Tag Archives: centre agora

Friday 13th October 2023 – THAT WAS A …

… really good decision that I made for this morning.

As I have mentioned before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … I can no longer climb into the bus at the Port because there’s no pavement at the bus stop so I’m having to climb in from street level.

Consequently, if I want to go out (and I ought to go out at least once per week) I have to think again.

Right out on the edge of town off the beaten track is the quartier of St Nicolas.

It was formerly a village in its own right but was absorbed into Granville during the regrouping of communes some time ago, and so it has all of its own services which, to most people’s surprise, have remained intact.

There’s one of these typical small 1960s-type of shopping centres which is only 100 metres from a bus stop on the bus route that starts and finishes outside my front door. When I was out there on Monday, I checked the bus stops and to my delight, the pavements at both are raised to exactly the correct height.

There’s a chemists and a Post Office right next door to each other and then there’s the Carrefour supermarket. Much bigger than the one in town with a greater variety of produce.

There is a downside to it, in that the time between the bus dropping me off, completing its run, turning round and coming back is only 12 minutes, and that’s not enough.

However, that’s not a problem because there’s a bakery in the supermarket that bakes fresh bread and sells coffee. So I had a lovely rest with a nice hot coffee while I waited for the next bus.

There’s a lot going on there with a lot of people about and they all seem quite friendly too, so it was a really good idea to go there and I’ll be doing it more often.

Yesterday evening I’d psyched myself up for it by going to bed early but it made no difference because it took ages to go off to sleep. At least the night wasn’t as restless as some have been just recently.

When the alarm went off I was in the middle of a dream about someone who had quite a few cats. For some reason he’d locked them up into one particular room, gone away and left them. The cats succeeded in breaking down one of the things that he’d erected to block off the fireplace. By means of the chimney they were then able to move around the entire house. There was much more to it than that but that was all that I can remember when the alarm went off.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a dream about cats, hasn’t it?

After the medication I had to finish off the letters from yesterday and print off some paperwork to go with them, and then I hit the streets.

The bus was already here outside so I staggered on board and we set off for our journey. At St Nicolas I went to the Post Office to post the letters and then off to the supermarket for the shopping, followed by a nice hot coffee while I waited for the bus.

Climbing back on board was much easier, for which I was extremely grateful, and the climb back up the stairs seemed to be a little less difficult. In fact, I think that i’m moving about a little bit easier that I was before I set out. Mind you, that’s not saying too much because things have been difficult just recently.

For a very late breakfast I eschewed the cheese on toast and had some soup with the crusty bread that I had bought. It really was delicious, and I’ll have some more of that.

Back in here, I crashed out – quite definitively too, and for at least an hour. That’s no surprise at all.

Once I’d recovered I sat down and bashed out another radio programme. That’s the last one of the four that I dictated last Saturday night. Tomorrow I’ll carry on with the next one in the pipeline. I’m going to try to do two next week as I’m in hospital the week after.

There was stuff on the dictaphone from last night too. I’ve been packing up a room where I’d been staying for a few days ready to go off on an expedition. I’m going to have to go through all of the stuff because I’m going to be limited on what I can take. When I looked through the stuff I was surprised at all of the things that were there, all kinds of stuff that I’d been dragging around with me that I must have emptied out of a vehicle – glass bottles, jars, tons of papers etc. I had to be really severe about disposing of it all. Some of it is quite valuable in an intrinsic or sentimental way but the fact is that I simply can’t carry it so I’ll have to dispose of it and just take what I need for the journey and maybe one or two other things that would come in handy for the journey that I could use again. If it won’t be handy for the journey I’d have to throw it away whether I like it or not and that is filling me full of depression. Not that that’s any surprise because I have a hard time throwing things away.

There was something going on about a house party with a lot of people there, a few who were disabled. While I can’t remember very much about this dream I remember that some kind of cards were distributed among the people – you took your chance and took a card. The receipt of a disability card entitled you to certain things. The first person who pulled out a disability card was someone who was extremely able-bodied and active. That caused quite a gasp around the place as they tried to work out what it would mean for this extremely active person to have a disability card.

So now I’m dreaming about disabilities and handicapped people. That’s a pretty sad state of affairs for me to be in. Realisation sinks in slowly, but it sinks in deep.

Tea tonight was chips and salad with some falafel. Nothing special but nevertheless quite nice. Tomorrow I have one of those breadcrumbed quorn fillets, and I’ll probably go for a baked potato with that.

So now I’m off to bed, flushed with success about having made a good decision for my shopping. It’s not all that often that things that I plan seem to come off so I shall bask in the glory of that until I probably fall out of the bus next weekend.

By the way, you did all listen to my radio programme on Friday night, didn’t you? If not, you can hear it on Saturday evening.

Monday 26th September 2022 – GONE!

gerlean briscard chant des sirenes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And never caled me “mother”!

Thee have been wholesale changes in the chantier naval today and I seemed to have missed them all!

The only boats that are still there from the five that were lined up at the side are Briscard and Chant des Sirenes. And add to that the fact that Gerlean has now moved over there too, and you can see that they have been really busy.

Everyone else that we have seen in there over the last couple of days has now gone back into the water.

So what’s going to happen next?

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Also gone! And never called me “mother!” either are the crowds of people

Autumn has certainly arrived, and arrived in spades too. As a result, despite the fact that there was plenty of beach to be on, there wasn’t a single person – or a married person either – taking advantage of it.

By the looks of things, everything is quietening right down ready for winter to arrive. All we need to do now is to clear out the caravanners and we’ll be back to our normal sleepy selves, and I won’t ‘arf be looking forward to that!

belle france joly france le roc à la mauve 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The beach isn’t the only thing where winter is a-cumin in.

Over there at the ferry terminal we now have two of the ferries parked up. Belle France is over there at the front of the queue and behind her is one of the Joly France boats.

We can tell from the windows in “portrait” format and the lack of step in the stern that it’s the newer one of the two. Chausiaise is in the inner harbour so all we need now is the other ferry and we’ll have a full house.

In the foreground, nothing to do with winter, is the little Le Roc À La Mauve III whom we saw for a while in the chantier naval

granville victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The final event that has underlined the arrival of winter relates to the Channel Island ferries.

Victor Hugo has been moored in the harbour for quite a few days but she’s now been joined by her sister, the single-hulled Granville that plies between some of the smaller ports up the coast and some of the ports on the minor Channel Islands like Alderney and Sark.

The fact that they are now both here seems to imply that they aren’t going to go anywhere until next Spring. And I hope that next year when everything starts up again we’ll have a much better service than we had this year.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But while we’re on the subject of going anywhere … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve been going places today.

So while you admire some of the photos that I took while I was out and about I’ll tell you all about it.

And the first thing that I wanted to say was that I actually went out on the bus. The event that I attended was taking place at the rear of the Agora Centre on the edge of town and as the bus passes by there, I reckoned that I would leap aboard instead of going in Caliburn.

Especially as travelling on the bus around the town is free. I should really do more with that.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Mind you, I was lucky that I went.

The bus was due to leave at 09:10 and the nurse was also due as well and he can come at any time. I was half-expecting him not to come until after the bus had left but he turned up with 10 minutes to go.

Having had a shower earlier in the morning I was ready and so immediately after he left I grabbed my things and was out of the door. I made the bus in seconds flat, which you must admit is an amazing piece of engineering.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It was pouring down with rain this morning, and I had to wander around in the wet to find the place that I wanted.

It’s the old Ecole Pierre et Marie Curie that closed down last year. The town has bought it so that they can bring into one place all of their outlying offices instead of having them scattered all around in various buildings.

It’s been refurbished, so they tell me, which I find surprising – it must have been in a dreadful state before – and some of the services have moved in. Today was the formal, official opening and I’d been invited.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s plenty of room in there. I must have counted as many as 20 old classrooms, of which only a handful were occupied.

Consequently they have made a lot of the empty rooms into “communal rooms” where the various associations can rent a space to hold meetings, and several “likely tenants” were there. I spent a lot of time talking to someone who runs a ballroom dancing class.

Interestingly, they have ploughed up what I suppose used to be the school playing field and that has been converted into some kind of communal garden rather like an allotment site. Now doesn’t THAT have possibilities?

le bouquet granvillais radio studio espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But why I was there was that one of the rooms has been seized by the organiser of our radio station.

We’ve never had a studio. Everything is always done at the home of whoever is presenting the programme and that can sometimes be inconvenient. But right now we have staked our claim and thinks can only (hopefully) improve.

It’s nothing like the type of studio that I would like to have, with a separate control room, sound insulation and absorption material all around it, but from small acorns large oaks grow and they’ll begin to realise the shortcomings and do something about it.

Thierry drove me home afterward so I didn’t even have to wait for the bus, and I could then carry on with my work.

As it happened, I’d already done quite a lot of work. With the alarm going off at 06:00 I was out of bed immediately even if I hadn’t gone to bed until after 23:00 and had a bad night, all of which just goes to show that I can do it when I really try.

After the medication, having a shower and checking my mails I made a start on the notes for the radio programme that I’d be preparing today. And not only did I finish writing the notes I’d actually dictated half of them when the nurse interrupted my progress.

Back here later I had a very late breakfast and then carried on with the work.

And it took an absolute age to do because it was rather a different way of doing it today. Usually I just trawl through my databases when I’m choosing the final track and pick one that matches the available timeslot less 45 seconds for a closing speech.

Today though was a themed programme and I didn’t have the same choice that I would otherwise have. I had to choose a track from a very small selection and adjust the length of the speech to fit.

And then in an error of calculation I was 10 seconds short so I had to re-dictate the final speech with some extra stuff in it and then re-edit it.

As a result it was a very late walk around the headland. At least the rain had stopped for a moment but there was a howling gale that had sprung up. I was the only one out and about and I could understand why.

le loup fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You’ve seen the beach already, and there was nothing else of any note on the north side of the headland.

The storm was keeping everyone else in today except for a few brave souls such as those people in the little boat out there sailing … “dieseling” – ed … past le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the port.

You can see how much she’s struggling against the wind in this photo, and although I wasn’t in the best position to take it, it was too good an opportunity to miss as it would soon be in the shelter of the headland.

ch932880 calean baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This boat is having even more difficulty coming into port.

This is Calean whom we have seen on many occasions in the past. And I’d seen her way out at sea fighting her way past the waves and she had taken an age to come into the bay.

In fact she didn’t have it easy coming into port either because as you saw in one of the earlier photos there wasn’t a lot of water in the harbour so she’ll have to ride outside in the storm for a while until the tide comes in a little more.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Surprisingly, there was someone on the rocks at the end of the headland.

THis fisherman was having plenty of fun fighting the storm but he didn’t last long. He evidently heard me coming because as soon as I arrived he folded up his gear and cleared off.

There was someone on the bench at the cabanon vauban as well but as soon as I arrived he did likewise. I really ought to change my deodorant.

Crossing the road was rather a bad time as I hit the school buses going home. A whole fleet of them. Discretion was the better part of valour so I stayed on the pavement until they’d all gone by.

ch922443 cap pilar port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home I took a few photos that you have already seen, but there was this one too.

Actually it’s cropped out of another one and although it is missing some of the hull of Cap Pilar, it’s of interest because it shows quite a lot of her distinguishing features.

One of the things to do eventually is to make my own fishing boat database for the port with photos of all of the boats showing their name and registration number so that I can refer to it in future.

No time like the present.

Back here I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And then later (“later than what?” I asked myself) I was walking around an island. I started off in the company of Zero but we met other people. Gradually they wandered off and I was on my own. Because I’d had no orange juice I went to look for a shop that would have them. There weren’t many shops on this place. There used to be 3 but now there were only 2. Now the hotel had a few possessions as well, things to sell. I went to the first one but I ended up being side-tracked. I bought something else but completely forgot about the orange juice. Later on, when I was wandering around waiting for someone I remembered the orange juice as well. By this time I was a long way from where the shops were and I didn’t want to go to the hotel to see if they had one to fill so I had to go all the way back to the shops and have a look in there. But there was much more to it than this. It was a dream that went on and on and on as I was walking around this island and it lasted for ever.

I couldn’t go back to sleep after this but I must have done at some point because there was some kind of office meeting taking place. I was having to question a couple of people at this meeting. It concerned an interview between 2 people that had taken place on Monday. One of them was management. Some meetings between more members of staff who were senior grades and representatives of employers. There was a third topic too but I can’t remember that. I had to ask that question at 4 or 5 separate meetings. The first 3 or 4 went fine but in the final one I lost my plot, lost where I was. That was because in the first question I asked about this meeting with one member of staff, someone whom I believed was a member of staff shouted up and shouted “yes” in answer to a question. Of course no-one was even supposed to know about it except me. Anyway I awoke again and couldn’t go back to sleep after that

When the alarm went off I was somewhere in a hotel with a group of people. We’d been driving somewhere and going down this steep hill it was pretty dark. Some guy kept shouting “no, no, no! You’ve gone the wrong way! Stop, stop stop!”. In the end we stopped and had to retrace our steps then turn to the right. We followed a canal for a while. There was a sign for an abandoned railway station and we passed through some kind of derelict abandoned village. That was where I dropped something that I was carrying over the side of the jeep so we had to do a U-turn but the jeep behind us picked it up and gave it back to me. Someone in the jeep asked if I really enjoyed camping. “No” I replied. “I’m a hotel person myself”. And this really was an extremely realistic dream too that shook me rather when I awoke and found that it was a dream.

