Tag Archives: charlevy

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

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

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

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

In fact I actually felt like death this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 29th March 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

peccavi carteret trawlers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… various photos of various sea-going craft that were out and about on the water this afternoon, I’ll tell you about my somewhat depressing day today.

It couldn’t have got off to a worse start this morning. When the alarm went off at 07:30 I leant out of bed and switched it off. And the next thing that I remember was when it went off again at 08:00.

Although I didn’t go back to sleep at that point, it was … errr … somewhat later when I finally arose from the dead.

After I had taken my medication I came back in here to sit on my chair where I … errr … fell asleep again for 20 minutes.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Nevertheless, I awoke in time to prepare for my Welsh lesson today but there was actually no need because we didn’t finish the first lesson last week and we only just about reached the end of it today.

That’s because we spent much more time talking in this lesson and after my weekend course I was feeling much more confident about things. As a result the lesson passed quite well, to my surprise.

There was lunch as well and it seems that I might have miscalculated the bread issue. Even if there’s enough bread left for tomorrow, there won’t be enough for sandwiches on my journey tomorrow and I don’t want to take the bread out of the freezer just for a couple of slices.

What I’ll have to do is to make other plans for lunch on my travels.

ch933900 carteret jade 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022After lunch, having fought off yet more sleep, I had a listen to where I’d been during the night.

I was a famous footballer in the days before I was famous and I’d fixed a car for one of my clubmates, a white 2000E with a black vinyl roof. I had it running really well and everyone came to see it. They stood there and listened to it. Someone noticed the ice in the radiator. I explained that it had only just gone in and it would melt but they all started making fun of this ice that was in there. Just then I was violently sick. This went on for 3 or 4 minutes that I was violently sick. Someone else who had a white 2000E came up, a footballer, and said “come with me. We’re going to the chemist. Apparently it was something to do with what I was eating. It was good for sport and energy but not for my general health. Someone went to fetch his car and beckoned to me get in it but I noticed that one of his rear lights was not working.

belle france joly france black pearl peccavi charlevy port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I was then with a group of people last night in a house somewhere. One person was having trouble with his car so he set off and we followed him. He went down a hill, you could hear his car misfiring from here, and reached the bottom, pulled off and went round the roundabout underneath. It was obvious that he was still having problems. His car managed to go round the roundabout but he ended up in the wrong gear and tried to come back. He was struggling up the hill and an ancient Austin 7 went past. By the time we returned to the house the guy in the Austin 7 had checked the car over, adjusted the points and was giving him a few other suggestions about how he could improve the performance on his car like put a shaft in to connect the gear lever up to the flywheel, one or two other little things like that. They’d made a meal for me but first when I came in the offered me a cup of tea but I asked “what about everyone else for a cup of tea?”. I went to pour some tea for everyone and have mine with my meal in a couple of minutes.

omerta calean chant de sirenes trafalgar pierre de jade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I’d been to see people like those whom I knew from the Wirral and the like. We’d been talking about all meeting up in the States sometime at the end of the summer. Gradually there were just me and one of them left. We were on a petrol station. He was on his Harley Davidson, a gold one. I said goodbye to him and “see you in a couple of months”. He said “what?”. He’d plainly forgotten about this trip about which we’d been talking. I knew really that it wasn’t going to happen so I just thought that I’d mention the trip but without any real hope that it would actually come off. We were looking at all these electric motorcycles including tiny little 33cc ones. I was estimating how much time it would take me to return home on one of those, not because it could travel quickly but obviously it was so uncomfortable that you could never have a comfortable ride on a motorcycle so small as this. We had a look at the 50cc and 75cc ones but they didn’t seem to be all that much better. I set off home and as I walked out of this garage there was a blind spot for the security cameras where I could easily have picked up one of these motorbikes and walked off with it but I decided against it. I set off to walk home, interested to see how many hours it would take me so that I could compare it at some other time with one of these small motorbikes. I didn’t think that it would be any quicker because although you could move quicker, you’d need to spend more time recovering from the uncomfortable position.

Finally I’d been to see Morton playing but they’d been playing somewhere like Hamilton or Motherwell. I walked out of the ground down to the old A74 because the motorway hadn’t been built yet. I started to hitch a lift but there was no-one stopping for me to go home and I ended up in Stirling (don’t ask me how), walking through the town centre of Stirling at night. I thought that I’d better buy a few things to keep me going for the journey because it was a long way. I ended up talking to Louise, discussing changing part of a car. I showed her how to work a power bar backwards so that you didn’t have as long a swing but you could get more power on it. I was still a long way from home and working out how many hours it would take me to actually walk. I arrived at a figure of something like 80 hours if I didn’t have a lift.

person sitting on rock rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022That took me up to the time when I usually go out for my afternoon walk.

As usual, my first port of call was the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down there.

And there wasn’t all that much beach to be on this afternoon but there were rocks a-plenty and there was someone sitting down there like Piffy on … errr … a rock, acting as if she owned it.

There was quite a bit of mist out at sea again but as you have seen, there was plenty of maritime traffic today as well, with all of the fishing boats heading back to port this afternoon.

repointing medieval city walls place du marche au chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022However my mind was elsewhere this afternoon.

While I was looking down onto the beach, I could also see that there was plenty of activity going on this afternoon on the medieval city walls over at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

There were several people scrambling over the scaffolding, doing some pointing on the wall over there. And there’s plenty of it that needs to be done as well, but over the last couple of weeks since they seem to have made rapid progress.

They may well not be there for much longer, but then again I have said things like that before and been confounded.

storm ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022One thing is sure though, and that it that they may well not be there for much longer this afternoon.

Over at the Ile de Chausey is one of the most wicked storms that I’ve seen for quite a while and while, for a change, the wind isn’t all that strong, it won’t be too long before it’s upon us.

That’s really the cue for me to get a move on. I’ve no idea how long it’ll take for the storm to arrive but I don’t want to be caught out and about in it.

But at least I won’t be alone because there were several other people out and about. But I bet that they won’t be out and about for long.

people sitting on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Nevertheless, there will be several people who will end up being taken by surprise by the rainstorm, if it does actually arrive.

Down here on the bench by the cabanon vauban, you can’t see over the top of the cliff and beyond the lighthouse and so the couple sitting down here won’t have any idea of what’s lurking out at sea. And it’s not exactly a place from where you can run easily, with all of the steps and the muddy path.

But then I suppose that they can always shelter inside the cabanon if necessary.

Leaving them to it, I headed off down the path on top of the headland towards the port to see what was going on there.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022You’ve seen all of the fishing boats lined up waiting, either to unload at the fish processing plant or for the gates to the inner harbour to open.

But I was more intrigued to see what was happening with Chausiaise. She’s currently moored at the pontoon where many of the fishing boats tie up so they aren’t going to be too pleased to see her there.

And she has her crane extended too so there’s something going on with her right now.

Back home I made myself a coffee and then made another start on the photos from the High Arctic in 2019.

Right now we’re anchored off Devon Island and I’m stuck – there’s a hill there by the old RCMP post at Dundas Harbour where there’s a memorial monument. And I know the name of this hill – it’s named after a sailor on Belcher’s expdition of 1852 but can I think of his name?

To try to think, I had a good spell on the guitar but it didn’t work and even now, as I’m about to go to bed I still can’t think of his name.

Tea was a left-over curry which was delicious and then I came in here to write up my notes. And I had an interruption as well. I seem to be in great demand just recently and I don’t understand why because it’s not the usual state of affairs as far as I am concerned.

But all of that is for another time. I’m going to have a quiet play on the guitar and then I’m off to bed. I have the doctor in the morning and the physiotherapist in the afternoon. And then on Thursday I’m off on my travels again.

There’s no holding me back right now.

Monday 28th March 2022 – I DON’T KNOW …

… what it is with me but having had the news a few weeks ago that Kaatje, my “support worker” (really, my psychiatrist) at Castle Anthrax, is leaving her post at the end of the month, I had the news that Sonia my physiotherapist has decided to leave her post too

It seems to me that they are all sussing me out sooner or later.

Whoever is going to replace Kaatje remains to be seen but I bet that at the physiotherapist’s, they have some retired Bulgarian weightlifter lined up to take over. That is usually about par for the course, isn’t it?

repointing wall rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Meanwhile, in other news, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been keeping an eye on the repairs to the medieval walls, of which there are several miles thereof about the town.

One of the things that they did was to replace the brick capping on top of part of the walls and then leave it unpointed for all of the damp, humidity and frost, whatever else you like to infiltrate.

Anyway, today, they had a bricklaying class out there and to my surprise, they have made a start on repointing the brickwork that they did ever so long ago.

Not that they made much progress this afternoon, so I imagine that they’ll be back over the course of the next few days to complete the task.

scaffolding rampe du monte a regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Something else that I mentioned the other day was the scaffolding that they have built over the Rampe du Monte à Regret.

As I was going down the hill I noticed that it was still there so I took a photo of it just for the record. It looks as if it’s going to be there for a few more days yet as they were busy moving the scaffolding around to different parts of the wall.

But anyway, be that as it may, I actually managed to haul myself out of bed just after the alarm went off at 06:00, which surprised me more than it surprised anyone else.

And after the medication, I made a start on the radio programme that I wanted to prepare today.

No records today though, because I was actually working on two at once. Having written the notes for the programme over the last week, I wrote them for the next one this morning and then dictated both one after the other.

There were several interruptions too – for the coffee and for breakfast, and also for the nurse who came round to inject me with my Aranesp ready to go off on my travels.

That prompted me to telephone the doctor for an appointment as I now have run out. That’s for Wednesday morning at 09:30.

Nevertheless, I’ve only prepared the one though. I’ll nibble away at the other here and there over the course of the forthcoming week and see where I end up.

When I finished the programme, I had a listen to it and also to the two that I’m sending off today. Yes. That’s right. I’m not here next week so I need to make sure that my programme will run next week without me.

During the three hours that it took for me to listen to the three programmes I attacked the photos from the High Arctic in 2019. I shifted a good pile of them too and now I’m just arriving at the abandoned RCMP post at Dundas Harbour on Devon island in the Canadian high Arctic.

During a pause here and there, I went and had a shower to clean myself up. I have to look my best for my physiotherapy.

After lunch I carried on with my photos while I listened to the radio programmes and then headed off out.

classe decouverte calean, spartiate, trafalgar, chant de sirenes, black pearl, charlevy fishing boats fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was going on.

There was plenty of excitement there too this afternoon. All of the trawlers are coming in to unload and I can identify Calean, with Spartiate behind her. Then a couple of unidentified fishing boats with the blue, white and pink Trafalgar behind her.

Just coming in alongside the others is Chant de Sirenes with Black Pearl behind her, and then Charlevy just entering the harbour to the right.

Also on the quayside are several groups of school children.

One of the things that is quite common here in France is what they call the Classe Découverte – the “Discovery Class”.

They take groups of kids away from their natural environment and put them in another one for a week or so in order that they can experience life elsewhere. So what we probably have here is a bunch or two of kids from some inner city schools somewhere who are staying in the Youth Hostel in the town to find out about life in a fishing port.

And with all of the work going on down there with the seafood being unloaded into the vans, they will be learning a lot today.

And I learnt a lot on the way down into the town today. There is a series of steps that I use to test the force in my right knee and I found to my surprise that I could actually haul myself up them today. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that.

la grande ancre swimming pool freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Down in the harbour it looks as if we are going to be having one of the Jersey freighters in port very soon.

One of them has the contract for transporting the swimming pools out to the Channel Islands and with them being expensive items, they won’t want them to be lying around on the quayside for too long.

At least it won’t be going off on board la Grande Ancre. She won’t be taking them but the fact that she’s there in the loading bay means that they will be loading something onto her.

Down into the town I went and then up the hill on my way to the physiotherapists. And the walk wasn’t all that difficult today. Over the last week or so, things seem to have improved from that point of view and I don’t know why.

roofing rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Halfway up the hill I did come to a halt. But not for a breather.

They have been ripping the roof off this building here and they are currently in the process of replacing the woodwork. They certainly seem to have picked the right weather for it at the moment.

At the physiotherapist’s she had me on the couch with her electro-massage thing, followed by five minutes on the cross trainer and then a few exercises. And she showed me an exercise that I can do at home.

After she threw me out I staggered (and it was a stagger too) up the hill and round the corner to Lidl for a few supplies. But to my surprise, they don’t sell baked beans at Lidl and I fancied sausage, beans and chips for tea.

scaffolding on crane new building rue victor hugo rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way back I went past the building work that’s going on at the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

They had the Rue Victor Hugo closed off and they were unloading some scaffolding into the bucket that’s attached to the hook of the crane so I loitered around planning to watch them hoist it up.

When they had finished, they lifted it about a foot off the ground and then they all knocked off for a tea break, which seemed to be a rather strange thing to do.

Dodging yet another classe découverte I ended up in the town centre and picked up a few tins of baked beans from Carrefour. Can’t do without my baked beans.

On the way up the hill I bumped into one of my neighbours coming down, so we had a good chat for a while. I’m not usually the sociable type, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I have to make an effort seeing as I live amongst them.

person in sea beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Before I went back into the apartment I went to see what was happening down on the beach.

Not too many people down there today with it being a school day, but even so one of our intrepid adventurers had taken to the water. So hats off to him today.

Back in here I had a coffee and then had a listen to the dictaphone. I started off in Russia. I’d been collecting photos of steam trains and I had a couple of books to identify them. There were hundreds abandoned all over the place that I had photographed. But then the Russian authorities – something had happened and they didn’t want me to take any more photos. They made me sit on a bench in a station to wait for a train back home. The train was going to be in ever so many hours and hours’ time. all I had to do to thumb through were these photos and the couple of books that I had. Somehow something had happened and I ended up in some kind of industrial town in Northern England with terraced houses. The kids there were playing a game in the street. Even then, this was being gradually subsumed into this Russia thing where the kids were having to hang around in the street for hours and hours and amuse themselves which is difficult when you are bored, until something happens. It was very much the same scenario as me being in Russia

And then I was at work again. I’d set out to go to work fairly early but I’d gone off to do something else on the way. I arrived just before 10:00 and put my things on my desk and went into the assembly. When we all came out and went to sit at our desks there was a discussion going on about food and bread. Someone had been overcharged for his lunch sandwich etc. I already had my lunch sandwich for today but I had one for Friday which I was going to have for my breakfast because I hadn’t had breakfast yet. A girl with whom I used to work came over and said that someone saw me out at Peruwelz this morning on my way into work and wanted to know why I didn’t arrive until 10:00. We had a chat but I didn’t actually tell her the reason and I was intrigued to know who it was who had seen me. I was in a car a little later. I was driving and she was with me. We were going down this road that I don’t recognise and through a couple of speed limits. We wee chatting about nothing in particular.

I forgot to mention that somewhere in all of this I’d bought a black Rolls-Royce for £3500, a runner apparently. I had to go to pick it up at some point but I had nowhere to leave it. If it was a runner I could park it in the street or even park it in the place outside my building but I don’t know.

Regrettably, but not unexpectedly, I crashed out later. And for an hour too. Having made 90% of my daily activity today with having had a good session on the cross trainer, that’s enough to finish me off for today.

For tea, I fancied sausage beans and chips but one look at the sausages in the fridge told me that it wouldn’t be sausages that I’d be eating today. Instead, I had a burger with my beans and chips and, as I suspected, the beans from Carrefour were appalling. Not even pepper, grated cheese and rosemary could improve the taste.

So now that I’ve written my notes I’ll have half an hour on the guitar and then go to bed. I’ve had a busy day today and I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow. I need to be on form

Friday 3rd September 2021 – JUST LOOK AT …

flowery plant swamped with butterflies avenue de la gare Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… this beautiful flowering shrub.

The flowers are a long cylindrical shape of a mauve colour with a beautiful smell that reminds me immediately of the Mediterranean. There is an enormous row of these shrubs all the way down the side of the Avenue de la Gare.

But it’s not the shrubs or the flowers themselves that are particularly interesting – although they are, of course. The fact is that the plant was absolutely swamped in butterflies. I don’t think that I have ever seen so many butterflies in one place in my whole life.

But anyway, I digress, of course … “yet again” – ed

last night I ended up in bed at some time like a reasonable time, for once, but it didn’t seem to do me any good because I awoke at 05:35 and that defeats the whole point of going to bed early.

Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone too. There was a big blazing row going on in the master’s room about something or other and I couldn’t hear what it was and I couldn’t understand it. Anyway I had to make my usual ‘phone call to my girlfriend’s mother so I could speak to my girlfriend. I’d asked the operator to connect me but there was “no-one known of this name”. I had a look in the telephone directory and there wasn’t either I asked “may I borrow the post then I can check the directory to see if it’s a mis-spelling, but I knew it wasn’t because I’d rung it before”. She replied “no, I might need this”. Failing to understand why, I asked her to give me my insurance details because the information would be there somewhere. By the time this row had subsided so I went to see the matron. The office secretary was in there and we bumped into each other in the room and had a surprise. I asked for permission to ring up the mother. The woman replied “yes”. The secretary started to come out with all these facetious off-the-cuff comments about me and this woman. I said nothing for about half an hour and they were still going on. I said “how would you like it if all of them and me came and invaded your country?” and it all went rather downhill from there.

Incidentally, “the mother” and “my girlfriend” starred in one of my more recent rambles a couple of weeks ago. Nice to see them back so soon.

