Tag Archives: christmas decorations

Monday 6th December 2021 – THE PECHE À PIED

jullouville baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… has taken on a whole new significance today, judging by the news that’s currently doing the rounds.

A couple of people who were over there at Jullouville looking among the rocks for crabs came across an old boot instead. And in it were the remains of a human foot.

There are of course all kinds of wrecks out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel – fishing boats, aircraft, pleasure craft and so on – and many people have been lost there, especially during the fighting in June and July 1944.

What has quite possibly happened is that Storm Arwen has disturbed an old wreck that still has human remains on board and the boot has floated free.

But it seems that from now on, when one is mentioning the peche à pied one will have to specify to which pied one is actually referring.

This morning at 06:00 when the alarm went off I had a struggle to take to my feet. But once the medication had been taken and the mails and messages checked, I cracked on with the two radio programmes that I needed to prepare, with the aid of a mug of strong coffee.

It took me much longer than I reckoned too, knocking off as finished at 13:15, but that was having had quite a chat on the internet with Liz who was on line.

What else didn’t help was that I couldn’t find a suitable ending-track for my Christmas programme. In the end I had to find one that would do, stretch out the speech that went with it and lengthen a few pauses and in the end it fitted quite nicely.

As for the other radio programme on which I was working went together quite happily

After lunch I had a quick clean-up and then headed off to the physiotherapist.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Outside it was grey and miserable and threatening rain.

On the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard des Terreneuviers I could look down on the fish processing plant. There weren’t any boats down there of course – the tide is well-out right now – but there is a refrigerated lorry and several freezer vans parked down there.

There must be plenty of fishing boats out at sea right now and they will be due back on the early evening tide, when the vehicles down there will take away the catch.

Yesterday while we were out on our travels we noticed that there were no longer any boats moored up at the ferry terminal in the tidal harbour.

joly france belle france chausiaise victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021They have all now come into the inner harbour so that would seem to indicate that they have no plans to go to sea in the immediate future.

The three that are moored together in the foreground are the brand-new Belle France nearest the quayside, with the newer of the two Joly France ferries, the one with the smaller upper-deck superstructure next to her. On the outside is the little freighter Chausiaise.

Over at the back on the right are the two Channel island ferries – Victor Hugo on the outside and Granville on the inside moored against the quayside.

repointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Further on down the road I had a look at what was going on with the pointing at the Rampe du Monte à Regret.

They seem to be making good progress with it, but my attention was drawn to the two guys on the scaffold – the one in the red jacket and the other in the fluorescent jacket.

Judging by the way that they are standing around doing very little and pretending to inspect the work, they look very much like site managers to me.

With the steps being closed off I had to walk down the Rue des Juifs and go through the town that way to my appointment

Today she had me do five minutes on the cross trainer and the rest of the time was spent doing kinetic exercises. And I’m dismayed at how much I seem to have been affected by whatever it is that is going on with my body right now.

Much of my co-ordination and balance has gone completely and I don’t have the power in my knees to stand up from a sitting position without using my hands.

Anyway, after half an hour she threw me out and judging by the state of the pavement I’d just missed a torrential downpour..

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2112/21120044.html”>christmas decorations rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way up to the physiotherapist I’d noticed that the decorations in the Rue Couraye have … errr … evolved.

We now have candy-striped pillars placed over all of the bollards on the edge of the kerb. They have signs on them indicating the nature of the shops alongside.

Dark though it was right now, the Christmas lights weren’t yet illuminated. I can see that i’m going to have to come down later in the evening one night and see how they look, in the hope that they are better than they have been in previous years.

For some reason, I don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm that I had in previous years.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Halfway up the Rue des Juifs I stopped at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

Not because I was out of breath and not because of anything that was going on in the port either but there was another beautiful sunset out there in the Baie de Granville. This was far too good to miss. It really was quite impressive.

Before I set out earlier I put a can of energy drink into my bag with the idea that if I needed it I could drink it on the way home but I totally forgot about it. I might not be feeling enthusiastic but at least I’m feeling a little more fit than I was three months ago.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before going back into my building I went over to have a look down onto the beach.

There’s plenty of beach down there just now, but there wasn’t anyone down there on it. That’s not really a surprise because it was quite windy, going dark and threatening rain.

Back in the apartment I had a nice hot coffee and then transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night. I’d had quite a busy night by the looks of things. and there was plenty to transcribe.

There were quite a few entries from the last few days too but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow to read those.

Anyway, last night I was at the cinema. I’d gone to see some rock concert or other that was taking place there. I mentioned to someone that I was going and he said that his younger sister was going as well. I turned up at this cinema and took a seat. When I looked round, there was a young girl there waving at me. I said “hello”. I thought to myself “is this that girl?” because when I looked around again there was another girl waving at me who looked pretty much identical. I couldn’t work out who was who and I couldn’t remember her name. As usual I was tying myself up in a knot about “should I go and sit next to her and so on? What if it was the wrong girl?”. The usual kind of confused state that I find myself in at times. Then the lights went out and we had the immediate “get your hand off my leg” comment that used to go around the cinemas in Crewe in those days when the lights went off, which always of course caused a lot of laughter. When I looked around though, both the girls had disappeared off somewhere. Here was yet another situation that I’d let slip through my fingers because I was being far too indecisive. The story of my life, isn’t it?

And I wish that I knew who the girl was too. Although seeing as I let her slip through my fingers like that, maybe it’s better that I don’t know, to avoid any disappointment.

Later on I was going out that night and I needed a new jacket to wear to make myself look smart (it’ll take more than a jacket to do that of course) so I went off to a shop that I normally use. I’d had a look round on the upper floors at a few different kinds of things but no jackets. I’d taken off my jacket and hung it on a peg while I was doing that. I then went downstairs to look at the men’s clothing. There were lots of other interesting things down there as well. When I arrived downstairs there was only the men’s clothing section open. The rest was all closed off as if they were remodelling the shop. They were busy hanging clothes onto hooks from behind the blanking-off thing that they were doing. There was a TV there with a load of men there watching the TV. I thought that they had probably been dumped by their wives who had then gone off to do the shopping somewhere else. Before I could look for a jacket I awoke.

Later still Nerina and I had had an argument in Germany somewhere on holiday and she had stormed off. I was walking the streets – it was 00:30 – wondering whether I should go back to the hotel room. As I was walking down the street a car pulled up. A man got out with a little girl about 7 or 8. She walked past me and said “here’s your computer mouse. I got on my bed and it fell off so I put it on the floor and here it is”. I took my computer mouse and was still wondering what to do. Somewhere somehow it turned out that Nerina had gone and my car had gone as well. I was stranded in Germany. I ended up with something like a Bella estate that I had managed to find. I was with that car and with Linda from Portugal (and here’s someone from a very distant past making her debut in my nocturnal rambles) but I’m not sure at all about where this bit with the Bella estate fitted in. I was in Stoke on Trent by this time

Finally I was having to negotiate my passage through the country that had formerly ruled the place where I live. I suspected that it wasn’t going to be easy. We set off and reached the border. I’d built some kind of big snowball or snowman and behind it were hiding several other men. I was discussing with them the plan that we’d go as far as the border and maybe go across. There would be a lot of bloodshed. They asked “what after that?”. I replied “I don’t know after that”.

The early start and the exercise at the physiotherapist’s had worn me out today and what with my early start on Sunday, I ended up drifting away for 20 minutes or so. That was rather a disappointment because I’ve been trying to avoid that for the last couple of months.

Tea was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from Saturday evening lengthened with a small tin of kidney beans. And it’s even more delicious after marinading for a couple of days.

But now I’m off to bed. It’s early but I’m exhausted and I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow. There can’t be many left now before we break for Christmas. With my cookery lesson on Friday I have plenty of notes to review tomorrow so I need to be at my best.

Wednesday 1st December 2021 – ONCE AGAIN I HAVEN’T …

… done anything like as much today as I had wanted to.

There have been a variety of reasons for this – not the least being that I had yet another dreadful night, wide-awake at 05:20 and lying there waiting for the alarm to ring at 07:30. I tell you – I’m thoroughly sick of all of this.

As you might expect, it took a good few minutes for me to summon up the energy to leave my bed this morning and then I was pretty much wasted for the rest of the day.

After the medication I had a shower to clean myself up and bang on time Laurent came round for me. We went off to meet Thierry and then the three of us went off to meet Father Christmas and his blasted elves.

As I thought, the interview turned out to fall rather flat. I could understand the logic (whether I agreed with it or not) of submitting the questions in advance, I totally disagreed with the idea of “suggested replies”.

Children have a really fertile imagination and they need to be encouraged to develop it. And sometimes they can come up with some fascinating responses. But having them blindly reading off a script is a pretty dismal activity and it destroys the spontaneity of it all.

Having them all sitting around a table was another bad idea too because it’s always the more powerful ones who are heard. I would have interviewed them one by one where the kids could have responded without any peer pressure and chosen the pick of the answers.

In other words, this affair was micro-managed to an overwhelming degree and Laurent and I were quite disappointed about how it turned out. What had given us the idea for this was that two years ago wandering around the streets one night we had come across Father Christmas and subjected him to an off-the cuff interview. That was a resounding success.

While I was there I took a few photos of Father Christmas and his elves but I can’t publish them of course.

Back here Laurent came in for a coffee and we had a good chat about a few things, and made a few plans for the future.

After he left I went outside to wipe the rust-proofing liquid off the wheels and dry them, but painting them was out of the question. There was a howling gale again and it was sleeting.

Lunch was late again and afterwards I had the morning’s photos to edit and send off. They’ll choose one to illustrate our programme when it’s ready to broadcast.

trawler thora arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Once I’d finished that it was time for me to go off for my physiotherapy session.

The wind was if anything rather worse than it had been earlier and it was rather difficult to walk.

And I wasn’t the only one having difficulty moving around either. There was a trawler out at sea battling with the storm to come into port and behind her, Thora was being thrown about by the elements.

When I took this photo she was actually being blown sideways by the wind and was coming into port rather like a crab.

pointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Down at the wall at the Rampe du Monte à Regret the pointing of the wall was proceeding apace.

Mind you, I’m not sure what was happening there earlier. On our way back from Father Christmas there was an ambulance and a police car parked up at the side.

The personnel of the vehicles seemed to be quite interested in what was going on down below but as I wasn’t driving and as we had other things to do, I couldn’t go over and have a look.

If it’s anything interesting or important, it’ll be in the local paper in the morning.

Halfway up the hill towards the physiotherapist’s, I had to stop. Not because I was out of breath but because we suddenly had another torrential downpour. I had to nip into a doorway and put on my rain jacket.

It reminded me of how Superman and all of these other superheroes used to dash into telephone boxes and emerge seconds later with their underpants on outside their trousers. Where do they go to change now with the rise of mobile ‘phones and the demise of telephone boxes?

