… out and about today, just for a change.
There was a group called “Jet Blast” entertaining the lunchtime crowds at the summer street market at St Martin de Bréhal up the coast from here and Laurent had sent me a mail to ask me if I would like to go.
It meant setting an alarm this morning and regular readers of this rubbish will recall how well that goes down on a Sunday, but it’s high time that I got out and about to changer mes idées as they say around here.
It’s pretty much common knowledge that most people think that I ought to get out more often.
As a consequence of my early start (and isn’t 09:50 an early start on a Sunday?) I was early in bed for a Saturday night. Not quite before midnight but there wasn’t all that much in it.
It was a highly mobile night with tons of stuff on the dictaphone but I didn’t have time to transcribe it. I didn’t even have time for the medication because the side-effects take a while to work. Instead, I went and had a shower and a good clean-up. I need to look pretty.
Bang on time to the second Laurent rang the bell so I went downstairs, grabbing a raincoat on the way because it looked grey and overcast. And then we headed off.
It’s been several years since I’ve been to St Martin and I’d almost forgotten what it looked like.
And with it being the summer market, the place was packed. We were lucky enough to find a car parking place within staggering distance of the centre of the town which was just as well because I’m not as mobile as I used to be.
And then we walked down the road into town past some of the really nice houses and Laurent filled me in with a few of the secrets of the owners of the properties.
The larger places are mainly second homes of wealthy people from Paris who have all kinds of skeletons in their cupboards that only the locals know.
The main street was closed to traffic and that was where the commerçants had set their stalls out.
You could buy almost anything here this afternoon, and there were all kinds of people walking around carrying all kinds of things that they had purchased.
Even the local lifeboatmen – the Sauveteurs de Mer – had a stall selling tee-shirts and similar in order to raise funds.
The cafés and restaurants were packed as well and trying to find a place to have a coffee was simply not possible this morning.
Instead we walked down to the promenade to see what was happening there.
The tide doesn’t come in anything like as much as it does at Granville down the coast so there’s always quite a few people enjoying the beach at all hours. Except, of course today, because I really was thinking that it was going to rain and so did everyone else by the looks of things.
The likelihood of rain doesn’t make any difference to anyone who fancies a dip in the sea hence the two people who were brave enough to do in there this morning and good for them
I was glad that I’d taken the NIKON D500 and the 70-300mm LENS with me.
As usual, I was having a good browse around out at sea and was able to pick up some sails out there on the horizon. It didn’t take much identifying to work out who she was. She was of course Marité out and about this morning in the bay.
As for the boat that was with her, I couldn’t recognise her and there wasn’t anything shown on the radar so whoever she was, she didn’t have a working AIS on board so that was that.
You don’t need an AIS beacon to tell who she is.
The configuration of her sails is enough to suggest that she’s La Granvillaise and in fact when I returned home and enlarged and enhanced the image I could see the writing of her registration number on her sails.
There was actually quite a lot of maritime traffic out there this morning but down at sea level it’s not always easy to make it out. I’m much happier at 50 metres above sea level on my cliffs back home.
And talking of the cliffs back home, it’s amazing what you can see with a good zoom lens.
The long tall building in the centre is the College Malraux and the slightly taller building to the left is where I live. The slightly smaller building to the left of that is where the public rooms are, where the wedding took place yesterday. The whitish building in between the two is the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs.
My afternoon walk goes from my building along the top of the cliffs to the right all the way down to the end where the lighthouse is, and then back down the path on the other side of the headland.
So now you know.
So then we had “Jet Blast” up on stage.
A three-piece band that performed a pretty staple diet of rock and funk music, I’ve seen much better than these. But I’ve also seen much worse too and for a small seaside resort on a Sunday morning I don’t suppose that they were too bad.
What let them down very much was their choice of songs. Musically there wasn’t much wrong with them but with the kind of voices that they had, they shouldn’t be trying to sing songs like “Live And Let Die”.
As for their version of “The Immigrant Song”, I much preferred the version by THE VIKING KITTENS.
And who could possibly sing the wrong words to “Born To Be Wild”? Even with me the way I am these days – I can sing the lyrics perfectly to obscure rock songs of the 1960s but ask me what I went into the kitchen for five minutes ago.
It reminds me of when I went to see “The Who” in London back in the early Seventies with Roger Daltrey singing “… errr … root ti toot ti tattoo too”.
We did have a few drops of rain too after about 15 minutes but it didn’t last all that long. Nothing at all to worry about.
Their finale was a rather low-tempo version of SOUL SACRIFICE, a long way from the original version.
What was interesting about this is that in the live version by Santana, there’s a very lengthy percussion solo. “Jet Blast” imitated that (to a certain degree) by not only the drummer but the guitarist and the bassist abandoning their guitars for some percussion instruments.
It was certainly a different way of performing it so hats off to them for initiative and innovation, even if it lacked the inspiration of the original. But then no-one can play Santana quite like Carlos Santana
They were on stage for about 90 minutes or so altogether and all in all I don’t suppose that it was too bad at all.