Later on I was with Nerina. I’d been away for 5 years on a business course and I’d come back to my old job and I found it very limited and restricting after everything that I’d done. Nerina suggested that I should move somewhere where my competences would be much better realised. I asked “how do you fancy working and living in London?”. She said that she didn’t. I replied “well, there’s your answer, isn’t it?”. I went on to say “it’s a shame because if you were working in London you would be promoted within a week and probably running the office within a year, there’s that much of a high turnover of staff down there”. We had a laugh and generally just fooled about a bit and

There was some other stuff too but seeing as you are probably eating your tea right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

After the medication and checking the messages etc I went and made my fruit bread for the next week or so. And I don’t know what has happened here but this one has turned out to be a right dismal effort. Probably the worst that I have ever made. But it’ll be eaten all the same, I suppose.

That took me up to breakfast and afterwards I made a start on transcribing the dictaphone notes – in case you haven’t already guessed. I did the ones from last night and now I’ve made a start on the arrears from the last couple of weeks.

By the time that I had finished there are only … gulp … 17 files left to transcribe so at the rate at which I seem to be working, that will take another couple of years.

It might have even ended up with fewer than that, except that I … errr … fell asleep in the middle of it all.

After lunch I had a shower and a tidy-up and then headed off for the physiotherapist.

black mamba charlevy la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down in the harbour, the gates were open so there was some activity going on down there, more of which later.

But first, this photo features three of our old friends. The big dark blue yacht in the background to the left is Black Mamba. The grey, white and turquoise boat to the right is La Grande Ancre, a boat that seems to be connected to the shellfisheries out on the Ile de Chausey.

The trawler in the middle needs no introduction to anyone because we spent all summer looking at her up on blocks in the chantier naval. She is of course Charlevy, now back at work after her overhaul.

For a change, the walk up the hill wasn’t too gruesome. I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, more than Wednesday but nothing like as many times as my nadir when I was on my way to Leuven just now.

He had me doing all kinds of exercises on this moving platform thing and then another session on the cross-trainer. And I managed to improve my personal best by a good 20 seconds.

abandoned railway line to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back, passing by those gorgeous flowers, I went down to where the old railway line to the harbour crosses the road.

There’s an ongoing programme about them pulling up the railway lines to make a pedestrian footpath so I wanted to see how they were progressing.

But it seems that they started from the side of the road where I’m standing and have made their way downhill to the port. Uphill towards the main line is still in place – for now.

But as for me, I’m going downhill – in many senses of the word. But right now, I’m following the old line down past the Parc des Val Es Fleurs towards the port and home.

It was something of a struggle to come back up the hill to home but not as much of a struggle as it has been just recently

l'arc en ciel le coelacanthe port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Nevertheless I was glad to reach the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, where I could stop and take a break.

The trawler that is just coming into port here, the black and white one with blue coachlines, is a new one for these pages. She’s called L’Arc En Ciel – “Rainbow” – and I know nothing whatever about her at the moment.

The one to the right, moored up at the fish procession plant needs no introduction. Turquoise and white with gold coachlines means that it can only be one of two boats, and the wings at the side of the bridge tells me that she’s Le Coelacanthe, one of the larger trawlers in the port.

fishing boat victor hugo granville port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was plenty of other activity going on in the port today too, which is no surprise seeing as the harbour gates are now open.

Put-put-puttering her way into harbour this afternoon is another one of the boats that is used in the shellfish. I’m never very good at remembering the names of those boats so I’ve no idea who this is.

In the background are the two Channel Islands ferries Victor Hugo and Granville. Apart from a couple of days last summer, they haven’t turned a propeller since last March (except when they were ejected from the harbour while it was being dredged) and the prospect of the service recommencing is looking bleaker by the day.

classe découvert fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The poor kids have only been back at school for a couple of days but they are hard at it already.

The Classe Découverte – “Class of Discovery” – is quite popular here in France and they are always out and about, sometimes travelling hundreds of miles and staying in hostelsin order to undertake activities outside the classroom.

This group of kids is visiting the Fish Processing plant with their teacher, presumably to have a good look around.

And did I ever tell you that I found out what the pipes and tubes are for? There’s a huge ice-making machine in the plant and before the fishing boats go out to sea they fil their holds with ice to keep their catch cool and fresh until they return home.

yellow autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021I continued on my way home from the port and as I came out into the Place d’Armes I was overflown.

It wasn’t the first time today, but with the NIKON D3000 it’s not very easy to take photos so far out or so high up and to see the results clearly, but there’s no mistake here.

It’s the yellow autogyro that we have seen on several occasions in the past. He’s rattling by overhead with a passenger on board and one of these days I’m going to make sure that I’m taken up there for a good look around from a few hundred feet. It’ll be an interesting and exciting adventure.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Of course, it goes without saying that I’m heading over to have a peek down over the wall onto the beach to see what is going on down below.

Plenty of people down below on the beach. Even with the holidaymakers gone, everyone back at work and the kids back at school, there are still some people who can find some time to be down there

It even looks as if there have been some folk in the water too. Not me though. It might be nice out there today, but it’s not that nice. For me, if the water isn’t at 37°C then I’m not interested in going near it.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there ontop of the wall looking down on the beach, I was also having a good look around offshore as well.

There was nothing really of any importance. No trawlers, car ferries, Jersey freighters or anything. Just this little yacht quietly tacking too and fro across the bay, taking his time.

However he can’t afford to take too much time because the harbour gates will close before long and then he’ll be out in the cold, quite literally, until the early hours of the morning before he can return home

It was now my moment to return home too so I went and prepared a coffee. And then, rather sadly but not too unexpectedly, I fell asleep for a while.

Would you believe – despite racking my brains for about half an hour, I’ve forgotten what I had for tea. And this is pretty much par for the course. I can remember everything that happened 50 or 60 years ago, but ask me why I have just come into the kitchen. It’s a sign of age.

But now that I’ve finally after all this time finished my notes, I’m off to bed. I’ve had enough of today and there’s shopping to do tomorrow.

Friday 27th August 2021 – JUST IMAGINE …

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… walking out of the front door of your building and being confronted with this!

What with one thing and another, my peregrinations today totalled 98% of my daily effort and so I wasn’t going to give up at that particular point – so I decided to just nip out for a quick lap around the block to take the total over the 100%

With it starting to go dark, I debated whether or not to take the NIKON D500 with me, and I’m really glad that I did. It’s been a long time since we’ve featured a really decent sunset.

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you lot admire some more photos of the sunset this evening, let me tell you about my day starting at the beginning.

As you might expect these days, I didn’t have my early night last night. Just as I was on the point of switching off the computer, Jethro Tull came round on the playlist. And so I was treated to an earful of –
A PASSION PLAY
BENEFIT and
STAND UP
three of the finest rock albums that have ever been recorded

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I did go to bed before
AQUALUNG and
THICK AS A BRICK
came around, just in case …

What surprised me more than anything was that I was up and about at 06:00 just as usual despite the lateness of the hour at which I went to bed. And I can’t keep on going like this.

It took me a while to clear my head, as I’m sure you can imagine, and after the medication I had a few things to do.

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe early part of the morning was spent alternating between

  1. tidying up
  2. resting
  3. crashing out

not necessarily in that order.

But the tidying up was because I was expecting visitors. Liz and Terry wanted to see me.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you lot admire some close-up photos of the Galeon Andalucia, I was going through the apartment like a dose of salts.

By the time that they arrived, the apartment (well, the parts that you could see) was actually looking quite nice and that must have come as quite a shock to my visitors. It’s been a while since they have been to visit me and they aren’t used to this.

Terry had brought his laptop with him. A few months ago I had fixed Liz’s computer and made it work much better, and now Terry was wondering if I could do the same for his. So that’s a job for some time next week.

But that wasn’t the main reason for their visit. They really wanted to tell me that I have to say “goodbye” to an old friend

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that just a short while before I was taken ill, I’d bought a small mini-tractor for the farm – a Kubota B1220. And I’d done just 13 hours on it, mostly as a generator powering the cement mixer, before I fell ill

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt had been left down on the farm when I was taken ill and a neighbour had contacted me to tell me that someone had been “playing” with it so Terry and I went to rescue it.

It’s been in the bottom of Terry’s barn ever since.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … one of their acquaintances had seen it, had a good look at it, and then made them an offer. As a result, they came round this morning with a bundle of folding stuff.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s like the story of the digger. I was sorry to see that go last summer but I’m in no state to do anything with them and it’s just a couple of things fewer to worry about.

As a reward I took Liz and Terry out for a coffee at La Rafale where we had a good chinwag and a good laugh at the antics of a cat sitting outside o a third-floor window ledge and an eighteen month-old toddler.

We discussed a few plans for the future and then decided to go for a walk down to the harbour and look at the Galeon Andalucia and whatever else was down there this morning.

black pearl port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe first thing that we noticed was that there was a small fuel tanker down on the quayside. The driver was busy coiling up his hose as if he’d finished his work.

Where has was parked was right by where Black Pearl and her younger sister Le Pearl who sailed into the port for the first time last autumn were moored.

As we watched, Black Pearl cast off her mooring and set out from the quayside. The harbour gates were open and so it looked as if, having been refuelled, she was setting off to work. And I imagined that Le Pearl would be following her as soon as she’s ready.

philcathane galeon andalucia granville victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut really it was the Galeon Andalucia that we had come to see, just like everyone else in Granville I reckon.

To her left though is the trawler Philcathane, with the Channel Island ferry Granville immediately behind her. To the right of Granville is her colleague Victor Hugo.

My plan was for us all to go aboard for a good look around but Liz and Terry had other things to do so we just loitered around taking a few photos. Then, in the best traditions of the News of the Screws, we “made our excuses and left”.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually, the Galeon Andalucia wasn’t the only game in town this afternoon.

While we had been looking at the galleon, we’d see some rather distinctive sail-tops go past behind the harbour wall, so distinctive that there were no prizes for guessing to whom they belonged.

One look at the familiar “G90” number on the sails will tell us that it is indeed La Granvillaise out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel with a ship-load of passengers on board.

She’s someone else towing behind her an inflatable dinghy that will have room for probably about a quarter of the people currently on board.

chausiaise entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallLiz and Terry don’t come to Granville all that often and so they aren’t aware of the new boats that have been coming into the port recently.

One of them, whom they haven’t seen before, is the little freighter Chausiaise that takes the supplies and the luggage over to the Ile de Chausey.

This is the last weekend of the main holiday season so she’s going to be busy bringing back all of the luggage of the people who have spent the summer out there, and of the holidaymakers whose two weeks in what has laughingly been described this year as “the sun” has come to an end.

commodore voyager english channel France Eric HallBy now, back at the apartment Liz and Terry made ready to leave, but before they did so, I had a quick glance out to sea from the car park.

A big white blob right out there on the horizon indicates that something large has not long ago set out from the port of St Helier heading for the UK. I took a speculative snap of it to see if I could identify it back at the apartment.

It looked very much like one of the Condor high-speed ferries, and I noticed that Condor Voyager had set sail from the port at 10:32. She would seem to fit the bill quite nicely.

Back in the building I bumped into a couple of neighbours and we had quite a chat. And I’ve been invited to go for coffee with one of them on Sunday afternoon.

There wasn’t much time left before lunch to do very much, and the first thing that I did after lunch was to have a shower. I have the therapist so I need to look clean and tidy. And I switched on the washing machine too afterwards

marite philcathane galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce I was ready, i hit the streets.

Down the hill in the Rue des Juifs I paid a call at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. As well as the Galeaon Andalucia, Marité was in port as well and the two of them made a very nice photo, together like that.

Peering through the rigging of Marité we can see the little trawler Philcathane moored up where the gravel boats used to moor when they came here. To the left of Marité is the little red, white and blue boat that we have seen quite regularly just recently.

And I can confirm that she is indeed Les Epiettes, the one that we saw last year out at the Ile de Chausey. She was down there this morning and I noticed her name as we went past, but I forgot to say..

Having taken the photo, I pushed off through the town and up the hill for my appointent with destiny.

emergency ambulance rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I came out of the physiotherapist just in time to see an emergency ambulance, all bells and flashing lights, go roaring past me.

It stopped a few hundred metres down the road and the guys within leapt out and went into a building just there. By the time that I caught up with them, they were still inside so I have no idea what was happening.

As it was quite a nice afternoon I decided that I’d go down to the harbour and have a good look around at what was happening there. We’d seen Galeon Andalucia and Les Epiettes earlier this morning, but there was plenty of other stuff that I wanted to see but had been unable to do so

It’s not easy gratuitously wandering around when you’re in company.

While I was down there, I noticed that the harbour gates were closed so I could go back that way home. Spirit of Conrad was in port and Pierre, her skipper, was there so we had quite a chat for a while about this and that.

His trips to the Channel islands have restarted and ordinarily I might be interested but I have another cunning plan for that.

repainting charlevy charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere’s a trawler that we should all recognise, because we’ve seen it often enough just recently.

She’s the trawler Charlevy who spent a considerable amount of time just recently undergoing a repaint at the chantier naval.

And by the looks of things, the paintwork wasn’t completely finished there either. The workman standing on the roof of the bridge is armed with a paintbrush, a roller and a large tub of thick black paint and he’s giving the “ancillaries” a good covering.

And she’ll need it too once she’s out at sea this autumn and winter.

yellow autogyro port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the meantime while I was watching the work going on aboard Charlevy an old familiar noise roused me from my slumbers.

Rattling by overhead went yet another familiar face, the yellow autogyro that we see quite often flying by as we are out and about on our travels.

But right now I’m going out and about over the harbour gates to the other side, stopping on the way to exchange pleasantries with a fisherman who actually has a bucket with a couple of crabs in it that he has caught.

So that’s a first for me.

briscard pierre de jade catherine philippe chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here I went down to the chantier naval to have a look at the fishing boats that were in here, and to see if I can identify them.

Two of the three here were pretty easy to identify because I could see their names displayed. On the left, the smaller white and blue one is called Briscard and on the right, the red, blue and white one is called Catherine Philippe.

The middle one was not so easy, but as I was pondering over it, someone came down the ladder on the far side, so I asked him. “She’s the Pierre de Jade he replied.

So now I know.

peccavi unknown saint andrews chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the other three here, I didn’t have the same luck.

Once again, two of them were easy to recognise. On the left, we have Peccavi and on the right under the tarpaulin is Saint Andrews – a rather unusual name for a French fishing boat. Why didn’t they call her Saint-André?

But then, if they can call a French trawler Trafalgar, they can call one almost anything.

The black and blue one in the middle remains a mystery. No name was visible and there was no-one around to ask.

retimbering hull peccavi chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was having a prowl around, I noticed this rather unusual work going on with Peccavi.

It looks as if they are sheathing her hull in tongue-and-grooving and I have never seen that done before on a sea-going boat. I wonder what the reason is for this.

But i’m not going to find out right now because there isn’t anyone to ask. Anyway, it’s time for me to be going home and it’s a long haul back up the hill from here. And by the time that I reached the top, I was pretty exhausted too.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I go in though, I ought to have a look down onto the beach to see what’s happening there this afternoon

Surprisingly, there weren’t too many people down there this afternoon. It’s not exactly the height of summer, as I realise, but it was still nice enough for people to be out on the beach enjoying one of the last days before the holidays are over.

That was about the sum total of my trip out this afternoon. I came back for my smoothie and to sit down and relax – and to fall asleep as well.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too, as I noticed later. I was on board a ship last night. Something had happened and my right leg had been injured. They were saying that they were going to have to amputate it. Of course I was totally opposed to that idea. Nevertheless they doped me up with local anaesthetic and operated away. I was trying to stagger round this common room trying to make myself comfortable. I was just so awful about this. I sat down and there was some news on the TV about 4 marathons that were being run at the same time when there was total confusion about who was in which one and where, as well as on one occasion where on a studio leg someone had tripped over an apparatus and fallen into the athletics’ 100-yard sprint track, demolished all of the hurdles just as all the runners were running up to it so they were all entangled as well. That was so real, that dream having my leg cut off and that was one nocturnal voyage that made me very relieved when it was over.

After tea I went out for my little stroll as I mentioned earlier, and now it’s time for bed. I have shopping in the morning and hence an early start. I think that I’ve done enough for today.

Sunday 22nd August 2021 – AS BARRY HAY …

… once famously said – “one thing I gotta tell you man, that it’s good to be back home.

And indeed it is too. Even though I didn’t go to bed until 02:30 last night, I slept right the way through until 12:40 this afternoon without a single interruption. And I must have needed it too.

There’s some stuff on the dictaphone too. I was with 3 girls and I can’t remember who they were now, which is a disaster, but I do know them. We were in Canada sightseeing in my Passat. In the end we tried to find the big fort that was at the junction of the two rivers on the cliff where the place was being defended. After poring over a map I worked out where it was. A passer-by showed us where it was as well so off we set. We went for a good explore and then went through the forest on the other side of the river which would lead us out to the battlefield and so on. After we’d been there we said “let’s go and visit Liz and Terry because they are leaving”. One of the others said that and the other 2 couldn’t believe that they were leaving. Off we went in the car and came to their apartment. We could see Liz down at the bottom working on the garden so off we went down their garden. The other 3 girls had disappeared somewhere along the way. I said to Liz “can we come and visit or are you too busy?”. She had a dubious think and said “ohh okay”. I turned round anf found that the other 3 had gone so I said “OK I’ll round them up”. Somewhere along the line I had one of these pencil case purse type of things with a huge pile of cash in it and I can’t understand why. There had been some discussion about my cars. Someone said that they couldn’t see the word “Audi” on the clock. I said that it isn’t an Audi but a Cortina – no, it’s a Passat

First thing was of course the medication, and after I’d taken all of that I came back in here to check my messages, of which there were more than just a few.

