Tag Archives: colwyn bay

Sunday 20th March 2022 – WHILE I’VE BEEN …

people on footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… basking in glorious sunshine out on my rock this afternoon, other people have been suffering.

Alison sent me a lovely video to show me that the region of Leuven in Belgium was hit by a snowstorm this morning. It didn’t last long apparently, but a snowstorm it was nevertheless.

And back here, while I turned off the heating and even had the windows in the living room opened this afternoon, everything is closed and the heating is back on again. It looks as if the brief glimpse of an early summer that we have been having has now ended.

But I bet that we won’t be seeing snow though.

Last night I saw quite a lot of my bed. 00:30 when I finally retired for the night, and it was 10:30 when I finally crawled out of bed.

But I didn’t have much sleep though. There are tons of stuff on the dictaphone and to my dismay I could only decipher less than half of it. Much less in fact. apparently the settings on this new machine are different from the old one that I had.

That’ll teach me to check the manual … “PERSONual” – ed … next time .

After the medication I came back in here to do my best to find out where I’d been during the night. I was with a former friend of mine last night out somewhere in the countryside and there were these two Harley Davidson motorbikes being chased down the road by a bulldozer. When they went past, when they came to a tight corner one of them fell off on the bend

There was also a big meeting taking place of a group of people. It might have been the students’ union, I dunno. It was taking place in a big sports centre somewhere outside a town. It might have been in the Netherlands or Flemish Belgium. At the town where Iw as, I was on a bus that was going to where the Sports Centre was. There was a couple of people on there and we were all speaking to the driver. She was telling us that she was shortly leaving her job and going off touring around New Zealand. I was talking about Canada and the pick-up that I had out there. In the end I was the only one left on the bus and we came to the Sports Centre but she told me that she couldn’t drop me off there because it was on a bad bend so she took me on to the terminus and I had to walk back. I had Strawberry Moose with me. I walked into the hall and saw all kinds of people whom I knew but they didn’t want to talk to me and all moved away. I saw the group from Northern Europe who were all sitting there. One of my sisters was there too and I thought “what is she doing?”. I had to use the bathroom but it was filthy and disgusting and there wasn’t much toilet paper there but I had to go all the same. Someone else came in and shouted “I have a tape for you”. I replied “you’ll have to hang on to it for a minute”. He replied “no, it’s here”. I replied “I can’t come out and do anything right now”. he said that he would have to leave it. I asked him where he was leaving it and he replied “underneath your Bible” and that took me by surprise because I didn’t have a Bible.

With the tons of stuff that I have yet to decipher, nevertheless a connection of Zero put in an appearance. If he was there, it probably means that she wasn’t far behind and so I’m picturing a night of unbridled passion with Zero, TOTGA, Castor and several other young ladies from the dim and distant past putting in all kinds of appearances during the night and I will never ever find out anything about it.

Just my luck.

There was enough time before brunch to sort out the music for one of the radio programmes that I’ll be preparing tomorrow. The joins didn’t work out as well as they have been doing just recently but that’s due to the fact that the tracks are all completely different from each other and there’s no natural flow.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022After lunch I went out for a very early afternoon walk, for reasons which will become apparent in due course.

First stop was the wall at the end of the car park where I could look down onto the beach.

And see the crowds of people who were milling around down there. As you saw in the photo of the path along the clifftop, people were out in droves today taking advantage of the really nice weather.

No-one out at sea, as far as I could see. The haze that we had yesterday had lifted somewhat – only somewhat. The Ile de Chausey was quite clearly visible but there wasn’t much to see beyond that kind of range.

diagonal window in house rue du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Having strolled down the path to the lighthouse and having looked back down the path to see the crowds, this house in the Rue du Roc caught my eye.

