I really wasn’t up to it and I was in agony when I finished but I can’t let this thing pass me by.

Tea was pasta with veg and some veggie balls followed by defrosted apple crumble; And then I made my sourdough loaf – or, at least, the first mix of it so that it can do what it might do overnight. It’s crammed full of goodies like

  • a pile of whizzed up brazil nuts
  • several dessert spoons of desiccated coconut
  • ditto sunflower seeds
  • a couple of handfuls of raisins
  • ditto jellied fruits

and I can’t wait to see how it comes out.

And now that I’ve finished my notes I’m going to make some dough for my main loaf and let that rise overnight too. It both loaves have their second kneading first thing tomorrow morning, they’ll be ready to bake as soon a I come back from the shops and I can have fresh bread for lunch.

Monday 14th December 2020 – HOW ABOUT …

st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… this for a photograph this evening?

Juts in case you are wondering what it is, it’s a photograph of St Helier in Jersey, 58 kilometres away from where I’m standing. Across there you can see the street lights, a floodlight or two in the harbour and the red lights on the radio mast at the back of the town.

And if you are wondering how I managed to produce a photograph like this, the simple answer is that I didn’t have the tripod with me, and neither did I have the monopod, but there was a suitable flat stone on top of the walls.

Making sure that the camera was well-positioned and secure, then the timer delay button on the camera did the rest.

donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the path I found another flat stone on top of the walls and tried again with a shot of Donville les Bains.

And it’s hard to believe that I’ve actually managed to over-expose the shot. That has to be a first, I reckon. But even the white headboards on the swimming lanes in the tidal swimming pool have come out clearly as you can see lower down on the right-hand side of the image.

This is certainly progress as far as the night-time photography goes. Admittedly this is with a 50mm f1.8 lens and it’s going to be a completely different game of cowboys with a huge and heavy zoom lens at f5.6. That’s not going to come out quite like this, is it?

And so back at work today to deal with the radio programme that needed dealing with. And sure enough, by 11:58 it was all done, dusted and completed and ready to go.

What helped was that once more I was up and about before the 3rd alarm. Well, only just but “only just” is just like Kris Kristofferson’s “feeling good” – it’s good enough for me.

And so I had a pretty good bah at everything after my medication, including stopping for my mid-morning hot chocolate and slice of fruit bread. And it’s the best fruit bread that I’ve ever made. Nice and light and airy and packed with goodness. I’ll make some more of this.

roundabout manege place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving finished my radio programme, it was time to nip out to the shops before lunch and, more importantly, before it started to rain.

So into town I went, past the Place Generale de Gaulle to see what they were unloading the other day when I went past. And sure enough, it’s the kiddies’ roundabout, so obviously despite the restrictions and quarantines the kids will still be celebrating Christmas.

By the time that I reached LIDL I was thoroughly exhausted and that can’t ever be right. I haven’t felt as exhausted as this for quite a while. I ended up having to have a large can of energy drink simply to find the strength to go home.

And it wasn’t as if I’d bought much either. Just the bare essentials and that was that.

new house rue de la corderie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that ages ago we saw a house-building project going on in the Impasse de la Corderie at the back of the Eglise St Paul.

It occurred to me that we haven’t been to look at it for quite a while so I reckoned that we may as well go that way home and see how they are doing.

From here, it seems to me that they have almost finished and there is just the tidying up to do. And while they seem to have done quite a nice job of the building, it would have been nice if they had cleaned up the stonework and repointed it to make it match the rest of the building

kiwi kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack here, I had lunch and then I had some work to do – namely, to make some kefir. Some of the kiwis that I had in stock were now nice and ripe and so I whizzed them up in the whizzer and pressed out the juice from the pulp through a filter into the big jug.

Then I filtered out the kefir into the jug as well and set another batch of kefir en route. And then mixed up the jug all together and filtered them all back through the filter system into bottles.

There it will ferment for a few days until I’m ready to use it. A nice kiwi-flavoured kefir drink, one of my favourites. And I might have done more too had I not crashed out for about 15 minutes.

college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I was wondering what they would be doing next now that they had almost completed the reroofing of the part of the roof that they had stripped. And here’s the answer. They are ripping off more of the roof.

Therefore it seems to be that they are going to be replacing the whole roof, on this side at least. And good luck to them up there in this weather.

rainstorm ile de chausey englidh channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd quite right too because the weather is pretty deplorable this afternoon.

There’s a rainstorm threatening the coast right now. We can see out there in the English Channel that the Ile de Chausey is already enveloped in the rain and it’s heading my way at a rapid rate of knots.

There was only me and one or two other people out there and that’s not really a surprise either in view of the conditions so I wasn’t going to hang around. I pushed on along the path to see if I could complete the circuit before the storm broke.

chausiais entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut that was something of a forlorn hope.

As it happened I’d hardly gone 20 yards when the rain caught me. It was so quick that in the time that it took to line up and take this photograph of Chausiais coming in from a run out somewhere, presumably with the furniture from the weekend, a fine mist of heavy rain had obscured the view and I was soaked to the skin.

But I pushed on some of the way to see what else if anything was going on down there today. But in the chantier navale there was nothing whatever that had changed. Still just the yacht and nothing else.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is an interesting photograph though.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the past couple of days we’ve seen the waves whipped up by the high winds rolling off the end of the sea wall. But with the wind coming now round to its habitual westerly direction, we can see that even with the tide some way out, the waves were smashing up onto the sea wall.

But that was enough for me. Feeling rather wet, and drenched by the rain too, I headed off home for my hot coffee, which I remembered to drink this time. And to feed the sourdough. Tomorrow afternoon after my Welsh class I have to start to prepare another sourdough loaf for the coming week.

After having done an absolute mountain of washing-up, I came in here for my guitar practice which was really quite enjoyable. I’ve finally worked out a passing chord from G to C but I’m no idea what it might be. It’s a derivative of C and G but what it is I’ve absolutely no idea at all. The next step is to learn to play it quickly in passing or else find an easier way of playing it.

Having bought some peppers this lunchtime, I was able to have a stuffed pepper for tea which was very nice, and would have been even nicer had I remembered to buy the mushrooms to add to the stuffing. My rather overdone rice pudding needed some coaxing to make it palatable but it wasn’t too bad.

Later on it was time for my evening run. Despite being over 100% of my daily activity I still intended to go out.

The rain had died down and there were crowds of people out there tonight making the most of the last evening stroll before the 20:00 curfew that starts tomorrow.

You’ve seen the photo of St Helier that I took from the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord, and then due to the fact that there were too many people about in the street I had to run on down the footpath underneath the walls despite the couple of inches of water that was down there. And my clothes look as if I was running down there too.

st martin de brehal coudeville sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s another place about halfway down there with a nice flat stone so when I stopped for my habitual breather I had another go with a photograph using the delayed timer.

This time, the photo of St Martin de Brehal and Coudeville sur Mer hasn’t come out as well as the others. That’s overexposed too and I would have done so much better with the aperture closed a couple of stops and the ISO decreased.

But anyway, this is it. And at least the one of Donville les Bains came out OK so you can’t evidently win a coconut every time. From here I ran off along the rest of the path to the end.br clear=”both”>

house rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving run all the way across the Square Maurice Marland, I noticed that the renovations that have been under way on the house in the Rue Lecarpentier now seem to have been completed.

The scaffolding has gone from outside now and we can see what kind of job that they have done to restore it – or, we will be able to in the daylight, whenever that might be. But at least I could push on down the alleyway at the side and into the Rue Notre Dame that way round.

And there sitting on her windowsill was my old black cat Minette. She was pleased to see me so I gave her a good stroke for 5 minutes or so before pushing off.

trawler unloading fish processsing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe tide was out quite a way, so there was no water in the tidal harbour.

In the inner harbour we just had two fishing boats tied up at the fish processing plant. However all of the lights at the plant were illuminated and there was a refrigerated lorry parked there, so they must be expecting a swarm of boats to come in on the tide and unload.

From there I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes, of which there were plenty. And now they are written, I’m off to bed. It’s Welsh class tomorrow so I need to be on form with my revision and preparation for the next chapter of the lessons.

And in the afternoon I’m going to have to start doing a couple of live concerts. And there are a few other tasks to do. I’m going to be busy tomorrow.

Saturday 28th November 2020 – I’VE BEEN SPENDING …

… my money again. I went out somewhat early this morning on speculation now that the “unnecessary” shops are allowed to open and sure enough, my luck was in I found “mon bonheur” as they say around here. It was expensive and I do mean that, but it will be well worth it in due course.

It’s for my Christmas present so I can’t tell you what it is until I open it at Christmas time but it’s what I’ve always wanted ever since I moved here three and a half years ago.

Even though I said “early”, it wasn’t as early as I was hoping though because I didn’t leave the bed until about 07:20 this morning, to my dismay. But at least I was in a better frame of mind than I was last night, which is one thing I suppose.

First thing to do is to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d made contact with my old school last night and I’d volunteered to talk to them about certain things. They suggested that I came round to see them on Saturday. So off I went on a Saturday morning and found to my surprise that a lot of kids were still in school. I thought that it must be something to do with Covid or something like this. I arrived at the front of the school but couldn’t find the door in. All the front of the school had changed. In the end I found a door and went in – I thought that I’d look for the secretariat. All the kids were telling me not to go in through this door for some unknown reason but I went in anyway. I couldn’t find the secretariat but then I saw a hatch that was an opening in the wall and there was a queue of people around there talking to whoever was going on inside. I thought “well, I’d talk to these people, whatever was going on in this hatch and they can point me to the right place”. So I waited my turn. Then a guy came over and said “ohh don’t you go missing now that I’ve got you here. I’m going to give you a class”. I thought “this is strange. he doesn’t even know who I am”. But on my way in parking my car or going into the school grounds or whatever I bumped into one of my old teachers. I said “you must be Mr Lighton” but he didn’t recognise me. But this other guy obviously recognised me, and I didn’t have a clue who he was and I was certain that he ought not to know who I was but he got me right. He said “well …” and we were talking about what I could do. he said “you could give this class a talk on iron ore, the miracle of iron ore”. I replied “yes, I can tell them all about iron ore mining in Labrador”. I thought for a moment “I wish I’d remembered to bring my photographs with me” but then I thought that I had my laptop and they are all on there. Another teacher who was there said “I didn’t know that they mined iron ore in Labrador” so we had quite a chat about that. I had some gold with me and I produced this sample of gold and said “what about this from Labrador?” He looked at it, the amazed guy, but the one who came to talk to me first was totally nonplussed by this gold. he didn’t think that it was anything extraordinary at all.

Next thing was to have a shower and to check my weight. And in the last 2 days I’ve put on 0.6 kilo. That’s clearly incorrect and I shall have to check this again.

Having changed the bedding (I’m going to be in the lap of luxury tonight) and set the washing machine off on a cycle (very clever, my washing machine) I hit the streets with Caliburn.

Our first stop was miles out of town and more of this anon and then it was time for NOZ and LeClerc. Both were open but neither came up with anything of any special interest. It was just more of the boring same so I came on home without hanging around too long.

By now it was quite late so there was barely time to put the frozen food away before I had to make my soup for lunch (more of the butternut squash) and then there was football. Connah’s Quay Nomads against Barry Town in the Welsh Premier League.

Barry Town scored first after just a couple of minutes but from the restart Connah’s Quay went up the field and equalised. Even with half a team out injured or suspended they were still far too good for Barry Town and the final score of 3-1 was fair enough. Barry Town need to find a striker from somewhere if they want to push on up the table.

yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was by now way after the time that I would usually go out for my afternoon walk, but I went out all the same.

Winter has certainly arrived. It was cold and quite windy out there, but there was plenty of sun to encourage people to come out for maybe the last fine day of the year. This guy in his yacht was certainly enjoying himself just offshore.

And you can see what I mean about the sun by looking at the sails of his yacht. They are supposed to be white but they are reflecting the late-afternoon sun and are looking a rather bright shade of gold.

kayaker english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd he wasn’t the only one out there in the water today.

There were several people in kayaks having a paddle around the Pointe du Roc too. And it’s a good job that it’s warm because it’s not permitted to light a fire in a canoe. They say that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

Back in the apartment I noticed that someone else had taken a photo of the kayakers and posted a “group photo” on the Social Media. And someone complained about them being allowed to congregate but ramblers were not allowed to do so.