With all of this medication, I have to wait for about an hour before I can eat anything so it was rather a late lunch – or breakfast – today. Toast and porridge and coffee.

After my meal I paired up the tracks for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow morning. And that reminds me – I mustn’t forget my appointment with the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon, and to go and do some shopping too because there isn’t much here in the house.

Having dealt with that, it was time to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst place to go to visit is the beach, of course. It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen it and it will be interesting to se how the tide has evolved.

Right now, the tide is quite far out, and there is plenty of room for people to be wandering around and lazing about down there, soaking up the sun. And plenty of people were making the most of the opportunity too.

No-one had actually made it right into the water this afternoon, and that wasn’t a surprise because although it was reasonably warm this afternoon, there was quite a wind blowing, as you can tell by the whitecaps on the waves down there.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile one of my eyes was looking around at the events going on down on the beach, the other one was looking around out at sea.

It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good, as the old saying goes. And the proof of that is that despite the fact that the tide is well out and the harbour is inaccessible, there’s a yacht out there that is taking full advantage of the wind.

He’s going to have to stay out until the tide turns in about 5 hours time, so I hope that he’s stocked up with supplies while he waits.

There’s another one right out there near the horizon too, but I’ve no idea where he might have come from.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dealt with the question of the land and the sea so far, it remains for me to check the air to see what’s going on up above.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen plenty of photos of the sparrowhawks that seem to congregate around the cliffs here. And there’s another one out there this afternoon keeping an eye open for something for tea.

A year or so ago, there was just one of them and then a second one came along some time later. Now there are four or five of them, so the cliffs are obviously a happy hunting ground, otherwise they wouldn’t be sticking around like they do.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then of course, while we were dealing with that, we were overflown by a mechanical device.

This one is our old friend F-GBAI, the Robin DR400-140B that belongs to the Granville Aero Club and which we have seen quite regularly flying around the Baie de Granville.

She took off at 16:03 this afternoon, flew a short way down the coast towards the Pointe de Carolles, back again, did a lap around towards Coutances and then came back into land at 16:17. My photo was taken at (adjusted) 16:12 so I must have caught her coming back from down the coast.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather was quite clear this afternoon and we could see quite far out to sea.

The ile de Chausey was looking quite splendid this afternoon although the houses at the foot of the lighthouse didn’t stand out as well as they have done for us in the past.

There wasn’t all that much activity out there at sea though. I could only see a couple of yachts and that was about my lot. None of the ferries were visible, which wasn’t all that much of a surprise seeing that the tide won’t be far enough in here at Granville to allow them into the harbour for another couple of hours.

beaches marker lights ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view down at the north-east end of the island was quite clear today as well.

With the tide being so far out, we can see the beaches there today, looking really nice. We walked along those when we were over there with the Spirit of Conrad. Most of them are leased out to seafood harvesters and where you are allowed to walk is controlled.

And you can tell how high the tide comes in by looking at the warning beacons on the rocks. Those rocks are well-submerged at high tide and the height of the beacons with give you some idea of just how much water will cover them.

police car parked on grass pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe paths around the headland were quite crowded this afternoon.

The car park at the Pointe du Roc was completely full and everyone was having to park on the grass at the side of it.

You can tell that it must have been authorised because there is a police car parked on there as well. There were a couple of coppers walking around the lawn amongst the crowds but I’m not sure why. I didn’t actually see them do anything while I was watching.

Mind you, I didn’t wait around all that long. I’m trying not to draw attention to myself.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I went for a little wander around on the lawn on the other side of the car park.

le Loup, the marker light on the rock just outside the harbour entrance was looking quite attractive this afternoon in the sun. You can actually see how high the tide actually rises down in the bay by looking at the change in colour of the material with which she’s built.

There are a few people right out on the beach behind it, and in the background, we can see quite clearly the houses at Kairon-Plage and Jullouville on the side of the coast road down to Avranches.

On the skyline on the right-hand side of the image is that strange tower, and one of these days I’ll go for a wander round over there to see what it is.

man fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s Sunday in August, the height of the tourist season, so I was half-expecting to see crowds of fishermen on the rocks this afternoon taking advantage of it.

In fact, I only did see one of them out there. He was up to his knees in the sea casting his line out into the water, without having very much luck by the looks of things. As far as I could see, he didn’t have a net or a bag with him in which to keep his catch

As for commercial fishermen, or recreational fishermen out there in boats, I couldn’t see a one. There were a couple of small boats out there though, but they were quite far out and it wasn’t possible to tell who they were or what they were up to.

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, he wasn’t the only person out there fishing this afternoon.

A little further around from where our fishermen was standing, there were three young people scrambling around on the rocks, looking for all the world as if they were doing a bit of the old peche à pied, although the tide wasn’t far enough out to make a good catch.

No boats out there that were close enough to photograph and nothing else of any excitement going on, so I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … along the path around the headland towards the port.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving been away from the town for a few days, I wanted to see what was happening down in the chantier naval.

There has been quite a high and rapid turnover of boats in there just recently so I was expecting to see a few changes in there.

However, there didn’t seem to be anything different in there. There was Charlevy of course, still there on her blocks on the right-hand side of the image, all masked off and with a nice fresh coat of paint.

The smaller fishing boat is there too in the centre of the image, up on blocks in front of the line of all of the others. There doesn’t look as if there is much room left to bring anyone else in if there is an emergency.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further along the path I could have a good look at the row of boats by the old dry dock.

There are five of them there, including the trawler Trafalgar nearest the camera. So there’s a total of seven boats in there right now, and that is pretty good going.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … it’s good to see such a busy ship repairers. It encourages people to bring their boats into Granville, knowing that they can be serviced and repaired here. Plenty of boats in the port is good for the town.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust before we went away, we also saw a yacht in the yard down here too, looking as if she was about to receive a paint job.

While I was out there this afternoon, I didn’t forget to have a look down there to see how she was getting on.

And by the looks of things, she’s getting on quite well. She’s pretty well masked off and she looks from what I can see that she’s already had a coat of paint on her superstructure. I’ll be very interested to see how she turns out when she is finished.

It’ll be quite exciting too, watching the portable boat lift coming to fetch her and take her back to drop into the water.

horse and carriage chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn one of the earlier photos we had a good view of Chausiase, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey and back.

At that time, I didn’t take a photo of her because I’d seen something else out of the corner of my eye and I wanted to wait until I could take the picture that I wanted.

There wasn’t long to wait, as it happened. Soon enough, a horse and open carriage came into view, carrying some passengers. It looks as if part of the entertainment for this Festival of Working Sailboats includes a ride ina carriage.

However, I’m not sure why this would be. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t really have much of a nautical flavour about it.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were bound to be further interruptions today, with all of this nice sunny but windy weather.

Sure enough, the Bird-Men of Alcatraz decided to come out and enjoy the weather this afternoon. One by one they came over the Pointe du Roc on their way down to the end of the headland.

There were all kinds of nazgul going by over head. This one is a two-seater, as you can see, and the person in the front seat seems to be filming the voyage as they passed by overhead. They will probably have a good film to show everyone when they return, thanks to the good weather.

crowds festival of working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I mentioned the other day, this weekend is the Festival des Voiles de Travail, the “Festival of Working Sailboats”.

Today is the climax of the event and so I was expecting to see crowds of people wandering around down there, and I’m not disappointed. The harbour down there was heaving with them this afternoon.

It was interesting to see the old marker buoys that were down there. I’m not quite sure what is the purpose of displaying them. I suppose that if it’s connected with the sea, it’s good enough to exhibit them

And that rectangle that we saw – it’s actually a water tank and there were some model boats going around it.

crowds festival of working sailboats rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the reasons why there were cars parked just about everywhere this afternoon is that the car park down at the port is occupied .

As part of the Festival, they have erected tents and booths on the car park, and part of the exhibition is being held down there. It seems to be quite popular too, with all of the people who we can see down there.

It’s a strange decision though – to hold an event in the centre of the town in order to attract tourists from elsewhere, and put the event on the car park so that they have nowhere to park so that they can visit it. They should have put these tents on the other side of the harbour where the gravel used to be stored.

jazz band crowds festival of working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the things that we saw them erecting last weekend or whenever it was is a grandstand.

We now seem to have acquired a stage too, and there was a jazz band performing down there this afternoon to give the festival some kind of ambience and to entertain the public as they wander around.

All of the greenery down there was interesting too. We seem to have acquired a kind of desert island environment with sand and palm trees, presumably to give a kind of “Pirates” effect to that part of the exhibition.

If that’s the case, then instead of a jazz band, there ought to have been Roy Plomley, a gramophone record and 8 songs.

Croix du Sud 3 sailing yacht port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the looks of things, we have a new sailing boat in the harbour right now, one that I haven’t seen them before.

She’s called Croix du Sud III and was built in 1934. She was built as a fishing boat and when she retired, she passed through several pairs of hands before being bought by the town of Cherbourg in 2003.

She was completely overhauled as soon as she came into the hands of the town, and again during the winter of 2015-16 and is now the “official boat” of the town. She now represents the town at all kinds of maritime events, and that’s probably why she’s here at the Festival.

Croix du Sud 3 sailing yachr port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe harbour gates are closed so she can’t go outside.

As I watched her, she was doing a series of figure-eights, taking passenger around the harbour. She is completely sold out, by the way, so I couldn’t have a trip on her even if I so wished.

And that was really all that was happening, so I decided to go back home and have a nice cold strawberry smoothie.

You are probably wondering why I haven’t gone down there for a closer look around and ro take a few photographs. The fact is that I didn’t feel as if I could face the walk back up the hill afterwards. I really am in a right state, aren’t I?

Back here I spent the rest of the day going through the photos. As well as today’s, there were those for the previous two days too, which I’ll bring up to date when I’ve transcribed the dictaphone notes.

After my lunch i’d taken out the last pizza dough and it had been defrosting during the afternoon. Now it was ready to be kneaded and rolled, put on the pizza tray and left for an hour to rise. When it was ready I assembled the pizza and then baked it.

It was delicious and really tasty, despite it being rather low on ingrdients. No dessert of course because I wasn’t hungry – my appetite is still down from where it was.

And now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. There’s an early start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare. I need to be on top form.

Monday 16th August 2021 – WE HAD TO WAIT …

yellow autogyro ponte du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… for a good few days longer than I expected but nevertheless we got there in the end.

Sure enough, while I was out walking around the headland this afternoon, out of the clouds in the distance with its old familiar rattling came the old yellow autogyro from the direction of Avranches and the Pointe de Carolles.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I had anticipated her arrival a few days ago and as if to make up for her rather late arrival, she did a couple of laps around my head before disappearing off into the sunset and that was that.

grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that we have been eagerly anticipating for the last few days is to find out whatever is going to be happening down at the loading bay on the quayside.

The information still hasn’t filtered through but all of the equipment, including the grandstand is still down there.

As well as that, where that kind of rectangle was that we saw yesterday, we now have a couple of tents that have sprung up like little mushrooms. And we have even grown a couple of potted palms over the course of the day, as well a couple of bizarre objects, red and yellow.

tents quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it isn’t just there that things are happening.

All along the quayside down there and out into the car park at the side, there are yet more tents, marquees and other different things, and a few noticeboards indicating whatever might be going on.

As I’m off to Leuven tomorrow, I’ll probably miss whatever it is, but I shall go that way towards the railway station for a closer look and see what I can discover.

The plot sickens.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let us return to our moutons as they say around here, and start at the very beginning.

Once more, going to bed early doesn’t seem to make all that much difference because I still had a very tormented sleep and it didn’t seem to make all that much difference as to how tired I am.

After the medication I checked my mails and then made a start on the radio programme. And by 11:20 I was finished as well, despite having stopped for breakfast – a slice of fruit bread (I’ve given up the hot chocolate as it’s starting to show).

And had I not had to redo some of it and choose another track in the middle to replace one that didn’t work as I would have liked, I could have been finished a long time before that too.

Having dealt with that, I listened to the programme to make sure that it was correct, and while I was doing that I booked the rail ticket for tomorrow from Brussels to Leuven and back again. By the time that it was all finished it was almost time for lunch.

After lunch I had the tidying up to do because the nurse is coming round to give me my injection and the place needs to look as if someone actually lives here.

The rest of the afternoon was spent transcribing the dictaphone notes, and there were tons and tons of them too, and it took me ages.

The stuff for Sunday took ages and ages, but it was all done and it went on-line to update yesterday’s journal entry.

There had been a couple of interruptions while I’d been doing it. Firstly the nurse came round and injected me. I hope that it will propel me up the hill tomorrow to the railway station.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSecondly, there was the afternoon walk around the headland, which of course always starts with a look down to the beach to see what is happening.

Off across the car park I went and over to the wall at the end of the car park where I could look over the wall. Not many people down there this afternoon but then again there wasn’t all that much beach to be on.

Nobody was quite brave enough to take to the water to any great degree this afternoon which wasn’t a surprise because there was a biting wind this afternoon that was quite really quite cold

Here I met one of my neighbours and we had a good chat, interrupted by a frantic chase back across the car park to rescue my cap that had Gone With The Wind

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallwhile we were chatting we were overflown a couple of times by various aircraft, but I only managed to detach myself long enough to catch one of them.

She’s our old favourite F-GBAI, one of the Robin DR 400-140B aircraft that belong to the Granville Aero Club. We’ve seen more of her just recently than we have of all of the other aircraft in total.

She took off from the airfield at 14:12 and flew several laps up and down the coast and even inland for some distance before coming back to land at 16:33. My photo was timed at (adjusted) 16:15 so she still had some time to remain in the air before landing.

sparrowhawk bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallF-GBAI wasn’t the only flying object that we were able to photograph this afternoon.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there are some birds of prey that loiter around the edge of the cliffs looking for animals, baby rabbits and anything else that might do for an appetising lunch.

We started off with one but it seems to be a happy hunting ground down there because there are now three or four of them.

Incidentally, I am informed that they are sparrowhawks. Not that I would know, of course. While I am a very keen birdwatcher, it’s not this kind of bird that usually attracts my attention.

fishermen in zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of activity going on out of the wind in the Baie de Mont St Michel so I wandered off in that direction.

There was a zodiac with fishermen aboard coming around the headland and I knew what was likely to happen once they came out of the lee of the headland so I waited.

Sure enough, the wind and the waves that hit them gave them a very nasty moment.

It reminds me of the story of the zodiacs aboard THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR. They all carry names, but prior to that they had numbers.
One day, the captain was bellowing down the loud-hailer “Zodiac number 61 – come back to the ship”.
No response, so he called again. Still no response, so he called a third time.
Suddenly realising that there were only 20 zodiacs aboard, he changed his tune and shouted “zodiac number 19 – do you have a problem?”

cabin cruiser yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as I said earlier, there was plenty of activity going on in the bay out of the wind.

The first things that caught my eye were the yachts of one of the sailing school. There were a couple of schools out there this afternoon, taking advantage of the tide and the shelter that was afforded by the headland.

As well as that, there were all kinds of other boats out there – a cabin cruiser goign along at quite a rate and a small motor boat that might be something to do with the yachts of the sailing school – maybe the instrructor with a loud-hailer.

trawler charlevy trafalgar chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlong the path on the southern side of the headland, I took myself down to the viewpoint overlooking the port and in particular the chantier naval.

And we’ve had another change of occupant down there this afternoon. We’re now back up to our seven boats again and I really ought one of these days go down and enquire about their names. But that won’t be this week as I’m off to Leuven tomorrow as I mentioned earlier.

But I can’t keep up with the speed at which they are coming and going these days. They are wearing me out and I don’t have the energy to keep on nipping down there to check before they clear off back into the water and another lot take their place.

tents car park port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I go back to the apartment and carry on with the dictaphone notes, we can see the final shot that I took of what’s going on down at the end of the port.

As you can see, the tents and whatever it is that they have erected have continued out into the car park, the area where the fishermen keep their shellfish drags and where the fresh shellfish are sold. It’s clearly going to be something quite important to take up all of that space.

With all of the lorries being there, it looks as if they are only just setting up their equipment. That means that they probably won’t be doing whatever they will be doing until the weekend.

Eventually, I finished off the notes from yesterday and then pounced upon the pile that related to last night. And if anything, there were even more of them.

Last night I started off on a ship, the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR or something last night in the Antarctic. We were involved with icebergs and so on and there was a very famous poem that had been written about ships and icebergs and somehow I was trying to make the poem match up with those on board the ship but I awoke before I’d gone very far with this.