And then of course, there was my brother. He was often seen with his underpants on outside his trousers, but that was less to do with any superhero status and more to do with the fact that he didn’t have both paddles in the water.

No tilting platform today. There was the usual 5 minutes on the cross trainer and then a load of kinetic exercises that somehow took their toll of me.

She had me once more walking along this narrow beam and throwing a ball about. She was impressed with my reflexes co-ordination but as I have said before, my previous life as a goalkeeper and wicket-keeper had a lot to do with that.

father christmas decorations Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way home I came via the Place General de Gaulle.

On the way up to the physiotherapist’s I’d seen a few council workmen on up on ladders working on the trees and I was interested to see what they had been doing with them.

By the time that I returned, the workmen had gone but I noticed that some of the trees were now festooned with decorations. And if you ask me my opinion, it’s all a load of balls.

christmas decorations rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of years ago Strawberry Moose reckoned that the Christmas decorations in the Rue Paul Poirier WERE ALL BALLS too.

THis year though, there’s been a change, and not before time either. This year we have the street lined with artificial “Christmas Trees”.

Now what was I saying a few days ago about them recycling the same old decorations year after year and wishing that they would make a change?

Clearly, a great many people are very interested in the contents of my pages and pay them a great deal of attention.

La Bavolette Ii thora marité belle france joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021A short while ago we saw Thora having a bit of a struggle to make it into port.

Well she finally arrived, as you can see in this photo, moored up at the loading bay in front of Marité, with Belle France and the newer Joly France ferry – the one with the smaller upper-deck superstructure, moored alongside her.

The little trawler in the background is an interesting boat. She’s called La Bavolette II – at least, for the moment. And I mean that too because in the past she’s been known by several different names.

She was built in 1982 out of wood and displaces 40 tonnes

philcathane l'ecume II port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021This trawler is much more interesting though.

Not Philcathane, of course – not that she isn’t interesting in herself but she hasn’t had the adventures that the other one in the photo has had.

You can tell by her registration number – beginning with “J” – that she’s a Boat from Jersey and how long is it since we’ve seen a boat from the Channel Islands here in port with all of the shenanigans that are going on right now?

There’s a great deal of talk about illegal fishing right now and this trawler – she’s called L’Ecume II by the way, can tell you an awful lot about that because on two occasions about which I know, her crew has been in the dock and emerged with their pockets far lighter than they were when they went in.

And not only that, 18 months ago she found herself stuck on a sandbank because her helmsman had fallen asleep at the wheel.

In other words, she’s quite a well-known boat, for one reason or another.

storm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021However I wasn’t going to hang around and admire her for too long.

As you can see, out in the Baie de Mont St Michel there was quite a storm brewing up and the gale-force wind was blowing it my way.

As a result, I wasn’t going to hang around. I was going to head for home and a hot mug of coffee, and make plans about what I was going to do for the rest of the week. I actually have a day at home without any interruptions at all – but just you watch all that change.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before I went in I went to have a look at the beach

And that was rather a waste of time because there wasn’t any beach to look at today. The tide was right in now and the water was at the foot of the cliffs. All I had for my pains was a good battering by the wind.

Back here I had my coffee and sat down to try to do some work.

Checking my messages there was a mail from my Welsh course telling me what ingredients I need for the Christmas Cake I’ll be baking on-line on Friday evening. Treacle isn’t available here so I ended up asking Liz for advice on a replacement and chatting to her for quite a while.

For some reason, tea was quite an effort tonight. I’m experiencing brain-fade – not quite as bad as the nonsense I was churning up last night – but I couldn’t think of what to have for tea. I’d really run aground.

In the end I settled for a burger and pasta. That was the best that I could do.

Right now, although I haven’t crashed out today, I’m thoroughly exhausted so I’m off to bed where I hope that I’ll sleep until I awaken.

But not much hope of that, I’m afraid. All of this is really depressing me.

Monday 29th November 2021 – SAY HELLO, EVERYONE …

marité normandy warrior port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… to Normandy Warrior.

Moored down there behind Marité is the newest freighter to visit the port. You won’t have seen her before because we are lucky enough today to catch her on her maiden voyage to the town

She’s the sister ship to Normandy Trader and you can tell them apart because Normandy Trader has a small upper deck behind her bridge on which lightweight articles can be loaded.

normandy warrior port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A few months ago I mentioned that the crew of Normandy Trader were talking about buying another boat.

What I had assumed that they meant was that they were going to replace her with a larger ship, but actually there’s an issue about licences and permits for larger boats and so they have managed to track down a sister ship and they are going to be operating the two simultaneously.

So here is Normandy Warrior busily being loaded with a huge pile of freight that has accumulated over the last few days for her first return journey from Granville to Jersey.

replacing christmas decorations Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Something else that has been going on today has been the repair to the town following the devastation of Storm Arwen.

The Christmas decorations in the Place General de Gaulle were savaged quite badly. Father Christmas was blown halfway down the street and the trees that they had erected to surround him were all bowled over.

As I walked past on my way to the physiotherapists they were busy re-erecting the trees. Santa had already been restored to his previous place, so let’s hope that he stays there this time.

broken slates rue general patton Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021That wasn’t the only sign of a tragedy either.

As I was walking home along the Rue General Patton I was trying to avoid all of the broken slates that were littering the floor.

It seems that there has been a roof quite badly damaged in the storm and there were broken slates everywhere. This is going to be quite a bill for someone to have to pay

It’s actually quite a testament to our building that despite being exposed to the full force of the wind, we seem to have escaped quite lightly.

school children college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However I’ve no idea what might be happening here.

When I returned with Caliburn from having his windscreen replaced, all of the schoolkids from the College Malraux were outside on the public car park hanging around.

Whatever had caused it had happened before I arrived so I wasn’t able to identify a reason, but the fact that all of the fire doors are open seems to indicate that there has been a fire alarm and the school has been evacuated.

While we are on the subject of alarms, my alarms didn’t go off this morning. Not that it made any difference because I was wide awake. I’d had another bad night where it seemed that I hadn’t slept at all.

And seeing that there are no files recorded on the dictaphone (and it’s been quite a while since that has happened, hasn’t it?) that’s a distinct possibility.

So I fell out of bed at 06:00 and staggered off for my medication. Then back here I checked my mails and messages and then had an hour or so working on the radio programme that I should be doing this week, although when, I don’t know.

A shower was next, to get myself cleaned up, and then I changed the bedding. I’m not sure when I did that last but one thing that I did notice last night was that it was high (and I do mean “high”) time that I changed it.

And then I put set the washing machine on the go.

Having made sure that Caliburn would start, I prepared myself to leave and then headed off to the windscreen fitter’s. And with the temperature being at 2.5°C, I put my woolly hat on my woolly head for the first time this winter.

Having dropped off Caliburn I went for a walk – to buy the stuff that I need to clean his wheels, to go to Bio-Coop to see if they had any vegan cheese (which they didn’t) and then to LeClerc for a coffee, where I fell asleep for 20 minutes.

When Caliburn was ready I picked him up and drove home, and I was amazed about how pitted and grimy his old windscreen must have been.

unloading scaffolding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Back at the building there was someone here unloading a scaffolding.

Not to climb up onto the roof, but they were actually taking it inside the building.

These rooms are quite high and to reach the ceiling is not very easy at all. It looks as if someone is redecorating and the scaffolding must be to enable them to paint the ceiling.

Back here I sat down to carry on with the radio programme but unfortunately I dozed off again. As a result I had rather a late lunch.

After lunch I tracked down the rest of the things that I need to give Caliburn his showroom appearance and then headed off to town.

black pearl spirit of conrad Courrier des Iles charles marie anakena aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury I could see that a trawler was just pulling up at the Fish Processing Plant.

She’s Black Pearl, one of the newer trawlers in the port whom we saw sail into port a while back.

Also in the shot are a load of the hire yachts that re laid up over the winter. We have, from left to right, Spirit of Conrad on whom we went up the Brittany coast 18 months or so ago, and then Charles Marie with the little Courrier des Iles moored against her.

Over on the right, Anakena is moored against the quayside with Aztec Ladymoored against her.

installing christmas lights avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021With the Rampe du Monte à Regret being closed while they repoint the wall, I carried on down the Rue des Juifs.

Down in the Avenue de la Liberation the Council’s cherry picker was out installing more Christmas lights. I wonder what this lot of lights is going to be like this year.

Heading through town, I climbed back up the Rue Couraye towards the physiotherapists, stopping off at Carrefour on the way. I forgot the tomatoes this weekend and I bought a can of energy drink to help my climb the hill back home.

At the physiotherapist’s she tightened up the screw on the cross trainer t make it harder for me to work the machine, and then I had a few kinetic exercises to carry out.

Finally I was put on the tilting platform and she obviously likes my company … “I can’t think why” – ed … because she let me stay on the machine for an extra 10 minutes.

abandoned railway line parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home I came back down the steps at the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs to see how the work was going.

From up above though, I could see that they are slowly advancing with the kerb along the line of the old abandoned railway. They are still a long way from finishing it though.

They’ve not made it to the road yet so it was something of a muddy tramp across the churned-up grass onto the car park and then down the steps to the bottom by where they have installed the keep-fit equipment

cutting wood parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While I was on my way down there I heard the sound of a circular saw being used .

As I walked a little further on I could see that there was a van and a trailer. There was a generator in front of the van and they were using it to power a circular bench-saw.

Having cut the wood into the required length the guy working the saw carried it off to his friends who were working out of shot on the course of the abandoned railway line.

And judging by the amount of wood that he has on the trailer, he’s going to be working there for quite some time.

creating boardwark abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021What they are actually doing is construction some kind of boardwalk at the side of the concrete pathway that they have laid.

While I was going past I asked them if they would be going the full length of the abandoned railway track and they replied in the affirmative. And I can imagine that it will be fun riding a bike on that in the pouring rain.

But once again it’s pretty dismal, all of this concrete that they have been laying all over the place. I’m sure that they could do much better than that if they really tried, but they seem to be singularly lacking in imagination around here.

parc des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile further down the road I came upon the Parc des Docteurs Lanos.

It’s still quite a mess, churned up by all of the heavy vehicles that have been driving on there moving all of the stuff about, and that is going to take a considerable amount of effort to restore it, unless they do as they have done elsewhere an sink it under a mass of concrete.

And talking of stuff, there seems to be considerably less stuff on there now. They are using it up as a considerable rate and the fact that they aren’t replacing it with any rapidity seems to indicate that the work is slowly coming to an end.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And talking about masses of concreete, here’s a photo of the view behind me showing the Rue du Boscq.

Last time that we looked down here they were laying yet more concrete reinforcement matting and sure enough, while I was away in Leuven they have poured yet more concrete down.

One of these days I’ll post a photo of the car park at Lezardrieux where we visited with Spirit of Conrad. There, they laid out the car park with small stone setts and used setts of different colours to mark out the lines and it all looked quite nice.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the other end of the street, the situation was just the same.