I despair of some people.

microlight Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just on the water that there were crowds of people. The air was quite busy too.

A light aircraft had flown over my head just as I was setting out but I wasn’t quick enough to take a decent photo of it. But a few minutes later one of the little microlights went past. This time I was ready and when it turned out of the sun I was able to take a photo to speed it on its way.

What was disappointing was that our autogyro didn’t put in an appearance. We can usually rely on that going past overhead whenever the air is busy.

full moon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s that time of the month too.

There was a beautiful moon out there tonight – we missed the last one due to heavy clouds, if I remember correctly, but no danger of missing this one. It really was quite beautiful. And as you can see, there isn’t a cloud in the sky to get in the way of seeing it.

So it looks like either tomorrow or the day after, I’ll have to be shaving the palms of my hand. I used to be a werewolf but I’m all right noooooooooooooow”.

And that reminds me, the use of shockingly poor English is even threatening the Film Industry. They are planning to remake an old classic horror film of the 1930s, but the modern version this next year will be called “I Were a Teenage Waswolf”

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEnough of that. I turned tail and headed for the headland to look out over the Baie de Mont St Michel to see what was goign on.

And this is a far cry from 21:00 and 21:30 of early this year, isn’t it? You can tell how late it is that I’ve gone out because the sun is quite low in the sky and about to sink into the sea, where it will presumably sizzle.

we are certainly having some spectacular effects just recently. This one I stayed and watched for a few minutes before pushing my way onwards around to the south side of the headland.

ceres 2 yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a new trawler in the chantier navale and we watched it being hoisted aboard the mobile boat lift.

This morning when I went out to the shops I was half-expecting to see it comfortably installed on one of the sets of blocks so that they can work on it, but to my surprise she wasn’t there. They must have been putting her back into the water yesterday when we saw them manoeuvring around.

Still, Ceres 2 and the yacht are still there. They must be completely fed up of spending all this time together on their own without any company.

clementine kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing else going on, I walked on back to the apartment.

There were some carrots that needed dicing and blanching, the sourdough needed feeding and then there was the kefir to attend to. The kiwis that I had bought last week weren’t ripe enough and besides I was rather pushed for time so I grabbed a handful of clementines (I’d bought another load today), whizzed them around to extract the juice, and then made another batch of clementine-flavoured kefir.

Having done that, I set another batch of kefir en route. And one of these days when I have more time, whenever that might be, I’m going to look into making my own ginger beer.

Today’s special offer on veg at LeClerc was “Cauliflowers at €0:99”, and large illegitimate ones too. I love them when they are fresh so I bought one and for tea had veggie balls with steamed veg (including lots of cauliflower cooked to perfection) and vegan cheese sauce. And I’ll be having more of that too in due course.

But the sad thing is that I finished the last of my ad-hoc raspberry and custard tart. That worked really well and I was pleased with that. It encourages me for the future now with other fruits.

night beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe moon was incredibly bright tonight. It really lit up the night sky and it would have been a perfect evening for photography had we not had one of the sea mists yet again.
With something of a struggle I ran on round to the viewpoint over the Plat Gousset and took a photo of the beach in the moonlight just to see how it would come out.

And I have to say that I’ve seen worse than this one. And, of course, it goes without saying, a great many so much better too.

street light scaffolding netting rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing doing at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch so I ran off all the way across thez Square maurice Marland where I stopped for my breather.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on a couple of occasions we’ve had a quick look at the house in the Rue LeCarpentier that is undergoing renovation by this specialist building company. Tonight, I couldn’t help noticing that with the light mist that we were having, the street light wrapped in the scaffolding netting was creating some kind of ethereal effect.

This is the kind of thing that is worth photographing, even if just to let arty people gasp with admiration. I don’t think all that much of this kind of thing

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis on the other hand is much more like my kind of photograph.

Only Marité at anchor – or should I say “moored” – down at the bottom end of the harbour tonight. But she’s all lit up and looks quite pretty and for once, I managed to take a decent photo of her that actually worked out doing what I wanted it to do.

But everywhere is like death now with this lockdown due to the Corona Virus. Once more I was the only one out there tonight and I didn’t see another soul. I’m starting to feel quite lonely these days.

cat rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, that’s not exactly true. I wasn’t the only one out there tonight.

As I walked up the Rue St Michel a pretty long-haired cat, looking rather like a heavily-pregnant female, came out of one of the alleyways. I called it and it came to me for a stroke so we had a little bit of socialising. Strange as it is to say it, I miss having a cat, but it’s not possible with my lifestyle.

So having said goodbye to my new friend I ran on home to write out my notes.

Despite being in a better humour than I was yesterday and having had something of a lie-in this morning, I’ve still had a bad day. For some unknown reason I’ve been fighting off sleep (and not very successfully on some occasions) for most of the day and because I’m so tired, everything is taking 10 times longer.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last week because of a few rather extreme, if not ridiculous Sunday lie-ins, I was talking about setting an alarm on Sunday mornings in the future. But not tomorrow. This is going to be one of those “sleep until I awaken” days. I have clean bedding, I’m clean and tidy and I think that a good rest and long sleep will do me a world of good.

It makes me wonder who will come along to spoil it.

Friday 13th November 2020 – AFTER EVERYTHING …

… that I wrote yesterday evening about an early night and an early start? it was … errr … 10:30 when I finally crawled out of bed.

If you think that that is devastating, just let me say that after finishing my notes, I started on a little project of no significance, a project that I dip into every now and again, and by the time I started to feel tired enough to go to bed, it was after 04:00.

So 10:30 isn’t really all that bad, I suppose, and at least there was some work of a sort being done.

During the night I’d been on my travels again. I was going somewhere laat night on a bus or something so I had to leave my car, the mk V Cortina NMP parked up at the side of the road. I was going to be away ages so I was worried about leaving it there for so long but as the bus passed by I could see two of the guys from the taxis opening it and climbing in Obviously they needed it for things so that was OK. I ended up round at my mothers where suddenly I had some kind of panic attack – what about all my personal stuff that I’d left in the car? What was going to happen if the people at the taxis got their hands on it? But anyway I got dressed, in a pair of grey trousers that I wore when I was at Shearings. And as I pulled the belt tight, it went two notches over where it usually went which was strange. As I was setting off to visit the parents of a friend my mother shouted “make sure you ring them to tell them that you are coming. Don’t just turn up unannounced”. I thought that that would be difficult to arrange but I said nothing. However my mother said it twice so I wondered what was happening here.

My Covid friend was on line so we had a chat while I finished off what I’d been doing last night. And with the late start that took me right the way up to lunchtime. Something of a waste of a morning, really.

After lunch, fighting off the temptation to go back to sleep, I made a start on amending one of the journal entries from my voyage around Central Europe but I ran aground half-way through.

waves breaking on rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was enough time however for me to go off on my afternoon walk around the headland.

The tide was well on its way in when I went out, and I noticed the effect of the waves breaking on the rocks that were there on the beach and which by now had disappeared beneath the waves near the marker light for the rocks.

They were actually submerged but only to a very minimal depth so although you couldn’t see them, you could see the waves breaking on them.

It was something that held my interest for a couple of minutes and then I pushed on, passing three or four others who were out there this afternoon.

sun in windows carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was very little going on out at sea this afternoon – no boats of any description in the English Channel or the Baie de Mont St Michel.

But there was an exciting phenomenon occurring down the bay round by Carolles. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the sunlight reflected off the windows of St Pair sur Mer in the late afternoon earlier in the year. Of course, the sun has moved round in the sky and we now have the windows in Carolles picking up the glint of the sun.

You wouldn’t credit just how dark it’s starting to go now, even though it’s only about 16:00. Winter is going to be upon us a darn sight sooner than we think.

coelacanthe joly france waiting for gates to open port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallStill no change in the occupants of the chantier navale. The yacht is still there, as is the vessel Ceres II

But it was interesting out in the tidal harbour though. The gates must have been on the point of opening and boats were queueing up to go into the inner harbour. Here we have one of the Joly France boats, the older of the two, and also one of the two trawlers, either Coelacanthe or her sister La Tiberiade.

There were a couple of other boats in the queue too, and as I watched, the harbour gates opened and the boats went steaming … “dieseling” – ed … into port

le tiberiade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallI came to the conclusion that the trawler that I had seen just now was Coelacanthe, and I concluded that for a very good reason too.

Moored up at the Fish Processing Plant was her sister and I could clearly see her name on the side of her superstructure. She’s Le Tiberiade, and one of these days I’ll be able to tell them apart. I’ve noticed a couple of little differences between them when they have been next to one another.

She’s busy unloading her catch right now. There’s a van with an opening cargo door that looks as if it might be taking away some of the seafood, and the tractor is busy negotiating the loading ramp with a full trailer.

coelacanthe thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there, I watched Coelacanthe pass through the gates and into the harbour.

Once inside she began to perform a little nautical danse macabre as she made for her mooring at the rear of the two Channel Island Ferries. And I noticed that Thora was still in port this afternoon. It seems that for one reason or another, she’s not benefitting from these rapid turnrounds that I’ve mentioned before.

But one thing that I did notice from the image that I couldn’t see with the naked eye is that she has steam … “diesel” – ed … up, so it does look as if she’s actually on the point of heading out to the open sea.

thora leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it all was turning out to be quite interesting in there this afternoon.

As Thora “cast off forr’ard, cast off aft” in the inner harbour, Le Tiberiade did likewise and as the one headed for the harbour gate so did the other from the other side, out of view of each other. Half expecting a “Greek meets Greek at the Hull Paragon, Valentine’s Day 1927” moment, I gripped the edge of my seat in eager anticipation.

However le Tiberiade just about made it into the harbour without a collision, Thora

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been wandering around, I’d noticed that the sea was becoming rather rough. And with the tide being well-in right now I was keen to see what was happening down at the Plat Gousset.

And it was a good move too because even with 90 minutes to go before high tide, the waves were coming in with something of a powerful force and smashing into the sea wall over there.

There weren’t very many people out there enjoying the spectacle from close to, but I imagined that they would all be out there a little bit later at high tide when they really would be treated to something of a spectacle.

thora english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I imagined that Thora would now be rounding the headland on her way out to sea, so I retraced my steps of earlier up to the viewpoint next to the College Malraux to see how she was doing.

And eventually she came a rattling around the headland into the teeth of the wind and the waves and set course for St Helier. It’s not going to be an easy ride for her in this kind of sea.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I keep on saying that one of these days I’ll hitch a ride on her when she has a couple of trips in rapid succession and see how she does. Luckily I’m in a good position in that I hold a British passport and a Permanent Residency Card for France so there needs to be little in the way of border controls to ease my passage.

thora english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut that’s not going to be for a while with all of this Covid going on. No-one will be going anywhere for quite a while yet.

And so I watched Thora battle her way through the waves for a while and then headed for home.

On the way across the car park I’d seen Gribouille, the big ginger cat, sitting on his windowsill so I went to give him a stroke. And there I fell in with his owner, and learnt some pretty sad news. She’s had a couple of falls just recently, during one of which she fractured her had and it had to be stapled together. But as she doesn’t seem to be able to cope particularly now, she’s moving into sheltered accommodation

Of course, she’s taking my mate with her, but regardless of that, it’s another convivial soul from the building who is moving away. Nothing stays the same for long, and rightly so, but it’s a shame when people move away like this and break up a happy little circle.

Back here I caught up with a few notes and then went to make some kefir. This morning, I’d started on the last bottle and there was another batch brewing nicely.

The four kiwi fruits that I had bought three weeks ago were now nice and ripe so I peeled them and threw them in the whizzer, followed by a generous handful or two of grapes.

Having whizzed them around for quite a while to extract as much juice as possible and then passed it all through my network of meshes and filers into the big jug.

Having done that, I drained off the brewing kefir through a very fine-mesh filter and added it to the juice, stirring it well in, leaving an inch or two of liquid in the bottom to keep the kefir grains covered.

kiwi and grape kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSeveral slices of lemon, a fig bisected and 40 grammes of sugar went into my big jar, followed by 2 litres of filtered water. That’ll brew now for a few days while I wonder where I’m going to get some figs from for the next batch after that as I’ve now run out.

The mixed kefir and juice was then strained through a mesh coffee-filter into the various flip-top bottles that I use. They’ll be put into a cool place out of direct light now to complete the second fermentation and in a couple of days they will be ready to drink.