And later we were discussing the ferries and in particular the ones out to the Ile de Chausey and the trips that they do around the bay and the Ile de Chausey but I can’t remember now how the story went

Later still I was around at the farm of a friend of mine from school and was talking to one of the young girls who worked there – it might even have been Percy Penguin. I’d just been into the farmhouse to use the bathroom and as I was leaving someone came to the door. Whoever I was with asked if I knew who it was and I said “no”. She replied “what a shame. You could have found out and they could have babysat while we went out”. After a couple of minutes I thought that i’d go back and find out and pretend that I needed the bathroom again. Just as I arrived these people were disappearing down the drive. One of them just looked from the rear like the sister of my friend except maybe a little younger. In the house I talked to their mother and she showed me her new Avon purchase which was something for putting tea into for dropping into a cup like a reusable tea bag. We had quite a talk about that. When I returned I explained things to the girl I was with. She asked “didn’t you ask if she would babysit for us anyway?”

But here’s a thing. After making those notes I stepped right back into where I had left off before dictating the previous notes, back on the farm. My friend and his little sister, on whom actually I had quite a crush back 50-odd years ago, were there. They were laughing and joking and she was sitting on him and generally being a pest. He said “why don’t you go and sit somewhere else?”. So me, ever the opportunist, said “come and sit on me instead” and much to my surprise she did. I thought “God, I’m popular”. We sat there, the three of us, talking and I had my arm round her at one point. Then she had to go and clear off and fetch the dinner as there was a big party taking place. She was serving everyone around and still coming over to talk and chat to me occasionally here and there. I couldn’t believe my luck. I thought “how on earth is this going to end?” but it ended up by me sitting bolt upright wide awake with probably the greatest feeling of disappointment I have ever had in my life and I would have given all that I had to have gone back into that dream again at that point and see how it finished. It was just as if 50 years had suddenly vanished from my life.

That was probably the most powerful, realistic and optimistic dream that I have ever had since the famous WORLESTON INCIDENT all those years ago and the fact that I cans till remember that particular voyage so well after all these years shows you just how much of an impression that made on me. And this one will probably be the same. It’s another one of these that has left quite a disturbing effect.

Having dealt with all of that I went and made tea. A fry-up of everything that was left in the kitchen that wouldn’t keep until I return.

And now I’m off to bed. It’s not early but still earlier than it has been here and there. There’s a lot to do in the morning before I head off for the train.

Friday 13th August 2021 – I WAS WRONG …

35ma pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about it being the little yellow autogyro that would cast its shadow upon me from the air this afternoon.

A couple of planes about which I had completely forgotten are the little ones that seem to carry a “special series” number that, to date I have been unable to trace except by the most fortunate of circumstances.

This one, 35MA, has overflown me on several occasions and I’m still none-the-wiser. I’m not even better-informed either and so I’m going to have to wait for a more suitable moment to make further enquiries.

unidentified aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving aeroplanes overfly me when I can’t identify their numbers is one thing. Having them overfly me without any number at all on display is somethign else completely.

This machine overflew me at (adjusted) 17:06 going straight up the coast from south to north and as she didn’t make any effort to turn off as if to land at the airfield here at Granville then I’ve no idea who she is.

It’s this kind of thing that gets on my wick. It’s a legal requirement for an aeroplane to display a registration number, but it ought to be a legal requirement to display it where people can see it.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe had much more luck with this aeroplane because we’ve seen her on numerous occasions, and her number is clearly displayed.

She’s F-GBAI from the Granville Aero club, one of the Robin DR400s that they have. This one is the 140B models.

She took off from the airfield at 10:38 and flew off out to sea, and then flying up the Rance estuary beyond St Malo, doing a lap around Mont St Michel and coming home for 11:23

My photo was taken at (adjusted) 11:19 so that’s about right.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we were in luck later on too, because we saw her as she went out for a run around later.

This time she was picked up on radar at 17:05, which corresponds with my (adjusted) time of 17:03 when I saw her, and according to my flight radar plot, she’s still airborne even now.

She headed out to sea, did a lap around the ile de Chausey and for the rest of her time has been cruising up and down the coast as someone clocks up the flying hours. I’ll have to check tomorrow to see what time she finally did land.

Breezer B600 D-EQDK baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s an aeroplane that we haven’t seen before.

At first glance I thought that she was an ME-262 fitted with a Junkers Jumo 210 engine as some of the earlier ones were, but in actual fact she’s a Breezer B600, registered D-EQDK and owned by the Aeroclub-Avranches.

She was first picked up on radar at 11:11 and must have done a few laps around before I picked her up at (adjusted) 11:22, and she disappeared off the radar near Avranches at 11:31

There are plenty of small airfields around here and on the basis of no other information I would imagine that they have their origins with the German Luftwaffe

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner TC-LLA Turkish airlines baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow this is much more like it. It’s been a good while since the skies have been clear enough to pick up full-size jets in mid-flight.

No prizes for guessing what this is – its distinctive shape gives the game away straight away. It can only be a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

And according to my radar, only one Dreamliner in the air in this vicinity when I took this photo. And that’s a Type 9, TC-LLA, owned by Turkish Airlines.

She took off last night from Miami and is taking Turkish Airlines Flight THY78C to Istanbul where she’s expected to arrive at 12:31, 26 minutes late.

She passed over me at 39,000 feet at 544 knots ground speed on a bearing of 098.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that was what I got wrong today. Why don’t we look at what I got right?

Like the fact that there’s much more activity in the morning at high tide than what I’ve been seeing on my afternoon walk, like La Grande Ancre heading out of port.

What exactly her rôle is, I haven’t quite worked out yet. One of the very first times that I encountered her, she had a tractor strapped to her deck and heading out to the Ile de Chausey. But most of the time she’s running here and there with fishing equipment like this morning.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else having an early start today is one of the sailing schools.

Plenty of water in the bay of course, seeing as I’ve gone out round about high tide this morning, and so they are bringing out the little yachts to do a lap around, being towed out into open water.

There are quite a few other boats too, coming and going out there this morning, and even a couple of kayaks having a paddle around. It’s more-than-likely that there will be some fishermen too somewhere.

trawler le coelacanthe speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the subject of fishermen, here is one bunch of fishermen heading for home this morning after a night on the tiles.

It’s our old friend Le Coelacanthe , one of the larger trawlers to sail out of the port, and if she’s on her way home with her hold full of fish then her little sister Le Tiberiade can’t be all that far away somewhere because they keep quite close to each other more often than not.

And the people in that speedboat were in quite a devilish hurry too – with the feu dans les fesses as they say around here. I’ve no idea where she’s off to.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually, it’s not Le Tiberiade that has come following Le Coelacanthe into the harbour, as it happens.

It’s one of the Joly France ferry boats that goes over to the Ile de Chausey and presumably she’s come back for a second load of passengers.

This boat is the one with the smaller upper deck superstructure and the rectangular windows in “portrait” format so that tells me that she’s the more modern of the two near-identical boats.

And having seen the older one and the very new Belle France yesterday, it means that we have all three running the service right now. Business must be booming.

marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else who seems to be having a booming business these days as well is the sailing ship Marité.

We’ve seen her out and about for the last few days, usually out in the English Channel or the Baie de Granville but here she is today going for a lap around the Baie de Mont St Michel.

From what I can make out, she has quite a crowd of passengers on board, and I do sometimes wonder what would happen if they had an emergency and had to fit everyone in the little boat that she tows behind her.

But I suppose that there are always enough other boats loitering in the immediate vicinity everywhere she goes to deal with any issues.

yacht ile des rimains cancale brittany France Eric HallBut anyway, while I was out there, I noticed that the air was quite clear this morning and the view was really good.

A clear white sail right over underneath Cancale caught my eye so I took a photo of it. And when I enhanced it on returning home, I could see quite clearly the fort on the Ile de Rimains over there just offshore, to the left of centre.

When I was on board the Spirit of Conrad I took a few close-up photos of the fort and one of these days when I can, I’ll post them on line.

And on the right there’s a very good view of the church at Cancale – one of the best views that we have had from over here.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf you think that all of the action was taking place on the southern side of the headland this morning, you are mistaken. There’s plenty more going on out here on the north side too.

Most of these boats look to me as if they are fishing boats – I did say that there would probably be some fishermen out today. There were several groups of them, some inshore and others farther out in the bay.

But I bet that those just here don’t think all that much of what that rather fast craft just behind them is doing. That’s the kind of activity that will drive away all of the fish and it’s not as if they catch all that many to start with.

joly france la granvillaise ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd even more activity over towards the Ile de Chausey too this morning.

Apart from the dozens of smaller craft out there, bearing down upon us at a rather rapid rate of knots is one of the Ile de Chausey ferries and to my reckoning she is the older of the two Joly France boats likewise returning to this side of the bay.

Also over there, right up against the shore were some strange white objects and while I can’t see for sure what they are, they have the same shape as the sails on La Granvillaise

beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re here, we will of course have to have a look over the wall and see the beach to see what’s happening down there.

And as I expected, there isn’t any beach for anything to be happening upon right now. The tide is well and truly in, and that will account for all of the boats out there at sea.

Maybe I should come out here and look at what happens about 10 minutes before the harbour gates close. I imagine that there will be an almighty stampede for the harbour and the devil take the hindmost.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that was all of the water craft and aerial activity this morning.

Still afew other things going on that caught my attention this morning, like another lorry stranded at the Porte St Jean being unable to pass under the arch. That’s two now in two days.

No-one in attendance either so it looks as if the driver has gone off to seek further instructions. It’s really pleasant living in an environment like this, but it does have its drawbacks if you don’t happen to have a handcart handy.

mummy and baby seagull foyer des jeunes travailleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we are at it, yesterday we saw mummy seagull taking baby seagull for its maiden voyage over the cliffs.

There’s another mother and offspring here this morning siting on the roof of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs, the hostel for young people, and baby is not at all enthusiastic as you can tell by looking at the photo.

It’s squawking at its mother in the most plaintive of tones and mummy, like most exasperated mothers, is taking absolutely no notice whatsoever. I find a lot of pleasure in watching the interaction between the young and their parents, whatever the species.

But like most things, I’m getting way ahead of myself these days. Let’s start with waking up, which I did about 20 minutes before the alarm was due to go off.

There were details of a voyage going round and round my head, details that were so miserable that I couldn’t even say them, let alone dictate them and transcribe them.

It’s very rare, very rare indeed that I have a voyage quite like this. Some have been really gruesome and they haven’t been much of an issue although I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to read them, but this was just unhappy, miserable and depressing. I’m glad in a way that it happened during the night and not during the day.

After the medication I came in here to start work but it took me a good couple of hours drifting in and out of a kind of trance before I was able to get myself going and then shock! Horror! I tidied up the bedroom.

You couldn’t move in here for stuff all over the floor, but now most (not all, just most) of it has been put away. I have plenty more to go at in here but I can only do so much before I wear myself out.

In the past the question of tidying up ( or the lack thereof) used to be because the Spirit was unwilling. But these days I have to contend with the flesh being weak as well.

Another thing that I did this morning was that when I was going through the files that I’d uploaded to this computer I came across three digital soundtracks of albums that I’d found but hadn’t yet split.

Two of those were quite straightforward, even if they are time-consuming, but the third should have had 8 tracks on it but somehow I ended up with at least 12, and one of them definitely didn’t sound like the singer whom it should have been.

All of that took some tracking down and it seems that I have somehow ended up with a master tape that includes several other tracks that were recorded for the sessions but were cut from the album.

These are as rare as hens’ teeth of course, these dropped tracks, and I have amassed quite a few here and there. They are good fun to broadcast on my radio programmes when probably no-one has ever heard of them.

After lunch I came in here and … errr … closed my eyes. And for only about half an hour too. A couple of years ago that would have filled me with dismay but these days it’s a sign of optimism – in that it’s not a couple of hours dead to the world as it has been just now.

Once I’d recovered, I had a coffee and had another go at the Greenland photos from 2019. Right now I’m on board the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR just about to get into a zodiac to go and visit the Eqi Sermia Glacier in Ataa Fjord, one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.

At 15:00 I knocked off to have a go at the Spirit of Conrad notes and I’d actually written a cople of words too when the phone rang. It was Rosemary wanting a chat and she had one too – for 105 minutes as well.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlthough you’ve already seen over the wall and down onto the beach during my morning wanderings, no reason why we can’t go there and have another look.

This time, of course, the tide was way out and there were plenty of people down there this afternoon compared to how there have been in the past.

Dozens of people sunbathing on the beach, and plenty of hardy souls out there in the water too. Mind you, it was really nice out there this afternoon even if there was some wind. But I suppose that down there, they are out of the wind and it could be quite pleasant.

fishermen in zodiac speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier on, we saw plenty of what I took to be fishermen out there in the bay.

It looks as if a few of them are staying out until this evening’s tide comes back in because there were several boats still out there.

Those two boats out there look as if they have fishermen on board although they don’t seem to have their rods in the water right now. They are probably just having a sociable chat for a few minutes.

There’s a dark object in the water behind the boat on the left and I wonder if that’s the head of a swimmer maybe.

men fishing in zodiac man fishing from beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut these people here much closer inshore have definitely gone out there with the intention of fishing.

However the guy on the rocks doesn’t really look all that enthusiastic about it either, holding his rod at about 45° when the water is that shallow just where he is isn’t going to bring him very much much.

As for the four people in the zodiac, they look even less enthusiastic about the whole idea. Their rods are still perpendicular in their holders while they seem to be just sitting around chatting. I’m sure that they ought to be more eager than that if they hope to catch anything.

sailing boat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there spying out the land I saw a rather large sail out there on the horizon in the English Channel.

Being interested, I took myself off to the high point on top of the bunker at the end of the path for a better view. I took a photograph of it and when I was back at home I had a much closer look.

Rather disappointingly, it turned out to be something of an optical illusion. It’s a smaller boat closer into shore than I thought and it’s the spar of the mast that’s level with the horizon. I don’t think that it’s anything more than a rather large yacht.

men fishing from zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on that disappointing note I walked off down the path and across the car park to see what was going on at the end of the headland.

And we have a few more fishermen this afternoon. At first glance I thought that these people on this zodiac were musicians because one of them at least seemed as if he was holding a guitar.

In actual fact it is a fishing rod and he’s holding it with his arms extended. Two other people are fishing too but the fourth one just looks as if he’s passing the time. If I were out there, I’d need a really good book to help do that, along with some good music.

yacht being prepared for painting chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo leaving them to it, I pushed off down the path towards the port. And when I arrived at the chantier naval I asked myself “have I seen this before?”.

None of my earlier photos are conclusive but I’m sure that I would have noticed this had I seen it. It’s a medium-sized yacht and it’s been stripped and masked off for painting.

And if it has indeed only come out of the water this morning, then they have been moving at a hell of a pace and it’s a shame that all workmen around here can’t work at this kind of speed.

She’ll look really good when she’s finished, that’s for sure.

trawler on blocks chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I mused about what might happen if the have to drop one of the seven trawlers that were here yesterday back into the water when the portable boat lift had a trawler in it.

It looks as if they have actually had to cope with this eventuality because they seem to have rigged up some kind of impromptu kind of blocking so that the trawler can be dropped from the lift.

The workmen have now clambered aboard her making a start and the boat lift has now gone back in its usual position over the drop into the harbour.

trawler charlevy trafalgar chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this is the reason why there have been the changes.

Today there are only 6 tralwers down there. Charlevy, Trafalgar and four whose names I don’t know and which I’ll have to find out before they all go back into the water. There are plenty of workmen down there so they aren’t hanging around.

It looks as if the next one to be moved might be Charlevy because they seem to be well-advanced with her paint job and there are a couple of vans around her with men who look as if they are working.

marité grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne last thing to do is to check the inner port to see who is there.

We saw the big sail earlier, and even without enlarging the image I can say that it’s not Marité because she’s moored up in her little corner down there.

What has however caught my eye is the temporary grandstand at the loading bay. We had a concert down there a couple of weeks ago and so I wonder if they’ll be having another one this weekend.

Let’s hope that the Jersey freighters don’t want to come and drop off a load of freight.

Nack here there wasn’t time to do much before tea. Veggie balls, seeing as I have an endless supply thereof, followed by apple crumble.

Tomorrow is shopping day and I don’t need much with going to Leuven on Tuesday but I do need some fruit so I’ll see how I go.

And there’s football tomorrow, and about time too.

Thursday 12th August 2021 – I WAS RIGHT …

joly france leaving ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about the place out here being a hive of activity at the morning tide while I’m still plucking up the courage to drink a mug of coffee

This morning started off with a couple of blasts on the siren from one of the Joly France ferries , the older one of the two as she reverses out of the ferry terminal with a load of passengers on board.

They all do that when they reverse out, because they never know what is coming around the corner behind them, and I imagine that the sounding of the siren is the result of bitter experience.

belle france arriving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s just as well that she did because she had company right behind.

The very newest Chausey ferry, Belle France looks as if she’s been an early bird this morning.

She’s on her way back into harbour having presumably already dropped one load of passengers off at the island, and coming back for more, bringing with her, I imagine, holidaymakers who want to return to Paris on the midday train.

And so it looks as if it’s going to be a busy day for them out there today with them starting early like this.

chausiaise arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJamais deux sans trois – never two without a third, as I said yesterday.

And in behind all of them, somewhat later and at a much more leisurely rate, comes Chausiaise, the little freighter that they use for running the supplies and the luggage out there

All we need now is the other Joly France boat, wherever she may be, and the Loch Ness monster and we’ll have a full house today.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you think that that was all of the excitement this morning you are very much mistaken.

One of the big issues about living in a medieval walled city is that deliveries are somewhat complicated. The heights and widths of the gates weren’t made for modern lorries.