But at least Zero had come to see me during the night, although not for long. But let’s just be thankful for small mercies.

Tea was a delicious stuffed pepper, interrupted by a phone call from Rosemary, so I called her back later.

1 hour 45 minutes we were on the phone talking about this and that, and especially how Miss Ukrainian is enjoying going to school even if it is just part-time for a crash course in French. As a result, I’m running horribly late today.

And a Welsh lesson too so I need to be fully fit and raring to go. Still, we can all dream, can’t we?

Wednesday 16th September 2020 – AS I WAS SAYING …

… only the other day, having my body clock disturbed is not really a good idea.

And as I said yesterday, being awake at 03:00 isn’t a very good plan either. And going to bed at 04:15 (and not being able to sleep either) doesn’t help matters.

It goes without saying that I’d switched off the alarms. I wasn’t going to be out of bed by the third alarm and it’s pointless trying. It ended up being another 11:30 today.

There was something on the dictaphone but it seems that I hadn’t gone too far. We were on board a ship last night and the question came round about ancient Egypt. For some unknown reason I imagined myself as a young baby wrapped in a nappy being worshipped as a god or something like that, an immortal. And it was very like a voyage that I’ve had a couple of times in the past.

Or so I said. While there are plenty of examples of me going on nocturnal voyages on board ships, I actually couldn’t think of a nocturnal voyage that bears any relationship to this one with similar events to these.

While I was at it, I dealt with a few more of the arrears from my voyage around Europe. At least that is now getting down to manageable proportions from the 70-odd that were there at the start.

There wasn’t much time to do very much. I spent some time working on the notes for the live broadcast that I’m doing, but I had another thing in mind to do as well.

There are the albums to digitalise, but also some cassettes. I’d borrowed a cassette player from Liz for the task and while I was messing around with the big desktop computer, I came across an input socket on the front, one that I hadn’t noticed before.

And so I had a rummage around and came up with a stereo audio cable, plugged it into the earphone socket on the cassette player and the other end into the input on the laptop.

After much playing around with the selectors I finally managed to make the computer record a cassette – but in mono only. Yet again!

But the word “earphone” on the cassette player should have given me a clue. Sticking a set of headphones in, I found out that there was only one channel working, but that was broadcasting both tracks.

So that’s a mono output and consequently of not much use. I’m going to have to think of a plan B – which might involve having to bring the big hi-fi into here.

Failing that, I know that my DVD player in the living room will record, so maybe I could even plug the big hi-fi into the DVD, record onto the hard-drive, burn to a DVD and then copy it onto the computer.

But I’ll find a way.

chausiais port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter a shower, I had to set out on my travels. It’s that time of the year again – one of our three-monthly meetings of the radio station.

It’s a long walk out to the Centre Agora but it does me good. The road goes past the top of the harbour where I can look down and see what is going on. Normandy Trader has disappeared into the sunset, and a long time ago too, and her place has been taken by Chausiais.

After a nice long walk I ended up at the meeting where we had to listen to a few people taking several hours to say nothing at all. At one stage, on my notes I had written “Oh God! I wish that this woman would shut up!”

As I have said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … these are the kinds of meetings that should be held, standing up in the open air in a rainstorm.

port de granville harbour by night manche normandy france eric hallThe weather was really pleasant later on and so I had a lovely walk, the long way around, back home.

It’s not very often that I have the chance to see the town in the dark and so I took a couple of photos on my way home. Like this one of the sea front looking across the beach and the port to the old town (where I live) perched on the rocks.

The photo was taken with the little NIKON 1 J5 which I take with me on walks like this. It’s quite compact and light, fits in a jacket pocket and does well enough in normal lighting conditions (but struggles in abnormal condition).

bar ephemere chez maguie square pleville port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route went through the town and then up the Rue des Juifs.

From the top of the Rampe du Monte Regret there’s a good view down towards the port. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve mentioned the Bar Ephemère, called Chez Maguie, that has sprung up on the little square at the Square Pléville.

It’s open until quite late at night and it looked quite good from up here with all of its lights working so I took a photo of that while I was at it, to add it to the collection.

trawler unloading fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I continued up the Rue des Juifs to the viewpoint overlooking the port.

There wasn’t too much excitement there tonight, except that there was a fishing boat in the harbour, moored up and unloading at the Fish Processing plant.

When I arrived back, I hardly had time to take off my jacket before the phone rang. Rosemary rang me and we had a really good chat for 90 minutes, putting the world to rights, and I ended up missing my tea. But that will do me some good, I suppose.

So, later than I was hoping, I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow so that’s a nice early morning walk. And I have to go via the railway station to pick up my rail tickets, if I remember.

Thursday 18th June 2020 – LOOK WHO’S BACK!

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall.She’s not been gone for five minutes either!

Well, she has, actually. But certainly not 24 hours, in one of the quickest turn-rounds that I have ever witnessed.

As I went out for my meeting this evening with the radio people, who should be tied up in the port but Thora, one of the two small freighters that plies between here and Jersey in the Channel islands.

Things must be heating up over there if they are now doing runs as frequently as this.

thora unloading car port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd as I watched, the crew put a pair of skids underneath the wheels of the car that was on deck and the crane driver lifted it off and onto the quayside.

There was quite a crowd watching it as well. It’s not every day that there’s a spectacle like this on the quayside. Free entertainment of any kind is well-worth having at the moment.

While all of this was going on, she was being refuelled too. I hope that none of the spectators was thinking about having a cigarette to pass the time.

But enough of this. Let’s return to our moutons. Just for a change I’m not going to mention anything about my early morning, except to say that it was another dismal failure – one of far too many right now.

And after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. And no wonder that it had been a long night. I HAD BEEN walking around a headland somewhere similar to here. There was a race going on and we had a yacht that was entered in it – a big streamlined thing. It was all about this yacht and preparing it and getting it ready.
Later on I was out buying cars. I already had two red Ford Consul II things parked in my drive that I had recently bought, and I saw this absolutely beautiful Zodiac III something like that so I went out and bought it. I thought to myself “well where am I going to keep this without everyone getting upset because my father is really annoyed about me having these two”? I thought that I could move those two on and sell them if I want and keep the black one and in the meantime park the black one down the street and hope that no-one realises that it’s mine. This led to a discussion about the radio. We were having a radio meeting and I remember looking at the interior of the boot of this Zodiac during this time and the boot was absolutely spotless, really nice. It led in the end to me having to apologise to someone at the radio for doing something but I can’t remember what that was either.
A bit later on I needed my driving licence changing over to a new one. I had to have a medical but who should be there giving me a medical but my doctor friend from school which of course took me by surprise. he gave me a medical and told me that I was fit to go and gave me all of the forms so off I went. But I suddenly realised that I hadn’t thanked him or even offered to pay. So I went to retrace my steps around this building but I couldn’t find where it was where he was staying, which office he was in. I was wandering around this building for ages trying to find his office
Later I was off waling down the street trying to walk for miles. One of the places that I had been to was that old BP garage that has figured in my dreams before on the edge of London. This time it had been demolished only this time there was a huge pile of sand there. I was thinking that I had better get back.

There was even more to it than this but as you are probably eating your meal I’ll save it until later.

Having written my notes I then went and had a shower – and afterwards I remembered to put the clothes back in the washing machine with some perfumed fabric conditioner, for I was off to the shops.

roadworks drawbridge rue cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that there are roadworks or something going on somewhere in the vicinity.

So walking down the street I had a quick glance underneath the arch where the drawbridge is, and sure enough, they have a little mini-digger down there doing something and the road is closed off.

No time to go for a look now. I made a mental note to look again sometime today when I would be passing and see if I could find out exactly what is going on.

electric wiring rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallDown into town I went, and along the Rue Lecampion.

There was a cherry-picker here from one of the local electricity companies. It looks as if they are restringing a cable between two of the buildings. Whether someone passing by underneath has snagged it, I couldn’t really say.

First stop for me was at the railway station. My old fogeys railcard has expired and I need to renew it.

But no I don’t. having waited for about half an hour in the queue behind some woman booking a load of railway journeys for all of her family, I was informed that all season tickets and cards are automatically extended by three months due to the virus.

Some good news at last and, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

At LIDL I just bought the basic essentials. There was nothing there that caught my eye particularly, especially as I’m not eating all that much these days. But on the way back I called at La Mie Caline for a dejeunette

bad parking rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd how long is it since I’ve featured some bad parking on these pages?

It used to be a regular feature but things seemed to have quietened down with the virus, but now they are kicking off again. This guy here is parked half on the pavement and half across a pedestrian crossing, making life difficult for all of the pedestrians.

This is a service bus route too and the road is already narrow enough as it is. The selfishness of some people beggars belief.

back home I remembered to tae out the washing from the machine. And now the place smells RATHER LIKE THAT TART’S BOUDOIR ON NEWFOUNDLAND where we stayed back in 2010.

For a good part of the rest of the day I’ve been dealing with my studies. At long last I’ve finished week three of my accountancy course and although I’m well aware of the principles it’s still quite taking.

As well as that, I’m deep into week 4 of my music course. We’re doing diminished scales and chords this week and I do have to say that the practical aspect of this course is now way beyond me.

However I never ever pretended that I could play the piano. I’m here for the theory and for whatever crumbs that I can pick up that have fallen off the table.

Lunch was taken, for a change, on the wall overlooking the harbour. It was a lovely day, even if there was a bit of a wind. And I wasn’t alone either. A lizard came to join me and he enjoyed the bits of my pear that fell to the ground

78 aqj aeroplane pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And it wasn’t just on the sea or on land that there were crowds of people. As I walked along the footpath I was buzzed by a low-flying aircraft. I couldn’t really read its number and one of the problems that I have now that I’ve been working with 3-D images is that I kept on trying to rotate the image to see it clearer.

Anyway, I’ll do some research into this plane at some point and see what I can find out about it.

fishing boats heading for home baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy perabulation continued around the headland to the Point by the coastguard station.

And it looks to me as if the harbour gates are now opening and there’s enough water by the fish processing plant because the fishing boats, large and small, all now seem to be making their way back towards the harbour to unload.

At least, I assume that they are heading back to unload. There isn’t the usual crowd – or cloud – of seagulls accompanying them as we have seen in the past when a loaded fishing boat comes into port.

fishing boats fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut if those two aren’t loaded, then it seems that everyone else is.

By the time that I had arrived at the fish processing plant everyone else had arrived and there was quite a queue at the quayside waiting to unload.

Quite a large collection of vehicles on the car park too. They are obviously expecting a bumper harvest today. And that is always good news for the port of course. We could do with all of the business that we could get.

heavy equipment leaving on lorry rue du granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd here’s a thing.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last week we saw some more plant and machinery being delivered to the boat ramp down on the rue du Port.

It looks as if I shall never know now why they were there and what is going to become of them. A lorry has turned up and is now taking them away again.

That’s a mystery to me.

lorry tipping rubble place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallBack here I carried on with my work and then headed off to this meeting.

On the way out I met a small lorry that was tipping a pile of rubble into the area that has been reserved for the workmen. It looks as if they are cracking on with whatever they are doing.

At the Grand Café I met the guy who wants to see me.

On the radio we run a series “Evenements et rencontres” where they interview people who visit the town or where there’s an important event taking place. And I’ve done a few of those, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

As it’s getting near to summer they need to build up a bank of programmes and as there has been no-one interesting or any important event taking place just recently they are scratching round for likely candidates. And they’ve decided that they want to interview me.

No idea why. I can think of 1000 people who have many more exciting things to say that I ever have. It rather reminds me of the legendary “Desert island Discs” programme where Roy Plombley learnt that Alistair MacLean was in tow so he dashed off to interview him.
After 20 minutes of dismal interrogation, the producer shouted down to Plombley “for God’s sake ask him about his books” only to receive the reply
“he hasn’t written any”.
It seems that the Alistair MacLean whom they had in front of them was the Alistair MacLean, President of a Canadian Tourist office and not the famous author at all.

A classic case of Omelette sur le Visage and the programme was never broadcast.

The meeting that we had tonight at the Centre Agora didn’t really accomplish a great deal, but we made a few plans for the future. Nothing that particularly effects me very much.

excavating steps rue lecarpentier granville manche normandy france eric hallSome of us went back for a drink afterwards at la Rafake. I stayed for about an hour or so – I have to do my best to be sociable even if I don’t feel much like it.

And on the way back I went to check on the excavations at the rue Lecarpentier. I only had the small camera with me so the photo isn’t the best.

I shall have to go back tomorrow with one of the good ones and take a proper photo, and undertake a proper inspection of the works while I’m at it. Whatever it is that they are doing, it seems to be quite a serious undertaking.

trawler with nets out english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I passed the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I noticed some activity taking place out to sea.

With only the small camera, I couldn’t do a really good job, but it seems that not only do we have one of the larger fishing boats out there, he had all of his tackle out there too.

A good close-up of his net dragging behind him would have made a really good photo and it’s always the case that I seem to be in the right place at the right time with the wrong gear.

Back here I was a baked potato with baked beans for tea even though it was late. Something quick and easy.

Following that I started to write up my notes but being overwhelmed with fatigue I left off and went to bed.

Tomorrow is another day and I can finish my notes off tomorrow.

