Tag Archives: change bedding

Friday 7th April 2023 – A CALAMITY!

Yes, we have had a calamity here today.

Last night after tea I took out some of the hot cross buns from the freezer and left them to thaw out.

This morning when I looked at them, they were all dry and crumbly and there were traces of a green mould. And so they, and all of the others in the freezer have gone into the bin. What a waste and I was so looking forward to eating them too.

That’s really beyond disappointing because the freezer has been jam-packed with stuff, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, to such an extent that I’ve been turning away some really good offers. Had they not been in there, I could have done so much more.

Still, no use crying over spilt milk.

And no need to ask what I was going to do now. The internet is our friend in these circumstances and within about 5 minutes I’d found a recipe for vegan hot cross buns. And, apart from some dried mixed peel, I had all of the ingredients, even some orange concentrate

They even had a dinky little cross on top. I don’t have an icing piping bag but a plastic bag with the corner cut off made an acceptable substitute

They weren’t a particular success because I couldn’t make the dough rise, and while it was proofing it cracked (probably too dry). But toasted with some nice hot butter they tasted just like hot cross buns should, and it’s the taste that matters after all.

But when one has a calamity, the pendulum usually swings the other way at some point, but never as quickly for me as it did this afternoon. And in less than three weeks time I shall be back on the property-owning ladder because I’m signing for my new place on the 26th of April at 09:30 in the forenoon.

So with three months required to give the tenant notice to leave and then some time to install a shower and a decent kitchen, I might even be in there before the end of the summer. And I can’t say that I’ll be sorry.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I rented this apartment when I first came here 6 years ago so that I would have a base to look round and find somewhere in the neighbourhood that I liked. But I love this building, its situation and my neighbours so much that I had no desire to leave, so I stayed on as a tenant until something came available to buy at a price that I could afford

Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that I was bemoaning the fact that I wouldn’t be able to have a lie-in this morning because even though it’s a Bank Holiday, I had the physiotherapist coming round.

But I needn’t have wasted my time complaining because when the alarm went off this morning at 07:30, I was already up and about.

In fact, I’d been awake since not long after 06:00 and I could have left the bed at any moment after that because trying to go back to sleep was a waste of time. But eventually I lifted myself up and out and set about today’s tasks.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages, I went to have a shower and get myself all nicely cleaned up

The physiotherapist had me running through my paces with the stuff that i’d bought last weekend. He thinks that I have bought stuff that is too powerful for me and that’s rather depressing news. Not because he thinks that I’ve wasted my money because he thinks that I can no longer mutt the custard, as Doctor Spooner would have said.

As kenneth Williams once famously said when the starring roles that he used to receive begn to run out “what you’re offering doesn’t stretch me. I’m used to enormous parts”. And that’s the same with me. I should be pushing myself onwards and upwards, not slowly sinking downwards. Neil Young once said “it’s better to burn out than to fade away” and that’s my philosophy too.

Back here after he had gone, that was when I noticed the catastrophe that was the hot cross buns. And so the rest of the morning was spent making half a dozen of those to keep me going over Easter.

In between while the dough was doing its stuff I was changing the bedding so that I’ll have a nice, clean comfortable bed to sleep in tonight, the first time for a while, and also having a very long chat that went on throughout the day on and off with Liz.

This afternoon I finished off the French Revolution stuff and I’m now well advanced on my space exploration theme, although bearing in mind the different time zones it’s likely that I’ll have to settle for the 20th July as being the date recognised as that of the first landing on the moon which won’t come round on a Friday for several years.

There have also been chats with Alison on the internet and Rosemary on the phone and also with a neighbour who invited me round for a coffee on Monday. I have been in demand today.

In between all of this I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. This first bit was another dream where I’d forgotten most of it. There was some kind of celebration to take place for D-Day that involved travelling on an aeroplane. We were going to fly over all these places that figured prominently in the early days of the battle on the anniversary of these events. I boarded the aeroplane but unbeknown to me one of my rabbits had boarded too. I didn’t find out until we were in the air. I had to scavenge round for something to keep them in. When we landed and were at people’s houses I had to find someone who had a cage that I could borrow so that I could put a rabbit in that so it would be much safer to carry. But there was much, much more to it than this but I just can’t remember it.

And then I was in an office. Someone wanted to make his room less affected by direct sunlight. he asked my advice whether he should paint one of his windows over in black. I suggested that he did it white in a nice stripy arrangement. He wondered what I meant by that. I explained that you take a wide brush and just go across from left to right and right to left but only one way. Do all the brushstrokes the same way. He went off so I had a quick look in later on. It looked quite nice what he’d done. Then I had to go to see the boss. I couldn’t think of a good excuse to go to see him. I went in and thought for a minute. I said “I’m thinking of applying for a holiday”. He asked why so I told him that I had a Cortina that I wanted to take out the engine and gearbox to put a different engine and gearbox in. That would involve a little work. It was aon old MkIII Cortina estate that needed much more work than that but that was what I said to him. We had a little chat about it and I left without agreeing anything conclusive. Then I found myself trying to work out someone’s income tax. Some guy’s wife was a teacher somewhere in the Three Bridges Council area. And when I was dictating these notes I realised that i’d been working it out wrongly in my sleep. I was taking away his wife’s income from his instead of adding it on. I can’t understand why I did that.

Tea tonight was a salad and some of those veggie balls from out of the freezer. I was intending to have chips with it but my bag of potatoes is mostly full of potatoes that are too small so I chopped them into small squares to make little baby roast potatoes.

To prepare them, I mixed them with some oil and herbs in a pyrex bowl and then tipped them into that little metal colander that I’d bought the other week. The holes in the colander let the hot air percolate through much better and cooked them to perfection.

It was a really nice tea and I’ll do the same with the potatoes tomorrow with my breaded quorn fillets

So in a moment I’ll be off to bed. It’s early but I’m going shopping tomorrow. In principle I feel as if I ought to be going without my crutches but that’s being rather optimistic. I’ll take one with me, I reckon, to see how I do.

One thing that I want to buy is a soya yoghurt. I found a recipe for making naam bread while I was wandering around and I wonder what that would be like done in the air fryer to eat with my leftover curry.

Another thing that I can but is some more frozen food now that there’s some space in the freezer. What a calamity that was about those hot cross buns, but every cloud has a silver lining, I suppose.

Friday 15th July 2022 – AFTER I’D FINISHED …

fete de la bastille firework display 14th july quatorze juillet feux d'artifice port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… writing up my notes last night I thought that I’d nip out and see if the moon had broken free of the cloud cover that was hanging around.

Instead I ended up being swept along by crowds of thousands of people – and I really do mean “thousands”.

What I’d forgotten is that last thing at night on Bastille Day there’s a huge firework display at the port and it looks as if most of Normandy had come along to stand on the cliffs to watch the spectacle.

And they weren’t disappointed either.

fete de la bastille firework display 14th july quatorze juillet feux d'artifice port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022We were out there for about half an hour while they blasted off a pile of fireworks into the stratosphere.

Considering that it was a free evening’s entertainment, we certainly had our money’s worth and everyone enjoyed it. There was a tumultuous round of applause when it finished, and then I staggered back to my apartment to go to bed.

There were about 60 photos altogether and they are all on line now. You can see them HERE. Remember to click on a thumbnail to see the full-size image.

“Staggered back” is correct too. Yesterday my knee gave way again when I was scrambling over the chest of drawers to close the window in my bedroom. And it seems that I’ve done it a permanent mischief now.

hang glider rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was another “mobile” night last night and so while you admire a few photos of Nazguls flying by overhead, I shall elucidate.

My mother told me to take my younger brothers and sisters to the hospital. We didn’t have much time and it was dark so we set out to jog there. We were up there by Goodall’s Corner in Shavington and had to go down the Newcastle Road. There were all these medical cards and records and a few other bits and pieces so I told my brother to take our two sisters and run off down there towards Newcastle slowly while I picked up a few boxes of stuff that need to be carried and I’d run after them to catch them up. In the distance I could see them but when they got to where the petrol station was they crossed over and went into the petrol station. I had to run in after them to drag them out and explain to them that if I hadn’t seen them out of the corner of my eye cross the road I’d have run right past there with the stuff and we would have been separated for ever. I was quite angry and annoyed about this, not because they had crossed the road but because we could have been separated like that. We carried on and came to a place where we had to climb through a barbed wire fence. I knew of a gap where to go but they somehow found some other gap which wasn’t where we needed to be. They all climbed through there anyway. I suddenly found myself alone at this other gap. Once I’d gone through this other gap we had to negotiate a concentration camp and that was very dangerous because if we looked too healthy or too ill we could be exterminated. Then of course we had to exit on the other side and carry on with our trip to the hospital. This required an awful lot of thought and cunning to do it correctly but there I was on my own. I couldn’t work out where they had gone once they’d gone through this other gap and they’d disappeared.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022I forget how this dream actually started but it turned out that we were in native American country and having to be extremely careful. Somehow we ended up losing our way and being attacked or threatened. We had to work our way around and out of there while avoiding a pitched battle which was not going to be easy but I can’t remember all the rest. There was much more to it than this.

