… right about the pontoons. So almost right in fact that I’m going to give myself 9 out of 10.
Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I counted the pillars on the quayside and decided that they were going to install two rows of four, and then they went yesterday and put a fifth one in the row on the north side of the harbour that confounded all of my expectations?
Anyway, to cut a long story short … “thank goodness” – ed … they might have installed five n one row, but today they are indeed starting on a second row, just as I reckoned that they would.
But that’s going to be bad news as far as I can see for the shipping in here, where they are installing that second row.
Here’s Tiberiade, a sister ship to Coelacanthe, and I watched her for a good five minutes struggling to negotiate her way around the pillars in order to find a berth to which to tie up.
And that’s just a fishing boat. We have both of the Joly France boats, Chausiais, and then the two Channel Island ferries, Granville and Victor Hugo, that tie up more-or-less where they will be fitting that pontoon. I’m not sure how that’s going to work for them
And while you admire the photos of the storm that we had tonight, let me tell you about my totally miserable day. A day when everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
And we started off my oversleeping. Not by five minutes or ten minutes but a good hour and a half. Staying up and listening to decent music might be a good plan from that point of view, but 01:30 is being rather optimistic when I want to be up by 06:15
That got me off on the wrong foot and things disintegrated from there on.
The medication was no problem, and then I came back and looked at the dictaphone.
And no wonder that I was exhausted this morning. I’d been miles during the night.
There was a whole group of us discussing some guy’s application for something or other. It was an unusual application – it turned out that he had an eagle on a ring not too far away and he wanted something to control this eagle but no-one would take him seriously about this. Everyone was saying that if he had an eagle living there it would be fantastic. But no-one could quite get to grips with the seriousness of the thing because eagles can even carry off people. This all came about I think when someone was getting married, I’m not quite sure, and there was a fear of this eagle but this sighting was dismissed and they never saw it again. People were saying “ohh well, there you are, it must have been a false report, this kind of thing, but this whole thing was based on the fact that an eagle had reappeared and been seen at a different place entirely so maybe it hadn’t actually gone away but had just basically moved nest into somewhere else.
Later on, three kids were staying at our old house in Vine Tree Avenue. We were there and there was a hell of a lot going on in this dream. One of my things to do was to go round and check on the flies. For some unknown reason, the flies were of interest. I’d read a book on flies and the life-cycle of the flies, the family of the fly, all this kind of thing and it was interesting to see how much the families of the flies around our house actually bore to it. So I used to do my rounds and check on things while everyone else was out and I still kept on doing my rounds. And on one of my rounds I walked into my parents bedroom and there was one of my sisters. “So what are you doing here?” I asked her “I’m looking for a quiet place to study and write some letters and people wouldn’t leave me alone so I came in here”. I said “the easiest thing to do to be left alone is to not make any noise and people won’t remember about you. You should really be in here and shut the door and that would be better still” and I gave her some more advice like that as well. But it was something about the life cycle of the fly and the family of the fly that interested me.
I was in the area of Shavington last night, (…Rope Hall Lane…). I was on a motorcycle and I was following someone in a car. This motorcycle thing went past us, grey but with an orange-painted tank on it. As I went round a bend the guy in the car was busy turning the car round to come back the other way towards me. I asked him what was up. Apparently the motor cycle had hit him and driven off. A crowd of people came round, someone on a police motor bike but it wasn’t a policeman. The guy with me was telling a story about how he had hit him and said a few impolite things and driven away. I suddenly realised that I knew this guy, and I bet that I knew his name as well as he sounded like the kind of person whom I’d met. I mentioned it to him, that he’s a regular on this road and we can find him again at some other time.