Another mass of concrete poured down at this end too. It all looks so dreary and depressing.

Mind you, there’s a lorry-load of earth down there and they are tipping it into the gap between the edge of the concrete and the stone wall to the right. I wonder if that is where they will be planting the hundreds of trees that they have promised.

But anyway I left them to it and carried on home dodging the broken slates in the Rue General Patton.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Yesterday we saw a really nice sunset, with what remained of the sun peeking through a small gap in the clouds.

This afternoon, we had a similar phenomenon. There wasn’t as much cloud this afternoon and so the effect was much more dramatic.

In the background we can see the church at Cancale across the bay on the Brittany coast, silhouetted against the orange sky, just to the left of centre.

It is one thing that I like about this time of year. At the time when I usually go for my walk, we have some wonderful lighting effects. We’ve seen quite a few already and there will be plenty more before Spring, I hope.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Before I went in for my afternoon coffee, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to look over onto the beach.

There wasn’t anything going on down there this afternoon, for the simple reason that there wasn’t much beach for anything to be happening on. The tide was well in right now.

So on that point I came back in for my coffee and carried on with some work, but I knocked off earlier than I normally do.

That’s because in a fit of extravagance (or forgetfulness) I bought two loads of peppers at the weekend and I had no idea of when I was going to use them. So I made one of my mega-curries with peppers, mushrooms, a tin of diced veg and a tin of white beans.

It was absolutely delicious and there’s plenty left. So when it’s cooled down and there’s some more room in the freezer, I’ll parcel it all up into individual helpings and freeze them for later use.

But right now I’m off to bed. I’ve had a very long day, walked miles and I’m exhausted. I want to make the most of this and hopefully have a really good sleep for a change.

Wednesday 3rd November 2021 – I HAVE HAD …

… a proposal of marriage today.

And the worst thing about it is that I’m not sure exactly how serious it was.

On the way back from the physiotherapist I met one of my neighbours heading down the hill. We had a chat about the current situation in the town, one thing led to another and she asked me “do you have your French nationality yet?”?
“No I don’t” I replied. “Just my Carte de Séjour. Nationality is a long, complicated process”.
“We’ll have to marry and then it will take much less time” she continued.

And so in the best traditions of the (News of the Screws), I “made my excuses and left”.

But the regular readers of this rubbish needn’t worry. Since I’ve been ill and I’ve had all of these bits cut out of me, I’m no use to anyone. Not even to myself.

It’s all very well discussing people like Percy Penguin, TOTGA, Miss Stoke on Trent, Castor and all of the others but they’ll all be perfectly safe with me these days.

Particularly after the night that I had last night. I was in bed really early – not long after 22:00 when I went to bed, planning on having a really good sleep all the way through to 07:30 but it wasn’t to be.

And so I’ve decided that in the future I’ll mention my good nights rather than my bad ones. It’ll save more time.

So staggering out of bed I went for my medication and then came back in here to check my mails and messages.

Plenty of mails too about my radio project and I stirred the pot by sending out a pile more. That led to the odd ‘phone call or two and so most of my day evaporated before my very eyes.

While I was dealing with the radio stuff, I uploaded the recording from last night on our visit. Two microphones means two mono tracks, with one “major” sound channel and one “minor” sound track. I’ve run them together and created a stereo track which doesn’t really give the effect that I wanted but I’m a novice with this machine and I have a lot to learn as yet.

Some time during the course of the day I had a look at the photos from Saturday night. I’ve edited 27 so far and I’m surprised at how good one or two of them are.

During the night I travelled miles. I started off having to make declarations of imports to the Customs and Excise people at Newcastle upon Tyne. My first ones weren’t very good – not very-well completed but by the time that I came round to the second ones and subsequently I had it all down to a T and was busy , doing it quite well and I was quite pleased with that.

Later, I was in Chester and I can’t remember what I was doing there now. I had this really ancient 1920s motorbike with me. We’d gone to the station to meet someone and it turned out to be an old woman. I was there with a friend of mine who was on an old motorbike too. When we met this old woman we then had to go out of Chester. I lost my way all round the station complex. I couldn’t remember where everything was because Chester had been so modernised. In the end we made our way to Northgate Street more by luck than judgement. This old woman was lagging behind because we were setting quite a pace. In the end she was talking about going for a cup of tea so we found this olde-worlde café place and went in there. I left my motorbike outside but he took his in. There were probably 7 or 8 other old motorbikes from that era in there as well. Now we had acquired 2 children, a girl about 6 and a little boy. I went and sat down where my friend and this woman went to order the coffee or whatever.

Later still I was working in an office and I’d been up to the canteen at about 10:45 to ask for a coffee. The woman said that she would make one and bring it down. By the time that it was 15:15 it hadn’t come so I went back up to find out what was happening. When I went in there I asked and she replied that she wasn’t going to make one for me. There were several other people there, one or two who were also drinking coffee so I asked why she wasn’t going to make one for me when she’d obviously made one for other people. One or two of the people tried to get me to leave but I wasn’t leaving under any circumstances and it all developed into something rather unpleasant. She still refused to make me a coffee even though everyone else who had asked had been given one

trawlers ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021It was such a beautiful afternoon when I set out for the physiotherapist so I headed over to see what was happening in the bay.

And for a change this afternoon, there was quite a lot. The Iles de Chausey looked really nice in this strange sunlight and we could see plenty of fishing boats out there looking as if they were heading for home.

On the horizon though was something big and white. One of the ferries going from St Malo to Portsmouth, I expect. I made a mental note to check it when I returned but I forgot.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There was quite a bit of activity looking the other way too.

Down in the bottom of the Baie de Granville between Donville les Bains and Bréhal Plage there were quite a few boats out and about this afternoon – some yachts and a cabin cruiser, as well as a few others that didn’t make it into the photo.

But not that I was going to hang around to count them. I have things to do and other fish to be frying.

One of the things that I mentioned that I would do was to go and see what was happening in the old town with all of the rebuilding that seems to be taking place.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Regular readers of this rubbis will recall that we have noticed a big hole in the medieval city walls near to where they are working in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux so I wanted to check up on that.

And the hole isn’t there any more – or, at least, if part of it still is, it won’t be there much longer.

The stone masons have now reached the hole and they are busy patching it up, with a handy shield up above their head to prevent anything dropped over the wall from hitting them.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And there is actually a big danger of things being dropped down on their heads from up above.

Another worker has been raking out the loose mortar between the stones, so presumably that’s going to be the next bit that will be repointed once they have finished below.

And you can see why the men down below have erected a roof when you see where the guy up above has left his electric drill. That will make quite a dent in someone’s skull if it’s dropped 20 feet.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021When we were here last time, they had dismantled part of the wall in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

Now it looks as if they have begun to reassemble it and with the fresh pointing it looks quite nice. When they refit the large stones on top, it will be a really good job.

But what will be the next job to tackle? There’s the one further along towards the viewpoint at the Plat Gousset that has been fenced off for as long as I’ve been living here at least, then then there’s the bit in the car park by my building.

But the smart money is on the Square Potel and the signs are up there already.

repairing rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another thing that we saw a couple of weeks ago was all the hieroglyphycs that had appeared on the road surface in the Rue St Michel.

They had been working in the Rue Cambernon close by, but now they have finished. They have gone on up the Rue St Michel and by the looks of things they are quite well advanced there.

But this road surface is dreadful. In the medieval city everywhere else is cobbled stone – except here. They can’t complain about people not keeping to the “epoch” in their own private renovations if they aren’t going to do the same with the official ones.

thora loading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, down in the harbour, I see that we have a visitor.

Thora, one of the two little Jersey freighter, is in port today and by the looks of things she has quite a huge load on board. You can tell that by how deep she’s sitting in the water.

It looks as if there are some vehicles on the deck too, but I’ll go for a look on the way back. I want to have a chat with the skipper anyway.

erecting christmas decorations avenue leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Once more, I made it all the way up to the hill to the physiotherapist without stopping for breath.

There was however one stop, and that was almost near the top as well. You can tell that we are in November and the tourist season is over, because now they are putting up the Christmas decorations.

And this year, I hope that they are going to use their imagination and do something different than they have done over the past couple of years. They have been very samey, except that there seem to be fewer and fewer things to erect.

The physiotherapist had me doing kinetic exercises for my half-hour session and it does seem to be doing me some good. I can tell that by the fact that I seem to be moving about a little easier than I did when I first started. Not by very much, but it does take time.

working on abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home, I went to see how the major roadwork project is doing down in the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs.

They are making some kind of progress where the old railway line used to be. It’s all graded and they have fitted the drainage system and the electric conduit.

It looks as if it’s All Systems Go there, but I doubt if it will be finished for when I need to go to Leuven in a couple of weeks time. I might have to wait a little longer for that but it will be a much easier way to walk once it’s finished.

workmen installing play equipment parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Remember the hardstanding that we have seen in the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs in the past?

There are a couple of workmen down there doing something with it all today. I shall have to go for a closer look.

But there are still plenty of the concrete reinforcement matting sheets down there – if anything, more than there were last time. It looks as if we are going to be in for a serious amount of concreting which will be a shame. This much concrete must be bad for the environment.

workmen installing play equipment parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021So down at the bottom of the steps I could have a closer look at their doings.

In the absence of any indication I asked them what was the purpose of they were doing. “It’s for the sport” replied one of them.

And so it looks as if I might not need the physiotherapist at all once they have finished what they are doing. I can come and do my exercises down here. But they will need much more equipment than just this, that’s for sure, if they want the town to improve its fitness.

square des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There wasn’t much else that I could see happening on the trackbed of the abandoned railwy so I cleared off down the road towards the quagmire that is the Square des Docteurs Lanos.

And quagmire is certainly the word. It’s raining on and off at the moment and over there is just a morass or sea of mud. Nothing much has changed there over the last 10 days or so, except that we now have some concrete drain boxes dropped over there.

And do you notice in the bottom corner the concrete strip that they have placed across the road? It looks as if we are going to be having a sea of concrete all the way up to the end of the abandoned railway line at this rate, hence all of the reinforcement matting.

roadworks rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021That’s certainly what it’s looking like in the Rue du Boscq.

The concrete strip that we saw them pouring the other day has now expanded widthways to three times its size, for what purpose I really don’t know.

Ohh! For a long line of trees that should have been planted every 30 feet along there to bring some shade and greenery to people walking about in the summer.

On the other side of the road they have left the half-a-dozen trees that were growing there previously, and that looks as if it’s going to be our lot for now.

digger moving road roller rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But the excitement here isn’t quite over yet.

There’s a road-roller that has been stuck on the concrete and can’t drop off the end so they summoned up one of the diggers on the site.