But I made a bit of a boo-boo here. Remember the pineapple slices that I’d had the other day? I’d put the syrup on one side to use in my kefir today but I’d forgotten it. I don’t know whether it’ll keep for four or five days now.

All of that took so much time that I didn’t have my guitar practice, which was disappointing.

Instead, I ended up with some of the best taco rolls that I’ve ever made. That chick pea and couscous stuff that I used in error instead of the bulghour certainly made a difference. And my defrosted apple pie was delicious too

night rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater on I went out for my runs around the walls.

No-one else was out there, everywhere else was quiet, not even the Pizza van in the Place Czmbernon tonight with the lockdown. No-one down in town either.

I had a look to see if the Christmas decorations had gone up in the Rue Paul Poirier but while there is certainly something or other, and several thereof, strung up across the street, there’s nothing illuminated yet.

All of this is to come very soon, I imagine. But I’ll find out more in due course. I ran on home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow it’s shopping day, and I have to track down some figs. That’s not going to be easy because I’ll still without Caliburn so wherever I go and whatever I buy, I’ll have to carry it home and I’m not looking forward to that.

Luckily the freezer is pretty well stocked up and that should keep me going for a week or so but I really do need to organise myself better. I don’t know what it is that I’m doing right now but whatever it is, I’m doing it all wrong.

Monday 21st September 2020 – I DUNNO …

… what happened today but this was one of the best days that I’ve has for some considerable time. And that has surprised me as much as it’s probably surprised you.

It started off with me being out of bed before the third alarm went off and it’s been a while since that has happened.

Plenty of time though to go off on a few travels. I was with a group of policewomen last night and they were doing a house-to-house visit down this road enquiring about bicycles for some reason, asking if the bicycles present belonged to the people there. They worked their way down this road and came to the final house, a fine stone 3-storey house built of granite blocks, a bit run-down, unkempt and so on. She said “right, this is the house here”. She went up and knocked on the door and spoke to someone – another guy – about it. he was in fact Derek Nimmo. I went for a wander round to look at the side of this house while she was talking. When I came back, my partner had transformed into Marianne, she and someone else arguing with this Derek Nimmo type and he was being extremely difficult. It turned out that there had been some kind of collision between Marianne and him in a car. She’d gone to have a form signed, one of these constats. He was of extremely bad grace, doing all kinds of lecturing, all of that. They wrote out this form but in the end he just picked it up and tore it up and gave it back to her, then hit her. That got me extremely angry. I stormed over there and even though he was a good foot taller than me I gave him an absolute lecture “no-one ever hits a woman in my presence”, all of this kind of thing. If he wanted to hit someone he could start by hitting me. I awoke quite feverish again.
Later in the night I found myself busy dictating again to my hand and not my dictaphone. This is becoming rather too much of a habit as well. But it seems that last night there were concerns that German commercial and public television was not being prosecuted over its failure to examine footage of demonstrations that it had filmed in 2009 involving I think Martin Luther King which could have resulted in criminal prosecutions being brought against people who were mishandling the demonstrators. This in turn led to all kinds of demonstrations. There were people everywhere chanting and so on and the forces of law and order moved in. For some reason I was with them and we were gradually pushing these demonstrators back. We had them crowded up on some kind of top row of steps but no-one seemed to be doing anything to move them any further so I gave them a big push. 4 or 5 people at rhe far end fell off the steps down to the next level. That was basically when the demonstrators abandoned the protest and we could move freely up. I went to have a look at the other end of these steps. It was quite a drop over the end, about 10 or 12 feet, but 1 or 2 people were thinking that this is the best way to get away from the police so they dropped over the edge at the back. I thought “how was I going to get away from here?”. My only solution was to drop over the edge at the back as well so I had a look. It seemed to be very high to me. I didn’t really want to jump over that. I thought that I could dangle down from my hands from the top and let go, slide down but that still looked an overwhelming drop for me. It was steeper in some places than others. Perhaps I could find a lower place I’d be more comfortable doing it.

Once I’d transcribed all of that I had another back at the arrears and after a good session on that, I’ve whittled it down to just 13 remaining. With a bit of luck (not that I have too much of that these days) I’ll finish it on Friday or something like that.

That took more time than it ought to have done, and the rest of the day has been spent working on the next radio programme, not having overlooked to post this week’s off.

By the time that I knocked off for my guitar sessions, I’d chosen all the music except the last one, combined them in pairs as usual, written the text, dictated it, started to edit it and even prepared the speech for my invited guest.

diving platform fog english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe afternoon walk was a bit depressing today. Gribouille the big ginger cat was there for his afternoon stroke and one of my neighbours was out there, so we had a good chat together.

But that was basically all that was interesting. There was nothing much happening out in the English Channel today – or, at least – if there was, I couldn’t see it.

That’s because even though we had that thunder and lightning storm last night, today was shrouded in fog and we couldn’t see very much at all out to sea.

It reminded me of that British newspaper headline in the 1920s – “fog in the Channel – Continent cut off!” which just about sums up the insularity of the xenophobic Brits.

fishing boats le loup fog baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallnevertheless, the fog didn’t prevent everyone from doing their own thing this afternoon.

My walk took me around the headland and there by the seafarers’ memorial there were a couple of zodiacs down there in the Baie de Mont St Michel with a group of fishermen in each one.

You can see just how foggy it is. Le Loup, the marker light for the entrance to the harbour is just about visible but you can’t see very much at all beyond there.

And so I continued on around the path but there was nothing at all of interest to see so I wandered on home.

After the guitars, I had tea. A stuffed pepper tonight followed by apple crumble – at least, the part of the apple crumble that I didn’t drop on the floor.

port st jean rue granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a little wave of fatigue (the first of the day but not actually a crashing-out) but I fought it off by going for my evening walk.

And outside on my travels I didn’t see a soul. It was just like one of these North American ghost towns and I was expecting any minute to see a tumbleweed blowing through the Porte St Jean and off down the street.

But it looked so photogenic tonight that I had to take a photo of it yet again. Only this time there are no traffic lights or road signs to obscure the view.

Down along the Rue du Nord I walked, in splendid isolation, and then ran on down the footpath.

new moon green light granville manche normandy france eric hallNo-one around in the Square Maurice Marland either so I could run all the way down there too.

But my eye was caught by a very slender new moon up in the sky tonight so I had a little fun trying to photograph it. But I was intrigued by the green light to the left of the moon. I couldn’t see it with the naked eye.

But in a couple of the other photos that I took, it wasn’t there either. The only thing that I can think of was that although I couldn’t hear anything, a low-flying aeroplane travelling from left to right was going past at that moment and I was lucky enough to press the button just as the plane’s flashing navigation light was illuminated.

So how do we know that the plane was going from left to right and not right to left? The answer is that there are five letters in green, and five letters in right.

Port is red, and there are four letters in “port”, just as there are in “left”. So if the aeroplane was travelling from right to left, we would see the red light.

heavy duty digger parvis notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we are constantly seeing all kinds of building repairs, roadworks and the like going on in the old medieval walled city quite regularly.

It looks as if we are in for another batch of work starting quite soon. Some time during the day this large piece of mobile plant has appeared and is parked up in the Parvis Notre Dame.

It’s going to be interesting to see where they will be working and what they will be doing. It’s a good job that I don’t have to drive through the old town on my way around.

rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallBut while I was there looking at the machinery I had a look behind me.

Not that there was anything of any interest going on there but the Rue Notre Dame but the view made a very good photo this evening.

From here I walked on around the walls and then ran on home. Three runs again today and I’m hoping that I can keep this going. It’s not as athletic as I was in the Spring and early Summer before I was ill but if I can keep this up I’ll be happy.

Welsh class tomorrow so I need to be on good form. An early night will do me a world of good.

Thursday 3rd September 2020 – YOU CAN TELL …

lights on brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hall… that the nights are getting longer right now. Summer seems to have left us a long way right now and we are in a slow downward spiral towards winter.

Out on mt stroll tonight, around the city walls tonight, it was quite dark by the time I’d gone around and the street lights across the Baie de Mont St Michel on the Brittany coast were shining quite brightly.

It won’t be long now until i’m out with the tripod, I reckon. It will be the cue to be taking more photos of the night so I’ll have to learn how to use THE NIKON D500 with the delay action shutter.

This morning, much to everyone’s surprise, including my own, I was out of bed before the third alarm went off. Sitting on the edge of the bed in a dazed condition trying to gather my wits together in order to stand up and do something constructive.

I’d been on my travels too. I was out with Nerina again last night. We were looking at a couple of houses that she’d seen on the internet that she was interested in buying. They were round about the £76,000 £78,000 mark in Crewe and were semi-detached but of the smaller type. There was one that was particularly nice and she was looking at it. We found to our surprise that it had three bedrooms which was already something. There was a load of stuff included in the sale, including four kiddies’ bikes and a couple of kiddies’ scooters. She was wondering about those – going to make sure that they were written in the sale. I said “basically if they are there you make sure that they are written in”. She asked “what do you think I’m going to do with a kiddie’s bike?”. There was a pregnant pause as I was trying to work out whether or not I ought to tell her that I knew that she’d had a child or something like that. We had a good look at this house and it looked to be really good value for what it was, one of these 1920s types of small semi-detached houses the type that you would see around Bedford Street, that area, with a drive and a garage. There was a van parked there, like a Ford Escort van only a little bigger parked outside the garage door.
Had I not awoken with a severe attack of cramp at this particular moment, I wonder where this would have gone.
Somewhat later I was teaching some Russian girls gymnastics in the water. It was an established class but it had been allowed to go to rack and ruin, people forgetting to bring their gym clothes with them, forgetting this, forgetting that. I decided that we would have a tidying up of discipline so as soon as the girls came in I made them perform their handstands for me in the water in their uniform, and if they didn’t have their uniform with them they were to go home and fetch it. If they didn’t have a uniform they weren’t to come back until they had one. There were a few other things as well that I wanted cutting out as well. it provoked quite a few sullen disputes but I was insistent on doing this. And I was well on my way to doing it when the first alarm went off.

Once again there was much more to it all than this but as you are probably eating your meal right now, I’ll spare you the miserable details.

working on medieval city walls rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter my shower I went out to go to the shops.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the other day that we saw part of the Rue Des Juifs fenced off, and I said that I’d go down and see what was going on.

And as luck would have it, there was a notice on the fencing. Basically, there is an archaeological survey going on right now involving the building and grounds in which the museum is situated.

They seem to think that it dates back to the founding of Granville and the building of the fortifications by the English during the Hundred Years War.

Myy walk up to LIDL was pretty uneventful but I spent quite a lot of money in there, even though there wasn’t anything particular extra that I bought, except for a set of compasses thet I need for measuring precise distances.

And not only that, some of the stuff that I wanted wasn’t available either, so it’s on the list for Saturday and LeClerc.

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, my load was rather heavy and it was a struggle up the hill, that’s for sure.

And as I stopped for breath at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, La Grande Ancre set sail out of her berth and out of the harbour.

So having recovered my breath I carried on back here. I was too tired to unpack the shopping though. I sat down on my chair and that was that until 13:30. About 2 hours, I reckon that i was right out of it altogether, and it felt like it too.

After lunch there was some more paperwork to do and then I went out for my afternoon walk.

old sailing boat english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were plenty of people out there today but as far as photography went, there was nothing particular going on at all.

What there was though was some kind of yacht out there just off the coast of the Ile de Chausey. That looked interesting to I took a photo of it for future reference.

My walk carried on around the headland rather aimlessly and then I came back here.

At my desk I cropped and enlarged the photo that I had just taken. It looks as if it has the same kind of sails and rigging as a boat like la Granvillaise or her sister across the bay, but there is another yacht with a similar rig that sails around here occasionally and it might be her.

After my slice of banana bread, I had a go at the photos from my trip around Europe. I didn’t do too many of those because much of the time was spent doing some research into some of the items that I had photographed.

At 18:00 I knocked off and had an hour on the guitars. And I do like my new acoustic guitar.

Tea tonight was taco rolls with the leftover stuffing, with rice and vegetables followed by rice pudding

light off the ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFor my evening walk today, I went for my trip around the walls.

Looking over towards the Ile de Chausey, I could see a light shining just offshore, not too far away from where that strange yacht was moored this afternoon.