Anyone who has anything delivered here in a lorry like this will need to have some kind of trans-shipment facility for their purchases if they expect their goods to arrive at their front door.

normandy trader loading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, back at the ran … errr … harbour we have another visitor in here this morning.

The Normandy Trader seems to have come into port with the evening tide yesterday and by the time that I got round to see her she was busy being loaded up with a pile of building material that must also have arrived quite early.

According to her skipper, she’d already been over to St Malo on her way out from St Helier so they are keeping her busy.

marite baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was at it, I went to have a look on the north side of the headland when I came back from the shops.

And here, sailing around the bay was Marité

We had seen her at her mooring earlier when we saw Normandy Trader but by the time that I came back both of them had cleared off into the sunset.

Normandy Trader had long-since disappeared into the distance but Marité kept me entertained for quite a while.

condor voyager english channel Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we had another surprising sight right out to sea just leaving the harbour at St Helier and the camera did really well to pick this up.

A quick check of the fleet radar told me that just about 20 minutes before I took this photo, Condor Voyager, the big superfast ferry whom we had seen the other day, had set out from St Helier on her way back to Poole in Dorset, where she arrived at 14:43.

She was the only ship out there who fitted the description and the size of what I was seeing so I reckon that it’s she.

Yes, I’ll go out again when the tide is right.

But anyway, I’m getting well ahead of myself.

And after last night’s adventures, all that I can say is that there’s no point whatever in killing myself to go to bed at a reasonably early time if I spend most of the night tossing and turning and not being able to sleep properly It was a rather dismal night in fact.

Nevertheless, I did manage to go off on several travels and it’s these that are probably wearing me out the most. Last night I was living at the top end of Crewe in Victoria Street and I had a little ginger kitten. One day I let it out and it shot off at a right pace. I was calling it and running after it praying that it wasn’t going to be knocked over by a car or something as it had never been out at all in the past. Eventually I caught it playing around by the railings that led up the steps to one of the shops on Hightown. I picked it up and thought “I’m on the way to the hospital but i’m going to have to carry the cat because I can’t just put it down and let it run around like this. It will drive me mad and be ever so stressful

Later on I’d arranged to meet one of my Canadian friends to go to the cinema but somehow I’d forgotten. I’d ended up going to bed. But the phone rang to ask me where I was “God! I’ve forgotten!” She replied “we’re just going in now”. She’s met someone and they were going to be on the balcony in the cinema. I dressed quickly and dashed into town, went up into the cinema and had a look round. Eventually I found them and went to sit next to them. There she was, then this guy then me then another woman. This was a B-feature and the lead film was a film abour economic analysis and everything. Of course I was fascinated by this and sat and listened to it. This woman started to talk about something that she had planned for her thesis to do with making glucoses on plants and transposing them to trees. I said “you should speak to my friend’s friend because he’s into genetics”. That sparked off a lively incident. This film then started to talk about someone who had developed some babysitting rings in South London with a couple of friends, about how they had started this but were doing it while studying and hadn’t let on. Their friends were starting to shun them because of the implications about what would happen to their studies if they found out that they were working.

Some time later a couple of us were hemmed in on a car park by a car and a lorry on a car park in Granville. We had to go to pick someone up from the seafront a little later and the gale was howling. It was really strong. I was trying to eat something but it was all falling apart. In the end I turned to whoever it was I was with and said something like “shall we go?”. I swept all of the ruins of whatever it was I was eating into a bag and I saw the cheese sandwich and said “God! Sorry!” to whoever it was we were meeting. We set off to go to see the storm.

A little while earlier at some point I’d been on a bike and I’d come to some roadworks and I’d had to wait while we were ushered through. The ushers were dealing with some kind of incident involving a lorry so we were there for hours. The we were let through and I had to cycle behind the girl on the bike who was leading everyone through. I’d switched my lights off and I couldn’t get them to work again. In the end I cycled off and by now I’d transformed myself into a car. I was heading back home to my place in Virlet. Although I’d come a different way I suddenly found myself back on the road that I knew so I was able to put my foot down and go that way. In the night with the lights and everything we could see all of these ancient buildings with all old dates carved into these buildings, hundreds of dates, all reflected in the shadows of the car’s headlights. It was the first time that I had ever seen them so clearly.

It’s no wonder that I’m totally exhausted with all of this going on, is it?

Having organised that I went and had a shower and went one better than Graham Nash – I actually DID cut my hair, although my not feeling up to par is not because I had the flu for Christmas – it’s something else completely.

Then I hit the streets – not that I feel much like it but on Tuesday I have to go for the train and so I may as well see how I feel.

You’ve already seen some photos and I’ll show you a few more quite soon once I’ve disentangled myself from the chat with the itinerant who hangs around the town.

unloading goods at empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a clothes shop for kids in the Rue Couraye but it moved to different premises not so long ago.

Just recently the windows have been covered over to stop people peeking inside, and today they’ve had a delivery of stock.

Hachette is wholesale book distributor and it’s their name on the packaging, so are we going to be seeing a bookshop open in the town?

Watch this space.

On the way up the hill my knee gave out again and that reminded me that as I was going past the new physiotherapists’ clinic I should pop in there and make an appointment. I have a doctor’s prescription for a course of physiotherapy.

At LIDL I didn’t buy very much at all today – it was the exercise that I went for more than the shopping, so I was soon heading back.

crane rue victor hugo rue saint paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we watched them demolish the old café on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

They erected a crane shortly afterwards and I said that they would get a move on now because hiring a crane is expensive. So since then they haven’t done a tap of work.

Of course it’s August and everyone is on holiday right now, but in that case why bring the crane in and not wait for September when everyone is back at work? It seems rather strange to me, but there again many things around here do.

public notice square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt LIDL I’d bought some energy drink to fuel the climb up the hill to home, so I stopped to drink it right by the Square Potel.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, late last year they demolished the staircase and closed it all off to the public, and today I noticed that a notice had been erected at the site.

Basically, work is going to start here next autumn, so they say, and so it’s not worth anyone’s while making the place look presentable at the moment, only to have to rip it all out in early course.

So at least we know when things might be starting. When they might be finishing is something else completely.

Outside the building was a neighbour so we had a chat, then I came in to put away my frozen peas and then … errr … hit the chair for a while. And no surprise there.

As a result there was a rather late lunch and I wasn’t in the mood for doing all that much afterwards for a while. Eventually I did some more Greenland photos to keep things ticking over.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen it was time for my afternoon walk, somewhat later than usual, I wandered as is my custom these days down to the end of the car park to have a look at the beach.

And we’re right at the turn of the tide by the looks of things judging by the beach, and there are quite a few people down there this afternoon making the most of it.

Plenty of sunbathers and and even quite a few people taking to the water. It was certainly one of the nicer afternoons that we’ve had for a while.

A few yachts out there in the distance too and beyond them are the bouchot beds that we saw yesterday. They aren’t as clear today as they were.

yachts ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on the subject of things being clearer, the air is certainly much clearer than it was yesterday.

The difference between the view of the Ile de Chausey today and the view YESTERDAY WHEN WE SAW MARITÉ is quite considerable.

Unfortunately she’s not out there now, she’s gone somewhere else out of my view. However there are quite a few other yachts over there in the distance, one of them being Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the coast last year.

lighthouse cap fréhel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re on the subject of going down the Brittany coast … “well, one of us is” – ed … the view down the Brittany coast was quite good today.

Right out there on its headland we can vaguely see today the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres from where I’m standing. Not the best view that we have had – we’ve had days when we’ve seen it with the naked eye – but pretty good all the same.

And I haven’t forgotten that I have a few close-ups on the lighthouse to show you one of these days when I find enough creative spirit to write something up about my journey down there.

st helier jersey channel islands Eric HallIf the view out down the Brittany coast is good, there’s a fair chance that the view out to sea might be good too (although quite often it isn’t).

Out there today, we have a really good view of the island of Jersey and the port of St Helier, even down to being able to see plenty of the buildings around the town. It’s very rare indeed that we cans ee them as clearly as this.

The big white building with the round dome on top is as far as I can tell, the Fort Regent Leisure Centre but I can’t really identify the others. One of these days I’ll have to go for a sail out there, but I bet that it will be raining and foggy and I won’t be able to see a thing.

seagulls baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this particular moment I was overflown by an aerial duo.

The white one on top was, presumably, mummy seagull and she seemed to be taking one of her babies, the browny-grey one underneath, for its maiden flight around the clifftops.

And judging by the noise that baby was making, she was not one very happy seagull at all. The younger ones have this very distinctive squeaky call that sounds like an unhappy toddler.

And by the way, if ever you come to Granville, bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

yellow microlight pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I’m on the subject of being overflown, it’s getting to be more and more like Play School here.

Today we aren’t going to be deciding which window to be looking out of, we’re going to be deciging which one of the microlight aircraft will be oveflying us.

Last time, it was the red one, so today then obviously it has to be the turn of the yellow one to come and pay me a visit, rattling its way past overhead.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the yellow autogyro so maybe that’s his turn tomorrow.

Surprisingly, that was the only aircraft today that went anywhere like close enough to be able to take a worthwhile photo. There were a couple of others but they were either too far out or too high.

fishermen speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dispensed with all of the activity out on the north side of the headland I went to see what was going on round the corner because i’d seen some things moving out there.

Across the car park went I, down to the end of the headland and just as I did so, a speedboat went right past in front of me.

We’ve had everything else today so why not a boat full of fishermen? Not doing very much fishing because they are travelling at some speed, from where I don’t know because all of the slipways are out of the water right now.

They are going to be having quite a long wait until the tide comes in far enough for them to go ashore.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said just now that things were moving out there, I was only speaking figuratively because here’s someone who clearly isn’t.

This is the best way to spend a quite sunny afternoon – anchored off the coast (you can see his anchor chain extended off the port bow) taking in the rays and waiting patiently for the tide to come in.

It doesn’t even look as if he is doing any fishing, and that is surely heresy around here right now.

There’s a few other things to see around the corner so i’ll wander off that way.

trawler in portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallPlenty of excitement yet again in the chantier naval this afternoon.

The portable boat lift has been pressed into operation today and it has a small trawler-type fishing boat in its evil clutches. And there’s a guy standing behind it with a pressure washer presumably removing the barnacles from her hull

And I suppose that you’re wondering why she’s still in the boat lift despite the tide being well out right now, and not dropped down onto a set of chocks as they usually do as soon as they take them out of the water.

Well, read on.

7 trawlers in chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s your answer. There simply isn’t anywhere to put her.

It’s been a really busy morning down at the chantier naval by the looks of things and we have no fewer that seven boats in there. There’s Charlevy of course across the other side, and Trafalgar nearest the street, and then four in a line with the seventh in the portable boat lift.

This is probably a record number of boats for me in there and I don’t see how they could hope to fit any more in their place.

And the excitement will begin when they need to use the portable boat lift to drop a boat back in the water, with nowhere to drop the one that’s in the lift while they do it.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw Chausiaise coming back into the harbour after her run out this morning, but she’s now back where she was moored yesterday.

Maybe that’s her work finished for the day, unless she has to go over and bring back some luggage tonight.

And in the background there’s another class taking place in the pool over there by the beach at the Grève de Hérel. It looks as if it might be kayaks this afternoon.

But I came back for a cold drink and to stir some papers around. Despite having felt a little better, I’ve still not been able to concentrate at all.

For tea I made a huge pile of aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit, with no pudding as I wasn’t all that hungry. I had no breakfast either so my appetite seems to have gone.

But now I’m off to bed, rather late, and hoping for a better, more productive day tomorrow. High time that I extricated my digit.

Wednesday 11th August 2021 – GONE!

gone and never called me mother empty quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd never called me mother!

For the past few days we’ve been keeping an eye on the steadily-increasing pile of freight that has been building up on the quayside down in the port. But when I looked down there this afternoon, there it was! Gone!

It looks as if one of the little Channel Islands freighters has paid us a visit on the early morning tide and cleared off back to the islands with its cargo, without saying anything at all about it to me.

gone and never called me mother empty quayside port de Granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that has gone, and never called me mother either is our old friend Marité, the old Newfoundland fishing boat.

She sneaked out on the early morning tide by the looks of things too and probably won’t be back home until the gates open this evening.

What I can see me doing is checking on the times of the tides and going for a morning walk as well as an evening one. I seem to be missing quite a lot just recently.

marité ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd in case you are wondering exactly where Marité might have been this afternoon, then I reckon that this is she.

While I was out on my afternoon walk I was keeping a watchful eye out to sea and with the aid of the big 70-300mm LENS I was able to make out the sails of a very large sailing ship just offshore.

The photo isn’t very good because while it was one of those days where you could see for miles, there was a peculiar taint to the atmosphere that distorted all of the colours and you can’t see things as clearly as we did yesterday.

yachts cezembre fort de la conchée st malo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut with the peculiar atmospheric conditions, this afternoon we could see things around the entrance to the port of St Malo that we don’t usually see.

The big island that you see is the island of Cézembre. At one time connected to the mainland by a causeway that has long-since eroded away, access was forbidden to the public after 1944 as an extremely heavy bombardment had littered the place with all kinds of unexploded ammunition.

Several attempts at sweeping the island have taken place and access has been permitted since the Spring of 2018, although many areas are still closed off.

The rather rectangular island to its left is one of the forts that guards the entrance to the harbour at St Malo. The silhouette resembles very much the Fort De La Conchée, built by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban and Siméon Garangeau. No longer used by the military, it was classed as a National Historic Monument in 1984.

But anyway, I’m running away with myself again, aren’t I?

This morning I awoke with the first alarm and wandered off for my medication. Back here I started to do the morning tasks but the next thing that I knew, it was 09:18. I’d been fast asleep on my chair in the office for a little over 2 hours and I didn’t feel a thing.

Having finally recovered I made myself a coffee and sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I started off in a country area, somewhere like that, and there was a lot of building going on. There were all these Germans there building houses. I had all of my medication so I wandered off to have a look at these houses while I took my medication but I dropped one of my tablets. I had a good look around but I couldn’t find it anywhere so I thought “never mind – I’ll have to go back and get another one”. This girl came up and began to talk to me. She asked me what I was looking for so I told her. She turned out to be Bruce Springsteen’s daughter. We talked about this tablet and one or two other things. She said that she was having to go on holiday soon but there would be someone around at their house. If they wanted to pay she could arrange for someone to be up there at the shop who could maybe bring my tablet back. She explained that their business was being sold and there would be someone new in there pretty soon.

Some time later I’d been going around my garages trying to get myself organised with my old MkIII Cortinas (and this is something that seems to come up quite often). I suddenly realised that now I had electric there was no reason why I couldn’t go back to MiG welding. I resolved that what I was going to do was to start to practise on bits of metal and see how I could develop a technique. While I was there I took a boot lid off a MkIII Cortina and went to replace the locking mechanism on it but then I couldn’t get the boot to lock. I was wondering if I’d assembled it correctly. I put it down in the toilet of this place while I went wandering off and there were people coming in and out of the toilets as you might expect. Some little girl went to the toilet and some older woman, her mother maybe, went running hell for leather after her to try to catch her. Then it was time for me to take myself off so I went outside to walk home and the skies were really, really heavy grey with rainclouds and rainstorms and everything. I didn’t have a jacket and at the moment it wasn’t raining where I was but it was going to rain soon and I was wondering whether I ought to try to reach home before the rain started. It was a big wide road and I had to wait for some traffic to pass. One of them was a big Riley used by the local police. There was another one, a smaller type of police car that went past while I was waiting to find a gap in the road. Then a Morris Oxford MO pulled into a car park just a little further back so I thought that this might have been something like an Austin Morris Owners Club event.

Later still I was living in an apartment somewhere and I’d gone outside to do something. I noticed that the apartment above me was being redecorated. There were 2 vehicles there, an ancient Land-Rover and something else with people taking boxes out of it, all that kind of thing and taking them up the stairs to this apartment. I thought that someone must be moving in. I thought that I’d go round and see them and make a coffee but I wasn’t dressed so I thought that I’d dress and then I’d better have a wash as well. At that point someone came round to see our apartment and see some people who were there. The were all getting in my way and I couldn’t get anything organised. I thought that by the time I get myself organised and these people had cleared off and I’m ready to go the ones upstairs doing this apartment would have probably had a coffee and wouldn’t need one from me so they wouldn’t have any time to sit and chat and talk about themselves.

While all of this was going on, I was chatting to Liz. She had some news for me, but more of this anon.

All of the day has been spent, as I mentioned yesterday, dealing with arrears of work.

The photos from Greenland had quite a lot of time spent on them and just as yesterday, one or two of them touched rather a nerve with me just as yesterday and I can do without sinking into a deep depression right now. As if I don’t have enough on my plate right now.

But to cheer myself I had a little fun with A PHOTO OF STRAWBERRY MOOSE. It’s been a long time since he’s been on an adventure.

Mind you, he has told me that he’s pleased that he’s in the EU and not in the UK at all. Word on the streets is that the UK is about to tear up the EU’s restriction on experiments on live animals, and he would have been afraid that he might been forced to sample my cooking.

As well as that I spent some time on my Spirit of Conrad notes but I’m not doing too well with those. For some reason I can’t seem to summon up the creative spirit these days and that’s annoying me too.

There was breakfast of course, and lunch, and then there was the afternoon walk around the headland to stretch my legs.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo Nazguls casting their shadows of doom over me today so I could wander off calmly across the car park to the wall overlookign the beach.