Monday 17th February 2020 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall that last week at our weekly meeting I was about half an inch from … errr … expressing my displeasure at the antics of a certain member of our team.

It seems that i was not alone because every one of us today received an e-mail from a member of our team announcing that he was standing down, and explaining in great detail exactly why. And these reasons correspond pretty much with my own ideas.

There is another reason, as I became aware on Saturday when I went for this press thingy with the chars for Carnaval, but that wasn’t mentioned at all which is hardly a surprise. But it’s what I expect is the real reason.

As for me, I missed the third alarm yet again, but not by all that much. 10 minutes or so, I reckon.

After the meds I came back to check on the dictaphone. And phew!

For some unknown reason I was in Burnley last night and I was taking an exam. It was about decimalisation and I had to write about decimalisation in this exam. I wanted to have ot done quickly so I could go. And I did it quickly. But just before I went to hand in my paper I suddenly remembered something that I had missed off so I had to add an extra paragraph onto my paper and add an extra conclusion. And then as I had done that which I had to write, I remembered something else about how easier it would be to calculate so I had to write another paragraph about that as well and another conclusion. But each time all the papers were getting muddled up and I couldn’t find half the papers. And then I couldn’t find more papers. There was this little girl trying to help me find the papers. In the end we were just disturbing everything but a little boy said “this paper is over here” so I went into one pile of papers and got one of the papers out. This was all getting into one confusing mess and just as usual, I was spending more time looking for the papers than I was writing anything down. My idea of getting away early had gone right out of the window by now.
Later on during the night I was at IKEA with Ingrid and a baby believe it or not. We started to wander around the introductory bit of the shop where everything is displayed but we somehow became separated. I went back to look for her but found the bargains corner so got waylaid in there looking through all the bargains. By the time I’d made it back into the display area Ingrid had gone and I couldn’t see her anywhere. I had a pretty good look for her and caught her in the distance waiting by a meeting point so I got my phone to ring her, gave her a couple of bleeps, she turned round and waved so I hung up and walked over to her. Then another family group, I was talking over the internet in a chat room and mentioned my daughter in this chat room twice so I was kicked out with a warning message about “talking about my daughter” on there.

After breakfast I came back in here and cut up a few digital music files into their component tracks and seeing as I picked three easy ones, it didn’t take that long to do

A shower next, (and I’ve put back about 400 grammes of that 600 that I lost) and then I headed off into town.

bad parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst port of call was the Post Office to post the letter that I had written the other day.

But start as we mean to go on, hey? Back on this bad parking lark again. But then, why just take up one parking space when with a little less effort you can take up three as well as block off a pedestrian crossing?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that this is the kind of thing that really gets my goat and it’s just becoming worse and worse.

erecting carnival marquee cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallBut for the next few weeks parking here in the centre of town will be more and more restricted.

Over the next couple of days I’ll be wandering around checking up on the erection of the Carnaval attractions, seeing how quickly they can get them up. And here on the car park at the Cours Jonville, they have ejected all of the cars and are sticking this marquee up for the Friday night dance.

That’s when it al kicks off, Friday night, but my work doesn’t start until Saturday.

boutique ludique cafe boulevard d'Hauteserve granville manche normandy france eric hallWith having come this way to check up on things, I carried on up the boulevard d’Hauteserve, a street that I don’t usually use.

And i’m glad that I came this way because here’s something that I haven’t noticed before. It’s a “Boutique Ludique” – a games shop café. And that could be extremely interesting.

Next time that I have half an hour or so to spare – whenever that may be – I’ll have to come here to make further enquiries.

And if it livs up to its title, I’ll bring my microphone and Zoom H1 because there must be some kind of story in this.

painting street furniture st nicolas granville manche normandy france eric hallThe walk all the way up to the Centre Agora was pretty uneventful with nothing much happening – except that I seemed to be a little more like my former self going up the hill. Not quite at the “on my way to invade Poland” yet, but getting there.

In the Square St Nicolas or whatever they call it, the street furniture guys were there. We saw them a few days ago in the Cours Jonville but we couldn’t see what they were doing. But here it was pretty evident.

Our meeting was somewhat subdued with the news that we had received, and when we were asked for our observations I wasted no time in putting forward the things that have been bugging me in this affair and telling them the things that I’ve been telling you lot over the last few weeks.

Whether anything comes of it or not, I really do not know. But I have heard that there has been a “follow-up” to all of this, so I’m awaiting developments with bated breath.

After the meeting we went down to the basement and did a stock-check. There is some kind of talk about some kind of offer of some kind of permanent place to use as a studio and store.

What, when, how or where – or even “if” – is very much an unknown factor but we need to know what we have. And it seems that somehow we are a microphone cable short.

No idea how, and I know that I don’t have it. But then things like this are always disappearing so it’s no surprise.

After the meeting I went off to LIDL to do a little more shopping.

soya desserts lidl granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd although I spent a little more than usual, on some cable ties and Brazil nuts, I didn’t buy any of this here but six months or so ago I might well have.

Last time I was here I pointed out the new vegetarian and vegan products that are appearing in LIDL, and this is the latest that I have found.

I would have died for this stuff back then but having given up hope of finding it, I’ve gone down a different road and buy the big tubs of Alpro stuff for dessert and make my own apple purée.

And that reminds me – I need to make some more purée tomorrow. So I bought a big bag of apples.

erecting funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday I mentioned about going round to see how they are getting on erecting the amusements for the fete foraine on the parking Hérel.

Earlier today, we saw the marquee at the Cours Jonville and I expected them thus to be well on their way here too. And I was right because they really are bashing it out.

No time to lose, I suppose. They can’t afford to be hanging about seeing as how they move from place to place quite rapidly wherever there’s a fairground to be installed.

erecting funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere are all kinds of amusements here – fun for all the family I reckon – but I don’t really know what’s in these lorries.

Time will tell of course so I’ll have a wander by tomorrow when I come down for my dejeunette and see what they are up to then.

But talking of my dejeunette I carried on with my walk into town and La Mie Caline. I don’t need to ask for my bread now – they just see me coming and slip a dejeunette into a bag all ready for me.

Service with a smile, that. You don’t get that in Belgium.

road closed place des corsaires granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back home there wal a little more excitement.

The road that goes through what used to be the Place des Corsaires seems to be closed and they are digging up the street. I wonder why – and there was no-one around to ask.

Back here it was already after my usual lunchtime so I quickly made my butty and had some fruit – the new apples, not the old ones. They are destined for the purée tomorrow.

And I’ll try out my new saucepan too.

This afternoon I attacked the radio project 26. “Where”s 25?” I hear you ask.

The fact is that 24 has now become 25 because 24 is the last Friday of a month (Bane of Britain forgot that there are only 30 days in April) so that will have to be a Live Concert, if I have one by then.

If not, I’m sure that I’ll find something.

By the time that I knocked off I’d chosen the 10 main tracks, combined them in pairs, worked out a speech for my guest and added in my standard into to Pair A.

Tomorrow I’ll do the text and see where we go from there.

Tea was falafel and steamed vegetables in vegan cheese sauce – not the pie because I wanted to use up the falafel that has been hanging around for a while.

Pie is tomorrow and stuffed pepper is on Wednesday by the way.

Pudding was half of the apple turnover with that Alpro almond dessert stuff and chocolate sauce, and that was delicious.

The beautiful weather that we had this morning has given way to a rainstorm this evening. I didn’t have my afternoon walk because I was already at 106% but I wanted to get in my runs.

So sopping wet and miserable, I completed them both, although the first was on my reserve track as my main one was flooded out again. In fact I did quite well on my first one, running on for about 20 metres which, the way things are with me, was quite good.

bad parking place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, we had more excitement and so we’ll go out where we came in.

Bad parking again, folks. Someone else who decides that it will be fun to park in the fire lane at te back of our building despite the yellow hatching. never mind that we’ll all be burnt to a cinder because he is far too idle to walk an extra 20 metres from the main car park.

So now my notes are written and i’m off to bed. Not as early as I wanted but still I should have about 6 hours sleep I reckon.

makes me wonder where I’ll be going tonight. And, more importantly, who is coming with me.

Wednesday 12th February 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall… day it was today.

And I’m not talking about the weather either because considering we’re approaching mid-February, it was a nice day from that point of view. The wind had dropped considerably, it was a bright day and there were even people walking on the beach.

What I’m talking about is from a health point of view.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the end of November and for most of December I was feeling better than I have been doing for quite a number of years.

But then in the new year I could feel a decline in my health and I’ve been going steadily downhill.

Today I reached rock-bottom. Most of the day was spent flat-out in my chair and had this been a few months ago, I would have taken to my bed without a second thought.

But having had this good spell, I’m not going to let this defeat me and I fought it out. Not very successfully but there we go. And at one time I was really feeling totally and thoroughly dreadful.

But then, that’s what this illness is all about. They say that I’ll start to feel the effects after about five years, and it’s been almost four and a half since it was diagnosed – and that’s no telling how long I’d been carrying this illness before it was diagnosed

What I’ll have to do is to resign myself to it and just take things as they come, and reflect on the fact that I’ve been far worse than this.

and to make things worse, last night I did something that I haven’t done for years, and that is to go for a trip down to corridor. Back in the past it was at least once every night but for several years it’s not happened at all. Sign on the times, I reckon.

And to add insult to injury, I failed to beat any of the alarms and it was almost 07:00 when I arose, and that’s no good either. All in all, it’s pretty depressing.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone. We started off with a crowd of us in a room and I was drinking coffee and everyone else was drinking beer. There was a guy there from the – the – and he asked me if I’d had the Audi. “Which one?” “The one that was on your front the other day”. “Ohh that’s been and gone, that has. It just passed through my hands, that kind of vehicle”
A litttle later on we had an unexpected visitor. A footballer by the name of Jamie Reed has just signed for Cefn Druids in the Welsh Premier League and has been making something of a good impression. Anyway, don’t ask me why but last night on my travels he was trying to do something phenomenal with a boat out of Normandy but I can’t remember what now but it had become quite popular but on one occasion there was a balloon in a shop with him and someone else holding onto it. This mobile thing was turning around so they were suspended in the air turning around this object or being turned by it, one or the other (… like a ceiling fan…). Plastic models of them, inflatable plastic models (…not the real Jamie Reed …)
Then I was in a music shop and there was a little old lady there. She had a play on a guitar but played with one of the machine heads so the thing went flat. She put the guitar somewhere not quite right but when the guy came back in, the shop assistant, he saw that the guitar had been moved and said “is anybody here?”. This little old lady spoke up. He checked the guitar and it was out of tune so he plugged it into a machine to tune it up. In the meantime I had a bass and I was busy trying to tune that but it wouldn’t tune for some reason or another. I had the tuning gauge that I had set to percentages instead of an analogue meter and of course that’s much more difficult to tune when it’s like that. Then a parcel arrived, a huge, heavy parcel. I wondered what it could be. Then I realised that I’d gone in for a kind of lifesaving course so I could be a monitor in Canada in the Arctic and this was the first part of that and it was my certificate to say that I’d passed together with a huge wooden framed glass panelled door as a prize. Of course I could use that on my house between the kitchen and the hallway in Winsford, which of course never had a doorway between the kitchen and the doorway, but there you go.

That’s not all of it either but seeing as you are probably eating your lunch right now, I’ll spare you the gory details.

That apple and pear puree that I made – the verdict is that it was absolutely perfect and I really do mean that. You couldn’t distinguish it from any shop-bought stuff.

And then I attacked the splitting of the digital tracks. Again not straightforward because nothing actually corresponded to the published track lists. After much of an effort I came to the conclusion that the published lists are wrong, which is a surprise but there you go.

And also, if that’s not enough, some people have a strange idea of what constitutes a track break and I’ve often had to rebuild tracks before I could split them again.

Apart from that, I’m not quite sure what else I did during the morning. I know that I finished off the notes for the current radio project and I brought THE SET LIST WEB PAGE up to date so that people can see what was played when.

The rest of the time was probably spent fighting off a pile of sleep

pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom somewhere somehow I managed to summon up something to get me to go into town, even though I really didn’t feel like it at all.

Down into the port and across the top of the harbour gates seeing as they were closed, in order to see what they were up to. No sign of any wind turbine, as you might expect, but a very large floating pontoon with workmen and machinery thereupon.

And so the plot thickens here.

old pontoon walkway missing port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut I have an idea as to what might be going on because I’ve only just noticed that there’s something missing from the port.

In the space where Spirit of Conrad and Charles-Marie were moored up until very recently, there used to be a pontoon. And I should know because I walked on it once

But it’s not there now and I couldn’t possibly say when it went either. But anyway, I’ve only just noticed.

large crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd it makes me wonder what this machine might be doing here.

It’s a proper heavy-duty crane and is carrying a makers plate saying that it’s rated at 60 tonnes. Of course with an outstretched arm it won’t lift anything like that, but nevertheless they wouldn’t have brought something like this down here when they can have a mobile crane like the one that’s here already.

So we are definitely going to be having some strange things going on.

new pontoons port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut this might account for a lot of what is happening.

Out of curiosity and the fact that there was no-one around to stop me, I went for a closer look. Nice new rubber and aluminium heavy pontoons I reckon, presumably to replace the ones that they have ripped out and to go where they are installing the new supports.