We have seen this house before and I’ve probably photographed it too but it’s still quite interesting. Most builders and designers seem to lack any imagination but whoever designed this house had plenty to spare

If people are going to put windows in gable ends, they usually make them perpendicular in either the vertical or the horizontal plane, but to see a window in the diagonal to match the pitch of the roof and the pitch of the roof of the neighbouring house is certainly different.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Being out for my afternoon walk so early, the tide was well out, as you saw earlier.

And that means that the practitioners of the pèche à pied are finding that the water level is now below the parts of the beach and rocks that are leased commercially. Consequently it’s a free-for-all for everyone down there this afternoon.

And there were the crowds too out there on the rocks looking for the oysters, lobsters, eels and other delicacies. And I hope that they share them with their friends and neighbours because as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … one mustn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

people cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As well as the pècheurs à pied, we also had interested spectators too.

Down there on the bench by the cabanon vauban we had a couple of people sitting down and watching the fishermen and women at their work. But they had obviously heard all about me because as soon as I pointed the camera down there, they stood up to leave.

And so I left them to it too and headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on there this afternoon.

pecheur de lys chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And the short answer was “nothing”. There had been no change whatever of any importance or significance in the outer harbour since yesterday.

Everything was exactly as it had been, including the old wooden Pecheur de Lys, who hasn’t moved for a considerable period of time.

We saw her in the water for a short while a couple of years ago after a brief overhaul on the blocks in the chantier naval, but that was about it. She was only afloat for a couple of days and then she was hauled back in and that was that.

With nothing else changed in the inner harbour I hurried on back home because there was something important going on that I didn’t want to miss – hence my early afternoon walk.

On Friday evening we saw the first Welsh Cup semi-final between Y Bala and Penybont. This afternoon it was the second semi-final between TNS and Colwyn Bay.

TNS are runaway leaders of the Welsh Premier League, having already won the Championship, and Colwyn Bay are in fourth place in the second tier so the result was pretty much a foregone conclusion.

However TNS were made to work hard for their victory and the goal that they scored to win the tie was the type that you only ever score when lady luck is shining on you. A corner swerved in, hit the post, bounced out about a foot, hit a TNS attacker in the face and rebounded into the net. And he knew nothing at all about it.

It might have been a different story too if the referee had awarded Colwyn Bay a penalty when Connor Roberts in the TNS goal wrestled an attacking Colwyn Bay attacker to the ground after the ball had been played.

During the football match I found to my surprise that I was drifting off to sleep and when the game finished, rather depressingly I dropped off to sleep more-or-less straight away. And for a good half-hour too

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Having taken out a lump of dough out of the freezer immediately after lunch, it was now defrosted so I kneaded it and rolled it out.

After it had proofed I assembled the pizza. I remembered the olives this evening too. and then it went into the oven to bake.

It turned out to be one of the best pizzas that I have ever made as well. This last few that I have made seem to have worked out quite well and I wish that my technique for the rest of my baking activities would develop like this.

Anyway now that tea and the washing up is over and I’ve had a spell on the guitar too today, I’m going to bed. It’s an early start tomorrow as I have a radio show to prepare and I hope that now that I’ve set up the new dictaphone in accordance with the instructions, I’ll be able to listen to where I go during the night.

Fancy going on all of those voyages last night and hardly understanding anything at all of what I was up to.

Saturday 16th October 2021 – THIS NEW WAY …

… home actually seemed to work a lot easier than going home the normal way. So if ever my 07:17 from Brussels is cancelled in the future and I can’t have another cheap ticket any other way, I’m going to consider quite seriously going this way home again.

The alarm was set for 06:00 but it was pretty much a waste of time because I didn’t have much sleep at all. The heating made so much racket that in the end I went down and switched it off, and then I ended up with people talking outside my door for what seemed like hours.

Nevertheless I was up and about as soon as the alarm went off and it didn’t take me long to finish packing and to make my sandwiches. There was even time for coffee and toast for breakfast.