Of course I can’t say that it’s the same boat, but whoever it is seems to be bedded down for the night over there.

A strange cat came up to me tonight for a stroke, and then I set off on my run along the footpath.

lights on radio mast jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallThis took me to the viewpoint from where there’s a good view over towards Jersey and the Channel Islands.

The view was really good tonight and we can see the light of some kind of boat – probably a fishing boat – working just offshore. What else we can see is a series of red lights just to the right of the white light.

You probably can’t see it in this photo but in an enlarged photo you can see that it’s actually the warning lights on the big radio mast that we have seen in photos of Jersey taken during the day.

Before I went home I did another couple of runs. One across the Square Maurice Marland and the other one down the hill back home. The three runs in total work out at about 850 paces, which equates to about 500 metres.

So now I’m going to have an early night, as much as I can. I’m not going anywhere tomorrow so I’m hoping that I can have a good sleep and then a good day doing a pile of work.

It’s about time too. I’m just falling farther and farther behind.

Saturday 29th August 2020 – IT DOESN’T MATTER …

football us granville voltigeurs de chateaubriand stade louis dior granville manche normandy france eric hall… how many players they change at US Granville. They are still churning out the same old aimless nonsense.

They have replaced the three strikers of last year – the three who misfired for so much of the season last year, and replaced them with three who are, unfortunately, even less clued up.

Today we were treated to another pile of long, aimless balls up front to no-one in particular, or attacking midfielders who dribble round all the defenders as they run upfield with the ball, only to end up in a blind alley near the corner flag.

For the second week in succession Granville’s goal was scored by a defender coming up for a corner – and they wouldn’t have scored that had the Voltigeurs de Chateaubriant’s goalkeeper not let the ball go right through his hands.

As for the defence, they might be different players but they are still the same panic-stricken shambles under pressure and they conceded two goals that should have been cleared at least five minutes earlier.

Mind you – I know that it’s no excuse but i’m sure that the referee was refereeing a different match than the one that we were all watching. He booked a Granville player for diving when we could hear the crunch of the opposition’s boot into his leg from up in the stands, and he sent off a Voltigeurs de Chateaubriant player for a foul that didn’t even merit a yellow card in my opinion.

And they were just two of the more bizarre decisions that I noticed

This morning there was no chance of my beating the third alarm, even though I’d had a quite early night. 07:30 on a Saturday morning is rather excessive.

Still, there was plenty of time to go on a few nocturnal rambles. Yes indeed!

We were back in London in the world of gangsters last night. Something had happened involving millions of pounds had been stolen and the word was out for it and it was extremely hot. Someone, this Michael Caine character I suppose had been told that it was hot money where it would be and who was involved and how dangerous it would be, all this kind of thing and he was walking through the streets of London, the east end, and someone came running towards him with a briefcase. He stopped this person and there was quite a fight and he ended up in possession of the briefcase. Of course the whole world was after him after this. he was running away and had to hide in a phone box from a girl on one occasion and eventually ended up in a certain night club which he had been led to believe was a safe night club. There he started to boast about all of his exploits with this money. One or two other people started to boast about what they had heard. This was all heading towards a showdown with the real villains.
Some time later we were in South London discussing roads. We were by a big road leading out of London. It was a bleak industrial area. It had been World War II and we had been looking at the accounts of someone who had been in hospital who had been hit by a V1 and seeing how much they had had to pay, all of that under the situation before the National Health, all of that, going through the itemised bill that they had found. Even in wartime hospitalisation cost you a lot of money. The girl had been released. She had been on this bus that had dropped everyone off at this bus stop. She was quite inebriated but was extremely polite drunk. We were watching this scene as they got out of this bus, talking about this bleak view of this modern industrial estate being built at the side of this road. I said ‘this is the A2 isn’t it? I know where we are I think”. We started to chat and there was a railway line with automatic half-barriers. I asked “isn’t there a railway station to the left?”. The said “yes there is”. Someone recognised the BBC building in the distance, someone recognised something else. This corner that we were on – “isn’t this the back way to Wimbledon?” They looked at me strangely as if it wasn’t. Someone reckoned that he had to go to Croydon and I thought “yes it’s the road to Croydon, not Wimbledon”. we started talking about a bank and how I had to visit a bank in the neighbourhood. One of the guys said “if you find a bank in the neighbourhood let me know the details because I’m looking for a bank as well to pay some money in”.
For some unknown reason I want to bracket this with a voyage that I had a good while ago about a van leaving London and coming to grief on a tight bend.
Later on I was out in the USA getting quotes on bank loans and finance deals for cars. I talked to a garage and he ended up showing me a Ford Escort Cube. the finish was pretty naff and it was leaking oil out of the rocker covers and one or two other things. They wanted nearly $30,000 for it and I thought they were joking. I ended up having a 10-minute chat with them, testing everything, feeling the oil on the dipstick and all that kind of thing, acting as if i’m really serious about it. Of course I wasn’t. I pretended that it was my son who was learning to drive who was looking for a vehicle. I was just passing the time more than anything else. i said that the pedals needed adjusting because they are in the wrong place for where the seat was going to be so they needed adjusting downwards.
And that’s not all. We were having a caravan outing a group of us. It was a three-storey caravan believe it or not.A girl – a female officer type of thing lived in the basement with some other people who were with us. Some of the crew stayed on the first floor and I was on the second floor which was where all of the offices were. I was early in bed but this girl was complaining that she was bored, that nothing was happening. We were saying that if you go to bed early and wake up early that’s when everything happens. Anyway sp I was getting ready for bed and said “when are you going to come round with the tea?” But someone said that it was only 21:00 so I said that there was another hour before our evening tea. Someone else was watching “‘Allo ‘Allo” on the TV and talking about it in the Radio Times.
And finally, there was something in one of my voyages about a young Harley Street physician who had to call Holmes in to investigate a case. He had come round again when Holmes was busy doing something else trying to get holmes to go round to see him straight away. basically this doctor had simply panicked and Watson was able to put him right onto the correct path. Then it turned out that this doctor was driving a lorry-load of grain and he had to get out of this loading depot. There was one land full of cars that were being let out fairly quickly so ha manoeuvred around a lorry that reversed out of the way for him. he got out via this lane. There was some issue about data recording but he refused to become involved because he thought it would be some kind of fiddle so coming out of the depot he turned left instead of turning right and went down to the traffic lights there. This recalled some discussion about when he was in an emergency and his young secretary was busy working the oxygen pump for him. he was talking about marrying some kind of rich widow or something like that to inject funds into his business but you could see that this young girl was much more suitable for him and there was some kind of rapport between them – they were doing really well and you could see that they would make a really nice couple if only he had been able to see it.

It’s hardly surprising that I didn’t make it out of bed early with all of that going on.

But anyway I did, and after a shower I headed off to the shops.

last week I followed a British Volvo all the way through town without it giving a single turn signal. Today, it was the turn of a local Gendarme vehicle do go all of that way without a single signal. I’ve no idea what has happened to the Code de la Route here in Granville.

Noz came up with nothing special – they had windscreen wipers on offer but none of Caliburn’s size. LeClerc came up with a pile of stuff, including a nail brush or two, a pile of orange juice on special offer and a pile of reduced vegan burgers that I can freeze for later.

After lunch I played around with some photos and then headed off to the football.

piles of granite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, in order to push up the daily total to over 100% I walked through the harbour.

It looks as if we’ll be having one of the Channel Island freighters, Thora or Normandy Trader, coming into harbour very soon. There’s a huge pile of pallets loaded with granite waiting here on the quayside.

There were some expedition labels on them so I checked, and they are indeed for someone or other in the Channel Islands. So they’ll be gone pretty soon, I reckon.

spirit of conrad le Courrier des Iles marie pierre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWalking along the harbour a little further I came across a gaggle of boats moored up.

We know all about Spirit of Conrad of course because back at the beginning of July we went away down the Brittany coast aboard her for five days or so.

The one nearest the camera is Le Courrier des Iles, a boat that also runs guided trips out and about. As for the third one, she’s the Marie-Pierre and I don’t know very much at all about her as yet.

old cars mark 2 jaguar 3.8 granville manche normandy france eric hallFor quite a while now we haven’t seen any old cars around and about.

And what we have seen just recently are several old Jaguars, like the XJ-S that we saw yesterday.

So how about this one that I saw on the harbour this evening? A beautiful mark II Jaguar from the 1960s, and a 3.8 at that too. I’ll take that home with me in a heartbeat.

old cars mark 2 jaguar 3.8 granville manche normandy france eric hallThese are really beautiful, powerful cars and the archetypical “Villain’s car” of many a 1960s gangster film in the UK.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I once owned its bigger brother, a jaguar 420G, when I had my taxis. And it was this colour too. And, incidentally, an even bigger Mark X Jaguar that I bought for spares.

And I bitterly regret letting an opportunity pass me by when I was offered one of these Series 2 vehicles fitted with a 2.5 V8 Daimler engine and couldn’t afford it at the time. It was all of £250 too.

Mind you, I once missed a Bentley priced at £800. But then again, that was 1971 and prices were a little different then.

sunset port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo while I was musing on the Jaguar and reminiscing on former times, I headed off into the sunset.

And beautiful sunset there was too. The sun had sunk below the horizon but it was reflecting up into the clouds and making this lovely lighting effect, complete with reflections in the water.

The tide was out so the harbour gates were closed and I could walk across the top back to the fish processing plant and along to the rue du Port.

cat seagull boulevard des terreneuviers granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was no-one about as I walked along the rue du Port. I headed for the steps up to the Boulevard Vaufleury.

But I had a laugh as I climbed up the steps. There was a baby seagull standing on the wall with its plaintive cry calling for its mother, and the cat sitting there taking absolutely no notice whatsoever.

Back here, it was tea out of a tin again. And a lovely surprise too because one of my co-voyagers from the Spirit of Conrad has been around and left me a present, more of which tomorrow.

Bedtime now, and quite right too because I’m exhausted. Sunday is a lie in and I have to say that I’m ready for this. I’m still not feeling myself right now, which is just as well, and I hope that I’ll be better tomorrow.

Monday 13th July 2020 – WE HAVE A NEW …

etoile port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… kid in town today.

Sailing into port earlier today was the sailing ship Etoile. She’s a sail training ship from the National Marine, built in 1932 at Fecamp and normally moored up in the harbour at Brest.

This week however she’s flying the flag at different ports all around the coast and she’ll be here for a couple of days, so it seems.

Interestingly, she fled France in June 1940 and became part of the small Free French Navy based in Portsmouth during the war.

joli france baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBut enough of events 80 years ago. Let me tell you about my horrible day today while you admire the two Joly France boats performing a nautical danse macabre around the harbour this evening.

And it’s my own fault yet again. last night someone wanted to chat to me so we endedup chatting for an hour or so and that delayed the finish of the notes from yesterday.

However, Bane of Britain forgot to close the chat window so after a while someone else called in to say “hello”. That chat went on for a while and when I glanced at the time it was … errr … 04:20

joli france baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallDon’t misunderstand – I really enjoy talking to my friends but the issue with having friends all around the world is that sometimes the idea of different time zones seems to escape everyone’s notice.

So a very weary and haggard me slunk off to bed this morning. I’d switched off the alarms because expecting me to be up at 06:00 was somewhat optimistic.

09:30 was when I awoke, and 09:45 was when I leapt (or, rather, crawled) out of bed. After the medication I had a look at the dictaphone. I’d not been anywhere during the night but there were entries from the previous day so I transcribed them.

joli france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut it’s a waste of time looking for them because I’ve just realised that I’ve forgotten to amend the journal entry for yesterday.

Most of the day has been spent dealing with the next radio project. High time that I fired up the old brain cells.

Having sent off this week’s effort earlier today, so far, I’ve

  • chosen 10 tracks
  • combined them in pairs
  • added the introduction
  • chosen a speech for my guest
  • written the notes
  • dictated same
  • oploaded same onto computer
  • edited about 25% of them

And had I been sufficiently determined I could have done much more than I did. However there were several interruptions.

The first one was for lunch. And the bread that I baked yesterday is absolute perfection, even though I say it myself. And the sunflower seeds give it that certain little je ne sais quoi I was really impressed.

kids in sea plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThen of course there was the afternoon walk.