I’d decided spontaneously to go to Canada. I booked myself an air ticket and took my suitcase from under the bed. I didn’t even check the case at all – I just grabbed it and set off for the airport. There was a reasonably small-sized queue – we didn’t have to wait all that long to go through the security. But once we were queueing we gradually ended up at the front then it would flash a gate number. Mine flashed. It was 34D. I had a few carrier bags etc that I stuffed in my suitcase and set out to find it. I had to go up some stairs and saw some guys standing by a turnstile type of thing so I went over to them but someone from behind shouted. I looked behind and saw that there was some kind of alcove to the side where there were some immigration or customs people. They told me that I should have gone there first but I hadn’t seen them. There was nothing to indicate that they were there so how was I supposed to know to go there? I thought that this was good. I’d started to have an argument with people already and I’d hardly even arrived, and I’m arguing with the security or immigration people or whatever they were. It won’t do me any good at all.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And while you admire a few photos of the crowds engaged in the pèche à pied There were a couple of girls getting into trouble due to a violation of the school’s dress code. What happened was that the skirts could be cut short depending on some kind of ratio relating to the girls’ waists but what they had done was having shortened them once they had turned round and shortened them again and that was against the school rules. They were then causing trouble about their dress code and were going to have to face the music.

There was also something about the dream in which i went to Canada. Someone had been round at my house helping me to pack. They had to write a label to go on my luggage giving all kinds of personal details including the value of my house. They put “£30,000 by auction”. I enquired about that and they said that I’d paid that much money for it when I’d bought it. I replied “yes but look at the improvements”. They replied that it’s still quite a damp house and it needs even more doing to it – one wall repairing. I tried to argue that even so the value must be an awful lot more than £30,000 but they still didn’t agree with what I was saying.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022When the alarm went off it took me a while to get my head together but regardless, I was still up and about before the second alarm.

After the medication I spent a pleasant hour or so transcribing the dictaphone notes and then edited all of the photos that I took last night of the fireworks.

When that task was completed I prepared the web page with the photos of last night. This 3-column layout that I designed earlier this year needs some work to improve the design but it seems to work quite well and to do exactly what I want it to do.

It’s the kind of thing that makes me with that everything that I were to do would turn out like that.It took quite a while to do,

When the page was finished I had another hour on the acoustic guitar. And I quite enjoyed that session too. It seems to be all coming together at long last but I wish that I could remember what it is that I’m supposed to be playing without having to refer to the music.

Most people think that it’s an age thing but I’ve been like this practically all my life.

It reminds me of a conversation that I had with someone a while back.
“Two things happen to you when you get to my age. The first thing is that you forget almost everything.”
“What’s the second thing?”
“Actually, I can’t remember”

The rest of the day, such as there was, has been spent finishing off everything relating to the photos from June and I’ve started to update the blog entries from when I was away. “Started” yes, but I’m a long, long way from finishing.

people on the beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was the usual pause for me to go off and see what was happening down on the beach.

Across the car park I went, noticing that the car that was blocking up the two car parking spaces had disappeared. The sea seems to have disappeared too because the tide was well out this afternoon.

And it seems that everyone had come out this afternoon too. There were crowds on the beach enjoying the sunshine down there, even if there was quite a lot of wind blowing about right now. So much so that one young boy was chasing down the path after his hat.

kite surfer rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022What also caught my eye down there too was some kind of kite or sail.

What I did was to take a photo of it so that I could enlarge and enhance it when I returned home so that I could see what it might be.

It’s not just the Nazguls that are out and about this afternoon. We have a kite-surfer down there somehwer ein the sea, regardless of the whitecaps on the waves.

At least, that’s what I reckon, even if I couldn’t quite make out which guy was flying it. At least it isn’t a Nazgul that has fallen to a watery grave thanks to a lucky shot from Legolas.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was also a zodiac out there in the bay.

No trawlers today, or anything else for that matter. Just the zodiac. It was actually moving quite rapidly towards the port so I don’t think that it could have been full of fishermen. They wouldn’t be heading to port when there’s still a couple of hours before the tide comes in.

So fighting my way through all of the crowds, a couple of people who actually said “hello” to me, I wandered off down the path towards the lighthouse at the end of the headland.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Crowds on the car park too with cars parked on the lawn, so I headed off for some peace and quiet.

Down on the bench at the cabanon vauban we actually had someone sitting there today. First time for several days that we’d seen someone there.

And she had plenty to occupy her too. Apart from the zodiac that went spluttering by, we had all of the people out there at the peche à pied whom we saw earlier.

But with no trawlers and no other distractions I headed off to the port to see what was happening there.

la confiance 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Today we have had another change of occupancy at the chantier naval.

Monaco du Nord II is still in there over by the portable boat lift, but she’s now been joined by another trawler, La Confiance II.

Who she might be, I really have no idea because we haven’t seen her before here in Granville. But her registration number suggests that she’s an older boat so I’m surprised that she hasn’t featured in these pages before.

And it seems that I’m not wrong about her age either. According to the trawler database, she was launched in 1980 and is made of wood.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Across the bay, our game of “Musican Ships” is continuing.

Today it’s the turn once more of L’Omerta to be tied up at the Fish Processing Plant and settled down in the silt.

Plenty of activity on the quayside up above here. There are loads of shellfish boxes and ancillary equipment up there as if she has just unloaded.

There were crowds on the car park too and what looked suspiciously like a police car cruising around there too. That reminds me that I must change over the insurance sticker in Caliburn’s windscreen before they come cruising around us.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Gone! And never called me “mother”!

Marité has wandered off today and her berth is now empty. She’s currently at anchor off St. Vaast, just along the coast from Cherbourg.

What else that has also gone is all of the freight that was on the quayside yesterday. According to my maritime radar, Normandy Trader came into port early this morning and loaded up.

Back here I made a coffee and while it was brewing I went and had a shower, a shave and a good clean-up.

When the coffee had been drunk I changed the bedding and then set the washing machine en route. High time that I had some nice clean clothes and clean bedding. I’m letting things slide a little here.

And then I was off to Lidl. I’m running rather low on supplies, especially frozen and fresh vegetables and fruit. The place was packed and the mystery of why stocks had been running low there over the last few weeks was solved. They’ve had a huge change-round in there and everything is in a different place.

That of course is a cunning plan carried out by all large shops. Customers become so used to where all of their regular purchases might be found that they go straight to there and don’t go anywhere else. Shuffling the produce around means that customers have to hunt for their produce, with the shops hoping that they’ll find plenty of other stuff to buy that they haven’t seen before.

Tea tonight was vegan pie with potatoes (now that I have some) and vegetables with gravy. It really was nice.

Tomorrow I’m going to LeClerc for more shopping. Not that I need too much but having broken my floor mop this week, at least I need to replace that. It’s not quite the same as when Nerina went with me to buy a new broom.
“Don’t bother to wrap it” I said to the cashier. “She’ll fly it home” .

Saturday 26th February 2022 – YOU HAVE ALL MISSED …

earth and tyres dumped by farmers at leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… the excitement that took place through the night at quite a few of the supermarkets in Normandy overnight.

It seems that the local farmers had been to pay a visit, and had dropped off loads of earth, old tyres and other assorted stuff all over the entrances to the car parks so that no-one could enter.

The cashier at LeClerc with whom I spoke about the matter couldn’t tell me what was the object of the exercise, but French farmers don’t need an excuse to be militant . They can do it as a matter of course

tractors and lorry removing earth and tyres leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Some of the obstructions had been moved by the time that I arrived, and when I was on the point of leaving they were removing the others.

One of the workers had seen me taking photographs and came over to talk to me. He wanted to make sure that I knew that they had nothing whatever to do with the depositing of the load and that they were private citizens clearing it up.

Of course, I had no idea that they were anything else, but as they went to great pains to point it out, I thought that it was only correct that I emphasise the point.

Another point that I ought to emphasise was that I didn’t have much sleep last night. Not at all.

It was about 11:30 when I went to bed and with the alarm set for 07:30 I was optimistic that I could have something of a reasonable sleep. However I set off on my first nocturnal ramble at 01:24 according to the dictaphone and I didn’t stop after that. I started off in the north of Québec on a big Harley Davidson. It was winter and snowing heavily, and the only way that I could keep warm was to have my hood up on my jacket right over my head with just a small gap for my face. For some unknown reason the hood came down. I was riding along this autoroute and I was freezing – i’d never been so cold. There was snow and ice everywhere. On one occasion I lost sight of myself and looking on further down the road I couldn’t see where I was on this motorbike. Eventually I managed to catch up with myself and I had my hood back on. I arrived at the place where I was going, somewhere round by Québec or somewhere like that

And later we were back in Québec again, in winter again and at school. Again it was one of those things where my hood came down and I started to freeze to death in the snowstorm without putting my hood back up. Eventually, later on I relocated everything and I could put my hood back up. Then I could go to find the Governor and talk to him about some kind fo reciprocal arrangement for me to leave.

Amazingly, I was back a third time in Québec working in a butcher’s or a food-packing plant where we were putting boxes of food away in freezers ready for distribution. For some reason, in order to move fast, I was on a pair of roller skates and I’ve no idea why that was or how likely it would be and I can’t remember anything more about this, although I do remember that I went back into this dream at a later point but while it was pretty much the same dream my way of moving about this warehouse was a considerable amount slower compared to how it was previously when I was on roller skates.

The dream about the woman in the Ukraine dressed up on the second trip was actually after the Ukraine one that where everyone was freezing cold on the second trip. That’s what I dictated anyway, and what it relates to I really don’t know. Should it be maybe something connected to my second trip to Québec and does the woman relate to the part that I forgot?

It makes me wonder what else I might have forgotten or failed to note when I’ve been out and about at night, and whose visits have I omitted to record.

There was a deer that was wild but somehow it had come into a place where there were lots of people. It started jumping up and knocked over a woman in a bright blue dress before stamping off through the town. This was something to do with me being at work. I’d been absent for a considerable period of time. When I came back I plonked myself in a corner. people were making remarks about me being stuck in a corner. I replied that I’d just sat here to keep out of the way. if it’s someone else’s desk they have to tell me and I’ll quite happily go and sit somewhere else. In the end someone said that it was his seat. I was sure that it wasn’t so I had to gather all of my things. With all of the stuff that I have, it takes much longer than for someone else. Eventually I found that I had almost everything in my arms and stuck into bags etc. They found a place for me on a chair with no table sitting by a wall near a radiator. At least there was a bit of a socket there. One of the girls, Anne-Marie or someone, came to talk to me. “No-one likes Morales”, they said. “You should see his car. It’s parked 15 feet in front of a parking space” etc. That’s just the kind of person whom he is.