But whether this brings any more marine traffic into the port remains to be seen. I haven’t seen a gravel boat since before I went on my High Arctic exploits

painting bus shelter cours de jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallAt La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and as the weather was nice I went for a little walk.

Round by the Cours Jonville they were erecting a marquee. At first I thought it might have been something to do with Carnaval but the smell of cellulose soon changed my mind.

It looks as if they are spraying the bus shelter there, to tidy it up.

My walk took me along to the rue Roger Maris to see why the street was closed on Monday but whatever it was, they must have done it as the traffic is flowing freely down the hill.

old well rue des moulins granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I turned my attention to heading back to my apartment.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in the past we’ve seen a few old wells dotted here and there about the town, particularly up near the Centre Agora.

But here’s one that I must have missed. I certainly haven’t seen this one before. It’s something that I shall have to look into sometime, if I could take off the roof.

And that reminds me of somethign out of Frankie Howerd and Up Pompeii
Senna the Soothsayer – “three times have I looked into the bottomless pit”
Frankie Howerd – “well, well, well”.

market hall art deco sculpture facade rue general patton granville manche normandy france eric hallcarrying on along the rue General Patton I came past the rear entrance to the Market Hall.

Although I’ve been out of that door a few times I’d never stopped to give it a good look. And I was impressed with it too – the Art Deco scultures of marine life such as shellfish.

It could do with a bit of a clean, a tidy-up and a repaint. It’s looking rather shabby around the edges, but then so am I and I’m not getting any younger either.

By the time that I returned it was long after lunchtime so I quickly made myself some butties and then attacked the work.

Fighting off wave after wave of fatigue, sometimes not successfully at all, I managed to dictate the notes, edit them, crop them and assemble a complete project, right down to the final track.

And for a change, I was short rather than overrun. Only by 7 seconds so I scanned through a collection of sound files that I’d made, cut out something from a previous project and inserted it in an appropriate place. There’s a lot to be said for building up your own sound library. I even added a cough to it too today.

A littl trimming here and there and off we go.

scaffolding house rue du nord granville manche normandy france eric hallapart from the sleep issues, I went for my afternoon walk too.

The rue du Nord was advertised as closed so I was intrigued to see why. That scaffolding that we saw the other day in the place du Marché aux Chevaux which I thought might have been for repairing the collapsing wall is in fact for repairing a house wall.

And with the street being so narrow, no cars can pass with the scaffolding erected. That will upset quite a few people I imagine.

people on promenade plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the waterlogged ground I managed to fit in my run along the north side of the walls because there was no-one around up here at all.

And when I made it round to the cliff overlooking the Plat Gousset I could see why. We’ve already seen the crowds on the beach and there were yet more people out there walking along the promenade enjoying the really nice weather.

And I can’t say that I blame them either. Given half a chance I would be down there too.

repairing roof rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallBetter down there than up there with that guy.

There’s been a major house renovation project in the rue des Juifs that’s been proceeding along at snail’s pace – in fact they don’t seem to have advanced much since this time last year. But today, someone is up there fitting a new metal roof to it.

It makes me wonder what the seagulls have to say about it. They have been making nests on the roofs over there and I imagine it won’t be long until they are back.

tractor trailer tipping concrete port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUnfortunately I didn’t manage to fit in my run along the square Maurice Marland because there were too many people about and I don’t want to show myself up.

But my ear picked up a noise of stones on the quayside so I went for a look to see what it might be. I thought that it might have been the gravel lorries starting to come back but in fact it was a tractor with a big trailer tipping rocks onto the quayside.

And that was interesting too. Tons of stuff going on around the place today.

tractor trailer loading rock ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallkeeping my eyes peeled, I followed the tractor and trailer as they left the quayside to see where they went.

And I was in luck again. Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen the concrete breaker down at the foot of the ferry terminal at low tide breaking off the rocks that are jutting out.

And there is the tractor and trailer, presumably on their way to pick up the rocks and drop them off somewhere where they can be collected. They can’t go and dump those off around the corner like they do with the silt.

Back here and in between the waves of fatigue I pressed on, determined to finish the radio project. And even though it meant a late tea, it was all done and dusted and ready for the road.

Tea was steamed veg with falafel in vegan cheese sauce followed by rice pudding. And absolutely delicious it all was too. My cooking is definitely improving.

trawler unloadind fish port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOut for my evening walk and I was the only one out there too so I managed another run. I have to keep on pushing on with this.

But with the foul weather having subsided it looks as if the fishermen are back at work. Here’s one of the trawler-type of boats unloading at the fish-processing plant, so it looks as if it’s back to business as usual.

So now all of my notes are written and I’ve listened to the radio programme to make sure that it’s okay, I can go to bed.

Here’s hoping that it’s a good night’s sleep and that I’ll be fighting fit in the morning. But I don’t think so at all. I think that i’m stuck with this.

Monday 10th February 2020 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall … yet more photos of Storm Ciara, taken at about 21:30 this evening in the pitch black, let me tell you about an exciting encounter that I had this morning.

Newspaper reporter – “you’re British, aren’t you?”
Our Hero – “No I’m not. I’ù European. 100% European, looking for a European country to adopt me”
Newspaper reporter – “could you give me your phone number? I’ll be wanting to talk to you sometime soon”

So there you go. Whatever I think about Brexit will be all over the newspapers in early course.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLast night wasn’t such a late night as some have been just recently and just for a change I beat the third alarm to my feet.

After the medication I came back to check on the dictaphone. And by the looks of things it was a night that was extremely active.

No wonder I’ve been so tired recently with nights like this. I’ll be needing a sleep to recover from the sleep at this rate.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWe started off with the Fête Forain or Funfair in town and we were having a kind of circus or something like that. I’m not sure how it related to this particular dream but Castor was here. In the end, Castor and I worked out a plan. She really liked the funfair so in the end I got her to sneak off and she went round to some woman’s house and tormented the woman so that in the end the woman lost her temper and tried to attack her and she could kill the woman. It was all very surreal.
Part of this dream and I don’t know exactly what part involved me travelling on a bus from Goodall’s Corner (… actually the Sugar Loaf …) in Shavington. I’d got in at about 07:00 and started to take off my clothes and get into bed but then all the school kids started to turn up ready for the bus. I thought that I really wanted to be on this bus – I had things to do. There was something I particularly wanted to do but I cant remember what it was now so i got myself back out of bed and started to get dressed quite quickly as I knew that the bus would be here and I needed to be on it with all these kids for this reason but I can’t remember what now.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSome time later we (whoever “we” were) were on the road driving somewhere around Europe and we came across a couple who had a Marina Estate with a big trailer behind with loads of stuff on it. They were moving across France somewhere. So we had a chat and they were telling us about our plans and all that then they set off to drive. A short while later we set off behind them. On this trailer were two big air bags tied to the side, the type that keep yachts afloat. They were bouncing about in the wind and I remember telling whoever it was I was with that I wonder if they’d still have those tied to their trailer at the end of the journey. But they started to get a bit slower and slower then we were overtake by this big white Scammell lorry and white trailer that went roaring past us and I remember saying that I know that lorry from before and I don’t know what engine he has in it but it’s not the right one. These people ground to a halt and I pulled past them to park on the verge in front and I could see the smoke and smell the hot oil from where I was standing. It seemed that the car had blown up or something like that so I told the guy to bounce it over on the starter onto the verge then at least it’s out of the way of the traffic. So he did that but the trailer became disconnected – he moved the car but not the trailer so we had to start to man-haul the trailer out of the road. And I woke up right at that point in the middle of hauling this trailer

Later still last night I was at a party and I can’t remember who I was with now. Two guys were there who I knew really well but I can’t remember them. They were farmers talking to me about the farm and joined by someone else who was a farmer locally. They were all having a chat about their farms, that kind of thing. I was loitering around near them. The stranger of the three said something like this was why he left St Julian’s Primary School, was to do something or other. Their conversation drifted along. eventually the new guy said “is that your Transit parked outside by the way?” I said “yes it was” and I was about to say that I was now on retirement but that was when I awoke.

No wonder I’m exhausted after all of that.

Once breakfast was out of the way I attacked the digital files. And while I would like to say that for a change it went quite well, I ended up being left with a pile of stuff left over that I recognise but I just can’t put a name to it and that’s annoying me intently.

But anyway I went and had a shower.

road closed rue roger maris granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the shower I went off out on my walk to my weekly radio meeting at the Centre Agora.

There were no interruptions until I reached the rue Couraye and there I was presented with a road closure. It seems that the rue Roger maris is closed for some reason or other and there’s a diversion.

Tomorrow when I go to pick up my dejeunette from la Mie Caline I shall go for a walk out that way and see what gives.

recycling lorry avenue des matignons granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on up the hill at the junction or the rue Aristide Briand and the avenue des Matignon, the recycling lorry was out again.

It was difficult to tell what he was collecting this time but judging by the sound as he emptied the silo, I would hazard a guess that it was the glass that he was collecting today.

Anyway I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … to the Centre Agora for our radio meeting and there I was within half an inch of saying something that everyone including me might regret.

But basically the guy who thinks that he’s running the show just wouldn’t shut up today and, even worse, he wouldn’t let anyone else have a say. and any suggestion that anyone other than he made was immediately shot down in flames.

He’s een bad before, that’s for sure, but today he was out of control and if he doesn’t get a grip of himself or p155 off elsewhere, this is all going to end in tears because there won’t be another meeting like this with me at it.

I have much better things to do with my time than to witness someone go off on an ego trip

We then had a Press Conference at which only two journalists turned up. A third, from Ouest-France, was scheduled to appear but declined. Apparently that newspaper supports another outlet and so won’t give ours any publicity at all.

It’s just like the situation in Wales where BBC Wales Sport is deep in bed with members of the Welsh Rugby Football Association and broadcasts everything to do with Rugby while imposing a total news blackout on the Welsh Premier League.

My way or resolving the situation with Ouest-France is simple. We are a public service outlet financed by the Town Council of Granville, organised by the Mayor. So quite simply, the mayor should refuse to invite them to any of her press conferences.

scales for digital kitchen lidl avenue aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallEventually the meeting was over and I headed off to LIDL.

There wasn’t much that I needed so I didn’t buy a great deal, but if only I had a digital kitchen I would have been well away with a set of scales.

But seriously, someone ought to teach the Chinese that what they are offering is not a set of scales for a digital kitchen, but a set of digital scales for a kitchen – a balance numérique pour cuisine, or at least check their writing before it goes to print.

coelacanthe trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn my way home and I called in at La Mie Caline for my dejeunette and then headed for home.

Down in the port one of the biggest trawler-type of fishing boats, called the Coelacanthe was having a nautical danse macabre all to herslef, and it wasn’t very clear whether she was coming or going.

But whatever it was, it won’t be far because the harbour gates are closed.

digger ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that at the beginning of the year they were dredging out by the ferry port with a digger and a couple of big lorries.

They cleared off after a few weeks but I noticed today on my way home that there was a digger back out there today. I’ve no idea what because he can’t accomplish very much on his own.

Back here it was long after lunch time so I had a quick lunch and went to work.

With not going for an afternoon walk (I’m over 100% already) I cracked on with the radio project and now that’s all finished and done.

Final task was to prepare a live radio concert for the end of the month. I had one lined up and dictated some text, but what I dictated wasn’t long enough so I had to dictate some more.

But listening to the concert – one that I mixed and edited 5 years ago – I decided that it was rubbish. I remember being impressed with it back in those days but I can do much better than that now.

And so I remixed and re-edited it. And I still wasn’t satisfied so I re-did it completely.

That meant a very late tea so it was an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit out of the freezer followed by more rice pudding

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallOutside tonight, the wind was totally wicked again and we have had a rainstorm and the ground is like a lake. I had to do my first run along another part of the track.

That brought me to the cliff overlooking the Plat Gousset where I joined the crowds looking down on the waves, driven by Storm Ciara, crashing down on the promenade.

Unfortunately they have turned off the lights on the promenade these days so we can’t really see the storm in all of its glory.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThis little crowd of us waited around for a while and I took a few photos.

It’s disappointing that they haven’t turned out any better than this but you can’t win a coconut every time. I’ll try to be out and about at high tide in the morning if the storm is still raging.

And so I carried on with my walk – and run too. I did my second run even though I didn’t feel like it.

Now I’m back home, finishing off my notes and listening to the project that I recorded earlier. And there’s still some more editing that needs doing.

And what is impressing me more than anything is that I’m now starting to look for it and to recognise it. Stuff that I thought was good 5 years ago I’m now discarding because I can do much better than that now.

And that’s something about which I should be pleased, I reckon.

Monday 3rd February 2020 – SHE’S BACK!

plenty otoole haulage lorry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallYes, there I was this afternoon out for my walk, looking across the harbour, and there she was.

Yes, the Bond heroine Plenty O’Toole, named for her father of course, has turned up again in Granville. It must be a couple of years since she was last here but here she is.

Who is going to be next to put in an appearance here in Granville? Foxxy Cleopatra? Or Godzilla?

Last night, I was on something of a roll. Somehow and for some reason (probably the very late lie-in that I had) I didn’t feel like going to bed. And so making the most of it, I carried on attacking the notes for the current radio project. By the time that I was overwhelmed there was only another 5 or 10 minutes left to finish so that was a good plan of work.

And even despite the late night, I was just on the point of putting my feet on the floor when the third alarm went off. So we’ll call that a draw today.