It was rather grey and overcast with a little wind, but that didn’t deter the crowds one little bit. The place was packed and there were even kids swimming in the sea, which surprised me quite a lot.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m not too keen on going into the water at the best of times, but today would have been one of those days when even Jenny Agutter and Kate Bush couldn’t drag me in.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the beach at the Plat Gousset there’s much less wind so I was expecting to see the crowds down there this afternoon.

And it seems that I wasn’t disappointed either. But I didn’t think much of the social distancing on the beach up near the sea wall. Some of those family groups are a lot closer than 2 metres, I reckon.

And once more, the water is pretty packed. In the tidal swimming pool with its suitably-clad lifeguard, and also in the sea. There’s a lifeguard there too – just underneath the centre of the photo.

They seem to be taking it quite seriously.

hang gliders cemetery donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just on the beach or in the sea were the crowds gathering.

Up on the clifftop the birdmen of Alcatraz were gathering,ready to swoop all over us like a flock of Nazgul. At one time I counted as many as five in the air at one time which is some going.

And as I have said before … “on very many occasions” – ed … I’m impressed by the fact that they take off from a patch of ground right by the cemetery. If they make a mistake when either taking off or landing, they don’t have to be carried very far.

That’s rather thoughtful of them, don’t you think?

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t far from there to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch either, so I went to have a look at the roofing job.

The scaffolding is still there. At least, some of it is – the same amount that has been there for a few weeks now. But what is interesting about this photos is that the seagulls have now discovered the roof and have christened it accordingly.

That’s one in the eye for the roofers, isn’t it? I hope that the roofers don’t actually need to go up there again

baby seagull flying rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallTalking of seagulls, I went round to the Square Maurice Marland to check on my baby seagull.

He wasn’t there again today but his mummy was. So I hope that nothing has happened to him. There were plenty of other baby seagulls on other roofs, all of them tentatively taking their first flutters into the air.

It’s fascinating to watch them as they have been growing. Keen birdwatcher that I am, it’s not usually birds like this that hold a fascination for me but somehow the seagulls have managed to attract my attention.

Back here I had yet another interruption as, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out yet again despite having stayed in bed as late as I did.

It’s rather depressing me, this is.

Tea was a potato and veg with a slice of home-made tofu and lentil pie from a while back taken out of the freezer. That was followed by apple crumble from yesterday and I do have to say that that was just as good as the bread. I was well-impressed with that.

Off on my run this evening and I had several interruptions. Gribouille the big ginger cat was waiting at the door for me and he let me pick him up.

I’m highly honoured, aren’t I?

So off I set and I managed to push the boundaries up a little tonight. Still a long way to go though before I reach where I was before I went away.

ford ranger with tent on the back rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut even had I been fit and running properly, this would have stopped me in my tracks any day of the week.

It’s a modern Ford Ranger of course but what was exciting about that was that in the back someone had pitched a tent.

My thinking was that good idea that it might be, it’s not one that I shall be copying in North America for Strider. Knowing my luck, I would wake up to find that a bear was trying to get into bed with me and I’m sure that that’s not a very good idea at all.

Anyway, I pushed on with my runs, down to the clifftop, the walk across the wall, the run along the clifftop and then down the Boulevard Vaufleury.

As I rounded the corner I ran into Maryline so I stopped and we had a good chat for 10 or 15 minutes or so which was very nice and pleasant.

people on the beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallIt didn’t really matter all that much that it made me late for the sunset because of all of the clouds that were there.

When I finally made it to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord I couldn’t see a thing as far as the sun went. Not too many people on the beach either. No picnickers, just a few people wandering around.

So recovering my breath I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes.

My last Welsh course for a while tomorrow so despite it being a Bank Holiday here, I’ll have an alarm set and I’ll be up to do my preparation.

Then hopefully I’ll finish off the radio project and then deal wit my TWO courses.

Yes, despite what I said earlier, I’m enrolled in two new courses. The songwriting course of course, but there is also a 6-week course on “Building an Interactive Website”. I’ve been working in *.html for 23 years and I know pretty well the basics but I’m stuck in a time warp from 15 years ago – never progressed after teaching myself *.css.

So it’s high time that I learnt, and this looks like the ideal opportunity.

Saturday 27th June 2020 – MY APPLE PIE …

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hall… passed a very important test today.

And while you admire the photos of a bunch of baby seagulls – the first one being the seagull chick that we’ve been following – I shall tell you all about it.

But we’ll start off by mentioning the fact that this morning I beat the third alarm, just for a change, and was actually half-dressed when it went off. I could do with a few more like that too.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a downside to waking up completely at the sound of the first alarm though.

After the medication I went to listen to the dictaphone but it didn’t help much. Last night I can’t remember at all anything about what I was doing but it was an enormous mega-ramble that I was on, something to do with the seaside and the moment that I awoke when the alarm went off, it wiped everything out of my head completely.

And how disappointing was that? As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I have a far more exciting time when I’m on my travels during the night than ever I do when I’m awake.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst thing to do this morning was to tidy up the place a little – and that included steam-cleaning the kitchen.

That’s the one thing about having people coming round to the apartment visiting – it motivates me to get the place looking as if someone actually lives here.

Following that, I could go and have a good shower and a general clean up. And a weigh-in too. And that weight that I put on at the last weigh-in now seems to gone off again.

Either that or my bathroom scales are about as reliable as the blood testing machine at Castle Anthrax.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallFollowing that I made a flying visit to the shops.

First port of call was NOZ where I spent the grand total of €3:19. Two cartons of coconut milk for drinking, another packet of these breaded soya steaks and I can’t remember what the fourth thing was now. But it can’t have been that important.

LeClerc wasn’t that much better either. If I hadn’t bought a net of juice oranges and another batch of falafel (I was looking in the wrong place last week) the expenditure there would have been the same as well.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the visit to the shops I called in at Happy Cash – the second-hand shop on the edge of town.

That wasn’t a very profitable visit because they didn’t have in stock what I wanted so instead I fought my way back home through the traffic.

A final bit of tidying up and then my visitors arrived – bang on time. One of my colleagues from the radio and his wife were in town and they came round for a chat and a cup of tea.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile they were here I gave them a slice of my apple pie and it definitely met with great approval, which pleased me no end, I have to say.

After they left, I sat down to make a start on the photos from July 2019 but shame as it is to say it, I crashed out on the chair.

Crashed out good and proper too for probably about an hour or so. It was 13:40 when I finally pulled myself together – and that was a waste of a morning yet again.

Surprisingly, when I listened to the dictaphone the following morning, there was a recording on it timed at about 12:30 today. I must have gone off on a voyage while I was asleep.

I was on holiday and in a hotel in one of the rooms looking out of the window over the street. There were people in the street and I was listening to Runrig on the radio. At the end of the concert I went to switch it off with the remote control but it wouldn’t actually switch off. I had to physically walk over to the radio and switch it off. That reminded me that something else had happened about this before and I’d been in the same position. It was getting close to meal time and at meal time I was going to go down with my friend. I’m not sure who my friend was – it might have been Rosemary. Then I realised that half of my party were leaving and they would be boarding a plane later on in the evening. I wanted to go to see them off because someone very well-known to regular readers of this rubbish was going back home with this group of the party and I wanted to say goodbye to her. However we weren’t particularly speaking at that particular moment but even so I couldn’t bear the thought of her going away without me saying goodbye to her. So then I realised that not everyone would be going to the airport – only a few people – those who were leaving would be going. I wondered if I could think of an excuse to go down with them but then I didn’t know any of the others well enough to be able to tag along with them to say goodbye. The thing I wanted most in the world was for her to turn round and wave at me and say goodbye even if she didn’t want to speak to me.

And doesn’t that sound familiar to the regular readers of this rubbish? A certain series of events are still playing on my mind after all this time and it doesn’t look as if I’ll ever shake them off.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallIt had been pouring down with rain during part of the morning and it still looked wet and miserable outside so I had lunch indoors today.

Afterwards I had a good look at the hard drives on this computer. Believe it or not, I’m running out of space already and that’s not very good at all. There is going to have to be some serious shuffling around of stuff to make more room, and I’ve made a start on that already.

But interestingly, I came a cross a directory that had been misfiled probably back in 2007 or something like that and there was a whole raft of photos in there – a couple of thousand in fact, that I knew I had somewhere.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a good couple of years ago I spent a whole week trying to hunt down a particular photo and I could never find it.

Well, after this afternoon’s exertions I now know where it is – and where a whole load of others are too, and I delighted a few friends on my social networking account by posting a couple of them on there too.

After all of that, that was the cue to go for a walk. It was pretty windy outside and cloudy too but at least the rain had stopped.

no waiting filming rue du nord granville manche normandy france eric hallFor a change, I decided to go for a walk around the walls this afternoon.

But I didn’t go far before I came to a halt again. “No Waiting” signs in the car park at the head of the rue du Nord so I went to look at the statutory notice to see what was going to be happening.

It looks like our little corner of the town is going to become famous because they say that they are going to be making a film here in a week or so’s time. That should be interesting.

swimming plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallA few minutes agi I said that the rain had stopped, but that it was still windy and cloudy.

It wasn’t the weather that I would have chosen to have gone into the water, but these people seem to be having a load of fun splashing about in the sea this afternoon.

And they weren’t alone either. I counted probably about a dozen other people havign a good swim around out there this afternoon. made of hardy stuff, these Normans. But then they are all mostly descended from Vikings so anything is possible.

beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd that may well be true for some, but not for others.

All the money that the commune has (quite rightly, in my opinion) spent in revitalising the tidal swimming pool and here we are, the last weekend in June already, and there’s only one person looking as if he’s anything like in it.

It’s so quiet down there on the beach that the three lifeguards are having a Union meeting and paying no attention whatever to whatever is going on behind the.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallMissing out on the roofing job in the Place Marechal Foch, I walked on round to the Square Maurice Marland to check on my seagull.

The baby that we have been following doesn’t seem to be very lively, but I spent a good 20 minutes watching the antics of these triplets wandering around on the roof flexing their wings. They seem to be getting ready to take to the air pretty soon.

Interesting though it was, things really started to liven up when mummy flew back to the roof. The three youngsters seemed to know instinctively what was going to happen next as they all swarmed around her squawking.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd sure enough, mummy duly obliged.

She promptly vomited up a huge pile of half-digested seafood and the three little ones tucked in eagerly and greedily to their afternoon snack.

Mummy then took to the air and flew back down to the shore – presumably to go and find dessert to bring back for them. I must admit that I’m no bird-watcher (well, not THAT kind of bird anyway) but I’m fascinated by these seagulls and how their instincts drive them on to know what to do

gas pipe rue lecarpentier granville manche normandy france eric hallWhere this family of seagulls is situated is not very far at all from the steps in the Rue Lecampion where they have been doing all of the work. That was obviously going to be the next place to visit seeing as I was in the vicinity.

And they seem to be making quite good progress right now and I imagine that it will be finished pretty soon. Most of the trench has been backfilled and the cobbles in the lower part have now been tamped firmly home.

Another week or so and they may well be packed up and gone.

cat on digger rue cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallWell, theoretically speaking, that is.

They won’t be able to move the digger for a while because someone else has taken possession. Sitting there on one of the tracks acting as if he owned the digger, which he probably did by now.

He was quite a friendly little cat and I spent a good five minutes giving him a good stroke. Stroking a cat is very good for the stress, so they say. When Nerina and I were together we had four cats so Heaven alone knows what I would have been like without any at all.

repointed wall place du parvis notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that they have spent the last couple of weeks repointing and cleaning up the wall that they repaired in a hurry last year.

We saw a photo of them working on it during the week, but now they seem to have cleared off. Their van is gone too so that must mean that they have now finished.

And it’s quite a reasonable job that they have made of it too. What I’m hoping for now is that they will show the same zeal and vigour around the rest of the walls that seem to be crumbling away faster than they can repair them.

bottle of champagne discarded place du parvis notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallThere has been a lot of talk in the British media about the litter louts in the UK who have been leaving mounds of rubbish all over all kinds of various tourist areas just recently.

In France too, we have our own problems with litter louts leaving their garbage all over the place. But you have to admit that our litter louts are ina completely different league than the UK.

Where else in the world would you find discarded champagne bottles lying around?

My hour on the guitar was spent playing the acoustic guitar. I need to become accustomed to playing that again although i’m not very happy about it. It’s a cheap thing with three steel and three nylon strings and the action is far too high on it

Tea tonight was, as usual, one of my breaded soya steaks with a potato and vegetables, followed by a slice of pie and the last of the delicious banana sorbet.