The tide is once more 40 or so minutes behind where it was yesterday so there’s even more beach to go at this afternoon and there were a few people taking advantage of it as well.

There were even a couple of people in the water and one or two sunbathers, but it’s still quite quiet compared to how it usually is in August when you can’t move outside here for the heaving masses.

man in canoe woman sunbathing on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd there were some people taking advantage of the weather in all kinds of different ways too.

We had a guy out there paddling his own canoe around the headland and I did wonder from where he came seeing as the tide is well out and there isn’t a slipway or quayside in the water right now.

He has a spectator too – a woman sitting on the sand at the water’s edge, prresumably wondering what the canoeist is going to do next.

As an aside, I used to go canoeing when I was at school and on one of our trips on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR I was asked if I would like to take a kayak out.
My response was “I would do if I could find some oars” to which they replied “who you meet and what you do when you are out there is your own business”.

bouchot beds st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen the bouchot beds out at Donville les bains and talked about them on several occasions.

There are bouchot beds all along the western coast of the Cotentin Peninsula and because of the strange atmospheric conditions today, we can see many more than we do usually.

If my geography is correct, these are the beds to the north of St Martin de Bréhal that stretch all the way along to the mouth of the River Sienne. And it’s not every day that we can see them as clearly as this, even when the tide is quite low.

fishermen in speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we are on the subject of fishing … “well, one of us is” – ed … there has to be some fishing included in the report of the day’s activities.

For the last couple of days, as I mentioned yesterday, there’s been a distinct lack of offshore fishing been going on, which is strange seeing as we are right in the middle of the summer season.

Today though, there were some fishermen out there. This speedboat had several in there but they weren’t doing much fishing as their rods were all furled up. And in any case they wouldn’t have caught much at the speed at which they were travelling.

f-bsno Wassmer WA-4/21-250 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd at this point I was oveflown by an aeroplane from the airfield just along the coat.

Having spent several days without the sight of even one, we made up for it today when this one went past. It’s one that we’ve seen on one occasion in the past, about two months or so ago – F-BSNO, a Wassmer WA-4/21-250.

She was picked up on radar at 16:07 over the sea near Granville – my photo being timed at (adjusted) 16:06 so that’s probably right, and she disappeared off the radar somewhere in the vicinity of the St Malo-Dinard airport at about 16:16 so she wasn’t aloft for long.

Another aeroplane, one of the smaller, lighter ones, flew by overhead almost immediately but I was engaged in a (Flemish) conversation with a couple of Belgians who wanted to know about the offshore islands.

fisherman canoeist pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith fishing seeming to be the activity of the day I wondered if there might be anything going on out at the end of the headland.

And so I scurried across the car park and down to the path to see for myself, and sure enough, we have someone with his rod out, down there on the rocks right at the end, not having much luck as usual.

There’s a canoeist down there too, but I’m not sure if he’s the same one who we saw a couple of minutes ago. If it is, he’s made rather rapid progress.

And I would still like to know how he intends to take his canoe out of the water at the end of his trip because he has a good few hours to wait before the tide will be in far enough for him to have access to a slipway

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third”, as they say around here.

And so having seen a couple of photos featuring fishing (of a sort) there’s bound to be a third, especially as the tide is so low. There are bound to be some pêcheurs à pied around here somewhere.

And sure enough, there were a couple of them scratching around in the rocks and rock pools a little further around the headland. Plenty of others elsewhere too out on the rocks further round, but when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.

And that reminds me – why is shopping in North America so boring?
Well, when you’ve seen one bunch of shops you’ve seen a mall.

I’ll get my coat.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeantime, some new activity yet again in the chantier naval.

As I’d been making my way along the path on the southern side of the headland I thought that the layout of the place had changed a little, and sure enough, we have another little trawler come to join the crowd this afternoon.

She’s called Trafalgar, a strange name to give to a French vessel bearing in mind the outcome of the battle of that name on 21st October 1805, and we haven’t seen her before – at least not to note. She’s now in here keeping company with Charlevy and the two others whose names I have still not discovered.

paddleboarders plage greve de herel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday I drew your attention to that swimming pool area at the beach at the Grève de Hérel.

And it’s a good job that I did so too because it’s a hive of activity this afternoon. The guys from one of the sailing schools have taken out some pupils on there and it looks as if they are going to be receiving some paddleboard instruction, or something of that nature.

If there are any sunbathers and swimmers on the beach over there, that’s not going to be too popular with them. There’s precious little enough water as it is without having to share it with a sailing school.

small boat aground port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile back at the ran … errr … harbour there are more boats left to go around at the wharf as the tide goes out.

Regular readers of this rubbish well recall having seen this one a few times on and off, painted in colours that are more usually associated with Government vessels than private ones.

But she would seem to be a private vessel because those red buoys look to me like the buoys that they use to indicate the presence of their lobster pots.

And something that I’ve always wondered is “how do you train a lobster to go on a lobster pot?”

On that note I’ll head for home.

Back here I had a cold drink and carried on with my notes until guitar practice time. That was followed by taco rolls with the last of yesterday’s stuffing, followed by apple crumble.

It’s early yet, but who cares? I’m going to bed. If I feel up to it I’ll resume my weekly treks to LIDL tomorrow but I’m not too optimistic. I’m a little better than I was and I could climb the steps without clinging on to the handrail, but even so that’s a long way from when I used to sail up the bank like a Spanish galleon.

Monday 9th August 2021 – THERE HAS BEEN …

trawler charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… yet more excitement in the chantier naval today.

When I walked past there this afternoon I discovered that the yacht Rebelle has once more gone back into the water today. But for how long, who knows? We might be seeing it back again quite soon if past history is anything to go by.

Also missing today is the trawler Monaco du Nord II. Her repaint and renovation job seems to be finished.

All that remains today is the trawler Charlevy and the two others whose names I have yet to discover.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, over at the ferry terminal is one of the Joly France boats – the older one without the step in the stern and with the windows in landscape format.

It may well be that she’ll be going out to the Ile de Chausey when the tide comes back in, even if the tide doesn’t come back in until later this evening, unless she’s there in preparation for an early start tomorrow.

Despite the weather not being exactly summer-like, there are still holidaymakers who need to be ferried out to the island and back. And it’s really sad that the weather isn’t what they would have been wanting after all of the events of the last 18 months.

And the sleep that I had last night wasn’t quite what I was wanting. Despite my early night and feeling as tired as I was, I couldn’t get off to sleep for ages and when I finally did, it was one of those sleeps that was rather intermittent.

And one thing that I noticed that I had to leave my bed in the middle of the night, something that I’ve now done for a few times just recently after going without for a couple of years.

There’s a pile of stuff on the dictaphone too. It was 21st birthday party of one of my niece’s daughters and a late 16th birthday party for another. They had waited until Covid was over and were having this celebration. There were some kids next door who were having a party and the parties somehow intermingled. At some point there was a fire and the fire brigade were called. The police came and arrested me and took me off. Some woman policewoman started to question me about the party – what was I doing allowing this and that to happen? I replied “hang on – what’s this got to do with me? I’ve only just turned up from Europe. I have no idea of what was happening at this do. I wasn’t in charge of it or anything like that. Why isn’t my sister here? Why isn’t her husband here? If anyone was in charge of it, they were more than anyone else because they live there and they were their kids”. After this went on for a couple of minutes I said “I’ll tell you exactly whose party it was. It was my niece’s daughter’s party. She’s 21, she’s an adult. Why isn’t she here?”. The policewoman looked at me, thought for a minute and said “get out of here”.

I was having camera issues and things weren’t going very well. Suddenly a box turned up and I opened it. It was 3 cameras, one of which I’d ordered but the other 2 were 2 that I’d looked at and decided that I didn’t want. It seemed that Amazon had sent me the 3. Liz then asked “is that the one that I got you?”. It turned out that Liz had bought me one as well and someone else had bought me one. I thought “that’s really nice of my friends, isn’t it?”. They were all going out and I was having to stay behind. They were getting ready to go but there were all kinds of things – it was like being in an office. Instead of closing at 17:00 it was open until all times of hours. There were people coming and going, all that kind of thing. A friend of mine (and I’ve no idea who she was) with 2 daughters, she’d gone of to take her kids to ballet class but she didn’t have time to come back. She came back with the older daughter who was about 8. We’d had a chat and a hug. We were just about to go off and get the other car when the other girl appeared from her ballet class and asked “where are the others going?”. I replied “they are going away home and leaving you behind”. “No they aren’t” she retorted “No” I said “they are going to get the car and bring it round here so you can go”.

There was more than this too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

What had occupied my time this morning was the radio programme that needed to be prepared. Yesterday I’d paired the music so I had to do the rest this morning.

And much to my surprise it was all done and dusted by 11:20, which is a new record, and I could even have finished earlier than that had I not forgotten to deduct the 35 seconds of speech from the time left over at the end of the programme.

As a result the final track was 35 seconds too long and I had to spend some time editing out a pile of speech to make the final track fit.

There was the usual break for breakfast, and my fruit loaf, the one that I made yesterday, is delicious.

When the radio programme was finished and while I was listening to it to make sure that it’s OK, I wrote up the notes from yesterday and posted them on line

After lunch I sat down to work on the journal entry from 31st JULY from when I went out socialising, and the excitement that I had on the way home. Unfortunately I … err … closed my eyes for a while, even though I had a full mug of hot coffee by my side.

Cold coffee doesn’t really taste the same.

Coming round from my reverie took longer than usual and it led to rather a late afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown to the wall at the end of the car park to look at what was happening down on the beach.

And today, not only were there people sunbathing, there were a few actually in the water enjoying themselves, although I can’t see how anyone could possibly be enjoying themselves in any kind of water at a temperature less than 37°C.

Mind you, today there was hardly a breath of wind and it was fairly warm. I’d even gone out without a jacket or pullover, for the first time since I can’t remember when.

man fishing place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that we haven’t seen for quite a while has been any fishermen.

Today, there was one of them standing on the rocks down at the end of the beach at the Place d’Armes. Of course, as you might expect, he never actually caught anything while I was watching, but then that’s par for the course.

And for a change, there wasn’t anyone in a boat fishing just offshore. Usually you don’t have the one without the other but we haven’t seen any seaborne fishermen with rod and line for quite a while.

fishing boats ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other hand, there is plenty of evidence of seaborne commercial fisherman.

My roving eye out at sea had picked up some kind of activity going on round by where we spent the night in the Spirit of Conrad last year. It looks as if it’s one of the inshore shell-fishing boats.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there are some shellfish beds out there and I suppose that the boat is engaged in harvesting the fruits of the sea.

There are some bouchot beds out there too and I suppose that the quality of the harvest from there would be beautiful seeing as there’s almost no human interaction over there.

condor voyager boat english channel ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there was something else going on even further out behind the Ile de Chausey in the English Channel, something that looked rather like a large boat.

Although I couldn’t see it clearly, I took a photo of it with the aim of blowing it up (the image, not the object) and enhancing it to see if I can find a clue as to her identity.

Having done that and enhanced the image sufficiently, I noticed that her silhouette resembles one of the Condor high-speed ferries that works the round trip between Poole, the Channel Islands and St Malo.

This photo was taken at 16:33 (remember, the camera is set to standard, not Summer time) and I noticed from the radar that at 16:53 the high-speed ferry Condor Voyager pulled into the harbour at St Malo

yacht fishing boat rainstorm brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver the fast few days we’ve seen storm and rain clouds gathering across the bay along the Brittany coast.

Today, there’s yet another rainstorm descending onto the sea just offshore over there. There ware a couple of boats, one a yacht and the other one that looks as if it might be a small fishing boat, that look as if they are about to be engulfed.

There are several small beaches over there that are quite popular with holidaymakers and they must be having something of a torrid time with the weather over the last few days.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAround the path on top of the cliffs to the viewpoint overlooking the port where I could look down onto the chantier naval and the ferry terminal.

Earlier on in this journal I posted a photo of Joly France settled down in the silt over by the ferry terminal, and here in front of here is Chausiaise, the freight barge who has moved from her mooring in the inner harbour where we saw her yesterday.

That would seem to indicate that she too is either about to go or has just been out on a run with freight over to the Ile de Chausey. The service is still continuing despite the depressing summer so far.

boat building material port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday, we saw a shrink-wrapped boat on the quayside waiting for transport out to the Channel Islands.

The boat has now been joined by a pile of building material so we can assume that there will be a freighter coming into the harbour imminently.

And if we look to the side, we’ll see that Marité has gone off for a sail today. We’ve not seen her out there at sea but I can tell you that she left port this morning at 08:06 and apparently she came back on the evening tide.

police interviewing motorcyclist car park boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat isn’t everything either.

There’s an issue, just as there is everywhere, of kids on motorbikes running around with little respect to the rule of law (and just in case anyone wonders, I was a young tearaway on a motorbike too in my youth) but here in the car park at the Boulevard Vaufleury, a couple of the local police force are giving one of the motorcyclists the third degree.

They are checking his papers, under the scrutiny of that woman over there who seems to be expressing a keen interest in whatever is going on.

apple crumble place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack at the apartment I finished off the outstanding journal entry and then went off to prepare a dessert for this week.

The choice fell on an apple crumble, and this is one of the best that I have ever made. You can see that I’ve already taken a helping out of it. That went down really well after my vegan pie and vegetables for tea.

But now that everything is done, i’m off to bed. Another early night and I hope that I have a better one that I did last night. I’ve been feeling a little better today and I hope that it keeps up. Tomorrow I have a Welsh lesson and I need to be on form.

Friday 6th August 2021 – JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT …

yacht rebelle trawler monaco du nord 2 trawler charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… that is was safe to go back into the chantier naval, look who’s returned.

And judging by the pile of water underneath her, she’s not long returned either.

Sure enough, the yacht Rebelle whom we witnessed going back into the water yesterday afternoon as now turned up back on her blocks in the chantier naval. Putting her into the water yesterday in the middle of that tempest found out a few things about her.

The next question is “how long is she going to be staying here this time?”.

A few other items of note as well, while we are here at the viewpoint overlooking the port *

  1. we now know the name of the blue trawler that has been there a while because they have finally got round to painting it on her superstructure. She’s called Monaco du Nord II, “Monaco du Nord” being the nickname give by the people of Granville to their town
  2. where the smaller fishing boat was that went back into the water yesterday, we now have another small trawler up on the blocks in her place.

There’s no peace for the wicked, is there?

Certainly not for me, anyway. It was at 00:20 this morning when the revellers awoke my by carousing underneath my window on the way home from wherever it was that they had been. I could have done without that, thank you very much.

Especially as it was difficult for me to drop off to sleep again afterwards. I had a very fitful, disturbed sleep.

After breakfast, I had a little listen to the dictaphone and sure enough, I’d been on my travels during the night. Someone was pushing a photo or drawing around and wondering what it was. I had a very good idea what it was but I wasn’t going to tell them and I’m not going to tell you either – you’re probably eating your tea of something. An “exploded diagram” could not have been a better description.

Later on I was out climbing with an explorer friend of mine in a limestone cliff kind of thing. We were following a map and we didn’t really have a great idea of where we were going but we were working it out. There was like a canyon through these limestone rocks and that was where we were heading. We climbed up about 3/4 of the way and stopped to get our bearings and have a chat. I thought that I could see the cleft so I pointed it out to him and he thought so too so I set off to climb in the front. But it seemed that the whole cliff had fallen over and was hard up against the wall of his attic so when we reached the top of course the cleft was on the side that we couldn’t reach which was up against his attic wall. That was a disappointment. I asked him how long he had been living in this house and he replied “6 years”. He asked me if I knew Ottawa and Gatineau. I replied “not really, no”. He asked how well I knew Canada. I replied that I knew the east pretty well but once I started going west of Montreal it all became a question of reliability of any vehicles that I owned. We had quite a laugh about that. I was going to ask him if he had lined out the attic himself with plasterboard but I didn’t have the time.

There were a few tasks that needed my attention this morning and I settled down to do them but feeling my eyelids become heavier and heavier in the end I succumbed – on the grounds that I wasn’t going to be doing anything at this rate if I didn’t bring matters to a head.

For about 50 minutes I’d been crashed out on the chair and during that time I’d travelled a surprising difference. I had a Moskvitch car, a dark green 412, given to me to take me to the airport or somewhere like that. I’d left it parked up at the side of my lock-up garage but decided that I’d go back and re-park it a little better. When I got there I found that someone had done something to the front left-hand wing, putting a cut in it as if they had pushed in a pile of rust or as if they had used a metal-cutter or something. It made quite a mess of this wing and it looked pretty dangerous. But at another point as well i was driving somewhere. It must have been in North America but I was driving on the left, a big, long main road and there was a vehicle in front of me. I couldn’t see very well what was going on coming towards me because it was that dusk time of day. Suddenly I noticed a huge collection of headlights that indicated that a load of vehicles were coming. As I couldn’t see anything silhouetted in the headlights I worked out that it was clear in front so I put my foot down to overtake. But these vehicles coming towards me were approaching a lot more rapidly than I thought so I had to put the brakes on and slow right down again. There was some debate going on too about the vehicles that my father had driven at his last place of employment. At first I was remembering that they were AEC Mercurys but of course they were all Fodens and ERFs so must have been Mercurys where he was working prior to that.