He picked it up without too much effort and dropped it back onto the roadway where the driver drove it away. and then the digger picked up what looked like a generator and then cleared off down to the far end of the roadworks.

children's roundabout place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And as if in sympathy, I cleared off down the far end of the roadworks too.

The kiddies’ roundabout that we saw them installing the other day is still here. It’s planned to be here until 7th November but it may be on its way sooner than that.

Apparently it’s larger than it’s supposed to be, according to the plans that were submitted to the local council, and it’s forcing people to step into the roadway. The council is none-too-happy about it and there’s some kind of proceedings going on right now about the issue.

vans and builders material thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On our way out to the physiotherapist, we saw Thora moored at the loading bay and I mentioned that I’d go over for a chat.

However as I arrived, she was just casting off ready to go. And I was right about the vehicles that she was carrying. 2 vans with Dutch number plates heading off towards the Channel Islands along with about 40 large sacks of stone.

Obviously it’s too late to speak to her skipper to I shouted a message to him as he peered through his window. Whether he heard me or not is another thing completely.

thora leaving normandy trader arriving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021The reason for the rapid departure of Thora is that the loading bay is wanted by someone else.

As she disappears off into the sunset, right in behind comes Normandy Trader. I didn’t think that they would be able to fit all of the freight on the quayside into Thora.

It was sheer luck that I’d arrived at this moment because I wanted to speak to Normandy Trader‘s skipper too. But he had a considerable amount of work on the go, quite obviously, so I didn’t want to get in his way. I’ll catch him another time.

normandy trader unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But doesn’t Normandy Trader look nice in her new livery?

Her captain was telling me that he was fed up of everything being blue and so while she was out of the water the other week he’s had a lot of her painted red.

They started to unload her almost immediately so I stood and watched from a good viewpoint. And the unloading didn’t take long because, as you might expect with all of this going on, the Jersey Fishermen’s Co-operative isn’t sending any shellfish over to Granville right now.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little earlier I mentioned that it was raining on and off as I walked home.

As you can see, out there in the baie de Mont St Michel and on the Brittany coast they were having it much worse than I hwas having it right now. That looks like one impressive rainstorm that is cascading down over there.

The wind wasn’t blowing it in my direction but I didn’t want to hang around. Nevertheless it was round about here that I had my proposal of marriage.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little further on I bumped into another neighbour out for a run so we had a little chat and then I carried on along my way.

Before going inside, I went to look at what was happening down on the beach. And the fact is that there wasn’t any beach for anything to be happening on right now. The tide is well in.

A few minutes earlier while I was walking home Rosemary telephoned me. So back here I made myself a coffee and phoned her back for another one of our long chats.

Hence I am, us usual these days, running hours later than planned.

later on, I was out again. I seem to be in great demand today as well because I was invited to a soirée in the building. It’s not like me to be popular, is it? I took myself off upstairs but I only stayed for an hour or so. I just don’t have the time (or the inclination) to be nice and friendly for such a long time.

Back down here I had pasta and a burger for tea, and now I’ve written up my notes I’m going to bed.

While I was out I took over 20 photos. But you won’t get to see them until later because with running late, I haven’t processed them and in any case, I’m whacked.

Somehow (and I don’t know how) I’m managing not to fall asleep during the day as I did in the summer but at the end of the day I’m wasted, particularly when I’ve had a bad night. A good night will do me the world of good, although I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll have one.

Thursday 7th January 2021 – I STILL DON’T …

… know where all of the time goes, that’s for sure. All that I’ve done today as far as work goes is to answer about 10 e-mails and that’s my lot.

Mind you, it was something of a late start this morning. I heard all of the alarms go off but it was still about 07:00 when I finally left the bed.

First thing was to check the dough. 2 loads because I had prepared a normal yeast-driven loaf as well last night before going to bed.

And while the sourdough hadn’t risen by much, the standard loaf had gone up like a lift. I kneaded them both and put them in their respective moulds to proof a second time and then, after the medication, I came in here to check the dictaphone.

There was a really weird kind of dance thing going on last night with 3 young girls who were dancing and singing and performing these really rhythmic movements. There were me and two other people at the other end of the dance floor just basically keeping in time to the music. For some unknown reason, what we were trying to do was that the movements that these people were performing led to them being separated at some time and our job seemed to be that one of us, when we saw someone separated was, in keeping in time to the music, to go off down there and somehow capture the one who had come out of the pack if you like and was dancing on her own halfway down the hall. I noticed that at one time that it was always the same girl who was doing this. She had a beautiful voice and I remember thinking to myself “I wouldn’t mind capturing her”. On one occasion when this rhythmic dance was going on I had to rhythmically make my way back to my group and one of my colleagues was preparing to advance. He ended up pirouetting round and his hand caught in my clothes and went underneath the top that I was wearing and missed my catheter by a millimetre otherwise it would have been really really dramatic. We had a bit of a joke about that.

What goes on in the night is really exciting, isn’t it?

As I was off out I put a load of clothes into the washing machine to do while I’m out at the doctor’s.

The interesting thing there was that he doesn’t recommend a ‘flu injection. Everyone is in facemasks and the ‘flu isn’t expected to take a hold this year.

As for my booster injections for my immune system (I have to have them every 5 years) he gave me a prescription, along with the prescription for the medication that I forgot.

The most interesting thing is the Covid vaccine. Here in Granville, we aren’t a priority, so it seems. Cases here in the town are rare due to the fact that we are on a westerly clifftop in one of the strongest prevailing winds in Europe. Any airborne virus here is blown well inland and the only time that we usually have any outbreaks is when the holidaymakers arrive.

However, he does agree that I should be in the first batch to be vaccinated as soon as we have supplies and he made a note in my file that I would be willing to take it

christmas decorations rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving bade farewell to the doctor I set off towards LIDL for supplies.

It’s been a long time since I set my foot in the Rue Couraye, what with having chosen a different route to go uptown just recently, so I didn’t really know much about what’s been going on there for a while. But it seems that we had have some kind of novel decorations in the street – some that I haven’t seen before.

At LIDL it was a major shop and I staggered home under quite a load. Not helped any by the fact that they were selling 3kg of carrots for the price of 1kg, and ditto the potatoes. The freezer is for a change fairly empty and I can always do things with potatoes.

trawlers ready to leave port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving called at the chemist’s for a rest and my medication (I have to go back for some on Saturday) I staggered up the Rue des Juifs towards home. And there I noticed that the trawlers were starting to pull away from the quayside.

The harbour gates were closed, so I was expecting them to open any minute now so I hung around to watch. However I was distracted. While I was observing the harbour I fell in with our itinerant friend who is still loitering about the town and we had a chat.

One thing that I noticed was that he had a shopping bag full of groceries so at least it seems that he’s feeding himself, which is one less thing for anyone to worry about.

On returning home I switched on the oven and then, having checked the loaves, I put them into the oven to bake.

Once again, the sourdough loaf hadn’t done very much but the normal loaf had risen impressively again. And this time I did remember to brush the top of the fruit loaf with milk and sprinkle the top with brown sugar.

home baked bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile it was cooking I came in here and answered a couple of outstanding e-mails and then when the oven timer switched itself off I went to check the bread.

The standard loaf was cooked perfectly but the sourdough wasn’t so I left that in for another 20 minutes and with the standard loaf, I made some sandwiches for lunch. And it really was a good loaf, this one. Just as it should be and it was delicious.

After lunch, I attacked the carrots, peeled and diced about a kilo or so and then blanched them ready for freezing. I’ll do some more tomorrow too and then finish the rest off on Saturday.

moving scaffolding roofing college malraux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on this afternoon I went out for my usual afternoon walk around the headland.

The other day, I mentioned that they had started to move the scaffolding from the north end of the east wall and reposition it down at the south end of that wall. Here, on the extreme right, you can see than dismantling some more of it to move that along too. And you can also see where they are ripping off the slates from farther along.

Up until a couple of days ago they were working to the right-hand side of the safety rail going up the roof.

This is going to be a very long job, I can see that

first buds pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the path at the side of the College I stopped to have a look at one of the bushes that was growing there.

The other day the gardeners had been by and trimmed the bushes back. But I’d noticed, a day or so later, that there seemed to be some small buds starting to grow. Sure enough, one or two of them have burst out into leaves.

It’s very tempting to say that the mild winter that we have had to date has started the first buds of the year off early but I suspect that the bushes haven’t quite gone into hibernation and there has still been some rising sap in the bush, and that has provoked the growth.

It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on it.

sea fog pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut whatever else happens today, I won’t be keeping an eye out to see what is happening out to sea down the Brittany coast today.

You’ve probably noticed from a couple of earlier photos that there seemed to be quite a mist hanging around today, but out at sea there seems to be so much more of it and there’s quite a heavy fog bank rolling in along the coast and onto the headland where I’m standing.

It’s one of those occasions where you might expect primeval man, or Godzilla or something similar to come emerging from the miasma.

calm seas baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInterestingly, in the reverse angle of this shot, there’s hardly a wisp of fog to be seen along the coast.

But you can see the reason why the fog is here. If you look closely at the water you’ll notice that it’s calm and almost flat as a mirror. There’s hardly a breath of wind at all – hardly enough to disperse a fogbank, that’s for sure.

But nevertheless out of the fog and gloom came one of my neighbours who had also been for a walk. So we had a chat for a few minutes about nothing in particular before I wandered off to carry on with my perambulations.

scull pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s one thing about a fog and a really calm sea, and that it encourages people to take to the water.

Paddling around the headland from the direction of the port de plaisance came a couple of kayaks. And as I watched, they paddled their way around the marker light on the rocks below.

There was the idea in my mind to make the old hoary joke which regular readers of this rubbish will recall, about it being inadvisable to light a fire in a canoe because you can’t have your kayak and heat it, but a closer inspection revealed that these aren’t kayaks but in fact sculls, so I doubt if the rowers in there would get up to any such scullduggery.

beautiful sun shining on sea baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver the last couple of days we’ve been having some brilliant sunsets out across the bay. As I walked across the lawn and the car park to the other side of the headland I sensed that today might be different with the fog.

Unfortunately I was correct. There was nothing really like the views that we have had for the last few days. Nevertheless it was quite different and quite unusual, and was creating quite an eerie effect, especially where we seem to be half in and half out of a fog bank.

The rays of sun streaming out through the hole in the clouds and disappearing into the fog bank were quite novel too.

speedboat with cabin baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably noticed in the previous photo the traces of a wake passing through the image.

There was a boat out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel and it was making quite a racket and going like the clappers too. My first thought was that it was a fishing boat but no fishing boat goes that quickly. I’ve no idea who he was or where he’d been.

With nothing else of interest out there this afternoon, I made tracks for home. It’s a shame that there was no freighter in port today, and I wonder when we are next going to have another gravel boat.

home made sourdough fruit loaf place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack home I made myself a coffee and then went to have a look at the sourdough loaf. It’s been cooling off in the oven for a good couple of hours.