With it being damp and windy I waited a while before going out for my run, and just as I had made up my mind to go, Rosemary rang me up. We ended up chatting for a good 90 minutes as usual.

While all of this was going on I was engaged in a dispute with someone at the radio. My programme wasn’t broadcast again tonight so we “had words”.

The guy who acts as the main technician for the radio told me that he has a life and that he is only paid to work on Monday morning and all day Tuesday for the radio so we should think ourselves lucky that he’s there.

For my part, I reminded him that we volunteers also have lives and that we aren’t paid at all for our work – in fact, the money and all of our equipment and travelling expenses comes out of our own pockets so he should think himself lucky that we are here. And I mentioned how disappointed I was to read his comments.

In fact he had spent 25 minutes sending me all kinds of screenshots to prove that the programmes were set up correctly, whereas all he needed to do was to click on the link to the broadcast (5 seconds?) and he could hear for himself that it wasn’t going out.

It makes me shudder to think about the attitudes of some people – it really does.

By the time that I went for my evening run it was almost 23:00 – but I went all the same. There was nothing to photograph, for the rather prosaic reason that I couldn’t see very much.

The itinerant was there though, buried deeply in his hedge. Fast asleep, I imagined.

One thing though – and that was that my run tonight was so much easier. I wonder if it’s anything to do with the digestion process that’s using up too much energy shortly after a meal.

But I’m off to bed. And a lie-in tomorrow. There’s a lot to do so I can’ta fford to hang about.

Friday 26th June 2020 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… I was up before the third alarm went off this morning.

Not by much, it has to be said, but before is before and it’s all good.

Mind you I don’t know why because outside was a really miserable day. I didn’t know if it was raining because I couldn’t see. Wr had a huge sea mist rolling in and it was freezing cold – a far cry from the last few days.

After the medication it was the dictaphone. I had an appointment at the hospital last night and I went to go to the reception. I walked into the office and had to get a ticket to queue up. But the woman called me over as I waslked in. I shouted “in a minute” and went to get my ticket anyway, but I don’t know why. When I got to the desk and said that I had an appointment she asked “who with?”. I said that I didn’t know – it was on the card. She looked on the card and all it had was “Doctor C”. She said “what you’ll have to do is to ring up Doctor Carpentier and se if it’s him. If it’s not him, here are all the other doctors whose names begin with C. You’ll have to ring round all of them until you find the one who is supposed to be seeing you.

Today, with nothing really outstanding that needed doing, I exerted myself by sorting out the washing that had been hanging up on the clothes airer for the last 10 days or so.

Nice and dry of course, and because of the washing softener it actually smelled nice too. Far better than it did the last time that I washed it and forgot about it in the washing machine for a couple of days.

After that, I had some things of my awn to attend to and then I settled down to carry on with a few of the projects that I started a while ago.

Firstly, this involves completely rewriting one of my websites. And that’s not as easy as it might sound either because it seems to have been amended in several stages in the past and some of the early stuff seems to have stuck in a previous format and missed the subsequent amendments.

What I’ve had to do is to prepare a template for each version, work out which version of the site each page is and then amend it accordingly.

So far I did about 4 or 5 pages this morning once I’d sorted out the templates. But it’s not just that – I’m finding lots of stuff that shouldn’t be there as well as a few files that i’d lost here and there along the way.

This afternoon I carried on with editing a web page from another site. What I wrote 20 years ago is not the same as I would have written today, and it’s not easy either to change a style of writing but keeping the same emotion that I had when I first wrote it.

As well as that, it’s been about 12 years since I’ve done any serious third-party web design work so I’m quite rusty in that respect but looking at my site with different eyes, I’ve solved almost instinctively a couple of problems that stumped me whan I was in full flight. I’m not sure how I managed that at all.

As well as that, I had a good go at the photos from July 2019 in Iceland and now I’m back in Heimaey on the way out to Greenland.

Another thing that i’ve done is to make a few tentative enquiries about going off on my travels sometime whenever. I have a couple of plans but they are not for right away or even in the near future. Nevertheless there is no time like the present to get things under way.

rocks light pointe du rock granville manche normandy france eric hallAt the usual time this afternoon I went out for my walk.

Although, once again, I couldn’t see why. In fact i couldn’t see very much at all this afternoon because that sea mist was still hanging around out there.

it was cold too, as I said earlier. I had a sweater on, which is pretty much unthinkable for the latter days of June. Even Gribouille the big ginger cat wasn’t coming out in this weather. He stayed stuck on his windowsill indoors.

seafarers memorial pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing much to see I trudged on around my little circuit, mixing with the people who were out there. There were actually quite a few – more than I was expecting.

With not being able to see very much in the fog, there wasn’t an awful lot to photograph. But regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen a few photos of the seafarers’ memorial just recently in the bright sunlight, so I thought that I would reproduce the view in the fog.

If you look carefully you can juts about make out the coast on the other side of the bay near St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing else going on I walked on down along the top of the cliff and then round towards home.

Not an awful lot going on in the harbour either. No Jersey freighter today, but La Grande Ancre is there in port tied up. She has no intention of going out in this, that’s for sure.

From there I headed off back home to carry on working. There was plenty to do. And I might have accomplished so much more had I not gone off with the fairies again for half an hour or so.

When I came round, I was feeling pretty miserable. I reckon that I’m sickening for something else right now and I don’t like that idea very much at all.

But I plodded on with my work and then had the usual hour on the guitar.

Tea tonight was exciting. There was a pepper left over so I sliced it up. A potato was diced and put in the microwave with a little water and some spices (turmeric, coriander and cumin) for a couple of minutes.

While that was doing I sliced up a couple of onions and fried them with spices and also some fennel and fenugreek. A pile of garlic went in next, and then the pepper.

The potatoes followed, with a tin of exotic vegetables that I had picked up from NOZ a while back. And then a handful of spinach.

More spices to taste, and then the pièce de résistance – not a French virgin but a little carton of soya cream (regular readers of this rubbish will recall that they had some on special offer at LeClerc a couple of weeks ago).

So there we are – an Instant Korma, and vegan to boot. With some rice and mixed veg it was delicious and, even better, there are four more helpings for the freezer.

Apple pie and ice cream for pudding with chocolate sauce.

My run was going to be late tonight because I wanted to hear the start of my radio programme. But badger me if the baskets have forgotten YET AGAIN to broadcast it.

Having been missed off the list of “presents” at the meeting last week, I am not very impressed at all by this. If they don’t want my programmes they should have the courage to tell me so that I don’t waste my time.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallEventually I made it outside for my evening run.

And I ran straight into the sunset again. Unfortunately, although the weather is 100 times better than it was earlier and you could actually see things, there was too much cloud about for it to be as spectacular as the last couple of nights.

Anyway, I made it all the way down to the clifftop past the itinerant, even though I didn’t feel much like it tonight.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNot a great deal of activity out there tonight.

There was a small yacht way out in the distance over by the Ile de Chausey but there were also some fishermen in their boat just off the cliffs fishing for something or other.

One of these days I’ll have to accost a fisherman and find out what the catch is in the waters off here. The waters aren’t all that deep so it’s not going to be anything super-exotic.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was another evening with no-one picnicking in the old gun emplacement so I carried on walking across the lawn.

There were a few people about as well, getting in my way, but round by the Pointe du Roc all of the action seemed to be down at the viewpoint by the old watchman’s cabin.

W’ve seen quite a few groups of people congregating down there just recently and there was another bunch of people hanging out in the evening sun down there. It’s a lovely spot to hang out.

fisherman pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was no fisherman down there this evening though. The rocks around there were looking pretty bare.

It seemed to me as if they had all given up for the duration but, having a look around, I found one of them standing on a rock elsewhere in the vicinity casting his line into the void.

With nothing else exciting going on, I carried on with my run. Past the chantier navale where there were still the five fishing boats.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAt the end of the path i stopped for a breather, and from there i had a look around to see if there was anything exciting.

The two Joly France boats were down there near the ferry terminal but what caught my eye was the older boat of the two. She was moored in rather a dangerous position right by the harbour gate and I was sure that she shouldn’t be staying there.

But closer inspection revealed that her crane was extended and as I ran on down the road, she lifted something out of the forr’ard hold, dumped it on the quayside, and then cleared off elsewhere.

swimmers changing people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAll the way down the Boulevard vaufleury I ran, round into the medieval city and round through the alleys to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord – a little easier tonight, I reckon.

There were a few people down on the beach this evening. Not picnicking but simply soaking up the sun. Not as many people as we have seen in the recent past.

But I was admiring a couple of people down there. They were drying themselves with towels and sorting out some clothes, so it looked to me as if they had actually been in the water for a swim.

Braver men than I am, Gungha Din.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I said earlier, the sunset tonight wasn’t all that spectacular.

Back at the apartment I showed it to Liz and she described it as a storm in a sunset sandwich, which I thought was very lyrical of her.

For a change it’s a little earlier than usual so I’ll probably go for an early night. I’m expecting a couple of visitors tomorrow so I might even do a little tidying up early tomorrow morning if I feel up to it.

Shopping tomorrow of course, but I don’t need much at all. But I want to go to the second-hand shop because I have a project in mind.

More of this anon

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?

Saturday 13th June 2020 – I SPENT A …

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hall… fortune today in the shops.

And for a couple of good reasons too, so while you admire today’s photos of the baby seagulls, let me tell you about it.

The spending spree started in NOZ, as you might expect. But what you won’t expect is the fact that food (and drink) played only a minor part the expenditure. Some of the alcohol-free beer that I like and the last of the breaded soya fillets, together with a tiny tub of vegan ice cream.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallSome of the rest went on a platform on wheels.

The way things are at the moment I’m not as young as I was and heavy lifting is a problem. I have a collection of wheeled platforms and indeed at one time I made my own, but everything is, of course back in the Auvergne and it’s not much use there.

However the crowing glory was a huge pile of history books. Occasionally NOZ has a book sale and I’ve bought a few from there (I’m currently reading a book that I bought there a while back on the history of Normandy in the Middle Ages) but today was a whole pile of interesting stuff .

Right now one of my bookshelves is groaning under the weight of 7 big new volumes of French and European history, all written from a French perspective.

That lot will keep me out of mischief for a while.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallRound at LeClerc it was also an expensive day

But, once more, there was a very good reason for that. There’s a well-known UK frozen food manufacturer that has a large range of vegetarian products, one or two of which are vegan

It now seems that LeClerc has started to stock them and they had their products on an opening special offer of 34% off.

It’s rare to find high-quality vegan food at a reasonable price but right now there’s some room in the freezer so now there’s a pile of deep-frozen falafel and deep frozen vege-balls in there.

It wasn’t an offer that I could pass up.

Talking of passing up on thisgs, I managed to pass myself up into the kitchen before the third alarm went off this morning – something that doesn’t happen very often these days..

And no-one was more surprised than me.

So after I had my medication I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone

What a nightmare that I had last night too! I had a house on Osbourne Grove in Shavington. It had either caught alight or someone had planted a bomb in it and everything was due to happen at midnight. I was runing back there – it was nearly 3 minutes to. I got inside the house, I had to rip electrical appliances off the wall, thrown them out of the window, pick up my belongings, pick up Strawberry Moose. I could feel the time really really advancing . I was doing this faster and faster. Then I lost the way a bit and ended up in a telephone box thing – interview booth

Somewhat later on I was driving taxis last night and we were in Earle Street in Crewe where there was a taxi rank. I dunno whether there was something going on but one of the drivers whom I knew came over to me and in a kind of forceful way said “just you go and get me a packet of crisps – a packet of chips and wait for me on tha corner and give them to me when I come past. he was obviously going to do something to upset the other drivers but anyway I set off towards the chip shop round into Market Terrace. Walking down there I met Roxanne. We started talking and she was telling me about how when she was young she’d drawn a picture of her mother and made a remark about it. I said that I disagreed, so she told me about a drawing she had made of me. We had a chat about that, and she added “I had a really good imagination as a child”. Anyway I came round and I got to the fish and chip shop by this time and I was just about to walk in when the alarm went off.

It always does just as things are becoming interesting.

There was more to last night’s voyages too, but as you are all probably having your lunch or something I’l spare you the gory details.