While we’re on the subject that vampires come up into this (and what this relates to, I really don’t know). Alison and I suggested meeting Jackie at a town that we know that was decaying, crumbling down where some really depressing things look as if they have taken place. There was something else about whales in an aquarium tank that I can’t remember at all

Finally, I was at some kind of meeting last night. There was some kind of talk being given and later on everyone went for lunch. When we came back out I was looking for a seat because someone had taken mine. There were these 4 statues right at the very front of the room. I patted one on the head and it said “hello” and started to talk to me. I realised that it was one of these pre-programmed things and the reply was based on what you said to it. I asked it all kinds of strange questions and was giving me some reasonably coherent answers, so much so that I was surprised. I was having quite a lot of attention from various people, my conversation with this statue. It turned out that the voice inside it was that of a girl and she came from the Soviet Union somewhere. I had quite an interesting chat with this pre-programmed robot statue thing.

So no TOTGA, Castor or Zero yet again, but having an interesting and exciting chat with a statue is something new. It sounds just about how my real life is these days. If I were to have a statue in here, having an interesting chat with it would make quite a change to talking to myself.

So after the medication I had a shower and then headed off to the shops.

All they had at Noz that interested me was some Italian alcohol-free beer so I bought a couple of packs of that and I’ll try one with my pizza tomorrow.

100 percent veggie food with eggs noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022But what was interesting, for quite another reason, was the 100% veggie Schnitzel escalopes.

Having been caught out on a previous occasion by one of the 100% veggie products that they carried, I check the labels these days and sure enough, it contains eggs. So much for the 100% veggie.

But I thought that the “yellows of eggs from free-range hens in powder” was rather extraordinary. How can powered hens, free-range or otherwise, lay eggs?

At LeClerc’s, apart from forgetting the Vitamin C tablets yet again, I didn’t buy anything special. It was just a normal shop this week. Quite a change from last week.

tractor removing earth and tyres leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I was leaving the supermarket, the tractor that was helping to move the rubbish turned it.

At first, I saw the tyres so I thought that it was coming to drop some more rubbish off but then I saw that those tyres were stuck on the prongs

On the way home I was listening to some SIMPLE MINDS. It’s another one of these albums that always touches a nerve with me. There’s a time and a place for music like this in my life and unfortunately, it always comes round on the playlist at the wrong.

“Somewhere there is someone who can see what I can see”. Yes, and for three whole days (and nights) too.

Back here I had a coffee and a slice of my really delicious coffee cake, and then I transcribed the dictaphone notes, which you read earlier.

After lunch there was football on the internet – Y Drenewydd v Connah’s Quay Nomads. The Nomads won 2-0 but I’m not going to comment on the match for fear of being charged with bringing the Welsh Premier League into disrepute.

What I can say is that if Chris Hughes, the manager of Y Drenewydd knew Jim Finks, the manager of the New Orleans Saints back in the late 80s, he would be repeating his comments “We’re not allowed to comment on the lousy officiating”

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022On that note, it’s probably best that I go out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual I wandered off across the carpark to see what was happening down there on the beach. And I don’t know if the young girl down there is the same one who was down there yesterday but the wellingtons certainly looked familiar.

In fact there were plenty of people down there this afternoon. We’re supposed to be having the carnival but that has been cancelled. Nevertheless I imagine that many people had made arrangements to come here and they are here to make the best of it.

cabin cruiser fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And as usual I also had a good look around out at sea while I was here.

The yellow buoy that we saw yesterday was still out there but I was more interested in the cabin cruiser that was right out in the bay.

By the looks of things it’s a fishing party that’s out there – a rod and line fishing party, I mean. There weren’t any trawlers out there this afternoon. When I went past the port earlier this morning they were all moored up at the quayside.

They must be having a day off today.

sea pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one of the things that feature regularly in these pages is the water out in the bay.

We’ve seen a few good examples just yesterday of these variegated layers of water and yesterday we even saw quite a clear demarcation line where two currents had met.

But today, just offshore, we had another really good example of what I mean. There’s no physical demarcation but the colours are quite distinct.

On a completely different subject, there was a girl walking along the cliff edge filming herself and talking on the phone. I was inclined to go over to her to tell her to be careful. After all, I don’t want to be a witness at yet another inquest but she stopped her call as I approached and walked off.

She must have heard all about me from someone else.

yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There was something else that was moving about right out in the bay off the Ile de Chausey so I went to stand on my bunker for a better look.

As I thought, it was a yacht returning to port after, presumably a sail out to the island. Not that I’m surprised because it was a gorgeous day. Quite sunny and just enough wind to move boats around out at sea but not enough to disturb those of us up here on the headland.

The sails were quite distinctive but it isn’t a yacht that I recognise. There were several seagulls keeping her company too so I hope that the crew had their headgear. The seagulls around here have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

couple bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022The weather was so nice that I was expecting to see crods of people out and about around the car park.

The lower path that goes round the base of the cliff was crowded today and we even had a pair of lovers right out on the headland at the bench by the cabanon vauban and it looked as if they were having a good time.

And so was I, actually. It was nice to be out there in the sun without too much wind to blow me around off my perch. And so I headed off around the corner to the other side of the headland.

yachts le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel there were a several other people out there taking advantage of the good weather.

There were several yachts wandering around in the bay but these two particularly caught my eye and I waited until they were lined up perfectly with Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour.

Over there in the background there were several people walking around on the beach at the side of the road that runs between St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville. They were taking advantage of the nice weather too.

tiberiade la roc a la mauve 3 courrier des iles yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Meanwhile, in the chantier naval it looks as if most of the people connected with the activity down there were having the weekend off too.

As far as I could see, there was just one person down there, working on La Roc A La Mauve III. But by looking around on the ground underneath Courrier des Iles you can tell that they’ve been sanding down her paintwork.

Back here I had a few things to do, such as unpack the shopping and put it away. And I actually found one of the burgers that I especially like.

Consequently, for tea I had a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg. Plenty of mustard and garlic mayonnaise.

So having done everything that needs doing, I’m going to change the bedding. I had a good scrub this morning and I’m feeling quite clean (for a change) so I’m going to make the most of it.

Saturday 7th August 2021 – IVE HAD ANOTHER …

… really, really bad day today just like I did a couple of days ago.

Despite me having something of an early night for a change last night, I’ve been like death for most of the day and it’s really beginning to get on my nerves.

The night didn’t go as well as I had hoped either – a terrible pain in my foot meant that I was up at something like 00:30 rubbing some cream into it and that was the last thing that I needed.

Nevertheless I did manage – but only just – to beat the alarm to my feet and then after the meds I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone because there was some stuff on there. We were supposed to be going somewhere today so I got up early and made all the necessary arrangements. The others – there was my brother there and Percy Penguin, one of her friends and a fzw others kept fooling around making no effort whatever to get ready and I was starting to become annoyed. I’d made myself breakfast and by now I was organising dinner – it was 10:30. I had one of these old steak and kidney puddings that you used to have years ago out of a tin. I had one of those on my plate and I’d taken it out of the tin. I hadn’t realised that the others weren’t ready and the pudding was just flopping all over the place making a right mess. I went to put the tin in the kitchen. There was someone in there an I can’t remember who it was. He was asking me about the milk and if my sister had said anything about her headache. I replied “no, she said nothing to me”. All the while there was all of this messing around going on. It was 10:30 and everyone else had been in for breakfast and lunch was starting to be prepared but they were just wasting all amounts of time and we had to be gone by midday and we’ll never be gone at this rate. I was trying to speak to them as well but they were paying no attention whatever.

Later on there were people out near a boating lake in London and had these North American canoes, the type that you kneel in, practising launching them by the four of them running full-tilt into the water, launching the boat and leaping in after it. It was causing all kinds of hilarity amongst the general population watching them but they were getting it down to a fine art and getting off really quickly except that occasionally one of them would forget to leap into the boat or something like that.

Having done that I stripped the bed and now I have nice clean clothes in which to sleep and, having had a good shower and scrub up too, there’s a nice clean me to sleep in them. I put the washing machine on (it was a good fit too) and then Caliburn and I headed for the shops.

LIDL was interesting today, they had more of these flip-top mechanical bottles with drink in them, on special offer, two of them for less than the cost of one empty one at IKEA. i’m going to have to start making drinks again like I said that I would.

Surprisingly, Noz had nothing whatever of any interest and I came away empty-handed so I went to LeClerc where I almost collided with someone coming the wrong way out of the petrol station. I forgot to note the model of my printer so I didn’t buy any ink, and apart from that there wasn’t really anything else of any interest.

back here I put away the frozen food, made myself breakfast and sat down to eat it and drink the hot chocolate.

At some point after that I fell asleep and it was another one of those where I was vaguely awake but totally unable to move or to pull myself around. There was some stuff on the dictaphone too when I looked later. Despite not being up to it, I must have travelled far. I’d been out with a really tiny miniature set of cameras probably no bigger than a couple of grains of gold. The idea was that I was going to leave them dotted around LeClerc so that I could keep my eye on the people who were doing their shopping, see who they were and what they were buying and so on. But while I was doing that one of them fell into a waste paper bin and I thought “it’s not going to be much good in there, is it?”. On my way back I went to go to the toilet and there was a young girl standing outside so I said “hello” to her. I went in and while I was washing my hands she came in behind me and started to ask me question about a game, about the rules, for her family played it in a certain way. I replied “you can play it like that if you like” then a couple of minutes later her little brother came in followed by her mother and father. They were talking about this game and it seemed that the 6 of them, mother, father, 2 kids and another couple would go off down to a caravan every so often. They would stay there for a weekend or something and play this game. She was at the age where she was starting to question all of the rules. Father said “anything to keep the kids quiet” so I made some kind of gesture to say “why don’t you just palm them off on the other couple and clear off?” to which he burst out laughing. This girl knew me by the way from some reason or other because she kept on referring to me by my given name rather than “mister” or “sir” or something. She must have known who I was. And I wish that I knew who she and her family were.