After the medication I checked the dictaphone but I had nothing on so instead I chopped up a digital sound file into the component tracks. That was interrupted by breakfast and by the fact that the sound file bore no resemblance to the details that I had and I had to hunt down a revised description.

chausiais baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA little later I had a shower and then headed off outside.

And it was my lucky day because for once there was plenty going on outside. Chausiais was on the move again, heading out with presumably another cargo for the ile de Chausey

That’s a couple of times now that I’ve seen her on the move. I’m intrigued to know what her plans are in the long term because it’s a lot of money tied up for just the occasional crossing to the ile de Chausey

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat wasn’t everything either, because Joly France was on the move too.

At first I was wondering whether or not she was taking out a load of passengers to follow in the wake of Chausiais but I eventually came to the conclusion that where she was, she was preventing Chausiais from leaving her berth.

And that would account for her manoeuvres in port this morning, I reckon.

mini digger pneumatic drill abandoned railway port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s this big project going on in the port right now.

They are ripping up the abandoned railway lines from when this place was a thriving deep-sea fishing port and “improving” the car park. Here today, their work has advanced out of the protected zone and there’s a mini-digger with a hydraulic drill attachment breaking up the surface where there ware more railway lines buried.

It makes me wonder just how long they are going to be at this project and what it’s going to be like when it’s finished. It was something of an eyesore so almost anything will be an improvement, but I hope that the plans include some greenery too.

tractor trailer place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd out in the Place Charles de Gaulle I’m not quite sure what’s happening here.

We have a tractor and trailer and another piece of heavy equipment parked up outside the old Tourist Information office. That’s now an ephemeral display room so it might be something to do with that, or else they are starting to kit out the Square ready for Carnaval, which will take ^lace in 3 weeks time.

We shall see what we shall wee.

cherry picker roof rue des carrosses granville manche normandy france eric hallAround the corner in the rue des Carrosses we are faced with a more mundane, even banal problem.

Something is clearly up with the guttering or the chimney of this building because they have brought in a cherry-picker and sent up a couple of men in the nacelle to deal with the issue.

As for me, I pushed on up the hill towards the Centre Agora for our weekly meeting

Regular readers will recall that I’ve mentioned in the past all of the time that is wasted in these meetings … “not ‘arf” – ed … but in the past there was nothing like as much wasted as today.

For a change I was second there and the others arrived after me. But they stayed outside having a smoke and a chat and didn’t come in until 10:30. And most of the meeting was spent discussing a subject that could have been dealt with in about 2 minutes.

Someone turned up from one of the Council’s committees and she was introduced to us. The guy in charge told her about what we did and while he was very careful to mention several programmes that we had done, he very carefully omitted anything that I had done from the list.

If they don’t like what I do and are ashamed of it, I wish that they would tell me and either stop me doing it or tell me how it can be improved. It’s quite true that the stuff from the last couple of weeks has been light years ahead of what I did at the beginning, but that’s because I’ve worked it out for myself.

If they have something to say, I wish that they would come out and say it.

The real business of the meeting didn’t come out until everyone was almost ready to leave – at about 12:30. These are hours of my life that I won’t ever get back.

On the way home I stopped at LIDL. I needed some olive oil and a few other things, but forgot the stuff to make my muesli and I’ve run out of that. If I can’t find all of the stuff it might be porridge for the next few days.

Back down in town again I picked up my dejeunette at la Mie Caline and came back home for a late lunch.

This afternoon I pushed on with the radio project and although I hadn’t quite finished it at knocking-off time, I hung on in and had it done regardless. And so a late tea.

But there had been a couple of interruptions to my day. Firstly, and unsurprisingly after my late night and early start, I crashed out on my chair for 20 minutes in a really deep sleep

rainstorm english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSecondly, there was the afternoon walk as usual. Mustn’t miss out on that!

And this photo will tell you exactly how things unfolded during the course of the afternoon. There’s a huge, powerful rain cloud about 8 or 10 miles out to sea and judging by the wind right now, it’s heading this way.

This kind of thing is looking quite ominous for later on.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd although it’s not as windy as it might be and indeed has just recently, it’s blowing a terrific gale somewhere out to sea.

We’re a good hour or so away from high tide but even so, there’s enough power in the sea to send the waves crashing right over the harbour wall. No wonder I couldn’t see any fishing boats out there today.

It’s not the kind of day at all to be out there on the ocean waves in the kind of boats that hang around in this harbour.

trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallTalking of fishing boats, there’s been another change of tenant at the Chantier navale.

One of the fishing boats has now left and presumably gone back into the water. There’s only the one left now and judging by all of the people on board working away at here, it doesn’t look as if she’s going to be there for much longer either.

So new tenants all round in the near future, I reckon. It will be interesting to see who comes in and who does what to it.

fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen this boat before just recently.

Seeing as it’s in the national colours, I thought at first that it might be something to do with the Government but judging by the large bucket of seafood on her deck and the van there that has come to take the stuff away, it’s probably just a private fishing boat.

And that’s something of a disappointment. I was hoping for a lot more excitement around here now.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire another photo of the raging sea, let me tell you about teatime.

With plenty of mushrooms lying about here and there I made myself a stuffed pepper with pasta. And I’m not sure quite why but it was one of the best that I’ve ever tasted even though I forgot the herbs.

It was followed up by rice pudding and that was delicious too. I may be eating quite simply but by ‘eck I am eating well these days.

By now the storm had arrived, the weather had broken, and how! There was the deep puddle outside the roor and the streets were like running rivers. I went for my walk regardless, even managing two runs.

Not on the north side of the walls though – that was about a foot deep in water. I had to find a place a little further on even though the ground underfoot isn’t as smooth. And of course, my run across the Square Maurice Marland.

So now I’ve finished, I’ve re-heard my radio project and it’s fine, so I’m going to listen to some music for half an hour before going to bed.

A little luxury is something that I deserve.

Sunday 2nd February 2020 – TODAY IS THE FIRST …

… time since I don’t know when that I haven’t done 100% of my daily target of exercise.

Mind you, there were a couple of good reasons why that was the case

  1. There was so much rain today that at times it was impossible to go outside. At one point there was a deep puddle right outside the door that was enough to put anyone off setting foot outside
  2. I didn’t wake up until … errr … 10:50 this morning and by the time that I’d finished having my breakfast at midday, it was rather pointless thinking about lunch

Yes, for once I’d managed to have something of a decent night’s sleep. It wasn’t all that early when I went to bed but still, a good sleep is a good sleep.

It wasn’t continuous though. I remember waking up and looking at my watch a couple of times but if anyone thinks that I’m going to be leaving the comfort and safety of my stinking pit at 05:35 and 07:40 on a Sunday morning they are sadly mistaken.

Still, the medication was taken and then I had a look at the dictaphone. With plenty of time to go on my travels during the night I was quite optimistic. And I wasn’t disappointed either.

I’d been walking through the streets of a city in Indonesia and I’d been with a coach party or tour party or something. I had my suitcase and something had happened that meant I had to stay behind. Si I sent my suitcase off with them and I had to go to attend to whatever business this was, and then I had to meet up with Rosemary. I headed off to the bus station to see if Rosemary was at the bus station as she said that she was at a café because she had sorted out her issue. So I went to what I thought was the cafe but it was a school. Loads and loads of kids hanging around. Of course there was no chance in finding Rosemary so my next thought was how am I going to get halfway across Indonesia. The first thing o my mind was the train. I knew where the railway station was so I set out on foot. There were crowds of people there and one of the things that I’d done was that I’d changed my clothing. I had Western clothing on but I had got rid of that end ended up in just a local pair of sweat pants and te shirt so that I would blend in more easily with the people and look like a tourist. So I walked with all these people and got close to the station and could hear the tannoy announcements for the trains, in Indonesian and just as I was getting very close to the station with all these people around me and that was when I awoke for a moment at some silly time or other.
Somewhat later we were doing an enquiry into children taking supplements – athletic children, swimmers, that kind of thing. We were interviewing a couple of kids about this and then we had to leave. We’d been staying in a hotel and we were leaving really early next morning so I was going to have an earlyish night but it wasn’t as early as I was hoping. I had to drive these couple of people back with me. I went for a walk, a walk up from where the hotel was where we were staying past the railway station where we arrived. We were driving back for some reason and did this walk to see what it was like, to se how I remembered it from when we arrived. The I realised that I had to pay my quarterly bill fr my flat. I had to go to a bar, a bar where I would usually go for a drink and I usually paid for my drinks with cash that kind of thing although these days something happened and I was paying it by bank card or bank draft or something. The old woman behind the counter she came over to deal with me and I gave her a credit card to take this payment for this three-monthly thing. She was surprised about that but did it and I went for my walk. So I walked up and just the other side of the railway station there was a Shell petrol station and the petrol there looked really cheap. I thought “God I should have come up here in the car and fuelled it up and we would have been really ready to go tomorrow morning early”. I thought that I had better get some money out as well from the bank but it was the bit where there had been a level crossing over the road by the railway station and they had put an overbridge so the shops were at ground level but the road went up this overbridge. At a certain point there was a set of steps that went down to the shops so I thought that I would go down these steps. There were crowds of people climbing up. They were sort-of temporary steps held up on scaffolding and it was really quite a scramble. I only had one hand free for some reason so I was making heavy weather of it. There were these people talking to me, talking to me in Dutch and I didn’t understand very much of what they were saying so I pressed on regardless. I eventually got down to the bottom and some woman at the bottom said something like “you should have listened to what those people were telling you. They were telling you how to get down, giving you all kinds of advice and you totally ignored them” She was quite bossy about this. She said it in Flemish as well which was a surprise for me that I understood it so I turned round to her and in my really bad Flemish i basically said that they could tell me what they like but if they say it in Flemish I’m not going to understand it because I’m a foreigner and don’t speak Flemish which took the wind right out of her sails and I said it in Flemish that I didn’t understand Flemish at all which must have confused her somewhat. That was when I awoke.

After breakfast I attacked the radio project n° 18. And by the time I knocked off for my evening meal at 19:00 I’d finished that and it’s now up and running and I’m well on my way to writing my notes for Project 19.

This week’s task is to finish Project 19 and to do Project 20. Then I’ll be 7 weeks ahead, and then a couple more weeks of doing two per week will see me two months or 9 projects ahead and that’s how I want to stay.

There were pauses in between all of this though. Round about 15:30 I was feeling peckish and there was a lump of bread left over from yesterday’s baguette from LeClerc so I demolished that with some hummus and salad.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe weather abated slightly too so I seized the opportunity to nip out for a walk.

There was that much fog that it was difficult to see anything at all, but I did manage to see down into the chantier navale to see what was happening in the way of new arrivals.

And the answer was “nothing much at all”. Still the same two boats but there was a big van down there so it looked as if someone was working on one of them at least.

Maybe we might have a new arrival or two during the week.

chausiais joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt was busy over there at the ferry terminal.

There, settling down gently into the mud over at the ferry terminal are Chausiais and Joly France. And so it looks as if something might be happening with them pretty soon too.

But we might be seeing more and more fishing boats in the harbour. Despite the Withdrawal Agreement setting down a status quo for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU until the end of the year, Guernsey has unilaterally taken action that effectively bans French fishing boats from its waters.

What I have to say about this is that I shall be very disappointed, very disappointed indeed if the French fishermen take this lying down. Knowing their history, I imagine and fully expect that they shall be back in Guernsey waters, in great numbers and properly “tooled up” to deal with the matter in their own inimitable way.

It’s been PUBLICLY ANNOUNCED THAT THE ROYAL ?AVY DOES NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT PATROL SHIPS TO PROTECT ITS WATERS and I’m sure that the French fishermen are well aware of this.

It won’t take much to blockade St Peter Port and St Sampson, and the island would grind to a halt in a couple of weeks.

I have often said that if the answer is violence, it must have been a very stupid question. And the question on that referendum paper was probably the most stupid that I have ever seen or heard.

By now I was thoroughly soaked to the skin so it didn’t make much difference as to whether I stayed out or went in.

pointing place du parvis de notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallSo I continued my walk for a little while and went up to the top of the city walls to see what they had been doing round by the Place du Parvis Notre Dame.

And the answer is “pretty terrible” – although on second thoughts, there’s nothing pretty at all about this. It’s easily the worst bit of repointing that I have ever seen

It’s just a total mess and there’s nothing whatever to be proud of about this. How is it possible that they can do such a good job on one side of the wall and such a dreadful job on the other?

As well as my vegan pizza, I made another rice pudding seeing as I had the oven on. And they were both really good. But I’m hoping that my rice pudding lasts a lot longer than the last one that didn’t make 4 days.

Despite the rain I went out again this evening and even managed two runs, although I had to improvise the first one on a different track because the one that I use on the north side of the wall was about a foot deep in water.

That walk was extended somewhat and I ended up today with 70% of my daily activity. Not enough but I can catch up tomorrow with my walk up to the Centre Agora for the weekly radio meeting.

And that reminds me – in January I walked 274.54 kilometres and ran for 1 hour 54 minutes. There were just 5 days when I did less than my daily target.

Here’s hoping that I can keep it up.

Friday 31st January 2020 – THE NEXT THREE …

night jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hall… images will tell yu a little story.