Having dealt with the dictaphone notes I went and had a shower and a weigh-in. And while one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and it’s too early to start crowing, for a whole week now I’ve been below my target weight.

Whether I can keep it up is another thing. We’ll have to see about that but it’s encouraging.

That means that in 11 months since I had my major health scare in the USA I’ve lost 13kgs. Not a pleasant way to lose the weight but the ends justify the means.

It reminds me of the story about my wife, who proudly announced “this last two weeks I’ve lost 5kgs”
“Keep it up, dearest” I urged (I used to call her “dearest” because she was the most expensive thing I’ve ever had) “in another 26 weeks you’ll be gone completely”.

Off to the shops which I’ve already mentioned, swamped in the crowds and the traffic. The port was heaving today with the sailing school having a busy morning. Cars parked everywhere.

Back here I actually managed to unpack everything and even put some of it away without having to go and sit down. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that.

For lunch I had some of the baguette that I buy every Saturday and then came back in here to do some work.

And I really don’t know what happened after that. There was some work that needed doing which I started but the next thing that I remember was that it was 15:28. I must have been out like a light for 90 minutes or so and I don’t understand that at all.

Mind you, I awoke just in time for the kick-off of today’s football match – the Welsh Cup Final between Bangor City and Port Talbot Town from 2010.

Bangor City were expected to win this match at a canter and at 2-0 up after 15 minutes, it looked all over. But the Spuds stiffened up and began slowly to come into the game.

Bangor spurned a couple of good chances as the match progressed and when the Spuds pulled a goal back out of nothing after an hour, it was game on.

Astonishingly, in a frenetic end to the match, the Spuds scored an equaliser with just two minutes to go, only for Bangor to go back into the lead in injury time, to lift the Cup for the third year in succession.

But what a difference a decade makes. Bangor City were acquired by a couple of crooks (which I can safely say, having in my possession a list of their criminal convictions) whose financial manoeuvres saw the club lose its professional licence and expelled from the Premier League, and the Spuds who now play in the third tier of Welsh football

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThis was the time – about 90 minutes later than usual, for me to go for my afternoon walk.

From the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I could see that down on the rocks and on the beach just there that the people were gathering in their masses.

When I came out of LeClerc earlier there was a torrential downpour going on and it had been pretty miserable. But now the sun had some out and brought with it the Saturday afternoon crowds

plank surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just on the beaches either.

The water was pretty busy too. We had a pile of plank surfers or whatever you call that sport out there two round by the buoys that seem to be marking the end of the swimming zone for the beach at Plat Gousset.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen them out there before. What the attraction is in that sport I really don’t know. But as long as they enjoy it, it keeps them out of mischief.

brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallYou probably noticed from the previous photos how beautiful the weather was looking right now. A real contrast from a few hours ago.

Over across the bay towards Bréhal Plage the colours really were magnificent and while the view into the distance wasn’t as clear as that which we saw the other day whe we saw the wind farm at the back of Coutances, it was certainly a nice sharp view over there.

It’s a shame that I can’t have a sharp view like this when the coast in the distance is clear.

crowds rue du nord granville manche normandy france eric hallBut you can see what I mean about the crowds out here this afternoon.

That’s the way that I go when I’m walking around the wall – underneath the arch and onto the path behind the outer curtain walls. That was my first running track too when I started running back in the winter, but as you can see, there’s no hope of running down there today.

You’ll notice the puddles on the path too. There was that much rain that the water hasn’t drained off. You’ll also notice that the grass is still quite brown despite the rain of the last couple of days.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSurprisingly, the beach wasn’t all that busy. I was expecting to see many more people than that down there.

No-one swimming around in the water either this afternoon either, which was another surprise. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen swimmers in that water in all kinds of temperatures.

No-one in the tidal swimming pool which is a shame after all of the effort that they went to when they cleared it out a month ago. It’s still holding water.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSo where were all of the people then who should have been on the beach?

This is where most of them seem to be. I’m not sure what the attraction is of the rocks and the stone ramp when there’s some nice sand to sit on.

But do you notice the boy on the left-hand edge of the photo? He’s having a space-hopper ride on one of the yellow buoys that’s broken away from its mooring point.

You can see its chain behind it lying in the sand.

maserati roadworks rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallMy route now took me round through the crowds in the Place Maurice Marland where I could check on my seagulls, and then towards home.

But here in the rue Notre Dame I noticed that the roadworks that they taped off yesterday have not been respected. Someone has driven through the tapes (not this car) and broken them – and now a whole stream of vehicles is passing along the road.

No wonder they have to keep on redoing them if people will drive on the cobbles before the concrete has set.

gribouille seagull place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back to the apartment this view made me lauch.

Here’s Gribouille, the big ginger cat, sitting quite comfortably on his wndowsill admiring the view, taking absolutely no notice whatsoever of the seagull that’s on the windowledge just above his head.

What kind of cat is this? But then again when I was married we had four cats but there was once a mouse in the kitchen that they completely ignored.

Back here it was guitar time already so I had an hour or so on those, followed by tea again. One of my breaded soya fillets with a baked potato and vegetables. I do quite like them but they aren’t on sale in France officially.

However NOZ sells anything and everything that comes its way. I stocked up when I could and it’ll be a shame when the supplies run out.

Out for my run afterwards but I had to abort the first part of the first run.

There was a major gale blowing – a proper sou’wester. And the tall buildings on either side of the rue du Roc were funneling it straight into my face. It was hard enough to walk, and impossible to run in it.

Once I’d gone beyond the buildings on the north side I could break into a run but it was still agony.

storm at sea english channel islands jersey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe itinerant was still there, calmly reading a newspaper as I ran past him down to the clifftop.

And I could see what was going on from the top of the cliff. The strong winds that we had had had blown the storm out to sea and the eastern side of Jersey was now taking a right pasting, presumably from the same storm that we had had earlier.

Whoever might be out there in a boat right now is probably not enjoying that one little bit, I’m sure of that. It’s hardly a surprise that there’s no fishing boat in view.

jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallHowever, one thing that can be said is that I’ve never seen Jersey looking so clear and visible so late in the evening.

With the big70-300mm LENS at full stretch I took a photo, and it’s amazing just how clear it is. We can see the tower at the entrance to the harbour which I reckon is St Helier, and on the right we can even see what looks like a church spire.

That’s not bad for 58 kilometres or so, I reckon.

fishermen resting cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I walked off across the lawn and round to the viewpoint near the coastguard station.

Down by the Sailors’ memorial I looked down onto the rocks and noticed a cuple of guys lounging around here. Nominally fishing, as you can tell by the rods, but the lines aren’t in the water and hey don’t seem to be too interested right now.

And I don’t know why they are there because it can’t be pleasant down there in that wind.

couple resting cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd they weren’t the only ones out there either.

This couple were here sitting on a bench by the old guard cabin, taking the full brunt of this sou’wester that was roaring up the bay.

Anyway, it’s none of my business, so I walked round, crossed over the road and ran on down to my first resting place, despite the crosswind.

heavy machinery fish processing plant rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage of my route takes me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round the corner at the end

While I was catching my breath I walked back to the harbour to see what was going on there. Nothing much, but our heavy equipment is still there. I’ll go for a closer look tomorrow if it’s still there.

From there I ran on round to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord, but there wasn’t anything at all of any interest happening there either so I came on home again.

Sunday tomorrow, and a lie-in too. I suppose that i’d better do some work too, seeing as I have done almost nothing today. But I’m going to make myself an apple crumble for tea, I reckon. We’ve not had one of those for ages.

Wednesday 10th June 2020 – OUR BABY SEAGULL …

baby seagull chick rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hall… has left the nest today.

Staggering around the roof on its own two pins while mummy watches. He’s a good week or so behind the others unfortunately but better late than never.

And that brings me sadly round to the fate of his sibling. Mummy has now left the nest as we can see, but the second egg has not hatched. It’s just sitting in the nest doing nothing at all.

So unfortunately that one won’t ever see the light of day, which is a shame.

But talking of the light of day and staggering around on a rooftop the little baby seagull is doing better just then than I was this morning at 06:15 when the third alarm went off.

At that particular moment I was flat out in my nest too and it was more like 06:30 when I finally crawled out of bed.

There was nothing on the dictaphone either so anyone would have thought that I would have cracked on and had a good day’s work today.

But if only ….!

And for a whole variety of reasons too, not the least of which being that it took me several hours to find my bearings and summon up the motivation etc. Story of my life these days, I’m afraid. I’m finding it very hard to concentrate, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Nvertheless by the time that I knocked off work at 18:00 I had

  • written all of the rest of the text for the programme
  • recorded same
  • uploaded same to computer
  • edited same
  • split same into the relevant passages
  • used the passages to link together the pairs of music tracks (5 of those)
  • added in the speech of my invited guest
  • worked out the time left of my hour slot
  • knocked off 30 seconds of the time left for the final speech
  • found a track to fit the remaining time
  • wrote out the speech
  • recorded same
  • uploaded same to computer
  • edited same
  • added same onto the end of the radio project
  • merged the final track into the project at the appropriate place
  • found that I was over by 8 seconds (which is always better than being under by 8 seconds) so I had to hunt down 8 seconds of speech that could easily be edited out.

There was also some time left to start to assemble the paperwork for the Tax Return.

And how much more could I have done had I not drifted off into the arms of Morpheus at some point during the afternoon?

That loaf of bread that I made the other day is still doing well and I’m quite pleased with it. There is still plenty of room for improvement but we’ll get there slowly.

However, I had to throw away a few tomatoes today. That few days when I didn’t eat anything has caused a few items of food to start to show their age.

roadworks montée st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the afternoon walk of course. And I put on my raincoat because although it was no longer raining, it was still quite miserable outside.

First thing that I noticed that the Montée st Jean, which leads up to the Parvis Notre Dame has a roadworks sign up there. “Closed 200 metres ahead” which at least puts it after the Square.

That’s the way that I’ll be coming back so I can have a good nosey around to see what’s happening when I get round there.

peche à pied plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallMy route is taking me round by the rue du Nord and then along that side of the walls.

Following usual custom and practice I looked over the wall to see if we had any picnickers this afternoon. I thought that that was unlikely and indeed I was proved right. But we did have someone out there practising the peche à pied

It was difficult to see what the person out there was collecting but she seemed to be having some good luck.

wind farm lighthouse buoy agon coutainville granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the heavy, low clouds there was another really excellent view out to the north today in certain places.

The lighthouse at the Pointe d’Agon was clearly visible, as was the marker at the mouth of the River Sienne. And the range of hills way out at the back of Coutances where there is the wind farm is probably the clearest that I have ever seen.

If you look carefully at the image you can just about make out the wind farm on the crest of the hills over there.

beach huts plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallA few days ago, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw the beach huts now put out down at Donville les Bains.

It seems today that the town of Granville is following suit because they have all been brought down to the Plat Gousset and they are being installed in position.

It looks as if everyone now is preparing for summer, so I hope that we aren’t going to have another one of the storms that we had earlier in the year. Imagine all of that lot being smashed to matchwood.

marker buoys plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall that we saw the other days a row of yellow marker buoys stretched out across the beach presumably at the outer limit for swimming.

But it seems to be a case of “Ten Green Bottles” as far as the yellow buoys go because there are a lot fewer now than there were when we started.

And if you look closely, there’s one lying on the beach at the bottom right of the image, having broken away from its moorings. And there was one higher up the beach bear the wall.

So they didn’t last long.

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried on around the walls and onto the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch

From here I could see down and over to where they were working on the roof. It seems now that they have finished that one and they are now working on the building behind it.

They are cracking on with it too. They have the felt already on and they were riveting the laths onto the beams. That is nearly finished too so I imagine that the slates will be going on there tomorrow.

earthworks diffing up quayside port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that on Sunday we saw some kind of portable office erected on the quayside near the ferry terminal.

There was no indication of the purpose that it was serving but this will probably give us a clue. We’ve seen them digging up the quayside over there on a couple of occasions, but today they are back there with a digger, a hole and a pile of earth.

It makes me wonder if it has anything to do with those heavy mounting brackets on the quayside that they installed a few weeks ago.

digging up road rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallA little earlier we saw the signs for the road closed up in the rue Notre Dame.

When I reckoned that I’d catch the works from the other side, I was sure that I would be proved right. And voila!. They were digging up all of the cobbles in the street and chipping away at the concrete at the edges.