The morning was spent tidying up the music. That’s pretty important because of the radio programmes and I can’t just do things any old how. It wasn’t as easy as it might have been either, having forgotten to take screenshots of the music directories before I took out the old hard drive.

Eventually I managed it, and it would have been much easier and quicker had I first, rather than last, remembered that I had a full_size SATA hard-drive caddy. It took quite a while to set that up, mainly due to dirt and some such on the contacts but at least I could check what I’d done.

By the way this SATA caddy takes, in theory, 4x6TB hard drives and now that I know that it works with at least one (and maybe more if the computer has a multiple port SATA driver) hard drive, I shall be experimenting

Anyway, all of that was after lunch. I had to have my break for my butties and my fruit, and the coffee for afters.

Having finished playing with the computer I went outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo off across the car park I trotted, over to the wall to look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

And the tide is encroaching further and further and there is less and less space on which people can congregate. So there weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon.

And if you want a clue as to what the weather is doing, just have a look at the clothing. Not quite winter woollies but pretty damn near, I can tell you. And that will explain why there doesn’t seem to be anyone swimming in the water today as well.

yachts ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallas usual, while i had one eye roving the beach this afternoon, the other eye was roving out to sea.

And today, you could actually see things out there, which was surprising after yesterday. I thought that that weather was going to be here for good. At least the two yachts out there were making the most of the weather right now.

The sea was a lot calmer despite the wind, and the Ile de Chausey was quite clearly visible. It was even possible to see Jersey out there today. It was rather a shame about yesterday’s weather.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the last couple of days there have been quite a few moments of excitement when ships and boats of all descriptions have come around the headland.

Not today though. It was quite disappointing. Just this small yacht and nothing else. I can’t think where everyone else has gone.

But I know where I’m going. I’m going across the car park and round the headland to the other side to see what excitement awaits me around there. We can’t have a nice day like this (figuratively speaking) and nothign happening at all.

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six F-GVJC baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut right at this moment, I was overflown yet again by an aeroplane that has taken off from the airfield.

The outline or silhouette of this one is quite distinctive with her long nose and tricycle undercarriage. She can only be F-GVJC, the Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six that we have seen on a couple of occasions just recently.

And she did indeed take off at 15:47, which fits in with my photograph, and was still airborne when I checked two hours later, drifting up and down the coast between Avranches and Lingreville for no good purpose as far as I could tell.

joly france carolles plage baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA few minutes ago I was wondering where everyone had gone to. And now I know the answer for at least one of our seaborne craft.

Right out down the bay near the Pointe de Carolles was a dark outline leaving a wake behind it. Too far in to the coast to be a fishing vessel so I took a photo to enlarge and enhance back at the apartment.

And while it’s not clear from the image exactly who she is, her colour scheme and general size tells me that she’s one of the Joly France boats taking punters for a lap around the bay for a few bob a head while there’s time before nipping over to the Ile de Chausey.

Anything to keep busy, I suppose. They had a rotten season last year.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome other people keeping quite busy this afternoon are the various sailing schools. They are out in force after the whitewash yesterday afternoon.

And rather strangely, this bunch is quite strung out with several stragglers. usually they keep together in some kind of tight formation. Unless they happen this afternoon to be doing some kind of nautical danse macabre.

All the others were bunched up out of shot down by the shore to the left, not doing very much that was exciting. And they still had a couple of hours to go before they needed to be back home again.

storm waves breaking on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday of course we had the big storm as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and as I do too. My clothes were still wet this morning.

But while the storm has abated somewhat, it’s still piling on somewhere out at sea as you can tell by the force with which the water is hitting the sea wall.

And it beats me why so many people are opposed to harvesting the energy inherent in the sea when you ssee the waves coming in like that. The power in that lot down there could keep the area running for a while.

The answer to the conundrum about how to cope with the world’s energy demands is not to consume as much energy, but that’s far too simple a solution.

Stopping to admire the chantier naval, which you saw earlier, I came back home and carried on with the photos from Greenland 2019. That’s another pile of those moved on although I’m a very long way from finishing them. They’ll just be added to the piles of other arrears, I suppose.

There was guitar practice of course, followed by tea. Pie from the freezer with veg followed by the last of the coconut whatsit with pears. And I used the wrong bowls with those because that’s two now that cracked under the heat.

An early night now and I’m ready for this. Shopping tomorrow of course and so a clean-up at long last. I might even push the boat out and change the bedding if I’m not careful. This lot will probably walk into the washing machine on its own.

Thursday 5th August 2021 – HAVING BEEN FEELING …

… a little better over the last couple of days, I’m afraid that the inevitable happened today. I ended up having the worst morning that I’ve had for a considerable period of time. While I should have been out at Lidl doing my shopping, I was curled up in the foetal position on my chair in the office, and that’s no good for anyone.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut be that as it may, I consoled myself with the thought that I was probably feeling a little better than any landlubber who might have found himself on the deck of Normandy Trader as she set out from the port this afternoon.

Right into the teeth of a raging nor’wester that hit her full bow-on the moment that she left the shelter of the harbour wall. And with having a blunt end at the bow, I bet that she would have felt every wave that came smashing into her.

This was not the weather for the faint-hearted to be out at sea this afternoon.

storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you are wondering what has brought this on, well here’s your answer.

As you can see, we were hit this afternoon by one of these rolling storms that soaked absolutely everything that was in its path, including me

It was relatively moderate, if windy weather when I set out for my walk but the wind soon whipped it onto the shore and we suddenly got the lot. Where there were once several dozen people idly strolling along the path, the next minute it was panic-stricken flight and the path cleared in a matter of seconds.

normandy trader in storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf I had had any sense I would have cleared off with them as well, but I had things that needed my attention.

Normandy Trader left the harbour while I was on that side of the headland and I wanted to see if I could catch a glimpse of her out at sea and see how she was doing, battling against the storm.

However, you couldn’t see a thing out there in all of this. Eventually I was able to make out some kind of trace of a wake so I took a photo with the aim of digitally enhancing it when I returned to the apartment. And this is the best that I can do.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m getting ahead of myself here. While you admire another photo of Normandy Trader fighting her way out of the harbour, I was busy fighting my way out of bed.

After the medication I came back in here for a listen to the dictaphone to see where i’d been during the night.

There were all kinds of things going on last night like I’d started to make a radio programme. It was all about little bits of music or speech in French and it was all over the place. It took some tidying up and someone’s speech overran by miles, all kinds of things. I can’t really remember all that much about it now except having to combine all these speeches together to make my programme.

A little later on we were talking about postal charges and how I had to spend a lot of money getting a jacket back from Canada once but only £5:99 to get a camera back. There were some jokes about “what was my jacket doing in the meantime? Who was wearing it?” And all that sort of thing – had she stripped it off and was no longer interested. The question came round to postage and Airfix kits where it was all just die-cast plastic – you’d cast a few off, put them into envelopes and post them away, and why was postage “always to be advised” when you were buying something on line. It turned round to me singing on board the ship. I’d just started to sing a song when the alarm went off.

Until breakfast time I occupied myself in doing some more tidying up of the new computer drives. Then after breakfast I had some things that needed my attention but that was when I hit the wall and so I remined curled up on my chair for a couple of hours.

For two pins I would have climbed into bed and gone to sleep properly but that’s defeatism. If I were to do that I’d be in bed for the rest of my life and that wouldn’t be very long. I have to stay up and slug it out.

When I finally recovered my wits, such as they are these days, I did some tidying up in here and threw away a pile of stuff.

After lunch I set about trying to print out a label for the return of my NIKON 1 J5 and its faulty lens but it seems that the printer has failed definitively.

At the moment it’s printing just blue ink and not very much of that, despite all four cartridges being full of ink. I’ll buy some genuine ink cartridges at the weekend and see if it will work with those, and if not, it will be a new printer. I never have much luck with printers

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst stop of course is the beach. Well, not actually on the beach, but to look down upon it to see what was happening.

And with the tide being well in, there wasn’t all that much beach for things to be happening upon. But there were still a few hardy souls sticking it out down there.

There were even one or two people in the water, and had they realised what was heading their way, they probably would have been well-advised to stay in it because it was bound to be drier than what they were about to receive.

And I would have loved to have been there to have witnessed the panic-stricken flight up the steps to the Rue du Nord when the going got tough.

yacht in storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you are wondering what I meant by “what was heading their way” then take a look at this.

As usual, I had one eye on the beach and one eye out at sea, and I caught a glimpse of this yacht being battered by the storm as the giant dark cloud was catching it up.

The waves and the whitecaps should be enough of a clue about the weather. And it’s no surprise that I ended up being as soaked as I was. One glance at this made me think that I had better get a move on otherwise I would be regretting it.

So I didn’t hang around. Down the path, across the car park and round the corner like a ferret up a trouser leg

le loup normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen a few photos of Normandy Trader already on her way out of the harbour, and here’s another one.

She’s still not cleared Le Loup – the marker light at the mouth of the harbour, so she’s no more than a couple of hundred yards out at sea and still theoretically in the shelter of the headland, although you wouldn’t have thought so judging by the waves and the spray that are beating over her bow

You can imagine what that is going to be like when she’s 30 kilometres out in the bay.

trawler charlevy yacht rebelle going back into the water chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut while all of this is going on with Normandy Trader we must not allow ourselves to be distracted from anything else that might be going on down there.

And we’re having a change of occupancy down in the chantier naval. The trawler Charlevy is still there but at long last, the yacht Rebelle is going back into the water.

A good few weeks after the crew that was repairing her told me that it would be “shortly”, which I suppose it is, geologically-speaking. I wonder who is going to be coming into the chantier naval to take her place.

joly france leaving ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this point my reverie was interrupted by a loud blast from a siren nearby.

It’s actually one of the Joly France boats, the older one of the two, reversing out of the ferry terminal on her way to the Ile de Chausey.

Plenty of people standing around watching (the rain hadn’t hit over there yet) but there didn’t seem to be too many people on board, and that was probably just as well because, although she has a pointed bow of course, she still has a pile of waves that are going to hit her as she heads out to sea.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re at it, let’s have a look at Chausiaise.

She’s still where she was yesterday, moored up against the wall by the harbour gates, and still with her freight hatches open. So she can’t have been on the point of unloading or loading up yesterday as I thought.

And I hope that she has some decent bilge pumps to pump out the water. Leaving the hatches open in a rainstorm that is going to arrive any minute is not a good idea.

trawler charlevy yacht rebelle going back into the water chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut diverting my attention back to the chantier naval once more, I notice that there’s another change that I have missed.

The yacht Rebelle is on her way out of the place of course, but if we look closely, we see that the little inshore shell-fisher that was in between the two trawlers seems to have preceded her into the water today.

And in a storm like this that’s boiling up nicely, it will be a good test of workmanship in the chantier naval to send them right out of the repairer’s into the open sea. We’ll soo n see how good the work was.

So having done that I scurried off in the teeth of the gale and right into the storm head-on in order to catch a final glimpse of Normandy Trader as she disappeared off into the sunset.

joly france in storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as she went off out of sight, around the headland came Joly France.

This photo needed to be digitally enhanced too in order to pick her out of the raincloud which was by now drenching everyone and everything. And you can see that she’s making really heavy weather of the crossing, and she’s only about a mile out.

This is not ordinarily the weather for her to be going out, but there must be a good crowd of day trippers on the island who would otherwise be stranded there, and there’s almos nothing in the way of shelter on the island

But no matter what the circumstances, I bet that they aren’t looking forward all that much to the return journey.

By the time that I returned home I was dripping wet, and I mean that too. A hot coffee went down really well while I dried out.

The rest of the evening was spent dealing with photos from Greenland 2019 (I have to justify my day somehow), playing guitar and then making tea. The last of the aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit from a few months ago so I had better make some more next week

Now I’m off to bed. It’s been a harrowing day for me and a good sleep might do me some good. At least it can’t be any worse than today.

Sunday 1st August 2021 – THERE ARE LOTS …

72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall … of photos today for you to admire.

After all, today is one of the most important days, apart from Carnaval, in the whole of Granville’s annual calendar.

Every last Sunday of the month of July (and yes, I do realise that it’s the 1st of August and I wonder why the organisers haven’t) it’s Granville’s annual Pardon.

“And what is a Pardon?” you may well ask, as I’m sure that you are doing even as I speak.

musicians and singer 72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while a singer and some kind of orchestra entertain you with religious songs, let me explain.

The presence of an altar and someone in religious dress should give you a big clue. It’s a religious ceremony that is predominantly Breton in origin – in fact when I was in Brittany in 1978 I stumbled across several.

The significance of the date is that it was Sunday 31st July 1944 that Granville was finally liberated from Occupation and so they decided to have some kind of event to celebrate. This year is the 72nd Pardon.

joly france leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut the religious singing from the woman and her orchestra was far too much for some people.

With a hoot on her siren to warn anyone who might be coming into the harbour, the older Joly France boat, the one with the rectangular windows in landscape format, reversed from her berth at the ferry terminal.

She had quite a full load of people on board who had also quite clearly had enough of the religious singing too, and they all set out for a cruise off to the Ile de Chausey. And by the looks of things there is plenty of luggage because Chausiaise has moved from her berth while I was watching what was going on.

72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was sitting on my wall overlooking the harbour, a couple of neighbours fell in with me.

One of them is dog-sitting his sister’s corgi while she is away and he was taking it for a walk. The other one was my friend from the third floor and we sat together and watched events unfold down below.

She has an Apple phone and she’d been trying to download the Government’s AntiCovid application onto it, without much success. And so I had a try and I didn’t have too much luck either with it. I couldn’t even find the App in the Apple Store.

In the end I gave it up as a bad job and concentrated on the activities down below.

72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhat’s involved is that there’s a procession from somewhere in the town – from where I do not know – and people are either in it or follow on behind as befits their case.

All of the various trades and professions, like guilds I suppose, have their own flags and banners and they march in their respective order through the town until they reach the car park of the Fish Processing Plant where the ceremony takes place, along with representatives of the various churches and religious orders.

And I’m not sure if that’s a good place to hold the ceremony though. I don’t think that the odour would contribute much to the ambience of the festival, although a really good priest would just have to bring 5 loaves here if the congregation were to develop an appetite.

microlight aircraft ulm 72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallGiven the amount of times that I’ve been overflown by an aircraft of some description just recently, it goes without saying that I’m overflown again today while I’m sitting on the cliff edge.

it’s our old friend the red microlight powered hang-glider thing or whatever it is, come to have a close look at the events from up above in the air.

But the religious singing can’t have done him much good either because instead of circling around above to have a good view of the events, he took one look at the events and cleared off into the distance.

lifeboatmen 72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier, I mentioned that the various trades and professions had the right to take part in the parade.

Those guys down there in the orange jackets are the lifeboatmen, the sauveteurs de mer, and their emblem seems to be an old rowing boat of some description.

It’s quite appropriate for the lifeboatmen to be here in the procession because their lifeboat is called Notre Dame de Cap Lihou, and she, Our Lady of Cap Lihou, is the patron saint to whom the Pardon is dedicated.

72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt doesn’t take long for the place to fill up and then the religious ceremony and the blessing of the flags and banners begins.

That’s the cue for me to make myself scarce because I don’t think that organised ceremonies and this “holier than thou” public profession of one’s faith is what Christianity is all about. This bit about graven images and all of that.

Religion is a personal issue between you and whoever your maker is, and no business of anyone else.

And in any case, on a more temporal basis, I’ve not had my medication yet and I need to deal with this before too long.

That’s because I didn’t awaken until about 09:30 this morning and the events kicked off at 10:00 so I couldn’t aford to hang around.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce the harbour gates open, there’s a procession of boats all around the headland and back again before the gates close.

Most of the local boats, such as our old friend La Granvillaise, recognisable by the “G90” on her bow, and this other boat whom we all know and whose name escapes me for the moment but which i’ll remember as soon as I press “send”, take part in the procession.

So while you admire all of the boats as they take part in the procession I can get back to doing what I was doing a couple of minutes ago and talking about my day so far, because it’s been a busy day today.

boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving gone to bed quite early last night, seeing as I was quite tired, I awoke a few times during the early morning, like at 07:20 as I remember.

But there’s no chance of my leaving my stinking pit at that time of morning. 09:30 is pretty early for a Sunday but with the Pardon to consider, I had to leave the comfort and warmth of my bed and take some decisive action.

Grabbing a nice ripe peach, I put on my clothes and finding the camera, headed outside for a cosy spec on the wall on the clifftop overlooking the ceremony – “a seat in the circle”, you might well say.

notre dame de cap lihou belle france 72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire the photo of our lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou and our new ferry Belle France, I was back in my apartment taking all of my medication.

And then, back in the bedroom where my office is, I downloaded all of the video files from the dashcam relating to my trip out. And I can see a couple of serious issues about this dashcam because about 90 minutes of driving used up 15GB.

This means that my 32GB memory cards are going to be fairly redundant at this rate and it’ll be 64GB memory cards in future, and a lot of them too if I go off on a long trip, which is unlikely these days, the way things are.

72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNext up was to look at the dictaphone to see what was on there.

There are in fact plenty of files on there and so I uploaded them to the computer with the aim of transcribing them.