Basically they are rubbish but it’s not the quality that counts but the circumstances surrounding them. Take this photo for instance – this is not a handful of trawlers out in the English Channel but lights which I think might be the port at St Helier on the mainland of Jersey, 58 kms away.

And that’s pretty phenomenal.

night st malo brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd take this one here.

These over here are the street lights in St Malo, right across the Baie de Mont St Michel from here in Brittany. Not as far away as Jersey and the Channel Islands of course, but by my reckoning that’s about 35 or 40 kilometres away.

And that’s something that’s even more phenomenal too.

night paimpol brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallBut we’ll leave the best until last.

All of those lights down there, that by my reckoning is St Cast le Guildo and Cap Fréhel and all of that is about 60 kms and more away from here.

No sea haze of course to obstruct the view like there is out to sea and that’s why the photo is clearer than the first. But all of that is pretty impressive.

Hand-held in quite a wind that was blowing – too windy for the tripod unfortunately and I’m a bit wary of that since the tripod blew down off a roof on one occasion with a camera still attached.

But all of this goes to show you what a beautiful, clear evening it was.

It was a lovely morning too and I should know, because for once I actually saw it. Feeling like death of course but I still managed to drag myself out of bed before the first alarm, for the first time since I can’t remember when.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone notes. I’d been out in Eastern England somewhere, a town called Jura near Cambridge or somewhere like that with a huge lake, that was where I was and I remember this huge map hanging on the wall of that part of Eastern England and I used to study it and work out where towns were, all that kind of thing. One day some lady started to talk. She came to Jura and she tried to take my cup of coffee away thinking that i’d finished with it but I insisted on hanging on to it which got off to a bad start but she was going on to her firneds about how her son in law or grandson in law plays football for a Scottish team and how they were drawn against a big team in the Scottish Cup and how they were only part-timers, all this kind of thing. But she was getting everything wrong and I was thinking that i’d have to correct her somehow but of course that’s not the kind of person that you can correct at the top of your voice and anyway you couldn’t get in any words in edgeways with what she was saying

After breakfast I set about splitting up a few more digital recordings. That’s another one of these projects that I have to continue. It’s quite important because I’ll be pulling a load of stuff out of there for the radio projects.

Later on I carried on with the notes for the radio project on which I am working and by the time that I had to go out, I’d just about finished writing them.

The walk up to the Centre Agora was quite pleasant and I arrived bang on time for a coffee before our meeting.

There’s going to be a jobseekers’ meeting here in Granville on 6th March and we are planning to do another live broadcast. 80-odd employers are going to be present and if previous years are anything to go by, there will be over 1,000 jobseekers coming to meet them armed with CVs and the like.

We will be interviewing the jobseekers and the employees and hosting a kind-of round table discussion, to go out live on the air.
However, that day there’s a lot happening and we are rather short-handed so I’ve been roped in as an interviewer.

The purpose of our meeting this afternoon was to meet the person who is organising the event on behalf of the town council and to agree a strategy. Unfortunately it was another one of those meetings where if someone sets aside 2 hours, everyone there will make sure that it lasts two hours too.

As I have said before … “and on many occasins too” – ed … these kinds of meetings should be held standing up, outside, in the pouring rain. Just as much would be decided, and in five minutes or less too.

It reminds me of a story that I heard about the election of a Pope in the Middle Ages. The cardinals were taking forever about it so the local duke ordered his men to remove the roof from the building where they were meeting.

They reached a decision in minutes once it started to rain.

From there I had a slow walk home, retracing my steps to try to find the glove that I had lost – one of my tactile gloves too – only to find that it had fallen out of my pocket in the apartment.

Not very good, am I?

Anyway, for a couple of hours I recorded the notes that I had written and even managed to start to edit them before I stopped for tea.

Earlier on during the day I’d been through the freezer again and I’d found a pack of frozen mushrooms. Now if there is one thing worse than commercially-frozen carrots, it’s commercially-frozen mushrooms. They are awful.

So what I did was to get one of these half-cooked baguettes and slice id and insert garlic butter into the slices. Then clean a couple of potatoes, and finally take out of the fridge the left-over pastry from the other day and the left-over cooking apple, and make an apple turnover.

All of that went into the oven.

Meanwhile, I fried a couple of onions and added some garlic, and when they were thoroughly fried, added the defrosted mushrooms which I had drained (and you have no idea just how much water there is in frozen mushrooms) along with some herbs.

When the mushrooms were thoroughly cooked, the whole lot went into the whizzer and made a thick mushroom soup which I ate with the potatoes and garlic bread that I had made.

Pudding was the apple turnover with sorbet, and delicious it all was too. And there’s enough mushroom soup and another bread thing for tea tomorrow night too.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve seen some of the photos from tonight’s walk, but there are a couple of others that I took too.

The tide is in and this is the cue for the trawlers to start coming home to port. There were already a few of them at the fish-processing plant unloading their cargo and there were several more on the way into the harbour from out at sea.

It’s a really busy place here, even if we don’t have the gravel boats in any more which is a shame.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd that reminded me – I hadn’t looked at the Chantier navale for quite some time, so I went over there.

There isn’t anything very much exciting going on in there right now. Just a couple of small fishing boats, no yacht of any size and no deep-sea trawler-type of vessel.

Still, there’s always tomorrow, isn’t there? We mustn’t abandon hope quite yet.

So here I am and it’s almost 02:00 and I can’t sleep. If you read this, spare a thought for me and my friends. Thanks to 17.4 million xenophobes and racists We are now stateless people with no more rights than your average Somali or Syrian refugee and our continued residence here depends upon the goodwill of various Governments that have no interest whatever in us while across the Channel in The Land That Time Forgot, the Silly Brits are using their foreign residents as bargaining chips.

As the conversation went in Lord of the Rings -“Have you thought of an ending?”
“Yes, several, and all are dark and unpleasant.”

We could be on the verge of the greatest mass forced migration of citizens since the Eastern Germans during the period 1945-1948 if the UK doesn’t come to its senses pretty quickly.

Thursday 30th January 2020 – IT’S BEEN ANOTHER …

… one of those meetings where some kind of competition to see who can fit the least amount of thought into the most amount of words.

So exciting was it that I struggled to keep awake and in the end forgot to ask the question that I really wanted answering.

Mind you, it’s something of a surprise as to why I couldn’t keep awake because it’s not as if I’ve done all that much to feel tired about.

In fact I somehow managed to miss the third alarm and ended up awakening bolt-upright at just about 07:00. So another chunk of the morning was missed.

Yet again.

After the medication I had a look at the dictaphone. Last night I was in Stoke on Trent. There was a group of us and we were on holiday together. We’d be doing different things at different times out of this group like two people would be off dancing on one occasion and then a couple of hours later it would be a different two people. Or two people would be off swimming, and then a different two people, that kind of thing. Anyway, this is how this went. Then it was time for me to go home. I was walking through the streets and came to a place where I would cross over the road. An old car that was coughing and banging, an old I can’t remember what it was now pulled up alongside me. Inside, would you believe, there was Zero. So anyway I carried on walking and thought “oh I’d go round and see her father so I carried on walking and there were two girls who lived there running down the street. They saw me and came over for a chat. I picked them both up and had one of them sitting on each shoulder as I walked down to the house. I went in and put these two girls down. The guy and everyone were sitting there – they were cooking breakfast and getting ready to eat. He said something like “I’m sorry that we can’t ask you in but we’re going out”. I said “it’s not a problem. I just popped by to say hello and didn’t expect anything. So hello” and the dream shuddered to a halt round about there.

After breakfast I cut up another digital soundtrack or two, had a shower and then headed for the shops.

repaired medieval city Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne walls granville manche normandy france eric hallMind you, once again I didn’t get far.

We’ve seen them repairing the old Medieval city wall at the side of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and watched them over the last week or two slowly tidy up the site and put away their tools.

Today, they are all gone, the site is properly tidy and accessible to vehicles who now have more room to park. And what a nice job they have made of the city walls here. Hats off to them!

trawler normandy trader marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA little further along I made even less progress.

Marité is there of course and so is a trawler-type of fishing boat but in between them is our old friend Normandy Trader who seems to have slipped in unnoticed on the early morning tide.

And look at all of the lorries over there bringing in the supplies. They are rapidly loading her up and it looks as if this might be a really quick turn-round.

renovating boulangerie rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk took me through the town and out along the rue Couraye and up the hill past the station.

Halfway up the hill though I noticed that the boulangerie in the rue Couraye is closed and that they are busy erecting a wooden wall around the front of it.

It looks as if the shop is undergoing modernisation with a new shop window as part of the project. That will be interesting to see what they will be doing there.

At LIDL I spent more money than I usually do and it’s very hard to see exactly where the money went. Mind you they had some of the special Christmas spice cake there on offer. Two types, both vegan and both with a reasonably long sell-by date. And so I bought one of each to see me through the period when I run out of cake.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way home I called at la Mie Caline for my dejeunette and then headed home up the hill.

And once more , I didn’t get very far before I ground to a halt. I’d heard a noisy, rhythmical put-putting coming from around the headland and I knew exactly what it was that was heading my way.

Sure enough, it was Thora who very shortly hove into view. We’re having a busy day in the harbour today by the looks of things.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSitting on the wall overlooking the harbour, I awaited my moment for when she would be coming in through the harbour gates, and then took a photo of her.

That made me wonder where she would be tying up, seeing as the loading berth was occupied. But in fact it wasn’t. In what is probably one of the quickest turn-rounds that I have ever seen, Normandy Trader has been, gone and cleared off already.

So on that note, I headed for home and a welcome mug of coffee.

After lunch I finished off selecting the music (except the last track) for Project 18 and started to research the text. I want this project finished, and the next one too by the end of the weekend. Then I’ll be 6 weeks ahead.

From then on I’ll be doing two per week for the foreseeable future until I have a large store of programmes.

At 17:45 I headed off to the Centre Agora for our quarterly meeting of the Radio Association. We’re planning another live broadcast towards the end of February and that was one of the things that needed discussion. I had a cunning plan for this which was actually supported by two of the others so that might actually come to pass. Someone even volunteered their services to help me.

But it seems that we are rather short of technical assistance. I did offer to hold some kind of tuition course in the basics of the sound engineering program that I used but that was pretty much run up a blind alley.

There’s another live broadcast planned for March but the guy who thinks that he runs the show can’t make it for that day so much to my surprise I’ve been co-opted onto the team for this. We’re having a meeting tomorrow about it.

The walk back was enjoyable as I came a different way home and to date I’ve done 172% of my day’s activity which is good value in anyone’s money.

Tea was pasta with a kidney and aubergine whatsit and now having finished my notes I’m off to bed. Rather later than I hoped but so what?

There’s plenty of work tomorrow so I’ll need to get cracking.

Monday 13th January 2020 – I’M NOT SURE …

… exactly what I’ve done, but whatever it is, I’ve done it good and proper!

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that US Granvillais, the local football team, have drawn Olympique de Marseille, one of the biggest clubs in French football, in the French Cup on Friday night.

There’s a Press Conference at the ground tomorrow at 12:15 and all of the giants of the Press will be there – TF1, Eurosport, all of these, and … errr … Yours Truly. Following my efforts on the bus to Versailles the other day, I’ve been issued with a Press Pass for the club and I’ve been invited along to cover the Press Conference on behalf of OUR LITTLE RADIO STATION

All that I hope for is that I can walk the walk as well as I can talk the talk.

And talking of talking the talk, my radio programme covering the coach trip and the supporters will be BROADCAST TOMORROW 17:00 CET, OR 16:00 UK TIME OR 11:00 TORONTO TIME. Don’t miss it!

Just for a change these days I was up and about prior to the third alarm going off. An attack on the medication and then a look at the dictaphone, which once again is bearing a remarkable resemblance to my bank account or Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.

After breakfast I carried on with another whack at this translation and that’s another while done and out of the way. There’s still well over half left though but that will have to wait as it’s now time for a shower.

marite normandy trader la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter the shower I went and headed off up town.

As usual, I had a butcher’s over the wall down into the harbour to see what was going on and, as usual, it was quite busy down there. We have Marité of course – she wont be going anywhere until the summer – but she’s been joined by La Grande Ancre and Normandy Trader.

The latter must have crept in on the morning tide and even as we speak they are busy unloading her.

road works place semard granville manche normandy france eric hallUp at the roundabout at Place Semard the Christmas Tree has gone, but there are also these signs here talling us that the rue Paul Poirier is undergoing work.

That’s not a street that I used this morning to come this way so I don’t know why or what’s going on but I’ll have a look when I go back.

And I did, and they were taking down the Christmas lights

cement conveyor av aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallNow this is something extremely interesting and I don’t know why the photo hasn’t come out very well.

It’s actually a cement conveyor and the guy who was attending it was mixing cement in a cement mixer and tipping it into the conveyor, which was then taking it off and over the top of those steps there.

Obviously it’s cheaper than employing a labourer to carry it in buckets.

cable laying av aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallMore good news from the avenue Aristide Briand.

This looks like loads and loads of black cable, and that can only be one kind of cable as far as I can see. Maybe now they are finally laying the fibre-optic cables.

And I like the cable roller too at the edge of the manhole. That’s a superb little thing.

So I made it to the radio meeting at the Centre Agora where they enthused over our VISIT TO DONVILLE-LES-BAINS. I’m glad that they liked it.

And it was here that I learned of my good fortune.

