… all the afternoon writing up my notes from yesterday, I’m now going to spend all the evening writing up the notes from today.
And notes a-plenty there will be too because there was quite a bit of activity going on in and around the headland this afternoon while I was on my afternoon walk.
And of the 20 photos that survived the cut, there will be plenty to say about them too. No time like the present so I shall have to make a start.
And so while you sitting comfortably admiring plenty of photos of the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter F-ZBQA practising its craft along with its crew this afternoon, I shall begin.
And I’ll begin where I left off, which was coming home last night after midnight, letting it all hang out, the dirty stop-out that I am.
It’s hardly a surprise that once I settled in my chair I couldn’t summon up the energy to go to bed. In the end, it was after 02:00 that I finally called it a night staggered off into bed.
One thing that I regretted was not checking the fitbit.
While we were on our way back to Granville I noticed that I was on 93% of my daily activity. But walking around while we waited for a table must have clocked up well over 100%
However when I checked after I returned home, it showed just 1%. Of course, it was after midnight wasn’t it, and so it had reset and I’d missed what was the final total.
There was no alarm last night. I’d switched it off in the hope of having a decent sleep to compensate me for my efforts.
However, it didn’t work out like that. I ended up awakening at 06:30 and at various times thereafter. Had I set my mind to it I could have been out of bed a long time before … errr … 10:30.
Some stuff on the dictaphone too but I didn’t have the time to deal with it right away. It wasn’t until almost bedtime that I managed to find a moment to deal with it..
I was back home. I’d been out for a very long walk but for some unknown reason I was only half-dressed. I was in one of the upstairs rooms. I could hear everyone downstairs and the clanking of plates as if it was lunchtime. I thought that I’d betther finish dressing so I grabbed the rest of my clothes, went into the bedroom and dressed. I came out and the sofa had gone. I had who had moved the sofa. My mother stuck her head in the door and asked “what do you mean?”. “The sofa – where’s it gone?”. She pointed to it being stood up in a corner out of my view. She must have been past and cleaned the floor. I went to put down the sofa. She said “you can do that afterwards. It’s mealtime. Come down and have something to eat with the rest of us”.
Having dealt with the medication the next task was to sort out the photos from yesterday.
And when I’d finished those, I could make a start on the notes from all of the places that we visited while we were on our trip out.
Another purpose of this blog is to make me much better-acquainted with what is happening around here and in other places that I visit. And I’m certainly learning an awful lot. That’s because taking photographs is one thing, writing notes about what I photograph is something else completely.
So while you admire all of the photos of the water craft that were out there today (and weren’t there a lot?) I was busy researching the photos from yesterday.
It takes a lot of discipline to do it correctly, and I’ve had to learn how to discipline myself. After all, what with the Recession, I can no longer afford that woman in Soho.
And so I settled down with the computer, a couple of ancient guide books, my book on the Hundred Years War and started to work.
Incidentally, while we’re on the subject of the Hundred Years War … “well, one of us is” – ed … for most British people, it’s a story of Crecy, Agincourt, Poitiers and a few other things too, mostly inspired by William Shakespeare.
For the French however, it was something else completely. When there was no major fighting, there were bands of discharged soldiers roaming around the country at will, terrorising the civilians and committing all kinds of bestial acts.
In addition, there were what they called chevauchées, raiding parties led by noblemen who would use terror as a means of enriching themselves and their followers by any means possible.
All in all, it was a total nightmare for the civilian population in France. Imagine the events that have happened so far in Ukraine lasting for 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.
A few years ago, while I was rummaging around in a junk shop like you do … “like SOME of you do” – ed … I came across an old book written in French that described the Hundred Years War from the French point of view in almost 500 pages.
Obviously, it was far too good a purchase to miss and so I’ve been having a good read of it today as I’ve been working.
That’s because the history of Avranches and Mont St Michel are pretty-much tied up with what was happening during the Hundred Years War.
For example, the dramatic and rapid modifications to the entrance to Mont St Michel, brought about by the rapid and dramatic development of field artillery that rendered obsolete each modification almost as soon as it was completed.
It took ages to do because there were the usual interruptions, like coffee, lunchtime fruit, and all that kind of thing too.
Not forgetting the afternoon walk around the headland either.