It took me an age to pull myself together and come back into the land of the living and as a result I ended up with a rather late lunch. Back in here again afterwards, I was in almost as bad a way as I had been before lunch. I’m not getting any better.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually I plucked up the courage to go outside and see what was happening down on the beach.

Rather more beach than yesterday of course, but not as many people and as before, no-one brave enough to dip their toe in the briny.

And with a storm raging like this right now, it’s hardly a surprise. Not that I’ve been here for too many Augusts, but I can safely say that this is the worst summer that I can ever remember experiencing.

storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere’s a better look at the Baie de Granville and the coast down past Donville les Bains and the old hotel where there are those gruesome flats.

The whitecaps on the waves tell you everything that you need to know. There’s a really bitter wind that’s blowing out there – not exactly in the epic proportions of the other day but pretty near enough.

And it was freezing too. It was cold enough when I went out to the shops this morning but as the day has drawn on, it’s just getting worse and I can’t get myself warm at all.

Some of it is down to my health issues of course, but some of it is also down to the temperature.

yacht storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, I had one of my eyes roving around out to sea while the other one was looking down the coast.

And I had to look long and hard before I was able to pick up some kind of water craft – the sail of a yacht out near the Ile de Chausey.

And that’s your lot today. I couldn’t see anything else in the water. But you can see the rain squall out there with the rain bouncing off the surface of the sea, with the yacht swathed in the thick of it. I don’t want to hang around and wait for that to arrive. I need to be pushing on.

storm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not the only rainstorm that’s threatening the Normandy coast either. There’s a nice one brewing over there of the coast of Brittany.

Having decided to head away from the one coming my way from the Ile de Chausey I went down the path and across the car park at the end of the headland where I could see the Brittany coast across the Baie de Mont St Michel.

This one will be in her ein an hour or so so there’s time to take a photo. But not of any boats or ships. There’s nothign whatever doing out on the water except that yacht.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not the day to be going over to the Ile de Chausey unless you absolutely have to.

And so moored at the ferry terminal this afternoon is Belle France. She’s not even proposing to undertake a trip around the bay this afternoon. And if you look at all of the walkways over there and around the harbour, there isn’t a soul out there anywhere.

There were a few people around where I was but they weren’t going anywhere – just loitering around waiting for the weather to make up its mind.

baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou can’t actually see the rainstorms from this side of the headland where I am now, but instead we can see the area where the sailing schools assemble.

And, of course, there isn’t a boat out there this afternoon. Despite the shelter afforded by the headland, you cans ee the whitecaps on the waves. It’s pretty rough out there and I don’t suppose that they wan’t to give any of their pupils an impromptu ducking.

While I was at it, I had another look into the chantier naval to see what was happening, in view of the rather rapid turn-round just recently, but everything remained the same as it was yesterday afternoon.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I headed back towards my apartment, but not before I’d stuck my head into the port to see who was about in there.

The two Channel Island ferries Victor Hugo i, the foreground and Granville behind her are still there. Apart from two or three days last summer, they haven’t been out of port at all since March last year other than to go for their annual service and when the harbour was drained.

The ferry service from here to Jersey has been runiing for almost a couple of centuries and I can see it coming to a shuddering halt, not that it isn’t halted already, if nothing is done to reinstate the service pretty soon.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else in port this afternoon is Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey.

She’s moved from the harbour wall by the ferry terminal where she’s been moored for the last couple of days. That tells me that she doesn’t have anything to do for the next while so it’s unlikely that there are any holidaymakers who will need their luggage conveying over to the island.

Back here, I vegetated some more before going for tea. I’m clearly not well right now. Even tea didn’t cheer me up. A baked potato wot veg and a breadcrumbed vegan burger, followed by a baked apple in lieu of anything else.

Now that that’s done, I ‘m going to go to bed – curled up in my nice clean bedding. I don’t feel like doing anything else right now and even if I did, I couldn’t keep my eyes open to do it and I’d be too cold anyway.

There’s a lot of baking tomorrow so an early night and a good sleep will do me good. So who’s going to party under my bedroom window tonight?.

Saturday 15th May 2021 – WE’VE HAD A

unidentified aeroplane place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… one of these aerial days today – a day when just about everything in the air flew past me today.

It wasn’t possible for me to count all the ones that went past today because I ran out of fingers. Several of them flew past out of range so I couldn’t photograph them but I did photograph those that I could, like this one here.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to identify it because I couldn’t see its serial number anywhere and it’s not a model that I recognise anywhere. It looks like a pretty lightweight machine so it’s quite possibly one of these kit-built aircraft that care classed as microlights.

unidentified aeroplane place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is another one that I didn’t recoognise, but that’s for a completely different reason.

As it flew past overhead, it didn’t present to me a surface that carried the registration number. That will be underneath the port wing of course and it wasn’t going that way round. But whatever it is, it’s not one of the aircraft that regularly flies out of the airport here that we see quite regularly.

There was nothing shown on the flight radar for these aircraft of course. It’s unlikely that they file flight plans and they probably don’t fly high enough to be picked up on the radar anywhere.

powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just aeroplanes that went flying past overhead either.

As I walked out of the building here to go for my afternoon walk I was overflown by one of these powered hang glider things. That wasn’t shown on my radar set either and that’s no surprise. It’s the kind of thing that struggles to lift itself over my building, especially as it’s carrying two people therein.

As this went past overhead I was thinking that all I needed now was to see Godzilla going past and then I’d have the full set. Either that or the Loch Ness Monster. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many aircraft on one particular day.

This morning I hauled myself out of bed fairly early, just after the first alarm, despite my rather late night.

And after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was really surprised to find that I’d been anywhere because it had been a bad night with several raging attacks of cramp that didn’t ease off even when I went for a walk around.

This was the worst series of attacks that I’d had and they were horrible. Painful and horrible.

aeroplane 55-OJ place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut returning to our moutons as they say around here, while you admire aeroplane 55-OJ, I was somewhere on the outskirts of London last night, living by the side of this big main road that was a 2×2 lane with the carriageway nearest me higher than the other. Crossing over there was quite difficult because it was so busy. One night I’d finished my tea and I had the remains on the plate so I thought that I would take then to the dustbin. I had to walk along the pavement, across the road on a zebra crossing, down a set of steps and across the other road. Luckily there was no traffic and I reached the dustbins to put my stuff away. I’d been counting my steps – so many steps across the road, so many steps across the central reservation and so on. There was a lot of traffic waiting at a junction on the other side of the by-pass and I had to walk my way round. I thought that I recognised one of them. It turned out to be a black boy from the City of London on a bicycle who had been wanted by the police for a murder but released. At that moment a police car pulled up and someone started to talk to the policeman saying something like “it’s happened again but I definitely saw something white which was either something white once 100 times or something white twice 50 times”. I immediately thought of this boy. What had he been up to?

After that I went for a good hot shower which made me feel so much better, and then I stripped the bed and changed the bedding, the first time since I can’t remember when. The bedding, my fleece jacket and a few other bits and pieces went into the washing machine and I set it off on its cycle again.

Meanwhile Caliburn and I went to the shops. At NOZ I found a guide book on Iceland, which will come in handy when I write up my notes and if I ever return to the island. There were also some frozen vegan veggie balls, so I bought three packets of those.

LeClerc’s was an expensive shop this morning, even if I did forget the coffee. They had vegan burgers on special offer, and also some special vegan burgers made of sweet potatoes, a new variety with an introductory offer and I wouldn’t want to miss those. I’m building up rather a large supply of burgers now, more than I can probably tackle so I need to start to make my way into that supply some time soon.

Back here I put the veggie balls in the freezer along with the falafel, the other vegan veggie balls, the vegan sausage rolls and whatever else I have picked up in NOZ over the last while. The freezer is now bursting at the seams.

Having done that I made myself some hot chocolate. And despite now having some more cocoa powder I made it with real chocolate. I even bought a pack of 5 slabs of pure chocolate so that I can do this again for the next while.

And then back in here I sat down and promptly crashed out.

The football had already started when I awoke so I watched the rest of the game. TNS v Bala Town and even though TNS went down to 10 me, with a defender rather harshly sent off, they were always too good for Bala Town.

They won rather comfortably 2-0 but it didn’t do them very much good because Connah’s Quay Nomads beat Penybont and that meant that the Nomads were crowned champions for this season. The 4-1 victory that the Nomads had over TNS a couple of weeks ago proved to be so decisive.

Despite their championship win, the Nomads are rather short on consistency and rather short of strength in depth. If they intend to make progress in European competition and retain their championship, they need to recruit half a dozen good players this close season and move on a few of the fringe players who haven’t contributed enough to the team whenever they have come on to play.

It’s the same with Bala Town. They have a good, solid side but apart from Chris Venables and Henry Jones, they don’t have any players capable of pushing the club up to the next level. And the rest of the League are just also-rans with just the odd star dotted about here and there.

But one thing is quite interesting, and it just goes to show how much the Welsh Premier League has progressed over the last few years is that when an ex-Football League came to play with a Welsh Premier League club it made headline news that reverberated around the pyramid for months.