During the night despite the lack of sleep I’d been on my travels again. We’d been having a history class at University but the teacher hadn’t turned up so we’d been running it ourselves. He finally turned up and started, going round the class talking to each one of us. He mentioned to me about going round to teach his daughter guitar if I was free at 17:30 that evening. When I left work I went to park up somewhere to wait. After a while I thought that I’d better ring Laurence to tell her where I was, that I’d be late. She had obviously been asleep because she was very slurred with a tired voice. She just muttered something about the management but I didn’t hear a thing after that. Then I realised that I didn’t have my guitar so I thought that I’d better return to the office and fetch it.

We were all in a car somewhere. We turned up at a house where we were supposed to be. I couldn’t get my car into the drive because the cars were parked too far close up. I had my brother move his car but there still wasn’t enough room which I thought was really strange. Then I realised that the one on the left was too far over so I pushed that out of the way so that I could drive in. Parked in there was the red Opel coupé of a girl whom I knew, really rusty and rotten. Whoever it was with me said “no tax again”. I replied “it’s taxed until June”. Then I had a closer look and it was June 1988 in the window. I said “that sounds just like her, doesn’t it?”. We walked round the back of the house to go in ready to see the lighting of the Christmas tree.

07:00 is the latest time for me to leave my digs because there’s an express train to Brussels at 07:33. But I was on my way at about 06:50.

martelarenplein leuven belgium Eric Hall photo October 2021The work that’s taking place in the Martelarenplein outside the station is another one of these tasks that seems to be taking forever. It’s been going on for a couple of years now and progress seems to be very slow.

The fencing is still all around the work so it’s very difficult to take a photo, and the dark early morning doesn’t help very much either, but I did the best that I could in the circumstances.

With having set out so early, I was well in advance of my timetable and luckily, there was an earlier express train, the 07:21, so I didn’t have to wait too long because it was absolutely taters out here and I wish that I’d brought a coat..

class 18 electric locomotive 1903 gare du midi brussels belgium Eric Hall photo October 2021The train that came into Leuven was pulled by, despite its number, a class 18 electric locomotive of the type that we catch quite regularly.

In the darkness I couldn’t see anything of the journey, but we pulled into Brussels with 45 minutes to go before my train to Paris.

And sitting on a draughty station in this weather for that long froze me to the marrow. If there’s a waiting room at the gare du Midi I have yet to find it.

Luckily though, the train came in early and we were allowed to board pretty quickly, which was just as well

Thalys PBKA 4304 gare du nord paris France Eric Hall photo October 2021The train that I’m on is one of the PBKA – Pars, Brussels, Cologne, Amsterdam – trainsets, the one on the left in this image taken at the Gare du Nord in Paris.

having scrambled aboard the crowded train to warm up, I found myself sitting next to a Chinese student who was confused about the application of the Eurorail pass. He didn’t realise that there’s a supplement to pay on the TGV and so he was stuck for an excess charge.

This train is a direct one to Paris. No changing at Lille, which is good news for me because the walk is a painful one in my state of health.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I don’t know why the train from Lille to Paris goes from a different railway station to the one that the long-distance TGVs use.

Much of the route to Paris was spent catching up with my beauty sleep so I was wide awake when we arrived in Paris. I had to show my vaccine passport on arrival and then go to look for RER track E.

It’s actually quite a walk but it’s on the level with no obstructions and on a really good surface so it didn’t seem like too much effort.

Down in the bowels, I didn’t have long to wait for a train. Much more comfortable than the metro, rather like a cheap mainline multiple-unit in fact, and it was only 15 minutes to the Gare St Lazare.

There was quite a walk from there too but once more, it was all on the level and going up to the station was on an escalator so there wasn’t any struggle with the baggage.

clocks outside gare st lazare paris France Eric Hall photo October 2021According to my notes, I’ve never been to the Gare St Lazare before so I went outside for a look around as I had some time.

This was quite interesting, all of these clocks. It’s a design by someone called Armand Fernandez, known as “Arman” and not “Arman in Havana”, and was commissioned by the French Government in 1985.