It’s possibly overdone on top, although I did lower the shelf when I put it back in at lunchtime so that the bottom would cook better, but it doesn’t look at all bad really. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. And for that, you’ll all have to wait until tomorrow morning’s hot chocolate break.

Instead, I hung up the washing, something that I had forgotten to do earlier, and then came in here to carry on with my e-mail marathon. And it would have been better had I not crashed out again.

There was the usual hour on the guitars of course but for some reason I couldn’t get my head around the acoustic guitar and I’ve no idea why. I didn’t seem to have the same motivation which was strange.

Afterwards, I went out for my evening walk – and I tried a few more runs today too. In fact I made it up to three legs. Not much, but better than it has been.

When I stopped for breath after one of the legs, I looked out to sea and the fog seemed to have lifted. It as a really clear evening and you could see for miles.

st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably won’t think all that much of this photo but this is taken with the camera perched on a rock, hand-held. And the camera is in fact the little NIKON 1 J5 which in the past has not proved to be very successful in the past in the pitch-black.

However, with some judicious manipulation I managed to take some photos of St Helier, 58 miles away. And the lights of fishing boats out to sea and even some stars too. And for a camera that doesn’t like the dark, that’s quite impressive even if the quality isn’t up to all that much.

Had I taken the tripod with me, and worked out how the time-lapse procedure works on the calmera, I might have done even better than this.

place marechal foch plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound at the viepoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch there wasn’t much going on at all. The whole town seemed to be deserted and I hadn’t seen a soul.

Instead I came on back to the apartment for tea. Stuffed peppers followed by apple crumble. There’s only enough crumble left for one meal now, so I might have to defrost a slice of frozen apple pie for tea on Saturday.

But now I’ve written up my notes, I’m going to go to bed. Just a couple of phone calls to make tomorrow, a form to fill in and some carrots to peel and blanche and then I can crack on with work.

And, of course, the fruit bread to try. I mustn’t forget that.

Thursday 24th December 2020 – WOW!

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEven though I say it myself, I’m quite impressed with this photo that I took this afternoon.

It’s not necessarily the quality of it because I still have a great deal of issues with that, but it’s the dramatic and stark effect of the colours here. Just as I lined up a shot of Cancale silhouetted on its clifftop across the Bay, the light gave me everything I wanted just at the correct moment and it’s come out exactly as I would have wished, with no post-processing at all.

It’s one of those very rare photographs where everything that you are trying to do suddenly does it itself with you having to try.

Another thing that I did without really having to try was to haul myself out of bed before the third alarm. And I bet that that took you as much by surprise as it took me too. Mind you, I was only sitting on the edge of the bed is a dazed and weary state, not exactly running around like a headless chicken.

After the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was in the USA last night and Trump was giving a concert. He had someone playing banjo or mandolin or something and he was playing bass and singing, doing some kind of rap about how good he was, and everyone in the crowd was greeting him with stony silence. He was becoming all worked up on the stage and everyone was treating him with stony silence. When everyone left I had a look at the bass guitar. It was just a cheap $29 thing so I said to someone of the road crew “at least you might have got him a real guitar to play with”. They replied “he does have a real one but he was afraid he’d be all emotional”. Trump heard this conversation and came over, and started to have a bit of a go at me about it. I said “I’ll tell you what my life means to me. Come with me”. He couldn’t get the hang of what was going on but “come with me, come outside”. So we went outside and there was Caliburn. I opened the door to the back of Caliburn and there on the floor was a mattress and a sleeping bag and a few bits and pieces. I was living rough. And there at the side of the sleeping bag was the Gibson EB3. “That’s what my bass means to me” I said. “It’s all that I have here”.

The next thing was about the wife of my friend on the Wirral. She was telling me that she had been taken into a bedroom by an Indian guy to which I said “lucky her” and they spent 4 hours together so I said “even more lucky her” discussing some kind of new sales venture for some kind of product that she might have been interested in. There was much more to it than this but in the time it took me to grab hold of the dictaphone I forgot it.

The next hour or so was spent dealing with the arrears of work. I’ve been stuck in Chateau Gaillard for the last 2 weeks and I can’t seem to drag myself out of there. I seem to be bogged in there quite deeply at the moment.

That took me up to shower time and weigh time, and I’ve gained 1kilo in weight in this last week. But examining my body closely (and isn’t that a gruesome task?) I noticed that my feet and ankles are swollen. So it looks as if the water retention is back again and that will explain this weight issue.

crowds at seafood shop rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I set to the shops for the groceries to see me through the Christmas period.

It’s the tradition in France for people to have oysters as a Christmas treat (which probably explains why so many babies are born here at the end of September) and there in the Rue Lecampion where there’s the fishmonger’s, with the butcher just down the road, it just looks like Poland as I remember it in the 1970s, or the UK after 6 months of Brexit.

But I was joking about the oysters and babies just now. Don’t you believe everything that you hear about oysters. I had 12 of them on my wedding night and only 9 of them worked.

christmas decorations place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s unlikely that I’m going to get down into town to see the Christmas lights this year. I’m not well and I know it, and I’m not going to tax my system too much.

But it didn’t prevent me from having a good mooch around for a look at the decorations in the Place Charles de Gaulle. And I was right about one thing, in that they aren’t very inspiring this year. It seems to be merely the same stuff that has been here for the last ever so many years, just arranged differently.

But anyway I pushed on to the Railway Station for my tickets for next week. The clerk in the office was on her own so I asked her about the trains next week. At the moment, they are still running as advertised. Whether it stays like that, we shall see.

bad parking bmw bus station railway station Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that pathetic parking takes up a lot of room on these pages.

Not so much recently – not (I hasten to add) because the situation has improved but because there is just so much of it that it’s become boring and even i’m fed up of it. But I couldn’t let a thing like this go by.

Right outside the railway station is the bus station. all of the long-distance buses (of which there are plenty) as well as the two service buses for the town come here and there are 4 bays. But this driver has decided that he’s allowed to park in one of them and the bus that goes in there can park elsewhere.

Of course, it’s a BMW and like Audi drivers, they consider that the rules of the road and of common courtesy don’t apply to them.

On the way up the hill I stuck my head in the newsagent’s. I’d heard that US Granville had made some club facemasks and the newsagent was selling them. These are tough times and we have to do what we can to help things along right now, and so I bought one to wear when I’m in Belgium.

At La Vie Claire they had Seitan slices so I bought two ridiculously expensive packs and then went round to LIDL for the shopping. I bought most of what I needed but shock! horror! no Brussels sprouts. How do you have Christmas without Brussels sprouts?

Luckily I still have some frozen ones for the meals on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but it’s going to be touch and go after that.

christmas market kddies roundabout place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way back into town again I went past the Place Generale De Gaulle again.

There’s quite a lot going on in there now that wasn’t happening earlier. They seem to be setting up some kind of Christmas market in the Square, although that doesn’t look much like Christmas goodies to me.

But at least the kiddies’ roundabout was working and entertaining some clients. And that’s good news because Christmas is all about children anyway and they ought to be making the most of it while they are still young enough.

seafood stall rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a fresh seafood stall on the harbour every Friday morning selling the stuff that his boat has landed that morning. But with Friday being Christmas Day it looks as if he’s having his stall a day earlier to cash in on the Christmas trade.

And quite right too. Even though I don’t eat animal products, it’s up to others what they do and there is nothing at all quite like fresh food of any description.

So having caught my breath, for I was carrying some quite heavy shopping, I carried on back home where I had a slice of my fruit bread and a mug of hot chocolate.

And then, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out good and proper on my chair. It was late-ish when I returned from the shops but even so, it was 13:30 when I awoke, feeling like total death yet again. This is what I meant earlier when I said that I wasn’t too good right now. It’s just not possible at the moment for me to live a normal life like this and it’s dismaying me very much.

So at lunch, I’d run out of bread so I set about making some more. Not the sourdough this time but a real loaf. I want to see how my technique is doing and to see if the fault about my sourdough not rising is because of me or the sourdough.

And so I bashed out a quick 500-gramme dough mix with yeast and several handfuls of sunflower seeds and left it on one side to see what it would do.

storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was walkies time so I set out into the wild blue yonder.

And wild was hardly the word either. The wind has shifted around and we now have a nor’easter instead of a sou’wester as we had yesterday. So if you thought that the Bay of Granville was turbulent yesterday, you ought to have seen it this afternoon. There hasn’t been anything quite like this for a considerable period of time and I bet that the boys in Thora and Normandy Trader are glad that they are tucked up safe and sound in the harbour in St Helier.

It was enough to make me want to join them but the journey across to Jersey would be extremely uncomfortable right now.

brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were hordes of people out there this afternoon, everyone having a pre-Christmas walk I reckon and making the most of the lack of rain (for the moment at least).

And if you are able to peer underneath the clouds, it was the kind of afternoon where the visibility was so impressive and you could see a very long great distance down the coast. Cap Frehel and its lighthouse were just about visible with the naked eye over to the right on this photo.

We’ve had some good shots of Cap Frehel in the past, better than this one of course, but it’s not every day that it’s visible with the naked eye

rainstorm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust a little earlier I taked about the lack of rain – “at the moment” – and I said that for a reason.

While I was scanning along the Brittany coast with the camera, I noticed a strange phenomenon out there in certain places so I photographed it for a closer look to see what it might be. And back here in the comfort and warmth of my apartment I determined that it was actually a rainstorm out there.

Of course, as I said earlier, the wind is blowing in the wrong direction for us to be bothered about it right now, but the wind is a highly volatile and uncertain beast and can change direction at any given moment.

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving taken my photographs I walked off across the lawn and the car park (almost being squidged by a motorist reversing out of a parking place) down to the end of the headland.

Once more, there are no boats out there in the bay but we do have this beautiful sunset, an excellent example of which you have already seen. And here’s another really good view of Cancale across the Baie de Mont St Michel, lit up as if it was on a stage and they had switched on the spotlights.

Far too many people about for me to break into a run this afternoon so I walked off down the path instead.

st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw just now how churned up the sea was around the north side of the headland with this raging nor’easter.

Nothing could have been a greater contrast than the sea down on the southern side of the headland by the port. Whereas yesterday we had a raging storm with waves crashing over the sea wall, today the sea seems to be almost becalmed.

Actually, it isn’t but that was how it was looking this afternoon especially after yesterday.

But that was enough for me anyway, I had a peek in at the chantier navale to see that there was no change whatever there, and then carried on home for a hot coffee and a mince pie. And delicious, if a bit sweet and sickly.

And the bread had risen like a lift. I’d never had it go up quite like this before. It was so impressive. I gave it a good squeezing to let the gases out and then shaped it and put it in its bread mould, covering it with a damp tea-towel.

And now I have a little Christmas present for you all. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my friend Liz and I produced a series of programmes for several local radio stations in the Auvergne under the “Radio Anglais” banner back in those days.