But then I was in Shavington (… Rope Lane by the Vine …) with someone else, someone from Canada but not Josée I think. We were talking about my childhood as we drove through Shavington so I took her down Vine Tree Avenue and showed her the house where we lived as kids. Of course it’s much different now than it was in those days. We were having a chat about it when some woman came up and asked me if I knew the area. I said that I had lived here. She replied that she had lived here since the 50s and she knew this street – pointing to Edwards Avenue – by some other name. I said that if she had been here in the 50s she must have known me then so we had a chat. I don’t think that we actually got to mentioning my name, who I was, but we were talking on about Edwards Avenue and Vine Tree Avenue and I was pointing out some garages (… which don’t exist …) that still bore some kind of resemblance to how our houses looked at the time
As I said, no wonder that I was exhausted.
After breakfast, there wasn’t much time before I had to go to the shops, so I looked at the digital soundfile that I’d downloaded yesterday. And one brief listen to that, and that one followed the previous version into the bin as well. The first couple of minutes of the opening track are missing, and that’s no good to anyone.
What I’ll have to do is to download yet another version if I can find one.
Before I went out I grabbed a quick shower and then headed uptown, stopping to watch Tiberiade perform her nautical danse macabre around the harbour.
At LIDL there was nothing of any particular interest, although I did watch in mild amusement as someone came into the shop in plastic gloves and a face mask to do his shopping. I think that some people need to get a sense of proportion. More people died in the 2003 heatwave, and more people will die of influenza in a normal winter. The trouble is that because those things are so normal, the Press never mentions them so people don’t realise.
Talking of journalists, I have a journalist friend in the USA who is currently having a hysterical panic about this virus. So I asked her how the tally of deaths and illness from the virus compares with the amount of firearm-related deaths and injuries in the USA.
She didn’t reply, but kept on having her hysterics.
Yes, never mind this virus. There are people walking the streets in the USA with enough firepower to wipe out a small-sized district at the drop of a hat, yet that causes these silly Americans no concern whatsoever. But then again, I suppose that the USA is such a violent bloodthirsty country that they are accustomed to the idea of violence.
And that’s a dreadful state of mind to be in.
Several weeks ago, I posted a photo of what I considered to be the first buds of the year. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that at the time I expressed my scepticism.
But there’s no doubting whatsoever about these. here in the rue de la Houle there are definitely buds here on this creeping plant that’s growing up the wall.
Yes, we can definitely now say that Spring is on its way quite definitively. That put a little spring into my step, although I wish that I knew what happened to winter.
Regular readers of this rubbish will also recall that we’ve been keeping an eye on the new building that’s going on on the corner of the rue Charles Guillebot and the impasse de la Corderie.
Being in an energetic mood today, I went to have a closer look at it today. It is indeed a new house. But the people who are building it don’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to finish it.
It’s one thing that I’ve noticed here with the local builders. They don’t seem to be in any rush whatever to actually complete anything and we’ve seen projects like this go on for ever.
Just by way of a change, seeing as I’d never come this way, I went down into town via the rue Charles Guillebot.
That takes me down the north side of the eglise St Paul, a side of the church that we haven’t seen before. I’ve probably mentioned this church in the past. It was one of the earliest concrete structures built in modern times (the Romans were well-advanced with the use of concrete) but like most things, was never maintained.
As a result, there are bits dropping off it and there are notices all over the place telling the public to keep well clear.
At La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and headed back home.
But once more, I stopped half-wau up the rue des Juifs to admire the view. We saw them earlier knocking the support pillar into the floor, but that was a photo that I had taken later this afternoon.
What we are seeing in this photo is the floating pontoon setting out from its mooring with that support pillar in its evil clutches and being shunted into position by the little boat.
It’s actually quite an exciting procedure watching then manoeuvring about the harbour with all of their equipment. All of this free entertainment that we are having.
Back at the apartment, I had a little surprise. I bumped into one of the more energetic owners here, and he invited me to come with him on a little guided tour.
Underneath this building are several big man-made caverns which had been bricked off and a year or so ago they had found the entrance and smashed their way through the wall to the inside.
There were apparently the water tanks for the old city in the days before there was the mains water supply. All of the rainfall from the roofs of the houses and from the street was channelled into here.