The station is pretty cramped in its surroundings by other buildings and nowhere is it possible to take a decent photograph.

gare st lazare France Eric Hall photo October 2021Inside the station though, it’s light and airy, having been modernised and upgraded about 10 years or so ago.

It’s not very easy to navigate though as the destination boards and platforms aren’t very clearly indicated.

And while finding where the platform that I need is one thing, finding my way onto it was something else completely.

There’s a “magic eye” that reads the QR code of your ticket, but the eye isn’t where you expect it to be and it took me 5 minutes and the assistance of a passer-by to enable me to find a way to pass the barrier.

56643 class Z 56600 electric multiple unit gare st lazare paris France Eric Hall photo October 2021My train is a newish double-decker multiple-unit, a class Z 56600 Electric Multiple-Unit “Regio 2N” double-decker built by Bombardier and entered service in 2014.

It has all mod cons and is very comfortable. Furthermore it’s non-stop to Caen and it doesn’t hang about either, with a top speed of 200kph.

It’s certainly worth remembering this route for the future if ever there’s a perturbation on my regular route. And if they do electrify my line, something that is under discussion right now, we might even see these in Granville which would be nice.

gare de caen railway station Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021At Caen there’s a one-hour wait for the train to Granville so I could go for a walk around outside.

No problems with photographing the station here because there is very little to obstruct the view. i’ve actually been here once before, but not on a train. I came this way on the bus once when there was a rail strike and we stopped here for a breather

It’s not the original railway station of course. Like so many others in the battle zone in Northern France, it was heavily bombed during the early summer of 1944 to prevent the rapid deployment of Axis forces by rail.

eglise st michel de vaucelles caen Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further down the street in the distance above the tram is a church that I think is the Eglise St Michel De Vaucelles.

There was a church on this site in the days of Charlemagne but there is no trace now of any remains from this period. The church that we see today dates from the early part of the 12th Century although it has been heavily modified since then.

It’s one of the starting points for the pilgrimages to the Mont St Michel.

By now it was lunchtime so I went back inside to eat my sandwiches and I actually treated myself to a mug of hot coffee. I’m really pushing the boat out these days, aren’t I?

bombardier 82792 gare de caen railway station Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The train that I catch from Caen is one of the Bombardier units that we have seen quite regularly in Granville.

It’s quite bizarre because there are only four power points per carriage and they take some finding. I had to wait for half the journey before a seat at one of them became vacant.

But imagine that! Just four power points, and in the 21st Century too!

These trains are little branch-line rattlers and not as comfortable as the one on which I’ve just been travelling, but at least it does its job and brought me back to Granville.

marité philcathane belle france chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Coming back home was easier than it has been recently. I only had to stop four times coming up the hill to home.

One of my stops was at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. Marité is down there of course, with the trawler Philcathane across the harbour on the other side.

Down here close to me are Belle France, the new ferry for the Ile de Chausey, and Chausiaise, the little Chausey freighter in orange, grey and white.

By the looks of things too, there’s someone having a go at mending his nets on the quayside too.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further up the hill at another one of my rest stops I could see that the sailing schools were in full operation today.

There are a couple of the yellw and orange ones having a sail about, but the black ones seem to be having a conference of some kind.

Arriving back at the apartment I made myself a coffee and reflected on how nice it was to be back home. And only four stops coming back up the hill with the load that I had in my suitcase was quite some progress compared to how I’ve been just recently.

Football later on, in the Welsh Cup. Colwyn Bay of the 2nd Division against Cardiff Metro of the 1st. A game rather short on skill and technique, but a proper cup-tie all the same played in front of a big, noisy crowd. Cardiff Metro had most of the play, missed a penalty, had a goal disallowed for offside and missed three or four absolute sitters.

Colwyn Bay, who were on the back foot for most of the game and only had one real shot on goal. And so, as you might expect, Colwyn Bay won the game 1-0 to move into the next round.