And i’m glad that I went out despite all the work because it was a beautiful day. And there were several people down there on the beach enjoying it, as I discovered when I went over to the wall at the end of the car park.
They weren’t actually sunbathing, although they may well have done because it was that nice today. I’d actually gone out without a sweater today and I’d even had the fan on in the office for a short while.
We’ve seen plenty of stuff going on out at sea, and also quite a bit in the air too.
But the helicopter wasn’t all that was going on up there. As I set off to tramp around the headland I was overflown.
Having seen one of the powered hang gliders yesterday down at Mont St Michel, it’s the turn of the yellow autogyro to go down there, I suppose, and I caught her on her way back to the airfield.
There were two people on board this afternoon so it looks as if there has been an interested spectator today.
While i’d been walking around, I’d seen something larger than the usual trawler heading our way from the direction of St Helier.
It didn’t take a moment to work out that it was in fact Normandy Trader coming in to port, presumably to pick up the freight that we saw being dropped at the quayside the other day.
We can tell that it’s she because of the raised platform at the back of the wheelhouse. Her sister Normandy Warrior has a larger wheelhouse but no raised platform behind it, carrying all her freight in the hold.
There were crowds of people out there this afternoon in the nice weather.
Plenty milling around up and down the path, but by far the most of them standing around on the lawn or on the car park watching what was going on with F-ZBQA, the air sea rescue helicopter Eurocopter EC 145 that usually lives at Donville les Bains.
She’d been flying around quite a lot while I’d been out for my walk, and so I wasn’t convinced that this was a “real” rescue. I was of the opinion that it was more of a drill or a training rather than anything else.
And so all in all, this afternoon there was tons of stuff going on, more than enough to keep anyone entertained.
And so for that reason, I was puzzled by the apparent insouciance of the person sitting on the bench down at the cabanon vauban.
There he was, in a ringside seat with all of this going on. The best seat in the house and he seemed to be casually reading a book instead of watching all the activity unfolding right before his eyes.
There’s no accounting for taste, is there?
When I saw Normandy Trader just now I thought to myself that with all of the activity going on just outside the port, she’s going to have something of a surprise when she goes around the headland and finds herself in the middle of whatever is going on.
So around the corner she came, and the first thing that I noticed was that she didn’t have all that much freight on board.
She usually carries the shellfish from the Jersey Fishermen’s Co-operative but since Brexit that’s not been a very easy product to export
As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … after Brexit you can catch as much fish as you like without any let or hindrance, but it counts for absolutely nothing if you don’t have a market in which to sell it.
So here she comes, right into the thick of the action.
A little later on, I spoke to Nathan, her skipper. He told me that he was impressed by the welcome that he received today.
But anyway, while I watched what was going on, the Eurocopter was lowering down someone to where there was a buoy, and then just hauling him up again, with all of the proceedings being surveyed by the small boat directly underneath.
“Definitely a training exercise” I said to myself.
With all of that going on, it was easy to forget that there was other activity too today.
This is a scene that had it happened on any other day, it would have been headline news. It’s the moment when they are about to open the gates and let all of the fishing boats into the inner harbour.
Consequently they are all queueing up there at the gate and there are plenty of others at the Fish Processing Plant who have already unloaded who are now waiting their turn to go inside and ties up for the day.
This would have made quite a dramatic photograph on its own.
With Normandy Trader having gone past on her way into port, next on the scene is Charles Marie.
She’s a charter yacht who takes out private parties or else organised day-trips when she isn’t doing anything else. She has about a dozen people on board and I’m sure that they are all having more than their money’s worth this afternoon.
As well as that, I bet that there isn’t much being taught in the yachts at the sailing school that have gone out this afternoon. They probably have other things on their minds too.
So as Normandy Trader headed into port and F-ZBQA headed back to base for presumably a change of crew, I headed off back home.
And armed with a mug of hot coffee and a handful of brazil nuts, I carried on with my notes from yesterday.
Tea tonight was a taco roll with left-over stuffing. And with the stuffing having been marinating now since Monday night, it was even more delicious than usual.
But now I have other fish to fry after this evening’s marathon. Work is never finished, is it?
There’s a lot more to do tomorrow as I have some plans festering away in the background. I’m ready to have another day off and I’ve only been back at work for a day.