Everyone in the audience seemed to enjoy it anyway, some more than others.
Just for a change, I didn’t take too many photographs, but those that I took are ALL ON LINE
We managed to grab a table in a café afterwards and have a coffee and a chat. We made a few plans for some more trips out but all of that depends very much on how things develop with my health. I can’t plan too far ahead these days.
Later on Laurent drove me home.
Before I came in I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening there and, being distracted by a kite surfer, I forgot to look down onto the beach.
Back here I had work to do. I went through and edited all of the photos and created the web page to which I referred to make sure that all of my images from today are on line. And then I set about transcribing the mountains of dictaphone notes.
I was at the top of Vine Tree Avenue in Rope Lane. There were a couple of people waiting for the bus. Just then Sweep, my grey cat, came and they started to call it names so I asked what was up. They said that it was mean because it attacked them. I picked her up and stroked her and asked them if she looked as if she was a mean cat that attacks people. They must have been mean to it to make it attack. We had a little chat about cats etc. Then I decided that I’d come in and I’d bring Sweep in with me. I brought her into my flat but she didn’t seem all that happy being indoors and wanted to go back out again. I was getting the impression that she was going to start on a kind-of new life somewhere that didn’t involve me as a human in it and I felt really disappointed by that.
Later on I’d gone to get a job in an office somewhere talking about car insurance. It was specialising in Ford Cortinas. The talk that I was given told me that I was going to be learning all about Cortinas even down as far as the MkII. I said that that was very nice but I owned my first MkI Cortina in 1974 … “actually 1973” – ed … and since then I’ve owned the lot and I have at the moment a MkII, 3xMkIV and 2xMkV. We had a chat about them. Then I went round to one of my garages because I had Cortinas dotted about all over the place in different garages and workshops. In one of them I had a couple of engines up on pallets but the pallets were uneven so I was looking for slivers of wood to even up the pallets. I was hunting around for ages for these, then I suddenly realised that in my workshop I’d have them where I’d been cutting wood. My workshop was open with hordes of people milling around inside it, all my tools and everything were in there. I went in and found a few bits of wood but by dismantling some kind of template that I had in there I found all the wood that I needed. There was a girl in there whom I thought looked quite attractive, a young girl. She came over to me and asked “didn’t you used to do the car boot sales for MENCAP?”. I replied “I was there driving a friend but I didn’t actually take part in the organisation or anything. I was certainly present”. She was telling me who she was there with and having a chat. I said “hang on a minute”. I was chewing on a piece of wood. “Let me take this wood out of my mouth”. She looked astonished. “What are you chewing on?”. I replied “wait a minute” and took these pieces of wood out of my mouth. I started to chat to her again and we had a nice friendly conversation.
I had an office at the back of a railway station on top of a railway line. I was doing some research into one of their locomotive engineers there. Something came up about this nationally so I offered to let someone have a look at my research. They seemed to think that I was in much more need of help myself because of all of the mess that I was in. I said that I was in a mess but it was all a question of organisation, not of facts. I collected a great many of the papers and it was just a matter of sorting them out but they were quite welcome to come along and refer to some of them while this was all going on.
There was something in there that they were going to be giving their workers fewer holidays and less paid time off and that sparked a walk-out of people from there.
There was something going on about computer programming. I can’t really remember very much but it was to do with people getting old and cars parked in the street restricting the flow of traffic but I can’t remember any more about this.
We (whoever “we” were) were at a motorcycle rally and someone’s motorcycle had broken down. We went to have a look at it and took the back wheel out which was no problem at all but it wouldn’t detatch from the hub housing. I left it on one side and had a look around the rest of the motorbike. In the end the driver admitted that what was happening was that it was the primary-chain tensioner had given up so I asked to know a way of adjusting the timing or getting a new chain and tensioner to fit. He explained that with these new-fangled motorcycles it’s not as easy as that and in any case you can’t just set the timing by eye even if you were able to change the chain and tensioner. It has to be done by some kind of celestial line-up that means that you have to take the motorcycle to either Mexico City or Moscow in order to set the timing. This is way beyond any technical capability I ever had so I could see that I was going to have to admit defeat before I started on this particular motorbike because there was no way that I had this kind of facility.
Finally I had a go at the music that I’ll be using in the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow, pairing it off ready for writing the notes tomorrow morning.
With all of everything that had been going on today I’d forgotten to take the dough out of the freezer so there was no pizza tonight. Instead I had sausage, beans and chips and that made a very acceptable meal. I also finished watching FAREWELL MY LOVELY which is one of the most powerful films that I’ve ever seen, up there in the same class as THE MALTESE FALCON and THE BIG SLEEP.
Now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. It’s an early start in the morning and I’ve plenty to do as usual. And then I have to summon up the courage to go to Leuven on Wednesday.
How I’m not looking forward to that.