Now that I’ve had tea, I ought to be going to bed but I’m not tired right now. I’ll go to bed at about 03:00 I suppose and then sleep through until tomorrow afternoon.

That’s what usually happens.

Friday 6th December 2019 – I HAVE JUST SEEN …

… one of the strangest football matches that I have seen for quite some considerable time.

It’s the Welsh Cup this weekend and there are several banana skins lying aound. One of those is Carmarthen Town v Rhydaman, and this was shown on the live internet feed tonight.

Carmarthen are at the foot of the Welsh Premier League and struggling whereas Rhydaman, one division below them in the pyramid, are in 5th place and having a good run of form. Not the match that I would have picked – I’d have gone for Colwyn Bay v Airbus – but’s good enough. It’s the kind of game where you can smell that someone is in for a scalping.

And a scalping there certainly was. Rhydaman, playing away from home at Carmarthen, ran out winners. And not just by the odd goal either but they won 0-4.

You would have thought from the scoreline that this was a right spannering, but that was very far from the truth. Whilst Rhydaman were the better side, they weren’t all that better. The difference was that we were treated to 4 magic moments of Trundlemania

Yes, Lee Trundle. He must be 45 now if he’s a day but still proving that he can cut it with the best and while he’s slowed down considerably as you might expect, he still showed the kind of magic that made him a multi-million pound footballer in the days when multi-million pound footballers were still quite thin on the ground.

I mean – just HOW do you defend against something like this?

Despite a reasonably early night, I missed the alarms again. Not by much – only a few minutes in fact, but missed them nevertheless.

Not only that, although there was nothing on the dictaphone, I had a vague recollection that during the night I’d been on a voyage and found something that was way beyond exciting – the same feeling of elation that I had when I I came across that Santana concert after 42 years of searching.

But what it was, we shall never know now.

After the medication and breakfast, with no dictaphone notes to do, I attacked a couple of digital music files to break up into tracks.

One of them took me four hours to do, and for a variety of reasons too. It was an album of a live concert and with this digital sound analyser program that I have, I could see that it was a series of individual tracks that had been artificially joined together – and by a blind man by the looks of it too.

16 tracks altogether so it took me quite a while to edit all of the joints together properly so that it actually looks like a live concert as well as sounds like one too.

Then I had to break the file down into 16 individual tracks and save each one of those individually, but not before I’d copied about 15 decent applause tracks (some of which went on for half a minute and more) from the file, cut out any speech and unnecessary noise from them, boosted the volume in what are called “S-curves” in places to hide the difference in volume in the joins where I’ve cut things out, and then saved them to disk as 15 individual files.

Applause tracks are good and I love them because I can do all kinds of exciting things with them. But you need a good number of them from the same concert because if you “mix and match” applause tracks from different concerts, the applause doesn’t sound similar and it gives the appearance of being false. And if they are long applause tracks, you can cut them down and that gives you even more opportunity to make something different.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound about 12:45 I knocked off for lunch.

No bread here and no lettuce either so a walk into town was on the cards. And quite right too. Past the docks where the harbour gates were open sothe trawlers could come inside to unload.

And Charles-Marie is still over there with her winter wrap on.

trawler seagull photobomb port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe gates to the harbour can’t have been open all that long because there were several fishing boats on their way into port right now.

This one coming into port just here gave me a good opportunity for a photo-shoot but as I took a shot, my photo was once more bombed by a blasted seagull.

They get absolutely everywhere, these perishing things.

At the Super-U the lettuce was extortionate. €1:39 for a small one. That’ll teach me to forget one at LIDL, won’t it?

stage place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceAt La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and walked across to the Place general de gaulle to see what was going on.

Nothing right now as you can see, but clearly something will be going on in the very near future because we seem to have acquired a stage.

That’s going to upset a few of the marketeers tomorrow. It’ll quite take the shine off their sausages, now that they can begin to roast them again with charcoal following a recent Court decision.

badgers dry ski slope place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceBut what about our famous ski slope in the town?