These days there are ex-Football League players in every club, several players who play International football for their country and a couple of players who were in Wales’ successful Euro 2016 squad. And things can only get better when we see the money that these clubs earn by being successful in Europe.

All of that took me up to the time to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst stop was to go down to the end of the car park and look over the wall down onto the beach to see what was going on down there this afternoon. So dodging the powered hang-glider and other aircraft, I headed in that direction.

There were crowds of people down there this afternoon, which was only to be expected seeing as the holiday season is well under way. The town was heaving with people this morning as I drove out to the supermarket so it was no surprise to see the beach so packed.

We’re at the period of lowest tide too so I imagine that many of them down there are scavenging for seafood. And I hope that they will share their catch with their friends because you mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish.

aeroplane 35-MA place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier I posted a photo of an unidentified aeroplane that flew overhead while I was walking across the car park.

As I walked back, I was overflown again by an aeroplane that was pretty much identical to one of the unidentified ones. And this time I could see the registration quite clearly on the port wing.

Not that it did me any good because the number on the wing is 35-MA and that is not a number that I can find in the series of registration numbers that I have. And so I’m not able to tell you anything about it, unfortunately. There’s certainly no flight plan or trace of it on the flight radar.

citroen sm maserati place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I didn’t make it off the car park and off down the path because I was detained by this absolutely gorgeous machine parked here.

It’s been a while since we’ve featured an old car on these pages and to break our barren spell with a vehicle as rare or extraordinary as this is quite exceptional. In case you don’t know what it it, it’s basically a Citroen DS or ID, with the model designation “SM”.

The “S” of course stands for “Sport” but the “M” stands for “Maserati” because the earlier models of the series were powered by the same engine that was in the Maserati Merak and the later ones were powered by the engine out of the Maserati Biturbo.

citroen sm maserati place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe model was made between 1970 and 1975, but only about 13,000 models were made.

In 1974 there were just 294 examples sold and in 1975 a mere 115 so with the rationalisation of the French motor industry in the mid-70s, the poor sales resulted in the model being discontinued. What did for the model was the fact that the tax band in which the vehicle fell was so high that few people could afford to run them.

Nevertheless, if I had to choose a French vehicle of this era to keep as my own, there wouldn’t be any question about it. I would have one of these in a heartbeat. One of these would rival the Maserati Quattroporte in my list of top-10 vehicles.

citroen u23 place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was something else of interest parked up here at the end of the car park.

We’ve seen this vehicle before a few months ago. It’s a Citroen U23 lorry, a type of lorry that was launched in 1936 and was seen everywhere all over France. There are even A FEW EARLY ONES KNOCKING ABOUT ON THE ROADS today. They were also very popular with the French Army in World War II and quite a few were incorporated into the German army after the fall of France.

The earlier models looked very much like a Citroen Traction Avant but the bodywork evolved over the next 30 or so years before the model was abandoned in 1964. This is one of the last redesign of the model, undertaken in the late 1950s.

On that note I finally set off along the path above the cliffs, amongst the madding crowds wearing facemasks to a greater or lesser extent. There was nothing out to sea but as I approached the lighthouse a storm rolled in quite quickly and it began to rain. And so I didn’t wish to hang around for very long outside.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other side of the headland in the rain I looked down on the chantier navale from the viewpoint overlooking the port.

It looks quite strange right now with nothing in there up on blocks down there. It’s not very often that we can see the place looking quite like this without any boats of any description in there. It’s restricted by the fact that the portable boat lift only has a rating of about 95 tonnes, and so that rules out some of the boats that are based in the harbour.

There’s a dry dock here, the Cale de Radoub, in which larger boats could be placed and where they could be repaired but even though that was declared an Ancient Monument in 2008, it’s been out of use since 1978 and will cost several millions to put into working order so that it could be used again.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the boats that requites an annual inspection is Marité, the old Newfoundland fishing boat that’s based here and which takes passengers out every now and again.

She had to sail to Lorient for her annual overhaul a few days ago as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. She must have come back on the tide last night. I was lucky enough to catch her coming home last year but I missed her this year.

Back here I made myself a mug of hot coffee and sat down to make a start on doing some work. But instead, I crashed out yet again. This is becoming far too much of a habit these days and I’m becoming rather fed up of all of this. I could understand it if I’d done any heavy exercise but even a walk around the block these days is finishing me off.

After I came round and recovered my equilibrium, I spent an hour or so playing the bass. I have to learn the songs on this song list and there’s no time like the present. I ned to exert myself one way or another.

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and vegetables followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce, which is just as delicious as it was when I made it. And chatting to a few people on the internet later, I posted them my recipe so that they can make it.

Now I’m off to bed, a lot later than usual but it doesn’t matter all that much because I’m having a lie-in tomorrow. And as long as it’s not 13:30 like it was last Saturday, I won’t mind too much.

Saturday 18th April 2020 – SOME PEOPLE ARE …

… becoming very touchy as time goes on.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that quite often I’m posting photos here of interesting food articles and the like that have caught my interest when I’ve been out at the shops.

Today though, I was just taking a photo of something in leClerc when a couple of security men appeared, gave me a grilling and “asked” me to delete it. It seems that they are becoming rather nervous about what they have in stock and, presumably, their prices too – because, as I mentioned last week, they seem to be slowly going up.

And the fact that I was asked to either delete the photo or to go and do my shopping elsewhere tells everyone more than any photo ever could about what is happening in LeClerc right now

What else is definitely happening right now is that I didn’t hear the second alarm at all. That’s a surprise because it’s Billy Cotton going “Wakey WaaaaaaaaaaKEY” followed by the theme music to the Billy Cotton Band Show, and how anyone can sleep through that I really don’t know.

But I did

Consequently it was something silly like 06:30 when I awoke.

Nothing on the dictaphone so, even though it might have been a late-ish night, it was a complete one with no interruptions. So instead, I made an early start on the digital file stuff.

And today, I ran aground. I’ve reached the end of the first run-through of stuff that I can digitalise easily, and I shall be starting on part 2

That’s the compilation albums. There are quite a few of those that I have, for one reason or other, and I shall have to hunt them down track by track.

But some of the stuff is pretty obscure, like a demo single by Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley long before 10CC ever became thought of, and another by Gordon Jackson, formerly in a group called “Deep Feeling” with half of “Traffic”. I wouldn’t have the first clue even where to begin searching for tracks like that.

But talking of 10CC – where are my 10CC albums? 3 of them, there should be, the early pre-commercialisation stuff? And “Angel’s Egg” by Gong, and “Caravanserai” by Santana? I’ve not found those yet and I’ve been through everything several times. I’m beginning to notice more and more stuff missing, the more that I think about it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Having done one or two albums I went for a shower and a weigh-in. And that weight I put on the other day – it’s gone again. Yes, I think that my bathroom scales are about as reliable as the blood machine at Castle Anthrax.

But no matter what I do, I can’t seem to drop below the 80kg barrier. Well, I did, just once, and it didn’t stick. I haven’t exercised like this for 20 years.

After the shower I set the washing machine on the go. I’ve changed the bedding, for the first time since I can’t remember when. I’ve been letting things slide just recently and I need to get myself back on track.

At LeClerc I spent more than usual – but a good proportion of that was on coffee. They had some decent stuff on special offer – not as good an offer as the last tme that I bought some and I wish that I’d bought more of that now, but enough to tempt me to have some luxury in the near future and I’m all in favour of that.

pointe du roc old medieval walled town from rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back home, I saw the most amazing view.

With the market being closed, I’ve been coming back through the town instead of along the coast as I would normally do and as I came over the brown of the hill by the roundabout at the Avenue Marechal LeClerc I could see the Medieval Walled Town in the distance, all swathed in mist.

Consequently I did a U-turn around the roundabout by the station, drove back up the hill, another U-turn at the roundabout at the top, and pulled up at the side of the road to take a photo.

close-up pointe du roc old medieval walled town from rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallIf you see the church right in the centre, you’ll see behind it the roof of my apartment building.

To the left of that is the building opposite mine. That’s the College Malraux, the local High School (and seeing as it’s up there on top of the Pointe du Roc, “High” Is probably right). And to the left of that is another old stone building that has also been converted into apartments like this one.

In case you are wondering, this complex is an old stone military barracks, lately for the 2nd and 202nd Regiments of Line, with a parade ground in front which is now a car park, part of which is fenced off for private use by the residents of these apartments.

The old sports field behind the College, with athletics track and all of that, is now the College’s playing field which we’ve seen a few times in various photos in the past.

Back here I put my frozen food away, made myself a coffee, sorted out another digitalised file and then went for lunch.

After lunch I started on the third laptop – the 8GB one with the failed drive that I can restart using an old trick that the Gypsies taught me (T223 was an amazing course!) and moved the contents of that hard drive over onto the new external drive that I have bought to use as a back-up. And during the course of the day I’ve started on the external portable drives.

Memory sticks and memory cards will be next, and then the desk-top external drives, followed finally by the two desktop computers. I’ll sort this all out yet! Then I can start to lay up some of the old equipment. I can remember when I thought that a 250GB external hard drive for a back-up would last me a lifetime.

While I was drifting about on the internet I came across yet another two albums that seem to have gone missing from my collection too so I attacked those too and digitalised them.

But, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out yet again.

On the positive side though, I had a really good and lengthy time on the guitars tonight all told and I’m at the stage now where I’m really enjoying playing a 6-string guitar. That’s progress, isn’t it?

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and vegetables followed by the last of the apple pie and some coconut soya stuff. Tomorrow i’m going to make an apple crumble, I reckon.

Monday though, I’ll need to make some more apple purée, and bearing in mind my success with the tinned apricots a while ago, I bought a cheap tin of peaches and I’ll see what that does.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the washing up and so on, it was the time to go walkies outside.