While I was looking around for something I came across one of the Christmas Specials that we did, so I’ve uploaded it to the internet FOR YOU ALL TO LISTEN TO OVER CHRISTMAS with much love and best wishes from me.

Don’t take too long in listening to it because I need the space on my server so I’ll be taking it down again after a week or so. So you’ll probably be better off downloading it onto your own machine. Or, if you make your next Amazon purchase via the links on the right and I receive a small commission on the deal, I can buy more space.

While I was at guitar practice I had the oven warming up and I slipped the loaf of bread in there at a suitable moment along with a potato and, later on, a slice of frozen home-made pie.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the guitar, it was time for evening walkies. And with the wind now blowing in the opposite direction from yesterday, it was the outward journey that caused me more problems than just a few.

In fact, I had to abort the trip along the Rue du Nord and seek shelter within the narrow streets of the old town by dodging down an alley way. We’ve seen plenty of photos of the Rue St Jean in our time but we haven’t seen one from this viewpoint. The Place Cambernon is just down there at the bottom and the Porte St Jean which we have photographed on several occasions is right down there at the end out of the picture.

And if you look up at the top you can see the spire of the Eglise Notre Dame du Cap Lihou all illuminated.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not going that way. I’m going in this direction down towards the Place de l’Isthme.

We took a photo of the street from the Place de L’Isthme a few weeks ago and so I reckoned that I should take one back up to the place where I was at the time, just for the record. And then I set off for a run along there all the way to the end of the street.

As I emerged into the open square at the end I was hit by a huge blast of wind that brought me to a dead stop, and I’m not surprised because it was wild.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat was enough to make me not want to hang around any longer out of doors – especially now that it had started to rain as well, And so I went down ste steps to the Place Maurice Marland and ran on home.

But up on the walls the night was looking so beautiful despite the rain, so I took a photo of the harbour, the Baie de Mont St Michel and all of the lights out there twinkling away on the Brittany coast. It was all looking quite magical tonight and I’ve no idea why.

But that’s enough of my waxing lyrical for the moment. It’s time I was at home tucking into the tea.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile my veg was cooking (endives, broccoli, leeks and carrots) I had a look at the bread to see how it was doing.

It had risen quite a lot while it was sitting for its second proofing, but in the oven it’s not done too much more. But as I took it out of its mould, part of it had stuck so I sampled it. And it was perfect, it really was. The best that I’ve made to date. There’s nothing wrong with my technique at all.

With the veg water I made a delicious gravy, and the whole lot was finished off with apple crumble with some soya dessert stuff. That was what I called a good tea.

So now it’s Christmas Day and I’ve written up my notes. I’m off to bed. A Merry Christmas to you all and I hope that Santa brings you lots of nice things, including, more important than presents, lots of love and good health. We’re living in hard times right now but at least we are living, and the joys of the internet mean that we can stay even closer all the same.

There’s our radio show to listen to and tomorrow night at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK Time, 15:00 Montreal and Toronto time etc, there’s my Christmas broadcast on LE BOUQUET GRANVILLAIS. It’s a special live rock concert that I’ve spent some time preparing and I hope that you’ll enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed preparing it.

Best wishes from me.

Wednesday 1st January 2020 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

May I take this opportunity to wish all of my readers (both of you!) a very happy New Year. I hope that you will receive everything this year that you wished on everyone else during the course of the last year.

It goes without saying, of course, that whatever you wished on Brexiters, the Conservative party, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, the Republicans and Canadian Tories are exempt from this. If the World comes to an end in 2020, we’ll all know who to blame.

And for that reason, this song is going to be my anthem for the current year. I have often said … “and you will say more often” – ed … that if violence is the answer, then it must have been a very stupid question. And the question on the Referendum paper in 2016 is about as stupid as they come.

And the fact that 17.4 million people were stupid enough to vote for it, and 14 million people were stupid enough just now to vote for the Tories shows you that people still haven’t got the message.

The only way for you to tell them the message in a fashion in which they will understand it is –
1) to tell them about it slowly
2) on their thick skulls
3) in Morse code
4) with a pickaxe handle.

Yes, “if you want your rights you’re going to have to fight” and “we’ll walk hand in hand to the promised land” “if we bring down the Government now”.

On the subject of walking, as I mentioned last night, I went out for a walk at about 23:30 to see what was going on in town. Not hand in hand though. I was on my own and had a camera to carry.

night christmas lights rue st sauver granville manche normandy france eric hallThe harbour gates were open so I had to walk along the rue du Port and that way into town and just as the clock struck midnight, I found myself at the end of the rue St Saveur.

Having a think about it, I don’t recall if I took a photo of the street with its Christmas lights so I took a photo of it just now to complete the picture.

Mind you, I’m not sure why I bothered, because they aren’t really all that much to write home about, are they?

night christmas lights place generale de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there, my perambulations took me along the street into the place Générale de Gaulle.

This is much more like it. They seem to have pousseé‘d the bateau dehors a bit more here as we have seen before. The ski slope is certainly different, although I’m still not sure why they would want one.

But apart from that, it’s still pretty much the same as previous years and I do with that they would try to do something different next year.

night christmas lights rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallAs for the rue Lecampion, I’m not quite sure what to say.

What certainly didn’t help was that they put out the overhead lights just as I was preparing to photograph the street, so we were just left with the lights up the sides of the shops.

The overhead lights going out was the cue for me to go home. And by the time I returned here I reckoned that I hadn’t even encountered a dozen people wandering around.

There were a few noisy parties going on – even one in this building, and so I was grateful for 1.2 metres of solid Chausey granite walls between me and the rest of the world.

Not feeling in the least bit tired, I did some personal stuff on the computer. And no-one was more surprised than me to notice that the time was now 03:30. Where had the time gone?

Bedtime by now, I reckon, even if I didn’t feel like sleep. I have to make an effort.

And sleep I must have had. No alarm and so I awoke at 07:00. Not the slightest chance of me showing a leg at that time of morning.

And neither was there any chance at 09:00. This is after all a Bank Holiday, no alarm, I’m entitled to a rest, and I’ve had a late night too.

What is much more like it is … errr … 12:15. That’s a REAL lie-in.

As for any voyage that I might have had, well, what’s this bit about hunting furs last night? I don’t remember very much at all but apparently someone living in France who could catch 60 squirrels and skin them had the same style of life as someone normal, which of course I found hard to believe and the people to whom I was telling this story they found it hard to believe too but apparently that’s how it went and that’s really all that I remember about last night.

Breakfasting at 13:00 is much more like it too and so seeing as I had my fig roll and (finally) some strawberry jam. Yes, jam today. And I hope that it will last so that there will be jam tomorrow too. Perhaps I ought to think about making a jam tart.

So once the breakfast was over, there was work to be done. And as I promised myself, I attacked Project 008 for the radio.

That’s now finished and, even though I say it myself, I think that it’s the best to date. It’s not just that my technique is improving, but that instead of speaking “off the cuff” as I would normally like to do, I’ve started to write scripts.

That means that I’m not umming and ahhing as much (which means that there is less stuff to cut out) and I’m not pausing the dictaphone as often while I look for material, so it sounds much more seamless.

pointe du roc cap lihou granville manche normandy france eric hallOnce I’d finished it and played it through to make sure that it was as I wanted it with no mistakes, I went out for my afternoon walk.

With having not been out for any bread this morning (I’d missed lunch of course) I took the long way out right around the new bit of path that they had excavated after the rockfall and where I had met my Waterloo in May.

Crowds of people out and about, even if the weather was pretty miserable and you couldn’t see a thing.

pecheur de lys chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOnce I was out, I was going to stay out, and well out too.

My trip took me past the chantier navale where I could see what was going on. Pecheur de Lys was back on dry land after her little sojourn through the summer in the water. She’s looking rather sad though and could do with a coat of paint.

Spirit of Conrad was there too, as were the other two fishing boats. But there was no-one out there working on them. “Knocked off for the holidays” I reckoned.

The tide was out so the harbour gates were closed, which meant that I could take the path over the top and across to the other side.

seagull with sea shell mollusc port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhere the fish processing plant is, there is a huge concrete apron and the seabirds here have learnt quite quickly to take advantage of it.

This gull is just one of many that will scavenge a mollusc out of the silt and fly over here to drop it on the concrete to break it open, and then dive down for a feast. It really was quite impressive.

The wildlife kingdom is amazingly versatile and can adapt to most kinds of environment – if only humans would let them.

lifeboat sauveteurs  en mer port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing exciting going on in the inner harbour, I went for a walk over to the port de plaisance, the yacht harbour, to see what was going on there.

Not an awful lot, but there were a few boats that we have seen on several occasions, such as the lifeboat over there on the far side.

That has plenty of use of course and regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw it disappear into an enormous wave during the storm that we had the other day.

lys noir port de plaisance granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHere’s another one that we have seen a few times in the past.

She’s Lys Noir, and when we’ve seen her moored up in the harbour, it’s usually been in the wet harbour at the back of where I’m standing, where boats like Thora, Normandy Trader and the gravel boats tie up.

So why she should be here, I don’t know. If she’s advertising cruises, she won’t have many people passing by to read the notices where she is.

la granvilllaise  port de plaisance granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThis is a boat that we’ve seen even more often than Lys Noir.

She’s La Granvillaise and immediately recognisable by the “G90” on her bows. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that she too spent some time in the chantier navale a while ago being given a good going-over.

But with all of these boats, there isn’t presumably much happening right now so they are laid up for the winter.

Nevertheless, with all of the tourists here right now, wandering aimlessly around the harbour, I’d have had them plastered with adverts for the summer season trips that they do, and put them where people could actually see tham.

rue du commandant yvon electric vehicle charging point mairie granville manche normandy france eric hallMy perambulations took me right along the seafront, such as it is here, through the new modern apartment complex at the end, and back into town via the rue St Gaud and the rue St Saveur.

But round the back of the Mairie in the rue du Commandant Yvon, whoever he was when he was at home, if he ever was, is another set of electric vehicle charging points.

Europe needs to get its act together with the phasing out of new internal-combustion engines cars by 2040, and it’s good to see that here in France they are organising themselves.

electric vehicle charging point public car park cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I decided that I’ll keep a closer eye out to see what I could find, and I didn’t have to go far to find some more.

Not even 50 metres, I reckoned. Here are two more on the public car park around the corner off the Cours Jonville. So with the two that I saw at the railway station earlier this week, that makes 6 that I’ve found in Granville without looking too far.

And that’s not counting the half-dozen or so that are installed at the LeClerc supermarket on the edge of town.

porsche carrera strange number cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallAcross the road from the car park I noticed this old Porsche Carrera.

Nice and interesting the car might be, but it wasn’t the car that caught my eye but its registration number. It has the “F” for France on the number plate of course, but the registration is hors serie – out of the usual run of numbers, whether pre-2009 or post-2009.