And it’s certainly an impressive sight to see. Apparently, it was full of all kinds of things before they started to clean it out. The plan was to divide it up into private cellars for the owners of the apartments, but it’s hit a major snag.
And he showed me what was the snag.
One of the underground caverns was well-blocked off and took some smashing down. And when they finally broke their way in, they could see exactly why it was so well sealed.
If the story that I was told is correct, and I would gladly learn otherwise, the building was divided into rooms by all kids of ad-hoc partitions that had accumulated over the centuries. When it was converted into apartments, the old partition walls had to be smashed down and taken away.
Included in the contract for the work was a large sum for “hire of containers and transport away of the waste” and this was duly paid. However it seems that the waste was never transported away at all but thrown down the lift shafts into one of the caverns and the cavern was then sealed off so that no-one would see it.
Of course, this is just one person’s view of the matter and there is very likely another, but one inescapable fact is that m’learned friends have been called in by the building’s management committee.
We shall see how all of this develops over the next few months. But nevertheless, it was exciting being down here and seeing all of this that I had never seen before.
After lunch I boiled up some ginger and then started to make my orange and ginger syrup.
I peeled 5 large juice oranges, gave then a quick whizz in the whizzer and poured off the juice, which I put into a bottle that I had sterilised. That went into the fridge.
The left-over pulp was whizzed down finely and then, after the ginger had simmered for an hour or so, I added the left-over pulp, brought it to the boil again and then left it to simmer.
While that was happening, I made a start on the sound files that we had recorded at the Grande Marée yesterday.
There were a few people out there this afternoon but I didn’t loiter very much.
My route took me round to the chantier navale where I could see that La Granvillaise and one of the fishing boats have gone back into the water. But Charles-Marie is still in there, minus a good few of her planks. This is going to be a long job
There was another classe decouverte out there today too, but no-one whom I recognised so I headed for home. I’m still shaking my head about that unexpected encounter yesterday.
Back here, I had a look to see how my orange and ginger was doing.
Nicely simmering away so I took it off the heat, added a couple of tablespoons of manuka honey (that’s how I make it into syrup), poured it all into the whizzer and gave it all a really good and lengthy whizz around.
The syrupy mass was then poured into the orange juice that I had put in the fridge earlier and it was all shaken up to mix it in. It all went into the fridge where over the course of the next week or so I’ll be using it up as my morning drink.
Back at my desk, I carried on with the sound file but I didn’t get very far as I drifted away with the fairies. And I also had my half-hour on the bass.
Tea was a burger on a bun with potatoes and veg. And I forgot the veg until the very last minute and had to rush them. The apple pie and ice cream for pudding was delicious too. I really am living well these days.
There was quite a wind blowing outside this evening.
Not one of the strongest winds that we have had and not really enough to knock me out of my stride either. And so i was astonished to see how the waves were roaring in to the Plat Gousset.
It is the period of the fullest moon and the highest tides, but even so, I hadn’t expected to see waves like this coming into the Plat Gousset with such incredible force. I stood there for quite a while to watch the show.
Windy it might have been, but not enough to frustrate my two evening runs. I managed to fit them in without too many problems and managed to push the distances on again. For my second run, I even made it up to the top of the ramp and I haven’t done that for a while.
But there was a lot of activity in the port and at the fish-processing plant. With it being nearly high tide, the gates are open so the big fishing boats can come in and unload.
For my part, I went and had a little play with the NIKON 1 J5 and the f1.8 18.5mm lens
The photo above was taken with the shutter speed at 1/20 at f1.74 with ISO 900
This photo here was taken completely manual with speed of 1/125 at f1.74 and ISO 2800.
They have both come out rather well and I’m quite pleased with them. Still plenty of room for improvement but I’ll just keep on working away at it until I improve.
So back here I’ve written up all of my notes and now, a lot later than I hoped, I’m going to bed. I hope that I have better luck trying to drag myself out of bed tomorrow morning, but who knows? It’s really driving me to despair