Or, rather, runnies, because I’m running quite a lot just recently. I was hoping for a really nice clear, sunny evening tonight but I was out of luck.

While the air was quite clear and there was a really good view out for miles, there was plenty of cloud in the sky and for that reason it was difficult, if not impossible to see the sunset.

objects in the english channel st malo brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallTThe view out to sea was really good, as I said earlier so I had a scan along the Brittany coast to see what was going on.

From my vantage point high up, there was something that looked as if it might have been a ship leaving St Malo, 50kms away.

Not being too certain, I took a photo of it with the aim of blowing it up (the photo, that is, not the ship). My first thought was that it might have been Pont Aven, the big Brittany Ferries ship, but the superstructure didn’t look quite right to me.

objects in the english channel st malo brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallWhat I did was to go to a different viewpoint and take a photo on a different bearing to see if that was any clearer, but if anything it confused the situation even more.

And so the jury is still out on this. Even enlarging the photos and enhancing them couldn’t give me any definite hint of whether it’s a ship or a large island. I’ll have to go again and see if whatever I saw is still there another time.

If it’s no longer there, it must be a ship, not an island of course.

sunset ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallBut having said that, while you lot admire the beautiful red sky tonight over the ile de Chausey, I was doing some research.

And what I found was that there was a “Condor” freight ferry, the Commodore Goodwill in port at St Malo at 10:24 this morning. And 12 hours later, i.e. just now, when it sent out an AIS signal (I have an AIS detector and antenna in my apartment as regular readers of this rubbish will recall) she was somewhere to the north of Jersey, east of Guernsey and west of the Cotentin.

And her silhouette is not unlike that of whatever it is in the first photo.

But I dunno.

However, according to A PRESS RELEASE FROM BRITTANY FERRIES, Commodore Goodwill was taken out of service in Winter 2015 to be fitted with scrubbers.

That’s a ferry on which I’ll be sailing once normal service is resumed. Absolutely!

pointe de carolles plage baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallCrowds of people out here tonight. I think that this quarantine thing has had it.

For the first time since all of this started, there was a road block on the way into town where the police were checking motorists and as I drove back through the town on my way back from the shops, a foot patrol was checking papers of people at the bus stop.

But they should have been out here with me tonight because there were people everywhere, especially on the footpaths that are officially closed to the public.

carolles plage cabanon vauban baie se mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the photos that I took was of the head of the baie de Mont St Michel and you can see that above.

But with nothing special to do, I had a play with it and cropped bits out to see what I could see, close-up. This is Carolles-Plage, about 20kms away, with the white beach huts and the old hotel that’s now converted into apartments where I saw a miserable-looking apartment for sale that had once been a shop.

But never mind the apartment, what wouldn’t I give for a room in that house there perched on the side of the Pointe de Carolles? That would do me quite nicely

cabanon vauban pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallHere’s another bit cropped off the photo above.

It’s not possible to see the Abbey of Mont St Michel and its island from here because the Pointe de Carolles is in the way, but we can see the hotels and restaurants and so on situated on the mainland. They are the white buildings at the head of the bay about 30 miles away.

And perched on the end of the Pointe de Carolles is the Cabanon Vauban, the old Customs observation post that we visited two years ago.

sunset english channel baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter that I carried on with my runs and stopped for a breather on the walls.

By now the sun was sinking rapidly and while the Ile de Chausey was obscured by clouds, there was enough of a gap in them to let some red glow seep though and reflect off the water.

While I was here, I was entertained by part of the choir from the local church who were przctising outdoors just here. They clearly believed more in the power of worship than they did in the power of Social Distancing, that’s for sure. I left them to it and ran home.

Tonight has been quite relaxing and much of it was spent playing the 6-string guitar. I’m really getting into that right now.

But I have new bedding tonight so I’ll be getting into that in a minute. Tomorrow is Sunday, no alarm so I can have a lie-in. A day of rest tomorrow and then back to work on Monday.

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.

Saturday 8th June 2019 – I’VE BEEN SHOPPING …

.. today.

But the shopping expedition started before I went out, actually.

Liz turned up as planned, but she had stopped off at the chemist on the way here and bought some arnika tablets and some calendula oil.

The arnika is for easing the pain and bruising, and the calendula oil is a natural anti-inflammatory preparation for rubbing on the knee. and seeing as nothing else seems to be working right now, it’s worth a chance.

Last night was, for a change, an excellent sleep. I remember nothing whatever until the alarm went off, and even though it’s not a Sunday, I lay in bed until about 08:25.

After a coffee Liz and I went to the shops, fighting our way through the grockles.

Nowhere came up with anything special, although we had a nice lunch in LeClerc. I also helped Liz check her tyres – there was a lack of pressure in the rear left-hand tyre.

Back here, I crashed out not once but twice, and then hung out the washing that I had done while we were at the shops and changed all of the bedding.

For a change I didn’t feel much like tea but there were a few baked beans left so I had them with a couple of small potatoes.

An early night now, I reckon. And Sunday is a lie-in. So I’ll bathe my leg in calendula oil and hope that it produces some good results.

Liz is impressed by how much easier I am moving compared to last week, and for that I thank the salt baths. Let’s hope that the calendula can add to that.

Thursday 11th April 2019 – IT’S BEEN ANOTHER …

… day when I haven’t been all that productive.

It didn’t help by not being out of bed until 07:30. I really need to get a grip these days before I miss a train or something.

Plenty of time during the night to go on a little voyage though. I was with Alvin last night and we were going through a pile of LPs that he had left. He wanted some of them copied, which meant playing and recording on blank records. I had a look through some of the stuff but there wasn’t anything there of any interest or importance as far as I was concerned, but he insisted on having it done. He told me that when it had been done the original records had to be taken to a certain place where I would get some money for it but the duplicates would be retained here. I shouldn’t take those as they would hand them back and cut down on his money. I said fair enough but it was a strange way to go about it. I couldn’t get the thing organised properly and made loads of mistakes trying to copy these albums but I carried on. While this was doing he was doing some calculations so I went to see what he was doing – “working 11 hours at $8:10 per hour”. I asked what it was and he replied that he was trying to work out if he could afford to be a policeman in Los Angeles. I said “not at $8:10 per hour! No-one could work for that”. He told me about all of the advantages he would receive and there was a fund to help out people who moved from a high-paid job to a low-paid job to make sure that their mortgages were paid. It all sounded quite precarious to me. But somewhere along the line, up in Neston I had an old house, on the roadside with newer houses build behind it. I was trying to find out how old it was but I wasn’t being very serious with my enquiries but I don’t remember very much about this.

After breakfast I had a shower and prettied myself up, and then set the washing machine off on a cycle. One of the things that I did was to put new bedding on the bed and wash the previous bedding. The stuff that was on it was on the verge of walking into the washing machine all on its own.

boat from chantier navale leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd then I headed off into town for the shopping.

And I was surprised to see, amongst the boats that were waiting to leave the harbour when the gates open, this particular boat.

I’m almost certain that it’s the boat that was up on blocks in the chantier navale for a couple of weeks being resprayed and painted. She looks as if she’s off on her travels now.

repointing medieval wall granville manche normandy franceAnd despite having all of this massive array of scaffolding erected on the wall higher up, they are still working away at the base of the walls moving away all of the loose rock.

The machine that they are using is quite impressive. It’s a little mini-digger with a hydraulic breaker on the jib of it.

It’s breaking off all of the loose rock which is then being shovelled up into a skip which you can see in the foreground.

la granvillaise normandy trader thora granville manche normandy franceIt’s quite busy down in the harbour this morning too.

We have La Granvillaise moored up at the quay where Marité usually hangs out, and Thora is still there too, but she’s moved berth over to where the gravel boats tie up.

That’s because Normandy Trader has come into port, presumably on the early morning tide. They are already loading her up too, so clearly they don’t intend to hang about.

old man sharpening knives rue couraye granville manche normandy franceOn the way up the hill in the rue Couraye I noticed a really old man with a very interesting machine.

In there is a grinding wheel worked by a foot treadle rather like an old-fashioned sewing machine in the pre-electric days, and he seems to be sharpening knives with it.

It’s really nice to see a good old-fashioned artisan peddling … “groan” – ed … his craft on the streets even today. There ought to be more of it, I reckon.

gates open fishing boat leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy franceLIDL didn’t come up with much so I headed off for home, picking up a baguette on the way.

The gates of the harbour were now open and boats were leaving the port, including this fishing boat. Quite a few had already left, including Thora and Normandy Trader.

While Thora was in and out in 24 hours, the latter had an even quicker turn-round. I was right about her not intending to hang about in the harbour. They must be really busy just now.

It makes me wonder when I was saying last year that I hadn’t seen them for quite a while. I just reckon that their turn-round must have been so quick that I must have missed it.

pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy franceMeanwhile, elsewhere in the harbour, the men were out there again on their pontoon.

It’s quite a mystery to me what they are doing out there. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that about 18 months ago they drained the harbour completely and dredged it out. So there can’t be much in there that needs checking.

I shall have to make enquiries at the port office next time I’m down there. Maybe they will tell me.

Back here I had a drink and a sit down, and then hung out the washing to dry. Once that was done I made a start on the dictaphone notes, but had to knock off for lunch.

joly france ferry ile de chausey baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceEven though it was rather windy out there, it was such a beautiful warm afternoon. And so i took my butties outside and sat on my wall overlooking the harbour.

And I was in luck this afternoon too. One of the ferry boats that does the run to the Ile de Chausey was coming into harbour. She’d obviously been on a little outing earlier this morning as there was quite a crowd of people.