Something was going on with some company or other so we all decided that we were going to picket so we all went out into the fields somewhere in this village then we all ended up going home. I can’t remember who I was with now but I asked what was on TV and they replied “nothing”. I asked “what about the cricket?”. They couldn’t find the cricket. Next day we went out and came back for the cricket again and England were like 125 behind and one of the batsmen, Jack Hampshire, had just been dismissed for making a noise. Apparently it’s a new regulation that if a batsman makes a noise he can be sent off. In the meantime we were back with this shelf-filling exercise – all shelves in supermarkets abroad are not filled but not in the UK and I don’t remember anything else but I was having one of the worst feverish sweats that I’d had for ages.

It was early afternoon, we were running the taxi business and I had a young guy driving. We were getting pretty busy and Mari rang up for a taxi to take her to the launderette. We added this onto the guy’s list. He went off to take her. Then we came back here and I had to go out to do a couple more jobs and Mari rang up for a taxi back. Nerina said that we were busy and she’d have to wait but I took the opportunity and said “oh no I’ll go and take Mari” so I went out in EBF, picked her up and brought her home. Then I got talking to the other taxi driver. He was saying that when he turned 14 he had four periods one after another so I laughed and said “you’re turning into a woman. He said “a bit” because he really was making medical history, this. We drove back and Nerina had made some soup and bread. I don’t know what was in it but it was very tasty and we all ate it. But there was another part of this dream that I don’t remember very much about me living in Gainsborough Road and having all of my old Cortinas there. There was some talk that the council was going to issue me with an enforcement notice telling me to dispose of all the Cortinas – another part of this recurring dream where I had Cortinas tied up in a garage and all kinds of different places all over Crewe.

I was walking through Shavington, down Chestnut Avenue. There were loads of people dressed in costumes, ballerinas and so on coming up the hill. I tripped over a pile of ballet shoes and got them all out of order and I had to throw one in the pile and hope that that one wasn’t important. Just then a steam locomotive roared past, a big 9F going like the clappers backwards up the hill followed by a couple of smaller ones. took a photo of one or two of them. There were loads of old buses, everything so I asked “is there a carnival going on here?”. The replied “yes – on Saturday”. I thought that if I come up from Audlem I can park my car out by the Elephant and Castle, walk into the village and watch the procession with the steam trains and buses because I’d seen a few old buses as well. It’s going to be really good. So I walked around to a place where they were doing food. There was some kind of activity taking place in which I took part. There was something like a half-marathon going on too. After the activity I wanted to take a shower but they were strange showers. Instead of being above you and pouring the water down they were below you and pouring the water up. I went to take a shower but got talking to this old woman. There were a few people there teasing each other about everything. This woman seemed to be quite active. she said “I’ll take you to the dance with me on Thursday night for the old people. I thought “old people!”. Then I suddenly realised that this carnival would be taking place and I don’t want to miss that so I had to make my excuses. Then I went to have a shower again but they were busy dismantling it so I had to shout at them to stop them dismantling it so that I could finish my shower in peace with everything ready.

marité yachts  trawler cabin cruiser 72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMarité was out there, being her usual anti-social self, and I was being my usual anti-social self inside.

The notes from yesterday needed updating to add in the photos but there were also a couple of events that had been recorded on the dashcam that needed checking.

One of them, to my extreme dismay, that had happened at Lidl yesterday didn’t work out at all but two others weren’t too bad. I had to produce a couple of stills from the recorded video and you’ll get to see them when I get round to adding in the photos of yesterday, whenever that might be.

speedcraft 72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn one of the earlier photos, I’d seen some kind of speedcraft rapidly going past the procession – in rather bad taste, I thought.

But there he goes now, flat out, full speed ahead on his way over to the Ile de Chausey and I’ve no idea why he would want to go that fast over there on a Sunday during what is supposed to be a religious parade.

In the meantime, I was busy editing the photos from yesterday and taking dashcam stills, and then I had things to do. By now the harbour gates would be well open and I wanted to see the procession of boats.

yacht rebelle trawler charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey had long-since gone out of the harbour by the time I reached the viewpoint, and so I turned my attention to the chantier naval.

The yacht Rebelle is still in there, as is the trawler Charlevy over there at the back. The two unidentified trawlers (still unidentified, by the way) are still there too but we’ve had a new arrival that is parked in between them.

She’s one of the inshore shell-fishers, as you can tell by the roof over the storage area that stops the seagulls pinching the catch as the boats return to harbour with their full loads.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … it’s good for the town to have a busy and effective chantier naval.

notre dame de cap lihou belle france 72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter looking at the chantier naval I walked off down the path and around the headland, in the reverse direction to normal, just for a change.

To my surprise, there weren’t all that many people out here watching the events – probably no more than a couple of hundred. The actual Pardon wasn’t particularly well-attended either. On the wall looking down onto the affair there can’t have been more than about a dozen of us.

It’s not at all like the Carnaval and I remember seeing the Pardon and the procession when I first came here, when you couldn’t move for people milling around.

72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound on the north side of the headland I found a convenient spec, without any difficulty at all, to watch the boats go past me.

That was the spec from where I had taken all of the previous photos of the the boats going past me.

As the last few disappeared off around the headland, I took another photograph of them and then walked back across the car park to the south side of the headland.

That was where all of the action was going to be for the next while

notre dame de cap lihou belle france 72nd grand pardon procession baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd right on cue, Notre Dame de Cap Lihou and Belle France came into view, neck-and-neck in the lead apart from the speedboat that was cheating on the outside.

As for the rest of the procession, I had to leave them to it and head back towards home because I have plenty to do. And so I retraced my steps along the path on the north side of the headland.

“This will do for my daily walk” I said to myself and joined everyone else who was busy deserting the scene, probably for Sunday lunch although there were a few picnickers here and there.

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMarité was still out there though.

She had no intention of joining in the procession by the looks of things, which was a shame. She had other business that needed attention, presumably taking a load of passengers out for a tour around the bay.

There was other business that needed my attention too – like lunch, for example. I’d had nothing to eat at all so far today except that peach and my stomach was thinking that my throat had been cut.

After my lunch I made a start on the bread and I kneaded it using the lessons that I had learnt from Liz on Thursday. It took an age but eventually the dough behaved just as she told me that it would and ended up being probably the best dough that I’ve ever made.

So I dumped it back in the bowl to let it proof for a while.

Back in the office I sat down to deal with the photos but to my dismay I crashed out for about an hour. And that put me behind just about everything that I was hoping to do.

But the bread had gone up like a lift so I gently shaped it and dropped it into the bread mould to carry on with its proofing. Then I kneaded the pizza dough that I’d taken from the frezer earlier, rolled it out and put it on its tray so that that could proof as well.

When the time was right, I turned on the oven and when it was hot enough I stuck the bread in to bake.

home made bread vegan pizza Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeantime I began to assemble the pizza.

And for once just recently, I had all of the ingredients to hand so it was quite straightforward this week.

When the bread was ready I took it out and put in the pizza and left that to cook. And here are the finished product. And doesn’t that loaf look really good?

No pudding of course because there’s plenty of pineapple upside-down cake to be going at for the next week or so. And as I don’t have much coconut soya stuff to go on it and I couldn’t find any yesterday, I have plenty of milk to make custard.

But not tonight though. I have no room for any pudding right now after that pizza

sunset baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall Later on, I went out again.

It was rather late in the evening and I was lucky enough to see the sun at one of its lowest points just about to disappear below the horizon behind the Ile de Chausey.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen the sunset over the sea. In the old days before Covid I was out every night at about 21:00 and I’dseen the sun set on several occasions, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall

These days though I just don’t have the time and I wish that I did. i have far too much going on to be able to relax as I used to.

police vehicle blocking port st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound the corner and down the street and there’s a road block at the Porte St Jean stopping the traffic entering the medieval walled city.

There’s something going on in the old town tonight and while it’s not a subject that interests me all that much, we have to note it for the record.

Policemen know everything, even if they are merely “Police Municipal” rather than the National Police or the Gendarmes. And so I made “certain enquiries” and the bobby pointed me in the right direction. and so off I jolly well set.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this is why I’ve come out this evening – and I’m bang on time which is quite amazing. THey are just going across the drawbridge into the old walled town.

There’s a religious ceremony taking place in the Eglise Notre Dame de Cap Lihou and everyone has come up from the Fish Processing Plant in a procession as they did around the town this morning.

And those two guys in front had better get a move on because their handbags are on fire.

Unless they are these incense things that they wave about distributing perfume. And seeing as they have just come up from the fish processing plant, that’s not a bad idea.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBehind those two guys swinging their censers or whatever they are called, come the madding crowds. Everyone who was there this morning is coming this way this evening carrying some kind of lanterns, candles in a special holder that doesn’t look all that fireproof to me..

They are all carrying their banners and emblems, presumably taking them to the church to be blessed again after this morning’s service. And I’ve no idea why they would want to do that twice on the same day.

Some people might think that involving the children in carrying the emblems and whatever might be a good idea but that little kid at the back is having a bit of a rough time carrying that ship.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBehind the couple carrying the ship comes almost everyone else.

There’s another one of these white ships coming on behind. This one is carried by two kids and I bet that they know all about the climb up the Rue des Juifs carrying that. It’s not as easy as you might think carrying something like that.

Behind the kids come all of the banners belinging to the different organisations and corporations of the town. And I wish that I knew exactly what they represented because I can’t decipher anything from what I can see on them.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo pirzes for guessing who these people are

In their orange jackets and pushing the rowing boat that we saw earlier this morning, they can only be the lfeboatmen, the sauveteurs de mer. And here’s something that I don’t understand, which is “why haven’t they painted their bot arange and green, the same colour as their lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

And I bet that they know all about dragging that up the hill as well. It’s not as if it’s light. Mind you, if they had any sense, there would be some kind of motor under that blue canopy.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBrining up the rear are the religious dignitaries from the region.

The one with the pointed hat is a bishop, I reckon, but I don’t know who the other one is. But if he’s a bishop and needs a good crook, I’m within beckoning distance. There’s no better crook than me.

So they are off to the church, shepherding the stragglers along with the bishop’s crook, I suppose and so I clear off too back home. I still have plenty of work to do.

Things are taking a lot longer than I anticipated which is a shame, and I need my beauty sleep as I have a lot to do tomorrow.

Tuesday 27th July 2021 – THERE’S A TIME …

people sleeping on verge place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… and a place for relaxing, as everyone must surely agree.

But wherever and whenever it is, it isn’t at 17:15 on a Tuesday afternoon on the grass verge on a car park when you have a whole beach not 200 yards away down some steps where you can recline to your heart’s content.

However, I’m rather disappointed that these were two guys. Had it been a guy and a gal I would have come out with some kind of witty remark like “just look at that young couple on the verge …” but you can’t win a coconut every time, which is a shame.

Another time when it isn’t is at 07:30 on your chair in your office when you’ve made a special effort to leave your stinking pit at 06:00. I was hoping to have a good day to crack on with a pile of work seeing as there were no distractions, but 90 minutes flat out in the early morning is no way to start the day, particularly with the amount of time that it takes me to recover.

All in all, today was something of a failure and I’ll have to do better tomorrow.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I did find time to look at the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

I was with 2 girls again and then these2 girls split up and left me with one of them but it wasn’t really the one that I wanted as you might expect but nevertheless I put a brave face on it. We went to Gregory’s nightclub in Nantwich and went on a few attractions, things like the Sliding Settee and all that, the invisible barman, whatever. There was a game-thing where you sat on it and it shot you off across this board, took a right-handed turn and shot off somewhere else and so on. I was really worried about my camera banging everywhere but I managed to make it across all the way without causing any damage. I said to this girl that after than I needed a drink and we’d go for coffee but I think she wanted a tea so we fixed on the bar where the disappearing barman was. By this time, I had a dog, an old Irish dog something like Jessie that we used to have and that was with me so the 4 of us (… who was the 4th? …) went upstairs wearing captain hats or something like that. Somewhere in this Liz (which Liz? There are several who appear in my nocturnal rambles) turned up as well and she was saying that if only she had a decent bicycle she’d get rid of her bike and buy a …I fell asleep here ….. Did I say that Liz appeared somewhere in this saying that if she lived somewhere instead of where we were living she’d have a decent bike because it’s very hard for her and her sons and everyone not to be able to drive so I told her about electric bikes and asked whether electric bikes might get her up the hills around here.

Strangely enough, or maybe not, depending on how you look at things, while I was flat out on the chair I’d been on a ramble or two or three as well, but these were a confused hotch-potch of nonsense. I was with my brother in Crewe and we’ were on our way home from something. We called into a Penny Arcade place There was a young girl in there and another man. My brother and I separately and without knowing what the other was doing whispered some kind of warning into this man’s ear. Eventually the man left so we followed him and when we caught up with him he was busily committing a serious offence. We took hold of him and had him on the floor and the police came and took all of us. The man was taken away and the three of us were left to wait. After an age someone came and asked if we were the drunken brawl people too which we said no so he left. We waited again for ages end eventually decided to look in the rooms to see if we could see the guy who had seen us just now and find out what was going on. But we kept on interrupting people in the middle of meetings, stuff like that, and there was no-one there to help our enquiry
Later on there was something with Zero too and something else with another young girl who ended up living in the total chaos that was my house. I invited some of the kids including this girl back to my bedroom but it was in such a state that I went to clean it. Lifting stuff off the bed I was finding all sorts, half-eaten bananas, piles of dust, a plumbing kit, a box with some leaky bottles, pile of polystyrene balls and the sheets were so dirty and stained it was unbelievable. When I had everything on the floor I went to fetch the vacuum cleaner but from downstairs someone shouted “food” so I went down. The girl was eating some hot chick peas and there were three other bowls of similar food, two of them boiling away. None were for me though. I usually make my own lunch. But I wanted to talk to this girl. At some point I’d seen her walking in the street. I had been on a racing bicycle and going quite fast when I passed her, and again on the way back
At some point Percy Penguin put in an appearance too.

There was lots more to it than this but seeing as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details. But there we were complaining the other day about the lack of regulars in our most recent nocturnal voyages and lo! And behold! A couple more turn up unexpectedly during a most impromptu repose.

You can’t beat it.

So once I recovered I made a coffee and then filled a little more (but not much) of the shelf unit in the kitchen.

Back in here I started to work on my photos from my adventures on board Spirit of Conrad but I needed to find a piece of paper. This led to stripping out the bookcase in here, sorting out a pile of stuff, binning loads of it, putting some for filing and generally making the bookcase much more accessible.

And just in case you are wondering, I didn’t find the piece of paper for which I was looking.

After lunch I had a session on the acoustic guitar (I’m changing my hours around a little), answered the phone from my hospital in Leuven, sent them a message and took out some of the rubbish. Yes, the highlight of the day, that was!

Just as I was about to go out for my afternoon walk we had the most tremendous downpour and I wasn’t going anywhere in that. I hung around and waited for it to pass and so it ended up with being a rather late walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course, it goes without saying that I’m going to go and have a look at the beach.

Plenty of beach again of course, but not so many people down there. At least those who were down there were having plenty of fun.

And I was surprised not to see many more. It’s only the beaches on the south side of the headland that are closed to the public. Here on the north they are open so I was expecting to see half of Paris down there.

But anyway, ignoring the people lying about on the verge, I cleared off along the path.

people on footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJoining the madding crowds of people massing on the path around the headland.

Even one or two of them wearing masks today too. Just one or two. I think that there must be more than just me concerned by the rapid rise in the number of infections just now

There was something else quite surprising too, and that is that there was nothing – absolutely nothing – going on out at sea today. Not even anyone fishing from a rowing boat. Where has everyone gone?

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt last I actually find some kind of sea craft out at sea.

As soon as I saw it I was off down the path and across the car park like a ferret up a trouser leg to see what it might be. But at this range, it wasn’t easy to pick it out wit the naked eye.

Back hone though, it didn’t take much of an effort to see that it was a trawler out there just off the Phare de la Pierre-de-Herpin and the Pointe de Grouin.

Usually at this point I would say something about exploring different fishing grounds, but being the only water craft out there – never mind the only fishing boat – then anything could be happening.

trawler charlevy yacht rebelle chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I wandered off along the path on top of the cliffs to look at what was going on down in the port.

The chantier naval is always a good place to start. The yacht Rebelle and the trawler Charlevy are there of course, as are the other two trawlers whose names I don’t know.

But we can see that the one that we saw in primer yesterday now has its first top coat on the wind deflector. It won’t be long before they paint her name on it and then hopefully we can find out who she is before she goes back into the water.

And find out about the fourth one too while we are at it.

tractor trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I go back home, and before I comment on the fact that I haven’t been overflown by anything today, which is a surprise in itself, I must comment that at least a couple of the smaller fishing boats must be out at sea.

The tractor and trailer that collects the shellfish from a couple of the boats is parked in position at the ready so it must be waiting for one of its clients to come in with some supplies.

It was at this point that I had a phone call from Rosemary so I dashed home quickly to call her back. However I was detained on the steps by a neighbour so by the time that I’d grabbed my coffee it was later than I thought.

As is usual, Rosemary and I chatted for ages putting the world to rights, to such an extent that I missed my bass guitar practice completely which is a shame. I’ll have to move that too.

Tea was taco rolls (that didn’t fall apart like the stuffed pepper) and the last of the jam roly poly. Tomorrow I suppose I’ll have to resuscitate some apple pie from out of the fridge.

Now I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh chat tomorrow evening so I need to be on form for that. So here’s hoping for a better day.