It could mean absolutely anything of course, so I shall have to make further enquiries about it. I did look at the insurance sticker in the window and that was displaying a “WW” series number, indicating Trade Plates.

Back home, I didn’t do a great deal. After all, it is a Bank Holiday.

new year dinner setan onion gravy garlic roast potato peas carrots leeks endive brussels sprouts granville manche normandy france eric halllater on, I made tea though.

Same as Christmas night as well. Seitan slices roasted in olive oil with onions, garlic, gravy and herbs, with roast potatoes in olive oil and mint. Vegetables included an endive, peas and carrots, green beans, a leek and some sprouts.

Followed by Christmas cake for pudding, you really cannot even begin to imagine just how delicious it all was.

Plenty of sprouts and endives left to finish off, ad a leek too, but I intend to make a leek and potato soup with that sometime soon.

This evening I was all alone on my little walk around. Not a soul out there. I managed my run too, and made it to the top of the first ramp.

So I’m off to bed now. It’s not early, because I’ve been busy. I found a “live” concert from the BBC with only a small audience, and as I have a project on the back burner that needs a small audience, I was stripping out the applause to use.

But here’s a thing – the applause is evidently over-dubbed, without question. And as they didn’t have enough material for the spot, they’ve extended the applauses by adding three or four together.

None of that is the issue though. What is the issue is that they seem to have done it all on a two-track recorder in stereo and without the overdubbing facility that multi-tracking can give you, they have simply joined the tracks together – and you can see all the joins. Tiny little milli-seconds of silence.

What I’ve had to do is to edit the applauses after I’ve stripped them out, so that the joins have gone and it all looks pretty seamless.

Given the facilities they have there, it’s not very good at all, especially when even a home-based four-track set-up like the cheap affair that I have can produce a seamless show.

Maybe I’m in the wrong job.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, this one beats the lot to date.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What the heck is this all about?

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

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

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

And that reminds me

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 11th December 2019 – I WAS RIGHT!

fishing boats thora english channel granville manche normandy franceThis afternoon while I was out and about I noticed a movement out to sea, right out on the horizon near Jersey.

Not being too sure what it was – it might even have been a rock for all I knew – I took a photo of it with the big Nikon lens at full stretch, with the idea of blowing it up (the photo, not the object) back in the apartment.

Nevertheless I had a sneak preview on the camera’s monitor and although I couldn’t see clearly, it looked as if it had the outline or silhouette of Thora setting out to come here.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd sure enough, when I went for my evening walk tonight, I noticed that there anchored in the inner harbour tonight at her usual mooring place next to Marité and underneath the crane is Thora.

Crept in on the afternoon tide while my attention was elsewhere of course. There must be quite a lot goign on right now because she’s made quite a few trips over here just recently in rapid succession. It’s good for trade, that’s for sure.

As for me, I was right about having a late night. Long after any time that I wanted to be up and about, but can’t be helped. There’s a lot to do.

Eventually though I crawled off into the stinking pit. Straight into the Arms of Morpheus and also, simultaneously, off on a voyage or three.

One more I had this group of young escapees with me (have I had them with me before?) and there was one in particular being lodged at my house. Someone connected with a political party – the Labour Party – thought that this was inappropriate and the Party started to run this kind of campaign to get the situation changed (…now doesn’t this all sound remarkably familiar?…). Their tactics including running some kind of spurious article or poll or something in the local newspaper, including a photo, about some girl or other. This girl wasn’t any younger than the girl who was staying with me and was probably older too, but even so, that situation didn’t go down very well with me, particularly after I had read all of the articles about it. They were all completely irrelevant and so far from the truth even though they weren’t actually supposed to be about the particular girl but some other spurious character, but there was very little truth in any of it.
Yes, this all rings a big bell about a certain incident in the past, doesn’t it? They say that old sins cast long shadows!
However, retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, I ended up a little later back on board a ship last night. It might have been The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour, I dunno, I didn’t recognise it and even in the dream I didn’t recognise it. This voyage was all about dreams again and how my dreams were getting all mixed up about people and things and so on, in parallel to how mixed up these things seem to be being in life right at the very moment. For once even though the tracks were muddled up and I didn’t know which track went where, all that kind of thing I seemed to have some kind of better arrangement about sorting out these tracks. And what would I give in real life to have a method like that?
Later on I was playing football for Crystal Palace last night, don’t ask me why. There were high balls being pumped into the penalty area and I had to bring them down under control. Qite bizarrely, I was doing much better with the difficult ones rather than the English were doing with the easy ones, just like being a multi-million pound footballer or something, and isn’t that pretty much how I’ve been talking about Lee Trundle just recently after his one-man show for Rhydaman the other night?
And that’s not all either. There was also something going on about one of these extreme right-wing Fascists, something about the roundabout up near LeClerc and I’m not quite sure what. He was down by the Post Office in the Cours Jonville and a British policeman as it happened came over to talk to him about his book saying that if he was going to publish it he needed to submit it to magistrates first to be reviewed. 20 magistrates would look at it rather like they did with Marguerite Radclyffe Hall’s book The Well of Loneliness to decide whether or not it was obscene or fit for publication. Apparently he’d been witnessed kicking some kind of Pakistani or immigrant, something like that but the immigrant had refused to press charges so the police were powerless, but they were intending to stop him somehow.
Ironically, when I was dreaming this, I remember thinking that I was actually awake so it wasn’t a dream so I had no need to dictate it. But then the alarm went off and awoke me, so I must have been asleep at the time.

Yet again I beat the third alarm quite comfortably and that led of course to an early medication and an early breakfast.

With all of that out of the way I sat down and with an air of determination I bashed out all of the 4-odd minutes of text for the live project that I’m preparing. I overran somewhat but it all fitted in so well that I had to do some editing of the music. And believe it or not, it sounds so much better now.

Talking of things sounding better, I listened a couple of times to the teaser that I had prepared yesterday. I decided that it needed some amendment so I re-did that too. That’s much better now but I’m convinced that I can make it even better still. But that’s a job for again.

sluice gates port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAll of that took me right up to almost lunchtime, would you believe, so I went for a nice long walk around the harbour, the long way round seeing as the gate was closed so the walkway was open, and went to pick up my dejeunette.

With the gates being closed and the tide being right out, the sluice hate is open. This discharges water slowly out of the inner harbour into the sea. Not enough to drain it of course, but to lower the level so that the harbour gates can be opened a good deal before high tide when the water level will of course rise again.

And with each tide being of a different height, some kind of regulation of the water level is necessary.

And have you noticed the tidal depth gauge by the way?

christmas decorations rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceThe way back was via the rue des Juifs as usual.

That gave me an opportunity to have a good look at the Christmas decorations that they have set up in the street. And … well … it’s not exactly going to set the town alight, is it? They could have done so much better than this, I reckon.

On the way back up the street I bumped into one of the guys who was at that strange meeting Monday evening. We had a little chat and then I came back here to eat my butties.

Feeling in a productive mood, I sat down after lunch and attacked another one of the projects I need to do. And now that it’s 23:30, I’ve just finished it and I’m having a listen to it.

All that remains is to send it off and then I’ll be right up to date for the New Year, and then I can get on and do stuff properly and make an attempt to catch up on this ever-increasing backlog.

As well as all of this, I had a little five minutes away on the new comfy chair. It’s doing the business, this is.

surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy franceBut I managed to pull myself together long enough to go out for my afternoon walk.

And if you think that I’m having trouble with the weather and the gale-force winds, then how about these two guys? They’ve decided to go out surfing at the Plat Gousset. And all I can say is “good luck to them” because you wouldn’t get me out there in any water less than 37°C. Not even if Castor and Pollux were in there ready to catch me.

But one advantage of the miserable weather was that there was no-one around so I could have an extra run without being observed.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThe surfers weren’t the only ones out there taking to the waters.

We had one of the trawlers from the port out there too. Well, in fact there were probably a dozen of them at least but there was this one right outside the harbour on its way in. In view of the rough weather that it was having to face, I reckoned that it deserved to have its photo taken.

And on that note, I headed back into the apartment to carry on work.

building renovation place cambernon granville manche normandy franceBut not quite straight away because there was something else that needed doing.

There’s the old Municipal building in the Place Cambernon that has been empty or thereabouts for as long as I’e known it, although just recently iy’s been covered in scaffolding, covered over and there have been workmen in there.

But today it seems that its cover has gone and we can actually see some of the work that they have been doing to the building. And it’s looking quite good. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do with it when it’s finished.

christmas lights rue couraye granville manche normandy franceLater on this evening I went out for my evening walk – and another run too as there was no-one around. I have to keep up the pressure.

As well as Thora I was also looking to see what else I could see of the Christmas decorations. There’s a certain point where you can see right up the rue Couraye to the railway station and I reckoned that if the Christmas lights are going to be good from anywhere, they’ll be good from that place.

Seeing the lights and seeing Thora meant that I had to take a slightly different, longer route. And when I finished, I found that I was on 95% of my daily effort. And so I did another lap around the block to reach the 100%.

Quite right too, because I had a big tea tonight. A pile of steamed veg with falafel and cheese sauce. Totally delicious it was too, especially when followed down by some of Liz’s apple cake with sorbet.

So another very late night, and I do need to be up early. The indications are that my morning train to Paris might be going (well, it’s not shown as cancelled) and my train from Paris to Lille is running too. But from Lille to Brussels it isn’t. So the plan is that I cancelled the bus trip and I’m relying on the trains to get me to Lille at least (if I can’t negotiate a trip direct to Brussels).

If I can only get as far as Lille there may be some public transport to get me across the border to Mouscron or Harelbeke in Belgium, and then a local train to Brussels. But if I’m confounded here at Granville, I’m going to go in Caliburn. My appointment isn’t until 13:30 on Friday so there’s plenty of time to do it in two stages

So I’m off to bed. I need to be ready for my adventures tomorrow.

surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france
surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france

surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france
surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Saturday 7th December 2019 – WHAT DO YOU THINK …

christmas decorations rue paul poirier granville manche normandy france… of the Christmas decorations in the rue Paul Poirier this year, Strawberry Moose?

Well, of course, I wouldn’t have put it quite like that but nevertheless, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m singularly unimpressed by the (lack of) imagination shown by the city fathers (and mothers) this year.

It’s not a great deal different that in any preceding year and when I see some of the effort that goes into making the chars, the carnaval floats, each year, I was expecting more than this, I have to say.