She pulled up at her mooring at the ferry terminal and then unloaded all of her passengers.

joly france ferry ile de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd then much to my surprise, she collected up another load of passengers, and then headed off out again into the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And with her having her back turned towards me, I could see that she’s the Joly France. Her sister is tied up in the harbour.

Of course, it shouldn’t really be any surprise that she’s busy. It’s school holidays in Granville of course and all of the kids are at a loose end and will be for next week too.

And so we can can expect to see much more of the Ile de Chausey ferries out and about then while the kids are off school.

lys noir baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThe Ile de Chausey ferries aren’t the only things out there right now.

There’s an old sailing ship or, rather, a large yacht out there too. From what I could see of her, I think that she’s the Lys Noir.

We haven’t seen all that much of her just recently, so it’s nice to see her back. In fact, I’m wondering whether she might have been the sailing boat out there the other day that I thought was the Charles-Marie

Butties having been eaten, I came back and had another marathon session on the dictaphone notes.

Now I’m back into my notes for my trip around Labrador in 2017 which is good news. That’s good news because when that’s finished I can tie up the photos to the text and make a start on those web pages too.

st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceLater on, I went out for my afternoon walk as usual. Today, it was around the Pointe-du Roc.

It was such a beautiful day and the haze was farther out than it has been just recently, so i could tke a really good photograph of the Baie de Mont St Michel and St Pair sur Mer just across on the other side.

And I was really impressed today with the colour of the sea today. Fr the last few weeks it’s been a murky grey colour, but today we have a nice proper blue sea.

flags european union france normandy granville manche normandy franceAnd with it being rather windy out there today, I could see the flag that they were putting up yesterday.

It’s actually the flag of Granville and that’s new to me because I didn’t realise that Granville actually had its own flag.

The red one with the two golden lions on it is the flag of the Duchy of Normandy, and I’m sure that you don’t need me to explain the other two.

On that note, I came back for a hot chocolate and, shame as it is to say it, a little … errr … relax on the office chair.

There was still enough time to do something else before tea, so seeing as I wasn’t in a particularly enthusiastic mood, I made a start on the searchable text database for the photos for June 2018.

For tea, I founf a lentil and mushroom curry in the freezer. It was one that I had made on 7th November … errr … 2017 and it tasted just as delicious as it did back then.

It seems that I’m getting right down to the bottom of the pile of curries now. I’m not sure how many ancient ones there might be still in there, but there can’t be many.

In a short while I’ll have to make a start on making some more.

fishing boats waiting to enter port de granville harbour manche normandy francelater on I went for my evening walk around the city walls.

There were still a few people out there enjoying the evening sunshine, and also a dozen or so fishing boats loitering around just outside the harbour.

It must be that the tide isn’t in enough for them to reach the Fish Processing Plant and tie up to unload. But I don’t imagine that they will have long to wait.

And so I carried on and came home.

Tonight I’m hoping for another early night and a good sleep. Tomorrow I’m planning on having something of a tidy-up in the kitchen and living room.

Things are getting a little untidy in there so I need to apply myself. After all, I’m off on my travels again early on Sunday.

scaffolding medieval wall granville manche normandy france
scaffolding medieval wall granville manche normandy france

boats ready to leave port de granville harbour manche normandy france
“boats ready to leave port de granville harbour manche normandy france

joly france ferry ile de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy france
joly france ferry ile de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy france

lys noir baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
lys noir baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

Tuesday 11th December – I HAVE BEEN SUMMONED TO APPEAR …

… at 10:00 in the forenoon – at the local Tax Office.

A few weeks ago I had to apply for a certificate of non-taxation from them, and so I went to pick up some forms to fill in and send off. But I didn’t have a clue for what I was supposed to be asking so I filled in the form as best I could and sent it off with an accompanying letter.

So the long and short of it is that they don’t understand either and trying to explain on the telephone was pretty hopeless. And so I need to head that was tomorrow for a personal chat.

It was another night where I vaguely remembered the alarm going off and not doing too much about it. 07:45 it was when I finally arose.

Plenty of time to go off on a ramble during the night. In an aeroplane with a pile of soldiers and we all had to parachute out – and could you really imagine me doing that? We landed in Paris and tried to assimilate ourselves into the population but that didn’t work and we ended up being chased by the German police. It came to a situation where in the end we had to choose the slowest members of our party to stop and fight a rearguard action to hold up the pursuers, so that the quickest could get right away. Rather a cruel decision, but a necessary one – to sacrifice some so that the rest could get away.

After breakfast I had a shower and, just by way of a change, changed the bedding. I haven’t done that for a few weeks so it’s high time – “high” being the appropriate word.

Most of the day has been spend moving files around again – and disposing of another mound of duplicates. There are tons of stuff that are not needed or duplicated.

I hope that when I finally receive my new computer that I can keep it tidy and in order for a change. I thought that back in those days I was really good at keeping it properly filed, but it’s nothing like how I would like it to be and how the more modern computers are organised. I don’t know what I must have been thinking back in those days.

We had a little relax, and our two walks as well. On the way out this evening, I noticed no fewer than eight (and there may well have been even more) fishing boats in line-astern heading into the bay from the English Channel.

night thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd round the corner and in the port, I noticed that our old friend Thora was tying up at the quayside too.

She must have sneaked in as soon as the harbour gates opened a little earlier.

And she was tied up at a different place on the quayside too, so I don’t know what that was all about.

Tea was a pie with veg as I said. And while I had the oven on, I made another rice pudding. And that was delicious too.

And while I was waiting for tea to cook, I mixed some more muesli for breakfast tomorrow seeing as I’ve run out.

So tomorrow morning I need to be up early to find some papers so an early night is called for.

So sweet dreams.
night thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france
night thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Friday 10th February 2017 – I CAME BACK TO BELGIUM …

… for the good of my health, but it’s not working out quite like that. It’s not doing my pulse rate and heartbeat much good, but that won’t stop me going out for a walk to take the air around the town on another occasion round about University chucking-out time, that’s for sure.

In fact, we got off to a good start – I stepped out of the front door and almost bowled a young schoolgirl straight into the centre of the road. She gave me such a beautiful smile that it cheered me right up for the rest of the day. I had a nice smile from the pharmacist too (not my usual one) as I picked up my next supply of medication, and then I hit the streets.

Last night, in order to get off to sleep early, I watched a film on the laptop. But that didn’t work, just for a change. Mind you, it wasn’t a Bulldog Drummond film so that might explain it. And then we had the usual awakening in the middle of the night and a couple of rude awakenings as people started to stir around here.

During the night, I’d been on my travels. I was having to prepare a thesis to be read out in front of an examining board and I wasn’t all that enthused about the subject that I had to present. On the other hand my friend June has to prepare her thesis on “travel” and she was saying to our mutual friend Krys that it was a shame that I wan’t presenting it because it was a subject that I clearly enjoyed. There was a cabbage that featured somewhere in this story too but I’ve no idea where and why now.

There were only three of us at breakfast but others had clearly been before us as we’d run out of orange juice and other stuff too. And then I came back down here to go back to sleep for a while. When I awoke, I went for a shower, a change of clothes and this led to a shave, and even … shock! horroh! … a haircut.

And I’m glad that I prettied myself up because they came to change the bed linen. So I’m all nice and clean everywhere tonight.While they were doing that, I went out for my baguette.

After lunch, I had another snooze but it was only for about another hour or so. And then – I made an executive decision. I don’t have enough trousers here and this is causing issues. In fact, in the shower I washed one of my pairs. But then I decided that maybe I ought to do something about this, and so I hit the streets as I said just now.

C and A had nothing, and so I went to the Sports shop where I bought my new shoes at the end of Autumn. Two pairs of decent trousers of the kind and of the material that I like, and reduced on special offer to €11:50 each. That’s more than I pay in Montlucon but it can’t be helped.

On the way back, I kept on tripping over college girls. Yes, I’ll come out again at this time of afternoon.

Tonight’s tea was vegan pie, beans, carrots, boiled potatoes and gravy. Totally delicious. A chat on the internet with Liz too.

And so we’ll try to have an early night again tonight. I hope that I’ll feel even better tomorrow. But there are no girls out there to cheer me up.

Wednesday 6th July 2016 – THAT WASN’T SO GOOD.

We’ve been having a couple of late nights just recently – and also quite a few early mornings. But it all goes wrong when you have a late night – like 01:40 and you are still sitting up – and someone comes along to use the kitchen at 05:40.

I think that I was up and about once, and I don’t remember being on any travels either. But at least, by 07:30 I’d already breakfasted and was working away on the laptop.

Most of the morning was spent doing updates to the blog, and I’d done quite a few by the time lunchtime came round. I’d been to the boulangerie just down the road for my baguette which saved me a good half-hour.

This afternoon I meant to carry on with the blog but Liz came on line and we had quite a lengthy chat. And then, I crashed out here on the sofa for a couple of hours. I must have needed it.

Anderlecht stadion den dreef oud heverlee OH Leuven BelgiumThis evening in the beautiful sunnyweather I went for a stroll to the edge of the town by the inner ring. This is where the Stadion den Dreef, the home football ground of Oud Heverlee Leuven might be found.

Anderlecht from Brussels are in training ready for their European football matches and tonight they had arranged a friendly against OH Leuven and so I went for a wander down to see what was going on.

Anderlecht stadion den dreef oud heverlee OH Leuven BelgiumIt’s only a small ground and it seems to be undergoing a process of renovation. On the north side of the ground there’s a new stand that looks as if it’s just been built and in the process of being kitted out.

Because I didn’t have a membership card I had to go and sit in the “away” end with the Anderlecht fans which annoyed me because they are far from being my favourite club, but at €15:00 for a ticket I can’t complain too much.