That’s going to prove to be interesting over the next few days when we find out what they have been doing and, more importantly, why.

house renovations rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a new young cat sitting on the windowsill where Minette used to live, so I stopped and gave him a stroke. And then I moved on down to the Place Cambernon.

That building that we have seen encased in scaffolding and netting for the last I don’t know how long now seems to be almost complete around the front and most of the material has gone.

It’s looking quite smart with its new front too. “Apartments” is what i’ve been told, but it would be nice if some sort of commerce other than a souvenir shop would open on the ground floor.

cherry picker montee du parvis notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallPicking my way gingerly through the works in the road in the Rue Notre Dame, I passed on along the street towards home.

My attention was however drawn to the Montée du Parvis Notre Dame where we had a cherry picker or some such parked here. I’ve no idea what they were doing because it was very difficult to see, but they had some heavy equipment to do it.

From there I made my way back home to carry on with work. It won’t be finished on its own.

Knocking off at 18:00 or so I had a good play with the guitars tonight and I found that with the 6-string I was switching between the F chord and Bb chord quite easily without looking. Even I was impressed.

Next thing that I will try doing is triads of C F and G so see how they fit together. But I’ll get there.

Tea tonight was the second of the two time-expired burgers that I bought at the weekend. Delicious it was again, followed by strawberry flan and soya coconut cream.

Only two meals again today, but I did make myself a mug of hot chocolate with soya milk at mid-morning.

And one more thing of note – it’s now over a week since I’ve had any coffee. And you can tell that I’ve been ill if I’m not drinking coffee. I used to live on that at one time.

speedboat zodiac trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo off later on my run around the Pointe du Roc

And it really was a little (just a little) easier to run up the hill and down to the clifftop past the itinerant who was in his usual spot. And at the clifftop I was treated to a beautiful nautical danse macabre as a couple of speedboats, a zodiac and a big fishing boat all came together.

Unfortunately there was no collision and it all passed off smoothly so I made my way on

baie de mont st michel kayaker fisherman granville manche normandy france eric hallAround the headland towards the other side of the promontory. But I didn’t go very far.

Something down in the water had caught my eye and at first I thought that it might have been a porpoise or a dolphin. But on enlarging the photo I could see that it was a kayak with a fisherman in it – I assume that they are fishing rods that he has sticking up there

What also caught my eye was what looked like an outboard motor on the stern of the craft, so it’s not a traditional kind of kayak whatever else it might be.

joker fishing boat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAround on the other side of the headland I carried on with my run and reached my mark where I stopped for a rest.

A fishing boat came chugging around the corner while I was resting and, thinking that I recognised it, I took a photo of it.

And I was right again. It’s our old friend Joker, and regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw her over quite a perios when she was up on blocks in the chantier navale a while ago.

They obviously did a good job on her

fishing boats trawler fish processing plants port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was there, I had a good look down at the fish processing plant.

This evening it was heaving with boats coming in to unload at the quayside and there was even an articulated lorry with a refrigerated trailer parked there waiting for a catch.

Down the Boulevard Vaufleury I ran, and pushed on beyond my end marker by a good 20 metres without a great deal of difficulty. I’m pleased about that for only another 20 metres to go and I’ll be on a long downhill slope

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallDown at the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord there was no-one picnicking, which was a surprise.

The sunset tonight was not one of the better ones, but you can’t win a coconut every time, can you? We’ve had some really excellent ones in the past.

So with nothing else to do, I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes. And now that I’ve finished I can go to bed.

It’s shopping tomorrow and I need some stuff – mainly to replace that which I’ve had to throw away that I didn’t eat while I was ill

So here’s hoping for a good night and some interesting and congenial companions.

Monday 25th May 2020 – A FEW MORE …

… things to add to the pile of things that haven’t been done today. I’m not having a good start to the week.

It all went wrong right at the very beginning when the third alarm found me somewhere in Wyoming, and a very dry, dusty Wyoming at that too. I’d been in my old Opel Senator and had an accident in which it was written off and I’d had to wait around for a taxi. Eventually the one that the insurance company sent fo me tuned up – an old blue Volvo 244. On the way back (and the name Irmo – which Rhys might know – was mentioned) I mentioned how I’d be happy to settle in a place like this and I asked what taxi-driving was like around here. The driver told me with alarm “ohh don’t go settling around here” but didn’t elaborate. He told me that he might have a buyer for my car so we were talking about buying old cars and dismantling them like I used to from the abandoned car auctions in Brussels but at that point the alarm went off.

After the medication (I was up and about by 06:30) I had a listen to the dictaphone. And there was something very enigmatic on there from round about 02:30. “Yes sometime during the night I dreamt that I was actually writing up my blog. Yes, it’s getting to me, isn’t it?” was what I heard when I played it back. But what it was all about I really didn’t have a clue.

Between breakfast and lunch there was a variety of things to do. First off was to send off the radio project for the forthcoming weekend. And seeing as it’s the end of the month we’re having a live concert again.

Then it was time to choose the music for the next radio project.

It’s a friend’s birthday so I had to prepare a special birthday card for her. That was quite important.

My Welsh homework needed doing too, and that involved some research and more than a little tidying up of my notes. And the questions had come in *.docx format which Open Office doesn’t read correctly – so I had to reformat that by copying the text and paginating it which took an age.

Then back to the radio project and by the time that I knocked off for lunch the tracks had been joined in pairs, I’d chosen a speech for my guest and I’d started to write the notes.

home made apple pear purée cordial granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter lunch there was cookery to be done.

This morning I’d used the last of the purée so I made some more. It hadn’t kept as well as previously so I’ve decided to make smaller amounts more regularly. Today’s effort was apple and pear, and I remembered the cinnamon and nutmeg.

With the juice that was left over, I added some syrup to make a cordial, and we’ll see how that goes.

As well as that, there was the remaining kilo of carrots to be peeled, diced, blanched and frozen. They are in the freezer right now too.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a break while I went out for my afternoon walk in the glorious sun.

There were a few people staring down at the foot of the cliff so I went along to see what there was going on. I’m not sure what it was that they were seeing, but I saw this beautiful little yacht go scudding by right under my nose.

One of my neighbours was there too – Gribouille’s mum – with her arm in plaster. She’d had a fall in the market on Saturday and broken her wrist.

She started to tell me all about it but no thanks – I don’t want to know things like that.

st helier jersey trawler english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next couple of photos look as if the quality is quite dismal too.

In several respects that’s true, but it was necessary to enhance them to bring our exactly what it was that I wanted to see. These are two fishing boats – in this photo and the next one, but it is what is in the background that is more interesting.

In all the time that I’ve been living here I don’t think that we have ever had such perfect weather out that way

st helier jersey trawler english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallAs regular readers of this rubbish will recall, on a good day we can see the island of Jersey from here even though it’s at least 54 kilometres away.

Today, not only could we see the island quite clearly but we could even see the buildings and the radio masts on the island. I’ve seen them before, but only with the zoom lens at full-extent and with some severe cropping and enhancing. But today, it didn’t take much to bring them out.

In places you could even see them with the naked eye, and that was impressive.

peche a pied beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving chatted to another neighbour who was in the vicinity I went off for my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there today – picnicking on the lawn, walking around the headland and even down on the beach. Some corners of the beach are not easy to get to but the seafood pickings must be really good. Here was someone having a go at the peche à pied by the looks of things

It would be really interesting to find out how much he actually was able to catch and, more importantly, how he was going to prepare it for eating.

seagulls scavengig in rock pools pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallTalking of good seafood pickings, regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few days ago that we saw a whole sock of fleagulls perched on the rocks, looking as if they were Waiting for Godot.

At the time I speculated that they were waiting for the tide to recede from the mudflats so that they could get stuck in to supper. The tide is out right now and here they are, having a feast.

There must have been several hundred here and it shows the capacity of the shellfish to regenerate themselves every day to be be able to produce enough food to satisfy this lot.

pointe de carolles plage cabanon vauban mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little earlier I mentioned the beautiful weather.

Over towards the Brittany coast the weather was rather misty and hazy but down at the end of the baie de Mont St Michel we could see quite clearly.

The large white buildings are all of the hotels and the like that service Mont St Michel. Having seen the prices that they charge for even the most basic services down there, I shudder to think how much they would want for a night in a hotel down there.

Over to the left we have the Pointe de Carolles with the Cabanon Vauban – the customs lookout post – perched on the edge.

And notice how far out the tide is? You can clearly see the orange sand down at the head of the bay.

boats trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual pause to admire the scenery down below the cliff on the south side of the Pointe du Roc.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we always keep an eye on the chantier navale to see what goes on there. Just ecently we’ve seen them whittle themselves down from five to four to three to two. But today, they have gone back up to four with the arrival of two more.

Only small ones, but then I suppose that everything helps. Someone was sanding down one of them. I couldn’t see which one it was but I could certainly hear the sound.

trawler beached port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUp on blocks in the chantier navale is not the only way that boats receive attention around here.

Careening is a regular feature when there’s a high tidal range, although I’ve yet to see that applied in any seriousness. Being strapped tightly to a knuckle on the harbour wall so that the boat grounds out safely when the tide goes out is on the other hand something that we’ve seen on a regular basis and there’s another one over there receiving similar treatment.

There was quite a crowd up on the wall by it too, so something exciting must have happened to it.

giant crane rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOver the last few days regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the giant crane that appeared on the docks at the end of last week.

Whatever it’s come here to do, it’s doing it right now. Its width with its safety feet is such that it’s blocked off half of the road and there afe traffic light sontrolling the traffic.

It’s not possible at all to see what it’s doing from here. One of these days I’ll have to go for a walk down there and take a closer look. It has to be something worthwhile to have attracted machinery like that.

There was the usual hour on the guitars, somewhat later than usual, and then tea. Tonight was a stuffed pepper and the last of the apple crumble. I’ll have to make another pudding tomorrow and I have a cunning plan for that.

port de granville harbour entrance marker light manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual run out tonight – an agonising crawl up the hill in the teeth of a gale. But I recovered my breath, ran down to the clifftop and then walked round the corner.

The other day, regular readers of this rubbish saw the marker light for the harbour entrance standing well clear of the water on its rock. By my estimation it’s still half an hour or so before high tide, and if you compare the two photos you’ll see how high the tide comes in.

And look how clear the air is this evening. You can see for miles down there.

people fishing from wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I ran on down on top of the cliff I noticed hordes of people standing on top of the harbour wall.

For quite a while I stood and watched them, thinking that they might be going to jump in. We’ve seen them do that before. But as long as I looked, no-one moved and I came to the conclusion that they were fishermen or something.

There were a couple of parties of girls as well loitering around where I was standing, presumably likewise waiting for things over there to happen.

fishing boat seagulls baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I stood there watching them, something came a put-putting around the headland.

At first I wasn’t sure what it was, but I suppose that it’s another one of these very small fishing boats. It’s a working boat, judging by the radio aerial.

And those things in the foreground. I wasn’t sure whether they were marker buoys or seagulls. And having had a closer look I have to say that i’m still none-the-wiser.

And that reminds me of a story I heard about a barrister, FE Smith, giving a lengthy explanation of something to a crowded courtroom.
“I’ve listened to you for half an hour” said the judge “and I’m still none-the-wiser”
“Maybe not, My Lord” replied Smith. “But you’re certainly better-informed”.

fish processing plant sucking shellfish out of trawler hold granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run took me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and as there was a lot going on at the fish processing plant I went to see.

This equipment that they were using was quite interesting and it took me a minute or two to work out what it was. And I came to the conclusion that it’s a kind of vacuum-cleaner that was being used to suck the shellfish out of the hold of the trawler and into the fish processing plant.

And if that’s what it is (and that was what it sounded like) it’s a pretty ingenious device.

sunset english chennel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run tok me round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

Nothing exciting going on there and still a while before sunset so I took a quick photo and ran on home to write up my notes..

Tomorrow is a busy day. I have my Welsh class so I need to prepare, I have my book-keeping class that has now started, I have my music course.

Then there are the photos from Sunday to deal with, the current radio project and another live concert for the end of next month too.

That’s before I even think about the ongoing projects like the websites and the July 2019 photos, and then all of the other stuff that’s built up from projects before that were never finished.

It’s a mystery to me how I’m ever going to find the time to do it all.