We discussed several other projects too and they may well be seeing the light of day in due course. We’ll have to see.

Another thing that I did was to hand over the present that I had picked up last week

moulin a cafe electrique lidl granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I went off to LIDL to do some shopping.

And here’s a thing. Now if only anyone around here were to sell any electric coffee I would be set up for life. But I’m surprised that they are selling a “grinder for electric coffee” rather than an “electric grinder for coffee”. I suppose that it’s something to do with poor translation into Chinese.

Having remembered the present I found that I had forgotten my shopping bag. The paper one that they gave me didn’t last a second so I had to buy another one to add to the several that are lying around here.

Having picked up my dejeunette at La Mie Caline I came home. It was already lunchtime by now so I had lunch straight away.

This afternoon, what with this Press Conference tomorrow, I had plenty of things to do that kept me really busy. Nevertheless, I found some time to do some more on this translation and now I’m almost at half-way.

And it’s not going to be finished for a while either because there’s this football thing to do. It’s pretty “current” so I’ll have to get cracking with that pretty smartly.

pecheurs à pied pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWe had the afternoon walk around the headland of course in the sunshine.

There were plenty of us out there today, including some very intrepid pecheurs à pied down there on the rocks at the Cap Lihou But they had better be careful. I’ve read somewhere that some of the shellfish is contaminated again right now.

But whatever they catch, I hope that they share them out with their friends. After all, one mustn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

dredging out ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd as I rounded the headland I found out why Chausiais and Joly France have gone back into the inner harbour.

There’s a digger on the extreme left of the image and a couple of huge dumper lorries down there. They are dredging out the bed of the harbour round at the ferry terminal – presumably to increase the operating times of the ferries

And there’s a guy in a high-visibility jacket down there further into the harbour. I wonder what he’s after.

ripping up abandoned railway port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe view from on top of the cliffs is pretty good.

From here I can see all the way down the rue du Port and have a good idea of how they are progressing with these improvements to the car parking which, unfortunately, means ripping up the railway lines

They are making good progress (which is a change) so I don’t imagine that they will be long in doing it.

But what you can’t see in that photo is Normandy Trader. In probably the quickest turn-round that I’ve seen, she’s cleared off home already. I’ve not seen anything that quick before.

Back here I went to carry on with stuff but I ended up … errr … having a relax, something that is annoying me intently.

With pushing on though, I had no tea tonight. I grabbed a few biscuits and worked on

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was still time to fit in my evening walk though, even if the wind outside was thoroughly wicked.

There was a trawler out there battling its way through the heavy seas and as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those out there in this kind of weather.

It was totally impossible to have my usual run as the headwind was pushing me backwards. However, not to be outdone, I had noticed that the north side of the walls was sheltered from the wind so I went round there.

Even though it was pitch-black and I couldn’t see where I was going, I managed a good few hundred metres down there just to keep up the pressure.

It’s now almost 01:30 and I’m just about to finish my notes. There’s still plenty of preparation to do for tomorrow but that will have to be done tomorrow too.

4:30 sleep tonight if I’m lucky. Just like old times, isn’t it?

Monday 6th January 2020 – ONE OF THESE DAYS …

… I really will have myself an early night.

Last night was some time around 02:00 when I finally went to bed. I stayed up to finish off this radio programme in a case of “ship or bust” so that it would be ready for our meeting, and that was that.

No peace for the wicked. I cracked on and on and on, and now it’s finished. It could be better, I suppose, had I taken more time, but there is a vacant broadcasting space tomorrow at 17:00 CET and it was there for the taking.

And when I finally went off to bed, I found that I couldn’t sleep and ended up having a dreadful night. And although I heard the two earlier alarms, I was still debating whether to get out of bed when the third one went off.

Something of a failure there.

After the medication, I attacked the dictaphone notes from the night. And yes we had been on our way home yet again from the High Arctic. However, instead of an aeroplane, we were all standing around waiting for a pile of buses. Our particular bus was a single decker and there were a lot of people waiting for it so they sent for another bus which turned out to be a double-decker. We were being strictly controlled about entering – only being allowed 20 at once or something like that so the driver could check our tickets (… doesn’t this sound familiar? …) but then the double-decker appeared so everyone wandered off there and there didn’t seem to be any control on that. There was one girl most upset about not being allowed on the single-decker coach with the driver there. She was pleading with him trying to make her some room so that she could travel with him rather than the double-decker.

After breakfast I did some more work on my own radio project, and then went for my shower. My weight is going up again and I don’t like this one bit. I have noticed that my raging thirst has dried up, that I’m not as sprightly as I was a couple of weeks ago and that I’m more tired than before (I crashed out again for 15 minutes today).

Maybe all of this is related.

Anyway, I hit the streets and headed off for our weekly meeting at the Centre Agora. We weren’t all that many today. Three of our usual suspects were missing. And that reminds me – one of those missing had a parcel waiting for him at Carrefour that he couldn’t collect, so he had e-mailed me a copy of his identity card and I went to pick it up.

At the radio meeting I’ve long-since come to the conclusion that the only way that I’m ever going to get anything done is simply to do it and present it as a fait accompli, so I’ll be working on my notes from the trip to Versailles next.

While we’re on the subject, the affair of this musician rumbles on and on. The guy who thinks he runs the place has had the notes for over two weeks and done nothing at all with them. Today he gave them to me and asked me if I could translate them into French so that he could dictate them as an overdub.

Talk about making work for yourself and everyone else. If it’s beyond his capabilities, why did he take it on in the first place? Mind you, regular readers of this rubbish will recall me saying something about how possessive these people are of their ideas.

Regular readers of this rubbish will also recall exactly how I suggested that it should be done in the first place. And had it been done like this, the programme would have been completed, broadcast and filed away a long time before this

It’s hardly any surprise that nothing seems to get done when they work like this. I’ve always considered myself in the past to be totally disorganised, but I’m rapidly changing my opinion.

They way it’s going, I can see it ending up as a rambling, hopeless monologue. At least with Laurent, he was quite amenable to my ideas and quite malleable and we made a decent outside- broadcast radio programme “on the fly” in a matter of 8 hours and it’ll be on the air on Tuesday.

On the way home I called in at LIDL and I spent a larger-than-usual sum of money. Mind you, one of the purchases was a pile of new undies to go with the new socks that I bought 10 days or so ago. My undergarments are starting to look quite threadbare and it’s high time that I thought about some new stuff. The older stuff can go in the pile to go to Canada.

There was some more of that delicious sorbet there too. Strawberry this time too so I bagged a tub. I seem to be overflowing with sorbets just now but it’s a case of getting them while the getting is good.

Carrots too. I’ve run right out so I need more. There were 2kg-bags on offer again so tomorrow I’ll have a mega-carrot-preparing session ready for the freezer.

emptying recycling bins rue herel rue st paul granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back home, at the corner of the rue Herel and the rue St Paul I encountered the recycled rubbish-emptier.

In haste, I managed to grab a quick photo of him, but while I might have been too slow to actually photograph the rubbish being emptied, I was too quick to press the shutter and the image didn’t have time to settle down so it’s come out blurred.

But then that’s life.

At La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and headed for home.

For the rest of the day I’ve been working on my radio project and that’s taken longer than it ought to have done too. One of the reasons was that I had to redesign the web page for the playlist. And to make it more interesting, I’m just going to do one for the whole of the year 2020 – if I manage to keep on going for that long.

As usual, there were several interruptions during the day. Lunch was one of them of course (and my new hummus is delicious) and … errr … having a little relax was another.

bad parking place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallGoing out for a walk was a third interruption too.

And I didn’t get far before I was waylaid as usual. Yes, I’m still on this “pathetic parking” lark, aren’t I? And here’s another example for the record.

It’s usually brand-new Mercedes and BMWs that do this kind of thing, but how about a little Peugeot that is almost 11 years old at least?

Some people have no shame.

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallOnce again, I noticed some movement way out in the English Channel so in order to identify it, I took a speculative shot with the aim of blowing it up (the image, not the object) back in the apartment.

And it’s not a gravel boat. It really does look as if they have stopped coming. Instead it’s one of the trawler-type of fishing boats that operate from out of the port.

Loads of gulls around it, so it looks as if she has a full hold today which is good news.

trawler joker fishing boat chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallTalking of fishing boats … “well, one of us is” – ed … I had a look in at the chantier navale this afternoon

Spirit of Conrad is still there – she looks as if she has taken root down there – and so is the small shellfish boat. But there’s also another fishing boat in there now and people are working on her like 13 to the dozen.

And I’m not at all sure what is coming out of the air vent. Steam or water, but it could really be anything.

joly france chausiais port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOver at the ferry terminal there has been some movement of the shipping too.

Chausiais and Joly France have been parked up over there for quite a few days now, but they seem to have changed places. That quite possibly means that there’s going to be some movement very soon, although I’m not quite sure what.

And I stil haven’t worked out what it is that Chausiais will be doing.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMovement too in the inner wet harbour.

We haven’t seen a gravel bot for an age now, but the smaller freighters are coming in quite regularly still. Thora has now turned up in the harbour and although you can’t see them in this photo, there are a large pile of these builders’ bags, the kind of stuff they put sand and gravel in, lined up on the dockside.

But Thora is starting to look a little run-down now compared to how she was when she first arrived. She could do with a coat of paint.

Back at the apartment there was yet another interruption. The lemon and ginger drink that I made a couple of weeks ago is now on its last legs. And with a pile of juice-oranges (or, rather, clementines) lying around here, I set a clementine-and-ginger drink off to start. We’ll see what that turns out like.

Once the radio project had been completed and I’d had a little relax, I made tea. I’m away from Thursday morning for a few days so it was another “leftover curry”. It was absolutely delicious and, even better, there’s enough for another two days

On my evening walk, I wa all alone again. The run wasn’t a success either as I struggled to even make the foot of the ramp and in the end just managed four paces up it.

But now I’m back and totally exhausted. I have a feeling that tonight I’ll be asleep long before I finish writing this …


Friday 20th December 2019 – FOR A FLEETING MOMENT …

… I actually had something like a stress-free existence. And it was looking so good too.

Unfortunately it didn’t last long.

It all started so well too. A late-ish night it might have been, but I was out like a light and slept right through until the alarm went off. And I beat the third alarm out of bed quite easily too.

As for a nocturnal voyage, It was something to do with a young girl last night. I can’t remember very much about it but I do remember that she was swimming around in this water and every time that she got close to the edge of the water she ended up being further away again. She then had to swim for the shore and when she’d be close to the shore she would end up back out again. Unfortunately I don’t remember anything about it particularly other than that, which is quite a shame because it must have been exciting.

So having had the medication I transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night and then went off for breakfast.

Back here afterwards I cut up the sound tracks of a couple of albums that I had downloaded as part of my digital upgrading. It took me a while because I was having a chat with someone on the internet as I was doing it and it was difficult to concentrate.

Next task was to turn my attention to upgrading the blog entries for last week. I’m now all the way back to Wednesday 11th December and had things continued to go my way I might have done more too.

trawlers baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOf course, I had to go into town to La Mie Caline for my dejeunette for lunch.

We had yet another wicked wind this morning and I stood on my vantage point overlooking the harbour watching a couple of fishing boats battling their way through the waves – one coming in and the other one going out.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I don’t envy them in the least having to go out in this weather.

repairing medieval city walls Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne granville manche normandy franceRemember yesterday when we saw the mini digger and the little lorry clearing up some of the rubble at the foor of the city walls in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne where they had been doing all of the repair work?

As you might expect, I took the opportunity to go that way round to see what they had been up to, and it certainly has made quite a difference. It’s actually looking like it’s supposed to and I don’t think that it will be too long before it’s all finished.

On that note, I came back to my apartment with my dejeunette.

At 13:00, as usual, I stopped work to have lunch and then back to my desk and back to work. This afternoon I rather … errr … had a little rest for 10 minutes and that dismayed me because I’d been doing so well. And then I had an internet issue to deal with.

For some unknown reason, none of my *.ftp programs are working. I’m having to upload my files through the control panel of my web server and that’s not ideal at all. I’ve been “in negotiation” with my web host for much of the afternoon trying to resolve the issue.

Another thing that I did was to change the bedding. I haven’t done that since I came back from North America and so it was in the kind of condition that it walked into the washing machine all on its own.

buoy english channel granville manche normandy franceThere was the afternoon walk of course and it was fairly pleasant out there because the high winds seem to have died down for the moment.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we are starting to see piles of fishing boats trying their luck in the bay here off the coast of Bréhal Plage. There weren’t any out there today but we can see that there’s another one of these mysterious buoys bobbing around in the water out there.

One of these days I’ll catch the boat that’s doing it and then I can go down into port to interrogate the skipper.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceThe atmospheric conditions were quite good today too.

There have been a few of these days just recently where the sky has been so clear that the views have been absolutely excellent. We had one the other day when the Ile de Chausey was looking splendid in the sun, and it was another one like that today.

In fact the sky was so clear that you could see the waves actually breaking on the shore and on the rocks over there, all that distance away.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAlthough the wind had dropped, there was still a heavy sea and so I was surprised when I rounded the headland to see Thora in the harbour again.

Not surprised that she had battled the stormy seas becasue I didn’t doubt that for a moment, but surprised that there was such a quick turn-round from her last visit. I don’t know what’s going on but the cynic in me suggests that the Brits in the Channel Islands are busy stockpiling supplies ready for the hardest Brexit ever known to man.