Anderlecht stadion den dreef oud heverlee OH Leuven BelgiumIt was a pretty miserable game, the first half anyway. Anderlecht were poor but OH Leuven were thoroughly clueless.

The first 10 minutes of the game were spent in the OH Leuven penalty area laying siege to the goal. Anderlecht had one decent break through on goal, saved by the keeper’s foot, but apart from that, Anderlecht never looked as if they were seriously going to threaten the OH Leuven keeper.

Anderlecht stadion den dreef oud heverlee OH Leuven penalty BelgiumWe were treated at half time to the astonishing event of OH Leuven going in for the half-time cuppa in front one-nil. They had had just one shot at goal during the first half, which was well-saved onto the post by the Anderlecht keeper, but they won a rather soft penalty a couple of minutes before half-time.

The keeper nearly got to it too and had he done so, no-one could have complained. It would have been justice.

Anderlecht stadion den dreef oud heverlee OH Leuven BelgiumI’m not sure what the Anderlecht trainer put in the half-time cuppa but I could do with having some of it, that’s for sure. Within 10 minutes of the restart Anderlecht had scored three goals, and they went on to score a fourth near the end of the game.

It was still very much a huffing, puffing performance and they didn’t look all that impressive. Playing like this, they aren’t going to make too much of a mark in Europe. But it’s going to be a long, hard season for OH Leuven in the Second tier of the Belgian Football League.

I had a nice walk back here and picked up some chips on the way. I have clean bedding tonight and I’m going to make the most of it. I hope that I don’t have the 05:45 starters tomorrow morning.

Saturday 7th November 2015 – IT’S ALL HAPPENING …

… at the swimming baths at Commentry.

Firstly, I forgot my cozzy and had to go back to Caliburn to find it. Secondly, the big pool was freezing. 29°, it said on the temperature, but I reckon that that must have been Fahrenheit, not Centigrade. Thirdly, there was a group of kids aged about 7-8-9 playing on a couple of foam-rubber rafts down one lane of the big pool. They were having an enormous amount of fun, trying to row, totally out of synch and quite often in opposite directions. As a result, every now and again there was a squeal and half of the kids fell off. They clambered back on again and a short while later we had another squeal followed by a splash. And so it went on. They were having a great time and it was quite amusing watching them.

But the fourth thing was the most interesting. There I was sitting on the jacuzzi steps and some young girl swimming past under water grabbed hold of my foot. I thought that my luck was in, but it turns out that she was aiming for her boyfriend sitting next to me.

Ahhh well 🙁

But you can see what the weather was like today. Totally glorious. And there I was, having disconnected the 12-volt immersion heater (I don’t want it to fire up until I’m there to see what happens). In fact, I went off to Montlucon where I spent a King’s ransom. And it wasn’t as if I had bought anything special, except for 2 inner tubes for the power barrow and a new heavy-duty wheel for the yellow wheelbarrow. It was cheaper than buying an inner tube and tyre and I must get myself organised.

But at least I’m stocked up with tins, macaroni, rice and the like ready for when the winter bites. As long as I have plenty to eat, plenty to read and a few good films to watch, I could be snowed in here for amonth and I couldn’t care less

I didn’t meet anyone whom I knew around the shops either, which makes a change. I’m not sure what happened there.

Pionsat had a really good match tonight against Mozac. They won 3-1 and we had four of the best goals that I’ve seen for ages. Peach of the night was Pionsat’s second, which started off with, would you believe, a one-on-one between a Mozac attacker and Matthieu in the Pionsat goal. The ball bounced off Matthieu’s leg and, just for once, went upfield out of danger. It was played forward to Cedric who rode a few good tackles and, surrounded by two or three Mozac defenders, laid it off to Frédéric. He sold a beautiful dummy to his marker and stepped inside, giving him half a yard of space and he coolly spicked his spot in the corner of the net.

For once, Pionsat had the rub of the green, the benefit of a few unclear decisions, and they played like they ought to have played for the last three or four years. I’ve complained about their “powder-puff” approach to the game in the past but tonight they put in quite a few crunching tackles to make their presence felt. If only they had done this in the past, their position would be totally different.

I was on my travels last night again. Once more, as just a couple of nights ago, I was trying to catch an aeroplane out of Canada but I was running really late. During my stay there, I’d used three cars but I only had one to hand back and I was desperately trying to trace the others, and time was running out. It transpired that one of the cars was “in the bodyshop” and wasn’t quite ready. And so, I thought, there goes my return flight home. I dunno why I seem to have this on my mind at the moment.

But tonight, it’s Saturday and there’s a long lie-in, I hope. I’m all clean with clean clothes and clean undies and so what I’m going to do right now is to change my bedding. A nice clean me with clean bedding and a long lie-in and I shall be in my elephant.

Sunday 28th June 2015 – I’VE FINALLY MANAGED …

… to have a day off work today. And not only that, I had a decent lie-in too.

Mind you, I had to go to visit the beichstuhl and I did think about going off for a coffee but when I checked the time, it was only 05:45 so there was little chance of that happening. I went back to bed and slept until 10:00. And quite right too!

After breakfast, I reviewed the stuff that I had written for Radio Anglais and found, much to my surprise (or maybe not, as the case might be) that I had a totally new slant today on some of the stuff that i had written. Consequently, I had to amend some of it and edit out a pile of it from the notes so that I can review it for another time. I mean, it has to be correct.

I also built up a database of venues so that there’s a list of websites from which I can extract events to broadcast, and simple contact boxes from where I can copy-paste the information en bloc into the notes rather than having to type it out individually every time.

After lunch, I sorted out all of the washing that needed doing, including the bedding. Seeing as it was 38°C in the solar shower, I had a beautiful soak and I’m finally going to have clean bedding. I’d bought some new linen sheets and quilt cover last time I was at the Auchan and I went to use those, but much to my surprise, there were no pillow cases in the set.

Even more surprisingly, I’d had some pillow cases the same colour when I lived in Winsford 35 years ago and I had hardly ever used them. And even more more surprisingly, I managed to lay my hands on them. Isn’t it good having a well laid-out wardrobe and everything stowed away nicely?

I went round to Cécile’s to check on her house and make sure that everything was OK. That gave me an opportunity to borrow her washing machine to do a load of stuff while I went round to Liz and Terry’s to rehearse our radio show.

Liz cooked a gorgeous vegetable pie for tea and the dessert was out of this world – something like a Black Forest Gateau in a wine glass. I’ve never had a dessert as nice as this.

I picked up the washing on the way home and now I’m going to have an early nice – a nice clean me in nice clean bedding. How I’m looking forward to this!

But something interesting has happened on the Social Networking account that I use. I once had a friend – a friendship that ended quite acrimoniously over a posting that he made about me on another site – and he had a daughter who used to confide in me quite a lot about the problems that she was having at home at the time but whom I haven’t seen since then.

All of a sudden, my Social Networking site has put her on my “list of potential friends” whom I should contact. So what’s happening here? How come it is that this site has made some kind of connection between the two of us? Of the couple of billion people who have an account on there, this would be an astonishing coincidence if it’s been a haphazard connection.

Clearly there’s something going on here. I wish that I knew just what it was.

Saturday 10th January 2015 – I’M A FIRM BELIEVER …

… that if a thing is destined to happen, it will happen. Regardless of however much input one puts (or doesn’t put) into the whole procedure. It seems to happen time and time again and the only secret of this is, as Jacqueline De Bellefort said in Death on The Nile – “You have to follow your star wherever it leads, even to death itself”.
And with this in mind, I went off to Commentry this afternoon.

Mind you, I nearly didn’t.

I had made a stunning breakthrough with this 3D program that I’ve been playing with. I had totally given up on the modern version of it ages ago and had gone back to an ancient version, and there I was last night trying to make a 4th Generation character work properly when, all of a sudden, it all clicked into place and I was so engrossed in what I was doing that it was 06:00 this morning before I realised it, and I hadn’t had any tea either.

Consequently, it was 11:20 when I crawled out of my stinking pit and seeing the bright sunlight and clear sky I resolved to go to Commentry and the swimming baths. Pausing only to add a little more filler to the wall where there was a hole or two, at 13:30 I was off on the road.

The pool was a little (just a little) warmer than last time, practically empty and the shower was just as delicious, even though the private showers were closed for maintenance. And seeing that I was only half a mile from Bricomarché, I went off in search of some sunken hinges – I’ll need these for the trapdoor that I’ll be making in a week or so.

While I was there, not only did I find siome hinges that will do the job, I solved the problem of the handrail for the stairs. Some huge screwed eyes, with 16mm holes, and a 2-metre length of some very nice 14mm hemp rope – that will make a lovely handrail.

But here’s the exciting bit, that relates to what I was talking about earlier. I was thinking again about these wooden ends for the plasterboarding. Cutting up pine boards was my original idea but at Montlucon the other week the stuff on offer was rubbish. At Bricomarché the stuff is so much better, the staff is so much more friendly and they have cutting facilities too.

So while I was wandering around turning things over in my mind, I came across the tool sale, and there on offer at just €44:00, was a cheap 600-watt table saw. It was the last one in stock too.

It’s not the ideal thing, but it’s the nearest that I can find and i’ll need to build a table for it if I’m going to cut doors down doors and things like this, but for what I want to do at the moment it’s ideal. I can soon trim down half a dozen floorboards with this.

I went to the new NOZ at Commentry too. I didn’t buy anything exciting but nevertheless it was a good opportunity to have a look round.

Back here, nice and clean for once, I crashed out for an hour or two. And I’m not surprised either. And I’m off to bed in a minute with nice, clean bedding too. And as it’s Sunday tomorrow, I ccan have a nice lie-in.

But I’m glad I followed my star all the way to Bricomarché at Commentry today.