No room for any humans on there because we seem to have been overrun by animals. I can understand why they might want to use animals as decoration, but why beavers … or … errr … Castors to the French people around here.

What does a beaver have to do with the festive season?

reindeer sleigh place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceThis is much more like the kind of thing you would expect to see at Christmas, isn’t it?

We have a sledge here and a reindeer pulling it. Presumably there will be a Father Christmas around somewhere to travel in it.

But I have a cunning plan and I shall be having a word with Strawberry Moose in early course and we will go for a little walk together late one night for a photo opportunity.

christmas decorations square potel rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceYesterday I mentioned and indeed showed you a photograph of the Christmas decorations that they were unloading at the Square Potel in the rue des Juifs, and I remember saying that I would go for a butcher’s today.

So here I am in the Square Potel with the decorations and I do have to say that I’m considerably underwhelmed by it all.

Mybe it’s just me I dunno, but I was expecting much more than this.

After lunch, I attacked the sound mixing desk for the vocals for the current project. It took me hours to figure out again how to record anything with it because I had forgotten what I did last time. And then I had to clean out all of the test files, set the volume levels and the like, and then clean out those test files too.

And then I could start.

The recording level is quite low using the built-in mike but my sound analyser program enhances that with no loss of quality. But there is a major problem with it, in that there’s no “pause” facility. So every time you stop for a think or to clear your throat, it restarts with a new track.

Trying to edit out about 40 of those into one coherent track and then split that down into tis segments is going to take me an age.

But I have made a startling discovery, and that is that the mikes that I bought for the mixing panel, using the adapter that came with them I can plug them into the dictaphone, which DOES have a pause facility. And also an output for headphones.

In view of this, I see a whole new world opening up for me here. For although the sound is somewhat tinny, it seems to be of a much higher quality.

storm at sea english channel pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceOne thing that I didn’t mention today is that the high winds are back. And with a vengeance too.

There was quite a storm raging out offshore and so even though the tide was on its way out, the waves were still rattling down on the rocks.

Not too many people out there today and that’s hardly a surprise given the conditions.

strange lighting conditions brittany coast granville manche normandy franceBut overcast and miserable and foggy it might be here, over across the bay on the Brittany coast they were having a different kind of weather.

Low cloud, yes, but on the periphery there was bright sunshine and it was creating a most unusual lighting effect over there.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it could do the same thing around here on this side of the bay?

storm sea wall port de granville harbour manche normandy franceGoing around the headland was taking my life in my hands with the wind that was sweeping around there.

narrowly avoiding being squidged on the pedestrian crossing, I went round the cliff to see what the waves were doing on the sea wall.

Not a lot, because the tide was going out rapidly. It must have bee quite impressive an hour or so ago.

storm sea wall port de granville harbour manche normandy franceNothing changed at all in the chantier navale today, and Normandy Trader had sodded off too … “that was quick” – ed … so I stood and armired the waves for a little longer.

Every now and again there was a wave more powerful and deeper than the others, and that was providing me with some exciting entertainment.

But after a while I gave it up and headed for home and coffee.

bad parking boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne granville manche normandy franceRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that pathetic parking features quite regularly in these pages. Here’s another example.

I’d seen her pull up as I was on my way home with my lettuce and bread, and I thought to myself at the time “she’s not going to leave that car there, straddling two places and with 6 feet of room in front, is she?”

But yes she is. Gets right on my wick it does.

Back to the sound files and then a break for tea. I made a curry with the leftovers again and there were so many leftovers that there are some leftovers left over. That’ll be a tea for another night then, won’t it?

This evening it was raining when I went out so I didn’t hang around. I had my run though, right up to the top of the ramp and another 20 paces further on. It was feeling good today.

Then we had the football and now, considerably later than planned (like 01:45) I’m off to bed. I’m a busy boy tomorrow and another task has reared its ugly head as well.

Where will I find the time?