But talking of imagination, my imagination was working overtime last night. Despite being a night much (indeed very much) later than I had intended, and despite struggling to my feet somewhere in the same vicinity as the alarm calls, there was plenty of time to go off on a ramble.
And that was even though it took absolutely ages and ages and ages to go off to sleep last night. At one stage I thought that it must be getting light by now and I still hadn’t off to sleep, but sleep I must have done and dream I certainly did. I was with a group of people and as is my wont, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’d given a few of them nicknames as would be appropriate. It actually came out in the discussion as I mentioned a nickname about someone or something. These people were all dying to know who it was and what I meant and what other nicknames I had given to anyone or anything else. There was one nickname in particular that I’d given to someone and I really didn’t want anyone to know because it was a very special nickname. So I was there and I decided that I would resist all efforts. One girl in particular came along and started to question me much more about this and this was a surprise really because it was this particular girl to whom I was referring with this special nickname. I told her that it wasn’t something that I usually talked about, who was what, and I was aware that I was fobbing them all off all the time. Just when the questioning was starting to become intense, I told the girl that if she guesses correctly I would give her my farm, something like that. But just as she started to question me intensely the alarm went off and I breathed a sigh of relief.

And I wonder who the girl was. And, much more interestingly, what the nickname was.

After breakfast I started to try to figure out a way of combining these … errr … 68 track fragments from the mixer panel into one coherent track that I could edit down, but after about three or four, I gave up the idea. The lack of a pause control (or “until I can figure out how to pause a recording” more likely) is putting the kybosh on any of my attempts to do anything with that right now.

And so I turned to my faithful old dictaphone. A mike socket in, a headphone monitoring socket, a USB cable connection and – a pause control (I’d made sure of that when I was buying that!)

Switching the mike setting to “unidirectional” instead of “omnidirectional”, I plugged one of the expensive mikes into the microphone socket and did a couple of trial dictaions.

Much to my surprise, the quality was phenomenal. Much better by far that any other recording equipment that I’ve had here. And in stereo too. So I bit the bullet and re-recorded the audio vocals onto that using the mike, and then uploaded it to the laptop.

Once it was on the laptop I started to make a start to edit it. And even though I say it myself, what I have done so far (because I haven’t done it all by any means) sounds quite impressive.

boats stranded by low tide port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBut at a certain point I had to give up. I’m going out shortly and I need to make my butties, so a trip down into town was called for.

The tide was well out this morning so I could go the long way round and over the path on top of the harbour gates and then alongside the quay that way.

And Normandy Trader was conspicuous by her absence. Sneaked out of the harbour under cover of darkness.

singers on stage la vie en rose pink aeroplane place general de gaulle granville manche normandy francehaving picked up my dejeunette from la Mie Caline, I wandered for a couple of minutes into the town centre to see how the market traders were coping with the decorations.

And we were being entertained too. A duo, backed by digital music unfortunately, were singing “The Pink Aeroplane”.

And I bet that you don’t know of a song of that title, but it is in fact a mondegreen. It refers to the title of the song la Vie En Rose – “Life in the Pink” that was on several occasions misheard, as in any good mondegreen, as L’Avion Rose – “The Pink Aeroplane”

singers on stage place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceWith nothing much else to do I had a good walk around the stage to watch them, but the Nikon 1, good little camera that it might be in normal circumstances, isn’t up to being pushed beyond its limits.

So as I was taking a photo of the girls still singing, someone nearby came into the frame and the camera focused on them and not on the stage.

Perhaps I should say that the Nikon 1 is always set on “manual exposure” as its whole purpose is to be a quick “point and shoot” camera, leaving the big Nikon D500 for the more challenging work, when I have it with me.

The automatic setting though isn’t light enough for my requirements, so I’ve set the function (FN) button to work the exposure compensation and I always go two stops down with that.

If there are any minor lighting challenges with that setting I can edit those out

surveillance camera stolen granville manche normandy franceStrawberry Moose who was with me in spirit, if not in body, drew my attention to this sign just here.

He’s absolutely right, of course. Security cameras are designed to prevent crime of course. But the word volée in French can mean two things. It really and literally means “flown”, but in common usage an article that has “flown” will mean that it has been stolen.

And this little play on words has been used to great effect when I lived in Belgium. The Belgian Army bought a load of helicopters from MV Agusta. These helicopters were totally useless, and it was very strongly believed that a pile of well-filled brown envelopes had passed underneath the table at the signing of the contract.

One Francohone comedian asked the question “what’s the difference between a Belgian Army helicopter and a Belgian Government Minister?”
“Well, in Belgium it’s the Ministers who voléew/em>”

bad parking rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceHeading quickly home to organise a shower and make my butties ready for departure, my attention is drawn to yet another piece of pathetic parking – a subject that features quite often on these pages, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

And this isn’t just bad parking, this narrow street is actually a bus route and service buses come up here every 40 minutes or so. And they are pretty busy on a Saturday morning.

But don’t let that fact get in the way of a selfish effort to save oneself a 20-metre walk.

Back here I had a quick shower and clean up, made my butties and headed back out up town.

supporters us granville van hool coach car park stade louis dior granville manche normandy france13:30 I had to be at the football stadium, and I was there by 12:15.

The crowds were already gathering, and quite right too. US Granville are playing away in the Coupe de France at Plabennec three hours or so away, and the club had laid on free transport for the supporters.

And that was a gesture that I appreciated very much and I wish that there were more opportunities to travel to away matches.

van hool coach parking stade louis dior granville manche normandy franceThere were so many fans wishing to attend that there were actually two buses. Mine was the yellow Van Hool but there was this black one too.

All very nice, and took me back to my halcyon days when I used to drive tour buses like this all over Europe.

We were only about 20 minutes or so late getting away, which surprised me greatly, so I settled down to eat my butties and, shame as it is to admit it, slept for most of the way.

Not something that I really should be ashamed of, because I had had a bad night and it wasn’t as if there was anything else to do on board the bus.

us granville supporters complexe sportif louis goasduff Stade de Kervéguen plabennec finisterre  franceArmed with the obligatory blue-and-white scarf (left over from a cup exploit a few years ago and cost e3:00 – still, the bus was free and the club deserved some reward) and a Normandy flag (free provided by the Normandy Chamber of Commerce) we poured out of the buses at the car park that had been set aside at the local high school up the road.

This young boy was very proud of his scarf and flag, and also his make-up too.

There was a girl on board the bus doing the make-up for free, but I declined. My mush is ugly enough without a load of makeup adding to it.

us granville supporters complexe sportif louis goasduff Stade de Kervéguen plabennec finisterre  franceDown the street we all filed in a crocodile tothe football stadium, where the gates were firmly closed for another half-hour.

One idea that was in my mind was to go for a walk into town for a look around and see what was going on, but the stadium was quite some way out of town.

Much as I fancied a coffee, I could get one here in the ground.

complexe sportif louis goasduff Stade de Kervéguen plabennec finisterre franceWith 90 minutes to go before kick-off I grabbed a coffee (and a bag of chips) and went for a walk around the ground.

The reason why it’s so far out of town is that it was formerly a farm, bought by the town in 1968 and transformed into a sports complex that was opened in 1972.

And, by looking at things, they did quite a good job of it too for a small town and a club playing in the equivalent of the Northern Premier League

complexe sportif louis goasduff Stade de Kervéguen plabennec finisterre franceThere’s a main stand that runs down the side of the pitch like most football grounds, and also a smaller stand behind one of the goals.

That’s where we are installed – some form of crowd segregation I suppose – and I do have to say that the facilities here are somewhat better than Granville offers its away supporters when there was crowd segregation.

It was somewhat embarrassing to see the facilities (or lack thereof) offered to the Bordeaux fans at the stade Louis Dior two years ago.

us granville supporters complexe sportif louis goasduff Stade de Kervéguen plabennec finisterre The club had hired two coaches, as I think I explained earlier, and as they were pretty much full, that worked out at about 100 people or so.

As well as that, several people had come under their own steam (I’m not quite sure why when the buses were free) so by the time that kick-off took place, there were probably about 150 people in the away end.

That’s the figure that was reported by the club and it looks about right to me.

us granville stade plabennecois complexe sportif louis goasduff Stade de Kervéguen plabennec finisterre francePlabennec play in white so Granville had to play in a blue kit tonight. And it brought them quite a bit of luck too.

It’s probably fair to say that Plabennec had the lion’s share of the game tonight, but they huffed and puffed their way through the match without threatening ever to bring Granville’s house down.

Granville in the meantime sat back and soaked up the pressure, setting out on a few forays of their own.

One thing that I have said … “and on many occasions too” – ed … is that the tactic that Granville adopts of playing the ball quickly down the wings counts for absolutely nothing if they can’t put the crosses into the penalty area and don’t have anyone taking advantage of them.

And so today it was a pleasant surprise when during a foray upfield after a corner kick, the big centre-half got his head to one of these crosses that usually pass uninterrupted over the goalmouth.

Never mind a goal, it almost burst the back of the net and just goes to show what you can do when you have the correct players and when you put your mind to it.

Later on in the match Granville scored a second from a well-worked routine just outside the penalty area.

That must have been a disappointment for Plabennec because at 1-0 down and having more of the ball there was always a possibility that they could pull something out for an equaliser, but at 2-0 down it was a uphill struggle.

us granville footballers complexe sportif louis goasduff Stade de Kervéguen plabennec finisterre That was how the match ended – 2-0 for Granville.

And at the final whistle the players came down to the away end to greet the fans. Something that I thought was a very nice gesture. It was only right too because the noise that the fans had kept up during the match had helped the team push onwards.

A real “12th man” in the stadium tonight.

us granville supporters van hool coacg parking stade louis dior granville manche normandy franceOn the way back, I slept for some of the way, which was just as well. There wasn’t much else going on.

And by the time that we returned to the Stade Louis Dior it was about 23:45. We’d had a really good afternoon out all together, and it was really nice of the club to lay on the buses for the fans.

It was just as well that I’d put on my winter woollies because it was pretty taters outside too by now.

christmas decorations avenue des matignons granville manche normandy franceMy walk back home was a long, lonely, cold vigil. I was probably the only person out there at that time of night.

Still, it gave me plenty of opportunity to admire the town’s Christmas decorations. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’d seen them erecting the decorationsa few days earlier, but I’d yet to see them properly working.

But I was really a little disappointed by what’s on offer.

christmas decorations avenue leclerc granville manche normandy franceNot necessarily because of the quality and the amount of decorations, but apart from the famous ski slope that we saw the other day, it’s all pretty much the same as last year.

It wouldn’t be too much, surely, to have a redesign of the Christmas decorations or even to shuffle the decorations around so that they are in different places, just to relieve the monotony.

So while you admire the rest of the Christmas decorations, I’m off to bed. I’ve had a very long day and I need my beauty sleep.

christmas tree place pierre semard granville manche normandy france
hristmas tree place pierre semard granville manche normandy france

christmas decorations rue couraye granville manche normandy france
christmas decorations rue couraye granville manche normandy france

christmas decorations gare de granville railway station manche normandy france
christmas decorations gare de granville railway station manche normandy france

christmas decorations place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france
christmas decorations place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france

artificial ski slope christmas decorations place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france
artificial ski slope christmas decorations place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france

christmas decorations place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france
christmas decorations place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france