Yes, I’ve read the papers and seen the vote. And if the British want to go to hell in a handcart, that’s their affair.

back in the apartment it was shower time – if I’m having clean bedding I’m going to have a clean me. And here’s a surprise – and a pleasant one too. I’m below my target weight. Yes, a weight that I never ever thought that I would see ever again when I was weighing 13 kilos more than this 12 months ago.

repairing medieval city walls Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne granville manche normandy franceAfter the shower I set the washing machine going and then headed out up town to the Centre Agora. Tomorrow we’re doing our first Outside Broadcast and we need to be clued up about what we are supposed to be doing.

On the way out I went past the city walls in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what they had been up to now that they had knocked off. And you can see that not only have they managed to clean up a good proportion of the area, they’ve moved the dencing so that people can now walk around on there.

Doesn’t it look quite different from before they started? I’ll have to sort out a photo so we can see the difference.

at the meeting it seems to have been decided that I’m “outside techie” for a couple of the reporters, and it also seems that due to one of our interviewees withdrawing his co-operation I have to do a Christmas radio show live to plug the gap.

On the way back I went to LIDL for some supplies – one less thing to do tomorrow – and just about made it before they closed the shop.

christmas lights Rue Georges Clemenceau granville manche normandy franceStrange as it might seem, I don’t recall having been out down on the north side of town in the dark since they installed all of the Christmas lights. And so I was keen to see how it had all turned out.

This is the view of the little square where the rue Paul Poirier joins the rue Georges Clemenceau. I dunno about you but I was expecting rather more of the Christmas decoration and lights than this. It’s something of a disappoinment as far as I’m concerned.

They could at least have festooned the rest of the trees there with LEDs to add to the ambience. After all, this is the entry to the town for those coming from the north.

christmas lights rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw the decorations in the rue des Juifs a couple of days ago.

They didn’t look all that impressive in the daylight, the decorations that they had put over the bollards, and at night it isn’t an awful lot better. The rue des Juifs is said by many to be the trendiest street in town and it’s where all of the art galleries and the like might be found.

And if a bunch of artists and gallery owners can’t get together and produce something more exciting and interesting than this, then that is really sad.

Back here I had tea – taco rolls with rice and veg – and then watched the football on the internet. TNS v Cardiff Met. 1st v 8th.

TNS had, as you might expect, the lion’s share of the game but were undone after a couple of minutes by a beautiful set piece from the Met.

TNS equalised shortly after and it was surely going to be a case of how many they could score in the rest of the match. Will Fuller in the Met goal kept them out with some excellent keeping, and then something astonishing happened.

Fuller pulled of two consecutive saves at point-blank range, either of which could (and should) have ended up in the back of the net. But the second one, he hung on to the ball, then cleared it upfield where The Cardiff Met striker Will Evans slipped his marker and volleyed the ball into the TNS net.

Despite having a man sent off later in the game and TNS throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the Met, they hung on for what was a most unlikely victory and a very rare TNS home defeat.

Then I had work to do. I hung out the washing from earlier and then cracked on with the music. Hans had sent me some of his stuff and I found a few other tracks, all of which needed converting to *.mp3 format and (in Hans’s case) some digital enhancement. Then, adding a couple of songs from my own collection, I ended up with enough to plug the hole.

They had to be sent off to be uploaded to the server, which is completed, so I can finish my blog and go to sleep.

One of these days I’ll have an early night.

Monday 16th December 2019 – IT’S BEEN ANOTHER …

… one of those meetings up at the Centre Agora this morning. I’m not going to waste any of my time telling you about it because one of my former neighbours when I lived in Crewe had been to exactly the same kind of meeing once upon a time and he can tell the story far better than I ever could.

Mind you, I’m lucky that I actually got there at all. last night, unable to sleep it was well after 01:30 when I finally crawled into bed. And when the alarm went off at 06:00 (and again at 06:09 and 06:18) I wasn’t really in any kind of mood whatsoever to heave myself out of my stinking pit.

In fact I was all for turning over and going back to sleep but with the kind of willpower that I didn’t even realise that I had, I finally hauled myself out of bed at about 06:40.

After the medication, I sat down and extracted the files off the portable laptop and copied them onto the big desktop machine. And by now, as the medication had worked, I went for breakfast.

Once breakfast was done and dusted I sat down and began to transcribe the dictaphone notes for the period while I was away. There was even a dictaphone file from through the night. I was doing some stuff for the radio, doing all kinds of soundbites and sound clips and doing over a text – the whole idea of this sound thing was that I could cut bits out and paste them in over other bits so I could use the same bit of vocal recording for week after week after week but somehow it just wasn’t working out for some particular reason, but that’s hardly a surprise, is is?

Anyway, despite my eagerness to deal with the dictaphone notes, I broke off for a shower and noticing that my hair was starting to look as rough as I was feeling, I gave it a going-over with the sheep-shearer.

Back at my desk I carried on, only to notice that the time was suddenly 09:45. Where did the morning go? And I have to be at the Centre Agora in 15 minutes and it’s a 4 kilometre walk.

Even though it was raining fairly heavily I refused to go in Caliburn because now that I’m managing to hold off my illness and even fight back to some extent, I want to keep on fighting the good fight as long as I can.

dismantling installations repairing city walls Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne granville manche normandy franceAnd so I walked.

And I’m glad that I did because there was quite a lot going on here and there today. For a start, it looks as if they might be pretty close to finishing the repairs to the medieval city walls at the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne. They have dismantled all of the scaffolding and are removing the material.

It’s been a long job and while I can’t remember how long exactly, it certainly seems to be well over time.

cherry picker Rue du Commandant Yvon rue couraye granville manche normandy franceDown into town and into the rue Couraye, where I noticed that the Rue du Commandant Yvon was blocked off and there was a cherry picker in the way.

In the nacelle of the cherry picker was a guy wielding a huge SDS-type power drill busy bashing his way into the side wall of the building here. No idea what he was doing, so I’ll have to go down there in a day or so and see what he’s been up to.

But wielding an electric power tool in the rain like this is not something that I would do too often.

polar bear rue st nicolas granville manche normandy franceIt was 10:30 when I arrived at the Centre Agora but before I went in to the building I stopped in the rue St Nicolas outside the shops there too look at the Christmas decorations.

We’d seen a couple of inflatable polar bears in Paris yesterday but here’s a wooden one outside the shops. Or maybe it’s supposed to be three, I dunno. But whatever it is, it’s having a good nibble at the Christmas Tree here, which is of course highly unlikely.

At that point I went into the meeting and we had the performance about which Mr Bates told you just now.

Once it was done, I walked off (the rain had eased somewhat) to LIDL and did some shopping. Supplies are running quite low here with me not having been to the shops neither on Thursday nor Saturday.

Quite an expensive shop it was too, seeing as supplies were quite low. But some of the money was spent on a new pair of tactile gloves which they had on offer and which I need for photography purposes seeing that mine are in the pocket of my jacket that’s hanging up on a hanger in a hotel room in Calgary.

Some more money was spent on a new pack of 4 rechargeable AAA batteries. I have dozens here of course but many are over 10 years old and are starting to become rather flaky. The new ones ( I have three sets now all told) will come with me on my travels and the older ones will be used for powering up the equipment in here where they can be changed over rapidly and easily.

On the way back down the hill I called at La Mie Caline for my dejeunette and then came back up the hill to home.

bad parking rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceNot quite at a gallop because I was loaded up with stuff like carrots and pears and 3kg of apples that were on special offer.

And I do admit to taking a little break on my climb as I stopped, mouth wide open in astonishment, as I watched what can best be described as the worst piece of bad parking that I have ever seen. And, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we’ve seen some pretty bad ones on our travels

Yes, this one beats the lot to date.

rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceHere’s some woman in a car unloading her shopping. There’s an empty car parking place right outside her house, and two other empty places 20 metres higher up the street. So what does our heroine do?

She parks across the road right outside her hose, blocking the pavement off to pedestrians, even though there’s an empty parking place less than 5 metres away from where she’s stopped.

What makes it even worse is that this is a bus route and service buses come up here. But don’t let that trouble madam here. She’ll far rather inconvenience the whole world given half a chance rather than walk 15 feet with a shopping bag.

fishing boat towing pontoon baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe bad weather wasn’t preventing the fishermen from going out about their business.

Here’s one of the fishing boats heading out into the rough seas of the Baie de Mont St Michel. And the seas will be rougher where he’ll be going too, so he’ll have his work cut out with towing a pontoon or lighter out there behind him. I hope that the cable is strong enough.

Outside the building I fell in with Brigitte and we had a very lengthy chat. She was impressed with my Traversée de Paris yesterday (was it only yesterday?) but we had to break off our chat as the rain came hammering down again. But she did say that she will be requiring Terry’s services again in the New Year. She has more work that needs doing.

After lunch, I had some work to do. Jackie is going for her Official Translator’s exam very shortly and needed her trial pieces proof-reading. Of course, if anyone wants any poof-reading, tpying or speling checked, then in the words of the late, great Bob Doney, “I’m your man”.

Once that was out of the way I had other work to do. We’d been told today that the radio programme that we recorded with Heidinnguaq Jensen and her friends was being broadcast on Tuesday evening (that’s a lot of notice, isn’t it?) and we will be fitting in some of the Nive Nielsen stuff too if there’s time.

That meant telling Heidinnguaq of course, and also everyone else who knew her and Nive. And so I had to extract about 400 names and e-mail addresses from a spreadsheet and prepare a text file address list. I know that I should have done this ages ago but you’ve seen how much work I have on hand and that’s not the half of it.

Copy-pasting one by one is clearly impractical and there HAS to be a way of doing it in bulk. It’s one thing that I’ve not done before so it took quite a bit of trial – and more than a little error – to get it to work.

And eventually I was able to make a start sending out the invitations. And as you might expect, the e-mail server crashed in mid-send and so I had to do some of them again. So if anyone had the same e-mail twice then I’m sorry about that but I had to guess where the break-off point was and I’d rather over-estimate than under-estimate.

In mid-afternoon I broke off for my usual perambulation around the promontory only to find that there was no battery in the camera. The warning light had started to flash earlier so I had put it on charge – and then forgotten. Like I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … Two things happen when you get to my age

  • Firstly, you forget absolutely everything
  • Secondly, I can’t remember what the second thing is

But I do remember that the rain started up yet again while I was out so I didn’t hang about for long.

Tea was a burger with pasta and veg and then my evening walk. It was teeming down outside so I wasn’t intending to be out long but by the time I’d turned for home on a dramatically shortened route I was so wet … “nothing new here” – ed … that I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb and went for a longer walk which included a couple of hundred metres of running. Must get back into shape.

trawler entering port de granville harbour manche normandy franceDespite the rain, I stayed out long enough to watch this trawler come into harbour.

The photo came out really nicely given the conditions, except for the lamp-post that somehow managed to fit itsself into the image. It was so dark out there that I hadn’t seen it

A few other things happened today that I ought to mention.

Firstly, there’s a “live broadcast” on Saturday night, the first that the radio station has attempted. Last Monday I mentioned that I was free on that evening but no-one took me up on the offer. Anyway, I mentioned it again and ditto.

So this afternoon I received a circular mail to the effect that “we’re having a meeting on Friday evening to discuss what we’re doing on Saturday”.
I wrote back “I assume that you won’t be needing me to attend seeing as I mentioned twice that I was free but no-one took up the offer of my availability”
Only to receive a hasty reply “of course we need you to help out and we’re looking forward to seeing you …”
But, we shall see.

Secondly, this “interview” that we are going to do with this musician on Wednesday. Apparently everyone can bring his wife, we’ll eat, we’ll sit round a table and talk, we’ll have music …. ”

What the heck is this all about?

  1. 20 questions typed out in French
  2. I ask them in English (not recorded, of course)
  3. The guy replies (in English)
  4. I overdub them in French with a nice British accent
  5. Then someone asks the questions in French, to no-one in particular but we record them
  6. We splice it all together

All done and dusted in half an hour and we all go home. I don’t have many hours left and I have so much to do and I won’t ever get these hours back that are being wasted.

Three times I’ve been dragged out halfway across Normandy to prepare for this blasted interview and nothing has been accomplished! Some people might have nothing better to do but I certainly have!

And that reminds me

That’s the last of my obligations dealt with now with this proof-reading. Tomorrow I can start with my own list of arrears.

  1. finish transcribing the dictaphone notes
  2. finish the blog entry for Saturday 10 days ago
  3. deal with the photos from Sunday last week onwards
  4. do another radio project (now I’m 3 weeks ahead I’m going to stay 3 weeks ahead)
  5. deal with all of the photos from when I was all at sea … “quite” – ed … for four months this year and from my nautical adventures last year too
  6. start to play the guitars again (which I haven’t touched for two weeks
  7. carry on searching for digital files for the vinyl and tapes that I have collected over the last 50 years

And that’s just the urgent stuff. There’s tons more going back to 2007 that needs to be dealt with although when I’m likely ever to get round to dealing with any of that given the rate that I’m currently dealing with things I don’t really have a clue.

So to start with, I’m going to try for an early night. There is nothing arranged for tomorrow so with luck I can sit down and have a really good crack at things here.

“Nothing arranged for tomorrow”. Yes, you just watch some basket come along and spoil that!